Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Peare Street On P Day

Street performers on Peare Street!

Awesome Quote on a building in 

Dog street performer...
and some guy playing his guitar and singing
at the top of his lungs a song about freedom!
You go weird Boulder guy!

This is the story of my life...

Monday, January 27, 2014

You Are My Spirit Daughter

Hermana Stratford and me with Eva 
right before her baptism!


I have fantastic news...EVA WAS BAPTIZED!!! We were finally able to set everything up with the building and it all worked out perfect. She got baptized last Friday. It was such a great day, so full of the spirit. She was so ready and so excited to get baptized! It was kind of crazy because Bro. Gibson the first coucelor in the ward was supposed to be there and actually perform the baptism (The bishop and the second councelor were out of town) But he ended up getting really bad allergies and both of his eyes were swollen shut (What is it with swollen eyes lately?) So we had no bishopric member coming and the stake pres said that in his hand book it says in order to proceed with a baptism with no bishopric member you have to get permission from your mission president. Well we couldn't get a hold of President Brown so we were freaking out because everything was already planned and set for that night. But finally after hours and hours we heard from President Brown and he gave us the go a head. Then right after Bro. Gibson tells us he can come....we were like...you have got to be kidding me. hahaha but he couldn't perform the baptism so we had Elder Patterson our zone leader do it because he is a Spanish speaking missionary (in an English area). But I was glad Bro. Gibson was there to welcome her into the ward. - Other than that madness it all went perfect...well we actually forgot a towell so we called a member to bring one but she also forgot so Eva had to dry herself with a bunch of kitchen towells and an apron we found hahah. Oh and Elder Patterson said the baptismal prayer wrong the first time so she had to be baptized again hahah but she actually loved it! In her broken English she was like...."It's more better! More better for me. I more clean!" hahaha I love her so much. So it was a little crazy but the whole thing was so amazing!

For the program I gave a talk on baptism and Nissa, a member of the Spanish group, gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. We also got Bro. Coreson who is a Spanish speaking RM to play and sing a song for us in Spanish. It was a beautiful program! Before the program started we found Eva praying out loud in the chapel. She was just thanking Heavenly Father for helping her find her path and for the blessing of being baptized. It melted my heart. She is such a huge example to me. I have learned so much from her! If there is one thing I have learned on my mission it is that I am not the teacher! The spirit does all the work. And when we let the spirit do the work everyone is edified! I can't think of a better thing in the world than to be able to be a part of peoples conversion process. I get to watch miracles happen in the lives of others, and when I do that, miracles happen in mine. After the baptism everyone was eating and socializing and Eva came up to me and hugged me and said. "Tu eres mi hija espiritual ...gracias ...gracias" which means "You are my spirit daughter ...thankyou ...thankyou" I will never forget that moment. I will never forget the wonderful things I have learned and continue to learn from her. It was a great week!

Also little Becky came to church with Allie and Silvia!! :) We are still working on getting the whole Vital family there (Yadira's family) I don't remember if I told you but the Mom's name is Becky too so we call 14 year old Becky little Becky. haha Anyway we are still struggling because every time we go over there it is someone different. We try to get their whole family together but they are never all there. But we finally taught Jorge the dad! :) yay! So there is slow but sure progression there.

Well that's all for this week. Sorry my emails are always so long. I'm sure lots of people look at them and think...ya I'm not reading that. hahaha but that's okay. I want to print out all my emails when I get home and make a book or something...it will be a long book. There are just so many awesome things that happen as a missionary! I could go on for another few pages...but I won't.haha

les quiero!
Hermanan England

Awesome quote of the week....Bro. Gibson (old guy) in the clerks office: "You guys are DE BEST!" Me: "Bro. Gibson did you just quote Nacho libre?" Bro. Gibson: "YES! That movie is DE BEST!" hahahahaha - made me so happy! 

Eva and me...I love her so much!
Everyone eating food and having fun
after the baptism! 

I want to take these kids home with me!
Too bad their parents won't let me :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Service Day At The Lafayette Oatmeal Run

Lafayette Oatmeal Run Service Day - 
We directed traffic for service!

Me being the Oatmeal Man
(who looks like Captain Crunch)

Eating our Oatmeal Breakfast!

Runners...aka crazy people!

Bus full of missionaries going
to our posts!

Free face painting!!!
Me, Hermana Stratford and Sister Merzger
with our "Fair eye" as the face painting
girls called it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Missionary Rap

Found this on one of Macy's Memory Cards
...Good stuff!
"Throwback" to Hermana Cropper!

Broken Teeth, Swolen Eyes and Miracles


Oh man this week has been CRAZY! I know I say that alot but this time I really really mean it. It was full of random crazy stuff that happened to me and also tons of crazy awesome spiritual experiences. 

I will start with the crazy random stuff...Last Wednesday we had a service project that I was SO excited for! It was a habitat for humanity house build. I was so excited. We tried to do this in Longmont but they never had a builder so when I heard we had one here in Boulder I was stoked! So we decided to carpool to it with the English sisters. They picked us up bright and early Wednesday morning and because I didn't have time to eat breakfast before we left I brought a granola bar. So we are on our way to the project and I open it up and take a big bite...right as I bit into it I felt something pop in my mouth. I was like....that's weird what was that...So I rub my tongue along the front of my teeth aaand....I realize that half of my front tooth is GONE! I put my hand over my mouth and just start saying..."Oh my gosh Oh my gosh MY TOOTH MY TOOTH" And all the sisters in the car are like...what happened? Side note: For those who are reading this and don't know, my front tooth is a veneer because my real tooth chipped years ago. So I am thinking my veneer broke and it's going to take forever to get a new one made to fit my mouth and I am going to have to look like a hick for weeks or even months before we can fix this...also I had no idea where the other half of the veneer was so I was thinking I may have swallowed it or something. Then I realized that the only thing that was left in my gums was my real tooth that has been shaven down to a tiny little tooth. Good because my veneer should still be intact but bad because I thought I had swallowed it, so then I was like...OH NO I'm going to have to sift through all of my poop for the next few days and search for it, so we can clean it and put it back in. AND for the rest of my life I will know that my front tooth has gone through my digestive tract....literally all of this went through my head in less than a second. So after freaking out for a minute or two I realized the veneer was in my mouth between my back teeth and check. Few! And it was indeed in one piece. Still freaking out but relieved that I at least had the tooth! So the other sisters had to take us back home so we could find someone to fix it. We eventually did. We have several dentist in the stake and Bro. Cope was able to put it back on for me...for free...so nice of him! And we got it figured out. Man did it stress me out though! And we didn't ever make it to the build...so sad. Maybe one day.

The next thing was we had orientation for another service project. This place is a horse therapy place where kids with disabilities can ride horses to feel better. The orientation was 3 hours!! SO LONG! And after 15 min there I realized that not only am I allergic to cats and dogs but also horses...yay. So I was sneezing like crazy and itchy and my throat was closing up a little but I was able to make it through. The bad part happened after...on the way home I must have rubbed or touched my eye or something because it just blew up like a balloon. I went to dinner and the rest of our appointments with a huge swollen eye. Neilee's son Matthew who is 9 years old just looked at me with a disgusted face and said..."What the heck happened to your eye?" haha It was still a little puffy for church the next day but after that it was fine. All back to normal :) 

Anyway that was the random crazy. As for the spiritual crazy awesomeness SO many things happened! But because this email is already long I will only share one...

Yesterday I went on exchanges with Sister Clark who served with me in Longmont in a different ward. She felt prompted to share with me an email she received from a member of her old ward. Okay rewind for a second...Remember Christian from Longmont? We found him selling Popsicles in the park and taught him about the Book of Mormon and he loved it. Then we realized we didn't get his contact info and he never called us with the number we gave him. We were so bummed we had lost him because we really felt he was ready for the gospel! Then we found out that his good friend Ty was in another ward in our Stake and the Sister missionaries had put that together and told us. Long story short they were never able to get Christian's contact info and again we felt like we had lost him. THEN in one of the flood centers we did service and he was there!! So I went and talked to him but I had to get back to serving and when I went back to get his address he had left. I felt as if I had lost so many chances to bring the gospel in his life. I prayed to Heavenly Father for forgiveness and prayed that Christian could some how find the gospel even though I had messed up so many times. Okay back to the present...I guess the Sisters in Longmont were on exchanges and Sister Snow was with the Sister Page in Ty's ward and that very night they happened to have dinner at Ty's families house. When I was with Sister Snow I had told her all of what happened with Christan and we often drove by the park to see if he was selling popsicles but never found him. Well at dinner Ty started talking about his missionary efforts with his friend Christian and Sister Snow was like...WAIT!? Does he sell popsicles in the park?? And Ty said yes he does and he says some sisters gave him a Book of Mormon a while ago and really likes it! And they are setting things up with the sisters in his ward to go visit him and his family. So Ty's mom emailed Sister Clark this miracle and Sister Clark not knowing that I was involved felt prompted to share that with me. I just broke down in tears. I explained the whole story and we just cried together. I am so happy that they found Chrisitan! And even more I am so glad that he was never lost...why? Because Heavenly Father never loses us. He knows us. He will always prepare a way for us despite the short comings of others. 

