called to serve

called to serve

Monday, January 25, 2016

Una Semana de Milagros!!!

I can't even explain in words how amazing this week was. I feel like I had so many unanswered questions or just an empty space in my heart that was filled this week as we attended the conference and as we taught our investigators this week. This week, over everything, my testimony was strengthened of the reality of our Savior and of the reality that our Heavenly Father really does hear and answer our prayers. As you know, we attended a 3 mission conference on Saturday with Elder Cook, Elder Christiansen, and Elder Ochoa. It was fun to shake their hands and get to know them a little bit. What a blessing! They all gave wonderful wonderful talks along with their wives. We all left so edified. My favorite talks were by Elder Cook and his wife. His wife talked about Christlike attributes and how we should all be striving to develop those throughout our life. I would definitely invite you all to grab a preach my gospel and read the chapter about Christlike attributes and take the attribute test. It is amazing how if you do that prayerfully, Heavenly Father can show you the things that you need to work on. What strengthened my testimony the most was the testimony that Elder Cook bore at the end. He said that a young man had once asked him why the apostles and the prophet don't share more experiences that they have. He talked with us about keeping the sacred things sacred and how sometimes, the revelation that we receive is sometimes just meant for us. And then he talked about the reality of the Savior. He said something that pierced my heart and that i will hold on to forever. He said, "I know Him. I know the Saviors voice. I know what his face looks like. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real and they are directing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I truly felt the spirit pierce my soul. I know and I hope with every fiber of my being that I can help these people here in El Salvador KNOW that their Savior and Heavenly Father are real. This is THEIR church. The plan is real. The fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is again on the earth. And the blessings of heaven are available to us. The opportunity to receive life eternal is ONLY found as we live by the principles and hacer the ordinances  that are found within THIS church, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We saw several miracles this week. But, the one that comes to my mind the most frequently is that the father of Alexandra signed the papers for her to get baptized! She has such a desire to be baptized and finally after weeks and weeks of praying, something touched his heart and she is going to be baptized this Saturday! She is 16 years old and every time we teach her, she strengthens my testimony. She is so willing to make all the sacrifices she needs to, to become a better, more Christ like person. I know without a doubt in my heart that she was prepared to hear the message of the restoration of the gospel. I have seen it in her every single time we teach. It is truly a blessing to be a small part of her conversion. 

We also found a new family this week, that I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo So SO excited about. Alma (the mom) is a menos activo. It has been over 10 years since she has attended church  and neither of her children (Nestor and Karen) are members. We found them by a miracle. a Few weeks back, we met Nestor at Mynor's house. We invited him to come to the noche de hermanamiento that we have every week on Wednesday with the ward. He said that he would come but never actually showed. BUT, when one of our plans fell through and we were clear out of Turìn where we have no other investigators, we decided to knock a few doors. And the very first house we went to was theirs! Nestor opened the door and were able to have a lesson with him  and set another lesson to come back! The very next day we went and were able to meet his sister Karen. We were there for way too long. But had so much fun with them playing games and getting to know them. They came to church with us the Sunday and absolutely LOVED it. In fact, Nestor agreed after church yesterday to be baptized, to sing in the choir for the stake conference and went to choir practice two towns away last night with a group of youth from the ward. He also showed up to play soccer with the youth this morning at the church. It is amazing! He is 16 years old and is one of the nicest people I have met here. We are so excited for him and know that as they watch his example, his sister will follow right behind him and hopefully his mom as well! 

We have 6 investigators progressing right now and 4 with fechas! We are super excited and are hoping and praying that we can find some new families this week! The work is moving along very nicely here in Turìn and we are so excited! It is amazing to start seeing the fruits of your labors. But it is even more amazing to see how the spirit can work to change the lives of people. That is something I learned in our worldwide missionary training that we had this last Tuesday! God sends us here not so that we can be helpers in his garden, but so that we can provide the Spirit in their lives so that HE can prune the garden. That's the whole reason we are here, and that is why it is so important that we are exactly obedient and that we are continually seeking the spirit and the gifts of the spirit. Oh man. It was a good week! I am so excited to repent and get out there this week and change everything we are doing to become better misioneras, more worthy of the spirit, better predicad mi evangelio misioneras, and help the people here in Turìn find their desire. 

