Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"A good weird . . . I think that was the Holy Ghost."

Welp... long time no talk verdad? haha but yeah it was good to talk with you all on the phone! How is Chelsea doing?! Say hello to everyone for me!!! Is Chelsea back there at home? Wow that is crazy that Jon hit a deer. I'm glad he is okay! Here is part of an update I gave to President Trayner about the people we are teaching: One of our investigators is reading a chapter per day in the Book of Mormon and I know that is helping her testimony grow tremendously. We met a young single mom who wants to change her life so her kids can be proud of who she is. Last night she knelt down and said her first prayer out loud. She asked God for help and guidance in her life. She asked if she should be baptized January 22nd. Afterwards we asked her how she felt. She said "Good...a little weird." We asked her "A good weird or a bad weird haha?" "A good weird... I think that was the Holy Ghost." She received her answer from God that she needs to make this step. I know that because of the revelation that she received through prayer, that she is going to press forward and be baptized. ... then Christmas night we went over to the Russell's to eat dinner. It was sooooooooooooooooooo yummy!!!! They even bought gluten free dessert just for me :) QUE SIMPATICO. Okay I'm going to send some pics :) Some are from Christmas eve when we went to eat at Obispo Torres' house. Tamales and Pasole!!!! Yum yum and empenadas for dessert. They gave us missionaries towels with our names engraved (...haha not engraved, but you know what I mean). It was super nice of them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This is the first time I've got to see every member in the family be baptized. What a special experience the Lord gave me.

ME TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I AM EXCITED TO TALK TO YOU ALL AGAIN! I can't believe it has already been a year since last Christmas...fastest year EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay I'm planning on calling at 4pm my time...which I think is 2pm your time? I'll call Sarah's house phone. What?! I didn't know Jay was going to Brazil? That is cool! What an adventure he has ahead of him. That is very very exciting about Chris and Debbie! But I'm sad they are moving to Hawaii. Por que? I thought they were coming back to Washington?? Okay so my other "daughter" as they call it in the mission lingo is Sister Giles. She is from Bountiful Utah :) She is super cute and has a lot of great ideas about the work. She was able to experience a good ray of miracles/disappointments this week. I felt bad because by now, I think I've pretty much adjusted to things falling apart all the time haha so this week wasn't as difficult for me as it was for her. She is such a trooper though and is excited for this next week and all the miracles we are going to see. HUGE MIRACLE THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JAVIER GOT BAPTIZED FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the first time I've got to see every member in the family be baptized. What a special experience the Lord gave me. So we hadn't seen him ALL week because he was working so much. On Saturday we called and they couldn't meet with us because it was the only time for them to go buy groceries (que bueno que entienden la importancia del dia de reposo!). I was medio freaking out inside because I wanted to follow up with how he was doing on the Word of Wisdom because the baptism was the next day... so we had to wait until Sunday morning for church. We called and no one picked up... church was already 15 minutes into the meeting and they weren't there. BUT then Javier showed up on his own with the girls. YES! I talked to him afterwards and asked him if he "stayed strong" this week. He shook his head and said "Sister it has been a hard week, I have had to work A LOT. I've been so tired." I thought "oohhh no... he shook his head, that isn't good." But then I asked him specifically "have you smoked or drank?" "Oh Sister of course not, I CAN'T! I have to stay clean and strong." YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! He did it! Later that evening he got baptized and it was one of the most spiritual/powerful I've witnessed. Sonja (his daughter that just got baptized in October) gave the talk on Baptism. She talked about what it meant to her and how she was happy because her dad getting baptized is how they are going to go to the Temple in a year. I look over and there are tears streaming down his face. I've never seen him cry - he is very much a macho man kind of guy...but there he was crying because the spirit was so strong. It was beautiful and a blessing to be a part of. Some random homeless man I invited to come to church came too! That was fun :) Thank you soooooooooooo much for everything. I love you and will talk to you Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Bricker

Friday, December 16, 2011

Claudia's Baptism

I'M TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

HAHAHA I can just imagine Anna and Andrew with the deer!  That is awesome!  I love the Bricker Christmas party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I love how Vicki always has the goodie bags afterwards stuffed with cool/yummy things :)  It looks pretty cold there!!!!!  That is cool that Rogelio and Steve's girlfriend came too.  I wish I could've met Rogelio!!!!  Is anyone new scheduled to come in?  Yay for decorating!  We decorated too!  I should have taken pictures.
Okay so this week I got some exciting news.  I'M TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'M SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!  That is what I wanted was to train this last transfer so I could just pass down everything I've learned.  Tomorrow we have transfers and I get to go pick her up :)  I'm also excited to stay here in Mission.  I'm sad to say goodbye to Sister Cortes, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVED working with her...but it's not too bad because I'll see her every Monday. 
Other exciting news!  Claudia got BAPTIZED yesterday!  The Lord has really been blessing us to find the prepared people.  I have loved working with Claudia because she has just guided her own conversion with the spirit.  We asked her when she thought that God wanted her to be baptized... she told us "before the end of the year" and picked a date and prayed about it.  She also told us of when she gained her testimony - she was pondering on everything that we had taught her, she read the 13 Articles of Faith and she said it just hit her "I believe in all these things.  It makes sense.  I know it is true."  She was so smiley and a lot of her family were there to support her.  Obispo Torres baptized her.
MORE exciting news!  Javier said he wants to get baptized the 18th (aka this weekend!) Orale!  Andale!  The field is white already to harvest!
I know that the Lord's hand is in this work.  He loves us soooooooooo much. 
Thanks for the alpaca scarf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That sounds like it will be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It has been pretty cold lately.  Sister Cortes and I have been walking a lot because we don't have miles... so we walked from our appointment to the church and she was FREEZING - especially her hands because she doesn't have gloves.

I'm trying to come up with something I can send you all for Christmas... but it will probably be something made with love haha because I don't have money...it will be one of these gifts this year:
"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference  between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of  ourselves--giving of the riches of the heart and mind--and therefore more  enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store."Of course, among the greatest of gifts is the gift of love..."Some, like Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens's A Christmas Carol,  have a hard time loving anyone, even themselves, because of their  selfishness. Love seeks to give rather than to get. Charity towards and  compassion for others is a way to overcome too much self-love" (James E.  Faust, "A Christmas With No Presents," Ensign, Dec 2001, 2-6).
LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR ME!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Edisson's Baptism

First off... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow Congrats Mom you are almost done with school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! 5 hours in the darkroom sounds intense and like it would make you sleepy :) Scan your pictures so I can see them!!!! Wow St. Helen's sounds like it was beautiful. First off... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It hits me sometimes that I only have 7 weeks left being a FULL TIME MISSIONARY...it is weird. I'M WEIRD! ..not that anything has changed there but, I don't know how to talk about things other than the gospel anymore haha. I went to single's ward (because we had to help Edisson our investigator adjust) and everyone was flirting haha and it makes me feel really awkward. So prepare to have an awkward daughter!!!!!!!!!!! These past few weeks have been really challenging to find more people to teach. A lot of people are actually pretty grumpy, which is sad. They just don't understand what we bring :( I was kind of down and Sister Cortes as well because things aren't working out very well with one of our investigators...but then I went to church and all my worries/stresses/questions were calmed with the spirit I felt during testimony meeting. I know that each meeting in church is inspired of God to help us grow spiritually and receive revelation to our questions. It doesn't matter if you are the Prophet or a recent convert, church is something that was set up for all of us to remember the Savior and receive help and guidance. We saw many miracles yesterday and good things are to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Edisson got baptized and it was beautiful! A lot of the people in singles ward came to support :) He also got his interview for the Priesthood and will receive it next Sunday! Life is good!!!!!!!!!!!! Just working away like crazy down here!!!! I hope it snows! haha Oh and hey don't worry about getting me anything for xmas!!!!!!!!!! You coming down is a present enough! LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING!

Monday, November 28, 2011

One of the many flattened frogs we find. . .

Hey okay like I said before I'M SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED THAT YOU GET TO COME DOWN HERE!!!!!! Everyone will be so happy to meet you and I will be happy to say goodbye before I go. I have just loved every second here as a missionary and am going to continue to love every last second...even when it is a ROLLERCOASTER!!!!! This week was CRAZY. First off though, that sounds like a fun Thanksgiving with 30 people!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Did you have a good black Friday shopping time? Find any good socks? haha OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just so everyone knows, I like Steve because he is always willing to share with others what he has! Short email this week . . . got to go! BUT I LOVE YOU AND PRAY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lost . . . and check out all the water bottles, at least you know I'm staying hydrated :)

Cutest blonde kids. Remind me of Andrew and Anna

She is so strong in the faith and knows that death is not all and that God has greater purpose for everything

I HAD PUMPKIN PIE THIS WEEK AND WAS SOOOOO GIDDY!  I looooooooooooove pumpkin and can't wait for all the delicious pumpkiny goodness to come THIS WEEK!  The pumpkin smash at Jamba sounds DELICIOUS.

Hey QUICK QUESTION!  The office called me this week confirming flight plans for the 25th... but I asked her about if you were planning on coming, could we change that for later - she said yes, but I need to approve it through President Trayner first.  BUT I was just wondering if that was still something you had time/funds to do?  I would LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to introduce you both to everyone, but I understand completely that the timing isn't super convenient and would cost a lot.  So, think about it, pray about it and then I'll ask President Trayner - if it is something you'll be able to do.

This week was pretty good :)  I've been sick basically all the week but worked through it...Saturday evening I ended up losing my voice though haha TOO MUCH TALKING.  Angel and Javier had some trials this week :(  Their car broke down completely and need to buy an 800 dollar engine   Her drivers license (that she was waiting on for marriage) was sent to the wrong address so she had to go apply AGAIN for another one.  Long story short : through a miracle they SHOULD be able to buy the marriage license tomorrow haha.  I've just been praying like crazy for them.  They are still awesome though :)  Angel and Sonja are always studying the Gospel Principles book together.  Hopefully we'll have a Thanksgiving wedding!

The week has been really good work wise.  We had three investigators come to the YSA ward...so I got to go :D  I know basically all the members there and felt like I was in school again haha - so it is a good thing I don't go there all the time.  It is interesting to see how prepared the younger generation is!!!!  Things are going good - Angel and Javier should be baptized this Sunday... then Dec 4 Edison, Dec 11 Claudia... we are working so so hard so that they can overcome their challenges and enter in through the straight gate of baptism! 

Yesterday we went to the funeral of Elder Strong and Walker.  We heard from Sister Strong.  She said someone asked her "If you would have known this was going to happen before, would you still send your son out on a mission?" and she said "OH YES."  IT WAS POWERFUL!!!!!!!!!!  She is so strong in the faith and knows that death is not all and that God has a greater purpose for everything.

Monday, November 14, 2011

All the Sisters in our Mission

I KNOW He protects His servants...but I also know that He has a specific plan/work for each one of His children.

Yes, it has been a sad week :(  We had just finished our awesome conference with Elder Zivic (Quorum of the Seventy) where Elder Walker had demonstrated in Spanish how to tie his shoelaces... it was really funny - he is a hoot.  So we had just seen them that night and then the next morning we got a phone call from a member telling us they got in a bike accident and passed away.  We were all in shock and cried alllllllllllllllllllll morning, it was horrible.  We all had the worst headaches.  But, at least we got out all of our tears then and we haven't cried since.  I actually knew Elder Walker a lot more than Elder Strong.  He was in my district for about 5 months in Brownsville... so I saw him many times a week and practiced teaching with him.  He is a goof ball.  I loved working with him - he helped us one time when I got a flat on my bike tire.  He and Elder Velez came all the way over to help us patch my tire.  He was super nice, funny and always serving/smiling. 

It has been a wake-up call that LIFE IS SHORT!  We never know when our time is going to be.  We can only be ready.  I know they were both ready.  People we meet on the street ask us "Why would God do that to them?  Why wouldn't He take the drug dealers or bad people?  Why didn't He protect them?"  Something that I have truly gained a testimony of on my mission is that God DOES protect His servants.  I have seen it number of times with me, being in a dangerous situation but escaping from them - especially with dogs :)  I KNOW He protects His servants...but I also know that He has a specific plan/work for each one of His children.  I know He has some other work for them to do in the spirit world.  They will be companions over there too :) 

Don't worry, I always wear my helmet :)  Actually you can rest easy because I haven't ridden a bike for a while because Sister Cortes can't ride one with her asthma.

The work is going good!  This week was kind of crazy... but there have been so many miracles as well.  Javier and Angel are doing good.  Her license STILL HASN'T COME...she is going to go in and check where it is at because it has already been three weeks!  As long as everything goes well with that, they'll be getting baptized this Sunday :)  We are going to borrow a member's guitar and see if we can come up with a special musical number for their baptism :)

Sonya and Emily were in the Primary Program this Sunday :)  They did awesome.  They seem like they have been members all their lives! .. guess what section Sonya talked about?  MISSIONARY WORK.  Coincidence?  No!  She is going to be a missionary :)  Already decided. 

John and Lamont (who I was teaching in Edinburg that got baptized last month) went to the Temple for the first time to do baptisms.  It is just the most amazing/gratifying thing to see the spiritual progression of the people we meet.  My heart is full!!!!

DAD'S DINNER SOUNDS DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell the exchange student to stay because I want to talk with her in Spanish!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Alycia, Emily, Sonya, Javier, Angel and lil' Javier

Sonya and Emily's Baptism

It really is true that more special spirits are coming to this earth.

SO. What a beautiful picture! That is super pro Mom. I'm excited to see all your other pics. That is exiting that you and Dad went on a date :) Sounds like it is going to be a cold winter. Here we had a cold front this week and it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sis Cooper and I went running in normal cold weather for once. It makes me excited to live in cold again someday :) This week was great! Emily and Sonja were confirmed on Sunday. In Sonja's blessing, God told her about how she was going to share the gospel with many people. It was really cool to hear that because I can see it. During testimony meeting, she turned to Sister Cortes and said "Now that I'm baptized, does that mean I need to go up and give my testimony? I'm nervous!" Sister Cortes said "Only if you want to! but you don't have to." So about ten minutes later she walks up and gives her cute little testimony :) Awwwww! I didn't even give my testimony until I was in college... and she just got baptized! It really is true that more and more special spirits are coming to this earth. Angel was crying... Javier is progressing well and committed to live the WOW! So guess what? I know that God truly knows His children and works with their talents/weaknesses. So one of Sister Bricker's talents is... always needing to use the restroom! ...you know me Mom haha nothing has changed. So earlier that day we were invited to a baptism by a girl named Amanda she was like "I really hope you can make it!" and we told her we would try...even though we had a lot of work to do that night. We ended up being really busy but we went to the church really quick because we needed to pick something up and I had to go to the bathroom like never before! So I told Sister Cortes "I'm really sorry, but we've got to go to the bathroom!" As soon as we walked into the bathroom there was Amanda, all dressed in white and tearing up a bit. When she saw us she gave us the biggest hug and let out a sigh of relief and said "I KNEW you would come!" She shared how amazing she was feeling about to be baptized. We were able to see her be baptized and help her afterwards changing. It was a special moment that we were able to share with her.... and all because God knows His children and how I am and timed everything perfect so we were able to get our work done AND help Amanda at her baptism...because of my talent of always needing to go to the bathroom. Haha.. I thought you might appreciate that story! I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The baptism this Sunday was one of the most spiritual I've been to on my mission

The baptism this Sunday was one of the most spiritual I've been to on my mission. Long story short, our investigator and her boyfriend are going to get baptized next month on the 20th. The kids didn't want to wait, so the two girls got baptized last night with a man that the Elders were teaching. It was interesting to see the huge contrast in their situations - an 84 year old man and two 8 & 11 year old girls. Everyone at the baptism was really well behaved and reverent. Another investigator came and actually gave the opening prayer! It was awesome. The older man went first and then it was the 8 year old's turn. While she was waiting, Sister Cortes told me that she came and gave her a hug and started to cry... "I'm getting baptized!" She felt the spirit and started crying. It is amazing to me how her little spirit, even though she may not understand EVERYTHING yet, knew that this was a special moment. She knew what she was about to do was something that God was really proud of. Both of the girls were just beaming and beautiful afterward. Their Mom and her boyfriend are going to buy their license this week for marriage and we are going to teach him the Word of Wisdom. We had an amazing lesson with them this week! We also had interviews with President Trayner this week. They were really good :) I love talking to him. YAY I'M GOOD TO GO FOR SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have time, could you check at the BYU-I nursing program and see when the deadline is to apply for the nursing program? I know it is really hard to get in there but there is no hurt in trying... if God wants me there, things will happen... but if not I'll just head down to Dixie after that! That is good that school starts in April because it will give me a little time to work and save up some money before I head off for adventures in school. MY DREAMS CAME TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GET TO STAY HERE WITH SISTER CORTES FOR ONE MORE TRANSFER! I have a feeling it is going to flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy by! We have too much fun together. I'm going to try and print pictures today! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I can't even think about what happened this week because I'm so excited about little Jacob!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JACOB IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HIM! Aww! That is awesome that she did it all natural with a mid-wife! She needs to tell me all about it! I've decided I'm going to be a mid-wife someday... maybe haha... because that is such a special experience to bring one of God's little children into the world. I loved all of those pictures, but I think my favorite was the one with Sarah and her ice cream feeding Anna... she has her crazy face on :) I can't even think about what happened this week because I'm so excited about little Jacob! I shared all the pictures with Sister Zamora (old companion) who was sitting next to me. Okay welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll this week we find out about transfers... so I'm probably leaving as usual haha. The time is going by SO FAST! My investigator family had their baptismal interviews. We made the kids little flash cards of the commandments so they could remember them. One of them is EXACTLY like Gracie... in personality and looks for the most part as well - always making friends, always playing and into mischief :) The other is more like Taylor - super smart, very mature. I was talking to her on the way to the interview and I asked her how the flash cards went... she said "Good - the easiest one to memorize was CHASTITY!" haha it made me laugh, I'm glad she likes the law of chastity. They all are ready for next Sunday :D YAYYYYYYYY! We are so excited. We were able to meet lots of great people this week. I just love being a missionary and see the hand of the Lord working in my life each day. I'm learning a lot about the power of faith as a missionary. Nothing can happen without faith on our part...it is against the laws of God to work miracles if faith is not present. Faith is a principle of power, not weakness. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN I JUST TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVED THAT PACKAGE?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NICE OF YOU! I loved every single thing in that box... funny story. One of the first things I pulled out were the orange things in the plastic bag marked "pumpkin marshmallow." I saw the title and thought to myself "no way!!!!!!!!!!! pumpkin marshmallow, that is so cool! Mom knows I love pumpkin and must have found them somewhere cool." So I proceeded to open it and put in my mouth what I thought was going to be a pumpkin flavored marshmallow... but as I started to put it in my mouth I realized something wasn't right haha and then noticed the "sentsy" symbol and thought "oooooooooooooooh it is a candle!" Sister Cortes and I had a good laugh haha... WELL LOVE YA! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When God starts working on a family, He works on the WHOLE family.

Wow what a cool sacrament meeting!!!!! That sounds like it was very spirit filled and wisdom filled! I'm excited for Ayana!!!!!!!! She has so many good times awaiting her. Your picture looked AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I loved that you caught them in action! I loved the white van in the background haha did Dad really buy that? Thanks for the song, that was beautiful. This week was pretty good :) Surprise we got a new sister from the Nauvoo mission. She will just be here for the winter, and then return back to Nauvoo mission in the spring. Her name is Sister Cooper and she likes to run so I get to run again in the mornings - YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! My body feels so much better :) Tomorrow I get to see Sister Lichfield again!!!!!!!!!! Yay! I haven't seen her since June so I am excited. This month is going by so fast, I don't know what is going on. Our investigator and her family is still going strong :) We went by on Saturday and we finally got to talk with the Dad, for a little bit. He invited us in to eat for a little carne and tortillas :) We invited him to church and he came with the rest of his family!!!!!!!! She was beaming. Funny story is... when God starts working on a family, He works on the WHOLE family. We went to their house for our lesson and all of a sudden the cousins run up to pick up their daughter to go spend the night at her house. The cousin said "we need to hurry up though because the people from church are coming soon - we need to clean the house!" We were thinking to ourselves maybe the Jehovah's Witness or someone else was visiting them... but when we asked the cousin, she was like "no they are the same from your church." We were stunned :) The Assistants to the President are teaching that family too and we didn't even know it! So at church they all got to sit together. God is so good and His gospel truly blesses families. Hey guess what?! I HAD MY FIRST PIECE OF PUMPKIN PIE THIS WEEK AND IT WAS HEAVENLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND BETTER YET SISTER CORTES DOESN'T LIKE PUMPKIN PIE AND SO I GOT TO EAT HER PIECE TOOOOOOOOO! haha someone needs to work on charity right? :) I would have shared if she liked it - promise! Well I'm looking forward to anything and everything pumpkin that awaits this season. We are having a trunk-o-treat and we get to go because we have investigators!!!!!!!!!! Yayyyyyyy! It will be with four wards too so it is going to be crazy. I know the Savior lives and wants each and everyone of us to return to live with God. I love being able to relay this message to the people. Yay for south Texas!!!1 LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! I'M GOING TO THE OFFICE NOW TO SEE IF YOUR PACKAGE IS THERE :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I also see them change together and see the fulfillment of the statement "the gospel blesses families"

Wow... what happened with the pictures sounds familiar haha. I remember doing that in high school in Viscom. Pero, SI SE PUEDE MAMA!!!!! With practice I know you will be sending me beautiful pictures in no time :) That sounded like quite the birthday party! I LOVE EXTREME SPOONS! Yay for the primary program! Every time I see blonde kids running around at church I think of little Anna and Andrew. I hope they remember me when I go back :O We have been teaching a mom and her kids. They are all soooooooooo cute. I LOVE teaching families because I feel at home while I'm there :) I also see them all change together and see the fulfillment of the statement "the gospel blesses families." She came to church with all her four kids this Sunday :) You should have seen them! They all looked so spiffy in their dresses and the little guy in his sweater vest. While we were walking up, one of them grabbed my hand to walk with me and it made me miss all my nieces and nephews!!!!!!! I love kids! I know that being here is preparing me to be a better mom someday. But she is very prepared for the gospel. On the ride home, she told a member that she loved church and it answered all of her doubts/questions. Wooooooo hooo! By the way she needs to get married to her boyfriend too... so pray for her! ANOTHER WEDDING!! We also got the cops called at us this week haha. We had been parking our car a little down the road to save miles (apparently Jon is worrying about that too hah)... but somebody thought our corolla was suspicious and called the cops on us. We had it taken away from us for a little bit but we have it back now thankfully! It is cold today!!!!!!! 75 degrees :) Hopefully it stays that way! I hear there is lots of drama about Mitt Romney running for president. I don't know what is going on - we usually just change the subject because politics is not our message. Hmmm okay what else is going on here? I have lost hope in losing weight before I go home haha. I'm just going to go climb lots of mountains when I get home. I do have a jump rope though! If you find any exercises I can do with a jump rope - let me know!!!!!! I LOVE YA MOM!!!!! thank you so much for your prayers :) I get to talk to you sooooooooooooooooon! Can you believe how fast time is going? Say hello to everyone as always! Oh and I'm excited for my package :D

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It was a testimony to me to hear Him say that He had people prepared for us . . . and then to go and find them all that night was a special experience

Hahaha!!!!! I loved your story Mom!!!!!! It made me laugh here in the library. I think you are where I get my "I don't care" attitude about looks. Sometimes other girls complain about the way they look (even my companions) and I've just never joined in on that... and I think it is because I had a great mom that didn't worry about all that! Haha I can just picture you in your yoga clothes and boots walking to class... AWESOME. I'm trying to think of a funny story to repay you with... but I can't off the top of my head... because we're always laughing. Sister Cortes says it is my fault that she has gained weight these past couple of weeks because she is never stressed with me (when she is stressed she doesn't eat)... haha I explained to her that I hate being stressed and so I'm never stressed! I have just learned on the mission that whatever happens is going to happen. We as missionaries do our best and I know that God always takes care of the rest. So my mission philosophy is to go and work my hardest with the Spirit and don't worry about the rest :) We had a pretty good week. A lot of our appointments had been falling through towards the beginning of the week and it was rough. On Friday we decided to fast so we could have more of God's help. While we were fasting... our one solid person, called and said she is going to start going to another church :( We were sooooooooo sad! Then about an hour later Sister Cortes got a blessing because she wasn't feeling well. The blessing was so nice and brought the spirit super strong. In the blessing, God told her that "There are specific people being prepared for you Sister Cortes, and Sister Bricker... that only you can touch." We felt such a ray of hope and faith and like a burden was lifted off our shoulders. Then about 30 minutes later our investigator calls us saying that she wants us to come back and teach her daughter too. She had read all of her reading and understood that Alma 32 is saying that faith is not to have a perfect knowledge :) Her AND her daughter came to church on Sunday THEN later that night we had a lesson with this family and they all want to get baptized this month!!!!!!! I truly know that the Lord does fulfill all His promises. It was a testimony to me to hear Him say that He had people prepared for us... and then to go and find them all that night was a special experience. CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A lot was about missionary work and I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo blessed to be here serving the Lord. I'm always grateful for you Mom/Dad/Grandmas/Grandpas for helping me be here. I'm working hard and loving it!!!!! Thursday we had to stay in our apartment for a while... our mission President gave us a call saying that there was something going on with the police there... so we went upstairs and made a map of all the people we wanted to visit. Everything turned out okay though. We see the cops all the time - there are definitely some not very good things going on here. I'm grateful for the Lord and His protection. I love you ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!

Monday, September 26, 2011


WHAT A WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!

That is funny, because I made Grandma's apple cinnamon cake TOO! haha. There was a family in the ward that was without lights and there little girl didn't have a birthday cake... so we made one on our break :) It was suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper delicious. I will always love the fudge frosting! Wow it sounds like the yard has changed so much! You are starting school again?! You can doooooooooooo it! Habla conmigo en espanol para que pueda practicar. Okay so Mission has been good :) I love working with Sister Cortes she just makes me laugh all the time. We are laughing all day while we are working and that is what I love. It is going to be a good transfer. I don't have too much time but I loved the Relief Society broadcast. Were you all able to watch it? I was sitting there and thinking how grateful I am because around the world, I have friends and family that I know are sitting and listening to the prophets too :) I am so blessed to have family that loves and cherishes the word of God. I don't know if I told you all but Manuel - my favorite Hispanic grandpa from Brownsville - quit smoking and got baptized! He also received the Priesthood and is going to the temple in a year! I know God's hand is in this work. I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooo much! I am praying for you! Sister Bricker

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sister Cano is awesome. She makes the spiciest food ever. I practically used a whole carton of sour cream on my dinner!

I know it was a tender mercy from Him to let me come to Edinburg to see this great event. I know that their family was a big reason for why I came here

Mom what a good email!!! Thank you, I loved it! Tell Carlos hello and I will need to practice my Spanish with him when I get back :) haha. WOW THAT IS SO COOL ABOUT YOUR FRIEND!!!!!! I hope things go well, I will pray for her! You are such an awesome missionary mom and I know that is definitely one of the reasons you are getting so many blessings. I know she'll love the Book of Mormon! WHAT KYLIE TURNED EIGHT?!?! ARE YOU SURE?! HAHA I think I've just been in denial that little sassy Kylie is growing up :O I thought of her on her bday _ I'll definitely send something her way. THIS WEEK WAS GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT! VERONICA AND ISAAC GOT MARRIED SATURDAY VERONICA, RICARDO, AND ISAAC JR GOT BAPTIZED SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...and in other news I'M BEING TRANSFERRED AGAIN! HAHA CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Okay so on Saturday we biked and worked and biked and worked and then came home to shower :) Then we went to Veronica to help her get things ready for the wedding. She looked beautiful. We went to the church to get things ready - we just had it in the Relief Society room. It was super simple but very beautiful. They made their vows and then the Bishop let people come up to give speeches. All the family had been talking about how they had been waiting for this day and they were so glad that it was here. Veronica was soooooo happy :) I loved it. I got up and talked about how their wedding really strengthened my testimony that miracles to happen and everything is possible with God. I know God will bless them for living that commandment. Then the Bishop gave a bit of council and we took pictures :) I'll send you some! Yesterday they all were baptized... it was beautiful to see the whole family do it together. Next month, the Dad will get baptized too :) God is so good. I know it was a tender mercy from Him to let me come to Edinburg to see this great event. I know that their family was a big reason for why I came here. I was really shocked that God would move me again haha... like seriously. I have been transferred every single transfer (except for Brownsville)... I'm still trying to figure out what God wants me to learn from all of this changing. Sister Reese asked me "do you think it is a pattern for the rest of your life?" She said a lot of times, what we do/learn here prepares us for the rest of our lives... I'm still thinking about it. I DO know that God has a reason for me going to Mission East and I'm excited to find it. I love you all soooooooo much! Oh and we had a Mexican Independence day party!!!!!!! It was super fun and the food was yummy :) Pictures to come! LOVE SISTER BRICKER

Monday, September 12, 2011

Willie is going to be baptized soon. We just found him walking down the street. There are prepared people everywhere.

I went through my first pair of shoes!!

I wish I could record every little detail for you because it was awesome

WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL HELLO THERE!!!!!!!!!!!! You had stake conference too? We had conference here in the McAllen Stake, it was really powerful. That is awesome that they are promoting mormon.org. It is such a good website. It will be a really good way to get people in Western Washington interested. My mouth drooled a little bit when I heard chocolate zucchini cake!!! Freeze some for me!!!! THIS WEEK HAS BEEN SUCH A HUGE WEEK OF MIRACLES!!!! GOD REALLY HAS HELPED THE PEOPLE HERE SO MUCH. Man I wish I could just record everything and every little detail for you because it was awesome. Thank you for praying for our one investigator and her boyfriend. I was super stressed about it during the beginning of the week. We went on Wednesday to do service for them and help clean the house. I think that softened her boyfriend's heart a lot to see us come and help them. Later, he was asking us questions like "How long are you out here?" "Is this really all you do all day long is helping people?" "Does the church pay for you to be here?" I think when he asked us that and we told him that we have to pay our own way to be out here (or in my case my lovely parents and grandparents! thank you!) it really softened his heart. I think he started to really see that we aren't out here for any other motive than to help him and his family. He said "tell you what, to repay you for your service I want to have you over for a carne asada this weekend." ... Then the next day, we went over for a lesson. Our investigator was at the doctor with her girls. It was just the boyfriend and the boys. We taught the boys tithing and chastity to get them ready for their baptism. The boyfriend really liked the concept of tithing (surprising right? haha usually that is the one everyone hates). We invited him to live it with his family and he said "yeah it makes sense!" So we were like if he is going to live the law of tithing, we need to invite him to be baptized! Haha it was the most random but miracle lesson. During that lesson his heart changed from night to day. He said he would marry his girlfriend and be baptized too!!!!!!!!!! As he was talking about buying the certificate and everything I just wanted to cry. I couldn't believe that just a week before he absolutely refused... and trying to reason with them was out of the picture. We tried to get them to say one good thing about each other and they couldn't. I felt like I was Moses on a mission, knowing where I needed to be and who I had to lead there ... and then talking to the boyfriend was like running into the red sea. I had no idea what to do or where to go... but in that lesson, the Lord parted the red sea for us and now her boyfriend wants to get married and wants to make their family work. This week we are making some wedding cakes :) :) :) We are just going to have a small ceremony and a BBQ and the Bishop is going to marry them. WOOOOOOOOO! It is also the Mexican independence day so we are going to have a big ward fiesta this weekend too. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DIOS ES BUENO! I wish I could write more but I have got to go. I love you all! Thank you for your consistency in writing me Mom! I love reading your emails every Monday. Say hello to all my friends :D

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

COMPLETEY SOAKED coming from our appt.

Birthday Breakfast (this picture is from July)

I need to "be still" and know that God is going to take care of the miracles.

Well hellllllllllllllo there!  This email might have to be a little short because it is Tuesday and we've got to get out to work... but that is exciting about your zucchini!  Hopefully you have some before the frost comes... mmm chocolate zucchini bread!  Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!  I'm so excited you are coming down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It will be super fun to show you around.  Right now my going home date is the 25th of January...whether that will change or not, I don't know...  the only possibility would be that President would want me to go home earlier (but I hope not!).

Yay I'm glad you got the pictures!  :)  I need to take more with the people we are teaching.  This week was good.  I think I've been stressing myself out a little too much.  I need to "be still" and know that God is going to take care of the miracles.  Thank you for sending that to me.  God is definitely trying my patience and faith.  I don't think He ever stops working on you to become better :)  I thank Him everyday for my loving and supportive family!!!!!!!!!!!  I know that your prayers help me so much.

Okay well I'm off for another good week!  oh yeah p.s. I was sick of long hair and so one of the sisters gave me an A line hair cut and I love it!

Have a goooooooooooooooooooood week!

Sister Bricker

Monday, August 29, 2011

Can I just say... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD LOVE TO SHOW YOU AROUND! That would be SOOOOOOOOOOO awesome! You can use all your great Spanish skills Mom :) Wait are you serious?! That would be too cool. Are you talking about like picking me up here while I'm still a missionary (like January 25th)? Or coming back later in the year to visit?

