Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Sunday, October 25, 2015


So yesterday was a month and at the same time that this feels like it  I have lived here my whole life.  This past week I was really sick: fever, congestion, head pressure, fainting, and coughs but it's all ok.  I just got my voice back today thank heavens.  I sounded like a dying frog. I dreaded when the spirit prompted me to speak in lessons with investigators because I sounded horrible; like a teenage boy.  pero, está bien.  I was stranded to my residence with another Hermana on Sunday and we spent most the time buying food from the vending machines and talking..with naps in between.  One of the hermanas is a witch doctor, and has all the doterra oils.  She helps me know where to put them all.  All of the Hermanas are volunteering to give up their meds for me to use because they all didn't want to get sick.  So I tried about any drug I could get my hands on, legal ones of course.  I went to the doctors office here and that was nice because I was able to leave the MTC campus.  I had to get some prescription drugs from the BYU Health Center, so me and my hermanas were on the loose.  I felt like I was so rebellious.  It was so weird... We didn't know what to do with ourselves.  People looked at us and stuff.  You just don´t get that same look when you are here surrounded by many other missionaries.  I was on 4 different meds to cure the symptoms and they work great, so no complaints.

This week we got our flight itinerary. I leave Nov.2!  There are 20 in my travel group leaving from SLC airport at 9:50 am and arriving in Oakland at 10:44 on Delta.  It's awesome to think that me and 19 other missionaries will be traveling together with Jesus on our name tags.  Elder Felis and Hermana Parkinson are flying with me so I will know people.  But guess what time they are having us meet at the travel center?? 4:35 AM.  Wow!  So maybe there will be some early calls.
Me and my hermanas taught our teacher (hermano Clark) who is acting like an investigator the other day the Chastity lesson.  It was our first time but heyyyy it went good.  Hermana Seamons looked up all the awkward words and in the lesson forgot one of them.  She said the word like 10 times and then gave up.  Then after a little bit she remembered it, because me and hermana Parkinson didn't, and she yelled it out.  Kind of awkward but way more funny.  Trying to help him recognize the importance of marriage... it's a work in progress but we always have a good time.
We went to the Provo temple this morning as a district.  It was so great.  We did a 7 am session, then all had breakfast at the temple afterwards.  Best food.  It was so sweet, this precious older Polynesian couple in front of us saw that we were missionaries and bought us all breakfast.  Once we set down our trays, we went over, shook their hands, and thanked them. We were shocked but it was neat to receive service.  

Me and the Hermanas had our first skype appointment with a member from Costa Rica.  She is 17 years old, a member, and her name was Nady. Her computer was having problems so we called her but it was great to be able to teach someone who only speaks Spanish as well as lives in a completely different part of the world.  It was a hard lesson because over the phone it's hard to read what they are thinking or feeling.  But I am looking forward to our skype appointment next week.

My zone got a new district this week- 6 hermanas and 6 elders! They are great and I know they'll enjoy their time here.

We had our last lesson with Ivette and we were not really looking forward to it because she hadn't been keeping her commitments and we felt like she wasn't really trying.  Before the lesson we were like, 'hallejuah, this is our last lesson,' so I was like, 'I want to say the companion prayer' before we go in.  I asked that God help us have Christlike love for her, despite our problems 'con usted' I meant to say 'con ella' I just told God we have problems with him....  So in the middle of the prayer i'm saying, 'lo siento' aka 'i'm sorry'  'you know what i meant' and I said please help the spirit be there. There was no way that this lesson was going to go good, but it did.  It was our best time with her.  We all felt the spirit there so I know God is a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father.  At the end of that lesson, she gave us all a hug and as she came in to hug me, I said sorry I'm sick and went for a elbow bump, when she said, "O es no importante" like it doesn't matter and hugged me anyways.  We need to be that person for other people.  When someone is spiritually sick, be the one to say it's not important and love them anyway.  It heals that spiritual sickness.  I feel grateful that she still wanted to hug me.  It meant a lot and I know it means a lot to those who are sick and are without feeling loved by God.

