Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Week # 19

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:17:09 +1000

Hello family!!!

Well first of all, mum i'm sorry if i got you worried when i didn't write yesterday! I should have told you last week that we have our p-day today because of going to the temple! Sister L. called me up this morning to ask if i was okay, and my response is that i am happyfantastic haha!!
just a heads up though, next week i may be writing to you all on tuesday as well because of transfers! Can you believe that time of change is already around the corner? Well i have a feeling that a lot of things will be changing in the k district!

Well a funny story to tell you happened last friday. So with english class we rotate between us and the k1 and k2 elders each week and last week was k1 elders turn. (And by the way the class has been growing we know have 5 people attending yay!!!) Sister C and I had the folder still at our flat and the stitch was figuring out a way to give it to them with no hassel. So because the k2 elders live in the same flat with them we made a solution to try to give it to them that day because we were in the K2 area. As we were driving out of the corner of my eye i see a man in a suit knocking from door to door and of course i thought this was one of the elders, as a matter of fact he looked just like elder K from behind. So i motion to sister C to stop the car and she does with much haste and we quickly grab the folder and start stalking after the supposed elder K! As we were so close to approach him he still had his back turned but once he turned to face our way... it was not elder K hahaha!!! We felt so embarrassed!! We quickly just turned around back towards the car laughing!!! Now you would have thought that i could've looked around if his companion elder K was there too because you would think it was strange that he was going tracting alone! Well i didn't think of that but next time i will be more careful haha!!

Love you all so much!!! I hope everything is going well with Aman!! I'll keep on praying for him! 

Oh and O's baptism is tonight!!!! YAY! All has gone well and she has prepared herself well for this special day!! She is so excited and i think Sister C and I may be even more excited than her haha!! next week i'll send you the pictures of her!!

P.S Mum i know you love me so much! I didn't get sad when i didn't recieve an email from you last week i new that you would have been busy :) But thank-you for the package that's on the way! You didn't have to send me more shoes but i will take them gratefully nonetheless haha! Thank-you R for offereing to drop them off!
Oh and i suggest you check out a blog called "F down under", it's by a couple missionary serving here and she puts pictures of us there so look out for ones of me haha!! But the F. are an awesome couple and they help us as missionaries so much and we just love them to bits!

pictures - me cooking chilli con carne for dinner, yummy!! And the primary class we taught last sunday :) I miss my primary class say hello for them from me and a big hug to each of them!

Hi president H

My core experience with God this week would have to be through a HUGE miracle Sister C and I had last Saturday!!! So we have this church head-quarter referral given to us a while back and it had been really hard to get to set a time to meet with her! Her name is H and just that saturday we felt to go by her house and check if she was home and SHE WAS! Not was she only home but she had time for us to come inside to teach her more about Jesus Christ as she kept on mentioning that she just wants to know more about jesus Christ!! Of course we had no problems with that and off we went from the beginning and taught her an amazing lesson on the restoration! Even though i felt like i didn't quite teach my best i felt the spirit so strongly and there was no backing out on my part to ask her to be baptised! because once we asked her she immediately said yes and we were able to committed her right there and then to be baptised on the 16th of August!!! I was in total happiness overload and what was more is that she didn't want us to stop teaching! her aunty was also sitting in the lesson and she was also captured by the spirit! next Sunday the whole family will be coming to church including H's children, husband, aunty and 2 cousins!! I feel so blessed that Heavenly father placed this who whole family ni our path who have been definetly prepared by him to be taught the gospel at this moment in time! 

My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught i feel has been the times we have been able to visit the members this week in their homes. Teaching them with the gift of discernment has been my main goal and as i have been sincerely praying for this gift from the holy Ghost as i put myself in their shoes and listen to them with understanding i feel that i have been able to share messages that feel the home with the spirit and help them to get motivated to do their missionary work. I'm quite excited to her more of our member's missionary experiences and it really feels me with great joy that we have been an instrument in helping them having more experiences.

My greatest fear as a missionary is time! I'm already shocked at how much time has gone by already since i've been here and i'm scared that time will just continue to fly by so fast that i won't be able to find all the people that i am meant to find! I think what i've done so far to help me overcome this fear is just by taking it one day at a time and working the hardest i can to achieve what i'm meant to achieve on that day. I know i can only do so much but i have just been doing my best and fully dedicating myself to the Lord while time goes by can help me look back on my mission with no major regrets.

Nothing confidential to share

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes x

Sunday, 20 July 2014



week #18

hey hey hey!!!!!!

Wow was it a surprise to hear that you met the L's!!!! It was actually at a dinner appointment that someone told me they saw the pictures you took with them on facebook but unfortunately i haven't seen them! I am so glad that you met them! It was quite funny though because before they left they were actually going to grab your number that they could call you if they had some spare time to meet you all. but that didn't go through and so i was wondering how in the world they were able to meet you without that contact!! But then i was told the whole story on Sunday and how they are related to the T's!! Well they loved meeting you too!!!

Thankyou for sending the package though!! I hope it wasn't expensive!!! But i will let you know when i recieve it!

yes i heard about D's call and that is so exciting!!!! I've been emailing her so it made me so happy when she told me!! And that's exciting to hear about A. call too!!!!! 

You don't know how happy i am to hear that A is taking the missionary lessons!!!!! Aaaaahhhhh that it soooooo amazing!!! How did that all come about??? i want to know the story Jaysen!!! Well i will be praying for him and from what i can feel at the moment i'm pretty sure he will be baptised!!! 

Well more news about O. her baptismal date has now been changed to the 22nd of this month! Due to scheduling issues the 12th was too soon but O still has the excitement spark in her eyes!!! It made me so happy to see her at church yesterday as well!! because she recently turned 12 it was her first time at young women's!! The young women's president, sister k is amazing and she is looking after her well and getting her more comfortable with the other girls too!!! So that makes Sister C and i so full of joy!! We have our next lesson with her tonight and that will be on temples!! So i can't wait til then! Seriously i get so excited going over to teach her because her lessons are just so fun and i love the feeling of the spirit in their home! 

I love you all heaps and heaps!!!! have a great week!!!

Con mucho amor,
Sister Valdes xx

P.S how is the family history going?? :)

Hello President H,

My core experience with God this week would have to be through a miracle we had last Thursday. It was after the zone special conference and we had planned to go see some members hoping they would be home so that we could share a message. However both families we tried weren't home, then interestingly enough sister C and I felt the same prompting to go over and visit a less active women we hadn't been able to see in a while. Even though we knew her house was further away from where we were at that time we had the urged to drive over there anyways. As we arrived at her door and after knocking a couple of times, we had the door opened by her border named A! At first he was a bit reluctant to speak to us but we ended up having a wonderful conversation and taught a little of the restoration and the atonement! he seemed really keen to learn more and was even excited to come to church! My heart wouldn't stop beating and i was so filled with joy that we were able to properly meet him and teach a great lesson there on the doorstep. He later became a new investigator that night! I know that this miracle was a result from following the promptings of the spirit and having that little prayer in my heart to have something great happen after having had a real spiritual boost at the conference! I don't know how many times i have already said this, but I know heavenly father truly answers prayers! 

My best practice for the week in teaching as Jesus taught i think would have to be my improvement on talking to people on the street. I have now come to love going up to people and getting to know them and somehow turning the conversation toward the gospel.  My love for the people in this area has immensely grown and i feel that it is because of this that i growing my eagerness to share the gospel with them. I am wanting to become more like the sons of Mosiah where they were filled with this strong desire to declare salvation unto every creature and couldn't bear that one soul be lost for the thought of it caused them to quake and tremble! As i strive to apply more of the atonement in my life i know i will be able to have this same desire, knowing that it is through the atonement where one can have hope and a greater happiness in life. 

As a result of the last special zone conference, i now am striving to be more driven by my missionary purpose through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I find that as i have been applying the atonement more intently I have felt more positive about the work and I am striving more to recognize what things i can give of myself despite my weaknesses to help others come unto Christ and feel of the spirit. I loved the training on patriarchal blessings and this too has motivated me to read it more often and to continue to work on my vision that will help me to be purpose driven and focused. 

Nothing confidential to share

Lots of Love, 
Sister Valdes

Week # 17

Hola familia!!!

Wow it seems like so many things are happening for you all lately!!! It's makes me so happy to read that everything is goin well but i hope you get better soon papi! lets see if those oils will help! So far i really like the one you sent me mum! It smells so good and i think the smell is helping me sleep through the night better! You know sleep is truly so precious on the mission and to have every single minute of it is a blessing haha!! 

Well funny moments for this week have been that the whether has been quite windy and poor Sister C has had some Marilyn moments when she realised she picked the wrong skirt to wear on those days haha!! Lucky no one realy has paid attention and of course i've been therre to cover them up haha!!

This past week has also been amazing with all the meetings we have had. We had both zone training meeting with our zone leaders and zone conference with president and sister Howes! WOW have i learned a lot from them!!

The picture i've sent is at zone conference with Sister R in the beaches zone. What's so cool is that i served in the MTC with her sister who is currently serving in new zealand so i was super excited to meet her!

I love you all so much!!! Keep being happy!!!

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes xx

P.S sorry to ask you for another favour and i know you just sent a package but could you please also send my white walking shoes? Turns out that bad luck is on my side and i am getting terrible blisters with my black shoes. The good thing is there going away but i think maybe the white ones could do some help! Thank you!! Also if it's not too much to send the nice blazer jacket and a few skirts too :) Love you!!

Hello president H!!

My core experience with God this week would have to be in the trial of my faith. This week in particularly has been one filled with miracles and a number of disappointments. These disappointments have come from investigators, whom I have grown to love and cherish, deciding not to investigate the church any further. Just all of a sudden when we previously had amazing lessons that were filled with the spirit, something happens that changes their minds. The first few were a bit devastating but as surely as i feel the wind, I felt heavenly father there with me to bear me up and through the atonement i have found comfort and patience with the work. I have come to really understand that these fall throughs aren't failures but they have been success' in that we had invited them to exercise their agency in choosing whether to accept the gospel or not. And those that have decided not to still have that seed planted within them and now know more about the gospel than they would have before. So we never know, that maybe sometime in the future this seed will begin to grow and they'll want to learn more again. 

My best practice for the week in teaching as Jesus taught would have to be in my progression in feeling the spirit more when i teach. I feel as though i am learning more to trust the spirit and be lead by it and through this an amazing miracle happened where Sister C and I finally set a baptismal date with our investigator O!! I am so excited that she has finally come to feel more comfortable in the idea of being baptised and I am going to strive to do the best i can to continue to let the spirit guide me so that this baptism will happen, and i do have faith that it will!

P.S and her date is also for the 12 July like the lady in Sale that you have told me about papi!! AAAhhh that's so cool! I'll pray for her as well that he date won't fall through

How i felt in sacrament meeting yesterday was unusually very happy! It was a morning where i was really filled with excitement  knowing that mark, an investigator, and his family was going to come to church however after waiting outside for ages we received a text from him which basically said he was grateful for having invited him to be part of our church but decided he would stick with going to the one closer to home. I think because there was a number of similar situations like this that happened earlier in the week, discouragement didn't get the best of me and i knew that Heavenly father's love was wrapped around be! I felt peace and the talks which were spoken in both sacraments were amazing that had words that really spoke and comforted me. I know that Heavenly father never asks of anyone to do the impossible, and so because he has personally asked me to assist Him in hastening His work as a missionary, this means that if it is helping someone come to church, it is possible in the K area! So with that i know i need to be patient and strive to trust him more as well as work even harder to find those people who are being prepared by Him.

Nothing confidential to share

Lots of love, 
Sister Valdes

Shannen week # 16

Yay!! still in K!!
Hello everybody!!!

Thankyou for the package i received it yesterday from the zone leaders and I am currently wearing the boots! Much needed as today is pretty wet! Thankyou also abuela and tata for your letters and the gifts!! I love you both heaps!!

Wow it's so exciting to hear that j and j are both going to M wow!!! I need you to to send me lots of pictures, okay! haha!! And J asking g out oooooo... well i hope that all works out j! G is a really nice girl so i can't wait to get to know her better then when i get back home!

This week has been pretty good we found 2 more new investigators which i'm excited about!! One of which we are seeing later today so pray that all goes well, her name is R from I! 

Sorry again this being a short letter but i love you heaps and heaps!!!

Hello President H!

My core experience with God this week is one that relates to the weather! It really has been such nice warm week, so unusual for it being Winter! However on one particular it started to pour down with rain. Sister C and I had planned to visit some potentials which meant getting out of the car and run in the rain towards their front door. Remembering President Uchtdorf's talk last general conference, the thought of being grateful in any circumstance came to mind so before we left the car I prayed in gratitude for the rain no matter if we were going to get wet. In closing the prayer and getting out of the car the rain slowed down to a little drizzle allowing both of us to quickly walk over to M's door without getting too wet. As we reached the covers of her door, the rain rain then started to pour down harder again! at first i thought that was pretty neat that we just missed getting drenched but for a fact i know there is no such thing as coincidences! because again, as we then began to head back to our car the rain turned into a drizzle and as we stepped into the car the rain started to pour down hard again! During this time we tried to visit a couple of potentials and we weren't having too much success in finding them home yet i knew that heavenly father was looking out for us that whole time protecting us from the rain and then lifting up our spirits later with providing us with a beautiful rainbow to admire! 

My best practice for the week in teaching as Jesus taught was through a miracle we had in visiting a lady named J! We first had contact with her a couple of weeks ago during tracting and thought to drop by and see how she was doing. The miracle was that she remembered us and she invited us inside with such joy!! She later told us that, that the first time we met her we caught her on a day that she just had a surgery and she was quite in pain and feeling sad for herself being in her situation. At the moment she is currently fighting breast cancer and the good news is that she is doing well! However by just showing up on her doorstep with smiling faces and giving her the message of the plan of salvation really had made her day! hearing this touched my heart and i knew that she felt the spirit with us! So in teaching as Jesus taught i felt that in our second visit with her i was able to testify and teach certain principles all throughout the conversation we had with her! That no matter what topic we talked about, I knew the spirit directed me to know what little thing i could testify about that related to that topic.  She wants to have us back soon so i'm really praying that she'll continue to progress towards baptism!!

In regards to how i'm feeling about my mission so far,  well I'm really loving it! I get so much joy out of finding people and teaching them the gospel and I have seen that i am changing from once a sister who got nervous thinking about going to our next appointment to now someone who get's excited and can't wait to teach in following appointments! Even though it does get hard sometimes, especially this week where we have had our ups and really hard lows, i always feel heavenly father is near by and encouraging me to keep pressing forward and to not lose hope in what the future can bring if i move forward with faith.

Nothing confidential to share

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

Week # 15

Hi family!!!

Well yet again I survived another transfer!! This will now be my 3rd transfer in k with Sister c However  there have been some changes made with the elders in both k1 and k2! From k1 Elder W, our district leader, has left which is sad because he was only here for one transfer and really brought about some great progress in the ward! So now our ditrict leader is elder keefer which is exciting! from k2 elder c, the t , has left and the new missionary is soon to arrive here in Sydney on wednesday to be trained by elder k, so this is also exciting!! and with that i'm no longer a new missionary! my 12 weeks training is all done and i'm now an adult haha!! It really is amazing how now i look back and i can already see how much i have changed! I hope i can continue to improve and be the best missionary i can be! 

Okay well mum i would absolutely love to get the emails of A and R so that i can write to them. 
It is sad to hear that A has now moved out of home so i hope that maybe i can be of an influence to help her start questioning this decision....

I wish i had time to write more but unfortunately like always time slips by!!! However a scripture that i'm really loving at the moment is Alma 30:44! It describes how we can just look at this world and see it as evidence that there is a God. It's funny because I really get goosebumps whenever remember that He really did create this beautiful world just for us and by this I know that heavenly father is mindful of us and wants us to receive the same joy he has! 

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes xx

Hello President H!

My core experience with God this week would definitely have to be an instance where heavenly father truly did answer a prayer for me. It was on the Saturday night where I specifically prayed for the opportunity to sing, as I had the feeling of wanting others to enjoy the singing of missionaries and feel of the spirit. So the next day, being Sunday sister C and I walk into the k 1st ward sacrament meeting and right then on the spot a sister from the ward asked us and the elders if we could sing a musical item! I was taken by surprise and just felt pure joy inside of me that heavenly father really had answered my prayer and so promptly as well!! I guess sometimes for me i forget that heavenly father truly does hear and answer our prayers and it is an added strength to my testimony every time i recognize this. I know that the Lord is there watching down on me and  i am so grateful to feel of his presence and influence in my life.

My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught would have to be through developing the Christlike attribute of hope. Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to do a little training on 'hope' for district meeting and through my preparation and studying of this Christlike  attribute i have really come to understand what this word really means and how much it really ties in with the atonement! How it is only through the Saviour Jesus Christ that we are able to have hope in life and receive the blessings of eternal life. Often this word is commonly used in relation to uncertainty but as we read in the scriptures hope is firm and unwavering and it is through our faith that we can exercise it. So having this in mind everyday since that district meeting i really tried to help others have hope through the atonement, to know that their lives do have greater meaning and that we can live happily and eternally with our families because of Jesus Christ. 

A time that i have felt spiritually fulfilled would be during my last zone training meeting! We had some great missionaries speak on topics that i exactly needed to hear and an amazing training and great words of counsel from the Zone leaders! I feel that it was during this meeting where i really felt the Holy Ghost totally fill inside of me and assure me that i am not alone doing this work and the areas of improvement i can work towards to hasten it. In addition i really felt that this past transfer meeting was amazing where i too felt spiritually fulfilled!

Nothing confidential to share.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

week # 13

Hellllooooo family!!

It has been One happy week!! 

Sorry for not sending my email to you yesterday!! Today we had temple p-day which means that we then do all of our p-day activities today but also because since yesterday was a public holiday no library was open! And I too apologise for not even having the time to send you a letter! Don't worry though my letter to you all is still in progress so it will arrive to you i hope very shortly!

Well on Sunday i was able to see G, F and S ! They came to our ward sacrament ( they are my Dominican friend and family that live in Sydney) and because they know a family in the ward as well they had gone to their place for dinner and lucky for us we were invited to that dinner too haha!! So It was really good to get to catch up with them!!

Hey but i have an experience to tell you!!! So as k missionaries we have been putting on an English Class at the B H chapel and at first there was a couple of people who came but lately no one has come which had been disappointing. because of that we said that if no one showed up again for last saturday we would have to cancel english classes al together until we knew there would be people coming! But we had a miracle!!! Someone actaully came to English class and guess what!! She is from Argentina!! her name is E and her english is not so good so I was able to practice my own spanish to help her understand english haha!! It was very fun and by the end of the lesson she was very grateful and thought Sister Cluff and I were great teachers haha! So we are hoping this saturday she comes again and we can be there so i can help out!

Love you all so much! I'm so grateful to hear that everyone is safe and well!! 

Sister Valdes!!

P.S i was wondering if you were able to send me your brown boots for me to use? It's been raining a lot lately and my feet have been getting wet haha!! If not no worries! Love you!!

My Awesome District

Hello President H!!

Sister C and I have had an amazing past week! My core experience with God would have to be with the P, a less active family in K 2 ward. They are a couple who haven't come to church for about 20 to 30 years now!! We have had a couple of contact visits with brother P and each time we have come over he didn't seem very happy or polite about our visit and even mentioned that we shouldn't hold our breath to even think that they would come back to church. However, last wednesday, being the persistent missionaries we are, we knocked on their door again to see how they were doing and this time Brother P actually let us inside and we got to meet his wife!! We had a lovely chat with them and we were able to get to know them and warm up to them a bit more. Unfortunately they have left for E for a month so we won't be able to see them for a few weeks but the great miracle is that they are happy for us to come back and visit with them when they get back! So i'm just so glad that heavenly father soften Brother P's heart so that we were able to get into their home and leave the spirit with them!
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught i felt was yesterday with our potential investigator named J! he is a young man who goes to H and currently studying theology. We left a book of Mormon with him a couple of days earlier and we thought to go by his house to see how his reading was going! He said that he had skimmed through it a bit and to a conclusion mentioned that he wasn't really interested in converting to our beliefs. However I really didn't feel right for us to leave him at that particular moment. I was strongly prompted to bear my testimony and boldly testify how the book of Mormon can bless his life and that the message we share will help him be a lot happier. With that he decided to have us share more of our message to him and so on his doorstep we were able to teach him a lesson that very day! What was even more of a miracle was that he referred all 4 of his H friends who lives with him in the flat to come hear our message too! So it really bore testimony to me how powerful the spirit can be when we are bold!

Sometimes it can be hard to resist the temptation to become discouraged, but what has helped me the most to resist these temptations is by singing a song either in my mind or out loud as well as talking it out with Sister C. Just singing any hymn that comes into my head at the time really does fill me with the spirit to uplift me and remind me that no matter if we aren't having much success at the time heavenly father is still pleased with me for working hard and doing my best and because of that blessings will come around the corner! Talking with sister C

Sisters at the temple 

also helps because it always turns out that she knows exactly what to say to help make me smile and gives me that encouragement to keep on going! And i'm truly grateful to have her as my companion!

Nothing confidential to say.

With lots of love, 
Sister Valdes

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

week # 10 In the field BUT Three MONTHS out!!!

Hello everyone!!!

Well this week has been amazing with so many things happening and so many miracles received every day! And i mean everyday!!! 

So we had a couple of the ysa in both wards come out with us this week which was so much fun!! many of the girls are deciding to go out on missions which makes my heart leap for joy when they tell us and of course i let them know that they won't regret there decision on going because being a missionary is totally awesome haha!! 
Oh and do you remeber me telling you about a man named D? he was the man we found tracting that was reading the BOM and was up to Alma? Well we have been trying to visit him regularly and this week we saw him again! he really is such a nice man and i think he loves having us come over because all he does is stay at home. We had a great chat with him but unfortunately we still haven't been able to see his wife! We will continue to work with him and hopefully one day we'll get to know his wife! 
 But a funny story, so we were tracting with a member named M and we came to a house where I new they spoke spanish, so i was embracing myself to get ready to speak and give away one of the spanish pamphlets that i had stoked in my bag! So at first he seemed so friendly and we we found out that he was from Spain! So i began to tell him that i spoke spanish too and lead the conversation to the gospel! As soon as he realised then that we were there on his doorstep on a religious basis he immediately tried to close the door on us but i kept on shooting him questions so we could speak more but.... he didn't want to listen and he closed the door on us haha!!! Well i was just happy that i tried to speak spanish and at least he now knows the church's name!

But thank you all so much for your emails! papi thank-you for the great talk you gave me! I finally finished reading it and it's so good!! I'm definelty working now towards being the challenging and testifying missionary!! 

Love you all heaps and continue to stay well!!

Sister Valdes!

P.S can you please send me a letter with your emails i haven't had the chance to read them and i don't have time to print them out! Sorry, but thank-you!!

