Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Hello All!

So it sounds like you've been having some great experiences! The conference with Elder Packer was great, though it was different than I was expecting. It was more like an introduction to a conference we'll be having in a few weeks with Elder Richards. Elder Packer just talked about the importance of Family History, and how it invites the Spirit, and I guess Elder Richards will be coming to tell us more about this Pilot Program we'll be doing here with Family History work in the mission. Sister Johnson and I have been trying to use the Family History in more in contacts and all throughout the work since then. We will be meeting with one of the Family History Specialists tonight to get a run down on FamilySearch.org because a young man (who didn't seem to interested in our message, but was interested once we started asking him about his genealogy work) said we could come back this Wednesday to help him setup an account. Should be interesting and I'll let you know how it goes.

I was able to go up to the Packer's and ask them if they remembered an Elder Escalante from Spain and they said yes! I mentioned Michael training they're son and they remembered that too. I wasn't able to get a picture with them (not really appropriate in the setting, I guess), but hopefully Wes believes me that I met his mission president :) How is he doing in Tech school?

Like I said, the conference, was good, but to be honest, I was feeling a little tired afterwards. Not only because it was a long meeting, but because I'm about 14 months out, and I feel like it. I have been learning and trying to implement skills for the last 14 months and I feel like it's all sort of adding onto my plate and I'm not a perfect missionary (not that anyone expects me to be) so sometimes it's hard knowing that we are to implement new things when I still don't have the other skills mastered. But oh well, it was still great. I was able to go up and talk a little bit about my experience in gathering my family history info for the conference. Fun stuff. 

Oh, the pictures from Mexico just came in and my sobrino is soooo cute! Goodness! I'm excited to see them all at Christmas! Ariana wrote me today! Finally! Yay! With lots of fun pictures J I'll have to write her back next week though because I'm already about out of time. Sorry, I had a few others to write today, so you won't get much either. Forgive me?

We went to Brandon's baptism last night, which was great. I think I mentioned him a few weeks ago. We were teaching him and set a baptismal date but then we found out he was under 30 and we passed him off to the YSA Elders. He came to church with us once though, and so that's how he and Don know each other. I heard them talking after the baptismal service about their testimonies and how the gospel has changed their lives...it was so cute! Oh, I love it. I love this gospel. It's so true. It really does change lives, and that's because it's the Savior's true gospel.

I don't really remember what questions you asked me, but if I didn't answer any of them, ask me again, and then I'll answer next week. Sorry. Anyway, I got the music. Thank you! Don is getting baptized this Friday, so it will be a great, but busy week, especially since most of the ward will be out of town, including our Ward Mission Leader. We are working on helping our other investigators to progress, but it is a crazy time of year for most, so hopefully after this next week, things will calm down and we'll be able to see them more.
Oh, I don't have time for details, but we dropped one of our investigators for trying to flirt-text with us. Ugh, gross. He's like 35+ and trying to hit on us young girls. No good. But no worries, I have no problem with being very direct, so I told him off (in the most professional and spiritual way possible), and we haven't heard back from him since.

Oh, I love working with this Ward Council. I feel like that is part of the reason why I am here in English work - to see how a Ward Council is supposed to function! They're so great, though we are still working with everyone and their personal missionary work. 

Out of time! Quote for the week: "I don't have the answer to everything...but what I have is enough!" (One of the sisters said that in her powerful testimony during RS this week - remind me and I'll tell you more about it next week.)


Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

My new blanket

Having fun with my blanket!

Flattering pics after exchanges

Sunset in Temecula

Getting ready

Brandon's baptism
Sr, Johnson, Yo, Don, & brandon
Birthday card I made for Lineth
I'm learning to be cute and creative here on the mission. :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

We're Cousins!

Hi Mama (and family and friends)! 

You say I'm early? Do I have a usual time I send emails? I guess it's all sort of a blur for me these days. 

Thank you for reminding me about Elder Packer and his association with my brothers! I do remember, now that you told me, but it didn't click that that was he! The conference is tomorrow, actually, so I'll have to tell you about it next week.

As for the ward newsletter thing, I'm not sure...sorry. I guess just stuff like...being excited for the upcoming baptism of Don and the conference. Oh! And while doing this family history stuff (thanks for the chart! by the way), I found out that Elder Jessup (new Elder in the ward, originally from the Riverside mission) and I are related! He is a Farnsworth! I don't remember exactly how we're related, but his grandma was a Farnsworth and he is from Beaver. His Grandpa owns the cheese factory, so maybe you or Grandma can figure out exactly how we're related, or maybe we can compare our trees at the conference tomorrow. Random...but fun! So now we're telling all the members that we're cousins! J We look nothing alike and have different last names, so most don't believe us, but it's great! Last week he was teaching me lots of tricks too, during district activity. I can now rope, do cool soccer tricks, and spin a basketball across my arms and chest. Cool, huh?! He's a great cousin J Anyway, as for the newsletter, maybe you should just type it up with some random updates since my emails are sort of all over the place. Sorry about that. 

