Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Happy Birthday!

Hey Familia!

Muchisimas gracias por el camera! Me encanta! Y el color especialmente. J
It's been a pretty good birthday so far. We went hiking as a district (though I did slip once and get a pretty cute bruise, but that's okay) and aside from getting lost and separated from half the district, it was pretty fun! Aside from that it's just been busy with regular p-day things, though we will eat with some members tonight, and then have an FHE with a partly active, partly inactive family afterwards, as well as a few other lessons with investigators, so it will be a busy day.

I'm actually about out of time, because I have been trying to email everyone back, saying thank you for wishing me a happy birthday and what not. Sorry. L Hopefully I can get a few things in.

Frist things first: Thank you Grandma for all your letters! I do love getting them, either by email or letter is fine. Just wanted to let you know that I do appreciate them and look forward to them every week! Love you Grandma and Grandpa!

I loved getting Ariana's gift! Elder Jones actually gave it to me during Stake Conference so I was a little confused and thought Ariana might actually be there...which was confusing. I loved her gift though, she's wonderful. And yes, Stake Conference was great. Elder Auna of the 70 was there and it was great - focusing on missionary work (of course) and temple work as well. I wish I had more time to write about it. Sorry.

I really only have a few minutes left and the biggest thing I want to say is that here on the mission I learning just how deceiving Satan truly is. We were contacting a man last night named Maricelo and no matter what we said, he just wouldn't listen. He would hear us...but he wasn't really listening. The saddest thing was that he was so insistent that there was no such thing as "truth". That all churches were good, and that was that. He compared it to music, that everyone has their favorite genre and no one has a right to tell you if one song is better than another. Oh, it was so sad. Satan is so good at deceiving people into thinking that being accepting of everyone and everything is the best thing we can do and that there is no truth. It is so sad because this man cannot see truth. He cannot accept that God loves us so much and that there is such thing as eternal truth, that does not change, nor will it ever, and that no matter what man does do to pervert the truth or take their own spin on it or whatever, it doesn't matter, because truth cannot change. I love the Gospel and I love the Book of Mormon which helps us find that which is true, and not just what someone finds as "they're style".

Well, I'm out of time. Karla's going great. I do love her and already promised to come back for her and Luis' sealing in a year. I love the gospel and I love these people.

Oh yeah, and I witnessed a drug deal yesterday. That's Escondido for ya...
Con amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, August 19, 2013


Hi All!

Sorry, I have very little time today. I had a few emails to catch up on and spent a lot of the time writing to Presidente Kendrick. I think I will copy part of my email to President Kendrick so you can read it:

Presidente Kendrick,
I am learning very much to trust in the Lord and His timing. There have been several experiences that we've had this week that have testified of that. Even last night, if we had arrived in a certain place more than 30 seconds later (or even sooner), we wouldn't have been able to contact a man who was contemplating suicide. We discussed the Gospel with him and the healing powers of the Atonement. We set up an appointment with him for this week and I know that the Lord guides us and that His timing is divine. 

I am grateful to know that, especially here on the mission, as I have experienced some trials with having to accept the Lord's timing. I truly am learning about what it means that the Lord's timing is different than our timing, just as His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts.
I am looking forward to Zone Conference. Gracias Presidente.
Hermana Escalante

Yesterday was just an intense day in general, including that contact. We had a lesson with Miguel and Jenni (new investigators) and the Ley familia (their neighbors). They were all talking so much (as Latinos do) and I felt like a lion fighting amongst the pack just trying to get a few words in! It was ridiculous. But thankfully, we hushed them up enough to share the experience of Joseph Smith with them and the intensity of the Spirit in the room was so real. As I quoted his own words, everything was silent and still and afterwards Jenni (who knows very little about God and religion) told as that she felt something very real and had chills and felt something in her chest. I think it was strange for her and she was a little uncomfortable, but it was just one of those great experiences helping others to feel the Spirit and recognize how it testifies of truth.

Miguel is perhaps not quite as ready, but we are continuing to work with Jenni. J Karla is doing great! She will be baptized on the 14th of September and Luis will be baptizing her as he will be baptized the 31st of August and will receive the Priesthood on the 8th. It has been a little tricky trying to work with them, as Luis is now living outside of our area and working with the other sisters (hermanas), but we make it work. They will hopefully be getting married soon as well, so we are helping them with that and will also be helping them find an apartment soon as well, most likely. It's so fun and crazy the things we have to learn about and do as missionaries to help people make covenants with their Savior.

