Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Branch Is Officially Started

Halloween party and all four of the Terry Lake
missionaries dressed up like 50's girls and boys!

Hola hola,

First off Happy Birthday Grandpa!! 95 and still going strong! You are one of my all time heros! Everyone give Grandad a big hug and a smooch for me!

Davis that was such a cool miracle about seeing Carlos on the bus! Your emails make me want to be a better missionary. YOU are the best. Lo mejor ejemplo hermano misionero en todo el mundo!!

This week was incredible! THE BRANCH IS OFFICALLY STARTED! Oh my goodness we saw so many miracles! We had ten less actives at church! We had our first sacrament meeting and it was such an emotional meeting. This branch is a huge answer to prayer for so many of the members here. I can't imagine having to listen to church EVERY week through head phones...and usually a bad translation by the missionaries haha. There is just something about hearing the gospel in your own language (I saw that when I listened to general conference in Spanish and English) Spanish has a special place in my heart but the spirit can touch you in a special way in your first language. We are a tiny branch...even with all the less actives there. But we will grow! So many members came up to us after and told us that they have non member friends that they are going to invite to church! :) Hermana Bejerano gave the closing prayer and in the prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for the branch and with tears said she has waited for this day for a long time. Of course we were all tearing up. haha It was an amazing meeting. Our branch President is Presidente Lister (gringo) and his Spanish is VERY rusty...but it was really cool to see him and reflect back on my greenie days when I spoke little to no spanish. I am so grateful for those days. (I never want to go back to that dark dark place but I wouldn't trade them for the world :) I have no doubt that Presidente Lister will learn his Spanish again very quickly and he will have the gift of tongues.

Our investigator Miguel also came to church! He is sort of an "eternigator". He has been taking the lessons for about a year. He has been dropped and taught several times. We were actually thinking about dropping him again because he would not commit to be baptized and wasn't coming to church. But, in the lesson when we were going to tell him we both felt like we shouldn't. Well, then the branch started. And Angy who is Miguel's girlfriend is now becoming active in the church. Miguel told us that he really wants to participate in this branch, but he has reservations about being baptized...mostly because of some habits he has. So this is what we did. We gave him a paper divided into seven sections, each section a day of the week. Each day had a reading assignment from the Book of Mormon. Each day had a theme, most were the 5 steps in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And last, each day had two boxes. One to check if he had read, and one to check if he had prayed. We gave him this paper and invited him to follow this reading and praying schedule EXACTLY this week. We promised him that at the end of the week if EVERY box was checked then he would feel ready for his baptism. I really feel that the spirit lead us to this assignment and I am so excited to see how it goes for him. Miguel is such a strong person and I know Heavenly Father is preparing him to be a strong priesthood holder for the branch! Keep him in your prayers this week! He is going to get baptized soon :) He makes me miss our other Miguel (who I hear is going to move back to Greeley!!!)  

We also had our Halloween party and all four of the Terry Lake missionaries dressed up like 50's girls...and boys for the elders. haha we had a lot of fun! 

Well love you all so much! Have a great week!
Hermana England

ps. They dissolved the Spanish group in Longmont :( I don't know exactly why but I hear the Spanish members from Longmont are going to Boulder for church. I hope everything is okay and I pray that Arturo and our other members are either staying in the English ward in Longmont or finding a Spanish group to go to. :( I can't believe it.

At the ward party!
So much Fun!

The Asian Tinker Bell is Enya!
Me and Hermana Stratford...

Halloween night!
We had to be in way early
so we got take out and ate at home...

We had to be in by 6:00 :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Fort Collins Temple
I can't wait to come back when it is done!

Hey Hey,

First off...Hope you had the best birthday EVER Kenz! I am so proud of you for not getting married while Rach and I have been on our missions. Keep warding them off with a stick for a few more weeks!