Okay, now some more "fun" for this week. El Salvador finally got me. My companion and I are going in today, tomorrow and Thursday for parasite tests...YAAAAAYY. The pain is real. We have been throwing up and have had diarhea (sorry for this) all week and the worst part....we haven't even had water in our house to really take care of things. We finally got some water this morning after 4 days without we very quickly took showers and filled some buckets with water that we can hopefully use to clean our house. But other than that things we are happy and healthy :) No need to worry! :) Also some fun for you...not so fun for me things from this week. Remember that man that i said we met in the street that tried to kiss me? Well, we got a reference this week from the patriarch and when we got was HIM. It was soooo awkward. But we taught him the first lesson and are sending the reference off to the elders. He is now being called my boyfriend by the other missionaries. Who knew I would find a 60 year old boyfriend on my mission. Also, no need to worry, we are completely safe! But this week, I had what I think is my scariest experience yet. I promised I would tell you everything Mom, but know as you read this we are suuuuuper safe! It was about 8:30 and we decided to do some contacting...we stopped in the middle of the street trying to decide where to go and we were just about to pray when my companion said, "RUN." and looked at my shoulder with this awful look. I looked down and noticed that we were being targeted by a lazer. So we went home. Good think running is my new thing, even up the large hill to our house :) Anyways, moral of the story is, we are parasitic and smelly, but SAFE, HAPPY and somewhat healthy :) And recharged for another AMAZING week in beautiful El Salvador! 

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Stay close to the gospel. And if you aren't there now, GET THERE because it is the ONLY way to true happiness in this life and an interminable gozo en la vida venidera! Be Christ-like, read your scriptures, pray to Heavenly Father every day and please for me, stay safe :) I love you and I pray for you each individually every single day.

Hermana Stoor

 ​The one good thing about waking up at 6:00 AM is this :)

​Also, I'm Hermana Stoor, but I also still have my Megan moments. Lost my name tag...sooooo for the next three weeks until i get my new one, I am Hermana Escalante! Rosalina lent me her name tag for a while and its been kind of fun to get the weird looks I get. I am definitely tanner than i left, but not quite Latina. :)

We had some fun the other night with Roberto, Kevin and Ale as we walked up to our house. They were nice to share their canya with us. Its this cool plant that you just chew on and its super sugary. Anyways here's a picture of the boys with their canya and machete :)

Hermana Crowley finds this picture so funny. I hadnt realized they hadnt taken the skin of yet and spent a while trying to bite into this one. 

We had a new roommate move in and he decided to hang out for a while. There are geckos EVERYWHERE. In our suitcases, in our clothes..everything! But they are soooo cute :)

Selfie in the van on the way to the conference. The four of us you can actually see are the Turìn missionaries. Elder Galicia got transfered and now we are an area of all gringos. Elder Laing, Elder Flygare, me and Hermana Crowley

I love the temple in San Salvador! It is soooo beautiful! I cant wait to go inside...hopefully in the next couple of months!

​We looooooovvveee Hermana Spjut! She is so so sweet! 

Monday, January 18, 2016


We are feeling pretty blessed this week! We now have three baptismal dates! We continue to see small miracles every day in Turin! I wanted to tell you about our investigator, Horacio Coches. I think I mentioned him a little last week but...He is a 75 year old man that we found on the street a couple of weeks ago. At first, I really wondered if we could go anywhere with him. He is super sick and has no teeth so all i could understand from our first lesson with him was that he couldn't read, couldn't see, couldn't really hear, couldn't walk to church, and is terribly afraid of cars. But, we went back for a second lesson and every lesson since then has gotten better with him. This week, he even agreed after about 30 minutes of convincing him at his doorstep yesterday morning to allow a member to take him to church. We promised him that he would feel at peace in the church and that his pain would go away so he would be allowed to feel the spirit. After sacrament meeting, i leaned over to him and asked him how he felt. He said he felt really really good and that the meeting was beautiful. We went back to his house last night, and because hes the only one who lives there we couldn't go in but we stood outside the door and sang him a hymn, bore our testimonies and just took some time to ask him some questions. I have never felt so happy in my whole life as I did last night. I felt impressed to ask him if he was still praying to know whether or not Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. There is nothing like the feeling to hear your investigators answer yes. He accepted a baptismal date for the 6th of February. He is ready to change and after 75 long years of waiting, he can finally do it. Its amazing to see how the church can change the lives of these people. As we walked away, my heart filled with sooooo much love. 75 years of waiting for find the truth, and its finally here for him. ahhhh...the church is so true! 

Our other fecha for the week is Mynor. We are so excited...but also really scared for him. Every time we talk about his situation we just cry and cry. We found out this week from a member in the ward that not only is the man who lives in his house a gang member, but his mom, Mary, who we have been teaching is too. So, we don't know exactly what we are going to do. The plan is for now to teach him at the church house and we are going to probably have to drop his mom because its not safe for us to be there. This week we have been sitting outside with him, but we were also told that we shouldn't do that anymore because apparently they have lots of drive by shootings there. We are going to talk to our mission president a little more about it and see what we can do. But we also need to talk to Mynor too this week to make sure he isn't a part of the gang. We are kind of suspecting so because of how hard he is looking for a new job, but we will see this week i guess. Hopefully if he is, we can get him out of the house and hidden safe so he can get baptized and get out of the gang. Going to be a big process, but our goal is for the 15th of February.  BUT anyways...he is super positive. He wants to change. I think he just feels trapped in his situation. But we are going to do all we can to help him. 

Lots of sad things happened this week as well. We were supposed to be baptizing Yenifer this weekend...but we just found out that her dad has a problem with the word of we are going to have to push it back some more. We are hoping to get a date from the bishop this week for when we can set out next goal with him to get the priesthood and her to get baptized. But in the meanwhile we are meeting with the family almost every other night and we are going to do our best to help them get there. 

Anyways, guess my time is up...but I am good! My back is doing alot better and we are healthy and happy! We have an exciting week ahead! A worldwide missionary training in a couple days...and then a devocional with Elder Cook in San Salvador on Saturday! Watch it if you can...sounds like my comp is playing the we will most likely be either on the front row or on stage...super lucky! Anyways...have a good week! I love you all so much! 

​Found myself a new friend this week.

​This is my other little buddy. His name is Kenneth and he is a fire ball. But he loves to give brazos and besos to Hermana Crowley and I. 

​Amadai (the lady who fed us dinner on new years whose mother died who we have been calling Janet until we found out this week that is not her name) bought us these cute pillowcases so that when we go home we can keep her in our minds always. She is so sweet! We taught her a lesson this week, but have decided we just need to do some service for her for a while before we really do some teaching. We are hoping we can open her heart to the gospel a little more. We love her so much. Its so hard to see the people you love closed off to the gospel, but we are praying for a miracle soon! 

​I do wish we had some snow here! Don't know if you can tell...but we took this picture trying to show the heat in El Salvador a little. You could literally see the heat in the air this day. Although, somehow even on these days, I still love El Salvador. 

​We had my faaaavorite meal i have ever had here the other night. Fish soup. Sounds yummy doesn't it. After a good night of throwing it up, Hermana Crowley and I felt alot better. Its amazing what you can put in  your body out of love for the people. These are investigators of the elders, but we love them too! Their son was baptized this week...and hopefully the parents soon too! 

Just a picture of us with the Patriarch and Bishop Marroquin. They help us so much and we just love their family! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Estoy felizzzzzzz!

Another beautiful week in Turin! The week started off pretty rough, but by the end, it turned out to be really good week!  We had lots of success in finding this week...we talked to 141 new people and we have lots to do! Also, I felt like this week, alot of our investigators really opened up to us. We learned alot and have alot of work to do again this week. We found a new family this week that I am really excited about. Saturday we were looking for a reference of some menos activos from the Bishop. We knocked on a door of a house to ask if they knew who they were. An old man answered and because he couldnt hear us very well, he opened the door and told us to come in thinking we were looking for him. After a good 20 minutes we found out that they were not members and that we had the completely wrong family. So we taught a little about the restoration and left them the pamphlet to read with another return appointment for Sunday night. We almost never expect the investigators that we only get in one lesson with to come to church on Sunday.  But we received a miracle. Right after the meeting started, i turned around just as the old man and his grandson walked in the door. And, the grandpa stayed for all three meetings. It was amazing! We went to their house last night, but only the grandson was home. He said he really liked church and that they read the pamphlets that we gave them. We are going back in a couple days to hopefully be able to teach the whole family. It is amazing to see every single day how the people here are prepared to hear our message.  

I`m not sure if I have talked much about Maira. But we have a investigator named Maira who is around 28ish years old with a husband, a 3 year old and we think she is pregnant. She has taken the lessons before from the missionaries and told us on our first visit with her that she has a testimony that it is all true. Her desafio is that her and her esposo are not married and because of that they cant get baptized. They also really don't want to get married because they believe if they do they are just going to get divorced even though right now they are perfectly happy.  Some "curse" or something. Anyways, she called us last Sunday and told us she didn't want us to come back anymore because she had gone to the Christian church and really really enjoyed it and we would just be "wasting our time". Well, of course we went back. I really am not sure whats going to happen with her right now, but she agreed to let us come back and teach more. We just have got to figure out how to get her and her husband to get married. 

We also met a new man this week...who we are really excited about....which makes me laugh. The first lesson we had with him (Horacio) was on the street and i came out wondering why in the world Hermana Crowley set another visit. He is this old oooooooooold old old man with no teeth and who is suuuper sick so I could barely understand. But all I did understand of what he said was that he cant read, he wouldn't come to church and that he didn't want to hear our message. As we walked away Hermana Crowley turned to me and said, " Now he is a good investigator." I was sooooooo confused. But we went back again on Viernes and I finally understood why. All those things I had understood were lies that he told us just to try to get us to go away. He had read the pamphlet. He had prayed. He agreed to come to church with us on Sunday as long as he didn't have to walk to get there. Everything! Hes golden! And our hearts are filled with so much love for him. 

We work with alot of menos activos here in El Salvador, because everyone seems to get baptized and then quit coming right after. But we have so many coming to church now that I am so excited about! We work with the Alfaros brother Alejandro casi cada noche. He is fourteen years old and is just a regular teenager. Doesn't want to listen to his brother (who is his guardian, long story), doesn't want to go to church, wants to be "cool" which is not good in El Salvador, and is just kinda a rebel. BUT, we read scriptures every night with him and he is really starting to change. He wants to be better and he is getting better every day. He has been coming to church and staying for the meetings thanks to his new member friend Roberto and i don't even know how to explain it. Hes just happier. We gave him the goal of preparing and becoming worthy to receive his patriarchal blessing...he fasted, has started praying and idk...hes just different. I love the way this gospel can change lives. 

Not really any fun stories to tell this week...just excitement about the investigators...which is fun for me! I never really know what to share in my letters because so much happens every im going to try to do better about answering if you have got questions...shoot them at me! Kind of a short week this week really....cant believe it is Pday again. But everything really is so good! We really are safe here. As scary as my last letter was, i'm never really all too scared. Something about this tag...its a promise of proteccion! So no need to worry! Every one seemed worried about my health this week too....really no need to worry! My body is achy and sore...but you just have to expect that running in the mornings and climbing up hills all day. I am starting to feel a little sick...with possible a flu...but its been going around the mission so I don't think its anything to worry about too much. I am happy and healthy! My health is good and my Spanish is coming along! I feel pretty comfortable. Some people I cant really understand because of their accents but for the most part...I understand everyone and almost everything. So just got to keep practicing talking! But Elder zone leader...tells me I talk bien rapido for a i feel pretty good about that. :)

My time is wrapping up fast so....just know I love you all, that i am happy and healthy! And that I know without a doubt in my mind that this church is true, Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Lord's church is on the earth today! Its such a blessing to be here in El Salvador and to have the opportunity to share the joyful message of this gospel! How great it is to know that the priesthood keys to seal families forever is on the earth again and that through our faithfulness in living the principles and ordinances of the gospel, we can return to live with our loving Father in Heaven. I love Him. I love his son, my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And I love this gospel. 

Hermana Stoor

​Just had to send a picture of this cutie. Don't remember his name...we just stopped in to help his mom make tortillas.  I love the kids here!

​This is Yenifer who we have a baptismal date with for the 24th! When we were teaching the other night, she ran back to her room to show me her new red dress she had bought just like mine. So we wore them together on Sunday. She is such a doll!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A week of weirdness.

This week was a good....and a very strange week. We had some very unique experiences this week...but first I will talk about my investigators and things. 

We had some new challenges this week. Two of those three sisters we are teaching are minors and although they want to get baptized, their dad is completely against it. We were able to sit down with him this week and ask him what his duros (no say in English) were with them getting baptized. He mostly just said he doesn't feel as though they can know enough to make such an important decision. So we are hopefully going to be able to catch him at home more this week and help him through that. BUT Alexandra is so ready. We were supposed to be baptizing her on the 10th so we are praying that her dad can understand a little more this week why she wants this. She told us about a dream that she had had this last week that The Savior led her to a pool of water and told her to enter...and the more she thought about it...she realized that was her answer. What a miracle! Pray with us for her and her dad!

Mynor is the young man we had with us at the NDH with familia Alfaro. We are excited about him. He attended church with us this week and really seemed to like it. He is such a nice kid, but has grown up in such sad conditions. Hermana Crowley and I had a good cry the other night as we talked about him. His mother has had several boyfriends and there are I don't even know how many kids in her house. Their house is in such a sad condition even for here. The guy who his mom is dating now is a huffie. (which i believe is a leader of a gang). Hes kinda scary...hes been nice to us every time we are there but it makes us really worry about Mynor. The other day we saw his gang outside the house and the mother crying and really angry walking down the street and something bad going on. We are worried we aren't going to be able to teach him anymore because of the gang. We will see i guess. He is keeping commitments now...and is hopefully switching jobs this week so he can go to church every Sunday with us. We are hoping to baptize him on the 6th of February

We have several others that we are meeting with...but not really moving towards baptism with any of them except for these three and Yenifer (the 8 year old who is getting baptized on the 24th). We talked to 111 new people on the street this week and have lots of places to get to this week! The work is good though! I am loving it! There is nothing better than this. I'm even lucky enough to get an extra week of it......sorry to drop the bomb....but because of changes with the time in the MTC...i will be coming home a week later than we expected. I will you see you the day after your birthday Mom!

And now the weirdness....
.1. Last Monday night we had gone back to our house to grab something we had forgotten and as we started to walk down the road I saw a man pop out from behind our house. I couldn't tell how many their were but all I could tell is that there were more than one and they were dressed in all black with guns on their hips. Its dark on almost every street but when we turned around we could see just enough to know that they had started to follow us...very quickly.. We panicked, but restrained ourselves from running. Luckily, even though it was late at night...we could see one family a ways down the road...We finally decided to get to them and talk with them as quick as we could. My heart was beating so fast. Then when the men finally passed by us we realized they were policeman...which settled us a little...but we still got away from there quickly. Kinda sad you even have to be afraid of the policeman. 

2. I killed a chicken this week. I will send you the picture soon. The family Alfaro bought a chicken for New Years dinner and well....i was so scared I suffocated it long before I got the knife to cut its throat. So I feel pretty bad about that. 

3. The lady that i told you about who is evangelical who we are hoping to teach soon invited us over for dinner but when we got there she wasn't there. She showed up at our house that night with her granddaughter and offered to bring us over food...when she came back we asked if there was anything we could do for her. She started telling us all about how she felt that we were her angels to fill the hole she had left when her mom passed away. It was all so nice...Then she started chanting this weird blessing thing....then next thing i know..she raised her hands and started coming toward me. I was TERRIFIED. I had no idea what was happening. She grabbed my head with both of her hands and started shaking it quite hardly and started shouting a blessing to God. I was trying so hard not to laugh...especially after my companion let out a few snorts. Then she moved to my companion after about 5 minutes and did the same. We died laughing that night...but we are very grateful for her love.

4. The old men here are creepy...but this was the first week i had any of them be too close to me. This man on the street came up and grabbed my backpack and started hugging me and telling me how beautiful I am in about 15 different ways...then tried to kiss me.....we do everything we can to avoid him now. 

Well I guess my times up...but I love you all so much! God is real! The church is true! And the book is blue! 

​We painted the house of a couple of members this week. They are a newly married couple and are just moving was so fun!

​​Also...just a little selfie. We had to take a break in the shade yesterday it was so hot. So we stopped for some water and a selfie before we headed back out. :)

​El Salvador is beautiful..took a drive out to a members house with some ward members yesterday. I am amazed by the beauty here every day! 

​Forgot to share in my letter...went on intercambios this week...spent some time with this beauty, Hermana Timoteo in El Refugio. I hope I never get called to that is terrifying. In fact, the elders got kidnapped last year so we had to travel by bus into the area from their apartment which is a good 10 minutes outside of the area. It was fun...but i hope I never have to go back. 

This is Kevin...he is 9 years old and is so excited about the church! We are trying to find a time to work with his grandparents so we can baptize him. This picture was at the ward Christmas party...we were covered in confetti from the young women`s skit. He was so sweet and spent the rest of the party brushing it out of all of the hermanas hair. It was a fun night :)

And here's the picture of the chicken i killed with Veronica and Nicole. I promise I didn't get any blood on my new apron. Thanks Grandma Petersen!