Friday, October 31, 2014

Random Pictures

Things that make me happy

Things that make me happy.

This list has no particular order of the things that have made me happy.....a lot of them are simple things and some are bigger things

My list could honestly go on forever but these are some of the things that I specifically wanted to share with you all!

Charles and Mike, I challenged Mom and Dad to do this and they have! You two should do it too!

Making the time to have dinner as a family every night when we could and just talking about how our day was.  A lot of families don't do that so I'm really glad that we made that an effort as a family, it meant a lot.

Going out every Friday night to Baja Fresh....seriously that was the best! I looked forward to that so much. I have had a lot of Mexican food on my mission but I have not had Baja Fresh at all so that will be something that I will want to do when I get home, I have missed it!

Mom, it always made me really happy that you always would take the time to talk and listen to me especially when I came home from school. I loved that I could talk to you about everything whether my day was good or bad.

Dad, growing up it always made me happy when you would come home from work and Melissa and I would run up to you to give you a hug. I know as I got older, I stopped doing that....I know I was a brat, sorry about that. It made me happy though that even if I didn't greet you when you came home you still always found me and said hi and asked how my day was.

Mike, It made me happy that I could tease you and give you a hard time....haha that's what little sisters do. I have changed a lot on the mission but that part of me still has  not changed....I will always give it right back and give the last word haha but really I do it because I love you and let's be real, it's pretty funny!

Mom, I loved having girls nights with you and Melissa when Dad worked late on Saturdays.   I loved watching I love Lucy and laughing really hard. I loved that we would make our own nachos or make something fun to eat. I remember being really happy during those times.

Charles, I loved going on trips to 7-11 to get piña colada slurpees with you. It was something so simple but getting one with you always made me happy.

Mike, the day you graduated from George Mason. I am so grateful that I was able to be there for that and that the whole family was there. I know it was a long journey for you but you finally did it! I was so happy and proud of you that day.

The day of my high school graduation was amazing! The highlight of that day for me was when Charles came all the way from China to be there for me. Seriously, Charles to this day I don't know how you pulled that off. I remember Denise telling me, hey that's your brother. I couldn't see super well and I assumed it was Mike because I
knew you were all the way in China. And I was like o yeah Mike and she said no it's Charles and you came closer and I realized it was you, what a surprise that was!

Melissa, I loved that you would always ask how my day was at school when I would come home. I love watching movies with you, those times made me really happy. I love listening to you sing while you listen to your iPod haha. You crack us all up Melissa haha. You keep us all in line, I love it. You truly are an angel to our family.

The day Abuela died, actually I think it was a day or two before she died. She wasn't responding and we thought she was going to go anytime and she woke up and we were all in the room with her....all of the grandchildren. I remember specifically she saw Mike at the end of her bed and she said "O, Hi Mike". I remember we all laughed a little bit. She recognized each and everyone of us and we were all able to say goodbye to her.  I remember feeling so happy and at peace with everything. I knew she was going to a better place. She was able to die peacefully and say goodbye to all of us. She made it to Christmas just like she wanted and what a great Christmas that was! Dad, I know that your Mom is very proud of you for doing that ride. You are an
inspiration to many people.

Being involved with Les Miserables my Senior year made me really happy, that was such an amazing experience to be involved in! All of the hours of practice and everything that was involved with it was all worth it.  I think a lot about some of the lyrics in some of the songs especially One day More....."Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store', I always think of transfers when I think of that song haha.  But seriously that whole production will be something that I will never forget.

The day I finally made symphony made me really happy.  I wanted to be in symphony so bad and I finally did it, my senior year was the best playing in symphony! We got to do Handel's Messiah and what an experience that was!

My Mission, I have so much to say about my mission of how it has made me so happy.  I don't know where to start.  I remember the day they made the announcement about the age change, I was actually in Provo at the BYU dorms, who knew that I would be called to that mission haha.  I remember being so happy that day because I knew I wanted to serve a mission, nothing was holding me back.  I just had to, sister missionaries blessed our family so much and I just had to do the same.  The day I got my mission call was such a great day, all of the anticipation was finally over and I was going to find out where I would be spending the next 18 months of my life sharing the Gospel.  Utah Provo Mission, spanish speaking.  I honestly was very happy about it, I felt so at peace with everything and knew it was where the Lord needed me.  I know a lot of people's reactions were like "o, Provo Utah, are you disappointed".....I have not been dissapointed one bit about it.  A lot of people have said "the Utah Provo Mission is the worst mission to be called to but the best mission to serve in", that is so true.  I love this mission so much and it seriously has been the best.  I have met some of the most amazing people on my mission that I will never forget, I have had some challenges but I have grown so much because of them.  I know who Jesus Christ means to me now, my testimony of him and his Atonement have strengthened so much.  I love sharing the Gospel with others, it makes me so happy.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ really does make us happy, I would not have it any other way.  I don't regret coming on a mission at all, the sacrifice has been so worth it and honestly I don't see it as a sacrifice as much anymore....yes, I left a lot behind, friends, family, school, and other things but I truly love this work so much and I know I needed to come on my mission at this specific time so that I could meet the people I have met and help change their lives.  It will be a sacrifice to come home and take off that tag, but I know everything will be ok.  My mission will always be a part of my life.  I am so grateful that we will be together forever as a family, I know sharing that with others.  I am so grateful to all of you, we are so lucky to have such a great family.  You all mean so much to me, thanks for supporting me with everything....I pray for you all everyday.  I will see you all soon, December 18th, start counting down the days!!! haha maybe don't do that because that will freak me out about how much time I have left haha Love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Catching up

I have to do a little bit of catch up with this email and explain what has happened these past couple of weeks. It has been a roller coaster for sure but it has all been good.

We had a really good lesson with a good sister. She is the less active that we have been working a lot with.  Our ward mission leader gave us this really great idea we could use with her. He said have her write for 45 minutes about this question "what would my life be if I didn't have any limiting beliefs? A limiting belief is something that holds us back.  He said even if she gets stuck tell her to keep writing, whatever comes to her mind to keep writing. My companion and I also did the exercise and it was really interesting and actually helped with a lot of things.  From what she wrote we set goals with her physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. She has been to church the last 3 weeks in a row! That is the most she has been since I have been in the area. She has met with the Bishop to try and get things better. She told us "ever since I have gone back to church and have met with the Bishop, I feel more happy and I don't even know why". That was the best thing I could have heard from her. She has changed so much these past 4 months I have been here in Pleasant Grove. She really does seem more happy and she is glowing. It is so neat to see.

We have been working with another girl as well. It has been a little up and down with her. We have prayed so much for her and how we can better help her. My mom sent me her conversion story a couple of months ago. We decided that we should read it with Brenda and talk about it.
Sister Lutz and I both felt that she could really relate to it. A lot of things in the story really applied to her and her family. I was telling her that she is so ready, that she already knows so much and has a testimony, I told her you know what a great blessing the Gospel has been for your family. You can be sealed to your parents and whole family. We put her on date to be baptized for the 27th of this month.
She was very hesitant about it but said she would pray about it. We met with her again and talked  about the fears she is having and what is holding her back....she said she didn't feel like she would be
ready for the 27th. We don't want to pressure her.  Not gonna lie...Sister Lutz and I were pretty crushed...we have fasted and prayed for her so much.  We have done everything we can for her, it's
up to her now, we just need to be patient with her.  She has been taught by a lot of sister missionaries. A sister (M) day she finally gets baptized will be a great day for her and her family.

We have been teaching a brother as well, he is from Mexico. He is actually roommates with another brother who was baptized in July. This new brother is a really great guy and has a desire to learn more.  We are taking things really slow for him because he doesn't understand things very well.  His roommate has been amazing fellowshipping him.  When we have lessons with his, his roommate is there and always steps in to bear his testimony...its so neat seeing the change in him.  He is such a strong member and a great member missionary.

We are continuing visiting all of the members in our ward to get to know them better and share the Restoration with them.  It has been going really well and we have been able to get a lot of referrals from it. 

We had Emily Smith come out with us one night.  She was one of my companions in Provo, she is at BYU now.  She actually used to serve here in Pleasant Grove.  She has also been companions with Sister Lutz, we had such a great time with her.  She came with us to 4 lessons! She is amazing! She still bore such a strong testimony of the gospel to the people we were teaching.  She mentioned an experience that her and I had when we served in Provo, she shared it to a less active family we were teaching, it was such a great reminder to me of a lot of things.  I actually shared a status about it on my facebook, I want to share it it is:

"Yesterday I was reminded of how much The Book of Mormon has helped me in my life. I was reminded of an experience that I had with one of my companion's when I served in Provo. I was going through a difficult time, I was having a lot of doubts about certain things. I had prayed many times about what I was going through but never felt like I received an answer. My companion and I decided that we needed to pray again. We went to separate rooms and got down on our knees and prayed out loud. We then came back together and turned to The Book of Mormon and the page that we turned to was literally an answer to our prayer. I finally knew what my answer was. I felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort. I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father was mindful of me and that he does answer our prayers. I know that the Book of Mormon can help us receive those answers. I am so grateful for The Book of Mormon, the more I read it the more I feel Jesus Christ in my life. I know it can guide us in the direction we need to go. I know The Book of Mormon changes lives because it has changed mine. I will forever be grateful for that experience I had with my companion."

We also had stake conference last week, it was actually regional conference so it was broadcasted from the Marriott Center in Provo.  Elder Richard G. Scott spoke and Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke.  They were amazing talks.  Elder Scott talked about the power of prayer, some notes that I took on his talk were:

Just talk to him, you are his precious child
Take the time to tell your deepest feelings
When the answer is no, it is to help you prevent error
When he withholds an answer it is to have us grow and increase our faith, he expects us to be obedient
When you are sensitive to the promptings of the spirit, you will receive peaceful confirmation that your choice is correct
He will prompt you in peaceful moments
His pattern allows you to grow, be thankful that God has you struggle for awhile....your character grows
Never feel you are too unworthy to pray
Prayer is most effective when we strive to be clean and obedient

I loved this talk so much by him, it was a great reminder of a lot of things for me about the power of prayer.

