Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hi Everyone!

Jaja, sorry for being late. We had a District activity this morning and it went over and then we missed our email time at the library (you have to make a reservation here) so we have just been all over the place and we haven't even eaten yet so I am pretty hungry! We played a board game for District activity though, called "Life". Like the cereal? It was pretty fun. I never played it before but I definitely won, so that's what is important, right? Just kidding ;)
District activity today. I totally won!  J

Thanks for the pictures! I love them all! I wish I could print them off but the Library has a weird lock and it wont let me print picture. Pretty lame. Oh well. I still enjoy them and they are all precious.

Thanks for sending part of Chrisser's email! He's so great! He comes home pretty soon though, huh? Is he an AP? I love reading his emails and seeing his Spanish-warped English grammar. It's great. Sadly, I speak too much English throughout the day to get to that point with my English, but I can definitely understand why he said, "assist church" instead of attend and "for much time" instead of something like "for awhile" – ha-ha I love it! That's exciting about their baptism with Luis! I think it's pretty interesting that the baptismal service was so small! The ward is definitely more involved with the baptisms here, and we've never had one with so few people, but I'm sure that's just a difference with being stateside and foreign.

Our Luis is doing great as well! He is overly excited about his baptism next month (on the 17th) and we may even bump up his date if he is ready. He comes to church every week, is reading and praying every day, and just can't be more excited about the gospel! It's pretty great. We just have to work with his girlfriend a little more and make sure everything will be okay with the Law of Chastity. Oh, it's so fun being a missionary ;)

We had Intercambios this week with the STL's and it was pretty great. I was a little bummed to not be going with Hermana Schwegler, but I'm sure she's doing great up in English work! Hermana Bennett and I actually hit a little bump and I was very humbled the day before we had intercambios, so it actually turned about to be good timing and I learned a lot.
Spanish Hermanas - Trainers and Trainees at the Follow-up Trainers meeting

Hermanas Whicker, Bennett, Lythgoe, y yo. Aren't we just cute? ;)
Hermana Bennett and I are still doing great. No worries. She is from Alberta area, I believe. A small town above Montana. She comes from a family of 6 kids and is the 4th to go on the mission. She just turned 19 in May and came on a mission as soon as possible. We are both pretty different in our missionary style and personalities, but it's a good different and we balance each other out pretty well.  

Wow, I can't believe how fast time flies. In the mission, and just on email time! Oh yeah, during intercambios we had a fun little miracle. We were teaching (Hermana Lythgoe and I - while Hermana Bennett was in Vista with Hermana Whicker) our investigator Gabriel, and right as we were about to say the opening prayer, a man walked up his driveway. I didn't recognize him, so I just assumed he was a friend or also lived there, but then I realized it was Hermano Reyes! (a member in our ward. J) Apparently he and Gabriel have been friends for 30 something years and we had no idea they even knew each other! Well, Hermano Reyes joined us for the lesson and even offered the opening prayer. It was great. We also had a great lesson with Cristian and had a fun ward activity for our investigators and recent converts. We had Mauricio, Alfredo, Maria y Conchita, Luis, and the Gonzalez family all come. It was a hit!

So, I still don't really understand who Becca and Todd are. Have I met them? I hope Benson had a beautiful blessing and Vanessa had a wonderful birthday! I love them both tons! Wish Wesley a happy birthday for me this week and tell him sorry I didn't get him anything! Next year though, for sure!

Well, I'm already out of time - bummer! But things have been good over all. Just trying to keep up! It's hard being in such a busy area. I am trying to get everything done AND train a new missionary on top of that who doesn't really speak the language. It's great fun. She's doing well though and is able to help me more and more every day in the work. I wish I could tell you everything about everyone, but I'm out of time again. I love you all very much, and I look forward to your emails next week!

Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Beautiful Escondido sunset

Random owl in the middle of the day!

Eli (a member's daughter) and neighbor friend

Eli making "puppy face"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hola from the Dido!

Well Hello!

Muchisimas gracias por los fotos y los emails tambien! You are the best. Papi also sent me a foto this week of Ariana and Michael and I from when I was probably around 8. Fun memories J

I loved the letters from the Primary children in the ward this week too! I will definitely write them back today. Sadly, I only have a few minutes because I had to catch up on some other emails, including writing my trainer Hermana Ruiz who just got back home. It was great to hear from her, but post-mission life doesn't sound so fun. I think I'll just stay on my mission forever. Is that cool?

We are experiencing so many miracles, and it's all because Hermana Bennett has such great faith! She really is so great and I feel so spoiled to have her as a companion. Training is going well and she is progressing a lot. We set a baptismal date with Luis and picked up a few more investigators and were able to have a lot of lessons this week. We are having about the same about of lessons that Hermana Sheffield and I had, but now with 5 less hours of proselyting time (due to training), so it's pretty awesome.

The Gonzalez family came out to a family home evening (FHE) last night at a member’s house, so that was super exciting! We will be going to Mass with them this Saturday and then they will (hopefully) be coming to church with us on Sunday. Great fun. Oh, but the FHE! It was actually pretty slow getting started and pretty awkward. The members were late and not even home when we showed up and the other members were very late. The ward mission leader (WML) hadn't assigned anyone to give the lesson so there was no lesson planned due to miscommunication, so the zone leaders (ZLs) and I threw together a skit with the kids, watched a Mormon message, Elder Herrera shared a scripture, and we had a great lesson after all! I love that Elder Herrera is in my ward and my Zone Leader so I still see him all the time. It's great. It's fun being with Hermana Jones in the same ward too! I think she kind of resents me though…and loves me. It's hilarious.

