Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just Call Me Font Filler

Shoutout to my HARDCORE baby brother who turns 16 this week! Tomorrow, actually!! How is that even possible? How are you that old? I thought I just turned 16? 
Somebody keep those pedestrians off of the sidewalks ;) 
I love you, Druwby dooby doo! You're seriously like the coolest kid ever!! :)

So along with that news, I am so grateful for the knowledge that families are forever and that I get to spend ETERNITY with my family who I love very very much. How cool is that. This week, we got to take part in a wedding. They were able to be married for their life on this earth this week, and a year from now they will enter the temple to be sealed for eternity. How incredible is it that we have that power restored to the earth today?
So yeah! This week was awesome because we got to see our investigator get married on Friday so that she could enter the waters of baptism on Saturday. What dedication. She has the most incredible testimony. 
Filling the font was interesting, though. I didn't know something could take so long. It takes almost four hours to fill that puppy. So we had to get to the church super early. We left the house with all of our things for the day - our study books and our makeup and our lunch and even a curling iron so that we could curl our hair during lunch hour. It was funny. We basically camped out at the church all day. 
The baptism was incredible. It was all in Spanish. The hymns were a little bit of a struggle, but other than that it went really well! She was so happy to finally be baptized after three years of meeting with the missionaries. She's worked so hard to get to this point! We were crazy happy for her. 

Some other cool things that happened this week include:

-Holding REAL Mexican jumping beans for the first time
-Meeting a stray kitten outside the church building during district meeting and naming it Moses
-Going to the music store on pday and being able to play guitar for an hour. That was seriously so incredible. I miss that so much
-Purchasing a dinky little harmonica and having the elders teach me how to play it. (best day of my life)
-Meeting a super cool person named Elise who shares my love of fried pickles
-Doing some service for a less active member by helping her clean out a shed. We love to get down in the dirt, even in our skirts!
-And then, of course, the highlight of any week is meeting with Mervin. He's the coolest, funniest less active ever. He calls us his lady friends and shares his spicy chicken with us. He's awesome.

Alright. I have a funny story to share with you. 
We have this investigator named H.G. and he's super excited about learning. We've taught him twice, but his phone got shut off cause he doesn't have a lot of money and he couldn't pay his bills. He also lives on the fifth floor of an apartment building and the outside door to get into the building is always locked, so unless he's outside when we go to see him, we have NO WAY to get a hold of him! Super frustrating! During weekly planning, Sister Tolman and I prayed very sincerely so that we would be able to see him walking on the street so that we could contact him and set a time to meet with him and get him to church. We promised that no matter where we were or where we were going, we would stop the car and get out to talk to him. So it was Saturday and we still hadn't seen him. We were on our way to a dinner appointment with a member in Jonestown and we were stopped at a red light. All the sudden, I look across the road and cry "Oh my gosh! There's H!" Sister Tolman jumped and yelled, "Oh my gosh oh my gosh! PARK THE CAR!!" So as soon as the light turned green, we turned and found a place on the side of the road to park. By then, we had lost sight of him but we thought we knew which way he was walking, so we started heading in that direction, too. We saw somebody walking that looked the same as him but we weren't 100% sure if it was, haha. Sister Tolman leans to me, "Do you think that's him?" I shrugged my shoulders. "Only one way to find out!" Haha I called out to him as loud as I could, "H!" 
He turns around with this GIANT grin on his face! "Hermanas!" 
Haha, we were able to invite him to come to church and to set a return appointment for next week so that we can teach him again. Unfortunately, in our flurry and zeal to share the gospel and to keep our promises with the Lord, somehow Sister Tolman had dropped the phone in the street. We didn't realize that until we were in Jonestown. But neither of us worried about it. We knew that we had done right by our Father in Heaven and that everything would be okay. 
After the dinner appointment, we drove back to Lebanon to see if we could see the phone nearby where we had parked. It was right there! Just sitting in a pile of leaves, completely fine! No one had taken it or run over it or anything! 
I KNOW that when we keep our promises with the Lord, he blesses us. It was a simple thing to have our phone be okay, and I know that even if it wasn't that everything would have been fine. But it was our little miracle for the week and I wanted to share that with you guys. :)

There have been so many other miracles in this area. We recently started teaching two new people - J and F - and both of them during our first lesson expressed that they had been praying for truth to find them and for the Lord to set them on the right path. It's incredible to hear that because then, as a missionary, you just know you're in the right place! 

The work is awesome! This week, we had a little setback because I got really sick. :( That was so dumb! It's hard not to, though. A lot of the people that we're teaching have the flu and bronchitis and all sorts of nasty stuff and they still just let us come over to teach. I mean, that's really cool of everybody because we love teaching appointments. But it was hard for Sister Tolman because when I'm sick, she doesn't really have anything to do. She was so sweet about it this week though, just telling me, "No, don't worry. I needed to catch up on my Ensign reading anyway." So she just let me sleep. Thursday was the longest day. I slept until three. I mean, I wasn't feeling better after three, but we had appointments and I was sick of laying around. Ain't nobody got time fo dis! So I've slowly been returning to health. :) It's hard though cause I don't really get a lot of sleep at night. Sister Tolman has been having allergies and so she's congested pretty bad and so she's got this tremendous hibernating bear snore that rocks the streets of Lebanon with it's intense vibrations. I mean, usually she doesn't snore at all. But it's been pretty bad these passed few weeks...  
I hope don't snore. I've asked her if I do and she says no. But I don't know if she's just being nice! Haha. I just pray every night that I'll fall asleep before she does and that I will sleep through the night. I've never had to pray for that before. It's so stinking funny. I try not to laugh while I'm praying but it's just so humorous. "Please, Heavenly Father, let me fall asleep before my trainer so that I don't have bags under my eyes tomorrow." Hahahaha.

Ah, the struggles of missionary life. :) 

It's going awesome, though. I'm super stoked for General Conference this weekend. I learned so much from the Women's Conference. some incredible talks were given that day.
I'm so grateful for living prophets! I'm grateful for the organization in this church, which is the same as when Christ lived and established his church. I love the gospel. I am so grateful for righteous priesthood holders who can give blessings of comfort and healing to those in need. 

And I love all of you. 
I hope you had a great week, everyone. So good to hear from you from time to time. 
Keep the faith! And make sure to watch General conference :D

Love, Hermana Bills

Monday, September 22, 2014


So this transfer is going to be SO RAD! We have 3 baptisms and a wedding planned. It's going to be an incredible transfer. 

I can't believe I've already completed a whole transfer in the mission field. I still feel like the baby in the district (I mean, I AM but... like... I feel like I should be fresher or something. Not a whole transfer old.)
It's so funny how the mission works. Everything is a family. Like Sister Tolman is my trainer so that makes her my mom. And Sister Chavez trained Sister Tolman so that makes Sister Chavez my grandma. Then how "old" you are depends on how many months you've been out. So I'd be 2 and 1/2. Is that crazy? 
Missionaries are so weird. 

But a new transfer means that I get to drive now! I was driving around this morning! I am so happy and so is Sister Tolman. She HATES driving. Wins all around. 

So here's some of the things that happened since last week. 

Pday was legendary. We went to the Chakmakov's with the Elders and played catch phrase for an hour and a half. It was so funny because we couldn't stop laughing. I haven't laughed that hard in a while. I don't know how many of you have played the game before, but I highly recommend it. So one round we were playing boys vs. girls. Brother Chakmakov had the word and it was "dress" and to describe it he said, "Something a girl wears." A good description, right? Well to this day we are still unsure about what Elder Cluff THOUGHT he heard but heimmediately answered with "GROCERY STORES!" 
I couldn't stop laughing.
I'm still laughing. 
Later that night while we were eating dinner, Sister C. was describing what she had cooked. It was a traditional bulgarian dish, kind of like a meat loaf. I'm still not sure what the real name is but I misheard her when she said it. "It's called Little Stephanie? Don't you think that's kind of morbid?" 
Everyone at the table was silent and just stared at me for what felt like an eternity. Then we just bust out laughing. The whole night they made fun of me, "Sister Bills, would you like some more little Stephanie?" "Who can eat another slice of little Stephanie?" hahaha. I can't even describe to you how red I was. 
Then (Because Sister C is a winner every day of her life) we made s'mores indoors. She lit this little flame thing and we roasted marshmallows from the kitchen table and listened to Christmas music because we're that awesome. We love the Chakmakovs.

After that, Sister Tolman and I went for a bike ride in our skirts... just to try it out. 
Let me tell you. If any of you want a real workout, go for a ride with flat bike tires and you will be feeling the burn for days. 
I had a picture but I left my camera at the apartment. Whoops. I'll have to remember to bring it next week. 

