Letter 48

​Querida Familia!

Well there is a lot to tell this week. First of all, thank you SO MUCH for all of the birthday cards! They were all so sweet. And Grandpa, thank you for sending your conversion story to me, I really loved reading it. So the news is: I’m being transferred to South Sacramento now with Hermanas Sharp and Cardullo! I am excited, it’s a bittersweet feeling though like leaving any area is. East Sac has been filled with trials for me, to say the least. I’ve been pushed past my limits and went farther than I thought I could go (don’t need to expound on that, haha, everything was hard for a while) but at the same time I love it. I grew to know the Savior more by serving here. I got to train 2 awesome Sisters here and become a leader in the mission. It’s been incredible. I love the people here and it will be hard to leave them however I know there are more people to love in other areas. I still get to be the Sister Training Leader so I’ll get to come back at least 2x this next transfer! It will be fun to be in a trio again, like in the MTC. Trios have their hardships but they can also be a great experience, so that will be good. And make it easier for me to do exchanges! So anyway, that’s the news, I’m excited and happy to experience new areas on the mission and see what awaits ahead.

 

This week was full of very meaningful spiritual experiences for me. It was a hard week but ended well. Ana Mata got baptized Saturday! IT WAS SO SPECIAL. Hna Marroquin came back for the baptism because well we all taught Ana and it was so great. It took her a while (she was an eternal investigator for about 10months) but she made it. Ana even cried Sunday when she got confirmed. I got to sit with her in gospel principles class and she was GLOWING. I felt special that I got to teach her for 2 transfers before East Sac split. So that was special for me! The bad news…. Gustavo decided to postpone his baptism 2-3 weeks. He passed his baptismal interview and everything! He just wants to wait to get his divorced finalized before he gets baptized. We told him he doesn’t have to wait or anything but he wanted to. Looks like I’ll just have to come back for his baptism! I know it will happen, he is so ready. We took Gustavo to Ana’s baptism and he LOVED it. He was so excited to take his 2 sons there, too. So it was a great experience. It was hard because we already had his baptism all planned and it was hard to cancel it. There were tears. But it’s okay, I am sure I will come back for his baptism. He is really special to Hermana Cosby and I.

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I got a blessing from Bishop Woodland Sunday night because, well, I needed it. Like I said, the past 6 months in East Sac has not been easy. We have a challenging area where it is hard to find Hispanic people. Training Hna Cosby was NOT easy, especially at first. When Gustavo decided to postpone his baptism, I thought I was going to lose it. Seriously the mission pushes you to your emotional limit, even if you are not an emotional person. So I decided to ask for a blessing, which was hard because I don’t like asking for help. Well the district leader and his 2 companions came to help (Elder Laduke too!) and it was incredible. The blessing Bishop Woodland was exactly what I needed, and even he and Sister Woodland and some of the Elders had tears in their eyes afterward. It felt like a father’s blessing and was so specific even a patriarchal blessing…… it was that good. He basically told me my service I have rendered here in East Sac had been accepted by the Lord, which I needed because I have been hard on myself lately, not thinking that I have helped anyone in this area at all. Which isn’t true, but it was hard not to see any baptisms here after working SO HARD to try and help this area grow. Afterward with tears in his eyes bishop turned to me and said, that was a choice experience for me, thank you. I said no thank YOU bishop, you and your family are incredible. 

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We went to the temple this morning which was AMAZING. We were late (Spanish time…….. hahaha) and so we ended up doing sealing’s as daughters. It was great! I know we were late for a reason. I was a daughter for one of them and the first sealing we did there was this SPECIAL spirit, the 2 old people who were proxy parents (who I didn’t even know) and I looked at each other and just smiled, I knew that person had been waiting to be sealed to her parents. The rest were special too, but especially the first one. I don’t even remember the name, but I will never forget that spirit I felt. Afterward we sat in the Celestial room of the Sacramento temple and wow……. all I can say is PEACE. I felt such peace. It was like the world had stopped. I LOVE the house of the Lord. And grateful I can go there, especially on my mission.

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Well it’s off to pack pack and get ready to move! I am excited and feel ready for it. Bring it on! Through everything and all the challenges that come with a mission, I KNOW the Lord walks with you through it. I felt it. I still feel it. And I LOVE MY MISSION. There is a time every single day where I feel profound joy about what I am doing. Sometimes it’s sitting in a lesson and inviting someone to be baptized. Sometimes it’s standing in 100 degree weather and knocking on doors with sweat dripping down my face. Sometimes its helping my companion with something that is really hard for her. Either way, I feel it every day and I am trying to savor every moment of every day because, well, the time here is short. I love it, I love the Lord, and I love the Savior, I know without a doubt that this is His work. I am grateful to be a part of it every day.

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Con amor, 

Hermana Aud

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Letter 47

Area: East Sacramento, CA
Companion: Hermana/Sister Crosby

Hola Querida familia!
                  This week was great! I got to do exchanges with Hermanas Sierra (from Panama!) and Kennard, and with Hermana Thomas….dream come true! It was great to be with my old companion for a day, we had so much fun and worked super hard. We saw some old investigators we used to teach together in that area and even left a note for Andrea, and it was fun to have things they used to be for a day. Hna Thomas and Sharp are still planning for Ana Mata’s baptism this Saturday, which is so great because I taught her too and we are close. It feels good to know your park in the work matters, even if your investigator gets baptized with other missionaries. We are planning on bringing Gustavo to that baptism as well! We had to move his baptismal date to the 30, so just the day after. But I’ll write about that in a second, I’m getting ahead of myself. It was a great day and I got to see how much of a leader she has become since becoming a trainer herself. Exchanges with Hermana Sierra and Kennard were really fun too! I told Hermana Sierra that my good friend Hermana Wilson was in Panama City. I also loved her accent! She speaks beautiful Spanish. I told her I liked her accent and she said thanks! You speak like a Mexican. I said…..thanks? Haha. Hey, I’ll take it as a compliment. Anyway, exchanges were really fun and if I’m still the Sister Training Leader next transfer then I’ll be happy to do them again and get to know more of the sisters.
Speaking of which! Transfers are coming up this week…you wont get an email from me until Tuesday with my new transfer call. Who knows what will happen. I feel like I will probably leave East Sacramento, which will be very bitter sweet but I’ve been feeling like my time here is running out. 6 months in one area (4 transfers) is a lot. Parts of it have been really hard but I’ve also loved it, and it would be hard to leave. We will see! New places and people to love.
This week we taught Gustavo a magical lesson on what we like to call the big 3: The Law of Tithing, The Law of Chastity, and the Word of Wisdom. Hermana Cosby and I were afraid he might drink coffee or something small like that, but HE HAD NO PROBLEMS with anything! Not the Word of Wisdom or anything. Not only that, he LOVED all of the commandments and thought they were beautiful. Clean on the Word of Wisdom. Clean on the law of chastity. And loved the idea of tithing. He even knew it was 10% of your increase before we said it…….I said Gustavo how did you know that?! Have you been baptized before!? We laughed and he said no, only in the Catholic church. We read the scripture about tithing in Malachi and I said, what do you think that means Gustavo? He said, could it not be more clear? We pay tithing and God always provides for us, he never leaves us in need. WHOA! He is so prepared, it’s incredible, almost unbelievable. I’ve felt that it is such a privilege to teach him. Hermana Cosby even extended all of the invitations for him to live the commandments, I was so proud! So we are trying to prepare him for his baptism this Sunday………ekkkkkk! He is ready but it will still take a miracle! But I believe in miracles because I have seen them in my mission!  PRAY FOR HIM! Please.
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While I was gone on exchanges Hermana Cosby actually found some new investigators for us! Well they were potentials we both found and made an appointment with them and she went back while I was gone and taught them! Some of the sisters she had to take out were YSA sisters that don’t even speak Spanish, but she did it all by herself! Wow I was so proud, because we have come such a far way from when we started. It is hard to “run the area” for a day when your trainer/sr companion is gone, but she did it and we added 4 new investigators as a result of it. How amazing. The Lord truly qualifies who he calls. I have a testimony of that! Something I’ve been reading and pondering lately: Matthew 20, the versus about leadership and becoming a servant through being a leader. I would expound but my time is up! Things to think about.
Well we have a Sister’s Conference tomorrow, and I’m doing a training segment with another Sister Training Leader, Sister Oliphant! (Yeah, super cool name). I am excited and it’s a good day to have a birthday on the mission, I suppose. I am excited! It should be great and I will write about it next week, along with transfers.
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One last thing, I LOVED the Work of Salvation broadcast! How exciting! I don’t know how well using facebook will work with Spanish work, they don’t have computers the majority, however it will be fun to see what changes come! What a blessing to be a missionary at this time, I swear I love my mission more and more every day!
Que tengan una buena semana!
con tanto amor,
Hermana Aud
pictures:
1. Hna Thomas and I!
2. A Virgin de Guadalupe……I have been missing these in my life.

Just for the family: Thanks for the package mom! I will open it tonight! It came last Monday. 🙂 Colin, hope you are doing awesome love you so much and I’m proud of you! I got your bday card and loved it. 🙂 Hope you got mine I sent forever ago when you were in the MTC.

Letter 46

Querida Familia!
                Hi family! This week was a whirlwind. I did 2 exchanges (they were both great! I’ll send pictures), went to a Quince (fiesta for girls who turn 15), went to a photoshoot (more on that later), went to a baptism where he thought they were dunking him in forward instead of backward (SO funny), and oh yeah, and Gustavo accepted a baptismal date of June 29th. Yahoooooooooo! Holy cow I can’t believe it! After all this time in East Sac and working SO hard, he said he would prepare to be baptized on that date. He wants to see a baptism before his own, but that is no problem because our zone is on fire and we actually might even hit the high water mark for baptisms in a transfer. So Gustavo will come this weekend hopefully to see and feel the Spirit that comes from deciding to follow Christ. We are so excited. We had a great lesson with him where he finally said yes, I will prepare for that date. And he came to church again this week, triumph of the week. I feel so thankful. And more than anything, I am thankful that Hermana Cosby can see that this is what a mission is supposed to be like, truly helping people change their lives and deciding to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I’ve been really proud of her and how much she has grown in these last 2 transfers. Especially with me being gone as the exchange sister she has grown so much. It’s amazing to see how the Atonement can be applied to EVERYONE no matter what their situation. Anyway, we are super excited for Gustavo and even found out his son Christian will turn 8 this month! Perfect. We are thankful for him and to see him grow in the gospel. 
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Tuesday I went on exchanges with Hermanas Crane and Cardullo, which was fun because I served with Hermana Crane in Tracy when I was with Hermana Romero. Hermana Cardullo came out at the same time as Hna Cosby did. It was a great day! We got to eat dinner at an English members house and they were so sweet, they were such great missionaries and even introduced us to some of their Spanish neighbors after dinner! A great example of member missionaries. So they introduced us and we got right in to teach a lesson. It was great and I had a lot of fun with the other Hermanas. 
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I did an exchange also with Hermana Sharp (Hna Thomas’ trainee in the other half of East Sac), which was fun because we went to one of their investigators house named Romi. She was having a photo shoot there (seriously glamour shots, it was hilarious, the women looked like they were out of a novella). We just stopped by to remind them of a lesson they had with the Sisters the next day. Also, we went to a Quince in our ward! The bishop told us to go, it was really important that everyone was there to support her, so we used our dinner time. It was crazy! Mariachi music and everything. Huge dress. HUGE. It was pink. Ha. They had a traditional dances and everything. Hermana Sharp and I were loving it. We were also able to teach a former investigator I taught when I covered that area, Ana Mata, who is actually preparing to be baptized! It was so great to see her. I don’t remember how much I wrote about her, but basically she was an eternal investigator that finally committed to baptism with Hna Sharp and Thomas. So that was great, we just shared a scripture with her Matt 19:26, with God all things are possible. It was a good day.
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That is the most exciting news from the mission. Besides Gustavo, we only have 1 other investigator. Yeah, we are definitely in finding mode…again. We had to drop a lot of our investigators, including the sweet couple Guadalupe and Arturo because they both started working crazy hours and we could never find them. We will find more people though! The bishop (Bishop Woodland) talked to us and said he would try and help our members help us out in our area more, it is just really hard to even find hispanic people in this area because it is so nice/white. I said thank you bishop for understanding, we are really trying hard and being diligent we promise. So at least he understands! We will press forward with faith because even though it might be hard to find Hispanic people in our area I know there is someone who is being prepared. So we will keep going! That is the goal.
 
Love you all so much, les quiero mucho!
 
con amor,
Hermana Aud

Letter 45 – “Humility isn’t thinking less OF yourself, it’s thinking less ABOUT yourself.” (quoting anonymous). How right I have found this to be on my mission!

