Okay... so I have SOO much to say but I have to be speedier than ever because I still have to email President Weston but here goes!!
And here's for all the details.......
1. You will NEVER believe who my trainer and new companion is..... HERMANA PIGGOTT!!!!!!!!!! Blayke Piggott!!! Hahaha you all probably forgot who she is but she is the ONE Spanish Hermana I knew of before heading here. She is best friends with Jacquelyn Covey, Michael's cousin and so when I got my call, Jacquelyn told her about me and we chatted on Facebook, where else haha. But so we already chatted a ton and I thought she was DARLING. And I kept joking to people that I hoped and hoped she would be my companion at some point. Haha ahhhh it kills me!!!! I even told Hermana Howe and other Hermanas in the CCM about her and would say how badly I wanted her to be my companion and trainer!! Well.... I don't have a clue how I got so lucky (I guess it helps that there are only 6 Spanish Hermanas in the whole mission haha) but still!! My wish came true!!!! And I couldn't be happier about it!! I still am shocked actually. We could NOT be more perfect for one another!!! So for those of you don't know anything about Hermana Piggott, she is from Provo, she's DARLING, she was a dancer, she has a missionary in Africa named Braden.. and if any of you have heard about the 14 year old boy who was attempting to do a double black flip on the tramp and landed on his head and is now paralyzed.... this just happened a few weeks ago but he's Braden's little brother. So so sad. And what's even crazier is Hermana Howe kept talking about this story in the MTC because it was her mom's friend's son and it's Hermana Piggott's future brother-in-law (they're for sure getting married her and Braden haha) but so anyways she has a darling boy and anyways... we're the same person. I'm not kidding. It freaks the both of us out how similar we are ha. All the time we both just start laughing and can't get over how similar we are and that we are COMPANIONS!!!!!! Because we both talked about it beforehand... oh it kills me!! But we are going to be perfect because as for the important stuff we are perfect as well. We both want to be 100% obedient, have the same goals and desires for the mission field, both want to work our very very hardest and just do all we can to bring the saints here unto Christ, etc. Ah we honestly couldn't be perfect!! I am sooo excited!! It's crazy too because we've only been together for a few days and I feel like we have been life long best friends. I love her so much!! Hahaha honestly, how did I get so lucky AGAIN!? I was obsessed with Hermana Howe and now I am obsessed with Hermana Piggott. Both girls would be my best friends outside of the field. And will be after our missions are complete!! Haha me and Hermana Piggott are already making a bucklet list for after the mission. It's a real thing. But we both know that Heavenly Father put us together for a reason and that we were supposed to be companions right now for a reason. So with that, we are working our hardest and have faith that we'll see many many miracles!! And we already have. Which leads me to more details.....
(trainer and companion, hermana piggott)
2. We are serving in an area called Gridley. Hahaha ohhhh Gridley. How to describe it.... Well, I don't feel like we're in America. Haha kills me. It's a small town and most houses aren't the nicest, there are many Latinos.. however, it is orchard county. Honestly, orchards EVERYWHERE!!!! Anywhere you look you'll see an orchard. We just drive past orchard after orchard and they are beautiful!! Just fruit perfect looking fruit orchards. It's amazing!! And yesterday we drove past a lavender field as well. So I'll give it that much for it's beauty. It's extremely green and beautiful because of all the orchard/lavender fields. But as for the houses and what not.... it's got the small town field. However, we live with members in such a nice house. The nicest house I've seen or been in by far. It's suuper nice and we feel so lucky. We have our bedroom and bathroom and can use the kitchen, family room, etc. It's soo nice!! And the bedroom is PERFECT. It's not the biggest but it's way nice and my bed is heaven. It is sooo comfy!! They provided way nice bedding for us too but with my bedding you sent me mom, including the pillowtop pad... I am seriously sleeping like an angel. Haha it's amazing. I feel soo pampered. And we also have a brand new 2013 charcoal colored Toyota Corolla. Hermana Piggott got our car brand new when she got here and yeah, so we are literally so spoiled. Haha brand new car, live in the nicest house, we have a brand new phone too (Sprint slider haha classic) and yeah... sooo being in the States is niiice. We are treated so well. Especially being Sisters. Ohh man. However, once we leave our home it's a WHOLE different story. We have been in some interesting homes to say in the least. Once I leave our home I feel like we're out of America and in some type of Mexico haha. Hard to explain.. you just have to see this place. But okay I am going to tell you about a few people we've been dealing with.
3. So first off there is Laticia... Ohhhh Laticia. Where to begin with her. So she's not a member and apparently missionaries have been working with her for a little while but she's an interesting one... to say in the least. I feel way bad but here's an idea of our situation with her. So she lives with her husband and two kids. Her husband is not a good guy though and that creates many problems. He's always present when we're over there and he chants about how he wants to hear about God (In Spanish) but he's nuts. Haha he always says in English though, "I want to eat of God!" meaning he wants us to feed him more knowledge about God. But yeah so apparently he has abused her for years and they have the most unhealthy relationship you can think of so she's become kinda a nut because of it. She has been taught similar lessons over and over and can't remember anything. The other say she talked about God and Heavenly Father being two different people. Didn't know they were One. And this was my first time meeting with her so I didn't understand quite the extent of it all but the next day we visited them and it was scary. She said how she felt sick because her husband told her that we are all reptiles. All of us as humans. We are like reptiles and are going to eat each other. And she said how her husband married her so that she could be an object and so that he could eat from her ribs... and while we were sitting there listening with our eyes shot open, he was rambling (too fast of Spanish for me) about what he had told her and then she was like, "yeah you said you would eat me!" and he was like, "well you'd eat me too!" and I had to say, "nobody is going to be eating anyone here!!" hahahaha THIS IS A REAL THING!!!! She was scared to death thinking that she would be eaten by humans. And then her and her husband got in a fight, while us missionaries were nicely sitting there... so awkward, and she was saying how he only married her so she could be his slave, etc. etc. I am not going to give details. Too inappropriate. And then she started crying and it was so scary. However, I felt way bad for her. Because you can just tell he is crazy and treats her way bad. But she isn't quite there either so it's all a mess. And they have the most BEAUTIFUL little girl named Maria, I think she's about 3... sooo pretty and they were doing all of this in front of her. With Jesus (that's the boys name... pronounce it in Spanish) in the other room too. Ahhh it was so bad. So we invited her to come to this baptism that night that the Elder's were having and she admitted to come. Well then later that night we went to pick her up... we told Elder Herrera to send women because she's scared to death of men (from her experience with her Husband) and two MEN showed up!! Which isn't allowed anyways. But we all walked outside... me, Hermana Piggott, Laticia and Maria and she saw the two men and GRABBED Maria and ran inside... almost tripped she ran so fast, and said "NOOO!!! I will not go with men!! I said I wanted females!!!!" and then slammed the door. Sooo bad. We felt awful. But then we got a woman to come pick them up and Laticia was soo offended that she still wouldn't come. That was a whole other scene. But yeah it was the worst thing ever and I honestly was almost in tears because it was such a dramatic awful scene. She is scared to DEATH of men!!!! And we wanted her to feel peace at the baptism..... I want her to be happy and feel the goodness of the Gospel in her life, know that people love her and get away from her husband... but it's so hard because she's not all there. And she doesn't treat Maria good. Maria was crying the other day and wanting to be held and Laticia just chucked her off of her and said, "OWW!! She's being rude to me!!" ...... she's 3 years old and just wants to be loved. So anyways, it's the craziest household and situation but I think as of now we're going to drop her. Many missionaries have tried to deal with it and she's just simply not progressing. As much as we want to help her. Our ward mission leader yesterday said he wants us to though because he doesn't like that we've witnessed their inappropriate fighting and the dad is just not a good man, bad past. So anyways haha there's a taste of some of the feel for Gridley!! No no that's just them. But she did come to church yesterday with the woman who tries to bring her and so that was good. But apparently she has been to church many times before.... we'll see. Next person though and for something positive!!