This was a HUGE answer to my prayers. This whole story is a miracle. The fact that Ty's mom and Sister Clark were in tune enough to share this was a miracle. I know that God knows us all personally and he is intimately involved in our lives. Never forget that. 

Love, Hermana England 

My tooth!
On our way to get it fixed!  

Getting my tooth put back in...
Thank you Brother Cope!

On our way home from the horse therapy place...
Itchy eye!

Blew up like a balloon...
No wonder Matthew asked
"What the heck happened to your eye?"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Demon Puppy Cat Bunny

Pic with Allie and Silvia - 
Love these girls with all my heart!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a great week! It has been a crazy week here. We had all kinds of random service projects to do and lots of people to visit so we stayed super busy! It's been good.

Oh sorry I didn't email this morning. Sister McDonald from our ward took us to lunch and shopping. I LOVE her!!! OH and she knows the Covey's! It was so much fun. It felt like going to the mall with mom....almost :)

Well the updates here are...Eva is doing really well. She got Sundays off!!!! YAY! (Unless there is a party or something at her work, then she has to go in.) So we are still working on getting her a baptismal date but it should be soon! Yadira and her family didn't come to church again :(...I really thought they would come this week. But they are still learning and progressing so thats good.) GREAT NEWS! We can teach Neilee and her family!!! We went to hand them over to the Lafayette Elders and they said we should just keep teaching them but they can help us with fellowshipping them in the ward and everything. So we talked to the zone leaders and they said they think that would be best too. AND since we are over the whole stake we are giong to start going to other wards to make ourselves more known so we will be in her ward quite a bit anyway. YAY! We are so happy. They are progressing really well too! Okay so this is the best update!!...We have been teaching this part non member and part less active family - I told you about the dad Jose, the one who is trying to stop smoking. WELLL...he has cut down from 15 cigarettes a day to 4!! He is doing so well already! On his way to quiting completely! AND most of their kids came to church yesterday! Brissa and Jose, the parents, both have to work every Sunday so the kids couldn't get there either but we found them a ride and they came! Unfortunetely the Young Women's and Young Men's lesson was the annual Chastity and pornography lesson the bishop gives the youth...but hopefully they will contunure to come and see how it is on a normal YW YM day. Anyway that is the investigator update.

Mags I heard you guys did fantastic in your competition! I really want to see all your dances! Mom you should try to send videos of them again (they didn't work last time.) Oh and thanks for the email Mags. It made me laugh :) Bo I heard you did awesome in your game. Dad said you scored most of the points even though your team lost. haha good job buddy! Soph I need some updates on you! Write me a letter or something! I haven't heard from you in a long time! Kenna I finally wrote you back. It should be coming in the mail. So sorry that took me sooo long! Dalt, tell your sister I love her and She missed her chance with Sam :(....such a shame. Davis you sound amazing as always...Keep up that hispanic accent of yours :)

Oh something funny that happened this week...we were driving out of an apartment complex late one night and we saw some road kill on the road. We just passed it and Hermana Stratford starts screaming and says..THAT WAS A PUPPY THAT WAS A PUPPY!!! So we turn around to see if it was a puppy and we can't tell so we pull up right in front of it and turn our brights on. After looking at it for a while we decided it was a cat. (It was really mangled with guts all over the place) But then we thought we saw a long ear so we thought maybe it was a bunny...so we pull up right next to it to get a better look...We are both leaning out Sister Stratfords window....and right when we get our faces really close to it IT BLINKS!!...We both started screaming in unision and jumped back in the car. Sister Stratford was driving so I was like....AHHH YOU HAVE TO RUN OVER IT AND KILL IT!  PUT IT OUT OF IT'S MISERY! And she is just screaming saying I CAN'T I CAN'T!!! So we look out at it again and realize that IT IS DEAD!! And either it is a demon puppy cat bunny or the wind some how blew it's eye lids or something. Anyway we screamed a little more looked at it some more then just left. haha We had no idea what to do. I think it was a bunny...I don't know though. It reminded me of that time when mom hit and killed that cat. hahahah so funny!

Well that's about it! Love you guys a lot!
Love, Hermana England

Hermana Stratford, me and Brista!

