Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Week

Hi Mama, and Family, and Friends!

Sorry! Don't be mad but I'm out of time again this week. I love you though! I hope you got the pictures! And yes, I got the pictures from you without it jamming up the emails. Ariana has not written me, but I noticed she has two different emails so I forwarded my last email to her other email, in hopes that she would see it and respond, since I haven't heard from her in a few weeks.

I spent a lot of this week writing Karla, who is still struggling, but is still great. Don is doing just wonderfully! He knows he needs and WANTS to be baptized and is so happy and peaceful with the gospel in his life now! But he's still hesitant to pick a date for baptism. Keep him in your prayers. Thanks! 

Our ward had a trunk or treat this week, which was fun, and we got to judge the chili contest and cornbread contest, so that was fun. We are still trying to figure out how to help the members get out of their bubbles. It's not that they won’t share the gospel; it's just that all their friends are members, except maybe one or two who they have already invited before. It's a challenge in a comfortable place like Temecula, but it's still going well. We found a couple of new investigators this week with interesting situations, but we'll see how it goes. 

I have been a little bit sick, but I think it's just with the changing of weather, so hopefully it will pass soon, and I don't keep Sister Johnson up with my coughing. Tell Papi I got the package! Though I still haven't gotten anything from Grandma and Grandpa. I think mail is still being a little weird.

Oh, we had dinner this week with these two member ladies that reminded me so much of you mama, they were so great. I just wanted to hang out with them all night! Anyway, the work is good, and we're learning lots. The common theme we are finding this week is all these Christians we run into who think Jesus and Heavenly Father are the same being. They just quote John 1:1 at us and then think they're right. I just feel so bad for them because that would be so confusing to not understand our true relationship with our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.

One of the new investigators we found this week though was so relieved when we told him that that is what we believed. He was just overjoyed! He still claims Christian, but knows that Jesus and Heavenly Father can't be the same Being, so he was so thrilled to hear someone else tell him what he recognized as truth.

I have been having some wonderful studies in the Bible as of late, and wish I had more time to write more, but all the scriptures are wonderful. All of them. I love them all because they all testify of Christ and of the true nature of our Father in Heaven.

I love you loads and loads mama and I wish I had more time, but I don't. I'll try to write Wes...but we'll see if that actually happens. Where are MJ&D moving to again? SLC? Tell Chris to write me. I miss my brudder!

Ok, love you all. You're amazing. The gospel's true. It's all true. It's true, it's true, it's true! Love you!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

P.s. It's ridiculous how many people I run into that I know here in Temecula, either old members or in-actives or former investigators, or simply people I talked to before. It's funny and a little ridiculous. 
The Ladies of the Apartment!

Sister Villaseñor and me

Playing Volleyball at Zone Activity (Sister Johnson, Hermana Sheffield, and Hermana Woodruff)

 "Hermana Sheffer"and me...I lover her!

Sister Johnson and I are so cute!

Drake with his Plan of Salvation drawing...that you can't really see :( the drawing spells out LOVE actually, it's pretty fun!

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Hi Everybody!

How are you all doing? Sorry I'm a little late today. We had a really fun Zone Activity and didn't get to the library until recently. We played Kickball and Volleyball at a member's house (not in our ward) who was quite...hmm, I think "well-off" is an understatement, but then again we are in Temecula. It was fun though. We also had ribs and chicken by the pool and explored the kid house, saw the turtles, pet the dogs and pony, played ping pong, and enjoyed drinks at their outside (Mormon) bar. It was a kick! J It was really fun to hang out with Hermana Sheffield too! I love having her and Elder Herrera in my Zone! I know I say that all the time, but it's true. They're awesome. I adore Hermana Villaseñor as well, but we live with her, so that's old news. 

Sounds like you had a great week! You're amazing mama, did you know that? I don't get homesick, well like ever, but the other day, somehow you came up (I think we were talking about beautiful women or something) and I thought about how I get to talk to you in 2 months! Fun! Can you believe how fast time flies? It's pretty disgusting actually. I can't believe I passed my year-mark the other week (did you remember?! You didn't say anything about it)! Anyway, I'm glad you're keeping busy and I love and miss you.

