Monday, December 28, 2015

T'was the week before Christmas

Hello Family!

How are you guys doing? We had a good week this week. Lots of great stuff happened. It was hard to teach people (everyone leaving and/or unavailable during the holidays) but we had a good week! Here we go! :D

On Monday, Sister Hall had a meeting so I went on a short exchange with Sister Pule. We went to go see Betty, but we weren't able to. So, we went and got ice cream (to make up for going all the way to where she lives, haha). :D Anyways, it was a good night. 

On Tuesday, our appointment cancelled, so Sister Hall did language study and then we did visits. It was good. Later, we went to Sunrise. Mainly, we helped out with the wine and cheese social. We aren't allowed to serve the wine, but we give them the cheese/fruit plates and we read trivia with them. They were supposed to guess songs just by hearing words from the middle of the song. Some of them were Christmas, and some of them were songs that were big when they were growing up. It was so fun. :) After that, we did some contacting before going to dinner. We then met with Betty and had a lesson with her. It was a good day. 

On Wednesday, we went contacting and showed people the video "A Savior Is Born" (on the iPads). People really seemed to enjoy it! We met one guy named Sergio who may be interested in meeting with us! :) We then had lunch before going to the horse ranch for service. This time, I was leading one of the horses while someone was riding. That was fun. It's not too different than walking a dog, really! Just a whole heck of a lot bigger! :) After that, we had dinner with the Gills. They are so great! We had a good time eating with them and talking. After that, we stopped by a family that someone in the ward asked us to see. It was nice. :) 

On Thursday, we had ZTM (Zone Training Meeting). It was all about earthquake preparedness. The mission is working on an emergency plan, and wanted to train the missionaries on what to do in case of an earthquake. We also found out that someone in the area is making 72 hour kits for all the missionaries for his Eagle Scout project! :) So, we are prepared! After that, we had lunch with a member in the ward. After that, we had service with the rest of the zone. We went down to a dry creek bed and picked up trash. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff we found! We found a volleyball, a radio, a shopping cart, and more! We then had dinner with the McKees. They are so great.

On Friday, most of the zone went to do service at the food bank. Mainly, we were sorting cans. After that, we had lunch and then we weekly planned. President Mella wants the missionaries to plan following every single step in Preach  My Gospel, so our planning was long. It was good, though. After that, we had dinner and then we went to see Dawn. It was a good night. 

On Saturday, we had breakfast with Kathy. It was so fun! After that, we came home and did our studies before making lunch. We had a recipe and ingredients for soup, so we made it together. It was so fun! It was yummy, too. :D After that, we went to Sunrise and played dominoes with everyone. We then left to help with another service before grabbing a quick dinner. We then had a temple trip. We planned with John Henry (our ward mission leader) and another less-active member of the ward to go up to the temple and see the Christmas lights (the Oakland Temple Christmas lights are beautiful). So, we went. We also saw a couple of the concerts going on up there, too. It was fun. 

On Sunday, we had a great day! For Sacrament Meeting, we had a really nice Christmas program. There were lots of songs by the ward choir and other members, along with readings from talks by Thomas S Monson. Also, Phillip came! (I emailed about him two weeks ago). He came to church again and we sat by him. He really enjoyed the Christmas program. :) For this particular Sunday, they bumped up the third hour to the second hour so we asked John Henry to take Phillip to priesthood. We were talking with them, and then turned to talk to another person, and when we were turned back to them, they were talking in Chinese (Phillip is Chinese)! This is what happens when your ward mission leader knows so many languages! XD So, we had Relief Society the second hour and then for the third hour they had a bell choir preform (all made of ward members). Afterwards, they had cookies and milk and people just talked. Phillip was talking to so many people! We asked if he would be interested in learning more and he said YES! So, after the holidays, we are going to start teaching him! :) After church, we went to see Marta and told her all about church. We then went to see Bonnie and watched a BYU Devotional with her. We then went to dinner. 

Oh my goodness, dinner was so fun! We ate with the Lepretres. They are a fairly young couple in the ward with a little baby. The husband is from Paris and the two of them met at BYU. I asked him where in Paris he was from and Sister Hall told him that I speak French. He lit up and asked me to say the prayer for dinner. I was sooo nervous! When I finished the prayer, he beamed at me and said "Bravo!" :) We had a fun time talking with them and occasionally Brother Lepretre and I would start speaking French (his English is perfect and his wife understands French, so it wasn't awkward...except maybe for Sister Hall). When we were about to leave, Brother Lepretre looked at me and said (in French) "Sister Palmer, whenever I see you, we will speak in French." I told him that I would LOVE that! :D After dinner, we tried to see Elizabeth, but she was busy. So, we went home and watched "The Restoration" in Samoan for Sister Hall's language study. :) It was a fun day!

Today has been good so far. Sister Hall and I have quite a few errands to run, so we will be pretty busy. Tonight, we have dinner and then we are going to see Betty. We plan to read Luke 2 with her tonight. Makes me think of when you would read it aloud to us, Dad. :) 

Love you lots. Have an amazing week. I will skype you in FOUR DAYS!!!!! 8D


Candycanes and Contacting

December 14th

Hello family, 

How are you? I hope you are all doing well. We had a good week this week. I am excited to tell you all about it! :D

On Monday night, our ward mission leader (John Henry) invited us to go caroling with some members of another ward. So, we went. We stood on a street corner and caroled, handing out invitations to the crèche. It was really fun. 

