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!

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference Weekend!

Hi everyone! 

All is well here in Toppenish, still a bit rocky with finding and teaching but fortunately we have had one grand, sweet miracle today while teaching Ana Maria. Remember that we found her on exchanges when I was with Hermana Johnson? Well, we finally were able to get back in touch with her twice this past week. Our first lesson we didn't have too much time because we were running late trying to get to her after an appointment with a less active went over time. When we got to her, she had 15 minutes. Now let's be real... We can teach the Restoration in 15 minutes easy, but she LOVES talking with us in general, so we were able to teach about half of the Restoration to her until she had to leave to pick up her grand daughter from school. Mind you, this was our very first real lesson with her, where created a perfect bond despite our short lesson with distractions. We asked her if she'd like to say the prayer, and she immediately stood up and said yes!  She asked us to stand with her while she prayed!  Holy cow, it was amazing to see her pray. She prayed mostly for us to find people to teach and help baptize... Her prayer started to make me tear up.. we had built a foundation so quickly with her that it was all a blur, but she said the prayer, she asked questions, and she even read some verses from the bible to us. 

Our second lesson came around, and we taught the WHOLE Restoration this time, without too much distraction. We got to talking about Joseph Smith, and how he was confused and lost about what church to join. She gave input that it was just like how she had read about Daniel in the bible, that he asked the same thing. I have not read that part of the bible, (It's probably old testament, right?) and she was amazed when we talked about how he was given the authority to establish the church on the earth, and about how he translated the Book of Mormon. Immediately, I grabbed our extra Spanish Book of Mormon that we planned on giving her. We knew she'd like to remember that we gave her this book. She was ASTONISHED when we gave the book to her, and told her it was hers to keep. She started crying and thanking us, and she talked a lot about how this is something she wants to share with her kids. But here's unfortunate news... She is moving, and we won't be able to continue teaching her. But she WILL be able to find the missionaries in her area when she moves. We think she may live close to the border of CA and Mexico, it is most likely in the California San Diego Mission. We exchanged names and info before we ended our lesson. Hermana Taua and I want to keep in touch with her while she moves. She moves this Saturday. We are hoping to teach her two more times before she leaves. I will definitely be getting a picture with her to show you all this wonderful Hispanic Aunt of mine. We've come so close since we met her, and now we are letting her into Heavenly Father's care as she moves on with her life in California. She will forever be in my heart as I continue my mission. 

Rose Marie, has unfortunately lost her date to be baptized.  She's not fully committing to coming to church, and reading in the Book of Mormon. She has the Children's Book of Mormon as well. We continue to work with her and see what we can do to help her progress. We also lost contact with Jimmy. Hopefully soon we will find him home some time!

Conference was this weekend! Wow, what about the changes though!? I am excited to hear from our three new Apostles in the Conferences to come. We are so fortunate to live in this great time with our technology advantage with our Gospel Tools and having everything in our pockets. (Not quite us missionaries... yet!) I wish to extend an invitation to those of you who read their scriptures online and on your phone, to take a break next time you read.... to read from a real book. I LOVE having my physical Book of Mormon and scriptures. It makes reading more interesting, more personal, and so much more real than just on a screen.

We still see some little miracles every day, looking for the potential Hispanics... and Caucasians.... :) I LOVE being a missionary, I wouldn't trade these 18 months for anything! 

The atonement is real, I love being a missionary, and I pray for you guys each day. You've all made this journey a bit easier with your kind and uplifting emails. I love you all, I pray that you guys will find opportunities to share the gospel with someone every chance you get. There are so many people who need it! 

Tenga una semana buena, Les Extrano!