Monday, December 28, 2015

It's A Christmas Miracle!

Hello everyone! I hope y'all's Christmas was FANTASTIC! I just have to say. Christmases on the mission are my favorite. There are so many wonderful miracles that we get to witness or be apart of. I love this time of year! 

This last week, we have seen so many wonderful Christmas miracles.
So last week, we had our Branch Christmas Party. Sister Fernandez had invited one of her friends, Tracy, to come. Tracy also came to church the next day, and Christmas Eve, we stopped by her house to wish her a Merry Christmas, and she invited us in. We talked about how God is always there for us, and how He leads us to the people and things we need in order to feel His love and to be on the right path back to Him. She was so thankful that Sister Fernandez invited her to church, and loved it so much. Yesterday, she came again, and said she loved it, and that she wants to keep coming. We had dinner with Sister Fernandez and she had invited Tracy to come over too. We had a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel, and Tracy completely understood that there was an Apostasy. She said she has felt that way too--searching high and low for the truth, but not being able to find it yet. She said she feels so good every time she meets with us and comes to the church. She told us she wants to learn more before she will be baptized, because she wants to be ready. We are so excited for her. She is so prepared, and wants to be a part of the truth.

Last night, we had a lesson with Nikki and John and their family. They are doing so great! We reviewed the Word of Wisdom with them, and Nikki told us she hadn't drunk coffee for 3 days! She wants to be baptized, and is doing everything in her power to prepare herself for it. We are so excited. She has seen a change in her life from living the commandments, and she is excited for baptism. 

Also, yesterday, we were going by some people we hadn't been able to contact for a while, Alta and Jorge. It had been about a month or so since we had been able to see them, but we had a feeling to go by yesterday, and they were both home! How wonderful! We shared the video "A Savior is Born" with them, and they loved it. They had missed us coming by, and wanted us to come by again. They even invited us over for dinner on Friday! 

David is doing great! We had a Family Home Evening with him and the Page family. It was great fun! We talked about baptism and confirmation, the promises we make,  and the blessings that come from keeping those promises. David was excited and really understood it. He is excited to get baptized coming up here soon. He loves the church and the gospel, and loves learning more and more. He is still reading in the Book of Mormon every day and loves it. 

Christmas night, we went caroling with some members of our branch. It was really special to see those we went to have their evenings brightened by Christmas Carols. This time of year is so wonderful. But the part I love most is that it doesn't have to only be during the month of December. We can have the Spirit of Christ with us throughout the year. We can spread the joy we feel from living the Restored Gospel with those around us during any other time. I think that has been something I have really learned from being a full-time missionary. As a missionary, all your thoughts, actions, words, and sometimes even dreams are focused on helping others come unto Christ through the principles and ordinances found in His Restored Gospel. It has helped me understand that you don't have to wait until a certain time of year to share the Gospel with those around you. When I return home from my full-time mission, I still plan to talk to all those around me, to declare the "good tidings of great joy"that have blessed my life so much. 
I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I trust them and their will. I am all-in in their work.

I love you all! Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

¡Feliz Navidad!

Goodness. This week has been so wonderful! Every minute of my mission has been. This last week was transfers, and Sister McBride left Lockhart for the Border. I am still here in Lockhart, and Hermana Gibson is my new companion! I love her so much. She came into the mission just after me, and we have had many of the same companions. I have heard so much from her from so many people. 
Thursday was so wonderful! We had a lesson with Carol and Daniel, two people we met a couple weeks ago. We were a little late for the lesson, and Carol told us she thought we weren't going to come, but was so excited that we showed up. We talked with them about the Restoration, and they totally understood.  They understood that only God can give His power to people, and only through the power of God can we be baptized and receive other ordinances. Wow. It was such a powerful lesson. Hermana Gibson is such a powerful teacher, and she lives her testimony. We invited them to be baptized, and they both said yes. Daniel started tearing up, and said he felt warm and peaceful inside his heart. It was so sweet! We are so excited for them.

Other news, David is back in town! He was gone visiting some family for a while, and wasn't going to be back until January, but texted us on Saturday letting us know he was back in town. We had a lesson with him yesterday, and he told us he had been thinking. He said, "I still want to be baptized. I have some family stuff I need to deal with first, but I really do want to get baptized. I was thinking for a date, the 7th of February. It's right before my birthday. Can we do that?" ...uhh.. Yes! Yes we can! We talked about how we want to go through the lessons with him again, to help him more fully understand, which he is excited to do. He loves the Gospel so much, and wants to do what is right. It has been kind of hard for him to do both religion and deal with family problems, but we are trying to help him understand the relief and peace that comes from putting our life in line with the Savior's teachings.

I know God love us so much. I know Jesus is the Christ, and that through Him, we are saved. Without Him, we are lost, fallen, and sinful. But through Him, we can overcome our sinful nature, and become the Sons and Daughters of God that we were meant to be. I love my Savior, and will forever be grateful for the wonderful blessings I have received in my life because of His life, His death, and His resurrection.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This week has been so wonderful! So full of miracles. We found 10 new investigators this week... which is a first for us! They are all pretty interested people, too. Not just "...yeah sure, come back" people,  but truly interested and searching for the truth. 

We have also invited more people to be baptized, and many have said yes! Nikki, one of our investigators whom with we have been meeting for a while, accepted to be baptized, as well as Lupe, and Charles--other people we met with this week. I am so excited for the work here in Lockhart! I love it. I know there are people prepared here. I know there are people searching for the truth, peace, and hope that the Restored Gospel brings.

We also had the opportunity to hear from Elder and Sister Pino. They taught us about humility and focusing on our purpose. Part of what I enjoyed most was that they talked in Spanish with English translation by some of the other missionaries. It was amazing to see them speak in their native language, their eyes bright with their testimonies of the gospel. 

I am so thankful for the gifts I have been given by my Father in Heaven--for my parents, for my family, for the experience it has been to be a missionary and to help others feel of the love He has for them. I am grateful for my weaknesses, for through them, I draw closer to the Lord, and He helps make them strengths. 

I feel so privileged to be a missionary and have all these opportunities to sit at the feet of the Lord's chosen servants. So far on my mission, I have had the opportunity to hear from the following: Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Piper, Elder Corbridge, (then Elder, now President) Russell M. Nelson, Elder Pino, and a couple others whose names I am forgetting.... But my goodness! I feel so blessed. I can feel their testimony so strongly just when they walk into the room. I KNOW they are men called of God. I KNOW they are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. I feel so privileged to have a mission president who loves the Lord and seeks to follow the will of the Lord. I KNOW he was called by God.  I know we are led by a  Prophet, a living, breathing Prophet, even Thomas S. Monson. He was called by the Lord. We can trust him; he will never lead us astray.

