Monday, March 28, 2016

Life is Like an Avocado

You just never know what you're gonna get! Sometimes it looks good on the outside, not too squishy, not too hard, and then you open it up and it's nasty. Sometimes it's pretty squishy and bad on the outside and you open up the most perfect avocado ever! You just can't judge an avocado by its squishiness...And ain’t that the truth for people too?!

The first one was nasty on the outside, the second one felt perfect but then we opened it up.
Life is like an avocado

This week I actually have some things to share! woo hoo! To explain the weird opener, last Sunday we had dinner with the Saunders, and we were eating avocados with our mole. I'll send some pics :)

We had a lesson with a recent convert, Antonia and her husband who is an investigator, Jose. It was a pretty crazy lesson, and also pretty funny too. I don't know why but he randomly had so many deep doctrine questions! Usually we are just talking to them about the Plan of Salvation, or the Restoration, or Family History work, and all in Spanish, of course. But the other day we knocked on the door, and Jose answered and started speaking (in perfect English!!) "So I've been thinking about it, and if God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His spirit children... that must mean we have a Heavenly Mother!" And it just got deeper from there! It threw me off to hear the deeper questions, but what threw me off even more was the English!!  IT was so crazy. Another crazy but awesome thing was that earlier that day when I was packing up my bag to go out, I had this feeling like I should bring my English scriptures with me. Usually I just bring pass along book of Mormons, and my Spanish Bible, but I just had this feeling like I might need my personal English scriptures today, and boy was I glad I brought them because apparently Jose knows English perfectly, and that way I had all of my notes and stuff. 

We started working with several new people this week too! Emma, (girl from my post last week), Ale, and Lea. Lea is completely adorable, by the way. She is a 9 year old girl, daughter of one of our recent converts. She is so, so, so cute. Like a Hispanic Emma Watson or something. She really wants to be baptized too, but her dad wants to make sure she really understands everything first. 

This week we went to visit another recent convert, Daisy, a couple of times, and on Thursday we brought Sis. Lewis (mission president's wife) with us, and we all watched “Meet the Mormons”. I love that movie! I think my favorite parts are the ones about the football coach, and about the pilot from WWII. So cool! 

I almost forgot! We had Zone conference this week! It was Easter themed, and it was so good. First we had a talk from Sis. Lewis all about the last week of the Savior's life. Something very interesting that she pointed out that I hadn't really thought of before, was the days in between His death and His resurrection, when Jesus was visiting all the people in the spirit world. It was a really beautiful thing to think about. We also heard from Pres. Lewis, and the APs and then heard a bunch of "final testimonies from missionaries who will be going home soon. Some of my favorite quotes from Pres.: "He gave LOVE. If love becomes the motivating source in our lives, we can truly be representatives of the Savior, Jesus Christ." another was, "If we are just enduring, but not learning anything from our trials, what's the point?" 

Some of my favorite quotes from the testimonies are: "You don't need to be worthy of a second chance.", "We don't always know the impact we make in these people's lives, but God does.", "Everyone is a child of God and deserves to know the truth", "Maybe I'm not perfect yet, but I can look back on my mission and see that I have made progress.", "If the lessons you are teaching aren’t' about the atonement of Christ, why are you teaching them?", "I've learned I'm not as good as I thought I was, but I've also learned I can change.", "There’s a difference in disappointment and discouragement. Disappointment doesn't have to become discouragement - the Atonement takes care of that." And " Bear His name on your chest for LIFE."  Gah! So many encouraging things were said.

 Excited for Zone Conference, with Hermanas Hawkins and Streuling!

 Zone Conference

Hna. Hawkins and Hna. Juarez were best friends 
at the MTC in Mexico. They finally got to see each other again.

