Monday, December 30, 2013

Email - December 23

On Saturday, Javier Gonzalez got baptized so that was exciting! Today he took us out for breakfast at Denny's. He said that to be baptized was the best decision that he has ever made. His whole family was there supporting him too, it was cool.
I love you and I can't wait to talk to you on Wednesday!! Have a Merry Christmas Eve. Tell the fam and the ward and the Hartsfield's that I love them!!

Email - December 18

    So lots of changes have happened this past week. Saturday, we had 2 ward Christmas parties. One for Mesa Del Sol and tons of our investigators came so it was pretty awesome. The ward has it at the prettiest place ever!! It is at this ranch that has a pond and boats and horses and it is just so beautiful! I want to buy the land! They had a GINORMOUS bonfire!! And steak! When we were there, we got a call from our zone leaders, they said that Sister Ward is transferring on Tuesday, so she needs to pack her bags. We were all super duper sad about it because she is just an angel and we love her. We went to the second Christmas party with the Spanish branch. I got told that I am speaking in the Spanish branch this Sunday... I am so nervous because no hablo espanol!!
   Last Sunday, we went to our churches and then we took off to Tempe that night with all the missionaries in the whole mission. We all went up for our Christmas Conference. Sunday night was the Mission President Fireside, which they have once a month but I have never been able to go because it is too far. It was the BEST THING EVER besides what I am going to tell you in a little bit. But they had new converts speak and I loved it! Usually missionaries bring recent converts or investigators to these things. They are hopefully starting one in Yuma soon! That night we stayed at the Brown's home (huge house) they are going to be a new missionary couple that stays in the office. Doing what my grandma is doing on her mission. They are so nice! The next day (Monday, this is why I didn't email you) we had devotionals about Christ all day and about the Temple and got to know all the missionaries in our mission and had a testimony meeting. I don't think the Catmull's niece is in our mission anymore. That night we had family home evening and got to hear a ton of musical numbers! It was awesome! So much musical talent, it's ridiculous! Then we slept again at the Brown's with all the missionaries from Yuma. This is the best part.... I GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!! yayayaya I have never been so excited in my life and I was just imagining those people that live far from the temple and only get to go once in their lives. I was so excited I was tearing up! The Mesa Temple is drop dead amazing! No kidding! It is beautiful! And the new video, ahhh I loved it! I was so happy to be there and found so much peace! Guess what, I got to hug President Toone in the Celestial Room, I hugged a man! The biggest man ever! Have I ever told you how tall he is!? yeah so it was amazing! And then we drove home last night! And we found out for Mission Leadership Council Sister White and I have to drive back up Thursday night to Friday evening. Our week is shot!! And we have Javier's baptism this Saturday that isn't really planned, so this will be interesting and all of our baptisms for the 28th, who knows what we will do! And right now I am on exchanges with another sister. 
    This past week our zone met a new time record of how many investigators at church, we had 35 and before our record was 27. As a zone we have 20 people on date for baptism. Miracles happen! In our area, which is down right awesome, we had 14 people at church, and we have 7 on date. At the Christmas Conference everyone was coming up to me and saying, I hear your area is doing amazing! It is so cool to think about how this area was "the struggling area" before, and now it is one of the best in the mission. I know that is because of obedience and diligence, miracles happen! 
    Also, I talked to Sister Toone this past week. We had a zone conference Sister White and I taught about sustaining ourselves in our callings, leaders, fellow missionaries, and the Lord in this work. I was so nervous, my self-esteem was definitely gone that day, but President and Sister Toone said they have seen an amazing change in me and that I did amazing, that they really felt the spirit. 

Uhm... I think that is all. But just know I am thinking of you all a whole lot! And finally it is getting a little warmer again back up to 70 during the day :) Suprisingly I don't miss the snow, which helps not getting as home sick. Well I love you and I can't wait to talk to you all :) :) 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Poem

Before this life , we live together as spirits,
We knew each other, very well.

You promised me that you would be my friend in this life,
And lead me to my Savior.

You promised me that you would keep me away,
From the evil and temptations of the world.

You promised me that when I lost my way,
You would be right there by my side.

Where are you now?

My spirit is gone, my heart is weak,
These feelings just don’t feel complete.

I need you now more than ever.
I lost my way, I fell off the path.

My friend, please come back and be my healer,
Lead me to my Father,

Keep the promises that you did make.
               Come find me now, don’t come too late.

Letter - December 7

My neighbors, two doors down, Laura (mother) and Standen (daughter) were baptized on November 30th. I don't know if I have told you about them, if not than I am surprised because they are seriously my two favorite people! So funny and so random, it kills me! They are my joy each day! Laura pretty much calls me her daughter. She has really taken care of me and loves me so much. I am so grateful to have her here. They crack me up! Laura has been smoking for YEARS and we helped her quit. She had a really tough time, but finally quit for good. I asked her what had made her quit this time. She said, "I want to be a member! I want to be baptized!" It was the most true and honest reply and I felt the Spirit through her. The elders had always tried to share the lessons with them, but they haven't wanted to listen before. I love them so much!

Laura (right) kept singing "Oom-pa, Loom-pa" while in the baptismal suit

Email - December 2

Transfer news!!!
dun dun dun...
.............
...........
..........

I am staying.... hahahaha whooo. So I am staying, my companion is staying. We are still sister training leaders and we are also training a new missionary together. Which means that we will be in a trio of sisters, in a trailer, with one shower, hahaha! This shall be an adventure!! I am really happy to be staying though, so that is good! I have family here, it is nice. 


Shout out to KELLI because she is THE BEST and sent me the cutest shirts ever! I miss her so much! It ain't even funny! Well, I miss all my friends so much!!

My thanksgiving was great! I had 3 dinners=stuffed!
I love you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

   This week was very emotional and stressful. So much work! But it is great because we need this work, right :) On Saturday, very happy day with the 2 baptisms, Kainoa Renaud, he is 18 and down right AMAZING! And Kylee Earl, she is 9, so adorable!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Email - November 18

   This week has been amazing!! I am pretty sure that my area has the most taught lessons per week in the mission, if not, then it has to be pretty far up on the list! But the Lord has prepared many people here to accept Christ in their lives. 
  I don't want to leave this area, haha. I am pretty sure I have about 20 moms looking after me here and I feel like I am home every house I go to. Some moms have been fighting after me to marry their sons when they return from a mission, haha. I am just so grateful for the people here that love me and I feel like they are all my family. It makes it easier to deal with the daily stress as a missionary with such wonderful ward families.

