Sunday, April 27, 2014

My last Sunday Dinner

Today was my last family dinner at home for the next year and my family is so amazing to me. They suprised me at Sunday Dinner with an early birthday (my b-day is normally May 23rd). My sister Jessica also made me an amazing breakfast before church, it was so great! Then for my birthday dinner, they got me mexican pastries and some early birthday presents! Here are some photos of my last night at home with my family and Jon and Daisy (who are also adopted family)!

It was such a great evening full of family and friends and of course a fun birthday too!

Love, Hermana Weller

Surprise Trip - 101 on 101

Since I have been home I have been spending a majority of my time at home, re-packing, studying, and going out with the sister missionaries. My mom surprised me with a quick trip to visit my Grandmother M who just turned 101!! She is an amazing women and each time I see here it is such a treat because when I left for my mission originally in September 2013, I thought it would be the last time I saw her (since she had just turned 100).

I am so grateful for my mom and the opportunity I had to visit my grandmother and see her for her birthday and I am so glad I did.

Here are some photos from my quick two day trip down 101 to see my grandmother who is 101! Hence the name of the title 101 on 101...

Selfie in the car...only 5 hours to go!

Grandma M, Mom, and Luis


Saying goodbye

On the way home we made a few little stops, for lunch to grab a CRAB BURGER (so good), we also stopped at a lighthouse since it was nice outside. 

Just wanted to send a shout out to my mom for making this great trip happen! I loved spending time with her and my nephew LUIS (he is my sidekick). 

Love, Hermana Weller

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Weekend

This weekend was Easter Weekend and I was so thankful to spend time with family, go to church, and have a great family dinner at my sweet sister Jessica's. We had such a great afternoon. Here are just a few photos...


You may be asking what is happening in the photo above, we stuff egg shells with confetti and crack them on each others heads. It is a Hispanic tradition. 

Oh and of course I hunted for Easter EGGs too!

How did you spend Easter Weekend?

All of this was possible #BecauseofHim. Check out my post here! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Because of HIM

This weekend was one of the most memorable weekends I have had. I loved spending time with my family, crushing Easter eggs on my family members heads, going to church and feeling the Holy Ghost like I have never felt it before, announcing where I would be serving the second part of my mission, and reflecting on why I am blessed with all of these great things. A family, a mission, friends, the Holy Ghost...all of this is possible #BECAUSE OF HIM...

It is because of him that I know that I know that...
I am a child of God
I am a sister of Jesus Christ
I am a daughter to my amazing parents
I am a sister to my brothers and sisters
My family here on earth can live together in the Eternities
My life on earth is only for a moment of time
When I die, my life is only beginning not ending

It is because of him that I feel his love each and every day
that I feel the Holy Ghost
that I can make decisions about my life and feel his support

I know that this is only #Because of HIM

What are you thankful for #Because of HIM?

Things to ask before you pack

Here are some things I have learned since I have now prepared for two different missions. I hope this helps you as you prepare to serve on your mission. These are just things I have learned to ask right away so you can edit what you are taking and leave home the things you do not need.

You will also get a packet with your missions specific instructions with your packet but it may be a good idea to also get a hold of your mission directly and ask a few questions.

  1. Find out if you are in a biking, walking, or driving mission? Why does this matter?

    Walking - Invest in good walking shoes at least two pairs and some cute flats for church. I wouldn't bother taking wedges or heels. You're feet will hate you if you do.

    > If you are going foreign make sure you take enough for you're entire mission. I was in Ecuador and shoes in my size were super expensive and they were Payless brand. So what you could normally get in the states was about $45 for a pair of flats.

    > If you are going state side it is not as hard to find more shoes. So you do not have to worry about making sure you take everything with you. I would still get at least one good pair of walking shoes in black or brown and then some cute flats.

    Biking - Invest in shoes that have straps so that your shoes do not fall off when you are biking around. I would also make sure that you purchase bike shorts of some kind to wear under your skirts.

    > Check with your mission to find out if you need to buy a bike. For example, I spoke with the mission secretary who told me that I could just use one of the bikes they have (It's just a bike that an old missionary left, so they didn't have to ship it home). Otherwise you have to ship one to your mission and then take it with you each and every transfer.

    Driving - You are just spoiled lol. I would still get some comfy shoes and of course cute flats and small wedges are not so bad when you do not have to walk in them all day.

    >You will also need to head to your DMV and request a copy of your driving record. I paid about $8 for this and it is basically so you can drive in your mission. You can ask your mission as well and they can send you what to ask for.

    Tip: Wear your new shoes before you leave for at least a month so that you can stretch them out and hopefully not get blisters. I didn't and the entire time at the MTC had blisters on the back of my heals. The Elder's just laughed at us.

  2. Wait until you know where you are going before you buy anything...

    This was probably one of my hardest rules to follow and quite frankly I didn't follow my own advice. So I shopped and bought things only to find out that I didn't really need it, so it was a waste of money and shopping time. I know it is hard, but wait until  you know where you are going before you buy. Of course things like bras, work out clothes, and white or black t-shirts is okay, but I wouldn't buy much more.

    Why? Because if you get called to Hawaii, that cute wool skirt you just bought is staying home. If you get called to England, the super cute light skirt you just bought is also staying home.

  3. Ask if the mission is an iPad mission?  Why is it important?

    If your mission uses an iPad, then you do not have to take as many books, for example you can leave the following at home:
    - Missionary Reference Library
    - Gospel Art Book
    - Preach My Gospel (Large size...take the mini's)
    -Gospel Principles (in your mission language)

    Plus, you will get about 20 lbs of books from the MTC, which include most of these plus a new set of scriptures in your mission language and language learning books. So why not save some lbs for clothes or other things you need.

  4. Ask if your mission supplies bedding, blankets, or pillows?

    If you are going foreign, ask! When I served in Ecuador, our mission supplied Hygienic Bed Covers, throw blankets, a pillow and mosquito nets. So obviously this saved me on having to take all of these things in my luggage.

    If you are serving in the states, you are responsible for supplying your own bedding. So, here is what I would bring...
    - 2 sets flat sheets
    - 2 fitted sheets
    - 1 light throw blanket
    - 1 pillow
    - 1 comforter
    I went online and shipped my comforter and sheets to my mission. I purchased my bedding from Target because I liked their designs and the comforter was reversible and then I just got the mission home address and shipped it for $5 to my mission.

  5. What can I listen too? Your music questions....
    Each mission is different, so make sure to ask what music you can listen too. In my mission, we were allowed to listen to anything that was instrumental but it also had to be uplifting. So obviously no Metallica here. Music is what made my day on my mission and could make a hard morning so much better by just listening to something spiritual.

    Here are a few places to find great music.
    > Free and downloadable at Youth Music
    > Purchase CD's from Dessert (kind of expensive)
    > Get them on iTunes

    I purchased a USB and then downloaded all of my music beforehand and purchased a speaker to plug my USB into with a wall charger. All in all, about $30 dollars. I paid about $15 for the speaker in Ecuador and then about $15 for the USB.

    I would think about how you are going to listen to music and what you are going to do before you leave. I never realized how much I loved music until I couldn't listen to it on my iPhone using Pandora.
Here are just a few tips that at the moment are helping me decide what to take and what to leave. Hope this helps you. Let me know if there are other questions you may need advice for.

Happy packing!

Your Sister Missionary, Hermana Weller

Monday, April 21, 2014

And I'll Be Serving In.....

Los Angeles, California!!

I'll be leaving Monday morning so make sure to say bye to me Sunday at church!
Oh and don't forget to write:
Hermana AnnaAlicia Weller
California Los Angeles Mission
1591 E Temple Way
Los Angeles, CA 90024-5801

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Travel Instructions for those going to the Mexico City MTC

If you are getting ready to head out on your own missionary adventure. Here is an email I got from my travel helper (someone will be assigned to you based on where you serve). I got this email on Sept 24 which was the night before I left. So I thought I would post it on my blog just in case you are like me and like to know what is happening before you leave to the MEXICO MTC.

Below is your e-ticketed itinerary for your travel to Mexico City.  Please arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled flight time.

Make sure to have your Sponsor Letter (mailed to you two weeks before you leave), FMM Instructions Sheet (mailed to you two weeks before you leave) and a copy of your mission call letter with you (you need this when you go through CUSTOMS)!

NAMETAGS-    Will be issued at the Mexico MTC.

AIRLINE TICKET- You have been issued an ‘E-Ticket’. It is an electronic ticket. Actual ticket numbers are listed on the itinerary, therefore, at check- in you will only need to provide the airline the flight itinerary listed below.

PACKING – When packing your bags for your trip to Mexico City, pack a clean shirt, socks, garments, etc. in your carry-on bag.  This is just in case your bags do not arrive with you in Mexico City. By being prepared, you can still look professional even though you may not have full use of your clothing.

BAGGAGE FEES – Please visit your airline(s) individual website(s) for information on baggage fees and weight allowances. You will be responsible to pay airline baggage fees when traveling to the Mexico MTC. According to the Missionary Department, each missionary is allowed 2 bags at 50 pounds each, unless otherwise stated in your call packet if serving in Central or South America. You will have to pay for baggage to the mission, but will be reimbursed once you arrive in the field if you have your receipts. Fees paid excess bag weight will not be reimbursed.

My tips on Baggage Fees: I would suggest checking the airlines with who you will travel. For example when I was flying to Mexico City, I flew on an international flight through AeroMexico and the carry on could only be 22 lbs! So check the airlines before you leave thinking you are at the 150lb limit for 2 checked and one carry on. 

AIRPORT – Upon arrival at the airport, go immediately to the airline’s check-in counter. Make sure to check your bags all the way to Mexico City then proceed directly to the boarding gate for your flight—check departure screens to make sure you go to the right gate.  Board the flight as soon as seats are called so the flight will not be delayed and your seat will not be given away.  Please be aware that it will be your responsibility to pay for your baggage fees from your home to the MTC.

EN ROUTE – At each connecting city where you change planes, go directly to the boarding gate and check in for your next flight.  If your flight plans change en route, immediately call Church Travel and advise them of all the changes.  Stay close to the departure gate so you will be aware of any updates or other changes.

DELAYED FLIGHTS – If, for any reason, your departure is delayed, call the Church Travel Office as soon as you have been advised of the new schedule.

LOST BAGGAGE – If all your bags do not arrive with you at your final destination, you MUST file a “lost baggage report” with the baggage office of the airline on which you arrived before you leave the airport!

My tips on Lost Baggage: I printed and taped luggage tags to the inside of my bags (click here for free luggage tag printables). I also printed a few extra for when I traveled from Mexico City to my mission. It was suggested by the airlines. So luckily I looked into that my last night at home.

VISA – Your passport will be stamped with a visa by an immigration official at the Mexico City Airport.

ONCE YOU ARRIVE IN MEXICO CITY, you will pass through immigration, you will then collect your baggage and pass through customs inspection. After passing through customs please exit the terminal, stepping to one side to avoid blocking the doorways. Please stay in a group with the other missionaries. There will be a greeter from the MTC waiting for you; please look for them. DO NOT TAKE A TAXI OR ACCEPT A RIDE FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS.

I hope this helps! I was a bit scared to fly to Mexico City by myself but once I got there I saw about 20 or so Elders in suits and knew I found the right place!

Love, your missionary! Hermana Weller

Friday, April 18, 2014

I've Been Re-assigned! & My New Area Is....

Today is another day in my life that I will not forget. Exactly a year ago today I was waiting to find out where I would be assigned to serve as a missionary, and exactly a year later I was in the same spot....wondering where in the United States I would be assigned.

Of course the only thing I wanted was to serve a SPANISH speaking mission. Where I served was not as important because I knew it was all up to the Lord anyway.
On Thursday night I called my family to an important meeting at my sisters house. An 8pm meeting seemed appropriate enough haha. When everyone arrived, we hung a map of the US, passed out pens and post it flags and started a guessing game. Then...I played a little joke. I'll post the video later, but first we're playing a guessing game again!

Here's some clues for all of you :)
  1. I’m going to one of the safest big cities in the states 
  2. This city originally had a really long crazy name 
  3. The best way to avoid traffic here is…Don’t drive haha 
  4. The weather is nice and sunny, but not as hot as being right next to the Equator
  5. It only takes 45 minutes to drive from one side of the mission to the other
  6. There are 8 different languages spoken here
Cast your votes and I'll make the official announcement Monday night. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Testimonies and My top 10 unforgetable Ecuadorian MOMENTS!

Hello my fabulous family! I would say that I miss you but you are around me all the time. (In case you have not been keeping up on my blog, I am home with medical issues). So the first sentance really is not that rude. :) 

I am not sure what to write about this week. I guess I will start with a quick update...
1) I am still waiting to be reassigned...(I was here waiting exactly a year ago)
2) I have no idea where I will be assigned next (but I can't leave the states).
3) I will be just as excited as when I got my first mission call, when I get the next.

So what have I been up to this week. 

Well, just like all other weeks, I have been reading the Book of Mormon and am in one of my favorite parts about how Alma the Elder was converted and what he did to organize the church during the time of the wicked King Noah. Just to give a quick background. Alma lived during the time of a wicked King who did not want anything to do with religion, as he was just doing whatever he wanted. A man named Abinidi, came into their city and started to teach the words of Christ to the people. Abindi was thrown in prision for teaching the people and brought before the wicked King Noah and his priests. One of his priests was named Alma (the Elder). As Abinidi taught King Noah the words that the Lord wanted him to share, Abindi would not deny Christ to save his life. And once he was done teaching all that the Lord wanted, King Noah, put him to death. Alma (the Elder), knew what Abinid said was true, and did not want Abanidi to die, he tried to convince the wicked King and could not. So, instead teh King said that Alma was a trader. Alma ran from the city to save his life. 

Alma not only gave up his seat on the counsel of Elders, he also gave up everything, and left his riches, and worldly things in the city as he fled for his life. Why, you might be asking? He knew that what Abindi had told him was true and he wanted to share that with others. 

This week I had an amazing opportunity to share my missionary experiences with the Young Men and Young Women of my ward. I was so nervious and had no idea what I was going to share with them. The bishop introduced me and then I got up to talk. Not knowing what to share or how I was going to talk for 40 minutes. I grabbed (the book I love...of course that is the Book of Mormon), and started to share my experiences. We talked a lot about why it is important to be converted and not just have a testimony.

So you might be asking what is the difference between these two...a converstion and a testimony. Well, let me see if I can explain. "A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel." - From
Converstion to me, is something that comes when you have a testimony and then you want to share it with other people.

I shared with them how important it is to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and to study it daily, because as we do that, we will fill our spiritual "gas tank". I also told them how important it is to pray daily for an opportunity to share the gospel with a friend. I admitted that I was never great at this. It takes time. When you are a missionary it is easier (I think it is because you have a dedicated calling to share the gospel). But even as members of this great church it is important to share the gospel with the people you love. 

I had such an awesome time sharing my mission experience with them and I hope that I helped them be more inspired. We also talked about other things like what is my favorite day of the week...

Of course if you are a missionary, it's MONDAY! P-day. If I had to pick another day of the week it would be Sunday for obvious reasons, right, church. 

As I wait I have gained new perspectives on my mission and have taken the time to reflect on my time down in Ecuador. I will never forget my companion (the one and only Hermana Y), who was also my trainer and we spent 4 months together. 

So to end this weeks posts, I thought I would post about my top 10 unforgetable Ecuadorian MOMENTS!

#10 Washing my clothes by hand...that was kind of a joke...Hermana Y keep telling me one day I would get it. Well that day never came because the Bishop's daughter offered to wash our clothes. :)

#9 Getting MORONI district t-shirts

#8 Fresh coconut ice cream for 25 might be getting the idea that I love FOOD and you are RIGHT
#7 Riding the public was like a 50 cent roller coaster that you swear you won't get on again

#6 Watching fireworks on NEW YEARS from inside our house...we couldn't sleep due to the entire sky being full of morters...and with the constant bomb bomb bomb...who could sleep?

#5 Watching how people celebrating's kind of like the color run where you peg people with colors and water.

#4 Getting kissed by an Iguana - it actually bit me on the ear. I have never freaked out more.

#3 Getting to know the ward of Happy Town! I LOVE THEM! They are my Ecuadorian family.

#2 Teaching the G family and watching their family become active again in the church

#1 Spending 5 months in ECUADOR in the GUAYAQUIL OESTE MISION 

First moments in Ecuador @ the airport

Well, that is about all folks. I hope next week I will be updating you with where my next adventure takes me.

Love you mucho! 

Hermana Weller

And some more random photos from the week....

Lunch with my sisters