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

March 31, 2014

Staying in White Rock!

Hey Mom and Dad! 

So today is P-day :) because tomorrow is transfers.  Hurrah!!  I’m not going anywhere, just staying here in White Rock.  Yay!  We are both staying together again this transfer! Yay!  Which is great.  I seriously fear that bad things would happen if she left.

White Rock New Mexico
Aw!  Your day at the temple going through sessions and cleaning sounds like so much fun!  Our missionary temple day is this transfer, which is super exciting! :)  I can wait!

This transfer they are taking out a set of sisters in Los Alamos.  Luckily, we are not taking over an area. They are combining the two Los Alamos areas.  Which might make life a little interesting :)  But that’s alright!  It hopefully shouldn’t affect us too much.

Guess what this transfer is?  Tomorrow I will be officially 6 months into my mission and the last day this transfer is mother's day :)

I am so excited for General Conference! It’s amazing how much I learn from it every time.  We did get to watch women's conference. It was really really good!  I can’t wait to hear what they have to say this weekend. I don’t know if it is just because I’m a missionary, but suddenly General Conference has a new meaning for me.

How did spring break go? Or is it still going? I can’t keep track of anything anymore.

Yes, my skin is still super dry.  Thank you so much for the lotion you sent.  Hopefully the package should get here today.  New Mexico mail is fairly unreliable.   :) 

I heard from Jess about her district tennis matches this week!  Sounds like she is doing well.  Any chance she could go beyond districts to regionals?

It’s been a pretty slow week.  A lot of people not home due to spring break.  Although there have been some great things happening.  We had a ton of different activities and have had a lot of success with some of our classes that we are teaching.

Paz texted us in the middle of the night asking about the plan of salvation.  So of course we stayed up really late teaching it over texts. Super exciting, but now we are both really tired. We aren’t telling her family, because we are worried they will push her and that might push her away.

I know! We are super excited!  Not sure if she will ever get up the courage to be baptized.  It’s kind of a complicated situation, but we keep working :) We have tried to get her to interact with the young women.  She did go to an activity but she called her mom crying, and her mom called us, so we went over to the YWs to talk to her.  Typical stubborn 15 year old.

Tonight we are teaching Teryn, who is getting baptized on April 19th and Grandpa, who wants to be baptized in September :))  Yay!!!
Green Grass!!!!!

We actually found grass! Real grass! The only indication that I am in a town of millionaires, is the amount of grass here.  Water is really really really expensive.

Yes, we should be getting our iPads soon! :) I think we are the only mission in the US that doesn’t have them right now :( Not surprising though. This mission was the last in world to be offered cell phones :/  By the end of this year, we should have them! Yippee!  It will make missionary work so much easier, you have no idea.  It would be super awesome to have but I can see why we are last.  I’m pretty sure I’ve served in the poorest county in the US and the richest county in the US.  It’s an odd mix of technology and no technology.

Meals are going really well, we still have a ton of people signing up and a lot of people are inviting over less actives and non-members :)  It’s amazing how so many people know all about the less actives in the ward :)  We work with lots of less active families.  Most wards have several hundred less actives, White Rock only has about 20, but that is extremely strange.  Honestly, that is what most missionaries spend most of their time doing.  Working with the less actives.  All of the people I keep in contact with from my last area are less actives.

Love you!

March 25, 2014

Power of Testimony

Hi Mom and Dad!

This week has flown by.  It’s crazy.  It’s hard to believe that next week is my 6 month mark....

I just got the best letter ever from Sister Walker! 
I wrote a letter to one of the less actives in Belen and Sister Walker said when they went over, Cecille read them my letter and then for the first time ever came to church!  And brought all the little kids!  I am so happy right now!  :) 

We have been crazily trying to think outside of the box on how to do missionary work in this area.  It’s a very odd place and it has been tracted and tracted and tracted. 

Looks like so much fun in the pool!  That is one thing I can’t wait for :)  It is so dry here.  It’s awful.  I need some super thick lotion.

Bandelier National Monument with the Los Alamos District
Did you hear that the missionaries were pulled out Venezuela? I just heard it a few minutes ago.

That is exciting that you get to go to the Fort Lauderdale Temple open house.  I’ve seen pictures of it!  It’s beautiful!  We get to go to the temple at the end of April! Super excited!  The whole mission is going :)  Every six months there is a missionary Monday at the temple.  About the time of general conference we get to go.  So in our session it will be our zone and another zone. We will have to beg a ride to Albuquerque from the members, but I don’t think it will be too hard to get a ride to the temple.

Cleaning the temple sounds fun :)  They keep asking the members here to do it, all the missionaries wish we could help 

So we have started a missionary member class and on the first week we had 6 people there, which is awesome!  It was super spiritual and we hope that it will continue to be successful.

And we teach a youth bible study on Tuesday nights and last week we had 10 kids there including one non-member.  We always try to have a game and a treat and to watch a Mormon message or something. This week is courage :)  We have a good lesson, but we are struggling to come up with a game.  We are going to talk about the story of Esther.  And we were thinking of a doing something for a game that includes having to do something courageous.  I want to make them stick their hand in a box but I don’t know what should be in the box.... Any other ideas for a courage game?  I think we are going to play spoons.  With the spoons on the other side of the room :)

Any minute to win it games that you can remember?  In the next few weeks we are talking about forgiveness, gratitude, mercy....

 Bandelier National Monument with the Los Alamos District

We had an Elder's Quorum activity on Friday.  It was so much fun.  We had two non-members there and we played a game of basketball. :) It was awesome especially when I got nailed in the face with a basketball by a three year old. Split lip and everything.  :/  Oh well.  Its better now, still a little bruised but ok :)  I should have gotten a picture.  It was pretty bad.  We are hoping to get a regular thing started where we can play basketball and people can invite non-members to it.

A really good talk that I read recently was "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox, It was featured in the ensign.  But the full devotional can be found on the BYU speeches website.  It’s so good :)

Here is the link to the talk - "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox

We get transfer calls this week. We really don’t know what is going to happen.  I think Sister Grigg and I are both staying, but there is a good chance that something is going to change in Los Alamos.  There are three sets of missionaries in Los Alamos and one set hasn’t been having a lot of success, so we are wondering if someone is going to get pulled out.  Not sure though.  Guess we just have to wait for Saturday to know.

Love you!

March 21, 2014

Member Missionary Work

Hi Mom and Dad!

That is sooooo awesome! I can’t believe how much success you guys are seeing from just sharing the gospel at all times! That’s what we are trying to get the members to do here!  We have lots of visual aids and fun lessons to get the members excited about sharing the gospel, because not much really ever happens until the members start talking to people! :)

I’m not surprised so many people know Jess.  There was a family in my last ward like that, everybody knew that family and it made it easier to talk about it when we knew that that family was a good example and would always be willing to help in any way they could.  There was a member here in White Rock who was doing the same thing that you are, just talking about the church, at the dentist’s office and now she is meeting with the Elders in the next town over! It’s so exciting! 

There was a family who signed up to feed us today, but they got called out of town unexpectedly, and instead of cancelling, she marched over to the neighbors (Who are not members) and asked them to feed us :)  That is so awesome! Tonight we have a meal with a non-member couple!

Yes! Always follow up! Go into McDonalds again. Find her and make a point of talking :) Have you read the Ensign this month? There is a good article about sharing the gospel. You should read it.

Today, we were going to go down to this farm and go pig riding, haha! I have no idea how you ride a pig. I guess we will have to wait for pictures :) but it was too far away, so now we are just going to go to the science museum in Los Alamos.  Should be exciting. Science museum in the most sciency town in all of the world.

The progress with Paz and her family is Amazing! Since grandpa is mostly deaf, we can’t exactly have a full lesson with him, so we do Monday night movies :)  Last night we watched the Testaments.  Everyone loved it!  And Paz sat in the room and actually asked questions.  She loves my companion. All I know is she better not leave, because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep Paz interested like my comp can...  Do you know of any other church movies that show the Bible and Book of Mormon side by side like the testaments?  They all really liked that.

Tonight bible study is on Humility.  We are planning on doing a puzzle where each person has a piece and they have to work together to get it all finished.  But in the end they need to come to us to get the final piece :) 

Nope, no crazy driving experiences yet, hopefully it will stay that way.  Tomorrow is exchanges.... I’m a little nervous.

Love you!

March 11, 2014

Bandelier National Monument

Hi Mom and Dad!

Bandelier National Monument
Los Alamos District

How are you?  This week has been crazy! But it’s been great. Yesterday we had zone conference! PAZ came!!!!! She is our investigator that is 15 years old.  Oh my goodness! Then later she sat through a lesson!  And the Grandpa also came.  He did an awesome job!  Crazy stuff is happening here!  And I got a letter from Sister Walker that said that two potentials we found are coming to church back in Belen. Craziness! Prayer totally works! It’s amazing.  We have a few new families that we have really high hopes for! 

We had a very long weekend of meetings this week.  Zone training then stake conference and zone conference. It has been a very long and busy week but very good and well worth the effort.  We haven’t had much time to do many other things this week. :)  Except for being in the meetings I’m not sure if we were productive this week or not, but I know I spent all weekend driving back and forth from Santa Fe. That was fun!  :)  We probably use all our miles for the month in this one weekend.  

I have to do all the driving for the companionship.  There is a designated driver assigned to each one. Usually it’s the person who has been out longest or in the area longer, but now it’s me.  I don’t know why, but it is.  I’m an awful driver.  Definitely nearly squashed one of the Los Alamos Sisters today...Driving on mountains is a new experience as well.  Not flat Florida anymore.

I also discovered that water damage on a windshield makes it almost impossible to drive at night.  We drive a Ford Fusion 2013, but the sisters before us practically destroyed it.  Poor little car.  Somehow they managed to freeze the wax on the outside of it.

It has a CD player so we can listen to our music which is nice.  My comp has a ton of music on good CDs, so we have fun stuff to listen too :)

 Something new, they just changed the rules about dinners. Now members have to have a nonmember or less active there, so I am guessing our meals are going to vanish. Oh well.

I did get the package! Thanks!  I was planning on asking about reading that book at zone training, then it got brought up specifically by someone else, and I can’t read it until after my mission :(

We had an awesome adventure this morning! We went with the district to hike in Bandelier National Monument Park. It was pretty awesome. Lots of going up and down ladders.  It took some effort to get to the park though, ended up with Sister Grigg and I driving up and down the mountain several times to find it. 

You know that scene in “It’s A Mad Mad World” where they are driving on that cliff road?  Those don’t bother me anymore. Although there is this huge overlook place and it totally looks like Endor from Star Wars.  That is where I have decided that I live :)  It’s all forest, except for these weird science-y things that stick up over the top of the trees and there is the biggest satellite that I have ever seen in my life. I’ll see if I can get a picture. :)

Guess What! Paz said she would come to our bible study today.  She better. :) Last week we had a life-sized board game where you could pick up the pieces of the armor of god. (Picture attached, it was so much fun)  Today it is about patience. Do you have any idea about good minute to win it games?  We are doing the one with cards on a milk bottle and they already did the Oreo cookie one... we can’t think of any others and we don’t have access to Google. 

Armor Of God - Bible Study Activity

Did you get all the letters?  I put about 5 in the mail about a week ago.
Love you!


March 4, 2014

I Love My New Area!

Hi Mom and Dad!

How have you been?  How are you guys doing? We are doing awesome!  I absolutely love White Rock.  And my Comp is awesome. She is from Boise, Idaho.


One of the things that we have noticed here is that there really aren’t that many people.  My area in Belen was huge and covered a monstrous area.  But here we run into the same people all of the time. So we have been forced to think WAAAYYY outside the box.  

So tonight at our youth Bible study we are doing a life sized board game where the goal is to get all the pieces of the Armor of God.  We got an apron with pink ruffles for the breastplate. A green frog/alien/Musinex germ thingy hat for the helmet. fuzzy slippers for the shoes.  It’s going to be awesome. I’ll be sure to get pictures.

We have been volunteering at a thrift shop. At the beginning of this transfer we sat down and had a discussion.  We could either fill out time with tracting, which would be almost pointless.  Or we could volunteer somewhere.  We knew that it wouldn't yield a lot of results at first but we have met a lot of people.  And it’s fun.  Trust me, we live in the weirdest town in all of the world. Some of the stuff that goes through that thrift store.... we found a 1000 dollar bike.   A whole bag of coats that were at least $800 apiece.  Name brand clothes, never been worn.  I’m on the lookout for something super sciency. When I find it, I’ll let you know.


 I’m so glad to hear that you have been having the missionaries over!

From what I’ve seen and heard, the typical ward has about 2 to 5 families that the missionaries know and love.  A family that is super good at missionary work.  Take the invitations to heart.  Gets to know the missionaries personally.  Have them over to dinner and actually care.  It’s nice to know that someone in the ward actually takes care of the missionaries.

We are teaching a couple people.  Hoping for a couple new baptisms this transfer.  There is a family that got baptized a couple months ago. A couple M and V, and one daughter, Mar.  But up until about a month ago the other daughter (Paz) has been very anti, but now she has started to be a bit more open and actually stays in the room and listens to what we have to say.  Last night she even participated!  Now we are teaching Grandpa. He is super sweet and loves talking about how the gospel has changed his family. But he is scared to get baptized because some of his other kids are being kind of mean about it.

BUUUTT! Huge miracle!  We had an awesome experience with some investigators and recent converts.  Please pray that it actually all works out all right.  We got a call from the Zone leaders asking if we had any recent converts or investigators that wouldn't mind speaking for a few minutes at Zone conference. M and Grandpa said yes!  We are sooooo excited about Grandpa!  Then, even better! Paz asked if she could come! Paz might be coming to zone conference if her mom can get off work! Can you imagine?!  A room full of missionaries and the mission president?!! We just hope that she and her sister and mom actually come.  Basically if the mom can get off work one of the daughters who has been anti until recently might be coming to zone conference!  We are so excited!! Pray that the mom can get off work and the Daughter will come! Can you imagine an investigator in a room with like 50 missionaries and the mission president! There is no way she won’t feel the spirit! :)

I'll be looking for the package! Really exited! It sounds like that is exactly what our ward here in White Rock needs.  It’s a very strange little ward. I’ve never seen anything like it. Most of the people are super geniuses and are really good member missionaries.  They share the gospel and are open and inviting.  You can tell they are super good at it by the nonexistent less active list and the huge number of dry Mormons.  But something is missing.  We aren’t sure what it is, but something’s not working right because we have almost no investigators. 

Hey dad! Are we related to a Ben and Dawn Mangum?  They used to live in this ward and everyone keeps asking if I’m related.  It sounds like we are, just from things that I’ve heard.  They are in their 30s and have little kids.

So we have been doing this awesome dinner message that involves rice and fears about sharing the gospel.  And we give the members all the supplies that we use.  It’s been awesome! Thinking outside of the box and being crazy seems to be something that Sister Grigg and I are good at.  And it seems to be getting the ward excited.

In my last area we had stake conference (Not Steak conference, I had the funniest conversation with an investigator recently about that) and the Saturday night session was amazing!  The Stake President spoke and gave the best talk about missionary work that I’ve ever heard. But in it he said something along the lines of not planting your rear end on the Spiritual bleachers. Be a spiritual cheerleader!  And how the spirit cannot inspire you to give away something if you don’t have it with you and always have it in sight.  I’ve seen a lot of good missionary quotes about stuff like that.  I’ll have to look and see if I can find them :)

Nope. No Walmart. Only a high end Smiths.  Not many restaurants.  20 miles away in Los Alamos there is a McDonalds. I’ve been there twice already.  And we have some fancy sit down restaurants. They are thinking about putting a Panera Bread in though! Which would be awesome! :)  No, the rich scientist’s kids work at the stores. That’s about it for things in town though.  Occasionally you’ll meet a teacher or a cop, but they are almost always married to someone who works at the lab. The Woman who joined the church a couple months ago, she is a maid. She cleans the people’s houses. 

Have you ever listened to John Bytheway's talk on the war chapters?  We found one. Its soooooo good! I would highly recommend it!  It’s really really good. Has lots of stories and what you can learn from them :) And it’s kind of funny.


Well last p-day we went down to Santa Fe and ended up driving around forever and not actually seeing anything because some of the sisters got tired.  So today we are all just going to the Los Alamos Sisters apartment and playing board games.  Should be a nice slow day :)

Mom, I think I left a suitcase of stuff in the garage.  I think in it should be a couple of CDs of piano music by Myleen Klass and Jim Brickman.  My comp wants a copy of some of that music but she can’t get it off my iPod. Would you be willing to mail it to me? Thanks :) 

Love you!