Anyway, back to your letter. (Sorri!) Sounds busy with the sobrinos! You didn't tell me you were going to Texas! Fun! And congrats to Wes! Man, that went by fast. I was going to write him a letter, but am I too late? If I don't get an email from you that week, I think I'll forgive you J so no worries.

I hadn't heard about the softball game actually. Kimi doesn't really write me, sadly. And yes I did write Zach, but I never heard back from him. He's probably pretty busy with life. Congrats to Kylie! I do get the ward banner actually and I like to skim through it, even though I don't have time to read it, so I did see that. Fun Stuff! Have you heard about how Christine (Prestgard) is doing? 

Well shoot, I was going to send more pics, but my camera just died. Sorry! Next week, for sure. Anyway, so you want to know more about Hma Johnson? Hmm, well what have I told you so far? She's darling. She's from Connecticut, and she is 19. Shocking...I'm convinced I will train my whole mission and only serve with 19 yr. olds. Oh well ;) She's so great though. She is very calm and quiet, but we find a good balance in our teaching, as well as our just getting along in general. She often wants to talk about the plans we’re going to have to hang out when she comes and visits me in Utah after her mission, ha-ha she's darling. I feel very blessed to have her as a companion. She's very on top of things, learns things quickly, and has a good attitude.
Hermana Johnson

Hma Villaseñor's companion is also very darling, but is having a really hard time and needless to say, they need to buy tissues every week to keep up with her ... emotions. So yeah, I feel so grateful for Hermana Johnson! J

We are working better with the ward and I am also so grateful to be able to learn how to work with an English, Ward Council (very different than a Spanish ward). They are great at fellow-shipping as well. Don, our AWESOME investigator came to church this week and they were so good at welcoming him, but not being overwhelming. He had a great time and is progressing very well! We've also been helping with some less-actives come back to church and so there is some trust being gained there with the ward. I've decided that even though I'm not necessarily thrilled with some of the attitudes of our leaders in the ward, we just need to smile and keep on working anyway. It's still the Lord's work, and like Pres. Uchtdorf said, the Lord works through imperfect people, including me! We have been finding new investigators, though we are working on finding some good, solid families, who can support each other in the gospel.

Remember Patricia? Well, her son was baptized after I left, he daughter will be baptized when she turns 8, and her husband is now taking the lessons! Oh! It's so wonderful! The thought of them being an eternal family just fills my heart with joy! I love it! J (D&C 18:10-17). 

So we had some great exchanges this week! I went to Murrieta with Hma Whicker and Hma Johnson stayed and led out in the area with Hma Whicker's trainee, Hma Painter. They actually did a great job! Hma Johnson is so great. Anyway, the funny story!?! So, we went out to eat with a part-member family named la familia Cuevas. They were great, and I was talking a lot with their daughter Daisy, the one that sent you the pic. (You should send it to me! I didn't even get to see it!) Anyway...so we were talking and she recently returned from her mission, due to medical problems, but she still loves the work. She served in Tampa, Florida! So, of course, I asked if she new my best friend over there, Elder Elliott. And hey! What do you know? He was her district leader! Small world, huh? The only thing is that she then continued on to talk about him for the rest of the dinner hour and how amazing he is. Jeez, talk about distracting. But anyway, it was great. She came with us to a lesson the next day too, so that was fun J I'll see if I can forward the picture from my last email to him, since my camera just died. 

Did you get the pic? Ok, so. Where was I? Oh yeah, the other pics I sent today were from Santiago's baptism. Did I mention he got baptized and that I love the Foxes? I forget. Tell me if I did or not. Thanks ;)
Santiago's Baptism
At the Baptism
With Hermana Bennett

Hmmm, I felt like I had a lot more to say, but now I can't remember. I'm not sure if Grandma & Grandpa have started snail mailing me, but our mail got backed up and we haven't received any for a while, so we'll see if it ever comes. Well, I think I'll try to catch up on some other emails in these last few minutes. I love you and I know the gospel is true. LOVE YOU!
Con amor,

Hermana Escalante

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Columbus Day

Hi Everyone!