I love you all so much. I am grateful, most of all, for my Savior. I know without Him, I am nothing. He has provided us with an escape. Through Him, we can be reconciled with God, and will be able to return to live in His presence. I would hope we would each take a few moments this Christmas season to pause and remember Him even more. I love you! Merry Christmas!
Hermana Dean

The Hernandez Perez Family

Sisters Selfie with Hermanas Ali, Vorwaller, Bay, McBride, Gonzales, Boren, & Dean

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Savior Is Born

Hello all! 

This week has been so wonderful. I truly love every moment of my mission.

This week, we have the wonderful opportunity to attend a conference with Elder Pino of the 70. I am so excited for this spiritual feast.

Lockhart is such a wonderful area. We have so many wonderful people that we are teaching.
Rhonda came to church!!! It has been the hardest thing to get ahold of her for the last couple weeks. She is struggling right now because of some family issues she has to deal with, but she came to church yesterday, and loved it. It was super cute, because there were a lot of members that thought she was a member too. She just blended right in with everyone. Rhonda is doing great. We have an appointment with her on Tuesday, which will be great. I love her so much, and am excited to help her see and receive the relief that comes when we take Christ's yoke upon us.

Every year, on the first weekend of December, Lockhart has a festival put on by the library. They call it "A Dicken's Christmas in Lockhart" or "Dicken's on the Square". It is a HUGE festival with booths, crafts, you name it. And our branch, for the last couple years has done free crafts for the kids. Most other things at the festival cost money. But the crafts we do are free, and are super cute. They made angel ornaments, Christmas tree ornaments and reindeer necklaces. It was the cutest thing! I want to come back for next year so I can see the rest of the festival.

The branch here also purchased a set of bicycles for us to keep in Gonzales. We have our own bikes we use in Lockhart, and our bike rack is not very good, so we don't take them to other cities. And when we get rides from members, they usually don't have a way to transport our bikes either. So, the branch purchased some new bikes for us to keep in Gonzales for when we work out there. And they are great! We get to talk to so many more people than we would just walking around. I love this branch so much!

We have had many opportunities to share the new church video, "A Savior Is Born" with many people. They all love it, and it really brings the spirit. I hope you have all watched it, and have some people in mind with whom you will share it. 

Like I said in the beginning, I love every minute of my mission. It is the best! I would never trade these experiences for anything. I love you all! I hope you have a safe and wonderful Christmas season. As many of the Texans we meet on a daily basis say: "Y'all be blessed!"

Monday, November 30, 2015

Miracles in Disguise

Hello everyone!!

okay so BIIIG news. I can hardly contain myself, I am SO excited. Recently, changes were made at the MTC's for those speaking their native language. They will now be there for 3 weeks instead of 2. This change affects the timing of when missionaries get released too! *drumroll* I get to have one more week in the mission than originally thought! I will fly home on the 23rd of March now, instead of the 16th. YAY!

This week has been full of miracles, some in disguise. 
Tuesday started out pretty normal. We went by some people in Lockhart, and then went to dinner with Sister Davis. After dinner, we went to Luling. On the ride there, I began to not feel very well. When we got there we went by some other people, and ended the night with a visit to the "B" family. They were so great! We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and had a "puzzle" with it, so they could visualize it all. The lesson went great. Afterwards, I still didn't feel too great. It was time to start driving home, so we could be there before 9. We get maybe 5 minutes outside Luling, and I couldn't hold it any longer. We pulled over, and I threw up everything I had eaten that day. I felt a little better afterwards, and we went home. Before going to bed, I threw up 2 more times. During the night, 3 more times. I couldn't keep anything down, not even water. I felt so tired by 6:30 am. I knew I was going to need to stay home at least a couple hours. We called Sister Slaughter and everything, she said to have crackers and Gatorade when my stomach felt like it could handle food. That wasn't until about 6pm or so. We ended up staying home the entire day, which, at the end of the month was a blessing. We were getting low on miles, and we were going to spend the day in Dale, which takes a LOT of miles. So. Sometimes, it is a blessing to be sick. I am fine and dandy now. So that is good. 

Thanksgiving was really great. We had lunch with the Marshall family, which was super yummy. We went by a couple other people, and at the end of the night, went by Roberta. She is a very sweet lady who loves missionaries. We wanted to wish her and her family a happy Thanksgiving. She had a lot of family over, but let us in, and fed us some of what was left of their dinner. It was really yummy. Her family is really nice.

Yesterday, the Church's new video was released! "A Savior Is Born". I hope you have all had a chance to see it and to share it. If not, do it! You won't regret it. It is a beautiful video.

The other day, we were knocking a street in Luling. We met a sweet lady who was so excited to talk about Christ. She didn't have any intents of changing religions, but told us about all her neighbors, and pointed out some that she thought would be interested. We talked with her on her doorstep for a good half hour about her faith in Christ. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and the new Christmas video. She was really excited to watch the video. She said she would even show it to her pastor. 

Back to the "B" family for a bit. J & N are doing so great! N came up to us at church, and told us she and J had read 1 Nephi 1 and LOVED it. She said they were excited to read the next chapter together. We had another lesson with them last night, and read 1 Nephi 2 with them. They loved it too! Really, y'all should read 1 Nephi 1 and 2 again. They are so great, and if you know the stories in the Book of Mormon, it is really neat to read them with the stories in the back of your mind. There are a lot of really cool prophecies given. 

I love the Book of Mormon so much. I have tried to study out of it every day. By doing so, I have received a greater testimony of its truth and divinity. I know without a doubt that it was written by prophets of God. I know a prophet of God, even Joseph Smith, translated it by the power of God. I know the Book of Mormon will bless each of our lives as we search its pages for ways we can become better disciples of Jesus Christ. 

I love you all!
Until next week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

23 November 2015

Hello! This week has just been so great. I love every minute of my mission. I really do. 
This last week we had Zone Conference, baked cookies, had exchanges, amazing lessons, and it was all so great!

Sister McCombs came up with us on Friday, and spent the day in good ol' Lockhart--which was her first area. How cool is that? Sister McCombs is a powerhouse. I am so grateful for the chance we had to work with her, and to learn from her. 

During our exchange, we went to Gonzales, and had a lesson with the sweetest lady, Shirley. She lives in Hermana Hernandez's neighborhood, and just loves Hermana Hernandez. She wanted us to go over with her, and share some scriptures to help her feel better, because her health had been not so good lately. We went over, and Shirley had some family members over. They invited us in to share a quick scripture. We shared 3 Nephi 17:7,9. Shirley and her family loved it, and all talked about how grateful they are for the healing we receive through Christ. I know that healing is real--whether it is physical, spiritual or emotional healing, I know it is real, and comes through Christ.

We also made cookies for some investigators and members this week. We took some over to Ariana and Alex, and set up an appointment for Tuesday. They are so sweet, and seem prepared to act on the promptings of the Spirit.

I love y'all so much, and am grateful for your examples of Christlike love to everyone. 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Exchanges! On a VERY windy day. (p.s. Buc-ee's is the biggest gas station I have ever seen in my life!)

Remember how I mentioned we live behind the high school? This should sum up what Friday nights have been like.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Did I Hear Someone Ask For A Miracle???! (Or two or three?)

Hola Todos!

This week has been so wonderful, and full of miracles. 

Tuesday, we were able to have a lesson with David before he left with his family. We talked about prophets, and how they are called by God to lead and guide us. He feels blessed to live in a day when the Lord has called a prophet on the earth.

Earlier this week, we went to Luling to visit Sister B. She had been sick for a bit, and we wanted to go see her. We get there, and find out her son and his family have moved in with her! So cool. Her son, J, has been a member for a while, and hasn't been able to go to church for about 6 months. He told us there was no way he was missing it anymore and that they would be there on Sunday. His family came with him. N, I, and W. They are super cute. N is  not a member, but wants to be baptized. She has a couple things she is trying to work through so she can. We are so excited for her! 

A couple weeks ago, we knocked into Ariana. We told her who we are, and of the message we share. She told us she really needed it, that she had been feeling down and needed to feel happy. For whatever reason, we weren't able to have a lesson with her right then.. I think she was getting ready to leave, or something.. I'm not sure. But we left her with a card and our number, and she said she would call us. A couple days later, we go by, but she wasn't home. Her husband, Alex, answered and said she was at work, but said to come by again.  We went by on Friday, but no one answered. There was a man outside of the other side of the duplex, so we talked to him for a bit. He wasn't really interested, so we went on our way. 

Mind you , this was Friday the 13th. Lessons almost always fall through on Friday the 13th (or maybe it is just coincidence...;) )...This past Friday was no exception. So we didn't have any set lessons, and weren't really sure where to go. We thought about it for a bit, and left to go to a family that had previously investigated the church. We got about 5 minutes away, when we received a phone call. The number wasn't saved in our phone, but we answered anyway. It was Ariana! She said she was home, and that her uncle (the man outside) said we had come by. We asked if we could come over, she said if we weren't too busy... (nope!) We went over, and she talked to us, and opened up about a bad experience she had quite a while back in a different church. She said this experience made her nervous and even a little scared to go back to church. We talked a little about the healing power of the Savior's sacrifice, and how learning about His gospel will help her overcome this traumatic experience and find the peace she is searching for. We had an amazing lesson about the Restoration, and invited her to be baptized. Her response: "Yes. I really would like to be baptized by someone who has that authority." wow. She really wants to have the truth in her life, and her husband wants it too. We gave her copies of the Book of Mormon for her and her husband, and she said they would read it together and talk about coming to church (she wasn't sure about their work schedule). 

I know the Lord is preparing people-not only to hear His word, but to accept and live it as well. I feel so blessed to be here, serving Him, and being an instrument in His hands, as He accomplishes His great work. 

I love you all!

Oh! I almost forgot that this last Thursday was transfers. Well, Hermana McBride and I will both be staying here in Lockhart. :)


Monday, November 9, 2015

Ups and Downs and All Arounds!

Hi y'all!

This week has been the craziest week ever! So much happened.
So last Monday, we went over to David's, not quite sure what to expect. He had texted us that he didn't want to get baptized for a while, and wasn't going to come to church for a while either. But he still wanted us to come by. Hermana McBride and I didn't really know what to expect. We went by, and David told us about some family issues that had occurred, and how angry he was at one of his family members for doing what they did. He did not really know how to deal with it. He said he wanted to hold off on everything until it all figured itself out. We took Ruby with us. She is preparing to go on a mission soon, and is so great to take to lessons. David talked about how he wasn't going to go to church so he could figure stuff out. Ruby told him in the past when she has been stressed about situations and thinks not going to church will fix it all, she soon finds out that it does the opposite. We testified of the importance of going to church--of the support system it can be, but most importantly of the strength that comes from worthily partaking of the sacrament. David understood, and said he would think about it. He said he would still read the Book of Mormon, and still wanted us to come and teach him. *phew* we thought we had lost him. 

We also had great lesson with Bobby, one of our other investigators. It was kind of a funny situation. We called him earlier in the day to see when we could go over and teach him. He sounded confused, and asked if we had received his text. .. uh.. no, we had not. (Which wasn't a surprise. sometimes our phones don't want to work right) He said we could come over later that evening.

So we go over, and he again asks us if we got his message. Again, we said no. So he pulls out his phone and looks at it, and shows it to us. (it was at an angle where I couldn't see it very well, but Hermana McBride could)  He then realizes he hadn't pushed "send". (Sister McBride saw it, but I didn't. more on that in a minute)
Then, he said he had read "The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith", which is what we had assigned him. He said he read it a couple times, but did not understand it all, and asked if we could read it together. We did, and it was a great, spirit-filled lesson. He is more excited to continue reading in the Book of Mormon, and for us to continue coming over.

Fast-forward to that night. We are writing in our journals, and Hermana McBride asks me if I saw the text Bobby meant to send us. I told her I hadn't. She then tells me what it said, "Ms McBride, I read the chapter you assigned, and I don't think I can continue practicing the Mormon faith anymore...."  We had a good laugh about that. I guess something changed his mind during the lesson. 

So, as I have mentioned before, we cover quite a large area that includes a bunch of little towns. One of them is Dale. This week, I FINALLY got to go there! Happy day! I have been here for about a month, and finally made it there. We had planned to go a couple times, but then the floods decided to come. (Dale is all dirt roads, so that was x-nayed.) and then, we had it planned again, and we had exchanges, where I left to work with Sister Leiter in Austin. But last night, we were able to go. I LOVE Dale. It is so awesome, and the people we met are really nice, and want us to come back. We contacted a referral we have had for a while, and she said she was busy at the moment, but said she wanted us to come back when her 16 year old pregnant daughter was home. You go lady!

Yesterday, we had a regional conference, and got to hear from Elder Lynn G. Robbins, Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, Sister Linda S. Reeves, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Their talks were all so wonderful, and have inspired me to make some changes in my life--that will affect both now in the mission and when I return home.

My favorite was from Elder Corbridge. He quoted the scriptures when Christ, after some of his followers had left, asked his disciples, "will ye also go away?" Peter responded, "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life".
He gave us 4 principle questions to help us avoid deception in life: 
1. Is there a God who is my Father?
2. Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World?
3. Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?
4. Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Lord's Kingdom on the earth?

As we answer these questions, all other questions we have either become answered or become irrelevant. 

