Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Skipping in the Septic Tank



Hello! 

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!

-Sara

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!

Sara

Another Transfer Gone....

12 October 2015



Hello, 

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. :) 

Love, 

Sara

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Love General Conference Weekend!



Hello Family, 

How is everyone? :) This week was good. The week leading up to Conference is always awesome because we try to get everyone excited for Conference, and we get to go to the temple! :D Let me take you through what happened. 

For FHE on Monday, we went laser tagging with our YSA. It was really fun! I never try to win or anything; just try to hit more people than people hit me. After that, we got dessert and then went home. It was great. 

On Tuesday, I hit eleven months. I have a feeling these next seven months are going to be even quicker (for me, anyways)! It seemed to come so quickly. I don't feel like I have been on a mission that long! Anyways, that morning we had District Meeting. For part of it, we shared our favorite scriptures and why they are our favorite. I shared Isaiah 41:10. It was great. :D After District Meeting, we went and got a├žai bowls. They were yummy! We then had an appointment with Nicolette. We talked to her about the priesthood. It went really well. We then did some service for a woman named Elva in one of our wards. We went over to her house and helped her clean. The elders were there too, and that was fun. That night, we had dinner with the Jones. It was just Sister Jones and she took us out, and we ate on the beach. So fun! It was a great night. 

On Wednesday, we went to the temple! A member in SLV drove us there and we went with a couple of other people, including Alice. :) We also ended up going to the same session as the elders in our Zone! They recently remodeled the Oakland Temple, and it looks so beautiful. It was really really great. After the session, we got a picture outside the temple with our district. (It was actually raining in Oakland!) After the temple, we all went and got lunch, before heading back to SLV. We then drove home to Santa Cruz. Once we got home, I made dinner (enchiladas! yay!). After dinner, we went and saw Krystal. It was a great day!

On Thursday, I had an amusing phone call with someone. We got a woman's name from the referral system with a note that said that she had requested a copy of the Book of Mormon. So, I called her. 

Me: Hello, is this [name]?
Her: Yes
Me: Hi, this is the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How are you doing today?
Her: Good.
Me: We got your number and a note saying that you wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon?
Her: Yes. I hear there is a musical?
Me: Umm...
Her: I wanted to order tickets.
Me: Oh, no. We don't work with the musical. We have the book. If you are interested in that-
Her: No, thanks. My friend is a minister. I know what YOU do!
Me: ....have a great day. Good luck with your tickets.

So, if mormon.org comes out with a disclaimer that says that ordering a copy of the Book of Mormon will NOT get you tickets to the musical, now you know why! I keep hearing so much about that musical here. Apparently it is/was playing in San Jose. *facepalm* 

In the morning, we saw Glenna. We shared President Uchtdorf's talk from the Women's Session of Conference (I have read all the talks now. They are great!). She loved it. We then saw Rhonda and her son, Joseph. We had a good lesson with them about charity. We also went and saw Renee and had a lesson with her. We didn't have a dinner that night, either, but I had leftover enchiladas (Sister Kelly didn't like them, so I had the whole pan to feed me this week! I just finished them yesterday!). We then had a lesson with Brenda. I enjoy lessons with her. She always makes me think.

On Friday, we went to the soup kitchen! Yay! They were all super excited because we had a TON of pizza this time. :) After the soup kitchen, we took care of some things at the apartment before trying to see Tanya. Unfortunately, she had to cancel. So, we went and did more service for Elva, cleaning her house. She found out that we didn't have a dinner that night, so she fed us too! It was so sweet of her! After that, we came home because it was about time for daily planning (we were cleaning for a long time). 

On Saturday, we had Conference! We went over to the McArthurs and watched both Saturday sessions. The Saturday Morning session was really good. I enjoyed President Uchtdorf's remarks about not making our discipleship too complicated. There were a lot of themes in that one. Multiple times they were warning us. After that, I helped Sister McArthur in the kitchen with getting lunch ready, because they had invited the YSA Branch over to watch the Afternoon Session. That was a great session, too! I loved Elder Holland's talk on mothers! I totally cried! *hug a mommy* I was also so excited about the new apostles! I remember meeting Elder Rasband! I think one of the others spoke in a BYU-Idaho devotional when I was there. After the sessions, we had a late lunch. Afterwards, we watched the press conference with the new apostles and Sister Kelly and I headed home before going to a dinner appointment. We ate with the Kings (love them). 

On Sunday, we watched the Morning Session at the Church. I was worried about President Monson! He did not look well! I really enjoyed Elder Nelson's talk, too. I feel like so many of the talks this time were addressing things I had heard on my mission! I couldn't help but think of people/areas I had served when they spoke on certain topics! Henry B Eyring's talk was great, too. We then had lunch before going to watch the Sunday Afternoon session with Renee. That was so much fun! I really enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk. Same with Elder Bednar. I also loved Elder Durrant! I want to try ponderizing. :D As you can tell, I loved it. Lots of warnings, though. They also talked a lot about obedience and hard times ahead. *fastens seat belt* After that, we had dinner with Brenda. It was so fun to eat with her and talk about conference! 

Today has been a good day. We did our laundry and now we are emailing. We have some errands to run, including getting our car fixed (just an oil change). Hopefully we can rest before dinner and FHE. I am super excited for FHE. General Conference Trivia. Notes Allowed. :)

Well, got to run. Love you so much! Have a great week. *hugs* 

Love, 

Sara