Monday, February 23, 2015

The One with the Big Changes!

Hey everyone!

It's been a week of changes! First of all... I turned 20! Yikes... haha it was the GREATEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!! Here's a quick run down. We spent all Friday morning working like crazy to find new families to baptize! Hermana Sanhueza and I calculated 10 people ready to join the church this transfer! It will be a great 6 weeks for her. Then we studied and went to the chapel for a family night that we have every Friday. We were so nervous that there wasn't going to be anyone there because they didn't announce it in church like they usually do. It seemed like everyone had things to do to get ready to go back to school. Well we walked in and SURPRISE!!!!!!! There were decorations, food, and so many members!! They threw us a surprise party!! It was so special!! The pictures will tell the rest :)

Next big change! I got transferred!! I am now in the beautiful Jujuy!! I am with Hermana Hooke! She is from California! She's been out 6 months.... I almost said ME TOO!... Then I realized I had been a little more than 6... It FLYS by! It seriously is like a dream. ANYWAY! I went from living will all Latinas to living with all Americans! Another big change but we all clicked right away! 

It was so hard saying goodbye to Tucuman. Especially to Hermana Salas. It was her who put everything together for the surprise party. She is an incredible lady. I love her so much.

And another big change!! We are a branch here in the area. Before they shared the area with Elders but they closed their area so.... we get to take it on! Adventure!! :) They have a baptism this week and we have a baptism this week! So please pray that we can find these peoples houses so we don't lose anyone! It will definitely be a great transfer I know it.

So ANOTHER change.... the apartment. I had just spent all last transfer fixing everything in the apartment in Tucuman... and I came to cockroach land... seriously some even started crawling on me. EW. I have lots of work to do. 

Well that about sums it up! Haha, so I have a funny story. Last Monday Hermana Sanhueza and I went to the city because we wanted McDonalds. I got a sandwich and fries. Then this man walks in and starts asking people for money. The manager saw him and came to kick him out. When the man saw that the manager was coming he ran up to us, (about gave me a heart attack), grabbed our french fries and took off running! Haha. I was like... What just happened? We looked at each other and started laughing. I guess we didn't need the french fries anyway :)

Alright now I'm out of time :) Please pray that all will go well this week with working in 2 areas! And bless that the baptisms will go through! 

LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for my birthday letters and emails. I am so loved.

Have a great week!
Hermana Hammond

I feel I should give a shout out to my little (big) brother Austin!!! He is just the greatest and is about to get his mission call! I am so excited my heart could burst! Little did I know what great things were waiting for me when I read Salta, Argentina. I get emotional just thinking about it. Austin you will be called to the exact place you need to be. And little do you know what is in store for you. I LOVE YOU! Go get 'em :)

Familia Cabrera... they are nuts.

Saying goodbye to mommy Salas.

This is Paula! She was sad I had to go but she is excited to progress with the other sisters!
Happy Birthday to US!!!

Turning 20 together!

Saying goodbye to Tucuman.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The One where I'm finally understanding

Hey everyone!

Wow what a great week! I have to apologize in advance.... I am going to write this letter at the speed of light.... so don't laugh at my spanglish.. haha and also the keyboard is broken... I press the question mark and it does this -... so I found this one ¿ (which is really the plus sign... and I can't find the other parenthesis to close this thought... haahaha STRUGGLE!

But this was a great week! I feel so good here. Paula unfortunately didn't get baptized. It breaks my heart. She is having problems with her dad. He is very controlling and doesn't support her at all. We have been talking to President and he said that when she feels ready she can be baptized. She meets all of the requirements and will be an incredible missionary one day. On the other hand our district leader seems to be trying to not let it happen... he told us last night that Paula isn't progressing at all and that she will go inactive the week she is baptized. There are lots of things to consider but she is definitely progressing!!! I will let you know what happens this week. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for her. She is our main focus right now. I love her so much my heart could burst. Please pray that her dad will soften his heart and see the desires she has to join the church.

The rest of the week was great! I love my companion and we have made some goals this week to finish off the transfer strong! We have a little phrase that we always say, sin temor. It means without fear! We have conquered a lot of fears together and I have grown so much from her example. AND we get to share our birthdays together! All my life I have shared my birthday with my mom and my grandma. I thought it would be tough on my mission but the Lord blesses us in more ways than we can think of!! 

So I have to tell y'all an embarrassing story... I had to call the assistants to ask them permission for a few things. I called their phone and started talking... then the Elder passed the phone to his companion like he didn't understand me... I laughed and then started talking to his companion. He was like... who is this¿... Oh sorry elder... it's hermana Hammond.... then he was like.. do you know who I am¿¿... I said Elder Almond¿¿.... no Elder Slighting! Hahaha I was so embarrassed! I didn't even know who I was talking to! He said the assistants were out looking at the apartments and they left their phone with him. Haha I was embarrassed but he got a good laugh out of it. 

So this week my companion and I finished reading DyC. And personally I finished the New Testament. It was super cool reading them both and learning more about the gospel. I feel like at this point in my mission is where the understanding comes in. I have learned and learned and now it's time to apply. I am starting to really understand why I'm here. I am understanding better the commandments, instead of just knowing them. I understanding better what God has in store for me, instead of just having faith. And I understand I still have A LOT more to learn. I love my life. These 20 years have been so great. And these 12 months have been greater. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you all for supporting me!

Have an amazing week!
Hermana Hammond

p.s. Thanks to all who wrote me for my birthday! I have a STACK of cards in the apartment and a broken record in the mission. I feel so LOVED!

I drew this picture in family night at the Montoya home! Surprised myself. haha everyone here loves The Simpsons...

Waiting at the bus stop.

