Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Buenos Dias!

Buenos Dias Mamita, Familia, y Amigos, J

Thank you so much for the scarf! It's beautiful! Don't you think? ;) 
All scarfed up and ready to go!
 You're so great to me mama. The other picture is of my district last transfer (plus Zone Leaders in the front). It is still pretty much the same missionaries, except we have a new DL (District Leader) and one Elder replaced (I think I mentioned that last week, didn't I?) Anyway, my district is pretty hilarious and I quite enjoy them.
Ta DA!

We have district activity twice a transfer and they are always a lot of fun. We usually do things like play Volleyball, Frisbee, or Chair Soccer, though last time we played that game where you tie balloons to your legs and you try to pop other people's balloons. It was pretty hilarious. Sadly Elder Neily is going through some rough times right now, medically, and will be going to the doctor today to get some testing done. Hopefully he will be able to stay out and not have to go home early. We are all praying for him.

That's so exciting that Christine got her call! Woot! Tell her I say "Felicidades!" She is going to be a super great missionary and I am very excited to talk with her in Spanish after our missions. J That's cool about ReyLynn too! It seems like everyone is coming to California. Elder Neily's girlfriend also just got her call to a California, Spanish-speaking mission. "El campo blanco esta ya para la siega" (D&C 4:4), especially here in California! Although there is a bit of opposition here too.

Even now, sitting here at the library, there is a man who keeps yelling out every few minutes, saying things like "Mormon's are so stupid, how can you be so stupid?" "Jesus Christ loves us, why are you teaching lies? Lucifer isn't the brother of Jesus!" Yeah...it's interesting. He also keeps warning everyone who walks by to be careful because there are Mormons here and that we might teach them lies. Good stuff, huh? Oh, being a missionary is so fun sometimes. J

We have seen some great blessing this week though! Well, first off, we texted Fernando yesterday just to see how he was doing and we were really confused by his response. He basically told us that he was so sad and his heart was in a thousand pieces because we stopped coming to see him. Yeah...I was just as confused, especially because he is the one who told us to stop coming because he didn't feel ready. He is a little emotional, as you can tell, but hopefully we'll be able to see him soon and help to resolve his doubts and concerns. He has a ways to go, but I'm sure he will accept the gospel some day soon!

Also, an investigator fell into our lap this week that is very promising, named Oscar. He called us actually, being an "Antiguo" (or Former Investigator), as he used to be taught about a year ago. He is having some hard times in his life right now and decided to call us, because he remembered how good he felt when he used to meet with the missionaries. Apparently he was almost baptized but didn't go through because his wife had no interest and didn't support him. They are now separated and he very much wants to be a part of the church again. Another blessing came with Oscar, as he told us to please go visit his neighbor. We talked with her and apparently she was baptized back in college, hasn't been to church in 10 years, and has no idea where her records are, but wants to come back to church. She says she never doubted the church was true and still has a testimony, but she is now ready to live the life that the gospel requires. She is so sweet and we are so grateful to help her back into the gospel.

Both she and Oscar came to church on Sunday, as well as Magaly and the kids, but we are still having a hard time getting her husband Christian to come, as well as Maria and a few other investigators. But we are very grateful for those who are coming. J  We got to teach the Gospel Principles class this Sunday, as the teacher was sleep deprived from working so late. Hermana Ruiz mostly taught, but I added a little, and it was fun stuff. We have also had a lot of "hijackers" in our lessons lately, so we're thinking of having training on how members participate in lessons. Hijackers are those members who come and don't let you talk and feel that they need to teach the whole lesson for you...it's pretty frustrating. Especially when we spend 4 hours every morning in our studies and preparing for this lessons with careful prayer and consideration. Hopefully we fix the hijacker problem soon.

So Intercambios (exchanges) are tomorrow! I'm not really sure why, but I am once again, going to Escondido with Hermana Schwegler! I am so stoked! I feel like it is a tender mercy from the Lord, and He knows how much I learned from her last time and I know I am going to learn so much more, once again. She is also training this transfer, so her Greenie will come here with Hermana Ruiz. We set goals for every exchange, and I'm excited to see how I can help Hermana Schwegler, as well as get some great insights from her. She is so crazy...ha-ha I love it. We had a Zone Training this week and we are now trying to work on more effective planning. We also have Zone Conference next week, as well as our Temple day (which I am so STOKED for!) Woot! It will be great!

Oh, random, but I was going to tell you to feel free to send talks for me to read mama. J In the MTC I really didn't have time, and here I still don't have a lot of time, but I can squeeze them in here and there ;) Our mission president expects a lot from us, so we definitely keep busy, even during our "down time". I am still working on the Book of Mormon Challenge in Spanish (I told you about that, right?), I'm working on updating and organizing the P.I.s in the area book, and we also have a new challenge to memorize all 42 points of the 5 lessons with a scripture reference for each point. It's fun stuff! I am so trying to keep up my reading in Our Search For Happiness, and hopefully get started on Jesus the Christ soon. (All of these, by the way, are not to be done during study time, only "down time", like Lunch, or at night after planning - so it's a challenge to get it all done, ha-ha).

Well, I love the Vidals, they take such good care of us, just know that J Hopefully I'll get a picture with them soon. The Branch here is pretty great though. I am glad to hear things are going well, and that Grandpa is good J Tell my cousin Chad I say "Hi Chaddy! You were in my dream the other night!" Ha-ha, he was. I don't remember the dream, just that he was there. Oh, speaking of dreaming and sleeping and stuff, I am no longer having any problems with sleep or staying awake during my studies. How awesome is that?! Such a tender mercy from the Lord. For some reason I wake up around 5:20 every morning, lie in bed, half dreaming half awake, until the alarm goes off at 6:15, and then I am so awake the whole day. It is so weird, but I won't complain one bit! I hope you can get sleeping better too mama! You are seriously my hero mom, did you know that?

Hermana Ruiz respects you a lot too, just because she knows how much I admire you J I miss you tons. Thank you again for the package, for all your love, and your emails! Remember to send more pictures, and I'll try to remember to take more (sorry, I'm really bad about that). Plus, my camera isn't that great, so maybe I'll buy a new one for my birthday or something. We'll see. Oh, tell Jilli thank you for the letter and I will write her back either this week or next. The mail system here is so lame...we just got the mail yesterday for like the last 2 weeks. Oh well, at least I get it eventually, I shan’t complain.

I wish I had my study journal here with me, so I could share some of the wonderful things I've learned this week. Perhaps I can just share my testimony about the Book of Mormon, and how it truly is the keystone of our religion. It is so powerful, full of the spirit, and truly evidence of the restoration of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Atonement in our lives, and that it is through "faith unto repentance" (Alma 34:9-17,) that we can truly use the Atonement in our lives. I am grateful for the ability that we have to change and better ourselves through His love and sacrifice for us, and how real His gospel really is.

Con amor,
Hermana Escalante 

P.S. I love my siblings...please tell them individually how much I love them J and Grandma and Grandpa too!

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