Monday, December 26, 2011

new hair cut

I thought everybody would like to see Hermana Shelley's new look!! I like it, she's not sure how she feels yet.


We got to skype with Kailei yesterday. What fun that was!! She looks and sounds so good. She loves the Argentine people, the gospel and the food. She had a hard time thinking about some words in English, hard to think when she's only been speaking Spanish for 6 mos! Since we talked yesterday, she just sent pictures today. Enjoy.

pictures: 1 Sister Malhue and Kailei with Papa Noel
              2-6 National Park in Ushasia

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, the meeting changed to tomorrow, so a quick email today. I don´t have much time because we were in line to send Christmas letters for an hour!  Know that I love you all! ha. 

This week was very good and we are continuing to move along. I learned this week that Ushuaia becomes a GHOST TOWN at this time of year... they have their long vacations now (it´s summer here) and seriously EVERYONE leaves for vacation and they won´t come back til the end of Feb or beginning of March. Weird. Seriously, all but 3 of our progressing investigators left. Wow. We have a ton of faith though and we know that we are going to find new investigators who are not leaving. It´s crazy that the people leave for so long, but everyone has vacation time and I guess that it´s normal... we only had about 60 people in church yesterday. Wow. 

I am loving the work and loving the people and know that this is the Lord´s work. We honestly can´t do anything without Him and I know that we will continue to be guided.

Today, we went to the national park that is LITERALLY at the end of the world. We had SO much fun! We have been wanting to go for ages, but it´s 100 pesos per person (about 25 dollars) and 200 pesos just wasn´t possible! (It´s cheaper for residents, but we are considered tourists). Well, the other day, one of the families in the branch invited us to go and since Hermano Quinteros is in the army here (super cool, huh Kadon!) he and anyone he brings gets in for free! Wow. It was a huge blessing. It was so beautiful. We hiked and took a bunch of pictures and it was super awesome. I don´t have my camera chord, but I will send pictures next week.

Quick Christmas thought:
I was reading in Luke 2 the other day and thought that we are all like someone in the story, because we all have the chance to come unto the Savior. Who are we in the story?

Mary- Quiet and contemplative, perhaps overwhelmed at all that took place?
Joseph- Strong and true, taking care to watch over the Savior?
The Inn Keeper- Busy, too worried about work, etc to make room for the Savior?
The Shepherds- leaving everything behind to go WITH HASTE to the Savior and after sharing with all they met the message of the Christ?

I hope we can all take time to remember our Savior this week and when Christmas comes and goes that we can always keep Him in our hearts. 

I have to leave the ciber. I will call the house at 9 AZ time, 1 Argentina time. I don´t want you to have to miss church. I hope that this isn´t a problem for the family... especially for unkey with bishop stuff, but i can´t imagine that any of you have meetings on Christmas morning... I hope that this works. I am leaving the ciber now. I will OFFICIALLY be calling at 9 AZ time. Forget the later time, 9.............................

I am so excited to talk with all of you. LOVE YOU AND SEE YOU SUNDAY AT 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Dearest Family,

WOW!!!! THREE BAPTISMS!!!!!! Karen, Danisa, and David were all baptized last night and it was pretty much the best baptismal service that I have seen. The talk by one of the young women in the branch was amazing and we were so proud of her. There was a super strong spirit in the service and we had a TON of people there. Our branch is super amazing. Hermana Malhue and I even did the special musical number! It was fun. The best moment was when David left the water with tears streaming down his face, saying that he has never felt so happy! Wow. That was amazing. Look at the difference in him before the baptism and after. Powerful. And to see the changes in Karen and Danisa... wow, wow, wow. The three of the started the Book of Mormon from the beginning without the invitation (we had been leaving specific passages) and are half way through 1Nefi. Wow. I don´t know how to thank our Father in Heaven. 

The sad news is that Pamela didn´t get baptized. Turns out that she is living with her boyfriend. She told us 3 weeks ago that she was living alone with the kids and we have never seen a man there, so we figured it was true. She knew that we have the law of chastity, so didn´t want to say anything... she told us on Tuesday. We are working with her and praying that we can have the baptism. 

This week, we had the 9th anual "encuentro coral" in the church. Every year, the church invites many choirs to come and sing to open the Christmas season. It was pretty much amazing! The spirit was super strong when our choir sang and it was just beautiful. The place was super packed! We met 5 new investigators, 2 who have attended in the past! It was seriously amazing. We are going to go by today after Pday ends to invite them to be baptized. 

We met an amazing new family. German, Fidelia, Monica, and Mariela. They are amazing. They came to church, the choir thing, and the baptism yesterday! The thing is that practically the entire branch knows German... I can´t help but wonder why no one has invited him before... The way we found them was that Mariela was playing outside (she´s 5) and said "are you sisters??? Come to my house!" So we followed her (our appointment had even fallen through so there was time for a complete lesson with them) and we met the rest of the family. Wow. The Lord is truly merciful. 

Yesterday, we had to use a taxi to get to church on time from the Barrios in the mountains with some investigators. When it arrived, the driver said "Wow! When I saw you here, I was so happy. My family called me the other day. They were baptized in the north and said that I need the church in my life and to look of it but I didn´t know how to find members and didn´t want to just walk in!" Wow. Seriously, this is the Lord´s work. We just have to be ready to act when the miracles come. 

My Spanish is coming along every day. Please please please pray that I can understand the Subjunctive and that I can learn more vocabulary... the subjunctive is going to kill me! 

Some funny things this week:
We have our Christmas tree up! haha. Definitely blow up! haha. Love it. We had a blast blowing it up, even though we thought that we might die. hahaha. 

We were out walking the streets and all of a sudden we hear this ridiculously loud music... a truck comes around the corner with huge signs to advertise some church. I think maybe we should start teaching like that... only not. haha. 

EVERYONE compares something to Titanic in Argentina. Seriously. We will be talking about something and they will say that my skin is like Rose from Titanic. Or we will be in a lesson and the investigator will ask if I know Leonardo DiCaprio. Or a member will die her hair and everyone will tell her it´s like Rose from Titanic. Ha. Not sure why.... 

Everyone eats fruitcake here like it´s the best thing in the world. We have to eat fruit cake in every house... I need to learn to like it... soon. 

Our brownies have become famous! haha. The thing though is that every time they are a bit different...  I don´t measure anything and so you know... but seriously, I don´t know how everyone found out about the brownies but everyone asks for brownies. haha. Hermana Malhue had never made brownies and only ate them once and now she is an old pro at it! haha. We make brownies about twice a week. haha. 

I love you all so much! I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love being a missionary and seeing all of these miracles happen. Thank you all for your love and your support. It is such a blessing to have such an amazing family. When I testify of eternal families, I am just filled with love for you all even for. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. You are in my prayers. I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Jesus lives. I know that the church is true. I know that we all need to help in this work. The Savior will come again and we have a DUTY to help all of our brothers and sisters be prepared for this day to come. 

I love you all so much!

Hermana Shelley

pictures:1-David's baptism
                2-Karen and Danisa's baptism
                3-ready for Christmas


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12-5-11 I´m starting to believe in the whole global warming thing

Dearest Family,

So to explain the subject line............... It´s HOT here at the end of the world............. no, it´s HOTT with TWO T´s. haha. But what´s super weird is that one day it´s ridiculously hot and the next, it´s stinking cold and snowing... oh Ushuaia! haha. We never know how to dress in the morning because the climate changes at least 3 times a day. hahaha. Good times. But I guess it IS summer here, so it´s all good. From what I understand we will have some heat for December and January, February will be chilly and the snow returns in March. Good times... haha. We will see what happens here at the end of the earth. I really do love it. It´s beautiful. With the heat, we have gained a load of tourists... I´ve had to try to remember my English and that has been funny... good times. 

This week was awesome! No baptisms, but Fabi and Griselda were both confirmed and received BEAUTIFUL blessings. They are amazing. They both fasted with us yesterday, payed their tithing, every night they read from the Book of Mormon, sing a hymn, and say their prayers, and tonight they invited us to their Noche do Hogar (FHE): WOW!!!!! I am just so very happy for them and the change in their lives. The SUPER SAD news........ they are leaving for Buenos Aires this Saturday... we cried when we found out, but it is for the doctors there so that Fabi can have some special procedures so we understand... the super awesome part of it? / They are moving to MY OLD AREA, CONGRESSO!! I just know with all my heart that my dearest Hermana Gonzalez will take care of them.... Hermana Dunn is going to have a transfer this week, so sadly the awesome Hna Dunn won´t be there to know them, but I know the new missionary will be great for them... Yes, Hermana Gonzalez is training AGAIN! She is just THAT awesome!

We have FOUR baptisms this week!!  We are so stinking excited. They will all be on Sunday night at 8 after a big Christmas choir presentation. 3 are grandkids of the Díaz family who are just amazing. They are all reading their scriptures together every night and praying and the two oldest are going to mutual every weekend. AWESOME. Karen, Danisa, and David. David is going to turn 8 on Sunday AND be baptized and yesterday, he told us that it was the best gift he could ask for to be baptized!!! Wow. He is super special. He´s been coming to church for a long time now and always sits in on the lessons. We remember him telling us that he has 6 years, but we found out last week that he has 7 and will complete 8 on the 11th!! It was great! Karen and Danisa are just darlings. They are so much fun and we have a ball with them. They have really changed their lives and their moms are super happy because they are really helping around the house, are better with their siblings, and everything. Super awesome! 

And the 4th baptism, you ask??  PAMELA!!!!!!!!!  Augustin´s Mom!! She finally accepted to be baptized! We had a super awesome lesson with her this week and found out that her only concern was that she could not dance if she was baptized! haha. When she realized that she can still dance, everything was great! haha. She is super duper prepared and has even asked to have a change in her work schedule so that she can come to church every week. So awesome! 

Please pray for all four of them. The last week before a baptism can be filled with trials. 

Hermana Malhue is still just as great as always. I just love working with her and the good times that we have. She is super special for me and I just love the bond that we share. We both completed FIVE MONTHS in the mission TODAY!!! I can´t believe that we have 5 months in the mission. Feels like yesterday that I entered the MTC. Wow. 

We have the best branch ever! I am so grateful for all of the members here. I love being part of the branch and seeing the strength of the church even here at the end of the earth. The members are so great to feed lunch every day and even call and check in on us every now and then. Our branch President, President Leiva is amazing and his family is equally great. His wife, Hna Emi does our laundry every week and that is the best service ever! I am so very grateful. We love working with the branch and they are really starting to participate in the work with coming to lessons with us and giving us references. 

Well, I am so glad that Mackay got off and to a good start. I hope that everything is okay with his feet! I would love to get his emails forwarded to me and once he is in the field, I will send him emails too...  I know that his time is limited to email in the MTC, but I´m going to drop him a short line this week so that he knows that I am thinking of him. Glad that you all had a good safe trip and that everything is going well. 

Well, got to go. We are going to put our Christmas tree up.... it´s definitely a blow up Christmas tree!!!!!!!! haha. How awesome is that! I will send pictures next week! 

 Lord´s work. Our mission is growing... we officially have THIRTY sisters in the mission! WOW. And Elders over 100!!!!! WOW. I am so grateful that the Elders are responding to the Prophet´s call to serve and that those Sisters who feel that it is right are making the decision. Love it! I know that the Church is true and that we have a prophet to lead and guide us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know that we can follow Him in all things. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us all to return to Him. For this I am here... to help His children return to Him. It is absolutely humbling to be here in the mission at this time. 

I love you all TONS!!!!!!!!
Hermana Shelley

Friday, December 2, 2011


Dearest Family,

First, I am still in Ushuaia!!! No changes and I am SO grateful for the chance to be here and still be learning from Hermana Malhue. I just absolutely love her and am so grateful for the opportunity! She is truly wonderful and I am very grateful to be here with her. We have great goals and plans for this transfer and are really excited to have Christmas together... speaking of that, her family got a computer, so we will officially be skyping!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, the big news of the week..............................................(drum roll, please....)......................................

TWO BAPTISMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are so very grateful that Griselda and Fabiola arrived at their baptisms. Let me tell you, we had the most powerful moment yesterday! All week, Griselda was no, no, no, no, no. She was all for the baptism of Fabi and even told us that she would love to be baptized some day but that she was worried that she wouldn´t be able to keep all of the covenants and she had some fear. We had a load of faith and kept working with her every single day. On Friday, we had an amazing lesson about taking on the name of Christ and she was so open and wonderful. She participated more than normal and really loved the idea of taking on the name of Christ. Saturday, she invited us for lunch and we had SO much fun just being together and I think that helped a ton. After lunch, we went for their baptismal interviews and she had a great experience with her interview, but still was a little worried and said she had to think some more. That night, we prepared everything... ironed the clothes, made a giant cake (super delish even if I do say so myself... I am loving that I can do things without a mix! haha...), made the program including her baptism, etc. Sunday morning came and they arrived in church and the meetings were AMAZING. The lesson in Gospel Principles was on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Griselda participated and everything. Fabiola had a great time with the Primary children and all was well. In RS, the lesson was on tithing, and it was a super amazing lesson. Side miracle, the teacher was a less active member that we have been working with who is super amazing and has come to church 3 weeks in a row and even brought a friend this week who accepted a baptismal date! Now with this assignment, we know that she will continue active. At the end of the lesson, after the prayer, Griselda stood up and asked for a minute. She told everyone that she was grateful for their testimonies on tithing and knew that she could exercise her faith in the same way, that she finally felt ready and invited everyone to her baptism THAT NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I loved loved loved that moment! All of the Sisters were super emotional and the Spirit was SO strong. It was a miracle. When we went to pick them up for the baptism, they were all ready to go. Griselda told us that she was a bit sad because her family wasn´t supporting her but that she had her answer and would continue on with it. Wow. The miracle is that right before the baptism started, her aunt ended up showing up!!!!!!!!!! So amazing! The service was awesome and practically our entire branch was packed in there, standing room only. WOW. We have an amazing branch! I know that this is the Lord´s work and I really just don´t know how to give Him enough thanks. I can´t even begin to tell you all the miracles that we see as we strive to become nothing but instruments in the hands of the Lord. 

Other miracles of the week:
-EIGHT investigators in church!
-Ten new investigators, all who accepted baptismal dates.
-One of the brothers in the branch telling me that he assumed I had a year in the mission because my Spanish was so good! (Wow, let me tell you, that was the greatest tender mercy ever)
-Augustin is super awesome and learning more every day. We made him a little book to remember his baptism with little notes and pictures and things and it turned out amazing. Pamela wasn´t home all week, but we will keep working with her. 
-Karen, our golden investigator, moved away and we were way sad, but then she MOVED BACK!!!!!!!
-Super successful district activity to find new investigators where we watched Mobsters and Mormons (haha... that was a good time). The investigators really loved it and we were able to demonstrate another side of the Church. We had a great turnout from all of the Branches. 

Wow... can´t believe that Mackay is officially Elder Shelley. I love you, man and know that you will be great!

Love you all so much. Thank you so much for all of the love and prayers. I really do feel your love and prayers and know that they help a TON. The power of prayer is amazing. I have learned that even more in the mission.

I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Living Christ. I know that this church is true. Help the missionaries! The work is impossible without the members! 


Hermana Shelley

Pictures: 1-Kailei's zone in Ushuaia
                  2 & 3-Griselda and Fabiola baptism
                  4-Eating with members in Ushuaia

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This was a great letter to Mackay. What a blessing to have a sister give such great advice. We are so proud of both of them, they both will be great missionaries!!

Dearest Family,

Did life stop for a minute yesterday?????????????' Haha. Actually, I figured that with getting mackay ready to go that you didn´t even notice that I didn´t write. What happened is that President Gulbrandsen came for interviews and we ended up switching Pday to today. Hope that I didn´t make anyone worry. 

Well, I figure that since this is my last chance to email Mackay before he becomes Elder Shelley (WOOT), you all and the blog world wouldn´t mind if I made this one to Mackay, and the rest of you are invited to read along, of course. Kind of like those conference talks where the speaker says something like "I am going to talk to the primary children... the rest of you are invited to listen of course, but this one is directed to them..." Does that make any sense??? Here it goes!

Wow!!! You are going to be a missionary... the thing that you have waited for for your entire life. The thing that seemed so far away, but now that it is this week, it seems like there was no time at all. Let me tell you, it is all that you have hoped it would be and even more. Some things that I think you might like to read as your prepare to enter this wonderful adventure:

The Elders are AMAZING. I just can´t believe that they are 19 and 20 year old boys. Really... you are MEN and you work as the ARMY OF HELAMAN. You have been taught in your youth and you are NOW the Lord´s missionaries. You HAVE the truth and the wonderful people of the Philippines need what you have. I appreciate the Elders so much... they are always serving us and watching out for our investigators...and am so grateful that they have responded to the call to serve. You are going to be amazing.

You have no idea how much you will come to love people. You create instant eternal bonds with your companions. Hermana Malhue and I have a very special connection... I don´t know how to describe it, but this little girl from Arizona has an eternal friend in my Chilenan companion, despite culture or language differences. I still write to each of my companions and we find great joy in all that we shared in the MTC or in Congreso and look forward to an eternal friendship. I love hearing of their success and sharing the news ofUshuaia. The ward or branch becomes your second family and you truly do come to love them dearly as you eat in their houses, and serve together. The investigators take a piece of your heart. Everything you do is for THEM. It is the best chance you will ever have to serve others and you will LOVE it! Your prayers, your morning studies, your thoughts, the teachings, your conversations, literally EVERYTHING is about how you can help THEM! When someone chooses to not except, the pain is hard and REAL. When one grows and progress, the joy is indescribable. They will forever be a part of you. You will love the country. Find joy in the culture and embrace the new things that you will experience. I loveArgentina and the people and everything... maybe I love the food a bit TOO much! haha.

The gift of tongues is real, but you will have to work harder than any time in your whole life. After almost 5 months in the mission (wow... really, 5?????) I still don´t understand a lot, but I always understand ideas and when we are in lessons, I can understand almost perfectly and speak and express myself without problem. There is always more to learn, more to improve, etc. Don´t get discouraged. You will see miracles. I remember one experience in my first week when I really had no clue what was going on, but felt impressed to share Helaman 5 and the dear Sister needed exactly that. This is the Lord´s work and He will never leave you alone.

You are going to grow and change so much and you will love it. I love that the Lord mold us into the person that HE needs us to be.

This is truly the Lord´s work, and you HAVE to rely on the Spirit. Our investigator, Griselda, had been reading the Book of Mormon every day, praying, and has 3 attendances to church, but would not accept a baptismal date. We felt strongly that we needed to teach lesson 2, the plan of salvation, and so we moved forward with that. After the lesson, she accepted a baptismal date for this weekend and said "I know that this is true and I want to arrive in the Celestial Kingdom!!!" Then, two days later, she gave permission for her daughter, Fabiola to be baptized with her!!! We will have a double baptism this Sunday!!! Always, it is the Lord doing the work. The best feeling in the world is to feel the Spirit working within you and knowing that the words and scriptures that you use are not your own.

The mission is FUN!!! Lots of super funny things are going to happen and you will laugh so hard you cry. Have FUN! Yes, be 100% focused in the work... but the gospel is FUN! We have the truth and we need to proclaim it with a smile.

You will have the most wonderful and the most difficult times of your life in the mission. Embrace it!

Oh Mackaysatan get you down. It´s not worth it to waste one second. I am praying for you and I love you tons! I am SO SO SO excited to share this mission experience with you. I know that you are going to help me tons with your testimony and I can´t wait to read all about your adventures. See you in 24!!!!!!!!!!

Mail came this week and I got some birthday cards. Shout out thank yous to Jenny (LOVED the top 10... have an odd craving for Starburst now... too bad that they don´t exist in the end of the world! haha), Jessica T ( LOVE the picture. Thank you SO much! So good to see everyone and............... I love reading your Spanish! Now that I actually know Spanish mas o menos, I will be writing in Spanish) and Gandma Shelley! THank you for the cards! Fun that my Bday lasted a month!

Have a very happy Thanksgiving. We don´t celebrate it here, but I am eternally grateful for my wonderful family and all the support that you all give me. I am so grateful to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and for my Father in Heaven. I am eternally grateful for this chance to be a missionary.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

All my love,
Hermana Shelley

Monday, November 14, 2011


Dearest Family,

Wow, wow, wow. 

The news............................................(drumroll, please, Mackay)......................................................................................
My First Baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I had my first baptism on Saturday, and it was BEAUTIFUL!!!! Augustin Valle was baptized at 10:00 Saturday morning and let me tell you, it was a MIRACLE that it happened!!!

Remember how I told you all about him last week? Easy to have the baptism, right?? No, definitely not, but I am so glad that it happened the way it did, because I have an even greater testimony that this is the work of the LORD, and we just have the amazing opportunity of being instruments in the hands of the Lord. Sit back, and get ready for this story!!!

Last week, we set everything up with his Dad for the baptism and thought that it would come without problem. We went to talk with his Mom on Monday (his parents are divorced) and to our dismay, she strongly said no. We began to teach, and by the end of the lesson, she agreed that Augustin could be baptized in 3 months. Pucha. We left the lesson knowing that we had some work to do. Tuesday, she was a bit more open and agreed that he could be baptized in a month.... Wednesday she was the same. I felt the impression to ask her if we could have the interview to see if Augustin was prepared now (This 9 year old is AMAZING and has a super strong testimony and a GREAT desire to be baptized). As I began to open my mouth to ask if we could have the interview, Hermana Malhue asked exactly the same thing! I love that we received the same prompting!!! Definitely what the Lord wanted! His Mom, Pamela, agreed and we proceeded to plan the interview for Friday. She said that if Augustin really was ready and not just acting a certain way when we were around, he could be baptized. When the interview came, we felt a lot of peace, and knew that everything would be okay. Pamela was completely different and even a bit emotional. She apologized for being closed and expressed great joy that her son was making this decision. Wow! We moved forward with the baptism the next day and it was beautiful! I know that this baptism happened thanks to the Lord. We had a special musical number by the kids of the primary and it was so touching! The talk on baptism was also by one of Augustin´s friends in the primary and she did such a good job! The whole service was very spiritual and Pamela LOVED it. She cried through the whole thing and at the end, expressed great joy that her son had made this choice! The next day at the confermation, she was so happy and said that she hadn´t stopped thinking about the baptism since it happened! Wow. We feel that she too will be baptized in time!

The other investigators are coming along well, but the hard thing is getting them to church. We had 6 in church this week and it was amazing, but the hard thing is that those who don´t come have to wait longer for their baptism.

Sergio has just about stopped smoking. He is down to 2 a day, which is HUGE, but the problem is that he hasn´t come to church because of his work schedule. We are a bit worried about him, and don´t want to have to drop him, but he´s not willing to ask for the morning off to come to church, so it´s hard. He has a testimony and wants to be baptized, but he´s not doing his part to make it happed. It´s hard because we LOVE Sergio, and know that he needs to be baptized (everyone does) but if he´s not progressing, we can´t spend the sacred time that we have with him.

Alexander is doing well. He finally found a job, but it is on Sunday as well, so he didn´t come this week. Bummer. We are going to work with him so that he can come.

Did I tell you about Jorgelina and Daniel and their 3 super darling kids??? Their family is amazing and progressing well. Daniel and Jorgelina read the Book of Mormon together and say their prayer together every night and they pray as a family every night as well. WOW. They are great and they came to church on Sunday!!! They need to get married and this has always been their plan, but they don´t want to ruch into anything... we are working with them.

Beymar came to church again and he went to 2 activities during the week! He is doing great!

Isabel and Nadia are darlings. Isabel had a birthday this week, so we went with cake and everything! I think that it helped their Mom feel a bit better... They are having some major problems in the family, and we think that this is why she isn´t giving permission for the baptisms... we are praying that we can have them this week. These girls are basically members. Their older siblings and Dad are members but inactive. The two girls come to church every week with their one active sister and are just darlings. We are praying fervently to know how to do this work with them... They have GREAT desires to be baptized and we want to help dearly.

Maria, Juaquin, Familia Torres, Marianna, Omar, Yelka, and a few others are struggling to keep commitments and we had to make some hard decisions to leave them, but when we pass by we check in. Preach my Gospel says that it is actually an act of love to leave an investigator if they aren´t progressing. We have to invite and do EVERYTHING that we can, and then these people have their agency.

I can´t believe that we are entering the 5th week of the transfer! This week and one more and changes come again!!! We can´t decide if we are going to have changes or if we will both stay here... I am not even going to think about it. Whatever the Lord wants... It´s always hard to leave an area because I really put my whole self into the work and then the time comes to go and it´s like leaving your home and family with all the people that you come to love SO MUCH!!!

We made brownies twice this week and they turned out great without problems! haha.

I love Hermana Malhue! We have a great connection and it is really special to be working together. I love learning and growing with her and I love that we are truly sisters. She is wonderful and I learn so much from her. She is really really special for me. We have a lot of fun together, but also work so hard. We teach between 55 and 65 lessons a week and I love that we strive to follow the spirit. This mission has been the most humbling experience of my whole life. It´s really true that we can´t do a thing on our own. Everything depends on the Lord. Literally EVERYTHING.

 I love you all TONS and love getting your letters and reading all about how you are all doing!!! I PROMISE that I will comment on everything next week. SO SORRY. I love you all TONS!!!!!!!

Hermana Shelley

Pictures: 1 and 2- Augustin's baptism
               3- spring in Ushasia
               4- Sergio's birthday

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Wow! This week was full of miracles! No baptisms... I have to remind myself sometimes that agency is a good thing! haha (thank you for the reminder, Aunt Lissa!!!) but I know that we are going to see baptisms. We were talking last night and really, when I got here, there weren´t any investigators with baptismal dates (those who had them were baptized and they didn´t have any new investigators) and in the 4 weeks that Hermana Malhue and I have been here, we have found a ton of new investigators and 15 have baptismal dates. We also know that it is so important to find new investigators every day because if not, we will eventually baptize those we have or they will choose (SAD) to stop learning more, and we won´t have anyone. We have been so blessed to be able to do that and to have TONS of AMAZING investigators. Wow!!!
So the miracles:
We found TWO FAMILIES who have both had 3 lessons, have prayed to know the truth, and have felt that the gospel is true!!! They both have to get married, but it is way faster here inUshuaia because there are fewer people waiting for an appointment. Wow. So awesome. We have had some amazing experiences with them. One family has a baptismal date for the 27th and the other will have a date tonight (had one, but lost it because they didn´t come to church... we found out when we passed by yesterday that their kids are super sick, which is why they didn´t come).
A young man, Beymar, who we met on the street, came to church yesterday and we found out that pretty much the entire young men´s class know him and have been inviting him for ages, and he finally came. He has a baptismal date for the 26th! Also, we found out yesterday that his parents are MARRIED and he has SEVEN siblings!!! We are definitely headed to visit the family tomorrow!!!!
Tuesday, we were in a lesson with Sergio when our branch mission leader called and told us that there was a man in the church who wanted to meet with us! He had recently moved from Peru and had been taking the lessons with Elders there. We had a lesson with him on Wednesday and the Spirit was super strong and he accepted a baptismal date for the 19th!
Yesterday, one of the companionships of Elders had a baptism, and we went with some of our investigators. When we got there, they asked me to play the piano, so I sat down and started to play. A family came in and they seemed familiar, but I shrugged it off and kept playing. The service started and it was beautiful and SO good for our investigators to see. While the YM changed, I played while everyone wrote notes of encouragement. The son of the family that looked familiar passed me a note that said he wanted to be baptized!!! I called Hermana Malhue over since I was playing and we talked to him together with his Dad. Turns out, the reason that he looked familiar is because we taught him once!!! His Dad is a member, Mom no. His parents are divorced and he, Augustin lives with his mom. We had his name as a referral and taught him and his mom once, but then every time after that we passed by, they weren´t home and when we called, they didn´t answer... So eventually we had to drop them. Well... he has been at his Dad´s on the weekends and going to church every week for quite some time (before this first lesson with him), but since his mom lives in our area, he is our investigator again! He has learned pretty much everything from his dad and this week we are going to teach him all the lessons once more to make sure and he will be baptized SATURDAY!!! Wow... how awesome!!! His Dad didn´t want to force him, so he has just been teaching and waiting and he was so happy when Augustin wrote that note! There is seriously power in a baptismal service.
So yes, MANY miracles!!! Wow! I love seeing the change in people. Now we are just working working working to have the BAPTISMS, because we know that it is so important for the salvation of these people. I really do feel a great love for them and want to do all I can to help them receive the gospel and ultimately salvation. We are striving to really become nothing but instruments in the hands of the Lord to do this work and are striving to follow the Spirit more fully every day. I love that we work so hard and are so tired by the end of the day!! This really is the Lord´s work. As you can see from these stories, the Lord is doing the work here in Ushuaia, and we have the amazing blessing of seeing the miracles occur. Wow.
So a couple of funny things before I sign off:
There is a province here in Argentina called Misiona. So when we introduce ourselves (Hola, somos Misioneras de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días...) people often say "oh ya, I have a friend from Misiona!" haha. It´s pretty funny... maybe they just don´t hear the part about the Church... haha. Good times.
I think I am learning Spanish!!! The other night, we were ESPECIALLY exhausted and we were so happy to get to bed! Well, I must have been bone tired, because Hermana MalhueHOO!!! Por fin!!! haha. I definitely have TONS to learn, but every day is better. Please keep praying for my Spanish.
One of the recent converts requested brownies the other day. We went to buy a mix, and there weren´t any. (Since we live at the end of the world, every now and then we don´t have certain things... sometimes things like eggs!haha). Well, I decided that I could probably just make them. How hard could it be??? What´s in the mix, any way... flower, sugar, and chocolate and then you add the egg, water and oil! So we got to work (after nightly planning, of course, when we have about 40 minutes to prep for the next day or whatever). The batter turned out good and it looked like brownies, but since I was guessing on the amounts, it was  a TON of batter! So, I said that I thought we should just use half of it... Hermana Maluhue said that she thought it would be okay, so I went with it and we put it all in the pan (it looked pretty full, but I trusted in my comp...) So we started getting ready for bed while they cooked. Hermana Maluhue was writing in her journal and so I went to the bathroom really quickly. Pretty soon, I start to smell something that smells very burnt. "Hermana....?" I call out, and pretty soon I hear AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I hurry and finish and run out to find the room filled with smoke!!! The brownies had more than overflowed and there was tons of burnt mix at the bottom of our oven! haha. We scrape it out, and pray that they will keep cooking since we had the door open so long. We open a window (burrrr!) and keep writing in our journal... about 5 minutes later, the same thing! haha. So we scrape again and contemplate taking the brownies out, but don´t want to start all over. ONE MORE time of scraping about 5 minutes later and then I had the idea to turn the pan (they only overflowed on one side and the other side was pretty much cooked... so we turned it and they didn´t overflow again, but we had a house full of smoke that smelled like burnt food and old oven! haha. The brownies finally finished cooking around 11:45 (we are supposed to be in bed by 11... we need to work on that) and they were actually super delish but made for a really funny story. Our house still smells funny! The good thing is that the family loved them. HA! It seems that our adventures always involve baking....
Well, got to run! I love you all! I know that the Church is true. I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love the people of Ushuaia and I am so happy to be here! Please pray for our investigators and specifically that they can come to church... this is something that we are struggling with. They have testimonies, most are reading and praying, but not coming to church. If you could keep that in your prayers, it would be great!
Darn! Forgot my camera chord... awesome pictures to come next week!
I love you all tons! Can´t believe that I have 4 months in the mission. Feels like I entered the MTC yesterday! Wow.
Hermana Shelley

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Dearest Family,

Wow... I can´t believe that another week has gone by! I feel like I just came out into the field and I have almost FOUR MONTHS!!!!! Yikes! Time really does fly!

No baptisms again this week. The Torres Family didn´t come to church, so they have to wait another week until they have their 3 assistencias, María wants more time to prepare, but she is SOOOOOOOOOOO ready, Isabel and Nadie are amazing 11 and 12 year olds from a part member family who want so badly to be baptized (they come to church every week) but their Mom (not a member) won´t give her permission, Elías worries that if he is baptized a second time (was baptized Evangelical), he will be mocking God even though he KNOWS that the church is true... Sigh. We need your prayers!!! Not going to lie, I was getting a little down on myself... what am I doing wrong? How can I change? Etc etc. However, this morning, Hermana Malhue (have I mentioned how much I LOVE her) and I had a really great study together. I had studied Elder Oak´s talk from April about Desires and we discussed it together. We need to have righteous desires and it takes a LOT of work to obtain righteous desires but we CAN do it. We realized that we have been worried about what President would think since he put a lot of confidence in us, 2 new missionaries at the end of the world, what the Zone Leaders would think, how many baptisms we have, etc. We have refocused and remembered why we are here... We are here to help people come unto Christ!!! Through baptism, YES, of course. But we need to make sure that we are relying on the Spirit and not worried about what other people think or about numbers. We really do feel that all of our investigators will be baptized. We just need to help them and work to teach with power and authority! We are going to do it!!! I know that when we "forget ourselves and go to work" that we will find success. What I have a lot of peace with is that we work SO hard! I love it! We come home every night completely exhausted and we wouldn´t want it any other way! haha. We really do as Preach my Gospel says and "find when we teach and teach when we find" I love it! We taught so many lessons this week! 63 total lessons! I am so grateful for the strength of the Lord to be able to do it and I know that it is only for Him that we can do so. We have AMAZING members here in the Branch and so we have a ton of member present lessons. I love love love it! 

My companion is amazing. She is such a sweetheart and we are really learning a lot together. The only problem is that we are both so similar in how we are SO hard on ourselves. We know that we need to change that and have more faith and not worry so much... just get out and work. She is really great though and I am SO grateful for the opportunity that I have to work with her. She is really an angel. I learn from her every day and my Spanish is WAY better since there isn´t the option of speaking English! ha. Hermana Malhue is also learning English, so we help each other. She is super adorable and learning really fast.

We had a training with President this week. It´s kind of weird here in the south, because we obviously can´t go to the training in the mission offices, so we were Skyped in! haha. Kind of different, but still awesome. We learned a lot. President told us that we need to focus on our recent converts to teach them the lessons of retention so that they stay active. He talked about how President Hinckley has said that if we are not retaining our members, missionary work is in vain! Wow. That was powerful. We are really excited to work with our converts. We have some great recent converts and many of them come out with us and accompany us to the lessons, so that is wonderful! Not only do they get the lessons, they are participating and helping to teach, which definitely helps with their testimony. A testimony always grows when we share it! Love it, love it! We are also going to ask for more references. President said that references are the key and that we are going to create trees of converts... people who came into the church thanks to a reference from a reference from a reference, etc. Cool, no? Not sure that makes sense... but seriously, references are everything. Please give the missionaries references! They love it, and seriously EVERYONE has SOMEONE who they can share the gospel with. I promise that if you pray about it, a name will come to your mind. 

The investigators are moving along. 
Sergio is doing great still, but he got called into work last minute yesterday, so we had to push his baptism back a week. Bummer. He is really great though and down to 1 cigarette a day, and said that he will be totally off them by the end of the week. He has a plan to stop, and while we wish that he wasn´t smoking at all, he is really trying hard and progressing and relying on the Lord. So great!

The Torres Family we worry about. They are great, but their Grandma came into town and she doesn´t quite love the church, so they haven´t been reading or praying for a week. That is dangerous, because that is how we get and keep our answers... They will be okay. They just need to remember how important it is. We haven´t been able to teach them much this week, because every day when we go by (EVERY DAY) they don´t let us in because the grandma is there and we have to teach a quick principle to whoever answered the door. 

The others are doing well and progressing. Our struggle is to get them to church. The branch starts at 10:00, which seems really late, right??? Well, you would think it was 2AM. haha. People like to sleep! We will keep working though. Once they come once, it´s easier to keep coming. 

I learned this week that I am relatively handy in the kitchen! haha. The other day, our lunch appointment canceled, and we didn´t have much non-breakfast food in the house. I looked at what we had and thought "I think I could make some sort of sauce with this" and decided to experiment... We had milk, some kind of cheese, similar to cream cheese, chicken bouillon, mixed veggies, and pasta (and a couple other things, but they wouldn´t go... stuff like canned peaches). I put the milk and cheese in a pan to melt the cheese and added some spices that seemed right, then chicken bullion and mixed veggies, and done! It was actually super delish!!! haha. Not as good as yours, Mom, but good. We actually don´t have to cook that often, but we do bake a lot! haha. I think that there is an unwritten rule that the Hermana´s always have to bring treats to the District meetings... I think the Elders need a turn! ha. But I have taught Hermana Malhue to make a few things, and I learned how to make merange! 

I am loving the work and the people and the culture and Ushuaia! I am grateful to be here and I know that we are on the verge of exploding with success! haha. It will all come. 

I love you all tons! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. I hope that everyone is doing well!!!

Hermana Shelley

Picture: Boats in the harbor-Ushuaia, Argentina

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10-24-11 letter

Dearest Family,

Wow! I can´t believe another week has flown right by! I am very grateful for the chance to be a missionary, it´s just flying by too fast! haha. (Hopefully you all feel the same).

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I had a good day of hard work, and I still don´t feel like I am 22. HA! Our lunch appointment had a cake on hand, so we even had birthday cake. haha. It was super delish. Thank you for thinking of me :)

So where to start??? I guess I will start with this. I was on the verge of frustration with myself (only on the verge, because feelings of frustration are from Satan...) because I have been here SEVEN weeks and haven´t seen baptisms. What is my problem? Do I not have enough faith? Am I not working hard enough? Am I ever going to be able to understand everything that the people say? If I did, would we see baptisms??? Well... I have repented. We ARE going to see baptisms. We ARE working super hard. I need to have more faith and I need to change how I teach and work to gain more Christlike attributes. Hermana Malhue and I have said things like "well, they will be baptized. I guess it doesn´t matter when as long as the baptism happens since we are worried about souls, not numbers." Well, I want to share one of our studies that teaches us that it DOES matter when... these people are God´s children and He wants them all to return to Him. There is no time to wait. These feelings started when our wonderful zone leaders invited us to work to feel more urgency in the work. So we started praying for urgency and then this morning had the most awesome study. I remembered a scripture that we had used in the council in Alma about ANXIETY and the rest came from there:

  • 2Nephi 1:16-19 I need to feel anxiety for the souls of men.
  • 2Nephi 6:3 This anxiety leads to DILIGENCE in the work
  • Jacob 1:5-6 TRULY caring about souls brings REVELATION on how to help them (verse 7 tells us that we must then ACT on the revelation)
  • Mosiah 28:3 Can´t stand the thought that ONE soul should perish
  • Alma 13:27 Anxiety unto PAIN because of the love for his brethren
Wow... the Savior will come again very soon! We don´t know when, but we know that we MUST be prepared. What if I didn´t do all I could for an investigator and the Savior came tomorrow? Wow. I started to feel it. Then I read in Moroni 9 where Mormon is talking to Moroni about how they have to work diligently, even though the people are not accepting the truth, because they have to do EVERYTHING in their power to bring souls to Christ. Wow. Now, I was really feeling it, and really wanting it. Not wanting a baptism to have a baptism. Wanting baptisms because these are souls coming unto Christ. Then I had a thought that I am sure came from Heavenly Father: "How would you feel if Mackay of Kadon weren´t in the Celestial Kingdom? It´s the same with these people. They, too are your brothers and sisters and you want them ALL... ´no empty seats´ and no crying eyes." Wow. That was a powerful moment and I just sat and cried for a moment. (ya, ya. Typical, I know). But really, I finally felt this anxiety that I have been wanting to feel. I am striving for more diligence and more faith. People still have their agency, but I must do EVERYTHING in my power to invite them to fully come unto Christ through the ordnance of BAPTISM! We have SEVEN investigators who are on track to be baptized this weekend. PLEASE pray for the Torres Family (3), Elías, Isabel, María and Barbara. I have learned that Satan is real, and he is going to be working hard this week. But I have also had reinforced that he really has no power. Only what we choose to give him. Pray for these wonderful people. 

So along with this, Hermana Malhue told me a story. Three of satan´s angels returned to him with souls they had taken. The first had 1000. Satan told him that he had done well and asked how he had done it. He said that he had led them to break the commandments. The second angel had 2000, and Satan was very impressed and asked how. He said that he had attacked the family. The third arrived with MILLIONS of souls. Satan again asked how he had done it. The angel said that it was easy, he had just taught the doctrine of Christ. Satan was confused and asked how that had worked. The angel said "ah... you see, all I had to do was tell them to do it TOMORROW." Wow. There is danger in "some day" or even in "tomorrow." We do not know what tomorrow will bring. I am reminded of President Eyring´s talk about someday. The day is TODAY! We have to repent every day, read the scriptures, pray, and all those other Sunday School answers that are SOOO important. And... everyone must enter the waters of baptism. It is the gate to the path. We NEED to baptize. I am really glad that we feel this urgency and that we are rededicated in this work. We are going to help our investigators understand that this is their salvation. Of course, with much love and charity.


Milagros is progressing as well. She is a very special young woman. We had a scare when she told us that he parents didn´t want her to learn any more. We went and visited with them and their only worry ended up being how she was going to get the the church and what she would do when she was supposed to be watching her siblings. When they realized that we could get her a ride and that the younger kids could come and go to primary, they were more than willing to let her come. PHEW! 

Yelka is a 16 year old that we found up in the barrios, a friend of a member, and she too is progressing with her prayers and reading. She got really sick this week and couldn´t come to church, so we are still lacking that. To be baptized, the investigators need 3 attendances, so we had to push her baptism back a bit, but we are still working with her. 

Really, all the investigators are doing well. We have 10 who are really progressing and we are focusing most of our efforts on and 20 or so others who are going to do great things as well. We are SO blessed with investigators as we work and simply open our mouths to talk with everyone. 

So I don´t know if I told you, but the schedule in the South is different. Instead of 6:30am to 10:30pm, it is 7:00am to 11:00pm because of the people´s schedules here. I am finally starting to get used to it! ha! well... the rule is that we have to be back in the house at 9:30 unless we are in a lesson, then we have until 10. Saturday, we came out of a lesson and were just getting in the house at about 9:50 when the zone leaders called. They said "Hermanas! How soon can you be in the chapel with the baptismal record???" WHAT??? They said "JUST COME!!!" Okay! The leaders said come, so we came, not really knowing why. We had to wait for a taxi for a bit (we were supposed to come to their chapel, which is in the other area) and arrived at the chapel around 10:30. Come to find out, there were having a BAPTISM at that hour! WOAH! We stayed and witnessed the most beautiful baptism that I have ever seen. The Spirit was so strong and I was so grateful to be there. When she came out of the water, I just felt Heavenly Father´s love so strongly. It was amazing! Come to find out, she has been saying no to baptism. The Elders had a lesson with her on Saturday, and she told them that she was moving on Wednesday. They said they had a super spiritual lesson and invited her to be baptized right then. She accepted!!!!! Since she was moving Wednesday and converts have to be confirmed in Sacrament Meeting, they had to do it that night. Thus, the 10:30 baptism. (Of course with permission from President). It was the greatest miracle, and you could just see happiness radiating from her. Wow. I felt the Spirit really strongly and am so grateful that we got to take part in that. 

Ushuaia is so beautiful. I am super bummed because I forgot my camera chord at home, so I can´t send pictures this week. Sorry. Next week. WITH baptism pictures, because I KNOW that they will happen!!! It was super cold this week. Especially last night. We got home, and my skin was red because it was so cold! Ha. But we are happy. So very happy! I thought about how if I had been that cold at home that it would have been terrible, but as a missionary, I am just truly blessed to be able to handle it. It started snowing as we were walking home last night, but nothing stuck. The mountains are totally covered again though. And supposedly this is summer... haha. I am really glad to be here spring/summer. I can´t even imagine what winter will bring! Plus, I am beating the Buenos Aires summer! I hear they are brutal. I feel very very blessed!

There are 4 branches here in Ushuaia and the members are so awesome. It is really amazing how quickly you can come to love people. They are so willing to help in the work as well, so we love that. 

Hermana Malhue is AMAZING. I just love working with her. It is fun that we are both so knew because we really just HAVE to rely on the Spirit to direct us and go forward with faith. She is doing a great job finishing my training and I am so grateful to have been blessed with another great companion. She works so hard and has so much faith and love. I have a lot to learn from her. She is also learning English (the Church really encouraged natives to learn English and has a program for missionaries to learn it) and so we are helping each other with the language. My Spanish is better every day. I understand almost everything that people say as long as they don´t talk TOO fast. HA! The thing that is hard is when people don´t understand me. I really want to help them come unto Christ, but when they don´t understand that is hard. For the most part, people understand me, but I have to make sure that I am speaking clearly... which is good for me! ha. I think that the most difficult thing is when I have such a strong desire to help people and I am not 100% sure about what they said... because I want to help and teach, but what if they are talking about their job and I say something about their kids? This is why I really just have to rely on the Spirit. I am learning to hear His whisperings more every day. And in all honesty, the Spanish isn´t bad. We just have 2 investigators that talk SO fast and that´s hard for me. But I am progressing and I really am so grateful for the gift of tongues so that I can express myself. 

We went and played soccer with the Elders today and it was actually really fun. I think I´ve played soccer twice in my life, but it actually was pretty fun. I even scored 2 goals! Ha. It was good to get to know the Elder´s better and have some fun. We have an amazing district and all of the missionaries are really supportive of each other. I love it! 

Well... I think I better close. I love you all TONS! I pray for you daily and feel your prayers and support as well. Thank you so much for everything you do for me. I am so blessed with the most amazing family. I hope you are all well and that you know how much I love you!!!

All my love,
Hermana Shelley