IJOLE it's been a week already!

Well this week was really good, but there wasn't anything super notable or anything, but I'll do my best! 

Okay here's the funny story of the week!
We're eating dinner with a less active brother in the ward, so we had to bring a lady along. Well the only person that was available was the little old lady that calls me gordita... great. So we're sitting on the couch, waiting to be served, when she tells Hna Quist that she has beautiful hands. She turns to me and asks if I have beautiful hands, to which I say "no, they're kinda big... but that's good to play the piano." All of a sudden, this devious look comes across her face, and she goes "better to eat with too." There it was. Thanks hermanita... later she told me she likes to joke with me. Good thing she's just too cute to be mad at, haha!

All in all, I really feel like our area is being blessed by the Lord. We have found so many new investigators in the past couple weeks, and some of them are seriously so prepared to hear the gospel. There's one experience that really stuck out in my mind from the week which I want to share. 

We're visiting an investigator and we start talking about the commandments and how when we keep the commandments, we inherit eternal life. This investigator has really had a rough past and it's something she regrets. Last night, she told us that she had been told that she was condemned and there is nothing she can do about it. When I hear things like that, it just makes me mad (okay, it shouldn't make me mad).... but I just don't understand how someone could think that. There is a way, and that is Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Through tears, I told her how much more God cares about where we are than where we were. I'm not sure why I became overcome with the Spirit and started crying... to me, it was almost as if I could feel a bit of the pain that Heavenly Father must feel when His children think there's no hope of returning to live with Him. 

I have such a testimony of the principle that it's more important where we are now, than where we once were. I have seen it time and time again in my life, as well as in the lives of those I've come to know and teach. The Atonement is real and powerful. It's available to all. There is no "you have to be this good or righteous to use" sign labeled on the front of it. Christ is begging you to come and use what he freely paid for.  

I love you all and hope you have the best week. Remember that the Atonement is there for anyone and for everything... use it. It's something that can change you for the better. 

Hermana March
 SUPRISE. It's snowing again.... 
HAHAHA we're getting hit in the face with snow in this picture

I walked through my first pair of shoes.... proud moment. (excuse my "I'm way too tired" face)


Hola coming from the viajita

Hey hey hey! 

Well it was a great week in the world, except I turned 20. I'm officially feeling a little old. But thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes... I sure do feel loved! 

Okay here are some of the best things of the week:

1. We're out being missionaries... you know, like knockin doors and stuff. Well, we go through this gate and are knocking on the door, when this big ole husky comes around the corner. It was a little frightening, but the dog seemed really shy and scared of us, so we're like #sweet. Hermana Quist was like "maybe he's afraid of like some angel that's like surrounding us". Maybe. Well then the dog disappears around the back of the house again. Nobody is answering, so we decide to leave. We're halfway to the gate when the dog comes back around. This time, I make eye contact with it, and it wants to eat me. There was a total change in it's face. Hermana Quist starts trying to open the gate, and I'm standing between her and the dog. The dog starts lunging, barking, and snapping at me. "Well, hermana, this is it. You've done it now. You're going to make it to the Celestial Kingdom because some dog ate you on your mission". I have a Book of Mormon in hand, and I figure that's my only weapon, so it's ready in hand. I'm scared now, so I start yelling "no" at the dog authoritatively, but I'm pretty sure it ended up sounding like "noooooooooooo, please don't eat me!"  I finally said a quick prayer and make my escape. The dog follows us to the gate and pounces as soon as the gate was closed. Overwhelmed, I start crying out of fright and thankfulness that I didn't turn into dog chow. 

2. We went to ihop on Saturday night for dinner... you know that's where all the people who don't have Valentine Eve plans go. Well, we go to pay and the cashier says someone already paid for us. I love kind strangers! 

3. So we've been hunting down all of the less active members in the branch. We've probably tried this one family like 20 times and every time there is no answer (big surprise). Well finally we realize we have to get creative. So we knock on the door and then we just stand perfectly to the side where they can't see us out windows or out of the peep hole. AND WHADDAYA KNOW?! THE DOOR OPENS! Then the fully grown man obviously is surprised to see the missionaries and goes "ijoleeeeee' like "gee wilickers" and starts nervously wringing his hands and asked us to come back another day. 
Hahaha we got you!

So my bday and vday were pretty dang good! We went over to a member's house and they made a cute birthday dinner for us! They got us a cake and were about to shove our faces in the cake, but thought they'd be nice. I'm so caked and candied out and think I should be good until about Halloween! 

So this week my spiritual thought will be quick. It's found in Psalms 31:24. 

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord"

Please think about that. When we hope in the Lord, he will strengthen us and help us. I have seen this time and time again on my mission. Whether it's helping me escape the bite of a jaws-like dog, or when I need to help someone feel of the Lord's love, or when I'm having a hard day. Really always turn to the Lord. The only thing harder than living this life, is living this life without the Lord. 

I love my Savior and I know He loves you as well! Learn of Him, Love Him and TRUST Him. 

I hope you all have the greatest week! 

Mucho amor, 

Hermana March

The family we spent our birthdays with!

Our birthday cake!

 silly picture

Max (little boy) made us these floating paper flower things haha

 Max wanted to take a selfie

we had to bite our cake (and then we were supposed to get our faces smashed into the cake)

a member gave us chocolate #holla

happy Valentinessssssssssssssssss


Hola hola hola

Well hello hello hello. Thank you for tuning into another episode of "A Week In the Life of Hermana March". I hope that this satisfies your need to hear about mission life for the next 7 days.

Okay, to start off, this week's email might be kinda short. (I know, count your many blessings, right?). I'm just so incredibly lazy this morning. And my fingers don't want to type... so I think they're going to win this battle. 

1. We're having this nice conversation with this nice man we've met before... we spend a LOT of time in his neighborhood. He's Catholic, but we're still good friends. Well yesterday he told us that he wants to have us in the family forever, so he offered us his sons for marriage. (Umm, I didn't know we were still in the olden days... and plus, doesn't it normally work the other way around?). Well anyways, what a thoughtful man, right? So he's like you'll (Hermana Quist) have son A and you'll (me) have son B. He then pauses, looks at me and says, "The younger one is 12 right now, but that way when you're old and have a cane, you'll have someone to help you." I politely declined that idea.... 

2. I don't think I've ever told yall this, so here it goes. Remember, Jesus #2...? The 2nd Jesus I baptized? Well he has this thing where every time he sees me now, he just busts up laughing. He then looks to my companion, like she's a part of this secret inside joke about me (but she has no clue what it is). Yeah it's probably the funniest thing I've ever seen. He's just the best little 70-year old man ever. He passes the Sacrament to me on Sundays, and I think it takes every ounce of self-control he has not to laugh.

So this week we had to have some "pass-off" lessons. That's where the old set of missionaries and the new set teach a lesson to an investigator together to kinda transition them to the new missionaries. Well, we had to do this with 2 of my favorite investigators this week, and we were the ones giving them away. Miguel and Jose are getting baptized within the next couple weeks and it broke my heart to leave them. They're seriously both the nicest little men I have ever met. Miguel has been investigating the church for 2 years and Jose for over 40 years. AND THEIR FINALLY GETTING BAPTIZED AND I'M GOING TO MISS IT. I'm obviously sad. (look at how kind-looking they are in the pictures below! Sorry these pictures are really bad haha)

As Sister Training Leaders, each month we choose a focus to help our sisters. This month it is eliminating discouragement with hope. While Elder Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy was here, he said something that really helped me. He said, "If I had the gift of hope, I would never choose to be discouraged." Well, what's your definition of hope? In Preach My Gospel, hope is defined as the trust in God that He will fulfill His promises to His faithful children. So if we have trust in the Lord that He will take care of us (hope), we never need to be discouraged... isn't that so simple yet amazingly profound?! Don't choose to be discouraged... have the hope, the trust, that God WILL fulfill His promises to you! Because He always does.

Les quiero y espero que tengan un buen dia! 

Hermana March

Us + Miguel! (trailers don't have the best picture lighting)

Jose... he was mid laugh. 

So driving downtown and there walks police horses... highlight of the week. 
ABQ policing in style.


Hello from….??????

ALBUQUERQUE! Yes, yes, yes... I am still good and alive in ABQ!

So that'll make this transfer #5 in good ole ABQ... at this rate I'm going to die here! And I'd be 100% okay with that! By the end of this transfer, it'll be about 7.5 months in one area! This has seriously become like home. Oh and yeah, Hermana Quist and I will be companions again! 

The only downfall of this transfer news... well there's 2:

1. Our area got cut in half, so we lost the 2nd branch to a set of elders. Aka I lost a ton of my favorite people.... having to say goodbye to them was like saying goodbye to my right arm! 

2. We had to move apartments... and we inherited an old elders' apartment. Talk about nasty. The elders said they wiped the walls with Clorox wipes, but yeah..... I think that was the first time that apartment had been cleaned in a long time! Haha, we are well underway of making the apartment a little more cozy and a little more like home (address will be at the bottom of the email)

Well life is always exciting as a missionary.... it's never boring! Here are some of the best things or funniest stories of the week!

