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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

KIDS PRAYERS ARE THE BEST! Email 12/23/2014




Familia!!! Feliz Navidad!!!!
Things in El Paso are great! This past week has really been a good self-reflection/spiritual time for me. We had our zone conference which was all about what our real purpose is as missionaries. A lot of us get caught up in other "good" things but they aren't our purpose. Such as developing our own testimonies, blessing our own families, etc. Those aren't bad things but they are focused inward instead of outward. We are here to bring others to Christ through living his gospel. I have really tried harder to focus outward these last couple of days and it has been awesome :)
Investigators are doing great! Maria Gomez is going to finnnnallly quit her job and Monica and the kids are just as amazing as ever. Everytime Camila (9) prays she says: "Thank you for Budge and Maxwell for teaching us about you." Its the most adorable thing ever. The other day another little boy prayed "Dear god. Just keep doin what your doin.  And please bless Obama that he can make good decisions." I LOVE KIDS PRAYERS haha. We have gone on a couple exchanges this past week and I got to go out to Ysleta again! Its always so weird being back out there. I found the singing turkey you sent me last year as well as our old blankets/santa hats. It was really funny and super nostalgic. We have been doing a ton of caroling lately and its soooo amazing. The first time we did it it was super awkward because no one carols here in El Paso but it is such a good way to soften peoples hearts around this time of year. No matter how bad we sing ;)
Im feeling quite a bit better... this transfer has just been kind of unhealthy all over the place but its ok. As im sitting writing this im kind of nauseous but im alright.  Just pray for me :) Ill get over it. Basically im just real happy. I love this time of year, I love my savior, and I love getting to represent him as a full-time missionary. Times are a bit bittersweet right now but Im enjoying every second. Love you all so much and Ill see you soon!
 
"He is the Gift" - John 3:16
 
Hermana Maxwell


LAST TRANSFER!! Email 12/16/2014

New Comp: Hmna Budge


FELIZ NAVIDAD!!
Another crazy week over in the life of Hermana Maxwell! I feel like week 1 of the transfer is always slightly bonkers.  Hermana Budge (I was right!) my new comp is all settled in now. She is awesome!!! She is from Layton UT but her family just moved to St. George. As with all of my companions she has gone through some really hard things in her life including leukemia as a child. I look up to her a lot. She has such a humble spirit and is willing to learn and work hard.  She has been out about a year on her mission. 
So bad news first... we had to drop Luis Reyes. Apparently he has been drinking behind our backs and doesn't really want to be baptized. He was just doing it to please his wife. Pretty heartbreaking but its ok! They did all come to church on Sunday which was good!
Good news. First I FINALLY have gotten over being sick. I have been able to work but I finally had to go see a PA in New Mexico to get an antibiotic. It lasted 12 days... awful. BUT ITS OVER!! :) Also we have seen SO many miracles this week. I love the Christmas season so stinkin much. We invited Monica and her kids to the ward Christmas party and she came!!! They just ate it up and they all want to be baptized and to come to church :) she made so many friends in the ward!!! This is the family every missionary dreams about. Im so excited for them I cant even tell you!!
Maria Gomez also finnnnallly switched her work schedule and is coming to church on sunday!!! Early even!!! (that's a very important detail. Everything starts an 1hr late in the Mexican culture.) She surprised us by waiting till the end of the lesson to tell us.
Basically i'm just really happy. Time is going real fast.... especially with the Christmas season. We are singing a special musical number on sunday put on by the stake president's wife. She is like a Mexican Mozart haha. Really though.. she's intense. I love my Savior and I love being able to testify of him every single day. There is nothing better. Also I love my dear family and friends and am so grateful for every single one of you!!! Have the best week ever. y feliz navidad!
Hermana Maxwell 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5 TRANSFERS IN ONE AREA!! Email 12/8/2014

"Killing off" another comp!

Our "Mexican" picture. People never smile.



Familllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllia!!!

