Elder Espinoza

Elder Espinoza
Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's so wonderful to see people progress in the gospel

December 24, 2013
So we had another baptism last week! He was baptized along with 5 other primary kids in the ward so it was a pretty big baptism! It was pretty awesome also cause one of the girls that was baptized was baptized by her dad who Elder Bushman and I baptized back in July so it was really awesome to see him baptize his daughter. I also gave him the priesthood a while back. It's so wonderful to see people progress in the gospel.
In district meeting last week I had our district look up D&C 15:6. It says, "And now, behold I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen." Obviously as missionaries we teach people and "declare repentance" But what does repentance really mean? It means you change and so by asking people to commit to doing things we are inviting them to repent. Like asking them to read the Book of Mormon or to come to church. And we are to do that so we may bring souls unto our father so that we may rest with them in His kingdom. It is so awesome to see someone you love and care about be baptized. 'Im sure many of us have had those experiences. But how much better would it be "rest with them" in Gods kingdom? I think the best perspective to have is an eternal perspective. I hope that when any of us have any missionary opportunity before us that we have an eternal perspective. I know its scary and all but think about how amazing it would be to see them be baptized and see their lives change then think about how much better it will be to see them on the other side?? And what better time to do it then now? Its Christmas! This is the best time of the year to share your testimony of Jesus Christ. I hope we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas and be grateful for the things that we have. I am grateful to be serving right now. I really do miss my family and friends but I know this is where I am supposed to be doing the Lords work. I am grateful for all the love and support I receive every week. It really does make missionary work a lot easier for me! I love you all and hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Love, Elder Jaden Espinoza

 Demonte and Deaundre James

Went on exchanges with the zone leaders and they had their ward Christmas party. 
 The other missionaries in his ward

Us at Damions orchestra recital!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An awesome week!

December 17, 2013
Hello hello,
Last week was an awesome week! We had another baptism! A member had been telling us how he was talking to his friend and answering his questions about the Church for a long time now and how he wanted to invite him to church. Of course we told him to do it right away lol but it still took a little while until he finally did and sure enough he came to church. 4 weeks later he was baptized. I know I say this probably every email but the Lord seriously is preparing people for His gospel. I can guarantee we all know someone who is being prepared. We just have to make the hard yet simple step to invite them to come to church or to a church activities. Its simple things like that that lead to someone being baptized and having their life changed forever. After teaching Tyler just once he had a scheduled baptism date for the 1st of January which was so awesome! We continued to teach him and make commitments with him and he wanted to get baptized sooner! So we were like okay sweet now we have to cram a lot of information in him and teach him about the word of wisdom cause we knew he had problems with that. But when we taught it and he understood what it was for he was willing to completely give it up. I even asked him what he would be willing to give up to be baptized and he said, "Anything except my family." It seriously is so amazing to see someones life change right before your eyes. I can only imagine how his friend who introduced him to the gospel felt after he had baptized him. There is so much joy in seeing people you love change their lives for the better. That baptism was also the most spiritual baptism I have ever been to. Its amazing what the spirit does to people when they open their hearts to it.
We were able to have Elder Foster of the 2nd quorum of the 70 attend our zone conference yesterday. He truly is a man chosen of God to do the work that he does. It was the best and most spiritual zone conference I have had as well. He talked most the time and just really helped us understand how important we really are to our Father in heaven. It was actually really cool. He talked about how NASA pointed the Hubble telescope into what they found to be the darkest spot in space. They had it on there for 10 days straight and what they found was millions of other galaxies. They did that again a few years later and found the same exact thing. It made us all feel very small in comparison to the other things God has created yet we are the MOST important thing for us. So important He sent His only begotten son to die for us. It really was an amazing conference. At the end we all sang the primary song "A Child's Prayer" I've never felt my Father in heavens love for me that strong. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. 
We have another baptism coming up this Saturday which is pretty awesome! We are excited! We are also excited to get to Skype with our family next week! I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas break! Remember what really is most important during this time of year :)
Love Elder Espinoza

ps. Totally forgot last week to congratulate Chiawana for winning that state championship!!!!

Tyler Nelson and Bro. Davis!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"It still amazes me to see the spirit work through my companion and myself"

