Hola Mamita and Everyone,
Well, this email will be a bit shorter. I was a bit selfish and spent more time reading emails and the newsletter than I did writing, so maybe there wont be as many details, but it was a good week. It was storming all weekend, which was sort of a fun change since the weather is almost always the same: it’s usually hot, warm, or kinda cool, but always sunny. I mean, I'm not complaining, I love it! But it was fun to watch the rivers flow down our apartment parking lot. It poured for about two days straight - which was such an answer to many prayers here in California in regard to the drought. We all felt very blessed and humbled. Though the rain was a blessing, it also caused a few problems with some flooding and some trees blown over, broken fences, and lots of mud in the roads, but we're all alright. I'll try to attach a picture of one of the complexes we were in after the storm. Even in the rain, we were out and about, but thankfully spent most of the time in doors teaching lessons and it helped us feel even more grateful for our car! Poor Elders without cars...though they said that they got into a lot more homes because of the rain, so they were grateful.
|After the storm|
The Martinez family is doing alright, but could use your prayers. I feel very strongly that they will accept the gospel as a family and be baptized, but it may take a little more time than we originally thought. The members here are so great though, even though we often times feel frustrated with our investigators. I feel like this is the best branch I've ever served in! The members are so great, and I love the leadership. If you can get an investigator to church, the deal is sealed! But the problem is getting the investigators to come to church.... we feel like our investigators are letting our members down. The members are eager to join us for lessons and do some great fellowshipping, but our investigators always seem to be canceling and are very flaky. It has been frustrating, but we continue onward. Elder Olvera is a great District Leader though, and we've been talking with him a lot on how to improve personally as missionaries and in our area.
Being an STL has definitely been a learning experience, especially as of late, but it's been great. One of the sisters who I am over was struggling a lot and we talked a lot during our exchange because she very much wanted to go home. After some prayerful decision, she decided to go home this last week, so that has been hard, but I know she will do great back with her family and will continue to be a great missionary back East. The other sister who was struggling is doing a lot better, so it has been a good and humbling experience to work with her and help her in whichever way I can.
We went to the temple this last week, which was fantastic, of course. I love the San Diego temple, though I am very excited to go back to the Manti temple when I get home - it has still been my favorite so far. We went with the Miller family to the temple, a cute young couple here in the branch. She is from Mexico (though she looks way whiter than me) and he is from here in California, but speaks Spanish perfectly. They are very darling and we loved going with them, though we didn't get a picture with them, sorry. We have actually been seeing them fairly regularly because they requested us to come and re-teach them the lessons, just to refresh their memories and have the Spirit more in their home. I thought that was pretty neat and our discussions with them are always spiritual and uplifting and we are working with them on their own personal missionary work as well. He is a life long member, but she is a convert of about four years. Oh, and I'll try to attach a picture of my district really quick from the temple. They are all so great!
|The District (but not the one on BYU TV)|
Transfers will be next week and I will most likely stay here and Hermana Painter will go. I'm so glad we had another transfer together. It has been great fun working with her and I feel like we have learned so much together!
|With Hermana Painter!|
I am excited/nervous to see who I will be serving with next transfer, as I really want to end on a good note J I am so excited that it is March because that means that General Conference is only a month away!!! But that being said, it is very strange to think that I will be home next month. I'm not really sure how it has all gone by so fast. I love my mission and I love the gospel so much. I think my biggest disappointment as of late is that every morning I just wish I had more time to study the scriptures. There is never enough time to study the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so beautiful and fills my soul in a way that is difficult to explain. I have been studying many different topics as of late, but my favorite chapters this week have been Alma 12 and Galatians 5.
I love you so much Mama (and all who are reading)! I'll try to put the pics up real quick before I run out of time! Love you sooooooo much!!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante