Thursday, January 24, 2013



My name is Shaelyn Brown and I just came back from my mission in Chicago and I’d like to start out by sharing why I’m here today;  why I went on a mission, stayed on a mission long enough to come home and give this talk. I never wanted to go on a mission. I know lots of girls that have grown up planning to go on a mission and that was not for me. But one day I was in institute, which was a rarity at the time, to be in institute, but I was there and the teacher was talking about the Lord’s timing but he was mostly applying it to marriage, I wasn’t paying any attention to that because that wasn’t in my plans either, right? But as I was listening I felt the impression that I was supposed to go on a mission. I laughed it off because that was ridiculous, but the thought wouldn’t leave my mind, it kept coming and because it was so against anything that I ever wanted I knew that it was something I needed to look into a little bit. So, I studied. I studied it out. I talked to my Heavenly Father about it. I read my scriptures and I fasted. I went to see my bishop the following Sunday and I didn’t go with the intention of opening my papers, but it happened. I was so scared. It was the scariest time of my life, until now. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to do what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do, but I didn’t want to go on a mission. So I got ready and I went to the MTC and the first day in the MTC I told my companions, “I don’t want to be here. I’m here because I am supposed to be, but I don’t want to be.” I’m so glad I did. To this point in my life, it has been the best experience I’ve ever had. I was told by President Wallis before I left on my mission that there were people that I was supposed to find. People that I promised before this life that I would find them and I would help them find their way. And I can promise you that that happened, that I met people that needed me, not because I am anything special, but just because I could connect with them in a way that other people can’t. I know that’s why I was supposed to go on a mission. That’s why I know I couldn’t just stay at school and let all those other girls who always wanted to go on missions go on missions.

Today I want to talk about what I learned on my mission about missionary service, not what it means to be a full time missionary, but what it means to do missionary work in our everyday lives. I want to start out by reading a verse in the Bible, in John. It is right after Jesus Christ died and was resurrected and He came to the apostles and He found them fishing. They had gone back to what they knew. He took the head apostle, Peter, and He talked to him. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17). We know in the scriptures when we hear something repeated, it is important, and here it is repeated three times, “feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” We see that again in the Doctrine and Covenants, it’s in 112: 14. It says “Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve: Arise and gird up your loins, take up your cross, follow me, and feed my sheep.” So that was a commandment to the apostles, but it is also a charge given to every one of us, to feed Christ’s sheep. But first we have to know who are the sheep? Who are the sheep we are supposed to feed? The answer is everyone, obviously. We are all children of God. We are all part of his flock, your family members, your friends, your neighbors, and yourself. You are a lamb of God. He cares about you and He loves you. So that is who the sheep are, but how do we find them? I had that question a lot in Chicago. Chicago is the third largest metropolitan area in the United States with 9.8 million people, 9.8 million sheep in the metropolitan area. Just because they are sheep doesn’t mean they are ready to be found or to be fed or to be saved. So how do we know? How do we know if the people that we are surrounded with are ready, if they need us, if we need to feed them? The answer is often times we don’t. We just need to try, but the Lord will guide us. Heavenly Father knows every single one of His lambs, He knows every single one of His sheep. The flock is made up of individuals and He wants every single one of His sheep to return to Him.

There were a lot of experiences I had on my mission where I really saw that God wanted His sheep to be found. That He knew them and what they needed and where they were. One such experience didn’t happen to me, it happened to one of my companions. We were learning a lot about prayer at that time and how prayer is really something we really don’t understand, even as missionaries and members of the church. That prayer is a literal conversation with our Father in Heaven. He will answer us. And it can apply to anything. And so my companion applied it to missionary work, where we needed to go to find the people that needed us. She got down on her knees and she asked God where to go, when do we need to go, is there someone we need to find? She was given an answer. She was given a time. She was given a place. She was given a day. She was given the idea that we needed to find a mother. So that next day we went to that apartment complex that she thought of, at the time she was told and we found a mother, a young woman who was about to give birth in a couple of weeks. She needed us at that time. She needed to be fed, she needed to be saved. Our Heavenly Father knew that. He knows it for everyone and he will tell us. You don’t need to be a missionary to get these answers of who you need to help, of who you need to save.

I have a lot of stories about people that are ready. That is a huge testimony I gained on my mission that there are people that are ready for the gospel, that are ready to be fed. I saw it a lot in the women that I found, that I taught and I saw accept the gospel. There was one woman who was in her fifties, her name is Imelda. She was a Jehovah’s Witness which is a difficult religion to teach. She was a referral, we knocked on her door and that day she set a day to be baptized. She didn’t miss a single day of church from the moment that we knocked on her door. She is the only member of the church in her family now. She was baptized six weeks after we knocked on her door. All she wants is to go to the temple. All she wants is for her family to join the church. She has terrible arthritis in her legs and her arms and she can hardly walk. She had to miss a couple of weeks of church because of it and it killed her. She got super depressed. She had only been a member for a month. She knew that coming to church and taking the sacrament was something vitally important to her salvation.

There is another woman who I taught named Liz who has a son with autism and a mother in law with severe Alzheimer’s disease. She was having a difficult time. She is an illegal immigrant. She doesn’t speak any English. Which were some pretty big trials in her life. She didn’t know what to do so she went to her husband and said “We need a church, we need God.” He said “I think I was baptized Mormon.” And so she looked up the church on line. She looked up and showed up to church the next week. She sat by me in church and she said, “How do I get baptized?” I said “I can help you out with that, don’t you worry.” She was baptized a week and a half later. She is the most poignant example I can think of of someone that has seen the gospel truly bless her family, bless her life. Her trials haven’t gone away. She still has a son with severe autism, she still has a mother in law with severe Alzheimer’s, she still can’t speak English, she is still trying to find a job without any legal status, but it is easier. She can feel her Heavenly Father’s love and she can feel the Savior’s atoning sacrifice in her life.

There is a young girl named Nathaly who came to us and said “I’ve been going to church for a while with my aunt and I want to be baptized now that I’m 18.”  She was, and all of her family disowned her, except her aunt. She is 18 years old. She is still in high school. She is still working on her papers. Her mother threatened to cut her off. She didn’t know what she is going to do. She didn’t know if she is going to be able to graduate from high school. But she was ready for the gospel and she knew she needed it. Her Heavenly Father knew she needed it. He told us to go to her house on that day that she needed it. There are countless stories like that. The sheep are all around us. They are our family members. They are our friends. They are members of our church and they are non-members of our church. They are ourselves. We are the sheep. We need to be fed. So how do we feed the sheep? How do we take care of these people who need our help? We do it exactly as our Savior did it. The Savior is a perfect example.  Elder Ulysses Soares said in this October 2005 general conference, “Jesus showed patience and love to all those who came to Him seeking relief from physical, emotional or spiritual illnesses, who felt discouraged or down trodden. To follow the Savior’s example each one of us must look around and reach out to the sheep who are facing the same circumstances, and lift them up and encourage them to continue on their journey toward eternal life. This need is a great as or perhaps even greater than when the Savior walked on this earth. As shepherds, who we all are, we must understand that we should nurture each one of our sheep and bring them to Christ which is the purpose of all we do in this church. Any activity, meeting, or program should focus on the same objective. As we stay in tune with the needs of the people we can strengthen them and help them overcome their challenges so they will remain steadfast in the way that will lead them back to our Heavenly Father’s presence and help them endure to the end. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about people not programs. Sometimes in the haste of fulfilling or church responsibilities we spend too much time concentrating on programs instead of focusing on people, and end up taking their real needs for granted. When things like that happen, we lose the perspective of our callings, neglect people, and prevent them from reaching their divine potential to gain eternal life.” That is what we are supposed to do; we are supposed to love people. Our callings in the church are important to keep the church going forward, but the whole purpose of the gospel is to save sheep. We can’t do that if people feel like they are a responsibility, if they feel like they are just a job. We need to truly love them. Elder Soares continues, “People are most receptive to our influence when they feel that we truly love them, and not only because we have a calling to fulfill. As we express true love for people, they will be able to feel the influence of the Spirit and may feel motivated to follow our teachings. It is not always easy to love people for what they are.” That was also true for me. So on my mission, surprisingly, I did not love every single person I met immediately, but I tried. There one woman in particular that we were teaching and that I had a really hard time with honestly. I didn’t want to go her house, I felt irritated whenever we were there and I felt she was taking advantage of us, but she needed us. I turned to the scriptures and to my Heavenly Father for help and in Moroni 7:48 it says,Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” This woman didn’t change. She stayed the same. But I was able to see her in a different light. I was able to see as our Heavenly Father sees her, as His daughter, as someone precious. I came to love her. It was hard, but I really love her. That’s what we need to do. We need to pray, we need to pray to love these people that surround us so that we can help them. Many of the sheep and lambs in our lives, especially in the lives of all of you, are our children. I know that’s something that I am concerned about, as I face the next stage in my life, which is probably to have a family. How do we raise or children in the gospel? We can teach them, we can take them to church every week, but it’s not a guarantee and that’s scary. But there is another scripture that is in 2 Nephi 25:26 that tells us the way that we can teach our children, that we can do our best. It says, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophecy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

Example is the best way to teach and the best way to lead. Our Savior will help us if we are doing everything we need to, he will make up the difference. Something else I have learned, though, is that it is not after everything we can do He will fill in the gap, He is there every step of the way to help us do what we need to do, to help us return to Him, to help us help others. Often times in my mission I felt like I needed more help than those that I was helping. How was I to go out and teach the gospel when I myself was struggling, when I myself didn’t know how to continue. There are many answers. We need to follow the fundamentals of the gospel. There is a scripture in Alma which says, “Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass….by small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls. ” (Alma 37:6-7)  By small things we will be saved, but we need to do all of the small things. It’s like a spiritual house. We need to have prayer. We need to have scripture study and going to church. These make up our walls, our ceilings and floors, our foundation. But without one of those things we are not protected from the evil outside, from the spiritual winds that bring snow and rain. We need to be sure we are doing those simple things and then we will be protected. But more than anything what I learned on my mission is that when I needed help, to help others, helped me more than anything. That I would go to people’s homes with a lesson prepared and they would need something else, we would give that lesson and that lesson was what I needed. The scriptures that we shared were what I needed. I know that helping others helps us more than we can even imagine. I know that feeding Christ’s sheep is a commandment. It was a commandment that I knew I needed to follow, especially on my mission. But there was always the question of how do I find these people amongst 9.8 million? How do I feed them? How do I save them? There is also the question I have had the last couple of months, what do I do after my mission? How do I continue being the kind of person I want to be and what’s next? General conference was coming up and I went to general conference with questions that I wanted answers to. The questions I had were where should I live? What should I study? Who am I going marry? Where am I going to meet him? What’s his name? I didn’t get those answers. But I did get a very powerful answer from Elder Holland’s talk which was actually about feeding the sheep, saving the lambs. He gave his own “non-scriptural elaboration”  is what he calls it, to the story of John 21 where the Savior came to Peter and asked him to feed His sheep. Elder Holland said, “After the third time Peter said “Lord though knowest that I love thee”. Then the Savior may have said “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of The Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

My answer to my questions was that it didn’t matter what I did as long as I continued. As long as I loved God and did what He asked me to do which was to be His disciple, to feed His sheep and save His lambs. Elder Holland continues by saying,  “My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it. It was this truth, this reality, that allowed a handful of Galilean fishermen-turned-again-Apostles without “a single synagogue or sword” to leave those nets a second time and go on to shape the history of the world in which we now live.”

Elder Holland says “I testify from the bottom of my heart, with the intensity of my soul, to all who can hear my voice that those apostolic keys have been restored to the earth, and they are found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To those who have not yet joined with us in this great final cause of Christ, we say, “Please come.” To those who were once with us but have retreated, preferring to pick and choose a few cultural hors d’oeuvres from the smorgasbord of the Restoration and leave the rest of the feast, I say that I fear you face a lot of long nights and empty nets. The call is to come back, to stay true, to love God, and to lend a hand. I include in that call to fixed faithfulness every returned missionary who ever stood in a baptismal font and with arm to the square said, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ.” That commission was to have changed your convert forever, but it was surely supposed to have changed you forever as well. To the youth of the Church rising up to missions and temples and marriage, we say: “Love God and remain clean from the blood and sins of this generation. You have a monumental work to do, underscored by that marvelous announcement President Thomas S. Monson made yesterday morning. Your Father in Heaven expects your loyalty and your love at every stage of your life.” (The First Great Commandment, Jeffery R Holland, General Conference Oct 2012)

I want to add my testimony to that of Elder Holland’s that I know that this work is true. I know that this is what we have been called to do is to be disciples. I have had a life changing experience and I cannot go back to fishing. I have been called to love my Savior and to love Him forever.

Yo quiero compartir mi testimonio en Español para ustedes. Yo sé que este es la iglesia de Jesucristo. Sé que es la misma iglesia que Él estableció cuando Él estaba en la tierra. Que tenemos el sacerdocio que necesitamos por las ordenanzas sagradas que nos pueden llevar a la exaltación. Yo sé que El Libro de Mormón es escritura sagrada. Que fue traducido por un profeta, José Smith. Que él es el profeta de la restauración. Y que nuestro Salvador, nuestro Hermano, Jesucristo nos ama. Que está esperandonos con sus brazos abiertos. El quiere que lleguemos todos. Que siguen en esta obra. Estoy muy agradecida por la oportunidad que tuve de server al Señor. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, amén.

Airport fotos:

Homecoming at airport!
Father and daughter

Together again!


More fotos:

Hermanas forever!!




Monday, December 3, 2012

Well. I guess this is the last email I'll be sending as a missionary. . .


This week was pretty crazy. I'm not sure if there was any events that necessarily made it any crazier than usual, but it definitely was just the strangest feeling week of my mission.

Well, I guess most of the week was spent prepping for the baptism we had on Saturday. Everything went well, and Cinthia and Jose were both baptized Saturday evening. As per usual, one thing went wrong, but this one was definitely not too bad. We weren't able to be the ones to fill the font, because we had an appointment right around the time it needed to be filled, so an hermano from the branch did it for us, resulting in a freezing cold baptism for poor Cinthia and Jose. It was a really great evening though, and it was so awesome to see these two, who we just met a little over a month ago, make one of the most important decisions of their lives. They really have been so amazing through this whole process, and I feel so blessed to have met them. They have not missed one week of church since we met them, and have so much faith and desire to learn and follow Christ. They are going to be awesome examples to their families. And at the rate Jose is reading he's probably finished the Book of Mormon by now. :)

We got a couple of referrals from the hermanas in Arlington Heights, and they seem like some really legit people. We stopped by and met one, Antonio, briefly and invited him to church and he came. And then we just were able to call the other referral, Liliana, and invite her to church and she came and brought her husband. This may seem like not that big of a deal to you, but getting people to church is seriously one of the hardest parts of missionary work. I'm excited for them, and am sure that this branch is going to see so many miracles.

The rest of the week was spent with our regular appointments and saying goodbye. Because . . I don't know if you realize this, but. . . I'm coming home really soon. Which is the most bizarre feeling ever. I've held up pretty good until yesterday at church. I really very rarely cry. But for some reason I just couldn't control myself yesterday. It probably didn't help that it was fast and testimony meeting, and as I heard people's testimonies all I could think about was how it was my last Sunday as a missionary, my last Sunday in a Spanish branch, my last Sunday seeing people that I taught get confirmed members of the church of Jesus Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And it was my last Sunday to bear my testimony as a missionary. My last Sunday to listen to off key singing in Spanish. After Sacrament Meeting was over I was talking to Antonio (referral that came to church) and was explaining what would happen next when I saw in the back of the room Hermana Arreguin from Westchester. Oh my goodness, if I hadn't been teary before, I definitely was then. She's my mission mom. And she came to say goodbye, and I just hugged her and bawled in front of the whole fetchin branch. But it was so good to see her.

Today Moffat and I are headed to Portillo's for lunch, for my last Chicago hot dog, and then Elder Unick and I are having a joint funeral. I'm pretty stoked. And then more goodbyes planned in for the evening. And then a night full of packing. Tuesday night I doubt I'll get any sleep either, so sorry if I'm the grumpiest person ever on Wednesday.

Well. I guess this is the last email I'll be sending as a missionary. . .
So. Yeah. I don't know. Its really weird. I might be the weirdest person ever when I get home. I hope you can forgive me.

I never thought I would go on a mission. And then I did. And while I was there I never thought the day would come that I would go home. And now its almost here. I can't even express how grateful I am for the last 18 months. I have had so much fun, but I have also learned so much. I have seen so many miracles, and I have no idea where I would be if I hadn't done this. Maybe the biggest miracle I have seen is how this mission has changed me. I didn't want to be changed at the beginning. I thought being changed would mean I'd come back with a different personality, as some weirdo return sister missionary. And maybe that has happened, I guess you guys will have to be the judges of that. But more than anything I have changed in my priorities. What is important to me now, was not really that important before. Or at least I didn't realize how much more important it could be. Jesus Christ really should be the center of our lives. And when we are living the way He wants us to live, no matter what happens, no matter how hard things get, he won't leave you. and ultimately, he will make you stronger. I never really understood the gospel. I never really understood why this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was all that different from other churches. I never really understood the importance of a prophet, and I especially didn't understand the importance of Joseph Smith. I mean, I knew all the answers. But I just didn't get it. And I'm sure I still don't, but I definitely get it a lot more than I did before. I have no idea who reads these emails that are put on the blog, but if anyone that does read them is wondering if they should go on a mission, I say DEFINITELY. And if anyone is reading this that doesn't know much about what I've been teaching for the last year and half, member of the church or not, find out. If what I've been teaching is true, (which it is), its way too important to not truly give it a try. Its too important to not read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. And if its not true. Well, then I guess at least you'll know its not. But I guess in my last email home as a missionary, I want to promise anyone reading this, that the Book of Mormon is true. That it really is scripture. And that by reading it and praying about it you can know that this church is the SAME church Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth. That it is the ONLY church with the authority of God to perform sacred, saving ordinances. and that it is IMPERATIVE that you know these things for yourself.
So do it. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray about it. What can you lose? Especially not in comparison to that which you can gain.

Estoy muy muy agradecida por todo que he aprendido durante los ultimos 18 meses. Y estoy muy agradecida por todas las personas que he conocido y que han bendecido a mi vida. Les amo mucho, y les voy a extranar mas que pueden saber. Han sido mi familia aqui, y siempre van a estar en mi corazon.

I'll be seeing you soon. 11 am on Sunday- I'll be speaking. Hope to see you there.
Les quiero,
Hermana Brown


christmas lights in the city 


my last district
la familia Motta
el bautismo de Cinthia y Jose Martinez
Mommy V, or Hermana Arreguin
My girlssss, Nathaly y Cinthia

Hermana Boratto y Mia
Hermano y Hermana Flores
Nathaly y Alejandra
La Familia Ramirez
1020- La Familia Cortez

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty good.


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty good. We spent it with a family from the branch, and had good old fashioned turkey. I missed tamales. :(

Sorry, this email is going to be pretty short. We're heading to the city today, so we're cutting our time short here at the library, but I also don't have too much to tell. The week was mostly spent getting fed way too much Thanksgiving food.

As for people we're visiting, everything seems to be going well. Cinthia and Jose are still on track to be baptized this weekend. No big stories to tell with anyone from this last week, cos most people cancelled with it being the holiday. This week thats coming is super full of appointments though, with members and nonmembers, so hopefully I'll have some good stories for you next week.

Saturday morning we helped with the Schaumburg turkey trot, which is a half marathon. Some of the missionaries ran in it, and some of us volunteered to freeze our butts off working at water stations. So we stood for a good couple of hours in below freezing temperatures holding half frozen water out for runners to spill on us as they ran by. :) But it was fun to spend time with the other missionaries and do something out of the norm. and we got free shirts. always a plus. :)

Saturday night was the branch Thanksgiving party. Pretty standard, but a good time to spend with members and watch people dance. Can't wait til I don't have to just watch anymore. :P

Well, hope you all have a great week and recover from the holiday! Good luck with finals and stuff!

Les Quiero,


before the marathon. its like 25 degrees outside, not too bad :P
Me and Giovanni. The story of right before this picture:
me: Giovanni, will you be my boyfriend?                  
Giovanni: NO!                                                                  
me: Seras mi novio? (same as before, just spanish.)
Giovanni: YESH! *kisses me on the cheek*                
Our thank you cards for members for Thanksgiving
Denny's after the marathon

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Well, this week was kind of a crazy one.


Well, this week was kind of a crazy one.
First of all it started off with us being homeless. Last Monday we had to take our car down to the mission office because it got hit like three times in three weeks, and we it needed to go into the shop. So we took it down to the office, and got a loaner car. Monday night when we got home and like 9:15 the conversation went a little like this:

brown: yay mail time!
moffat: oh. . . i forgot to take the mailkey off of our car key when we gave it to Elder Lines.
brown: . . . did you remember to get our apartment key off of the car key?
moffat: *silence*
brown: hermana?
moffat: uhoh. . .

so. . . we were locked out of our apartment until we could get the keys back from the autobody shop the next morning when it opened at ten. and it was snowing.
basically we sat outside our apartment and laughed at how ridiculous the situation was. when we called the relief society president to see if we could sleep on her couch, she didn't believe we were really locked out because we were laughing so hard. but luckily she pulled through, let us sleep on her guest bed, and bright and early the next day we got to show up at the mission office again in the same clothes we were wearing the day before. :)

We also had some super great appointments with Jose and Cinthia, the investigators who are on date for the first. They are doing AWESOME. On Tuesday we invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning. Like from the intro, and the witnesses and everything. By the time we saw them on Thursday, Jose had already read to 1 Nefi chapter 9. Oh man, they are super legit. This week we are seeing them a couple of times again, and Saturday for Cinthia's birthday we're going to go over and watch the Testaments with her and Nathaly.

Speaking of Nathaly. . . she totally got baptized on Saturday. :) And it was awesome. She was so excited, and happy. Of course something went wrong, something always does. But this time was nothing I haven't dealt with before, just the crappy church water heater giving out and having to boil water on the stove. :) And Nathaly said the water was perfect, and when she came out we went in with her while she changed and she told us how she just felt so much lighter, like a weight had been lifted off of her, and she could breath easier. After the baptism she immediately put a picture of her and all of us missionaries up as her profile pic on facebook. Unfortunately, she pretty quickly got some pretty harsh backlash from her family in Colombia. Its not going to be easy for her, so please keep her in your prayers.

Well. yeah. That was my week. Weather is awesome here, staying in like the 50's, which means no coats needed still. Hope everything is going well for you. Good luck in the musical this week, Morgan! Love you all!