Alright so I'm here in FORT COLLINS! This is so crazy. As hard as it was to leave Greeley I am excited to be here. Fort Collins is such a fun town. There are tons of restaurants, and shops...it's crazy. I didn't really realize it while I was there because we don't exactly go out on the town a lot but Greeley has nothing! Haha OH and I can see the mountains again! :) Greeley is too far out to see them but FoCo is right next to them. I love it!
When I first got here I was a little bummed because most of our work here is in English....BUT...I arrived in Fort Collins just in time for stake conference and a HUGE announcement!!! Drum roll please....WE ARE STARTING A SPANISH BRANCH HERE!!!! We are so excited! Before it was like Longmont where it was just a Spanish group in an Enlgish ward but now we will be our own branch. I was a little confused at first because the group is tiny. But I guess there are several bi-lingual families that just go to their english wards because they don't want translation. So it is our objective this transfer to find all the families that speak Spanish and convince them to come to our branch. It will be hard because I really wanted to focus on finding investigators this transfer (they only had two when I got here)  but the stake presidency has told us to spend most of our time with Spanish families in the stake and Spanish less actives. But I think it will be amazing to help the stake get this branch going. When Elder Cook came to our mission he told us that we are ward and branch builders. So it will be amazing to see miracles as we find people to build our branch....and we will find and baptize as well :)

One thing we want to do is use our less actives to find investigators...two birds with one stone. And we have already seen success! One of our less active's wife Consuelo used to be very anti-Mormon. But I guess a few weeks ago she was VERY ill and the sisters offered to bring some men to give her a priesthood blessing. She accepted and recovered miraculously. Ever since then she has been much nicer but still not interested. Well we went to visit Carlos, her husband, last night and he was sick but Consuelo answered the door. We asked her if we could teach her a lesson. A little reluctantly she said...Okay but only if it is short. So we went in and started with a prayer. We asked her about her life and her beliefs and it lead to a conversation about what is different about our church than the others. We answered her question by explaining Prophets, priesthood, and the Book of Mormon. Then she had a question. She asked...Well how is a prophet called to be a prophet. This lead perfectly into Joseph Smith and how he searched for the truth, saw God and Jesus Christ, and was called as a prophet. I will never forget the look on her face as I recited the first vision. She looked amazed. After sharing she said that it would make sense that we would have a prophet today. It was such a miracle! She accepted a Book of Mormon and said she would pray about it! Totally a sneak attack restoration lesson! It is amazing how Heavenly Father really does soften peoples hearts. He is preparing people we never thought would accept the gospel!

Oh we had this awesome meet the Mormons activity where they could come meet real Mormons and take a tour of the church. It was awesome! We have a Taiwanese couple in our ward (Enya and Allen) and they brought their friend Paul (His actual name is Chang Yin but Paul is his American name) who was visiting from Indiana. They also invited us to have lunch with him. Turns out he is interested in the gospel and wants the missionaries to come to his house in Indiana. Our church tour with him was awesome! We are also teaching another friend of Enya and Allen named Patty. She is the tiniest little Taiwanese person ever. She is awesome! I'm hoping she will be baptized this transfer!

Well I have only lived here for one week but I already love it! The work is hastening and this branch is the next step in the hastening here in Fort Collins. :)

I'm glad you all had an awesome trip to St. George and Vegas...way to be adventurous! :) Englands rock...Wallace's slightly less...but also rock...haha just kidding.  

Love you all so much!
Hermana England

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Greeley

The hardest part of a mission is saying
goodbye to the people you love...

Bertha, Hna. Perez-abreu, Mirtha, Hna. Martinez,
Hna. "Buga", Hna. Soto (visiting), Hna. Ontiveros,
Yvonne, Evaline, Hna. Saucedo, Sam
(our recently returned missionary Rel Soc Pres),
Gela, and Melanie!
(my favorite little person in the branch!

My last Sunday in Greeley!
Patty and Freddy -
I am so proud of how far they have come!

Christina & Roberto - 
Love them!

Mauricio...or Morris :)
With his Broncos shrine!

Mayra and her boys!

La Familia Leos

With the Gonzalez family - 
I LOVE these girls so much!
Hno. Gonzalez, Donna, me and Areceli

Monday, October 13, 2014

Last Transfer!

Breakfast with the McDonald's
Love them!  


So we received transfer info! This time they did it so weird. Usually we find out on Saturday where we are going, who is taking our spot, and who will be our new companion. But for the first time ever (they would do this my last transfer)they decided to just tell us if we are leaving or staying on Saturday and that is all the info we got. Weeellllll....I was absolutely sure we were both staying because we got swept in last transfer and Hermana Snow has been here for 6 transfers!!!...and Hermana Luke asked president to leave as well because she has a stomach condition and the Hispanic people don't understand that she can't eat spicy food. AND Elder McConeghey has been here for 5 transfers! So we all thought that their two companionships were going to see big changes and that Hermana Vargha and I would stay the same. WELL, After all this reasoning Heavenly Father laughed and told us what was actually going to go down. Hermana Vargha and I are both leaving and the other four are staying here.....I was literally heart broken. I was shocked! I really thought I would be finishing my mission in the Spanish branch. We have worked so hard this transfer and it has been a tough go but ALL of the miracles started happening this last week and will happen next transfer. I am so sad!

