Sister Emily Mangum is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.

October 28, 2013


Hey Mom & Dad!

Yes I got the packages! Thank you so so so much! It has been a really long week. It’s been stressful and tiring but it was all totally worth it. 

Most of our investigators fell through or started avoiding us, so we spent most of our time tracting this week.  It was interesting.  Almost the entire week was entirely tracting, which is kind of stressful, at least for me it is.  We have a couple of new investigators who agreed to meet with us this week.  A couple of women with small children. 

We were able to teach one lesson to a guy who was atheist, so that was interesting. He was willing to pray at the end of a quick 15 minute lesson, and it was so sweet. The spirit was so strong, but he said he didn’t feel anything.  It’s too bad that he is moving. Sister Smith said she thought that he did feel something, but didn’t like it. Apparently when people who are sinning really badly feel the spirit for the first time they don’t like it. Like it almost hurts.

We have met a lot of interesting people tracting.  Not all of them nice.  Ran into my first anti this week too, then my crazy companion made an appointment to go back to "teach" him.  I’m pretty sure that the only reason he agreed was because he thinks he’s going to save our souls. But I told Sister Smith that I’m not going in there without the Elders, because I know it’s going to go badly. Hopefully it doesn’t, but its making me somewhat worried.

Missionary work is so tiring! But the few things that go right are totally worth it!

We had a bit of success though, we found a couple of new people to teach who I am excited about and a part member family decided to take the lessons, again.  This man has been investigating the church for over 30 years, but it’s been several since he last met with the missionaries.  So we are excited.  We are trying to go about the lessons in a different way because he has heard them all multiple times before. Any ideas?  I know that we are going out at some point to do service and help them haul wood.  The family is really sweet. And now we have the support of a couple of the children. One of the boys who the Elders are working with to get him on a mission and one of the girls who really wants her dad baptized. So we are optimistic!

But really other than that, there aren't any other even sort of solid investigators.  But we have several other first time lessons this week, so it should be interesting.  Yeah, this week should be interesting.  I haven't had the chance to teach much. So this will be my first real experience with it this week.

Several times we have run into people who only speak Spanish, I am so lost!  I’m thinking I may need to brush up on a bit of Spanish.  The Spanish people are so nice. They always invite you in and want to talk. Unfortunately, I don’t speak any Spanish and my companion only speaks a little.  Last night we were tracting and this cute Spanish couple let us in without even talking to us. Luckily my companion knows a bit of Spanish and was able to hold a sort of conversation. They weren’t interested in the church, but were super nice. I now understand why the Spanish Elders and Sisters here have so much trouble finding people who are actually interested. The have a ton of investigators, but very few who are actually solid.

So I had a really interesting experience this week.  I think it was Tuesday that we didn't have anything to do, quite literally. We visited every single investigator and then some and we tracted for a huge portion of the day and didn't get anything accomplished and by that time it was about 5. So my companion was freaking out, said she felt depressed. I felt fine, but she was totally stressed. So the Elders were at one of the Bishopric’s house getting haircuts and she called them to ask for a blessing. So we went there and she got a blessing.  It was the most spiritual blessing that I have ever witnessed. I've never felt like a blessing came so directly from Heavenly Father before.  It was amazing, and even though I didn't get one, I felt like it was for everyone in the room.

Most blessings are very simple and the same sort of things over and over again. But these were really personal. The bishopric member giving them, was saying things that I know he would never say if he was the one speaking. My companion was given some great advice on missionary work and the power of prayer.  The spirit was so strong and you could feel that Heavenly Father loves us so much!

Not really any plans for P-day activity today. The Elders want to go find some pawn shop in Los Lunes, so, I guess we are going to go with them, but I’m not too sure. I’m not sure why they want to go but I think they want to find cowboy gear...? Belt buckles, spurs, and such.  Sister Smith and I want to do some Halloween baking, so that's something. 

I can’t believe that my first transfer is almost half over already! It’s going so slow and so fast at the same time :)  All the missionaries say that this is an area that you get stuck in for a while. So there is a chance that I’ll be in Belen for a while.  The sisters only opened this area a couple of transfers ago and then stopped contacting after they had a few investigators. So now we have to do both teaching and contacting to constantly keep the teaching pool up, but it is getting better.

We've definitely had some great experiences though that show that after working really hard, we do have a tiny bits of success, so we continue to work hard.

Love you!


October 21, 2013

Crazy First Week!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Its been an absolutely crazy week.  Its felt like a month. Someone told me that everyday feels like a week and a week feels like a day, which is true.

I really like my area.  Its a super small farm town, and a huge percentage of the ward are cowboys. Real cowboys! Its really obvious that this area is kind of poor.  Its very much what I thought New Mexico would look like, its very very flat and completely sand and dirt. There are tons of scrubby little bushes and random cactus everywhere.  There are a few mesas and mountains in the distance and even a few volcanoes.  The area of the ward that I'm in is split in half with the Elders covering the town part because its somewhat dangerous and we cover the outer farmland and a few housing developments.

We don't really have a lot of solid investigators, or really any at all. Its super hard to contact when the biggest gathering place in the town is Walmart and most houses are surrounded by tall locked wire fences with at least one big nasty loud dog.  Everyone owns a dog and everyone owns a gun. Its the most hillbilly town I've ever seen! :)   

So we do mostly service. Its actually really fun.  My first day we got to bottle feed a baby cow for a part member family and we have cut down trees and started huge fires.  Tonight we get to brush down some horses and I know that we are going to bale hay at some point. Its really fun.

I love all the people that I've met.  They are so nice.  There is a part member family, the one with the baby cow, and the dad isn't a member, but is soooo close, he's just being stubborn. The mother's sister just got baptized the Saturday before I came, and she is so super sweet, she's a horse trainer.  Now the Elders are teaching her daughter, who is about 20. Mom, you'll appreciate her story. After her mom got baptized, she told the Elders that only a slap in the face would get her baptized.  A few days later she called the Elders and told them that she wanted to take the lessons because she got her slap in the face. She was driving and the song on the radio really touched her, touched her enough to contact the missionaries. Guess what song it was! A Thousand Years by Christina Perry. Even though the Elders are teaching her, they let us come to the lessons, because we have barely any investigators at all.

So that "Pagan" couple I told you we were going to teach. Dad, did anyone do this to you?  It was a prank.  They had this whole shrine thing set up and he said a prayer to it. He screamed it, and I almost fell out of my seat it startled me so bad. I was so confused the entire time because my companion wasn't saying anything, she was just sitting there and staring at me as I'm answering all of this guys questions. And they continually got weirder and weirder until he finally admitted that he was a High Priest and had been a member for years and years.  I was extremely annoyed, but the other new Elder who was in my district and is here in Belen with me got it too. Only they made him offer fruit to the statue as a sacrifice.  They actually wanted to have one of the members pull a gun on us, but his wife wouldn't allow it.

In my district there are one set of Spanish Elders and one set of Spanish Sisters and then one set of English Elders and one set of English Sisters(me).  They are all super nice and this morning for a p-day activity we went hiking up a mesa. It was fun and pretty, but I was freezing to death.  Mom, can you send me my red coat?  All the people who live here keep telling me that it gets a ton colder than it is right now. And I'm so cold and I'm going to be here for a couple of months at least.

One of the service missionaries in our area told us that there is a blog for this mission.  He said you can get to it by joining the Facebook page/group for the mission which is NMAMLDS.  They might have some pictures up from our hike this morning. :)

I have some letters to Mina, Warren and Jess, hopefully I'll be able to get them mailed in the next few days, so you can tell Warren he has a letter coming. You can tell him that I say hi and that I love him and miss him and hope he is having fun at school and soccer!

I don't remember an Elder Nelson, but I met soooooo many missionaries going to Jacksonville.

Love you guys! Miss you all! :)

Emily saw Elder Wheeler and his companion at the temple.

My district at the MTC

Missionaries at MTC

Mesa from our hike today for Pday


Here are some follow-up comments from Darcie's questions while Emily was still sitting at the computer.

We email at the local university library.  I really enjoy doing service, though I'm freezing and getting sunburned. :)  

Yep, we get fed almost every night.  This week we have a meal scheduled every night.  Mom, please feed the elders!!! The sisters have a meal for every night, but the Elders don't.   Apparently that's a theme everywhere. 

We have a car because our area is HUGE!!   Although we should have a pick up truck.  Its almost required out here, too much sand. All the other sets of companions in our district and almost all of them in our zone have them. Guess who gets stuck in the sand? yep, Us. :) It's okay though, it makes life interesting.

Jess will get a kick out of this,

In the photo of my district, the one with the most people. The Elder third from the right, the one with the Blonde Blonde hair.  He looks EXACTLY like Draco Malfoy.  EXACTLY.  Some of the other Elders in our district were calling him Elder Malfoy until my companion freaked out about it not being respectful. But then he told us in between classes that his name had almost been Dreago. HAHAHA!! Isn't that funny!!!

October 19, 2013

Pictures with Mission President

President and Sister Steven J Miller

New Missionaries arriving during October transfers

October 15, 2013

My First Area and Companion

Email October 15, 2013

Two Letters - One to Mom and One to Dad

Hey mom,

Its been crazy, I'm so ridiculously tired. 

I got my new area and trainer today.  I'm in a small town called Belen just south of Albuquerque.  Its quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Kinda reminds me a bit of out where grandma used to live. Except its complete desert.  Its really pretty, but way different from Florida.  We live in a little apartment on a dairy farm owned by some members.  Its a cute little house. I have no idea where anything is, but they have schedule in driving time no matter where we go. They said our area is one of the largest land areas in the mission just because of the dairy and cattle farms.

It is the picture perfect southwestern town. I keep seeing people in cowboy hats and boots and rusty pick up trucks.

I have my first real lesson today and i'm kind of concerned.  Its a couple and apparently they are pagan and have a statue that they worship.  Not quite sure, but it could be interesting.  The last set of missionaries taught them all the lessons but they dont seem to understand or get past the whole idol worship thing.  So i suggested that we need to take it back to the basics and focus on what God is. But I have no idea how to teach someone like that.

According to the district leader we do a lot of service here too. A lot of farm work.  Its a good thing i brought jeans and tennis shoes.  This ward has a set of elders and a set of sisters. One of the Elders was in my MTC district, so thats kind of nice.  

Love you!


Hey Dad,

I just got to Albuquerque and have my area and new companion.  I am assigned to this little town called Belen about an hour south of Albuquerque.  It kinda reminds me a bit of the New Philadelphia area, except smaller and more south western. (I've lost count of the number of people I've seen in cowboy hats and boots, and apparently everyone wears jeans to church...)  
We live on some of the members land, they have a dairy farm. From what I've seen there aren't a whole lot of really promising investigators yet, and contacting is super hard because the sisters are assigned the area that is mostly farm land.  It's very much a desert, lots of sand and rocks.  Everything is brown and orange. 

We have a meeting with an investigator in about an hour. Apparently they are pagan and don't seem to understand whats being taught.  Should be interesting, I think we need to go back to the basics.  Then we are meeting with some people tonight, but I'm not entirely sure who or what or why. 

I met the mission president and his wife yesterday and the sisters all stayed at their house yesterday and last night. They are super nice. He has really high expectations for the mission, which is good.  

My companion, Sister Sarah Smith seems nice, I've only known her for a couple of hours.  Shes from Utah and has only been out about 5 months.

This mission has a ton of new missionaries and not very many out longer than a year.  The mission is so large land wise, that its divided in half and you tend to stay in either the north in Albuquerque or in the south in El Paso. Most of the mission is in the north. 

I'm really tired, but ready to work. 

My new address is:

119 Andres Sanchez Road
Belen, NM 87002

Love you !

October 14, 2013

At the Airport...Next Stop Albuquerque

October 14, 2013 Phone Call - Notes written by Dad

We received an unexpected phone call this morning from Emily.  She and about 30 missionaries that were headed to Albuquerque were all at the airport waiting on their flight.  She said that they would arrive at the Mission home early this afternoon but would not be sent to their new areas until tomorrow some time.  She also mentioned that Monday is their preparation day so it wasn't likely that she would get to email us this week.

Emily sounded very up beat and excited to get to New Mexico.  She mentioned that she had mixed feelings about leaving the MTC as she really liked it and felt that she was learning a lot but also that she was ready to get to work.  You can already tell from speaking with her that she is growing spiritually and gaining confidence.

She shared some of her experiences teaching the "practice investigators" as part of their training.  She shared how they had a sister investigator who liked to yell at them about how she didn't need any more schooling and teaching.  Emily explained to us that as missionaries they weren't supposed to use the words "teach" or "share" with investigators because it made the investigators feel like they the missionaries were better than them.  They were rather supposed to us "tell" them about the gospel.

She also shared that they taught a man who was supposed to have been from Jacksonville.  During the process they have to learn about this person by asking questions and Emily and Sister Shaner had done their best but had a tough time figuring out the guy and finding his concerns.  Later they spoke a couple of Elders in their district who had the same investigator.  Emily said they were surprised at all the things the Elders had uncovered about this man that the Sisters weren't able to learn.  Sounded like they learned as much from the after discussion about teaching as they did during the actual event.

Emily mentioned that she had been able to see both Elder Wheeler and Elder Gerald while she was at the MTC and that both of them appeared to be happy and doing well.  She did get some pictures with them but did not get an opportunity to email to us but would do it when she got to her area.

One bit of new we did get from Emily is that she is only allowed to Email her parents while serving.  If she communicates with others while serving she will need to do it via letters through the mail.  So, be sure to send Emily your home mailing address so that she can respond to you.  She can still receive your emails, just not allowed to respond via email.

We are looking forward to hearing more about her MTC experience and her new area and new companion in the coming week.  Good luck Sister Mangum!  Travel safely!  We love you!

October 9, 2013

I had more time - bonus email

Bonus Email on Oct 9, 2013

I actually got some more time to email. We got to go down to do some laundry today, which is where I am. Sister Shaner just really wanted to be with her boyfriend, who is also here learning Vietnamese for his mission to California.  He is really nice and his companions are are super funny. All the people in his district are ethnicly either Vietnamese or Cambodian and hes the only one whos not going to vietnam or cambodia because you have to be ethinicly related to go there. 

My entire district is going to Albuquerque. Theres sister Shaner and I and then Two sets of elders. Two from Oregon, one from utah, and one from montana. So im the one whos form the farthest away.  There is another district in my zone that are mostly going to Albuquerque as well. Originally there were two sets of elders and two sets of sisters all going to Albuquerque but one of the sisters went home and another elder who couldnt get his visa joined one of the Elder sets. And on the other, new mtc campus there are two more districs of missionaries going to Albuquerque. Total, i think there are 30 going the same day as me and 250 missionaries total in Albuquerque.

There is some complicated way for me to send pictures, but everybody has been complaining about how difficult it is, so im just going to try and send them next week when im in New Mexico. 

Conference was really really cool here.  All the missionaries from both campuses gathered in the big gym area and we all watched all the sessions together. I think the best part was the music. I also noticed the version of Master the Tempest is Raging. The first time ive actually enjoyed that hymn :) But the best part was when they had the intermediate hymn Called to Serve. Everyone cheered when they announced it, it was really cool. My favorite talk was the one that said "Doubt your Doubts before you doubt your faith." 

Hey, can you send me some addresses of people that I should write? 

We got to go to the temple this morning, it was really nice. I wish we had another chance to go while we were here since it is just across the road, but its ok, theres so much to do here. Im constantly either in class or studying or teaching practice investigators.

I love you all!


Email - October 9, 2013

Hi Mom and Dad and Everyone!

Yep, I'm alive, I think. It been pretty good. I sent you a letter earlier this week, but I can't remember what I put in that letter, so sorry if I talk about the same thing twice. :) Its the one day that I actually get to email at the MTC, because my P day is Wednesday and we leave for Albuquerque on Monday morning! YAY! 

I'm so ready to go to New Mexico, the MTC has been great, but I'm ready. It definitely has been a little overwhelming, Its a spiritual overload.  

My companion is Sister Shayla Shaner from Idaho, and she is super nice.  One of the activities we do here to prepare for the field is with practice investigators.  People from the community come in and pretend to be investigators and we have to teach them. Sister Shaner and I have two right now. The first lesson was rough, but its gotten a lot better now. They started us off easy, then yesterday we got an investigator named Belinda who had no spiritual background at all. It was an adventure, that's for sure, still not quite sure what happened or where to go, but i'm sure we'll figure it out.  
I love my classes and my teachers. I have really good teachers, and i think i told you, but one of my teachers is JC Walton's cousin. He said they call him Big Zach because his name is Zach as well. Funny huh? Small world.

I'm not even in New Mexico yet but I already feel different. Everyone says a mission is challenging and its true.  You learn to really, truly, and wholly rely on the lord.  It pushes you so far out of your comfort zone. Prayer becomes even more essential than I ever realized it was before. If there is one thing that ive learned so far is that if you honestly do all you can, then turn to the Lord in Prayer, you can do things that you never thought possible.

I'll probably write a letter and mail it later today, my computer time is up. Love you all so much!!!

October 7, 2013

Quick Note From MTC

Letter arrived in the mail Monday 10/7/2013

Hi Everyone!

How are you guys?  I got to the MTC alright and am totally overwhelmed but that is okay because everyone is.  My preparation day isn't until Wednesday, so normally i couldn't write or email until then but my Branch President told us we can take time from personal study to write since our only preparation day isn't for a week.

Its crazy here.  I think they told us there are 4,000 missionaries here.  My first companion is Sister Shaner from Idaho.  She is really nice and completely the opposite of me.  She talks to everyone.  She actually reminds me a lot of Jess.

My entire District is also going to Albuquerque.  There are two sets of Elders and then Sister Shaner and I.  There is also another District of missionaries going to Albuquerque the same day.  Almost 15 of us.

I have really good teachers.  One of my teachers looks and acts exactly like David Baker, it is very strange, same voice, same face, same mannerisms.  One of the other teachers is related to the Waltons.  He said that he is J.C.'s cousin, his name is Brother Larson.

I actually met some Sisters who are going to serve in Jacksonville.  They seem really nice.

Most of the day here is spent in class.  We have lots of classes and lots of study time.  We actually are already preparing lessons for our 'MTC Investigators."  Our District teachers have two potential investigators and each of the companionships had to pray about which would be best for us to teach.  Then we have to decided how we want to teach them.  The investigator isn't real but it is still interesting to go through the process of figuring out how to teach that person.

Since we don't memorize discussions anymore, we spend most of our class time learning teaching skills and how to teach by the spirit.

I love my District and the people in my Branch.  I will write on Wednesday.  Love you all!


October 1, 2013

Write to Emily

Email Address is

New Mexico Mission Address is

Sister Emily Mangum
New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
4400 Presidential Drive NE Ste E
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Checking in at the MTC, October 1, 2013


Dropped off at MTC by Grandma and Grandpa Mangum

Checking in at the MTC front desk

Lunch and Visits with Family in the early afternoon

Visit with Great Grandma Shirley and Grandpa James Mangum

Great Grandpa James Mangum

Grandma Marcia and Grandpa Kirt Mangum

Lunch with Grandpa Kirt Mangum, Uncle Gary Mangum, Uncle Mark Mangum and Sister Mangum

Uncle Mark, Grandma Marcia, Emily (Sister Mangum) and Uncle Gary Mangum

Grandpa always gets his HUGS and KISSES!

Grandma Marcia and Grandpa Kirt Mangum

Uncle Mark Mangum