Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb. 24, 2014 Transfers, Emails and Pictures!

We made some kind of tamale like thing with Sister Maria Vallejos this week! She called us up and invited us over... it was pretty incredible! they are sweet and delicious!!! LOVED IT! LOL!

Dona Marina is the lady...
The littlest girl is Eliza and the girl in an orange shirt is Shirley
They are all so great! We went to say goodbye today... I hope they keep going and someday get baptised!!! :)
(These pics were not added because they were of children. This is just a space savor for me to put them in before I print the book)

Hey mom!
I am off to Floresta! That would be in Cochabamba still, close to the airport... With sister Nuñes. She was Sister G´s companion in the CCM!!! lol! Anyway, today we are just full out going to visit EVERYONE! I have been making little notes, handing out pictures, and my email address so that we can all keep in touch. My bags are just about entirely packed... Just have a few more clothes drying  as we speak... And of course all my bathroom stuffses! lol! Anyway, I will be leaving tomorrow in the morning to go pick up my new companion..., and leave hma G with her´s! She is going to be in trio!!! She wasnt overly happy about it at first... because everyone says trios are the very worst... But I talked to her, and she has determined to serve both her new companions and make the best out of the situation. I never realized how difficult it would be to leave an area! I keep thinking about the people who are going to miss me, those which are so close to being baptised... and those that are faltering. How do you let go, and move on, when your heart has been robbed from you? Anyway... I know this is right. I need a change... and the Lord always knows better than we do what we need, and what others need from us. For this very reason we have transfers!

Anyway, I have been one BUSY lady this week! We made the Bolivian version of tamales (they are sweet and SO tasty), had a talent show that was SUCH a success!!! and have been working harder than ever before! lol! One ridiculously full week... But so very worth it. I feel good about my work in this area. 5 rescews, and 4 baptisms. Not like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah... But as it says in D&C... Even one soul is great in the sight of God!
Oh! I started a new study on my 8 month mark! I am beginning a study of the attributes of Christ... and writing down every impression I have concerning each one. Right now I am on Faith.. This is what I wrote...
Faith is truly something a whole lot greater than I had ever imagined... Fait is a driving force which pushes us from the inside out, to DO something. Faith is a sure certainty and belief in something unseen. Without faith, we can not follow Christ. It is not just a general idea or feeling that God exists adn flies around in the universe somewhere, it is real certainty and a desire to follow Him which then leads us to act!
¨Without works, Faith is dead.¨Or, in other words, God will not accept in that last day, a vague statement of ¨I believe¨ He will search for those who have SHOWN their faith! For this cause were we sent to this Earth... To act in Faith. Covenants and Good Works are necessary in order for us to do so.

Anyway, I love you bunches... and will try and send pics! lol!
Love ya!
Hma Alford

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014 Aleica's email and pics

Hey Momma!
Thanks for the nail thingy! I am going to read that later and try and figure it out! Should be really cool! :) This week has been a whole lot of washing clothes!!! We finally had a few days of sunshine, which means it is time to take out the crazy load of dirty clothes and wash it all!!! And help out all the investigaters who are doing the same! I now have clean blankets, jeans, skirts, shirts, socks, jackets, and sheets, and towels, and so on!!!! lol! ALL washed by hand! You get some muscles doing all that you know! My companion just got some amazing news from her family. Her bishop wrote her a two lined email saying that one of her sisters has been sealed in the temple, and her other sister just got married! Both in this past week right here in Cochabamba! And she had no idea! Hard, and incredible both at the same time for her. I am truly pleased with my companion. She is ready to take on the reighns here in Villa Luz. It is highly likely that I am headed off to some other part... As I have been in my area so very long. And I am sort of a mix of emotions about that... Anyway, the transfer is coming up this Sunday! They are going to call us up, and let us know where we are going! Hope I can train again! And it would be awesome to go to Sucre. But the Lord knows what he is doing with each and every transfer, companion, and area. I have truly come to see that with each of my companions! I love them all! And have learned so much from each of these amazing women! Anyway, I am finally getting better... Still coughing a bit... but doing good... Anyway, I love you so very much!
Heres a quote from my study journal!
¨Anything inspired of God, will never grow old. You can always learn something new. The trick is staying humble enough to see it.¨
Love forever and ever and always!
Hermana Alford

Study Journal 17 of September 2013
What is my goal here on my mission?
I want to push  myself every day to be and do better and to become more and more like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope to have a more sure knowledge of the scriptures as well as to have greater Faith in God. I wish to learn to pray with all my Heart and Soul... And know that that which I pray for is the will of God. I want my will and His to become the same... And more than anything, I hope to look back on my mission one day; content in the knowledge that I did all that the Lord would have me do, and that I can use what I learn in this time for all my life.

