Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope you guys had fun.  Were you all candied out? haha.  Let me guess, you all got a bunch of chocolate egg whoppers and ended up giving them all back to Mom.  That's why she buys them, you know.  haha just kidding.  I love you Mom.  You package didn't come!  I'm hoping it will be in the mailbox today.  Hermana Warner's mom sent a package that didn't get to us either, so we were both bummed together.  But, her aunt sent a random Easter package so we had a little something to celebrate with.  Plus, Sandra and Felipe celebrated FOR us!  There is a tradition here to drain the eggs and fill them with confetti and then smash them on each others head.  So when we went to our appointment with sandra and felipe they waited until after the closing prayer and then pulled out a bunch of those and WHACK!  right on the top of our heads.  We started running and screaming but they caught us and felipe took a couple and smashed them good in my hair.  I was pulling out eggshell and confetti all day long! haha.  it was funny.  We also went and had a special Easter dinner (shrimp can imagine how excited I was about that...) at a member's home.  Then we went to our second Easter Dinner at a different members home, which was a completely American meal, seeing as she is an American girl.  (in fact, she's the American girl that came on a mission here and then five years later married her investigator.  weird! hhaha)  But they're a really fun couple and she gave us a ton of clothes to go through so she's on the top of my "favorite people" list right now.  Plus, she fed us ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, ROLLS, and jello!  it's was so bizarre.  And so delicious! haha. Afterward, we went to the chapel to see a satellite showing of "Savior of the World" in Spanish, which was really cool.  Everyone loved it. And the best part was, we got to see all the Spanish missionaries.  I LOVE THAT!  a bunch of us are going bowling for p-day today.   it's going to be fun.  they're going down!

I don't' even know what to write about this week.  We had our "week of becoming"  which was cool.  One of the requirements was that we were with members from six o'clock on, every night of the week.  So it was good to work with them like that and really get to know them better.  We had a baptism on Saturday for one of the Elders' investigators who has been investigating for a YEAR now.  It was good to see him finally go under that water! He bore his testimony afterward and he was so solid.  He knows exactly what he just did.  We've been working a lot with a girl named April who has seen some really hard things in her life.  She wants to be baptized, but she didn't come to church yesterday because she had to go to the hospital with her mom, who is really really really sick.  I don't' know if she'll be ready for baptism before I go, but I hope so.  We're going to see what we can do.  It was actually kind of a somber week for us, missionary work wise.  Sometimes people like to unload on missionaries, and I don't blame them, because we're great secret keepers and we just sit there and listen and then offer consoling advice from the scriptures, so who doesn't want that in a time of crises?  but anyways.  There are some people that walk around with really heavy burdens.  And we talked to more than the usual amount of them this week.  It just makes me really grateful for the life and the family that I am going to be coming home to.  And the future that I have ahead of me!  The best is yet to be! haha.  But me and Warner are still living it up together.  I wish she could come home with me and live in my bedroom! haha.  She is really good when I start freaking out about the whole "going home from my mission" thing.

well, I'm sorry if this is a lame e-mail.  Next week's will probably be much worse, just to warn you! hahaha.  Alright.  I love you so much!~  Be good.  We get to talk on the phone soon! 



Monday, April 18, 2011


I know what you're all thinking... that's not spanish!  That's the thing.  We had a luau this week!  We had a crazy week actually.  We had a luau, a Relief Society program, and a shotgun baptism!

Luau:  So the Hermanas in Broadway 2 are Hermana Lealaisalanoa and Hermana Naufahu.  (yeah, picture the mexicans trying to say THOSE names!  They can't even say Tingey! hahaah it's always fun to hear them try).  But Lea is from Samoa and Naufahu is from Tonga.  So they put together this huge luau ward party with cultural food, music, and dances.  They wanted us to come and bring investigators/recent converts/ less active members and to help them serve the food.  I had so much fun!  I'm sending pictures.  The best part was the dancing.  They taught a bunch of members how to do hawaiian dances and then they had the Elders do the hauka (spelling?  i know that's probably way off).  And they had some Hawaiian members from the area come and do a legit series of real dances which were amazing!  I felt like I was right back at the PHI summer luau, watching Sarah get peer-pressured into eating a pig's eyeball!  haha not quite...but almost.  There was one dance that was kinda funny.  The girls had this big red furry thing on their hips in the back and they would shake it all over.  I was laughing so hard!  Especially because all the Elders were sitting behind us with their jaws on the floor.  That was a little much for us missionaries.  But we had a fun time.  haha.

Relief Society Program:  Anyone heard of Woman At the Well?  Our Relief Society put it on this week.  It's a musical program about women in Christ's life.  Anyways, Yours Truly was the pianst for it.  (see picture)  It was really fun, but took way too much pros time. (Sarah, you're fine!  Missionaries love their pros time, okay? haha) I think Hermana Warner has special blessings reserved for her in heaven for sitting through all the musical programs out here.  She comes from a very musical family and has a very sensitive ear.  I don't think she heard a right note the whole night! haha but it's amazing how strong the spirit can be in those things, regardless of musical talent. haha.  It was a nice night.  They worked really hard and it came together well.  I'm pretty much the stake pianist now.  I played for THREE sacrament meetings yesterday.  Yeah.  I guess Bonnie was right all along.  Thank you, my dear mother, for making me practice! hahaha

which brings me to...

Shot-gun Baptism:  That actually took place this morning!  I KNOW.  on p-day!  Last night, the Elders found out that their baptismal candidate who was scheduled to be baptized next saturday, just got a job in El Salvador and he was leaving today for the next four months.  They called president and he said to go ahead and try to get him baptized today if possible.  A billion phone calls later, he was on for a baptismal interview, and service, and a confirmation this morning before he left!  The seminary kids turned on the font for us at five in the morning.  The whole morning was what could be called a Series of Unfortunate Events.  Hermana Warner and I set our alarm wrong so it didn't go off so we didn't get our laundry in until seven.  Then, the machine in our complex was busy so we had to go to the washateria down the street.  Turns out, they're way expensive and we didn't have enough quarters so we had to drive to the car wash to get more quarters, then mid way through our laundry cycle, up to our elbows in cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floor, the elders call us and say "he's at the church right now, can you come get us asap?"  So our laundry got left in the dryer, we threw our hair back into ponytails and spritzed some perfume, and next thing we know we're setting up the relief society room for a baptismal service.  The water in the font was all green for some reason, and someone had locked the accordian doors that cover the font from the viewers and we didn't have a key...the list goes on.  One elder was trying to pick the lock with a paper clip and the rest were running around finding white clothes and people to speak on the spot.  When all was said and done, I think this was actually one of the sweetest, most spiritual baptismal services I've been a part of.  We had a fairly good turn out and we never got the door unlocked so we all just crowded into the bathrooms to see him baptized from the side.  We were all smiling at eachother and sorta metaphorically shaking our heads at the crazy situations we find ourselves in during this whole mission gig.  Like our zone leader, Elder Jex said, "another buck wild morning as a missionary."  so true.  Unforgettable experience though.

Well that was my week in a nutshell.  Hermana Warner and I have so much fun together, it really shouldn't be allowed.  We got ourselves "trunked out of our minds" talking about going salsa dancing once we're both home.  (that's the thing.  we're mexican now. )  We both agreed that we need to come back and go dancing with some of the young adults out here.  They go all the time and it sounds so fun!  Anyways, I can't stop thinking about May 10th!  I got a letter from President today telling me that on Monday of that week we'll be doing FHE at the mission home and then on Tuesday we're going to a 10:00 session at the temple and then heading to lunch and the airport!  That sounds and even kinda feels so unreal to me right now.  But it's coming!  ready or not.  Alright I love you guys!  Have a good week!  HAPPY EASTER!

love love love


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy one-month-left mark!

that is a weird thought.

here is a weird story:  So the weather here has been a little crazy lately.  Well, okay.  it has been hot.  and muggy.  (what else is new?) but the WIND has been crazy!  I think it's all of those 90 degree afternoons that get the wind going wild.  So the other day, Hermana Warner and I had been knocking a lot of doors and we took a break to eat our lunch in the park.  It got really hot and I got pretty sunburned and so we decided that we would swing by mcDonald's and get an ice-cream cone before heading back out.  (benefits from serving stateside and driving a car...:)  if anyone says ANYTHING about any sort of diet...that's what I thought.) so there I sat with my little ice-cream cone and I was facing my sweet little companion and we were talking and then through the window behind her I saw a little old homeless man in a dirty little wheelchair, wheeling up to the door which was immediately to my right.  In anticipation of his struggle to open the door and wheel himself through, I  jumped up (ice-cream cone in one hand) and grabbed the door for him.  But it went terribly wrong.  He must have thought I was trying to get out, so he told me to go ahead... so I went out and then held the door with one hand (cone in the other) and whooooooosh!  A huge gust of wind....right under my skirt!!!!  Next thing I know, I'm smearing ice cream all over my skirt, which is now somewhere around my ears, while i'm trying to pull it down without dropping the door on the poor little homeless man!  And of course a cute trendy young black couple comes walking up and witnesses the whole thing.  I went back inside, covered in ice-cream, to a rolling-with-laughter companion who had just seen it all through the window.  And she told me that I had done "a lot more than just open the door for that man."  hahaha oops!  We had to walk past him on the way out and he had a bit of a creepy grin on his face.  HELLO MCDONALDS!  I am the girl with the white shorts.

so that was weird.  and not very spiritual.

