Monday, December 26, 2016

Week Fifty-One: Baptisms and Temple

Lucas's Baptism
Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana Luquette

This week was a doozy. Christmas was the best and we really did see a TON of miracles during the course of the week. The spirit of the Christmas really does exist!

We started out this week without a P day because we went to the temple on Tuesday. We spent that time trying to contact some referrals that we had been trying to see for a while. One of the referrals was for a couple of old ladies that a random man on the street told us to go and talk to. When we got to the door, we started talking to the lady and she wasn't super interested because she and her sister were about to have dinner. She was about to tell us to come back another time when her sister came up to the door and invited us in to eat. We weren't about to turn down a free meal, so we agreed. They actually ended up giving us some pretty yummy lentils and egg tacos and we were able to share about the Restoration afterwards. They invited us back last night. We went after our Christmas dinner with a member, but we discovered that they had prepared us an entire dinner for our visit. We tried to tell them that we just ate, but they told us to just eat one taco. That led to us each eating three tacos and some tamales. It was fun!

On Tuesday, we went down to the temple in Los Angeles. It was super fun going down there and seeing all of the hermanas from around the mission. I love the temple so much and it was a super spiritual experience. I am so grateful for all of the blessings in my life that come from the temples that we have!

At the Los Angeles Temple
It was a little swished in the back seat on our way to the temple.
Right after the temple trip, we went on exchanges with Hermana Zambrano and Hermana Badger. I was with Hermana Zambrano again! I always love going with her and getting to talk and work with her again. It is super fun seeing all of the ways that she has grown over the time that we haven't been together. She is super sweet. While we were out, we decided to go see one of our recent converts. When we went over to her house, she had some company over but she let us in. She invited her friend to listen to us, so we started sharing about the Restoration with her friend. It turns out that she already knew about all about it because our recent convert had already told her everything. She was already planning to come to church. It was super cool to see the member missionary work!

Friday was probably the biggest day of the week. In the beginning, we had a morningside with the Laytons. When we got there, we all had a big breakfast. Afterwards, we sat down and watched It's A Wonderful Life as a mission. It was so good. It was really strange watching a worldly movie for a little bit, but it is one of my favorite movies of all time, so it was a wonderful Christmas treat. Afterwards, we did a gift exchange. During the whole time, I felt so happy. It was nice to know that Christmas is a happy time, no matter where you are!
The hermanas at the morningside.
On Friday night, we had the baptisms of our investigators Jesse and Lucas. It was super cool. I was so happy that I was able to be a part of teaching them and helping them to progress to the point where they could enter into that covenant. We have been working with Jesse for a while to help him to overcome his doubts and his fears, so it was super special to see him get baptized. His mother is a member of the church, so he has heard about the gospel for a long time, but he was finally able to see all the ways that it could bless his family, so he decided to take the step of baptism. Lucas was super prepared right from the beginning and he has been super excited about baptism for a long time. Being able to teach him really let me see the way that the Lord has been preparing people. There were a ton of events that were leading him to the gospel before we ever talked to him. I felt really blessed to be able to teach them and to watch their baptisms and confirmations!
Jesse's baptism with Hermano Rodier, who performed the baptism.
Saturday was a super interesting day. We were walking around outside during the day because we didn't have a ton of appointments. It was cold and people were not acting super interested, so we were feeling a little discouraged. Our one hope was that we could convince someone to watch Joy to the World with us. It is about 45 minutes long, so we thought that we could combine a good teaching experience with an opportunity to get out of the cold. Before we left the car, we prayed that someone would let us watch the movie, but everyone we talked to was semi-rude to us. While we were talking to a group of men fixing their car, it started to hail. We thought that it was just the cherry on the ice cream to our day. Right after that, we saw a lady unloading groceries from her car. We offered to help her and she let us. After we brought in a couple of things, she asked us to share a scripture. We did and then offered to share the movie with her and her family. To our surprise, she said that we could. We were able to talk to the family until our next appointment and they were super nice. It was a Christmas miracle.

Exchanges with Hermana Zambrano
Christmas day was super nice. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice that he made for us. I am so happy that we can have happiness in this world through Christ and I am so grateful for this gospel in my life. I love you all and I hope that you have a happy last week of the year!

Hermana Blau

Christmas skyping with the family!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week Fifty: Christmas Tamales

Me supporting Dad's Mizzou graduation
Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana Luquette

This week was crazy and a lot happened. It is still getting a little colder every day, but I am sure it is nowhere close to what you are experiencing in other parts of the world. Things are really going well down here and we have been seeing lots of miracles!
Goodbye Hermana White
I guess that the biggest difference of this week is that Hermana White left for home and that I am now companions with Hermana Luquette. It was super strange saying goodbye to Hermana White. She and I had some really good times together and it is really strange to think that she isn't in the mission anymore, but I am sure that she is going to be doing good things. The night that she left, I spent a couple of hours working with some English sisters whose companions also were leaving. It was super strange being in English work for just a little bit, but it was fun! The next day, got together with Hermana Luquette. She is the nicest person that I have ever met and she really loves being a missionary. She was recently baptized, so she brings a really special spirit to the work and she has a really sweet testimony of the gospel. I really love working with her!
Hello Hermana Luquette!

This week, I realized just how close we are to Christmas. I don't think that I really noticed that the holidays were upon us until planning day. Christmas is next week! I am so excited. We have been trying to focus our contacts on the Christmas spirit. We have started opening all of our door contacts with caroling. The first time that we did that, the door we knocked on opened and the lady inside started telling us that she wasn't interested and that we should go away. When we started singing, she listened to us and was super nice to us. We were able to share a little bit with her. I think that the spirit really speaks to people through song.

We have been able to teach a lot of really interesting people this week. One of the coolest new people that we found belonged to a less active/part member family. We recently found the husband who is a member and we thought that the wife was also a member. We went over one day and found that she wasn't. We started talking to her and she was super receptive. She told us that she felt the spirit when we were talking and that she wanted to find a new church that would make her feel the peace of God. We were able to teach her about the Restoration and she was super excited. She told us that she would be reading the Book of Mormon right after we left her house.