In other news, we've been doing our family history this week and I followed one of my lines back to ABRAHAM and Sister T was able to go back to ADAM. It was so incredible! We caught the spirit of elijah hardcore. 

We got 4 new investigators this week! It's been incredible to see the Lord hastening his work. I won't go through all of them, but one is named H. and he is so cool. I might have written about him last time? Now I can't remember... the weeks all blur together. But he was super hesitant about coming to church. He said he's tried numerous other churches and didn't like them. But at the end of the service, he leaned over and said, "Can you find me a ride every week?" It was so cool! Through him, we are hoping to start up a class where we can teach English to him and his friends once a week. We're planning to use that as a way to find more Spanish speaking investigators! We feel very confident that it will work. 

In other news, S. is busy being awesome and he's so excited to be baptized on October 11. We are having a baptism for W. THIS SATURDAY! She's getting Married on Friday and then baptized on Saturday and Confirmed on Sunday. She's so excited. She's been struggling with the law of chastity and wouldn't keep it for the past 3 years and they finally decided to tie the knot and live the commandments! She's so excited! She's pretty much been an active member for the past 3 years. The only thing that's missing is the baptism. ;) 

Thursday this week was crazy. We had back to back to back appointments, and somehow we accidentally scheduled someone for our dinner hour, so we didn't even have time for dinner! I had the first opportunity that I've had on my mission to sing during a lesson and that was awesome. I was really nervous, but it went super well and now we'll be singing every time we go over to that less active's house. I'm happy. :) Then we kept on going through the day and we were starting to get really burned out when something fell through so we ran to a pizza place really quick and ate super fast before our next appointment. 
When we got home that night, our DOOR WAS OPEN to the apartment! I don't know how that happened because we always lock it when we leave. But we were a little scared and didn't know what to do. So I said a prayed in my heart and told Heavenly Father how tired I was and how I just wanted to plan and go to bed so we could have another good day on Friday. I felt this incredible sense of calm like "You must not have closed the door all the way when you checked the mail. Your apartment is safe." 
But Sister Tolman was still scared so haha I kicked the door in super hard and flipped on the light and yelled "POLICE! PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!!" and then I grabbed one of the crutches that was by the door (don't ask me why we have those cause I totally don't know) and I searched the apartment. It was clear. Haha, it was so funny. 

I just have one more story for y'all from this week. We were over with the elders (George and Cluff) at a members house last night for dinner and their daughter was sleeping on the couch (remember this for later). They fed us this awesome copycat recipe of a soup from Olive Garden. I was in heaven. Anyway, we shared a though with them about member missionary work and were just getting ready to leave when their little girl (her name is Varsity...) woke up and walked over to the table. But you know that state where you just woke up and you're not really awake? Yeah, that's where she was. 
So haha she walks up to Elder Cluff and just snuggles right into him, thinking he's her dad. Elder Cluff's face went BRIGHT red... it was hilarious. Brother Jones was trying not to laugh and he was like "Varsity, honey, that's not me. I'm right over here." But it was just not registering and she like tucked her little face into Elder Cluff's shoulder and he got redder and redder and at this point we're all just laughing because of Elder Cluff's reaction. Like... the situation wasn't even that awkward but his reaction was just so priceless. We finally managed to get her to go over and snuggle with her DAD. 
We were still laughing as we walked out the door. We renamed him Elder Cuddles. 

So it was a really good really busy week! I can't believe how fast that flew by! We caught another mouse! (UGH) and I have some pictures to send that I hopefully will not forget next week.

I want you all to know that I have a testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know that we can receive personal revelation every day through our faith in him! This mission is so good for me! You are all so good to me! Thank you for your support and prayers and, as always, I love you all very much! :)

Love, Hermana Bills

Monday, September 15, 2014

Not a Creature was Stirring. . .

Except for the mouse. 

This week, the most exciting event was the arrival of mice to our apartment. #notcool. It's been getting colder and colder. I don't think that we're going to have a fall season out here in Pennsylvania. I guess it's just going to go straight to winter. So the mice started making their way into our house. At first, Sister Tolman told me that she saw one run across the floor. But I didn't believe her because she said it went under her bed and there was nothing there. But when we woke up the next day and her bad of bagels had been nibbled through, I knew I had to take action. So we went to our local Walmart to get a couple of sturdy mouse traps. I'd never set one before in my life so it took me a while to figure out how to get the kill bar to stay... but after I set that first one, it was a breeze. So we set four and left the apartment for a dinner appointment. When we came back, 
 I was horrified. There was blood all over! I didn't know there was going to be blood! We cleaned up really well and had a funeral for the mouse. He was a good man. I seriously felt like the Lamanites or something! So wild and ferocious. Bloodthirsty. Killer. Murderer. 

But then that was over. 

In other news, we went shopping last pday for Sister Tolman. It was rough because I don't like shopping but I knew that she wanted to go so I tried to act excited. She got a couple new things. It's hard sometimes wearing the same things over and over but I guess it's better than proselyting naked. Ha. Today we have plans to go for a bike ride down a path. Some of the trees are changing colors so maybe I'll get some good pictures! 

We had the awesome opportunity to attend zone conference this week and it was seriously incredible! I love my zone so much. We got to listen to a bunch of speakers and play games and be with other missionaries from two other zones. We saw our monthly numbers for our zone and for the whole mission. The Lord truly is hastening His work! I got a little emotional because our STL is leaving at the end of this week and so she gave her goodbye testimony. I love her so much! She's such a good girl and an awesome missionary. 
After the conference was over, a bunch of missionaries went to Infinito's Pizza in Harrisburg. It's like Pizza Pie Cafe except not as good. We all got to sit for an hour and chat and get to know each other and talk about our investigators and stuff. It was awesome. It's so refreshing to be with other missionaries sometimes! :) 
For zone conference we had to have our cars inspected and so I learned how to check tire pressure and felt like a major boss! Our car was awesome and we passed the inspection with flying colors. We also found out that I am allowed to drive next transfer "until Sister Tolman thinks that I am a capable and comfortable driver". Haha. So only one more week and then I can start driving around. That will be nice. I won't be as afraid for my life ;) 

Our work in Lebanon this week was awesome. We had 4 new investigators! 
The first was a couple - S. and M. I've never met people who were more prepared for the gospel. M. grew up Catholic but some of the doctrines just didn't make sense to me. When we were talking to him about baptism and the restoration and everything, it was all just clicking so well! He was like "Oh yeah! That makes SO much more sense than the Catholic church." So we're hoping that they will choose to be married so they can both be baptized. We are going to see them tomorrow night. They're super nice. 
Our next investigator is a Spanish speaker! Yay! He's the cutest old man. He reminds Sister Tolman of her teacher in the MTC. His name is H. He came to church yesterday and was a little skeptical. He told us that he'd gone to churches before and just didn't think it was for him. But he ended up staying all three hours and before he left he said, "Will you find someone to pick me up and bring me to church EVERY week?" It was so cool! 
Our next investigator is Y. S. She is really cool and we set her with a baptismal date and everything. But for some reason I think she thinks that we are a welfare program or something. She just moved here from New York and she was asking us to give her food and furniture. So we'll see what happens with her next week when she realizes that that's not something that we're allowed to do. She was really receptive to the lesson, though. And we know she felt the Spirit. So it will be interesting to see. :) She's so funny. 

S. is still doing well. He's progressing and still coming to church every Sunday and keeping his commitments. He is right on track to be baptized next month! He's our golden investigator. 

I'll leave you guys with two funny stories from this week. The first was from tracting. We were just walking around Lebanon, OYMing people, trying to get referrals and maybe potential investigators. We talked to this guy named Henry outside of a Hookah bar for about 10 minutes about prophets and he said he'd stop by our church some time. So as we were continuing on down 8th street, there was a group of guys and they asked us what we were doing. Normally I would have just kept going, cause some people can be pretty iffy out here. But the Spirit was just like, "Invite ALL to come unto Christ." So we talked to them about Jesus Christ for about 15 minutes. They told us that they thought we were cool. Then one guy went into his shop and brought us out these diet cokes that said "Go-Getters". He said, "You girls get these because none of my cans say 'hermana' and you are definitely go-getters! Preach the good word, girls!" It was so funny! They were really nice. They didn't want to have us teach them about the gospel, but it was still a good conversation. And free diet coke! I felt like Taylor Swift!

