Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, Samuel....

Hola Familia!

How is every lil thing? Texas is great. Its about 60 degrees here
every day. Me ENCANTA!!!! I am very sleep all of the time, but I love

Texas, and all of the people here are actually reminding me a ton of
when we lived in Florida. Its funny how these things can be brought
back to your rememberance! I love it. The food - I learned how to make
flutas, and very yummy salsa. And weird thing is, I've actually lost
weight...? I'm confused about that one.

This week was really good!! We were knocking doors one night and ran
into a family of four - The Castillo Family. They are awesome. They
have a lot of really good questions and boy oh boy, the Dad, Gerardo
knows his bible really well! He took the Book of Mormon very well
actually, a lot better than what I was thinking. What I like about the
Castillo family is that they let you talk. And when you testify to
them they say very supportive things about Christ's church. I know
that the Mom feels the spirit! You can just tell when you look in her
eyes! This family will probably take some time, but I just love them!

We also taught Jose and his wife Alejandra Castro. Now, Jose. He
believes that 9 years ago a witch cast a spell on him and that he has
been cursed by him ever since....... (at least that is what I
understood. this was all in spanish.) But we talked to him about
prayer, and repentance, and that he can become clean. He has a true
desire to be baptised. Also: I guess about 20 years ago he was taught
by missionaries!!! So cool!

Ricardo Leos and his "wife" we found out are not casado!!
NOOOooooOOOOooo!... It's okay. Ricardo likes it enough that I think
that he will want to still be married to his "esposa" and still be
baptised. They've lived together for 11 years- since they've had
Maria, their 11 year old daughter! Maria is so funny. Maria can speak
english, but I make her talk to me in Spanish. She loves church, and
is really excited to be baptised!

La familia Gonzalez. The Noche de Hogar fell through last minute. That
was sad. I really think that is what they need, but they just are
afraid to act. Then they didn't come to church again, so I'm not
really sure what will happen. They are the best family ever. I just
wish that they would come to church! Rubi the 7 year old daughter is
the greatest example. Hermana Jones and I made these paper flowers for
Marta (the mother) because her sister had just passed away. On each of
the flowers we wrote scriptures of comfort. Both in the Book of
Mormon, and the Bible. Anyways, Rubi and Marta were reading some of
the scriptures, and Rubi was like, "one more, mama!" They are such a
sweet family, and I have no doubt in my mind that someday they will be
baptised. Just am not sure when that day will be.

Elder Duncan from the seventy came and spoke wilth us for a Mission
Conference! It was soo good! Wow. I learned so much from him. He
started the meeting asking us to ask ourselves what we would like to
learn from the spirit today. My two questions were:
- How can I be a more faithful and a more diligent missionary?
- What is is that I need to teach my future children?
Do you know what he focused on during most of the meeting?
Love, and Charity.
This one subject answered both of my questions. I can be more faithful
and diligent by loving the people, and by having the same vision for
them that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them. And I can
teach my future children to Love One Another, and Christ has loved
them - by giving them that same love. (sorry I realize the redundance
of that last sentence. Just take it for what it is.) I can see the
eternal worth of people, and it makes me so sad when I see the people
not doing these simple things like reading their scriptures, and going
to church. I can imagine that this is how Heavenly Father feels when
He sees one of his children make a small wrong decision. Or when he
can see how close we are to making the right decision, but then we
don't have the faith to act! I just want to show these people their
eternal worth, and just how much Heavenly Father loves them!

In the middle of the conference:

President durrant likes to make up songs.
The song has four verses, and the last verse is very much like the first three!!

I'm in Heaven,
I'm in Heaven,
In the Texas Dallas Mission
I'm in Heaven.

Then Sister Durrant stands up
"And my version of the song goes.... I'm in Heaven, 'cause I've got Devin"
bajajajajaja! Oh, President and Sister Durrant are so great!

okay funny story of the week:
Hermana Jessica Jones (from Idaho Falls, mom) and I were knocking, and
we talk to everyone that we see! So we see this kid who is about 15
years old. His name is Samuel. Looks about 5 feet tall, and had this
saweeet mexi-pre-teen-stache goin' on.
We gave him a pass along card - with the # he can call to get the
Finding Faith in Jesus Christ video on it. Anyways, as we shake his
hand goodbye he says in ENGLISH "you 2 are preeety...." and they
slyfully puts his arm on my shoulder like he was giving me an awkward
side hug.
jajajajaja, I can laugh about it now, but at that moment I was like --
Hermana Jones, please save me!!!
So great. I'm glad that I can get complements when I'm on a MISSION
and when I DON'T get ready for the day. So cool!