We have been teaching a lot of lessons this week. One of our investigators, Julio, is just a little strange. He has been coming to church and progressing pretty well, but is an odd old man. We were in a lesson with him the other day and we asked him to say the prayer. He stood up and moved over to the wall of his house. Then he scratched his back against the wall for a straight minute while he was keeping straight eye contact with us. After that, he said a really beautiful prayer. In another lesson that we had with him, he gave us hot chocolate and told us to put baby formula in it. I don't know if he knew what it was, so that is the story of how I drank baby formula for the first time in 19 years. He is a card.

This week, we had our ward Christmas party. It was super fun. We ate a ton of tamales and drank atole. It is really interesting being able to see the holidays from the perspective of a different culture. I am so exited for Christmas!!

On Sunday, we were going around doing visits to get our investigators to come to church. While we were walking down the street, we started talking to a man. I guess we talked to him a couple of weeks ago, but he told us that he would be coming to church. We didn't really believe him, but we invited him anyway. When we got to church, he was sitting there and talking to all of the members. He said that he really liked it and that he wants to come back next week. The people here in Arvin are super cool!

That is just about it for this week. I am super excited for Christmas (I don't know if you all could tell) and I am sure that the Holidays will be a great time for everyone. I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas and that you remember the reason for the season!

Hermana Blau

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week Forty:Nine: A Little Winter Wonderland

Hermana White and I with our investigator, Julio
Area: Arvin Spanish Branch
Companion: Hermana White

This week has been a crazy one. It was the last week of Hermana White, so we were working extra hard to squeeze every little bit of the time and energy that we had to make the most of it. We saw a lot of miracles and we were able to see the hand of the Lord.

One day this week, we went out to go work before having lunch. We were talking to everyone and sharing with all with such intensity that we didn't realize that we hadn't eaten lunch until almost 3. We went home and ate a relatively large lunch rather quickly because we had a four o'clock appointment with our investigator Julio. When we got there, we discovered that he had bought us a TON of tacos and hot chocolate (he recently gave up coffee when we taught about the Word of Wisdom :)). We ate a ton there and taught him a little bit. After that, we continued on to our dinner that a member was giving to us. After that, I was feeling more than a little full, but we continued on to a lesson that we were having with a recent convert. When we got there, we discovered that he had bought pizza. I feel like I have never eaten more food in my entire life! Missionary struggles!

Arvin is a little winter wonderland! Most of the people around town keep their lights up all year long, but now that the Christmas time has come, all of the lights are up and it is absolutely stunning! As we drive down the street, I can't help but look at all of the beautiful houses and the Christmas cheer!

This week, Hermana White and Hermana Martineau went down to the temple with a couple of their recent converts who were taking their own family names with them. While it was going on, Hermana Zambrano and I were left to be companions again. We didn't have our normal P-day to do normal P-day things (except for emails), so Hermana Zambrano and I were on mini-exchanges for our P-day. It was really fun to be with Hermana Zambrano again and to go around Bakersfield running errands.

Last night, we decided to follow the spirit and let it guide us to the places that we needed to be for the last couple of hours of Hermana White's missionary service. We started out by stopping the car when Hermana White saw someone that she wanted to talk to. When we talked to him, he wasn't really interested, but he was able to refer us to his Aunt who was really cool. We finished talking to her and we went to go visit a part member/less active family that we met a couple of days ago. We weren't able to talk to the member father, but we did talk to the son, who was actually super cool. On the way out of the apartment complex, we saw a man sitting on his second floor balcony. We called up to him and shared a little with him while he was looking down on us. He actually had been through some really tough things and we were able to help him to find some peace in his situation. After that, we went to a trailer park and started talking to the people there. We were able to pick up a really cool investigator who was sitting with his girlfriend outside. That was the last moment of the night before we had to go home and do planning. It was a night full of miracles!

This upcoming transfer, I am going to be staying in Arvin with Hermana Luquette. I am super excited to be able to be companions with her. She is pretty much the nicest person that I have ever met and I am sure that we are going to have a blast this upcoming transfer! 

I hope that you are all having a good time at home and that you are able to appreciate the spirit of Christmas. I think that the Light the World campaign is so cool. I love how we can be like the Savior in that. We can't all make as big of a sacrifice as He did, but we can help all the world in our own little ways. I hope that you all are able to find service opportunities during this special time of the year!

I love you all and I hope that you have a good week!

Hermana Blau
The packing tornado of Hermana White

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week Forty-Eight: Following Christ

Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana White

This week has been really good. We have been working hard down here in Arvin and teaching everyone that we see. It has been really fun getting ready for Christmas during these past couple of weeks. I feel like I have been seeing the influence of Christ during this last little bit in great abundance!

This week, we had a lesson with one of our investigators about tithing and fasting. It was all going pretty well and he agreed to live both of the laws. When we started explaining about fast offerings, Hermana White accidentally said something about giving away the money that we eat. It wasn't any stranger than any of the other mistakes that we make in Spanish, but Hermana White and I looked at each other and started laughing. Once we started, we couldn't stop for a couple of minutes. I am sure that our investigator and our member thought that we were going crazy, but they were patient while we got ourselves together. In the end, it turned out to be a pretty good lesson.
The Navarro Family. They are super cute!
Things have been winding down to the end of Hermana White's mission. Next week, she will be going home and I will get a new companion. That being said, she went on the departing missionary temple trip last Friday and I went with Hermana Luquette and Hermana Badger to live the trio life for a couple of hours. It was a really strange experience! I think that we spend a lot of time as missionaries working to get ourselves used to life in a two person companionship that when we change to working in something other than that, it totally throws us off. Despite the strangeness, it was really fun. We spent a couple of hours working in their area, which happens to be the only Hermana area in the entire mission that I have not served in. It was super cool to spend some time looking around and talking to people there.

We have been working a lot with our recent converts to try and help them to work on their family history. With one in particular, we have been going over a lot to try and help her to find a name to take to the temple. She was able to find some family information about her grandmother, so we went over to help her to set up an account on family search and to print out the name. When we got there, we discovered that she didn't have a computer, so we had to try and use her phone to set it all up. The screen wasn't big enough to let us see all of the web page and all of the instructions were in Spanish, so we were struggling a little bit. To make it all worse, her birth information was inputted wrong in the church records, so we had to find out how to work with that. About every ten minutes, we would have a break through and get a little bit closer to putting in the name. Finally, after two hours, we were able to get her a name to take to the temple. At the end, she told us that we have to learn how to do things step by step, but sometimes they are the steps of an ant. I am a little worried to have to use technology again someday!
Our district. It's a little hermana heavy!
This week, we have been showing a lot of people the new Christmas video from the church. I have been thinking a lot about the example of Jesus Christ. We can all learn so much from studying the life of Christ and doing the things that he did. I am so grateful for the opportunity to change and become better every day of my life through Jesus Christ and to be able to serve the Lord literally all day long, every day. It is such a blessing to be a missionary!

Well, that is just about it for the week. I hope that you all are doing good things and that Christmas preparations are going well for you. I love you all so much. Have a good week!

Hermana Blau

The dusty air in Arvin every time the weather changes. Scary!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week Forty-Seven: Happy Thanksgiving!

Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana White

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all had a good time and that you were able to think about all of the things that you are thankful for. We were able to see a lot of miracles and to witness many good things in our area, so we definitely have a lot to be thankful for out here. Things are good out here in good old Arvin, California!

A new cold front moved in and it has been raining down here in Arvin and snowing in the surrounding mountains. One cool feature about Arvin is that any time that the weather changes, the wind picks up and all of the dirt from the surrounding fields flies up into the air and moves in an ominous cloud towards the town. It is pretty scary! We were able to make it into the house of a recent convert and so we were safe!

This week, we started things out with an interesting exchange. We went on exchanges with the hermanas who are currently in Little Rock. It was really strange to go back there and see all of the places that I used to go to when I was training. I have been able to go on exchange to all of the areas where I have previously served, but I think that it was definitely the strangest to go there. We went out to a lesson with one of the hermanas's investigators and we took Hermana Lopez (the Relief Society President) as our member present. It was super cool to be able to see some of the members from the branch. The exchanges were super fun and we were able to learn a lot! We only have one exchange left this transfer and then we will be able to rest for a little bit before we start back up again.

This Thanksgiving, we were able to have a lot of fun and to celebrate in style. We started out in weekly planning for a while in the morning. We went out tracting for a while and tried to contact some referrals while all of the families were at home. Then, we had dinner with the Navarros (a family from the group). It was super good, although a little bit different from what I was used to. Instead of eating turkey, we ate posole (so yummy!). Afterwards, we all went around the table and talked about what we were grateful for. It made me think about Thanksgiving at home, but I am super glad that I am out here as a missionary. I love being able to help people change their lives and to come closer to Christ!

On Saturday, we were able to go to the baptism of one of the people that we have been teaching, Daniel. He was taught for a little bit by Hermanas White and Martineau before I got to Arvin, and then I was able to teach him for about three weeks while I was up here. The week before the baptism, we decided to let the English elders start to teach him because he speaks English much better than Spanish and he wanted to go to the English ward. It was a little sad, because he got baptized just a week later, but it was still a really good service and we were able to feel the spirit a lot. We were able to go to the sacrament meeting in the English ward to see the confirmation the next day, as well. It was super cool!
This Sunday, we were able to see a lot of our investigators at church. A couple of people that we found on the street and didn't have the opportunity to teach showed up on their own as well. I met one of the guys a couple of weeks ago on exchanges outside of a restaurant when we were about to go to eat. He called us over and said that he had been taught by missionaries a couple of years ago and he had gone to church with them in Bakersfield. He didn't have a phone number and we didn't know his exact address, so we didn't think that we were ever going to be able to talk to him again. Imagine our surprise when we walked into church and saw him there. He said that he just decided to come and he walked there by himself. It turns out that he is friends with one of the members and that he wants to start coming to church every week. It was a Thanksgiving miracle!

Well, that is just about it for the week. We saw a lot of miracles and we were able to give thanks in style. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and to come closer to Jesus Christ and to help others to do the same. I am so grateful for the Gospel and for the sacrifice of the Atonement. I love all of you at home and I am glad to be out here. I hope that you all have a good week!

Hermana Blau

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week Forty-Six: Spontaneous Service Opportunities

We had a cookie bakeoff for our district activity, and these were our contribution.
Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana White

This was a pretty good week. We were able to help and teach a lot of people and I could see the hand of the Lord in our work.

This week, it started to get cold. I am sure that you all would laugh at me back home for being such a wuss when it comes to the temperatures. It gets to be in the fifties during the night time and I start to shiver even though I have my big coat on. I feel like we have been praying all summer for the cold to come and now that it is here, we will start praying for the heat. It does make it easier to feel like the holidays are coming around. Many of the Spanish speaking people down here leave their Christmas lights up on their house year round, but they have finally started to turn them on and Arvin is turning into a little winter wonderland.

One fun story from Arvin. Because Arvin is just a little town, it is really easy to see a lot of strange things going around. For example: We had just finished praying in our car before leaving for an appointment when we looked up and saw a man on a bicycle making his way in our direction. The closer he got, the more strange he looked. The man was shirtless and covered in tattoos. What we thought was a helmet on his head actually turned out to be a tee shirt wound as a turban. He was holding something in his hand. Right before he passed by our car, we realized that it was a live (and rather surprised) chicken. After he passed, Hermana White and I just stared at each other in shock, trying to process what happened. There is nothing like missionary work to let you see just a little of all of the strange things that people do in their free time.

We had some more exchanges this week. On Tuesday, I was feeling a little bit of dejavu (I don't know how to spell that word, so I hope you can tell what it means! :)) because I went down to Buena Vista again with Hermana Zambrano. It felt like I was coming back from really long exchanges with Hermana White and returning to my actual area. We were able to work in the area and visit a couple of the hermanas's new investigators. It was bizarre!

We have been having a lot of spontaneous service opportunities this week. Last Monday, we were finishing our grocery shopping in Walmart when we met an old lady who was shopping for her Thanksgiving meal. After we were finished paying for our things, we asked if she needed help taking her things out to her car. She said that she did, so we left to help. She didn't really remember where she had parked, so we ran around the parking lot until we were able to locate her car and we put all of her groceries inside. She was super sweet and thanked us. She told us that she was praying that she would find someone nice to help her out. Service is super sweet!