The last story was just kind of really cool and helped me realize how serious this whole missionary business really is. ;) We were walking to our car from an appointment that had just fallen through and there was this old man standing on the side of the road. I decided that I'd stop and offer him a pass along card. I told him that we'd love to teach him about Christ's restored gospel on the earth today. He answered with, "Oh honey. I know all about Christ. I'm a minister." and he pulls out his ministerial certificate and is all proud and stuff. I got all excited and I was like, "Oh my gosh! That's so cool. We're ministers, too!" Haha his face when Sister Tolman and I pulled out OUR certificates.... money can't buy things like that, folks. Priceless. 
So we just had a conversation with him for a little while and he finally did accept the pass along card and we told him we'd come volunteer at the Salvation army. But I can't forget the feeling that it was just us three ministers, chatting on the sidewalk. 
Like... I'm a minister. Called to preach to the Lord's children. I don't know... it really hit me hard right then. It was really cool. 

The gospel is so true and really awesome! I was learning about miracles this morning and realized that there are so many miracles all around us that we take for granted sometimes! The Lord blesses us so incredibly. I love Him.

I love y'all! Have a good week! 

This spider rode on the windshield for
about 30 minutes! So funny!
Home sweet home!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

This week was madness. 

To any of you who are like I was and thought that bedbugs were just a made up creature that your parents used to scare you at night... THEY ARE NOT. They are real and they totally bite you. Like a lot. Like... all over. 
Luckily, I am not speaking from experience. Here is the story.
The elders in our district (our District Leader and his companion) got bedbugs somehow. Somewhere. We found out last Tuesday that they had gotten them when we got a call from the mission home. Mine and Sister Tolman's reactions were so different, it was hilarious. I had tears in my eyes. I legit was crying for them. The mission has turned me into such a baby. Sister Tolman on the other hand was flipping a lid. "IF THOSE ELDERS GAVE US BEDBUGS I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO THEM AGAIN." Yelling and getting mad. It was so funny. 
so anyway, most of the day Tuesday was spent cleaning and doing laundry and taking mandatory precautionary measures to make sure that we didn't end up with bed bugs, or that if we did have them, that we killed them before they got to us. Poor Elder George (the DL) had 81 bites as of yesterday night. So they're not something that you want to mess with. I was praying so hard all week that we wouldn't get them. We didn't get a lot done as far as missionary work was concerned, so that was frustrating. But hey, our clothes and apartment are all really clean, so that's nice. :) 
It was a horrible scare, though. The elders are not allowed to go into members or investigators houses for the next several weeks and are only allowed to come to sacrament meeting on Sundays as they receive treatments from the exterminator in their home to get rid of the bedbugs, because they don't want to risk spreading it. I feel so bad for them! They're such good missionaries and their work is kind of forcefully being slowed because of the stupid bugs! Poor things. 

So the bedbugs took up a lot of our time on TuesdayWednesday and Thursday. But we were able to get some work done! 

We found one incredible young woman named V. She actually stopped us on the street one day as we were walking to the home of a less active. She said she used to be a member but she left the church to be Catholic. We asked her if we could come by and talk with her. When we followed up with the appointment, we found out that she is bisexual and doesn't know if she wants to come back to church cause she is afraid that she'll be really judged. We told her how cool the ward is and how we know her Heavenly Father loves her so much and we encouraged her to look at mormonsandgays.org. It was a really good conversation. She's awesome. We're going to see her again this weekon Thursday.

We also have two new investigators this week - T. and A. We found them OYMing and they invited us back. They're really awesome. T. has this friend that just got out of jail that always seems to show up right as we're trying to have lessons with her... fishy? I think so. But A. seems sincerely interested. She has three little boys. She's such a super hero. 
We also met two families who are ready to take the lessons, we have appointments set with them this week and we're so excited! S. and W. have 6 little boys collectively (from different marriages). We OYM'd them one night and apparently after we left they talked to each other and they had both secretly been wanting to go back to church and work on their relationship with God, but hadn't known how to tell the other. How cool is that? 
Then we received J. and M. as a referral from a referral. They have two daughters and they "are looking for a church." M. is finishing up clinicals to be... an LPN? I think? I could be wrong. Where's Savannah Widm.. ah, DAWSON when you need her? ;) But they're really nice. 

We're finding a lot of people who are interested. We have an investigator who just moved into our area from the elders' area. His name is C. How classy is that? We went to see him on Friday and while we were there A TREE IN HIS FRONT YARD GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING!!
It had this wicked scar like all the way down the trunk. It was so dang flippin legit. Like something off of the Hunger Games. Survival of the fittest. And we survived.

