We all went to Santa Cruz on Monday, so I get to do my emailing today instead. Here we go!
Monday (not yesterday) was FHE. For the activity, Sister Chu Shing and I taught the Branch how to play Pukana. I love that game! I got really into it and when I got up in the morning I realized that maybe I had gotten a little too into it (heh). Oh well. It was super fun.
|Sara and Sister Chu Shing with their Pukana faces|
Wednesday was sad. On Wednesday night, we said goodbye to the Laytons. Their mission is over and they went back home to Huntsville, UT. They stayed for the beginning of Institute and then they left. Before they left, Sister Chu Shing told me that she wanted to do something for them. She decided that she was going to do a haka. (Note: Yes, the haka has a history among the maori people of being a war dance. Now, New it is also used as a way of greeting or saying goodbye. When Sister Chu Shing and her brother went on their missions, their family and friends did the haka in the airport). She only told me and then asked the Laytons if she could do something for them. She then did it. She scared so many people! Sister Chu Shing is normally soft spoken, but she can be loud when she wants to! I recorded it on my camera too. The Laytons loved it and, at the end, everyone was applauding. We then walked the Laytons to their car (ALL of us) and sent them off. It was a great night.
Let me take a minute to tell you about the couple that replaced the Laytons: the Nelsons. The Nelsons are from Mapleton, UT. Elder Nelson served his mission in New Zealand, so he and Sister Chu Shing are already best friends! He spoke to her in Maori the first time they met and she almost cried. They are both so kind and ask a lot of questions about what they need to do, since their training with the Laytons was only a week. I love them both already. :D
Thursday was Sister Lytle's birthday. She turned 20! In the morning, we got up and she opened presents. We then decorated the apartment and I baked the cake her mom sent in her birthday box. She loved it. She also loved the birthday card you sent her! That night, I went on an exchange with Hermana Reyes so that Sister Chu Shing and Hermana Gilvarry could prepare their STL presentation for ZTM. I had a great time visiting with Hermana Reyes.
On Friday, we had ZTM. It was really good. We talked about building a strong companionship, companionship unity, communication, following our leaders, and more. It was really good. We then went to lunch as a Zone and ate at the Institute building. After ZTM, we met with the elders and talked to them about what they are doing in the Branch and if we can help them. They gave us some great suggestions for some of the people we are teaching. We then had an early dinner with Linda at the mall. There is a place in the mall like 3 Flames Mongolian and we ate there! I loved it. Plus, Linda brought Anthony (her boyfriend, who the elders were teaching) so we got to visit with both of them. I am so happy with the progress Linda is making. She is fully active and has multiple callings in the ward and stake. She is doing so well!! :D
On Saturday, Sister Hansen was really sick. When we got up to go to morning sports, she told us that she had been throwing up most of the night. D: Sister Lytle stayed to take care of her and Sister Chu Shing and I went to morning sports, promising to bring back a couple of elders to give her a blessing. For morning sports, we played volleyball. Our zone is so much fun. After sports, our Zone Leaders came back with us to give Sister Hansen a blessing. They also went to the store and bought her saltines and sprite. They are awesome! Sister Chu Shing then went with Sister Lytle to service while I stayed with Sister Hansen. They then came back and we switched and I was with Sister Lytle. Sister Lytle and I went to a barbecue that one of their investigators was having to celebrate her baptism that night and to thank everyone who helped her. I felt a little out of place. The barbecue was fun though and we went straight from the barbecue to the church to prepare for the baptism.
The original plan was to have Sister Chu Shing bring Sister Hansen to the baptism and then Sister Chu Shing and I would go about our day, but Sister Connor (mission nurse) banned Sister Hansen from leaving the apartment! Sister Hansen was devestated to miss the baptism and Sister Lytle was so sad! Before the baptismal service, I got to talk to a deaf member of the ward. His name is Charles. He speaks a little and I think he can read lips, so I was able to communicate with him, using what little sign language I know. I never thought I would have the opportunity to use it on my mission! :D The baptism itself was great. After that, Sister Lytle and I went home and then Sister Chu Shing and I ran out of the apartment to get to the adult session of Stake conference. It was soooooo cool sitting in the back and watching the Vietmanese elders interpret the conference into Vietmanese on one side of the room, and some spanish members interpret the conference into Spanish on the other side (speaking into headsets).
On Sunday, we had more Stake Conference! Yay! Before the actual conference, they had a meeting for recent converts and we went to that. Only two of the recent converts from our Branch came, but that was okay. Daylight savings threw some of them off. That was awesome too because I got to see LIVE interpretations! A vietmanese YSA interpreted the story of a vietmanese recent convert and a Spanish bishop did one for a spanish speaking recent converts. The spanish missionaries were also doing interpretations. Soooooooo cool. :D Stake Conference was great too. Elder Mark Basset of the Seventy came to speak to us. He is awesome. One of my favorite parts was a sister from the Stake who shared her testimony about the temple. I want to go to the temple! I am excited to go next month! After Conference, we went home and did some visits before having dinner with the Jepsons. We then received a phone call from our roommates who told us that now Sister Lytle was sick! Turns out, it wasn't food poisoning. So, we went home early to help them both out. They were both finally able to get out of the apartment today. Sister Chu Shing and I are praying we don't catch it. We have also been sleeping in the livingroom so we don't bother them (we all sleep in one room).
Well, I was going to tell you about Santa Cruz yesterday, but I am pressed for time. I will have to do it in next week's email.
Love you guys. I hope you are having a great week! <3