Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Well Hello beautiful people y Feliz Pascua a ustedes tambien J

Sorry, I am short on time...again. I am so excited for General Conference; it's not even funny. I can't believe I've been out for almost 6 months. It's crazy to think about. Especially because I was in China for 6 months and that felt like forever, but I still feel like I just got here. There is still so much to learn out here in the mission field. I feel like by the time I figure out how to be the missionary I want to be, my mission will be over. But I keep pushing forward and trying everyday and I'm sure everything will be wonderful :)

As for the medical thing, there is no mission doctor so please don't send it to me. Try to get it worked out with Dr. Cherrington or my heart doctor (I forget her name). What is it about anyway? I already have my license, don't I? Also, I know I am so needy and you give me way too much stuff, but if you could please order me some black "Kadee Crocs" size 7 and send them to me that would be awesome. I know, Crocs are gross, but Hermana Jones has these and they are pretty much cute, black flats that feel like heaven when you walk on them. My feet are getting sore and I would really love some of those. You can use my account to buy them and just ship them here. Speaking of, how much money do I have in my account, can you check for me please? Thanks! I would love those CDs that Chris made me :) And maybe some summer tops? I realized all the clothes I packed are winter/fall clothes and it is really starting to warm up. I would, but we really don't have much time to shop. If you can find some in my closet, great. If not, you can use my account and buy some for me? I know you're super busy mama, but if you could do that for me I would be so happy. Thank you!! Love you!! :D

Man, I almost out of time. Priscilla, Oscar, and Rene did not come to church this week so they will not be getting baptized this transfer :( Maria did though! First time in 3 months! Woot! She is doing well and will be fasting about a baptismal date this week J

We have been working hard at finding and we've been seeing some results. I've felt some tender mercies from the Lord as we continue to be diligent in the work. Hermana Jones is doing great and really getting more involved. I admire her courage, faith, and willingness to try. We are still working on using our time efficiently and productively all the time and staying focused with her, but over all the companionship is doing well. 

Hermana Ruiz received some hard news yesterday and called her family in Mexico to talk to her Abuelita who has been diagnosed with Cancer that is fatal. I respect and admire Hermana Ruiz so much for how well she is doing and how she keeps working even though she is really upset about her Abuelita. We keep praying for her and know that with faith in the Lord, all will be well.
Sorry I don't have more time. Thank you for updates on the family. How are YOU doing mama? You always forget to update me about you. I love you so very much. You're an amazing example to me and I'm excited to talk to you in a few months! You know what else I'm excited for?

GENERAL CONFERENCE! WOOT! It will be amazing. I love this gospel, that we have the restored church of Christ again on the earth, including revelation and guidance through prophets. This gospel is amazing and I love my Savior.
Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante


With Rene & Oscar
Hermana Ruiz Birthday!

Feliz Cumpleanos!

Rene & Oscar - I love these kids!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Two Days after St. Patrick's Day!!

Wow! Everyone wrote me this week and I have no time! Ha-ha sorry! I have soooo much to say and I won't be able to share it all, but maybe I can catch up next week :)

