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, June 29, 2015

Hello From The Sunny Side

Hey everyone!

It's me over here in Oregon! 105 degrees outside + 95 degrees in the apartment= so fun to sleep in =)

Big happy birthday to Sarah today and Tyton on the second! I love you both so very much!

It has been a good week!  To start off with Maria Rodriguez.  We had our second lesson with her on Tuesday.  We prayed and felt that we needed to have the faith that she should be put on date.  We taught her the Restoration and then invited her to be baptized the 19 of July.  She said yes!  Which is super awesome.  But....We went over three more times in the week and she didn't answer....Didn't answer our phones calls…or come to church.  I still have faith in her!  She told us that she knows she needs to be baptized if she wanted to follow the example of the Savior.  We just need to help her gain her own personal testimony. Keep her in your prayers.  We really hope we can see her again this week!

Socorro….Well Socorro works in the fields picking black berries.  Because of the heat they have to work in the night so they don't ruin the fruit.  So unfortunately she has been sleeping in the days.  (Sounds like momma :) ) And, she got home from work Sunday morning at 8:45 so she didn't come to church either.  Nazario was telling us how we should be able to come by if we come in the time she is getting ready for work so we might just slip on by.

We taught Nazario about fasting this week.  He is learning so much, very quickly!  We taught Oscar the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He texted us one morning and said, "Sisters could you come over and teach me today, I would like to learn some today."  He is such a great kid.  He passed the sacrament for the first time on Sunday.  He did awesome!

With our other investigators one of our main goals this week was church attendance.  Church attendance has been one of the most difficult key indicators for me as a missionary.  We focused with every single investigator that we taught the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy and church attendance.  I really can say that this week we worked our very best to get investigators to church.  Unfortunately things don't always go the way we hope.  No one attended church this week.  Luckily no effort is wasted and soon these people really start progressing :)

So I have a couple of funny stories of the week-
There was a Hispanic man walking outside of an apartment complex so we thought we should go talk to him!  We asked him how he was doing and he said he was very sad because he didn't have a women to accompany him in his life.  We said, “Well we can't help you with that, but we know Jesus Christ can help you with all your problems”.  We tried to leave about 5 times and every time we walked away he would say, “Wait come back!  I would make you coffee every single morning”.  (Should've taught him the word of wisdom)  Haha! Fortunately one of our members happened to walk by and got us out of the situation.  It’s funny how many awkward moments you have as a missionary.

The other one happened today.  We had a zone activity for Pday.  We played an activity where you have a ball in the middle of the court and you have to run from different sides to get it.  Well Hermana Bunderson’s number 3 strength is competition and mine is number 1.  Hermana Bunderson and I both charged after the ball…and...we crashed into each other and basically tackled each other.  We laid there for like 5 minutes laughing our heads off.  Funny moments make up for the not so funny moments!

Well that about sums it up for this week! I am so grateful for every single one of you.  I know without a doubt that we can be together for eternity.  But, I know that we all have to strive to follow our Savior every single day and improve.  We can do it!!  I love you all!

Hermana Gifford

This is Cynthia who got her mission call to SPAIN. She is in the ward
and comes out with us to lessons all the time. She will be an awesome

Monday, June 22, 2015


Hi everybody!

I hope you all had a great week and fabulous Father's Day! We are truly so blessed to have such an amazing Dad. He is such an amazing example of the Savior, hard work, service and so many more things. I hope that we can always respect and love dad for all he does for us and so many others.

We had Father's Day dinner at an American's home??  What?  Haha!  One of our members is married into an American family so they invited us over for dinner. It was a nice little piece of home :)

Well on to this week! We had a lesson with Mariana. She is the one that found my wallet.  It was a nice lesson; she is super nice and interested in the Book of Mormon.  We aren't very sure how far things will go with her because she wasn't super interested in coming to our church but we will see.

Diana! We were at an apartment complex trying to contact a referral. The referral didn't answer the door so we were looking at our paper to make sure we knocked the right door.  Then Diana came up and asked if we needed help finding someone.  She wasn't the referral we were looking for but she is awesome! We had a lesson with her on Wednesday and she is such a sincere person. Her husband left her and her three kids a few years ago and is now part of a drug cartel in Mexico.  The father is having a quite big influence on the children and sending them some not so good things.  She explained how she is really looking for something that can help the lives of her children.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and she was so excited to read it.  We asked her if she would be baptized when she comes to know these things are true and she said, "well of course".   We have another lesson with her on Wednesday.

Our lesson went really well with Nazario and Socorro this week!  She has been down with bronchitis this week so we only got to see them once.  We read Mosiah 2 with them.  Nazario and Oscar are reading the Book of Mormon every day together :)   We explained to Socorro how some times the Lord answers our prayers after we have acted on a righteous decision.  We attempted to set a date with her but she said she just really wants to focus on praying about taking the step of baptism for right now.  But, Nazario called us the next night and told us that they were talking about baptism together!  Nazario has told us in the past that whenever he brings up baptism she changes the subject. Socorro was asking Nazario questions about baptism.  One baby step closer :)

We are on the search for new investigators. A few weeks ago we had about 25 potentials.  After teaching all of them a time or two we have narrowed it down to the people that are actually going to progress.  It narrowed it down….quite a bit.  So now we are on the search again. My testimony really has been strengthened of the importance of talking to everyone.  About 2 months ago if my companion said lets go talk to that person I would be hesitant.  But now that I have really seen the importance I love talking everyone, no matter if they reject us or not.

We have stopped doing service at the old folks place because no one was every showing up.  I guess old people really don't love genealogy that much..haha. We have started to do service at food bank.  I think that's what you call it? People can come in 1x a month to get a food box and we help people get food and organize the food.  I think it will be a lot better way to interact with people!

One of the mornings for companion study Hermana Bunderson and I sang, “I know that my Redeemer lives”.  It made me think back to how my friends sang that song at my farewell.  I sat there thinking about how my testimony has grown of Jesus Christ.  I have been working on memorizing the Living Christ. He truly is the "the light, the life, and the hope of the world."  I know that He suffered for each of us individually.  Not just for our sins, but also for our trials and pains.  As we try every day to become more like the Savior, we really can become so much closer to Him.  As I was thinking this I thought that I never want to come home.  Haha.  I know that when the time comes it will be the right timing but it is truly a blessing that I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ every day.  It's such a blessing to get to testify of His life every day.  I know that My Redeemer lives.  I love you all!  Have a great week!


Hermana Gifford

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Your Girl - Hermana G.

Hi family!

How is everything going? Living the dream in good ole Utah?

Well it has been an awesome week! There isn't a ton of bad new this week so I will start with the bad :) Maria Ortega said that she was maybe not going to have to work on Sunday so that she would be able to come to church. J une 14th is the day we set for her last chance to be.  So we were thinking alright she is just waiting for her last chance but she will come!  So Sunday morning we knocked on her door at 8:30 to try to help her get ready. No one answered. Bummer, but it just clearly isn't her time.

It was Oscar's birthday this week! He turned 12!  So, he got the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday.  He was super excited about that.  Also, Nazario got called to be the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum!  We are so happy for him.

We had a lesson with Nazario and Socorro and we taught the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.  Hermano Porras, the ward mission leader, came with us and was super helpful!  He also helped Socorro open up quite a bit!  She told us that every day at work her co-workers say, “Let’s ask the Mormon”.  And people ask her a bunch of questions and she tells them, “I am not a Mormon but I do believe the same things they do”.  We asked her if she believes every thing we teach her.  She told us that everything we have taught her she feel is from God.  Her only question is why would God let bad things happen to good people.  Hermano Porras helped explain that to her and after it was like a light bulb went off and she was like okay that makes sense.

I am not sure what it is but something is different about Socorro this last week.  Usually when we hug her goodbye it’s like hugging a wall.  But we taught them twice this week and she hugged as back and she asked US questions.  She has never asked us questions about anything in our life before. She is warming up poco a poco :)  She came to church, and Relief Society!  She usually goes home after Sunday School but she stayed all three hours.  And also Ana, their daughter that is back from school, was at home so we got to talk to her.  She is such a sweet girl!  She has 3 friends that are on missions right now.  We invited her to church. She said it was too early, but we are going to ask her if she would be interested in taking the lessons.

Friday we had a mission tour with Elder Daniel Johnson!  He is so great.  He and his wife came and spoke to us.  We had like a regular 4 hour zone conference where we got to hear from President and Sister Samuelian and Elder Johnson and his wife.  Elder Johnson talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries and that we are here for others not in any way for ourselves. After we had a member leader meeting.  The Bishop, Relief Society president, Elders quorum president, and ward mission leader and their spouses were all invited to this. It was ALL about missionary work.  Holy smokes it was amazing!  One of our wards biggest struggles is sharing the gospel, and it was all about it!

Elder Johnson asked all the wards to set a goal with the ward council about how many more baptisms they will have this year and how the ward is going to be involved.  I am super excited to hear about that.  

The next meeting was the Lamanite Conference!  All Hispanics from cities basically all around Salem were invited.  Elder Johnson is from Mexico so it was great to have a native speaker talk to the members.  He and his wife talked about the Book of Mormon.  They shared the importance of reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY with your family.  Or if no kids are at home then as a couple.  It was so great!  It made me think how great of an experience it was to read the Book of Mormon every summer as a family.

Nazario was at the conference and he told us he understands much better why he needs to read the Book of Mormon every day as a family. It was a great day.

So when we got home Friday night I noticed that my wallet was gone.  We had been all over that day so I had no idea where I lost it. I was super worried. Hermana Bunderson and I were praying and praying hoping to find it!  Saturday morning when we were doing studies someone knocked on our door. I looked out the peephole and it was this "black" lady that Hermana Bunderson and I had seen before with her family. We kept saying how we needed to talk to them, because they just recently moved in and we felt we needed to talk to them.  We answered the door and guess what??  She started talking to us in SPANISH!  I don't mean this to be racist whatsoever but I was so happy she wasn't African American.  She is from Oaxaca Mexico.  She is super nice and we have an appointment with her tomorrow. Oh and the plus is she found my wallet and returned it :)

Well that’s my week for you folks!  I hope you have a fantastic week. I challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon every day. I promise you that you will see a difference in your life as you apply it to you. I get so excited every morning to read the Book of Mormon because we really can receive so much revelation as we pray and seek for guidance. I love you all!

Hermana Gifford 

Monday, June 8, 2015


Hello familia!

Congrats to Sarah and Trevor that baby Pete is here!! I hope that his lungs strengthen right up! He'll be a big boy by the time I meet him!

It was a good week with some challenges!

We had a great lesson with Maria Ortega.  We read 3 Nephi 18 with her and helped her understand the importance of the sacrament.  We invited her to be baptized June 28th. She said she would if she received her answer at church. She told us that she didn't have work so there was no reason why she wouldn't be able to come.  We stopped by quite a few times throughout the week to make sure she could still come.  Maria didn't come to church.  We will be having our "dropping" lesson with her this week :(   It’s a big bummer because we have been teaching her forever and she really has the desire she is just choosing not to act.  BUT, I know that one day she will act on her faith and choose to accept the gospel. Maybe not be while I am in Oregon but I know the Lord is preparing her right now.

The other slam….We also read 3 Nephi 18 with Nazario and Socorro. We feel that Socorro comes to church every week just because….no real intent. So we wanted to focus on why we even go to church.  It went pretty well and then we invited her to be baptized and she said no….and that she doesn’t want to.  So we invited her to pray about it.  She told us that if she wants to know if she needs to get baptized she will pray about it.....She didn't come to church but she came to a baptism Sunday evening.  And the miracle is their daughter Anna came!  Anna runs track at college but she moved back for the summer. She is a super nice girl and we are praying that there is potential there.

With all that said and done we did receive 20 referrals this week.  That was huge blessing.  People are willing to give you referrals, it’s just important to actually ask!  Some of them weren't interested but others were.  It’s a little hectic right now because we have a list of about 30 potentials.  It’s difficult to see that many people frequently so we are working on narrowing them down to the people that are most prepared.  Maria and Socorro have been our main investigators so we are praying for investigators that are willing to act!

This last week we were hitting the 95's...and for some strange reason Oregonians don't believe in AC.  I would be lying if I said I haven't stuck my head in the freezer a few times...haha!  It's super hot but still green as ever!  It's super different serving with someone that is a new missionary.  But it is awesome.  I hope that I am helping her become the best missionary she can be. Hermana Bunderson has a great desire to work hard!  I am sooo grateful that she has a desire to be obedient as well.

Well folks I hope you have a great week! And have a great first week of summer!  I think school just got out..? right? haha beats me.

Well love you all!

Hermana Gifford

The Baby and I