Yesterday, we also met a less-active named Benjamin, and that was also a pretty intense, spiritual experience as I had very strong impressions that he needed to go to the temple. It was in my mind from the first few minutes we met him, how badly the Lord wanted him to go to the temple, and then as we continued talking with him, we discovered that the reason he was baptized was because before he even heard of the church or talked with missionaries he had a dream. In his dream he saw the earth covered in churches of all kinds. A huge earthquake came and every single church fell, accept one that was white and had a golden angel on top. After that dream, every person that knocked on his door he would allow in and then ask if they had such a church. It wasn't until the Elders came that he finally found the one that God had shown him in his dream. He'll be coming to church this Sunday and we will be working with him a lot on progressing towards being temple worthy. He has been inactive for quite some time now and it gives me hope with Mauricio.

We went and visited him this week (finally) and he informed us that he no longer wants us to come over, nor does he have any desire to go back to church. He gave away his Book of Mormon, and tossed everything else he had in the trash. His boss at work gave him an anti-Mormon magazine about Joseph Smith and he's decided to no longer associate with "Mormons". It is so heart breaking. I saw the magazine and it was just so evil and awful. We testified of truth and told him that it was his decision. But I know that he once had a strong testimony and I hope and pray that he will come back to that soon.

Things are going well with Hermana Bennett and I, and we're working hard. We have Intercambios again this week and then I think Zone Conference the next. I think we're going on a temple trip soon too, but I'm not sure.

I'm out of time. LOVE YOU!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wow, what a week!


What to say? I'm not sure if I can even remember everything that's been going on, so sorry if this letter is a little random. First of all, being a missionary is just funny. People just expect you to be able to do everything...so you just...do! Last Sunday, just a few minutes before Sacrament meeting started, Hermano Mateo (Sunday School President) came over to us and asked us if we would teach the 16 and 17 year olds during Sunday school. I don't know what happened to their teacher, but I guess they couldn't show, so he handed us the new manual and we taught a lesson on keeping Journals. It was great fun!

However, I felt a little bit hypocritical because I haven't been very good at keeping up on my journal. There seems to be so little time, that the best I can do is write random thoughts on sticky notes of what happened throughout the day and then stick it in my journal when I can. Thankfully, our Zone Leader Elder Peterson recently gave Hermana Bennett and me a talk on how to micromanage as a missionary so hopefully we will be learning how to better use our time.

Elder Peterson, Elder Simmons, Elder Farnsworth (not related to us, I don't think), and Hermana Inman will be leaving our ward tomorrow. Hermana Inman and I came out together so it was pretty fun to be in the same ward as her for a while. She's sweet. She and Hermana Moffat actually just started teaching Luis. His mom kicked him out and we found him a room to rent with Alfredo, who recently just moved into their area. So we did lose our favorite recent convert and then our favorite and soon to be baptized investigator, but the other Hermanas are taking good care of them. We are still teaching Luis' girlfriend Karla, and they're doing great.
Hermana Inman y Yo!
Sister Campbell's birthday! She's leaving tomorrow too                    
we'll miss her! L

We have been doing well as a companionship, opening up more, and as a result, getting along better and working more in unity. As a result, we have been picking up a few more investigators and even set 2 more baptismal dates this week. This morning we sacrificed some of our P-day time to go and teach a lesson to a man named Margarito for the first time. He lives on the property of some English members and works in their garden, as well as several other member's gardens. It was on the very edge of our mission though, technically out of bounds, but in "no man's land", so it was fun getting there. I'll see if I can attach a few pics.
Near the Borders of the mission. Just over the hill from Poway J
At the member's home, right after Margarito's lesson

Oh, and as for the "young men" we're teaching, I don't think any of them will be going on missions. One is 27, the other 29, and the other is 20, but already has children, so I don't think any of them are eligible. They're all great though. Cristian was doing so awesome! ...And then he canceled our appointment, didn't come to church, and his dad said he was partying again. We've yet to talk to him, but hopefully we can help him straighten back out. He's great though and has such great faith, so I'm not too worried.

On the way home from shopping today, our street was blocked off. They wouldn't let us drive in, which was a little stressful because we had frozen food in the car, but we just parked a few blocks away and walked. There was a half-ripped up motorcycle on the road though and all sorts of police cars and cones everywhere. It was intense. I can't believe the transfer is already over, which means we are half way done training! 6 weeks goes by so fast.

Well, I'm going to try to use the last few minutes to attach some pictures. I actually lost my camera for a few days, but I guess I left it in the church during Zone activity and thankfully Hermana Jones picked it up for me. She's great! J
Hipster Hermana Escalante on P-day
Well mama, you're great. I'm learning so much about the power of prayer. Especially about the fact that we don't pray to get what we want, but that we pray to more fully align our will with God's will, so what we get is what we end up wanting, because we understand that He knows better than we do, and He loves us more than we can understand. I'm not sure if that made any sense, but I love this Gospel and I know it's true.

Talk to you next week! Love you!

Con amor,
Hermana Escalante

Oh, P.S. Two different Latinos asked me this week if I was from Mexico. I was pretty proud J

Yes - we caught the mouse!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Hey Mami, glad to hear the conference went so well and that you are (probably, by now) enjoying Florida!

It's been an interesting week...some things that I can't even tell you about, due to legal issues, as well as for your own sanity ;) it was actually a pretty scary situation, but we called President Kendrick, he helped us out, and everything ended up being fine.

Cristian is really progressing well and we're finally figuring out his true desires and what is going to help him progress and actually LIVE the gospel, instead of just learning about it. He's been opening up to us so much and he's just so much happier now at church and when we come over. It's great. His dad (Alfredo) just moved out of our area (but still in the same ward) so that's sort of a bummer, but we'll still see him at church, so that's good.

Mauricio is still struggling, but not a lot of update there. Luis is doing ok. Still stoked for baptism, but we had to push back his baptismal date a few weeks due to some issues he's been having with some of the commandments. He has great faith though and is getting more and more support from the ward, so that's great. He was able to come to the baptism of Aldolfo (recent convert of the other sisters in the ward) and he just loved it. It was a beautiful baptismal service, definitely the most spiritual I've been too. Aldolfo (a tough, 50 yr. old military man) was weeping and bore very powerful testimony and the sisters taught as well during the service, which really brought the Spirit. Luis wants to be baptized so badly, so I really hope we help him get there soon.

We picked up a lot of new investigators this week, which is great, because we had been dropping quite a few that weren't progressing. We are really focusing on being more sensitive and led by the Spirit (something that is hard for me), but it's going pretty great. There isn't a lot of news on the Gonzalez family, just that they're doing well, but need to be a little more committed. They come to church every once in a while and read if they have time, but they've come a long way from where they started. Did I tell you about how we actually went to Mass with them a few weeks ago? They invited us and we got permission to go, but now the only problem is that they want us to come again, but we can't do that :( it was an interesting experience though. We keep praying that they will continue to come and feel the Spirit at church. Feel free to keep them in your prayers as well.

We had Zone Training this last week and we focused on using the Scriptures more effectively, as well as teaching with unity. As I was studying personally, I came across Alma 31:5, which just reminded me of how powerful testimony and the scriptures can be. That no matter how persuasive we try to be, it is only through the Spirit that they will truly be converted, which they will be able to feel as we use the scriptures effectively and as we bare sincere testimony.

Today we had Zone activity and played whiffle ball, which was pretty fun. I'm not much of a sports person, but I was impressed by the amount of times I hit the ball and played a pretty good pitcher. I guess that short amount of time you put me in softball when I was a kid did me good mama ;) It's the last week of the transfer, so it was fun to get together as a zone. Elder Herrera and I wore matching t-shirts on accident to the activity, which I thought was a kick! But I forgot to snag a picture. Oh well.

Training is hard, even though I have a good companion. It's such an issue of pride for me. I feel like I have to do everything, and then it's hard for me when I don't feel like I'm doing good enough and my companion wishes we did things better. But alas, we're both growing. Things are smoothing out I think, especially as she realizes that it's ok that we're not perfect and that we don't have to be crazy, perfect missionary robots or something, that we're still human and we just have to try our best. Our investigators are great though, and we're receiving lots of blessings.
Hermana Bennett was just thrilled to hear that I was ending my "40-day fast", and that she was finally able to see pictures and hear a little bit about my friends and life back home (something I've been refusing to tell her about since she's been here), so I guess she feels like she now knows me a little better now ;)

Oh, random story before I wrap this up. Last night we were out contacting by a doughnut shop when a man in line starting yelling "Sisters! Sisters! Come pick out a doughnut!" We, of course, were a little confused. We went over and it was the producer/director of those silly Mormon movies (Single's ward, RM, etc.) and he was offering to buy us doughnuts...on a Sunday night. We told him that it was a sweet offer but we didn't feel comfortable because it was the Sabbath. Well, he bought us doughnuts anyway and we took a picture with him, but I don't have my connector with me, so I'll have to send it next week. It was pretty random, and funny.

Well, I love you loads mama. Thanks for writing me! You're the best! Take lots of pictures in Florida! Be safe!

Com amor,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante