Monday, November 28, 2016

Heyyyy! First Real Week!

Hola Fam!!!

Well shoot, where to begin?! Okay, so yea, I'm here in Chihuahua. Needless to say the first full day here I had zero, and I mean ZERO clue what was happening or where I was or what I was doing or what my companion, Elder Lopez, was trying to say to me because he can't speak English.

One week later, here I am in love with Chihuahua, I am trying to teach the people, I absolutely adore my companion and we can talk and laugh together, and I'm really just grateful for this oppurtunity to be here!!

It goes without saying that my Spanish is still no where near perfect, and like 7 out of 10 times I have to ask people to repeat something or I have to clarify what they're talking about... But I'm managing through faith and trust and hope in all the promised blessings of being out here!

Well, I guess I'll start with what's up in Chihuahua! My area is Cerro Grande II.  My companion and I are basically opening up an area. We're living with two other Elders outside of our area, so every day we walk to our area and then we start proselyting and reaching out to people, finding homes, contacting, etc.  We have two investigators right now that are already progressing pretty well!  We're also trying to reinvite menos activos (less actives) to church and help them to remember the mighty change of heart that they had, and that's going pretty well too.

Pues (well), the Spanish here is a little different, and to the Argentine side of our family, I will most definitely come home speaking like a latino. There is an Elder here from Bueños Aires, and he knows the city of Lujan and so we were able to talk a bit!!!  So that's cool.

No lie, my mind is all over the map right now. I guess I wanna share a story of my first reallllll adventura qui (adventure here) in Chihuahua. It was late at night, and Elder Lopez and I were on splits with another missionary, Elder Solis, another latino Elder, and we needed to meet up with the Elders that were with Solis' companion, if that made sense. Anyway, it's like 8:30 PM, and it's pretty stinking dark out, and Elder Lopez is on the phone with the other group of missionaries trying to figure out where to go.

Long story short, we ended up on top of a mountain and were soooo lost it was hilarious!! Elder Lopez was on the phone and apparently the Elder on the phone told him there were escaleras (stairs) down the mountain, and so Elder Lopez took a couple steps forward and the mountain was soooooo steep and there were no stairs anywhere!  So the three of us were just mad cracking up at the top of a mountain... (This probably isn't funny at all for you guys but ohhhh my gosh we were dyingggggg!!).

Anywho, on a more spiritual note, the next day, at about 7 a la noche (at night), Elder Lopez and I were walking the streets, trying to find the house of somebody we talked to a couple days before, when a car pulls over and the people explain that they're members, and that somebody is sick at their house and they want our help for a blessing. So, we get in the car after chatting a bit, and they take us to their house and as we step inside we can here somebody kinda yelling in pain. So, Elder Lopez and I enter this bedroom and there is a man, probably 38-42 years old, laying on his bed, literally biting on a towel and screaming because this guy is in so much pain. So he's writhing in pain and he's crying and he just can't keep still and he's clutching his lower back... 

Anyway, Elder Lopez and I give this man a blessing, and during the blessing, I kid you not, this man, who couldn't even tell us his name he was hurting so bad, went from writhing, to almost sleeping. The Spirit in that moment was so strong and gave witness to me yet again that the Priesthood is so real and that miracles still do happen and that the work that we're doing out here as missionaries is sooo important.  Everyone that was in that room knows that there is no such thing as a coincidence in that moment.

Another big spiritual moment for me was Sunday. We all bore testimony and that was great, and the Spirit was so strong, but then the speakers delivered their talks.  And all of them expressed gratitude for the missionaries, which was really touching... but what really struck me was the last speaker when he was talking about sacrifice. He said that us missionaries are sacrificing everything to be here -- work, school, family, or whatever.  And that's true, but the interesting thing is, I really don't see this as a classic sacrifice. Normally, when we think about sacrifice we think about giving up things. But really, in my whole week out in the field here, I really don't feel like I'm losing anything. Rather, I'm gaining so much out here. A stronger testimony, the oppurtunity to help others, etc. I mean, really, I've received soooo many blessings from being here that it really, really doesn't feel like a sacrifice for me. And for this, and for all my many blessings I've received, I'm so very thankful.

So yea, that's kinda what I took away from this week. It really has been great so far. I'd love to tell you more about my investigadores (investigators), but a veces (at times) I can't totally understand all their words, soooo I can't really give you all the deets. Just know that they're happy and Elder Lopez and I are trying our best! :)

Well, that's about it for this week. Every day is a blessing, and every day is a gift.  Also, yea Mom, Elder Templeton is totally in my District!!  I had lunch with him and played soccer with him today!!!

So yea that's about it, I love you guys so much, stay awesome!

Until next week,
With love,
A last minute snap of Elder McIntosh, me, and Elder Jones at the CCM
And, following are a few pics of our place in Chihuahua.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I'm in Chihuahua!!


I don't know if this is a blog worthy update, but I wanted to let you know - I'm in Chihuahua!

Today we woke up at 2 AM and left for the airport.  After that excruciating long experience, we finally got to the field at about 10:00 AM, ate desayuno (breakfast) with the President and such, and then we headed out.

I'm in the the most ghetto part of town and the house I'm living in is pretty rough to say the least! Hahaha, pictures to come next week!

Anyway, things are really good here! My new compañero (companion) is Elder Lopéz, y (and) he's a Mexicano and doesn't know any English, so I think it's safe to say that I'll have my Spanish improving quickly!  Now that I'm out here I really want to go out and try to teach people. I understand that it'll take time to adjust and everything but I'm really excited and super anxious to get out there and work. 

Although, now that I'm out here, I'm also realizing how much I'm going to have to depend on prayer and the Spirit. I want to make sure I'm being as good as possible so I'm worthy to receive revelation and touch the hearts of people that the Lord has prepared.  I don't know how anything is gonna shape up in Chihuahua ahora, especially because I've been out in the field for a whopping 4 hours. Ha!  I'll be sure to let you know how everything goes this week, as I come to learn more on the subject of being out here en el campo (the field).

I have a lot of mixing emotions right now, but I know that no matter what I have to cling to my faith, prayers, and charity that God and Christ have for me, and for the love I pray I'll have for the people.

I just want you guys to know that I love you guys a bunch, and I hope you're all well. I'll have more stories to share next week, and Ill bring my camera so I promise there will be plenty of pictures.

Thanks for all the love and support, you guys mean the world to me and are the reason I'm out here right now.

Till next week, I love you guys a bunch,

An email from the Mission Office:

Good evening from the Mission Mexico Chihuahua!

We would like to thank you for allowing your son to come here and experience being a full-time missionary for the Lord, Jesus Christ.

We are very excited to have him here. Your son is very happy to be here and is excited for what miracles lie ahead of him.

We are sending you this email to let you all know that your son made it here safely and is now in his new area safe and sound with his new trainer.

Thank you once again for the sacrifice that you are making,

Elder Greenwood
Secretario Ejecutivo
Misión México Chihuahua

The incoming Missionaries in the Mexico Chihuahua Mission!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Una Semana Mas! (One More Week)!!


Okay, the time has come! We've received word that we leave the CCM Monday morning, 3:00 a.m. to go to Chihuahua! This time next week I will be on the streets cada dia (every day) trying to reach out to people!

I'm so stoked!!!!

Okay so this week has been a lot of studying, reading, teaching, learning, and speaking Spanish.

First off, I've got to send a shout out to my not-a-Fardos-but-still-my-family, the Davis Clan, for sending me the pictures and the conference quotes!!! Oh my gosh, I was soooo happy to get that!!  And I was totally wearing the corbata (tie) you guys gave me when I got the letter!!

Rod, Ruth & Brad Davis with me!

So, Okay, what I've learned this week.


I feel like I can leave it at that, but I won't. Something that hit me this week was how much I have depended on prayer and the Lord's help with everything. And I mean everything. There's no way I could be out here without it. Every time I go to study language, read scriptures, wake up, go to bed, need assistance in following the example of Christ... honestly, prayer has been essential.  And teaching about prayer is one of my favorite things to practice here at the CCM. We can see in the book of Alma how essential it is for the sons of Mosiah in Alma 17 for them to pray to have the Spirit of God with them. I hope you guys can feel my prayers for you because I do pray for you everyday. :)

The next thing I've learned is about the Book of Mormon.  I think my thoughts can be summed up in a general conference quote. 

'I am unaware of anyone who is diligently reading the Book of Mormon each day with pure intent and with faith in Christ, who has lost their testimony and fallen away' 
-K. Brett Nattress (Thanks Momma Ruth!! :)) 

But I'd like to add on that and say that I don't know of anyone who's reading the Book of Mormon with pure intent and faith in Christ and isn't able to feel of Christ's love for them, and isn't able to feel a confirmation of the Spirit through sincere prayer that this book is true. It's promised that those who study and pray with a pure heart will be touched by the Spirit. This is certain, and many apostles have testified of that. I'm so grateful for this promise and for the many blessings that come from receiving a testimony the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Oh, and on another note, and completely off topic, I got a haircut today!! I actually like it because it takes all of 5 seconds to do my hair!! Ha!


1.) Elder White, my companion, was sick one day so Elder Templeton, the cube master, wrote me instructions so I could practice how to solve it!

2.) Our teacher said he taught the restoration with a Rubicks cube so I'll definitely be working on this in the field, once I go buy one. :)

But yea, life is good here and I'm taking everything a day at a time and just trying my best to stay humble, obedient, learn and serve every day. I know that I can't do anything without God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. 

I love you guys, and I'll talk to you guys soon, from Chihuahua!
Till next time, 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Holy Ghost is Always the Senior Companion - No Matter What!!

Hola Familia!

Okay, so this week has been short, since I wrote Friday, but a lot has happened. Oh, and before I get started, I totally see Elder Josh Jones and Elder Robert McIntosh on the regular, so that's kinda crazy cool! :)

So, to start, we had fast Sunday here at the CCM!! And Wow, that was awesome. Our zone had a fast and testimony meeting, and the Spirit there was palpable!  That was absolutely amazing, and everyone in our District all shared their testimonies and all of them were in mostly Spanish!!! I'm super proud of the missionaries in our District, and how awesome all of them are. You guys would all love them, I can tell you that for certain.

And, OKAY, Monday, let me tell you I had the best Monday I've ever had in a long time!!! But it was for some interesting reasons.  First, there's another soccer player here I've been telling Dad about.. Elder Josse. We are always talking BPL standings and we play court soccer all the time and we kill it. Anyway, Monday, he went to play soccer with some guys from the District, and I was feeling too lazy to go. So, I played volleyball with the rest of our District... anyway, after about twenty minutes, he and the others guys come back early from soccer, and he was holding an Ice Pack on his mouth. Long story short, he snapped his two front teeth in half, and looked like a hockey player after the gloves came off! Anyway, Me and Elder White were asked to bless him, and so we did, and he came back from the hospital that day with his two front teeth looking like brand new. I know we may not have done much, but the Spirit was super strong and we blessed him with comfort and he handled the whole thing really well. I'm super proud of that guy!
But, while he was at the hospital, a sister in our Zone (that totally reminds me of Lauren because of her bubbly personality) who came to the mission with some back problems asked for a blessing because her back was acting up. When we prayed as a group beforehand she wasn't even able to kneel due to the pain in her back, which I totally understood.  So we prayed, and I gave the blessing, and again the Holy Ghost was so present the entire time, and once we were done everyone could feel it and was crying.  When we finished, we asked to close with prayer, and this sister knelt, and said she felt awesome, and that was the moment I completely lost it!  And her back hasn't hurt since. It really testified to me that our Church is unique because we have the same, exact, spiritual power that Christ held and gave his apostles and used to help and heal others.  The priesthood is so real and so strong and I have such a testimony of it.

The lessons this week have also been amazing. Our 'progressing investigators' have agreed to baptism and everytime we teach the Holy Ghost is present and always directs the lesson. One thing I've learned this week is that in every situation on the mission, in every companionship, no matter what, the Holy Ghost has to be the senior companion because He's the one that actually does the teachning. We really don't do too much, other than show up and bring people the opportunity to hear about the gospel... the same gospel that Christ organized on the Earth. 

Also today we went to the temple and I had a question in mind and I was able to find the answer throughout the session.  I love attending the temple and being able to be in the Lord's house and feel His love for all of us.

Also, I almost cried today because Elder Templeton's Mom sent me a little email letter, and that just really meant a lot.  Sister Templeton, If you ever read this, thank you so much!  I can't wait to be able to meet you and thank you personally for having such an awesome son!!

Well, I'm about out of time. I love you all so very much. As does our Father in Heaven, He knows all of us personally, and has a plan for each and every one of us.

My teacher said something that really stuck out to me this week... 

'There are no such things as strangers on your mission... only brothers and sisters.'

D&C 100:4-6

Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

I love you guys,
Until next week,

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dias de Los Muertos at the CCM!

Hola familia!

First off, sorry about the delayed email.. our Pday got switched to Friday this week, so we had to wait extra long to email everyone... but that's okay, because we get to email now!!

Okay, I'll do my best to gather my thoughts about this eta semana (this week)!

A couple things...

First, It's been awesome being a Zone Leader here... like it's been such an absolute blessing!  Elder White and I have had the opportunity to get to know so many awesome young missionaries, and we've been able to develop real relationships with so many people!  We've also been given the oppurtunity give a missionary a blessing. This missionary was new to the CCM and was having a pretty rough go at it... just not being able to get enough sleep, not being able to eat, etc entonces (so), they came to Elder White and I, and we gave this missionary a blessing.  The moment it started I felt the Spirit so strongly and I really felt as though I had words put into my head and I felt like I knew exactly what to say.  I spent that night hoping and praying that the blessing would be what the missionary needed.  Well, it turned out that the next day the misionary came to me and told me that it was just that. That was a massive confirmation to me and I felt the Spirit in that moment just as strong as I did when I gave the blessing.

This week something I've been trying to do is pray for help expressing more Christlike attributes.  Every night I pray to be able to improve and I feel like there's always more we can do to be more Christlike... and so that has been my focus for the week. And on Sunday, we had two video devotionals that kinda touched on that... Christlike attributes and how to have them. One thing that really touched me was a story that David A. Bednar shared.  I don't remember exactly but essentially the story was of a grandmother who started chemotherapy, and was informed that she'd need to continue chemotherapy for the next year. On her way to the hospital one day she told her daughter, "I don't think I can keep this up for a year" to which her daughter replied, "Can you do it today?" she said yes and continued out her full year of chemotherapy day by day...  Point of this story for me was that when I look at the next two years, it's a little overwhelming to think... "Can I really be consistently patient with people for two whole years?" or have charity, or have hope, or whichever attribute I'll need to work on. But it's comforting to know that I can do it today, through prayer and faith.  I can be patient or hopeful or charitable today, if I listen to the Spirit and pray for strength far beyond my own.  I know that the Lord always answers our prayers, and that He helps us far more than we tend to recognize.  And as we do our best to ask, act, and be grateful, the Lord will continue to bless us.

We also had Halloween and Dias de los Muertos this past week!  It was way loud outside the CCM and it was way fun. We celebrated as a class, just a little bit, and it was just a good day! :)

Well, yeah, I suppose the Word of Wisdom doesn't specifically prohibit blood... Why do you ask? Hahaha!! :) Felice Dia de Los Muertos! (Happy Halloween!)!

This past week we had TRC and we've continued practicing lessons. And let me tell you I can feel the Spirit so strongly in those. Our teacher acctually left a little note on my desk that said: 

"Gracias por su lección! quiero darle las gracias por su amor genuino hacia Sandra. Es una marvillosa y poderosa verdad que Dios conoce nuestros nombres!" 
("Thanks for your lesson! I want to thank you for your genuine love for Sandra. It is a marvelous and a powerful truth that God knows our names.")

It was something I shared with her during our lesson, that God knows all of our names, and our lives, and is aware of how we are doing.  It's something I've really grown to love, and be thankful for. I've come to know that God really does know us all personally and is just waiting for us to ask for help sometimes. I know when we ask, we shall receive, just like Christ says in Matthew 7:7-8:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
I've also come to really appreciate the scripture Ether 12:27:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humblethemselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weakthings become strong unto them.

I just know these are both way true and so important to us as people and as children of God.

Thanks you guys for everything... and Mom, Thank you for the package!!  I love you and I'll send more pictures soon! :)

I love you all and I hope all is well!
Until next week,


PS. The internet just cut out, my draft wasn't saved, and my window closed. I just got internet back and my page reloaded, draft was saved. You know, just saying, in case anyone out there maybe doubts it -- God loves us and blesses us constantly with more tender mercies than we can imagine! :) Pray to know if He loves you, you'll get a YES every time! :)