Saturday, December 31, 2011

I hope that everyone has a great New Year!


Well. I don't really know what to write today, since I just talked to the majority of those who read this on Christmas. Which was awesome by the way, loved talking to all of you.

So I guess for those that I didn't talk to,  I'll give a quick update.

Luis was baptized!!! It was super super awesome. A few days before we were texting him to see how he was, and he told us he was a little nervous, but we told him to just have faith and keep reading and praying and everything would be fine. and this is what his response was: "Yea I know and my faith has been getting stronger every time i read and pray. cant wait for Saturday." That was the coolest text I have ever gotten in my life. And then on Saturday for his baptism, EVERYTHING WENT SMOOTHLY!! It was truly a miracle. It even only started 10 minutes late. The only thing that happened was that Luis forgot his towel and Elder Allen who baptized him forgot EVERYTHING, but in the long run everything went well. And all of Luis' family came, and if any of them are members, none of them are active, so that was really really cool too.  And then on Sunday Luis got confirmed and the blessing was awesome. Like the most beautiful blessing I have ever heard. It talked about how Luis would be an example to his family and have a desire to share the gospel and would prepare for and serve a full time mission. Oh my gosh, I wanted to cry listening to that blessing. It was so special.

Christmas was good. For Christmas Eve we opened presents with the Elders in the morning and then we went over to a member from the English ward's house and ate dinner with them and a few other families. Then they gave us presents! and we read Luke 2 and watched the Forgotten Carols. On Christmas we only had an hour of church, and it was just a special program where every different group sang a musical number, which meant lots of piano playing for me. After church we went to the Bishop's house with another family and the Elders and ate lunch, had a testimony meeting, and played taboo. Then for the night we went to Sotero's house and ate dinner with Silvia, Nolberto, and their brother Roberto. It was very drama free which was a nice change from their house lately.

Umm. Other than that nothing new. Doesn't look like Rosa will be baptized this Saturday because we haven't been able to meet with her so far this week, and we were hoping to have her interview yesterday but she had doctor appointments and other things come up. But I'm sure everything will be fine and she'll be baptized soon.

Transfers are next week. I really have no idea whats going to happen. I REALLY don't want to get moved yet, which probably means I will. yuck. I guess I'll let you know next week what happened!

Well. I think thats about it. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! And that everyone has a great New Year!

Les Quiero,


1.       Christmas Eve!

2.       Christmas Uno!

3.       Jesus Loves You!

4.       Luis Crisanto fue bautizado el 24 de Dic.

5.       Christmas PJs

6.       Attempting to put together the puzzle you sent me

7.       The whole crew at the Bishop's house!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miracle number one. Miracle number two.


Feliz Navidad this week! I hope that everyone has a good one! I'm glad Gramma and Grampa are coming up, that should be fun for you all. It should be a good Christmas for me, we are going over to a member in the English ward's house for Christmas Eve after our baptism, and then Sunday after church we are going to the Bishop's and we have another appointment that night with Sotero and his family to eat. So I think it should be a pretty good Christmas.

I've had a pretty good week. It did feel really really really long though. Not sure why. The drama with Sotero's family I think has died down a little bit, on Thursday we were on exchanges, and I got a greenie for the day, and we went over to Sotero's house with the Bishop to try to figure out what was going on, why Silvia and Nolberto don't want to be in our ward anymore and what was going to happen to Sotero if they don't come. It was pretty dramatic. The bishop just laid it down for them really boldy, and it was kind of intense. But he was really clear on why they needed to continue coming to the Aurora ward and why Sotero needed their support. But after he left, and I was still there Silvia basically told me that she didn't care and she was still going to go to the Bloomingdale ward. oh man, it was frustrating. But I don't know what  happened, they showed up for sacrament meeting with Sotero on Sunday, and then went up to Bloomingdale. After church Silvia called us and told us she was going to stay in Aurora after all. So yeah. Hopefully everything will remain drama free with them for a while.

Everything with Luis so far is going awesome. If everything goes according to plan he should be baptized on Christmas Eve!!!

