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