Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 21, 2015 Week 43 Week of Christmas

Hola familia!

This week we had a zone meeting and normally the ZL's go to the office to bring back supplies, packages, and letters, etc. When I got to the table and saw the mountain of packages with my name on it, I felt so loved haha! Thanks family!! :)

This week we haven't taught many lessons, but the ones we did teach were solid! We found several new investigators ,which is really exciting!!! Like I said last week, Smithy is a great companion. It is difficult for her to speak and feel confident in the language, but the good news is that I was where she was when I first came out too and it seems like I know the exact counsel she needs to hear. Oh I remember the tears, the stress and the frustration- but there is hope because it can only get better from there. 

I love this time of year when everybody is nicer to us. We take full advantage of all the opportunities people invite us to come into their homes. Last week it snowed a good couple of inches and I had to re-learn how to drive in the snow! It was a nightmare, but thankfully the snow melted the next afternoon. I turned into a bit of a scrooge that day because driving in the snow is dangerous and I don't have any experience. Who knew this southern girl would have to get comfortable with all of this white stuff falling out of the sky?! This week it has been raining a lot, and it looks like we aren't going to have a white Christmas.  All the other missionaries have been complaining, but you won't hear a peep from me haha! 

On Saturday we had our Spanish ward Christmas fiesta! It was a little disappointing because none of the dozens of people we invited showed up:(  Many of the ward members got together to put on a nativity show, complete with decorations, and lots of songs! They had asked me to direct the songs during the practices, but the day of the party they decided they didn't need me anymore. I wasn't upset about that because during the actual performance it sounded like 2 trains colliding together!!! Anyway, the other half of the fiesta turned out really good, like they always have in the past. These people really know how to party.

I am STOKED to talk to y'all on Christmas day:)) Actually, I have mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness because this time next year, I will have already come home and finished another semester at BYU. My mission is on the downward slope and that makes me really sad because I love it so very much. I try not to think about it too much. I have met some wonderful people here. I will miss everyone.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Hermana Moss :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14th, 2015 Week 42 Ingrown Toe

Hola familia!

This week went really well! It was Hermana Collins' last week and we spent some extra time at home so she could pack and get all her other things organized. I am going to miss her a lot! All her quirks and little things she would say to make me laugh. I am so glad I will see her again at BYU, she is a keeper :) We are already planning to go country dancing on club nights and do temple sessions on Saturday mornings! 

We also spent extra time at home because on Wednesday, I went to the podiatrist to get an ingrown out:( I've had it for the past month and I just thought it would go away like all the other ones I've had in the past, but this one was really bad haha! It was kind of cool though, the day I called to get an appointment they scheduled me to come within an hour! Maybe it's just because Caldwell is a small town, but I count my blessings when I see them. As soon as the doctor came in to examine my toe, he said "You've been doing bathroom surgery huh?" I thought that was funny that he knew all of my secrets haha! Anyway the procedure was somewhat gruesome. A nurse came in to freeze spray it, then gave me not one, but TWO shots to numb me. Then 20 minutes later when my toe was the size of a small potato, the doctor came in with industrial looking clippers and a sort of rectangular shaped razor blade. I got dizzy looking at it, I even think Collins got a little woozy too as she was holding my hand. The doctor also injected some chemical burn at my request so that the ingrown will never come back. It was over faster then I thought it would, and within 8 minutes I was walking out of there. As y'all can imagine, I still struggle to walk straight, but that doesn't slow me down. There are people the Lord needs me to visit, and my toe isn't gonna stop me! 

Saturday we got transfer calls! Guess what?  I'm staying for another go round here in Caldwell! Spanish sisters will soon go extinct because there are only 9 of us now, and Collins going home doesn't help:(  I am super excited to be with my new comp, Sister Smith.  She actually got called to English speaking, but President  Cannon thought it best to move her to Spanish with me, which never happens to all but 1 out of 100 missionaries. We have a lot in common so far: she is half Mexican, loves Mexican food, the people, and she also learned Spanish in high school instead of at home. President also told me to take an extra hour with Smithy to help her learn Spanish and help her retrain and adjust to her new situation. This is huge! I feel so honored to re-train a sister in Spanish! I know we will see BIG miracles, and I can't wait to get started!!

So for Collins' last day, she wanted to go tracting. It was pretty cool, out of 6 houses, 3 of them said to come back and seemed pretty interested.  Most of the houses we went to had a beware of dog sign, but they are mostly just a lawn decoration. The last house we knocked had one and we went up to it like it was nothing, but this sign was true to its word!!! These people had a huge pit bull that snarled and barked at us, normally I'm not scared of dogs but this one meant business. The gate barely held together and we did our best to hold it closed while the dog went crazy trying to get at us. The first moment that we could escape we ran!  I never thought something like this would happen because everyone is pretty nice to us, but I guess I can expect anything now.  I didn't know I could run that fast! lol.

Welp familia! Have a great semana! Do well in school, study hard, and have fun! Congrats Elijah for getting into BYUI! I'm so proud of you!

I love you all so much.

Hermana Moss:)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 41 December 7, 2015 Thanksgiving

Hola familia!

Welp this week has been super totally awesome! Everything just flowed, even the weather was pretty good. We haven't had snow yet this week. That in itself is my own personal miracle, Heavenly Father knows me so well that he has mercy on me while I’m here, haha! Or at least that’s what I’d like to believe. 

On Monday we went with some other missionaries to see the Christmas lights here in downtown Caldwell. They were so pretty! I didn’t take a lot of pictures because my hands got frozen to the hot chocolate cup I was holding. It’s kind of cute, the city of Caldwell is so small that everybody knows everybody. But they all get together to put up lights on all the old buildings, the missionaries are about the only outsiders that come and marvel at the lights this time of season. Nevertheless, it was fun for all of us to walk around and breathe in the Christmas air. It made me happy.

On Tuesday we went on exchanges with some more English sisters in Nampa. It’s hard to be the only person in the companionship able to speak the language because you do all the talking, and if you happen to not understand something you can’t turn to your comp and rely on them to understand anything!  Sacry!  Although I understand and can speak well enough for the both of us, it gets to be a little boring hearing myself talk the whole time. Anyway, as Sister Angelos and I did a lot of contacting and tracting while we were in my area for the day. At one of the doors we knocked, a woman answered the door with a sort of perplexed look. I went ahead and did my door approach, but right in the middle of my approach, she woman interrupted me and invited us in because she didn’t want to let the cold air in. So we came in and I proceeded to finish my spiritual thought, and just like the first time she interrupted me again! Except this time she started telling me about how she had met other missionaries before and they taught her the lessons but she didn’t feel the Spirit, but this time she immediately recognized that there was a completely different feeling when we came into her home. She explained that she felt so much love and faith that shown through my eyes and that I really believed what I saying. In the Hispanic culture, they receive revelation and feel the Spirit through dreams, thoughts, and feelings. It was funny because the night before, Sister Angelos and I were talking about our missions, and if we felt that we still had people we needed to meet. This woman’s name is Xochitl.  As soon as I met Xochitl, I felt an immediate connection to her, I don’t even know her and I loved her so much!!!  Even Sister Angelos said that although she couldn’t understand a single word, she felt the Spirit pour into the room and that she could tell something big was happening. We came back later that week, taught her and her daughter, Adamary the 1st lesson to which they both accepted a baptismal date in January!!!! Then on Sunday Xochitl brought her family to church!!  And of course it was fast and testimony meeting, and some of the people who gave their testimonies brought Xochitl to tears- it was quite a wonderful Sunday. This experience was a huge miracle for me. While I was in Ontario and the first 3 transfers of Caldwell, I was with native companions and I struggled to feel like I was contributing. Most of the time I felt like I was the chauffer and only present in all of the lessons to make sure my comps were never alone. I especially felt like I was sent here to help the kids, who speak mostly English, the adult investigators speak mostly Spanish. Basically I listened while my senior companion would speak Spanish to the adults and I would teach the kiddos on the side.  But being with a non-native companion has been an answer to prayers, and Xochitl was a direct answer to my prayers. Feeling needed and important is such a big blessing to me right now. 

Friday was my 9 month mark! Halfway Whoo Hoo!  In the mission there are all sorts of traditions, so I decided that I just wanted to go to breakfast with Hern and Hawn at Denny’s. As we finished up, our waiter told us that someone had already paid for all of our checks! This isn’t the first time that someone has paid for us, but today I was especially grateful for that generous gift. On my music USB, I have the Disney song ‘Merry Un-birthday’ from Alice in Wonderland and we were singing it all the way there and back from Denny’s. It definitely felt like my birthday :) 

We had a district meeting on Saturday. It was soooo good! We talked about fear and it really helped me understand how much I rely on the Savior and how much he has helped me during my times of trial. I wish I could tell y'all everything I learned but I'm running out of time.

On Sunday we asked one of our ward mission leaders to see the Christmas broadcast at his house. It was so awesome, I loved the beautiful music. In our last zone conference, President Cannon introduced the new Christmas initiative video and encouraged all of us to share it with the people we teach and have dinner with. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! If y'all haven't seen the new video- watch it! 

Les quiero mucho! Que tengan una buena semana:))

Hermana Moss

Week 40 November 30, 2015 Hern's BF/Snow

Hola familia!

My weeks are crazy busy and I never have time to say everything I want to say.  My mission is amazing, I love my companion, spanish is still frustrating, and it's freaking cold!  There, that is the end of my update about me haha. I could stop now but I think y'all would be disappointed if I didn't fill you in on the other details. They are thusly:

It snowed this week!!! AJKSDBFAWLEBG!!! It was magical. I was on exchanges while it happened, that day I had never walked so far on my mission.. Speaking of firsts, I had my first slammed door in my face. She must've had a bad day or something, after we knocked three times she opened it and said that if she didn't open it the first time then we shouldn't have knocked a second or third. Haha there's a first for everything right? It's weird though, normally Hispanics are super nice to us, even if they aren't interested in our message. This lady was not hispanic... this is why I'm glad I'm a Spanish hermana. 

Thanksgiving was super awesome. We were invited to 4 different homes and we ate like King Henry VIII..... Collins had to roll me back into our home afterward. The day after Thanksgiving we were invited to have leftover turkey tacos with a family in the Spanish ward.  
Saturday I got to meet Sister Hernandez's boyfriend who was in town! His name is Gideon and is the sweetest guy ever! I am so happy for them, they seem like they go so well together!! It was so cool to finally meet him, although Hern couldn't be there, at least I was able to spend time with him and his family! :D

Welp familia! That's all I got for y'all this week. have a good one!

Hermana Moss :D

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 39 November 23, 2015 Fun with Guti

Hola familia!

I got your packages this week mom, thank you so much:))) Hope everybody is doing well and enjoys Thanksgiving this week! I know I will!! Heaven knows the amount of food that will be offered to us this week. 'Tis the season to bust out the sweatpants and pepto bismol! :D

This Wednesday we had zone conference. It's always wonderful when we get to listen to President Cannon and Sister Cannon deliver inspired messages. This conference was dedicated to the importance of consecration, and the principles of hastening the work of salvation. We also had a really sweet testimony meeting. The entire conference was amazing, but it wasn't until the testimony meeting that I realized that I wasn't doing everything I can to consecrate myself. That night I went home and thought some things through, and decided that for the last 9 months I am going to give everything I have to the Lord. Consecration was put into a new perspective for me, and I have already seen little miracles as I rely on the Lord's help.

This week I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Gutierrez!!! It was so much fun to be with her in Nampa.  A lot has changed, but being with her brought back fond memories and we stayed up talking about stuff and laughing our heads off. I LOVE GUTI!!!!!

Saturday was really cool, our district leaders' ward threw a mock MTC for the youth, and asked us to teach the class rotations. Collins and I were assigned to teach how to extend commitments and do a tracting approach. It was a good experience teaching the youth how to knock on doors and talk to complete random people. As we taught them, it was a reminder to me of how important our calling is and how much responsibility we have as representatives of the Lord. I hope my brothers are paying attention at church and home, because they will need to know some things.  Read the BOM boys!

On Saturday, we had a great lesson about the Atonement with Jovany at a member's house. He has been having some difficulty deciding whether to take that leap of faith now or later when he feels more 'ready'.  Please continue praying for him!!! 

Welp I love you familia! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Hermana Moss :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Week 38 November 16, 2015 Hermana Collins goes home next month

Hola familia!

