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.