We had exchanges again this last week, and will have them again this week, with Hermana Whicker and Hermana Painter in Murrieta, and it was great fun. Sister Johnson stayed here in the area with Sister Whicker and she got to lead out again, which is great. Sadly, EVERY appointment fell through! How ridiculous is that?! We actually had 6 set appointments for the exchange, so that is really ridiculous. But anyway, it was great and they kept on working and did get to teach a few other random lessons. She had the great opportunity to lead out and figure out what to do when everything falls through, which happens sometimes J

Sister Johnson is a great missionary! I do love that girl! We actually get along best out of all the girls I have trained. I find myself on a higher level of stress when I train, and therefore, usually less patient, but for some reason Sister Johnson keeps me pretty calm and light hearted, so that's great. Oh, and Murrieta was fun. We ran into Daisy again! (unintended this time) which was pretty fun. Hermana Painter struggles with some issues that I struggled with at the beginning of my mission, so it was good to talk with her. Well, I thought it was good, at least. We'll see if any of it sinks in with her. And it was fun to teach and study in Spanish again, of course. Did I tell you Hermana Schwegler went home last transfer?! Man, that girl changed my mission. I love her. 

Oh! Real quick! Before I forget! There is a talent show coming up for the Christmas conference (which will be Dec. 17th this year, instead of Christmas Eve) and I was wondering if you could get me a copy of some music! If you could get it to me by next week, that would be great! I was thinking of "Let It Snow". Could you send me a PDF of the music or something like that, by chance? If you can't get that one for some reason, any classic Christmas song would probably work. Hermana Sheffield will play piano, I will sing...behind stage....and Elder Solomon will lip-sink on stage. It will be great! We may also sing a song for the spiritual part of the program, but I'm sure we will do a hymn, so no worries about that one. This one will be more for the kicks and giggles part of the conference. Should be fun! 

Don is doing so great. He is just as solid as a rock. His baptism will be the day after Thanksgiving, so that his family can make it. His ex-brother-in-law will be driving out from Menifee with his family and will be baptizing him. We are keeping busy with that as well as with our newer investigators. A woman named Lima and her daughters came to church this Sunday as well, so the ward was excited about that, though they only stayed for the first meeting. They are Filipino as well (did I tell you Don is half?), but thankfully everyone's families are okay over in the Philippines. We are trying to turn more of our other lessons into member presents, because we still have more others than members at this point, but it is a little difficult because our investigators are a little flaky (besides Don) and the lessons that we do end up having are more often on the spot because we stopped by, and not so often because it is planned.

Also, we are having a hard time finding female members to go out with us. It seems like we have had plenty of the brethren step up and help out with Don, but it's harder to find willing women. Maybe it's because this is the first time in over 15 years for the ward to have sisters, so they are not used to having to go out with the Sister Missionaries. We are working with the WML (Ward Mission Leader) on it though. 

To answer your questions... I think I have plenty of warm things for winter, though it is still pretty warm here. It was in the high 80's just a week ago. Ridiculous. Maybe just some more tights or nylons, but I can just grab some from the store. What is your conference all about? How did it go? JThe Elder's texted us this morning, telling us we have mail...but wouldn't bring it to us or let us pick it up...so I still haven't gotten the package, but I know it's here because the AP's called me about it last week. Did I tell you about that? I emailed Ariana about it, so you can ask her. I think that would be great if you can get her to email me next week.  I don't think she has in over a month, maybe close to two months, so that would be greatly appreciated.

That's fun that Mike and Jodi are in Mexico! Looks beautiful! Do you know if Wesley got my card or not? We are going to the Schrock family for Thanksgiving. They have a daughter out on a mission (in Utah actually), so they signed up extra early to make sure they could have the Sister's for Thanksgiving dinner. What are your plans?

I keep getting asked about Christmas...and I really, honestly have no idea what I would want. I don't want clothes. My shoes should last me until the end of my mission. I have a beautiful camera. I don't really want junk food (except maybe some Rice Krispie Treats), and I have pretty much what I need. Sorry, I will think hard and maybe have some ideas by next week, but as of right now, I have no idea. Maybe you can just send me a card and some pictures and save the money for when I get home.

Anyway, I love you tons and tons. Hope all is well. Tell me all. Oh, I read the book of Esther this morning, for the first time actually. It's awesome. I love the scriptures. 

Con amor, 
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

View from a member's home. Beautiful Temecula.

Got to see Daisy again!

Great exchanges!

Getting distracted during 12-week studies

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy (day after) Veterans' Day - 11.12.13!

Hi Mom and Everyone!

Thought I'd send all the pictures first, to get that out of the way, but that may mean that I don't have much time for writing. Sorry! Nothing new there though, right? First off, love the pictures! Between you and Susan and Papi, I had loads of pictures of Wes and fam! It's great! What a good-lookin' brother I have! Do you know if he got the card I sent? I hope it got there and that I had the right address. Let me know.

I'm so sad to hear about Elaina. Is that a common sickness with kids? I hope all went well with the drive back and that there was no more snow to slow you down. Do you have snow sticking yet in Orem? We usually have to turn the AC on during the day because it gets too hot.... so we can't complain ;)

No, I haven't heard from Ariana yet, but I did get a surprise call from the Assistants asking if I knew an Ariana Escalante. I guess she tried to drop off a box but no one was there so they found it outside the door of the office. It didn't have my name on it, just hers, but there are no other Escalante's in the mission, so they figured it was for me. I'm not sure what it is yet, because they haven't sent out mail yet for the week, but I did email Ariana today telling her thanks in advance. Sure do miss hearing from her, but I'll get to talk to her in a month and a half, so I guess I can be patient. 

Well, the first week of transfers has been good and busy. The best news of all? ... (Drum roll).... Don picked his baptismal date and is getting baptized Thanksgiving weekend! Yay! He's so great! Really though. He is the most solid person I have ever taught and isn't shaken by anything. He has had a couple of rough patches with the Joseph Smith history he has researched, as well as polygamy, and he gets a little concerned when it comes to eternal families due to his divorce, but he finds peace in the Gospel, knows it is true, and his prayers and concerns are answered when he diligently studies and prays. He's so great!

Speaking of studying, I have become a little obsessed with "Jesus the Christ" lately, but it is so deep that it takes me so much time just to get through one page (as I mark and look up references and look up extravagant words in the dictionary and take notes), but it's so good! Just FYI.

Well, I forgot my planner at home, and this far into the mission, everything sort of starts to blur together, so I can't really remember what has happened this week. We have been finding a lot of new investigators lately, so now the trick is to get them to progress. The most challenging issues we have had as of late is working with a part-member couple who are pretty much my age (23 yrs. old), but with kids, who are trying to live off the government and the church as well. It is a hard situation because they are sweet people whom we want to teach, but they expect the church to support this ridiculously selfish and lazy lifestyle. As of this point, we are willing to meet with them if they would like (but we are not pushing for appointments anymore) and are counseling with the Bishop on the next steps to take with them. It is a sad situation, but there is only so much we can do for them. 

We have a lot of training's and conferences coming up this transfer, so that is exciting. One of them will be with Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy and for part of our preparation we have been asked to fill out the new "My Family Stories That Bring Us Together" booklet (found on LDS.org) so I have asked Grandma to send me some more info on that, though I have most of it from the Family History Story book they made and with Familysearch.org.

Speaking of Grandma and Grandpa.... Happy Veteran's Day Grandpa! Love you so much and thank you for all that you do!! 

Oh, we have a zone breakfast the first Saturday of every transfer with the stake presidency (which is where a lot of the pictures are from) so it's fun to see everyone and get some additional training, but the sad part is that everyone has to introduce themselves and say how long they have been in Temecula. I had the record, of course, with this being my 6th transfer in total. The stake presidency knows me real well. So that means, that by the end of this transfer, I will have been here about 9 months...half of my mission. Ridiculous, no? It's great though...and I know, I know. Wes was in one area for 14 months, so I have nothing to complain about. But I'm not complaining really, I do love Temecula. Though I'll be excited to go to a new area and back to Spanish work soon. I'm so glad I'm here right now though. I know we are here to help Don especially, as well as some less-actives that we have found. I really do love these people and I love this work and I love the Gospel.

I had some great scripture I wanted to share with you, but like I said, I left my planner at home on accident, and that's where I had it written down.

Oh yeah, No dentist yet. I guess I'm supposed to go to a member, so I'm going to the Dentist in our ward but he was booked clear until the end of November, just for a checkup, so I should be going in 2 weeks and then I'll let you know. I know for sure I have at least 3 cavities though. Gross I know. Sorry mom! I eat too much candy L the members give us way too many sweets. I think I have 2 brownies, candy, and a cupcake alone on my desk at home right now. The good news is though that we work out hard, so don't worry, I'm not getting chubby, in fact, I'm getting into pretty great shape. It's great!

Well, I'm completely out of time. Life is good. I love and miss you tons. The Gospel is true.
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Saying goodbye to Elder Potter! He's now down in the Del Mar Zone and Elder Jessup is serving here. Fun stuff!

Man, I love this lady. So fun serving in the same Zone as Hermana Sheffield!

Mama & Daughter 

The Roommates out in front of the Stake President's house for breakfast  .

Out to dinner with Sister Harrison and her son Drake  and Drake with his "homework" on the 10 commandments! He's so great!

 Cookie Brownies for Don! Our favorite Vet!

Pics from Sr. Harrison (Drake's Mom)