yo y Hna Huerta
un noche de hogar with a less-active family


dear family of mine, 

This is going to be a short one, because it is almost eight o'clock here and time is quickly slipping away  along with all the events that passed by with the dawning of this day. A short run down of this last week: we are continually being blessed with run-ins with new families to teach. We have started teaching Hna Eva and her grandchildren who live with her, and they are quite a lovely bunch. Her spouse, a noble and good soul of eighty-something years, entered into our lesson just as we were ending, and upon his entry we both recognized that we had met before — he was someone that I had contacted on the bus weeks before, trying to ask him for the direction to his home so we could teach him, but not being able to write his address down because 1) he didn't really know his address, and 2) it was really hard to understand him amongst the rumblings of the bus and the fact that he kept trying to offer me his newly purchased bananas. He is quite a character, and I think they are a family God has prepared for us to teach, seeing that we encountered them on two occasions. We are also continuing to teach Hno. Alfonzo, and on Sunday his daughters joined us in the lesson. I have never felt more of a godly love than I do whenever I am sitting on a paint can for a chair in his home of light and love. They are the good and great ones, and we are really excited to teach them. The Familia Estudillo is preparing for their baptism this Saturday (woohoo!), and yet again, they continue to amaze and prove that there really is such a thing as golden investigators (example: Hno Rene is now reactivating an inactive 12 year old in our ward. Basically everyone thinks they are members). 

Yesterday was a day of waiting and waiting for the call from our zone leaders in order to hear what the future held for us in this cambio. When the call finally came, it brought the news that Hna. Martinez is going to be in the other part of our area that split (as in the part that was our area before we split this transfer — does that make sense?) with her new hija, and I am staying in Mulsay with my first hija! It is a slightly daunting responsibility, (as in, will you all pray for me please?/pray for mi hija), but I am also really grateful for this opportunity to grow and stretch my abilities perhaps beyond the point that I imagined. My new companion is Hna. Huerta — nienteen years old, from Mexico, and as sweet as can be. I will send pictures next week when I have the time. I love love love you all and am forever overwhelmed with the beautiful and bright promise of an eternity with you — hope that all is joyful at home!

love always,


last night in the nursery

buenas tardes familia mia,

In honor of Olivia, the highs and lows of this week:

1) teenage video blogger celebrity sighting in our area — rumor has it that he was once an investigator. We have begun to formulate plans to reactivate his interest in taking the missionary discussions/perhaps make an appearance in one of his videos. 

2) We got to attend the once-a-month leadership meeting, which meant we got to eat a fancy breakfast at a fancy hotel in Centro. The breakfast alone was worth the five hour meeting. 

3) That moment when our investigators start calling you every Sunday morning to see if they can come get us for church. Um, isn't that what we are supposed to be asking them? Needless to say, the Familia Estudillo is golden. They are basically members without having been baptized. Hna. Celene is incredible — a single mom with two boys, attending school while working at a hospital, too. We taught them about family history on Sunday, and by the end of the lesson we had discovered that they had already created a profile on Family Search ... they have a baptism date set for next week, but have to kick their coffee habit before then in order to be baptized, so the date will probably be pushed back a bit. 

4) We found two families to teach (yay!). One is a family of five, and the other consists of a single dad and his five children. Alfonzo (the single dad) is perhaps the most humble and noble soul I have ever encountered. He has been raising his five children alone for the past eight years, because his wife left him. He paints houses for a living, and his greatest joy and worry is his family. It was such a privilege being able to sit in this man's home — surrounded by four walls of color painted by his humble hands — and be able to testify that he has a God who loves him, and a God that has a promise that each of us can return to live with Him and our families for eternity. The lesson with him was the first time I've really fully felt the true love of God for another person. The feelings that swelled within my heart were not my own, but the feeling from a God that loves His son Alfonzo in a real and deep way. I think I've written about love in every email (I promise I am not obsessed with love and am learning other things, too, and will eventually write about another topic), but it is a sacred and special moment when the very presence and love of our Heavenly Father is felt in the very room where you are seated, and within the confines of your very own heart. While the heavens may be far from this mortal home of ours, I know that our Father in those heavens is actually quite near — something I know with certainty after knowing in my heart and mind that God knows Alfonzo, and thinks he is pretty great, too. 


At the moment, I can't really think of any, only the fact that this is my last week of training and Hna Martinez and I probably won't be together with this coming transfer (hence the Peter Pan reference in the subject line). These past three months we have had together have been filled with greater light and knowledge, and I will always be grateful for my mom of the mission, who has taught me how to teach and how to love and how to be a dedicated missionary. I don't know if we have time on Monday to write our families, or if it will be on Tuesday instead — just a warning so that you don't panic if I don't write on Monday. 

Sending all my love and more,


this good life

gracias from Hna. Martinez for her very own Restoration blocks (she was seriously so excited/grateful/she even kept the ribbon from her present — THANK YOU, MOM/the Moore family)
buenas dias bonita familia,

This last week started off with a nine year old telling me that I have a hard heart because I never cry during the lesson — let's just say that one of my goals for this New Year is to develop the ability to convey to the people here that my heart really is filled with compassion, even when I don't cry. Among the initial commentary concerning the nature of my heart, the week also included the beginning of changes that are slowly bound to come to pass, one of them being the division of our area. We had a meeting with our Zone leaders and Presidente Garcia on Thursday, and by the end of those two hours our area had been divided and we literally now have a square of an area that is pretty small to work in (we joked that our area is like a prison now/maybe it kind of is); and we might be the pilot companionship to use iPads in our area (we are not sure how this happened, but by the end of our conversation Pres. Garcia was offering to pay for an iPad with his own money so that we could test it out and see if there is enough success in it for all the missionaries to have one in our mission — we are not quite sure if this will really happen, but we like to think so...). 

In the midst of all the happenings this week, I started to realize all the small things here that have become normal to me, but that really aren't so normal. Such as the fact that everyone here is obsessed with frogs: frog sculptures, frog paintings, frog key chains — I'm still trying to discover the significance of the frog here. It's also become more apparent that anyone can open their own business without a permit, hence the multitude of tiendas on every single corner of every single calle. Basically anyone can paint the word tienda on their house, buy some packaged food, and begin selling their products. Oh, how I love the people here and all their ways! 

Along with the overarching theme of the frog and tiendas, this week held a deeper appreciation for the power of the priesthood and the blessings that we are all entitled to receive with this power and authority from God. After our meeting with Pres. Garcia, we received a blessing from him to start off our New Year. This blessing, along with all the blessings I've received in the past, have the common theme of promises — promises from God. Those promises of blessings from God speak of His love and confidence for His children more than anything else, because each blessing God has prepared for us is created in order for us to live a beautiful life, a type of life filled with goodness and joy and purpose. Our Heavenly Father sent us here to create the most lovely version of our lives, and I have never felt more of the reality of His love than when I heard of the blessings He wants me to receive — the blessings and promises that He wants each of to receive and live and love here in this small life that is but a shadow of our future eternity. My heart is filled with the knowledge of God's grace and compassion that is continually waiting for us to receive; for the joy of life that our Father wants us to experience; and for the promise of good days and a good life that gives us glimpses of that good eternity we are promised if we are but faithful. I know that God has promised each of His children a life filled with light, and that all we have to do is receive of this good light and continue to act on that faith we do have so we can claim these promises and blessings as ours. 

Hopefully this all makes sense, because I now have the fear that no one can understand my English or Spanish.

sending all my love and more,

this is what lunch looks like when lunch plans with members fall through and we are forced to scavenge for food at a nearby 7/11ish type store. I do not know who I have become — eating store-bought nachos with hot, melted cheese? And enjoying it? Yep, the mission has done this to me. 

New Years Eve at a members house — Hna. Nadie is my age and has the tendency to tell me all her secrets — probably because I cant understand most of them