I'll admit I'm a little speechless today. I'm just at peace and contemplative. I'm so glad to hear how you all are doing. I love you so much and want you to know you are constantly in my prayers.
I love checking my email and hearing from you, Mom and Dad especially. Your letters mean the world to me. You encouragement, love, support, and hearing how you are doing makes my day. I think one of the greatest lessons I've learned on my mission is my love for you, my family. How much you truly mean to me. How much I admire love and respect each of you.
The more I'm in Santa Fe the more I can't get over how beautiful it is, especially the plaza. I'm not sure on much of it's history and we have limited resources, but Dad I would LOVE to learn more about it if you find stuff on it! The whole city just feels like it has a story to tell.
Santa Fe is very different from El Paso, and so our approach has been very different. It's got kind of a bad repore, but we're hoping to change that. To be honest, we've spent this week showing love. Heart attacking member's, less-active's and investigators doors, writing thank you cards, and giving service. Our branch is very small, and struggling. But I am honored to be here. We've been more pulling weeds from the vineyard rather than harvesting, but it feels good. It's good to be preparing good ground so we can plant good seeds. I've learned much about my Savior here, about loving those that don't love you, and not giving up. Santa Fe is different, but I love it.
Our Spanish branch is very small, in Relief Society it was us, the Presidency, and one woman. We teach Sunday School and I am now the Primary Pianist. Thank you for helping me develop the talent! I'm far from good, but they need the help badly. It's strange to have just met the people and to already be so depended on. I'm honored to be here and grateful for the opportunity to strenghten these people.
We have a few investigators, and they're moving slowly. They've been investigating the church for years. But already I've become close friends with them. One of them is a family from Guatemala, Ligia and Juan Carlos (& their 3 daughters and son, just like us). Sister Knight did hair before her mission so this week we did Ligia's for free. It's been so fun to talk to them and do service for them, leaving them wondering why we did what we did. I love their family. It's amazing to be able to relate to them so well too, They grew up in Antigua, which I've been to multiple times, and even been to the market their family owns. It's a crazy connection. I love them so much. I'm praying so hard for them.
One of our other investigators is Nery, Amariris, and their grown daughters, he's from Honduras and she's from El Salvador. He owns a sushi restaurant in downtown Santa Fe, it's NICE. They are VERY nice people! They signed up to feed us, and to our surprise, they took us to the restaurant, we sat at the sushi bar and he made us whatever we wanted to try. VERY nice people. I love them already! They are so different from people in El Paso, people here are so well off. And less willing to change. No one is married, and they take their time in their decisions. But I love them already as my close friends, and feel like we are leaving them better than we found them. And hoping for the best! I know Heavenly Father put us in Santa Fe for a reason.
Let me know if you have any finding ideas! :) Knocking doors isn't making much progress, but we're pressing forward and continuing! :)
Tonight we're visiting an old widowed member in the nursing home. He's such a sweet man and I love him so much! He reminds me of a cute hispanic version of Grandpa Gardner, mis-matching flannel and all. :) It's been so good just to put a smile on his face. We decided we're going to visit anyone who never gets visited there as well. We'll continue loving and serving all those around us.
I'm honored for this time to be here serving in the Lord's vineyard, I know with all my heart without a doubt Heavenly Father called me here at this time in my life to serve Santa Fe. I know I'm doing what he wants me to. I love my Savior with all my heart and will follow Him anywhere. He has led me through so much. I am such a different person than I feel I was before. So much has changed, refined. I feel stronger, more pure, cleaner, and have more love in my heart for the world than I could ever have imagined. I know this gospel is true with my whole heart and soul, nothing doubting. I know I will forever be changed for the better because of my mission.
A scripture that gave me much peace this week is D&C 24:8. He loves you. He is with you. There is a purpose for absolutely every trial in your life. Continue to find it. Seek to understand it.
