Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lactose intolerant

Happy Monday! It was a really interesting week this past week. I got
super sick (again) and have come to the conclusion that not only am I
gluten intolerant, but also lactose intolerant! I absolutely hate
staying in when I am sick so I am excited that I know what it is so I
can avoid it and be healthy and go out!

We got to see a lot of less active people in our area, which was super
awesome. Our bishop gave us a long list of people to see and we saw a
good amount of them and I love being in these members homes. I love
hearing everyone's stories and how they came to know the gospel is
true. I learn so much from everyone I come in contact with...I have
been thinking about this a lot lately. About how my mission is exactly
for me and every experience I have helps me become the person I am
supposed to become.

We got to meet with Courtnie again and she is starting to be more
committed! She needs lots of prayers, though. But at the end of our
lesson with her, she brought out all of her coupons for cigarettes and
asked us to rip them all up! That was super awesome and she was so
happy! She also told us she promised Heavenly Father that she would
read the Book of Mormon every night. She has been happier since she
started doing that. I know it's because the Book of Mormon has the
power to bring the spirit into our lives and as we read it daily, we
feel the spirit more and more.

Missionary life is always a roller coaster but I am so grateful for
every experience- the good and the bad. We have been struggling with
finding in our area, but it is helping me learn patience and diligence
and I know that the Lord is going to bless us! I love serving with
Sister Santiago. I am so blessed to be where I am right now. I know
Heavenly Father is so very aware of each of us individually. I don't
really understand how it works, but I know that it is true. I was
reminded of this when I got a blessing while I was sick. He loves us
and will never leave us.


Love being companions with Sister Santiago!

Exchanges with Sister Baggett!

Monday, May 16, 2016


WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?! I hit ELEVEN MONTHS this past week! I feel
like time is just going faster and faster and I am realizing 7 months
is NOTHING! I'm so grateful I have this short time to serve my
Heavenly Father. And really, this whole experience is changing me into
the person I was meant to be and I'm eternally grateful for that!

This week was full of stress, but it was so good! Nathalie Barton got
baptized on Saturday! We had to finish all the lessons with her this
week and Heavenly Father made everything work out. She was so happy
and it was cool to see Brother Barton baptize her! It is so cool to
see families change. Makes everything all worth it :)

I've been thinking about Alma 26 a lot throughout this week.
Especially verse 27, when the Lord says to be patient and success will
come. I have come to know that this is true! Heavenly Father tests our
patience and when we endure, he comes through and blesses us.
Throughout my mission, I have learned how to rely on Him and learn to
do His will. I am so grateful for the joy that comes as I am in His
service and in the service of those around me!

We had the awesome opportunity to go to Independence on Thursday and
Friday for a visitors center training. Brother Bracken Hodges from the
missionary department flew out from salt lake to train us. I felt so
special because I'm not even a visitor center called sister but I got
to attend! It was amazing and I learned so much. I forgot how much I
missed the visitors center though! But what we learned can be applied
to missionary work anywhere. Something he kept talking about is every
single person that walks in the visitors center (or that we see in our
area) is a child of God and He sees them as someone capable of earning
eternal life. I am trying to remember that always and it has changed
how I see people. That I am here to help people receive the gift of
eternal life.

Anyway, this week was pretty good and I am excited for another week of
miracles! I am loving every second here and am grateful for all that I
am learning. Love you all!

Nathalie Baptism- May 14, 2016

The Barton family

Sister Santiago

Monday, May 9, 2016

For Want of a Nail

Hello friends and family! I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's
Day! This week was amazing, full of miracles! It's so cool to see the
blessings of missionary work! A definite highlight was skyping my
family! I am so grateful for families and my love for my family has
definitely deepened since I have been on my mission. It was so so so
good to talk to them.

The greatest miracle of the week: We met a man named Justin on Monday.
We were talking to his neighbor and he came out and walked down the
stairs and then he came back up to ask us who we were...he told us he
just felt like he needed to meet us. We told him who we were and
started talking about Joseph Smith and shared the first vision with
him. Sister Santiago got emotional and Justin stopped us and said "I
can see it in you and this is real, y'all aren't faking it." The
spirit was so strong! He said he was super ready for this and Sister
Santiago and I didn't even know what to say! I know that moment was
supposed to happen! We set a return appointment and we went back
Friday and his friend, Joe was with him! Joe sat in on the lesson and
they both totally opened up to us. We showed the hope of gods light
video and it was so personal to them...they could relate so well. We
talked about a bunch of different things but I felt like Heavenly
Father truly prepared them and I was overcome with love. We invited
them to be baptized...They both committed to baptism on June 11!

Joe, Leia and Justin

The very next day, we went to the Liberty jail with them! They said
they were not expecting a spiritual experience at all, but they got
one! They loved it and were able to relate so much of what Joseph
Smith went through to themselves. They didn't make it to church but we
are praying so hard they progress!

We had a lesson with the Barton family and Nathalie said she wanted to
get baptized! We asked for May 28, and she said she can't that weekend
so she was looking into June and then said "that's too far away, can
we do the 14?" So Nathalie is getting baptized THIS SATURDAY if all
goes well!

We are continuing to see miracles and I am realizing that it's a
miracle just to be on a mission and representing the Savior. It is
just a wonderful calling and I am humbled that I get to wear His name
on my chest everyday. Time goes fast, but I'm grateful for this time
in my life.

We had zone training on Friday and this poem was shared and I wanted
to share it with everyone. It's called For Want of a Nail.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I know that obedience to the little things matter. It is the little
things that help us to keep the spirit with us as our companion. I am
grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless us! And He
has given us commandments so that He can bless us! I am so grateful
for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Only white sister in the zone :)

Zone training

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thunderstorms & Baptisms

Aloha friends and family! This week we had some amazing
thunderstorms!! The Midwest has the best storms ever! And thankfully
we had a car, so we didn't have to be on bikes through it all! I'm so
excited for the storm season!

This week was a major roller coaster! The highlight of the week,
though, was Jacob's baptism! It started off rocky, like most baptism
days do, but in the end, he was baptized and he was so happy! I'll
never forget his huge smile on his face when we came out of the water!
He is going to be the light to his family, I just know it. He is such
a special kid and it's people like him who make this all worth it!

We had an AMAZING lesson with this girl named Athena. She is 22 and
has two kids and we brought a young sister, Sister Peterson, from the
ward to teach with us. Sister Peterson was AMAZING. She basically
taught the lesson and answered Athena's questions. And she answered
them way better than I would have! Athena really opened up to us and
cried and told us she hasn't ever felt like this before. We testified
that she was feeling the spirit and she could feel like that all the
time. She said she would be baptized once she knew this was true!
Sister Peterson then invited Athena to dinner when she feeds us! Best
member present ever!! Members are the best!

Our bishop is amazing and he went through the whole ward roster and he
sorted everyone into lists based on what their next priesthood
ordinance needs to be. He gave us the lists for sacrament and baptism,
so we have been visiting a lot of those families. It has been cool to
enter into people's homes and help them feel the spirit. There is one
family in particular, the Lugo family, who we are going back to see
again this week who I feel is a family we can help a lot. Being a
missionary is the best. One of the families that we met moved here
from EAGLE, IDAHO! They were in the 7th ward!!! Their last name is
Watts, so if any of you know the Watts, they're in my ward here! It's
such a small world!

Courtnie is still working on the word of wisdom. I have no doubt that
she will be able to overcome it. We helped her move- her family is
moving in with her mother and brother in law. I am grateful for any
opportunity we have to do service and help, especially because I have
grown such a deep love for these people. Courtnie is doing so well
with her scripture reading and praying. We just need to get her to
church and to continue to quit smoking. She will forever be a special
part of my mission.

I am loving being companions with Sister Santiago! We have so much fun
together and we get a lot of work done. It's cool because we have
similar goals and we have been trying to help each other recognize
promptings of the spirit more. It's been a roller coaster week, like I
said, but this is when I know companionships are inspired. Heavenly
Father knows what we need and when we need it and I am so grateful for

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Mother's Day!! Love you!
Yay for district pics!

Our Jacob boy!!!  Baptism day!

This is the "Jacob" face, haha!