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!