Monday, October 28, 2013

Life Is Like A Mountain

Vasquez family has a sweet tree house - 
so we climbed in it!

Hey everyone!

First I just want to send my love to the Florence clan. I was so sad to hear about Henry. He was such an amazing man! I remember when Kenz and I were little and we spent a weekend at their house in Lehi. They were So loving and welcoming. Both Henry and Aurora just adopted me as another one of their own grand kids! I was so grateful for their Christ like love. I hope everything goes well with the funeral today. I love you Florences! Your strength amazes me!

Also I am so sorry to hear about Chandler Webb! When mom was filling me in about him she said something that really hit me. "Our God is a God of miracles!" Through Him anything is possible and I am so grateful for that. Chandler will be in my prayers! Please send my love to their family as well! Stay strong and have faith! Our faith can work miracles!

This week was full of ups and downs. Some things were challenging but over all it was pretty good. We again saw so many miracles. We were lead to specific people and had some amazing lessons! One thing that I have really seen the miracles in lately is less active work. I have such a testimony of working with the people in our church who just need a little help! That is what the church is for! We are here to boost each other up! To help each other out on this crazy journey in life! One less active family we were working with is the Sanchez family. Their daughter attends another church and they randomly stopped coming to our church and started going with their daughter to this other church! We were worried about stopping by because we didn't want to offend the daughter or the Sanchez family. But one day we really felt like we should visit them. So we stopped by and shared a simple message. We asked them what their testimonies were of the Book of Mormon and a few other things and as they bore testimony they taught themselves! Some times people just need to be reminded that they have a testimony. Then we also invited Hno. Sanchez to come with us to a lesson with Alejandro and he was able to bear testimony there as well. The next week the Sanchez family was at church!!! :) AND they haven't missed a Sunday since! AND Hna. Sanchez signed up to feed us...which she never does! We had a great dinner and lesson with Mexican food I have had thus far on my mission! It was such a blessing to see how their family realized that they are happier when they live the gospel!

There is also this lady named Daleen Spancer who we taught back when we were Spanish and English. She is a single woman in our ward who has been less active for years! We worked with her sooo much when we were English but she still never came to church. She said her health wasn't good enough to come at all, then the next week she would say okay I can come for sacrament meeting only, but she would never follow through. Weeellll, a couple weeks ago we see her at church! She said that Terry Renkin (a woman from our ward) had been so sweet to her lately and went and picked her up for church. Daleen ended up staying all three hours and also hasn't missed a Sunday since!...little plug for member missionary work! :) It works! Do it!! :) haha

Then there is the Chicos! Probably my favorite family ever!! Hno Chico is less active because he has to work on Sundays but Hna Chico and their daughter Giselle are active. Anyway they are recent converts and want to prepare for the temple. They have been struggling with the law of tithing. They didn't understand why the Lord needs their money if they are struggling financially. So we briefly explained the blessings and promises that come from paying tithing. And explained that they can not go to the temple unless they live this commandment that the Lord has given us. So we decided we would go back and teach a full lesson on the blessings of fasting and tithing. We invited Bro. Baker (our ward mission leader) to come with us and help us teach. So Bro. Baker shared some really awesome things with tithing...THEN...Hno. Chico shares with us that he paid his tithing! We were like....WHAT? You paid it? and he said Yes I did!...then went on to tell us that since he paid his tithing he has had so many job offers and job opportunities that he doesn't even know what to do with all of them! It was so cool to see how the Lord literally provides a way for us to keep ALL his commandments! No matter our circumstances. That is the way we show him we love him..simply doing what he has asked. And if we do always works out!