On Tuesday, we had some appointments and then did some errands that we weren't able to get done on Monday. We then had dinner with the Plomgrens. It was so fun. :) We were then going to go see Betty, but she was going to the crèche, so we went to a street that some members told us about where all of the houses do crazy Christmas decorations. They were right! Every house was lit and there were all of these amazing decorations. One had a giant Christmas tree with ornaments the size of my head! Another had lights on every square inch of the house. There was even a Hanukkah house on the corner! It was so much fun to take a minute and look at all the houses. :) 

On Wednesday, we went to Kathy's house and decorated it for Christmas. She was out running errands, so we did all sorts of things to surprise her when she came home. We hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling, strung lights, decorated her Christmas tree, and more. It was so fun! (And she texted us later that night that she loved it!) We then had service at the horse ranch. We had fun working with one of the kids we were with last time. I had fun talking to their parents, too. :) After that, we had dinner and Sister Hall had language study. It was a good day of service. :) 

On Thursday, we were at Zone Conference all day. It was super fun to go and see missionaries who I haven't seen in a while. This Zone Conference was all about acting in faith, and about how that will lead to miracles. We applied this to studying/planning, finding, and teaching. It was good. We had some great ideas after that! We then had dinner with the McKees. They are so great! :) Our appointment with Sione fell through, so we went home and did weekly planning because we knew that we wouldn't have time on Friday. 

On Friday, we went to the crèche to help them take down the decorations. We found out that one of the women in our ward was taking down the decorations and fell off of a ladder (it broke under her) and shattered her shoulder! D: Anyways, we helped take the decorations down and then went to a lunch appointment. Our RS President's daughter got home from her mission on Wednesday, and her mom invited us over to talk about missions. It was so fun. We also went and visited the woman who broke her shoulder. :) We then tried out a new method of contacting. We had both heard about missionaries that were going contacting with candy canes (giving them to people and asking if they wanted a card about "A Savior is Born"). So, we decided to try it out. People actually stopped and listened to us! We were amazed! Isn't it amazing what human beings will do for food (and with a little bit of the Christmas Spirit)?! :D After that, we had dinner and came home so Sister Hall could do language study. 

On Saturday, we went to a surprise party for one of the elders whose birthday it was. It was fun. We then had lunch and went to do service at sunrise. It was a rough day to be there. One of the residents was in a really bad mood and was lashing out at people. We then went to the Ward Christmas Party. It was so fun. We had dinner and then they did a cute Christmas program. After the closing prayer, Santa Claus came. :) We then went and saw Kathy before going home. It was a good day. 

On Sunday, it was raining so much! Anyways, we had church and that was fun. Our RS President's daughter gave her homecoming talk. :) After church, we visited Marta and told her all about church. We then had lunch before going to see Bonnie. That was fun. We then went caroling to people with John Henry, this time to people in the ward who could use some Christmas cheer. :) It was fun. We then had dinner before stopping by a surprise birthday party for a member of the ward. We then went home and Sister Hall did language study. 

Today has been good. We got up early, because we were invited to come to seminary. That was fun! They did a review of the Old Testament and then had breakfast. We then went home and did our studies. The rest of today should be good. We have our errands to run, and then we will be hanging out with the zone. 

Have a great day. I love you!!!!

Crèche and Christmas

December 7th

Hello everyone, 

We had a good week this week. With the holidays coming up, we had a lot of service opportunities, especially at the crèche happening that weekend. We also decorated our apartment. There was a fake Christmas tree in the apartment, and Sister Hall's mom sent us decorations. :) We are getting so excited for Christmas now! Let me tell you about last week though...

On Monday, we were at the crèche helping set up. Sister Hall and were staining wood and made a mess of ourselves. :) We then had a surprise birthday party for one of the elders in the Zone. He was so surprised! It was fun. :) That night, we had dinner with the Hollbrooks. Their daughter comes home from her mission this week, and it was so fun to hear what they are going to do once she is home. :) We then visited Betty and read scriptures with her. It was a good day. :)

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting. We talked about how to use "A Savior is Born" in our work. We are excited for it! We then tried to see some people before going to do service at the crèche. We then had dinner with a woman and her grandson. It was an interesting dinner. We also found out that her grandson, Bradley, wasn't a member of the Church! We asked him if he would be interested in learning, and he said yes!  He just has to get back to us on his schedule! Unfortunately, we got out of dinner late, and when we went to Elizabeth's (we had an appointment), she wasn't there. So, we went back home and Sister Hall did language study. 

On Wednesday, we tried to see Jerome (that guy who was in the hospital), but he went home! We were happy that he is okay, but a little sad that we didn't get to see him again before he left. We then tried to see Joann, but she was busy. We then tried visiting some less-actives in the ward. Nobody was home, or they were all busy! That afternoon, we went to service at the Horse Ranch. It was fun, but I got super tired. Walking alongside a horse trying to help someone when the horse is TALLER than you is hard! Ah well, I have to remind myself that I like my height. (Like Mushu says in Mulan, "I'm travel sized, for your convenience." :D) It was really fun though to help those people ride. Just watching them light up! It's a service that is so rewarding! After that, we changed and went to our dinner appointment. The woman who we ate with just had twin girls. It was fun to talk about twin stuff with her! I should have given her your number, Mom. ;) That night, we went back to that house where we set up their Christmas decorations (the one with over 100 boxes) and looked at their stuff all set up. It was so nice! :) They even invited us to their Christmas party this weekend! 

On Thursday, Sister Hall did Language Study and I did my own thing. That afternoon, we had a song practice for the crèche. Sister Mella asked our zone to sing on Sunday night at the crèche (outside, as people are walking in and our of the building), so we had a practice. It was all right. We then had lunch before going back to the crèche to help them set things up. People were bringing their crèches, so Sister Hall and I were helping them carry them inside. One woman brought a Bethlehem Village that had a 1,000 pieces! That night, we had a lesson with Sione. We invited him to be baptized again, and he said yes! Only, to then say "wait, in your church? Hold on a second. I still need to go my church and think about it." Sister Hall and I about had a heart attack when he said yes! (We hope he went to his church on Sunday and that he can make his decision SOON!). That night, we did an exchange because Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood had a meeting. 

On Friday morning, I was with Sister Pule. We pretty much spent the whole time doing service. We went to the crèche and helped a little before going to the People of Ammon set to help there. We then went on a walk with a woman named Shelley. It was an hour long walk, and I was dying by the end of it! We then went and walked a super cute dog named Miel (the owner is out of town and asked the missionaries to feed and walk their dog). We then went back to the crèche and our companions came back. Before they came back though, Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood met this guy named Peter and taught him a lesson. He is in our area, so we got a new investigator!!! :D 

On Saturday, we had breakfast with Kathy. It was yummy. :) We then came back and did studies before going to visit people. Not really anyone was home, and one guy was super rude to us. :( We then went to sunrise and helped them paint pictures and then played Christmas Themed Pictionary. It was so fun! We then had dinner with Lesieli and her fiancé, Will. It was great. We then tried to go see Elizabeth, but she wasn't available. That night, we had to do another exchange because Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood had another meeting. 

On Sunday, we went to Church. At the end of Sacrament Meeting, someone came up to us and told us that there was a man there who had just walked in! Sister Pule and I went and chatted with him, and invited him to come to Sunday School. He couldn't, but we got his phone number. We hope to be able to teach him! His name is Phillip. :) We then taught Gospel Principles, about prayer. It was good. :) Our companions then came back and Sister Hall and I went to Relief Society. We then went to see Bonnie, but she wasn't home. We then went to the crèche to prepare for singing. The singing went well. We sang Christmas carols from the hymnbook and Sister Pule and I did a duet of "What Child is This?". We then left for a dinner with one of the families in the ward. We then went home and weekly planned. It was a good day. 

Today has been good so far. We do have a lot left to do, though. After P-day, we have dinner with a great family in the ward and then we have an appointment. Should be good. :) 

Love you lots. Have a good week!!!!


Thanksgiving Aftermath

November 30th


Sorry I am writing so late! We have been at service all morning. We were helping set up for the Christmas Crèche this weekend. But, now I am here. :) This week was an interesting week, with the holidays and eveything. Let me tell you about it!

On Monday, we went to a super awesome place for lunch (a member gave us lunch money). It was a build your own pizza place! It was so much fun! That night, we went to see Betty and read scriptures with her. That was fun. We are in the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi, but the Institute Manual is helping. It was a good night. :)

On Tuesday, we were going to go to district meeting, but it was cancelled because of Transfer Meeting. That afternoon, we took Jerri to lunch at Cheesecake Factory. It was sooooo good! :D After that, we were going to go to the service at the horse ranch, but they were closed for the week. So, we went to Sunrise (senior center) instead. We played dominoes with them and then we went and listened to a music group that came. It was so fun to watch some of those little old ladies dance! :D 

On Wednesday, we went and did some service for a woman named Anita. We made her bed and took out her recycling. It was fun. :) We then went and helped Kathy. It was a hard day to try to see people, because everyone was gone or leaving for Thanksgiving. We tried though. :) That night, however, we saw a little miracle. The woman feeding us gave us a pecan pie that she didn't want, and we decided to stop by Elizabeth's (new investigator) house and give her the pecan pie. It turns out that she and her family love pecan pie, and that they weren't going to have a Thanksgiving dinner! Heavenly Father is amazing! :D 

On Thursday, the whole zone got together and played flag football. I even participated, but I had more fun when we decided to play gatorball later. ^^' After that, we went to dinner at the Hollbrook's. It was good! :) After that, we went to the Acreman's for dessert. That was really fun, too. After that, we wanted to take Elizabeth with us to someone else's house, but she never texted us back, so we went to another dinner (with a Polynesian family) that almost the whole zone was at. We ended up eating so much, and I was unbelievably sick. So was the rest of the zone! We went to bed early that night for a very well deserved food coma!

On Friday, we went to a service project helping a family set up their Christmas decorations. They wanted help because it usually took them all day. So, we went. Oh. My. Goodness. At first we helped them get all of the decorations out of their attic. They had OVER ONE HUNDRED boxes of decorations for every room in the house! There were five Christmas trees and Christmas candy everywhere! Then, we stayed for a couple of hours and decorated one of the trees. It was fun. Completely crazy, but fun. After that, we went to help set up for the Crèche this weekend. We then went over to help with the set of People of Ammon (they are filming it right now). After that, we came home and weekly planned. It was a hectic day!

On Saurday afternoon, we helped Kathy again. We also went to Sunrise again. This time, we played pictionary with them. They loved it. That night, we went and saw a less-active woman named Martha. She was really happy to see us. :) It was a good day. 

On Sunday, we had Church. It was great. We had a really interesting lesson in Gospel Principles about The Holy Ghost. We dissected the hymn "Let The Holy Spirit Guide" and talked about the roles of The Holy Ghost. It was great. In Relief Society, we had a lesson about the commandments. The sister teaching it did a great job! After church, we met with the Relief Society president and she talked to us about some of the less-active sisters in the ward. We then went home and had lunch and watched "A Savior is  Born" (the Church's new Christmas video). It was good! :) After that, we visited Bonnie. She is doing great. We then went to dinner before going to see Elizabeth. Our lesson with her was a little crazy (lots of background distractions) but good. All in all, it was a good day. 

Like I said, we have been at service almost all day. Now, we have to go run our errands and such before the day is over. I think we are hanging out with the zone too, to have a surprise birthday party for one of the elders. :) 

Love you lots. Have an amazing week. #ASaviorIsBorn

Investigators, Horses, French, and Exchanges

November 23rd


How is everyone? Man, we had such an awesome week this week! What a way to end the transfer! Let me tell you all about it! :D 

On Monday night, we went to see Kathy. She had just surgery for carpal tunnel, so we went to go cheer her up.

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting. For the lesson, we played jeopardy. It was fun. :) Later that day, we went to go see Joann, but she wasn't home. So, we were considering just going to our dinner and contacting in the neighborhood, but we decided to try a woman named Elizabeth (who we had been trying to see for weeks). We knocked on the door and she answered!!!!!! She was like "You're here! Thank God!" and we chatted with her on the doorstep for about 45 minutes. We taught her a quick lesson and set up an appointment to see her later that week. Do you remember what this means? We have a new investigator!!!! :D We were panicking, however, when we left her doorstep, because we thought we were going to be super late to dinner, but then she texted asking if we could bump it back half an hour! Miracles!!!!! :D All in all, it was a great day!

On Wednesday, we went to see Jerri. She was really stressed out because her dog ran away. Thankfully, not too long after we came, he came running back home. Jerri was so mad! Anyways, we have decided to start reading scriptures with her, so we read 1 Nephi 1. :) After that, we had lunch, and  then went to sunrise and played pictionary with hem. It was fun. That night, we went to see Betty and read scriptures with her too. Oh, also, a woman from our ward called us and asked us if we could teach English lessons to a woman that she knew. We said yes, and then she told us that the woman was from Africa and speaks FRENCH! I was like "Sister [name], I speak French!" I hope that she can get that set up! That would be so great!!!!! :D

On Thursday, we hopped on our bikes and rode to Joann's house to see her. Unfortunately, she wasn't available (she usually is)! So, we rode back home and had lunch. We then went to this really awesome service. It is a horse ranch where they give riding lessons to children with special needs. They taught us how to help the kids ride the horses safely and how to take care of the horses! It was so much fun!!!! I learned how to groom a horse!!!! We are really excited to go back. Also, there is a French woman there who teaches some of the classes. Her name is Françoise. I got the courage to ask her about French and she was thrilled to have someone to help her with her English!!! :D I have a French buddy again!!!! That night, we saw Sione. We had a lesson with him about the Word of Wisdom. The lesson seemed to go well. He told us that he would be going to his church on Sunday, and that he was still trying to decide between that church and our church. 

On Friday, Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood went on exchanges, so I got to be with Sister Pule! :D We had a really good day. In the morning, we went to see Joann. We had a good lesson with her about being an example and sharing the gospel. We then had lunch before trying to see a woman named Kim. She wasn't home, so we left her a note. We then went to the church so Sister Pule could practice a musical number for a baptism they were having the next day. We then were going to see some people, but the traffic was so bad that we decided to go straight to dinner. We had some time before dinner, and we went contacting around the block. We invited a woman to come to the Christmas Crèche. (Mom: thank you so much for teaching me how to deal with dogs. This woman had dogs and one came running at us! I made myself as big and angry as I could and yelled at it. It got startled and calmed down. Thanks!) We then had dinner before going to visit Lesieli. We ended up teaching her and her fiancé about Jesus Christ. They loved it and told us to come back more often! Lesieli said that she had been upset  before we came, and now she felt better. :) It was a great day!

On Saturday, Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood had a meeting in San Jose, so Sister Pule and I just stayed together. We tried to see someone in her area, but he wasn't available, so we went to the church to fill the font for their baptism that afternoon. By lunchtime, the sisters came back and Sister Hall and I went home to weekly plan. It was a less-hectic day. 

On Sunday, we were busy! We had ward council, and then we were speaking in sacrament meeting. They asked us to come up, introduce ourselves, and share an experience from our missions. I actually wasn't stressed about it (and you know I hate speaking in front of people)! Also, right before sacrament, Sione came!!!!! It was because his mother-in-law was speaking, but he came!!!!! :D We then went to gospel principles, before leaving early to teach sharing time in primary. You read that right. We taught sharing time. We taught them about service and asked them to write down something non-tangible they could give this Christmas. They all really liked it :) We then caught the end of Relief Society. It was great. That afternoon, we went and saw Bonnie and shared a message with her. We then went and did service for Kathy. Since her surgery, she can't wash her hair, so we did it. :) That night, we had dinner and then went to see Dawn. It was  a good day. 

Well, that is about all for here. It was a great week, and we are excited for more! Tonight, we have dinner, and then a meeting with Elizabeth! Hoping it goes well! 

Have a great Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for all of you! 

Busy, busy, busy!

November 16th


How is everyone? I hope you are doing well. Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? Things have been busy here.  A lot of our week was doing service for a member in our ward who was putting on a play. He was doing a musical version of the story of the People of Ammon (Anti-Nephi-Lehies) in the Book of Mormon. He will be filming it for a series he is doing called Honor Park, which is dedicated to producing good media teaching good values to boys. We helped with the set. Anyways, let me tell you more about our week :) 

On Monday night, we had FHE with the McKees, who fed us dinner. They are such a cute couple. We have dinner with them this week, too. :) FHE was about the new changes in the Handbook concerning children of gay couples. I was glad we had that FHE, because Sister Hall and I knew very little about it! We watched an interview with D Todd Christofferson that was on and I think I understand it a little bit better now. This is definitely one of those times where not everything makes sense, but we need to just have faith in our leaders. After that, we went to see Betty and read scriptures with her and a friend (who is a member). Betty's friend had a lot of difficult questions, and I am sure glad I downloaded the Institute manuals onto my iPad, because the answers were in there! I have been using it a lot in my studies, too. :) 

On Tuesday, we spent most of our day finding people. (No District Meeting because we had Zone Training Meeting later that week). We went contacting and tried talking to people, and then we tried to find members who haven't been coming to church. Not much came out of it. It was a little frustrating, but that happens. 

On Wednesday, we went and saw Wilma. We taught her about tithing. She is not retaining what we are teaching her and, after talking to her son, we may not be teaching her anymore. We will see. :( Later that day, we also visited with a couple in the ward and taught them about member missionary work. We are trying to meet with lots of members, get to know them, and invite them to pray about who they can share the gospel with. We then went and did service for the "People of Ammon" play. We were painting. All in all, it was a good day. 

On Thursday, we had Zone Training Meeting. It was really good (but really long). We talked about ways to make our areas "on fire". We talked about two talks called "The Consecrated Missionary" (by Bishop Caussé) and "Becoming A Preach My Gospel Missionary" (by Elder Bednar). We also played a fun activity where there were characteristics of a consecrated written on pieces of paper inside of balloons and we had to throw a dart at the balloons to pop them and then act out whatever was written on the paper. Never give darts to Elders. Trust me. After ZTM, we had lunch and then went to work on the People of Ammon set. We were stucco-ing houses and covering poles with bamboo. It was crazy.  We then went home and changed and cleaned ourselves up for our dinner appointment. After dinner, we went and saw Jerri. She is doing great! After that, we came home. 

On Friday, one of our appointments cancelled, so we went back to the People of Ammon set and helped paint and stucco and put bamboo on poles. We then left and helped the Relief Society set up for their annual craft night at the church. After that, we had a quick lunch and went back to the People of Ammon set. There was so much to do and the play was on Saturday, so the whole zone was there trying to help get it all done! We then went back home, changed out of our paint-covered clothes, and went to the craft night (where we had dinner). We then went home. It was a busy service-filled day!

On Saturday, we went back to the People of Ammon set to help get everything ready for the show that afternoon. We then went and got lunch before coming back to see the show. It was really good! Afterwards, we got a zone picture in front of one of the buildings we did and walked around the set like "I did that and that and that..." :) Afterwards, we started our weekly planning before our dinner. After dinner, we came back and worked on planning. 

On Sunday, we had church. It was the Primary Program. It was so cute! :D One little girl was dancing up there while they were singing a little boy was shouting the lyrics more than he was singing them (haha). The rest of church was great too. Next week, Sister Hall and I are going to be speaking in Sacrament Meeting and helping in Primary! We will see how that goes... After Church, we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and then went home for lunch and to finish planning. After planning, we met with Bonnie and shared a quick message with her before going to dinner. We had a great time. 

That is about all for here. We need to go run our errands and then we will probably go to another Zone Activity. Have a wonderful week!!!!! :D 

Bikes, Exchanges, Miracles, and more

November 9th


How is everyone? :) November is just ticking along and I am not sure how I feel about it! This week will be a year since I landed in San Jose. Sister Hall hits her 9 month mark this week, too! We had a good week this week. We are trying really hard to find people to teach. 

Monday was good. We got our errand done pretty quickly and then went to the church to play games with the Zone. It was really fun. We then had dinner with a member who has a daughter on a mission. Finally, we had FHE with a member and read scriptures with her. It was a good day. 

On Tuesday, we had meetings. First, we had District Meeting. They were cleaning the carpets in the church, so we tried to meet in the family history center, but ended up in another building behind the church. I taught the lesson on obedience. I was told that I did well. :) After District Meeting, we had lunch, and then we came back to the church for interviews with President Mella. It was sooooo good. After interviews, we went and visited people. We then got really really lost trying to find our dinner appointment (our GPS has serious problems) and were so late! We were really sorry, and we could tell that the family was annoyed with us. It was awkward. We will have to do something nice for them... After dinner, we visited more people. It was a good day. 

On Wednesday, we went to some other sisters' apartment and they gave us their bikes to borrow. We wanted to try biking because it will be good exercise and a great way to talk to people. After we dropped them off, we met with Wilma. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Later, we went and did service at Sunrise (senior center). We played pictionary with them again. :) After that, we went home and grabbed the bikes, and hit the road. It has been some time since I have really ridden a bike! We went contacting and then rode our bikes to our dinner appointment. After that, we had a meeting with the ward mission leader, so we rode the bikes home and took the car to the meeting. We ended up having another dinner and teaching a man there named Paul. He seemed interested in what we have to say. Hopefully we can teach him again! :) 

On Thursday, we took the bikes out again and went contacting. This time, I almost hit someone. >< It wasn't really my fault though! She and her friend were walking really slowly and then the space they made for us to go between them was super narrow. *sigh* After that, we went contacting. We met some really great people and they were a little nicer this time. We also had service at Ivy League and helped them spread mulch. Later that night, we had dinner and then went to a service project. We helped at a graduation dinner at a homeless shelter. Apparently, the homeless people can take classes to learn important skills and they had a dinner for the ones who graduated. It was in a pretty scary part of town, but we were okay. I really enjoyed talking to the homeless people. Reminded me of the soup kitchen in Santa Cruz. :) 

On Friday, Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood had a leadership meeting, so I was with Sister Pule. :) We went to some appointments in her area and then to service at Sunrise. We had a cool experience there. While we were sitting on some chairs, waiting for the Volunteer Coordinator to come tell us what to do, a guy walked up to us (he wasn't one of the residents. He was visiting someone). He told us that he was from out of state, and had been investigating the Church for a few months. He also said that he was getting baptized later this month! He then told us about how he and a friend had planned this trip before he had started meeting with the missionaries and they were going to all these wineries and wine tastings! We encouraged him to be strong. I think we were supposed to meet him that day and encourage him. :) I love it when the Lord does stuff like that! After service, we met with the sisters at the church so that Sister Hall and I could go to our dinner appointment together. After dinner, we switched back because Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood needed to talk to the Zone Leaders about the meeting and plan ZTM. We then went home. It was a crazy day :) 

On Saturday, we went and helped out with a service. There is this musical being performed this weekend called "Sons of Ammon". It is about the people of Ammon/Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon. The guy who wrote it, and is putting it on, is in our ward. Apparently, they are filming it too! We helped paint set pieces. We really want to go see it! :D We then went home and weekly planned. After that, we went to Sunrise and helped them paint and played pictionary. It was really fun! We had a small crowd that day  because there was a football game on. The elders were really interested in that (haha)! :) We then tried to see people before dinner. After dinner, we finished weekly planning. It was a busy day!

On Sunday, I finally went to church in the ward I am supposed to! :D (We had been going to church with Jerri in the ward she needs to go to, which we used to be over). It was great! Sacrament Meeting was all about justice and mercy. Then, in Gospel Principles, we learned about agency. Also, while we were in Gospel Principles, a woman walked in with two other women and said that the other two had just come in, looking for a church! Their names are Nancy and Polly. After class, we talked to them, and invited them to Relief Society, but they had to go. They are coming back next week for the Primary Program. Sister Hall and I hope to be able to meet with them! :D What a miracle! Most of the day we were visiting people. Then, that night, I helped Sister Hall with language study. She would read what she thought a verse in the Book of Mormon in Samoan was saying and then I would read it to her in English. I think we both enjoyed it. I remember doing that with Bre with French. :) 

Today has been good so far. We did have a big thunder/lightning storm (it felt big to this girl who hasn't seen a thunderstorm in months) during studies. Later today we will probably get together with the zone. Have an awesome week. I love you lots!!!! 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Skipping in the Septic Tank


How are you? *hugs* Man, we had a crazy week this week. Not a bad week, just a lot of things that happened. Let me tell you about it! :D 

On Monday, we were running around because we had a lot to do. We did, however, get to go to Zone Sports. We mainly watched because I had letters to write and we forgot non-pros (normal clothes). All in all, however, it was a good day. :) 

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting. Our Zone is made of THREE districts, so the meeting was pretty small! It was really good though. We talked about charity. After District Meeting, we met with Jerri to follow up with her on her commitments. She is doing great! We set her baptismal date for Tuesday, 27 October. That is a significant day for her. She is super excited, and so are we! :) We set up appointments to meet with her every day. We also met with Joann and taught her The Restoration. That night we had a meeting with Chris before going to meet with Betty. She was going through the temple on Wednesday and wanted to meet with us one more time before she went. :) 

On Wednesday, we were on exchanges because Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood had an STL meeting in San Jose. So, I was with Sister Pule. We did service and then had lunch before meeting with someone in the ward that I am over. Then, the sisters called and told us that they were finally on their way home and that we would meet up after another service to exchange back. So, we went to a lesson with someone in the ward that Sister Pule is over and did service for them. We then planned to meet up and switch back so Sister Hall and I could go to Jerri's lesson. However, the sisters got caught in super bad traffic! So, Sister Pule and I went to Jerri's lesson and then we went to dinner in the ward that I am over while Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood went to the dinner in the ward that Sister Sherwood is over. After dinner, we met up at the apartment (the one Sister Hall and I are in) and exchanged back. When we pulled into the parking lot, Sister Hall and Sister Sherwood were standing in our parking space with "We are sorry" and "We love you" signs. They were so worried we would be mad at them! Sister Hall even got me soda and sour gummy worms! It was a crazy day! 

On Thursday, I went and got a flu shot. Apparently, the flu is supposed to be really bad and President Mella is making the entire mission get shots. It was at a free clinic at one of the places where we do service. After my shot, we got lunch and then met with with Wilma. We are not sure how much we are going to be able to teach her. She is older and she isn't really understanding what we say. After Wilma, we went to service at Ivy League. We then met with Jerri and continued getting things ready for her baptism. The day of her baptism is the same day as a convocation at Stanford, where Elder Quentin L Cook is speaking. So, we asked if we could move the time up so people would be able to attend the baptism. She was fine with it and asked if Elder Cook could be the one to baptize her! We decided that it couldn't hurt to ask; I will let you know what happens. Can you imagine if Elder Cook came to the baptism???? After that, we had dinner and then went to an appointment with an investigator named Sione. We taught him about tithing. It went really well. :)

On Friday, we had service at the food bank. We were putting labels on cans. Most of the Zone was there, too. After that, we had lunch and weekly planned. We then had dinner and tried to see someone the Elders had asked us to see, but we couldn't. 

