Friday, May 29, 2015

Special Transfers

Hellllllllo :)

Representation of me telling you guys
 "don't worry, I will be home soon!"
Monday! Again! I want to give a special shout out to Aidan, Ethan, and Keaton Anderson! Although I don't have nephews, they have treated me so very special! This last week I got a letter from Ethan with drawings and a cute letter calling me his aunt! I just got so happy when I received them and although I am not his aunt, I feel like one! Thank you boys so very much for all of the things that you have sent me in these last 16 months! And thank you for all of the prayers that you have sent my way. Your mom has told me all about it and I appreciate it a ton. I promise to send you drawings on your missions as well! :)
This last week went really well! I am not going to go into a ton of details this week because I still need to check on some school stuff. We have been able to find a lot of families. I want to share with you guys about the Bernal family. We received the mom as a referral last week and were able to see her on Friday. We had a short but powerful lesson with them. There are six in the family, the parents and 4 kids ranging from 9-14. The parents sent two of the daughters to church yesterday and they loved it. Last night we had a lesson with them, including their father. We taught about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They understood very well. I really love them. They love to learn about Jesus and about what He and our Heavenly Father expect of us. The father offered the last prayer. We were all kneeling and I just smiled the whole time because he just sounded like he was talking to God. I look forward to our next visit with them.

Also, last week we found a girl who is 19. She is super awesome and came to church yesterday and loved it. We have an appointment with her tomorrow and she just loves to learn as well.

I also told you about a member here named Cheli. Well her grandmother came to church AGAIN yesterday! She also explained to us that she plans on making all of the changes possible to be able to start going to church again. IT'S A MIRACLE. The Lord has worked a wondrous miracle in her heart. For the last 4 months that I have been here, we have gone to see her every week. It is worth it. I love seeing her progress and her granddaughter is so very happy.
Mom and daughter :)

I wrote special transfers because that's what happened today. Our zone leaders called to tell us this morning that the other sisters in the ward have had special transfers. Sister Campos and I have been left with the whole ward. We moved to the other house today. I am grateful for that because now we live with the Bishop and he is super rad. It's a lot of area honestly. It takes about an hour to get from one end to the other from one side and another hour to get from end to end on the other side. But I am excited because I feel that the Lord is trusting us a lot to take on this whole ward. We will have to involve the members more to help us out. I know that the Lord has made this change so that We AND THE MEMBERS work and progress even more.

From our milt-zone conference two weeks ago.
That elder is pretending to be a dead fish.
And yes, that's our mission president who "caught him."
I just want to end commenting on how happy I am even with all of the trials. The mission has been such an amazing time of growth for me. Although my personality is the same, I also feel so very different. I can't explain it. The Lord really does work miracles in the hearts of his children. I am working so hard every single day to be the best missionary possible.

Love you all so very much
See you soon
70 days

PS. I chose a major. I am going to finish my degree in.... INTERNATIONAL STUDIES!! wooo hooo!! I will have a Spanish minor as well ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Once in a lifetime opportunity

HI everyone!!!!
I have SHOUTOUTS!! Wooooohooooo! I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful hermanito Chris who will be turning 23 tomorrrrrow! You are so old!!! And happy birthday to my pretty much uncle in my eyes TROY! YOU are old!!! haha Love you guys both so very much!
Well, this last week was 100% interesting. I feel like training a new missionary has never been and never will be a learning opportunity for the trainee. I feel like it has been an opportunity for growth for me. I had been praying for a lot of things before I was asked to train and I feel like this assignment was the answer to them. I am being faced with a lot of things but I am so grateful for everything that I have learned. Sister Campos is great. I feel like she is not quite used to the physical demands that are on us here. We have an unreal amount of hills and it's hot right now. I guess Peru is pretty cold. But she's a trooper. I try to treat her as an equal. I want her to be able to just work and not thing, "I am so new." I know, personally, that that is not the way to start out the mission.
We had a family come to church yesterday. This was the 3rd time the dad came and the 2nd time as a whole family. We had a lesson with them Friday and told them at 9:30 they HAD to do a kneeling prayer as a family. When we saw them Saturday the mom was just glowing. It was the first thing she told us about. She said it went so well and loved it. She bought a new dress to come to church in yesterday. This family has been a miracle. We had dropped them for about 4 weeks when hermana Canaan was here but one night I had the impression to call the dad to invite him and his family to church and they all came! It was a miracle! Since then they have been progressing. The mom was so resistant. She did not want ANYTHING from us but SHE HAS CHANGED. She smiles more, laughs more. She told us Friday that she doesn't read well so that's why she hadn't read much of the Book of Mormon so we told her that if she wanted we or a member would come to read it with her. She said yes but not too excited. But yesterday the theme of Relief Society was "Flood the World with the Book of Mormon." It ended up pretty much being a testimony meeting all about the Book of Mormon and afterwards she was so pumped about reading it. Coincidence? I think not! I just absolutely love seeing how the gospel brings families together. Christ should always be the foundation of the home and if it is, although there may be storms, the family will always be strong on THAT foundation.
We had our last multi-zone conference with our mission president and his wife on Friday. It was so excellent. It was sad as well. I love them very much and I know that they will always be a part of my life....because they live in Rexburg...where I will be going to school in September... haha. But really, they are great. A lot of missionaries were crying because it was the last time that they would see them. I am lucky to say that I saw them yesterday and will see them one more time for more training with sister Campos. SUERTEEEE.

I wrote once in a lifetime opportunities because two AWESOME things happened this week. One of them was that yesterday, we were able to have a lesson with our mission president and his wife in the chapel. We invited them so that they could know and motivate one of the kids that we are motivating to serve a mission. It was so excellent. I feel so blessed for the opportunity. The other thing was that Saturday night we were heading home from a few lessons. We had a member with us named Cheli. Her grandma’s house was on the way so we planned to drop her off there. This is the same grandma who showed up to church two weeks ago. Well we went in to say hi to them and Cheli's grandma, her husband and her mom had real life Mexican music just BLASTING and her grandma and mom were dancing in the backyard. I just loved it. I was just engulfed with Mexican culture. And to top it off, the grandma came and pulled me to dance with her. I just had to. We danced for like 2 minutes and it was just... unreal. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was dancing like a Mexican, to Mexican music in Mexico. It actually brings tears to my eyes because it's just a reminder of how much I love this place and these people. I will miss it so much. Although it isn't an easy life here, it's been so enriching for me. I have learned things and seen things that have made me grow. I know that we are all children of God because I feel Him when I talk with others. I feel spirits that recognize the bond that we have because we are spiritual beings in a physical world. I feel love overflowing in me when I talk to them. I feel love even when we are rejected. The kind of love that says "you just don't understand what you are saying no to." I have such little time left in this place and I am just trying to soak every minute of it up.
I love you all so much!
See you soon!

77 days

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So fresh and so Green, Green

Hi everyone!!

ANOTHER transfer down and I am down to only 12 more weeks in the mission. 2 transfers and I will be going home...And what better way to go home than to end my mission training a new missionary?! Yep, on Wednesday afternoon I got the call that I would have a new companion and that she is just barely getting to the mission so I will be training her. My response to the elder was, "are you sure?" I feel so very inadequate to be training a new missionary but I also know that this was the answer that the Lord gave me to my prayers. I have been praying for patience and understanding as well as the ability to trust in him more so that I am not so anxious. I know that He will help me in these next 12 weeks. My new companion is Hermana Campos from Cajamarca, Peru. She is 20 years old and is super excited to learn. So I will be ending the mission without ever having an American companion! wooooo!! 

Last week was crazy. It was hard because Hermana Canaan and I knew that our companionship was coming to an end. I really love her and I learned so very much from her. She is and will be one of my best friends for life. Once we got the call that I would be training things got crazy. Thursday we had to go to the offices to pick up other sister missionaries who would be training and they stayed with us, Friday we had a capacitance for trainers, Saturday we were in a trio with another sister in the ward because her companion went home and so

we were helping them with a baptism. Saturday morning we were waiting to find out if we were going to be in a wedding that day. (I will explain in a minute) Then we went to the church and the baptismal font over flowed and flooded so we spent that whole time before the baptism cleaning it up. Sunday I was able to talk to my family which was so incredible! Then today we went to the offices early to drop my companion off and there I just waited for 3 hours to go and pick up my companion and then we were in another capacitance and after everything we didn't get back to the house until 3:45. Just a lot in very little days. So CRAZY.

We have seen a great progression of two investigators named Daniel and Sonia. They are a couple who are expecting a baby in June. On Tuesday we started to talk to them about the fact that they needed to get married in order to get baptized. Well without getting into too many details, I gave my ctr ring to Daniel and in that moment he got down on his knees and proposed to Sonia. It was incredible! And they asked me and Hermana Canaan to be the witnesses. It was so beautiful! So next Monday we will go to see them get married! I am stoked. They truly was to be better. They have shown their growth of their faith in so many ways and we can just see them working towards a better life. It makes me so happy to see this.

I just love this work so much. And even more than that I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. It is so wonderful and I feel so blessed to know my Father in heaven and my Savior better than I ever have before. I can't believe that this time has gone by so fast and that so soon I will be home but believe me that I am giving all that I have every day to glorify the Lord and help people come unto Christ. It's the only way to live.

I love you all so much!
Nos vemos muy pronto!
84 days

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Hi everyone!

This last week was super incredible! I am excited to tell you all about it! I will try and be brief about it all because truthfully it is a lot.

Well last week my plan was to send you a bunch of awesome pictures that we took at that ecological park that we went to buuuut as I was trying to upload them the computer I was on gave my memory card a virus. (This happens a lot in Mexico in the internet cafe's that they have here because there isn't a lot of protection and people just got on bad sites and whatnot.) So without saying too much more... I have lost all of the pictures from all of that transfers that I have been here as well as more than half of my time in my last area in Palmas. There is a little hope because one of the elders that works in the offices here is a computer genius (according to his companion) and so I will be giving it to him tomorrow to see what he can do. Let’s all pray for Hermana Naut's memory card.

We visited a lot last week a family that we had dropped and then magically ALL of them (5) came to church last week. The problem in this situation is the mom. She truly has the heart of stone that the scriptures describe. HOWEVER, on Friday night we had a SUPER AWESOME and SPIRITUAL lesson with them. The mom had promised to do the last prayer in the lesson before. She fought and fought to not do but I finally sat down right next to her, took her hand, and helped her do it. She squeezed my hand off and on. When she ended the prayer she started to cry. Her family truly needs the gospel. It was incredible to see her open up like that. She said that she knew that these things were going to help her family. Her husband was happy to finally see her open up. But then a big disappointment happened when her husband called us Sunday morning saying that they wouldn't be going to church with us because her wife didn't want to and that they were going to go to a Catholic mass. He expressed that he really wanted to go but needed to go with his family. We have a family home evening with them tonight so we will see what will happen. I have been praying a lot for her and today I got an excellent email from my dearest friend Kristin Katich which has given me a new insight on how we may be able to help her. 

Kristal, our recent convert, since her baptism has had 6 epilepsy attacks. She had three last week so we went and visited her last Monday and last night. She is seeing a general doctor because neither of her parents work (because the mom doesn't want to and her dad is depressed) and so she is the head of the house and it's hard for her to find a job because of her medical condition. No one wants that liability/responsibility. She needs to see a neurologist and is aware of it but is unable to pay for it. We are talking with the Bishop and the Relief Society pres. to see what we can do. 

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I was in divisions with another sister. On Wednesday morning we were blessed to find the Granados family. It is a mom and a dad and their 4 living children. I say living because about 8 years ago one of their children at 5 years old passed away for heart problems. They have another daughter who is 5 years old who has a medical problem as well. She was born with lack of oxygen so she is disabled. She doesn't do anything for herself but is the sweetest angel in the world. They are a very humble family. They don't have much. They accepted the invitation to come to church with us but the girls were worried because they didn't have skirts. Let's just say that I, now, have less skirts and that they looked AWESOME on Sunday! They are so willing to learn. They all have little to no education so we are teaching them to read and write with the gospel! Their oldest daughter stayed on Sunday to do an activity with Young Women's and us!  We look forward to seeing them tomorrow. 

We had 8 investigators and 9 less actives in church yesterday. It was incredible. My testimony of the mercy and love of the Lord for us is so big and so perfect. I feel sometimes like I am so unworthy of the miracles that I am allowed to see every day but I am utterly grateful for them. One of the investigators that came yesterday is named Karina! We have been working with her for like 2 months and she FINALLY came to church with the whole less active family that she lives with. But what finally did me in was seeing the mother and grandmother of a member named Cheli that came to church yesterday. Cheli is a returned missionary. She accompanies us a lot of times every week, is very faithful, loving and worthy to serve and share the gospel in every moment. She as well as many members of our ward has often times called her mom and grandmother a lost cause. We have visited both of them every week since we have been here. I will not lie, sometimes we felt the same thing. But we love Cheli so much and she knows as well as any other member that if a missionary stops visiting a less active member or family it's because they also have "lost hope" or have just gotten tired of the same things. But we didn't give up because we believe in miracles. 

Finally, I just want to say how much I love my companion. I feel blessed to have her. We don't just get along, but we strengthen each other in every moment. The spirit is so strong in our companionship and we just keep working. We aren't perfect but we try to do the best that we can. Something that we learned together today was something about how a companionship (or a couple) should share love. Sometimes we choose to make a joke out of our weaknesses. And sometimes when we do that, other people also feel the right to do it. But what we came to the conclusion to today was that that should never be the case in a companionship or couple or whatever type of relationship. A person is very aware of their weaknesses and if they have a true desire to get over that weakness they need help and support. Although we joke about certain things sometimes, we need to be aware of the necessity to help our companion to overcome that weakness. We must lovingly support and lift our companion instead of laugh with them or at them about their weaknesses. The Savior was always helping and lifting others. Although jokes rarely have the intention to hurt someone, we all know that when it is something personal, deep down, it hurts. So we must be aware, and love and support our companion. If it is important to her (or him) it should be important to us. We must treat it as if it were ourselves and do what would lift us. 

Three months from yesterday I will be home. It seems unreal. I feel like it's been a dream. i am excited to see my family but sometimes I wonder how I will ever adjust. I love Mexico. I love what I am doing. I hope to bring all that I have learned here home with me. I am an entirely different person with different hope, love, wants and dreams. I look forward to seeing my family Sunday. And I just keep working as hard as I can. 

I love you all so much.
See you soon
91 days

Also, next week is transfers. I honestly hope to stay here for the last two transfers of my mission, but we will see what happens. Pray for a miracle!

***For some reason the pictures would not post.  Please check my Facebook page. ***