Allie and Silvia standing on the couch - 
trying to be as tall as Hermana Stratford!

Crazy face :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Just "Loafing" It

We had a "no drive" snow day...
Our closest investigator is 6 miles away
so we made banana bread and took it to
non member neighbors!

We got this text from the AP's...
Pretty ironic because we were actually
"LOAFING" loaves of bread!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Her Radiating Point Is A Tiger...Obviously

Mi Familia...

First I would like to say.....FELIZ CUMPLEANOS PAPI! You have officially hit the old fart age...5.0. baby! Sounds like you had a great Birthday. I was thinking about you all day. I didn't get my card sent off until today...sorry I'm the worst! It will be there shortly! Te quiero mucho papi! Tenga un beno ano viejo :)

Also Happy New year to all! This new year has brought so many wonderful miracles already! I love fresh starts. 2014 is going to be a great year for us all! On new years night we got to go over to the Gourgorus family's house until midnight. The zone leaders live there (they live in our ward because they are YSA) So it was a party. So much fun!

So an update on the work here... We had an awesome lesson with Eva and she says she is going to ask her boss to not work on Sundays. We are praying so hard that she will be able to do that. She came to church yesterday but still has not talked to her boss. Hopefully she can do that this week because other than that she is all set for baptism. She literally jumps up and down and grabs my hand and yells when we talk about it. She is so excited!

Last night we were able to teach Yadira, Jasmine and Becky's mom whos name is also Becky. Turns out she has talked to sister missionaries when she lived in Texas and has read a little in the Book of Mormon. We had a great lesson and taught her to pray. She said she prays in her heart but has never prayed out loud. We are excited about them! Hopefully they can start coming to church! Oh and we found out Yadira is 19!!! She has a 4 yr old which means she was probably pregnant at 14 and had the baby at 15. Crazy. The gospel is going to bless her and her son and their whole family sooo much! YAY! :)

We have a few new investigators one of them is Neilee and her son Devon. We met Neilee at one of our investigators house and she asked us to come teach her family. She has a very disfunctional family. Both sons in and out of jail and detention centers. She asked us if what we have could help her make a change in her family. It was so perfect. We were able to testify how the gospel blesses families and she started crying and said...yes I am ready for that change! We taught them once and it went great for Neilee. Devon is a little resistant but he will come around. The only sad thing is that they are English speakers...which would be fine if they were in our ward boundaries but they are not, so we will probably have to pass them over to the Elders in her area. Sad but it's okay because the important thing is that they receive the gospel. It will bless them soo much! Miracles are happening everyday!

We have this hilarious woman in our ward that has us over to dinner. Her name is Donna Belle (different Donna than Donna Downing) She cracks me up. She is VERY "in tune" with the spirit...sometimes I think a little too much. Her entire house is covered in cheetah and tiger print. (couches, chairs, blankets, huge rug, every wall hanging, Christmas tree...BUT you can't call it a Christmas tree..it's a "primal tree"...she leaves it up all year) When we asked her why she chose the decor she said...I didn't choose this, the spirit told me to buy all this stuff. She works with people with cluttered homes and finds their "radiating point" and helps them "revolve" their life around that. Her "radiating point" is a tiger...obviously. She invited us over next time to find our radiating point. It's some feng Shui process...I'm a little nervous. It should be intersting. I feel like some how I'm going to end up lying on her tiger print bed with her chanting and waving incense around me. Wish me luck.

Oh my goodness Dad you know John Rayback! His parents are amazing! We love them so much! They have us over for dinner every once in a while. Such a great family, very missionary minded! And Lisa's friend knows them too. Such a small world. (Well I guess I am only like 8 hours away from you guys...I feel like I am half a world away hahah funny.)

Davis sounds amazing! I also love that we have the same experiences and struggles. Very comforting. How freaking (not sure if I'm allowed to say that) cool is it that we are out on missions together. In very very differnt places but the same work. SO COOL! Davis you are the bees knees!

Well that's about it for this week. I hope to hear from all of you soon :) Tell me your missionary experiences! I'm trying to be better about writing letters...sorry I'm the worst!

Les amo muchisimo!
Love, Hermana Englnad

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

New Year's Eve Celebration
We went over the the Gourgorus family's house.
It was a fun night!

Sister Gourgorus and me toasting to the new year!
2014 will be amazing - 

 Happy New Year everyone!

Mr. Gourgorus
He's really funny...and the 1st councelor
in our ward Bishopric

Elder Litster being too cool for us in the corner..

Us Sisters!

All the missionaries
(and Niko in the back :)