Monday, December 29, 2014

week 29

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! it was so great to be able to see the fam and talk to you. how lucky and blessed I felt to have such an amazing family who supports me so much while I am here on my mission. you mean so much to me! I was surprised we didn't have a white Christmas in Canada, it actually rained all day!

Christmas on the mission was something I will never ever forget. this week has been SO SPECIAL. the best part was on December 23, when we headed to the heart of downtown (Dundas Square - a smaller version of Times Square in NYC) with 10 other missionaries, President & Sister Clayton and caroled. the spirit was so strong and so many hearts were touched! so many people listened and took pictures, and we were able to share the true gift of Christmas, JESUS CHRIST. we shared He is the Gift cards and sang Christmas hymns for 2 hours... the crowd favorite was definitely Silent Night! ill never forget that moment when I truly felt Christ was there with us... I walked up to a mom and daughter, and she looked me in the eyes and told me that she had been praying for Christmas carols to be somewhere in the city so she could show her daughter what Christmas really means. I have never felt so close to my Savior Jesus Christ as I have this Christmas season. I LOVE this part of the first presidency message about Christmas:

As we celebrate this Christmas season, our thoughts turn to that sacred event long ago when the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World was born (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, ... and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He promised: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Christmas eve/day we had appointments scheduled, but people wanted to be with their families instead. we did visit with a few members and ate a LOT of food. we also stopped by several people to drop off gifts. also - THANK YOU to all those who sent me packages and letters for Christmas! it means so much to me.

I received my first transfer call last night.... 6 months of my mission with the same companion (besides a few weeks as a trio and these last 2 weeks with Hna Fife) and in the same area of Christie South, and I am leaving! I am super sad to be leaving downtown Toronto, especially the Christie ward and all the people I know here. I definitely wasn't expecting it. I am heading to Mississauga tomorrow, with my new companion Hermana Hoffman!! its about 45 minutes west from downtown, and its a car area! I will be the driver.... haha sos I think I forgot how. God is preparing people to receive us there, and we're gonna go baptize the multitudes :)

thank you for all the love and support, I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

week 28

Merry Christmas! I hope it is amazing for each and every one of you :) I hope you all remember what it is really about. I know I wouldn't want to be anywhere else this Christmas season then serving Him here in Toronto. there is nothing I love more than helping people come closer to Jesus Christ while celebrating His birth. I am learning how special Christmas really is. He really was born in a little manger in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. He is the perfect son of God given to us from our loving Heavenly Father. He did live a perfect life as our example, our Redeemer, and our Savior. He is the Gift, HE IS CHRISTMAS.

I said goodbye to Hermana Dudley this week, after 5 months together it was sad to see her go, but the change has been easier than I thought :) I am now with Hermana Fife! we were in the MTC + came to Canada together, and she has also been in the ward for a bit to it has been awesome to finally be companions with her! she is from Texas and I have already learned so much with her. God teaches you a lot when changes happen! I was very nervous for all the changes but I have learned that I really do know how to be a missionary no matter what companion I'm with. I know I can't do any of this without God's help but I did feel comfortable doing things I was nervous to do. Gracias a Dios! It has been a busy week since Hermana Fife and I have combined areas. we are running 2 areas of the mission, together! things have been crazy stressful but it has made it an adventure :) but since it has been so busy, we haven't taught like ANY lessons, or found ANY new people to teach. that has been a struggle, but we are praying to find miracles!

yes, still having health problems. I had a blood test and ultrasound this week, but ALSO a blessing from our mission President. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over me :) we are waiting on tests at this point but I know everything will be totally fine!

Christmas is so special, share the real meaning with everyone you know. discover it, embrace it, and share the love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

feliz navidad!


Monday, December 15, 2014

week 27

sooooooo remember how last week I said I was super sick and received a blessing and was healed? well.... God's will is a lot different than mine! the sickness got a lot worse this week. my stomach KILLS after every time I eat, no matter what I eat. its awful! I had to go visit the doctor on Wednesday, anyways.... I have too much acid production in my stomach, and I either have a stomach ulcer, or its forming one. luckily I got medicine! but if I'm not basically healed by this Wednesday I have to go back in.... as of today I don't really know if that's possible....? #sos but hey, God works miracles. and I do know that the blessing I received last week was real.... I will be healed! but all in Gods timing of course :) but really, I'm totally fine! everything will be great!

it snowed a TON this week! it didn't stop blizzard-ing for 24 hours! we walked out to more than a foot of snow. it was beautiful :) I hope i never go to a car area cause I just love working in it! it makes me so happy :) (im being serious, not sarcastic hahaha)

we got to have an amazing Christmas zone conference this week :) we sang lots of Christmas songs including the 12 days of Christmas with President and Sister Clayton, they are awesome :) it was a great meeting, our mission is in a big transition/change right now.... we are trying to find a balance of finding NEW and working with the WARD. its been great because our ward is doing AWESOME now, we just need to have a balance of finding NEW since its been weeks since we have found any!! which isn't that uncommon for Spanish work but we're determined to work even harder. i loved this quote a missionary said as we were talking about the true meaning of Christmas, "Christmas is about giving and sacrificing. That's what Jesus did, and its HIM we are celebrating."

yes, Hermana Dudley leaves tomorrow. #CRAZY. I have been with her since I was born here in the great land of Canada... so yes I am nervous to have this change! i will be so sad to see her go :( i already know my new companion, her name is Hermana Fife :) we actually came from the MTC together, she is amazing! we don't know how long we have since it is mid-transfer but i am excited to work with her :)

Maria (the wife of the part member family we have been working with) will be getting baptized on Sunday! i am SO HAPPY for her! she is amazing and is so ready to make this special covenant with our Heavenly Father. she is so special. #whitechristmas!

i love the spirit of Christmas :)


Monday, December 8, 2014

week 26

6 months......well that's just crazy. pretty crazy to think that I will be home in 1 year from now! wow how time has flown. this is also my last full week with my dearest companion, Hermana Dudley who I have been with since I arrived here in Toronto. she has 10 days left in the mish, and we are definitely going to be making the very best out of each of them! I love her.

I had such a good week! so many great things happened. first of all, I am sure a lot of you have heard about this video, but if you haven't... go watch it! our mission (and pretty much every mission in the world) is focusing a lot on this right now. its called HE IS THE GIFT. its about the true meaning of Christmas and how important Christ's birth/life is for all of us. watch it, embrace it, love it, and share it! #sharethegift.( ) and another video to get you all in the Christmas spirit ( )

MIRACLES of this week:
- one of the biggest miracles I saw this week was having a less active we have been working with show up at church yesterday! she struggles with depression and needs to feel loved. her name is Juanita. I love her!
- the Castros finally came to church yesterday! they didn't stay for all 3 hours but hey, one day right? we will be hopefully seeing a baptism in their family (Maria!) this Sunday... praying my heart out for that!
- my Spanish. which is slowly improving more and more, but there was a moment when i was sitting in church yesterday, I stopped and thought... WOW I understand everything that is going on right now! what a blessing! #thegiftoftoungesisreal
- church in general yesterday. I bore my testimony because I felt so much love in our ward. they are amazing! President Clayton is so inspired and it really is blessing our ward to be working with them more!
- the power in a priesthood blessing that I received after being really sick all week long was such a miracle. I know Heavenly Father watches over each and every one of us! and I know that with faith and with God, all things are possible. I know that He will do anything to hasten this work :)
- Simon bringing his mom, sister and niece to the English ward Christmas party on Saturday! they are not members (yet..... ;) but they loved it. hopefully we can get them to come to our the Spanish ward's party this Saturday so they can understand what's going on hahaha 

its pretty freezing here, but still no snow! I hope it does soon so we can have a white Christmas :) I am happy and working hard and loving the mission! thank you for all your love and support, I have lots of Christmas packages staring me down waiting to be opened and I feel so blessed.


