Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hello ALL,

I hit my official 5 month mark this week! Woohoo!

I hope you guys have had a wonderful week! Before I start, I have GOT to wish my wonderful, amazing, talented, loving mother a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I have to say, one of the best compliments EVER that Ive gotten so much on my mission is that I look just like you, mom. Everyone says that when I show them pics of my family, and it always makes me the happiest girl. You are an angel, momma. I hope you have the best day tomorrow! Just know that I will be singing happy birthday to you alllll day long in my head.

Oh, I also just want to say how grateful I am for those who have sacrificed their lives for our wonderful country. This Memorial Day I may be very far from home, but my heart is forever grateful for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the love for their country. What heroes they are to me. Dad, thank you for being my hero and for teaching me through your sacrifices. I love you!
My trip to the temple was AMAZING!

me encanta ver el templo

This week has not only been the hardest week of my mission, but the hardest week of my life. I dont want anyone to think i am being dramatic or using those words lightly, because it truly has been a very rough week. The rough thing about it, is that I almost cant tell you why. BUT I can tell you one thing that I have been learning. That Satan is real. In the Church, we focus a lot on the love that Jesus Christ has for us. He is the center of our beliefs, He is the head of our Church and He guides us every day. But I think sometimes we forget to acknowledge that Satan too has a purpose...he has a plan and that plan is to make us as miserable as he can. This week I had really been struggilng with so many feeling of self doubt, lack of confidence, etc. It got so bad that I couldnt sleep at night. I couldnt stop thinking about the fact that I felt so inadequate to be a missionary, so unprepared to teach the gospel. Then, it got to the point where I was asking myself, "wait, do I even have a testimony?" Of course, I began freaking myself out. LUCKILY I had the support of my amazing companion, Hermana Valladares, and another missionary in my pension, Hermana Sullenger. They both gave me unconditional love and advice, that literally answered my prayers with exactness. I was able to go to the temple and feel of the Spirit SO strongly...a feeling of insurmountable peace overcame me, and I wept because im so grateful for my Father in Heaven and His love for me. I also had the chance to receive a priesthood blessing from my Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Leon which made a world of difference. I was told that in the premortal life, when we lived with our Father before this life, Satan also knew me.....and he knew how loyal I was to my Heavenly Father. He knows my weaknesses and shortcomings, and knows that as a missionary, I want to be as successful as possible. I can truly tell you that I have felt him attacking me from all sides, but that it has only been through my Savior that I have remained sane. Im so grateful for the tender mercies that I have in my life. 
I went on intercambios in tridad on Saturday
 while Hermana Valladares was at the temple.
I got to see Hermana Miller!!!! LOVE HER
We flew out of DFW the same day!

The temple at night! I love this place with all of my heart.

 Well, now its time to brag about my companion. 
Dang, I got so lucky. Honestly at first, I was a little frustrated with the way things were going with me and Hermana Valladares. But through the trials that we have gone through this week, we have grown so close. She is so strong, and such an example to me...IN A GOOD WAY! She has been there with me every step of the way, and is always 100% willing to help me out when i am having a moment of weakness. I feel so much love from my Heavenly Father because of her. He knows me, and He loves me. He knows what I need, and I am so grateful for that.

 Me and Hermana Valladares!! AH horrible picture, but shes the greatest.
I love this Gospel so much! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is always waiting for us with open arms. 
Hope you all have a great week!!

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hey Fam Bam,

How are you guys this week?? Sounds like everything is going great with the crazy basketball and school life!! Haha its so funny reading your emails about how crazy and packed the weekends can be sometimes with basketball, but I honestly miss it so much. Weird? Yes...but its the truth. 

This week has been filled with its ups and downs, thats for sure. But I definitely can be thankful to the Lord for giving me so many experiences to grow from. Hermana Valladares is a really fantastic missionary...she is an incredible teacher, and I already have learned so much from her. Im really thankful for the example she is to me. Saying that, its definitely been an adjustment (and still is) but I know its something thats going to make me stronger. 

