Hi Mama & Family & Friends!
I have a ton of pictures I want to send you, but I don't have a lot of time left and I think I'd rather email than send pictures today (since I already forwarded you a few). Those were from the Nativity Festival this last weekend where we helped setup Thursday and were ushers for both Friday and Saturday.
Last week we had a great Zone activity (I think I mentioned it) with our ugly sweaters. Sister Johnson and I got a prize for "comp unity" because we both had snowman shirts and vests on. But like I said, I'll have to send the pics next time. I guess I won't be emailing next week, which is kind of a pain because I have no idea where I'll be or who I'll be with or from where I'll be calling or at what time...I don't think President thought it through when he took away our P-day and put it on Christmas day and we're not allowed to write next week, only phone calls, but with transfers we can't even get coordinated for them. Hmm, I love President Kendrick, but he's still only been out less than a year, so he just hasn't thought everything out with new things, I guess. Long story short, I don't know when I'll be calling...but I'll call sometime. If I have it my way, I'll try to call around 3:00 or 3:30, which will be your 4:00 or 4:30, but I really have no idea. Fun, huh?
Well, I have lots to say and not a lot of time...like always. So as you guessed, yes, I'm getting transferred. In fact, pretty much the whole apartment is. Only 2 missionaries are coming out this transfer and several are going home, so they are combining some areas, so the other sisters we live with are getting taken out of their area. Sister Johnson is the only one staying in the apartment, and will actually be getting a brand new missionary coming out! Yep! Sister Johnson is training this next transfer, which makes me so very proud! I told her right when she first came out that my goal was to have her be a 3rd transfer trainer, and there you go, she is! Since there are only 2 missionaries coming out this transfer, she is one of the only two they picked in the whole mission to train - pretty impressive! (Can you tell mama is proud? Ha-ha)
And I got a surprise as well, I'll be a Sister Trainer Leader starting this next transfer, so that's pretty exciting. I'm feeling a little humbled because I was sure I wouldn't be called to be STL, but there you go. I just see it as another way to serve the Lord.
Well, I was not very excited about our Family History pilot we just started (well, it doesn't technically start going to CHQ until January, but we've pretty much started) but now I'm so sold. It's so wonderful. The Spirit of Elijah has definitely touched my heart, and now I'm actually starting to feel a little trunky, simply so I can go home and get these ordinances done for my Argentine ancestors and learn more about my European ones! I love it though and am excited for it to really get going. It's so exciting to hear about the work hastening in different missions all over the world and the different way they are trying it out on the opposite sides of the country.
Last night at the Stake Training on the Family History Pilot, one of the brethren from the Stake Presidency came up and was so sad to hear that I was leaving (again) and thanked me for all of my service. Even though there are 30 missionaries in the Stake, they know me by name (because of how long I've been here) and his gesture and words touched my heart. It's sad to leave (again) the wonderful leaders here in the area, as well as the members. I am hoping to get sent to Oceanside with Hma. Woodruff, but we'll see. Everyone keeps teasing me about going to Murrieta because it's basically Temecula and I've only been here for 9 months, so what's another 4? It would actually be cool to be in Daisy's branch, but I'm really hoping I get sent out to the coast. I'm actually pretty sad to leave this ward. I'll miss a lot of the members and investigators, and especially Don. I'm so grateful I was able to be here to serve with him.
There are also some great people we've recently started teaching and some that I know will be baptized very soon, and I'm sad to not be here for that, but wherever the Lord needs me, I will go. A new investigator named Linda is the one I am especially sad to leave. Last week we went by and taught her about the Book of Mormon and prayer (pretty simple lesson). At 4:51am the next morning, she called us. Of course, we didn't answer, but she left us a voicemail telling us that she couldn't sleep so she decided to read. We had left her Mosiah 4 to read, but for some reason, she just decided to open it up and see what she found. She fell upon Alma 34: 38-41. It was exactly what she needed and she called to tell us what comfort and peace and strength it brought to her and how she knew it came from God. It was awesome. She also came to church this last Sunday for the second time and received a Priesthood blessing there by Pres. Burgon (he's so awesome) which was so good for her. She also came to the festival, her daughter went to mutual this last week, and we have another lesson with her tonight. I know Sister Johnson will take care of her, but I'm still so sad to leave her. It's kind of ridiculous how much I love these people that I really don't even know, and yet, I know that I know them J I'm so grateful for the gospel and to be a missionary and to serve the Lord and His children in whatever way pleases Him.
I'm not sure if I'll be sent back to Spanish work yet (being an STL it could go either way), but I mostly will, and I'll let you know for sure next week. Well, I'm out of time. Sounds like some exciting and wonderful things happening with the fam and work and the holidays! I'll talk to you next week! Love you tons and tons and tons and tons!!!
Feliz navidad y feliz año nuevo!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante
|At the Nativity Festival!|