Friday, August 23, 2013

A Tender Mercy

August 19
I think this week I will just share a couple of experiences instead of going through my whole week like normal.
Number one: I learned magic this week from a member when I was sick! And it all relates to the gospel so we are now magicianaries! ;) We can rip up a card and put it back together, turn milk to glitter, make 3 clothes a flag, and stick a needle through a balloon and not have it pop! Its pretty awesome! :)
Number 2 we got our bikes and I love mine bc it is designed to keep the back straight for those who are taller which is perfect!
We had a potluck dinner in one of the wards and we were late and normally we just wouldn't go but I really was anxious for some reason. So we went late and got food and sat down next to a lady we love. Another couple started asking us questions like where we're from and stuff. typical missionary conversation. Then he said Balero. Is your dad Hispanic? I get that a lot because of the last name. I said I am one fourth Hispanic, my grandpa is Mexican. And then he said did they ever live in Oregon? And I said yes and then he asked, in the St. Helens area? And I was then thinking ok. How does he know grandpa? And then he said, and he worked on the railroad and his wife has red curly hair and I was like this is for sure them. Now where is the connection? And then he said " I baptized your Grandpa. He was my first baptism on my mission!" It was crazy! And the night before I had said a really heartfelt prayer telling Heavenly Father I know I stayed in this area for a reason although I don't understand why. I know everything is in your timing but please help me to see tomorrow a reason that I am here in Orem when I am having such a hard time. I had forgotten that until that moment though. It was such a tender mercy!
Well, I love you lots and hope you are all doing well and getting through all the craziness of preparing for school! Have a great week!

Sister Balero

August 5

Monday was Pday. We played kickball and poison for the zone activity. And taught some good lessons. Tuesday was another day on foot in the hot sun oh and we got facebook.  We stopped by a lemonade stand and bought delicious lemonade and cute washer necklaces they made. It was good to feel like I made someone happy. Sunday was good.  We also went to a break the fast with a ward that was delicious! And a lady came up to us and said My kids recognize you! I guess you went to their lemonade stand! That made me happy.

July 29: Transfer Calls next Week


Number one! I am still in shock Lenise is going to Provo as well! I love hearing about mission calls! Tell her she needs to write me!! :)


Monday we got fed breakfast for dinner which was delicious! They had an amazing carmel syrup! Also their daughters went to SLC on Thursday and sat 5th row at one direction! Crazy story! They have had their tickets since last march tho! Be jealous! haha. Then I went on splits with Sister Quist because her comp was feeling sick and that was awesome!

Tuesday we went to the Timp temple which is BEAUTIFUL! Pictures to come! We went with someone we know and her "adoptive" parents. We did sealings. The way they looked at each other across the altar was PRECIOUS! They looked like newly weds! because they are so perfectly in love and you can tell perfectly! I want it to be that way with me and my future husband!

Wednesday was the temple to temple run. My comp and I finished in 2 minutes! :) haha. We started early and ended up getting to walk all the way to the end as other missionaries stopped along the way to guide the way. It was tiring but good! And I saw Jonathan! It was so weird seeing someone I knew! I took a picture! :) And then they had a delicious pancake breakfast after hosted by the Lamanite Ward they call themselves- They are a Native American Ward, they were dancing and drumming and singing! It was awesome!

Thursday we took our car in to be repainted from the scratch and although we were told it would be 1-2 days it was actually 5 so we have been walking...In our huge area! It has been nice and overcast the last couple of days though so its nice but I have blisters! :/  Life is good though. The stake we are living in announced that they are looking for housing for Elders so we are pretty sure the area is splitting. Next week is transfer calls so I will let you know for sure what is going on then! Love you lots! Thank you for your letters and support! I love hearing from you!

Sister Balero

July 22 Week 10

Okay. So I haven't been sleeping well which is tough but things are going better. I am doing my best to be patient though.
Monday I also got a new backpack because my walmart one was dead. I love it but am still getting used to it.

Tuesday I got my package! Thank you! Katie's letter made me cry! I don't know if you saw but she addressed it To camry: My inspiration :) The muddy Buddies are almost gone and sadly I am basically the only one who has touched them. Sister Quist also loved the no bake cookies! :) Tuesday and Thursday were also exchanges. If I have one thing to say about that is that they really made me appreciate my companion. 

