Adios a Albuquerque y Hola a El Paso!

Well I am officially being transferred down south! I’m headed to El Paso, Texas (just in time for the summer!) to open a new area and be a sister training leader. I’m really nervous about all of the new responsibilities, but I’m excited for what’s in store with this next adventure. The best mailing address to contact me at is still the mission office at

4400 Presidential Dr NE Ste E

Albuquerque, NM 87109

Attached are a few photos from this last week here in Albuquerque. Man, I am really going to miss this place.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Les quiero con todo mi corazon! La proxima vez que ustedes oigan de mi seria en El Paso!

 

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Peace and Good Vibes

Last week I wrote you all about the #PrinceofPeace initiative and hopefully some of you have since taken me up on my challenge to share it with others. If not, there’s still time! My companion and I have been sharing it with anyone and everyone that we can. That has led to more than a few adventures and really touching experiences. His peace is so real.

This past week we were out on the streets, taking a minute to pause and figure out where to go next. Hermana Sinibaldi turned to me and asked, "do you hear that? Is that a ukulele?" Around the corner came a traveling pack of hippies that we soon learned call themselves the "Good Vibe Tribe." We struck up a conversation and got to know who they were and what they were all about. Some of them had been roaming the country for over a year, just hitch hiking and sight seeing and going where ever the wind blew them. We exchanged contact information and talked about how missionaries are kind of like a hippie of sorts in the sense that we are all about promoting peace. That invoked responses from the group such as "rad man, hippies for Jesus, I can dig that."

Don’t be afraid to share what you believe. Don’t hesitate to initiate spiritual conversations. Go out and share the #PrinceofPeace initiative, and you just might be surprised in who ends up being receptive to it. His peace is for all.

The Prince of Peace

Jesus Christ, the Lord, Jehovah, the Only Begotten, Immanuel, Son of Man, Lamb of God, the Firstborn, the Good Shepard, the Holy One of Israel, Messiah, Redeemer, Savior- He, the King of kings, is known by numerous names and titles. I’d like to bring attention to one of His many names, that is the Prince of Peace.

In Mosiah 15:16-18 it says, “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace! And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever! And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord.” To me, this scripture captures the purpose of missionary work and discipleship so well. We publish the peace of Jesus Christ. He is the very founder of peace, and His invitation is to all. He says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” It is through Him alone that we find real and lasting peace, a peace that transcends any of that which other sources may have to offer.

His peace is not exclusively for those that are members of His church and publishing it does not require a missionary name tag. Just recently a beautiful Easter initiative was released on mormon.org. It’s centered on the Prince of Peace. There you can find all of these awesome videos and great resources that can help us to have more unity in our families, more direction, purpose, joy and peace in our lives. The initiative is only going on until April 16th, so take the time now to check it out and get started!

Even more than that, I would invite each of you as you watch the #PrinceofPeace video to think of who you might be able to share it with. I promise that names will come to mind. Do not doubt yourself, the people you think of will come to you as inspiration from the Holy Ghost. Act on those promptings. Share the video, share the site, share your testimony. Technology makes discipleship all too easy these days and not nearly enough of us use this tool as fully as we could. Who says that peace can’t be published through our facebook, twitter and other social media accounts? I promise that as you take part in this Easter initiative and share it with others, you will personally feel an increase of His peace in your life and so will all those that come into contact with it.

I know the Savior lives. He came to Earth, He worked miracles, He willingly sacrificed Himself for us, He died and now He lives again. Because of Him we all will live again. Because of Him the grave has no victory and death has no sting. For Him, I will forever be grateful. He is the Redeemer of my shortcomings, the Savior of my soul and the Publisher of my peace.

Feliz Cumpleanos! Mordida! Mordida!

This past week was my dad’s birthday and I was a pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to celebrate with him and the family or even at least call him to wish him a happy birthday. His day is the 22nd and it just so happened that two of my favorite people out here in New Mexico had birthdays on the 21st and the 23rd. As much as I wish I could’ve been celebrating with my family back at home this week, it was nice to feel like I was a part of a family out here too… and I definitely ended up getting my fair share of party-ing.

On the 21st one of our investigator families, Familia Trejo, invited us over for dinner to celebrate Geovana’s birthday. She refers to us missionaries as her niños and niñas, and I love that. The 23rd was Hermana Dominguez’s birthday and she threw an all out party yesterday evening to celebrate. She even took us out shopping last p-day to make sure we had new outfits for her big day. Her family are returning less-actives that have pretty much adopted us.

After lighting the candles and singing happy birthday, it’s Hispanic tradition to chant "Mor-di-da! Mor-di-da! Mor-di-da!" This means "bite it!" because the birthday girl or boy is always suppose to take the first bite of the cake. Usually in the process of doing so, they end up getting their face shoved into it. It’s one of my new favorite traditions.

I’m seriously so blessed to have so many good people in my life, both here in Albuquerque and all of you back at home. As always, thank you for your love, support and prayers. You guys are the best. Les amo con todo mi corazon! and Happy Birthday Dad, I hope it was a good one!

Yahaira’s Baptism

YAHAIRA GOT BAPTIZED!! I have been teaching this amazing little girl since my very first week here and this past Saturday she was finally baptized! The place was packed with fans and loved ones, and she was all smiles. The day’s festivities included homemade Posole and a bounce house. These New Mexicans know how to do it right.

There’s not much else to say except that wow, this Gospel blesses lives. I came across a quote in a missionary manual the other day that said that missionaries get a "front row seat to the greatest miracle of all: the effect of Christ’s Atonement on individuals and families." How true that is and how thankful I am to get to be apart of helping others to come unto Him.

Nutella and Banana Pancakes

Time is flying! I apologize for how long it’s been since I last sent out an update. It’s been a crazy month. I officially graduated from the 12 week training program for new missionaries only to jump right back into it, this time on the other side, as a trainer. What a learning experience that has been! I love my greenie, Hermana Sinibaldi. She’s a recent convert to the church and a native Spanish speaker from Gautemala, and honestly she probably ought to be the "trainer" in this companionship because I am learning SO much from her.

I’m happy, healthy, and learning and growing a ton. I love being a missionary.

My focus in studies has increasingly become more focused on Christ, His doctrine and the Atonement. I can’t seem to get enough of the New Testament, the book Jesus the Christ, and chapters in the Book of Mormon about our Savior. Recently I came across verse 15 in Alma chapter 6, that states: "And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come." I thought that was pretty cool. As members of the church we wear the nickname of "Mormon," but first and foremost we are Christians. We are Christians in the truest sense of the title: followers of Jesus Christ.

With that in mind, my companion and I have made it our goal to be better representatives of His name. This is a goal we’ve been inviting the members here to take up as well. This can be done in a whole lot of different ways, whether through directly sharing testimony of who Jesus Christ was or by doing as He did and helping others. Hermana Sinibaldi is awesome at both. That girl never leaves a conversation with out sharing her testimony is some way or another, and she always jumps right in to help those in need. Her kindness isn’t limited to any type of person. I think she really, genuinely loves everyone. I’ve been the lucky recipient of her Christ-like service on more than one occasion, my favorite times being when she has made pancakes topped with nutella and bananas. Que rico!

This week, both for those of you that consider yourself Christian and for those that maybe don’t, I’d challenge you to look for opportunities to do as Christ might do. Get creative with it (making nutella and banana pancakes for someone most definitely counts). See for yourself what kind of happiness it can bring to live life following in His footsteps.

My faith in Christ grows by the day. He was more than mere man. He was in reality who He claimed to be, the Son of God. He performed miracles. He lived humbly and died willingly to provide the way home for all. In Him we can find true happiness.

As always, thank you all for your letters, prayers and support. Les quiero!

La Gran Verguenza

So it’s now general knowledge in the Branch that pizza is my favorite food (I might be doing some subliminal advertising by wearing pizza socks and plastering the back of my daily planner with pictures of pizza…) and this week we enjoyed two nights of pizza for dinner. It was wonderful. Also, I’m actually starting to really like Mexican food. Crazy, but true.

In other news, we got a new car. We call her our Vaca, La Gran Verguenza. Yep, we’ve been assigned a mini van. We’re still not sure why, but hey at least we aren’t on bikes! Plus we kinda rock it. Our favorite song to jam to in the van is "I hope they call me on a mission" by popcorn bopping. I’ve got the rap on lock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnxfXI9v6DE&list=PLBsFwVQ6m-d4MRZG1aRkNFO47CVQeJpSG&index=2

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Yesterday we had 8 of our investigators and a whole bunch of less active families attend Sacrament meeting! One of our less active families we’ve been working with blessed their baby and a recent convert that we’ve also been working with was ordained to the priesthood yesterday too. My companion and I were over the moon happy. I feel so blessed to get to be a part of this wonderful work. It’s amazing to get to see people change as they begin to live the Gospel. They’re all so much happier, patient and at peace.

Lately we’ve been challenging families to read the Book of Mormon together and giving them a reading chart to color in as they go (Here’s a link to an English copy if you’re interested https://hermanametcalf.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/20b83-bookofmormonreadingchart.jpg ). Lots of people have taken us up on the challenge and they are loving it. They all get so excited to show us their charts and tell us where they’re at and what they’re learning. It’s great. I’d like to extend the challenge to the rest of you too! Make it your "February Resolution". There’s no better time to start than now, even if it’s just a chapter, a few pages, or even a verse a day. Give it a shot, see for yourselves what there is to gain.

As always, thank you all sooo much for your love, support, prayers and for all of the mail you send my way. I’m one lucky duck and one well cared for hermana. Thank you. I love and miss you all! Tengan una hermosa semana! Cuidense!