This week Mauricio progressed SO much!! We met with him almost every day. He is so prepared!!! Mom you are spot on with Carole's York's conversion story being similar. We talked about him being baptized on Nov. 1 in our first lesson this last week and he accepted whole heartedly. It was amazing...we explained; that to commit to this date was a chance for him to say to us and to God that he is willing to show his faith. He took that really literally and said looking at us and then up at the ceiling..."Yes God I do commit to be baptized on November 1st"  haha he is just amazing! He always pauses us in our lessons and says..."Wait...I'm processing this and applying it to myself" He has been through some really hard things in his life and Heavenly Father has lead him to the gospel because he really NEEDS it right now. Just like I said last week he tells us every time that he is ready to accept the gospel now. I am so sad that I will not be able to keep teaching him. Just in these few weeks that we have been teaching him we have seen HUGE MIRACLES. When you teach someone the gospel you just have this love for them that you can't explain. Through teaching him my testimony has grown that Heavenly Father knows and loves us individually and personally. Mauricio said that he has a friend that owns a helicopter so he is going to come pick us up from our other areas to come to his baptism. haha So we'll see if that works out. I am so grateful for the opportunity it has been to teach and get to know him.

Another last week in Greeley miracle is that Bertha our less active woman who is Mauricio's neighbor FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH! She is the one that referred us to Mauricio and doing missionary work gave her the spiritual strength she needed to come back to church. Missionary work is powerful ya'll...do it! Anyway it has been a transfer long struggle to get her to come and for our last Sunday she finally did! (and she didn't know it was our last Sunday...so it wasn't for us it was for God:) hehe) Anyway she was the one that hasn't come for years because it brings up painful memories of her ex-husband and divorce. She was able to use the power of the Atonement to overcome that. At the end of church I asked her how she felt and she just smiled and said Me siento muy bien. (I feel really good) She also thanked us for working with her and said we have to come back so she can make us chiles reyinos and empanadas. :) I love her!

Litzi, Cindi, and Jenny were confirmed yesterday! It was amazing. I can't tell you how much I am going to miss them. When I told them I was leaving they grabbed my arms and said...we're not letting you go!!! haha They are so funny. Cindi was like...WE CAN HIDE HER IN OUR CLOSET! I love those girls so much. And hopefully I will be coming back soon for Lily's baptism.

Christina and Roberto also had a break through this week! They are progressing so well. I can't explain how sad I am to leave them. Christina said the prayer in our last lesson and she thanked Heavenly Father for putting us in their path and for all the things they have learned so far. It was a really rewarding moment to know that even though we can't stay we have followed the spirit this transfer.

We also visited Patty again last night and she is still active as well and Freddy and Gela....AND Mel and Steven....and Haydee!!! Ahh so many miracle people!

Even though I am heart broken to leave I feel so overwhelmed with all the blessings I have received in Greeley. I have truly become a better person here because of the examples of members and investigators. I feel like I am leaving my home. I will miss Greeley with all my heart.

So as for who is taking over our area....Two greenie elders fresh from the MTC will be swept in to take care of our area!!!! I was freaking out when I heard this. hahah But I know it will be amazing. Hermana Vargha and I now know why we were swept in and being swept out....we had to prepare this area for two new missionaries to run it by themselves. We are basically the John the Baptists of this area. haha God knew that two new missionaries could not come into an area like we came into this one at the beginning of the transfer. We are leaving them notes and letters letting them know everything for all our investigators. It's terrifying handing our people over to them but I am also so happy that they will both have so much greenie fire. And I'm sure coming from the MTC they will be full of the spirit and if they have that....who cares if they can't speak Spanish. hahah I trust them because Heavenly Father trusts them.

And now...the moment you have all been waiting for (okay I have been waiting for) The area I will be ending my mission is.....FORT COLLINS WITH HERMANA STRATFORD AGAIN!!!! This will be crazy! I have always wanted to serve in Fort Collins and It will be awesome to be with Hermana Stratford again! It is an English ward with a Spanish group. I am planning on working SO HARD! And giving my all for this last transfer!!!!

Nos vemos en FortCollins!!
Love you all more that you will ever know!
Hermana England

A gift from the Sisters in Boulder...
Don't ask :) 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Conference And Miracles

Litzi, Cindi, and Jenny's Baptism

Hey Hey,

Primeramente...Feliz Cumpleanos Cunado! I hope you had an awesome Birthday Dalt! The other day one of the missionaries was saying that their whole family hates their brother in-law and they were like...your sister is married right? Do you like your brother in law? And I was like...ummm YES! My brother-in-law is awesome!!! I really am so grateful you are in our family! Couldn't have picked anyone better for my big sis. In Cor's email he said...Dalt is half my age, that's weird. haha That is weird.

Heather and Taylor had their twins!!! :) They are sooo cute! Thanks for sending me a pic of Reece and Ruby mom! Obsessed with their names! They are to die for. I am dying to hold a baby! This no holding baby rule is seriously the pits!

Sorry my emails are so long Davis!...actually everyone! I mostly write long ones for me...I plan on making a book of my emails.

This week was awesome! Rough at some points but awesome never the less. We ran out of miles at the end of the month so we were on bike the last few days....of course it poured rain on those days. But I love what Davis said! How he was walking through the rain but was LOVING it! I had like the exact same experience! I was riding my bike down the street drenched from head to food in the pouring rain as my skirt is riding up (because Elder McConeghey's bike was not designed to be ridden in a skirt) and I was SO HAPPY! I couldn't describe it but I just felt so happy! So of course I started singing to my self "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam" but in Spanish..."Cristo me manda que brille" It was awesome.....and my companion even joined in after a while!

Okay so Litzi, Cindi, and Jenny got BAPTIZED yesterday!!! They had to move it back a week for scheduling purposes. It was such an awesome day! It was really hard for me not to be able to teach them at the end because of the area change but it was such a blessing that I was able to be here for their baptism! They came to conference all four sessions and we all watched it together! I can't explain how much love I have for these girls. They have been through so many hard things in their life already and they are only 8, 11, and 14 years old. They needed the gospel so much and I am so grateful they found it! The girls asked Hermana Snow and I to speak at their baptism. I spoke on baptism and she spoke on the Holy Ghost. Hermana Luke (Hna. Snow's comp) and Hna. Vargha sang a song. The spirit was so strong! The girls were just beaming! I can't describe in words how amazing it was to see these girls dressed in white. AND awesome part.....Julian our recent convert was able to baptize one of them! AND one of our less active familes came!!! It was just the best night ever!

This week we had a huge miracle finding our investigator Morris. We were visiting a less active woman in our branch named Bertha and she told us that her next door neighbor had been visited by Elders a long time ago. She said she didn't really know what happened but that we should go visit him. We tried several times and after quite a few attempts we figured it was one of those referrals that doesn't come through. Well we had a pretty hard day the other day and we had only about a half hour left in the day. My companion wasn't really loving the idea of trying anyone else that night but I refuse to go home early and the thought came to mind to try Morris' door one more time. So we went and he answered! We started talking and he told us about how he met with the Elders quite a while ago. He went on to say that earlier that day he saw some missionaries in a car and was wondering if he should listen to them again. He said he knew it was a sign from God that we came that night. We went on to tell him about General Conference and invited him to come the next morning. He told us that back when he was being taught before he wasn't really ready to do anything or come to church but that now he felt that he was ready. He committed to come and we invited him to bring the questions or concerns that had been on his mind so that he could receive answers. He paused and smiled and just stood their for a moment. We asked him what was up and he said that lately he has had a lot of questions and concerns. He has a friend that I guess was going to take him to a psychic but he didn't feel good about it. He said that this was the way that God wanted him to receive answers. It was just miracle after miracle. He came to conference the next day dressed in his white shirt and slacks. We will be meeting with him this week to talk about what he learned. We are so excited! I am grateful for this miracle that we saw just from using our time wisely. Heavenly Father really does bless us when we do what he asks.

Pedro said he was going to come and then canceled the night before :( We translated for Sandra at her doctors appointment and she was excited for our appointment but she flaked. So we hope we will be able to teach them again this week!

Anyway General conference was AMAZING! We watched some of it in Spanish with Morris so I didn't understand a lot of that session haha but STILL SO GOOD! Email me and tell me what you learned!

Love you all soooo much! Have an amazing week!
Hermana England

I love these girls so much!
It was such an awesome day...