Monday, September 29, 2014


buenos tardes!!!!!! Thing are going very well here in Castillotla ( thats the name of our ward. believe it or not this is one of the simpler names for a ward in this mission, many are Mayan)

Hermana Best and her companion, Hermana Cascante
I finally realized my companion hermana cascante is a lot like my friend Carly from utah!!! it is something really beautiful to have a friendship with someone in another language. I try to push for speaking english in the house but hermana c only knows a little bit. Im still struggling to express EXACTLY what i want to say in spanish, but i have learned that you just say things differently in spanish than in engish, oh and i probably wont be able to understand when people make a joke thats a play on words for several more months haha...

well i finally realized what the challenge is in this area. its not finding people in the street, its not having lessons, its not anything like that. its retaining people. i made the error of thinking that the 3 people i baptized in august would be fine, just floating along. and kind of forgot that they are in a NEW WORLD, and need LOTS of spiritual nourishment. so our new effort is to try really hard to keep the converts and the less active members going to church praying and reading. its important to put yourslf in their shoes as missionaries. even as an active member in my normal life its easy to slack off in these 3 critical things. i cant imagine trying to form these news habits in my 20s, 30s,40s,etc , never having been taught by my parents or church leaders to do so. 

a cool experience this week was going to the first session of conference just for women (why does that sound like a hair product?). this day was a good example of the ups and downs of missionary life. first, we were super excited because several members and INVESTIGATORS agreed to come. next, we were overwhelmed, because as walked around to pick up people a total DOWNPOUR happened, complete with hail, and wind so strong it broke my umbrella. next, disappointment that no one ended up coming with us. 

after that we got to the chapel for the trasmission of conference and it wasa little weird knowing that the live feed i was watching was from a camera 45 mins from my house and that i prob knew someone in the crowd. i understood EVERY WORD OF THIS CONFERENCE. i was a little sad that i dont get to hear the actual voices of our church leaders but the message is the same. wow i cannot believe i understood every single word. i really loved all the talks, and the video about temples. when we got home we were in a super good mood anddddd  opened the door and our house was flooded from the storm haha . you have to learn to expect the unexpected on the mission. but i love it!!!!!

here are some pictures. the beautiful volcanoe emitting smoke ( cant remember how to say that in english very well), me when i saw a tool when we got off the bus and i just went ahead and picked it up, the workers thought it was funny. love you all!!

Smoking Volcano!!!
Cutest smile ever

Monday, September 22, 2014


Ah. Why is the mission the best thing in the world? I am super super super happy.

here are a couple more pictures from lastweek. we visited Maximina, our recent convert, on mexicos day of independence. i mentioned in the last email about the eggs here filled with just confetti, and we seriously had a blast cracking them on each others heads and just experiencing the pure joy of being together.

So happy!
With the confetti!!
I have a new companion, her name is Hermana Cascante. She is from Costa Rica, just one of the many reasons she is awesome ( favorite music? TROPICAL....)

New companion Hermana Cascante
Gosh she is just the best. We were all at the big meeting of transfers and I knew she had JUST finished training my super good friend, Hermana Hymas from my district in t he MTC. All the missionaries split on two sides and face each other as President reads who is with who (super nerve wracking).  I thought 'hhmmmm me and Hermana Hymas are very similar....i{m willing to bet her trainer is going to be my comp' and what do you know? YES!!!!! She is also 22, but this is her FINAL AREA, or in other words, only 6 weeks together :( SHe is extremely spiritual. The first night we taught a couple lessons, then in planning I just said wow I feel the Spirit so strong with you, do people ever tell you that? 'ummm Hermana Hymas!' haha. We have very similar personalities. Like when she tried to pay the teenage kid that comes to switch our gas tank in these fake pesos she had and he was trying not to laugh and we were dying. YOU KNOW ITS FUNNY, RAMON!!! 

Also during studies we ran out to buy tamales. Here in mexico people just announce in a  super annoying loud megaphone what they{re selling. everything from cleaning supplies to oranges. i asked this slightly grumpy tamales lady if i could speak into the megaphone. i immitated how they all say 'tamales-tamales-tamales-tamales-' but they also name all the types of tamales in spanish and i cant do that so fast so i just said ' muchos.....tipos?' which in english is ' many....types?'. the lady cracked a smile.

Tamales Tamales Tamales!
We had the most beautiful Sunday EVER yesterday. First of all, randomly a ton of less actives that NEVER came to church the whole 3 months ive been here showed up!!!! AH!!! ALSO, the day before, we randomly went to this guys house named Ricardo. I just said eh lets try to visit this guy, its an old street contact. He is our age, but lives alone, is new here, and his whole family is in another state of MExico. He is studying mathematics at the university, and i can tell he is a little scared to be in big groups socially. but he agreed to go to church. oh my goodness. it was so amazing. at the end of sacrament meeting Hermana Cascante said sooo what do you think? He said ' can i tell you the truth?' And we both braced ourselves, not knowing what hed say. then he said ' i felt like everything the speakers said was just for me'. OKAY RICARDO you are incredible! he enjoyed the next two hours as well. at the end, we got him in touch with the girl in charge of the young adults and he just had this little smile. he could feel that we are all family here and that he is more than welcome at church and all the activities. we are SO grateful to know ricardo. we forced him to take pictures with us hahah hermana cascante said 'youre gonna be glad im taking this!! your first sunday at church!' I was super happy hahahaha

Another beautiful experience we had was withan investigator that every time we show up she has a little bit of doubt. something her super catholic mom said made her feel guilty for listening to us orrrr something like that. this week she said shes not sure if she can continue with us. i told her lets stay in contact and not give up, and can we teach something real quick before we go? As the lesson went on, like always, she told us that she actuallyf eels like this is the right thing, and the truth. it was really really intense this lesson, but very important. so we are going to have to work hard to have her to go the chapel, and experience these good feelings on her own, and not just when we teach. Sarai is very special for me, I don{t know how to put it into words.

Its very important to work hard. Even though Hermana Cascante is in the last SIX WEEKS of her mission, you wouldn{t know it. she doesn{t even like to tell people that shes at the end. I read a quote somehwere this week that says that Satan chooses his servants when they{re idle, and Jesus chose his disciples when they were hard at work.  When we are really pounding the pavement even though its exhausting, its very rewarding. NEver have I gone to bed as tired as in the mission, and some days its just so tough. BUt its all worth it in the end, because you reap what you sow, and we are continuing to have success.

"Me with a family we're super close to"
Here{s some more random pictures. I ate grasshoppers gosh they were NASTY. lots of pressure from my comp and a recent convert couple to eat them. 


Not having it
Yikes. Well I want to say that I am positive that the church is true. Its strange how we have to exercise our faith to gain more faith, but thats how it is. THe more I have had to rely on the Lord here for pretty much every little thing, the more I realize he has the power to help me with it all. Its a little intense being the only companion that knows the area- took me a year to learn Provo, Utah, please imagine me on foot, in mexico, in a dif language, now with a comp that doesn{t speak my language,  having to lead us around day after day. But we have only been lost one time the whole week and just for 5 minutes. This is absolutely not me, it is the strength I receive from my (sometimes desperate) prayers, and my HEavenly Father answering them in miraculous ways. 

Hermana Best exploring an apartment complex where some members live
"A super normal shortcut we take"
Work hard, read your scriptures, and pray with all your might!!!!
Hermana Best

Monday, September 15, 2014

WEEKS 16-17

Wow!!!!!!! My heart is so full. I have a feeling I can't put into words! I finished my training. Cannot believe I've lived in a foreign country for a quarter of the year! I have learned SO much. Sooooo so so much. A mission is so humbling.

Yesterday was so odd because at church we were saying goodbye to some people just in case we didn't see them today, because our leaders tell us who's going to get transferred and who isn't Sunday night, then we only have the usual 7 hours of P Day to say bye to everyone on Monday. As I was saying bye to people I felt like no...this isn't goodbye. I had a very strong feeling I would stay in this area, and my companion would leave. 

Last night it was like a strange mix of Christmas Eve and New YEars or something. We watched a church movie, then got into bed, because the calls for transfers are after our bedtime. EASY TO SLEEP wondering where you{re going to live, and who with, for the next month and a half. We got the call, turned the lights on and found out...yep, I am STAYING!!! I am soooo excited! THis area is WONDERFUL, there is sooo much work to be done. Just yesterday we had four investigators come to church with us. And one couple, Brenda and Andres, who I have mentioned several times said 'pssst, come over here', after sacrament meeting. 'We've been thinking since you asked us in the last lesson and...yes, we want to be baptized.' Ah, we all had tears in our eyes. This couple is SOOOOO SPECIAL FOR US. She is the one that had a miscarriage, and her dad recently was killed, and has just been hit with TRIAL AFTER TRIAL. Instead of staying angry with God, she started exercising her faith in him, and in turn, it grew. Andres, he is just amazing. He studied in the seminary to be a priest because his dad wanted him to, but he said it was full of hypocrisy and he didn't like it at all. He will be in a leadership position in the church once he is baptized I am sure of it haha!!! WHat AMAZING examples, i'm always teary eyed with them. OH and they bought us legitimate jerseys from the puebla soccer team! and Brenda said 'you are the first foreigners i have really gotten along with'. We are going to eat with them today!