Saturday was a busy day! A couple of weeks ago, a member in our ward asked us to help her neighbor with a service project. She said that we would be digging a hole and to invite the elders to come, too. So, we went with a companionship of elders. First, the member who invited us to come asked us to dig a hole for her rabbit that had passed away the day before. After we did that, we went to her neighbor's. Apparently, this neighbor had a septic tank with a block in one of the pipes. So, we dug a few feet down to the pvc pipe and exposed it for the plumber to come fix it. Unfortunately, one of the elders got heavy-handed with a pick-axe and cracked the pipe. So, while we dug, we were splashing around in septic juices. Yay. Reminded me of when Rexburg flooded. When we were done, we were so tired! They fed us lunch and then we went home and took a shower. Sister Hall and I were soooo sore!!!! After that, we went to the retirement home where we do service and played Pictionary with them. It was so fun. They really really get into it!!!! After that, we had some time to finish weekly planning and then went to the ward Halloween party. We didn't have any costume ideas, so we just dressed alike and called it good. We were in charge of helping the kids with a treasure hunt and with the trunk or treat. For the treasure hunt, the kids were given a clue that would lead them to us and then we had to give them the next clue. It was fun. After that, we walked up and down the parking lot and passed out candy to the kids who were trunk-or-treating. :) It was great. After that, we went and saw Jerri and finalized the plans for her baptism. 
Sunday was different. Sacrament Meeting went WAY over because of the Primary Program. It was good, though. Sister Hall and I enjoyed it a lot! We then waited for President Mella to come because he was going to be giving Jerri her baptismal interview. He came and we sat outside, waiting for them. By the time the interview ended, Church was over. It was so good to see President Mella. We made sure to thank him for coming. :) Later that afternoon, we had an early dinner and then went and visited Kathy. It was a good day. :) 

Today has been good so far. We are now off to run some errands and hang out with the Zone. We are going to be carving pumpkins! :) 

Have a great week. Love you!


Very Busy Week!

19 October 2015

Hello Family!

Hello from the north! :D That's right, I have left Santa Cruz and gone about as far north as you can without leaving the mission. :) I am in the Menlo Park Zone, serving in one of the wards up there. We had a crazy week this week with transfers and everything. Let me tell you about it! 

On Monday, for P-day, I was mainly packing for transfers. Sister Kelly wrote letters and read her scriptures while I sorted through my stuff. We then went and got ice cream and then we had dinner. It was so sad, knowing that this would be my last dinner in Santa Cruz. We then had FHE with the branch. We played a game and had dessert. Not too many people knew that I was leaving, but those that did said goodbye. That night, the elders also helped me get my suitcases into the car because they were heavy and we had to go down stairs. 

On Tuesday, we went to the elders' apartment and picked up some of their luggage to take to transfer meeting (not enough room in their car to take everyone, plus stuff). We then drove to transfer meeting and chatted with other missionaries in the mission office until the meeting started. Sister Lytle was getting transferred, and Sister Pattison is training! :) As you read, I was transferred to Menlo Park (up in the north of the mission). My companion is Sister Hall. She came out a couple months after me and started in the Samoan program (she was called Samoan speaking). Now she is in the English program. She is from Salt Lake City. She is so awesome! :) We went back to our area and got lunch before going to visit people. That night, we had a missionary correlation meeting. It was a good day. 

On Wednesday, we visited a woman named Patrice and shared a message with her. We also went to a senior center and did service. We played card games with two of the older sisters. It was so fun! We then helped them make cat toys to donate to the humane society. It was super fun. We also have been looking for people to teach. We just got told that we are now in one ward instead of three, and we are in the ward that doesn't have much work, so we are looking for people! :) That night, we had a ward council meeting. 

On Thursday, we did service at a food place kind of like the soup kitchen. They feed the homeless and have food (usually produce) that the people can take with them. We helped sort and bag produce. It was an adventure because we were working with women who spoke only Spanish. So, I had to use what little Spanish I know and communicate to Sister Hall what they wanted us to do! It was a mental workout, to be sure! After that, we had lunch and another service that we went to. There is this place where there is a TON of ivy growing, and they have people come and pull up the ivy. It was fun. One of the  main guys working on the project is from France and one of the workers, who heard me telling one of the elders that I was studying French before my mission, told him. We chatted for about two minutes before Sister Hall and I left. Hopefully, I can speak more French with him when we go back! :D We also picked up a new investigator! Her name is Wilma. She is the mother of a recent convert in the ward. :) We shared a message with her about Jesus Christ, and we hope to teach her The Restoration this week! 

On Friday, we went to Santa Cruz for my doctor's appointment. I met with a RT and got my CPAP machine! He went over with me how to take care of it and we fitted me with a mask. I got the kind I used at the sleep study. It is called "Wisp". I really like it. After about an hour, we had it all figured out and we drove back home. After that, we had lunch and did weekly planning. It took a couple of hours because Sister Hall had to tell me about everyone. After that, we visited some people. Including the home of someone from my first area! That was crazy! It was a good day. :) 

On Saturday morning, I didn't have to fight to stay awake during Personal Study! Thank you CPAP! After studies, we had some appointments, and we also heart attacked one of our members. She was going through a lot, so we bought her a treat and heart attacked her door. It was so fun! :) We then went to the senior center and played pictionary with them. They were so into it! It was really funny :D After that, we visited some people who hadn't come to church in a while. One of them was pretty rude to us. *sigh* After that, we had dinner with a woman named Kathy. She is great! She has been through a lot in her life and she is VERY open about it. We had a fun time with her. :) After dinner, we came back early because Sister Hall wasn't feeling well.

On Sunday, we only went to one ward! Only three hours of church! I couldn't believe it! We had an investigator come, too! Her name is Jerri. She has a baptismal date for the end of October. :) After Church, we had lunch and then we had a meeting with our ward mission leader. Guess what? The ward mission leader is someone I met in my first area! Remember that guy I met who speaks almost twenty languages and he works for Google? He is my ward mission leader now! :D In case you don't remember, his name is John Henry. He speaks 18 languages fluently and knows 27 conversationally, making 45 languages. He is soooo cool! :D He said the opening prayer in Arabic and I said the closing in French. I am excited to work with him again. After our meeting, we visited some people. We then had dinner and went to an appointment. It was a great day. 

