Write to Alyssa at:

Mission Address:
Sister Alyssa Nicole Escalante

California Carlsbad Mission

451 W Bobier Dr

Vista, CA 92083

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two Transfers to Go - Awkwarded!

Hey Everybody,

Not a lot going on this week, so I'll try to keep this short so I can have time to attach a few pictures. This Internet is so slow, it's painful really, but I'll probably be here for the next 12 weeks, so I'll just have to deal with it.

Things are going fine. We have actually been dropping a lot of our investigators, so we are no longer teaching the Lopez family (they are wonderful and will hopefully be more ready to progress in the future, but at this point, things aren't going anywhere). Luis is doing great though and will be baptized in two weeks.

Hermana Painter and I will both be staying here for another transfer. Yep, that means I'm not training. I was pretty disappointed at first, especially because everyone in their dog thought/was telling me I was going to train, my District Leader and Zone Leaders included. Even after training calls were passed and I didn't get the call, some still thought I was going to be training. But that's okay. I have already trained 3 times, which is a lot. The other sisters who came out with me have both only trained once, so I feel pretty blessed and realize that if I was supposed to be training, I would be, so it's okay.

I don't know yet, but I hope Hermana Bennett is training this transfer, that would make my day! Hermana Jones emailed me this week and she's training, plus Sister Johnson is training, so if all three of my baby girls were training, I would be such a happy, proud mama J I know, missionary lingo is strange. I am actually pretty excited to see how this transfer goes. This will be my first transfer not training or greenie-breaking, so that's fun.

Hermana Painter and I are not (now?) officially co-senior companions, so that's fun. We just moved into our new apartment (we traded with the English Elder's because the Mazur's son comes home in two weeks) and we quite like it. I feel like living with members I get lazier, and I feel much more focused in our own apartment. Our apartment is in a great location too, so we love being much closer to everything. Though Hermana Painter and I don't always get along 100% of the time, we are getting along quite well and more consistently and we are definitely learning to compromise more. It should be a good transfer.

Tell me about this Peru trip!! Not that I'm trunky or anything...but I would love to go! Actually, did you say it was with the University? If I have a choice to go with UVU or Heartwalk Foundation, I'd rather go with the latter because if I go to Peru I want to go to Ocongate and visit Berta and family! However, all of that being said.... I will probably be broke when I get home, so maybe whichever is cheaper for me. I'm not getting trunky, but I do have to figure out what I'm doing when I get home, it's advised actually, to start figuring that stuff out your last 2 transfers.

No worries about the Christmas card, it's not a big deal. That's exciting about Chelsea and baby! And I'm glad to hear they are both doing well and healthy even though he was early. Tell Jodi to not be early though, so I can be there for it J

Yes, We are working in the Spanish branch in the Stake, so geographically it covers the whole stake. We split it with the Elders though, so we just cover one side of the I215. I'm glad the washer is fine. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

Hermana Painter is still not doing too great, and we can't figure out why. She will call the nurse today, hopefully. Did I mention last week that she drank Strawberry-kiwi juice and I got to stab her with the epi-pen? She's allergic to both strawberries and kiwis. It wasn't pure juice, more like a mix, so it wasn't too bad, but her throat was feeling itchy and puffy and she was getting nervous so she was going to use her pen but was too nervous so I got to do it for her - it was fun. J She's fine though.

Forgive me if I'm horribly awkward when I get home. I didn't think I would be, but the other day I was talking with a young man in the street (young...like 17 probably) and he started hitting on me and asked if we could "hang out sometime". Usually I probably would have laughed over such a thing, but it made me feel so uncomfortable! I handed him a card and just walked away, ha-ha I'm just a wuss I guess. But it was very weird, and made me realize that I have been on my mission for a long time now.

Well, I only have a few more minutes, so I'm going to try to attach some pictures. Include whatever you'd like in the Ward Banner, but most importantly, add in the part about me being awkwarded out by men...ha-ha, just kidding ;)

Love you lots and lots!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante
Got to see Alfredo while on exchanges in Escondido. J He made me a rose, ha-ha!
Exchanges with Escondido Hermanas

Guard turtle - better than a guard dog!

Service - taking down Christmas lights in the park

Exchanges with Winchester Sisters

Endure to the End game we made for Allen. J (A recent convert about 9-10 yrs. old)

Lunch at IHOP for district activity

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Hi wonderful, talented, favoritest family of mine! Happy Tuesday!

Yep, you guessed right. Due to MLK day we are having P-day on Tuesday this week. Sorry I didn't mention that last week, I guess I forgot. Larry Mazur is Brother Mazur; we live with the Mazurs. So that "nice house" is where I live. We are definitely spoiled, but that will only last another week.
At (the Mazur) home with Hermana Painter

Their son is coming home in February so we are for sure moving out this week at transfers, whether we get transferred or not. We will be switching with the English Elders, which will actually put us in a more convenient location and we will be living in the same complex as our WML (Ward Mission Leader), so that's fun. Sister Painter thinks she's staying, I think she's going, but we'll see. Either way is very likely, I'd say it's 50/50. I will most likely stay here though, until I die. I was actually really hoping I would be training my last two transfers, but rumor has it that no Spanish Sisters are coming out this transfer, so that's a bummer. I had a dream last week that I would be getting a visa-waiter part way through the transfer to train, so let's hope that it's prophetic.

So, I was incorrect (wasn't the first time, won't be the last). We had two trainers from SLC come for the MLC (Mission Leadership Council) meeting, not any general authorities. And for our Stake Conference, it was a regional, combined video broadcast from SLC, which was broadcast to all of Southern California. We had our individual Saturday evening Adult/Youth sessions, and that is where Sister Painter and I spoke. Yes, we spoke together, just like missionaries do everything together. Pres. Whittier (Stake Pres.) originally asked just me to speak, but then changed his mind and asked if we could speak together. It was really great actually. I wrote out the meat of the talk (all the doctrine and stuff) and Sister Painter wrote out the intro and shared her experience of her conversion, which was very touching. It worked out well. We spoke about every other paragraph and our members really liked it. Stake Pres. said that we "exceeded his expectations" and we received many compliments after the meeting.

 I actually loved stake conference! All the talks were so great and focused on either missionary work or family history/temple work, as the theme was hastening the work of salvation. They started out with a simple video from LDS.org - I had seen the video before and to be honest, I thought it a little bit cheesy when I first watched it, but for some reason, on Saturday, it touched. I was a little embarrassed to be up on the stand and to find myself the only one crying in the whole congregation it seemed. The Spirit was very strong the whole meeting though. Sunday broadcast was also great. We had one of the Seventy, Sister Burton, Elder Andersen, and Pres. Eyring all speak to us. We watched in the Spanish room, so I understood almost everything, but missed a little bit here and there. The topic was actually completely different. The main focus was going after lost sheep, to keep trying to share the gospel, and not give up on family and friends who perhaps we have invited before. They discussed having "compassion for the sinner", and like Christ, loving everyone and not judging. To sum up the main message of the whole broadcast I would say: RESCUE. That word was used a lot, and seemed to be the focus behind every talk, along with lots of other beautiful doctrine.

As for the MLC, it was great! Brother Littlefield and President Strong (?) ...I think? Sorry, I can't think right now, nor do I have my notes on me. Anyway, they are both former mission presidents and gave us individual trainings, and we also received a training from Pres. Kendrick. They focused on a lot on the basics, like helping our investigators to read, pray, and come to church. Basic things we know, but help significantly in the work when reinforced and reemphasized.

Consecration was also discussed and helping (vs. hoping) the work to progress. It was a great meeting and we will be passing the training on to the rest of our missionaries in all the district meetings this week. Luckily, I don't have to do any of the training though, that all goes to Elder Olvera, our district leader J

Things are going all right. We keep busy and there are always things to do, but we struggle to help our investigators really progress. Luis will be baptized in two weeks, but I wish we could help him gain a deeper testimony. He knows it's true and wants to be baptized, but hopefully with time, he will become truly converted. We are wanting so badly to put into practice everything that we learned from the SLC trainers!...but our investigators keep cancelling. Keep the Lopez family in your prayers, and Luis, of course.

Oh yeah, I was sick with...the cold? Not sure. We have mission nurses and doctors, but the Mazur's (whom we live with) are a nurse and an ER doctor, so we don't really call them that much. I just had some sinus issues and headaches and lost my voice and had a pretty bad cough, but I'm fine now. It never kept me down, so it really wasn't that bad. Hma Painter is still having issues with her esophagus, but we still haven't pin-pointed the problem. She has been talking with the Mazur's and the mission nurse though, so hopefully we figure it out soon. She's a trooper though.

I don't know if I could get it (a box) to a member's home in Escondido...maybe. But it would be a little tricky. I could definitely leave it at a member's home here in Murrieta near the freeway, and MAYBE at a member's home in Temecula, but it would also be tricky. I can't just drive over or call anyone outside of my area, so it wouldn't be ideal. If they can't pick it up, it's not the end of the world, but if they're willing to stop by Murrieta, that'd be great. If not, tell them thank you so much, but not to worry about it. Ariana can take it in April, or I can even just ship it home if I have to.

Sorry to hear about the plumbing issue. So what is it that was actually leaking. And you have to buy new a washer and dryer? Aren't ours pretty new? Well, I'm probably out of time. Tell Ariana and Christopher to write me. Tell Grandma and Grandpa I love them. I love you all tons and tons!  I accidentally spent 45 min. of my personal study this morning getting sucked into Jesus the Christ, and then spent half of companionship study sharing with Hermana Painter everything I learned. I love it because as great as the scriptures are, when I study them with Jesus The Christ, I feel so much more understanding and connection with my Savior Jesus Christ and with the details of what actually happened. I know He is the Christ and He does love us and that peace comes from following His example and living His teachings.

I love you and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stake Conference here we come!

Well hello!

I think I will be staying here in Murrieta until I die actually. I only have 2 more transfers after this one and I'm thinking that I will stay and be the STL over the Murrieta girls and I'm also hoping to die training, but we'll see.

Things are going great, just keeping busy. We are having a General Authority come out this weekend and we will be having an MLC (Mission Leadership Council) with him on Thursday, so I am super stoked about that. He'll actually be speaking at the Multi-Stake conference as well. Sunday will be broadcast, and the Adult/Youth session is individual for each stake, so that is the session that Hermana Painter and I will be speaking at. We are almost done with our talk and are both liking it a lot J

I'm done with all my exchanges for the transfer finally and they went well. All of the sisters I am over are great. They are all so different, but all have great, individual strengths and talents. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to work with so many different girls.

I've been pretty sick this week, and completely lost my voice, which was absolutely ridiculous. Actually, it sort of brought reverence to our lessons because I had to whisper the whole time and most of the time it sounded like I was about to cry, which brought more emotion, so I guess it wasn't too bad, I guess ha-ha.
I'm feeling much better now though, thanks to a beautiful Priesthood blessing this morning. I'm so grateful for the blessings of the restored gospel. I asked Elder Cordery (the new missionary) to give the blessing. He doesn't know me hardly at all, but the blessing was simple and beautiful and just what I needed.

We haven't been able to see Alex this week, but we did pick up his mom as an investigator (Alex was at his cousin's house) and we plan on stopping by to see them again tonight and hopefully Alex and Martin (brother) will go to Mutual tomorrow evening.

We are working hard to find new investigators, and we found one and actually set a baptismal date with her (I finally met her yesterday for the first time because I am always gone an exchanges) but she feels more comfortable in English, even though she is Hispanic. Oh well, whatever is best for her J I know we will be blessed to find those of our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters who are being prepared. Jose Luis will be baptized next month, so we are working a lot with him. He and Lupita (member/mother of a Recent Convert) just got engaged last week, so that was fun.

We found a young man from Peru this week and had a lesson with him in Daisy's home actually. He didn't want to meet with us, but for some reason I felt the need to be persistent (which I am not usually pushy in contacts at all). He finally consented, but wouldn't give us his phone number or apartment number, he only said he would meet us on the sidewalk at a certain place/time. Well, we went and he was there! Hermana Painter was kind of weirded out by him, which made sense. In the lesson, he talked about his past and why he doesn't think God cares. He probably has the darkest and most gruesome past I've ever heard of and he told us that he refused to pray, telling us that he hadn't prayed in 8 years and planned to never pray again. By the end of the lesson, he was still refusing to take the Book of Mormon, but right as we were ending we asked if we could say one more prayer. He said yes, and then said "You know what? I'll do it." He Prayed! It was such a cool misericordia (mercy) J He wouldn't set a return apt and we called him last night and he's still not interested, but the fact that we helped him to pray is a miracle enough for me! - Random story, I know, but I liked it. Hermana Painter and I then proceeded to sing the whole way home J

We do a lot of service here in Murrieta, which has been fun. I have pictures of us taking down Christmas lights in the park, but the computers here are ridiculous and I don't have time, sorry. We also scraped paint off of some rusty fences this week - fun stuff. Well, I'm out of time. I love the Scriptures, but I still feel like I have sooooooo much to learn. I sort of wish we had 6 hrs. a day to study, instead of just 3, but I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with the fact that I have my whole life and eternity to keep learning. Sorry if I didn't respond to much.

If you still have questions, just ask me next week, but I gotta go. Love you tons!

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hola! J

Pues, todo va bien, gracias.

