Monthly Archives: May 2015

Week 62

May 11, 2015


So it was great seeing the whole family yesterday! Minus Isaac – I was SOOOOOO sad that he couldn’t connect. Darn internet. 😦 But yeah.
This week was pretty normal. We had zone council on Tuesday and it was really good. When it was my turn to lead the council (my companion and I did the doctrine part during the first half) I didn’t get super nervous, like my first time around, so I’m taking that as a sign of progress. I think it helps that we’re the oldest in the zone and everyone else is pretty new, so expectations are a little lower. Hahaha, just kidding. But yeah, it ended up turning out really well with lots of insightful commentary from the zone, which is honestly the best part.


The Celaya South Zone! We’re only missing one companionship (my district leader and his companion) because they had an emergency and were in the hospital the entire time. But everything is good now, so no worries.
Proselyting wise, it was pretty good. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Still trying to learn my area, because it is HUGE. We have the biggest area in all of Celaya (that’s including both zones) but I like it this way. I’ve had big areas my whole mission and it’s just more opportunities to work. We were gonna start doing divisions with the sisters in our zone, but since they have a lot of doctor appointments this week, we’re gonna postpone it until next week. Which I’m super greatful for because it gives me another week to learn and hopefully not get lost.
As for my companion, I’m really happy working with Hermana Noh. That girl is a spirtitual bomb. I’ve been learning so much from her and it’s been pretty great.
After I called home, we had to take a taxi to our appointment. It’s with some recent converts from last transfer. They’re a family of 6, but only the three youngest got baptized. We’re working right now with the parents so that they can get married and also the oldest daughter. The mom came to church for the first time and she’s doing really well!
Anyway, yesterday was Ariana’s, the youngest of the girls, birthday and since they’re really poor, they couldn’t afford to buy her a cake. My companion and I wanted to help out and we were gonna buy the cake, but since our money hadn’t been deposited, we had to figure out another solution. When we arrived to our house on Saturday night, we came up with an idea to make a cake out of pancakes. We had a tub of Nutella and a box of oreos, and that’s what the filling/frosting was. And to be honest, it actually turned out pretty stinking good. But the best part was the smile on Ariana’s face when she saw it. She was SO happy to get her ‘chocolate cake’. Totes a priceless moment.
​Las niñas!
​Our pancake-cake.
And yeah! That’s kinda it for this week. Today we went to the church to play soccer with part of the zone. It was a lot of fun, even though I sucked at it. But thankfully the elders in this zone are really chill and not as competitive as others, so we all ended up having a good time.
Until next time!
Hermana Sanabria

