Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Can you PLEASE come over right now?"


Well, I survived transfers! I get to stay here in Cicero with Hermana Veliz for at least another 6 semanas. These next 6 weeks are going to be interesting. I finally have gotten a litle bit of a teaching pool going on, and now there are some people that should be ready for baptism, if I could just teach them consistently. So this tranfer the focus isn't going to be so much on finding new people but on having consistent citas with those that I have already found. It has been pretty regular with the people we're teaching for them to disappear for a few weeks and then reappear. not okay. So we'll see if we can start having more regular citas and if people will start progressing more.

Due to people disappearing, this was another week with not too many investigator lessons. But the ones that we did have were AWESOME. Firstly, we have a less active member in our ward, who is awesome. She is just less active because she has to work Sundays. But we meet with her pretty regularly, and ultimately she wants to be able to go on a mission. Well, the other day she texted us and asked us if we had time to meet her that day. We said sure, of course. And she told us she had a surprise for us! She said that we wouldn't be going to her house, but to her neighbor's, because she had a friend that wanted to learn more about her church! So we go over to her friend's house and we meet Sonia and her 2 year old daughter Alicia. Sonia is "catolica" but told us she doesn't really have a relationship with God, and wants to learn more. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she said it made sense, and that she felt a peace about it. We talked to her about that we wanted to be able to come back, that we had lots to teach her, but that it would take work on her part in order to really learn. That she would have to read and pray and attend church, and she wants to be able to do all that because she really wants to know! She told us she wants to be baptized when she finds out its true! We have another appointment with her tomorrow. Hopefully she doesn't turn into one of the disappearing investigators.

We also had a lesson with Beto and Yeni this week. We called to confirm with Yeni, and she told us she was in the hospital with her dad and she wasn't sure if they would be out in time for our cita. So we called Beto and rescheduled for the next day. Then, as we were on our way to try another person, Yeni called us and told she had just gotten home, and could we come over? We told her it was okay, we had rescheduled and we could come back the next day. And she was like, "No. My dad will be gone tomorrow. Can you PLEASE come over right now?" So, obviously we went. And I can just tell you, I am so glad we did. We taught Beto, Yeni, Beto's mom, and Yeni's dad the restauracion. And Yeni's dad, Pedro, LOVED it. We would ask questions like, why do you think we need a prophet? What did Christ do when he was on the earth? And he KNEW THE ANSWERS! When I asked him why there are so many different religions he told me its because people are trying to follow Christ, but they don't have the right guidance, so they are just making their own churches. He told me that what Christ did when he was on the earth was establish his church. He helped explain the apostasy to Beto and Yeni. And he totes LOVED learning about the Book of Mormon. He knew everything we were saying was true. Immediately. And when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he turned to Yeni and said, "Mija, will you do something for me? Will you read this book? Because I know it will make you better. And if you are better, that will help me to be better." Oh man. GOLDEN. We could have even set him on date to be baptized right then. Except for one thing. He lives in Indiana. DANG IT.  I guess I get to give his information to some other lucky missionaries.  Ah well. . . :)

This week we have also been spending a lot of time visiting Ana Maria in the hospital. She is doing so well. She is eating more and more, we got permission from the hospital so that someone could bring her the sacrament. And she just got another surgery on her hands, and has starting wearing a special mask on her face to help the healing. But just like before, her spirit is strong. She is great. She loves to ask us about our work, and we tell her about whats going on. We brought her the movie The Testaments and watched it with her. Its good. She's amazing.

Well, I think thats about all I've got for you this week. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying spring!

Les Quiero,


Eating a fancy lunch on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building

View from the 95th floor

View from the 95th floor

View from the 95th floor

Me and lego Woody

I met the Obamas

The District

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I don't know what changed, but now she loves the missionaries!


Well. Its now summer in Chicago. Something interesting I learned this week is that Illinois doesn't believe in spring. It jumps straight from winter to summer. And I HATE summer in Illinois. Seriously. Worst thing ever, and its only going to get worse. Hermana Veliz and I moved our beds into the living room this week so that we could sleep right under the AC. If there is one thing that I miss most about Utah right now, it is the dry heat. Humidity kills me. Why can't Illinois just have mild weather? Is that too much to ask?

I guess there is something good about the weather right now though. Because its not yet as hot as it will be this July, a lot of people are out and about, sitting on their porches, going for walks, etc- which makes it a lot easier for us to talk to people. Its kind of hard for them to pretend they aren't home when we can see them. :P But we have had some good contacts, and even found some people that might have real potential. . . we'll see if they are home for our return appointments. These last two weeks I have been teaching a lot of one hit wonders it feels like. We teach one lesson and it is awesome, and the people seem really interested, and we make a return appointment and they cancel. Even the members are all cancelling on us. I don't know whats going on, but I went from teaching 25 lessons a week to 10. And its really bumming me out. . . 

We did have success with one investigator though, who surprisingly did not cancel on us! I've been feeling like we needed to try to find Nancy, who I found once when I was on exchanges here. She lives above some of our members, and after Hermana Haws and I found her, they put her on date, but then she got busy and they lost contact with her. So I decided to go back, and see if we could find her. We were successful, set an appointment, came back- AND SHE WAS THERE! I know, I was shocked. We had a really simple but good lesson about prayer with her. And she said that she does still want to be baptized, she asked all sorts of good questions, like what she needs to do to be prepared. And now her work schedule is a little more set, so hopefully everything will work out. She is on date to be baptized the 21st of April.

We also found some old investigators, Berto y Yeni, who we have been trying to find for a while. We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and it went really well. They seemed to really like it, but said they would definitely need to pray about it to know if it was true. WHICH IS AWESOME! because thats exactly what we want them to do. Berto's mom was also there, and apparently she hated the missionaries before, because we don't believe in la virgen, but this time she sat in on the whole lesson, giving good input, holding Hna Veliz's hand the whole time and gave us big kisses when we left. .  I don't know what changed, but now she loves the missionaries!

So thats about been my week. Nothing super exciting. Except that now that the heat is up, the ice cream trucks are out and about again. :)

Next week is transfers. We will know Saturday night whats happening. Since I just got here I am most likely not leaving, but you never know. and I have no idea whats going to happen with Hermana Veliz.  

I'm glad Dad made it home safely from Mexico! And that he survived Guerrero! Sounds like everyone else is doing well. Keep it up.

Les Quiero Mucho,

PS: Yesterday I had an experience that was really interesting. Saturday night I received a call from an Hermano in Indiana. He told me that their was an Hermana in the Loyola University Hospital, which is in our area, that he'd like us to visit. He said she was in the Burn Intensive Care Unit, and she had just woken up and could receive visitors. So yesterday after church we went over to visit her. Her name is Ana Maria, and she is from Venezuela. Before we went into her room we had to put on gowns, and gloves, and masks. I'm not sure exactly what happened to her, but I think the Hermano that called me said she was burned in an accident at work. She has third degree burns all over her body. She has no hair, and everything is burned. It was really really sad, and hard to see. She is 35 and has 3 little kids, and they are all in Indiana. She has been in the hospital since February or January, she says she can't remember, but she was in a coma or something- probably induced because of the pain, and she just woke up. We visited with her for a little bit, sang her a hymn, and shared something from the Liahona. Even though she is in such a terrible situation, her spirit is so strong! The spirit in that room was very very strong. She has so much faith, and hope. I really admire her. She's incredible. We're going to try to visit her has much as we can, and get the ward here involved, since she is usually alone because everyone she knows lives so far away. Please pray for her.


I heart Jesus hat I found in Chinatown


                                                                        Waiting for the L



                                                   T- REX? Yes, please. At The Field Museum


dead Egyptian

                                                                      I am a pro fisherman

Gordo and I

This child has the CUTEST smile in the whole world. and he is always smiling

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mormonism 101: FAQ


President Doll sent this link for us to share with our family and friends.

Mormonism 101: FAQ


Les quiero!!

We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they loved it.


Bad news and good news. Good news: its starting to get warmer. Bad news: HUMIDITY. I fetchin hate humidity. I had forgotten how terrible it is, until last night when I couldn't sleep to save my life because I felt like I was in a sauna. I ended up in the living room on the couch, with the windows open and the AC going and still didn't sleep. Its only March. This summer is going to be rough.