One more story:
I think that my favorite part of the week was in coordination meeting
actually, with the ward mission leader, Hermano Madrano. In our
district we have 2 Elders, Hna. Jones and I, and then a set of Senior
Missionaries. Hermano y Hermana Bagley (love them!) Anyways, Hermana
Bagley does not speak any spanish. So in coordination meeting Hermano
Madrano ended the meeting with his testimony in English. Holy cow! The
spirit just swept into the room. The all of us sisters in the room
were just crying our little eyes out! I know EXACTLY how it is trying
to testify to someone in a language that you've never learned before.
Anyways. I love the ward I am serving in - Rowlett 3rd! Best Bishop,
Best ward mission leader! Awesome!

Anyway family (and frenz), know how much I love you! I pray for you every day!

Te amo muchisisisisimo!
Hermana [e]Spencer

p.s. y'all should send me like a picture of the week or something! Just an idear

Rowlet Norte

Oh. My. Goooooodnesss!!! I love y'all so so so much! Texas is way different than what I was expecting, but is just way awesome! President Durrant is very persistant on wanting the Spanish Missionaries use their Spanish, so I do not teach anything in English. All Spanish! Woooot Woooot!!
So as you can see, my very first area is Rowlett Norte! We have the best bishop ever, and the people are SO loving!

Okay, So this week has been kind of crazy.
We got to Texas and the very first thing we did was went to the mission home, had a testimony meeting, and some food, and then some missionaries came and got us, and we went out and taught with them! It was way fun!!! I love tocando las puertas!!
Then that night I stayed with the English sisters that live with members and had some blue bell ice cream. I guess that stuff is famous here. Then Brother Hales gave us mini Preach My Gospels! In Spanish, and they are so cute!!!
The next morning we had this orientation meeting thing about a whole bunch of reglas... that was kind of long, but then at the end of the meeting all of the trainers showed up, and from the second that I saw Hermana Jones I just knew she was my nueva companiera! She is awesome!!! I love her so much. So glad that she can speak Spanish, because I do still struggle. We loaded everything up in el carro (no bikes for this transfer), and headed straight to our apartment. I really love our apartment, as fun as it is... las cucarachas like it as well! jaja! We also live next door to some burrachos, and pit bulls, and all sorts of fun people! I just love it. I seriously just soak it up.
So then we went to a few appointments, which went really well, and then went and did some door contacting. I guess about 90% of the people we teach, we find from door contacts. I always know which houses the hispanics live in. There are a few clues to look for, which include but are not limited to:
- zillions of frogs on the doorstep
- billions of cars in front of the house
- Christmas lights are still up, and are still lit
- sometimes a virgin mary outside the house (with Christmas lights around it as well)
Oh, I love it. The foooooooooood too!!! YUM! I get fed tamales, carne asada, and tortillas! So good.
A lot of the people that we teach are either from Mexico, or El Salvador. They are all really cool!
So we are teaching this family, the Gonzales family, and they are all so awesome! They have the cutest kids, and are just loving all that we teach them. (p.s. mom, thanks for all the stickers you've sent! I give them out to all the the kids, and they love it!) The only thing is that they don't like church - they said it was becuase we don't talk enough about Christ, but I think they just came on a bad Sunday that they talked about the importance of being on time to church... we taught them about how its the spirit that is the teacher and invited them to church again. And at the end of the apt, the daughter prayed that they would be able to go to church, but then they weren't there yesterday... Esta bien.  Hermana Alverez (the Bishops wife) went over there yesterday and invited them to Noche de hogar! I think this is just what they need, and so we are excited about tonight!!!
Church yesterday was kind of a doozy for me. I didin't understand anything of what was going on. Except for in releif society when they had me introduce myself... "Soy Hermana Spencer..... Soy de Utah..." jajaja. Oh, bless my alma. But I love releif society. Every sister greets eachother with a kiss. love it. We have to watch out for the Hermanos because sometimes, they'll getcha! The awesome part about church was that we had Ricardo Leos and his 11 year old daughter Maria show up at church! It was way sweet!! They both have baptism dates set, but we may have to move it back so we can teach them all that they need to be taught (we are really hoping that Ricardo and his wife/girlfriend are married!) I think they are, but we still havn't asked them...... should be interesting.
Okay, well family! I love y'all so much! I can really feel all of your prayers, and I pray for you each every day as well :) LOVE YOU!!
Hermana eSpencer (this is how they all pronounce mi nombre. jajaja)

