Monday, August 26, 2013

We did our part so the Lord did His

I live in such a beautiful place!

Hey Yall,

First of all Thank You so much for all your emails and mail! I love hearing from everyone :) Keep em coming!

This week was amazing! Sister Martinez and I really turned to the Lord for our weekly goals and man did he help us! We really wanted to find a lot of new Spanish investigators because starting today we get our English speaking sisters in our ward!!!! YAY! Sad because we have to give up all of our English investigators that were progressing so well....but awesome because we need to focus on Spanish! So anyway we watned to have investigators in Spanish for this transfer so we made some goals and started our week with a fast. Our fast was for Heavenly Father to help us find those Spanish investigators that needed the gospel in their lives right now. Well we did our part so the Lord did always :). We tracted A TON!! Even in the rain! (Yes we are hard core missionaries) Aaaand....we have 5 new Spanish investigators! It was such an answer to our prayers and fasting. The Lord is amazing. We also made a goal to have 2 investigators at church on Sunday which is big becasue we have not had anyone come to church in a while. And guess what...2 of our investigators were at church! :) Another goal was to have 30 lessons this week. This was a big one. The standard of excellence here is 20 lessons a week but last week we got 28 so we said...hey we can do thirty! So all week we made sure we had enough lessons in each day to equal 30 at the end of the week! AND WE DID IT! 30 lesson even! Another goal that we saw the Lords had in was our member present lessons. We made a goal to have 3. So we tried to set up a bunch of member present lessons and they all fell through. Either we showed up with the member and the investigator flaked out, or the member canceled, or we couldn't find anyone to go with ect. BUT like I said the Lord helps us when we do our part....One of our investigators was a referal from her daughter who is a convert. We taught her twice this week and her daughter was able to participate in both. HELLO! Thank you Heavenly Father! Built in member present lesson WHAT WHAT!! THEN some members from another ward CALLED US with a referal and said...oh we're visiting her this Friday and we want to have a lesson, will you come with us?....we were like.....Alright Heavenly Father you are just too good to us! haha It was incredible! And I honestly think the whole reason we did so well was because we focused on our key indicator goals...and I wouldn't have focused on our key indicator goals if I didn't have to do that training last week! Heavenly Father new what He was doing when he asked a newby to do the training...haha so even if my training didn't help anyone else it helped our new investigators! :)

Well I hope school is going good guys! Bo how's your class and teacher and everything? Soph how's the big MIDDLE SCHOOL treatin ya? Mags hows JR year??? Freaks me out that you're a Junior! Davis sounds good! It keeps me goin knowing that he is out in the field workin hard! Kenna how are the crazy second graders doin? Dalt how's school and your fam? Write me letters fools! I need up dates on your lives. Mom and Dad are doing good at keeping me in the loop but ya'll are slackin :)

Well sorry this email is shorter than others. Computer time goes soooo fast! But know that I think about you guys all the time! I thank Heavenly Father in my prayers every night for such an amazing family! Keep being awesome! Be good member missionaries! Ask the missionaries if you can go out and teach with them! FIND PEOPLE FOR THEM TO TEACH! It is our responsiblitly as members of the church to share what we have with others! In "the standard of truth" it says..."The Truth of God will go forth boldy, nobly, and independant till it has penetratede every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear Till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehova shall say the work is done." Do your part in letting the gospel sound in every ear! You guys are amazing!

Love you all sooo much!
Love, Hermana England

Lego man! He lives outside the library where
we email every week!

Awesome flan cake Hermena Marquartia Taylor made for us!

James - a boy in our ward!
I have to stop myself from kissing his face
because he reminds me so much of Bo!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thanks for the package!

Enjoying all the awesome stuff from my package you sent!

Hermana Martinez enjoying some treats!

On our way to service!

I'm Staying In Longmont!

Depiction of the craziness of Sunday's...
Spanish & English area books, 
Spanish & English Scriptures,
notebooks, bag, keys, planner ...check!

Us freaking out ... we were at the
church waiting to find out about transfers!
Then...being happy because we're still companions!


Ok so my first transfers are today AAAANDDDD....I'm staying in Longmont with Sister Martinez!!!!!! YAY!! I can not tell you how happy I am! I was convinced I was going to have to train someone! My first two interviews with Pres. Brown he said...we have 5 new Spanish sisters coming next transfer so you better be ready and learn as much as you can!...Clearly this gave me panic attacks because I do not know enough Spanish to be training someone in Spanish! haha I assume that because of the craziness of last transfer with sister Hill leaving and Sister Martinez and I already not having a trainer, Pres. Brown let us stay where we are. Man am I greatful!...AND....drum role please....We are getting English speaking sisters in our ward so we can focus all of our efforts on SPANISH!! BOOYA!!! I am so stoked! In dads email he asked if we were still teaching about 50 percent in Spanish...well the answer is no. The bishop really wants us to focus on less actives and most our less actives are in English. So we are teaching on average only one lesson is Spanish a day...ya no wonder my spanish stinks! haha So anyway there is a late group coming from the MTC next week. So in one week we should get a set of English sisters in our ward, and we will be teaching most - if not ALL in Spanish. Scary but awesome! Also pretty sad because all of our top progressing investigators are in English and we will probably have to hand all of them over to the other sisters:( Which is so hard because some of them are so close to being ready for baptism!!! Not to mention the relationships we have buit with them. But the Lord knows what is best. Maybe the new sisters will be able to touch their hearts in a way that we couldnt.

So anyway this next transfer is going to be awesome!
Well it sounds like Mom and Dad had a great trip!! Ireland sounds amazing! I'm excited to see all the pictures! Send a memory card of the trip soon! AND Bo, Soph, and Mags started school!!! You guys need to write me and tell me how it's going!! One in elementary - one in Middle and one in High school! CRAZY! haha I'm excited to hear about your teachers and everything!

This last week has been awesome! Crazy but awesome! For district meeting I was asked to give the training...which is super weird because they never ask a new missionary to do the training! But I agreed. It was on area books and the key indicators (all the numbers we have to report like...#of lessons, #of referals, #of new investigators ect.) It was good because one of our zone goals is to clean up our area books. And key indicators are always super important! I think the training went well...and if it didn't I brought cookies so I'm good. haha works every time! Also we had the Anguiano's baptisms/wedding! The Anguianos were a less active family that have been reactivated. The dad is a non member and Martha and the kids are now active. They have twin girls that are almost 9 and we worked really hard to get them baptized while they were still 8 and they DID:) AND Marta got married (they were living together) So she is no longer breaking the law of Chastity! WHAHOO! This was a HUGE step for them and the double baptism/wedding was beautiful! The baptisms were first and we showed up right before it starts and they say...oh you know you guys are giving a talk on faith right?...and me and sister Martinez are like....NO! So we whip up a talk (in Spanish I might add - we prepared during their grandpas little talk at the beginning). Then they were baptized and we were responsible for taking up all the time while they were changing. So we go and give our talk and they are still not there happend to be two other Spanish speaking Elders from our zone there so I just we will hear the Elder's testimony on faith! haha So the Elders gave awesome testimonies! They still weren't out by then (I have no idea what took them so long)so then we just sang a few hymns until they came out. It was a pretty crazy 15 min.  AND we also had to give a training at our ward corillation meeting with all of our ward missionaries! So - ya - we spoke and trained and did all kinds of crazy stuff this week!

Well anyway here is an AWESOME update on Christian. So if you remember Christian was the one we met in the park and he was already reading the Book of Mormon when we were leaving!...WELL we gave him our number but like idiots (I don't know if I'm allowed to say that)... we didn't get his address or phone number. So we prayed and said Heavenly Father please help Christian to be able to call us or read more in the Book of Mormon and ask his friend more (remember he had a Mormon friend) or something so that he can learn more about the gospel. WELL the Lord answeres prayers everyone! We were talking to the other sisters in our zone about how it's fun to eat lunch at the park because it's beautiful and you can talk to the people at the part about the gospel! And they were like....oh my gosh did you place a Book of Mormon at the park to a 15 year old boy?....and were like....YESSS WE DID!!!!!! So they go on to tell us that Christan's Mormon friend he had told us about is in their ward  And they had dinner with them the night before!!! Christian told his friend Ty about how the missionaries (US!!) gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to him in the park!! And he wants to learn more!!!! The other sisters said oh ya we will talk to his friend Ty and get you his address!!! If that Isn't a direct answer to prayer I dont know what is!! It's amazing how the Lord works in ways that we would never think of! We are so lucky to have a Heavenly Father who is looking out for us and leading us where we need to go!

