December 26, 2011

Gracias from distrito Rivas!

(Here are some pics when I shared my food at the district meeting. Gracias!)

Yep, just like Elena, I can sleep anywhere too.  I think there has only been one night where I had trouble but I sleep like a rock. So that was so fantastic to hear your voices yesterday. I can’t believe it had been 7 months.  So 4 months will seem quick until the next call. You are the bestest and like Elena said it felt like nothing had changed even though it had been so long. We will just pick right back up where we left off 18 months before. That was super funny about David Archuleta. The girl at the house was listening to “Imagine” by him right before you called and mentioned his mission call. She wants to know where he is going so when you find out let me know.  Her mom also said that if you ever you come to visit she will take us to San Juan de Sur and show us around. I have had fun telling everyone about  
talking to you and I am just so happy. That was a definite boost. I want everyone to have what we`ve got in our family - the gospel. Also I gave the lunch lady the tiny Christmas tree and bell today and she was thrilled. She said she is going to buy a plastic bag to put it in so that it doesn´t get dirty. She is another person I want you to meet and her husband says things that remind me of dad too. Anyway, yesterday I put on the other nametag that I had, since I think this is about exactly halfway. We had a good Christmas party with the mission. We had some messages from the whole family of the mission president, presentations from the zones, a little celebrating for the president’s 20th anniversary, and then lunch. The tables were set all nice and the food was good. Then we changed into p-day clothes and played some games and ended with a water balloon fight. They gave
us a polo shirt, a temple recommend holder with a picture of the island Ometepe, and a card with all the pictures of the missionaries in the mission (which I will send to you) and a card from the first presidency. It was sweet. I wrote lots of letters this morning and was going to mail them today, but the post office is closed. Anyway, I am happy here and I am doing fantastic. One of the first days here my comp said, "I knew it was poor here but not this poor". But really it is poor but it’s just a different way of life and now I am used to it and really don’t think anything of the wood or plastic houses and dirt floors. It’s just the norm and there are nicer areas than others with more regular houses like where we live. I am glad to hear all is well in Canada. It was just so great talking to all of you yesterday. I don’t know about Elena’s Spanish. There is a really slang Spanish here but we don’t use it.  We cut off the s´s too, so it will be funny to compare it when we are home.  I had a great Christmas - different but good and memorable. I will try and take a picture of our lunch lady with her Christmas tree. She was happy and whenever we come back that tree will be in her house all year round and you will see it. Well, thanks for the new socks too. The lady that washes the clothes was noting the holes I have in my old ones. They are fine, but getting worn. So I told her today about my new ones. Anyway, my time is up but I love you tons and will write again next week. Have a Happy New Year and I can’t believe it will be 2012. Well, the gospel is true. I love you, alc

Hola Peeps!

It was grand talking to you all yesterday. Waiting for your call, I was like a kid on Christmas morning...oh wait it was Christmas! J I have never been more excited for a phone call. It was grand and went by way too fast. I’m just enjoying p-day. We relaxed in the morning and printed our emails and then met up with the other hermanas in our zone and 2 other hermanas and got empanadas and favorite chinola juice. I don't think there is an equivalent in the US but you can look it up if you want. We had a good rest of Christmas Day. My comp skyped her family and then we rested for a little while and then went to the ward mission leader's house for dinner. I was really stuffed. I am kind of glad we cook our own food because it is just easier, although I know being a polite human garbage disposal like Alexis is, is a good skill to have. J  It was soooooo good hearing your voices and before we know it, it will be Mother's Day. Good times. I hope you are all enjoying yourselves. I cranked out some letters yesterday while my comp was skyping so that was fun.
Thank you sooooo much for all of the mail. I have the best family ever and ward family too.  Well, what can I tell you that I didn't tell you yesterday?  It was soooo good hearing your voices. I am still laughing hard about things Dad was saying. Funny stuff.  My comp thought it was funny too. I also thought it was funny that Lexxy thinks things like that too.  Thanks Dad. JIt was great talking with you and it was like nothing had changed and that it hadn't been months since we had talked. I know eventually things will change like getting married eventually, but when I get home I just want it to be the good old times with the four of us for a while and just like it was before I left. Can't wait ‘til next year. So things are good here. It is great having the power back on. The ward mission leader temporarily fixed it earlier in the week but we were still having issues and my comp went outside and started playing with the wires and then fortunately the power truck drove by and stopped and fixed it when they saw her messing with it. So we've had power and that is grand. Yippee!  It’s nice not having to shower (bucket bathe) by flashlight, although it was entertaining. When I get home I’ll just need a bucket, cup, and flashlight to take a shower. J  I’ve kind of forgotten what it is like to take a shower with hot water.  It has been quite cool here lately which means our water has been quite cool too, but at least we have water.  I saw the window that Hermana Mcentire climbed out to get on their roof during the bird issues and it was quite a little stretch to get from the window to the roof.  Crazy! There wasn't as much partying last night as there was on the 24th. They had lots of loud music playing which kept my comp up, but not me. I think that is a skill I learned in marching band, being able to sleep anywhere, on a bus or whatever. I usually sleep like a rock. We had the ward Christmas party this week which was fun. I love you sooooo much. I hope Lexxy's training is going well. I loved her mini gym story and can't wait to compare Spanish in a year. Good times ahead. Thanks for the great Christmas!  Love you to the 46th power. Ejc

P.S. Here are some photos from the zone Christmas party, the temple, more pictures from Christmas, and my sweet tan lines. Enjoy!

Happy Christmas Eve, zona oriental... That’s my zone.

December 19, 2011

Hi peeps! Rivas week 19

Well, I am a little short on time, but I have about 30 minutes. I was reading all of the emails you sent which are fantastic. I can´t wait to talk to you on Sunday.  So I am still in Rivas. My comp is Hermana Camposano from Argentina, Buenas Aires. She is 26 and the first missionary in her family. They are members but she and her sister are the most active. From what I can tell the culture here is very different for her and I have realized how much I have progressed with the life here. I can eat just about anything and I enjoy my rice and beans at every meal but she isn´t a fan. She´ll be over that in a few months. She is cool and we are learning together. So the training is for 12 weeks so that means I will be in Rivas until March. Crazy, but it is all good and hopefully we will have some baptisms soon. Congrats on yours Lenny.  We are doing well.  I got some dearelders at the change meeting but no packages. Don´t worry.  The best part of Christmas will be talking to you!  I am sure I will have some on Wednesday when we have the big Christmas party in Managua. We are all waiting for some. One of the elders said he was waiting for his mini gym. I thought he was just kidding but really his mom sent those perfect pushups things on TV and a bar to do pull ups. That was funny when we realized he was serious. Anyway, I am sure there will be some. I am enjoying the 12 days of Christmas and I was so happy with the nail files today. You are the bestest.  
Hermana Cottam
 Hermana Camposano
So I sent a few pics...
We had to send them to an elder to make a slideshow so I just sent it to you too.  I am doing well. I am in Jinotepe right now. We are staying here tonight and tomorrow because it didn´t make sense to come for the activity today, go back, and come back tomorrow so we can take the bus with the zone on Wednesday morning. So we are hanging out with the hermanas here. Anyway, I am super excited for your call on Sunday but really, like Elena said, I am content here and can’t believe it is already Christmas. The mission president and his wife are celebrating their 20th anniversary this week. At the change meeting Hermana Monestel told about her dad with Alzheimer’s and it made me see them more as just one of us with lots of the same things going on in their lives. I really liked when they told more about themselves. She is the only member and has left her family behind these 3 years. They are halfway and just sent the first sister home that got here after them. President was telling about their kids and I thought it was the same way you talk about us and I liked that. Anyway, the activity will be super fun this week and I am excited. The elders said, "2 p-days this week".  I love you tons and know I am where I need to be.  Well, I am off.  I can´t wait until Sunday. I love you tons. Thanks for being the bestest. I am doing well and hope you have a great week. Love, alc

Week 19 in Mendoza... Merry Christmas!

Hi peeps.  Just got back to our area after a lovely Christmas party with the entire mission. The calling situation sounds great.  I am soooooo excited to talk to you.  I got a lovely package from you today and a little one from the Allens and Sheron Bradshaw and letters and dearelders from quite a few people the last week or so. Gotta love mail! I am enjoying the 12 days of Christmas. You are the bestest. Glad your hives are better. Hna Mcentire is still having issues with her stomach and today we think she has got some hives going, probably stress related as her comp is going home. She´s had a rough go of it with the dead bird, stomach pains, and rashes & hives. She will be in a trio. But it will be a fun zone.  No changes for me this time.  
Hermana Ball at the Santo Domingo Temple
Lucy's baptism
Here are some pics Hna Ball sent last week since my camera battery was dead. Crazy that I have been here for 18 weeks. We are still without power at our house but the elders have called the company a bazillion times and the elders are going to come out this week to try and figure it out. But we are doing fine and the longer we go without power, the better the story will be when I'm telling people about it after the mission. :) Don´t worry. We have an extension cord so we have light at night from our neighbor´s house and we might move the fridge to hook it up there since who knows when it will get fixed.  I got a package last week, which was great. I can´t wait ‘til our first FHE when we are all home, together again. Good times. Hna Mcentire came for the morning to work with us while Hna Bradley went to a meeting for those going home. It was fun to spend time with her and I thought there was a small chance we would be in a trio with her this transfer since there aren´t any new sisters coming, but she will be in a trio with some other cool sisters. There aren´t as many changes with the hermanas as we were expecting. We had a great time at the Christmas party. They had a talent show including one elder playing "Hallelujah" on his guitar and singing. I can´t wait to play that on my uke in a year. They acted out a little nativity and my comp played Mary and I have been teasing her about her Broadway debut for a while. We ate lots of good food and they had a DVD about the mission with pictures and songs. I got to see the McDermids too which was fun.  They asked about Lexxy and said they got your letter.  That was nice of you to send Christmas cards to all of my favorite peeps. We said goodbye to Hna Bradley which was sad.  I am going to miss that girl. She was one of my favorite sisters and it was fun being in her zone the whole time I have been here and being her companion for a day. She said she would post pictures on her blog of us so you can check for that.  Next year that will be me.  I know I will be soooooooo excited to give you the biggest hug ever, but I can already tell I will be a little sad to know that this time will be up.  The DVD presentation they did today with pictures of the Savior and pictures of missionaries and baptisms really reminded me why I am here.  This really is a sacred time to serve the Lord.  I just needed to remember that and buckle down for the next year and be the best missionary I can. We have a great family we are teaching and that came to church this week. Hopefully we will make some progress with them. They are interested and are supposed to come to the ward Christmas dinner tomorrow night with us.  Food of the week...plantains.  I cooked them on Saturday and Sunday with eggs and ketchup and avocados. Yep with ketchup.  Mmmmm. Gotta eat like a Dominican. I just boiled them and I will try frying them sometime too. They are like potatoes so ketchup goes well. Mmmm. You´ll have to see if you can buy them at Food City, which will be my favorite store to shop at when I get home.  :)   There was a boatload of packages that came in the office today.  I haven’t opened the package yet since we were hurrying to get to the internet.  I have the best family ever and the best Ward family too with all of the Christmas mail. I love you a million.  I am looking forward to the best 40 minutes ever on Sunday.  Can´t wait to hear your voices, my favorite peeps.  Love you lots. ejc

December 14, 2011

6 months!

Greetings my favorite peeps. We had a good time at the temple today and then went with my favorite Hermanas, Chessy´s friend Hna Bradley and Hna Mcentire to Pizza Hut and got frozen yogurt and then rode the bus home. Twas a good day. We kind of had two p-days this week as we had to go to the office on Monday for a practice for the Christmas party next week.  Hna Ball hasn´t been feeling well the last few days so we had to take it easy, which I didn´t mind. The other hermanas have some colds and coughs, but I am doing good. I printed off all of your emails a little earlier and it is great to hear from you. I will plan on the Christmas call in the early evening but I think whenever works for Lexxy will be fine.  Love you peeps so much and I am enjoying the 12 days of Christmas. Can you believe I graduated from BYU-Hawaii two years ago? J Things are good here.  It has been a while since I have written but I am doing good. I enjoyed the temple this morning and I put Irene´s name in there, so people all over the world are thinking and praying for her. It was a little rough doing the end in Spanish but I managed and I was remembering how overwhelmed I was on my first p-day at the temple three months ago and just how much at peace I am right now. I also read the scripture Irene shared with us in D&C 109:22 in Spanish while I was there. What great blessings are in the temple and I can´t wait to go with you all in a year. So we had our baptism on Thursday which was great. It is really awesome to think about the changes people make when they become members of the church and the impact it will have on their family. She lives right below us and it is great having a friend right by us to help us with whatever. For example, last week the power went out on Thursday all over the neighborhood which is normal, but when we got home after the baptism our neighbors had power and we did not. I called the office and they are working on fixing the problem, but we have almost been a week without power. Luckily it isn´t too hot right now and we didn´t have a ton of food in the fridge that we couldn´t salvage and eat. I know the office is working on it and hopefully it will be on when we get home today. The people below us hooked up an extension cord so we can have some light at night and I also used it to wash my clothes the other day. So lesson of the week is that power isn´t an absolute necessity. Good times. J There is a line in my patriarchal blessing that says that I won´t want for the necessities of life, so right now power must not be a necessity. But we did get to deep clean the fridge this week since it was all defrosted. When Hna Ball was talking to the district leader about the power, she said, somos pioneras, which means we are pioneers. I about died laughing. Lexxy´s stories about the baptism font were funny especially since I got my foot all wet when I didn´t see how high the water was. Ooops. I also had to get in the font to try to stop the water from leaking until someone from the bishopric got there to fix it. Funny stuff. We went on exchanges last week with the sisters in our zone. Hna Bradley came with me and Hna Ball went with Hna Mcentire. It was real fun and I learned a lot. It was nice being with an experienced missionary although I did start to fall into my old ways of not feeling the necessity to talk to the people when there is somebody else there who can. It is awesome that Lexxy is going to train. She will be awesome. You just do the best you can and not worry about the rest. So I´ll have 6 months tomorrow (Yipee!) and Lexxy 9 months on Friday. Awesome. I have one year to make it count and learn what I need to learn. It just seems like yesterday that I was at the MTC saying to Hna Mcentire that we would be a third of the way at Christmas. I told her that again today. The time really does go by fast and I am pretty content with life right now even though I would love to be with you all. I am really looking forward to this time of year next year. I am glad you are getting my mail. That must have been the letter I wrote during the exchanges with Hna Bradley if I remember right. That was really a great time and I told her that I had read her blog before the mission and that it was kind of weird and fun to be walking the streets of the DR with her. It will be interesting to see what happens with changes next week. We don´t think we will be having any changes, but we have heard there will be a trio somewhere which I wouldn´t mind if it was with Hna Mcentire since Hna Bradley is going home next week. But we will find out on Sunday night. I am sad that she is going home next week since I was just finally getting to know her and the four of us were spending more time together. It is kind of the same feeling I had when I was getting ready to leave in June and felt like I was just starting to get to know some of the people in 70th ward. The people are great here and get offended when we tell them we can´t eat with them, so we will see how it works for Christmas. It has been great emailing and I am looking forward to next week emailing and then Christmas!!!!!!!! I love you all so much and I am doing fantastico.  Feliz Navidad.  Love you to the 46th power.  Elena

December 12, 2011

Greetings peeps!

Here are some photos of my companion and district. So, I had my trainer meeting on Tuesday and there are 6 or 7 trainers of sisters and another 5 or so elders. I have heard that only one of the newbie hermanas is latina. I know that latina, since she is from the other branch here in Rivas. I still don´t know if I will be here or in a new spot to train. I should find out later today. The president said something like ´you should grow Rivas´ as I left the meeting but who knows?  So, I still am not sure about how the Christmas call will work because I don´t know if I will be here or somewhere new. If I am here, a member who has a regular home phone said you could call me there, so that I think would be the easiest. But if I am somewhere new I don´t know if I will have found a member to dothe same. So I would need to call you. It will all work out. I love you and can´t wait to talk to you. Then the next call in May will be the halfway point between now and when I come home. So, we went to San Jorge today since my comp and one of the elders hadn't been there. He said we went to Saint George.  Anyway, it's where you take the boats to the island across the lake.  But we just took some pictures since we can't go to the lake. Then we went to the Nicaragua version of KFC and had some fried chicken.  It was good and we had ice cream too. Anyway, we had a good week. The elders had 3 baptisms in their branch on Saturday so that was exciting even though it wasn´t our baptisms. I played the piano at the baptism. They baptized a family and a man to complete a family. His wife has been a member for about a year. Also, after the baptism we needed to unplug the font but someone had shut the door from the hallway that is closest to the drain and it was locked so we tried to reach with a broom from the women´s bathroom side but it didn´t work. My comp said let me try and I mentioned to her that the second step had water on it but she didn´t hear me and stepped down and got her foot soaked. Anyway, she ended up putting a couple chairs in the water and crossed to the other side to open the door and then I got elected to reach down in the water to unplug the drain since I have the longest arms. Anyway, it was pretty funny but we got it out and I said that that would probably be the only time I would actually be in a font on my mission. We sang Away in a Manger for the musical number at the baptism with the elders and I will always think of Grandpa Mullen. We had 3 investigators in church yesterday - 2 of which we didn´t know before hand so that was a good surprise. We brought a lady and her son. It took some convincing by my companion but her little boy wanted to go so they came. Hopefully we will get to visit with her husband sometime soon. We actually contacted him first but he wasn´t home when we went to the appointment. But hopefully we can get them both to church soon. As for mail this week, we didn´t get any, but I should have some on Wednesday.

Anyway, I am doing great and just want to know if I am going or staying, so hopefully we will find out soon. I know the gospel is true and I love you 3 sooooooooooooooooooooo much. You are the bestest and I am excited to start my 12 days of Christmas stuff this week. I liked seeing in Lenny’s pics how a lot of stuff is the same - tables, Christmas tree, chapels....etc. So, a couple funny things... I learned the word for hot glue gun yesterday when the daughter at dinner got hers out - pistola silacon (I think) and I thought Velvalee would be proud. :) Anyway, the daughter at dinner is studying tourism and picked the Grand Canyon to do her project that had to be a natural touristic place so if I stay here maybe you could send me a picture when I was actually there. Also I read about Santo Domingo in the green Spanish book. Sounds like a cool place Lenny. And funny thing yesterday... A drunk man that we contacted asked me if I was single and my comp told him that I was married and he said if I wasn´t married I could marry him so I could get my residency here. He was 60 but first said he was 28 and then changed to 28 times 2 and then he said 60. Anyway, I was laughing pretty hard. Some other guy yesterday passed by and asked if my comp was single. I think that stuff is semi-entertaining. Anyway, I am excited for my mail whenever it comes. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I can´t wait to hear from Lenny next week. And who knows where I will be? I am doing great and I love you tons. Thanks for being the best parents ever. We will firm up the call plans next week when I am more sure of it all.  I hope you had a great week. Thanks for all the updates and give Irene my best.  I love you sooooo much.

Love, Alexis   

December 5, 2011

Greetings peeps with some big news!

We are headed off to Jinotepe after this because we are going to Managua tomorrow to have some training because I WILL BE TRAINING NEXT CHANGE. So it is a meeting with the people who are training now and will be next week.  My old comp goes home next week, but the one now doesn´t so I will only be with her this one change. I am not sure if I will stay here in Rivas or will be opening an area to train, but we will see. Anyway, it is cool to start someone off and have a little more control of what goes on, but then comes the responsibility, so whatever. It will be fun. So not sure about where I will be for Christmas and the instructions I have are that it is a 30-40 minute call and I can call from a phone place or give you the number of a member and you can call. I think that will be easier especially if I am here and know lots of members. So basically we just need to choose a time and then I will just work around being at the right place at the right time. Anyway, as far as mail I got a bunch of letters last week from Kelsey, Grandma Olive, Chessy, mom, a sister I was with in the MTC, and Lenny, and DearElders from Gehrings, mom, dad and Joyce. So, hopefully I will see some of your packages this week, but I know it will all get here. Also hopefully we will get the conference Ensign soon. The branch here got them yesterday but the other branch had a bunch mixed up with English ones. So last night at dinner I read Elder Holland’s talk since they got an English one and it was fantastic. These couples need to get on missions. Tell that to the 30th ward peeps por favor.  And for a funny thing. The adult diapers here are called plenitud which means fullness which I think just is wrong for a diaper but I think they were going after the fullness of life. I thought dad might appreciate that.:)  So we have had a good week. We still have trouble getting people to church but we´ll keep trying. We had 2 people there but we shall see. I got to see the Christmas devotional last night. I watched in Spanish, but it was real fantastic and I loved the English music. We could only go if we had an investigator so we searched for some people and I called one of the investigators who comes to stuff to invite him. He said he would and when we got there he was there so that was mighty fine since I really wanted to go. We met a member this week from Houston. Actually she is from here but has lived there for like 25 years and was visiting for Christmas. She called us out from the street when we were walking with the elders and invited us to a party she was doing for the kids of the neighborhood. We said we couldn´t come until later. We showed up and it was over but she gave us some cake and drinks and we talked to her with her husband. They want so bad to be citizens of the USA but have a hard time with the English part of the test. Well, I am enjoying the lights going up and trees. I think when I have my own house I will put up blue lights and Lenny can put up red ones. So, today I learned the word for patent leather – charol (that’s for Elena) and I enjoyed these little pastries for breakfast which remind me of eating pie crust, so that was good. Anyway, the work is going along here. We are working with a few families and need to find some new ones too that will progress faster. We need to work more with the members because that is key and makes it easier. Yesterday one of our recent converts came that didn´t come last month so that was good. I am enjoying myself here and I really want you to come some day and see my life here. Sometimes I think back to when I first came and how now there are so many things that don´t faze me at all - like filling up buckets in the shower just in case there is no water, or dogs and horses in the street. Now it is just part of life and I can’t believe sometimes I am actually living this little life in Nicaragua. But I know I am where I need to be. I love you so much and can´t wait until I talk to you so soon and then the next Christmas party fest. And just so you know we have a Christmas activity on either the 20 or 21 with other zones so that should be fun. I know they will try to make it as special as they can. They just turned on Christmas music here in the internet place. But this Christmas will be great and real different but like Pres. Uchtdorf said that not everything has to be perfect to have a great Christmas. Elena, that was a crazy story about the birds and climbing out the window. Also if you could tell Marni to start learning how to make pupusas I would appreciate it. And maybe she can take you to the El Salvador restaurant she went to. Mom if you could make gallo pinto I would love it. Well, I love you all tons and am off until next week. Have a fantastic week! The gospel is true. Las familias son eternas. I love you.  Love, alc

More from the DR missionary!

Just emailing again from the mall this week. We are with the other hermanas...Chessy´s friend and Hermana Mcentire.  I got a lovely load of mail this week. I got the fabulous pillowcase packet. We both loved them. I also got your plan of salvation package which is great. It is fun knowing that you made it for me. :)  I got Grandma Harvey´s package too. I thought I remember you telling me not to open it, so I promise to save it for Christmas. I also got letters which were great. We had a fun activity with a couple of zones playing softball today. We are going to the temple next week, so I should be emailing on Wednesday according to what I have heard. So it’s been a good week. We are getting ready for our baptism on Thursday. She lives right below us. Anyways, things are going well for that and the ward seems to be taking care of things. We had a great stake conference yesterday. The mission president and his wife were there and the temple president and his wife and of course all of the missionaries in our zone. It was good seeing them all and it was fun to sing in the choir. We also had a stake primary activity last night getting ready for Christmas. The lady getting baptized this week came with us and it was outside and the kids sang and stuff. It was fun and we got cookies and hot chocolate. It was actually a little chilly last night with the wind. Then the people stayed for the Christmas Devotional but we left since it wasn´t starting ‘til 9. The members are really great here and I like being at the stake center because it is close for all of the activities. I would kind of like to come back here for the end of my mission when I can get to know the members more because they are really great. It has been a little cool at night here and I haven´t needed my fan as much during the night or I get out my blanket. My new favorite food of the week: tomatoes...fried tomatoes to go with my eggs. :) I´ve had that a few nights this week. Sometimes I do toast with eggs and tomatoes and sometimes I do egg burritos. I bought some lovely fruit loops with marshmallows this week which I have been enjoying even though the box was like $7. Cereal is expensive, but worth it. Sometimes I make a pb & j club for breakfast... 3 pieces of bread and pb and guava jelly... mmmmm. One elder said today that he ate 11 jars of pb his first couple of transfers. :) Funny! We had pizza here at the mall and we are going to get frozen yogurt for dessert after we are done here. mmmm. So I am thinking that I will start telling guys that we talk to in the street that I have a boyfriend back home, because a couple have called us using the number on the pass along cards or pamphlets we´ve handed out. I think maybe I will just use the picture from the MTC and tell people that T & T are my boyfriends back home. :) Just kidding but it would be funny. On Christmas I want to try to talk to the 3 of you. I heard we get about 45 minutes and I imagine having you conference call would be best, but I will keep you posted. As I have been studying this week, especially the conference talks, I am starting to understand a little more about how much love Heavenly Father has for me. I think about how much you love me and try to imagine that Heavenly Father has that kind of love but infinitively more since He is all knowing and all loving. It really is incomprehensible, but he really is our father. I love you all so much. Thanks for all of the support. Can´t wait to hear your voices in less than 3 weeks and then come home to a crazy Christmas house next year. Twill be the best ever. So the other hermanas in our zone...Chessy´s friend and Hermana Mcentire have had some rashes for the last couple of weeks and have gone to the doctor to figure it out, but couldn´t figure out what was going on. Anyways yesterday they told us of their fun stuff going on at their house. They said that their water had been smelling weird for a couple of weeks, and on Saturday, Hermana Mcentire decided to climb on the roof to check out the tank. They live on the 4th floor in an apartment complex, but one of their neighbors had a window they could climb out and make their way to the roof. So Hermana Mcentire climbed out on the roof and then found the tank. She looked into the tank and found a dead bird. grooooossssss. The cap for the tank had come off or something. They said they were pretty hysterical about the whole thing. Anyways, somebody came and cleaned out the tank and they washed all of their clothes and sheets and plates that had all been washed in the dead bird water. The funny part of the story was seeing the president´s wife´s face yesterday when they told her that they had climbed out of the window on the 4th floor to check it out. Now they are doing fine and hopefully the rashes will go away. We were supposed to go on exchanges with them last week, but it got moved ‘til this week, which I am really glad about now. That was a tender mercy for me anyway. But they are fine and it is kind of funny now. I am sure this will be funny for them as time goes on. I enjoyed Sister Garn´s email and hope things go well for her. I love you all so much and can´t wait to talk on Christmas. :) Thanks for all of the mail. I love you so much. ejc

November 28, 2011

More from ALC!

So I am here now. I am glad that you had a good Thanksgiving Lenny. Here it was pretty much the same as a regular day. People are putting up their trees and lights here so it is looking more like Christmas. Thanksgiving isn´t anything here so it was more like it just didn´t happen, but Christmas is a big party here...more on the 24th and the 31st than anything with fire crackers and stuff. I am pretty sure we will go in early on those days but we haven´t got the instructions yet. Well, I am glad you had a great trip and didn´t freeze too much. Glad you are doing well. I got sweet mail on Friday. I got your package with the soap and flashlight on Friday. Muchas gracias and I got the package with candy from Jayne which I was suprised got here so fast. I got DearElders from Annika, you, and the Gehrings. Annika was funny and said she was going to make a chain of the days I had left. Crazy girl. Well, on Friday we had pizza at the zone meeting and from what I understood the President helped buy it for our Thanksgiving treat. So that was good. Well, we were unsuccessful with people at church yesterday but hopefully we can get some this week and maybe find some new people. The meeting went well with Elder Amado and so did the musical number. We did I Need Thee Every Hour. I liked some things he said about how we should look and work with the people who are ready now because there are some and that everyone has their time to accept so work with the ones who will accept now. I also liked his examples of the missionaries in the Book of Mormon - Abinadi and Ammon and that Abinadi only reactivated one soul and Ammon baptized thousands but they were both successful. Anyway, it was good and we got Burger King for lunch afterwards too. We are trying to have some success in one way or another. But we just keep working and eventually it will come. We’re trying to find some new people to teach. The branch gave us yesterday the list of the children older than 9 that haven´t been baptized so maybe we can reactivate a few families and get these kids baptized. The gospel is true. I won´t be sure about the Christmas call until the very last Monday before, because we have changes the 14th so I don´t know if I will be here or somewhere new. Anyway, we can work it out later. Well, we went with the elders on Saturday to visit one of their converts and nonmember husband and sang some songs to them. We sang Away in a Manger last and I thought of you Mom and Grandpa Mullen. Even though I didn´t hear him sing it, I will always think of him. Also fun fact for you Lenny - Sleigh Ride in spanish is paseo en trineo. So look forward to that song next year as we blast it for you. Also they are selling tictacs in the grocery store here so that was a good treat with good memories of having them in church. This week I got to talk to some people in English since we were waiting for a member by the highway where the buses passed and they were asking where the bus to san juan del sur passes. I wasn´t sure but I asked and it was weird talking in English. The lady was from the Phillipines and the husband was from Ohio. Also a man from England asked where the bus to Costa Rica stopped. I wished I would have asked him more about where he was from, but oh well. I also get excited to see shirts from things I know. There are some high school ones and I would be so excited to see a Mt. View one. But I will let you know when that happens. Also, just so you know I am well taken care of here and the lady at dinner calls me her chela and I like that. She is really good to us and so is the lady at lunch. The people are great here. Today we went to the RS president’s house and she gave us each 3 corn on the cob. It was a lot but tasty. Anyway, I haven´t had much time to write letters today and I don´t know if I will get to write many, but I will try. I did send some last week. So, I am doing well. This week we got to ride in a horse drawn carriage when we went out to the boon docks with the elders so that was fun. I had seen these carriages before but never had ridden in one. So that was a first for the week. I can´t believe it is almost December. I will be happy to talk to you on Christmas!  I am doing great and it will be a Christmas to remember. Well, I love you TONS and know I am where I need to be. You are the bestest! The gospel is true. Love, alc

Photos and more from the DR

So I am on the computer now. We are at the mall which is fun because it is all decked out for Christmas with music and all. We saw a couple of the other hermanas here too. We had a little activity with the zone at our chapel today. We played a version of baseball but instead of a ball you use something like a bottle cap. It was fun except the other hermanas weren´t there as they had to take care of something at the office. We had 8 investigators at church yesterday which was great, but we´ll have to see who can really progress, but it was nice to have people show up. We´ve had a good week here. Christmas is in less than 4 weeks! Yippee. We had a good Thanksgiving. Well, it was actually pretty much like any other Thursday, but we did fix some of the stuff you sent and listened to Christmas music. I bought some cranberry sauce too and we sang Thanksgiving songs in the morning. I was thinking of my favorite West Wing episode too. We had our zone meeting on Thursday like always and the mail hadn´t showed up yet, but we called and they were coming so we waited which was nice. I got my 12 days of Christmas package and thanksgiving card and pictures from Kelsey B. and a couple other letters. I loved Annika´s letter.  She signed it, love your sister, Annika. The Greens are so great!  It was grand!  I love mail. I am glad to hear you had a fun trip and I look forward to your letters about it. This week I have quite a few random stories to tell you. I saw a guy with a ASU t-shirt on the other day and I said that that was my university. I had seen it before but hadn´t said anything to him. One of our investigators pulled out 2 white hairs from my head the other day. I thought maybe they were just old highlights but they were pretty much white, which was funny. I guess I have mom´s hair. I ate a couple of the candies Jayne sent, in honor of your trip. I had a little crunchie on Friday for your return. So the lady that we sometimes visit has given us snacks to take home before. On Saturday she gave us each a little pack of saltine crackers and then got out a Malta Morena. It is a drink here that is pretty nasty. It is dark brown and tastes like molasses and malt or something. She opened the bottle and I said we could just take it with us, but she poured it in 2 glasses for us, so we had to drink it. I think it is the smell that is the worst. As I was drinking, I was thinking it smelled like cat food. Then my comp thought I was gagging on it and she started laughing and then I started laughing and the lady was laughing at who knows what since she is really hard to understand, but we managed to down the drink without spitting it all over, but it was quite funny. Anyways things are good here with Hna Ball. She is very nice to me and sometimes does my dishes and this week she shined my shoes while I was in the shower. I have been thoroughly enjoying reading the conference Ensign. I read the talks Dad had mentioned from the priesthood session which were great. In my homecoming talk, I am definitely going to talk about how much I love senior couples. :)  There are so many great couples in 30th ward who I would love to have as a senior couple. I can picture you two as an office couple. It would be grand. My favorite scriptures of the week: Mosiah 2:41 and D&C 90:24.
So I think we have the temple next week so if I don´t email next week just know I will on Wednesday. We visited a new, less active member this week and I felt like sharing the scripture from D&C and as we were talking she said that our message was just what she needed which was cool. It is always nice to know that we are being led by the Spirit. I love you all soooooooo much. It is almost December. Crazy. I can´t believe Lexxy is almost half done. Love you lots, ejc

...So here are some photos. There are some from the activity today. Also a few from Thanksgiving. I did organize my desk today so it looks better than it did on Thursday. Also one from my avocado phase. The other is the Christmas tree we helped decorate. But the freakiest picture is the one with the girl that comes to our English class. So I got the pictures you sent from Lexxy and I actually thought one was me for a second. Then we realized that the girl that Lexxy was with looks like this girl. Maybe her long lost twin. :) Anyway, I asked her if I could take a picture with her on Saturday. Twin stuff is so funny.

November 21, 2011

Hola peeps!

So I am finally on now...super late. So last night the plan was that this morning we would head to Jinotepe and hang out with the zone for p-day, write here, etc. and then sleep here and go to Managua in the morning. Then this morning we got the call that there were some issues with the general authority’s travel plans and he wasn´t coming until next week. But they were going to have an activity here with another zone. Anyway we came but without our stuff for tomorrow since we thought it was off. Anyway, it is back on so we had to go back and get our stuff and come back. So, we just got back and I am here now. But the internet place is closing in 15 minutes. It was a good week. We are teaching some new people and had 5 people in church. Only one is some one that is progressing but whatever. We were happy. I got letters this week and maybe tomorrow in Managua I will have a package, we shall see. Anyway, I am glad to hear all is well in the DR. I am doing real well. Tomorrow I am accompanying two elders who are singing for the musical number. Hopefully, I won´t mess up too much. We are doing Nearer my God to Thee. It will be fine but it is a little more improvising than I prefer.  We are still waiting on the Liahona conference edition to get here. I will be happy when it comes. Well, I don´t know how much time I have left but I am glad all is well where you are at. Too bad I missed you. Happy Thanksgiving. It will be a different one this year but something to remember. Next year I will be partying with you.  We are excited for the meeting tomorrow. We are keeping busy and working with a new family or two and a hermano. This place is about to close but I will have more to tell you next week. It was a good day even though we spent a lot of time on the bus. We played a little futbol and practiced the music. You are the bestest 3 peeps on planet Earth. Thanks for all you do. Even though we are far away I still feel close. I love you and will have a great Thanksgiving Nicaraguan style.  And have a happy DR Thanksgiving Lenny. I did mail a few letters today. I hope the trip is fantastico. The gospel is true and I am where I need to be. Love you TONS. Love, alc

More from the DR land!

So I am on the computer now. We had some difficulty finding a place that had power and wasn´t super slow, but we found one. We met up with a couple of other sisters for a little while today and then had lunch and did a little shopping. I am doing good. I made a pre-Thanksgiving meal yesterday with mashed potatoes and stuffing and I will make that with the turkey meal you sent for Thursday too. Hermana Ball is doing good and settling in to the new life here with bucket baths and all that jazz, but we are doing good. When people ask how my Spanish is coming, I tell them enough to get by. :) I decided with the training to not try to put on a show that I really know what I am doing, but just show her what I know and then we figure out the rest. She says she likes being able to try and talk during the lessons since we both need to and that I am not so set in my ways that we are able to adapt and work together. She says I am doing a good job. Things are good here. I got a lovely boatload of mail at zone conference on Thursday. I got a package from you and I got the package from Jayne so I will be enjoying some English candy. :)  I got lots of dearelders and letters... ones from Donna and Kelsey B. and Grandma Harvey. Gotta love mail. We had a good zone conference. 8 of the 12 hermanas were there which was fun. Hermana Hernandez also made pumpkin pie which was delicious.  It was a good time at the office. I thought about you a lot on Friday as well as Natalie and Matt. I had ice cream a few times this week with my 5 month mark, your anniversary, and of course just whenever. :) I had a Baby Ruth to celebrate Lexxy´s 8 month mark. I got the conference Ensign this week at zone conference too, so I am excited to have that and read the talks again and the ones I missed.  So it´s been a good week here. This week went by much faster than the last one. I think the time goes by slower when there are changes but now the time is going by fast again. Crazy that November is almost over. Soon I will have 6 months and Lexxy will be half done. :) We had a good day yesterday with investigators at church. We had 6. Some were kids of investigators but we were happy with that and we are getting a little more help from the ward too. We still have our baptism planned for the first full week of December. Hopefully our investigator will continue to progress. I think we will be going to the temple in 2 weeks, but I haven´t heard the exact date. I will try and tell you the week before since we will probably be going on a Wednesday. My comp is playing the piano for the stake choir for stake conference in a couple of weeks, so I am singing too, which is fun. We have practices on Sunday. We are having a big mission Christmas party the last p-day of this transfer, the 19th I think. The whole mission is supposed to be there at the office and it should be a good time. I have been enjoying reading your letters lots of times this week, and I had 2 weeks’ worth. So my new favorite food of the week is eggs. I kind of go in waves of what I like. This week I bought some eggs and have been cooking those most nights. I also bought some green salsa which has spiced up my food a little. Also some random things from a visit we were at. This lady we visit on Saturdays usually has a newspaper out which I enjoy looking over sometimes, especially during things like baseball and stuff. Well, on Saturday there was a big picture of one of the republican debates and an article. I couldn´t understand a lot of the words since my vocab isn´t focused on political stuff but I got a great kick out of the article and my comp thought it was funny that I was so interested in it. Anyways, good times. Also at the same appointment there was a little mouse running around especially around my comp's feet. Gotta love things like that in the DR. It was really a cute little mouse and I am just glad it wasn´t some giant rat. Well, I am doing good here and looking forward to our next grand family vacation. At least next Thanksgiving Alexis will be home for the auto show and who knows when I´ll be home... for sure January 1, but I am still hoping the mission president will decide to send us home the transfer early so we can be home for Christmas and get ready for school. I love you 3 soooooooooooo much. You are what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving...more than ever. I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a fantabulous trip! I can´t wait to hear all about it. Ejc

November 14, 2011

More from the DR

So I have survived my first week of training.  Really things have been good. It's challenging being the one responsible for making sure things are done the way they should be, but I am definitely talking a lot more. We are working on trying to figure out how to teach the lessons as I didn’t do a lot of major teaching before and my comp is fresh from the MTC.  I was real happy on Tuesday when I saw all of the other American elders from my group and they are training too. Some of them are in new areas too and one is a district leader. Craziness. Everyone we visit says that I talk a lot more and we did put our first baptism date for the beginning of December so we will see how that goes. Crazy that I will have 5 months tomorrow and Lexxy 8!!!!!!   I didn’t get any mail this week which was really weird but the DearElders must have arrived later and I will definitely get mail this week on Thursday when we are at the office for zone conference. We went to the temple the week after zone conference last time, but I’ve heard that we are going in December, so if I don’t email next week on Monday, don’t worry. I will try and give you a heads up but whatever. Give my best to the happy couple on Friday....Natalie and Matt :)  
I am doing good and my comp is good, tries to talk and stuff, and is really motivated. We had a great time at a zone activity today, played volleyball and it was fun talking to the other hermanas and missionaries. Then we went to Burger King with Chessy’s friend and my MTC comp Hermana Mcentire. Good times with the “king”. I thought of Mr. Vogl. We were supposed to go to the park with all of the missionaries in the city like we do every transfer but there is some sort of strike and protests so we didn’t go. Yesterday one of the presidential candidates set up some sort of rally at the corner outside our house and the house was literally rumbling because the music was so loud. Luckily we were just getting ready to leave for the afternoon and when we came back at night they were all gone but it was funny.  I think you would be pretty proud that I haven’t got really lost here. I think that is because I have had to teach the area to two comps. There are still lots of places I don’t know exactly how to get there or I am not sure exactly what street we are on, but I do pretty well considering my directional challenges.  :) I also managed to get us to the zone activity without getting lost. The other sisters gave us directions and luckily I had been there once before. I know the Spirit helps guide us and helps me remember where things are.  I am looking forward to all of the mail that is coming and I am sure I will have some this week.  The Eickbushes are the best!  They always comment about how much mail I get. Good times. I love you all soooooooo much.  Things are good here and I am looking forward to Christmas! Yipee. I hope we can coordinate our calls when it gets closer. I am sure it will all work out. Alexis, I am glad your interview went well and I hope you have a fabulous anniversary Mom & Dad!  25 years since the beginning of the bestest family ever and eternity to go!!!!! Man I love you peeps!!!!!!!!!! Also I am enjoying the Thanksgiving package and the popcorn is delicious.  Well my time is about up.  I hope you have a fabulous week and we will email again soon.  Until next week, your favorite DR missionary, ejc

Hola peeps!

So, here in Rivas this week was a little disappointing since our baptism fell through. The elders are helping us with him still and hopefully we can get him baptized soon. Then we had a lady come up to us in the street and asked if we baptized and we said yes. We visited her and then on Saturday we went and got her to come to the elders’ baptism.  She had been visiting the church in Costa Rica with her member son.  It was an up and down week, but whatever. We keep working and eventually we will have some success with some baptisms. I had a real good interview with the president on Friday. We were first at 6:45 a.m. Interviews were in Jinotepe which is an hour or so by bus. But the earliest bus wouldn´t get us there in time so we went on the last bus on Thursday and worked and slept at the sisters’ house there. We put the two mattresses together on the floor and it was fine. I worked with the new sister there and I sort of had a wake up call that I am not new anymore and that I should stop waiting around, until I don´t know when, and get going. She was looking at me for direction and I was like I don´t know, but it was really good with her even though it was only an hour or so. Also the President gave me quite nice compliments at the end of my interview which I was glad to hear since I wasn´t sure what he thought. He was really nice and I felt like my Spanish didn´t hold me back too much. Elena, I told my president that you were training and quite nervous but it will be great. Have lots of fun and that is cool. Anyway, life is good here. We are working to do some baptizing soon, but it will come eventually. Have confidence with your Spanish. And I bet you’ve realized you have learned a lot, now that you see where you came from with your newbie comp. Seeing the new sister in the zone has helped me realize I have learned lots, but I do tell her often that I don´t understand it all, so she doesn´t worry. I am glad you are doing well. I got lots of mail on Friday too - DearElders from you, Joyce, Brennan, and the Gehrings, and cards from you and Amy Allen, and my twelve days of Christmas package.  I liked Tanner and Tucker’s excerpts from the blog that you sent. I think the same things sometimes about working efficiently that Tanner said. I like to do my things logically but sometimes I just go with the flow and if we walk more than we need to, oh well. Also, I asked the president in the interview about calling home at Christmas and to Lenny. He said we can only make one call but if we arrange to call at the same time that would be how we could do it.  Christmas will be here so soon. We sang a Christmas hymn in Relief Society yesterday which was fun. Also, this is week 46 for the year. So I am excited to hear how the training is going Lenny. I will be writing on Monday next week. We are going on Tuesday to Managua to hear Elder Amado of the Seventy. We will probably be in Jinotepe again on Monday and stay the night there since we have to be in Managua at 7. Anyway, life is going well. It has been hot here this last week, but yesterday and today it has been cloudy. Anyway, I am doing fantastico and I had a real good time talking to the president.  He made me feel real good. He said I am always ready to do what I am asked to and things like that. So that was nice. Well, I love you so much. Have a fantastic anniversary. Can´t wait until you hit your 46th anniversary. Also thanks for sending copies of wedding announcements. I like that. Well, the gospel is true.  LOVE YOU TONS.  Happy 5 months this week Lenny and that means 8 for me.  We are just about done here and I am glad it is all going well. I will look forward to more of your emails next week. I got the picture you sent of Elena and her comp. She is quite tall. I love you all soooooooooooo much and you are the best. You are the bestest family in the universe. Las familias son eternas. Love, alc

November 7, 2011

So greetings - week 13 in Rivas

I have about 45 minutes since we only have an hour on the computer now which includes our time to email the president so anyway. That’s crazy Lenny, but you will be fantastic and you will learn tons of Spanish quick. So my new comp is Sister Ayala from Honduras and she’s cool and we are going to baptize this week. We are happy. We have a new district leader too, but so far so good. I have had good district leaders so far and the zone leaders are cool too. The Latino has learned lots of English since he says the other comp only speaks English to him. Anyway, that should be fun. Just laugh lots with your new comp. You will be great and learn lots together. I think that is good. In our district it is just me, my comp and two elders, but in the zone there are 6 sisters and 12 elders. Anyway, a few things before I forget - the week of the 21st I may be emailing a different day since a general authority seventy is coming for three days 21-23 and we don’t know when will be our day for our meetings with him. There are changes the 14 of December so there is a chance I could be with someone else for Christmas but we will see. I have heard some new sisters are coming so maybe she or I will be training. My comp has 10 months in the mission and is 2 changes ahead of me I think. She is much more upbeat and talkative and the elders have said I am more perky too so that is good. I just have to be more courageous in talking and interrupting her since otherwise I won’t talk in lessons or contacts. It is a little more responsibility being the one who knows the people and where things are but it is good. We are excited the man came to church yesterday and that we will baptize this week. That is a good way to start off. So, 3 new sisters came this week - two from Guatemala and one from Nevada. Two of them are in the zone and I am happy there is another American with me at the zone meetings. It has brought back memories of when I was new and hopefully I can be of help to her. She has a good comp and seems to be doing good so far. Anyway, we were visiting someone the other night and ended up talking to this lady. As we left she gave me a super big hug which was cool. Yesterday we ran the primary the last hour of church. I didn´t really do much since I don´t know primary songs in Spanish except for “soy un hijo de Dios”. But it was good. And before I forget - HAPPY 11-11-11 on Friday. I will be celebrating. I am glad Socks is doing better.
I am in total agreement with Elena about how happy I am to be sealed to you 3! That is the bestest and really super awesome. So I will be home in less than 11 months. Craziness. The gospel is true and I love you tons. I just have a few minutes left. Then we are off to the Pali which is the Walmart owned place to stock up on a few things.  Here there is a Maxi Pali that is new that we will have to check out sometime. Anyway, my comp has a boyfriend that is supposed to write at 2 each Monday so I should be fairly regular with this time. He is on the mission in Honduras. Here are some pics. Some are from the p-day last week and then one is with the daughter of the lady where we eat dinner and then some are from the service we did on Saturday with the elders moving some dirt out of the hole for the outhouse bathroom at a member’s house in the other branch.
Anyway, enjoy and I should have some baptism ones next week. Well, I can´t wait to hear about Lenny’s first few days as a trainer. It will be fun!  Love, alc

I'm here & I have big news!

So I am on the computer now. I am using a mac laptop at a library which is a little weird but it is free and luckily I have experience working on macs thanks to GDP. So, last night the mission president called and I handed the phone to my comp because I figured it was for her and then she put me on. I couldn´t really understand everything that he said, but he asked me to train the new sister. Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found out that she is from Utah and is learning Spanish too. When the mission president called I thought he was joking but I realized that he probably wouldn´t be making prank calls. :) So it will definitely be an experience. As I was fasting yesterday and closing with a prayer I asked to know that the changes are inspired. Little did I know what was coming. I am a bit nervous, but I will just trust that this is what I need to do and I am going to need the gift of tongues more than ever. I guess the Lord and the mission president trust me more than I trust my abilities right now. So we went to the office today and I got a package from you. I didn´t open it as it is easier to carry on the bus home, but thanks. I also got dearelders and letters and the shirt from Grandma Harvey last week. So I finished off my big 40 oz jar of peanut butter this week, just to let you know. We also ran out of gas but luckily my comp wasn´t going to wait days to ask one of the members to go get some for us. So we have gas. :) I saw a dead rat on the side of the street amidst some trash and would have taken a picture but didn’t have my camera with me. I will be picking up my new comp tomorrow and my current comp and her new comp will be going to their area tomorrow. It will be real interesting. It has only been 12 weeks since I was doing this myself. I will likely be with my new comp for Christmas as usually the training is for 12 weeks. So I will probably have 4 transfers here. I was hoping for a change, but this wasn´t what I was imagining. So, it was Thursday that I was with Hermana Mcentire and as I was praying at the end of the day, I had the feeling that Lexxy had had a real good day too with her new comp...don´t know if that´s true but I felt that you were doing good, Alexis. Hermana Mcentire, from the CCM, and I spent one of the mornings this week together when our trainers had a meeting. We felt like little kids who were away from their parents for the first time and it was exciting. We had a great time. We spent most of our study time chatting but we went out and worked for a couple of hours in my area visiting a couple of people and contacting. I really hope we get to be companions again. Hermana Mcentire and Chessy´s friend are still comps and in my district so I like that :) At the meeting they announced that they are going to be making improvements to the houses like painting them, new mattresses, and also generators!!!!! Yipee! That means we don´t have to worry about the power. They had some interesting facts about church membership. There are 14 million members, 4 million attend Sacrament meeting, and 2 million pay tithing or are temple worthy. Isn´t that crazy! Can you imagine if all 14 million members were active how much the church would grow. Just thought you´d find those facts interesting. We also started our English and Portuguese classes this week. I taught the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, etc. There were quite a few kids there so it wasn´t too intimidating. The Portuguese classes will not be continuing unless my new comp speaks Portuguese. :) Today I am still with my old comp and her new comp is staying with us tonight until I pick up the newbie tomorrow. I don´t know what I would have thought if my trainer had been an American who didn´t speak Spanish and just finished her training. :) Alexis, it sounds like your comp is like the comp I have had this transfer. It was nice cuz I wasn´t stressed about saying anything but I wasn´t pushed to learn a lot either, but that is going to change. We also have a new district leader so things will be interesting. :) I hope you have a grand week and I´m sure I´ll have lots to tell you next Monday. I am going to be learning a lot of Spanish since this transfer my comp was happy doing most of the teaching and talking. I love you all tons. I am always thinking about how blessed I am to be sealed to you for eternity. There isn´t anything better. That was funny about Lexxy´s dream last week. There will definitely be some big hugs coming in 13 months. All of the people leaving were at the office today and someday that will be me. I love you all sooooooooo much. ejc