Tuesday, June 27, 2017

WOW how am I already halfway through my mission?! I feel like
Christmas was yesterday and that I'm only 2 months old. Ahhhhhh that's
so weird. Christmas is in 6 months again! Hahah wow time flies. I
don't even know what to say.
Bueno. I have learned SO much from these past 9 months serving the
Lord 24/7. And I am so excited for the next 9 months to come!!

Mission-wise: I have a lot more experience than I did 9 months ago,
that's for sure! I'll admit there are definitely still times where I
don't know what to do when we are teaching or talking to someone, but
the cool thing is that I have learned to get out of the way and just
let the Spirit talk! That's the key to everything. I am so weak and
unqualified but the Lord has molded me and used me in His hands to
make me strong!! (Alma 26:12)

Language-wise: hahah I definitely know more Spanish than I did a year
ago. It's good but hard at the same time to be speaking Spanish in
Utah because everything is in English and I'm not immersed in a
Hispanic culture. But it's good at the same time because it forces me
to practice using English and Spanish at the same time so I have
gotten pretty good at translating! Also it has happened multiple times
this week where I've been trying to explain something in English and I
said some things in Spanish without even noticing it haha I always get
some confused looks and then realize that Spanglish isn't spoken by
everyone...whoops :)) Also! I have been getting a lot of compliments
on my Spanish lately so I guess that's good! Haha especially this week
when we have been talking to people on the street or in the doorway,
as soon as I start saying something they look at me super surprised
and say something like "woah where did that come from??" Hahah it's
fun. The gift of tongues is so real!!

And I've grown so much in so many other ways! I have a deeper and
stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and other Gospel and
doctrinal topics, I have learned to be more Christ-like, I have
practiced more patience, I have learned about so many different
cultures, and, most importantly, I have learned how to truly trust in
the Lord in everything and to love His children. I love this mission
so much!! Everyone always asks how I felt about getting my call to
serve here and it is weird sometimes being surrounded by so many
members, but there is SO much work to do as well. We are strengthening
the home stakes of Zion!! It makes me really sad to meet so many
less-active people here as well. There are less members than one would
think! But especially being part of the Hispanic culture has been
incredible. I feel like I have already traveled the world! I love
these people with my whole heart and I wouldn't want to be anywhere
else in the world right now. Missions are the best!! We come home
everyday and collapse on the ground but our hearts are full and we are
so happy. It's an honor to be a soldier in the Lord's Army in these
last days!!! <3

This week was also super good :) We saw lots of miracles and met lots
of new people!!
On Thursday we met the mother of a member in our ward who just came
from Mexico a couple weeks ago, and we had a lesson with her! She is
only visiting her daughter until mid-July?? But she has talked with a
lot of missionaries before. There isn't a church building in her
little town in Mexico (that she knows of) so she hasn't really been
able to progress over there, but she has come to church every week
since she has been here! Well, we got to know her and taught her a mix
of the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. We had no idea where that lesson was going to go, but the
Spirit was so strong and took over right away in order for us to say
what she needed to hear. Wow, I love living the promise that "when our
mouths are opened they shall be filled!" I testify that that is true.
This sister, Etelvina, is also incredibly humble and prepared and,
don't worry, we are on the search for a Church meeting house in her
little village! And when she receives a confirmation to what she needs
to do, she will be baptized on July 1st! We are praying that she will
accept the confirmation that she already received that night. She even
gave the closing prayer and said that she is so thankful that God sent
us there to open her heart and asked Him to help her know if this is
the path that He has for her. We are so excited for her!!

This week in my personal studies I learned so much! One of my favorite
scriptures that I found is 2 Corinthians 4, verse 3. It says, "But if
our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." This scripture is
so simple, but so profound! There are people in the world that don't
even know that they are missing something! Therefore, it is even more
important to talk to as many people as we can because the blessings of
the Gospel are endless and for everyone!

Also a funny story from the week: We are teaching a young couple from
Mexico and they have a 5 year-old girl and baby boy. This little girl
is so so precious and she loves Disney (so naturally we are already
friends :)) and she loves dressing up like Belle or Ana or Elsa. So
one day we went by and I had two braids in my hair, and my companion
was like (to this little girl) "look it's Ana!" (At me) and the little
girl was like "Ah! Yes!!!" Hahah it was so cute (shout-out to Tricia
aka Princess Ana :) everyone thinks I look like Princess Ana now too
hahah #dreamcometrue)

Lots of love and prayers from SLC!!
Have a great week!

Hermana Daniels
P.s. We are moving houses this week :(((( The Wardle's contract is up
and it is time to kick us out </3 Missionaries have lived here for 3
years!! And we are the last ones. So we will be moving next P-day so
sorry if I don't have a lot of time to write emails! We are moving
about 5 minutes away to live in the basement of a single sister in our
stake. She is so sweet and this will be the first time that
missionaries have lived there..? I think. But we are excited for the
change :) We won't be able to walk to church anymore though :// that's
the best haha we live literally right next to the church building
right now so I guess we won't be able to play basketball for exercise

in the morning anymore :( pero está bien!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Buenas! How is it already June 19th? This month has flown by!!

We had a good week, though! It was hard and there were definitely some
insanely long days thrown in, but it was an incredible learning
experience as well. Something that has helped me is to replace every
negative thought with something positive! Haha one day my companion
said "hermana, my legs hurt so much today" and without thinking I just
said "well at least we have legs!" Hahah kind of random and you kind
of had to be there, but it's true! When we count our blessings we can
see so many more positive things each day. Try it!

We spent a lot of time trying to find and contact new people, and we
weren't having a lot of success, but we did have a miracle on Friday!
It was getting kind of late, so we prayed to know where to go, and we
felt like we should go visit a man named Santos. We got to his house
and sat in the car for a minute but then we saw him outside! We went
over and talked to him a little bit, and he said he was just about to
leave, but he saw us pull up so he waited for us to come talk to him.
Normally people try to drive away as fast as possible when they see us
coming!! Haha it was great— he is super nice and accepted a pamphlet
and told us we could come back another time even after initially
saying that he wasn't interested! His heart changed in a matter of
minutes! Then he also gave us a referral of someone who goes to his
church who lives down the street! We went right away to contact her
and she opened the door and also said that we could come back on
Tuesday. :)

I also have loved reading Doctrine and Covenants now as a mission. I
have learned something new from almost every section! One of my
all-time favorite sections, though, is D&C 18. This section helped me
decide to serve a mission! Of course it talks about the worth of souls
and how great will be our joy when we brings souls unto Christ, but
one of my favorite verses is verse 17. It says, "Behold, you have my
gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation." We literally have
the truth and knowledge of everlasting life and salvation in our
laps!! Before my mission I took that for granted too often! But now I
realize the importance of sharing the goodness and blessings that we
have from the gospel with others. The Gospel changes lives! And it is
our calling and responsibility to bring it to them.

Sorry it's a shorter update this week, but I'll send some more pictures!!

Love you all!!

Hermana Daniels

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Buenos días!! Today is temple day!! We haven't gone yet, but I will
send some pictures next week :)

Highlights of this week!

1) Marisa's Baptism!! It was beautiful. She invited lots of family and
friends to attend and the Spirit was strong :) Also at her
confirmation the next day, she received a beautiful blessing and she
was crying through the whole thing. She is so amazing! I asked her to
write her testimony in my journal because she is so awesome. I don't
know if I told you her story yet, but just real quick:
She is from Concepción, Chile (s/o to Joe). When she first arrived
in Utah a few years ago, she had nothing. She was struggling a lot and
really needed help but had no where to go. One day, she contemplated
taking her own life. But then a pair of elders knocked on her door!
She let them in and they helped her calm down and told her that some
sister missionaries would come soon to comfort her because they (the
elders) couldn't do that much. The sisters came right away and
comforted her and invited her to church-- to which she attended the
next day. When Marisa was at church she was looking around for the
elders that had knocked on her door, but she couldn't find them. She
asked the sisters where they were and the sisters said that they had
no idea what she was talking about because there were no elders in
that area! Marisa knew right away that they were angels sent from God.
She has such a strong testimony and has had so many incredible
experiences like that where God has protected her and guided her to be
the woman she is today. :)

2) Elder Bednar came to talk to our mission!! We took a mission
picture with him, so when they send it to us I will share it with you
as well :) But wow, he did a Q&A with us for 3 hours straight and the
Spirit was so strong the entire time. I know that he is an Apostle of
the Lord!! We talked a lot about conversion and faith and one of my
favorite things that he said was: "Be a little better today than you
were yesterday, and a little better tomorrow than you were today." The
Lord doesn't expect us to be perfect, but He does expect us to
progress. Something else I really liked was that: "No one struggles
who feasts upon the word's of Christ daily." It is so true!! The Book
of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and our lives. We all have
struggles and different problems, but the power of the Book of Mormon
is that it can and will answer every problem we come across.

3) Last night the Spirit guided us to one of our investigator's homes!
Not only was our investigator home, but also her husband and two
children, her mom, her uncle, and her uncle's wife (who are visiting
from Mexico for only 2 weeks). We were planning on teaching just our
investigator and her husband, but that completely changed (which
happens almost everyday on the mission)! But we were prepared, and the
Spirit guided our words to know what to do and what to say. I can't
even describe how incredible the Spirit is and the gift of
discernment. I testify that the promise is 100% true that when we open
our mouths, they will be filled!! I don't even remember what I said
because I wasn't talking— the Spirit was!

4) Yesterday we also had a lesson with our investigator named Walter.
He is 11 years old and has two baby chickens and two goats. Haha I
hate goats, but Walter needed help putting them back in their cage, so
basically my companion and I played tackle football with some goats :)
then Walter ran out of food for his baby chickens, so we helped him
crush some corn seeds into basically dust. I felt so authentic,
though, just sitting there hand-crushing some corn seeds in a rock
bowl with another rock. :)

5) On Saturday morning we went to a Relief Society Activity and they
had some little classes and in one of them we learned how to make
No-Bake Cheesecake! It is insanely simple and super yummy. I'll send a
picture of the recipe when we get the recipe!

6) On Thursday we had a Zone Meeting and the building where we meet
for that is about 20 minutes away, so we were contacting some people
in the morning before we had to leave for the meeting. Well, we had a
house in mind, but we weren't sure if we should go because we had to
leave soon to get to the meeting on time! We sat there for a second
and then decided: let's go. We ran up to the door and knocked 3
different times until finally someone answered just as we were about
to leave. We talked to them a little bit and they said that we could
come back next week to share a message with them!! The coolest part
about this little miracle is that no one has opened that door to the
missionaries since September of last year. But God needed us there in
that moment and now we're going to baptize that whole family! :D

I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!

Se cuidan!

Hermana Daniels

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hi family and friends!!

Today is transfer day and.......I'm staying in Riverton! but Sister Johnson is going to Sandy with her old companion and Sister Alvarado is coming here with me!! We're just switching back! Hahah super random but we're excited!! 

This week was good! Sister Johnson and I had a great transfer together :) We taught some good lessons, found some new people to teach and to meet, and of course we have seen lots and lots of miracles! We had 5 baptisms this month!! Le'go!! and we won a pie from Kneaders because we lead the mission in baptisms! Hahah actually, we were supposed to have another baptism this past Saturday, but our investigator called us the morning of and said that she couldn't do it that day anymore because of a family emergency. At first I was kind of sad, but it was a real emergency and she is a super super solid investigator (already a convert), so no worries, she will definitely be baptized this week!! 

On Saturday we had a huge miracle and heart-break at the same time. So last Sunday, we talked to our Bishop's brother who is not a member (pretty much anti-Mormon actually), but it went really well and he accepted a Book of Mormon and he just started reading it right then when we gave it to him! And then we asked when we could come back, and he said that maybe a weekend would be good, so we said "okay, we'll be there on Saturday!" So we went over on Saturday and just his wife and one of his two sons was home. They let us in and we started talking to his wife, Rosemary, who has also investigated the church for a while, but has never wanted to change. We asked her how everything was and if her husband was able to find a job so that he could help her support their family (he just got here from Venezuela for the baptism of his parents: Adnerys and Jose). But that's when she told us that he had left to go back to Venezuela just the night before. ....</3 She started crying and I thought I was going to too. Their marriage has been rough for a while, but it was so sad to see her hurt again and this brother was so ready for the Gospel! We comforted her right away and shared a scripture with her and we could see it really touch her heart--even to the point of tears again. I know without a doubt that God sent us there to comfort her in that moment--just as if He was there for her, because He is! But what a blessing it is to be a tool in the Lord's hands everyday and to be guided by the Spirit to be exactly where we needed to be. Rosemary has always been too busy to meet with missionaries and has never really wanted to change, but we can see something changing inside. She has come to church every Sunday except one ever since I got here! It will take a lot of patience and prayer, but we know that she knows that this church is true. We hope it is finally her time!! 

Something awesome I learned this week was from one of Elder Bednar's talks that he asked us to read in preparation for when he comes! The talk is called, "Seek Learning by Faith." It goes perfectly with the message of "The Music of the Gospel!" And it's something that Sister Johnson and I have really been trying to focus on this week: to help our investigators feel the Spirit (or the music) instead of just learning the doctrine (dance steps). I love that Elder Bednar said, "Teaching, exhorting, and explaining, as important as they are, can never convey to an investigator a witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Only as an investigator’s faith initiates action and opens the pathway to the heart can the Holy Ghost deliver a confirming witness. Missionaries obviously must learn to teach by the power of the Spirit. Of equal importance, however, is the responsibility missionaries have to help investigators learn by faith." It is so true!! We can testify and teach as much as we can, but if the investigator's heart is closed, there is no progress. They have to develop their own faith and testimonies by learning the basics first through an environment filled with the Holy Ghost.