Monday, December 1, 2014

week 25

hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving this past week! Canadians celebrate it the first week of October #weird... so it was actually awhile ago but I hope it was great! and a shout out to my bestie BRIANA who got engaged on Friday!!! while I want to cry every time I think about you getting married without me there, I am so happy for you :) congrats babe!

what a rollercoaster of a week!! lots of ups and downs. actually quite a few downs but hey, I'm keepin the faith here! we had a special Zone Conference this week by President. we were instructed on a TON of changes our mission is making on working more with our wards and with the members here since there are a LOT of less actives (70%) in our mission... in every ward! so sad. it was amazing though because I know that President Clayton received direct revelation from the Lord in knowing this is the direction the mission needs to go. we have already seen a few miracles abiding from it as our bishops wife invited us to bring the Castros (the part member family we have been working with) over for a FHE tonight! after the Zone Conference we actually went to the mall to get Flu shots.... haha BUT then they rewarded us because we finally got to see Meet the Mormons! which was incredible! I loved it so much. the stories were so touching and it made me so happy to have the Gospel in my life. what a blessing it is! and what a testimony builder it was eh? (I'm turning Canadian...)

we've had a few sad things happen this week, one happening with Fernando and his family. Andrione (a ward missionary who helps us a LOT) finally saw them outside their apartment and after they tried to run away he talked to them.... then last night we finally got a call from them saying they need time and space and they are going through a lot right now. I want to help them SO BAD!!!!! Godly sorrow is real. I love that family so much and I am praying so hard that everything works out. especially since I know how badly they need the Gospel right now.

more news would be that our recent converts Ofelia and Betty had to move back to Mexico yesterday :( we had to say goodbye to them... it was so sad! I will miss them so much. Hermana Dudley and I gave them our Canada hats. I can't wait to see them again one day! #hookupsformexico #Tylerwearegoin

even on the hard and long and tiring days I am so happy in this work. its the greatest work in the world :) I know this Gospel is true.


Monday, November 24, 2014

week 24

i am beginning to realize how little of time a mission really is. before you know it time is flying! i know the Lord called me to this mission for many reasons, and i am growing so much. its crazy for me to look back on the person i was before. not because i am suddenly different, but because the Lord is changing me into who he wants me to be. and because i am in a life long commitment to continually serve Him. :) i have such a strong testimony of the Savior and His Atoning sacrifice for each and every one of us. i know one of the biggest reasons i am here on a mission is so God can convert me just as much as he is converting the people i am teaching! i know thats why he calls us on missions! and all i want is to continually serve Him. to help bring souls unto Him. i know this work is the work of Salvation. i know this church is TRUE!!!! i know it.

haha so here's an awesome story that will tell you what its like to be a missionary here in the CTM. so last night Hermana Dudley and i go visit a referral we received from a recent convert Fernando... we knock on the door and YAY the man was Spanish! he wasn't the man we were looking for but hey, if you speak Spanish we'll gladly teach you :) all the sudden another man walks up behind him. we start telling them we are missionaries, and what our purpose is when they invite us in. there's a house full of people and they announce, "guys we have missionaries here!" there ended up being 2 people from Saudi Arabia, a Turkish woman, a Brazilian woman, the Spanish man from Ecuador, and another man from India. they all live together and they were all making foods from their countries to share. so they invited us to try some of it as we were just talking to them a little about the church and inviting them to come. we were there for probably about 15 minutes and asked the Spanish guy if he was interested in us coming back and he said yes! haha WOO! As we were leaving one of the Saudi Arabians was like "those girls were so nice!" least we planted a seed...? hahaha welcome to every day of our lives in the most diverse city in the WORLD.

so while Hermana Dudley and i are continually working SUPER hard together, a lot of our investigators aren't progressing. none of them keep commitments and we (especially me) are struggling with that a little. its so hard when you do everything you can to help people come unto Christ, and they choose not to. #agency. the part member family, the Castros, who we have been working with since we got here and have a baptismal date didn't come to church again yesterday so they are no longer progressing. and we have still yet to get in contact with our recent convert Fernando and his family.... which continues to break my heart everyday :( i am beginning to learn what its like to feel sorrow for peoples salvation. but our ward is beginning to progress more and more, and that is amazing to watch :) our ward had their Primary Program yesterday. can you just picture cute little kids singing in SPANISH? it was so precious!! #espanol >>>
and here is a scripture that hit me HARD this week: 

D&C 18:15 " and if it so be that you should labor ALL your days... and bring, save it be ONE soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with Him in the kingdom of my Father."
Jesus Christ is my Savior, and how great is my joy to labor, and bring souls unto Him.

Monday, November 17, 2014

week 23

yes kids... it snowed! and it hasn't stopped. yayyyyy!! ahhh i love it. it looks so beautiful. its cold up here in good old Canada. but the spirit of Christmas is coming and i am so excited! and we are also in the negatives every day..... #sos #eskimohermana

i had the amazing opportunity to attend a leadership conference this week. only a select few from the whole mission got to go (basically it was ALL the DL's, ZL's, Sister Traning leaders, anddddd me hahaha.)  i attended with a few people from my District (my comp didn't come) and it was SO amazing! a few leaders from the MTC in Provo came and we learned how to be more effective missionaries and leaders. it was actually funny cause they kept saying "make sure to take this back to your areas and teach the junior companions." haha i just kept thinking... wait i am the junior companion! there are a lot of changes happening in our mission soon. its exciting :) but nothing happened for us Hermanas with transfer calls last night! we were shocked to not receive a call, especially after i went to the leadership meeting. but i guess the Lord really wants us to work hard together for as long as Hermana Dudley still has here :) she is leaving halfway through the transfer (in 4 weeks) so i will be receiving a new companion then!
this week was super great though. it doesn't show with our numbers but that's definitely not what matters :) obviously! we are still struggling to make our NEW investigators progressing but we're working hard at it. none of our investigators are coming to church but we know the Lord just wants us to work a little harder :) we have been working a lot with the less actives in our ward. we're trying to hard to encourage them to come back to church. it breaks my heart to see people fall away. hold to the rod! the Gospel is the most important thing in our lives. everything we have is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father. we should do all we can to serve Him. been working with our Bishop too to strengthen our ward. we can't do this work without our members...
i am sick today. throwing up this morning but luckily God gave me the strength to get things done on Pday :) miracles happen.
i love my Savior Jesus Christ.

ps: happy 22 years of marriage this week to the BEST PARENTS in the world!!!! i am so lucky. i love you guys so much :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

week 22

family and friends and all those i love!

id like to share a personal experience from this week that really strengthened my testimony :)
we had come home from having a dinner appointment with a member, and teaching FHE on Thursday night when i got very very discouraged about my Spanish. i get frustrated with the language barrier and sometimes feel like i could be such a better missionary if i could actually communicate everything i want to say! not only that, but i was feeling the burden of trying to learn the new language of Spanish, in an English speaking mission. we're not always speaking in Spanish, and 95% of the people we contact everyday are English speaking. during the dinner appointment i had no idea what was going on, and had no idea what to say, even while giving a spiritual thought. i had never felt so frustrated! sometimes i can i knelt down in prayer that night and asked for guidance and help from my Father in Heaven. i pleaded to have the gift of tongues made even stronger so i can be an effective instrument for the Lord. Friday was Zone training! which is always super great. it started out like usual and we were instructed on inspired ways we can hasten the work in our areas. we even did this awesome role play where in the gym, all the chairs were set up like a bus. we pretended to be the people here and practiced contacting :) haha it was awesome! we had to determine whether each person was a distract-er or an elect. really helped me to change up my contacting, especially on buses/subways. we headed into the baptism room and watched the video Because of Him. i remember when this video came out, but it has never hit me as hard as it did this time. tears filled my eyes as a few people bore testimony of the power of the Atonement and of the Saviors love for each and every one of us. i can't even explain the way i felt! the spirit spoke to me, and i knew right then that God puts hard things (like learning Spanish) all so i can grow closer to my Savior. this scripture has touched me time and time again as a missionary,

