Monday, April 20, 2015

I Guess this is the Last...April 20th, 2015

I'll be honest. I just typed up a whole email and decided I didn't want to say any of that.  What I want to leave you with, for my very last thoughts and experiences, is what I've been learning lately!
As I have been reading the Book of Mormon, and studying it as the Spirit directs, my heart has been filled and my knowledge has increased.  The Book of Mormon really does contain the word of God!  And it is amazing.  
What I have been learning lately is about obedience to the commandments of God.  As humans, we are carnal---they call it 'the natural man' right?  And something I realized the other day is that the commandments go against the natural man.  That is the very reason God has set them, because as we abide by them, we become more like He is---the nature of God instead of the nature of man becomes us.  That is why they may be so unappealing to some...and why they might seem so hard some days.  The commandments of God kill the natural man inside of us and allow us to become like our Savior. They do not tie us down, they set us free! And allow us to become our best self;  Or, as President Uchtdorf said, our REAL self.  (Women's conference last Oct).
I learned something today that goes right along those same lines...being contrary to the nature of God, or thus, giving in to the carnal man, brings us to a state contrary to the nature of happiness. (Alma 41:11) That makes so much sense! No wonder this world is so miserable.  Because going against God is going against happiness.  Happiness is truly found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by abiding by His laws.  
I know joy.  It is real!  It only, ONLY comes in this Gospel.  Because this Gospel is a way of life.  It transforms, uplifts, and redeems.  It is the only source of hope in this life, the only source of light in this world and the only way to experience true joy.  
I just want to end by saying that I know this is all true because of our Savior.  He makes weak things strong.  I know He does, because I have experienced it first hand.  

Shine on.  (: 

Monday, April 13, 2015

I've Been Dreaming in Spanish...April 13, 2015

Well!  This last week was a good one if I do say so (:
My compa and I are just having wayyy to much fun! I don't know if that's
allowed haha.  We have just been doing to usual...laughing, teaching,
finding, laughing and yes, sometimes crying haha but wow. We have been so
So I had another MLC this last week, even though we just barely had one 2
weeks before, because 2 men from Salt Lake came down to train us!
Actually, one is the director or something of the Provo MTC (I may be
wrong, se) But Their names are Brother Tanner and Brother Gonzales.
They basically called us all to repentance in the most bold and loving way!
It was amazing!!! They taught us ways we could be better as a mission; ways
that we never have been as a mission for years and years and years.  It was
much needed and I am so grateful to be a part of it, even for a small
moment (:  I get the pleasure of training a part of it to the zone this
week and...well...we'll just pray that the Spirit will be with me, eh?
The day after that training, I went on an exchange with one of my Hermanas
and wow. We just had an excellent day! It was amazing because I had come to
her area a year ago...and when we were planning what we would do that day,
this girl popped into my head that I had met on that exchange a year ago!
The Hermana that I was with had never met her or heard of her and so it was
apparent that they had not been teaching her.  We decided it was inspired
and that we should look for her!  We found some records, but the address
was incorrect.  We looked in the directory, because her husband is a
less-active member, and we found it, but that, too, had an incorrect
address.  My compa for the day was inspired to get the map and look at it,
and when she did her eyes went immediately to a street and she said,
"that's it!" And so we went...and we found her! She was home. And she let
us right in!  What I loved about the experience was that we were able to
testify to her that the Lord is very much aware of her. If not so, my
experience with her a year ago would not have stood out so boldly in my
mind until it lead us back to her.  I remember meeting her last year and
thinking to myself as I left her house that I would meet her again and that
we were supposed to know each other.  What I thought that meant then is
that I would be assigned to that area...but I never was.  I now know why I
felt that way! And I know we are going to be friends still because oddly
enough, she remembered me too. (:
Our Father knows us! He knows what we need.

