Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All Dreams Come True If You Have The Courage To Pursue Them

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good morning family!!

As you may or may not have noticed we e-mail at a different time each p-day. You get a surprise sometime during the day when you open up your e-mail! We started off the morning with me running the stairs!! Yay!! That makes me feel productive, even though I only ran them for fifteen minutes and was dead tired when I used to be able to keep going like the energizer bunny! That's OK... maybe someday it'll come back. =) I've also decided enough is enough with my whole enormously large intake of junk food and have decided to lay off for 3 weeks and hopefully that will become a habit because I need to be healthier or my missionary work will falter.  I get to eat Indian food once a week... because I bought that thing Chad and I found at the Indian Kitchen? When I eat it with tortillas it’s so yummy. That's my treat for the week. =)
Last p-day was actually one of the most fun p-days I’ve had on the mission. It was funny because we were not looking forward to it at all. We cleaned the apartment, blasted music and spent some quality time together. It was super fun. =) This week we're getting a haircut from a magical hair cut lady in our ward named Sister Klein. I love that family. She served a mission in the south and he served in the Philippines. They are really missionary minded. I think one thing I've learned a ton on my mission is how to be a better missionary when I'm not in the mission field and how much member work helps the work progress. It’s incredible. The ward is starting to do a ward mission plan by doing something as simple as making a genuine non member friend go on walks, sharing a Book of Mormon, or doing scripture study as/with a family every day. It’s really cool. The goal of the ward is to get 7 baptisms this year. I will do everything I can to help them succeed in that goal. =)

Dad, I met an accountant yesterday! It made me think of you. =) Also I was thinking about what a miracle story our family is. We converted to the church and then stayed part of the church. Thank you for letting the missionaries in the door when they came knocking. Also, thank you for your support of me. I've learned a lot about hard ward, intelligence, and more importantly, steadfast faith in Christ. Also, I was thinking of the Marcantano’s. How did they end up finding the Church and getting baptized? For some reason I keep thinking of the forty day fast in our ward.

We saw a perfect, perfect, perfect rainbow. I've never seen one like it. It was a tender mercy of the Lord. It was a complete bow and we could see every single color. I was sad I didn't get to take a picture of it... especially cuz I was driving. P.S.... little cars are WAY easier to turn. They have an awesome turning radius. =)

Exchanges were amazing! We had a district meeting where the elders say “ooof” a lot. Remember how I used to say that all the time while in the car when playing video games Patrick? Ha-ha. Well it slipped out and they laughed at me. We went and saw three people. We shared the restoration with a new investigator called Laticia. She's amazing with a real testimony of God and how He helps people to grow through trials. She said she would read the Book of Mormon. We then went to a dinner appointment with the Reeves. They're less active and the moment we started doing a spiritual thought about families and prayer they turned off. They're super nice and friendly though and I think the sisters will work with them more. Hopefully they'll come back to church. I have faith! We also taught the final lesson with a lady named, Piroska, before her baptism! That was so exciting! Life is awesome!

We finally had the lesson with Theresa and she came to church! That was awesome! She kept saying that her family was wrong and they didn't understand the Church. She loves Relief Society. That's how it ends up working, huh mom? =) We ended up going on a walk with her and she has such a burning testimony of the Gospel that she would be bolder than us when we were street contacting. It was a really good teaching experience, which is really funny, I know. Boldness is an attribute that I'm working on every day. For some reason I developed shyness on my mission. We had the opportunity to teach her about the restoration of the Gospel and she believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet and she will read the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was really strong as my companion and I were teaching. It’s a way that I want to teach every investigator. It’s really true that as you love the people you're teaching and interacting with, Christ can work so much more effectively through you. I need to love everyone as much as I love Theresa. I'm working on it. She's moving back to Arizona on Wednesday to be with her husband again. Therefore, we're going to teach her again tonight and then get her contact information so the missionaries in Arizona can work with her. She will be their miracle, just as she was ours. =)

We also added a sweet little lady named Margarit

The military barbecue was a success but not the way we planned. As I said, we were able to invite people but they weren't able to come! However, the invitation opened the door for us to go back to visit them and hopefully to do service because one mother is really struggling.

