Monthly Archives: June 2014

Week 13!!!

June 2, 2014

So I don’t have much time to write this week because we have a zone activity (we’re going to watch Ratatouille!!!!) and we have to leave soon to take the bus (it takes like an hour to get to the stake center), hence the writing way earlier than normal, but yeah. Still haven’t had a chance to buy a camera yet but hopefully next week I’ll have it.

Anyway, things are going good here. My new companion, Hermana Kitchen, is awesome! She’s a lot of fun and the best part is that we totally get each other. She also got stressed out a lot about her previous companion and how they didn’t really get along, so when we were talking about all of that we were like ‘finally someone who understands!’. We’re trying to work on not talking in English all the time but I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard. However, we made it a goal to only talk in English in the house so we’ll see how well we accomplish that. But don’t worry, I’m still studying my Spanish and every day it’s getting better!
CONGRATS TO DALILA!!!! Thank you for sending me the pictures from your graduation – you look awesome and I’m super proud of you. Also, you were right – your grades are insane! Number 14 in your class is pretty amazing and you should be totes proud of all that you accomplished. Both academically and socially. I’m so glad that you made so many friends and truly enjoyed your senior year. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch your video cuz it’s on YouTube but save it for me so that I can see it in a year and a half from now. But that’s amazing and I’m gonna send you a more detailed letter next week!
And yeah, that’s all I have time for right now! Hopefully next Monday will be more relaxed so that I can right more. Love you!
Hna. Sanabria

Week 12 + TRANSFERS!!!!!

May 26, 2014 
So this week is transfers and things are super crazy – hence the whole writing super late thing (sorry mom if you were worried!). I’m staying in my same area – going for 4 1/2 months in Tejeda – but I’m getting a new companion! Her name is Hna. Kitchen and she’s from Utah. I already met her when we went to watch General Conference (she was the trainer of my companion from the CCM, Hna. Perez) and she’s super nice, so I’m really excited.

Now for the crazy part – they’re taking away the elders who I share my area with and bringing in another companionship of hermanas! My district is pretty much gonna be all sisters with the exception of my district leader (who also is getting transfered) and his companion (Elder Ortiz from Chiuahah is the only other missionary in my district who’s staying). I’m a little sad because my whole district is changing and we’ve come to be like a little family, but that’s just the misssion life.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to write because my comp was spending the whole day saying bye to everyone and cleaning our house, but she let me have a few minutes to write to you guys. I promise that next week I’ll write more!!!

Loooooooove,

Hna. Sanabria

PS: I still haven’t had time to buy a camera but next week I asked Elder Ortiz if we could go to la Plaza de Tecnologia so I can buy it, and he said okay. It’s funny cuz he’s freaking out about being in a district full of sisters and that now our P-Days are just going to be spent going to the salon or shopping for shoes – which I REALLY hope doesn’t happen because yeah. Anyway, that’s it for now!

Week 11 + A Baptism (kind of)

May 19, 2014 

Holaaaaaaaaaaa!

So yesterday there was a baptism…. except it wasn’t mine, haha. The family who got baptized yesterday were investigators my companion had taught in her previous area, which is El Sol. And since that’s part of our zone, Presidente gave her (and me) permission to go to the baptism, which she was super happy about. Apparently this family (it’s a mom and her two daughters) were ‘eternal investigators’ and there were a lot of legal problems why they couldn’t get baptized while my comp was teaching them, so when she found out that they finally accepted a date, she was really excited. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because it was pretty much the only eventful or rather, not-usual thing we did this week. My companion’s previous companion (Hna. Jimenez, the one who was with her during the teaching of this family) also got to go and I was happy because her companion is Hna. Cadena, who is from my generation. She was probably the sister from my generation who I was closest to and so it was really nice catching up with her. It was pretty funny cuz the first thing we said to each other was how we couldn’t believe we already have 3 months in the mission (my monthaversary is every 18th of the month, fyi). So yeah, we were freaking out together, haha.
That was pretty much the only exciting thing that happened this week. Things are still the same – work, work, work. Are investigators are still not coming to church – argggh!!! – and my companion wants to drop the Vicuña family, which I really don’t want to do. They’re the ones who were investigating 26 years ago and they haven’t been able to come cuz of their jobs and so my companion is tired of them. It’s been a little frustrating cuz it’s obvious she gives preferances to some of our investigators over others and I don’t really like that. Like, she focuses on two and all the rest she doesn’t really pay attention to. But I’m gonna see how this week goes since next week is transfers, and if it turns out that she leaves and I stay, then I’m gonna work really hard with all of those other investigators, especially the Vicuñas. However, if she stays and I go, then I’m gonna feel bad because I’m pretty sure she’s gonna drop them and I don’t want that to happen. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in plan.
And yeah, that’s pretty much it for this week. I’m super glad you’re all doing well and that things are going good. It’s so crazy that Lila and Isaac are almost done with school! And that JD is starting to learn stick shift, haha. I can just imagine how much he’s freaking out, especially driving in Bogota. Definitely want to hear how that’s coming along, haha.
As for my camera – I haven’t had a chance to buy one yet! Today my companion didn’t want to do anything and when we went to Walmart, she was like ‘You have 5 minutes’ and so I was just like, whatever I’ll buy it next week. I did buy a watch though, cuz that’s easier to pick out than a camera. Anyway, hopefully next P-Day she’ll give me more time to look for one.
So yeah! That’s it folks.
Loooooooooooooove,
Hna. Sanabria

Week 10 + Zone Conference + Happy Mother’s Day/Birthday to Mommy!!!

May 12, 2014

Holaaaaaaaaa!!!!

It was so awesome talking to and seeing you guys on Saturday. That made my day and I’m so happy everyone is doing well. As you all know, I had my zone conference on Friday and it was awesome, as usual. I took so many notes and learned a ton from Presidente. Some of my favorite quotes are:
‘You can never have enough humility’
‘Without humility, you will never progress’
‘Why do we talk to the mind when it’s our spirit that needs to be converted?’
‘Those who are CONVINCED are the ones who go inactive; those who are CONVERTED are the ones who remain faithful’.
‘We are all the ‘previous missionaries’ so make sure the reputation you leave behind is one you won’t regret’
The stake president was also there during our zone conference and something he shared with us that I really liked was, that when we take notes, we should separate them. One side for what we hear or learn, and the other for what the Spirit reveals to you. I thought that was really cool and ever since I changed my way of taking notes, I’ve learned so much more.
Anyway, there really isn’t much else for me to say. I already told you all that Presidente gave us permission to watch the World Cup, which all of the elders were super excited about. And yeah. Our investigators are pretty much the same – during lessons they’re all accepting and loving the gospel, but then on Sunday they don’t show up for church! But we’re gonna keep working on emphasizing why it’s so important they go and we’re not gonna give up on them yet.
Oh, and I picked up the money you guys sent me today, so no worries! Thank you soooooooo much! Hopefully I’ll find some time this week to buy a new camera so that next Monday you’ll have more pictures.
Looooooooooooooooove you!
Hna. Sanabria

Week 9 + Splits!

May 5, 2014

Holaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Okay, so this week was pretty much the same as always except this past Saturday we had splits (divisiones). It was pretty crazy because I ended up going to the Arcos area with Hna. Nielson, my sister training leader who only has 3 weeks in the field. I have no idea what Presidente was thinking putting two junior missionaries together, but we managed to make things work. And I actually really loved Saturday. For once I finally felt like I was in an equal companionship and it was just an amazing day. It was funny cuz when we arrived Friday night, we did everything in Spanish. But by the time we finished planning we were like, ‘Can we speak English now?” and we talked in English for the rest of our time together, haha. Hna. Nielson is from Utah but her mom is from El Salvador. She’s really cool and she really helped me a lot this weekend, especially with how I can fix things with my companion. As you guys know, it’s been a little tough for me but finally last night we worked everything out and so we’re just gonna focus on moving forward. But yeah, I learned so much and it really helped motivate me to keep on going. And that’s pretty much it for my week. We had a training fireside last night with Presidente Mejorada and all of the ward mission leaders and ward missionaries. It was awesome because it’s been pretty hard trying to work with the members but now I think things are finally gonna get moving.
By the way, Mother’s Day is this Saturday (here in Mexico) and I get to call you guys! Presidente gave me permission to do a three-way Skype call so that I can talk to Lila and Isaac, too. We’re going to be talking sometime between 2-3PM on Saturday and we only get 30 minutes, unfortunately. But yeah, I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE AND SPEAK TO YOU GUYS! I don’t know yet if I’m gonna be using the Lancy’s (they’re the family we’re eating lunch with that day and who’s going to lend us their computers to call you) Skype account or mine yet, but be online this Saturday at 2PM so that we can work everything out.
So yeah! Try and get everything arranged before hand so that we can use all 30 minutes talking. 🙂
And Mom and Lila, don’t forget about updating the blog! I need you guys to update the page where I have all my friends serving missions, because Grace finally got her call!!!! She’s going to the Bahia Blanca, Argentina mission!!!! I’m super super excited for her!!!!!
And yeah, that’s it for now.
LOOOOOOOOVE YOU AND TALK TO YOU GUYS ON SATURDAY!!!!!!
Hna. Sanabria

Week 8 (I think?)

April 28, 2014

No baptisms this week, but we found a bunch of new solid investigators! And they’re all complete families! All of the kids in those families are under the baptism age, but that’s okay because then they’ll be ‘niños escritos’ (I don’t know what the term is in English) and a year from now, they can be sealed. My companion and I were pretty excited when we found out we have a lot of families in our teaching pool. Anyway, so that’s pretty much all that’s going on over here. Saturday was ‘el dia de los niños’ and so the primary had an activity at the church and we went to help set up and decorate (and also for the free food) and it was really fun. They brought inflatable pools for the kids to swim in and all four of us watched with jealousy as they splashed around – especially because that day was extra sunny and hot. But that’s okay because we got free ice cream, so it all balanced out.

I’m glad everyone is doing well back home! And that is AWESOME about Lila and how she’s sharing the gospel with her teachers and friends. I can’t believe Stephanie Youhouse is going to get baptized! That’s so crazy, though not as crazy as when I found out Austin Butler got baptized, haha. It’s a good crazy though. And that’s so cool that she got her teacher (I’m assuming that it’s either her AP Psych or Literature teacher?) into FamilySearch. Family history is such a great missionary tool, but we haven’t been able to really use it here yet. Mainly our recent converts have been the ones who have been asking about it, but that’s good too because it gets them motivated to go the temple!
That’s so weird that Lila and Isaac are already almost done with their school year – and that Lila is graduating! Next month, right? Ahhh, so weird. And that JD is already on his last semester of Pathway?! Didn’t he just start? Hahaha, anyway you guys already know my advice on whether or not he should go to Rexburg or be online. REXBURG ALL THE WAY! And don’t worry Mom, the Spirit there is super strong and with the temple just a 15 minute walk away – he’ll be fine.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. No pictures cuz the elders are terrible about remembering to send the pictures to everyone, haha. But hopefully next week I’ll be able to send some. Good luck to Isaac and Lila with their AP exams and Daddy with work and Mommy with all her motherly and Relief Society duties and JD with Pathway.
Loooooooooooooooooove you!
Hna. Sanabria

Week 7 + A BAPTISM!!!

April 21, 2014

Okay so this past Saturday we had a miracle baptism! And the reason I say miracle, is the investigator who got baptized was one of those ‘eternal investigators’ who had a million baptism dates that kept falling through because she never felt ready. Well, this week she finally decided to no longer procrastinate her day of salvation (like in the words of the ever so wise Alma) and is officially a member! I’m so glad you guys have made a goal to read the Book of Mormon everyday because it was the Book of Mormon that finally got Mary (our investigator) into the baptismal waters. One of the things my companion and I had been slacking on with her was reading from the Book of Mormon. She was an avid Bible reader but it was obvious that she didn’t read from the BOM because she still had doubts about the need for ‘dos evangelios’ and Joseph Smith. Anyway, this past Tuesday we read all of 2 Nephi 31 with her, and afterwards she was like ‘I’m ready’. It was such a huge testimony builder for me on the Book of Mormon. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t done that, she probably would still be an investigator.

