Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Dearest Family,

So my week! Honestly, I have about 2 seconds... we have a brother coming to take care of the mold issue, so I have to run. 

It was a really great week but also trying for a number of things. I really had to rely a lot on my faith and testimony, and learned a lot. I don´t know that I have ever prayed so much in my whole life, but it was a really neat thing to see the miracles and peace come as we counseled with the Lord. 

Javier was confirmed and it was a beautiful blessing! We are still working with the family and his mom came to church again! His step dad still doesn´t quite want to reactivate, but we made a huge step with him when he participated for the first time in a lesson. So awesome! It was a really neat lesson and the spirit was really strong. 

Well... I am sorry, but I really do have to run. It´s going to be a crazy day and a crazier week... the transfer ends this Sunday, so we will see what will happen! haha. Good times in Argentina. 

I love the gospel! I love my Savior. I love that we are reading the Book of Mormon so quickly. I  have really increased my testimony of it as I have looked even closer to come to know my Savior through it´s pages. I love being a missionary. It is such a great blessing to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of His beloved children here in Argentina. 

I love you all so much and pray for you always!

Hermana Shelley

Monday, June 11, 2012


Dearest Family,

Wow! What a week we have had! It really was great and ended so nicely with Javier´s baptism. It was really beautiful and the spirit was strong. I can´t get the pictures to load, but they turned out well. He is a cute little 10 year old boy who has just really changed a lot recently. His dad is a member, though less active, but we think that he will really start coming around now that Javier goes. So great! Javier´s mom also came to the baptism and really felt the Spirit. She recently started in an Evangelical church (I think that is what it is called in English... not sure) but she said that she felt much more peace in our church! She agreed to come to the confirmation this coming Sunday! Awesome!

The baptism was right after an awesome stake conference. Elder Chappe, an area 70 came as did President and Hermana Gulbrandsen. We really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. Elder Chappe talked about how we can be active in the church and not active in the gospel. That was a really powerful thought. He said that it is even possible to fulfil your calling well, go every single Sunday, read your scriptures every day, pray many times a day, and STILL be inactive in the GOSPEL... He talked about it all depending on where our HEART is. Are we doing all these things just to do them? Are we going through the motions? Are we doing it to be seen? Or, are we truly anxiously engaged? Do we do it with a full heart? Do we do it because we love the Lord? What do we do when we are completely alone? Are we truly CONVERTED? Then he talked about three things that we all need to do as members to be truly converted:

1. Increase our personal understanding of the Godhead
2. Base ourselves on our covenants
3. Unite the gospel with The Church... LIVE IT!

What great things! This is truly how to experience and retain conversion. We have to really live the gospel. He asked us a bunch of really probing questions, and I know that I really need to repent... When is the last time we shared the gospel? When is the last time we invited someone to meet with the missionaries? When is the last time we actually GAVE someone a Book of Mormon? When is the last time we really studied the scriptures? When was the last time we visited someone who really needed it because we wanted to, not because we felt that it was part of our calling? I am blessed as a missionary to have the chance to do all these things... but where is my heart?? Also, before the mission, I must admit that I was not the best about ACTIVELY sharing the gospel. I was an "oh, they will see my example" kind of person. I invited to specific activities, but rarely did more. However, I know that we can. We are a missionary minded church! So, challenge to all!!! WHO will you share The Book of Mormon with THIS WEEK?? I want each of you to think about it, pray about it, and DO IT! I will be asking about how it went next week. I know that we all have someone who needs this great gift! Let´s all do it together!

As for the other points, I LOVE them! It really is so important to understand who we are and the relationship that we have with the Lord. We must truly know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and elder brother. We must understand the role of the Holy Ghost. As for covenants, everything that we do ought to point us to the Temple. We need to remember that we have taken upon us the name of Christ and promised to follow Him. I know that doing this will guide us and keep us safe and protected. 

Well, the investigators are doing well, but we have really had a hard time with some recently... they just are not progressing. So, after a lot of prayer, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to drop most of them and find those who the Lord is preparing right now to accept this message and progress in the gospel. We are actually really excited and know that we will see a lot of success. We have set goals and formed plans in order to do it and we have a lot of faith. How exciting to be able to find the people that the Lord is preparing! We aren´t worried or down... it will be a challenge, but it will be really neat to see the miracles that the Lord is preparing so that His children can find the truth! 

Thank you all for your love and support! I seriously feel your prayers and couldn´t do this without you! Please pray that we can find the new investigators that will truly progress in the gospel and be baptized. 

I love this work! I love the Church and know that it is true! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and cares about us more than we can even understand. I know that He has a plan for the world, but also a very individual plan for each and every one of us. We don´t have to worry when hard times come, because this plan is so that we will come back to Him... everything that He gives us is to accomplish this magnificent goal!