What I don't know if I will survive is Sister Tolman's driving. Haha. Let me just tell you some fine stories about this woman with whom I am serving. 
The other day we are just cruising down Cumberland on our way to an appointment, posting up in the right hand lane (there are a lot of one way streets in Lebanon. Cumberland happens to be one of them). I hear her turn the signal on and slow down. Remember, we're in the right hand lane so I look to the right expecting her to turn that way. BUT NO haha she just whips out a left hand turn from the right hand lane like a madwoman. She totally didn't even realize it, either. So she's just driving along and I'm all... (quietly from the passenger seat): "Um, Sister? That totally wasn't legal." So she gets so scared and slams on the breaks in the middle of the street and she's like "What wasn't legal?" Panicking. Hahahaha It was so funny. 
Then on Friday we were driving with a member to an appointment and she is driving in the turning lane but she needed to go straight so she just swerves in front of this hardened thug that was just getting ready to pass us. The light turned red though so we had to stop.
Oh my gosh I thought we were going to die. He pulls up to the side of us, rolls down his window, starts screaming all kinds of profanity at us. We were looking straight ahead, I am like trying not to laugh at the situation so I have this dumb smile on my face... the hardened thug starts to reach for his door handle to come out and MURDER US I am sure... but just then the light turns green, the member and I shout "GO GO GO GO" and we speed off.
Holy adrenaline. 
Lebanon, though. 

Luckily, next transfer she said that I can drive! So hopefully we won't have anymore crazy stories. Hahahaha. We always have a good time though. 

In other news, we got dumped this week by one of our investigators - L. (I swear though, there are only 3 names in Lebanon for guys. Luis, Hector, and Jose. There's nothing else.) He just sat us down at the table and was like, "Yeah, I don't think you guys should come over anymore."
Haha so funny. Cause right after he dumped us his sister said she wants to take the discussion. TAKE THAT L. We'll still be over every Thursday night! 
Wahahaha. We're like the crazy ex girlfriends that never leave. It's awesome! 

In other news, we had two of our less active members get up in Sacrament meeting yesterday and bear their testimonies. It was incredible. I cried like a little manchild. 

So since it was Fast Sunday yesterday I will end this email with my testimony that this gospel and our Heavenly Father are perfect! I love that we never have to go through trials and tribulations alone because of our Savior Jesus Christ and His suffering in the Garden. I know that He loves us. I know it. I can feel His love for the people that we are teaching. It washes over every inch of me. It's an incredible blessing to me to feel of that love not only for myself, but for others. What an incredible gift His gospel is to every person who will accept it. 
I have a testimony of this work and the importance of members participating! We love our members here in Lebanon. They're the best! Please help your missionaries further the work!
I have a testimony of family history work and it's importance. That's missionary work, too! Work that everyone can have a part in. If you can't go to the temple, make it a goal! Find names of your ancestors in your free time and offer them the incredible gift that they didn't know about when they lived! How cool is the plan of salvation, eh? 
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and it's truthfulness, and consequently I have a testimony of Joseph Smith, and of our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. They are great men. But they do not direct this church.
I know that the reason that our church is a living church and that we can receive revelation because Jesus Christ is at the head. He directs the affairs of His church. We will never be led astray. 
I delight in the scriptures. I love my Savior. I know that His words bring peace that will last us not only until the end of this life, but throughout the eternities.
know these things. 
I know that if you do not know these things, that you can. I emphatically encourage everyone to do so! :) It is the most wonderful knowledge and gift a person can have in this life - to know that they are loved by their creator and that He has a plan specifically for them! To have the drive and desire to help others and to do the will of the Father because of that love! It's awesome! 
The church is true! 
I bear you my witness! In Jesus' name, Amen.  

Love, Hermana Bills

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chocolate Avenue

Nothing is better than this week. 

First, I have two shoutouts this week. 

1 - to Mike. Happy Birthday on the 5th! Take good care of my mom and have a good birthday! 
    2 - to my hero, my big brother Brandini. Happy birthday, brother. I miss you so much! 

 Okay! So let's just get right on down to the good stuff.

Yesterday, as a district, we mozied on down to Hershey Park on Chocolate Avenue. I kid you not, the lamps are shaped like kisses. Everything is chocolate. We rode roller coasters all day and had a fantastic time. It was so fun. I can't believe that they let us go! But it was awesome.

