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!