I love you all so much!

Hermana Shelley

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Dearest Family,

Oh man! What an amazing week we had! First and foremost, Cristina was BAPTIZED and CONFIRMED!!! Wow, what a powerful baptism it was. She was SO happy! At the end, she was invited to bear her testimony and she stood and said that for years, she went to churches looking for the truth, but never felt that she had found it. Then, two angels came to her door and changed her life forever. Then, she said that she had finally found all the answers, in the BOOK OF MORMON! Wow. That was a powerful moment. She was so happy and literally just glowing. It has been a joy seeing how the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ have truly changed her life and helped her to overcome all of her recent challenges, especially with the divorce. In her confirmation, she was promised that her children would come into the gospel and they would enter the Temple and become an eternal family... I guess we better get to work on her daughters! They are slowly coming around. 

Super awesome is that a bunch of members invited her and her kids over for a lunch after church! We were invited too and it was so neat to see her interacting with the members and enjoying herself. Part of the group was the family Zaracho who have totally become our San Ignacio family, and they have truly taken Cristina and her family in. They are amazing. I don´t know what we would do without such awesome members! Love them! 

As you probably figured out from the subject line, the mold is back and worse than ever... It is all over the walls, the beds, and the closets. We bleached it all and it is airing out while we are out and about and we are going to buy some varnish to go over the beds. We think if we can keep things away from the walls it will help... it´s just so humid and moist... gross. But such is life I guess! haha. We will get through it. 

So neat story to show that the Lord truly works in mysterious ways... the other night, we were riding home and we were behind a car who was going slow over the unpaved road. All of a sudden, he backed up SUPER fast, hitting me pretty hard. I looked down and saw the tire rolling over my foot, but didn´t feel ANYTHING! Wow... what a miracle! The man ran out of his car, apologizing completely, and made sure that I was okay... And completely honestly, I was totally fine! The bike was under the car, so we got it out and started chatting. He, Damian, was really great and super kind. We got his information and he agreed to a return appointment with his family (probably because he was afraid we would sue him... haha) and we went on our way. We went back on Sunday and met the most beautiful family of 5! We had a really powerful lesson, and they are a bit wary since they are SUPER Catholic, but they agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We know that they will get their answer. They are a really neat family and they really did feel the Spirit and invited us back, so we are going to pray a lot that they come around. The Lord works in a mysterious way! 

Well... that´s pretty much it for this week! We are headed out to a district activity, so I have to run, but know that I love you all! I am praying for you always... how is Mackay doing? I will be thinking of you on the 6th with your doctors appointment! Keep your chin up and keep relying on the Lord. I know that His hand is in all that you are doing. He loves you and is very aware of you. You will be back in the field before you know it! 

Note to Hermana G... Okay... Suzette...weird... I love you tons and am so proud of you for all that you did here and are now doing there! Keep your chin up, girlie! I love you TONS and hope you know it! I often think of all the things you taught me... at least once a day I think of and I am grateful for all the things you have done for me! Quick question, how are Enrique, Cristina, and Javier doing??? Love you!!!!

I love the gospel! I love being a missionary and seeing the changes that are taking place in the lives of these great people! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that They live and that they love us. I know that we are lead today by a prophet of God and that we do not have to worry because we have the guidance of our loving Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that we can get all of the answers that we need by reading and studying that great book! I know that we can be an eternal family as we do the small and simple things every day that the Lord asks of us! 

Know that I love you all dearly!
Hermana Shelley

pictures are all of Cristina's baptism


Dearest Family,

First off, I am so glad to hear that Mackay got home safely! Keep your chin up, man! I know that you will be back out there real soon! I am praying for you constantly and know that whatever happens is the Lord´s will. Keep me updated. I loved hearing from you and to know that you are still doing your studies and everything. Keep it up! You are an amazing missionary and I learned so much from you. Please know that I love and pray for you. You will be back in the field before you know it! Just think... you will be meeting people in the last 4 months that you would not have had the chance to meet otherwise. That´s cool! I wanted to share something that President Gulbrandsen sent us all this week in his letter:

Elder Hales teaches the following:

                “I have often pondered, Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them?

                As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.” Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son.

                In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father’s will. His assurance to you is clear: “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith.

                Every on of [you] is more beloved to the Lord than [you] can possibly understand or imagine . . . “In my Gethsemane” and yours, we are not alone. He that watches over us “shall neither slumber nor sleep.” His angels here and beyond the veil are round about us to bear us up” ( Elder Robert D. Hales, General Conference, October 2011)

I know that is true! The Lord loves you and He has a plan. You are such a great missionary and will only become a more effective servant of the Lord in this time! 