So ya, working with less actives is amazing! I remember before my mission I read on a sister missionaries blog about a less active she was working with and she said something that has really stayed with me! She said...What is finding if we are not keeping? That question has been on my mind my whole mission. There is so much work to be done with people who are already members of the church! If you can't think of a person to line up the missionaries with then look around you. There are people that need our help, love, and friendship! I have this analogy where life is like a mountain right...and we are standing at the base of this mountain. Christ is the sun. And our goal is to get back to him right. So we climb this mountain...and lets say this is Mount Everest, so it's a pretty hard climb! And once we get to the top of the mountain we are still millions and billions of miles away from the sun right? Well the atonement takes us the rest of the way! This mountain seemed so difficult to climb and way too many miles to the top, but it is nothing compared to how many miles there are from the top of the mountain to the sun! And with the Savior we can make it all the way to the sun!...But here is the best part. We are not alone in the climb! First of all we can feel the rays of the sun. That warmth is with us the whole way. Christ doesn't just sit a the top of the mountain and wait for us, he climbs with us and helps us along. AND (this is the part that applies to less active work and everything) We are ALL on this mountain. We have people who may be higher that us and people who may be lower than us on this climb but we are all in it together! (High school musical pun not intended) And each of us can reach both of our hands out! We can reach one up the mountain to receive help and we can reach our other hand down the mountain to pull others up! I don't know if that made any sense because I just realized I don't know how to put my thoughts into words and this whole email is just a jumbled mess. But If you did understand any of that then good! Be a friend. Reach for someone who is lower that you in the climb...."I...I gotta keep tryin....gotta keep my head held high....blah blah's the CLIMB!!!!"...Sorry had to throw that Miley Cyrus in there because it just went way too well with the analogy! :)

Anyway have an amazing week! I didn't get Davis' email this week so I hope he is doing okay!
Love you all more than you will ever know!
Love, Hermana England

PS. sorry this email is flippin long! Elder Haywood just looked over at my screen and said...holy cow are you writing a novel! bad! 

Great memories with Hermana Martinez
Dinner with Bertina and her daughter Marya

More Clean Up

More Clean up!

Pics we took while we waited for the Elders
(Who were late!) 

Pics with the working goggles :) 

President Richards (Our Stake President)

Ted's basement!

We are soaked!  It started pouring when we were
hauling things out to the street!

We got paid in "Clown Money"!

Me dominating our pile!
We hauled everything out of the basement,
put it on to this trailor and unloaded it out in the
front yard by the street...
and sometimes we rode on it like a float...
we were the "Mormon Helping Hands Royalty"!

We found a hoola-hoop in the trash pile :)

The crew for the day...notice how the Elders are
clean and the Sisters are dirty...we work way
harder than the Elders!

Wheel barrel rides!

The whole gang with Ted...
I'm sad you can't see him very well - 
He is in the center at top - Smiling!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Miracles Are Happening All Around Us!

Hermana Snow and me!

Hola mi familia!!!

First of all thank you sooo much mom for the package and memory cards! They were much needed :) You guys are the best! And for everyone that emailed me. All your emails really gave me the boost I needed! So thank you for all of your support! I love you all so much!  ALSO....Happy Birthday on Thursday Grandad! Make sure you all give him a big hug for me and make sure he knows I love him! :) Happy 94th Birthday you youngster!

Well this week has been awesome! I have seen so many miracles! One of them was just last night. So we are teaching this woman named Patricia and she told us at our last appointment that her neighbor is a member of our church. But we didn't recognize the address or the house so we were confused. So later that night we went by and just knocked on the door. They informed us that they were members and invited us in. They introduced themselves and I recognized his name (from Ward Council) Hno.Cardinez. So we talked for a while and found out that the reason they had suddenly gone inactive was because Hna. Cardinez was offended by some of the women in the Spanish group. So we had a good lesson on how we should come to church because we are converted to the gospel, even if the people at church are imperfect. And we left on a really good note. Well...our lesson after that was a lesson with Alejandro that we were going to take Bro. Stewart to (our High priest group leader) but Alejandro canceled. So we called Bro Stewart to let him know and because we had him on the phone we asked about the Cardinez family. And Bro Stewart was like...." visited the Cardinez family today??" And we said yes and explained how we are teaching his next door neighbor and everything...and he was like..."Oh my goodness you are teaching his next door neighbor?" And we were like...Ya! Why? haha... So he went on to explain to us that he felt impressed to visit the Cardinez family earlier that day...only about 3 hours before us. While he was there he talked about the same thing we did like how we need to come to church for the gospel and not for the people, but then he said he felt impressed to talk about how the missionary work in the ward in really moving forward and how we need the Cardinez family to be at church to welcome in these new converts! So about 3 hours later we show up and tell them about how we are teaching his next door neighbor!!! WHAT!? 
Amazing right! AND a few days before we had visited Patricia and right after the lesson both Hermana Snow and I felt really impressed that we need to bring a member with us to her next visit! SO because the Lord is amazing and has provided that incredible path for us we are going to reactivate Hna. Cardinez and Convert Patricia all at once! How awesome is that!?? We are so excited! Anyway the whole series of events that led up to this was so inspired! I love when we can so plainly see the Lords had in the work! Miracles are happening all around us! 

Another one was after our district meeting this week. Our district meetings are out in Fredrick which is like 25 min away but still in our area. So we decided after the meeting we would contact some old investigators that lived out there. Well while we were doing this we saw this old Hispanic man walking down the street. (He looks like those super old Hispanic cow boys) Like wearing cow boy boots and cow boy hat and big leather jacket! haha so we felt like we should park the car....around the corner like a stalker...and walk down the street so we could "bump into him"....(If there is anything I have learned on my mission it is that missionaries are better stalkers that real life stalkers!)...Anyway so we proceeded with the stalker plan and ended up teaching him the whole first lesson and giving him a Book of Mormon right there on the street. AND he gave us his address to come back. So a few days later we went back to Fredrick to find Simon. And his address was no where to be found. The GPS couldn't find it, we couldn't find it...we were heart broken! We wanted to find Simon sooo bad! So we said a prayer that we would find him and we went back to drive around where he was walking the other night to see if we could find his address near there, but no luck. So we start driving out of this area and we see in the distance this man walking on the side of the street....And Hermana Snow is like...maybe that's him. And I'm like...Oh my word I think it is him!....So we drive up and sure enough Simon is strolling down the street! So again...super stalkerish....we park our car and run after him yelling SIMON SIMON!!! hahaha So we catch up to him and we ask him about the Book of Mormon and what not and he had read almost ALL of it!! He was reluctant at first but the more we got talking the more interested he seemed! We told him how the spirit had helped us find him and had lead us there...and he said that he knew our message was true because he had been praying for someone to come talk to him. He went on to say that he was so grateful to find people that believe in miracles like he does! Ahh it was sooo awesome! We are now teaching him and he is an awesome investigator! The only problem is that he lives 30 min from church and doesn't have a car. But we will figure it out :) The Lord always provides a way! :) Entonces, muchos Milagros este semana! 

We also had some hard times like this lady that always invites us in, yelled at us big time because we tried to invite her to the lessons and she was offended because she is Catholic. It was rough. But it was also an answer to prayer because we have been praying to know who we need to focus on and who is not going to progress. So clearly Naida is not going to progress so we can put our focus else where! Plus since our Spanish is still rough we couldn't really understand a lot of her jokes on you Naida! hahah So even in the hard times we have seen Miracles!

It's pretty amazing! Heavenly Father is just too good to us :)
Sorry I got on a role and this email seems really long now. haha I hope everything at home is going well. I hear Bo needs glasses! :) I was laughing so hard how you told that story mom hahah :) Bo don't worry - all the cool boys wear glasses :)...and a lot of the pros wear sports glasses! You are going to look awesome! Send me some pictures!!! Soph the pics from your birthday were super cute! One direction movie ahhhh we're going to have to see it when I get home! Mags I'm excited for you for MORP! Your going to be the cutest sailor out there:) Davis you sound amazing! You inspire me so much! You look like a man in your pictures! I showed my companion how hairy your legs are and that's so weird my little brother is a man!!! Kenna and Dalt I'm glad you guys had a good time with Marco and Julia! Sounds like their American experience was one to remember! :) Mom keep up the amazing work with your calling and just being a mom! You amaze me! You have soo much to do yet still have time to volunteer at the elementary school to do eye exams :) You're awesome! Dad hopefully you heal up soon! You're in my prayers! I sent you a post card wishing you luck, I don't know if you got it. Cuidate! 

Love you all more than you will ever know!
Love, Mace

What a lot of the doors we tract look like...

Hahah - this picture kills me..
so we worked a table at the flood relief center
and the "Good Samaritan Church" was right behind us.
ALL day long - like every 10 min they would
all huddle together and put their hands on each
other's shoulders and pray...facing the whole room
I had to get a sneaky pic :)

These are for you Dad -

Elder Wynn and I giving our "clap hug"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Laman and Lemuel

Mexican Markets - They are great!

Hey Yall,

So first this week I would like to give a shout out to the best prima en el MUNDO!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON WEDNESDAY KENZ!!! You are seriously the best! Thank you for being my best friend!....Don't get married...

So anyway this week has been awesome! Every week as a missionary is awesome! At zone meeting we made some pretty sweet zone goals for this week and totally killed it. We reached almost all of them and the others we got pretty close on. But it totally made us come together as a zone. ZONE UNITY BABY! I love when we feel unified as missionaries. It makes me feel like we can conquer the world...AND WE ARE!...well were working on in:)

So this week we finally got to teach Bertina La lay de Castidad (The law of chastity) And it went amazing!!!!.....But - we don't think she really got the fact that she can't live with her boy friend. We thought we were pretty clear but obviously not clear enough. At the end of the lesson we asked her if she would live the law of chastity and she said...Yes! The blessing from this law are so beautiful!...nothing about having to move out or get married. So lucky us...we get to revisit the law of chastity and be more specific. We are secretly hoping that Larry is her brother....even though he is a gringo and she is's possible right? Let's all pray for that...haha :) But the amazing thing with her is that she has soooo much faith to follow the commandments! She comes to church every week now and one of the sunday school lessons was on The word of wisdom. She said she is already trying to live it...she is struggling to give up coffee but she already believes in it. The same thing happened with tithing. We haven't taught her about tithing yet but she heard about it at church. She said she was skeptical but talked to her daughter Marium about it and Marium explained the blessing of it and how Heavenly Father will prepare a way. So She was thinking about it. Then one day she and her daughter were driving and saw a homeless man...Bertina had 10 dollars that she was going to use for gas money and that was the only money she had left for that month. She decided to give it to the man, then went to the atm to see if she had just a few dollars to put in for gas. To her supersize she found 200 dollars. She asked the bank about it and they said no there is no have 200 dollars in your account. A similar experience happened to her the next day and after that she said she had faith that if she paid her tithing she would be provided for! It was so awesome! Heavenly Father is literally hand leading her to the church! Oh AND! Bertinas 12 year old son is starting to come to church and we will hopefully start teaching him this week too! New investigator WHAT WHAT!! We gonna have ourselves a big ol' family baptism :) OH AND! At church Isaias (Bertinas son) Showed up and the first thing he said to us was...I have 2 dollars, where do I pay my tithes? Oh my goodness he is to die for...Soph were going to bring you to Colorado after the mish and make this happen okay!? Okay! But ya anway the Lord has for sure prepared their family! It's so amazing to see them change for the better! :)

I had my first training meeting as the trainer and not the was pretty cool! I got some good insights from Pres. Brown and the other missionaries. Man I totally agree with you Davis when you were talking about how it's hard that people have agency! That has been sooo hard! We know this gospel will change their life, and sometimes THEY even know that this gospel will change their lives...but they do not act. It is heartbreaking! 
Hermana Snow and I were talking about how we can feel a small fraction of the sorrow Heavenly Father has when we use our agency poorly. Man I can't imagine how hard it was for Him to even give us agency, knowing that a lot of us would choose poorly. But he did give it, because He loves us. And if he resects agency then so should I...even thought I just want to wack some people in the head with the Book of Mormon. :) But keep up the good work Davis! :) I have the exact same feelings!  But you are right...all we can do is keep trying and keep loving!

