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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BUENOS DIAS!! EMAIL 1/28/2014


TIRED FROM WORKN' SO HARD!

MARIA AND MCKENNA



BUENOS DIAS!!,
  
Wow Kiera... GREAT JOB!!! I am soo proud of you. Seriously keep it up. Rejection is hard but you will get so many blessings from bearing your testimony like that. That was the best thing I've heard all week :) You are amazing sis!!!
Holy cow brynna looks so old.. cheer camp?? what?? She is going to be a cheerleader? Kayla, how is junior high? I remember it being hard but you also learn a lot about the person you are going to be.
So not too much to talk about this week.. but Jose luis is getting baptized on Sunday!! VERY excited :) sounds like Dallon has baptisms all the time! People are really accepting here as well.. but definitely not THAT much haha. We are still teaching Diana and her kids and they will be baptized on the 8th!! I don't think ive ever been so excited for a baptism as with them. They truly are a miracle story.
We had exchanges this week! Hna Cedarquist came to Ysleta and I learned a lot from her. She has a lot of really cool visuals that she uses that Im starting to incorporate into my teaching. We are teaching a lot of kids right now. One girl named Alyssa has a FIRE for the gospel. She is only 9 years old but she is literally dragging her mom to church (mom is less active) and begging to read the book of Mormon. When we came back for our second lesson she freeeakkked out. She was so excited to see us :)
We haven't had our truck all week so its been a little tough. It was in the shop in downtown El Paso. Our area is pretty big so it was impossible to get anywhere without rides from members. At one point we literally layed down in an investigators driveway waiting for a ride we were so exhausted haha. But we got it back this morning thank GOODNESS. its such a relief.
Still loving being a missionary. I was talking to my companion this morning about how GRATEFUL I am that I made this decision. It hasn't changed who I am personality-wise but it has commmplllettelly changed my spiritual self. I have such a greater understanding of the gospel and the scriptures and I just cant believe how blessed I am to be a part of the work right now when everything is booming like this. Its so incredible. I love you all so much and am so grateful for your examples to me. KEEP BEING AWESOME
con mucho amor,
Hermana Maxwell

MIRACLE IN THE MISSION FIELD!! EMAIL 1/21/2014

QUE TAL??
 
