Monday, May 4, 2015

It's That Time of Year again!

No way, it's already May!!

 And before I forget, HAPPY STAR WARS DAY! May the faith be with you! I mean, May the fourth.

 So we've been watching the temperature thingie in our car start creeping up to 100 and 102 and we're like, "Yup, that's happening again."

 Brace yourselves. Summer is coming. 

 BUT. I've decided I love Phoenix summers because, last year, when I came in in July there were big fluffy clouds and lightning storms and every now and again we'd get some rain. And that's been happening. Last night we sat outside to watch the lightning before going to bed. I love it SO MUCH and I hope I get to spend the summer in at least a similar weather pattern. Summer in Casa Grande and Maricopa was just hot hot hot with no clouds ever. :p The people were why I loved serving there so much, haha

 Having short hair is really nice when it's hot. 

 Julio is so crazy insane ON FIRE. He keeps texting us questions about what he's reading and little testimonies. He admitted to us, "I skipped 2 Nephi because I didn't understand that okay?" 
YES. That's totally fine. Hahahahahaha. Just make it to Enos, it picks back up with the stories again! We were so glad he didn't just give up.
  When we told him he had to wait until we got through all the lessons to be baptized, just to give him time to really have a testimony of what he was getting into and to give him time to try out living all the commandments, he downloaded Preach My Gospel and has been reading the lessons we teach!!! XD Also all the rest of Preach My Gospel, so he's read all the baptismal interview questions, all of our purpose as missionaries, he knows all our secrets! hahahaha. He's so cool. Everyone should read Preach My Gospel anyway. He's been having tons of fun on the Gospel Library app.

 Also, he loves doing family history work. He talks about how his grandma would try to show him photos and stuff and he just felt like it was the most boring thing in the world and would try to get away. Now, without us teaching him about why family history is important to us, he suddenly got a crazy urge to find everyone and understand their story. He visited his grandma and spent hours looking at old photos and journal entries and everything. His wife, Kristen, has lost interest, though. Which kinda makes him sad, but she was never really looking for a church, just a good place where her son could grow up. She likes the church a lot and feels this is the best place for her son, and is happy with the changes her husband is making, but no longer wants to sit in on lessons or anything. 

Ramon's doing well. Still kinda couch surfing. He's going out of his way to try and find an apartment in the ward boundaries, though. He has friends here, he wants to be baptized and go to church here. Sometimes we're like, "Ramon, don't kill yourself, just find yourself a stable place to be! The church is worldwide, it teaches the exact same things everywhere you go, there are missionaries everywhere, it's okay!" Nope, he's attached to this ward. This ward plays basketball together. Haha. It sounds like he might have found a place, though. We still pray for him and call him frequently. He still finds a lot of comfort in the Book of Mormon battles. War picked up again in Helaman. 
 It's been a really good week. We've finally kinda settled in, though it's wierd living with four other missionaries who aren't even in your zone. I've learned a lot about changing and becoming. Needing change doesn't mean you're an awful person. It's okay to have things to improve on. You can be happy with where you're at while still having a long way to go. Just because you're not at the top of the mountain and still struggling to hold on doesn't negate the fact that you just climbed 150 ft. I've loved being a missionary so much. It's been the craziest journey of my life, really high highs and very low lows, but every bit of it has been worth it. I'm glad I still have forever left. A whole season. I don't go home until fall, and Arizona doesn't even really have a fall, so I have forever left. 

 Sister WIlliams and I have a theme for this transfer. We didn't agree on it or look for one or anything, it just kinda happened. We're determined to conquer this transfer. :p We are conquering the things we want to conquer, whatever it may be!

 Thanks so much for all your support and your love! I love and miss you all, and I can't wait to talk to my family on Mothers day! Eeee!

 You're the best! <3

 -Sister Stratford

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