Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz (almost) Año Nuevo

Hi Mom et al,

You're going to be mad, but I'm pretty much out of time.…Anyway, on to the important stuff.

As you know, the first week was pretty rough with Hermana Painter and we didn't really get along much at all. It felt very fake and stiff, but thankfully the Lord answers prayers (I think we were both praying for something to happen) and things are going much better. We had to go on exchanges as I went up to Vista for the MLC meeting on Thursday, and I think being with some other sisters just made her appreciate me and as soon as she saw me she said, "I missed you Hermana!" ha-ha so it's been going pretty well thus far. Plus, she got pretty sick, so that gave me the opportunity to serve her, which built trust and understanding. We are working hard together and are excited to both speak in Stake Conference in the upcoming weeks, which is another unexpected but exciting task the Lord has sent our way. 

The MLC (Mission Leadership Council) meeting was awesome. Over 4 hours of counseling, practicing, learning, studying, and all that good stuff! I really did love it! Hermana Sheffield and I were assigned to ride up together (Hermana Painter was with her companion), so that was a blast, and it was fun to be up there with Hermana Villaseñor, and of course, get some great training from my mission crush (one of the APs - of course! Ha-ha). Aside from that, we've been trying to work hard but between the holidays (everyone is gone or busy!!) and Hermana Painter being sick (we had to go in early the other night), it's been a little slower than normal, but all is well.

Aside from it being a little slow, we are working with three people towards baptism, and one of them is Alex, with whom we sent (set?) a baptismal date this week. He is only 13 and we are trying to teach the whole family, but they are busy and he is the only one stoked about it (thus far, at least). We will be meeting with him and his mom tomorrow though, so that's exciting. He asked his parents if he could be baptized and they told him that he was already baptized and he responded by telling them that this was different! He is so great and has already such a strong, developing testimony.

This week we have Zone Training Meeting, and I will be giving trainings along with the Zone Leaders, so we'll be meeting up tomorrow for an hour or so to get that all coordinated. There are usually two STLs in a zone so that they can give trainings together, but I'm the only one for this zone right now. After ZTM, we'll head down to Escondido for some exchanges, which should be fun! Hopefully it all works out well...and if not, we'll learn from it!

Thanks for all the fun pictures! I have lots I want to send you, but we may have to wait until next week. Sorry. Oh, to try to answer some of your questions, I just go on exchanges with each girl once a transfer, and I can decide when that will be, but they all have to be done before week five of the transfer. I am over five girls - my companion, Hermana Goodwin and Hermana McBride in Escondido, and Sister Major and Sister Whickam here in Winchester (Murrieta area).

There are not young sisters in our office, just Elders and Senior missionaries, but that includes the single senior sisters. We have the senior missionaries that work with our military relations (only here in Carlsbad J) and the automobile and housing coordinators and baptismal records and referral coordinators and things like that. It's fun. And of course, there are regular office Elders.

I'm out of time, so I'll have to tell you more about the pilot next week (remind me), but it's the theme (mostly, that and missionary work in general) for our upcoming Stake Conference, so that should be fun getting more members on board with that. Well, we have a district activity to get to, so I'll let you go here. Love you tons and tons mama! Oh, I really love Acts 4-6, you should read it this week J

Love you love you! And I sure do love the Lord and His work!
Con amor,

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, December 16, 2013


Hi Mama & Family & Friends!

 I have a ton of pictures I want to send you, but I don't have a lot of time left and I think I'd rather email than send pictures today (since I already forwarded you a few). Those were from the Nativity Festival this last weekend where we helped setup Thursday and were ushers for both Friday and Saturday.

Last week we had a great Zone activity (I think I mentioned it) with our ugly sweaters. Sister Johnson and I got a prize for "comp unity" because we both had snowman shirts and vests on. But like I said, I'll have to send the pics next time. I guess I won't be emailing next week, which is kind of a pain because I have no idea where I'll be or who I'll be with or from where I'll be calling or at what time...I don't think President thought it through when he took away our P-day and put it on Christmas day and we're not allowed to write next week, only phone calls, but with transfers we can't even get coordinated for them. Hmm, I love President Kendrick, but he's still only been out less than a year, so he just hasn't thought everything out with new things, I guess. Long story short, I don't know when I'll be calling...but I'll call sometime. If I have it my way, I'll try to call around 3:00 or 3:30, which will be your 4:00 or 4:30, but I really have no idea. Fun, huh? 

Well, I have lots to say and not a lot of time...like always. So as you guessed, yes, I'm getting transferred. In fact, pretty much the whole apartment is. Only 2 missionaries are coming out this transfer and several are going home, so they are combining some areas, so the other sisters we live with are getting taken out of their area. Sister Johnson is the only one staying in the apartment, and will actually be getting a brand new missionary coming out! Yep! Sister Johnson is training this next transfer, which makes me so very proud! I told her right when she first came out that my goal was to have her be a 3rd transfer trainer, and there you go, she is! Since there are only 2 missionaries coming out this transfer, she is one of the only two they picked in the whole mission to train - pretty impressive! (Can you tell mama is proud? Ha-ha)

And I got a surprise as well, I'll be a Sister Trainer Leader starting this next transfer, so that's pretty exciting. I'm feeling a little humbled because I was sure I wouldn't be called to be STL, but there you go. I just see it as another way to serve the Lord. 

Well, I was not very excited about our Family History pilot we just started (well, it doesn't technically start going to CHQ until January, but we've pretty much started) but now I'm so sold. It's so wonderful. The Spirit of Elijah has definitely touched my heart, and now I'm actually starting to feel a little trunky, simply so I can go home and get these ordinances done for my Argentine ancestors and learn more about my European ones! I love it though and am excited for it to really get going. It's so exciting to hear about the work hastening in different missions all over the world and the different way they are trying it out on the opposite sides of the country. 

Last night at the Stake Training on the Family History Pilot, one of the brethren from the Stake Presidency came up and was so sad to hear that I was leaving (again) and thanked me for all of my service. Even though there are 30 missionaries in the Stake, they know me by name (because of how long I've been here) and his gesture and words touched my heart. It's sad to leave (again) the wonderful leaders here in the area, as well as the members. I am hoping to get sent to Oceanside with Hma. Woodruff, but we'll see. Everyone keeps teasing me about going to Murrieta because it's basically Temecula and I've only been here for 9 months, so what's another 4? It would actually be cool to be in Daisy's branch, but I'm really hoping I get sent out to the coast. I'm actually pretty sad to leave this ward. I'll miss a lot of the members and investigators, and especially Don. I'm so grateful I was able to be here to serve with him.

There are also some great people we've recently started teaching and some that I know will be baptized very soon, and I'm sad to not be here for that, but wherever the Lord needs me, I will go. A new investigator named Linda is the one I am especially sad to leave. Last week we went by and taught her about the Book of Mormon and prayer (pretty simple lesson). At 4:51am the next morning, she called us. Of course, we didn't answer, but she left us a voicemail telling us that she couldn't sleep so she decided to read. We had left her Mosiah 4 to read, but for some reason, she just decided to open it up and see what she found. She fell upon Alma 34: 38-41. It was exactly what she needed and she called to tell us what comfort and peace and strength it brought to her and how she knew it came from God. It was awesome. She also came to church this last Sunday for the second time and received a Priesthood blessing there by Pres. Burgon (he's so awesome) which was so good for her. She also came to the festival, her daughter went to mutual this last week, and we have another lesson with her tonight. I know Sister Johnson will take care of her, but I'm still so sad to leave her. It's kind of ridiculous how much I love these people that I really don't even know, and yet, I know that I know them J I'm so grateful for the gospel and to be a missionary and to serve the Lord and His children in whatever way pleases Him. 

I'm not sure if I'll be sent back to Spanish work yet (being an STL it could go either way), but I mostly will, and I'll let you know for sure next week. Well, I'm out of time. Sounds like some exciting and wonderful things happening with the fam and work and the holidays! I'll talk to you next week! Love you tons and tons and tons and tons!!!
Feliz navidad y feliz año nuevo!

Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante


With Friends

At the Nativity Festival!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby, it's Cold Outside!

Hi Mama and Co!

Wow! Lots of fun snow pics! I guess I can't complain anymore about the weather here, hearing about your 15° day the other day! We start whining when it gets down to 50 degrees, haha we're so spoiled, though it definitely is getting chilly at night. I'm used to it though, since this is my second December here in Temecula. Thankfully I won't be here in Jan/Feb when it drops to the 30's.

Yes, transfers are the 17th and that will be our Christmas conference as well for the whole mission. There will be a fun talent show (where I will be singing) and then a spiritual part of the devotional as well with lots of musical numbers, but I didn't sign up for that part. Should be fun! Hma. Sheffield and Elder Solomon and I will be practicing today at the Zone activity and then I'll have Sister Johnson record it at the conference so you can see it when I get home ☺ It's too big to email though, sorry.

As for the conference with Elder Richards, I was misinformed. He is coming to the mission, but only to meet with the Mission Leadership Council, and then they will be training us on it tomorrow actually. I think he already came actually, this last weekend. Should be great though, so I'll let you know more about it next week. Paris says they are getting their new proselyting Facebook accounts reviewed right now and are getting the Ipads next month. Wow. I'm glad we are just doing a Family History pilot and hopefully that stuff won't come in until after I'm gone. Sounds like a lot of change, which is a good thing I'm sure, but will require work and trial and error during the transition period.

That's exciting that Nick is home and I was wondering when Marita would be coming home. How fun that they both return within a few weeks of each other ☺

I actually don't know who I will be with next transfer, but it's pretty much for sure that I'm going back to Spanish work. Not only because President loves me, but because several Spanish missionaries are going home on the 17th and only one new missionary is coming in, so they will need me. I'm also almost positive I won't be training this transfer (with only one coming in), so my guess is that I'll get transferred to Vista or Oceanside, but I'm hoping Oceanside. Hermana Bennett and Hermana Woodruff are both up there right now with their companions, and since I trained Hermana Bennett, it would be much more likely that I would go with Hermana Woodruff. She is very cool and was trained my Hermana Eskeets, who is so great. Hermana Woodruff was trained here in Temecula as well and then Hermana Sheffield greenie-broke her. Hermana Sheffield is still here in Temecula training Hermana Williams. I think I will be with whomever I serve with for one transfer, then probably train one more time before I die, but I guess we'll see. Exciting stuff, isn't it? ;)

The dentist was fine. I'll go back this Friday and get the other two filled. The insurance took care of most of it and he was so kind as to wave the other $127. We'll have to make him cookies or something to say thank you. ☺

To be continued....

Sister Villaseñor and me in our matching blankets
The view from our front porch - a great Temecula Sunset!
Our district (not to be confused with "The District" ) 

These past few transfers have been such great learning experiences for me. I feel like I have been so in tune with the Spirit, and actually able to understand his prompting (which has always been difficult for me) and it's just awesome. I actually feel like we are being instruments in the Lord's hands. Yesterday we went to see a potential named Joy, but her car wasn't in the driveway to we didn't even go to the door. Instead, I kept driving to turn around at the end of the cul-de-sac, and we saw her in her car, just chilling. So we turned around and rolled down our window to talk to her. We ended up parking and coming over to "hang out for a minute" in her car so she could tell us about the books she is writing. As we talked, we naturally brought up the gospel and it turned into a beautiful discussion on the plan of salvation. We left her a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon and she is very willing to pray and seek out the truth. She wants to meet with us again (in her car, ha ha) this week. It was a great surprise.

Other little things, like meeting Alyson and acting on small impressions of where to walk and what turn to take from the Spirit, leading us right to her. She called us the other night, with thoughts of suicide and crying on the phone out in the cold, refusing to go inside her house. With love and listening, to her and the Spirit, we were able to calm her down and she is since doing okay.

Also, Don. Like always, Don is just so awesome. Teaching him shows me how very much Heavenly Father is aware of us, just by the fact that I'm here to work with him. I know the reason I'm back in Temecula, working in the exact same apartments and neighborhoods as I was a year ago, doing English work, is because of Don. And I know that one of my previous friendships/ relationships has prepared me to work specifically with him. Yesterday, he didn't come to church, so of course, we went by to see him. He has struggled with keeping the Sabbath day holy a little bit and yesterday he was just in a terrible mood. He was frustrated and just mad at everyone, so we just listened. We listened to him and we listened to the Spirit, and then the he opened up to us and told us some very personal things. His background is so much like this friend of mine, it's ridiculous. He was feeling so bitter and not understanding of the Atonement. However, thankfully the Spirit told us exactly what he needed to hear, and by the time we left, he was smiling and just laughing at the fact that every time he's struggling or needs some support or is having a bad day, we show up and tell him exactly what he needs to hear. I love being an instrument in the Lord's hand, because everything we shared with him last night came directly from Him. Don is now sure that he will one day be able to have peace in his heart, even though he knows it will take time.

And yes, I do plan on coming back for when he goes through the temple. I hope to be a part of his life forever.

Well, I'm out of time. I'm sure there was more I was going to tell you. Sorry, but I gotta go. Until next week, LOVE YOU!!!!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy December 2013!

Hi Everyone!

Hope you like the pictures! And thank you for the pic of Grandma and Grandpa. Happy Anniversary! They really are so sweet! I miss them and love them and enjoy getting their weekly letters. As for the Thanksgiving pic, I'm actually not sure who sent it. I wasn't with anyone on thanksgiving who sent you anything. Who all was in the pic? Maybe you can forward it to me and we can figure it out that way. 

It's been a pretty good week. Less lessons with everyone gone for Thanksgiving, but lots of contacts. And of course, Don was baptized! He is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it's wonderful. It was a beautiful baptism. Don is the most solid person in the gospel I've ever taught and has been beyond prepared by the Lord. His confirmation was beautiful. We stopped by last night after his confirmation and he said that he felt like everything in his life had been leading up to that day. It's so wonderful. He also shared a dream with us that he had when he was 17, that he still remembers vividly and he feels like it has to do with the temple (even though he knows little to nothing about it). Without going into detail of the Endowment Session, he doesn't understand how very, very amazing his dream was and how it was not only a dream, but communication from his grandfather on the other side about the work that Don will do for him. I love being a part of these experiences and these people's lives. Last night I was so filled the brim with joy from doing this work, I could hardly sleep. 

We are also working on more finding, as we are dropping all our investigators who are not progressing and we need to find those who are really ready to live the gospel. There is a big difference between simply believing in Christ and actually living the gospel that He taught, but some people find it hard to see the difference or any drive to do the latter. For example, we told David this week that we would no longer be coming by. It simply was too frustrating, as he sat there, covered in tattoos of Scriptures and pictures of Mary and Christ and quotes about God, and yet would make excuse after excuse for his selfish reasons of living his life the way he does. He wants us to come by, have a "study" with him, and tell him everything there is to know about the gospel so he can show God that he is "doing everything he can to make it back to heaven", but he simply won't act on his own accord and just continues to live in sin. It's a bitter-sweet contrast as we dropped him and then continued on that night to Don's baptism. The difference in their use of agency in extreme, and thus you can see the difference of light in their countenance as a result. Oh, the joys and pains of being a full-time missionary ;) 

Next week is the training with Elder Richards and then the next week is the Christmas Devotional. Thank you for the music by the way! We'll be practicing next week, so it should be good J Oh yes, and with the Christmas devotional come transfers, so I'm not sure where I'll be for Christmas, but it should be good. I'm actually hoping to get sent to Oceanside with Hermana Woodruff (back in Spanish work) but I usually guess wrong, so we'll see what happens. We got a new car this week. It's a 2014 Chevrolet and it's beautiful! I think it's in one of the sunset pictures I sent, down at the bottom.

Anyway, I also went to the dentist. I had 3 cavities (oops....sorry mom) and got one filled so far. I was having pains for the first few days so I was pretty nervous to go back to get the other 2 filled, but now I'm feeling okay so I'll probably keep the appointment and if I have any issues get them fixed with Dr. White when I get home. 

Oh yes, I had Thanksgiving with the Schrocks and then we spent the evening doing visits and "heart-attacking" people's doors with little notes of gratitude on the hearts. We also stopped by and got to meet Don's daughters and had a brief lesson with him, just reviewing everything for the baptism the next day. Oh yes, Sister Johnson and I sang the musical number and I had Sister Terry record it, but the file is way too big to email, so you'll just have to see it when I get home. Sorry! 

Sounds like things are getting fun and stressed with finals and holidays and work! Sounds like you're still being the most amazing. That's fun about Chris moving to Reno! As long as he's there to greet me when I get home ;)

Sounds fun with Temple Square! Don actually pulled up a news report he saw on the San Diego temple to show us last night about all the lights and choirs and things they are doing to attract more people, kind of like a mini-temple square. He thought it was so cool that that was "his church" and is very excited to go down and see the lights when he can.

Well, things should be great with the upcoming Ward Christmas Party and the Community Nativity Festival at the Stake center and all the other fun activities that come with Christmas. Hopefully we'll be able to work with the ward to invite their non-member friends and help them feel the Spirit of Christmas, which if you drop the last syllable, really is the Spirit of Christ. I have been thinking a lot about what I would like to give the Savior for Christmas this year, and I'm still not sure, but I thought I would mention that, so that you can start thinking about it too. Let me know when you decide. It's the most important gift we give all year, to anyone. 

Thank you all, for all your love. I love and miss you and am excited to talk to you in few weeks!!! 

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

P. S. Oh yeah, and Sister Johnson and I got to teach the 11 yr. olds in Sunday school yesterday so that was super fun! We didn't have anytime to prepare to we prepared during sacrament, so it was very last minute, but it was still great. I love kids. Also, cool miracle! We went in to make copies of the lesson before sacrament meeting, and the copier wasn't working. Well, we messed with it and messed with it and the librarian kept telling us that it had been broken for 2 weeks and there was no hope, but then I followed the small whispering of the Spirit and did exactly what it told me to do. Take all the paper out, try to copy again, then add the paper back in when it notified us of no paper. I did that...and it worked! We got our copies! The other cool thing? We went back after classes to make another copy of the dinner calendar, and it was broken again. I do love the Lord and His small, tender mercies J

Happy Thanksgiving! (With the Schrock Family)

Heart Attack!

Don and daughters

At the baptism

A light moment. 

Sr. Johnson y Yo

Sunset in Temecula
Sunset and a Chevy