Monday, December 26, 2011

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas from Ciudad Real, Spain!!!!

Thanks for all the packages, letters and cards!
It's great to hear from you all!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hermana Letendre would love to hear from YOU!!

Valerie would love to you from YOU! If you have a few minutes write her a note. There are different ways you can do so.

**You can leave a message here at her blog and I, Crystal--her sister, will forward your notes to her.

**You can send a note from

**Or you can send her a letter to the address below:

Hermana Valerie Letendre

Spain Málaga Mission

Av. Jesús Santos Rein Nº 2,3 D-E

Edif. ofisol, Fuengirola

29640 Málaga


She would love to hear from YOU!!


Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!

So! What a week! I have been pretty busy. Transfers were this week, so i now have a newcompanion-- hermana carter. i was able to go to Sevilla to pick her up on wednesday! It was great! it was sooooo great to see my MTC companion hermana crowder!! it was likeseeing a friend from home! i had forgotten how close we had gotten! we had so much fun together. we even got to go onsplits, and hermana crowder and i got to go out and teach a lesson to a less active member together. it was really fun toteach with her again!!! it was great! on thursday morning i went out with my newcompanion, hermana carter. she had to do some last minute errands in sevilla, so i get togo with her. she needed to finish up some of her residency things, so we had to go to the plaza deespaña. it was soooo beautiful! google it! it was amazing! i amgoing to attach some photos to this email so that you can see! it was sooo great! around the plaza, there are tile displays ofall of the bigger cities in spain, one of which is ciudad real!!! sowe got to take our picture with it! it was great!!! It was sad to leave hermana crowder in sevilla, but on thursday afternoon, weheaded back to ciudad real!
{{Valerie wasn't able to upload pictures. Below is a photo of Plaza de Espana in Sevilla thanks to wikipedia!}}
So, we have three fechas!!! In spanish, fecha means date. WE have three investigators that have baptisms planned on certain dates!!! these dates are more like goals than fixed dates of their baptisms, but it is a really good sign! we are really excited about these three poeple. they are all such great people, and it is so great teaching them!!! The hardest thing right now is getting them to church. I have realized so much on my mission how important it is to go to church. The Sacrament is the most important thing that we do all week. The sacrament is the only ordenance that we do every single week. We dont even renew our temple covenants as frequently as our baptismal covenants... it is so interesting to think about that. I love going to church... even when it is all in spanish! haha.

I am really starting to be able to speak and understand a lot more. it si great. i dont understand everything of course, but it is getting so much better! it is great! I have realized that I depended on Hermana Sturgess a lot and I didnt talk as much as I shoul dhave when I was with her because she really took the lead... but now that I am with Hermana Carter, I now have the chance to really speak a lot. It is great! Hermana Carter has been in the mission for a little over a year. It is nice to have another companion who has been out for a while!

This Saturday we had the stake christmas party... well not stake, but district... we are not big enough here in la mancha to call it a stake! it was soooo great! each ward did some kind of a skit. our branch did something goofy, and another branch did the nativity... it was great! they even used a real baby as baby jesus!! the baby was only 1 week old!!! it was such a fun party! they had sooo much food, and there was a gigantic paella!!! it was sooo good! dad, you would LOVE to see the giant pan that this paella was cooked in.. i am going to try to send it today, but im still not sure if i can get my pictures off of my camera...

Things are going great. i am really starting to love teaching, and i love working hard. it just feels so good to work hard as a missionary. the lord really blesses you when you work hard, and you just feel great!
oh, i get to go to malaga this week for another zone conference!! wooo hhoooo!!! we got to stay with hermana sturgess for the night! it is going to be soooo fun! I cant wait!!! oh, but we have gotten some sad news here. The senior missionary couple who lives here in ciudad real, the cleggs, are going to living up in madrid for the next few months!!!!!! they are going to act as interim president of the MTC in madrid while the new president waits in the US for his visa!!! they think they are only going to be there for a month or two, but it is soooooooo sad. it is a huge loss for us here in la mancha. they are a huge support and have become like my grandparents here. i love them so much. however, we are still going to be abelt o cal them when we want to, and i hope they come back before i leave la mancha!! it seems like i should be here in ciudad real for 12 more weeks, but well see!!!
I am happy, doing welll.... i love the people here-- the missionaries, the members, and the investigators. I am really loving reading the book of mormon. read it! i didnt realize before how wonderful it is to read it from cover to cover. it is amazing. the things that we can learn are just incredible. it is sooo inspired!! ok well i have to go!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hello! Hello!

So, transfers is this week! My companion is getting transferred to Malaga. She leaves on Wednesday, so we have a TON of things to do. we have to clean a lot to get ready for my new companion, Hermana Carter. Hermana Carter is coming from Sevilla where she has been training Hermana Crowder! I just got some interesting news today..... On Wednesday, I will be going to Sevilla to stay the night there!!!!! wow!!!!!! how exciting!!!!! I guess hermana Carter cannot leave sevilla on wednesday because she has some residency things to do there... so i get to go there for a night! that means that I get to see hermana crowder!!!! and i get to see sevilla!!!! how cool!!!!!!!! i will be taking the train to sevilla with elder white, an elder from la mancha who is going to be transferred to sevilla. then i will come back on thursday to ciudad real! how exciting!! Ill take a bunch of pictures!

This past week was great. we met a few really great investigators.

This week in church was the pri9mary presentation! it was great!! we dont have many children at all, but they did a wonderful job, and the spirit was so strong!!! it was soooooo great! we had 3 investigators at church and they LOVED it! one of them is from Cuba! how cool! she just arrived in spain about a month ago, so she is very new here... but i thinj its so interesting that she is from cuba!

Soo this week we also had a fun time at the home of a less active member, Nieves. Nieves has two children... ages 22 and 25. her daughter is 25 and is studying law! we get along great. that is the home that i am going to for christmas eve! it should be really fun!! so dont worry about me, i will be having fun! im not sure what i am doing on christmas yet, but we have a p-day so if i dont have plans i get to just hang out at home!!! thats exciting! there are some single mebers of my ward that dont ghave family here, so we are going to try to do something with them! it will be fun!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy December!!

This week was good. we had a lot of great citas with members and less active members this week. We still dont have any baptisms planned, but we are still working hard, and have had some good lessons with some investigators. we have one man who would be ready to be baptized if he could come to church! his name is luis. i have told you about him before. his work schedule is going to be changing so he said he will be able to come to church starting in january!!! well wait and see what happens! he is such a great man!!!!!

This week we also got to play soccer with two of our younger investigators and a less active member!!! It ended up being really really fun! we got to play with a bunch of other people who were in the park, and we ended up getting 3 people´s phone numbers who want to come to our english classes!!! elders play soccer with investigators a lot and also play with people in the community to meet new people, but usually the hermanas dont! it was really fun to do it!!!! the less active member that came to play too used to be a professional soccer player in peru!!! he is now a soccer coach for kids here in ciudad real! it was so much fun!!

Anyways, things are going great! i miss you all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Week in Ciudad Real!!

First off, thanks for sending me a ferw pictures this week! I loved that in the picture that dad sent, "I" was eating black olives!!! hahaha I eat so many olives here... mostly green though. And a cool thing is that the olives are starting to turn black on the trees now! it is cool, somtimes you can just see them walking around in the streets!!!

So I will first tell you about my thanksgiving celebrations!! yes, plural! we celebrated thanksgiving twice. I will attach pitures of both celebrations! First, last p-day, we celebrated with all of the missionaries from our district! each missionary companionship was in charge of cooking one dish and bringing it! we had such a great meal! it was like a real thanksgiving... even though we had chicken instead of turkey! (turkey is a little hard to comeby here!). Hermana Sturgess and I made an apple pie and a greenbean casserole! I thought of Meme when I was making the greenbean casserole! It turned out really great even though we had to make it in a pinch because they dont even sell things like cream of mushroom soup here!!! Along with the things we made, other elders made mashed potatoes, a sweet potato casserole, and the cleggs made chickens, stuffing, a pomagranite salad, and a soup! Oh, we even wre able to get cranberry sauce from a specialty store in Malaga!!!!!!! wow!!! it was soooooo good! we had such a great time. After the meal, we all went around and said what we are thankful for. It turned into a really spiritual experience. All of the missionaries in our district are amazing and they are all so grateful for the gospel and so grateful to be missionaries. What a great bonding experience!!

So, our second celebration was on Thanksgiving night at Presidente and Hermana Sanz´s home (president of our branch). They had never celebrated thanksgiving before, but they really made a special night for us!!! We taught the kids how to make handprint turkeys, and told them the story of the first thanksgiving! We then ate! we had little pizzas, salad, and toasts with cream cheese and salmon for appitizers!! then we had chicken and mashed potatoes for our main dish!!! it was soooo nice of them! we even had a candel lit on our dinner table! they really wanted us to feel like we were at home!!! It was so sweet! we have a great branch fmily here!!!

This week i also got to eat at my neighbor, Isabel´s home! Isabel is 91 year old woman, and our friend Myra takes care of her. They invited us over for mediodia, and we had a very spanish dish... Migas!!! Migas are kind of like stuffing, but kind of taste fried! you eat migas usually with some kind of fruit because otherwise they are very dry! you should look it up. they are quite intereting! it was so fun eating a really spanish mediodia with them! isabels son was visiting from Mardid, so he was the one who cooked with us! Isabel is an amazing woman. She lived through the rise and fall of the dicttor, Franco, and was an orphan t the age opf 15. She has seen a lot in her life, and loves it when we come over. She is extremely catholic and tries to convince us that we should pray to the virgin mary.... haha. But she is always willing to let us shre spiritual thought... she thinks the scriptures from the book of mormon re beautiful!

Things are going well here. We are still teaching and working hard. No big news on that front. We through we would have some baptismal dates set this week, but it just hasnt worked out! I heard tht my MTC companion Hna. Crowder had her first baptism in the mission!! thats so exciting for her! She is in Sevilla!.

Anyways, things are going well! I love ciudad real and the members here. Thanks for sending me the pictures and things!


hey! check out this picture too!! a police man took it for us with his super cool camera. he has a specil lens on his camera that made the background look like that. soo cool! he was nice enough to offer to take a picture for us and email it to us!!! the gril in the middle is our friend myra. she is our neighbor. we are teaching her family, and she want be to taught, but she really doesnt have much time.... she is a great friend!

La Mancha District "Family Picture"

Hey everyone! take a look at this pic, this is a picture of my district here in La Mancha! once every transfer, we take a "family picture"! we are the only district in the mission that does it, and it is because we are more like a family here than in any other place in the mission... this is because there are so few members and so few baptisms tht we are really a tight knit group! it is great! plus we have elder and hermana clegg... they are like the parents of the family!!!! hope you like the pic! crystal, be sure to post this one!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Finished!!!

i finally finished reading the book of mormon this week!!! i started my 3rd week in the MTC and just finished. The plan was for me to start reading it in spanish, but we were given a new challenge at zone conference... so i am starting that. they gave us all new books of mormon and asked us to read it and highlight all of the time that christ is mentioned in any form. they asked us to do it by christmas!!!! wow!!!! we have to read 18 pages per day to finish... we are trying really hard. It is nice to do a speed read of the book of mormon. We are really enjoying this little activity! I have heard of a lot of people doing it, and always wanted to do it, but now is my chance!!!

Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hair Cut & Zone Conference Picture

This is a picture of all the Missionaries at the Zone Conference last week from the Spain Malaga Mission Blog.

**Hermana Valerie Letendre is the first Hermana in the second row**

Click on the picture to get a closer view...

Check out Valerie's new haircut! It looks great! I guess it was a success. I'm glad since in her last email she was concerned about getting a haircut in another country!! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hair Cut and a 4 Hour Drive to Zone Conference in Malaga!

I hope you are doing well, and that it is not too cold there in CT! It was unusually warm here this week, and it was so interesting how we could really see a difference in the people when it was a bit warmer.... we had noticed for the few weeks before that as the weather had cooled off a bit, so had the people... nobody wanted to listen to us at all!! but this past week was a bit better... we were able to get 25 people´s contact info this week which is much more than we have gotten the last two weeks... We had 20 lessons in total this week. We still are not sure that we have anyone that will be getting baptized anytime soon, but we do know some wonderful people.

Guess what_ I am getting my hair cut today!! woo hoo!! i am excited. i am going in 30 minutes!!! I am going to get about 2 inches off... nothing too much. my hair has gotten sooooo long!! It will be my first haircut in another country..i am kind of nervous, but im usre it will be fine! hopefully i dont end up with a mullet or somethign! haha

We get to go to Malaga tomorrow for Zone Conference!!! I am soooooo excited! WE are driving there with the senior missionary couple who lives here in Ciudad Real, the Cleggs. Because we are driving with them, we get to sleep over in the mission home for a night, then go to zone conference in the morning and then come back to ciudad real!!! Malaga is about a 4 hour drive! it will be nice to see some difference scenery on the drive and i am realy exicted to be able to sleep over int he mission home! we are really lucky because other missionaries dont usually get to sleep over at the mission home for zone conference!!!! woo hooooo!! Anyways, things are going well.... I am doing well and love hearing from you all.

Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween in Ciudad Real, Espana!

This week we celebrated halloween as well! My companion and i put on a halloween party for our whole district-- there were about 70 people there!! WOW! That is amazing considering that there were abuot 85 at out district conference last week.... we put ont his party specifically to try to get members to invite their friends... and it was a success... we had at least 21 non members just from cuidad real at the party!!! it was seriously the best night ever!!!! wow!!!!! and my comp and i planned the whole thing!!!!!!! we started out with some games... we did a mummy wrapping competition with toilet paper, then we did the game where you eat a doughnut off a string, then we did bobbing for apples!!!!! everynoe was going crrraazzyyy!!!! it was soooooo great!!! I had to do the bobbing for apples even though i didnt want to... haha one of our investigator´s daughers wanted to do it, and nobody else wanted to go against her... so i was nice and did it... we then had trick or treat! we had members decorate doors and give out candy.... people from uor branch were the only ones who did the trick or treat! also our branch was sooo awesome and was dancing and doing all of the games!!! wow! what a great thing! also the president of our branch and his wife got 7 non members to come! they were soooo excited!!! they are so excited to invite their friends to other church activities... so that was a success all in itself!!! wow!

