Monday, March 26, 2012


Dearest Family,

Wow! We experienced such a wonderful miracle yesterday that really helped us see that the field truly is white ready to harvest NOW! We felt in weekly planning that we should focus on one certain family. We weren´t sure why, because they weren´t showing many signs of progression, but we had faith in the revelation. On Sunday morning, we went to get them for church. Their aunt, Cristina, came to the door and told us that everyone had fevers and would not be going to church. Slightly bummed, but with faith, we invited her to come and she excitedly agreed. On the way, she told us that she had attended for about a year in Misiones (a province in the north) but nunca se bautizó because she was living with her pareja. He was also going to church and they wanted to get married and baptized, but he was very very sick so they never could. Sadly, he passed away 3 months ago. Cristina moved here and has been looking for the church but didn´t know where to find it. She had moved in with her sister 3 days before. She loved church and in a lesson later that day, accepted a baptismal date for this Sunday with tears in her eyes, and told us that she had been dreaming of this moment! Wow. An absolute miracle. We will have the baptism in between conference sessions. 

We are doing great here! We are doing divisions with Rio Grande!! Hermana Gonzalez went there and La Hermana Gutierrez got here and we are excited for all that we will learn during these divisions. Slightly nervous but excited. I got in a 12 passenger van today and traveled about an hour and a half to meet in the middle and do the trade off, then an hour and a half back. Good times. haha. We will stay like this until Thursday morning when we will do the same thing. Then we will have 3 days before transfer (you calculated right, Mom). I have stopped trying to guess when transfers come what will happen. I am rarely right. The way it works here is that we get a call on Sunday night around 10 and then changes are on Monday. But in the south, we generally have changes Tuesday or Wednesday. We´ll see. 

We are working a lot with the branch to get every member to bring at least one friend to conference. We share the vision with them and then ask an inspired question to know who came to their mind. Then, we commit them to invite their friend to conference and tell them that we will be calling them on Thursday and Friday to verify. We know that this will yield a lot of fruit. We have felt that this is what we need to do. Work with the members, help them get the vision, and invite them to act. Then we have to make sure to follow up. Without the three, invite, commit, and verify, the work doesn´t go forth. The same pattern that we use with our investigators is what we have to use with our members. 

I have grown so much this transfer. 2 months ago, I thought I had things down. But now things are different. I am truly humbled to find and understand the Lord´s vision. We do all we can to understand His will and then go and do. We are different missionaries. 

Got to go. We are going on a hike. Love you all! I love this gospel. I know it is true. I love this work. I love our Savior. I know that He will come again some day. For this, I am here... to prepare these wonderful people for the 2nd coming of the Savior. Enjoy General Conference this week. I have 2 invitations for you all.... PLEASE take them to heart.

1. Go with at least one question. I promise you will receive your answer.
2. Invite someone and do everything so that they go! Go to the church with them or invite them to the house. Either way. Please. We have living prophets who are going to speak to the world. It is truly our duty to invite. Those who have been warned must warn their neighbors. I want to hear of how it went!

Thank you for everything, my amazing family!!! I love you all
Hermana Shelley

Pictures: waterfall from hike last pday.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Dearest Family,
Well, Ana Laura was not baptized yesterday. At the last minute, her mom decided that she didn´t want to give permission yet. She thinks that it´s too fast. We seriously did everything possible to make it happen, even leaving the house early in the freezing snow to get to talk with her before she left for work. We also went to visit with our zone leaders so that they could just do the interview right away. These Elders are AWESOME and the lesson was really great, but she still didn´t sign the paper. It was rough, because everything was fine and happy up until Friday. She is going through some hard things, so it must be hard for her to think about change, but we know that as we serve and love her that she will come around. We are going to do everything possible so that Ana Laura can be baptized this Saturday. Please, please, please, pray for her.
Our manuals came in!!!!!!! We finally got the George Albert Smith manuals for Relief Society and the Liahonas from the last 6 months finally came in. I really do take things like that for granted. One of the Brother´s in the branch said that he felt like he would finally be able to feel like he was in the right path after so long without receiving the word of the Prophet. Wow... that is so true. Do we take advantage of having the Ensign every month? Do we treat it like it is, the word of God?
We went with some of our investigators to the activity for the 170th anniversary of the Relief Society. It was really fun! We couldn´t stay for the whole thing, because there is just so much to do, but what we saw was really great. How awesome that we have the blessings of Relief Society!!
This week has been really good! We had 4 investigators in church and they are all doing well. It was really cold and rainy, so that one of the excuses for the others, but we are really going to step it up so that EVERYONE can attend church this week.
Anahí is doing well and she really loves learning about the church, but she is SOO shy and doesn´t love actually being in church. Also, Griselda is still up in the air with if she wants to try to get permission from her mom to baptize her. Anahí is the 10th of 12 kids and comes from a really rough situation, so it is hard for her to accept love and she is very very quiet. We will definitely keep working with her.
Deborah is a good friend of a recent convert, Veronica, and she has been in church for the last 2 weeks. She is very religious and has grown up in a Christian church where her dad is a pastor. She told us that she has never felt so much love and peace as she did when she was in church these last 2 weeks! She told us that she would like to be baptized, but doesn´t know if she can give up the cigarettes. We are working with her and praying hard.
Virginia is still awesome! We just adore her!!! We are still waiting on the papers, but they should officially be in this week... they got them recent about a week ago and they said that they should be here in 10 to 15 days. We will baptize her just as soon as the papers get here and they can get married! She says that she would like to be married and then baptized right away! It was really cute, because she was participating a ton in relief society yesterday, and one of the sisters asked her why we weren´t just filling the font right now! haha. The sisters all really love her and are doing a great job fellow shipping!
Leo is still super cute. He didn´t make it to church this week, which is really sad, but he is still chugging along and we will keep working with him.
German is an awesome 80 some year old man that we met last week. He came to church yesterday all by himself, in a full suit and everything! It was so great! We tried to give him a baptismal date, but he said that even though he really loves it all, that he really respects that his parents died Catholic and that he thinks he should do the same. He did accept to pray about it and we are going back tonight to see how it went.
There is just SOOOOOOOOOO much work to do! As we are catching the vision that the Lord has for this area, we are just booming! With all the investigators who ARE reading, praying, and coming to church, we have little time to make it to our less active members and recent converts. We do get to see them all about once a week, but we really just have to use the branch to get all the work done. I love it! Working together is the key!
Speaking of recent converts, Enrique is still doing great! He is even going to visit some of our less active members to invite them to come back. So great!
Cesar is also great! He is so cute. This week, it was his turn to be the greeter at the door (our teachers and priests take turns doing it) and he seemed to really enjoy it. Everyone loves Cesar.
The Díaz family is passing through a difficult time, but things are starting to look up. Karen had to move back in with her mom and stepdad and her stepdad won´t let her come to church, but we are still trying there. Danisa is a bit sad about everything that is going on, so she has been a bit distant, but she is starting to heal. David is doing great still. They put him in a cool program so that he can go play sports before school so that he has some more to do.
Fabiola has started reading the Book of Mormon story book (the one that the Church puts out with the pictures) and LOVES it. It´s cute when she tells us all about what she is learning.
Wow... there is just so much going in my head that it is difficult to keep it all straight. haha.
OH! I almost forgot! There is a brother in our branch that is from Columbia... maybe I mentioned this last week, but I don´t remember... and he told us that he has a friend that has been investigating the church for about 2 months or more and that she is all ready to be baptized, but she is about to move here and since it was not too long a wait, wanted him to baptize her! She should get here on Friday morning, and if all goes well with communicating with her Bishop there, we are hoping to baptize her this Saturday! Awesome!

I love you all tons! Thank you all for your love and prayers. I keep you all in my prayers as well. Thank you for everything. I don´t even know how to begin expressing all of my love and gratitude for all that you all do for me. I seriously have the best family ever!
Love you all!!!
Hermana Shelley

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Wow! This week was fantastic! We are really growing and changing and becoming true servants of the Lord. I love it! We have seen so many miracles and have learned that we really can see what the Lord sees and do what He wants us to do. We were blessed with so many miracles. One of the huge ones is that we had 7 investigators in church! We are really learning to work with the members better and they are been such great help! We are striving to make this work PART of the branch. As they get involved, everything is way better. 

Ana Laura is doing great and will be baptized this coming Sunday!!!!! She is 12 and just amazing. The girls in the Young Women have done a great job fellow shipping her and I am just so happy to see how happy she is! Her mom, Ana, told us that she´s just not interested right now... she´s going through some tough times. But we know that Ana Laura will be a great example to her and really help her out. 

Other investigators:

Nacho is awesome! We had a really powerful lesson with him. It was super cool because we were trying to find him after he had come with a friend to stake conference. So, we went to this friend´s house to get Nacho´s info and..... HE WAS THERE!!! It was great! We just had lesson 1 on the spot! He was really interested and told us that he was definitely going to work towards a baptism on the 25th. He recently got divorced and said that he has been looking for God. 

Anahí is doing great! We are working on getting her mom´s permission to get her baptized but it´s a bit complicated since her mom´s in the north. But we are going to make it happen! We would love to baptize her this weekend! 

Monica is going through a hard time. Jesús is leaving her, but she told us that she knows that she can get through it with the gospel! She has a baptismal date for the 1st of April. It´s really heart wrenching sitting and listening to such hard stories. It´s amazing how much people open up to us and tell us everything. That is something that I have really noticed. As missionaries, the people really do recognize us as different and look for solutions. It´s a neat feeling. 

Viriginia is still AMAZING! We are going to have an FHE with their family and our Branch President´s family tonight and that will be awesome. The divorce to the 1st wife already happened, but Nestor doesn´t have the papers here. We are praying that they will be able to fax them from Bahía Blanca and not need the original. PRAY!!!! 

The Rojas family is also doing great! They are past investigators who we found in the (now super organized) area book and they are great! We are excited to be working with them. 

So this week was really awesome. As we have been striving to catch the Lord´s vision, we have seen these many miracles. We are so excited to be working here and to see the hand of the Lord every single day. It´s amazing! 

So my sick story isn´t even as close to Mackay´s, but I do have a quick question after... Last week, I broke out in these crazy hive things all over my stomach and back. I figured they would just go away, but after a week of itching like crazy and a couple sleepless nights, I finally told Hermana Gonzalez and she called Hermana Gulbrandsen she said to go straight to the hospital (here, ALL of the doctors are there... they have free health care, so it is all in the hospital)... I guess it sounded like something funny... I had to see a dermatologist and she told me that she had seen a few other cases like this and that it seemed seasonal. She put me on antibiotics and gave me this great cream that stops the itching. But, since I also had a sore throat and cold symptoms, she wanted to do blood work. Bleh! I also had to do some thing with my throat and when they did it they said, "Oh, so you have had your tonsils taken out!" Whaaaaaaaaat???? I said. No, I have them. But they insisted that I don´t have any tonsils... I am 99% certain that I still have tonsils... I could be wrong... did someone pull them out in the middle of the night and not tell me... not sure... haha. I think they just couldn´t see them. So anyways, I have to go back for the results today. No biggie. I just felt ridiculous going to the doctor for it... But I do want to be obedient! The good thing is that we didn´t waste much. We had to go CRAZY early... like 5:30 in the morning one day... BLEH! With it being free health care, you just have to get there super early so that you get in. It was a blessing though... we only had to pay 20 pesos since we´re foreigners... only about 5 bucks. 

I love you all! I hope you have a great spring break and enjoy Cali!!!


All my love and prayers,
Hermana Shelley

Pictures are from a pday activity

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Dearest Family,

So, this week was AWESOME! As we are truly getting the vision that the Lord wants us to have, we have seen miracles. Something that we started this week is a really amazing thing that Hermana Gonzalez shared with me that is based on Helaman 3:35

"Nevertheless, they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."

We are really excited to start into this new thing of truly and fully giving away everything that may take our minds from the work. We want to become new people, sanctified and pure, true and profitable servants of the Lord. Sometimes, we may be walking down the street and something will remind us of a song and we sing a line which reminds us of a movie which reminds us of something and our minds have gone off for a good while... Well, we are now 100% with our eye single to the glory of God. No, we are not perfect, obviously, but we know that every day we are better and it is something that we know that we need to do. We were never doing anything wrong or bad necesarily, but it´s the little things that make us just a little disfocused that will make the difference in the end. We have already seen miracles for fully yielding our hearts unto God. Studies will be there when we need them again, friends, hobbies, etc. will all still be there. For right now, we are full time servants of the Lord and as it says in our call letter, we are more fully commiting ourselves to leave behind completely "ALL other personal affairs." If you can´t tell, I´m exicted.

So... what are the miracles that we have seen already?

Enrique was confirmed yesterday and his dad, José went to church to support him and he really liked it!

Cesar received the preisthood! He is really progressing well. He hasn´t missed a single Sunday since his baptism, goes to every mutual activity, goes to clean the church every single saturday, and this week started early morning seminary. We are so proud of him!

Griselda and Fabiola finally came back from vacation! And... Griselda´s goddaughter (yes, she was Catholic before), Anaí came back with them and LOVES the church! She is the cutest little 10 year old and the little girls in the primary have really fellowshipped her. If we get it all figured out with permission and everything, she can be baptized the 18th! We are pretty sure that Griselda is the official gaurdian since she is here to stay, but we need to make sure.

Ana and Ana Laura also came back from vacation and Ana Laura accepted a baptismal date for the 18th! She went to a baptism with us on Saturday and she really loved it. She is so cute and so happy to be back in everything!

A family from Rio Grande (an area just north of us) moved here about 3 weeks ago and we have been trying to get in contact with them since they were taking the lessons there (the husband is a member but the wife not) but we could never get them to answer the phone. Well, they called us this week! Nestor is a returned missionary who fell away after a time but is coming back. His wife (well... girlfriend) is so great! Already has a testimony and is in Alma 20 or so from starting at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Yesterday, she was participating fully in the relief society lesson and it was just so great. We are just waiting on the wedding to get her baptized! She has been waiting awhile for Nestor´s divore to go through, but it officially went through and we are just waiting for the paper to get here this week so that they can do the paper work to be married! We gave her a baptismal date for the 24th since the papers have to get here this week and then we will need about 15 days to get them married. So great! Cutest little family as well! Love!

So life is great! It warmed up a bit this week, but still cold. I bought some wicked awesome leggings... slightly expensive, but made for the cold. They are great. I don´t even feel the wind on my legs anymore.

Hermana Gonzalez was really sick yesterday. Had a terrible migrain. The kind where you can´t see straight, can´t even stand up, etc. Right after church we hurried her home and got her in bed. I got our area book super organized. Man, it was a crazy project, but after a few hours it is way better! It had years of disorganization. Now it is all organized by area and date and it the investigator has attendance or not. Much better! And Hermana G is doing much better today. We are just going to take it super easy today to make sure.

Hermana Gonzalez is so great! I am SOOOO grateful to be together with her again and for all the things that we are learning together. I know that the Lord put us together for a reason and that we have a work to do. Both here in Ushuaia and to become true servants of the Lord. 

I love you all so much and hope that all is well. Thank you for the letters and all the support. You are all wonderful and I can´t believe how blessed I am to have such an amazing family.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Shelley

pictures: 1. Ushuaia Zone
                2.  Picture from a hike
                3. Hermana Shelley & Hermana Gonzalez
                4. & 5. Pictures of Ushuaia
                6. Her giant hot dog lunch