Thursday, January 26, 2017

This week has been great! Unfortunately this upcoming week is my
"momma's" or my trainer's last week of her mission :(((( it is so sad
but we decided we are going to make this the best week of her whole
life :)) haha okay maybe not her whole life, but it will be great.

Some highlights of the week:
1) So the other night we were outside this sketchy house and when we
parked we saw this big dog outside across the street that was barking
at us. We waited until he ran away and then went and knocked on this
person's door. No one was home so we left and got back in the car. As
we were driving away, this same dog came out of nowhere and was
charging at our car! I thought we were going to hit him because it was
dark outside and I couldn't see where he went! Hahah it was so scary I
let out a little scream. Fun times. You kind of had to be there.

2) We also get to help teach English class! It is so fun!! Haha I love
Spanish accents in the English language. Also Obispo (Bishop) comes
and he is the cutest old man I have ever met. He is always cracking
jokes and then laughs at them super hard hahah. And the other day in
English class, the teacher was saying verbs for the class to repeat,
but Obispo would just keep saying them with the teacher as if he was
teaching too. Ah I don't know why it is so funny to me but he makes
English class so much more fun.

3) It has snowed so much!! But it is a fantastic opportunity to do
service so it's okay. 

4) On Saturday we learned how to make arepas!! So I think it is just a
Venezuelan thing, but they are these little tortilla things that are
just thicker that you can cut open like a biscuit. Super good! The
lady we made them with took a video for us but she still hasn't
emailed it to us so you will probably have to wait until next week to
see my amazing Venezuelan chef skills :) These people were so
impressed that I could do it even though I'm American! Haha

5) On Sunday the 9th ward and the 2nd ward in the Westland Stake had
Ward Conference, so the missionaries were invited to the Priesthood
meetings to share our testimonies of the importance of
member-missionary work. They were both really great meetings. What I
loved most was the story President Barlow shared; he is an incredible
Stake President and very inspired man. He is so awesome! Here is a
short version of his "member-missionary" story:

"One time I was flying home from a trip to Boston. I happened to be
seated next to this couple that was going to visit family in Oregon.
Because I was on my way to Salt Lake, they asked if I was Mormon and I
said yes. I asked them if they knew anything of the Mormon church and
they said yes. Their neighbors  were members and they had in multiple
occasions invited them to church and activities. They weren't
interested in learning more but when I told them about family history
they were excited to learn more about their family. As the flight came
to an end, I knew this was my last chance to invite them once again to
learn more about the Savior. The question I made sounded something
like this: Would you maybe possibly kind of want to think about maybe
one day being a little bit interested in possibly meeting with some
missionaries? They said no and after we said goodbye I thought to
myself, what kind of invitation was that? I should have testified of
Christ, shared my feelings of the blessings of family history with
them, or anything more than that! But right when I thought that, an
overwhelming assurance of the Holy Ghost came over me telling me "at
least you tried! Thank you for trying." That is what is important.
That at least we have the faith to try."

I invite you all to think of ways that you can be member-missionaries
as well!! You can do this! It all starts with being an example of
Jesus Christ in all times and in all places. Then you just need to
have the courage to open your mouth! Believe it or not, it can be
super hard to open your mouth and talk to someone about who you are
and what you stand for, but it is just that! It is who you ARE and who
you STAND FOR. It is so easy to bring up as well because we do so many
things every day that bring us closer to Christ! We can share
uplifting scriptures or videos on Facebook, invite people to church,
share a short testimony with someone on the bus or at the store, or
serve!! :)) The Light the World campaign wasn't just for December! We
can do it every month! One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of
God unto salvation..." Don't be ashamed of something that is who you
are! :))

I love you all so much!
Until next week!

Hermana Daniels ❤️

Haha okay so first of all, Eduardo is doing great! He has already been
interviewed to receive the priesthood and for a temple recommend and
he is so excited to go do baptisms for the dead for his brother. Super
sweet. Also Joel's mom, Elvira, is soooo good!!  Training is good!
All three of us have learned so much. And my trainer still has until
the end of this transfer which is January 31st I think so a couple
more weeks still. Also Spanish is coming along! I've definitely been
able to understand more which has been nice. And people tell me I have
a good accent so that's good!  My
companion just started personal progress! She got baptized 3 years
ago and she just heard about it so she's going to do it too!

