Thursday, July 30, 2015

School Construction & Jacky Boy

Hi everyone! Ha.ha.ha. Bethany is so funny, right? :D
I can honestly say that I have been SO busy! We are fundraising to get as many as our church people as we can to our conference in Mexico City! The fundraising is going really well and we are so excited for our conference coming up in just 2 weeks. Hundreds of bolis (popsicles) and cupcakes have been made over the past few weeks... But it has been worth it!

On with this little post that I am throwing together while I wait to go run some more fundraising errands and pick up a very special order that deserves its own post maybe sometime in the future.. :)

Something ELSE that we are SO excited about is our school being built!! We are finishing up and furnishing our school, and we will get to start the 4th year of Centro Educativo La Victoria on the 3rd floor in our newly built school! How wonderful is that??

Obviously from the picture there are still things lacking. Carpet, a few furniture pieces like tables and bookshelves, things like that. But really we have the most important thing-- A sealed roof! Dad and Bro. Valentin finished that this week! They have worked so hard this on getting the roof finished, and  we are so thankful for them and their work. :)

This roof situation has been a long and tough deal.

Several different attempts were made and they all ended up the same:
Mucho leaks. Lol.

Dad pointing out another leak.

Here is the entrance to our beautiful, colorful school.
Dad and Valentin were finishing up and checking for any leaky spots

Jack is a funny, unique dog. He LOVES his rocks. And because of all the construction going on, he has been in rock heaven with the abundance of block and brick.

I caught Jack with this rock the other day...
This is a chunk of heavy cement block.
It was bigger than his head! And I wanted to show you all how strong and silly this little dog is! 

So I backed up aways with my camera ready, and called him over to me.
He adjusted the rock in his mouth, picked it up, and came running!
I love how he puts his ears back when he carries these heavy rocks. Its like it gives him more leverage or something. LOL

I was pretty amazed, so I decided to take his beloved rock and weigh it.
This thing weighed 5 lb and 3oz!

This little guy has a strong neck and mouth, that's for sure.

And that is my contribution to this post. Hope you all enjoyed it, because you probably won't hear from me for another few weeks! Hahaha. Just kidding. It all depends on when the inspiration hits. :))

Our conference is on August 14-16 just in case any of you want to come! (With your pastor's approval of course) :D


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get On It, Gurl

2:30 pm - 
It is officially Nicole's turn to blog. I'm on strike. I've put my heart and soul into two major series - Honduras and Heritage. My heart and soul need a rest now - lol. So if nothing is posted on here for a couple of weeks, you guys know why. Hopefully Nicole gets on here and reads this soon - heh heh.

If this goes on for long, I'll start updating this post. (You know - the whole "what is she doing now?" thing.)

UPDATE 5:30 pm -
What could be more important than blogging? Making popsicles for the fundraiser our church is currently doing. A good excuse...for now....

UPDATE Thursday morning -
Sorry little bloggy. No one loves you. 


Friday, July 24, 2015

Heritage 2015

Hey, I'm back! When I said the next part was coming soon, I meant it. Haha! I am so anxious to read Hanna and Mary's account of Heritage on their blogs, but I don't want to until I write out my own. They've put a fire under me! :) 
(This is my second time posting today - if you missed it go back!! "Tuuuuurn back, old man...."

More than a year ago, Cherie and I started discussing the idea of going to Heritage. We'd never been before, but have heard so many good things about it. The idea of going to a new place, meeting new people, and - I ain't gonna lie - going to Whit's End, was exciting to us. I remember the night we decided that YES, this was something we wanted. We were going to start saving, start planning, and experience the incredible Heritage. 
It is funny because in the end, without any discussion between the rest of us, a ton of our friends ended up coming out for it as well. It was perfect and we had the time of our lives! 
Heritage Apostolic Church (formerly First Pentecostal Church of Colorado Springs)
The conference opened up with the choir singing "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Trusting in His Holy Word, He's never failed me yet." The perfect start to what turned out to be a life-changing conference. 

When I say we had the time of our lives, I do not mean just Whit's End and hanging out together. We were able to witness some of the most powerful moves of God we've ever seen. The theme of Heritage this year was "Three Score and Ten", which meant all of the speakers were over seventy years old. The messages preached were geared towards this generation of young people. Elder Jackson preached the first night "Who's Going to Tell It When We're Gone?" Whether you went to this conference or not, I highly encourage you to buy the CDs - here! You WILL be blessed! (Yes, you! :)
Elder Jackson
Cherie and Denae
Finding open restaurants after church was quite a deal....
To my surprise, Colorado Springs is not a big city with lots of restaurants and night life. Which is why I was forced to answer the incessantly ringing phone at the understaffed Denny's...
Hi, this is Denny's. How can I help you?
Thursday morning in pre-service prayer, I was being very prayerful, but apparently people were playing games beside me. 
Can you spot the cockroach? 
(it's fake, but still...)
Things would've gotten pretty exciting, had I seen the bug at the time....
Elder Pickleseimer and Elder Morton preached the morning service. Two of Elder Pickleseimer's "sons in the gospel", Bro. Yarbrough and Bro. Collins, sat with him on the platform and helped him up to the pulpit to preach.

 As soon as he stepped behind the pulpit you could feel the Holy Ghost. It was so, so moving. 
A trio from Pastor Collin's church in Idaho singing a song Elder Pickleseimer wrote, "Angels are watching over me..."
Bishop Johnson
Sis. Jones singing
Elder Morton preached the second session - he is a ball of fire! I love hearing him preach. 
"Old Time Pentecost!"
After church we went to the Olive Garden. 
Mary, me, Nicole, Cherie, Cara, Hanna, and Coco's selfie stick on the side
Having too much fun! 
Johnny, Andrew, Cara, Cherie, Coco, me, Nicole, Hanna, Denae, Mary, and Nathaniel
Apparently it is a "thing" among young people in the U.S. to go to the music store and jam out on the instruments? This was my first time, but it was HILARIOUS. Since Andrew pretty much only knows how to play "How Great is Our God", that's what we did. Haha! 
"How Great is Our God...IN C!"
Cherie, Andrew, Hanna, me, and Cara 
In the guitar room
(Cara and Cherie on the "fiddles".)
I got to meet one of my fellow bridal party members from Kassia's wedding that ended up not being able to make it. Congrats, Hillary on your baby girl on the way! 
Thursday night there was a Ministers and Minister's Wives Choir. I can honestly say I've never heard a more awesome sounding choir, not to mention anointed and powerful! They sang Through It All and Peace of God Cover Me. It was absolutely beautiful. After that they sang Apostolic Meeting in the Air/Goodbye World, Goodbye. The place went up in smoke!!! We were dancing and jumping and shouting all over the place! There are so many great moments that I wish I could either recreate or go back to, and this is one at the top. Nothing else in the world mattered, it was just the people of God, the Holy Ghost and some beautiful, fiery old songs! 

We had to get to church two hours before each service to be able to get a seat. It was CRAZY. It was funny to realize that just because people were sitting on the back rows, didn't mean they were working their way out of church completely, lol. The people in the back were just as on fire as the people in the front! We just didn't all fit on the front pew...
(Thankfully we did manage to get pretty good seats for most of the services.)
The Rod of God - Elder Godair 
After church Thursday night we went to the youth lock-in.
Although I usually have fun, it's something I pretty much regret going to from the moment I walk in, to the time I wake up the next morning.

I love this picture - Andrew was telling us all a whopper of a story about the time he got caught up in a fight between gang members and they sliced off the top of his ear. He does have the "scar" to prove it, but turns out it is hereditary.
Anyways, someone got a picture of our faces during the telling of the story. This perfectly captures me and Nicole's personalities. Me - judging and cynical, Nicole - believing everything and on the verge of panic. LOL! When Andrew got to the part where the gang member pulled out his knife Nicole was shrieking, "No no no! Andrew no!" Hahahahaha.

Cara speaking to the suggestion box - haha!

Coco's better half :)
(The soda, not Cara. Well, who knows, actually...HA.)
Friday a.m. - "I'm tiiiiiiired..."
Friday was the most exhausting day, and the most intense one. We were working off of little sleep, but the services were just incredible. The morning service started again with more beautiful old hymns. 

Elder D.C. Moody preached what was supposed to be the first session - it ended up being the only one. We had an amazing service. He started off by singing House of Gold. I know I keep describing everything as "beautiful", but it's the best word for it. I'm so glad I have it recorded. 
"Don't Throw Away Your Future Thinking About Your Past"
I have to be honest and say that I don't remember hardly anything Elder Moody said, all I remember is the move of God afterwards. Elder Picklesimer shuffled up to the front, whispered something in Elder Moody's ear real quick then turned around to go back to his seat, but Elder Moody set off to shouting like a wild man. By the time Elder Picklesimer got back to his seat and said something to Pastor Burgess, he started shouting and dancing, out of control then fell out prostrate on the platform. One by one, the preachers on the platform just started going crazy. I asked the people I was sitting next to later on if they'd seen it, but they were praying. (I guess praying with your eyes open isn't so bad, after all...) 
No one was sure exactly what had happened up there until the night service. Turns out, God told Bro. Picklesimer that a seed of revival had been planted in this conference that would extend to the whole world. I am believing this to be for us here in Mexico!!! 

Elder Morton preached the last night. He called all the elders up and had them stand behind him. He explained that this could be the last time we saw all of these elders together. The responsibility was now being passed down to us to carry the torch of Truth. What were we going to do? Would we be wise and hold to the old paths or would be be foolish? 
"Will You Be a Wise Man or a Fool?"
"One generation passeth away...."
There's no possible way to describe the move of God that fell after after Elder Morton preached. After we prayed for a while that holy hush fell over the congregation where you know there is about to be tongues and interpretation. I don't remember everything that was said, but God let us know that he had sent us strength to face the perilous days coming. Not only would individuals get discouraged in the days to come, but entire congregations. We are going to think that God has left us, but He is going to bring this conference to our memories and we will remember that we are not alone, that He will not leave us - as long as we submit and obey. The Lord sent us strength and power in these services to return to our churches and face the darkness. However, if we do not submit and obey, God's strength and power will leave us.

After this they just turned the lights down, the music stopped, and everybody just started praying. I've never witnessed a more powerful move of God, never felt something like I did that night.

A couple times throughout the conference there was a song sung called Carry the Torch. It has really powerful words and I think it perfectly sums up the whole conference.

We will carry the torch, we will lift high the flame.
We will march through the darkness with the light of His Name,
Until the glory of God is seen by the world. We will carry the torch of the Lord. 


P.S. - I just went and read Mary and Hanna Kifle's posts on Heritage. If you want to read more, go read their blogs. They are really really good. It is wonderful to go back and remember!! 

Pre-Heritage 2015 - Visiting Odyssey and Bro. Dobson

Wednesday morning we got up and sort of just lazed around. Ate breakfast, got ready for the day, and ran a couple errands. We know how these conference things go so Nicole and I came prepared with plenty of water, juice and my favorite - strawberry milk! I knew on the mornings where I'd had little sleep, strawberry milk would aid in keeping me pleasant and smiling :)
Mango juice - just a good idea in general, at any time of the day. 

After getting ready at our own leisurely pace, we went downstairs to wait for our ride. While we waited, Elder Morton and Bishop Johnson kept us entertained with their conversation and questions. 

Cherie and Nicole
When our ride arrived, they all had to run in to the hotel real quick. We all jumped in their car and quickly locked the doors. We were quite amused with ourselves - ha! 

Unfortunately, Andrew had an actual key so our fun was cut short. 

Coco, Andrew, Erin, Hanna, Mary, me, Cara, Nicole, and Cherie
These guys were so kind to drive us around all week, picking us up from our hotel, taking us to church and everywhere else. As Elder Pickleseimer told Nicole after throwing away something for him, "Well thank you! They'll be a reward for you. Not from me, but......" HAHA!!! 
We had a very exciting day planned. We were going to the Focus on the Family headquarters and Whit's End. It felt funny to say we were going to Whit's End - lol! 
We went to the little theatre and dressed up in their character costumes. It was funny because there were little kids running around all over the place, but we were getting more of a kick out of this than they were. 

On stage! 
I don't know who took this picture, but I didn't realize what it was until now and it cracked me UP. 
Whit praying for Coco.
Speaking of...
I have to take a moment to say thank you to all of the people that took pictures during this trip. I took about five. Photostream was a great invention....
So thank you to Cherie, Cara, Coco, Hanna, Johnny, and Denae. These pictures were definitely NOT all taken by me. 

Going through the underground railroad tunnel under Whit's End
In the Last Chance Detectives plane! So neat! 
Cherie and I...and Aslannnnnn *ROAAAAAR*
The one and only Whit's End! 
Cherie :)
So much fun!! Fellowshiping at Whit's End :))
Hanna trying to catch the rabbit
After enjoying our Wodfamchocsods, milkshakes, and root beer floats we headed over to the imagination station slide. I forgot how twisty-turny-crazy this slide was. There were cameras waiting at the bottom of the slide and the looks that were captured were hilarious!!!!! 
Nicole - "This is more that I expected" Haha! 
Cherie's favorite!!! EEEEEEEEK!!!
Denae :)
And when we thought the day could not get any better...
It DID. 
There was a Cracker Barrel a couple minutes away. Tooooo good! 

Cherie's chicken and dumplings, mac 'n cheese, fried apples, and biscuits. 
We had an awesome, crazy fun day! That night we went to our first actual service. It was too good, I don't want to mix these pictures with those. Stay tuned for an actual Heritage post, coming very soon! 


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