Like Nephi, I can say, "I know in whom I have trusted." I know there is a God who is my Father. I know He loves me, and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to the world to save me from my sins. Jesus Christ is my Redeemer. I know God and His Son appeared to Joseph Smith, showing to all that the Heavens are opened, and that God still speaks. I know He has called prophets since Joseph Smith, and that they will guide us back to Him. "Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray." (PMG)  I also know that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed the Lord's kingdom here on the earth. I know it. I will not go away from the truth that has so much blessed my life and the life of my family.  I also know that each of you, if you have not already, can receive this testimony for yourselves. Our great invitation as missionaries is for others to ask God, so as to receive an answer for yourself. 

I love you all so much.  I pray that you have a week full of miracles and experiences that will confirm these truths to you.


Monday, November 2, 2015

"For behold, it is easy to give heed to the word of Christ"

Howdy Y'all! 
Ay. This is what happens when you are in Texas for your mission. "y'all" become a part of your vocabulary! But that is okay. It is better than saying "you guys". That is always awkward. 

Anyway. This week has been so full. 
Wednesday, David had his baptism interview. He told the Elders that he doesn't feel ready to get baptized just yet. He wants to become more familiar with the church and with the Book of Mormon. He said he still wants to come to church and meet with us, but would like to postpone his baptism. Which is good that he wants to feel prepared. 

Friday, we had to drive to San Marcos. Sister McBride had a doctor's appointment. On the way there, it DOWNPOURED. So much rain! And lightning. It was really cool to watch, but a little scary to be out in. Anyway. Our GPS led us to the wrong address, so we had to turn around and go to the right one. We drove along the frontage road (which is one-way) for a bit, but then see that it has began to flood due to all the rain. We couldn't turn around, because it was one-way, so we sought shelter in the parking lot of a hotel, along with other drivers who didn't dare face the flooded road. We were stuck there for about 2 hours. But when it finally died down a bit, we were able to continue on our merry way.

Saturday was Halloween! We went by a couple of people, and then headed to our branch's Fall Festival. It was super cute! They had a Chili Cookoff, and us Hermanas were designated the "unofficial" judges, because if the Sisters judge your chili, you can't get mad at them, and even if you do, they won't be in the branch forever! Jaja. Man. Our branch knows how to cook Chili! They were all so good. It was a tough job to judge them. But it was a good party. David came, and had lots of fun. There were also quite a few members that came that we hadn't seen in a while. Food brings everyone together! 

Last night, we had a lesson with the Castillo family. We read 2 Nephi 2 with them, to help them get started on their reading and to help them know how to apply the scriptures to themselves. They are such a sweet family. I'm excited to continue meeting with them. 

This week, I have been ponderizing Alma 37:44
"For behold, it is easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land."
The main points in this verse: 
-The word of Christ will guide us to salvation
-It is easy to give heed to the word

One of the cross references took me to 1 Nephi 11:25--the iron rod is the word of God, which leads to the fountain of living waters or the tree of live, which are both representations of the love of God.

Another cross reference: Helaman 3:29-30--We can see that all who want to can hold to the word of God, which is powerful and quick, and it will guide men of Christ through the strait and narrow path, and take their soul to the right hand of God in the kingdom of Heaven.

If you think about it, it is easy to heed the word of Christ. If we want to, we can cling to the iron rod, which is the word of God, and it will guide us to salvation, so that we can dwell with God.

I love y'all so much. I hope your upcoming week is full of miracles and growing experiences. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

I probably should have learned this sooner....

Hello all! 

For starters, here is some  fabulous news: (drum roll please) DAVID IS GETTING BAPTIZED!! How wonderful is that? He is so excited, and feels ready for this step. We were talking about the temples yesterday with him. Sister Garcia came with us, and bore a powerful testimony of temples. David is so excited that we can do ordinances for our family members who have passed on. He told his siblings that he is getting baptized, and they are all so happy for him. He is going to invite them to the baptism.

This week was just wonderful. There were so many miracles seen and lessons learned. Here are just a few:

1.)Members are amazing!
So our miles per month that we have been allotted have been reduced significantly. As a mission, we are trying to be more obedient in every way--including in keeping within our miles. At first this seemed IMPOSSIBLE, because David, our investigator who is getting baptized, lives in Gonzales, which is 32 miles away from Lockhart. There and back is 64 miles, which is a lot to go a couple times a week. So, we have asked help from our members, and they have been such a blessing! Last Tuesday, we arranged for one of our members to take us from Lockhart to Luling (a town in between) and another from Luling to Gonzales, and for in the evening, one to take us from Gonzales to Luling, and a fourth member to take us from Luling to Lockhart. Initially, we didn't think it would be possible, but our members answered our prayers. Sister Rogers and Sister Barnes helped us out with rides in the beginning of the day. We got to Gonzales, and were able to walk around and met so many awesome people! And, we were blessed to run into another member as she was picking up her kids from school, and she gave us a ride to the other side of Gonzales, that would have taken us a solid 30 minutes to walk. At the end of the day, Brother and Sister Cochran offered to take us the whole way home to Lockhart. I told you. They are so awesome. 

2.) Allergies and colds are not so amazing.
On Thursday , Sister McBride got sick, we think it was a cold. I didn't feel to well myself, whether it was a cold or just allergies, I'm not sure. But we did part of our weekly planning, and when neither of us could think straight, we thought it a good idea to take a nap, in attempt to save our minds. We were both out cold. For like 3 hours. We got up long enough to get some food in our stomachs, but didn't have the energy to do much else. Back to bed we went, and were out. All night long. The next day, we were both so much better, and able to finish what we hadn't been able to the day before. Sleep does wonders to a sick/allergy afflicted body.

3.) Texas has the most random rainstorms
Yes, this I did know, but it was reaffirmed on Friday. We were headed to a lesson with Lori, and parked a bit down the street from her house. As soon as we got out of the car and walking to her house, the skies decided this would be the perfect time to open and pour out as much water as they could in 5 minutes. We got soaked! But hey. They lesson with Lori was amazing! She is so sincere and wants to learn more and teach her kids.

4.)driving in mud in a sedan is not a good idea.
We had great intentions. Really. We did. We were going to see Rhonda (one of our investigators), who lives out in the boonies. We should have kept in mind that it had down poured the day before...but I suppose that slipped our minds. We wanted to see Rhonda before church, so we headed out to her house. She has a big dirt driveway that you have to go on before you get to her trailer house. We thought our little car could make it. Well, she did for part of the way....and then she got stuck. So, we put on our thinking caps to try and figure out a solution. In the end, we decided to go and see if anyone was home. There was a pickup truck in front of the house, so maybe someone home could help us. We walked up the rest of the driveway, and knocked on the door. Jeff, Rhonda's husband answered, and told us she wasn't available. Then he asked if we got stuck. Yes, yes we had. He offered to help us out. I'm so thankful for pickup trucks and tow hitches. They are life savers. I don't know if we had that experience so that Jeff would have the opportunity to help us out, or so that we learned a lesson.... Perhaps both. Either way, it was a great experience.

