Monday, May 25, 2015

week 50

thank you all SO MUCH for the birthday wishes!!!!! i only have 10 minutes to write today because we are heading to Toronto and need time to travel/spend there.... and the member is taking us real soon. and sadly i haven't even had a chance to watch this amazing video yet of the birthday wishes!! man i am going to be so anxious until i get to watch it next week. ahh! i don't even know who is in it! im excited already :) my birthday was such a great one. a weird day actually haha but a super great day. im 20! that's crazy. the members made it really special. members made me cakes, we had dinner at our WML's house and they gave me a cake, my comps made me breakfast, and president & sister Clayton called and sang me happy birthday 2 times. it was so great :) 

a cool but hard miracle/sadness of this week was yesterday when i got a call that one of my Recent Converts from Toronto has passed away. luckily the family has been strengthened more than ever, so it has been kind of a miracle in disguise, but that was a hard call to receive on my birthday. luckily i did get to talk to their family <3 i="" love="" them.="" u="">

we are going to Toronto with Viry and Kendra today :) 2 of my favorite people ever! the 5 of us are going to party it up there. i am so excited :) thank you all again for the birthday wishes and packages! i appreciate them more than you even know. i am so grateful for the love and support i receive from home... it really motivates me to work so hard! i wish i had more time to update you on our week, but it will have to wait until next week. 

muchisimas gracias! cuidense mucho :)


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

week 49

best news ever! Hermana Flake is back :) YAY! i love her. her companion is too sick to follow up train her, so president Clayton called us Monday night and told us switch. we are now in a trio together! her, me and Hermana Ridgway. its such a party! we all have so much fun together :) im excited to finish training her with Hermana Ridgway. it's been so great! we haven't even pillow talked at night though cause we have been coming home each night so exhausted haha. but i love this companionship! i am learning SO MUCH from being with both of them.

Canada celebrated Victoria Day yesterday which is why our Pday got switched. a day to celebrate the Queen! there were a lot of fireworks and all the stores were closed haha that's pretty much all the happened. #canadianholidays

we have seen some amazing miracles this week together! on Wednesday night we were about to go home for dinner hour and to do training, when we decided to stop at the home of our ESL investigator Susana. she was so happy to see us! she welcomed us in and gave us this yummy treat from Cuba; mango's and cheese. she is so happy! we taught her L1 the Restoration. and she loved it :) i felt the power of the Holy Ghost so strongly as i told her of the first vision. she was excited to see the Book of Mormon too, and told us she couldn't wait to read it. she accepted a baptismal date too! June 7 :) #ilovemiracles

Friday night was FULL of citas. back to back to back. it was great! haha we were so tired that night. Luz made us dinner :) she is so cute. i just love her. we also got to teach Yolanda! we found her about a month ago + her 2 children. they are a solid family. and the lesson was amazing! she also accepted a baptismal date for June 14! im really grateful for the member we brought with us, Hermana Beaton. because i know that's how we got in and taught her and i know having that friend really helped her see that this is what God wants for her. such an answer to my prayers of being able to teach Yolanda again :) i love feeling God's love He has for His children. and i love teaching them His Gospel!

we saw a cool miracle last night too. we went to drop by a less active and when we got to the town homes we realized we didn't have a unit number! we knew God placed us there for some reason so we tracted the area :) something our Mission President has told us to ALWAYS do. it works miracles! we found Ricardo, he's in his 20's from Colombia. he has lots of questions and was intrigued and interested in learning more. we taught him the Plan of Salvation for about 20 minutes and got a return appointment. i know God knows His children perfectly and placed us in Ricardo's path for a reason!

the work is so wonderful! i love Mississauga. i love the people here. i love the ward! we are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. i love the Book of Mormon... it's my favorite thing to share with people! i have been trying this week to better my Spanish as well. i never want to stop improving it... all for the benefit of the people too.

D&C 18:15-16

15: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"

16: "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"


Monday, May 11, 2015

week 48


this week was wonderful! Hermana Ridgway is an amazing missionary, and i am so lucky to be serving with her. she has already taught me so much! we actually served in the same area last summer, and i never would have guessed we would be with each other now. i think this is probably the hardest i have ever worked on the mission! the most focused i have ever been. and i love it. 

we struggled big time this week with teaching lessons. i have yet to teach any investigators with her! and in English work, we are doing awesome haha we have been finding like a TON of awesomely prepared people. sadly we have to pass them all off to the English sisters but we do the Lord's work in one way or another eh? it's fun contacting with a new companion. we do it well together! we felt the Spirit guiding us everywhere we went, and we stuck to our plans everyday of what we had felt inspired to do, even though every single appointment fell through. i have a testimony though, that God will lead and guide us in His work. i know we are instruments! and He helps us do what He wants, for the benefit of all His children. and the people we met this week that were so prepared really did need us. and some of them even came to church yesterday :) boo yah! 

we had an awesome Zone Council this week, focusing on changing ourselves so we can see more miracles. i loved it! and that's something i have been focusing a lot on personally. the Lord is never far from my heart. i am really learning to depend on Him and my Father in Heaven to know what needs to be done in this area of the vineyard that i have the wonderful opportunity of serving in! 

i spent time making cute gifts for the 15 moms i have right now for mothers day. haha i figured its the only time ill have this many so i have to thank them for all they do :) we bought yellow flowers and put cute notes on them and gave them to the wonderful Spanish ladies in the ward. they loved them. it made me miss my own mother though... but how wonderful it was to talk to her and the family yesterday! i love my mom. i love her love for the Gospel, and i love her example for me. i am so lucky to have the best mom in the world! i am so grateful for an Eternal Family <3 u="">

i don't have much else to say this week, but i just want everyone who is reading this to know, that with all my heart, i love the Lord. i love Him and i love His work.


Monday, May 4, 2015

week 47

both Hermana Flake and i were heart broken last night when we got a transfer call :( we did NOT see this coming!! usually, when you are called to train, you train for the full 12 weeks. but i guess the Lord has greater plans in mind for the both of us, and the people we will be serving. they are taking my baby away! we cried it out and cuddled last night thinking of all our wonderful memories and miracles we have shared. i will miss her so much. i have learned a mountain being with her for these past 6 weeks, but i know she will work miracles in her new area! my new companion is Hermana Ridgway, and we will be staying here in Mississauga Spanish. 

we had an AWESOME week!!! we finished out strong. we had several awesome lessons, and although we have been struggling to find new investigators, we have a LOT of potentials right now, and most all of them are families. we have seen miracles finding these people, and now we just need to teach them :) 

i can't even tell you how grateful i am for the wonderful members here. i love them so much! the biggest reason i love Mississauga, is them. so i am so happy i am staying here. they are so wonderful to us. we had dinner this week with the Gundakers (who are moving to Utah soon! i am so happy!!!!) the Arguetas (who are moving as well. i will miss them.) the Saint Amours (the greatest Mexican family in the world) and the Hernandez family (they are amazing. their testimonies are so strong!) i know none of you know who these people are, but they mean the world to me. 

the twins came to church yesterday!! and they LOVED it!!! we have taught them quite a bit, and they are just soaking it all in. they loved Sunday School and Young Womens. they want to get baptized and go on a mission so bad! they are so special. i love them so much. yesterday was such a joyful day, all because of church. i bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting about these scriptures:

Mosiah 3:7-10

7: And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and abominations of his people.
8: And he shall be called Jesus, Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning;
9: And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name, and even after all this, they shall consider him a man..... and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.

after all he had done, the miracles, the healings, the teachings, establishing his Gospel, setting a perfect example, they shall cruicify him. as i read this scripture while partaking of the Sacrament, i couldn't help but be so overwhelmed at the love Jesus has for me. i know He is my Savior and Redeemer. i know He loves me perfectly. i know this is HIS restored Gospel, and i know He leads and guides it. i felt so close to Him. i KNOW the Atonement is real. it truly carries us. i have felt it so strongly on the mission, and i know the Savior never leaves my side. i love verse 10:

10: And he shall rise the third day from the dead;

HE LIVES! oh how sweet, the joy this sentence gives, i know that my Redeemer lives! and how grateful i am to always have Him, and the power of His atonement at my side. it has changed me. 

we also had a super awesome lesson with the Neves family. (Portuguese) we had members with us that spoke all 3 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese) haha so it was quite the lesson. we got their kids to read out of the children's Book of Mormon, AND to pray! Valesca (the mom) cried so much. all the kids go to Catholic schools here, so when she saw her daughter pray from her heart instead of the memorized prayers she was so happy, and said that has been her dream. ALL she wants is for all her family to accept the Gospel, to be baptized, and to go to the temple together. Eric wants it too, he just wants to know for himself its true, of course! Joel (the son, 9) asked us "when can i be baptized?" and we said, "whenever you want!" and he runs over and picks up the Book of Mormon and starts reading :) so cute. they didn't make it to church yesterday which was sad.... esta bien! we will be skyping at their house for Mothers Day on Sunday :) i can't wait to talk to you my wonderful family <3 u="">

