Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Page

I've loved being The Girl in the Dress.
I've loved this blog and all it has seen me through.
But it's gotten heavy. I've been carrying around too many memories.

So I'm starting on a new page:

thesilenceiseasy.blogspot.com

This is my new blog.
Be warned, it's not all happy or light. But it's honest and it's me.
Hope to see you there.

Love,
Hermana Kimberly
The Girl in the Dress

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One.

Babies don't learn to speak starting with full sentences and my mind doesn't re-learn writing with entire, fleshed-out similes.
I lost-- no, I sacrificed-- my words on October 9, 2013.
It was a beautiful sacrifice: No blood but a whole lot of heart.
I think that's what a sacrifice is supposed to be.
I traded my closet of words, passions, and trinkets for a suitcase of skirts, pamphlets, and schedules.

In the end, it wasn't a sacrifice at all. I received much more than I gave. I got la rama y el CCM y mi primer distrito y mis companeras y mis investigadores (and a little bit of broken Spanish, obviously).

Maybe the heart I gave ran out of room. Maybe I had to make space for all of those blessings, so I had to clean out my locked chests and half-used notebooks.
And somewhere in the six month long purge I accidentally knocked over my Pandora's Box.

Anxiety spilled out and depression seeped through my heart and inched their way up to my mind.
I spent nights suffocating in my own head trying to drown out the despair.

I read a story once where a princess trapped a witch by putting a curse on her. A curse that made the witch lose the ability to want to escape her prison.
That's what depression does to me.
It ties me with weak excuses and half-formed explanations, but robs me of the ability to want to break free.
How can you escape a captor when they are always inside your mind?
The obvious answer is to stop thinking.
The desperate way to stop thinking is to stop breathing.
When I got to the point where I thought that dying was the best option, I knew it was long-since time for help.

In the end, I came home. 6 months after I left and 12 months earlier than planned.
Left with none of the past and a future that seemed like it had been stolen from me, all I have is a near-empty heart.

For rent: Rooms in the heart of Kimberly.
Price: A smile and understanding eyes.
Date Available: Immediately.
Description: Visible scar tissue on the walls, but sturdy and warm. Looking for long-term tenants.

I'm relearning everything. How to love, how to have faith, how to let people in, how to feel. How to write.

There is nothing so simultaneously terrifying and liberating as a blank page.
So I might as well start writing.


Monday, March 24, 2014


Hello out there!

Well, this week has definitely been a whirlwind! It was week 6 of the transfer... which means transfers are tomorrow! I'm getting transferred! Crazy. The only place I have been is in Everett. It'll be weird to serve somewhere else. But it'll be good. I know these streets a little too well. You know it's time to go when like every hispanic person you talk to is like "Yeah, I know you. You've already talked to me when I was at my friend's house/on the street/at work." Haha. :)

Hmmmmmmm what happened this week? Got some new investigators... dropped some other investigators..... yep yep yep.
We got a really good member referral. Her name is Evett. She really really wants to learn about the gospel. She came to the relief society activity on Saturday and brought her kids to church on Sunday! All three hours! We were really happy. We love her. :)
OH!!!!! Guess what? Last Monday our tires got slashed! Yeah we were at the library to help teach an English class. We came out of the library and our tires were slashed! Crazy! We were pretty excited. The APs had to come and help us out. We got a big van for a day when our tires got changed. We had to fill out a police report and everything! It was crazy. :) I will attach a picture.

Did I tell you? A member from another branch opened a restaurant in our area. So we go eat their sometimes and it is sooooo good. Real tortas and tacos and everything. Mmmmm I love it. On that note, I made Mexican rice by myself for the first time! It turned out okay.
We got to go to a baptism in Mount Vernon because Hermana Martinez helped teach the family. It was so fun to be out in the country! Hermana Luna drove us. She's not a member, but her son is. And she will be! One day. We're working on it. I love her so much! I'll attach a picture of us together.
It is spring here and a lot of the trees are budding. There are these bushes that have these sort-of roses on them. I love them so much!


There is a less active family that I love. The mom is English and the dad is Mexican. I love love love Tonya. She's been through so much!! She's trying her hardest though. So we went over there and she was so sweet! She gave me bows for my hair. :)
I've gotten into a habit of saying "gracias" even when people aren't speaking to me in Spanish. Oops!
Martin found some anti-mormon stuff. Heartbreak. This is just his test of faith, I guess.
I don't really have much to say, sorry! I love you though!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Monday, March 17, 2014

You can count the seeds in an apple... but you can't count the apples in a seed

Pdayyyyyyy. Oh man  I am just so happy to be sitting at this computer emailing you. :) Ah. I get so excited for these 2 hours!!!

Okay so some really little random things first: On one of our calendars it says the birthstone and birth flower for each month. I always knew my birthstone was sapphire, but I found out that it represents wisdom! And my birth flower is aster or something like that and it represents memories! I was a tad bit creeped out because it was so spot-on. Other random thing: Mom sent me the little pamphlet from the Gilbert Temple open house (thanks mom! I love it!) and I was looking through it. There are only 3 scriptures referenced in the pamphlet, but one of them happens to be John 10:10-- my mission scripture! So I was pretty stoked about that. Also, Presidente Waite was using this really cool fountain pain in our coordination meeting. I asked him where he got it and then he just gave it to me! Oh it is the coolest pen. I was so pleased. :) Okay so I know those little things are only interesting to me... but just in case you were wondering.

Other thing-- you know how I like to balance things on my head? Hermana Martinez puts me to SHAME. She is this pro mexican folk dancer. She dances with jugs of water on her head. It's astounding. So yeah, I'm working towards that. :)

Okay missionary work. That's what you guys like to hear about, right? ;) It's going well! Here's a funny story: Okay so we had an appointment with 2 of our investigators, Teno and Elvira. We were told that this member from Marysville opened a restaurant in our area. Right by Teno and Elvira's house. So we were like "Great! We'll go to our appointment and then we'll go to eat at this little taco place that the member owns." So we park in the parking lot of the restaurant and then we were going to walk across the street to Teno's. But I glance in the window of the restaurant and I see Teno! They weren't at their house for their appointment... they were eating lunch. Where we were going to eat lunch. So we were like... um....... I guess we'll go eat lunch right now? So we go into the taco place and we're like "Hi, Teno and Elvira!" and they're like "Oh! Hi! What time is it? Sorry!" Turns out the member who owns the restaurant is their friend! She is so nice and her name is Betty. She made us tortas and gave them to us for free! There was no one else in the restaurant so she sat down and told Teno and Elvira how much the gospel has blessed her. Accidental member present lesson? Yes yes yes! It was sweet. 

Also, we had an exchange this week! So Sister Goode came to my area with me. She speaks no spanish, but she was a trooper. Also, so proposed best-friendship to me. Oh my goodness we had so much fun. I'll attach a picture. I love her. We laughed the whole day long. She loves Doctor Who and all of the same music that I do. She's the bestttttt.

Last night we went to contact a referral. A guy named Tony opened the door. He had just moved into the house a week before. He. Was. Awesome. He totally understood about the priesthood and he prayed at the end of the lesson without even hesitating! We were stunned. So we have high hopes for him, like we do for everyone. But him especially. He was definitely a tender mercy.

Other than that.... this week was pretty normal and great. I had a dream that one of the members in the branch bought McDonald's. I was excited because all of our investigators could work at this McDonalds and the member would never give them shifts on Sundays. *sigh*. Wouldn't that be great?

Okay please keep asking questions because I obviously don't know what to say without them.

I love love love Jesus the Christ. I love it. So I was reading it and I came across this that I liked: (talking about the analogy of the seed growing secretly found in Mark 4:26-29) "The sower in this story is the authorized preacher of the word of God; he implants the seed of the gospel in the hearts of men, knowing not what the issue shall be. Passing on to similar or other ministry elsewhere, attending to his appointed duties in other fields, he, with faith and hope, leaves with God the result of his planting. In the harvest of souls converted through his labor, he is enriched and made to rejoice. This parable was probably directed more particularly to the apostles and the most devoted of the other disciples, rather than to the multitude at large; the lesson is one for teachers, for workers in the Lord's fields, for the chosen sowers and reapers. It is of perennial value, as truly applicable today as when first spoken. Let the seed be sown, even though the sower be straightway called to other fields or other duties; in the gladsome harvest he shall find his recompense."
I love it because of this quote that President Bonham shared my first day here: "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." A lot of times we don't get to see the results of our efforts or influence. I have a vague memory of dad telling a story about how a family was going to get baptized and then he got transferred-- maybe even midnighted out? I don't remember. Anyway now that I'm a missionary I realize how sad I would be about that. But even though he didn't get to report those numbers, his reward is still great in heaven. So I've had experiences where I've given referrals to other missionaries and the person ends up getting baptized. They aren't my investigator... but I get to be a tiny part of their growth. So like the parable that Christ shared, we plant the seeds and then we move on. It isn't going to do any good to stare at the earth and scream "grow! Growwwwwwww!!!" The seed will sprout when it is ready. Sometimes investigators aren't ready... but they will be in a couple months or years. But we planted the seed and that's what they needed. 

Okay so that's all I can think of! I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini




Sunday, March 9, 2014

March. 2014.

Let's just all take a minute and be baffled: IT IS MARCH 2014!!!!! I can honestly say that I am stunned. Not because my mission has gone fast (it hasn't, but it's starting to pick up pace!) but because I distinctly remember March 2012 and saying to myself "March 2014 will never come." I could imagine the end of the world better than I could imagine March 2014. And for all the world I did NOT imagine myself on a mission. If you asked me where I would be in March 2014, I would have told you that I would be in Provo going to BYU. I would not have said Everett Washington. It just goes to show that you can never predict what is going to happen in life. Wow. March 2014. Baffling. Side note: Tomorrow is my half birthday! Happy half-birthday to me!

