Monday, December 21, 2015


Merry Christmas!!! LOVE YOUUUU!
I can't even believe that I get to talk to you all this Friday, it doesn't seem real!! But I am so excited, we have plans to Skype at the Osorio's house on Christmas Day, and we can Skype at whatever time we want, we just have to decide so we can let Hermana Osorio know so she can get the Skype stuff all set up :) Whatever time is good for you all! She said, if we want, they can set up their TV so that I can see you all, big screen! I cannot contain my excitement, talk to you SOON!!!!!!!!!!!
I got my Christmas box, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
Sister Morrison got hers too, so we took them all out and put it underneath our little tree:)
My early Christmas present from home!  I have been listening to David everyday, as long as Sister Morrison doesn't get sick of it....hahaha!!!

Our little Christmas tree!!

I know I say that every week is a week of miracles, but this one has been a Christmas miracle-kind of week! This week we had our mission Christmas Devotional, where the mission gathered together and had a day full of training's and we celebrated together, the birth of the Savior. There were many beautiful musical numbers from missionaries, and narrations from the scriptures of Christ and his birth and we also had a spirit filled testimony meeting with a delicious, Christmas lunch to finish! It was so beautiful, it definitely helped me feel the Christmas spirit, but most importantly the Spirit of Christ. Something that President Weidman shared that really has helped me understand the importance of my first Christmas on the mission, is that before our missions, we remember Christ but as missionaries we represent Him. It is such a precious time to serve the Lord, and this time of year is so special because people's hearts are opened to that spirit of Christ! There are so many prepared people here, we have seen the fruits of that this week!!!
Christmas miracle of the week #1 -- Our investigator, Norma wasn't progressing too well, when we talked to her about her baptism she said she wasn't ready, due to certain things/concerns. We then went back a few days later and she told us about this bad feeling that she had been having, she had felt as though there was a bad presence around her, she couldn't even sleep all that week. We then talked to her about a priesthood blessing and she said she would love one and so the next day the Elders came over and gave her the most beautiful blessing of comfort. She had tears in her eyes, and right after the blessing we had a lesson with her and her heart was changed. The spirit was so strong and she committed to pray about baptism for January! It is so amazing to know that this power of God was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith, and that we have it today to bless the lives of God's children. I know that priesthood power is real and it enables us to feel and experience the powers of heaven on earth.
Christmas miracles #2-- Yesterday we received a member referral through the phone of a woman in the English ward who wanted the missionaries to go visit her nephew and his newlywed wife. She called us and explained to us the situation and apparently the wife, Jennifer, had gone to a baptism of a nine year old girl the week prior and said that she felt the spirit so strong and wanted to feel that same thing for herself, baptism. She had also gone to the Tijuana, Mexico temple open house a month back and commented and said "how and when can I get married in here?!??" Basically, she wants to get baptized. Sure enough, Sister Morrison and I go over that night right after the phone call with the member who gave us the referral and we have the most amazing lesson with her and her husband. We set a baptism date with her for January 17th!!!!!!!! Her only question for us was how soon after I am baptized, can I go and get sealed in the temple!!!!!! She is amazing!!! She is so sensitive to the spirit and is so willing and ready to know more and to follow Christ fully. Sister Morrison and I could hardly contain our excitement we jumped for joy!!! Knowing that God prepares people and they are put in our path is just so AMAZING! I know that missionary work is joy. It is pure joy, I felt it last night and I feel it every single day that I am here. Our brothers and sisters that are seeking this joy need to be found, I like to think of it as the JOY CYCLE :) People who are looking for the gospel are seeking joy, we as members of the church and missionaries, bring this joy of the gospel and share it with them and when we do that we feel a new joy that comes from sharing something we cherish and seeing another cherish it! I love it! I love the gospel and I just love being a missionary!!!!
I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I know that he lives. I know that he was born to live and set that example for us, and to die and suffer for every single one of us so that we might have joy. The joy I feel when I think of His birth and his Resurrection are indescribable. I want to invite all of you to share that joy of Christ and of the gospel with someone who needs it, this Christmas season. 

"Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have JOY." 2 Nephi 2:25

Merry Christmas to all of you!!! Xoxoxoxo I hope that you spend it well and with loved ones <3 
I will talk to you in 4 days!!! WOOOOOO :) LOVE YOU!
-Hermana Abreu
President and Sister Weidman and I at the Christmas devotional :) 
Sister Morrison and I celebrating my 6-month with churros from Lucero's Bakery
My new companion--Sister Morrison!

My old companion Sis. Evans and I

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It's because of Christ!

Happy Holidays Mom! So happy to hear about all that's happening! I seriously can't even believe that Riley is coming home! Send him my love at the airport on Wednesday :) 

My week has been another busy one! My new companion is Sister Morrison, she's from Springville, Utah with a family of 6 as well, you can tell she loves them a lot!!! She is fresh from the MTC and is green as it gets hehehe it's weird not being the new one. She is so sweet! She struggles a bit with Spanish but is working hard to get it down! I wish I could say I know how that feels, the blessing of growing up speaking Spanish! I admire all the missionaries that have to go out and learn a completely foreign language, I have witnessed the gift of tongues with my companions! 
Bell Gardens is doing well, Christmas is everywhere with lights all around! We haven't tried it yet, but we want to try the caroling tactic for proselyting and just start caroling for people and then having lessons on the spot. I think it will open people's hearts a bit :) We've been losing contact with a good amount of our investigators due to the holidays and things but we shall hopefully get in touch with them all soon! Praying for a white Christmas this year! ;) (baptism jumpsuits)
 I don't have too much time today but I just wanted to let you know that I love you all so much! I am just so filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for being able to be on a mission, as different as it is from any normal Christmas, it's cool to be able to take a step back from the gifts, and the decorations etc. and remember why we celebrate. Our Savior was born! And oh what a sad sad world it would be if we couldn't repent, or have a second chance, or say I'm sorry or feel any type of joy! It's because of Christ that we can be joyous and celebrate this time of year!!! 
   "10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
(Luke 2)
I hope that your week is extra joyful!!!!! Love you times a million! Have a wonderful week <3
-Hermana Abreu

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Prayer Works!

Happy Monday! Love you! How are you doing?? It looks like Genevieve's baptism and her Skateland birthday party was a success! Everyone looked so beautiful, especially Genevieve in her beautiful baptism dress!!! I am so happy for her, that is the cutest thing "I did it, I'm baptized" man she is the purest, most sincere, wonderful girl in the world! My heart aches for not being there but everything looks like it turned out so well.

Another great week in Bell Gardens, a lot of changes, for sure! Mid-way through the week we got a call from the assistants to the president notifying us that our bebecita missionary, Sister Flake got her visa for Brazil and that she would be flying out on Monday. So this morning our little birdy, flew away to Brazil! But its okay because I will be training a new little birdy!! :) We got transfer calls last night and Sister Evans is leaving, while I am staying and training a brand new missionary! I am anxious for the next transfer but excited all at the same time. I still feel new at missionary work although I have been doing it for 6 months now. I have complete trust in the Lord and his plans for this area.
Us and Hermana Reyna at the Relief Society Christmas dinner :)
I am so excited for the amazing things that are happening in this area, Norma, is getting closer and closer to baptism on December 20th! On Saturday night, we had a Christmas Relief Society dinner  and she went and loved it! It was so beautiful! The hermanas made like all different kinds of soups, with bread and salad for dinner and at the end they had a beautiful spiritual thought where they took us into the RS room, where the lights were turned off except for some Christmas lights they had lit around the room and they had different Hnas dressed as women who lived during Christ's time on the earth and they all gave testimonies of Christ as if they were the women who witnessed Christ, like Mary, Martha, the mother of Joseph, Elizabeth and the inn keepers wife. It was so cool! Norma really enjoyed it and she met a lot of new people!
Sister Flake and I matched, completely on accident!
Picture of some of the Christmas lights at the LA temple, when we went to drop Sister Flake at the mission office
I have gained a stronger testimony of prayer this week!! I know that God really does answer prayers, whether they are small and simple things, or bigger issues in our lives. On Friday we were walking when I realized I had misplaced my planner somewhere along the way. I lost my other planner the transfer before so I wasn't going to let this one be lost forever! So as soon as I realized it was missing, we retraced our steps, (which is hard as a missionary, because you walk everywhere) and stopped by the members who we ate dinner with, our apartment, we looked all along the street with no luck. I went home that night pretty bummed, especially because it was nearing the end of the transfer and the planner had all the information of potentials, investigators, and basically the record of my whole entire transfer here. I prayed hard that night for my planner to be found by some chance/miracle. The next morning we decided to try one other place where we had been the day before to look for it, so before we left the car we said a simple prayer, asking for my planner to be found, still in tact. We get out of the car and start looking, and not even 10 seconds later, Sister Flake gasps and runs to the sidewalk and there is my planner, in a corner of the sidewalk, perfectly in tact and whole. What a great tender mercy! I know that Heavenly Father knows how much that meant to me, although it was small, I know for a fact that He led us to that place to find it at that time, completely fine. Its has been amazing to see how prayer has blessed the lives of our investigators, when they pray they feel the difference, their faith in God and His influence in our life grows and their love and relationship with Him is strengthened. I also know that no one can receive spiritual truths without prayer. All truth comes from God and he gives us that witness of what is true through feelings and impressions from the Holy Ghost. I know that God is so aware of every single one of us and what we need. "And whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given you." 3 Nephi 18:20
I do know that it does take effort on our part, and answers to prayers do not always come right away. "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God, then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship." (Prayer-Bible Dictionary)
Prayer works! If you haven't tried it, I invite you to! I promise that you will more peace, more direction and more joy in your daily life. 
I love you fam! I will update you on my trainee this week, once I meet her! :) I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will talk to you soon!
Can't wait to skype on Christmas! Xoxoxoxo
Hermana Abreu

Monday, November 30, 2015

You could say we ate pretty well on Thankgiving!

Happy Happy Monday! It looks like you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :) I missed you but I know you were all stuffed from the wonderful food!
This week has been another long one but a great one! Monday we had the chance to go to the Museum of Tolerance in LA, and it was really cool! Its a museum dedicated for remembering all those who were lost in the Holocaust and other genocides all over the world. It was really nice to do something different on preparation day, although it did leave us with no email time and no shopping time because of the traffic so we were a bit stressed but it was a great experience! Tuesday, Elder Kim B. Clark and his wife visited our mission! It was a wonderful and inspiring visit. We were able to ask him questions about our investigators concerns or missionary concerns, it was awesome! Thanksgiving was great! We did our usual thing, as we went out to work everyone kept asking us why we weren't inside eating turkey, haha and so then after all the lessons we had, our investigators would say "stay and eat!" There was even a lady we contacted on the street who gave us a plate of food to go! You could say we ate pretty well on Thankgiving. We ate with the Perez family in the ward, and it was great being with them and also her husband's in laws, it was crazy and fun, reminded me of home!
Me and Hno. Cruz, a recent convert that made a HUGE thing of arroz con leche, he is so awesome!
Estela our investigator, she's so cool!

Me and my companions!

2nd Thanksgiving dinner
 We also ate dinner with our investigator, Norma and her family at like 8pm.... The food never stopped! Haha The rest of the week was good, except for the last few days I have been sick with a really bad cough and cold. We took it kind of easy yesterday in the evening and then I rested right when we got home. Sunday was a spirit filled day! Our investigator Norma came to church for the first time, and LOVED it. She has plans to be baptized on December 13th. She is continuing to read and to pray and she tells us that she just feels the difference. She describes that before she felt an emptiness in her life but its getting filled with the gospel. We're still teaching her daughter, Doreen she just hasn't been able to come to church because she works on Sundays but she said that hopefully it should die down at her work during December so she can go to church! Sacrament meeting at church yesterday was amazing, the topic for the meeting was missionary work and Sister Franks, who's leaving in a couple weeks gave an amazing talk and we did a special musical number "Venid a Cristo" Then ourold ward mission leader, Hugo, gave a powerful talk on how we as members of the church can and should do our part in missionary work. Its so true! This work would be nothing without the members!  Our investigators needs fellowshipping and love as they get accustomed to a new environment.
Miracle moment of the week: We contacted a man during the week who told us that he had actually read the Book of Mormon when he was a lot younger. When he was at school one day, he was running on the track and literally tripped over a book of mormon that was on the ground. He said he had read the first part ( 1 Nephi) and liked it but he had never really thought much of it. He told us that just right before he ran into us he was just thinking about joining a church. He told us that he's been going through a really rough time and how grateful he was to have ran into us. God really does work miracles!
Elder Clark shared a thought that I have been pondering about throughout the week in Doctrine and Covenants 84:119 "For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people." When Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ, the congregations of 20 or 30 people could not see the fruits at that time but now, today this gospel is being spread to all nations and more and more people every day are learning about this wonderful news! We are living in the day that has been prophesied by prophets for centuries. I am so grateful to be able to be a part of God's work now. Elder Clark said: "There is no other thing that you should be doing right now, than being the Lord's trusted servant." The Lord has put forth His hand to exert the powers of heaven in Los Angeles and I feel so grateful to see people's lives changing as they accept this gospel in their lives. 
I love you family and am grateful everyday for my eternal family. I hope you have a great week with Genevieve's birthday and all! Happy BIRTHDAY to my beautiful sister, Genevieve! Send her my love on her special day!!! I love you!!! Have a wonderful week, talk to you next week!
Hermana Abreu


Monday, November 16, 2015

It's getting chilly in Cali!!!

Hi Mommy! Love you!!!!
This week has flown by!!! Its so good to hear about your music filled weekend! That is so cool that Robin and her husband came, I wish I could have heard your solo. :( I am sure it was beautiful! 
With the weather changing everyone is getting sicker, its the same over here too, so we're trying to sanitize everything! This week has been wonderful! We set two baptismal dates for December 6th and they are both so amazing! We met them through our other investigators. Estela is the sister in law of our investigator Armando. We stopped by to see Armando but Estela answered the door instead, we then shared the restoration with her and we didn't even have to invite her to read in the Book of Mormon, she said she would love to and she loves the peace that she feels when we come by. Our other baptismal date is Doreen's mom, Norma. The same situation happened when we came to see Doreen, Norma was there. We shared a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and she loved it! The next time we came we shared the Restoration and we read Moroni 10:3-5, she had to grab a highlighter and mark it because she loved it so much. She got sooo excited!!! We have a lot of other investigators that are progressing and it is so amazing to see the progress in the work in Bell Gardens. This week we also had the chance to take our investigator, Adriana to the Visitors Center. Adriana is the daughter of  Hno. and Hna. Cruz, who are recent converts. The VC sisters gave a tour all about building our faith in Christ because she doesn't really know much about Christ and His life here on earth. It was a really amazing tour and we all felt the spirit really strongly. Its also really cool because soon the Visitors Center is going to start having Christmas events about every other day in December and that is when they set up all the lights around the VC and the temple.
Us at the Visitors Center of the temple with our investigator Adriana

