Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy (day after) Memorial Day!

Hi Mami and Everyone!

I have lots to share, so I'm going to just copy and paste my email to President this week to save time:

Hola Presidente!
Me encanta Escondido y Hermana Sheffield! I love my new area and am learning so much. We have already had 2 baptisms and I haven't even been here a solid week and we have another one coming up in two weeks. Elder Herrera and I were talking about Escondido compared to Temecula and how different and "ready" this area is. Talk about a white field! 

There are a lot of members and I am trying to learn all of their names and situations so that we can better work with them. It seems like Hermana Sheffield and Hermana Whicker worked and visited with just a few of the same members, which is understandable, but now we are trying to open up, invite different members to lessons, meet new ones through dinner appointments, and find other inactives that haven't been visited. There are a lot of things we want to do here, it just might take us a little while to get it all done, especially as we have been focusing on our baptisms and finding new investigators. 

Hermana Sheffield is a great companion and a wonderful missionary! I feel like this is a co-senior companionship because she really knows what she is doing and how to work hard, though I still feel like I am helping her in a lot of ways. To be honest, we're helping each other because we both have different strengths. Hermana Whicker definitely trained her differently than the way I was trained by Hermana Ruiz, so we are figuring out "our groove" and learning what things are best from each style of missionary work so that we can work hard and work well. It is different working here in Escondido with so many missionaries in one ward, especially with how to work with the Ward Leaders, but I am learning quickly the way it is done here.

There are so many less-actives/inactives in our area, and I'm not sure how much of our times should be focused on them, as opposed to finding and teaching. What would you say? My impression is that our priority is finding, teaching, and baptizing, but I have also never been in an area with so many inactives. Gracias Presidente!

Hermana Escalante

So there you have it! I am in Escondido (I love the Dirty Dido!) and I am serving with Hermana Sheffield...I guess I am "greenie breaking" her, as they would call it, which means that she just got done training and I am her first regular companion. Also, Elder Herrera (who is the Columbian who came out from the MTC with me and was in Temecula with me the last 4 transfers) is now my Zone Leader here in Dido! I love it. It's so great. To be honest, the last few weeks in Temecula were hard, and I sort of feel like the Lord is now blessing me for my diligence...ha-ha Dido is so great! There are so many Latinos and they are so open to the Gospel. There are also a LOT of different churches though (even more than in Temecula, if you can believe it) so a lot of people are pretty confused. Most are open and willing to learn more though, so it's pretty great.

Alfredo was baptized the Sunday before I came in and was just confirmed this Sunday. Conchita and Maria were baptized Saturday and will be confirmed this Sunday (usually we don't wait a week, but Maria had to work this week and they wanted to be baptized as soon as possible), and Mauricio will be baptized in two weeks. The work is really going here, it's almost hard for me to take it all in. It is so different than Temecula! Though I do miss Temecula. Hopefully I will be able to go back in a couple weeks for Patricia's baptism. But yeah! Conchita is the sweetest and funniest little lady who is 82 years old and Maria is her daughter.

Alfredo was the most "ready" person I've ever met, basically. He met Hma Sheffield & Whicker like 3 weeks ago and is already baptized and will be receiving the Priesthood next week. Mauricio is the cutest thing I have ever met! He is 17 and from Guatemala. He's not very educated so we have to explain things pretty simply and slowly, but he has great faith. Last night, we were talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we asked him [why] he wanted to be baptized. He said he wanted to be baptized because we wanted to please God. That he had prayed about baptism and he had a dream and God told him that he needed to be baptized! I swear, Latinos have the gift of dreams. It is so awesome.

Hermana Sheffield and I get along so great. The only problem we seem to have is that we are such good friends already that we talk waaay too much, so we need to use our time more effectively. We don't get as much done during studies and planning as we need to...but we both acknowledge that and are setting goals to improve...oh, also, we both love sugar so we don't feel like we're very good for each other. Before the baptism we ate doughnuts for dinner and the other day we had cake for lunch. Not too healthy. 

It was her birthday on Sunday though, so we really didn't have much of a choice, right? Ha-ha. Elder Farnsworth (we don't think we're related, not closely at least, we already talked about it) made her a cake and so did Sister Fluckiger, so we had to. Oh yeah, we live with some English sisters, so it's fun getting to know them too. Did I tell you Hma Sheffield is from Lindon? We're neighbors J

I have been so tired this week...I think training wore me out, and now being here with Hma Sheffield who is such a hard worker and knows how to get everything done, I guess my adrenalin turned off and I sort of crashed. I am getting my energy back now though, especially because it's so exciting to be here with so many Latinos. I am the Designated Driver again which I don't really like, but I'm guessing I'll be driving for the rest of my mission, so I better get used to it. I'm hoping they implement GPS's in every car like they have in other missions. California streets are so confusing. Oh yeah! Thursday we got a call from the Vehicle Coordinator and they drove down a brand new 2013 Toyota Corolla for us! So yeah, I've been driving a brand new, less than 100 miles car for the last few days. It's pretty awesome.

Thank you for the pictures of my new nephew!! He is so precious! The picture with the ties is the one that Grandma included in her email/letter so I did see that one last week. Congrats to Michael for graduating!! I'm glad to hear that Chris is enjoying Cali and even making new friends in his ward! Also...HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON SATURDAY BRUDDER!!! I'll probably email him separately if I have time too, but let him know that I love him and miss him and hope he has a great Birthday!

Oh my goodness. Chaddy. Tell him I am expecting a letter very soon and if I don't get one I am going to be very upset. I do miss him and my other wonderful cousins and am very excited to hear how he's doing! I hope you had a great Memorial Day! We sort of forgot it was a holiday (time and dates just blur together on the mission) so we were a little confused but excited to see so many people out and about yesterday.

I want to send pictures but I still have to finish unpacking (this week has been so crazy I haven't even had time to unpack.... there is so much to do in Dido!) and find my other card because this connector is broker, so you might get a bunch of pictures next week, but we'll see. I'm glad to hear you had a good week and let me know how Sunday school went! 

Sorry this email was sort of spastic, but it's been a good week! I love you mama and everyone else who is reading this! This Gospel and work is so true. As President Cook would say, "It's true, it's true, it's true. It's all true." I love my Savior and I love helping others come unto Him.

With so much love from my weird heart,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Graduation Week!

Hi Everyone!

I am sorry to say it, but I spent some time writing President, Ariana, and Paris today, so I am almost out of time already! Plus, I saw Hermana Acuña here at the Library (a less active member in the branch) and so we were talking and taking pictures and that ended up taking some of my Internet time. Sorry! It has been a good week, though it was awfully long.

 Yes, I am getting transferred! Of course, I have no idea where to (I'll find that out in a couple hours), but somewhere amazing with an amazing companion I'm sure! I'll let you know next week.

 We had a great lesson with Patricia last night and she committed to throw her coffee in the garbage because she knows that the Lord will give her more strength and energy to take care of her family than any drink. She made us arroz con leche (mi favorito!) and gave me a bracelet and was crying as she said the closing prayer, thanking God for sending her the missionaries to help change her life.  It was wonderful.

It was also Rene's birthday so we had Pizza, birthday gifts, and a lesson with them. It was great. He still doesn't want to settle on a baptismal date, but I keep praying that I'll be coming back to Temecula soon for his baptism (and Patricia's next month as well, of course).

We also visited the Vidals last night and I will miss them so much! Hopefully I can put up some pictures soon; I just need to find my other converter (which hopefully I will next week when I unpack). 

We had dinner with the Perez family last night and it was sad to say goodbye but they added me on Facebook already so thankfully we'll keep in touch. She made some amazing Philipeano food for my last dinner in Temecula! Yum!

Hermana Vielma (my mission mother - I love that lady so much) gave us a ride to our car that was in the shop and also gave me a beautiful necklace from Oaxaca (however you spell it...it's pronounced wa-ha-ka) and we exchanged addresses so we can keep writing and I can come visit her after the mish.

I also received some calls and texts from the members to say goodbye and thank me for my service here in Temecula. Hermana Morgan will be giving us a ride today to transfer meeting and also gave me a lovely necklace with the San Diego temple on it. Man, these members are so wonderful and loving and I am so sad to leave them! It has been very sweet and I am sad to go, but I am also very ready and excited to learn so much in my new area.

Hermana Jones will be staying here and is excited to get a new companion and learn and grow even more (especially in her Spanish, as she says she relies on me too much). Hopefully she'll be in Argentina soon though. Elder Pickle (another Visa Waiter) just left yesterday to Argentina so hers should be coming soon!

I'm not really sure what to tell you about your new teen Sunday school class...I have a hard time teaching them too. Trust me...otherwise Rene and Edward might have a baptismal date by now, ha-ha. JK ;)

Who is Jeff Steber? It's a little late for that now. Sorry. I'll be out of Temecula in a few hours. That is so exciting about Michael's graduation and I am expecting pictures soon! Also of my new nephew.... I can't believe you mother! Thankfully, my wonderful Grandmother sent me a letter that included a picture of him so I know what he looks like! Silly Mommy.

I just got an email from Ariana/Chris on their way to Cali, but I'll have to respond next week. Tell them I love them both so much and good luck here in Cali!

Well, I better wrap this up. I know this work is real and the Savior loves us so much. There is true knowledge to be found in the scriptures and miracles come from faith and obedience. I love you all muchisimo!

Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hello from Sunny California!

Hi Family!

Sadly, I was unwise and wrote some other people first and now I am out of time, almost. Just an update on some things I didn't mention on Sunday (Skyping with you and everyone was great! I love you all!).

Patricia has been coming to activities but not been able to come to church because of her husband. This of course means that she won't be baptized this weekend, which is pretty depressing. However, she is still progressing great and her faith is growing everyday. She feels the love of the Lord in her life and the peace that the gospel of Christ brings. Hopefully she will be baptized soon and I will be invited to come back for the service. 

To be honest, the branch is having a few problems within the members and the leaders and I believe that is why Patricia won't be able to be baptized for a while. If the Lord doesn't trust a branch/ward to take care of a new, precious soul, they aren't able to be baptized, for whichever reason. The Elders in our branch have experienced several situations with a progressing investigator that should be baptized and for one reason or another, they can't be. We keep praying and working with the branch though, so that they will be ready to take care of our brothers and sisters soon. 

We had a Noche de Hogar last night with the Villa/Sanchez family and Rene taught the lesson! It was interesting...but great! Haha. He is so awesome and his testimony is growing every day. As for weather, sorry to let you know, but 102 (in Ramona, CA)  is a little off. According to our thermometer, it hit 110 here in Temecula yesterday. It was great fun! Haha, don't worry. We keep sunscreen in the car because we know we are gueras.

Sounds like you are going to have an amazing trip over in the east! Please tell M,J, & D that I love and miss them very much! I am VERY excited to see pictures of my new nephew next week! Sadly, I think my card reader broke, so don't expect pictures anytime soon. No worries, I never remember to take pictures anyway.

I was studying Humility this morning, and what an important Christ like attribute it is. To be willing to do what the Father wants of us, and trusting in the strength and support of the Savior, instead of our own. I love the quote Hermana Jones told me this week that is something along the lines of... "Any two people can do ANYTHING! As long as one of them is the Lord.”  How true that is, He loves us and wants to help us, it is only our own pride that gets in the way.

Well, I love you all so much, and hopefully Skyping made up for this short email. Love you!!
Te quiero mucho!

Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's Almost Here!

Hola Familia!

So we will be calling around 4:30 California time...isn't that 5:30 Utah time? I'm not positive. I really don't know if we will be able to multi-skype, as I'm not sure what version of Skype la familia Vidal has. I'll probably call you on your cell phone before we call on Skype though, so no worries.

It sounds like you've had a great/busy week! (Like always). I am a bit jealous that you get to spend time with the Newells this week. Please tell them I say hello and love and miss them all dearly. I still can't believe Jilli is getting hitched! What day is it again? If they have any extra invitations, care to send me one? I want to see! :)

I'm glad to hear that Kirsten is doing well. Grandma sent me the article of the accident - how scary! How is Emily doing? What day does Landon leave again?

I just got a huge email from Ariana, but will be printing it off to read, so I'm not sure what it said. I thought it said something about maybe being able to Skype and being in Utah, but maybe her plans have changed since then. I hope Wes does well and loves being in the guard! But I guess I'll talk to him about that on Sunday. Last night I had a dream and every one in the family was there, so I guess my subconscious is a little excited to talk to you all :) Sounds like Michael is about as amazing as ever! I'll definitely keep him in my prayers as some very exciting opportunities are headed his way.

We have had a good week - not an amazing week, but a good week. Hermana Jones and I have realized that we have been working, but not working as hard as we should be. Getting casual in the work is very easy; we realize that we need to be pushing ourselves every day. Hermana Jones is doing well though (she says "Hi" back, by the way) and is improving a lot. I feel bad, because I realize I'm not the most amazing trainer, but thankfully she is patient with me and I try to be patient with her. Our personalities clash sometimes, but as we focus on our investigators, members, and the work, we do well.

Patricia is progressing well, though we're not sure if she'll be able to be baptized by the 18th, because she is not able to meet with us as often as we would like. Even if she is baptized the next week, I think I'd be able to come back for the baptism. It's not for certain, but I will most likely be leaving Temecula this transfer. I love Temecula, but I am also excited to go somewhere new, as this is the only area I know, and am stoked to learn how the mission functions is other areas.

We had a great Noche de Hogar with Priscilla, Oscar, and Rene and the Vidal family. Priscilla and fam stayed for all 3 hours of church on Sunday and the members are getting a lot more involved with them, which is awesome.

Sadly, I'm already out of time. Sorry, I spent a lot of my Internet time searching for a talk for Patricia on LDS.org. I'll be talking to you in a few days though, so if I've left anything out, I'm sure you'll hear it by then.

I love you loads. I know this Gospel is true, with all my heart. I wish it was easier to help people see the truth, but things of worth are never easy. I love my Savior and I am grateful for His help in the work. I'll see you on Sunday! Feliz dia de los Madres! Te quiero mucho!

Con Amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante