The Work has just gotten sweeter!

The Work has just gotten sweeter!
Espirito Santo, Brasil

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Joyful Burden of Missionary Work

Hola Familia!

Ok, so this week has been the hardest and most rewarding week of my mission. I will tell you why.....

So, after we started teaching the Perez Family on Monday, we met a brother of the mom and his girlfriend and then another friend of the brother...they all live in the same house. They are all on date for June 14th! Then, while we were at the missionary coordination meeting, the other Elders there told us that there were 3 brothers, non members, were sitting outside the bishop's office and they live in our area! We talked to them and got an appointment to teach them.  We went over the next day and found 5 people living in the house. We taught them all lesson 1 and put them all on date for June 14th as well.  After working hard on Sunday to get our investigators to church, these are our final numbers for this week:
15 on date, 12 at church, 11 progressing, and 14 new investigators!  Blessings of obedience!!!

I know for a fact that this was all done by Heavenly Father. He put people in our path, with the right situation, and he made everything work out so that these people would be ready to accept a date and listen to our message. All of these people are former people that have been taught before but weren't they are!

Hard Parts:
So it has been the HARDEST week of my mission because......with so many people to teach and trying to have daily contact with them, we are constantly biking, calling, teaching....we taught 17 member present lessons to our investigators last week. At night, planning takes forever and then we have to update the area book and so I didn't get to write in my journal all week. During lunch, we are calling people or updating and in the morning as well. So basically, I have NO free time for myself, and it had been really hard. I know that we are supposed to give EVERYTHING to missionary work when we are on a mission but I am running low on gas :/ I have talked to my companion about it and she is always saying that we need to sacrifice things for the Lord and he will bless us....but for me, I think Heavenly Father wants us to take care of ourselves as well, so that we can give everything when we are proselyting. I don't know, I am really confused on what I should do. It is hard and I am so tired and I am running low on energy and I am beginning to lack the enthusiasm that I had before. I don't know what to do   :(

The Perez Family!!
Anyway, we went to temple square with the Perez family and her brother and her friend, so we had 8 non members with us and we watched the family video. Everyone was crying at the end, and they are all progressing for June 14th as a family. I just love this family to death!!! They make all of the hard things worth it. I seem to be finding families lately, we have found a lot of couples that need to be married. I don't know but Sister Gonzalez thinks that I was sent here to Utah to find families. All of my baptisms have been couples, families, and children not baptized. I love teaching families, it is difficult because everyone has their own needs but I love seeing the changes that come when a family begins to live the Gospel. I love teaching the plan of Salvation to families. I always talk about you guys when I teach that. "Yo tengo seis hermanas!" (I have six sisters) and then everyone is like "what?" and then I tell them how much I love my family and that we can be together forever! The best feeling in the world!

So, I have been learning how to rely on the Lord, we pray all the time and are always asking for help for our investigators. I read the Conference addition of the Ensign every morning in personal study and I love it so much! Read it!!!!!

I don't know if you have watched the video  "Because of Him"  from the Bible videos. They made it for Easter and I LOVE this video so much, the Spirit is so strong when we watch it with out investigators. I wish I could watch it with everyone we meet. 

Anyways, I have to email president now. We are having a mission P-day today and doing games!

Congrats, Aubrey on your mission call!!  You are gonna love speaking Spanish! 

I love you all and miss you all so much, sorry for not sending letters a lot, but I LOVE GETTING letters from you all! I got a letter from Mom today...thanks:)

I love you and miss you ....keep sharing the Gospel with your friends! Tell me stories about missionary experiences you have!

 Pictures: Temple square! Best one yet!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Miracle May!!

Hola Familia!

I hope that everyone is doing great, I love reading about how everyone is doing. I can't believe that Jenna is about to graduate, I can't believe that it has been a year already since I graduated....time really does flies!

I am glad that the Jason Lee Carnival went great, that was always really fun! And Grandma....she better enjoy that cruise for me, that sounds like the best thing ever!
So my companion's name is Sister Gonzalez and she is from Tocopilla, Chile. She was originally in the English assignment of our mission but now she is in the Spanish assignment with me :) She is really enjoying it. Of course, whenever there is a change in companionship it is always an adjustment at first. People always do things their own way and it is hard to get used to but we are having a great time together. She is so humble and relies on God for everything. We are always praying during the day, which is a great reminder for me because this is God's work and we are just His instruments.  Mom...she isn't related to Edith Gonzalez, Sis. Gonzalez is a convert to the church. Her testimony is so strong and she always brings the Spirit with her. We work really well together and we are having a lot of success in our area, just in this last week!! I will tell you the coolest story in a little bit.

i agree with mom, when we keep things simple and we practice, we find lasting happiness. I read that in the April Ensign. I really believe that is true.

