Monday, January 25, 2016

Mon, Jan 25, 2016 Bienvenida a Su Casa

                                                           Hey everyone!

Goodbye chubs

I am back in Surrey now! On Monday, I packed all of my things together and then on Tuesday Sister Polanco and I drove to the mission office to switch companions. It was so sad to say goodbye to Sister Polanco because we had grown so close together and had really learned how to rely on each other and the Lord. It is sad to leave Vancouver, but so joyful for me to go back to my first area, SURREY! I love my new companion, Hermana Cendreda! She was called to English work but this last transfer her dream finally came true. She was put in Spanish work in Surrey with Sister Kartchner. Sister Cendreda is from the Philippines, then moved to Quebec, and then later to Mexico. So she speaks 5 languages...english, spanish, french, tagalog, and another language from the Philippines. She is so fun! She only has two more transfers left so I bet I will be the one who gets to see her off! She is a convert to the church of 3 years. It has been so fun visiting the members this week with her because I know the members really well here in Surrey and she knew a lot of the members here when she lived in Quebec. A lot of the members have moved here since then. So it's like we have a big family here. Sister Cendreda and I are literally always laughing. 

The Hermanas!!! (Kartchner, Polanco, Cendreda, Hoth)

My little chubs with Sister Wright in the back

Sticky notes on a less active door. She loves us

Comp unity~matching: with the Guevaras you recognize this puppy (from first time serving in Surrey)

Haha, to start every conversation off she always asks "do you know where a Mexican restaurant is?" And then goes off about how she's new here from Mexico and serving a mission here. At first, I was like...okay that's pretty ridiculous. but actually it is so effective! The people take time to slow down and talk with us. They realize that we are normal people and then we both open up and talk about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We have found lots of success from this so far. It is so good to be back in Surrey. We are on fire here.

Rosa and Raul!

It has been such a blessing to come back here and see how Rosa, Raul, and Rita have progressed and changed. I love it because these are the people Sister Johnson and I were teaching and now I get to be a part of their lives again. I feel so incredibly blessed. We have had two lesson with Rosa and she is the sweetest thing ever. The sisters have taught her everything and she wants to be baptized in time. Right now she is pregnant and has a due date at the end of February. She told me that she wants to name her Emily. Haha...I love it...I'm definitely going to tell everyone that she is naming her after me!:):) We visited Rita...and well...that is a completely different story. Lenin isn't doing so well and I wasn't able to see Him. Rita looks older and more stressed out. There was a robbery in her little Cafe and so she closed it down and is still struggling with all that happened there. She has desires to be baptized but we can't quite figure out what is holding her back! Please pray for her!

Pasquier family

While I was gone, the Sister found the Gomez family. Jackelyn, the mom, and Jeremy, the oldest were baptized. They are so sweet and miss Sister Kartchner, their missionary, so much but welcomed me with open arms. I feel so much love for this sweet family. They came to church yesterday and we were able to watch Jeremy receive the priesthood. It was so powerful and the Spirit was so strong. Jackelyn is a single mother and has four kids: Jeremy, Kelly, Orlando, and Jamie. The two little twin boys are the cutest things ever! And Kelly sat with me during all the meetings yesterday. i seriously love this family so much! I'm grateful that I can be a part of their story and conversion as they progress as recent converts!:):)

;0 Sister Wright!

I love sister Jeppson and Sister Grant

Ludwig and Isabella. So cute

So last night we had a fireside with President Burt and Sister Burt and their whole family. They each gave a talk. The Burt family is so powerful, I love them so much. I learned so much about love and really loving my companion and loving those I teach and serve. I learned that if we have charity for those around us, we can be powerful teachers. I also felt so strongly that my life and mission have been so hard, but that is how I know that Heavenly Father loves me. I'm grateful that He has given me so many experiences to help me learn, grow, stretch, and put myself outside of my comfort zone. He has molded and shaped me here in the Canada Vancouver mission and I feel so blessed. I know that God's plan is perfect and that it's also hard. President said, "if it's easy, the plan is not working." Family and friends, I know that life is hard. I also know that it is not only possible but fulfilling when we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and love serving Him and testifying and teaching of Him. I know that as we follow Him and do what God has commanded us to do...we will be happy...we will have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:20) I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that's why He gives us trials. He wants us to become better...He wants us to become like Him. I pray that you all have an incredible week!

Hermana Hoth

Hey parents...I wanted to send you Sister Cobbs letter because Michael and his family, Lori and Glenn, and Christine are all people that I found and taught. I didn't find Christine but taught her. My mission has definitely been one of planting seeds and then others have the chance of harvesting them. 