1. So I didn't eat dinner one night and while we were driving to appointment, I was suddenly overcome by this hunger that could probably be compared to a 14 year old boy. Well the only thing left in the car was a bag of tortilla chips. So I grab them, eat my fair share, and we arrive at our next visit to one of the members of the branch. She asks if we want food, Hna Quist says yes, but I say no thanks (remember the bag of tortillas chips). Well the hermana ends up putting 2 huge plates of food on the table... I cringe and realize she must not have heard me. So I eat it. Fast forward and we're walking out the door, she grabs me, hugs me, and then whispers in my ear "next time... don't tell me you don't want food". She did it on purpose... she heard me! Oooops. Never tell little Mexican ladies you aren't in the mood for food. Don't worry, don't worry! She still loves us... that loves is just based upon whether we eat a lot or not! haha

2.  While we're in the mode of talking about food... so we're at dinner and I'm eating this salad. It tastes a little strange to me, but you know, you eat it anyways! My companion however loved it... she asked what the dressing was, and the answer shocked me. The hermano said "pickle juice". PICKLE JUICE!!!  For anyone who knows me well, you know I hate pickles. And the worst part? I still had half the salad to eat... my motto is "ignorance is bliss". Well I wasn't ignorant and I had to eat it. That's what I call the gift of eating that comes to all missionaries when faced with a plate of food that might not be your taste.

3. Friday we dubbed the day our birthday because Hermana Quist and I didn't know if we would be together for our actual birthdays. We even had dessert! Oh well, guess we have to re-celebrate again in 10 days! 

5. So guess what?!?! Edgar blessed the Sacrament this past Sunday in church... only 8 days after his baptism! Ain't that cool?!?! He also received his first calling as the branch's youth representative to the stake... he loves the church so much. It's so fun to watch him just dive right into being a dorky Mormon like the rest of us haha.

6. I think one of the most special moments of the week was when we chased down a blind man to share the gospel with him! Okay, that sounds a lot worse than it was... let me back up a little bit. So we always see this cute little old blind man who sells tamales, and we've always wanted to talk to him, but somehow, whenever we park the car and we try to find him, he's gone! Well we saw him again, and this time we were determined to talk to him. So the only logical thing would be to pull over the car, get out of the car, and basically run. I know we sound creepy, but he couldn't see us! Well we talk to him and we find out that he took the lessons from the missionaries a couple years ago, but then they lost contact with him! We were supposed to chase him down... this is his 2nd chance! I just felt so much love for this little man... but that's probably because I understood how much God loved him. God loved him so much, He sent us his way, so that he could have another chance to hear the gospel! 

7. Sidenote... the tamale man asked what our names were. Hermana Quist replied first, and then paused. He then asked what the grande's name was (grande referring to me!). We were walking away and I was like  "Hermana, I just got called old and fat from a blind man"... we just laughed and laughed and laughed. 

This weekend as I had to say goodbye to a lot of the people I have come to know and love while serving for the past 5 months, I realized that the Lord couldn't have sent me to a better place. These people are who I was supposed to meet. I know my call as a missionary is to serve other people, and I think I do that, but really the people have taught and changed me. I love these people.. they will forever and always hold a special place in my heart. I feel so blessed to have met them, and I assured them that this wouldn't be the last of me! I'm so excited to continue to work in the Alvarado Park branch. It's teeny tiny, but the potential is so huge! I'm looking forward to these next 7 weeks I got in my home away from home... ALBUQUERQUE! 

Love you mucho mucho mucho!
Hermana March

So letters are safe to go to my home apartment:
1401 Pennsylvania NE #1016
ABQ, NM 87110

But I'd send packages to the mission office, just to be safe:

4400 Presidential Dr NE Ste E

Albuquerque NM 87109

p.s. there's going to be a LOT of pictures this week... brace yourself! 

last day of service at the food bank

the district all together 

 my cute little old desk area 

the hair wad I pulled out of the vacuum cleaner... you can tell it's a sisters' apartment

this cute lady from the other branch that always comes out with us 

the sunsets are out of this world!

yes….be jealous

One of our fave elders was leaving... he's one of our fave because he gives us the rest of the pizza that their members feed them

the Villalpandos. so sad to leave them

Brandon our favorite little boy in the other branch

Hermana Reza... our 3rd companion

the new branch president to the other branch

 old branch president of Alvarado + wife

one of our fave families that we ate with every Monday night (it was a rough day... ignore my hair)

la mama

lunch date with Alma

Pat... our miracle discovery!

Max with our birthday cookies