No Judgement Zone

I am of course talking about Planet Fitness.
We got gym memberships. This was actually a couple of weeks ago. And I'm getting ready to run a 5K. Because I hate myself clearly. Anyways.. the first month we had to pay a down payment of $30 so it was super easy to get up every morning because, thirty bucks is thirty bucks. But now we only pay $10.. lets just say driving past the gym every afternoon has gotten a little awkward.
"it's not you, it's me."
However, Planet Fitness is super clean and everything matches annnnd they have "NO JUDGEMENT ZONE" pasted everywhere.. if only life were a little more Planet Fitnessy.
We feel super awkward in pants.
We had a service day this week, which = pants, by the way. At first I was all "yaaaaayy PAAAAANTS" .. but then I was all "not so much".. it's ridiculous how quickly you become an awkward missionary.
For example. I accidentally knicked one of the Elder's arms and .. I had to have a long sit down with my companion about it. I remember when I was normal.
So we had awesome miracles last week. A member family who I adore had this ridiculous trial that I can't tell you about cause of privacy issues. And because my companion is super about obedience and in the white handbook it says I can't tell you.
Anyways, we fasted for them - then the whole zone fasted for them - all 40 missionaries, and their miracle came through, and let me tell you, it was a miracle.
yeah, I know that's not too many details but.. I love Wichita. The mission has been really hard and there are still things that are.. interesting.. but as far as the people - it's the best.
They are so humble and dedicated and kind... so, so, dedicated. It's amazing. I love these people so much and so entirely I wish I could just move 'em all to Utah!
The people. That's what my mission has been all about.
So.. Storm Shelters.
We didn't find who we were looking for, but it was still productive cause up till now we had no idea where to go if there were a Tornado. We live in an apartment.

We couldn't resist. The street is named "Hood". We serve in the Hood. It's the truth.

We eat out way more than we should. This was fitting with the whole Peter thing that's been on my mind.

Brother Goddard. The one time he isn't wearing a poncho. This is seriously the only time in my life I saw him without a Poncho. Still a classy man. He's so Argentine, it's the best.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - Wichita has the best walls. (pretty sure that's literally what I said last week. Whatever)


The Elders in our district are the best.


Really not much too write today cause I forget everything so I literally am gonna copy my comps weekly email and paste it. Thanks Hermana Torres!

this week has been very eventful...i think i need to write in my journal every night because we do so much everyday...i kind of forget.
but it was a good week :) it always is.

this week in a nutshell:

- i "played" the organ for church yesterday.

-our baptism for Saturday got cancelled.

-we visited our investigator in jail.

-yesterday was a sunny 67 degree day.

-i love serving in the kansas wichita mission

this e-mail is really short,but i promise a very detailed one next week.
i love you all. have a great week! - hermana Torres

I testify to everything my companion has just said :)


Walking on Water..

Hey everyone. Not much to report today.
There's a place in my mission called Hooker. Hooker, Oklahoma. They sell T-Shirts.
This week the story of Peter walking on water has been headlining. Last Tuesday we had a Zone Training and one of the AP's looked straight at me in the middle of his lecture and said "Sister Juarez, you are already walking on water. Why would you look down at the waves?" ... it hit me pretty hard. I was also on the spot so that was awkward. But I've been thinking about that a lot. And that story. How Peter was already doing the impossible, but he doubted. Sucks. ... He must have felt pretty lame when he realized if he would've just kept going he would've reached the Lord, but he didn't. He sank. Jesus was there to pick him up though, that's the best part! ... but still must have stung when he got back on the boat to remember he sank - and then Jesus was all "O thou of little faith" .. That Jesus, always so lovingly bold - gotta love it. Peter ended up being a pretty cool guy.. but I wonder how he felt after he got back on the boat. All the apostles were probably doing some really holy version of "Hoohoo.. shouldn't have doubted man" or a "I'm sure you'll walk on water next time," ... they were probably really nice about it though. I mean they were apostles. For the most part I think everybody was just pretty mesmerized at how awesome Christ was. ... I don't know. Just been on my mind. It's a good story. Matthew 14:29 if y'all were wondering.
I learned what/how to spot Orion's belt. All of Orion for that matter (Thanks Sister Roquemore! ). He's always sideways in Kansas. I like to pretend he's kicking in the winning goal.
For our service day this week we cleaned a member's house who was moving. All those years of cleaning my parents' rental homes paid off. That kitchen was spotless. I had the best team too. Also, Fabuloso degreaser is really, really good, guys.
We had an FHE last week. (part of our plan to unite the branch). We did it at the church and put all the couches in the gym. It was fun, the members liked it. I could plan activities all day, erryday. (except no please)
The little boys we are teaching are getting baptized the 18th, and they are so sweet I could just dip 'em in my coffee! .. or hot cocoa.
Elders:"there's a shooting at our apartment RIGHT NOW! We can hear the gunshots!"
Me: "Oh, whatever."
Elders: "seriously! we need to leave right now. I don't know how we're gonna do this."
Sis. Torres: "....It's just like dodgeball. :)"
Me: "there's Taurus, Sagittarius, Cancer...."
Sis. Torres: "Pisces, Leo..."
Me: "Capricorn...."
Sis. Torres: "..Capricorn..."
Me: "...."
Sis. Torres: "......"
Me: "...Capricorn ...and.."
Sis. Torres: "...unicorn."
Member: "Well our tub is so big, we could baptize him there!"
Me: "let's do it!"
Member: "well, he says he'll never get baptized because he's afraid of water."
Me: "It's ok, we'll baptize him by fire..."
- I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Kansas has the best painted walls.
- Lighthouses for days.




Remember that One Time Elder Howell kissed Elder Johnson?!

^ on the mouth.
Not apostate - just a corner, a hallway, and fate.
Missions are really awkward. A lot of really awkward things happen out here - I don't even know how to handle some things. You just laugh because it is kinda ridiculous.
Being a missionary is like being a pro - stalker. Sometimes the Elders will say things like:
"why don't you guys just stop by and visit them when they're not expecting it?"
"you mean, ambush them?"
But then... a lot of really ridicoulously awesome things happen.
Thursday night we were at an appointment out in the middle of nowhere - I know it's Kansas so that doesn't really narrow it down - and it was an awesome appointment! buuut.. I started getting the chills midway. I didn't want to say anything because it was going so well, so I just grinned and bore it :) however, by the time we got out I knew I had a full blown fever. As we stepped out in the cold my body just fuh-reaked. I started shaking and shivering so bad I could barely walk. At first it was kinda funny, (read: paragraph 2) but then my chest started hurting and things got real serious real fast. That night was interesting. But the important part of the story is that .. I learned a lot of myself, and what the Lord thinks of me (sorry, I know that's a bit cryptic), I also added on to my firm belief that each person we're surrounded with has been put there. I'm incredibly greatful for the priesthood and for how accessible it is to me now. And for the fact that these Elders are living their life in a way where its so evident every word they say comes from the Holy Ghost. (ha, I love em, but they could have never come up with that on their own). I'm grateful for amazing companions. And an awesome Mission Presidents and Mission President Wife. I'm grateful for the authority, knowledge, and understanding that comes with this great work. It's pretty cool.
To end on a slightly less heavy note (great transitions, I know): Does anybody have a Ukelele they're not using and would like to let me borr..have? The struggle is real.
P.S. I went thrifting, and all was well in the world.





Well, This is Awkward

I finished my last email with "talk to you next year!" ... I clearly can't count days.
So Christmas - hahaha it was great! Loved it :) I got so many gloves! which is awesome, because it is freezing in Wichita.
Christmas Eve we got all dolled up ('cause brown people celebrate the on the 24th) and we headed out to the big NOCHE BLANCA baptism.
It was really cool. The church was decorated beautifully inside and the spirit was super powerful. The President gave the talk and one of the sisters sang sweet, beautiful music.
Then people got baptized.
After the baptism we went to hand out some greeting cards and saw a ton of less active members. It was really special. Shared a christmas message with them.
We went home after all the Christmas cheer was spread and since it's a cultural thing, we decided it was ok to stay up till Midnight to open gifts (it's our culture - White handbook says it's totally fine.. somewhere in there) .. so we watched the Joseph Smith movie - classic - put on our PJs, told Christmas stories.. then it was gettin' late and sister Torres was way too antsy to open her hugenormous package and I was honestly passing out, so right around 11:40 we went nuts and opened everything up. Love Christmas.
I loved everything - I got so much candy! :DDD, got some beautiful letters - and I'm just so grateful for the people in my life. Thank you for thinking of me :)
I left a package from somebody who.. I didn't know would be so special.. for Christmas day. Sister Torres decided to open all her presents in one sitting. hahah she's my favorite.
The next morning I opened up the extra package. It was from the mom of my MTC best friend. Sister Wright (who by the way, is related to my favorite seminary teacher Brother Wright).
The package was from somebody who had never met me, had no connection to me, and yet it made me cry.. maybe a little bit.. I was just really touched that somebody who didn't know me at all could love me that way, her letter was simple and sweet - and all her gifts the same :) It really made me remember that Christmas Spirit - of giving and loving all - whether we know them or not - and how simple it is to just make 'em smile :)
Got to talk to my family, saw my brother who is in Peru! That was awesome, didn't think I'd get to talk to him. Then went to dinner with some investigators who were just the coolest family. They were so kind. And they had a really chubby Pug I almost stole. sigh.
Ended the night at Bro. Goddard (Jewish, lighthouse, papa to missionaries in the area) with his fam and the elders, drinking Mate (Argentine Drink) and talkin about Christmas. Good times :)
Well, that's... that's it haha..
and this time, for real - "talk to you next year!"



Ice, Ice, Baby

We got about three inches of ice in Wichita.

*we're teaching a family of kids and they're my favorite investigators - teaching the plan of salvation was a trip, but they loved it. It's basically story time all the time. The best.

*The mission is doing a missionwide baptism service on the 24th of December and they're calling it Noche Blanca (white night) - both the AP's are spanish speaking elders. It's gonna be awesome.

*Wichita has some awesome painted walls. Just sayin.

*Invited a couple people to baptism, all said yes - only two decided on a date - but we're still working on it. Probably gonna get transfered right before their baptism too :| (totally not bitter)
*The elders in my district gave us a christmas tree. it was the best. CHRRIIIISTTTMAAAASSS
*We have this amazing potential (potential investigator) we met at Popeye's. We were all "I'll have the crispy chicken with a biscuit" and he was all "what's the Book of Mormon about?" - insane. Then sister Torres was like boom, first lesson, testify, want one? But we didn't have one in English on us. We promised we'd be back soon (fried chicken, duh) but he hasn't been there since! We're on this massive quest for Johnny from Popeyes.. we've even resorted to stopping at all the Popeye's we drive by. I can't believe I'm saying this but.. I think I've had too much fried chicken. If anybody wants to help a sister (or two..) out, help us on our quest. Pray so Johnny will use the card we gave him and call us - or that once, just once more, he can be at popeye's when we're at popeye's. Thanks guys.
*Went to the Zoo with my dad. I do what I want. Just Kidding. I got permission from the mission president. He came to town. We Zoo'd it up. Pictures below.
*We had been carrying a Book of Mormon around for two weeks to give to Johnny, and while tracting the other day, we accidentally gave it away. Awkward. But this lady seemed pretty interested too! ... I'm new.
*Quote from Sis. Torres:
Me: you know, like she's a bimbo.
Sis. Torres: bhahahaha! She's a bimbo! ... wait. What's a bimbo? ... isn't that bread?
Merry Christmas! Remember Jesus :) I'm sorry I don't send super inspiring emails. Ok - lets see what I can come up with:
Yesterday we had the Mission Presiden'ts devotional and they asked a couple recent converts to get up and bear their testimony. There was this sister who is actually getting baptized on Noche Blanca who came up and bore her testimony and her enthusiasm was just - my favorite. She kept saying "May God bless you, big time!" and you know, He does. She later said "I'm one of God's spoiled rotten brats. Because that's what you are when you're parent's give you everything you want and more" :) I loved it so much. God is so good to us, He patiently listens and then truly gives us so, so much. So this season, apart from the temporal things, look around and see just how much the Lord has spoiled you and I invite you to go, and give to someone else (so you don't feel as bratty haha) and so you can get a teeny tiny taste of that sincere love God has for all His children. When you're serving others is when you feel it the most. It's really cool actually.
Ok, that's all I got. :) I love you all - Talk to you next year!!! ... hehehe



Christmas Time is Here

Christmas time is right around the corner and I finally am ok with it. Kinda hahaha
We went caroling last night with the Elders in our district and it was a lot of fun.. those jams always make me love Christmas. We also have been eating a lot so I cannot complain. #fatty
I'm also getting super excited about getting to talk with the family and see them :)
Christmas on the mission so far has been very different. Awesome. But different. Talk about the CHRISTmas spririt though.. (eh, eh (: )
Let me just tell you about my hilarious companion - Actual quotes:
- "You're like the GPS whisperer!" (I have to help her figure out the GPS)
- "You know what makes me feel better when I'm nervous to give a talk? People are just people, they're all gonna die eventually." :) ... that one is probably my favorite
- "It's whatevah lil bumper!" - this one I've picked up. It's contagious.
- " I have a lot of talents but the only useful one is breathing. When it works." -Asthma-like issues.
Ok, Dave - you told me you did research on Quaker Oats, but you never told me if it's still owned by quakers ...?
And the smallville info was super useful - Gracias :)
Next question: The three wisemen. Everything. Just send me the Wikipedia Article if you can. Thanks :)
Miss you all and pray for you!
Ps. These are the pictures I used for my Xmas Card, and I got to help a sister decorate (love christmas!) and we put the recliner in our apartment in our walk-in closet and there was a lot of "PIVOT" .. but it worked :)