I had a cool experience with the new district. We were having the New Orientation to the MTC with them as Sister Training Leaders and with the Zone Leaders.  Near the end of the run down, I all of the sudden felt like I needed to talk about blessings.  It was not part of the discussion nor had I ever felt like how blessings work here needed to be shared.  But this time I did.  I looked at my companions and ZLs and said, 'can I talk about blessings?' They look back at me like I was crazy and said, 'it doesn't say we need to...' Then I just start talking.  About how it's available. How it needs to go through the branch president for an Hermana to receive one.  About how if they feel like they need it, it can be done.  I didn't know why.  At the end of the night,, a sweet hermana came up to me and said with tears in her eyes, 'I want a blessing but didn't know how to ask or if I could. My grandpa died this morning.'  I could instantly embraced this small Hermana in my arms and said, "okay we'll make it happen."  I am so grateful the spirit was there to tell me 'hey, you need to talk about this' I don't know what I'd do without it.

I related the gospel to sports this week and I never thought that would happen because you all know I'm not super athletic.  But we were talking about how God enables the devil to tempt us.  God saw our practice time in Heaven, he wants us to be able to play when he needs us.  He's not going to sign us up for something we can't do.  He says 'bring it on, they've got this' to the devil.  'bring on your best team satan because I've but together my best team.' Like a loving father wants his son to have hard competition, God does to.  They sign us up for it because they know we can take it and have room to grow.  God watches the game, calling the plays and putting in players in knowing that they are matched for it if not, greater prepped for the game against Satan's follwers.  God plays ball too.  Competitively. So we should too.

I had a really cool experience with the BoM.  So I had gotten stuck on 2 Nephi 11:1-2 and had been stumped for a couple days because it addresses the fact that polygamy was accepted by the women because they didn't want the shame that came from having their own last name.  Well after much supplication during gym time (when i was sick) as I was pondering, it hit me.  It is that these people wanted to be so obedient to God's law.  God asked that they have children.  I believe that polygamy was started because our ancestors wanted exact obedience to all things God asked, whatsoever they be.  Who said it was easy? Most things asked of us are hard.  We should be shameful about not keeping God's commandments even when they are hard to keep.  They feared the consequences of disobedience. In verse 2 it says 'the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious' that day.  We are here today and strive for exact obedience too.

In a devotional by Jeffrey Holland, he said why is salvation so hard? The reason it is hard is because Salvation is not a cheap experience.  Why do we expect it to be easy when it never was easy for him.  The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane, it comes with a cross, and steps up to Mount Calgary.  We are going to need to experience some of the same things Jesus Christ went through.   Gethsemane wasn't easy, bleeding from every pore wasn't easy, or the cry to the father wasn't easy.  If we do life how we are supposed to do it, it will not be easy.  

"then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  for whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
-Matt 16:24-25

My new favorite is the first line of Malachi 3:3

"and he shall sit as a refiner"  Why does Christ sit as a refiner? Refiners sit by their work because it's risky to leave it alone.  If their work is in the first oven for just a couple seconds too long, all the refiners hard work would be lost.  How does he know when to take it out? When he can see his reflection looking back at him in his creation.  It's comforting knowing that Jesus is sitting right next to us while we are in the fire, just waiting for the day when He can see His reflection in us.  He will wait, keeping His eye on us, watching us become like Him. I love that.

until next week friends and family
love you all,
Hermana Waters

Monday, October 19, 2015


This week was the most difficult one yet. My district has recently struggled to keep on task and that can be frustrating but I've figured out the best way to get things done is to just keep the door open to the classroom, go in the hall with a desk, so that my Hermanas can see me still and it's a little more quiet.  

I think my teacher Hermano Christian Clark is the best person ever.  Everytime he teaches us whether it's a spanish lesson or spiritual one, the Holy Ghost is there.  Hermana Hope Thomas is a hoot because her laugh just makes you laugh.  She is more difficult to understand sometimes but I know she loves us so much she only speaks spanish.  never english....

My companions and I had a really cool experience in teaching an Investigator Benjamin this week. We felt like we should share the first vision with him and so Hermana Parkinson did it all memorized in spanish, and the few phrases of the first vision by Joseph Smith drew in the spirit.  It's the most powerful thing because that is why I am here right now.  For God and Jesus Christ appeared unto a man.  It's a beautiful thing because now people need to know that God is still here.  Jesus Christ still knows how to succor us.  One scripture that I have kept pondering this week is Malachi 3:3, the first line, "And he shall sit as a refiner."  Why is that so cool? Because after learning about a refiner, he sits there because if he leaves the silver or gold in the fire just a few seconds too long, all of his hard work would become a waste.  So how does the refiner know when to take it out?  When he can see his reflection.  Just like that. Jesus Christ is just sitting waiting for us to become like him, so if anything goes wrong, he's not too far away.  It's comforting knowing he's not far.  He's watching us mold and shape into him and once we are like him we will be taken out of the fire.  Remember that.

I love seeing all the pictures of you guys.  You girls are beauties.  We are all in awww over how beautiful you all are.  Yep, that's my family.

Elder Zach Felis has a scripture case that looks like a lunch box.  It is so funny because all the elders tease him for it.  Well it was funny because Elder Felis isn't a hardcore studier so when he finally was leaving to go study, Elder Carter Olsen says, 'hey Elder Felis, feast on the word of God'  we all were laughing and Elder Felis is so easy going that it wasn't a big deal...

Funny Story- so at Foundations of Leadership camp for the BYU freshman, I met Tyler Mansfield.  Well he's at the MTC and one time, I was walking back to the residence from the Devotional and I felt something like tickling my elbow and I didn't know who it was.  Then I turn around as someone is grabbing my elbow and I just see Elder Mansfield going in for a hug with an arm reached out almost touching me.  I was like, 'wooooooooooah Elder' He didn't realize what he was doing and his face instantly went red.  He said,'oh my gosh I'm sooo sorry'  He felt so bad.  I could not believe that had just happened.  We were all laughing-my companions, his companions.  The relationship here between Elders and Hermanas is so weird and it seems strange to think of more than a handshake.  lol

Cool inspirational thought- we watched a devo given by Elder Holland a couple of years ago about Opening your mouth.  The adversary cannot take your life.  But the next most limiting thing, short of taking a life, is binding our tongues.  That's what he did to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove.  Don't let him do that to you.  The devil could basically take a life by you not sharing the gospel.  If that's not serious, I don't know what is.

I have a promise for you guys.  Think of a question about anything.  Write it down.  Read ANY did I say any? yes ANY chapter in the Book of Mormon and I promise that your question will be answered if you look and pray with sincere intent.  I've done it nearly 10 different times here and everytime without fail, God answers me.  Love it.  Truest book there is guys.  Drop whatever book you're reading and pick up the Book of Mormon.

Funny story-one of the wives of our Branch Presidency, Hermana Cannon, had surgery on her foot recently.  An elder in my district asked what happened and she said, 'i got in a pole dancing accident'  we all were shocked by her response like is that even ok? we didn't know if we should laugh or pretend she didn't just say that.  I love that lady.  They are like our temporary moms while we are here.

I have been thinking a lot about my district and how frustrated I get with the little distractions and times unfocused.  In verse 5 of Alma 21 say s, 'Behold are not this people as good as thy people?  We aren't doing all we can do studying and getting down to business, for in the 6th verse, "How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God." That is true of us.  We are here gathered together, on a mission, in a classroom but are we really consecrated to the work? In verse 22 it says we have the choice to worship God according to their desires, in whatsoever place they were in.  And it might not be perfect, the way God wants, but recognize God has covered all our imperfections.  How can I think about all the faults in my district when my faults are abundant and taken care of?  I love the closing verse, 23, because it sums it up saying, "and it came to pass that he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness.  And he did exhort them daily, with all diligence.'

Funny story- Elder Ainge who recently left (a kid from boston) wanted me and the hermanas to mark up his scripture for him because he said he is too sick and tired, and that he as a headache. He was like' I'll pay you and I'm just marking it according to Preach my Gospel.'  Heck no we weren't doing that.

So awkward story-  I was teaching the first vision and was going to have the investigator read JSH 1:16-17 but instead pulled up Moses 1:16-17 because I was so stressed.  and I had not noticed since ti was in spanish. She read it and said, 'who is talking?' I was like Joseph Smith.  It was not until then that I realized i had her read the wrong chapter.  I later look it up in English and it said, 'Get thee hence Satan." and I'd just described to her that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus.Sooo bad..
Funny story- so all the Hermanas were eating together at dinner when Hermana Kacie Pierce says, "I had a best friend at home who I'd makeout with.'  she practically yelled ti. I could've sworn the whole cafeteria heard it.  The boys in our zone alll turned around to face us.  We busted out laughing.

Funny story- my hermana was in her g's ironing a shirt when all of the sudden, girls start yelling 'man in the building' she is trapped in the corner of the hallway and throws her shirt up to cover herself and run back to the room.  They usually announce when a male is in the building over the intercom so of course the one day they don't one of us is out in the halls...

Miracles happen everyday I hope you guys recognize that.  I know God loves you.  I know God appeared to Joseph Smith and wants to help us. 

Les Amo,
Hermana Waters

Sunday, October 11, 2015


This is me and my companion Hermana Parkinson teaching grumpy cat the gospel.  He was a difficult investigator but he committed to be baptized.  :)

Okay lets first talk about how unreal General Conference was! So many talks were about the plain and simple truths of the gospel as well as complete consecration to God. It was sad to see Thomas S Monson near the end of his talk not doing so good but maybe it's a message from God reminding us, "Do we recognize what I have? Do we know that God loves us so much he gave us a Prophet' someone who would act and say the things Christ would? It's such a blessing and who knows how long President Monson will be here with us.  3 new apostles all are great speakers.  Throughly enjoyed this conference hope you did too.

Out of our 6 zones, 4 of them left Monday.  It was so sad but I know they are doing God's work.  

This week funny story, I was teaching an investigator with my companion, and the spirit was so strong.  I were saying goodbye and I was trying to say, 'Until Thursday' since that would be our next lesson with this investigator which is , 'Hasta Jueves' but I said, 'Hasta Juevos' meaning 'until eggs' so you could say the language is coming along nicely...
I have the missionary purpose, the invitation to be baptized, and the first vision memorized in spanish now so that's cool.  Language is coming slowly but surely.  I can't wait to feel confident in it. Language study is my favorite.  I bought a flashcard set of mormon words that has over 1500 words... it's crazy but i've continually been reviewing those.

My companionship took on a new Hermana.  Hermana Seamons' companion left for the Dominican Republic MTC since her visa came so Hermana Seamons joined the squad.  She's awesome but the day her companion left, she tore a ligament in her foot while playing volleyball.  She's quite the rebel because she's supposed to be in a brace for 6 weeks and crutches for 2 weeks but she's refused the crutches completely, and rarely wears the brace. so yeah.  Not to mention we hosted the new missionaries this wednesday which was FANTASTIC and she did that too?! like carried all the luggage around campus.  She's an animal.  I would not have done it but she insists. 
Tender moment, I saw a girl I worked with Haley Kalt as I was hosting due to her dropping off her brother at the MTC.  She ran up to me and gave me a hug so that was cool.  

Story- we were teaching my teacher who was playing the role of one of his investigators that he actually taught and we taught him how to pray near the end. Well, I came on a little strong and bold because I'd asked him to pray for us a couple of times and he said he didn't know how and he didn't know what for.  I explained to him and asked again and he said uhhhhh. I then said, "orará ahora para nosotros?' meaning will you pray right now for us? he said uhhh i don't know.  I then said, in spanish obviously, 'you have so much to be grateful for.  thank God for your girlfriend, your job, you home. and ask for an answer to your questions like if this is the truth we are teaching you.' I recognized i might have been a little too bold but after that I asked him again and he prayed.  So you could say I'm studying Patience in Christlike Attributes.
My companionship are the Sister Training leaders of our Zone and we love it! We are responsible for making sure the girls are all okay and are supervised by the branch president.  The new hermanas that came in this week are so sweet and we are so lucky to have them.  I wish i could thank all of their moms.  We got 4 new districts this Wednesday, so it's been slightly chaotic getting everyone in the swing of things but they're all awesome.

We taught members who come volunteer obviously in spanish since we never teach in english this past thursday.  One of the ladies that we taught was so sweet.  She was like a grandma and shared a powerful testimony.  The spirit was there.  Later the Training Resource Center TRC coordinator came back and wanted to tell me and my companions, Hermana Seamons and Hermana Parkinson that this lady had been considering not coming back to volunteer for unknown reasons but he said after my companionship's lesson as well as 2 other elders, she was really emotional and wants to continue coming back.  I'm glad the lesson went good enough that she will continue coming back.

I have gained such a strong testimony of the book of mormon.  I invite you all to start reading it again if you aren't already.  In my district we often write down a bunch of questions on the board and pick a random chapter in the book of mormon to read as a group.  Literally every question gets answered in some way through just reading.  The book of mormon is the purest and plainest book there is.  There is no question as to what is right and what is wrong.  It tells you how you can receive certain blessings and how to draw close to him.  Power of prayer is real.  It makes all the difference to pray before studying and lessons and every meal.  I hope you are all praying for it's the key to conversion.  If prayer is not happening, you will not know there is a God that loves you and life gets so hard. Remember your father wants to hear from you and recognize the importance of that sacred relationship.  He knows all.   

Thanks for all the sweet letters as well as packages, Love you all. xoxo
Hermana Waters

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I am still loving it.  Monday was a hard day this week-really emotional and lots of doubt but now it's all good.  My companion is Hermana Jessica Parkinson, I connected with her through social media because she's also going to the Modesto, CA mission.  I love her.  She is 4'11" and is tiny like McCall Mecham.  We get along so well there hasn't been any issues...shocking but I know God is helping me.

Hardest thing is the packed schedule.  There are lots of demands and I'm still figuring out how to balance everything. I've learned that I'm well at being on time.  I also learned that I'm not as productive due to my lack of time management, planning my time, and setting goals.  I think the idea of goals has freaked me out so much that I avoid it...

Sleeping at night is easy after you're awake for 16+ hours each day with a crazy schedule.  Elder Zach Felis is in my district and he's a hoot.  Our class room smells interesting because of that.  I've gotten lots of Dear Elders from you, grandma, Zoe and Lily and i love it so much! Thanks for doing that daily, it makes my day.  I miss you so much but I know this is where I'm supposed to be.  
Pdays are weird... It's a lot less demanding and we have more free time to write and work out.  Today is our pday but due to general conference it will not be like a Pday at all.  We will be watching the Women's conference today while the elders watch the priesthood session.  We haven't seen it yet so thanks for giving me spoilers! jk. 

I cannot read emojis :( but está bien. eso si que es. It is what it is.  Also nice try but it´s Hermana Aguas not Hermana Aquas....... lol  Love you still.  We are locked on campus pretty much with the exception of our Sunday walk to the temple in the afternoon, so we watch it in one of our buildings here.

We committed one of our 'investigators' to baptism so that was cool.  The spirit is real and truly testifies that Jesus is the Savior.  We do none of the teaching thank heavens since Spanish is muy dificil para mi.  I now only say prayers in Spanish and only testify in spanish.  I love spanish so much.  It's frustrating sometimes not being able to say what you want to say but very cool when you can. 

4 of the 6 districts in my Spanish zone are leaving us this upcoming monday so it's sad.  They've been so friendly and loving to us.  I am hosting new missionaries next week so I'll be welcoming in hopefully some of the new Elders and Hermanas that will be in one of teh 4 new districts coming this wednesday. 

I hope your questions get answered today at conference.  Come prepared to learn and with an open heart-God will reveal answers to you through our prophets.  

Our investigator Marta surprised us by walking in and saying she was our teacher... oh my gosh we were like whatttttt.  It's all good though even if she does speak really fast spanish.  They only speak to us in spanish so that's been a struggle.  Hermano Clark noticed me and my companion were having a rough day Monday and so he took me and Hermana Parkinson on a walk and we just talked.  It was nice to talk things out and figure out a plan of how to relieve stress.  I've just had so much of it lately.

Theres a joke that the MTC is God's rehab for his children.  It really is shaping me and making me humble myself to recognize that Jesus is who I need to focus on.  Not anything else.  
I've started reading the BoM again and wow.  my scriptures are marked up.  There is a special spirit here that is always present allowing revelation to constantly be coming if you just ask for that.  I know the power of prayer is real.  I can tell a difference in my studies when I pray and when I don't pray.

The devotionals on Sunday and Tuesday nights are the best.  The general authorities are called of God and are to aid us.

A blessing happened this week.  We were planning a lesson for our new investigator Ivette in the teaching lab and we were walking outside, when a lady approached us and we started to teach her in Spanish (investigators have gold badges so that's how we recognize them on campus) and we come to find out she is Ivette who we were going to teach in an hour.  Well we gave her a full lesson in the stairwell and then an hour later surprised her at the teaching lab and was like, HOOOLLLLA nosotros estamos su misioneras lolll.  she was laughing.  she was so sweet and God knew we were so nervous that he gave us the chance to talk to her before and recognize she was kind before having to go in and teach her. 

Did you watch Elder Scott's funeral Monday? It was so good!

We've been teaching nearly everyday in spanish and I love it.  

Love this gospel, Love you,


Hermana Waters