Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"

It's a rainy rainy Christmas season here in the Bay Area! and I sing to myself "It's beginning to look a lot like Oregon!" It's still beautiful and Green, but chilly and WET! It makes being INSIDE the Visitors' Center for most of the day quite rewarding! We have amazing experiences in the VC during this Christmas season. We have various free Christmas concerts every day this month and that brings so many people from so many cultures and religions into the VC! last night we had around 1000 people come through because the performance was "Handel's Messiah" and it was just incredible to be able to share the spirit of Christ with everyone as they came in to celebrate Christmas with their families! And a lot of the families that come in are so willing to share the spirit we bring with others that we're receiving a LOT of referrals! It's so great!

Last week was my FIRST Zone Conference! It was a BLAST! We listened  to some incredibly powerful talks from the quorum of the 12 Apostles, and also President Meredith (who is the BEST Mission President everrrr!) and also had a really fun gift exchange game (I got I big pack of fun colorful pens and cute papers, toiletries, and lots of munchies!) but the funnest part was watching the elders stretegyzing how to get the sports balls and calogne! Oh man they crack me up. It was definitely the spiritual recharge I needed, being a missionary is more than just incredible and life-changing, it's FUN! :D

We only have 5 hours of proselyting this week (the rest of the time is in the VC) so it's really hard to do the finding and teaching we would like, but working in the VC is also an AMAZING blessing and we've had the opportunity of bringing some of our investigators up to experience the spirit that can be felt there! I Love the Christmas season and I also Love the VC, and Sister Garcia and I are looking forward to spend more time in the area after our Holiday schedule is over!!! 

Have a MARVILOUS Christmas time, you all mean so much to me and I'm so grateful for the love I can feel from all of you as I'm out trying to serve the Lord the very best I can! Remeber to remember HIM this Christmas, think about all He has given you and what you can do in your life to give back to Him.

Con Amor,
Hermana Mitchell

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

another week already?!

HELLOoooooo! It's a BEAUTIFUL day up here at the Visitors' Center! the air is so clear I can see all the way across the Bay, even the redness of the Golden-gate bridge! It's usually pretty foggy, but it's a clear crisp December day today :) This week has been really good, really hard, but really good. We're struggling with the area we're working in a little because we're just in the VC so often! So it's difficult because we have to put our investigator lessons on the back burner sometimes, and then the people we are working with aren't following through with the commitments we leave them. We care about them SO MUCH, we're fasting and praying and trying to see them as much as we can. I love Christmas! ...but I'm excited for when this Season is over and we can focus more on THEM and THEIR needs. 

But anways, We've had awesome experiences in the VC, the Holiday schedule we're on is fun, but stressful--sometimes we're scheduled for 9 hour shifts, It's just crazy! but we always have lots of wonderful experiences welcoming people in and sharing with them a piece of the Savior's love and joy this Christmas Season! In fact, last night I was standing at my assigned "holiday spot" with my temporary Companion, Sister Sia (they split us up so they can have more languages in more places to accommodate the cultural diversity of people who come in :) and guess who walked right up to me and gave me a hug?! UNCLE DAVID!!! I definitely took a double-take! It was sooooo good to see them all! Mia is getting SO grown-up and Aunt Jan is still so beautiful (as always)! and it was so so so fun to see the boys' smiling faces! I really was just stunned a little bit, but wow, it was such a blessing! It reminded me just how important our family is to me, why I share the message I do--because life would be so hard without families to be here for us, to keep us feeling loved, spiritually and physically fed, to help us grow when times are hard, and to bring us the greatest Joy that Heavenly Father has in store for us! The Gospel has been restored to help us be those strong and eternal families that He wants us to become! and then I meet people who don't have strong family relationships, or don't have any family at all, and that's when I realize how much I want to share this gospel with them even more. The love and support this gospel brings is life-changing, and the Lord is preparing people to receive it every day, some people don't know what they're missing and it's our job to help them know that God is our Father, Christ is our brother, and their Gospel brings us all together to find that love and support we need in this life! It's such a blessing to be a part of this great work at this great time! 

Christmas coming and I'm just way too excited! The concerts are going to be soooo much fun, we're performing both on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day! AND I've been asked to sing a Solo in my branch on the 23rd and I'm going to sing "Estrella de Luz" or "Star-Bright" (If you're part of the Mitchell Family, I KNOW you know this song! I just wish Daddy could be here to play it for me! :) and I've also been asked to play a song on the piano in the Spanish Ward that meets up here on Temple Hill (we go to their meetings a lot too as a special re-activation assignment) I don't know what I'm playing yet, but I'll make something work! I feel so blessed to have all of these amazing opportunities to bare my testimony by sharing my musical abilities!

I'm learning sooo much every day, the Spanish is still up and down like a roller-coaster, but I still feel like it's improving. Sister Garcia says "HELLO!" and is still helping me so much and being such a great trainer :) I love the Lord! I love being a missionary! I'm grateful that He is letting me be a part of spreading His truth abroad! I invite you to remember the sacrifice He gave for you and the love that He has for you this Christmas season and carry that love with you wherever you go for ever and ever!

All my love love love!
Sister Mitchell

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Happy December my dear friends and family!

It's been rainy rainy rainy all week week week! But finally the sun came out and the air is fresh and clean and the plants are green and it's just BEAUTIFUL here. I'm so blessed in so many ways. Like the Visitor's Center! WOW what a blessing it is to have it as part of my calling, this season is a little crazy and definitely keeps us on our toes, but the Christ-centered joy it brings to those that come in to get out of the rain or cold is just amazing, I'm so grateful to be a part of it! Even just last night we had a man and his family come in, just 3 minutes before we were closing, and he asked US about church, what it's about, where is the chapel, and when do the services start! and I told him! in Spanish! The VC has an amazing purpose, and the majority of people who come really do want to learn more, or at least are appreciative of our friendliness and Christ-centered teachings. The work is real and progressing and I feel the love and support from those around me and especially from the Lord.