If you haven't seen "The Music of the Gospel" video yet, go watch it right now!!! I love it :) here's a link for it but I'm not exactly sure if it will work: http://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/mormon-channel/mormon-messages-2017/2017-01-005-the-music-of-the-gospel-360p-eng.mp4?download=true

In other news, it was insanely hot all week. Like almost 90s everyday. Yesterday it hit 101. But it feels like Mexico now so it's all good!! Last night at 9pm it was still 87 degrees. Yikes!

Also we had an all-sisters meeting this week which was so fun! I love the sisters in the Spanish Zone :) We are all going to be best friends forever because there won't be any new Spanish sisters coming in the mission until next year I think.....haha yeah so I will definitely get to know these 7 other hermanitas super well! <3

This week I have also started reading Doctrine and Covenants (a book of revelations from God to the prophet Joseph Smith) and I just love it so much!! I am so blessed to be able to continue learning new things in every book of scripture with a missionary perspective. These are some of my favorite verses that I have read!

~D&C 24:8 "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days."

~D&C 15:6 "And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father."

~D&C 12:7-8 "Behold, I speak unto you, and also to all those who have desires to bring forth and establish this work; And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care."

~D&C 11:21 "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

I'm also working on a separate email of all of the cool stories and incredible miracles that we have seen this transfer :) That might not be there until next week though. 

Love you all!! Cuídense mucho!!

Hermana Daniels <3

Monday, June 5, 2017

Buenas tardes!!

This week went by so fast again! The days feel slow sometimes, but it
was a good week :) Top eight highlights:

1) Aldair Diaz Martinez, age 10, was baptized on Saturday!!! That was
our 5th baptism of the transfer and we still have one more week and
someone planning on being baptized this Saturday as well, so hopefully
we can make that 6! Aldair's baptism went really well, though! Our
recent convert, Aurelio (who was baptized in January), baptized him!
It was his first time! He was a little nervous and didn't get it right
until the third time, but it was really special for both of them. I'll
send pics!

2) We started teaching our Bishop's brother!!! Wow this was a miracle.
So, as you all know, the Bishop's parents just got baptized a couple
weeks ago and they were waiting to do it then so that their other son
(who is not a member) could be there as well. Well, their other son,
Jose Gregorio finally arrived from Venezuela and was at their baptism
with his wife and two kids. He has always been very against the
church, but he cried throughout the entire baptism. His heart was so
touched! He said himself that he wanted to go back to Venezuela as
soon as possible because he didn't want to come here and be converted
by everyone. Well, we've been trying to talk to him since the day he
got here, and we haven't been able to catch him or his family at a
good time. But yesterday we went over there for dinner (with Bishop's
whole family--which is basically half of the ward) and Jose Gregorio
joined us for the spiritual message! We shared the video "Dare to
Stand Alone" (mainly for Adnerys and Jose who are new members) and
afterwards, Jose went off on his own message about the Bible and John
the Baptist and how he's noticed that our church is the only church
that baptizes the exact same way that Jesus was baptized! Anyway, we
talked some more and he accepted a Book of Mormon and he said he is
going to read the chapter we left for him AND he said that we can come
back and teach their whole family another day!!! AH this family will
take some time, but I am so pumped for them!!

3) We tried some yummy Chilean food this week! @Spence get hype!!
Chilean food is the best. And you will be fed very well so make sure
your pants can stretch! ;)

4) Sister Johnson taught me how to make homemade scones! They're
really good. We made some apple cinnamon ones! Dad, you would be proud

5) Happy Memorial Day today! We made some red-white-and-blue fruit
salad just like home! God bless America. 🇺🇸

6) We taught some lessons and met some new people and almost died of
heat stroke but I love summer!! I already have a watch tan hahah

7) This week I also finished the Book of Mormon! I love that book with
my whole heart and I know that it is the true word of God. I also
started reading Doctrine and Covenants this week and I love it so much
as well! One of my favorite sections is Section 15. John Whitmer
inquires of the Lord of "that which would be of most worth" unto him.
I love the Lord's answer in verse six! "And now, behold, I say unto
you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be
to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto
me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father." That's
the most important thing that we can do! Declare repentance and bring
souls unto Christ!! And I can't wait to rest with them in heaven
someday—it will truly be a glorious reunion.

8) On Wednesday we ate with this family from Mexico and they have
actually fed us every week and it is the best Mexican food ever. The
first time she made us flautas/tacos duros! Sister Lopez made me those
one time and it's just chicken in a tortilla that is fried. The second
time we had sopes! Those are hard to explain, you'll have to google
that one haha. And this week it was mole enchiladas! Ahhh que ricos
todos. I'm so blessed.

Sorry I didn't have time for long stories today, I will share more
miracles next week!!

Happy Memorial Day and happy June this week!!

Con amor,

Hermana Daniels <3