   Last Monday, for p-day, my whole zone went to San Luis, Arizona (look on map). It is on the border, like I saw Mexico. I saw the people lining up at the border entry. All hispanics there. It is probably 45 minutes from my area. Those missionaries in San Luis are in my zone as well. And I define that it is San Luis, Arizona because San Luis also goes into Mexico. This is where all our Spanish investigators go for the weekends, which means that we can't get them to church... very frustrating! Anyway, we played soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball with the zone and with some members in San Luis. It was really fun! Luckily today is a nice relaxing p-day where I finally get to get caught up on the letters I have received. I will write you a longer letter today. I have so many miracles and stories to tell you. P.S. we have two baptisms this Saturday the 23rd. Yay!! I will tell you about them.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Email - October 28

Facebook-- So I can do whatever on Facebook, as long as it fulfills my purpose as a missionary. My missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. So occasionally, I do see my friends status' and stuff when I am scrolling down but I try not to look too much because it is not fulfilling my purpose and it makes me miss my friends, a lot! I am not the biggest fan of Facebook proselyting just because it is really hard to be on there and seeing everything that people are doing and also, because I have been called to work with the people in Arizona. So on Facebook, I usually just try to look up the people from my area and talk to them or I really try to seek for council of who I should message to or what I should say on the daily status to everyone. It isn't my favorite thing, but also it is nice because I have thought about random people from home every once in awhile and it is nice to look them up and send something to them. But also, if ANYONE has friends I can talk to about the gospel through Facebook, I would love to know so that I can do all that I can to bring others to Christ. I can teach lessons, share videos, share scriptures. If any member has a friend that they chat with, then I can join in the conversation and the member and I can teach a lesson together to a friend. So technically, family or friends, you can help me out in lessons that I teach online and it wouldn't be against the rules. Also I can talk to less active people online from home or mission or around the world.
So today, I am heading up to Tempe for MLC ( I think it stands for Missionary Leadership Council). All the sister training leaders go and the zone leaders and assistants to the president. p.s. I was mixed up about the sister training leader thing last time. So I found out more information. There are 12 total sister training leaders in the mission. There is either 1 or 2 sister training leaders for each stake in the boundaries. My companion and I are the 2 for the Yuma Stake. Pretty exciting but very stressful! Who am I kidding, I don't get stressed very easily ha. But we are heading up to Tempe in about 15 min to have these classes and I-pad training. Which means I get an I-pad today or tomorrow and we are heading back to Yuma tomorrow. My new companion's name is Sister White or Hermana Blanca. She has been out for 16 months. She is from Millcreek, Utah. (SLC) and she makes me very nervous because of how long she has been out here. I feel like I don't even know what I am doing compared to her. So this week was kind of crazy because I have been trying to teach her the area and all but it is great! Oh and her Spanish is really good!! Everyone in the wards are so happy I am still here. I feel loved :)
 

Shout out to Kylee Aspen Hunt because she sent me the only letter I got last week. It was a way good letter, also. This is the first week I haven't really gotten like any mail. Probably because I have a stack of people I need to write back to sitting on my desk. My bad. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Email #2 - October 21

SHOUT OUT: The Muirs for sending me an adorable Halloween package!
Also, to the Plummers for their ridiculous generosity and the Birthday package!
#feelingthelove

Email - October 21

Transfer News! Guess what!!!? 
................(drum roll) 
I am staying!!!!! hahaha But, I am super excited because this area is becoming greater and greater and I would feel awful leaving it, so I am happy with where I am at. I think I need to find that person I am suppose to help before I move on or something! I don't even know. My companion is leaving today up to Tempe and flying out on Wednesday :( I am super excited for her but also super sad! She's my best friend these days. I am definitely going to miss her so much! But she will do so well in Argentina and that is where the Lord wants her, so I guess it is okay. 
This week has been a little crazy with everything that is going on for transfers, but my companion and I did really well. We taught so many lessons and had a great week! 
I really don't know if I have much more to tell you. Life has been ya know GREAT but nothing new :) 

Oh and also I am a Sister Training Leader for our zone. So they have sister training leaders for the whole mission (4 sisters) and then they have 1 or 2 for each zone. It is a pretty new thing but I am one of them, so that is pretty cool.
hey also... Yuma should be the first place to be getting ipads (besides Mesa zone because they were the trial zone) but we should be getting them before the end of this month :) wahhooo
and the new adventure begins.... :)

Friday, October 18, 2013



Email - October 15

   So, I am really sorry this is coming a day late. My companion got really sick. She wasn't feeling too hot but now she is doing great :) I also got sick not this last Monday but the Monday before. So, we stayed inside all Tuesday. Well, I can't even remember what has been going on so sorry, let me try to remember...
   Funny Story - (The other night my companion and I were talking about how either our humor has just gotten really worse, where we think dumb things are funny, or if we are just full of happiness and light that we laugh at everything.) We went to weekly planning. We do this with the zone and we plan for 2 1/2 hrs of what we will do the following week. There are 22 missionaries in our zone. When I first got here there were only 16 missionaries in the zone. Anyway... Elder Burgees, one of the Elders in Wellton(the district leaders companion) had this cowboy belt buckle on and I yell across the room "Hey Elder Burgees... I like your butt!".... hahaha my companion yells "WHAT!!" So ya see sometimes it is really hard to say belt buckle! I got mixed up okay!! Don't judge! I didn't mean it! We were just dying! Laughing so hard! Luckily all of the other companion-ships didn't hear it because they were talking to other missionaries. I was so embarrassed! Elder Burgess told me that he wrote it in his journal... he loved it too much. hahaha
   Sister Pinnock got her visa to go to Argentina!!! We go on exchanges this week with another set of sisters that live in Somerton, and one minute after I leave my companion, the President calls and tells her the big news!!! She calls me and I am so excited for her, but also so sad because I just love this girl! And then I realize that this probably means that I will stay another transfer here... hahaha I can't even believe it. There must be someone I have to find or help or something!! I just don't know who or what that is. It's okay though, I am just glad I have this privilege to serve and Heavenly Father knows what is best and knows what is right, so I will trust Him. Anyway in Somerton, it was so cool!! I also went to San Luis. Everyone EVERYONE speaks Spanish there!!!! I loved it! I think I grew more in my Spanish in just that one day than I have my whole mission. Because as you know in my area I never really have the opportunity to speak Spanish, kind of sad but one day I will. It has been a great couple of weeks! I love it and I am so happy to be here, also we had stake conference... it was the bomb!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Email #2 - September 30

   I got told the best thing this week.... here it is- So, my Spanish I feel has been a little rough, not many people that I can practice with, but I still have faith, love the language and have hope. We were talking to Maria and Jesus Cabrera, they have known me since the beginning, I was talking to them and they said "Wo, you sound Mexican." Yeah, that's right!! I'm pretty much native! haha I may not know how to say a whole lot, but at least I have a good accent :) The Lord blesses in mysterious ways! Also, yesterday I went through my old Spanish verb flash cards that I made in the MTC. There is about 115 words and I only missed about 13 or 15 or something. I felt pretty proud because I didn't know like any of them before. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Email - Sept. 30

   We recently started teaching our neighbor. She has lived by the missionaries for many years and every set of missionaries have always tried to teach her, but she wasn't open to it. She has let us teach her and she has changed her ways. She quit smoking,swearing, drinking coffee, and wearing not modest clothes. She really is coming closer to Christ. She and her daughter will be getting baptized soon and I have been so blessed to be a part of her change and conversion.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Email - September 23

I have been doing alright this week, my hopes and faith is really being tried, but everyone's letters sent this past week has really helped me. I don't have much time today to write this email, but thank you for continuing to send letters to me :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Email - September 16

About our car accident, this is what happened...
   We were heading back from our district meeting on Tuesday, which is in downtown Yuma. About a half an hour from our home. We just left the church and we were heading east down the main road. The speed limit is 35, so I was going 40. I see a pick-up truck getting into the left-turning lane, heading west, about to turn. Usually, people stop and wait for cars to pass by, so the road is clear, but this truck turned left right in front of us. I gasped  and slammed on my brakes and the next thing I see is airbags deploy.  I looked at my companion to see if she was okay. I was in a little shock, like what the heck just happened!!? I said to her, "You know that wasn't my fault, right?" haha I was worried! But she already knew it wasn't. My companion opened her door and we both jumped out her door because mine was blocked by the truck. We went to see if the guy was okay. He seemed really confused and startled because I don't think he even was aware of us at all before the crash. 
BLESSINGS: 1. We crashed right in front of a fire station. They came right away because they heard the crash and made sure we were all okay. 2. I was paying strict attention to my surroundings at that time and not distracted at all. 3. My companion was looking down at some CD's but she felt a need to look up and sit strait, right before we crashed. 4. Some members were driving by right after the crash and went to take their children home and then came back and helped us take everything out of our car and put it in theirs. And they drove us to the doctors, stayed with us there and brought us home. Luckily, the husband took the day off of work that day. 5. No other cars were around us at the time of the crash, no bikes or people either. Just a two car accident. 6. Both of us aren't transferring and if we were, we would have had to leave the next morning super early. 7. Many many more blessings, The Lord even helped me pick out what I was going to wear that day to make sure I was safe.
Injuries: We went to the Instacare right after, because I don't want any of what happened now, dwell in the future. Instantly, my companion had a hurt hip from the seat belt, it was bleeding and bruised. Pretty much her whole waist is bruised from the seat belt. Her lower back also hurts a bit. And a couple bruises on her arm. As for me- the seat belt that goes across the chest, was what hurt me. I have some bruised ribs and it hurts every time I laugh or sneeze or cough or anything like that. It scared me a lot because at first it hurt to even breath,  so super worried about that. Then I got a huge bruise on my knee, I don't know what from. I got some burns from the airbag on my left hand and right arm. And we both had a little whiplash so we were quite sore and stiff for a few days. 
   We don't really know what is going on with the other guy that was involved. Something that breaks my heart and scares me is that he was most-likely under the influence/ taking prescription medicine when he hit us. You know how those things creep me out! He got some blood work done but we won't know for 6 months what the results are. It really increased my testimony in the word of wisdom, drinking/texting and driving, and how God can ease trials but he doesn't take them away. I know for a fact that God did all He could do to ease our pains, to ease the crash, to ease everything. But it did happen for a reason, what that reason was... I am not sure yet, but I hope that everyone who was involved can grow from it. I learned how easy a life can be taken away from someone that is not paying attention. I learned that life is full of things that are unexpected which I really forgot as a missionary when our whole days are planned out for each hour. 
We were blessed.. 
P.S. the cop just wants me to get a Arizona license so he doesn't have to give me a ticket and that is why I need my birth certificate and guess what... Now my whole mission has to get an Arizona license... haha what a huge DEAL!
And on Tuesday the Mission President was doing interviews and Wednesday he was doing transfers. SO BUSY but he was so willing to help and do all that he could to help us. 

Sorry for this weeks news. But know that I LOVE YOU and that I am so grateful to be serving the Lord at this time, no matter the circumstances.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Letter - September 6

   I probably never have told about the baptism of the Cabrera family, on July 27, 2013. It was and will probably be the best day I will have on my mission. I wish I could explain the feeling I had there because it was just the warmest, loving feeling I have ever felt. I have never felt the Lord's love as strong as I have that day for a different family, rather than my own. Right before we got out of our car to go to the baptism, I asked my companion if it was okay to say a prayer. While I was praying, I started to really tear up because I was so grateful to know this amazing family and to be apart of their change and covenants they are making with Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that we found this family so that they can have eternal happiness. I can't believe how lucky I am to see these people change their lives and become happy. Every time I think about them, it makes me cry with a smile.
   So the thunderstorms here are sic man! My companion and I were just playing in the rain haha. It was so fun! When it finally rains, it pours and pours. It was hailing! And the rain is warm! And the lightening is crazy!Oh, it is the neatest thing I've seen! But, a lot of power lines went down, which isn't good. Especially in the more poor parts. It makes me feel real bad because when you don't have power, you don't have A/C, and it's like a 1,000,000 degrees here!
   I love studying the gospel, I don't think I could ever get enough of it! I have also really learned to communicate with the elderly here. The other day we went out to eat to this really great Mexican food place with 2 elderly couples and an elderly single man. They were SO funny! It was the best dinner. They are all just super blunt and always have clever, cute jokes. I was dying of laughter! Oh man, it was just great! And I heard some really amazing stories of people's lives from these elderly people.
   So yesterday, my companion, Sister Pinnock, and I were trying to find where we were eating dinner and it was out in the country, down a long dirt road. We thought we go down this long skinny dirt road - farm plants on both sides. We drive down about 1/4 of a mile and realize that this wasn't suppose to be a road and there was no place to turn around. Missionaries have a rule that we have to back up each other every time we back up. So, I have to jump out and back her out all the way back down this skinny, sandy, dirt road hahahaha. It was so funny! We were dying of laughter! I love my companion so much! We go together like peanut butter and jelly!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 2 - Email

Tomorrow we are getting FACEBOOK :):):):):):):):), so we can do missionary work online everyday for an hour. So awesome right :) And we should be getting ipads and iphones soon!

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19 - Email

   Some interesting things happened this week... I went to an Elvis concert, haha ;) There was a ward party in the Foothills ward and it was Asian themed. We had rice and yeah... Asian food. And then all of a sudden, Elvis came out! haha. In the ward there is an Elvis impersonator. I guess he does shows all the time everywhere. It was so funny!! He is like in his 50's, oh it was good... I was cracking up when he would try to do the dance moves like shake his legs way fast.  haha. But the great thing is that at the ward party, some members brought their nonmember friends, so we gave a tour. It went well.
   So my companion and I went out to Wellton one day. In Wellton, there is one of the biggest cow farms in the U.S., I think. haha anyway, TONS OF COWS!!!! And you know the smell which comes along with all those cows right? We were driving by the cow farm and it stank already. But then I noticed a fly in the car, so I decided to roll down the windows without thinking. My companion yells "NO, NOT THE WINDOWS!!" hahaha oh man it stunk so bad and we were just cracking up laughing. But hey, guess what, that little annoying fly was gone, so it's all good :)
   OYM(open your mouth), which is pretty much street contacting people, is pretty interesting here because NO ONE is outside in this heat!! Who would want to be, ya know!? So every time we see someone, we pull over in our car and run after them. Haha, literally we run sometimes. A lot of times people are scared that two little girls are running after them! They start running away or pretend they are talking on their phones. We just want to share this amazing gift that we have...
   At the end of the day, you know your companion's tired when you have to go wake her up from her prayer... haha It always feels good to come back home, with no energy at all, knowing you did your best that day and did all you could do. I have really learned that I can get so much done in one day.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12 - Email

   Everything is going so well with my nuevo companera. :) My spanish is not doing too well :( My companion doesn't really know much Spanish, so I guess this is a time where I can't rely on anyone else besides myself and the Lord to help me. I mean I can roughly teach a super simple lesson and get by and I can understand roughly what the people are saying, but I just wish I could share what I want to or what the Lord wants me to. I know how to help these people, but I don't know how to say it. Frustrating! And with learning Spanish, some of my speech problems from when I was younger are coming back. It is really hard for me to say things sometimes, like I sometimes stutter when I speak and when I read in English and Spanish. I think my mind is confused. haha
  One day this week, we street-contacted a guy at a little-family-Spanish party(they have parties a lot!). We talked to him and gave him a Book of Mormon and didn't think much of it. I mean he seemed interested, but not a ton. The next day he calls us (this never happens from street contacts!) and he says that he has been reading and has a few questions. (His name is Javier and he speaks English more than Spanish) So, we decide to go teach him that night. We brought this girl named, Kaycie Dahl, with us. She comes with us a lot because she is soon turning in her mission papers. Also, we need someone to come with us because he is a single guy. We taught him the first lesson, the Restoration, and everything went really well. He is really loving and interested in the Book of Mormon. He is like a golden investigator. So, a couple days go by and we have another appointment with him. We called this older lady in the ward, a ward missionary, to come with us. She has been on two missions before and so she knows everything. This is the first time she has been able to come and she sounded so excited to come! My companion and I go to some other lessons that we have that day before Javier's appointment. The older sister calls us about 20 mins before the lesson with Javier and says that she isn't quite feeling well and that she wouldn't be good company because she got the runs! haha So we hurry and call up Kaycie Dahl to come with us. She is the best and comes with us right on the spot. We get to Javier's and he has a friend over. They had been drinking and didn't exactly have the clearest most spiritual mindset. Javier's friend, lets just say he was a complete disgrace to our Heavenly Father, was bashing the religion with all these dumb jokes about polygamy and other things. The spirit was absolutely, not there. We tried to start teaching the second lesson, the Plan of Salvation, but he kept ruining it with more polygamy jokes and he would just laugh at us and did not take us seriously. My companion said, "I am sorry, but we will come back another time and teach this lesson, we can't be here." Javier looked disgusted with his friend, he felt so bad and  sad about what had happened. We really felt sad about it too. It is sad what people think is funny and where the world is going these days. Later that night, we realized that God gave that sweet older lady the runs so that she wouldn't have to be there in that lesson. Haha, it is kind of funny. But really God will do what He has to do. God knows what is going on. The next morning, Javier called us and said that he is so sorry and that he was praying and reading all night and that he absolutely will go to church next Sunday. It is incredible the lessons we can learn from mistakes. And then at church that day, that sweet old lady said she feels completely fine now, and that she must of ate something not good, but she is great now. Poor lady, but God knows what is best. I am so thankful Heavenly Father was looking out for us, for Javier and for that sweet old lady. Moral of the story: Heavenly Father will give you the runs if He has to.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5 - Email

   My companion is the BOMB!!! Her name is Sister Pinnock. She is from Holladay and she is 20. She reminds me a lot of Kelli, so that is great! :) She works hard and likes to be organized. I am very happy to be working with her. She is waiting for her visa to Argentina, but will most likely be here for quite a long time.  Way great! Oh and is a dance major at the U of U. Sister Pinnock is a very hard and fast worker, she is up for anything, it is awesome! And she always shows others how much Heavenly Father cares for them. This week we have really gained our testimony in OYM's. Here in the Foothills, a lot of people leave for the summer and not many people even step outside throughout the hot summer days. But we have been praying to get 20 OYM's each day together. We know that the Lord will provide us with those 20 people. We have learned that those 20 might be few and very difficult to contact but if we see a person while we are driving we will absolutely pull over and OYM them. This is the way that Heavenly Father can provide these 20 people at this time of year so we have gone to great lengths to contact them and at the end of the day we absolutely feel accomplished. God is looking out for us. God is looking out for His children. I have no doubt about that."

Monday, July 29, 2013

We loved the rain!


Beautiful Sunset in Yuma

July 29 - Email

Did not get transferred. But guess what! I am going to be a trainer... oh man I am really excited but super scared because my Spanish is not good. So, I am hoping whoever my new companion is, fresh out of the mtc, is already good at Spanish! My companion, Sister Arellano, is leaving and she is becoming one of the new sister training leaders!! I can't believe it because she has only been out for not even 6 months! But, she is an amazing missionary and I was very privileged to be able to be trained by her.
Guess what Sister Arellano told me!! She said when it was transfers for her and she found out she was going to be a trainer, before they paired everyone up,she saw the new missionaries from across the room. She said to herself, "I hope that she is not my companion" thinking about me!!! why the heck would she tell me that!! That is awful! She said that I looked really picky or something! I am glad she had a bad judgement of me from the beginning, golly! After she told me that I said to her, "Do you want to know what my first thoughts of you were... haha and I said "I was super excited to get you as a companion and I knew the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when we were paired together especially because you are a native Spanish speaker and I know Heavenly Father was watching out for me." Haha :) And really that is exactly what I thought.
But I want to tell you a little about the best 2 days of my entire mission. This past Saturday, the Cabrera family was baptized and on Sunday, they were confirmed. Wow, this experience, this family touched my heart more than any other family ever will on my mission. It really was a miracle and I hope that I will be able to see them get sealed in the temple in one year. I hope also my family will meet them someday.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Home

Our Kitchen


My bedroom

Our pomegranate tree in back

wind storm


Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15 - Letter (a small portion of 14 handwritten pages!)

   My Spanish is improving poco pocito (little by little). That is what all the Spanish-speaking investigators say to me. Some of the ones I have been teaching since I first got here, tell me how much better I am getting, so that's good. I know I am improving and only through the help of Christ and Heavenly Father. Just three months and I can understand so much - well, gospel-related and a few other things. My companion, Hermana Arellano, said I talked Spanish in my sleep one night. I said a phrase in English and then the same phrase in Spanish. She said it made sense, (haha) probably one of the many phrases I have to memorize. Poco pocito - I keep telling myself as my patience with myself wears thin. Hermana Arellano said that she has realized, through the Spirit, that she has been selfish, and not a good missionary. It is because she hasn't been teaching me Spanish, as well as she could be. Since then, she almost always speaks just Spanish to me, unless we are talking to someone in English. I am so grateful she is helping me! Maybe at Christmas, when I call, I will be able to have a decent conversation with Brayden in Spanish. Right now, I can just talk religion with him. (haha)

Some funny Spanish-speaking mistakes I have made:
   The other week, we met a lady named, Conchita. My companion and I were talking about her and I called her Chochita. Hermana Arellano laughed and laughed. Apparently, Chochita is slang for "old lady. Then, the other night, as we were going to bed, I decided to call my companion Chochita. But, instead I said, "Buenas Noches Choncita." She laughed and laughed. I had said, "Good night, chubby girl." After she told me, I then said, " Es la verdad." (It's the truth) haha.
   So, I decided to start saying my personal prayers in Spanish, to show God that I really am trying to give my all. I never had learned how to say, " I ask these things..." at the end of my prayers. I only knew how to say, "We ask these things..." which is "Pedimos estas cosas..." I tried to conjugate the verb, Pedimos, for "myself" instead of "we". So, I said in my personal prayer, "Pedo estas cosas..." After my prayer, I asked my companion if that was right. She laughed and said, "What did you just say!?!" I told her again and she just laughed and laughed! Evidently, "Pedo is like gas - as in fart gas! So this whole time I was saying, "Fart gas these things..." to Heavenly Father!! Wow! Apparently, I'm suppose to say, "Te pido estas cosas..." So now I know what to say, so don't worry!
   One more story. My companion and I were with the sister training leader. We were going to go talk to a less-active family. I said the prayer before we went. They both began laughing during my prayer. After I finished, I looked at them all "mad" and said, "Why the heck are you laughing at me!? There's nothing funny!" In the prayer, I wanted to say, "Please help us to show love for them." They told me I had said, " Please help us to show lunch for them." Lunch is "almuerzo" and loving is "amoroso", but I should of just said, "amor."
   Yeah, my Spanish needs some help, but hey, yo trato (I try). That's what I tell investigators. Sometimes it is so frustrating because I see how much they are going through and I receive promptings of what I should say and I want to say so much. but I just can't, because I don't know how!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 9 - Email

    Did I ever tell you that I met an extreme couponer, like the ones on the TV shows? haha  And I met a missionary that's from the Hamptons. His dad built a lot of the houses there and is really good friends with Jerry Seinfeld. I have learned a lot this past week, continue to grow each and every day. I am really doing well out here and have wonderful people around me. I will be sending a letter soon.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 1 - Email

   We went to this neighborhood to try to visit some of our investigators. Turns out none of them were home. So, we started driving out of the neighborhood, but for some reason I felt like we couldn't leave yet. I said to my companion, "Let's go visit the less-actives that live in this area." We turned around and went to their homes, but both of them weren't there. Apparently, that wasn't the reason and we started driving out of the neighborhood again. When we were driving out I saw a family outside and I said to myself "Nah, it's fine we don't need to stop for them." But, then when we got to the end of the neighborhood, (I have been trying to listen to the Holy Ghost better and those promptings) I asked my companion if we could park the car and go walk to those people. We walked to the family and they were definitely not open to hearing a message. As we were walking back to our car, we found a lady outside her home and started talking to her. Her name is Berta. She needs the gospel. We went into her home and gave a lesson. She cried a lot. We taught her the Plan of Salvation because her husband has passed away. She can't read. She barely knows who Jesus Christ is. She is from a super poor part of Mexico and never really went to school. She is as Catholic as they come. When we said our prayers, she was really confused and would repeat everything we said. She has only said set prayers. We have continued to teach her almost everyday. She doesn't believe that God has a plan for her because her life has been so awful and terrible. We have been teaching her how to read and teaching her who Christ is. She is an adorable lady and I know that is the reason I was prompted to not go out of that neighborhood that night.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Notice the street sign!

My companion took this picture

June 24 - Email

   I am still in the same area with my same companion :) The sister who was suppose to come here got sick or something. I am learning to love Yuma a lot more! The Colorado River is here, everyone goes and hangs out on that. There is Mexico and their wonderful beaches, two hours away. San Diego is two hours away. The mountains are two hours away and they have sand dunes right here. It's awesome...well, if I could actually do any of that stuff, haha. Okay, guess what one ward did for girls camp? They went to Newport, California and stayed in a beach house!!! Oh my, what kind of girls camp is that?!?! I am so jealous!
   Did you watch the broadcast last night? It is such a blessing to now have the church doors open all the time! They would not give us a key here and we always are by the church which is totally across town and we always want to go in there to get out of the heat or use the bathroom or give tours or something. Also, I knew the technology was coming because the sister training leaders and the missionary assistants to the president all have Ipads and Iphones. It is great about how soon everything is happening! It is amazing! These are the last days!!! It is such a privilege to be a missionary at this time!
   Guess what?!! We have probably at least three people getting baptized in one ward in July :) Yay!!! The Lord is blessing us for our work! Hey, remember to share the gospel. :) It helps so much to have the members help!

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17 - Email

   Big News!!! I am being transferred this Wednesday. I will still be in the Yuma area, which I am so pleased about, but not in the exact same area. I love change here! It is so fun! I was so excited, it was like Christmas   finding out if we are transferring or not! haha

   Personal weaknesses become so much more noticeable on a mission. This has been so hard for me because I want and feel like I need to be perfect, so I can teach those people that the Lord has prepared. I also have been praying and seeking diligently to retain and remember all the information I am learning. That is one weakness that is shining above all, on my mission. It drives me crazy because I study so hard and still can't remember all the language and gospel teachings. During Relief Society on Sunday, we were singing "Lead Me into Life Eternal." In that song, a phrase stood out and touched my heart. "Give me faith, the greater knowledge." I was inspired that the Lord wanted me to know that having faith is the greater knowledge.


Poem by Kayla (probably her favorite)

Mirror Image

Look at the person staring back at you.
Recognize who they are.
Recognize that they are a child of God.
Recognize that they once lived with their Father.

Look at the person staring back at you.
Realize who they can become.
Realize the gifts that God has given them.
Realize the ability they have to overcome the world.

Look at the person staring back at you.
Remember why they are here.
Remember that their sins are atoned for.
Remember that Jesus Christ is their Savior.

Look at the person staring back at you.
Notice that this is you.

June 5 - Letter

   Remember how I thought it was going to be hard to go to sleep at 10:30 pm and wake up at 6:30 am? Well, it is the easiest thing on the mission, so far!
   On P-day we cleansed the entire house, took forever! So our trailer is finally nice, clean, and peaceful. Remember in the MTC when I said, "Oh, I love elders, they are so great!" Well, I definitely take that back after cleaning a trailer that has only had elders in it for years! Nast!!! There were socks everywhere, a box for a remote controlled car, nerf bullets, just tons of junk! This lady in the Mesa Del Sol Ward offered to come and help. She is so nice. She was a huge help and we couldn't have done it without her!
   It is HOT here! And everyone says it just gets worse! Oh, boy! Which makes our job hard to find people outside. Even when the sun goes down and we are walking, I am sweating. We have an orange tree in our back yard. It is really yummy! And a pomegranate tree, but those aren't ripe yet.
   Oh, this is so funny! It is also so awkward, when we knock on a door and a guy answers without a shirt on. Let me tell you, sometimes I want to turn around and puke. But other times, my companion and I just freeze up and can't talk because it is so awkward! Haha We always laugh about it!
Notice the temperature!!!
First baptism, but really we can't take credit for it because we only taught her once.
We just reviewed everything, pretty much.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Poem by Kayla

A young girl in a big old world
Searching for truth, searching for God
Lost in a place full of evil and sin
Knowing this isn't the hearts way of desire
To start all over, to start again,
may be the hardest thing she has ever done

Turning her life away from family and friends
She tries to avoid the thought, in doubt, in fear
Paving the way before her is God the Father and His Son
A young girl found, with an open heart and a way prepared

Having faith in Christ and giving all she's got
God's love is shown, God didn't forget, His daughter
Setting an example to all of those nonbelievers

June 3 - Email

So everyone always says I sleep talk. Well, my companion said that the other night I was asking different questions (like missionary contacting questions)! haha  And last night, I woke up while I was sleep talking. I was doing a role play lesson by myself. Here we do so many role plays that I'm beginning to hate them, but they help us practice what we need to say in a lesson. Apparently, I think that I must need a lot more practice because I continue to do them while I sleep. haha  I always wake up and think "What the heck am I doing? Just go to sleep Sister Hansen!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20 - Email

   I have been soooo busy! My companion and I get along great! I love her. And she is kind of bringing my personality back, (haha), so that is good. I am now laughing again, so that is great! I think I am now talking Spanish in my sleep, because I woke up laughing about it. I just dyed my hair brown, I love it!!! I will send pictures.

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 13 - Email

   On the airplane ride here, there was a guy across the aisle from me. I was thinking about talking to him, but I was scared. The elder next to me, told me to talk to him. So, right out of the MTC, I was ready to share the gospel. I started talking to him, just a normal conversation. Then I began asking him about his religion. I gave him a mormon.org card. He said he will check it out. All the missionaries around me were amazed! (haha) It was funny, but I loved it, it was awesome!
   The first day I was here, my companion and I stayed at a member's house. This lady, lets just say that she is very caring of animals... She had three cats and three birds. The birds were cool. Two love birds and a cockatiel. She would carry the cockatiel everywhere. It was well trained. It even ate her food off her plate! But yeah, just a very pet house and very hairy everywhere. (haha) You know how I love that...not.
   So the shower here is pretty nice, but so short! I always hit my head on it and I have to bend way down to wet my hair. I have a glorious time showering ya know...just imagine. I do remember to thank Heavenly Father that it is a nice shower with hot water because Whitney doesn't have hot running water in Guatemala.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Phone Call - Mother's Day

   I am in Yuma, Arizona. I am right by the borders of California and Mexico. It is only 2 1/2 hours to San Diego. It is already very hot here. Today it was 104 degrees! My companion is from Mexico City, Mexico. Spanish is her native language, so she helps me with learning it. We have a car and drive it during the hottest part of the day or if we have a long way to go. The rest of the time, we ride our bikes. We can only drive 50 miles a day, which isn't a lot because our area is so spread out. In July, the Church is making two more missions in Arizona, they will be splitting the Tempe Mission. It will all depend where I am serving at the time of the split, to which mission I will be in. We are living in a trailer. It has only been occupied by Elders, so it is very messy! It needs some good scrubbing! I love the Ward here. Has everyone been doing there daily scripture study??? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Email from Mission office

We wanted to let you know that your daughter arrived safely and looks great. Attached you will find two pictures that we thought you might enjoy having: one is your missionary, and the other one is the group of missionaries with whom she arrived at the Arizona Tempe Mission.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Phone Call - Airport

   I am so excited to be going to Arizona, but also nervous! The last district testimony meeting, I was the first one to bare my testimony. I bore my testimony, not crying much, then I sat down. I then realized that I just bore my testimony and spoke all my thoughts in Spanish! I then started just bawling and I couldn't stop! I kept crying because I also realized that I understood everyone else's testimonies in Spanish! I was crying because I realized that Heavenly Father did bless me with learning the language.
   I am going to miss everyone in my district. We have grown so close over the last 6 weeks. We decided to have a reunion after our missions. All the Elders are going to missions in the states until their visas go through. Elder Stanford is going to the Tempe mission with the Hermanas! I will tell you my new Arizona address as soon as I get it.



Hermana Hansen and Hermana Horton!

Hermana Hansen and Hermana Savage in front of my favorite picture at the MTC.
My companion and I are like the odd couple when it comes to keeping things organized. My companion's bed is usually where she keeps her clothes. Below is where I keep mine. :)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 30 - Letter

   I feel like things are going pretty well, but at the same time, there is no way I am ready to be out in the field, speaking Spanish! I am nervous, but really excited! I have been out here for a month! Crazy! 17 months to go and to bless as many people as I can with God's words and with Christ's gospel.
The other day we had a language assessment on the computer and it told me to teach a lesson about the Great Apostasy. All I could think of is, "I don't even know what that is in English!" (ha ha) So, I just started typing everything I knew in Spanish, Dios (God) y Jeus Cristo y Espiritu Santo (Holy Ghost), etc..I told my district about this after and they all laughed, I laughed until I cried, after I looked up what the Great Apostasy  was. (oops! ha ha)
   The other day, Elder Varner was expressing how he hates dogs and he began to show what he would do if a dog came by him while on his mission. He grabbed his scriptures and swung them like he would hit the dog. At this point his scripture case handle broke on one side, so the scriptures swung out about a foot more and nailed Elder Cavin right in the gut! (ha ha) It was the funniest thing ever! I laughed until I cried again.
   The other night Elder Dial jokingly ask our district, "who says the longest prayers?" Everyone pointed at me. I was like "hey!" Well, first of all, I have to feel the spirit and let God tell me what to say and then I have to translate that into Spanish, so it takes awhile! (ha ha) They all think I am funny, mostly they are laughing at me, but hey, I laugh at myself. So, I see it as they are laughing with me. (ha ha)
   In one of my prayers, the prayer I said before a Hermana (sister) stated that she had to go home because of illness, I felt the spirit really strong. By the end of the prayer everyone was crying. God had told me exactly what was needed to be said in that prayer.

YOSO
(You Only Serve Once)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 25 - Email

Guess who moved into the room right next to me? CALLIE HORTON!!! Yeah, I know I am one lucky girl to have one of my best friends right next to me :) Brightened my day quite a bit! Also, we got a new district in our zone and I got to welcome them in with the zone leaders. So, that was cool and fun. But, my voice sounds terrible because of my cold.

Turn to the Lord in all you need, turn to the Book of Mormon and pray with all your heart!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 18 - Email

On Tuesday, I had a really hard day. I just felt like giving up again because of the Spanish. I just feel like I'm never going to get it. I never understand anything in the lesson and am so slow when I give it. After I gave my lesson, I started to cry. I was just so overwhelmed. Then we went to Tuesday Night Devotional. The speaker was Richard G. Scott! Let me just say that his talk was exactly what I needed to hear. It was about prayer. He said, "When we get no answer, it shows God's trust. He trusts us to move on with our own righteous choices." He said that our choice to be a missionary will bless our lives eternally, in our homes, in our choices, in our life. He then gave an apostolic blessings on the missionaries in attendance. He said in the blessing, "Be thankful that God sometimes lets you struggle before your answer. You grow in character, you grow faith. He will do whatever He can to restore your confidence in Him. Never feel that you are unworthy to pray. Prayer is gratitude. Nothing offends God more than being ungrateful." He then blessed the missionaries and sat down. We sang a song and a sister came up to say the prayer. Elder Scott got back up and shooed her away. He said that he needed to say something else. He said, "Remember the Lord has called you to succeed, not to fail. He will not abandon you. He has given you this opportunity to find out things about yourself that you have never known. Remember that you have been called. He will fit your abilities to the tasks. Heavenly Father knows who we are, what we need, and who we will become." And then Elder Scott sat down and we had the prayer. Amazing! We were all in tears that night as we shared what we got out of the devotional. So after this, I felt so much better! On Wednesday my companion and I taught the two best lessons we have probably ever taught.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 17 - Letter

I am still struggling with the language, but I am feeling so much better after receiving a priesthood blessing. I try to stay positive with my thoughts and try to pick out the good things I  do, instead of the bad. I try to look at how far I have come from the beginning and try to see the bigger picture. I try my best everyday with a purpose in mind and having faith that God will make up for the rest.
Some big news...me, Hermana Hansen, is now the new Sister Training Leader! So pretty much I am the Sister Zone Leader. There are two Zone Leaders (Elders) and then there is me (Sister Training Leader). The calling is over my whole branch! The new Zone Leaders are from my district, also. They are Elder Varner and Elder Stanford.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tuesday, April 9 - Letter

Letters are like gold here, so keep me updated! I love hearing from everyone about everything! It makes me feel like I'm not missing out on anything!

Kayla's District at the MTC

Left to Right 
Hermana Savage - From Cedar City, very quiet, but so cute and super nice! She went to SUU last semester. She sings real well and plays guitar.
Elder Stanford - He is from California and a beach bum. He is really smart and graduated in 2010. He is really good at Spanish because he took it in college. He went to BYU Hawaii. He like plays every instrument.
Hermana Funke - my compaƱero (read below)
Elder Varner - Graduated from Bingham High, super funny and way spiritual! We joke that he is going to be an apostle. He always knows exactly what to say.
Hermana Staley - From Roy, Utah, went to SUU last semester, Love her! She is outgoing and played soccer in high school.
Elder Cavin - Our district leader. He went to Bingham High, is cool and fun, and a good district leader!
Hermana Savoie - From Louisiana and Texas. She went to LSU.
Elder Dial - Went to Bingham and played hockey there. He is very quiet but funny when he does talk.
Hermana Hansen - me :)
All the Elders are going to Cordoba, Argentina and all the Hermanas are going to Tempe, except Savoie, who is going to SLC - Spanish speaking.

Kayla's Companion

Kayla's companion at the MTC is Hermana Funke. She is from Oregon. She is the senior companion and is very good at following all the rules. She is excellent at Spanish, which helps me a lot. She is real fun and funny because she does weird things, like really weird!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 3 - Letter

Wednesday has been my favorite day so far. I don't know why, maybe my attitude has changed or something. We just did our usual schedule; work out, get ready, eat, class, study, study, study, eat, study, class, teach a lesson, study, study, eat, study study, study, study, plan next day, prayer, prayer, prayer, go to bed (ha ha.) My teacher for class is kind of one of those guys that you don't ever know their emotion. But, that day I made him laugh at my jokes twice!! I was amazed! And he gave me a compliment, told me my pronunciation was good. Then he said, "But,..." So, that ruined it (ha ha.)

Tuesday, April 2 - Letter

After Tuesday night devotionals, we have a district meeting and share our thoughts and testimonies. The spirit is always so strong in our district classroom. Elder Stanford shared a thought, "when you are feeling that your mission is too hard for you, that you can't do it. It is because it is. You cannot do it. It is too hard. With the Lord by your side, is the only way you can do it." I loved this and as this amazing elder shared his testimony of the Savior, he shed some tears. None of us girls could hold it together once we saw a grown man crying!

Some more quotes from that night
"Our ultimate goal in life is to endure to the end. When we get to a place we want to be spiritually, this is not the end. We need to figure out what we need to continue to be able to endure."
"The real measure of our mission is in the lives of our grandchildren. The real test is how well our children raise their children."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 1 - Letter

This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not saying this to worry you! I am growing so much closer to God and Jesus Christ. And I know that the end result will be great. It is hard to have faith in myself, that I can do it (learn the language). Everyone around me is speaking Spanish and I don't know what anyone is saying!I know that I am suppose to be here and that God has planned for me to serve. I know that there are people prepared to hear the words that I will share. Also, by serving a mission, my family will receive so many blessings and so will I.
Easter was great! I may have been away from family, but this helped me see the true meaning of Easter.
Bishop Gerald Causse spoke to us about when we meet Jesus again. He said that working on your testimony of Christ is the best way to prepare for a mission.
We then had a testimony meeting with just our district. It was all in Spanish so, ya...
Sunday night devotional we sang "Called to Serve." Which we have sung a lot but this time we were in a huge gym full of almost everyone. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew I am meant to be here. I have always been waiting for the time I could sing that song as an actual missionary. Sheri Dew was our speaker and she said, "The Savior isn't our last chance, He is our only chance!"

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 4 - email

Easter was great, Bishop Causse and his wife spoke to us. Elder Ballard didn't come. I guess it was a rumor. But I felt the spirit so strong, it was amazing! Easter was just about Christ, not the candy or presents. I asked my district what they thought was my first name. They all guessed Ashlie or Alicia. It made me laugh because of Ashlie Wardle (how everyone says we look a like). I can't wait for conference! So excited! This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Thank you for fasting and praying for me.
P.S. If family and friends want to send me a letter, they can use DearElder.com. It is a great way because I get those letters that day. It is the best thing to get letters in the MTC!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March 30 - Letter

Como es stas?

Seriously this day was beyond crazy!! I definitely felt like, "what am I getting myself into!" But you know, I am happy to be here! First thing I did was go check in, get the essentials, and then someone showed me to my room. I dropped off all my luggage, went and got my books, and then went into a classroom. The teacher was speaking in Spanish! It was crazy because I had no idea what I was suppose to be doing! We had more classes and then the MTC Presidency spoke to us. It was really nice.
My companion is from Eugene, Oregon. Her name is Hermana(Sister) Funke. She is already very homesick. I'm not homesick at all, so that's good. Elder Ballard is coming to talk to us on Easter! Way Cool! I had to talk today, in class, in front of a ton of people (in English luckily), but way scary! I passed though, so don't worry. I've seen Mitchell Daw, Sara Clark, Jaron Dixon, Mackay Dunn, Jake (something), Abby Bell, Mark Kunz, and Brea Linton.
P.S. I need to send so much stuff home!

Spiritual
Minded
Is
Life
Eternal

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MTC Drop Off pictures






MTC Drop off

Today at 1:00 pm we dropped Kayla off at the MTC. It was fun to see so many elders lined along the sidewalk to greet and help those entering the MTC. We all held it together pretty well when we said our good-byes. We just had tears in our eyes as we gave our last hugs. This last week I cherished every moment with Kayla. I listened to her sweet voice and laugh, as she talked to others. I noticed how often she smiles. It is a bittersweet moment. More sweet than bitter. Our family knows she will do AWESOME!