But we had a really cool miracle this week, speaking of spiritual things.  I dont' know how much attention you pay to my investigators that I write about (John, you keep an area book at home with details about them in it, right?) but about a YEAR ago exactly, we met a woman named Angelica.  (we being me and harry) We found her knocking during a four hour knocking session in the middle of what president lovingly called the "week of sacrifice" which was the week of easter and which has now become the "week of becoming" so yeah, we're doing it again this year.  anyways, she was someone we met during all that.  She was so amazing and she felt the spirit so strong!  She was pregnant at that time with her first child, and the only reason she didn't get baptized was because she wanted to do it together with her husband and he wouldn't go to church with her.  she came to a few activities and even came to sacrament meeting once but we had to drop her because she really wouldn't do it without him.  Well this past Sunday, Hermana Warner and I were walking into the chapel to go to our correlation meeting and I saw a car that looked exactly like angelica's. ( warner and I were the ones that really taught her, harry adn i just found her together) I told Warner "hey look!  angelica's here." and she said "don't' even tease me" and tried to smack me.  I just laughed and said, "can you even imagine if she were just here?? that would be so cool!"  Well... fast forward about twenty minutes and I'm sitting on the piano in sacrament meeting for Broadway 2 (turns out our ward mission leader didn't show up for correlation and I got roped into playing for them even though they're not my ward anymore because i love them and they don't have anyone else who plays...) So there I am playing the sacrament hymn and I see this little family walk into the back of the chapel out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to get a closer look and it was ANGELICA and her husband Marcos and her eight month old baby girl jacquelin!  oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THEY CAME! hahahha I just about fell off the piano bench.  I have to confess, I hardly paid any attention during the sacrament, I just kept looking at her and smiling and looking at warner who was making huge eyes at me on the pew behind them and I just wanted to jump or cry or something!  That was the coolest thing ever.  After the meeting, she came running up to me in the foyer to show me her doll of a baby girl.  That was the first time they had both come together.  It was cool.  God is good.  planting seeds!  that's what I'm talking about!  I KNEW she was good.

This has been a crazy week.  I feel so weird lately.  It's a lot like the four weeks before my mission.  You just kinda want to either be staying forever or to be gone.  Because everyone starts talking about the future and your future is just a big blank spot in your mind and it's just weird.  You emotionally detach.  But that's okay.  it's all a part of the process I guess.  I think the best way I could possibly describe what I'm going through right now would be to say that I feel like I do when I've been water skiing for a really long  time and I'm exhausted, but I just hit a beautiful patch of glass and I don't want to let go.  You know that feeling?  So you just keep cutting and then pretty soon you have to stop in between cuts and just lean backwards and drag a hand in the spray to rest it, and the let boat pull you for a second until you can catch your breath and hunker down for another cut.  That feeling? yeah.  that's how I feel right now.  I am so tired.  I don't WANT to stop, but I NEED to stop soon.  Every night it's like I drop into my bed completely dead (dragging that hand in the spray!) and opening the door the next morning is going out for a few more cuts on beautiful glass!  It's a good feeling.  but exhausting.  So that's about where I'm at.

Alright.  I love you all a whole lot. Have a good week! Take advantage of the last few chances you have to write me a letter!  my mailbox has been a little dusty lately! haha (i wish I could say jk right now, but that wouldn't be true.)

love love love!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Annnnd....WE'RE BACK!