Did you get to see the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional?! I didn't because I was working in the VC, but I heard it was really special. I love teaching about the prophet and the structure of the church to those who come into the VC. They really are called of God to direct His children (that's US!). Make sure you apply their teachings, as you do, you will see that they really are called of God because your life will change for the better, and only good things come from God!

Tonight the other sisters in our branch (we're so blessed to have 3 companionships working in our branch!) and us are going to have a Family Home Evening with a big family, and some of them aren't church members! we're planning on sharing a wonderful message about Christmas (We're going to wrap up a picture of Christ like a present and ask the kids to talk about what they want for Christmas before they open it up and find Christ inside, and apply that to how He is the greatest gift we could ever imagine! We'll also go around a say what gifts we can give to Christ [serving others, being nice, etc]--Like I did growing up at home--It'll be way fun), singing lots of Christmas songs (I'll probably sing a Solo too, because sister Garcia likes volunteering me on the spot for things like that :), and playing a fun game (prepared by the other sisters). I love being with families and especially children, children are just so pure and teachable, that's probably why Christ asks us all to be like them :) I love you all! Make sure you carry the feelings of love and gratitude you have for Christ durning this special time of year with you forever!

Hermana Mitchell

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Email Time!!!

Well hello again! I say this every week, but where is the time going?!? I'm blown away by the mission life--It's crazy and amazing and hard and wonderful and FAST! 

Thanksgiving was AMAZING---I have never eaten so much food in an 8 hour period in my ENTIRE LIFE! I'm serious! We had 6 dinner appointments, but thank goodness we only ate at 4 of them, the rest of the families--understanding our immense fullness--gave us plenty of food to take home for future days! And it was way too much fun to have a Latino twist to the festivities! We tasted a few different twists on Turkey, which were all delicious, but the winner was definitely Brother Perez with his meet-stuffed turkey. I don't know how he did it... but it was just amazing! they're from El Salvador and said that one of these days he'll make us Papusas (or something like that...) I'm very excited! We also had an array of food from Mexico to Peru and more than the food, it was just such a blessing to be with big loving families all day, I was FULL of food and gratitude for the many many blessings God has given me, and It felt like I was with family every moment :)

This week in the Visitors' Center was CRAZY! especially the Saturday after Thanksgiving--we had over 1400 people come in (as opposed to the regular couple-hundred) for the lighting ceremony of Temple Hill! They had a whole presentation with music and people (I couldn't watch because I was in the back of the VC) and it was just amazing! The entire temple grounds are FILLED with twinkling lights, from the little flower beds to the big palm trees! Every VC sister companionship (plus a couple extras) were assigned to specific rotating stations and we tried our hardest to help the visitors have a spiritual experience while maintaining the flow of traffic :) All I can say is that we slept like babies that night! It really was great, and we'll be having many similar busy days like this weekend as we near Christmas! So we're holding on to our seat-belts and trying to learn how to make it smoother!

This week I had an amazing experience in the VC, one of those "Oh this is why I'm here!" moments. A family came in, young mom and dad with 3 beautiful children, and the grand-parents too. We welcomed them at the front and invited them to listen to the powerful words of Jesus Christ at the Christus. The spirit was immediate and we just had a really good connection with this family, they were so easy to talk to, it turns out the grand-parents are not members of the Church, but the grandpa seemed as though his heart had been softened to the idea as he saw the blessings the gospel brought to the lives of his children and grandchildren. We took them into "God's Plan For His Family" which is just so so so strong, teaching about how Families really can be together forever, it's not a fairy tale! and It turns out it was really what they needed, they just had a son pass away (brother other of the mom and dad) and they felt the comforting truth that they were going to see him again, and it turns out that Sister Garcia had a brother pass away they had a heart-felt conversation about it and and they asked me why I decided to serve a mission and I talked about the role the church has played in my life and how it never changed even though I moved a lot growing up, and it turns out this family was about to move and the oldest girl who was 11 was really scared and nervous to move, but my testimony really comforted her and everyone was crying but we were all strengthened too and it was just a very powerful experience. the Lord works in mysterious ways! I typed that really fast, I hope it all makes sense :)

My Spanish is improving, slowly but surely--Sister Garcia (She says Hello by the way!) is helping me a lot, and even though at first the Visitors' Center seemed to be a hinderance to my speaking ability, it's actually helping a ton because when we have a greater need for spanish tours(which is quite often), Sister Garcia and I go on splits and I'm pushed out of my comfort zone to lead tours and It really forces me to learn so much more than I would without! I'm learning more than just words and grammar through practice, I'm learning how to be comfortable welcoming and learning more about every person that comes in, really listening to them and also to the Spirit. I've realized that when I focus on the fact that I'm learning spanish and don't speak it perfectly, I actually speak it worse! But when I'm sincerely listening to the visitors and not letting what I don't know hold me back, that's when I can let the Spirit speak through me. It's a lesson I'm slowly learning and I'm just so amazed--this realy is a gospel of changing, and I'm seeing it in myself the most!! Many sisters say that for only 6 weeks in the mission, my Spanish is amazing, I just need to keep it up--maintain what I have and allow it to improve every day as I serve the Lord!

I LOVE YOU all! have a wonderfultastic week!
Hermana Mitchell

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hola to all!

Hello Hello Hello from Oakland, California [the best mission EVER]!!!

If you're wondering, I'm doing quite well :) It's getting cold and rainy here and it's a sign that the Holidays are drawing near! It feels fresh and clean like Oregon and I love it! I can't believe It's mid-November already--Where is the time going? For Thanks Giving and Christmas, we get to spend the entire day house-hopping! Hehe, 2 hours at a time in the homes of the members who invite us, and believe me, we already have our schedules full! Our members are SO loving, and SO willing to take us in and give us food and a taste of family time for the Holidays, we are incredibly blessed!

I have just learned to love the people here so much! It's really really amazing--the mission is hard, but when we build these relationships with people, and really truly care for them, It makes everything we do meaningful :) I've never really experienced it before--I love the Lord so much and want to serve Him the very best I can, and He asks us to love others with the same love we have for Him--and that's what makes this amazing mission work possible--It's all about love! and when we put so much time into trying to help them develop that love for God and Christ and the gospel, there's no way NOT to love them!

I'm eating very well, and I've developed a sincere love for fresh tortillas and frijolitos! mmmmMmmm! y con crema fresca tambien! Los Cielos. I could eat them for the rest of foreverrrr!

Have a wonderful week, look to the Lord in everything you do, and you won't have anything to fear :) Next time I'll write more, I have stories but not a lot of time today--I LOVE YOU ALL!

Hermana Mitchell

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another week!

Wow! I can't believe it has already been a week since my last P-day, if feels like 3 days ago!

Halloween was AWESOME! we got to do "Happy Haunted House-Cleaning!" yaaaay! We couldn't be out after 6pm and It was a good way to keep us busy and safe in our homes :) Sister Garcia and I had a great time eating candy and putting together the little monster magnets Jena sent :) We didn't even have to trick-or-treat to get incredible amounts of candy! haha, We're so blessed to be at the Visitor's Center--members always bring us food and gifts and I just feel so spoiled all the time!

So It's amazing what happens with time when every moment of every day has a specific purpose! One of the things that I've learned so much about here in the mission is time management--something was always pretty foreign to me before the field :) But oh my goodness, when we really utilize our time and plan out what we have to do (and actually follow through with those plans) it's amazing what the Lord will help us do! Like this week, I was on splits serving in an English area called Lafayette with the incredible Hermana Chipana (who was my MTC companion for the last week after my district left)! Who decided to put two brand new missionaries together--I don't know--but it ended up being an amazing experience. We planned out everything we were going to do down to the tee, but we ended up taking too long in lessons because we're both trying to figure out how to lead and teach well and we both have Spanish swimming around in our brains and then we got lost and our GPS was loco and inspite of all those little problems, we still somehow made it work because the Lord knew how we had planned for the day and He helped us so much, making it possible to get everything done! I even had a really neat experience with a girl who's my age and she was so curious why a normal girl like me would want to give up a normal life at the age of 21 to go on a mission, and It was just so awesome to talk to her about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has strengthened me and guided me and made me who I am! And her mom was listening too and I think it helped open her heart to us a little bit to see how confident we are in the future at such a young age, I think she wants that for her daughter and It was just a really awesome experience and they're going to have Sister Chipana and her real companion back to talk more and It's just so wonderful! I love the things I'm learning about being an example to others and sharing my testimony :) Even if I struggle still with the doctrine and the language, I can at least testify of what I know is true and how it makes me me :)

The Spanish is still coming, I'm struggling with it, but I know that I wouldn't be learning if it weren't hard--I just need to be patient with myself and remember that I haven't even been in the Field for 3 weeks yet--I can't expect myself to be perfect! ...Even though I want to be... right now! Oh patience :) I think I tell you all this like, every week, but my Spanish Branch is just AMAZING! I don't think I could service this mission without their love and support--It's like a little family. At the Visitor's Center we're meeting people from all over the world every day and it's so wesome, but that consistency of always going back to my San Leandro 2nd Spanish Branch really keeps me centered--please don't forget how important you are to the missionaries in your ward! Love them and help them whenever you can! Go with them when they teach! They need you! We have a new rule in the mission that as Sister Missionaries, we can't give lessons to anyone without another female member present. It's SO HARD because we have a lot of people to teach, sometimes we have to juggle the ward members around, but we're lucky to have a branch that just loves missionary work (most of the entire branch are converts!) We are just So blessed.

I love my companion, she is just so amazing and I learn from her every moment, I love this missionary work! I love the trials because they make me better. I love the miracles that I see every day here. I love the Lord and the love he showed for us through restoring His gospel! I love the blessings we receive by LIVING His restored gospel! Life is just amazing! "Keep your face to the sunshine and you'll never see the shadows!"

Have an AMAZING week, Rember the Lord in everything you do and He will lead you! (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Hermana Mitchell

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Here we go!

Hello family and friends! Another week has gone by already and I just can't believe it! and It has been an AWESOME week! First off, my companion is just too amazing, I'm so grateful for her love and her patience every day. So last week I went on my first exchange ever! It was with Sister Ure from Colorado and it was tons of fun--we we're serving in an area called Castro Valley and it was weird because it was all English, but so neat and exciting to be able to fully communicate with people. It is so hard for me to stick to Spanish and really dedicate myself to it because half the day we're in the Visitors' Center speaking English and often I don't get language study time at all because sometimes we are scheduled at the Visitor's center at 9 am and I'm a little frustrated with myself because I find myself forgetting to speak Spanish all the time--even if I  know how to say it in Spanish! urrrgh! BUT two days every week we have full-proselyting and my Spanish starts to come back, it's just something that I'll have to really work extra hard at to get it.

We had Family Home Evening this week with 2 different families and the Cruz Family fed us amazing Peruvian food, and the Ramos Family served us incredible food from Nicaragua! There are so many different latin american cultures in my Branch, it's really just amazing. My clothes are already getting a little tight ;) us missionaries just call them celestial pounds :) We're working with a 16 year old boy right now named Josef and he's just awesome, he's so close to being ready for making that big step and promise with Heavenly Father through Baptism, SO CLOSE. We are having Family Home Evening again tonight with their family and It's going to be great! We also have a couple more people we're working with and praying for and hopefully they will start realizing the changes that can come in their lives as they show their faith in Christ.

So Guess what?! turns out the Visitors' Center sisters ALWAYS put on a Christmas Concert and we had our first rehearsal this week I am so stinking excited! (they're already putting up the lights!) I get to accompany for 4 different songs and I'm also going to be part of a 6-hand piano arrangement of "We Three Kings" AND I'm singing "Oh Holy Night" as a SOLO! It's going to be so much fun (the only question is when I'll have the chance to practice....). It just helps me know so surely that Heavenly Father knows me so personally and loves me enough to send me to a mission where I can improve my talents by giving me great opportunities to help them grow by sharing them with others!

Another "priveledge" (I have to keep telling myself that it is one) we have as Visitors' Center sisters is phone time in the Referral Center! YAAAY! it's so so so HARD and SCARY for me! People come into the Center and give us referrals and we GET to call them and see if they're open to any free DVDs about Jesus Christ, or a free copy of the Book of Mormon, or if they are even interested in meeting with the missionaries! Now this is even more proof that this mission is right for me because it's perfectly addressing my fears. My mineature panic attacks are getting smaller and smaller as I prayerfully ask for help from God to give me strength in doing His work. The field really is just so hard and so good because I can already see how life-changing it will be for me. WOW!

Well so that's all I really have time to say, but I'm just pushing on, with faith that the Lord will guide me in His work. I would LOVE to hear from all of you and what's going on in your lives! Don't forget how much Heavenly Father Loves you and knows each and every one of you so well, and trust in the Lord--If you keep his commandments he WILL help and lead and strengthen you!

Les Quiero! <3
Hermana Mitchell

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


My companion, the Mission President, and his wife.

Am I really here?

View from the Mission Home.

We're here! I look awesome (not)!

Oh the privileges we get :)

My VC District at THE MAP.

I found Josh every Thursday morning for service! :D


California Girl!

Guess Who's in the Field!!! NO PUEDO CREERLO! The Field is so hard but so awesome. The Morning we left the MTC was a CRAZY one, my alarm failed to work and I woke up right at 4:45 when I was supposed to be ready at the Travel Office with all my luggage! But the sisters in my room helped me a ton and I booked it down there and I wasn't even the last one on the bus (I just had to do my hair and makeup on the plane, but 'sall good).
I am serving in the prettiest place ever! First thing off the plane, my Mission President, Presdident Merideth and his wife greeted us and took us out to lunch at a yummy buffet with all you can eat SUSHI!!! I promise, I ate all I could. Honestly, anything would have been great after two and a half months of MTC food, but was a treat to have Sushi :) After that we went up to the Mission Home and the Temple, they both have the most AMAZING view of the Bay, WOW. There is a look-out point on top of the temple that anyone can go up and the view is just breath-taking. We went up there and I felt like I was home. Like this voice saying "this is your place, so love it with all you've got!" And I already do.

We returned back to the Mission Home (which is GORGEOUS, by the way) and went through some rules and training and papers and such, then after a small dinner, we met our new companions!!! Two Elders held up a big map of the mission and one by one he called up the trainer who proceeded to talk about how awesome the area was, then President Merideth called out the new missionary and then there was a big hug-fest and it was great! My companion's name is Hermana Garcia, she is just so amazing. She's a convert from Guatemala and wow, she is such a great leader and teacher and over-all example to me. And she is helping me a lot with my Spanish :) When they said we'd be companions she held out her arms and said "Come to mommy!" and she is just so stinkin fun and awesome. So my first area in the mission is San Leandro! It is such a great area. The members are so strong and super loving! I've only met a few of the families, but church yesterday was so awesome (they only asked me to pray, which was nice) and I'm beginning to become more acquainted with them.

My apartment is in a nice area in San Leandro, but wow there are some interesting thing about it, particularly the TRAINS! first off there is a spead-rail-fast-train-thing that is white and looks like a bullet and they call it BART (I don't know what it stands for yet) and that passes by all the time and it's low rumble/screetch is NOTHING compared to the train-conversations that go on at 5 am every morning! Either a conversation or choir practice or something, because there are train whistles going off both near and far, all at the same time for a good 15 minutes! haha, it's great though, It actually is kind of a nice reminder that I'm actually here :) OH and we have a dish-washer in our apartment. that's right. how lucky are we?!

I'm loving all of the study time we have here, but it's stressful because I realized that I'm not very good and leading my own study sessions! that's what teachers are for! but I'm learning more and more how to use my time wisely so I can study those aspects of the gospel in the Bible and Book of Mormon that we're going to be teaching.

I feel SO BLESSED to have the Visistors' Center as part of my mission. We are assigned a 6 hour block in the Visitors' Center 5 days a week and the rest of the time we are Full-proselyting in our assigned areas. The VC is amazing because people come to us. They often come with family and friends that don't have a strong belief in Christ or how we can become clean and better through his doctrine, and it's so amazing to have the opportunity to invite the spirit and help them learn through our testimony through the incredible media we have there right at our finger-tips!

The last 5 days have been so hard but so good, so humbling. I'm learning a ton through my mistakes, and I'm sure that will be the case through-out this whole mission, but wow, thank goodness the gospel is true and perfect or else this work wouldn't happening like it is, I can attest to that by all of my mistakes and imperfections, I am just trying to invite the spirit and let Him teach as I testify of Christ.

P.S. My address is the one of the Mission Home! They bring our mail to the Visitors' center every night, so It's a great blessing!  so here's my address so there's not confusion:

Sister Kristin Joy Mitchell
California Oakland/San Francisco Mission
4945 Lincoln Way
Oakland, CA 94602

The spanish is coming, poco a poco. Les amo MUCHISIMO!
Have a wonderful week, please keep the missionaries in your prayers <3

Hermana Mitchell

p.s. MOM and DAD and JENA: I got your packages and I LOVED them :) It was such a sweet thing to have some familiar handwriting on the packages when I came in. I really truly feel of you love every day and it is keeping me going. I'm perfectly warm and night, my clothes are holding up well still, I'm going strong, so don't worry. Thanks again for everything!

Friday, October 12, 2012

a P-day at last!!!

Oh my goodness gracious! I have SO MUCH to talk about and SO LITTLE TIME! there's no way I can cover it all, but let's start with General Conference! wasn't it AMAZING!?! If you weren't able to hear it all, make sure you make it a goal to read the rest in next month's Ensign because every talk was so powerful, I know with all my heart that the speakers were inspired. I felt like so much of was intended directly for me--that's what's amazing about conference, it's the way our Heavenly Father leads and guides ALL of his children if we are open to listen and willing to let His words change us. so can you BELIEVE the age change for missionaries?!? 18 for elders wasn't too much of a surprise, butt sisters can serve at 19!?! it's just INCREDIBLE! this will do SO MUCH for the future service and Christ-centered families and homes! Every missionary in the MTC was in shock, followed by gasping and cheering and crying! haha, the excitement was SO strong! I loved the recurring theme in conference about service, the importance of being willing and able to serve when the Lord puts those opportunities in our path! Pray for those opportunites to be more Christ-like and the Lord will help you see the necessities of others!

So Tuesday was full of sadness and lack of sleep! We said goodbye to Hermana B'ecar at 3 AM, Hermana Decker a 4AM, Hermana Flandro at 5 AM, and Hermana Williams at 6 AM! It was fun taking lots of trips to the Travel office :) but sad to see them all go! then I got to wear a "SOLO" sticker on my name plate and hang out with the Zone leaders for the day, it was fun and new. Then, we were in choir practice and they were working out the video monitors and stuff to prepare for Devotional, and they accidently showed who would be speaking to us that night and the excitement flushed through  the entire MTC choir as David A. Bednar's face flashed up on the screen!!! It was suprising becuase just days before we heard him in conference, but I felt so blessed to have been able to be here this extra time :) He gave an amazing talk that will forever change the way I study the words of the prophets (look for the Doctrine, the Invitations, and the Promised blessings--I would go into more detail if I had time)! oh and fun fact: Elder Bednar was born in Oakland, CA! YAY :) He also testified that the Lord is hastening his work and these changes happening now are just the start of it!

Wednesday was AWESOME! I met my new district of Visitor's Center sisters and my new companion for the week, Sister Chipana, is so AMAZING! She is from Lima Peru and has an amazing conversion story (She always wanted to be a missionary, even before she new about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). and Wow, she is an incredible example to me and is also helping me with my Spanish a TON! She's going to Oakland too :) We spent the Morning on Temple Square! It was so great, we received a tour from the sisters there and it was so neat to be in the shoes of the visitors. I learned a lot by their example.

The last couple days have been FILLED with new experiences! We've been blessed to use a new program here (we're actually the ginuea pigs for it) called the Teachign Center where we get to chat live with people all over the world coming to Mormon.org to ask questions about the church and it has been just AMAZING! I have talked to people from South America, Europe, Canada, and  the US in just a couple hours of TC. I'm a little nervous about doing actual phone calls tomorrow, chatting is way easier for me, but I'm just going to do my best and try to let the Lord direct me in what to say with his Spirit. Deep Breaths.

Tomorrow we get another Temple Square experience and this time we will be splitting with the sister missionaries there and work with them! I'm really excited! and nervous! but mostly excited! I have learned so much from doing things that are really hard for me this week, and I have come to know that that's how the Lord refines all of us. Look up Ether 12:27 :)

I LOVE YOU ALL!!! have a wonderful week! Just 5 more days 'till I enter the Field!!!!

Hermana Mitchell

P.S. mom, I'll send a quick email later today about my flight plans and other little things, We're on our way to the temple this morning :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Camera Malfunctions, Tone-Deaf Elders, and Last Lessons

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!
Nothing really new has transpired here in the last week--Just working harder and harder every day to learn and study and teach to the best of my ability! Well, last wednesday (just a couple hours after sending out my email) my companion Hermana Williams and I went to sing "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" for the new-coming missionaries! (which was extra fun because we had a new district coming into our zone that day :) and it went well for the most part... except our accompanist didn't have his Suitcoat because it was being dry-cleaned so he had to wear some-one else's which was like, 3 or 4 sizes to big... and Hermana Williams had a slight wardrobe malfunction and forgot her name plaque, but besides that it went really well... except the camera man decided to do some weird shots of us singing, I just remember seeing my face REALLY close up out of the corner of my eye on the monitor, like.... really close, you couldn't even see all of my face it was so close... but besides that, we had a great time welcoming in those new servants of the Lord and we hoped they could feel strength through our words and music :)

So this last Sunday was the final Sunday in our branch, because this weekend is General Conference, so we followed the tradition and sang a goodbye song during Sacrament Meeting as a discrict. We sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and it was so fun, I got to start it out with a little a capella solo and then Hermana Williams joined in the 3rd line with the Alto and then all the Hermanas finished the verse off  together (this is in Spanish by the way). and then we gave the elders the entire second verse, and I don't quite know how it happened, but all the tone-deaf elders in our Branch ended up in our district, but it was so great that they were willing to sing out anyways (it only took a little arm twisting) :) they did so well, then we sang the 3rd verse all together and the 4th verse in English. It was a really neet experience, I'm really glad we got to do it as a district, I'm going to miss them a lot.

The rest of my district got their travel plans this week, all to different places (Alaska, Uruguay, Reno, San Diego, Dominican Republic, Salt Lake) and I still don't know the plans for me, I expect that sometime this week they will let me know who my new tour-training companion will be and what I need to do once my companions leave next Tuesday!

Yesterday we taught our progressive Investigator, Camila, for the last time, and even though she's just our teacher putting on the persona of one of her converts from Chile, I am honestly going to miss her so much, I wanted the best for her and her future and sincerely prayed for her mom to let her get baptized! It really taught me a lot about  why I'm on a mission and how much love and going to have for the people. We have our last lesson with our other Progressive Investigator, Pedro, and I know he's going to "get baptized" ...figuratively... I have learned so much from teaching him, he's had a really hard life--losing his son to drive-by shooting and is wife to alcoholism, we taught him about our Heavenly Father's plan for all of his children and it brought so much comfort to him to know that his son is alright at the he can be with him again if he presses on with faith! I have loved the teaching experiences here and I am just so excited for the field!

We didn't get to watch the Relief Society session on Saturday, but don't worry, we'll watch it this saturday night while the Elders are watching Priesthood Session. I'm so excited and blessed to be able to watch General Conference here at the MTC! Please Remember that we get to hear from inspired leaders of the church and the true and living Prophet this weekend. He knows what the world needs today and will give us direction from God. Listen to his words with a prayer in your heart! your prayers will be heard and answered! I love you all and wish you the best best best in your week!!!

Con todo me amor,
Hermana Mitchell

P.S. here's one of my new favorite quotes from President Deiter F. Uchtdorf:
"When our wagon gets stuch in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer, no matter how eloquent the oration."

P.P.S. Mom this is for you: I love my shoulder bag, but I'm going to need a bigger side-bag with a accross the body strap... so if you want to find one for me and send it, or maybe make sure I have enough in my account, that would be great!!! OH and I didn't know this before, but I get to call you and dad from the airport before I fly out to California, so I'll be buying a calling card soon, let me know when you'll be available for me to call you, it'll probably be pretty early here in utah, so yeah, we'll work it out :) I'm excited! I love you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

New pictures!

We love CHOIR practice!!!

This was on our Temple walk a couple weeks ago--I love my Hermanas!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

gracias por su amor...

Hola Familia y Amigos!
Another week has flown by here at the MTC! I can't believe there are only a couple left! So my whole District is leaving 10 days before me because I'm the only one that Is staying for Visitor's Center training--So I found out that once I say goodbye to all of them (that's going to be hard--they're like my brothers and sisters) I'll be assigned a new companion and We'll take a trip to Temple Square pretty much every day ish to shadow and learn from the Sisters there in giving tours and referrals! I also will have the opportunity to work with online proselyting, helping answer questions that people all over the world might have about the church and hopefully referring missionaries in their area to them through the online system, I'm pretty stinkin' excited!

So last Thursday, Sister Williams auditioned again for a musical spot in one of the many meetings they here at the MTC and the audition went very well and we got a letter the very next day asking us to perform "Savior, Redeemer Of My Sou" next wednesday (That's TODAY, in just a few hours) for the new Missionary orientation meeting! We're so excited :) That same Thursday I also auditioned with Elder Chelak, the amazing floutist (we did "Nearer My God, To Thee") and the Sisters on the board (the wives of the MTC Presidency) loved it, they really want to use us too, so that was awesome, we haven't heard when or where yet, but they said we're definitely in the "yes" pile, so YAY again! OH and also as we were leaving, there was a sister who really really wanted to sing a song to audition but she didn't have an accompanist, but she caught me on my way out and I accompanied her in "How Great Thou Art" too! So I pretty much auditioned three different times within the auditioning hour and the sisters there got so used to me, now they recognize me when passing in the hallways and everything :)

The Brigham City Temple dedication was a really neat thing to participate in this last Sunday! We heard from Elder L. Tom Perry and then President Boyd K. Packer who gave a neat talk about growing up in Brigham City and also wrote the dedicatory prayer (which Elder Nelson read), It was so neat to be with hundreds of missionaries also attending the broadcast, the hardest part was singing "The Spirit of God" at the end of the meeting, the Spirit was so strong. Temples are such wonderful blessings and I have come to love absolutely everything about them. The temple truley is the house of the Lord, everything done there in is holy and marvelous and sacred and true.

So this Monday morning, My district had the opportunity to Host the new-coming Senior Missionary couples. We got to take their bags and show them their rooms (which pretty much Hotels, much nicer than our dorms--but they deserve it :) and escort them to their meeting and talk to them along the way about where theyr'e going and how they will be serving. It was probably the most fun I've had here--I could have done it all day! I loved hearing about the missions they had served and have yet to serve, and they were so loving and sweet! I'm totally going to be one of them some day!

Well, there's only a couple minutes left of computer time, I have so much to do today! But just so you know, every day that I'm here, I learn and grow and change for the better. Every day that I'm here, I realize more about myself, my purpose, my Savior, my Heavenly Father, and the comforting and empowering strength of the Spirit, oh and Spanish too. Everything is coming together as I put faith in my Lord. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, all of us. He gives us challenges so we can grow, don't let those challenges distance your from Him, but instead bring you closer to Him by relying on His love, and the love of His son--whose arms are ALWAYS outsretched to lift and support us when we turn to him.

Gracias por su amor,
La Hermana Mitchell

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Hello Family and Friends!

This week has been full of awesomeness! First off, I can't belive it's week 7 already. Time here is flying--and I still have SO MUCH to learn, but I also feel like I've come a long long way :) So what happened since last Wenesday? Thursday was great, but long. We start with service at 6 am and end with TRC (I told y'all about the Teaching Resource Center, right? Where we teach volunteers--It's always an awesome experience). This last TRC was good, but hard, I had been SO tired all day, and I was nervous that my brain wouldn't be up to communicating in Spanish--I seriously felt like a Zombie. BUT my companions and I said a prayer and went in to teach about the importance of going to church, how it's a commandment from God, what blessings we receive by being obedient, and how we can feel the Holy Ghost and receive help and guidance from him as part of our Sudnay worship.  We knock on the door and introduce ourselves as missionaries to this sweet old lady, native to Mexico. SHE. SPOKE. SO. FAST. I definitely struggled understanding everything she was saying, but She shared her amazing conversion experience involving 2 sister missionaries, that she was the first of her family to follow Christ and be Baptized, and how now her ENTIRE FAMILY are ALL members and it was just because that one day the missionaries acted upon a prompting to go talk to her. It is so amazing to see what's possible, and what's in store for the future.

Thursday afternoon, Hermana Williams and I auditioned to perform in a Fireside or other MTC meeting, we did really well, but there were a lot of people auditioning who are leaving sooner than us, so naturally they're on the top of the list, but they gave us great pointers and we're going to go back in tomorrow and re-audition so we can be on top of the list again! AND this last Sunday, I accompanied an amazing Elder in my Zone for "Nearer, My God, To Thee" on the Flute and it was so much fun, we're going to audition with that piece tomorrow too, so HOPEFULLY I'll get to do SOMETHING musical for a big meeting before leaving... I hope they don't get tired of me in the audition room.... :)

So this last Sunday for Relief Society, Sister Sherri Dew came and spoke to us, and she is just so incredible. Her words are so strong, and she is an amazing example to all of us women in the church. she gave us sister missionaries empowering words about how on our missions we will learn things from the Lord by serving others that we can't learn any other way--She testified about how much Heavenly Father loves us and how we are here on Earth at this time for the glorious purpose of bringing others into the fold of Christ, and I felt so much strength and love and purpose. I love being here, I love being a missionary.

SPANISH!!! It's hard. We keep on learning new verb conjugations and I feel like I can't keep them all straight in my my mind! especially all the irregulars and the different forms of past and oh my goodness SUBJUNCTIVE is really giving me a run for my money. I really need to practive speaking more, that's my biggest downfall, I can write it and think it, but for some reason, saying is is different. But I'm praying for help and It's coming, line upon line.

Devotional yesterday was awesome--We had Elder Koelliker from the quorum of the seventycome and speak to us, We sang an amazing rendition of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" and it was SO powerful. I love it. It may be my last time singing in the choir because we have rehearsals on Sunday and this next sunday we get to see and participate in the broadcast  of the Brigham City Temple dedication, the Sunday after that is Fast Sunday, after that is General Conference, and after that I leave!!! So yeah, I was so grateful for yesterday's experience singing, I could feel the Spirit so strongly--Music is so amazing.

my Email time is up, sorry I'm so slow, I feel like I don't get a lot sent out to all of you in these emails, but I want you all to know that I am learning and growing so much in my faith in Jesus Christ and my communication abilities, I know I'm supposed to be here, and I am SO GRATEFUL for family and friends like you to love and support me.

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Mitchell

P.S. Thanks for all your loving packages!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 6 already??

Hola Familia y amigos!
I can't believe how quickly the time is flying by here--it blows my miiiiinnnnnd! I love it here at the MTC and I'm beginning to realize how much I'm going to miss it when I leave--but ther are also those things that I'm so excited to leave for  too (like having REAL investigators and putting what I'm learning here to the test!) So guess what?! I'm the new Coordinating Sister! It's fun, I get to go to extra meetings and be the keeper of the Mail and learn now to improve my leadership skills. I'm so grateful that my companion Hermana Becar was the first CS, I learned a lot by her great example. Hermana Becar is the sister going to The Dominican Republic and she was supposed to leave a few weeks back for the MTC down there, but it turns out there's no room there for her, so we get to keep her! which makes me really happy, she's such a strength in our tri-panionship! Hermana Williams (my other companion) is getting sick :( she's had a super sore throat and it's turning into a cough, kinda like I had, but they think it's strep, not bronchitis. she got so anti-biotics so 'sall good). I love my campanions :) we're really learning how to teach well together.

So--cat's out of the bag--My district found out that I like to draw and is always coming to me with fun little art projects to do--it's pretty great, but kind of hard to find time for it ;) but don't worry I'm working hard, resisting the urge to draw for hours on end (y'all know I definitely would if I could). I bought this pretty leather journal to take to devotionals and workshops and firesides, kind of an "inspiration" journal, and I started etching my name into it with my earring and then it turned in to big flowers and well long story short I'm doing a couple more now for some elders in my district :) don't worry, I found a better tool to use than an earring :D I'm also finding more and more opportunities to participate in music, There is a new elder in our Zone who has played flute for 10 years and it pretty amazing, this Sunday I'll be accompanying him in a beautiful arrangement of "Nearer My God to Thee" and I'm so excited! Sister Williams and I are still planning on auditioning tomorrow for a special musical number for a fireside or Relief Society meeting or something (as long as she can still sing, her throat is starting to get better, but it may be next week). We're singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul," If you haven't heard it, you should youtube it or something--it is one of my new favorite songs of all time :)

Thank you all for your letters and DearElders, it's so much fun to hear about what's going on in your lives, they really make my day every time :)

So Tuesdays are my favorite days, there's a fun workshop every afternoon after GYM and  I LOVE Devotional and being able to sing in the choir, It's such a great day. Yesterday we were teaching our "investigator" and asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized so she can receive even more blessings from her Heavenly Father because of her obedience and she said that she really wants to, but she has to talk to her Mom. I'm really really really hoping her mother says YES! It was such a good feeling, our investigators kept changing so often that we never got this far with one before and I'm really gaining a great love for her as we work with her (and she's just my teacher--Hermana Savage, who is the BEST by the way--acting as an investigator), I just can't wait to get into the field!
So last week in the temple I was flipping through the Bible and I found a new favorite scripture. Isaiah 12:2-5. I love it, so look it up :) It expresses everything I feel in my heart and want to express about my Savior.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank You for your prayers and love and support!

Jena: I got the shirts right after I sent that letter last week saying how excited I was for them! I like them a lot! thank you thank you thank you! they're going to be just great. I love you!

Mom: Yes, my shoes are great, my clothes are great, everything's working very well :) But I'm thinking about buying new English scriptures (a couple nore pages came out of my quad and I'm a little worried about it) what do you think about that? I know it would be expensive... so just tell me what you think :) In the meanwhile I'll try gluing them back in.

los quiero muchisimo!
Hermana Mitchell

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Not a ton has happened since my last email. My district got a new Teacher, his name is Hermano Roxas--he has such a great ability to teach and invite the spirit, but it turns out they're switching him out for a new teacher this week so.... that will make 7 teachers already and we're not even half-way through! I absolutely can't believe that it's been 4 weeks, time goes by so fast even though the days feel really long.  On Sundays we usually have a speaker come for a Fireside, but this time we got to watch the Celebration of President Monson's Birthday with the Mormon Tabernachle Choir! I forgot how much I miss music (they sang all sorts of wonderful showtunes). I love President Monson, he truly is a prophet of God. Then after the show we watched a movie (like we do every sunday night) and I swear it was made in the 80's. It was called "Labor of Love" and was about this missionary who was coming home from his mission and started talking to a man on the air plane about what he was doing for the last 2 years. The flashbacks were the best--super cheesy. It was awesome.
My tri-panionship is working well together! We have figured out a good routine for mornings and companionship study. I never knew how effective role-playing could be until now, teaching deep gospel-related concepts in a way that they make sense to someone who has no/different religious views--and in Spanish! But like I said, we're getting better and better, we're relying a lot on each other and on the spirit to guide us.
Every Tursday morning we have service at 6 am (and it's great because I usually run into my cousin Josh because we do service in the same building that we works!). And it's also awesome to see Sarah in the cafeteria every once in a while! I have a few friends from BYU-Idaho here at the MTC and it is SO great to see them all the time, and it's also great making new frends! Hermana Williams and I are practicing a song to (hopefully) sing at a Fireside or other event and we asked a random Elder playing piano if he would play for us, and he's so excited for the opportunity! He and his companion will be serving in Nicaragua! We'll be singing "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" and our goal is to audition next Thursday. I'm so excited!  This last Sunday I got to play the hymns in Sacrament meeting, It was great. I'm so grateful I can share my ability for music with everyone--there are so many great opportunities!
Well my time is running short--there is so much to do and P-Day is NEVER long enough, but know that I love you all and pray that you can feel the love of Heavenly Father every day in your lives, he often speaks to us through the words in the scriptures and the feelings of the spirit--read them and listen!
Les Quiero Mucho!
Hermana Mitchell

p.s. mom/any possible package senders: I would love some earrings... mostly because somehow I've lost all the backs to my studs except for one pair, so I have to rotate my 2 earring backs with all the studs I have.... it would be SO GREAT to get a few more pairs, (pearly or jewely studs) even if it were just for the backs... Thanks! I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


It's a beautiful day at the CCM! I can't believe that today is the start to week 4! We went to the temple this morning and it was incredible. I love going to the temple, I learn something new every time. So since school just started here at BYU, all the teachers in my zone changed. We we got 2 new teachers this week and with new teachers come new investigators (get it? our teachers ARE our investigators...). I'm excited, but kinda sad, we were making good progress with the last investigators, but what can you do? It's all about learning and growing :) So all together in this CCM experience, I'll have a total of 6 teachers, (because we had substitues for the first week) which is kinda different, but fun!

hmm so what's going on over here... I'm starting to think in spanish, which is weird, and it's strange when we have workshops that have us teach in English because we've been working so hard at teaching in Spanish! It's so interesting how teaching the lessons is helping me learn more about the gospel as well as the language too. We still aren't doing a ton with grammar and vocab in class, it's really stressed that everything else will come when it needs to, So I'm just going with it and loving every minute!

So last week was our first TRC (Teaching Resource Center) experience, which is kinda scary but mostly fun, we get to teach volunteers from the community. Some are members and some are investigators, some are native Spanish speakers and others aren't. the TRC is SO helpful because it's all about real interaction with people, they even set up the classrooms like a home, and we need to knock the door and introduce ourselves and our message and everything--so it feels pretty real! The first people we taught were the sweetest old couple ever! they shared their conversion stories and gave us great encouragement, and I was so excited that I could understand almost everything they said in their native Spanish. The people in the second "home" we visited were so great too, all college age. Two of them were members and one was not, but he was interested in the Gospel, so we taught him about the importance of prayer and he prayed with us and he committed to reading what we assigned him out of the Book of Mormon and praying about it! I know that these teaching programs here are inspired because even though we're supposed to be the ones teaching, we're really the ones being taught!

Have I told you about my Companions? Hermana Becar is so great, she's from Southern California and is going to the Dominican Republic! She is so fun and outgoing, I look up to her a lot in her ability to talk to anyone and everyone so easily! and Hermana Williams is from Ohio, going to Reno. She is SO smart. She really treasures the scriptures and has spent so much of her life learning from them, I also look up to her a lot in that. We have so much fun together and we're learning a lot from each other as we try to teach. It's great because they both enjoy music, we all go to Choir together and it is so great, We sang "Jesus, once of Humble Birth" last night devotional. I LOVE that song, especially how every line shows Christ's humility and lowly circumstances and how powerful he is now, I can always feel the spirit while singing here. Hermana Williams has a beautiful voice and we really want to do a duet together in a Fireside, so we're going to hunt down an accompanist to play for us.

My health is improving every day and I'm almost ovre this sickness I've had for a few weeks, thank you for all your prayers, and letters make my day!

LES QUIERO <3 Take care, and know that I love you and know that this is the best place I could ever be! Thanks for your love and support

Hermana Mitchell

Oh and Mom or Jena or whoever is sending a package: I would LOVE some more little sockies, the skin color ones. it seems like I've lost almost half of them somehow.... and I really need a white shirt... any white blouse, just something that I can wear with any of my skirts.... please please please!