5.) the Lord truly pours blessings upon us
This too, I have known for a while, but it has been reaffirmed so many times in my life, including this last week. We had so many lessons with so many wonderful families. I stand all amazed at the miracles that happen when we do our part and follow the commandments of the Lord!

I love you all! I hope you are doing well. 

Have a most amazing week!

Hermana Dean 

Monday, October 19, 2015


Yo y la Hermana McBride, mi nueva compañera! 


Yo y la Hermana McBride! Mi nueva compañera!

Why hello, all my lovely friends and family!

I hope you are all doing well. This week has been super great. Kind of a crazy beginning... Let me tell you why!

Last Monday started out pretty normal. We went to get our hair cut, we went shopping, and emailed. A pretty normal P-day. But after we get home from working, it all changed. We see that we have a missed call from the Assistants. We called back, but they didn't answer, but three seconds later, they were calling us again. Hermana Cannon answered the phone, and they asked for me. They told me that they were making a few changes in the mission, and that I would be transferred to Lockhart, and that I would be companions with Hermana McBride.They said we could meet up with them at the Kyle Zone Training Meeting, on Wednesday. (Which is more notice than I have had before. The other two times, it was the night before I needed to leave.) Cool! I was excited. A little sad, yes. But excited. So, the rest of Monday evening was spent packing all my clothes. Which is the easy part when it comes to packing. Jaja. All the other stuff--books, study papers, etc. are the difficult parts. But, by Tuesday night, everything was packed and ready.

This was the third time in my mission I have been emergency transferred (transferred before the end of the 6 weeks). Which is crazy, but I'm glad I am able to serve the Lord--no matter what area I am assigned to... Or re-assigned to.

And, now I'm here in Lockhart! We cover a whole bunch of little towns, like Luling, Gonzales, Dale, and a whole bunch more... I haven't even been to all of them yet. Also, our church building is in a strip mall... which is super cool. But the work here is so wonderful!

We have an investigator, David, who is preparing to be baptized on the 31st of October. He is doing so great. This last week, we saw him two times, and were able to help him understand the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity. We only have a couple more things that we need to teach him before the 31st. He is so great! He came to church this last week, and had also gone the week before when it was Stake Conference (I was still in Lake Austin for that). I'm so excited for him. He has most definitely been prepared for this.

We also have an investigator, Rhonda. She is the sweetest lady ever. One day, when she was nine, she decided she wanted to go to church, so she got dressed up, and walked until she found one. It just happened to be one of our churches. She walked inside, and asked someone where she needed to go, and they asked where her parents were. She said, "At home sleeping." jaja. and so, they took her to primary, and she loved it, and went to church for a couple years, but didn't ever end up getting baptized. She then went to a whole bunch of other churches, but none of them ever felt right to her. And now, at 50 years old, decided to come back to the LDS church. Her parents are now members, but they haven't come for a while. She came to church for the first time with us yesterday, and felt the Spirit so strongly, and made so many new friends. One of the members of the branch leaves for his mission soon, so he gave a talk, and also sang "Oh Lord, My Redeemer". Rhonda was touched so much by the Spirit, and started crying. She was a little embarrassed by it, but we told her it is completely fine, and to not worry; that that is how some people feel the Holy Ghost testifying to them. She loved the rest of church, and asked if she could come again next week. :) She is just so amazing.

This week, I have been studying President Uchtdorf's talk, "It Works Wonderfully". I just love it. The Gospel really doesn't have to be complicated. Toward the end of his talk, he says: "God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible, and you will discover that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life."  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect! It can and will work in our lives if we allow it to. Sometimes we complicate things, but if we follow the counsel from President Uchtdorf, and step back, he promises we will see the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel, and we will see it working in our lives. 

I love you all! I hope you are all doing well.

Hermana Dean

Our Church building:

What happens when you leave your EOS's in the hot car in hot Texas, upside-down...
What's in our backyard? Yup. A high school, complete with football stadium...

​Saying Goodbye to Hermanas Cannon and Marble....

Yes. I have a picture of Hermana McBride and me, but they are on my Ipad... and the Library we are at doesn't have WiFi... so I'll send it later. 

Love you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

My Heart Pondereth Them Often

Hola todos!

This week has been so wonderful!
On Monday, we had a lesson with Chámilie, one of our investigators. We were going to teach her and Edwards about the Plan of Salvation, but Edwards was busy getting their kids ready for bed...we have another appointment tonight and we are hoping he'll join us. Anyway, so he wasn't available, so we talked to Chámilie about General Conference a little. (The week before, we had talked about it, and showed her where she could watch it, and she was really excited that we have a living prophet.) She told us she had wanted to watch it, but she couldn't find it. We found out she had been looking on the Gospel Library app, instead of We showed her on the website where she could find it, and she said she would watch some of it.
As part of the lesson with her, we also read the introduction of the Book of Mormon. She told us she knows the Book of Mormon is a guide, and that she feels good while reading it. Really, y'all. She is so amazing--she and Edwards. They are so wonderful, and I am super excited to visit with them tonight.

We also have started teaching this super cute little girl, Ali. She is the granddaughter of a member in our Ward. She is the cutest little girl ever, and she wants to get baptized. We have another appointment with them on Tuesday. 

How amazing it is to live in a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to its fullness! Seeing it in action last week with General Conference was so amazing. This church is true, and Jesus Christ is at the head. He has called men here in earth to lead us and guide us safely back to Him and our loving Heavenly Father. We can trust them, for they cannot lead us astray. 

I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Hermana Dean 

Hermana Marble & Hermana Cannon

My Ponderizing scripture- Alma 26:22

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Work Moves On!

Hello all of my lovely family, friends, and fellow missionaries!

Oh. I just LOVE General Conference. It is my most favorite Holiday of the year! And even better, it is TWICE a year. I just love it so much! How glorious it is to know we live in a time when the fullness of Christ's church is here on the Earth, with living apostles and prophets. How wonderful it is!

This week has been so wonderful! Transfer weeks always are. Hermana Cannon and I are both staying here in the lovely Lake Austin, and we also have a third companion, Hermana Marble. I am so excited, and so blessed to be able to work with these wonderful Hermanas. I know I will learn so much from the both of them.

General Conference was absolutely amazing. Through the Spirit, I received answers to many of my questions. I hope the same was for you. There were quite a few talks about how to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. These talks have made me want to start studying this more. What does it take to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ? Many answers to this were given to us in General Conference.

I am equally excited to begin Ponderizing a scripture every week for 20 years, and then for another 20, and another. How much of a blessing will that be to begin writing the scriptures on your heart? This week, I have chosen Alma 26:22.

I love you all so much. I hope you are all doing well.

Until next week!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The joy of Families

Hello! This week has been wonderful. We had a lesson with Chamilie and Edwards, who are just wonderful! We went over, and they let us right in to have a lesson. Edwards was eating, and said he didn't want to come over right then. So, we talked with Chamilie about her belief in God, and why she wants to raise her kids to have faith in him. We started talking a little bit about prophets, when Edwards finished eating. We invited him to join us, and when he came over, Chamilie explained everything we had just taught to him. She told him what a prophet is, and why it is important to have one. Wow! It was really neat. She was very sincere in it, and you could tell she wasn't just repeating what we had said. The rest of the lesson was amazing. Edwards said there was a question he has had for a long time. Before we could say anything about how answers come, Chamilie told him he should pray, just like Joseph Smith had, and that he would receive an answer. Wow!

The hard part with them is that they can only meet with us on Mondays, because of their work schedules. So, we have an appointment with them this evening. I am so excited. You can just see the love they both have for God, and the desires they have to raise their kids with righteous morals and values.

During the General Women's session, we sang "Go Forth With Faith". I love the words that are found in the 2nd verse:

"Go forth with love to tell the world
The joy of families--
That we may be with those we love
Thru all eternity..."
(Hymns 263)
Have you ever thought about the significance of these words? How wonderful it is to know that we can be with our families for all eternity.  "The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). God has given us our families, not only for this life, but for the eternities.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are taught of the plan our loving Heavenly Father has for us. We know of this plan through the scriptures, as well as the teachings of our living prophets and apostles. In the scriptures, this plan is called the plan of mercy (Alma 42:15), the plan of salvation (Moses 6:62), the plan of redemption (Alma 18:39), and the great plan of happiness (Alma 42:8). Mercy. Salvation. Redemption. Happiness. All of these are things that we want to receive. And we know that it is only through Christ that this Salvation comes unto us (Mosiah 3:17).

We are also taught that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). The family--your family, my family, all families--are central to this plan of happiness, mercy, redemption and salvation.

I am so grateful for the family that I have. I know it is not by chance or coincidence that we have the families we do. I feel so blessed to have been born into a family that loves and treasures the Savior's teachings. This fuels my fire to share this restored Gospel with all those I come in contact with.

I hope you are all able to watch General Conference this up coming weekend. How amazing is it that we have living prophets and apostles in these days, and can hear them speak to us. I know as we listen with open hearts and minds, questions we have been pondering can and will be answered.

I love you all! Have an amazing week!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Hola todos!

Goodness. This week has been so great!

On Tuesday, we had exchanges. Hermana Clark came to Lake Austin to work with me, and Hermana Cannon went to Palm Valley with Hermana Hancock. Goodness. I just LOVE exchanges. They are such a wonderful way to learn and grow. Truly inspired.
Hermana Clark and I met some amazing people. First, we met Juliet. She is such a woman of faith. She has had some health problems in the past, but doesn't let that get her down. We shared "Because of Him" with her, and she just loved it. We set up an appointment with her to come back with her whole family.

We also met Reyna and Angel, and their cute family. They live in Manor. We went over to their house, and Reyna was home with her kids. We told them we wanted to come back when their whole family was home, but that we did want to share a video with them before we left. Just as we were starting the video, the husband, Angel, got home, and joined us. They loved it. They also have such strong faith in the Lord. They said we could come back, and share more with them.

Sadly, with both Juliet and Reyna and her family, we weren't able to have a second appointment. We went for our appointment with Juliet, but her daughter answered and told us she had just left to got to the store. And with Reyna and Angel, we called to confirm our appointment, and Reyna told us her husband would be at work until 5 in the morning, so we rescheduled. These two families are so wonderful! I am so excited to meet with them, and to help them see the blessings of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another family we have been teaching is the Hernandez family. Oscar, and his two daughters: Veronica and Isel. We had a lesson with them the other day, and invited them to be baptized,  they told us that once they learned a little more, then definitely.

How wonderful is this Gospel! I know it is true with all my heart. I know the Lord loves us, and wants us to progress, to continue learning and growing and changing for the better.
I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!

-- Hermana Dean


Exchanges with Hermana Clark
Round Rock Donuts. Yummmm!
How do you celebrate in Texas? With Blue Bell, of course!

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm really bad at coming up with subject titles....

Hola familia!

So from last week, I completely forgot to tell you. Gabriela, one of our investigators, had her baby blessed in sacrament meeting. How cool is that? It was such a sweet blessing. It talked about Gael--her son--growing up to be a missionary and sharing the restored gospel with others. It was so sweet!

This week has been superb. We have found & been able to talk with so many amazing people.

Yesterday, we went by a former investigator, Ray. He was not really interested in continuing learning about our church, but when we asked him who he knew that needed help, he immediately pointed to his neighbor across the street. So, we went to go talk to his neighbor. We knocked on the door, and a lady answered. Susan was very nice, but told us they were really busy with some things right then, and didn't really have time for us.  So, we turned and walked away.

As we were walking to the car, we hear someone whistle and say, "Ladies!". we turned around, and the lady was out on her lawn, and waved us back. We went back, she invited us inside, and brought out her husband, Todd. He has had some serious health issues the last couple months, and has had a really hard time seeing the good in life. He told us about himself, how he used to be a really optimistic person, and would always  think positively, but since having so many surgeries and health problems, and near death experiences, he just doesn't see the point anymore. Susan, his wife, said she would really appreciate it if we talked with them and prayed as well.

Todd told us more of his story, which reminded Hermana Cannon of a scripture--Ether 12:4. We talked about how our Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to have hope for a better world. That because of all Jesus Christ did, we can live with God once again. Todd talked some more about how much he hates being sick. He feels demeaned by his health. He sometimes doesn't have the strength to get up off the floor. He wants someone who understands. We shared with him Alma 7:11-12, and talked about how much the Savior truly loves us and knows exactly how we are feeling in every moment. He began to cry , and told us how much he wants to know and feel closer to God. We talked a bit about the Book of Mormon, and he said he wanted to read one. We had to go out to our car and get one in English, and when we returned and gave it to him, he started reading it right then and there.

There was so much love I felt for Todd and Susan--two people I had never met before, nor do I know them very well, but what I do know, is that God loves them, and knows them perfectly. It was quite amazing to feel just a smidgen of the love God has for them.

I know this Gospel is true with all my heart. I know it can and will help anybody with the trials they are experiencing in life.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week.

Monday, September 7, 2015

7 Septiembre 2015

September??? Where on earth did August go? Wow. I just can't believe how fast time flies. 

This week was super great. We have been challenged by our leaders in the mission to not hesitate to invite people to be baptized. As we have taken this challenge, we have seen many miracles, and we have been able to meet some amazing people. I am so excited for our investigators. 

One of them, Zoila, has been meeting with the missionaries for a couple months. We were able to meet with her, and talked a bit about the Restoration. She remembers a lot, and has still been reading her scriptures. We invited her to be baptized, and she said she wants to find out if this is true, and something she needs in her life. She knows it is good, but she wants a witness that it is true. Which is great! She works on Sunday's, and it is really hard for her to request them off, because nobody wants to work Sundays. But she said in two weeks she should be able to come. She still is reading her scriptures. She is so amazing. 

Another is Thelma. She is super great. She says she knows the Book of Mormon is true. She just wants support from her family. We also invited her to be baptized, and she said when she knows the church is true, then yes. So we will be visiting with her and her family, trying to help them understand and know the truth for themselves. They are so great!

Another miracle. We were headed to a lesson, when the person we were going to have a lesson with texted us and said they weren't home. So, we had already gone to the neighborhood, and we had some other people we wanted to go by. We went by one family, who had met with the missionaries previously, but weren't acting, so the missionaries stopped going by. When Apolonio, the dad, answered the door, we told him we were the missionaries. He said, "you should come back. We need to learn more. Why did you stop coming by?" He and the family had still been reading in the Book of Mormon, and didn't know why the missionaries stopped visiting them. We have an appointment with them later this week. 

Another miracle
Sister Cannon and I were meeting with a member, Victor. We were taking about the sacrament, when his son, Steve, who isn't a member, came and joined us. Steve has visited with the missionaries before, from the YSA Ward, but had stopped for a while. He did tell us he has still been reading the Book of Mormon, and that he feels peaceful when he does. We set up an appointment for this last Saturday with Victor and Steve to read from the Book of Mormon together. When we went for the appointment Steve was asleep. So we still met with Victor, and read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with him. Just when we were almost done, Steve came out. He said sorry he had just woken up, but wanted to join us. He said he has been making more time to read from the Book of Mormon, and really likes reading it. He then told us, "I think you call it the comforter... Yeah well I've felt him and I really like it". We talked a little about the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost that comes after baptism. We asked if he had any questions, and he said, "yeah, so how do I go about asking to be baptized into the Mormon church?" Just like that, my friend, just like that. We gave him the number for the missionaries in the YSA Ward, and he said he would go to church that Sunday. Oh my goodness, it was so amazing! 

The miracles are truly out there. I know it, I have seen them. I know there are so many people who are just waiting for the truth, but are "kept from the truth because they know not where to find it". We are working hard to find the elect. The most repeated promise in Preach My Gospel is that Heavenly Father is preparing people to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. 

I do have to say, I just LOVE my companion. She is so wonderful, and helps me become better everyday. She is so close to the Spirit, and so in tune with the spiritual promptings. I have just learned so much from her in these three weeks we have been together.

I love you all! Have a most fantastic week!


Monday, August 31, 2015

"I'm Beautiful Because My Mission President Says So"

Hello all!
Ah! I cannot get over how amazing this week was. We were able to meet with quite a few former investigators, and with a couple of them, we have return appointments. All throughout my mission, my testimony of the Lord preparing His people has increased. He is preparing people to hear the message of the Restored Gospel, and to accept  it.

Friday, we had a most AMAZING Sisters Conference. We heard from President and Sister Slaughter, as well as the lead Sister Training Leaders, and some of the other sisters in the mission. The spirit was so strong, and you could just feel the love that our leaders have for us.

President Slaughter began by talking about beauty. He told us we are all beautiful. When he was talking about the beauty we have, he began to tear up... Which is a rare sight. Never before in my mission have I seen him cry. He said sometimes we don't see that we are beautiful because we "aspire to the honor of men", and use the standards the world has set for us. We become enslaved to the definitions of the world. But this should not happen. We are agents. we are not objects that the world can define.

He then talked about what things are the most beautiful.
"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel and bring glad tidings of peace.
"Have ye received his image in your countenance?"
--Beauty of Holiness ( 1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalms 29:2 96:9 )
for this one, he had a picture of the former Young Women General presidency. They just have this glow. This beauty of holiness. They might not be considered "beautiful" to the standards that the world has set, but they are truly beautiful.

President Slaughter doesn't want us to quote him, but to rather quote scriptures. But on Friday he did give us permission to quote him on one thing. "I'm beautiful, because my mission President says so"

Sister Slaughter talked about our purpose here. We are here that we might have joy. Eternal joy. Joy in the ups, in the downs, in the midst of everything we go through in this life. Sometimes to have this joy, we need to change perspective a bit. We need to have a positive outlook, and see the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us.

The other trainings we received from the LSTL's and other Sisters were amazing too. I'll tell you about them in another letter, at another time.

After finishing with the Conference, we were able to do a session in the temple with President and Sister Slaughter. Being in the temple with them was so amazing. Having the time to sit in the Celestial Room with them, and the other Sister Missionaries I have gotten to know on the mission was so amazing. The temples truly are the houses of the Lord, and we can feel so much peace and comfort there. They are wonderful sources of answers, as well.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a fantastic week, full of miracles.


Monday, August 24, 2015

24 Agosto 2015

Hola! Como están??

Well, this week was transfer week. Can you believe that???? This last transfer just flew by so fast! Time flies when you're having fun doing the Lord's work, I guess. Jaja. But yeah. I stayed here in Lake Austin C, but I received a new companion! Hermana Cannon is my new companion! Hoorah! She is from American Fork. She is super great! We met when we were both down on the border--I was in Eagle Pass, and she was in Del Río. We never had the opportunity to work with each other there, but Hermana Cannon did give some wonderful trainings in Zone meetings. And then, when I got up here to Austin, she and Hermana Vorwaller were my Sister Training leaders, and I got to go on an exchange with Hermana Cannon. So, we've pretty much just followed each other around. Jaja. Fun stuff!

So this week has been really great. I have loved every minute of it!
We were out in Manor this last Tuesday, going through some potentials and formers, and we went by one, Eric. His dad let us in, and we started talking with him and his older daughter. Soon, the mom and other son came home, and joined us as we started talking about how they have seen the blessings from Heavenly Father in their lives. We soon started talking about how Heavenly Father shows us His love, and blesses us through His prophets. They love the bible, and the history that is there. They want to do the best they can to follow Jesus Christ. We have another appointment with them this coming Thursday.