I had the most tiring, hilarious, fulfilling week!  So as you all know, I'm back with Warner...and I had forgotten how much I love her!  We are like two little girls at a sleepover all day every day. haha.  Last monday I lost my voice because we were talking so much!   I get to listen to Michael Jackson again (she sings in the shower). haha.  And it's really cool to be with her because she has changed a lot from the last time we were together.  Her spanish is incredible and she is a really good missionary.  i'm learning a lot from her.  She keeps saying, "my how the tables have turned!"  hahah because she's the one showing me around and introducing me to all the members and all that fun stuff that I was doing for her in Broadway 2.  I feel a little weird in this area though because I KNOW that I won't be staying.  So it's tempting to just let her drive everyday and just to follow her around, but I told her she can't let me do that.  I have to learn the area for myself.  It's a crazy area too.  It's the closest Hermana's area to downtown.  The elders in our ward are basically tracting in the shadows of the skyscrapers.  Lots of freeway driving, homeless bums, and taquerias!  We mostly tract houses, but they have ditches like cloverleaf! haha weird combination of the other areas...
We had a crazy week because on Friday we had a wedding and a baptism!  This was a couple that Hermana Warner and her last companion have been working with for about three months now, but they finally got everything arranged and we were the wedding planners!  Craziness, let me tell you.  That was the first wedding that I've actually PLANNED on my mission.  But it was great!  They looked amazing, they got married, and then they got baptized that same night!  They have two adorable little kids and they are already looking forward to the temple a year from now.  It's actually a really cool story.  They call it the story of the four Felipes. You ready for this?  Stay with me.  It starts with a man named Felipe (#1) who married a woman and had a son (Felipe #2).  They ended up getting divorced, and he married another woman and had another son (Felipe #3).  She passed away and he got back with the first wife, so now his two sons are friends.  Felipe #2 was a recent convert, and while showing Felipe #3 around town, he told him about the church.  The hermanas went to go visit Felipe #2 and his mom, because she hasn't gotten baptized yet but comes to church every week, and they met Felipe #3 and his girlfriend, Sandra.  Sandra loved the message and referred her family.  They happen to live out of our mission so we dont' know many details but the bottom line is, they ALL ended up getting baptized!  She and Felipe were just waiting until they could get married.  After ironing out some relationship issues, they finally decided to take the plunge, and as of April Fool's Day, they are officially Felipe (#3) and Sandra Chavez!  and mormons.  haha.  I know I know, you're all wondering where the fourth Felipe comes into play, right?  Did you remember that I told you they have two kids?  Well, their kids are Bryan and Valeria.  (cutest kids ever by the way)  so nope.  it's not a felipe jr. jr.  But while the Hermanas were teaching them, the Elders played a trick on them and told them that the dog's name was Felipe!  So they spent the whole three months calling it Felipe until finally Sandra asked them why and they said, "isn't that his name?" and she laughed way hard and said, "no!  why would we name him that?  we have enough of those as it is!"  So there you go:  fake Felipe # four.   And just to bring this gig full circle, Felipe #1 (who was totally against them getting baptized)  showed up to the wedding reception with his mariache band!  He is the lead singer.  (just don't tell our Bishop, who asked us to not have music at the reception since it was right after their baptism and he wanted to "keep it spiritual"  In our defence, we had no control over it.  And he was in Mexico visiting his sick mother so ...i don't think he knows. !)  Anyways, their reception was pretty rockin.  and they got frosting allllllllllllllll over hermana Warner's face after they cut the cake!  haha.  (maybe I was kinda glad they're not that close to me yet. haha)
Then, we had conference!  That was good.  It always is as a missionary.  My favorite part was that when we walked out between sessions, the Broadway 2 ward was there!  Do you guys remember Noel Ramirez?  Well he's been breaking my heart for about five months now because he quit going to church!  I've been writing him letters but that's all I could really do.  Well he was there!  and I got to talk to him in the foyer!  He said that he messed up and quit coming because he was ashamed, but now he realizes that he has been miserable these past five months.  He said the three months after his baptism were the happiest months of his life.  He said he has it in his heart to give everything he's got to coming back and staying.  That was so good to hear.  He was excited to see me and Warner together again.  So were a lot of the members.  One lady made us go over to the side of the foyer and she took our picture! haha she's so sweet.  It made me feel like I had Grandma Woodbury with me! hahah.  We need more of them in this world! 
We also had an investigator named Rosa who came to the conference.  I haven't taught her yet so I'm still just getting to know her but she seemed to like it.  That was her second time to the church. 
I've been really tired all week but it is such a good tired!  I feel like i can't wait to get out of the apartment in the morning because I know everything we touch is going to turn to gold!  I love the way Hermana Warner works.  She is high energy!  hahaha it's all I can do to keep up with her but I feel like this was the best "last transfer" situation I could have possibly chosen.  Life is so good!  Time is so short! I hope you all liked conference.  I thought it was awesome.  Can't we just freeze time?  haha when it goes fast like this, it scares me.  Alright, have a good week!  Spence...still waiting on that story. 
Love you!
thank you for your letters!