Monday, November 7, 2011

Hey ohhh!

It's been another week.. a CRAZYYY week this week. but check THIS out !! 8 investigators came to church yesterday!!!! it was SO COOL. I have to say though, we just taught lessons, and asked members to invite their investigators to our appointments with them. These members are SO INCREDIBLE. They did allll the rest of the work. They know how important this gospel is, they know how many blessings come from it. and how many blessings Heavenly Father is so willing to give anyone who drops the world and chooses Him. And they know, these members truly know where their blessings come from, and they truly know what and Who it is that makes them so happy. So they give it all away to everyone else, confident that that is what Heavenly Father wants them to do.
  We have been spending a lot of time with P*****, our recent convert, and her husband, M*****- who isn't a member. M***** is SO COOL! He still has a lot of questions about the gospel, but whenever someone else will have questions, he'll just completely start testifying to this person. It does NOT matter what we know ! It's what we feel about the little that we do know that shows who we really are, and whose side we're on. A few weeks ago, we came to drop something off at P***** early in the morning after doing service. And we didn't expect anyone to be there, but M**** was there, talking to his nephew. So we started talking to his nephew about church, and he started sharing some things with us about what he believes, and we gave him our card and stuff like that. Wellll. P***** has been praying for her nephew, and out of NOwhere, yesterday, about 5 minutes before they were gonna leave for church, there's a knock on P***** and M**** door.. and it's their nephew !! And he asked them where they were gonna go.. M**** said to church, and the nephew asked if he could come ! SUPER surprise ! So they walked in a little late, and when we saw their nephew walk in, Hermana Henderson stopped everything we were doing with a EN SERIO face.. and I realized once again, that there is nothing too powerful for God not to be able to change.
  We also are starting to teach the L***** family.. they're so cool !! And they brought their baby to church to be blessed yesterday.. and you know what that blessing said? That their baby is gonna be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! SO cool right !! ahahh... welll anyway. I coiuld go on and tell about everything else that's been going on.... but I have a way to upload pictures ! They tell 1,000 words. And that's good. Becaaauuuse. I don't have 1,000 to send. hahah.
The Church is true ! Keep holding on aiight family. It's worth it. It'll always always be worth it :)
La Iglesia es Verdadera.....
La Hermana B.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Un Titulo Creativisimo

maaann what a week. It's so weird how much quicker we get to P-day every single week.. and  exactly a week from now is Halloween >:O!! CRAZY. Sooo wat in da WORLD do we talk about today. This past week was completely inSANE. On Thursday, we had this special joint Zone Conference, where all of the Northern Zones went to Albuquerque...shoutz to Alvarado what WHATT..! hahhha how lame. But the main speaker of the Conference was Elder Per G. Malm of the Seventy ! It was SUCH an incredible conference.. and what made it the most incredible was that he would talk to us, he would make us laugh, but then he would randomly look out at all of the missionaries, ask a question, and then choose one to come up and bear their testimony. These missionaries that came up had to dig deep and share the testimony about what Elder Malm wanted to share, and it was incredible seeing these 20-22-year old kids sharing their hearts and crying from how good they want to be, sharing how they don't want to disappoint absolutely anyone they have met on their missions, or sharing about how absolutely true they know this church is. It is incredible seeing the depths of people you didn't even really know an hour before. It is so incredible seeing the vulnerability that every single person has. It's incredible being able to see someone for who they really are.
  I haven't been able to cry lately. Maybe because I'm too tired to, or maybe because I just haven't put forth the effort to feel as much as I could, and should. But there was this one point of the conference where Elder Smith sang to "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". And the most touched I have been all week was when he's about to sing the very last word of the song, "He lives".. and his face goes bright red, and his eyes fill with tears, and he baaarrely gets the word 'lives' out of his mouth. . ..... . ...and thinking back to that song STILL makes me want to cry, knowing that this missionary, as young as he may be, as imperfect as he maybe, he knows that his Redeemer lives, so much to the point that it brought him to tears in front of an entire group of missionaries. And that was what it took for me to open my heart and finally feel, and that is when I finally made it so I was able to cry, and not having done so for so long. It was so incredible, being able to see and feel what was going through his heart, and being able to realize that we will never connect unless we feel. The only key is letting your heart stay open to feeling.
  Cool story !! So. On Friday, we had SUCH a good day planned. We had appointments set up, and membersto come to all of them with us, and even our investigator was going to come to our dinner appt. with us. Welll. In the matter of about 2 1/2 minutes, every member called and said they wouldn't be able to make it, AND our investigator said that she wouldn't be able to come to dinner. whatt !! So. We were trying to find the lesson to learn in it. and trying and trying, when all of a sudden our Ward Mission Leader calls us and tells us that he's going to take his family to L*****'s and wants us to come along and see if J****, our investigator and L*****'s husband, is there, so we could talk to him and L*****. So of course we got our stuff and went.. and we got there.. J**** wasn't there, and it was just like normal. L***** made the family food, and we talked to her for awhile and taught her, and then we left, wondering if there was ANY significance of going out there, or any specific reason. But we remembered that L***** was talking to us about her daughter-in-law, and how she had gotten a blessing the night before, and it had said that she needs a framed picture of Christ in her house. So at the end of the night, we decide to go get her a frame, cuz we have a grippp of pictures of Christ that we could frame and give to her. And we're driving towards Wal Mart, when we have a better idea to go to The Dollar Tree. So we get the frame right. I don't wanna make this story longer than it is. hah and we go to pay, and I start talking to the woman, who looks Spanish too. BEAUTIFUL. So we're talking, and I ask her where she's  from. And she says California. And so I said, "Oh my gosh me too !!" and at the same time we both say, "What part??" and I say Riverside. And she's all, "NO way me too!!" And then I say, "Whatt!! Well I'm from Moreno Valley, but nobody knows Moreno Valley, so I just say Riverside.." and she's like, "ARE YOU SERIOUS !! That is SO crazy me too !! I know allll the streets you're talking about, how crazy is that!!" And she starts naming off streets from Mo Val and everything ! WHATT ! haha so apparently she's lived here for 2 years, and she just kept on aying, "this was NOT by chance. This is so crazy how this all happened." And then she asks us if we're Mormon, and we tell her yes and that we're missionaries, and then she's all, "Do you have a card at all that I can have?" One of theee first times in this mission where someone's asked US for a card haha. And she goes on to say that she's going to call us, because she doesn't want to open up and start crying right then and there. I don't know her life at all, but if there's anything I DO know, it was that Heavenly father loves her so much that He went through leaps and bounds, making it impossible in every way for us to have gone to our appointments, since they were all cancelled, because M*****-our new friend :)- needed to know that He is there. He made everything fall apart for everyone else, knowing that they would be okay and He would take care of them, so that He could help another one of His children. I had no idea how much He was guiding us, or what the importance was of our going to visit L***** until that very moment. We never ever would have had a reason to go to the Dollar Tree had our appointments not fallen through. We never would have even been over in that area had we not had the time to go see L*****. Heavenly ather knows exactly what we need in the exact time that we need it, and I truly truly know that, especiallyyy after Friday night. He is in complete control.
  M***** still hasn't called us yet, but ! We're missionaries who don't give up on anybody's potential.. .... and we're allllso missionaries who know where she works. hahahh so please pray for her !!
  Umm funny story before I 'blow this popsicle stand' (Hna. Henderson-hahahaha).. sooo last night we went arouuundd 8ish..? to contact a referral from the Zone Leaders. The referral wasn't home, and so we started walking away, when this kid is coming down the stairs of the apartments. I can't judge.. but it looked like he was 'up to no good'..he had the tattoos and was in a biggg hurry and all of that. But he's a person, so we said hi! And he mumbles 'hey', and then we just started walking away since he was practically running, and then he stops and he's all, "Wait.. ya'll aren't Mormons are you?" And I say, "Ya," and he says something along the lines of, "Aww naww." with this horrible look on his face, like he's looking down at us. hah whatt !! Buuutt afterwards, we didn't feel that safe being there.. so we're on the way to the car.. walking with purpose ! hha and then we say hi to these 2 men that were walking in front of our car, and one asks us how we are, we ask him how he is, and right before we get in the car he just looks back at us and he says, "!" like he noticed something about us, or was thinking about something. or SOMEthing haha I have NO idea. Buuutt. Anyway. weeeirrd weird things. Gosh Albuquerque. hah
  De todos modos, no tengo nada mas que decir. ojala que todo este bien con cada uno de ustedes, y ojala que sepan que tanto que les quiero. nos vemos !!
La Iglesia es verdadera.......
La Hermana B.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Casi La Noche de Brujas :0

Mannn what a week. You wanna hear something cool?? M****** FAMILY WENT TO CHURCH YESTERDAY :O !!!! SO COOL hah. I felt like a little kid going to Disneyland for the first time or something when I saw them hah. And afterwards, my girl J**** comes up to us and she's all, "See? We went to church!!" haha it was so cool. soooo so so so cool. We had gone over there to eat dinner with them the other day, and I was teaching J**** some hip hop haha.. but without music. nothing bad. And I really really realized that you have GOT to get on someone's level before they can trust you to reach another one. Afterwards, me and her played companions and shared a message with the rest of her family about just how she was following me, we need to follow our Heavenly Father, who knows what HE'S doing. And it sounds so simple, but it is SO absolutely true..He already gives us what He knows we need, like the scriptures. and prayer. and church. these super super simple things, and we just need to do them, absolutely trusting that He knows what He's doing by commanding us to do these things. Sooo anyway. THAT was really cool.
  We've been having a looott of trouble with our investigators keeping their commitments, especiallyyy reading the Book of Mormon. I COULD say that I don't understand why, because it's a book that says on the front that it's another testament of Jesus Christ, so wouldn't someone be curious as to how ? But I can't judge at all, for all of the years that I didn't read it, or even glance over at it at that. So I understand, and as a result I've been bearing my testimony a LOT of the Book of Mormon, and it's so cool, because I realized how strong my testimony had to, and still has to be to be able to bear it over and over. We have to absolutely know something is true to be able to talk about and defend it constantly. No matter how hard it is.. cuz it'll get hard. But it won't be a burden if we love it.
  I had this dream on Friday night. It was really weird, there was this kind of race that me and a bunch of loved ones were running, but from different places and we were all trying to get to the same 'finish line'. it wasn't really a 'race' was more of a race against ourselves to see if we would make it. and i remember going through all of these mountains, with a bunch of red a green and rain and stuff like that, and i was thinking about all my other friends and family, and wondering how THEIR course was.. if it was the same, if they had the same amount of troubles and obstacles that I was having, if they were making it. I was pushing and pushing and pushing, not really thinking about whether I was gonna make it or not. But I was wondering if they were going to. Haha really fast.. we ran in this race like how Edward and the vampires run in Twilight hahah ! anyways. So I remember that I was finally finally seeing the end-which was at the onramp to the 60 freeway from the 90, like you're coming back from the beach haha, and I was looking for my friends all over the place as I was on my way home, and of all the people who had started, you know who the only person was that I saw?? My brotha Zachary Jimenez! And he looked super tired, but I remember how happy I was seeing that HE made it too, through the horrible maze of life he had to go through. And I just hugged and hugged and hugged him, and he knew how worth it that it was to have gone through that race/maze, knowing that he made it.
  So this dream was super cool, and it made me realize how much of a part we act have in helping others realize the help that Heavenly Father offers. Every single one of us is a manifestation of missionary work, whether it be member missionary work or full-time missionary work. We all have a testimony of it, in one way or another, and we all have a responsibility to help others gain a testimony of it. If not, how selfish are we keeping in what makes us happy. There was this movie I was watching the other day, and one of the greatest men from the Restoration said, "Callings are seldom convenient." It doesn't matter at all how much we do or don't want to talk to someone, or pick someone up for church, or invite someone to have a family home evening. Heavenly Father's work isn't supposed to be convenient for us. And quite sadly, I feel that that's why there aren't more people out on missions, because it's not convenient. But either way! Whatever the situation, whatever the circumstance that we are in, there is a way for us to make our Heavenly Father even happier with us when we share our happiness.

  Pondria yo algo mas en el Espanol, pero no tengo la energía jaajaja. Pero así es en la obra del Senor. Tenemos que trabajar hasta que nos caigamos, para que sepamos.. verdaderamente sepamos que El esta contento con nosotros. No hay ningún mejor sentimiento.

Con Amor ! Hermana Lia Batchkoff

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"its never too late to be what you might have been"

Which is the quote that I am absolutely living by lately hahah.. well. forever.
  We don't see enough of our potential, and as a result, we end up getting lost in the average things we do. We end up getting lost in how easy it is to stay on the computer all day, or how easy it is to not open up our mouths about something that matters, or stretch ourselves to actually see all that we can become. But after our District Leader texted us that quote the other day, I realized that it's never too late. So ya, we may have stayed on the computer all day yesterday-not us as in my companion and i hah..just people in general :p-but today, there is so much we can do that can be of such good worth. Whether it be just chillin outside of Target and looking for people whose carts you can take in for them. Every little thing that we do ups our potential and starts erasing more things on the list of things we don't feel we can do. Because we'll have more confidence in ourselves, and we'll see, really see, that if we're following the One who has no boundaries, our capabilities will have no boundaries.
  Anyway, it's been a good week, more or less !******* came to church on Sunday.. whoop WHOOPP ! hah I was so excited. SOOOO excited seeing her walk in. I have no clue HOW long it's been since she's been to church. But. Just like the quote says. She didn't let that phase her, and she came. And that was the most important part, and I imagine that that's the most important part to Heavenly Father too.. even though I can't speak for Him.
  ummm funny stuff that happened. Oh ! This isn't the first time this has happened in this mission.. but we had a lesson on Saturday.. at 1 p.m. that we had invited a member to come with us to.. by the way. shouts to ******* ! ..the member.. who's gonna be going to serve in Nicaragua.. tomorrow.! :p but we come up to the house, with an open garage door. So they're home right! So we walk up to the door and hear the t.v. inside and the family and stuff, and we knock. And one of the little daughters opens the door, and her mom asks who it is. So she tells her mom, "It's.. 3 ladies..!" and she goes and her and her mom are whispering, or something like that, and alll of a sudden. the door closes. hahaha. Sooo we're like. we have faith. maybe her mom's gonna come and open it back up. but instead!! The other kids are coming up to the window right by the door and looking through the blinds to look at us..and just laugh. and run away. hahaha !! Sooo. we knock again. justincase x). and then write a note, saying that we're sorry that we must have missed them. ha. hahaha. hah. howawkward.
  buuutt anyway. Other than that, everything's going well. Time keeps going by before my eyes. I just want all of these people to be happy. And it's hard when they don't see that life is going to beokay.. better than okay, if they just do what they need to. It's so easy, but at the same time it's so hard, just because we can't be strong alone. We really really need to help each other, at times more than ourselves if we're already fine, if that makes sense. But anyway. I love ya'll. B who you know you can be.
  que seas la persona que sabes que puede ser.
  la vida es tan cortita.. hay que aprovecharla verdad :) Portense bien :p
La Iglesia es Verdadera....
La Hermana B.