Transfer news is in once again! Im staying!!! Surprise surprise. 5 transfers in this area!! Im actually super happy about it because it would have been hard to spend just one transfer anywhere else... especially with Christmas and everything! Sounds like my companion is going to be Hermana Budge from guess where? LAYTON! but not sure yet.... 99%. She is really sweet and obedient so I couldn't ask for anything more. I have actually served with her a lot and have been her STL for the past 4 transfers.
The Christmas season is definitely underway! They are playing Christmas music in the library as we speak and I'm staring at a giant Christmas tree behind my computer. We got to watch the Christmas devotional last night and it was just incredible. I could kick myself that I missed so many of those before the mission. Did you guys watch it?? My favorite talk was Elder Christofferson. He talked about the condescension of Christ and what that really means. The fact that Christ came down to mortality at all was a form of descension let alone to be born in such humble circumstances. He related it to us and how we also experienced a type of condescension from heaven.. no wonder we are forced to descend below "some" things. Not anything compared to Christ obviously but its descending below those things that allows us to ascend back to god's presence. It was beautiful. I have been so sensitive to the spirit lately Im just always bawling.
We also had one of the most spiritual MLC's i've ever had on the mission. We discussed the connection between sacrifice and sacredness. The reason the sacred grove, martin's cove, and the temple are all so sacred is because of the sacrifices that took place there. The last picture they held up was that of Christ in Gethsemane. That place is the most sacred because the GREATEST sacrifice of all mankind took place there. Everyone was crying in the room the spirit was so thick. We talked about making our missions more sacred. My mission has really been something that I hold soo sacred to me. It has required a lot of sacrifice but ultimately it becomes more of a gift than anything. I am so happy to be a missionary for another Christmas!!! There is nothing like bringing the TRUE meaning of Christmas to everyone 24/7. I love my Savior and I know he lives!!!!! LOVE YOU TOO!!! Really focus on him this Christmas and you will have the most sacred Christmas of your lives too. Have the best week ever!
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thank Goodness for 6 year old piano lessons! Email 12/2/2014

Our "quidditch match" for a sisters activity. It was amazing haha


Team Gryffindor (we won by the way)

The Salas kids...Happy baptism day!

Happy Thanksgiving!


BUENOS DIAS!

Another crazy awesome week over! Thanksgiving was... exciting haha. We ate three dinners and then both knew bad things would happen if we tried to cram another one in ;) so we ended up having to take the food home from the last two. It was a really good day though! The company was the best part. We ate with a recent convert, a less active, an investigator, and 2 members. The recent convert, Nora, didn't have anyone to share thanksgiving with and she was so appreciative that we came. She said that missionaries are her family now :)
The Salas kids' baptism also went really well! I had to unexpectedly try and pluck out the notes for the hymns on the piano because our piano player came late... thank goodness for 6 year old piano lessons. Again... moms are always right. It was really cute because we had them sing "Soy un hijo de Dios" dressed all in their white. Hermana Salas was bawling the entire time. So cool to see a family come together for something like that. We had to unexpectedly teach primary on Sunday... I have a whole new appreciation for primary teachers. 7 5yr olds keep you on your toes.
We are beginning to teach a couple new families as well!! Looks like next transfer will be pretty successful too :) Im feeling really blessed to have such wonderful last transfers of my mission. The "he is the gift" initiative is starting out running too! Its so fun to be able to talk to EVERYONE about the importance of Christmas. There is nothing like Christmas on the mission.
Spiritual thought for this week... I was studying in Luke the other day about the parable of the Prodigal's son. That parable has always kind of stuck out in my mind and for awhile it bugged me a little. I always had more of the attitude of the brother than the welcoming father. As I have pondered and studied more about it, it has become one of my favorite parables from the life of Christ. The principle all comes down to taking joy in other people's conversion/ or reactivation in the gospel. If someone comes back why not be happy for them? Even if we have been basically obedient our whole lives, we have our reward, why not be happy for others who achieve it as well? Whether or not its at the beginning of their life or at the end, we have the same goal. I also like to look at myself as the Prodigal's son. So many times we waste our time doing pointless things instead of "working" for God. And before we know it, we are farther from him then we would like to be. But as soon as we turn around and come back, He "runs to us, embraces us, and still recognizes us has his child." We are able to reclaim our inheritance and live with him again. I love the New Testament!!!!
Well I sure do love you all. Focus on Christ this Christmas. He really is the true "gift" that every single one of us receive. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Maxwell

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FELIZ DIA DE GRACIAS! Happy Day of Thanks! email 11/25/2014

We are doing a quidditch match for  a sisters activity today. Its going to be the best. I was placed in Gryffindor of course ;)

Havin' a bit of fun while contacting. Sometimes you need to stop and just blow some dandelions.

Salas kids after our missionary work lesson!





