Monday, January 14, 2013


Dearest Family,

Well, I am not sure how, but it has come... somehow, my shoes have just about died, my skirts are just a bit tighter, and my skin is just a bit bronzer. Somehow, 18 months have passed...

I am eternally grateful to the Lord for the great blessing of being His missionary. I am so grateful for the chance that I have had to serve Him and His children here in Argentina. I love being a missionary and being able to preach the gospel each and everyday. I am going to miss so much the people, the culture, the church here, my companions, President and Hermana Gulbrandsen, etc. But I know that it is time. I have shed many tears already and I know that more will come, but I know that when I received my call, I accepted the fact that the mission would end. I accepted the 18 months gratefully.
I will miss being Hermana Shelley. I will miss putting my name tag on every day. I will miss teaching the lessons in Preach my Gospel. I will miss speaking Spanish all the time. I will more than anything miss these dear people. 

Really, I feel more like I am at the beginning of a new phase rather than at the end of an old one. I know that I have much before me to do and become and that the Lord expects a lot of me. I plan to hit the ground running in His service. I know that the gifts that I have been given in the mission are sacred trusts from the Lord and that He needs me to use each and every one of them. I know that I have much to do. I am sad to be leaving my mission, but so excited for the great things that will come. I will be a true disciple of Christ for the rest of my life. That calling is never ending and I know that I must improve daily and follow Him. I am a new person, and I must never go back. I truly feel that the changes in me are forever. I see things differently. I have a more eternal vision. I see people differently than before and I love them as never before. I understand my relationship to the Lord and I know that He is guiding my every step. I will humbly and gratefully accept any calling that He gives me. These 18 months were the best 18 months FOR my life, and I know that they will affect everything that comes. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior so much. I must be what They want and need me to be. On to the next great adventure!

We had a great week! Lucia was confirmed! It was a beautiful blessing and she is doing great.
Big news..............

MAURO IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! Oh man... seeing a man who 2 months ago proclaimed to be an atheist accept the invitation to be baptized is just the best thing ever! We have felt the Spirit so strongly with him. I know that he is going to be a leader in the church and that the Lord really needs him. I am so grateful for the chance to teach him and guide him. It is truly only the Spirit that has converted him.
ANA and NAYLA with also be baptized this weekend!!! On Sunday they will be baptized and they are both so excited. They are doing really well, and we are super excited to see their progress.

So this is going to be an amazing and very busy week, including my exit interview, a Temple trip with those who are going home, my despedida (farewell), three baptisms (though we have felt that we need to have 4 and someone else is prepared... pray for us!), and one confirmation! What a way to end my mission. I am really grateful for the many blessings that are ahead. Love the work!

Well family, I just want to end by expressing my GREAT love for each and every one of you. I am so grateful for the love that you show me, for the support, for the letters, for the prayers, for the tears. I am eternally grateful. I really don`t know what I would have done without you all as a part of these last 18 months. I know that leaving will not be easy, but that it is necessary. The Lord has new plans for me and I must go where He wants me to go. I am so grateful for this amazing experience. I wish that I had better words to express me deep gratitude. I will just use some of the words of the scriptures... they are better anyways.

3 Nephi 5:13
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Alma 26: 11-13
I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom, but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak, therefore, I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength, I can do all things, yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell, and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore, have we not great reason to rejoice?

I am trying to make this a time of rejoicing, and not a sad time. I will rejoice in my Lord. I will sing praises to Him. and I will boast of His goodness and the miracles that He has wrought in my life and in the lives of so many. If I am my only convert, I will be forever grateful.

I love you all. This is the truth. May we be disciples of Jesus Christ forever and ever. This is His work. The glory will be His. Should we not go on in so great a cause?
All my Love,
Hermana Shelley

PS- I will not be in internet next week. We spend the day with President and Hermana Gulbrandsen and then we go to the airport. We`ll just see you on Tuesday.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Dearest Family,

This is going to be a short one... we are on a bit of a schedule today! haha. Time is quickly running away from me and there is a lot that I want to do still. 

ROSANA SUAREZ was BAPTIZED and CONFIRMED this weekend! Oh man, it felt so good to see her making these sacred covenants with the Lord. Her kids were so happy. I am just so proud of the Suarez family and all the great things that they are doing. I love them so much and they have become so special to me. Maxi has a countdown to his mission and he studies every day to be able to prepare himself. I think I am going to buy him a Preach my Gospel. He is so great! The girls are really going at their personal progress and the leaders have really taken them it. Rosana´s baptism was really special and the spirit was really strong. I am so proud of her for quitting smoking and experiencing this great conversion. 

Alan was also confirmed on Sunday and it was so great! We went by in the morning to get him and he was already getting ready and he was about to head out. I love when they don´t even need us!

Lucia, Alan´s sister was baptized on Sunday and it was a really great service. Her YW leader, Vanessa has really been working with her and it was great to see so much support from the young women. 

Yes, yesterday was my 18 month mark! I cannot believe it... the time just few right by and now I am entering the end... but I like to think of it as a beginning. It is the beginning of my life as a true disciple of Jesus Christ. It is the beginning of dedicated, consecrated service. It is the beginning of the new me. I bore my testimony yesterday since it was my last fast and testimony meeting as "Hermana Shelley" and it was really hard for me. I just can´t believe that I am getting to the moment where I will be just "Kailei" again... weird, but sort of exciting to think about all the great things that I will be able to do, knowing what I now know. The Lord has been so merciful and really taught me so much. I want to use the gifts that He has given me in these last 18 months to serve Him. In my prayers, I have felt that the Lord has a lot in store for me and that He expects a LOT from me... I am ready to give it!

This week, President called me and sent me to CONGRESO!!! haha. Third time! I don´t have time to write about it, but I know that I had to be there... my work wasn´t quite done, and now I feel at peace. 

Well, family, I have to run. Know that I love you all so much and pray for you. Thank you for your letters. Just putting it out there, that if you have any "last words" for me, this is the week! haha. I love getting the emails! I would also love any advice that you have for me in finishing strong. Please pray for Mauro, Ana, and Nayla. They are the baptisms that we have planned for these coming two weeks and they need all the prayers they can get... especially Mauro. He is such a special young man who is just lost in the knowledge of the world. 

I love this gospel! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that we are members of HIS church! I know that He payed the price for our sins and our sicknesses, our weaknesses, and our shortcomings, and that through Him, we can do all things. I feel like Ammon. I know that I have not done much in my mission, but I have been an instrument to the miracles of the Lord, and I WILL boast in HIS strength. I cannot say the smallest part of what I feel. Yesterday, my fast was one of pure gratitude for the blessings of these last 18 months. I love my Heavenly Father and am so grateful for every moment that He has given me. I want to thank you all for being there through each of these special moments with me. I feel like you have all met the wonderful people that I have been blessed to know, that you have cried with me in my moments of weakness, rejoiced with me in the experiences of conversion, and laughed with me along the way. We have grown together. We have changed together. May it be the beginning of much to come!

I love you all!
Hermana Shelley