Later this week, we were doing some street contacting in a residential area. We hadn't really talked to anyone that was super cool, so we were about to head back to our car and go somewhere else. Right before we got there, we saw a door and felt like we should knock on it. After we had done so, a lady opened up and started talking to us. She was being a little short with us and was trying to tell us that she wasn't interested when I said, "We felt inspired by God to be in this area and we felt specifically inspired to knock on your door. We don't know what our purpose is here, but we would like to share a message with you." After that, the lady opened up the door and invited us in. She actually ended up being really cool and we were able to teach her the entire Restoration. It was a real testimony builder to me that God really does inspire us and sends us to the people who need to hear from us.

Well, that is just about it for the week. Things are going well down here in Arvin and we are seeing lots of miracles. We are working with lots of cool people and they are progressing really well. It is so amazing to be able to see the Atonement at work in people's lives and to help them to learn about the happiness that comes through Christ. I love being a missionary. I hope that you all have a good week and that you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Hermana Blau

Hermana Luquette's reaction to our cookies.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week Forty-Five: Elder Bednar Speaks with Fire!

Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana White

This week was pretty good. It started out with a couple of exchanges with the other hermanas and ended with a couple of conferences with Elder Bednar. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. I was able to feel the spirit really strongly and we have been working hard out here in little old Arvin.

Right now, we are working really hard with one of our investigators. He is a little old man from Chiapas and he is always really nice to us. I guess that Hermana White and Hermana Martineau had been working with him for a while before I came here, but he never seemed to be progressing (although he would always come to church and pray). This past week, we started working really hard on him to get him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He has problems with his eyes, so it is hard for him to read. We were feeling a little stuck and we didn't know exactly what to do to help him when we had a lesson earlier this week. When we got there, he told us that he had a dream that told him to keep learning from us. We were super excited. When we came back later this week, he told us that he had another dream where an angel told him to read in the Book of Mormon to find answers, even if it was hard. He had been reading the entire morning. It was super cool to see!

Later this week, I was on exchanges and we were trying to talk to one of our potential investigators. Only Hermana White had the address written down and I was positive that I would be able to find the house when I got there. It turned out that I couldn't remember which house it was, so we decided to knock on the couple of houses that looked familiar. On the first one that we knocked on, a young woman opened the door and we started talking to her. We told her that we were looking for someone who was looking for greater happiness and peace. She said that we were probably looking for her and we started teaching her. She was awesome! We were able to teach her about the Restoration and she accepted it all. After we finished talking to her, we were able to find the potential. It showed me that we will always be led to the people who are prepared to listen.

The most exciting part of the week was definitely when we listened to Elder Bednar! All of the missionaries in the entire mission came in to Bakersfield and we had the opportunity to talk to him and listen to him for three hours. It was a surreal experience. The spirit was super strong! It was a little strange because in the moment it didn't feel too much more than a zone conference (except with an Apostle of Jesus Christ!) He told us that we could ask any question that we wanted to and that he was one of the fifteen people in the entire world who could answer them. He talked a lot about the Sacrament and the fact that we are here to act in this world and not to be acted upon. It was indescribable. I loved listening to Elder Bednar and being instructed in such a small group. Elder Bednar was so good. He talks with fire! He talked all about baptism and how we need to teach people like they are people who act and not objects to be acted upon. It was really good! He told us about a couple of false doctrines and how to combat them. He is super funny and really spiritual. I wish we could have listened to him for longer!
On the way to see Elder Bednar
The missionaries in our Zone got the opportunity to hear Elder Bednar again because he came to our stake's conference the next day. It was super cool. We were able to get a couple of our investigators to come and they really liked it! It was like he was speaking to them. Halfway through the meeting, one of the members came up to Hermana White and I and told us to come into a back room with him. There were a limited number of translation headphones, and a couple of people had come late and weren't able to get a set. For the rest of the meeting, Hermana White and I whispered the translation of the talk to a couple of recent converts. It was a testimony to me of the gift of tongues! 

That was pretty much our week. It was full of the spirit and we were able to see a lot of miracles in the work. I am still loving it out here in Arvin and we are seeing a lot of success working with the people. I love this gospel and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to tell the world about how they can find happiness and come closer to God. I am a happy missionary! I hope that you all have a good week!

Hermana Blau

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week Forty-Four: Sister Training Leader

Area: Arvin Spanish Group
Companion: Hermana White

This week has been really crazy. I guess the biggest thing that has happened is that I am now working in a little town called Arvin and I am now a Sister Training Leader with. . . Hermana White. Surprise! It is super fun to be back with my trainer and the work is really going forward in this area. Life is good.

To start, I should probably give you all a little description of my new area. Arvin is a little town about 30 minutes south-east of Bakersfield. The entire town is a couple of roads roughly arranged in the shape of a rectangle surrounded by miles and miles of produce fields and entirely packed with Spanish speaking people. There are always a ton of people outside riding on bikes or walking through the parks in the town and there are tons of little alleys and hidden houses scattered throughout the town. It is super cute and really easy to fall in love with. We go to a little Spanish group for church that meets in a one room Veteran's Post. There are only around 40 people that come to church (so far!) and all of the members are super nice and loving. It is like a little family!

The little building where we meet for church.
It is interesting being back with Hermana White again. Everyday is an adventure when we are together and we always talk to the most interesting people. Last night, we started talking to a lady who was taking the seeds out of a lot of pomegranates. She wasn't super interested, but as we were walking away she called us back and gave us a couple of the pomegranates. We continued walking and we saw another lady. She asked us about the pomegranates that we had and we struck up a little conversation with her. It turns out that she is from Mexico and is temporarily in California working in the pomegranates. We kept talking to her and eventually were able to teach her the entire first lesson. In the end, she thanked us by giving us even more pomegranates! 

We are teaching a lot of really cool people right now. There are a couple of people who are preparing for baptism in the next couple of weeks. One of them is super cool. He encountered the church years ago while he was living in Mexico and Hermana White and Martineau just started teaching him right before I got transferred. He came to church the first week that he heard about the gospel and is really progressing!

My second day in the area, we got to go to the Mission Leadership Counsel with President and Sister Layton. I felt a little out of place, but everything ended up being really good in the end. It was a really spiritual experience and we were able to learn a lot about how the mission was doing and what we could do to help the people that we are working with. Hermana White and I are the only Sister Training Leaders for the hermanas, so we cover all of the Hermanas from Bakersfield to Palmdale. It is really interesting being able to serve all of them, but I am excited for the opportunity!

This week, we had a big party for all of the Spanish speaking people in Bakersfield -- The Fiesta Latina. It was super fun! There was food from all of the Spanish speaking countries in the Americas and there were a lot of traditional costumes and dances. One of the benefits of being a Spanish speaking missionary in the United States is that you get to experience a lot of different cultures from all around the world. It makes me want to be a world traveler. It was also super fun because we were able to see all of the members from all of the areas around Bakersfield, so I was able to talk to people that I haven't seen in a really long time.
At the Fiesta Latina
That is just about it for this week. It is hard to believe that all of that has happened since the last time that I wrote, but things are really going well. This next week is shaping up to be really good as well. Elder Bednar is going to be coming to visit our mission, so he is going to talk to all of the missionaries for three hours on Saturday. On Sunday, all of the missionaries in the East Bakersfield Zone are going to be blessed again because he is going to speak at our Stake Conference. I am super excited to be able to listen to the words of one of the apostles and I am looking forward to the advice that he will give us!

I hope that you all are having a good time at home and that you are having lots of good experiences. I am so happy to be out here as a missionary and to be serving the Lord. I love seeing the difference that the gospel makes in people's lives. I love you all. Have a good week!

Hermana Blau

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week Forty-Three: Happy Halloween!!

That is the reaction picture of me after the dog ate the Book of Mormon.
You can't really see the bites, but they are there!
Area: Buena Vista Spanish Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

First of all, Happy Halloween! Today, we have somewhat of a free day because we have to be inside of our house at six o'clock. It isn't really that exciting because we have been given some talks that we have to study during the time that we are inside. Also, I will be packing because I am going to be transferred tomorrow! I still don't know where I am going to go or who I am going to be with, but I will be leaving good old Buena Vista tomorrow morning, heading for greener pastures. It makes me a little sad, because I really love the members and the area, but it will be good to keep doing the work.

Another exciting thing that happened this week was my birthday. I am officially no longer a teenager. It was a little strange celebrating my birthday on the mission because there wasn't a lot of time to think about it, but everyone made an effort to make me feel loved. The STLs called me and sang Happy Birthday and President and Sister Layton called to wish me a happy birthday as well. Even Sister Ball, one of the missionaries from the office, came over and brought me a cupcake.  Our investigator, Claudia, took us out to dinner. It was all super nice and sweet. I opened the package that I got from home and discovered all of the candy inside. It was a wonderful surprise. Now, the only worry that we have in our apartment is not to get diabetes from all of the sugar that we have inside.

One funny story from the week: We talked to a lady who was sitting in her garage while we were walking down the street. She said that we could come back and share a little bit more, so we planned to come back another day. Right before we left, I saw a couple of little dogs in her yard and made sure to ask her if she had any big dogs. She told us that she didn't, so we foolishly thought that we were safe. Flash forward to a couple of days ago. We went back for our return appointment and we noticed that the little dogs were a little vicious, especially one little white one that started biting at the chain link fence when we walked past. We waited a little bit and the dog started to calm down, so we thought that it would be safe to walk inside the gate. I walked in and told Hermana Zambrano to stay outside (I just read the scripture where the Savior said that the greatest love is that one lays down his life for his friends. I thought that would apply to companions as well). I made it all the way inside the gate and decided that it would be a good idea to try and pet the vicious dog to make sure that it knew that we weren't going to kill it. No sooner did I touch the head of the dog but it started making moves to bite me. I put the Book of Mormon I had in my hand close to the dog so it would bite the book instead of my hand. It latched on to the book, but I was able to escape through the gate and yank the book out of the dogs mouth. Now, I have a souvenir  Book of Mormon with teeth marks all the way through to Alma!

We had a pretty cool experience with one of our less active families this week. We started working in an area and I felt like we needed to be somewhere else. We decided to try and see a sister who we knew from our records but who we had never met before. We had previously tried knocking on her door, but no one ever answered. We got to the sister's house and she opened the door and invited us in. I guess that she had a really bad day at work and she prayed for comfort. Right after she prayed, we knocked on the door. It was a witness that the spirit really does guide the work.

Right now, we are working with a really cool family. We have taught them a couple of time and they really want to learn more. The other week, we invited them to come to church, but it was Stake Conference, so they got lost looking for the Stake Center and ended going home. This week, we invited them again to come to church. We confirmed 30 minutes before, but as the meeting was starting, they still weren't there. We called them again and it turned out that they were lost again. We were able to guide them over the phone and they made it just in time for church. Everyday is an adventure!

Well, it has been another week and another transfer. I am sad to leave this area because I really love the people here, but I am excited to see what comes ahead. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. I hope that you all have a Happy Halloween!

Hermana Blau

Hermana Zambrano is all trained up!!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week Forty-Two: Our Spanglish Primary Program

Area: Buena Vista Spanish Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

This week was pretty good. It was a pretty tame week, but we were able to see a lot of cool things! Things are starting to cool down out here, so that is always nice.

One recurring theme that happened throughout the week was that we were able to help the ward a little bit with the primary program. One day, we went and did service at the Primary President's house making paper flowers for the center piece. I was able to help the Primary a little bit by playing the piano at one of the practices because the sister who was playing for the regular program couldn't be there. It was a super cute program. I think that there were more people at church than I have ever seen in this ward. It was a bit of a Spanglish presentation. Some of the songs were in Spanish and some were in English, but they were all super cute!

On one night this week, it was a little late and we didn't have very much to do, so we decided to try something different. I felt inspired that we should go and talk to the people at the taco stand by our apartment. We took the long way around. While we were walking along the road, we saw two young guys messing around on skateboards. We started talking to them and gave them our card. We finally made it to the taco stand. It turned out to be a super awkward experience and we didn't really find anyone interested to talk to. When we went home, we got a call from one of the young guys that we met. It turns out that he was actually interested in learning more. Sad news: he was English speaking. Hopefully, it will turn out well for the English elders.

We have been working a lot with the less active people in our ward. We have been trying to meet with all of the people in our area who could receive the Melchizedek priesthood, so we have been having some interesting experiences. We talked to one family who haven't been to church in a couple of years, but their daughter-in-law was pretty interested in talking to us.

