Monday, September 28, 2015

9/28/15 Group Email

This week was great! We got two new investigators.. yay!! So we're teaching around 7 investigators and 5 or so families that are less active each week.. the work is booming up here! It's amazing.  The Spanish is coming along so great and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to learn it! Yesterday our day was so packed. Right from church we had una cita con menos activos, then we had dinner with an Investigator, and then we had A SECOND dinner with another menos activo familia.. ah! Back to back dinners.. it was rough.  But you can't offend them! I was able to hold all the food in, but after we left my comp couldn't and had to run to the bathroom! Que pena.  Our lessons were amazing this week.. the spirit is always so strong.  With each visit, with each family we teach, we get more and more trust from them.  One of the dinners we had last night, the less actives, the first time we visited the husband wasn't super super friendly.. you could tell he didn't trust us.  But after our dinner last night, he was chatty cathy! We ate dinner with them, then shared our message.  Then as we left he said "Cuando ustedes regresan, mi puerta es siempre abrie por ustedes.  Mi casa es su casa.  Mi casa aca en Canada o la casa de mi familia en Panama"  "When you guys come back, my door is always open.  My house is your house.  Here in Canada, or the house of my family in Panama."  It was so cool! He's slowly building trust with us!! I love it.  I love these people I teach, they are incredible and it's the coolest experience teaching them and watching them first hand either feel the spirit for the first time, or to remember what it's like.  It's amazing and I'm so blessed to have so many opportunities to teach! We teach uber amounts.. multiple lessons every day.  I love it.   It's the coolest to learn about all the different cultures.. we have people from ALL over the world up here in Calgary.  The people we teach and the people we see throughout the city.  We volunteered at the food bank this week.. we were at the station where they would slide all the boxes of food and it was our job to help them load it up into their cart. (which is the best thing in the world!! the people are so sweet and it's so fun to talk to them all and find out about their lives)  I met people from everywhere! Nigeria, Brazil, Ukraine, El Salvador, West indies.. people from every where seem to make their way to Calgary, Canada! It's so cool!  I love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Feed the missionaries in your wards!!! Gordon B Hinkley said "if you feed the missionaries, you'll never go hungry" I testify of that!! 

xoxo, con cariño 
Hermana Dean

9/28/15 Pictures

Canada has the most random, but funniest street signs! 
 The temple!!!!!!
The temple was amazing! Soooo beautiful inside
 The girls we live with : Sister Joseph and Wagstaff. 
  Another funny sign - Naturally we had to reinact it
 The leaves here are to die for beautiful! Every tree is YELLOW 
"el campo banco esta ya la siega" 
 Foothills, Canada.. where I was born in the mission :)
 Since our area is HUGE (we cover three zones) we were down in Okotoks,
 about 40 km away, and it is so pretty! such a cute, tiny town.  So many yellow trees

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9/22/15 Group Email

Hola! This week was such a good one! Pretty much every week is a good one out here, but this week was awesome.  Soo many miracles but I'm going to focus on Saturday - We were on exchanges and I stayed in Spanish mode, so I pretty much had a comp that couldn't do much, because she doesn't speak Spanish.  The entire day was just filled with little miracles, but the best one was our lesson we had that night with Catherine and her family.  We ate dinner with a sweet family in our ward, it was Independence Day in Chile so we had tons and tons of Emepeñadas which were so yummy, and then we headed over to this less active's house that we had an appointment set up with.  We found the house and probably the sweetest family ever! It's this young couple that has a 2 year old and they are just the cutest! They also had their Sister over there named Catherine.  So they invited us in, they fed us some cake (Hispanics love to feed us.. so much food) and we started the lesson.  They spoke English because they wanted my comp to understand, so Lesson 1 - The Restauracion, was pretty much in all English.  We started talking about the story of Joseph Smith and I only the first vision memorized in Spanish, so I went into Spanish mode. And oh my goodness, after I finished telling the story, the spirit was probably one of the strongest I have ever felt in my life, and espeically on my mission! I've shared the first vision soooo many times, but wow something about this particular time, it was so powerful.  So then, the husband starts talking in Spanish to his wife, cueing her to translate him because his English isn't super good.  Well the wife points at me and says "She speaks Spanish tell her" and I understood EVERY SINGLE WORD he said! Every word! He was going off about how he's Catholic, his wife is Mormon, he tried our church but didn't like it and was just going off about all these doubts.. and I understood it all! Once he finished telling me this huge long story, I had no idea what to say.  I was at a loss of how to help his problema.  But I instantly turned to the last two P in the introduccion and had them read it.  WHICH, because I opened up those paragraphs, his wife and the wife's sister started telling this incredible story about how their Dad got converted. He did exactly what Joseph Smith did, went literally into a grove of trees and prayed, and had this light over come him and tell him that La iglesia de Jesucrist de los santos de los ultimos dias es la verdada iglesia.  So they shared this incredible experience with us and the spirit was soooo strong oh my! And then the wife just started bawling about how she loves the church but it's so hard to go without her husband, and all this stuff! And it was SO SPIRITUAL.  And then we ended with our testimonies and it was amazing. And then to top it all off... The sister, Catherine, that happened to be there for the lesson, is the less active my companion I was on exchanges with for that night, she has been looking for FOR MONTHS.  She's incharge of the YSA ward in the area and hasn't been able to find this Catherine Cortez but she was there at the lesson with us! And after we left the lesson we were freaking out we were so excited!! Holy miracle!" I was soo exhausted after that lesson because the spirit was SO incredibly strong.  I know know know with all my heart that the gift of tongues is so incredibly real.  When I needed to understand the Spanish, I understood every word.  And when I needed to speak in Spanish, I spoke.  And I knew exactly what to say and share and it was incredible. Such a strong testimony builder that even though Spanish is hard to understand, when the Lord needs me to know what is being said, he tells me! IT WAS THE COOLEST EXPERIENCE and we're going back to teach their family this week :) 
That' just one of my stories this week, there were tons! I absolutely love this mission.  Canada, Calgary speaking Spanish is exactly where I need to be and I wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world.  Thank you for everything! Les amo con todo mi corazon y me encanta esta mision
Hermana Dean

9/22/15 Pictures

Me and my comp!
The sunsets are amazing!
~A deer! and the girls with me in the pic, the one one the right I live with, we were on exchanges, and one one of the left is a member named Julia from Venezeula! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

9/14/15 Group Email

Wow this week was so good! The mission really is so amazing and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to be here.  We picked up three new investigators, which is incredible! We now are teaching five progressing investigators and it is amazing. I love teaching these people. They are from all over the world and they have the sweetest hearts.  Last Sunday, as we were in Relief Society, which is a very, very small class, in walks in Presidente Soares of the Seventy. He knows Presidente Haco in our ward and was here in Calgary so he came and shared us a message in Spanish and it was amazing! So that was General Authority #1.. Then on Thursday we had a conference with Elder Martino of the Seventy, who gave us such good adivce and I chatted with him in Spanish and it was so cool! So two General Authorities in one week, really amazing. They both got me pumped for this work!  Every Sunday we have dinner with the sweetest family... la familia Morales. Weeks ago, we happened to choose their name on the list, go up to their house, and they were home.  They are less active and we have been working with them from the beginning.  Last night, as I was sitting in this tiny kitchen, surrounded by this sweet family I've come to love so much, I felt the happiest I have probably felt on my mission. My heart was wanting to explode with joy.  They had lost their way, and throughout our visits, sharing countless messages with them, giving them the push to start coming to church, they have "the light" in their eyes again. And it was so strong last night. I was so happy! So so happy, reactivating a family is the best feeling in the world :)  I went to my first baptism here! It was of two kids who my companion taught before I got here, they are sweethearts and it was really amazing to experience! Our five investigators are doing so so well and we have TONS of lessons set up this week.. the work here in Foothills, Canada is BOOMING and I love every second of it.  The Hispanic people here are so ready to hear our message and it is the most rewarding feeling ever to teach them, in the beautiful Spanish language.   This week we met with all the Spanish missionaries up here in Canada, Calgary.  There are four sisters and twelve elders. I am so overwhelmed with the amazing opporunity I have to be here in this Spanish program, it's such a small program, and we have lots of work to do, but it's so amazing. The Hispanic people here are my family and they are the most loving people I have ever met.  I love having the opportunity to teach in Spanish because it forces me to teach so simply.. it's really so amazing.  Well this week has been so incredible and I am so excited to experience this next week, hopefully all of our lessons pull through and we get some people on date! Have a good week and look por los milagros en cada momento :) 
Con mucho Amor
Hermana Dean

PS feliz uno ano a Elder Ellis en Guatemala esta semana.. woot woot!!!

9/14/15 Pictures

We went to el parque del fish creek and it was so beautiful!
 The city is so beautiful!!! We drove and walked through at night and it was amazing
 The cute kids who got baptized :)
Our Calgary Foothills Zone with Elder Martino- 3rd from the right on front row.

Monday, September 7, 2015

9/6/15 Group Email

Que tal mi familia?! This week was super good! I love being a missionary :) High lights of the week -  
- On Thursday we taught one of our Investigators el Plan de Salvacion and holy crap it was amazing! The gift of tongues is so real! Ah it was suuuuch a cool experience, she had never heard anything about this plan and she just LOVED it. She was so so so happy and ah that moment made me realize this is what the mission is all about! - Wednesdays we go to the Food Bank for a good four or so hours, and I was standing right next to this sweet lady from India. We started talking about missionary work stuff like that, and she wanted to know every.single.corner. about what we believed in! It was so hard to teach in English! Hahaha it was crazy! I stood right next to her, sorting food, for a good two hours and just explained our entire gospel. It was amazing! And she loved it! You don't get people like that that want to hear everything about the gospel, really cool miracle! And hopefully she'll keep wanting to learn! - On Saturday.... we had the lovely opportunity.. to meet a Satanist.  Oh man he was like no one I'd ever met before, let me tell ya! He was just outside his house smoking, and we went over and ohhh it was crazy what he believes in. He basically worships Satan. It was so sad! He wanted to kinda fight about our beliefs verse his.. and holy I was getting peeved! I couldn't even talk because I knew if I did, I wouldn't have been missionary-like! Haha he was saying some pretty awful things about our beliefs! But hey, that's what the mission is all about, meeting different (interesting) people and talking to em! But yeah, definitely an experience I'll always remember. - It got to 0 Celsius... which is most definitely 32 F. Yep it was snowing. Gotta love Canada!  - Last but not least: the crazy story of the week. So. The other night, my companion and I were coming back to our apartment. It was raining (it rained for over 24 hours straight the other day) and so we were kinda running. I was yelling at the top of my lungs the Joseph Smith vision in Spanish ... I still dont' know why, but I was haha. We get to the front door, Hermana Allhpin opens it up, I go in, she closes the door, goes to lock it and "BOOM BOOM BOOM" three HUGE pounds... someone was trying to get in. I have never, ever, ever, ever in my entire life been as scared as I was in that moment! I was so terrified! We both start screaming and man did we sprint up our stairs. We get to the top and are both just shaking uncontrollably. We finally got the nerve to go down and peek through the peephole... nobody was there. Just the porch light and raining every where. We still have no idea who it was.. we hope and pray they hadn't been following us. We live with two other sisters (funnest thing of my life) and naturally that night was the night they were sleeping elsewhere.. so we called up and had to tell the Zone Leaders and they made us go over to a different apartment and the Mission President was contacted and called us and yeahh... crazy stuff! Canada can be sketchy hahah! It was soooo scary in the moment (espeically because the  night before the four of us stayed up and were telling scary stories !!!!) But hey, every one needs freaky stories like that that happen on their mission, right? So there's my week in a nutshell! Good stuff up here in Canada. I love the country, love the people, and love the spanish
con todo mi amor
Hermana Dean

When it hit 0 c and 32 f... it was cooooold and we woke up to not snow on the ground, luckily, but there's definitely snow over in the distant mountains!