Yesterday we didn't have normal church, it was the rededication of the Ogden Temple, it was broadcasted in all of the stake centers in Utah, it was so neat.  I love the temple so much, my companion and I were actually able to go this week for a session, the temple helps us so much, I love it.

Well I think that is about it, I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks for all of the love and support.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sister Lutz and some goodbyes!

I am so sorry I have not written in a while.  So many things have happened and I don't know where to start.

We had transfers last week and I have a new companion.  Her name is Sister Lutz and she is awesome! We get along so well together.  She is very motivated to work hard which I love! She has 2 transfers left and I have 3 left.  We both want to finish our missions strong and want to give everything we got.  She served with one of my old companions, Sister Smith and she just came from my old area in Provo. 

We had the opportunity to go to the final testimony of the missionaries that were departing.  2 of my companions were going home, Sister Smith and Sister Holladay and some other missionaries that I have grown really close to.  We sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me".  Hearing their testimonies was bitter sweet.  There was a lot of crying going on, I had mixed emotions about everything.  I was going to miss my mission friends so much but it was also emotional because I am going to be up there soon bearing my testimony for the last time as a representative of Jesus Christ.  All of their testimonies were amazing, a lot of them focused on their testimony of their Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Our area also split, we are no longer covering 2 wards in Spanish.  We just cover 1 ward in Spanish and now we only cover 6 stakes instead of 14.  It was really hard to leave the other ward I was covering because I loved the members and people we were teaching but it is nice that we can just focus on one ward now. 

I was a little worried about not teaching as much now that the area is split but we have been so blessed.  We have found so many more people, we have received a ton of referrals.  The members are more willing to help us and we have been working a lot more with leadership.  It has been really nice to just work in one Spanish ward and focus all of our time there. 

My companion and I set a lot of goals for this transfer.  We set a goal to find 100 non members and so far we have been finding on average about 2 a day and have been getting a lot of referrals.  We have worked so hard and Heavenly Father is really blessing us for our efforts.  We also want to visit every family in our Spanish ward and teach them the Restoration and invite them to read the Book of Mormon for 5 min a day.  We want to strengthen the ward and have them be more excited about missionary work. 

We also have a new ward mission leader.  He is amazing! He is so organized and knows how to delegate really well, he has amazing ideas and he wants us to be busy, we love working with him. 

We also had a Spanish meeting for all Spanish missionaries in our mission and they talked about an initiative that we are going to be doing.  Starting September 15- December 15 there is going to be a website up called  It has 8 questions of the soul like Why am I here on earth, How can I find peace and happiness in this life, How can I have a happy marriage, what can I learn from the challenges in life, etc.  They gave each companionship a box of cards that have these questions on them.  We have been asked to show these questions to people as we contact them.  We have also been asked to show members how they can use these cards and share them with their friends....we have already started using them and we have seen a lot of success with them.  It is amazing how much the work is really hastening. 

We also had zone conference this last week, and this is one of my very last zone conferences which is crazy! It was amazing, we talked about wonderful things.  President McCune is so inspired, seriously I love that man.  He gives the best council, I am so grateful that I have had him as my mission president.  We talked a lot about goal setting and what we are going to do as companionship's to try a little harder in our areas and specifically what are we going to do to accomplish them.  He called on a companionship to share what our goals were and guess what...he called on Sister Lutz and I haha.  We shared with 60 something missionaries and our Mission President what our goals were and how we were going to accomplish them.  One of our goals that we shared was that by the end of this transfer we want to be teaching 30 lessons a week, our first week we taught 12, last week we taught 18.  He asked us straight up if we have faith that we will get 30 lessons and we both said yes we do, we want to work so hard and do everything we can to accomplish our goals and bring this area back up.  We were put on the spot a lot but it was a good thing, it gave us even more motivation to work even harder, President and a bunch of missionaries know what our goals are so we better accomplish them haha but really we need to so we can see miracles! President also talked about obedience, he gave this long lecture on obedience, it was sooooooo good.  He was so straight up but I loved it.  He said, we need to just be obedient, we know the rules, we know we can't see miracles if we aren't obedient, we know we won't be happy if we aren't obedient then why be just doesn't make sense.  We are so blessed when we are obedient in everything that we do.  I have learned so much about obedience on my mission, I have a strong testimony of it and know that we really can receive those blessings from being obedient in everything that we do. 

We are teaching a wonderful family, I am pretty sure I have talked about this family before.  The parents got baptized a year and half ago and went to the temple recently to be sealed.  None of their kids are members yet.  We are working really closely with their daughter who is 14.  She goes to church every week, she went to girls, she acts like she is a member already.  She is such a sweet girl.  For some reason she doesn't feel ready to be baptized yet, she gets really shut down when we bring it up and sometimes will cry.  She just found out this week that she has diabetes, she has been a little down about it but still is being positive about it.  She seems more willing to meet with us and talk to us more, we have been walking with her a few times a week so she can get more exercise and she has been opening up to us more.  We feel like she is really close, we are going to try and bring up baptism again this week with her and hopefully it will be a good experience.  We are hoping we can get all of their kids baptized, that would be so great for the family.  The parents don't want to pressure them, they want it to be their decision. 

