Monday, January 13, 2014


I LOVE being a missionary. This literally is the dream life and I seriously don't think I ever EVER want to leave. This week was literally sacred. Miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle. THESE PEOPLE ARE INCREDIBLE. I love this place, my companions, and this great work. So many incredible things happened, and most of it I can't even talk about because it was so incredible. I have LITERALLY seen first hand how the work of the Lord is HASTENING---like a bullet. People are ready. There is SO SO SO MUCH work to be done and I love it so much. The field is white and READY to harvest.  Don't believe me? Listen to this...

Nancy Salzarpineda, from El Salvador---an 17 year old girl that we have been teaching. She IS A ROCK---literally the strongest woman that I know. Probably one of the funniest, but also the strongest. NOTHING shakes this girl. She is getting baptized on January 28!!!! We can't even WAIT!!! AHHH! Well, MIRACLE. We taught her the Word of Wisdom the other day, and that weekend she went to a party. At that party all of her friends were smoking marijuana. They were passing it around the circle and it came her turn. She took it in her hands and thought to herself something we had taught her before, "What would Jesus do?" Without hesitation she said she INSTANTLY crushed it out. Her friends were, in the words of Nancy, "Extremely ticked." What was even cooler about this moment was that after Nancy crushed it out, She began to give her friends a 30 minute lecture on how smoking and drinking are not healthy for your body. In her own words, Nancy said, "I dunno what came over me! But I just started teaching them the word of wisdom and they all looked at me like I was a crazy person. I told them to plan on me never being apart of this stuff AGAIN! It wasn't even that hard for me, because I know who I am and I know what God wants me to do, so that is all that matters! And you know what? They haven't invited me to any of their parties since." WOW. Talk about one of the NOBLE and GREAT youth of the Church. She is amazing! What's more is that she is getting no support from her family in this process of getting baptized. But she KNOWS it is true and can therefore not deny it. "My greatest hope is that after I get baptized, my whole family will just follow suite," She says. I don't know of too many teens that are learning about the Gospel who would have had the guts, the testimony and the enthusiasm to do what she does. I WANT TO BE LIKE NANCY. Fear no one, and live your life because you Love God.

And...If that wasn't enough, she has had really cold feet about being baptized, but she is MORE than ready. But, another miracle happened. The other day, she HAD A DREAM. Her dream was that she got baptized, and then she was in some foreign place telling other people her story of being converted. CHILLS ran up my spine when she said that. We said, "Nancy, I think you are going on a mission." She just responded, "I know." WOW. This girl is UNREAL and is literally one that will change this ward, the church and the world. I am so grateful I have been able to be apart of watching her change her life and come unto Christ. Despite the fact that her friends don't like what we believe, her parents aren't super supportive, SHE STANDS STRONG to WHO she is and WHAT she knows. She doesn't care what the world thinks of her, she only cares about what God thinks! She has already been inviting her family to come to her baptism. She is going to be the fire that sets her family on fire. I LOVE IT.

Side note: This week we went on exchanges! I LOVE THE HERMANAS SO MUCH!! Seriously. I consider it one of the biggest blessing and opportunities to serve them as a sister training leader. I am learning how to listen to people and how to discern their needs. I know now more than ever HOW MUCH God cares about His children and wants to help them. We are all brothers and sisters in this life and we should all be looking out for each other and listening and helping each other out. This week I got to do an exchange with Hermana Wilcox, one of my old companions! I LOVE that girl! It is so amazing to see how she is growing and progressing here on the mission. I love seeing all the different areas, hermanas and ways to do missionary work. I literally am learning so much from all of them! It has pushed me to find ways to help kick-start their areas and help with whatever their concerns and needs are. I truly do love these girls. So much that my companions and I are EXHAUSTEDLY lost in the needs and life of them and our investigators. I know it sounds crazy----BUT I LOVE IT.

The gospel is a gospel of CHANGE. Juan Gonzalez has been someone that has LITERALLY changed because of the Gospel. As you know, Juan was the one we met in the street, and he said that he is ready to change. Well, he is. AND HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON THE 25 of JANUARY!! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!! He is on fire as well!!! His first Sunday in church is one that I will never forget. Juan is a 60 year old garbage man and the GREATEST person I know. He is so humble, a hard worker and has a sincere desire to follow God. Well, he walked into church 3 weeks ago with his torn up jeans, truckers hat and bright yellow garbage man coat---his face PLASTERED with a smile. CLASSIC. No one cared what he was wearing, because his attitude and joy about being in church distracted from all else. The ward loved him. He came to family home evening at the Bishop's house.  We continued to teach him the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Juan started keeping the word of wisdom, started reading the Book of Mormon, started to repent. HE CHANGED. This past Sunday he looked like a totally different person. I had to do a double take just to make sure that it was him.  He showed up in a nicely-ironed button up shirt with slacks! He did his hair and looked like a member! It was amazing! THE ATONEMENT AND GOSPEL OF CHRIST HAS LITERALLY CHANGED HIM. He is going to be baptized and it is truly a miracle! I am so excited for him!!! I asked him yesterday if he is inviting his friends to come see him get baptized, and he said, "well, no," he said with a smile, "They'll all be drunk." I am so happy for Juan and that he has given up the world and come unto the lighter, more happy way of life and that is through following our Savior Jesus Christ.  We had a baptism in the ward this past week (they asked me to sing, so I had my companions join  and we sang "I know my Redeemer lives"---the Spirit was SO strong. Lots of weeping.) and Juan came!! He told us that he is ready to follow Christ and be baptized! The entire ward has been involved in his conversion process and it is SO exciting for him and to see all of the changes that have happened. GO JUAN!! I love that man.

Funny side note: One of our investigators Liz is determined to take me back with her to Peru. So if you don't see me in August, I am in Peru. Love you!

Byron and Hna. Portillo are FINALLY thinking about getting married and so now BYRON CAN GET BAPTIZED! YAY!!! So, we taught Byron all about the Book of Mormon this week and I will forever remember this lesson because of the way he treated the Book of Mormon. After explaining how much the Book means to me and how it has changed my life and after testifying with all my heart that I know that it is true and that my Savior Jesus Christ lives....I handed him the Book. I said, "Byron in your hands you hold the greatest gift that I have ever given. Let it change you, and read it, study it. In here God has shown you the plan and how to make it through this crazy journey called life and still come out on top." He took the book, half of him shaking and he cradled it in his hands and stared at it for the rest of the lesson. He said, "I will read this book, because I know it is of God." AMAZING. Do we really TREASURE the Book of Mormon? I hope so, because it is the GREATEST thing ever given to man. It is my right-hand man. I love it.
We gave the Book of Mormon to another one of our investigators Juan Carlos, and right after we said "Amen" to the closing prayer of the lesson he took the Book and ran upstairs saying, "I am going to start reading this book now! I have waited a while for this!" MIRACLES.

Amazing miracles are happening all of over the place and I just wish that there was MORE time. So many people have been prepared for this amazing message and God really is PUTTING them in our paths....

It was DOWN POURING rain outside and we were following up with some investigators, that is when we saw two ladies trying to carry a TON of groceries across the street. We were already SOAKING wet, but with a smile we asked, "Can we help you carry your groceries, we represent the Savior Jesus Christ and we have been sent here to serve you." They looked at us in awe and we walked all the way to their house. They are from Guatemala! They invited us in and now we are teaching them! Amazing how the Lord works.

On Thursday some huge miracles happened. All of our plans, back up plans and back up plans to the back up plans fell through. So we prayed. We were led and guided to a specific door in a apartment complex. Reina answered. She had been taking the missionary discussions before in her country, but couldn't find the missionaries here. And, THERE WE WERE!!! We came in and started teaching the first lesson, as we related the story of Joseph Smith she began to cry. She said, "I feel something inside of my heart that I have never felt before in my life." I got the chills again. She is an amazing lady, and I know that God sent us to that door, so that we could find her and her family! We are so excited to teach them!

I am so grateful to all of you. Seriously. Thank you for your support, love and prayers. I hope you never forget how much I love you. I pray for you always and wish you the best. The work is hastening. And I am so excited to hear that you guys are getting involved in the work of the Lord. It is truly the most happy, most exhausting, best, exhilarating, thing that I have EVER done. I hope you share your light with someone this week and never forget who you are and WHOSE you are and WHAT you represent. The world needs people to STAND. So...


Hermana Weenig
I gave my bag to this cute girl from Honduras that I met on an exchange! She said that she will carry her scriptures in it and wants to be a worthy and strong young woman that is a light to the world! You go girl!

Emma came to church for the first time! She is an 18 year old from Bolivia! And she told us after church that she TOO wants to be baptized! She is on fire! :)


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