Luz went to the temple! Saturday was so special. she was so happy and absolutely LOVED the temple. she felt the Spirit so strong! she got to be baptized for her Grandma :) she cried so much. i was so grateful to be there to witness that. here is this amazing faithful woman, who was pleading with God to help her find a church that she knew was for her. 1 week later she ran into us in the elevator. she accepted a baptismal date and was baptized 3 weeks later... and 1 month after that here she is in the Temple doing names for HER family!! missions are amazing, and i love seeing the Gospel change peoples lives. the names were also done for her dad and grandpa :)

man that was a long email! lots of great things going on here, and the weather is SO nice! while Hermana Flake was packing today, i gave her ALL my thermal tights. haha good riddance.... i can't bear to put those babies on again. i am SO happy to see the sun. i love this Gospel. i love being a missionary! SO MUCH. i love being here, i love serving the Savior, i love the Spirit and the miracles we see everyday. i hope you all have an awesome week :) talk to you Sunday!


Monday, April 27, 2015

week 46

first things first, CONGRATS to my girl Sydni for getting called to the Australia Sydney mission, Samoan speaking! i am so happy for you! being a missionary is amazing :)

i'm gonna be really honest here! we had a pretty discouraging week. several things are happening in our area right now that make it so hard for us to keep the faith! we had some super low moments/days. i felt very frustrated all week that things weren't working out. anyone that knows me, knows i am a perfectionist... with everything! and something i have learned on my mission is that our plan, isn't God's plan. we are His instruments. we submit to His will and do what He asks. and His plan is perfect! i have just been feeling so sad though that as i am here training Hermana Flake, this is what she is being welcomed in to. rough! i try not to blame it on myself, but i do wish that we could see the fruits of our efforts. sometimes, we just plant the seeds though, right? anyways, we still saw a lot of miracles!

we had an amazing lesson on Monday night with the twins. we had dinner/FHE at the Westons with a few other families.... and the awesome, powerful, spiritual giant Hermano Argueta was there. awww yeah! his testimony is soooo super fuerte, and the power of the Holy Ghost just absolutely filled that room. he, and Kendra were such a big help. and by the end of the lesson, we were all in tears. bawling actually. it was probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my whole life! we taught them a lot of doctrine, but it was the most powerful when we were talking about how much God loves them. how He truly is their Father in Heaven. then we told them how much we love them, and are praying for them. i have never felt so much love for someone! i love those girls. praying night and day that they can KNOW this church is true. its all depending on their Catholic parents right now. please pray for them! we also took them to YW this week where we learned to Tahitian dance :) it was a party and made me miss being in Young Womens.

we have been working with Luz to get names to take to the temple soon. and she got some! 3 names :) her father, and grandparents. i am so excited for her! coolest part - we start entering a few things on familysearch, come to find out her grandma has already been baptized, someone has done all the temple work for her. she's a member! also, Jose. man, i think i have prayed and cried and studied more for him than all investigators i have ever taught, combined. we had a powerful lesson with him on Friday though. (with Hermano Argueta again! im telling you.... he is so awesome.) the Spirit was so strong! he now knows that HE has to read and pray and ask God. he is going to Peru soon for 2 weeks, so we'll see what happens. 

we had a lot of member meals again this week, i can't even tell you how much i dearly love these members in the Mississauga ward. they are so good to us! they truly feel like family to me. i can't imagine my life without them.

oh! so yesterday we had a multi stake conference for the North America North East region... which includes us. it was a broadcast from SLC, and we got to hear from Elder Kacher, Sister Reeves, Elder Neil L. Anderson, and Elder Robert D. Hales. the best part is, The Neves family, (the Brazilian family we are teaching) CAME! it was so perfect. it made me so happy to see that family walk in. we have started teaching the whole family... AND they feed us delish Brazilian food. they definitely received direct revelation from the Apostles! as did i :)

i am learning and focusing a lot right now on the laws of Sacrifice and consecration. they go hand in hand, and they are SO important, especially for a missionary. it is so special to me. this time serving the Lord is so special to me. and i want to put my whole heart and soul into it <3 and="" be="" grateful="" happy="" healthy="" here="" im="" to="" u="">


Monday, April 20, 2015

week 45

well we definitely had some challenging days this week, Hermana Flake and i got food poisoning from something, and we almost hit rock bottom when all of our appointments fell through yesterday and not a single investigator came to church. but then we remembered that our area is ON FIRE right now. and that everything happens for a reason :) its all in God's hands because this is HIS work! and as long as we are doing our part, He promises to do His. He has a greater plan :) you could definitely say it made us want to work even harder though! to really find the elect. i am doing all i can right now to consecrate and humble myself to do God's will, to strengthen my faith, to see miracles, and to baptize the multitudes! 

the greatest miracle this week happened just last night. after our really challenging Sunday, we felt prompted to pass by a potential investigator later that night.... about 4 hours after our scheduled appointment when she didn't answer her door. when we returned though, she let us in and told us she was so sorry that she wasn't there earlier, but that they had to go to the hospital for her daughter. we sat down with the family (her + her daughter and son) and told them our purpose as missionaries and got to know them a bit. her name is Yolanda, they are from Mexico! i love Mexicans :) they are so excited to learn more about the Gospel. we shared with them the Restoration pamphlets and we are going back this Friday. this family is solid and i know its an answer to the millions of prayers offered by Hermana Flake and i to place families in our path <3 -="" :="" a="" also="" and="" another="" answers="" appointment="" are="" area.="" blessing="" brazilian="" children="" christ.="" cleaning="" contact="" coolest="" decided="" dinner="" especially="" eternal.="" everyone="" fallen="" family="" find="" found="" garage="" get="" god="" gonna="" gospel="" had="" happy="" have="" her="" how="" husband="" i="" in="" is="" it="" jesus="" know="" lives="" make="" makes="" me="" meet.="" nbsp="" now="" of="" oh="" originally="" our="" part="" portuguese="" prayers="" restored="" s="" share="" spanish="" speak="" teach="" teaching="" that="" the="" them="" this="" through="" to="" u="" valesca="" we="" week="" what="" when="" who="" with="" wow="" yolanda="">

it started getting warm this past week! FINALLY. we were coat AND jacket free. its going to rain all this week but at least we saw the sun for a few days. i can't wait for summer :) we have been going running now every morning. gotta stay in shape when we're getting fed lots by the wonderful members here :) haha i just love them though! i love them with all my heart. the people here are so amazing.

life is GOOD! i am so happy to be here. i hope all is well at home. i love you all so much, and feel so much love for you too while being away. i know missions are a big sacrifice but really, it hasn't been a sacrifice for all that i have gained. im praying for you always. and THANK YOU for the endless amount of love and support i receive, i am truly grateful for you all. 


Monday, April 13, 2015

week 44

what a great week!!! my heart is full of gratitude today for the love i have for the mission, missionary work, and the Gospel. we are so blessed. i sure do love this work! i have some awesome miracle stories to tell too :)

first thing's first, JOSE ACCEPTED A BAPTISMAL DATE! do you have any idea how long i have been praying for that? day and night, for 3 1/2 months now. and he said YES! so we had a lesson with him on Friday, which was actually outside haha. it wasn't cold (finally warming up here! i am not even wearing tights today! this is a big step kids.) but it was super windy! we were on exchanges, and my companion for the day, Sister Leung (chinese) spoke no Spanish. so we would teach and i would translate, teach, testify, translate... repeat. it was quite fun! we answered a lot of questions like we normally do, he always has 100. but he felt the spirit. and he finally understands that Joseph Smith had the same question as he does - which church is true? Sis Leung extended the baptismal invitation... he didn't understand so i translated and also testified to him that if he commits to wanting to get baptized on a specific date, and prays to know its ALL true, he'll know! and he said YES! May 3 :) i cried. because prayers do get answered :) now i just gotta pray even HARDER that he receives an answer. i have come to realize though that a mission isn't about you at all, and i love praying and pleading and studying in behalf of the people here who i love so dearly. also, with Sister Leung on Friday we taught an investigator named Elena who speaks absolutely no English. so i basically taught that lesson alone. welcome to this awesome diverse multi language mission! annndddd Sister Leung fell asleep cause she didn't understand anything hahahaha i love exchanges :)

miracle round 2: NATASHA and KATHERINE. so monday night Kendra set it all up for us to teach her twin best friends from Costa Rica who she really wants to share the gospel with (she's such a little missionary! i love her.) we headed to her house after we finished pday... she even made dinner for us all! after we ate we taught them L1 - the Restoration. they LOVED it! i will never forget their faces when we told them Joseph Smith's experience. we were wrapping up, and after 5x of already bearing our testimonies again and again, Katherine said to me, wait, can you bear your testimonies again? she then asked us if she could say the closing prayer! they want to be baptized, they even want to serve MISSIONS! talk about prepared daughters of God. haha they have asked us like 100 questions about the church in the last week, they LOVE everything about it and want to be baptized so bad. we are just figuring things out with their super Catholic dad but he agreed to let us come teach him this week and said he'll come with them to church this Sunday. more prayers answered!

we had to say goodbye yesterday to our progressing investigator Carlos :( he knows the church is true (answers received through Conference! the church is true:) and is ready to be baptized!!!! he is going back to Venezuela to see his (member) wife and children. i wish we could go with him! 

oh! one more thing! this week we took Luz to to family history at some members house. it was so cool! she can't remember all the dates for the births/deaths of her family members but just absolutely lit up doing it. she is preparing to go the temple on May 2. please pray for her!

i am learning so much as a missionary and i am grateful for it everyday. we can always be better, and i love that everyday i have the opportunity to wake up and work my hardest to BE better! to be more like Christ and to be a better missionary. ill never be perfect at this, but i am grateful for Christ's infinite Atonement to know that i canbe better. i love this Gospel.


ps: we went running this morning and i fell again. hahaha that is the 3rd companion i have fallen with while running. sos!

Monday, April 6, 2015

week 43

Querido Familia y Amigos, 

Conference and Easter were SO GREAT! man, i learned so much. in the words of our mission president, Pres Clayton, "every year, is the best year ever of conference." so true! because every time we receive so much revelation from our Father in Heaven for the things He would have us know and do. also, Elder Clayton from the 70 that spoke.... that's our mission president's brother! his talk was awesome. my favorite talks were from Elder Bednar, President Uchtdorf, + Elders Pearson and Renlund from the 70. so amazing! the thing that touched my heart the most was how i can become a better disciple of Christ. to ALWAYS put Him first. to continually serve Him, and to follow Him because i love Him. i truly love my Savior. Easter morning was so special, we had a conference call with the whole mission and read about the Risen Christ in John 20. probably one of the strongest times i have felt the Spirit in my whole life. i KNOW Christ lives! and i am eternally grateful for Him and His sacrifice for me and all of God's children. it has truly changed me, and i want everyone to have the kind of happiness i have received from knowing He is the Son of God, the Savior of the World. i loved that Conference was so focused on Christ because of Easter. it was also focused so much on marriage and family! oh how it made me so excited to start my own someday :) anyways, i LOVED conference & Easter!

soooooo there was a blizzard on Saturday night. a white Easter! we didn't even have snow on Christmas in Canada this past year, so may as well have it for Easter right? haha it snowed SO hard! it was great because after sitting all day for Conference, we decided to head out for the little proselyting time we had at night and just talk to EVERYONE about Easter and invite them to check out Because He Livesit started snowing so so hard and we were just laughing and having so much fun haha :) 

Hermana Flake and i have been doing great :) we are seeing miracles everyday! people we are teaching update: Luz! another one. the girl we talked to last week while we were OYM-ing, that i talked about in my last email. we taught her this week! it was a really great lesson, and although she said "ya me fui bautizada. soy católica" #everyanswerweget haha but God has a plan for her. Jose and Carlos are our progressing investigators. we teach them both quite often. Carlos is getting baptized in 3 weeks when he goes to Venezuela (!!!!! i wish we could just go with him!!! he's awesome. im so excited for him.) and Jose.... i plead with the Lord every night that he will find answers to his questions and desire to be baptized. we've been teaching him for 3 months now. he has a lot of questions but we are hoping conference answered a lot of them! and, the other Luz (who just got baptized) is doing awesome too. we gave her a bag full of church books for her baptism and she is literally cruising through them haha. i love her.

i had an awesome interview with president this week, i felt so guided and so much love. i just feel so grateful to be on the Lords errand, working in His vineyard, with Him. time is limited and i really want to serve Him with all my heart might mind and strength. i feel so blessed to have such amazing and supportive friends and family, thank you for strengthening me and cheering me on! i love you all! read the Book of Mormon. "everyday, everyday, everyday." :) -Elder Pearson. i know it is true!