Hey there family :) Boy do I sure miss you guys. Love the pictures!! I cant believe how big everyone is. You probably don't notice the changes because you see each other all the time but everyone is GROWING UP!!! ahhh its crazy.
So first off to answer some of your questions... sorry im not very good at talking about my life haha (you already knew that). Fun places to eat... hmm. Yeah not really haha! We went to taco bell today? WOOO!! :) There really isn't anywhere special plus we aren't supposed to go out to eat super often. We get together with the missionaries in our zone usually just for zone trainings... so once a month. We are pretty lonesome out here haha. We are the farthest south/closest to mexico sisters out of the whole mission! Out in the boonies for sure. There isn't much to do on P-days. We might go to the "bookery" again today. Its this little tiny book shop with sooo many hidden treasures in it. The lady that runs it is hilarious. Nothing is organized.. books everywhere... on the floor.. shelves.. in little nooks and crannies. You can find super cool stuff there. She was smoking a pipe the last time we came haha.
So this past week has been awesome. The area is starting to boom again with all of our hard work. Numbers are definitely increasing! We have been able to see a lot of miracles this week. Ill talk about them a little later. I love my companion, she is cool. We are pretty different.... but... we get along! I found out I am officially senior companion. Kind of weird. Definitely still feeling a lot of pressure but handling it fairly well! All the credit goes to heavenly father for sure. This transfer has been sooo much different than my first 3. I cant believe we are already in week 3 of this one!! Time FLIES out here. Plus I hit 6 months in three days!! Now THATS weird. Its a pretty big milestone... ill be 1/3 done! I am starting to catch the whole "I don't want to leave" spirit. I love this work.. its so hard but so incredible.
We had interviews with the Mission President and his wife this week. I looove them so much. They love us missionaries like their own children. President clapped me on the back and thanked me for being such a great missionary and Sister Miller is just FULL of love haha. Our goal for the mission this year is 825 baptisms. We are really pushing for it. President is a very strict, hardworking president. He definitely whips us into shape but does it with such love.  Their call is so inspired. Whenever they begin a talk they say "Elders, Sisters,... Hermanas" Its so cute.. It makes us Spanish speaking sisters feel special haha.
So investigators/miracles: Im only going to talk about two this week because this email is getting LONG!! haha sorry. trying to give you as much info as I can :)
1. Jose-Luiz
So we are officially converting a thug from Juarez!! Apparently there are people out to kill him. He has scars everywhere from fights and has almost died multiple times. Juarez is so sketchy.. we have heard so many stories. Supposedly its gotten a lot better though. He has a clouded over left eye... random fact. He is really genuinely kind and He has been coming to church and LOVES IT!! He seriously is just dying to hop into that baptismal font. He has been an alcoholic all his life and has smoked as well. But he has been clean for almost 3 weeks now!! So proud of him. he has erased all of his old friends from his phone because they try and force him to drink. He is so grateful that we brought him the gospel, he was praying for a change in his life/ a sign when we met him on the street. He has already grown so so much. He calls us his "angels." His baptismal date is either the 1st or 2nd of February.  Cant even WAIT!! Especially for him to get the priesthood. We have started teaching his sister as well!  
2. Diana Reyes and her 2 kids Briana and Chris
OH MY GOSH. What a miracle. Like one of the coolest things of my whole mission. A little bit of background: hna pipkin and I met her on the street, her sister is an inactive Mormon but she went to our church once and loved the spirit she felt there. We taught her once and then completely lost contact. For like months. Her work schedule is INSANE. So she is usually our back up plan for when things fall through. We taught her Lesson 1 a few weeks ago and she said she wanted to be baptized but then fell off the face of the earth again. So about a week ago we went back and she was miraculously there! We taught her Lesson 2. Then during district meeting we got a txt from her that said something like " hola hermanitas.. Sorry you haven't been able to get a hold of me... I don't think I want to be Mormon anymore... I hope you respect my decision" I was like noooo!! I told her we loved her and asked her if there was anything we could do.  She said "well the truth is.. we haven't had food for three days (they have been eating corn tortillas and salt), I had to pick up ANOTHER job, I don't sleep (she works one job during the day and one at night) and I just am angry at god because he isn't helping us" So we basically sped over to her apartment. We walked in, I put my arm around her and asked her what was going on. She immediately started bawling and said that she feels like a horrible mom because she cant feed her kids and is just scared. I started to testify that she was a child of god, a good mom, etc and all of a sudden this overwhelming feeling of love came over me for her and I just started crying and crying. We all were crying haha. Everything worked out and she is getting baptized in 2-3 weeks! The bishop is going to help her with food, she came to church last sunday and things are great. Now wait for this: We have been praying that her work schedule could change so she could come to church. You have to come to church twice to get baptized. Her work schedule changed for 2 WEEKS. Exactly. So that she can come to church twice. MIRACLE. it makes me tear up just thinking about it. So yeah.. incredible.
Sorry that was so long! This email took up like my whole time haha. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! have an amazing week!!!!
 
Hermana Maxwell

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WAZZUP FAMILY? EMAIL 1/14/2014

ON THE BORDER!!!

TRANSFER DAY :(

NEW COMPANION  * HERMANA GUBELI



WAZZUP FAMILY?
 
haha I just had to start this email with something different than I normally do. I don't even know where to begin! Lets start with the new companion. Her name is Hermana Gubeli and she has been out just a transfer longer than me. She is a really kind, kind of shy, OBEDIENT missionary. Couldn't ask for more than that. As long as you have a companion that is obedient and willing to work hard, you are set.  She has spent her entire mission in Albuquerque. She is from... drumroll... GUNNISON UT!!!! yeah crazy right?? Im sure we are somehow related. Her family line includes a Jensen. She knows Mitch's family and we went to snow college at the same time! But didn't know each other. She is majoring in elementary education so she knows kensey too!! crazy small world. We get along well but this beginning is really hard because she doesn't know the people or the area. Its kind of a one-woman show at the moment. I am seriously working my tail off... go to bed just completely exhausted at the end of the night. but there is something fulfilling in the fact that I know I have done literally ALL I could do that day. The change has been hard but definitely a learning experience. My perspectives on studies has changed especially. She is a KILLER studier.  I am learning a lot from her!
The area is doing really well at the moment! At the beginning of this week we didn't have hardly any investigators.. but due to our diligence... well... jk... the LORD!!! We set 4 BAPTISMAL DATES just yesterday!! Probably like one will go through if we are being real but that's pretty good! The investigator progressing the most at the moment is probably Jose-Luis.  He is about 50 years old, divorced, has a drinking problem, but wants to change is life so bad!! We met him contacting and have already taught him L1, L2, and set a date for February! He is so cute.. he always answers the door in a white tanktop (so Mexican) and then hurries and changes into a nice collared shirt for our lessons. He is always on the edge of his seat to learn more and marks all the scriptures we share with him. He came to church on Sunday and LOVED it!! We are very excited about him.
Lets see what else.. things are just movin right along! Just working wayyy hard to get member present lessons, more investigators, more contacts, and just more of everything. Its really hard when people cancel on you but we are trying our best. Got bit by a dog the other day... luckily he just scraped my foot a little. Gave it a good kick though. Meanwhile Jesus was battling the other 3 with a broom yelling "shut up! shut up!" (in a Mexican accent.. that's like the only phrase he knows in English haha) It was pretty funny.
I love you all so much and hope that things are going great at home!! Thank you again for all of your support. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

