Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Dearest Family,

YES..................................... Enrique Segundo Cisterna Miran was baptized this Sunday, February 27, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was such an amazing experience. He is truly one prepared by the Lord. Everything we taught him, he accepted readily and with excitement. For example, when we taught the word of wisdom, he told us that he didn´t know that it was wrong to drink and that same day he threw out all the beer in his house and hasn´t had a drink since. So great! The super awesome thing is that he is Fuegino... (born here) and so he seriously knows EVERYONE and we feel so strongly that he is going to do great things in sharing the gospel with others. It´s so wonderful. The baptismal service was really well attended... practically our whole branch, and it was a really spiritual experience. President and Hermana Gulbrandsen were even there, which was so neat. It is always just an amazing experience to get a front row seat to these miracles from the Lord. I know that He made this happen and we were able to be the instruments in His hands. Wow. So powerful. Hermana Gonzalez and I are just so happy. We know that this is going to be an amazing transfer. 

We had the MOST amazing week! President and Hermana Gulbrandsen were here for 3 full days because of district conference, which is so abnormal. They are usually running in and out and we just get them for 3 hours or less. But we had them 3 DAYS!!! I learned SO much. We have been focusing a lot lately on gaining the Lord´s vision. I am going to stop making excuses. I KNOW that the field is white ALREADY to harvest. It doesn´t matter the area, the people, the size of the branch, etc. What does matter is that we have the vision of the Lord. That we make our will be swallowed up in His. That His will becomes our will. That we CHOOSE to do so because we LOVE him. This idea of vision is so important. Think about it... EVERY important moment has started with a vision. Nephi had a vision that his father had before starting out to the promised land. The First Vision opened this the dispensation of the fullness of times. etc. I could go on and on. Vision is very important. I know that I need to make sure that my vision is completely centered in the work, that I have the vision of the field all ready, right here, right now. There are people just waiting. There are people who are so ready to be baptized. We just have to find them. President talked about how a marvelous work and a wonder is here... we do the WORK and the Lord does the MARVELOUS. I am here to work and work and work, FULLY relying on the guidance of the Spirit. The Lord knows where these people are. We could just go about knocking doors, talking to people in the street, etc. but really, we just have to ask the Lord. And we HAVE to ask for referrals. That is how we are going to have success. The prepared know the prepared. We are working especially with the 555 and recent converts to find new people. So awesome. 

So... how to get this vision? We can follow the example of Nephi in 1 Nephi 11. 

1. Desire to have the vision
2. Believe that you can receive it
3. Reflect (maybe ponder... reflexionar...)
4. ASK
5. Share with others

I LOVE that. We really can have the vision of the Lord. And... what is so great is that Nephi COULD have just listened to his dad, Lehi... the PROPHET: But, by going directly to the source and learning for himself, getting the vision himself, he learned and gained so much more. He had an understanding. He understood. We have to do the same. The Lord wants to give us His vision. We just have to ask. 

Our investigators are doing great! We have EIGHT in church this weekend!!! (between the adult session and the morning general session). AMAZING! I love that things are really picking up as we stop making excuses, catch the vision, and get to work. 

I love the gospel. I love my Savior. I know He lives. I know that this is His TRUE Church! I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. I know that we have prophets on the earth today. I know that as we live worthily, we will all make it back to live with Heavenly Father as a family. 

I love you all!

Hermana Shelley

pictures: Enrique's baptism
                Winter has arrived in Ushuaia!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Dear Family,

I CANNOT believe that I am about to tell you this.........................

I am STILL in Ushuaia and STILL with Hermana Gonzalez!!! That was the least expected thing ever! I am still in shock! haha. I was slowly getting things organized throughout the week so that it would be easier to pack, but then I didn´t even have to! haha. We are still here! I am so very exited and we are going to see so many miracles this transfer! I just know it!!! At the end of this transfer, I will have been in ONE area for 6 months! That is so great! I even hope for more... whatever the Lord wants.

We are doing so great! We have a baptism this coming week... Enrique!!! He is super great! We took him to a baptism this weekend and he LOVED it! He told us that he felt that he was coming home. This Sunday, we found out that he knows about half of the branch! Wow! Seriously, someone finally invited him and now he is getting baptized! All it takes is one invitation. He has been aware of the church almost his whole life and has a ton of friends in the church, but was never invited. Finally, Lorena Dominguez passed us the reference and he is golden! It´s so great. The Lord is seriously preparing His children for this amazing thing. I know that the Lord has been preparing Enrique and that it is now his time. We have district conference this weekend (stake conference but smaller), so we will have the baptism right after the conference and we will have a ton of support for Enrique. President and Hermana Gulbrandsen will also be here, so that is really exciting! We are looking forward to it. Also, our font has hot water again, so we don´t even have to go to the other building! Huge blessings all around! 

It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cold!!! For some reason, the computer isn´t loading my pics from today, but it is SNOWING as we speak!!! Crazy!!! 

Our investigators are doing great! We have people coming back into town, our members are really catching the vision, and we are just all around loving life. We have really been working on gaining the Lord´s vision for this area, and we know that He wants many baptisms. We are striving to work hand in hand with the branch because the members are seriously the key. With a friend to stand by their side, the investigators really do progress so much more. When the members catch the desire to do missionary work and have that fire inside of them, the work explodes. We have been very blessed this last week and know that this will be a very successful transfer and we rely 100% on the Lord, stay 200% focused, and do EVERYTHING that we can and then watch to see the hand of the Lord. I love the work! How great is our call! 

I have to run... we are going to go do our shopping for the week and then go visit Enrique and Hermana Zapata tonight. We are loving being here, loving the work, loving the area, loving the people, loving the cold (I´m working on that one... haha), and most importantly loving the Lord. I know that this is HIS church! We have the only true church in all the earth. WE have to be the ones to open our mouths. We have friends and family just waiting for us. Think for a minute of EVERYONE you know who are not members of the church. Make a whole list of literally every person. Then say a prayer and ask the Lord to tell you which of all these people is ready to receive the gospel. I promise you that you will feel at least one. Circle the names that you feel. Maybe many. Then DO IT!!! Open your mouth! Invite them to church, to a FHE, to Easter Pageant when it comes, to listen to the missionaries, to read the Book of Mormon, to read the Family Proclamation. ANYTHING! They will feel the power of the truth. The Lord is preparing people. The field is white NOW.... already to be harvested! I know you can! Tell them that you love them and that BECAUSE you love them, you want them to know what you have. I want to hear of all the success you have with this. 

I know that we have the truth. I know that Jesus lives. I know that He leads and guides this church through a Prophet. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we are an eternal family. I know that we have a duty to do missionary work. I know that we can become more like the Savior every day. 

I love you all and pray for you daily!

ALL my love,
Hermana Shelley 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Dearest Family,

Yes, the dog is still alive! haha. I think that we will be okay. We went yesterday, and he seemed fine. We will pass by tonight on the way to our appointments to make sure. haha. 

This week was AMAZING!!! The biggest miracle of the week was that we had 5 investigators in church! This is the most we´ve had in a long time! It was so great and things are really starting to pick back up. We have been working really hard, people are coming back into town, and the Lord has worked His miracles like always. I know that the baptisms will start back up soon. The good thing is that the whole zone is getting back up. We went through a hard time here in Ushuaia, but we are doing well and everything is picking up! I think that it might be just in time for me to leave (this week is the last week of the transfer... no idea where these 6 weeks have gone), but I really hope not... I would love to stay here in Ushuaia, but I know that I will go where the Lord calls and that is what matters! 

Also another miracle from this Sunday was that Karen went all by herself! I am not sure why Danisa, David, and the grandparents couldn´t go, she didn´t say, but she came in by herself and told us that she knew it was so very important! I was so proud and almost cried. I love that she is truly experiencing conversion. She could have easily stayed home, but she came by herself, understanding the importance of renewing her covenants through the sacrament. Wow. I was so proud of her.

We worked like crazy this week, and we met some really great people!

Enrique is really progressing! He went to church this week and loved it! Even stayed for all 3 hours, which is not normal for the first time! He is doing great, reading, and really starting to gain a testimony. It´s super awesome! He is an older man who lives alone with his father and recently lost his mother. He lives a great life with really high standards. He is a good man.

Franco is progressing. We are SOOOO sad because he didn´t go to church yesterday, so he won´t be able to be baptized this week, but the next week. When his friend went to get us for church, the car was gone and no one was home. We couldn´t get a hold of him all day. When we went by, only the aunt was home and told us they went al campo... stinking campo! But we have an appointment tonight for a family home evening with their family, so we will help them get back to progressing.

Valeria is moving! So sad... Plus, she is living with her boyfriend. We are going to send her name to the new area so that she can take the missionary lessons there, get married and be baptized.

We met a great new investigator yesterday, Noelia. She is 14, almost 15, and we met her when we went to visit a taxi driver who told us he´s like to hear more. He wasn´t home, because he and his WIFE (married!!!) were at a funeral. But we talked to their daughter, Noelia, and she was great! She said that she can´t wait to have us come back on Tuesday and hear more! 

We are doing great and I am learning so much! I have especially enjoyed my studies this week and I know that I am where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing. I am so grateful to be a missionary.

Something cool that I studied this week was about charity. Why is it the greatest of virtues? Because seriously every other virtue comes when we have true charity! Isn´t that amazing!!!

We had interviews with President this week and they were AMAZING!!! I learned so much! We talked alot about vision and responsibility. How we have the duty to make our vision in line with the Lord´s vision. We talked about how to do that, how I am doing, and how to improve so that I can have 100% of the Lord´s vision. Super awesome interview. I felt so strongly the love of the Lord and President´s love as well. He is a really great man! We also had a mini conference after where we talked even more about vision. I have worked really hard to align my will even more with the Lord´s. I have a long way to go. I know that if I TRULY have the Lord´s vision, that we will have much more success. We are working on it together. I love working with Hermana Gonzalez. She is such an example to me and I have learned so much from her. I was so blessed to be put with her another time. Absolutely amazing.

I love you all! Thank you all for your love and prayers. Keep up the amazing scripture study! I know that you are all doing many things, but when the Lord comes first, everything else is much better. I love you all! Thanks for the letters and the support.

Love you all! Happy Valentine´s day!!!!!!

All my love, Besitos!
Hermana Shelley

pictures are all of Kailei's zone at the National Forest

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So there we were... walking down the street, SUPER excited for the next appointment with Tamara, an investigator who has a baptismal date for this Sunday, repassing the plans that we had for her, when a cute little dog started freaking out on us, barking at our heels... another, slightly bigger dog comes up and I had a very clear feeling that I was about to be bit by a dog, but that it would all be okay... EEEP! escaped my lips as his little pointy teeth sunk into my left leg. Hermana Gonzalez kicked him away and we tried to assess the damage... hard to tell with 3 pairs of tights on (which by the way, totally saved me), so we made it limping to the end of the street where the Orellana Family lives. Hermana Orellana carefully cleaned up my little tiny bite and we called our zone leaders. I was SOOO embarrassed to have Hermana Orellana see my leg... you know, when you wear tights every day, you just don´t take care of your legs the way you should... greatest lesson learned from the experience: ALWAYS shave!!! Even if no one ever sees... you may just be bit by a dog and have to take your tights off... We talked to our mission doctor who said that we had to go back right away to make sure that the dog has all his shots. So by this time, I was pretty much done hurting and just feeling silly... So we headed out and talked with some kid who was just a big pain, thinking it was SO funny that his little dog had bitten a poor little missionary... but whatever. the dog has all his shots, so we are good to go! haha. I have to take 600mg ibuprofen for the swelling and clean it 3 times a day with iodine and a cream thing... then the mission nurse called me and told me that we have to go back to the people´s house on the 10th. If the dog is okay, there´s no problem... if he´s sick or dead, I have to go get a rabbi´s shot. hahahahahahahaha. I think that´s so funny. Obviously, it is no big deal, or I probably wouldn´t share all those sweet details. haha. good times. I feel like it´s a CLASSIC mission story... especially since last week we were totally protected from the dogs... I guess we only get one strike with dog protection. I really just feel kinda lame because it was such a pip squeak dog. I just felt bad that we were wasting time. I had to go back to the house because I had doctor´s orders to ice it for 15 minutes, wait 5 and ice it another 15... I know that it´s totally fine now because we did that, but I felt that we were wasting so much great time. haha. It´s cool though, because now it´s healing really well... that all happened on Friday, and today I feel super good. The most painful part was that I had to walk around without tights for 2 days on the 2 COLDEST days ever... NO WORRIES!

So this week was great, but super WEIRD!!! haha. Here´s a snippet.....

Tuesday: we walked around in hail and snow all day... summer is officially GONE before it even started!
Wednesday: Pretty normal
Thursday: Locked in a building for an HOUR! (more details later)
Friday: Bit by a dog
Saturday: super funny lunch (also, more later)
Sunday: FREEZING!!!! We woke up to a whole heap of snow this morning! CRAZY!!! We were going to go see the glacier today, but with the freezingness, the snow, my leg, and Hermana Gonzalez´s cold, we decided it would have to wait. Bummer.

So... it was a crazy crazy week! But we worked really hard and kept the faith! haha. I feel much better this week and know that the Lord really helped me through some hard stuff. Still no baptisms, but they will come!

So... about the building.
We went to meet up with a new investigator. We went into the building with a worker and started looking for Cinthia... she was running out when we met her and so she didn´t tell us which apartment number. So we started knocking doors, looking... and there was NO ONE in the whole building... only 1 of the 12 or so appartments had people in it and we didn´t even see her... she only listened to us for about 2 seconds through the door... So after searching for awhile and finding NO ONE home, we headed for the door... when we realized that it´s one of those buildings that also needs the key to get OUT. Oh man... the worker had definitely left. So we head back up to the only apartment where someone was home... the lady had zero sympathy, saying that she was about to bathe a baby and to just wait for someone to come in. Oh man... so we head back down, praying that SOMEONE will come home... after a FULL HOUR, the man who owns the store next door came to open it after the siesta and he also had a key to the apartment building! haha. So funny! Right after, we ran into a man who contacted US, so we figure maybe that´s the reason... ya...

About the funny lunch:
We ate with our mission leader and his family and he was sitting telling us all about his mission. Then, the little 8 year old has this conversation with his mom:
-"Mom, did you serve a mission?"
-"No... I got married right away"
- (TOTALLY serious...) "Woah! What a blessing!!"

hahahahahaha. We laughed SOOOOOOOOOOO

Oh man... okay... it sounds like we didn´t even work this week! We really did and it was great! We are working out little bodies into the ground!

Our investigators are doing super great!

Franco is a 13 year old boy who is the neighbor of an old investigator. One day, the old investigator wasn´t home, so we knocked next door. It was great! We found Franco and he came to church yesterday and loved it all, especially the young mens! So great! He is really progressing well and we will do everything possible to see his baptism the 19th. He also has a HUGE family and they accepted a lesson with us tomorrow! We want to baptize the whole family for sure!

Valeria is another miracle. We went to visit a less active family who also ended up not being home, so we started knocking doors. We have learned that there is ALWAYS a reason that we are in every place, so we never just leave if someone is not home. When she answered, she practically squealed! She had been meeting with missionaries 10 years ago, but then her son got really sick and she had to stop meeting with them to go to the hospital in Buenos Aires or somewhere and the missionaries never came back! She had a friend in town from Antarctica (ya, I know... I TOTALLY live at the end of the earth!) and so she couldn´t come to church this week. But we have a return appointment tomorrow and we are hoping she will accept a baptismal date for this Sunday.

Walter told us that he is feeling really pressured and needs some time. Bummer. I have learned that people feel pressured when they don´t want to do certain things to be able to be baptized. I hope that he will keep praying and gain a testimony of tithing.

Daniel has pretty much disappeared... we will keep trying this week to see what happens.

Tamara works a TON, so we are just trying, trying, trying, to get a lesson with her. Pray for her.

Life as a missionary chugs along and we are loving every moment of it. I love the work, I love my Savior, I love life! Thank you all for your support and prayers. And seriously, the dog bite is NO BIG DEAL!!! So don´t even worry for a second!

I am so glad to hear all about your studies in the scriptures! Keep up the great work! I love the scriptures and everything that I learn from them each and every day. I love studying for the investigators. President always tells us that this is not the time to be the one who knows the most in Sunday School... we study for our investigators by going between Preach my Gospel, the Book of Mormon, and then back to Preach my Gospel and back to the Book of Mormon. I love being able to receive revelation every morning for the lessons that we will be teaching and feeling what the investigators need to know. It is a really special thing to be a missionary. The other day, one of our members told us after lunch that she always feels that her house is different when the missionaries come and that when we leave, we leave the Spirit behind. I LOVE that. I love that people really do feel the spirit when we are there... that´s why it is SO important that we can always have the Spirit... if not, we are just any old visitor. We have a duty to make sure that we are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We have to do what He would do, say what He would say, and love how He would love. That makes all the difference. 

Thank you all for your love and support!

All my Love,
Hermana Shelley

Pictures: THE DOG BITE!