Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013!!

Hi People whom I love!

Wow, my beloved cousins! What am I to do with them? I'm glad to hear that Emily is doing well. Please send her my love! I miss her mucho! And oh my goodness, I can't believe Kirsten! I am just so glad to hear that she was blessed and protected and nothing worse happened to her. I hope she recovers well and quickly and I'm glad to hear that she didn't have to stay in the hospital for long.

Thank you for the picture of my BEAUTIFUL niece (Vanessa)! Wow, she is just darling. I can't wait to see pictures of her baby brother. J As for Mother's day...I still haven't figured that out yet. Sorry. I'm kind of awful like that. It's the 12th, right? I'm thinking we'll go to the Morgan's after church, so we'll be calling around 4:30pm California time. I'll let you know next week for sure though.

Say "Hola" to the Newell’s for me! Oh! I miss those beautiful people! I am definitely going to go visit them in Mexico after my mission (if they're okay with that) - I want to go to Mexico so bad! Did I tell you I'm Mexican now? Just FYI. That's what I always tell people, and sometimes they even believe me, thinking I'm from one of the white colonies down there. It's pretty funny. (I love Mexicans and Mexican food so much).

Hi Brudder! It was fun to get your personalized message! Thanks again for the CDs - they're awesome. When are you expecting to go to Cali? Please tell Kimi I really do love her even though I'm a terrible friend and never write her, though I'll try to email her today. Tell Kemma and friends that I love and miss them too! J

Wow mama, it sounds like your life is as busy as a missionary! ;) I don't know how you do it all. I hope all goes well with grading and the new baby and flying out to New Haven (what day is Michael graduating?) and exercising and every else that you do! You are one busy woman.

This week has been packed though. Lots going on. We have something called "Sister Trainer Leaders" now...or something like that. And guess who mine is? Hermana Schwegler! YES! I am so blessed. I love that girl and am so stoked to be able to train with her more. So the new STLs will be going to all the leadership meetings, receiving and helping us to implement trainings, going on exchanges with us regularly, and helping us with goals/whatever we struggle with. It's so awesome. All the attention that the Elders get from the DLs and ZLs, we'll now be getting too! (Instead of just being left on our own in the dark). It's going to be awesome.

We also went on Intercambios this week with the Hermana's from Vista and it was great. Hermana Eskeets is awesome. Not only did we work well together, we just get along really well, which was really nice, as I haven't really clicked with any of the sister missionaries I've worked with - personality wise. Even Hermana Schwegler, whom I adore and respect greatly, it's not the same as just really getting along well with them, you know? Anyway, Hermana Eskeets is a great missionary and super cool. I am REALLY hoping I get transferred to Vista in 3 weeks to serve with her. That would be awesome. We would "tear it up"!

Tearing it Up!?

We also had Zone Training yesterday, which was really great. We learned a lot about working with our Member Leaders, as well as planning and goal setting (really learning to use our time wisely).  It was very helpful, and Hermana Jones and I now have a lot of goals we are working on to improve planning, goal setting, and working with the leadership in our area. We definitely need to communicate better with our Branch Mission Leader and coordinate better with the Branch Counsel. We realize we don't know everything and we have to start small, but we are making the baby steps so that we can better the work every day. It was very beneficial and awesome. Our Zone Leaders might be the very best!

So, we had a goal as a mission to reach 300 baptisms before the end of June, but the Leadership Council rethought the goal, prayed about it, and came up with the new goal of 235 baptisms before the end of June. Our mission has never had that many before June (ever, in the history of this mission) so it is still a great goal, but also one that we will be able to achieve. J To present the new goal, the Zone Leaders (Elder Roundy and Elder Holmes) came up with a great idea. As they were talking about the meeting they had, suddenly they started pulling off their jackets, whipping off their ties, they jumped on their chairs, and (literally) ripped open their shirts, to reveal the numbers 235! Ha-ha, it was so hilarious and epic. They are the best. 

Cleaning checks are on Thursday so any spare minute I have been cleaning (and trying to convince Hermana Jones to do the same) and it has been even busier than usual. I have had absolutely no time to write letters, so I'm sorry to those of you who are waiting. I love you anyway, but it might take me a little while longer. Sorry! 

Our investigators are doing well and we are mostly focusing on Patricia as she has a baptismal date for the 18th. The only trick is working with her husband as he wants nothing to do with religion, but he has been supportive for the most part. We have been picking up several new investigators, so we'll see how things go with them this week. ;)  Rene is still being stubborn and Priscilla has been having more health problems so they haven't been to church and it's hard to get a lesson in with them. They are doing well for the most part though and we love them very much.

Hermana Jones is doing well and I think she learned a lot from Intercambios, though we are both learning patience from each other every day as we try to work together in unity, though sometimes it's hard. I am learning a lot from her though, and just from training in general. The work is great. I really do love it, even when it's hard. I know this is the Gospel of Christ that we preach, and it is the truth. Our Savior lives - nuestro SeƱor vive!

Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante    

P.S. I'm out of time and don't have time to write about the Vielma's, but just know that I love Hermana Vielma very much. She is the best!...probably because she is Mexican. ;) Jaja

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Mom, I'm glad you did end up emailing to me, instead of just putting [your letter] on my blog. I would have been pretty bummed if I didn't receive an email from you. No, Ariana didn't write me, but that's probably because I'm a terrible sister and never write her back and when I do it's really short. I don't know how I run out of time so quickly! I actually have an hour, not 30 min, but that also includes reporting Key Indicators, writing President, and trying to catch up in responding to emails from friends from several weeks ago. There just never seems to be enough time.

HOW IS EMILY?! Is she okay? I had no idea she had any problems with health that would keep her from serving. What's wrong? Will she be able to go back to Estonia or will she be serving the remainder here in the states? If she does, tell the Prophet to send her to Carlsbad, Spanish-speaking please. Thank you J I'll definitely keep her in my prayers though!

Congrats Wesley! I'm so proud of my brother in the Guard! May 15th, huh? They couldn't bump it up so I could see the baby by Mother's day? Ha-ha, just kidding. I love the name though. It's absolutely fantastic!

Glad to receive the note from Chris and all the awesome projects he's involved in! J I'm confused...his stuff is in Cali but he's still in Utah? When will he be heading out here then? We have been loving the music though, J thanks again!

I did get a letter from Zach actually. He wrote mostly in Spanish and it's awesome that I can understand all of it J I feel like my Spanish has really taken a step up since Hermana Ruiz left. I've really had no choice actually, seeing as Hermana Jones knows less than I do. Glad to hear that Zach is doing well though in his new job and everything. Hopefully I'll be able to write him back soon, but I'm already behind on letters as it is. I've yet to write Kimi, Paris, Danae, Gloria, Sam, and Cody. Ugh. Too many people to write. I'll get there though. At least I write you every week, right? ;)

It's been a good week. Nothing too extreme, just a little slow. We found a new family and they are awesome, though they will be returning to Mexico in 2 months. Hopefully we can help them embrace the gospel before then though. We have been running into a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses lately and so I've been trying to better understand them and where they are coming from with their beliefs.

We will be having Intercambios tomorrow, and I was really hoping they would be with Hermana Schwegler again ;) but Hermana Jones will be going to Vista with Hermana Inman (one of the sister's that came out with me) and I will be staying here with Hermana Eskeets (Hermana Schwegler just finished training her. So none of us have a lot of experience, but we are excited to be learning together.

Patricia is doing well and we are really excited for her baptism next month. Maria has decided she wants to be baptized (finally!) but she does not want to set a date yet. The big obstacle for her is her family, and she wants to work with them a little more before she takes this step. Hopefully we can help her understand soon that she doesn't need to wait, but she can be an example to her family now and that the Lord will bless her for her faith.

As for Mother's day, I have no clue where we'll be or when. Maybe we can figure that out this week. I was actually hoping to only talk to family for a little bit and just having a mommy-daughter talk for the majority of the time. Would that be ok? Of course I want to see the fam as well, but maybe we could split it half and half or something? I just want to talk with my mama on mother's day, you know?  J  

Well, I wrote back a few more friends this week so I'm already out of time. I'm going to try to upload a few pictures but this new Gmail is weird, so we'll see how it goes.

Haha, I love this! thanks Papi!

Elder Holmes! Favorite Zone Leader ever! He's the best! We match :)

Elder Call! He was in my first District. He's so hilarious. Ah...good times :)

Ok, I think it worked! Thanks mami! You're the best! I sure do love you and am excited for your email next week! Keep being amazing!
I know our Savior lives and this is His work! LOVE YOU!!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

P.S. Oh yeah! We had Stake conference this week and it was super good! A lot better than most Stake conferences. Hopefully I'll remember to share more next week. Sorry this is short. I love you and tell all of my family I love them too! CIAO!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Greetings from (not very) Sunny California!

Hi Fam, I love you. Did you know that? Well, I surely do. Te quiero mucho.

I can't believe Michael and Jodi and Squish are moving to Boston and there was a huge bombing there this week! Quite comforting...I'm just glad they weren't there at the time of the bombing. Sounds awful. 

What a lovely picture of the snow though J Love it in a picture...but I'm grateful to be in Sunny So.Cal J Though it has been pretty cloudy and cold the past few days. We survive though. Congrats to Landon on his mission call! I hadn't heard, so that's super exciting! Two cousins down in Chile! It will be so fun to talk in Spanish with them when we're all home J

I did get a quick email from Ariana, just now, and I'm so excited for her and Moe and Chris! We're in the same state! I'm sure they will have a lot of awesome experiences and opportunities out here. You are all in my prayers, always.

Congratulations to Zach as well for the awesome job offer. It sounds like a great job and I hope everything goes well for him. It'd be nice to get a letter from him to see how he's doing, but I don't really have time these days to write anyone back anyway (Kimi can testify to that - sorry Love), so it's not a big deal if he doesn't.

So yes, it was our first week with just Hermana Jones and I, and my first official week being a trainer. The first two days were really hard, to be honest, and we didn't have any success. I was getting really down on myself, but thankfully we had Entrevistas with President on Thursday, and that really helped. I was sure that President had me finish training because he didn't have any other choice, but there are other Spanish Sister missionaries with more experience, he says he just trusts me. It's a bit daunting, but his confidence in me is also encouraging. He says he has "great faith" in me! Ha-ha, so let's hope I don't disappoint.

Hermana Jones is also really great at helping me stay optimistic and positive and always has a smile on. We have been able to find our "groove" and the work seems to be going again. I am surprised at how much Spanish I speak, now that I am forced to (without Hermana Ruiz here), but I still have a long way to go. The Branch was very surprised that we didn't receive another missionary, since Hermana Jones and I are both quite new, but we still have their support. We are trying to figure out how to work with the members more, as we didn't do that much with Hermana Ruiz.

Priscilla and Oscar were confirmed on Sunday and they received some beautiful blessings. And we had a big surprise/blessing too! Ezekiel came to church!! (That's the dad who wants nothing to do with any church). He thought it was all a little strange, and they didn't stay for the classes (I think 1 hour was plenty long for him), but it was great! We went by that night to gather some last information for their records and also to share a spiritual message. He has warmed up to us a lot but usually once we pull out the scriptures, he goes back into his room to watch TV. But this time, he stayed! He joined us in our scripture reading and our prayer J it was great! They are still having a lot of problems in their marriage (especially now that Priscilla is freaked out by the bombing and wants to move back to Mexico), but we have seen a lot of progress and he is being supportive of Oscar.

 I am so grateful for the gospel and the change it can play in people's lives. I was actually getting pretty confused about how to continue to work with this now, Part-Member/Recent Convert/Progressing Investigator family, especially since we have never worked with Recent Converts nor part-member families before. Our Branch Mission Leader would say one thing, and the Spanish Elders another, and our District Leader, another. Thank goodness for Preach My Gospel. We have been doing a lot of studying and trying to do our very best to do everything right and just the way the Lord wants us to do his work.

Thank you for the shoes and CDs and shirts! You're the best! I really don't know how you spoil me so much J. And thank you Brudder for the music! It is much appreciated.

To be honest, training is really tiring, and I don't feel like I'm doing Hermana Jones justice and giving her the training she deserves, but she's patient with me and I try to be patient with her. The most important thing is that we are receiving help from the Lord. I love this gospel. It's so real, and the most important thing...ever.

I love you mama. Thank you for your testimony and you're amazing example! I am very much excited to talk to you next month J you're wonderful! LOVE YOU!

Con MUCHO amor,
Tu hija "Hermanita" (as the members call me) Alyssa Nicole Escalante