This week passed by both fast and slow. My new companion, Sister Collins, is so amazing! I love her so much! She is from Florida and this is her last transfer before she goes home, which is sad because I am going to miss her a bunch. 

So in our new companionship, I recognize that I am the most fluent and now I will probably have to take a much bigger role in all of our lessons. I am so terrified of this, but so ready for this new challenge! This will give me the opportunity to really use the gift of tongues and rely 100% on the Lord. I expect miracles this transfer, even if it is only 5 weeks long. 

So since Collins is an STL, she has to go to all the meetings: MLC, DLC, and lots of exchanges!! Which means that Hawn and I got to go on some fun exchanges this week! I loved spending time with her, reminded me of the good old days back in Ontario. Then on Saturday, Collins and Hern had DLC, so Hawn and I were supposed to go on another exchange, but it turns out that they couldn't make it to the meeting and the other elders felt uncomfortable about me being alone for the next 2 hours so they asked me to join the meeting. I don't know what it is, but last transfer and this one it feels like the Lord wants me to be around people with leadership callings... I have no problem with that, but what is it that I need to learn in order to fulfill this calling? And what do  I need to learn from my experiences with Hern being a newly called STL and now with Collins? Collins calls me her fancy Sister Training Leader secretary/assistant. Haha :)

We had zone meeting this week and our zone leaders extended a challenge to us called a 30 day fast and feast. So for the next 30 days I will be taking some of my bad habits, or traits that I want to change and fasting on them, and just exercising exact obedience. I am super excited for this! I know the Lord will help me in my righteous endeavors and I am so glad I have Collins to help me -- she is my anchor in this and I am hers in her goals. 

Saturday, we had a quincenera for a YW in the Spanish ward. It was so fun to see this sweet girl come into society and I got to see all the people in the ward come and support her. It is a great tradition and a perfect opportunity to get together. Plus nothing is as good as a Spanish fiesta! Who wouldn't want to come to those?

Welp familia! I love you! Enjoy the cold weather!

Hermana Moss:)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 37 November 9, 2015 Hern got transferred

Hola familia!

Welp transfers have come and gone! Good news and bad news - good news first - I am staying in Caldwell, the bad news is - Hern got transferred to the other side of Caldwell. :(  I will still get to see her at Bishop's meetings, the spanish wards and other activities, but it won't be the same! I will miss her dearly and I can't wait to see her in Utah next year and reminisce about all the fun we had on our mission! More good news - my new comp's name is Hermana Collins and I already love her to pieces!  I haven't served with her yet, but all the Spanish missionaries know each other and they say she is a hard worker and is so loving and kind.  I am super excited to to serve with her.

This week was super slow compared to the last week, mainly because of the transfer craziness.  I think we only got in about 15 lessons..which was super slow for us. Jovany is doing well! I spoke with him yesterday about some of his concerns and hopefully it helped.  He has kind of reached out to another one of the elders in our area for counsel and advice, because it's hard for sisters to teach a young man about the priesthood and other responsibilities. Please continue to pray for him.  Baptism is scary and he is so close!!!  He just needs to take that leap of faith and he'll be swimming like a boss in the baptismal font!

This week, Hern and I took one of the Young Women out with us to help teach some lessons. It totally made me remember all the times that I went out with the sisters before my mission, in fact that's what got me out here! Anyway, by the end of the day when we were taking her home, we asked her how she thought it went. She told us that she has already learned a lot about what it takes to be a good missionary! That melted my heart, just hearing those words from someone else who thinks we are good missionaries made our night. Sometimes, I need to hear that I am doing the right thing and succeeding in the work, that is what makes me truly happy.  I want Heavenly Father to be happy with my sacrifice ultimately.  

We have a ward mission leader who is fantastic, but even though he has put his heart and soul into hastening the work of salvation, he hasn't seen his hard work come to fruition and he is discouraged. I feel like that occasionally, when I'm not sure how I need to change to be a better tool in the Lords hands. Gahh! But I know that the Lord knows what He's doing and all I have to do is trust in Him. 

Stay warm familia!  Winter is sneaking up on me here in Idaho.. I am not in Texas anymore! Burrrr!

Love you!

Hermana Moss:)