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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!