Monday, August 25, 2014

I Am Forever Grateful To Be A Missionary

Guradalupe - I love her so much!

Buenos dias!

Alright lots of updates...

Guadalupe: It was such an amazing week with her but a sad ending. First of all we were fasting and praying for her all week long to be able to prepare her for her baptism on Friday and MIRACLES happened! At the end of the previous week she was still hesitant but after fasting and praying the spirit worked with her SO MUCH! Like I said she has always just said memorized prayers and she would never want to pray in front of us! Well in one of our first lessons this past week we reviewed the restoration and then invited her to pray to know if she should be baptized on Friday. All of a sudden she volunteered herself to say the closing prayer!!! What!!?? So we went over how to say a prayer like we always do and for the first time ever she said a prayer out loud from her heart. In the prayer she asked Heavenly Father to let her know if she should be baptized on Friday. The spirit was SO STRONG! Like unmistakable! When she closed the prayer we all just stayed in silence for a while and she just started crying. She didn't say anything but she just looked at us through her tears and we all knew she had her answer. After that lesson we had a good talk with Hermana Martinez (Guadalupe's daughter/member of the branch) and she basically said that she wasn't really encouraging it before because she just didn't ever think that she would let Catholicism go and she didn't realize that she really wanted to be baptized. She started crying and told us how it will be such a blessing for her to be baptized for herself instead of Hermana Martinez doing it for her after she passes away. She also told us that after she gets baptized here she can have a friend of hers take her to church in California. Everything was just working out! So many miracles were happening. Every lesson we had with her was amazing until about Wednesday. Guadalupe started to feel physically sick. She has a lot of health problems and a lot of them started to flare up. Her head and her heart hurt and she didn't feel good at all. She said that if she continued to feel like this she wouldn't be baptized. Then in our next lesson she started making comments about how when she goes back to Mexico she wouldn't be able to give up going to Catholic church. It was heart breaking. She continued to feel sick until she left on Saturday. She chose not to be baptized. I think Friday was one of the hardest days on my mission. There is nothing harder than experiencing someone's conversion and then watching them walk away from it. I have never had an investigator do that before. I mean we get rejected everyday but when someone receives an answer and has so many spiritual experiences with you and then they reject it you get this feeling in your heart that is indescribable. I obviously don't have kids but I imagine that is how a parent must feel when their children choose to reject the gospel. We have come to love her so much and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see her leave without taking that step. We were talking to Hermana Martinez on Sunday and the final miracle with Guadalupe is that she told her that if she would have felt good physically she would have been baptized on Friday. That gave us so much hope that she will accept the gospel in California or Mexico. Unfortunately there are no Spanish groups or missionaries where she is going in California but I have so much faith that Heavenly Father will help her find the gospel. We are still going to try and get Hermana Martinez's friend to take her to English church in California. I still have hope for her.

I have learned so much from teaching Guadalupe! I have learned the incredible power of prayer and fasting. I have learned that miracles happen all the time and even though people have their agency Heavenly Father will always come through. More than anything I have learned to love. My testimony of what true Charity and Christ like love is has grown so much. I can't describe it. I am forever grateful to be a missionary. It is changing my is changing who I am. I read a talk from Elder Holland this week and in it he is talking about why missionary work is so hard. He said...."Why would it be easy for us when it was never easy for HIM?" "Missionary work is hard because salvation is not a cheap experience." I know those things are true and even when I have hard weeks...maybe especially when I have hard weeks I am grateful because I have the opportunity to understand a little bit better what the Atonement means. Sorry that was so long and kind of sad...I just can't explain how much I have grown from that experience and how much I have come to love Guadalupe.

Anyway on a lighter note Ernest came to church!!! He drives semi trucks for a living (not England trucking haha) and he sometimes has to drive on Sundays. Last week he had to work but this week he came! I spoke in sacrament meeting and my topic was the restoration so it was cool to adjust my talk to his needs. ALSO we are teaching this woman named Lily and her three daughters and they got the time for church wrong but they showed up for the last hour! We taught the daughters yesterday night and they are so prepared for the gospel. They love church and it was awesome to teach them how to pray! Their prayers are so sincere! Unfortunately they might be moving. Seriously all the people I teach move..... :l . But they might stay in the area so let's all pray that they do. I think they could be such a strength for the branch!

Well this is the last week of the transfer and I am terrified as always to hear what will happen. It will be a weird day when my life for the next six weeks doesn't depend on a voice mail from teenage boys anymore. Wish me luck!

I'm glad you all had a good first week of school! Keep up the good work! Love you all so much!

Hermana England

(She was really mad we took a pictures; she
said she didn't get ready that day :) 

Me and our investigator Lorenzo - 
The Stake Primary sent me a B.O.M. to
give away with a testimony in it
and I gave it to Lorenzo!

Lily and her girls at church!

Our "Winner Wall" - Clean car awards AND
most sold @ service :) 

District pictures...
Us and Elder Almeida on his last day in
the field...Of course with his Puerto Rico flag!
Vive Puerto Rico!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Branch Fiesta!

"Y Tu De Donde Eres!"

Branch Fiest!
It was so fun - The missionaries basically planned
the whole thing. It was called 

 We wore a dress from Mexico that Eli gave us!
Eli is a friend of Hermana Mitchell (The one with braids)
...She has taken the missionary lessons but is
still not baptized...she will one day!

Everyone brought food from the country or
state they were from.  It was amazing and
we had tons of non-members there!

 Everyone brought food from the country or
state they were from.  It was amazing and
we had tons of non-members there!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Heavenly Father Hears And Answers Our Prayers

Rainy day photo shoot!


First of all FELICIDADES to Kenzie for graduating! I cannot believe we are old enough for stuff like that. Congrats Kenz I luv you!!!

