Monday, November 21, 2016

Only 18 Weeks Left!

So this week was just the bomb.  We get a call from the Spanish elders and they told us to get over to our investigators house right now.  So we go and he is FINALLY HOME.  We taught a super powerful restoration lesson. He's Samoan and comes from a family of all Mormons. He wants to be baptized in December.  The only problem is that his girlfriend messaged us yesterday and said they wont be investigating the church anymore because she has tattoos and that makes her a "tainted" woman (whatever the heck that means).  So we might stop by and pretend like we didn't get the message.  

Tuesday, I was with the "beach" sisters.  My companion went to the departing missionary temple trip.  We did service for the Catholic Church and it was pretty neat.  They are putting together packages for those in need this Thanksgiving.  It's really humbling to see tiny Huntington Beach homes with fifteen people living in them and to watch all these wonderful Catholic members work together to help these poor people have a fantastic holiday. 

We also had a really neat lesson this week with M (the man) & L (the woman).  M is a less active member who wants to be active again. L lives with him and both of them have had crazy life experiences. M's wife was killed in the hospital on accident by one of the nurses, and L's companion was shot through the window when she was in the passenger seat by a gang member. (Westminster has lots of gangs sadly).  Both of them want peace, and both of them want to be happy. Missionaries have tried to teach them for forever, but have had little success. This week though, we decided to take them on a church tour, and we did and they came to church the next day! L has never come to church before so this was a huge step for her.  They loved it!  

C was also at church this week. He is this kid that was baptized about a year ago. He loves the church, he is 16.  He was baptized by himself and knows more about Mormons than most 16 year old kids.  He has had a rough few months, but I can only imagine how hard it would be being Mormon without a supportive household.  I feel like my testimony is strengthened every time I talk to him. 

T and her kids are doing good (the family that was recently baptized)! We think we get to go over to their house this Thanksgiving so that should be fun. They love the church so much!  

We also taught S and C this week. They are fun to teach and talk too, I just wish they would progress more. C found out I'm gluten free and made us Creme Brulee!  I haven't had that my whole mission!  

I'm not sure what my "spiritual thought" for today should be. I think this week I learned about Joy. It's so important to always have joy. God can give us joy on good days, bad days, hard days, easy days... Joy plays more of a role in the Plan of Salvation than I think we realize.  Why is the gospel so appealing? Because it promises joy!  People generally desire to be happy, and by following his gospel, WE CAN BE HAPPY, no matter what.  If you haven't had a chance to read Elder Nelson's talk on joy from the most recent conference, here it is!

I love you all!


Monday, November 14, 2016

The Tabernacle of Moses and The Beach!

Jessica spent most of her time today writing to Amanda on her birthday and giving her some really amazing advice in preparation to serve a mission.  Jessica's companion kindly sent her weekly email of their activities which I will publish below.  It was fun to hear about the week through her companion's eyes!

"This week we had the opportunity to help build a life size replica of the tabernacle that Moses and the Israelites carried around in the wilderness. Its AWESOME!! We got to carry heavy things and wear jeans all day! It was the closest I have come to being normal on my mission and I felt so weird! We also went to the "beach" and got peanut butter milkshakes! It was great! 

Sister Webb had a run in with the road and it was so scary but hilarious at the same time. We were jay walking/running across the street and she tripped on the bumps they use to help drowsy drivers wake up.  I looked back to find her curled up in a ball in the middle of the road and I was prepared to stop traffic!! It was so funny though because she pops up and grabs her shoes and we ran across the street the rest of the way. We used the crosswalk on the way back haha!!

Wednesday we did weekly planning and got all the good stuff planned and figured out. Sis Webb made homemade salsa and it was super good!! Then we went down to help the Seapoint Sisters with their issues. We had lunch and they are in a trio so we talked out all their problems. We basically had a good sit down and tell us how you feel. It went super well and they are doing lots better now. Tears were shed and the spirit was felt. #SistersTherapyLeague for the win! 

We had a lot of lessons to teach on Wednesday and went strong until dinner. We had to go to the bathroom really bad, so we stopped at Jack in the Box and when we came out, all these gang guys were standing around our car and watching our every move, so we jumped in the car and locked the doors and drove off as fast as possible!  We were laughing.  We are really protected as missionaries and our week went really well and so fast!  We have so many people progressing and I love being a missionary!"

This is the Arc of the Covenant.  It's beautiful!

The Tabernacle coming together
At the baptism with Sis. Watson


Dreamin . . . 

This is the sacrificial alter at the entrance of the Tabernacle

I really love this family!  This was a highlight of my entire mission!!

Monday, November 7, 2016


We received a text today from a member in Huntington Beach.  They told us Jessica is helping to build "The Tabernacle".  We knew exactly what they were talking about because a few months ago on LDS living, my sister sent us this amazing video of a Youth Conference in Huntington Beach and we knew they were bringing this tabernacle to the members in the area.  It's a remarkable endeavor and such a wonderful public relations tool to all those interested in Moses's Tabernacle. Here are some pictures of Jessica helping out, a video link of  the Tabernacle and another video link of what these members did for their youth at their Youth Conference!

Now for her letter:
I don't think I could even begin to adequately describe my week, but I will try!

MONDAY WAS HALLOWEEN!  We got to wear sweats all night because we were inside (for safety), and we organized and trashed lots of stuff.  I actually love organizing stuff... and I know that's weird but it's true!  We had like five trick-or-treaters and that was awesome!  We also got to go to Buba Sweets... they give missionaries free cupcakes and they have one that's GF!

Tuesday I had my first MLC, that means Mission Leadership Council.  I'm not a big fan of numbers and they spent a long time trying to figure our number goals to set for hitting standards of excellence.  I understand their importance in keeping track of the work, but I was grateful when President talked about how we need to make sure people are converted to Christ first. He said that if they are converted to Christ they will be converted to the church. 

Wednesday we had zone meeting and Sister Watson and I had to give a training. Then we had T and her kids BAPTISMAL INTERVIEWS!  It was awesome! 

Thursday was weekly planning and another exchange.  I got to go with Sister Oikle, and she is an amazing missionary. We had a smack down lesson with an investigator, taught an awesome less active member, found a new investigator and just had a GOOD DAY.  We also ate at this place called Lee's and it was super good, and cheap (love cheap).  

SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY was the best baptism in the whole world. (and Sister King made gluten free ravioli, it was so good...) T and her kids were baptized, and it was the most spiritual experience I have had in a long time. The ward was fantastic at helping with everything!  The room was full and there was active participation from the ward.  Everyone has scooped up our investigators and loved them without us falling on our knees and having to beg them.  The Spirit was almost tangible, and everyone was in tears to see this family brought together.  I love this gospel.  

I know it's hard to express feelings over email but this week I have an overwhelming testimony of this work!  I KNOW that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints is the kingdom of God and it does have every saving ordinance and doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the only way to be eternally happy, this is the only way to return back to live with Heavenly Father, and this is the peace the world needs.  I've thought about how as the world gets more and more wicked, we need more converted disciples of Christ to love and serve and be examples of hope and righteousness. I am touched that this week, FOUR PEOPLE THAT I LOVE decided to join the disciples of Christ!  I am so grateful that God has asked me to be a part of His mighty work and wondrous glory.  I will never stop being a missionary!!

Love you all,