So every third Sunday in our ward (I’m not sure if it’s the same everywher) the theme in sacrament meeting is about missionary work. And so for this month, the bishop asked for all four of the full-time serving missionaries to speak. We each decided to speak on one chapter of Preach My Gospel, because during stake conference, Presidente Mejorada and the stake president put a goal that the entire stake should read Preach My Gospel by the next conference. Anyway, the chapter I chose was chapter 5: the role of the Book of Mormon. I like to think that I did a pretty good job, especially considering I only went over by one minute (we were each given five) and everyone was telling me that my Spanish was amazing (though I think the Spirit had a lot to do with that). I was the only one who actually spoke on my subject however, cuz all of the other missionaries ‘regaño’ all of the members for not supporting us. One of the Elders read ‘Luke 12:47’ and pretty much called all of the members out because they all know that President Monson has called for the hastening of missionary work and that members and missionaries had to work together, and the members weren’t doing their part. It was pretty bold of him, but also really needed. My favorite part though, was when a recent convert (Hermano Enrique) got up to bear his testimony about missionary work (he has a son serving in Chile and also he referred us to Israel and Rocio, the couple who got baptized a month ago – they were my first baptisms) and called everyone out for not giving referrals and not following the prophet. It was pretty great, haha.
It was funny to see all the different reactions of the members afterwards. Many avoided the elders but also there were many who came up to us and began to give us all these different kinds of references and how they were going to give a Book of Mormon to their friends, and yada yada. I can’t even begin to stress the importance of members and missionaries working together. The Vicuña family, our strongest investigators, were a reference from one of the members – same thing goes for Israel and Rocio. Yeah there are many strong converts that were found through missionaries’ own efforts, but it’s so much more effective if the members are involved.
I think we were all feeling a little deflated though, because this past week was Semana Santa and the town was deserted! Friday and Saturday were miserable because we couldn’t find anyone! So I think that’s why all of us missionaries were super direct during our talks because we were just tired of not having anything to do. Hopefully, everything will go back to normal within these next two weeks (this week is still vacation for many students, so it won’t be completely 100%). I felt really bad for Elder Acevedo, the new missionary who came in Tuesday. His first week had to be Semana Santa and he was miserable. He’s from California but his parents are from Queretaro – he told me that no one believed him when he got his call, but how crazy is that? Getting sent to the mission where his parents are from. Anyway, he’s pretty cool but yeah, Semana Santa is definitely the worst week to come into the field, haha. Though I’m super happy to have another gringo (well, chicano, technically) in my area, because now we can quote Nacho Libre, haha!
And that’s pretty much it as far as this week goes. I’m glad you all are doing well and happy late 20th anniversary to Mom and Dad! I had it noted on my calendar but forgot to write to you about it last week.
Looooooooove,
Hna Sanabria

Week 6!!!

April 14, 2014

Okay, so first things first – HOLY COW I’M SO HAPPY FOR HOMERITO & HEATHER!!!! Matias is absolutely adorable! It’s so weird that Mito is a dad now, but a good kind of weird, of course! Ahhhhh, best news of the week! I hope to have plenty more pictures of my new second cousin!