We're trying to find more ideas to find and teach people because those people who reject us if we knock on their door may be more willing to come to special events. We're getting creative. This is just an idea, but we were thinking about going to a park with a candy filled basket and pass out plastic Easter eggs stuffed with invitations to General Conference. =)

Doors are being opened in this area. I'm so excited. I love Chula Vista! I love San Diego! I'm excited for the ward and praying with faith that more doors will be opened so that the ward can see the fruits of their labors in missionary work.

OH! I called that woman, O’Hara, I met on the airplane. She accepted a DVD of “Finding Faith in Christ” and so missionaries will be going over to her house! Miracle! Holy miracle-sauce! She also said she would give me her mom’s address so that's equally amazing. I've never had success with contacting people by phone.... The Lord answers prayers. It’s crazy how if I wasn't going to this particular mission, if I didn't sit on that one seat in the airplane, then she would never be having the missionaries over. I just love my mission. It’s perfect for me.

Funny story! We were eating yams in the back room and a sister starting saying. "I think I am. I think I yam." Also, an Elder decided that he wants to be friends with me forever so he can meet our Weston 1 Bishop. That’s pretty funny.

Sorry I'm out of time and can't think of anything funnier than that. More to come next week!

I love you so much! Thanks for your support and prayers. I know that the Lord is blessing me and you. =)

I know that Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to be perfect right now. He knows that we're only learning to walk, learning to become like him. He won't disown us, or scorn us for falling over at times. He'll help us back up and start walking again so we can become more like him. Don't beat yourself up over not being perfect. Give him your best and that will be acceptable to him.

I love you all!

Love!!! AMO!!

~ Sister Tardiff.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The End is Coming!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011,

Just kidding. =)  On our way to doing laundry we saw a sign that said that judgment time was coming on May 21st so we should all prepare. =)  I got a bit worried for about 22 seconds but then I decided since May 22 was Teri's birthday it wouldn't happen the day before her birthday, he-he. I was instantly at ease. Sometimes random things just make me laugh.

Anyway! Happy Tuesday!!

Today we got to clean our apartment; like the entire day. Dangit... it’s especially unfortunate because I obviously have not been there all that long and I am cleaning up after people who are probably home from their mission by now. *Shrugs.* “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, Carry On!” Ha-ha. It'll look amazing when we're done with it, and we're blasting out church music and having fun looking at gross things that start to look livable. =) Woot!

I'm glad you all thought the pioneer dress was "interesting". =) That one is my favorite cuz I have wings and can fly! Woohoo!! I also have a twin with Sister Woodbury. She's a senior Sister. I love all the senior couples! They're like extra grandparents, and they make banana bread for us and sometimes cookies. I pretty much have the best mission in the world. You can all argue and whatnot but we'll have to agree to disagree!  Also, whoever told me that visitor center sisters have it easy was WAY off the mark! We have to squeeze everything into half the time and our schedules get very messed up all the time. =) For example today we get one hour less of p-day so we can chill in the Battalion. In pioneer dresses... yep, best mission ever? Uh huh!
A couple of days ago on Saturday a woman I told you about, Kelly, came into the Battalion to pick up the conversion story and she brought me home made tortillas! YAY! I'm converted. I want to eat Mexican food for the rest of my life. Also... Mexican hot chocolate is pretty much the neatest invention known to man. If you haven't tried it you should get on that band wagon. =) It’s not as sweet as regular hot chocolate but if you put peanut butter in it then it becomes a dream come true. I commit you all to trying it! =P Anyway, back to the story. She read what I wrote and she started crying near the end and she gave me a hug and told me it was perfect, a perfect length and just what she was looking for. That was awesome. It’s amazing what happens when you randomly decide to go into a bathroom. I took a picture with her so I'll send you that eventually. She said that conversion story was being read today and she'd come in and tell me how it went.

We also ran into Teresa again! She's the miracle woman who just randomly showed up to church. It’s actually been amazing to watch the miracles happening at church. We've had three people just show up at church... first Teresa, then Priscilla who we can't meet with because her parents found out that she was Mormon and said she couldn't, and then Diana who we're teaching sometime this week. =)  Sorry... there are a lot of exclamation points and smiley faces but this last week was absolutely awesome. Look up “diligence” in Preach My Gospel. It’s amazing. So yeah, we ran into Teresa yesterday. We knocked on her door to invite her and her family to a military barbeque (there are so many military families here!) which we organized to introduce some of our potential investigators to members of the church. We had been trying to get into contact with her for the last three weeks. She opened the door and looked really frazzled and stressed.  My heart went out to her. I really love this woman so much. She told us her daughter wouldn't even allow us in the door, but she came out to talk to us. She told us that she would come to a lesson with us on Wednesday at the church. She looked me in the eye and said she promised. We said a prayer with her and then she told us that God was looking out for us by having us come over that day. I then found out I’m going on an exchange that day... dangit. Oh well, I know that the other missionaries will take care of her. Running into her that day at church has been my favorite moment on the mission.

The military fireside is going to be a success hopefully! We went over to invite two potentials in a park that we had talked to before and both families seem really excited to go! Then a third family was there and they all seemed pumped. I love how God works with our planning. It is one thing I'm learning (slowly) while on the mission. Planning is amazing. Have I told you how much I love the ward I'm in? They are super awesome, really good fellowshippers, and really excited about missionary work. I'm lucky and blessed. 

We found a lot of potentials yesterday. The elders did a blitz in our area. I'm so thankful for missionaries. We also had a really good meeting with a guy named Fransisco and we picked up an investigator named Michael.

A couple funny things have happened in the last week. 

1) I sang at a Mission President fireside! A mission president fireside is a mission event when ward members and investigators come and its not directed, there is no program (except missionaries have one,) and it’s a mix of new convert testimonies, musical numbers, and video clips from Mormon.org. It’s a really awesome event. I thought I was going to faint as I sang. My companion asked me to do it before I realized how many people were going to be there, and she asked me to do it with an Elder Hepworth who would sing as well. He's also my district leader. He has never sung in front of people either so I'm betting we were shaking the entire time as we stood and sung. hahahaha. I also collapsed when I got back to me seat; like literally my legs gave out. It was a medley of “Come, Come Ye Saints,” “I Need Thee Every Hour,” and “How Firm a Foundation.”

2) My district meeting was the craziest district meeting that probably has every happened in all of history, seriously.

3) We went to drop off a Book of Mormon to a referral. We rang the doorbell and heard a voice through the door (she didn't even open it) and she said "who is it?" We replied "the Mormon missionaries. We brought your Book of Mormon!" She replied "I don't do that kind of thing through the door." We kind of looked at each other... and finally I replied "how would you like us to do it then....?" She answered "I don't want any!" HAHAHAHA. Maybe it’s a ‘you had to be there thing.’ But who requests a Book of Mormon and then does that? She was very cheerful as she sent us off.

There are a couple other things but I'm running out of time. A guy asked if he could come home with me and my companion. That was awkward. Her response was that all we do is plan.

I got to meet all of our investigators! Life is so good. It’s awesome. I hope it is for you as well. =)

I'm out of time, but know I love each of you! What's your favorite thing about life right now?

What are you looking forward to the most about Easter?

D and C 6:33-37

I know this Church is true even more now then I have in my entire life. I'm grateful for the Gospel and for the Atonement. I've really been able to develop a close relationship with my Savior and his role as my best friend and brother. No matter what happens, hope, diligence, and faith can pull us through it. I'm so grateful to you, my family. You are in my prayers constantly. Keep me updated =)

Love you!

~ Sister Tardiff

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Second Week in San Diego

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hello Family!

Alright! I actually wrote a to-do list for the e-mail this week so hopefully it will be a little less scatter brained! I also added some pictures which I thought was kind of fun. The first is a picture from Balboa Park! That's where we went for pday today. We went to the Museum of Man and took an off road adventure down a hill he-he. It’s pretty fun and it was gorgeous. The second is me in the pioneer dress. I figure that you'll all like to see that magic ha-ha. . The third picture is Sister Murphy and I from the MTC. She was my visitor center teacher. =)  The fourth picture is the standard MTC picture. The last picture is a picture of my district from the MTC. They're awesome! They are doing well from the people I've heard from so far so that's pretty sweet! I have other pictures too but I don't want to use up too much space. I'll try to put up pictures each week. =)

So! You got the e-mail from Jamie! That's awesome! I took her through the tour and she asked for my contact information afterward so that she could send the e-mail to you! That was pretty neat. She also gave a hug from you mom. =) The people here are incredible. I figure you must be somewhat overwhelmed with all these people contacting you! But never fear! There will be more! There's a nice couple from my ward who have a daughter that moved to Massachusetts just recently and they said that I should give them your number so you could help take care of her while they take care of me... unfortunately I don't know their names but... they are awesome. =)

Another cool thing that happened was that I randomly decided to pop my head in the bathroom and I met this amazing woman named Kelly. We got to talking and she told me about her conversion story and then started asking about the Mormon Battalion, how I felt about being there, if I was a member all my life, etc. She was so impressed by our family’s story, and my personal story about coming on a mission that she asked me to write it down so she could share it during a youth activity about missionary work. That honestly made my day. It was a tender mercy from the Lord because of how I was feeling that day. If our story could touch just one youth in that ward and inspire them to go on a mission it would change their life, and make my mission a success. It’s amazing how the Lord places people in certain places at certain times to go about His great work and glory.

I met another amazing woman at the Battalion named Sister Johnson. I felt a special connection with her because she has met Susie before. I took her and her husband through the tour. I kept talking with her and I just love that woman. She has an amazing spirit. We had a great discussion about Temples and sealings, about the Gospel and missionary work. I know that woman is an elect lady, and I am blessed to have been able to talk to her. She gave me a referral for her sister-in-law and she kept saying that it was the right time, that she felt so good about it. I feel a huge responsibility to talk with the sister-in-law with the proper spirit because I know that the Gospel will help her, and I love Sister Johnson. She gave me her address so I'll keep in touch with her when I have time. =)

I also met Peggy at the Battalion site and I connected with her too. She’s not a member but she loves the Battalion history. She was so impressed with the tour that she asked me about what our church believes in. I gave her a hug when she left. She said she might come back in today. I hope she does. =)

We're working with a lot of less active members. My favorite is a woman named Sister Ferran... and Chuckie Lopez... and Angelica.... they're just all my favorites! I've fallen in the love with the people down here. Everyone I talk to is amazing, and I leave with a feeling of happiness having had an opportunity to talk with them. We picked up a new investigator in church! Her name is Priscilla, she's 17 years old and has been going to mutual. We're giving her the first lesson on Thursday.

Unfortunately we haven't been able to contact Theresa at all. =(  My district leader thinks she got anti'd.) We're trying to do all we can to get a hold of her without pushing her away. This week I'm going to write her a letter just telling her my testimony and inviting her to mormon.org and another website. She was prepared and I know that she'll come back some time.

Bah! So funny story! We have a mission fireside this next Sunday and we were inviting some less active members to it when I saw another family just sitting in their garage talking. I've been taught to talk to everyone so we went on over and invited them to the fireside! One woman was none too happy. heh. She kept telling us to go away and that she believed in her Jesus, etc. We assured her that we too believed in Jesus and she kept telling us to go away so we left them with a flyer

We met a 19 year old girl in a park and she said she'd love to get a tour of the institute building, her name is Victoria and we're hoping that will happen sometime this week. =) This week is SUPER busy. We had something called MTE which is when President Donaldson teaches us... kind of like a zone conference I guess. He talked about the differences between baptismal interviews and Temple interviews and all sorts of amazing cool things about the Temple. He also taught us about how to apply everything back to the fundamentals and that we should try to incorporate stories into our teaching. So we are teaching lesson 3 via the eyes of the exodus of Moses and the Israelites. Way cool. He also told us the mission department will be back and see how we're doing in a new style of "coaching” where after every lesson we evaluate how we did applying the 8 fundamentals. Pretty cool.

OH! So in April the mission is leaving the mission! We get to hear from Elder L. Tom Perry. I'm stoked!

We got a waaaaaay cool referral named Ray. I've only talked to him on the phone, but he was converted to the church when he was 18, remained a member for 6 months and then fell away. He's about 40 years old right now.  He wants to follow Jesus, and he has a firm testimony in God, personal revelation and angels. Holy cow. We're meeting with him at the Battalion site on Wednesday, TOMORROW!  I'm stoked to teach him and meet him.

So yes... life is going well. =) I am driving now. I'm driving about an hour every day. Stressful? Yep! You know me. I'm a little stress case every time we drive ha-ha. We got lost in down town San Diego today. That was fun. Gotta love those one way streets ha-ha.

Anyway! That's a pretty good synopsis of my life right now. Doing well and going strong. San Diego is DEFINITELY not Massachusetts or Utah. Give everyone my love!

Oh and thanks to Marci McPhee for the Laffy Taffy. =)  Joanne, I continue to get comments about the skirts. They are amazing! Thank you so much!

I am going to buy mangoes today! It will be great. =)

Mission is the best decision I ever made. =)

I love you all!!! You're in my prayers!


Sister Tardiff

Pictures from my mission

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Email from visitor

Hello Everyone,

Last night we received the following email from a visitor at the Mormon Battalion Historical Site who had Steph as their guide which I thought I would share.  It came with a 2 second video with Quick Time but I can't seem to get it to post and work.  I tried!

Sister Tardiff (Mom Tardiff)

We met your daughter today at the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center. She gave us an awesome tour and was super sweet! It is hard to believe she has only been out for 1 and a 1/2 weeks! As you can tell she is perfect! What a sweetheart! I gave her a hug from you! My son is the little one in the red shirt. His name is Jonah. He really loved the tour and trying on the gear. She wanted me to make sure you knew she was happy and doing great!


Jaimie Butner

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm in San Diego!

Thanks for all your e-mails! And thank you to everyone else for the letters!! It was a happy surprise today to get them all =) Tell everyone I am dreadfully sorry but I had ZERO time to write letters last week or this week so I didn't write any... I'm in the middle of writing one... dang it... so hopefully I'll have time to write next week. I owe Eldon, Melissa, Jordan, Teri, John Rhoden, and Chad from the top of my head. I owe a lot of people letters, and hopefully they don't think I've forgotten about them because I definitely have not.  Oh by-the-way, the mailing address in my last post/email is wrong.  It is the Mormon Battalion Historical Site address!  So please mail letters to the address below as I do not want to miss any of your letters.

Sister Stephanie Anne Tardiff
California San Diego Mission
7404 Armstrong Pl.
San Diego, CA 92111-4912
ALSO! I've realized I hate calling people for referrals... which means I need to learn to love it. So if anybody has any referrals please send it to me! Muchos gracious!