Friday, September 30, 2011

oh my gosh... a mom

  haha. So I'm gonna be 'a mom' in the mission, startinggg tomorrow ! With a SUPER fresh verdita.. who I know absolutely nothing about haha..covering a stake, the equivalent of 6 English-speaking areas. hahah WHATT am I gonna do !! But it's okay. Because allll day long on Saturday, which is when we get transfer calls, I had felt so much peace about what was going to happen, with the feeling that I was gonna be called to be a trainer. But I didn't want to 'sike' (?.. I can't spell that) myself out. But let me start from the beginning of Saturday and break it all down.. k.
  Sooo it started with the baptism of Lorena. We had visited her Friday night, because she was going to be working at her hot dog stand alone where it's dangerous, so we stayed with her over there. And while she's talking on the phone to her daughter, a customer came up while I was in the hot dog stand, and talking to the Zone Leaders on the phone hahh ! So. I put the Zone Leaders on hold, and this customer just asks for change, so I figured I could do THAT. But THEN she actually orders something. So I had no other option but to be like.. "Welll. I don't work here.. but let me get the person that does ! She cooks good !" ....hah awkward. But anyway, that has no point to the story. So we stayed with Lorena and were trying to help her out, because the next morning was her baptism. So that morning we're getting everything ready, and I just felt like all of a sudden we needed to call her. So we did, and she was abslutely hysterical, crying and telling us about how everything that could possibly go wrong and turn against her did, even her family. So we tried talking her through it all, and she finally calmed down. Her baptism was at 3 p.m., and she was going to be early to change and everything, but she ended up coming right before, alone. but she was there! And we got her changed and everything, and I'm not even kidding you, it was like a movie. I was the one saying the opening prayer at her baptismal service, and after I got done praying, I looked up and sat down.. and I saw her husband, Jose, walking in crying. It was SO incredible. Before she got baptized, Jose asked if he could come up and say some words.. which none of us werethinking as gonna happen. But he got up, and started talking about how right after Lorena had left, some pastors from the church that she used to go to, who had never been to their house before, came by, asking Jose where Lorena was so they could talk to her and see if she was sure that getting baptized would be the right thing for her. It was so incredible, realizing how hard Satan had worked, but Lorena was still being guided to do what the right thing was, without even realizing what would have happened had she stayed a little longer at her house, because who really knows what would have happened had she stayed. Heavenly Father is SO SO completely aware of each and every one of us, and every single thing that we can and can't handle.
  So after the baptism, we went to the Relief Society session of General Conference, which was broadcasted everywhere. And the talk that touched ME the most, as I'm sure is the same one that touched a lot fo people the most haha, was President Uchtdorf's talk, about Forget-Me-Not flowers. I can't remember exactly all of the talk, but it was so incredible,. He ve us 5 things that we should never forget, and in the end he said with the most power and love that I have ever heard, "I want you to never forget how much your Heavenly Father knos and loves each and every one of you, and that not one of you are forgotten to Him." So I was thinking about these flowers right. And I'm thinking about how they're so little, as President Uchtdorf described them, that it's so easy to overlook them, because we're so blinded by the big beautiful roses. And I started to think about how I think of myself. And how it doesn't matter, it really really doesn't, what position I have in this world. How much importance I may have in the yes of that person, or the other person. Maybe sometimes the most important thing really IS that we go unnoticed for a lot, that we may be the little flicker of fire that nobody really really notices, but it still keeps everything a little lighter. Without that little 'unimportant' flicker that we have, everything goes a little bit darker.. the clouds are just a little bit heavier, and the way in front of us is a little bit foggier. But the reality of it all is that we all may be little Forget-Me-Nots that all come together in the most b-e-a-Utiful garden that anyone's evr seen. hah how corny. But it just reminds me of how important every single one of us really really is. I am so thoroughly convinced that the majority of the time we do not see ourselves, talk about ourselves, or think of ourselves in any way similar to how Heavenly Father thinks of us. But we're just the Forget-Me-Nots that aren't ever forgotten. :)
  Soo after the Conference, we didn't have much time, so we did some visits really quick before going home. And then Elder Smith, the Assistant who helps do transfer planning and knows everything about transfers, came by to pick up something he had left at the baptism. So we asked if he would just give us the news, since it was after 9 and..time for news haha. And he turns to me and says, "..Diddd you get a call today ?" because President Miller calls trainers to ask if they're willing to train. And I said no, and remembered the baptism, because President and Sister Miller came, and he came and sat down next to m to ask me something, and all of the missionaries turned to look over at what he was gonna tell me, because they all thought I was gonna train hah ! Even though he just asked me a regular question. And so finally at like. 9:20, I get a call from President, saying that he felt/feels that I'm cut out for this. Haha I haveno idea what is going to go down. But I figure that everything is more in Heavenly Father's hands than it is in mine. I just don't ever ever want to let Him down. That is one of the worst feelings I feel someone can have. Kind of like when you doing something wrong, and instead of getting punished, your mom or dad says to you, "I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed in you." and walks away. HOW TORTURE IS THATT. hah, but we'll see what goes down. Heavenly Father is the most amazing miracle-worker one could ever have.
  Nos vemos entonces..? No tengo nada mas que decirles, sino que este tan agradecida por todas sus oraciones. A lo mejor, me estoy repitiendo, pero yo se que cada una de ss oraciones es escuchada por su Padre Celestial, y tal como dijo el Presidente Uchtdorf, "Ustedes estan mas cerca de cielo que piensan."
  Les quiero tanto.. y SHOUTS to Momma !! Everyone wish her a feliz cumpleanos manana (9/27/2011).. momma. Gracias por ensenarme mas que yo hubiera podido aprender de una mama. Tu me has creado, me has criado, y me has mostrado como amar con todo mi corazon. Nunca he conocido a nadie como tu, y nadie puede llenar el espacio que tu tienes en mi vida, y en mi corazon. Eres la mejor ama que yo podria haber pedido.
Hasta Octubre....
La Hermana B.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

hitting 13 months ...

  Sooo this week. was a WEEK. This is the last week until transfers, and who knows at ALL what's gonna happen haha. But anyway. So yesterday was "Missionary Temple Monday" ! It was the most incredible temple that I've ever had as a missionary. I realized that it doesn't matter where we are.. but when we focus, and reallyyy focus on our Heavenly Father is when we feel Him the most. It's not when we are focusing on ourselves, what others think of us, what our actions may look like to others around us. If our main focus is on our Heavenly Father, THEN He will come. THEN will He be with us stronger than ever. It's just so hard when every single outside thing of the world is competing for attention to take us away from Him. But I could ask any missionary or returned missionary why they love their missions so much. Because it is the opportunity to really really put our focus on Him. I don't see why anyone would want anything else.
  I also learned so much more about love this week. After talking to some people that have had 'good lives', full of vacations, and money, always-clean houses and experiences that they're always gonna remember. But having such a huge lack of loce in the home, where the family has tried to buy love, or provide a way for their children to have these experiences, but without them. At times I feel like parents let their children grow too much from their experiences away from home, rather than growing from their experiences IN the home. Thereis so much more, in MY opinion, that can be gained from being at home, and learning from your family. Sure, I haven't gone on vacations. I've never gone away to go to school. But I would never trade the love that I had felt and gained from my family for any of that. It doesn't matter how much of the world I don't know. It doesn't matter that I've never seen something like a waterfall in my life, or gone on a big rollercoaster, or temporary things like that. I have learned and learned from my family that there is a way to love and be loved in this life when there is nothing left. I love the struggle together, I love the simplicity of everything that comes in a home life, where I would super-selfishly comment about how "we have nothing to eat"..staring in front of a cupboard full of food. But I have learned so much more from my adorable mom asking me over and over again if I wanted cheese and crackers, or french toast, or apples and peanut butter, or any of the simple things-even though I would just say no to be difficult-, than I EVER could have learned from er sending me off to school, or on a vacation. Not that I am saying that any of that is wrong. Everyone needs to have a good balance of growing on their own, and with someone. But I feel that it is most important to focus on the fact that the family is most important to God, so we need to find te reason for it being the most important. We need to find what we need to learn from them, or we will take all of or youth in vain.
  By the way! Our investigator, Lorena, is getting baptized this weekend!! She had been taught for months by the missionaries, and apparently was so hard-hearted, and into the Christian church that she was going to. But since I'm still new here, from what I learned, the missionaries just gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read it. And she did, and it changed everything. Everything. And now, she tells us all the time, "My goal is to go to the temple. I need to do whatever is necessary to go to the temple, because I KNOW that that is what Heavenly Father wants me to do. I KNOW that I need to get baptized so that I can go, so I'm going." We need to follow her example for following Jesus Christ's. We take the temple for granted so much, and there are people like her who DREAM of being able to enter it. It is such a blessing that we have.. it's one of the infinity that we have.
  Que Dios les bendiga, en cada paso de su camino. o no puedo estar con ustedes ahora, pero yo se que Dios es mad Poderoso que yo. Yo SE que El quita nuestros pecados, y nuestras imperfecciones, pero que seamos mas como Su Hijo Unigenito. Yo lo se. Si nada mas.
  Les amo ! Yo hable el Espanol en esta carta whatttt !!
  Portense bien aiight.
La Iglesia es Verdadera....

alive !

Missions are just like every good and bad relationship you've ever had haha. You give all that you have, over and over and over and hope that what you get in return will make up for all that you've given. But because everyone has their ability to choose, it just doesn't turn out how we want it to. We don't always get what we feel like we gave. But on the other hand, we can look back at all that we've learned and think, "MAN. THAT'S why I went through that. THAT'S why I've lost the ability to love people how I did, because I can now look and know that I did my part, and now God can help me turn around and learn how to love all over again." Even though all that we've done may have been taken for granted, even though we've given, and given, and given all that we have and STILL feel like we haven't done a thing, we have got to be okay with the fact that our Heavenly Father may be the only One who notices what we do, and loves us for every single bit. Every single smile, every single pencil we've picked up for someone who was completely capable of doing it themselves. Every single door we've held open, every single thank you we haven't received. Heavenly Father notices every single one. And we need to be okay with that. And we need to recognize that He's blessing us for every single thing we do, because if we solely look at the sacrifices, they're going to drown us completely. We're meant to sacrifice, and we're meant to have the hard times in life. But the Godlike quality in us is that we are able to see the beauty of it. We are able to see how pure a handicapped child is, we are able to smile after months and months and months of tears. We are able to talk  to who we 'normally might not have otherwise' and see that this person just needed love, and you were able to give it to them. I probably sound like a Sister Missionary. But as long as I am one. I'll OWN it. hahah
  But it brings me to this story. Yesterday I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. about missionary work! And I had written what I wanted to talk about the other day, but the whole rest of the week was so crazy that I never got to look back on it. All I remembred from it was that I wanted to talk about Enos, from the Book of Mormon. Sooo yesterday came around, and we're sitting up at the stand translating. And I'm thinking. Beautiful. I'm giving a talk today and I have no idea what I had planned. So! I learned early that freaking out does NOT come from God, so I just started praying, and praying, and begging that Heavenly Father would give me every single word to say, and that He would help me give my whole heart to this talk so that the Branch could see how hard we're trying, and so that at least one of them could have their lives changed, or at least their hearts, or perspectives. And so after I was done praying, I had so much 'calmness'..? come over me, and I realized that it was going to be okay. So I went up there and just started talking. And talking and talking, and rarely did I glance over at the talk I had written to know what to say. It was SO COOL. It was one of those moments that foreign language-speaking missionaries talk about, literally opening their mouths and not knowing what they were saying, yet the words just came out. Just like that. Before I knew it, I realized that I was crying and saying what I hadn't planned on saying AT ALL.. but I gave Heavenly Father my heart, and I told Him that I only wanted to do what He wanted me to. And He did it through me instead. As long as we give Him what isn't ours, He will make it better and make it our own. After, so many members were coming up, one in particualr who helps us with our Spanish.. Hna. Rodriguez, comes up to me afterwards and tells me how good my Spanish is, how I didn't make not one mistake. Cool ! She said, "I leaned over to Sister Michel and said, 'THAT girl has the Spirit.' " hahaha it's so crazy, when God works through you when you aren't even realizing it. When He knows the potencial that we don't know we have. When I think back on the handful.. the 3 missionaries or so that completely saved my mission, it makes me wonder if they realized that God was working through them. Because we never ever ever realize it.
  Anyway, I have a timer on this computer and got to get going. But I love you all so so very much, and I think about you in a non-distracting way. ;)
The Church is so completely true
La Hermana B.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whoaaa whoa whoa!

Honestly.. I didn't even know we were gonna have a holiday until last week haha. Sooo . Happy Labor Day ! ..?
  I have absolutely no clue what to write in this email hah. It seems like this entire past week was such a blur ! Or maybe my memory just keeps getting more and more shot. I have absolutely no clue. But I'll see if the Spirit gets me to type out SOMEthing that ya'll will get use out of haha.
  Soo. I've been trying to figure out how we can look at ourselves the way Heavenly Father looks at us. It was weird, on Friday we had District Meeting.. it was also Hna. Jardine's quincenera by the way.. ;) and the Zone Leaders had come to this District Meeting. So anyway. Afterwards, the English Sisters wanted blessings, and for some reason, I had felt like I needed a blessing too. I've been trying, and trying and trying to figure out what it is exactly that my Heavenly Father wants me to do in my life, and it absolutely scares me to death, the idea of not following the path that He has for me. It absolutely terrifies me. We all have our ability to choose the decisions we make, and in the past, having made bad decisions that had led me to a bad life, I don't want that for myself again. It's like a weird in-between too, because it's the point where I have to get this stuff taken care of, but still focus myself on missionary work. Like 2 lives in 1 or something haha. But anyway, so it's easy to worry. It's easy to worry, and use that to walk on the edge all the time, and in the end let yourself feel worse. Soo. When it came time to get a blessing, I finally gave in to what Heavenly Father wanted me to do and asked for one. And so it's the 2 Elders and the Zone Leaders around me, completely serious, there to take their time and give me a blessing. And it was so incredible, no matter what kind of people these missionaries were, or are, they were there, as 19 year old kids, with the power of God to help me out. I will never ever EVER get over how amazing that is, and how amazing the priesthood in general is. But anyway ! I was so nervous that I was gonna be completely reganada en la bendicion, y por eso no queria pedirla.Pero tenemos 2 opciones. Podemos escoger a Dios, o podemos escoger todo lo demas. Y nosotros tenemos que escoger. Y nosotros tenemos que escuchar. So I got a blessing. And in it, I was told that what I am going through right now, and what I am going to be going through in the future is and will be fulfilling my patriarchal blessing. And that I'm working with all the heart I have right now, which made ME feel really good haha. But I learned that Heavenly Father just wants to love us, and He just wants us to know that. And Satan just wants us to think the exact opposite, day in and day out, no matter how hard we try. ut I realized that the ay I look at myself is NOT how my Heavenly Father looks at me. It's not even close. And I feel like if we all saw that, we would treat ourselves so much better. We would have so much hope for ourselves, we would have so much hope for what is to become of us. Because we would know that we can do absolutely anything with Him. I feel like that's just what we lack though. We lack the ability to see with His eyes, and to accept how much more we can have. Maybe I'm not making much sense. I only ate an apple so far today and our water isn't drinkable.. so we have to get it from someone els today hah. But ! That's what I feel.
  We've been on bikes this week ! The Zone Leaders still haven't asked for them back, so we've been andando loqita with them haha, and omgosh they're SO MUCH FUN. We get to talk to so many people, and I figured that if there's any time to ride a bike in a skirt. It's now. haha.
  Oh! Another lesson I've learned this week. The importance of communication. :o We will never ever be able to read minds, or else Heavenly Father wouldn't have given us mouths. So I learned that good or bad, talk out whatever needs to be talked out.. with anyone. I as told that the majority of problems in relationships of ANY kind come from misinterpretation, or lack of communication. So we have got to do our part, so Heavenly Father can make US happier in our relationships.
Anyway. That's what I got for now. We'll see what happens this week ! We have an amazing Branch, andd we're still working with our investigators ! We found this less active, and she is having a hard time with being able to trust her husband, because they had had so many problems. The whole story is so sad, but I have also realized this transfer that I really really need to learn how to depend on someone. I REALLY need to. Because we trust in our Heavenly Father so much, an He knows who we need to look to in this earth to be able to trust in. If that makes any sense. We have got to be able to know that even though Satan is so real, Heavenly Father is even more real, and that everyone He gives us leaves us with a lesson, and an ability to love more, and learn more. And trust.
I'm hungry hah.  I really really hope that you're all really really well though ! I pray for you often. Y yo se que el Senor esta alli para cara uno de ustedes. Yo lo se.
  Be good. Choose the right this week. And take a breath. We're all living the good life. :)
Con amor en el calor!..
La Hermana B.
..pero no hay mucho calor.. .... ahah

Monday, August 29, 2011

struck. by lightening!