We also found this new restaurant called Sharky's. It looked a little bit sketchy at first but it's basically the only restaurant in Lebanon that isn't a beer bar or a hookah bar and so we decided to try it out and it was fabulous! I love it. Good ole Sharky's. 

The weather was crazy hot this week. The humidity makes it worse. My companion and I are polar opposites though, she loves the heat. So she always wants to be out tracting in it and I don't want to go out until night. It's a struggle. Usually I get my way though. :) There are better things to be doing during the middle of the day than OYMing and tracting. 
One night, we were out trying to hand out pass along cards and bearing our testimonies. We had just gotten done teaching a lesson with a less active family in our ward - the H's. They're Mexican and they always have this awesome Mexican candy. But this time they had something that (roughly translated) is called the Roasted Chicken sucker. So we tried that and it made Hermana Tolman so sick. I was starting to worry about her. She was making comments while we were walking, saying things like "My stomach does not feel good." It was almost time to go in, so I turned towards home and started walking that way when all the sudden she just lost in on the side of the road and puked her guts out. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to help but I was worried that if I got too close I would smell it and would throw up too haha. I told her that we were going home. She threw up like 6 more times that night. It was horrible. I texted the mission mom and our STL's... I didn't know what to do. I felt so bad for her. It was a long night that night.
We will not be eating the roasted chicken suckers again. 

So that was rough. 

In other news, the work is still going really well. We have plenty of opportunities to teach in Spanish which is really nice. I've been getting a lot of compliments on my Spanish! People tell me that my accent is really good, so that's nice. I feel so bad though because usually people will be like, "Hermana Bills, your Spanish is so lyrical." And then they'll tell Hermana Tolman how she sounds like she's German or something when she speaks Spanish. I mean, you can't really blame the girl. She learned in South Carolina! I wish people would stop saying it though. I really don't think her accent is bad. 

Our investigators are great! We got a new investigator last week and his name is N. He's an ex-mennonite. So cool. We asked him why he left and he said it was because he didn't believe what the Mennonite's believe. So we're teaching him the doctrine of Christ and he's just eating it up! Way cool.
S. is doing really well. I've never met someone who understands things so well the first time they are explained. We just taught  him the plan of salvation and asked him to keep the word of wisdom and he sat there for a second and was like, "you know? If it's for my eternal Salvation? I'll do anything." Neatest guy in the world. 

The members are as wonderful as ever. I love them. There is a new family that we've gotten really close to lately - the Chakmakov's. They're so cool. We ate over there last Saturday and found out that Brother Chakmakov is actually inactive. But we got him to come to church on Sunday and meet the elders and talk with some of the other members. He seemed to enjoy himself. He took the meal calendar and signed up to feed us and the elders every Monday for the rest of this month! He is such a funny guy. So after Hershey park yesterday, we got to go over and eat with them. Sister Chakmakova is a master chef. She made creme brulee and she let us put the sugar on and torch it right at the dinner table! It was so fun! They also spoke some Bulgarian for us and my jaw dropped right to the floor! They're incredible. I love them so much.
Uh, what's with the bug. . . .can we get back to ME!
I just want to end this email with a little story. So we have been OYMing a lot this week. (It stands for Open Your Mouth - it just means talking to random people on the street). So we have had ample opportunity to get rejected and such. It's been actually really hard. Some people have been really short and rude. There was one guy who told us that our religion is man made and that we're being led away by false prophets and the only way to worship God is by doing whatever you want when you want. Another lady laughed at us and said that we marry our brothers? So strange. 
But the most important thing I felt was the strength and love from the Lord. You know, I've never really had my testimony be TRIED before, and now I have it tried on the daily. But I know that Satan only attacks us because he is afraid of us. If he's not afraid of you, he knows you'll bring to pass your own destruction... he doesn't have to do it for you. I know that he is powerful and that he is not someone to take lightly, but I also know this:
Christ is stronger. 
No one can defeat you when Christ is standing beside you. 
I love this mission. I love representing my Savior. I love defending him and being a warrior of truth, armed with righteousness as it says in the scriptures. I love him! 

I love you guys, too! So much! 
Thank you for your prayers and support. 
You're all incredible. 

Stay strong! This is the true gospel! :) 

Love, Hermana Bills.