Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh the randomosity of life

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello family!!

Thanks for the updates. =)

This week was a good week.  I mean of course every week is a good week, but this was an especially good week. Why you might ask? I shall tell you!

I got to help paint a house!! For the first time in my mission history somebody has actually ACCEPTED help from girls in skirts. It was awesome. We were walking down this street back to the car and I saw this woman and asked her if we could help. She looked at us and said "really?" hahaha. So we metaphorically rolled up our sleeves and got to work painting the house white. =) We didn't even spill on ourselves or anything. The woman's name is Blanca and she moved from Mexico years ago. She's living with her mom and she cooks for soldiers. She gave us her number and said we could come back any time we have free time, a miracle.

The way that we got into that complex... wait for it... we ARMY crawled under a fence. We have pictures, don't you worry and I'll get them to you as soon as I can get them printed out. I forgot my camera that day so they're all on Sister Burden’s camera. We're pretty hardcore for Sister Missionaries... just sayin' =)

We almost got to do unplanned service twice in one day. We were contacting a potential which was a bad address and next door there was a man named Tony doing yard work. I offered to help again and he said "sure! Just grab a shovel" I took him dang seriously! I dropped my backpack and went to the shovel... and then he looked at me like I was crazy hahaha. It was funny. He invited us to come back and share a message with him when he wasn't dripping with sweat.

Also... Sister Burden walked into a handicap parking pole. No joke. She was looking down and then WAM into the pole she went. It was right after district meeting. I almost couldn't walk I was laughing so hard.

We got to teach Gospel Principles this week... by accident. The ward mission leader didn't assign anyone so they turned to us and it was a really special experience. We had the Macias family and then one less active and the topic we chose was faith. It turned into a mini testimony meeting guided by questions and scriptures. The Spirit was so strong. Faith is so important.  It’s a principle of power and it precedes power. When we have faith we have the power to turn to God for anything, and the ability to see and discern the things that we need. 

I have a really neat experience regarding faith and prayer. Remind me to tell you after the mission =)

The Mission's president fireside is this week. Awesome.

Would you do me a favor and buy the sheet music for EFY “The Greatest Gift”? That would be awesome. I'd buy it myself but we're not allowed on websites.

This week was just a lot of neat experiences lined up in a row because District meeting was really amazing as well. My district is SO solid. We had a testimony meeting for our last district meeting before transfers and you could tangibly feel the Spirit. The mission, the work, the people, this place, everything is so incredible. This Gospel is real. It saves peoples lives. I am so blessed and lucky to be here right now. To have the Spirit in my life and to know with such a surety that the Atonement is real, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that everything in life is for our good.

We added a family this week! He was a temple referral and he's met with missionaries before. His name is Luis, his wife is Monica, and their daughter is Daniella. They are the cutest family ever. I'm excited to meet with them and to teach them. =) They said they will do whatever God asks them to do.  

We added a woman named Vernell last week, and she got onto some anti-sites. We're working with her. She asked a lot of questions that in the long run just don't matter at all. I was able to just look her in the eye and tell her what I believe in, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Book of Mormon is true. I feel like that’s the theme of these last few weeks. It is down to the basics.  We testify to allow the Spirit to testify to them and not worry about countering every anti comment people have.

Chris is progressing as ever. She's talking more during the lessons, and I think the Spirit is really working through her. She came to the Battalion and we got to take her tour. Excellente.

I took a Swedish family through the tour too! Talk about an international experience here. =)

Tell Bishop Ainge I appreciated the note!

The reason taking only one person on a tour is so strange is because the Battalion is WAY busy right now. We're taking tons of huge tours every day. It’s exhausting but really rewarding. I'd definitely take busy over slow any day. =)

We had a really rough lesson with Fransisco again. We're transferring him over to the Elders. I think that's the most uncomfortable I've been in any lesson period. It was crazy. I felt like the Spirit completely left the room and felt empty.

Anyway! For the most part that's my week! And bye for the most part... I mean I ran out of time... =)

What is your favorite part of the summer so far?

Love you lots and lots and lots!

Alma 37: 6 and 7



Sister Tardiff.

For Real

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Did you like my funnies? I was just kidding about that being the only e-mail this week. =) Ha-ha. So this past week was good! We got to see the baptism of the Macias family and Mariella was so cute. She told me that if girls would have been allowed to baptize she would have picked me. =) That was heartwarming. This family is so special, so very special and I'm glad that they finally made the decision to be baptized. The Elders did a great job teaching them.

Fourth of July was really fun! We got to have two breakfasts, a lunch, and a party at the Battalion. All the other missionaries had to be in their apartment by 6pm but as a Battalion sister I was able to stay at the Battalion for normal hours and do missionary work. It was great! The party at the Battalion was awesome. We had s'mores in the campfire room and sang patriotic songs and we got to watch the Coronado fireworks from the tower at the Battalion. (Boston fireworks are better but it was still pretty fun.) Honestly though I feel a little bit lonely at parties at the Battalion. I guess I feel like everyone else are such good friends and I'm just kind of acquaintances with all of them. But I know why I'm here, and it’s not to make friends but to be a missionary so it’s all good.

We ate so much yesterday that I think that Sister Burden thought she was going to throw up last night. It was pretty bad.

Something really nice that Sister Burden said late last night (when we were all in bed) "I HAD a really good teacher. Well I mean I have (talking about me) but you're a completely different person from the person that I first met - you're an even better person."

I met some really cool people at the Battalion this week. One of them actually e-mailed me this week named Sandi. She referred for a Book of Mormon and she came with her friend from LA. They agreed that they would go to the LA visitor center which should be awesome. She left and she said "I feel like we've become instant friends." The discussion I had with her and her friend was probably one of the most intense discussions I've had at the Battalion. They really called me out on my beliefs and all I could do was testify and tell them what I know; that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it brings me closer to Jesus Christ and knowing his plan for me, that I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet; and that I know that I have faith and don't need analytical evidence because I have asked God. In turn her friend Ana bore her testimony about the living Christ and that he died for the sinner. It was a really special experience. They thanked me for actually talking to them, because apparently a couple years ago some Sister missionaries tracted into her, found out she reads the Bible, got "sick", and then never came back. They've thought all these years that we're afraid to talk to other people about our beliefs. It was a cool, interesting experience.

Have you met any Jehovah witnesses recently? I met one the other day and they pretty much ran away from us.... *shrugs* I don't think we're THAT scary.

Also I got to meet the president, President Clayton! WOOHOO! He's the coolest person ever! He walked into the room and I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for him, and I knew he felt for me. He came around and shook each of our hands and looked us in the eye and I knew he was giving us a private interview right there. He's a doctor =) and is really smart, enthusiastic and really motivational. I just know that HE is my mission president. I just love my mission; all parts of it. Last night?, maybe Sunday night I called him about organizing Mini Missions for the Youth in San Diego. He was all for it and said that he would talk about it at a regional conference with all the stakes but asked if I would talk to the Chula Stake President to see if we could do a trial run in Chula Vista. I hope that they're game for it. =) I'm willing to put the work  into it to make it happen if they are - even if it doesn't happen till next summer.

Vincent came to church! Woohoo!! The way we got him to church was that right before church started we decided to knock on his door. He opened a crack and in the most enthusiastic voice I could, I said "Hi Vincent! We're here to invite you to church!"  He said "give me a minute" and closed the door. We were wondering if he'd come back but he did! And he came to church! MIRACLE!! Woohoo! Church was way good and we got to teach the young women's lesson. I don't think they're scared of us anymore even though we're "old" Hehehe.

The ward council has started calling us their "private investigators" as a term of endearment. I really truly love this ward. I kind of hope I never leave....

Anyway! That was pretty much my week!

I hope you're all doing BUENO! You should try answering the phone just saying "Bueno." A lot of Hispanics here do it and I've tried it a couple of times and it’s really fun.

I sure do love ya!!

~ Sister Tardiff


July 5, 2011

Heyo Family!

So today at the laundry mat Sister Burden had to get some sweaters out of the dryer before it was done so that it wouldn't shrink. Unfortunately the dryer didn't stop once the door opened so she was just standing in the door and trying to keep everything from falling out while trying to grab her sweaters. I of course tried to help so we're both just standing there trying to grab random colored things with clothes flying everything. It was SO funny. I'm still chuckling while I'm writing this e-mail. =)

Well that's about it! Love ya fam!