December 10, 2013
Hey, so last week was a crazy busy week! We have been teaching lots and lots of lessons with investigators and lessons to less active or recent converts. Its pretty crazy how fast time flies when you stay busy doing the Lord's work!
I think something I noticed this week is how sensitive the spirit really is. And just how hard it can be to tell when you are being led by it and when you aren't. I think the more and more you act on any prompting the more you will be able to tell when the spirit really is prompting you to do something. Also your little every day things like prayers and scripture study have a lot to do with it as well. I noticed last week that when my studies weren't the best that there were some times where I just did not know what to say to people. And the days where I had better studies and really opened my heart to our Father in heaven through prayer is when I said exactly what needed to be said.
We had a lot of pretty sad and crazy things happen this week with families not having enough to make ends meet and needing to find a new place to live or families trying to move to another city to find a better doctor to help for some needs. Its so sad and heartbreaking especially when there really is'nt a whole lot you can do as a missionary but give them a spiritual uplifting. But those moments where you say exactly what it is they need to hear is truly an amazing experience. It still amazes me to see the spirit work through my companion and myself. And there are times where I did'nt even notice the spirit working through us but the more and more I pay attention to it the more I recognize it and realize how much God really does love his children. It's truly amazing to see his hand in every ones life. Its also sad when people don't realize it. But the closer we get to our Heavenly Father the more we see the many tender mercies He gives us throughout the day and the more gratitude we have. This is also the time of year for much gratitude and giving! I hope we can all remember what Christmas is really about.
So we have a baptism coming up this Saturday! A member had been talking to his friend at work for a while now answering all his questions and what not. So he finally brought him to Church a few weeks back and we started teaching him and next thing you know he's getting baptized! Crazy how people are sooo prepared for the gospel. This is something that will never get old because so many people go through so many experiences yet they are all somehow in some way being prepared for this. His life story is very interesting and his life has been saved on a few occasions! So he knows he was meant to do something here on this earth life. And now he has found it! We also have another baptism coming up next Saturday which is also exciting! Its an exciting time to be serving the Lord!
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Jaden Espinoza

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013
  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I sure did. Got to hang out with members of the ward all day. They're basically family to me now so that was really nice :) I am sad I had to miss out on all the get togethers but I know this is where I am supposed to be. Last week was a little slower cause of the holidays so lots of people were gone but we were still able to have a very productive week and taught a lot of lessons! It really is so amazing to see people progress in the gospel and the blessings they receive from it :)
  Iris Fox was baptized the day after thanksgiving. We have been going over to her house since September now and now all that are over 8 are baptized! :) We have grown really close to that family and it will be sad when they move :( But we definitely have made life long friends with them! And lots of other people here in El Paso.
  The work here is going so great. We might have a baptism this week and will have one next week for sure. We are trying to have a baptism once a week this transfer and we really feel as if we can do that. And if not, at least average a baptism a week. The ward is doing so wonderful at introducing their friends so they can learn the gospel. Member referrals really are the best way to bring people into the gospel.! So everyone go share the gospel! I know I say that a lot but it really is sooo important. My comp and I were talking about how the hastening of the work has been prophesied and prophesied in the scriptures and how we feel as if a lot of people don't realize that that is happening. Those specific words have been prophesied. "Hastening the work of salvation" What is the church's newest addition to the website? That same exact thing. That prophesy is coming to pass. But it is up to us as members of the church to share the gospel. A lot of people have the mindset that they need to go out with the missionaries to help them with the work. Which is not a bad thing at all. But missionaries real calling are to assist the ward with missionary work. We are here to help all of you with missionary work! Its the members duty. Ours as well but the most successful way is through the members! So like I said earlier go and share the gospel with your friends! You would be surprised at who is prepared now and who is being prepared.
  I hope you all have a great week! I am looking forward to Christmas so I can skype with my family! No offense to anyone but when people ask me what or who I miss the most its my little bros! lol
  Congrats to Cortez and Roman for making it to the state title! Good luck and make good ol' Pasco proud! Love you all!
Love ,
Elder Jaden Espinoza

The Fox family! all over 8 are Baptized!

Snow in El Paso! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanks again and El Paso got snow!

November 25, 2013
  Well I would like to thank everyone again for all the birthday cards and packages. I got a lot more after my email last week so thanks once again! I really appreciate all the love and support I get from everyone back at home. I also got a lot from members here! Had a few birthday dinners and lots of cake and ice cream haha.
  So transfer news...IM STAYING! 'Im so glad to be staying here another transfer! I've almost been here for 6 months now and have loved every minute of it. There is so much work to do here in El Paso. We have lots of baptisms coming up. One this week actually. Our investigator whose kids got baptized last month is finally getting baptized! She asked me to do it so that was also really exciting. We are working with lots of other people who have been prepared for the gospel. It still and never will fail to amaze me how many people are so ready for the gospel. I hope no one ever thinks that the gospel is'nt for someone cause first off its not our place to judge someone and second off it IS for EVERYONE.So don't hesitate to share the gospel with your friends!
  So like I said I'm really excited to stay here for another transfer cause that means I get to be here for Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years! I have a feeling this might be my last transfer here so i'm determined to have the best one yet! It's gonna be hard to leave all these wonderful people here and the sad part is none of them will be here for when I come back after my mission cause they're all military! But I have made life long friends in this area. Lots of people I really look up to.
  So this may sound crazy but El Paso got some snow! Kinda of a sad excuse for snow but it snowed nonetheless! It was pretty crazy it went from 80 degrees on Thursday to 35 on Friday! It maybe wouldn't have been so bad if it gradually got that cold but over night? It wasn't all that fun! haha but I think were used to it by now and all the snow is melting off the roofs today. Its supposed to snow again but we will see! Supposed to be a cold winter I guess. Well once again I want to thank everyone for all the love and support! It was wonderful to get cards from everyone! Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Espinoza

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thank you!