Hey speaking of Brother Van Leishout! One of our ward members here served with him in Korea! We were talking at the dinner table and he was telling stories of his mission and he said "...and Elder VanLeishout" and I was like "wait a second that is not a very common name..." and we found out it was him! So ask Brother Van Leishout if he knows an Elder Merwinn from his mission :)

Those Costco mats are heavenly! That is what we used when we handed out samples :) So I bet they are super nice for your feet. Hey can you believe it is September already?!?! How crazy is that.

This week was ANOTHER WEEK OF MIRACLES. God is just pouring them down here in Edinburg. Can I just say... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel so happy everyday... no matter how exhausted... or how much I feel like I could sleep for a whole year without waking up... I know that I have the privilege to do the Lord's work 24/7.

This week we had a three day training about the missionary program - how to help people recognize the Holy Ghost, how to help them gain their own testimonies... etc. Everything I learn here I know is just going to help me so much more the rest of my life. There really is no better use for my time right now then what I am doing here. The mom and her 5 kids are doing awesome. Her boyfriend right now doesn't want to get married. She said she is willing to move out so she can get baptized. THAT TAKES COURAGE AND FAITH IN GOD. She started crying though because she feels alone in this decision :( Her family doesn't really support her and she doesn't really have many friends here. We are doing our best to help the ward become her family - as it should be. Hermana Acosta invited her over to her house this week for a lesson and you should have seen the look on her face of surprised and excited and "really you invited ME?" We told her that we have been praying for her every day and she told us "Ya se Hermanas... yo siento sus oraciones." That was such a testimony builder for me that she already knew we were praying for her and she FELT it. One of the Elders told us "wow she looks soooooooooo much happier from the first day we met her." Yay for the changing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

We are teaching some other really great people too that came to church out of nowhere. We are also riding bikes and hitching rides all the time because we have NO MILES. I just bought new tubes (because...everything is bigger in Texas... including the spikey plants haha) and within the first day they were flat AGAIN haha... so I just need some tires of STEEL or something. I don't know how the Elders do it. I love biking though...it is my time to think/meditate.


Monday, August 22, 2011


WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!! AYANA IS GOING ON A MISSION!!!!!!!!!! I thought she was already married haha. That is super cool - England?! I can totally see her going there. She is so positive and upbeat, she will work miracles there. Wow I can't believe all their kids are on missions right now... blessings for them :)

Yay!!!!!! A reunion that I'll actually be there for! That is super exciting. I'm really excited because I've always wanted to see the Hill Cumorah Pagent. AND one of my old companions lives over there - Sister Carlos :) AND it will be cool to see some of where Jon served on his mission. I wish you could come and meet all the people down here. You would love them. All of our investigators right now are a HOOT. That is really cool that "I" visited church with you. Hopefully she can continue up in Auburn. My mouth watered a little bit when you said that the fruit is in :) My jaw dropped a little bit when you said they played hockey in the garage haha.

OKAY SO LET ME JUST TELL YOU RIGHT NOW... THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME AND SUPER MILAGROSO!!!!!!!!!!!!! LLENA DE MILAGROS!!!!!!!!!!!! We were meditating and thinking about who God has ready for baptism in September in our area... and we felt three. No matter where you are as a missionary, nothing is going to happen without miracles from God. I have tried many days to do this work on my own in my own way and it doesn't work. Me, my companion and my district fasted so that we could have the faith necessary to bring those three people to the waters of baptism. It was rough because we were on bikes that day in 100 degree weather (don't worry we drank plenty of water! and put on sunscreen!) but this week has been the BEST. I know that it was from our sacrifice, faith and diligence that we were able to see miracles.

The mom and five kids all came to church as a family. Luckily the Deerwesters trained me on what to do when you have a million kids. We reserved a whole bench for them towards the back. We brought lots of coloring books :) Somehow during sacrament meeting I had four kids crawling all over me trying to do this and that - it was like my own personal zoo but I loved it because I looked over and the mom was just listening contently to the speakers. It was on how families can be together forever :) I think she liked it! The kids loved it and said afterwards "do we have to wait all the way until next Sunday to go to church?!" YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Other miracle! (fyi I need like FIVE HOURS TO EMAIL YOU BECAUSE THERE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH TO SAY! BE PREPARED FOR CHATTER BOX SISTER BRICKER WHEN I SEE YOU SOMEDAYYYYYYY) Saturday night I felt like we should go contacting... we had kind of a disagreement about it but... ahhhhhhhh okay time is up! Miracle = finding R____. He wants to be baptized - came to church the next day and loved it '\


Monday, August 15, 2011

When I invited him to be baptized he TOTALLY FAINTED

Edinburg is a super rich area but I love our apartment. The wards ARE AWESOME HERE... they were all soooo excited to have sister missionaries and we have a lot of people that want to come on splits YAY

We met with the Leinweber family for dinner. After the lesson we asked if they knew anyone that would be blessed by this message and they said "yeah our next door neighbor, we were thinking about inviting them over for dinner." yayyyyyyyy! Missionary work is so much better with members.

We met this kid named Jacob and had a lesson with him... and when I invited him to get baptized he TOTALLY FAINTED right there in front of us... haha I would like to say that he felt the spirit, but I'm pretty sure he must have been on drugs or something.

The work still moves on :) God is good and He is teaching me how to be humble continually. He is teaching me how to be TEACHABLE. I am learning a lot from Sister Reese. I know that I am here so that one day I can say that I did my best to help every brother and sister here to be able to make it back to God. I want us all to be there. This life is too short to make wrong choices and spend eternity thinking about it... I know it is through Christ we truly are changed and can change. Sometimes life feels like you are running up hill against the wind... but you just have to keep going... like the train " I think I can I think I can."

Life is good my dear family!!!!!!!!!!1


Monday, August 8, 2011

It was great to see the reality of this message... from tears/stress/anxiety to smiles/peace in 30 minutes.

This week was CRAZY. Well on Monday Sister Feito and I found out some surprising news. President Trayner called us after planning and told us that BOTH OF US ARE LEAVING MCALLEN CENTRAL AREA. Sister Feito is going to Laredo North (my first area) and I am going to Edinburg to "whitewash" with Sister Reese. I was SHOCKED. Haha I thought for sure I was staying... I don't know what it is with me staying only a transfer in one area? "Whitewash" is when they change BOTH of the missionaries at the same time. So I will be new and Sister Reese will be new to the area. My heart was beating super hard when he told me the news. I couldn't sleep that night because I was nervous/anxious. It is funny because I was just telling the sisters the other day that I never wanted to whitewash... and here we are :) haha. It is going to be hard but I am excited. I know the members in that ward have always wanted sister missionaries so it will be good.

We saw some really big MILAGROS this week. I went on exchanges with the other sisters. We were just leaving from a lesson with a part member family and the wife pulls us aside and says "I really want you to go visit my friend, do you have time to go right now?" We said "Of course!!" Her son took us down the street and she let us in right away. She sat down and immediately started crying. She began to tell us the stress and hurt she had in her heart... we said a prayer and started to talk about the Atonement and that for the Atonement to take effect in our lives, we need to follow Him through living His gospel. She and all of her three daughters accepted to be baptized in September. After they all prayed about the date, she was smiling. She said she felt "paz, tranquilidad" and she was smiling again. It was great to see the reality of this message... from tears/stress/anxiety to smiles/peace in 30 minutes. Truly only the power of God can bring that lasting peace. Yo se esto es verdadero con todo mi corazon.

Thank you for all of the pictures! It was soooooooooooooo good to see what you have been up to! I especially liked Anna and the goat... and the one of you and Dad together at Rainier is sooooooooo pretty! What a beautiful mother I have :) :)

Hey Nicki is going to WA!!!!! She said if they have time that she is going to see if you want to go to Olympic with them :) You should gooooooooooo if you can! Her family is super nice.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Now I am able to turn to the Lord fully and say "just tell me what to do and I'll do it."

Mom that is the sweetest poem I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was really good. I love the picture of the vine in the background. I'm sure Dad loved it, along with his re-arranged tools :) When I heard you were both in the hot tub... I was like "wait what hot tub?!" but then I remembered Dad's emails that he sent. That is cool! Congrats to my favorite parents ever for making it 34 years and raising some CRAZY CHILDREN!!!!!!!!! You are both such a good example of enduring even when things get hard - so I know it can be done :)

My sprinting is going well!!!! The days when I remember to pray for diligence are the best. It all starts with the prayer. This week has been ONE OF THE MOST HUMBLING WEEKS OF MY MISSION! Things were going so well. I thought for sure four people were going to be baptized from our area this month. We had a lesson with one that was going really well... but then went really bad because of something that was said by a member. She didn't come to church and we don't know how she is feeling about continuing towards baptism. We taught the law of chastity to another investigator this week and she was fine because her and her boyfriend are going to get married next week. She called 30 minutes before church saying that she wants a break from the lessons and wants to pause everything to do her own thing. It was so sad. She has gone to church twice and wanted to get baptized ASAP... it is amazing how quickly Satan works on people. I feel like everything crashed here in the matter of a week. I cried through sacrament meeting - and you know me, I don't cry easy! I just love them so much and I wanted their kids to have the peace that comes from the gospel.

BUT I know that there is something to be learned from every trial. I think it was a great humbling moment. Now I am able to turn to the Lord fully and say "just tell me what to do and I'll do it...I don't care what it is, I'll do it." That is when I can truely be a efficient servant.

BUT GOOD NEWS!!!!!! I met someone that just moved from Monterrey with her hijito . La conocimos mientras estabamos caminando. Ella estaba sacando la basura. Ella quiere acercarse otra vez con Dios y ha asistido iglesia con Pentacostes y Bautista... y ella vino ayer a nuestra iglesia. Ella le gusto mucho!!!! Ella dijo "wow cada cosa es bien orginizada, me gusta." Y tambien vendra hoy para una noche de hogar (fhe in spanish) en la capilla esta noche! She is awesome!

So we went on exchanges for the first time in FOREVER!

Never in my life would I think that at 9:00 pm it would be hot enough outside to make sweat drip down my back. The heat is crazy but we only have ONE month left! Yay!!!!! God is helping me a lot. Saturday we were eaten super bad by mosquitos... I think I had probably 30 on each leg haha.

Mosiah 4:11 is how I feel :)


Have a good week!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your summer! haha and tomatoes mom

p.s. We went home teaching with the Stake President Wilson and it was really cool! He reminded me of grandpa Palmer :) :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

This week was AWESOME and full of MILAGROS!

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! That totally sounds like you are all having so much fun! That is awesome... except from your foot part :( I wonder what it was... m.s.?! Haha just kidding. Well maybe someday I will be able to diagnose you but not today haha. It is good you are starting to feel better though! It is still kind of frustrating to not know what it was.... like when I got that weird lung thing. It went away, but I still wanted to know what in the world was causing the pain.

Was Whitney at the reunion?

Okay this week was AWESOME and full of MILAGROS! We had the mini missionaries with us. They were super fun and all excited about knocking doors and teaching lessons. They have such powerful testimonies already... I wish I knew at their age! This week we had interviews with President Trayner. It was really good. He told me that I'm at the part of my mission where I need to be SPRINTING. When you start out, it is kind of at a slow jog, then you get faster and faster and now I'm at the sprinting stage of my mission. This is where I take all the things I've learned and apply them to help more people receive their own conversion. It was good motivation. This whole week I have been going strong with strong desires to work work work. I love it. I can't believe this transfer is almost already over.

Two of our investigators came to church on Sunday :) :) :) They should be getting baptized in the upcoming weeks. She said she liked it a lot better than last time. It is a super big change from the Catholic church so that has been a struggle for her. She says though that she just has had this emptiness that hasn't been filled... and that is why she wants to make the change.

The other investigator...the hippie lady who is so funny... she read the whole Word of Wisdom chapter on her own in class and QUIT COFFEE ON HER OWN! Wooo hoooo! We had a lesson with her and she just seemed super down and she told us because she had been off of coffee for two days. I talked to her yesterday on the phone though and she said her withdrawl is totally over now and she feels fine! Yay for blessings from God. I wish you could just meet all these awesome people! My weak emails just don't do them justice! The Lord has been blessing us to find lots of families this transfer!

Well I just want to say that I learned that when we pray for things... the Lord really helps us out... basic right? But sometimes I forget to pray about the little things thinking that it really won't make a difference - but it DOES. It is so funny, I'm a missionary, you think I'd know that by now... but we keep learning something new every day... usually more simple than profound.


It was so hot I seriously couldn't breathe . . .

Haha so what exactly did you do at poetry camp? I bet it was a lot different than girls camp :) But the pictures look beautiful! Green hills... what a concept :) We went to Walmart today and there is a little mini 5 foot hill and it was super exciting for us... because everything is flat here haha. The cool part is that I'm just so busy as a missionary, it hasn't really bugged me. That is cool you got to talk about the church with the lady you carpooled with! It is sad how often that happens that we say something or give a look or something that can be taken offensive :( It is always sad when we talk with people that have had a bad experience. I think as members sometimes we just don't even realize... que triste.

It is raining over there? Woah. Here it hasn't been too bad... except one day this week. Friday we went to walk to go contacting in the hot sun. After 20 minutes we got there and Sister Feito and I were dripping... it was really gross! The weirdest thing happened too - it was so hot I seriously couldn't breathe. I told Sister Feito that she needed to talk to the next person because I couldn't do it... it was really weird. Then somebody gave us cold water bottles. I drank the whole thing right away and was fine after that :)

One of our investigators came to church again! She is so funny. I think she would be a good greener. She has read all the intro to the Book of Mormon. The process with her is going to be a slow one but once she gets there, she will be solid! Everyone else that we are teaching all slept in and didn't come to church :( This week was a challenging one for me. I fasted on Sunday for the strength and the desire to get out there and talk to people this week. Every time we were going to go contact, I just had this dreadful wave come over my body like "I'm just so tired... I don't want to be rejected... and it is hot." I know the adversary is working on me. After I fasted and prayed, I felt better. I feel better now, but I know it is going to be a constant battle. It makes me feel a little better to know that even Christ at one point asked if He could pass the trial... but realizing it was necessary and that He already committed to it... He prayed harder and made it through. Never give up, never surrender!

Last night we had a miracle. We were going to go visit a former investigator when we saw this lady taking out the trash... we went over to talk with her. The first thing I said to her was "Me gusta su pelo... lo pinto?" haha because she had dyed her hair a nice red color and I liked it... we then went on to explain who we were. There was just something in her eyes that you knew she was searching.... you knew she was hurting. We talked for a bit. She just moved from Monterey, Mexico to here. It is just her and her sweet little baby. She was talking about what horrible conditions she lived in there and it made me sad :/ She said she knew we were the angels that God sent to help her fix her relationship with Him. We are going back tonight so I'll update you how it goes next week. I'm just so grateful to live here in this country. We are so blessed.

Welp I'm off! Thanks so much for your email! Take care and LOVE YA!

P.S. 5301 N 17th St #11
McAllen, TX 78504

is my new address... but packages you can mail to the mission office because we go by all the time and it is a secure drop off place.

Last week I hit my year mark here in the mission

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE CHELSEA IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 That is so crazy. The mission goes by so fast. Last week I hit my year mark here in the mission. I'm not going to lie... I am HUMAN. The past couple of days have been hard for me. I feel like sometimes I'm lazily dragging. I LOVE being here and I LOVE sharing the gospel... but I feel like my diligence has been slacking a little bit. For example, we'll be going to an appointment and I see someone across the street and I'll just keep going instead of going out of my way to talk to them or just give them a card really quick. Don't worry I'm repenting!!!!! I want to finish strong. I want to finish with that same fire I came out with. I had a really good study this morning which helped me a lot though.

Thanks so much for the package!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOOOOOOOOOVED IT! All the clothes are beautiful. I'm excited to wear them all. You bought me a lot Mom! One of the skirts was too small... haha because I've gained a bit but I've decided to give it to one of our investigators. She is 21 and super excited about being baptized. She just told us last night how she has been on her own since she was 15 - working and paying rent and everything for herself. She has been nervous about coming to church becuase she doesn't have a skirt... so I think she'll really like that one :) I'll tell her it was from you. I also LOVED LOVED LOVEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD THE PUMPKIN BREAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I ATE LIKE THE WHOLE LOAF ON SATURDAY. The other two I put in the freezer for when I'm done with my diet :)

So this area is blooming. Two of our investigators are single moms and the relief society lesson was on family responsibility. It was seriously the perfect lesson for them. I think they both liked it a lot. One of them is seriously so funny. She is a young mom that is kind of a hippie chick and talks slow and loves tye-dye and sparkles :) We get along great haha.

I know the Lord's hand is in this work. I'm so grateful to be in such a fruitful part of the vineyard.

It was cool to see what people said for my bday! Tell them all hello! I would love to write Aloha but I don't know where she is at... maybe I'll send it home and you can forward it?





Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm super blessed to be in such a ready part of the world.

Gracias por su email. It was good to hear from you! Que lastima about the fishing :( Was it too early in the season? The pictures that Dad sent made it look like you had a great time! It sounds like you are running around like crazy visiting everyone! That is fun. Tell everyone hello for me :)

Okay so I'm in the Edinburg zone... but the area that I'm really in is called McAllen West. IT IS SUPER DIFFERENT! It is kind of weird to be at the heart and center. The Mission President and his wife are in OUR area... so we could go knock their street and technically go and visit them because they are members of the ward haha. It is kind of weird to see them all the time. Our area is a very weathly area.... which makes it kind of hard sometimes. When I got here there wasn't anyone progressing. That is just how the work goes sometime - but it doesn't have to! All this is a challenge of my faith - whether I REALLY trust in the Lord that there are people out there that are ready. We found four people that commited to being baptized :) It is special to see that through faith and diligent work that we can find those people.

I'm super blessed to be in such a ready part of the world. Sister Feito is awesome. She has a really cute personality and is super positive and never complains.

I'm grateful for all of your prayers on my behalf. I need them and can feel them working and strengthening me to keep going each day.

It is the rainy season here in south Texas :) Last week we walked to an appointment.. the sky was clear. Our appointment fell through and suddenly it started POURING POURING POURING haha so we were completely soaked from head to toe in two minutes. People were honking at us... a few times we got completely sprayed with water from the cars passing by... I felt like we were in a movie haha when the person is completely down in the dumps about life... and then they get SPLASHED with a wave of water from a car driving past... except we weren't down in the dumps, it was actually kind of fun.



Tuesday, June 28, 2011


. . . Dun dun dun. The day has come that I have to leave my favored Brownsville. I've been here for 6 months :) Sister Villalobos (my trainer) is coming to replace me. I know she'll do an awesome job. So Edinburg is right in the heart and center of the missionary work here. It is right by McAllen and I'll see President and Sister Trayner all the time. I'll be working with Sister Feito who is from Puerto Rico. Cool, lots of NATIVAS! I'm sad to leave Brownsville but I know that wherever I go it is for a reason.

On Monday it was about an hour before we were going to finish pday and go out to work and we get a call... saying that "mini" missionaries were going to be dropped off with us in 20 minutes. It was super crazy, we weren't even done with laundry or anything. The mini mission program is where youth 16-18 come out with us for a whole week, living by the missionary schedule and working with us. So we hurried and went to meet them at the gas station. While we were waiting I was like "our car is filthy, let's vacuum it out..." So I had the keys with me on my seat while we were vacuuming. I just was going to vacuum around them because we didn't have very much time... and then the next thing I know the vacuum had SUCKED UP OUR KEYS all the way! I was screaming haha "stop them!!!!" and my companions were like "what?" I HAD NO IDEA IT WAS THAT POWERFUL hahahaha... so the very first impression these poor girls had of the senior missionary companion was that she vacuumed up the car keys. Nothing has changed here :) We ended up unlatching the big vacuum thing and finding them... not as horrific as I thought it would be :) God is good.

So it was fun to have the mini's with us. It made me realize how much I have changed. I don't know how to talk about worldly things for very long like music or movies or boys... all I know how to talk about is baptism and the spirit and church haha. But I love it. I love this mission soooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I can't believe how fast the time goes.

I'm sick today :( I just hope I can get better before I switch areas. Pray for me please!

How is Mackay? Are you having fun? Say hello to everyone for me!

Hey guess what?!?! Victoria got baptized on Sunday :) :) :) It was so beautiful. The whole room was filled up with ward members there to support her.

George's daughter came down from Housten for the summer to stay with him. She came to church with him and LOVED it. She came up with a flyer for fhe at the beach with the ward and asked "Dad can we go?! I really wannna go!" It was cute. I'm glad because now they can come closer together as a family with the gospel. He said he read with her out of the bible last night. It is so cool to see these changes in people.

I love you alllllllllllll! Write me! I'm doing great!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"I don't want to leave church, I just want to stay here the rest of the night."

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO I KNEW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS SO COOL THAT CHRIS THOLSTROM IS OUR NEW BISHOP! THEY WILL ALL DO A GREAT JOB! That is awesome that Rodrigo and Nori like church. Go Jenna Wellock for say hi! That helps out so much. I love it when we don't have to introduce our investigators, but when people notice themselves and come to say hello. I'm greatful to be a missionary so I can be a little more aware of those things when I go home.

So guess what? I have news for you...


Cool huh? I was really excited when the district leader texTed us and said he interviewed him and felt that he was ready. I was talking with him on the phone the night before his baptism and I asked him what made him so excited about his baptism. He told me "you know... I have a great family, I have great friends, I'm going to school, things are great... but still I feel like I'm missing something and I think that is baptism." The service went really well, the spirit was there. Brother Piava baptized him ( he is from Tacoma). Afterwards the Spanish ward was having a fiesta for Father's Day and so George stayed and ate and had a good time. He LOVES bbq's/fiestas. So for him, the whole night was perfect. He said "I don't even want to leave church, I just want to stay here for the rest of the night." He said on the way over to the baptism he was thinking "man I should have invited my family sooner (no one showed up :/) and I should have told them so we could have a bbq after and all get together... but oh well, God will provide, all is good." Then after the baptism his new ward family had a bbq :) He said he knew that was present from God specifically.

Wow so the work here is going great. Victoria is getting baptized next sunday. She brought her son to church this Sunday. It was ward conference so they were sustaining a lot of people. Her son walked out after about ten minutes because he "felt like he was in a court instead of church." Errr that wasn't good :( We tried to explain that that doesn't happen every Sunday haha.

Sister Martinez is great and has a powerful testimony. She actually just got baptized two years ago! This week is Zone Conference so I get to see Sister Lichfield :)

I love you all so much! Have fun in Mackay! Take some pictures and eat some fish and hot cakes for me :) Thanks for the diet info! I might just have to try that out... but no peanut butter for a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time! that will be hard!


Angela's Baptism

Monday, June 13, 2011


Mmmmm that rhubarb salmon sounds delicious!!!! Ricisimo!!!!! Mmm I just love rhubarb! That peanut butter banana bread sounds divine :) This last week I went on a peanut butter fast so I'm excited to pick it up again today :) Mom so tell me about this new diet? How are you losing so much weight? I am coming up to my year mark and I want to lose 15 pounds before I come home. There is more jiggle in my "relief society" arms than ever before haha. Celestial pounds! So tell me about your diet.

OKAY BROWNSVILLE IS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS AREA IS DOING SOOOOOOO GOOD! GRACIAS A DIOS! Angela's baptism was beautiful. Her mom was telling us about how she suffered from depression and anxiety before, but now that she has started coming to church and learning, it has gone away. Angela said after her baptism "I just feel really light." How awesome :) I love this gospel. I know I can feel that light feeling every time I repent. It is the BEST. She loves young women's and is excited for the activity this week. They are having a "hobo night" with the boys. Haha it actually sounds like a lot of fun. I want to go too!!!

We met two girls this week 16 & 18. They are super cute and LOVE the Book of Mormon. They asked us "everyone talks about Jesus... but is it wrong to doubt that He really exsists?" I just love how God has prepared me for this mission being able to have doubts - but then work them out. Because I have been able to doubt and overcome them, I know how others can do so as well. We talked about how we have two witnesses that Christ came, the Bible and Book of Mormon. They loved it and came to church. Afterwards they said "it was alright..." haha. They will come to like it!!!!! :) One of them is a rock. I want to be like her! We taught her the word of wisdom and she was like "yeah I already do that :)"

Our other investigator came again on Sunday! He sees all the members at school so that is good he is getting fellowshipped well. Hopefully baptism is in his future soon.

Sad news :( Mi hija is going to leave me!!!!!!!! We are having a mini transfer today and Sister Lichfield will go to San Benito and Sister Martinez is coming here. I'm going to miss her! She is the companion I've been with the longest and I just love her cute little guts! Change is good though. I've learned to just know that God has a better plan and so I'm just going to go with it. Sister Martinez is from south Texas and is fluent in Spanish. So I will be with two NATIVAS!!!!!! Wooo hooooo! They are going to help me with my Spanish :)

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!


Monday, June 6, 2011

It is just beautiful how God knows each and every one of His children.

Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for the money in my account. I took out some cash today to have on hand if something happens. President emailed us and told us to be ready because there is something brewing in the gulf... or somewhere. Should be fun :)

I can't believe Oly is not there anymore :( :( :( QUE TRISTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope wherever he is at he is loved. Yay I'm glad that you are out of school and got to garden! You deserve some destress garden time... or does that stress you even more? haha. There is something about working with soil and plants that puts me to ease. I'm glad Grandma is doing better. She has been in my prayers.

We had one of the most powerful and spiritual lessons of my mission with one of our investigators this week. We were teaching her the plan... when we got to the part about the Atonement, I had the prompting just to stop and sing "I Stand All Amazed." We had planned a lot of great scriptures and to explain it really well... but we just stopped and sang that song instead. Before the first verse was over, tears were dripping down her face to where she couldn't sing anymore. It is just beautiful how God knows each and every one of His children. He knows what works for each one. She needed that song at that very time and moment to help her understand the Atonement. We invited her to say the prayer right after. It was the most beautiful thing. She just sobbed thanking God for the spirit she felt and all the blessings she has. She plead for forgiveness and to become like a child again (we read Mosiah 3:19 earlier in the lesson). It is just so interesting how more often than not, I am the one being taught in our lessons. I'm just so grateful for the mercy of God.

He shows me through small and simple things each day that He exists and loves me. I have many moments each day that I am in awe of all my blessings. God is good.

The work is going well here :) One of our investigators is getting baptized this Saturday!

Well I love you all and have a gooooooooooooooooooooooooood week :)

Good luck with the new exchange students!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Walking around in the heat is a small price to pay for all that Christ did for me so I will be grateful!!!!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! Wow those pictures in Joplin look intense! It is a major blessing that Jim is okay and that all those people were inspired to go to the womens bathroom instead of the mens. God is good :) Thanks for the extra 100 dollars! That helps because buying the stuff cost more than I expected. Good news is we found a place called La Michoacana... which is a produce place that sells things for a lot cheaper so I won't have to spend as much on food from now on. I feel like I spend so much on the mission. I don't know what I would do without you Mom and Dad so thanks for always helping me out with those things.

It is getting to be at least 100 degrees each day. It kind of feels like I'm walking around in a sauna all day. But the people are usually super nice and give us water :) I'm very grateful for that. Walking around in the heat is a small price to pay for all that Christ did for me so I will be grateful!!!!

I don't have a lot of time because we have to go teach lessons soon but know that I love you. This week was amazing and full of miracles. God is truly preparing people and bringing families together. I have soooooooo many stories for you that I can't pick and don't have time for all of them. But guess what? One of our investigators who we have been working with forever... told us this week "I think I'm ready to get baptized." We were SOOOOOOOOOOO excited! The next lesson she told us "yeah I already told all my friends I can't go out and drink anymore." We hadn't even taught the word of wisdom yet. So she is progressing along. We met another great woman whose countance shines so bright every time we talk with her. She is definitely one of those people "that is kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." We met her last week and came to church right away and loved it. She is a CNA and was taking care of a members sister. This member gave her a Book of Mormon and had us go teach her. It is amazing how there are people all around! We would have never talked to her if the member wouldn't have refered her to us.... so I want to be better when I go back at sharing the gospel with everyone.


Monday, May 23, 2011


Wow!!!!!!! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun! Mmmm fried ice cream! THE BEST! I'm glad he liked the texas briskit :) I really haven't had any bbq down here. A usual meal consists of corn tortillas, frijoles, pollo and pop! I love it though. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Brownsville. Today we are buying kits at the store because hurricane season starts June 1st! YAY! That poetry class sounds awesome! When I was looking at the pictures you sent, I was a little in shock at how green it was. I think when I go back home I'm not going to know what to do with myself... I might even be claustrophobic.

OH MAN THE PACKAGE WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much! The cookies were delicious! I liked them a lot. Thanks for the recipe too. The socks are super cute :) I wear them all the time.

Okay voy a ecribirte algo en espanol para que pueda traducir :) TAREA! Esta semana ha sido LLENA de milagros. El Senor nos ha bendicido mucho. CINCO de nuestros investigadores assistieron iglesia ayer. QUE MILAGRO GRACIAS A DIOS! Cinco es mas que hemos tenido en un Domingo. Pero, Edgar no vino :( Tuvimos una leccion bien espiritual... y el nos prometio que iba a venir... pero no vino. Todavia el tiene alguna duda que no sabemos, quizas algo social.
(Mom's Translation of above paragraph, with a little help from google translate) I am going to write in Spanish so that you can translate :) This week has been full of miracles. The Lord has blessed us very much. Five of our investigators attended church yesterday. THANK GOD FOR MIRACLES! Five is the most we've had on a Sunday. But Edgar did not come:( We had a good spiritual lesson ... and he promised us that he was coming ... but he did not come. Still he has any doubt that we do not know, maybe something social (not sure what she is trying to say in the last sentence).

With all these blessings that God is giving me, sometimes I get really scared. I get scared that I'm not going to live up to all the blessings He is giving me. I'm continually trying to be better and better so that the Lord can help us in this work. I need so much help. God is so good to us and merciful. I sound like a broken record but I just don't get why He is so good to me sometimes. Life is good.


Monday, May 16, 2011


With my favorite Sister Lichfield and Sister Salan! I am SUPER excited! There are sooooooo many good things going on in Brownsville. I'm glad I get to stay and see the fruits of everything - especially George's baptism. This will be my fourth transfer here and I love it and I love this work! I don't have too much time so I'm going to just write a couple special spirit filled lessons we had this week. Sister Salan is having major back problems right now. She broke it a few years ago and wearing a backpack has been causing her major problems. She has had to stay in with members a lot this week while Sister Lichfield and I go out and work. I feel so bad for her :(

So the first neat experience was with this couple. She is the girlfriend of a less active member. We hadn't talked to them in a while because she stopped wanting us over. She invited us over this week to show us pictures of their wedding and so we went over. As soon as we get there her husband brought up a question about polygamy... apperently they had watched a movie that is out in redbox about the early church and polygamy. He had never known about it before (that the early church leaders practiced it) and so it shook what testimony he had. We told him we would start with the prayer and begin the lesson. Oh man we were praying for the Spirit like no ones business... and it was there. The whole time he was bringing up questions and he printed off his research from the internet to share with us. I wish you could have been there, it was really special. Even though I'm not super well versed with the subject of polygamy and what went on, we were able to share some scriptures - Mosiah 4:9 and by the end of the lesson, without us even saying anything, he took the internet research (aka anti stuff) and crunched it up and threw it in the trash. It is amazing how the spirit can work.

Yesterday we met an athiest while contacting... but the spirit was there. We were trying to ask questions/share scriptures because he was super closed at first. It turns out he was atheist because he was afraid that if there was a God that he would be in a lot of trouble because he killed people when he was in the army. He was really sad about the things he had done in the past and wants them gone. It was a super spiritual lesson. He was asking us.. if there is really a God, why would He let good people be killed and slaughtered in wars? We shared Alma 60:13... it is amazing HOW THE SCRIPTURES ANSWER EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! I CAN'T FINISH THE STORY BUT I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Wednesday, May 11, 2011







THE CASTILLO KIDS WERE BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And another kid that we are teaching came to the baptism and he was like "I wish I could do that today." It is really true when Christ tells us "be ye as little children." They aren't set in their ways yet and they are just willing to do whatever it takes to come closer to God. They recognize the spirit so much easier than adults.... the only problem is getting the parents permission and support. We are trying to work with his mom so that she can start coming too... but I'm afraid it will be a slow process... but hey I just need faith! Miracles happen with faith :) "miracles follow those that believe"

We hadn't talked to our one investigator AT ALLL the last week because he wasn't progressing... and out of nowhere he shows up a church with a nice dress shirt, slacks, and a tie. He offered to say the first prayer in class and participated a ton. He said "I will do ANYTHING to get baptized - I will give up ANYTHING." He is turning around poco a poco... kind of reminds me of king Lamoni when he says "I will give up all my sins to know thee." I hoooooooooooooooooooooooope so bad that I am here to see his baptism. We find out about transfers Saturday. I think I will leave because I've been here a while and because of our stalker problem.

So we've had a creeper (well basically sister Lichfield) who has been calling us and calling us and calling us to go out to South Padre Island with him and the zoo and the pet shop. Back when we were teaching him (March) he would only let us come over when his wife wasn't home :/ just creepy. We told him he needs to stop calling us... but then when we were teaching in his nieghborhood, he FOLLOWED US IN HIS CAR to our next appointment. When we got out we all were super uncomfortable when we saw him. He said "I just followed you - is this where you live?" WHO DOES THAT?! Luckily we weren't driving home - if he knew where we lived, we would need to move. It was really bad - we all have super uneasy feelings with him. I'm really glad for the rule of companions. We aren't going back to his area anymore.