Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011,


I wish you a merry Christmas! I wish you a merry Christmas! I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Can you believe that Christmas is on Sunday? That seems really incredible. The time has definitely flown that is for sure. But this is definitely a very merry Christmas and I have grown to love my Savior and celebrate his birth a lot more in this holiday season. We have spent our time offering Christmas DVDs, giving Christmas lessons, Christmas caroling and invite people to come unto Christ. I love it. =)  This last week has been really good, but also a really good chance to learn and to grow. Merry Christmas!

We were able to teach someone named Steven with his member friend, Dan. My word, I learned so much about teaching and being bold. One statement stood out a lot to me. Steven told us that he didn't feel like he could go to our church because he needed to go to his own service so he would just explore on his own and Dan looked at him and said "I'm sorry but you are wrong. You need to go to our church to really find out if it’s true." I've just been learning a lot about boldness these last couple of months, because if you're a weak sauce missionary then people are never going to change, make changes to make their lives more in harmony with the Savior and come unto Christ. It's so amazing. I know that these ordinances that we are inviting people to are powerful and that this is the only way for them to truly celebrate and know Christ. It is so powerful to be bold. =)

We had very many cool experiences this week. One of them was really draining spiritually, but we ran into a woman at the Temple who served a mission in Argentina and then went inactive because of things that were happening in her life. She came to the Temple, really kind of messed up in her mind, saying that the church was completely a different church, and she just kept talking. At one point I just said "I sustain the living prophet, I know that he is called of God and I will follow him and his teachings" the Spirit came and she was just silent. She just looked at me, and then said “thank you.” That might have been the only good part of that conversation. But the rest of the Temple was great. I love being there on Temple grounds with the lights and with all these people who are drawn to the Temple, members and non members alike who just want to feel the Spirit.

The best part of the week by far though was that Anna got her Patriarchal blessing. One of the members from the Pacific Beach ward gave us a ride - right in time for her to go back to China on Thursday. The day before she just kept saying she was struggling not knowing what to do between work and school and she came out of the blessing saying she knows now what she needs to do and that she will be an influence and a missionary to many. It's so amazing. The Spirit was so strong and I feel blessed and lucky to have been and continue to be part of her life. She also got her ecclesiastical endorsement done so she can apply to BYU. *fingers crossed* =)

It’s so crazy that it’s Christmas already! It is so weird being in a singles ward because everyone is leaving. I'm not even kidding! We used to have to scramble and parallel park (which I can do now o_o!!) and now we can just park anywhere we want. It’s so sad. But now we'll be able to focus on the people who are staying around for Christmas who need a little bit of extra love so that will be great. I feel really blessed to be the Lord’s angel in that way.

We met the coolest guy asking if we could share a Christmas message. =) His name is Mark and he said he'd get baptized if he knows it's true, but he's leaving for Los Angeles. While teaching him though I realized how often I now say the words "cool, sweet, awesome" It’s embarrassing. Life is just so great! But I need to broaden my vocabulary.

I have just come to know so much this week how blessed I am, how real my testimony in the Gospel is and how lucky I am to have it.  This Gospel changes lives.  The Temple is a real place of comfort. I am really grateful for this mission opportunity that I have. This opportunity I have to teach these children in San Diego, to bring them closer to God and to share my love and my testimony with them. There is nothing else I would rather be doing. My mission means everything to me and I know it will continue to for the rest of my life. The Gospel is what it’s about. Christ and his Atonement are what are important. Teaching the Gospel is so fun. I will teach it for the rest of my life to whoever will listen to me.

The best gift we can give this year is our wills to the Lord, our trust and our faith, and then we will see miracles.

I love you all so much! Have an amazing Christmas and give each other lots of hugs and love! Oh and decorate a ballin' tree!




<Sister Tardiff>

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good Morning!!

This week was a miracle! It’s like Thanksgiving ends and suddenly everyone remembers Jesus Christ again and how much He has done for the world. Last night we went caroling and it was amazing! People opened their door to us when we sang to them when they would never do it normally and we got some solid potential investigators from it. =) One potential investigator's name is Swagat. He was so nice. He loved the caroling and said he'd watch the free Christmas DVD. Hopefully we'll be meeting him again on Thursday and sharing a Christmas message with him. The Christmas season is going to bring miracles. I have no doubts about it.

The real miracle is that we were able to add a lot of investigators. We added 5 new investigators. That's the most I've ever added as a Battalion Sister. It was a real miracle. The Lord knew that we were doing the best we could and rewarded us. The people we added are pretty awesome too. One of them is from India. The San Diego Battalion is the most international mission ever! Yep! I'm pretty sure it is. It’s just been a really incredible week. I know that we experience hard times because the Lord wants us to appreciate the good times even more. He is such a blessing to us. Yesterday, I got to use some of the Spanish I've picked up as well. Woohoo! In the past few weeks we've "put on the backburner" a lot of people we were meeting with and we've focused primarily on finding less actives and on getting the members more involved. But this last week we prayed with all of our faith for referrals. When we pray for specific things, we definitely get specific answers. The Lord has blessed us a lot with referrals and some of those referrals have turned into people who are investigating that we can meet with, most of them after finals though. Finals are this week which means that there is a finals breakfast every single day. We're trying to get non members to go like Swagat and a girl named Lisa. We get to go tomorrow. =) After finals everyone will be free! A Christmas/birthday present to me!

Max and a kid named Yoda came to church on Sunday. Ha-ha. They are both super funny. Yoda came with his friend Makani, and they came to the Battalion yesterday and we're meeting with them again tonight. They are just... funny. It’s the best way to describe them. Makani is less active but is forced to go to church because he's living with his aunt and Yoda is not a member. They are exploring ALL religions; reading the Quran and the Torah and the Hindu script. It’s impressive. Our goal is to get them to read the Book of Mormon. But the reason they are so funny is because they want to be Yak's. I'm not even kidding. They want to have a Yak farm. I think that was the single funniest lesson I've ever been in. It was great; spiritual, but also hilarious.

I did get to see most of the Christmas devotional! It was great. The movie clips they showed were awesome.

I got to go on exchanges again with Sister Burden! We're meant to be companions forever, I'm pretty sure, because in every single group (the Battalion is equivalent to a district), we've been together. So we've gotten to go on exchanges a lot, and it’s a party. It’s cool to see how much she has grown and how we can still learn and grow from each other. The mission is the best experience ever. I would never change it for the world. I've become so much more aware of how precious every person on this earth is, how miracles truly happen every day, and how faith brings specific responses.

This work is real, it’s true, and it truly brings happiness. I'm so blessed to be part of it here in San Diego.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!!


Sister Tardiff

Monday, December 5, 2011

Temple Lights

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hey Everyone!

How was Thanksgiving? I got SOO full. I thought I was going to pop the buttons on my pioneer dress. Which is so cool, right? I got to eat Thanksgiving dinner dressed like a protestant pioneer. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity right there and I got to do it! =) Seriously, we were so taken care of on Thanksgiving. The senior institute couple, the Barnes, fed all the "orphans" and they cooked this magnificent meal with turkey and ham (SO good) and yams and real potatoes and we went and ate with them and some stragglers in the ward, and then literally like 30 minutes later we were changed into our pioneer dresses eating Thanksgiving part two put on by the senior couples at the Battalion. My goodness, I literally thought I was going to explode and then I got to go take tours. Ha-ha, it was like lugging around a load of bricks in my stomach but it was so good! Since there were so many leftovers, I've had Thanksgiving dinner every day from Thursday to Sunday. It was pretty awesome! People love missionaries and they love Thanksgiving.

The Barnes are leaving this Friday as they complete their mission. We are so grateful for them and their service towards the ward members and us.

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful lead into the Christmas season. We start by being thankful for all the many blessings we receive and we then get to remember all that Christ did for us. I'm so excited to be on the mission during this Christmas season. I know that there will be miracles, because just like during the black out, hearts will be softened and we have so many tools that we can use to introduce people to the church - including the temple lights that we helped put up! It is so cool, yesterday we drove by the Temple since it’s in our area and half of the lights were on. It’s going to be so pretty, and now for the rest of my life I'm going to be attached to that one tree that I helped decorate, ha-ha.

We had some miracles this last week. We've been praying for referrals, asking for referrals, and doing all we can to find people to teach. The Lord certainly answers prayers. In the last couple of days we've received 7 referrals and now we have the opportunity and blessing to be able to contact them - people who have had contact with missionaries before and actually want what we are giving them. We also were able to find people who are interested, ask intelligent questions, and will read the Book of Mormon. It’s funny because I'm like 10 months into my mission and I feel like I'm finally becoming effective. It might have been a long time coming, but I'm so grateful that I've been able to see the progress and the tools that I was able to use so I can progress and help other people to come unto Christ.

Derek is one of those miracles. He lives at a formers house so we just contacted into him and he is just a really awesome guy. We were talking about repentance and guilt vs. godly sorrow and he looked at me and he said "that sounds right, that feels right" It was a really amazing experience. He'll read the Book of Mormon. He has a 13 year old son and he's a bit too old for the singles ward so we're going to teach him one more time and then pass him off to the 10th ward elders. Max is another one of those people who is just fun to teach. We're praying he'll come to church on Sunday.

Some things I've learned in my Gospel study and with the lesson we had with Hugh is just about how much Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us. In Mosiah it talks about how even if we served God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength we would still be unprofitable servants. But he wants to bless us anyway, not because we deserve it but because he loves us and so we should never feel unworthy for blessings. Heavenly Father will bless us with those things that he chooses. Always we should know that we are loved.

Krystin is also leaving the ward and going home to find a job. We'll miss her but she went to church last Sunday! Woohoo! Even though she claims she's bored ha-ha. As she gets involved in the ward in LA she'll be a lot happier. She has a testimony of the Gospel and she knows she has to follow God. She'll be awesome there.

That's pretty much it in my life. One of the coolest things I've discovered for my birthday this year is that I'll be a palindrome for the first time in 11 years! It will last for a whole year! It's so awesome. =) I just love palindromes.

Funny story:  We have district meeting every week, and the zone leaders are late, a lot. So we decided to try an experiment to make district meeting half an hour later at 11. So we were sitting, waiting for the zone leaders and at about 11:20 they walk in. Elder Peck the district leaders says "we'll we've just learned it doesn't matter what time district meeting is, it will still start twenty minutes late." Ha-ha, so we moved district meeting back to 10:30. Heh. Good times. We've also started playing a game called Book of Mormon baseball. So funny. I'll play it with you all when I get back. =) So get practicing!

Anyway! I hope you all have a fantastic week! You are all incredible and I love you so much! =) You are in my prayers!


Sister Tardiff