The next day after Zone Conference, Hna. Hawkins and I were working together for exchanges (switching companions for the day) and we didn't know where we were going and we don't have a GPS. Lol it was great, we only had this little map and it was SUCH a struggle. But we somehow managed to do it! I was pretty proud of us. We have also been sharing our car, since there are two companionships in the apartment now, and so I have been walking a lot more. It's been really awesome. I am finally breaking in my proselyting shoes. It's finally getting warm enough to not wear boots. Turns out the shoes I thought I would love, I am not a huge fan of, and the ones I thought I would hate are actually like walking on a cloud. Thank goodness I have a few pairs to choose from so I don't have to wear the ones I don't like all the time. I really like how we have the ability to walk in this area, I LOVE Royal, but I also really like being able to just randomly run into people on the street and start talking to them. It’s so interesting to see, now that I have been here in Yakima for a month, the differences in my first two areas. In Royal we were a lot more focused on our area and our members, and here, since we are right near mission headquarters, it's a lot more about other missionaries and the mission in general. Both are good, and helpful, but it's just very different. 

I finally saw it! I haven't gone inside yet, but I saw it!!! 

Pretty tree. Happy Easter!

Another awesome thing this week was getting to watch the Women's General Conference broadcast! AND I got to watch it in English! Ha ha! I was a little concerned about that, but fortunately since we have an investigator who prefers English that we were watching it with, we went to the English broadcast. I love Spanish, but I think I definitely understood a lot more in English. I loved it so much. Especially how the choir for that session was made up of women and girls from 50 countries and cultures! How cool was that?! I loved how in the front row there were those two little girls, one was Asian and one was Indian, and they were holding hands. SO cute. 

Hermanas Hawkins and Knight on the way to Women's Conference 

Women's General Conference Broadcast

So this is kind of random, but I was looking through all of my office stuff the other day and came across this book that I have that I forgot about. It's from the missionary library, but it's really good for literally anyone, missionary, member, or even non-member. It's called "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard. I actually can't put it down! It answers so many questions that I didn't even know I had, and also lays out the foundations of the gospel so simply but so thoroughly. And it has a ton of scripture references, so of course I love that. 

I was SO tired yesterday, My Spanish was like 20% there... it was a struggle. I went to bed early, but still woke up with a huge headache and stomach pain. I think I'm getting ill :(  I think I'll ask the Zone Leaders for a blessing later on. We are visiting some new people tonight! And we are going to a park to play soccer for p-day. I don't want to miss out! 

I think that's it today! Love you and miss you!

 Dark chocolate dipped strawberries at the Saunders' house. Mmm!

 Jose (investigator) made this bird out of an apple. Talent!

 This pine cone was bigger than a Book of Mormon!

These flowers in front of our place remind me of bluebonnets

I love wearing service clothing, AKA pants!

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21st -- 5 Months!

As of today, March 21st, I have officially been on my mission for 5 months! I'm still a pretty new missionary compared to a lot of people I am serving with, but I feel like 5 months is a huge accomplishment. I have learned a ton, so for this week, I wanted to write about the top 5 things I have learned on my mission so far. 

1- Always have the Savior's Name on Your Lips. 
I feel like this one is so obvious, but it is so true. We can talk about any gospel topic- the Plan of Salvation, the 10 commandments, family history, even the scriptures, but nothing can bring the Spirit into a conversation like testifying of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the center of our message and our work, and the reason why we are doing this in the first place! (Look up the song "There is a Reason" by Alison Krauss)

2- The Importance and the Reality of the Restoration. 
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to a regional conference for a bunch of the western states. One of the talks we heard was from Elder Renlund, an Apostle. His whole talk was about how you can relate anything to the gospel, and to the restoration of the gospel. He gave a bunch of examples, and it really got me thinking, and I started to realize how truly important the restoration is. We had the truth on the earth a long time ago. The Savior was here, and He established His church, the way He wanted it to be. He gave His apostles the Priesthood--the power of God--to perform miracles and saving ordinances like baptism, with God's permission.

After He was killed, and all of His apostles were rejected and killed as well, that power was gone. It was lost from the earth. Sure, people still had the scriptures and the teachings of Jesus Christ, and a lot of people were still doing their best to follow him, but over time the Gospel became like a puzzle. People would get one or two pieces of the gospel and form a church around it. Churches were popping up everywhere, people doing their best to follow Jesus Christ with what they had. But nobody had that ability to put the whole puzzle back together without that all important missing piece, the Priesthood. That is, until one day in 1820, when a young boy asked a question.

I saw the power of the First Vision last night in a lesson. We had received the name and address of a young single mother, Emma, from some of the English missionaries who had knocked on her door. They said she was very sweet but didn't know much English. We went to meet her last night, and started getting to know her, and sharing with each other about what we believe. We started sharing the message of the restoration, but something felt off. It seemed like the lesson was kind of rocky, we were struggling with our Spanish, we were tired, etc. But then we got to the First Vision. Hna D started reading the First Vision in Joseph Smith's own words, and a powerful spirit entered the room. Suddenly, I could speak Spanish again, I wasn't tired, and Emma began to cry. She said "I never knew this story before..." she told us she has been Catholic her whole life and felt like there was so much missing and she didn't understand. Think about all the things we have now because the full gospel is restored to the earth! The Priesthood, the authority to baptize, the temples, the Book of Mormon, modern prophets, etc. The list goes on and on, and it is truly amazing. My favorite part of the first vision is at the end when he says "calling me by my name" Heavenly Father knew Joseph Smith, just this random 14 year old kid in New York. He knew him, and He knows each one of us, individually. It's amazing. 

3-The Power of Charity. 
Charity, as probably a lot of us already know, is the pure love of Christ. I have definitely seen its power these last 5 months. The more charity I develop, the easier it gets. Before my mission there is no way I would have or could have done the things I do here! I wouldn't go inside disgusting houses, I wouldn't keep talking to someone who was smoking or using foul language, I wouldn't stop to talk to random strangers on the street! But I do! Because I am starting to understand just a little bit, the worth of every single soul in the sight of God. (D&C 18:10) I'm starting to feel just a teeny bit of the love that Jesus Christ feels for them. One of my all-time favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians, 4:6-10. That last part, where it talks about how not only his death (which by the way was the most important thing to ever happen, ever) can be made manifest, or testified, through us, but also His life. We can show that perfect Christ like love to others. Being on a mission is HARD, okay? Like walking miles and miles every day, knocking on doors, missing your family, sometimes working with other missionaries you don't get along with, etc. The only way to make it through is with Charity. (Look up "The hardest thing I ever loved to do" by Nashville Tribute Band) 

4- It's not about Me.
This one kind of goes along with Charity, but it is specifically something that has been huge for me. I never thought I was really selfish or anything before my mission, but now that I am here, I am becoming more and more selfless all the time. Sometimes even just writing these emails or writing in my journal is hard because I actually have to stop and think about myself for a minute. Now, don't get me wrong, I am most definitely not perfect, I mean, I'm still only 20. I'm still right in the middle of that "decade of decisions" when people tend to be very self-centered, but I've noticed how unimportant it really all is. I am not here for me. If I was, I probably would have gone home by now. I am here for Heavenly Father, and for others to share this happiness with them. Even my picture wall is getting less selfish! I keep taking down pictures that I am in, and replacing them with pics of other people. It’s funny, the little things that you never knew were a problem, and aren't even bad, but how you can still improve anything. (Like that talk about Character of Christ by Elder Bednar).

5- The Atonement is for REAL. 
I was reading in the Bible dictionary this morning about the word "atonement". It pointed out that the word "atone" is a combo of the words at and one. Atone= at one with HF again. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ- meaning His suffering and death in Gethsemane and on the Cross, we can overcome literally anything. It's not just for sins! It's for everything! Our pains, our sadness, our illnesses, our weaknesses, literally everything. There's this line in Preach my Gospel that I LOVE. "Everything that is unfair in this world can be made up through the atonement of Jesus Christ". Isn't that just amazing? It's so hard to believe sometimes. I have worked with so many investigators that seemed so beyond help. In the world's view they were a lost cause. They were an addict, a convict, a sinner, terminally ill, etc. But NOTHING is too far for Jesus Christ's reach. 

I can't believe 5 months has already passed. Sometimes it seems like I just left yesterday. At the same time, sometimes I think about home and it seems like years ago. I am so grateful for all the amazing experiences I have already seen, and for this opportunity to share the teachings of Jesus Christ to others who are lost or confused. I can't wait for the next 13 months! 

I love and miss you all so much. Don't forget to pray and read and go to church. CPR Saves physical lives and spiritual lives! CHURCH PRAY READ. The real key to success in this life. It's that simple people. 

Love you!

And 5 favorite pictures from my mission so far!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Seguir Adelante

Life has been really busy here in Yakima this past week, but here are a few highlights:

We had a branch Family Home Evening on Monday night! It was so fun! We had about five investigators there (woo hoo!!) We taught the lesson-how to study the scriptures better, using topical guide and footnotes, also highlighting and color-coding techniques, etc. I loved it, and it was exciting to see all the members, especially recent converts getting excited about the scriptures. There’s seriously so much that we can learn. The coolest part about the scriptures to me, is you can read a verse one time, and have it mean one thing, but then a few months later you are reading the same verse, and it has a totally different meaning. Sometimes you notice parts of verses or chapters that never stood out to you before.

 Me at my desk

I accidentally dropped a Libro de Mormon in a puddle.

I am starting to forget words in English... Maybe that's not awesome or amazing but it's pretty hilarious. I'll be talking in a mission meeting or something where we're speaking in English and I'll be snapping my finger like "um what's that word again? uuuuuh....." and I'll look at my companions and be like "evangelio" and they’ll say, "...gospel?" haha it's so weird! I also have been dreaming in Spanish a bunch!

Tuesday we got to go work at Northwest harvest again. It was really fun!

 Building boxes at Northwest Harvest

 Packing Mashed Taters

That whole box was full of mashed potatoes 
that we sorted. It was exhausting!

We had two exchanges this week. Since my companions are the STLs, we have exchanges a lot. It's where our companionship and another companionship of sisters will swap one person for the day, so we can learn from each other, practice working with different teaching styles, and support each other. It's pretty cool being comps with the STL's because I get to know a ton of the sisters! This week we had exchanges with Hnas. Garcia and Parry, and Hnas. Aldrich and Clark. It was really interesting seeing the different personalities, experience levels, and teaching styles mixing. 

HNA STREULING'S GREENIE IS FINALLY COMING!! Woo hoo! We just found out like 10 minutes ago from President that Hna. Hawkins will be here tomorrow! It's sad that we won't get to be in a trio anymore, because we can go anywhere and do anything, but it's also so exciting to have Hna. Hawkins. Since the STLs will be split in two companionships now, whenever they have exchanges, I will be working with Hna. Hawkins, which makes me kind of her trainer.... kind of…just on some days. Haha! But anyway, after having that day with Hna. Juarez and hearing all about our new roomie, I am so excited. She sounds like a gem. 

We met an AMAZING new investigator named Lensy. She is SO prepared for our message. She said she has never been religious and her parents didn't believe in God, but that she always believed in a higher power and wanted to learn more about God but didn't know where to start. She said it is amazing that we just knocked on her door. It's so cool! We just met her on Wednesday, and she already came to church yesterday and loved it! Yesterday morning she called and asked, "What time does church start today? I really want to come" THAT NEVER HAPPENS. It was amazing. She brought her three daughters too. 

I have apparently lost 20 pounds on my mission so far. Pretty sweet, except my clothes are getting a little big... good thing my mom taught me how to take tucks in things. Ha ha! And thank goodness for the sister-swap closet in my apartment. Past sisters who have lived here before left a ton of clothes that they didn't want anymore, so I was able to go through and organize it the other day and pick out a couple of new skirts that actually fit well. 

We had a great district council this week and my district leader really took charge of a difficult situation. It was great to see him standing up for what is right. 

We had dinner with a family, the Sameules. Turns out they speak English fluently! It was pretty refreshing to have a solid conversation in my native language with someone that doesn't have a tag on!

Yesterday I got to play the organ for the branch in sacrament meeting. Elder Jimenez usually does it, but he actually got super sick and had to go home. So then it was up to me! It was pretty nerve wracking, because I've never done that before, but it turned out okay. 

Love you! 

Hermana Streuling is just fiddling around

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hello, March!

Hello everyone! Be prepared for a long one today because this week was PACKED. I hope I will have enough time to write everything I want to. 

First of all- before I forget. Mom's birthday present- go look up the song "M.O.M" by Nashville tribute band. Then cry, then think of me :) I love you!

Secondly- my favorite song this week- “Stronger” by Nashville Tribute Band from "The Work" album. Sooooo good. And so encouraging and inspiring!

So! This week was packed, as I said, and so chalk full of amazing and crazy experiences. Monday I had my first p-day here in Yakima and it was insane. Usually people just have p-day at the church with their zone and my last zone was 14 people, so pretty decent size, and good to play games and stuff, etc. But then I got here and we were doing a joint-zone thing with the English Yakima zone, and each zone has like 40 missionaries or something. There were like WAY too many missionaries all crammed into one cultural hall. It was really fun to get to see a bunch of people (including Sis. Rassmussen and Fabiano from my Othello zone, and my MTC companion, Hermana Aldrich.) But it was kind of lame too, because there were so many people we couldn't play anything! We got the volleyball stuff out and the basketball stuff out and were rotating in games, which was good so everyone would have a turn, but there were so many people to rotate through that each person only got to play for a couple of minutes. It was a good Idea, but it just didn't turn out that great.

I got to see Sister Fabiano at P-day!

Today we are just playing with our zone, so I think it will be better. I really was so excited to see a bunch of old friends though, and President Lewis came! One thing that was so funny is that earlier that day Hna. S had asked to Hna. Dee, "So what does President do on p-days? Just come around to visit p-day games in Yakima or something?" and Hna. D was like, "no it’s not like he just shows up unannounced to random p-days... he has a lot of work to do!" Then he showed up unannounced to our p-day. :D Hna. S and I had a good laugh out of that one.

Monday night we had an awesome Family Home Evening with some English members, Bishop White and his family, and our recent convert, Antonia and her husband Jose and their son Jaime. It was really fun, and cool to get to translate a lot. My brain was on fire!! We also visited another recent convert, Daisy. She's ten and so sweet and shy. We had a lesson about the law of chastity and she was being so funny about it.

Tuesday we did some service for a few hours at Northwest Harvest. It's the place where all the food from grocery stores and farmers gets donated, and then sorted through, and then sent to food banks all around the state. I was sorting and labeling canned vegetables along with a few elders in my zone and we actually ended up getting a really good system going! Between Elders Barker, Wilde, Kiser, and I, we sorted, labeled, built, and filled 500 boxes of cans in only 3 hours. I was so proud of that! Plus it was really fun to get to know those elders a little bit, because I have never served with them before.

That night we had a lesson with some of our main progressing investigators, Delilah and Fernando. It was actually a pretty bad experience with them. They were in a really weird mood or something and just being rude and disrespectful. At one point Delilah was literally laughing at us. It was so sad and hard to feel the spirit. They also hadn't kept any of their commitments to read or pray. On Wednesday and Thursday we made some goals for the transfer and my main two were that I want to extend more commitments, and be more involved in the lessons. On Saturday we had another lesson with Delilah and Fernando and about 10-15 minutes in, it started to go downhill again. So far I hadn't really said much, just been listening and trying to think of something to say that would help but my mind was blank. So then, I said a quick prayer and listened even closer to what the Holy Ghost was telling me to do. I prayed for what I should say, and how to say it in Spanish! I wanted to be like "wow ya’ll are rude we are never coming back here, good luck" but then I remembered the verse in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 that says, “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” I realized once more, that this isn't about me, it’s about them. It’s about helping them come to know and have a relationship with Heavenly Father. What if we are their only chance? As soon as that clicked in my mind, I began to feel a Christ like love for these people. I saw them through the Savior's eyes, and suddenly the words just came to me. There was a brief silence, and I stepped in and asked "How do you guys feel when we come and visit and read the scriptures with you and learn about the Savior together?" there was another pause (very rare because Delilah is a chatterbox) and my companions just turned and looked at me. Then Delilah said "I feel a great peace." Fernando said "I feel good and warm" I told them that this was the Holy Spirit testifying to them the truth of what we were learning, and that the reason we always invite them to read and pray on their own, is because we love them and we want them to have the chance to feel like this even when we aren't there. We want them to feel that peace and receive answers to their questions. It was SO COOL because it was 100% not my words, it was the Holy Ghost, and for the first time since I got here to Yakima, I felt like a missionary.

Thursday was a really great day for me. My companions are the Sister Training Leaders here in Yakima, so they had a Mission Leadership Conference to go to at the mission home for the day. So I got to take a brand new missionary out with me in the Yakima Central area and work together all day. It was so fun getting to know her, and especially hearing her conversion story. She got baptized just a few years ago in high school--so inspiring! She's also from Henderson Nevada, where my dad lives, so that was really cool too! She is so cute and so sweet and we really had a great day.

 Hermanas Knight and Dee

 Hermanas Knight and Streuling

 Hermanas Knight and Juarez, my "greenie" for the day during MLC

 Hermanas Knight and Streuling, Elders Cataldo and Fordham

 Me, my trainer and my trainer's trainer!


When I went to pick up my companions from the mission home that evening something SO AWESOME happened. I don't know how, but somehow I had forgotten that now Hermana Luevano is a Sister Training Leader in Moses Lake, so I GOT TO SEE HER! We walked into the big room downstairs and I saw her and we just squealed and ran to each other and hugged. It was so cute. "I miss you!!" It was so crazy because you'd think after three months together 24/7 we'd be sick of each other, but we aren’t! We were talking like we hadn't seen each other in forever, even though it was only eight days. She and I actually both got a little teary-eyed. I didn't realize how much I missed her till I saw her again! It was awesome because I also got to see Elder Shugart, Elder Call, and Sister Hirsche! It was so fun and really refreshing to see some familiar faces from my Othello family. President was there too, of course, and he said it was adorable seeing me and Hna. L reunited. It was so cool, too, because Elders Shugart and Call are still in the Othello zone (zone leaders). They were talking to the new Royal elders and updated us on some of our old investigators up there. Ana came to church AND bore his testimony! MIRACLES!! I can't wait to get a baptism invitation from that man. Also his leg is healing a ton. 

Hermana Luevano!!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!

Friday was pretty good too--a little weird though, because my companions had some more meetings. But this time there weren't any other sisters that needed a companion, so I just had to sit in a room and study for four extra hours... at first I was like... okay, wow, how am I going to fill that time? But then I got going and just couldn't stop! I started the day in the end of Helaman and ended up finishing the rest of the Book of Mormon, and started over in the New Testament. Now I am in Mark chapter 2. Holy cow, I learned SO MUCH. The scriptures are seriously such a blessing. Mine are getting really colorful lol. I also got to read this amazing talk by a returned missionary about all the most important things he learned on his mission and what he would do differently if he could do it all over again. It was really motivating and encouraging. 

Friday afternoon all our appointments fell through, which was a little disappointing, but it actually ended up being really, really good! We got to go out knocking on doors and contacting a bunch of referrals we had gotten from the English missionaries of people they had met that only speak Spanish. We ended up finding three new families that we are now teaching! Blessings. We also got to see a BAPTISM ON FRIDAY NIGHT!! Woo hoo! It wasn't someone we had been teaching, but she is in our branch (There are five sets of missionaries in the branch.) It was so, so, so exciting. It was so cool to see my first Spanish baptism! It was also great to see the amazing support that was given to these new sisters and the enthusiasm the members have for missionary work here. I really am beginning to love this branch so much! We also got to do a musical number in the intermission, which of course was so fun for me. I loved it, because it brought the spirit. It was Hermanas Dee, Streuling, Aldrich, Clarke, and me. 

 Juliana's Baptism!

Saturday we had Zone training meeting. (TONS OF MEETINGS THIS WEEK) This zone is very different than my old zone in Othello. It's interesting to see the different dynamics of different groups of missionaries getting put together. I'm really looking forward to seeing the growth and improvement of this group, and finding the things that I can contribute, and learning how Heavenly Father wants me to help these missionaries. We learned so much in Zone training meeting and really had a "revelatory experience" as Elder David A. Bednar would say. We focused on how to use the Lord's time wisely, and also about not speaking negatively about other missionaries. We talked about the importance of our attitudes as individuals and also in our companionships, because those combined with the other companionships in the zone, and all the zones’ attitudes combined is what creates our mission culture. Most of the missionaries that were transferred here to the new Yakima mission last year when it was formed came from Kennewick and Vancouver missions, and most of them are getting old enough in the mission that their time is up, or is going to be up soon. It's exciting because now all of the missionaries here will be purely "Yakimites" and have no influence from the other missions. Our goal is to "light this mission on fire!" We want to have a great mission culture. It was so great and such perfect timing to talk about these things, because even though I know we can't be perfect, I have seen a few things this last week that I know we can really do better. I'm excited for the changes and improvements that are coming! We already have seen an improvement in motivation and hard work just in the last couple of days. Woo hoo! 

Saturday night we went out to see a family we found in our area book. They were listed as a "former investigator" but we felt strongly that we needed to visit them. When we got there I was like, "Hey wait a minute... this seems really familiar. Have we been here before?" Hna D was like "I don't think so..." and then the dad opened the door, and I realized I had been there before! The first night I got here to the field on Dec 1, I went out with a couple of local Yakima missionaries, Hna Kennedy and Pons, and this was the lesson we went to!!! It was so cool to see it come full circle and visit the family I had my first lesson with! We had a pretty good visit, but I'm not sure much will come out of it. Unfortunately they don't seem as interested as they were that first visit in December. 

Sunday was a really good day for me as well. We had testimony meeting and there were a ton of youth going up to bear their testimonies. Probably 6-7, so that's a lot, especially for a little branch. They were all talking about a youth activity they had gone to on Saturday night, and then I realized they were talking about youth conference!! It was a huge combined youth conference from all over the mission and it was held in Royal! I remembered Sis. Lewis telling me about it a couple of months ago saying she was excited to visit Royal, because she was in charge of the service project--a Days for Girls project. It was really a tender mercy for me to get to hear from these amazing kids about what they had done in Royal just the night before. I still miss Royal, so it was cool to hear about what is going on there. I love the youth here so much. They are amazing and there's not one of them that I have met that doesn't want to go on a mission as soon as they can. They are so inspiring and so nice!

I also got to sit by Daisy (the 10-year-old convert) in Sacrament Meeting. It was so cute, because she's really shy but came up to me and asked, "Can you sit with us today?" Aww!  Sunday night we had a lesson with Amaro. He is one of the investigators that Hna. Aldrich was teaching here before, and she left us some notes about him. He hadn't really been visited that much, and so far since we have been visiting him he hasn't seemed super interested. His girlfriend is really chatty and kind of takes over the lessons, so it's hard to really tell if he's not interested or just doesn't have a chance to talk. Then last night the girlfriend wasn't there, so it was just us three with Amaro and his brother, and we had a fantastic lesson! We also put him on-date for baptism!! Woo hoo! My first Spanish baptism date. He is working towards the goal of April 8th for his baptism. We are so excited! 

Whew! I think that is actually everything for this week! I told you it was long! This week has been so packed with amazing things. I'm so glad to see the fire that this area has and all the great things that are happening here. 

Can't wait to hear from you all soon! 

Love and miss you SO MUCH. 

 I fixed Elder Wilde's pants

I fixed Elder Aguilar's tie, so then of course Hna Dee had to model it for us

Cool origami at a member's house

My hair is soaking wet! I went out tracting and forgot my umbrella!