Monday, August 25, 2014


* Note from Lorri -  I asked Natalie to share her thoughts and insights regarding the Plan of Salvation.  Here is her response:
Haha it´s funny you ask me for Plan of Salvation insights, that was my least favorite lesson to teach, but I decided this week that I wanted to make it a strength, so I have studied Plan of Salvation a TON this week, but my favorite things that I´ve learned and felt were in the zone conference that we had with President Riggins. He taught about the Atonement in such an AMAZING way. I´ve started studying the atonement more, which has lead me to study the sacrament more. But that´s all a different topic. What I really like in Preach My Gospel is that it says that in our life here in the earth, we have two HUGE obstacles that keep us from returning to live with God, and these are physical death and spiritual death. To overcome these obstacles, we have Jesus Christ. It´s thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ that all men, whether they be righteous or evil, will overcome physical death, and we will all be resurrected to be judged. Jesus Christ also overcame spiritual death, by atoning for our sins and making it possible to repent, and through His sacrifice we can become clean, if we exercise faith in Him, repent, if we receive the ordinance of baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, which includes weekly participation of the sacrament (and of course temple ordinances but we usually explain that as we´re explaining the spirit world). I am going to write about the training that we had with President Riggins so I´m not getting into depth about anything. I don´t know, I can´t say that I have any real deep spiritual insights, just that I know it´s true. I love learning about the spiritual missionary work in the spirit world too.

** Another Note from Lorri -  Natalie's grandma asked her children and grandchildren to go to the temple this month in honor of Grandpa Skousen and in celebration of his birthday.    Grandpa  passed away 11 months ago.

I didn´t know about the planned temple trip, but I still went this Friday, and I thought A LOT about Grandpa Skousen. Whenever I think of Grandpa, I think of the scripture is 2 Nefi 32 that says that angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that this is absolutely true. I could feel his presence in the temple, and I felt very comforted to know, once again, that I will see him again and that he is proud of where I am and what I´m doing. His body might be resting, but his spirit is absolutely alive and active, and I imagine he´s hard at work right doing the same thing I´m doing right now.

But yeah. This week has kicked my trash. We have been working so hard, but it´s a difficult area. We know that there are people here that are ready for the restored gospel, but we have to look reeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllyyy hard. We knock on lots of doors, and almost everyone is nice about it, but they all tell us thanks, but no thanks. This Wednesday, we did invasions, where everyone in the zone goes to contact in one area, so we had 12 missionaries contacting in our sector for an hour, and then we all went to another sector and so on and so forth. We invited two people and two people accepted to be baptized on Wednesday, just by contacting, but these two people lived in other sectors. So I like to think that our issue isn´t that we aren´t good at talking to people or that we don´t teach with the spirit, it´s just that it´s a difficult area. But I´m getting to really like the ward. We might have a baptism this week. I don´t want to curse things so I´m just going to say we MIGHT have a baptism. The ward mission leader is really funny, and his wife is pretty much the coolest person ever, and they have a chubby little son that wears a future missionary badge and has the energy of 8 Gary Boltons. So that´s how my week went haha but the best thing was of course FRIDAY 
We went to the temple! We were all so excited. We had to get up at 430 am to be ready and in the temple at 6:15 in the morning. I absolutely love the temple. This time was especially great, because I understood everything in Spanish and didn´t have to stress out about not hearing something right. But it was beautiful. It was fun to be in a session of just missionaries and the mission president and his wife. We´re all so young! Also, weird though that I discovered this week - I´m old. My leaders are 18 year olds. They all assumed I was 19 and were really surprised when I told them I was 21. My zone leader was a sophomore when I was a senior. Weird. 

Back to Friday. We went to the temple, and afterwards we had a training meeting. In the training meeting, we learned... a ton. I don´t even know where to start. One thing that really impacted me is that every time we knowingly sin, we are disrespecting the atonement. The word is not disrespecting but I can´t really think of a good work to substitute. We are trodding under our feet the atonement of Jesus Christ, the supreme act of love and the most important thing in the entire world. When we fear teaching the commandments to the investigators, we are letting them trod the atonement under their feet. I don´t have my notes with me right now, but he stated it a lot more eloquently, and I remember feeling right after that I needed to call everyone out there to repentance! President Riggins also taught us with many scriptures and in a rather round about but very interesting way why we as missionaries should go to the temple, and that the temple is actually the Lord´s university, because there we are truly instructed in the ways of the Lord.  They also talked about how lots of people here don´t pay tithing, and that we need to teach well the doctrine of tithing. Lots of people said they have fear of teaching tithing, but to be honest, tithing is tied with the Restoration for my favorite lesson to teach. I love tithing. It´s fun to promise blessings to these people and helping them exercise their faith. 

What else can I tell you? My time is almost spent.
Oh yeah, we were late in writing because they told us that we had to deep clean our house before leaving, and there was a TON of dust. We cleaned hours and hours. It was actually really fun. We put on the MoTab Christmas cd and I sang at the top of my lungs. 

Okay yeah I´m out of time now. But things are great! I´m happy, healthy.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Hola familia! This week has been a little crazy, but it has been wonderful!

Monday, our zone leaders told us that two other Hermanas were going to come live with us. Honestly, at first we were a little bummed, because that means that we would have to say farewell to our private bathrooms. But it was exciting at the same time. Tuesday, we went to the terminal to see who were going to be our new housemates, and HALF THE MISSION was waiting there too. There were a ton of changes. But it was awesome, I got to see HERMANA CHIL!!! and a bunch of other people that I haven´t seen since I´ve been able to speak Spanish well. So Tuesday was super fun. We went and they told us that we were going to be in a trio for a day with Hermana Espinoza, from Chile, and that Hermana Espinoza was going to train a newbie and open a new sector. She is a blast! She´s crazy fun but also an amazing misionera. And she speaks English amazingly well with hardly an accent. So left Wednesday for the training meetings, and Thurday, Hermana Espinoza came back to our house with a new gringa, Hermana Deforest! She   doesn´t speak much Spanish but she is so excited and her enthusiasm is contagious. So now we share the ward and the house with two new sisters and it is a blast. It´s especially fun for me because I feel like it was only weeks ago that I was in my training, not understanding anything, and giving my short testimony in awkward Spanish. It´s fun to see the progress!

Here´s  our housemate photo. Hermana Deforest, Hermana Isama, me, and Hermana Espinoza.

Hermana Espinoza and Hermana Deforest. They´re so cute and so much fun! 

Also, before the new hermanas arrived, we had to defrost their freezer, which was almost completely frozen over with frost. I hacked away at it with a dull knife, and we made a snowman. Hermana Isama had never made a snowman before so we decided to take pictures, put on christmas hats, and celebrate north american Christmas. ​  

These mugs were empty. There was no way we were going to be drinking actual hot chocolate.
Chelsea, I´ve actually used your scarf a lot! 

 Also, a week after I got here I found a copy of Jesus the Christ in English, and this week I finished it! It was awesome. I love that book. I cried. I´m a little lost now without a giant reading project, I hardly know what to do at night before going to bed.

This Sunday we had ward conference. I always really like the conferences because we get to sustain the prophet and apostles and I always get weirdly emotional when I see them sustain the brethren after reading their names in their Spanish way. I don´t know how to explain it, it´s just very awesome to see these people sustaining the same prophet and apostles that we sustain up there, and to know that they are called of God to be prophets, seers, and revelators for all of God´s children. I love it.

Oh yeah, an other experience with Ward conference. There´s a recent convert in this ward that is crazy for the gringas. Like, he calls us all day and if we don´t answer, he keeps calling. I´ve used the most straightforward way of telling him to stop, but he keeps on keeping on. Well, I was sitting in the second row with one of our investigators in the ward conference, and about 45 minutes into the meeting, this guy walked up to me and gave me a HUGE BAG of sweets in THE MIDDLE OF THE MEETING. I´m serious, the Stake president was in the middle of his talk. I don´t know if you can imagine how bad that looks, for a twenty something year old guy, to give a big bag of candy to a missionary, in front of the entire ward, and to make things even better, all of the stake leaders were sitting on the stand as well. I was ticked. Some of the leaders sitting in front laughed, but some of them were looking at me suspiciously, as if I was doing something wrong or had flirted with this guy. I don´t know. It looked bad. But I shared the candy in relief society and they were all thankful. The ward conference was interesting too, because we usually don´t have a pianist, but they assigned a less active member to play. He´s a teenager, has long rocker hair, and doesn´t read music. I think he´s in a band. But he played the hymns by ear, with his own bouncy contemporary style. It was funny. I liked it.

Well, I don´t know what else to tell y'all. We´re meeting lots of people, most of them don´t like us to much but we don´t get down on ourselves. It´s amazingly easy to be rejected by people. It makes it all the more rewarding when you find someone willing to listen. 

We tried taking a nice normal picture of our zone. It didn´t work out. 

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hello family!
I´m not really sure what happened last week, but I forgot to mention someone pretty fabulous. Her name is Karina, and she´s here living with her aunt and uncle who are members, but she´s from New York City.  She´s a teenager, and it´s been really interesting teaching her, because she´s learning Spanish still, and lots of the church-related words she hasn´t heard in Spanish before, so we´ve been teaching the lessons to her half in English, half in Spanish. I´ve noticed now just how bad my English is. It´s really bad. I can´t talk. And she´s got a New York accent so when I talk with her in English I adopt parts of her accent. But she´s a sweetheart, and yesterday she got baptized. We requested that our gringo Leader de Zona interview her, so that if she had questions she could speak in English. Our zone leader is from my same group, and he told me that he couldn´t think of a lot of words in English that he needed to ask her. It´s helped a lot that Amanda sent me a planner in English, it´s helped me to remember phrases like Sabbath Day, chastity, and priesthood in English. Without the planner, I wouldn´t have been able to do it. But yeah. She got baptized yesterday, and is really happy. I´m going to ask Hermana Isama to lend me her camera, because I didn´t have my camera yesterday and didn´t take photos... Oops.

I´ve included a picture of me and Hermana Isama. Where we´re serving is like the ritzy gated communities, there are parks every ten feet with fruit trees (it´s nice because anyone can pick fruit. We have a small stash of starfruits and every once in a while we find a semiripe mini mango) and the houses are really pretty. In this photo we´re in one of the hundreds of park at night. You can´t really see anything but yeah. Feel free to edit out the ridiculously large forehead zit.

My companion is so cool! She speaks Quichua, which is one of the indigineous languages. It´s so funky, with lots of p´s and k´s. It´s sounds vaguely chinese-ish but every once in a while there are words that are spanish words with pa or ka added. For ejemplo, Diospa nushy kany is I am A Child of God. Dios is God in Spanish, and Diospa is God in Quichua. You may ask, how do I know how to say I Am A Child of God is Quichua?
IT´S BECAUSE YESTERDAY WE SANG THE COOLEST SPECIAL MUSICAL NUMBER EVER. Karina, her cousin, me, and Hermana Isama sang I Am A Child of God in three languages, Spanish, English, and Quichua, one verse in each language, and to end we sang the final verse in Spanish and I sang the harmony part above. We have been asked to sing again next week in the Ward Conference. Oh yeah, and yesterday, two minutes before sacrament meeting started, the bishop asked me to be the final speaker. I was not pleased. I think I´ve actually gotten pretty good at giving talks in Spanish, but I need at least an hour to prepare myself. So yesterday I gave a very scrambled and hectic talk in Spanish and I forgot words because I was nervous, but I filled the time. Half a success.  

This area is so different. We knock on doors allllll day and we´re lucky to set a future appointment with one person. It´s way different from Valencia, where we would knock on doors, tell them that we´re missionaries, and they would say "come in!" and give us a glass of soda or juice. But it´s been fun. I´ve learned a ton, and I´m excited to look for more people. Right now, we don´t have a single investigator, but this week we are positive that we are going to have more. 
I´m even more excited because in 11 days we get to go to the temple wooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don´t know if they´ll have the 2 new presentations in Spanish already, but igual I´m just stoked to go to the temple. The temple is only about 15 minutes away from where I am right now, and the members always tell us when we ask them how their week has gone "good, yesterday I went to the temple and then..." Í´m really excited to go to the temple often, especially when I´m in Rexburg or Provo again and there´s temples close by. Also, has anyone else had the recent desire to do their family history work?!

So yeah. I don´t know what else to tell you. Everything is great. My hair is growing super dark. Like, really, really, really dark brown. It´s weird.
I love you all!
Thanks for those of you who wrote me! Holly and Beebz, pongase pilas, eh?  

Monday, August 4, 2014


Hello Family! This has been a wonderfully strange week!
I started doing a thing where each day I write in my planner the name of the episode for that day to help remind me of things that happened. Like, my life is a TV show. You get me? 

So of course, Lunes the episode was named Cambios. Because I got transferred. Like you already know. I don´t really remember what I wrote y´all last week because I was reaaaallly realllly tired so I might repeat some stuff so have paciencia. But yeah. I came Monday to a sector where we have one investigator and lots of less active members that hide from us. So it´s definitely different haha. In Valencia we could meet 10 people a day and teach 7 lessons, but here we spend lots of time knocking on doors, outside, looking for people, and at the end of the day, we don´t have too much to show for our efforts. It has been a learning experience but to be honest I am having a blast. I´m in Guayaquil, which is a big big big city with tons of ciudadelas. I´m pretty sure the gringo equivalent of ciudadela would be like Summerlin and Green Valley in Las Vegas. Kinda. Maybe. I don´t know. The neighborhoods have names. And the two neighborhoods that I serve in are called Sauces 6 and Guayacanas, which are part of the zone named Orquideas. Orquideas is infamous. No one wants to go to Orquideas or Kennedy. But I don´t really understand why it gets such a bad rep. There´s not as many baptisms in this area, but I really like teaching here because the people don´t automatically take everything we say as truth. Something that was really frustrating in other places is that they all believed that if someone was talking about God, it was true. Lots of people immediately accepted our message, but it was frustrating because they also immediately accepted what everyone said. Here, the people are a bit more cynical, and I love it, because they are more likely to take our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Martes we had our district meeting. Beforehand, the zone leaders had asked my companion what my name was, and my comp can´t say my last name (no one can) and so everyone was a bit confused and didn´t know if a latina or a gringa was going to show up. And I was henceforth known as simply la Hermana Nueva, because they couldn´t understand what Hermana Isama was saying when she said Rust.
Wednesday was also fun, because I learned that I actually do know how to contact. All my mission I was pretty sure I didn´t know how to knock on a door and talk to people, but I dunno... I took control and I got it done. It was fun. I don´t really know how to make this day sound more interesting, but it was a big moment for me, okay?! We had to contact a lot that day, and I had fun doing it, and normally when we had to contact, I absolutely detested it. 

Friday, we had the weirdest lesson ever. Generally, we teach families, or we teach young adults seperately. We had contacted a 28 year old college student, and we went to teach him and his brother the Restoration, but when we showed up, he was with two other friends. I don´t know, it was weird. It was like being in a college apartment, but we weren´t watching movies or playing games or talking, we were there to preach the Gospel. I don´t know. It felt really weird to talk to a group of college student, but to talk to them as Hermana Rust and not as Natalie Rust. But we did it. Two of them were pretty receptive. 

I´m really really really enjoying my time here. I know that sounds weird, but it´s true. I feel more like a real missionary here haha. Of course I miss Valencia, but I feel like here I have had a lot of opportunities to grow and see what I´m capable of doing. I´m excited to work with the ward and see how my talents can help in this ward and what talents I´m going to develop, and what things the Lord wants me to learn here. I know that the Lord sent me here for a reason, and I´m excited to find out what that reason is. 
This week I´ll take pictures, I promise. 

I love you all!
Love, Hermana Rust