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Monday, March 31, 2014

TRAINING!!! EMAIL 3/31/2014




FAMILY.
Oh how I miss you all. Sounds like everyone is doing fantastic! 
Pigs, piano recitals, perfect womens conference.. sounds like a busy week! I love the missionary moment you gave.. that was so sweet. And I completely agree. God is totally sculpting me. Not necessarily changing who I am but refining the features of my personality and priorities.  Tell Brynna good job on the piano recital, Kayla congrats on the new member of the family ;) and Kiera good luck for her dance competition. Im glad you liked the pictures and videos too! 
BIG NEWS THIS WEEK. ready? I dont think your ready for this........................ IM TRAINING!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! completely freaking out. Im staying in Tome training a brand new sister and hermana mitchell also got a leadership call as a sister training leader (kind of like zone leader for sisters) and she is out of here! Im suuuper nervous but really excited. It was actually kind of a miracle with getting the call. We had just got done with exchanges and hermana mitchell and I stopped by Olgas before we went home. We accidently left the phone there (i totally thought training calls were over). We debated about getting it in the morning but decided to go back. As soon as the phone was in my hand it rang. Looked down.. sure enough it was President Miller! quickly started hyperventilating :) He said "is this sister maxwell" I stammered yyesss.... and he said "we would like to extend a calling to be a trainer, can you do that for us?" I said yes, hung up, and we both FLIPPED out haha.  Finally gonna get an "hija" :) Its a lot of pressure taking over the area after only being here a transfer AND training a new missionary but Its awesome at the same time. Got to go to Albuqerque and have a trainers meeting with President and sister miller which was wonderful. He told us that trainers are the most important calling in the mission and that we have the biggest impact on what kind of missionary AND person they will become in their lives. He promised us that we would "feel heavenly father's qualifying arm around us" which was a big comfort to me. Im the only missionary training in our zone. I get her tomorrow morning at transfer meeting! This whole week ive been trying to study how to become the best trainer I can be and I already have her 1st day all planned out :) Its gonna be a bit rough this first couple weeks because coming into the field is so so hard and plus I have to do literally everything on my own for a little while. Im going to learn so much. so yeah. Its exciting :) Really going to miss hermana mitchell though. Im sick of bulleting companions!
I DID watch the women's conference and I thought the EXACT same thing :) I was hoping you were all watching it. The cute temple/family they showed made all of us missionaries just bawl. I have become such a softie on my mission. I think its just because we are so in tune with the spirit all the time. I loved how Eyring said we need to do everything with a smile. So true. It also was all about the "covenant path" which was amazing considering that was the main theme of the last general conference as well. Must be important ;) We had dinner with the belen (english) ward and the theme was "princesses" so we all wore tiaras, painted nails and stuff... yuck. 
This week has been kind of crazy with all of the changes upon us but still working hard! Cant wait to start this next transfer with my greenie :) I love you all and can sure especially use your prayers over this next couple weeks!! Thanks for all of your incredible examples. I love you to the moon and back. GET EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE!! AHHHH!!!

Hermana Maxwell 

SPANISH TONGUE TWISTERS!! EMAIL 3/25/14

HOLY COW HAVE A TUMBLE WEED!!

MORE MUSEUM PICS


A FUN P-DAY HIKE







Oh boy I don't even know where to begin! Remember that story I told last week about the woman named Lady who we taught the whole first lesson and she accepted a baptismal invite in the first lesson?? So we went back and she had read 8 chapters in the Book of Mormon!! She is planning on being baptized in April and she is AMAZING. All of this happened just over a week. So beautiful. We are going to have dinner with her and her husband on Wednesday. We are really excited to meet him.
We did a lot of contacting this week and walked a bunch. Its been really nice weather-wise here. Its always interesting talking to people in the streets because you always meet some crazies. We also were able to go to  a wedding which was super super fun! It was the recent convert of the missionaries in the Belen ward (English). She married a man in the ward and they are already planning on getting sealed in a year! It was just amazing to see that kind of growth and progression in a convert. It was a nice country wedding, she is a horse trainer. Brynna would love her. 
I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time this morning! Really exciting. Also hit 8 months! Cant believe how fast time is flying. Transfers are NEXT WEEK. Pretty sure I'm going to stay and Hermana Mitchell will leave but we can never be 100% sure. I'm a bit nervous to take over the area after being out here only one transfer but I know heavenly father will qualify me! I would wait to send the package probably.. just in case. Unless you send it like today. We are going on exchanges tonight with the English sisters. That will be exciting considering all our lessons will be in Spanish and so I will probably be teaching all by myself!
I love working with the people here. They are so amazing. especially the kids too :) I taught Ofelia "trit trot to market" the other day and we are always playing with the little kids. They yell "MAXWELL!!" and run to me and I spin them around as high as I can. I feel like an unexpected side effect from the mission is learning a little bit about how to parent. A lot of Mexicans don't discipline their kids very well so we find ourselves helping them break up little fights and teaching the kids about how to be nice. I'm learning more than I ever thought I would about EVERYTHING. I love this so so much. Not all the time, because its hard, but the good always outweighs the bad. Always. Learned how to make chile rellenos the other day as well as how to say some Spanish tongue twisters :) "tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal" say that 5 times fast. 
I cant wait to get home and keep up the same habits I've developed out here and start doing missionary work at home too! I love you all so so much.  I AM learning a ton and there is no better place for me to be serving. Heavenly father knows us so well!
Hermana Maxwell 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TRAINS & MUSEUMS!! EMAIL 3/18/2014

SISTERS MEET DINOSAURS!




FAMILIA!!!
Boy do I miss you :) I just spent the whole day with a sister who is going home in two weeks and it made me a bit trunky. so i miss you haha.  Sounds like things are going great at home. Amazing stories from that elder... awesome. I'm living in an apartment.. it is nice! no worries. We have a washer and dryer in it so we are super spoiled. It has been an elders apartment for a long time so it is a bit gross but hey its a place to live haha.
Another beautiful week over in Tome! I cannot BELIEVE its week 5 of the transfer already!! This past week we had zone conference! I learned a lot and it was so fun being able to see a bunch of missionaries I have never met before. Remember when I said I had to give the 5 minute talk at my first zone conference all in Spanish? Yeah.. I had to do it AGAIN!! apparently Heavenly Father wants me to get over my fear of public speaking. I know missionaries who haven't had to do it their entire mission and I have already done it twice! crazy. good learning experience though! I got a lot of compliments on my Spanish too which is slowly getting better. 
We have seen a few big miracles this week. One day we were out in the middle of nowhere as usual and there was a man outside working on his truck. we stopped to talk to him and he said he didnt live there but his sister might be interested. So we decided to go back a couple days later. We knocked twice, no one answered. Usually we turn around but we felt prompted to knock a third time. A woman came to the door with a baby on her hip. We told her who we were and that her brother said she would like to hear the message and immediately she said "pasenle!" (come in!) We looked at each other shocked. Went in, sat down, taught the whole first lesson, set another appointment, and she said she would be baptized if she receives an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Amazing. Its so cool how Heavenly Father leads us to those that are prepared for the gospel. 
Today we took a train into Albuquerque to go to a museum!! it was sooo much fun!! We went to a children s museum, a dinosaur museum, and "grossology". It was a blast.. especially the train ride too. It was so weird being back in a big city again. Although it is nice to be back home in our little town of Belen.  Sorry this email is so short.. we got back late so I dont have much time. BUT. The church is true. the mission is incredible. AND I LOVE YOU ALL!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

HAVE SOME THORNS!! EMAIL 3/11/2014

OUCH!!!


EARLY MORNING HIKE ON PDAY







This week has been pretty normal. Not too much to report!! Other than missionary work is just AWESOME!!! We hear from our mission president every week in a letter and he always has such great insights. I learn so so much every single day.. its just crazy. 
We had a family come to church this week!! The mom said the experience was "different".... so hopefully that means a good different haha! We are going to talk to her more about it on Saturday. Gilberto is still doing great but we havent been able to meet with him much this past week. We are helping reactivate this less active family named La Familia Sanchez. Its a single mom with two girls (10 and 11) who are the cutest things on the planet. They LOVE the missionaries and run out of their trailer and give us a huge hug whenever we come over. We played chutes and ladders with them the other night after dinner which brought back many memories from my own childhood :) We screamed and laughed and just had a blast. 
I just love this work and am so grateful for all that I am learning. This area is definitely A LOT different than Ysleta. Its harder to find investigators and numbers are a lot lower but I LOVE the people here. They are so so humble. Its an interesting experience to walk into a trailer that is falling apart, sit down on a dusty chair, no floor, no light/heater, heating their trailer using the stove burners, no furniture.. just the basics... and have a beautiful discussion about our savior jesus christ. I just love it. This gospel is really all we need. Its not about the material things. Its going to be weird to come back home and see so many houses haha. All we teach in is trailers in the middle of nowhere. 
This morning in my personal study I was studying about character. Bednar says that character is when you put someone elses needs above yourself even if you yourself are struggling with the exact same trial. Christ was the ultimate example of this. After he fasted 40 days and was tempted by satan in the joseph smith translation of matthew 4:11 it says that "he sent angels unto john who was in prison". Although christ was physically and spiritually exhausted, im sure he could have used angels himself.. he sent them unto john. Ive decided i want to develop christ like character more in my mission in order to be a better representative of him. I love jesus.. he is my savior and everything to me. Thats one of the main reasons im so grateful for my mission because i get to know him better. I love you all... so so so SO Much. And miss you tons. Keep doing missionary work at home. Everyone.. everyone... EVERYONE needs this message! God is hastening his work and YOU are part of it too!! LOVE YOU!!
Kenna