November 19, 2013
Well I would like to start out by thanking everyone for all the birthday wishes, cards and packages I have been receiving! I love you all very much!
So this last week was so AWESOME! We finally had a busy week where we were teaching lots of lessons and helping people build their relationship with God. We had to push back our baptism that was supposed to be happening this week sadly :/ BUT we have someone else getting baptized on the 30th! The mother of the two boys we just baptized. We had a really amazing lesson with her and set the date! Its amazing to see and feel the spirits presence so strong in lessons. We were also able to confer the priesthood on two people we baptized. One was baptized in the summer and the other one was one of the boys we just baptized. That was definitely a new experience for me but its so awesome to see people you helped enter into the waters of baptism progress even more! I love this area so much. We have transfers coming up this week and we are both praying we don't get transferred! We both feel that if we stay together for at least one transfer more that amazing things will happen in this area! A goal that our mission has is to baptize weekly. Which almost seems impossible. We have that potential in this area. Especially if we stay together! We are working with about 23 investigators now. We've done a lot of finding and now were doing a lot of teaching! It really helps the time fly by when you're busy serving the Lord. Its crazy to think I'm almost at 9 months out now. It's going by too fast! I'd be devastated if I had to leave this ward. I really have grown to love the people in this area. They are so wonderful to us! They already started feeding me birthday dinners and what not haha I'm gonna have wayyyy to much cake this week. Time to start working out even harder I guess! ;) lol
Well once again I'm so grateful for all the birthday stuff and all the love and support I get from everyone! I love you all and hope you have great week! 

Love, Elder Espinoza

We ordained Danny to the office of a Deacon and gave him the Aaronic Priesthood!

The Fox family

Elder Espinoza and his companion Elder Hoggan- still goofy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013
So there are about three things going around El Paso right now. A stomach flu, really bad cold and head lice. So far I haven't gotten the lice and I really hope it stays that way!!! lol For some reason or another diseases and sickness spreads thoughout El Paso like wildfire! I've heard lots of different reasons as to why lol
The missionary work is going great though!!!! I feel pretty lucky to be the district leader of the Mt. Franlkin El Centro district at the moment. This district is doing absolutely wonderful! In this last zone training I had to account for our district to the zone and not trying to toot our own horn here but we definitely had the best month last month! lol ;) It really is a privilege to see this district improve in every single aspect this last month! Now we just have to keep it up and continue to show improvement as missionaries!
A challenge we were given at our zone training was to prayerfully pick a Christlike attribute we feel we could do better on and set two goals on how we plan on doing better. I would encourage everyone to take that same challenge and see how much of a change you can make in your own life and in the lives of others around you. Christ really is the best and ultimate example. He set the perfect example for us. We should all try our best to be like Christ. If anyone has access to a preach my gospel I would highly recommend reading the 6th chapter which is all about Christlike attributes. It talks about lots of them and then give you scriptures to study and things to think about. Its something that would only benefit each and every one of us!
So last week was another slower week than usual. Yet we still have wonderful lessons with people and are finding new people to teach every week! Its crazy how when we do what we are supposed to and have the spirit with us we will be lead to places where someone who needs the gospel is. (Which is EVERYWHERE) But its our job to open our mouths and overcome that fear and just talk to people. We have a wonderful promise that all we need to do is open our mouths and it will be filled. I've seen it just about everyday. My favorites are when we are knocking on a door and the people pull up in the drive way and were just like, "Oh boy get ready for the awkward moment!" haha but it never is. Cause we open our mouths and things just always work out. its great!
We have a baptism coming up on the 23rd. We are really excited for that! I feel like that will be my last Saturday in this area! I reallllllllly hope not cause I just love this ward! I wouldn't mind being here for a few more transfers lol But we will see!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Love you all!
Love, Elder Espinoza

ps. Congrats to Chiawana and Richland for putting an end to those Spokane football teams! Payback! ;) lol

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013
Well this last week was definitely a lot slower than any other week I've ever had. There's been something going around El Paso for a while now and we finally got it lol. We traded the illness back and forth for a while so this week wasn't as productive as it normally should have been not to mention our car has been in the shop all week. Luckily we have wonderful members to give us rides! Other wise we wouldn't have been able to get much teaching done from walking place to place. Our area is massive haha But its still crazy how we were able to see blessings from the Lord. Whenever we were able to go out we had so much success in finding new people to teach! We have a baptism coming up in a few weeks! This investigator has to be one of the most humble people I have ever met. He was homeless for a while and now has a home but still has no car or phone. He is sooo prepared and ready for this gospel. He really wanted to change his life around and this gospel has done nothing but help change him. He's noticed the change in himself as well. Last week we had the primary program and he absolutely loved it and the rest of church. It was crazy cause he really saw no problem in being at church for 3 hours. That's definitely not very common for investigators lol. But we are very excited to see him get baptized in a few weeks! He is too. A little scared but he's so ready for it :)
Halloween was a fun night. We had an appointment with this investigator and we were only able to get a ride there so we were like what the heck we can just walk back home cause we didn't have anything else scheduled for the night. After the lesson we were walking home and wondering what our parents would think if they knew we were walking about half a mile from the border of Mexico also one of the most dangerous cities in the world on a Halloween night. The roads we were walking down were pretty sketchy too. But we weren't scared or anything at all lol. We're missionaries! We got the Lord on our side ;) lol. We finally got our car back today and are feeling much better. We're lucky to have such wonderful members in the ward who really take care of us! We have a bunch of homes away from home in this ward haha. Well I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! Love you all! Have a great week :)

Its sad to hear that my grandma passed away but its also comforting to know that she's in a better place no longer suffering. Please keep her and my family in your prayers. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Exact obedience brings exact blessings."

October 29, 2013
Hello Hello,
So we had two baptisms on Saturday! That was so awesome! Also probably one of the funniest moments on my mission. One of the boys started singing that song "A whole new world" from Aladdin at the top of his lungs after he got baptized hahaha. We were dying laughing! The baptism was combined with two kids from the ward so there was A LOT of people there it was wonderful. One of the other girls getting baptized asked me to confirm her so that was another awesome experience. You really can feel the spirit so strong at baptisms. Its really awesome seeing all the little kids crowded around the font to watch the baptisms and they are just so excited and cant wait to get baptized. Even though at the moment they may not understand quite fully what it means but they can definitely feel the spirit and they KNOW they should be baptized too. So the baptism went smoothly but the whole morning and afternoon before that....that's a different story lol.
So we had a pretty good day planned out with some lessons and helping some people move. Everyone either canceled on us or just wasn't home except one recent convert family then the family that wanted us to help them move only wanted help to move their huge grand piano and lots of people were supposed to show up to help but it was only us, the dad and the elders quorum president. Talk about some fun.... haha Then they had totally forgot about their two sheds they had full of stuff so we stayed and helped them pack all that up then went to help unload and before we knew it we had to be at the church in a half hour. So we ran to our car to find out the battery was dead and nobody had cables. Then we found out that the terminal on the battery was completely corroded and broke off so our car was outta commission. Luckily we were able to get a ride and got it all sorted out. We had a member jimmy rig the  car so we could at least get it to the mechanic on Monday. On Monday we took it in only to find out a couple hours later we needed to take it to the dealership and we got there right after the service shop had closed so we had to leave it there overnight. Talk about fun stuff haha So we are without a car in this HUGE area but luckily my comp has a bike and a member let me borrow one :) Crazy weekend!
Last week we really focused on finding new investigators went out having faith and trusting in the Lord to lead us where we need to go. We found 6 new investigators last week and 4 of them in one day! The promises in the scriptures are soo true. All we have to do is do what they say and the blessings are there. We have so many blessings in store for us as long as we do what is commanded. Obedience is the only way to receive blessings. That's why one of my favorite quotes is, "Exact obedience brings exact blessings." If there's one thing I've learned on the mission it's that being obedient to the Lord really is the only way to truly be happy in life. Then you have no fear cause you will always have the spirit to be with you leading and guiding you. Anyway, hope you all had a wonderful week! Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Jaden Espinoza 

Damion and Danny Fox
Katelyn Smith

Monday, October 21, 2013

My first week as a district leader

October 21, 2013
Hello everyone!
 This last week was a good week! A little different than most. My first week as a district leader was a great learning experience. Kinda have a funny story. So district leaders have these big white boards where we make this chart thing that shows every areas numbers for the month. I completely remade the one that I got cause it really wasn't that nice. It took me hours and hours to finish and not gonna lie I felt pretty accomplished when I did! I was just really hoping my district would appreciate the new board I made. So anyways we bring these boards to district meeting and the companionships will come up and talk about what they did good for the week and what they wanna work on basically accounting for their last week. Guess what I did on my first district meeting ever. FORGOT THE BOARD! (My mom is probably not surprised) lol I was soooo disappointed cause I spent all this time on the board and got it looking really nice then boom I forgot the board. Not to mention our zone leaders came to my first district meeting which made me even more nervous and on top of that I forgot the board. But I think the district meeting went good and we all just laughed it off haha.
 So we have 2 baptisms this Saturday! We are soooo excited to see these two boys getting baptized. This is really going to be a wonderful addition to the Church! Its so wonderful to see people progress in this Gospel. Nothing has brought me more happiness so far in my life. Last week we taught the Gospel Principles class cause it was on missionary work. The Lord blesses us greatly for doing missionary work. We gave the class an opportunity to share some experiences of them doing missionary work. The most common thing I remember is that they all said they were soooo happy to see their friends accept the gospel. Most of them said it brought tears to their eyes immediately. I think joy is one of the greatest blessings we receive from missionary work. Not to mention all the other wonderful blessings and spiritual gifts we receive from it. I would encourage everyone and especially those of you who feel like they have not had enough joy in their life recently to start doing some missionary work and see the happiness it brings you in your life and the spiritual blessings you will receive! It really is the work of God.
 We have a few other people with baptism dates coming up soon so we are working hard to help prepare them for baptism. It still amazes me to see how the Lord is preparing people for his Gospel. It will never get old. And it will never stop. I think another blessing I received last week was my new comp! His name is Elder Hoggan. He's from Logan, Utah. Elder Hoggan from Logan lol. We were actually in the same district in the MTC so we were already good friends! From what I can tell this transfer is going to be a great one!! Hopefully we see a lot of success! Thank you all for all the love and support I receive weekly! Love you all and have a great week :)

Elder Jaden Espinoza

A picture from a couple weekends ago at their wards Fall Festival. They were the chili cook off judges.
 Elder Espinoza and his previous companion Elder Peterson.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Letter from the Mission President

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-3442

16 October 2013

Dear Verna Marie Ruiz,

I would like you to know how much Sister Miller and I have grown to love your son.  He has exemplified great leadership abilities in his missionary work. Therefore, we have called Elder Espinoza to serve in the leadership position of District Leader.
I have great confidence in his ability to serve in this capacity.  He is compassionate, dependable, obedient, respectful, kind, and loves the people here in The New Mexico Albuquerque Mission, along with his fellow missionaries.  He has a strong relationship with his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, which entitles him to receive personal revelation from the Lord appropriate to his calling and will gain the confidence and support of those he serves.
Thank you for sending us an outstanding young man.  May the Lord continue to bless you as you continue to support your son.

President Steven J. Miller Mission President

Elder Espinoza's new companion Elder Hoggan. they were in the MTC together!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Got called to be the district leader!

October 14, 2013
  Well this week was an exciting one! We have 5 investigators with baptism dates. Two will be on the 26th! We really love that family we are teaching! They really will be such a great addition to the church!
  We also have many other investigators who we have been working with for a while and are now finally starting to progress! One guy has really had troubles with drinking but he finally came to church and conference and what do ya know? He drank like once or twice two weeks ago and last week didn't even touch it. He said he lost the desire to drink! And now he wants to get baptized which is so wonderful!! This area is doing so well!
  So transfers is this week and sadly I will be getting a new companion. But I also got called to be the district leader which is pretty cool and makes me a little nervous at the same time! But I'm willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to!
  Sorry this letter is so short! I don't have any more time! lol Love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love Elder Espinoza

Elder Espinoza   Elder Peterson

 The Fox Family- going to get Baptized

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it."

October 8, 2013
  I hope everyone enjoyed conference as much as I did! If anyone did not watch all the sessions I would highly recommend it! I would feel like I'm missing out on lots of important information! There were too many wonderful talks for me to pick a favorite but I do remember my favorite quote. Jeffery R. Holland said, "If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it." How true is that!? I love Elder Holland he says it how it is. These trials in our life are meant to make us a stronger person only if we endure them well. And if we do then we will only come out a stronger person with a new and strengthened testimony. Our next trials will become easier to handle because of the experience that we've had. I feel like the trials we are facing now are only preparatory for harder and bigger trials in life to come. People think that if you do everything you're supposed to then life will just become easy. But its not like that at all. We will still be tempted and face many hard challenges but what becomes easier is putting our trust in the Lord knowing he would never give us anything we cannot endure. "If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it." Then leave the rest up to the Lord. He will pick up our slack. Another thing that I noticed was that Matthew 11:29-30 was quoted a lot which is when Jesus Christ tells us to take his yoke upon us. We are so lucky to have a savior and redeemer. All we have to do is do our best and leave the rest up to him. Conference was definitely uplifting and inspiring.
  These last couple days have been full of spiritual moments! We got to go to the temple yesterday. For everyone that is endowed and has not been for a while I would highly recommend going sometime soon! It was so inspiring and the spirit was there sooo strong! You really do have the best of feelings in the temple and can go there to find peace and comfort. It helps to understand the covenants you made and to always remember them. Things make a lot more sense the more you go. 
  As far as missionary work goes this area is really progressing! The investigators we do have are seriously progressing towards baptism. One lady we are teaching seriously is the most prepared person for the gospel I have EVER met. Things keep coming out the more we visit and teach and every time you can just see how the Lord prepares people throughout their life to receive His gospel. It is really sad though cause she is moving to Alaska and wants to wait to be baptized there so her fiancee can be there. Which really is not sad at all I'm just being selfish lol. She has a son who may wait until then as well but we are not sure. Our main focus now is to have them prepared for baptism by then and prepared to endure to the end. It really is the most exciting thing to see someone progressing through the gospel! And to see the happiness it brings in their life!
  Another thing I got from conference was missionary work! This Church like they said is one of the fastest growing in the world! Lets keep it up and fulfill the desire that Gordon B. Hinckley had to double our numbers! Us missionaries really need the help of the members. Member missionary work is the most productive and best way to bring people into this gospel. I would encourage everyone to pray for missionary opportunities and see the happiness it brings in your life :)
  I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend! Thanks for all the love and support! Love you all!

Elder Jaden Espinoza

The Elders in our district! Elder Recht, Elder Berryhill and I

The same Elders but with Elder Becar (my trainer)

The Albuquerque Temple

 Just a funny picture

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

So last week was an absolutely wonderful week!!

October 1, 2013
  So last week was an absolutely wonderful week!! We had Zone Conference which is always very inspiring and uplifting. The main thing I got from it was obedience. There were lots of people who spoke on different topics but every single one of them spoke on obedience. Probably cause it is pretty important. It is the first law of Heaven! A question I know I plan on asking myself every time I'm tempted to not be fully consecrated is if I love that sin more that I love Jesus. For example, on a day where I just wanna sleep in a little extra I'm going to ask myself if I love my pillow more than Jesus. I would encourage everyone to do the same with the little things we are all working on! It really does help!
  I'm also very excited for general conference this coming week. I have lots of questions that I want answered and I know if I pay enough attention that they will all be answered. Same to everyone else. I would encourage you all to write down a few things you're maybe struggling with or questions that you have and I can promise you they will be answered. A scripture we read to people a lot is Amos 3:7 which says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." How cool would it be to know the secrets of God? How awesome would it be to listen to someone who talks with God and knows exactly what we need to do in order to make it though this life so we can return to our Father in heaven. I know in the past I have definitely taken general conference for granted. Just think about how awesome it is to get to listen to the prophet and his apostles!
  We also get to go to the temple next Monday which I am even more excited about. I think my least favorite thing about being a missionary is we only get to go twice a year! But we are blessed to at least have a temple in our mission which I am very grateful for :)
  So we had lots of success last week! We had a family finally come to church! They've been saying they would come for about 2 months now and they came! It was fast Sunday so that's hit or miss but it was actually really good and I know they felt something. Their lives are already being blessed because of it. We talked to the wife later on that day and she said she is already seeing a difference in her husband! Awesome! We also have been teaching another family and two committed to baptism! SO exciting! The mother was agnostic/atheist really only wanting to learn about our religion cause her fiancee is a member. But now she knows this is the path she should be on cause everything we have been teaching her are things she has already believed and ways she has been living her life. So wonderful!!!!! Missionary work has brought me the most happiness in my life so far. Its amazing to see peoples lives change when they start learning about the gospel and start living it. This gospel really is for everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Thanks for all the love and support! :)
Elder Jaden Espinoza

An old picture from about a month ago- Elder Espinoza and his previous companion Elder Bushman.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013
  Congratulations to Italia and Jonathan! I'm really sad I had to miss out on all the fun. I saw lots of pictures and it looked like everyone had a great time! I do know that I am where I am supposed to be doing the Lord's work so that makes everything okay :) lol
  This last week was a little slow. Lots of people canceling on us but the lessons that we did have were so wonderful! The spirit works so strong for the people that the Lord is preparing for His gospel. It is soooo important for us to always be in tune with the spirit so we can ask inspired questions. Sometimes we are not the teachers. We are always trying to ask them questions that will get them to really think about things and what matters most to them or why this gospel would even be important to them. It really is the best thing to see the spirit work. This gospel changes peoples lives every day. Some people don't even know they are looking for it but when they find it they realize all the loopholes they have are being filled. We have a few people who are realizing that. Even members of the Church who have fallen away and we meet with them and they realize things over again. Missionary work really is wonderful.
We have a zone conference this week that I am really looking forward to! Our mission president is truly an inspired man and I cant wait to learn from him. Hopefully I'll have something to share next Monday!
  Sorry this letter is so short. We have a pretty busy day today! I hope everyone had a great week! Love you all!

Elder Jaden Espinoza

Italia really wished Jaden, I mean Elder Espinoza, could  have been there at her wedding and reception so during the reception we surprised her with a letter and picture from him. Here is what he wrote.

Dear Tali and Jon,
  Well its about time!! I'm really sad I have to miss out on all of this. Well, not all the drama that comes with planning a wedding and what not lol. It's all good though cause I know I'm doing the Lords work here in El Paso Texas!
   Jon, I'm glad I can finally call you my brother now. Especially after all those near death experiences we've had river rafting and on that 50 mile hike lol. Always remember that one time you wrestled Jordan...you had the young calf don't mess with the old bull ;) 
  Tali, we've also been through lots together. You have always been there for me and have been a wonderful example and older sister my whole life. I love you very much! I'm so happy for the both of you!
   Always remember the covenants you made in the temple. Help one another stay on the strait and narrow path and you will live happily ever after for eternity. I wish both of you the best of luck!
Elder Jaden Espinoza
  ps. to all my siblings. We already know I'm gonna be the favorite uncle so dont even try :)

Elder  Espinoza in his wedding bow tie

Jonathan and Italia Castro
Sealed for time and all eternity
September 21,2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

So this last week was AWESOME!

September 16,2013
 So this last week was AWESOME! It rained every week day! I'm pretty sure El Paso got more rain that week than it ever has in a year. The bad thing about rain in El Paso is that it floods. really bad. Things are still flooded. Some roads got washed out. It was actually pretty cool haha. If the Texas wildlife guy wasn't there I might have tried to walk across one of the washouts. Glad he was there hahaha. The rain was very very nice though! Things are actually kinda green here now. Nothing like Washington green but really green for El Paso haha. The city will have a fun time trying to clean up after the rain!
This week also was pretty interesting. Pretty sure I met myself in about 65 yrs. This guy was absolutely hilarious and you could never tell if he was being serious or just kidding. Ask my mom or my sister about that haha :) we also met this old lady who kept telling me she bet ALL the girls flirt with me and how I'm so handsome and this and that. Kinda awkward haha. I think she hadn't had anyone to talk to except her dog for a while. She was very nice though! El Paso is full of really nice people. I don't think i've ever had a door slammed in my face or someone be flat out rude to me. I like it here. Don't know if Id ever wanna live here but being a missionary here is awesome! Training is going great as well. Its a challenge but its good for me! Hopefully for my companion too...lol. He's liking the area as well.
 We have some new investigators that we will start working with. With one of them it will be soooo important to have the spirit with us so we can teach by the spirit. Without the spirit no one could ever learn of truth. We also aren't perfect teachers so we rely heavily on the spirit. I think we all should no matter what we do. There's a quote I like and I don't remember who its from or how it goes but basically it says something like ,"Regardless of your talent you will never be successful with out the spirit." Then you have to stop and think about what it REALLY means to be successful in life. How much money you make or nice things you have? Or how happy you live with your family in this life and the next? I've realized since I've been on my mission that people that have this Gospel in their lives and are not living it are NOT happy. Then they remember the last time they were happy and realize oh yeah I guess I was attending church and reading my scriptures and saying my prayers daily. then they realize that doing those things invites the spirit into our lives and guess what? We're happy again! Its crazy though cause its so simple to understand yet so difficult to do sometimes. Lucky for us we have the atonement to help us overcome our downfalls!!!
 Well good luck to Tali and Jon! I'm so sad I will not be there for their wedding but I know I am where I'm supposed to be- doing the Lords work :) Also, I heard Great Grandma Hyde passed away :( I'm also sad I will not be there for the funeral but I'm glad we know where she is right now and that she is being taught the everlasting gospel :)
Love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Jaden Espinoza

Monday, September 9, 2013

Some neat experiences

September 9, 2013
  Well this past week has been a pretty crazy one with transfer and all that fun stuff! Our president made a lot of changes in this mission. It was sad to see a bunch of people leave but its all what the Lord wants. He is hastening His work!
My new trainee/greenie/son whatever you wanna call him is fresh outta High School. I got one of the 18 yr olds lol. It's awesome to see how the Lord is preparing the youth to serve missions at a younger age. His name is Elder Peterson from Riverton Utah. We have had an awesome first week! This area really is perfect for a new missionary to see the Lords hand at work. I'm just lucky I was called to train! Training is a lot of responsibility and you really have to be on your A game. Its kinda funny though cause shouldn't we always want to be on our A game? We always have people looking up to us and watching our every move. Most importantly the Lord is watching our every move. We always need to be our best so we are ready for whatever it is he throws at us. We are all on this Earth in these latter days for a reason. The Lord must trust us to hasten his work...Scary huh? Haha'
  So last week we had some really neat experiences. This lady has called us a few times to give her and her dad a blessing. he had not been doing good and actually passed away a couple nights ago. But the night he passed away she gave us another call and asked if we could give him a blessing cause he was not supposed to make it though the night. I got asked to give the blessing. I was pretty nervous/scared cause I didn't really know what I was supposed to say to someone who was incoherent and gonna die soon. Luckily we are not really the ones who is giving the blessing. we are just simply tools in which our father in heaven uses to bless his children. So after I gave him a blessing she asked for a blessing so we gave her one. Her sister was there and is not a member and up until that point had been anti religion. The other two times we came she apparently left before we even got there but that night lots of miracles took place. She actually accepted the offer for a blessing and so did this other guy who is the same as her about religion. The one who actually was a member kept thanking us and telling us miracles happened that night. Sometimes its just crazy to think of yourself as someone who brings the spirit into peoples homes and blesses the lives of people in their time of need. Obviously its not really us its Heavenly Father but that's why its sooo important to always be in tune and worthy of the spirit. It not only blesses your life but others around you.
  Well I hope everyone had a wonderful last week. Thank you all for the love and support! Have a great week:)

Elder Jaden Espinoza

Monday, September 2, 2013

One of the greatest things you can do!

September 2, 2013
  So this week was wonderful!!! We had two baptisms on Friday and our mission president was able to attend. The spirit is always sooo strong at baptisms. It always pleases our Father in heaven when His children take upon themselves the name of Christ and make those sacred covenants with him. Sometimes I cant help but be jealous of them because when they come out of the water they are perfect! But then I remember the same thing happens to us every time we take the sacrament and renew those covenants with Heavenly Father.
So the baptisms were wonderful and the confirmations were also great. I had the opportunity to confirm one of them. It was my first time doing that so I was a little nervous but then you just give a blessing as the Spirit directs so its really not that scary haha.
  We've been very busy teaching lots of lessons! Its wonderful to see people progress and how the Lord blesses their lives when they live in accordance with his will.
Last week we also had lots of pretty crazy news! First off...well, I'm pregnant! I'm getting a son tomorrow! Haha! Basically all it means is I got called to train a new missionary! I love my new mission president he really has a sense of humor. He told us at the training meeting that,"Being a trainer is the most important calling you can get as a missionary. No pressure." haha. I'm very honored that the Lord trusts me with a new missionary!!! I'm so sad that I wont get to be with my companion till he goes home next transfer but also very excited to train! Also I will be staying here in good ol El Paso for another two transfers while I train. I was just glad I'm not leaving this area haha. I love this area! Its gonna be hard to go when the time comes. I feel as if the Lord has been preparing this area for a new missionary. Missionary work has picked up so much these last few weeks. We are expecting many baptisms these next few months. Cant really think of a better place to train a new missionary!!! Missionary work in general is picking up across the world. Its so wonderful to be a small part preaching the Gospel during this time.
  Well I hope everyone had a wonderful week! I sure did lol. Being a missionary is probably one of the greatest things you can do. Good thing every member a missionary huh? ;) Get to work! Love you all have a great week :)

Elder Jaden Espinoza

The Jones family took us to a really nice steak house.
Definitely one of our favorite families!

   Our district at the zoo

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wonderful week!

August 26, 2013
Hello hello,
  This last week was wonderful! It was also pretty dang busy. We were teaching lessons almost all day everyday it was wonderful. Our investigators are really starting to progress and we have two baptisms coming up this Friday. We are soooo excited!!! One is a guy named Jesus Espinoza haha kinda funny. That's about half of my family's name ;) lol jk The other one is a 9 year old girl. It should be an amazing experience for them so we are trying to plan it out as best we can! It will be difficult with how busy we are starting to get but we will make it work :)
  We were doing very well not too long ago with finding new investigators but lately we haven't been doing so hot. But it's cause we are starting to teach all those investigators now! haha I'm not sure how correct this is but there was talk of our area getting split again! That would be two splits since I've been here! Too crazy haha But our old area the university ward is also doing wonderful so it really was inspired that our area should split. So if it happens again I'll be okay with it. I would just hope we don't have to give up all of our investigators again! Haha. Next transfer will be my companions last transfer which is crazy to think about so we both hope I stay with him till hes done! that would be awesome! we both do really well together and have accomplished lots in this area!
  So, every single time this one ward missionary goes out to lessons with us something crazy and unplanned happens to where he is able to really relate with people we meet with and help them out. Its starting to get a little weird haha. It just goes to show that God really does work in mysterious ways for our benefit. Some people think that God is not a loving God and that some things are just a coincidence but after many different experiences I've had on my mission where things just somehow manage to happen at the right time and right place and we are somehow with a certain member in our ward and peoples lives are blessed because of these "random" things. Yeah, they're not just coincidences lol. Some people just have a hard time really thinking about certain things as being a blessing in their life. but the moment they realize that, they start realizing and noticing other small tender mercies the Lord gives us and their lives start making a turn for the better :) Its wonderful! Lots of people think we are just out there to see how many people we can baptize. But really we actually really desire to help out a person in any way we can. We want to help them build their faith and find peace in their life and share this wonderful message we have. Which of course eventually leads to baptism but its not for our benefit. Its for theirs. Being a missionary has taught me many wonderful things that I will never forget. So I would encourage everyone to go and do missionary work! There are not many things that are more satisfying I promise :)
  I hope everyone had a wonderful week and has an even better one this week! Love you all!

Love Elder Jaden Espinoza

"Me and a prarie dog"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pretty great week!

August 19. 2013
Hello :)
  This past week wasn't too bad. We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders so that's always a good experience. I stayed here in my area and my companion went to their area. We still somehow managed to talk to people who only spoke Spanish so it was a little nice to having to be the one to talk to them haha. I only have a few things I know how to say to people on like door approaches or something like that. But I can surprisingly understand most of what they say. I still need to learn it though!
  We were at this apartment complex a few weeks ago and this girl came running to us asked if we were Mormon so of course we said yes and she said, "ME TOO!!!!!" She was a little excited lol. But she wanted to know where the church was so she could start going. She had just moved here and got married about a month ago. Anyway she invited us to come to her house and answer some questions she still had cause she has only been a member for a few years. Her husband stayed in their room most of the time until the end when she wanted us to help her stop smoking so she called him out and asked him to join her and he accepted! We have this 15 step program we teach to people who wanna stop smoking. They committed to everything we asked them to do. And now we're going to start teaching him the lessons. They move in October cause he's getting out of the Army. But he's accepting to the Gospel so we will get him before he moves! ;) haha.
  We also started teaching a few other pretty legit investigators this last week. It was a pretty great week. No crazy stories or anything sadly haha. We have two baptisms scheduled for next friday so we are pretty stoked about that! One is a 9 year girl and the other is this girl in the wards fiancee. Its been nice this transfer to only have to worry about the 1st ward so things in this ward are finally starting to get a move on haha.
There still continues to be the random crazy thunderstorms but its pretty awesome! Its sad though cause they always happen at night!!!! When we can't go drive around in all the crazy rain! The thunder and lightning is pretty intense though.
  We went to the El Paso Zoo this morning as a district. That was actually pretty fun. they have some pretty cool animals here.
Well I hope everyone had a great last week and has an even better one this week!! Love you all!

Love Elder Espinoza