SO.... that's pretty much the logistics....
My trainers name is Sister Virgin! She's on her last leg so I'm going to be killing her off which is super sad. She's from Lehi, Utah and she's AMAZING! She's around my height with blond hair and really happy and enthusiastic and obedient!! I love her! We get along really well. We have very similar personalities. We're both happy and outgoing. She knows exactly what's going on. She also has very open communication with me. I love her! Forever. =) She'll be going to BYU, Provo in the fall so that will be fantabulous! I am already learning so much from her!
San Diego is GORGEOUS! I'm still in awe... when I came down in the airplane I really felt like a little kid in an amusement park, ha-ha. There are palm trees! And cactus! OH! So the limo story, I was sitting next to this older gentleman and his younger daughter and just started talking to her. I brought up the Church so we had a good little conversation about that and about my beliefs and how they differ from other Christians. She told me I should call her mom and go talk to her and brighten her day and so she gave me HER number to call her mom. She then gave me her card and said that any time I was in the LA area I should look her up and get a free ride in a limo! I love making friends! Ha-ha, I'm going to call her sometime this week so I can get her mom's number from her. But perhaps we can take her up on it when you all come down. =)
The Mormon Battalion is really sweet! Our schedule is never the same from day to day. However, on my third day here I gave my first tour on my own. I love history! And talking... heh-heh. So it was pretty easy for me to pick it up. I won't tell you anything about it so that when you come you will be suitably impressed and surprised. It's a super cool site though! I recommend all people to come check it out! Yesterday I took a tour with someone who'd been through the tour a lot and she told me that out of all the tours she'd been on, mine had been the most well done/ natural. =) That made me really happy!
I met someone who knows the Ottesen's! It's Mike and Braden Richards. Braden is apparently Tyler's age and in his stake. That was fun. Also Jason Anderson's mom came in! That was so fun! She's so cute! We took a picture together! She's bubbly and happy as well. =) She told me to yell if I ever needed help. I'll have to holler really loud to get her attention, he-he.
My proselyting area is Chula Vista. It's in the southern part of San Diego, a little bit above the border and it's really pretty. Elise, Melissa, Susie, Jason - you are right. California is awesome. =D However, the work is a bit slow... we don't have any progressing investigators so hopefully that will speed up sometime soon. =) We did speak to this amazing woman named Lilia. We had a "survey" to get us started talking to people and she had such a sweet testimony of Christ and personal revelation, but she's hardcore Catholic. We're going to go back sometime this week and talk to her again.
Also we had something on a miracle on Sunday. A man came up to me in church and introduced me to his friend, Theresa, who just moved into the area. She asked golden, golden, golden questions. She seemed really excited about the Church, how we baptize, how we say prayers etc. and said she wanted to meet with us but then she didn't show up. =( I hope she's alright.
Teri did you have any miracle stories?
San Diego mission is very... special. We're running a pilot program right now to get greenies the ability to train after only 12 weeks. However, it means we have an extra hour of study... which would be really exciting except for the fact that we already don't have much proselyting time because of the Mormon Battalion. We're working it out though! And if anyone has any good ideas on how to find people without door knocking let me know... because we're not supposed to do that.

Also we have texting... weird huh? We also have a DVD player in our apartment to watch the district DVDs. I live in a very high tech mission, ha-ha.

Hmm... I have more stories but not much time. I know the church is true! I know that the temple in San Diego is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen! I know that God answers prayers! And I know that all things happen for a reason. =)
I also know that the Mormon Battalion site is super cool! And I love it!
I was super happy to go shopping today! Yeh for fresh food!
I love you all and I miss you lots! I'm definitely where I am supposed to be! And I'll give you pictures of me next week. Today was just super hectic. I can't believe I didn't have time to write letters. =( Its all good though! Forward!
I think that's my mission motto, which wasn't what it was when I made it... but my blog says "following footprints" and now that I'm here my motto is to follow in Christ footprints, to walk where he walked and to walk where he would have walked to today. =) Hope! =D
Well! I'm out of time! But know that I'm thinking about you! And I love hearing from you!! More stories next time!! =)
Love you!!!
Sister Tardiff!