Okay so yesterday was so, so crazy. A big part of having people progressing is to have them come to church. Up to this point in my mission, I've only had Arnulfo come to church and that was because he had a crush on us. And a former investigator came that same day. But that doesn't really count. So we've really, really been pushing for church attendance. Daniela PROMISED she would come and then she didn't. (I think that she is deciding right now that this isn't for her... PLEASE right now say a prayer for her. Our next lesson is tomorrow and she needddds to recognize the spirit!) Martin was out of town so he couldn't come to church. But we were praying and fasting so hard for investigators to come! And then Sandra called us. I don't know if I've told you about Sandra. She's from Columbia and I want her to be my best friend. She always says "chevre." Which is kind of like the equivalent of "groovy." She's so cool. But she works at McDonalds and always has to work on Sunday. But anyway she called us and asked for the address of the capilla again. When we hung up Hna Martinez and I both started dancing with joy! And then we went to pick up Juana. We've tried to drop her like 3 times but Heavenly Father keeps being like "no, keep trying." So we went to her house. She was still asleep. Gah! So as she got ready we helped do her daughter's hair. It's amazing how you can start to feel love for someone when you serve them. Because this little girl is annoying. But after that I liked her so much more! So Juana, Adrian (the 16 year old who just had his baby) and Jackie (the little girl) came to church. We got there, and 3 of our investigators were there! They are sisters and teenagers and they are so cool. We have high hopes for them. We were 20 minutes late to church but then we taught the lesson and it was great. Sandra wasn't there and I was sad, but then we went to Relief Society and there she was! So pretty and all dressed up. I was so, so happy! And then I was worried because it was testimony meeting and sometimes people's testimonies.... well, you know. I bore my testimony and I LOVED to look out in the congregation and see the faces of my investigators! These people I love so much!!! The Spirit was there. Sandra cried. Before the meeting started she told another member she met (thank goodness for kind members!) the story of how she met us:
       Sandra was a referral. Basically her neighbor was like "They are from Columbia." We had knocked on her door like 3 times, but we were trying again anyway. She loves God, and she had been praying to him to know what she should do to follow him. When we knocked, she looked out her window and saw us. She never answers for missionaries. And then she heard the Spirit say "This is what you've been looking for! Open the door!" So she did. And she invited us in right away (we were shocked).
I wish that this meant that she keeps commitments and does everything perfect, but we met her in December. She finally came to church yesterday. But she did! Slowly but surely she is progressing. Her husband was killed by guerilla warfare in Columbia (this is sounding familiar.... have I told you this? Sorry!) when her son Kevin was 4. She was very happy to hear about the plan of salvation. I gave her a picture of the Columbia temple as a gift. When she told her story to that member in sacrament meeting, she grabbed my hand and said I am her "querida." I cannot tell you how much I love Sandra. She loves old Spanish movies and hanging out with her son and she's so. cool. I think she's one of the people that I am here to meet.
Something that is really, really hard for me is how much LOVE I have for all these people! I love them all SO SO SO MUCH! Sometimes I feel like I am choking because of how much I love them. I think of what Jakob told me: "we are called as missionaries to have our hearts broken trying to help other people. But I guess that is a small parallel to what our Heavenly Father felt as he gave his Son to break his heart for all of us." My heart is broken every day. But the heart is a muscle, right? The way we build muscle is by making little tears in in. So our hearts rip and then they get bigger. And we have more of a capacity to love. This week Noelia texted us and told us she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. Heartbreak. But we have to use that heartbreak to become better missionaries. To keep moving forward with hope because the next person we meet might be looking for the gospel. 

My challenge to you this week is to make your personal definition of charity. Look at 1 Corinthians 13. So it says "Charity suffereth long...." what does 'suffereth long' mean to you personally? For each of the things, rewrite it to apply to you and your life. For example, one of mine is "Does not get annoyed with her companions or district." How can the definition of charity be a definition of YOU? I did this like 2 years ago and I did it again 2 months ago. It's amazing how my definition changed and progressed. I would love to hear what you come up with!

Can you tell us about someone you are teaching that has felt an increase in personal worth?
     Ramiro has been very tempted to start smoking again. Some people he works with will not let him rest about it. But he is gaining the self worth to know that he is bigger than his temptations. Also, he used to be very proud. He never let Daniela buy anything secondhand. Now he is a lot more loving. Daniela told us that she is falling in love with him again. That she wants to spend forever with him, whereas before she was only with him to be with her son. It's really awesome to see that just feeling the Spirit can change a person's heart and let them see what is truly important to them.

How do the personalities in your district work?  
     Remember how I had problems with my old district? Did I ever tell you that we all became best friends? We had so many inside jokes. We used hashtags all the time and we had long debates about milk. I miss them. The new elders in the district are fine. Very focused on missionary work. So.... we are missionaries. That's about it. Maybe soon we will be friends, too!

If you could say only one thing to every investigator and have them believe it, what would that one thing be?
This church and gospel hold the answers of what you are looking for. A lot of people love us because we are sweet and bring the Spirit and are great. But they don't want to do anything because they are comfortable with the way they are living or it will take too much effort to change. I think that if they really see that what they are missing is RIGHT HERE if they just DO THE WORK it will be awesome. :)

Phew I'm emotionally drained after writing this letter! I love you all!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Sunday, March 2, 2014

There is Hope for Me Yet!

Hola!!

There is this song that I really, really like. I listen to it probably every day. This is what the chorus says: "There is hope for me yet/ because God won't forget/ all the plans He's made for me/ I'll have to wait and see/ He's not finished with me yet." Man, I love that song. The bridge says: "Still wondering why I'm here/ still wrestling with my fear/ but oh, he's up to something/ And the further on I go/ I've seen enough to know/ that I'm not here for nothing/ He's up to something." Love it.

Well, as opposed to last week, I have SO MUCH TIME TO EMAIL YOU THIS WEEK. So much time.

I actually got a picture of me and Hermana Martinez this week, so I'll attach that. We learned to make tamales! With corn husks. Next week I should be learning how to make the banana leaf ones *fingers crossed* which will be super awesome, too. And I learned to make mole yesterday. That is pronounced mol-lay and I love it. It's like chocolate for dinner. Mmmmmmmm. So basically my children are going to be real Mexicans. Tamales was super fun and super easy-- you just need a lot of people! Or even just a couple. By yourself it would take forever.

Well, nothing much to report! Lots of rain. Did I tell you in the last email that it hailed? Because it did. Counting our many blessings that we have a car! And other awesome thing-- the sun is staying up longer! At one point it was dark at 4 pm. Now it's pretty normal timing. In the middle of the summer it will still be light after 9 pm! Crazy! 

Martin is still progressing to baptism. Thanks for your prayers for our investigators, because he needs it. He has a hard job and he always drinks coffee in the morning, but after we taught him the Word of Wisdom he stopped drinking coffee! Please keep praying for him because his family loves loves to party and drink beer. On Saturday he had to get up at 3 a.m. for work and he chose to drink hot chocolate instead of coffee. I'm so happy. :) 

We also went and visited a baby that had just been born! His dad, Adrian, is a son of one of our investigators. Adrian is 17 and so is his girlfriend. We went and saw the baby when he was 12 hours old! But we walked into the room and it was like we were totally intruding on a family thing. Awkwardddddddd. I wanted to awkward-moonwalk out of there so fast! But I mean, we were invited, so yeah. :)

I think it is funny you got a dog because I probably say this sentence about every other day: "I will never, never have a dog." Honestly. When we knock on a door and I hear any type of barking I die a little inside. So please train Kody to not bark at the door.

So I have been praying every day for grace. To enable the power of the Atonement so that I can overcome my natural tendencies and respond in the way that Christ would respond. Saturday was one of those days when everything falls apart. Your investigators are "in the shower" for the 50th time in a row, you have to drop other people, no one is home, and it's cold. But amazingly, I was happy. There were some moments when my heart broke. But I still felt this little sunshine in my heart warming me from the inside out. And that is the grace of God. He makes me happy when skies are gray. 

I also thought about how Christ is the perfect judge. I think that ties in with how Christ looks on our hearts instead of our stature. If I want to be able to judge what other people need to increase their faith in Christ, then I need to look on their hearts instead of their outward situation. So that just means I have to have charity, and if I have charity then I can discern.

So what is your favorite phrase to say in Spanish? 
Que le pasa, calabasa? I think it's so funny. :) It's like how we say "see you later, alligator." but it's "what's up, pumpkin?" And no one really says it. I say it to babies and the members laugh at me.

Have you found any interesting places to eat?
It's all pretty normal up here. My favorite thing to do is cook. 

How are your investigators doing?
Fine. It's a constant process of finding and teaching and finding some more. Sifting the wheat from the tares. Daniela went to Catholic mass with her mom yesterday to see if she felt like that was the church for her. Gahhhh so we'll see how that went when we talk to her tonight.

Are you getting tired of dresses yet??
I will never get tired of dresses. Am I tired to MY dresses? Yes. I wish I had more! 

This week is going to be crazy because every week is. I don't know what's going to happen tonight or tomorrow or the next day. Scary, but exciting. So hopefully I have more stories for you and getting better and happier next week. 

I love you!
Hermana Pellegrini
 This is an old picture, but I'm not sure if I sent it. Our area is right on the water next to a naval base. It's pretty cool. But we don't go over there much because no people that speak Spanish live by the waterfront.
 Hail!
Tamales!

I Hate Legal Holidays

Legal Holidays mean that the libraries are closed. I hate this fact. So I only have an hour to email today and I'm SO SORRY if I don't get to your emails! But I will try. Please email me even if I don't get a chance to email you!

Okay so I am still in Everett North Spanish. Home sweet home. Hermana Wahlstrom went up to Marysville. Not far. My new companion is.... Hermana Martinez! I wish I had a picture of us, but we keep forgetting to take one. She's gorgeous and so sweet. And guess what?! She's from Mexico! La ciudad de Mexico. El Jefe. So she is going to help me a TON with my Spanish. And of course, the members adore her. They feel a kinship with her. So it's great. :) I was SO SO sad to say goodbye to Hermana Wahlstrom! It was like doing missionary work with myself. We have different personalities, but the same interests. I can't believe I was lucky enough to have a companion who was just as geeky as I am. We had a lot of good times. But I already loveeeeee Hermana Martinez and we are going to have a lot of success! I just know it! She knows how to work and she loves to work hard. So we spend a lot of time out in the rain. But thank goodness we have a car! The other hermanas in our branch just had to give up their car and now they are on bike. I am SO grateful for my car. It is a warm refuge at the end of a long afternoon. 

Fun fact- we met some new potential investigators. The daughter's name is Kimberly. It's always funny to me when I meet someone named Kimberly because I get so excited! The mom's name: Noelia. Kimberly & Noelia. What?! Little do they know... that's basically my name. :)

We're working with all our investigators. Daniela is praying for an answer and reading the book of mormon and we are just praying for her so hard! She wants it to be true. She just needs to recognize that the fruits of the Spirit are leading her down the right path! Martin came to church on Sunday! And he has a baptismal date! But...so........ we haven't taught the law of chastity, word of wisdom, or law of tithing. *cries a little.* The thing is that I want people to LOVE the gospel. I want people to grow their faith and desire to follow Christ. And then once they have that they can see that the commandments are to HELP them. And they can test their faith by living the commandments. But it'll be crazy teaching him those things. He likes to party. Our last lesson with him he was hungover. Anywayyyyyyyy hopefully that goes well.

What can we do to boost you up?
Mom sent me a postcard and I love it! I love getting mail!

How are you cooking/budgeting skills being affected by this mission?
We are starting eating healthy this week. It cost more to buy all the vegetables and such, but I'm super sick of cup-o-noodles. We get creative with what we eat though. By the way- our mexican hot chocolate was SO good and so easy and I'm never going back to normal hot chocolate. Abuelita all the way.

What is your favorite age range to teach and why?
Favorite age-range: not Jehovah's witness. hahahaha. No honestly I don't car what age they are. I like them all. Kids are great. Adults are great. Old people are great.

What is one of the most interesting homes you have been in and why?
I love the home of Hermana Luna. She's not a member but her son is. She went to college for interior design and it is just so cute! She paints flowers on her walls and there are sunflower decorations everywhere. But in a really hispanic way and not cheesy. Her home is all small and cozy. She has DiVinci prints on the walls and her husband loves the Beatles and so there is Beatles memorabilia. Obviously this is my favorite house. I want to live there.

How can we be better member missionaries here at home?
Just be welcoming! Don't wait for someone to introduce themselves to you. Introduce yourself. I think there should be a rule in Relief Society that the first person sits in the first seat in the front row, the second person in the second, and so forth. No empty seats! That goes for school, too. Life would be better if we all did that. :)

I want to get to all of your emails, so I'll end this one right now. I love you all so much! Thank you for all your support and prayers!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

GO HAWKS!!!

I will be the first one to day that I am not a big football fan. But. THE SEAHAWKS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!

When we were driving around during the game yesterday, I called it "The Day Washington Stood Still." We were basically the only car on the road. Everyone was watching the game! I found it funny/sad that it was totally acceptable to close your business for the big game. But the Seahawks won it! They are officially my football team. And this doesn't count as bandwagoning because I live here, thank you very much! We had to be in at 6 last night to protect ourselves from drunk drivers. I had a lot to do, but Hermana Wahlstrom was pretty bored. She was begging me to think of games we could play. We literally played cats-cradle and pick-up sticks. I told her to write in her journal, but yeah. We're still working on that for her. :)

Anyway, along with the Seahawks winning, we crashed a superbowl party! It's really "our thing" to do: Crash Latinos' parties. Birthday parties, superbowl parties, weddings. We want to do a quincenera sometime. :)

 This week was good. I learned how to make salsa and really good guacamole and taquitos! And someone gave us a pan dulce bigger than my face! Daniela and her husband Romero acceptable the non-committal baptismal invitation. They still love the Book of Mormon. :) We love them. 

I love you and hope to hear from you all soon!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bless My Heart

Hi, Family!

Thank goodness I have more time today! Last week was really stressful and I'm so sorry I didn't get to send all the emails that I wanted. Crazy times. But this week is back to normal which is a relief.

This week has been without a doubt the craziest week of my mission. I know I probably say this like every week, but yesterday I decided that I was going to tell President Bonham that I need to go to a service mission or something. Because everyone is like "The mission is like a roller coaster but you love it!" The mission is like a rollercoaster and you don't have a seatbelt! Gah! I'll tell you the crazy story of yesterday and then end with the good. Okay?

So we have this former investigator who is like "I don't want to stop being a Catholic but I like talking with you." Which is just a waste of time. But we accidentally called him the other night and he was like "Why haven't you come over? I will come to church!" So randomly he and his family came to church. They left after the first hour, but that was cool. He wants to come again. Who knows.

Bonus crazy story: There were not one, not two, but THREE cop cars in our parking lot the other day. We watched a guy get arrested. The cops let him smoke a cigarette with his hands cuffed. Pretty funny. We told our district leaders so we might move apartments sometime. 

Great story:
I hesitate to tell this because then you will ask about them and I'll be so sad to say if they are dropped. But I pray that doesn't happen! A couple weeks ago we knocked on a door because there was a sign outside the apartment that said "se habla espanol" (there was an apartment in the building for rent). So we met Ricardo. He LOVED eternal families so he had us come back when his wife was there. We met her and set up a return appointment, but she wasn't there. That happens a lot to us. So we were sad, but went on. The next week she texts us (that NEVER happens) and sets up another appointment! We went over and they had cleaned their whole apartment and were waiting for us! Ricardo had talked to a mormon he works with and had heard about all the humanitarian work we do and about the Book of Mormon. So we taught them the Restoration and they LOVED it. Loved it. They loved the Book of Mormon, too. It was like a picture-perfect lesson. The lesson you always picture missionaries having. The spirit was there and there weren't distractions and the investigators were interested. And then a couple days later we text Daniela (the wife) and she says "I am LOVING the Book of Mormon!" What?!?! And she's a Catholic who goes to mass every Sunday. It was so cool! We had a Plan of Salvation activity on Saturday. We did a walk-through. Prison, paradise, judgement, and the 3 kingdoms. And Daniela and Ricardo came! With their son! And they brought Daniela's sister! What?!?!?!?!?!! The Celestial Kingdom room felt like the celestial room in the temple. We decorated all in white and had white christmas lights all over. I wish I took a picture! Daniela said she teared up and wants to be there with her family!!!!!!! I love them so. much. On Wednesday Daniela is teaching us to make enchiladas and I am so excited! Please please please please pleaseeeeee pray for them because they have SO much potential!

So yesterday was rough. There are definitely highlights in a week, but you have to work through a LOT of muck and rejection to get there. So yeah. I pretty much was done yesterday. I simply did not have enough faith. Who knows what this week is going to hold. I felt like that pioneer who said "I can only pull my handcart to that hill and then I must sit down and die." Then he did all he could and pulled to the hill... and then angels pushed him up the hill. And then he had to keep pulling until the next hill. Constantly. Yesterday was my "sit down and die" day. But missionaries don't stop moving! We went out and did the work. And EVERYONE we tried to see was home! And they all let us in! What?! We taught 2 lessons and met with some other investigators. So please pray for Sandra and Kevin and Martin and Rosa and Juan. They need to start keeping their commitments! Also McDonalds needs to let Sandra come to church Sunday morning. And she has to make the sacrifice. AND: I lost one of my really nice gloves a couple of weeks ago. I was so sad about it. The cherry on top of yesterday: Rosa was like "Is this your glove? We found it in our driveway." TENDER MERCY. There were definitely angels pushing me. I can't tell you that I'm going to be totally happy or not want to give up again. But my faith is increasing little by little.

What kind of shift  in you priorities have you noticed? 
Instead of asking how I can make the time pass, we try to make the time be effective.

How has your heart been molded recently?
I think my story of yesterday is the best example of that. When they say do all you can and leave the rest to the Lord, they mean do ALL you can. 

What is one of the toughest challenges you have been through on your mission so far and what have you learned from it?
I think my own discouragement. I get so sad. Not because we haven't had baptisms, but because I still get scared to talk to people and it makes me so sad that people hate us without even knowing us. And it makes me sad to see investigators who don't even try. Who don't want this. I'm still learning from this challenge. But basically, the Spirit is the teacher and I have to do all I can to invite Him. I just have to bear testimony and explain the importance of this message. Sincere people will read and pray when they truly want to know.

Anyway, I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini


 Also. The weird pyramid is in this cemetery we visited. Super cool.
Guess what restaurant is coming to the mall?! Cafe Rio!!!!! What are the odds?!?!?!??! 

ALOOOOOOOOHA!

Okay so I guess I will start with what happened yesterday. Haha I feel like Jared: I have to pull out my planner to see what happened this week. All of the days blur together!

So once a month there is this thing called Cottage Meeting. We get to take investigators and recent converts to the mission president's house and people tell their stories and apparently it's super great. The catch is you HAVE to take an investigator to go. And you can't drive your mission vehicle there. And I really, really wanted to go. I haven't been yet. We have one investigator (his name is Kevin and he is 16 and pretty cool) who wanted an experience like that, so we wanted to take him. But that fell through and we were so sad about it! And it was raining and foggy and we weren't really discouraged, but we were pretty sad. Because we really prayed for the chance to go. But I'll be honest: Part of the reason we wanted to go is because it is a nice way to spend Sunday night, you get cookies, and you get to talk with other missionaries. Those are selfish reasons, but it's the truth. Anyway, we went to our back-up plan. A potential. We didn't even know their name! It just said 'unknown' on our list. So we knock on the door and he is like "Come in!" and then they pulled out chairs for us and we all sat down. People: this like NEVER happens. Anyway it was Hugo and Hugo Jr.. Turns out they have talked with Jehovah's Witnesses and that's why they let us in-- I think they thought we were JWs. But we aren't! And we taught them the first lesson and it was great! We had a week goal of 4 new investigators and we only had 2 at 5 pm last night. We got Hugo and Hugo and we made our goal! And we taught a lesson! After that we went and confirmed an appointment, made another appointment, and taught another great lesson with Bendito (which you know as Taco Guy). Well, he refuses to pray with us. We'll get there. He feels shame and so he doesn't feel like he's worthy. So we went over how God is our LOVING Heavenly Father and how it is the devil that teaches us not to pray, but to no avail. We'll keep praying for him and working on it. Let's be honest, he thinks were awesome. The problem is that his brother doesn't like us so we have to teach him on his porch instead of in his house. He always feels so bad about it, but we really don't mind! We're warmed by the Spirit and the rain isn't bad. phew. That was a trailing story and parrafo, so sorry about that!

Other best thing of the week: Music. THANK YOU for the cd's at Christmas! They have kept us from going crazy. At lunch I decorate beautiful CD cases for all of them. I pretend to be artsy. Ha. Anyway, sometimes just hearing the Tabernacle Choir and EFY stuff wears on your ears. Through a long chain of events that took like 1.5 months, I got my hands on a USB that includes the album by the Lower Lights. They are SO FANTASTIC. I love indie-folk, right? They are folk style hymns. I almost cried when I heard it. Plus the USB also has BYU devotionals and General Conferences! Best day ever!

So we really struggle getting member-present lessons. We're working on it, though. That's our big goal for the week. But last week we invited an 18 year old to come out with us. Her name is Samady. She did SO great! Her testimony was so fresh and interesting and heartfelt and it was just what our investigator needed to hear. He even promised to come to church! He didn't actually come, but we're half way there. His name is Martin and he is wary of false prophets, so please pray for him. Anyway, Samady was great! So I guess when Hermana W entered the field, Samady wasn't interested in missionary work, didn't want to go on a mission, and didn't want to go to BYU. But  now she is finishing her application to BYU and preparing to serve a mission! I am SO excited for her! She's super great and we plan to take her out with us a lot.

Our district has been doing cena de fe. We only eat a little tiny dinner and then we go out with faith that we'll find a potential or investigator or someone to feed us. Because food is really unifying, you know? So before last week we got a drink de fe, a snack de fe, and bread de fe. This week we got our cena de fe! We were so excited! And then we got un postre de fe! We've worked our way through an entire meal! We think it's great every single time.

Okay one more story I can think of: Once a week we have a district blitz. We all go work in one area of the district. This week it was in Lynnwood which is like 20+minutes away. We had a lesson at 6 and we were supposed to be in Lynnwood at6:30. We lacked faith, and we both thought this lesson was going to fall through. Our intro lesson with this lady, Amelia, was SUPER rough. So we thought she wasn't going to let us in again. And then we got there and she DID! And we had a good lesson! It was just a testament to me that we should never limit God's power. We can't assume the worst or lower our expectations. Lessons fall through a lot, but we always should plan like this investigator is going to be fantastic. We should always be excited because we are teaching a child of God ever single time!

Oh funny thing: Hermana W and I found that the yellow pages in the phone book is super funny. I think what happened is not enough people bought ad space, so the phone book was just like "Let's put in little random bits to fill the space!" Some of the boxes have proverbs, some have tips like "How to avoid poison", and some talk about things like umpire school. We think it is hilarious. If you write me letters I will mail some to you so you can see what I'm talking about.

1. How's the daily exercising coming? Does it feel like it is giving you the energy you need to make it through the day?
Jillian Michaels. She's a killer. Oh man. But it's really good! We feel really obedient and energized when we exercise. And we're getting stronger!

2. What are some things you have done to grow closer to your companion spiritually? 
We have companion study every day and we share what we've learned. Plus we have our miracle journal together! That keeps us really grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. We've been working on switching off in our lessons, which keeps us focused and in tune. We get along really well!

3. What would you like us to do here to better help you this week?
Hmmm. Okay here is one: Try not to have lazy time! I know, I was the WORST at that when I was at home. I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted sleeping or watching Netflix. Write a list of little things you've always wanted to learn or to do. Like morse code or something. Like memorizing a scripture or cleaning out the tupperware. You feel a lot more fulfilled when you fall asleep at night if you make every minute count!

I love you all so much! Sigue adelante! Keep moving forward!

Love
Hermana Pellegrini

Monday, January 6, 2014



Hola!

I highly enjoyed reading all of your letters, so thank you! They were great! This week was crazy, as always. It's funny to me because I remember being at home and reading my friends' missionary letters and I always thought "It's Monday again? They just spent the last one! Nothing as happened since the last time I read their letter!" Especially since it was Christmas break for you guys, things were going pretty slow. Let me tell you, that is NOT the mission life! I live like a month in every single day. Go go go go go from 6:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night. But it is nice, because it is simply life with more purpose.

QUESTIONS:
1. How are things going with Nefi? Have you met with any of the other 46 contacts??
Hahaaaaaaaaa...ha.... ha..... *whimper*. Here is a sad but true fact about missionary life: You set up many, many return appointments and hardly any of them happen. And it's frustrating. And really heartbreaking. So Nefi was all "I don't want to meet with you again." Even though we had never even made it past her door. She's really sweet, but yeah. So we bore our testimonies about the Atonement and the Book of Mormon and off we went to find the next people. But I firmly believe something: We're given little rays of sunlight to get us through until the next thing. Because it is SO SO easy to get discouraged. Every single day I have to rededicate my heart and my efforts to Heavenly Father. Because there is NO way I could do any of this on my own. Never in my life have I felt so weak or discouraged or lacking in faith. It's sad and hard and requires all of the self-control I have to keep moving forward. Because what other option do I have? The only way through is forward. So we go from moment of sunlight to moment of sunlight and pray our way through the dark spots in between.
Right after Nefi dropped us (before we even taught her, really) we found a new potential investigator who is really nice and has a family. Maybe that won't work out, but we have to have faith that it will. Whenever I feel discouraged I read and pray and then (when things get really hard) I pull out the Jeffery R. Holland talks. That's how you know it's about to get real. And then I pray some more.

2.How cool that there are Ukrainians there! Do you get to talk to them about Ukraine at all?? Or do you mostly focus on other things?
Awesome thing about life-- People in Everett Washington:
1. People from the USA
2. People from Mexico
3. Ukrainians.
What. Are. The. Odds. I really can't say much except for introduce myself and say I don't speak Russian, but they automatically love me because we can communicate. Usually we give them a mormon.org card and say that the site is also in Ukrainian and Russian. I am going to try to find a way to communicate with them more, though! I don't think it is coincidence that I meet so many!

3. Are the tortillas usually corn or flour?
Corn. I like them that way.

4. Cool Book Wall! Those are so you! Where did you find it??
You may/may not know this, but I think that SLC is a wannabe city. I'm always like "This isn't even a city!" SLC is a city compared to Everett. I literally live downtown. And it is not a city. There are like 3 buildings that have more than 4 stories. So that book wall is in the "downtown" part of Everett. Lovable and tiny.
Speaking of which: Last P-day we had a blast! Ever since my second day here I have wanted to go to a store by our apartment: Bobbakhan. Yep. Star Wars meets Star Trek. And a ton of other nerdy stuff! They have a Jarjar Binks in the window and it is AWESOME. So we went (because Hermana W and I are the SAME PERSON) and I shamelessly bought possibly the greatest shirt I have ever seen: Hermione Granger done in the style of... oh I forgot the artist's name, but I saw an exhibition of his work in Prague. It's one of my favorite style and Hermione is my favorite! She's my soul sister! So I'll include the picture of the store and me holding the shirt. It was rough changing out of it when I had to leave my apartment. Haha.





Also we went to a baseball-themed pizza place! It reawakened my love of baseball. *sigh*



5. What does a typical SUNDAY look like for you? In your branch do you go to Sunday School, Relief society, Primary? Do you ever get to teach?
Sundays we go to a coordination meeting with the branch president, Gospel Principles (we teach once a month), Relief Society (I translated yesterday for the English-speakers), and sacrament. I love being in a branch because it is so different from being in a ward! It really is like a family. No one is perfect and no one is trying to be. A lot of people don't have nice clothes or dresses, but they come and no one looks twice at them. I love it.

So Hermana Wahlstrom and I named this transfer the Transfer of Miracles. Since January 1st, we have been keeping a miracle journal! It's really great because then we see the tender mercies of the Lord that we receive throughout the day.
It started when we knocked on a door and a lady named Blessings answered. She said she was nannying, but she sometimes meets with missionaries in a different area. So we talked with her a little and prayed. While we were on the porch, the dog ran out of the house. She said it was fine. But then the dog never came back. And she was panicking! It wasn't her dog and it was a dog that was supposed to comfort a mentally disabled boy she was nannying. She couldn't leave the house and she had her baby and she was so scared! So we looked for it, and the situation seemed bad. But then we suggested to Blessings that we could pray for help to find the dog. She wasn't really into that because she thought it would take to much time. So basically I yelled the prayer and she walked around trying to find the dog. I was praying so much in my heart "Heavenly Father, this woman is your daughter and an investigator. Please help this to be an opportunity when her faith is increased!" And, of course, we found the dog. Because Heavenly Father loves to bless us! Blessings said "Your prayers work miracles!" and she's right, they do! We said a prayer of thanks and she said "You might see me and my family at your church pretty soon!" It. Was. Marvelous.

Other miracle (my favorite of the week): On New Years Eve we were trying a potential investigator's house. Across the way there was a house with this weird black plastic sheet pinned all around the porch. A neighbor saw us looking at it and said "They're making tacos in there. I think they want to keep warm." So we went over and entered through a sheet in the sheet-thing. Sure enough, Mexicans making tacos. So we talk to them and they don't seem really interested, but they gave us really good tacos! The next day we are on the same street and we knock the door of the house next to the taco-house. The guy opens the door, and it is Taco Guy! He had been at his neighbor's house! His name is Bendito and he is great. He invited us in and said that he had been thinking about what we had told him the day before. He wants to know which church is the church of Christ. We had a great conversation and basically we're best friends. We have an appointment tomorrow, so PLEASE pray it doesn't fall through!

There have been some really hard moments this week, but some really good ones, too. Sigue adelante. Keep moving forward. I have really, really seen my weaknesses on my mission. But I have a great opportunity to have them become strengths! And I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. He believes in me when I don't believe in myself. And when we look for them, we can see his miracles.

I love you so much! I'm probably forgetting a lot I was going to say, but I think this is good for now!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

P.S. About Carlos and Claudia- Claudia's cousin just died and so they are in Texas. That family never gets a rest from grief and heartache. They need the gospel so much and I pray that they recognize that it is where they can find peace!


This really good cake we eat to celebrate the 3 Kings. It's a holiday today! Yay! I love Mexicans! Also, on Thursday I will have been out 3 months! Hurrah!