Well that's about it for this week! I love you guys soooo much!
So excited to hear more about Davis in Uruguay!
Love, Hermana England

The Anguiano's big day!  The twins were baptized and
Martha & Ruben were married!
It was an awesome night!  

On our way to service - Hermana Martinez was
really excited about driving next to the train!
There are train tracks right in the middle
of our neighborhood - Sometimes it comes by at
5:30 or 6 in the morning and the horn wakes us up...
NOT cool!

Yard busters service! ...
Me bustin some hedges with my electric saw!

Remembering Good times with Hermana Hill

Sometimes this is what happens when you're a
missionary and you have 15 min of free time before bed
...Moroni 7:18

Saying goodbye to Hermana Hill
I'm going to miss this girl!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Thankfully Maria is Alive and Well!"

Holla mi Familia!

Ok I am so jealous Mom and Dad are in Ireland! Take lots of pictures you two! And I would not be mad if you like sent me awesome stuff from there...just sayin. :)

Anyway, I hope you are all having a great week! My week has been pretty good! Being able to share the gospel is a pretty sweet job! OH! Thank you so much for the package! Ya'll know I love me some goofy balls! :) If I can't go to Disney with you guys that's the next best thing! The GPS you sent is perfect and Dave and Liz loved their gift! So nice of you guys to think of them! AND I LOVED looking through all the pictures! I didn't realize how much I missed your guys' faces! haha looks like California was a blast!

We had an awesome dinner appointment this week with a single woman in our ward. Her name is Bonnie Christensen. She is such an incredible woman! She told us her conversion story and it seriously was an answer to my prayers!...I'll tell you the short version. She was born into a baptist family and was raised baptist until she was a teenager. She told us how baptists believe that If you do not have an unwavering relationship with Christ you were lost in hell. She could not believe that a just God would let people be lost even if they are good people. So she left the baptist church and found the Catholic church. She was very involved in the Catholic church after that. Well, I guess one summer she had a really rough patch in her relationship with her father. She said she would yell at him and was really mean, and after the summer she felt terrible about it. So she went to Cathlic confession to repent. When she told the priest what had happened he asked her how many times she had done this. She said...I dont know, all summer. He insisted on a number so she left and tried to add it up. She had no idea but she estimated about 100 times. So she went back and told him 100 times she had done it. The priest took a min to add it all up then said...Ok you must say 10 hail marys and you are forgiven. He gave her the prayer beads and sent her to the rosery to recite her 10 hail marys. (one hail mary is this long chant to the mother mary) She walked into the rosery and looked out on all these people rushing through these recitations as fast as they could so they could get out of there, and thought...this is not repentance. She got through about 2 hail marys then threw her beads down and had her records removed from the Catholic church the next day. At this point in her life she was so lost and confused. She said one night she prayed and said...God, I know the baptist church is not true and I know the catholic church is not true...why can't I find the truth? Well the next morning the missionaries were at her door. She knew it was an answer to prayer so she let them in and they taught her the restoration. They came back and taught her about the Book of Mormon. She was amazed. She could feel the truth of their message. But unfortunatley she moved apartments right after that. She contunued to read the Book of Mormon on her own. Not taking the missionary lessons in her new apartment because she didnt know how to contact them.

About 5 months later she finished the Book of Mormon. She said she took Moroni's challenge to ask if the book was true very seriously. So she did and she recieved an overwhelming confirmation that is was true. But she still had no idea how to contact the missionaries. Well a few years earlier she had gotten in a small car accident. She remembered that the woman she got in a car accident with sent her to her atorney. She remembered him saying he was Mormon. This man was the only mormon she had ever met. So she took a 2 hour bus ride to this mans office. She said I don't have an apointment but I need to talk to him. So he allowed her to come in. He remembered her from the accident and asked what he could do to help her. All she said was...I know you are Mormon and I know your church is true but I have no idea how to join it. He got her in contact with the missionaries in her area and she was baptized shortly after. 