On Saturday, after doing some service, digging up a hard dirt ground for a
couple of hours, we were able to head off to the Mesa temple with a recent
convert here in the El Dorado branch!  It was an experience like I've never
had before.  The Spirit was present the entire time.  We were able to bring
the name of her husband with us!  What was so neat was that we didn't have
a man to perform the ordinance...but after my compas faithful prayer, a man
walked in and was willing to do it, even though it would be done in
Spanish.  And so her husband was baptized! And it was so incredible to be
there to witness it and to feel of the spirit that came with that

Okay, I have one more experience I'd like to share! At the beginning of
this transfer, my compa and I found a friend that we started teaching and
she decided to accept the invitation to be baptized.  After that, my
companion and I decided that we would set some goals and make some plans to
bring to the Lord so that He could help us to accomplish them.  One of the
things our friend had said to us was that a man had came up to her in the
street and told her that it was time for her to come home (and he was
talking about coming home to God).  She told us that that is what she hoped
to find.  SO. because we were making plans and setting goals, we were very
specific and said that we wanted our friend to feel like she came home when
she found out this Gospel is true.....well. A week or 2 ago, she called us
and told us she moved to Nogales out of no where!  We had other goals and
plans, and they were going well, but this goal seemed to be out of reach!
Until we met another friend (: She is 76, full of light and life, and she
came to church yesterday and loved every bit of it!  The members were soo
supportive and she even ended up in one of their home's having dinner with
them after church!  We had a lesson soon after that and she told us, "I
feel like I have come home!  I have been looking for this my whole life and
I finally found it. I am home."........*mouth drops* I  just. Heavenly
Father is SO kind. SO good to us!! We don't even deserve it!  She is set to
be baptized my last Saturday here....Very soon! But she is so ready.  I
know her! I have seen her before. The vision of her in white is so clear to
me. I have been there before.  I love her!

I have always wondered why the scriptures always say that "His bowels are
full of mercy." I wondered what that meant exactly...and so I looked it up
in the dictionary and now I know.  It talked about the very innermost
center of something and so I realized...He is filled with mercy to His very
core.  To the very depth of His soul, He is full of mercy.  I know His
mercy is real! His grace is sufficient. And the enabling power of the
Atonement reaches and extends to every corner. I am SO beyond grateful for
the experiences I am having, for the love I am feeling, and for the
miracles I am seeing.
His love is real! I just want you to know that I know that.  And His love
is what saves us, because He loved us enough to redeem us.

Have a beautiful week (: Love!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Come Unto Jesus, Ye Heavy Laden...(hymn no. 117) April 6th, 2014

I started reading a part of my journal this morning... I was so shocked to
see a very real difference in myself! The lines of this song kept going
through my head "I wish you could see me now. I wish I could show you how
I'm not who I was!" I was so happy and filled with gratitude and a new love
for the Savior as I realized that it is ONLY BECAUSE OF HIM! And, oh, how I
need a Redeemer.  I am so imperfect, I could never make it if it weren't
for His mercy and love.  I love His love.  I know it is real.  I know you
can find it, partake of it, and let it lift you as you read the Book of
Mormon. It testifies of Him and any person will come to know Him better by
reading it!!!

This last week has been sooo much fun! So edifying and so refining.  My
best friend and I seem to run into a lot of stumbling blocks, but we sure
do so laughing all the way!  We are continually strengthened by one another
and by the prayer of faith! P.S. the prayer of faith is real!  IT WORKS!
I'm serious (:
We've have been having a blast as we talk with everyone, set new baptismal
dates, and get rejected day after day.  I could not be happier. (: I feel
the sweet song of the gospel filling my heart with such joy.  I love the
youth here! I love that I get to work with them again.  This has been a
tender mercy of the Lord. Isn't His love so real? Wow.  He loves me (:

We have a goal to get to the temple this week with a recent convert of this
branch.  She was able to get her recommend last week and we have been
working with her to find names to take to the temple! This has increased my
love for my family and the blessings of the temple! We have been given SO
much in this life!!! And all He asks is that we keep His commandments.