Well... another week to take a big breath and jump right in!!! I think that I decided that the best way to do this is to go day by day... 


Pday! We got a bunch of stuff done, and towards the end of the day, the assistants called us to invite us to the leadership trainings with President on Tuesday and Wednesday in San Fernando. 


Got up at 5:30 AM to be out the door by 7. We rode our bikes to the church and caught a bus from there. We took the bus an hour and a half to San Fernando, getting there around 9. With the walk to the church, we were in our seats around 9:20 to study and prepare. The conference went from 10 to 3:30 and was AWESOME... more on that later... then it was back on the bus! We got back around 6 with walking, waiting for the bus, etc. Then we had only 3 hours to teach a couple of great lessons until it was time to head home. 


Weekly planning. Hermana Dunn was also sick (still is, de verdad), but she was a trooper and we got through it. Planning here is very detailed, so it takes the better part of the day. We were teaching by 4. at 8:30 that night, we found out that all of the youth and leaders were going to Pilar on Saturday to practice the dance for the cultural celebration of the Temple... witch is AWESOME, but meant that Yenifer would be there... and so we couldn´t have the baptism of Milagros... so we had to frantically change everything to have it Friday... the only catch is that we also had Zone Conference... 


Another 5:30 wake up and trip in to San Fernanado for Zone Conference (which was also FANTASTIC and more on that later). We had permission from President to leave early so that we could make it to the baptism... so, we made phone calls during our lunch break to make sure that everyone was doing their assignment (filling the font, ironing clothes, etc.) that we would usually do, but couldn´t... we headed out from there at 3:30. Well... Friday was Independence day here, so the buses didn´t pass all that often... we finally got back to the church at 6 for the baptism that was going to start at 5:30!! haha. But, the ward was AWESOME and had everything good to go! We just made sure Milagros was ready and took pictures and got started. The baptism was beautiful! Milagros was so happy and it was so great to see the Barroso family, now with all the girls members! So neat to help complete this family! There is truly nothing like seeing the miracles of the Lord and getting to take part in them! By the time the baptism was over, we had to have a quick missionary coordination with our ward mission leader and then it was already 9 and we had to head home... 


Our only "normal" day! haha. We taught the WHOLE day! haha. It was nice to get back to normal and apply all the things we learned in conference... 


Milagros was confirmed!!! We passed by her house early in the morning, only to find that they had all already left because they didn´t want to be late. We got there, and they were all sitting reverently, preparing for the meeting! So wonderful! Milagros received a beautiful blessing, including that she would one day enter the Temple and become a MISSIONARY!!!!! SO neat! The spirit was so strong. Hermana Dunn and I both sat and cried through the whole thing. 

WOO!! What a week, no? It was really great, though! We are tired, but happy. 

Now for some details:

The trainings and zone conferences were fantastic. 

In the trainings, we talked a lot about how we can choose to be creatures who ACT or creatures who are acted upon and how we will only see success when we choose to ACT! We learned about how to gain revelation, how to act on that, and how to have faith of POWER. We did practices of teaching, which we have really improved a lot this week because of doing them. We talked about the importance of teaching with questions and the scriptures. Also, a lot about doing the small and simple things that will make all the difference. The big focus was on Sacrament meeting attendance, which has really dropped these past couple of weeks and how to improve it. I know that we can do it! We have set many goals and made many plans so that we can improve the numbers in Sacrament meeting. We know that we will see the blessings. 

Then, there was zone conference. WOW! It was exactly what I needed! President focused the entire thing on the Atonement. Hermana Gulbrandsen started it out by talking about the living water and how we all have thirst of some kind. She told a story that was once shared in conference about a ship that broke down in the ocean and drifted for days. The people began dying for thirst as they hoped and waited for help. Finally, another ship was in sight and they signaled for water. The other ship responded "let down your buckets." The first did not understand... "No," they said, "We need FRESH water to drink... not salt water." To which, the second ship replied "Let down your buckets!" What the first ship did not know was that in these days, they had drifted into a fresh water lake that fed into the ocean. It is the same with us... many people are kept from the truth, for they know not where to find it. WE are the ones who have to help them see where the water is, our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Then, President started talking about the Atonement. He didn´t even mention missionary work directly. He talked about some experiences that he has had, especially with losing his son. We read and analyzed Alma 7 all about the Atonement. President told us that the Savior knows every pain, trial, sickness, weakness, etc. and we talked about what it means to SUCCOR... literally to run to. Then, President told us that when The Savior was in the most pain and wanted so badly to have the cup taken from Him, that He saw every one of our faces individually, and THAT is what gave Him the strength to keep going... US. Wow! I was (big surprise) crying when President did something I was NOT expecting... he invited Elder Araboa and I to sing "Asombo me da" (I stand all amazed). Wow... that was an AMAZING experience... First of all, I think that even Lucy´s voice could sound good next to Elder Araboa (yes... you are right... Devin´s cousin... remember his voice??? Ya... I was a bit intimidated at first). But it actually turned out well... the first verse was a bit rough cuz we were both pretty emotional, but then we just both really felt the Spirit and it came out well... especially for just being put on the spot! haha. It was a really wonderful experience. It had been a LOOONG time since I had sung like that. Well, after, I was heading back to my seat and President asked me to bear my testimony about the Savior. I know that he knew that that is just what I needed, and it was really special for me. I had been thinking about Mackay all morning, and it was really neat to be able to testify of the Savior, and remember myself. He asked one other Elder to share his testimony too and then we kept going with the conference and talked about how it was so important that our investigators feel what we were feeling in that moment. That was really neat. We then spent much of the conference focused on what it is that we need to feel as missionaries, what the investigators need to feel, and what the members need to feel. President told us that this understanding ONLY comes by revelation and that if we don´t understand, we will not be able to be the missionaries that we should be. That was powerful. I am working on understanding and gaining this revelation. 

Well, needless to say, we had a great week! The only downer is that we didn´t have a ton of investigators in church, but we are going to improve there. We have prayed a lot and have set some really great goals and plans. 

Hermana Dunn is awesome. She is really just phenomenal! I am so happy for the time that we have together! 

Cristina is doing awesome! She went to church for the 3rd time yesterday, so she is good to go for her baptism on Saturday! So neat to see how she has changed in this month. She is a really special woman, truly prepared to receive these things. The other night, we taught he about tithing, and at the beginning, she told us that she has never understood tithing. Well, putting in to practice what we learned about teaching with questions and scriptures, focusing on the doctrine rather than just gicing information, and listening more than talking, at the end of the lesson, she asked US before we could commit her to paying tithing how to do it and when. She said that it´s the first time that she can accept and understands the principle of tithing. So neat!!!

We found out on Sunday that President Monson will be coming for the rededication of the Temple September 9th!!! WOW!!! 

My package got here!!! Thank you SOOOO much! I love everything in it! We are definitely going to make brownies this week! Also, when we opened the box and started going through it, we picked up the bag and I was so excited! Hermana Dunn said "What is that!!!??? It smells just like CHRISTMAS!!" We have really been enjoying the Wassil. If you could activate my card, that would be great, but not today... I left it in the house and I only have my old one and I am going to need to use it... I am really sorry that I will have to take money out, but I really need some new tights. After 6 months of wearing the same 4 pairs of tights, they are all pretty thrashed. Sorry! I am not positive that we will have time to do it today, but I am going to try. But if you could activate the card tomorrow or so that would be great! I don´t think I´ll be using it any time soon, so no rush. Thank you SOOO much for the package! Kadon, it looks like Legoland was so much fun! I loved the pictures. You are getting so tall! Thank you, thank you for all of the great things. We are enjoying the dried cherries and granola bars and using the super cute Book of Mormon stories. THANK YOU!!!

Well... thanks for listening! Sorry that this got kind of long! Sounds like you are all doing well. I can´t believe that Jordan is graduating. Enjoy your time in Idaho! Send everyone my love! Hope you all enjoy your summer... can´t believe that the year is over. I also want to send congrats to all my friends who are graduating this year from college. So proud of all of you!

Quick note to friends,
I love you all SOOOO much! Thank you for your emails. I am sorry that I don´t write more... I have a bunch of letters ready to go and I promise that I will be sending letters home next week. Please know that I love you and I love hearing from you each week. Thank you for your love and support. I hope that all is well. Keep me updated!

Quick note to Hermana Gonzalez...
WE LOVE YOU!!! We hope all is well.. if you get a chance, drop us a line :) LOVE YOU! Are you in Alaska? Did that all work out? How is your family and everyone?

I love you all so much! I love our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that He loves us. I know that we are lead by a prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have loved reading it. I am a bit behind (just started Alma) but I know that I will finish it in time. I love that I am truly coming to know my Savior more fully through this invitation to read it again cover to cover. I love the gospel. I know with all my heart that the Church is true. Something really neat is that we have the chance to testify of the Savior EVERY day! I realized that our testimony has to be very strong. I have realized that there isn´t a single day that has passed in my mission that someone hasn´t questioned my testimony or even  what we do... but the thing is, I don´t even flinch. I know that all we teach is the pure truth and I cannot doubt it. I love the gospel!

Thank you all for all you do! I love you all so much!!!

Hermana Shelley

Pictures are of Milgro's baptism