I have a few quotes I would like to put in this email, but Hermana Thomas said that this week and wow it made me laugh. Anyway, this week was amazing! Not only did we hit almost all of our goals, but GUSTAVO came to church! And it was perfect! He even brought his two kids, Sebastian (6) and Christian (7). Gustavo dressed them up in nice button down shirts and gelled their hair, it was awesome. We went to face to face them (remind them about church Sunday morning) and they were already outside and ready! Sacrament meeting was about being a good dad and the theme of father/our Father in Heaven which was perfect, as Gustavo is a single dad. We think he really liked it. On the way out of church we said, so how do you feel about being baptized on June 29th? He said “I’ll tell you later” so we have to wait to Wednesday to find out…. the suspense is killing me. Pray for Gustavo! He is so ready and I know he would love being a member of THE Church. It would bless his life. He would fit right in our ward, it would be perfect for him. We have a lesson with him Wednesday so we will find out then I guess. We had a great lesson with him by the pool (we always find him outside either walking with his 2 sons or playing them in the apt. complex pool, so sweet) and we read 1 Ne 1 with him. We talked about finding answers through the Spirit and we asked him if he prayed about baptism then, he said “well that’s why I’m going to church Sunday, to find out!” and then HE DID. It was great. There are 2 baptismal services this Saturday so we will invite him to one of those so he can see what it’s like. Hermana Cosby and I are SO excited for him, we just love Gustavo.
I did exchanges with Hermanas Romero and Dando Tuesday, it was great! It was weird doing exchanges with Hna Romero because well, she taught me a lot as my senior companion and now I’m her exchange sister/sister training leader? It was kind of funny but so great to spend a day with her. I went to Elk Grove and we had a great day! An English member called the sisters in the morning during studies and said she had a gardener that she wanted us to teach named Salvador. So we went over and got to sit in her backyard and teach him! It was awesome. Their backyard was like 5 acres so it was gorgeous. Salvador had already read a little in the BOM and was interested. He studied with the mainstream Christians and Pentecostals for a while but didn’t get baptized in their church because he didn’t feel right about it. His wife is studying with the Jehovah’s witnesses but he doesn’t feel right about that either. SO! That’s why Cathy (didn’t tell us her last name), a member of the English ward in Elk Grove, wanted the spanish sisters to teach him. It was a great lesson and Salvador really felt the Spirit. He even committed to be baptized!!! Also, Cathy owned a pig and I’m pretty sure that’s one of the few times I’ve actually seen a pig in real life. Haha! I took a picture. 🙂 So did Hermana Romero.
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Quotes from Hermana Cosby this week: “Humility isn’t thinking less OF yourself, it’s thinking less ABOUT yourself.” (quoting anonymous). How right I have found this to be on my mission! Holy cow if you think you had faults before your mission wait til you are on http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1737858986001your mission, you will see your faults very plainly. BUT! Heavenly Father also magnifies your strengths so its like Ether 12:27 right there. You don’t necessarily have to tell people your faults to look humble, just don’t talk about yourself at all and there you go. Humility. 
Another quote” “Mormon is the hipster Christian.” -Hermana Cosby. Just think about it.
This week I am doing exchanges with Hermana Crane, Cardullo (new sister!), and Hermana Sharp. Should be fun! Last night we had dinner with the Monroe family (the ones who always send you real time pictures of us) and it was so fun. They have 3 daughters and love having the sisters over (they have all the sisters in our zone over, which used to be just the 2 of us and now there are 8 of us……a lot has changed in the last 6 months since I got here…). I love Sister Monroe because she reminds me of you Mom! Haha. She is great. She is so cool and served her mission in El Salvador. Anyway, I love the members here.
Well that’s all for this week! The big triumph: Gustavo to church. And he said he wants to come again next week. Pray for us Wednesday that we can have an awesome lesson and that he can commit to baptism at the end of June! We are seeing MIRACLES and I love this work so much! I always want to be a missionary! I feel that I love my mission more and more every day.
Les quiero mucho y que tengan una semana maraviollsa. 🙂
con amor,
Hermana Aud
ps. It’s HOT HERE! IT got up to 110 the other day! Our car read 119! AH!
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pictures:
1. exchanges with hnas Romero and Dando!
2. Hna Romero taking a pict of the pig, she thought it was so funny.

May 2013

ImageLetter 44

Date: June 03, 2013
Area: East Sacramento, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Crosby

 Querida familia,

            Well I can tell you the theme of this week has been meetings, meetings, meetings….seriously. I’ve had 2 leadership training meetings and we had a Spanish conference (which was awesome, more on that later). And I have another training sister leader meeting tomorrow…..lots of things to learn I guess. It’s been good though. I do my first exchange as a coordinating sister Wednesday and I get to go with Hna Romero and her companion Hna Dando! SO EXCITED to be with Hna Romero again for a day and get to know Hna Dando better (greenie…as are most of the sisters in the mission right now). So that should be fun.

           We had a great lesson this week with Gustavo, and he is praying about being baptized!!!! He is so incredible, super humble and willing to learn. And the best part…….he actually read! KEEPING COMMITMENTS wohoooo! Man it’s hard to get people to do that. We gave him 3 Ne.11 and he loved it, when Christ comes to the Americas. Also it talks about the doctrine of Christ so we taught him L3 (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, enduring to the end). He loved it and understood it, and finally understood the importance of baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ as opposed to the Catholic/other churches. So he is praying about that and we are going again to teach him Tuesday night, pray all goes well! Gustavo is so amazing Hermana Cosby and I  really hope he can be baptized before this transfer is over. Pray for
miracles!!!! 

           We had the Spanish Conference this week for all  Spanish missionaries in the mission, and President Martinez (President Lewis’ 1st Counselor) trained for a lot of it. We read the intro to the BOM (the one written by Moroni, translated by Joseph Smith) and something I never realized……it was written FOR THE LAMANITES. Cool stuff! Read that intro, it says the BOM was written for the convincing of the Jews and the Gentiles (basically everyone) but also for the convincing of the remnant of the Lamanites to show them that they are not cast off or forgotten by God. Being Spanish missionaries, we are literally fulfilling prophecy that this book of scripture would be taken back to the people it was written for. We read some other scriptures in 2 Ne (Isaiah stuff) that also talked about this…that the descendants  of Lehi would be scattered across the land and that they would face trails and afflictions (hello poverty, illegal status and intense familial problems) but that this book, the BOM, would come forth in the Latter-days and bless them. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Do I love beinga Spanish missionary? Yep. 

         Well…….we taught a Pagan guy this week. Haha no joke! Add that to the list of people I have taught in my mission. (So much diversity here, I love it!) People from almost every country in central and south america? Check. Cool Muslim people from Iran? Check. Random Russian people on the street? Check. Indian people? You bet. I love it. Anyway, we were visiting potentials in the birdcage apts (so many Hispanics there) and this kind of hispanic looking lady says, hey you are Mormons too! She invited us in. Come to find out she was Native American, and a member, but her son was totally Pagan with long hair and crazy piercings haha. He’s all, “I walk with the ancient ones. I wish I were born in Medival times…I’m a natural born hippy.” HAHAHA oh man loved it.  

         So some fun adventures this week! The good news is…….we have investigators! We are just trying to have them be progressing investigators now. Good things to come in the upcoming weeks here in East Sac! Can’t believe I’ve been in East Sac almost 6 months of my mission..that’s a whole 1/3. Crazy. I hope to see at least 1 baptism (GUSTAVO!) before I leave (probably next transfer, but who knows)…but even if I don’t I can say I’ve worked as hard as I can and helped this area grow….twice. I feel that here I’ve grown into the missionary Heavenly Father has wanted me to become in this area, and I’m thankful for that.

         I also found out Honorio moved back to Mexico this week! Well I’m sad but I’m happy he can finally be with his family……just means I’ll have to visit el Districto Federal de Mexico  after the mission! (also to visit Hna Romero, they live 30mins away from each other!)

 love you family, hope you have a great week! Also, I hope I’m sending this email to Colin’s email…are you getting these buddy?

 Letter 43

Date: May 27, 2013
Area: East Sacramento, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Crosby

A Book of Mormon in Farsi and the kindest people I’ve ever met……
              We had a great week this week! Many things to tell about. I had my first “Training Sister” Leader Meeting last Friday. It was really great. Talked about the doctrine of Christ, what it means to be a humble leader (a servant to other missionaries), etc. President Lewis gave an awesome training. The only weird thing? I was the ONLY sister there. 4 hours of me, a bunch of Elders, and President Lewis. Not even Sister Lewis was there. Yeah I didn’t have a companion and it was so weird to be with 30+ Elders…. President said “you can be my companion Sister White!” Hahah it was funny, but I just felt so weird especially when we were eating lunch. Hopefully this week at our training there will be more sisters! I was the only newly called Sister so that’s why. It was still a good meeting though. I’m so excited to serve in this role!

              We had an AWESOME lesson with Guadalupe and Arturo this week. Well, Guadalupe was there and that was good but Arturo was LOVING in. First of all, he is a total bromista. YES! I have been missing them in my life! I haven’t been able to find a bromista since I was in Tracy. Anyway he is so hilarious and absoutely loves having us over. Always calling us Hermanitas. I love it. So we taught them about the Book of Mormon, and he loved it. Arturo said oh yeah I already know this book is another Testament of Jesus Christ (after reading the intro), and its just like a guide for us and our families, right? We said yes! He said well I need to pray and ponder it and then pray about it to see it its true. And if its true, I’ll be baptized in your church. What’s the importance of baptism anyway? THAT IS A SEARCHER RIGHT THERE. It was awesome. They even want to be baptized in the river (American River) because that’s what Christ did…… haha! I was SO happy. We would have to get permission for that but there have been baptisms in the river before, President just needs to approve them. So they are praying (well mostly Arturo) about being baptized the 22 of June. Yahooo! We are excited for them. They wanted us to stay longer so they invited us over for dinner this Thursday and we’ll have a lesson with them. (Guadalupe even gave us some food to do….Nicuraguan food! So  good) Sounds a lot like Honorio, no? I thought so.

              We also had a great lesson with a Muslim family, which left Hna Cosby and I wanting to learn Farsi. They are the SWEETEST family, it was sad we had to refer them to the English missionaries (we can only teach in Spanish, otherwise it’s called poaching). So we knock on this door yesterday, and this old man from Iran answered. His daughter (about 35) invites in and the first thing I noticed in their home? A Book of Mormon in Farsi. WHAT THE WHAT. Coincidence? I think not. I said where did you get that Book of Mormon? She said (her name is Mary) that her LDS friend gave it to her. They also had some pamphlets. My heart was racing so hard! Really? We just happened to stumble across this extremely friendly, humble Muslim family that already had a BOM in Farsi/Persian? Yeah. Miracle. They said they had even gone to church that morning (it was Sunday). We said, wow, so you are interested?
Mary said she would like to one day become a Christian and even a Mormon. We said, well, you can do that! She speaks English very well, especially for only being here in the U.S. a few weeks. Even her parents were so interested, she told us her dad named her Mary because he has always loved Jesus Christ (it talks about Christ in the Qu’ran, but only as a prophet not as a Savior). Anyway, they kept asking us questions like, so what do you believe? What is your church about? When she flipped through the BoM we could see she had already read a large part of it and marked a lot of scriptures. It was incredible. So we refered them to the English missionaries and told them we would go to our mission office and get them pamphlets in Persian. Coolest thing ever. They were SO kind, some of the kindest people I have ever met.

                 We also added some investigators this week we feel really good about! This guy named Santos, who has 2 kids and his wife’s aunt is LDS. So they both want to listen to us and learn more! We only taught him a little so we are going back to teach him and his wife Tuesday. He seem  like he has had a rough life, lots of tattoos, and has some kind of disability…. Hna Cosby and I felt he was in a good place in his life to recieve the gospel. We are excited and our area is really going well now! I hope to help someone enter the waters of baptism before I leave this area. PRAY FOR MIRACLES! Still trying to help Alan Pinto &family get ready for his baptism June 30.

Good things are happening! I know the Lord shows us miracles when we do all we can in His service. I’m more tired than I have ever been in my whole life, especially with this new calling (don’t be surprised if I come home with permanent dark circles under my eyes), but I can also tell you I’ve never been happier. And that’s no joke… that’s the miracle of the Gospel. Love you all have a great week!

con amor,
Hermana Au

Audrey 5

Letter 42

Area: East Sacramento, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Crosby

 Querida familia!

I FINALLY got a normal transfer call. Yay! Basically the first one since I was with my trainer.So Hermana Cosby and I are staying together, as expected, because you have 2 transfers with your trainer. Wahoooo! Also…… I got called to be a sister training leader! Basically an exchange sister. So like a district leader I’ll do exchanges with some of the sisters in the mission and write their transfer reports. I’m excited about it, although I know it will be stressful. (Having to find rides to do exchanges, leaving my area, having Hna Cosby run the area, etc.) But I think it’ll  be great! Sometimes I think President Lewis trusts me a little too much  though, ha. It’ll be fun to go to other areas though! We will see.

 This week was a good week! We found some awesome people named Guadalupe (from Nicaragua) and her husband Arturo (Mex). They are great. Very Christian, and actually went to our church once. They are viajitos or sweet old people, so its fun teaching them. Hermana Cosby and I are excited to see them progress!  We had a great lesson a few days ago with just Guadalupe where she really opened up to us and actually cried because she wishes her children would be better followers of Christ. We taught her a little about the Plan of Salvation, and that there is always hope for those who go astray. It was a great lesson! I have felt it become easier and easier throughout my mission to express my love for people, and man I just poured my heart out to her. It felt great just to HAVE someone to testify to. So we are excited for them and
to keep teaching them.

            Also this week! We started using out bikes for the first time! And as far as riding a bike as a missionary goes, I LOVED it! It was nice to be out and about riding on our bikes. The downside? We didn’t get any work done. NONE. Haha. After a few hours of riding around in the nice California sun, we just had to laugh. What else can you do? I think it was because our area is SO huge and the hispanic population is so spread out (pretty thinly), we didn’t get to contact anyone. Which was the original point of President asking us to ride bikes, so we could contact more. I just don’t think it worked as well in a spanish area that is so big, everything is spread out. So we will see if the biking continues, I hope I can serve in another spanish area where it might work better because I really loved it. I’ll send pictures! I thought I’d be sore the next day, I actually wasn’t! Even on my ghetto wal-mart bike. Haha. (I even made a watter bottle holder
myself, it didn’t come with one. And it has a man’s seat even though it’s a womans bike…. yeah….. walmart……) But poor Hermana Cosby was sore! She was more of the theater type in highschool (which is super cool!) so she wasn’t as used to  riding. But we both had fun.

       We ate at the Bishop’s Sunday, I love Bishop Woodland and his family. They are amazing and are such SERVANTS of the Lord. We told him we are trying to help little ALAN PINTO get baptized in June! That kid should have been baptized a few months ago but their family has gone a little less active, so we are trying to help them come back and trying to get him baptized. He is so ready! And Hno Pinto can baptize him if they come to church a few times.

         They come, just not as often as they need to. Anyway, their family is so amazing I’ve grown so close to them since I’ve been here. It’s my 4th transfer here in East Sac, crazy! I’ll be here for at least 6months of my mission, a whole 1/3! Assuming I’m leaving after this one. We will see. Love you all! Hope you’ve had a great week…….COLIN I hope everything is amazing in the MTC! I sent you a bday card, but I’m afraid I wrote the wrong postal code I hope you get it in time!

les quiero mucho!  con amor,

Hermana Aud

Letter 40

Letter 40

Date: May 06, 2013
Area: East Sacramento, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Crosby

 

 

Well it has been getting sunny and HOT here in Sacramento, so I’m
thankful its cooler and rainy today. Don’t think I’ll be seeing many
more days like this in the upcoming months so I’m enjoying it while it
lasts. This week was kinda crazy kinda good and kinda intense….all
mixed in. Haha. Well the best part was our new missionary meeting! So,
how many new missionary meetings have I been to now? Hahahaha. It was
awesome sitting with Hna Thomas in the trainer’s meeting, my
trainee-gone-trainer. We had fun! AND I got to see my friends!!!!! Aka,
my old companions. Haha. Namely Hermana ROMERO! And Hermana Marroquin!
And a few of the Elders (english) I came in with are training now too so
that was fun. It was a good meeting and I think Hermana Cosby enjoyed
it as well. In our corelation (is that how you spell it in English? I
seriously don’t know) Elder Austin in our district said Hermana White,
you have some serious posterity in here! I was like yeah I know! All of
the Sisters in our district basically…..meaning my trainee is training
aka I am a “grandma”. Just one of those missionary terms I guess, I
don’t tend to call my trainees my daughters like…ever. Haha. So
anyway! That was fun.

 

 
Last night we had an AWESOME lesson with our
investigator Gustavo. The first time we met him, he pulled the whole
“I’m Catholic but willing to listen” thing. We stopped by another day
and left him a BOM because he was interested and willing to read. Last
night he had some amazing questions we were able to answer. And he
UNDERSTOOD the connection between if the BOM is true, that the Church of
Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth. I could SEE his
progression and development, it was the best feeling to watch him grow.
We had Hna Maria Gomez (SHE is so awesome) with us to give us that
member of the ward power in testifying, and it was great. I gave him the
baptismal invite. He said if he found these things to be true then YES,
he would be baptized. Wahoo! We committed Gustavo to read and pray
about it. He has the DESIRE! He is ready for the gospel, he is a sweet
guy who is divorced with 2 little boys. The only sad part is…. he has
work for the next 2 weeks in San Diego, so we can’t meet with him until
after that. But I said okay find the church in San Diego and GO TO IT!
Yes I will be calling him while he is there to make sure he goes to
church. We are excited for him.

 

 
Our investigator Consuelo is also progressing,
although she still has to come to church. She is a little lazy, I will
admit, but every time we go over there she loves it. Consuleo is also
reading in the BOM! She read all the way through 2 Nefi! That is a lot!
She is also talking to her boyfriend about getting married so she can
get baptized. That is a huge step! Although they aren’t living together
right now they have plans to in the future so we will most likely need
to have them get married before she can get baptized. She says when she
prays about baptism in the church she feels good about it. It sounds
like we will need to help her recognize her answer. Consuelo is so sweet
I hope she can progress. 

 

 
Those are pretty much our investigators at the
moment! We are still trying to FIND FIND FIND, little by little! I mean I
would like if it were a lot by a lot but that’s not exactly how it
works, at least in Spanish work here. We have some apts this week so we
are hoping to add hmmmmmmm, maybe 15 investigators? Hahaha I wish! I
keep praying that Heavenly Father will lead us to those who have been
prepared, and I can honestly say at this point in my mission I am
willing to do whatever the Lord asks of me to find those who He has
prepared. I guess sometimes you work hard and find people and sometimes
you still work hard but don’t find people. And that’s okay, I know the
Lord puts us through trials like this so we can GROW. Sometimes yes it
is painful and you just want people to flock to the church but we need
to gather these people one by one, and I know that part of that is for
our own personal benefit. He knows what he is doing. Meanwhile we are
still trying to help our area grow and progress. Well that’s all for
now, I love you all! The gospel is still TRUE! As Sister Schow always
says. Love it.

con amor, 

Hermana Aud

Letter 39

Letter 39 – Mormon Helping Hands

Date: April 29, 2013
Area: East Sacramento, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Thompson

 

We had a good week this week! Hermana Cosby and I are
working hard and trying to help our area grow, and well…… we are! We
added 3 investigators, woooohooooo! We had some cool experiences this
week.

First off we were able to participate in the Mormon
Helping Hands service project Saturday morning and I LOVED it. It was so
nice to just do some hardcore service like that. The 4 of us Hermanas
worked together painting part of the school and that was really fun.
There were about 400 people there! Afterward our zone ate lunch together
(they provided the lunch). I also got to hang out with some of the YSA
girls that come out with us to lessons (mostly Diane, RM from Chile). So
that brightened my week.

 
We had this COOL experience with these Muslim
family! We were visiting potentials and this woman named Sarah answered
the door, and let us in on the spot. We were like uh, do you speak
Spanish? She said no we just moved here from Iran (our potential moved
out). I was like COOL and well they invited us in and so we taught them.
Her husbands name is Milan and he is actually Bahi, not Muslim he said.
They were SO interested in learning about our Church and Jesus Christ.
They even read to us in the Koran about Jesus and Mary. I said so the
difference is that we accept him as a Savior. Would you like to learn
more about Him as a Savior? They said YES and we want to come to church
Sunday!!! So we gave them as a referral to the English Elders AND gave
them a BOM in Persian (Farsi) and one in Arabic, as well as pamphlets in
Arabic. Yes, our mission office has BOMs in like every language cause
we need them! (They even have one in TELEGU!!!!!! My native Indian
language….. 😉 ). They were SO kind, the kindest people I have met on
my mission so far. So loving. We asked them to pray at the end of our
lesson and she did in Farsi! So beautiful.

 
We also had a really neat experience with a former
investigator named Sarah Morales. We actually had an appointment with
her neighbor but she wasn’t there so I said well might as well knock on
her door. Sarah opened and said oh Hermanas I have been waiting for you,
I need help. So we said okay and went in and taught her a lesson. She
is an alcoholic and she is in a position to CHANGE. She investigated the
church about a year ago but was not ready then. As soon as we walked in
she said I need to go to church with you again. We said okay come with
us! We taught her a lesson on the Atonement and read Alma 34:9-10. She
definitely felt the spirit and was crying the whole lesson. Hermana
Cosby and I just testified to her that through the Atonement of Jesus
Christ she COULD be healed. I was able to feel the spirit so strongly
but more than that I saw the spirit working through Hna Cosby and the
words just CAME to her. She was more comfortable than I’ve ever seen
(she is usually really nervous for like everything we do) but she was
amazing. I just felt that we were fulfilling our purpose as missionaries
in that moment. We invited her to be baptized May 18th, and she
accepted! We will see what happens. I know that we were at least an
answer to her prayer in that moment. It was amazing. 

 
Fun stuff this week: we were knocking on doors and
this big ol black lady walks by and fist pumps the air and says,
hallelujah! We were like, hallelujah back! Hahahahahaha. It made my day.
Also, ALAN PINTO (of the less active pinto family) is getting baptized
JUNE 30th! The bishop just gave Hno Pinto permission to baptize Alan
even though they are less active. But they are coming back!!!!!! They
decided to close their restaurant Sundays and they all came to church as
a family yesterday. SO AMAZING it made my Sunday. He is 8 so he is not
an investigator of ours but hey we still need to get him baptized anway,
he is almost 9 and their family has been putting it off for about
10months now. So we are helping them all prepare for that. June 30 is
his moms birthday so sweet little Alan wants to get baptized on that day
as a present to his mom. How sweet is that? I loved it. 

 
Well that’t a lot so I’ll leave it at that! Overall a
good week. We don’t have anyone just about ready to get baptized but
hey!! We are fulfilling our purpose by working hard and testifying and
helping our area grow. So I am happy with that. Love you all and have a
great week! Pictures to come in the following email!

 
con amor,
Hna Aud.