Monday, June 29, 2015

Tornadoes, Umbrellas, Llamas, and more!

This week was so marvelous!! 

First off - This upcoming week I hit my one year mark! So it's officially 6 months until I get home! Furthermore, I get home ON the 30th of December, so technically tomorrow is my "6 month countdown" 
Isn't that exciting!!! I miss you guys and I can't wait to see all of you in 6 months!! 

As for now, things are going incredible here in Lancaster. I love this area. Like, out of all of the places that I've served, I might actually consider moving back to and living here. But it's still pretty humid and I hate the gross humidity and so I probably won't actually do that. 

But! Good news!!! So who of you remembers last week when I was trying to summon a tornado and nothing happened? WELL! Let me tell you what happened!! The siren went off AGAIN this week! AND THERE WAS A TORNADO IN LANCASTER!! It did minor damage and threw a couple of trees around and only touched down for a few minutes and then it was gone!! 
Bad news is, I didn't actually get to see the tornado, so I'm not sure if the bad weather was actually worth it. Someone just showed me a video of it... But! I'm just happy to know that I have the power to summon tornados!! 

Other bad news... there were some fiercely hot days this week, my friends. One such day, we had planned to walk around Lancaster to try some investigators and less actives so that we could also be doing street contacting because we thought that would be effective. But it was like a bazillion degrees outside. Not a problem. Just working on our tan. 
Anyway. As we were trotting along, about to get into the downtown area, a member pulled over and stopped us and told us something about the heat index or something and out of the kindness of her heart, handed us an umbrella and told us to make sure to be drinking water every half an hour, if not more. We thanked her for her goodness and went on our way. 
But the thing about this umbrella... it was not like a handheld umbrella. It was like a full on SHADE umbrella - like one of those huge, enormous ones. So we're just plunkin' around Lancaster with this enormous umbrella and people are just giving us these super judgmental looks and one lady even had the audacity to tell us, "Hey, I don't think it's gonna rain today, you can put your umbrella down." 
So basically we were torn between following the wishes and desires of this member vs. the ridicule and persecution of the entire city of Lancaster so obviously we gave in and folded up the umbrella. But then I was just lugging this giant umbrella stick around. So then, like a champion, I started using it like one of those classy walking sticks that classy people use, and finally everyone accepted us and just flocked to us to ask us about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we baptized a whole city this week.

But for realz, there were no "city baptisms" this week. What a dream that would be. However, we did have the privilege to attend a baptism for Steve. Hermana Tolman used to teach him before we got moved to the Spanish branch. The spirit was really wonderful. Steve seems like a really good guy, and he got up to bear his testimony at the end of the service and it was so powerful and the spirit was so strong. Baptisms rock. 

Salvador is getting baptized this Saturday at 11:00!! We're so excited! It's the first baptism in the branch! Everyone is really excited! And then we're having a 4th of July celebration afterward! It's going to be awesome! 

We met some incredible people this week!! 
The first one is Jorge. He is so awesome, seriously! The Lord has prepared him so much for this gospel. When he was growing up in Ecuador, he said that he always saw missionaries and members and stuff, and always had interest in learning about the church, but never made it a priority! Then he lived in Italy for a bunch of years and didn't really make God a priority there, either! But then he moved to the United States and he met one of our other investigators, Diana, outside of a grocery store here in Lancaster! They had a conversation and are now together!! Diana is so happy about it!! And Jorge was ecstatic when he found out that she had contact with the Mormon church! So now he's taking the lessons and is so stoked to start coming to church and get baptized. The hard thing is, Diana is not ready to start coming to our church full time right now. She's still attending another church and keeps going back and forth. But hopefully his excitement and desire to learn about the church will spark a stronger desire in her as well!! 

The other person that we met was Terry. He's a llama farmer and probably the most legit person I've ever met. Maybe ever. He was so cool. We just randomly stopped on the side of the road with the elders on our way back from a dinner appointment to take a picture with a glorious llama, and then Terry calls out to us from the other side of the road and asks if we want a group picture with a baby llama!! So obviously we say yes!! 
Well, we got into this super long conversation about him and his life and about how his wife just recently passed away from cancer and how his parents are both passed as well and how, besides his llamas, he's all alone and doesn't really have anyone, and he's struggling with his faith and everything... we got this awesome opportunity to bear testimony of God's love for Him and how He has a plan for his life! The guy told us to add him on Facebook! We explained how our mission does not have Facebook yet and all that... he said not to worry and to just add him once we got it, and we could come to service on his farm! 
So! That will be awesome! 
Plus, we got to pet llamas! So it was a win-win situation! 
The baby llama's name is Sydney. Like Australia :) 
Llamas look so funny when they run.
Also. They play with you by wrapping their neck around you and trying to pin you to the ground. How fabulous is that. 
the things you learn as a missionary...

Funny story of the week:
One day we were walking and this guy was coming toward us and I was gonna try to talk to him, but instead this is what happened... I said, "Hi, how are you today?" and, without making eye contact, he walked right in-between me and Hermana Tolman and said, "Red rover, red rover."

Song of the week: 
I Smile by Kirk Franklin. That gospel music speakin to my soullll.

Quote of the week: 
"Happiness doesn’t come as a result of luck or accident. It most certainly doesn’t come from having all of our wishes come true. Happiness doesn’t come from external circumstances. It comes from the inside--regardless of what is happening around us."
Dieter F Uchtdorf

I hope you all have an awesome week! Remember - choose happiness!! 

Hermana Bills 

Monday, June 22, 2015


Well, people! It is officially Summer! Congratulations. To those of you who are not missionaries and can actually enjoy the summer by basking in the cool of the pool in the jungle of nool or by going boating or the various other extracurricular summer activities that normal people participate in... Please send me lots of pictures about all your adventures! 

Or letters! I love those :) 

Or both! I love everything! :) 

I want to start this email with a shout-out to my dad!! Happy Father's day! I love you and I'm so grateful to have a dad who loves and supports me. I miss you and think about you every day and I hope things are going wonderfully in Cedar Hills :) Thanks for all that you do! 
Thanks to all dads for what you do! You people are fantastic! 

This week has been pretty normal. We have spent many many hours out walking the streets of Lancaster, and have consequently had some extremely interesting conversations about many different subjects. 
One of those being how Lancaster is seriously like a mini Puerto Rico. Like it really just is. We were commenting about how ghetto the city is, and we made the executive decision to rename the city... and thus, the name "Swankaster" was created.  
Welcome to Swankaster. 
or, Swanky Lanky. 
or Spanky Lanky
Stanky Lanky
Skanky Lanky

or anything similar to those. 

We've also spent a lot of time "rating" things. 
ie - the other day we were at a Zone Conference, checking out all of the items in the clothing swap when my dear companion decided that she had found a skirt that she liked and wanted to take home. When she presented the skirt to me and told me that she would be charting it with us, I expressed my disgust by explaining to her that, "Why would you take that skirt home? That was one of the skirts that WE brought for the clothing swap. It was literally already in our apartment, why would you bring it back?"
She replied, "Because it's cute and I like it! Why would we put this in the swap?"
Then I commented on how hairy it was.
Well. She took it home anyway. The next day, she was putting it on and, in despair I cried out, "Oh, tell me you are not wearing that dumb hairy skirt." 
She said, "It's cute. I like it and I'm wearing it." 
In my final attempt to persuade her not to wear it, I exclaimed, "Hermana Tolman, on a scale of 1 to Wildebeest I give that skirt a solid 7." 
The best part about that is that I don't even know if Wildebeest's are hairy or not! It just sounds like something that WOULD be really hairy. 
But... yes. A lot of that has been happening. 
So those good times are sure to continue. 

On a more spiritual note, our branch is getting stronger and stronger and more and more fabulous each week. This past Sunday, we had our first Branch Council via skype! It was so incredible. It was us, President Gogna, the first councilor, and the Relief Society President. 
Then, during sacrament meeting, we sustained a second councilor in the Relief Society and a Visiting Teaching coordinator. And after the block of meetings, President Gogna even called a temporary Branch Mission Leader! He just got back from his mission last week, he served in Utah! It is so cool! So he's super gung-ho about missionary work, and he totally knows his stuff! We met with him last night and he's gonna whoop us into shape! 
I just love being able to be a part of something so incredible... to watch this branch grow and develop. I get spirit bumps every Sundaybecause it's just something so different to watch something BE organized rather than to be a part of something that's already organized. It's a great blessing. 
Still feeling like an early saint. 

This week we were able to attend a Zone Conference in Harrisburg. The Assistants gave a super spiritual training on how to use social media. Hopefully that roll-out will be happening soon. We are finally starting to catch the vision of how effective these tools can be. 
It was also good to spend time with President and Sister Johnson. Just being around them makes me so happy. And I got to see the Clarksons! That was definitely a highlight for me! I miss those people!! :) 

Other exciting things that happened this week:
I helped some nice firemen back their firetruck into the station. 
The tornado warning alarm was tested like 3 times and I got way overly excited about that because I've always wanted to see a tornado. I may or may not have spend the better part of my lunch hour trying to summon one up. 
We saw a nun running around in Lancaster! Coolest thing ever! 

Some dumb stuff that happened:
Got a parking ticket. Pretty sure I'm being targeted because I'm a Mormon. 
We tried to find a less active family in our branch and got followed by a police officer who told us that it was getting dark and we needed to go home. 

The best thing that happened this week BY FAR was that our investigator - Salvador - had his baptismal interview yesterday and passed with flying colors! So we should be having a baptism on July 4th! Talk about letting freedom ring!! That man is going to be cleansed from his sins as he enters into the covenant of baptism and takes upon himself the name of Christ and becomes a member of his church! I can't even wait! 
Salvador is seriously one of the most incredible people in the whole world! He was one of the first people I met when I got to this area, and honestly I was a little nervous because in our lesson he expressed how he felt like he didn't think he was ready for baptism!! So that is always alarming when your investigator says that. But, I just said a silent prayer in my heart and asked the Lord to help me know if he was prepared, and this awesome spirit just swept over the entire room and I knew that he was! So when things get hard, I just hold onto that feeling and know that this is the Lord's will for Salvador at this time! The amazing thing is that our district leader AND President Gogna said the same things! So that was awesome! We just know that he is going to make such an incredible difference in the lives of people here in the Colombia Branch. He's such a good guy.  So we're going to continue working with him this week and helping him prepare for baptism! So that's really exciting!

I just want to bear you all my testimony that I know this gospel is true! I have been studying about prophets and the restoration and Joseph Smith lately and I just want you to all know that I KNOW Joseph Smith was called as a prophet! His story is true! I feel like I have a pretty strong testimony about a lot of things, but my testimony about Joseph Smith was definitely one of my weaker points when I first came out on a mission, and now I have this powerful testimony of the restoration story. God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in the sacred grove and they spoke to him! They knew his name! Isn't that incredible? To think that someone who literally created worlds knows your name PERSONALLY? 
I have so much respect for the Prophet Joseph Smith. Amid all of the persecution and trials that he faced, he stayed strong to what he knew! I hope to do the same all the days of my life. Whatever comes at me, I want to say that I follow the Lord and I put him first! At any given time he is the #1 man in my life. I will follow the words of his prophets and treat their guidance and direction the exact same as if it were spoken by the mouth of God himself. Because in reality, that's the way it works. 
I am so grateful to be a member of this church and a representative of Christ! I am constantly striving to do and be better! I know you all are! You are wonderful examples to me! 

I love you!! :) 

Hermana Bills

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hago lo Que Quiero


I don't even know what to say. I don't know how long this email is going to be because the space button on this dumb keyboard makes this super annoying squeaking sound every time I press down and so... I don't know how long my sanity will be able to hold out. #publiclibraryproblems

There are no words to describe this week. 
Well maybe there's one.
In every good way. 

So recently in our mission we got ipads, right? Well. Part of the ipad deal is that we have this app called "the AreaBook Planner" with all of the information about the people that we teach and whatnot. The name "AreaBook Planner" is a derivative from two greek roots "Area Book" and "Daily Planner" which are useful tools that missionaries used anciently to further the work of the Lord. 
So unfortunately many hours this week were spent transferring records from the hard copies of our actual paper area books into our online area books. Luckily, we have voice command and so we could just speak what was written and it did most of the work for us... but let me just tell you about some of the prime corrections that had to be made this week... 
Actually I'm not really going to tell you. I'm just going to leave that to your own imagination.

The frustrating thing is that since our branch is brand new, we're not really entered into the things aren't working the way they're meant to. Every time we enter new people in and then we synch our devices, our investigators and less active members go to the elders proselyting area and so we can't even access them... #newbranchprobs

But it's worth it because the branch is so incredible. The gospel is so much more true in Spanish.  Yesterday, we sustained our new Relief Society president! So now we officially have a branch presidency and a relief society president! 
But seriously... she stood up and we sustained her and I started crying! Who knew I was such a crybaby. But I'm just so happy to see that these people I already love SO much organizing this little branch that means so much to them! We had about 13 or 14 more people here this week than we did last week so that was amazing! And we are working super hard! The best thing about the branch is that we meet at 12-3 and so we can literally walk around Lancaster all morning and just invite random people to come with us to church. Nobody actually came, but several of them agreed to meet with us later this week! It's so awesome! People are so much nicer on Sundays. 

Will He Ever Come  Michael McClain. Listen to it. Love it. 

Sue Fischer's Baptism
Sue Fischer got baptized!! Hermana Tolman and I taught this woman for a bazillion years when we were in Lebanon together. SO now that we're back together in Lancaster, it was close enough for a member to come pick us up and take us to the baptism. It was the coolest day of my life, being back in Lebanon. What a blessing. She was so happy to see us.  

*Finally met the new district this Wednesday. They are flawless. We all have district callings. Mine is "Plan of Salvation events coordinator" So I'm in charge of funerals and births. (ie - Elder Howard just came out into the mission, so I'm throwing him a baby shower. and Hermana Tolman and Elder Watkins are going home in 4 weeks so I'm in charge of the funeral). It is so much fun. We send each other missionary memes all the time. It's excellent. I would send them to you guys... I just don't know if you'd get them or if they'd be as funny to you. So I'm selfishly keeping them to myself. 

*Wanted to curb stomp someone for telling my companion off. Had to reign in my anger. Still praying for forgiveness on that one. 

*Went to an Amish store on pday. They sold Amish stuff. We didn't get any cause... we ain't Amish. 
*Finished my Spanish program on Duolingo. Gotta start practicing from the grammar book again, I guess. 

*Had FHE with the Knarr family. What kind of awesome last name is that. PLUS, Brother Knarr is the long lost identical twin of Brother Fairbanks, my orthodontist. Crazy. 
Anywhoozies. I'm having a great time here in Lancaster. It is so wonderful to be able to use my Spanish every day. What a blessing. I am so grateful to be a part of this work and to each of you for supporting me. I have the best support group ever. 

A special Happy Birthday goes out to Chloe Johnson who is awesome and also now 20 years old. You rock.
Anyone else having a birthday that I may have forgotten, please don't hate me. I love you all and I send you the happiest birthday wishes you could ever imagine. 

And my special love goes out to my dear best friend Courtney and her fine beau Jake for prepping to tie the knot this Thursday. You kids are incredible and I hope you have the best eternity ever. I wish I could be there but I'll be loving you both from afar. 
you are wonderful. 

To everyone else: You are so loved. by God and by me :) Thank you for all that you do...

Here's to another great week as a missionary! 

Hermana Bills 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Livin Life in Lancaster

(what is up with mormons and always using alliteration) 

Well I'm here in Lancaster and I can only describe my first week with three words...
Everything. Is. awesome.
My companion is awesome. Our Spanish branch is awesome. Teaching a bazillion lessons a week is awesome. Walking around Lancaster is awesome. Seeing the hand of the Lord is awesome. Our apartment is awesome (though smelly... we're working on that). Our branch President is AWESOME. The street names are awesome. The amish buggies are awesome. 
Everything is awesome.
I can't think of one thing that is not awesome.
Oh wait, I thought of one. Okay it's not awesome that we don't have a treadmill in our apartment because now I don't know if I'll ever run a seven minute mile. 
Aside from that... 
This place is pretty spot on.

First off, transfers were hilarious. When they announced that Hermana Tolman and I were serving together again, I'm pretty sure there were some jaws that hit the floor. It was great. There was gaping and gasping. Heads turned. Eyes bugged. The redaction was priceless. I wish President Johnson could have been there to witness it. He would have been so proud of his work.

Secondly, things are going way better than I expected. It's funny cause Hermana Tolman and I totally talked about this as I was unpacking my things on Monday night. We both kind of knew that we'd be serving together again and honestly we were both really apprehensive about it. It wasn't that we had disliked one another or anything, cause honestly we didn't. But we also weren't like the greatest friends or anything when she left Lebanon. We didn't really stay in contact, and sometimes seeing each other at mission meetings was slightly awkward. So when we first found out/suspected that we were going to be put together, we were a little more than apprehensive. I was just praying and praying that things worked out okay. They could either go really good or really bad.
So, after the initial eye-bugging reactions, we loaded our things up in our little ford and drove off and just started talking and talking and talking and we haven't stopped since.
It is the most wonderful thing in the entire world to serve with a former companion or just to be around them. And honestly, it's exactly what this area needed.

What's happening in Lancaster is unprecedented, there's nothing else like it in our whole mission. A new Spanish branch is opening up and being organized, and Hermana Tolman and I (along with two Elders from the West York area) have been given the daunting assignment to assist in the organization and strengthening of the branch.
The intimidating thing is that apparently this has already been tried before but it didn't work the first time. So what we have is a branch whose boundaries cover the entire stake, and four missionaries working in it... So Hermana Tolman and I cover the northeastern part of the stake and the elders cover the southwest side. It's a HUGE area. But we're ready for it. 

We had this incredible meeting with our branch president yesterday that seriously has not left my mind. He won me over as our leader during our combined priesthood and relief society meeting where he bore his testimony about how he knew that his Spanish wasn't very good and he knows that he's a white guy but he's pretty sure he's got Argentinian blood running through his veins and it was so hilarious and spoke to me on a personal level because sometimes I'm just positive that I'm part Mexican somehow. (Actually, fun fact. We were out street contacting yesterday and we taught a lesson to this family of people and one girl asked us if we were Latinas. It made my whole day.) But what really moved me was when he told them "It doesn't matter who I am or where I'm from. What matters is that we're in this work together, I'm one of you now." And I just started crying because I'm a baby and I can't control myself. And then when we met with him after the block of meetings and asked what his vision was and what we could do to help with the work, he said he wanted baptisms every week and reactivations and so much work that we couldn't possibly handle it by ourselves so that President Johnson has to send in more Spanish speakers to help with the work. We seriously just started getting so pumped. He said he wants the work to move so crazy fast that in 18 months we'd be two wards instead of two branches.
It was highly motivating.
I felt like I could cry repentance to the whole world. 
That night we went out and picked up a family of investigators. Nothing can stop us in this work, and the harder Satan fights us, the faster we're going to run, because I will stop at nothing to help these wonderful people and insure that the branch does not fail this time!! 

I seriously felt like one of the early saints on Sunday, you guys. Sitting there in our little chapel with only 20 members, at best. You think that would make for an awkward testimony meeting but no. Almost every single one of those members got up to bear testimony and to thank God for the incredible opportunity they had to bear testimony in their native tongue and to be organizing a branch, and whatever it took they were going to try to have the strength and courage to reach out to those around them to build up the kingdom of the Lord. IT WAS SO INSPIRING. 

The work in Lancaster is like nothing you would believe. We seriously just walk around and teach lessons all day. It's like being in Lebanon all over again, except bigger and better. We taught 13 lessons this week! Which may not seem like a lot to you guys, but I can tell you right now that it's a big deal. Especially on a transfer week when no weekly planning happened the week before. There are great things happening in this portion of the vineyard, and I am seriously so humbled to be a part of it.

The funny thing is... It's totally an "accident" that I'm here. (I put quotations because I know that nothing in this work really happens by accident). What happened was that President Johnson sent Hermana Tolman here in hopes that she would be training this transfer, because he thought that she was staying until August. But when he brought it up to her that this was his vision, she told him that her mission ended in July and he was just so confused. So right now, if President Johnson had gotten his way, I wouldn't even be here. I'd still be back in Hanover and Hermana Tolman would be training some lucky son-of-a-gun Hermanita nueva that would get to start her mission in the gold mine that is Lancaster.
Instead, Lancaster got Hermana Bills :) or, "Hermana Pagos" as I was called yesterday. Actually, I've also been called Hermana Billetes and Hermana Cuentas, too. So I've got a lot of names. 
But anyway! I'm so grateful for the misunderstanding. Without it, I wouldn't get to serve here right now! 

It's seriously just been the most incredible week, you guys. I don't even know what else to say. Just so amazing. The funny thing is, the boarder of our area touches Lebanon, so we're totally planning a pday trip to go there! Hopefully! Our best friend from Lebanon actually came down to Lancaster and had lunch with us this week. That was an incredible blessing for me. 

Ugh. I don't even have any more words.
Everything is awesome. 

I love you guys. 
Party hardy in the good ole 801. 

I'll talk to you kids next week. 

Hermana Pagos :) 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Faith and Fireflies

This week has seriously been the craziest week! I feel like I say that every week as an STL but this one really takes the cake.
Plus, I found out that it's my last week as an STL.
so first off, I'm really sad about transfers. Sister Talbot and I were just praying and praying that I didn't get the call but it came anyway. It was so suspenseful. They sent out a text saying that if Elder Boren called you were staying but if Elder Stallings called you were getting transferred. So when the call finally came at 10:15 I answered and said, "Is this Elder Stallings?" Them there was this awful dramatic pause that I TOTALLY could have lived without and the answer " Yes, it is." 
Ooooh man I could have broken down and started crying. Instead I just said, "Oh hey Elder Stallings. I was actually wondering if I could talk to Elder Boren." Haha we all laughed outwardly but inside we were all crying. It was rough. Elder Stallings gave me a little pep talk and told me I was gonna be great and then he had to go make more transfer calls so we hung up and I just fell to the floor.... so sad.

Mostly because I had to pack.
Have I ever told yinz how much I HATE packing. 

But also because I love this area and this ward and all the people. I love the scenery and how the freshly cut grass always smells like glorious avocados and I love the goats that live by the pond by our parking lot and being 15 minutes away from Gettysburg, I definitely love that. I love my companion and going on exchanges every week and driving our brand new car around and I even love our tiny little apartment. I love everything.
And I know I'm going to love my new area and stuff. I just hate saying goodbye!!

But anyway. This week was so fun. 

Monday was Memorial Day so we had our ward picnic. Sister Talbot and I drove to Gettysburg to get hoodies from this little shop on the square cause I've wanted once ever since I got to this area. Then we picked the elders up and drove to the picnic. It was really great. Our investigator family came and there was great food. Then we went to get ice cream from Mr. G's which reminded me of the BYU creamery. Then we wrote emails at the church from our iPads which was weird. But anyway, after that we grabbed some dinner and then did laundry at the apartment. I just hope that my new area has its own washer and dryer. Paying $3 to do a load of laundry is so lame!

Tuesday we had PAL LUNCH. Which was the best. I love that. We had a little miracle, though. So usually pal lunch is very well attended but somehow this week nothing worked out and when we showed up there was only one other member there. So we were kind of panicking and we called the elders for backup. So they came to the rescue and I don't know what we would have done without them, cause halfway through serving lunch we ran out of food and so we had to find something else to cook really fast and then when lunch was almost over this guy came up to us crying and said he wanted to talk to the missionaries so Sister Talbot and I went out to talk to him but he said he wanted to talk to the boy missionaries and I don't know what we would have done if they hadn't been there. They were able to help him out, and it turns out that he's an inactive member who is struggling to get out of a bad situation and wanted to start coming back to church. The elders were able to talk to him, and convinced him to come to Book of Mormon class that night with us, and now we're teaching him and he even came to church on Sunday!! Miracle!!
When Pal lunch was over, a sweet member took us all out to lunch which was so nice of her. 
Then we had to do an online training course for out iPads which took us like 3 hours. By the time we were done, it was time for BOM class and then we had correlation and then we went home and packed for MLC! Crazy!

Wednesday was great. Our alarm didn't go off in the morning so we didn't wake up on time to get ready for MLC. We ended up having like 20 minutes to get packed and ready to go. Then we showed up at the Zone Leaders house and they weren't even ready! Haha the awkwardness... 
But anyway. We always have the best road trips. We ask these super deep questions and honestly I feel like Elder Stallings and Elder Boren are some of my best friends in the world. I'm going to miss our car rides.
MLC was great also. We all had lunch together in the gym and then we had our meeting. We talked about the iPads and the trainings we've received and some of the miracles happening throughout the mission. It's always a spiritual high for me, I get so pumped for missionary work at MLC. We talked about our purpose as missionaries and how we can be inspired by it. I love our purpose. I love inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. It is our continual purpose all throughout life, wherever we are and whoever we are. I love it...
After our meeting, we had dinner at the mission home and then we all went on this great hike!! It we so gorgeous, I love Pennsylvania. I felt like I was exploring a rainforest or something haha. I was able to have a couple really great conversations with some awesome missionaries, a few that I had never really talked with before. And I also got to talk to Elder Crook who served in Lebanon ward and he updated me on how everyone is doing and it was so good to hear about everyone!
The sisters got to stay the night in the mission home. I love the other STL's. They are some of the best missionaries I've ever met. We talked and laughed and had a great time.
We woke up Thursday and all got ready to go. Sister Johnson made us a super yummy breakfast and I got to play the piano for a while. Hen the elders started showing up and we all started taking funny pictures with photo booth and air dropping them to each other and we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. 
But as fun as that was, we had to get on the road because we needed to be home. The elders dropped us off in Chambersburg and headed to a meeting for one of the districts in our zone and we had lunch and then went home and planned for our baptism on Saturday. That evening we were able to go to the clinic and I got my very first INHALER!! Wahoo! The doctor said that allergy induced asthma is pretty common in PA apparently, so now I don't feel like such a loser! There's like such a high concentration of pollen in the air that it's ridiculous! But it's all better now. 

Friday was good. We had district meeting and the Zone Leaders were able to come as well. They trained our district on the things that we learned at MLC. It was a little bit funny because Sister Talbot and I already knew everything they were going to talk about, so we couldn't help but laugh sometimes. It was a good meeting. After the Zone Leaders had done their training, we had a testimony meeting since it was our last time meeting together, and the spirit was so strong. We were all crying. And then we sang "God be with you till we meet again." and started crying even more. 
Then we had lunch as a district and we all talked and laughed and signed each other's notebooks and wrote nice things and it was the best time. I have loved this district. 
That evening was awesome. We visited a member family and had an awesome spiritual experience with them and the elders. Afterward, we were heading home and the fireflies came out for the first time this Summer. It was incredible to see them, and such a blessing as well. I'm very grateful to be living in such a beautiful area of the world. 

Saturday was good and bad. It was bad because we helped one of my favorite families clean and pack their house so they can move out of the ward. I guess it's not that bad now that I'm getting transferred... but it was still really sad. We were over there for a couple of hours in the morning. Then we hung out at the church and filled up the font for Teresa's baptism. It was a great service. Lots of people came and supported and brought treats. We even made a cheesecake! Sister Mealey (the one we packed up) gave us her recipe and it's the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. Everyone was blown away by our baking skills! I will bake so many cheesecakes when I get home! I will auction them off and make millions!! :D wahahaha.
Then, of course, Saturday evening the transfer call came. And Sunday was really hard saying goodbye to people I have come to love. I am always amazed at the outpouring of love from the members and people whose lives you have touched. None of you will ever have any idea the difference you make in people's lives. So much love... 

Transfers are always really nerve-wracking. But I know that things are going to be okay. I found this quote during my personal study from the gospel principles manual.

"To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in Him that we obey whatever He commands. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becoming His obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to Him."

This just means so much to me. I know that this work is the Lord's work and that He leads and directs it. Sometimes it's a little bit frightening to step into something that's new and unfamiliar to us. But we know that with the Light of the World, we will never be led astray. I know that the Savior loves each of us and has a perfect plan for our lives. We just have to be willing to follow Him to find out for ourselves. 

Faith is the antidote for fear. So I'm going to move forward into my new area with faith. I encourage all of you who are experiencing change or fear in your lives to do the same. I know the Lord will guide and bless you!! 

Have a great week.

Hermana Bills