Wow so this week was tough...most of our top investigators dropped us. One of them just put up one of those signs that says...This is a Catholic home and we don't want any! (basically) I completely understand what Davis was saying when someone drops you and it feels like a kick in the gut. Not fun. This is why a mission is so hard....getting up at 6:30 - easy, all the rules are easy....but when you see people's potential and how much the gospel will bless their lives and they reject it...that is hard. That is what breaks my heart. BUT even though the majority of the week was hard we saw HUGE MIRACLES and because of those miracles it is all worth it! Vale le pana!!!
The other morning after my personal study I knelt in prayer and told Heavenly Father that we were trying our best. We were being exactly obedient. And that we were ready. I asked him specifically to place someone in our path that day who was ready for the gospel and make it clear to us who that was. I told Him that we would do everything in our power to help this person accept the gospel if he would just put them in our path. I shared what I asked with my companion and she agreed that we should pray for God to place someone in our path. Well we went on exchanges that day and we taught a member present lesson at the library. On the way out this man named Ernesto stopped me and said...Do you study the bible? I answered yes and he said...What do I have to do to learn more? Noticing that his English was not great I answered him in Spanish. He asked me...Wow how long have you been speaking Spanish for. I told him a little over a year. After that we set up an appointment with him for the next day but through the whole conversation he kept going back to how amazing it was that I could speak Spanish. He couldn't seem to get past that. We left the library and I was so excited. Sister Rosier, who was on exchanges with me, was like...What just happened?? (Because she isn't a Spanish speaking sister and we were talking in Spanish the whole time) hahaha So I told her about what we had prayed for and how I knew that was an immediate answer to prayer. Well the next day we taught Ernesto and it turns out that he has completely turned his life around. He used to do drugs and drink all the time. He was even in jail for a while but now he has been smoke and alcohol free for 4 years and he is cleaning up his life. He said that the night after he met us he couldn't stop thinking abut how I had learned Spanish in only one year and how there was no other way anyone could do that unless they had God's help. He said that because of that he knew we had the spirit and that we were telling the truth. (Miracle in and of itself right there....I must have had the gift of tongues that day because my Spanish is still really rusty) The most incredible thing is that in jail he became friends with one of the guards who happened to be Mormon and gave him a Book of Mormon when he was in jail. HE READ IT THREE TIMES!!! He said...I read your book and man there are a lot of wars in there. haha At the end of the restoration lesson we invited him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true and he said...Oh I already did that and I know it is true!!! Seriously how much more prepared can you get?? The spirit was so strong in the lesson and he committed to be baptized! Miracles happen people! I mean miracles happen all the time but like BIG MIRACLES happen too!!! I know it now more that ever!!! Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers!
We had another HUGE MIRACLE happen with Guadalupe. So earlier this week she still didn't want to get baptized. So Hermana Snow and I prayed and fasted for her and the next lesson SHE ASKED US IF SHE COULD BE BAPTIZED!!! Seriously the spirit changes hearts people! The really sad thing is that she is moving on Saturday to California to live with her other daughter. We were still planning on Friday for her baptism but in our lesson with her yesterday she said she didn't feel ready for that. The saddest part is that I think Hermana Martinez is talking her out of it. For some reason she isn't being really supportive. Guadalupe is 86 yrs old and she can't read so she listens to the Book of Mormon on CD and she loves it... but the last lesson we had with her she said that Hermana Martinez wouldn't put it on for's so weird. So we are still praying for a miracle with her but if she is not baptized here we will definitely send the missionaries to her in California.
The other day we had dinner at Hermana Loes' house. She is one of those members who never eats with you but she watches you eat and waits for you to comment on how delicious the food is. Well apparently Hermana Snow had a hair in her food but she had no chance to pull it out because she was watching us the whole time. With no luck she kept trying to discretely pull it out of her chicken with her fork. hahaha But there was no way she could just pull it out because Hna. Loes is easily offended...especially when it comes to her food. So she just ate it. hahaha It reminded me of when Suzy and Hailey eating their candy rappers in their tent at girls camp because they thought a bear was coming. hahah Good times.
Hermana Bugarin taught us how to make empanadas this week...prepare to be amazed. We ate like 100 of them... "FAT!"...."I think that's my goal weight....that's like 200 pounds more than you already weigh...well"
Love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Hermana England

More rainy day pictures!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Excited About What Is Happening

Cutest Kitties ever!
And then this happened...


So I'm sorry if this email is scatter brained....Hermana Snow and I can't focus because we are laughing so hard. There is an older gentleman on one of the other computers who has some huge head phones on and he is singing out loud completely off tune...and he doesn't realize how loud he is. Oh man. Good stuff.

Anyway this week was amazing! Leticia came to church!! AND she brought her grandson Derek who is 9 years old! It was so good to have them there! Derek was really shy and nervous to go to class but after church he had a sucker from his primary teacher and he looked perfectly content. He is super quite so in attempts to get him to talk more Hermana Snow and I were asking him some questions...Hna. Snow said...What do you like to do for fun? Derek pauses for a while then haha Amen Derek amen! We are excited to keep teaching them!

Unfortunately we got a call from Ricardo saying that he will be in Wyoming least for now. :( So hopefully he will be able to be taught when he comes back. But we passed by his house and his wife said that since we have been teaching him he has been so much more alert and not drinking as much. So hopefully we helped him out a little bit. Maybe planted some seeds.

We got an awesome referral from Hermana Perez Abreu!!! Her name is Manuela and come to find out her husband's name is Manuel. haha We went with Hna. Perez Abreu to contact her at her work and we set up an appointment. We went to the appointment and ended up teaching her husband as well. They are amazing! They currently go to church at some local place and they really like it but Manuel was saying that his life has changed so much for the better in the last 5 years because he has accepted God in his life and if our church can bring him more happiness then he will try it out! We were like....oh don't worry it will!!! :) haha We really believe they have been so prepared! They both committed to come to church but Manuel got called into work. I guess he is always on call. :( Hopefully next week!!! OH and they have heard about the church because their son goes to Utah State.....go Aggies!

We have had some really great lessons with Guatalupe! We talked a lot about baptism. She says she knows it's something God wants her to do but it's hard for her. She has a lot of of them being that she thinks she will drown. But we are trying to work with her to get her past those little things. Right now she is praying about if she should be baptized and if you have any extra prayers she could really use it! We are meeting with her tonight! 

We had a great lesson with Luisa! We haven't been able to meet with her for a while because her youngest son has a lot of health issues that have been acting up lately. He has to be fed through a feeding tube every few hours and lately he can't leave the house because he is vomiting all the time. Poor little guy. Luisa is amazing though. She is still in good spirits and is doing all she can for her son. She still wants to get baptized but feels that she needs to come to church more and study in the Book of Mormon more. It's just hard because right now she can't leave her son to come to church and she hardly has time to read. I pray that she will be able to find the time to study and that Adrian will get feeling better. I don't know if I told you but they also might be moving to Miami soon depending on her husbands work. (Why do all my investigators slash recent convert move??) There are a lot of things going on in her life right now. She is just so ready for baptism it's crazy but we will all have to be patient and wait until she can come to church again either here or in Florida. I am just grateful I have the chance to know her. She is so prepared and so strong!!

Our recent convert Julian is also doing great! He is going through some hard times with his mom and family situation but his strength is just amazing. He went to the temple to do baptisms for the first time the other day and he said it was incredible. He was telling us how it went and said that he didn't know how to describe it but when he was being baptized for those people it didn't feel like it was him. He said I know I was there and I felt the spirit SO strong but I knew I was doing it for someone else. Oh man we were just so excited for him. We were also asking him this week if he feels like the gospel has changed his life...he said yes and we asked why. He explained to us that he now knows his purpose in life. He said...Before I found the church I had no idea who I was or my purpose here and now I know...then he went on to tell us that that is why he wants to serve a mission so that he can help others find that same purpose and belonging in life. That was one of the best moments on my mission. Indescribable.

Well sorry this week was just updates on everyone...I am just so excited about what is happening with each of these people. Being a missionary is awesome!

I hope you all have a fantastic end of your summer break! Good luck getting back into the swing of things. Mag's I'm glad you survived your crazy drill week! Bo, sounds like you are killin it in your tournaments...3 goals in one game! You rock! And Soph sounds like you will like the new studio! :) Super exciting!

Love you all so much!
Hermana England

There are SO MANY mosquitos here!!!! If I die of too
many bites just know that I love you all....
we counted and I have 34 just on my legs.

The dog bite...I know it's nothing - haha

Uncle Williey's...yum!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Raton Raton Alli Esta!


Thanks for the beginning of your email mom! I needed that! Everyday I feel so inadequate to be where I am but I have to remember that the Lord qualifies who he calls. I have seriously...seriously learned that lesson on my mission. I am overwhelmed with things that I have to improve on but I know if I give it my all everyday then that is enough. Kenna was talking about this in her email to me and it gave me a lot of peace. You are the best! I am the luckiest missionary in the world to have you as my mom!

Okay so to start out this weeks email I gotta go way back to last Monday night! We have this amazing member named Mayra and she lives with her kids and another less active family so we decided to go visit them! So, missionaries are out all day and in almost all the places we visit you do NOT want ask to use their bathroom. We had been to Hermana Leos' house earlier and she had served us several glasses of agua de fresa (best thing in the world) Hence I needed to go BAD. Hermana Mayra's house seemed like a safe enough bet so when we got in her house I asked to use the restroom. I go in the bathroom and right as I am about to sit down I see something move behind the toilet seat. I thought maybe it was a toy of some sort seeing as Myra has three little I moved the shower curtain that was near the movement to see what it was...all of a sudden a MOUSE runs out and starts squirming all around the bathroom floor! As soon as I saw it I jumped up on the shower step nearly peeing my pants (or should I say skirt) and let out a scream. At this point I am freaking out because I can't step down from the shower step or else a mouse will crawl on me (this bathroom was quite small) BUT I was about to wet myself!!! Finally the mouse runs behind the toilet again so I made a move. I some how sat myself down on the toilet did my thing and got back on the shower step without touching the floor....yes... Pure talent. But then the mouse starts running around again so I was stuck. The mouse went behind the toilet again and I was debating whether to make a dash for the door when the mouse started climbing the curtain!!! So I hurl myself off  the shower step and run out of the bathroom slamming the door shut to trap the thing in there. After taking a moment to compose myself I go in the next room and Hermana there is a mouse in your bathroom. All at once everyone says WHAT!!!?? And runs to the bathroom. (Mayra's three boys and Rosario and her kids!...lots of kids!!) Mayra sends in her 4 year old son Jaime to catch it but instead of catching it he set it loose in the house and it ran into Mayras room! So we all go in Mayra's room and shut the door so that we can catch it. We were all looking at the floor searching for the rodent when all of a sudden Naomi (the most hilarious, obnoxious 12 year old ever) Screams SO LOUD and comes running at us. Hermana Snow and I were both standing near the bed and Naomi comes hurdling at us and tackles us both to the bed yelling RATON RATON  ALLI ESTA!!!!! While every single one of the kids are screaming and yelling and jumping on top of us on the bed to get away from the mouse. It was probably the craziest 30 seconds of my mission. Well the mouse got away again and after tearing the room apart and mouse hunting for a good 10 min Hermana Mayra finally caught it!!! After taking some victory pictures we had a ceremony outside to let the little fellow go free. Jaime was so sad. haha lesson learned...just hold it till you get home.

Anyway as far as the work...Ricardo had to leave to Wyoming for work so he didn't come to church :( but we had an awesome lesson with him and taught the word of wisdom. He has a strong desire to stop drinking and he knows that it is destroying his family. We told him we would be here to help him learn more about the gospel and find the power to quit drinking! We are excited to keep teaching him!

We started to teach the mother of Hermana Martinez (member of the branch) She is 85 years old and awesome! The only thing is that she prays to the virgin Guadalupe all the time which is funny because her name is Guadalupe. haha But she's coming to church :)

We saw a really cool miracle this week with a woman named Leticia! We had asked this man we are teaching if he new anyone who would be ready for the gospel. He gave us the name of his next door neighbor; Jose and his wife. We went over to contact the referral and only the wife was there. We started talking and one of the questions we asked her was if she was familiar with our church. Expecting the usual no we were surprised when she responded...YES! I do know about your church! She seemed very enthusiastic so we asked her how she knew about us. She told us that last year her house was severely affected by the floods and that a group of missionaries came and helped her and her family. She said the church also helped her with food and other things that her family desperately needed at the time. She specifically remembered Hermana Soto and Hermana Martinez. After making those connections she opened up so much! We gave a brief lesson on how the gospel can bless her and her husband as well as her grandson who she is raising. She is excited to learn more and wants us to teach her family! How incredible is it that we are still seeing miracles happen and hearts soften from the floods last year!

We had MLC last Friday and it went awesome! I had a big peace of humble pie...I have so much to improve on. Our mission is really focusing on focusing on Christ. I am excited to share what we learned with the sisters this week on exchanges. Hopefully everything goes well with those. OH and ELDER COOK IS COMING TO OUR MISSION!!! Next month :):) So excited!

Well have an incredible week! Love you all so much! Remember to do missionary work!
Hermana England

Looking for the mouse...
It's in here somewhere!

"Raton Raton Alli Esta!
We found it!

Letting the mouse loose outside!