Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas and Birthday

Hi Everyone! 

This past week was a blast, even though not too much happened - besides turning 20..... I can't even phase it, I don't know how to feel.

We were able to spend Christmas morning back in Toppenish with our zone for breakfast of bacon, pancakes, eggs, everything you could ever think of... Oh man, It felt just like home!  We even watched "The Best Two Years!"  And anyone who knows me well knows I watched that a lot when my parents first got it, so of course, naturally, even after 10 months, I was able to quote some of it to myself, and even the music. The sound tracks are the best!

We came home from Toppenish and went to a member's house to video chat with our families, which was super fun. My family sang "Happy Birthday" to me over chat and I introduced Hermana Aldrich to my family, and then I got to meet her amazing Mom later!  We even sang "I Stand All Amazed" in Spanish for both of our families, and it was pretty fun! 

This week we were even able to go caroling to our district's investigators.  We each picked 2-3 of our own investigators to go sing to, and so naturally, we asked if we could visit Chessy and Delia.  Delia started crying when we starting singing, the spirit was so strong!  She felt it again when they came to church yesterday! :)  We had a sweet lesson with a former investigator family yesterday when it started to snow again here in Yakima. Goll, I love this snow! it's my favorite!  But nothing beats Utah snow... 

Thank you all for the Birthday Wishes and the Christmas packages you've sent me! I love it all! I haven't quite phased to feel like I'm 20 years old.. but it's all good!  I don't have any problem with being 20 yet, haha!  On the morning of my birthday Hermana Aldrich was making pancakes... and then the other 3 in our house snuck into the kitchen and helped her make me a birthday pancake with the candles and all!  She's the sweetest comp ever! I love her to death!

But that's all for now! Have a good week everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad de Yakima!

Buenas Dias Mis Amigos y Amigas!

This past week has been interesting to say the least... miracles, another bad cold, exchanges, and a WHOLE LOT SNOW right outside. It's been so beautiful! and of course, I have the best companion in the world!

So Monday we met some wonderful people, including Veronica, who let us right in when we offered to say a prayer for her family, and we could just feel the strong spirit in her home, she LOVED it!  We left her with the Christmas video card!

Tuesday we had a super fun district meeting, and then we taught Karen again, we put her on date for January 16th, she is so excited!  She hasn't decided if she really wants to go to English or Spanish, so in the mean time, we will continue teaching her!  Then we left cards with so many people!  Heavenly Father truly blessed us with the spirit to let those doors open despite the cold weather!  At the end of the night we stopped by a member who we just recently met.  She's slightly less active but she LOVES the missionaries!  She is a single Mom of 7 kids... 7!  She is the rock of everything in their family!  She had bought pan dulce in celebration of us coming over, (mexican donuts, delicious bread sprinkled with sugar, chocolate, and all sorts of goodness). The kids could barely sit patiently. Then we heard her pray... She has the mind of an Angel. She is so sincere and thoughtful in her prayers. She prayed for us and for our families, our investigators, and every single person we come in contact with.  She told us her conversion story as we talked about our many blessings and how much more carefully we can count them each, especially around this time of year. 

Wednesday we attended our Christmas Gathering where we got our packages, had musical numbers from each zone, and luckily, since my zone is the only full Spanish zone, we sang all the original Christmas songs everyone did, but in Spanish.. of course!  Por que no?  It was so much fun to be around everyone and enjoy our time at the Tree's house. Elder and Sister Tree are stake missionaries and own a beautiful home out on the edge of our area, where we all met and ate lunch. They provided lunch and then we all watched Meet the Mormons and watched some special videos shared by President Lewis.  We came in contact with two sweet referrals over the phone.  One was from a member and one was a Self Media Referal... GOLDEN!  He kept saying on the phone that he wants us to teach him TODO, which means everything.  He's such a blessing to us!  We are so excited to meet him! 

Thursday we volunteered at the Salvation Army Food Bank, where we met and talked to lots of wonderful people getting ready to celebrate Christmas with their families. We were without the car that night and so it was pretty difficult to get a lot done without the car in the snow, but we did talk to some sweet people!  Then we had a church tour with Karen, and showed her around church to get her excited for Sunday, and she said she loved it!
Friday we planned like crazy, and then we had our branch Christmas party, which President and Sister Lewis came to, and they had a blast with our Hispanic traditions!  We even had a WEDDING!  The other sisters' investigators has been preparing to get baptized and so we ended up having the wedding at the Christmas party! It was so cool! Then we had a Santa Claus come to our party, and the kids, as tradition, dance in a circle around Santa before they sit on his lap, and the Santa is a member of the YM in the branch, and loved doing it!  I don't have pictures from the wedding or party, except for the ones of our investigator with the elders which I forwarded to most of you before now.  We started exchanges after the wedding, and even though we already live with the sisters who we went on exchanges with... Haha, we just switched rooms for the night! 

Saturday we did service for a member, whose home the other sisters are skyping at for Christmas, by packing up her house and moving her to the other new house!  It was fun and energetic, she even made us rice, beans and tamales... Heaven on a plate, I'm telling you!  Later that night we taught Francisco and Chessy, who came to church the next day with Chessy's Mom, Delia!  They came!  So did Karen!  And then Jose was there with his family, just like every week as if he's member, cough cough!  He is doing great as well!  We are visiting them on Christmas!  We also eat with the branch this week, so we'll get to spend time with these wonderful brothers and sisters Heavenly Father has blessed us missionaries with. 

This past week was all great! Except for having a horrible cold towards the end of the week, and a burning sore throat, which I passed to Hermana Aldirch... So we bought juice, some kleenex and some cough drops, so we should get better in no time!

Feliz Navidad a mi familia y mis amigas.  Yo se que Cristo vive, y El es la razon que vivimos, y vamos a vivir otra vez, el es nuestro salvador, hermano, consejo, amigo, y mi todo! Voy tratar mi mejor durante mi mision por que le amo, El is todo para mi!  Gracias por todo lo que hacen para mi, especialmente sus oraciones, siento sus oraciones cada dia cuando tenemos seguridad y felicidad en nuestras corazones. 

Yo dicho estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo.  Amen. 


The guy with the elders of our branch is Jose, who is our investigator who has already taken the temple classes and taken all the discussions.. just waiting on the divorce! 

And the sweet girls in the branch, who brighten up my day every day, and with their broken Spanish/English.
Love these people!

Monday, December 14, 2015

It's beginning to look as lot like....

Hi everyone! 

This past week was awesome!  We had our Trainer/Trainee meeting at the mission home just down the road from us in Yakima, and it was so awesome!  It was super interesting to see that I was only 1 of 3 "old" missionaries who were training, and the other trainers are all just fresh out of BEING trained.. and I was the only one who went last transfer for Hermana Parry, and now this transfer for Hermana Aldrich!  So it was funny that I was there twice in the past 2 months for the training meeting.  Heavenly Father has a sense of Humor to call me to train again, and not even finish my first trainee's training... It's all part of His plan, that's all I know!  It was so much fun to see how much we all had different "being trained" experiences, and now we get to step into our Trainer's footsteps! 

This week we had a goal to talk to 70 people, 10 every day. We didn't quite hit our goal, but it was awesome to see how when we set goals if we put our faith in making them that Heavenly Father helps us stretch just enough to work our potential to talking and teaching as many people as possible!  One thing that makes it all possible is this AMAZING video we've been able to share with so many people and give out the cards.  You all have been able to watch the video, correct?  I invite you to share it with someone, or on social media!  It's the best video ever and this is one way to bring the spirit to conversation while also sharing your testimony!

We also taught Jose! This is the man who's basically a member, but he's not... He's taken all the missionary discussions. He's taken all of Gospel Principles classes, he's even taken the TEMPLE CLASSES AND JUST FINISHED!  He's NOT a member.....  He's absolutely amazing! You may ask, "Why isn't he a member?! Baptize him already!"  Well that's where it gets complicating... His girlfriend, who he's lived with for quite a long time is an active member, but they have been living together for a long time, and she's still technically married to someone else... they are waiting for the divorce papers to go through, then they will get married, and then he will get baptized, and then he has already talked about going to the temple. He's so knowledgeable and so ready, just waiting on the divorce. So that's a masterpiece waiting to be shown :)

We had a sweet zone meeting about becoming consecrated missionaries, meaning we truly put EVERYTHING on the alter of sacrifice for the Lord, and then in return he opens doors for us to teach with power and conviction, and truly giving up all worldly desires to put our whole hearts into the work. It was amazing, and I truly loved it! I already see a change in me since I first put my tag on in the CCM, but Heavenly Father has chiseled me into the person he needs me to be. Training for the second time around is a bit tough. We are just getting used to our area, but it's great while we've been knocking everyday, finding new wonderful people!
We found Francisco and his daughter Chesy, who are so ready! We shared the Christmas video with them and Chesy started getting emotional, it was so cool!  We gave them both Book of Mormon's, and Chesy is preparing for January 9th to be baptized! We've seen itsy bitsy miracles from being as obedient as possible and talking to everyone, and it's truly been amazing to meet and talk with so many people!

Friday we planned and went to a Christmas Program that our stake put on, and President and Sister Lewis were there, since they attend the ward covering the area of the mission home.  It was so much fun seeing people from different churches and beliefs come, it was so humbling and exciting!  We've shared the video cards with so many people, and maybe it's just because of the wonderful season, but it's so much fun being a missionary around Christmas. Everyone is so happy and willing to talk and open doors to you!  It's the best feeling ever, and of course sharing something in common with our neighbors, friends, family, and all in between.  Sadly we aren't sure if we will have snow here in Yakima... It's extremely rainy from all the crazy stuff happening on the coast.  I'd love to have snow, but I'd be fine with a bit of rain. I love it here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, and I can't wait to see and talk to my family next week. It's crazy that just yesterday it feels like I got here on my mission, (February) and now it's already December, and we are even having our Christmas gathering this week here in Yakima with all the zones from the south part of the mission.  We will be having lots of fun this week with Christmas parties for our Branch, Christmas lesson preparing, and even a sweet baptism and Christmas program this weekend!  It won't be our baptism, but it will be a great guy from the other missionaries in our Branch.

This church is true,
the Book of Mormon is too.
Love you all!

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm now a Yakimite, and MOLLY'S BAPTISM!

Hi everyone! 

This past week has been quite the adventure! We doubled out and met at transfers on Wednesday in Yakima, and handed our car over to the new elder for him and his coming companion to have it for Toppenish, and then I met my brand new Hija, Hermana Aldrich! We are getting along great! She's from St. George Utah, and she has an AMAZING story!  I would tell it all, but I'll give a general Idea. 

She is probably the most GPS-like person I've ever met. We've gotten lost so many times and she's helped us find out way out, even when we walked all the way home from 16th, (we live on 41st) That night was exhausting!  But it's okay, we share a car so we are currently on foot and in the car, half and half.  But as for the branch, I've never seen a stronger branch on my mission. These members are amazing!  We have some sweet investigators we are waiting to meet, and the members are so EXTREMELY HELPFUL. 

Thursday I lost my wallet, so that was a bit nerve racking, but later in the mission office, someone dropped it off! Apparently it fell out somewhere during transfers and I couldn't find it later that night, so Hermana Aldrich and I had the car for the night when we drove to the mission home, (less than 5 miles away) on a black-ice night to the safe arms of President and Sister Lewis who handed over my wallet.  What a sigh of relief!

Molly's baptism! We almost didn't have a ride, so we were about to drive ourselves, but instead we found a dinner on Sunday night, who was also with our solid investigator, Jose, who is currently in a relationship with a member who is married to someone else... so they are waiting on divorce papers to be finalized so they can get married and then he can get baptized!  We ate with the Estradas and the Sotos, the most hilarious Hispanic family members I've ever met!  Hermano Soto drove us sisters (we got permission because there's 5 of us sisters who were going, so it was perfect!  The baptism started earlier than we expected, so we didn't get to see her in the font, but we saw her after, and we greeted her with candy lei's that Hermana Taua had made for her.  I was asked to bear my testimony!  While still in tears, I asked to borrow an elder's scripture so I could bear my testimony, and then I never ended up being asked to come up.. so that was a little sad, but the musical numbers were wonderful. Sister Parry played the piano and Sister Taua did a bit of a Solo in Somoan. :) It was the BEST!

Molly bore her testimony before the program ended, and I could just see this bright light inside of her that I hadn't seen in any one else before!  It was so wonderful, I'm crying as I write this because I just can't get the image of her out of my mind right now.  She looked beautiful in her dress after she changed (right when we got there) and she could not stop tearing up as she bore her testimony, but it was the most JOYFUL day I've yet on my mission so far. I didn't witness Sabino's baptism, but I was partially there for Molly's and she looked wonderful!  I'm just so happy I was able to teach her, and that I was there to see her bear her testimony.  It was the most perfect day, including her confirmation right after.  I literally can't stop smiling because of how beautiful the program was and how wonderful it went. She's my number one! 

Love you all!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and Semana Loco!

Hi everyone! 

We haven't had any snow, but we HAVE been able to enjoy our wood burning stove! I feel like I'm back at the cabin!  

So to first off tell you our transfer info....  I think Heavenly Father must have a sense of humor, and of course an intelligent mind. I have been called to train another new sister missionary, and I will be LEAVING Toppenish. These past four months have flown by, and Neither of us thought we would leave... I will be sent to a BIG area in Yakima, to cover just Spanish work *secretly so excited to meet a new branch!* and I will be training this sister, which means neither of us know ANYTHING about the area... This should be a good challenge for me! I am incredibly excited and nervous at the same time, but this is what Heavenly Father has asked of me, and I have accepted! As for Hermana Parry, she will be going to Sunnyside, and will be taking over for a sick sister to finish being trained by someone she came in with. She and Hermana Pons will finish training each other!  As for Toppenish, there will be two elders sent here to take over. Our area is pretty awesome, but due to more Elders coming in this transfer and to less number of Spanish Sisters, Heavenly Father guided President Lewis to DOUBLE US OUT. Yeah, I still can't believe it. She's only a half hija to me now... hmph. 

Other than that, this past week was again, slow. Everyone was incredibly busy due to Thanksgiving. We've all heard of missionaries getting multiple meals for Thanksgiving, right? Well, luckily we only had one! As I explained last time, we basically became part of a family reunion... I was a bit 'trunky' seeing all the grand kids of the members and meeting all their family, but in the end, it was fun being with the family!  We had a blast!  For most missions, at least hearing from friends in other missions, not too many missions had to work on Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, we worked still on Thanksgiving, and NO BODY WOULD TALK TO US. pft...  It's all good, we over all had a good week!

I honestly still can't believe that we are both being sent out of Toppenish, but I know that there are these wonderful Hispanics waiting to hear from the elders!  Upon my calling, again to train a sister, I have definitely learned so much about not only being trained, as I experienced with Hermana Wortley, but to train is such a privilege. I feel very honored that Heavenly Father would want me to train another sister, and especially going to a new area, and as some of you can imagine, I am under quite a bit of stress, to prepare an area for elders, and to prepare myself to be completely new to this sweet area of Yakima, but I am extremely proud to accept the call to train, OTRA VEZ! Again! I can't believe it still, I can't express how i feel! I had to explain to Hermana Parry about how we can totally feel the spirit as we listen to the voice mails of where everyone is going and what companionships will be new in our zone.  We just felt so much power after talking with President Lewis this past Saturday morning. 

I am very sad to leave all these wonderful people behind, but I am now looking forward to starting fresh in Yakima, and being even closer to rely on my leaders, (4 of us sisters will be living together, our Sister training leaders!) I sure do love them and I always seek for their counsel, and not only theirs but the Lord's, and I look forward to coming to know my Heavenly Father even more! 

We will be back for Molly's baptism next Sunday and for when Burt gets baptized, and even Joann! I am leaving behind a wonderful place, and I absolutely love this place despite how unsuccessful I feel as I prepare to leave, but excited to leave off what the Elders will have to work with. I don't feel like I've done enough, but I know I have because I've been called to train again. 

I have no doubt in my heart that I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints is true. I feel such great power and authority as a missionary, and I am extremely happy to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ!
That's all I have for this week, have a good week!

Me and Tana Johnson, who is the daughter of Joann, who we just got permission to teach, and who referred us to Burt, her husband's handyman on the farm. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

!Aye Carumba! the weatha....

Buenas Tardes, Ustedes! Como Estan?

This week wasn't too busy, but we did get in another lesson with Burt and Molly, and we will be starting Molly's baptism program soon!  I'm glad her mom is taking care of it, because this is my first baptism, period... so we are happy to let Sister Ibarra take over the project. We are so excited for Molly!  2 more weeks!

Burt has now been taught the main commandments, and has no problem with keeping them, but he does drink beer once in a while before he goes to bed if his back hurts, but we are going to get him started on resisting it as much as possible. 

We taught Guillermina again this week, and we were able to explain the story of Nephi and his brothers going to get the brass plans, and it was awesome!  She's learning to manage her time better to find time to read and pray, and she had plans to come to church... but she ended up having family in town for a Quinceanera (15th birthday party in the Hispanic culture) for a family member.  We have an appointment with her tomorrow night.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner with the Barney family, who are a big family in the ward, so we will basically be eating dinner at a family reunion, which sounds weird, but it should be fun!  The elders are also going as well. So it should be interesting. We have been asked a couple times from guys if we have boyfriends or if we're married... cough cough, yes!  Boyfriends for both of us in defense... Haha, it ended pretty quickly, and then we were on our way.

We also found an old former investigator who asked us to come back!  Anayeli is in middle school and she was taught with her brother, but unfortunately over the summer the elders never got in contact with her for a long time. Then I remembered last night as we drove past her trailer (Hermana Taua showed me where she lived) and we stopped by!  She wants us to come back tonight!  So I guess that's exciting! 

That's it from me today. Thanksgiving should be fun. I am excited for it, and lots of fun member dinners.  We are excited to visit and enjoy meals with the members of the branch and of the ward.

It was over all a 'more or less' week, but we're happy with it!  It's a great day to be a missionary, and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have to train Hermana Parry, to work along side with President and Sister Lewis, and to be a missionary, a disciple of Christ. I love my job, it's the best thing I could ask for!

Tengan una buena semana, Les extrano!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Planner out the window, JOANN!!

Hi everyone! 

When I saw this week flew by, I mean it literally flew out the door, and into the street.. literally. 
Not too much has happened, Molly is still on date for baptism, and we've received permission from our Branch President to have the baptism and the confirmation the same night. It will be December 6th, and we are extremely excited!  We've already got some talks figured out, Brother Ibarra is baptizing her, (her dad) and all their family from Yakima, Seattle, and some from Utah are coming. It is soooo exciting!

We didn't get to teach Burt this week, but luckily we know he went to a mid singles dance in Pasco with another mid single member in the ward. We haven't heard from him for a few days, but we are planning on pushing his date back to December 12 so we will have more time to teach him and help him get his interview. 

Best news of this week...  Remember the excommunicated member that is Sister Johnson's mom who wants to be baptized?  WE HAVE PERMISSION TO TEACH HER! She will just need to have her interview conducted by Bishop Stauffer and all will be well :)  We are so excited!  She and Burt have already come to church twice, but neither showed up this past Sunday. Oh well, we'll see them this week!  We are planning on teaching him and her this weekend! Woot Woot!

I have so much to share, but so little time, and I unfortunately lost my planner Sunday at church... I have no idea where it is, We've looked everywhere. Oops!  But on that note, this week... a LOT of appointments have fallen through, we've been trying hard to find, and in result, we've found 3 more investigators!  They are all thirsting for the gospel, and we cannot wait to visit them all again this week!  We are visiting Yolanda and her family tonight, and then we will be visiting George and Mari this upcoming week!  

Since this week wasn't too rewarding, we ended up buying Ben And Jerry's ice cream during a canceled dinner to make up for the feelings... Because you know... we are sisters, and sometimes we need a pick me up. Haha!
We are doing great, and I LOVE training. I feel inadequate sometimes, but I sure do love her and she understands that I tend to stress sometimes, but I've been doing better, and I know I am training her for a purpose only Heavenly Father Knows. She's my hija!  I can't wait to see what next transfer brings, but that's not until November 30th

Love you all, please keep Joann Gibson, Burt Ramsey, and Molly Clark in your prayers!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Temple Pday and Itsy Bitsy Miracles!

A member fed us dinner at the church while they participated in a lesson with the elders at the same time.. Best Chicken Noodle soup for all the rain and our colds. 
Hello everyone! 
What a WEEK! Let me get down to business!

Monday sadly we dropped Paula, and then we went off to visit a member in the nurse and rehab center. Sister Arnold was married and raised her family in Wenatchee (I got to ask her all about where she lived and I got to connect with her a bit).  Afterwards we were on our way to go knocking, we had stopped in the car behind a truck that was about to turn left, when the car behind us hit us... Oh snap! I was about to stress out until I pulled over and I got out and looked at the car and there wasn't a single scratch...  The person had just bumped us, and they were even members from the Sunnyside ward, down the highway 30 minutes.

 Mis hermanos y hermanas, Les amo!
Tuesday we went to the temple! Holy cow, I missed this beautiful place... Sitting in the Celestial room again brought so much comfort and peace. I was surprised that it came in a way that wasn't very strong or significant. I just felt, p e a c e . . . and that's all I needed, and I'm so glad Heavenly Father knew that!  Later that day we found Marissa, who we had a lesson with the next day about the restoration. While teaching her she expressed her feelings about how close she has come to Heavenly Father through prayer. She was a drug addict since she was a YOUNG teenager.  After years of guilt and shame, she searched diligently for help, and she has been clean for 6 years!  She has a solid testimony of prayer and Heavenly Father's divine help.

Wednesday we had that lesson with her, and we also stopped by a potential Hermana Taua and I met before transfers. Guillermina has the great responsibility of taking care of her grand kids after working in the harvest all morning. She has told us she wants to be baptized, but she wants to come to church before she makes the decision of when.  Well, perfect Guillermina, because you have to go to church to progress, and in order to be baptized, you have to progress... It just all fit in! Then later that day we helped the Young Women make cookies for the great big Harvest Dinner for the following Friday

Thursday was full of fallen-through appointments, no service to be done at the food bank, and not too much happened...  We did get some good knocking in and visited by some other potentials and members, and shared some short messages of encouragement and of strength. 

Friday we finished planning and went to the Ward Harvest Dinner, and it was a great turn out!  Burt came, Joann came, Joann even brought a friend who we were introduced to, and we even had a short lesson with him before the dinner about what we do as missionaries. He knows the Bible in and out!  He wants to read Daniel this upcoming week, and wants the missionaries to read it with him... Haha, of course!  Why not?  We passed him to the elders at the dinner since he lives in their area, and they hit it off pretty well!  They have an appointment with him on Saturday, and he lives over 30 miles away, almost to the edge of the elder's area... Haha, good thing that they have a member taking them!  A whole bunch of our less actives even showed up!  It was so awesome!

Yakima Valley Spanish Zone
Saturday we went to Yakima for a Zone Training Meeting about inspired questions and discerning the needs of our investigators and less actives. We later went to another baptism of the Elders' investigator Masae, who's originally from Samoa.  With permission, Sister Taua came down to Toppenish with a member to the baptism, and it all ended up going well!  We were planning on seeing Molly, but she made different plans with her Dad, but she's been doing so well anyway! Then, we had a lesson with Burt that night, which went so well!  We reviewed the Restoration and the Gospel and invited him to be baptized!  He said yes!  I was personally prompted to ask him for November 21st, when we had planned to ask him for November 28th. It turned our that Burt was very close to his Dad growing up, who sounds like may have passed away some time ago, and his birthday was November 22nd, which will be Burt's confirmation date!  We've truly been able to work well with him and help him see the plan that Heavenly Father has for him. He agreed to November 21st

Sunday, Burt, Joann, and Joann's friend were all at church! Then later that day we had a lesson with Molly, and invited her to highlight Christ's name in yellow or underline it every time she reads it in her scriptures. She's growing so much! We've made plans to have her confirmation the same day as her baptism, and her Dad (Brother Ibarra) is going to baptize her. She's become so wonderful!

I guess I might as well mention that I'm hitting my halfway mark this Tuesday.... *Runs and hides under bed crying*   NO! It's flown by sooooooo incredibly fast!  I can't face it right now... Nope, can't do it... And Hermana Parry hits her 2 months tomorrow... its an unbelievable week for both of us. It's so weird....  I can say I have truly enjoyed the journey of these 9 past, crazy, happy, sad, disappointing months. It's help me grow so much even when I have become frustrated and wanted to give up, I've always had Christ to lean on, and my Heavenly Father to talk to.  It's brought so much comfort to me with in this past roller-coaster time. There's no where to look but up from here. If I didn't change many hearts within this past year, I know mine was changed for the better. I have come to know my Savior better than I ever have since I have been sent to this earth. I can't wait to see what's in store for my next 9 months.   I am in no way, shape, or form a perfect missionary, but I have become perfected in Christ, and I am still becoming perfect in Christ. I love my mission.  I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.  It's time to live up and take advantage of every moment I have, because I've got these few months left, and I can't let any moment pass by without coming closer to Christ with my companion or with my investigators. I continue to love my sweet trainee, she is a hard worker, and I don't doubt she will train after I leave, whenever that is, but that's not my point. :)

Have a wonderful week everyone! Love you all!

Elder johnson and I saw eachother at The temple! He's the only spanish elder Hermana Harston and I came in together with from the CCM, he even gave me a few blessings before we left the CCM. He's doing well and has now become a Zone Leader already! He says Hi to my email list, including Elder Asher Chia, Hermana Hooker and Hermana James!
Received a cute little gift from a member while we were out knocking doors, knocked into her and she gave a little prayer box for both of us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Buenas Dias de El Templo!

Hey everyone! 

I am emailing on a Tuesday this week because we went to the Columbia River Temple, so we are taking today as our P-day. This morning at the temple was BEAUTIFUL! It was just a bit chilly, but it was wonderful to go and to be with my trainee Hermana Parry and to be reunited with my Zone, Hermana Taua and everyone else. 
I don't have too much time today, its been busy week, but let me give you a run down!

We met Michael (just graduated high school and wants to be an example to his siblings) about a month ago and went back to visit him this week and we invited him to pray to know if baptism is the right thing for him.
We met Nanci this week, who's a junior in high school, who's actually friends with a member, but we knocked into her and we left her with a Book of Mormon and an invitation to read 3rd Nephi 11 about Christ coming to the America's. We plan on inviting her to be baptized this week when we get in with her.

Burt and Joann came to church this past Sunday! Burt was greeted by so many members and Joann was able to reconnect with everyone she knew before she stopped going to church. Burt asked if he could meet the Bishop, and commented on a young member's testimony about becoming a missionary, who's reporting to the Boston Massachusetts Mission Portuguese speaking, and told us she would be a great missionary. He and Joann, and even Tana Johnson are all coming to the Ward Harvest Dinner this week, and then we are having a lesson with them the night after that. It should go really well!

We had a funny little incident this week while knocking in a close-by neighborhood where Sister Parry, out of nowhere  had to use the bathroom really bad... We don't know why, I won't talk about it, but we then ended up leaving a guy on the phone who we started talking to, got distracted with a call from Mexico (Typical for the Hispanics) and left us hanging...  Well, she really needed a close-by bathroom, and asked me if there were members in the neighborhood... "Uhh.... There aren't any members in this neighborhood, Why?" 
"Hermana, I really have to use the bathroom!"  We zipped over next door where we saw a lady walk back into her house from taking out the garbage, quickly introduced ourselves, and then impatiently asked to use the bathroom, and Laura, who was currently home, let us in. It was a good save, but that's all I may say about that.... 

This week has been rewarding, and it all yet happened in a flash. Just goes to show how long It's been since I started my mission.... cough cough, 9 months.... next week...  Nope, can't face the realization right now, haha! I have 9 months left to live up the best job I've ever had, and all I am given in return is blessings, for me, for my companion, for my family, and the strongest testimony I've ever had of the gospel of the best person that ever lived on this earth, who I can't ever thank enough for His sacrifice, and His blood which was shed for me, for you, and for everyone on this earth!

My time is up, but I love you all and I wish you all the best week ever! Share the gospel with someone this week! :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's Official. She is a Trainer!

We got a very nice letter from Sarah's mission president informing us that she is now a trainer, with an explanation of how important a job this is.  We are very proud of her.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Transfer week, New Companera!

Hi Everyone! 

This past week was a little slow because of transfers, but I'll give you the short jist of it. 
Sunday night we ate with the Corona's non member family where we ate ceviche.  It's salsa but with shrimp and fish, (So incredibly good!) and said some goodbyes for Sister Taua.

Monday we went to P-day in Yakima and said goodbye to all the missionaries who just recently went home and finished their missions. So many wonderful sisters returned home this week that we got to know at ZTC's which was saddening, but it's exciting that they are all returning to go to school and such. We also had our first lesson with Molly, the Ibarra's daughter. We taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized on December 6th, her 18th birthday, and she said yes!  It was a good leave off note for Sister Taua, as she loves this family to death just as much as I do. (You too Alaundra!) Our lesson ended in tears shedding down everyone's face and with some sweet goodbyes and pictures. We sure do love them!

Sister Taua gave me a Ei-lava lava before
she left. I'm Hawaiian now guys! #nbd
Tuesday we ate with some members who took us out to dinner to El Porton, which was super good. We've seen a particular truck around town with the letters spelling "Hawaiian" on the back window, and Sister Taua has been wanting to meet them. Turns out we had met him before at the post office, and we saw him again while we were at the restaurant. She got to talk to the wife and husband about Hawaii and then left on their way. Well, on their way out they paid for our dinner!  It was super nice, and we are trying to look for them in town to thank them, but we haven't seen them since that night. 

Wednesday, I received my brand new companion!  I was a bit jittery because we were supposed to get a ride to the transfer site in Yakima by a member so we could save miles, but instead, we had a miscommunication with her and we ended up driving ourselves to the meeting in Yakima, then we got lost in Union Gap after taking a different exit than normally... it was a stressful morning, but we made it just in time, where we were greeted by President and Sister Lewis along with the other missionaries moving around their luggage. We got in and everyone settled down. One of our President's assistants got released to train before he and the other assistant go home next transfer. It's been another transfer of crazy changes! 

This week, I received Hermana Parry. She is from Tucson Arizona, and she has 5 younger siblings, so she's the first child out on a mission!  She's super excited to work, she understands A LOT of Spanish, and I am just incredibly impressed with her and I am proud to be her trainer!

Thursday we went knocking doors, and I let Hermana Parry take the lead to where we should knock. We knocked on a door she picked where we talked with Jesus and his wife, strong Catholics, but with great big hearts, because they invited us to eat with them. This was Hermana Parry's official first Hispanic meal, and it was Chile con Queso (Big chile with cheese stuffed inside in a red broth/soup) Super delicious, and perfect timing because is was starting to get cold outside. She really liked it, and she didn't seem to mind the Chile. Haha! They sent us with water bottles as we left, and they thanked us for sharing our light with them. They were super sweet, and had a really cute, shy 4 year old. Gosh, the Hispanic kids are the best!

Friday we went to Yakima with the new Sunnyside sisters, who are now in our district, to our Trainer/Trainee meeting at the mission home, and this home... is so beautiful!  I had never seen it until now, and we are so lucky and fortunate to have a beautiful home for the mission.  It resides in Selah, a bit north of Yakima where we drove with a member and spent the afternoon in trainings, and separating into trainers councils and trainee councils. We had a wonderful talk with President Lewis about sharing our vision of our trainees with them, and giving them as much guidance as possible. We sure do love President Lewis and Sister Lewis... Homemade cookies and all!
Saturday our Elders here in Toppenish had a baptism for our ward, so we attended in support of the family, and also Molly and the Ibarra's came!  It was a sight to see this beautiful part member family get baptized.  After that, we went to a surprise birthday party for an elderly woman in our ward.  We walked in expecting party food, but this party... was CLASSY... Holy cow. We had courses - soup, salad, even a sherbet/pallet cleanser... Her son went ALL OUT!  We felt pretty awkward because we can't sit at the same table as the elders, so they sat at a table all alone and we sat at a different empty table..... I'm pretty sure everyone thought we were weird!  We also had a lesson with Burt coming up in the next 20 minutes, so we ended up saying goodbye and heading out, and we busted out laughing when we got in the car. #awkwardsignfordayz  We grabbed some McDonalds and headed out to Sister Johnson's to teach Burt.  Another awesome lesson, talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not a baptism date... yet! 

That, I guess isn't necessarily slow, but it's been good. We should be picking up work soon! Have a good week!

A good friend from California sent me this adorable gift, and I seriously
have clothes just like the doll does. THANK YOU ELIZABETH


Monday, October 19, 2015

Fresh, New, Transfer!

Hi Ya'll!

All is well! This past week was a bit of a struggle, but it should be picking up soon. 

We recently got transfer calls! Drum Roll Please....
I have been called to train a new missionary! I can't even grasp this... It feels like just yesterday I was a greenie in Wenatchee with Sister Wortley before she got sent to the Kennewick Mission!  I don't know who my new companion is until Wednesday at our Transfer meeting in Yakima.  Hermana Taua will be going to Moxee where our nearest Walmart is, and she'll still be in the zone, which will be pretty cool!  We also will be having our own car again, The Elders will be one of the lucky companionships in the mission to have a new car, due to the shortage of miles for the mission and turning our mission into a Biking mission, and no... I haven't been biking so far on my mission, I'm hoping I won't for a while... Haha!

I am so extremely excited to train, She will be my first Hija on my mission!  So if any of you have any advice for me, *hint hint, friends on missions!* feel free to send any kind of advice :)  We should have some miracles coming our way as well, which I should just dive into...

Remember the Ibarra family in the branch? They are WONDERFUL!  They have 8 kids total, but the 4 oldest are their blood related kids.  The younger 4 are adopted as I've explained before. They are all under their real parents consent to be baptized in the church, and until that permission is granted, they are not members. The oldest of the adopted kids is Molly, who is one of the sweet young women in the branch. She has wanted to take the lessons with us ever since she talked about getting baptized with Sister and Brother Ibarra, and now that she will be turning 18 this coming December, we will be able to start her on lessons now that she is accountable without her parents consent.  We are starting TONIGHT on her lessons and counting her as an investigator!  We are extremely excited to help her get baptized :)

We also had a sweet lesson with Tana Johnson and Burt, her neighbor who was our miracle this past week. Unfortunately her mother was working, but we were able to get on the same page as Burt that night. Burt asked us some GREAT questions...

"Sisters, have you ever felt like there's something that's been pulling you to do something?  Have you ever felt so comfortable in a place you wouldn't expect?" 
"Yeah, Burt! definitely! The Holy Ghost does that for us, it tells us and helps us make good decisions if we listen close enough."
"Because I still don't know why I moved up here in the first place from Oregon, even just starting work with Tana and Wayne her husband. But as of right now, I know it was a good decision. I feel so at home, it feels like I've been gone for a long time, and I'm finally feeling good again after so many years."

WHAT?! We never expected this out of him, he didn't seem to be paying much attention to what we were talking about until we heard him ask questions!  He's even talked about having dreams of people lined up in front of him, calling his name.  He doesn't know who any of them are, but they keep calling to him.  After he explained it more, we explained that it may be his family, who he doesn't know about.  He doesn't know anything about his ancestors, IMMEDIATELY we thought back to how Sister Lewis, our Mission President's wife gave a training on helping investigators find out where their family came from.  Burt, It's your family! I t was so spiritual, and as we talked more about family history and the Book of Mormon we got the warm feelings from the spirit.  It was so neat to talk to him about what his experience has been so far with having us teach him. He's definitely ready!

We also had Stake Conference this past week, which was talking a lot about preparing ourselves to go to the temple, and having our kids and families have that mindset of going to the temple one day. 