We are also teaching this less active lady.  I have worked with her my entire time here since being in Pleasant Grove.  I love teaching her, she is in a abusive relationship and has made a lot of mistakes.  Its a long story but she is such a strong lady, she has been through so much.  my entire time since being in Pleasant Grove, she has not gone to church.  We always invite her but she never comes but yesterday a miracle happened.  She walked into church with her kids, I had tears coming down my eyes and so did she, I was so happy to see her.  She looked so happy to be there.  I love seeing the change in people, Tiana has really stepped it up and has a desire to change her life.

Our new ward mission leader told us "Sisters people say that you are here to teach the gospel to others but really you are here to change peoples lives through teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ".  It is so true, we are helping people come unto Christ to make that change in their lives.

I am so grateful to be serving with Sister Lutz, we have already seen a ton of miracles together.  I am looking forward to see what else is in store for us.

Happy Birthday Melissa, Iove you and hope you have a great day! Also Happy Birthday Dad, hope your day is amazing!

Also this is a little late but Happy Birthday Luke, I can't believe you are 7 years old now, where did the time go??

I love you all, thanks for all the support.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Grateful for the Gospel!

Well this week was a little up and down but it still ended up being really great.  We didn't teach as many lessons this week, a lot of appointments fell through which was a little frustrating but we still were able to see a lot of miracles. 

We had a really great lesson with a less active lady we have been teaching for awhile.  She is the only member in her family, she has 4 kids who are younger.  Her husband is not a member.  Her one son really wants to get baptized, he is 10 so we have been working with him a lot.  He has such a strong desire to be baptized, he is such a sweet boy.  Her husband has always been really friendly with us but has never sat in on a lesson.  He is very catholic and respects the church but he hasn't really had an interest.  But a miracle happened this week, for the first time he sat in on the lesson with us and he has somewhat of an interest now, he is willing to learn more and supports his son for wanting to be baptized.  We are really excited for this family and have a lot of hope for them.  She came to church this week with all of her kids and she hasn't been to church in a very long time.  She would say "yeah I will be at church this Sunday but never came, there was always an excuse.  So seeing her and her kids at church was such a great thing.  We are praying really hard for this family, especially for the husband that he will have that desire and that he will want this for his family.

We have another investigator that we are working really close with.  She is really close, she is 14, her parents are members and got baptized over a year ago.  She goes to church every Sunday with her family but she for some reason does not want to get baptized.  She went to girls camp this past week and had a wonderful experience.  She has opened up a lot with us and this week, we are hoping that we can sit her down and talk about baptism with her and put her on date.  We think that she just needs a push and that if we put her on date, it will give her something to work towards.  We have been praying for her a lot.

This past Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  We did the session in Spanish, that was the first time I have done a session in Spanish.  We have been teaching a couple recent converts.  We love them so much, and they were receiving their endowments. We got permission to go.  Sister Traini, my last companion also was there which was really nice. What a special experience it was to be there for them.  A lot of ward members were there and a lot of people from American Fork were there that I knew.  It was really neat to do the session in spanish, I was able to catch onto things that I haven't before.  We are hoping in a few weeks that they can be sealed as a family with their kids.  There are some personal issues with that, we are praying really hard that they will be able to.

We had a zone training meeting this past week that was so good.  We talked a lot about talking with everyone.  When I served in my Provo, my zone leaders there were very good about talking with everyone and really helped the zone to be more excited about talking with everyone.  When we would go out to lunch as a district they would make us kneel down and pray and ask specifically where we should go eat so we could find more people to teach.  I definitely opened up a lot serving in Provo because we did that and because I was in a walking area and was able to talk to more people.  I know it is something that I need to keep getting better at.  Sometimes its really uncomfortable or awkward to talk to everyone that we see.  The zone leader that I had in Provo was actually at our zone meeting, he is an assistant now and he is very good at talking with everyone.  And he said something really interesting that I never thought of before he said "The Atonement of Jesus Christ has helped me so much in my life, I truly love my Savior and I know that he loves each and everyone of us and I want everyone to feel that, that is why I do everything I can to talk to everyone, I want them to feel the significance of the Atonement in their life...we have that message to share with everyone, we don't want to hold back".  My testimony of the Atonement has been strengthened so much since I have been on the mission, I truly know Jesus Christ and what he means to me.  Relating the Atonement to talking to everyone has given me the motivation to really do everything I can to talk to as much people as I can. 

I love serving a mission so much.  I really know that obedience brings blessing, and we can see miracles as we are exactly obedient and fully committed to serving the Lord.

I am so grateful for the gospel.  Virginia, I am so proud of you for being baptized, it sounds like it was a very special day for you.

Family- I love you so much, I miss you all a ton especially since the whole family is together and I am the only one gone but I know why I am here.  The gospel has blessed are family so much and I need to be here to share that with others.

Transfers are next week: I have no idea what is going to happen at all. We will see what Heavenly Father has in store for me.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another great week!

I need to do a little catch up.  Sorry I didn't do an email last week.  These past two weeks have been crazy but it has been a good kind of crazy. 

We had a baptism for Faith, a wonderful sister last Saturday and what a great day it was for her. There was a lot of craziness beforehand but it all worked out and she did get baptized.  Her mom gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and they have been less active for a long time so it was a big deal that she was giving a talk, she was really nervous about it.  She did such a good job, probably the best talk I have heard on the holy ghost.  She got really emotional.  She said something a long these lines "Faith I am so proud of you, I know we all say this a lot but you really do live up to your name, it is because of you and your desire to get baptized that we are back at church, I am so sorry I forgot how it felt, the gospel really does bless families and I know it will continue to bless ours". My companion, Sister Traini, and I were crying so much.  This family has come such a long way since we first started teaching them.  They want to start preparing to enter the temple to be sealed together as a family. 

We had a really great district training meeting.  My companion and I were in charge of the training and the theme for this month for our mission is "Making use of our time and making it more effective", we talked a lot about diligence and accountability in our training.  In Preach my Gospel it says that we need to be accountable our entire mission not just at the end of the mission, when we are set apart to be a representative of Jesus Christ we are accountable to the Lord.  We want to end our mission knowing that we were fully committed to the Lord and that we were accountable.  We ended our training listening to a song that was very fitting.  It is called "The hardest thing I have ever loved to do".  It talks a lot about the mission and just how we spend our time.  We told our district to reflect on their mission so far as they listen to this song.  One thing that I really liked that the song says is "the most sincere prayer I ever prayed, I thank my God each and every day".  The song starts with beginning the mission and saying goodbye to your families and all the other struggles that come from the mission that we deal with and then it ends with saying "the hardest thing I have ever had to do was getting on this plane and coming home to you".  Our whole district was crying by the end of the song, we all got very emotional.  The time that we have on the mission is so precious, we don't want to mess up that time.  We want to fully be committed to the Lord.  We closed with a scripture in Alma 36:24-25.  We invited our district to give an account to the Lord on our mission so far.  The spirit was so strong in that meeting, I know it was something our district really needed and they needed to feel that spirit again.  The spirit was not at our district meeting last week due to some things but this really helped our district come together and to be more unified.

We have been teaching a lot of people.  We have had a lot of work to do which has been great.  We are getting the wards more involved with helping with missionary work.  We have gotten a lot of referrals.  We have some really great investigators that could get on date for baptism soon. 

I want to give a shoutout to my niece Virginia, who is getting baptized this Saturday! I wish I could be there but know that I will be there in spirit.  I am so proud of the decision that you are making.  You are following the example of your Savior, Jesus Christ.  I will be thinking of you on Saturday. 

I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Another wonderful week on the mission

This week was pretty good. It was a little slower as far as teaching lessons but we were still able to keep busy. 

We had a really great lesson with Brother M's wife.  He is going through a really hard time and it has been really hard on his wife and she is starting to lose a bit of faith.  We talked to her about the Restoration with her and we felt very prompted to invite her to be baptized, so we did and she paused and didn't say anything for like a minute and I was like o boy what did we just do and she said "yeah, I will do it, I need some time though, but I know for sure that it is something that I need to do".  I was in shock that she said that, I thought she was going to say no and be offended that we are pushing her too much but she said yes.  We were so excited with her answer.  We didn't set a date for her but this week we are going to pray about a day for her to be baptized and we hope that she can have that strong desire to prepare for that day.

We are teaching this family that is so awesome, we love them so much.  The parents were baptized over a year ago and before I got to the area they just went to the temple to get their endowments and get sealed.  None of their kids are members.  They have 2 daughters, that are 10 and 14 and they don't want to be baptized.  No one really knows that reason why.  They go to church every Sunday with their family and they go to mutual and the one girl is going to girls camp.  A lot of the past missionaries have tried working with them but they haven't been able to get them to be baptized.  So my companion and I have just tried talking with the girls to get them to open up more with us and we even had them paint our nails haha so that they could see we are normal people.  They have opened up a lot with us and they say they love it when we come over. We were able to help Julissa prepare a talk about Baptism and Confirmation and we explained why we need to be baptized because Jesus Christ set the example for us.  We also had a lesson with the whole family last night and it went really well.  The girls participated and they have never done that before.  We are very hopeful for them.  We are going to pray really hard this week and see if we can commit the girls for a baptism date.  It is going to take a lot of faith with them.

The English family that we are teaching has been going so well, their daughter Faith just had her baptism interview and passed! She is so excited to be baptized, she has such a sweet spirit.  This family has come such a long way since I first started teaching them, they have progressed so much.  They now are talking about working towards being sealed together in the temple, that will be such a special day for them.  Faith is getting baptized this Saturday and we are very excited for her and for the whole family.

We got a lot of referrals this past week that we need to contact which is awesome because we need more people to teach! We are very excited for what the rest of this transfer has for us.

I love being a missionary, it is the best thing that I have done.  I never want it to end! It will be the saddest day when I have to take off my missionary badge.  

I love you all, thanks for all the support.

Hermana Veronica Garces 

Transfers and Baptism

This week was pretty stressful but it still was amazing!.  I was a little nervous about this past week because I was taking over the area and getting a new companion and we had 2 baptisms on Saturday and it was just a crazy week. 

Transfers can be a little crazy.  We wonder who our new companion is going to be or what area we will be in.  We wonder what Heavenly Father has in store for us.  President McCune said "ok Pleasant Grove Spanish area, Sister Garces you will be serving with.....he paused for a couple of seconds and said Sister Montanares! Sister Montanares and I both screamed a little bit and ran and gave each other a big hug.  I know Sister Montanares really well, we were in the same zone when I served in Provo.  She was companions with one of my former companion's, Sister Smith when she was sister training leader.  I have gone on exchanges with her a few times and we saw each other a lot when we served in Provo.  Every time we would see each other we would say "I could totally see us being companions one day, it is going to happen" and guess what we are companions now! We are so excited to be serving with each other, we already know so much about each other.  The end of our first day together we could tell that this was going to be a good transfer and that we would get a long very well!

I am the designated driver which has been interesting haha.  Its been good though, I actually know my way around Pleasant Grove more than I thought.  Also they changed our zone boundaries a little bit.  American Fork is now in my zone, so my old area is in my zone now which is pretty cool!

We had a lot of miracles happen this week, the first week of the transfer is always crazy.  I didn't think we were going to be able to teach as much but we did! We met all of our goals and taught 23 lessons and had 2 baptisms!  There was a little bit stress before the baptisms, we didn't think the font was going to be filled in time and then we thought it was going to over flow and all this other crazy stuff that happened.  The baptisms happened though, it was so great! After over 10 years investigating the church, brother F finally got baptized.  When he went in the water, I started to tear up because I knew that this has been a long journey for him and he finally did it. Anderson got baptized too, when he came out of the water, he smiled and looked so happy.  All the stress and craziness that was happening before the baptism didn't matter anymore, what mattered was that they were getting baptized.  A ton of missionaries were there, about 7 companionship's of sisters were there.  Brother F has been through a lot of set of missionaries.  My old companions Sister Smith and Sister Traini were there.  Sister Traini and I went through this whole process with Fabian and Anderson together and I will be pretty straight up, Sister Traini doesn't like to hug but she gave me a big hug.....and said "we did it, they did it, they are baptized, I love you Hermana".  We both had tears in our eyes.  I was kind of emotional through out the whole day because 2 other investigators that I taught in Provo and American Fork were getting baptized at the same time.  I was so sad I couldn't go to them but I was so happy for them that they were finally taking that step. 

We also got some referrals this week for new investigators and that is exactly what we need.  We just baptized 2 people and now we need to find more people.  We are so excited for what this transfer has in store.

We have another baptism coming up the 26th of this month for a 9 year old girl.  We got special permission to teach her and her family because there are English speaking and felt more comfortable having sisters.  The family has been less active for awhile and want their daughter to be baptized.  The whole family has progressed so much since we have taught them.  Their daughter, Faith is so cute.  We are really excited for her to be baptized. 

Family- So I heard that Germany won the world cup! That is awesome! Mom, I bet you were so happy! Charles and family, that's so great that you will be here for the all have fun together!

I love you all, thanks for everything.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Grateful to serve in Pleasant Grove

Well, we have transfers this week and I am staying in the area and my companion, Sister Traini is leaving.  What an incredible transfer we have had together.  These past 6 weeks have gone by so fast but we have done so much together.  The beginning of the transfer we were only teaching about 7 lessons a week and this past week we taught 25 lessons this week, that is the number of our standards of excellence for our mission!!! So we were really excited last night when we reported numbers to our district leader and realized that we reached that number!

4th of July was so much fun!!! The entire mission walked in a parade in Provo.  I got to see all of my old companions and all the missionaries that I have served around.  It was so nice to catch up with everyone.  During the parade, I also saw a lot of people that I knew from my old areas! After the parade we had lunch with the entire mission and watched our mission slideshow.  Also later that day we were locked in a chapel from 5-9 with our district.  We watched Frozen, what a cute movie! We also played a lot of games.  We also saw some fireworks from our house but nothing compares to the fireworks in DC!

Brother F and Brother A had their baptism interviews and they both passed! They are ready! Keep them in your prayers this week.  Satan likes to work extra hard on investigators when it is close to their baptism! There is going to be at least like 15 missionaries there who taught brother F!

Tonight we have a lesson with big Brother M and his wife.  We are hoping to put his wife on date for baptism, we are going to have to trust in the spirit a lot for this lesson.

I am so grateful to be serving here in Pleasant Grove, it really is a great area! I am excited to take it over and a little nervous at the same time but I know that I need to still be in this area and that my new companion needs to be here too!

Shoutout to my Mom, I hope you had a great birthday this past week, I love you so much!!!

I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Miracles and David Archuleta!!!

I don't even know how to start this weekly email. So many things happened this week.  I have come to realize that being a missionary is seriously the best thing in the world! I hit my year mark this week and have done a lot of reflecting.  I have come such a long way this past year, all the experiences, trials, etc have changed me into a better person.  I know what it means to truly love my Savior.  I have such a strong testimony of Him and His Atonement.  I can't believe I only have 6 months left, all I know is I am taking everything in and enjoying every second of it.

So Thursday we had a zone training meeting that was awesome! We talked a lot about setting goals.  We set a goal as a zone for how many baptism we could get for the month of July.  We set a goal of 30, we are all committed to it.  There is a lot of great things in store for the month of July.

That night we had a lesson with Anderson, we were on splits so I taught the lesson by myself with a returned missionary who just got home from Guatemala.  We talked about prophets, why we have prophets, and that we have a prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.  We watched a Mormon message with the prophet speaking and I told brother A to pay attention and think in his heart is Thomas S. Monson is really a prophet, watching him watch the video was neat, I could tell by his face that he really was feeling the spirit.  He's a little 12 year old boy and after the video, he said, wow, I believe he really is a prophet.  It was a great lesson.

On Friday we had such an amazing lesson with brother M's wife.  She was not interested at all at first, she would never sit in on the lessons.  She vented to us a lot about what she is going through with Miguel, he is a drug addict and he is still using.  He is up and down a lot.  I thought about my Dad a lot, I told her about my Dad that he used to drink, and take drugs and he met my Mom and she helped him overcome it and that the Gospel helped him and our family so much.  I told him, My Dad is so strong now, he knows this Gospel is true, he wouldn't have it any other way, and he needed my Mom by his side.  I told her brother M needs you, I know it is hard but he needs you by his side, you need to be there to life him back up again.  I was crying, my companions was crying and she was crying.  We invited her to start reading the Book of Mormon, we testified to her that reading everyday will help her to feel peace and that it will give her the strength to help brother M.  She told us that every time we come to her house she feels the spirit and feels so good.  It is amazing as a missionary that we carry this special spirit with us that people can really feel.

So another amazing thing!! Big Brother F (eternal investigator that has met with missionaries for over 10 years), he is getting baptized the 12th of is happening! We met with him Saturday and he was like ok I am going to do it, the 12th it is!!! We are so excited for him.  We finally started telling members and missionaries about it, there is going to be a ton of missionaries there about 12 if not more!!! The members are so excited for him because they know it has been such a long journey for him.

So last night we had a missionary night fireside with one of our Spanish wards that we cover.  2 returned missionaries who just got home talked about their experiences, the purpose was to get the ward more excited about missionary work.  Anyways, someone walked in and I almost freaked out.  It was DAVID ARCHULETA!!!!!! Apparently he is friends with the Bishops family and they invited him.  I always knew he was a really great guy and all that.  I watched him on American Idol and I love his music...meeting him in person was really neat.  He is so humble.  He came up to my companion and I after the fireside and shook our hand, we had a conversation in Spanish. It was awesome, and he said my Spanish was really good haha.  Never thought anyone would say my spanish was really good and having David Archuleta say that to me was unreal....I asked him about his mission in Chile....he loved it so much, he told me these last 6 months of my mission is such a precious time that I need to take everything in and enjoy it because it will go by fast...he said you are blessing so many lives because you decided to serve.  I could feel the spirit so strongly when I talked to him.  I felt like I was talking to a normal person that I have known forever.  You can tell he has such a strong testimony of this Gospel.  I would of asked for a picture with him but I felt like that would have kind of been inappropriate since we were at a church event and I am a missionary yeah never thought in a million years that I would meet David Archuleta on my mission...but then again I serve in Utah haha. 

So yeah that was my week, pretty awesome stuff!

We have transfers next, who knows what will happen.  All I know is that I don't want my mission to end. 

I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Pleasant Grove parade

Well I don't have much time this week, so this email is going to be a little short.

This week was really great! We had some great lessons with our investigators.

Fabian has his baptism interview tomorrow, he is so ready! We are so excited for him to finally take this step.  He has been investigating the church for over 10 years and he is finally going into the waters of baptism!

We had a parade in Pleasant Grove this week.  All of our zone participated in it and passed out programs, it was really fun to talk to people and be seen.  There was a ton of people there.

We had some great lessons with brother A this week, we are continuing to teach him so he can be ready for his baptism.

Miguel is doing pretty good, he has gone through so much in his life.  The day he can finally get baptized will be such a special day for him. 

Also we found out the movie we get to watch for July 4th is Frozen!! The whole mission is so excited!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

An Amazing Week/Happy Father's Day!

This week was amazing! We had so many miracles happen.  We were able to exceed our goals.  When you work really hard and with more diligence, we can see the fruits of our labors.

First off, Dad, I hope you had a Happy Father's Day! Also to my brother's Mike and Charles, I hope you enjoyed your day.  You all are great Fathers.  Thanks for being such great examples. 

On Tuesday, Sister Traini and I went to the temple.  We can only go every quarter now so we were really excited to go.  Everything just comes into place when I go to the temple, I love it so much. 

We had some pretty great lessons with the brother we have been working with.  The desire that he has is so amazing, he wants to get baptized so bad.  His wife is not really interested and never sits in on the lessons but a miracle happened.  For the first time she sat in on a lesson and we were teaching about the Plan of Salvation.  We are hoping with time, she will want to have that desire as well.

We had a lesson with the good brother F.  He is doing so well, he has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon every single day.  He says he knows he needs to be baptized but he just feels like he hasn't received that answer.  He said he has faith that he will receive it soon and that it is something he wants to do.  We told him to keep reading and praying and his answer will come.  He goes to church every sunday and knows so much, he just needs to get in the water already and get baptized.  His kids are members, we told him.  Your kids are going to need you, you can live with your son and daughter forever.  He had tears coming down his face.  We are so excited for him when he finally does get baptized.  So many people will be there for him.

We have another investigator.  He is 12 years old.  He just came from Guatemala.  His Mom is a recent convert, she was baptized in December.  She wants her son to be baptized, so we have been teaching him the lessons with the family.  We want to make sure he makes the decision himself and that he doesn't just do it because his mom wants him to do it.  He seems to understand things really well.  He has been praying and reading everyday since we have taught him.  We asked him straight up, so Anderson when do you want to be baptized and he said can I do it today, I feel so right about it, I feel so happy when I pray and read.  We could tell he really genuinely meant what he said.  We put him on date for the 28th of June.  He seems really excited and his mom and the family are really happy.  The mom has a nephew that is living with them and he was baptized a really long time ago but he has been less active for years.  He has been sitting in on the lessons with us and he wants to come back, he went to church yesterday with the family for the first time in years.  It's so neat to see things like this. We are really excited for his baptism.

I am so grateful for all the miracles we had this week.  I am so grateful that I am representing Jesus Christ.  I am really learned to become a true disciple of him.

The gospel can changes people's lives.  I know this because it has changed me and has been the best thing for my family.

I love you all! 10 more day and I hit my year mark, crazzyyy!!!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Leaving American Fork/Transfered to Pleasant Grove

Well first off I want to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day.  I hope you have an awesome day! You are the best Dad ever! Also a birthday shout out to my nephew, Peyton! I can't believe you are 4 years old now, I hope you had a fun day!

Well, I have been transferred to Pleasant Grove, its basically right next to American Fork so I didn't go too far.  I am serving with Hermana Traini, she is from Alaska.  She is so awesome, I can already tell that we are going to have an amazing transfer together. 

This area is a little similar to American Fork.  We cover 14 stakes but we also cover 2 Spanish wards, so there is a lot of members that I will need to get to know! We cover Pleasant Grove, Lindon, and Ceder Hills.

We have a golden investigator, seriously he is so awesome.  He has such a strong desire to be baptized but has to wait due to some personal things.  He has changed his life so much already.  He is such an example to a lot of people.  We are really excited for him for when he can be baptized!

We have another investigator. He has been investigating the church for over 10 years now.  He has 2 kids that have been members for awhile.  He goes to church pretty much every Sunday.  He has been through so many missionaries, he knows the church is true but can't commit himself to a baptism date.  We had an amazing lesson with him this past week.  We planned on just starting over with him and teaching all the lessons.  We started with the first lesson, we just wanted to go into the lesson and see where he was at.  We taught him lesson 1 about the Restoration and it went really well and then we talked about baptism.  He said he just doesn't feel ready to be baptized, he said he doesn't think he will ever be ready.  The spirit was guiding Sister Traini and I so much during this lesson.  I had something in my head that I wanted to say but wasn't sure if I should say it but I did it anyway "I said, Hermano, we can set a baptism date with you today and if we need to change it we can, it can be a goal for you, you know this church is true, this Gospel can truly bless you and I know you know that.  We can set a date for you and you can pray about it and ask specifically in your prayers if you will be ready to be baptized on that day.  Also to help you with your answer, you need to pray and read every single day.  I promise you Heavenly Father will answer you.  Sister Traini then looked at the calendar on her Ipad and she pointed to the 19th of July and I said yes.  And she said, brother...will you prepare yourself to be baptized on the 19th of July?  And he took awhile to answer but then he said ok I will do it, I will pray about it....I know it is something that I need to do.  I need to commit and just do it.  We continued to keep testifying to him that he will be so blessed for taking this step.  We came out of that lesson so happy, we were like jumping up and down.  So many missionaries have taught him and have never been able to commit him to a baptism date.  We were on such a high the entire day.  We didn't expect being able to put him on date at all, but the spirit spoke to us so strong.  It is his time.  We are so excited for him.

We are also teaching a lot of less actives.  This transfer our goal is to find more people to teach. 

We also had stake conference and it was amazing! Lawrence Corbridge of the seventy was there....he was amazing! He said so many great things.  President McCune and his wife was also there.

I miss American Fork but I know I need to be in Pleasant Grove right now serving with Sister Traini. 

This area is amazing! I already have connected to so many people here!

I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces