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