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Friday, December 27, 2013

CHRISTMAS EVE! EMAIL 12/24/2013









HERMANA PIPKIN BDAY PARTY


This week has been full of WALKING. and walking. and walking some more!! We are trying to find new people to teach. My boots are already falling apart haha. No worries though... I have another pair :) and "boots were made for walking" after all... so yeah haha. Hope you got that reference.
LOVING Christmas in the mission! There really isn't anything else like it.  We got to go drop off gifts and carol to some less active families the other night with the bishop and the other missionaries. Elder Folsom (he is from Montana dad!) dressed up like Santa. It was so so so much fun. We have also decorated cookies and handed them out and have been sharing Luke 2 with people right and left. There is nothing like bringing the spirit of Christ to people every day of the Christmas season. So amazing.  Hna pipkins mom has been doing the 12 days of Christmas with us which has been a blast too! You moms are just the best!!
It was Hna pipkins 22nd birthday this past week! I planned a surprise party for her at the Tellez's that didn't stay a surprise but it was still awesome :) She said it was overall one of the best birthdays she has ever had so I was happy about it. We are seriously like best friends now. Love her SO much!
Funny story for the week: So we went to visit this old woman named Leonor. She is 89 and LOVES the missionaries and the book of Mormon. The elders had stopped teaching her because she wouldn't ever come to church... mainly because apparently they told us she has "her intestines in a bag." We thought they were kidding. Nope. Definitely NOT kidding. We show up at this lady's house and knock on the door while her billions of roosters crowed at us. Her daughter Agatha opened it and pointed to the room where her mom was. The house is all cement floors. We pushed aside a wolf blanket that was hanging in the doorway and there she was! just chillin in her wheelchair. We sat down on her bed and she kept saying "que milagro! que milagro!" (what a miracle!) She explained to us everything and when she saw we had a book of Mormon she said "damelo! damelo!" (give it to me! give it to me!) She loves it haha. We thought she was going to die a couple times because she would lay back in her wheelchair.. stare at the ceiling with her eyes wide open and talk really slowly. So scary haha. So everything was normal... until she started talking about her daughter. She started saying some nasty stuff I wont go into. All of a sudden her daughter bursts into the room and starts screaming (in English) YOURE A LIAR!!! YOURE A LIAR!!!! Leonor was screaming back in Spanish and we were all of a sudden caught in this huuuuge thing. It was ridiculous. Agatha eventually ran out of the room and the whole rest of the lesson we heard angry whispers behind the blanket.
THEN. Leonor was wearing this bulky red sweater. she starts telling us she has her intestines in a bag (what?!) and lifts up her shirt to show us. DISGUSTING. literally her intestine is poking out of her stomach in a bag. It had a bunch of brown liquid at the bottom of it too. that was fine like whatever I have a strong stomach... but then the Smell hit us like a brick wall. most nasty smell I have ever experienced. My hand went to my mouth and I almost threw up. hna p. was having a hard time too. oh man it was awful. (have you ever heard of that kind of a procedure dad?) So yeah we don't know how she could get baptized... but it was super interesting. and THEN when hna pipkin tried saying the prayer Leonor just started saying her own so it was like battle of the prayers haha. so funny. then she said another one (?) so awkward. I almost bit off my tounge trying not to laugh. Needless to say... it was an INTERESTING lesson haha.
Phew that took forever... im tired haha. Cant wait to talk to 'yall tomorrow! Love you more than life itself!!!
Hermana Maxwell

Saturday, December 21, 2013

RELIEF SOCIETY VS MISSIONARIES! EMAIL 12/17/2013

Its been a pretty crazy week here in the wonderfully dry land of Ysleta TX. Missing my Utah snow for sure!! But LOVING having the Christmas season on the mission. Its so so incredible.  Alejandra's baptism was awesome!!! She was being a drama queen because the water was a bit cold but other than that it actually went really smoothly! She was confirmed on Sunday and is now the newest member of the Mission Trails ward! YAY! We love her so so much.  We also had Zone Conference this week as well.  A 70 came and talked to us (Elder Foster). It was AMAZING!! my favorite thing he said was that "prayer is an act of agency and it AUTHORIZES god to grant us blessings." Super super awesome. His wife also spoke about how we can do hard things but only with heavenly fathers help. Its amazing to see so many missionaries gathered together in one place. The spirit is so strong. We all sung "a childs prayer" and literally everyone was crying.
Lately we have really just been trying hard to find investigators. Struggling a little bit finding people to teach but things will pick up soon. People seem to be so busy around the Christmas season.  I have actually been sick the last couple days (DONT WORRY). Still pretty nauseated today but im fine. We had to come home early last night because I wasn't feeling good at all. Hna pipkin took good care of me! We just sat on the couch and watched the testaments and slept a lot! Feeling quite a bit better today but not all the way. Just trying to push through it because the work must go on!!!
I love you all so so much and keep up the good work at home. I never realized how important members are in missionary work so do all you can! Elder Foster also said "its now time for the work to be transferred from the missionaries to the members, you are just specialists assigned to help them." LOVE YA TONS
Oh haha quick story. So it was also the Ward Christmas party the day of Alejandra's baptism.  First of all: Mexicans sure know how to throw a party. Hna Morales, relief society counselor is like the ultimate party planner as well. (she wore a feathered vest to church last sunday if that tells you anything). Anyways so we went to the church in the morning to help them set up. We were putting tablecloths on tables, wrapping presents, etc. It was a PRODUCTION. I just cant even describe it. Lights, 4 Christmas trees, reindeer, the works. So I looked over and happened to notice they were taping the baptismal doors shut. So we ran over and told them we had a baptism. They FREAKED out. They said (all in Spanish of course) "no one told us you had a baptism!! this cant happen!! We are setting up our decorations!! We cant open these doors! They are already wrapped shut!!! Cant you move your baptism till tomorrow??" Hmmm saving a soul or Christmas decorations? yeah it was nuts. Missionaries vs the relief society and their Christmas party. It was like something straight out of the "RM" haha. Eventually they unwrapped the doors and Hna Morales turned around and said "ya tienen sus puertas" which means "now you have your doors!" It was so ridiculous it was hilarious. Anyways hope you enjoyed that haha. We laugh about it all the time.
Kenna

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DECK THE HALLS EMAIL 12-10-13

DECK THE HALLS*MISSIONARY STYLE!




