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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

First week in the Mission field!

First of all I need to let you know that his address that was posted on the last post was incorrect. I fixed it from there and here is the correct one. He just had a few numbers mixed up so if you sent a letter hopefully he still got it.

Elder Jaden Espinoza
2200 E. 1st Street
Las Ventanas Apt. 613
Alamogordo, NM 88310

And Thanks to all who have sent letters! It means a lot to him!

Before I get to his letter I have a Picture of him and his Mission President. I received a nice letter and this picture from His Mission President a few days ago.

President and Sister Miller and Elder Jaden Espinoza.

Also  we have some pictures from the MTC that he was able to finally send.
Probably most of you know Ky Burton now Elder Burton!  He was in the MTC at the same time Elder Espinoza was. What fun to have a friend there too!

At the Provo Temple- Elder Espinoza and his companion  Elder Van Leeuwen.
The Zone leaders in the MTC!

I think everyone must have one of these pictures from the MTC!
The Elders from his district in the MTC.

And here is his first letter from out in the Mission Field!

March 25,2013
   So Alamogordo isn’t much different than the good ole Tri Cities other than the fact that it’s a little drier and there’s NO grass. It’s actually quite sad lol. There’s an Air force base here so pretty much everyone in the ward is in the Air force. Our ward has lots of young families and so far they’re all really cool people! We’ve been fed every night and we have a blast every time. Since there’s an air base here there’s always jets and what not flying around and they break the speed of sound every now and then and make a HUGE sonic boom. Some are bigger than others but the loudest one so far happened while I was inside Walmart and I swear it shook the whole thing it was crazy! It’s pretty sweet though. We also have CRAZY dust storms here. They call them white outs since the sand is white.
    The sand dunes are pretty cool here they’re literally white. So when it blows it looks like a blizzard. I’ll send a picture where everything is white and you can barely see the mountains we live by its pretty cool. My companion has been here for about 8 months now and I swear the guy knows everyone and their dog here no joke. It’s kinda cool but I hope I know all them by the time he’s done training me lol. We are pretty sure he’s gonna get transferred and ill stay since he’s been here so long. Last week we taught a lesson and I invited the girl to be baptized and she said yes! But her dad is against the church and isn’t letting her which really sucks but we’re all praying for her and him! I guess he’s being a little more open about it now but we will see. There are lots of less active members here we visit. It’s pretty interesting to see why some people stop going to church. But it’s sad too to see how their lives are going and all the blessings they are pretty much missing out on. But we’ve met with lots and they all opened up to us and we were able to help them and are continuing to do so. I guess they must really like me cause my companion said they have never been like that before. So its kinda cool!! We are really wanting to find new investigators though. We got two last week and are gonna teach them the first lesson this week but we want a lot more so were gonna work our butts off! The mission is pretty exciting so far and I’m lovin it! I can’t wait to meet more members and get new investigators to share the gospel with. I just realized I forgot to finish the story about Jose the investigator in the MTC. The last lesson went even better! My companion was able to bare his testimony on eternal families and the spirit was so strong!! He committed to baptism and everything. It sucks cause we don’t really know what’s gonna happen with him but from what I heard from the teachers there is he is a real legit investigator. So hopefully the next missionaries keep it up!! Well,              I miss you and love you!
Elder Jaden Espinoza 

The "White out Blizzard" you can barely see the mountain!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Alamogordo, New Mexico- White Sands area

March 20, 2013

I was very sad to leave the MTC :( I love that place!!! But I was way more excited to finally get to the mission field!!! It was CRAZY on the plane with 29 Elders and Sisters all flying to the ALbuquerque mission!! We are the biggest group they've ever gotten and I guess everyone is so excited here to meet the 29 new missionaries this mission is getting! The first day was pretty crazy we all got off the plane and threw our stuff in this trailer and there were tons of cars trucks and vans waiting to haul us all away! we went straight to the temple and took a picture. The temple is beautiful. It’s the only temple I’ve seen that’s not white! So after the the picture we went to the stake center and ate lunch then had a ton of meetings and lessons while the mission president interviewed all 29 of us in a row! Poor guy lol. Also a bunch of zone leaders took us to go tracting for an hour to "break us in." there were some pretty hilarious stories! So I”ll tell mine. The missionary that took me said he wanted to find the most ghetto area he could find...and he sure did! Very ghetto apartment complex lol! The very FIRST door I knocked on was pretty intense...no one answered, haha, but the next door..oh boy. The old lady with a smokers voice didn’t open the door but asked who was at the door and the missionary who brought us there said "the missionaries!" in a very cheerful voice and we got told to go to hell and a lot of other swear words then she said she would show us how to knock on her door and pounded on it so hard!! so what did we do? Other than one kid who looked like he needed to change his pants we all said well have a good day and walked off laughing! So funny!!! So we went back and had a testimony meeting and it was sooo good. 11 elders crammed into one apartment while the 18 sisters all got to stay in some really rich members house and they all had beds. Lucky, haha. The next morning was when we found out who our companions would be and where we would be serving. There were three elders and some sisters who didn’t find out at that meeting and had to drive 3 1/2 hours south to another one to find out who was training you. I was one of the lucky few, lol, but on our way down we passed a sign that said so many miles to White Sands and the Elder driving said that’s the place we all want to serve. It’s the best apparently. And I can tell you just from my experiences yesterday that the White Sands area is the best:) lucky me! My companion is awesome!! Elder Becar. Its more like Be-car I guess. It’s French/Tongan. He’s white with about a quarter Tongan in him but he’s as big as a Tongan!! He knows a lot so I can’t wait to learn from him. We already have some investigators who were gonna try and commit to Baptism so I’m excited!!!! The city I live in is called Alamogordo. I’m so excited to serve the people here and cannot wait to meet the ward!!!
Elder Jaden Espinoza

