Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meeker Colorado: Population 2,500- May 21

Dear Family and Friends,
I am now writing you from the middle of nowhere. I now live in a town that is small enough that they barely use addresses. They describe the house using terms like this "bottom of 3rd," "the second door down from the stop sign," "up river," and more. The town is super small. It has one grocery store. It has one high school. No real stop lights.  The ward is a pretty large ward for the size of the town. The members are super excited to see us here.
So the week started off last Tuesday with the long transfer drive. They dropped us off in Rifle. There I was able to see some of the elders I have served with before. I also met my new companion Sis. Hatch. She is from Alberta, Canada and is super awesome. We then were able to get free sonic :) and then we made the 50 mile drive to our area. We are living with the Nielsen's. They are very nice couple. She is from Arkansas and he is from here. Bro. Nielsen actually served in Levelland on his mission in Texas :) We then proceeded to look at what the elders had left us. We then made some plans and went to meet some people. That night we met the RS presidency. They are super nice. It was weird to here talk about geneology and other things instead of things concerning Mexico. They were super excited to see us. We taught them a lesson on how to use us as missionaries and how we could work together. The Spirit definately confirmed our wards. We then were able to meet Bro. Murray. He is just about the only other member that speaks spanish. He is super amazing. We went to help him with English class. Sadly no one came. So here in Meeker....there is a cat that lives in the library. Ohh small towns. Then we met the bishop. He is from North Carolina and is super excited to have us. He told us about some families that we could visit.
The rest of the week has been super interesting. There are over 200 less active memembers in the ward. I feel really odd being in an english speaking area. I don't know how to talk to these people the same way. The culture is very different for me and has honestly been hard. But, at the same time, I feel like I need to be here and that this is exactly where Heavenly Father would have me. We have had several adventures here. A very large chunck of our area is the country. We have gotten "lost" with the GPS several times trying to look for houses. They don't always have addresses posted. There are sometimes sheep in the road and frequently cows and horses on the sides. There are chicken walking around town. The area is really beautiful. There are so many green things and small rivers here that really make me like it here. I love how quiet it is outside. Many of the members live on ranches and so this weekend we are going to help brand some cows ---wahoo SERVICE.
Missionary work in Meeker is very different. All of the town knows who the "mormons" are. The less actives are usuallly not excited to see us. There are not really lots of places to knock. There are tons of part member familes. This is going to be the most challenging area yet for sure. We have already learned that we will have to do things differently. We are going to need the members more than ever and we will also need to do lots of service. There are hispanics here. I got really worried about the spanish work this week. It is different teaching with out your companion. I feel like the weight of them is on my shoulders. President and I talked the other day about why exactly I am here in this area. He wants to see it there is enough work for this to be a spanglish area for a while. Many of the concerns of the spanish investigators is that there is no service in spanish. So it will be challenging to get these investigators to church.
Church was great yesterday. They are so excited to have sisters. They have not had sisters in more than 10 years. Our ward mission leader loves sisters. He bore his testimony about how wonderful and how much of a difference sisters make in an area. They are already very pleased with what we are doing. They asked us to bear our testimony yesterday in sacrament meeting. I got super close to crying hard. I hate realizing how soon my time as a missionary will end. I did feel power as the words left my mouth.
This morning we went to Craig, a town 50 miles away for district meeting. It is really weird being so far in the middle of nowhere and then driving to have a meeting. This week is zone conference and we are going to spend the night in Rifle and then go to Grand Junction :).
This week has been a week of growning faith. Sis. Hatch and I are really working hard to help the people here. We are excited to see all of the miracles that will be coming here. We feel like we are supposed to be here and make a difference. I have felt Heavenly Father's assurance so many times. He is here with us. It amazes me sometimes that we get in a car with someone we really don't know. We drive to a town, we have never been to. We then live with complete strangers and try to help people we have never met. The gospel really does change lives. There is no other way that this would work.
Please continue to pray for me. I love you and will write soon!
With love from Meeker,
Hermana Spencer
P.S. I miss speaking spanish.

On the road again........ May 14

Dear Family and Friends.....

So I am not going to lie.......I just lost all of your letter...all of
it. So you will get a brief one.

I am getting transfered. I am training a missionary - she already has
1 transfer, but now you get trained for two transfers. I am also white
washing. And it looks like I am going to a small town called Meeker.
It seems to be in the middle of no where. I am super excited. It does
not have a walmart.

So I have wondered if I have made a difference in this ward. I still
feel like I don't know anyone.

Here is an excert from my letter to president :

"Dear President Maynes,

Can I just tell you that I am super excited about transfers. I really
feel like this is an answer to my prayers. I am super excited to go
work hard. I am of course nervous, but more exicted then nervous.

Yesterday, I was sitting in church and wonder if I was even able to
help this ward this last transfer. Hna. Ruiz has been sick the
majority of the time. I was thinking about this and as the day went on
and we went to see some people, I realized that I have made a
difference. We have several less actives and recent converts preparing
to go to the temple. They are doing more things than they were before.
Also we have completely different investigators than when I first got

One of the investigators is Melissa Ortiz. She is 9. President this is
a prepared little girl. We went by yesterday and she was so excited to
tell us about her reading. She talked about how she felt as she read.
She said, "I just felt something inside here (pointing to her chest)
telling me to do good things." I learn and relearn how the gospel is
simple enough for children and how the Spirit still talks to them. We
gave her a reading assignment and before we were out the door she had
already started and had answered our question. We are going to put
them on date today! I am sad that I will not be here to keep teaching
her, but am so happy to have met her.