One day this week, we were walking down the street late at night on our way to talk to one of the less active families in our area. Every time that it gets really windy, the dust starts blowing around. This makes the visibility remarkably low. We were walking down the street when it was super dusty and we saw someone coming up out of the distance. We couldn't really see what it was until it came right next to us. When the image became clearer, we saw that it was a person riding on a skateboard with a skull mask and a long green wig. I thought that we were walking in a nightmare! We were able to find shelter in the less active's house, so we didn't end up reenacting a horror movie.

We have been working with a lot of cool families recently, and things are going along really well with them. We have been able to see a lot of miracles while we have been teaching. The Lord really does direct His work! I love being a missionary and being able to tell people about how they can apply the Atonement in their lives.

I hope that you all have a good week and that you are able to have some adventures. Enjoy fall!

Hermana Blau

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week Forty-One: My Jurassic Park Moment

Area: Buena Vista Spanish Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

Howdy y'all! This has been a really good week and we have had a lot of adventures our here in the great Bakersfield mission. We have been spending some time teaching some really cool people and we have had a lot of conferences, so we have been able to receive a lot of inspiration and instruction.

One of the big things that happened this week is that we have started going to a place called Pumpkin Center. Our area is on the very southern edge of Bakersfield, so we cover all of the area surrounding that edge of the city. There are several little towns in las afueras that we haven't been going to very much because we have been trying to visit the main parts of the town, but we decided that it would be worth our time to stop by this week. Pumpkin Center is about 10 streets in the middle of a bunch of dirt, but a ton of Spanish speaking people live there. Despite the name, there isn't a pumpkin to be seen. We were able to talk to a ton of people who were eating at the taco trucks and hanging out in their yards. It is a super fun place!

We found an investigator down there named Francisca. She is a young mother of two and her family is super cute. The first time we met her, we walked into her yard and knocked on her door. The second time, the gate was locked. Hermana Zambrano asked if there was a dog inside and I laughed her to scorn because we hadn't seen a dog the last time. I walked right into the gate and made it to the door of the trailer when I heard Hermana Zambrano say, "Hermana, look out. There is a dog!" I turned around a saw a giant pit bull out of the corner of my eye. It hadn't seen me yet, so I was trying to gauge my options between knocking on the door and hoping that they opened it in time and sneaking around the car to get to the gate while not letting the dog see me. I chose to walk around the car. The entire time, Hermana Zambrano was telling me that the dog was walking around the car and about to see me. Picture the scene in Jurassic Park when the little kids are running away from the raptors and you would know about how I felt in that moment. I had almost made it to the gate when I looked and saw that the dog was right behind me. In the end, it turned out that the dog was actually super nice and friendly. We walked back and knocked on the door and I could still feel all the  adrenaline. I was shaky for a couple of minutes after that! jaja

We didn't have dinner one night this week, so we decided to go and eat at one of the taco stands that are all around town. We parked outside of the one that we had chosen, and the lady who ran the stand came out and stared at us while we were in the car. We were a little concerned about it, but we walked out and started towards the stand. She called out to us and asked us if we were missionaries. Then she told us that she was a member of the church and had recently moved from El Salvador. She hadn't been able to find the church and she wanted to go back to church. It was super cool how the Lord put us in her path! Also, she made us super good pupusas!

We have started teaching a couple of really cool families recently. We went over to teach one family and after the lesson, they said that they had some cake for us. We were super excited! They brought the cake out and cut the pieces for us. When we asked them what kind of cake it was, we discovered that coffee was one of the ingredients. After a quick word of wisdom lesson, we told them that we couldn't eat it. I felt really bad because they had gotten the cake special for us, but after we told them, the hermana said that she totally understood and got out some chocolate cereal for us to eat. It was super funny and we all had a good laugh. They are super cool!

Things are going well in the work. We had a member of the seventy (Elder Cook) visit the mission and we had a really good training with him. The next day, the South Bakersfield Stake had it's stake conference and Elder Cook stayed to train the Stake. It was really cool to be able to hear from one of the general authorities and to receive teachings from him!

That is about it for this week. We have been having nicer weather down here. It rained last night for the first time in about six months, so we have been enjoying the water. I hope that you all have a good week at home!

Hermana Blau

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week Forty: Half-Way Done!!!

The cutest moment of my mission! A less active family in our ward has two baby
kittens, and they let me feed them! My face looked like that for the entire time. SO CUTE!
This week was pretty good. We were able to see a lot of miracles. One of the biggest ones is that I completed the first half of my mission! It seems like it was only yesterday that I was just starting out in the MTC. I can hardly believe that I am here! I still feel like I have a ton to learn and that there is so much that I can improve, but I can see that I have changed a lot over the past nine months. Time is crazy!

One of the miracles this week happened when we decided to go contacting in the park. It was only after we got to the park that we realized that it was two in the afternoon on a weekday and that no one was there. We decided to go knocking in the houses around the park instead. In the first house that we knocked on, we met a lady who was super excited to see us. It turns out that she had learned from the missionaries twelve years ago in Los Angeles and that she loved the church. She kept calling us her princesas and  invited us in to eat. Because we were late to our dinner appointment, we made a return appointment and left. When we went back, she invited us right in and we taught the first lesson. In the middle, we were asking her why she stopped meeting with the missionaries. It turns out that she had talked with one of the members and they had told her that the church didn't believe in using medicine and that she should give all of the money that she would have spent of medicine for a really horrible disease that she had and give it to the church. She was upset about that and decided to stop meeting with the missionaries even though she loved them and the church. We were able to tell her that we didn't believe in that. After we told her that, she looked at us with tears in her eyes and told us that we didn't know what a difference that made for her. The spirit was super strong! She is really excited to meet with us now and really wants to move forward.
Me and a bag of Chick Fil A that we found outside of our apartment.
It had two chicken sandwiches and kids toys. We don't know if it was left for us,
so we left it. Nobody came and took it, so it is still a mystery why it was there.
We threw it away in the end. Que triste!
We have been getting a lot of food recently. I don't know what has been happening recently, but every time that we leave someone's house, they give us a giant bag of food to take home. One of the members of the bishopric works for Nabisco, so he gave us a giant bag of crackers and cookies after we left his house. Last night we met a lady who works in la uva and she gave us giant bags of grapes when we left (even though she wasn't super interested in learning from us). We hardly had to spend any money on groceries this week. Que milagro!