This week has been kind of one of those blah weeks. Basically every appointment decided to cancel, including our appointments with Leo and Erasmo. . .  Booo. . .  But we had a really good cita with Rita and her fam, it had been 2 weeks since we'd seen them, because her esposo, Tony was sick. But they had ALL read! YAY! We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they loved it. Even Tony, who was the big obstacle when Rita was taught before. They even said they'd all go to church yesterday. . . but they didn't show up. :( But they are still considered awesome and WILL be baptized.

We also found quite a few new investigators this week. Four of them came from a family where just the Mom is a member, she is a recent convert, but less active because she has to work on Sundays. But we are now teaching her husband and 3 of her kids! We are also teaching a family that we found this week, Xochitl and her kids, and they seem pretty cool. Xochitl's dad is a member, and she really wants to learn more and get religion in the life of her kids. And we are now teaching the mom of one of our investigators. Her name is Carmen, and she is 84 years old. :) She was taught before but then was in the hospital for a long time and the missionaries lost contact with her. She says she wants to be baptized. .  the only problem is that she is so sick she can't come to church. .  . But she has been getting a lot better apparently, and hopefully will continue to improve. If not, at least we are teaching a way sweet lady.

Umm. I think thats about all the news I have this week! I'm sorry! Hopefully something AWESOME will happen this week. I'm planning on it at least.

Well, sorry this email is a little shorter than usual, but I don't have much time today. We're going to the city to watch the elders eat a giant hamburger and make themselves sick, and then going to the field museum! I'm stoked for the museum, it'll be legit.

I hope you all have a great week, and survive with Dad in Mexico!

Les quiero!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

He just has so many questions, but luckily is willing to pray super sincerely to know the truth.


Oh man, I never know what to write in these emails. . .  I don't know if I have any exciting stories for you this week. But it was still a good week.

I went on exchanges on Friday over to Aurora, and it was so fun. I got to say goodbye to some more people who I hadn't been able to see before I left. They were all super stoked to see me when I showed up, it was really nice to feel loved.  Also while I was there Hermana Maughan and I picked up a family of new investigators for the Aurora Hermanas, so that was awesome. While I was in Aurora, Hermana Alvarez came here and worked some magic in Cicero. She found someone we've been looking for ever since I got here, his name is Leo and his Mom is a member, but less active, but he has expressed interest in getting baptized. So Hermana Alvarez came, found him, and set him on date to be baptized on the 17th! YAY!

Man, what else happened this week . . . Umm, yesterday we had stake conference. And it was actually really cool, because they split it into two sections, one in the morning in English, and one in the afternoon in Spanish. Its the first time they've done it, and I think it was a hit. We had a member of the seventy here, Elder Melchor or something, and his talk was excellent. Erasmo also made it to church! It was the first time he's come, and I think it was a little weird for him, especially with it being stake conference. But he has some friends that are members and we were able to have him sit with them, and there were some talks that I think were perfect for him. He also got to meet President Doll. I think it was good, but when I asked him how he like it afterward, he told me mas o menos. . .  uh oh! I can tell he has lots of questions, he always does- but we'll clear those up next time we meet with him. We also had a really super awesome lesson with him this week. He just has so many questions, but luckily is willing to pray super sincerely to know the truth. We talked more about baptism and read 3 Nephi 11 with him. He said he's never really believed that baptism was necessary, but he would like to be baptized if thats what he is supposed to do. He thinks it would be good. :) He just has such a sincere desire to know whats right. Definitely a contrite spirit, broken heart, and real intent. He is amazing.

Other than that, the work around here still consists of a lot of finding. Its different then the pace we had in Aurora which was running from appointment to appointment. But its good. We've got a good number of appointments set up this week with potential investigators, and hopefully those will turn into progressing investigators. Also, the English elders here are AWESOME and basically go tracting for us. We get referrals from them all the time. They are the best.

Anyway I think thats about all thats new this week. I hope everything is going well for you all. Spring is almost here! We can make it!

Here are some pictures from the Brookfield Zoo from last preparation day, and other miscellaneous photos.

Les quiero muchisimo!