Thank you so much for the package! Sorry, I already opened it last night...oops. You're the best though! Thank you so much! Hermana Ruiz appreciates Rice Crispie Treats almost as much as I do, so she was also thrilled about the package. I also got a V-day package from Kimi yesterday too, so I felt very loved with lots of treats and gifts in pink and red J And you're right, V-day will be no different for us, so I'm sure there will be less people home in the evening and it will be harder to set citas (appointments). Oh well, the work goes on.
We finished planning really quickly last night so I had time to go over the Family Newsletter - wow, my family is so awesome! You are all so crazy and busy and doing awesome things! I don't think I realized how much Wes has going on in his life right now...wow. I will definitely keep him in my prayers. The cousins too though, it's great to hear how they are all doing! I'm so jealous that Chad and family went to Costa Rica!! That's awesome. Did I tell you that Chad was in my dream the other night? I don't really remember it, just that he was there. I have so many strange dreams on the mission.
Wow, it gets cold here in the mornings (it was freezing this morning with frost and fog!) but I will stop complaining, especially after seeing the picture of Mike and Jodi's car. Crazy! I am so grateful to be in a place where there is no snow! I am so glad to hear the family is doing so well though. Remind me Ashley's due date? Have they been settling on any names yet? Will you be home for the birth or out east for the graduation? Do you have to choose between the two?
I just emailed Chris again about sending me some CDs. I know he's super busy and you just sent me a package, but whenever you guys could get those out to me, that would be super J The music rules are pretty strict, so right now we just have 3 or 4 CDs that we listen to over and over again. Because of the size of our area, we are in the car pretty often listening to music, so it would be nice to get a bit more variety. No rush though! I know you have a thousand other things to worry about, I just thought I'd let you know so that you could remind Chris if a week goes by and he doesn't mention anything about it.
On to Intercambios! Well, let's just say, I have been wasting my time and the Lord's time for the past 2 months out here in California. I am so grateful for intercambios and the power and change that come with them. Hermana Ruiz and I learned a lot and our companionship has definitely taken a whole new turn. The first 2 months here our companionship was ok, but to be honest, it wasn't a real companionship. We were frustrated with each other and hardly working well together. We get along well most of the time as friends, but we had a hard time working together. After Intercambios we talked about it a lot. I had felt that she wasn't really doing her part as a trainer, and as a result, I wasn't gaining experience that would prepare me for after she would leave. She felt that I was being too sensitive and not putting forth enough of my own effort in the work. We both agreed that we had a lot to work on, and even though things are perfect in our companionship, that we would both work so hard these last 2 weeks together and make them the best ever. It is crazy. I am actually starting to feel like a missionary...instead of just a girl out in California doing strange things that missionaries do. I so wish that I hadn't wasted so much time being scared the first 2 months I was here, because I am starting to understand what this work is all about, and I love it.
As for our investigators, we currently have 2 baptismal dates: Oscar - the Antiguo that called us last week, (I'm pretty sure I mentioned him) and Priscilla - the sweet lady with 2 kids and health problems that we found in place of an old Potential Investigator. I'm pretty sure I mentioned them last week...if not, sorry. Sad news, neither of them came to church last week. Lame. Priscilla went to Tijuana to go to the doctor (more health problems) and we're not really sure why Oscar didn't make it. We are meeting with him tonight and can hopefully understand his needs a little better, especially since he is the one that called us, and wants so badly to be baptized. Magaly was going to come to church, but one of the ladies in the RS told her not to come.... wow, members can be so frustrating sometimes! It was a big misunderstanding, so hopefully she'll be there next week and all will go well. I do love that girl Magaly, and hopefully we can help her progress a little more as we meet with her tonight.
Wow, I'm almost out of time! What else? We received permission from Pres. Cook to teach the Gutierrez family in the Elders area (remember them? Bella, the family that we tried to pass off? Well they passed them back to us because the family loves sister missionaries too much, ha-ha). Hmm, we visited a less active this week named Veraunica and she has some serious mental and emotional problems...as do her kids. Poor things. Hopefully we can help her out a little more this week. We have been doing a lot of service this week, especially for Priscilla and her family, and I love serving others. We made them dinner last week, and I made your killer mashed potatoes! They loved them :)
Oh yeah, no temple trip today, it will be next week. I got the dates mixed up. I'm so stoked to go next week! Yay! We got hit on by another black guy yesterday...ha-ha so great. We ran into a Chinese family last night and they tried speaking Chinese to me (as they didn't speak hardly any English), but I have forgotten so much of my Chinese! Hopefully I'll be able to learn it again after the mish. Oh yeah, we were walking down the street the other day and someone in a car passing by started yelling at us and then I got hit in the back of my leg with something! They threw a vegetable at me! It hurt...but not too bad. I think it was just a pepper or something, so no big deal. Wow, people though...they are so ridiculous. Hopefully someday they will stop being so ignorant and at least be pleasant with us, even if they choose to not accept the gospel.
Well, I was going to attach a picture from Intercambios but I am just about out of time, so I'll have to throw it on next week. I love you all so much! I know this gospel is true! Trust me...I wouldn't be out here if it wasn't. It so wouldn't be worth it, but I know that it is worth it because I know how much our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ loves us. I love sharing that love with the people here and helping them to fill their lives with His Spirit.
Hermana Alyssa N. Escalante
P.S. Thanks for the thoughts from the Pope's! They are such great missionaries and such great examples to me! :D