4. Well for some background, apparently Gridley is struggling right now. The missionaries here haven't been seeing tons of success and Hermana Piggott and her old companion were the first Spanish Hermanas to open the area so it's all kinda new. However, missionaries have been in here for years. Our Spanish branch is super new though so on Sundays there aren't too many members there. We're in a Spanish branch (not big enough to be considered a ward yet) but we're going to work our hardest to get it to grow!! They've been working on less-actives a ton too trying to build them up so yeah... we're got a LOT of work to do. But we're ready for the challenge and have already seen many miracles happen. Hermana Piggott is amazed at all the miracles we've been seeing already as companions. She is seeing more than she has in a while and we both know that there's a reason we're companions... there are people here who were waiting for just US.
5. Okay so the other day we got a referral. Referrals are GOLD!!! And her name is Reina. She is cousins with Oscar & Idalia... less-actives who are now reactivated because of Hermana Piggott and her old companion, Hermana Butler. AMAZING. So Reina is about 36 and we met with her the other day. Most darling lady alive. She doesn't know a lick of English, oh I forgot to mention Laticia likes to randomly speak English ha... but Reina doesn't know any however I connected with her soo well. Hermana Piggott is doing awesome with the Spanish and I am way excited for her because her old companion was fluent so she said she didn't speak much... so now she has to because I am still a newbie haha however I am trying to talk the most I can. Hermana Piggott said I am already speaking way more than she did at first so I need to keep it up so I can keep improving. Well anyways, Reina is BEAUTIFUL, she's from El Salvador (Ralphyyyy woot woot haha) and when we met with her we just introduced her to the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies on it, etc. She was just smiling away and ahhhh I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!! Well anyways, we chatted with her for so long and then she made us fresh homemade lemonade (amazing) and these homemae tortillas with cheese. Just whipped up homemade tortillas right then and there and it was awesome. However the cheese was interesting. Hahaha afterwards Hermana Piggott was like, "and I could taste the COW" haha the cheese smelled like a cow farm. Honestly haha so funny. And she stuffed us. I felt bad because she kept whipping them up and was so nice to do so in the first place... they have a very humble home. Oh yeah and the whole time I was in the home I definitely felt like I was not in America. It is sooo different. Felt like Mexico or Brazil in every way. But yeah and we got to talk to her son Johnathan who is 19 for a little while too... we're trying to work on him as well. And he knows a tiny bit of English. Many of the younger generation do. But yeah it was soo much fun and I love her so much. We're going to be teaching her again tonight and it will be on the Restoration. I can't wait!! Oh and she came to church yesterday with Idalia her cousin!! She seemed to feel comfortable and like it so we're soo excited to keep teaching her. We have to get her!!!! She's the best! And she always talks about my blue eyes and blonde hair haha and loves how I barely know Spanish. It's great. However I always just keep a big ol' smile on my face and she loves that. Ohhhh I love Reina!!!!!
6. Okay and then for other people, we have gotten tons of referrals this past week... which we're super excited about. We got a woman named Angelina who is Fernando's mother, Fernando is being taught by the Elder's... and apparently she wasn't interested but then we went to her house and she said she'd like to meet with us!! And she was BEAUTIFUL too oh my goodness. Latina woman are the prettiest. And then her husband wants to meet with us too. Our goal with the Elders is to get the entire family baptized!! I know I am getting a little ahead of myself but I am setting my goals high!!!!! I want to get this place going. I am not going to keep up with the slow progression it has been having. Nope, not happening with me. And then we're also going to be meeting with Raquel (Britt, made me think of you!!) ... she's an adult woman and I think they've just struggled getting her to keep commitments but we'll work with her. And then we have other referrals like Fridal, Sarah, Alicia... oh!! And AMBER!!!
7. We have an investigator named Amber. Hermana Piggott picked her up right before the transfer and she is about 23, her dad is a recent covert and she committed to baptism!! However she missed church yesterday because she was sick and she has to attend a few times before she's baptized so we had to move her date back. But we're going to keep teaching her and let's cross our fingers the baptism works out!!!!! She's golden and just the cutest. Oh, and another miracle happened the other day. Well our first few miracles were that we've been praying for referrals and have gotten several!!!!!! Which supposedly doesn't happen that easily. And then our appointment with Amber fell through the other day because she was sick and Hermana Piggott said, there's a reason it fell through... (always so positive, love her) and we drove past this house and Hermana Piggott immediately turned around and got out of the car. It was a lady named Berta outside of her house and apparently Hermana Piggott has been trying to track her down for months. She's just a less-active but we need to reactivate her and so anyways, she agreed to an appointment!! So we've got that covered.
Ohhh man, well I know I have other people to tell you about to but my mind is blank at the moment. And I have to finish up.... but yeah we're working our very hardest and I am exhausted every night because of it (fell asleep while on my knees praying two nights ago haha Hermana Piggott was like, wow she says really long prayers.... half an hour goes by... yup just fell asleep!! Haha) but that's how I want it to be. Referrals are GOLDEN and the best way to find people so we're trying our hardest to get them and we made a goal to visit a member a day so that they will trust us and give us new referrals... and yeah!! The church is true!! My Spanish is slowly but surely coming along and I just have faith that the Lord will help me out if I do my part!! Oh and I had an awesome experience last night. We went and visited with Idalia, to keep her strong and just shared with her a scripture. Well I felt inspired to share with her another scripture it made me think of on my own... after Hermana Piggott explained the other one and I had Idalia read it and afterwards we asked her what stood out to her from all that we read and one of the verses I shared with her was exactly what she needed to hear. It was amazing. She said it was so perfect and really touched her heart. I was open to feel the spirit and with that the spirit led me to that scripture and I was able to share with her exactly what she needed to hear. It was amazing. But anyways, I have to run!!! I will share more next week. Oh, and best thing ever!!! When I arrived to the mission office my first day I got the package Brad & Britt sent and got letters from Grandma Barth and Talmage!!! Made me soooo happy!!!!!!! So tell everyone THANK YOU!!!!!! Also, SEND ME LETTERS ASAP!!!! I will get them sent right to our casa so I can get them in just a couple of days.... my address is, 1610 Justin Court... Gridley, California...95948 -- SEND LETTERS PLEASE!!!! It would honestly make my life complete. And I still need things sent to me but I'll include those in another email... Abigail & Barb J. Haha one thing I can think of at the top of my head though is I need more CD's!! Me and Hermana Piggott listen to the two cd's we have over and over in our car and love them, so send more!! They just needed to be mission appropriate, you know what that means. Oh yeah and on Thursdays it's car fast day so we only can walk. My first official day here was just that and I loved it!! We passed out a couple of pass along cards and I felt like a true missionary on the streets haha. Oh and every morning at 6 we apparently play soccer with our District so we did that. It was soo fun. I was actually a little more competitive than I thought haha. Oh and mom, my District Leader's name is Elder Call. No relation but I thought you'd like that. Well, I have to run but I love you all soooo much and hope all is well!! I am praying for and thinking of you constantly!!!!! Oh yeah and we are only allowed to teach Spanish speakers here who will lead into our Spanish branch. And trust me, there are plenty of Hispanic people here hahaha ohhhh Gridley. This place kills me!!!! Oh, and last night we ate dinner at a member's home on a ranch... horses and everything, beautiful!! This place is gorgeous. The stars and sunsets are unreal too. Okay, have to go!! ADIOS!!!!!!!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Barth
Ps. I am going to meet Elder Barney later today Abigail hahaha I had to text him last night about us coming to their area and yeah, he's in our Zone so I'll see him every P-DAY. You'll have to tell his brother, anyways... love you all!!!!
1610 Justin Court