Thursday, January 26, 2017

In The Big Inning...

Monday, 23 January 2017

Dear family and friends,

Well, it's been a while since I've done a copy and paste. But I'm running out of time and it's been a pretty uneventful week, haha. 

The highlight of the week
 was Bible Study! MLC 
​(Mission Leadership Counsel) ​
got us more excited to start a Bible Study, so we did (well, Sister Leyba did most of it since she knows what it's like and I had no ideas because I'd never been to one before, haha). We started off in Genesis and did a bunch of fun activities to explain the Creation. It was really fun and very successful! One of our amazing members brought our investigator, Odell, to it, and she loved it! Normally, Odell is really quiet and reserved, but at Bible Study, she was laughing the entire time! It was so great to get her in a comfortable environment so that she could see that we aren't just "weird Mormons" that talk about Jesus all the time. :)

My invitation to y'all this week is​ to tell me how your spiritual CPR has been lately! Have you been attending Church, Praying, and Reading your scriptures on a regular basis? If so, AWESOME! If not, start today! It is amazing what happens when you do your spiritual CPR. I promise you blessings as you do so! Your burdens will be lighter, and you will have a stronger relationship with your Heavenly Father. :)

Keep smiling! Remember that life is beautiful!

PS "What was God's favorite sport?"
... "Baseball because it was in the Big Inning (Beginning)" (See Genesis 1)
-Elder Shaffer, senior missionary (haha he's a big Cubs fan)

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dear family and friends,

As many of y'all know, I absolutely LOVE pineapples. I just love how they look, how they smell, and they always bring a smile to my face! 

Well, this week has been full of pineapples. I've been going through a rough spot in my mission (what we would call, the "refiner's fire"), and sometimes, there are really hard days. But even on those hard days as I choose to go out and serve, the Lord sends His tender mercies. And they frequently come in the form of pineapples. :)

Every night, we do our planning to prepare for the next day. And every day, our plans change! The Lord ends up sending us to entirely different streets, or places us in situations where He knows we need to be. Recently, the Spirit told us to go knock in a neighborhood that we had never seen before. So we did. We parked, and started walking.

The first house, I noticed a pineapple lamp. I was so excited! And then, as we walked further down the sidewalk to the house, I saw a pineapple doorbell. And a pineapple flag. And pineapple chairs. And... more and more pineapple things! I was getting more and more excited. The lady answered and immediately let us in so that she could show us her whole house... which was decorated in pineapples!! :D I was so thrilled! And after she showed us around, we were able to shared a verse in the Book of Mormon with her, and we left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon! So, two tender mercies in one. :) God is good!

Anyway, it's been a hard week, but it's been a good week! We've seen a lot of tender mercies as we've done our best!

RAY OF SUNSHINE! (Another one, haha)
Today, we went to get a picture of a pineapple quote (yes, another pineapple thing!), and a lady came out to talk to us for a minute. She asked if she could take our picture in front of the sign so that she could post it on her website! And then, afterwards we gave her our card and she immediately told us about how her mom has been attending a bible study with some Mormons. We told her about our bible study that would be held on Tuesday evenings (which, by the way, we just started up--tonight is our first one, starting off in Genesis with the Creation!), and she was interested in coming! 

Y'all, tender mercies all over. The Lord is sending them every day. He wants us to serve. He wants us to do our very best. And most of all, He wants us to be happy. The reason He does so many amazing things for us is because He loves us! 

My invitation to y'all is to look for God's tender mercies each day. And when you do so, thank God for His amazing blessings! He is truly a God of miracles and He will send them to you as you turn to Him. He loves you, and I can testify of that!

Y'all are amazing. Keep smiling, keep moving forward, keep doing your very best.
"Life is good." --President Gordon B. Hinckley


Pday photo shoot! :) #Leyba-Bae-ba

Happy Red Nose Day! ;)

Exchanges with the Centerville sisters (Sisters Mc Farland and Carpentier)! Sister Leyba and Sister Mc Farland found a huge, hollowed-out tree! They were able to climb inside and stand up--it was crazy!

We also got up super early this morning to hike Stone Mountain before sunrise so that we could see it. We missed the sunrise because we got lost trying to find our way around the park... But it was still an AMAZING hike! :D And we had lots of fun and laughter! :D

The handrail pictures--think Lehi's vision... Hold To The Rod!

Don't we look like gorillas? ;) #Epicpondposes

Ninjas! Love! Karate Kid! 


​The last batch... We really did have so much fun! :D But it was FREEZING up at the top! The wind was blowing like crazy and our fingers were going numb. It was worth it!​

Monday, January 9, 2017


Monday, 9 January 2017

Dear family and friends,

A few years ago, Georgia experienced a big ice and snow storm that they called the "Snow-pocalypse" because it was so crazy. When it snows in GA, it's a big thing because snow only comes on a rare occasion (maybe once or twice a winter). No one is prepared for snow, and so the roads become chaos. The reason it is so bad when we get snow here, is because normally everything freezes. So everyone and everything shuts down because we can't go anywhere. 

Because of the Snow-pocalypse, every time a winter storm is predicted, everyone makes a big deal out of it. 

This year, we had an ice-pocalypse. It started raining on Friday, and the temperature started dropping rapidly. By that evening, it was so cold that the rain began to become sleet and it was freezing on the trees. The next morning, everything was frozen. 

So, we happened to be at a member's home for dinner when all this happened. ​And because the roads were so slick, we ended up staying there for a while!

​After everything finally melted (two days later), we were finally able to drive around. So, Sister Shaffer (the member who hosted us at her home during the ice storm), took us ​to the hospital ​that she used to work at​. We went to visit a member who was stuck there for a while in rehab, and ended up talking with two of the nurses. Sister Shaffer immediately started talking about the Book of Mormon and was really bold with them! She's bringing them their own copies today with her testimony in them! It was pretty amazing! :) She is a convert of several years now, and she still has the convert fire in her! She's amazing!

​Despite the cold weather, there can still be a fire burning within us, just like Sister Shaffer. :) We have each been blessed with the light of Christ, that fire that burns within. It is up to us to share that light with others!

My invitation to y'all is to share on social media about someone who ​shared the light of Christ with you. Talk about what they did to brighten your day! :)

​Keep smiling and have a blessed week! Y'all are amazing and deserve to smile! :)​


Sister Leyba cookie! And look who she's holding hands with... uh oh! Peter Pan!

And the other ones are Cookie Monster and Elmo... #creepy

Our little gnome friends! :)
The fat one is Gordon and the other one is Grumpy George. :D
(A ward member made these for us!)

More Christmas friends! :)

-We found a big, open field and had some fun on a freezing windy day! :)
We had fun running in the open field and by the end our fingers and toes were frozen, but we were laughing! :D

Fishie cookies! :D
"What do you call a fish with ten eyes?"
"A Fiiiiiiiiiish!"


Our "snow" ;)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"No Worries"

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Dear family and friends,

"No worries" is a common saying here in GA. It is also something that we should all take to heart! 

Sister Leyba can testify that I am a worrier. I worry all the time! And I'll admit--this past week was hard because it was full of worries.

But you know what? Our worries only make us unhappy. We are here to find joy! Worries are fears. Fear is the opposite of faith. Where does fear come from? The adversary. Those who don't want us to progress and be happy and find joy. 

So guess what? Give the adversary a punch in the face and show him who's boss! (haha now I'm sounding like my companion)
We are in charge of our thoughts! When we start to get into that downward spiral, we can pull ourselves out of it! We are stronger than we think we are. 

And guess what else? We have a whole host of angels cheering us on! 
Elder Holland said recently, "Heaven is cheering you on!"
This is so true. This is something that I've been learning. No matter what we face in life, no matter how many things change, no matter what stands in our way, we have Someone who will help us through it all.

And that Someone is the Savior. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we turn to Him and trust in Him, He will guide us through ANYTHING!

My challenge to y'all this week is to make a habit of doing your spiritual CPR. Attend Church regularly, Pray sincerely daily, and Read the scriptures! As you do so, you will find yourself drawing closer to the Lord. You will also find your worries slowly fading away. I know mine have. :)

Keep smiling, and have a blessed week. Remember that heaven is cheering you on! (And I am too :)) I love y'all! 

Christmas From Mexico

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Dear family and friends,

WE ATE GRASSHOPPERS. Yes, real, fried... grasshoppers.

...And they actually tasted good!!

The day after Christmas, we went knocking and met this adorable Mexican family who invited us in! They were having a Christmas dinner which consisted of homemade tamales, "punch" (a tea-like drink with fruit), and fried grasshoppers! Sister Leyba insisted that one of them eat a grasshopper to show us that they were actually doing it (haha), and instead, we ended up eating them!

It was so fun to become a part of a cute Mexican family Christmas for that night. :) They even took pictures with us and our pictures will be put on their gargantuan photo wall! :D (literally every inch of the wall was covered with family pictures!)

I love crazy mission experiences. And I especially love the culture here. It is so diverse and the people are AMAZING!

Another ray of sunshine! Our mission president advised us to pray for a family to teach, and so we've been doing so. And guess what? Just a few days after we began praying for a family, we found THREE! :)

God is good. Christmas is amazing. Our Savior is amazing. 

Y'all, this gospel is true. I  hope you know that. If you don't, my invitation to y'all is to pray for a knowledge of the truth. Pray that God will  help you see the joy and truth in this gospel.  If you pray with a sincere heart and real intent, He will answer you! (See Moroni 10:3-5 in the Book of Mormon).

Keep smiling, and keep sharing that wonderful Christmas spirit! Y'all are amazing and I love you! :)

Service at Fay's house! :)


Our cute little Christmas tree and presents :)

Christmas pjs and pineapple socks! :D :D :D

Happy little Elves sharing the Book of Mormon!

I'm a rebel...I'm standing where it says, "no standing"!