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.