Oh and say thank-you to brother R and P for their emails! Let them know i will be relpying as soon as i get the chance :)

Hi President H!
My core experience with god this week would have to be how a couple of times, both Sister C and I have had the same promptings to go tracting on a particular street! Just having these same strong feelings i thought was pretty cool but what made each experience even more amazing was that every time we had followed these promptings we had found beautiful people who wanted us to come back and teach them more about the gospel!!! It truly has been a great week for finding people and I know that Heavenly father has truly blessed us and sometimes it amazes me that He trusts us this much to find these people and when we do he believes that we can be the help to get them closer to Him and His son! 
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught i feel has been the times when we have gone tracting. I have been trying to improve my teaching skills in the way I listen to when my companion, the member with us and the people we are talking to are speaking. It is how we are able to have the spirit work in us to know exactly what to say that will touch those people hearts or have them respond to a questions that allows us to teach doctrine to them. So i have felt  that those times when i do listen to those who are talking rather than think of what i am going to say next, has assisted the spirit the be received by those people we had found during tracting and how we were able to receive a return appointment with them because they had felt the spirit! This gets me excited that as i continue to improve this skill i heavenly father with continue to bless us with even more people who are prepared to hear the gospel and want us to come back to teach them and soon after want to be baptised!
Thus my plan to make sure that we have a baptism in the month of June, is to invite/challenge all those new people we have found to be baptised on the very first lesson! This is something that i haven't done as of yet but i know that as i continue to pray for help to have that courage to invite this will help our investigators to know what is expected as they come to know the truth of what we are teaching! As well as having consistent, persistent follow up with them on their commitments as to make sure that they understand that what we are leaving with them to do is what will help them come to know the truth. With that, to also have regular contact with them either by phone or visiting them to check on how they are doing. I feel that by doing this we can assist in someone being baptised this month for sure!!

Nothing confidential to share.

Lots of love, 
Sister Valdes xx

week # 9

Hello my beautiful family!!!!

This week has been another great week in the areas of both K1 and k2!! The work is slowly but surely progressing along and I feel many more great miracles will happen for both wards soon!
Okay well since you asked, our flat is in the middle of the great suburb of k itself haha! 

Wow i can't believe it will be J last week in his transfer mission!! You know, i didn't think it was so bad of a question to ask missionaries how long they have been out so far on their mission but now being the missionary and having a lot of people and i mean a lot of people ask you how long you have been on your mission so far is quite depressing haha. seriously I have lost count on how long i have been out and sometimes i forget that it has been a while now and i just tell them it has been only a couple of weeks haha! I think it is one of my least favourite questions to answer haha! 

But Sister C and i have been working quite a lot with the members this week which really has been great! I am seeing their enthusiasm grow for missionary work and the great goals they have come up with as a family to hasten the work of salvation! I think maybe it would be even a great idea for you papi and jeryn to create some goals of your own too that are centred around missionary work. What we as missionaries have been doing is what is called the family mission plan and basically that is thinking of one main goal that you would like to achieve by the end of the year such as inviting a friend or family to hear the missionary discussions and then have 4 other little goals that will help you achieve that main goal such as having them over for family home evening or inviting them to activities or church. And then they put that on a sheet of paper and stick it up on a wall that is easily seen by everyone to help remind them of what they are working towards. I know that this hasn't been a problem for either you or papi to do your missionary work but i think it will be great for jeryn to start thinking about who of his friends he can share the gospel with and by setting some goals this can really help to see what you can achieve in the long run! So i invite you as a family ever so lovingly, to do that and let me know how you go!

i really do love you all and continue to be happy!!

Lots of love,

Sister Valdes

Hello President H,

My core experience with God this week has to be one of my favourite miracles! Sister C and I planned to go tracting while waiting for the zone leaders to come by to pick up my passport, and out of all the doors we had knocked on at first, no one seemed to be interested in wanting to take the survey. One Chinese lady in particular didn't speak much English and knowing that i had a Chinese restoration pamphlet in the car made me regret that i took it out of my bag in the first place. However as we continued to knock on doors i had the prompting to go back to the car and grab the Chinese pamphlet just in case we happened to meet another Chinese speaking person. And to our great joy we met a nice Chinese lady named B!!! She didn't speak much English at all but she knew enough for us to have a really good conversation with her. I was so glad that i followed the prompting of the spirit and grabbed the pamphlet out of the car because this is what made B want to hear more about the gospel because she could read something she could understand! She was so excited to have met us and we have an appointment with her this Tuesday so i can't wait to continue to follow the promptings i may receive to continue to help B come closer to Christ! For me, this experience has made me so grateful to know that all that i am doing now is what is allowing the spirit to dwell with me and even more grateful that i was obedient even to have followed what the spirit was whispering for me to do! If i hadn't then we wouldn't have found our new investigator B!
My best practice in teaching as Jesus taught would have to be my improvement in having no fear! This is one of the goals i am working towards to help make me become a more effective missionary and i found that this week has been the best period of time so far on my mission that i have worked and taught lessons with as much faith as possible, in myself and in the Lord. It's not to say that i haven't gotten nervous at times, but the fear of opening my mouth and speaking what i feel to say is not such a hard thing for me to do anymore. As i see myself building my faith and getting to know God and the Saviour more as i study my scriptures and praying more sincerely i find myself having more faith in them to help me do this work, for i definitely know i can not do it alone.
At the moment how i feel about my level of consecration is quite good. I know there a few things i can do better that i am working towards to help me become even more consecrated. And currently by doing the 40 day fast so far has helped me refine myself a lot more to be more aligned with my Heavenly father. Thus my intentions for the remainder of my mission is to continue to work hard and not lose hope in the people we are teaching so far and will yet to come. As well as seeing my vision come to pass which is to see at least 1 miracle every day and to touch many people's hearts with the spirit every day, that will lead them to accept the challenge to be baptised! 

Nothing confidential to say.

With much love, 
Sister Valdes xx

sorry this is week # 7 I missed to post

Hola mami y papi y Familia!

I too was so very glad to have been able to speak to you last night! 40 minutes is definitely not enough to speak because i realised there was so much more that i could have talked to you all about but i guess when you have a time limit your mind starts ticking like crazy wondering what things to mention haha! Well one thing that i regret not remembering to let you know mum was that I sang in Sacrament yesterday in K2 ward!! I sang together with Sister Cluff the children's song "Mother i love you". I thought we sounded good but I was just really happy to know that i took your counsel to take any opportunity possible to sing haha! So i hope this makes you SMILE!!! 

