August 19, 2014

Beginnings and Endings

Well, this may be the last letter I send you.

I'm beginning to really understand what President Uchtdorf said about beginnings and endings. I'd also like to add a bit of my own philosophy- We can only have peace with our temporary endings if we've made the most of the "middle". This time has been so full of "endings", and sometimes I feel tempted to make them all perfect, to do it really well and "go out with a bang", when it really doesn't need to be that way. It brings me peace to remember that this ending should just reflect the constant effort and love that I've felt all along the way. 

Thomas, Yesenia, and Mayra did get baptized this week, and honestly, it was the best baptism of my whole mission. It went off without any problem, and the Spirit was sooo strong. They had several difficulties in this week- personal trials that Satan put in their path to try and impede them, but they came through each one with such faith and humility. In their baptismal service, they each shared their testimony of how happy they felt and how much this had changed their lives. Thomas made us all laugh as he told the story of how he came to know the church, and bore a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

Their parents were there, and they both cried. I felt the Spirit so deeply that I couldn`t even cry- I sang a solo with the ward choir as a musical number, and just felt so much of God`s love and happiness. We ate snacks after in the church and it was great to see the ward really take them in. I love being a missionary!!!!

Even if that means giving a talk in church with 5 minutes notice... I guess it had to happen to me sometime in the mission, right? Hermana Heslop and I had a nice little surprise this week but it was just another testimony of the power of the Spirit. We both did some power scripture searching and then went with the words that came. Especially since Yesy, Mayra, and Thomas` parents came to church, I think the topics we picked went over well. Hermana Heslop talked about Happiness and Blessings for the family that come from the gospel, and I talked about really feeling the reality of the restoration. Explained how the gospel of Jesus Christ, the literal Savior of the world, is once again in our hands, and how very exciting that is to me. 

If there is anything that I hope you've been able to feel from my letters, it would be that. I really, really, love this great gospel plan. I know it is true. I feel it flow through every part of my being and I am so empassioned by the knowledge that I am a part of Jesus Christ's original church- Who else in the world has that privilege? No one!!! (Ok, well there are a few, but not very many.) 

I just want to make everyone understand- God's literal son, a man who lived a perfect life and did everything out of sincere love for us, gave us the ticket to temporal and eternal happiness. He paid the price with His own death and left that tender truth in the hands of Peter, his chosen prophet, and the divinely endowed apostles that followed him. I tremble when I really think about it, but my ancient brothers and sisters did not accept the gospel plan. Not only did they reject Christ's reestablished church, but they killed each one of it's leaders and left the world desolate of God`s divine order. They lived that way for so many years--

Until God chose a young boy, unknown to the world's darkened touch, to be a prophet in this new age. Could God really do that? Call a prophet once again, after so much corruption, so many blasphemers and false preachers, and division of the truth?


How could He do anything else?? We are His beloved sons and daughters and He saw that once again, the world was ready to accept and protect the truth. Joseph Smith was a man called of God, called to the divine office of restoring Christ's gospel plan, and I know that. But that isn't the end of the story- ever since that day in 1820, God has continued revealing His secrets to his modern day prophets. How could He ever leave us without them?? I know that this is true, and that Thomas Monson speaks the will of God- I have felt it in my heart when I hear his words. 

This is NOT a message that we need to memorize, mark with a red colored pencil, or put on the wall. This is a living truth that we  must either participate in or deny. Will you be part of God's mission to preach and practice the restored truth? 

I have a whole life ahead of me, and I know that I will.

The mission does not end here-

Hermana Oldroyd

August 12, 2014

Very, very blessed

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for all your birthday wishes!!! It has been a great day so far and I feel very, very blessed to have to many wonderful people in my life. The only bad thing is that now I'm totally scatterbrained by thinking about so many different people and messages and news that I received haha Forgive me if I don't say anything substantial in this email as a result of that.

 Jason and Juana came to visit me!!!! They are so precious!!!!

I had an extraordinary mini cambio with MY COUSIN HERMANA GLAZIER!!!!!!! Last Monday we had special permission to go buy souveniers in Chillan and then do a switch with Hermana Glazier and her companion. It was so inspired to be with her, talk, and grow together. It rained a lot, but we had a great time. The Lord gives us so many hidden treasures, and sometimes we are so slow to discover them

This weekend we said goodbye to a missionary from our ward, so there was an activity on Friday and a devotional on Sunday night. Good times-

Thomas, Mayra and Yesenia are getting baptized this Saturday!! We're so excited!"!!!!

I love you all-

Hermana Oldroyd

 Helping Hermana Selfa with her baking business! We might just crush cookies but we're part of yet another great work 

August 6, 2014

Do I really have to leave this?

My dear people.

Oh boy. Three weeks just feels like a LOT less than one month. Stressing out haha A couple times I've considered just omitting these parts from my letters (the parts that might make it seems like I'm trunky or distracted), but I want you all to know and understand how this really is. I LOVE being a missionary. It is my whole life, my whole being right now, and this time has been an interesting switch over. Part of me knows that I'm coming home, and is so excited. I just want to see my family, visit my grandparents, be in my own house, walk around BYU campus...

Another part of me looks around me at my dear Chile and feels so sad. Do I really have to leave this?? So many people that I love so much. I have never loved like I love the people here- it is a different feeling than any other, and I don't know if I'll ever see or hear from them again. I have faith that I will, and I pray that we will have one eternal reunion someday in our celestial home.

Amidst all of this, there are also so many blessed moments of quiet joy and happiness. Fun events and parts of the Going Home process that really do bring me joy, satisfaction, swells of gratitude. It is a wonderful little roller coaster. Please pray for my companion, the poor thing hahaha She has been a great support.

Want to hear the best part of this week??  Thomas, Yesenia, and Mayra decided to be baptized!!!!! Well, Thomas always knew he wanted to be baptized, but his sisters were still searching for an answer. They didn't come to church last Sunday, so we went to visit them Monday night and were ready for anything. We taught them about tithing and they gladly accepted the law, and at the end of the lesson they sprung the news on us. "We decided we want to be baptized. Is the 16th still ok?"

The night they told us they wanted to be baptized!!! Fabian, Mayra, Thomas, Solange, then Yesenia.
Ahhhhhh!!!! Yesssss!! The 16th is still ok!!!!

We asked them how they'd felt, how they decided, and I was so touched by the way they responded. Yesy and Mayra especially. They said that everything we'd taught them felt like something they already knew and believed. For being young, beautiful girls, they really are rather unusual in the standards that they've kept. They said that sometimes they looked at all of their friends and asked themselves if they were the ones in the wrong, if they were all alone in believing in a higher standard. They said "Now we know we´re not alone."

They opened their hearts, they recognized the small whisperings of the Spirit, and they know that this is good and true. Even Thomas said, "Before I started going to church, I had a different view of my future. I thought I'd be a partier, drink a lot with my friends, stuff like that. But now I'm protected from all of that, and I need to hurry and graduate high school so that I can go on a mission. This really changed my whole life."

That family is the biggest blessing the Lord could've given me in this crazy time. I treasure them so much. In addition to making us cry, they really make us laugh, too... Thomas was so excited this week because he was going to fast for the first time. He said "Want to know what I'm going to fast for? So that my sisters can find good, respectful, loving husbands." They just looked at him with that "You dork, we do NOT want to get married yet" kind of look, and he just threw up his hands and smiled, saying "Well, when the time comes."

He also let me know that he downloaded Skype on his phone so he can talk to me when I come home hahaha

I just love life!! I hope you're all enjoying it and finding happiness in the little things. These moments and days are interwoven with spiritual threads that we may see if we'll look a little harder- it has been so interesting to me to see how the Lord really takes a part in EVERYTHING. How he knows the begginning, the end, and all of the in between. It is so easy to feel the divinity of our daily happenings. We just need to open our eyes-

I love you all.

Hermana Oldroyd
a Pirka- hot dog, cheese, and ketchup inside a flaky butter bread. Love it
Face paint at the ward party..