December is here! December 5, 2016

Dear Familia,

This week has been really awesome! It was filled with service and lots of walking. We participated in our stakes nativity festival this week which was awesome. The first night we were ushers and welcomed people to the event. That was cool. The next day we got asked as a zone, to carol for the elderly. They had a special event and we sang a bunch of Christmas Hymns and childrens songs. It was way fun. The spirit was so strong and that is where the picture came from. That evening we were in the children’s room which was a bunch of activities for the kids. It was really neat and we even got to dress up in period clothing. IT was great and it was as my companion was writing that we realized we didn’t take any pictures. So, sorry about that. The last night we were shepherdess’ and told the story of how the angel appeared to us in our fields and then we went and found the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It was really neat. The sheep looked really awesome too. I think I have a picture of them. Afterwards, we helped take down so that it could all be ready for church the next day. It was really awesome to see it all come down and go back to normal. I feel so blessed that I am serving in Salem and was able to participate in this event. The nativities were really awesome to see. They were donated by the members for this event and there were some from all over the world. There was even a lego one. And a dinosaur one. That was a fun one.
I was reading in Omni this past week and that book, although it is like two and a half pages, is jammed pack of amazing things. It took me two studies to get through it. It talks about King Mosiah (the first one) and goes through his reign and how they met the people of Zarahemla and then it even brings in the Jaredites. And then it talks about their day in a very compact way but it parallels our day so well and it is crazy. And it even tells about the people of Zeniff. It is so awesome and I loved it. The scriptures are so amazing and they are filled with the words of God so much that you can’t take them in all at once and that is why we read them over and over again. I love this book so much!
I hope you all are having a great week and that you have gotten into # light the world. It is a great thing to do and service truly brings us closer to God and to our families. You don’t have to follow their ideas though. If you have things that you do for service than do those. The point is to serve and see the blessings that come. I was in the beginning of Mosiah and I believe it is in chapter 2 and it talks about how if we keep the commandments we are blessed. That is a promise. And then, to make it better it says immediately. Not later, or in ten years down the road, it says immediately. God is wanting and waiting to bless us and I know that as we serve then we are blessed.
Love you all,
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission
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November 28, 2016

Dear Familia,

Ok, so I don’t have too much time today but this week has been really good.
Thanksgiving was really good. It was weird having p-day on Thursday
but I got a lot done and had fun with the member that we ate with. The
food was delicious and I had both apple and pumpkin pie.

I had ZTM on Friday and that was awesome. We talked about the Book of
Mormon more and how to help our members learn how to do missionary
work. In general conference and other meetings the leaders have been
stressing missionaries and members working together so we have been
getting trained on how we can do this. We also talked about sharing
our testimonies of Jesus Christ with everyone that we come in contact
with. It was really powerful.

I know that this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ lives and helps
each and everyone of us become better and the best we can be. I know
that the Book of Mormon is true and real and that by reading the book
we can truly find the answers to any question we may have. Any
question.

I love you all and I hope you have an awesome week.

Love,

Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

My companion got a Kevin so we are doing adventure with Kevin and we
got Panera the other day so…..why not?

 

Thanksgiving November 24, 2016

I am doing well! My Thanksgiving is going pretty good. We have been able to get a lot done today which is good. This past week has been really weird but interesting because Sister Mickelson and I were sick. I was for the first part of the week and then she just got over the last effects on Monday. But we did see miracles in the week. On Wednesday we were walking to a members house to get a ride and we were passing by a house that was a referral but we had dropped because we couldn’t contact them. There was lights on though so we decided to try it and met Glatis. It was super awesome and she can’t meet until next week but it was a tender mercy. We have actually gotten quite a few referrals that have given us new investigators which has been awesome because Sister Mickelson and I have been working to find new people to teach because we went through our areabook and dropped a lot of people who weren’t progressing or interested and are starting out with a more focused group and room for more people to teach. It has been really neat to see the way the Lord works and blesses those who are doing his work. I also got to visit many less actives that we have been trying to for awhile and that was super awesome. We have accomplished so much and feel so much better. When we were sick we could only get so much done because we didn’t want to get everyone else sick and now that we are over it we are going forward with as much energy that we can.
We also had a miracle when we were trying to contact a potential this week that lived on the same street as a less active that we had been trying to meet with. The potential wasn’t home but the less active was outside and we ended up having a really good conversation with her and she invited us back. It was awesome. We are so excited because so much has happened that we knew about this family and we met her brother and a member in our ward had just talked about them. They are open for the gospel and I am so excited to see where this will go.
Overall this has been a long but miracle filled week and there has been so much happening that I can’t wait to see where this area will be in the coming months. However, I guess I should mention that transfer calls are this weekend and transfers are next week so change is in the air.
I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving! I will talk with you more next week! On Monday, it is back to normal again.
Love,
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

district meeting Nov 2016

October 31, 2016

Good Afternoon Familia,

This week has been really good. The work here in Pringle is going well. Recently me and my companion have felt like we need to focus on the less actives in our ward and even the actives. We split up the less actives with the Elders in our ward and we are going to try and contact all of them and see who is interested in coming back and seeing if they are all still there. We have also been doing a lot of service lately and want to continue doing so with the members and even the non members in our area. We feel like right now we can be most effective by strengthening our ward through bringing those back who have drifted away. We are super excited about it and have received a lot of revelation in how to go about doing it. It has been really neat.
My companion is Sister Mickelson and she is from Springville, Utah. She grew up mostly in Vegas but before her senior year of high school her family moved to Utah.
I can’t remember if I told you but we had gotten the okay to do the Marshallese group and the group leader has been going out and visiting people and getting them involved. He is on fire and they are really excited. Our next step that we are working towards is a branch but that might take a little longer. But it was a step, a big step! Funny story, one of our recent converts, Patrina, lives with her grandparents who are less actives. So yesterday we had an appointment and when we went by we were the third “missionaries” there that day. Their home teachers had been by first, then the Elders, then us and while we were there the Marshallese group leader and some of the other brethren showed up. Brother Harry just said he was vary lucky and me and my companion afterwards just said that the Lord really had a message for this family. He wants them back.
This week we have also been doing a lot of finding because a lot of the people we are teaching aren’t solid and in reality aren’t ready to progress. So we have been out looking for more people and talking to people. It has been interesting.
We had our ward harvest festival this past Friday and that was really fun. We were super excited because we had invited a lot of people to it and none of them ended up coming. Part of it was due to traffic construction that they just had to do that evening that backed up the streets all day. But there were people there and it was really fun. Me and my companion tried to dress up as much as we could but no one got it. That’s okay, we tried. I was supposed to be the “senior” companion and she was the greenie. It was great.
I know this gospel is true and that the Lord is very much aware of his children. He knows who we are and he has a plan for all of us. His love for us is real and he is putting all his efforts into helping them come unto Him.
I hope you all have a fantastic week and Happy Halloween!!!!!! Be safe out there. 🙂
Love,
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

October 24

Hello Familia and Friends,

I am doing awesome this week! Transfers brings a whole new set of adventures but I have loved every second of them. Sister Mickelson is my new companion and I absolutely love her. She is so spunky and awesome. She has four younger brothers and one younger sister. She is the oldest and she has been out 7 months. It has been really fun to serve with her this week and I look forward to our future adventures.
We got to do a lot of service this week and that has been really fun. We helped one of our members organize her baby room and we got orange sherbet with chocolate chips afterwards. She is super sweet and her son is adorable. We got to get to know her a little better and it was super awesome. We also got to help one of our members who just recently had knee surgery cut down her tree branches so that she could put them in her recycling bins. It was really neat because we got there at the beginning of our day on Saturday and just finished out the pile for her. We did it all before she got up and about. We enjoyed doing it for her and we were really happy that she didn’t come out because she doesn’t need the stress of that.
Miracle of the week would have to be that we had 6 investigators at church, none of which either sets of the missionaries invited. Two of them, members in our ward had invited and that was awesome and the other was a family. They are being taught by a different set of Elders but our church building is closer to them because they are barely outside our area. They came and it was awesome. The wife is a member but very less active and she really connected with our speaker on Sunday.
We also visited a referral of a less active that had just moved into our area and we brought our Relief Society President, Sister Capson, with us. We get there and she answers the door and she tells us that she would invite us in but it wasn’t a good time. 45 minutes later she was like I should have just invited you in. She is super sweet and she really clicked with Sister Capson. We are so excited to start working with her and her family.
Anyways, this week has been really good and I have loved getting to know Sister Mickelson and explore my area even more with her.
Also, I would like to inform you that I have officially been out for half my mission. It was exactly halfway on October 20th. It is weird to think about but I love it.
I know that this gospel brings peace and joy to all those who live it. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he restored Christ’s church to the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that by reading it everyday, we can find answers to our everyday questions. I know that we are led by a prophet today and by following his counsel we can be safe and protected in these days.
Love you all and have a fantastic week!
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

