Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgivng tomorrow!!! :)



Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!! :) I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday, and made it safely to California. Good news, we got a last minute eating appointment tomorrow, so we won't be going hungry on Thanksgiving afterall. We'll be getting tamales!

Well, I'm a little bit sick right now, so I took some cough syrup this morning. And por eso, I am feeling kind of foggy ahorita, so my apologies if my letter isn't as long or as coherent as usual.

It sounds like you all had a good week! I'm glad Morgan's musical went well, and that Mitch and Amanda were able to see it and you got to spend some time with them. Thanks for the pictures, Morgan looks adorable and so does Mitch and Amanda's cute little family, of course.

And the pictures of Eliza and her haircut!!! Oh my goodness, how has she grown up so fast in 6 months? STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Not allowed, its not even funny Lulu, you need to cut it out.

It is also super exciting that Ada and Luis are moving to Utah!! I look forward to being able to see them more often now that they are closer!

This week has been pretty good for me, nothing too out of the ordinary. I survived transfers unscathed, still in Aurora, still with Hermana Maughan. But we are the only companionship in our district that remained the same.

The one thing that did kind of suck this week was that we had 16 investigator appointments cancel on us. Like it was ridiculous. For one we were super pumped that we had so many citas set up with investigators and possible new investigators, and then nearly all of them bailed. We somehow still managed to teach 22 lessons though, which was good.

Cool stuff that happened this week:

We sort of learned how to make conchas, which is a Mexican sweet bread kind of thing. We had to leave half way through unfortunately, so when I get home I'll be able to make you part of a concha. :P 

We helped paint our recent convert's house.

We went to lunch with a recent convert and a member and they are magic and talked to all sorts of people at subway about the gospel and were handing out pass along cards, and then the recent convert (who is super old) got put in the hospital and we were able to bring the zone leaders to his hospital room to give him a blessing, and it was really really nice. Like just super peaceful. And now he is out of the hospital!

We brought another pair of Elders with us to give one of our investigators a blessing who tore some ligaments in her foot, and just has a bunch of other health problems and she proceeded to tell them all sorts of crazy stories about how people are following her and taking pictures of her from the other building and that the doctors are out to get her and the cops are corrupted and wouldn't investigate the drug dealers living above her, and much much more- basically it boils down to that I am pretty sure we are teaching a paranoid schizophrenic. So that should be interesting.

I had an aneurysm. In my finger. I was driving, and Hermana Maughan was telling me about some cool stuff she read in the Doctrine and Covenants when all of a sudden my pointer finger started hurting REALLY BAD. Shooting pains between two of the joints. And I started freaking out, and shaking my hand (all while driving) and Hermana Maughan got really nervous cause she had no idea what to do, or what was going on. And then she yelled at me, "Look at your vein!" And because I was driving I couldn't exactly turn my finger in a position to be able to see where my vein was, but apparently Hermana Maughan watched a vein in my finger bulge, and get bigger and bigger and greener and greener and then explode.  So now I have a huge gross bruise on my finger, from a spontaneous finger aneurysm. You know it hasn't been that exciting of a week, when that is what Hermana Maughan and I have been telling people about the most.

So yep. Thats about it.


1.       Carlos teaching us how to make conchas

2.       We had a pretty crazy district these past 6 weeks


3.  Look what I found in the parking lot of one of our investigator's!!!

So that about covers it, it was good to hear about whats going on! Have an awesome awesome time in California, and give all of the California Browns a big hug for me!

Well, all, espero que sepan que les quiero. que tengan buen dia de accion de gracias!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"could you please come in, when can you come over again?"


