Thursday, October 27, 2011

My 6th transfer here

Dear Familia y Amigos,

I am doing super swell! We are working super hard here. I don't have a lot of time today because I was writing my family!

So this last week was transfers! Nothing really changed that much. We got a new district leader. Hna. Thomas is still in her greenie area!

I can't even remember what happened last week except for a couple of stories.

On Tuesday we had an amazing day! We worked so hard....and ate just as much as we worked. I mean it....every house we went to gave us food. We were in the north that day and the first house we went to gave us beans, tortillas and chile. The next one gave us a snicker ice cream could I refuse that, I love them. Then we showed up at a new investigators house and she had prepared a full meal for us. We brought Finding Faith in Christ over to watch. It turns out that they didn't have a remote control and insisted on watching it in English. So we were in the kitchen eating this mean of pasta, beans, meat, chile and tortillas....ohh and soda...while this group of Mexicans is watching a movie in English.....also preparing ourselves for our dinner that was scheduled right after this appointment (ohh the library just gave me more time! YAY!) It was just so funny. We then went to our next appointment....dinner. It was the best dinner of my mission. It was just hilarious. We were so full.....So FULLISIMA! We ate with this super cute family and talked about funny things. Also we ate habero...which I love. They loved watching us eat chile. We were just dying laughing the whole time. We were so full that day and it was just a great day because we saw so many people we love. We also met this lady working on her yard. She has not been able to have children and adopted a child from Mexico. They won't let her bring her daughter here and it is really hard for her. We ended up saying a pray with her in the middle of the street. She cried and It was really one of the best contacts ever. We have an appointment with her tomorrow. Right before that we sang to this guy and he got out his wallet and paid us $5 for our song Bahahahahhaha! We then gave to another guy to go to the hospital.

So that day was fun!

Yesterday marked one year since I went to the temple for the first time. I love the temple so much and am so glad that I was and am able to go. We went to dinner with a family from our ward. The wife is American and the husband is Mexican. They both speak Spanish. He plays the guitar and she plays the piano. They both sing. They are a really cool family. He talked to us about how he feels a hunger to talk to God and how music helps him. He plays so beautifully. I felt the Spirit so strong and because of his words I felt a desire to speak to my Heavenly Father. We talked about the need to cry to God. I feel like I get so tired that I have no energy to pray with all of my heart. I have been studying prayer. I love how the Bible Dictionary says that prayer is work and is the way to obtain the highest of all blessings. I need these blessings. Last night, after a really hard day with my companion, I got on my knees and really talked to my Father. I felt His love and His Spirit and knew that things would get better. I know that my mission needs to be hard. I know that I am learning more than I realize. I really hope that all of you reading this will think about your relationship with your Father. How are your prayers? How do you feel when you pray? Do you feel like you give it your all? Do you feel like He answers them? You should write me and tell me about it. I know that God is so aware of us. Yesterday the testimony of an investigator helped me to know this. He said that when he went to a church activity (when they really didn't want to go) he walked into the building and felt the love of God and knew he needed to get baptized. As missionaries we did nothing....well we did invite him to the activity....but God did it. He loves us so much. Manuel is progressing so much.

I love you all and Love being a missionary!

Hermana Spencer

P.S. Ashish - I got your letter! Expect one soon!

yay denver 4th!

Hello Family and Friends!

I am writing from beautiful Denver! I am also not getting transferred....this means half of my mission is here in Denver 4th! I am obviously super excited to be here again. So please send me some mail .... I haven't gotten any in quite some time :)

So news....
So the news. Juan and Hilda are praying for a baptismal date. They are really excited about getting married and baptized. We have had a lot of great experiences with them as of late. They are just progressing so much. We can't even take credit for this...they are just prepared.
Manuel is progressing so much. Yesterday, we had a great lesson in which he bore his testimony. We sang "Nearer My God To Thee" and Manuel said that he just felt something enter and leave peace.  We taught the Plan and it was just so wonderful. I knew the Spirit was there because I learned so much. It was amazing. He is  now praying for a baptismal date. This is a big step because he has been taught a lot by other missionaries and has had a couple of baptismal dates. He had a wonderful time at church yesterday. It will probably be in December...who knows maybe I will still be here.
Mary sadly will not be baptized this week. Her dad doesn't really understand and so we are going to look for a family that speaks English to help us with him. Hopefully this will get better.

So this last week was really good. Hna. Coughlen is training in Grand Junction...which means that there is a good possibility that I train next transfer. I got really nervous last week that I was going to get transferred. ....Thank goodness no! People are even excited that I will be staying. YAY! Hno. Rivera is doing great as our ward mission leader. Many less actives are making great steps to progress.

Funny moments....
Yesterday after greeting a less active member with a kiss.....(she is a girl....and that's what you do in the Spanish kiss on the cheek.....I kiss probably 20 people most days) and her of our investigators asked us, "where is my kiss?" He may or may not have been drinking. .... so yeah

Hna. Romero is just super funny all the time. She will randomly roll down the window and wave at people. She is really sad that she did not get her goal of contacting someone in the form of chasing them on a bike....hopefully this happens soon.

Elder Valdes is a missionary that I have served around a couple of times. Something happened in his area and so he is with our Elders. He is from Mexico and learned English here. We have come to the agreement that Hna. Romero and I are going to visit him in Mexico after our missions. I will learn to speak better Spanish and we will see if this actually is true.

Elder Ovalle today was cold after we ate lunch with Hilda and I gave him my long coat as a joke....well it fit him. ... :( He then proceeded to wear it in walmart. It didn't look to girly so he was okay but his companion didn't let me live it down the whole time. I learned last week that I am 4 years older than him....we wouldn't have even been in high school together. By the way family....his dad's name is Hector Maldonado...crazy huh!?!

I love being a missionary. I am so amazed by the way the Lord has helped me. I really want to change....I want you all to see me different because of my mission. I love that the Lord magnifies my small acts and that he helps us with our weaknesses. I honestly feel like this is the only time when I am really when I am weak with the Lord's help. This last week in district meeting everyone trained. It was a very powerful district meeting. I talked about being motivated an optimistic. I really am glad that the Lord helps us stay happy.

I love you all!

Please write and pray lots!
Hermana Spencer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crispy Colorado

Familia y Amigos,

Colorado is so lovely these days. There is so many beautiful colors. The weather is "nice and crispy" says Hna. Romero. This is the last week of transfers :( I am really sad about that. Time is just moving so fast.

Last week:
We were really working hard to get a good balance of everything that we are supposed to do as missionaries. That means - teach, find and contact people. We had a very balanced week and it was amazing.
Last week we put Mary on date. She is 11 and is the daughter of a new member of our ward. Her mom is from Mexico and speaks Spanish clearly....however her daughter Mary grew up here and speaks almost nothing of Spanish. So she goes to our ward with her Spanish speaking mom and sister. She was so cute when we taught here the other day. We told her that we were going to talk about baptism (it was the second time we have met with her) and she then says...."Can I get baptized this Saturday?" We explained that she needs to understand a little bit more before she gets baptized. So she should get baptized next weekend. Hopefully I am still here! She is super cute.
Hilda is still progressing. She loves going to church and has really noticed a lot of changes in her life. This week she wrote her testimony of the Savior and it is just so wonderful to help people make changes in their lives. We also figured out why Alonzo doesn't want to get baptized - he thought he couldn't date until he was a grown up and for a 13 yr old this is a deal breaker. Luckily Hilda explained this to him ;)
The Rivera family is still doing so great. Hno. Rivera just got called as a Ward Mission Leader! YAY! Ana, the daughter, gave a talk this Sunday and it was just wonderful. They are doing so great. They should be going to the temple very soon! I really hope that I am in Denver because I can go with them and watch them be sealed. I am just so excited!
Some other highlights of the week:
-I ate octopus for the first time. It was in a soup with shrimp, crab, oysters and some veggies. I feel like I can almost eat anything these days with a smile on my face. The octopus wasn't bad just so you know!
-We had a ward activity where we taught how to have Family Home Evening. We had Hna. Rivera tell us what FHE is and then I gave a lesson with a good chunk of the ward. I taught about the Sabbath Day and it was super funny. They loved it. We then had  a relay race and a pie eating contest. It was a good activity.
- Battle with the North Mission! So there is this little patch of earth where lots of Hispanics live....and us being Spanish missionaries really like talking to Hispanics :) So when Hna. Coughlen and I found this place we declared its name to be MECCA! We have taught several people there. Well we get a call from the elders one night saying that the North elders say that MECCA is in their mission......So we had this frenzy of calling between the two mission offices and the mean North Elders....(they really are kinda mean). And sadly we lost MECCA and along with it investigators.
-Visa Missionaries - So two sisters that will eventually go to Peru are now in our mission: Hermana Cambell and Hermana Case. Hermana Thomas and Day are training. So they split up there area and are both there.

Yesterday we went to the botanical gardens with President and Sister Maynes and Hermana Day and Hermana Cambell! It was so beautiful. It was wonderful to just walk around and take some pictures. I will have to send some home. It was just wonderful and it was free! It was nice to do something different.

So Transfers.....I do not know where I will go. We are getting a new Spanish sister next week....and she either goes with Hna. Romero and me or with Hna. Coughlen and Wilkerson.....or everything gets crazy. I am worried that I will train....but I now feel a lot better with Spanish and teaching. So I will let you know Monday where I will be going....but send your mail to the mission office :)

Things are going really well here. I love it. I love knowing how much God loves His children....or at least understanding this a little better. I love this line from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk:

The “what” and “how” of obedience mark the way and keep us on the right path. The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration.

This really is the true in the work of missionaries. When I understand what I am actually doing, I see more miracles and my small efforts are magnified. A good example of this is talking to people on the street. It is still hard to do after all of these months to walk up to a stranger and talk about God. BUT every time I do it, I always feel more of God's love. On Sunday we went to dinner in a nicer part of down town where a member lives. We left and we saw this girl sitting down. I said, "lets go talk to her." So we went and it was so wonderful to be able to testify of God's love. She is homeless and not doing all of the things she should, but God still loves her. I love knowing that He puts people in our way and we have the opportunity to testify. I am going to miss that so much: having a reason to open my mouth.

I really do love the gospel. I have realized that God is so much more powerful than I could have realized. I see His hand more in my life and feel is love. The mission gets easy in some ways and always harder in others. I am realizing more and more how I can give more of my self to the work. I really hope that when I go home I get a little more of the why and put it in practice. I wish the time would go by slower. 

I really love all of you and love that you are praying for me and writing me. All of you are helping me and the people here more than you know.

"Conpermiso....Grandota" (Excuse me.....huge thing) -Hna. Romero moving a TV from the is only funny because she accidentally directed the "Grandota" at a group of women.
"Mom am I black?" - Aime .....she knew she wasn't black

Smile the gospel will always be true,

Hermana Spencer

Monday, October 3, 2011

La Conferencia General

Dear the best people in the world,

So I can't even remember what happened this week besides conference. I will try to remember.

Han. Romero found out what is wrong with her knee and they are hoping physical therapy will work.

I trimmed a was actually a lot of fun...I only have a couple of scratches!

We had a great district meeting this week. Two very recent converts came to talk about what helped them and ways to improve. I remembered why I am on a mission. It was so wonderful to see the changes that happened in their lives. The lady had really bad anxiety and was afraid to talk or leave the house. She ended up talking to the missionaries and her whole life changed. This is for Cathy! She said "The LDS church is like Texas....its just so friendly. It was like coming home." She is from San Angelo.
The other guy is Jovan. He is like 20 or 21. He just got baptized a week ago. He came with a missionary name tag....with his name taped on. He just loved it. He has already felt so much happiness. He loves the church. He wanted to joint the church just so he could make a profile :) (BY the way you should all make some and tell me and I will show people them :) ) We all then went out to lunch and he tried to buy my wendy's. lol.....

Conference - I love conference so much. Really it is the best thing in the world. Saturday morning we watched conference at Juan and Hilda's house. It started out really crazy. Right before we got there, their nephew fell and hit his he ended up going to the hospital. When his mom got home....she got a little crazy and there was a lot of yelling. We were in the basement watching apostles speak....and who knows how much domestic violence was going on up stairs ...just kidding..... a little. They loved conference though after things quited down a little. I loved that President Uchtdorf talked about TEXAS!

My Spanish definitely has gotten a lot better. I didn't understand everything...but I got the jist of things. I listened to a couple of talks in English and it is amazing how your language touches your heart. I loved President Monsons. Lately, I have heard about a lot of disobedience and it has made me really sad. Sometimes it is hard not to want to be disobedient because it looks like more fun. I loved that President Monson talked about this very thing. He said that the world does look appealing, but happiness and peace are only found through the Spirit. You can only have the spirit if you are obedient. I felt like the themes were BOM, obedience, personal revelation and how to be happy! I loved the talk about the BOM and why we need it. I also loved the Saturday afternoon talk about "it is better to look up." I find my self "looking down" sometimes and it is just so much better to look up to God and ask Him for help.

Being on a mission is the best thing ever. I love feeling God's love. I love telling other people that there is peace and happiness. I love helping people know that there is just so much more in their life. I loved the talk about missionary work yesterday. I just want to love everyone and help them feel the spirit.

I love all of you and can't wait to hear from you!

Your favorite missionary!