Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


So here were my plans for the e-mail today. I was GOING to bring my journal. As a back up I was GOING to use my planner and I was GOING to send pictures home and as a back up I was GOING to upload pictures to send via e-mail.... All the key words were the ones in the past tense. Because I forgot everything! Except for the pictures and the instant photo's were DOWN. What the heck?? Well I'll do the best I can with the memory that I have but it might be a bit rough going. Ha-ha.

That's way cool that you all got to hear from L. Tom Perry just a few weeks after I got to hear from him! That must have been really amazing, especially for the farewell talk. =) Was it random or was it planned? That would have been way cool if he just randomly showed up in your ward. =)

Anyway! I'm doing way well. =) This last week was filled with miracles. We haven't been able to receive referrals in a while and we made a dedicated effort to ask EVERYONE i.e. members, investigators, nonmembers, etc. for referrals... and even though we didn't get the referrals from the people we asked, the Lord still provided and gave us referrals via Headquarters; one from the Mormon Battalion and one from headquarters. We were able to contact both of them. One was a less active named Erica and she has an ADORABLE son named Gerald. Hahahaha. He lost his two front teeth, he's four years old and he's an entertainer. He said some of the funniest things ever. They also fed us a delicious meal of pot roast and roasted vegetables. It was delicious. Also, she brought her non member boyfriend named David and we got to teach him. It was really incredible.

The other referral was a woman named Lynn and she requested a Bible and a Book of Mormon and we delivered it and she was SO excited to get the books and be able to learn more. She was in the middle of a work call but she set a return appointment for Wednesday when she and her friend could learn more. It’s been way awesome. Right before then, we attempted to contact an old potential who apparently had moved.  Instead we met a family that JUST moved into that house three days earlier and they invited us in (WHAT??? That's the first time that's happened to me.... ever I think, that a cold contact just invited us in) and told us to come back so we could give their son a lesson because he needed Christ in his life. Her name is Monica and she knows the Doria's, a family in our ward. =D

Chris is doing awesome! I love her! She is really progressing.

The lesson for this week was a hardcore lesson in learning how to work with members better and get them excited about missionary work. =D We're still working on it but we're trying to apply principles I've learned from Teri, a case study (that happened in Boston,) things we learned during devotional, preach my gospel, etc. and adapt it all so that it works in our area. It’s really actually a miracle that we're both new because we aren't stuck in our ways and are able to adapt and try new things to see if they work. =) As President Hinckley has said, there is a better way than tracting for missionary work, and that way is through the members. =D So just know that each and every one of you is truly, seriously VERY important to missionary work and it’s fun! =) Does it sound like I’m having fun? Because I totally am and you could have almost as much fun as me as you work with missionaries... he-he!

We FINALLY met up with Anna again. Holy cow! It was really humbling. She called us angels, and called us pure. It was really, really humbling. We're doing everything we can to help her, and more importantly to have the Gospel help her. But we can't do it alone. Every time we go there I am my own testimony of missionary work and how the Gospel’s ability to help people strengthens it. She just has to let us help her.

Other really cool things have happened at the Battalion as well. A little fifteen year old girl came through the Battalion yesterday on the tour and she came up to me and said "I want to go on a mission. And now I want to go here!" Hehehe. Pioneer dresses and all. =) Also we were talking about the 1,300 non members who have come through the tour and have been introduced to the Book of Mormon. A guy told me that the Mormon Battalion is still affecting lives today, because if the Mormon Battalion hadn't marched, then this visitor center wouldn't be here, and all these non members wouldn't have been able to be introduced to the Church. That was way cool. =)

Anyway! I'm gradually getting comfortable enough to be spazzy with my companion so things have been pretty funny, ha-ha. Somebody stole her sandwich from the church fridge and she was MOST upset. =)

Transfers are tomorrow! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we both stay in Chula Vista, but its looking pretty likely because President Donaldson wants to keep the pilot program people together. So we're 97% sure we'll stay together to finish the 12 week program. It’s good. I love it! Pray for miracles and they will happen!

Love you all!

Keep smiling!!


Awesome Week

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This week was awesome! We got to meet with Bradley and Christine a lot this week and they're both really progressing. Chris completely gave up smoking in just one week! It’s amazing how much the Atonement can help in people’s lives. Bradley's parents are concerned about him spending too much time in "church things" so we're backing off a bit in respect to them. He came to church though! And he was in a white shirt and tie! I can TOTALLY see him as a missionary! It’s really awesome.