Wednesday Sister Rees made me cupcakes! It was so sweet! And then that night we had Tater tot casserole! It was so good!! I am addicted!!!!

Thursday I was in the Spanish area which made me super jealous! I was amazed at how much I understood though! The Spanish members are just so much more friendly!

What matters is that souls are brought unto Christ, and the work is so different for both of us!

Friday we had a really spiritual discussion and afterwards I always feel so good like I am actually helping someone.

Lastly, On Wednesday we are doing a temple to temple walk from the Provo temple to the tabernacle temple for pioneer day! Only a few zones get to go so that'll be neat!  I am excited! Well, I love you lots! Hope life is well at home! Miss you! :)

Sister Balero

Blessed and Protected

Well, I have quite a lot to say and a lot less time to do it. I have a couple of experiences this week to share. First I want to put a quote from last week that I forgot to share. " God must love ordinary people because he sure made a lot of them and ordinary people accomplish extra ordinary things every day!" I liked that!

Okay, Monday at walmart I printed out some pictures because you can print off pictures straight from your facebook!  We also bought a Mormon messages DVD and  have been watching those! My favorite is Our True Identitiy.

And then a bunch of missionaries came to our place and we played this game called skittles which was so much fun!

Wednesday was DTM and interviews. It was good and I'm really starting to love my district. While waiting to finish up we played a bunch of figure out the rules games and it was a ton of fun!

Okay Thursday. The day that I may not be able to finish but really need to. Thursday we were driving to Provo to finish up car stuff and had just gotten out of an appointment so maybe we weren't paying as much attention as we thought we were but nevertheless it happened. I slammed on my breaks as we came within inches of a car. My heart was pounding and then I saw lights behind me. I immediately said to my comp That was green wasn't it and she without a doubt said it was. We both saw green!  And you know I am a cautious driver! Many miracles occurred. The first is to get away without a scratch. I know that angels were protecting us. There is no other way. The second is that the cop didn't even look at my license. I feel so blessed but it was so scary. We pulled over in a church parking lot and I just cried thinking about what just had happened. It has really put things into perspective. We also realized our airbag has been having problems and we haven't had the chance to get it fixed. If we would have crashed I wouldn't have had an airbag to protect me.  I wanted to talk to President and Sister McCune and get a blessing. So that evening they came. Before they did though I just said a heartfelt prayer and cried and poured out my soul to my father in heaven. I told him that I knew angels were protecting and surrounding me but I couldn't do this any more. I told him specifically that I felt alone and like I wasn't receiving my answers to prayer and then that if I was to stay here on this mission I needed to know for a fact that this is where I am supposed to be and for it to be said in my blessing.

So President and Sister McCune came over and we talked for a long time. I wish I could have just recorded the whole conversation and blessing because it was so amazing. President told us everything is okay and that we should look for the miracles because there are a bunch. He talked about how we are protected and then shared a bunch of his experiences from his mission that really hit hard with me and gave me strength. He also said " This is not your mission. It is the Lord's. You gave yourself and your time to him so that he could make you the person he wants you to become." We then got our blessings. In my blessing he specifically addressed those concerns in my prayer. He said "You are not alone and there are ministering angels around you."  and then said " I bless you with comfort that when you get on your knees to pray tonight you will feel his encircling arms around you!" and lastly said " This is what the Lord would have you do right now!" And he promised things would get better. It was such a testimony to me to have my prayer answered so directly in my time of need! Since then I have just felt so much peace things although not easy or perfect seem better because I have that assurance that this is where I need to be and God will help me through it. 

That is the total short version and I wish I could tell you more in person but since I can't and am running out of time I'm glad you get to hear the parts that mattered most.

We also wrote anonymous notes to the Spanish sisters and left them in their door which was a ton of fun! 

Guess who attended one of the wards of one of the stakes we cover? ELDER HOLLAND! Guess who wasn't there? Me! I was within 5 minutes of meeting Elder Holland and I would have had a right to be there! I seriously want to shake his hand so bad!  When I heard he was there for his grandson's farewell and even spoke for a bit my stomach dropped. :'( One day I will have the chance to shake his hand! Mom and Dad you will understand how much that would have meant to me. Funny story: At the time he would have been in sacrament I was reading over his two talks that you sent me. 

Well, That is all I think, even though it is probably far from the truth. 

Love you so much and am so grateful for all you have done for me! 

Sister Balero

Just Past the 2 month mark!

Hi Everyone! 

First things first- HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE TOMORROW! You are not allowed to drive until after I get home! Because I need to see your lovely not writing your sister face one last time at least! ;)

Second things second- I keep forgetting to say this! Or maybe I have said it and keep forgetting I've told you. haha. I LOVE MY FORTE! HOODIE!! I wear it every night to bed and it’s like my comfort clothing! I just feel so loved and supported and less homesick when I wear it!

And now I will start on my crazy long week!

ok so let’s start with the rest of Monday!

Well we went shopping! It was weird to be shopping in the same place that I was shopping with you right before the mission. It’s like a flashback every day. The hotel we stayed in in April is across the street from my area. Krispy Kreme is my area! Sister Missionary Mall and University Mall is my area!  Then that night we had an adventure. Maybe I should have paid more attention when you were teaching me to pump gas...We needed gas and guess who has never done that. Me and my comp. The first two gas stations we went to were out of gas! What??? So we were already thrown off! And then the first pump at the one that did have gas was having problems so then we turned around and tried another one and I think something was off because it just wouldn't work. After forever we asked a couple to help us and they couldn't figure it out with our card either which made me feel less stupid! And then they decided just to pay for us! I felt so bad but they said it was a good opportunity because they hadn't been able to do anything for the missionaries for a while. It was such a tender mercy! And then on the way to our last appointment a little skunk strutted into the road. Like Honestly STRUTTED! And I didn’t run over it but drove over it and I think it scared him and he sprayed because it STUNK! It was an adventure to say the least! haha.

Tuesday and Wednesday were just rough! We seriously cannot find anyone to teach! Everyone was cancelling or not home and the few we have been teaching are not progressing in the least because they have no desire or have told us straight up.
Ok. Then was the 4th of July! Longest day of my life! haha.

We had to be up super early to be in Provo by 7:30 and the traffic was crazy! The day before people had already set out blankets and tents! We couldn't figure out how to get to the mission office because everything was blocked off! So we parked like 7 blocks away. In the morning the weather was cool and way nice! We started at Provo High! And everyone was so happy to see all their old friends and companions. There were 2 people who I felt really cared and it meant a lot. The first is Sister Rees. I don't know how much I've told you about her but she is seriously my absolute best friend here! I can tell she truly cares about me and I can really open up to her.  We just got to sit on a bench and talk! It was so good!  The other person was Kaylynn. She welcomed me, included me and talked to me and it meant a lot! And guess what else? I found out she's in my zone!! :) During the Parade I got to see Lance and that was awesome! A total tender mercy! I was so happy to see him! I wish I could’ve stayed and talked for a minute. And then I saw him again as I was leaving/ driving away! And his baby who is adorable!  It was neat seeing there is so much support for us!! After we had a mission lunch and I sat with her again. That night we had our district activity and Sister Harrison's district was combined with ours so we got to talk and play monopoly and she made Sister Creer style caramel popcorn and reeses brownies which were DELICIOUS! And then we got to watch How to Train Your dragon which was awesome! :) At 9 we went home and then found out we got locked out of the pool house. The outside door is always open so we only have keys to our room inside. And since it was the 4th we couldn't get ahold of anyone! haha. It was a blessing in disguise though because we got to sit outside on the pool lawn chairs and watch the fireworks! :) We ended up having to drive to the mission home in Provo to spend the night. So it was a LONG day!

Ok, I am like out of time and still have so much more to say so sorry if I'm brief!

We had ZTM and watched two awesome Mormon Messages! Look up Earthly and Heavenly Father.

Saturday was the baptism and it went really well even though somebody stole the jumpsuit we set aside. Behind the scenes craziness! haha. But it was awesome! In her baptism talk the speaker referred to the Holy Ghost as Hot Chocolate feelings! I really liked that! The feeling you get when sipping Hot Chocolate on a cold day! After the baptism K said she felt like she was floating and asked if that made sense? And it was neat because that’s how I explain it!  We then drove to Payson for another baptism and it was neat to be in Payson again and I got to see the Phillips girls which was awesome! I miss them!  It just felt like home and really it is my mission born and raised home! And we got to stop by the temple which was great! I miss it! And we have had rain this week! Another tender mercy!!
We had a crazy thunder storm that was a little scary for a while though. Well even though I have so much more to say I have gone way over time! I will send pictures next week and once I have stamps mail some to you as well! Love you and miss you!

Sister Balero

In Orem

July 1 

 I feel like the Lord has thrown me into the fire to be refined. I know he is there watching me but I am ready to be pulled out of the heat now!  Monday and Tuesday consisted of a lot including goodbyes. We had a goodbye party at Mom and Dads with the Phillips. For Father's day we gave Dad a card that said "You're kind-of like a Father to can I have $20? Just kidding. Kinda." And as I said goodbye Dad gave me a $20 that had written on the back "In case of emergency. Love Dad!" It was so sweet! We went to the temple and then had my not fun in pain the whole time dentist appointment which I am so glad is finally finished. That night I said more goodbyes and then the Phillips bought us Cafe Rio which was DELICIOUS! And then Megan wrote me a song! It was kind of a joke at first that she had to write us each a song but the song was so precious to me! I recorded it and hopefully I can get it to you somehow. I just bawled. I got so attached to everyone in Payson and it was so hard to leave. Especially those girls! As I finished packing Wednesday morning the Phillips came over. Megan also wrote me a really heartfelt note. It really made me feel like I have purpose even through my times of struggle. And McKenzie bought me a little bear that says I Love You! And then I had to leave.

So transfers. My companion is Sister Tjong-Ayong. She is from Suriname a country above Brazil in South America that speaks Dutch and she looks Asian. She is super sweet.  
Oh and I am driving. That doesn't help with the stress because as you may know, Utah drivers are the WORST!

I guess I feel more like a missionary now, but I lost that balance that I had finally found in Payson. The people in Payson were all so friendly and kind and fun!  I know it'll get better in time. Everyone keeps cancelling on us or not being home or not opening up the doors for us. I want it to be hard but not so hard that I can't enjoy myself. But I just have to be patient and try my best. I have seen that a lot in the scriptures I have been studying as well. There are a few investigators I love though and I am trying my best to just focus on those positive aspects of this area! I got a few letters this week that made life a lot better though! Like hearing from Harley and Miranda! And I got a really awesome letter from one of Sister Reynolds's friends who I have been writing! It totally made my day! I read some talks this morning from April 2012 conference (May 2012 ensign) that I loved and want to share. The first is Sacrifice by Elder Oaks. It talks about how we all make sacrifices but how the Savior sacrificed his life and suffered for us and it is worth it because it is for him who did everything for us. And we are blessed for those sacrifices. The other one is one of my favorites called "Mountains to Climb" by Elder Eyring. You are just going to have to go read through it again because I cannot give it justice but it just talks about how everything we are going through, even when it seems too hard to bear, is for our benefit and brings us so much closer to the Lord than we could ever get otherwise. And really these afflictions are only for a small moment and the reward will be great!

I love you and miss you so much! Thank you for all you have done for me and for being patient with my imperfect self even when times are rough!


Sister Balero

Goodbye Payson

June 24 

So after a wonderful 6 weeks in a fabulous area I'm leaving. It makes me sad to leave what we have worked so hard to build up. I am being transferred to Orem Cherry Crest. I am excited to go yet still crushed to leave. My companion is Sister Tjong-Ayong. The area is dramatically different 30+ lessons a week! I'm just worried I am going to feel so inadequate because I have not had any experience really. I should be able to see Megan though now! :) Sister Reynold’s new companion is great! She was in Mission Prep with me at BYUI and in my zone in the MTC!

It's so cool you got to see us in the Broadcast! It was awesome though we were disappointed that the Prophet wasn't in attendance. The words spoken were so true! And the MTC choir was so powerful!

So I forgot my planner because I have a new one so I can't remember much of the week! I had my sprained ankle which wasn't bad and was better by Thursday and then had to get a root canal which was not fun! If you want to know how that went go watch Finding Nemo. It's free but it was painful! Wednesday we went up to Girls Camp! It was AWESOME! It made me so happy! I was in a boot though. At least I didn't have to be on crutches. It was a neat experience to be a part of! And it reminded me of home! They are so spoiled with Lodges and food made for them though! I kept forgetting I was at camp! AND THEY ACTUALLY SING THE SONGS!! If you're not screaming you're not doing it right! I was amazed at how we all had the same songs yet they were sung so different!

So honestly my mind is not able to focus right now and I can't think of anything else to say so I'm going to be done. Email me if you have any questions!

Sister Balero