So in other news, this week my skin has been particularly horrendous. I got 2 HUGE zits right smack dab in the middle of my forehead!...not cool! They would not go away and were persistently rebellious so we named them Laman and Lemuel....One of the new investigators we had last week named Raul dropped us and gave us back the Book of Mormon we gave was soooo sad!!!! Pretty much a stab to the heart when you get a BOM handed back to you. But I am convinced that it was Laman and Lemuel's fault!...Raul opened the door and felt of their murmuring contentious spirit and turned us away. Then later in the week more popped up and I have the whole band of Gadianton robbers on my forehead!...again...not cool. Hopefully that will clear up sooner rather than later!

Mom it sounds like the trek to the temple was a success! I know that was an awesome experience for all the girls! You are amazing at planning stuff like that:) AND a relief society activity! You are a man woman. I was laughing so hard at your water bottle accident haha but I hope your hand is feeling better!

Oh DAD! I don't know if you guys have read Rachels emails but she got transferred to Kiev and her ward meets on the third floor of this super nice building. And guess what it is right over?! The Kiev Ferrari shop! Isn't that awesome! Church and cars's your dream come true! :) You should go visit Rach in Kiev!

OH! Dalt and Kenna and who ever else was there (I can't remember) I was going to tell you this last week but I forgot...Remember when we were talking about how at general conference how they should announce the prophets and apostles names like they do at basket ball games? Well Elder Neilson (I think that was his name) The one that gave the 'Exclamation point' talk, should totally be the announcer!!! ANNNND now the one you've been waiting for......YOUR PRESIDENT....YOUR PROPHET....IIIIIIT'S.....THOMAS....S......MOOOOOOONSOOOOONNNN! That would be awesome! He deserves that kind of intro :)

Well that's it for the week folks! Thank you for all your love and support! I am so overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have such an amazing family!

Love you all so much!
Con amor, Hermana England 

Chicken feet - Apparently hispanics like them :/

Making a Salvidorian dish for Liz and Dave

Monday, October 7, 2013

Get Involved

My new companion - Hermana Snow


First I would like to say...HAPPY 24 DALT!!!! Ya old man!! 24 and still no kids....disappointing....:/...but hey I hope you had a great day! You'll have to write me and tell me what you did to celebrate! I told my comp about your comp that kissed you on the head and whispered 'to help' in Italian. haha I told her we can do that If we are having a hard time remembering a word. :) Happy Birthday brotha!

Oh my goodness this week has been awesome! Wasn't conference just like mind blowing! I love listening to Pres. Monson and his Apostles! Man we are lucky! At one of our dinners this week a lady in our ward was saying how we get conference so easy! In olden times they would have to travel for days or even weeks, and spend all their money just to come hear the words of the prophets. But we simply have to turn on the TV. How blessed are we! The missionaries watched conference at the stake center. I think we can watch it with members but Dave and Liz are in Utah so we watched at the church. Wow it was incredible. I found myself wishing I could listen to conference all day. I was so sad when it was over! But I guess this is where the most exciting part comes into it! We heard so much great council and I am so excited to apply it in my life, and in this missionary work. I hope you guys do the same! Take these words that we have heard and live them. One council that I heard repeated several times by Pres. Monson and others was that this is the time for members and missionaries to become yoked in the work. This is so true! If there is one thing I have learned while on my mission it is that we cannot do this without the members! We took Hermano Olivas with us to a lesson with Alejandro last night (Alejandro is the husband of our investigator that passed away). We taught the plan of salvation and for some reason my Spanish was particularly terrible. But having Hermano Olivas there completely saved the lesson. His solid testimony of the plan was incredible. He also bore testimony to Alejandro that we as missionaries were there for a reason. He shared his experience with the elders that converted him and his family in Mexico. He changed the lesson from good to great. The spirit told us to bring him and because he was willing and excited about missionary work, we were able to touch Alejandro's heart! GET INVOLVED! In one of the conference talks we were counseled to pray for the missionaries in your ward by name, AND the people they are teaching by name!!! Talk to the missionaries! Have them over for dinner! Give them referals!!!! Ask to come teach with them! They are there to help the ward to missionary work! So do it! I promise you will see incredible blessings!...Okay sorry....I went all Sister England on ya!...But it! hahah

Anyway...Hermana Martinez was supposed to stay here for a week or two but she was doing so well that they sent her up to Wyoming only one day after transfers! So we had an Hermana Fiesta for one night only...but it was still fun! And I'm glad she is recovering so quickly!...So Hermana Nieve (Snow) is so AWESOME! I love her so much! She is such a hard worker so my job as a trainer is super easy! She is from Winnemucca, Nevada. She is like the tiniest little thing...jealous....and she loves to run. We have been running every morning! Booya! I'm gonna get in shape this transfer!!! But ya she is just amazing! And for only having 6 weeks in the MTC her Spanish is awesome! We are working together to learn it! (OH, FYI - She was on the middle part of conference for a special on the Mexico MTC. So after I send a pic of her you can go back and see her. MY COMP IS FAMOUS! :) Anyway we have seen miracles this week! We didn't understand everything but we understood enough to have good conversations and lots of great lessons! The spirit is amazing! The gift of tongues is amazing! I flippin LOVE being a missionary! We also fasted this week to be able to find more investigators that are ready to hear the gospel and we found 5 new investigators. My testimony of fasting has grown so much since I have been on my mission! So despite our aweful Spanish we are preaching the gospel to the crazy but awesome Hispanics here in Longmont! Si se puede!!

Sounds like you guys are super busy at home! Good luck with the trek to the temple mom! That will be so much fun for the girls! Dad sounds like you did awesome at both the trainings you did! You are a rock star! Bo sounds like you rocked it at your flag football AND soccer game! You da bomb!!! Soph I'm sure you are just full of grace at nutcracker practices! What part are you this year? Mags night practices started!? Man comp season is going to be awesome for you! Kenna, I was laughing so hard thinking about us dancing in the van in Italy...and Dad saying.."What is wrong with you two?" hahaha good times! Dalt, Happy Birthday again! You are awesome!.."Your shkin can be like baby shkin."

Davis sounds amazing! I was laughing so hard at how he said he is getting the "tickets"...bless his soul. hahaha But I'm glad he is at least getting fed...he needs some meat on his bones! Oh and I had a similar experience Davis, as you did with Washington. Our investigator Sandy was supposed to be baptized a few weeks ago but it feel through because she won't come to church. Man It's frustrating and disappointing when that happens but hopefully we can get her to church and she can be baptized soon. I'll keep Washington in my prayers. Hopefully he can over come smoking! Keep up the good work! You are a stellar missionary! "Lets rock, Lets rock today!"

Oh it also sounds like you guys had a great conference weekend in St. George! Man I love St. George! And I love conference!...with the mixture of the two I'm sure you guys had a blast! Say hi to all the cousins and aunts and uncles for me. I miss them all a lot! Kenz sent me some pics of your family dinner at Grandmas house! I loved seeing everyone! :) Hey all you people...send me pictures and letters okay?!! okay! hahaha 

Well that's about it folks! I'll talk to you again next week! Keep being amazing! I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana England  

Transfer day...

Sister Martinez is going to Wyoming

Sister Taliulu is leaving the Zone :(

Elder Gibel and me! He got
transfered too! He has been my Zone Leader my
whole Mission And...Elder Green is going home -
He is such a small man child.  He is like 5'2''
and probably weighs 90 lbs.!

For one night Sister Martinez and her comp were
still in Longmont we all had dinner together
at our ward Mission leaders house!

Saying goodbye to Sister Martinez :(