Happy New Year! 2016 is going to be a beautiful year; I already know it! 

There were many miracles this week!
  • Michael and his family set baptismal dates!! Their whole family will be baptized February 27th. After a beautiful lesson studying 3 Nephi 11, we asked, "Why is it important to have power to baptize?" and Michael literally turned to his children and taught the restoration. It was incredible. All the children downloaded the Gospel Library app on their phones and read the scriptures with us. Michael's family gave me a cute pink mug, candy, and family Christmas card for Christmas. I love them! 
  • Last night we went to a cute family's home in our ward for dinner. There were about 15 people (less-actives, investigators, etc.) over. We taught a massive lesson on the Doctrine of Christ, and it was SO fun teaching such a big group. Everyone was very attentive and interactive. At the end, we did a little quiz, and everyone knew the answers (even the little kids); it was so rewarding and fun! 
  • We went on exchanges this week, and when we arrived home, the first thing we said when we walked into the apartment was, "It smells like gas." We looked around and didn't see any signs of the source. We found the carbon monoxide alarm and pushed the test button. If it beeps once, it says to check the manual. If it beeps four times, it says to seek fresh air immediately and call 911. The alarm beeped four times! Sister Jeppson and I looked at each other and screamed!! We frantically ran around the apartment grabbing our essential items and raced to the door. We called our landlord who checked it out and said some old tenets used to have hockey gear that smelled like gas. We thought, "Okay....Why did the alarm go off?" He opened all the windows and told us to take a coffee break. We slept over at the sister's apartment in Victoria, and the next day a gas inspector fixed everything. It was quite an adventure! 
  • Christine quit smoking this week to prepare for baptism this month!! She is also preparing to do baptisms for the dead next month. She is diligent, and says she treasures her testimony and the sweetness of the Gospel, because she's "tasted the bitter." 
  • Yesterday, we picked up Michael's kids to take them to church. Only the teenage daughter answered the door ready to go. I asked, "Where is Isaiah?" She said, "He's upstairs. He's not coming." I said, "What?! Will you go get him for me?" He came to the door, and I said, "Hey Isaiah! You look great. Put your shoes on right there, and come with us!" He looked at me for a second, and then he put on his shoes and came with us haha. He is a cute 13 year old boy. 
  • Lori and Glenn are doing so good!! They have come to church 5 weeks in a row, and they are preparing for their baptism February 13th. Glenn's only question about baptism was, "February 13th isn't the superbowl, right?" haha. They are incredible people, and I absolutely love teaching them.
  • I have been studying conversion lately, and I'll share some of my insights (borrowed from Elder Scott and Elder Bednar). Characteristics of conversion:
    • consistent obedience and repentance 
    • allegiance to God in interest, thought, and conduct
    • desire for things against God's will has died (no more disposition to do evil)
    • fixed determination and self-control 
    • unwavering, rock solid, and unshakable in commitment to God
    • understanding of life's meaning
    • willingness
  • Fruits, or blessings, of conversion:
    • joy and peace
    • confidence in oneself and the future
    • purification
  • How to become converted:
    • consistent obedience to the commandments
    • more frequent repentance 
    • great diligence and determination
    • honoring our covenants - using the sacrament more fully!!!
    • awareness of our standing with God
    • humility and submissiveness
I love you all!!! Keep your diligence. God will always, always bless you for it. Your lives will be enriched, and you will be happier.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Mon, Jan 18, 2016 2:44 pm Am I My Testimony?

 Hey everyone,

Wow. So transfers! I am so sad that me and the little chubs won't be together anymore. We have truly enjoyed our time together. We are best friends. All of this because we have testimonies of Our Heavenly Father, of His Son, Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel. I love missions. I love the people. I love my companions. I love watching the Atonement change people's lives. One of my favorite things this transfer was watching the Atonement change our companionship! SO! News...I am going BACK to Surrey Spanish. I will be serving with Hermana Cendreda. She has been companions with two of my other companions. I have heard amazing things about her. I am so excited to go back to Surrey and work with all of those people that I loved so much. And at the same time, my heart is breaking to leave Sister Polanco and the amazing ward members here. They were all so sweet yesterday.

We found a yummy sweet shop...totally reminded me of Mom

The little chubs said we HAD to buy a cake...then she pushed my face in it. I'll have to show you the video later. Apparently it's tradition in Guatemala

It was so funny though. Our bishop was SO SURE that Sister Polanco would be the one getting transferred that he asked her to give a talk in sacrament meeting. We were on exchanges at the time when he called so Sister Polanco asked, "What if Sister Hoth is the one leaving." He just said, "No, I am sure you are going." in sacrament meeting they announced that she would be leaving. So she got up there and said, "Well Sister Hoth is actually the one leaving, but I still give a talk anyways." We funny.

She loves food

Last planning session

So this week, we had a zone meeting. It was all about CONVERSION. And actually applying what we learn. I have realized that more than anything, I want my natures to change. Not just my behaviors...because that would mean that while I was on my mission, I was on my best behavior. What I want is so much deeper and so much more transforming than a behavior change or even gaining a testimony. I want to live my testimony and be my testimony. I want to be converted to Jesus Christ. In preparation for the meeting, we read two talks on conversion by the apostles. Both of them talked about the difference between a testimony and being converted. A testimony is a spiritual witness and knowledge given to us by the Holy Ghost and conversion is what we do with that. Conversion to me is sacrificing anything in order to live what I know. I have been asking myself "Am I my testimony?" And if I'm not...I immediately change what I'm doing. I challenge all of you to ask yourselves this throughout the day!

This week, we had planned to see Heidi and Alejandro, our Christmas miracle, but we just couldn't figure out a time that would work for her. So we weren't able to meet with her. She felt so bad and sent us a long message. In the message she expressed her worries and concerns for her and Alejandro. She is separated from her husband and is so worried that Alejandro is being affected negatively from it. She asked us to pray for her. We were able to testify to her of the peace and refuge that the gospel offers us. And we invited her (or exhorted) to allow us to teach her about the gospel. She said she would definitely consider it! This may not seem like much to a lot of you, but this is very sacred and spiritual for me. We haven't had a lot going on in Vancouver while I have served here, but I absolutely know that we found Heidi and Alejandro on that cold December night for a reason. God loves them, and knows them personally. So He allowed us to meet them. I feel so strongly that one day the will accept and embrace the gospel. Please pray for them!

Conquering the world

Marta Ayala and her brother. she broke her foot so we have visited her every week for the past 2 months. I'm so grateful we were able to be such a strength and comfort for her during this time when she couldn't leave her house.

Yesterday, at church, we were able to teach both Sunday School and Young Womens. It went so well. In Sunday school, we taught about prayer. We were very specific and very bold about the way we pray! Then we taught about missionary work in young womens. We had 3 young women there and 2 leaders! The room was so filled with the spirit and joy as we explained to them that we would be role playing! Haha...we role played introducing the Book of Mormon to people. We split into two groups and Sister Polanco and I were the investigators. They all just sat there...and had no idea how to start. So Sister Polanco and I gave an example. We testified with the Spirit and everything just flowed so nicely. Haha they all said, "that will be easy" and then gave it a shot. They soon found out that it was a lot harder than they thought. We were nice investigators and they soon got the hang of it. After they had the opportunity to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon, they were all smiles. It is so amazing to me that we believe the gospel, we live the gospel, we are converted to the gospel, but do we know how to share the gospel?? How would you share the gospel with someone? How would you tell someone what the Book of Mormon is and what it means to you?

Love Nicolle and Celeste

Young Womens! Hoth, Polanco, Nicole, Juliette, Hermana Pasquier, Hermana Osoro, Robyn

I love the Del Castillo family

Hermana Chavez and Hermana Espinosa

Hermana Andrea Valdiri

Our Bishop...Alvarez andHermano Puschel...our ward mission leader

Hermanito Espinosa

Family and friends, I want you all to know that I love my mission. I do not love my mission because it has been easy or even fun all that time. I love it because I have come to know my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I have learned what it really means to love, serve, and sacrifice. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly Christ's church on the earth today. Jesus Christ directs and guides us through His prophets and apostles. I know these men are called of God. I know that us as missionaries are also called of God. We are doing the same marvelous missionary work that has been done from the beginning. I love God. God is so good. He allows all of us to learn of Him and live happy lives, but we must choose His ways to do so. I pray that we always rejoice in His goodness. (Mosiah 4:11-12)

Love,  Hermana Hoth

Look who I got to see! Sister Jenson goes home this week!:(

Sister Grant...I LOVE HER

They are "hoth-sick" (homesick for Hermana Hoth)

Sister Driscoll!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mon, Jan 11, 2016 2:48 pm 20 Pupusas for a 20 year old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HERMANA HOTH on JAN 9th!!!

Hey everyone!

Happy Birthday... to me! It was seriously such a joy to spend my Birthday here in Vancouver with my little star, Hermana Polanco. She is the cutest thing ever. And to start off the week, Hermana Flores invited us to learn how to make Pupusas, my favorite food ever. So to say the least, it was a fantastic Bday! I'm pretty sure I ate at least 20. I am so chubs. I am pretty sure that Hermana Polanco was way more excited about my Birthday than I was. I woke up to a million sticky notes all over the mirrors and walls. She sang "Mom, it's your Birthday" from Phineas and Ferb all day long...and also her favorite song "Squirrels in my pants". 

She decided to sing to me all day long...starting with morning exercises. She about dies from singing and running. Then she told me, "So my present to you today is I will tell you all of your best qualities." Throughout the day, she listed those to me. She is so special. It has been such a privilege to serve with one of my best friends! For lunch, the Sisters took us to DQ. I bet not very many people have had all of DQ sing to them on their Birthday.

DQ bday Grant, Hoth, Driscoll, Polancol
It was so sweet...we saw such a miracle come out of going to DQ. This lady, Roxanne, came up to us after we sang Happy Birthday and talked about how she new some sisters before. She was so sad that they stopped visiting her and her family! She is thrilled that the Sisters are going to start visiting her again! Miracles in Dairy Queen. Birthday Miracles.


Sis Polanco wrote this for language study I DIED:) 

President called the morning of my Birthday...I thought to wish me happy birthday...but we just discussed the area and the work. I couldn't tell him, it would have just been too awkward. So he called me 2 more times during the day to wish me happy birthday and talk. I am so blessed to be here serving with President and Sister Burt. They are such great examples at ministering to the one. 

Such a funny story that I forgot to tell last week. So our mission is really strict with the music we listen to...EFY and Motab..that's it. And so one day last week, I was feeling so guilty all day because I had a Taylor Swift song in my head. So at the end of the day, I just had to tell Hermana Polanco so I could get rid of my "guilt and shame". Haha. She asked me which Taylor Swift I started humming it to her. She died laughing. Turns out that the song that I had in my head all day was an EFY song. You know when you have been on your mission for 11 months when you confuse EFY and Taylor Swift.

You're welcome world

So this week, we have come up with a new game plan for our ward. Our members are the ones that need so much of our attention. Our little ward is struggling and we want to make sure that they are learning the DOCTRINE at church and increasing their testimonies. We especially want to help them with their prayers. They just can't seem to pray in the way that God has commanded us. So we taught one of our members how to pray...without directing the Lord during the middle of the prayer. Only Heavenly Father. We were bold and very specific. And so the lesson was great and the member gave the closing prayer and it was like we didn't even teach the lesson. Sister Polanco fist-palmed her face during the prayer. Ha, so we have lots of work to do! 

So...transfer news is coming up this next week. I definitely feel like something will change. Sister Polanco feels the same way too. After nightly planning, she just looked so sad so I asked what was wrong. She said, "I just know you're going to leave. I am so homesick for you. I know! I'm Hoth-sick". We have been through so much together and it will be so heart-breaking to leave each other. I know that the Lord will bless us so much no matter where we go.

Our district


Sister Flores gave us hilarious shoes to cook in 

We love Hermana Flores

One of my favorite moments from this week happened when we were finding in Downtown. There is always quite a few homeless people on the sides of the road just sitting there waiting for people to help them. We always want to help them and often times we talk with them for a bit and leave them with a picture of Jesus. But what we saw this week, I will never forget. We saw a young mom with her two sons (probably 4 and 5) they were going to each and every homeless person and giving them a juice box and a sandwich. My heart melted at the charity this lady had. Not only was she being a Christ-like example to the world, but was teaching her sons such a valuable lesson. I pray that we can all be more like her. 

I want to close with this scripture. I started reading the Book of Mormon again, but this time in Spanish! I love the very first lesson we learn in the first verses of the Book of Mormon. Nephi first explains how he has "seen many affliction" in his days, but then the very next thing he says is that he is "highly favored of the Lord". I know that like Nephi, all of us have our own person challenges and trials. I also know that no matter how hard they may be, God loves us. We are highly favored of the Lord. God wants to bless us. It is my testimony that God knows us personally, that He loves us more than we can comprehend.

We had a miracle referral this week. La familia Vega...and they came to church! We are hoping to meet with them again...but they said we will have to wait till February! Lots of prayers for them!
Hermana Hoth                                                                                                                        P.S. I learned the history of why I'm called a gringo! That was a valuable lesson to learn.