I still don't know President Kendrick very well, but so far he seems pretty great. Due to time, I will talk about him and Sister Kendrick more another day. I don't know much about the rules changing and getting Ipads, but that would be pretty convenient. I'm kind of stubborn though and don't like all the changes, so hopefully our mission gets those after I leave. That would be nice.

Sounds like you are having lots of fun keeping busy and I hope you have some great trips! I hope everything is well with the whole fam and that M,J,&D find a place very soon J

I just want to tell you how much I love the Book of Mormon. Seriously. It's so amazing. We read it every day in language study, as well as my own study in the scriptures and I am just blown away at how amazing it is every time. The more I read it, the more I realize how perfect the gospel is and how blessed we are to have the Book of Mormon. It makes so much sense and I just love how much I feel the Spirit as I read and study it. I will never stop learning from the Book of Mormon.

Sorry this is so short. I love you and will write more next week. I promise.
Te quiero muchisimo!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New President & New Companion!

Hey Everyone!

How are you? Wow, can you believe that tomorrow is my half way mark? Me either. I am not very excited about it, to be honest. I've been feeling a little down, because 1) I don't want to be on the downward slope, and 2) I feel like I should be a better missionary than I am, being half way out. But alas, the Lord knows my weaknesses and He still loves me. Thankfully I still have 9 more months to become the missionary the Lord wants me to be!

Thanks for the article on Peru! That is so awesome! Speaking of Peru, could you do me a favor and sign into my regular email to find me some email addresses (since we are now allowed to email anyone)? First would be Bertha's email, or course, and then if you could find Chen Chen (Sara) and Adu (Michael), that would be great! I won’t be writing them for a while, but I just figured I'd ask now so I'd have them for later. That would be super! Thank you mama!

And thank you for the pictures! Goodness, my Nieces and Nephews are so darn cute! I'm glad to hear that Grandma's party went well. I do love getting her letters every week. That is so fun that Chris sang! I hope you recorded it :) How is he doing? He seldom writes, so maybe you can update me, but maybe I should just email him. That's so fun that so much of the family has been in town and you've been able to spend a lot of time together. And that's so good that you are sharing your wonderful talent of story telling!

Anyway, I'm sure you want to hear about my week by now :) It has been pretty good! My new companion is.....(drum roll).....HERMANA BENNETT!! I wish I could send you a picture of her, because she is just darling, but alas, neither of us have our camera connector things today. She reminds me Josie a little bit though. Hermana Bennett is 19 and from Canada. She just finished her first year at BYU-Hawaii and loves to travel and explore. She is very sweet and a very good missionary, though we are still working on her Spanish (of course - seeing as she just got here). I do wish I were more disciplined at speaking Spanish though so I could help her out more. I realize that I would be much better at Spanish than I am if I were more disciplined at speaking it all the time. It's so easy getting away with speaking English though, since we are in the States and we live with the English sisters. She's helping me though, and although she doesn't speak a lot of Spanish, she does want to speak it. We are just thrilled to be together. When the new missionaries walked in at conference, I picked her out as the one I wanted, and what do you know! We were put together, ha-ha it's just dandy. 

The new President (President Kendrick) is pretty great. He is leaving things mostly how President Cook had them, and just changing things here and there, but they are good changes that will be good for the mission. He has a great Texan accent, and really doesn't speak much Spanish at all (even though this is technically a Spanish-speaking Mission President Assignment and he served in Argentina) – ha-ha but that's ok, he's still great. The meeting with him was brief. We just met with him as trainers, then he met with the new missionaries, and then he put us in our assignments, and then we were off! He came to our District Meeting the next day actually and met with us individually, but nothing too exciting, just a get to know you mostly.

Hermana Bennett and I have been able to set two baptismal dates together already! But one of them has already fallen through, as he was a teenager and his mother does not approve. Oh well, he has a Libro de Mormon, and maybe he'll have a chance in the future. We will hopefully be setting one with Luis tomorrow as well, as he is as stoked about the Book of Mormon and church as you can get. We just have to talk with his girlfriend/mother of his children and get them hitched or something. It will all work out though J The Gonzalez family came to church this week, which was a miracle! Miracles always happen on Fast Sunday. It's so great. They left early, but that's ok. They came! That's the first step. Luis came and decided to stay for all 3 hours and made some new friends! Things are going well, even though it is still hard. I definitely feel a lot of pressure, being a trainer, and also trying to keep up the work in our area, as well as trying to help build up and organize and support this messy ward (that has been a huge focus lately).

Oh yes! Before I forget! Pres. and Sister Cook will be speaking in their ward this Sunday. Don't feel obligated to go, but you had asked about it so I thought I'd let you know. It is at 1pm and at the Lundstrom Park 2nd Ward, 1260 No. 1600 E. Logan, UT. Also, you can add "Carlsbad California Mission - President Cook" on Facebook if you'd like to see more pictures of the mission.

Hermana Bennett told me about this cool map where it follows the history of the Book of Mormon and shows where exactly it happened and stuff. If you see one of those at Deseret Book of something, want to send it to me? She said she saw it in the MTC Bookstore. Sounds pretty cool though!

Well mama, I am out of time! I love you lots! I know the power of the Atonement is real and if we just do our best and rely on the Lord, He will justify us.

Con muchisimo amor y cariƱo,

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante
a.k.a. Llama face