Week 61 + How Far We’ve Come

May 4, 2015


So this first week was kinda amazing. My companion and I are sister training leaders, so we had to go to Queretaro on Thursday for leadership council. And oh my goodness, it was amazing. Presidente has decided to do a new ‘format’ and I absolutely love this new direction in which the mission is heading. So just a heads up – this letter is gonna be a long one.
To start things off, Presidente gave us a bit of a rundown of the history of the Mexico Queretaro Mission.
He spoke of his experience when he first arrived to the mission and all of the different problems and challenges he and Hermana Mejorada faced. They spoke about the times they got lost, how they didn’t know the missionaries, how they didn’t know the area, and just a bunch of stuff that comes when we face changes in our life. I really loved this part because it helped me realize that Presidente knows exactly what we go through as missionaries.
Transfers are always exciting, but there’s also that part that’s a little stressful and frustrating as you try and learn a new area. Where you don’t know anyone or where anything is and all of that jazz – and that’s kinda what I’m facing right now. So when Presidente shared this with us, it just brought me a lot of comfort. Because I see him now with so much confidence and expereince, and not the nervous newbie he was almost 2 years ago. And it was just a reminder of hope for me, and a reminder to be more patient with myself and trust that everything will come in its due time. So yeah, that was nice.
Then Presidente began to talk about one of the biggest challenges he had the first year of his mission – finding leaders.
He told us how in the very first leadership council, there were only 8 zones, 16 zone leaders, and 2 sister training leaders, and how it was like World War Three. The Queretaro mission is a combination of the former Leon and Mexico City North missions, and at the beginning, there was a HUGE division between the missionaries. During the councils, the missionarires from Leon would sit on one side of the room and the ones from Mexico North would sit on the other. They’d argue about how ‘their’ mission president did this, or that ‘theirs’ did that, and it was just a bunch of chaos. Presidente even told us that at one point, he almost had to break up a fight between two elders.
Yeah, it was pretty intense.
Then Presidente began to talk about how proud he was of the progress the mission has made, and I testify to his words. The mission has grown and matured SO much. We now have 11 zones, 22 zone leaders, 16 sister training leaders, and instead of getting into fights for differences of opinions, we’re able to discuss and develop ideas and come to conclusions for the whole mission. The new problem is that instead of not having enough leaders, we now have so many with the capacity to lead, that it’s hard to figure out who is needed at this time. There are now so many options, but that’s honestly more of a blessing than a burden.
It’s kinda amazing.
We also spoke a lot about the ‘culture’ of a mission and how each mission is different from another. He taught us that ‘the culture of a mission is what happens when the mission president isn’t there‘ and then told us how when he went away to his annual seminar with the Area presidency, he was really proud of us because he didn’t receive a single call. He spoke of other presidents who had to constantly be on their phones because of missionaries who had problems or emergencies, and how he was able to enjoy the seminar in peace.
He then said how this was a sign of our culture as a mission. The Mexico Queretaro mission is a self-governing mission. It’s a mission where the missionaries know how to manage theirselves on their own and how to resolve their own probelms with the Lord. I was honestly surprised when I heard this, but at the same time, so happy because it’s just proof of how far we’ve come.
The Mexico Queretaro mission is also a mission of councils, something I realized that not every mission does. Presidente has always said that the way the heavens are governed, is by councils. And so he’s been teaching us to have councils from the start. Whether they be as companionships, districts, zones, or as leaders – everything we gotta do as a council. Turns out that this was actually the ‘new instruction’ that Presidente received from the Area Presidency during his seminar, and he was just like ‘Glad I’ve been doing this my whole mission’.
But yeah, I love this about my mission because it’s helping us be way more prepared for life. We’re learning how to be leaders and we’re learning how to work with others.
And that’s where the new format comes in.
After about 2 hours of listening to Presidente, he then divided us up into 4 groups and gave each of us the same 6 questions that we were to answer and figure out solutions. After we discussed them in our small groups, we’d get back together and put them all on the table and make the final decisions for the mission.
Yeah, I flipping loved this part of the council!
Now, everyone was able to have a say and voice their opinion on what they thought the mission needed. Usually, it’s always the same six elders who talk and participate, but now, there was way more participation. It was also way more efficient and way faster. It’s serisouly an exciting time to be a part of the mission.
After the council, we broke our fast (Presidente now asks all of us to come fasting to the leadership councils) and had lunch. The bus that would take us to Celaya didn’t arrive until 6, so that gave us like, 4 hours to hang out with Presidente and all of our mission friends before going back to our areas. It was so great catching up with everyone. There were quite a few missionaries from my generation and also former companions of mine there – most of which I haven’t seen in like, 8 months. So of course I just had to take a bunch of pictures with everyone.
This kid, for example, I haven’t seen for more than half of my mission. Elder Atwood is from my generation and he is seriously like a brother to me… probably because he reminds me a lot of JD. But yeah, heart of gold that one.
I was also super stoked to see Hna Kelsch again! I haven’t seen her since I finished her training 6 months ago, and it just made me so happy to see how much she has grown and learned since then. Seriously, one of my favorite parts of the mission is seeing people progress towards their eternal potential – whether they be investigators, members, or missionaries. It’s seriously a beautiful thing.
Elder Komatsu!!!! He was AP for the last two transers, so I’ve seen him around a bit. But since he’s the only Asian in the mission, making him slightly famous, I had to take a picture with him…. jk, he’s actually been a friend of mine for a while now. Another elder who I arrived to the mission with.
And of course, Elder Arvanitas! Only one of my favorite zone leaders ever. This kid’s a spiritual powerhouse. Makes me cry every time he bears his testimony, not even kidding.
These missionaries have seriously become like family to me – I love it!
And yeah. So I didn’t mean for this letter to become a rave about my mission, but I can’t help it. My mission’s awesome. Tomorrow is zone council and Presidente has told us that instead of giving us specific instructions of what we have to teach, we gotta do it by revelation and focus on the needs of our zone and their priorities. So we got a lot of work to do, but that’s what I came here for so it’s all good!
Until next week!
Hermana Sanabria

Week 60 + TRANSFERS!!!

April 27, 2015


So this week was kinda slow. My companion and I ate something that messed up our stomachs and so we were kinda sick for like four days. Rough way to finish up the transfer. But we’re all good now, and that’s what’s important!
Anyway, there’s not much to say except that I have transfers! My new companion is Hermana Noh and I’m going to Celaya!!!! Hna Noh is finishing this transfer and so I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Celaya for a while. I might even end up finishing there, but who knows. I’m gonna miss Lagos a ton, but I’m also really excited for this transfer. I’ve been learning so much lately and I’m just really looking forward to putting it all into practice in my new area. Which, by the way, was Hna Arias’s first area, so she’s sending me a ton of contacts from there so that I can go look them up and try and find some new investigators. And that’s kinda it!
Hermana Sanabria
Picture time!!!! Saying bye to some of my favorite families!

Week 59!!

April 20, 2015


So I don’t have much time today, because for P-day we went with a sister who taught us how to make brownies and ‘pan de nata’ (no idea how to translate that) and it kinda took up all day. So here are some pictures instead.
Eating our brownies!
Drinking some ‘mate’. The sister who invited us over had some and since my companion is from Argentina she was like ‘You have to try this!!!!’ and so I did. T’was quite delicious.
And getting our ‘pan de nata’ out of the oven. This too was pretty stinking delicious.
So that’s kinda all I got time for today. This week was pretty normal. We’ve been studying President Uchtdorf’s talk of ‘A Matter of a Few Degrees’ and the whole theme of ‘small and simple things’, and so Presidente asked us missionaries to invite our families to read it and reflect upon whether or not you’ve strayed a bit from the path. I LOVE this talk (and this topic in general) and it has helped me so much in the mission. Great things really do come and pass by measure of small and simple things, whether they be for good or bad. Presidente is constantly reminding us that there are no such things as ‘small rules’ or ‘grays’ and holy cow is that true. So yeah, here’s the link so ya’ll can study it and do a little bit of self-reflection as well.
And yeah! Until next week!
Hermana Sanabria

Week 58 + Multi-Zone Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 13, 2015


So last Tuesday we had a multi-zone conference with Presidente, and HOLY FLIPPING COW. Probably the BEST zone conference I’ve had on the mission so far. Seriously, everything about it was amazing. The format was a little different than what they usually are, which made the time fly even faster than normal. It was kinda just like a four hour long Q&A/Discussion with Presidente, where we talked about everything we’ve been learning the last few transfers and doubts we had and tips we wanted for proselyting and all that jazz.
We began sharing our testimonies and also the things we’ve been learning these last few transfers. And it turns out that pretty much everyone just wanted to talk about the subject of grace. We’ve been learning so much about what grace really means and how the Atonement applies to both, sinners and saints. The Spirit was so strong during this part and it was only just the beginning!
Then, Presidente got down to what he really wanted to share with us, which was the topic of becoming spiritually self-reliant. He shared with all of us how the only thing he wants us to learn from him while he is our president, is that he taught us how to resort to the Lord and learn for ourselves. And I just gotta say, that that has been the biggest lesson that Presidente has taught me. We talked a lot about the importantce of going straight to the source to find the solutions to our trials and just learning how to figure out our own problems with the Lord.
Something Presidente emphasized a lot to us, was how our commitment should always be with the Lord. Not him, not our companions, not anybody else but God. We’ve been studying a lot about ‘real intent’ and the importance of the question ‘WHY’, and about how we should always do the things for teh right reasons. He taught us how there’s no point having ‘the law’ engraved on plates or scrolls or a handbook, when it is not first engraved upon our hearts. This was probably my favorite part of zone conference. I just learned so much and received so many answers as to how I can improve as both a missionary and a person. It is just so important that we are constantly evaluating and refining our purpose so that we can be sure that everything we do, we do it because we love God and want to serve Him.
There was a point during the conference, when one of the assistants made a comment that just really stuck out to me. He began to talk about how now, the question isn’t ‘Why did we choose to go on a mission?’ because we’ve already arrived. The question now ought to be: ‘Why are we still here?’.
As soon as I heard him ask all of us this, a line from my patriarichal blessing popped into my head. It’s the part in my blessing referring to how I will gain a testimony of the true Church and the line that came to my mind was:
You will live in it and live for it and seek to BUILD IT UP & STRENGTHEN IT wherever you can‘. (The ‘it’ is referring to the Church).
To answer the assistant’s question, that is the reason why I’m still on my mission. Because the Lord has called me to build up and strengthen His Church and His Kingdom here in this part of the world. That was such a spiritual moment for me because I knew it was Heavenly Father reminding me why He needs me on His side.
And I just wanted to share that with ya’ll, because I just think it’s so important that we are always aware of what our purpose is. Whether it be during our mission or for a calling or for just life in general, always know the reason why behind the things we do.
Yeah, told you it was a spiritual overload.
Anyway, once all of the ‘training’ part was over by Presidente, he surprised all of us with the movie ‘Meet the Mormons’! Okay, so maybe for my companion and I it wasn’t much of a surprise.
When we ate with Presidente and the stake presidency last transfer after stake conference, Presidente kinda let that announcement slip. But he had made us promise not to say anything about it. And there was no way we were gonna blab because we totally wanted to see Meet the Mormons. And well, ya’ll who know me know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut. But I’m glad to say that the mission has taught me how to hold my tongue.
So yeah, that was a lovely ‘surprise’ we got at the end of the zone conference. And that’s kinda it for this week.
Hermana Sanabria
Hermana Green!!!!
Here is Hna Arias and I with one of our former district leaders, Elder Lima.So this transfer a lot of the friends I have made during the mission are finishing, which made this zone conference a little bittersweet because it was the last time I’m gonna see all of them.
Totally bummed that my favorite zone leader ever is finishing this transfer. Elder Oliva has become one of my best friends and is such an amazing example to me. Seriously, never met a more Christ-like person before.

