The Work has just gotten sweeter!

The Work has just gotten sweeter!
Espirito Santo, Brasil

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wind, Wet and Wow!!

<---------------Here is my mailing address.

Hola Familia y mis amigos!

WIND:    So the main, but fun, trial this week was the weather!  Last Tuesday, it was so WINDY!!! We couldn't even hardly bike, it was that strong. We were laughing so hard trying to bike and Sister Merrill said that we are never gonna be able to experience this after our missions, so we should have fun! That is so true, there are so many experiences on a mission that you just CAN'T have in any other time of your life. So I am trying to keep this positive mind-set throughout all of the tough parts of the day.

WET:     The last couple of days, it has been pouring rain. On Saturday, we were SOAKED! I mean, everything was soaked, but Heavenly Father blessed us with help, through members of our ward. We are dinner with them and they dried our clothes, gave us new socks, drove us around, gave us an umbrella. We were so grateful! We would have been miserable for the rest of the day but they helped us so much and I have never been so grateful. Yesterday, a guy gave me $20 because he loves the sisters. We aren't really supposed to take money but I was out of laundry money and so I knew that is was a blessing from Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father is aware of everything, even how much money is in our bank account.

BTW, I did see David Archuleta AGAIN! His grandpa moved to Honduras for 3 months and so we can't go over and teach him, but David was walking with some other English-speaking Elders in our mission, he goes out and teaches with them. We saw them walking in an apartment complex we cover as well and so I biked over and waved! HAHA I think that I am gonna make it a tradition to see David EVERY P-day :) Maybe I will see him today haha :)

This week, I went on an exchange with Hna. Sosa. She is from the Dominican Republic and she is AWESOME! She is so fun and I love her to death. 

WOW:      SO this week, I have been really stretched, but that is the only way we grow and learn so BRING IT ON! I did mission correlation meeting by myself, in Spanish! It was stressful but I am learning a lot. Then I did Weekly Planning in Spanish this week and it was horrible! But afterwards, I was so glad I did it because I learn so much and become a better missionary. We also had interviews with the Mission President and it was great. He asked me about the wedding and how I handled it and of course, I tried to be strong and tough but I did start crying and he told me that he was really glad that I am here. And I know that he receives revelation for his missionaries because I had been doubting my purpose as a missionary and thinking about it a lot........... and then in our interview, he told me that it is OK to doubt our purpose and we can ask Heavenly Father to tell us what our purpose it. He answered my question without me telling him about it! It was so cool. He is an awesome president. 

I am so glad that we have an obedient mission. On Sunday, we went to a stake missionary correlation meeting for a stake that we cover (We cover 6 stakes) and we got there, all ready to go and on time. The elders that are in this stake are from another mission, and boy, I was shocked at how they acted. They showed up late, looking like they just woke up. They had a really crappy progress report with 2 people on it! 2 people?!? That is horrible. The Stake president then started asking them what they were doing with their time and why they only had two people. Then they started giving off lame excuses and it was horrible. These Elders don't know what they are doing! Then, the Stake President said that he got a report from a Bishop that the Elders had fallen asleep in a meeting with him! Then the Stake President just started chastising them and how they are not being blessed with people to teach because they aren't being obedient. I felt bad for the elders but also grateful for my mission and how Pres. stresses obedience. It was a very interesting experience and don't be afraid to correct missionaries if they aren't being obedient. They need the blessings so correct them. Make sure they are out from dinner at 6 whenever you feed them!

I am so glad Mitch is heading out! I am sure he learned patience haha. 

Tell the Young Men this:

Missions are hard. They challenge you in every way possible, but like the refiners fire, we have to endure the heat and pain in order to cleanse ourselves of our weaknesses and faults. There is no other way to do it. But, being a missionary is the most wonderful thing in the world. All you have to worry about 24/7 is the salvation of souls. Nothing else. It is so worth it. Study Preach My Gospel and KNOW the Scriptures. Do everything you can to dedicate everything you have to serving the Lord.

So yeah, I would tell that to them :) do let them know that it is hard, no one really told me that.

We have 3 people in date, Yatnari, tiene 9 years, baptism May 10. Eloy, 41, May 17, and Yadira, 22, May 24. We are working hard on having them HOLD THEIR DATE! But I know that the Lord has a plan and whatever happens is supposed to happen.

Spanish is coming along great, we are trying to speak in Spanish to each other as companions but it is hard. I am slowly understanding more and sometimes I don't have to translate in my head before I say something. The members of my ward always tell me how amazed they are at my progression. Whenever I doubt my progression in Spanish, I always think back to my first day in the mission and then I can see how the gift of tongues is real.

Don't worry about the package, I am really grateful for all the food.....and so are all the other girls in our apartment :) so thanks again to everyone for all the fun food!!
Thanks for all of the advice, I love reading your emails. And don't worry about the letters, it really helps me to focus on missionary work when I am not reminded daily of my family that I miss so much. Don't worry about :) Its all good!

I will be setting up a time for skype and then I will let you know next week what time and what address. I can't wait to skype all of you! I love you all so much ;)

So yeah, that is all for this week, it was a really good week! LOVE YOU ALL!
Hermana Warren

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Love Utah!!

<---------------------------------   This is my mailing address

Hola Familia y mis amigos :)

Why do I love Utah? Well, let me say that sometimes you meet famous people......that is right everyone, last Tuesday, we taught David Archuleta's grandpa.........and guess who bore his testimony during the lesson? DAVID ARCHULETA!!!!! While we sat on the couch, waiting for his grandpa, David walked in, wearing a white shirt and tie, and said "Hi, I'm David" and shook our hands. All I could do was smile and not freak out, but once he left the room, I started  bouncing up and down. It was so cool! He looks like a regular guy but I remember the season he was on American Idol and how we watched EVERY single show and rooted for him from the beginning, that was such a cool experience. He bore a heart-felt testimony in Spanish to his grandpa, it was so sweet.
So we had many miracles this week. First of all, I finished the Primer Libro de Nefi in Spanish! (first book of Nephi)  YAY! That was an accomplishment. I have a goal of reading the entire BOM in spanish and there is a promise from Heavenly Father that if we read the BOM in the language we are learning, we will be fluent in that language by the time we are done. Also, I am getting TAN!!! That is a bonus:)Then we had 3 investigators at church on Sunday for Easter and our little 8 year old is still on date for May 3rd, she turns 9 one week after Lydia does. Easter was fun, we ate with one of my favorite families for dinner and we had tuna sandwiches, but it was an amazing Easter. I will never forget it.

This last Friday we helped our investigator with his daughter's quincenera and we made a SWEET balloon arch. I took pictures:) So if anyone needs a balloon arch, I can help with that haha :) Since the party is over, they should be on date tonight  :)

Yesterday was a great day. We taught a woman who is 22 and we put her on date!!! Her name is Yadira. She is so prepared, and it is amazing how even though we feel like we know EVERYONE in our area, Heavenly Father still blesses us with people to teach. She is golden and I am so grateful. After that, we had a Spanish missionary training meeting! It was great and President Plum, the Spanish speaking member of the missionary presidency, ask me and Hermana Merrill to do a role play in front of everyone to a nonmember. I was so nervous! I am like the newest missionary in the Spanish area so I was so nervous. I was praying so hard and Heavenly Father helped me. 

I had everyone coming up to me, telling me how great my Spanish is, a lot of them are natives. I was so happy to hear that.

I want to apologize to everyone who I haven't written letters back. I promise I will write everyone back but today, I am taking a nap. I am SO tired and I have been pushing it off every week. So this week I am gonna do it:)

So I want to share a scripture that I heard while I was on exchanges in an English area this last week, which was super weird BTW and I realized that I LOVE being a Spanish speaking Sister. It is Genesis 29:20. I love this scripture because when we love someone, whether a family member or Jesus Christ, the sacrifices we make aren't really sacrifices, if we do them out of love. Jacob served for 7 years so he could marry Rachel! I am serving God for 1 1/2 years and I am sure it will seem like  only days if I serve God because I love Him. I really love that scripture and how true it is.
Every day my testimony is strengthened. Sometimes I feel like I don't know enough.....but I don't have to! Each time I bear my testimony, I become more and more sure of what I do know.

