Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul. D&C 4: 1-4

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Little Things Really Do Make A Difference

Mini photo shoot on the beach today!
Howdy howdy my lovely Americans-or any other non Americans that are reading this on my blog haha
So this week was heavy to say the least haha... with all the struggles I've been having I've been getting so much great advice and love from so many people in my life. I am so blessed. 

Morgann in her natural habitat haha!
My comp has only been to the beach twice! IN HER LIFE
This is going to be a weekly thing.

I really have felt like its been one thing after the other for a few weeks here, from family problems, to discouragement and hardships in the field, to heart break, and sickness all with in a few weeks... but if there is anything I've learned from it all, it is the fact that life goes on... and nothing is going to change the fact that I am here on a mission on the Lord's time not mine... when I accepted my calling to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I sacrificed my own time for these 18 months to SERVE, to WORK, to SAVE, and to FOCUS. And even though its freakin hard... sometimes I just break down and cry. I know that I can do this. And that God knows my heart and knows my situation and He is by my side 100% of the time. An elder who served here in playas a few years back has reached out to me and taken the time to help me, befriend me, and give me some sick advice. He wrote me an email this week in reply to my cry for help after feeling so crushed. Among soooo many other great words of advice he ended his email with this,  "'I can skin a buck, I can run a trot line, (and I can learn Spanish, and teach and preach, and all around kick butt) and a country boy (girl) can survive." - Hank Jr."  How perfect is that? For anyone who knows me, knows that this is perfect. Shout out to Josh Mundy for the perfect pick me up!

My daddy didn't raise me to be quitter. And ya'll can betcha sweet butts I aint gonna quit! Bring it on Satan cause this country girl aint givin up! In fact she's just gettin started!

So this week I've changed little things trying to better myself as a missionary and become more in tune with my calling here. Like from wearing my ugly sister missionary walking shoes and not my toms, and studying just a little more in depth, praying more sincerely. The little things really do make a difference. It's important that as missionaries we don't forget our purpose... or that we even have a purpose. Its hard when we do the same thing everyday, sometimes we just get in routine and forget why we are here. We lose the feeling and drive to what we are doing. So I've made it my goal to not let that happen. To stay focused and to work as hard as I possibly can to win this war against Satan and bring Gods children back to him as I promised. 

So I have a bit of big news for ya'll... I'm going to write my journal entry that I wrote on November 23rd 2013.

" Wow... today is Saturday, November 23rd and I have just had the most amazing experience with personal revelation. I'll start with what happened yesterday. Yesterday, Friday, November 22nd we had interviews with President Dennis. In my interview President told me that he wanted me to map out my life. To focus on what I needed to do to become a successful mom, and wife. He told me he had been thinking and praying about me a lot, and kept asking what can Hermana Younce do when she gets home so that she can find her nitch, so that she knows she has worth... He then told me he wants me to study when I get home and that he thinks I would make a great nurse.  At first I was shocked. But the more he talked about it the more it grew on me. The whole bus ride home I was imagining myself as a nurse. And I started to fall in love with the idea. I came home that night and asked my Heavenly Father what he wanted me to do with my life. What plan he had for me. Beauty school has ALWAYS been my dream since I was in the womb. But right before my mission I started to get the feeling to keep an open mind about my future while I was gone. So I did.
This morning (Saturday) I decided to study further and ask my Heavenly Father specifically what he wants me to do. I made my prayer veryyy specific. I asked what path he wanted me to take so I could be a good mom, wife, and successful in my career. After I finished that prayer I read my patriarchal blessing. A few things jumped out at my but nothing strong enough to take as my answer. After I finished reading that, I knew I could find my answer in the scriptures... I prayed to know what scripture to read. I was looking at the tabs on the side and felt the need to read in D&C, so I did. I read a scripture that talks about missionary work and working hard to save the souls of all man kind. At first I thought, maybe He doesn't want me to know right now? He wants me focus here.  But then I had a feeling that, that wasn't my complete answer... So I shut my scriptures and held them closed between my two hands, tabs facing up. And I prayed sooooo hard. Asking  the Lord to open my scriptures to my answer, to what I needed to know. Am I going to be a nurse or am I going to be a hairdresser? With every inch of my faith I have running through my body, my eyes shut as tightly as possible, I relaxed my hands, and expecting my scriptures to just flop open immediately, there was a stillness... I kept my eyes shut as my scriptures gently opened to a page, I opened my eyes... it was turned to the topical guide... The first word I read on the page was "health". and at the top of the page in the corner where the guide for the words are, was the word "hear". The scripture reference under the word "hear" was  "they heard the voice of the Lord…"  my stomach sank... I gasped and bursted into tears. Not because I was sad but because I knew my Heavenly Father was listening to me. I knew He knew what I needed to do with my life and He loves me enough to reveal that to me. I immediately started to pray and to thank my Heavenly Father and to ask him to bless me with peace and comfort if this is what he has planned for me, if this is my  answer. And that is exactly what he has done. There's a lot to look into for this path I am going to take and nursing school isn't the cheapest on the chart, but there were two answers to this remember? I need not forget the first part, in D&C. I need to still work super hard here, focus here, prepare myself here, and if I do so The Lord will bless me and make all things possible for me."

...............Surprise Mom and Dad! :) Love you all! Have a great week!

My comp enjoying her first oreo with peanut butter! She loved it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Go Me!

Howdy lovers!
How is everyone doing?! I hope that everyone's reply to that is great! Miss ya'll tons! But I am doing a lot better here! I've had a very inspirational week! Although I still had my own challenges I am getting stronger everyday!

I'll start with the bad. I'm sick! Yay! Haha well I have been for a week but i'm getting better now! no need to worry! Secondly, me and Hermana C. were walking around town the other day and we walked by these two men and we said, "buenas tardes" being nice and one of them looks at me and says, "Wow you should really cut down on eating. You're really fat." haha... yeah ouch. Bless his heart. He doesn't know that God punishes jerks like him who are mean to his daughters. I just smiled and kept walking. Although the natural man in me wanted to flip him off and say, "You must be blind cause I'm freakin hot!" But don't worry folks. I didn't :) I know I know. Go me!  
J---- our recent convert received his first calling! He is 2nd counselor in the elders quorum!! So exciting! So proud of him. I really think he will be a prophet one day. Another great news! C-------- the girl I wrote about last week came back! And got BAPTIZED!!!! Miracles really do happen. It was a beautiful service and her whole family came! her little sister is preparing to be baptized next week!

Everything else is going great! I've had a lot of support and love getting me through this hard time in my life. I received an email today from Taylor Squires, a good friend of mine and he shared this scripture with me... "My [daughter], peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." literally exactly what I needed to read. Shout out to him for always knowing what to send me:)

Also a missionary was counseling me this week on my situation and he told me that we are alwayssss going to have "Fridays" in life... (Friday was the day Christ died) but after every Friday we will always have Sunday... when Christ was risen. My Saturday may be lagging a little bit but I can feeeeeeeeel that Sunday inching towards me! I know that my work here will effect my family in ways that I personally cannot. And I will work and work till they don't let me anymore so I can see those blessings poor out on them. 

I love you all! congrats to Dylan and Lindsey on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl! So happy to be an auntie!


Me having too big of hair in a latin taxi hahaha!

Me and C-------- at her baptism!

Look how long my hair is getting!

Me and Mamita C----- buying fruits and veggies for my diet!

This is where we bought them.  It's called a "mercado"

This is my fridge! Everything but the tortillas and eggs are mine! :) and we are sharing the bananas! The best part ...... I got it all for $6.40!!! WHAT! Stoked!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Daily Battle

Hey everyone! 

suupa fierce - 6 month mark

So still feeling pretty crappy over here! I feel like I have the entire world on my shoulders… not just with things that are happening back at home but also with things here. I'm a very loving person, I love to love. And I really have the ability to feel what others feel… this can all be very good and helpful but in the same light sometimes it hurts me because all I want to do is save them. I take all their burdens onto my own shoulders and try to carry them so they don't have to. But in reality its still their life and somethings I just can't take away. Well, that is a lot easier to write than it is to act on.  
Daily I battle myself, and Satan so that I don't completely lose it. And I'm barely hanging on right now. In result to all the stress I've had a migraine almost everyday for 3 weeks now. On Tuesday I will be seeing a doctor to get a scan done on my head. I will let you all know how that goes! Not only that, but I have turned to food for comfort. My health is not okay, and I have to do something about it. I'm sick of people calling me fat here and I'm sick of all the jokes that people think are funny. For example this last week when we were in a lesson and a member asked to see a picture of my family. After seeing the picture he continued to make a super lovely comment "Are you the only fatter one in your family? What'd you do? Eat all the food plates of everyone else when they were done?  hahahahaha".  Everyone else seemed to think it was hilarious. I giggled but on the inside it was just another twist in the knife that I was already dealing with in my heart. I made an announcement on Sunday that due to my health I was no longer allowed to eat rice, bread, sugar or fried foods so that our mamitas, who feed us know that I'm serious about this. I just wanna get back to feeling happy and if I can't control the other people around me and I can't fix everything that I want to, I know that I can fix this, so this is where I'm going to start. 

So a couple of the experiences that I've had this past week that have really had an affect on me that I wanted to share with you all! 

 First off, C--------:
Christina is a 12 year old girl that we were teaching. she was recommended by her Uncle W------ who we just baptized. She was recommended by him to try and help her get out of her already not so great habits with the boys around town… I know everyone has their agency to choose, but the way she is raised, idk how her mom doesn't expect her to end up like she is… Her mom goes out every night and leaves her and her nine year old sister to fend for themselves and dates a different man every weekend and doesn't understand why her 12 year old daughter is already kissing boys. Mean while I found myself becoming very attached and having sooooo much love for her. Especially because I knew she wasn't getting it at home. She was ready to be baptized and loved being in the church. One night when we were talking she told me that sometimes she felt so bad about who she was she felt the need to kill herself… I tried to counsel her the best I could especially with the past I have with feelings like this. But it still really worried me. The next day we were talking with her grandma and I told her I didn't want to freak her out but I was a little worried about her grand daughter and I shared with her what C-------- said, and told her that if I didn't say anything and something happened I would feel awful. A few days later we went to pick her up for her baptismal interview…  She opened the door and immediately said to me, "Because of YOU my mom beat me last night! Because of YOU I have to move to Guayaquil!" She continued to explain to me that her grandma told her mom what I had said. That night when her mom came home she said, "You wanna kill yourself? Well, come on over here let me help!" And beat her. I bursted into tears and told her that I would NEVER ever tell her grandma or her mother anything with a bad intention. She fell into my arms balling and told me that she knew I loved her. It just still kills me that she was beaten because of something I said… she moved to Guayaquil that night and I'm hoping she's home soon so we can continue teaching her and preparing her for her baptism.

Another experience I had this week was with our new investigator M-----. Wow. She is amazing! She sells teas and supplements to help you lose weight. So we went in there one night to ask her about some things. She ended up asking about the church and told us that she knows there is only one true church on the earth and she knows it isn't the catholic or the evangelic church either. She knows that the true church found gold plates and has a prophet named Joseph Smith......I nearly kissed her I was so excited! I just wanted to jump up and yell that's us! That's us! A couple days went by and me being the sucky missionary that I am right now... I forgot to go back and visit her. One day we walked by her shop and she yelled, "Hey! When are you gonna come give me the lessons? I wanna be a part of your religion!" Whelp that was a slap in the face for me. We met with her the next day and she accepted the invitation to be baptized and is preparing to be baptized this month! When we invited her to read the Book of Mormon we read the introduction together. She came across the part that talks about the golden plates and Joseph Smith and she stopped mid reading and looked up at us and just said, "This is it... this is the truth" I just started crying. I was so overwhelmed and so taken back. It's so true... this is the only true church of Christ on the earth and we are so lucky to have it. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for it.

Happy Veterans Day from Hermana Younce and her Vet teddybear Ford!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Come Unto Him

This is a family who is simply amazing!!!! The husband is inactive but reactivating right now! And we are teaching his wife and their son!! He had an eye brow piercing that he did not want to get rid of... but we taught him about how our bodies are temples and he let his wife take it out! And I got to keep it! Yay! Such a special moment!!

And remember the other guy who is in love with me and everytime we see him I tell him earrings are for girls only, and we saw him the other night and he had an earring in and I ripped it out and chucked it?! Well when we were walking the other day I found the freakin earring!! hahaha So I put it in my change purse and I'm keeping it for a souvenir! :)

Well this week has been the hardest week of my mission.
The only thing I want to leave with this blog entry is my testimony.
I know this is the church of Christ. It is the only true church on the earth. I know I am a daughter of God. I know I am strong. I know that God knows me. I know He LOVES me. I know the spirit is with me 24/7. I know it testifies to me daily. I know this work is the work of our Heavenly Father. I know that the temples are the house of God. I know that through the temple and the ordinances that are done there our families can be sealed together FOREVER. I know that this life is hard, we all suffer through trials, sickness, sins, guilt, affiliations... etc. But I KNOW that we can over come ALL things through the ever so merciful and loving suffering and sacrifice that our Savior Jesus Christ made for us. I've never wanted to quit something so badly in my life than I've wanted to just give up this week. There was a point where I found myself on the bathroom floor, balling, feeling so alone and so helpless. I pulled myself up onto my knees and begged my Father in Heaven to pick me up. To carry me. To strengthen me. And that's exactly what He did.  I could feel the warmth and love with in His hands embracing me. And I know that it is ONLY with the help of Him and His son Jesus Christ that I am here in Ecuador right now. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father more than anything in this world. If I could serve a mission for the rest of my life so that I could feel this close to them forever I would. There is NOTHING more beautiful and merciful than the love of Christ. It's PERFECT, unfailing, and unchanging. COME UNTO HIM. ALL OF YOU. He loves you SOO MUCH!! Seriously... you don't know love until you've felt the love of God in your life. I LOVE my family, SO much.. they are my world. I love this mission, my investigators, my family here. I just love love. Take time this week to pray, sincerely, and thank God for loving you even when you didn't take the time to notice it. I love you all. I testify that God lives. That His Son Jesus Christ lives too. And that He is coming, and He is coming quick. In His Sacred name I leave this with you. Amen.