I felt so blessed because we had zone conference Friday and then General
Conference Saturday and Sunday!  What more could you ask for than to be
taught from on high?!
I loved conference so much! It was a fountain of joy that I never wanted to
end! I could not stop drinking and I didn't want to....That is how living
the gospel should be, eh?
That the joy of it fills our souls until it is overflowing and we never
want to stop taking it in.
I am so grateful for moments like this that bring me back to the root of
the gospel. To the sweetness of the gospel!  Stay near the tree!! Don't
leave the tree! haha (:
We even had our lovely friend join us for 3 whole sessions! not including
the women's session she attended last week.
The Spirit is real! It works in the hearts of those that sincerely seek our

I love how many of that talks in conference spoke of the importance of
family! I love my family (: They are so good to me! I want to share my life
with them through all eternity...I didn't mean to write the words of that
primary song, but that just seemed fitting there haha (:
I also loved how we were taught to continue to remember the sweet and
simple truths of the gospel. That is the most important thing! All else
will follow and come eventually if we will first root ourselves in those
simple truths.

Con mucho amor (:

ohhh my goodness! I have to tell you one more thing!  At zone conference
they installed these things called a TiWi in our cars! We have to log in
when we drive and they basically monitor our driving! They say "check your
speed!" or "check your seat belt" if you are speeding or not wearing one.
So no worries, I will come home a better, safer driver (; not that I'm not
already (; jajajaja  Hey, but you should know, it's only yelled at me once!
And it was when I didn't notice the speed change on the freeway.  sooooo
yeah! Have a great week! (:

Monday, March 30, 2015

God is Good - March 30th, 2015

oh dear. I am under the air is freezing! haha this Arizona
blood couldn't survive a single December day...hopefully April is not too
bad? eh? haha
This last week was interesting (:
It was SO good! I love my compa! We are seeing so many miracles and having
Soooo much fun! But we are also having random experiences in between that
have created growing opportunities...which is good!  We laugh and cry and
laugh and laugh (:

I have loved sharing the new video 'Gracias a Que El Vive' it has been
amazing! (: We showed to a less active family and then asked why they love
what Christ did for them. The little boy said the sweetest thing that was
exactly what I needed to hear!  He said "porque El siempre esta para ver
como estas" I just loved that! He is always there to see how we are doing.
I keep being reminded that I need to walk this whole journey of life daily
with my Savior! Not just when I am in need should I come running to His
feet, but all the way along the journey.

We were able to have a new friend come with us to the women's conference!
That was the biggest miracle! (she is soo nervous to come to church and
things). She's 19 and wants to come to school in UT one day!  We will be
friends (: hah
We asked her to pray and she was so nervous because she has never prayed
out loud before...after much convincing, she did!  This daughter was
speaking to her Father! I have never felt such a strong spirit during a
prayer.  She poured her heart and she weeped as she did so.  She spoke of
her heartache from problems with her father and it just reminded me to make
sure I recognize at all times that there is always a Father there watching
over us.  And more specifically, our Eternal Heavenly Father (: It was a
sacred moment.
She came to church the next day! That was a HUGE step! She loves herrr
church so much and so to get her to come to sacrament was amazing. It
happened to be fast and testimony meeting!  I am so grateful for our
branch/ward families! I know they touch people's hearts! THEN she even came
to dinner with us in a member's home, which was perfect because the walls
are covered with temples and family! Oh we are so blessed (:

We also had the chance to sing to some elderly women in a care home
yesterday haha. It was so random! We went to visit a member and sing some
hymns with her but then the whole place wanted to hear and so we came out
of her room and sang spanish hymns for everyone! haha (:

Probably one of the funniest moments this week...hmm...We were in district
meeting and President just so happened to come to ours.  The district
leader was talking about...oh setting up family mission plans
with families.  He gave an example of making it personal to the family by
telling us about a family where they made something lord of the rings to
get the excited.  I was just sitting there trying to listen and I hear
President (who was sitting right next to me) say in Spanish "Precioso"
hahahhahaha like "precious" I accidentally burst out laughing out loud! And
that was embarrassing because President was there! But he was the one who
made me laugh...good days.