All of the sisters in our zone at an In N Out.
One of the benefits of serving on the west coast!
This week, we have had a couple of people chase us down to talk to us. One of them was a person that we talked to at the beginning of last transfer named Reyes. We had gone back to his return appointment and almost gotten eaten by his vicious dog. While we were walking past his house late at night, he was sitting with his friends outside. He chased us down and told us that he hadn't been able to meet with us because he had lost his teeth while he was working and felt embarrassed. He told us that he was still interested in learning, so we went back to talk to him later that week and had a really good lesson.

The other night, we were walking through the area by our house late at night right before going home and I thought that I heard someone call my name. I looked around and didn't see anyone, so we kept walking. Right before we walked in the door of our house, we got a call from a man that we had talked to a couple of weeks ago. It turns out that we had walked right past his house and he wanted to talk to us again. He had called my name, but we didn't realize what had been happening. We were able to go back last night and talk to him and his family. They were super cute and the lesson went pretty well!

I guess that is pretty much it for this week. We have been seeing really good things in the area and we have been working with some super cool people. I have definitely been able to see the hand of the Lord in the work and I love being a missionary!

I hope that you all have a good week and that fall is going well. It is just starting to show up here. I love you all!

Hermana Blau
Our zone after our zone training meeting.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week Thirty-Nine: The Perfect Storm

On exchanges with Hermana Martineau

Area: Buena Vista Spanish Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

This week was an interesting one. I really think that I have been able to grow and see the hand of the Lord in the things that we have been doing. It is always good to have a spiritual high from General Conference.

This week, we had exchanges. I left with Hermana Martineau and travelled up to Arvin (always a fun place to be). It is just a couple of homes, a lot of dirt, and is surrounded by grape fields. It was a pretty good exchange. Right in the middle, we started talking to a weatherman. While we were telling him about the Restoration, he looked at the sky and noticed that it was quickly darkening and that there was lightning flashing a couple of miles away. I guess that he was scared of lightning, so he ran inside his house. We were walking back to the car when we noticed that the dust was starting to blow a lot. We made it to the car and started driving to a member's house to find shelter, but the dust was so bad that I couldn't see the road and we had to pull over. Then it started to pour down rain. The rain mixed with the dust in the air and so it started to rain down mud. It was pretty much the strangest weather that I have experienced in my entire life. We finally made it to the member's house. When we got there, one of her nonmember friends was there and we were able to teach her as well. It turned out to be a pretty good lesson. When we left the house, the sky was clear, there was a rainbow, and you could see the mountains that are normally hidden by pollution. It was pretty miraculous.

While we were walking around the other day, we talked to a young man. He said that he was busy and that we could come back later that afternoon. We were a little skeptical, but we went back later and talked to him. He said that he is going through some really hard things in his life right now and that he wants to come closer to God and to learn more of him. We sat and talked to him for a long time about the things that are going on in his life and how the gospel of Jesus Christ can help him. I have really gained a testimony lately about how every single person on the earth can benefit from learning about and coming closer to Jesus Christ. It really is amazing!

One morning, we were walking down the street in the outskirts of the city when we heard banda music coming from behind one of the houses. Hermana Zambrano thought that there might be another house behind the one we could see from the road, so we decided to go check it out. It turned out that it was just the backyard of the house we could see (imagine that!) but we decided that it would be too strange to walk away once they had seen us, so we walked right into the backyard. We decided to steer clear of the drunken poker game that was going on in the barn, but we were able to talk to someone who was sitting outside. After avoiding his drunk friends, we were able to get his information and set up a time that we could see him again. We went back to see him yesterday and started talking to him. It turns out that he is a war veteran and that he has been struggling with some issues relating to that. When we told him about the message of the Restoration, he was super excited that there are modern day prophets. It made me think about how we are guided to do some strange things sometimes. I guess Heavenly Father knows what he wants to have happen.

Speaking of guidance, General Conference was amazing! I feel like all of the talks were speaking directly to me. I loved the Saturday Afternoon session. I feel like the entire thing was all about missionary work and how we can help others to have the same joy that we experience. We were able to help one of our investigators to watch the talk the President Monson gave and he said that it was incredible and that you couldn't deny that he was speaking the truth. I second that! I love that we are able to receive direction from God through the modern day prophets.

That is pretty much it for the week. I really love the mission and I can't believe that I am already nine months in. I feel like I just came here, but I know that I have been growing and changing so much. I wouldn't change it for the world! I hope that you all have a good week back home!

Hermana Blau

The dust storms. Scary!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week Thirty-Eight: Where I Need to Be

Area: Buena Vista Spanish Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

This week was super good. We were able to see a lot of miracles and to meet a lot of cool people. The work is going on here in Buena Vista!

One of the good things about living in our area is that we don't have to use our car that much. In combination with the cooler weather, we have been walking a lot and getting to see our area a lot more. We have been trying new approaches to try and meet people. One of the things that we have been working on this week is asking people if they would like help learning about their family history. It has actually been really cool to see how people have been responding to that message. I think that I have realized recently just how much people love their families and how much the gospel of Jesus Christ can help people to increase that love. It really is amazing!
We found a cute dog on the street. I was trying to tempt it with some dog
treats that I bought at the dollar store.
While we were walking around this week, we found a woman who was really nice. She didn't have a lot of time, so we went back a couple of days later to talk to her about the Restoration. When we got there, we started teaching about the Restoration when she started asking us a lot of questions about what happens to us after we die. It turns out that one of her close friends recently passed away and she has been feeling really depressed about it. We were able to answer a lot of questions that she had and she was super excited to learn more from us.

