The Mission Call

The Mission Call
Salem Oregon Mission - Spanish Speaking


Preparing to Serve

Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Called To Serve

Called To Serve

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stayin' in Hayesville


Holy smokes I feel like a million things have happened in one week or maybe I am just loosing it. It was an awesome week!

This morning for personal study I was reading in 2 Nephi 10:23 and that scripture made my whole day.  How blessed are we that we have agency.  We should be so happy that we can use that agency to follow the Savior so we can one day return to Him.  Cheer up your hearts!  We really can choose our happiness. We will have hard days but that is why we have the Savior.

We got to go to the temple with Nazario, Socorro and Oscar! We watched Meet the Mormons in the visitor center.  I had never seen that movie before; it is awesome!  It shows how important it is that we share the gospel with all because so many people look to us as examples.

The Portland temple has an atrium that everyone can walk through so we got to go inside.  The spirit was awesome. Oscar told us how one day he wants to come back with his whole family and be sealed.  I looked over a little later and he was sitting on the bench saying a prayer.  The temples are so amazing! It is the only place on earth where our families can be united for eternity.  We asked Socorro if she wants to come back sometime with her whole family and she said yes. We asked her what the next step was that she needs to take in order that that can happen. She said she didn't know. (trust me, she knows!) BAPTISM. One baby step closer with Socorro, she is taking her sweet time.

We felt that we needed to go walking to find people to teach. We saw this guy that was waving for us to come over. The reason why he wanted us to come over was to look at my braid....Must've been the Spirit that told him to look at my braid…..But we met Lalo.  Lalo lives out of his car.  He has been in and out of jail and is at the point of wanting to commit suicide.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and testified of the plan Heavenly Father has for him and that he truly is a son of God.  We did our best to help him understand how he really can find peace and happiness in this life through the Atonement.  We're not sure if we will ever see Lalo again since we drives different places to live, but I know that we were led to walk that day so we could help him understand the great potential he has on earth.  We also thought that he was going to kidnap us….but don't worry I am alive :)

A frustration of missionary work…..We had an amazing lesson with Maria Ortega with a member present.  We talked about how she can apply the Book of Mormon in her life right now and how she can receive her answer at church.  She really was understanding how she could apply it all to herself.  The Spirit was awesome and she told us multiple times, “I know I haven't come to church but I will be there this week!”  We were so pumped.  Maria didn't come :(   She has such amazing potential and is striving to follow the Savior.  We have prayed and feel that Heavenly Father wants us to wait just a little bit longer.  If she doesn't come to church by June 14 we will stop teaching her. But with prayer and faith she will come!!

Transfer calls have come and I am staying!  I will be training a new missionary. I am SO grateful to have worked with Hermana Aubrey. She is easily the most Christ-like, loving, patient person I have ever met.  My testimony of fasting has strengthened as I have been with her.   (A: we fasted like 12 million times together in our first transfer together).  But, mostly for another reason:  The first transfer I was with her I noticed that I was getting impatient with her. I was getting easily annoyed but then I was getting so frustrated with myself because she wasn’t doing a single thing I was just being selfish and impatient. It's kind of hard to understand but when you are with someone every single second of the day every day for almost 4 months you notice weird little things. It was really bothering me why I was being so impatient with her.  I prayed every day but I didn't see much of an improvement.  I decided that I needed to really change this behavior so I decided to fast.  I know so firmly that the Lord helped me so much with this.

This last transfer has been so much greater and my patience has grown a ton. Temptations are a little different on the mission and for me with Hermana Aubrey the biggest temptation was impatience.  But like any temptation as we pray and fast the Lord will always help us overcome our temptations.  I am not by any means a patient person now but I definitely have improved and I know the Lord will continue to bless me as I seek for His help.  I invite you all to think of what your greatest temptation is in life right now.  On fast Sunday fast with a sincere heart to overcome this temptation and I know the Lord will help you in so many ways! I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!


Hermana Gifford

Hermana Aubrey and Hermana Gifford

Socorro, Oscar, Hermana Aubrey, Gifford, Nazario

Portland Temple

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hello, hello!

Hello Hello!

Well this email probably will be pretty short since we were able to Skype yesterday!  It was so great to see your faces. I am grateful for every single one of you and for your love and spirit.  

It was very special to me that dad was able to bare his testimony to one our very own investigators here, Socorro! I could feel the Spirit as he testified to Socorro. And guess what? I could understand what he was saying haha :)

Happy Birthday to Tessa on Sunday!

So as I told you, we were able to spend Mother's Day dinner with President and Sister Samuelian!  We were expecting it to be about twenty or so missionaries there.  It was my companion, myself and Hermana Barrios and Hedges who are our Sister trainer leaders.  It was so special.  The Spirit is so strong as soon as you enter their home.  President made us some nice grilled chicken with his very own special sauce! (It reminded me of when dad makes his special fish stick sauce haha!)

At the dinner table we went around and talked about skyping with our families and bore our testimonies about the importance of mothers.  I shared how mom is being such a great example to all the little kids she takes care of at the hospital and how she is making a huge difference in so many people's lives! (Specifically the story when the lady wrapped her arms around mom crying)  I love you momma :)

We were also able to have interviews with President on Friday! He came to our apartments to do inspections.  Usually sister Samuelian goes with him but she was preparing for a stake conference talk.  So we did our interview outside. There was a mom and son outside playing basketball. President went right up to them and started talking and testifying to them.  It was super awesome to have a mini lesson with President!  President told Hermana Aubrey and I that our apartment was a sacred place and to always strive to have our future homes the same way, filled with spirit and love.

As President was leaving from our interview he told us to talk to everyone, no matter if they are English or Spanish speaking.  So we left our apartment and said okay we are going to talk to every single person!  It was crazy!  We had so many people to talk to! There were a group of like 15 kids outside playing and they all came running to talk to us.  None of their parents were in sight but they saw that we had pictures of Jesus.  They all asked to have one. So we hurried and wrote our name and address on them and then gave them out. Who knows if anything big will come out of it, but they were all excited to show their families their new picture of Jesus!  And it’s a bonus because they were all Hispanic :)

We also got a new investigator named Arcelia that was waiting outside for her son to get off this bus. She has gone to Utah and gone to the temple!! She is a Seventh Day Adventist and they have some interesting beliefs but we are excited to teach her!

Saturday we met Antonio!  We were going to visit a less active and Antonio was outside cleaning his car.  He works with a guy from Washington that is a member that gave him a Book of Mormon.  Antonio has been reading the Book of Mormon. He told us that he likes what he has been reading and he wants to learn more.  I am grateful for members that do simple things as giving a Book of Mormon out, it helps our work become much more successful! Antonio seems like a very sincere guy.

Well that about wraps up all the good stuff!  I love you all very much and I hope you have a great week!


Hermana Gifford

Monday, May 4, 2015

I've Been a Missionary For Half a Year!

Hello hello!

What a wonderful week it has been!  It is so great to be feeling healthy and have all my energy to serve the Lord.  My testimony has been strengthened this week on miracles.  One thing I have been working on is having faith that miracles can happen.  I was reading in Ether about how if you don't believe that miracles can happen, the Lord can't give them to you.

We were able to have 5 different members come out with us this week to lessons!  That is a miracle right there.  We usually get about two member presents a week so it was great to have the help of the members in our lessons!

Last Monday we got a text from Ciria.  You may remember me talking about her.  She was an investigator a few months ago.  She texted us and asked if we would have time to visit with her.  Shelly, who is a recent return missionary, came with us to this lesson.  As soon as we started talking with Ciria she started asking questions like, "So if I get baptized..." "So when I get baptized..." "So if I want to get married in the temple..."  Questions about the Book of Mormon and so many other things!  She had questions coming for over an hour.

We hadn't been able to have contact for her for a few months but she told us that she has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, praying about baptism, and she has been going to Washington a lot because she has a friend that lives there that is a member and she has been going to church there!  She told us that she wants to get baptized it is just a matter of time because her family is very Catholic and will disown her.  (She lives with her sister and her sister wouldn't let us in the house so we walked to a park for the lesson).  The only bad news is that she has a job opportunity in Washington so she may be moving there….But missionaries will be there too! She really is so special. I could feel it from the very first time I met her.

We had a lesson with Maria Ortega and we talked about temples and eternal families.  We had a member come with us that is sealed in the temple and her testimony was so great for Maria.  We are hoping we can take Maria to the visitors center in the next couple weeks.  We asked her again if she would prepare to be baptized and she said, "Remember I was already baptized in my church?"   So the member explained to her the importance of the priesthood for like the 5th time...haha!  One of these times she will get it.  She wasn't able to come to church because she had work but she committed that she will come this week.

Our FHE last Monday was awesome!!  Cynthia (Nazario and Socorro's daughter) came!!!  That was a ginormous miracle.  We usually can barely get her to say hello to us.  I got to sit down and talk to her for a few minutes.  Not too much church stuff but little by little.  Then Friday we had a lesson with Nazario and Socorro with the Relief Society President.  We talked about temples and eternal marriage.  The Relief Society President's testimony was perfect!  She told them about her experience she had getting sealed to her family (she is a convert) and how the temple has blessed her life.

Last night we had a lesson with the Bishop at the familia Villalobos house. (They are the family that got baptized a week ago) with Nazario and Socorro. The Villalobos family is perfect for Nazario and Socorro; they have been bonding so much!  They shared their experience of how they received their answers to get baptized.  The missionaries have taught Hermano Villalobos multiple times.  This last time when the missionaries asked him to be baptized and he prayed about it, that night he had a dream that someone came to him and said, “This is your last chance to be baptized. Are you going to follow the Lord or not?”  The Spirit was amazing.  The Villalobos told Socorro, “What if this is your last chance, it's time you make the choice to be baptized.”  Socorro didn't say too much but she was nodding her head and I know she could feel of the Spirit. She is a step behind her husband but soon enough she will know it’s time to be baptized.

We had Stake Conference this last week and we got to hear from our very own mission president and his wife and Elder Allan Packer. (President Packer's son!) It was a great conference.  Elder Packer taught about how important it is to understand the language of the Spirit. This is something I am so grateful for here on the mission……to be able to become so in tune with the Spirit!  There are many times that we wonder if this thought is coming from me or is it from the Spirit?  I love how Elder Packer answered it.  He said, "If your thought is helping you follow the Savior or a good choice, then follow it. The more we follow these good thoughts the more we will receive and realize that they are coming from the Spirit. And it doesn't matter if these are your thoughts or from the Spirit as long as they are in harmony."  This week I invite you all to follow all the promptings you receive from the Spirit.  If you are confused if it is you or the Spirit just think if it is helping you follow the Savior.  I know we are blessed as we follow the promptings we receive.

Well folks I have been out for six months now….So that means I will see you all in a year! Thank you for all your love and support it means the world to me.

Have a great week, I love you all!


Hermana Gifford