Baptism...Hooray!  Congrats Giovanni





FELIZ DIA DE GRACIAS!
Its been an amazing week to say the least! Giovanni was baptized!!!!!! It was really crazy because we were late due to zone conference going over. But we got there and it all worked out. We said a really quick prayer with both him and our ward mission leader who baptized him before the service began. Giovanni offered it and started crying.. it was a really spiritual experience. Baptisms aren't everything but they are definitely a big bonus! The Salas kids (Kalani and Kenneth) will be baptized this Saturday! Lots of baptisms so we are being kept really busy... which is the BEST as a missionary! They have all the baptismal interview questions memorized and they have been coming to church so they are pretty prepared. Love them so much. Kalani is crazy and tackles like a professional lineman every time we walk through the door.
Went on a lot of exchanges this week because there has been quite a bit of sister drama. However it gives me another opportunity to serve so I don't mind too much. Just so glad im not that dramatic haha. Luis Reyes hasn't smoked or drank in two weeks now! So proud of him. He really does have a huge desire to be baptized. They are one of my favorite families ive ever met on my mission. Luz really hates it when she finds out we don't have dinner. So the other day she asked us where we ate and we put our heads down and slowly muttered "our apartment." We went on with the lesson and then right before we were about to leave her and luis both looked at us and said "do you like pancakes?" I answered ummmm yeah? And they both hopped up and literally ran to the kitchen to begin making pancakes at the speed of lightning. Hermana Gubeli just looked at each other and laughed. This is a regular occurrence at the Reyes home. We left with  stack of pancakes, eggs, tamales, pumpkin pie, and snickers bars in our backseat. They barely have the money to provide for their own family let alone us. We got in the car and I just started bawling. Im just so grateful for my mission and for the wonderful people ive met out here and been able to help.
This week we also had our zone conference with Lawrence E. Corbridge from the Presidency of the Seventy. SO good. One thing that he talked about that I really liked was thinking "above or below the line of productivity" When we think below the line we are always trying to push blame onto someone else (the bishop, parents, etc). Basically the "its not my job so why should I do it" attitude. Thinking above the line is seeing a need, owning the need, planning what to do, and DOING it! I realized this is a concept mom has tried to teach us our whole life haha. Just getting it mom... haha sorry. The whole "why do I have to pick up the toys? I didn't get them out!!!" is thinking WAY below the line. They also announced (not sure If you have heard about it yet...) the new worldwide Christmas initiative called "He is the gift." ITS AMAZING. They are sending out pass-along cards in the December ensign for members to pass out too... DO IT!!!! The church bought the banner for youtube for the month of December and are advertising it on times square!!! We are required as missionaries to use special pass-along cards and report the numbers of people we find through using the initiative. Its basically going to be the best Christmas ever.
Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!!! A few scriptures to ponder: 1 thessalonians 5:18, D&C 46:32, Phillipians 4:6, and Alma 34:38. we should have the attitude of thanksgiving DAILY. Love you all so much. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!
 
Hermana Maxwell

Thursday, November 20, 2014

OH NO, NOT LICE?!!!!



BUENOS DIAS FAMILIA!
So pretty much its been the most miraculous week ever. Giovanni Padilla is going to officially be baptized on Saturday! We had to go through a lot of people (mission president, bishops, stake presidents etc) to get permission to baptize him in this ward because he technically lives in El Centro. He is one of the most prepared people I have EVER met on my mission and he is inviting everyone he possibly can to his baptism. Its going to be PACKED to say the least. I think all the missionaries are going to do a musical number as well so it should be a really powerful spiritual experience for him.
 
We also were able to make a big jump with one of our investigators named Maria Gomez. She was actually taught by Hermana Cederquist way back in the day (she served in this area at the beginning of her mission). She had told us from the get-go that she wants to be baptized in this church but couldn't come on Sunday until she quits her job in January. We have been working and praying for her to have the courage to ask for sundays off and she finally agreed to it this past lesson! We also brought some great member fellowship for her and they totally hit it off. I honestly had no idea before the mission how important members are in this work.
Also kind of funny/scary experience.... turns out one of the sisters in our zone had lice at the beginning of this transfer and I knew I had slept in her bed and hugged her. So basically I was FLIPPING out. Apparently I have a legit phobia of lice because I couldn't stop scratching my head and every thought that passed through my head was just like "YOU HAVE LICE!!!" It was horrible. I kept checking my hair in the mirror but couldn't see anything. Finally I couldn't handle it any more so we called a member from 8th ward named sister Barnett over because she cuts hair. She checked both of us and guess what... we don't have lice!!! YAY!!!! It was a horrifying experience overall though. Really grateful for lice-free hair nowadays.
I love preaching this gospel. If I could do this the rest of my life and have weekends off I totally would. Time is flying and i'm trying to live up every single second. Thank you for all your support and love. Wouldn't be here without you!!!! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
Hermana Maxwell

Friday, November 14, 2014

THE POWER OF OBEDIENCE AND FASTING! Email 11/12/2014

HEY THERE!
Wow where do I start with this week. Its been AWESOME. We were struggling for awhile finding new investigators but we remained obedient and diligent in contacting/tracting. We fasted and prayed last fast Sunday for us to be able to find those prepared people and this past week we found 8 NEW INVESTIGATORS! I have such a testimony of the power of 1. obedience and 2. fasting!! Its been so cool to see the trust that heavenly father has in us as missionaries. I have also noticed an increase in myself of being spiritually in tune. It seems that every time we stop by a members home and share a message they always say "that was exactly what I needed!" or "that was an answer to my prayer!" Its been really awesome seeing the way God uses us as his mouthpieces. Because of that, and our recent successes we have been able to build up a lot more ward trust. We were finally able to attend ward council this past sunday. Such a blessing to be able to sit in a room with the leadership of the ward and discuss the work. Its so much more efficient when its done that way! This past sunday was also the primary program. I must say Spanish ward primary programs are way better than English wards simply because they go ALL out! They had all the kids dress up in white and had flowers in all the girls hair... it was sooooooo cute. Some of Luz's kids got to sing too and EVERY time June stood up she waved at me haha. It almost felt like I was watching my own kids!
The members here are so funny... they keep trying to set me up with their sons now that the time is starting to wind down. Its REAL awkward. I just kind of laugh, turn red and say "no se Hermana... no se..." Im gonna be so weird when I come home heads up.
There has been a few huge miracles lately that I want to share briefly. First off Luis hasn't smoked or drank in a week and a half!!!!!!! So exciting. Also we had a beautiful lesson with the salas family the other day. The kids are always so crazy its really hard to have the spirit there. But this time the mom suggested we sing a hymn. So we all gathered together and sang "Grand eres tu" (how great thou art) which was one of her favorites as a kid. We started to sing (way off tune haha... they cant sing to well) and the spirit just filled the room. Some of the kids started crying, the others got quiet, and Hermana Salas just started bawling. I think its been a long time since she has felt the spirit like that. Afterwards she just sat and cried into my shoulder saying "gracias... gracias" Really amazing to know we have helped that family get reactivated/the kids baptized. They came to church on Sunday :)
Biggest miracle that happened though. So another less active family we have been working with brought their brother to church a couple times. He is in is 30s. We finally were able to start teaching him and when we went by he said he wants to be baptized as soon as possible!! Basically... he is getting baptized in 2 weeks. Crazy right??? way prepared. His name is Giovanni and he is divorced with a couple kids. So cool.
Well this email is getting real long so I think ill stop there but im just super happy. Life is good. and the church is true :) I will forever and EVER thank my heavenly father for these experiences im having and for the wonderful people that support me in it. (aka you) I love you all so much. Keep being amazing and ALWAYS looking to strengthen and improve your individual testimonies. LES QUIERO TANTO!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Maxwell
This little girl is named Kimberly. She is adorable and is always putting stickers on my forehead

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A LOT OF KNOCKING!! Email 11/42014


"This is my mission, this is on multiple doors."
Basically it says:
THIS HOME IS CATHOLIC. We will not accept propaganda or proselyting from any other sect. Long live Christ. Long live the Virgin Mary mother of god!



FAMILIA!!!
 
So there isn't toooo much to talk about this week. Its been pretty normal! We have been outside a lot knocking on doors/contacting people on the street. Its not too hard to do considering our area is all neighborhoods. Hopefully going to get some new investigators coming through the woodworks. Also been doing a lot of sister visits/interviews! I had my interview with President Miller yesterday which was amazing as always. He dropped a hint that there is a possibility I could train my last transfer! We will see what happens. Cant say I wouldn't mind :) I love training!
We had a miracle this past week with a less active family! The parents are both suuuper less active and swore they would never come back to church... yet they still want their kids to be baptized.... don't ask me why. So we have been teaching two 9 year old twins Kalani and Kenneth (super wild and rambunctious but I love them!) This past time all of a sudden the mom had completely switched around and is going to start taking them to church!!! YAY!!! Miracles happen all the time.
Halloween was pretty uneventful here... still had to work... couldn't go to any parties. But it was still fun seeing a the little trick-or-treaters!!! Halloween is a lot different here than Utah though... its really... morbid. All the decorations are just horrible. I started taking pictures but then gave up because there is just too many and they are pretty bad. There was one house that had a man sawed in half with blood and guts coming out everywhere. Pretty nasty. I miss Halloween in Utah haha. But there are still cute little kids that dress up like vampires, cats, etc too. ;)
I love my mission!!! I have changed so much. Still me. But better :) The church is true, Christ lives, and we have the power and agency to find happiness in ANY situation because of the gospel. We should be the most positive people on the planet!! Thanks for all your support. Don't forget to be "active in the gospel" not just "active in the church!" LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!
 
Hermana Maxwell  





Monday, November 3, 2014

STAYN' IN TEXAS! Email 10/27/2014

Baptism...Hoooray!! Sis. Serna

Temple trip too!!! So Blessed!


BUENOS DIAS!
 

TRANSFER NEWS: Hermana Gubeli are staying together!! I will be "killing" yet another companion. Everyone in the mission knows me as a "mass-murderer" now haha. She will be my 3rd victim. Looks like im going to be dying in this area myself considering I need to keep the area going this coming transfer as well! It was pretty expected... and im exited to be able to spend so long in the wonderful ward of Montanavista.
This week has just been incredible to say the least. Best weekend of my life with a baptism, a confirmation, and a temple trip!! Leticia Serna was baptized, and despite her phobia of water, it went really well! We had a few hiccups with the program because our ward mission leader got stuck in Juarez for the weekend but it all worked out! She was really really nervous but I knew that she felt that what she was doing was right. I was praying fervently the whole time for the lord to help calm her down haha. Plus she had to get dunked twice because the first time he forgot to say "amen." Kind of important :)
The temple trip was also amazing! I felt so lucky to be able to tag along even though it wasn't my recent convert going though. I hope Jesus and Josefina go before I leave! We got to do the session in Spanish which was really exciting too haha. Even though I know Spanish well now its still surprisingly hard to do that!
Its still pretty hot around here... but its almost Halloween so hopefully winter will be upon us soon! I already am completely loaded on candy from all my supportive friends back home and the members here. Hermana Gubeli and I have decided to start running again haha. I cant believe October is almost over! Random thought: im pretty sure im going to get into the ukulele when I get home :) Hermana Ramirez has one and she has taught me a couple songs already. Its so fun!
Pretty much im just loving the mission. Time is going much too fast! Im excited for this new transfer and for all the miracles/challenges it will bring. I can already tell im going to grow a ton. Thanks for all of your support. It means more than you have any idea.
Spiritual thought: this morning I was studying in Matthew and there is a particular story where Christ is travelling and two men come up blind and ask Christ to have mercy on them. In the scripture it says that Christ "stood STILL and CALLED to them." asking them what he could do for them. They physically had to COME to him and ASK to be healed. As I thought about it, I realized that's how all the miracles Christ performed were. I cant think of one time when the person, or a person close to them, didn't have to demonstrate some form of action to be healed. Its OUR job to come unto Christ. He is ALWAYS there but we have to walk to him in order to 1)be "healed"spiritually (be able to make it back to god) and 2) receive the pure joy that comes from that. Just a thought.
 
LOVE YOU!
 
Hermana Maxwell

Monday, October 27, 2014

A FRIENDLY VISIT! Email 10/21/2014

Rub a Dub two Hermanas is a tub??!!

A visit from Makayla aka Sis. Adams

In love with Archuleta!!

Familia!

So this week has been crazy... obviously :) But awesome too!! Went on a billion exchanges and splits with the sisters. Hermana Standiford is still pretty darn sick...but doing better. President was actually debating on sending her home for awhile but she is going to stay!! so that's REALLY good news. Leticia is getting baptized on Friday!!!! Cant even wait. I think she is the most prepared person I have ever taught on my mission.
This week we get to go up to Albuquerque because Hermana Gubeli has a recent convert that is going through the temple. I just get to tag along since I am her companion :) Feeling super lucky! Cant wait for that either!! Then transfer calls come on Saturday night!! Pretty sure we are both going to stay but we shall see.
Had the biggest surprise ever on Saturday! I was just laying down to take a nap for lunch hour when a knock came at the door. (no one knocks on OUR door). I ran and opened it and standing there was Hermana Adams and Heather!! (another friend from snow who lives with makayla). I was SHOCKED beyond all reason obviously and almost tackled her off the railing. They took us out to lunch to Ihop. It was reeeaalllly weird to see her since she is no longer a missionary. She had just come to visit/tour the mission. Giant surprise none the less. Ill attach a picture.
Doing really well! Things are finally starting to cool down a bit... I thought fall had started last time but I was wrong. It was in the 90s most of the week haha. So I guess... it now APPEARS that fall is starting here. Today is super nice... in the 70s. Well I love you all so much. And I love being a missionary!!!!!! have the best week ever!!
 
Hermana Maxwell
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PRAYING AND PRAYING SOME MORE!! email 10/14/2014

Makn' crepes!
 
Yummy!!

This is what a summer in el paso will do to you!!

Familia!

Another absolutely insane week! Turns out Hermana Standiford who is in my zone (im her STL) got pluritis AGAIN. Round two!!! Feels like we are practically living over at their apartment trying to help them by doing splits, taking care of her, etc. At least im experienced with it now haha. Its definitely exhausting but nice to have another opportunity to serve! This week is going to be equally crazy... since we have had so many health issues, and problems with the sisters this transfer we have to do 3 exchanges this week. That is A LOT for one week. Going to be all over the place!
We did have a miracle this week with our investigator Leticia!! We have been praying and asking and praying some more for her to set a baptismal date. She is incredible, and has already come to church 4 times (every single sunday). For some reason she just didn't feel ready. So we invited her to the Elder's baptism on Saturday and had a lesson afterwards. We had it in the chapel so the spirit was extra strong. The relief society president was with us and we taught completely by the spirit and didn't do anything we had planned to do. She set a date!!! And she started crying because she knows its right... so awesome. Crying is the best thing ever on the mission haha. She does have a couple reservations because she really wants her husband to support her more and do this with her. He isn't as interested but we promised she would be that example that he needs. This lady is SO prepared for the gospel. We pretty much met her, taught her, and she will be baptized all in one transfer. Miracles happen!
Also other miracle.. got to go to Golden Corral this week. ;) Do you have any idea how long its been since ive had roast and potatoes??? about 15 months. Man it was wonderful. Although I can promise you Im going to miss all the Mexican food we have here when I get home!
As we were driving out one night through the desert to see the Horizon sisters I had one of those "moments" where I realized how much I love this place. The sun was setting over the mountains in Juarez, our wheels were kicking up dust, and it was just beautiful. It has become a second home for me... especially El Paso. At first I hated the heat (well... I guess I still hate that part haha) the dust, the lack of trees, etc... but now it just feels like home. Im really going to miss it here. But it still feels like I have forever left on my mission hah. Not going to lie to you... at the same time it does feel like things are starting to wind down... but I try not to think about it too much because I really want to live every moment with this tag on. I love representing my Savior Jesus Christ. And you cant just walk up to people on the street all the time at home. People would think you were real weird haha.
Well I sure do love you all. Write soon!

Hermana Maxwell



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS" Email 10/7/2014






FAMILIA!!!
This week has been a whirlwind to say the least. Its been a roller coaster but overall I have come away with MANY lessons learned and my spirit uplifted. Bad news first... the Nassi's didn't get baptized. Long story short... they didn't show up for their interview, Yuni got really mad at us because she felt like we were pressuring them too much... and they dropped us. It was pretty darn heartbreaking. We worked with them for 3 transfers and the ward was so involved in their conversion. I was feeling pretty low because I felt like it was my fault...but I have received a confirmation that it wasn't. Its just not their time. The work goes on... and we are trying to be more positive than ever. It was a big setback... so we are focusing a lot of energy on finding for the rest of the transfer.
Now the good news!! This week has been PACKED full of crazy-spiritual meetings that have motivated me to work so much harder as a missionary and towards the person I want to become. Started off with MLC where we got many good trainings on the Standards of Excellence and goal-settings. Hermana Pipkin also gave her "dying testimony" and it was the last time I will see her. She did incredible and had everyone in the room in tears. She said she felt like Peter when he answered Christ saying "whom say ye that I am?" and Peter "thou art the Christ." She has such a strong testimony of our Savior... its such an example to me. Im going to miss her and her example more than I can say.
Next was Zone training where I got to train the zone by myself on the importance of member-missionary work. It went well! Now im actually quite fond of training/standing up in front of people. Its weird haha. I guess I just like influencing people for good! Next was CONFERENCE!! So glad you got to watch all 4 sessions. We did too and I was just blown away as usual. I especially loved Christofferson's talk on agency and Bednar's talk on missionary work (obviously) :) I cant wait to read them again in the ensign. It also touched me that Elder Foster ( he came and spoke in our mission) when he gave the closing prayer prayed for the parents AND grandparents of the missionaries around the world. I hope you and the grandparents were paying attention to that because I sure was! LOVE CONFERENCE.
Lastly was zone conference!! We got our cars inspected, and had to get flu shots as well. (thought I would get away with that but NOPE) fun fact though.. the nurses daughter was named Brynna spelled the exact same way!!!! Tender mercy!! The meeting was again on goal-setting/using time wisely AND we got to watch "meet the Mormons!!!" Have you heard of that yet??? IT WAS AMAZING!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go see it!!!! and Invite EVERYONE to see it!!! its going to put out such great publicity for the church!!
Got my "trunky call" today. They asked what airport I would fly into and everything. Weird stuff!! Time is flying!!! Investigators are doing great particularly Leticia!! She has come to church every single time. We are hoping to set a date with her soon. Its still blazing hot here.... in the 80s and 90s. Miss and love you tons!!
 
Hermana Maxwell

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

LAKE POWELL IN TEXAS?!! email 9/30/2014

Leave it to McKenna to find Lake Powell in Texas!!!!





Family!!! ok so long story short this library is horrible and I have no time... so sorry
 
Sounds like everything is going great at home!!! Tell everyone at Grandmas that I love and miss them!! 
This week has been CRAZY!!! We have a lot going on in the mission right now and its hard to stay on top of it all. But the mission is the best when its busy :) We have a baptism on Saturday!!! Yuni and Ali Nassi are getting baptized at 12:30!!! Cant even wait. Its going to help them so much.
Wasn't the general womens meeting amazing??? I especially loved Uchtdorf's talk!!! He has a way with words... and makes everyone in the congregation feel like they are on top of the world. I am on pins and needles waiting for general conference.
We had dinner with Hermana Valenzuela the other day and it was horrible.... she gave us posole filled with bones, nerves, organs... the whole sha-bang. Luckily I was able to be sneaky and hid most of it under the bones in the bone bowl :) I still need to line my bag with plastic. Not a joke!
We had the opportunity this past week to go to a Christian church called "puerta del cielo." It was definitely an interesting experience... It was basically a concert with a few hallelujah's thrown in now and again. I came away with a pretty big headache haha. They had some things right... but mostly it just confirmed my testimony a lot of our church.
Seeing many miracles every day. I love this work. I wish I had more time this week but I got kicked off my computer... Just know how much I love you and think of you daily!!!!! Thanks for EVERYTHING you do. 
 
Love,
 
Hermana Maxwell   
 


RECYCLING COMPANIONS! email 9/23/2014

"More flooding"

learning to make tortillas with Hermana Alvarado! (she's the best!)

our "cheesy missionary walking" picture :)






MIS PERSONAS FAVORITAS EN TODO EL MUNDO!!!!!!!!!!!
This week we had a lot of investigators drop us which is really sad. Many of them have a lot of potential. Its always hard to see that.... you know how much its going to bless their life and that they just cant see it. Its like waving a $100 dollars in front of someone’s face and have them not take it. Heartbreaking... but life goes on! And we have seen many miracles! Another trial that happened was the dad of the Nassi family left all the kids to find work in Michigan.... literally just deserted them. Now the 20 yr old (with a baby), and the 18 year old are working, going to school, paying the bills, and taking care of their two younger sisters. Its so sad. Amazingly they still recognize they need time for God and have a baptismal date now :) The dad wont let us teach the younger ones anymore because he thinks we are taking away from their school time... we cant do anything about it because they are under 18. But Yuni and Ali will be baptized for now! and the ward is helping them out financially which is a huge blessing!
Huge miracle happened this week. So the Reyes family (We baptized Jazmin and Mauricio) are all baptized now except for the dad. Missionaries have been trying for ages to teach him but he always hides upstairs when we come over. BUT. HE HAD DINNER WITH US AND ACCEPTED TAKING THE LESSONS!!! AHHHHH!!! his name is Luis and is super nice. I was worried about how he would take it but we've already taught him two and he is doing great!!!! I see a sealing on the horizon :) so beautiful. Also Carmen is completely changed :) She is soooo happy. Its amazing to see how the gospel affects peoples lives. She told me she feels like a new person. Made me so happy.
We had stake conference this weekend which was awesome of course!!! The main thing that stuck out to me was how we cant let fears overcome our faith. There are lots of things to be scared of nowadays but it impedes our progression if we are scared of them. As long as we are doing whats right we have NOTHING to fear!
ALSO (phew long email) we just got back from the TEMPLE TRIP!!! It was ammmazzziiiinnggg. My last one as a missionary :( (except for right before I go home we get to go with President). Learned so much as always. Got to go with Hermana pipkin too! I love seeing all the missionaries in the celestial room. I will forever hold those temple days as a missionary so sacred. You cant even describe the feeling. I cant wait to go every week when im home.
Well I love you all so much. I better stop now before I give y'all a headache. KEEP ON KEEPIN ON. which includes having fun, living the gospel, and just being the best people ever that you are. Have a great week!

Hermana Maxwell


Monday, September 15, 2014

CHANGES AHEAD! Email 9/15/2014

Our District

Makin Cookies...yumm!!

Hey there!

 THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PLANNER COVERS. Oh my goodness you have no idea how much that meant to me... that's one of those little things on the mission that is weirdly sentimental. Like its the only thing we get to decorate... and when I opened the letter from Hermana pipkin I about died. I really enjoyed the pictures this week! Kiera looks gorgeous... wow. She has changed a ton!!
Not too much to talk about this week!! Its been pretty slow with lots of goodbyes and packing... Hermana Cederquist is going to leave in 2 hours for Albuquerque... lots of mixed emotions as you can imagine. Im staying here in Montanavista and am going to receive a new companion! Im excited but also really nervous. I seriously just want some consistency in my mission haha.. I’m sick of only spending 6 weeks with people!
Right now as far as investigators go we are really trying to focus on the Nassi family. Both Yuni and Ali got jobs so its been a lot harder to meet with them. They could use some prayers for sure! I don't know really nothing much happened this week. Its been quite a bit cooler which has been SO nice! Lots of contacting in the streets and knocking doors. We tracted into a member family the other day. They let us in, asked where we were from, gave us water and 2 referrals and sent us out the door! I hope I can be a member family like that someday. Carmen has been doing wonderful since her baptism. She is 10x more loving and a lot less stubborn :) the holy ghost is awesome. Its been incredible to see such a change in her!!!
I have been reading this talk called "the fourth missionary" which is soooo incredibly amazing. I would honestly suggest looking it up because it applies to life in general. One thing that really stuck out to me is the concept of unconditionally surrendering our will to God. Our will is really the only thing we give back to him. We only give 10% of our worldly possessions, if we give our time we are only giving part of the time he has given us, if we give our heart, he has already granted us life that day, the air we breathe, EVERYTHING has come from him. The only thing we give back is our WILL. And when we do that, he changes us into a "being" capable of eternal happiness. Its a beautiful thing... the gospel. Isnt it? Im learning so much every day.
Well wish me luck this week. Im gonna need it! I love you all so much... don't ever forget it.

Hermana Maxwell  
PS JUST HEARD GLORIA GOT BAPTIZED FROM MY LAST AREA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"ILLEGAL SURGERY" & BAPTISMS! Email 9/9/2014

What?!!! She's growing horns?



Carmen's baptism day ...Hurray!


FAMILIA!

This week has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL. We started it off with "killing" Hermana Cederquist last p-day by performing "illegal surgery" (lots of inside jokes involved... but just know it was hilarious!) and then we had MLC for a couple days!! Drove up to Albuquerque with some of my favorite missionaries in the mission (hna pipkin says hi!) and had an incredible meeting!!! We all talked about obedience and consecration in the mission. Its so cool because mlc isn't a "training" its more of a discussion. All of these young women and men gather together and come up with solutions for mission problems. Its like a business meeting almost but PACKED with the spirit. It was super awesome. There has also been a rule change... we are now only allowed to listen to Mormon tabernacle choir and hymns out of the hymn book.... its going to be an adjustment but I have every confidence in the revelation that was received by president. So expect some cds coming home in the next box!! The next day we did our zone training which went awesome!! I love training... never thought I would say that haha.  Ive also realized that if I put spray on every hour the mosquitos don't bite me as much :) got it figured out! Its still pretty darn hot here... cant wait for winter. we have been listening to Christmas music all month haha.
Carmen Urquiza is officially baptized and confirmed!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!! it was a very spiritual day. She was crying during the whole service and came up and sincerely thanked us for everything afterwards. That meant a lot to me because she never says stuff like that. She even bore her testimony after she had gotten changed... she said that although the decision she made was difficult, she knows its right. It so is.... I have seen SUCH a change in her! She is a completely different person. Baptisms aren't everything but they sure do make you feel good!
Whelp... pretty much just learning new things each and every day... and every day I get more grateful for this experience I've had. I've just completely changed.... its all because of the atonement. I think that's the biggest thing ive learned so far... is just how real the atonement is. and that change is always possible. The church is true. im so happy. I love you all!!!
Hermana Maxwell




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

FRUIT NINJA EXERCISE PLAN! Email 9/2/2014

Fruit Ninja Exercise Program

Like Mother ...Like Daughter!

McKenna got to see Alice from her first area



Familia!!!

Whelp... this week was pretty normal!! Not too much to talk about... just working really hard!! Been having some fun too of course... we dressed up like ninjas and played "fruit ninja" the other day for morning exercise. I did get to go out to my old area again for exchanges which was a blast! Got to see Alice and a couple members!! This week we are going up to Albuquerque again for some leadership meetings which is always a BLAST. We have been looking forward to it all month.
Killing off another companion has been great! Also kind of sad... and lots of talk about home. But i'm learning so much from it. I really do love Hermana Cederquist and its going to be sad to see her go. She is an incredible missionary.
So Carmen is getting baptized on Saturday!!! Probably one of the biggest miracles of my whole mission. Last night we had a really scary lesson though. I've decided Im going to name all my future grey hairs "Carmen Urquiza." We got there and she told us she didn't want to be baptized and wanted to wait. Of course we were horribly disappointed. We decided to drop our lesson plan and teach according to her needs and by the end of the lesson she had changed her mind back around! She is getting baptized at 11:00 on Saturday :) It was like the world was going to end and then all of a sudden you get a free ticket to Disneyland kind of situation. She is the most stubborn, hard headed woman i've ever met. She has definitely done a number on multiple missionaries haha. and she is FINALLY getting to the waters of baptism!! We are so beyond excited.
Time is flying! Cant believe its September already!! SO glad that everyone is doing well. I love you all so much. Remember "If in the end you haven't chosen Christ, it wont matter what you have chosen." That quote is in the back of my scriptures. I love it! Almost as much as I love you :) Sorry its so short this week! Don't know what to say other than missionary work is the best!

Hermana Maxwell

picture: gecko that was above Carmen's door.