well I will be sad to see my comp, Hermana Seegmiller go. We are very very opposite. I know we both helped bring out the good in each other, but to be frank it was a struggle some days!!!! Just our form of communication is just completely different an one person would say something, and the other would interpret it completely different. But what I learned form Hermana Seegmiller was to be humble and kind. She was always super worried about being the 'perfect' trainer or the 'perfect ' missionary. And I kept trying to explain to her. I can learn from any of the other 200 missionaries in PUebla south how to contact in the street or what is our role in ward council, any number of things. But only from her could I learn kindness, and patience. One instance that really struck me was a morning after a particularly rough night. Hermana Seegmiller got out of her bed and went out into the dark cold morning at 630 with her blanket around her just to turn the boiler on for ME. She didn't need to shower, but she remembered I was going to. She never said ' i turned the boiler on for you', or expected anything in return. She just simply did this one quiet act of kindness and went about getting ready. This impacted me a LOT. It was tough these 3 months but by the end we became friends. the other day we were laughing until we were crying. and a couple days in study i just started crying and said 'im going to miss you'.  I know I helped her to be a little more at ease with herself, and have a little fun, and she helped me to be a more kind, understanding person. She has changed me for the better.

The people here are just incredible. What can I say? One sweet little old lady that only has a few teeth and lives in a very humble house fed us last week. SHe served us Mole. SHe said ' i remembered you wanted to try Mole, so I made it for you'. Do you know when I told her that? my SECOND DAY. JUNE 25. This woman remembered for 2 months what some blonde girl that she never sees wanted to try from MExico. THe people here are sooo very special to me. 

Tomorrow is a national holiday, mexicos day de independencia, so it is gonna get crazy!!! AT midnight tonight everyone is going to do the grito, or yell, saying 'viva mexico! viva mexico! viva mexico!' add to that a milllllllion street fireworks. there is already a hint today of how crazy its going to be, but I can{t imagine. and then tomorrow through all the parades and craziness we have to get to the stake center for transfers, and i will meet my new comp. I am sure that she will not speak one word of english, and i will miss hermana seegmiller even more haha! but i need my spanish to improve so it will be good!!!

Ive learned a lot about sacrifice this past week, it keeps coming up in lessons, in church, in my personal study. I don't know why sometimes we think we{re going to lose something in sacrificing our lives to the Lord. Al contrario, we will gain a lot. Yeah, I left my friends and family behind, but I have met so many incredible people here, and now I will go back with DOUBLE the friends and family. The Lord will never ever let us lose if we turn things over to him. 

Here are some pictures since we couldn't upload last week! Forgot to mention forever ago we got to go to a weird walmart mall combo type place. they had sushi at a place called SHIRUSHI! i was freaking out excited. IT was TERRIBLE. worst than the worst sushi ive had in the states. couldn't eat more than a couple pieces. oh well right? 

Bad sushi and a tweetie bird cup
Heres us on a pday with our fav family here, Emiliano and Anay, i think ive mentioned them, super recent converts (april, and june) and their daughters, we went to Angelopolis (actual city) again with them and the bishops daughters, pic here

One of their favorite families
we ate carls jr and krispy kreme. the carls jr actually didnt taste that great, the food here is so good im accustomed to it. but krispy kreme was still delicious.

Krispy K
now for my fave pic yet on my mission. at a members house , her daughters birthday. i guess the tradition here is the bday person eats part of the cake. me to my comp ' and then we all eat it still?!!!!' her 'yep!'. that is my genuine face hahahahah

Birthday girl digging into her cake... and Lauren's reaction
At the Food the other day, the little boy in the family ran up to us and gave us this. the house was dark cuz they have no lights, very poor. i was thinking its a wet....potatoe? wow gracias!!! no, its a fruit called Tuna. i think he peeled the skin off himself. when it plopped into my hand i was so grossed out. we left the house and i could see it in the light, and we took this picture. 

Thank you...?
Heres us today. we had an unexpected and SUPER fun trip outside our area (with permission of course) to buy stuff for all the food to celebrate the holiday tonight. its this mercado independencia, idk how to describe it. inside but not? and toooons of people selling all kinds of stuff!!! i saw a pigs head swinging from one of the tents!  this picture is that they put confetti in empty eggs. Anay, knowing i didn{t know the tradition smashed it on my head. I let out a yell. ITS CONFETTI!!!  all over me!!! thats her husband goofing off in teh background. i think you can see the confetti on my head. we were DYYYYING LAUGHING. we bought a ton to smash tonight for the holiday. wow i love it here !!!! 

finally heres us. i bought a mexican bow, hermana seegmiller bought a moustache. also Anay painted our faces without permission, its this little stick of chalk that has green white and red so its automatically a flag. 

hope all is well in the states!!!!! love you and pray for you all the time!!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014


Wow I don´t know where the time is going. Tomorrow my 'little' brother turns 20 years old, and this Thursday starts my fifth month of the mission!!!! 

This week was INCREDIBLE!!! I´m so so happy here! We had our three baptisms and it was amazing!!!! Some elders in our stake also had 3 baptisms so it was a night of 6 baptisms- we had to have all the talks in the chapel because there wasn´t enough room for everyone where the font is! I´ve attached pictures. 

It is amazing how the faces of the people are changed after they leave the water. And also their huge smiles when they were introduced on Sunday as members of our church. In Preach My Gospel it says ¨becoming cleansed from sin is being healed spiritually.¨´. At one house we go to they have mentioned that they don´t feel the need to go to church all the time because church is for when you need help, and compare it to only going to a doctor when you are sick. OK, I see where they are coming from, and I try my hardest to put myself in other people´s shoes always. To try and see their point of view from their upbringing and traditions. Because of this, my companion and I always treat them with respect and love when this topic comes up. However, as someone that has witnessed first hand an enormous change in myself by going to church every Sunday it´s hard not go get a little frustrated behind the scenes. I told my companion later that I guess my question to their statement is what if you have a spiritual ´condition´lurking that you don´t recognize, or think will get better automatically? Its half joking but half true.   It is so crucial to do all that the Lord asks of us, including church attendance each Sunday

Our soul consists of a spirit and a body and in this life we often pay more attention to our bodies. How many activities in the day that if we could replace them with eating or sleeping we would do that? We´re human!! In our bodies we are tempted in so many ways. However, we need to work on our Spiritual health, because letting that slip can be extremely dangerous. 

Our spirits have the potential to be so strong- stronger than our bodies. We learn that lesson from the commandments such as the Word of Wisdom and the Law of the Fast. 

I am learning so much about this concept as a missionary. If you´ve known me for about 2 seconds you know that I despise mornings and sit like a statue until I finally can muster the strength to get moving. The only way I can explain getting up at 630 AM every day, working out, and walking for 12 hours a day is that as missionaries we are flexing our ...spiritual muscles, so to speak, in an enormous way every day, helping our spirits to be stronger and stronger, and more excited about the work. 

I have always loved- of the many titles the Savior has- of that of the Great Physician. Henry B. Eyring taught: "It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior's promised relief that he knows, from experience, how to heal and help us... and faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but he chose to learn by His own personal experience." 

If we have pain, sorrow, disappointment, anger, regrets, or any number of bad feelings in our heart, we can use the Atonement to literally get rid of those, and be better people each day. I'm so excited for my investigators and their progress, but more importantly the bright futures they have ahead of them.

This is Mauricio and his son, Max, who is 9. His wife was baptized in June. They're INCREDIBLE!!!

Happy baptism faces!
 Here´s us and our other investigator , Maximina, who got baptized. On the left is her friend Hermana Sol who I've mentioned before, she has been inviting Max to church for a couple of years but only in the past couple of months has Max really gone and experienced a change. Her sons are 8 and 12 years old and we are going to start preparing them for baptism as well.

Also today we had such a fun P day! We got permission to leave our area and see Angelopolis- oooooh! It´s a city super close to us that I stare at dreamily every night and we can´t actually go to all of it because only part of it is in our zone, but we had some good food and walked around the university, the BAUP, its the extension with all the Arts students- super white and modern- def different from our area! We had a blast! 

The BAUP at the University
Angels in Angelopolis :)
I love you all so very much!!!! Email me!!! 
Hermana Best