Sunday, February 24, 2013


Everyday this week something worth writing about happened, mostly bueno things. I can think of no better way than to just lay out my week day by day. :)
Monday: We had dinner with the Carrascos, Hna Carrasco is definitely one of my favorite women in the ward, she is so sweet, and her cooking reminds me  my Mom's! Well, Hna and I had been planning a family home evening for the longest time with her and her daughter-in-law. She had been wanting us to come over because she thought her daughter-in-law would confide more in us than in the Elders. After our delicious dinner, Hna Carrasco invited her daughter-in-law to sit on what was originally going to be a quick message, but we seized the opportunity and started teaching her the plan of Salvation. The spirit in that lesson was so strong. Tears were shed, and I could feel the love in the family growing stronger just in the time that we were there. We were able to schedule a return appointment, but unfortunately she lives in the Elders area. :( We were kind of sad because of that. I was so happy for Alicia (Hna Carrasco's daughter-in-law), but it just felt like we were givin everyone away. I know, selfish way of thinking.
Tuesday: Lost an investigator. Remember how I mentioned Roxy T. The younger sister of a less active, well, this less active went on an anti-momon rage. It was a little comical, not going to lie. My personal favorite line was, "I want out." My thought process: "But, you were never really in..." She said that she felt betrayed that she looked up the history of the church and that she wanted nothing more to do with it. I felt so sad for her, I asked her, "Did this decision make you happy?" She said she felt free, that she had felt confused, but now her mind was clear. I just can't seem to really understand it, because this less active had not been to church in over a year, so I can't really understand how you would want "out" of something you weren't really a part of... Quien sabe.
Wednesday: Had Dinner with La Familia Salas. I called to confirm dinner in the morning, and Hna was surprised. She said, Hnas I think I accidentally signed up to feed you instead of the Elders, but I'd love to have you over. Later that evening we went and Hna said that our phone call this morning was a tender mercy from God. She said, "Hnas sometimes I hesitate to sign up for the dinner calendar because the Elders can't come in, and I feel bad having them sit outside. When you called 'me dio tanto gusto.' I got so happy. Just this Sunday my daughter told me she wants to serve a mission and I know that God sent you here because of that." <3 That made me so happy, and dinner was super delicious.
Thursday: Valentines Day! We got some great member referrals and called Hna Gonzalez to see if she could come with us to an appointment. The appointment fell through, but Hna had given her sister as a referral, so we decided to go contact her with her sister. best. decision. ever. It was such a good lesson, Hna was able to bear her strong, sincere testimony about how the gospel has changed her life. So not only did we have a member present at our lesson, we found a new investigator! Hna Tonga and I were filled with such love after that lesson that I said, "Hna. Do you want to go to Dairy Queen?" & then the idea popped into my head, "Hna, we should buy some for the Elders, a litle Valentines day present."
We pulled into Dairy Queen and as I was parking I said, "Wouldn't it be funny if the Elders saw us?" (We were in their area) We ordered our Oreo Cheesequake blizzards and I texted the Elders asking them to tell us when they got home. They texted us saying they'd be home in like 10 mins. When we went outside out of the corner of my eye I saw a Chevy Malibu, with a bike rack, aka ELDERS! I started walking to the door when from the side of the car out popped Elder Hatch and Elder Conan. Elder Hatch yelled: "YOU SINNERS! DAIRY QUEEN?" Hna Tonga and I both jumped, Hna Tonga screamed. And then while we were fighting our laughter I said, "We came to buy you ice cream!" & Elder Hatch in his typical high pitched voice yelled, "Heck Yeah!" It was too funny, and the cherry on top to a really great night.
Friday: District meeting. typical. But district lunch, atypical. No one fomr the English speaking district had bikes aka transportation or money. So us and the zone leaders drove to Mc Donalds and loaded up on things from the dollar menu and fed the English Elders, kind of like the fish and loaves of bread. just kidding.  Also, we went to visit Veronica! She's so busy now because she's in school learning to speak English. It warmed my heart though to see her especially because she asked us for help with teaching her husband. So we role played with her. And Veronica, took the plan of Salvation pamphlet, used scriptures, and taught us. It was one of the happiest moments thus far on my mission.
Saturday: We had a lesson with Julia C. where she finally realized that in order to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not, she's going to have to read it more, and so she said: "I think I'm goin to read the Book of Mormon before I start my Bible reading, because after that I'm so tired." Yes. Thank you Julia! Also, for dinner Hna Tonga and I went to Subway! But, afterwards went to go visit a less active and she fed us. We were forced to eat. Double dinners do not make my tummy happy. Later that night Hna Tonga and I got a surprise phone call from Elder Ho Ching. He was transferred to another area, but he called us to tell us that he had been thinking about us because he had gone to Subway that day. :) great tummies think alike?
Sunday: The Toscanos came to Church! We had a regional conference broadcast from Salt Lake. President Eyring, Elder Scott, Elder Piper of the 70 and Sister Stevens of the Primary Presidency spoke to us. After church we went to visit a woman named Carmen, a less active of one of the English wards, who we've been helping to declutter her house. Her Husband was there and he speaks Spanish, so we taught them both, and found another new investigator! I loved our lesson and Carmen's husband Eduardo shared something I had never thought of he said, "I know there's a God. Because if there wasn't we wouldn't feel bad when we did somethin wrong."
Most hilarious part of Sunday though was when Eduardo said to my companion, "You're Hawaiian right? I met a Hawaiian!" My companion and I were thinking, it's probably some fake Hawaiian. But then he showed us the man's name. We asked where the man lived, and then went to pay him a visit. He was definitely Hawaiian, and Hna Tonga had crazy connections to him #polyproblems. We couldn't believe that hidden in Pasadena there was a Hawaiian man who she was six degrees from seperation connected to. :)
I know this was a massive email, but it really was such a wonderful week! I love you all!
Con Todo Mi Amor,
Hna Flores

Valentines day gifts!

Dairy Queen! With Elder Conan and Elder Hatch.
The Cake the Toscanos made for us. :)
McDonalds on the Spanish Speaking District.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cositas Que Amo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blast off!

Biggest surprise of this week: this transfer is only 5 weeks long! Apparently our missions are being shortened by a week in order to accommodate the change in MTC stay and the high influx of missionaries coming out. This Monday we went to NASA! NASA is located abou 15 min from Pasadena, hence the phrase "Houston we have a Problem." We went to Space Center Houston to learn about what it takes to be a NASA astronaut, all there is to know about past missions, and how wonderful the galaxy really is. It was so much fun, I felt a little bit like I was on tour with Living Legends all over again though because we were all dressed in our proselytizing clothes touring the museum in groups of missionaries. I also may or may not want to be an astronaut now. I think it would be amazing to just float in outer space in the silence for a few, see the earth from a distance and just be filled with wonder.
   Hna Tonga and I have been hard at work this week putting into motion a wonderful inspired idea that came to us on how to find people to teach. Our story begins about a month ago. It was around 8:30 at night and we had exhausted all our back up plans, so I said to Hna Tonga, "let's knock Griffin." We knocked one home where a woman yelled at us "WHO IS IT?" Try as we might, we explained to her we were missionaries, but I think she was hard of hearing and so we ended up moving to the next house. However, a neighbor one house down came out and said, "Were you knocking the door of that house down there?" Apparently, the woman from the first home had called her neighbor because she was scared. We explained to the neighbor,Lisa, how we were missionaries. Lisa was adamant on telling us she was catholic and so we explained to her that we were Spanish speaking missionaries, and asked if she knew which of her neighbors spoke Spanish. Lisa said, "Oh, Pete does, but he's a Mormon, so don't bother talking to him."
   Hna Tonga and I later thouht, "who is this Pete, and why don't we know him?" Two nights later we met "Pete." Pete turned out to be an Hno that goes to one of the English speaking wards. He's a sweet man, and he gave us a great referral! During weekly planning session that next week, I told Hna Tonga, "Hna, I have a crazy idea. What if we meet all the members in our area, even the members from the English wards and ask them for referrals?" My train of thought was this, practically 75% of Pasadena speaks Spanish, and the Lord is most certainly preparing people in all parts of his vineyard. It is quite possible then that a member from the English congregation knows someone who speaks Spanish who is prepared to hear the message of the gospel.
  We quickly got to getting copies of the ward lists, using my GPS to locate the members that live in our area, and putting their name on a giant map in our apartment. So far we've gained a service opportunity that could potentially lead to a new investigator, and really good referrals! We're really excited to keep moving through the list. There is no way that I could have come up with such an idea on my own, and so I know that there is someone we are supposed to find throuh this list. Somewhere out there is a person who has been prepared to hear the gospel who Hna Tonga and I have to find.
   Finding is definitely the toughest part of missionary work. The work doesn't really begin unless we have people to teach. Finding can be a little disappointing at times though, especially because our finding efforts don't always translate to numbers that can be reported to our mission president. I came across these verses in my Book of Mormon reading today, "...Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
   Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain; surely my judgement is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
   And now, saith the Lord--that formed me from the womb that I should be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him--though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
   And he said: It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth." ( 1 Nephi 21:3-6)
  I know that this scripture is talking about the Messiah, and I am no way comparing myself to the Messiah, but I felt a comfort while reading this, a comfort that my work here in Pasadena is not in vain. I labor in a noble cause, and my glory is in my God. Hna Tonga and I both feel that we will have a baptism in February, though I couldn't tell you who it's going to be. We are working harder, and correcting our mistakes, because we both desire to be the best missionaries we can be.
I love you all!
Pray for a baptism for us!
Con todo mi amor,
La Hnita Flores

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Who's Who.

Tragedy struck on Wednesday. We went to the temple, the opposite of tragic. BUT, my camera broke. So, I'm currently borrowing pictures from my district. On the bright side, it is still under canon limited warranty, so in about a week or two I should get it back fully repaired & ready to go. Per request of my mother, I decided to send today, a list of the investigators we are working with, and their stories. (I feel like I'm the narrator from Law & Order SVU. "& these are their stories....") Granted, keep in mind, the names of these people have been changed. :)
1. Elizabeth M.
 Part member Family. Hno is a member, he was baptized when he was a young boy in Honduras. Elder Hatch taught her for about 5 months in one of his prveious areas. She has desires to get baptized, but can't because her and Hno aren't married and they need to obtain some kind of paperwork/ identification through the Mexican consulate in order for this to happen. For some reason they won't come to church. We've heard every excuse there is. I have grown to LOVE this family so much, but it breaks my heart that they aren't partaking of chruch attendance blessings. Hna Tonga and I went to their home yesterday to try and make them a pancake breakfast before church, but to no success.
2. Julia C.
Referral. Last last transfer, Hna Canova and I were on exchanges with Sis Wenzel and right before we walked into an appt, we got a phone call from an 801 number. I instantly recognized it as a Utah phone number. It turned out to be Julia's cousin, Juan. He told us how he had found this # in a LDM (Libro De Mormon) in his cousin's house, and he had bourne his testimony to her. Julia's dad recently (just this past transfer) passed away from cancer. It's been a little difficult to teach her. However, this past week she finally prayed in front of us! She hasn't felt comfortable enough up to now to pray in front of us. She had lost her phone & Hna Tonga and I shared experiences of how prayer has helped us find things in the past. So, sure enough she prayed and the next day she texted us to say she had found her phone after about a week of it being lost. Julia needs to read the LDM to know that it's true, and that's what we're working on.
3. Roxy T.
In high school. Younger sister of a menos activo, Lisa. One day we went for a lesson with lisa, she wasn't there so we asked Roxy if we could come in so we could write a note for Lisa. We ended up talking to her, and we've taught her once since then. We're really trying to take the young women with us to lessons.
4. Marisol C.
We met her while knocking Sullivan in the rain. She immediately let us in, said she hadn't seen us in a while, and we were a little confused. Marisol confused us with hermanas from another church. We had a lesson with her, and she accepted a return appointment. The second time we taught her, she was all ears, and she was fixated on every word we said. Marisol absorbed what we taught her about prophets. I wasn't there for the next appt because of exchanges. but, Hna Tonga told me that Marisol read the entire Restoration pamphelt and that she said about the LDM, "I have to read this book!" We only get to meet with her once a week, and this Friday she had to cancel.
5. Juan C.
We met him this week during Hour of Power (every thursday, we got to the house of a member's home, share a message about faith, and then knock doors from 6-7. Hence "hour of power") We spent a good 45 minutes talking to him. When we talked to him about the Book of Mormon he said, "I always wondered if Christ went other places." He loved what we talked about and accepted a return appt. Although, he did give us a disclaimer. He said, "I'm telling you right now, don't invite me to church. Don't invite me to do things. I'm Catholic. I'll die Catholic." He also however said, "If God tells me to join another church, I'll join another church" so.....
& that's who we're working with right now.
This week we also had interviews with President, and I learned so much from talking with Sister Crawford. As I've said in previous letters, pretty much all of our area is menos activo, and it makes me so sad to know that people aren't coming to church and being upliffted by the spirit there. Sometimes I deal with this guilty conscience type feeling when I think, "how do I balance teaching and finding new people, but also strengthening the less actives." Sis Crawford reminded me this week, a soul is worht the same in the eyes of God. Our father in Heaven will be just as happy if you help people regain their testimonies or help them learn of the message of the restoration." My mind was at peace after that.
Hna Tonga and I had the best weekly planning session this week. We planned outside, the sun was out, and for some reason being outside helped me to truly focus on the work. Sometimes, I get really distracted when I'm in our apartment, but being outisde helped my focus tremendously. Hna Tonga and I took advice from Sister Crawford and decided we're making breakfast for people, and visiting them before church. We also want to start having dinners with the members living in our own area, so this Sunday we asked for a blank dinner calendar for next next week, and we're filling it up on our own. We've also tried to brainstorm ways we can serve individuals, and ways that we can help them feel needed. Case in point, we let a menos activo Hna take us out to a Chinese buffet for lunch last week and we have another Hna who is giving Hna Tonga private spanish lessons. :]
Let's just say we're putting as much creativity as possible into our area.
With love,
Hna Flores