Sounds like things are going great at home! This week has been kind of slow but still working hard! Maria ended up not getting baptized because her daughter is in the hospital. She is ok she just had a C-section. But because of that the baptism had to be canceled after we planned EVERYTHING. pretty frustrating. Alejandra is getting baptized this Saturday though! Super excited. She has been a miracle story for sure. She is the one that just showed up to church on her own. 
I honestly don't know what to say about this week haha its been pretty rough. Dropping a lot of investigators and struggling to find new ones! However like grandma ElRae said "CHOOSE JOY" I love that. Even when times are hard we can always choose to be happy!! Hna pipkin and I haven't let our spirits down. Still working as hard as we can!
We had a white elephant gift exchange today with our zone after we waxed all our cars... I got ties... useful right haha? So excited for Christmas!!! Its definitely a different Christmas than I have ever experienced in my life but I know its going to be one of the best. Its so awesome to literally be able to focus only on Christ without the wordly distractions of Christmas.  I love it. We are really trying to get the ward involved in missionary work and challenging everyone to buy a PMG(preach my gospel) and start reading it! The other night we did a fhe with a family and talked about Ammon. We even got to watch the living scriptures story on him (amazing.. brought back memories of my childhood :)). We made the kids "espadas de rectitud" (swords of righteousness) out of cardboard... kind of turned out to be more of a distraction than anything haha. oops... don't know too much about kids I guess.
Loving being a missionary! Time is flying! I hit my 5 months in about two weeks. Cant believe it! Oh and wasn't the Christmas devotional wonderful?? totally showed a clip of sister missionaries!! REPRESENT!!! :D I love how they said that the purpose of the babe of Bethlehem was to give OUR lives purpose every day other than the 25th of December. So true!
Ive really been trying to improve myself as a missionary. There are sooo many good missionaries in my mission its insane. We all have room to improve and I definitely feel behind at times haha. But God makes our weaknesses strong!!! I love you all so much. Stay safe and have a happy pre-Christmas time. Its the best! LOVE YOU!!
Hermana Maxwell

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

75 DEGREES IN TEXAS...WHAT?! EMAIL 12/3/2013

A CATHOLIC CHURCH


A PRETTY HORSE FOR BRYNNA


FAMILY!!!
oh man how I miss you guys!! its kind of hard over the holidays to not think about home!! My thanksgiving was wonderful! We had all the missionaries from the mission trails ward (us, horizon sisters, and san eli elders) over at hna Castillo's house for thanksgiving. It was awwesoome!! she has a daughter who is on a mission in Canada right now so she took extra good care of us.  We also got to go to the thanksgiving parade in El Paso because we had to help clean up after for a service project! It was so so much fun!! Weird to be watching a parade on a mission haha. They didn't throw any candy though.. lame right? Christmas is in the air even though its still in the 70's here! Its definitely warmed back up.
This week has been pretty normal! Not too much exciting happened although our investigator who is slightly crazy (Maria Iniguez) is getting baptized this Saturday!! We are really excited about it. I really just don't have any idea how to describe her. She is the type of person who will randomly grab your wrist in the middle of a lesson and start laughing hysterically.  I love her. Her family is super against her joining the church though which is kind of sad. She has a son named Mario who is our age. (actually when we first met her she wanted to hook me or hna pipkin up with him.. super awkward).
I don't really know what else to say this week... we got to visit this old catholic chapel for pday! it was really interesting.  Its crazy how much they focus on the death of Christ... kind of eerie actually. They had this sculpture of the body of Christ with bloody nails in his hands and feet just laying in this case.  So creepy. The fact that Christ died on the cross is definitely important but I love that we focus on the fact that he was resurrected instead and on what he did during his lifetime. He truly is our savior. The quote on my planner for this transfer (its in Spanish sorry) is: "no hay ningun dolor fisico, ninguna angustia del alma, ningun sufrimiento del espiritu, ninguna enfermedad o debilidad que ustedes o yo hayamos experimentado durante nuestra vida terrenal que el Salvador no haya experimentado primero." (have dad translate :)**There is no physical pain or anguish of the spirit, nor spiritual suffering, nor sickness or disability that you or I have experienced during our earthly life that the Savior hasn't experienced first ) But I truly know that Christ has felt everything we will ever feel in this life. Its so comforting to know that on a mission as well. Sometimes its hard to not get discouraged when people reject this amazing message. But when that happens as Elder Holland said, we are walking shoulder to shoulder with the greatest life this world has ever known.  Christ knows everything.. and more and more he is becoming my PERSONAL savior. I love him so much.
This gospel really just makes so much sense. Im so grateful that I was able to be brought up in it. THANK YOU!!! I love you all so much and wish you the happiest holidays on the planet :) you are always in my prayers.  Miss ya tons. Till next time!

Monday, November 25, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! EMAIL 11/25/2013





Family!!!
So they switched around the schedule this week because there have been time conflicts with the new pday changed.  Its only for this week though! Sorry I wish I could have let you know sooner... so I wont be able to see your emails till next week if you haven't written yet. Hope everything is good at home!! 
First of all GUESS WHO IS STAYING IN YSLETA???? ME!!! woo!!!! we have another 6 weeks together. Its awesome. We are so excited and have set many big goals for the next transfer.  Im so so happy. Hna pipkin literally tackled me when we got the news.  So you will get to meet her on Christmas!!!
This week has been absolutely amazing!!! Suzy got baptized on Saturday!!! It was great... so spiritual. There really is nothing like being able to hug someone that you love and have been teaching right as they come out of the waters of baptism all smiles and dripping wet :) She was crying she felt the spirit so much.  On Sunday she bore her testimony and said "I am so grateful for Pipkin and Maxwell.. I want my daughter to be a missionary like them someday." she was crying and just thanked us over and over. These feelings are just impossible to describe! Jesus was able to bless the sacrament on Sunday too! He did such a good job.
We are currently teaching a bunch of families with kids at the moment :) Its really great. One of them LF Savala totally came to church on Sunday!! The 9 year old Ceci loves us to death. She says we are like her sisters. She absolutely loved primary. We haven't been able to set a baptismal date with them yet because they are super catholic (like most people around here) and are scared to switch their religion. But hoppppeffullly we will be able to set one with them this week!
We are seeing so so so much success in our area right now!!! Ysleta is seriously on fire. But its all due to heavenly father. He has such a hand in his work... I see it every single day. People are ALWAYS placed in our path that are ready for the gospel.  We met our goal of 20 member present lessons this past week!!! (standard of excellence) and this week we are really trying to get 20 contacts a day. (another standard of excellence). Which is REALLY hard to do. But we've got the faith!
Its finally started to get cold here. One day the temperature seriously went from the high 70s and the next day to the 30s. Its kind of a hard adjustment haha. We are always wearing coats and scarves everywhere. I feel like a temple square sister missionary haha.  Just missing my American flag on my tag!
Im really starting to LOVE this. I was sooo happy on Sunday just because  LF Savala came to church!! Its so so rewarding. So much is expected of us as missionaries though. I never understood that before my mission. Its insane. We are literally expected to leave everything and grow up. But its the coolest change. Im still the same goofy person but have such a different perspective on things now!
Thanksgiving is on Thursday!! woo!! we are all eating at a members house with all the missionaries. It should be super super fun.  We will probably get more than one thanksgiving dinner im sure.  Whats the plans for thanksgiving at home?
Sure do miss you all!! Im so happy out here. Its hard but heavenly father is taking care of me. Keep being awesome. I LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TRANSFER?! EMAIL 11/19/2013

BISHOP'S KIDS!

BLOOD FROM MOSQUITO BITES!

ALICE AND HER STUFFED ANIMAL....LOOKS REAL!

HERMANA MAXWELL AND HERMANA PIPKIN

WATCH OUT!!

FREE TIME FUN!

FAVORITE STORE!


LUNCH WITH INVESTIGATOR SUZY


A PIC JUST FOR BRYNNA!

HOLA FROM YSLETA!!!

Wow what a week. Its been full of success, downer days, as well as craaazy people. I had no idea how many crazy people live in el paso TX haha. But its ok because that's what makes the mission interesting :) Josefina and Jesus have been totally stellar!! They pretty much run the gospel principles class now.  Jesus got the priesthood this past sunday :) It was soooo awesome. Plus they are already starting to come out to our other investigator lessons. And YES! SUZY IS GETTIN" BAPTIZED!!! WOOO!!! oh my goodness she is totally incredible.  Like I said before her mom is not very supportive. BUT a miracle totally happened this week! So her mom would like hide her book of Mormon so she couldn't read it, and she had to bribe her siblings to find out where it was at. (horrible right?) but this past week her mom confronted her and asked "why in the world do you care so much about this book?! Whats in it anyways?" And so she gathered her whole family together and read from the book of Mormon!!! Her mom liked it and is slowly starting to change. It really is a MIRACLE. so so happy. I cant wait for her to be baptized Saturday. keep her in your prayers!!! seriously... satan works so hard on our investigators during baptism weeks.
Lets see what else... just teaching tons!!! our district is amazing. Last week our district alone taught more lessons than some ZONES did.  And hna pipkin and I taught the most out of our district. Things are looking up! there are still hard times obviously but we are seeing lots of success.
Its stiiilll not cooling down. Always in the high ish 70's. I miss my Utah Snow!!! its hard not to have a white holiday season but that's ok :) Ill be having a Mexican Christmas! Should be purty exciting. I just LOVE the Mexican people. So humble and open to the gospel.  Its really rare that we get rejected... at least harshly. Usually they will at least listen to us for a few minutes even if they don't believe what we are saying. Exchanges was this past week so I got to see the Horizon area with Sister Biancardi (sister training leader). I learned TONS.  There are sooo many incredible missionaries in this mission. Our mission is seriously amazing. apparently we had more baptisms as a mission than the whole south west area. Our mission president knows how to whip us into shape and help us to improve.
the language is still really hard. Like I understand 95% of what people say MOST OF THE TIME. but the little grammatical rules and such are really hard to get down. I still sound VERY much like a gringa. Im trying though.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Couldn't do it without 'yall!!! LOVE YOU!!
 
Hermana Maxwell

And I know im sure life is soooo busy. But I do know that when we put god first everything else falls into place. I think its 3 nephi 13:33... seek ye first the kingdom of god and then all will be added unto you. I have seen so much of that while on my mission. Like so many people have solid jobs on sundays etc that they just cant let go of. But miracles happen when we put the most important first. Not saying your not of course :) the mission has also made me appreciate the little things in life because they are what make us the most happy. Like sharing a laugh with a friend or the fall leaves or even making silly mistakes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

BAPTISM**HOORAY!!!! EMAIL 11/12/2013






WHAT A WEEK!!! JOSEFINA AND JESUS GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!! YYYYYYAYYYYYYYYY!!!! did I mention im excited haha? man it was so awesome. The best part was just seeing them walk out in their white clothing. It was a moment ill never forget! It was definitely very spiritual but sooo many crazy things happened. First of all the programs wouldn't print because the printer was out of ink, then Josefina left her dry underwear in the car so we had to run around like maniacs trying to find it haha, Juan (the guy who thinks he is a prophet) started bearing his testimony about all of these crazy dreams he has had, the baptismal clothes were way too small for Jesus (kind of hilarious haha), and it was just crazy! But sooo awesome. They got confirmed on sunday as well and Jesus gets the priesthood next week! They are so stellar. They are totally going to be leaders in the church.  They are already doing FHE's, missionary work, and bringing their family to church next sunday! Its super amazing.  I just cant believe I get to play a small part in such an amazing work.  Their baptism is going to trickle down to future generations forever and ever.  Hopefully we will be able to start teaching their kids here soon!
Suzy also came to church! AND she wore a skirt!!! (she HATES skirts). It really was a miracle. She is the one who is 20 years old and whose mom is super against her getting baptized but she is going to anyway! Its been a real struggle trying to get her to church because she doesn't have a car so her mom drops her off. Last week her mom didn't come pick her up because she didn't want her to go. BUT this week she came :) I almost started crying I was so excited! Im so wrapped up in the work now.. its my life!  So just something as simple as an investigator coming to church is like the best thing in the world.
We have lots of crazy people we meet every day. Maria, another investigator is absolutely insane but we love her anyways!! last night we tried to teach her how to pray VERY CLEARLY. basically she started out with "Buenos noches senor" and didn't even end with amen. haha. we all just sat there in silence for a good 30 seconds. super awkward. Ive learned that missionary work is just awkward! everything about it is! but its awesome :)
I wish I had more time! so many things are happening in our area right now. we are seeing so much success and our numbers are some of the best in our whole zone. The field is WHITE!!! working my booty off and lovin' it!!! This transfer is almost over.... so scared. I really don't want to switch companions/areas/train but its all up to the lord!! I love you all so so much and keep being awesome!
OH! and I totally got the package!!! LOVED IT!!!! me and hna pipkin died when the turkey started singing! Thank you so so so SO much. I love how you sent stuff for her as well. It was adorable. I really appreciate it more than you know!!!!
Hermana Maxwell

Saturday, November 9, 2013

HALLOWEEN IN YSLETA !! EMAIL 11/4/2013












 Familia!!!!
oh man its sooo good to hear from you. I miss you tons! First of all I love the pictures!!! They are AWESOME. :) looks like you had tons of fun on Halloween!!!! We didn't do much for Halloween haha... just had citas all night! (appointments) Not very many people trick or treat here but we did have a ward Halloween party!! Ill send some pics for sure.

This week has been amazing!!! Ysleta is so WHITE!!!!!! (white and ready to harvest) We have seen more miracles this week than ever before. So many investigators have just been dropped right into our laps! its so incredible. Just last night we met a man named Ricardo (29) who asked us if he could be baptized before we even taught him anything!!! Its crazy.
Hna pipkin hit her 6 months this week! She is a third done with her mission! cant believe it.  Ive been out over 3 months now and by the end of the transfer it will be 4!! Time is flying. The ward Halloween party was really fun. They had a costume contest haha. Hispanic people sure know how to throw a partay!!
LF hernandez is ready for their baptism on Saturday!!! CANT WAIT!!! MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!!! its really going to be awesome. They have their interview on Thursday. We started teaching another really great family named LF Savala. They have three kids Cindy (15), Rafael (16) and Ceci (9). They have a ton of pets and the cutest kitten ever. The girls would die!!!
My Spanish is coming along pretty good. I still struggle a lot but really the language is the least important thing. We are working really really hard and are starting to see LOTS of success. Our numbers are some of the best in our zone I think.  But numbers aren't whats important. I lloooovvee ysleta and the people here and my testimony is growing tons. I am so grateful that I made this decision to serve a mission... I don't think I had any idea how MUCH it would impact my life. This church is so true. I love you so much and miss you more than you have any idea. Im sooo glad to hear about your missionary work efforts. Keep it up!!! see if you can go out with the missionaries sometime. We are always looking for members to come out with us! I know it takes time but its so worth it. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
 
kenna

Monday, October 28, 2013

THE FIRST "REJECTION" EMAIL 10/28/2013


 



Familia!!!!!!

This week has been crazy!! We have set so many baptismal dates with people!! Jesus and Josefina are officially getting baptized november 9th!! couldnt be more excited :) Jesus just totally gets it. He pretty much recited the whole introduction to the book of mormon to us the other night. So awesome. and Josefina is like the sweetest woman you will ever meet! They already cant wait to teach their kids about the gospel (who we know too... their names are Jesus aka Chewey and his wife Iveth). They always feed us food and take care of us :) Its like a second home over at their trailer! Both them and Alejandra (the one who randomly showed up at church all on her own) came to church yesterday. YAY!!! I also had to give a 3 minute talk on missionary work without notes once again. Gotta love that. I am so horrible at public speaking... especially in SPANISH!!!! So we took our investigators to the gospel principles class... yeah... they probably left pretty confused. lets just say we have some interesting people/investigators that come to the mission trails ward. One of the investigators of the other sisters, Juan, thinks he is a prophet. He believes the church is true.. but he still thinks he is a prophet. So in the middle of the lesson he started talking about his dreams.... about some guy... and a light... and a frame.... and a person with red hair descending out of heaven? yeah dont ask. I have no idea. Plus this excommunicated lady keeps coming and speaking when she isnt supposed to. The teacher (Jeanette a return missionary who I LOVE) asked the question "why does god want us to have eternal families?" and this lady answered "para formar mundos" which translates to: in order to make worlds. Yeah. WRONG answer. haha its always an adventure here.
Missionary life is going great! I love waking up and putting my tag on every morning and knowing I am a representative of the greatest life this world has ever known: Jesus Christ. I honestly cant imagine my life without the gospel and its such a blessing to be able to share that knowledge with others. I love you all so much and am so grateful for the influence you have had on me. I wouldnt be the person I am today without you! I wish I could talk more... its just too much happens every week I have no idea how to even start!! I love you all and the church is true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep on keepin on!!!!!! 

hermana Maxwell

this picture is our "rejection" note we got the other day. It was actually really funny. Enjoy!




Thursday, October 24, 2013

STICKS TO BEAT OFF THE DOGS?!! EMAIL 10/21/2013








Hey there family!!!
Wow life sounds really crazy at home with Dallon leaving. Im sorry to hear about the computer problems!! Thats no fun.. did Dallon write or email a letter? Im confused.. Dallon I know its scary. I know... I remember it so clearly. But just remember that its just life, it may be different, but its just life. You will be fine just pray!! Its all worth it. Super cliche.. but it really is. I wish I could be there to see you get set apart! you will be such an amazing missionary.

Yes Im healthy (besides a headache today) and happy! Mission life is really hard but really rewarding as well! We work all day every day! Its really hard to get up in the mornings but once we are up it just gets better as the day goes on! I still havent gotten the Mexico City package. Next time Ill get mail is the first friday of November (its always the first friday of the month)

This week has been pretty awesome! Its weird that I'm in my second transfer here. We still are teaching a lot and finding new people right and left! We have to move LF hernandez's baptismal date back a little bit because things keep popping up that are keeping them from coming to church.  Yesterday we had this woman named Alejandra and her son Sebastian randomly show up at church.  Turns out she just came to "learn" because her ex-boyfriend was LDS. We dont know what her story is but that NEVER happens. Just come to church not knowing anyone. She Is really awesome and an amazing mother. We are so excited to start teaching her! Heavenly father seriously just dropped her in our laps.
The biggest danger out here in the country is dogs haha. We got told yesterday to literally carry sticks around with us haha. So dont worry! We are being safe and life is great.  This is definitely one of the hardest things ive ever done in my life but I am growing so so much.  Keep working hard at home and know that I LOVE YOU!! Sorry this email is so short.. i just cant think because I have a killer headache this morning for some reason.  Dallon you  got this brother!!!!
Love,
Kenna

Monday, October 14, 2013

MCKENNA TRIES PIG STOMACH...YUM!!!! EMAIL 10/14/2013

AY AY! Familia :) I Just LOVE YOU!!!
Sounds like home is fantastic!!! Im sure dallon totally knocked the farewell out of the ballpark!! I cant believe he leaves so soon!!!
So.... IM STAYING IN YSLETA AREA WITH HNA PIPKIN!!!!! YYYYYAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! not training yet :) :) so so happy. I still have so much to learn. We are really really excited because we should have a few baptisms this transfer!!!! I actually got to go to a baptism the other night for the first time (it was one of the other sister's investigators). It was super awesome. As she went down in the water the spirit was just so strong. This really is why we are here... to lead people into the waters of baptism. And on from there! It made me really excited to have one of our own. La familia hernandez still are planning on being baptized the 26th. CANT WAIT!!! They are just so prepared. Josefina (the mom/gma) is sooo adorable. When we walked in last time to teach the word of wisdom she sat everyone down and said "can we please start with a prayer? ILL SAY IT!!" she was so excited. She is always on the edge of her seat with glasses on ready to learn :) I love it!! and Jesus her husband has a hilarious sense of humor and is always crackin jokes.
Our numbers haven't been too good this week but we really have worked our butts off. That just happens sometimes in missionary work unfortunately. Hopefully things will start to pick up here this week. Something funny that happened... we were contacting this reference that was just in some obscure area of the area book. We pulled up and got out and there was this huge gate in front of the house with this HUGE SCARY dog in front of it. It was like frothing out the mouth and freaking out at us. We debated for like 10 minutes whether or not to go in... finally I just ran through and booked it to the door. This old lady immediately answered it... like almost creepily fast. I turned around to look for hna pipkin and the dog was chasing her around the yard!! it was sooo funny. It ended up being nice but it was seriously hilarious. The lady ended up being nuts... we meet TONS of crazy people. Its pretty fun! She just kept staring at our nametags and muttering "jesucristo" "jesucristo" under her breath. Kinda scary. :)
I also tried Menudo. NEVER. try that. Oh my gosh literally the grossest thing I have ever eaten in my life. Its pig stomach... its covered in the vili of your stomach and everything. They put the bowl in front of me and it literally smelled like we were at the fair. It smells EXACTLY like pigs. And it was soooo nasty. I thought I was going to hurl haha. But hey! VIVA MEXICO! :) aka el paso :) It really is totally mexico here.
But yeah its been a good week! met lots and lots of people! just doin the work the best I can! Its hard not to feel inadequate sometimes but Im trying my hardest. Heavenly father chooses the simple and weak to do his work. He doesn't call the qualified he qualifies the called!!! I know that to be true. I love you guys soo ooooo much. Till next time :) Don't get too crazy!!! and have fun hunting!!!!!
Love,
Hermana Maxwell

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

LOCKED OUT OF THE TRUCK?! EMAIL 10/7/2013

Hey family!!
ok once again super stressed for time!! this computer isnt working very good unfortunately... but im going to try my best!!!  Wasnt conference INCREDIBLE??? I seriously learned soooo much. So many of the talks applied directly to me it was AWESOME. One thing that I did that i have never done before was make a list of questions I had before and then listen for them specifically during conference. Needless to say they were ALL answered one way or another!! We watched conference in the chapel luckily in english!!! Jesus y Josefina Hernandez came to the sunday morning session!!! we freaked out!!! I am so so so happy. They are progressing so much! Their baptismal date is set for Dallons birthday! so i might have my first baptism on dallons birthday. adorable right? :) One thing that hit me hard at conference for you guys is the family missionary counsel!! Do you do family home evening? because you should most definitely incorporate that!! I know that missionary work blesses our lives more than we can possibly imagine.
I did get the package!! THANK YOU!!! it was wonderful!! I am behind on letters so im sorry. I have like 50 to write today and we dont have any time to write them because we are going to saddle blanket (partay!) but im going to try. I DID get mistie's package as well!! it was so cute!! pllleaassse tell her thanks for me!! I love getting mail.. its the best thing ever in a mission. I still dont think you can send stuff directly to me... things should get figured out more next week because its TRANSFERS!!! Freaking out!! I should find out if im training on wednesday. Its really rare for a spanish sister to train after only 6 weeks.. but Ill do what heavenly father needs me to do. I need your prayers this week!
Thats so great about the family history work!!! Youll have to show me the ropes when i get home!! its pretty amazing how interested investigators are that we do family history. It truly is a great technique for missionary work. (sorry this email is all over the place). This past week has been realllly crazy!!! We had  temple monday, moved out tuesday, weekly planning thursday, two big meetings friday, and conference saturday and sunday!! I have learned soooo much. Its a tad overwhelming but Im trying my best. President just raised the standards of excellence A LOT.  so its a lot of pressure... especially if im going to train.  Our mission used to be one of the highest baptizing missions in the world!!! So we are trying to get back to that by having the goal for a baptism every single week!!! crazy!!! We are trying our best!
They showed a bunch of stuff about the Mexico mtc between sessions!! did you see it?? and the 70 that spoke saturday about the mexico mtc I saw!!! he totally spoke to us!! really awesome!!! Mom we did go to Denny's for dinner. thank you it was wonderful!!! but funny story we locked the keys in the truck there and were stuck there for 2 and a half hours. The spare key is in albuquerque hahaha. The FIRE DEPT ended up rolling in and getting it open for us. It was pretty much hilarious.
Teaching teaching teaching!! we teach all the time. Im getting better at it but the spanish is still really hard. im trying my best!! We are teaching many investigators that are finally progressing!
Jesus y josefina hernandez
Moraima y her daughter alejandra
juan sandoval
veronica
and many others we are teaching as well! please keep them in your prayers. I love you all so so so SO much. Families can be forever and i am sooo glad that I am a part of ours :) Keep doing MISSIONARY WORK. the  work is hastening!! we feel like the culture of the church is changing for sure towards the work of preaching the gospel. Im so proud of you guys for all you are doing and to stand shoulder to shoulder in proclaiming the incredible news of the gospel!!! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

MOSQUITOS TOO?! EMAIL 10/1/2013






So sorry this is going to be super rushed but pday is kind of nonexistent this week!! We had missionary monday yesterday so we all got to drive up to albuquerque and go to the temple!!! it was AMAZING!!!!! its a 5 hour drive from el paso so it took literally all day. I learned so much and the new video is awesome!! then today we moved into our new place!!! Its right across the street from the church building which is near the intersection between north loop and horizon.  I love it.. we still arent all unpacked but today has just been nuts!! Random side note there are sooo many mosquitos here!!! I literally have bites all over my body. But thats ok I love it here :)
This past week once again has been full of miracles!!! We started teaching this family (Hernandez) who are so prepared for the gospel its ridiculous. They are constantly begging for homework and are so eager to learn!!! We also started teaching Moraima's daughter Alejandra and had a really cool spiritual moment ill tell you about real quick!! We started talking to her about Christ and the death of her cousin. I got a super super strong impression to say something like this: "Alejandra, we need you to know that we are representatives of Jesus Christ himself. Your cousin is working through us and she wants you to hear this message." The spirit was so strong!! It was so amazing. She is 17 and has bright red dyed hair and a lip ring but has the SWEETEST spirit about her. I cant wait to teach her more!!
This past week was also EXCHANGES!!!!!! Normally I would go out to the area of the sister training leaders but instead they thought I could handle leading out in my area after being here for just 3 weeks!!! I was freaking out.  So Hermana Silva (who is awwesome and knows heidi sorenson) came out and we spent 24 hours together. I learned a ton from her!!! We taught a lot of interesting.... people. haha. But it went really well and i only got lost once!!! We also had zone conference all day on thursday. Of course I was chosen to give a 5 minute talk on the spot... lets just say heavenly father is expecting a lot of me right now. but I CAN DO IT! I almost passed out i was so scared. no notes... all in spanish... yeah it was interesting.  I got the package from Mistie and grandma! as well as some letters. Not sure when ill get the package you sent... we still havent figured out mail yet!!
But yeah still loving the work and being with my trainer! we are like best friends now. Its hard at times but Im really starting to love it and lose myself in the work. Ill try to write more next week. today is just so crazy! but I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!
hermana maxwell

Monday, September 23, 2013

OUT 2 MONTHS!! EMAIL 9/23/2013








Buenos Dias!!

Life is good here as a sista missionary! We have had to drop a lot of investigators because they weren't really progressing. It takes a lot of faith to do that. But heavenly father has blessed us with so many more people to teach!! these last few weeks have just been finding finding FINDING! And its been wonderful.  One lady I want to tell you about is Moraima. This experience with her changed my whole perspective on my mission. We met her once and set up a cita because she wanted to hear more a bout the gospel (cant remember if I told you this but she had a 16 yr old niece die in a car accident who was Mormon and wants to know why her family is getting through it so easily). We stopped by her house and she wasn't there.. and she never called. We decided to stop by again the other night and she was there!! She said she was afraid to call us. She sat us down in her kitchen and immediately just started sobbing. sobbing sobbing sobbing. She told us her story of her life and I have NEVER heard something so sad in my life. I wont go into details but it was awful. they lived on the street for awhile and didn't even have money for food. I just sat there shocked... my heart totally broke for this poor woman. She luckily has a job now. she has two kids, angel who has asthma and is always in the hospital, and a daughter who struggles with depression. They live in a trailer and are struggling to get by. She needs the gospel soooo bad. We told her that we were representatives of JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. and that we are hear to share his gospel with her and that its one of happiness. She just cried and thanked us over and over. It was such an amazing experience. her experience brought me to tears.. I just cant wait to see her life change with the gospel. Pray for her!!
Many other things have happened but I don't have much time to talk about them!! we are just constantly teaching and its wonderful! I still struggle quite a bit with Spanish but the gift of tounges is real! I think its going to take a few months to really get the hang of things. I got driving permission yesterday so Ive started driving our truck around which is really nice! its weird to drive again.. it will help me get to know the area so much faster. We always have dinners with members/investigators which is interesting sometimes. they get offended if you don't ask for more and the food isn't always good haha. so Ive had a few times where I wanted to hurl after. but most of the time its real good! they eat a lot of spicy food here... which is exciting on occasion haha. We have cereal for breakfast and usually sandwhiches or something for lunch. we are so busy its hard to have time to eat some days!  Schedule on pdays is study time, laundry, email, shopping, lunch, zone sports, and then proselyting for the rest of the night! we do laundry at this Laundromat by our apt. 
Well the church is true people! I have never realized how blessed I have been to have the gospel. It really is amazing. share it with everyone you can!! member/missionary work is how everything gets done! help out the missionaries back home because they need you!! I love you all so so so much and think about you always. 
Hermana Maxwell
pictures: 3 kids we are teaching (so cute! damian diego and david)
me teaching a dog the gospel. there are dogs everywhere!!!!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

EMAIL 9/16/2013 ANTS IN BEDS?!!!


 

THE 2 PICS ABOVE WHERE TAKEN AT THE CCM IN MEXICO






This week has been full of miracles!! We have really been focusing on trying to find new people to teach and we have been blessed with a bunch of new investigators. 4 of them have a baptismal date!! But they are brand new... so hopefully they will continue to work towards it. Nothing is for sure here! We have had many spiritual lessons and I have gained such a testimony of how heavenly father prepares people to hear the gospel. There are always people placed in our path! We have also been getting a lot of member-present lessons which is a big goal here in the mission. I really had no idea how much members affect the work.  Our best investigators were referrals from members! so try to help the missionaries back home!! Many of the ward members come out with us to lessons and bear such strong testimonies. It really is incredible. Its definitely been humbling as well to see the conditions that many of these people are living in. The majority of the time I really feel like im in mexico still.  Everyone lives in trailers and are very poor. and EVERYONE speaks Spanish! That's definitely the hardest part for me.. but its slowly coming!
We are teaching this little family. The dad is named David and he has three little boys and a baby girl. He really wants his kids to learn more about Christ is such a cute dad. He doesn't know anything about the gospel and fails to realize that we are trying to teach him too haha. The first lesson he came over and sat on our side and helped us teach his kids about the restoration haha. He also accidently gave us tea... I took a drink and was like "what the heck?" my trainer realized it right away. Kind of an awkward moment. He felt really bad but it was way funny!! They have a baptismal date set already as well! I wish I had time to talk about everyone but I just don't! Its been raining all week which is really rare here! Our truck got stuck in the mud 3 TIMES!!!! 2 of which was in the same day!! so funny. We had to get pulled out.  Another funny thing that happened was during a really spiritual lesson with a less active family their dog came sliding in on the wood floor and slammed into the couch. then it got a Halloween bucket stuck on its head and was running around like a maniac. couldn't help but laugh! Luckily it didn't distract from the spirit too bad.
I am learning so so so much from my trainer. she is amazing!!! We are great friends already! Ill try and send a picture this time!  We are going to be moving into a older couples home at the end of the month! thank goodness... our roof is leaking and there are ants in our beds! its pretty bad. I cant wait to move out!! Anywyas I hope I answered everything.. I wish I had more time! Just know I love you all and that missionary work is amazing!! This gospel is TRUE!!!!! Just picture me in mexico because that's practically where I am haha. I can see Juarez from our area! LOVE YOU ALL!!!  Keep up the faith and share the gospel!! I had no idea how much members affect the work!

Hermana maxwell

Sunday, September 15, 2013

HELLO FROM YSLETA TEXAS! EMAIL 9/9/13

McKenna left Mexico for New Mexico at 3 am on Sept 2nd.  It took a week before we got our first email from her.  She is serving in Ysleta Texas which is in El Paso.  There is a small portion of Texas in her mission.  Her companion is Hermana Pipkin




HOLA FROM YSLETA/SOCORRO TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Oh my goodness its so good to hear from you.  Im sorry its taken so long to get an email off.  And unfortunately now I have even LESS time to email so if you could mom will you tell everyone who can to send me letters instead?? Im only allowed to write letters as well on pdays.. sooooo  yeah there is going to be limited contact unfortunately. :( But send them to the mission home for starters... long story short we are moving out of our apartment in a couple weeks so I don't want to risk letters not getting here ya know? We have an ant infestation haha and our apt is super super ghetto so we are going to be moving into a family's home hopefully the beginning of October.
There is so much to say and so little time!! im sorry if this makes no sense! I AM in texas (el paso zone) which is a crazy first area. We literally can see the border and its like im living in mexico no joke. EVERYONE speaks Spanish I swear.  And whatever they taught me in the CCM is NOT Spanish haha. Jk. But its been really really hard. Ive struggled a lot more here in this first week than I ever did in the ccm. I just cant understand anyone!! and im supposed to be preaching the gospel to them!! Its been rough.. but im doing ok. Luckily I have the most amazing trainer in the world... hna. Pipkin... CRAZY coincidence. So she is the hna that makayla trained!!!!!! So she was makayla's last companion and I am in makaylas area teaching the people that she was teaching!!! its wayyy crazy. As soon as I got to the mission everyone already knows tons about me and have been waiting for me because of kayla haha. not sure if that's a good or bad thing. but I did see makayla for a couple minutes during one of the transfer meetings!! she totally tackled me into the wall! It was soooo good to see her. She is Sister Training Leader now!! HUGE calling. totally knew she would be!!
Ysleta is a great area... I just love the Hispanic people. Many live in such humble circumstances... I cant believe how blessed we are. Count your blessings!!! They are all so amazing though. We are teaching many many people. And heavenly father is constantly preparing them to hear the gospel! One lady I have to tell you about is Alice. Oh my goodness. she has had suuuch a hard life. Makayla and hna pipkin just baptized her before I got here but we still teach them for awhile after their baptisms. She is such an incredible woman and has suuuuch faith. I just love her. She always is striving to be the best she can be. I cant go into tons of detail but she has had trials you cant possibly imagine but she is so HAPPY with the gospel. She is always crying and thanking us over and over again.  Also we are teaching a few ladys that live in a home together (we call them las mujeres) and one of them her son got in a car accident and has been in a coma. They said he wouldn't live... he got a priesthood blessing (they aren't members) and now he is starting to move and react!!! its amazing!! his name is Alexis. And guess what?? he has a trache and a g-tube!!I watched her suction him and it brought back so many memories. they aren't very committed to the gospel though.. I really hope we will be able to help them.
texas is verrrry dry and HOT. but luckily its starting to cool down a bit now. We drive a truck around everywhere although I wish we had bikes!! the ward is amazing!! its called Mission trail. I had to bear my testimony unexpectedly sunday and about had a heart attack (its a Spanish ward). but it went ok! the members are incredible.  Ahhh I wish I could tell you about everyone but I just don't have the time.
please apologize to everyone there is no way I can get to all the emails.. I barely have time for this one. But I love you so much.. and miss you more than ever before. things are going good... the highs are really high and lows are reeeeallly low. So its hard... real hard. But amazing at the same time.  Im practically living in Juarez mexico so its kinda ghetto here but not too bad.  Everyone is amazingly nice and accepting. I love being a missionary and being able to share this message!! I LOVE YOU

Sunday, September 1, 2013

EMAIL 8/29/13 LAST WEEK IN THE MEXICO CCM!!!!






**As you can see McKenna was blessed to have another trip to the Mexico City Temple.  We are so excited as she begins a new adventure this weekend as she leaves for New Mexico at 1:00 am Monday 9/2.  Sunday will be her last day in the CCM!!**


Como estan??? Sorry this email is a little later than normal. We just got back from el templo!!!! it was wonderful... but I did get sick again yesterday... so I almost didnt make it through the session. Thrown up once.. but starting to feel a little better!! This food is kicking my butt. Cant wait to get back to the states!!!
 Things here have been great! We have had a couple super fantastic lessons. One of our investigators, Damian, committed to be baptized!!! You have no idea how big of an accomplishment that is.. he was seriously so hard to committ to things.  But yeah we baptized all 5 of our investigators!! still got a lot to learn but we are feeling pretty good about ourselves :) especially being the kings of the ccm now!! Everyone practically worships the ground we walk on because we have been here for so long haha.  Our casa is now filled with new sisters. We are the only ones that have been here for more than a week! I also FINALLY saw parrots!! they live in the palm trees here.. bright green ones. SO pretty!!!
so the other day when we were in our TALL time (computer assisted language learning) our teacher Hermano day walked in, he pulled me and my companion out of class and told us he had a special assignment for us.  Long story short he told us that in 10 minutes we had to go demonstrate how to begin teaching in front of ALL the new missionaries. Yeah. pretty much practically passed out from nervousness. It was really cool but wayyy stressful.  I hope we did ok! We also lived through another earthquake. woot. we never feel them but still ;) there has been 4 since we have been here! hmm what else... its just been a crazy last week! tomorrow we have in field orientation ALL DAY in class. Ive heard its pretty rough so that will be exciting! I just cant believe we are finally busting outta here!!
OH. so MIRACLE AT THE CCM!!! two days ago for breakfast they had nutella AND peanut butter!!! YEAH. i know. flippin amazing. they dont have any of that kind of stuff here so it was seriously insane. Anyways.. sorry this email is so short.. but I have limited time since we went to the temple!! keep an eye out for my email on sunday!!! I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! the church is true!!!!!

p.s. #1 thing im doing when i get back is getting a CHEESEBURGER. SO EXCITED