So I really don't know what to write this week. Its been pretty normal, no super crazy anything going on. This week has been pretty average. We were supposed to have a baptism this Friday, but its been postponed, and its really kind of a funny story of why.  We are teaching this man named Sotero. He is the father of two recent converts, Silvia y Nolberto. And he is totally ready to be baptized, like the first time Hermana Maughan met him, they were there visiting with Silvia y Nolberto doing the recent convert lessons, and what they do is have the recent converts teach them the lessons. So Silvia y Nolberto were trying to teach the Plan of Salvation to the missionaries, but they kept messing up, and leaving holes. And this older guy with very little teeth was there (Sotero) and he kept correcting them, and answering the questions, and Hermana Maughan didn't even know who he was! He had only been taught the first lesson about the restoration by the missionaries that were here before Hermana Maughan. But he knew the whole Plan of Salvation! Turns out he has read the whole Gospel Principles book and everything, and knows everything. So he was supposed to be baptized this Friday. And last Friday we went over to their house and were setting up the program and everything, and he wants Nolberto to baptize him. Saturday night, Nolberto found out he has to work on Friday, so if he is going to be there and baptize Sotero, the baptism would have to be moved. Well, Sotero got SOOOO mad that he couldn't be baptized on THIS Friday, he didn't even come to church, and won't talk to Silvia y Nolberto. Because he is mad he can't get baptized this Friday. Friday's are USUALLY the days that everyone in their family has off work, so we were hoping to just do it next week, but we just found out there is the ward Thanksgiving party next Friday, so we don't know whats going to happen. And because Sotero is pouting, we haven't been able to talk to him to see if he can get work off for next Saturday. So thats the drama thats going on right now, its pretty ridiculous and actually a little bit comical.

The only other pretty cool thing that happened this week, was Saturday night we had a pretty free day, so we decided to stop by antiguos (former investigators) and see if we could start teaching any of them again. Now usually, the reason they are antiguos is pretty legitimate and they really don't have interest anymore. But here, it looks like the other Hermanas would just get bored with an investigator if they weren't learning fast enough and just stop coming by. Every single person we talked to on Saturday told us they didn't know why the Hermanas stopped coming by and "could you please come in, when can you come over again?" So we have like 12 lessons set up for this week with people we have never taught before. Its pretty legit.

Last week in the city was way fun. We went shopping and out to lunch, and then to a Mexican art museum. It was really cool. I'll have to send some pictures. It was a really fun trip, it was fun to just hang out with Cruz and her boyfriend, Mario to just kind of chill. 

I hope you all have fun in California! You'll have to give everybody a big hug from me! I hope you travel safely! I don't know what we're going to do for Thanksgiving, no one has invited us to eat with them, but Wednesday we have a half p-day to do shopping and emails and stuff and then Thursday we have another 1/2 p-day to play sports with the other missionaries. Which would be super awesome if my dumb ankle and knees would let me play sports. For morning exercise we've been going to the church and I've been kicking a soccer ball around, and even that kills my ankle. Ugh its so frustrating.

Is Morgan's musical this week? Break a leg! You'll do awesome!

Have a good week everyone! I LOVE YOU!

Les Quiero,


1.       a random fence in an alley of downtown geneve

2.       Karla y Carlos, baptized November 5, 2011 

3.       The Gomez Family- typical Mexican picture

4.       The Gomez Family how they usually are

5.       Ashley y yo

6. Ashley is going to be a hair stylist someday. Maybe. . .

 7.       a giant shrine, with la virgen maria the center of it all
8.       The Mexican experience in the US

9-11. La Virgen de Guadalupe

12. mesoamerica reaches Chicago

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"It just felt like we already knew this family, like we'd been there before, and already knew and loved them."


Another week! Its been pretty good. The highlight may have been the time change, because I got to sleep in an extra hour. :)  But really, we had some cool stuff happen this week. Karla and Carlos were baptized! And it all went fairly smoothly. The only hitch was that the person who was supposed to give the last talk thought it was at 6 instead of at 5, and missed everything except walked in right in time to give her talk. But compared to last week, it was pretty stress free. 

Maria y Hugo are doing awesome! Hugo got the priesthood, and this past Sunday Maria got a calling to be the secretary in the Relief Society! Members for life!