.. . but forreall. :o this week has been so crazy. We have been trying so hard to be the best missionaries we can be, because we're part of one of the most missionary-active Branches we could ever be a part of ! This past Monday, we had a Family Home Evening with 3 families altogether in this GORGEOUS park out here, and we played "Sharks and Minnows", I think it's called? Except for the 'shark' in the middle is Satan, and the kids had to try an run past me, the shark/Satan, to get to their parents in heaven ! haha cool huh. hah, earlier that morning too, we had gotten our laundry, and I was washing my purse and left my pepper spray in it. So I pulled it out, and decided to try and spray it in the laundry room and see if it was still working. So. We found out that it still works hahaha. Cuz the laundry room's enclosed and not tooo too big, so I just sprayed a liittttle in the trashcan, and seconds later it full-on fills our lungs to the point where we're coughing so much we're at the moment where we're about to throw up. Beautiful. hahah
  So ! The absolute craziest thing that happened to us last week. Mom don't freak out. We now have SUCH a testimony of prayer. So we live among a ranch, right alongside of the Rio Grande River. So when it thunders and lightnings, we're right on the dielines of it. So the other night, Hna. Jardine and I both woke up from this HUUUGE crack of lightning outside of house, at
about 2 a.m. And it freaked us out for a second or so, and we kept hearing thunder and lightning, less than a second one after the other. So I said, "I wanna see what this thunder looks like if it's so loud.." so I open the blinds that are right behind my bed, and out of nowhere we hear this HUGE shrieking crackle of lightning completely filling our ears, and everything in my face goes comPLETEly white, and fills the room and has a power that just shoots my face to my bed. It. was SO FREAKY. So we gathered ourselves together as much as we could, and got our pillows and blankets and got down on the floor, not knowing what else to do. The family that lives in the home below us was gone all last week, so we were completely alone. So we had nothing else to do but pray. It got so scary that we were praying in English, while the lightning was striking and shaking our house and losing the electricity. So. We said prayer after prayer after prayer, not knowing if we were even gonna make it through the night, because the lightning was so close to us. But after our 2nd or 3rd prayer, we heard the lightning start to distance itself, and we felt the most peaceful feeling come over us. So we're laying there on the ground in complete between the flashes of lightning.. and we just started talking about our favorite scriptures, or at least ones we could think of at that time hah. And even though the lightning was still close, and still crackling super loud right outside our house, we knew we were gonna be okay. And we knew that Heavenly Father was controlling absolutely every single thing around us. We couldn't sleep for awhile, and then we had to get up at 5 a.m. for Zone Conference. But I will never ever forgetthe testimony I gained that God truly does hear and answer every single prayer, and that He does protect us, even when we don't feel like it's possible. I never in my life have felt so close to death, but at the same time, I had never been able to say so much as I can now that every single moment that we have is a blessing.
  never thought I'd figure THAT out on a mission !
  Out here it's going wayyy well. We have an investigator, Lorena, who's absolutely AMAZING and is having so much opposition, so prayers for her would be appreciated! And out of nowhere, apparently this family just showed up at church a few weeks ago that we're starting to teach, and they came yesterday.. so we had 7 investigators at church! SUPER cool. Church is incredible. La Iglesia es verdadera. So. keep it real family! Be good. And help the missionaries out as much as you can. Ya'll truly make missionary work more than we can with our brothrs and sisters ! You don't realize how much power is in a simple family home evening with the missionaries and their investigators, or inviting your non-member friends to dinner with them.. or just someone who needs help in general. Do what you do. I love you !
La Iglesia es verdadera....
La Hermana B.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week: hitting the 1 year! :o

From Rio Rancho ! haha this area. is SO different from my last one. Everything is so glamorous up here. There aren't HARDLY as many broken lives as my last area. Everyone lives in houses that are so completely gorgeous. I haven't seen one bulldog, I haven't seen one drug addict. It is such a complete change. But I've come into a Branch that is SO incredible. I have noticed even MORE the importance of members in missionary work. We have so many investigators that are ready to hear the gospel, and it's because these members are the ones that are sharing it to get them excited. Ya'll have something we don't when it comes to your friends. Like. Friendship. haha. So they're the ones inviting their friends to dinner appointments that we happen to show up at-because they had signed up for us too haha ;) and it's so incredible, how willing they are to give rides to investigators, to give up their lives for even 5 minutes to take an investigator to an appointment, or to invite them to family home evening or take them to church. What ya'll can do as members makes all the difference in what God can do with His children. What ya'll decide to do with who we are teaching determines how much more we can fill our potential as missionaries, and how much more successful we can be. Of course, we have our own things to do to help us be successful, but everything is SO much better when we have your support, and everything runs so much smoother.
  Sooo where we're living. We are living with a member, in an apartment above the garage of a member in the English Ward here. The husband is a doctor and a member of the Senate..? I believe ? So ths house is gorgeous haha. We live on a ranch that's amazing, with horses and camels and lamas everywhere, and the sunsets out here are SO PRETTY. It's so fun. I even got to pet a horse the other day :o ! ..hah. that was too excited. anyway. It's so funny, because the water here. We're right next to the Rio Grande River, and I guess we get their water. And there's a GRIP of vitamins and minerals in it still, so. 1, it's not good to drink. and 2. It makes our clothes yellowish when we wash them apparently hah, and 3. It smells like metal whenever we go to brush our teeth or take a shower or something. haaahah cool. :p it's so fun.. it's so different though, seeing how well these families are living, because they're holding on to the gospel more. I feel like that is all that it comes down to. We'll only be as good as we allow God to help us be. But if we keep justifying our actions, and our sins, and the reasons for living the way we live, we will only live according to means we set for ourselves, if that makes sense. We'll only have God with us as much as we let Him be there.
  Umm. What else has been happening. W've noticed that Satan has been working. SO hard on us to try and keep us from getting out and working. I feel like he knows how ready these people are to be helped, so he's trying with all he can with everything materially to stop us from doing what needs to be done. We got here on Tuesday and got working, and at our first visit, Hna. Jardine started feeling sick, which turned into her been out sick for the next 2 days, Wednesday and Thursday. So on my first full day of work here, we went on splits so that I could go out, and I was with Sister Horsford, an English missionary. And so we go to our appointments and visit and try and teach these people I had never before met in my life.. we go to our dinner appointment, then to an English appointment for Sister Horsford, and. hah so weird ! Sister Horsford doesn't know Spanish, so with all of these 'strangers', I had to try and figure out how to fall well with them in our very first visit.. completely alone hah. But. It went well for the most part. I always remember how Gina told me that 'it's only awkward if you make it awkward'. hahah. On Friday our phone dropped in the water, and we couldn't go out without arranging our lessons and getting addresses to everyone.. but this happened to me before. So I knew to soak the phone in rice to soak up the awater. So we just planned and planned, and prayed and tried our faith.... and our phone started working ! And then yesterday we realized that we hadn't filled up on gas, so normally one could just not go out. But the English sisters picked us up ! And we still got to go out. It's so lame, Satan tries, and he just looks dumb when he realizes that when we're with Heavenly Father.. we're a step up from him hah. Heavenly Father always comes through, and ALWAYS. has our backs. As long as we have His.
  But this e-mail is probably long enough. I'm still trying to figure everything out here, but it'll be a good ride. You wanna hear something a lot of missionaries have out here ? It's called the Moleskin. It's a little notebook, and in them we just make a grip of lists of things to really get to know ourselves. Elder Palomo hooked me up with one before he left because I was so excited about them haha. So here are some of the lists we've come up with:
The 'not cool' list
List of future baby names we like
list of baby names we don't like.. hah
what makes us happy
our list of personal beliefs/'affirmations'
bucket list
our will
people that have changed our lives
list of family members/how they've changed you
ALL this cool stuff ! and it's so cool, because you can do/write/draw absolutely whatever you want to in it. and everyone's is so different. SO everyone. Get the moleskin journal. it'll change your life. hah
En cada dia, hay una prueba y una bendicion. en cada momento, nosotros podemos escoger si estamos felices. Nosotros podemos escoger nuestra felicidad, y como vamos a reaccionar hacia cada prueba.. si queremos buscar la leccion. y como dijo Brigham Young.... "Aqui estamos, y aqui vamos a estar."
Ok. No se para donde me voy con todo eso, pero mucha suerte a todos ustedes, querida familia mia. Portense bien. Y gracias por TODAS las oraciones !
Con amor y estilo. jaja ya ok.
La Hermana B.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


