Rough goodbyes but I love Indio 1/30/17

Crazy hard and great week.

Definitely the hardest goodbye on my mission leaving the amazing

humans of Fontana and Sister Brown. I have never cried when leaving a

companion but SHEESH it was random tears for the both of us from

Sunday night to Wednesday morning.

My new companion is Sister Ashcraft! She is so sweet. She’s from Idaho

and is 20 years old. She has been out for a year now and we are both

Sister Training Leaders together! She also loves potatoes and laughs

at everything so it’s good.

But here I am in the Shadow Hills Ward in Indio! It is beautiful,

straight desert here and I love it. The members are amazing, I am not

just saying that. This seems to be the most functioning ward and

everyone is so on top of their callings it is awesome. There are TONS

of young, beautiful model families and then about 1/3 of the ward is

elderly people since there are two retired communities in the Ward.

There are only a couple streets in our whole neighborhood without

gated communities. That’s been an adjustment. When seeing people in

gated communities we have to go to their home and their home only, we

can’t proselyte to their neighbors since there is no soliciting or

else they can call the office and make sure that the gate guards don’t

let us back in. So we basically work completely through the members

which is how it should be anyways. I do miss random street contacts

but we go to the gas station etc. so we can talk to people there.

It’s super super nice here, our apartment is a DREAM. I have never

seen a missionary apartment like it before. Washer and dryer inside,

WALK IN CLOSETS? We each have our own showers and bathrooms. It’s

craziness.

Anyways, adjustments and change are good, they bring me to my knees.

I’m grateful for that. I got here a little shaken. I found out right

before I left that Hector was being baptized February 4th and before

that, Angie and Hector were getting married! Not only that, but my

heart was just breaking knowing that I would miss seeing 7 amazing

people that we have been teaching enter the temple this last Saturday.

I was definitely throwing a pity party for myself after being

separated from everyone and thrown into a new area. I was praying even

before I left for Indio that I would be able to feel at peace with

this transfer and know that this is meant to be.

Then the Lord showed me just that. The tender mercies all started when

I got an email from Brynn this week telling me that she found out

Blake’s relatives are in this Ward! When I read that I just was

shaking my head thinking that the Lord really does know what He is

doing.

Then, Saturday night, President and Sister Dixon came to our stake

conference and he came up to Sister Ashcraft and I and asked about how

we were doing. He let me know it was a tough call to make for my last

transfer but he just felt so strongly about me being here with Sister

Ashcraft. When he told us this, I just felt the Spirit letting me know

that his decision was inspired.

Then on Sunday at Stake Conference, a nice man comes up to us

explaining that he is related to Blake Hadley and then introduces me

to about a billion other amazing people that I am now somewhat related

to! They treated me as though we all knew each other long ago and were

being reunited it was just the best. They are the sweetest humans

ever. Also, pretty sure just about every one of them talked about how

good the mango pie was at the wedding haha.

Bottom line, Heavenly Father has answered my prayer in about a billion

ways. I am meant to be here. I love it here and I get a little teary

eyed thinking that this is the end but I thank my Heavenly Father

every single day for my mission, for how I have come to know Him and

my Savior through this amazing journey. I am so pumped for this last

transfer, never have I felt more excited and eager to be a missionary.

Ps. We found out that the apostle that is visiting us is Elder Oaks! So

excited. He is the Chairman of the missionary department and he is visiting

all of the leaders (stake presidents, bishops, Ward mission leaders etc.)

around the mission and then us! We are having a special Missionary

Leadership Council with him and a General Authority February 11th, then a

General Authority will be joining him. Then we will have a whole mission

conference with him. Woo chills so excited.

Then this Thursday at MLC we will be getting a visit from Lee Donaldson, he

wrote this famous paper for missionaries and he was the mission president in

the District 2 (videos for missionaries). Good good stuff.

So pictures:

-No words for the video I guess

-You thought you would see the end of Sister Brown and I but no

-Bye to Sister Kagle

-Bye to Addy

-We had dinner with Angie, Hector and their cute kids at the Young’s

the night before I left. It was awesome and they told us all of the

good news!

-Bye to the Orozco family

-Bye to the Johnson’s (Ward mission leader and family)

-Sister Ashcraft and I (the second one is from an email we sent to the Ward)

-We have the sweetest family the sisters found just before I got here.

We started teaching them this week, they are amazing. Jenni and her

husband Brian, Ashley, Riley and little baby Cyrus! The Lord is just

blessing us already.

-Volunteering at a horse ranch (this horse apparently kisses people so

first kiss on the mission)

-Indio slash beautiful desert

-AND FAMILY! Well, family through marriage. Thanks Blake for giving me

amazing relatives that made my week.  (In the picture is Blake’s sweet

grandmother,

His Uncle and wife, his Aunt and lots of cousins.)

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