Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Down to 1 week people!

That Land of Enchantment.

Challenge accepted. I thought it would be good to do more research anyways and see what there is to do in Nueva Mexico! Not that I will ACTUALLY get to do this stuff since I will be a Sister Missionary but I'm sure I will at least get to SEE and experience some of it. So here goes...

20 first reasons why 
I CAN'T WAIT to get to New Mexico: 

1. Sandia Peak Tramway

2. Pretty Pueblo Towns

3. Hot Air Balloon Festival! (*sigh.. someday)

4. Yessssss, no dating :)

5. Mexican Food! (or really good Tex-Mex anyways)

6. Albuquerque's Natural Museums of Art, Science and History

(Okay, really though. SO excited for this history museum. Those who know me well, understand or at least try to understand my fixation with dinosaurs. Next life...I'm asking for one as a pet. No doubt.)

7. Rio Grande Zoo

8. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

9. Old Town Albuquerque

10. Oh and SO STOKED for the American Rattlesnake Museum haha.

11. Seeing the Rio Grande

12. Those SUNSETS!

13. No homework or finals for over a year!
(My BYU I-Learn is sooo preeettyyyyy)

14. To be surrounded by my ancestors and my heritage (and the cutest couple award goes to..)

15. Because everybody knows its the "Land of Enchantment" (actually my dad just told me this...I had no clue)

16. Horseback riding down the Roswell trails


18. Because I can take spicy. Bring it.


19. To visit the Carlsbad Caverns again. Except this time without my best friend :(


Anyone else going on missions...Challenge for you:
Find your own 20 things! I found by the end of this simple post that my love grew times fold for the area.

Dear Stress...let's break up.

I feel like since there are thousands of pre-missionaries getting ready to go and serve, I should say something about what I'm feeling like and why it is just so dang hard. Some days I feel like I need a "bang head here" sign. 

Among some of the general things to deal with as a missionary there are...

-Living with a different person and in a different culture
-Adjusting to missionary rules, the schedule and lifestyle
-Learning a new language
-Personal weaknesses or lack of knowledge 
-Power of the Adversary 

I found a talk from the Ensign called "Preparing Emotionally for Missionary Service" and it helped me realize that even with all of these worries, that it is completely NORMAL to be concerned and stressed out. Stress IS going to come with this work. L. Tom Perry said, "Missionary service is emotionally demanding. Your support system  is going to be withdrawn from you as you leave home and go out into the world...there WILL be days of rejection and disappointment." I can't even begin to describe how hard it seems to get once Satan knows you're going on a mission. There are days where he just seems to be yelling in my ear wherever I go.

I don't know about all of you but for me personally and (along with the above mentioned) I have my own list that I'm worried about too...

-Why does everyone keep talking about the orange juice at the MTC? I love orange juice but according to everyone else- DON'T drink it. ?? -wwwhhhhhyyy. 
-There are NO long khaki denim skirts anywhere to be found!
-Do I need quarters for the MTC laundry room or does my previous tithing somehow cover that?
-How in the world do I fit my CD player, alarm clock, iron, hair dryer, several books, personal items, sheets and blanket, English and Spanish triple combinations, and my family photo album all in my suitcase? Oh...and then there's my clothes and shoes too. (I might as well try fitting a horse in there while I'm at it) 
-And then how do I carry it all around? (I'm hoping the Elders will help me)
-Where do I put my smartphone for a year and a half so my sister doesn't find it? 
-I hate labels...therefore big orange dot on the name tag...well to me, that I'll survive.
-What if I say pedo instead of pido...Necesito practicar mi espanol! Seriously. 
-I forgot to go swimming for the last time! 
-Do I have enough stamps? (*sidenote*..never have enough it seems)
-Someone explain how to ride a bicycle in a skirt. ...tough.
-How do I figure out the 'staying cute' but still 'missionary appropriate' look?
-Will they give me a pillow at some point or do I need my own? (Seriously, I wish in the missionary booklet that was the first thing they tell you) 
-I need recipes. Hoping the members feed me??
-And how in the world am I going to say goodbye to my mom...

So, how do I relieve all of this stress and this 'I just can't do it' attitude?
Through Christ.
I also rely on my friend the Spirit.
Getting an adequate amount of rest and exercise.
Start following the missionary schedule now! (so bad at that, not gonna lie...doing this post at 2 am, heh.)
And putting on my armor before I get up each morning so I can muffle the adversary's yelling and screaming or I will go deaf here.

Greatest Muffler known to man = Scripture Power and the Power of Prayer.

I'm going to give up on being perfect in this life, now of course I'll keep on doing my best but I'm gonna cut myself some slack and keep in mind that someday I can be shined and polished perfectly through these experiences. This is all part of the refiner's fire.

