Holy Moly Mama! How are ya’ll?
Yes, you're right, I did absolutely adore conference. It was wonderful. The only part I didn't like was when it was over. I wish we had them quarterly so I didn't have to wait so long for the next one. I think my favorite one was Elder Holland's actually, and yes, I did think of my "produce experience" as well. Made me laugh J
I also really loved Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, which I am gravely trying to implement and always be positive and grateful. In fact, yesterday, when we went by to see some investigators that ended up giving us back their Book of Mormon and telling us to not come back, we walked away and I looked at Hermana Williams and said, "Well, I'm so grateful to not have mashed potatoes in my hair!" J
I also loved Pres. Monson’s and hope that many members will be able to take it to heart and truly reach out and be kind to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or lifestyles. Also, I absolutely adored Elder Corbridge's talk. I have heard great things about the Priesthood session and am looking forward to reading those talks when they come out, especially Elder Oaks' talk. How grateful I am for the pure truth and consistency of the gospel that does not change with the opinions and matters of mankind.
It has been an interesting week, that's for sure. We were assigned to do a special service project with a local food bank, working with St. Martha's Catholic church, so that was fun. We have felt a little frustrated as progress among our investigators seems to be near impossible, though we feel like we are doing near everything we can to help them. It has also seemed very difficult to find anyone willing to listen to our message or even to find anyone (including less-actives and investigators) at home. Sometimes we just have to face "Zion's Camp", as Hermana Williams would say, and just keep persevering, even when nothing seems to come of it.
Last night was very interesting. We were finally able to see an inactive family that we met a few weeks ago. Their records are not in our branch, as they were baptized years ago in northern California and quickly became inactive after their baptism. They were open to us coming by, but we weren't sure what to expect. They were kind and courteous and not argumentative at all, but it was still one of the strangest and hardest experiences in a lesson. At this point in their lives, due to a some strange literature that they now obsess over, they believe in reincarnation, the visitation of aliens, that the devil does not exist, and that Joseph Smith is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Yes, it was that ridiculous. It was difficult to keep from laughing, and yet at the same time, it was difficult for me to hold back tears as we talked with our confused brother and sister. They wanted nothing to do with the church, because they claim it is just a business, and they said we could come back, but it seemed as though they merely wanted to tell us more about their book.
Afterwards, I cried quite a bit, thinking about how confused they were even though they once had the truth. I just found it so depressing and strange. I just continue to pray for them and am saddened by the deceit of being so confused and into far-off doctrine, or "scripture mingled with the teachings of men". How grateful I am for the gospel and for the clarity of the words of our beloved apostles and prophets. Though this week has been hard, I feel as though I am doing my part, testifying with the Spirit, and constantly and boldly inviting everyone. Even though I am so very frustrated, at the same time, I also feel at peace, because I know that we are working hard. The Lord is aware and I know there is a purpose for it all, but sometimes it just seems overwhelming in this mortal perspective we have.
This week I attended my last MLC and that was a little hard because I had to say goodbye to some people, not knowing if they would be at the transfer meeting or not. That included Hermana Sheffield, which she did not appreciate.
|Hermana Sheffield saying goodbye|
However, now that we heard about how many missionaries are coming in, it sounds like she actually will be at the transfer meeting, so we'll see. Should be fun. We have Zone Training Meeting this week, as well as the Noche De Hogar de la Rama, which Hermana Williams and I are pretty much putting together by ourselves, so we're definitely keeping busy. Hermana Williams is boss though, she is just awesome.
We've wrapped up all our exchanges for the transfer, so things should be a little more calm, especially after Friday. I think I had my exit interview this week actually. We had the normal interviews with President and then he asked: "How long do you have again? Do you go home next transfer?" To which I replied, "2 1/2 weeks, President". To which he replied, "WHAT?!" Haha, it was pretty funny. Anyway, so we talked a little bit about my long-term and short-term goals and he gave me some dating advice and congratulated me for not having a boyfriend at home waiting for me J ha-ha, good ol' President. He's great.
Well, I'm running out of time again. Funny how that always happens. Oh, Hermana Williams and I ran into the skunk again this morning, while running though, and she was just as freaked out as I was, so I didn't feel as silly as I did last time J Tell Grandma and Grandpa I love their letters, like always! Tell brudder I'm so proud of him and can't wait to see him! Well, that goes for all of you! Love you!
Te (les) quiero muchisimo, mas que puedo expresar!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante
|Self-portrait of Hermana Williams and me|
|The Miller family - She is from Mexico, even though she is pretty white.|
|My favorite little girl in the branch, Kimberly|