All in all, it was a pretty good week, and it should be even better this week. We'll be going to a Trainer/Trainee meeting at the mission home in Yakima on Friday, and I haven't seen the mission home yet, all I know is that it's beautiful and we should be going more often for small meetings like this. Along with me training, we will have 2 other sisters in our Zone training, and even my good MTC companion, Hermana Harston, will be training. She will unfortunately be leaving our zone, but she'll be getting doubled into an old Elder's area in Ellensburg. We are so excited to see these changes! 

Anyway, that's all for now! I love you all, I hope all is well!
Hasta Proximo Vez!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fruits in our Labor, Fruits in the fall!


Hola mis amigos! Como esta? 

This week has been crazy so let me get straight to it!

On Monday we met our sweet less active girl, Mia and we've been challenging her to read and pray every day. She's got such a sweet spirit, we're hoping to take some of the YW with us to her lessons. 

Tuesday was a LONG day!  We went to Yakima for our Zone Meeting and we had awesome discussions and trainings on becoming "The 4th Missionary," which is a description of becoming completely dedicated, focused, and willing for the work. We were able to get some awesome stuff out of the trainings that we started working on personally this week. We went to our sweet Tia Ana Maria's house for a lesson right after, which went super well! She asked a lot of good questions about the Book Of Mormon. Later that day we visited a less active named Tim, who's been less active ever since he had a motorcycle accident in High School. He's finally starting to show a little bit of interest in coming back! 

Later that night we gave the car to the elders and caught a ride to our dinner in Wapato. On our way there we were talking with the two members who drove us, and one of the sisters just moved down here from British Columbia. She said she was from Kamloops which is were my best friend, Robbie served as his first/second? area on his mission. She loved him to pieces and talks very highly of him!  She rocks!  After they dropped us off, we were welcomed into the members' home, where they unfortunately couldn't feed us, but they gladly gave us some money for dinner and we left... but we were just brought by a member because we didn't have the car. Oh my gosh, we laughed our socks off!  We couldn't stop laughing that we were stuck in Wapato with no car and no ride. Then we missed a call from our Zone Leaders, which you know... typically means business about lessons and investigators.  Well, we called them back and all they wanted to know was the name of some girl scout cookies.... "Um, Elders, We have no idea!" "Oh okay, cool, awesome, no big deal sisters, have a wonderful night!" Yeesh. Funny Elders! 

We found our sister, Courtney could come get us as we started the evening with having a member come tracting with us, which she's been the first one who's wanted to come out with us, also because she's going on a mission! She's going to Boston, Massachusetts Mission, speaking PORTUGESE!  She's gonna do amazing, and she's literally on fire with the spirit!  We had two door step lessons with her, where she was able to bear her testimony about the Gospel in her life. She then took us back to the church where we ended the night with picking up our car from the elders.

Wednesday the elders had a lesson out quite a ways that they couldn't find a ride to, so we figured out getting a ride to where we were going for the day while they took the car. We had 4 appointments set, and 3 fell through, but we had one with Guillermina who is a sweet young Grandma. She LOVES her grand kids!  We later caught our car back in Granger and drove back to the house for a House inspection, in which a couple missionary came to the house and marked inspections of what we need. They said they'll be getting us desks soon!  We are super excited and can't wait to stop studying on the couch and on a table.  We miss desks!

Thursday we did service for a member packing up some living room things for her father-in-law to move. We packed away all of his China dishes, (Mom, you taught me how to pack them well! it worked!) while we also kept her daughter, Shawna busy. Shawna has a speech disability, in which she communicates through sounds. She spits at you when you ignore her too long. She's so cute! She kept throwing newspaper balls at me, that silly girl. She loves playing catch, so we played with newspaper balls for a while. Then we were on our way to dinner, where we stopped by a potential who has a troubled drinking son and husband, and she's been looking for a bit of peace lately. We gave her a pamphlet and testified of God's love for her and her family. 

Friday is when we had a MIRACLE!  Tanna Johnson's parents were always members when she was growing up, unfortunately they were excommunicated and divorced.  Her mother has expressed her desire to be baptized again in the church, and Tanna was asked to feed us one night.  She felt impressed to say yes, but hesitated. As she was out on her farm that same day, the Spirit told her that her neighbor Burt, was ready to take the lessons. She ignored it twice, and the Spirit literally stopped her and told her he's ready.  A few minutes after she was still taking care of stuff on the farm, she said the Spirit told her that her mom was also ready to hear the lessons again.  This lady is so amazing!  She's married to a nonmember, and he's unfortunately not interested in the church at all.  We had a sweet lesson with her Mom Joanne, and Burt their neighbor about the Restoration. She was extremely happy to see that Burt was getting along with us, which was sweet to see that she was eager to see things go well. She also pitched in on the lesson more than we thought she would!  It was super sweet!

Then Saturday we met a recent convert in Wapato who wants to marry her boyfriend, who's also a member but extremely less active.  They are working towards their civil marriage until they can go to the temple together next July!  She actually was baptized by an Elder who I came into the mission with, Elder Johnson, before the mission split. He's currently in the other mission sadly. 

That's all our biggest news this week, people!  We are so happy to see our little fruits growing!  We are extremely happy to have 5 new investigators this week! 

Hasta proxima semana!
Les Queiro!