Today has been good. We still need to run errands and do laundry. We are also going to hang out with the zone. It should be fun. 

Have an awesome week! Love you!


Another Transfer Gone....

12 October 2015


Wow, we had a crazy week! Not a bad way to end the transfer, that is for sure! So you don't have to read this entire email on the edge of your seat, I will tell you now: I am being transferred. I have no clue where. I will find that out tomorrow (I know you hate that part of it, Mom!). All right, let's talk about the rest of the week, now that that big issue is taken care of. :) 

Our P-day was pretty relaxed. We took our car in for an oil change and a tire rotation and we were stuck waiting for four hours (Ugh). So, Sister Kelly and I walked to the library and did things there (mainly, wrote letters). I saw a bunch of the homeless people I know, too. That was fun. :) For FHE, we played General Conference trivia. It was great! That didn't take too long, however, and we then played sardines. After that, we had exchanges. I was with Sister Snyder here and Sister Kelly was with Sister Scarr there. 

We had a really good exchange. We tried to go see Rina, but she wasn't available. On our way back to our car, however, we ran into some Jehovah Witness missionaries. They ignored us. They usually do. :) ANyways, we then tried to see Glenna, but she wasn't available either! (We call it, the "exchange curse". That whenever you go on exchanges, the people you plan to see cancel or aren't available.) After that, we got some lunch and organized the area book. We then tried to find some former investigators. Then, we went and saw Tanya and her son. We shared President Monson's talk from Conference. We then decided to go contacting along the cliffs. On our way back, we ran into Liz! We talked to her and set up an appointment for Wednesday. It was a miracle! After that, we had dinner at home before going to see Krystal. We had a great lesson with her. We then went to Watsonville to exchange back. It was a great day. 

On Wednesday, we didn't get to see Liz (she rescheduled to Thursday). We did some training and tried to see Glenna, but she still wasn't available. We then saw Nicolette that afternoon. She is almost done with her new member lessons! We then saw Anyaleese. We had a really great lesson with her. We showed her President Monson's talk from Conference and she really opened up to us about some things going on in her life. It was super good. Later that night, we went to Activity Days. You read that right. :D One of the Activity Days leaders asked us to come and answer questions about missionary work. They have been following the blog/letters of one of the sisters in the ward who is on her mission in Mexico, and they had a lot of questions for us! It was super fun! :) 

On Thursday, we had ZTM. We talked about applying what we learn and we did role plays of teaching. Sister Kelly and I taught the other sisters The Restoration and then the elders gave us feedback. It was really good. We also got to give the elders feedback. We then had a fun game where we had to teach a principle, but we had to use a random word in it. I had to use the word "phone" as I taught about the Spirit World. It was so fun! Our team was really good at coming up with random stuff XD After that, we had lunch and then did training. We then went and saw Nancy Jo and then Rhonda. We had good lessons with them. We were then going to see Tina, but things didn't quite line up for us. After dinner, we met with Liz! We talked to her about some of the commandments and agreed to wait a little bit before we set another baptismal date. We invited her to come to Church and she said that she would!

On Friday, I had my doctor's appointment. The doctor said that I have "severe sleep apnea". She showed me the data and I was amazed! I didn't think that it was that bad at all! D: I mean, I knew it was bad, but.... now I have proof! She wants me to get a CPAP "right away". I was pretty stressed after that, thinking about it all. I am happy to be getting a CPAP though. I want to get the sleep I need! After that, we had weekly planning and I wrote in Sister Kelly's transfer journal (just in case). After dinner, we saw Krystal again and had a fun lesson with her. 

On Saturday, we were finally able to see Glenna! We talked with her about Conference. I was happy too because her dog, Jackson, who is my friend (the stress dog who cuddled me the first time I ever met him because he wanted me to be okay) was there! After Glenna, we went home and did training and lunch. This was Sister Kelly's last day of training! We then cleaned our apartment (there is still a lot of stuff from previous missionaries. Plus I wanted to de-junk my stuff in case I needed to pack for transfers). We then had interviews with President Mella. He had texted that morning asking if we could meet. I had a really good interview with him. (I hope you guys know how much I LOVE President Mella!) After that, we went to SLV. We saw Alice, but she wasn't feeling well, so we had to keep it short. We then went and saw Sister Dallenbach. That is always fun. :) After that, we had dinner with the SLV ward mission leader and his wife (I love them!). We then came home and planned. I then got a phone call from the Zone Leaders saying that I am being transferred. So, that night, I packed up most of my clothes. 

On Sunday, I had to tell everyone that I was leaving. :( I cried a few times. We did our big long stretch of church so I could see everyone. Plus, we wanted to see Liz at church! All the meetings were great. And... LIZ CAME WITH HER MOM!!!!!! So, we sat by them (they could only stay for sacrament meeting though)! Also, Elder Pimentel from the Seventy came and spoke to us, too! :) After Church, we had a quick dinner and then went to San Jose for the Outgoing fireside (Sister Kelly was singing in it). It was super good. Although, I had the horrible realization that I knew a lot of the people going home and that my time is coming faster than I would like! I mean, I only have five transfers (seven months)! D: That is quick for here! I also got to see people from my last area, which was great!!!! After that, we went home and I packed some more before bed. 

Today has already been hard. We did our laundry and I said goodbye to some more people. :( We have a good day planned, though. We are going to go get groceries (I'm not getting anything), and then we are going to the beach as a zone. It should be great. I also plan on getting some time to pack because I will have almost no time tomorrow! 

Have a great week. Sending you love from wherever I end up. :)