This story was so inspiring to me. And it was an answer to my prayer. Lately I have been getting frustrated becasue a lot of our investigators feel the spirit while we are there and invite us back, but never keep commitments or come to church. Or we find someone to teach and they move or are never home or never answer their door. This story helped me know that even though I might not know what happens to them after we teach them, they were touched by the spirit and they may choose to act on that later in their life. Bonnie said that she was never able to tell the first missionaries that taught her that she moved or that she ended up getting baptized. They probably went to her apartment the next week to teach her again and she was gone. They probably thought she forgot about their message and lost the Book of Mormon. (Like I think about alot of people we have contacted) But she didn't! Those missionaries were an answer to her prayer. Bonnie said...they still don't know to this day but they changed my life!...Maybe we dont know how many lives we change. Maybe we don't know how many prayers we answer. Even though none of our investigators have been baptized maybe we are changing lives. And like those missionaries that first taught Bonnie maybe we will never know the profound effect we will have on someones life. Her story made me realize that even if we have no baptisms and none of our investigators came to church that week we are still doing His work. If I am working as hard as I can then that is all the Lord expects of me. And if I work as hard as I can I can be a tool in his hands to change lives....It's not about me. Missions are about loosing yourself in His work. It's not about If I had a bapism or if I had a successfull's about CHRIST and if HIS work is moving forward. We simply must do his work and lives will be changed...this goes for you guys too not just missionaries...You never know when you will be an answer to someones prayer!

Whoa...sorry that got heavy..I turned all Sister England on ya for a second haha Anyway that was an awesome experience and this week really has been great!

We got a referal this week for this woman named Maria. So we found her address and go to teach her. Her daughter answered and we asked for Maria. She said she was kind of sick and that we had to go down stairs to teach her because she was laying in bed. So we did. Guys...Maria is super old...keep that in mind. So we go down and talk to her for a second. She seems kind of out of it. And we ask if we can start with a prayer. She says yes and puts one arm over her face. (Like so her elbow pit was covering her eyes) and her other arm was down by her side. So I finish the opening prayer...we say amen...and she doesn't move. We wait for a second (thinking she is finishing her own prayer or something...hispanics do that alot) but no...she doesn't move. We sit there for like a few min and nothing. We both were like....crap she's dead! They family is going to hate us AND the church because we try to teach her and she dies!...So we are both like silently freaking out...then all of a sudden her hand that is down by her side twitches...Sister Martinez and I both start laughing so hard. Trying so hard to be quite so we don't wake her because clearly she is indeed...alive. We are both laughing so hard and can not stay quiet and despite my atempts to hold it in I bust out in laughter...facing the corner so she might not hear me. Sister Martinez is pretending to find something in her bag to cover the noise of her laughter...and all of a sudden Maria wakes up to our laughing. And the second we see her waking up we both cough like we had something in our throat to cover for our laughter. Anyway we ended up teaching her a great lesson on the restoration and it all turned out okay...and thankfully Maria is alive and well! haha

Well anyway I am out of time. But I love you all so much! Keep being the amazing people you are!

Te quiero MUCHO!
Love, Hermana England 

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Let's go buy a popsicle then convert him"


Hey guys I hope you all had a great week! Guess what!? I went on a hike today!!! We are turning into a out doorsie family...ok I wouldn't go that far...we are turning into a hiking family! haha It was so much fun though! I have never enjoyed hiking so much! Our whole zone went up and hiked Mount Lily. It is gorgeous up there! And the town you drive through right before the hike is like Coeur d'Alene (remember the trip we took)! There is this pretty lake and amazing mountains. Ahh it was awesome! I'll send pics home soon. 