So as part of my studies, I am reading through the Book of Mormon, in Spanish. It has been really wonderful to read it in a different language, and even to understand it a little better. This morning, I read in Mosiah 28 and 29. In chapter 28, it talks about how the sons of Mosiah wanted to go and teach the gospel to their brethren, the Lamanites. Of this we read, "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish". Even the Lamanites, who hated them and wanted to kill them. They knew that they were also sons and daughters of God, and deserved a chance to change and learn the truth. "And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them." The Spirit of the Lord can change us so drastically. Before, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were the "vilest of sinners", but through their effort and the way the Spirit worked upon them, they were able to change, and all became some of the greatest missionaries we read about  in the Book of Mormon. Their example is amazing. This transfer, and for the rest of my mission, really, I want to focus on becoming more like Ammon, Amulek, and the other great amazing missionaries we read about. Those who were strong in the Lord, and worked for the rest of their lives to accomplish His work.

I love you all so much. I hope you are all healthy and doing well. :)

Hermana Dean

Aww. Cuties. I'm gonna keep you.

​I wonder how long that drive was...

Monday, August 17, 2015

17 August 2015

Hola Todos!! 

How are you all doing? This week has been pretty good.
We have been searching for a family to teach. We did have a lesson with the Raudales Family. That was really good. They still haven't come to church though. So, for our next lesson, we are going to have a church tour with them. They are so great. I know this gospel will bless their lives. They just need to act on it. :) They really are so great, and they have SOOOO many family members. I hope we can help them come closer to Christ.

SO. This week is transfer week! Gahh! Where has the time gone?? But. They are changing how they let us know about it. Instead of calling each of the missionary companionships the Sunday before transfers, they are now just sending out one email on Tuesday at 5 ish with all the information on who is staying and who is leaving. So. I won't know until then. (Since we have our ipads now, we can check our email any day during the week, but only can respond on Mondays.)  So. Next Monday, I'll for sure let you know. :) 

Ahh. So, on Tuesday, we got a call from Elder Presser, our Vehicle coordinator. He told us that our gas card had been compromised, and that we couldn't use it. He will be getting us our new card on Thursday(this coming one), and until then, we would have to use our Zone Leaders' card or another missionary's card. We had enough gas to get us through to Saturday, and we asked the Zone Leaders if we could use their gas card to go fill up, but they didn't have theirs either, because their car was in the shop. Oops. Bad on our part for not checking sooner. So we were trying to figure out another person. We were going to meet up with the Mt. Bonnell Sisters up in Pflugerville, but then, Hallelujah! The moving Elders called us and said they were at our apartment to pick up our old mattresses. So, we met up with them, and then they helped us fill our car up with gas. Hoorah! 

We are also able to use Duolingo on our Ipads!! hooray! I love it. It helps a lot with vocabulary and retaining all the stuff I have learned. It has been really great. I am so very grateful for the tools Heavenly Father has given us to help the work move forward! I love you!

I love you all so much! I hope you are having a good last few weeks of summer. Gahh! Where has the time gone??
I love you!
Hermana Dean

That Texas Pride....

Monday, August 10, 2015

10 Agosto 2015

Hola todos!! 

This week was pretty great. We had a lot of super fun adventures. Right now, we are really trying to find more people to teach. We are praying and working to be able to find a family. I know with out a doubt that there are famlies here that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us to be able to teach.,.. we just have to find them..

So, we got new mattresses. Hallelujah! They are so nice. But it was really funny. The moving Elders didn't have a key to get into our apartment, so they just left them out front with a pass along card stuck to them that said "For the Sister Missionaries, Do not take" we laughed pretty hard about it, and then we played "The Missionary and the Pea" jaja. Good times. 

We also helped Enedina paint her living room. It was so much fun! 

Also, we had Zone Meeting this last Friday, and President talked about our nature. That as we are, we are lost, fallen, sinners. But through the atonement if Jesus Christ, we can overcome our natural man and become saints in Him. He also talked about how we know if we have been forgiven. Now, a lot of people think you are forgiven if you can feel the spirit in your life, which isn't necessarily true. Yes, when you are doing good things, you feel the spirit. But sinners feel the spirit. That doesn't mean they have been forgiven though. In D&C we read that if "a man repenteth of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more." So once we have repented, we are forgiven. Ok well then how do we repent? The next verse tells us. "By this Ye shall know if a man has repenteth of his sins, he will confess them and forsake them". That is it. It isn't a big long process. I think as humans, we have a tendency to complicate things. "Oh it can't be that easy"... I have said that to myself many times. But it really is that easy. We are the ones who complicate things. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is easy. Changing our nature can be hard at times, but it isn't impossible.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week!

I'll talk to ya'll next week!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Thee Hence, Satan

Subject line--one of Hermana Garner's favorite sayings. She tells it to me all the time.... Like when I offer her a donut. Doesn't she know if one companion eats a donut, so does the other so they balance each other out? Jaja. Good times. We have a great companionship. 

So this week! It was great, and it was also not so great. I'll start with the not so great. We had to drop Gloria this week. She just isn't progressing. She stopped reading in the Book of Mormon, and hasn't been to church since I have been here. She was supposed to get baptized in June, but then the missionaries found out she wasn't married, but is living with her "husband", as she calls him. She says he doesn't want to get married, and she doesn't want to leave him, because they have been together for 22 years. She just told us she would go to another church and tell them she wants to get baptized even though she isn't married. I just wanted to cry! She had completely lost her testimony of the Restoration. It is so sad! We will continue to pray for her, but we won't be going by as often as before...

Well, now to the good. We had an AMAZING district meeting this week. Elder Sandstrom is truly an inspired leader. He talked about change, how we change, and who changes us.  A lot of the time, we try to change ourselves. But we soon figure out that does not work. We need to be changed by the Master. 

How are we to change? Offering our whole souls unto the Lord.
     26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved(Omni 1:26)

How will this change come? Step by step, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  Taking away one bad thing at a time, and replacing it with something good before moving on to the next.
     65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
     66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard. (Jacob 5:65-66)

The promises:
     25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 16:25)
When we forget about what WE want, how WE are going to change, what WE are going to do, and just hand it ALL over to the Lord, then we will find the person He truly wants us to be.

At the end of his training, Elder Sandstrom shared one of my most favorite poems, "The Touch of the Master's Hand" As you read this, think and ponder on how you can more fully give everything you are and everything you have to Him-to Him who knows how to make us more like Him. If you would like to read the talk, this was quoted by President Boyd K. Packer in his talk "A Touch of the Master's Hand" from the May 2001 Ensign.

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He's "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand. 
I sure love all of you. I know if you allow it, the touch of the Master's hand will change your life forever. 

I love you! Talk to you all soon. 

P.S. .. I might melt. No biggie.