As for things that are going on over here, well I finished my first ‘cambio’, or transfer. I’m staying in the same area with the same companion, but I finished my very first planner which is still crazy to think about. Pretty much my entire district is staying, except for Elder Gonzalez – the elder who arrived with me the same day and who I share an area with. I’m gonna miss him because he’s become a really good friend of mine, but that’s just missionary life for you. He’s going to the offices and his new trainer will be the executive secretary. It’s crazy because his companion, Elder Rosero (the Colombiano) has been in this area for 6 months and we were all sure that he was going to be the one to go. But that’s the thing with Presidente – he’s completely unpredictable. As for my zone, only one of my zone leaders is transfering – the Argentenian that nobody liked (he’s a little pesado, but I was okay with him). Elder Williams (the one who has a blog that I was reading before I came out) is staying and our other zone leader will be Elder Brown – a gringo! We’re also getting two possibly three, gringos – which I’m super stoked about because finally I’m not going to be the only one (besides Elder Williams). One of them is Hermana Womack, who is from my same generation. She goes to BYU-I and the one I talked to the most. Although, she’s been having trouble learning Spanish so she’s prohibited from speaking English. But I don’t care, because it’ll be nice to have a familiar face around. So yeah, that’s pretty much it as far as cambios go.
The only really remarkable thing that happened this week was when we had our lesson with the Vicuña family – the investigators who had a baptism date 26 years ago. Anyway, we arrived to their home on Wednesday only expecting to teach the mom and dad. However, when we asked if there was anyone else in the home who could hear our message, they were like “sure, let me call my family”, and boom! Before we know it, not only are we teaching like 8 people and a bunch of little kids, but we also have 7 new baptisms (only one of the daughter in laws didn’t accept because she’s still not too sure). But yeah, that was pretty amazing.
Oh, and I contacted my first bus this week! As in, I stood in front of a whole bus and began talking about the church and how we were missionaries and that if anyone was interested to raise their hand – that kind of stuff. It was pretty nervewracking at first, but after the second time I did it, I actually prefer it more to our regular bus contacting – which is when you contact the person you sit next to. I like this way better because I don’t have to worry about starting a conversation and it’s way less awkward. So yeah, that’s pretty fun.
And that’s pretty much it for this week. That’s so sad about what’s going on in Valparaiso and I’ll be praying for all of our family and the people there. I’m glad Isaac had a good time at All County and I’m sure if he goes to the band camp at FSC, he’ll love it. Tell Mama Lila that I always think of her too and I can’t believe she’s a great grandma now!
Love yooooooooooooooou!
Hna Sanabria

Week 5!!!

April 7, 2014

camilamissionbench

Hola familia!!

Okay, so not much really happened this week. Conference was super awesome! I got to watch three of the four sessions in English – only Sunday morning I had to watch in Spanish, but I’m gonna download them to hear them during the week, so it’s all good. I really loved Saturday morning, mainly because prior to it I had written down a bunch of questions and just stuff in general that I’ve been struggling with or wanting help with. And then, every single one of those questions was answered in each of the talks! But the most amazing part, was that all the answers came in the same order that I wrote down the questions. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Elder Holland’s talk in particular really helped motivate me even more and I also loved President Eyring’s message. Aaaah, everything was just so amazing.

 

Oh, so something really cool that happened this week. On Friday evening, this elderly brother in our ward called us telling us that he had made an appointment for us to visit with a neighbor of his for Sunday night. After the last session of conference, we took a bus and headed over to meet his neighbors (which was a husband and wife, so familia completa!) with him and his wife. We got there and started talking to the wife because the husband wasn’t home from work yet, and what do you know. That family had actually been investigating the church earlier and even had a baptism date! The reason they didn’t get baptized was because there wasn’t any water in the church and then afterwards, the missionaries who had been teaching them transferred and they also moved to Queretaro (they were living in Veracruz) and then the contact was lost. This all happened 26 years ago! When we heard that me and my companion were absolutely stunned! This family had already accepted the gospel, but to moving and everything, they lost contact! Twenty six years later and Hermano Leal (the brother who set everything up) felt inspired to talk to them, while on a different bus than he usually takes, and invited them to meet with us. That was such a huge testimony builder for me of the fact that the Lord never forgets about his children. Hermano Leal is just awesome – he’s been really helping us out and super into missionary work. This elderly man of almost 70 years and with Parkinsons is such an inspiration for me. He and his wife are just awesome!

 

So yeah, that’s pretty much all that happened this week. For P-Day we went to the Arcos and took some pictures, then had lunch at Carl’s Jr. The elders were kind enough to send me the pictures they took which are the ones attached in this email – since the camera is broken and all. By the way, Dad I never got your email with the information about the money and all, so you may have to resend it.

 

I’m so glad you’re all doing well! I am so excited for baby Matias to come!! Please send me tons of pictures! And tell Diego that I’m so happy and excited for him also! And Lila, try not to stress out too much. You already got into BYU so just enjoy the rest of your senior year, okay? And tell Mama Lila that I love her and that I think about her every day too! Love you and hopefully I’ll be able to write next week. Transfers are next week and I have no idea what’s going to happen because Presidente likes to be unpredictable. But I’m gonna try super hard to write!

 

Te AMOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Hna. Sanabria

Week 4!!!

March 31, 2014

Holaaaaaaa!

Okay, so this week was pretty good although no baptisms. Tuesday was supposed to be a regular district meeting, but we got a call at 7 AM telling us to repondrt to this chapel that’s somewhere out of our area. Turns out that Presidente called for a last minute zone training conference thing. Instead of the 2 hours we had planned to spend, we ended up being there for 4! But those four hours were awesome! Like I told you guys last week, Presidente is amazing. Duro, but amazing. Ooof, he was really hard and blunt with us but it was also super helpful and really helped me understand the seriousness of my calling and the purpose of why we’re here – to save souls. He pretty much called of us out for not having enough faith, which was totally true and necessary. It was pretty intense but since Presidente is pretty hilarious, it all balanced out. 🙂
Wednesday was a super good day for Hna. Aguilar and I. We’ve been teaching this woman and two of her daughters since I first arrived, but when we arrived Wednesday morning to their home, we found the whole family there having breakfast – which was just the opportunity we needed. I was so surprised when the dad joined us because before he was completely uninterested in us teaching him (he allowed his partner- they’re not married, unfortunately, but we’re working on that – and daughters to listen) but this morning he was participating and stayed around for the whole lesson! The two younger kids, Jorge who’s 11 and Elvira who’s 13, also usually come in and out but this time they were super interested and focus. It was a huge miracle for us! Unfortunately, right when we were going to commit them to baptisim, the sister of Rosa (the mom) who’s hardcore catholic walked in and started asking a bunch of questions that pretty much felt like a passive-aggresive argument. We were only able to get through half of the Restoration, but they’re still interested so that’s good! When we stopped by Saturday, Rosa was asking us about the Book of Mormon and told us how the night before, she was reading the Bible and looked over and saw her husband/partner thing (Juan) reading the Book of Mormon! So we got to finish the second half of the Restoration with her and she was really emotional during the lesson, so I’m taking that as a good sign. The Lopez family is really progressing and we’re hoping to commit them all to baptism dates by the end of this week!
On Thursday, we stopped by the Lopez home again, but only found their oldest daughter Lupita (who’s 20), which was good because the only time she really pays attention to our lessons is when it’s one on one, and not with the whole family. When there are other people, she tends to hide behind them. But it was pretty funny because we arrived like half an hour before she had to go to catacismo? (the class catholics have to go to while preparing for their first communion) and she showed us her little booklet thing that she was studying and how she had all these questions and how she gets confused. So we started to teach her the rest of the Retsoration and I don’t know how, but when we started to talk about the first vision, wow. The spirit was so strong! But it’s crazy because there were so many outside distractions going on – the radio blasting, drunken neighbors talking super loud, kids running in and out. Yet all of those noises seemed to drown out and it was like we were in our own little bubble, with the Spirit protecting us from the ‘world’. It was just… wow.
So yeah! We also found three new investigators on the street which is good news. I do have some bad news, by the way…..
the camera broke! 😦 I turned it on this morning (after being in its case all week) and the screen was flashing white with black spots and just yeah. Hence the no pictures. Sad day, I know. 😦 I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next 17 months. But other than that, it’s been a good week! P-Day was pretty chill, considering it’s the end of the month so we’re all broke, hahaha. But we still had a good time.
Oh, something I forgot last week. So when I was at immigration, I met this Colombian missionary – Elder Flores. He spoke English and when he found out that I was Colombiana, he got super excited (there’s only two other Colombians in our mission, him and Elder Rosero, who’s from Cali and one of the elders I share the area with). We talked a lot and he’s from this town right outside of Bogota but all his extended family is in Bogota and his uncle is in charge of the church education system of Colombia (like pathway and stuff). Anyway, he told me to ask you guys if you know the familia Amaya. So yeah. He’s a super fun guy and another new friend I made!
I’m glad you’re all doing well!  My Spanish is coming along – everyone here says that I speak excellent Spanish. I still have trouble understanding those who speak super fast (like the translators during conference) and my vocabulary/grammar still isn’t 100%, but it’s definitely way better than when I left.
Love you all!!!!!