Wednesday, November 26, 2014


We found out on Wednesday that we're closing our area which means that we both have transfers and will be leaving the area so this last week has been CRAZY!  But, no worries we have finally got everything ready for the next missionaries that are coming tomorrow. We deep cleaned our house which I'm pretty sure was the first deep cleaning it's received the last.....5 years...but seriously, we took out 5 huge bags of garbage but now the house is cleaner than it's ever been. =) 

My companion and I are both sad and excited to move on to a new area. We're both sad because we started finding new people to teach, like Carolina.  She's an old investigator that we went and visited. She's very very VERY interesting. She doesn't believe in prophets, or the Bible, or things that are good and bad, that God is perfect, and the most interesting part is that she doesn't believe that Satan is the devil. She feels like he was a misunderstood young man and that it was God's fault that Satan did what he did. She also told us that she will ALWAYS defend him. ... I know, we think she's pretty crazy too but she's super nice and friendly. We laugh a ton when we're with her and on the plus side she sells delicious bolis.

The other day we contacted an older lady named Patricia while looking for some old investigators. She ended up knowing a lot about the Bible and agreed to read the Book of Mormon and meet with the missionaries to...share her opinions. It was actually the first time that I actually got upset while contacting someone because she said that she had never heard of Jesus coming to the Americas and I brought up the scripture when Jesus says "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold." She interrupted me and said, "Christ never said that he would come to the Americas Güerra!" That's when I got frustrated and retorted, "He never said he wouldn't!" I let my companion finish the contact after that. We both got frustrated later and had to have companionship inventory afterwards :)

Yesterday we were in the combi heading to church when my companion looked at me and touched her left shoulder. I was confused for a moment at why she had a look of terror on her face while touching her shoulder. Then I saw that she had forgotten her name tag. I laughed as she told me that now she was just going to be a member with everyone else. We later went back and got it in the house. 

It's been interesting and amazing being in this area. I've had the blessing of seeing the changes in our investigators. (Naim has now received the Aaronic priesthood and is going to be a counselor in the Teachers Quorum). 
Martin's aunt now loves us when in the beginning she was as cold as the artic. =) and in the members (people who never wanted the missionaries were super sad when we told them we were both leaving. Hermana Sam...ward mission leader...was so sad that he took us to a park and hung out with us for almost an hour. His wife cried as she told us goodbye. Also, the bishop's wife who never wanted anything to do with the Sister missionaries told us how much she loved us and was saying goodbye to us with wise words of wisdom for over 20 was great to see that change but a little frustrating when we had to go. = )
It's been a wonderful blessing to be in the Juarez ward and I'm so grateful for the chance that I had to be here. I can truly testify that the Lord sends His missionaries to where He needs them. 

I love you guys so much! Thank you so much for all of your love and support and prayers!!  
                             Sammie my favorite little girl in the La Paz Ward

                                    Missionaries that I served with in the La Paz Stake

                                   Saying Good Bye to the Ward Mission Leaders and Bishop

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

8 Months in the mission field!!

This week has definitely been a fun one. 

Earlier in the week, we went to look for a less-active member here in the city, the majority of the people live in apartment buildings but there are some that live in little homes that are within an alley kind of thing. Well, we entered one of those and in the second house on our left has this dog. A feisty little thing. It started barking at us as we passed. Usually we can ignore them and they don't do anything but this little pooch only wanted one thing....TO EAT ME! It ran after us after we passed it and tried to bite me but only got my skirt. My companion was able to scare it away but it continued to try to bite us until it's owner called it from the bathroom that was outside and got a hold of it. We continued looking for the less-active member who actually doesn't live there. We were then leaving when the vicious little thing got away from it's owner and began to chase us down again. That was when we full out sprinted out of the isle yelling, "Run! Run!" and ran down the street. Although it was just a little ankle-biter of a dog, I now officially have a "being chased by a dog in the mission" story.

Also this week, Reyna told us that she didn't want us to visit her anymore. We found her while looking for an old investigator and she invited us right into her home and received our message with such enthusiasm and love that we couldn't help but love her. However, due to how her entire family, who is very VERY Catholic btw, has been giving her a very rough time and the fact that she's listening to us cause her daughter's 8th b-day party to turn into an interrogation, she decided that it was better that we just stopped coming. My companion was super sad about it. I just thought, "Well, at least we know where she lives and she now has a Book of Mormon. It just must not be her time." 
Later in the day we were looking for a reference that we had been given earlier that day and we couldn't find the street. I crossed the street and when I looked around for my companion she had gone to ask a woman who was trying to enter her house for help. The woman answered her and when my companion looked back at me, I start mouthing, "Contact her. Contact her!" She shook her head no and crossed the street towards me. "Why didn't you contact her?" I asked, and she said that the woman was very angry and that she didn't want to contact someone who was very angry. I just shook my head and smiled. As we started walking away, the lady walked out of her house again and asked us what was the address we were looking for again. We went back and began to talk to her. We both knew that we now had to contact her because she had been put into our lives twice in 5 minutes now. We talked to her and she invited us into her house...but just for 5 minutes......we stayed an hour. =) Her sister in law is LDS and has shared a little bit of the Gospel with her. She was very interested and listened intently as we talked about the Restoration (Preach My Gospel, chapter 3 for those who want to look it up ;)  ). We couldn't make an appointment because she couldn't give us a day when she's free but we have a lot of hope for this woman. =)

We had another couple invite us into their house after we contacted them when we were searching for the same address and needed to ask for directions. They were very interesting because they work a lot with AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and have a activity every month for the members of the group. We tried to share a little bit of the gospel with them but we couldn't because all they could talk about was their group and invited us at least 10 times to join. We're pretty sure they're convinced that we both have a deep dark problem or addiction to something.  However, we have an appointment with them in two weeks so we'll see how that goes. =) 

On Thursday we had to stay home because we were both sick and Hermana Christensen said that we should "lay low" for the day. So we did our weekly planning and then rested. The night before, my companion captured a big black spider in a water bottle she swore wanted to kill her. We kept it in the bottle until we realized it was going to die. We then decided to set it free. So we left our apartment, still in our pajamas, to set the poor thing free in a bush in front of our apartment building. The neighbor who lived next to the person who owned the bush watched us carefully as she was trying to open her gate. I told her we were setting free a spider that we had captured in our house. She told us to kill it and although it took us a few minutes to decide if we should kill it or let it be, we of course let it be. Well, she was not very happy with us and lectured us very angrily for the next 10 minutes about how rude it was that we were putting spiders in other people's gardens..... and then something about the trash that people would leave in the street. We just stood there in the middle of the street, in our pajamas, with blank stares, thinking only about getting back into the house and away from this crazy lady. We finally got away and back into the house. It was then that the Gas Man came to give us gas for our that we can shower. He complained about having to carry the gas tank up our apartment building and then got upset when we didn't know which gas tank was ours that was on top of the roof. We figured it all out and actually ended giving gas to our neighbors who live above us. When we finally got back to the house, we began to laugh. We had successfully completed two acts of kindness, made two people angry, and all of that in less than two hours! Wow, what a day. =)

I love you all so much! thank you so much for all of your love, support, and prayers! Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

About the Atonement

This week was probably the hardest week I've had here in this area and possibly in my mission. 

This week, with everything that did and didn't happen, I began to feel my Savior's love more strongly than before.  I asked for my Heavenly Father to help me feel His love and to know where I stood with Him as His daughter and as a missionary. On Friday, my companion and I were studying the First 12 Weeks and it was going pretty well as we looked up and read scriptures about the Holy Ghost, why He's important for the work we do, what we need to do in order to have Him with us, what He does for us and our investigators. I have learned that as a missionary, I can receive revelation to help members, investigators, and people I meet in the street as it is necessary. Also, as a trainer, I can receive revelation to help my companion, to help her grow and pass through difficult times in the beginning of her mission. After reading a particular scripture in D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, therwill be also, for will go before your face. will be oyour right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I felt impressed to tell something to my companion. I took a moment to focus myself on the Spirit that was entering my heart and to listen very closely to what our Heavenly Father wanted my companion to hear. I told her, "Hermana, I want to remind you of something. You have a Heavenly Father and He loves you. We may not be perfect.  We may not always make the best decisions. However, He loves us anyway and always. He understands, He knows you perfectly and is waiting patiently to help you become the best missionary, the best friend, the best daughter, and the best person that He knows you can be." As I testified this to my companion, the Spirit testified the exact same thing to me. As President Monson said, "God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there." 

I testify that God loves us. We are His children and He is always waiting patiently to help pick us back up when we fall and show us who we can really be. He loves you. Each of you. He listens to and answers your prayers and is constantly trying to help you become the best that you can be. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 3, 2014

This week we finally got rid of the mold in our house! Well, we hope so but now we've been left without cold water. We only have hot water from our boiler which is great but makes for an interesting experience of washing our dishes in the bathroom because it's the only place we can get water. =)

We had an interesting lesson with Marisol and her husband Javier. We only planned on teaching about prophets because they talk SO MUCH but we ended up teaching the entire first lesson about prophets, Christ's ministry, the Great Apostasy, and the Restoration of the Gospel because they asked about the prophet we have on earth today and the twelve apostle and where do they get their authority. After they accepted that we somehow got to the subject of temples and the look on their faces was priceless when we told them that they could be together forever as a family. It was great! 

We had interviews with our mission president this week which were really good. He had each of us read D&C 88:22 "For he who is not able to abide the law of celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
We talked about how we could live better the celestial law. It was a really interesting interview that made me think and reflect a lot in how I could be better.

Happy Day of The Dead

Martin was finally confirmed and  is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The bishop confirmed him and gave him a beautiful blessing, mentioning that one day Martin would be a missionary. =)

We had intercambios this week and although I'm sad that my sister training leaders were changed, I was very excited about being about to take a shower. I know, it's sad but seriously that shower is amazing! It's like standing under a wonderful warm waterfall. Sigh. Anyway, my new sister training leaders are great and I left my area...of course... and the sister that stayed with my companion took very good care of her. =)

We had a lesson with Marisol and with her entire family...finally. Her husband was in Los Cabos (in the north of Mexico) and returned two weeks ago.  Although they have no religion, they have a wonderful collection of Bibles. During our lesson we talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and read from Genesis 1:26-27, as we read, every member of the family had a different version of the bible (catholic, christian, King James, de las promesas, etc). When their son read the scripture, looks of confusion appeared on every face as the verse being read from the Catholic Bible did not agree with the version that each member of the family had. It ended up being quite funny to me because although as missionaries we are used to the other bibles not agreeing with the King James version, I have never been in a lesson with so many bibles not agreeing with each other and every person with the room recognizing it. We ended giving a little lesson about the Great Apostacy to clear up the confusion.

We have a new investigator named Emmanuel. He's 18 years old and has a ton of desire to find the truth. He has a TON of questions about EVERYTHING. We've been working with him for about a week, even though his mom didn't even want him to let us into the house, and he attended Sacrament Meeting with us yesterday. It's a little frustrating sometimes because he has trouble understanding me because "I talk funny" but I have trouble understanding him because "He mumbles" so I guess it's okay. =P He has accepted a baptism date for the 29th of November and seems to be excited.  

The other day we were in a member's taco shop because that's where we teach Martin. It was later in the evening and as I was talking to one of the family members, Hermana Arellano called me over talk to someone that was standing in the taco shop. She told me that she needed me to speak English. She led me to a Chinese man and we began to talk. He spoke broken English but nothing of Spanish. He's a Christian of 22 years and travels a lot for his work which keeps him away from his family a lot so it's a little hard for him. He has the bible on his phone in both English and Chinese. He asked me about our church and said that he had recognized the Jesucristo on Hermana Arellano's name tag. I invited him to listen to our missionaries and gave him a pass along card with the church site and explained how it worked. It was really cool to have a conversation in English about the gospel with someone who's actually interested in it.

Saturday night we had to make a decision if we were going to visit our investigator that lives on the other side of our area from where we were or someone that lived closer to our house. Considering how late it was and after praying and listening for the direction we needed, we decided to visit an investigator that lived closer to our house. We hadn't been about to get a hold of her and hoped that the impression to visit her meant that we would find her in her house. When we found that she wasn't home, I began to question if we had actually followed the prompting of the Spirit and if so why in the world did Heavenly Father lead us here when she wasn't even home? We then decided to try our luck and visit a couple of old investigators we hadn't seen in a few months. That was when we found out why we had been led to that part of our area. They ended up being home and received us with open arms. They had been passing through a really difficult time with a false accusation in the school where one is a principal and with their daughter being seriously ill. They were very grateful for our visit and took it as a reminder that their Lord is always mindful of them.
The funny thing that happened was that I was watching the clock on their wall and not my watch. When I started thinking that it was time to go, our district leader called to check on us. It was then that we realized that although their clock said 9:20 it was actually 9:35. We worked the fastest that we could to leave and then started running home. (We tend to do that a lot) As we ran across a busy street, I saw a family walking along the sidewalk...the next thing I saw was the street rising up to say hello. I totally biffed it in the middle of the street and got a double hit from the ground and my backpack. I sat for a minute thinking about what in the world had just happened and my companion and the father of the family helped me back up. I ended up meeting the entire family. I thanked them so much for their help and their concern and wished them a goodnight. Although my skirt began to get wet around my left knee, my companion and I began to book it home. I got a pretty nice road rash and on my knee but most importantly a grateful heart because I didn't fall on glass which is everywhere in the street and a repentant heart because I didn't contact that family. 

To close, I learned a very interesting lesson yesterday in the combi which is, "Don't compliment people on the their anything here in Mexico. It is very likely that they will gift that very thing to you." I was talking to a Señora about how short the combi and laughing with her about how I really don't fit. I complimented her on the scarf, telling her that it was very pretty. She looked down at it and then took it off and handed to me. I tried many many times to tell her that I couldn't take it and that it wasn't right but she just told me that it was clean, wasn't very expensive anyway and that it came from the heart. I would have continued to try and give it back but our stop came up and we had to get off. i thanked her the best that I could and got off. A member who say what happened, told me to not feel bad, that some people are just like that and can give things away as easily as a birthday present. Lesson learned.

I still feel that my Heavenly Father continues to bless us here even though we're not perfect and I'm beginning to feel that it's because His love for each of His children is so grand that He is willing to use imperfect servants to help His children to one day become perfect and return to live with Him again. 

I love you all, you are all amazing! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, prayers, and love. I hope you all of an amazing week. =)

                                  Some of the treats sold on the streets for The Day of the Dead

Carlie explained In Puebla (not sure how the traditions change depending on which city you are from) the Day of the Dead starts on Oct 28th until Nov 2nd.  Apparently each day you make an offering depending on who they were and how they died.
Day 1- for people that died in accidents
Day 2--Lawyers (I thought it was funny they had their own day)
Day 3- Children
Day 4--Family Members
Day 5--Anyone else that has died and does not fit into the previous categories
Carlie said during the day you are celebrating the person, you get a picture of them then make their favorite food and place it by the picture along with their favorite candy, toys, clothes etc.  Then they believe that that person will come and partake of the offering.
Carlie and her companion went to the market this morning and picked up some offerings...Here is a picture of the offering Carlie made to her stomach :)

7 Months!!

This week we learned a very important lesson about why people should get baptized on Saturday and then get confirmed on Sunday. Martin was baptized on Sunday last week and we all knew he would have to wait to be confirmed. There's only one problem, although he's been baptized, he doesn't have the protection and help of the Holy Ghost and Satan never stops working. We've become very concerned about him as in one week he's basically changed his personality. We tried to get him to church on Sunday but "couldn't go". We're really hoping that we can find the way to help him.

This week, they divided our area and we not have more time to focus on one side, we've been searching for the ancient investigators in our area book. We were looking for one in a very sad and poor area. She wasn't home so we decided to ask one of her neighbors if she knew her and when she would be home. We walked past all of the doors that were locked (they lock all the doors from the outside when they leave with a bike lock) and passed by one that was unlocked and had voices coming from inside. My companion kept walking but I stopped and looked at the door. When I knocked a lady answered and we asked her if she knew the investigator we were looking for. She let us know that the one we were looking for had moved over 5 years ago. However, after a little bit of talking and introducing who we were and what we do, she invited us to enter her house. She ended up being super friendly and funny. We will be meeting with her tomorrow to begin her lessons.

Yesterday, Marisol and her husband Javier came to church. We were really excited. Although it was kind of rough throughout the services because our members love to greet our investigators and preach to them "The Gospel" and we had to correct some of the things the members told them, they really enjoyed the meetings and even though they had only planned to stay for the first hour, they stayed for all 3. They seemed so happy when they left that I was so glad that they came.

                                                              My Mission Family