Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This is IT!

I can't even begin to BELIEVE that this is my last email as a missionary. This last week has been so FULL of miracles--as always, but extra special! We have been working REALLY hard! Teaching when we find and finding when we teach, this week we found 4 new investigators, which is really good for our area! We had our last zone meeting this week and I bore my testimony with the other departing missionaries for the rest of our zone members, I'm the only sister in the Zone going home, and I even got a little misty while sharing my testimony! I have loved serving the Lord here in Oakland/SF.

I was also very blessed to go to the TEMPLE! with President and Sister Meredith, I will miss them SO MUCH! they truly were my spiritual parents here while I was away from my real parents (don't worry Mom and Dad, I was well taken care of). I love them a lot.

The last exchange. It was SO full of miracles! I went to the Samoan sister's area (their area is HUGE--it covers the entire peninsula) and It is always so humbling to be with them. Their members are amazing missionaries! They helped us out so much this week, we went on splits and were able to teach so many lessons and the spirit was so strong! I had Turkey Tail for the last time in probably a long time--oooooh Samoan barbeque! Also, Sister Fitu gave me a beautiful hand-made skirt from Samoa as a going-away present. I love her! and I feel so blessed.

Mike passed the Sacrament! Now THAT was the cherry on the cake! I could not have asked for anything greater than to see Mike use the Priesthood that he was so recently given! It was so amazing. Also during Sacrament Meeting yesterday I sang in our last trio with Socorro and Hermana McLaws! We sang "Jehova Mi pastor es" in a capella 3 part harmony! I will definitely miss that.
Well, there's 2 minutes left on my computer and there's lots of packing to do on this last P-day, so I hope you all know that I love you, and I could not have done this missionary work without your love, prayers, support, and encouragement! The Lord will bless you so much!!!
See you soon!
Hermana Mitchell

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2nd-to-last email from the field! Happy Birthday Kristin!!

Hi family and friends! This week has been so wonderful. New Years Eve was FUN! we had a big missionary party and watched a couple of fun movies (Despicable me 2, Monster's Inc Univeristy...) Sister McLaws and I voted for Lion King and Prince of Egypt, but those were out voted. The best part of it all was being with a bunch of missionaries playing games and eating good food, I'm sure it was the safest party going on in the whole Bay Area! We were safe and sound asleep in our beds by 10pm. Not even a single firework woke us up :)

We saw so many miracles this week! Exchanges are still going strong and we are trying to teach more lessons! The hardest part of missionary work lately is getting members to come with us! I know it's the Holidays and everything, but I wonder if they understand that if we don't have another member with us, we can't even get in the door to teach! Our members aren't really excited about missionary work... YET! We're trying to love them and serve them the very best we can and help them catch the joy and excitement and BLESSINGS of bringing our brothers and sisters to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Mike (our recent convert) came to a lesson with us a bore his testimony so powerfully to a new investigator this week :) I wanted to cry! I love how those who recently come into the gospel have such a fire to share it with others, I wish all members were like that--I wish I were like that before my mission!!!  but like President Uchtdorf says, it doesn't matter if the best time to start something was 20 years ago, the second best time to start it is now! I can't believe that my mission has flown by like it has, but as my missionary cousin Marie Clyde just sent me in an email, "this is a transfer from the harvesting field to the planting and nurturing field." I want that to carry that theme in the way I serve for the rest of my life!

Aaaaand, today's my birthday! Sister McLaws surprised me this morning with chocolate cake for breakfast! Then after we studied for a couple hours we had a birthday breakfast with our district--pancakes and birthday cake! ..... .... I know, totally the WORST things to eat in the morning. Today after we email we're going to San Francisco to see the Palace of Fine Arts! I'm super excited!

Also! We have a new key indicator (a goal that we set and count in order to indicate the work that we're achieving) for 2014, it's called OYM (open your mouth)! This is a new year for the Oakland/SF mission and we're going to reach out to as many people as the Lord puts in our paths--and not just say hi and give them a card, but really have a gospel centered conversation with them and invite them to meet with missionaries. the standard of excellence is 20 OYMS per companionship daily, which is 140 per week. This first week we had an average of about half that, so there's definitely a lot of room for improvement! we're going to start planning hours of oym time daily, contacting in parks and bus stops, we've sent out more referrals this week than we have in the past, so I know this is inspired to help the Lord hasten his missionary work! We're going to work SO HARD this week and se sooo many amazing miracles!