Hola Presidente,
As I expressed last week, training with Hermana Jones has been very much a learning experience. It requires a lot of patience, but I am also learning so much. She has been a little stressed with the language, not knowing how to learn it since she is not submersed in it, and so Hermana Ruiz asked me to share how I've come so far, seeing as I didn't speak much better than Hermana Jones just a short time ago. What I realized as I was sharing with her, is that the Book of Mormon challenge we have been doing (marking and reading every day) has helped so much. I remember in December thinking that it would be so much easier in English, but I had the strong impression that if I did the challenge in Spanish, I would be blessed and my ability to speak the language would increase more rapidly. That has been so true. Every day I read the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish and I know that more than anything else I have done or studied, that has helped me learn the language and be able to speak it! What a blessing. Hermana Jones still doesn't love the idea because she can't understand what she's reading (she doesn't realize that that's not the point and it will help her gain the gift of tongues anyway), but we're helping her along. :)
We have seen so many blessings this week. We dropped some investigators that we have been teaching for a long time and we were really hoping they would be baptized, but they just weren't progressing and we realized that they wanted to know, but they didn't want to change. It was hard dropping them, but we have seen so many blessings from it, picking up 7 investigators last week! (Usually we get 2 or 3 on a good week). We fasted with the Branch Council this last weekend for the missionary work and we are having members falling into our laps to come with us for lessons! Literally - we were about to start a lesson with Priscilla and her family and one of the members knocked on her door and joined us for the lesson, it was ridiculous, and awesome. Also, Priscilla's son (who said he didn't want to be baptized) said he's feeling really good at church and is 60% sure he wants to be baptized! Ha-ha, we know he will be very soon and we're so excited for him!
I learned a lot from Hermana Schwegler during Intercambios (like always - she's so great!) and from myself, actually. I realized that even though it's not easy, I can do this work without having to rely on Hermana Ruiz. We saw a lot of miracles during Intercambios. Wow. Miracles all over the place! We have had a wonderful week! :)
Hermana Escalante

P.S. Sorry it's so long this week - there's just so much goodness to share in the work!

The investigators that were dropped are Magaly and Cristian. We were really sad about it, but it was at the point that they needed to get baptized or dropped and they we're ready to make that step. Maria is progressing again, so that is really exciting :) Rene wants to be baptized (most likely) and he is having his own spiritual experiences and it's so awesome! Priscilla and Oscar will be getting baptized the 30th and maybe Rene too! We'll see. The members are getting so much more involved and it's getting hard to keep up with the work, which is so awesome! Like I mentioned in the letter to President Cook, helping to train Hermana Jones takes a lot of patience, but I am learning. President has casually mentioned (more that once) to Hermana Ruiz that I need the experience and to be prepared...ugh. I'm pretty sure that means I will be training in a transfer or two, which I'm not excited about, but I don't really have much of a choice with all the billions of 19 yr. olds coming out. As for the area split, we will be losing the 3 most north areas of our mission (orange county area) and gaining the Murrieta stake, which is right by here in Temecula. It's so close that we accidently drive into it when we make a wrong turn :) So yeah, we won't be getting the Poway stake. Bummer. Like I said, I don't know which mission I will be staying in (here or Irvine), but I have a feeling I will stay here in Carlsbad.
I am learning and actually realizing how amazing the Bible is, and Jesus the Christ, and I use them more and more in my studies. I wish that every Jehovah’s Witness that we talked to would just read Roman's 8, it's so clear. Pretty powerful though. Intercambios were awesome, we saw a lot of miracles, and like I said to President, I lead out on everything and even though I felt uncomfortable, I was able to do it and I realize that I am able to do this work with the help of the Lord. I'm sad that I'm already out of time, but thank you for the updates on the family! I will print and read the letter from Ryan later. Thailand looks amazing and I would not be opposed to taking a trip there! I'm glad all my siblings are doing well and YOU are doing well mama! I love you! The conferences sound awesome and I'm excited to go to as many as I can when I get home! I love my Savior; this gospel is true and so real. I love the scriptures and our living day profets. I love you all! Gotta go! Bye!
Con amor,
Hermana Escalante

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos ☺

Wow, amo a mi familia! Ustedes son incredibles! Ashley looks great! When is her due date again? Any names picked out yet? My sister Ariana is truly amazing. I can't believe her. Go Chris! Way to go with trailers! Wesley is looking good ;) though it's a little sad he can make his belly almost as big as Ashley's ha-ha. I am so jealous of M, J, & D! Wow! Thailand looks amazing. I want to go so bad. That's so awesome they got to meet up with Travis. What a trip! D is so big! Amo a mis sobrinos J

So you'll be in Chicago this weekend? Wow! St. Patty's day is Hermana Ruiz's birthday so we'll be celebrating either with the Villa-Sanchez family or with the Vidals after church for a quick dinner and then back to work of course J should be fun! (And happy birthday cousin Chase on that day!)

Yes! It has been wet and chilly here, but I'm sure it's much chillier in Utah. The good news is that even when it's cold and rainy, it's only for a day or two and then it heats right back up again! We were doing service for a military wife in our branch yesterday and I was mowing the lawn with this old, crummy mower. It was so hard and so hot! I got all gross and my allergies were driving me crazy and then of course we had an appointment right after so we didn't even have time to shower. Gross. It was all good though, and the Hermana most definitely appreciated the help.

We had Zone Training again last week and it was so great, as always! I always walk away with so much desire to improve, and of course, so much humility. I always think I'm doing pretty well, and then I realize how much more I have to learn and grow. It's a good, healthy process, even if it's painful. 

Being in a trio has been fun and challenging, but I quite enjoy it. We are still trying to figure out how to teach with balance and try to involve Hermana Jones as much as possible with her limited Spanish, but she's doing well. I am realizing that it is not easy to train, and I have a lot to learn about how to be a good trainer, as opposed to just telling people what to do. There is a big difference. I am also learning a lot about patience, which I don't love, but I'm sure it's good for me. 

This week, I have really realized the importance of members of the ward/branch and how crucial they are in the big picture. We had planned to have a baptism this week with Oscar and Priscilla (la familia Villa-Sanchez), but it was not able to happened (it has just been postponed but will be happening soon). I was trying to figure out what it was that we did wrong that the baptism wasn't able to go through, or what more the investigators needed, but then in branch counsel, I realized it was because the branch was not yet ready to receive them. This branch hasn't had a baptism in 6 months, and they have had some wonderful missionaries and investigators. The good news is, is that they realize it and they want to fix the problem and be ready to receive new members. We will be fasting with the branch counsel this weekend for specific investigators and soon after the branch will be doing a 40-day-fast for missionary work and we will be having 2 activities about missionary work in the next month. They are really getting on board with things and their desires to help in the work of the Lord are strong. I hadn't realized before how much the members matter, but they need to be just as ready as the investigators, or the Lord won't trust them with a new member. I'm grateful to be in such a great area with great leaders and great members and I know we will be seeing the miracles soon!

That being said, I love the members but it is really hard to work with them in lessons sometimes. We call them "hijackers" when they take over the lessons and don't let us teach. It happens pretty often and it's pretty frustrating, but we're working with them on that. Speaking of, that's exactly what happened with Priscilla and Oscar and Rene yesterday. But they are still doing well and even though they don't have a set date still (Priscilla and Oscar), we know it will be in the next few weeks. They are so ready! Rene is still being 15 and not wanting to commit to anything, but he knows we're sincere and want the best for him, so at least he listens to us and takes us seriously. I felt impressed to make some pretty straightforward promises to him about getting an answer if he did certain things, so we are really hope he goes through with his commitments. I felt nervous to extend the promises, in case they didn't happen even if he kept his commitments, but I know it was an impression from the Spirit and I trusted with faith. We'll follow up and see how it went on Friday, so hopefully he'll have done what he promised and received a spiritual experience.

We had a fun pass-off lesson with the English sisters last night as we handed off Danny and his family. His children and wife don't really speak Spanish, so they would be best in the English ward, sadly. We love the English sisters though, and I'm sure they'll take good care of them. I'm sure a lot of other things happened this week, but I can't really remember. Sorry. It's time to go but thanks for everything mama! Being a missionary is hard, but it's pretty wonderful too. Time just keeps on flying by and my testimony of the Lord and His gospel just keeps on growing. I know I'm where I need to be and I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Con amor de tu misionera favorita,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

P.s. Pics - Hermana Ruiz, Rene, Oscar, Hermana Jones, y Yo! These were right after the service/yard work so I looked pretty nasty and still smelled like grass - do forgive. I love these kids though! They're the best!