Si se puede. 

...and don't forget, STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards. Go treat yourself. 

Monday, January 28, 2013


I had a wonderful day last Sunday! I can't tell you how loved I felt. Thanks a million to everyone who came to support. It gave me a much-needed boost in doing this Work of Salvation! 

And to the most amazing family, I just have to say...I. AM. GOING. TO. MISS. YOU. But that's okay..we ARE kinda, uh ya know, sealed for eternity. :)

And just as an added testimony..The Lord really does answer prayers (and in his timing). I felt for some reason like my talk was just not going like it was supposed to and all week I prayed that I would be able to somehow feel like it was okay before I got up there. But!..the Lord had a different idea. He let me get all the way up to that pulpit and completely rely on the Spirit and its influence instead. My talk still felt all wrong when I stood up, but then it just somehow kind of began to flow and I felt the Spirit just take over! And that's how missionary! So to every "almost missionary" out there about to give your own fare-thee-well talk, breathe, pray, prepare as much as you can now, and then focus on being best friends with the Spirit all week. I PROMISE that he will help you say the things most important to your Father in Heaven.

-Hermana Silva

PS- Thanks to mom for working so hard on the dinner!

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Pre-Mission Testimony: Contact! ...I shout.

Time to fly the coop! :) -Alli has been asking me to do at least one post before I leave and to share my pre-mission testimony before I go. It will be interesting to see the differences between the coming and going testimonies once I finish serving. This mission blog was her idea and has been pretty fun to put together for her.

The Plan: is for me to write home and Alli will post certain things on here from my letters and emails so I can look back and see it all someday and maybe just maybe it will help someone??

Online journals are the best ...and so are best friends who do this while you're gone. I have been wanting to serve for so long. Its a surreal moment in life when your Mission President calls to welcome you or the MTC calls testing your Spanish and you sit there going This. Is. Real. I've been singing songs like "My life is a gift, my life has a plan,"  "I want to be a missionary now - I don't want to wait until I'm grown" and the forever known "I hope they call me on a mission when I have grown a foot or two" ...and I've been singing them since I could fit into a size four dress pretty much.
I've grown those few feet (although I'm still pretty short), I know my life definitely has a plan and I really am a missionary now! Hum. This brings a smile to my face, like, everyday I wake up. I've heard so many stories lately of how sisters of the church have decided to serve a mission since the conference announcement. They are all so amazing to hear because you can literally see how God is preparing His glorious army and he began those promptings long ago with His children to help prepare them for this. So many have said they had been considering a mission before the announcement. I am one of many. The Lord's timing is always perfect and that very much includes my scenario. The word mission has been one running around and doing summersaults in my head since age fifteen. The journey in getting here has been interesting but it's a wonderful feeling when you know this is what you are supposed to be doing...terrifying, but oh so wonderful. So now that I'm here at last I can finally start packing my nylons. I can almost feel the growth that is about to come my way. I'm excited to meet my companions and also those nameless faces I will come into contact with who I hope to call friend by the end. My roommates and I watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin not too long ago during the October season and for some odd reason when Charlie Brown is describing Snoopy as a world war flying ace his words always ring in my head. "Contact! He shouts." I take that and say the same thing now. God has prepared me and will continue to prepare me, but let this work roll forward! I can't sit here anymore with this God-given knowledge and not share. It's too sweet, it's too forgiving, it's too divine and it's much too important. I have that responsibility and I am thrilled to be serving Him in any way possible. Time. to. make. contact. I think it's time to start with some goals.

Goal number #1:
Start your mission mornings every day with Christ's face in your mind. A smiling Christ.
...and then mimic it.

Maybe if I can smile with His same kindness in my eyes, it will be easier to make that initial contact with the people of New Mexico that I already love so much (funny how that works). Maybe it will help them remember.

I am beyond grateful for the Atonement and for the restored gospel on the earth. I think any member of the church who looks for it can feel what's occurring right now. Something exciting is happening. And we can all be a part of it. I know my Savior loves, leads and guides His church and that He has done so and still does today through His prophets who deliver His words to His beloved children on earth. I am grateful to the prophet Joseph Smith and to those who have followed him and for their sacrificing service. I know that they were called of God and that Thomas S. Monson has been called as prophet, seer and revelator on the earth today during this last dispensation. I testify that the Book of Mormon changes lives. I know this because it has changed my own. I have gained my own testimony and I know the Atonement is real and that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. I learned this for myself and that is why I want to share it with others. When something makes you indescribably happy, you want others to be happy with you. It becomes one happy party. :) I have been blessed to be called to serve in this sacred calling and I do so wholeheartedly with the brightest smile I can muster.

Until the next letter...


                                                                  -Hermana Silva