January 2, 2017!

Dear Mom and Family,

Happy New Year! Guess what!?! It is snowing again today so welcome to the weird weather system of Oregon. It’s the best.
 I am doing well. This has been a really great and busy week. Just to let you know I will probably not send out a mass email today. That isn’t a goal for this new year either so it will continue to be a work in progress. When I write one, I will send it.
The work is going well. We did have an investigator at church. It was Diane. She is getting married to Ed on the 14th and in our lesson on Friday we set a baptism date with them for the 21st! It was super amazing. I was on splits at the time with Sister Hart and I didn’t know if we would get them on date but it happened! They are an amazing couple and they really have put in the commitment and dedication to learning the gospel. We asked them in our lesson how they had come to know the truth of the things that we had been teaching them and they said through prayer and reading their scriptures. It is amazing to me that the basics are really what help us remain built upon the rock, which is our Redeemer. Sister Mickelson has actually used the phrase as “spiritual doctors” we check the basics first and going to church, praying, and reading your scriptures are the three that can usually be found are lacking that has weakened our spiritual foundation. My testimony was just strengthened though when they said that was how they came to know.
I am still in a threesome, which we have now labeled the Tri-Awesomeness, and will be at least until transfers which are on January 10. We had five sisters leave though and only one is coming in so we are waiting with bated breath to see what happens with these transfers. It is going really well though. We get along great and I think that is mostly because we spent so much time all together before because my companion and I and YSA are the only sisters in our zone. I don’t have those things to contend with mother, you are right, for which I am very grateful. The only thing I have had to contend with so far are spiders. We had a bunk bed and separate bed already because a trio existed right before I came in and we have two bathrooms.
Also, in the works this week we met with a man that YSA came across trying to visit a former and had a gospel conversation. He had heard some things about Mormons that weren’t true and we were able to correct them. We were also able to testify of truths that we knew and helped him come closer to Christ. It was a really powerful experience for me. All three of us were there and we heard each others testimonies. It was a really neat experience and I have loved being able to serve in a trio this week.
Also this week, exciting/ very nerve-wracking thing was that my mission president and his wife attended my district meeting this past Friday. Of course I was giving a training that day. It was good though. Our district meetings are all at the same time now because President wanted to be able to come by to any of them when he felt like he needed to. It just happened to be mine on Friday. It was weird to have them there but also really cool because their comments were really good.
This week I have been studying conference talks and the first was The Doctrine of Christ and the second was Repentance, A Joyful Choice. They are amazing and one of my favorite parts is from Elder Renlund’s when he talks about the atonement. It is from Elder Packer actually but it is as follows, “The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed.
He continued:
“The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, [the Savior] has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that. …
“… The Atonement … can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.”
I loved this so much because in his notes it references Elder Packer’s talk and it talks about when our spirits are damaged the atonement heals them so that there is no scar left. There is nothing because it has been put back to a perfect state. I know that the atonement is real and that through applying it in our lives we can gain greater power to overcome our weaknesses and strength to carry on. If you find yourself struggling as this new year begins turn to the Savior because he is waiting to help and his help can make us whole, with no scars. I hope you all see miracles this week!
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission





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