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

he gives me weaknesses so i can be made strong. long story short, we taught a lesson to a progressing investigator a day later and i had a few AWESOME street contacts where the Lord surely did bless me with the gift of tounges. as i have learned to depend on my Savior, he helps me better mi espanol every day :) we even had this really great moment where we were walking down the street on saturday and i realized we needed to contact a specific house a few streets away, and the 2 guys are new investigators! we also set a part member family on date for December 7, and we have been working with them since July!!!!! :)

its been a week full of miracles and we are working harder everyday.
i love this gospel! i love my mission!

ps: birthday shoutout to my little sister Quince who turns 8 today and will be getting baptized soon! I LOVE YOU little girl! and i am so proud of you :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

week 21

there isn't much to say this week, we said bye to our precious Hermana Pilling and have been adjusting to having just the 2 of us. we haven't had many lessons and we have spent every single day on the hunt to find people to teach. that, and trying to visit ALL of our members and less actives so we can continue to work to build our ward back up! lots of doors un-answered and not much luck so far but we aren't loosing the faith :) i know the Lord is testing us. our area has been on fire and He wants us to work HARD to build it back up. our ward needs help right now, and after a very spiritual and amazing dinner with our mission president, we know that needs to be our main focus! we have worked very hard this week, but we are set to work even harder to get area rolling again! we had a mission fast yesterday to really help us along with members. there was a strong spirit felt and i know the Lord will bless us with miracles!

Fernando was confirmed yesterday, the poor guy is having a LOT of teeth problems and is waiting to get surgery. he was in a TON of pain but made it to church to receive the spirit. his poor family isn't doing too well, but hopefully now that he is a member we can work together to help them be baptized as well. we haven't met with any of our other investigators this week, sadly, but like i said we are in the finding NEW mode!! which can be a struggle for us Spanish Hermanas but we're determined :) Halloween was fun, we had to be indoors by 6 (#scaryinthecity) so we did our weekly planning, but because we live in a house we actually got trick-or-treaters! it was awesome! :)

i finished the Book of Mormon this week, i want to testify of its truthfulness, because i KNOW its true! i know it was written for our day, i know that Joseph Smith translated it through the power of God. i know that the way to know the Gospel is true is by reading for yourself and praying to know its true! i know that we can feel of the Saviors love as we read the Book of Mormon, and THAT is how our relationship grows with Him. i know He lives! i want to bear this testimony to everyone i meet.... annndddd hopefully they speak Spanish so we can teach them too :):):) hehehe
"Come unto Christ. and be perfected in HIM." moroni 10:32 #BOMprophetsaremyheros

Monday, October 27, 2014

week 20

dearest family and friends,

i don't have a ton of time today, but i am sad to say that Hermana Pilling has received her Visa for Spain, and is heading there TONIGHT :( we received the call on Thursday, and its been a crazy couple of days figuring everything out, but she will be leaving us tonight at 7! luckily we do get the amazing opportunity of eating dinner tonight at the mission home with President Clayton and his wife :) ps: (the old home of the Ballard family! pretty sweet.) so back to los dos Hermanastomorrow. crazy! i am sad to see her go, we have loved being in a trio SO much! but i am excited for her to officially start her mission.... to finally go to the MTC, and to finally learn Spanish!
other then having all the crazy visa stuff going on (we've been downtown a LOT to figure things out!), this week was a lot slower! we struggled finding new investigators and didn't teach hardly any lessons. we worked super super hard though, so maybe the Lord is just testing us :) we always have lots of time to talk to people though on buses/subways, and we never lost the faith. our investigators are doing well, we just need to actually teach them.....
the mission is amazing. i love it everyday :) i love my Savior, i love this Gospel. i LOVE the BOM!!
read Ether 12:27, it has helped me a lot this week. i know He gives me weaknesses so i can grow closer to Him. also, have i ever mentioned how much i love speaking and teaching in Spanish? :) its improving everyday, gracias a Dios.

ps: SHOUT OUT to my boy T-money, Elder Peery, who hits ONE YEAR this week. i am so proud!! and so happy and so excited. ill be blowing kisses all day long :) #iloveyou