Anyway, this week was so good!!
1) ANGIE'S BAPTISM!!! The cutest little girl in the world got baptized
this Saturday!! I think I may have told you about her before, but she
and her grandma were going to get baptized on the same day except her
grandma is having a hard time giving up coffee. But her whole family
was there and the Spirit was SO strong. According to my companion who
is going home in 2 weeks "it was the most beautiful baptism she has
ever been to." I know that they all felt the Spirit and that they know
this church is true. She is such a great example to her family and she
told us that she wants to serve a mission someday! Even her
less-active mom was asking us about what we had to do to become
missionaries so that she knows what to do for Angie! I am so excited
for them. I will definitely be keeping tabs on this family for years

after the mission. They are awesome.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Holaaaaa como estan?! This week was super super good!! I'll just
number the highlights of the week again because there were so many
good things that don't really relate so here we go:

(Also quick shout-out/moment of silence for Princess Leah.... RIP. And
also I heard about her heart attack the day-of so don't worry I'm
still updated with the important things of the world ;) I just forgot
to mention that back when it happened)

1) Eduardo Candela Cruz got baptized!! I can't remember if I told you
about him, but he was the one who when we knocked on his door, he
opened it right away and said "What church are you from? I want to go
to your church! Where is it and when does it start?!" He was so so so
prepared to hear and accept the Gospel--definitely a huge miracle.
Except we only taught him about half of the lessons because he was
getting too flirty with my companion so the elders had to teach him
"man-to-man" haha. He was so excited for his baptism though; it was great to
see how happy he was/is. Also the elders were talking to him about the
gift of the holy ghost during a lesson that night after his baptism,
and he asked them if I could do the confirmation at church on
Sunday... Hahah don't worry the elders explained the priesthood to
him. I was flattered though 😊

2) So also I don't know if you remember Joel, but he was the little 11
year-old boy that got baptized on Christmas. His older sister got
baptized back in July I think, and I think I mentioned that his mom
was interested in taking the lessons? Well she definitely was and we
have only taught her twice since Joel's baptism, but she is SO
prepared!! She has had an incredibly hard life and she is so strong
and faithful and God has been guiding her her whole life. In the last
lesson we had with her, we invited her to be baptized as well and she
accepted a date for the 21st of January!! And then she was like "I
know you guys don't drink coffee though..." and in my head I was like
"ah man here we go..." but then she continued "but I actually made it
my New Year's resolution to stop drinking coffee...I would drink 4-5
cups a day but since the new year I have only had water." !!!! She is
just changing and teaching herself and she is so prepared for
baptism!! God knows her heart and has blessed her so much and we are
so excited for her! She knows this is what is right already and it is
incredible to see her entire demeanor change so much and so rapidly.
That family is awesome!

3) The other night we went over to an investigator's house to teach
this couple named Ana and Argenis. Well Ana was the only one home, so
we were reading the Book of Mormon with her and just talking and then
when we were about to leave, Argenis got home. We had to go to another
appointment, but we just said hi to Argenis and asked how he was. Then
he said to us "Hermana Daniels, every time I see you I think of my son
because he's looking for a girlfriend and I told him I know "una
misionera taaaan preciosa" aka super cute missionary that is teaching
us right now."  .....ahhhhh hahah it was so awkward/weird and as you
can imagine my face got bright red. Haha and then his wife was like
"Ah! Perdon!" Like ah! I'm so sorry!! Haha fun night. Also his son is
27 and lives in Venezuela so don't worry that's not happening/I won't
get married off yet ;)

4) English class!! We get to help teach the English class and it is so
fun! It is just at the church building every Sunday afternoon and
there's usually a pretty good turn out. We've only done it once, but I
love it so much. Hahah I just love listening to their accents mostly.
And I've never really realized how weird/hard English is! They had
trouble saying words like "does" "these" "what" "do" and "shoes." Lots
of fun :)

5) I got "investigator-dumped" for the first time this week. It was
soooo sad. Our friend Cipriano from Africa told us that he simply
cannot ask God if the Book of Mormon is true because that would be
sinning because the Bible is the only truth. Well we showed him James
1:5  and explained that God wants us to ask Him lots
of questions all the time because we aren't perfect and we learn new
things every day! We didn't bash, just listened to him so that he
wouldn't be mad or anything because we can't force someone else's
agency just like God can't force our agency; all we can do is testify
of what we know to be true and let the Spirit work with him. But he
had a really hard time accepting the Book of Mormon and told us that
he doesn't want to do this anymore so he said we are on his "list of
good friends" and welcome in his home (because his sister is Mormon)
but he doesn't want to talk about the Gospel anymore. It's so sad to
be closed out and rejected and pushed away, but how can we expect it
to be perfect and easy with every investigator or everyone we meet
when it was never easy for Jesus Christ? His own friends and people
rejected Him and still do. We as missionaries have to go through that
as well in order to come closer to Christ and honestly, it is so worth
it. I am more and more thankful every day for my Savior and His
sacrifice. It is so wonderful to me.

6) This past week it has snowed A TON!! Like we got a new 6 inches
every night for about 3 or 4 days straight. But then on Sunday it
ice-rained-- there was a literal sheet of ice all around our car after
church! But last night and today it has warmed back up to the 30s and
40s and it rained this morning which melted almost all of the snow! It
almost feels like Spring! Haha I hope it stays!

7) One of our 9 year-old investigators named Angie had a birthday
party the other day and she saved each of us a little goodie bag!
However it was completely full of Mexican candy.....I hate Mexican
candy haha. It was super super sweet of her, so I obviously kept it,
but I let Hermana López and Gonzalez split my candy. I attached some
pictures of some of it to show you how weird Mexican candy is. All of
it is either chili, lime, chicken, or salt flavored. I was going to
send some home for you all to try it, but I didn't want it to go to
waste since my companions love it and you guys would probably not like
it either lol.

8) The missionary-celebrity status is real. Hahah every time we are at
the store or the gas station or the one time we went to a restaurant
or outside shoveling or walking down the street (20 feet from our
car), people wave at us or honk at us or go out of their way to say hi
to us. It is weird but so great haha I love it. Also just a quick
stereotype update: missions in Utah are hard. People say "oh Utah?
You'll baptize every week and be running from lesson to lesson and
never knock on doors and always have someone to teach because of all
of the member-referrals." Well we actually knock on doors every day
and we only have real lessons with people if we catch them at home at
a good time. No one ever calls us to confirm appointments or anything
like that. And we rarely get referrals from members because all of
their friends are either members (especially in a Spanish ward where
they don't know a lot of other people) or they really shut-out Mormons
because in Utah it is more of a culture than a religion. That's
something huge I've learned recently is that a lot of people here say
they are Mormon, but don't even go to church or keep the commandments
or anything. And that is so hard! People that move here from Central
and South America already shut their hearts to hearing the Gospel
because they think it is a culture and not a religion. Ah sorry for
the slight rant, but I just want to stress how important it is to be a
member of the church in other parts of the world and country! I am so
grateful I grew up in Michigan and had that firm foundation of a
religion--not just something to follow because everyone else is
following it. So be good examples for me back home!! Be strong and of
good courage!! Be not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!! :))))

I love you all so much!! I hope everyone is back to health and that
things are going well. 

Have a great week!
les amo!! :)

Hermana Daniels

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feliz 2017!!! Wow I am so excited for this new year! This is going to
be one of the best years of my life because I get to dedicate every
single day of 2017 to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I can't wait.
:) And we have been so blessed already!!

Highlights of the week:

Wednesday: We had 5 or 6 lessons planned for Wednesday night and every
single one of them fell-through. We weren't sure what to do, but then
we got a phone call from our District Leader. He had 2 new referrals
for us!! One of them was a family from Africa that speaks Spanish!
They are so awesome. I didn't know they speak Spanish in Africa! They
are from Equatorial Guinea. Their Spanish is like Spain-Spanish though
with a lisp and everything so it's even harder to understand but it's
fun. :) Also in their country, their last names are their first names
and their first names are their last names so they all call me
"Danielle" haha I love it. What's even cooler though is that this is
the same house we went to back during my very first week in Utah! I
don't know if I ever told you about "Familia Grande" (a family of 15)
but we received a referral for them at this exact house and every time
we went over to find them, there was no sign of life at all. But they
are there now!! And God knows that they are prepared to hear the
Restored Gospel. Super cool! The other referral was for another family
in the same neighborhood and we have an appointment with them this
week. :)

Friday: Our Ward Christmas/New Year's Party!! It was super fun. And
our new friends from Africa came!! They had dinner and dancing and
piñatas :)) Unfortunately, it went from 6:30-11 so we had to leave
early and we missed the piñatas :// but it was fun watching people
dance! We weren't allowed to dance either obviously (which was
incredibly difficult for me) but it was still fun watching. I learned
some Spanish moves for the future so it wasn't a waste of time ;)

Which reminds me! Apparently there is a really good Mexican singer
named "Juanes" ?? That's just what my companions say. You can look him
up if you want, but I'm just warning you I have no idea what it is
haha. Also look up Nashville Tribute! I'm kind of ashamed to say that
I am slowly being converted to country music.........but this band is
actually really good. Look up their album "Redeemer: A Nashville
Tribute to Jesus Christ" or something like that. ALSO! My new favorite
song is called "Redeemer" but it is by Nicole C. Mullen. It is so
good! Hahha I listen to it every day.

Our ward also meets at 9 now but I love it haha it's still kind of
hard getting up at 6:30 every morning, but once I get moving it's
alright. In the strength of the Lord I can do all things!! :)

Also I am so disappointed in Ohio State. Like very disappointed and
shocked. But I'm also very glad I missed that game or I'd be even more
frustrated right now haha.

I love you all and hope everyone is back in good health soon!! Don't
forget to involve the Savior in your new-year resolutions! He is my
everything and I am so excited to come closer to Him this year.

Also that reminds me of a quick Family Home Evening idea!! So it's
focused on the Book of Mormon. Everyone starts by trying to write
their testimony down with their finger on an ipad (whiteboard app or
if you have the updated Notes app that works too) in only 2 minutes.
Try to write as much as you can or the most important parts of your
testimony-- no erasing. It's hard, huh! It was just as hard and even
harder for the prophets of the Book of Mormon to write in pure gold
plates! During war! And just think about how strong and sincere and
simple/concise their testimonies are. It is truly amazing. Therefore,
the Book of Mormon HAS to be inspired of God. It was made for our
benefit! Specifically for this day and age! So we should use it and
study it and read it as much and as often as we can. :)) I love the
Book of Mormon!

Happy first week of 2017!

love, Hermana Daniels