I want to write a lot...but I also want to send lots of pictures...which takes a lot of time (which I don't have a lot left of) because this internet is very poor, so we'll see what we can do...Ok, it's taking way too long, so you only get the one (for sure) this week, unless I have a few more minutes at the end, so we'll see. I think the picture that did attach is of Elder Olvera (my District Leader) and Elder Taylor at the New Years Day dinner with the Pineda family. Elder Taylor is actually home now and Elder Olvera received a new missionary named Elder Cordery (everyone calls him Elder Corderito) - though he's not too new because he actually served a few months in the Dominican Republic 2 years ago before they sent him home sick with parasites. He finally got better and decided to finish out his responsibility of serving the Lord for 2 years - what a stud! We have such great missionaries in this mission, it's so great!
Happy New Year!
Thumbs up for 2014!

Glad to hear about Grandpa & Grandma - I got a great letter from them this week actually. But I'm sorry to hear that Ariana is sick. If she DOES want to take some stuff with her back home in two weeks, tell her to email me, or even you can email me, with what day she will be passing by so I know by when I need to send it over there. Thanks!

The Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) went well. Presidente and Sister Kendrick showed up (they do that randomly and unannounced) which made me a little more nervous, but it was still fine. After the ZTM I went to Escondido for 2 days, which was fun, being able to meet new people and run into some familiar ones J They are actually more in San Marcos, but cover a small part of Escondido, and it's all the same ward. Hermana McBride and I came out together, so it was a little hard not to feel trunky around her, but it was still fun, and Hermana Goodwin is a baller. Of course she is - Hermana Sheffield trained her ;) though she hasn't seen the success she deserves on her mission. They are both great missionaries though and I learned a lot from both - hopefully I was able to help them with their goals a little bit as well.

I'll go on another exchange tomorrow and then again on Friday and then I'll be done with exchanges for the transfer. Yes - lots of driving. Though the other sisters are here in the same stake, so not as much with them.

Next week we will be in charge of the Noche De Hogar de la Rama, so we are preparing for that, which is the night before the adult session of stake conference, where we will be speaking. Sunday will be some sort of video broadcast (maybe with an Area Seventy?), so there will be no normal speakers that day.

We are still trying to use the Family History pilot more, but it is difficult with Latinos. I found it much easier to utilize when I was in English work. However, Hermana Painter and I (getting along great, thank you!) realize that only 2 missions in the world are using this pilot right now and we are one of them - that means that they could have chosen an English-only mission, but they didn't. They chose ours, for both English and Spanish, so we just have to do our best and see where the Lord takes it.

Whew, almost out of time. Alex is doing well, I believe. Last lesson with him I was in Escondido, but we still need to have more time to sit down and talk with him parents (they are often home, but seldom available to talk with us for more than a moment or two). He still has not been able to come to church, but Mutual will be starting up again next week and we are really hoping that with some visits from the youth, his parents will let him go to the activities and that will get the ball rolling! He is still reading and praying and doing well in that regard, but feel free to keep him and his family in your prayers! We would love to teach all of them actually, but Alex is the only one who seems to have the time to sit down with us.

Sorry to hear about Michael's flight, but the birthday party sounds fun! I didn't get any pictures from the party of Jodi, just the ones you sent me - but they're all darling! I do LOVe pics of mis sobrinos, so don't be shy!
I'll try to send more pics next week, sorry, but you may just have to wait until I get home to see them all, we'll see.

Yes, we will be moving at the end of the transfer (3 weeks-ish) because the Mazur's son will be returning from him mission. We will probably just trade places with the English Elders and they will move in with them and we will take their apartment, but we'll see. We probably won’t find out until the day before, ha-ha. I got a sweet package from papi and Susan yesterday! Man...I have so many sweets and chocolate left over from the Holidays, it's nuts. But thank you for everything - you're all amazing.

Hmmm, your Sunday School class sounds like fun! We were told just a few minutes before church started that the Gospel Principles teachers weren't coming so we (the missionaries) were in charge. Elder Olvera mostly taught with a little help with Hermana Painter, and I decided to sit by a visiting member and her non-member friend and help them look up the scriptures and participate more in the class. We had a beautiful testimony meeting - I really love this rama.

The pic is from New Years Eve cena with Daisy and her fam! It was also her birthday – she’s so great! We are already such close friends and she wants me to go with her to Florida in May, ha-ha, add it to my list of places to go, huh? Pues, ya es tiempo, y voy a trater de enviar unos mas fotos, pero vamos a ver.
Daisy & Me!

Con amor,

Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante