Monday, April 30, 2012


Dearest Family,

If this email makes you tired just reading it, think of how very exhausted we are! haha... in a very, very good way!!! 

This week, we had:

2 baptisms
1 confirmation
2 interviews with President (one each)
Zone Conference
7 investigators in church
District Meeting
And a whole lot of FUN!!!!!

Woo! What a week! We are a bit tired but 100% happy! 

On Saturday, Jessica Micaela Enrique was baptized BY HER DAD!!!! It was such a beautiful baptism and a wonderful thing to see the whole family come together and especially that her dad baptized her! So wonderful! Then on Sunday, she was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost, also performed by her DAD! So great! That day, her mom also got called to be a young woman´s teacher. So neat to see this whole family come back! 

Then, right after church on Sunday, Andrea Micaela Leal was BAPTIZED! It was also a great baptism. She was a bit nervous and the water was a bit low, so it took 4 tries before she finally went all under, but she was a good sport about it! haha. I am so grateful to see this baptism. She is also pat of a part-member family that we are slowly completing. Also, she invited a bunch of friends to her baptism and three of them accepted baptismal dates for the 19th of May! So great!

We also had interviews with President this week and it was WONDERFUL! During the zone conference that was attached to interviews, we talked all about how when we ourselves understand more fully the Atonement, we will be better missionaries and that we will teach with more power and authority. We talked about retaining a remission of our sins and "singing the song of redeeming love." It was a really powerful experience to think back about the times that we have felt the power of the Atonement and using that to testify. We talked about how we have to retain that remission of sins and always remember the joy of repentance. We talked about how we have to repent daily to have to power and how every day, every single person makes mistakes and we have to become better. Then we learned that those who "sing the song of redeeming love" have love in their eyes, are more focused on others, teach with more power, and can really apply the Atonement. Then I went into my interview with President and it was really great! We talked about how the Lord is fulfilling promises in my life and how He is preparing people right here, right now to receive us. We talked about the vision that I have received from the Lord for my mission. Then, President looked in my eyes and said "Do you know that you are singing it?" It was such a powerful moment and I was so grateful to have experienced it. I know that i have much to improve on and that the Lord is counting on me. 

Things with Hermana Dunn are great! She is really awesome and we are loving working together. She is a go getter and has a great vision of the work and how it can and should be. I am grateful for the chance that I have to learn and grow with her. She is an awesome missionary! 

This week, we also found out that FINALLY the TEMPLE is reopening!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After THREE YEARS without a Temple in all of Argentina, we finally have an official date. The open house starts the 4th of August and the rededication is the 6th (I think) of September!!!!! We could not be happier! What a blessing!

Oh! Random awesome quote from President this week. He was talking about sometimes he hears from missionaries who say that they don´t know what they are supposed to be learning in their new area, to which he says,
"What made you think you´re here to learn?!?! You are here to SERVE!!!" 
I loved that! He shared it with our zone and I really liked it!

Quick note to my friend, Terrance who I know reads the blog...
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you and so happy for you! Congrats on your call! England! That is so wonderful and I know that you have been called by God through His prophet on the earth today! What a great experience you are going to have. The mission is the best! You will love it!

Elder Shelley,
I am so excited that you get to work with a native companion. You will love it! You truly learn the language and the culture. Use every minute to learn from your comp. And no matter what you hear about a person, if you go into it with the idea that they will be the best companion ever, they will be. Help him to know the missionary that he can be. Always look at your companions as the person that they can be and you will see miracles. 

As for Mother´s Day, still no news on the time. It for sure won´t be Monday because we have transfers that day. We are trying to find a web cam so that we can do it on Sunday in the church, but I will just have to let you know. I am very sorry. If it is Saturday, I will make sure that it is after 2 your time... is that late enough? With the 4 hour difference, it is just a bit hard much later than that. I am hoping for Sunday anyways. 

I am so grateful for this time to be a missionary! I know that the Church is true. I know it with all my heart. There are so many things completely unique to our church because it is the ONLY that has the plenitude of the restored gospel. I know that the Savior lives. I know that we have been sent to earth at this time to prepare all for the 2nd coming of the Savior. I know that we too must prepare ourselves and that we can do so by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the family is eternal and that we will all live together again some day. I love you all dearly and am so grateful for all your support!

Sorry no pictures, we are trying a new internet place and it´s kinda slow... 

WIth love and prayers,
Hermana Shelley 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Dearest Family,

Wow! Theses weeks are just absolutely flying by! I can´t believe how fast it is all going. Crazy!!! Yes, in 3 short weeks we will be skyping! Fun! I am not sure because we haven´t heard for sure yet, but it looks like I might actually be calling on Saturday... we are in a really humble area and I don´t think we will be using a members computer, because they don´t have them. We will most likely have to come here to the cyber and call... that means I will have to do it Saturday since we have to pay. I will keep you updated. But just to know, everyone goes to church early now, right? 

This was a great week! 

Jessi is doing awesome and so very prepared for her baptism on Saturday! We are so happy and it is just awesome to see the progress of the whole family. I love it so much! The ward is really happy to have this family back. They really are a great family. In Brother Enrique´s words, they missed one Sunday and then it was easy to miss the next and the next and the next. The next thing they knew, 2 years had passed. Crazy, huh? But they are back and doing great!

Andrea is also progressing to her baptism which will be on Sunday!! She is a miracle! We found her through working with a less active boy, Nicholas. He is awesome and just needed an invitation to come back! For him, we met his 12 year old sister, Andrea, who a year ago was going to church every week with her aunt and was just about to be baptized when her aunt went inactive. Well, we have helped with the reactivation of the family, and Andrea will be baptized on Sunday! She was truly prepared and is so happy. She is a really sweet girl! 

With Familia Vilma, we have to wait a couple weeks for their baptisms because they didn´t make it to church this week. Bummer. We still feel that we should keep working with them. 

Orlando is still doing so great! Still not smoking or drinking and it is truly a miracle! We love him!

So the other afternoon, we had lunch with the Familia Maidana, a fun young couple and we were doing the normal getting to know you thing. They asked where I was from and I said Arizona. Hermano Maidana said that he had a companion from Mesa. I told them I was from Mesa, but that it was really big. He said that he knew but that his comp was Elder Rogers. I said that there are tons of Rogers in Mesa, but what was his first name. Well, it was Chase!! haha. Crazy. I don´t know... maybe there is more than one Chase Rogers in Mesa, but maybe it´s him. haha. I don´t remember what the name of the mission in, but it´s the most northern mission in Chile. Small world. 

I have had a really great week with my studies! President Gulbrandsen has challenged us to catch the vision that the Lord has for our area and then to find out not only the What, but the Why (he took it from a talk from Priesthood Session from President Uchdorft). So we have been studying and praying really hard to understand what the Lord wants and why. Not why in a bad way, but why in an eternal perspective kind of way. It has been really neat to feel and know that the Lord is preparing many people right here, right now to enter into the waters of baptism, to return to activity in the church, etc. and I have received some very real very wonderful revelation. I know that all that the Lord does is to get ALL of us back into His presence one day. I know that we have to do all we can do to get ourselves back and then help others along the way. 

Sorry that this is kind of short today... I have to update some paperwork that the offices called and said that they are moving to be online. Love you all! Know that I am doing really well and loving the mission. I know that this is the Lord´s work. I know that The Church is true and that it is truly The Church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Atonement is real. I know that Jesus lives. I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know that we are lead by living prophets. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love it! I am so grateful for each and every one of you and for the sacrifices that you are making so that I can be here. THANK YOU!!!!

All my Love,
Hermana Shelley

Pictures: 1. Kailei and Hermana Alvey (Kevin and Danette Houston's niece)
                 2. Kailei and Hermana Dunn
                 3. Kailei's 9 months out picture (it's a tradition with the sisters to take your picture sitting down and with something under your shirt-to make it look like you've gained a lot of weight!)
                 4. Chocolate eggs (in Argentina they pour chocolate into molds and then decorate the eggs)
                 5. Decorated Easter eggs (people thought they were weird for decorating real eggs)
                 6. San Miguel, Argentina
                 7. Kailei outside of the chapel in San Miguel, Argentina

Monday, April 16, 2012


Dearest Family,

What a great week we had! We have been working really hard and finding a ton of really awesome new investigators which is exactly what we needed. We really want to find families! It is hard here, because not many are married and don´t really have an interest in doing so because they get some kind of benefits if they are "single parents." Not sure... but we know that it is much easier for full families to progress in the gospel because they have a good support system. Please pray that we can find complete families and future priesthood holders. Thanks!

Like I mentioned, we have some really great investigators! 

Orlando was a referral from the Bishop and he is really doing great! Our Bishop, Bishop Chen, is an amazing young man from China who owns and runs a "China" and Orlando always came to the store to buy wine. One day, Bishop told him that he wouldn´t find happiness in the box (wine comes in boxes here... actually, lots of thinks come in boxes here... milk, juice, etc.) and Orlando asked him what he met. So, Bishop sent us off to meet him. He was a huge alcoholic and was drinking something like 5 boxes a day when he almost died and was in a clinic for about 3 weeks. He is out now and when we met him, was down to a box a day (we met him last Monday). Well, since then, he hasn´t had a single drink and says that he knows that this is the true church. He went to church yesterday with his hands and face washed, his hair combed, and a clean shirt! He cried through the whole thing and said that he knows that the Lord is saving him and has brought him the truth! So great! He accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson for the 5th of May! So great! The Atonement is REAL, and it works for EVERYONE. It truly changes us. I think that for the first time in my life I finally am starting to understand the Atonement. 

Then there is Jessi. She is the cutest 9 year old girl and the second to youngest in the Enrique family. She and her family started reactivating in December and the Bishop told us that Brother Enrique is good to go worthiness wise to baptize his daughter in the 28th of April! So awesome! They have really come far and it´s so great to see the whole family together in church. Bishop Chen has this great vision of finding, rescuing, and completing (baptizing those members of the family who are not yet baptized) the less active members. It is a great program that he has called "Rescue the Flock." Man! I feel the spirit so strongly just thinking about it! We have seen miracles as we go to visit these families, invite them to come back, and invite those in the family who are not yet members to be baptized. In our ward list, there are over 800 members!!! However, only about 125 attend each week! Wow!!! And many of those missing 675 have family members who have already come to church, already tasted of the Spirit, and just need the invitation to come back into the fold. Jessi is one of those and in 2 more weeks she will happily enter the waters of baptism and be baptized by her father!!

We met the Perez family this week. The Elders had run into them the other day, but they live in our area. We went to contact them and they told us that they had been meeting with Elders in Santiago del Estero and that they were about to be baptized but unexpectedly moved about a week before the baptism! They accepted baptismal dates for the 28th as well. So great! The parents are married, so we are working on that, but the 3 daughters are golden and they told us yesterday that they have some family interested as well and they are going to invite them to a Family Home Evening that we have planned for tonight. So great!

Rodolfo is the husband of Vilma, a recent convert. He is really awesome and has a really neat testimony, but just can´t seem to quit smoking. We are really trying with him, but he really has a hard time with it. He says that he wants to be baptized, but he also wants to keep smoking. Please pray that he can experience true conversion and have the desire to change. 

Something else really awesome is that this week, we found out that one of our investigators in Congreso, Monica, got baptized a couple weeks ago!!!! So fun!! She was really great, but had some major doubts. I don´t really know a lot of the story, but her member boyfriend reactivated and for that she finally got truly interested. So awesome to hear about past investigators making it to their baptisms! I am going to have to write to her... 

I am getting used to the bike and the area. I´m not as nervous about the bike now, so I do okay. I still need to buy a mud guard.. there is just never time! haha. Next Monday I hope. For now, I just wear an old jacket while we are riding. 

Fall is coming (still weird that the seasons are backwards here) so it is cooling off at night, which is great because it is crazy hot during the day! I hear that it gets pretty cold here come winter and that it might even FEEL colder than a few of the "nice" days in Ushuaia because it is a very wet cold with the humidity... good thing I have my big jackets. 

So funny story... first, I have to explain a few things about a couple Spanish words:

el papá means dad (plural, los papás, means parents)
el Papa (unwritten, but spoken accent on the first a) means the Pope. 
la papa (sounds the same as the Pope, but a feminine now... uses la...) means the potato

So we were trying to contact a referral and the kids were outside. I said:

"Están los papás?" (Are your parents home?)
The little boy of about 6 told us that he thought they were behind the house. We asked him to got get them for us. He looked super confused, but agreed. He was gone a really long time and we were getting confused. After about 5 min, he came back, struggling to drag a HUGE crate of POTATOES!!!!! hahahahahahahahah. It was Sooo funny!!! I think that I need to make sure that I really accentuate on that word... good times, good times. 

So... I debated if I was going to tell you all this or not, but I figure I might as well... this area is the area really well know for LICE. Bleh! Super gross! Hermana Dunn got rid of hers about 2 weeks before I got here... so, Hermana Gulbrandsen told me that I can do one of two things to prevent it. First, spray my hair every morning with vinegar water, or second, die my hair (they don´t like the smell or the chemicals). For now, I am going with the vinegar... I really don´t want to die my hair, cuz I have never done it and don´t know if I could keep it up... just a box die, and I would try to just match my color, but still... and also I don´t really know how great of an idea it is. FOr now, the vinegar works, but I feel like I smell... Hermana Dunn says we don´t, but I´m just not sure. We will see what I decide... Opinions??? haha... oh the terrible memories of Mayonnaise in the heat of the day... The good thing is, they have great products to get rid of it fast if I do get it. We do weekly checks... 

So, I received some difficult news from a dear friend today that really got me thinking about the Atonement. I will declare with all I have till the end of my days that it is REAL. Please apply it! Don´t give up. Don´t stop trying. When you feel like it is hopeless, it is not. If you feel like you can´t, you can! I have learned that the Atonement is for EVERYONE! It is for the righteous, as much as for the sinner. We read in the scriptures that the Atonement took Alma, the WORST of sinners and changed him into a Prophet. It took Nephi, a strong and firm prophet, and made him even MORE. The Atonement works. The Savior does what He says He does. If you are lost, take the steps to come back. He has not left you. If you are not lost, take the steps to stay firm and become even MORE than you are. I love you. I pray for you. Come back. 

I love you all so much! Please know that I pray for you always and that I am truly grateful for the love, prayers, and sacrifices that you make so that I can be right here, right now. The Savior lives. He loves us. He paid the price so that we can return to Him and our Father in Heaven. They both want that we return to them. They want to give us all that they have. All we have to do is apply the Atonement and live the gospel. And something that I have really learned here on the mission is that living the Atonement IS applying the gospel... having faith, repenting, taking the sacrament weekly, following the spirit, and enduring to the end. May we all do it together is my prayer.

With all my love,
Hermana Shelley

Monday, April 9, 2012


Dearest Family,

Well..... here I am again in the north!!! haha. To answer your question, the reason that you couldn´t find San Ignacio is that it is the name of the Ward. I am in San Miguel, a suburb of Buenos Aires, about an hour and a half or so north. It is in the stake Sarmiento. San Miguel is very big, but I am on the outskirts... it would be like serving in the far out part of Gilbert where everything is dirt roads and such... Ya... and... we ride BIKES!!!!! 

Yep, you all read that correctly. We, the Sister Missionaries, are on bikes... in skirts... on mostly dirt roads (about one in 4 is paved and the others are all dirt/rock). Ya... that´s about exactly what it sounds like. I´m getting used to it. And in all honesty, it is a blessing because the area is really big. I´m not sure what they did before they recently spit it... it would have been HUGE! haha. Good times. Funny story about the bikes later. 

And yes, as everyone realized, on Friday I hit my 9 month mark. I really can´t believe it! Where does the time go. It has been such a blessing to be serving the Lord full time for this 9 months and I am looking forward to 9 more, full of miracles and memories! 

I finally met Hermana Alvey!!!! She is the Houston´s niece. She is so sweet! Since we flew in about 1AM last week, I stayed with some Hermanas in Capital for the night and she was there. It was great to meet her and spend some time there. Hermana Milmont, one of my favorite people, was also there and it was wonderful to see her! She was serving down south and we got to see them every now and again and we really just clicked. 

Also, Elder Araboa (I can´t remember if that´s exactly his name)... is in my district! He´s the Holaday´s nephew... the one who sings. It´s been fun having him the the district. He seems to be doing well. 

Hermana Dunn is great! Really, it is the biggest tender mercy to be back with her and not in a trio. We work really well together and have enjoyed catching up on the last 6 months of our lives as missionaries. She is doing really well. She has had a hard week, because they had a lot of success last transfer, TONS of baptisms... like 5 in 5 weeks, but didn´t find any new investigators, so we don´t have very many right now, but we are working like crazy and trying to get things back up. It will all be great. I was worried how Hermana Dunn would feel about me coming here, but she was great about it! She has grown a lot and I have grown a ton and now we can grow together. 

The area is pretty tranquil... um... is that a work in English? um... not sure. But everyone is pretty chill. I love the Ward. It is really good to have a ward again. It´s fun sharing it with the Elders and they are awesome. We are really trying to win the ward over. They are still not totally used to having Sisters and their first experience wasn´t the best. But the BIshop told us that he has really seen a difference and that he is excited to work with us! That was EVERYTHING!!! The ward council is really great and we know that we will see many miracles for working with them! 

It is HOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT! I thought I was just about going to die. Crazy! And I wasn´t even here for the bad part of the summer... we will see what happens come November... But it is starting to cool down and winter is coming. I hear that it FEELS crazy cold here because of how humid it is... we will see. 

So. Bikes. The first day, my chain fell off about 10 times... all I could think was "oh man! Why wasn´t I paying closer attention when Brother Mickelson showed me all this bike care stuff????" But somehow I got it back on each time... Well, at night, there was a CRAZY storm and we left our last appointment as the rain finally stopped and rode home through literally a LAKE! I forgot to mention that the burn their trash here... so we were riding with water up to the top of our tires, mud like crazy, and trash floating by that had been waiting in the street to be burned... ew. That´s when my chain broke. Our awesome member Marcos, fixed it, but then it just fell off again. Fixed it again and about 5 minutes later it fell off again. So we just had to walk home. It was crazy! We were sinking in the mud, trying to get home while wheeling our bikes and with water and trash up to our knees. haha. Oh what an adventure! We were going as fast as we could, which was not fast at all. When we finally got home, we were a mess! haha. We cleaned up and kept on with the day, planning, etc, but it was quite the adventure!

So leaving Ushuaia was HARD!!! I knew it would be, but I just didn´t think about all that it met... after 6 months, it was a very difficult move, but it is also exciting to start in a new place. It was neat, because a bunch of members and converts went to the airport to see the 3 of us off and it was great to see them. They even gave us some Tshirts and some other things. So nice! I loved every moment down there! And now, it is time to get off on a new adventure up here! 

We had a mission conference this week for Easter and it was AMAZING!! President has never done a full mission conference and it was the first time ever for him, but he felt like he should. It was all about how we too can start a new life and give truly everything that we are over to the Savior and let Him make us what He needs us to be. It was really powerful. We have made some great goals about how to become better and we know that we will see many blessings for doing it! 

I saw Hermana Hill and Hermana Binks there and got to talk to both for a time and it was AWESOME! I love them. I am hoping that I will get to be with Hermana Hill again since I seem to repeat companions. haha. I also saw Hermana Malhue, but didn´t get to talk to her because they came in right before it started and we were released zone by zone so that we stayed reverent. Sad to not be able to talk with her, but it´s ok. 

I have to run... we have to go pay our rent and the bank is PACKED!!! I love you all. I love the gospel. I love my Savior. I love the work!!!
With much love,
Hermana Shelley

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Dearest Family,

Well if ever there was a week of MIRACLES, this was the one!!! Not only did Cristina Amarilla get baptized, but also her nephew, Javier!!!!!!! It was an absolute miracle! We had been working with him (9 years old) and Cristina getting here just helped so much! They do everything together, including family scripture study every morning before school!!! LOVE. The baptism was amazing and we had such great support from the branch! We had the first session of conference (amazing) and then the baptism, and then the second session. Talk about spiritually powerful weekend! LOVE! Cristina shared her testimony after the baptism and it was SO powerful. She talked about wanting to be baptized for such a long time, but knew that she had to be here to help Javier. She bore a beautiful testimony of truth and then dedicated herself to the work. WOW! So great. Our branch president was beaming. I love the work! 

And................ has the suspense gotten to you yet??? Are you wondering about transfers????? Well... after 6 amazing months... I have been transferred! 

I will be serving in the Provincia do Buenos Aires in an area called San Ignacio 2... with..................

HERMANA DUNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can´t believe it either! I have learned that the Lord truly does have a sense of humor! haha. But really, I am SO excited! We only had 2 weeks as companions, and now we will be able to have more time together and I know that I am going to learn a TON from her and I will be able to share the things that I´ve learned! I just think it´s so funny because it is not normal to be with the same comp twice and I have done it twice. haha. But it will be awesome. Hermana Dunn is great and I am really excited to be with her. I know that we will really help each other out. And I have heard really great things about the area. It was a really big Elder area and 3 transfers ago, they split the area and now we share the ward with 2 Elders. It should be a lot of fun. My plane leaves at 9 tonight and I will get to Buenos Aires around midnight. I will go to a capital area to sleep and then make the trip to my new area in the morning. Good times. I am a bit nervous, but excited for the great challenges that await me. We are going to work like crazy, catch the vision of the Lord, and see miracles! I will admit that it is HARD to leave. After 6 months, this has truly become home. But I have received a confirmation of the Lord´s will and I will go and do. We are going to go say goodbye to a few people after this and I think it will be hard, but I will do ok. Hermana Kapp, Hermana Gonzalez´s new comp got in this morning and she is AWESOME! I know that they will be great together and I am excited to hear of the miracles that they will experience. 

Conference was GREAT! We had a few technical difficulties and weren´t able to see the Saturday session, but we were able to get it for Sunday! We watched it in Spanish because we weren´t able to get 2 comps going to be able to watch it in English. I actually really like that though, because I was able to see what our investigators were seeing. I am going to print out the talks we missed and read them on the plane. 

How about the MTC choir??? We saw about 10 min of Saturday afternoon, just long enough to see it. There have never been enough Sisters to have the mixed choir in conference. The ELders always sing in Priesthood. WOW! Talk about amazing! I had such a confirmation that I made the right choice. I know that not all Sisters need to go, but I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I know that I am to serve with all I have and I will give til I drop! 

Our investigators are doing great! I can´t wait to hear of their progress and baptisms. I have seriously changed so much in this last transfer. I was focused before, but now I eat, sleep, and breath the work. I think in Spanish. I dream of my investigators and how to help them at night. Hermana Gonzalez really helped me this transfer to become something much more than I was. I don´t ever want to loose the fire that I feel right now. I want to become a true instrument in the Lord´s hands. I want to do what He would do, say what He would say, and stand for Him at all times. 

Well... I better sign off. Lots to do and we have to be in the airport in 4 hours. There are 3 of us going together, and I am glad cuz my carry on is HEAVY!!! haha. The Elders will have to put it in the overhead for me... I put all my books in it so that my luggage wouldn´t be over weight. haha. 


You are all the best! I couldn´t ask for more support. I seriously have the best family EVER! You are all in my prayers and I want you to know that I feel your prayers. Thank you! 

I love you all,
Hermana Shelley

pictures: 1. Baptisim of Cristina and Javier
                2. Family of Cristina and Javier
                3. Branch Presidents family
                4. Barcos familly