President I love being a missionary. I love it more and more each day
and do not want it to end. I have struggled a lot with self doubt and
not knowing if I have done enough. I still struggle with these things,
but I have learned a little bit more how to handle them and also how
to have hope and faith that God uses the little I do for His children.
Going to the baptism in Denver 4th was a great blessing. It felt good
to be back where I knew the people and remember and feel the love that
I have for them. There are several baptisms that will happen there and
I am excited to see how the ward changes. President it helped me so
much to see that real success is loving the people and doing all you
can to help them. I am so excited to go to this new area and just help
it along. I still feel like I don't know how to be a missionary, but I
will do my best. "

So I am super excited. I am still sad that you wont get the email that
I wrote you all. I really do feel like this transfer is an answer to
my prayers. God really knows what I need. He loves us so much.

So I did get to go to the baptism of Zaul in Denver 4th. It was so
great. I felt like I was going back home. People were excited to see
me again as well. Obispo Campos almost gave me a hug he got so
excited. I just love them so much.

Well I will write again soon about our awesome area. So please send
mail to mission office.

With love from Denver,
Hermana Spencer

P.S. Sam can you put all of these letters on my blog? Por favor?

Dear Sis. Lao,

Sis. Ruiz wants you to write her back ...because she wrote you!
Excited to meet you!

Hermana Spencer

Cinco de Mayo and I'm practically engaged- May 7

Familia y Amigos,

Les quiero mucho! Ustedes son lo maximo!

So this last week was an interesting week. I will first start by
telling you a great story.

So did you know that Cinco de Mayo is crazy here. Apparently we have
the biggest celebration in the United States. Just so you know it is
not for Mexican independence....which lots of people, even hispanics,
say.There are so many cop cars. I hate Cinco de Mayo.  For a spanish
missionary here....it is the worst. All of our appointments cancelled
and no one was home. The people that were home were all having fiestas
in their front yards. They even close a major street so people can
drive around with Mexican flags and girls in bikinis. Yep that is

So the funny part about Cinco de Mayo is when we visited Hermana
Alcorta. She is a LA that we visit. 2 weeks ago she decided that I
should date her nephew. She even asked him to send a text message with
a picture of him. So we go to see her on Saturday. We walk down the
steps to find her super excited that we are there. Soon after we
realized why. Her brother and her sister-in-law were in town. That
nephew of hers......well these were his parents. They were there
dropping of some furniture that they made for Hermana Alcorta. They
soon realized who I was and proceeded to talk about him and I. They
got out a picture of him and keep saying "Isn't he super good
looking." "He was a great missionary. He baptized a lot of people."
"He is fluent in Spanish and English." "I want him to marry a returned
sister missionary for our grandkids." With every statement, I got more
and more uncomfortable. I was sweating for sure. They were not kidding
in the least bit. They found out that I was going home soon and were
super excited so we could get married soon. They live in New Mexico
and were excited that Lubbock was not that far. They could come and
visit.His dad even said that he would make all of our furniture...and
I could choose how I wanted it. I felt so uncomforable. Hna. Ruiz
didn't help at all. I ended up giving them my address. They just kept
talking about it. Seriously, I tried to change the conversation so
many times. We finally were able to teach the Hermana. I could not
think at all. I committed her to read a chapter. She has a hard time
praying with us in lessons and we finally got her to do it last time.
She didn't want to do it so I made her pinkie promise for next time.
Then her brother proceeded to make me pinkie promise that I would
write his son back. So we shall see if he writes me. Maybe we will get
married and have cute mexican babies. I will not miss this about the

So the rest of the week was not super eventful. We did find some new
great investigators. I feel like God is answering my prayers. I have
been praying for members to give us their friends to teach. The other
day we went to dinner and a recent convert invited her friend over so
we could teach her. She is super interested and really liked it. We
will soon meet her boyfriend. I feel really good about it.

Yesterday, the elders had a baptism and we were able to take Melissa,
our 9 yr old investigator. We invited her and her siblings to come and
the mom said it would be fine. Well we went by yesterday to get them
ready to go. Melissa was the only one who wanted to go. She is so
awesome. She has memorized 1 Nephi 3:7 and says it to us all the time.
She always does her homework, even though she has tons of school. She
got up and dressed quickly and went without her siblings. She really
liked the baptism and afterwards as we took her to her dad's car,
where he was waiting, she said this, "My dad says that you want me to
get baptized." I said, "Well we do but it is your decision, not ours."
"Well if it is up to me I say yes." This little girl loves to choose
the right. It is true that even little children can make good

The other day we visted a LA, who has a crazy little girl named
Esther. I love this little girl. She runs around crazy but has so much
love in her heart. She is 3 years old and her mom told us that she
finds her kneeling in her room praying. When she askes her what she
prays for, she answers, "I can't tell you." She is sure that she prays
for her dolls. When were over there she said such a wonderful prayer.
Anyone can learn the gospel.

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. Before I bore my testimony,
Hermana Rivera went (she is 89 yrs old). She bore a powerful testimony
that said that she would continue to praise the name of God until her
very last day. She will continue to be obedient until her last day.
Next month we are going to sing with her in sacrament.

I love being a missionary so much. I feel like it gets harder every
day and I get more and more tired. We are working hard here. I am
getting to know so many of the people better and better and am finally
feeling like I can make a difference in this ward. I am trying to help
the members too. The other day I noticed one of my favorite members
standing off from the group and she looked sad. I went and asked her
how she was doing and she said she was fine and I just said "Well you
look like something is wrong." She then told me that she had just
found out her uncle died in Mexico. She is a returned missionary and
knows the gospel and has a testimony. I was able to help her a little
bit. I know that God helps us notice when people need us.

The gospel is so true my friends and family. I love it so much. I am
excited to always be a missionary. So watch out world!

Hermana Spencer

P.S. Go check out Mormon.org! Its great!