Wow but the DoTerra oils sound amazing! i will gladly be one of your guinness pigs to try them out!

So i do have a lot of things i want to share that happened all this past week and things i can't beleive i actually have done this week because they seem like it was ages ago when i did them. Well last monday for p-day one of the members in k1 ward her name is Sister L, so very kindly made an appointment for me to get my eyebrows threaded haha because they other day i was telling her that i really wanted to get them fixed. So sister L took us to see her friend that lives close by to get them done. This friend of hers has her won business in her own home which was exciting because Sister C and I of course took this as a missionary opportunity to get to know more about her and even teach her something about the gospel. The lady's name is P and she is the most kindest and loving person ever! Sister L has been friends with her for a while so after i got my eyebrows done we had a nice chat with her and her daughter while eating some indian sweets and was able to now have our foot in the door to visit her again to talk to her more about the message we have to share! At the last minute too Sister C then decides she would like to have her eyebrows threaded too and this being her first time she was so nervous! haha it was so funny! Sister C was in a little pain afterwards and her eyebrows went really red and swelled a bit for the rest of the day. What was even worse was that we had a dinner appointment which we got told about last minute to go to so it was a little embarrassing for her to walk into the families home with red eyebrows!

last wednesday Sister C and I had some good fun visiting some of the members in the k2 ward. One of the families were the C, and brother and sister C have some pretty interesting talents! Sister C in particular is an artist when it comes to painting life size baby dolls! She has her own business where she paints them to look life like and then she sells them to major TV series to have them used in the show and at the moment she told us she is actually on her way to finish another couple baby dolls for a movie! How amazing is that! When Sister C and I saw these babies, because they were all spread out in her living room we both wanted to hold one straight away! And let me tell you, they definitely look so real! because as missionaries we are not allowed to hold babies it was our chance to do so haha! Especially when both wards have the cutest babies ever, it's can get quite hard to have to sit on our hands and resist the urge to take them of their mother! This may sound a bit creepy but i guess you just have to be a sister missionary to experience that for yourself hehe!

Overall so many miracles are trully happening everyday and my love for missionary work grows stronger each minute! Life is definelty not easy but by the end of the day I always feel like we have achieved so much even when it doesn't show on paper! 

Love you all so very much and I hope you have a great week!

Con mucho amor,
Sister Valdes xx

P.S picture 1 = me having eyebrows threaded, picture 2 = Us eating some of Sister Cluff mum's famous dirt cake that we made!!! So good!!

Hi President H!

My core experience with God this week was earlier last week during tracting. Sister C and I knocked on this one door where this older lady opened it and at first was a bit hesitant to do the survey. But after some convincing we were able to actually be invited into her home and have a really good conversation with her! We soon found out that she was visiting from South Africa but originally is from Germany. Once i heard she was German i immediately put my German language skills into use and started to talk with her! Which was quite exciting because it had been a while since i had practiced my German and the words and sentences just formed as i spoke. So I thought that was pretty amazing to know that when there is a skill heavenly father knows we have he will put people in our way in order for us to use it and hopefully bless their lives. Unfortunately she was leaving back to South Africa that same week but i have a strong feeling that she will soon encounter more missionaries when she goes back home. 

My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught i think was during the lesson we had with an investigator named R. She has been having trouble committing to say a prayer and i feel that i had done better than i have before in being persistent in having an investigator say yes to commit to something. As with Jesus Christ, throughout the scriptures He emphasised on basic principles a lot to get his point across in order for others to commit themselves to live within that certain principle and thus i feel like having patience but also being persistent and bold is a trait that i am continuing to develop as i teach R and more new investigators. 

A characteristic that i admire in Sister C is her ability to make sense when she talks. She speaks in a very clear and direct way. It may sound a little strange that i have picked this particular strength of hers but i see that she has been able to strengthen it by studying upon her scriptures and gaining more of that knowledge of the gospel so that she will have it at that moment when the spirit leads and directs her. Speaking clearly is not one of my strengths so i know that by effectively using that time to role play in companionship study or in 12 weeks as well as study more upon the material i have such as the scriptures and Preach My gospel i can develop this skill and learn to trust in the spirit to guide me. 

Nothing confidential to say 

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Shannen's week # 8

Hello Family!!!

This week has been amazing!! So many great experiences I want to share with you all!!

In answer to your question mum, the dolls are so expensive!!! We were told that they cost at least $500!!! So i don't think it would be worth it to buy one haha!! 

Thankyou for the letter I received from you too!! I did receive the SD card and I will be sending my other one soon without forgetting to put the return address on it! 
tell abuela and tata thank-you as well for their package and letters!!! And also say hi to M, C and L for me! I saw the photos you sent of the dinner you had together! Also i'm sorry papi for not sending my email to you to at the same time as mum's I just had thought that mum would send it to you straight away when she received it but i guess it would be easier to add your adress to it too. So today I am!!! (dad was jealous that sister valdes only sent me her emails and not answered his emails, but I have always forwarded her emails to him as I received them)

This is a street they were tracting in last week 

Some exciting news first! So this week we had interviews with President and Sister H and I can not tell you in words how much I love and appreciate both of them! Sister C was telling me before hand that in president's interviews they are a great time to ask any questions you have about anything and that his prayers he gives at the end of the interview is truly said like a blessing! To be honest, i was a little nervous to sit down with him but straight away those nerves went away and we had a really great conversation! I felt the spirit so strongly in the room and he gave me some great suggestions for me to work on to help me become a better missionary! His prayer/blessing for me at the end was truly amazing as well. My interview with Sister H. was great too! We just talked about my family and looked through my information that she has of me in her missionary data base. While i was talking about you all I mentioned that J was soon to recieve his mission call and what was exciting was that she told me that you could have the permission to call her to let her know when and where Jaysen got his call to on the day so that they could call straight away to give me the great news!! How awesome is that!!

The baptism we had last Tuesday was amazing as well!!! The person who was baptised is the sweetest person ever and I am truly glad to have met them and to have become really good freinds with them. The service was nice and small and the spirit was literally in all of our hearts that night! 

Two zones together in a special meeting with one of the area presidency member and mission president

Now, I remember telling you that last Wednesday we were going to have a conference with Elder H. and his wife and wow was that an amazing conference!! Our zone was privileged enough to sing a musical item, the song"Come unto Christ" which is the new youth song for this year and it was so much fun to have sung it for them!! because we sounded so good haha he even asked us to sing it again at a fireside that he was going to be at that night so it was really special to have done that!!! I was also able to see Sister D YAY!!!!!!! When we saw each other we literally ran and gave each other a massive hug!!! She is doing well and I m so happy to hear that she is having a lot of success! If I heard right, just the other week they had a baptism in their ward too so miracles are truly happening every day!!! I also got to see Elder R which was good and he seems like he is having a great time as well!
reunion with best friend  for the first time after 5 months of saying good bye at home .serving in the same mission
Reunion with a friend from the MTC

Well I better rap up but I love you all so much! Thankyou for all your support and love! 

Con mucho amor,
Sister Valdes xx

Hi President H!
This week has been quite a good busy week for both Sister C and I. We had set up some great goals at the start of the week that we were fully prepared to do our best to achieve them, however with the things that was planned for the week didn't quite allow us to reach up to our mark. This didn't keep me down though, I guess the reason why is because I have felt Heavenly Father with me all throughout the week encouraging me to do my best and helping me feel that each day was a success even though the numbers didn't show.  
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught during the week was during the lesson we had with B. She is a Hindu lady from I and she was our new investigator we found during tracting the week before. We had set a date to visit her for last Wednesday and it was such a miracle for us to have arrived at her house that day and that she was home because she was a bit weary if she would be able to have us over for sure. Nevertheless she was excited to see us and we taught her the principle God is our loving heavenly father which went great. For B most of the things we were sharing with her was quite new and I was glad that I was paying attention to the spirit and teaching her in a way that she could understand. Teaching the principle as if I was teaching it to a little child is the way the spirit would have been able to be felt by B and after our lesson the next miracle was that she wanted us to come back to teach her again this week! 
The Elder Haleck Conference we had last week I found to be amazing! I was able to have a lot of the questions that I came with answered and it was wonderful to have strongly felt the spirit with us. The best tip or idea that I picked up was the ways we can help the members in our ward to be more missionary focused. I know that for both Sister C and I we definitely took away the idea you gave, president, about giving the idea to the members of having their friends over for a BBQ or family home evening that they could invite us over too and where we could supply the 1kg bag of sausages to cook and eat! That same day we actually visited with a family of ours in the ward and we suggested this to the brother and he was really enthused about it and is currently working out a time where they can invite a particular family that we have been trying to  meet with for a while. So we are super excited to see how this goes!

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Shannen's week # 6 in the field

Mon, 5 May 2014 12:30:09 +1000
It has been a wonderful week!!!!
Hi family! 

I'm so sorry that you didn't receive my email last week! I had written it all out and I did press send but because the computer soon crashed minutes after I guess the email didn't send after all! Please forgive me!!

So this week has been amazing!! We have had a busy schedule everyday and have been killing ourselves to get to appointments on time haha!!

So one of the best experiences we had this week was with a new investigator called R! She is a friend of a member from the K2 ward who she met through facebook. They are both mothers that have lost their children at a very young age through the same medical condition, which is really quite devastating! The sister who is friend's with her had at first asked the elders to come over to her house to teach R but because of certain circumstances, that being that the elders couldn't find any priesthood males to come along to the lesson they then asked us if we could go instead of them to teach! Of course we said yes even though it was on Monday, our p-day so we had to quickly rush from our flat to the appointment. It was quite funny at first because we later found out after our lesson that this sister hadn't told R anything about church or the gospel and we even think she didn't quite mention that missionaries were also coming over. So R got quite a shock to see us there and at first looked like she was going to back away haha! The spirit was there though so she stayed and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation! I guess this was the best lesson to teach her first to really let her know that her daughter is now in a happy place and that she can be comforted to know that God didn't allow this death to happen because he wanted her to suffer but that he has a greater purpose for her and her daughter. Once we had taught her she says "Who are you people? What church are you from?" We both look at each other and say well we are from 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". Haha we couldn't stop laughing afterwards that she said this but the lesson was amazing and it was great that she actually wanted to meet with us again on the Friday! On Friday we planned to teach the restoration but that didn't really go as planned but the good thing was we are seeing her again next friday so we hope we can get a lot more out the time we will have with her!

If you remember i mentioned that we had found 3 new investigators on the same street during tracting about 2 weeks ago and one of these investigators is called k! K is amazing and she is on fire! She is wanting to know the truth and is absorbing everything that we have been teaching her! So as you will read at the bottom she had said yes to be baptised!!!!!! Wooooohoooo!! We were jumping for joy once we got home (and we still are haha) and are really excited to be helping her on her way to receive more of heavenly father's blessings! We have only taught her twice now and at both times we have really felt the spirit in the room! This coming Saturday the K2 ward is having a baptism and so we have invited her to come to it and to have a chapel tour before hand so we are crossing her fingers that she will still have the desire to come!

the picture below is how we act when we get a baptism!! haha 

Well i love you all heaps! I'm praying for you all everyday and I hope you all are doing well! 

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes!

P.S the picture below is how we act when we get a baptism!! haha

Hello president!
My core experience with god this week was yesterday! I had a great experience with one of our investigators called K! She really is one of those people that has been prepared by the lord to be taught the gospel! We had a wonderful lesson with her, teaching her the restoration and at the moment where we were to teach about Joseph Smith, I felt the Holy ghost beside me the whole time, especially when i recited the first vision! It was such an amazing feeling where the words just flowed out of my mouth and everything made sense and i wasn't nervous at all! K just looked at me and i could see in her eyes that she knew that Joseph Smith's first vision was true! She later told us that everything we had taught her wasn't even crazy at all but just made a lot of sense, she said that basically our beliefs were her beliefs! My heart shouted for joy! K was also very excited to read the Book Mormon and committed to read a little every night! And what followed all these miracles was that she said yes to be baptised!!! We are super excited and know that the Lord will continue to bless her in every way possible for making this choice! I really could feel God's radiant beam of a smile shine on us from above, to know that we found one of his choicest daughters and to have invited her to make this choice to be baptised so that He can now bless her even more!

My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught, i feel was my improvement in being bold! This week i had built up the courage a lot to just say whatever came to my head to anyone we were teaching or talking to while tracting! Especially during K's lesson last night, Sister C and I were a bit nervous before hand to ask her to be baptised during the lesson but the spirit was there the whole time and so when i felt it was the right moment i just asked her and as you now know she did say yes!

One thing that i have improved during this last transfer would have to be asking inspiring questions. This was something that i had a lot of difficulty with at the MTC to know what questions were inspired or how to ask inspired questions for that matter. So I now feel that I understand a lot more on how to ask inspired questions and what has benefited me the most is having my companion giving me this feedback that she has felt that i do ask some really good questions that she feels have been inspired.

Nothing confidential to share.

Much love,
Sister Valdes

So the 1st picture is of elder g and elder h (district leader) who are serving in K1. but now elder h has been transfered and our new district leader is elder w! How funny is that! 
The 2nd picture is of my habichuela that I made a couple of weeks ago and it was so good! you'd be so proud of me mum! 

Love you!!

shannen's week 5 in the field

Hola hola!! P.S (this should have sent last week but the computer died!

Hello Family!

Thank you so much for all of your emails! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY D!!!!!!! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday and enjoying your 2 room present hahaha!!!!
Also thank you Aunty P and T for your package i received it yesterday! It actually was quite funny but over the Easter period Sister cluff and I were trying to find those cadbury chocolate eggs to eat and we couldnt find some anymore, i think they were all sold out haha and then i opened your package and we both screamed in excitement that we actually got some cadbury eggs haha!

Well there is so much that i want to say that has happened this week! I wish i had the time to describe it all but i have to be selective because time seriously doesn't allow for it!

First Mum, sorry it has taken me a while to respond to this question, I always seem to forget to answer it! I would love to give you my home address but because we live with the member family i feel bad to have them receive my letters and packages in their letter box. Sister C has told me to not give out the address but to let you use just the mission office address only because of this situation. I'm Sorry! I hope that this won't be too much of a hassle. 

So this week has been pretty jam packed and exhausting but totally amazing at the same time! Sister C and I have met so many new people and have gotten to know more of the members in both wards. 

There is this one member that i would like to share about with you who is just so kind and gracious. Really, i never ever imagined members loving their missionaries so much! I am always shocked and surprised every time a family would just invite us to dinner or how much they trust us with sharing their personal experiences and stories. This one member however, is all so loving and more! He is an elderly man who just turned 65! Sister C and I celebrated his birthday a little by giving him a card and some oreos and he was really grateful that we had remembered it and even given him this little present! Each week we have a lunch appointment with him and the elders and he makes sure that we do come each week to spend some time with him and share a message. Our appointments with him are usually at Hungry jacks (Australia's Burger's king equivalent) or recently it has been at his home where his daughter comes to prepare lunch and join in with the discussion. He is quite slow of speech too so we always have to listen intently to understand what he says and frequently it is to share a joke or make a funny comment! I really appreciate his love and kindness to us!

Oh no my time is run out and there was more i wanted to say! Just a heads up though but one of those new investigators we found the other week is now what we can call a progressing investigator! She is amazing and has so much faith! We just had an appointment with her yesterday and it really went so well that she was excited for us to come and teach her more this week! I'm so excited and i think i will share more about her next week!

I hope you all are well! Thank you for your love and support! This work here is amazing and i couldn't be happier in my life right now than serving the Lord in the Sydney North mission! 

Lots of love

Sister Valdes

P.S Thank D and Brother R for their emails!

I also wanted to set a time that is best for you to call you on Mothers day! I know J will be calling too so i want to make sure that there will be no problem's. 

And J thankyou for your email I'll make sure to respond to it! Love you!

Hello President H,

Throughout this week i have been studying diligently the questions of the soul that are listed in Preach My Gospel.  Each day i have chosen a different one to study and ponder upon and it just so happened that a lot of the lessons Sister C and I taught this week have been all centered around these specific questions that i chose to study each day. With that I felt Heavenly Father's guidance a lot, leading me and helping me throughout my day to be prepared for the questions I may be asked by someone. I have seen the reality of the importance of personal study and when using this time wisely and effectively I now know that Heavenly Father's hand will always be there to bear us up when we feel were are unable to answer someone's question or teach a certain principle properly because with what we have studied, does indeed, as promised, come to our remembrance in the very moment when we need it through the Holy Ghost. 
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught would be the times when i have built up the courage to approach someone and share even something little about the gospel during finding. As i now reflect upon those moments I know that Jesus Christ wouldn't have missed any opportunity to teach someone about the gospel and as described in the scriptures Jesus would immediately stop on the side of the road or on the footpath to help someone who was in need and then he would even share something little about the gospel that had touch those people's hearts. I want to continue to have this courage wherever i go to speak to someone so i can be that little more like Jesus.
One of my greatest joys of the mission so far would have to be teaching people about the Plan of Salvation. I have seen the light that has come into people's eyes when they receive this new knowledge and understanding about this beautiful and perfect plan we have been given. It brings me so much Joy to see this and to also then feel the Holy Ghost touch not only my heart but to see it also touch other's heart, letting them know of the truthfulness of this plan, even if it is just a small portion of it.

There is nothing confidential to share.

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

P.S the 1st photo attached is the street we normally go out for our morning runs! 2nd picture is both of us before our zone special conference with president and Sister H and the assistants