Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Miracles on Miracles on Miracles

My dearest and loveliest family!!

Hello hello my loves!!! SOO as you can tell from the subject of this
email, this past week was a week FULL of miracles!!! They were never
ending!! So before I get to talking about all of the miracles that
have occurred... I have arrived in Orland!! Oh yes. So we cover many
different areas here. We cover Chico (we have Spanish Elders there
too), Willows, Hamilton City, Corning (there are Spanish Elders there
too) and Orland, where we live!! Orland is teeny tiny but anyways...
We have a lot of area to cover - meaning we have A LOT of work to do!!
But I am finally here! With mi compañera Hermana Lee and things are

1. MIRACLE #1 ... On Wednesday we went and taught the most amazing
lady named Maria del Carmen Gonzalez. Well anyways, she is amazing. So
we went over, she fed us lunch and then we had a lesson with her.
Well, since it was my first time meeting her, I took full advantage of
the situation and asked her what all she has learned from the
Hermanas, what she thought of it all, told her of our purpose, brought
up baptism... and then I had us read Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life
is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of
this life is the day for men to perform their labors." ... After this
I asked her what she felt she could do to prepare to meet God RIGHT
NOW and she said with a big smile on her face, "SER BAUTIZADA!!!" ...
BE BAPTIZED!!!! Haha this answer couldn't have made me any happier. We
then told her about a baptism happening on Sunday and she smiled and
said she would be there!! She then said she wanted to come to church
and went and grabbed a new dress she bought that she wanted to wear to
church. Haha and I then started to tell her something else, (wanting
to put her on date) and she said, "I need to wear white??" and went to
put her dress away and Hermana Lee said, "Do we need to inform her
that it isn't HER baptism this Sunday???" Hahaha and then when she
came back, we talked about baptism a bit more and then I committed her
to be baptized on August 9th and she agreed with again, a huge smile
on her face and said, "lo pondré en mi calendario!" ... "I'll put it
on my calendar!" Soo we have a baptism August 9th!!! And to be
completely honest, I think we may be able to push it a week earlier.
Because.... NEXT miracle.

2. MIRACLE #2 ... Maria came to all 3 hours of church!! Wearing her
new dress and the biggest smile on her face. She looked BEAUTIFUL and
loved every minute of church!!! She was saying hello to EVERYONE,
smiling away introducing herself, during both classes she was sharing
comments the entire time... haha she talked A LOT but it was great!
And she wants to come to the relief society activity this week...
everything. Amazing. And she was carrying around her Book of Mormon
the whole time just loving life. It was so awesome!

3. MIRACLE #3 MIRACLE #4 MIRACLE #5, etc..... hahaha TOO MANY
MIRACLES!!! So after church we had a baptism for an 8 year old in the
branch and anyways, we invited everyone including our most progressing
investigators including: Maria (the one on date) ... Cecilia and her
two daughters Adriana y Andrea and then Amparo, her husband Rafael and
their 3 kids. Well anyways, Cecilia apparently has attended a baptism
before and LOVED it and then Amparo and her family have never attended
a baptism or church or anything... nada... And anyways, Maria stayed
after church for the baptism which was a MIRACLE and she was soo
excited to watch & witness one. Then in walked Cecilia and her two
daughters.... HUGE MIRACLE!!! We were already so excited. And THEN a
little bit later... in walked Amparo, Rafael and their three kids...
THE ENTIRE FAMILY came!!!! Another GIGANTIC MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So
ALL of the people we REALLY wanted to come to the baptism, CAME. And
last minute we were asked to do a presentation while the little girl
was changing and so Hermana Lee & I taught the Restoration. Which I
was soo excited to do. It was perfect because we had soo many of our
investigators there and a few potentials as well. Including a lady
named Patricia who is family with a member. She was at all of church
too. So the Restoration is the perfect thing for them all to hear. Soo
amazing!!! So anyways. I am so happy I can't wipe the smile of my
face!!!!!!! I don't know if I have ever witnessed so many miracles all
at once!!! Heavenly Father truly is POURING out blessings upon us
right now and I couldn't be happier about it. We had such wonderful
lessons with all of these people as well this past week and wonderful
fact, Rafael - Amparo's husband... has never listened in on a lesson
before but when we were teaching her the other day we watched the 20
minute video on the Restoration and he came home from work, hurried
and changed out of his dirty clothes, and then came and sat down and
watched half of the video with us. And the miracle about that was he
started watching RIGHT as it was leading up into the First Vision. So
he made it JUST in time. That was no coincidence. He loved it too but
is still trying to understand why he would have to be baptized again.
(I was on a roll inviting everyone to be baptized the first time I met
them... I am taking full advantage of being the new missionary on the
block haha) and Amparo started teaching him why... we don't even have
her on date yet but she is progressing so much. Also, she told us to
pray for her to receive an answer about the Restoration, Joseph Smith,
the Book of Mormon, baptism, etc... so we are DEFINITELY doing that!!!
 And then after the baptism we had a dinner and after they all
finished eating, Amparo had me sit by her and we talked for a minute.
She started whispering to me about some stuff but I couldn't fully
understand her... seemed like important information though because she
started off telling me how she had been praying & praying to God and
asking him about everything since that's what we invited her to do.
But then people kept interrupting us and there was a lot of noise
around us so she asked if we could meet with her on Tuesday and she
would tell us everything she was feeling then. And then while I was
talking to her, Hermana Lee supposedly was talking to her husband
Rafael and set up an appointment to meet with the entire family on
Thursday!!!! So anyways...  I don't know exactly WHAT she is going to
tell us and what she is feeling but I have a feeling I am going to
like what I am going to hear!!!!!!!! Also, she told me how she was
heading to Chico with her family to go to the store when she
remembered about the baptism so she turned around and they all
came!!!! MIRACLE!!!! Also, her and Cecilia are friends!! Which makes
it all the better. I am almost positive if one of them decides to be
baptized, the other will join right along. MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE I
TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!! Also, Maria acted like a member during the dinner
afterwards. She was helping clean up, etc. and was just talking with
everyone. So cute too.. when she was leaving she kissed my cheek and
said, "I love you!" She is amazing!!! Haha I asked her after the
baptism if she still wanted to be baptized and she said, "Ohhh
si!!!!!!!" Hahaha she sure does! I love it! Cecilia and her daughters
loved the baptism too. I am excited to talk to more about it with them
all this upcoming week!

4. MIRACLE #6 ... so there is an amazing family and they probably are
the strongest link in the tiny Chico branch... The Whitaker family...
the wife, Liliana is from Mexico and then her husband is from here and
he served his mission in Mexico. They met at BYU and anyways, they are
DARLING and so awesome. Well anyways, their friend wanted us
missionaries to meet her friend Maria and her fiancé (who is a member
- less-active) so they arranged a dinner at the Whitakers for us
missionaries to meet them and what not. Well crazy fact, on Friday
after our "Meet the President" conference, I'll talk about that in a
minute... We decided to tract a little bit. Well, we decided to tract
a trailer park and about the 4th door we knocked we ran into a darling
girl named Maria. Well it didn't take long of us to realize she was
the Maria we were having dinner with the next night!!! Is that a
MIRACLE or what!?! That is no coincidence I'll tell you that much. And
anyways, she is sooo cute and we had a lot of fun with her the next
night as well. We haven't been able to teach her a whole lot yet but
she told us she loves how our church really focuses on and places
importance on families. And at dinner her fiancé was AWESOME and
talking about all his memories in the church in Mexico City, his
sister went to Benemerito where the CCM is... so that was fun to talk
about!! And anyways, we want to work on them a lot and get him
re-activated, them married, her baptized and then them both to the
TEMPLE!!! But anyways, pretty fun miracle.

5. MIRACLE #7 ... After the baptism last night we decided to contact a
few formers and we happened to choose one of the homes of a members
family! The Jaime family. Interesting fact, their son Mauricio is the
only member in their family and he is a member of the Branch
presidency and was the one who performed the baptism earlier that day.
He is sooo awesome, served a mission, was married in the temple,
everything... and anyways, we found his family and they are amazing!!!
They are Catholic but loved talking with us, even are happy to listen
to our messages and we had so much fun with them! After we talked with
them for a bit and shared some scriptures with them as well, they
invited us to join them for dinner on Saturday night!! So we will be
eating with them and I am so excited. I hope they find the truth & joy
that comes from the gospel like their son has!!!!

6. Okay and then we, again, had our "Meet the President" conference!!
I have officially met President Marston!! Crazy!! He is super
different than President Weston but I love him so much already. It is
clear he is brand new to the field too because he more relaxed, loves
cracking jokes and is just still trying to get things figured out...
But he is full of kindness & love and I love him so much!!! And his
wife is super darling. They are wonderful!! The whole change is pretty
crazy but I am very happy and excited to get to know these wonderful
people more. We got to learn all about their lives as well and
President Marston's life was a lot crazier than I expected! He was
born in Hof, Germany to a poor little German couple, they ended up
giving him to an American couple who was in Germany at the time...
they ended up being from Utah and members of the Church. So him and
his twin were raised in Utah!! Ogden I believe?? He served his mission
in Taiwan, married his girlfriend quite quickly after he returned home
(they were engaged after only 2 weeks!!) and then they had 4 daughters
together. His first wife then happened to pass away while giving birth
to their last daughter. His now current wife then first saw him at the
hospital when she was visiting his sister-in-law ... due to the
tragedy of her sister and anyways, long story short.... they later
fell in love and got married and had two children of their own!!!!
Very crazy, right?? This life is full of twists & turns! But when he
was telling his entire life story I had chills and he is already
someone I admire very much. Pretty awesome. He was super fun to meet
face to face as well. And speaking of mission presidents... I am sooo
happy some of you were able to make it to President Weston's
homecoming. I miss that man so much. I can imagine his talk was
amazing!!! I would have loved to be there. The Weston's mean so much
to me.

7. We went to Lincoln this past week for a baptism for Hermana Lee!!
And I got to see Hermana Piggott!! My favorite person in the world.
Ah, I adore & love her so much. We realized that might have been the
last time we'll see each other in the field too, which made me quite
sad, but I love her more than I can explain and will see her the
minute I get home!!!!!

Well I love you all sooo much and want you to know how much I love my
Heavenly Father, my Savior, Jesus Christ, His wonderful gospel and the
opportunity I have to serve Him all day every single day. For the past
long while I have been really focusing on giving myself up completely
to The Lord, doing all I can to turn my will over to him and work my
absolute hardest. There is nothing more rewarding. I love this work.

I am the happiest and my heart is full of sooo much joy, love & gratitude.

Con mucho amor,


Monday, July 14, 2014



Yep. So, before anything else......

      I am getting TRANSFERED!!!!!! What!? Crazy right? I know, I feel
like I JUST got to Yuba City too. But it's a real thing. I am already
leaving!!! Which I am still in shock about. So I knew things were
going to change here because Hermana Briggs & Hermana Toledo have both
been here for 6 months.... So we all thought Hermana Briggs was
leaving... But then everyone started telling me I was leaving too.
Because we have one Hermana going home, my grandma - Hermana Butler,
Hermana Piggott's trainer haha ... And we aren't getting any new
Spanish sisters this transfer or next... So anyways, we knew an area
would be closed and it only made sense that they would shut down one
of the Hermanas in Yuba. And they wouldn't take both Hna. Toledo &
Hna. Briggs out soo that means I would be leaving. Hermana Hughes just
finished being trained too so it only made sense she'd stay in the
area. But anyways... I still had a feeling I wouldn't be leaving and
yesterday didn't say goodbye to anyone or anything unlike the other
sisters... I didn't want to be dramatic over nothing. And here I am!
Packing up & leaving!!! It's soo crazy. But so what is happening is
Hermana Hughes is now going to be companions with Hermana Toledo
(Rodriguez) and I am going up to Chico to be with Hermana Lee!!!!!
Which I am sooo excited about. I don't know if you remember me talking
about her but she's my age, from HOLLADAY, went to Olympus... we know
all of the same people, she's darling, was trained by Hermana Richards
and then was companions with Hermana Piggott after me! So we have had
two of the same companions!!!! And we used to all joke that we needed
to be companions and then Hna. Piggott & Hna. Richards, so that we
could all have been comps and will have a little foursome going (we
all already know we will all be best friends after the mission and
then come back & visit the mission together... all the time) and now
it is just completing our goal! Hna. Richards & Hna. Piggott were
companions for a night when they came out together too so that will
count for them haha. But anyways, I am super excited to be companions
with her and to go to CHICO!!!! However, I am still sad to leave Yuba.
I feel like I JUST arrived here and now I am comfortable with the
area, members... love them all so much and we were getting close to
all of these less-actives, finally picking up investigators - the
Vargas family - etc. and am getting booted!! I joke and say I got
jipped haha but en realidad I completely, whole-heartedly trust in The
Lord and know this is where I am supposed to go. Right now. So with
that, I feel very much at peace and am also filled with tons of
excitement. This is what the mission is about!! You never know what's
going to happy!! It's a crazy ride!! But I AM sad to say goodbye to
Hermana Hughes too. My little trainee!!!!! We have definitely had
quite the adventure together, I have never worked harder in my entire
life... but we were able to witness many miracles together and had so
much fun along the way. I feel very lucky I was able to be companions
with Hermana Hughes for these past two transfers. She is a wonderful
person full of so much energy, love, happiness & light. She has taught
me a lot about embracing & loving the littlest things in life and even
though I was her trainer, I feel like I learned so much from her. She
has been so cute and I am excited to see her down at BYU after the
mission!! It will be a lot of fun. Her and Hermana Toledo will have a
blast together too. They are both full of sooo much energy &
enthusiasm. I am excited for them. It's crazy though... I feel as
though I have changed so much even from when I arrived here in Yuba. I
have learned soo much more about working to obtain the attributes of
Christ and two that I have learned more than ever are PATIENCE & LOVE.
We have had to work extremely hard every single day here and I have
never had to be more patient in my entire life. And being a trainer on
top of that... I have had to be very patient with myself and my many
weaknesses, my freshly new companion, the area - involving starting
from square one searching for people to teach and creating a brand new
teaching pool and being patient with that along the way... not seeing
the same type of success I had experienced beforehand.. There has been
A LOT I have had to be extremely patient with but now I can look back,
see where I was & now recognize who I have become due to all that
we've experienced here and I can clearly see how much more of a
patient person I have become. I never felt like I was super impatient
before but boy..... did I still have much to improve on in that
department. Also, involving love.... I have also had to love in a way
I never really have had to before as well. Loving again, myself - even
after recognizing so many of my weaknesses, loving my companion - even
though we may have pretty different personalities, loving the new
area,  loving every single person we come into contact with - their
struggles & difficulties as well ... and I just overall feel like I
have developed such a greater amount of love in my heart. I know more
so now what it means to REALLY love EVERYONE. Hermana Piggott quotes
this all the time but I really have learned to "love more and love
better." And another thing she said to me while we were in the temple
is, "I have really learned to LOVE everyone. Because I know that's
what the Lord would have me do." Sounds simple, yet when she said this
to me it hit me pretty hard. At times I have found myself being
frustrated with others but I have learned to overcome that frustration
and transform it into sincere care & love for them. I have also
learned that sometimes it's those who you may not think you would ever
love that much, due to many different factors, that end up being those
you love very deeply. So anyways, I could go on & on about things I
have learned and how I have changed but I'll leave the rest for my
journal haha. I am just very humbled & grateful for the wonderful
experience I have had here in Yuba City and I am thankful for all that
I have learned while being here. I have grown a lot. But anyways, OFF
I GO!!!!! BIG CHANGES ARE HAPPENING!!!!!! And my next exciting

      BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!! I went to Carolina's baptism yesterday!!! I
didn't know if I would be able to go or not because President Weston
usually didn't let people go to more than one baptism but... We have a
new President and on the 4th Hermana Richards called me, telling me
the baptism had changed to Sunday and said I should really try to make
it. So I called President Marston up, had butterflies before doing
so... I've still never met him!! But he answered and as he started
speaking I could already feel his great love and my love for him!!
Crazy. But so I asked him about the baptism and he immediately said,
"Of course! That's why we're here right?? To baptize!" Haha and he was
excited, asking me who she was, etc. and then the best part... He
said, "Okay now you can tell whoever you need to that you have
permission from me." Haha he is the only own that matters!! I love it.
And for baptisms we used to have to get members to take us but when I
asked if I needed to do so he said, "You have a car right?? Can you
just drive?" Haha I love it. This President is going to be amazing!!!
I already love him so much!! And with him being brand new... he is
trying to figure things out for himself but he is soo nice and
awesome. I cannot wait to meet him!! This week!!!! I already know I am
going to be so spoiled with both Presidents I have had. Ps. President
Weston's homecoming is next Sunday!! Don't forget!!!! But anyways, the
baptism itself was amazing and I was sooo happy I was able to go.
Right when we arrived, Carolina & Pedro did as well and they were so
excited to see me which made me very happy. Carolina was so surprised
I was able to come and said how much it meant to her and how she kept
wishing "su primera Hermana a enseñarla sobre el Evangelio" .. "her
first Hermana to teach her about the gospel" would be there. And
during her testimony after she was baptized she said again, how
grateful she was for us missionaries and how happy it made her that I
was able to come back for it. Very special. The baptism was beautiful
and of course, I absolutely loved being back in Gridley. I felt right
at home, as always, and couldn't have felt more love from all of my
family there. I love them all so much it's crazy. They are soooo dear
& special in my heart. I cannot even express it enough. Also, Carolina
is Antonio's - Yamara's dad - sister so he came and that was a lot of
fun. I kept joking with him about him getting baptized and he said he
knows he will someday but just not right now.... procrastination is a
killer I tell you!!! But him & Lorenza are going to church with Yamara
so that's wonderful. They will be baptized. All of them. With time.
Love them so much. And Jesus was there!! He was looking so grown up &
handsome. He truly has grown up sooo much since I first met him and
now is all cleaned up and soo darling. Haha Hermana Hughes kept saying
afterwards how cute, genuine and sweet he is and how he is going to be
so handsome & solid in the gospel. Haha ... And it was so darling
because his little sister Maria, whom I adore & care about so much -
used to feel like her mother, got the biggest smile when she saw me
and ran to me and gave me the biggest hug when I first got there and
then she wouldn't leave my side. She sat next to me during the whole
baptism too and just kept putting her arms around me, looking up to me
with her gorgeous little brown eyes, and then would rest her head on
me.... My heart was melting!! After much different experience in the
past, she was super reverent too and now understands when to keep
quiet. Jesus has been taking her to church every Sunday since he
started coming and it is just so cute. She is only 3 and needs the
love the members all give her!!! Their mom left again too, maybe for
good, so having her cling to me broke my heart even more. She needs a
loving mom. Jesus is adorable to her though. Ohh I love her so much
and I cannot wait till she is baptized in the future. She is my little
Hermanita. And then Any & Maria were there too, looking so dressed up
& darling, and it made me the happiest person seeing & talking to
them. It was all so amazing!! I could go on & on about everyone I was
able to see but I won't bore you too much. So the baptism was amazing
and I can't believe Carolina is a MORMON!!! So awesome. Also, her
daughter-in-law is a member so Carolina is hoping this will bring her
back too.. So exciting! Cool story too. So again, she was super sick
before I left Gridley and I guess when she got back home from the
hospital, the Elders came and gave her a blessing and right after the
blessing she said, "I received my answer from God. I want to be
baptized." So cool!! So anyways, I am very excited for her and feel
privileged to have been able to witness her baptism.

      4th of July!! I hope everyone's 4th was wonderful and full of
American pride. Sounds like Bear Lake was amazing!! I miss that place.
And Joelle went!!! So happy to hear that and hear that she had a
wonderful time. She survived a week with our fam!! Accomplishment!! I
still am sooo excited to meet her. She sounds DARLING. Tell her hello
from me Scotty!!!! But as for my 4th of July here in the beautiful
land of Yuba City, first off it has been TOASTY TOASTY (I feel like
dad saying that for some reason haha) and got up to 110 one day...
HOT!!! But it was a very wonderful day due to the fact it was
Independence Day but as to missionary work.... it was a bit harder for
us. Nobody was home and if they were home, they were busy, with
family, getting ready for a party, etc. the Mexicans celebrate the 4th
too! Any excuse to throw a party!! Haha so as for our day... We had
weekly planning and then had one set lesson. That's rough. Then after
searching for people, due to the fact that we had no dinner
appointment..... We decided to have a picnic! So we got a blanket,
some classic American food, In-N-out ... burgers, fries & shakes haha
and then we ate it on the grass at a park and it was sooo much fun!!!
People were starting to do fireworks in the streets too and we could
hear them going off in other places, so fun. Also, our goal for the
day was to get ice cream from an ice cream truck from a Punjab!!! Have
I ever told you that there are ice cream trucks EVERYWHERE here in
Yuba City and they are all driven by Punjab's??? Haha well it's the
cutest thing in the world. We always hear the tunes going off and see
children chasing after them. At home it was sooo rare to see or hear
an ice cream truck and here it's the popular thing!! They are
everywhere!! Haha we always joke because there are ice cream trucks
driven by Punjab's everywhere and then also there are these little
carts with wheels, with rainbow umbrellas, selling fruit, corn, shaved
ice (usually with chili) & other Mexican treats walked around by
Mexicans and they have these little horns they toot while walking by.
It's amazing. So we have the best treats everywhere!! This place is
full of the coolest humans - Mexcians and Punjab's. I love it!! Sad to
leave. But as we were laying on the grass, chatting after dinner, we
heard an ice cream truck and we (literally) chased down our first ice
cream truck!! And I got a superman ice cream. Yes, with the gum all
eye balls, purely amazing. Haha it was soooo fun!!!!!! Also, after
daily planning that night we walked out of our apartment to watch some
of the fireworks going off in the streets near our place and in the
sky and our Punjab neighbors, Reena & Ranjana were outside watching
too so we watched them with them and it was soo fun!! I love them so
much. Reena, the mom, kept hugging me like crazy and just smiling
away. It's crazy because we don't know a lick of each other's language
but we love each other so much!! I love her! Also, the daughter..
Ranjana, said we can go to India with them whenever we want. All we
have to so is pay for the flight. I want to go to India!!!!! Haha she
also said she would buy us their cultural attire when she's there for
her wedding in December. Oh, they are so great.

      Exciting news. I got a package from BRAZIL this week!!!! Haha it
was the best package I could have ever asked for and I am excited to
show you what Michael sent me!!!!!!!!! It is the most darling gift in
the world and means so much to me. he also sent me a memory card full
of pictures & videos!!! I wish I could show you them. Brazil is
incredible and he seems to be having a complete blast. So I guess you
could say that all made me one happy girl.

      Alright, well I still have a ton to do today... Including
packing, doing laundry, saying goodbye to people, etc. so I better
go!!!! I love you all so much though and hope all is well in HOLLADAY,
UTAH!!!!!!!! Hahaha still can't get over the fact that my next
companion is from there too. She just called me and was like, "Life is
too good because we get to be companions!!!!!" Ohhh I am SO excited.
Supposedly they just had like 4 baptisms there too so I hope the work
continues to be on fire!! I'm very much looking forward to it!!!




Con mucho amor,


Ps. I recently was told there are 4 kinds of people.....

People who....

Make it happen
Watch it happen
Wait for it to happen
Wonder what happened

Pretty fun to ponder over this. I know I have seen myself do each one
but I hope we can all be more so the people to MAKE it happen. Haha my
thoughts for the week... Sorry I don't have time to write something
more inspirational!!!