Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013 Alecia's emails and pics!

 Last pday with the hat hma Santa Cruz gave me.. My area!
This would have been last week and she is showing us her area! : )

My beautiful girl! I love her so very much!

Hey mom! Here are the photos with my new do...! lol! And guess what! I have lost twenty pounds out here on my mission! In two years all I could lose was five at home... but out here for three months and Ive lost twenty!!!! Isnt that great! 

Este semana fue mucho mejor.¡ Fuimos a ver muchos personas y tenimos una familia y dos jovenes in la capilla este Domingo! ¡Que feliz! ¡Tenimos muchos bendiciones y milagros reales! 
This week was a lot better! We went to see a lot more people, and had a whole family and two other investigadors in the church this sunday! I am so happy! We have really seen blessings and miracles this week! 
The story I want to share this week is of a little girl... who is in a tough situation. Her parents and Her sisters dont want to go ... But one day this little girl heard or felt something, which I believe was the spirit... and made the decision to go to church. She saves the money her parents give her to buy fun things at school, so she can wake up early sunday morning and get both herself and her little sister ready for school. Then they walk to the truffy, and go to church all alone. She is only nine years old, yet she is able to see the truth and have the courage and strength to follow after it. I am so very impressed and grateful to have seen such strength in a little girl so small... And we have been able to see a slight opening in the hearts of her parents. Hopefully, this little girl will be the strength of her family. And what did I learn from this? Never give up.. Hope, Pray, and work hard... and leave the rest to the Lord. For he can touch even the hardest of hearts, but in his own time, and his own way. 
Anyway, I am really happy here. I love my companion, I am learning spanish more every day, and my area is awesome! 
Hope you have a fabulous week! 
Hermana Alford

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 Alecia's email (really good for the Young Women)

This is me and the Christus last monday! It was so cool to go and see it! We about died though from all the stairs! lol! Yet it was totally worth it!

Me at the temple! For the very first time! How cool huh! I really love the Cochabamba temple! It is so pretty!
We are doing all we can to work hard with the ward. Hopefully, we will be able to see some fruits soon. Hey mom. I felt something this Thursday night a little interesting. I just felt sad. I dont know why, it didnt feel like my own emotion... But I spoke to hma Santa Cruz about it, and she shared a few experiences with me that were similar... but that always correlated with a time when someone at home missed her really bad... And she told me that she believes that sometimes, when you are really close to someone, you can feel their souls across any amount of distance. Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you, maybe someone at home was missing me... Or maybe Im just a basket case! lol! But Just in case, I wanted to share an extra I love you and a long distance hug! lol!
Love you a ton mom! Ill probably write more in a minute! But I want to try and send a few pics!

So, I had a thought this Saturday I felt like sharing... We were with one of our investigadors... and she was talking to us about her life and her troubles. She told us how alone she felt sometimes... and then that she truly didn’t feel special enough to pray. I felt like crying mom. I remember this. I remember feeling alone, and like I wasn’t special or beautiful. And it truly pains me to see this in other people. This Friday night, Hma Santa Cruz and I talked about this... I told her about all the negative feelings I used to have towards myself... And how all that has changed so drastically. Mom, this form of thinking is absolutely wrong... in every way. When we choose to allow Satan to crawl his way into our hearts and minds in this form... we allow him to control us from the inside out. We can not allow this to happen. As women, we have this tendency... We want so badly to be beautiful, that sometimes, with out knowing it... we allow satan to take over. I truly can not bare to see other people feeling this way now. So much time passed in my life when I felt this way. And I just want to help all people know the worth of their souls! Because I know that feeling! I know how it tears you apart... The Lord works in balance. It is not humility to put yourself down. There is a balance in which we can know we are beautiful and special, but not be prideful. This is what I did not understand for so long. I don’t know why yet, but I felt like I should share that with you mom! I love you with all my heart! And hope you have a great week!

I dont mind at all if you share with the blog or with anyone you like. This is one thing I feel really strongly about because I’ve been there... And I only hope that my experience can maybe help others.  I remember how I felt when I went to the store with all my friends, or with Kady... and everyone could fit into the tiny little sizes... and I couldnt.. I had to go to the L... and then it was even worse when I had to move up to an XL... I felt so bad. I couldnt enjoy myself shopping with my friends, because there was always that painful presence of thoughts such as: `you`re not as pretty as they are´ ´you will never look like they do´ ´how could anyone like you?´  They tell us all the time in young womens that we are truly special, one of a kind.. But how many of us really believe it? How many of us believe in our very heart and soul that we are in every way beautiful? There are so many influences in the world... that tell us what beauty really is... But the fact of the matter is that true beauty comes in thousands of forms... And I am not trying to be cliche or cute... I am not beautiful in the model way... Nor in that of the actress... or that of my sister, or my mother, or my aunt. But I have a beauty all my own. And every day I can, if I so choose, embrace that and claim it. My hair IS crazy, as so many people used to tease me... I do have acne... I have some pounds to lose.. But my hair is also like fire, and beautiful in its own right. My body may not be perfect in the ways of the world, but I have my own individual kind of gorgeous. I have seen so many different kinds of beautiful, and dreamed of being like that! But the time has finally come, when I can see my own. Thats what I pray for every day for you, and for Kady, and for Krystal. And I truly pray that Bethany and Jessica never have to feel that kind of hurt. I pray that you all can see for yourselves, not only try to accept what others tell yall, the real loveliness inside of you. No snowflake is the same... Much less the daughters of God. But I also now, by the Grace and Love of God, know the great joy of knowing who I am.... and my individual worth. It is a fight every day. A fight against my own tendencies, and against Satan. But with God and real faith, and a true desire.. all things are possible. Even this! Anyway, I pray for you every day mom! I love you with all my heart and soul. And I look up to you as my angel on this earth. Love,
Hermana Alford (Alecia:)

Hopefully well be able to have some baptisms soon... Oh, we have a lavandarista now! Like a pensionista, except she washes our clothes for us! Woohoo! lol! We are really quite excited about that! :) love ya! I might email again later! lol!

This week... one of our good friends in the ward moved away to Brazil. We made a little memory thing for her. It was really kind of sad to see her go. We also did a whole lot of service. We helped an inv make army bags... and I think we might have finally opened a way into her heart through our service.. she hasn’t really wanted to let us into her trust just yet.. We had hoped she would make it to church this sunday.. but that never happened sadly. But we are going to pray extra hard for this next sunday. We are hoping they can eventually be a family connected through the gospel. Also, I played dress up with my little friend ______... lol! She loves to sing and dance with me like a princess. The poor thing doesn’t have hardly any friends and her parents work all the time... She told me that I am her very first and best friend. My heart literally about burst with love for her! Anyway, she dressed me up like a princess and we played for hours! She really is great! Also, I have been doing finances in spanish! HELP! As our service we went and helped a member do some finances and things she needed to do. I didn’t understand hardly a thing... but I think I did alright... at least I hope so! For her sake at the very least! lol! Who knew that math was different in another language? lol! Anyway... What else.. a ton of service... Oh! Did I tell yall that ? & ? are going to church? They are going to a different ward, that doesn’t have stairs! ? is smiling almost every day! And they are going to go to the temple this october! Anyway, over all its been cool... :) Oh, and I cut my hair a bit! lol! Just a bit.. But it turned out alright.. i think. lol! Hope yall have a great week! love ya!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013 Emails!!!

 I have one transfer down in the mission! Hma Santa Cruz and I are still together though, we didn’t have transfers because I am still being trained. Its twelve weeks with your trainer... and then I will probably train or at least stay in this area for a while longer because Hma Santa Cruz hasn’t yet left Cochabamba. She has almost one year just in Cochabamba! That means she’ll probably be out of here after she finishes training me! Either to Succre, or Potosi. Anyway, we have had all kinds of fun this week! We had a movie night last night waiting for the zone leaders to call... And we ate candy, laughed, and had a great time! Oh, and we made my fave food another night. Sanchi Papas! With music and laughing and all kinds of fun! All of this is with church movies and music by the way! lol! I promise I am not breaking any rules! lol!

 _________has truly had a miracle! He is so much happier now, and he finally spoke to his family. We have been talking to him about every other day, trying to help him out and teaching him... Thank yall for your prayers! I want yall to know they truly work miracles! He is receiving so much strength and happiness from the Lord right now. And I truly love to see that in him!

Anyway, this week has been pretty great. And I am going to print pics today! And have a water fight! And make Columbian food with a really great family we are teaching! And maybe even eat icecream! YAY! I really love pday! lol! Anyway, I hope yall are having a cool time! Looks like the car is pretty dead to me! But I will pray for yall and the Abuelita too! (Little Grandma) LOL! Oh, and something I learned in the scriptures this week... I read in 2 Nephi 4... and I couldnt get over how perfect it was for me and for my investigadors! Yall have got to read it! its fantabulous!

So yeah, just thought I would share... Anyway. I want yall to know I love yall. I will probably write again later. I love the pics! Thanks a ton! Send as many as you can! And I love you all with all my heart!
May God Bless you,
Hermana Alford

its really interesting for me how your lives or something you say always mirrors something that happenned in my week... or something i taught... its pretty amazing! Like in this instance, your advice to me was to count my blessings when the tough times come. Well, that is exactly what I have been teaching to quite a few of our investigadors and converts out here! I just love it. There almost always is something in your letters or emails that really pertains to me or my investigadors or my life out here. Im glad that church was cool, and that you and Kady are still reading together. That really is so cool that yall do that. We had Stake Conference here this Sunday. Not a single investigador made it... But it was really cool to hear the speakers, and see what Stake Conference is like in Bolivia.  They have every room filled to the brim with chairs and tvs because it fills up so fast... and they record it... Oh, and they even have like ushers... You know, people who direct people to their seats and open and close doors, and help make everything run smoothly. It was pretty cool! lol! And music would really be nice too! Piano Guys, Alex Boye, the music from Prince of Egypt, and whatever else is uplifting that you think I might like. If you can send it over email, that would be absolutely fantastic! lol! Anyway, I love you to the moon and back! And hope you have a great week! love ya !

Alecia with her dear friend Elvida

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013 Aleica's email

This week we once again were able to witness a miracle. We met a man truly prepared and in need of this gospel on our way to the officina. He was the taxi driver, and it turns out that he spoke with the missionaries in Chile before he moved here. His story is incredible, and his spirit is so strong. He has some real doubts about the church, but he also has a real desire to know more. We are praying hard that we can help him know that this gospel is true, and to find what he truly needs. 
I am still progressing, slowly but surely, in spanish... I had a few problems this week with ¨opening my mouth´ which really was hard. Ive been having doubts and fears about my lack of knowledge in this language, which is definitely not the way to teach the gospel. But I believe now I can do better... Which is my goal every day, to be a little better every day.
My companion is fantastic. She really helps me out a ton, and has a lot of patience with my weaknesses. 
We are still working on the whole complete obedience thing with the schedule. It really is a lot more difficult than you would think to begin with. But I want so badly to be completely and totally obedient... Because I know that that is the way to see miracles here in the mission... Once again, we will be working harder this week to be even better than ever. And eventually, maybe we will be perfect. 
Anyway, I really love my area. Our investigadors and our ward really are spectacular and I love them so very much.

Hermana Alford

Hey mom, Thank you for your testimony, it truly is fantastic to be able to hear even all the way out here. Mom, I have a request to make that means a whole lot to me. Not only for you, but for every person in our family, and in our ward. We have an investigador out here that is just about breaking my heart. His name is Bruno, and hes only twenty years old... and his story is truly so hard. His family left him in a home as a child. And he has been looking for some one to love him ever since. and he thought he had found someone in his wife. He has been married for a year, and has a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Estrella, or star in english. Because shes his star in the darkness of his life... But his wife has been influenced by her family, his lack of money, and her boredom in him. He is no longer allowed to see his little girl... but he doesnt want to be like his parents and leave her behind. He wants to give her all he can. He lives alone in a tiny little room, and gives all the money he can that he makes as a taxi driver to his daughter... He needs friends, he needs hope, and he needs love. And we are doing all we know how to do for him over here. We have a lot of hope for him... but I promised him that my family would pray for him and pray for him hard. He loves to hear us pray for him. He truly has a ton of faith... Please pray for him. Anyway, other than that, its been a pretty quiet week. I got to hold a parrot! Ate the worst thing in the world! Bolivian corn! YUCK! I literally almost threw up like three times. Played paint ball with our zone. Sent letters today. And Im going to dye my hair! LOL! Cant wait to send you a pic! its only like a month long dye.. and its going to be red! I am so excited! lol! I might cut it again too... But hma santa cruz and I both are going to dye our hair! how cool! Her darker, me red! awesome! lol! Im going to try and send a pic or two now. But I hope you know how special you are! Oh, and i read about when Nephi built the boat this week. I thought it was so cool to read. I love the way he teaches his brothers,... With such power! I need to remember that sometimes, we need to teach with strength,... not just softly.!
Love you! talk to ya next week! 
Note from me the Momma:  David tole me that when his mom was younger that she died her hair red and it turned out green! I told Alecia and she said, "Ahh, I can't have green hair as a missionary." LOL So maybe we won't be seeing that picture with her in red hair! ; )