Yo se que la Iglesia de Jesuscristo es verdadera. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Se que Dios vive!  (I know the Church of Jesus Christ is true.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I know God lives.)
Can't wait to talk to you all on Mother's Day!!! Happy Birthday LYDIA! You are so beautiful and I love you :)

I love my family and miss you all! I hope everyone had a great week and keep getting up and read the Book of Mormon! 

 Hermana Warren

 p.s. the last picture is a GIANT pot of meat for our investigator's party!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Obedience Brings Miracles

<----------------------  Here is my mailing address!!

Hi Family and friends!

Ok, can I just say that I am SO HAPPY and SO RELIEVED that Jess is married. This weekend was the hardest weekend of my life.

Friday and Saturday morning, I was on exchanges with Sister Rodriguez, another Spanish missionary and she is awesome and we had so much fun Anyway, it was Friday and I tried my very best to be busy and think about the work and not think about what is going to happen Saturday.

I am so grateful for the sister missionaries in this mission. We are so supportive of each other and everyone has been so kind to me, with me being a new missionary, and also with the wedding coming up. There is a sister called Sister Jones and she has been out for a while but for some reason, I have made a connection with her and I absolutely love her. She was on exchanges with Sister Poleo, who lives across the hall from us. I considered that a blessing from Heavenly Father because Sister Jones just made me feel SO much better and she wrote me the sweetest note in the world, and I read it on Saturday and that helped me so much. 

So.....Saturday. I just have to say that I tried so hard to be busy and not think about the wedding, and I did a pretty good job.....until about 8:30 at night. We were walking around an apartment complex, not talking to anyone and so that was when my mind started to wander and I started thinking about the wedding reception that I was missing......and then I started crying, and then I started wondering why I was even on a mission, and then I started "screaming" in my mind "I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I AM MISSING MY SISTER'S WEDDING!" "WHY AM I EVEN HERE?" "I WANT TO GO HOME!" "I WANT TO BE WITH MY FAMILY!". These sentences just kept repeating in my mind, over and over and over. I couldn't get them out. And to be honest, I didn't want to try to get them out, I wanted to feel sad and i didn't want to try to move on.......I don't know why and I know that thinking those thoughts weren't gonna help me at all but I was tired of trying to NOT think about it, if that makes sense. So we biked home and I put those thoughts aside and starting planning for the next day and I got distracted with all of the planning and felt a lot better.......and then... the sisters brought me the cake pops from the reception, which the Stevensons dropped off. Then I started crying again :/ Everything just came crashing down and Sister Porter, the sister across the hall, just hugged me while I cried. Her brother got married last month so she understands what I am going through and feeling. I know that I sound like a cry baby but sometimes, crying just makes you feel better. I am crying right now just writing about this. Once I cry about it, I can move on and I feel better. So I looked at some pictures and now I am done writing about the wedding......I am just gonna move on:)

Thank you for the food and socks and shorts and cookie dough. Thank you so much to Aunt Carol and Janna for helping with all the fun treats and food and stuff! I am so grateful for everything and that saves me a lot of money from using my missionary debit card. Thank you for the bookmark and notebooks and "Forget yourself and go to work" plaque, I put it on my desk with the cake pops.

The Hunts also sent me a package too! I was so excited!! Thanks Brad for the sweatshirt!!

BTW, this is a rule from President Moffat: We can't have packages sent to the mission office, they need to go to our apartment. Make sure that my apartment address is on the blog.

So, now I want to talk about the miracle that happened. I knew miracles would happen because when you are obedient, you receive blessings. So on Saturday, we were biking around and no one was home, but then we got a text from a man named Marcos, a potential investigator who we called and invited to church on Monday. He texted us on Saturday and asked us what time church was and the address! We haven't even met him! So we told him and that he could follow us to church the next day and he said that would be great! So on Sunday, we went to his apartments with a member family and we called him and he said that he was waiting for us in his car. So he just followed us in his car to the capilla (chapel) and then we FINALLY  met him in the church parking lot! We taught him that night.  He isn't on date for baptism yet but he is GOLDEN! We have an appointment with him tonight at 5, yes we are sacrificing an hour of our P-Day to teach him, he only has Tuesdays and Sundays off. Then after his appointment, we are teaching David Archuleta's Grandpa! That's right...
So tonight, I will be meeting David's family and possibly David Archuleta!!! :D

So....that is pretty much it for this week. Missionary life is getting easier and more enjoyable, but it is still hard. And I know that some people probably think that I complain a lot about how hard mission life is, and that I should just suck it up and enjoy it.............but missionary life is hard. People never talk about how HARD it is when they are giving their homecoming talk. Some days are just horrible and you want to go home, but then you have those little experiences, or tender mercies from the Lord and they give you strength to make it through one more day. And maybe some people think that I should just come home, since it is hard and I don't have to be here, but I know that it is through these hard and challenging experiences that we become more like God, a refiner's fire. This last weekend was the hottest fire I have ever been in but I know that there is a reason for everything and that God is aware of my situation. 