TRANSFERS TO START OFF 2014! EMAIL 1/6/2014

ALEJANDRA'S BAPTISM


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FROM PIPKNS MOM

NEW FRIENDS

DEFINITION OF EL PASO:
A MEXICAN LADY UNDER AN AMERICAN FLAG **LUV HER

THE TELLEZ FAMILY
*FAMILY AWAY FROM FAMILY*


OTHER MISSIONARIES NEARBY

BUENOS DIAS!!!

Well the news is in... Hna Pipkin is going up North and I'm taking over the Ysleta area with a new companion. Transfers are tomorrow so we have to be at the chapel at 9:00 a.m. but I don't get my companion till 1:00 so not sure what im going to be doing all day. Im ok no worries... change is always hard but im excited for the new opportunity to learn and grow! Hna pipkin is stoked to go up north since she has spent her whole mission here. Although goodbyes have been a little hard with LF tellez and everything (pronounced teyez by the way). We had a good last dinner with them and had a blast just all talking and laughing. Pretty nervous to take over the area but I know heavenly father will qualify me! He doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
In other news... Maria isn't getting baptized... its a long pretty sad story so I wont go into it. Every single person you mentioned we aren't teaching anymore haha. Its constantly changing! Out of all the people we talk to, only a few we teach, out of those few we teach an even smaller number set a date, then an even smaller number actually get baptized, and sadly some of those don't even stay active. Its like the funnel of missionary work :) If they aren't progressing we have to drop them because more people need to here the gospel!
We did start teaching this awesome man named John. (super English sounding I know). He is a single dad and trying to change his life and come closer to God. The very first lesson he said he would be baptized :) Very excited for him! Its weird to think our next appointment hna pipkin wont be by my side though. Excited to meet my new companion!
Not much else to talk about... just been walking A TON. good exercise though! Loving the work and being a missionary. Its not to say there aren't hard times but the good times make up for all of that. We went to 5 guys for lunch today.. such a nice change from the constant Mexican food. Sometimes a girl just needs a greasy cheeseburger!! I ate cow stomach the other day... yum. Fun fact: we are the farthest south sister missionaries in the whole mission. Closest to the border! Practically living in mexico.. no white people at all haha. LOVE IT!! Oh and we are trying to eat healthier because we eat greasy Mexican food all the time so spend money on pictures rather than candy :) gotta hold off on that for awhile after all the holidays and everything!
LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH. so grateful for all your support. I couldn't do this without every single one of you.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR! EMAIL 12/31/2013

CHRISTMAS MORNING
CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST

HEY SANTA!

HMNA PIPKIN'S FIRST MENCHIES


This week has been another week of WALKING. We have met a bunch of weird people haha. There was one guy that thought that all Mormons were homeless? Not sure why? He says that they always walk around at night and never accept rides when he offers them haha. Im pretty sure he didn't realize we were Mormons ourselves.  Its really been a week of miracles as well. Although we haven't found a bunch of new investigators we have found sooooo many less active families that we are helping come back to church. A lot of them have told us that we are the answer to their prayers. Its been really humbling to see. If we had been caught up in teaching a bunch of investigators we wouldn't have had the time to stop by them. Its been really really cool.
Transfers are coming up next week!! Pretty darn nervous but I have complete trust that we will go where heavenly father needs us.  New years plans.... pretty nonexistent. :) We still have to be back in our apartments by 9:00 soooo... yeah. However Hna pipkin and I are going to wake up at 12:00 for 5 minutes and bang some pans! Plus Hna Muntzing (senior missionary from Argentina... she is AWESOME) bought all of us missionaries Martinellis. So we are going to celebrate a tiny bit! Its crazy that its going to be 2014... and that im going to spend ALL of 2014 on my mission! One of the best years of my life im sure!
Maria Iniguez is finally getting baptized this Saturday if everything works out!! We are really excited about it. Lets see what else... just killin it out here in Ysleta!! Loving the people and the culture here. Really going to miss it! I think I will be cooking tortillas over an open flame for the rest of my life haha. Its been really fun to try/see things I never have before. I really wasn't expecting that kind of stuff from a state-side mission but it really is like we are living in Mexico. We eat menudo, mole (not the animal haha), posole, rice and beans, CHILE and more CHILE, and only teach the Mexican people. LOVE IT.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support! Miss you!!!
 
Hermana Maxwell