Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Feel Like a Yo-Yo

Hello Family! 

Sorry this is so late. We were at the beach for most of our P-day. But, I will get to that! This week has been an emotional roller-coaster. Although, I shouldn't complain too much. I know of some missionaries who are going through really rough things! I will take my own trials, thank you!

Last Monday, we ended up not going to the beach with other missionaries. Instead, we just hung out as companions. It was fun.We then had dinner with the McArthurs and read scriptures with Sister McArthur. It was great. 

On Tuesday, we did some training and finding before lunch and then going to district meeting. It was a really good meeting! After the meeting, we went and saw Nicolette and taught her some of the commandments. She is so much fun to talk to. After that, we went and saw Nancy Jo. She was the less-active who came to Church on Sunday who I had been trying to meet since I came to Santa Cruz! Anyways, we met with her and got to know her better. We plan on seeing her regularly now. :) After that, we did some more finding before having dinner at home. (For finding, we have been looking at parks in our area and figuring out which ones would be good to go to to talk to people.) We then went and visited a member named Fether. That was really fun. We plan on seeing them again soon, too. 

Wednesday started out hard. We had our morning schedule, plus training, and then all of our plans were falling apart. Nobody we wanted to see was home and the appointment we had cancelled. So, after eating our feelings, we decided to go to a park and see if we could talk to someone before our next appointment. We were walking around this park when I saw a guy sitting on a bench. I felt that I needed to talk to him. I hesitated and walked past him. It then felt like the Spirit was saying "Sara, go talk to him! Right now!" Finally, I told Sister Kelly that I felt we needed to talk to him. So, we turned around and I started talking to him. We had a lesson with him and set up an appointment for this week! You know what that means? We got a new investigator!!!!!!!! His name is Michael. After that, we were on cloud nine, and went to our appointment with Rhonda, Phillip, and Joseph. We shared a message with them about families. After that, we did more finding and then went to dinner with the Kings (I love them!). After dinner, we called former investigators to see if they wanted to meet up. It was a very good day! :D 

On Thursday, we were busy. After training, we went and visited Glenna and shared a really awesome talk about families ("What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest" by M Russell Ballard. Look it up if you want!). We then went with a member named Phyllis to see Adelaide. We talked to Adelaide about the Spirit. Something fun happened though, when we left that appointment. I gave Phyllis a hug and told her that one of my grandmas was named Phyllis. She smiled and said that she would be my "other grandma"! :D I thought that was so cute! We then tried to visit a member named Rina. We set up an appointment to see her this week. We then went and saw Renee (I love her!). We answered her questions about Gospel Doctrine and then talked more about nerdy language things and twin stories. :) After that, we had dinner at home and went to visit Sister Crain. She asked if we can do the missionary lessons with her, so we taught her the Restoration. It went very well! 

On Friday, we had service at the soup kitchen. Sister Kelly and I were pouring drinks for the homeless people and helping them out. I went to go get some more water in my pitcher when all of the sudden someone starts yelling for the woman in charge of the kitchen (turned out to be Sister Kelly)! I rush over there, because it happened by our drink station, and a woman was lying on the floor. Apparently, she had started shaking and slipped off her chair. Her sons were there, holding her. The director of the kitchen rushed over and told me to go call 9-1-1, so I ran into the back where the phone was and called 9-1-1 for the first time in my life. Once again, I also learned that human beings are USELESS in a crisis! People were just standing there! Come on, help or move out of the way! Anyways, the police and an ambulance came and I went back to the drink station. In the end, the woman refused to go to the hospital and stormed out of the kitchen. The police stayed to ask people questions (they didn't talk to us). After that, Sister Kelly and I went and got ourselves a treat! I don't think either one of us calmed down for at least an hour! Thankfully, all we had right after that was weekly planning. After weekly planning, we set up some appointments with people and then had dinner with the Hayes. It was fun. We then did some more finding. It was a pretty hectic day! :) 

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon and evening in SLV. We tried to go see Alice, but she was still in Oakland (she went through the temple that day). We then went and saw Sister Dallenbach. She is doing about the same as usual. Her dog, Gigi, is doing better, though. We helped her put puzzles together for a couple of hours. :) We then had a dinner appt. on the other side of the valley and up a mountain. I got so carsick! :( We had a great dinner there, though. I took a Dramamine for the way down the mountain! After that, we texted the ward mission leaders for Sunday and reminded Michael about church. 

On Sunday, we only had six hours of church. Yay! We went to SLV for sacrament meeting. I like church in SLV. You never know what is going to happen. :) I was asked to bear my testimony. Thankfully, I had had a little warning! After that, we raced back to Santa Cruz for lunch and then we went to branch council. We texted Michael about Church, but he never texted back. We waited for him before sacrament meeting, but he never came. He did text a couple hours later apologizing for not coming, though! :) The rest of church went well, too. We talked about feeling the spirit and about keeping the sabbath day holy. After that, we did some training and then went to the Martins for dinner (I love them! Sister Kelly always teases me because apparently I say I love everyone. I only say it for people I love though!). We talked to them about sharing the gospel with their neighbors. We also found out that a French couple just moved in to their neighborhood and Sister Martin wants to have them and us over for dinner! :D That would be so cool! What if we got to teach them?! :D 

Today was really fun. One of the people Elder Staker came down and brought the Livermore Zone, too. We got to play on the beach and have lunch with them. I got to see Sister Lytle and Sister Pattison, too! :D President and Sister Mella also came down. It was so much fun. I got sunburned, though (haha). 

Well, I better run. We still have some last minute P-day things to do and then we have dinner. 

Love you lots!!!!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Busy Learning and Teaching


How are you all doing? I hope everything is going well. We had a busy week this week! 

Beautiful California Sunset
On Monday, after P-day, we had dinner with a family in the Capitola ward. It was a young married couple with a new baby. They were so nice! We had a great dinner outside on their  back deck and
talked. The husband also has a love for languages, so we talked about languages for a while. After dinner, we went to FHE. For FHE, everyone was painting with water-colors. It was fun to just draw and paint! :D Everyone had really great pictures, too!

On Tuesday, we had an appointment with Nicolette. We taught her about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. She had a lot of really great questions. She is hoping to leave for school soon, so we may not have much longer to teach her "new member lessons". After that, Ruby met us to go see Juana. Ruby did a great job as an interpreter. The only problem is that Juana remembered that I prayed in Spanish last time, so she asked me to pray. *facepalm* Ah well, if she wants to hear my horrible spanish, she wants to hear my horrible spanish. We talked to Ruby afterwards about Juana, and we have decided not to teach her the lessons. Given her age, she just doesn't understand what we are teaching her. We will still come and share a spiritual message with her, though. She is so cute and she loves it when we come. :) We then went and saw Renee. She had a lot of questions about what she learned about in Church, so we mainly talked about that. She and I also talked about twins and nerdy language-loving stuff. :) It was fun. We then had dinner and then went to see Brenda. Brenda's lesson was...well, it was a learning opportunity, for sure. 

On Wednesday, we were on exchanges. But, it wasn't a normal exchange. So, we had our morning routine (exercise, breakfast, personal study, companionship study) together, and then the STLs came to our apartment and we split off. I was with Sister Snyder and we went finding. Meaning, we talked around the mall and talked to people. We had an interesting conversation with one guy. 

Him: You guys are Mormons?
Us: Yes! Have you seen missionaries like us before?
Him: Yeah. I usually reject them.
Us: ...Oh. 

We did end up giving him a mormon.org card in case he ever changes his mind. :D After that, we had lunch and did some more finding before going to the Church for interviews with President Mella. My interview went well. He asked how everything was going and we had a nice chat about it. I needed that. :) After that, we changed companions and I was with Sister Scarr. We went to a park and looked for people to teach, too. After that, we went to dinner. Where I was attacked by four adorable fluffy malteses. It was fun. :) After dinner, we exchanged back and Sister Kelly and I tried to go see someone. She wasn't home, though. 

On Thursday, we had a lot of our plans fall through, but it was still a good day! We went and saw Glenna, and shared a message with her. We then tried to visit former investigators, but no one was home. We then had some appointments cancel, so we tried to find a referral someone had given us. We found her and she is going to call us when she is available!!!!!! :D We then had an early dinner and checked out this chocolate shop near our apartment. It was so cool! I got a tiny chocolate Eiffel Tower! :D I totally want to go back there! After dinner we prepared the part we were supposed to teach in
ZTM the next day and then went and read scriptures with the McArthurs.

On Friday, we had ZTM in Watsonville. It was really good.We also had lunch as a zone before leaving to go back to Santa Cruz. We then weekly planned before going to see a less-active who the elders asked us to see (they have been giving us less-actives to see! Yay!). We had a great lesson. We then had dinner before going to see Krystal. We had a really good lesson with her. We read 2 Nephi 31 and talked about it. She shared some things with us that were really helpful to me. I love it when that happens. :) 

Our 3 practice "investigators. They listen very well! :)
On Saturday, we worked a lot on training. I have been training Sister Kelly on The Plan of Salvation. She is doing well with it. :) We then went to SLV. We saw Alice and answered some last-minute questions about the temple (she goes through this Saturday!). It was fun. We then saw Dottie and shared a scripture story with her. After that, we had lunch with our ward mission leader and his wife. It was hot in SLV that day. Our car said 108! Anyways, after lunch, we went to see Sister Dallenbach. She is doing about the same. :) We then had dinner at home before working on finding and calling the ward mission leaders for Sunday. 

On Sunday, we did the huge stretch of Church again because we had invited some people to come on Wednesday. They didn't come, though. So, we had ward council at 8h00, then sacrament at 9h00, then ward council at 10h00, then sacrament at 11h00, and a quick lunch at 11h30. Then, instead of branch council, we were asked to teach Gospel Principles, so we did that instead. And, lo and behold, a less-active, who I have been trying to meet ever since coming to Santa Cruz walked in! Now I know why we
came to those wards! We are going to try to meet with her this week. The lesson itself was good. We taught about talents; always a fun topic. We then had sacrament at 1h00, sunday school at 2h00 and relief society at 3h00. Poor Sister Kelly was exhausted. She isn't used to eight hours of Church! After that, we had dinner with a family in Santa Cruz ward. It was really fun. We then did some training and Sister Kelly and I mainly worked on the Plan of Salvation. It was great.

Today has been a good day so far. We did laundry and studies and now we are emailing. We heard that a whole bunch of zones are coming to the beach, but we will see. If they do, we will go hang out with them. :) 

My comp took the great pictures. :D

Love you lots! Have a great week. :D 



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fun Week!

This has been a good week. Let me start with last P-day...

So, the Zone Leaders didn't have anything planned for the Zone to get together, and the Watsonville Sisters invited us to come down and play games. So, we went and played games with them and the Watsonville elders after they showed up. It was really fun. After that we came back and had dinner before working on the area book and finding.

On Tuesday, Sister Kelly and I did some training at the Church when Elder Staker (my District Leader) and Elder Lund (being trained by Elder Staker) showed up. Elder Staker asked if we could train together and we did. It was fun. Sister Kelly really enjoyed it, so we have plans to train together again this week. Anything to make training a little more exciting. I remember doing group training with Sister Hill and Sister Lytle and Elder Ball and Elder Methvin. :) After that, we had lunch and tried to see Nicole. She was home, but asked us to come on Friday instead. We then went and saw Renee. I had the idea to give her one of my French copies of The Book of Mormon to help her with her reading. She loved it! :) After Renee, we had dinner with Phillip, Rhonda, and Joseph. We shared a message with them about families. They really enjoyed it. After that, we tried to see someone, but they weren't home. We then did some training and worked on the area book (transferring it to the iPad app). 

On Wednesday, we did some training before working some more on the area book. Oh, and Sister Kelly taught me to sew a button and helped me fix one of my shirts. :) We then met up with Courtney and went out to lunch with her and her family on the wharf. It was so fun! We then had an appointment with a recent convert named Nicolette. She came up to us last Sunday and explained that she still needed to do her new member lessons. And of course we agreed to do them! So, we went over to her house and taught her The Plan of Salvation again. It was great. :) Later that evening, we had dinner with the Kings. I love the Kings! It was so much fun! :) After dinner, we were going to see Brenda but she was busy. So, we went and finished transferring the area book! Yay! 

On Thursday, we  went to Monterey for a training meeting (we were all calling it "Mini Zone Conference"). It was so much fun to go back down to Monterey! :D For the meeting, we talked about an article called "Why is Jesus Christ Important in My Life?" and Ezra Taft Benson's Talk "A Mighty Change of Heart". Then, the APs went over some things with the iPads and about elders and sisters. Sister Mella then did a presentation about stress and managing your stress as a missionary. It was really good! :) After that, we went back to Santa Cruz for lunch. We then went and saw Glenna. We shared with her a message about the talk "The Lord is My Light" by Quentin L Cook. I also met one of her dogs that I haven't met. It is an enormous sheep dog named Happy. She is so cute!!!! After that, we went and visited the Torres family. After that, we got to meet with Tina. I haven't seen her in a long time, so it was great! We talked more with her about the temple. She really wants to go to the Visitor's Center again. After that, we went to see Adelaide, and had a member (Ella) with us. We shared with her the story of Saul (acts 9) and showed her a video by Dieter F Uchtdorf about how we all are on the road to Damascus. She really liked it! Having Ella there was a huge blessing too! Afterwards, we went with Ella to the park and talked to people. We didn't get anyone who was super interested, but you never know until you try. :) Ella then took us to dinner and we met up with her friend Ruby who just got back from her mission in Mexico. Ruby is going with us tomorrow to see Juana. :) After dinner, we went home and did training. 

On Friday, we had the Soup Kitchen. Boy, was that the day to be there! Little Caesar's came and made a TON of pizza for all the homeless people! In fact, there was so much left, that Sister Kelly and I took a box home. :) After that, we weekly planned and set some good goals. I also found out that my referral for a sleep study was never sent and that I need to check back this week. Ugh! We were going to go see Nicole after that, but she texted us earlier saying that she wasn't feeling well. So, we cleaned our apartment. After that, we went to the church to work on some things when we got a phone call from a member in the Santa Cruz ward. The person who was supposed to speak cancelled and this member wanted to know if we would speak! I volunteered, since Sister Kelly was going to be speaking in the YSA Branch.

On Saturday, we went to the Food Bank in Watsonville to do some more service. It was really fun. We made an assembly line and filled bags with food for people. We did about 2800 bags! :D I am excited to go back there. Almost the whole zone was there, too. After the service, we all got lunch at a little Mexican place in Watsonville. After that, we went back to Santa Cruz to get ready for the rest of the day. We then had studies (I worked on my talk) and then left for SLV. We went and saw Dottie and shared Elder Holland's "Good Things to Come". She enjoyed it. We then tried to see Alice, but she wasn't home. So, we went to see Sister Dallenbach. I think her dog, Gigi finally likes me! :D After Sister Dallenbach, we had dinner with a member of the SLV ward. It was fun. We then went out with our YSAs for a bit before going back home to prepare for Sunday meetings. 

On Sunday, we had ward council in Santa Cruz and then Santa Cruz sacrament meeting. I spoke in Sacrament and everyone told me that I did really well! I will have to send you a copy of the talk. In fact, a man stopped me and told me that he was a mission president years ago and that my talk was one of the best ones he had heard. And he worked with over 500 missionaries! We then had Capitola ward and then our YSA branch. Sister Kelly gave a good talk in the Branch about Fellowshipping. :) After Church, we had dinner at home (Sister Kelly made something from home) and training. It was a good night. :) 

Well, that be about all for here. I hope you are all having a great day and that you will have a great week. Love you lots and lots! *hugs*



Friday, August 7, 2015

Training Adventures and a Heart Break

Hello Family, 

I won't beat around the bush. This week was hard. Let me tell you about it. 

P-day was really fun. After emailing you and getting our errands done, we hung out on the beach with the Zone. It was super fun to see the Watsonville missionaries again! :D We had a great time running around and trying to avoid the water (haha). For FHE, the Branch did an "iron chef" activity where we all divided into teams and worked together to make pancakes. It was so much fun!

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting. I really like our district. After district meeting, we had lunch and training at home. I worked with Sister Kelly on "How to Begin Teaching" (basically, making a good impression with the investigator and explaining to them what is going to be happening). We then tried to visit people and then tried contacting. It was all right. Contacting doesn't really work in Santa Cruz. Everyone is at the beach, and then most people there aren't even from here. So, it is hard. That evening, we went and saw Renee and shared a message with her about the Spirit. We then went to the Stake Pioneer Picnic. It was so much fun! After that, we went and saw Brenda, and shared a message with her about charity. She liked it. 

On Wednesday, I hit nine months! Wow! In the morning, we did some more training and I taught Sister Kelly how to teach The Restoration with the pamphlet. We then saw Glenna before going out to lunch to celebrate my nine months. We then went and saw Juana and shared a message with her about the Holy Ghost. After that, we decided to go see Laura (see if she was back in town yet). We knocked on the door, only to have someone tell us that she had died three days ago. My heart broke. As Sister Kelly and I walked back to the car, I said that I wanted ice cream and we went and got frozen yogurt. She wanted to tell the elders what had happened and I said okay. My district leader and his companion called and wanted to talk to me. I asked them to give me a blessing that night. I wanted to keep working though, so, after frozen yogurt, we went and saw a sister who someone in the Relief Society had asked us to see. We had fun talking with her and shared a message about how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. We then went home to work on things and had dinner. After dinner, we went to the church and I talked with the elders about Laura before they gave me the blessing. That night, I didn't go out. I worked on other things. It was a really really hard day. 

On Thursday, we tried to see a less-active family in Scott's Valley, but they live at the top of a mountain and getting up there was a nightmare. So...that didn't happen. We then had lunch before going to see Nicole. She wasn't home, and while I was backing Sister Kelly out of the driveway, she slipped off the side (it is a big driveway with a curb) and got stuck. *facepalm* So, we had to walk back up to Nicole's and go up to where her landlord lives and ask him if he could help us. He tied a rope to his truck and our car and was able to yank us free. Thank heavens! We then went and met with Rhonda, Phillip, and Joseph. After that, we went and saw the  Bush family. We then had dinner before doing more training on the Restoration. We then went to Marianne's with Courtney and Trevor. It was mainly to say goodbye to Trevor, because he left for Utah this weekend.

On Friday, we went to the soup kitchen for service. It was good. :) I really like serving there. After the soup kitchen, I had a doctor's appointment in Aptos. I went so that they could send a referral for me to get a sleep study. Hopefully, they will call me back this week and I can get tested! After that, we came back home and weekly planned. After planning we had dinner, and then we went to see Krystal.

On Saturday, we did more training on the Restoration and then went to SLV. We saw Dottie and taught her about The Holy Ghost. She really liked it. We then saw Alice and talked to her about the temple. The Oakland temple opens back up tomorrow and she should be going through this week or next! :D After Alice, we tried to see Sister Dallenbach, but she wasn't home. We then went back home and picked up some things before going to Watsonville for Elsa's baptism. :) I can't describe the feeling of coming back and seeing someone you taught baptized. I love it! It was a really good baptism. After the baptism, we got dinner and then spent some time with our YSA's.

On Sunday, we went to three of our wards again. There were some really great testimonies shared. One man talked about the difference between progress and perfection. He shared that life is about progress and shared Mosiah 4:27. He also said that the Atonement makes progression and perfection possible. That really meant a lot to me. One of the elders also shared his testimony about how no effort is wasted in missionary work. That meant a lot to me, too. After church, we stayed for Break the Fast (they call it Sabbath Supper here). After that, we did some training and Sister Kelly taught me the Restoration. She did a great job! :) 

Today has been good so far. We did our laundry, and now I am emailing you. Not sure what we are doing as a zone today. I heard a rumor that the missionaries from Monterey are coming up, so we may hang out with them. :) I also plan to finish The Book of Mormon today! I am soooo close to being done! (Then I am going to start reading it in French again). 

Have a wonderful week! I love you so much!!!! 

Love, Sara
Coast of Santa Cruz, CA
Sister Palmer with her brand new trainee, Sister Kelly
Getting ice cream with some of the YSA's
Sister Palmer and Sister Kelly on the Santa Cruz beach

Sister Palmer and Sister Wolfe at the soup kitchen volunteering (in July)