We had a couple of cool miracles this week too. The first one started a few weeks ago. Hermana Maughan has started doing something new when she prays, and she prays with a pen and paper and really specific questions and then after she asks the questions she waits a few seconds and writes down whatever answer she thinks she's getting. So a few weeks ago she prayed and asked where we needed to go to find someone that was waiting for the gospel, and she got the impression we needed to go to these certain apartments. And then she asked if we needed to look for anyone in particular, and she could like see a mom. and then she got the impression that we needed to be there by three o clock in the afternoon. So that day, we working as normal, and it hit about 2:30 and we hadn't eaten lunch yet and were starving, and Hermana Maughan all of a sudden says to me, "I think we need to go to the Burr Oak apartments." She hadn't told me anything about her prayer or anything yet, so I was just kind of like, okay whatever I'm starving why do we need to go there. . .  But she explained it to me a little bit at a time, she was kind of embarrassed to tell me. But I was down with it, so we went to the apartments and just kind of started walking around in the parking lot. At about 10 minutes to 3 this REALLY pregnant lady walks out of one of the buildings, and we started talking to her. and it was really just kind of natural, and chill. Her name is Maria and turns out she hasn't been able to work for a while because of the pregnancy, and she doesn't have a husband or boyfriend or anything and she is living with her brother, and its just really hard. and she said she'd really like it if we came back. So that was a cool conversation, and we made a return appointment. We went  back for the appointment and it was awesome. Maria is just this super down to earth woman and we get along super well. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and then made a return appointment for the next week. When we went back, she wasn't there. We tried calling and nobody answered, and we kept trying back for a couple of weeks and couldn't find her. But then, on Friday when I was still on exchanges, we stopped by to see if we could find her again. and she was there!!! Turns out the reason she wasn't there for our appointment was that she was having her baby! We just spent like 20 minutes with her that day talking about how everything was and her new little girl and all of that, and then I made a return appointment for us to come back on Sunday so that Hermana Maughan could meet her baby and all that. So we came back on Sunday, and had a really good lesson about the Plan of Salvation, and invited Maria to be baptized, and she said yes! But she said she wanted to wait until summer so she could work and get enough money to pay us to be baptized. When we explained that she didn't have to pay, she was pretty stoked, and she is on date to be baptized the 21st of January. Miracle number one.

Miracle number two. Friday, when I was on exchanges, the bishop's wife called me and asked if we could come over, she had a favor to ask of us because they are in Utah this week and needed our help with something. So of course we did, I mean she's the bishop's wife. So we went over there and she told us that they were leaving the Bishop's 80 something year old mom to watch the house, and she was wondering if we could come over every morning and every night to check on her. I didn't know how I felt about Grandma sitting, considering it would be hard on our miles and schedule, but I didn't really know how to say, "you know, its just better if you have your neighbor come to do it." And I am SO glad I said yes. Sunday night we were over there and we told her about Maria, and how she was a referral from God. And the hermana asked us, "Well, do you want another referral?" and we were just like, "umm. yeah, of course." And she told us that her granddaughter, Rosa, had just gotten there that day to stay with her for the week, and that she had talked to missionaries before, but now she wants to be baptized, and could we do it on the 25th? HOLY COW! WHAT? We were kind of shocked, but we told her yes, we'd love to talk to Rosa in the morning when we came back. So the next morning we met Rosa, and unfortunately we had to explain to her that we've been asked not to baptize on Christmas, but she still wants to do it as soon as possible, so she is on date to be baptized the 31st of December. :) and we are meeting with her at least once a day all week! Its awesome awesome awesome. Like so so crazy. People are literally coming to us and asking to be baptized!

I think thats about all I can think of to tell you for now. I hope everything is going well for you! Love you all tons!

Les quiero muchisimo,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My birthday was really really good.


Hey all! Well, its been a pretty eventful week. I'm not really sure where to start, especially because I know that once I write it all down it really will not actually seem that eventful.