This week, we got a new investigator named Sergio. He actually was being taught by the Elders for a while, but he recently moved to our area. He is super cool. He just moved to Bakersfield from Alaska. We have taught him a couple of times and he came to church this Sunday and he really liked it. He really wants to learn more about Jesus Christ and how to come closer to him. I feel a little bad that he moved away from the Elder's area, but I am super excited for this opportunity to teach him. 
Me wearing a sweater. It isn't super cool, but I wear it
because I miss the cold.
This Saturday, we went to see the Woman's Conference. Before, we went to the dinner that was put on by the Stake Relief Society. The food was really good and there was a big ice sculpture of the Relief Society motto that had been donated by a member. There was live harp music provided as well. It was really fancy. The conference was super good as well. I never realized before my mission how much I loved conference, but here I am able to feel the spirit so much. We were able to teach a couple of our investigators about how we had living prophets on the earth and how they speak to us personally each year. They were blown away by that and it made me think about how special it is for us to live during this time.
This fuzzy picture is one Hermana Zambrano took of me after our investigator
gave us the spiciest food that I have ever put in my mouth. I was sweating
during our entire lesson!
This last week was a good time. I we have been able to follow the spirit to see a lot of miracles. I love that we have been able to share the gospel with the people here in Bakersfield. I know that this is the place in the world where I need to be right now. I love this gospel and I love Jesus Christ.

I hope that you all have a good week!

Hermana Blau
One of the giant trucks that everyone has around here!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week Thirty-Seven: Cool Enough to Walk

Area: Buena Vista Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

This week was pretty good. We were able to meet with some pretty interesting people and have some pretty spiritual experiences. The summer is winding down, so things are starting to get pretty interesting around here.

This week, it was a little bit cooler than it has been recently. One day, I was actually able to wear my sweater for the entire day. I don't think that it ever got to be below 75 degrees, but I am still taking everything that I can. One of the benefits of the weather is that we are able to walk around a lot more than we used to. One afternoon this week, we decided to pretend that we didn't have a car, so we walked for hours. We were able to meet some people who were selling fruit and elotes and some hobos sitting in the parking lot. We were also able to meet a really cool old man named Belindo. It was an adventure!

We ate dinner with one of our members named William. We finished up eating and we were about to share a message with him and his Grandmother when we heard a knock on the door. It turned out that it was a traveling salesman. William invited him in to eat a home cooked meal and we were able to share our message with him while he was eating. It turns out that all of his coworkers are Mormon because the company recruits returned missionaries in Utah. It just goes to show that you can make dinners be effective as well.

We have been having a lot of encounters with Punjabi people recently. It is always a little strange when I try to talk to someone and they don't speak English or Spanish. I guess that this area is here just to show me how the English missionaries feel when they try to have a conversation with people in Spanish. It is always super funny when we get referrals of Spanish speaking people from the English missionaries. They will tell us that they are pretty sure that the people are super nice and that they really want to learn from missionaries. When we talk to them, they will tell us that they were really telling us that they wanted the missionaries to go away and that they already have a religion.

Last night, we had a really cool experience. We didn't really have any set plans, so we decided that we wanted to go see one of our former investigators. When we showed up at his house, his son was being picked up by his grandparents. It was a pretty heated situation. After the grandparents had left, we went up to talk to the man, Oscar. He was telling us about how he was just trying to help his son out in this life and that he really wanted to do what was best for him. We were telling him about how we could help him with that. In the end, we asked him if we could say a prayer with him. After we were done, he did a big sigh and told us that he felt a lot of relief. He has a crazy work schedule, but hopefully we can go back and talk to him again.

Last news for the week. I am staying in Buena Vista with Hermana Zambrano this next transfer. She broke my curse of having a different companion every transfer. We are changing apartments, though, so after I am done emailing, we will be going back home and moving our stuff across town to live closer to the area that we work in.

That is pretty much it for this week. Nothing too crazy has happened, but things are just chugging along. Life as a missionary is great and I love the work. I know that the gospel is true and that it really can help families eternally! I hope that y'all have a good day!

Hermana Blau

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week Thirty-Six: Fun Times

Area: Buena Vista Ward
Companion: Hermana Zambrano

This week was super good and we were able to see a ton of miracles in the work. We found a lot of new people to teach and we have been working extra hard.

One day this week, we were walking down the street and we saw an old man in his lawn. We went over to talk to him and he came up to his fence. He put his hands on my hair and started talking to me. I guess that there are a lot of people in Mexico who have hair like mine, so he asked me if I was from Mexico. The entire time he kept his hands on my hair. It was a super strange experience. 

One of the people we met was really interesting. We were walking down one of the streets in our area and we decided to try and knock on the door of one of the former investigators who the elders who used to work in this area taught. We wentp to the door and we knocked on it. We waited for a while, but then a lady opened the door. We asked her if we could teach her and she said yes. While we were teaching her, she looked really out of it and we were wondering if she was on drugs, but she said that we could come back. 

Flash forward to a couple of days ago. We went back for our return appointment and the lady answered the door again. She asked us if we would like to go into her house. We walked in and immediately noticed that something was up. There was absolutely no furniture in the house. Rosario asked us to sit down, so we sat on the fireplace step. We were teaching her across the room and she kept giving us this strange stare and laughing a Joker-laugh. It was super creepy. We asked her if she had had the opportunity to read in the Book of Mormon. She said that she gave her copy to her cousin and then gave us his phone number. Rosario told us that she couldn't come to church because her cousin took away the key to her house.During the rest of the lesson, Hermana Zambrano was really uncomfortable and thought that Rosario was going to knife us. I did not notice her concern, so I made a return appointment. After we left, we called the number that we had for her cousin. The number was right, but he said that he had never gotten a Book of Mormon and he didn't have a cousin named Rosario. When we went back for the return appointment, we asked her what her name was and she said that she was named Elizabeth. She was still laughing really creepily and looking at us strangely, so we decided to give her some time before we go back. Fun times on the fly.

One cool story from the week. On Monday night, we were walking down the street and we saw a little family walking around. We went up to talk to them and we were telling them about how we share messages about how we can come closer to Christ and be happier in our families. We got down their contact information and they told us to come back the next day. When we returned, we sat down and started talking to the parents. We asked them how they were doing. The husband then told us all about his life story and the problems that he has had. Then he told us that he wants for his family to have a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ and that they have been struggling as a family. They said that they had felt something when we told them that we could help them out in their family life. We taught them and it turned out really good. We are super excited to teach the entire family!

This week was pretty good. We met a lot of cool people who are interested in learning more and we have been having a lot of really good lessons. This week, we had a Zone Training Meeting and President Layton challenged all of us to read through the Book of Mormon in 65 days. It has been a really cool experience reading hard core through it. I really have a testimony that the Book of Mormon in true and that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. I love being a missionary and being able to share this message with other people as well.

I hope that you all have a good week and that you are able to have fun! I love you all!

Hermana Blau