We found an a sweet family this past week, too. And the story is pretty cool.  A few weeks ago all of our plans had fallen through, and we weren't really sure what to do. For some reason though, both of us were feeling like we should try to find a former investigator, Jesus, who neither of us had met, but whose name is written on our white board as someone to keep trying for. Well, it didn't really make any sense to go find him then, because we were planning on spending the day in West Chicago, which is where we were, and he lives in St. Charles. But, because both of us were thinking of him, we decided to go and give it a try. So we drove to St. Charles, and found his house, and no one was there. So that was kind of a bummer, because now we were in St. Charles, and what were we going to do there? We decided to look through our area book and see if we could find some other antiguos (former investigators.) So I was reading some records and picked a few that I thought sounded promising. We put their addresses in the GPS and it turned out that all of them lived within a couple block radius of where Jesus lives. But, the first couple ones we tried weren't there either. So we were getting a little frustrated, and wondering why we were supposed to be over there, why we both felt like we needed to go find Jesus. But we tried the last person on my list, Epitacia, and she was home. She did tell us she was busy right then, but made an appointment for us to return. So, we were feeling pretty excited, like she must be the reason we were here and she must be awesome! But THEN she cancelled our appointment, and rescheduled it. And then did it again. And then we had something come up, so we had to call her and see if we could come by at a different time that day. We were thinking she must be bogus, and is just going to cancel again. But she didn't, and we went over to her house last Thursday. We were expecting it to be just here, but when we got there two of her kids were there too and sat in on the lesson. And it was so cool walking into that house. It just felt like we already knew this family, like we'd been there before, and already knew and loved them. They are just so sweet and friendly. But the even COOLER thing is, is that when we asked what they remembered from when the missionaries taught them before, which was about a year ago, the 9 year old daughter proceeded to tell us the WHOLE Plan of Salvation in detail. Like she included the three degrees of glory, and spirit prison and everything. SHE IS 9!! oh man. They are an awesome family, and they are ready to be taught again. The only reason the missionaries stopped coming by is because Epitacia's work got too busy, but it has just started to die down so she has time again, I'm pretty excited to see where things go with this family.

Other pretty cool thing that happened this week: We went on exchanges Monday and Tuesday, and I went over to Westchester. All of the appointments they had fell through so were just doing a lot of contacting. We contacted one man on his doorstep, and had a pretty good quality gospel conversation with him, talked about families and all that, nothing too special, but good. But then I got this overwhelming feeling that I needed to invite him to be baptized right there. And I was like, no way- he is just going to say he's already been baptized in the Catholic church, he won't even understand why he needs to be baptized again, we haven't talked to him about why our church is different, about the authority- nothing. But I just kept remembering something we talked about in a meeting about how the more invitations you give the more baptisms you'll receive, and I just felt like I needed to invited him. So, really nervously, I told him something like, well- what we do as missionaries is we help people return the their Heavenly Father so that they can live with their families forever. And we know that there are certain things we need to do to do that, like baptism. And I know that this is might be kind of weird and early to you, but would you like to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who has the authority of God? And I can just tell you I'm sure my Spanish got awful right there because I was so nervous. But he just looked at me, and said yes! Yes I would ! I turns out he actually was never baptized in the Catholic Church, and he really wants to be baptized and he really wants to be married in a church, because he couldn't get married in the Catholic church because he was never baptized, he just has a civil marriage. So yeah! He wants to be baptized, so he wants to learn about our church and how he can be baptized!

Okay. I think thats all I got for you today. We got to head out to THE CITY pretty soon! I'm glad everything is going well there! I love hearing from you, and I am excited to get some MAIL this week! My mailbox is sad and empty. I have some pictures to send from Karla y Carlos' baptism, but I forgot my camera today, so you'll get them next week.

Love you love you love you,
Les Quiero,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"It was so incredible. So yeah, thats our miracle."