We are turning 20!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hermana Hammond's Birthday is coming up!

Dear Jessica Hammond Fan Club:

Jessica's birthday is coming up on Friday, February 20th.  I'm sure she would love a little birthday email from you :).  Also, it's her companion, Hermana Sanhueza's, birthday ON THE SAME DAY!!! So, if you write her this week, she will get it on the 16th - the week of her birthday.

Thank you for loving and supporting our daughter.  It means the world to her...and us :).  


The One I needed.

Hey everyone!!

I have good news!!!!!............ The Church is TRUE!!!!! Hahaha, no I'm kidding... well the church is so super true but that's not my good news.... PAULA IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are BEAMING!!! I am so happy and feel so good! We have worked so incredibly hard in this area and she is beyond ready! PLEASE pray that all will go smoother than smooth and that we can help this wonderful young lady enter the waters of baptism. It will be on Friday the 13th.... (we need strong prayers) because we have an activity in the stake on Saturday. And in May she is going to the TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!! Ahh I am so happy!!! 

That was really the highlight of our week. Things are better with the members. We realized they are bitter because the Elders before would break rules. Have the young men sleep over, stay at members houses for way too long, or even go places with members for a few days and leave their area completely.... (Hermana Salas explained it all.) She is so great. I love her with all my heart. 

So on Wednesday we had a special devotional with Sister Marriott and Sister Burton via broadcast from Cordoba!!! It was so fun! And just what I needed! Sister Marriott is so cute. She talked about filling our spiritual water bottles so that Satan can crush them. I definitely said a little AMEN SISTA! Haha, and Sister Burton decided to set her notes aside and just tell us how much Heavenly Father loves his daughters. It was a devotional just for girls. We were able to get some less actives there. It was a great girls night! :) 

So we had to call the offices today to ask for a few things. The Elder working there told me I broke the record of letters received by a missionary..... ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? I have the greatest fan club ever!!!!!! He said me and Hermana Sanhueza received TONS!! We were like.... haha it could be because our birthday is next week....... all I can say is THANK YOU!!!!!!! I love you all!!!!!! 

Have an amazing week!!
Hermana Hammond

Oh and I almost forgot!! WE GOT AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!! All is well in Zion. 
And birthday shout outs to my Aunt Angie and Uncle Damon!!! Y'all are getting old..... :)

outfit of the day... complete with sneakers. I had special permission to wear them because my arches are crumbling... yeah... 

stranded sister..


Monday, February 2, 2015

The Sticks and StONEs.

Hey everyone!... 

I'm trying to get creative with my email titles but maybe I should just stop trying... haha. This week was definitely a sticks and stones kind of week... We have seen A LOT of problems in the branch that we have sort of just brushed off... but things blew up. On family night Friday I was teaching the lesson on the Great Apostasy. 2 investigators that the other sisters are preparing for baptism were there. The members started questioning him and asking if he knew enough to be baptized... then as we started to clarify some things and they started getting mad at us!! Saying we as sister missionaries don't have authority to know if they are ready or not ready for baptism. It was NUTS!! I quickly got things under control and explained, with a lot of patience, that these men were far beyond ready for baptism. Honestly it makes me scared to bring people to church... If they get baptized in this branch they won't have the support they need to endure to the end. It's a delicate situation and we are moving forward with the spirit by our side. 

Overall it was a really frustrating week. I was like... talk about an apostasy...... haha. We also have had problems with tithing. We are so close to becoming a ward and tithing is being pushed too hard. Some members of the bishopric have told us the families who aren't paying tithing and it made us very uncomfortable. Their families were there and now it's just a big mess. But it's been a mess for a long time. There is SO much gossip and hard feelings. I feel like I'm in high school when I go to church... one member said to us that things were better when the elders were there... that broke my heart. All I want to do is please people. Then on Sunday it got better. Tons of members shared in their testimonies how much they loved us. That we are their angels. 

So I guess some people just aren't going to like you. But I am doing the Lord's work and I feel like it's just another way for Satan to try and bring me down. It still hurts but I just keep whispering sticks and stones in my head :)

SO..... we still don't have air conditioning........ and I want to cry but I don't have any tears because I'm sweating so much. Hahaha! The sisters new favorite thing is to wait for me to walk out of our bedroom like a zombie and laugh at my hair. I sleep with the fan directly on me. With the combination of sweat and a fan... my hair multiplies and is all over the place, haha. So the air conditioning is ON THE WALL!! But we still have to finish with some electric work and then the guy can finish. Please pray it gets finished this week. I would actually like to enjoy it for a little while before I get transferred.

So Paula is still progressing for the 14th!! So pumped!! The youth went to EFY so we are waiting for them to get back and she will get baptized... which reminds me... our branch president asked us to only have baptisms on the 2nd and 4th week... and to not baptize anyone if it wasn't a complete family... we listened but said that wouldn't work. It's like.. we are trying to help you become a ward!! ACCEPT THE HELP!! 

ANYWAY!... I'm cool. Haha.

So today we went to a hugh Christ statue that is here in Tucuman!! It was fun but SUPER hot. Haha, and we are all exhausted. I think this is the first time in my life I am excited for winter... it couldn't come sooner!!

Alright I love you all!!! Life is good here! I'm happy, healthy, and working hard!! Thank you for your support and prayers. OH and tomorrow is supposed to be 105 degrees.  Prayers are welcome.

Hermana Hammond

Sydney, Jaylee, and Michelle!!!! LOVE YOU!!!! Here's to the big 20!!! :)

Pretty. AND... I got a new name tag :) my name isn't yellow anymore!!
(thank you Santiago sun...)

This is San Javier.... he is throwing the peace and asking for coins for the bus ride home... haha. 


Future Roommates!!!