Hey dad! You know, you are ingredible! I love you so very much and am so glad you were able to write me! Love the metaphors... I will definitely be studying a bit more closely all of that! We have been having an incredible week. We had our first investigater of the transfer actually make it to church! We were so very pleased! We gave talks in church yesterday.. I read parts of Alma ch 38 I think it was... and spoke of how we cant allow ourselves to become lazy in the things of God. We have been able to see changes in the people... we are on our way to rescewing a few more less actives and setting dates for baptisms. We are praying so very hard that nothing gets in their way... Or that if something happens, it strengthens them.. and doesnt make them fall... I love you so very much!

Journal Entry November 19 2013
Faith... What does it mean? I have heard, read, and used this 5 lettered word many times through out my life... But the question remains in my  mind, ¨what is faith?¨ And how do I USE it? I want to help my faith GROW, to the point where I can use it just like the prophets have before me, or other missionaries and saints of the Lord....
I am overthinking things... When it really is quite simple!
A Small And Simple Thing!
For a seed to grow... it requires certain nutrition...
1. Earth... This is needed constantly, it blankets the seed in warmth and gives it the ¨food¨ to grow! PRAYER!
2. Sun... THis is also an every day thing... Shedding light upon the seed and allowing it to grow. Light is knowledge. SCRIPTURES!
3. Water... This is only needed on a once in a while basis, but vital to the seed just as well! CHURCH!!!
The way of Christ is not difficult or complicated.. But often we manage to complicate even the most simplest of simples! lol!
Love you dad! Hope you have a fabulous week! Keep being incredible!
Hma Alford

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Family and Friend Letter 2/10/14

My testimony in these past few weeks has doubled in strength. Life has been trying. The work seems to have come to an almost inbearable stop. I never imagined that this is what missionaries have to pass through. I imagined a mission like that of my father, or of Alma, or that guy off of ´The Other Side of Heaven´... ;) The thing is that it hasnt happened that way. And it has taught me so very much more than you can possibly imagine. I have had to trust in the Lord in a way I have never found before. And I have had to pass through all kinds of self analysis as to why I am here... and what I am doing. I am not going to lie... it kind of stinks sometimes... but This decision to serve a mission is the very greatest I have ever made. I am really having a blast, and preparing to be a better person in every way. I love you all so much! And I hope that the Lord sees fit to pour out his blessings over each of your heads!!!
Love you all!
Hermana Alford

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Momma's Musings

Jan. 18, 2014
Wow! Time has gone by quicker than I expected and my sweet Alecia has been out on her mission for 7 months as of tomorrow! I have missed her more than words can express. I have waited with patience for emails! I waited impatiently for 2 hours for her call at Christmas! I even endured the knowledge that my sweet baby was sick and that there was nothing I could do but turn her over to the Lord for protection and beg Him to bless her with health once again! I have wished that she were here to listen to her sisters sing or play in their band concerts. I have wished that I could hold her for a few minutes and tell her that everything will be okay! What a crazy emotion experience being a mother to a missionary can be!

I am so very blessed to know that she is following in the path that our Father in Heaven and set for her! My dear, sweet daughter is a wonderful example to her 6 younger siblings! It is almost impossible to think about the fact that I will be a missionary mom for pretty much the next 10 years! If they all serve, all but my youngest daughter have said that they will, then I will even have some overlapping and have two out at a time!

Feb. 4, 2014
I didn't want the post to turn into another "I miss daughter she is great" post. So I waited for some inspiration. After I re-read the above, I decided that I could post it but that I still wanted to add more to it. So here goes:

The blessings of being a missionary mom:
*Stronger Faith in you Heavenly Father
* Complete, sure knowledge that your child is doing exactly what they are supposed to being doing at that moment in time.
* Deeper spirituality and a stronger testimony of the gospel.
*Many tender mercies that dot your life as you allow your child to serve the Lord with all their heart might mind and strength.
*The wonderful blessing of having a child that is a great example/help in building your younger childrens'/nieces'/nephews' etc.testimonies. Alecia sends amazing emails that challenge her younger sisters and brothers to reach for a higher standard. Jessica, my 10 year old, desires to read the whole Book of Mormon while her sister is gone. : )
*A better understanding of your child's testimony as he/she sends home emails/letters that share their life with you.

This list can go on and on and still not capture all the blessings of sending you child on a mission. You truly do have those mixed emotions. I still can not wait to hold her in my arms. There are still those times when I have to lean completely on faith and know that Father in Heaven is truly taking care of my wonderful daughter. My testimony of His love for my children has grown ten fold. I am thankful for the knowledge that He loves them and is taking care of them.

I pray that you all come to a better understanding of what my sweet Alecia is doing. If you are not a member of our church, I challenge you to go to and learn more. The gospel is here on the Earth today, in the same way as it was when Jesus walked the Earth.  We truly have a prophet, our Father has always worked through a prophet and he is an unchangeable God. God is not silent, he continues to reveal His will through our beloved prophet. Families can be together Forever. The Book of Mormon is not meant to replace the Bible, it is Another Testament of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We are asked to serve others, to love them as we love ourselves. This is my belief and my testimony. May God always be with you as you go throughout your days. May you feel the light of Christ and share it with others is my continued prayer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014 Email and pics!

Alecia with Hma G! They went paintballing!!!

Alecia went Paint Balling!!!! I really can't get over that!Hehehe         

This is the first email I got! So glad it wasn’t the only one.
Hey mom! Love ya lots! Got lots of emails ya know! lol! I am glad your week has been going better :) I have learned a ton in mine. lol! Hey, Sandys gonna name her baby evie? Sounds like a great date night. Thanks for the part about emma. I really took that to heart... hope ya know. lol! I love you so very much! I am going to try and write a lot more... okay! lol!

My Comments about Emma:
Lauren taught RS yesterday. We are studying out of the book, Daughters in My Kingdom, on first Sundays. It talked about the revelation given to Emma through the Prophet Joseph in D&C 25. One of the parts called out to me to share with you so here it is a little altered. The Lord told Alecia of the privileges that were to be hers. The Lord also counseled, Alecia, to heed warnings, to be faithful and virtuous, to not murmur, to teach from the scriptures, and to exhort the Church, to write and learn, to "lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better", to keep covenants, to be meek and beware of pride, and to keep the commandments. At the start of the RS program Emma Smith declared: "We are going to do something extraordinary.... We expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls."  You too are doing something extraordinary. You have extraordinary occasions and calls. Remember to not get discouraged and to keep the faith. You are an amazing daughter of God with extraordinary abilities to follow in His paths.

Aleica’s Second email:
Hey mom. Okay. So, I wanted to share a few things. This week was hard... but I have truly grown so very much! Oh, and this Thursday we had a really cool Family Home Evening with some investigaters and our pensionista and her family. I gave the lesson, and it was way cool! It was the glass thing that Ryan showed us when he got home... and it just blew Hmo Guaygua´s mind! And for the very first time, he told us he really thinks the church might be true. That was really quite awesome! Anyway, then we played Johnny Woop... and the book game that dad always did! lol! Everyone just about died trying to figure it out! haha! Anyway, heres a study journal I was reading again the other day that I felt like sharing:

Mosiah 3 and 4
When I read this, I was struck yet again by all that the Lord has done for us. When the prophets speak of Christ, you cant help but feel as though... I dont know... I feel like I am nothing and everything all at the same time. Loved, and saved, and worthless! Ye I also know that I am a Child of God... and my worth in his eyes is GREAT!
I am only one person... One 19 year old girl in a world fillied with billions more. One speck of dust in the space of time. I am imperfect adn flawed. I have made a number of mistakes. Yet the Lord, in his mercy, has given me a great worth. He has blessed me with a way back into his arms.

anyway... I love you so very very much. I miss yall. And know that you are all in our Lords merciful hands! Never forget the worth of your soul. Go on in faith...and trust in the Lord.

Love ya!
Hma Alford