Some people have been asking if I would potentially move to San Diego at the end of my mission. I always look at them, start out with "it’s really pretty and maybe for a couple of years" but I love the seasons! And I love trees! And I haven't seen a legit fall in like... forever! =D Plus I really like New England... like loads. I refer people to New England all the time. =D

We finally got the conference edition of the Ensign! YAYY!! I think one of my favorite talks that I've read over and over again is the one about Testimony, and how to gain and to keep one. He gives us 10 things that help us to gain a testimony. One is knowing exactly who we are - divine children of God, another is teaching/sharing our testimony with others. We're hoping with Fransisco that we will have him share his testimony with us and we know that the Spirit will confirm that the words he hears are true. He is truly a really special man. Every time we meet with him (and are able to stay on topic...) is a really special experience. We can both feel how much God loves him, and wants him to come closer to him. Brother Birmingham, who is a great fellowshipper, thinks it’s only a matter of time. =)

I sang at a baptism... I know crazy right? But the Lord asks us to use and to develop talents so I am trying to develop it as fast as I can. I sang "The Olive Tree" and I was terrified. Hopefully I'll get used to it eventually! Ha-ha. It was Elder Belt and Elder Whitrod's investigator, Emily, who was baptized. Christine came to the baptism and so did JAN! Whoa! What in the world?? He didn't realize the building was unlocked so he missed the service. But he got some good food and some amazing fellowshipping from members. I love members.=)

We were able to add an investigator named Austin. He's really cool. He has a lot of deep questions and is confused about why bad things happen to good people, who God really is. I know the Gospel will help him.

Sister Burden is the best! We joke all the time, she's really become one of my super close friends and I think I've laughed more with her than I have this entire mission. It’s really great. We drive Malibu’s and Corollas, and the Malibu’s have NO turning radius. One time she claimed she could turn the Malibu in this small parking lot and she was like "I'll show you what this boat (our nickname for it) can do!" And as she turned she muttered "c'mon baby, c'mon baby" and it didn't make it! I knew it wouldn't! Hahahaha. It’s been really great and I think having two new people together has forced us to work harder and ask for more help from the Lord.

Isn't God incredible? YES! Yes he is!

At the Battalion I met a couple from Alaska who lost custody of a child because they allowed her to be baptized. WHAT??? I didn't think persecution like that happened anymore! But apparently it does. We had a good conversation about God and his role in our lives. Her husband just converted and they're getting sealed in a year. I'm really excited for them!  This was the same day that I think I gave the most fun tour I've ever given so far. =) The tour was a bunch of BYU kids - including people I knew! WHOA! Crazy! But anyway, in the enlistment room, with us two Sisters, a bunch of college students, and some Elders it was basically a hoe-down when the clapping music came on. HAHAHAHA. It was awesome! Sister Nelson and I took it together and it was way fun to play off of each other.

We had exchanges and I swear miracles happen during exchange day! It was cool to work with someone who had a lot more experience than me and in different areas. =)

We also spent some time at the Temple! Sister Burden and I were talking about the other day how exciting it was to receive a referral from Headquarters (some sort of visitors center) and how amazing it was that we got to send those referrals to other missionaries! We get to make someone’s day! =D

These last few days and the next few days I am studying the Atonement. I want to be able to look my investigators in the eyes and 100% truthfully tell them that I understand the Atonement, that it’s worked in my life and that it will give them the peace they desire and need. It’s been really amazing.

Well anyway! I am rambling! But enjoy this week! I love you loads! Sounds like you are having a party during this summer! Have lots of fun!


Sister Tardiff

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy May 10th! Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heyo Everyone,

So guess what? Right after I got off the phone with you (mom, dad, Teri and Patrick) my companion started talking to her family on the cell and I decided to go contact people in a park and give them a Mormon Battalion card. It was bueno. A woman was really appreciative and then I talked to a man. He looked at me with this face and asked what I wanted, and told me he was there to do some alone thinking, so I wished him well. Well I couldn't decided whether I should go back and talk to him or not and then he started walking away! So I decided that now was the time! I started to "run" after him too fast towards him and slid on gravel! Apparently I was supposed to leave him alone... and I got some cuts and bruises to show for it! Oops... My companion said to her parents "my companion just fell trying to share the gospel with some man" It was way funny. =)

It was really, really good to hear from all of you! I just can't get over how much I love you and how much you all make me laugh. =D I couldn't believe how fast the time went, by the time we reached the end of the phone conversation. But as I said at the end, I know I'm in the right place at the right time, and I know that the Lord is taking care of you. =D

My companion and I have decided on a new motto. It kind of comes from the Battalion movie: Despite the difficult circumstances, they chose to be healthy. =D Hehehe, because we get SO much candy, cakes, cookies at the Battalion. No normal person needs that much sweets... not even me! And I love sweets!

