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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Righteousness Always Conquers (11/24/2014)

Hi Mumzy!!!
I got the first package. You are lucky I looked at my emails first instead of attacking my present.
<Mom note: Ummmmm.....packages that arrive 1 day before your birthday just may be a birthday present, so you should have assumed it was your bday box little Miss Sassy!!! :P  > Hahaha, well of course I knew what it was, but if there is a letter in there I have to open it today to read it or wait til next Monday ;)

No service projects this week. But when we went to the Calvary Temple for the food pantry a person there gave Sister Hall and I pretty knit scarves.
Pretty knit scarf given to me from a person at the food pantry
So I was perusing a members cook book and found these great recipes: Apple-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bites and Potato-Leek Soup with Ham. Could you make them and see if they are 1. do-able for me and 2. tasty :)
<Mom Note: The apple one looks do-able and yummy. It would be one of the most complicated recipes you have attempted, but you CAN do it. Do you have a rolling pin? A veggie peeler? And a muffin pan? If not, I could revamp it to make it easier.> sounds like someone doubts my attention span and reading skills :) Nah, that's ok. We can totally borrow from a member. They love us here. 
I just used box mixes to make the Snickerdoodles and Sugar Cookies. Unlike some recipes, I don't have those ones memorized and I'd definitely rather not do them without a mixer. I made pumpkin cookies (also from a box mix) for district meeting and gave away some more peanut butter fudge. Everyone loves the fudge.
Peanut Butter Fudge using G-Ma's recipe :)
We have a birthday dinner and a Thanksgiving dinner scheduled... Well, we actually have two B-Day dinners and two Thanksgivings ;) Since we have two wards everyone wants to show there appreciation, so two dinners :)
OH!!! And super exciting!!!!!! We will be going to the temple next week!!!!!!!!!! And for Christmas we get to watch a movie, I am so excited. We will be watching "How To Train Your Dragon 2".
I'll send you some pictures from the baptism from my camera. It went so so well. At first there were so many problems and we didn't know if it was gonna happen. Nikki has a pretty severe medical issue. She has a hard time walking if it's longer than a minute or two and because of that she has to be carried into the font. Problem --> Central Point baptismal font stairs are very narrow and steep... Change of venues required. TO MEDFORD!! Hallelujah!!! Accessible Stairs acquired. Anyway, lots of things could've gone wrong with the baptism <Satan doing his dirty work> but ya know that righteousness always conquers :)
Sister Hall, Nikki, and Sister Duenas at Nikki's baptism
So I'm hearing a lot of missionaries around me signing up for classes and doing other college stuff. Do I need to worry or think about any of that? I feel like I can do/learn the culinary things throughout my life and/or take classes over time. I'd really like to focus on the Studio Art thing and have that be my career focus. Then as my back up safety net it'd be cooking and stuff. So what do I need to do? Cause missionaries can get permission from President to work on their applications and stuff. Will the 3D/Studio Art program involve a lot of drawing? Cause I don't think I'd be able to do that very well, whereas I think I'd be good at sculpting and ceramics and stuff like that. Colors and 3D I think work better for me.
Found this and thought it was totally cute <3
HA! Well, I'm not 21 yet <still one day left>, but I feel old for sure.
NO SNOW WHAT SO EVER HERE in Central Point :(((
BYE!!! Love you bunches!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Staying in Central Point (11/17/2014)

Hey hey hello!
Transfer news - So yep I'm still in Central Point, and still training Sister Hall :)
I am still assigned to serve in two wards at the same time and it's just awesome! We are always busy.
We will be having a baptism this weekend! Super exciting.
Our new District Leader is Elder Galloway, who will be performing the baptism this weekend with his companion.
Sister Hall and I will be giving the opening and closing prayers for the baptism, and other ladies that our investigator knows will be giving the talks on baptism and on the Holy Ghost.
Super cool about that picture of the Cruz family (Great Uncles and Great Grandfather) that you sent. I'd love to do some family history when I get home. There's some cool stuff out there.
Haven't seen the CES Devotional but it looks good.
A member we are working with has a farm. We get to play with the animals when we visit them.

Don't worry about the gloves, I still have my pink ones for now :). I'm sure they looked fine. Everything you make is awesome. 
Speaking of awesome I made the peanut butter fudge for the Central Point 1st Ward correlation meeting and to randomly just give out to people. 
I even gave out the recipe to our Senior Missionary couple because Sister Pease liked it so much :) It was super rich! 
I think I've either gotten desensitized to OUR family's cooking dinner or I did the recipe wrong and I know I followed it exactly. Rich, but people love it. 
So far I've made Snickerdoodles, Sugar Cookies, peanut butter fudge and Pancit. 
The new District Leader has asked if I could bring snacks to our district meetings now. Guess I got a new calling ;)
I'd really like our Mac n cheese recipe, hamburger peas and rice, and the scrambled breakfast casserole dish thingy would be nice too :) And please send the brownie recipe and stuff! 
I think that's very likely what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. Make food to bring smiles and hopefully do my color artist thing too! Go to college for both is my plan :)
There wasn't anything super special about the week. Just baked, served the lord and studied bunches <3
A super cool quote from Gospel Principles class when we were talking about Talents.
Just sent you a surprise! Hope you get it :) love you!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Decide to Seek the Light (11/10/2014)

Hey Mumzy,
This will be a shorter email for me as well. Since this is the last Monday of the transfer, we will be doing Zone activities. We will either be doing frisbee, volleyball or wiffleball. We were going to hike Table Rock, a huge plateau thingy here in Central Point, but too many weren't in favor of it. 
If you go to Sister Hall's FB you can find a picture of us together at the temple. Speaking of the temple....we will be going there for endowments either at the end of November or the beginning of December!! So, So excited!
The temple tour with our investigator went very well of course. Brother Gorze knew so much about it and was able to answer a lot of our investigator's questions. We will definitely be utilizing the temple more often.
One of our investigators (not the one that went on the temple tour) is going to get baptized on the 22nd!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Yep, I got the box from Lynne. Let's just say it made me very happy. Two beautiful soft scarves, mac n cheese, my fave candy and a nice sweatshirt jacket. I will send them a letter this week or next since I don't know when this zone activity is going end.
A puzzle that I completed recently
Our Stake Conference was yesterday and our speakers were: President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Kent F. Richards and Sister Jean A. Stevens. It was pretty amazing and I got lots of good notes.

Elder Neil L. Andersen
- Christ has told us to Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.
- Virtues of FAITH, DILIGENCE, PATIENCE - Alma 32:41-43
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and you faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.
- We should speak more of the Savior and of His divine mission.

Sister Jean A. Stevens
- Little by little, love changes hearts
- Alma 37: 6-7 small and simple things
6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me, but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by the very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
- Never give up in keeping your covenants.

President Thomas S. Monson
Notes from Pres Monson's talk at Stake Conference
Elder Kent F. Richards of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke about Light and the importance of deciding to seek the light. 
- Light is good and is always more powerful than darkness, and is truth conveyed through the Holy Spirit. 
- The wonders and need of sunshine is only made sweeter by the ever present rain.
- Lehi's dream - started in darkness and only by prayer and faith (exercising faith) was he able to get to the light.
- The Brother of Jared, himself, came up with a way to dispel darkness. The Lord allows us to learn how to seek the light, to grow and to leave darkness and to step into the light by seeking Him and exercising faith.
- This light is within every child's reach.
- Even if we can't see the tree (light), we can hold onto the iron rod in the darkness and hold to the path and and come out in the end having endured.
The next pic is my continued study from this morning on bringing light into our lives (In the Book of Mormon - Helaman 5: 38-43).

We must work for the light to always be with us. Someone told me once that our testimonies are like light bulbs. There are only a couple watts for them to go out. Either we let them fade and die out because of forgetfulness and our inaction in using it; we take it out ourselves or flip the switch, meaning that we willingly abandon the things we know to be true and good preferring the darkness or we can be aware of our light and testimony and when we see that it is starting to flicker (doubts, trials, questions) we take action, go out and get a fresh bulb (studying, praying, exercising faith and enduring to the end) so that our light will never go out and our testimony is always increasing in strength. Take care of the light you have. Decide now to seek the light, choose to follow Christ's brightest example. Because, in all honesty, darkness never was happiness even if they have all the cookies and brownies in the world. It's just not worth it.
Got to go now. Bye! Love you! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ephesians 2 - Fitly Framed Together (11/03/2014)

Hey Mommy,
So since we had to chauffeur the other sisters in our area around for P-Day I didn't have time to write your letter :(  They ran out of miles for the month so they couldn't drive until Saturday when their miles get renewed. So, here's a pic of ma face for you instead <3

In ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) that we had just last Friday, yep right on Halloween, we had this great scripture to focus on. It's Ephesians 2:19-22.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;
21 In whom the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an inhabitation of God through the Spirit.
We focused on the part that says "fitly framed together". We related this to our missions and how we as servants of the Lord need to be working together. That message in itself is pretty great, but then you look up the meaning of the word "fitly" and it gets even more AWESOME!!! Fitly means "of a suitable quality, standard or type to meet the required purpose; having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently". 
Isn't that awesome?! When we all (and this doesn't just go for missionaries) work together as a body fitly framed together we can literally do anything when we put ourselves in the Lords hands.
We will be giving a temple tour to one of our investigators too tomorrow so that'll be nice and super spiritual! And we have the temple maintenance president guy to help us out in telling her about it so that'll be nice. It's so great having the temple so close.
Also could you pray for one of our investigators? We are going to be inviting her to baptism this week....Prayers would be nice :)

Those pictures <of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" movie to be released in 2015> are just too funny. And you're right in both accounts. I think it's a bit funny but also I am mortified that someone is using these precious characters so dreadfully. Jane Austen is rolling in her grave, I just know it.
This isn't quite how I remember it <the Pancit> looking, but it tasted good to me and my companion and the Elders.
Sister Duenas made Pancit for District Meeting
The wok was a bit small for it and we forgot a lid, but other than that it was pretty easy. The wok was so small that, even though I stirred it at the slowest pace possible, it just got everywhere! Haha...oops, but at least it was super fun to make. I followed the recipe exactly so I don't know what happened. It was rather bland to my taste. Everyone liked it though. None of them had ever had it before. When I first mentioned it all I had to say was I'm going to cook something and they were all for whatever it was. 
These Elders don't care what it is as long as they get food :) So silly. They're like little puppies. 
So here's basically how the conversation went when I initially mentioned making Pancit for District Meeting:
Me - Hey Elders, I'm thinking of making some food for next district...
Elders1 - (before I could finish) You cook? Sweet! Yeah totally.
Me - Yeah I'm gonna make...
Elders1 - (to other Elders) hey Sister Duenas is going bring food next time!
Elders2 - Really? Sweet food!
Me - Yeah I got this Guamanian dish...
Elders1 - oh sweet, Islander food! Yeah you bring and we'll eat it. Thanks Sister.
Me - (finally given up) Yeah no problem. Later Elders.   **Me thinking - guess they don't care what it is, and I could be making something completely gross and they wouldn't even know** sigh, Elders.

The ward here had a trunk or treat on Halloween night, but it was at 630 and we had to be in our apartments by 6, so we couldn't go. But that's ok, since the members are giving us all their extra candy anyways ;)    

Some things I saw and did on Halloween :
Passed this awesomely decorated haunted house
Tortured, I mean, made a dog pretty in a Santa Paws costume - at the request of her owner of course :)
Followed the "Ghostbusters" on the way back home. Safest I've ever felt on my mission <smirk, wink> ;)
For Service this week, we will be doing more temple grounds work on Tuesday and we have some more wood splitting is in store and we might be helping with some demolition next week as well. Lots of fun stuff. 
The wood splitting is for an older couple preparing for winter. They've got tons of wood. We got a wood-splitter and they won't let us Sisters handle the machinery. More like the boys want to play with their toys ;) So, we Sisters stack the wood. And apparently I do such a great job at it that everyone else just chucks the wood at me and let's me put it all into place. They don't want to use their brain that early in the morning to make sure everything fits and is secure. I'm happy to do it, but my back always kills me when we are finished. Last time we stacked five rows deep of wood and about 12 feet across, and 5 and half feet tall. Lots of wood. Ok, well actually, Elder Pease, the Senior Missionary, handles the machine, while the Elders lift the wood onto it and carry the split wood (or pitch it) to me. Sister Hall takes care of the smaller pieces and puts them on a wagon, which is also dragged to me and stacked.

Okie dokes. I gots to go now :(
TTM! <3<3<3