hasta la proxima!
Hermana Mitchell

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

WHAT an AMAZING Christmas!!!!! I will NEVER forget my Christmas's in the Mission field! this year was drastically different from last year's Christmas where we were in the Visitor's Center on our feet all day ushering and giving tours to 1000+ visitors daily--whereas this Christmas was tranquil and peaceful, on Christmas Eve we spent part of the day doing service at the Samaritan House, which makes meals and food bags for lo-income families and then had dinner with some members and investigators! Rocio (one of our very precious investigators and friends, also the mother of 2 girls who were just baptized in May) had all of us missionaries over she fed us and made ponche (a delicious Christmas drink--with lots of different kinds of fruits all boiled together)!  and we had a WONDERFUL morning of opening PRESENTS! then after some really good studies, we went to a member's house to SKYPE with family and then enjoyed some Christmas tamales!! It was soooo good to talk to Mom and Dad, Aaron, Becca, Elaine, Ana, and see my new neice Jaylee!!! after that fun we took a little Christmas NAP! after that we watched "Joy to the World" and sister McLaws and I broke out the water-colors and did some Christmas ART! It was just right, and we jumped right back into the swing of things on the 26th!

Mike is still doing really well, holding out strong. the ward is fellowshipping him well and we're going to teach him tonight about Missionary work! He would be a great missionary. But we're really struggling in finding new investigators! I know there are people around us who are looking for peace and happiness and truth! Pray for us to find them and for them to find us!

New Years Eve will be fun! We'll get together as a Zone (I'm in the San Francisco Zone) and we'll watch a couple of movies together and so that will be exciting :) we're still doing exchanges too! I had lots of fun in China Town this week with my old companion, sister Lau! I got to help teach the intermediate English class and help the students form sentences :) I think learning Spanish may have thrown my grammar out the window.... but it was GREAT! I'm looking forward to the rest of the exchanges, only 4 left this transfer

I hope your new year's resolutions are both physical and spiritual, I know that the reason we're all here in earth is to progress and change--thank goodness Heavenly Father gave us so many opportunities to make new goals and try to improve--and He even gave us the perfect example to follow. Happy New Year, I love you ALL!
Hermana Mitchell

P.S. JANUARY 6TH IS KRISTIN'S BIRTHDAY!!! Be sure to send her an email ( or send her a letter (address to the right ---> ). And she's coming home in less than 2 weeks!!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

hola hola!

Hey family and friends! This week has been another AMAZING one! The Christmas Zone Conference was so fun and inspirational! Our area Seventy, Elder Packer, spoke to us about a lot of amazing things, but what really stood out to me most was the concept of "Moral Authority" which basically means that you can't tell people to do something if you're not willing to do it yourself. This can be applied to endless situations, but as far as missionary work goes, It really hit me that if I don't catch the vision and miracles of missionary work through hard work, diligence, patience, repentance, charity (etc.) then I can't expect the members to! If I don't apply the Atonement of our Savior in my own life, I can't commit my investigators to. Bottom line, the Lord is hastening His work and is allowing us ALL to be a part of it, so we need to start with ourselves and figure out what we need to do individually to help serve the Lord! It was sooo good, I wish I could convey the spirit of it all like Elder Packer did.

We also had a great "white-elephant gift exchange" where we had to bring a wrapped gift that cost us $5, An elder before me opened a bag that had a Santa hat, toothpaste, and a new toothbrush (my toothpaste JUST ran out, and my toothbrush is really warn out AND I love Santa hats so much, so I couldn't resist!--I stole his!) such a fun game!  I wrapped a pair of Christmas socks and put coconut soap in one and a pen that looks like a pig in the other... thank you Michael's (my favorite store), Hna Hernandez (another sister serving in the ward) got it and on Sunday was wearing the Christmas socks under her boots and it made me so happy! Also. as we were all sitting in a big circle with our zone paying attention to the fun white-elephant game and some sneaky elves (President and Sister Meredith) put a bag behind each of our chairs and after the fun and games were over we were surprised with the best gift ever! We all got a really nice towel with the logo of the Oakland/San Francisco mission embroidered on it so beautifully (It's like the shape of California with a star over the bay area and the outline of the Oakland Temple)! A member did the embroidering for all 250 missionaries in this mission absolutely FREE for Christmas. WOW. She will get so many blessings for that and I'm going to keep it forever :)

Exchanges are still going strong! But I really want to make them better! I know that the time I'm with other sisters can be more inspiring and encouraging and faith building! I'm praying for that, I know that the great examples from incredible sister missionaries is something that I still apply so I really hope to be that good example for them.