I had two experiences this week that really made me appreciate the mission and my companion. One was earlier this week when me and my companion were visiting a less active member (also a member of two years) and her family. She has three kids. The two 11 and 9 year olds were downstairs with us when we arrived at her house. When we walked into her house, we could just tell she was SUPER stressed. She had just gotten home from work and was helping her kids with their homework (it was English homework so i basically did all of it for them...you know, thats what missionaries are here for.. ;)  Obviously I could tell that we were probably the LAST people that she wanted to have over, she probably wanted to help her kids get ready for bed, clean up the house...etc. Then, thats when her kids started throwing full on TEMPER TANTRUMS, screaming and crying and carrying on. I felt so awful. I kept thinking, "dang...we should probably leave...get out of her hair" and a couple of times I nudged my companion, trying to hint to her. But she just shook her head. I thought, oh gosh this is awful! Heck is breaking lose and the poor lady probably doesnt want to hear from us! But my companion asked if we could sing her a hymn, and of course she said yes. As we began to sing, "I Need Thee Every Hour" you could just feel the entire mood change in the house. The Spirit was so strong, and the contention just melted away! Afterwards, we shared a small scripture and were able to talk to her about everything that was going on. It was amazing to see the example of my companion....my first instinct in this situation was to get the heck out of there! But Hermana Valladares knew that Gabriela needed to feel the Spirit in her home, and by the end of our visit, the kids were hugging their mom and saying the closing prayer. Its amazing what the Holy Ghost can do to people's every day lives! The Spirit is so powerful!

My other experience is definitely more of a miracle. As the Hermanas of Cordillera (who happen to live a street away from our Stake President), we have the responsibility of opening the Stake Center every Tuesday for our District Class. This past Tuesday we were opening it up, and this lady and her boyfriend came up to us, and she says, "Do you have something you could give to me about what your church is about?" Literally we were shocked. Someone was ASKING us to share with them? hahaha that isnt something that happens very often. Anyway, we set a day and a time that we could visit her, and that was YESTERDAY. Yesterday we stopped by her house at the time we had planned and she wasnt there....but the place that she lives is a little scary, not going to lie. There are MANY people who live in the same little complex, a bunch of people who kind of gave us the creeps. As we were walking down the street, pretty bummed that she wasnt there and pretty creeped out that we didnt want to come back, we hear people yelling after us and there she was, walking down the street towards us! Basically we were able to have a really great lesson with her, and shes AMAZING. Not only her, but her boyfriend wants to listen AND their neighbor. This shows me that when we are obedient, our Heavenly Father has complete trust in us, and will send His children our way. He can have trust that theyre in our hands. Im grateful for little miracles like this, thats for sure. 

SHOUTOUT to my brotha-from-anotha-motha for getting his mission call to ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA ASL SPEAKING this week! Im so happy for you, Alec!!!!! 
I love you guys so much, and miss you even more. Dont forget it!
Lots of love 
Hermana Randall

 Hermana Jimenez! s
Shes my friend for life!

Hermana Rivero and I! Shes one of my favorite Argentinas

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

hola como estaiii
In case you were wondering, thats some Chilean spanish for ya. 

Well, I dont want to save the best part for last....I LOVED SKYPING WITH THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD LAST NIGHT! It was the sweetest experience for me, but definitely scared me at how much you boys are growing up. Its only been 5 months and holy cow, you guys are turning into men and I dont like it! But Im seriously so pround of the MEN that you are becoming. I love and look up to you so much! It was really funny because as soon as I heard your guys' voices, and heard someone say, "mom, stop..." I felt at home. hahaha I love our family. I sobbed my eyes out for a solid 5 min and had makeup running all down my face!! They thought I was crazy! dang i had missed you guys way to much. i felt like i was right back at home!

This week has been rough, but it has been worth it. With every freshly new companionship there comes challenges and adjustments, of course. I expected that. As hard as this transition has been, I feel like the best that I can do is just pray and ask for patience. Every companion that I have had and am going to have has something to offer me...there is something that I need to learn from the experiences that I have with them, from their different way of growing up, from the way that they handle stress...etc. Thats definitely easier said than done and i would be lying if I said that I dont get frustrated and that its all rainbows and flowers haha. BUT theres something that the Lord needs me to learn, and maybe there is something that I can offer to my companions as well.
my windowsill...that temple is the temple in guayaquil, ecuador....
where lexis serving and it makes me think of her! love you lex!

Well, we have two new baptismal dates with a girl names Pamela and Veronica for June 7th. They are both amazing girls, both have kids and are both divorced. Its crazy to see the peace that the Gospel brings to their lives. We had a lesson with Pamela this week....and at the end of it she was explaining to us that its just the craziest thing, because when she is with us, she has the craziest, best feeling inside...that its something different that she has never felt before. It was a great experience for me to be able to tell her that that feeling that she has, is the Holy Ghost and he testifies of truth and that those feelings that she was having, the reason why she was on the verge of tears and didnt know why, was because of that. She is a great woman with great faith, and I am really looking forward to teaching her again and having her progress! Its the kind of thing that I want SO bad for her because I know how much peace its going to bring her, I know how happy she is going to be.

LANGUAGE WISE, this week has been awesome. Its been a GREAT blessing having a companion who only speaks Spanish and who happens to be very patient as well. I feel like I can actually communicate with people, have an actual conversation with these people. Yeah, it might not be super advanced, but my understanding has come along so much. I have so much more confidence now, because of it! I have really truly grown to love my ward so much, and Im starting to feel a part of it now. The ward members are so supportive and so loving to me. We have a FANTASTIC youth group, who are always willing to help us when we need it! I love the mission, and i love Cordillera! this place is amazing, and I consider it such a priviledge to serve here.

This scripture has come to mean a lot to me on my mission...for more than one reason. Don't forget it...
"Y ésta es la confianza que tenemos en él: que si pedimos alguna cosa conforme a su voluntad, él nos oye." 
1 Juan 5:14
Hermana Randall
my companion is somewhat of a master chef. haha 
but honestly, I really love her cooking. 
typical honduranian meals, apparently! love it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hi my dearest family,

This week has been crazy, let me tell you. first of all, I need to apologize for not having time to write you guys individually. Today has been ABSOLUTELY CRAZY, the metro stopped working as me and my new comp were on our way back from dropping Hermana Garcia off at the office, and so we were stuck for a solid hour, PANICKING to get back so we could write to our families and get things done on pday! Luckily, Hermana Wright gave us a little more time to do these things. 

Hermana Garcia, my beloved mother of my mission, is officially on the road to being HOME. I just have to brag about her. She is literally the greatest. You know you have the best companion when she is leaving you, and your heart hurts the SAME way that you did when you left your family to come on your mission. My heart HURT because i love her so much...she was HOME to me these past 12 weeks. She has truly become one of my best friends, someone I can trust, someone I can count on, someone I know will always be there for be and I cant thank her enough. These past few days have been very difficult, seeing her pack her things, seeing her say goodbye to the people that she loves an cares about so much, but I am so happy that she gets to see her family again. SO PROUD of the woman that she has become! YOURE THE BOM.COM HERMANA GARCIA!
Hermana Garcia with Samuel, our investigator.
They have a really special friendship and
he was VERY sad to see her leave!!

one last time before Hermana Garcia left. 

Our new Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Hector Leon.
He is a FANTASTIC human being, thats for sure!
So grateful for the chance to get to work with him!!!

Well, I got my new companion and she is pretty dang awesome, too. Im sorry i dont have any pictures with her, but I will send some next week!!! Her name is Hermana Valladares and shes from Honduras. She is 25 years old, is a dentist, and has a year in the mission. Her entire mission she has been in ONE sector which is a CRAZY long time. But she is so sweet, so sincere, and knows 0 English...so this is going to be very interesting. But I truly am thrilled. I already feel closer to the people in my ward and sector because now I AM THE ONE having to do all of the talking and communicating. I am very excited for the week to come, but also very nervous!!
I have to say, Momma: first of all, I am more than ecstatic to see you, Dad and the boys on Sunday. I cant describe my excitement. But I NEED to thank you for being the incredible mother that you are. You have made me...well, ME! You are my best friend, my number one fan, and I dont know what I would be doing in life if I didnt have you as a mother. Heavenly Father knows me better than I could ever know myself, and knew that I needed not anyone else, but YOU. I thank my Father in Heaven every day for the blessing of having you as my momma forever. I miss your hugs, your kisses, your singing, your crazy driving, your cravings for food (i know where i get it from), your everything! thank you for being you, mom. you are the greatest. 

EVERYONE, I hope you have the chance to be with or talk to your mom on Mothers Day. They truly are special women. Remember to thank God every day for the blessing of your mom!!!!! 

I love you guys so much you have no idea. I cant wait to print out all of your emails and read them this week!!! OH AND I CANT WAIT TO SEE YOUR FACES AND HEAR YOUR VOICES ON SUNDAY. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????? 
Well, on Sunday at 8 o clock my time, i will be skyping you guys. If for some reason something happens and I dont, it will be around 9ish. Well be at Familia Ponce de Leons house...theyre amazing. they feed us every thursday!!! IM SO EXCITED!!! I promise i will try to control my sobbing/crying because i want to talk as much as possible with you guys. i love you to death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i miss you so much. 
Hermana Randall

Familia Alarcon Pino...we go over to their house every Sunday.
They were like family to Hermana Garcia
and now they are like family to me! 

I love Ceci! So glad I have the privildge to stay here
in Cordillera and continue this relationship with her.

Hna Garcias recent convert Patricia and her precious sister, Ceci.
I love them so much and have grown so close to them!