Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sisters on Parade

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. :) Things are going well here in Santa Cruz. We had an interesting week this week! It was a rough week for teaching though, with everyone going out of town for Memorial Day weekend... Anyways, let me tell you about our week. :D

On Tuesday, we had dinner with the Kings. She made tacos. I was in heaven. :D I love eating with the Kings. They are so much fun. We then taught Tiana. We started teaching her the commandments. We hope to finish them up next time. We also went and saw Laura. Apparently, the doctor told her that she is cancer free! :) After Sister Wolfe and I got home and planned, we also made cookies. Cake-mix chocolate chip. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuum. 

On Wednesday, we went to a picnic at one of our branches and helped serve the food and do whatever else they needed us to do. We were there for most of the day. It was really fun. After the service, we went to Courtney's for dinner. We had curry. :D That night, we went to see Krystal, a less-active. We talked to her and shared from President Uchtdorf's talk "Forget Me Not". It has been a long time since I read that. :)

On Thursday, we had a fun adventure. Sister Wolfe wanted to try boba, so we went to a place that had it. The guy at the counter was really interested in Sister Wolfe. He kept staring at her and talking to her. To the point where I almost didn't get to order! It was pretty funny, and weird. >< We also met with a new investigator! Well, I'm not really sure what we should call her. The members in Santa Cruz ward told us to visit a girl named Morgan. Her mom is less-active and her dad is not a member. They said that she needed to be taught so she could be baptized. It sounded like another Tiana, so we decided to go for it. We talked to Morgan, only to find out that she is seven! So, we taught her the Restoration, and she already knew a lot of it. So, we are not really sure what to do about her (if it is really our responsibility to teach her or not). We will be talking to our leaders about her. We also had dinner with them and then worked on some preparations for our big finding activity (I will get to that!). Later that night, the sisters in my last area called me (Sister Chu Shing and Sister Tuitupou). They called me to tell me that Michelle is getting baptized!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Unfortunately, her baptism is the same day as Tiana, so I will probably miss it. :< 

On Friday, we went to the soup kitchen for service. It was fun. One of the homeless guys told me that I have pretty blue eyes. :) That made my morning! After the soup kitchen, we did some more service for a member who is moving and asked us to help her pack. We then did some visits before going out to one of our branches for dinner (the same branch we were in on Wednesday). This branch is in the mountains and the woman we had dinner with was definitely a country girl. She told us about how when she was a girl (she is 87 right now) she would ride to school on horseback! We had a fun dinner with her. 

On Saturday, we did a super fun finding activity. We marched in the Memorial Day parade in Felton (San Lorenzo Valley). We got together with members in the Santa Cruz ward and marched in the parade, wearing Mormon Helping Hands shirts. The best part of the whole parade though was when the car in front of us broke down. So, we all had to push the car! Mormon Helping Hands in action!!!!! :D People will probably remember that! After that, we went to lunch and then to visit some older members. Always an adventure when we go to SLV. :) We also had dinner with our ward mission leader in SLV and that was fun. We then came home (we were there for dinner and had a missionary coorelation meeting, so we didn't get back to Santa Cruz until it was time to be home). 

On Sunday, we had another long day of Church. About eight hours this time. We had sacrament meeting in our first ward, then ward council in our second ward, then sacrament meeting in our second ward, then lunch, then branch council, then the whole block for the branch. We then came home and were going to plan, but took a nap. We then went to dinner and then came back home. It was a busy, good day. 

Today will be interesting, given that not everywhere will be open. We are going to go to a cemetery, and then  we are off to run some errands. It should be a pretty relaxed day. :D Have a great day. I love you!!!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exchanges, Service, French, and More!


How is everyone? I hope that you are all doing well. This has been a week to remember! :D

On Monday night, the Sister Training Leaders called and asked if we could move our exchange to Tuesday. Meaning that we would be exchanging that night. That wouldn't have been an issue if we hadn't had a lot planned for Tuesday, and that the STLs are all the way in Monterey! We said yes, though, and offered to meet them part way (we met in Salinas). I was with Hermana Sinclair, who I know really well from my time in San Jose. :)

On Tuesday, we had studies and then we went to a service activity called Project Homeless Connect. We went to this arena where they had a bunch of booths set up for the homeless people (ie. food, clothing, medical, legal, emotional, housing, etc.), and advocates (volunteers like us) walking them around and helping them. Hermana Sinclair and I were there for a few hours and helped some people. Some of them were really grateful, and some of them not so much. Oh well. Apparently, they have been doing this service for years. They are going to do another one in about six months in Watsonville, too. After the service, we went to some appointments and then to dinner. Our dinner was with the Hickens (who we are good friends with). Sister Hicken is Thai, so she made us Thai food. Yummmmm! After that, we met with our investigator, Tiana. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and drew it all out. It was fun. After that, we went back home so Hermana Sinclair could pack up and exchanged back. It was a good day. 

On Wednesday, we went to Cabrillo to CSU campus. The semester is ending, so this week will probably be our last time there. After that, we were going to meet with our investigator Sheena, but she forgot. We then had lunch and went to a birthday party for one of our less-actives named Phillip. He was so happy that we came! After that, we did some visits and visited a recent convert named Laura. She has been really sick (she has cancer) and she was glad to see us. 

On Thursday, we were back at Cabrillo and I got to talk to Chelsea!!!! She walked up to the table and I seized my chance to ask her if she spoke French. It is her first language! We spoke in French for a while at the table and I was bold enough to ask her about the Church and if she wanted to learn more. She told me that she is Catholic, but she is reading The Book of Mormon and she is interested in what she has read. She said she is kind of "between the two". She will be at Church this Sunday!! :) After that, we met with some more people before having dinner. After dinner, we met with Tiana again. We taught her about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was great! Also, I finished reading the book Jesus the Christ! I loved it! You should try to read it again! :D 

On Friday, we were doing service at the soup kitchen. There were a lot of people there. It was fun to work and really feel like we were being helpful. :) We also went and saw a member named Renee. She reminds me a lot of me. She is an introvert, a twin, and she is multilingual. We taught her about prayer. We also went around looking for places to go contacting. Santa Cruz is so beautiful! We also have a good idea of a way to find people, that we will be trying this week (stay tuned). We then had dinner at the Judd's. I gave her a hug for you Mom! :D I love eating with them. We then went and saw a less-active named Krystal. We saw a miracle on the way out of Krystal's appointment. We got out of her appointment late, and we had to walk down the street a little ways to our car. As we were walking, a guy was walking down the street the other way, making a lot of noise (probably drunk or on drugs). Sister Wolfe grabbed her can of mace and I was ready to beat him with my bag. We walked past him and he didn't even see us. He didn't even see us! What a miracle! We ran the rest of the way to the car! 

On Saturday, we were in San Lorenzo Vally visiting people. We visited that older lady (she is still completely crazy and the dog is still trying to eat his foot off. Still no meat cleaver). We also saw Dottie. She is an older woman who has almost no hearing. So, there is no pressure if you say something wrong. :) Also, to keep ourselves entertained while in the car, I have been telling Sister Wolfe the plots to classic books (she loves it). We are almost done with all of Jane Austen's books. After dinner in San Lorenzo Valley, we spent time with our YSA. It was fun. 

On Sunday, we had nine hours of Church. D: At 7h30 we had Branch Council in one of our wards and left part way through Sacrament meeting to go to Ward Council in another ward. We went to part of their Sacrament meeting and left early for lunch (a member in one of the wards brings us lunch. We love her!!). After a quick lunch we taught Sunday School in our second ward and we also went to Primary (they asked Sister Wolfe to play the piano). We then went to Gospel Doctrine class in our third ward and Relief Society. We then had dinner and came home to weekly plan. It was a crazy long day! It was better this time though, probably because I had food this time (last time we did this was on Fast Sunday). 

All in all, we have had an eventful week. We have a lot planned for this week, too. Today, we have errands to run and we will probably go to the Zone Activity. 

Love you!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oh, they say when you're baptized in June...


First off all, it was AWESOME to Skype you on Mother's Day! :) But, I am getting ahead of myself. We had a great week this week, and I want to do it justice. 

On Monday, we had dinner with Lilian (a member of one of our wards). We went to a Taqueria (they are all over California). It was yummy. For FHE, the Branch did Zumba. Sister Wolfe and I stood in the back and tried to do it, but we didn't do very well (hahahaha). We left early. 

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting on the beach again. The elders were half an hour late, so Sister Wolfe and I walked around on the beach. While we were walking, there was a seal on the beach. We watched him for a while and named him Sebastian. It turns out, he had a fish-hook in him, and at the end of District Meeting we watched the beach patrol capture him and put him in the back of a truck. For District Meeting, I got to teach a little segment on teaching by the Spirit. The Spirit is so important to missionary work! 

On Wednesday, we went and got bagels on our way to an appointment. We both love bagels and we found this bagel shop that has really yummy bagels. It is an odd little place, but it is good. We then went to see one of our investigators, but she wasn't home (we think that she forgot). We then came back home and cleaned for a couple of hours because we had interviews with President Mella. Interviews were awesome. I got to talk to President about whatever I wanted to. I love him so much!!!! I'd hug him if I could. (Actually, I told him that and he offered me a virtual hug. XD) After that, we rewarded ourselves with food for getting our apartment clean. :D 

Thursday was a gloomy day. It rained practically the entire day. I felt like I was back in western Washington (seriously, with the trees and rain, it felt like it). We did, however, still go to Cabrillo. We didn't get to talk to as many people, just because people didn't want to stop in the rain and talk to us. No Chelsea either. :< That afternoon, we decided to go visit an older woman named Glenna. That night, we taught a new investigator. A member from one of our wards called us and asked us to teach his 9 year old granddaughter and said that she wanted to get baptized! So, we went and taught her. Her name is Tiana.  It was really cool, because there were a lot of people there who sat and listened/watched as we taught her. I would never have been able to teach in front of that many people (and remain calm) before my mission! We are excited to see what happens. Maybe some of those other people (including her Mom) will be interested in hearing more? :) Her baptismal date is 6 June!!!!

On Friday, we had service in Watsonville (so, we didn't get to go to the soup kitchen *sigh*). We went to an old fire station and helped set up for a graduation. Afterwards, we came back to Santa Cruz. We taught one of our investigators, Carol Beth. She has been investigating for years. We are trying to figure out how to help her. That night, we had dinner in one of our branches out in the middle of nowhere. We had to drive up a mountain to get to the place where we were eating. We go there every other Friday, so I will be taking Dramamine every other Friday! After that, we had frozen yogurt with some of our YSAs. It was fun. 

On Saturday, we had another service. We went and helped out at the Human Race. We stood at the finish line and cheered people on as they finished the race. One of the women we visit was in it, too. That was great. After that, we went to San Lorenzo Valley to see some of the people in our ward there. There are crazy people who live out there! They have a Bigfoot Museum there that Sister Wolfe and I really want to go to. One of the people we see is an older woman who lives alone with her small dog. She has no memory and the dog is trying to eat its own foot. She is threatening to cut the dog's foot off, and even went after it with a meat cleaver when Sister Qaqa was still here. So far, I have not seen the meat cleaver... I promise to keep an eye on my feet! ;)  After some time in SLV, we went back to Santa Cruz for a YSA activity. They had a bonfire on the beach. The missionaries and part of the Branch presidency were the only ones to show up! We had hot dogs and s'mores (yum). :) 

On Sunday, we went to Church from 10h00 to 4h00. So, not at much as last time. :) After Church, we went to the McArthurs for dinner. We helped prepare dinner and then skyped with you guys. That was so awesome! ^_^ After that, we had dinner and then read scriptures with Sister McArthur. We then went home and weekly planned. It was a good night. 

Today has been good. Sister Wolfe and I are going to do laundry after this and maybe go to the Zone Activity. We will see. That's about all for here, though. I hope you are having a great day and that you have an awesome week. 

Love you lots!!!!!!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy...


Wow, this was a crazy busy week! Let me explain...

On Monday, for FHE, we had games and root-beer floats. We played Scattergories, and I thought of you all. Sister Wolfe had never played, but she did a great job! It was fun. 

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting. At the beach. We went and sat on the beach and had District Meeting. We have a really tiny district, and Sister Wolfe and I are the only two sisters. It is kind of annoying, but also fun because we get to laugh at the ridiculous things the elders do. For example, we wanted to take a district picture, and the elders decided to take it on this cliff. So we did, and then Sister Wolfe and I stayed away from the edge, looking at the ocean. The elders went to the edge and got soaked! They complained that they were freezing, and we laughed. It is moments like that when I remember that the elders ARE 18 year old boys!!!!! That night, I had a fun experience at dinner. We ate with a family in Scotts Valley named the Doltons (Dole-tons). We were talking about school and when I mentioned that I wanted to study French, I found out that one of the boys in the family was learning French in school! I got to talk to him! It was awesome! :) 

On Wednesday, I hit my six month mark. It doesn't feel like I have been on my mission for six months. Not at all. We worked really hard that day, too! It was awesome. In the afternoon, we went and saw Juanita. She is an older, hispanic woman who lives in a nursing home. We take Trevor (a member of the YSA Branch we serve in) with us to interpret (he learned Spanish on his mission in Bolivia). We taught her about faith. We then went and saw another woman named June and set up an appointment with her. We then saw a less-active named Jen and taught her about the priesthood. That went well. We then had dinner (and dessert) with Lilian. She tries to feed us every week. She is so nice! We then went and visited a woman named Sister Crain. She has a lot of health challenges, which is why we have never seen her at Church. We then went on splits. I went with a sister in one of the wards to visit Brenda, who is less-active. She is really nice, but she had a lot going on in her life right now. Sister Wolfe went with a sister to visit a recent convert named Laura. It was good. 

It was hot on Thursday. It got up to almost 90. Is it getting really hot in Richland and Rexburg yet? On Thursday morning, we cleaned and then went to Cabrillo (the college where we have the table). The elders couldn't make it, so it was just us. We couldn't set up in our usual place because a bunch of students had really graphic signs up about abortion and were arguing with those passing by. We decided that we didn't want to be affiliated with that in any way, and set up somewhere else on campus. We did have people come and ask questions, but we also had Bible bashers. *sigh* I didn't get to talk to Chelsea either. Oh well. Next time. After Cabrillo, we went to Marianne's with Courtney. After that, we went to Courtney's house to make dinner. It was good. 

Friday was hard, but it was a good day too. I survived my birthday and being homesick. I opened presents first thing in the morning. Thank you so much! After studies, we went to the soup kitchen. This time, Sister Wolfe and I were in charge of greeting everyone as they came in. I also said the prayer before everyone came in to eat. It was a little intimidating! It is really fun volunteering there, though. :) After the soup kitchen, we went to go pick up a cake pan so I could make my birthday cake. We had an interesting conversation with Sister Martin, the woman we borrowed it from: 

Sister Martin: So, are you making a cake for someone?
Sister Wolfe: It is Sister Palmer's birthday
Sister Martin: Happy Birthday! Do you have a dinner? Who is it?
Sister Wolfe: The Judds
Sister Martin: Well, I will have to let them know that it is your birthday! :) 
Me: *laughs* Okay, thank you

Sister Palmer with Birthday Balloon and Cake
When we went to dinner, I found out that Sister Martin is true to her word. I walked into the Judds house to see a Happy Birthday banner and a balloon tied to the door! We talked to Brother Judd (one of the ward mission leaders) for a while and then Sister Judd came out with a present for me! We talked for a little bit and then had dinner. After dinner, we had cake, and Sister Judd put candles in it. They then sang Happy Birthday to me while Brother Judd played it on his accordion! It was awesome! After that, we went to the Church to meet with Ali (from my last area). She drove down to Santa Cruz to give me a present. She also played me a voice message Sister Bliss had sent, singing me Happy Birthday. :) All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday was great too. After Personal Study, we went with one of our wards to the temple! We went to the temple and had lunch at the Stake Center right next to the temple. We then went to the Visitor's Center and watched "Meet the Mormons". Do not watch it until after I get back. They talk to a woman who is a Misisonary Mom, and Sister Wolfe and I almost started crying. After the movie, a lot of people left, but Sister Wolfe and I stuck around, waiting for the husband of the woman who was giving us a ride home because he was inside the temple with the elders doing initiatories (we were a little jealous!). We waited in the Visitor's Center and I got to see people from my last area, along with listening to the message of the Christus in Spanish. (I want to hear it in French again, but I will probably wait until I go back to the Idaho Falls one). On the ride home, we watched a church movie. It was fun. We then had dinner with Trevor before going to frozen yogurt with the YSA. It was great. 

Sunday was crazy. We went to three of our five wards! Thankfully, they were all in the same building! At 7h30, we were at our first ward council. We then went to the first part of that ward's sacrament meeting at 9h00, before leaving for a missionary correlation meeting at 9h30 and our second ward council at 10h00. We then went to sacrament meeting in that second ward at11h00 and then to our YSA Branch's branch council at 12h00. We then went to the whole branch from 1h00 to 4h00. After that, we had Break the Fast from 4h00 to 5h00. By 5h00 I was so tired! I am beginning to understand how you feel on Sundays, Dad. >< After that, we had an appointment, but then we came home and planned. It was a much needed break.

Today has been a good day so far. We studied and did laundry. Now, we are emailing and will be off to run errands. Not sure yet if we will go to the Zone Activity, it depends on what they want to do. Tonight, we have dinner with Lillian and then FHE with our YSA. It will be great.