ALSO! this Friday was our Ward FIESTA,--I got to play the piano as the children reenacted the nativity and sang "Jesus en Pesebre" (away in a manger) which was soooo cute as I watched them out of the corner of my eye :) Mike came and Helped serve the food! It was the most exciting thing to see our recent convert getting involved and serving right away! he even brought a friend with him! He's so funny though, he wouldn't get up to dance for the life of him! But WOW Latinos can DANCE! I love being in a Spanish ward. tomorrow we've been invited to make pupusas with a hna Molina from El Salvador, this will be my 3rd time making them, so hopefully this time I can get them down so I can make them for all of YOU before too long! They get a little easier every time.

We're still working hard, still knocking on doors and still getting them slammed in our face (sometimes) but that's what makes the ones who really are prepared for the gospel all the more worth it! Keep going strong and sharing the gospel with those around you! les quiero TANTO!
Hermana Mitchell

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


What an AMAZING week! MIKE GOT BAPTIZED!!! The service was so incredible! it was very musical and the spirit was SO strong! Mike was so bashful and humble as usual--he gets so nervous in front of people! WOW. It is the most incredible thing to see someone truly change and take the steps of baptism. A light comes on when someone really understands how real God's love is for them and how following our Savior and applying his Atonement is necessary for eternal life! Mike definitely has that light. He was confirmed yesterday and received the priesthood so now he can start passing the sacrament! but to make things even more nerve-racking for Mike, there was a whole camera crew filming our sacrament meeting! (The church is coming out with a virtual chapel-tour and filmed our beautiful chapel for the example! they even came into our ward council meeting to show what one of those looks like, so who knows, I might even be in the video!) But what's most important is that MIKE DID IT!! We're so excited to keep working with him to see him progress even more in the gospel :)
We had lots of fun meetings last week and this Thursday is a ZONE CONFERENCE! the most funnest spiritual exciting meetings we have as missionaries--AND this is the Christmas zone conference, which means it'll be even MORE fun, spiritual, and exciting! We're going to have a white-elephant gift exchange and Hna McLaws and I will be giving a 30 minute training 3 different times for the break-out sessions. It will be on INSPIRED QUESTIONS! Missionary work would be impossible without inspired questions, because if we don't ask, the Spirit can't tell us what our investigators need! So that's going to be great!
AND we're starting exchanges again TONIGHT! wow. my last round of exchanges... so many mixed feelings about that!
We're struggling so much with finding new investigators! If you want to give a special gift to the missionaries this year, the BEST gift that we could EVER ask for isn't anything that comes in a box with bows on it, it's somebody to TEACH! We don't need material things, we are well taken care of as far as that goes, but if you share the gospel with a loved one by sending the missionaries to their door, it will be a gift with eternal blessings for everyone!
I know that the Gospel has been Restored, and that the Lord loves us!
les quiero muuuuucho mucho!
Hermana Mitchell

Monday, December 2, 2013

what a crazy week!

Wow! this week has been FULL of UPS and DOWNS! well start with the ups...

We had the last two exchanges of the transfer! they were great and wonderful and faith building experiences! ...and Hna McLaws and I are extremely excited to have a complete week together!! Then we'll begin the cycle again! with the 10 companionships that we cover in the peninsula, we typically try to do 2 companionships a week for the last 5 weeks of the 6 week transfer. Hopefully we can plan it out to be balanced with Christmas and New Years in this transfer, but It'll work out! Besides, It's the Lord who really plans these transfers, not us--so it'll absolutely work out.

Thanksgiving! It was great! we had a delightful lunch with the sweetest strongest member named Araceli who just got baptized about a year and a half ago, she's a single mom who works so hard (3 jobs) and gives everything of herself for her 2 sons. AND she fed us a delicious roasted chicken :) she's only 24 and I'm AMAZED at her strength and love for the Lord and diligence in the gospel. Then we went to the Bailey's (the incredible senior couple serving in our ward) and had LOTS of pie :) Her apple pie was good, but NOTHING compares with yours Aunt Sharon!) then we had a nice dinner with the Canilzales who made "panes con pavo" these El Salvadorian sandwiches with turkey and veggies drenched in this delicious mystery sauce... estuvieron RIQUISIMOS!! she also gave us pumpkin pie :) all in all It was much less food than I ate last thanksgiving, so my insides were much happier about that.... or so I thought.... here comes the "downs"

Friday night we were out proselyting when Hna. Mclaws began feeling really sick! She threw up 3 times just on the drive home, then we got home around 7:30 and she tried to get some rest but she couldn't hold anything liquid down at all, and she was vomiting every 15 minutes for hours and hours... I started feeling sick around 9pm and threw up a few times, but it didn't hit me nearly as hard as it hit her. By 2:30am (7 hours of pure vomiting) she still hadn't stopped, her poor body was so weak and dehydrated, and even though I wasn't feeling good, I was strong enough drive her to the Emergency Room... They got her checked in and hooked her up to an IV and she started feeling and looking much better. We finally got a hold of some Elders who were able to meet us there and give her a blessing too. They gave her some medication and after that everything calmed down :) they gave us our own little room and Hna McLaws rested. I just threw up a few more times and was able to make it through, we got home around 6 am and SLEPT ALL DAY. The Baileys brought us some yummy turkey noodle soup and we got some broth down. Yesterday morning we were feeling much better, very weak, but better :) We made it to church for Mike's Baptismal Interview (which he PASSED! yaaaay! He'll be baptized on Thursday) and then we took the sacrament and went back home to rest more. I feel like my abs got hit by a train, but all in all MUCH better. Hna McLaws has totally bounced back and is doing great and I feel SO blessed that the timing was just right that I could take care of my companion and that we're both all better now :)

also.... this week was...... TRANSFER CALLS. (dun dun duuuuuun!) On Saturday President Meredith called us to check up on Hna McLaws and I, and he was about to hang up when he said, "while I have you here on the phone I'll just spoil the surprise.... you BOTH will be staying in your positions in San Mateo!" We would have leaped and jumped and cheered and laughed and cried if we were strong enough to! We're SO happy to be together. I'm grateful for this area, and I'm grateful for my companion and for our investigators and members! I'm over the moon that I'll be here for Mike's baptism and even more that we're planning and praying for. 6 more weeks of being a set apart missionary... so many MIRACLES to see still! I love you ALL! keep us in your prayers!
Hermana Mitchell

one of my new favorite quotes: 
"Be the first to say I'll do it, and the last to say I did it"
-author: I don't know.... but I like how it implies diligence and humility at the same time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

Hi family and friends!
Happy Thanksgiving!!! We get to spend thanksgiving day in the homes of members, serving, helping, fellowshipping and... eating! We'll be having a big dinner with the Canizales family (from El Salvador, they're so loving and caring, they feed us every Sunday and not to mention they're the BEST cooks in the whole ward!) and we hope a few other members will invite us to share part of the day with them as well :) if not, we'll get to have some extra study time! Also a plus--As a missionary we always feel like there's never enough time to study!
 We're already on the last week of the transfer (FASTEST TRANSFER I'VE EVER HAD!!!) and It has been NUTS! We conducted 3 Exchanges last week! hna. McLaws and I are TIRED! haha but still pushing through! we have just 2 more this week, starting tonight :). So we've been struggling a bit with finding people to teach, we do a lot of knocking and contacting, but it hasn't been yielding much fruit! And our members aren't inviting much at all, so we're trying to work with them more and lately we've decided to find through our big white binder of "Antiguos" (former investigators) and it has been bringing a lot of miracles! It's amazing what happens what you actually use the resources you HAVE to find! The Lord placed a few really prepared people in our path and we're excited to work more with them and see what the future holds! The gospel will bless their lives SO MUCH! Along the way to an appointment we saw this tiny old woman walking slowly in front of us, so we caught up with her! turns out she's from Guadalajara and is a very very strong Catholic, she has a sister who's Mormon, but said that when she was little she had a problem with her eyes and her mother said to pray to the Virgin of Guadelupe for her eyes to be healed, and they were..... She said she would believe in God more if He answered her prayers....  we testified of the love of God and how He is the only one who's power blesses and heals us, and that Jesus Christ has brought that power and love to earth and restored his gospel! She said she's happy the way she is. That was a testimony to me that there are people who ARE prepared and others who aren't prepared yet, but we never know until we open our mouth and start asking to find out!

Mike's baptism is still a go for December 5th! it's so amazing to be able to see miracles of the gospel take place in people's lives! Transfer calls are this Saturday and so we'll see if I'll be here for my last transfer or if I'm going back to the Visitor's Center for the busy Christmas season again.... I'm so torn, I really really really want to see mike get baptized! but Wherever the Lord needs me to be, I will happily go! I love being a missionary! I love the Lord and His true and living gospel! Have a wonderful and THANKFUL week, show your gratitude through your actions. Luke 10:30-37.
Hermana Mitchell