Friday, February 10, 2012

hilarious pictures from the MTC

 These are some pictures Anna sent to Jammie after she found out her exciting news!!

she has not changed a bit.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

last week in the empty sea! {thanks Jordz!}

Hola y'all ustedes!!!!!!!
I got the travel plans mum! Which is good, but now I have just been anxious and such to pack...
Padre, Thank you for the spanish e-mail. I understood it! I will try my best to not speak spanglish/tex mex/ pocho??? what is that? At least with investigators.
Madre, You're the BEST!!! I love you sooooooo much. Thanks for taking advantage of those dear elders. I love getting those! I love getting any mail!
Erin, I hear you've gotten a whole lot funnier since I've been gone! Congratulations!
Evan, I have heard little to nothing from or about you. Hope you're doing just swell. Work hard with Tennis!
Rudy, how are the Pupperoni's?? The second counselor in our Branch Presidency runs the company that makes those. I love him - (Brother Menlove)
Maya, I love you too :)
So the Taco Amigo Package??!? OH. MY. GOODNESS! I have been saying for at least the past three weeks -- "You know what I could REeeeeally go for right now? A Taco Amigo bean burrito." Oh, yeeesssss. It was the best meal ever! Thank you family for being so thoughtful! I love you all sooo much! I didn't realize how much I wanted some until I opened the box, and smelled the addicting substances. Yikes. I am addicted to TA.... jajajajaja. Bless all y'alls almas.
Also: I will be writing Marge a Thank You letter. But in the mean time Erin, tell her that I really appreciated the Journal, and the $. She did not need to do that! She is such a dulce corazon (yes, dad. I realize this is incorrect. But hilarious to me.) Anyways, Tell her thanks. And I love the game that Bishop Greg came up with. 'Where do you think Marge is right now.' Mercy. I would win at that game! Love that lady!
We do some online studying every Sunday, and this Sunday we were able to create profiles. Since I already had one, I did some profile stalking? It's what missionaries do instead of facebook stalking. I found: Erin's profile! As well as one of the Spanish teachers. That's about it. Jaja. It was still sweet! profiles- fam, all of you need to make one! They are cool!
Also on Sunday we had to fill out our teacher evaluation forms. Elder Tanner Lebaron - SLAYS me. Oh man. So we have this really pretty teacher - Hermana Mullen, who is engaged to one of the 70's sons (Elder Pino!) Anyways, under the suggestion box, Elder Lebaron wrote only three words: Wait for me.
Oh my goodness. So then yesterday we were walking to go teach Hermana Mullen as herself - which was way cool by the way (we got to do it in English because that is her native tongue.) anyways, she was dying! She was like, its a good thing I am engaged because my boss looks at those! And then we all laughed about it. We have the best teachers! Hermano Parke I scared SO bad the other day. We have this peep hole on the outside of our door. And I looked through it before going into our classroom, and saw that he was about to come out. So right as he opens the door, i go "RAWWR!" And his face - hahaha. turned white! So funny! And then he laughed and said "Buenos Dias." Killed me.
I have really enjoyed all of my time here in the MTC (empty sea.. jordzz....)!! I have been SO blessed with the people that I have met. Those people I am sure I will remember for the rest of my whole life. My district has just become my family. We have never had unity problems, and I am so grateful for that! I think if there has been anything that I have learned while being here in the MTC is that a) I am here at the right time. At the right place. The experiences and the people that I will meet in Dallas, are especially for me. I can not WAIT to hit the field! It is going to be an incredible experience! and then b) I have learned how important it is to rely on the Spirit. How important it is to help the investigator to recognize the Spirit. The MTC is a special place. I think it is just an extension of the temple grounds. It's really cool to be here, and these past two months that I have had, I will never get back. So I am glad that I have used my time here wisely.
Okay family (and frenz), I love everyone SO MUCH! Thank you for all of the letters! You are the best!
Te Amo Mucho,
Hermanna Anna