Hey Mami y Familia!
Well, I spent much too much time today writing some friends and folks that I hadn't written back to in months, so I apologize for that, because now I have almost no time! I was also breezing through the family newsletter and I'm happy to hear that all is well with the Tholens J And no, I did not feel the earthquake, though others in Murrieta did. We talked with Members who felt it, but it was nothing more than a little jiggle for them. I guess we weren't close enough to the fault line to feel it where we were.
You're right though, we didn't write yesterday because of Cesar Chavez day. We were all a little confused as well, especially because some zones didn't end up switching their P-day, but most of us did. It threw off our schedule for exchanges, as the other sisters in Temecula had a different P-day than us, but we worked it out and will be exchanging tonight. Just to clarify (in our mission, at least), splits is referred to when the missionaries split up and go out and work with members because they have a double appointment or something like that. Exchanges are when we switch companions with other missionaries - just so you know. I hear the members get confused with that all the time, and I just thought I'd clarify.
Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL! I actually did remember on his birthday, and even on Monday, but forgot to mention it in the email...my bad. Happy birthday brother! Do you have a sandbox at the house?
Grandma, I love your letters!
Grandma, I love your letters!
Due to lack of time, I'll just copy part of my letter to Presidente this week:
So, just so you're aware, we dropped our investigator Selene (whom you met). The other night, our 8:00 fell through and our back up plan was to go visit a home-bound member, but we felt the impression to pray about what to do. As we did, we both felt strongly about going to see Selene, who was not at home earlier that day for our lesson. We went by and she once again was yelling and cussing at the walls. We were quite direct with her and told her that there was no one there and that she was hearing things and she just shrugged it off and kept yelling. We prayed with her, and as we walked home to our apartment, we both knew that we wouldn't be going back anymore. Yesterday we let her know that we will no longer be able to visit her and we have heard no response. Sometimes it's hard to understand, because when we first found her, she was "golden" and we were very sure that she would soon be baptized and that we found her for a reason. I'm still sure there was a reason, but we aren't able to see or understand that reason at the time being, which is all right, because the Lord knows why.
Aside from Selene, it had been a frustrating weekend with investigators and less-actives canceling on us left and right and feeling like our investigators were going nowhere. The Lord loves us though and gave us a tender mercy when on Sunday, two of our investigators showed up to church! Investigators we have been trying to see for weeks and nothing has happened...until Sunday! We came up to say hi and then THEY asked US when we would be coming over for a lesson, eager to learn more! The Lord sure is merciful, but he always lets us suffer a little first, which is fine J
It's been a little hard to stay 100% focused with only a few weeks left, especially with a few other missionaries and members teasing me because they know how much time I have left. I am tired, but I feel like I am still trying to work as hard as I can. Thankfully we always have enough going on with teaching, exchanges, trainings, meetings, and so forth, to keep my mind busy and occupied. I love the work and I love being a missionary of the Lord.
As far as the part time member goes that you asked about, their daughter has cancer and so they had to cancel on us this week, but we will be seeing them on Thursday, so hopefully all goes well. This area has definitely been challenging, in regard to seeing the fruits of our efforts, but I am still enjoying the work and love working hard.
We have been given a new assignment as a companionship, which is part of the service efforts the Stake coordinates with the city. We will be delivering food from a local Catholic food pantry to some elderly folks. It will be once a week and we are the only missionaries in the area assigned to do so. We start tomorrow and are looking forward to this opportunity to serve. English classes are going well, but not too many students come, though I still LOVE the opportunity to teach more in a classroom setting and it gets me (a little too) excited for when I have my own classroom, but I stay focused, no worries J
Goodness, it's almost time! Your SS class sounds awesome! And Ariana's patio looks fantastic J She said she is kidnapping me and taking me to Cali when I get home (I didn't get a chance to write her back this week, but definitely enjoyed her email) and I'm definitely okay with that!
I, too, enjoyed the Women's conference and am very excited for General Conference. I believe one of the Twelve is coming to our mission this month, and also one of the Presidency of the Seventy will be speaking in our stake, but we haven't gotten the details yet. Rumor has it that they are splitting the Temecula stake.
We are done with the Family History Pilot and I personally feel a little disappointed that it didn't bring the miracles we were expecting, but there were a few, and we tried it and now Salt Lake is aware. From what I heard, the missions that piloted the program with IPad had much higher success rates, and that doesn't surprise me. Technology is just needed in these days, and our mission has none of it. Oh well, it was a good experience anyway. We will continue to use Family History as a finding tool, though it will not be as much of a focus in the mission.
Pues, ya es tiempo. Pray hard for us and the people we are working with. I pray for you and the family all the time! I love you so much and thank you for your wonderful example! I have been studying some of the common children’s stories in the Old Testament this week (King Solomon, Daniel and the Lions’ den, etc.) and I just love the courage and wisdom that is displayed throughout the scriptures. I'm grateful for the fullness of the Gospel and for the Spirit that I feel continuously throughout this work. Though we are not seeing immediate results of our efforts, I feel comfort in knowing that we are doing our part because I constantly feel the Spirit testify of our words. I know without a doubt that the Gospel is true and that Jesus is the Christ and that Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally.
Te quiero para siempre.
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante
|With the Temecula Sisters|
|And, the Winchester Sisters|