Thursday, February 27, 2014

Girls ONLY....Conference for the Hermanas!

Hey! How are you all doing? I hope taht everyone is doing well.
I hear that the snow is gone now and that you are dealing with good
old Oregon rain, you probably want the snow back. lol. I hope that
everyone gets over their colds fast.

This week has been a special week, I love it! To start this week we
had a Conference for just the sister missionaries in our mission!
There are 36 sister missionaries in my mission! Half are AMERICAN and
half are Latina. On Tuesday night, we headed to the temple for a
session with just the sister missionaries! It was such a great session
and a great time to reflect on a lot of the changes and decisions I
have made in the last 2 years and to think about date. We also go to
sleep in the Temple Housng, which was cool. The next mornign we woke
up early and go ready to head from teh Temple to President
Dennis´house here and we had our conference. It was so inspirational,
we watched Mormon messages and talked about how we can be a light and
guide to our investigators and our companions. It was so great to see
all of the sister missionaires, It was the first ever and Hermana
Dennis said she would like to have one every 3 months. Which would be

This week we also had a baptism for S! She is a 12 year old who is a
member of a less active family. She is so great, in one day she read
12 chapters in teh Book of Mormon and she even prepared her tithing to
pay it before she was baptized. We are still working with her family
to get them all the way activated in teh chruch so that they can
continue to help her stay active and keep the commandments and one day
enter the temple. She is great and I am so happy we had the
opportunity to teach her.

We also had a talent show this weekend that we the missionaries put
together, people were laughing so hard, we put together 4 skits, the
girl who does not like to act lol. It was so much fun though to do
something different and to show people taht we are only human haha. I
loved it.

My spanish is coming along too. I am talking more and this last Sunday
I had a talk in Sacrament meeting, yes all in Spanish I talked about
Temples adn the Importance of keepnig the commandments so that you can
take your family to the temple. I also acidently said that I wanted an
hombre quiene es digno a entrar el templo con mi propio famila. But
everyoone understood what I was trying to say and many of the sisters
afterwards told me how much they appreiciated my talk and gave me

I love you all so much. Remember MOM HAS A BIRTHDAY coming up and that
Dad´s graduation date is coming up too. Too cute what Lisa came up
with. Love it. It is truly a graduation. [This is a little confusing, for those of you who don't know, our dad passed away 2 years ago on March 3rd. My little sister said he graduated from this life to go onto the next ;)  -Note by Jessica ]

Love you all so much.


Oh and my health issues are getting better. Don´t worry, I have access
to an american doctor here too. Love you!

Oddest Valentine's Day Ever...

Hello Everyone!

I hope that you are all doing great. And that you had an amazing
Valentines Day. I know it was just another Friday full of LOVE and
Amore. I had one of the most unique Valentines Day ever
in my life I am sure.

On Thursday the 14th I went to the doctors for another exam because I
was still having a lot of pain and the pills they were giving me did
not help. So our mission nurse made an appointment and on Thursday
afternoon I went to the doctors to see a stomach doctor. He told me
that I needed to have an Endoscopy done to see my stomach and see what
is causing my pain, bathroom problems, and vomiting. So on Friday
morning we headed to the doctors and they put me to sleep and after
about 10 minutes I woke up and then sleep for about 2 hours because I
had to wait for the aneshia to go away before I left and heading back
to my sector (my area) on the bus. I have pictures and a pretty
awesome video that I will send to you.

After the doctors we headed to our area and started to visit our
investigators and our less active members. On Friday night we had our
first baptism since DECEMBER! Woot woot. I am so happy that we were
able to teach little N and that she choice to enter into a covenant
with her Heavenly Father. Her aunts and uncles are all members but she
is the second member in her famliy to be baptized. Her mother has
heard all of the lessons but she currently lives with her second
husband but they are not legally married. So she can not be baptized.
But she allowed us to teach her 10 year older daughter, named little N
and she was baptized on Friday and confirmed on Sunday in church. She
is so amazing. She is such an example of what it means to be a light
and example to your family. She has such a strong desire as well to
enter the temple and do baptisms for the dead and to get married there
when she is old enough.

That was the bright part of our week, that we had one baptism. On
Saturday and Sunday it felt like we walked all day without a guide and
all of our appointments cancelled or were not home so we were only
about to teach 1 lesson the entire day. I can not even explain what it
feels like not to have a guide but it is the oddest feeling ever. It
was almost depressing but I know that as I try to be more and more
obident to all of the rules that I will be blessed for my efforts.
Right now we only have one more baptism for this month and none
scheduled for the month of March. Which is sad. I pray every day that
we will find people and that we will be able to help them come closer
to GOD.

As sad as this weekend was, I am so glad I am here. I know that it
will get harder and that I will also have happy moments. The hard
moments are hard but the happy moments make it all worth it.

I love you all and can´t wait to hear from you this week. LOVE YOU!


February Already...

What is it already February! I feel like I just talked with you
yesterday about my first month of so here. Only 3 more months until my
birthday and the month that I get to call home again. You probably
feel like you just talked to me too. I can´t believe you guys have
snow right now and that you are stuck inside because the roads and
schools are closed. Luis asked me in his letter if I had snow here in
Ecuador. I only wish my little man. Here it is still super hot and
humid right now. We are in the time of winter in Ecuador which
normally means rain but apparently this year they have not had any
rain so it is an odd winter for Ecuador. I wish I had snow cause I am
kind of tired of the hot weather, but I am actually grateful for the
clouds right now. Since in November when I got here it was super hot,
not humid, and no clouds. People here use umbrellas but it is to block
the sun when they walk around.

This week has been one of the best and most heart breaking weeks here
in the mission so far. I will start with why it was the best! This
week we had the opportunity in our mission to have a MultiZone
Conference with Elder W. Christopher Waddell. He is from the First
Quorum of the Seventy. He is from California but right now lives in
Lima Peru. We had our multizone conference on Friday the 7th. He
talked to us about how we can prepare spiritually to teach others. He
shared Ezra 7:10, which says, ´¨...Ezra had prepared his heart to seek
the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach...´¨ He told us that
first we have to prepare our hearts to receive instruction, second we
have to look, which means you have to work to find it and not simply
recieve it. Third, we have to live it or put into action what we
recieve. He related this to when Joseph Smith prayed to know what
church to join, that when we recieved his answer he acted. This
anology can be likened to so many things. Prayer, Understanding the
Scriptures, attending church, going to the temple. I likened this
verse to Prayer, because there are times when you dont get an answer
quickly, you have to prepare to recieve your answer, you have to read
the scriptures, sometimes your answer comes from other people.

It also reminded me of a less active member we are working with at the
moment who was baptized 16 years ago, and after a few months stopped
going to church. We were walking one day and talked with her
grandchildren and made an appointment with them to come back the next
day. When we came back the next day we talked to her and found out
about her life. We invited her to come to church and she came! We have
been visting her for the past few weeks. Right now she is praying
daily to know if the Book of Mormon was written by prophets and if
Joseph Smith was a prophet. She prays daily to know and I know she
will get an answer. I told her about one of the times I recieved an
answer when I prayed to know if the time was right for me to serve a
mission and literly in the middle of my pray my heart changed. I
changed what I was praying for, not just to ask is the time right but
my heart changed and I told Heavenly Father that I would love the
people that I teach no matter where he sent me. And now look I am in

Elder Waddell also talked to us about the Obra de Salvacion and that
our goal as missionaries is not to find new people to teach but to
rescue the people that have been baptized and no longer go to church.
And that we need to help them enter the temple, because it is only
through the covenants of the temple that we can enter the door to the
Celestial Kingdom. Our baptism was only the first covenant. And after
baptism it is important to always progress in the church. It was such
a great conference. I cried, smiled, and ate great food!

The sad part of this week , that has been heart breaking is that 3 of
our 4 people that we had baptisms scheduled for have decided not to be
baptized at this time. My heart breaks for them becuase I know this
gospel is true and that it changes lives. I know it becuase of things
that I have overcome in my life. I respect their decision, don´t get
me wrong but I am sad that at this time in their lives they have
decided a different path.

The other happy news is that FRIDAY is Valentines DAY! Happy
Valentines Day my family! I hope you will do something fun to
celebrate. Oh and dont forget to book camping spots for the summer
because you are already a month late if you have not already done it.
Lol. I keep planning for you even when you don´t. I can´´t wait to get
home in a short time and see all of you and GO CAMPING on the COLD
Oregon Coast. This week has been a little crazy becuase normally I
dont dream but this week I have been dreaming about camping and ice
cream lol. Oh and of course you guys!

Love you a ton. Have a GREAT VALENTINES DAY!


Monday, February 10, 2014

2 Years Ago Today

I was sick with my first cold here in the mission this week.

 I thought I was going to die. I can´t even explain what it feels like to have a fever when it is 85 degrees outside. I am also still having problems with my stomach which is why I have been going to the doctor so much. They didn´t really tell me much after a bunch of tests except that I have a fungus in my intestine but that it shouldn´t be causing the pain I am also having. So I am on antibotics for that fun fun huh. Oh and when I had a sonogram, no I am not pregnant but they needed to see my organs, the doctor found a syst on my ovary, which could be causing the pain I am having but the doctors are not for sure. So right now I am on antibotics, and a strick low fiber diet. The other day I went 36 hours without eatting because my bowels needed to rest said the doctor. Things are getting better though. I am hoping that the pills will help me a bunch and that I can work without seizing.

My spanish is getting better. People tell me all the time I can talk a bunch but I am struggling with getting time to study every day so I am learning when we talk with people, which I guess is the best way. But I want it to get better so I have to keep working on it.

