Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Linnea making a snow angel..."It's so much fun!"

Oh, man. Winter has arrived here in SLC. We got a little knock on our door at 6:30AM Friday morning from the giddy elders who live above us wanting to let us know that it would be snowing that day. It started to snow Friday morning at 9AM and it did not stop til Sunday at 1PM. I'm being serious when I say it didnt stop. We probably got like 2 feet of snow. My companion and I went to see an investigator who lives way up close to the mountains on Saturday and they had not shoveled their walkway so we decided to run across the lawn to their front door...little did we know we would be running up to our knees in snow. Super funny/super hard. Loved it. The snow just makes you so happy... I think part of that being that I'm in a car and not biking in it this year. But I think that it snowed more in these last 3 days than it did all winter last year. Pobrecitos on their bikes/walking. Since it has been snowing we have been playing Christmas music and it really does feel like a winter wonderland. I hope to be able to attach some pics of it in this email. We shall see....
  I wonder if she will still feel that way about the snow after a couple of weeks!

Linnea with her favorite English speaking sister...Sister Yates.  They are trying to convince President Winn that Sister Yates should be assigned to Spanish so they can serve together.

 On to some exciting news...Remember Pedro and Maria from Rose Park?!?! They got baptized this weekend!! Sister Corrales and I were invited to go since we found/taught/put them on date before we left but unfortunately I was unable to make it because my companion, Sis Falcon, and I were in charge of an activity in our branch that same day/time. Sister Corrales was able to go and said it was awesome...her first baptism. Remember how Pedro was listening to the Book Of Mormon on CD...yeah he finished it like a week after we left. He's listening to it again...4 hours everyday. SO LEGIT. The bishop of the r.park 14th ward baptized them and Pedro got baptized first and with tears in his eyes he watched his wife be baptized after. SO COOL. Wish I could have been there but the most important part was them taking that step in their lives and feeling without a doubt the peace and joy the gospel brings. Can't wait to come back when they go through the temple. I love them. Pedro is the most humble/quiet guy ever but whenever he talks he's so funny. And Maria is just so focused on following Christ and doing what is right...shes no doubt a future Relief Society President. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Viva Rose Park!

Linnea wrote in one recent letter that her mission call should have read..."You have been called to serve in the Salt Lake City Rose Park mission"  since she has spent all but one transfer in that area.  Transfers were this last week and she was sure she would be leaving but since I heard nothing from her (she said if she was transferred she would email on Friday to give me her new address) I think she is still in Rose Park.

She LOVES her watch tan!

She took a picture of the Mexican cure for mosquito bites...cover the bite in Vapo-rub and
then but a piece of saran wrap on the top of it.

Linnea took a photo of this license plate for her good friend, Manny!

Her mission was able to do their own version of the Pioneer Trek and this is a picture of her on the trek.

Another photo from the trek with the Salt Lake Valley in the background.

The sisters in the Rose Park zone make a pyramid.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

General Conference

    Let me first just start off by saying conference was amazing. Every single session was awesome. I was able to attend the Saturday morning session where the big announcement of missionary ages was given. That was an awesome moment. There are going to be sooo many more missionaries now its going to be great. It was awesome to be there Saturday morning and we were sitting right where the apostles and prophet enter. It was super cool because as all the apostles were leaving they saw a whole section of missionaries practically and they all just gave us signs of encouragement...winks or thumbs up. Elder Holland gave us his Elder Holland glare with a big 2 thumbs up. It was awesome. While I was at conference I saw Phyllis Livingston, Emylee Hill and Eric Bennett! It was awesome. It was fun to talk to Eric yesterday in Spanish. Its going to be great being able to speak to all the old school 7/10 ward RMS in Spanish. (Nate, Austin, Eric, etc) Emylee Hill took a picture of us and its probabbly on facebook so look for it.
Linnea with Emylee Hill at Conference in October 2012
     We were able to have 5 people attend watch or attend conference. Pedro and Maria watched at the conference center and LOVED it. No better/or more powerful lesson than one the prophet himself teaches. We also watched with an investigator named Juana. For some reason it didn't get broadcast until way later in Spanish so Sister Corrales translated it all into Spanish. What a champ. We are so blessed here to be able to take people to conference. While Pedro and Maria were inside the conference center Hermana Corrales and I watched it in the assembly hall in Spanish. That was an experience. Never have I watched conference in Spanish. It was different to not hear their real voices but it was cool because the assembly hall was PACKED with Hispanics. Love it.

Plague of Locusts


 First, to explain the title of the email...I'm pretty sure the plague of the locusts is coming to pass here in Rose Park. There are about 8 billion tiny green bugs flying around and when I say 8 billion I'm not exaggerating. We ride our bikes and get covered in bugs. Its really quite disgusting. I'm not sure what the cause of them is or why there are so many. All I know is that I want them to go away. Enough of the disgusting bugs. Let's get on to what happened this week.
     Oh, before I forget...I will be at the Saturday morning session of conference...chilling up front by the prophet so be on the look out for me. We are also planning to be there at as many other sessions as possible. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir president lives in our stake/area and so we are hoping to get some more tickets for our investigators and ourselves. Its going to be great. We've been talking a lot to our investigators about conference and getting them excited about it. We are so lucky in this mission to be able to go to conference with our investigators. There is nothing like being in the same room as the prophet and apostles.
   We have been seeing the fruits of our labor this past week and hope to continue to see much more.  Hope you all have a great week. Good to hear from you all. Cuidense Mucho!  (October 1, 2012 letter)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Linnea, Hna. Adorable, and Hna. Guerra at the SL Bees game. Don't mind how gross I look. I blame it on the unbearable heat.

My district last transfer at the Elder's favorite restaurant...La Familia
This week the Spanish Elders in our area gave us this big apartment complex to work in that is actually part of their area. They never work in it and our real area is a little low on Hispanics so we were super stoked to add it to our area. It's called Canterbury Apartments. We have already added 4 new investigators from this complex and we are excited to keep up the finding and eventual baptisms. We are finally starting to get the work moving more steadily here and we love it.

My companion putting vaprub/plastic on my bug bites. 

Obispo Meneses en his Mexico pancho. VIVA MEXICO!
 This weekend was Mexican Independence Day and let me tell you...it was great. There was a strong aroma of carne asada lingering in the air of Rose Park for a good 3 days. There were tons of bounce houses and even a few bandas. Our bishop even was wearing his littleMexican flag pancho at the ward activity. I even learned how to make horchata from scratch. So good. I'm definitely going to be making a little Mexican feast when I get home. It's going to be awesome.


   Monday we went to the SL Bees game(the minor league baseball team) with the entire mission. It was super hot. We were sitting right behind home plate, really good seats, but the sun was just pounding down on us. Unbearable. We opted to move up to the nosebleeds to be protected by the shade. My companions and I didn't stay for the entire game because we still had to go home and clean, etc. It was really fun though and we got a souvenir bees mini baseball bat. 

     That night we had an awesome FHE  (Family Home Evening) with this family we are working with. The wife's name is Johana and the husband's name is Fabian and they have a 5 yr old son. Johana is a member but Fabian is not. We have been working really hard with them but Fabian just won't budge. We decided about a week ago that this FHE would make it or break it. We decided to teach them the 10 commandments with the fabulous finger signs and we assigned every one a little job. Fabian got the spiritual thought.  We thought for sure he'd say something like "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" but no...he opened up D&C 136:32 which talks about being humble so that our hearts and ears are opened. We asked him why he chose that and he said because he feels like it describes him perfectly. He said he needs to be humble and listen to our message. We didn't catch half of what he said because we were just in shock that he was being so open and humble. We are super stoked to see where this goes. We love this family and we know that it's Johana's biggest desire to see him become a member of the church. We shall see what happens. 

On to check my turtles...we went to an appt that the elders set up for us and we knocked on the door...no answer. The kids sitting on the step told us the guy in the Mexico jersey lived there and so did this other little kid in a Mexican jersey. The little kid heard them and said"I dont live there!" and they started arguing back and forth about whether he lived there or not. Finally, the kid in the Mexico jersey said "DUDE go in my house...go in my room and CHECK MY TURTLES...they ain't gonna be there cuz I don't live here anymore!!" We were laughing so hard..of all the things to check in his room ... he says his turtles. So we have been saying that every since. CHECK MY TURTLES! also that same day this little Hispanic girl about 4 years old comes walking towards us so we say hi and try and ask her how she is. She doesn't say a word and just keeps walking towards us but as she passes us she just books it. Runs so fast. We just said all she was thinking in her mind the whole time was STRANGER DANGER like we were a huge bear or something...she needed to act calm in front of us but once she got passed us it was all over.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Princesa Grandota

Linnea with her Cuban friends
So first off...let me explain my subject of this email. To give a little background information...never in my life have i been identified as the "Tongan".  Never.  BUT everyone we talk to thinks I'm Hispanic(mostly Mexican) so I often get the.."What part of Mexico are you from?"  I then explain that my mom is American and my dad is Tongan...and then from there on out I'm know as la tongana. I better embrace it while I can because its never going to happen again. Anyway since there are tons of Tongans here everyone knows that generally Tongans are a large built people that eat a lot. And since I'm always starving for some reason, I eat a lot, which just helps identify me more as la tongana. So the other day we were talking to our Cuban friends Angelica and Maria Elena and we get up to leave and Angelica gives Sister Corrales a hug. She then gets to me and says 'y mira que grande es ella! eres mi grandota princessa' (which translates to...look how big she is! you are my great big princess) I cant tell you how many times people have told you how large I am. I have not gained weight ps...i think its just cuz everyone I talk to is Hspanic and tiny and so anyone over 5'3" and 120 lbs is gigantic. It makes me laugh every time. and it definitely makes Hna Corrales laugh..she won't let me live it down. I should start writing down how many times people call me big. Its great. I love tiny Hispanic people who feed me mountains of food. This week I suffered a lot because we ate with an English ward and I kid you not we had chicken casserole like 4 times. My body is yearning for some beans and rice and tortillas. This week we are eating 5 out of the 6 days with Mexican families. Its gonna be a great week.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pioneer Day...July 24th

Pioneer Day... July 24th

In Utah, Pioneer Day is an important day since it was pioneers who settled the state.  Each town has a parade and everyone in the town comes out to be a part of the celebration.  Linnea got to experience her first Pioneer Day by going to the big parade downtown in Salt Lake City.

A parade float made by the
Polynesian Cultural Center (Hawaii, near Tess).

Linnea said the float was followed by
at least 100 Polynesian dancers.

Elder L. Tom Perry (one of the 12 apostles of the church)
  was watching the parade nearby

Snow, finally!

February Snow

Since Linnea has been in Salt Lake City the only extreme weather has been the heat.  This summer has been an unseasonable hot one in Utah but the winter was mild.  There was a little snow and here are the photos to prove it!

Linnea with her companion, Hna. Magdaleno, enjoying the snow.

After their appointment, they ran into some elders
who  had left a message on their car.

Here's the message!

A little snow covered tree!

Celebrating a Birthday on a Mission

Linnea Celebrates a Birthday (February 27, 2012)

I just received the photo disk with all photos from February to July of 2012.  That is the reason that this post is being put up now.

One of the families made her a cake.  When she went to blow out the candles
 the kids pushed her face into the cake!

The cake makers.

There were balloons,


birthday hats

and what is a birthday without gelatina!

I guess instead of birthday spankings there are birthday punches.

Here she is with her birthday balloons and pinata.

Her cousins, Juli and Shane and family
sent her a giant cookie

She shared it with her zone at one of
their favorite (not her favorite) eating establishments.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Sister Guerra told me the other night at around 3AM...I started moving and mumbling in my sleep and then I said in a nice loud voice VAMINOS!! Haha! Yesssss, I guess I was dreaming in Spanish. So awesome. I think the first time I talked in my sleep it was in Spanish. Reminds me of the good ole days when one of my former companions, Sister Marshall, would have full on conversations in her sleep. I hope you all have a good week. You all are always in my prayers. Please keep my investigators and the investigators of all the missionaries in your prayers. We appreciate it!

Linnea with some of her favorite people!

We had a training about faith by the mission secretary Bro Soulier. He talked about how we teach faith as a principle of action but we need to use it as a principle of power. We need to use our faith to show our power and authority and help people grow in their faith. It was a really good training and he talked about the importance of the gift of discernment as missionaries. If we can pray and have the gift of discernment we can eliminate all the fluff from our teachings and get to the heart of the matter. We were also trained by one of the counselors in the mission presidency, President Atkinson. This man is a legend. Every time you get a training from him you just want to go conquer the world. He's super animated and very direct. He taught us how we need to help people RECOGNIZE the spirit as opposed to feeling it. He always tells us that if the investigators don't know what they are feeling is the Holy Ghost its our job to tell them. He shared some crazy stories and basically had everyone...even elders paralyzed by the spirit/in tears. Sister Winn also trained us about mormon.org. Now every week we will be spending an hour each week on mormon.org We will be creating profiles and everything so you all should make profiles as well! One of the new missionaries in our mission...Sister Gomez has a video that will be coming out on mormon.org very soon so be on the look out! President Winn had invited us to pray for mountains to climb to build our faith and he left us with an assignment on Wednesday so we could see the power of our faith (since most of us had over come our mountains). There is an elder in the mission who has been suffering from severe migraines every day. And the mission dept wants him to go home but he doesn't want to. So President Winn invited us all to fast as a mission from Saturday-Sunday so that we could heal him with our faith. Pretty crazy stuff. So as a mission we fasted this weekend for this elder and in every prayer we were mentioning his name. We will see what the outcome is but I know there is no faith/power stronger than 200 missionaries fasting and praying at the same time.

 May 28th email...A DRY MONTH

We have 2 investigators who we need some prayers for..Her name is Noemi and she is great. She has been investigating the church for like 2 years now and she would have been baptized 2 years ago if she wasnt waiting on divorce papers to come in so she could get married. She comes to church EVERY week with her 4 kids and hasn't lost hope of getting baptized. Her divorce papers should be coming in soon so please pray so that they come this month so her and her 8 year old son Brian can be baptized. She is so dead set on getting baptized and last Friday she asked us to remind her how to fast so that she could fast and pray for her papers to come in. She's legit. She fasted the next day...and she broke her fast with us by inviting us over for sopes! Sooo good.
    We have also been working with some less-actives and they are great! The Toledo family was attending an English ward and then all of a sudden stopped going. The Ward mission leader in that ward gave us their name to go visit because they also speak Spanish. We went over and talked with them and they have been coming to church at Lucero for the last 3 weeks! They are awesome. We also got a referral of a guy named David who was less-active. Hes from Honduras and turns out he grew up in the same place Sister Guerra grew up. They went to the same church building. He's so cool. He lives with a woman named Zuly(also from Honduras) and EVERYtime we go to their house...they always have prepared some delicious food for us! So goood. We have an appt on Thursday and they are making chile rellenos.  And David came to church on Sunday!! Zuly works at LDS hospital and works most Sundays but at LDS hospital they go around giving the sacrament to employees...pretty cool huh?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Photos Have Arrived!

Linnea sent some new photos!

Christmas at Temple Square.  Linnea is taking the photo
of her two companions.

With one of the many children she has grown very fond of.

Linnea and her companion bought some white underwear for a woman who was going to be baptized.  When the sister opened the package she was surprised that the undies were soooo big.  Linnea and her companion were also surprised.
They are not too aware of underwear sizes.

Linnea is developing quite a taste for Mexican, Salvadorian, Cuban and other Hispanic foods.  Here are some of her condiments of choice.

Linnea's companion is Samoan and a visa waiter...headed to Argentina.

 A little bit from April 30th email...

This week was pretty crazy actually. We met with our investigator Nivin from Iraq this week. Her story is gnarly and so cool(unfortunately I can't share too much about it, but trust me she's awesome) We had a lesson with her and she told us she loves LDS people. She loves the church and every time the other sisters(where she used to live) visited her she felt so good. She asked us if we were going to pray with her because she loved how she felt with the other sisters when she prayed. She told us she wanted to be baptized but had to move all of the sudden so didn't get the chance to. We asked her to pray about what date the Lord had prepared for her to be baptized and she said the most simple humble prayer. Then she looked down at the calendar and said...May 26! So she will be baptized May 26 and we are stoked about it. We met with her again last week to teach her a real lesson(the first time was more of a get to know her lesson) and there was a lot of google translate going on. She speaks English pretty well, but the doctrinal words she's never heard in English before. So for words like prophet, apostasy, etc. we would type the word into the computer and it would translate it into Arabic. We also gave her an Arabic Book of Mormon and she was in heaven. She's so cute.

Linnea sings in church...
      Also, this Sunday Sister Lomiga and I sang in the Forestdale branch.  We don't sing terribly together but who would have ever thought I would be singing in a Sacrament meeting. Everyone told us we sounded great but I'm sure they were just flattering us

One of these sisters' mom sent these hats for them to give to some of the children in their area.
They decided to model them first.  

Some excerpts from her May 7th email:

 Probably the most interesting news would be to know about transfers right? Well, lets start with Monday. Monday night I got a phone call from President Winn saying that I would be training one of the 28! Yes, 28 new missionaries coming in on Thursday. How appropriate...this week I hit 9 months, I get a daughter(the mission lingo for training a new missionary). I was pretty excited yet nervous all at the same time. Big responsibility and I still feel like a little baby missionary...not yet capable of doing big girl missionary things but we shall see. Since I got a call about training I figured I was staying in my area and Tuesday we got a phone call confirming that news BUT to our surprise Sister Lomiga found out she was getting transferred. We thought she would for sure be staying until she left for Argentina but not the case. Tuesday our whole zone got together for a fabulous lunch at Chuck-a-rama to discuss transfer info and who was training etc.

Her new companion...
My new companion/daughter is Hna Guerra. She is from Georgia and is a boss. She's a way good missionary already. WAY better than I was when I started.  She's super cool and has a belly laugh like Tess. Love it! Her mom is from Honduras and her dad from El Salvador. She lived in El Salvador for 2 years and Honduras for 6.

A cool experience...
We went looking for an investigator the last sisters were teaching who we can never find at home. We went to try and find them and again they weren't home, but Hna Lomiga saw a guy laying on the grass in this alley behind the house. We decided to see if he needed any help. As we got closer we noticed he was shaking and we started thinking we were getting in a little over our heads...like it was more serious than we thought. We get closer and realize its a hispanic man so we ask if he needs help and he tells us yes. He was riding his bike and didn't notice the gravel and fell off. He was shaking pretty bad and he told us he also had Parkinsons disease. We helped him up and walked with him to his house. We shared a little about the gospel and he asked us when we could come back and tell him more. We have an appt tonight and we are pretty excited. We were so grateful we saw him because if we hadn't he would have been there forever. I know we were there for a reason. 
We were able to visit with Nivin, the Iraqi woman we have on date. She is so special. The spirit felt when you are with her is outstanding. Its crazy. When she prays its incredible. Its so simple because her English is pretty broken but its so powerful. I love her and her excitement about the gospel. Even though like every other word we have to put into google translate the message still gets across.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All Girls Sports Day and a trip to Burma

All the sisters in the mission got together for a Sports P-day.  They played volleyball.

Here they all are!
Linnea's letter this week mentioned a free trip to Burma.  That got my attention.  Here is how she explained it...

So this week we have been trying to find the hispanics in the area...we knocked on plenty of doors but found not a single hispanic who wasn't already a member. We did however take a free trip to Burma. You may or may not know that Salt Lake is FULL of refugees. In Rose Park the refugees were all from Sudan. Here all the refugees are from Burma and a few from Nepal. Super nice people. We knocked this indoor apartment complex(like where the doors are inside a hallway) which was 75% Burmese. When you walk into these apartments you get an overwhelming smell of, as my companion describes it, crab legs, jasmine rice and fish sauce. No joke, that is the perfect description. When you walk in it hits you HARD...sometimes it takes your breath away. Because of these 2 days in these apartments we like to say we took a quick little trip to Burma. That being said, let me talk about the 3 baptisms.

    Baptism #1: We went to the baptism of a little boy in the Lucero branch named Matthew. His parents are active members and wanted us to come over a couple times before his baptism so we could talk to him about what baptism is and what not. Super smart cute little boy. Baptism went off without a hitch. Lots of member from the branch there, it was great.

    Baptism #2: This was the baptism of Kaylene. She was the sister referral we received the first day we got into the area and she invited herself to be baptized and put herself on date. She has been coming to church for like 2 years but seriously investigating the church for a couple months. Her mom is inactive and her dad Jehovah's Witness. She attends the U and is so great. Her baptism was PACKED. Over 50 people were there and her RM friend baptized her. It was cute, her dad even bought her a brand new triple(even though she thought he was against the baptism). Another great baptism.

    Baptism #3: This was a baptism of the English elders in our district. His name was Andrew. He came to SL quite some time ago and got into hardcore partying...like super hardcore. He was living with his inactive girlfriend who was also partying hard with him. The elders received the girlfriends name to go visit and thats how they found him. After teaching him a few times Andrew decided to flush all his vices down the toilet...literally. He and his girlfriend got married and he was baptized in the evening on  Saturday with many friends and ward members in attendance. He was so emotional and so happy to be baptized to know that all his sins were washed away. In the middle of a talk he just got up and gave the speaker a hug. He also bore his testimony and it was one of the greatest and most powerful testimonies I've heard. It was so great.

     The reason I mentioned these 3 baptisms was because as I had a chance to be at all 3 baptisms in one single day it really made me look at the different circumstances of these people and how one single thing united them...the gospel of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter where we are or where weve been, this gospel is for everyone. It was a motivator for me and its great that we have the chance to share it with others whether we be full time missionaries or not.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

General Conference April 2012

Linnea is standing next to her companion and the new visa waiter is on the left.

Not sure how I feel about Linnea's earmuffs/hat.

Let's just start off by saying that conference was great. We were down there all  day both Saturday and Sunday...well until the sessions ended. Since we live super close to the temple we were able to drive ourselves down there. We only were able to get two tickets for all 5 sessions and we were giving them to this investigator William. So we were bummed we weren't going to be able to get inside but as we were walking to conference on Saturday morning we met a Samoan couple who asked us if we had tickets...we said we did for the Saturday pm session but we were giving them to an investigator and he pulled out some plaza tickets and gave them to us. So basically for the Saturday morning session we sat right in front of the pulpit..it was legit. Conference was so great! So many good talks and so many of our investigators were able to watch and said they loved it! Success. When we didn't have tickets we watched in the North Visitors Center or the Tabernacle. It's a different experience than watching at home...its really cool and you can pay so much more attention.

 Oh, I did see Brandon when we went to take some investigators to Temple Square. That was crazy. Glad you were able to see the picture. And I also saw Phyllis and all the Livingstons...minus Alan and Carter. It was crazy. We were in the food court of the new mall after the Saturday sessions with Hermana Lomigas cousin and I saw them walking across the way. It was great to see some familiar faces!