I guess firstly, Sotero was baptized on Friday. And oh my goodness, it was the most stressful thing ever. Firstly, he wanted Hna Maughan to give one of the talks at his baptism. But, the Bishop told us he doesn't want us to talk, he wants members to have the opportunity to do it. So we called Sotero, and told him that and he said that was fine. BUT when we went over to their house on Thursday for dinner he told us he didn't know if he wanted to get baptized if Hna Maughan wasn't going to speak. Oh man, and he was being so stubborn and his MEMBER kids were not being any help either because they really wanted her to speak too. I was SO frustrated. I basically laid it down really blunt and told him that this was his salvation and it didn't freaking matter who talked in his baptism, the only thing that mattered was if he had a testimony and knew he needed to get baptized, which he does, and then doing it. So FINALLY we compromised that Hna Maughan and I would sing a song, and she wouldn't talk, and he would still get baptized. Okay- next stressful thing that happened with this baptism. Last Sunday Sotero told us he didn't have a ride to the baptism, and he lives like 30 minutes away from the church. Luckily when we brought up the problem in ward council, someone said they could pick Sotero and his son up. They even called us Friday at 5 oclock and told us that everything was still okay, and they were still planning on bringing Sotero for his baptism at 7. So Hna Maughan and I are getting the baptism all set up, and then it hits 6:30 when Sotero is supposed to be there and he's not there. We wait a little longer, and 6:45 rolls around and still nothing. So we call him, and what does he tell us? That nobody has come to pick him up!! We called the family that was supposed to pick them up about 100 times and they didn't answer. While this is going on the Bishop's wife shows up and tells us, oh, Bishop is picking them up. Apparently the family that was supposed to pick Sotero up ended up not being able to, and instead of letting us know, called the Bishop.  So we call Bishop, and tells us he has been lost for like the last half hour, but rather than calling anyone to get help he just kept trying to find it himself.  FINALLY at about 7:00 he finds their apartment, and we call Sotero to let him know Bishop is outside. and what does Sotero tell us? Its too late, that he can't get baptized because he is late. So after some very firm talking to, he was finally in the car and on the way to the church. He arrived and the baptism only started 30 minutes late. Smooth sailing from there, right? Wrong. The talks all go fine, Hna Maughan and I succesfully butcher a primary song, and then its time for the ordinance. Sotero's son Nolberto was baptizing him, and Nolberto has only been a member for a couple of months, so he was really nervous. So he had to do the pray about three times before getting it right, and then he goes to lower Sotero into the water and Sotero gets nervous or something and completely stiffens up and won't let him put him all the way under. So we have to try it again, a few more prayers and another try to put him under the water. AGAIN he got nervous and wouldn't relax enough to go all the way under. Once again we go through the prayer, and Nolberto trys to immerse him in the water, and Sotero still is being stiff, but everyone just started yelling, "All the way! Just push him all the way down! Just do it!!" So Nolberto just shoved Sotero into the water. And FINALLY Sotero was baptized. But does this end the stressful, dramatic story? No, no it does not. That night it continued to be a disaster with the movie we had planned to show while they got dressed, we couldn't get it to work until they were already back anyway, so that didn't happen. And then Sotero was late to church on Sunday and everyone was getting nervous that he wasn't going to show up for his confirmation, but he walked in JUST in time.  So Sotero is now a baptized and confirmed member of the church, but after Sacrament meeting he was out of that building so fast he didn't even have time to congratulate him. We saw Nolberto and asked him where his dad was, and he said he was waiting in the car. So we go out to talk to him, and it turns out that Nolberto and Silvia, Sotero's daughter, decided they want to change to the singles ward, so they won't be coming back to our ward anymore. Unfortunately that means that Sotero doesn't have a ride to church. They said they had to go for something and we could talk about it later. So now we have an appointment on Thursday to go over to their house and try to figure out how Sotero is going to be able to be an active member of the church. Oh man. This family is so dramatic, like I can't even describe it.  But, I do have something cool to add to this story. A few weeks ago we sent the missionaries down to Mexico to Sotero's wife and his other kids, and two Sundays ago his wife and one of his daughters were baptized!! And we sent the missionaries to the wife of another of our recent convert's and she was baptized yesterday! Phew. so thats the end of that story. for now.

My birthday was really really good. After the baptism on Friday we went over with the Spanish elders from our ward, the English elders that cover our area, and Sotero and Nolberto to a members house and they had a joint birthday/baptism party. We had pizza and I got sung to in Spanish. :) On Saturday the English elders gave me a present which is a giant anatomy book for kids that they filled with sticky notes with ridiculous comments on them. its a pretty sweet present, I just wish it wasn't SO giant so I could send it home and keep it. Then on my birthday I woke up to our apartment decorated by Hermana Maughan. She hung balloons from the ceiling in our living room and in 22 of them she put little notes with reasons why she loves me. She also hid that happy birthday confetti you sent me EVERYWHERE. I found it in my boots, in my scriptures, in all of my other books, in my wallet, in my camera case, in my planner, in my juice, in my pockets, in my altoids case, in my retainer case, on my toothpaste, EVERYWHERE. I also opened my presents from you. :) THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! I was not disappointed. Then before district meeting we went over the Bishop's house and his wife gave us breakfast. At district meeting we put candles in those giant reese's you sent me and they sung happy birthday to me and I opened a present from Hna Maughan. Now I don't know if you know this, but I HATE eyeballs. Like they sick me out pretty bad. They are the one thing that get me kind of queasy. Somehow Hermana Maughan found this out, so after spending 10 minutes unwrapping her well taped present, I found 4 plastic eyeballs. YUCK. :) but it was fun. And then as a district we went to Panera Bread for lunch. Yesterday Cruz and her boyfriend Mario took us to sushi for my birthday and used Mario's poker money to pay. :)  So all in all it was a super awesome birthday.

Other interesting stuff that happened this week. . .  Well, Hermana Maughan has been waking up with with eyelids crazy crazy swollen, like if you've seen the movie Hitch, she looked like him after he had his shellfish allergic reaction. We finally went to the doctor and it turns out she has eczema on her EYELIDS! and it was turning into a staph infection. Luckily they got her on some antibiotics and steroid cream, and her eyes are looking much much better.

Things are going really really well with Luis, who is still planning on being baptized on the 24th. Like he is the coolest investigator ever. We taught him about the restoration on Sunday, and we asked him how he felt about what we were teaching him, and he said, "I don't really know how to describe it. Its just like this big feeling. Its really big, but its good." He told us how he wants to go on a mission, and he is hoping he can be a good example to his little brothers and his mom. Oh man, he is so so awesome.

I'm sorry to hear Dad is sick. Especially with bronchitis! Yuck that is a huge bummer. I just hope he doesn't go through 2 bottles of nyquil, a bottle of mucinex, and half a bottle of tylenol cold and flu like I did. :) I hope you get feeling better soon Dad!!!

I hope everything is going well for you! I'm glad to hear that Christmas preparations are getting all wrapped up! I am hoping to get my Christmas package out to the family today, but I'm not sure. I hope you like it, I had fun putting it together. :) I'm not going to individually wrap presents though, so you'll have to wait til Christmas to actually open it. If its gets there by Christmas that is. . .

Well, I think thats about all I got for now. I hope you all have a good week!

Les quiero muchisimo,



1. Sotero Sarmiento, fue bautizado el 9 de Diciembre, 2011

2-4. what I woke up to on Dec. 12

5-6. district meeting birthday party. Giant Reese's peanut butter cups were my cake

7. Elder Jones with the eyeballs Hna Maughan gave me. Disgusting

Friday, December 9, 2011

I sure hope to get some mail for my birthday. . . especially from some of my friends who I haven't heard from in a while (or at all. . . .) BIG HINT, GUYS, I mean really.


Buenas tardes! I'm emailing a little bit later today because we finally got to go to the temple! Bishop's wife took us at 9 this morning. It was awesome. A lot smaller than the Utah temples I'm used to, but very beautiful.

Its been a pretty good week here. We too are getting ready for Christmas, and are planning on a white one! We have a baptism planned for the 24th. :)  Last week was pretty sweet as far as it goes for missionary work. The whole week we had 7 new investigators, and 4 of those were just on Saturday morning before 12:30. We also one of those investigators on date for Christmas Eve, and he is so so so excited. His name is Luis, and he is the 19 year old son of a less active. He has been coming to church for a while, so we thought he was already a member, but nope he's not. He's the one that came up to us on Thanksgiving and asked us what he needs to do to be baptized. And our baptism that we have scheduled for this Friday still seems to be on track. Its been a stressful one because Sotero is so ridiculous, and wants everything perfect. But he wants to be baptized, so right now our only worry is that the building is being used because the Bishop forgot to check. And if it is. . . too bad, we're having a baptism.

The whole month of November was awesome for us. We were going through our numbers this past week, to see how we did on our goals, and we taught 114 lessons. So we've been working hard. And I love it. Even with me being sick last week, we got a lot of good work done.

As for this week, we have zone conference coming up tomorrow. So I had to write a talk for that, just in case I get surprise called on, and then the Bishop on Monday asked us if we could talk on Sunday, so I stressed out pretty hardcore about that one, but then he told us yesterday we don't have to do it afterall. This is the second time Obispo has asked us to do an assignment that we didn't really want to do and then recalled it. I think he just likes to see if we'll say yes. The first time he asked ME, just me, not Hna Maughan, if I would talk to an hermana in the ward and tell her that her gossiping and comments she makes to people are offensive and that she needs to stop because people are going inactive because of her. OH MY. I did NOT want to do that. But I said I would. And he called a few days later and told me he was kidding. Oh obispo. . .

I'm feeling a lot better, I still have a cough but its not nearly as bad, and it doesn't usually even start up until 8 pm. So yeah, no worries, I don't have pneumonia, Mom. :P

I got a package this week. . . No explanation in it. Just a bunch of wrapped presents and a card, but Hna Maughan and I made a deal that we wouldn't open any of our presents until Christmas. So I don't know what it is. And in your letter you said you hadn't sent my Christmas package yet, and that my birthday package isn't here yet. So what is the package???

I don't have anything super exciting planned for my birthday. Its on a Monday, so we'll have district meeting, so maybe I'll ask that for a birthday present that I don't have to roleplay. :) I HATE roleplays.  I sure hope to get some mail for my birthday. . . especially from some of my friends who I haven't heard from in a while (or at all. . . .) BIG HINT, GUYS, I mean really.

We did get to watch the Christmas devotional, we went over to a members house and ate arroz con leche and watched it. It was so good. I really liked the little video they showed, and I'm excited to watch them on

So yeah, I think thats about all I've got for you this week. Its good to hear that things are going well there. I'm glad everyone is getting excited for CHRISTMAS!! We have a tiny tiny tree set up on our coffee table with the presents we've gotten so far underneath it.

I loved all the letters I got from you this week! It was fun to read them, and Hermana de la Pena really appreciated the advice. We had a family home evening with them and made a family contract kind of a thing and wrote out the things they would do to try to have a happy, Christ centered family, it included things like family prayer and scripture study, family meals, noche de hogar, supporting each other, nice words etc, and they all signed it and hung it up on their wall. They said that they have really seen a difference. I hope everything works out for them, because I love that family.

I'm glad to hear the girls are doing well, I hope Hailey survives finals. Don't worry about that other drama stuff right now, just focus on school and it'll be okay. Everything will be back to normal after the break.

I hope Lulu has a good time at the DANCE!!!! Take pictures for me! She looks so pretty in her dress!

Okay, well I hope you all have an awesome week. Do something fun on the 12th, because I probably won't. :)

love love love you all,

les quiero,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Miracle


Well, hey there. I'm glad to hear you had a good Thanksgiving. I haven't gotten any of those letters you said you sent telling me about it, but I'm excited to read them and hear a little bit more about how it went. El dia de accion de gracias was was good here, we went over to the de la Pena's house in the morning and helped them make tamales, and then went down to the stake center to play sports with some other missionaries. Later we went back to the de la Pena's for dinner, but first they wanted to have a family home evening, and then play a bunch of games. Which was all really nice, but long story short Hna Maughan and I didn't eat anything on Thanksgiving until 8:45 at night. But it was a really good day, and I really enjoyed myself.

Friday the ward had a big Thanksgiving party that we went to, and there we were able to have some good old turkey and potatoes. It was a fun party, but the best part was that while we were there a guy came up to us who we thought was already a member because he has been going to church and everything and he asked us what he needs to do to be baptized. Apparently he is the cousin of a family in our ward (we thought he was their brother) and met with the missionaries before, but never had support from his mom, so he just has been coming to church and stuff, and now that he is 18 he wants to be baptized. So, yeah- that was a pretty cool Thanksgiving miracle.

Sotero finally is back on date to be baptized. He was embarrassed about not going to church that one week, so it was hard to get him to talk to us for a week. But now its all good, and he is super stoked to be baptized on the 9th of December. He passed his interview last night, and we called him to congratulate him and he was just so ecstatic. He is really the most awesome guy ever. And his wife is listening to the missionaries down in Mexico, and he is already talking about how they can someday all be sealed together in the temple as an eternal family.

Yesterday we had an AWESOME day. We taught 8 lessons, found 3 new investigators, set someone on date to be baptized, and Sotero passed his interview. It was just one of those days that makes all of the other hard stuff totally worth it.

Only other news here is that I have bronchitis, and I can sure tell you it is interesting being sick as a missionary. I never thought I'd feel so guilty for being sick. But I'm doing okay, not too worry. Sis Doll sent me to the doctor last week and they got me on an inhaler, and I have gone through 2 bottles of nyquil in order to not keep Hna Maughan up at night with my coughing. :) Also- I had another exploding vein! In my hand!! Whats happening to me?!

Well. . . I don't really know what else to tell you all. So I guess I'll just leave at this. I hope everything is going well. Glad to here you had a great time in Chico. Hope to get some more mail soon. (Like seriously, everybody, my mailbox is so sad and lonely.)

Les quiero,