Here is where he is living to send him a letter or package he says;)
Elder Jaden Espinoza
2200 E. 1st Street
Las Ventanas Apt. 613
Alamogordo, NM 88310

He also said-
 tell everyone if they sent letters to the MTC address anytime after last Wednesday I probably didn't get them and I'm not sure if the MTC will forward it to the mission home so if I don"t write back I'm so sorry!!!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Off to New Mexico!

Learn more about New Mexico here.

We got to talk to Elder Espinoza this morning!!!  He is doing great and is so excited to get to New Mexico and get going on his Mission! He absolutely loved the MTC and learned so much! He said they were so so busy there! He has more pictures from the MTC and more to write about so hopefully he will get some time to fill us in more about that soon!
 Here is his Mission Area. If you know anyone living in this area that might like to know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints let Elder Espinoza know!

New Mexico Albuquerque Mission Area

He said he has been getting letters while in the MTC so thank you to all who have written him! As soon as I hear from him again I will post and hopefully with an address of where he is living. The Mission address is on the right side bar  of the blog where you can always send a letter to but his living address will change through out his mission. He will get a letter faster if sent to his living address but you want to make sure one isn't sent right before transfers or he could be gone from that address and maybe not get it.
Also If you missed this info on one of the previous posts here it is again- If you would like  each new blog post with Elder Espinozas latest letter sent to your inbox then submit your e-mail address in the appropriate spot on the right side bar of the blog.

Thanks again to all who have been a good friend and support to Elder Espinoza!  He loves you all and can't wait to keep you informed on his life in the Mission Field!

The New Mexico Flag

      The New Mexico state flag was designed by archaeologist Dr. Harry Mera in response to a flag contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1923. It is a simple design of the Zia Indian's sun symbol in red on a yellow field. The Zia sun symbol reflects the Zia philosophy of the basic harmony of the universe; all centering on the sacred number four. Four represents many things including the four seasons, the four directions of the Earth, and the four stages of life (childhood, youth, adulthood and old age).

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Life in the MTC

Elder Espinoza was able to e-mail me real quick a few things today  and send a picture :) before he heads off on Monday to 
New Mexico!
He is still just having a wonderful time and learning a lot!
Here is a little bit of what he wrote-

My investigator committed to baptism!! It was so awesome! 
I had another one I was really struggling with but learned an amazing lesson during it and today we had our last lesson and it was totally taught by the spirit and not me whatsoever. I don't even remember what I said really cause it wasn't me! it was so awesome! I love this so much! he committed to baptism as well! 

This pic is of my district. the red head with the huge smile in the middle is our teacher here. he is the most spiritually amazing person i know!!!!! I'm gonna miss him so much he was so awesome!!! he taught me so much!!!

I love the extra exclamation marks!!!  I always add some more when I'm extra excited too!!!

So he is leaving the MTC on Monday and he gets to call home!
 I'm so excited!!!
I really am just so proud of him! (As if you haven't been able to tell ;) )
It is so much fun having a Missionary out!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First e-mail! So the MTC...AMAZING!!!

So the MTC.... AMAZING!!! I was kind of coming here expecting it to suck cause of everything people have told me lol but I LOVE it!!!!! The spirit here is so strong and you always feel it. It's so awesome! So both of my Mothers posted that Olympus Titans video of that high school where all the kids recorded themselves opening their calls and there was only one Elder on there that was going to the New Mexico, Albuquerque so I screen shotted the picture of him and his name so I would remember and guess what! He's my companion here at the MTC. His name is Tanner Van Leeuwen. He’s a pretty cool kid! We both get along pretty well. Everyone in my district is actually going to the same mission! There's another district that’s going too! We all will leave together on the 18th and we all will be on the same flight too. We are all SO excited! So there will be 18 sisters and 11 Elders all going to New Mexico on the same day!! So in your district you have a district leader and I really was hoping I would get called for it but I didn’t. But there are districts inside zones. Anywhere from 3 to 4 districts. And out of all those missionaries they call one companionship of Elders to be the Zone Leaders. You have A LOT more responsibility and when new missionaries come in you have to show them the ropes and everything. So anyways I thought there was no way me and my comp would get called as Zone Leaders just cause there are so many other Elders but... we got called as Zone Leaders!!!! We were SOOO excited and also willing and determined to take on that responsibility! Its a lot but it will only help us out cause we have a lot of Elders and Sisters looking up to us so we have to set a good example. Its so awesome! I’ve been learning so much about the gospel here and how to teach it. You really do learn how to love everyone here and especially the people you teach. Our whole goal is to bring people closer to Christ. Its so awesome. I have had some really neat and amazing experiences here. We are teaching members who pretend to be someone else. maybe someone from their mission or someone they know and its so crazy how real it is!!!! they are called proggressing investigators but you teach other investigators who may or may not be members. its weird not knowing. Anyway some of these investigators are ones that we taught as a group of about 75 missionaries. it was a pretty cool experience. But there was one named Jose from Guatemala who told us his life story and immediately I felt like I could really connect with this man. I felt the need to bear him my testimony on the atonement but I was wayyyy to nervous and there were so many other missionaries in there hogging the microphone haha so after I found out we were gonna be teaching some of these people just in our companionships I was really hoping I would get Jose. And sure enough I did!!! I was soo excited. I also heard that he was a real investigator and has been thinking about not coming to these anymore. So that got me even more excited! anyways the lesson went SOOOO AMAZING!!!!!!!!! The spirit was unreal!!! I mean he was bawling his eyes out literally talking about his past and when I bore my testimony on the atonement and what it has done for my life and the happiness it brings me. It seriously was indescribable. So after he said he really wanted to learn how I was able to do this and he wanted it for himself and his son. He said I touched his heart. I am so excited to teach him tomorrow and hopefully it goes well and if he really is an investigator (which I think he is) I think he will really consider Baptism and joining this church. It’s just sad tomorrow is my last day I’ll get to teach him. But we will see how things go!!!! The MTC is so amazing and for anyone who is reading this if you are trying to decide whether to go or not just remember I’ts not about you. I love it here and will be sad to leave on Monday but I can’t wait for the mission field! I love you all! Adios!
Elder Jaden Espinoza 

Not that I'm already thinking about Elder Espinoza coming home but I came across this video today and thought it was so sweet :)

In case you missed the last blog post here is the video again that he is talking about.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The MTC is so awesome!

That  was the first news I got from Elder Espinoza in his first written letter home. After 6 days of him being gone and wondering how he was doing it was so exciting to get a letter and that be the first thing I read! 
That the MTC is so awesome!
 Oh happy day!

So glad he's having a good time!  
Well he's a pretty happy fun loving  guy anyways so it's not to surprising :)

He hasn't written a weekly e-mail yet, which is what I will be posting on this blog, so I thought I would share with you the cute short letter he sent me.

He certainly has never been one to miss out on a chance to party! 
So glad he's just loving everything and everybody already!

This is the video he mentioned.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And he's off!

photo credit

Heading to the MTC today!

The Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah.
He will be there for 2 weeks then off to New Mexico for 2 years.

Last night he was Set Apart to be a full time Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later day Saints.
President Andelin gave him a wonderful Set Apart Blessing.

This sums up what Elder Espinoza will be doing for the next 2 years

My Missionary Commision

by Elder Bruce R. McKonkie

I am called of God.

My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as personal 
representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--
to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself
would say and do if He personally were ministering to the 
very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my actes are His acts; my
doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say 
what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in 
word and deed of the divinity of his great and 
marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!

Last week this was one of his facebook posts on the last day of his job from Life-guarding and teaching swim lessons at Columbia Basin Racquet Club.
 He said- 
Today was my last day at work. Gonna miss all my little kids:( but in a week the real work starts and I can't wait

Elder Espinoza is ready to go and excited to serve! 
photo credit

 I think he's going to be a pretty good Missionary!
We are going to miss him but we can't wait to start hearing all about his experiences as a Missionary. 
photo credit

His weekly letter and hopefully some pictures too :) will be posted on this blog every week. If you would like to have each new post sent to your e-mail weekly then just enter your e-mail address in the spot over here on the right side of this blog and you too can follow along. 
While he is in the MTC you can send him a letter through dearelder.com from here and he will get it that same day or the next day.  Or this is the address to send one in the mail. He will be at the MTC untill Monday March18, 2013.
Elder Jaden Espinoza
MTC Mailbox Box #105
NM-ALB 0318
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Missionaries love mail!

His Mission address in New Mexico is posted on the right side of this blog up near the top . When he is there you can send mail to that address or when we have an address of where he is actually living I will post that too.
Thanks to all who have been a support and influence to Jaden!

Last night at the church after being set apart.

 Jaden got to visit his Dad and Family down in California this last weekend.They and their ward are sending him off with lots of Love and Support also.

This morning-Saying Goodbye at the airport.

Goodbye, we love you! We'll see you in 2 years!