We have been working hard to help members who are less active become active in the church again. I know how hard it can be to come back to church after years or even a short period of time but it is hard to explain this to people. It all starts with the desires of the person, if they want to come back to the church or not. But I hope that I can continue to help people and that they will feel the love that I have for them and continue to follow the commandments of the Lord and see the millions of blessings he has for them. I hope that people are able to easily see this and not look at the commandments as obligations. The Lord gives us commandments to protect us and never gives us a commandment that we can not complete. I love in 1 Nephi 3:7, it says, ¨ 7  Y aconteció que yo, Nefi, dije a mi padre: una a ir y hacer las cosas que el Señor ha mandado, porque sé que él nunca da mandamientos a los hijos de los hombres sin deberá c preparar la vía para que cumplan lo que les ha mandado.¨ 

When I finally realized that commandments where only given to bless and protect us, I finally had a desire to go to the temple for the first time to promise to the Lord to follow all commandments. That day was 2/2/12! Two years ago yesterday. I went to the temple for the first time, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember seeing my dad and him whispering how beautiful I looked and that he was proud of me. My mom was also by my side the entire day. I am so thankful that I had a true converstion of my heart. I am so thankful that mom and dad prayed for me always and that the decision to go to the temple was only the first in many amazing decisions in the past two years. A little over a year ago I also made the decision to serve a mission and now I am in Ecuador. The Lord changes lives, I am a testiment of that. His Gospel changes lives too. I am so thankful that I know that the church is true, and that it is the only true church here on the EARTH. It is the only church on the earth that has living prophets and apostles who recieve revelation directly from the Lord. I am so grateful for the oportunity I have to know this without a doubt. 

Love you all so much. I can´t wait to tell you how this week goes. We have a multi zone conference this week with an Area 70, so I am super excited for that.


Doctors visits and 3 months in Ecuador


In the 3 months I have been here I have learned a lot. I have learned that I am still me, which means I still love my sleep, miss Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (When you pick me up from the airport in 2015, please have this on standby), miss my family, and still need to work on my patience with people. But I am only human and I pray everyday to grow spiritually and that I can represent God to the best of my abilities today and every day. Sometimes people dont think we are human but we really are. The mission so far has taught me to be patient with myself and to be patient with the spanish.

Other that that I am loving the rain they have right now in SUMMER here. I get to use my paraguas (umbrella) everyday at random times. I still have not used my rain jacket mainly because it is not cold, just rainy. It still gets super humid at night but for the first time the other night I was cold. So the Lord just keeps blessing me lol. In March or April is when it starts to get hot again which I dont really like either haha. 

We are still working hard and I am seeing how the Lord blesses us more and more each day. Me with my spanish and Hermana Y with health. I am still going to to doctors a lot which is a bummer because it means less time to talk to people but we talk with people on the bus. I am hoping this week the stomach doctor will tell me what is wrong with my stomach. Pray for that. 

The Lord has also been helping me a lot with my spanish. Yesterday for example, I made it a point to get out of bed at 6:25 AM instead of 6:30 AM. and the Lord blessed. I was able to speak with a recent convert and learn about her family and how she joined the church. If all I have to do every day is be obedient so the Lord can bless me, that is what I will do. 

I love it here but miss home, know that. I am looking forward to starting another week here and I pray that we can find more people to teach and that we can help bring people closer to christ.

This week, as a family in your sunday dinner, try having Family HOme Evening too. I promise you as you do this, you will feel even closer, and that as you show God that you will follow all of the counsel of the prophets that you will find answers to your questions and be able to overcome any challenge you face.

Love your friend, daughter, sister, auntie, and MISSIONARY!


PS, Jessica update my blog. 

 Pictures when I arrived in Ecuador

4 Months & The Lord Blesses

Hello again!

This week Hermana Y and I have been working hard. She was released from house arrest (lol released by her doctor to work) on Thursday, but we were actually visiting families each night from 7-9 PM as we had 8 less active members in church on the 12th. We were working with them to find out how we can help them become active members in the church again. So we had family home evenings with them and taught them the missionary lessons. The same that the missionaries did with me when I was less active and needed help regaining my testimony of the gospel and the church. It was so amazing to work with the members this week to fellowship other members. This weekend we had 16 less active members in church for our  ward conference. 

The Lord has blessed us so much in this week. Hermana Y always tells me that if we work with the less active members we will find people who have a desire to be baptized. This is so true! Our President always tells us this too. And I have seen how it can be true this week. 

On Monday night we were visiting a less active family, named Familia C, there are 5 less active members who live in the same house. Their neighbor who lives upstairs dropped by to borrow something and we asked if we could visit her. We literly talked to her for less than 5 minutes. We then visited her on Saturday and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and guess what she wants to get baptized on February 1st!! 

 We also have been working with another less active family, named familia G, they have 2 children who are both not members. We are currently working with their 9 year old daughter and teaching her the lessons.

And we talked with two 9 year old twins on Saturday when we were out contacting and scheduled an appointment to visit them and their grandmother the next day. We went back the next day and found out the  grandmother was baptized a long time ago and has not been to the church in 16 years. She went to church on Sunday with her 15 year old son!!! 

The LORD blesses me so much it is crazy. Our Zone Leader also told me that the Lord blesses me everyday when I speak spanish and that in the  past 3 months I have been here my spanish has only gotten better. And that when I rely on the Spirit it will only get stronger!

Well that was pretty much my week. We are back to workng and loving it! 

Here are some photos from the other day. One of our young women planned a family home evenign for her mothers birthday and  we got pictures. 

Love AnnaAlicia