Saturday, December 28, 2013

265 FELIZ NATAL

23 December 2013

FELIZ NATAL! I can't believe it's already Christmas. Crazy.

This week was all over the place. we had to go to the mission office on monday (but President gave us money to go get sushi so that was worth it), wednesday (to carpool to a meeting...in Santa Cruz...with two hours of traffic on the way home), and friday (nothing exciting happened). so it was hard to get things done this week. But we managed.

Tuesday night we got to go up to the temple to see the Christmas lights! That was really cool. there was a lot of traffic though so we didn't have much time in the visitor's center, so that was a bummer, but the people we brought loved it anyway. I exchanged with the Hermanas on Thursday so I got to be back in Spanish for the day! it was so much fun! except we didn't even have dinner so I feel slighted. but that's okay. We had such an amazing day with them, we invited ten people to be baptized and got three new investigators. Of course when I'm gone from my area we get two new investigators as well, but that's usual. Everything exciting happens in my area when I'm gone.

speaking of exciting things our car died again yesterday, so we had to get it jumped. again. Someday we'll get a corolla. oh and sister voyles has been sick all week, so after coughing on me all week I was bound to get sick as well, so our whole zone is coughing and sneezing and losing their voices. Merry Christmas.

We did get a Brazilian meal on Saturday! One of our members has a son who just got home from Sao Paulo East, so he was home for the holidays and made us estroganoffe. it wasn't really that different, but it was still fun.

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! We've been talking about gifts we can give the Savior this Christmas, after all He has given us, so pick one thing to change this week! One thing to do better; one thing that will make the Savior happy, and I can promise you that Christmas will mean so much more. Remember what the Prophet said the other week, when we take the last syllable off of the spirit of Christmas, it becomes the spirit of Christ, which we can have with us always.


Merry Christmas! Miss you all!

(258) "if you had answered your phone..."

                     16 Dec 2013

okay this week was the longest week of my LIFE. for so many reasons.

so remember when we didn't have the phone all weekend...and joked that President probably called like four times...and the world crashed and burned and horrible things happened that we didn't find out because we didn't have a phone? Well...we got a call at 9:26 Monday night on the Hermanas' phone, it was the Assistants saying that they, the coordinating STL, and PRESIDENT had been calling us all weekend, and they finally called the zone leaders to see why we weren't answering, who told them what happened. So I got called as a sister training leader and President did the whole "if you had answered your phone in the last 72 hours you would have known..." in front of everyone at transfer meeting. whoops. sorry. It wasn't our fault!

Anyways, so I'm STL now, which should be really fun. I cover two zones and get to go on exchanges almost every week...and certify all these people even though I haven't even been officially trained....so I guess President knows what he is doing because I don't! But we are having a meeting in Santa Cruz this week, so I think I'm going to like this assignment.

Last week was really fun, we had a stake musical fireside, and us four sisters had to sing an a cappella song....that we arranged a half hour before it started...and there were so many people there...and I sang alto all by myself...but hey, it's over. Apparently it didn't sound as bad as I thought, so that's good. Or everyone is just being really nice. Oh well. We also got to volunteer at the Christmas creche in Palo Alto, which is like the Eugene one on steroids, it's ridiculous. But it was really cool.

The work in our area has reached an all time low, which has been really hard. We've dropped or have been dropped by nearly all of our investigators, so we are pretty much starting from square one. We just got brand new elders in Central Park, so we are basically all whitewashing. Yay. I've really learned to not be so concerned with goals and numbers, I've been lucky to always get good numbers every week, but the past couple weeks have been terrible, but we've been working harder than ever. It's hard that it is that way, but I think every area goes through ups and downs, and I've really learned to not compare myself to others and all that matters in the end is that you tried your hardest and you really are using every second of the day as best as you can.


This week should be really fun though, it's almost CHRISTMAS (what happened to the time....), and we have a lot of potentials to visit this week. and we finally have a working phone. and things honestly can't get much worst from last week, so it should be good!


enjoy the holiday pictures.

Monday, December 9, 2013

(251) joy to the world

                                            9 Dec 2013

okay. chalk up one more week of adventures. Christmastime brings all sorts of things, like awkward Christmas pictures (you'll get to see those later), power outages, broken cell phones...yeah it was a great week.

Yes the cold snap has hit Fremont and WE'RE DYING. the brazilian wardrobe is being stretched to its limit. yesterday we just had to run from the car to our appointments, and just stand by the heater wherever we go. At least we have a car. It was someone's brilliant idea to play sand volleyball last pday, so my feet are still numb from that. I did get myself an early christmas present and we went to whole foods. Heaveeeeen

The cherry on top of the week was that our phone completely stopped working on Friday, so we called the mission office, and they said we can get a new one by wednesday. Wednesday. Missionary work without a phone = impossible. We've lost quite a few of our investigator's numbers...so that should be great. All of our contacts are going to be permanently lost too. Oh and I guess the power went out one day, so when we came home the security alarm was blaring...and we thought someone broke in (our street is a little sketch), so that was a little terrifying. Merry Christmas.

It was a really fun week though, we got to go up to the temple visitor's center in Oakland on wednesday! It was a really good experience for the girl we are teaching, she is hoping to finish the Book of Mormon this week, so that should be exciting! Our investigators have been doing really well, hopefully some of them will be ready for baptism soon. Oh and our ward mission leader's house not only is outfitted with blinking christmas lights and the blow-up Rudolph, but they have Christmas music blaring all evening. Best Christmas display ever. We are having a stake musical fireside next Sunday and the four of us sisters have to come up with something to sing in the next six days....I hope the new sister coming in isn't tone deaf, so that should be really fun.

We've been trying really hard, despite the weather and everything possible going wrong, but it's been amazing to see miracles this week! one day we walked around for twenty minutes and saw ten people, but we talked to all of them, invited four to be baptized, got four numbers, gave away two pamphlets, one book of mormon, and got one new investigator! It was incredible. (that never happens). We've been praying so hard, and hopefully we'll see some more miracles in our zone!

Transfers are tomorrow, we're getting a lot of new missionaries in the zone, but we are staying (phew). We might be getting new missionaries in one of our wards, so that will be really nice! we will see!


please don't forget Elder Ballard's invitation: if we all reach out in love to serve or invite just one person this season, how many MILLIONS will feel the love of Christ this Christmas! and "what greater gift can we give to our Savior!" feliz natal!

(244) happy thanksgiving x3

                                               2 Dec 2013

so thanksgiving week on a mission is pretty much the most boring week ever. it was SO hard to find people to teach this week...everything fell through, so that was obnoxious. But we got a lot set up for this week so hopefully we'll have some more luck soon!

thanksgiving itself was really slow, we did get to talk to a lot of people in the morning, then went to our three dinners. which we were so careful about not eating too much that we didn't even eat enough! It was nice to just enjoy our time there, but it was hard to not get as much work done.

BUT NOW IT'S CHRISTMAS I'M SO EXCITED

We are putting up our tree today, we found one in the garage with a soda cup on top as a star....elders. and one of our members is a photographer so christmas cards are in the works! we tried to listen to christmas music in the car...but the mission christmas music is....not my thing. It's actually quite terrible, so we'll just have to sing our own.


We had advanced orientation this week for visa waiters, woohoo! after eight months of being here. but really. It was nice and it was fun to see everyone, but we had to take sister powell home to east palo alto (in the opposite direction) so that day, plus the fixing-the-furnace afternoon (we finally have a heater!), didn't help the great lesson drought of thanksgiving week. but the great thing about life is that you can always start over next week. and we've made plans to go up to the oakland temple to see the christmas lights with like three different people so hopefully we'll get up there soon!

(237) "excuse me, are you nuns?"

                                 25 Nov 2013                                   

This week we definitely learned a lot about goal setting and prayer. To the point where I just feel ridiculous for not setting prayerful goals every day so far. but really. It works. We had a bit of a slow start to the week, and it got to the point where Friday I decided that we were going to have seven lessons taught that day. Didn't know how it was going to work out but we planned seven people and a few backups like usual, but this day it was going to work out. so we headed out and prayed for seven lessons that day, which I don't think I had done before. We ended up not even getting that many lessons, but we had the best day! Just the fact that we set a goal and prayed for it allowed the Lord to bless us with so many miracles. almost half of the people we talked to were interested in learning more and gave us their information, we gave out like four referrals, and we contacted a former investigator. it was such a good afternoon. moral of the story: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. it works.

We also had a cool experience yesterday, we were contacting around Niles until it started to get dark, so we were heading home and we saw a couple transient folk...and had that moment of "do we really want to go talk to them?" We've had quite our fair share of fun (weird) contacts...but I remember last Friday we did the same thing, we both looked at each other and said, "do we really want to contact the trench coat guy", but we did anyway, and he started crying because he really wanted to know more about Christ, and he was having a really hard time. So we decided to talk to these people, and the lady says, hey are you mormon? I'm Mormon! Crazy! and went on to explain how God always sends her members of the church at the times where she needs them the most, and we had a nice little lesson about prayer. You never know!

(not) funny story of the week: our CAR died last monday. we had stopped in a parking lot to look up who to visit next when our appointment fell through, and the car completely died. No reason. So ASL came and rescued us and jumped it...but it's been working fine just since. I think it was a sign that we needed to stop complaining about the maliboat and be grateful for having a car...but we just really want the corolla even more now. but we're too nice to take one from the elders, even though elder clayton told us we should, since we are sisters. but we feel bad.


we met with Miram, our Afghani friend to teach her English, and she said to "say hi to friend, say hi to family" she is SO cute. she always asks "the family good, the family good?" We also met with a Muslim man from Afghanistan and we talked about similarities between our religions, and he loved the family proclamation. we'll see how that goes but I loved meeting with him, it was fascinating. We had a hard week as far as our most progressing investigators...not progressing towards baptism, but we are still working on it. we got to speak in central park yesterday and got four referrals, one of which is another BRAZILIAN family! so we will see how that goes as well! tchau for now!