Hi Everyone! I hope you like the pictures ☺
Wow, I feel like I have so much to say, but I can't remember it all. I guess I'll just start with your questions. Yes, my coat is plenty warm ☺ though I realized that all of the cardigan/sweaters I brought are 3/4 sleeves, haha silly me. Good thing it's usually pretty warm here, and either way, I have a warm coat if it's too cold. I wear sweats when we run...what a random question :P Yes, just the two of us run together. The sun is always up by the time we run, so yes, it's light. Our apartments are over in a suburban area, but pretty close to the mall and some other large streets. Target is only a few minutes away, so we're pretty close to the middle of town. We just run in the neighborhoods though. It's super safe, I promise. I think Temecula is the 2nd safest city in the States, or so I've heard. Library is pretty close too, 5 minutes by car. Laundry is in our apartment. Man, so many random questions. I hope your satisfied with those answers ☺
That's so cool that Zach gets home on Thursday! I got that Christmas card from him but didn't get an actually letter back from the last one I sent, so I haven't written/heard from him in a while. Tell him I say hi! I can't believe Chrisser gets home in August too! Wow, time goes by so fast, doesn't it? I'll be home before you know it mama, and then you won't have to be alone. I can't believe everyone is ditching you! Usually it's just me, haha.
That's so cool about Ariana and Morgan! I did get an email from her, but I might have to respond to her next week, depending on time. So what is it that Chris will be doing out there exactly? (Besides getting famous, of course). I'm glad to hear that everyone is following my lead out to Cali! It's a beautiful place, though I'll have to admit, that Southern Cal is the best, and San Fran won't be as awesome.
I'm glad to hear you'll have M,J, & D with you when they all go, and maybe Jilli too. I need to write her back too...wow, I'm awful at this writing back thing. Is she getting married anytime soon? I guess I can ask her that when I write her. I'm so jealous M,J, & D are going to Thailand! What punks! I want to go there so bad! That's awesome though. Send me a picture or two of their trip!
Sorry to hear about Grandma and Grandpa’s house and their trip being postponed, but hopefully all will go well as they try to straighten things up. I'll keep them in my prayers.
Wow! You're going to Chicago! Sorry I'm not there to be your travel buddy. You know I'd go with you in a heartbeat ;) Take good notes for me! It sounds like it will be a great conference! What day is Ashley due again? Too bad you can't go to Beijing! That would be so cool! We can take a trip to China together when I get back, if you want :D
I'm happy to report, we didn't have many hecklers this week. Just a few Calvary Chapel Baptists telling us that we don't believe in Jesus Christ. One started going off about polygamy but we just kept chatting and being friendly with him and his friend and by the end of the conversation he was trying to get us to go out with him and get a drink...haha it was hilarious.
Magaly, actually, had a few concerns about that. We went over just to say hi the other evening and her family was there. After we left, her aunt told her that we still practice polygamy and some other stuff that wasn't true, which was pretty confusing for Magaly. Thankfully, she trusts us enough to talk to us about it and we got her concerns straightened out. We were going to recommit her to baptism that night actually, but she instead wanted to talk about all these concerns she had and we ended up feeling like it wasn't the right time. Hopefully soon though! She definitely sees a difference in her family and her testimony is really growing.
This Sunday was a little rough on me, as we had zero investigators at church. All of our baptismal dates and other progressing investigators had one reason or another why they couldn't come, and it just made me really sad. Not only that, but very few members were there also, I'm not really sure why. As the Sacrament was passed, it hit me hard that Christ suffered for us so that we could repent and overcome our sins, and yet no one was there at church to partake of that sacrifice. It was hard, but it also motivated me to work harder and help our investigators understand the eternal significance of doing things like coming to church.
Wow, so little time left. Oscar, our miracle that fell into our lap, has been pretty lame. He keeps cancelling on us and hasn't come to church the past few weeks. He is really busy with work and kids and court, but hopefully we can meet with him again soon and get things going again. We're definitely going to have to push his baptismal date back, but hopefully not too far.
La familia Sanchez! Oh my goodness! I love these people sooooo much! They are the best! They were in Tijuana this weekend so they couldn't come to church, but they said they would this week and we meet with them 2 or 3 times a week. They love learning and growing together! The mom is so stoked for her baptism and Oscar (the 10 yr old) committed to baptism this week as well! Priscilla (the mom) has really been seeing the blessings in her life and is so ready to make a change. Rene (the 15 yr old son) is still a little unsure about baptism, but he's reading and praying and he loves us coming over and he's just so great. It might take him a little while to come around, but he's so ready to be baptized. We aren't really teaching the dad, but he joins us sometimes in the lessons, which is so good! He even offered the closing prayer last lesson! I love this family so much, they are the best.
|Pres. Cook and Me - sorry the pic flipped!|
|Sr. Cook and Me|
This past week (because it was my second to last week of training) I had to lead out on every lesson and every planning. It was a little rough, but I learned a lot and I am definitely feeling much more capable as a missionary. I can't believe only one more week left with Hermana Ruiz! It's crazy! It's most likely that she will leave and I will stay here with a new companion, but we will find out this weekend. Crazy sauce! Hermana Ruiz isn't very excited to leave, but she trusts that I'll take good care of our investigators.
Thank you again for the V-day package! You're the best! I feel so loved and spoiled by how good you are to me ☺ I wish I could send YOU a package, just so you know how much I love you! But sadly, we don't really have time for that. I really do love you a lot though. Tell my nieces and nephews that their Aunt Lyssa loves them, and all my beautiful brothers and sisters too!
This work is hard and sometimes I want to cry (or I do cry), but it is so worth it, because I know this is the work of the Lord. He is here in the work, helping us every step of the way, if we are faithful, diligent and trusting in Him. I love my Savior so much, and I love YOU all! I'm excited to hear from you next week and I'll let you know about transfers. Necesito ir.
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante