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, August 31, 2015

Alohola (Spanish / Hawaiian)

Hey everyone!

Looks like everyone is having a great time in Hawaii! I love seeing the picture of the family in front of the temple. I am so grateful for the temple! We really can all be together forever. No empty chairs!  Me and Liz are just missing in the picture :)

This week was a more difficult week here in McMinville.  Hermana Stevens struggles with some emotional problems and she was having a hard week. She didn't feel like she could do much. So there was quite a bit of extra time staying in the apartment.  She has decided to go home.  She will be going home in the next week or so, so I will be getting a new companion soon. But she really is a very sweet girl!  From this experience my testimony has grown on diligence and obedience.

While she was resting for a few hours one day I read scriptures the whole time. Let me tell you...reading scriptures for 3 hours your mind starts to wander….that your family is in Hawaii…..Haha I really now understand how working hard diligently helps you focus on my missionary purpose.

The most progressing this week is Yoselin! She is on date for baptism September 19th :)  She is so awesome. When we invited her to be baptized she said that weight was lifted off her shoulder.  She has been thinking lately that she needs to be baptized again. Her family is very strong Catholics so she is pretty nervous telling them about it. She has been kicked out of her house before so she is scared if she gets baptized they will kick her out again. Please keep Yoseline in your prayers!

Chayo told us that she was moving to California so we were planning on going by to tell her goodbye.  She said she wanted to get baptized before she left but we didn't feel like she is ready yet.  But, now she decided not to move for awhile longer!  So we will go by tonight to see how things are going and talk about eternal families.

One day we were driving in the car when we saw a Hispanic family driving so we pulled over to talk to them.  Her name is Maria Garcia and she has a sister in Mexico that is a member!! She has gone to church multiple times in Mexico and did have a Book of Mormon but lost it when she moved to Oregon.  We have an appointment with her on Wednesday she seems like she has a lot of potential.

I am in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon right now and I love so much to read about when the Savior came to the Americas.  I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and for all He did for us.  I know that as we follow His teachings we can all return to Him united! I love you all am I am grateful for all of your wonderful examples! Have a fabulous week.

Love always,

Hermana Gifford

Hermana Gifford and Stevens

This is Miley - Chayo's daughter. She is five but looks 12 haha. She put lipstick on and was determined to take a picture haha

Monday, August 24, 2015

Haws Fly Together

Hello Everyone!

Well I know you have all been dying to hear..haha but I am in McMinville.  And I am still speaking SPANISH :).

We are in a Spanish branch. We cover a few little cities: McMinville, Amity, La Fayette, and Dayton.  And guess who my companion is?? Hermana Natallia Stevens! We went to high school together and even better...we had Spanish class together!  She is super awesome.  She has been out 6 weeks. There have been a few challenges in this area but I am looking forward to the future!

The area is so beautiful. The members are awesome! Guess what?? They actually are trying to get to know my name!  This branch is a lot more of a family than Salem. The work is very different here.  In fact I feel like I am in a whole different country.  I got a little home sick this week.  By home sick I mean missing Salem..haha!  I got so close to the members there they felt like family to me.  But I know this is where I need to be now!

There are some super awesome investigators that are progressing.  Chayo is one and she came to church.  She just recently moved from California. She is really looking to change her life.  We are hoping to put her on date soon.

Marcelino is another super awesome investigator. His family is all in Mexico and he is here working trying to provide for his family.  We talked to him a lot about his questions to the Book of Mormon.  He was planning on coming to church but got called to work.

Yoseline is another super awesome girl we are teaching!  She is 17.  She recently moved back home and is wanting to change her life.  We had 2 great lessons with her.  She wasn't able to make it to church.

So I got to speak in church on Sunday! I talked about the importance of following the Holy Ghost. It was such a great opportunity for the members to get to know me a little more.  I never realized before my mission the importance of always listening to the Spirit.  I know that the Holy Ghost is one of the most powerful blessings that we have.  The Spirit can truly guide us in every decision.  The members use us a lot more here.  I translated for Relief Society.  My first time ever doing that but it was fun!

Well I better get going but I love you all! I am so grateful for this time that I have to serve the Lord. Being a missionary ROCKS! Try to listen to the promptings of the Spirit this week :)


Hermana Gifford

La familia Robledo

​Hermana Noemi Deloya- Relief Society president

La familia Andrade

La familia McBride

La familia Villalobos

​Oscar y Nazario Ramirez

Villalobos kids. Cutest family EVER

Monday, August 17, 2015

Goodbye Salem

Hello everyone!

Sounds like all is going well.  It was a great last week here in Salem.  Big news is that I really am getting transferred!  The even bigger news is that my companion is as well.  Two elders will be coming in and taking over the area. It's been a little stressful to think about all that is going to happen to the investigators but the Lord knows that this area now needs two elders.

The most progressing investigator this week is Alfonso! We were able to have a lesson with him at the church and he came to church on Sunday.  He is so awesome!  He is about 75 years old and reminds me a lot of Grandpa Gifford :) The biggest bummer is that one of his "doubts" is why missionaries get switched around so much.  And the week after he said that Hermana Bunderson and I are both leaving the area.  He said he wants to get baptized once his questions are answered. I think he will get baptized in the next month.

We got to see Marcela a few times this week. She is still praying about baptism. She really has real intent.

Lissandra has a baptismal date for September 13th. We taught her about baptism and the kingdoms of glory.  She is so funny and has the wildest imagination.  Bummer that I won't be here for her baptism but I am glad that she is taking the step!

Socorro came home for 6 hours on Wednesday night.  We got to hurry and go over and say goodbye before she left to Canada to fight more fires.  Last night when we went to say goodbye to Nazario and Oscar, Nazario had just gotten off the phone with Socorro.  He told her that Hermana Bunderson and I are both leaving the area (We were expecting just me).  She said that she doesn't want to start all over again with new elders.  We tried to explain that it’s the same message just two different people. I hope she will have an open heart to meet with the elders.

I had no idea how hard it would be saying goodbye to members.  I have truly come to love ward so much here.  The members have done so much for us. I will forever be grateful for them.  I am looking forward to going to a new area. I am not really sure what to expect since I have been in the same ward for 8 months but I am excited to meet new people and have a change!  I love being a missionary so much.  I am grateful for all the awesome experiences that we have everyday. What makes it so special is all the amazing people.  We shall see who my new companion is and my new area tomorrow.  

Have a safe week, I love you all!

Con amor,

Hermana Gifford

Ps.  I took most of the pictures on my camera and a few on my iPad. I have my iPad but forgot my camera.  I will send more pictures next week!

Saying bye to Socorro

Don't want to say bye to my "baby"

La familia Bartshe

Lissandra and Hermana Avalos

Saying bye to Oscar, Socorro, and Nazario

Zarahemla Zone

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunny Side in Oregon

Hello Hello!

It was a great week in Oregon.

Well there is a rumor going around...A rumor that I am leaving the area...We will be getting transfer calls on Saturday… I guess they think 8 months is long enough for an area. But I am crossing my fingers that is a joke :)

We had an awesome lesson with Marcela again! We taught her the plan of salvation and then passed by a couple other days to see how she was doing and following up.  We invited her to be baptized on August 30th.  I loved her response.  She said that baptism is a really big deal for her because she knows that since Jesus was baptized it must be a big deal. She doesn't want to be baptized if Heavenly Father thinks she is treating it as a game. We invited her to pray about it.  She said that if she receives an answer that she needs to, then she will get baptized.  She is so awesome!  I love seeing how she really is striving to follow the Savior. She wasn't able to come to church so we are really going to work on that with her this week.

Investigator at church:  So Sunday morning we stopped by the Avalos to wake them up and tried to help get another less active family up.  Well neither of them had showed up when it was 9.  We sat down and then...Alfonso showed up and sat next to us.  Alfonso is a new investigator from last week.  He has a sister that is a member and he really wants to learn more.  We weren't able to teach him this week because he has family in town.  So it was a big surprise when he showed up! We have an appointment with him on Wednesday.

After church we were driving to contact an old investigator when we saw a girl walking down the street that looked really sad.  So, we hurry and pulled over. We met Jisel.  She is in high school.  She was having a really hard day because her sister left for the army for a year.  She goes to an apostolic church but she said that she would love to learn more.  She is a very sweet girl.  We are looking forward to teaching her on Wednesday.

There is a less active member that has been coming a lot more recently that other elders are visiting.  At church I asked him where he is from.  He is from Nicaragua!  It is the first Nicaraguan I have met my whole mission.  We got to talk about Managua for a minute.  It made me excited to know that when we go back to Nicaragua I will be able to communicate.

Its crazy how time flies.  Hermana Bunderson and I have been together for just about two transfers.  She is such an awesome missionary.  She really wants to serve the Lord diligently and I am grateful for her great example.

I hope that you all have a great week! And happy birthday to Dad on the 13th!

Love you all!

Hermana Gifford