I love you all. Everyone looks so beautiful in those pictures, I was amazed. I am so blessed. I hope Jess liked her gift, it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. 

I love you all so much and I can't wait to talk to you on May 11th! Less than one month!

Have a great week and I will talk to you next Tuesday! SLY!
Hermana Warren

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

<------------------------------------  Here is my mailing address.  Letters are the best!!

Hola Familia y mis amigos!!

Ok, I want to answer everyone's questions first:

So we don't really have a functioning stove, it is more like a hot plate. It works good enough to make eggs but not to make soup or takes a while:( So the canned food will work if it can be put in the microwave! Thanks! I am so excited to get a box from you all!

We get some discounts here, like at COLD STONE ICE CREAM!!  OH YEAH! But that is pretty much it. I think Costa Vida does it too but we don't have one in our area. 

 I am gonna need socks for my flats and biker shorts soon though, since it is getting hot outside and we can't wear tights.

Thank you Mom and Dad for your letters, I LOVED THEM!! I love hearing about your mission experiences, you should tell me more about your missions!

 I loved General Conference! I loved Sunday morning session, and Elder Ballard's talk was AMAZING!!!! I think that we should study "Preach My Gospel" as a family and then talk about what we learn from it. We are all missionaries and we all need to learn how to be better missionaries. I can't wait for the Ensign to come out, this conference was just amazing, there are no words to describe how good it was. I watched it at a member's house and then the last session was in Spanish so it was hard to get things out of that one, but I could understand a lot of it:)

 We are still working with our investigators, we had two on date for baptism for April 26th but they fell off because they didn't watch conference which was as if they didn't make it to church so we will work with them more. We are still working with the "C" family, they just need to understand that the Book of Mormon is the key stone of our religion and if they read it and pray about it, they will know that this  church is true. People's agency is so annoying sometimes, :)  but it is so important and part of our Heavenly Father's plan.

 Ok, some funny and cool stuff!

We have roosters across the street that make so much noise, all day! Super annoying, I think they are blind because they start cocka doodle doing during the middle of the day! The sun has been up for like 5 hours!!!! hahaha super funny!

 So guess who lives in our area? DAVID ARCHULETA! and he just got home from his mission! He visited one of the districts this week in their district JELLY!  We are having a Spanish missionary training meeting soon so I am hoping that he comes to that :) That would be awesome.

 My Spanish is coming along good, we are having exchanges this Friday so my Spanish is really going to be tested! Pray for me this weekend, it is going to be a tough one :/ I try not to think about the wedding because it just makes me sad. Sister Egan is planning on coming to Temple Square, I gave her your email and number to get in contact with you. She will bring Jess's present. Feel free to driving through my area! If you go down State street  from Salt Lake, once you hit the Costco on the right, you are in my mission. And everything on the left of State street is our area! If you drive passed my apartment, you will see a big cemetary and apartments across the street. We are in those a lot well, maybe not the cemetary!  :). Jordan might know where the big trailer park is but it is right off of 1300 East, we are in those a lot too.

 I am so excited for Jess! I am so sad that I won't be there but I know that the Lord will bless us this week for my sacrifice. I will tell you all about the miracles next week :)

I love you all and miss you a lot! I am doing great though, I can tell that this transfer is gonna go by pretty fast. I pray for you all every day and thank you for your support and love.....and letters:)

 Happy Birthday Jenna! Live it up being 18! it goes by pretty fast :)

I love you and will talk to you all next week! I will have Sister Egan give you hugs for me :)


Hermana Warren


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's All About Families!!

<--------------------  Here is my Mailing Address.  I love letters!!! 

So this week is all about FAMILY!!! So on Thursday, we went through the Jordan River Temple and it is so HUGE! So much bigger than the Columbia River temple :) We had a little meeting in the chapel next to it and we heard testimonies from 8 missionaries who are leaving. Then President Moffat gave us a great lesson on Covenants (he is AMAZING) and then we ate lunch in the Temple. They serve some pretty good food :) Then we got our clothes and went through the 1:30 session.  It was such a treat to go through again. Then, when I got into the Celestial room my emotions changed.  I looked around the room and didn't see ANYONE that I loved: Mom, Dad, Grandma. I just sat down and started crying. I really missed my family and it was a shock to go into the Celestial room and not have you guys waiting there for me like before. Then I imagined Grandpa Shaftoe being in the room with me and I felt better and started crying even more. It was very emotional but I felt better when I left the room.
I love the Temple. I love being in the Lord's house.

So this weekend, the Roman family was baptized and confirmed!!! They were the first family that I actually went through the whole process with from contact, invite, teach, baptize and confirm. So I am really close to them and love them so much, it made me SO happy to see them enter the water and be baptized. This is what makes EVERYTHING worth it.

We are teaching a new family, their names are Rafael, Lina, Santiago, Sebastian, and Camila. They are hard core Catholic but they are such an amazing family! I love going over and teaching them, they are so patient with my Spanish. They want to know why they should change their religion, a religion that their ENTIRE family has been in, like our family being LDS. We are trying to get them to read the Book of Mormon, because if they know that the Book of Mormon is true, they will know everything else is true. If you have any ideas, let me know, we are praying and working hard on them.

I went on an exchange this Friday with other sister missionaries and it was awesome over all. It was scary at first because I was leading my companion and being like the Senior Companion but it turned out great! I learned so much. Sister Merrill just got called to be a Sister Training Leader. I am nervous about that because that means that when she goes on exchanges with people, the other missionary comes with me and I have to SPANISH! She is doing exchanges with English sisters!!! So I will be the only one speaking Spanish. PRAY FOR ME!! :)

So the General Women's Conference was AWESOME!! I hope you all watched it. I kept imagining my family watching it and it made me so happy. I got teary-eyed just thinking about it:)

So I got letters from Mom, Dad, Sammie, and Lydia! Thank you so much! Letters are awesome and they give me an extra boost during the week. I am putting some letters in the mail today. Sorry that I don't write as much, I try to but P-days are so busy. It might take me a while but I will get letters to everyone;)

So it SNOWED on March 30th! CRAZY! I hated it to be honest. I couldn't see and I was tired and cold and I wanted to cry. We were only in it for like an hour though so I was ok.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA!! I hope you have a great birthday this week, I love you so much and I am sending a letter to you:) Can't believe you are turning 18!

So, there is a senior couple in our Spanish ward, they are serving a mission. Her name is Sister Egan. She helps us so much and I asked her to go to Temple Square on April 12 when you are there for the wedding so she could see you all and she said she would love to! So look for Sister Egan, she will be there to give everyone a hug for me, and probably a present for Jess. I will leave the cardigan at the Mission Office.

 Well, that is pretty much it for this week. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoy spring break! I am glad that Jess's shower was good and I wish that I could be there. 
I got through my first TRANSFER!!! Woot, woot! It went by really fast, and everyone tells me that is just gets faster and faster.

I want to share my favorite missionary quote. I got it in the CCM and i read it every day. It always gets me through the hard times. I love it so much. If someone wanted to frame it for me, I would LOVE that :)

"Remember, the Lord has called you to succeed, not to fail. Sometimes it may seem terribly hard, but He wants you to grow. He will not abandon you. He inspired your call. He knows who you are. He knows what you need. He knows what He wants you to become and this mission experience is an opportunity He has given you to discover things about yourself you never knew; capacities you never knew you had, strength beyond what you felt you had, and the capacity to love and serve which will sustain you throughout the rest of your life. Remember, you have been called and He will fit the task to your capabilities. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Elder Richard G. Scott, MTC, April 16, 2013

I know that this Church is true! The Book of Mormon is true, I finished reading it yesterday. It is such an inspired book and we can get closer to God if we live what we read.

I love you all, thank you for all you do:) Have a great week!
Hermana Warren