~ Sister Steph

Good morning from the other side of the world

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I discovered something really incredible and I can't believe how long it took me to realize. I can be myself! Hurray! OK, I know that sounds dumb, but it’s REALLY hard for me to be myself and a missionary at the same time. I've been feeling so much pressure about being a spiritual teacher, and how other people looked at me and being a good representative of the Lord that I've been like a shell of myself. But I realized that if I'm not myself on my mission then all the progress I've made personally will be for nothing because then I'll just go home, not be a missionary... and be myself.... BUT! I'm starting to be able to be myself AND a missionary and the work has become so much more fun. =) Life is good.

The past few days have been wonderful. We had an amazing lesson with Christine and the Spirit was really strong. We talked about the Atonement and about the Book of Mormon and about our personal relationships with Christ. She talked more during this lesson then she has during any other lesson, and it was just so much fun. She was sick so we didn't get to hug her goodbye and she said "I'll have you know I miss my hugs!" So cute. I also asked her a question that Sister Burden was ABOUT to ask her. That was cool to realize in hindsight. =)

We also got to go to Adel's daughter Alanna's graduation party and pick up some new potential investigators and eat really good Filipino food. Rock on San Diego. I love Adel and his family. They are so nice and kind, and they love us. I can imagine them all getting baptized but they don't have a baptismal date or anything. It’s fun being a missionary. The potentials we picked up were a woman named Debbie and her daughter Kendall. They are going to a Christian church but she's open to learning more. They are super nice.

Have you been able to go to the Temple grounds recently? I heard a story about a boy who jumped back and forth from Temple grounds because he could feel the difference of the dedicated grounds.

I got to be a Temple missionary on a Saturday again. Hey. Nine people got married and there were TONS of people to talk to. We were busy all day. =) We saw the Elders later and Sister Burden was FRIED - like she had blisters on her ears even though she put sunscreen on, and they asked where we were, we told them the Temple and they asked if all we did was sit around and study all day. *rolls eyes* Missionaries don't just sit, we work!

Church was incredible. The talks were on trials and adversity and how small choices bring along great change. Like a hinge on the door. The talk on trials was about how we are like a huge boulder rolling down a hill, and how trials are the times when we hit the ground really hard or hit other rocks, and that even though they hurt, and they're hard, they help to refine us and make us more like our Father in Heaven. I loved that talk. They brought up Job and how even though he was faithful he lost everything but he still remained faithful and so he was able to be rewarded 10X what he had before. You gotta love the scriptures. =)

The Vaughan's came to church! They hadn't been to church in a long time and it was really joyful to see them together in Sacrament meeting as a family (David is back from the ship now.) Sister Vaughan really wants to be sealed in the Temple.

Also I've started reading the Book of Mormon more and that's made a huge difference... in my life in general. Yippee! =)

President Donaldson is gone tomorrow. CRAZY! I'm addressing my president’s letter to President Clayton now.... It'll be good!

We had 2 full days last week of proselyting! That was awesome. I love having more time in my area. I can really see the Lord blessing the Battalion missionaries though because even though we had more time on Monday and Tuesday we got more work done in the days we had Battalion. It’s an interesting phenomenon and I feel really blessed to have the Battalion in my life.

The Battalion was kind of crazy this week. On Sunday night we had 3 sisters out of the 8 usual that were out of rotation... so we RAN that place (imagine that with like a ghetto accent) with five sisters. We definitely had a sense of accomplishment afterwards - and also the knowledge that God's hand is in our lives always. Because it just worked out every time that when a sister finished a tour (and all the tours take a different amount of time) that the next tour was ready to start. Pretty cool. I also met some of Ephraim Hank’s descendants and someone who helped engineer the lighting. =) That was sweet.

Life is just moseying on forward. It is fun and joyful and I feel like a big rock rolling down the mountain, but the more refinement I get the happier I am. =)

I hope you're all having a fantastic week!

LOVE YOU!!!!!! (Like loads and loads and loads!)

~ Sister Tardiff