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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

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