Sorry about yesterday. I forgot to mention last week that P-day would be moved to Tuesday this week, but I was hoping you'd figure it out with it being Columbus Day and all and with the Libraries being closed. Cute pictures though! My family is just so darn beautiful! I can't get over it J

Well, I only have a few minutes. Sorry. I now have a few converts who write me weekly, as well as some friends and fellow/returned missionaries, so it's getting harder and harder to keep up with the emails. That's probably why all my emails are so short. Sorry!

Also, Grandma - do you think we could switch back to snail mail? That might make it a little easier on me. I DO love getting your weekly letters! And the colors in your yard are beautiful. That is one thing I miss about Utah. California is just green or brown without much in between. Hope to keep hearing from you! Love you Grandma and Grandpa!

So Mother (and anyone else reading this), back to you! Oh, don't worry about the Cookie Butter thing. I just found out there is a Trader Joe's in my area so you can tell Papi not to worry about it, though I just emailed him too, so you should be fine.

Yes, Brittany is the wife/girlfriend of a less-active who we've been working with a lot. She's my age actually, and I'm kind of surprised at how often we teach people my age with young families. I guess I just forget I'm getting to that age where I could have a family! Weird! J

Don is great. Nice guy with a couple of teenage daughters, who lives with his mother and his cat. They're great. I'll have to tell you more when I have more time. Sorry!

Sister Johnson and I spoke in church this last week, so that was a fun surprise and a good experience. We got a lot of compliments afterwards and hopefully gained a little more trust in the ward. We also got a few less-actives there, included a sister who hadn't been in about a year and she and her son (who we're teaching) stayed for all the classes, so it was a great Sunday!

Sister Johnson spoke on the Holy Ghost, and I spoke on the Blessings of Living the Gospel. I would send you a copy of my talk...but it just ended up being scribbles written out around another talk by Pres. Uchtdorf, so I don't think you could understand it very well. But it was good, trust me. ;)

Sister Johnson is doing great! We get along surprisingly well and she keeps me calm, which is so nice. She is a great missionary too. My goal is to have her be a 3rd Transfer Trainer! That would make her Mama so proud!  I think I'm finally getting the hang of this training thing, now that's it's the 3rd time around...and I'm getting used to being in Temecula again. It's actually been to my advantage in a lot of ways. English work is different...but I'm actually really grateful to be able to do both. Especially because in Spanish wards, everyone is a convert, even the Bishop often times, so it's very different than working in a ward that is all white and 5th+ generation Mormon, you know? They're much more on top of running the ward, but not nearly as missionary-minded, and they're all so comfortable in their little bubbles. So yeah, I think it's great that I have the opportunity to work in both and learn from both. Thankfully though, I talked with President and he says I'll be going back to Spanish, probably as soon as Sister Johnson is done training. I so miss my tortillas and beans! J

We will be going on exchanges this week and originally I was to stay here in the area and she was going to leave, but due to driving certifications she'll be staying here and I'll be going to Murrieta with Hermana Whicker. I'm actually really excited for her because it will really help her grow to lead out here in the area and i know she'll do great. We have some good appointments lined up for the evening (that I'll be a little sad to miss) but I'm confident she'll do awesome. We had zone review this week and that was really great.  

Hmm, we have been finding a few new investigators, slowly but surely and have been working on the ward being more involved. We have a sister coming out with us tonight, so hopefully that will go well. We really haven't had many members involved so far, but we're determined to change that. J I know that our own testimonies strengthen as we reach out, step out of our comfort zone, and strengthen others

I don't know how the time goes by so fast! Sister Johnson told me that someone told her before her mission that "The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days", which is exactly true! Except I don't know if the days always feel like weeks. I have so many projects I'm trying to get done and work on and the end of the day always seems to arrive quicker than I can get a handle on anything. One of my current projects includes sewing up some ties for the one of the assistants, which makes me laugh because I'm not much of a sewer, ha-ha but it works!

 We've been trying to offer more service and have been able to see a few miracles here and there. The work is definitely going, it's just a little slower than I'm used to. I appreciate the prayers though! I love you so much and will hopefully get some pictures sent next week. We'll see though. Love you!!

Con cariño, amor, y un testimonio seguro,
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

P.S. Favorite scripture this week: 3 Nefi 27:19-21. Simple, but beautiful J