Chris is a miracle! Honestly a real miracle. She is the investigator that we met on Saturday and had another extremely spiritual meeting with her on Sunday. She came to church! Well we talked with her yesterday and taught her the Word of Wisdom and she told us this was just what she needed to quit smoking and that she was going to stop. That day! It’s just a real testimony of how the Lord prepares people and it’s not our work, but His. Teri, you asked me what the best moment of my mission was. I'd definitely say it was these last few meetings with Chris. It's been really humbling, really exciting and just really... amazing.

We got to contact Michael again! That was really exciting! He's such an interesting and funny man. I told him that we should have a meeting at the Temple and he looked at me all concerned like and asked if he thought I'd convert him by taking him to the Temple. Hey. He totally knows it’s true. The scaredy cat! We're just going to keep trucking with that man. Hopefully he'll come around. =D

Today we're teaching Bradley. He's the only one that came to church. Bradley is the 14 year old who wants to know God more. He really reminds me of Joseph Smith. He's super shy though so we have to make sure to involve him and ask good questions and more. Hopefully we'll end up teaching his entire family in the process. =)

A couple of the other investigators we have:

Ania: I love her! She is so cool, such a strong woman and full of the love of God. We just need to really get her to LISTEN to the discussions and have more of an open mind. She did say she would come to church though because she's not happy with the Catholic churches in the area.

Fransisco: He was the man that I could just feel the love of God for him, through me. He reads and he keeps commitments but he hasn't gotten the answer that the Church is true yet.

Anna: I love her too! I just love all of them. She has had a tough life but she knows that we can bring her closer to God. We just need to help her to find that the way back to God isn't through us as missionaries, but through the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Julie is engaged! I got a letter from her today! How crazy is that! Congrats Julie!

I again gained more of a testimony that the tours we take are inspired. I was eating dinner back in the room when a senior couple came and asked me to give a tour! Who was there but some awesome people in our ward! They also gave me referrals for people from the second ward because they knew me. That tour was really, really fun. I'm just so blessed, seriously so blessed. We all are. Sometimes I think of the times when I'm grouchy or moody or tired (for really no reason.. ha-ha) ... and it’s just ridiculous because if I looked at the big picture, everything is happening exactly how it needs to in order for all of us to reach our potential. For that reason I try to always be happy. =D

I hope Sister Virgin calls, she said she would. Just know how much I loved her and appreciated her and that she was the best companion I could have asked for. =)

Sister Burden is also great! We're becoming better and better friends every day!

Training is an adventure every day. She thinks that I know everything.... but I don't. So we just go about doing the best we can! One time I forgot the area book and that's when we added a new investigator! So there's a reason God put two greenies together! It’s super fun actually! I've only been with a companion senior to me with Sister Virgin. Even on exchanges I've either been out as long, or longer. Kind of funny huh? =D

The only hard parts are when I feel like I've failed because I've forgotten something or I don't know enough, but I know that Heavenly Father qualifies me and I also know it’s a choice to be happy. So I'm constantly choosing and I'm generally choosing the happy route because that makes life so much better.

I love you all loads!  It makes me smile and happy every time I get e-mails and letters from you. Keep being the amazing people you are and strive to become stronger and stronger in the gospel every day

Well... that's about it since last we talked. =D

Be good! Read your scriptures! Pray often! Stay humble! The Lord will provide. =D

Keep up scripture studies and studies of the Gospel. Having personal study every day has definitely been a blessing.

Random scripture... 2 Ne 28:6 =D

Love you!

~ Sister Tardiff

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cinco De Mayo!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hello Everyone,

We got to hear L. Tom Perry speak and we also heard a quorum president speak. The Quorum of Seventy president talked about finding and having the faith to find new investigators. They both spoke about finding faith and then also about being exactly obedient and working with ward members and ward leaders. He promised us the blessings of heaven if we did everything we could to work with the ward and with the ward council and was exactly obedient. It was a really cool meeting; really powerful. Oh! Also he told us that we need to have 20 lessons a week. POOF. It's a promise of an Apostle so we have faith that it will happen but holy cow.... got to roll up our overalls and do hard work!

I got to play Frisbee!!!! YAY!

I also got to see the border of Mexico! WHOA!!!!! Yeah that's right; the big fence and everything; and a bull fighting ring! And NO! I was not a delinquent missionary! I had permission to be there! We were doing Mormon Helping Hands and Chula's zone went to the Border State sanctuary. How cool is that? I was super excited! I got to pull up giant mustard plants and plant baby seeds. E. Clark and E. Jibson joked around that I was a plant saver; because I accidently killed/drowned a plant.... whoops... but I brought it back to life!  Also E. Belt killed a spider. So I threw water on him. Immature? Perhaps. Deserved. Definitely =) Spiders kill mosquitoes!

Mom you sent me an e-mail last week/letter and asked me about cool experiences at the Battalion. It was a good wake up call because I haven't really had very many spiritual experiences there recently. So I prayed about it, and this week was a week of miracles. In Alma 37 it talks about how small things bring about marvelous works. It's amazing what prayer, something so small, can give anyone. One person I met was a young man from Germany named Stefan. He was in the United States for 7 weeks and was introduced to God and religion and such. I got to bear my testimony and told him how much I knew the Gospel could help him. He wants to investigate it on his own so he gave me his e-mail and I'm going to check up on him and see how he's doing. I also got to meet a huge family! One of them, Daniel, is going to Brazil and he was kind of nervous about going on a mission so it was cool to talk to him about missions and how amazing they are. There was also a person in that family who looked exactly like one of my friends from Provo. It was crazy and really trippy! It made me realize how distracting it would be to see people from home, ha-ha. The white handbook rings true about visitors from home. It's against mission policy.

So I encourage all of you to come to the Mormon Battalion! Seriously! Do it! But try to make it at a time when I'm not there!

Mom and Dad did Bro and Sister Penn call you? Heh. She grew up in Massachusetts. When I introduced the Book of Mormon in the outfitting room I felt the Spirit the strongest there then I have any other time at the Battalion. It was really cool.

I also had a woman hug me and tell me she'd never forget me. Her mom is dying and she's stuck in San Diego. She's not a member but she knows that she felt loved and she remembered her Joy and Carol.

I challenged three people to have a missionary moment in the next week. They all took it, and one fellow started crying because he had given a Book of Mormon to a friend of his and that friend had appreciated the gesture so much. The friend had been in Afghanistan and his daughter had died in a car accident and he was trying to figure everything out. It's amazing what a testimony will do, and such a simple gesture as giving a Book of Mormon.

So I challenge all of you as well... have a missionary moment. Bring up the Gospel. Do something! But bring people closer to Christ. =) Will you do it?

We completely botched a tour hahahaha. We skipped Martha again. It was super funny. Zelmira came with the storm and said "how about that storm" and Sister Nelson replied... "What storm...?” I had a really hard time not breaking down and laughing. I love Sister Nelson. She's one of my favorite people here.

One thing that I have really noticed this week was how much EVERYTHING happens in our life for a reason. And I know that I say that like every other e-mail. But it's seriously true. All things, good, bad, ugly, funny, every experience we have is so we can learn and improve and be pieces of a giant puzzle that Heavenly Father has so that we can all progress. I know that certain things in my life happened because I was meant to go on a mission; I am to be here in San Diego. I had a conversation with a couple that brought this to my attention once again; that bad things in life... you know what? They are not necessarily bad. It's a weird thought process, but chew on that for a while, and you'll realize it's true as well.

We met with Anna again. She hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon, but she let us in anyway. Life is hard. I've been getting an entirely different perspective on my own life and how blessed I've been. We talked with her about prayer, and Heavenly Father's love and how to receive answers to prayer. She is truly an incredible woman and been thrown a hard lot in life. I want her to have the most happiness in the world, and I know that comes through the peace of the Gospel. The Atonement can help her - just as it can help all people. She also offered us her kitchen whenever we wanted to use it which is really nice because when we're in Chula we don't have a kitchen we can use. We shall see what happens with that. She cancelled on us today.

This week was a slow week, but we will definitely do better next week! 

We met with The Robles family who got baptized a couple of years ago but she is really struggling. We talked with the Bishop about her and he told us to treat her like an investigator. So we're going to just start teaching her the lessons again because he said that her knowledge of the Gospel is pretty shaky. Quiontero's went to the talent show and Sister Vaughan went to church!

We also have an investigator named Margarit but she has dementia. We want to teach her family but we're not sure what to do about her... if we should drop her as an investigator or what.

We also met with Fransisco and Anna our progressing investigators. Anna is a member referral and we're doing everything we can to help her to read and pray and really have a spiritual experience. Fransisco is progressing but really slowly. We just need to continue working hard and diligently so that God can bless the area. We haven't had any contact with Vincent or Luis. It's really unfortunate but we're just going to keep praying and calling and being persistent. Somehow we just need to get all these awesome people to church! 

We're trying to make the goal of having 20 lessons in one week! We are doing everything we can!


Sister Tardiff