Adventures of Kali in Cali: 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 21: Merry Christmas

Hello Family and Friends!

Our Skype with Kali!

This week was a great week for our family. We got to skype Kali on Christmas day! She looks and sounds great. It was fun to feel like our family was all in the same room even if we were miles apart. Kali told us about some of her California adventures. Her favorite food is rice and beans. We told her that she needs to learn to cook them before she comes home. She has an amazing companion named Sister Otte. They laugh and have fun but still get the work done. They have been doing lots of community service in her area. She loves the sunshine but misses the snow. 

This is what she is missing!

She bore her testimony to us in Spanish. Even though we didn't understand everything that she was saying, we could feel the spirit in her words. It was pretty amazing to hear her speak. 

She sent a little video clip today but told us that she didn't have time to send out a full message to everyone. She also said that she didn't have a whole lot to say since she told us everything the other day. Her companion is still sick so they haven't been out much. Hopefully they can both get feeling better soon.

For Christmas, they made cards and delivered them to some of their investigators. She is working really hard and loves the work. We love her!

Thanks for the love, support, and prayers that you share on her behalf.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Have a great week!

Trust God and believe in good things to come.
~Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 20: All Aboard the Struggle Bus

Hello friends and family!
Well first off... Merry Christmas!! How exciting is this week?! We get to celebrate the Savior's birth and be with friends and family. And it sounds like there is a lot of snow as well! I hope you all have a safe and fun Christmas! 
So this week has been... Fun as you can tell from the subject! I was sick all this week. I felt awful! I have the worst cold ever and eventually lost my voice. All that I could do was whisper... Sometimes. We didn't know what to do because obviously as missionaries we need to be able to talk so we called the mission nurse and President Weidman and they both told us to stay inside and get rest until I had a voice and I didn't have a voice for about four days! We stayed in the house for very long time and we got very bored. We had a lot of scripture study, napping, laughing, eating and sometimes we went out to go and see our set appointments. As a side note... One day when we went out we saw a car chase of 12 police cars and 4 helicopters because someone stole mail. Welcome to California :). But anyway I am feeling better today but now Sister Otte is sick. Worse than I was. She was informed by the nurse that she must stay inside for a few days as well. So this week should be fun as well!
So as you can tell this has been a pretty uneventful week until yesterday and this is the story of why my p day is today! I woke up yesterday feeling really well! I got up and showered and had a really good personal study. I was super excited to have a great P-Day and do everything that we needed to do but... As we finished personal study there was a knock on the door. Turns out in the middle of the night someone broke into our car in our apartment building. At first I did not really believe it and I thought someone was joking and maybe someone had just left a present on our car or something! But then we went outside and saw all the glass everywhere. Tiny pieces of glass! They took our gate clicker and our gas credit card. So we cleaned our car and headed to the car  repair place. It was a miracle that the repair guy had a window that fit our car. That took a few hours then we found out that we needed to head to the mission office in Santa Monica to get a new credit card. We got there and  had everything figured out but then we were heading home and hit traffic! Welcome to Los Angeles!! We were in the car for about an 1 hour and a half for what would usually takes us about 30 minutes. We got home at about 4:30 and had done nothing that we had needed to do so we asked to change our P-day for today. So here I am today. I honestly can not remember anything else that happened this week so hopefully this is a better week!
As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as  a companion always.
~President Thomas S. Monson
Have a great week full of joy and celebrating and eating good food :)
Love Sister McMinn

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 19: Heavenly Father loves us!

 Hello Friends and Family!

I made it to Santa Fe Springs and I love this area.  It feels like home :)  There are some pine-like trees every once and a while and we can see some mountains. haha!  We woke up to having snow on the tip tops of the mountains and it is still a freezing 60 degrees! I just think about how if it were 60 degrees at home we would all be in shorts and a t shirt but here I have a scarf and my jacket and I am still freezing cold!!  My new companion is Sister Otte and she is from Texas! She is soo funny and we have so much fun together.  We both just laugh all of the time so this is going to be such a fun transfer! She has been out almost 10 months! Our area is HUGE because we cover YSA and the Santa Fe Springs ward.  At times it is overwhelming because there are so many people that we should be seeing but so little time as well!

We have seen some great miracles this week! it is super awesome to see an area grow and see more and more people prepared for this gospel!  We went to go and see one of our baptismal dates, Margarita, and teach her the Restoration. She was a little distracted with her grandson at first but was still understanding everything that was going on. When we got to the First Vision she just stopped and listened and after she said that she felt so good and could feel the spirit but directly after that she said that she had pain in her heart. Sister Otte and I were both so confused about what happened because we had never had that reaction before. We talked about it a little and she said that it was an actual physical pain in heart. We decided that we would pray and we prayed that at that exact moment she would feel peace and calm in her heart and know that the things we are teaching her are true. At the end of the prayer she said that the pain had left and she knew that she wanted to be baptized. It was such an amazing moment.  We have been talking about how we are representatives of Jesus Christ and how when we promise blessings to our investigators it is really a promise from Christ.  We have the opportunity to make those promises in His name. That is the power and authority of our calling. 

We also have this awesome family who Sister Otte and I have such high goals for and are so excited to see their changes. They are a part member family. Both of the parents and the 3 oldest kids are baptized but are very less active.  We basically treat them as investigators because they don't really remember or know anything about the church.  They want to change and start coming to church which is so amazing.  The best part is the kids want to change the most and are the most willing to make the efforts to change.  There is a 20 year old named Eddie and we work with him at YSA and he is making such great progress.  He still struggles with reading the scriptures and saying his prayers everyday but he can see the difference on days when he does read which is the best part.  But the rest of the family is 15, 12, 8, 4, and a newborn.  The 8 year old is named Illusion and she is so much fun.  She says the funniest things every time we come over and she loves reading the Book of Mormon.  She tells us all the time that she "wants to be Mormon sooo bad" so we just keep telling her that we are working on it!!  She is the one that is motivating her parents to keep making changes.  She wants to go to church every week and the parents can see the difference in their family when they go and don't go.  I love seeing an 8 year old make such a huge difference in her family and setting an amazing example.  I love this family so much.  Every time we go over to their house I feel at home and so welcome and that is something that I have needed!

Being on a mission is definitely one of the hardest things that I have done.  I am constantly exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually but I have learned many things already.  I have learned that Heavenly Father is constantly aware of all of our needs. Every single one of His children.  He knows what we need and He wants us to be happy.  No matter how alone we feel, or frustrated, or happy He is constantly by our side smiling down on us and giving us little blessings showing us of His love.  I love this gospel and I love my Heavenly Father!

“I know the Lord lives. I know that He loves us. I know that apart from Him no one can succeed, but as a partner with Him no one can fail.
“I know that God can make a lot more out of our lives than we can.
“May we all have the moral courage from this moment forward to more fully strive each day to think on Christ, learn of Him, walk in His steps, and do what He would have us do.”
~President Ezra Taft Benson

Have a great week!!
Hermana McMinn

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 18: Miracles and Tender Mercies

You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times and you will realize that He was always there beside you.
~President Thomas S. Monson

Hello friends and family!

Well I have finished my 2 transfer!! How crazy is that?! I have been out on a mission for 4 months. It seems like I have been out forever. But also it seems like I've been out for a few seconds! This transfer has been a transfer of miracles and tender mercies. Last night I found out that I'm going to be transferred to a new area. I am going to Santa Fe Springs and I also have a young single adult area. My new companion is Sister Otte. I am super sad to be leaving Hermosa Liahona but I am ready for some more miracles in the work of the Lord!

One of the many miracles that we have this week is that we found 13 new investigators! Pretty sure that's a new record. And the best part is is that they're all very solid. We had two new baptismal date as well. It just goes to show that as we keep working hard the Lord is aware of our efforts. Another one of the best parts is that both of our baptismal date or family member of recent converts! We are helping families be together forever!! Nothing is better than that!

One of our baptismal dates is named Ernesto. He is the son-in-law of Rosendo. I had wanted to talk to him a little bit last transfer but never went and talked to him. This transfer we decided to go and knock on his door. The first night we went it was too late and he was already in bed but we set up a return appointment! We ended up missing that appointment sadly but had the prompting to go back and talk to him again. At first he was not home so we had a lesson with his daughter Kalista. I really liked her because first off the first four letters of her name spells my name but also she could really feel the spirit and she knew the importance of our Savior. As we finished the lesson with her, her dad walked in! He was a little hesitant about having to listen but we told him we could do one real fast. We started talking about what he desired and what he wanted in this life. He said that all he was looking for was peace and that his family could be happy. Well.... We told him that we had the answer! Jesus Christ! We talked about how the teachings of Jesus Christ bring more love into family and this peace and joy that we are searching for as well. We got a prompting to extend a baptismal date and he gladly accepted! December 27 is going to be an amazing day. We're going to keep working with his family as well so that they all can be baptized on that day. I love families!

My testimony was really strengthened this week about how God knows all his children in their needs. One night we were going to have a lesson with an investigator at a recent convert's house but the investigator ended up canceling. We decided to have a lesson with the recent convert. Turns out the recent convert really needed us and really needed our help and the help of the Savior as well. We had the opportunity to testify that Christ is our Savior and is always there to help us! Our recent convert really needed us and as we followed the prompting to go and see him we could really be the tools or the instrument that Christ needed.

Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit with which you meet the problems of life.
~President Harold B. Lee

I love you all so much and am so glad for the prayers and the support that I receive from you all! Have a great week :)

Hermana McMinn

    Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.
~President Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 17: More Tender Mercies

Hello friends and family!!
How crazy is it that I am almost done with my second transfer already? These past 5 weeks have gone by so fast! And I heard it only goes faster so I am not quite sure what to expect from here on out!
Well this week we had so many tender mercies happen. It was amazing! One day we were going to go and see Maria Cendejas. She was a really solid investigator who we ended up transferring to the English ward because it was easier for her husband to understand English. Her mom had joined us in one of the lessons that we had with Maria and she loved it. She could feel the spirit so strong and we actually set a baptismal date with her in that lesson and gave her a Book of  Mormon.
We had tried going by a few times after that but she was never home or didn't want to talk to us so we ended up turning her over to the Lord. But anyway we went to go and see Maria but she wasn't there! Luz, her mom, was though! And she wanted to talk to us! We were so excited and started talking about the Book of Mormon and turns out she has actually been reading it every day! We asked her how she felt while she was reading and she said calm and that she knew those things were true!! We are so happy that we followed the prompting to stop by and go see her! The hardest thing with her is that her husband does not like when we come over and does not like when his wife leaves the house! We have been praying for him to have a more open mind and heart so that Luz can come to church! Heavenly Father answers prayers!
Another tender mercy is the whole day on Friday!! We went on a companion exchange for that day and I stayed in my area with one of my sister training leaders, Sister Bown. I was super nervous because she does not know any spanish at all so I would be the one who was doing all the talking. We started the day out with not having any set appointments and just planned on knocking on doors all day long until we found people to teach and boy did those people come! We found so many people who invited us to come on another day and who really wanted to learn more. There was one man whose name was Flabian and he is a lecturer for his Catholic Church. I had the prompting to teach him the restoration of the Gospel right then on the street so that is what I did! It was going really well and I said the first vision.. The spirit was so strong and Flabian could feel it. All that he could say was... Wow! We then explained the Book of Mormon and I happened to have an extra copy in my bag! We gave it to him and he promised that he was going to read it and pray about it!! I am super excited to go and follow up with him this week!
We ended up finding 8 new investigators that day! A family who let us in to their home, 2 teenage boys, an older lady who really wants to learn more about Christ and some other amazing people! The Lord is preparing the hearts of many people to accept this gospel! :) tender mercies of the Lord!
Yesterday there was a new holiday video that came out called A Savior is Born. It is absolutely amazing. The spirit is so strong as I watch it every time. I invite you all to go and watch it and check out the website It is a great reminder of what this season is really all about. We have a Savior who was born. who died and was resurrected just for us so that we can return to our loving Heavenly Father. Share it with all your friends and family and remember the true meaning of this season! This is the perfect time of  year to share the gospel with others because they can already feel the spirit of Christ even if that is not what they recognize it as!
As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us in our celebration of the Savior's birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.
~President Thomas S. Monson
Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.
~Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving and also have a great week!! 
I love you all and am so grateful for all of your support and prayers!
Love, Hermana McMinn

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week 16: Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Family and Friends!
Well this week has been a week of finding people to teach. We don't have many progressing investigators so we are in the process of contacting a lot of people and trying to find those whom are ready for the Gospel and who the Lord is preparing to accept our message. A message of true happiness!! At times it can be a little frustrating because we have appointments set and then they are either not home when we get there or they cancel on us. I love agency but I am so sad when they don't accept us and I wish that we could force them to listen to our message because we now that it will make them so happy! I am sure that is exactly how Heavenly Father feels as well when we all choose to disobey as well.
So this week we went and had the full Restoration lesson with Meda, Martha, and Cristina... Our barber shop ladies! They love us so much and they love when we come because they always say that it makes them so happy :). We started the lesson and they weren't quite listening or told us that they knew everything that we were telling them but then we told them about the priesthood. The were a little offended that we had told them that there baptism didn't count because it wasn't by someone who held the correct authority but then they really accepted the idea and really understood what we were telling them. It was really cool to see the Spirit work in them and see them process exactly what was being said. When we finished the lesson we asked all three of them to be baptized and all three of the answered that they would once they had received an answer that all of this was true. Meda is the one who really received our message. She has such a true love and desire to follow our Savior. I seriously learn so much from all of the people who I teach.
We had another amazing miracle this week. As we were walking down the street we ran into a man who we had talked to before and he was so excited to see us!! He told us that he had been looking for us because he knows that our church is true. He had been in jail for a few months for immigration problems and while he was there he chose to go to church instead of having time outside. Turns out that church was actually lessons from the missionaries! He gained a strong  testimony of this church while he was in jail and then once he we let out he searched and searched for our church but could not find someone holding the priesthood to baptism him. He was so relieved when he found us but the only problem is that he works every single day until
10 at night Except for Sunday and so we invited him to church and.... He came!! And absolutely loved it and felt the spirit so strong. We had a lesson with him after and talked about the restoration of the church and invited him to be baptized. He said no (not sure exactly why but we are working on that) but he said that he wants to read and learn a little bit more before he makes that decision. We are super excited for Edgar because he says he knows that this church is true! I am super excited to keep teaching him and seeing his faith grow!
As you all know this week is Thanksgiving!! And what better time to think about our Heavenly Father and Savior because it is because of them that we have all that we will ever need. We have our bodies, personalities, talents, families, the Gospel in our lives and so much more. I invite you all to reflect on what our Heavenly Father has given us and all of our many blessing because I know I have taken advantage of many things! :)
"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
Have a great week and eat some pie for me :)
Love, Hermana McMinn
PS Happy 13th birthday to BROOKIE! The greatest little sister everrrr :):)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 15: I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Hello family and friends!!

Another week has come and gone here in California... and yes it is still cold and I guess it only gets colder from here!  This is going to be a long winter haha :)

Well this week has had its ups and downs for sure. I will just start with one story.  So my companion always has to go to the bathroom because she is constantly drinking water and one night she really had to go to the bathroom and we ended up going into a barber shop to use the bathroom. I started talking to them in my very broken spanish (but i could understand more than before.. positive thinking!)  but we started talking about what missionaries do and about how they leave their homes for 18 months to 2 years.  They didn't sound very interested because they were all really catholic and we asked if we could come to their house and teach them more but they all turned us down.  We ended up singing "I know that my Redeemer lives," and the spirit was so strong.  Once we finished singing they said that they had felt very calm and peace in that moment.  We testified to them that that was the Spirit telling them that our message was true.  They started having so many questions and invited us back to the barber shop and teach them more because they wanted to feel of that spirit again.  We were so excited after that lesson and we knew that my companion had to go to the bathroom for a reason ;)

I don't know if I have told you about Maria Cendejas at all but she is one of our investigators with a baptismal date and she is so awesome.  She is 24 and is married and has 2 kids.  She knows without a doubt that this church is true but the hard thing is her husband doesn't know very much Spanish.  He decided to come to church this Sunday and he loved it! The only probably was that he didn't understand anything that they were saying... the Spirit sure does testify even when you don't understand.  The sad thing is that they have decided to change to English speaking missionaries but we are so excited for them to be baptized together and go to the temple!!! :)

This week I have been reading a book called Believing Christ.  I would highly recommend it to all of you as well.  It talks about Christ and His atoning sacrifice for us all.  We know that we all make mistakes and will keep making mistakes but as we believe Christ we can be clean of everything that we have done and start completely over!  I know this to be true.  I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us all so much.  So much that sometimes I can't even comprehend it.  I know that He suffered for us so that we can become clean and return to live with our Heavenly Father again.  I know that through Christ we can receive strength to do all that we need to do and more.  We must trust in Him and all that He has done for us!

Sorry for the short email this week but hopefully I have more stories to tell next week!  I love you all so much!

Hermana Kali McMinn

Fight all of your battles on your knees and you will win every time.
~Charles Stanley

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 14: Tender Mercies of the Lord

Hello family and friends!!

How is everything going at home?  How is the weather?  I am sooo cold here.  I don't know what i was thinking when i thought that california was always warm.  At night it gets to about 65 degrees and I am absolutely freezing.  I guess not bringing a coat was not the smartest thing that I have done.  Good thing my companion was prepared and has 2 haha :)

Tender mercies of the Lord are real and they do not occur randomlyor merely by coincidence.
David A. Bednar

This week has been filled with so many miracles and tender mercies from the Lord. I know that as I am obedient and follow the promptings of the holy ghost that the Lord is guiding us to those who are ready for the gospel.  We have one investigator whose name is Maria Cendejas.  We actually found her in the area book.  She had been taught by missionaries a few years ago and was not quite ready but now she is so ready!  She knows that this is the church that she wants her sons to grow up in and to learn more about Christ.  She is so awesome but the best part is we are meeting with her husband this time around and the missionaries last time couldn't even talk to him.  He was so against the church then but now he has so many questions and it is so awesome and the spirit is always so strong! Maria has a baptismal date and we are working with Brian, her husband, to have one as well. 

Another miracle or tender mercy that come from meeting with maria is her mom Luz.  We went over to Maria's house for a visit and her mom was there so we invited her to be a part of the lesson and she accepted right away. It kind of caught us off guard because it rarely happens like that.  She is a non-practicing catholic which is very big here.  She has amazing faith in Christ and His love for her.  We had a lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ; faith, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. Luz loved talking about baptism and receiving forgiveness of all that we have done.  We showed her a video of when Jesus Christ was baptized and she thought that is was so beautiful.  we invited her to be baptized in that lesson and she accepted!! :)  We are so excited for her.  The hardest thing for her is going to be her husband.  He does not like when we come at all and he does not like when Luz leaves the house.  We have really been praying hard for her and her husband to have an open heart and for her to be able to come to church this next week!  

One more tender mercy from this last week was our lesson with Ramon. I met him last transfer and we had a really good beginning lesson with him and ended up giving him a book of mormon to read.  We set up a return appointment but when we went he ended up being in mexico and he also lives in an area that we don't spend a lot of time in.  We ended up going to that area last night and i had the prompting to go and see ramon.  we went to his house and he told us that he had been waiting for us to come and see him!  He had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon and had some questions that we answered for him and then we taught him the restoration.  He absolutely loved it!  He understood everything so well and he knows that what we share is true.  He told us that every time that we come by he gets the goosebumps when we talk and he just wants to learn more :)  We invited him to be baptized but he wants to know for sure that this is true before he does that and he doesn't understand the importance of being baptized if he hasn't done bad things like drink, smoke, or kill anyone so we are working on that with him.  Another cool thing with him is that we are teaching him english as well!  So we spend 30 minutes teaching english and 30 minutes teaching the gospel.  It is so fun to see him learn and improve :)

There is a huge focus in our mission about focusing on the tender mercies of the Lord and all of the blessings that He has given us.  Throughout our day we stop and think about all of the things that God and Christ have done for us and it is such a blessing to do this.  Even though we get rejected so many times when we talk about our tender mercies it is so hard to be frustrated with our day.  We see the Lord's hand in the work so much more when we focus on the tender mercies.  It also has helped me to be more grateful for all of the little things that the Lord has done for me.  So this week i invite you all to take some time throughout your day and stop to think about the tender mercies that you have seen throughout your day.  I know that as you do this you will feel the love of Christ more in your life and you will be so grateful for everything that he has done for you!

When we put our problems in God's hands, He puts peace in our hearts. (John 14:27)
In the most difficult circumstances of life, there is often only one source of peace...
The Prince of Peace.

I hope you all have a great week and thank you so much for all the letters, emails and support!
Hermana Kali McMinn

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 13: Heavenly Father is mindful of us

Hello Everyone!
Happy Halloween from Hermanas McMinn and Ortiz!

So I have a new companion this week!  Her name is Hermana ortiz.  She is from El Paso Texas and has been out 14 months.  She already knew Spanish before the mission so it has been fun learning a ton more from her.  She is absolutely amazing.  She is exactly the kind of person that I want to be when I am getting to the end of my mission.  She just has so much faith and knows exactly what to say to people and follows the Spirit so well.  I am so excited to keep learning from her.

As we lose ourselves in the service of others we discover our own lives and our own happiness.
~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So this week we have really been working on finding more solid people to teach.  At this point we don't have many that are completely set on getting baptized like Ignacio and Georgina were.  We are working on really following the Spirit and having a lot of meaningful conversations with others.  This week we have also had a lot of rejection. A lot more than usual and more than Sister Ortiz was used to.  After about the 5th rejection one night. We decided to talk about the tender mercies that we had seen that day and after we talked about them I said that the next person we were going to talk to was going to say yes! and I was just hoping and having faith that it would happen.  Then a few seconds later we heard someone yell Joseph Smith? and we were so confused. At first I was a little nervous because I wasn't really ready for someone to fight with us about Joseph Smith again!  But we went over to talk to him and turns out that he was a former investigator who had been lost during transfers a few months ago!  We ended up teaching the Restoration right then on the street and he knew that it was true. He had this huge smile on his face when we told him about the first vision.  He wanted to read the Book of Mormon and he told us that he wanted to be baptized!  It was such a cool experience.  I realized that when we work hard even after a lot of rejection the Lord is still putting people in our path who are ready for the Gospel.  There are so many people here  in Los Angeles who are ready for the gospel and I am so excited to find them and help them to come follow Christ more. 

 It really helped to build my testimony especially of faith.  Heavenly Father is always mindful of us.  He knows exactly how we are feeling and what we need at that moment.  As long as we have the faith to ask and to know He will answer.  Another thing that I have learned this week is that faith leads to action.  We can't just say that we have faith in Jesus Christ.  We must show that faith as well.  This is done by trying to come closer to Him through scripture study, prayer, repentence, going to church, serving others, etc.  

It is so much fun here in Gardena California.  I love serving a mission and serving others.  Oh and another cool thing... we received a referral the other day and his name is Angel Moroni!! His grandma named him and she is member so I have the feeling there is a lot of potential there haha :)  We are meeting with him this week so I will let you know!

Have a great week :)

Hermana McMinn

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 12: We pulled it off with a HITCH!

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 
~Matthew 5:16
Don't shine so that others can see you, shine so that through you, others can see Him.

Hola Familia!

Well guess what!? I finished my first transfer as a missionary here in the CLAM :)  Crazy how fast this transfer went and I heard that it only goes faster from here!  But we had transfer calls last night and I found out that I will be staying in Hermosa Liahona (where I am at now) but my companion is leaving! :(  I am super bummed about that one but I heard that my new companion is so awesome so I will let you know more about that one this next week!!

Kali and Hermana Vincent

We had such an awesome week this week!!  Ignacio and Georgina got married on Monday and it was the cutest, most awkward wedding I have ever been to! haha :)  They were so excited to get married and it was just a really small wedding of the bishop, my comp Sister Vincent and me but it was amazing.  The spirit that was felt in that meeting was so strong.  I knew that Heavenly Father was so proud of the steps that Ignacio and Georgina were making and how blessed they are going to be.  The family is such a huge blessing and is such a huge part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have realized the importance more and more.  I am so grateful for all of my family and the support that you all give me. 

Throughout the week we had some really great lessons and found some really awesome potentials that I will hopefully be talking more about in the future :)  But this week we had some fun experiences with animals...  I was walking one night and ran straight into a spider and it was HUGE! Screamed a little bit but felt better once I stepped on it :)  Another night we went home and there was an opossum sitting in our parking spot!! I had no clue that possums were in California.. I thought I had stepped into Tennessee for a minute :)  And we are constantly having moments where I am scared that a dog is going to bite my leg off but it is totally fine haha :)

The best day ever was Sunday though!  Ignacio and Georgina were finally baptized.  I just love that family so much and their two little twins, Michelle and Dylan.  It was such a spiritual service and after the baptism we asked Georgina how she felt and she just had the biggest smile on her face and said she was so happy.  I love the opportunity that I get to share this gospel with others and to bring them joy!  I am so glad that I get to stay in Hermosa Liahona for at least one more transfer so that I can be with this family a little bit longer!
Baptism day for Georgina and Ignacio!

Well have an awesome week and thank you for all of the prayers!!
Hoorah for Israel :)
Hermana McMinn

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 11: Faith in the Lord

Be peaceful. Believe in God and in yourself. You are doing better than you think!
~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Zone Conference
Another great week here in Gardena/Lawndale California! Much has happened and nothing as planned but that is what I have learned happens as missionaries! Make plans but know that they are going to change!
Well, Ignacio and Georgina had their baptismal interviews this last Wednesday, and at first they didn’t show up..we waited for an hour and they didn't come!  WE were so worried, but they are so solid and so I knew that it had to be for a good reason.  So we went to their house and Georgina looked really sad and Ignacio was sleeping.  She was like "hermana...look...I went through and did our bills and all of our finances...and we don't have enough money free at the end of the month to pay our full tithing." Then she proceeded and showed me and explained all of her calculations and bills and was like "look hermana...this is all we have free at the end of the month and its not the full you see we couldn't come to the interview because we can't be baptized and promise God that we are going to pay tithing and then not pay the full amount...that would be mocking God....and if I put this money in an envelope each month and give to the bishop and tell him that it is my tithing, he may not know that it is not the full ten percent, but God would know!"
They are so faithful, and they really want to follow God and his commandments, and they will be such faithful members!
And so then, we had a lesson about Faith and we promised them blessings and discussed that if we put our faith in the lord and keep the lord's commandments, then we will always receive the blessings and the Lord will watch out for us.  We also promised them that if they paid their tithing first that they would always have enough for their needs. Then we told them that the elders were going to be at the church again at 7, and that they could give them an interview since they missed their earlier appointment, and then I asked her how she felt and Georgina was like "bien hermana. seguimos en pie. tengo fe" which basically translates (good sister.  we are still on. I have faith)  It was SO POWERFUL AND THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG!!!!! And then they went and passed their baptismal interviews! They are such amazing examples to me.  After that lesson, I was like, man...I NEED TO HAVE MORE FAITH!!!! Faith is like a muscle.  we constantly have to be exercising it so that it can be stronger or else we will lose the muscle!
AND THEN...they were supposed to get married on Friday.  So Ignacio left work early on Friday and they went to the courthouse, and they were able to get everything done, and were in the system, but when it came to actually getting the license in paper form...they were too late. :( and the man at the counter was like "oh you barely missed it by a few minutes" so the bishop tried to pull some strings, and THE MAN AT THE COUNTER WOULD NOT BUDGE! (meanwhile we and about 15 other people are waiting at the church to see their wedding) and then the man at the counter was like...."you can go to the norwalk courthouse.." so they hurried and drove to the norwalk courthouse, and right when they got there, everyone was walking out because it had just closed. (darn you satan!)
They are getting married right after I finish emailing today and we are sooo excited for that too! And the plan is that they are going to get baptized this next Sunday! They are so ready and can already see the blessings of this gospel in their life.

If we earnestly appeal to God, he takes us as we are and makes us more than we ever imagined.
~Sister Neill F. Marriott
Sorry for the short email but these computers are not the best. I had a better email written and then it deleted it all so there is that! haha :)I will work on writing a better email next week I promise!
I hope you all have a great week and don't forget to pray :)
Love, Hermana McMinn

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 10: Roller Coaster of Emotions

I am a child of God, therefore what?
Because you are HIS child you not only need Him, but He needs you!
~ Sister Rosemary Wixom

Another great week in Gardena, California that has very bi polar weather but it is fine! Last Sunday I was freezing and needed a cardigan (it was only 72 degrees.  I am already turning into a baby.. winters in Pocatello are not looking great!) and then towards the end of the week it was 100 degrees every single day.  I am constantly sweating and I have some pretty sweet tan lines so that is tons of fun!!  And this week I got to see the ocean!  I was a few miles away but still seeing the ocean calmed be down a ton after a crazy day!

So.. I don't know if I have said this before or not but missions are an emotional rollercoaster.  And this  week has been a really crazy ride.  The week started really low but then ended up with a really huge high!!  So to begin.. the beginning of this week Spanish was really frustrating me.  I can't talk as well as I would like to and I was losing my patience.  We also found out that Georgina, one of our amazing investigators, has a coffee problem so she can't be baptized at the end of this week.  The stress here is real.  We figured everything out with marriage for them but they are struggling with wanting to be married.  We tried so hard explain to them the importance but they just weren't understanding.  

We decided to give them a few days and challenged her to not drink coffee then we would come back and visit them and have a little talk.  We prayed a TON for them and just went about talking to other amazing people and having some awesome conversations.  We had the feeling that we needed to talk to them about repentence and forgiveness and it was an amazing lesson.  Turns out that they had some things that they needed to take care of and needed to forgive each other of and so we left it at that again and gave them some space.  Then the bishop went and talked to them. They asked when they could go and get their marriage license and go get married!!!! We are having a wedding this week people!! I am soo excited for them! They are soo ready to be baptized and to make changes in their lives.  They love this gospel so much.  We really are not doing anything to motivate them. They are making changes all on their own.  They have such a strong testimony. We are here finding the elect and God is preparing His people!!  And even better... Georgina has not drank coffee for 5 days! She is doing so awesome!  There baptism is still going to be pushed until next week but we feel that is the best thing for them anyway!  

I love this gospel so much and I love the opportunity I have to share it with others.  One of my favorite scriptures that I found is in Alma 26 verses 29-30. 

 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

This week we had a ton of doors slammed in our faces but then we have moments like this with Ignacio and Georgina that makes a mission so worth it!

I love you all so much and loved getting letters this week! I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Hermana McMinn

And I think she misses her family:
Taryn is such a nut.  The more I am away from her the more I want to be around her. hahahah

If you have a minute and would like to send her a note I am sure that it would brighten her day! We are so proud of her. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 9: Come Listen to the Prophet's Voice

Hey family and friends!!

What an awesome opportunity we had to listen to the voice of the prophet of God and His apostles this weekend!!  We are so lucky to get to hear to words of Christ.  This General Conference was sooo good!!  I loved President Monson's talk about being an example.  That really is the best way that we can all be missionaries is by doing what is right at all times not just because people are watching but because it is what we should be doing.  But the thing is... people will see you doing what is right and they will see a  special light about you and want to know what is different.  We have the light of Christ in us when we are doing what we are supposed to!  I can't wait to read the talks again in the Ensign.  All of the talks were amazing and the 3 new apostles are going to be so awesome!  I could feel the Spirit so strong when they were called and while they were talking.  It is so cool to know that they are called of God!

As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions.
~President Thomas S. Monson

So Ignacio and Georgina are getting married!! We just need to pick a date and it is a done deal.  I am so excited for them because once that happens the next step will be baptism.  They are so awesome and are so willing to do exactly what they need to do to follow Christ more.  They are such awesome examples!  They are basically my family here.

I don't have much time today but I just am so glad that I get to be here serving a mission and being an instrument for my Savior.  I love talking to people everyday and brightening their day... even when they aren't very nice to us! haha :)  I love it here in Cali!!

Have an awesome week and don't forget to pray and read your scriptures! haha :)

Hermana McMinn