This week has been crazy crazy. I have heard that the week before a baptism is always really stressful and that something always goes wrong, but up until Thursday night everything seemed to be going great getting ready for Maria y Hugo's baptism. They weren't changing their minds, they had their interview, and everyone in the whole ward was planning on coming. And then we got a call at 8:30 pm Thursday night that we couldn't use the building on Saturday afterall because there was a stake youth activity. Apparently the reservations had all been deleted off the computer so it looked like the building was free when it really wasn't. Hermana Maughan and I panicked. We started calling everyone. We called the people in charge of the activity to see if we could just use the half of the gym that the font is in for one hour, we tried to see if we could use the stake center but it was being used too, we called the Zone Leaders for advice, we called President Doll for advice. We DID NOT want to postpone this baptism because we were worried that if we did, it would never happen. We finally called Maria y Hugo and told them what was going on, and asked if we could do it Friday (the next day.) They said no, it wasn't enough time, they'd already told everyone Saturday, they just couldn't do it Friday. Oh man, worst feeling ever. We were calling the Bishop back and forth talking to him about options, and finally he called Maria y Hugo and somehow convinced them to be baptized on Friday. This all happened in one hour, and it was the most ridiculous hour ever.  So, Friday morning we had to call and cancel all 7 of our appointments, call EVERYONE in the ward, change the program, and set up the baptism. The baptism was supposed to start at 6 pm, and the Bishop was supposed to speak and conduct. We got a call at 5:45 from the Bishop that he had just left work. In the city. On a Friday night. So we were out our speaker and conductor. Luckily, President Doll walked in right then and was volunteered by Sister Doll to give the talk, and the Elders Quorum President was there to conduct. We still waited another 20 minutes, hoping Bishop could make it, because he really wanted to be there, but we started without him and he walked in after the baptism and three minutes after President Doll had started his talk. BUT the important part of this whole story is that Maria y Hugo are now baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and that after their baptism we went out to dinner with them and a few other families and they were already talking about how in one year they could go to the temple! They were so so happy. I have never seen them like that, and neither had Hermana Maughan. They were really glowing. It was so incredible. So yeah, thats our miracle. In five days they set a date to be baptized and were! We didn't even have time to count them as people with our baptism date in our numbers we report to President Doll!

Last Wednesday night we were also able to set a date for two of a recent convert's kids to be baptized this Saturday, and so far nothing crazy has happened- but we'll see. They are a funny family. The dad, who is the recent convert is named Carlos. And the two we are baptizing are Karla and Carlos. Carlos Sr.'s nephew, Victor also lives with them and he also wants to be baptized! The only obstacle with him is that he works in the same place as Carlos Sr. and when Carlos isn't working Victor is, which means that Victor works every single Sunday.

Another down we had this week was that one of our investigators, Jorge, who had a date to be baptized the 12th of November, texted us on Monday to tell us that he would not be continuing listening to us because his wife doesn't want him to and he doesn't want her to be mad. Jorge lives in a part of our area that is pretty far away from where we normally work, but when we got his text we were actually in that area and were not really sure what we were going to do- we had nothing really planned for some reason. So we were able to go right over there to talk to him. We were hoping his wife was home so we could talk to her too, we've never met her, all we know is that she wants nothing to do with the church. But she wasn't, and we talked to Jorge. And we talked and talked and talked and cried and cried but he won't budge. We told him he needs to talk to her and tell her how important it is to him, and that it is something good, but he just is so anti confrontational he doesn't want to say anything to her. We tried to tell him that it was an act of faith and that when we act in faith miracles can happen, but we have to actually ACT we can't just sit on our couch and pray and pray and pray and hope that something happens. We have to pray and act and expect that something happens. But as for now, Jorge is no longer getting baptized. And he was the very last person I expected to drop us. He is so cool, coming to church every week, giving people rides- everything. and now. . . nothing.

But other than crazy crazy stuff. Everything is going okay. We are working hard, and always tired. And I am so so sick of my ugly missionary clothes and shoes. :P I'm trying to think if anything funny happened this week to share with you, but the only one I can think of is how ridiculous it is when we accidentally speak Spanish to people who obviously don't. The best one was we went to KFC to visit Cruz and Hermana Maughan asked the red head cashier, "Cruz esta?" meaning, is Cruz here? And he just stared at us so blankly. It was pretty good.


1.       BAPTISM Maria y Hugo, October 28, 2011


2.       Before

3.       AFTER

I'm glad everyone is doing good and keeping busy. Keep up the good work team. Eliza- Hermana Maughan LOVED your letter and all of the cool stickers you sent. She said she will write you back, but we're really busy right now, so I don't know how long it will take.

I love you all, I hope you have an excellent week. Next week we are going to Chicago with Cruz, so I'm not sure exactly when I will be emailing, but I promise you will get an email. :)

Les quiero muchisimo,