Monday, November 21, 2011


Hello My Beloved Friends,

   I cannot believe that this Thursday is Thanksgiving. I think I feel even more in disbelief that Thanksgiving is right around the corner because this past week many days were in the upper 90's. :) As I always say though, I would rather things be too hot than too cold. I can handle the heat but the cold on the other hand, I am not sure if I would be such a happy missionary!

   I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with the family of one of our recent converts. His mom is originally from Mexico and so I have asked on several occasions if this will be a Mexican Thanksgiving meal or an American one. Each time she says American but that she will still be making her Mexican Spaghetti which is spaghetti noodle with a chile and cream sauce instead of tomato sauce. Anyways, we will see oh it goes.:)

   We had a memorial service last night for the two elders who passed away, Elder Strong and Elder Walker. As I sat and watched this memorial service, I thought even more about Thanksgiving. I thought about a man in Church who gave a talk that morning and shared an experience about his son. He told us that he had taken his son to an amusement park and the day was going well until lunchtime.

   The family found an eatery in the park where they could stop and have lunch. The family made their way down the cafeteria-style line and as they began to give their drink orders, the worker told them that they did not have lime soda. The son was very disappointed that they did not have lime soda and he began to do what most small children would do in this situation. He began to demand lime soda because if he screamed loud enough I am sure he knew lime soda would appear.

   Sadly, no lime soda was found in the park. His dad promised him he could have lime soda after they left and were on their way home. His dad then began to point out the other fun things they could do. But to the dad's disappointment this child was stuck on not having his lime soda!

   I wonder how many times we are like that child who gets stuck on all the things that we do not have instead of opening our eyes and seeing this amazing amusement park that is all around us. There is beauty all around us but we have to look for it. There is joy all around us but we must search for it.

   This Thanksgiving, find the joy in your life. Find the blessing that you have even in the midst of difficulty and despair. I can promise each one of you that there is something to be grateful for. Also, remember to tell those you love that you are thankful for them. 

   I love you all! Each of you are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Hermana Zani

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Sad News This Week

Hello Friends!!

Okay, I think I am on week 15 but let’s be honest, I am losing track of the weeks. Every day feels very similar and the weather in Laredo still feels in many ways like it is July. Although it has cooled down a little and some mornings we do wear our sweaters! Oh yeah, here is an interesting FYI - if the weather in Laredo gets to be under 40 degrees, the schools will shut down. I guess they all spend money on wonderful air conditioning units but do not have heaters. How crazy, especially coming from Utah and going to work in hundred degrees weather or negative seven degrees.

I am not sure if you have heard that last week my mission lost two of its finest missionaries. Their names are Elder Strong and Elder Walker. Elder Strong was just three weeks from completing his mission. Sad huh. :(  Elder Walker was also a great missionary. These two Elders were hit by a car while riding their bikes on last Tuesday night. There was a third missionary with them, named Elder Harris, who was hurt but is recovering nicely. My heart goes out to Elder Harris, as he now has to live with something that no one else can share with him. The loss of two companions, the loss of two brothers, the loss that only he can feel. For reasons, only the Lord knows why, he survived. I know that this was all part of Heavenly Fathers plan but it is still a great loss for the mission. Few missions ever lose one missionary and even fewer missions lose two missionaries.

The tragedy happened at 7:30p.m. on that Tuesday night. The Laredo zone, which consists of 27 missionaries including myself, were at a fireside with Elder Zvic. Let me briefly explain the leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Because God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we have a prophet that leads and guides our church. His name is Thomas S. Monson and he has two counselors that assist. Then we have 12 apostles just like Jesus had when he was on the earth and established his church. Underneath the 12 apostles we have what is called the quorum of the 70 again just like Jesus had when he was on the earth. (Evidence of Jesus calling 12 apostles in Math 10:1; evidence of him calling the 70 is in Luke 10:1,) Pretty cool!! Christ’s church is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Anyways, Elder Zvic is a member of the 70 and he was giving a fireside here in Laredo last Tuesday night. President and Sister Trayner who along with an older couple in charge of all the missionaries were also attending this meeting. During the middle of the meeting Sister Trayner walked out of the room. When she came back in her face was red and teary eyed. About 5 minutes later she walked out again, followed by President Trayner. We all knew something was wrong. However, we did not find out until the next days at Zone Conference with Elder Zvic. When the announcement was made everyone sat in silence and then tears and sniffles began to fill the room. This Zone Conference was a very solemn conference. My companion said no other conference you have on your mission will be like that one.

Please pray for these families during this time of hardship. Please pray for the people of the McAllen, Texas mission that their hearts will be softened because of this tragedy. I know that there is a way for families to be together forever not just here in this life but forever but I know that is only through Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, being baptized in the same way as Jesus Christ by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end. Those families can be together forever.

I am so grateful for every single one of you. I pray for you, I love you, and I am concerned about you all and your well-being.

Les Amo mucha,
Hermana Zani

Monday, November 7, 2011

More from Laredo

Hello My Friends!

It has been another wonderful week in Laredo!

I just made it to my first transfer. For all of you who do not know what a transfer is, let me explain. Every 6 weeks you have the possibility to move to another area within your mission. Also, during transfers is when new missionaries come in and old missionaries come home. This past week I experienced my first transfer. Even though I did not move and my companion has stayed the same. You stay with your first companion, which is called your trainer, for 2 transfers or 12 weeks now. Other people in my area of Laredo changed.

I have a new roommate as one of our dearly loved sisters went to another part of the mission to be a trainer. So, her companion received a new companion. Her name is Sister Litchfield and she is from Ogden, UT. The best thing about Sister Litchfield is that she is a runner like myself. I have been dying for the last six weeks without a fellow runner, but since last week Sister Litchfield and I have been running almost every day!

We have been teaching a couple of families recently. I really like families because there is such a strength that comes when a whole family decides to come closer to Christ. The whole family changes and places in that family’s life that might have been filled with darkness are now filled with light, hope, and peace. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings not an end to our trials, suffering, or afflictions but rather a sense of hope that comes through enduring afflictions.

This mission so far has quite possibly been among the hardest things I have ever done but I am learning to rely on him for strength and guidance like I never have before in my life.

I also want to share a brief testimony about the Book of Mormon. I have started re-reading the Book of Mormon again this month and I know that this Book can and indeed does testify of Christ and it is through this book that we can come to know Christ better and to feel of the Savior's love more in our life. I know the Bible is true and is the word of God but I testify that like the Bible, the Book of Mormon is also the word of God and whosoever will read this Book searching for truth will indeed find it. This is my prayer and my testimony to you all read The Book of Mormon either for the first time or again. Search its pages and feel of the Lord's love for you.

I love you and pray for you. In the beloved name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love ya,
Hermana Zani