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!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Starting out in "Little Mexico"!

Hey Mommy! So happy to hear about how everything is going! I'm glad Nana is doing a bit better and that Giselle is now done with tea, good riddance!!! Haha I completely forgot you're all in charge of the primary program, I bet it I'll be awesome! I'm sad I don't get to see it all put together :) you still don't have a music teacher??? What? That's so much to do on your own! Goodness gracious you're so awesome:)

It's been a crazy week full of new experiences haha!! So first off, my last area compared to this area is COMPLETELY different. They call it "little Mexico" here which is really the truth. It's a little/"lotta"ghetto here hahaha but the people, of course, are so open and kind! If you picture Nacho Libre you've pretty much got a picture of my area. Hahaha There are ice cream trucks, elote trucks, people selling tamales on the streets etc. It's been a lot harder than I thought getting back into the groove of speaking Spanish but I'm getting it back little by little! Biking.... (P.s--an Hna. had left a bike for me to use, so I do have a bike!) Well being on a bike  has been an adventure and continues to
be. On Tuesday, I got on the bike for the 1st time and I felt like I had completely forgotten how to maneuver it and I was freaking out, but after another 10 minutes, I finally got the hang of it. It really
isn't horrible except for, I am still figuring out how to stop and start when we stop at red lights and then with traffic and cars and everything it's a little scary haha. The really great thing is that we
have another companionship of Hermanas en el barrio and they have a car, so when we go to district meeting or church or like today on p-day, we drive with them and do things together which has been a relief BUT biking is still tough, especially since this is one of the hottest areas in the mission... Another plus, is that our little apartment has a little A/C unit in the bedroom which is a lifesaver
when we get home at the end of the day! :)

My new companion is Sister Evans, she's from Utah and she has been out on her mission for almost a year and she's been in and out of this area a couple times, so the barrio knows her really well and she knowsthe members of the barrio. The Bell Gardens ward, is so sweet! They remind me of our branch, Gate City. They even had a multicultural night a few days before I got here. The members are super sweet and I am getting accustomed to the Hispanic food again haha :) (I'm gonna be honest for 2 seconds, just because you're my mommy and I just want to tell you exactly how I'm feeling: It's a little frustrating because I feel as though I have been moved around a lot and every time I get settled in an area, I get moved and it's tough. It's also hard because the other pair of sisters and my companion have all been companions with one another and have all had fun memories and
know the members of the ward etc. so they bond. And I'm just off to the side. I never thought I would ever have to feel left out on my mission, but I do. I'm trying to stay positive because I know I'm here
for a reason and I know that there are people who need to hear this message but because I keep getting switched around I feel super new and like I will always be new. I don't know. I just needed to rant for a second. I'm feeling a little lonely so I miss you guys, now more than ever, plus they are all nearing the end of their missions. I get what you mean about feeling like I'll never see you but we will and sometime soon we'll laugh and cry about the separation.)

Anywayssss the good things that happened this week: we got elotes! Yummy corn on the cob with cheese and mayo and chile... Super good! We also accidentally crashed a fiesta for one of the families little girls, (we went to a members house for dinner but they forgot we were coming so they still welcomed us and we stayed) and it was an all out Hispanic party, with a jumpy house, musica, snow cones etc. the whole shaBANG! It was nice to be able to see and get introduced to a lot of
members before Sunday. So that was fun. The work here of course, is very different in that everyone here is open to the message, because they say "anything from God is good" but a lot of them don't understand the Restoration and what makes this church so special. Here we really have to check for understanding and we have to make sure they have a real desire to know more and not just to talk about God and the bible!

All in all, all is well! Still figuring out the area and getting to know investigators but I will have more to report on next week! I love you guys and pray for you everyday. Sorry I have no pictures this week
but I don't have a library card so I couldn't load my pictures from the week on the computer. :p
Remember that Heavenly Father is mindful of you and wants you to be happy, he is only a prayer away! Have a great week!!! Love you!!!!!!
Con mucho amor, xoxoxoxoxoxo
-Hermana Abreu

Monday, September 14, 2015

I am getting transferred! Bell Gardens, Huntington Park (Spanish speaking area)

Hello Mommy and Papi! Love you both! Hope you have had a great week! :) It looks like it was so funnn! With the bday festivities! I am glad Nana felt loved. Tell her Happy belated bday and I love her! (I can't really say it myself because I don't believe she e-mails) hehe. They better not be treating sweet Selle like a slave over there. It really may not be worth the money haha like it wasn't for me, especially with those darn holidays rolling up! I am excited to hear all about Giselle at BYU-I. Plus I know Nancy and Shelby maybe Kali will be there? I don't know there tracks. Danie told me that Riley is coming home near the beginning of December!!! Yayyyyy <3
P.s.---With Sister Grasinger, it was a funny story actually. We were in that neigborhood, trying a few potentials one person didn't answer the door so we decided to tract the one beside it, for the heck of it when we did, it was Sister Grasinger! The funny thing is that we cover two different wards and the area we were tracting was not in the Crestridge ward boundaries, which is the one Sister Grasinger is in! Hahaha it was so funny and very unexpected! She is awesome :) I am glad she sent it to you, it was all her idea. :)
Picture Sis. Grasinger took and sent to my Mom!
Soooo this week has been an unexpected series of events, transfer calls were last night and unexpectedly, I am getting transferred! I am going to Bell Gardens, Huntington Park. It is a Spanish area.....and a bike area! Oh joy! The time has come. I am actually a lot calmer than I thought I would be. I am excited but also a little stressed with everything. Plus Sister Baek has shown me some battle scars and wounds from her biking transfer. EEEP However I know that of course, there are people waiting for the gospel and the joy that it brings, over there! The funny thing is that on Sunday, the Lunada Bay ward asked me to speak on in sacrament meeting. It was the first time I had actually introduced myself to the whole ward and just when I start to love the members and get to know their names, BAM transfers happen. Haha. Sister Baek and I have been busy busy busy this preparation day getting ready. My new companion is going to be Sister Evans and I am excited to get to know her. Finally I will get back into the groove of the espanol. I am looking forward to being back with my peeps, the Hispanic people!! hehehe I have noticed 9/10 times, when we talk to Latino people on the street they immediately stop and listen and will have a desire to have a lesson with us and want to know more. They are just so open and humble!
It was super sad this week because our investigator, Lisa had plans to really come to church on Sunday, but once again her health got her down :( She is just soooo awesome! We recommitted her to baptism on October 10th ( because she wasn't going to make her other baptismal date, because she hasn't been able to come to church) and she is just so excited because October 10th is her fathers birthday and October 11th is her mothers birthday so she'll be baptized and confirmed on those days. She expressed how much she is looking forward to entering the temple and doing baptisms for both her parents (they passed away within months of each other). She always tells us she is just so excited for the day when she can call herself a Mormon! Hahaha she really makes it all worth it. 

We visited Chuck the other day, and he just keep getting caught up with little questions that we try to resolve but he just continues to have more and more. We invited him to church, and at first he declined but then he heard I was speaking and then said he wanted to go. It was cool because the topic I was given for my talk was on "Understanding and Recognizing the Spirit" which is exactly what Chuck has difficulty with, with him being a retired lawyer and engineer and all. We continue to help him understand that his testimony and conversion of the restored gospel will eventually have to come from a feeling, because that is how the Holy Ghost works. I hope some part of my talk touched his heart. 
Once again, it is hard to leave another area but I know the Lord has plans for me in Bell Gardens. I am excited for what's ahead. A new adventure awaits. It is crazy that amidst transfer craziness, I just feel calmed. I really know that its Heavenly Father guiding me and helping me and assuring me that there really is nothing to worry about. I can feel His presence every day on the mission and I know even more that He is watching over you guys as you go about your work and school. I love you more than words could ever say. Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ and endure to the end and ye shall have eternal life!!!! Hasta la proxima semana!!!! I know this was shorter than normal but talk to you soon! 

-Hermana Abreu 

 Me being overjoyed with being done with the 12-week missionary training

Gorgeous view from a member's house! 


Really good pizza place, called BLAZE we enjoyed it a lot, as you can tell!

 Sister Baek with her cardigan over her head because she was just done for the day and was frustrated with a lesson we had because the member wouldn't stop talking hahahaha!!!

Picture with Rachel and Becca Whitaker, awesome members in the ward (currently at BYU-I) both waiting to go on their missions (Rachel-Mongolia, Becca-Cleveland, Ohio) :)

103 degress. It has been so hot this week. SO . HOT.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day Monday! :) that looks soooooo fun! :) Sister Baek and I are celebrating with emailing at the church building and Taco Bell because everywhere else is closed. Hehe
Glad you are making a fun fun day the day everyone is off! How is school going for everybody? Getting into the groove of things? On the mission I forget if it's Monday or Friday or whatever and sometimes people will say "have a great weekend" and I completely forget it's a weekend, the days all blend together haha.
Pretty scenery selfies with Sis. Baek!!!!


So this week has been good! This week we had interviews with President Weidman which were great :) it's great to be able to talk to him about everything. 

Coolest thing this week: We have two new investigators!  DP and Shanta, they are a couple from Nepal and their story is really amazing. We came in contact with them through the referral system. They moved from Nepal here a few months ago because their home was destroyed because of the earthquake over there. They came here to find work and a place to live. DP actually found the Book of Mormon online and started to read it, soon after, the missionaries found them. Craziness! They moved temporarily to our area, and want to continue taking the lessons and get baptized. BUT the people they are staying with are also from Nepal and if they find out DP and Shanta are meeting with missionaries from the LDS church they are going to kick them out! They have so much faith and love and they really have a strong desire to get baptized but their circumstances at the moment, aren't allowing them too! Another difficulty is it's a little hard to understand their English but when have the Spirit in the lesson, it really doesn't matter. 

Our investigator Chuck has been doing some digging on the Internet lately about the church which is really never good and is doubting a lot of faith and testimony that he already has of the gospel. Satan works so hard on those people who are ready to be baptized. Chuck is still his same humorous self and Sister Baek and I are praying really hard to know what would help him the most at this time. Transfers are coming up and there is no telling what's going to happen! We shall see :) This week I tried Thai food for the first time. It was super good! and I also had something called "boba" which I had never really heard of before. Well out here in Cali, it's a thing. It's a type of drink with tapioca balls in it hahaha it's odd but pretty good! 

As we were talking to our ward mission leader the other day, he said something that hit me. He was talking about conversion. He said every single one of us is ready to be converted in some way. Not necessarily converted to the gospel but conversion truly is a lifelong process and we are all converted to different things at different times. Someone might be ready to hear the gospel but some are ready to be converted in a belief that there even is a God. There are people all around us every single day who may need a friend, or an uplifting message. In missionary work, a lot of times there isn't much need for finding. The members of the ward have friends and acquaintances that they interact with everyday and they are put in our path for a reason. I have a testimony that God really can answer our prayers through other people, and we truly never know what seeds we are planting in people's hearts. It's important to always be examples of our Savior Jesus Christ. :) I am really looking forward to General Conference, I can hardly wait to find out about our 2 new apostles! I know this church is true and that when we obey Christ's teachings it brings blessings!!!!! I love you guys soooo much, words can't even describe it and I'm glad you are enjoying your Labor Day. Mwuahhhh! Talk to you soon! Have a great week at school and work!!!! 
-Hermana Abreu 
We went to lunch with
Christina, a wonderful less-active, recent convert :)