TAY have a BLAST in D.C. you will love it!!! You better send me pictures!!!! Take it in!!! You are such a beautiful strong girl, you keep chasing your dreams and becoming whoever you want to be. :) I love you and want you to know I am always here, I consider you one of my best friends and am so grateful you are my sister!
Ren I am so happy you are loving college and your roomies! How is everything? Any good dates? I can't believe how much you've grown up! Amaris says hi. Everyone here envies your blonde hair! :) I love you so much. :) Keep having fun and keep showing that beautiful smile. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured! You're doing great!
Dill, I want you to know I love you so much big guy. You would love it here. I promise someday after I'm home we'll come back, ride the train, find some cool animals and check out the indian stores, deal? :)
Mom, thank you so much for all you do for me. You are truly selfless and one person I can always count on. I love you so much and pray for you often. You are so strong. Thank you for all the selfless sacrifice you give to me and those around you.
Dad I am so proud of you and can't describe the love I have for you in my heart. I know you are spent in life and worn thin at all angles. You are a strong soul. Heavenly Father has the torch of the refiners fire blowing in your direction right now, but I know He has a purpose, a reason. And whether you see it or not, you've changed. You all have. You're stronger. More dependent upon the gospel, more aware of the purpose of life. He loves you so much. I love you so much. I wouldn't change one thing about the past year, it's helped us grow.
It's strange to think a year ago I was about to graduate from college, I never could have imagined what 2010 could bring. I remember finishing school and feeling so lost. I remember praying with all my heart for my Heavenly Father's direction for what to do with my life. To find a good husband, a good job, and whatever else He wants me to do, be and accomplish. I remember reading Proverbs 3:5-6 and feeling that was my answer. I kept trying to do what made sense in my head, to my understanding, but I knew I needed to follow him. I wanted to follow him. January to June was a trying testing point trying to seek His guidance. Now looking back, I KNOW it all happened for a reason. Heavenly Father guided me. I feel so close to Him. I love Him so much. I know He will continue to guide me and all who seek Him.
If the solutions to our problems were simple, we would not be able to stretch our souls.
Keep stretching. Keep growing. Follow Him.
I know if you put Him first, everything will fall into place.
I wouldn't change a thing.
I love you and pray for you daily.
Your baby girl,
Sister Lindsay Jardine
P.S. Give Tate and Boston a hello from me! WELCOME to the best family on earth!!!! :)
Happy Halloween!!! Dillon how was being a Dragon!? :) You guys have to send pictures!!! Of Dillon's costume, Lauren's Apartment and Taylor's hair too! I'm so glad to hear you guys are doing great!!!
Renny you need to write!! I've missed hearing from you!!! Tay's beat you with letters ;) jk. I'm SO glad you are loving college and your apartment! Send some pictures of your roomies! I want to hear how you are, what you think of everything. I miss ya!
Tay I am so sorry you got a ticket! I guess we each need one to learn. Hang in there. It'll be okay. Keep smiling. :) I'm excited for your close up!! Are you excited!!! When is it! Thank you for your letter! I'm sending you one back. I really appreciate it, your guys's letters mean a lot.
Mom, thank you so much for all your support. I love you so much. You've become such a close friend and someone I really admire. I am so glad you're mom. I can't thank you for your stalwart support. When everything else comes and goes, I've learned family is eternal. I love you so much and always will. I love you.
Dad, you are in my prayers, I am always thinking of you. Your advice, legacy, and all you've taught me. Keep hanging in there and keep on keeping on. You are always in my prayers.
Santa Fe is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW was it a culture shock. El Paso is in its 70's and then I came here and realized it's actually fall!! I didn't think I realized Christmas was coming, I was just stuck in summer. Haha. I got here and was FREEZING! :) But it is breathtaking and beautiful! I am so used to the humility of El Paso that this is a complete culture shock. Everything is so nice here. It's like a mix between Park City, The east coast and a Santa Fe twist. It really reminds me of Georgetown Virginina, the historic town but how it's now become really ritzy. The fall leaves are beautiful!!! It has a COMPLETELY different feel than El Paso. Even the people. In El Paso, I was in the minority. Almost EVERYONE was from Juarez Mexico (which IS really scary right now. So many stories. But we are okay. We're protected, as are the missionaries in Juarez.) Here is completely different. People are here from all over!!! Investigators and members are from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico All over south and central america, and believe it or not..... GUATEMALA! :) It's been such an amazing connection to people!!!!! To know what their home country, town and culture is like. Oh it is amazing. And SO neat to know people from all over. It's neat to recognize their different accents and traditions. That's probably one of the biggest changes in coming here, realizing how far spanish has come. I feel so comfortable with it. I LOVE it!!!! It's easier than english sometimes. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn it. I'm far from perfect but It's not foreign anymore. It's like a light switch is on now. I love it.
Santa Fe is a little more difficult as far as the work goes compared to El Paso which is expected but good. I'm honored to be serving here and to be blessed with a challenge. The work is really dead and the people are much colder, but we're excited to turn things around. I LOVE my companion. She is SO enthusiastic and alive with the work!! Even though it's been hard, we are happy and working hard. :) Doing lots of service and just trying to show Santa Fe some love, if nothing else to leave people better than we found them and with a good taste in their mouth. We were very blessed in El Paso. With the humility of the economy and happenings in Juarez, everyone was ready for the gospel, it was all we could do to keep up with the work!!!! Here, people are well off and don't have a need for us. But we're working hard and positive. :) It's such a good feeling just to help someone, be happy and loving, and leave them wondering what makes us how we are. We're definately pulling more weeds and tilling the ground here in the orchard rather than picking fruit, but it's still very rewarding and I know things will eventually turn around in Santa Fe. I love it here. And I truly don't think there could be better missionaries here!!!! We have two sets of English Elders and ourselves in our District. They are amazing Elders and so enthusiastic! They are already great friends and we have fun working hard! It's strange to be teaching and speaking only spanish, but it's helped me so much. I LOVE the work here!
Spanish Sisters. There are few. Come April I will be the second oldest which is crazy! Chances are I will be training soon, maybe before that. Sister Good is training a brand new Sister Batchcoff ?sp still in Horizon City. The joke was 'Momma got a new baby and kicked me to Santa Fe' ;) haha. I love and miss her sooooo much! She is amazing!!! I cherish the time I had there. While saying goodbyes I realized how much those people have become my people, how that area is a home to me. I can't tell you how much we love those people! We came into a dead area and made it home and family. But I have a year left, and to be honest, I have a feeling I'll be back around there soon enough. :) There aren't many areas for spanish sisters. Right now that is one of 4. Sister Newbold (going home next august) is training a brand new Sister Jarman in Anthony, New Mexico down south as well, and then Sister Cope is training a brand new Sister Holland in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Sister Cope and Sister Good go home the transfer after next in January. My companion is Sister Knight from Virginia. She is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I love her so much. She goes home March or April. She is awesome and SO enthusiastic!
It's been a great first few days. Elder Zivic left us with a commitment, a 40 day fast from things holding us back from being our very best selves. It's been an absolutely amazing experience and I would recommend it to you. It's truly changed my life. As I began, everything I put on my paper to leave behind became very prevalant and hard to leave behind, but now as I've worked harder at perfecting it, I am SO absolutely grateful for it. I've never felt more clean, more closer to the Savior. I love my Savior. I love this work. I love Santa Fe. I am excited to continue working my hardest. I love you all and you are in my prayers.
I want you to know you've been on my mind and in my prayers constantly. I pray we will keep trusting God in all we do. Heartache comes when we lose that trust in Him. Don't lose it. Keep working hard. Lose the fear and keep the faith. I know you've been through much. I want you to know that I know with all my heart your Heavenly Father loves you and knows you. He doesn't leave you alone and there is a purpose for every stage and trial in our lives. Find the purpose.
I love you all so much! Keep being strong and know I am here for you!