Yep. Just loving life (: it's been amazing! We got to go with a recent
convert to find her husband's name and get it ready to go to the temple! So
that was amazing too! We are hoping to go to the temple with her soon. Just
good things!

Monday, March 23, 2015

La Obra esta Maravillosa y Bellosa! (:March 23rd, 2015

Sooo I am getting here so late because mi compa y yo estabamos andando por las montanas! (:  We got to go up to Mnt. Lemon this morning and hike around and have a picnic with an awesome member who was kind enough to take us up there!  My compa y yo were talking about how we are kind of done with this whole 'zone sports' thing every p-day and we even set a transfer goal to do something different every p-day!  She is amazing.  Wow. We have such good times. It feels like I have known her my whole life! haha (: It's only been 6 days. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has given me another best friend to experience miracles with.  And, oh, we have!  
First of all, Hermana Hubert is the coolest! And we figured out that we were probably at some of the same concerts back in the day.  We are almost the same person, but she is a little bit cooler than I am haha.  It's fun (:
But yeah! back in a Spanish branch and so things are going...yep. They're going!  But we have so much excitement to just love and serve these members because that is what they need and that is what we are here to do!! (: 
We had an experience where we had 15 mins before we had another appt and so we decided to pray to know which house to knock on and we ended up thinking of the same house! (go figure (; haha) and it was the coolest thing because it was this hermana, she wasn't even at her own house, and the sisters had been trying to get in contact with her for the last couple transfers.  She was so shocked she started crying and she knew God needed her back.  It was beautiful! AND, she's our age, so it was so fun! (: She came out with us and she's just such a good person, I'm grateful to know her! 
Que mas?...we basically just laugh all day and talk to people and see miracles (: haha okay, so it's not that easy...but wow. I don't know how I got so blessed!!
AND. okay! Wow. I just remembered on top of that, I got some incredible calls this last week! 2 of which were about someone I have taught before who got baptized recently! The other will be in April so I will be able to attend! And the other call was a cute hermana who I became very close to and she just got her mission call! (if you remember, she was the one I got to have the experience with when she was first deciding to go or not).  She got my new number and called me! I was so honored haha (: I knew before all of her friends! 
Other than that...we're just running this race!  Actually, we run every morning...but we're sprinting to the end! Mi compa is a runner and so she likes to tell me that she's sprinting to the end with me.  I love it (:
It is so easy to feel the spirit with her and I feel like I am continually being taught from on high.  We are SO blessed! 
I just want to say that if we ever feel like we're not good enough, or not worthy enough to repent, then we're letting satan win...Of course he would want us to think that the Atonement only covers those who are worthy or anyone but us, but it covers everyone! if we will let it; if we will choose it.  Accept Christ (: and let Him define and refine you.

I love you!
(sorry, forgot the cam)

Change is Exciting! March 17th, 2015

Well, I guess I'll just get right into it! I got transferred! I am so sad
and SO excited! I get to end it all speaking Spanish (: My new compa is
incredible! I love her so so much already! We were talking about our
interests and we are SO alike it's hilarious! I can't wait. I already feel
the spirit so strongly with her and all we have done so far today is talk
about the couple lessons we will teach tonight! I am so blessed that my
Father knows better than I!
I'm coming into a branch se llama El Dorado.  It is in the East of Tucson.
Wow, I will miss my friends from YSA so much! And the people I get to meet
on campus! haha but I have the greatest feeling about being here for my
last transfer (: I am so blessed!!!

This last week was really bitter sweet. I had the feeling I would be
leaving and so I was sure to say goodbye to everyone before they all went
every which way for spring break!  (Not the greatest time to leave haha).
But it went well. I have so many friends here that I love so much! (: I am
SO Grateful for the time I get to serve and love and become.

As this last transfer was coming to an end, I was rreally praying that we
would be able to at least find one more new person before I left.  I had
the most amazing experience yesterday as our day came to an end.  We were
walking back to our apartment and all of the sudden, seriously without even
thinking, I just turned into the leasing office!  I had no idea why, but as
I did, a man that we had met last week was right there to greet us.  He
said, "I just knew I would see you today!  I had a feeling to come over to
the door. Come in, I am free right now. You can share your message with
me!" /.....What!!! It was like a dream! (: It was amazing! He had agreed to
meeting with us sometime, but we weren't able to specify when and when we
contacted him to set up a day, he didn't respond! So seeing him so willing
was incredible.  We had a very positive experience. his heart is open and I
know he will find truth in the message of the gospel! (:

I came across this scripture the other day that I just wanted to share:
"...and thus doth the Lord work with His power in all cases among the
children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their
trust in Him." Mosiah 29:20

I just love that! Because His arm is ALWAYS extended! It is just dependent
upon our willingness to take hold of His open arms and allow them to lift
and transform us! (:

I am SO excited for this upcoming transfer! I know it will be full of
miracles! Heavenly Father is so good to me! And I know it is because of His
Son that I can do all things.

(as for now, I just have to get ready to stretch my stomach out again!
Welcome back to Spanish branches!...haha!)

Love you(:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cafe Rio (: March 9th, 2015

Well we had a realllly fun week! (: 
It started out with getting to clean some sisters' apartment because they replaced the elders living there previously...and I'm not going to say anything bias...but...haha yeah. That was interesting! And actually really fun (: I love them! It is so great to get to see the sisters I get to work with whenever we can!  The next day was our zone meeting and so I got to do a training on obedience. It was something the Spirit had really been working with me on.  I felt so impressed to share the things I have been learning.  Like the way we receive and retain a remission of our sins is by service and obedience to the commandments! So as missionaries, we should constantly feel that if we are doing it right.  And wow.  Being obedient is just so important! It is a pattern of life that will follow us forever and it is the means by which all blessings flow!  Really, everything happens in accordance to our faith, diligence, and obedience which are so beautifully connected! I have learned that the greatest unhappiness only comes through disobedience. I challenge you all to just ponder what that really means...and how that applies to you.  
I have also been learning a lot about faith and the prayer of faith.  I know that it is through faith that we can do any and all things.  What an amazing gift we have been given to be able to have the capacity to believe in something so wonderful that only can empower and uplift...that being our Savior, Christ and His gospel.  Not to mention that it is through His sacrifice that we are enabled to do these things in the first place!  I just am full of gratitude and feel like I am really learning to pray!  To really seek and to find answers.  I have been asking and I have been receiving.  I know it is real.  Prayer is real and it works! (: I learned in Sacrament meeting a principle that i decided to apply directly to my life.  A member of the 70 came and spoke, Elder Lawrence, and he told us: "Be humble enough to ask, and then be faithful enough to act!" I love that! He spoke of sincerely asking the Lord what we can do to improve or to ask what is holding us back from progressing.  He promised us that if we asked sincerely, we would receive a direct, clear answer from the Holy Ghost, but we needed to be faithful enough to act!  So I did this. And I invite you all to do the same (: It could be a scary thing to consider, knowing that there is always room to improve.  But if we could know the little thing that is holding us back from continuing on, wouldn't we want to know and change it?! Why wouldn't we want to be better? Sure it is new and maybe scary because it is different or it hurts to change....but only beautiful things lie ahead for those who are humble enough to follow the Lord's will.  He knows best! He created us! How exciting is change (:
So...we had the greatest privilege ever this last Saturday of being able to go to the Mesa temple with our recently baptized friend! (: We got to go out of our mission! haha and to the temple! And with our friend! And the ward (: it was just soooo much fun! We even got to go to Cafe Rio!!!!! That's right! After alllll these months...I had Cafe Rio! ah. God is so good!  It only went up hill from there! (and a little down...but then right back up!) Because I watched His hand unfold answer after answer and tender mercy after tender mercy, (miracles, if you will). And when I felt a little down, it all went back to how I could be better and so I learned to pray, yet again! I love these teaching/ learning moments.  
It has just been so wonderful lately! Although we have been striving sooo hard to find more people to teach and haven't been able to find many, we have been blessed in abundance! (: I am so grateful! (: