Monday, May 21, 2012


Dearest Family,

Wow... First off, to Elder Shelley.

I am SO proud of you! I can´t even begin to imagine what these last few weeks have been like. I sat and cried as I read the letter that your dear President sent home because I really felt the Spirit. I know that all of this is in the Lord´s hands. Know that I pray for you every day. I hope that you get well very soon and get back out there. I know that whatever happens, it is in the Lord´s hands and that He will guide all that happens. Please take care of yourself. You have been and will continue to be an amazing missionary. I love you so much. Heavenly Father loves you dearly and He knows what is happening. I love you!!!!

Well, what a week we have had! I don´t have a ton of time... we have been having storms and we had to wait cuz the internet was down... so, take a deep breath and jump on in!!!

Marina was BAPTIZED this last Saturday and CONFIRMED on Sunday! It was so great! She is a very special little girl and very close to the Spirit. We are so happy to be completing this family and helping the less active ones return. One by one, they are all coming in to the church! These little girls have many of their family members in the church, but they were worried they would be late if they waited for everyone and so they got up extra early and took the bus to church together before the adults were ready. How cute is that!?!?!?

Speaking of super cute, the little girls told us the other day that when they play house, Milagros is "Shelley" and Marina is "Dunn." haha. We love them tons!

Cristina is doing so great! She is going through a hard divorce, but has found so much peace in the gospel. We love seeing her progress. She is reading and praying every day, and she is going to go to relief society on Tuesday. Fun!

This week, Hermana Dunn turned 9 months in the mission! Crazy!!! We had a lot of fun and even found some time to make some cinnamon rolls! Delish! I made her a little sign and we enjoyed that. 

President Gulbrandsen showed up at our district meeting this week surprisingly and had Hermana Dunn and I teach the way that we have been asking for referrals... we have changed from "who do you know that we could visit?" to "who WILL you invite to church/FHE/an activity THIS week?" We have seen tons of miracles from doing so and have been very blessed in the work! Right now, we have had confirmations for the last 4 weeks, we had 6 investigators in church, and 5 firm baptismal dates for the next 6 weeks. We have been SO very blessed for diligence and obedience! One of the assistants called us this morning and invited us to the leadership trainings this week and we are really excited for the chance to go! Usually only the trainers, district, and zone leaders go. So cool!

Hermana Dunn and I are so grateful that we are still together. President told us that we haven´t gotten sisters in a few transfers now, so that is why the Hermanas haven´t seen a lot of changes. We know that it is for a very specific purpose that we are still together and that we have much to do! We love the work and are being so blessed for obedience, diligence, sacrifice, and most importantly FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT!! We see miracles every single day and it is something absolutely amazing. 

Sorry so little time. Please know that I love you all dearly! Have a great week. Keep me updated on Elder Shelley... if you feel up to am email, Mackay, I would really LOVE hearing from you!

Keep up with the OLA!!! Reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church weekly are the KEYS! 

I love you!!

Hermana Shelley

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Dearest Family,

WOW! How fun to see and talk to you all last night! I loved it SO much! I am so proud of all of you and the great things that you are doing. Thank you for your examples to me and for staying on track. I love you all so much and can't even begin to express my gratitude! 


WE ARE STILL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That´s right! No changes and we are SOOOO happy! I really thought that we would see a change, but I am so glad that we didn´t! It is a huge blessing that we are still together and I know that we are going to see miracles. We are both so happy and content. We just finished a great transfer, and we know that we are going to have another really awesome one! So happy! I love Hermana Dunn and the things that we are doing together. I am really grateful for all that she has taught me and continues to teach me. 

Well, not too much has changed since last night, so I don´t have too much to say... but we did have an AWESOME week and I will be trying to send pictures of the BAPTISM!!!! Yenifer Daniela Barroso was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! She is so wonderful! And the especially great thing is that we found her through Andrea, and then through Yenifer, we found 2 more baptisms that will happen in the next two weeks. WOW! That is really the key, finding through the recent converts. That way, they have the chance to be the members present in the lessons, which really increases their own testimony as they testify, and they gain a support system when they invite their friends to come and see! It´s so awesome. Yenifer is doing great, as is Andrea. They have both started their personal progress through helping the young woman plan the family dance that they will  have on Friday. The two little girls, Marian and Milagros who will be baptized in the coming 2 weeks are also doing great! They are wonderful in primary and are learning so fast. What is especially great is that pretty much their whole family are really active members, so they can go with them. They have aunts and cousins as a support system, so that really helps. We have a lot of fun with these girls. The other night, we taught them the Macarena and then did "Tuti-Ta" and they LOVED it. We are just having a ball!

This week was also the anniversary of our Bishop and Hermana Chen. We made them some lemon bars and took them over during their work break. That was fun. It is SOO important to love and serve the Bishop. He does so very much in the work. Even just little things, I think are really important. We are blessed with a really amazing Bishop who has great counselors who are really focused on the work. I know that it is for this that we are having such great success.

I am LOVING my Book of Mormon study! Mom and Dad, it was so great to hear that you have joined in on the study! I got a couple emails from friends today that said that they are doing it too! That is so wonderful. I love the Book of Mormon, and as I have been looking specifically for references to the Savior and His gospel, I have really come to know Him better and love Him. Something that I read at the beginning of last week that I wanted to share is from 1Nephi 21:15 where it says that our Savior will never forget us because He has us graven on the palms of His hands. As I thought about the marks in His hands, I realized that when He sees them, He really does think of US every time... my first week here, I had a minor bike accident and cut my hands up a bit. I still have the marks, though they are slowly fading. Well, literally every time I see them I chuckle and think about how clumsy I am and remember the bike accident. If I think about something so trivial every time I see these little marks in my hands, how much more does the Savior think of US when He sees His very permanent marks. Think of how many times a day we use our hands! I testify that the Savior is thinking of us ALWAYS... that "our walls are constantly before His face." What a neat thing to know that the Savior knows us personally, loves us, and is always helping us. Wow.

Well, I can´t believe that we are starting in on transfer number 7... so weird. Hermana Gonzalez had 10 months in the mission when I met her, just like I do now, and today she is heading home. So weird! I think that she will probably become a great blog stalker real soon (she learned from the best! though it´s not quite as cool since she already KNOWS me... I mean, who reads blogs of people they know... boring!) so I wanted to tell her a couple of things. First off, we are SO sad that there was not a despidida... Bummer. We miss you tons and love you lots. You have been in our prayers. Second, thank you so much for telling me about Karen! I am so happy that she is back with the Díaz family... I hope that things calm down there and that they get back to church ASAP. I think that Karen will really be able to help with that... I sure hope so. And really, just thank you for EVERYTHING: You were the best trainer ever and what a blessing it was to have time together again! Thank you for everything you taught me and everything that you continue to teach me. We will be doing something, and I will remember something that you said. Thank you for your example, your faith, your love, your guidance. You are AMAZING! I know that you have wonderful things awaiting you as you start this next chapter in your life. Enjoy every moment of it! We are going to miss you, but we know that it won´t be too long until we see you again. If you have to go and get married or something, at least send an invite. haha. WE LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you again for everything! Go take a picture at the TOP of the road that ends in Ushuaia, learn how to say FedEx, eat TONS of your Mom´s amazing Mexican food, and put into practice all of the great things that you learned in the mission! You are going to do GREAT THINGS :) If you make a Mesa trip, give my parents a call... they will love you since you are JUST like me ;) But seriously, Hermana! You are amazing. Thank you for your example of Christlike love and discipleship. See you in 8!

Well... for not too much to write, that became kind of a long email... oops! Know that I love you all TONS! Please write to me about what you are learning in the Book of Mormon and how you are feeling as we take this challenge together. This morning, in my study, I was just so happy knowing that you are doing this with me! You are the best!

I don´t have any doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He lives. He loves us. He is truly the Son of God. He knows you by name, as He does me. He is our advocate with the Father. We can repent every day and strive to become more like Him. Not only can we, but we must. He is calling to us. It is our great privilege to listen and go to Him.

Thank you for being the best family in the WORLD. I love you all dearly. Thank you for your love and prayers. Know that I love and pray for you. I hope that all is well with Mackay. I was glad to hear that he looks good. I will look forward to an update next week. Hang in there, Elder Shelley! You are such a great example to me and I am learning from you every single day! Thank you for your faith. When times are tough, that is because the Lord loves us and is refining us.

I love you all!!!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Shelley

Pictures: Yenifers baptism

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Dearest Family,

Ok! So this week has been great! We have seen lots of miracles and we had many really wonderful opportunities that are a bit out of the regular routine.

FIrst off, Andrea was confirmed and it was a BEAUTIFUL blessing! It was really special and she was blessed with desires to serve in the Church as she comes to understand and live as a virtuous woman. Really great and really special!

On Wednesday, we had a special mission conference that was really fantastic. President talked about the Temple opening and how we are going to prepare ourselves as a mission. He talked about the importance of remembering our covenants and honoring them. It was all very powerful and the Spirit was sooo strong! At the end, he invited us all as a mission to take on a challenge that will help us more fully come to know our Savior and prepare us to go to the Temple. As a mission, we will all be reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover in our native language in 60 days! We will finish the last day of June! I am so excited! We got started right away. We were instructed to mark every name and reference to Christ, everything about the doctrine of Christ, and anything that adds to our personal testimony. We have already had really powerful experiences. Seriously, everything that is in the Book of Mormon is so true. Having recently finished it in Spanish, I am really happy with the goal to read it in English. As much as I love Spanish, there is something about reading it in your native tongue. I have already really come to know and love the Savior even more just in these few days as I have sought to do so through The Book of Mormon.

Yesterday, I completed 10 months in the mission! I really can´t believe it! I don´t know where the time has gone. I have truly loved every moment of my mission and would not change any experience that I have had. I just have to make these next 8 months EVEN BETTER!!!!! I love the mission and I love who I am becoming because of it. I am here to serve and seeing miracles every single day!

This week we had an AMAZING opportunity! We have a great senior couple, Elder and Hermana Garvin who served as the directors of the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center. While they were there, they closed the visitor center for renovation. Well, they still wanted to do their work, so they took it on the road! They took the displays to the chapels! Such a cool idea! Well, the Church asked them to do the same thing here and depending on how it goes, they want to take it to many places in the world that don´t have visitors centers. Well, we got to be visitor center Sisters for a day and it was AMAZING!!! They even bring in a Christus and have His voice play with the same words that we hear in the Mesa visitors center. It was so powerful! They do that part in the chapel and then you go back to the cultural hall and they have the whole display set up and you go around and do a normal visitor center´s tour in the chapel. It was SOOO cool and the Spirit was so strong! I loved having that visitor center experience. Another super awesome blessing that day was that we were called in to do it with 2 other Sisters... Hermana Milmont and Hermana Alvey!!! So much fun! So we got to spend 4 hours with them! In those 4 hours, we had over 100 people come in, 25 of whom were not members! Of those 25, the Elders in that area (we were sent about an hour away to another area, but are hoping to do it here soon) have return appointments with something like 18 and 8 accepted baptismal dates on the spot! Wow! That is so cool! It was really just an amazing experience and I loved every moment. It was fun being a visitor center sister for a day!

So, to answer all of your questions:

1. The new area is great! It is all very green. There are TONS of trees! Fall is starting, so all the leaves are changing and it is really beautiful to see all the red, orange, and brown leaves. I will have to take some pictures today! There really isn´t much of a view cuz everything is really flat, but it is really green. We are pretty far north from Capital, so it is like the country and there are lots of fields and farms. It´s cool. Every area that I have been in has been really different.

2. Things are great with Hermana Dunn! We are loving our time together. I am thinking that it is coming to an end, and that is kind of sad... we are just starting the last week of the transfer and I don´t think that we will have more time together. Sad, but I know that we will go where Heavenly Father needs us. I love Hermana Dunn and it has been a HUGE blessing to be together again! It is really neat to have companions and learn from each and every one.

3. Thanks for putting some stuff in the box! I should get it next week I hope. We only get mail once a transfer (every 6 weeks), so if it hasn´t come yet, I will have to wait till next transfer, but I think it should be here! Thank you so much! I am excited to see what you sent.

4. The food is actually pretty normal. The biggest difference is that they cook pretty much everything in lard. So I think I am getting kinda fat... I need to change that! haha. It is super delish though! I think the most exotic thing I have eaten is definitely the octopus! But, on the 25th of May, I will probably be eating cow stomach... it is there independence day here and it is traditional to eat Locro which is a soup with vegetables and cow stomach... oh boy...

5. The people are sooooo nice! Seriously, pretty much everyone lets us in their house, even if they don´t want anything to do with the Church. They are really giving too. Even the most poor people offer us juice and crackers. In this area, people are always out in the street playing soccer with their neighbors and that is fun. Sometimes we kick the ball once or twice with the little kids.

6. Pdays here are really different. There isn´t a ton to do, so we pretty much just email and do some window shopping. It is fun. I do miss Ushuaia for that though... we would always go on hikes and stuff. Today, we are going to meet up with our district and go to a pizza buffet. Should be fun! The pizza here is SUPER yummy. You would like it.

Thanks again for all the questions! I always love answering questions, because I am never sure what it is that you all want to know when I email. 

Well, the investigators are great! The work is great! We are doing great. We are happy and healthy. We had a terrible mold problem and were finally able to get that fixed, so we hope our lungs will start opening back up! haha. But no, we are really doing so well. The work moves on. We should have 4 baptisms in the next 3 weeks and we are very excited. We will see if I stay here in San Ignacio or if I am shipped out, but whatever happens, I am happy to go.

I love my Savior so much. I love the work. Prayer is so powerful! Know that I have all of you in my prayers always.

I love you all so much! Keep up with the great scripture study and prayers!

Hermana Shelley

pictures:       1-3 pictures of Jessie's baptism
                       4-6 pictures of Andrea's baptism
                       7 friend they found in their apartment (wonder which one of them beat his leg off!?)
                      8 group at the traveling visitors center