We got to attend the temple!!!!
 It is really cold here in LA, which makes me even more excited for the holiday season. Doesn't really feel real that Thanksgiving is coming up and Christmas is right around the corner. Plus Genevieve and Rio's birthday is coming up! I am so excited to talk to you!!!! I am preparing for that emotionally ;)
We also got to do a session in the temple and it was so great to be there. The Los Angeles temple really is so beautiful, I know that temple attendance is so important to our spiritual growth, not only that but the temple work that we do is so important! We taught and talked a lot about family history and work for the dead this week and it made me really excited to get working on family history (haven't really been the best about it) but it is so important to be able to complete the ordinances here for those of our family who have passed to be able to give them that opportunity. It is the work of salvation!!!! Also all of our recent converts in the ward went to do baptisms for the dead for the first time and loved it! The Cruz family, Hno. and Hna. Cruz are so excited to be sealed in the temple, they are counting down the days! I love this ward so much. I am grateful to have a home that feels like home. The members in BG continue to love and support us by coming out to work with us and feeding us! Haha but they have a love and a unity here that is similar to the Piedmont Branch.  
Exchanges this week!!! Sister Chistiansen came to our area and Sister Evans and I stayed, I just love exchanges!!! I love learning and getting to know other sisters, overall it was a wonderful and fun day :) 
Also, Elder Kim B. Clark is coming to our mission to speak and even has set a part a time to have a few lessons with investigators and President Weidman!!! We're trying to see about bringing an investigator, that would be a really amazing thing to be able to have a lesson with him. 
My companions and I are doing well working together as a trio, it was Sister Evans and I two month anniversary yesterday...haha the longer and longer we are together the more and more we grow alike :)
It truly is amazing to see the fruits of our labors this week, to see that God has prepared these people! I am grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the opportunity that I have at this point in my life to share it. I love you so much family and continue to pray for your well being and especially for your health as the holidays draw near. Let me know if there is anything you would like for me to pray for. Keep pressing on family!  
Keep praying and reading the scriptures as a family!!! That is what helps feel closer to our Heavenly Father!!!! Talk to you soon!!!
p.s---Only 39 more days until Christmas!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Abreu 

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Tender Mercies of the Lord!

Hello mommy!
I am sorry that Giselle is sick! Strep throat is so icky and never fun! I was actually thinking the other day about how happy I have been so healthy so far on my mission, no sickness has hit me yet! *knocks on wood* I can just picture the icky rain, haven't seen rain in a good long while, haha!
This week I am so grateful for cooler weather, I have even pulled out a few scarves to wear, I never thought that would happen! We're grateful we're in a car right now because of the fact that it is getting a lot cooler in the evening and its getting a lot darker a lot earlier, which really is not my favorite. We will be showing up for lessons at like 7 or 7:30pm and people wonder what we are doing out so late when its just after dinner time. This last Tuesday night the ward had a family home evening, we had invited our investigator Doreen and so before the activity, we stopped by to see if she was still planning on coming. When we came by we actually ran into her boyfriend who we hadn't met yet and he is almost never home when we come by, we reminded them about the activity and they both ended up coming with their cute little boy, Xavier! We gave her a church tour and the FHE was really fun, the youth had a great spiritual thought on the plan of salvation, they then played musical chairs and had churros! (My new favorite sweet :) ) They loved it and it was so amazing that they both were there! 
A couple weeks ago I was with a member named Ana and as we were going to an appointment we met someone named Sandy, she seemed interested and so we got her info and set up another time to see her. This past week we finally got to have a lesson with her and the spirit was so strong! She has been through a lot of hard things this past month and we ended up showing a video about Hope. After we watched it she started crying and telling us that she felt something that she couldn't describe and that she thought the video was so beautiful and it was as if it were talking to directly to her, pricked her in the heart.We bore testimony about the gospel and testified that this is what her family needs. It is just so incredible to me that there are so many people who don't know about this wonderful spirit that they can feel and have in their lives, they can have that companionship everyday! I have faith that Sandy will be baptized! Something that was shared at our zone training meeting this week and that we have been trying to teach our investigators and members is recognizing the tender mercies in our day. In 1 Nephi 1: 20, Nephi is talking about Lehi and all that he suffered while trying to obey the Lord and declare repentance to the people in Jerusalem, but at the very end he mentions, "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Nephi is testifying of the Lord's hand in our lives. I have seen how much of a difference it has made in our work as we stop and recognize how merciful the Lord has been over our little area in Bell Gardens. I love writing it down and being able to see a weeks worth of small, personalized blessings! We are blessed when we noticed how He blesses us! And my faith in missionary work is strengthened ten fold!
We have plans this week to take our investigator, Adriana to the Visitors Center, it is going to be great! I just love seeing peoples faith grow line upon line and precept upon precept, and seeing their hearts change. I love this area and am grateful that Heavenly Father has entrusted in me a small part of his vineyard to work in. I miss you all so much!But I am looking forward to talking to you on Christmas <3 LOVE YOU! Have a great week!
Love you!!!!
-Hermana Abreu 
My comps and I eating in the back of a food truck, one of the food truck guys really likes missionaries and the spirit we bring so he makes us free food! Hehe

Me and a member named Isa ;) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Hey wonderful madre! Love you! I am doing great! Seeing all the Halloween fun, made me wish I was there. We actually had to be inside by 6pm on Halloween, which was kind of a bummer but we did our weekly planning during that time! Sister Evans looked out the window of our little casita on Halloween, once we were inside and saw some man dressed up, swinging what looked like an ax and we both understood why we had to be inside, in Bell Gardens, the crazies come out Halloween night so we were glad we were inside planning :) hahaha 
Enjoying Halloween Sis. Evans, and our new missionary Sis. Flake!

Halloween was great! We had a lot of great lessons and talked to a lot of cool people. We celebrated during our weekly planning by stuffing our face full of candy that was sent to us :)
This week we got our new missionary, Sister Flake! She is from Chicago and is from a family of 6, just like Sister Evans and I :) She is actually here in the LA mission waiting on her visa to go to Brazil! She learned Portuguese in the Provo MTC for 6 weeks and then comes here and is now in a Spanish area. It is the hardest thing it seems like, to have to switch from Portuguese to learning Spanish because they are so similar. She is such a great missionary! In lessons that we teach in in Spanish, we will look to her to say something and she does, no matter if she has no idea what we're saying, she always just opens her mouth and testifies! Although it is a mix of Portuguese and Spanish sometimes, the spirit she carries is so strong that it really doesn't matter which language she is speaking! We have had a lot of fun together already and Sister Evans and I have already established that she is the dad and I am the mom, based on our personalities, but training is the best. It is different having to explain everything you do as a missionary to someone else and I am starting to feel a little of the pressure that Sister Hatch felt ;) 
Craziest event of this week had to have been when I ate a whole soup full of shrimp with its eyes, antenna and everything, I was dying.....but I did it! On your mission you find out that you are capable of a lot of things you never thought you could ever do hahaha
These are a few pictures of us eating shrimp....mommy, I ate a whole soup with shrimp! The shrimp still had eyes and tail and its antenna and I ate it all....well I took everything off of it and then I ate it! hahaha

We also got a car!! Biking around as a trio is fun but we were overjoyed by the fact that have a car now. Our area is so small though, that sometimes we just don't feel the need to drive so we just walk/bike. We think the main reason for the car is just to be able to get to Sister Flake's new missionary trainings that are pretty often, instead of having to get a member to drive all three of us every single time. 
One of my favorite things right now is listening to the Lamb of God, during lunch or exercise of whatever! Sister Flake has it on her mp3 and I just love it! I just think back to when the Greensboro stake performed it and I am amazed at how beautiful the music is. The other sisters are also obsessed with it so we listen to it nonstop. 
At the beginning of this week after transfer meeting, Sister Evans and I got a blessing from President Weidman which really helped us both prepare for this transfer. Something that President felt inspired to tell us is to work with more of our former investigators this transfer, because some are ready to accept the gospel. We have seen some really great potential in a few formers that we have gone by to see, one of them we went to visit the other day, his name is Jorge Verdin. Last night we went to visit him and his family and they were so sweet and open, they told us all about their history with Elders for about 7 or 8 years and they were so shocked to see sisters. In Bell Gardens they have had Elders for about 20 years until this past July they put sisters, the sisters are taking over the area :) Jorge's story with how he met the missionaries is so cool! He actually saw a commercial about the Book of Mormon or something while he was drunk so he dialed the number and asked for missionaries to come to his house, unknowingly. When they showed up he had no recollection of it but the Elders that came by to visit could tell that he had a drinking problem so they went in his fridge and took all of his alcohol and threw it in the street. Since that day, Jorge hasn't had a single drink. We don't completely know why they stopped meeting with missionaries but we have faith that they could get baptized. Fun fact: Jorge thought I was a native from the DR (which I was surprised he thought that) and when I started speaking English for the first time he was so shocked! Hahaha
Our investigators are doing great, for the most part, they just aren't coming to church! Our one investigator Doreen, still hasn't been able to go to church because of her work on Sundays but we are continuing to pray for her to make it because that is her next step! We have many new investigators and are continuing to find new people everyday, we have faith that they will continue to progress and that they can enter the waters of baptism! 
One of the missionaries who was departing this last transfer bore her testimony and shared a scripture that I really enjoyed, its in Alma 28:8, it says "And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi (Los Angeles), their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever." 
The best part of it all is the incomprehensible joy that our investigators feel and we feel and the members feel when they take that step and decide to be baptized! It really is an amazing work! Keep spreading the gospel to everyone that surrounds you! I love you so much family and am so glad that Halloween was so fun! I loved all your costumes and hearing about the fun you had! I continue to pray for every single one of my wonderful brothers and sisters, I truly hope you are enjoying school and everything. I love you more than words can say,really and miss you more than words can say. Know that I am loving the mission and although sometimes we as missionaries have "sufferings in the land...." All is worth it, when others and ourselves feel that "incomprehensible joy" Love you and Happy November <3
Love,  Hermana Abreu
Marta and Mauricio's Wedding!
Our District!

Marta and Mauricio's baptism

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A wedding, a baptism and "We're Training!!!"

Hello! How are you doing? I loved seeing everyone at Renfest! That looked like so much fun! I'm sure Ringa and the MADS sounded beautiful! I also love seeing her in my dress ;)
Welp this week has been wonderful! Filled with a wedding, baptism, Sister Evans and I are expecting!!!
Hahaha let me explain. So this week, the other companionship of sisters in the ward had a couple that they have been teaching and had committed them to baptism but in order to be baptized, they had to get married! So, Sister Evans and I  helped them plan and set up for the wedding!! Surprisingly, my O'Henry tea skills, folding napkins, came in handy. Everyone got so excited when I told them I knew how to fold linens, when really it's pretty simple haha but I was glad to be able to contribute! It was so amazing what the ward put together, it was a small and simple reception but perfect for them, they loved it. It was so amazing to see them take the decision to be married, to be obedient to God's commandments and be baptized! Sister Evans had actually taught them when she was in that area before :) The Lord definitely worked miracles in order for the wedding to happen in a week!
Us at the wedding (the computer at the church wouldn't download my pics this week so I took pictures of my camera with my ipad...not the best, but oh well!)
Besides that, it has been a tougher week, our baptismal dates and a lot of our investigators have kind of gone off the radar and there was one day this week where everyone we talked to were just horribly mean! It just made me think about how it's times and days like those where Satan wants us to get down and lose faith but it's those days where we have to fight off Satan! We know that we will continue to find more people who are committed to learning more about the gospel and who really do desire it in their lives. We also got transfer calls last night and Sister Evans and I found out we are having a baby....Hahaha we are training! It's a little crazy to think I'll be training a brand new missionary, on bike, but Sister Evans and I are excited! 
This week I have also been pondering a lot about the Atonement. Before my mission, I knew that we needed a Savior but I never really understood why. I am understanding more and more Christ's role in our plan and purpose here on earth. That because of Adam and Eve we sin and because of Adam and Eve we can't return to live with God again, which is our purpose here in life, to prepare to meet God. Christ is essential in our eternal progression, we needed Him and we need Him everyday to repent, to progress and not be in a fallen state forever. It is the greatest blessing we could ever have to be able to know that no matter how far we have gone, or we will  go astray that we can never go far enough where Christ can't save us. I've never relied more on Him so much than right now on my mission. I know that we all can rely on Him and look to Him for love, help, peace when we are seeking it. I love the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ and like President Uchdorf said in his talk about the gospel a month ago, " It is beautifully simple, and it works beautifully. Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you." I know it's true!!! I'm loving being on the front row seat of the Atonement working in people's lives. :) 
I hope everyone at home is getting excited for Halloween!!! Over here we have to be home by 6pm that night, when we'll do our planning for the week but we and our new missionary have plans to carve our pumpkin that we got today! I'm excited to see Halloween pictures next week :) I love you all so much! Especially my Abreu family! Have a great week, talk to you soon! (Only another couple months and then we can Skype :) :) :)) 
Hermana Abreu
Me and my mini me,
Itzel :)

Our district!

Me with amazing 50 cent churros!!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finally fall in California!

Hey mom! I am doing really well!!
Sister Evans and I with these mango paletas....I am not a huge fan of the mexican way to have it with chamoy and tajin bleh haha so I just had it plain 

Another week has passed, filled with miracles! I would have to say one of the greatest miracles that has occurred has been the cooler weather this past week haha it makes biking around a lot more enjoyable and less tiring. It really is finally fall in California! Sister Evans and I decorated our apartment with all the Halloween supplies you sent me! Sister Evans' mom also sent her some Halloween goodies :) Thank you so much for the package! It made my week!!!
A goal of ours as a mission that I have mentioned before is to try to get 20 meaningful gospel conversations every day. These past few weeks in the transfer we haven't been reaching that goal and so we decided that we were going to make it a priority and we knew that if we did, Heavenly Father would provide us with new, prepared people to teach. So that is what we did! By talking to everyone, we have found so many prepared people and set a new baptismal date with a guy named Edgar just a couple of days after we met him on the street!!! There really is no way to describe the feelings you have when you extend a baptismal invitation and they accept, you know that they are one step closer to returning to live with our Heavenly Father!! We have another new investigator, who I had actually met at the beginning of the transfer on exchanges when I was Sister Franks. The chain of my bike had actually come off and when I fixed it, my hands were all dirty and greasy but then a man out of no where comes and has baby wipes for me to clean my hands.We thanked him and asked him if we could come by to share more of our message. He seemed a bit skeptical but accepted. We called him our baby wipes hero! Haha Recently we finally got to have a lesson with him and his wife, and he is so kind and really has a great interest. It is so cool to know that there are people passing by us every single day and they are in need of the gospel. It is amazing how my weaknesses (biking ;) ) has become a strength, I have been able to overcome and learn so much about the strength that I have, or really, the strength that I have been given as I have humbled myself and accepted the Lord's will for me and where I need to be. My ponderizing scripture of the week is: "And now, O my son (daughter) Helaman (Sister Abreu), behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." ( Alma 36:3) What a comforting scripture! Missionary work is so real and God is in every single aspect of it. That I have a strong testimony of. It is the last week of the transfer and boy has it gone fast, there is no telling if I'll stay or go if Sister Evans stay or goes but I have so much faith that the Lord will keep me or put me, where I need to be!

I actually had a dream the other night, that I was home from my mission, it felt so real! In the dream, it was as if I had never left. That morning I was also reading in Alma, and it is the chapter where Ammon and Alma are reunited after being separated for a really long time it reads "Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.
Now was not this exceeding joy?..." Alma 27:16-17. I thought of our being reunited after the mission and that is exactly how I picture it. :)

I love you and pray for your well-being and the well-being of everyone at home!!! I can just picture the leaves falling everywhere in NC. Have a great week!!! Have fun at Renaissance festival with Ringa, I am looking forward to those pictures! Have the babies had their fall festival yet? I remember going with them last year <3 Love love love you! Talk to you soon!
Love, Hermana Abreu

Me and Sis. Evans having some lunch before we head out for the day!!
The other day my favorite family, The Cordovas took us out to lunch at some pescador place :P bleh haha luckily there was also mexican food! Hermano Cordovas and I bonded because he is not a fan of fish either, we laughed about how we always stick with what we like. It was so cool too because he told us stories about when he would go on trips as a member of the seventy and his experiences with other brethren and especially with President  Uchdorf! So COOL!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happy Columbus Day!

Happy Colombus Day! Haha :) How have you all been? 
What a week filled with miracles and tender mercies!!!
This week started with going to the Visitors Center with our investigator, Doreen! It was so powerful to be there. It was just what she needed, when we were there she said she felt so impressed to really start reading the Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized!!!! However, really the only thing stopping her is that she works on Sunday :( We were in the car on the way to Santa Monica for a really long time but that's okay because Doreen and I bonded. :) 
In front of the LA temple with Doreen
This week we had to hand many people back to the Lord (which basically means we let them have a little bit more time before they start learning more.) But the Lord has blessed us with so many prepared people in return!!!! We set a new baptismal date with a man named Toby. He is so prepared and super awesome. And remember the family I told you about last week? They are so prepared! They have a younger daughter who has cancer, named Karla. We met with them this week and when we did, we found out it was her birthday that day. We brought her a little gift and she was so excited!!! You can tell that her mother cares a lot about her family and you can tell that they are excited to learn more. I can just picture them at the temple all in white! Every time we visit them, they gather all together to hear the lesson and all of them are so attentive! They also have a young daughter who is two years old, she is so cute! This Sunday we had stake conference and right after, we actually had a baptism! There is a young girl in the ward who had to get re-baptized because they couldn't find her records. It was technically my second convert baptism. :) Sister Evans and I did a musical number!
Sister Evans and I with Itzia 
@ the baptism

We also had zone training meeting, and it was really inspiring. Our zone leaders did a role-play that was hilarious. During the meeting we had talked about how as missionaries we are never alone, we always have angels round about us to lift us up. In the role-play, there were two elders talking to someone on the street, and the zone leaders acted as angels pumping up the missionaries. It was so great! It was just the boost that we needed to go out and find those who are prepared. Hahaha 
On Monday, we the sister missionaries hosted a family home evening all about missionary work! A lot of members showed up and they all practiced having gospel conversations. I love the bell Gardens ward! After the Noche de Hogar there were refreshments. The family home evening also celebrating the birthdays in the ward for October. So we had cupcakes, posole, and any other Mexican food you could think of. :) I am definitely starting to feel more at home in the ward!
This weekend we also had a mini missionary with us for the weekend!!! Her name is Gabby and she is so sweet! She was such a trooper the whole weekend, because on Saturday we didn't have too many set lessons. It also happened to be one of the hottest days in the week! We basically biked all over bell Gardens but she was happy and positive the whole day.
Raspados (snow cones) with our mini missionary :)
This week Sister Evans and I have definitely learned a lesson about enduring to the end. Although we had some disappointments, the Lord provided us with many miracles. I know that this is His work and that there really are angels all around us, supporting us, and lifting us up whenever I feel that I can't carry on. I know at the Atonement is real and and that Jesus Christ is always there to lift us up. My ponderizing scripture this week is in Alma 5:60 "And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed." 
I love you so much family! And I am so glad that everyone is doing well! Tell Noah Congratulations for me!!!! Australia Brisbane mission!!!! That is so awesome, I know he's going to be a fantastic missionary. I am also glad that he will be able to see Riley again again before he leaves. :)
Thank you so much for your continual prayers and support. I can feel your love all the way over here in Los Angeles California. I hope you all have a beautiful week. I invite you to notice the tender mercies from the Lord every single day. I can promise that you will find more joy, and see God's hand in your life more abundantly. I love you so much!!!
Hermana Abreu
Arroz con leche on exchanges with Hermana Perez and a member named Elmer :)

Sister Evans and I with the Medina family's puppies <3


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy 1st Week of October!

Happy 1st week of October!!! What an amazing week filled with revelation galore! We started the week with our zone conference on Wednesday which asalways, was great. It's so great to be able to receive training on howto become better missionaries :) it's like a spiritual missionary recharge.
Us with the Cordovas family and Bishop Flores and his wife :)

General Conference truly was amazing!!! We watched it at the church building on both Saturday and Sunday but on Saturday we went to the Cordovas and the obispo and his wife also came for lunch and dinner, so we watched the afternoon session with them in their home. For lunch they cooked seviche....which I ate gladly but it had fish and shrimp with a lime-cilantro sauce, everything I strongly dislike hahaha but I can never complain :) It was cool to watch conference with them
because Elder Cordovas was a member of the seventy and it was funny to hear his reaction and prediction of the new apostles. I very much enjoyed the 3 new apostles testimonies. I truly know that they are called by God to be new members of the Quorum of the Twelve. I sympathized with them when they said how inadequate they felt to be called to fill that position, many times I feel that way to be called as a missionary. I feel as if something so sacred and special such as the work of salvation shouldn't be handed to me but I am reminded of the scripture that I also have chosen to "ponderize" this week ;) :  "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak
things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27) I know that God really does work through us and he doesn't expect us to be perfect. I know that if we really just put all our trust in Him, especially when it
comes to what we lack, then he really does make up the difference. And it was so comforting to hear the new apostles speak and hear their humility. Like they all said, the work is not about me or them but about God's children and bringing them to Him. There were so many things that touched my heart that I don't have time enough to mention but just as you mom, I really enjoyed Jeffrey R.
Hollands talk. That one really tugged at my heart as I'm sure it did yours. I can't thank you enough for loving me and just raising me how you have. As we've talked about before, the love that a mother has can't really be defined in a "I love you" or can't really be enough but somehow Elder Holland got it pretty close to how a mother might feel, truly comparing it to the pure love of Christ. I also loved the
talk given by Russell M. Nelson talking about the important and vital role that women do have on this earth and in the church. My heart is full of gratitude to those wonderful, wise men called of God to lead and guide the church. I especially feel grateful to President Thomas S. Monson who as we could see gives on the podium give his all, physically, spiritually, and mentally to the Lord and this church. I also among many others, wanted to help him stand up but I am so glad he was able to make it through the talk.

Besides the spiritual feast with General Conference and everything, it's been a little less this week as far as appointments. Sister Evans has been sick with a bad cold and so we've stayed in a few days to
make sure she gets better. We did meet a really cool family! The mom Suleima has two really
adorable kids, one named Karla and another Brianna who's 2 :) we had a first lesson with them and it was so sweet how their whole family was gathered together, even her husband, Carlos. I just pictured this sweet family and all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them :)

Continuing the bike life haha this week I had a flat tire and didn't notice until later and there were a couple other minor things to fix but an Hno. in the ward is getting it all fixed up. Luckily these past
few days have cooled off a bit and it's starting to feel a bit like fall :) there are pumpkins and Halloween things in the stores which makes me think of everybody at home. What is everyone thinking about being? :)

I love you all and I hope that something at General Conference touched your heart -and like Henry B. Eyring said if you felt impressed to change something's to become a better disciple of Christ. Do it. I
love this gospel. I've never received a stronger witness that it is the true restored church of Jesus Christ. Press forward with faith!
Hermana Abreu

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bike life...and it's still so HOT!

Hello Family!!!! I hope your week has been great!!!!
That is so cool that you went out with the missionaries! Wow mom you are so awesome. Blessings are going to be poured out over our family for all the hard work you do. I know it. 
Woo! What a week! Where do I even start? This week has been one of those really long weeks, probably because it is crazy hot. It's still so hot. Looking forward to the end of October when everything cools down a bit. Hahaha this week we also had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders and Sister Franks came to our area and Sister Evans left. It was a struggle because for a week now I have been following Sister Evans on bike but now I was the one leading the way :) I survived! Exchanges were awesome though :)  Sister Franks is an amazing missionary and I learned a lot from her. This whole week we have been having dinner with members and almost every time it turns out to be a party for someone so we've been to about 4 parties this week haha I'm also having to adjust to having carne asada, con frijoles y arroz (tortillas--can't forget that) about every night dinner. I can't complain though. By the time we get to someone's house for dinner after the day is finishing I am just so tired that it is the most appetizing thing ever. 
Me and Sister Franks on exchanges!

Fiestas with Coca-Cola!

This week we found a new investigator named Lilianna! She's awesome. We've really tried to find people who are prepared because a lot of our investigators don't have a desire to come to church which makes them getting baptized a lot harder. We've had like 3 lessons with her in 3 days, she is super interested and has a ton of questions but just like a lot of people she doesn't understand why she needs to be baptized because she has already been baptized in the Catholic Church. We're excited to continue working with her! Our other investigator Julia is so sweet! We invited her to the General Women's Broadcast but last minute she said she couldn't make it. We are hopefully going to the Visitors Center with her this week, we know she's gonna get baptized, she just has to take a few more steps and she's there! 
The other night Sister Evans and I were biking and a little chihuahua chased us and bit her foot! Somehow when I came by the dog, it didn't touch me. Luckily it wasn't too bad of a bite but she says now she can officially be "a missionary" hahaha. It was super sad the other day when we were biking my planner fell out of my bike.... It's sad because my missionary planner is my life it had everything I had taken notes of, potentials, investigators etc. all my hard work for the whole first week of Bell Gardens -and it's just gone. Luckily I have another one but that was a bit sad. :( #bikelife
Bike Life!!!
I would have to say the best part of the week was the General Women's Broadcast. I just LOVED the beautiful music and of course Dieter F. Uchdorf's talk. It was just so true. Everything. It is all about our attitude. And it really is through faith, hope, and love that we can have that optimistic outlook for every single thing that happens in our life. If we are anchored in Christ, really we cannot go astray! It's so comforting to hear the words of our apostles and I am so excited for General Conference. Something else that really has helped me this past week were words from a brother in our ward. Elder Cordovas actually used to be a member of the seventy and he is a member of the bishopric in the ward. He's awesome and very insightful! The other day he was talking to Hna. Evans and I about a talk by Elder Oaks talking about real growth. He mentioned something that stood out to me. In whatever situation we are in we need to just think, how can I grow from this? Because when we go through trials, endure them well, and make it to the other side.... we grow from it. That really is the purpose of them, to make us stronger. I know that every hard time, heartache, tough experience is all for my growth. Whenever I feel weak or inadequate I know I have Heavenly Fathers help. I've received that help especially though the comfort of the Holy Ghost. We go through what we go through to be able to grow and we receive so many blessings when we endure it well and positively like President Uchdorf mentioned! I am so grateful for the counsel of latter day prophet and apostles. I invite you all to really listen to the words of the prophet and apostles this weekend, I know that something they say will be able to touch your heart and help you with whatever you're struggling with.
I love you family! Happy 4th Birthday to my Ryker Tirso!!!!!! Send him loves and kisses on his special day :) Talk to you next week xoxoxo les quiero muchisimo!!!!!!!!
Con Amor, Hermana Abreu
Hermana Evans and I with our elotes (mine was all eaten)

Me, Hermana Evans, Hna. Perez and Hna. Franks

Hno.Ruiz, Elmer---we saw them while biking and they were headed to go home teaching, and we took a picture of them because they looked like missionaries

Dinner with the Hidalgo family at a cute mexican place with amazing mole!

Hermana Evans!

The yummy mole!