This week as far as teaching goes, it was pretty normal. i dont have any specific stories to wrtie.. i am still doing well... trying to learn more spanish! still hard to understand a bit... but i am getting better!

Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

My companion and I.. we dressed as dominos... and the man to the left is our branch president, and the man to the right is our branch mission leader, hermano gallego! what a costume!!! hermano gallego has hair like my dad in real life... and he told us missionaries that he hates halloween and would not dress us... BUT he dressed up and he did a door for trick or treat! he is great!!!!! wow!!!!

me at the cemetery on dia de los muertos! everyone brings flowers to their relatives graves! wow!
me and my comp with our halloween teeth! thank mom and dad!!! a view of the halloween party during our dancing part!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hermana Letendre en Espana!

Here is a picture of Hermana Letendre and her companion, Hermana Sturgess, in Ciudad Real!
**Picture from**

Monday, October 3, 2011

Greetings from La Mancha!!


I am in my first area! I was called to serve in Ciudad Real, which is in La Mancha (Home of Don Quixote)!!!! It is great. It is a smaller city. It is small enough that we can just walk everywhere and do not have to take much public transportation. The buildings are mostly relatively modern. Our apartment (piso) is pretty nice. We even have a balcony where we do our nightly planning! La Mancha is the hardest district in our whole mission. It is a district, not a there are not many members. There has not been a baptism in Ciudad Real for a year...but we can feel it changing! We are teaching some great people and we are working so hard! We are praying so hard that we will see a baptism here by the end of the month! I am so happy to be here in a difficult area. We as missionaries have to do a lot for the members as well as our keep them strong and to make sure that the branch runs smoothly. I met some of the members yesterday when we went to General Conference! It was great!!

My companion is Hermana Sturgess! She is wonderful! She is American, and she has been in Spain for about 9 months. Her Spanish is amazing and she is such a loving and kind person. I love being with her! She is teaching me so much, and even though my spanish is not great, I have been participating a lot in lessons and also in street contacting.

So Don Quixote is everywhere. In the Plaza Mayor here in Ciudad Real there is a clock and on every hour, the bells go off and Don Quixote comes out!! Haha it is so cool! I will send photos soon. I forgot my card reader today! BUT go on the mission blog to see the photos of when I was at the mission home. I looked at it this morning! it is soooo cool! My companion Hermana Crowder is in Sevilla.

Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hola de Madrid!


S0! things are going great here. I love being here. let me see... Since I e-mailed you last, we have had a few good days! Today, we went to the temple in the morning with all of the people from the MTC. There are about 30 missionaries here right now, which is almost double of what is usually here. So cool! While we were out today I didn't really talk to anyone about the gospel, but I made small talk with a few people. i really need to practice my spanish!!! Tomorrow and Saturday we will be going to a park to do some street we will be able to practice a little more!

Today we got to do a little sight seeing! It was really great...we went to see the Plaza Mayor, the Palacio Real, and the Catedral Almudena. You can google these places and see where I went! It was great!! I'll send photos home soon... ( Click on the links to see the sites!)

Let's see, things are great. I am excited to go to the park tomorrow. I am still pretty tired....actually I feel more tired today than I did yesterday. Maybe the time change is really hitting me...but I'm sure I will be fine in the next couple of days. I really love Europe so much...Since being here I have realized how much I have missed it. There is just a different feeling a feeling of enjoyment...of not rushing around just to get things done, like in America. I love walking around outside and seeing plazas with lots of outdoor cafes and things. I can't wait to get to my mission so that I can see what the area is like. Madrid is great, but it is just a big city...I hope that I get to serve somewhere that is a little smaller.

It seems like I will be here in the MTC in Madrid until Tuesday (9/27), then I will travel to my mission.

Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Comments for Valerie

Hello friends,
If anyone would like to comment on Hermana Letendre's Blog Posts I'm sure she would love it! If comments are made, I will forward them to her. I'm sure it would brighten up her day to hear from friends and family back home!!
(Valerie's Sister)

Hermana Letendre está en España!!

Hola Amigos!

We made it to Spain. We are now in the Madrid MTC and will be here for one week (until next Tuesday). We arrived this morning at about 10am Spain time, and it is about 2pm. I am quite tired because I did not sleep much on the plane. Today we are just going to be having a little class, I think...I think we are going to et to go to sleep early tonight!

Things are going well. I am just very tired. The MTC is right on the Madrid Temple grounds. We can see the temple from our bedroom window--it is very nice. The temple here is very beautiful...
Madrid, Spain Temple (
We will definitely be able to go to the temple Thursday, but they also said that we might get to go tomorrow as well.

I am really tired right now...I am not sure what else to say. I think on Thursday we will be able to see Madrid. On Saturday we will be going out to the biggest Park in Madrid and we will be doing some contacting! Wish me luck! I hope that I can understand people. I am excited, but also a little nervous!

Take Care!
Hermana Letendre

Monday, September 19, 2011

Heading to SPAIN!

Mom & Dad received a call from Valerie on Friday night. Valerie, AKA Hermana Letendre, was very excited to inform us that she had received her Visa and was leaving for Spain on Monday!

So, Valerie left SLC today, Monday, September 19th, to Madrid, Spain with her companion, some other Hermanas and an elderly missionary couple. She is very excited to arrive and start sharing her special message with the wonderful people in Spain!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Edith "Annie" Fox -- 5/10/22-9/10/11

On 9/10/11 Valerie's Gramma Fox passed away. Valerie was able to speak briefly with Mom & Dad that evening. It was a great comfort to Mom and I'm sure to Valerie too.
This evening was Gramma's wake in Massachusetts. While we were there, we received an unexpected email from Val. She was given some extra time on the computer to write a little something for Gramma's Funeral the next day. Here is what she wrote:

I sincerely wish that I could be there with all of you to celebrate the life of Grandma Fox. SHe played such an important role in all of our lives, and I wish I could be there to give each of you a warm embrace. It is difficult for me to not be with all of you, but one thing that has brought me much comfort in being away from home during this time, is my knowledge that Grandma was ready to move on to the next phase of eternity. I continually think about the fact that Grandma used to always speak about her "invitation". What a beautiful perspective she had on what was to come; and what a wonderful depiction of her faith. She had great faith that as her time on Earth came to a close, that she would be "taken home to that God who gave {her} live." just as it says in Alma 40:11. This faith has provided such a wonderful example to me, as I prepare to leave the Missionary Training Center next week to enter the mission field. As I have been reflecting on Grandma's life over the past few days, I have realized that without ever serving as a full-time missionary, Grandma Fox has brought the Gospel into the lives of so many individuals simply by accepting the gospel herself. Especially at this time in my life, as I prepare to preach the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ to the people of Spain, I am so grateful for Grandma's decision to accept the gospel, and pass that knowledge on to her posterity--including me.
Even thought I am comforted by the knowledge that Grandma has now entered into the rest of our Heavenly Father, I will inevitably miss hearing her stories, songs, and rhymes. I continue to marvel at the fact that Grandma seemed to remember more about her childhood at the age of 89 that I do of my childhood at the age of 25! Despite the sadness that we feel at this time, I cannot help but be excited for Grandma--for her to experience new things and new adventures in the Spirit World, where she will prepare a place for us all. I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Savior of the world, and that Grandma is truly living in peace right now.

I love you all, and I love you Grandma!

Hermana Valerie Letendre

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Apostle Spoke to Us.

Hello everyone! I am still in Provo at the Missionary Training Center! Still no word on my Visa. We did find out that the Spanish Consulate Office was closed for the whole month of August, so that may be one reason why we still do not have our Visas. WE are scheduled to leave the MTC on September 20th!! That is only two weeks away! I can't believe it! If I have not received my Visa by September 16 or 17th, I will probably be assigned a stateside transfer. This means that I may be starting my mission in the US, and then I will go to Spain when I get my Visa! We'll see what happens! It might be exciting to go somewhere in the US for a few weeks!

Things are still going great! I feel so strongly that I am at the right place at the rig
ht time in my life---what a wonderful feeling that is! I still teach 'fake' investigators. (We call people who are learning about the church investigators. We just got two new teachers this week, so we got two new "investigators". My companion Hermana Crowder and I are improving so much in our teaching skills--it is still difficult at times because of the language, but I just love teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Understanding that God is our Heavenly Father and that he loves us is so powerful and can truly change peoples lives. Additionally, I love teaching people about the Atonement of Jesus Christ---this is the central part of what we teach about. It is so amazing to k now that no matter what we struggle with in this life, that there is One who knows exactly how we feel. Christ keeps his hand extended, and will comfort us if we come unto him. What a joyful message this is to share. I cannot wait to get to Spain so that I can help others learn how they can come unto Christ, and feel His love through using the Atonement in their lives.

This week was particularly exciting because an Apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, came to speak at the MTC on Tuesday night.
For those of you who are not familiar with the LDS Church, our church is structured and organized just as Christ structured and organized the Church during His earthly ministry. We have a Prophet who receives revelation (like the Prophets in the Bible.) The prophet is the President of the Church, and the Twelve Apostles assist him with the work of testifying to the world that Jesus is the Christ. It was so exciting to hear an Apostle of the Lord speak here at the MTC. There are nearly 3,000 missionaries here at the MTC, and the spirit was so incredibly strong when Elder Holland spoke to us. He talked about many things, but I will only share a few with you. Throughout his talk, he spoke about how his mission has meant everything to him. He stated that he does not think that a single day has passed in the past 50-60 years that he has not thought about his mission--it truly helped to shape his future.

Elder Holland decided to answer some questions form missionaries at the end of his talk. One missionary asked: What is the most important thing that Christ wants us to know right now? ELder Holland answered this by saying that Christ wants us all to know that He told the truth--about everything. This means that we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and follow Him with exactness.

Another question that Elder Holland answered was: Why does God love us? Simply put, God loves us because we are His Children. Elder Holland then stated that although he is not perfect, nowhere near perfect, that the only thing that he is almost perfect in is his love for his children. Elder Holland stated, with tears in his eyes, that he would literally do anything for his children--he would even give his life for them. He continued by marveling at the fact that if he being an imperfect being could love his children so much, how much more could God, a perfect being, love us! God loved us so much that He gave His one perfect son (Christ) for all of us imperfect ones. God loves each of us individually, and know each of us individually. The spirit was so strong during and after Elder Holland's talk. I know with all of my heart that this man is called by God to testify of Christ and to invite other to Come unto Christ.

I can't wait to share this message with the people of Spain!

Take Care!
Hermana Valerie Letendre

Monday, September 5, 2011

MTC / Visa Update!

I only have 15 days left in the MTC, crazy huh? my departure date is sept. 20! we checked on our visas this week and we found out that the spanish consulate office was closed for the whole month of august...we are hoping that they come any day. however, they said that if sept. 17 comes around and we have not heard about them by then, that we should go check in with the travel office, and they will put our name in for a stateside transfer. this means that our names will go back to the 12 apostles, and they will decide where i go in the US. i will only go there until i get my visa, then they will make arrangements for me to go to spain! we'll see. i am okay with whatever happens...!!!

Take Care,
Hermana Valerie Letendre

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Visa....

Hello everyone! First off, still no word on my visa! I don't know when I will find out about it, but hopefully I will find out soon! we have been told that like much of Europe, Spain told nearly closes down in August because most people are on vacation, so since September is nearly here hopefully our visas will be arriving soon as well!

This past week has been great! My companion, Hermana Crowder, and I had an amazing lesson this week! One of our teachers, Hermano Nava has been acting as an individual named Raul for the past few weeks so that we can practice teaching. Raul has been very difficult to teach at times, but we have had some amazing experiences with him. We have learned so much about figuring out what peoples needs are, and teaching to those needs. Even though Raul is a "fake" person, we felt so much love for him and wanted him to experience the happiness that the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. IN our last lesson with Raul he committed to be baptized--what a great moment that was. I am so excited to get to Spain so that I can teach the people there.

I have to cut this post short because it is time for me to go to bed! The fire alarm just went off, so I just spent the last 25 minutes outside instead of writing this---Life at the MTC is great!! :)

I hope you all are doing well!
Take Care,
Hermana Letendre

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Word on the Visa...Still in Provo, UT

Valerie is still in Provo, UT. She is studying and waiting for her Visa. She's busy so we didn't get a blog post yet, we hope to get one in the mail later in the week. For now, I'm going to share a story that she shared with us from her e-mail we received yesterday.

this week i heard a story that you all would like. a sister in the mtc told this story about a couple in her ward. this couple was a senior couple and they put in their mission papers...they received their call to ukraine, but they didn't want to learn a new language so they declined the all and decided that they would put their papers in again in a they did just that. when they got their second call, that call was also to ukraine. the couple decided that they should probably go since the lord had called them twice to that same mission...when they got to ukraine, they were assigned to a very interesting area, which included a day, they were trying to teach some individuals in the prison, but they were having a very difficult time with the language. finally they spoke loudly and asked, "does anyone speak english" one man came forward and said that he did...this man ended up being their son who had been backpacking in europe and had been missing for 7 years. this man had somehow landed himself in jail, and his parents had no idea....but because they followed the call of the lord, they were able to find him...AMAZING!!

If you have a second, Val would LOVE to hear from you! You can send her a letter in the mail, or you can go to and send her a note there.

Her address is:
Sister Valerie Letendre
MTC Mailbox #282
SPA-MAL 0921
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yes, I'm Still at the MTC in Provo, Utah...

Hello everyone! Greetings from Provo, Utah. Yes, I am still in Provo...Not in Spain. Our training program is 9 weeks long. I was supposed to leave for Spain on August 9th, but I still have not received my Visa! I live with three other sisters who are also going to Spain--none of us have received Visas. If we get our Visas within the next 3 weeks, we will be sent to Spain as quickly as possible. If not, we will probably have to serve the first 6 weeks of our mission somewhere in the United States before going to Spain. Although I am anxious to get to Spain, I really like the Missionary Training Center in Provo and all of the missionaries I have met here! I especially love the beautiful mountains of Provo and the delicious Chocolate Milk from the BYU Creamery!!

My schedule here at the MTC is booked from 7am - 9:30pm. It is extremely tiring, but I love it! I LOVE my companion. We are starting to really enjoy teaching together! Right now we teach lessons about the gospel of Jesus Christ to our teachers who act as investigators. When we teach, we always teach only in Spanish!!!

I have learned so much since I have been here that it is difficult to express it all in one blog post. Also, I do not have much time to write. The biggest thing that I have learned is that the only way to truly teach others in a way that allows them to tryly learn is through love. I have realized that there is no difference between getting to know someone and teaching them. In order to teach effectively, you must teach through the questions that you ask to get to know them. I hope all of this makes some sense to you. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that in teaching others about something as personal and sacred as the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is so necessary to understand the needs of every individual that I teach.

I love this work! I love serving the Lord! I hope that the next update that I have for you will be that I am leaving for Spain!

Take care everyone! I will write again soon!

Hermana Letendre

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pictures from Provo, UT!

Valerie sent a few pictures home that she would like to share with everyone. Sorry for the poor quality. I will scan in better quality images soon!

This is Hermana Valerie Letendre and her companion Hermana Crowder studying.

It was confirmed to Valerie a few weeks ago that the world is indeed small. After talking with her companion, Hermana Crowder, she found out that her mother is from Oxford, Massachusetts. That is super crazy because growing up we lived in Massachusetts and was part of the Worcester, MA Ward, which later split and was the Oxford, MA Ward! Valerie told us her mother's maiden name because it seemed so familiar to her. Guess what?! We knew them! Hermana Crowder's grandfather, Bishop Holbrook, married Valerie's parents on December 3, 1976! What a small world!
This is Hermana Letendre, Hermana Smith, Hermana Crowder, and Hermana Walker.
The four of them are in the same district. This is our first day in their room!

District outside of Provo, UT Temple. They walk the grounds of the temple every Sunday.
This is the whole district! All of the Elders are heading to Texas---Spanish speaking.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm Still at the MTC in Provo, Utah...

There is still no word about our visas... we were supposed to leave for spain tomorrow... but its obviously not happening. i hope that i get to leave sometime next week... but there are people who have had to spend all 9 weeks here in utah because spain is so slow with the visas... so we'll see. i wouldnt mind staying here a bit longer because i really like my district and my teachers here... but i think going to the mtc in spain will really help me to get used to hearing native people speak, so i hope i get to go there!!!!

With Love,

Hermana Valerie Letendre

Stay tuned for pictures later in the week....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hermana Valerie Letendre

On Monday, July 18th, Valerie was set apart as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by our Hartford Stake President, President Taylor. Attending this very special blessing was Mom (Kathy) , Dad (Don), Shaun, Christopher, Anneli, Bishop Johnson, Sister Johnson, Jacque Johnson, and I (Crystal).

Here are some pictures of that evening.

President Taylor, Hermana 'Valerie' Letendre, Bishop Johnson

Mom, Dad, Christopher, Hermana Valerie Letendre, Crystal, Anneli & Shaun

Valerie's friend Jacque and Valerie pointing to their missions on the Stake Center Missionary Map!

Jacque & Valerie
Jacque, Valerie & Sister Johnson

Monday, August 1, 2011


This week all of the Hermamas in my district who are going to Spain got a letter from the travel office saying that we have not gotten our visas yet so we will probably not be leaving the MTC on time... we will probably be here for longer... That is a little disappointing, but We really like it here and I would like to stay here a little longer. There are many great things about the MTC'... we really like the elders in our district, and we will be sad to leave them. They are like little brothers to us already. Theya ll get along so well, and they lighten up our day with their jokes and laughter... sometimes too many jokes, but it is really nice to have them around. Another thing that is great about the MTC in provo is that we get to have amanzing firesides on sunday and tuesday nights. We have great speakers come in.

With Love,

Hermana Valerie Letendre

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Made it to the MTC!

Hello everyone--I made it to the MTC! I arrived on Wednesday, July 20th, and quickly met my companion (the girl I will be working with). Her name is Hermana Crowder and she is from Maryland. I think she is wonderful! On Friday, we taught our first lesson....TOTALLY in Spanish!!! We taught in Spanish again on Saturday, and again today (Monday)! Although my Spanish is not really good enough to teach a whole lesson in Spanish, my language skills have improved so much since I have been here. It is amazing!! The Lord is certainly blessing us.

I am having a wonderful time at the MTC. Although the language study can get a bit frustrating at times---I a trying to remember why I am here: to serve the Lord and to help others. I know that I will be able to learn Spanish!! I have felt the spirit so strongly since I have been here at the MTC. I know that the work that I am doing is the work of the Lord---what a great feeling!!

I am not able to send photos just yet, but I will do my best to get some to post! I am so busy--I am up at 6am everyday and to bed at 10:30pm---and I am literally busy the entire day. I find that I am so excited to learn Spanish!! Learning a language here at the MTC is so different from learning a language at school. I love learning!!!!

With Love,

Hermana Valerie Letendre

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Entering the MTC in Provo, Utah!

Valerie left Connecticut on Tuesday and entered the MTC on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 1:15pm. We spoke to her on the phone before she left and she was very excited! Our cousin Rachel and her friend dropped Valerie off at MTC. Thanks, Rachel! :)

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term MTC. The MTC stands for the Missionary Training Center. The MTC is a school where missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints go to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in some cases (like Valerie) begin learning another language (Spanish) before they serve in their area of assignment. Valerie will be in the MTC in Provo, Utah for about 3 weeks and then in another MTC in Spain for about another 6 weeks.

We haven't heard from Valerie yet, but look forward to her first letter or e-mail hopefully sometime this week. We are so excited for Valerie and this opportunity she has to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the wonderful people of Spain!! We know that Valerie--Hermana Letendre--will be an amazing missionary!!

You can write her a letter at:
Sister Valerie Letendre
MTC Mailbox #282
SPA-MAL 0921
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793
She would love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Called to Serve

Hello and welcome to my first blog post ever! Although most of you who are reading this blog know me, I will take a moment to catch you all up on my life and what I have been doing for the past few years.  In May 2008, I graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations, and moved back home to Connecticut to figure out what the next phase in my life would look like. After spending a year working in retail, traveling, and spending time with my family, I entered my first year of law school at the University of Connecticut School of Law in Fall 2009.  Although it is difficult for me to confidently announce that I love law school (because of the torturous experience of being a lowly 1L), I am certainly happy that I made the decision to attend law school and greatly enjoy studying the law.  I recently finished my second year of law school, and am on to a new adventure!
 Boston Massachusetts Temple

From July 20, 2011 to January 2013 I will be serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka LDS or Mormon Church) in the Spain Málaga Mission!  The Málaga Mission covers an area of Southern Spain called Andalucia (See the yellow region in the map below).  I will be moving around in that region throughout my mission.

 Map of Spain

I am sure that some of you have many questions running through your minds: What does it mean to serve a "full-time mission"? What will I be doing? What will my life be like in Spain? Why on earth did I decide to put my law school career on hold for 18 months to do this? (Are you crazy?!). I will address each of these questions in turn.

What does it mean to serve a "full-time mission"? What will I be going? What will my life be like in Spain?

When an individual serves a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church), he/she leaves home to serve our Heavenly Father, and His children who are here on earth.  Individuals who decide to serve missions are assigned by church leaders to serve in a specific area of the world for either 18 months or two years.  Most missionaries proselyte, which involves talking with people, getting to know them, providing service to them, and teaching them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To some individuals reading this, proselyting may seem pushy-- like missionaries are trying to force their viewpoints on others. However, this is a sore misconception.  LDS missionaries teach out of love and concern for others with a pure desire for those they teach to experience the happiness that the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into their lives.  LDS missionaries teach individuals to pray about the things that they are learning so that they may know for themselves that those things are true. I personally bear testimony that as missionaries teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are willing to listen, that through the Spirit they may know with a surety that the gospel is true.

In Spain, I will be proselyting, performing acts of service for members of the community, and whatever else I am assigned to do! I am so excited to get to know the people of southern Spain and to serve them!

Have more questions about what LDS missionaries do or why missionary work is so important to the LDS church? Click here for more info.

Why did I choose to serve a mission? 
There are so many reasons why I chose to serve a mission; I will try to articulate a few of them.  Over the past few years I have increasingly realized how important my faith is to me-- it has shaped me into the person that I am.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has brought so much meaning and happiness to my life and I want to share that with others. I want others to know the things that I know; to feel that way that I feel.

Sometimes it still feels so surreal to me that I am taking a leave of absence to serve a mission, but I feel so strongly that this is what I am supposed to do right now in my life.  I have never felt so strongly about anything I have done in my life. I know that serving a mission is part of my Heavenly Father's plan for me-- and I am so excited to begin!

Contacting me in Spain 

While I am in Spain, the best way to contact me will be though postal mail.  I will not have access to my personal e-mail accounts or Facebook. My family members will be posting my current mailing address to this blog, and also to Facebook. I will be moving around quite a bit while I am in Spain, so it is best to check the my current mailing address right before sending any postal mail! I would LOVE to hear from you all while I am in Spain!

I can't believe I am leaving in just about a week! My sister Crystal will be updating this blog for me as I send her letters and photos. I hope this blog will allow you all to share in the excitement of my journey!