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HIKING ON PDAY !! :) Email 3/4/2014

Familia!
Well things are still going dandy! We went hiking this morning as a district to watch the sunrise out on the "mesa."  It was super beautiful and lots of fun. Although definitely EARLY haha. I'm a bit tired so sorry if this email makes no sense! Loving this area and the people here!! This week has gone a lot better than the last one. Finally starting to get into the swing of things a little more.  We have been seeing lots of miracles with one of our investigators named Gilberto.  He has been drinking coffee ever since he was five years old every single day. (that's the case with most Mexicans). He was really struggling giving it up. About a week ago I promised him in the name of Jesus Christ that if he had the sincere desire to quit he would have the energy to work and go throughout his day. He hasn't drank it since :) 
Another miracle... we were driving through "Viguita" this little town in the middle of nowhere when we stopped by a house. Hna Mitchell told me it was a referral from the English sisters but they have a super scary dog so her previous companion didn't dare go back. I was like.. LETS GO! so we walk through the gate and immediately this big Labrador starts growling.. felt prompted to keep moving. The dog got closer and closer and I was about to turn and run when the door opened! Out walks this 18 year old girl named Maria. She stopped the dog and we started talking. Turns out she has a friend who is Mormon and has invited her to go to church before. Her friend is someone that hna mitchell knows super well who goes to the singles ward!! So we were able to have a lesson with her and Yuneli (the friend) yesterday. Maria is super excited to read in the book of Mormon and she will totally be baptized someday :) its just those little miracles that make the mission awesome!!!
Love hna mitchell to death. We work great together and she is a great teacher and amazing at Spanish because her last companion was native. She is pretty old in the mission and only has 3 transfers left after this. Crazy! We have lots of fun and work hard. Love the mission! Keep looking for those little miracles back home. they are all around us! The church is true!!!! LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO MUCH

Hermana Maxwell 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

NEW COMPANION ** NEW AREA!!! EMAIL 2/25/2014

SAYING GOODBYE TO HER ZONE IN TEXAS....
SAYING HELLO TO HER NEW COMPANION AND NEW AREA!
Ok so im sure you are dying to here everything :) It has been a craaazy week thats for sure!! I am currently serving in the Tome South area in the Los Lunas Zone. It is about 20 minutes south of Albuquerque. I LOVE IT OUT HERE. NOTHING like i expected at all. We cover a bunch of tiny little towns.. the area is huuuge. Most of the towns are literally in the middle of nowhere just full of dirt roads and really run down trailers. The desert sunsets are GORGEOUS and we actually can see a couple mountains. Its actually a little greener than el paso.. which translates to.. brown with some slightly green sagebrush haha. Seriously though I love it here. I am serving in the Tome branch which is the TINIEST branch I have ever been to. So little. We have gospel principles in one of those little tiny rooms off to the side of the fawyer. The people are so kind and so welcoming. Its so much like a family. We live in a city called Belen which means Bethlehem. Cool right? I really feel connected to this area in a different way.. like im meant to do something here. Not sure what yet.. but Im excited for it.  We dont have many progressing investigators here at the moment and the numbers are a lot.... well... lower than those in el paso. Every area is different but Im excited to get this area running! 
My companion is Hna Mitchell (sorry dont have any pictures yet) She is reealllly awesome and came out with hna adams so she has been out over a year. She is from Loyalton Californina which is this tiiiny town in the mountains. She has been through a lot in her life but is so positive. I have learned a ton from her already. We get along great and are always laughing and joking. I love her already and we are going to work well together. She has been in Tome for five transfers though so Im pretty sure this is going to be another "bullet" companionship. :( 
I also have met one of the coolest families of my mission. They just barely got baptized. The mom is named Olga, and she has a few kids but the ones I know are Justin and Dulce. (10 and 7) Dulce is seriously the CUTEST little girl I have ever met. She has already started calling me "Maxwell" and is always praying for her mom and us. I love her sooo much. They are the ones we have spent the most time with so far. I got a blessing from Presidente Jimenez (branch President) because he always gives one to the new missionaries. He promised me that I would have a great affect on the people here through my quiet obedience and that they will learn to love me quickly. Its really different here. The missionaries are different too.. not as obedient as those in my last area. But everyone is so close-knit. It sounds like the district does a lot together too which i am excited for. Hiking might be in the picture... what??? so stoked.
Im doing great and growing tons! Thank you for your prayers and support.. I love you all so so much!!!
Hermana Maxwell