Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Youth Missionaries!

We took some young ward members out to tract with us.  They were a 14 year old boy and 9 year old girl.  We had this idea a couple of weeks ago to take out youth in the ward to do missionary work during the day especially because it's summer and they have nothing better to do.  When we talked to the young members' parents, they thought it was a fantastic idea and practically begged us to do it.  It was really fun and they both loved walking around in the hot Texas sun and knocking on random doors for an hour.  We told them that they could knock any door they wanted.  As soon as that was out of our mouths, the young girl started saying, "Let's knock that door!  I think their house is pretty" as we passed EVERY house.  We eventually had to make a rule that she couldn't choose another door until her brother had chosen one so we could actually get the referrals we had planned on contacted.  She decided to rebel once and went and knocked on a door without us.  Luckily no one was home.  That contact ended in her brother picking her up and carrying her off their doorstep.  I think we're going to continue this until the summer is over.

This is seriously one of my favorite areas all because the wards down here are so mission-minded!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Comida Estudantil"

We went over to a member's house to learn how to make guacamole and other "comida estudantil" or student food (i.e. food you can make in five minutes at college).  This sister is the sweetest lady!  Right now she is going through some family problems because she is trying to do what is correct over what is easy and her family isn't too happy about that.  I admire her testimony and dedication. She told us that no matter how bad criticisms with her family got, she was sticking to her decision.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"I Want to Learn More!"

We went on exchanges with the other sisters in our apartment.  It was so much fun!  We visited with members in our ward and also found a new investigator.  She was a referral from our Ward Mission Leader in the Spanish Ward.  He works in a welding shop in front of her house.  During his lunch breaks he reads the Book of Mormon and because of that, our new investigator would start up conversations with him about the church, and now she's interested in learning more.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Overcoming Fears!

One thing that I have learned is the importance of overcoming our fears.  We all have fears in life or even just a bunch of little worries.  But part of life is learning to overcome them.  In order to do it, we have to do that very thing we want most to avoid.  For example, I strongly dislike OYM (open your mouth and talk to EVERYONE on the street).  I dislike it because it scares me.  But, the only way that I am going to learn to love it and to make it not scary is to do it.  After our interviews with President, we all made goals and plans to overcome our fears.  My district leader committed me to kill a spider by the end of the day.  I did it. #fearovercome

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Interviews With the President!

We had interviews with President.  The entire zone meets and then one by one we have our interview with President. While we are waiting, the Zone Leaders and the Assistants to the President (APs) give trainings.   It lasted about 7 hours.  It was really good.  We were told to come with a question - I came with about 20 (just kidding, I'm exaggerating).   Every question but one was answered in the trainings before I even went in to talk to President.  Then during my interview, I got the last one answered.  It was good.  I learned a lot!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sacrament = Reverence and Respect

I love the Spanish Ward. One thing that I particularly love is the way the treat the sacrament.  They are so reverent and respectful of it and they always make sure it it performed perfectly.  A recent sacrament was no different...until the fire alarm went off.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Questions from the Youth!

We went to Youth Conference to answer the youth's questions about missionary work.  They divided the youth up into four groups and rotated them between different rooms for different workshops.  My district and the zone leaders made a Question & Answer panel in the front of one of the rooms.  As each group rotated through.  I saw a lot of people from the wards where I have previously served.  It was so fun! We got a load of questions including the following: "How long do you have left ?",  "What has been the best experience of the mission?",  "The worst?", "The funniest?", "Why did you decide to come out?", "What is your favorite color?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Favorite Missionary Status!

We had dinner with a cute older couple.  All the missionaries know the gentleman of the house "as the man with hipster glasses".  We made favorite missionary status because they said we eat more than the elders.  #win

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"My Mom Says..."

We got rejected by a nine year old.  She told us, "My mom says to be not interested.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Memorable Moments...

For the last few weeks, my companion and I have made it a point to make every day memorable.  We write down a memorable moment at the end of each day in our planners.

Monday, we made real enchiladas with a Less-Active member.  It was the best!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food? Yes, We'd Love To Join You!...

This week, we had ten dinner appointments.  Which means, yes, we had multiple dinners a few days this week.  I admit it!  I have gotten fatter out here in Texas.  But here's the order for us to win the hearts of the members, we have to eat their food and we have to eat a lot of it!  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "I loved elder/sister so-and-so!  They ate a lot!  They always got seconds!"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tiana! A Name Fit for a Princess...and a Jeep!

We were driving with a member to an appointment and I asked her if her car had a name.  She said no.  Then I suggested the best name possible for her Jeep would be Tiana.  She agreed.  Her two sons agreed.  Now there is a Jeep in Texas named Tiana.  That was a very proud moment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Bug Bite...and Hospital Visit!

We went to the hospital....again!  This time, neither one of us were admitted.  We only went to visit our zone leader who got a bug bite exactly like the one my companion got two months ago.  We brought him sandwiches, Popsicle treats, and a ukulele to keep him busy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exchanges! Don't I Know You?

I went on an exchange with a former companion.  It was so much fun to be with her again!  It's been a long time since we've worked together and we've both grown so much since that time.  Throughout the day, I couldn't help but notice all the progress she had made since the time I was training her at the beginning of her mission.  I even noticed that I have made quite a bit of progress as well, too!  We were put in the same what-seemed-like-difficult situations we faced several months ago, but this time we handled them with ease.  I love the progress people make on their missions!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trying to Hit Our Goals!

We can honestly say we did everything this week to hit our goals.  On Saturday night, we were confident that we'd have at least two investigators at church.  We had been preparing almost everybody we met from the beginning of the week for Sunday, we prayed every day that we'd be able to reach that goal, and we even stressed a lot this week the importance of having members present during our lessons. 

This Sunday was really important because in order to be baptized in the month of July, someone had to come to church this week.  Sunday came.  We had a family lined up, ready to come.  We prayed and fasted...and they didn't come.  We called them, went to their house, had members call luck.  We then turned and put our faith in a miracle person showing up to church with a member.  As sacrament meeting started in our last ward, no one showed up.  Needless to say, it was kind of depressing.  We put our hearts, souls, and faith in hitting that goal. 

Back in the day - you know, like maybe a couple transfers ago - I would have gotten down because of that, but yesterday, instead of pitying our unsuccessful day, we got up and went right to work, trying to find and prepare people for church next week.  It was great to see how much we've changed since the beginning of our missions.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Learning More!

It never ceases to surprise me just how much I still feel as though I learn more week to week than the new little greenies!  This week was no different.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Baby Chicks

Me and Chuchi
(looks like "Izzy", my family's dog that I have yet to meet)

A Walking Stick!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Still Growing!

It seems like the first part and the last part of a mission are times when the most growth takes place....well, at least for me.  I feel like at this point of my mission, I should know it all, but that is not even close to being true!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Expect Miracles!

On Sunday, we had a companionship study with our district leader and the two elders who are serving as Assistants to the President, who just so happened to be there since they serve in the same ward as us.  We were having trouble figuring out what we needed to do next in our area to continue to see success.  They laid out five things we need to have/do in missionary work in order to see results:

1) Love
2) Hard Work and good plans
3) Obedience
5) Attitude

We decided our attitude hadn't been the greatest.  We have a great attitude in that we like doing missionary work, but we sometimes just don't expect things to go great.  So, they committed us to change our attitude and learn to expect miracles.  If we're doing everything right we can expect that miracles will happen.  So, that's what we're working on this week!

So, expect to hear about a lot of miracles next week because they'll be coming!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The First Vision!

Last Sunday, we taught the lesson in Relief Society.  It was on the First Vision and receiving revelation.  It went really well.  We gave everyone a piece of paper and asked them to think of something that they needed revelation on and then throughout the lesson to write down their thought and feelings.  We then told the story of the First Vision and analyzed what Joseph Smith did - like he studied the scriptures, planned what he was going to do, etc.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Independence Day - Part 2

After the breakfast, we went home, studied, then planned for the week. We finished by about 3:30, then it was off to work until about 5.  We then went over to a member's house for a hamburger dinner!  It was delicious.  These members love two things: missionaries and Navajo Indians.  I was a popular dinner guest that night!   :)   We had to be in our house by 6:30 because it is very hard to tract on Independence Day.  We planned, studied some more, then told stories sitting around candlelight until we heard fireworks outside. We ran out to the parking lot and had a clear view of the neighborhood firework show.  It was the best! :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day - Part 1

On the 4th of July, we went to a stake breakfast.  The gym was decked out in red, white, and blue balloons and ribbons. The tables were covered with butcher paper and there were crayons and Dum-Dum suckers on all of them. It was super fun!

There's an 11 year-old member who loves blue Dum-Dum suckers.  As soon as his family got to the breakfast, he went around to every table grabbing every blue sucker he could find.  It was quite cute.  Later, we were talking to his family and I asked him to get me the purple sucker on his table.  "Is that your favorite kind?" he asked.  "Yeah, it's pretty good," I answered.  "OKAY!!!!" he yelled as he ran off to go collect all the purple suckers he could find.  I managed to stop him before he could get too far.  "One sucker is just enough," I said.

The blue Dum-Dum collection

We love our Star-Spangled Banner!
Happy Birthday to the United States of America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude

I was studying about the Pioneers in this LDS History book that a lot of missionaries have. I was so impressed by faith they had.  There were several accounts of the hardships they had to endure, but with every trial, they had a good attitude. One man, who came with the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies, was quoted as saying that he would be forever grateful for all they went through because it got them closer to God than anything else would have.  The early Saints were counseled repeatedly by the prophet to have a good attitude and always show their gratitude to God through music, dance, and prayer.  One thing that our mission president has been focusing on lately is the importance of a good attitude or - how we say it down here in the Rio Grande Valley - ánimo.  Happiness is not a matter of luck, but rather it is a choice independent of circumstances.  As I've learned to apply that every day, I've learned to become a better missionary and a better person and I've been better able to help others come to Christ.