.. I'm working on dignifying my language. haha, one day in District Meeting, in front of the Zone Leaders and Assistants to President Miller, my friend Elder Bird said, "Ya, it's like what Sister Batchkoff says.. what do today what you can put off til tomorrow?" . .... I DID NOT SAY THAT hahaha . But it was still funny. anyway. :)
  Sooo I'm getting transferred ! To Rio Rancho/Corrales, NM. I have been there a couple of times for exchanges and stuff like that, so I kiiind of know what it'll be like. But still, not really haha. It is all in comPLETEly trusting in the Lord on this one. He has taken me to places I never knew I needed to be ..the biggest one being a mission. haha. But it really does not matter what we want, if it's not what we need.
  So we ended this past week with a BANG. On Thursday, we were packed with appointments in the afternoon and night, but we were going from one appointment to the next one that we had at church, and I thought. We need to visit Salvador. We hadn't been able to visit him all week because the nights had been so busy, and we had like. 10 free minutes to spare. But it was so strong that we needed to visit him. Sooo we go by there, and we're all talking, and a van pulls up. And he's all, "Oh, son los Testigos de Jehovah.. les dije que pudieron venir hoy." ...meaning..'Oh, those are the Jehovah's Witnesses. I told them that they could come by today." because Salvador is naturally a nice person. Soooo. They come up to all of us while we're talking to him, and we said hi and they sat down and stuff, and it was a father and son. And so we kept answering the questions of Salvador, and then Salvador offers the father a pamphlet to read along. He couldn't accept it, and we started talking about our differences. We were listening most of the time, but the father was explaining how they don't add on to other books, and Salvador pulls out this pamphlet of Joseph Smith's testimony that we had given him the lesson before, and he's all, "Oh no! But Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon with the power of God too! Here, you can have this pamphlet about him if you want, and see!" because Salvador is so innocent. Hahaha Salvador :D even though the man couldn't and didn't desire to take it. It was so insane though, because the entire time I was thinking. WOW. What would have happened had we not come by when I felt like we should have? What would have happened had I not said anything ? So if something is right, we have GOT to speak up, no matter what the opinions are of others. And if something is wrong, we should speak up. We just need to speak up in anything. Because I have learned that in doing so, we're learning how to not be ashamed of ourselves, and how to be true to ourselves.
  Another thing that happened this past week .... at District Meeting on Friday, a meeting with us and like. 3 or 4 other companionships of missionaries that we have every week, Elder Naumann, our District Leader, had asked us the night before to bear our testimonies on the Plan of Salvation. So. There are SO many things that we could talk about, and I hadn't planned anything to we go up there, and immediately it came not my head that I needed to talk about the deaths that have happened while I've been on a mission. From Abraham, our investigator, to Uncle Bob, to Charlie, all in a transfer or so. Sooo. I started talking about that, not knowing what to say, but saying it. And I was looking at the missionaries as I was doing it of course, and this one Elder in particular's face was, and there were tears streaminggg down his face. And so I just kept talking, trying my hardest to help in the best way that I could, and after I was done, this Elder keeps looking over at me, with the sincerest smile I think I have ever seen in my life. I thought that I may have just been over thinking it, but he texted us that night to say, "Thank you so much for your testimony Sister Batchkoff. You said the things I really needed to hear." going on and on about how much he needed it. And I became so overwhelmed, and so mind blown. Finally seeing that I have truly truly helped someone. Because we know that we are always helping somebody, whether it be us or someone else. But I never really knew who I helped. But that was one of the first times I felt most effective as being God's hands, in saying what He wanted me to say to help another one of His incredible missionaries keep going, to be able to save others' lives. I'll take it. I just wanna help someone.
  That happened on Friday. Andd then on Saturday, we went with the Young Men and Women to go do service in this homeless shelter. And it was like the ones in the movies. We walked into their MPR, and there was this woman who may have been a druggy who was making us all smile as we go in...and we were there to serve them lunch. And while we were doing it, I was looking around at these people, who were braiding each other's hair, who were with their families without a father. There were so many different circumstances, and it was so sad seeing them all like that.. just living in a homeless shelter. I don't know how they can do it. I just wanted to know every story, and what happened exactly. Because these people I'm SURE weren't planning on being homeless. But it's interesting. Our choices really really DO map out our lives.
  Sooo. So much more has happened, but this is already way long. Hugo, our investigator, has had a complete change of heart for the better over the weekend. He's going through a hard time, and was questioning whether God was with him, or if He even exists. But he knows for a fact now. Allll of these incredible little things that keep happening. It's amazing.

  El ser u miembro de la única iglesia verdadera es algo que yo no puedo comprender. Lluvia o sol, a fuera o adentro, vamos a tener la esperanza del Evangelio de Jesucristo. Y si nada mas, El esta con nosotros. Si estamos en un mundo extraño con extranos en nuestro alrededor, todavía vamos a tener a nuestro Salvador. El ha vivido lo que vivimos día tras día. El ha sentido lo que sentimos, y ha enfrentado lo que enfrentamos.

me faltan 1 1/2 semanas hasta el 1 ano de esta misión :o!! Hasta el Lunes....

La Hermana B.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Transfer week whatt!!!

This Saturday. It's goin. DOWN. haha not really, I'll probably be here until March 14th, 2011. Leave day haha. But I'm okay with that ! So this week has been a really good one. It's really all about finding the balance of work and life, I've realized. If you have too much of one or the other, something will NOT feel right. Because we all have this potential that God has put in us, and we have one life to use it. And how disappointing will it be looking back on our lives if we can't look back on them with a smile. If we can't look back and say that we lived it up while still doing all that we needed to. Hermana Perez told me earlier, "One of the most handicapping things that one can do is treat someone for who they were yesterday." And I sat there and thought. .. ..... ":O!" How often do we look back on ourselves instead of not looking at what we have become ! If we are constantly looking back, it'll be so much easier to become who we're looking back on. Because it is so hard for the world to accept new people, and changed people. But the incredible thing about the gospel is that it changes us so much, to the point that it makes everything in the world seem so unimportant.
  On Tuesday we had a Zone Training with President Miller and all of the missionaries in our Zone. And our Zone Leaders felt inspired to teach us about how to 'learn, apply, and Endure'. I'm guessingg. That it's been tough for missionaries to be happy, generally. So the Zone Leaders said they were going to ask a couple of the happiest missionaries they knew to share what THEY do to make them the most happy. They called on 2 Elders, and then they say, "Sister Batchkoff. What is it that YOU do to stay as happy as you are on a mission?" And you know what. I had absolutely NO clue what to say haha. So I agreed with Elder Dunnington, when he said that we need to seek out the little things that keep us happy. And I also said that when we have our hardest days, when we're tracking in the sun or when investigator after investigator drops us in one day, it always ALWAYS helps me to think. "k. A year from now. this will be funny. but today it's not." hah ! It keeps a perspective, and also realizing that our lives are not nearly as hard as the ones who we are going and visiting. A perspective is what helps any one of us keep on keeping on, and also ! Finding what truly makes you happy and holding on to it. The simplest things are what we all need to do to keep us from getting caught up in a not-simple world. We just have to put the gospel in everything we love to do. And we'll love life! Haha. Another thing I realized is that all of the 'examples' of happiness came from the Spanish missionaries. I'm just saying :x. hah j/k. The English Elders are incredible too :)
  Another thing I realized, though. is that we never ever know what is going on deep down with every single person we talk to. People see us missionaries as such happy people, people who are untouchable from the world..or so I've heard. How crazy :o but we have so much deep down, that nobody deserves anything less than the most love that we have.
 Anyway. I have a scripture for y'all that I read! Well. A scripture and some chapters.

Luke 7:44-47, Luke 8


La iglesia es verdadera. El amor es lo mas necesario si queremos tener una vida feliz.

Hasta el Lunes !

La Hermana B.

Monday, August 1, 2011


WUDDUPP fam !! Sorry.... We've been at da aquarium all day long, so we're just getting e-mail done right now :o
  But hey!! Salvador got baptized on Saturday!! It was SUCH a cool baptism. Apparently, after he got out of the water and went to change, Elder Naumann asked him how he felt and he said all happy, "I feel like a new person!" haha he. is SO incredible ! He seems so much happier, and I feel like HE feels like he's somewhere where he belongs now, which people who really truly care about him. Cool huh. :)

  So! Salvador's baptism happened. It was so weird, the service started at 3 p.m., so we had the morning to get ready with everything. And Satan was working so hard on us! He was trying so hard to get into our heads, so we were trying to keep ourselves from being stressed out, because the rest of us felt absolutely calm, but he was just trying to get into our heads so much, and give us a reason to stress out, or freak out. But everything went way well. And it was so cool, because Salvador was a referral from the English-speaking Elders.. they had knocked into him, and they were SO excited to find out he was getting baptized, so them along with sooo many other missionaries were there for him. HOW amazing. :)
  That has been what we have been working on all week long, so I don't really have much more that's that interesting. But LUCKY. We have a GRIPP of cool pictures to send ya'll's way ;)
  One thing that I have been learning so much about myself lately is how unbelievably weak I am! It's not fun at.all having it thrown in your face constantly, but Heavenly Father gives ou just enough to chip you off and keep you going. All my life I have been a people-pleaser.. and because of that, I have always looked for ways to relate to others, without being able to truly trly be myself. So after the baptism, us and the Elders went to this El Salvadorian restaurant to have pupusas, and I asked the simple question.. 'what are your dreams?' ..and when it came to it being my turn, I had absolutely NO idea what to say. Everyone knew who they were so much, and had their distinct answers picked out. And when it came to it being my turn, I didn't know what to say. I just want to be happy. So as long as I'm happy, I would imagine that that would be the dream. But that was nothing specific. So I went home, completely crushed. And I started going through Ensigns and Liahonas, looking for what I thought was beautiful. Getting absolutely no other outside opinion but my own, so that I could truly decide for myself. And I put all the pictures I found in a notebook.. and this is some of what I came up with..

-special needs children
-interracial couples
-prisoners who listen to church speakers who go to prisons to give firesides
-happy fathers with their children
-children laughing
-how people look when they cry
-women with no makeup

the simple things like that. so what's beautiful ? and who ARE we really, rather then defining ourselves by what we wear. what do we want to do with ourselves, and the beauty that we all have ?

Anyway though. That's what I got for this week. I have A LOT of pictures to send y'all.. and not a lot of time. So the Church will ALWAYS. be absolutely true. On the flip side.. 

La Hermana B.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Todays the 11 month! :o

Whoa. So guess what CHECK IT. Salvador's getting baptized this Saturday whoop WHOOPP ! I. am SO excited for him ! He's already changed so much. It's so SO cool seeing how the changes someone makes on the inside show so much on the outside, just in how differently they act. It's like Heavenly Father just chips us and refines and refines and refines us, so that others can see Him when they look at us.
  So I'm way excited for Salvador. But we can use all the prayers that we can get k ! This week could be a hard one for him. But it's GO time down here. It ain't NOTHin.. ... ? hah
  Also, we've been having thunderstorms like.whoa. over here. We were gonna leave a less active family's home last night at liiiike. 8:45 or so. But out of nowhere, it just starts. POURING. and thundering, louder and brighter than I have ever seen it before in.mylife. So we stayed there a little longer, since it wasn't too safe. And Hna. Orozco gave us milk and homemade copies and bread.. anndd then. When we saw that it wasn't dying down at all, we just decided to go home so we wouldn't be way late. And we start driving out of the neighborhood, and the streets have waves of water, and the water was up to where our doors start ! hah after only like. 20 or 30 minutes of it. Crazy huh :o
  Umm. We et someone named "Angel Fire." He was a borracho-a drunk- who was outside his apartment, and we were on our way to an appointment. But. He was outside, so we went up and talked to him. So we start talking to him, he tells us his name is Angel Fire, and he has his 40 right next to him. And we did what we do ! We started bearing our testimonies to him, telling him that the restored gospel is on the Earth, that'll take us back to our Heavenly Father with our families..while his friends are inside laughing at us hah. And he says, "You know what. We're not going to heaven. heaven's coming to US." . .... .. ...and I felt SO BAD, not being able to say anything, knowing that I would start laughing if I did. But in the reality of it all, it is so sad seeing people so caught up in sin.. Hermana Perez was telling me yesterday how her grandma had told her, "It's not easy to sin. It's not easy to live with guilt, and too feel bad constantly, and to do the only thing you know how to do more and keep sinning." It's so hard that people look for the complete wrong ways to justify it and make it feel right. But how many times do we keep doing what we do, hoping, or feeling that if it becomes a habit, it becomes okay ? An Elder I know said that people do what they do because they don't see a way out. We shouldn't have to get to the point where we don't see a way out, but Hna. Perez told me this too.. that every single step in the right direction is a step.. no matter how big or small it is. It's one more than you took yesterday.

  I also learned this week that you need to learn to respect yourself if you want respect from anyone else. It's hard being in situations where you're made fun of, or talked down to, even if it's just joking. There is not one single person that has the same life as anyone. There is no point in generalizing anybody, or in putting anyone in a stereotype. Because once we do that, we stop listening. And we stop seeing how much worth every single soul has. And once we see our own worth, and we show that we know what we are worth, we will notice that everyone will start to treat us better. And that we are not EVER worth being talked down to.. and that none else is either.

  Ayyy pues. Asi es la vida esta semana. Ojala que tengamos mas fotos del bautismo de Salvador en este Lunes que viene. Cada dia hay tanto que necesitamos aprender, y disfrutar también. Ojala que busquen estas oportunida

des para ver la felicidad que puedan experimentar. Ojala que vean que el amor es lo mas importante, y que no hay ningún lugar para nada mas. Les quiero, y oro por ustedes. Siemmmpre voy a tener tanta gratitud por cada palabra de esperanza y apoyo, la cual me ha dado mucha mas fortaleza aquí. Gracias gracias !

hasta. la vista baby.

La Hermana B.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Una Semana

... til I hit the 11-month mark :o ! I hear that after the 1-year mark time just FLIES.. not that I would know. I haven't gotten there yet :)

  But anyways!! You want to hear something way cool?? We felt like visiting this investigator of ours one day, but she wasn't home. Bt outside of the home next to her, we saw this woman sitting down. She's elderly, and doesn't have much hair and looks like she may be sick. We decided to go over there, and we approached her and say hi. And we got the absolute coldest look ever. And she was just staring at us and says, "well. what." so! We told her that we have a message for her about Jesus Christ. And we sat down on her porch in front of her, and! we start sharing with her the plan of salvation. and we start talking to her about prayer, and we decided to ask her if she prays. And she starts telling us how she prays in the morning, night, nd before her meals. And I don't know what happened, but out of nowhere she starts crying. sobbing crying. And she just says in between her tears, "Yes. I pray." by the time we got out of that lesson, her heart and attitude had COMPLETELY changed. They had become complete opposites, and she had become so much more open to us and what we had to say. In the matter of less than an hour. I think it is very easy for us to undermind (is that the word ?) the power that our Heavenly Father has. He can make anything happen that we couldn't believe would be possible in our wildest dreams. He can change any- and everyone :)
  Speaking of which! I still have pictures of Salvador dumping out his coffee under the porch of his home when I remember to bring the cord :) He has been beer-free for one week yesterday :) and he came to church again yesterday, and is changing so much! I always wanted to be able to see the hands of our Savior working in the life of someone who has an addiction.. it is so amazing what He can do !
  Heavenly Father has shown me so many weaknesses that I have, in just the short almost 11 months that I have been out here. And Hermana Perez and I keep talking about our weaknesses, and how similar ours are. It is so easy for a missionary to recognize them and be so hard on themselves, but in the reality of life, we're out here trying to consecrate ourselves and be the best we can be, but we don't realize that we still have the rest of our lives to improve after this mission. We may get down on ourselves for not doing right what we keep striving to, or not getting a good grade for example. But life will keep going on! We will keep growing, and we will keep learning from every single day if we search for the lesson in it. There is always a reason Heavenly Father gives us another day. We just don't look for the reason all the time. We will always be weak. But we will always be loved, and always be carried so that we do not feel alone in our weakness.
  Entonces, yo no se que mas debo compartir. Hoy vamos a hacer papusas..? una comida de El Salvador ;) pero les quiero muchisimo. No se que decir del mundo, sino que no mire la pelicula de Harry Potter. Pero gracias les doy por las 3 cartas de correo electronico que recibi yo, explicando que tan asombrosa que fue ajaj ! Broma :p pero con todo que tengo yo, el Evangelio es real, y es lo unico que nos trae el descanso que necesitamos. En los momentos de sonido mas fuerte, nos trae el Evangelio la paz que buscamos.

Portense bien mi familia. Y brace yourselves. 7 meses.

jaja o nunca. los dos estan bien. ;)

La Iglesia es Verdadera....
La Hermana B

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And WHAT! Unodostres :o

Hahahh so in 2 weeks I'm gonna hit my 11-month mark :o so loco no. Pero andele ! Vamanos.
  We have this investigator, Salvador. He is SO INCREDIBLE!! He has been trying and trying to quit coffee and beer, and he has a baptismal date for this coming 30th de Julio. We are so excited for him. The other day we went over his house, and we asked him about his coffee and brought him this coffee substitute we had bought him. And so we asked him to go inside and get his coffee, and so he brings it out, and we asked him if he was ready to leave it. he said yes, so we invited- ;)- him to dump it out underneath his porch hahh ! I'VE ALWAYS wanted to do that ahhah. So I got a picture with him while he was dumping it out, and then afterwards with him and the Nescafe jar. He has such a happy smile on his face! But I forgot my camera cord. So next week. :)
  Allllso, we had a lesson with Salvador last night. He had beer yesterday :/ and knowing that by being a missionary of God, He can give me His power to be able to help others in whatever way they need it. So when he told us this, he kind of laughed, not realizing that. well. drinking is bad. hah, but I started praying to know what to say, or how to bring up the fact that what he did was wrong, so that he knows not to do it again. And then Hermana Perez starts bringing up the commandments, like completely setting it up for me to be able to talk to him about drinking. So before we knew it, we're talking without even realizing how bold we were being, and needed to be. So now! We are going to get him bottles of Coca Cola so that whenever his friends offer him something, he can say. "Oh naw I'm cool, I already have a drink !" genius. haha, but it was so cool, feeling Heavenly Father working through us to help one of His children stop drinking, and be happier! I don't think I will ever be able to fully realize how happy we as human beings can make others. Everything we do can become so contagious.
  Salvador is our main story for this week. We are so excited to see who we can help together. Heavenly Father's hands are in our lives constantly! And I don't mean the lives of me and my companion. Every single one of our lives, if we let Him. YO siento que somos los que lo hacen mas dificil para dejar que nuestro Padre Celestial nos ayude. Pero es mi punto de vista :) yo no puedo predicar lo que no practico, pero de propias experiencias mias, yo se que la vida en general es mas facil que damos todo al Senor. Solamente es dificil hacerlo. Pero asi es. Vamos a tener que econtrar nuestra fe cada dia nuevamente. Porque si no caminamos por la fe, de que caminamos ?

  Ok entonces, es mi tiempo para irme. No recorde mi agenda, entonces no recuerdo la semana cuando pase eso. jaja bien hecho Hermana ! Pero mi familia. TODA mi familia, de la sangre y del amor, les quiero tantisisisimo. Ojala que sepan esto siempre jamas ! Portense bien. :)

La Hermana B.

Transfas! - 7/4/2011

Sooo THIS transfer's different. Hermana Holland's getting transferred to Horizon TAY-HAWS. My first area!! I couldn't even be sad, because I know how happy she's going to be down there, and how 'made' she'll have it, with how amazing it is. I am s completely and thoroughly convinced that it is the best area in the entire world.. I'm not kidding. hah. But of course, this area is absolutely amazing too. Ayy YAY ! I can't believe I'm a missionary. I don't think I ever will. But Hermana Perez is going to be coming up here with me..she's been out a transfer less than me, and didn't speak any Spanish before her mission I believe. But she has the name. Lucky. hahahh ! I'm kidding :)
  Well this week was TAN locita ! We met this woman from Columbia, Janett, who we had given a pass-along card to one day, and Hna. Holland wanted to follow up on it. She's black! Her and her entire family, but her husband is from Cuba, and they all speak Spanish. It is so crazy seeing it, but it's my ab.solute DREAM. hah. but forreall. She's so cool too! And it turns out, miracle of miracles, that she had been having the missionaries over about 2 years ago, and wanted to get baptized and everything! So we taught her again, and never..ever EVER had I seen someone listen so intently in a lesson before. She is so amazing.
  We also have our investigator Salvador! He was a referral from the English Elders, our neighbors, and we were visiting him for a little while, and out of nowhere we visited him the other day, and he's all, "Yo oro? Ok. Yo lo hago." "I'll pray? Ok, I'll do it." and just starts praying! And he had read his Libro de Mormon, and you know what? Lessons are SO MUCH BETTER wen one reads and prays! haha, now he is trying to give up la cerveza (beer) and coffee in the mornings. We're gonna get him a substitute today :) so! Way cool. Please pray for him. pleaseeee please please these people need them more than us family. :) lives can be made so much better!
  ALSO. We have been visiting the Ramirez family everyday, and they're doing well! It's not easy for them, having lost Abraham. But they have so much support, so they're gonna be okay :) I feel that slowwwly. but surely. Everything will be put back together with the family. They can only get better from here.
  You know what the biggest lesson I learned this week was? Because to start off. After speaking at a funeral for our investigator, Abraham, on Friday, and then hearing about Charlie on Monday, I was so exhausted, and drained, and overwhelmed that we just went home after e-mailing, and I cried until we went out to work..only to get dropped by investigators that night hah. But I just cried. and cried. But I gave it all to the Lord. Knowing that there was NO possible way I would be able to go out to work and smile without Him. And He carried me, through every single step that I took. Through every moment of sadness, it was like He was filling it the sadness with even more love that I couldn't have possibly been able to provide myself. It was so incredible, knowing that HE knew just what I needed. And it's what got me through! He is what gets every single one of us through.
  Another cool thing that happened! We were on our way to visit the Ramirez's the other day, when all of a sudden I felt that we shouldn't have been there. What may have happened, I didn't know. But I felt that we should have visited one of our investigators, Gabi. Even though we had just visited her less than a day before. WAY weird, but it was SO CLEAR. So we stopped by Janett's before, who wasn't home. Smart. on our part. Way smart. But I told Hna. Holland about it, and we decided to go to Gabi. On the other side of the city hah. The entire time we were driving there, I was thinking, kay this is miles. Am I ABSOLUTELY SURE that that is what I thought.  And then I thought about it and I was all. Nothing. EVER has come so clear to me as her name did. So! We walked in and talked to them, seeing if everything was okay, saying that we just had a feeling that we should come over to make sure. And Gabi's mouth DROPPED, and her mom was saying that everything was fine, but Gabi looked at me and shook her head, as if it wasn't. WOW the Spirit is SO COOL! Sooo. We talked with them a little, and they're fine now. But paying attention.. REALLY paying attention and basing our hearts and actions off of what Heavenly Father tells us is how we're going to go about doing the most good. How cool is THAT.
  Sooo I'm gonna get going so I can send pictures. Today for the 4th of July we went to this GORGEOUS park to play ultimate frisbee with the Tompkins, and the Pratt's and our Branch President and his family. That's why we're so late. Cuz dude I dominated. hahah ! Just kidding.

  ANyway I love you family! Thank you for all of your support, for all of your love and pray, por mi, pero mas, por nuestros investigadores. Muchas MUCHAS gracias.

La Iglesia es verdadera !

La Hermana B.