Week 57 + General Conference and the ZOOOOOOOO!!!!

April 6, 2015


So first things first – was conference amazing or what? Spiritual overload, that’s for sure. My companion and I had been looking forward to it all week. I made a list of like, 7 questions and every single one of them got answered. Conference is seriously the best. I have no doubt that those men are called of God and are truly prophets and apostles. Anyway I don’t have much time to write today because we went to Leon for a zone activity at the zoo, which was AWESOME! So I’m just gonna send a ton of pictures.
The Leon Este Zone! (Leon means Lion in Spanish, which makes this picture only 100000 times better)
Touching a Rhino’s horn.
With Dumbo.
And that’s it!
Hermana Sanabria

Week 56 + Opposition, the Adversary, Miracles, and some Big Heroes!

March 30, 2015


So this week was zone council, and it was another good one! It was pretty much just 3 1/2 hours of getting deep into the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation. It was pretty awesome. Lately, the weekly letters we get from Presidente have all been based on opposition, agency, enduring to the end, and just a bunch of other awesome topics that have been helping me so much, especially at this point in my mission.
Our entire zone council was based off of an article from this month’s Ensign/Liahona, so instead of sharing all of my notes, I’m just gonna send ya’ll the link.
Yeah, the title kinda explains itself.
Anyway, this past week I was in divisions with Hermana Green in Leon. This is the second time we’ve done divisions together and it was so much fun. We’ve become pretty good friends and we were able to learn so much from each other, so I guess you can say it was a pretty successful exchange. I was also super stoked to find out that Hermana Green got accepted into BYU-I and so we’ll be seeing each other this fall! It actually turns out that practically half of the missionaries here are gonna be going to BYU-I afterwards, which just makes me so happy.
This week has actually turned out to be a week of good news.
When I was on splits, one of my investigators accepted a baptismal date! This is seriously a miracle, because when we first met with this investigator, he was just so closed and hard-hearted to the gospel. But in these 2 weeks that we’ve been teaching him, he has changed so much! It was definitely all the Spirit, but I’m just so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be the instrument in His hands to allow for this child of His to feel the Spirit and experience a change of heart.
Some other good news – we reached a total of 105 people in attendence on Sunday! When the branch president told us this during branch council, I just wanted to cry. Lagos has been growing and changing SO MUCH in these 3 months that I’ve been serving here. My first Sunday, there were maybe like, 25 people in attendence. And to see it quadruple in size has just been amazing. Presidente Alvarez, the branch president, told us that Lagos will most likely become a ward by the end of this year. THIS IS HUGE NEWS! Lagos has been a branch for more than 20 years and to witness this mighty change is just incredible.
On Sunday, we actually ended up eating with Presidente Alvarez and his family, and he was sharing with us just how grateful he was for how hard we (the four missionaries) have been working. I know that all of these miracles are because of the Lord, but again, I’m just so grateful I’ve been able to help out and be a small part in it.
Here’s a picture of me with his two adorable daughters, Camila and Andrea. They’re kinda my favorite, and no it’s not just because one of them shares my name. 😉
And then of course, there’s all the good news coming from back home. Seriously, I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of Dalila choosing to serve a mission. It is literally the best decision anyone can make and I know that the people of Brazil are gonna be so blessed because of her.
Also…. WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH EVERYONE GETTING MARRIED?!?! Seriously, no one even had a girlfriend when I left and now there’s gonna be 3 weddings before I even come home? Hahaha, but I’m also super proud of the guys for their decisions and also glad to have 3 new cousin-in-laws. That’s actually the best decision anyone can make and so I’m super happy to hear that three more of the guys are taking that huge step towards eternal progression.
And to wrap things up, so today we got permission to watch a movie as a district from Presidente. He recommended ‘Big Heroes’ (at least that’s what I think it’s called) and holy cow, I totally recommend it to all of ya’ll. It’s super cute and I can see why Presidente let us watch it. It teaches you so much about the importance of opposition in your life and also about being humble, and it also just made me super grateful for the Plan of Salvation and my family. Seriously, ya’ll should watch it (that is, if you haven’t seen it already because who knows how long that movie’s been out. The mission is kinda a black whole when it comes to worldly stuff).
And yeah! That’s kinda it for this week!
Hna Sanabria

Week 54!!!!

March 16, 2015


Holaaaaaaa!!!!! So I’m pretty short on time this week but I want ya’ll to know that I’m doing good. This week we had to take it pretty easy because my companion sprained her ankle, but I was able to divisions with some sisters so I was able to go out and work for at least a few hours each day. Anyway, transfers are today but thankfully, Hermana Arias and I get to stay together here in Lagos for another six weeks! We’re super stoked because we have been finding so many people and I just know we’re gonna see some baptisms this transfer!
Speaking of baptisms, the elders in my area baptized an entire family in the last three weeks. This family is golden and the whole branch is super excited to have this new addition. Told ya miracles were gonna start happening in Lagos. Anyway, here are some pictures of us missionaries with the Garcia family.



The zone leaders came down for the baptism on Friday (that’s why there’s six of us).
Anyway, that’s all I got time for this week!
Hermana Sanabria

Week 53 + Stake Conference!!!!

March 9, 2015

So this week has been a bit of a roller coaster. Lots of crazy stuff went down – like for example, we got contacted by this couple who’s on the run from the law for fraud and tried to get us involved in a scam. Thankfully the Spirit was with us and we were just like ‘Uh, we have like 2 days here in Lagos, we don’t know anyone or anything’, which of course was a total lie but they bought it and left us alone. That’s the super condensed version, but everything turned out okay in the end… though it totally took up like, an hour of our proselyting time.
Then, on our way to lunch on Saturday, my companion tripped and messed up her ankle. But since we had to travel to Leon that same night for stake conference, she decided to just hang in there until then, when one of the mission doctors could check her out. However, since the elders in our area had to travel earlier for the priesthood session, we went alone. Except since niether of us knew how to get to the stake center really well, we got way lost (like, we accidentally got off the bus on the wrong end of the city) and may have ended up half an hour late. Woops.
And of course, when Presidente went up to give his talk, the first thing he talked about was an experience from when he was a stake president and how for a year, they did a ‘campaign’ throughout the stake on punctuality to the meetings. Like, he may have mentioned the word punctuality like, 10 times in the first 5 minutes of his talk. I honestly don’t think he was directing his talk at us, but still. The timing of it all was kinda perfect.
The talks were all pretty awesome – both the evening and morning sessions. Once again I forgot my notebook (yeah I know, I’m kinda horrible about remembering it) but the Spirit was strong and I learned a ton, so that’s what really counts.
However the best part about stake conference, was definitely at the end, when Hermana Arias and I got to have lunch with the Mejorada family and the stake presidency and their families. We totally may have crashed in on that lunch (the stake president’s wife, Hemana Alvarez, always makes this big lunch for the presidency and their invited guests after conference so that those who travel don’t have to eat out on the Sabbath) but we don’t care because the food was amazing and the company even better! Seriously, it was so much fun eating with Presidente and his family, and also such a huge honor. Like, so many amazing people in one room and we just got like, 2 hours to hang out with them. Totes the best part of the week.
Anyway, that’s it for now! Since my companion sprained a ligament in her ankle, we’re gonna have to be in our house for 3 days (also the reason why our zone activity at the zoo didn’t work out… and also because another sister had to get a molar taken out and the elders accidentally bought 2,000 pesos worth of gas and are now broke… so that’ll most likely have to be saved for next transfer). But we’re gonna take advantage of that time to perfect all of our planning and study our butts off. So yeah! Until next week!
Hermana Sanabria
Some more pictures:
Hermana Arias!
This is Amanda – she was in my ward in San Miguel but got married in December, so she’s now in Leon! It was really cool seeing her again!