Les Quiero,

pictures are from Nathaly Castaneda's baptism

mas fotos from Nathaly’s camera


pics from moffat's camera

what they sleep on in mexico as missionaries. or did like 20 years ago :P
and the morning after being homeless

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So its been an awesome week. We're seeing some really cool stuff happening in this area, and I'm really glad I get to be here for my last few weeks.


Hello hello. This week has been pretty awesome, but I don't know if I have enough time this week to write about it! I'll try to do my best.

So during the week everything was pretty normal, but the weekend was rockin. First of all, Saturday we got to go the temple with the Esquivel family. They got baptized last October in Aurora. And it was so so awesome to be able to go with them and see them get sealed as a family. I don't know if I can explain how happy I felt sitting in the sealing room watching these people get sealed to each other, to their son, and to a daughter that died for time and all eternity. I've never seen a sealing before, and I'm glad that theirs was my first one. Also, the whole session and the sealing was in Spanish, which was really cool.
I also got to see a lot of members from the Aurora ward, and ex-Hermana Maughan. Which was basically the best thing ever.

Then we had a really great Sunday. We had quite a few people at church again, including a dad and daughter who came the week before after we met them at the Halloween party and invited them to church. Their names are Jose and Cinthia. After church we had our first lesson with them, because we hadn't been able to find a time that worked with them during the week before. But the lesson was awesome. They told us how much they liked our church, that they've been to lots of others, but this is the first they've really liked. They totally understood everything we taught them about the restoration, agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and agreed that if they get an answer that it is true they will be baptized December 1! Thats moving really fast, but if we're able to meet with them regularly I have no doubt they will be ready by then. If not, I guess I won't get to see their baptism, but thats okay, as long as it happens. :)

Then, after that lesson we had the most awkward appointment of my life. So when I don't know people, I'm pretty shy. I have a hard time coming out of my shell and just making small talk with strangers. And that is why this appointment was terrible. So usually Sundays after church we have an appointment with an hermana in the ward. so we get to the appointment, and call her to tell her we're outside so she can buzz us in, and she sends her son down. Her son comes out with a tray, and a bag of tamales and says we're going to his brother's apartment. now this guy is SUPER quiet and doesn't talk to us the whole way to the apartment. Which is just on the other side of the apartment complex, but we had to take the longest way possible, looping around different apartments, doing figure eights, etc. We just assumed that the hermana was at the brother's apartment. But we get there, and it turns out that no- the hermana is not there, just a whole lot of people we don't know, having a birthday party. and do they talk to us? no. so we sit on the couch awkwardly trying to make small talk. and then they leave the table and tell us to sit at it and give us tamales, and then leave us to eat the tamales by ourselves. finally the hermana shows up like 10 minutes before we have to leave. and it was just terribly awkward, and hermana Moffat thought it was the funniest thing ever. And I hated it. but thats the funny story of the week.

Anyway, after that we headed over to Nathaly's aunt's house, where we've been teaching her. She's getting baptized THIS saturday! and she is super ready. But we went over there to plan the baptism, and while we were there her nonmember uncle came home and started talking to us. Now, he's been coming to church with his wife for a long time, and meeting with the missionaries for a while, but as been just super resistant. But last week he told us that he did want to be baptized. . . "someday." Technically he is the elders' investigator, so we talked to Wilson (the uncle) and tried to see where he was at, and then passed the info on to the elders. But the elders have had a hard time getting in with him, whereas we see him all the time. So yesterday, we talked to him some more, to see if he really did still want to get baptized, and we set him on date for the 24. :) So yeah, he's the elder's investigator, but we get to teach him and see him baptized, which is good enough for me. :)

So its been an awesome week. We're seeing some really cool stuff happening in this area, and I'm really glad I get to be here for my last few weeks.

Love you all, hope you have a great week!

Les quiero,


me and the maughan!
Hermana Alvarez, Timothie, and I
Tim and I
The Esquivels
Joseph and I

The Esquivels and all the hermanas that have been with them since they've been baptized.

 mas fotos

Hermana moffat and I
Hermana Monarrez and I :)