Anyway this week was awesome! Sister Martinez and I are working hard and getting things done! :) A couple days ago we went to a baptism for one of Sister Martinez's investigorts from her old area. Oh my goodness it was awesome! I want to get all of our investigators to that point where they are so pumped to be baptized. The women that got baptized is Peg. She is so cool! haha She is a single lady in her 50s with flaming red hair. And after they dunked her she jumped out of the water and yelled...YAHOOO!...then one of the witnesses proceeded to tell her that she didn't go all the way under so she would have to do it again. hahaha Then her son in law (that was baptizing her) whispers to her...Don't yell this time. hahah It was so awesome. But seriously it was amazing to see someone so excited to be baptized. The gospel completely changed her life. And after she was baptized she just couldn't stop saying...I'm so happy! I'm so happy! Sister Martinez and I were just like...ya we need to have all of our investigators baptized. So we're working on that :)

Another awesome thing that happened this week was meeting Christian. We didn't have a lot of time for lunch the other day so we just packed and lunch and stopped in the park and ate quickly. While we were eating we saw a boy selling popsicles. He was just sitting on a picnic table next to his popsicle cart reading. So I was like hey..Sister Martinez...Let's go buy a popsicle then convert him...She's like okay. So we go over and pick out our flavor and casually bring up how we are missionaries in this area. He seemed shy but interested so we went on to teach him about prayer. He said he only prays about once a week. So we taught him that God loves him and wants to hear from him everyday and wants to have a relationship with him. Again he seemed interested so we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained how through this book our prayers can be answered! He was flipping through it from the second we gave it to him, and asked oh how long do you think it will take to read it all?...awesome. We ended the lesson with a prayer and left him with his cart and the Book of Mormon. We went back to our table grabed our things to leave and passed by him on our way out. He was already reading it!! :) We were so happy! So funny that Davis had the exact same experience with that women. The Lord leads us to people that need his word! Another example of that is the McBride family. They are a partially less active family and we try to visit them but haven't been over in a little while. The other night we randomly were like...let's go visit the McBrides. So we did and it turnes out their daughter tried to commit suicide the night before. She was okay but was staying in the hospital and Debbie (the mom) was having such a hard time. We were able to share a scripture with her about the atonement and how Christ has been through everything her family was going through. I think it brought her comfort and through us the Lord was able to touch her heart. It was so clear to me that the Lord lead us there. We had no idea what happed the night before but we followed the spirit to their house and that is where we were needed. Anyway like I said Sister Martinez and I are working hard and I feel like I am truly being a tool in the Lords hands. It's an amazing feeling.

Oh so Sister Martinez has hearing problems and one of her hearing aids broke. So we have been going to apointments for her to get new hearing aids. Hers are 12 years old and they are only supposed to last for 5! So the new technology was blowing her away! It blew me away too! I don't have hearing problems and I even wanted them haha Dad you should seriously get some! Even if you don't need it that bad! They are so cool! And it will be so nice for my companion to be able to hear what I am saying haha
It was so weird at the store today I saw a magazine that had stuff about the bachelorette on it. My first reaction was like oh my gosh I'm so excited for that! And then I was like oh ya it's like in the middle of the season or something and I'm missing it. Then I was like Woah...I am really disconnected from the world hahah Also the glee dude died...crazy and sad! And Demi Lavato is blonde...and it looks terrible by the way. Anyway magazine covers are my only sorce of media...and sometimes I feel guilty for even reading them. Oh well what else am I going to do in the grocery store line...stare at gum I can't buy...Ahh I guess a real missinary would convert the other people in line...okay I'll work on that.

Well fam keep it real. I miss you guys a lot but I am having a great time serving out her!

I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana England

PS. Here is a joke one of the members told me this week...
Why did the Lamanites knees always hurt?....because of the knee-fites.

I know hilarious right....I am ashamed at how low my standard of humor is now :(

All the Sisters ready to hit the mountain!

Sister Ziverston and I made it to the top of Mount Lily 
(yes, the elders changed into their shirts and ties at the 
top of the mountain to get a pic)

Victory!  Elder Lane (Elder Peterson far away)
Elder Leisune eating his subway

More pics at the top!

It started to get gloomy so we headed down to miss the rain!

Picture at Peg's baptism!
(She is the one with red hair)