I like the blog, you can do whatever you want, I would probably change the picture though, it is not my favorite :) hehe

I am so excited to read about mom and dad's mission experiences, I love hearing about those and stories from other missionaries. 

Well, I hope that everyone is enjoying life! I miss you all so much but I am really loving it here on a mission. 

Ok, I want to talk about some AMAZING experiences that I had this week.

So......first of all, I love being with a new companion because it is a 50/50 companionship. It was a little bit stressful at first because she didn't know the area and I had to talk with everyone and make the phone calls, but I know that this is helping me to be a better missionary and to be a leader. I feel more comfortable talking in Spanish and talking with people. She is so fun and I love being with her. She is exactly obedient and I have seen blessings for being exactly obedient.

So, probably the coolest experience I have ever had happened last night. So here is the WHOLE story:
About a month and a half ago, our district leader challenged us to pray and pick a former investigator in out area book to pick back up and teach. Sister Merrill asked me to pray and look through the area book and to pick someone that Heavenly Father wants us to pick back up, who is ready to accept our message. Of course, me being the new missionary and not knowing anyone and not knowing how to listen to the Spirit yet, I prayed and looked through the area book. I asked sister merrill about a few and then I saw this family, the Perez Family. Since I love teaching families, I asked Hermana Merrill about them and she said that they weren't very interested in accepting a date but that we can try teaching them again. So, I picked them and then later that week, we tried calling the mom, Magaly. She answered the phone and we said Hi and that it was the sister missionaries and then she hung up on us. We tried calling back and stopping by but we never were able to talk to them again.  Kind of disappointed, we put them on the back burner and then we forgot about them for the last month. About 3 weeks ago, while I was on exchanges, I got a call from Magaly! I answered the phone and she gave me a referral for her brother who lives in Salt Lake City. I was so surprised because she isn't even a member and she gave us a referral! I told Sister Merrill about it the next day and she was so surprised! Then, about a week and a half ago, while I was on exchanges again!, one of the English-assignment sisters needed to use the bathroom and so I wanted to ask maybe an investigator if we could use their bathroom, so we could get in. Sneaky, huh? and we passed the Perez Family's house and I decided to ask them. Magaly opened the door and let us in. I talked to her about her brother and asked if I could share a message. She wasn't able to take the time then because she was really busy but we set up an appointment for next week. So the appointment was set for after transfers, so me and Sister Gonzalez stopped by for the appointment and no one was home ;( We called her and she said sorry and she said she would call us to set up another appointment. So the Perez family has been coming more and more into the picture but they still weren't on the top of our priority list. We had 4 people on date for June and we were focusing on them more. Then, yesterday is when everything happened. We had a horrible morning, with people being really rude and yelling at us and slamming the door in our faces. We had been praying for the last week to find more investigators, me specifically praying for a family to teach. In the after noon, we were talking to some spanish people in the street, when I got a call from someone in the East mission. She told me that a member of the ward had a Spanish non-member friend that he works with. This spanish man wanted a blessing and since he is in our area and were spanish missionaries, she wanted us to find someone to give the blessing and possibly teach this man and his family after the blessing. I asked the name of the spanish man and she said, ALBERTO PEREZ!!!! She told me the address and I KNEW that this man was the father of the family Perez. I arranged everything and got permission to do it. We called our Elder's Quorum president and the member friend and we all met at Alberto's house at 8 last night. We went in and the entire family was there, so we sat down and started with a prayer and then we started into lesson one, teaching about authority. We had 8 members there at this lesson, all bearing testimony about the gospel. The Spirit was SO STRONG and then, when they gave him a blessing, I almost started crying, my heart was pounding as I prayed that we could put this family on date. After the blessing, we bore our testimony and the Elder's quorum Pres. bore his testimony and the member friend did too. Then we invited them to be baptized and the dad said yes, the mom and kids were more hesitant but said yes as well. I was so happy and the members were telling them that this is the step they need to make as a family. The support from the ward members was amazing! We got in the car with Sister Egan and I said a prayer of gratitude and just started crying. It

was so amazing at how the Lord has a plan and how the Spirit guides us to people without even knowing it. I was in shock and I couldn't sleep last night as I thought about the experience. I am just amazed and I have a testimony of faith, diligence, and hard work. If we rely on the Lord and work hard and do all we can, he will make up for the rest and guide us to those who are ready for the Gospel. Yesterday was the best day I have ever had as a missionary. GOD HAS A PLAN! GOD KNOWS HIS CHILDREN!
I thought it was funnier NOT to act silly!!
So that was the experience this week, God blesses us with miracles when we involve him in this work. 

I love being a missionary, I love being here in Salt Lake City. I love my family. I love my companion. I love my Savior. 

Thanks for being an amazing family, I miss you all and with talk to you soon.
Hermana Warren

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Hey Family :)

So yup, we are having transfers tomorrow and I am staying here in the Murray 2nd ward! YAY!!!! I love this ward so much. Sister Merrill is going to a Midvale stake, and she is whitewashing this area (That means that Elders were in there before and then they take them out and put Sisters in. They don't know anyone and have to learn the area on their own) She wanted to do that so she is really excited. So yeah, my address is still the same and I will be here with Sister Gonzalez. She is from CHILE! Isn't that cool? She is from the North part of Chile but I just think that it is awesome that she is from there, since my Mom and Dad both served there. She is really cute and fun. She was originally an English sister but since we are loosing 3 Spanish missionaries this transfer, President had to pull some Spanish-Speaking sisters from the English mission. I am really excited to be with her and to improve my Spanish.  I am really excited and nervous. Change is difficult and I am scared to change companions just because I don't know what it is going to be like, but I am still excited to work with someone knew and have it be a 50/50 companionship. :) I completed my training so now I am a REAL missionary! haha if that makes sense. You just FEEL different when you know that you are not in training anymore.

I loved seeing you guys on Sunday! You all look great and I miss you all so much. It is hard to get everything in in just 40 minutes and I felt bad that I couldn't talk with everyone individually but please write me letters and I will do my best to write back. Everyone looks like they are doing great though, and yeah, I agree with what dad said in his email to me: it is hard to see our family changing but just imagine how FUN it is going to be in about 20 years with everyone going to Mom and Dad's house with our families......that is going to be AWESOME!! 

So we had a miracle happen after skyping on Sunday. We were walking around the Trailer park, talking to people and going to homes where we know are Spanish families. We decided to go by a former investigator and see if she was home. We knocked on the door and her sister opened the door. Her name is Veronica. She let us in and we started talking to her about her life and she told her story and about her experiences. She talked to us about her Grandpa and how he passed away recently. She started crying which made us both cry. When she was done telling her story, we started teaching her lesson 2. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted a date. We walked out of there and we were shock. It is amazing to see how the Lord prepares people to accept the Gospel, even if it is in a really hard and sad way. She is 21 so we have to ask her if she wants to go to the YSA ward, but we are just happy that she is open to the Gospel and baptism.

So, once we found out that we are changing this week, we tried to visit all of our recent converts. We went to the Roman family and I just love them so much. Their kids are adorable and I will love them forever. We went in an taught them a missionary work lesson so we can get some referrals from them. Then, we told Janderry, the mom, that we are changing companions and Sister Merrill is going to Midvale. She was really sad and told us how much she appreciates us. Then she told us a story of how one day, her and her husband were fighting and she went out into her living room and just sat on the couch and started praying that she could just talk to someone, she didn't want to call her family in Peru. So she was praying and praying and then, 5 minutes later, we knocked on the door. We didn't have a set appointment, we didn't know that she was praying for someone to come over. We didn't even realize that we were an answer to prayer. It just amazed me at how the Lord knows his children and their needs. The Lord hears our prayers and sometimes, we are the answer to someone's prayers without realizing it. That was definitely a testimony builder to me.
So Yatnari was baptized, I have pictures for that. I forgot to get her address but I will write it on a piece of paper and stick it in the mail. She would love to get mail from Lydia. They are actually thinking about moving to the Tri-Cities! That would be so cool :)

Well, I talked about a lot of stuff with you already. The snail mail is still good, about one letter a week is fine :) I got a letter from mom and dad this last week. 

I love you all so much! I am so glad that I got to talk to you. I was praying so hard that talking with you all wouldn't be a distraction for me, and I did great! I just got back into missionary work and I try to get lost in it. I am about 4 and 1/2 months in and that is 1/4 of my mission gone! WHAT!?!? wow, time goes by so fast. 

I am really excited for this transfer, thanks for updating me on Aunt Steph and Julie. I will pray for Steph and that is so exciting for Julie! I am so excited :)

Thanks for all of the pictures, they were fun to look at :)

Thanks for the email and for the advice and support. Mom and Dad: you should tell me more about experiences you had on your missions. you can write about them in your letters to me or email. I realized that I don't know a whole lot about your missions and I really want to know more :)

I am glad Mom's day went well, I am glad that I was able to be a part of it :)

Keep reading the Book of Mormon every morning as a family!!.  That's so awesome and congratulations on finishing it today!! I know that it is a true book, the most correct book on earth. I love hearing Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. So powerful.

I love you all and I will email you next week and tell you about my first week with a new companion! I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week :)
Hermana Warren

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mission: Week 12!!

Hola Familia!!

How is everyone doing? I miss you all so much but I am having a lot of fun here! Not a lot of crazy stuff happened this week but we always see miracles happen every day. 

So as every day goes by, I get more and more used to the life of a missionary. Waking up is not hard anymore, biking is fun, I really LOVE talking to people, rejection is a normal thing, and then teaching our investigators and recent converts..........the best part of my day!

Yesterday, we taught our recent converts, the Roman Family, and they are the first family that I invited, taught all the lessons, and saw them be baptized. I was getting teary-eyed last night, while re-teaching them lesson 1. Seeing the difference in people's lives as they live the Gospel is absolutely AMAZING! They are reading their scriptures and praying and Janderry, the mom, is feeding us and is going out to teach with us on Friday! I just love her so much and I just give her the biggest hug whenever I see her. 

A family we teach make pinatas!!
The thing that I love the most about my mission is the PEOPLE that you meet: the ward members, the investigators, the recent converts, the families, people on the street, the other missionaries. The people are what make everything about a mission worth it. And it is the hardest part about a mission as well, seeing people CHOOSE to not accept your message or not to follow through on commitments.  On the other hand, seeing people CHOOSE to come to church and enter the waters of baptism is indescribable other than pure joy!. 

Being transferred and having to leave everyone that you love so much is something I haven't had to experience yet here in Utah. In one week, there are transfers again and who knows what is going to happen! I could leave, Sister Merrill could leave......we both could leave! I am really dreading having to say goodbye to people, it just makes we want to cry whenever I think about it. I love these people so much!

So this is week 12 for me, and I am finishing up my 12 Week Training. So after this week, I won't be a new missionary any more............and then all of the responsibility falls on my shoulders. If I mess up, people can't just say "Oh, it's ok, you are still training", now I am fully accountable for everything that I do. That is kind of scary to me but I know that I can do it. It is also really fun to feel like you are now a "real" missionary, and the companionship is split 50/50. I am really excited for that. I am really excited to see who my new companion will be and where I will go. 

Pranks between missionaries!!  
So this last week, we had a super awesome district meeting. Our district leader, Elder Torres,  is going home next week and he is just awesome. I have some really funny pictures of our district and the zone leaders. I just love working with other missionaries.

 Our ward is the ONLY ward that had two sets of missionaries and it is so fun, but it is also really hard because all of us have investigators and people that the ward needs to visit and sometimes, I think the ward feels overwhelmed. But we have a big ward so it gets frustrating sometimes, trying to work with members that aren't willing to help. Not sure how to get the ward more excited about missionary work so if you have any ideas, let me know!

So last week, we had a training for the entire mission and it was for weekly planning that we do each Friday morning. Pres. Moffat asked me and Sister Merrill, on the spot, to come and role play a step in weekly the front of the entire mission! If was kind of scary but thankfully, I have lead weekly planning before and we fill out our teaching records so we weren't embarrassed in front of everyone. It is a real complement to be asked by Pres. Moffat to do something, because that means that he trusts you and knows that you are a good missionary. I am really trying to be the best missionary that I can and I want President Moffat to expect a lot from me, because he knows that I am a good missionary. Sister Merrill says that I am going to be a Sister Training Leader and an amazing missionary. I really hope so!

This last friday, I went on exchanges and 2 English speaking sisters came to my area and I was in charge! AAAHHHHH!!! Talk about scary. They don't know ANY spanish and there were two of them. That night, we went to one of our investigators, Eloy, and we have been trying forever to get him to come to church and he finally came last sunday! He walked in at 11:30 but at least he came! So we went by to follow up on how church was and he told me that he DIDN'T like it. I was in shock! He said that is was too noisy and there was no respect at all! So, I had to resolve his concern, by myself, because the other sisters didn't know spanish. And guess what happened? I understood EVERYTHING he said during that lesson, and the Spanish just came to me so that I could resolve his concern the best I could. It was so cool to see the gift of tongues working! It was awesome! I am working hard on improving my Spanish every day, so I can help my investigators even more. I can't believe I can speak another language....that is so CRAZY!

So, Yatnari is getting baptized this Saturday! YAY! She is 9 and she is so smart, she passed her interview and knows the doctrine so well. When I talk to you all on Sunday, I will talk about the baptism ;)

So speaking of Sunday, I am so EXCITED to talk to my family that I love so much! 

I got letters from Dad and Lydia, I got her's a while ago but I forgot to mention it. Thanks!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMIE!!!! I am sending you a card :) I hope that Lydia had a good birthday.

I want to share an awesome scripture that we share with people when they worship the virgin Mary. LUKE 11:27-28.....see how you like that:) haha

This week was great, we are in finding more people to teach. We have a lot of investigators who still won't accept a date yet so pray for my investigators, that they will realize what baptism means for them.
This freaked me out to see our "white Car" 

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Miss you and hope everything is going great!
SLY!    Hermana Warren