October 17– Leaves are falling all around.. .on my head and on the ground

Dear Familia and Friends,

I don’t have too much time today because of transfers but I want to share some highlights of the week.
My investigators Robert and Jess are on date!!! It is super exciting. They are down for November 12 and they are just soaking up the gospel. Their family is so amazing and we love being able to go over and answer their questions and teach them how to strengthen their families.
We were also able to share a video called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father (a mormon message) with an investigator who is a single dad and has two daughters. It really touched his heart and his daughters also liked the video. At the end I can just remember that he said that it was true, every bit and he was relating to himself as well. We were able to bear our testimonies that our Heavenly Father feels the exact same way about us as he does for his daughters. I think he is still unsure about that only because it seems too good to be true. We believe though that as we continue to teach him and testify he will come to know for himself that it is true.
It was transfer calls this weekend and I am staying in Pringle. However, my companion is heading over to La Pine and is training. She is super excited but sad about leaving. My new companion is Sister Mickelson and she seems super sweet. I have heard great things about her.
I know this church is true and that God is at the head of our church telling our prophet, President Monson what he would have us do to prepare for the rough times ahead. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that in its pages we can find peace and hope. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth.
I love you all and hope that you are having a great week.
Love,
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission
P.S. The title is in reference to my mom’s email that says “leaves are falling all around” which, happens to be part of a primary song that has been stuck in my head a lot recently.

October 10

Dear Familia,

I did receive both of the boxes you sent. I loved them both and I appreciated all the quotes and the thougt into it. The weeks do seem to be flying by. This month I hit my nine month mark! I can’t believe it. And this transfer is almost up so changes are in the air along with the change of season.
I had interviews with my mission president this past weekend and it was good. For interviews President and Sister Tateoka have us meet with both of them. It is really cool and I love talking with them both. They are wonderful people and they just make me so happy.
The only funny thing I can think of has to do with one of the pictures that I sent you. It has to do with hot chocolate and how we realized that we had no glass cups so we heated water on the stove and then used a jar and bowl to drink it. It was pretty great.
The ward is great and we have been getting ready for the holiday events and it has been really cool because we have been having many families becoming active again. Bike riding is going well as well we just are flipping how we do things because it gets darker so much earlier so we are planning on having language study in the evening and getting out earlier in the day. It will be much more productive. Miracles. We had a less active that Sister Lowe has been working with her whole time here (9 months) come to church this past Sunday! It was so cool. He went to the wrong ward but he went! It was so awesome. Our Bishop and RS President were both really excited about it because they have both worked with them. We also had a really awesome experience with one of our investigators named Robert. We invited him and his family to conference and they weren’t able to come but he watched some of them during the week and he really liked it. It was awesome!! He even told his wife that it was really cool and we have to follow up but we hope that she was able to watch some too. We are hoping to set them on date today. They already accepted a soft invitation of baptism we just have to set the date. Their family is awesome and we are so excited to continue teaching them and seeing their light grow.
Thanks mom for the advice. It is true that as a missionary we can see ourselves very clearly. It is a strange experience sometimes but I have been able to see those small changes as I reflect on where I began and where I am now. I really loved the conference talk about if we must compare to compare to where we were and where we are now.
I love you all! I know that this gospel is true and that by living the principles that it teaches us in our lives we can find joy beyond measure and that we will feel closer to God. Continue on in the faith and remember that God is always waiting for us to come unto Him and help us along.
Love,
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

Dinner at a members house. She had Halloween decorations and we couldn’t resist. It is her granddaughter in the picture with us.

This is what happens when you want hot chocolate and realize that you don’t have any glass cups in the apartment……..it still tasted really good.

This was our flower making activity for the center pieces for our harvest festival this upcoming weekend. There were more sisters but I didn’t take any of those pictures. From left to right it is Sister Lowe, Sister John, Marina, and Dolly.