Monday, November 22, 2010

email of 22 November 2010

Colorin, Colorado, este cuenta se ha acabado...pues, esta acabando :)‏

My dear family,

Hello! for the last time from California as a missionary! It's crazy that I'm actually here, at the end. I was reading through some of my early journal entries this morning, and remembering how hard the first little while of my mission was! Looking back now, it's funny because I remember, but it's not as vivid anymore. I don't feel the pain of it anymore; rather, it's just sort of a distant memory of a seeming lifetime ago. I'm such a different person and missionary now, and I am so eternally grateful to a loving, perfectly patient Heavenly Father, Savior, and many companions who have helped me grow and learn and change and become along the way. I've come a looooooooong way as a missionary! And as a person! I'm by no means perfect, but by golly, I'm better! My biggest goal as a missionary has been to become all that the Lord wants me to be, both as a missionary and as His daughter; I've sought to be an instrument in His hands in bringing to pass His great work, and I think that I have. I've at least tried to give my all.

I was also reading this morning my mission theme scriptures. The first here is the one that I found, I think in the MTC, and decided that this would be my goal. The second is one that I came across sometime in the middle of my mission, and thought, "Wow. I hope that can be said of me at the end of my time here in the field."

Alma 26

(the italics is my personal commentary :)

Alma 17
2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. that's the verse Dad wrote on my pillowcase!
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and afasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with bpower and authority of God.
4 And they had been teaching the word of God *for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, (that's the best part -- I've served among the lamanites!) having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.
5 Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger check!, thirst check! and fatigue BIG check!, and also much labor in the spirit. Yep, that's a perfect description of missionary circumstances8 And thus they departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God unto the Lamanites.
9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. This verse (11) is the one that's been my theme
12 And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.
13 And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.
14 And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.
15 Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance.
Ok, if verses 14 and 15 aren't a pretty perfect description of my mission, I'm not sure what is.
16 Therefore, this was the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption.

Alma 26:
1 My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
4 Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
5 Behold, the afield was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will braise them up at the last day.
8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.


I know this is the Lord's work. I know that it is true and real, and that it really is the errand of angels. Of all the titles I've had and will have in my life, I think my favorite has been "my angel". I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. I know that the Atonement is real, and so powerful! Both the Redeeming and Enabling power have blessed and lifted me over and over and over again in the last 18 1/2 months, both when I was aware of it and when I wasn't. I know that the Plan of Salvation really is a perfect, merciful plan of happiness! I know that as we do what the Lord asks, and keep the commandments, we are truly led to the happy, abundant life that He wants for us! I know too that if we haven't, we can repent and be healed! Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it worth it and completely possible? Absolutely. This gospel is true! Jesus Christ restored it through the prophet, Joseph Smith, and we have a living prophet today! The Book of Mormon IS the word of God, and one of my most prized possessions! I know it's true -- I know it!

This has truly been the best year and a half of my life!

I love you all more than I can express in words. Thank you for everything; I am who I am largely in part to your love and encouragement and support throughout my whole life. Not a single one of you is exempt from that statement either, so don't even think about it!

I love you!!

I have LOVED being a missionary!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!

-----------------------

Stay tuned, I'm sure Sister Sallie will have at least one more letter to add after she gets home. . .

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

email of 16 November, 2010

NOTE: As you may note from her letter below, Hermana Wilson is coming home VERY shortly! Like next Wednesday, November 24!!! Now I know this is the day before Thanksgiving and many of you have already made plans, but if you are available and you would like to, you are welcome to gather with us at the Augusta Regional Airport (1501 Aviation Way · Augusta, Georgia 30906...(Bush Field)...it's out on Doug Barnard Pkwy south of I-520) to welcome her home. Her flight arrives at 8:20 pm. Thanks for ALL your support and faithful readership . . . enjoy her last two letters. (Sallie's dad)

Buenas Tardes !!!

Hello, Hello!!!!

This isn't quite a departing email...I've got one more yet! It's coming soon (to a theater near you...) though!

(Mom, sorry for repeating this part, but I decided to include this note in the big email too...)

Well, after last week's craziness of ZC and trainings and firesides and almost NO WORKING, I've decided to work as hard as I possibly can this week. This is my only/last shot at all of this, and I want to give it everything I possibly can! So the plan is to work ourselves into the ground this week; pray for miracles and find them! We're biking twice (today and Thursday), and we've set our goals high, and whatever happens, it's going to be a great week!

Super News for this week! Rogelio got baptized! The baptism went great, too! He's so sweet, and said that he felt like a "new man" coming up out of the water! He came too to the departing fireside afterwards and loved it. He cried during one of the musical numbers, and wasn't really sure why, or what to do; my companion helped him understand that it was the Spirit, and a good thing. I'm excited for him to be confirmed next Sunday!

We have a new mission challenge -- to read the entire BofM by Dec. 31st. I'm excited because I think it will really help me stay on the ball spiritually when I get home! I LOVE that book!!!

The departing fireside was wonderful! There are 8 of us going home together, and we all got to bear our testimonies. I was really nervous, for some reason, standing up to bear my testimony, and then to do a musical number a few minutes later, but it went really well. I contemplated talking a little bit about why I'd come, or how my experiences had all been, but decided that I wanted my departing testimony to be just that -- a sharing of my testimony of the Savior, the truthfulness of this work, the love of my Heavenly Father, and the powerful influence all of that has had in my life. All of that is so true, and I know it! I love being a missionary!


I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

I LOVE Being A Missionary!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

email of 10 November 2010

Andale pues!?

I love the temple! Today was our temple p-day, and was, as usual, wonderful! It's so nice to be able to go and sort of escape for a little while. I love the purity and peace of the temple, and the beautiful spirit that I feel when I go.

This place is so dirty! It rained Sunday night, so Monday it was super clear -- almost like driving in Utah, the way we could see the mountains! And then today, as we were driving back from the temple, we were back to our usual smog-cover where you can't even tell there are mountains! Dirt and grime and a ridiculous amount of people in such a small area, a lot of wickedness and a lot of good...I love L.A.!

This week is a little crazy for us here! Monday we went on splits with the full-field sister trainers, Sis Nef and Sis Williamson. I got to go downtown with Sis Nef for the day, which was fun! Then today is temple pday, tomorrow is Zone Conference, Friday we have a training till 3, and Sunday is Rogelio's baptism and the departing fireside! It's been kind of a pain trying to set appointments this week! But it's great! Splits were good, the temple was wonderful, I'm thoroughly looking forward to ZC and the training, and, of course, a baptism on Sunday! Can life get better than this?! I submit that it can NOT! (That's for you, Clark, Mike, and Mellers...). Actually, if we could have a few more hours in the week to do our normal work, life would be better, but I still love it!

I don't think I've told you yet about the departing fireside this Sunday! Every month, there's a president's fireside that pres does for recent converts, less actives, investigators, members, whoever. Now they've decided to replace that once a transfer with a fireside by all the departing missionaries. We'll all bear testimony, have some special musical numbers (which I was put in charge of organizing), etc. I'm really looking forward to it, especially since we have the chance to invite RCs, LAs, members, formers, etc from our old areas to come, and we'll have a little bit of time to visit with them afterwards. I'm SO excited for that!!!

Now, as for the work right now! Rogelio is doing great! He's scheduled for baptism this Sunday, and is progressing. We've been teaching/reviewing a lot in the last week and a half, helping him prepare (which has included purging his tiny apartment of coffee and other items not in accordance with the commandments!), and I feel like he's going to be ready! Gladhys is also doing well, but has not been able to make it for church yet...she's so awesome though! She really gets it -- teaches US half the time!

OH! Faustino has come to church the last 2 sundays in a row, and last Sunday he was asked to give the closing prayer in SS!!! He did so good too! I was a little nervous that he'd close in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but he didn't!

I've decided not to be nervous and afraid anymore. I'm just working and living and loving!!!

The church is true!!!!!!!

I Love you SO MUCH!!!!!

I LOVE Being a Missionary!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

email of 25 October 2010

Guess what today is?

Day 500!

Yep, my FIVE HUNDREDTH DAY of being a missionary!!! Can you believe that?!?! Crazy huh?!

Well family, here I am, coming to you again from California (where else?). Hey guess what? Do you remember Bro McCullouch? He was the stake YM pres for a while when we lived in Rock Hill...his son, Pace, was one of Joseph's friends...anyways, they have another son who is serving in my mission right now, and we happened to be at the same library at the same time today! How crazy, huh?! Apparently their family moved to Utah about 6 months ago, so he knows and gave me a few little updates on people back in charlotte! So cool!

Hmmmm, let's see. What something cool has happened this week in the missionary life of yours truly?

Well, we went to the VC with some investigators this last Friday, which was really good! Probably the best part though, was having a few minutes to talk to one of the sisters working there who is in my old area of Marina del Rey. She was giving me a little update of some of the people there, which was SO GOOD!!! Most especially, I think, Patricia. I love that woman so much, and it is such a joyful thing to be one of the missionaries who has had the privilege of watching her grow and change so much! I taught her almost my entire time in MdR (6 months), and she got baptized shortly after I left. Anyways, apparently she did baptisms for the dead in the temple for the first time not too long ago, and told the sisters what an amazing experience it was and how much she loved it!!! AND she really felt the Spirit at General Conference, especially when Pre. Monson spoke. It's just one of the most wonderful things to hear that she's doing so well, especially because I know how far she's come! I think maybe it's a little like watching your children grow up...if so, I agree with the scripture that there's nothing better than to know that my "children" walk in truth! THIS is why I love being a missionary!!!!!!!

Earlier this week we tracted into a lady named Maria. She's a really funny lady. When she first came out and started talking to us, all she would talk about was how terrible and sad it was that we leave our families and go so far away to do this. She had met some other missionaries a while back, and that was pretty much the only thing she remembered. Anyways, we asked if we could come in and teach her, a she agreed. Catholic by birth, she attends a Christian church and goes to JW bible study classes during the week (I know, quite the variety, right?). As we began teaching her, she told us that the other missionaries had given her one of our books (the Book of Mormon), and then found and puled it off her shelf. Really dusty and definitely unread, but at least she had one, I guess :) Well, as we were talking, my companion all the sudden said, "Do you know what that is?!," which kind of surprised Maria. Then she (my comp) proceeded to tell her very excitedly what an incredible thing it was that she had in that book! Maria was really taken aback and surprised, but then got really excited too, and just thanked us and thanked us because she had this great treasure, this book that is so valuable, and she'd had no idea! She seemed so happy and just hugged the BofM, saying how valuable it was, which kind of surprised us! People don't usually react like that when we tell them about the Book of Mormon! So then we invited her to come to church, to which she quickly replied, "No, like I told you, I already go to a Christian church."
DAH!

What's funny is that it wasn't mean or rude or malicious at all, just very matter-of-fact. So we continued teaching her because she was still very happy and excited about the BofM; we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted!!! She was so happy about it too! She told us how she'd been baptized catholic as a baby, but not as an adult, when she really knew what she was doing, and that she really wanted to. Sweet! So we talked a little about that, and then invited her to church again; we figured she would for sure, since she'd just agreed to baptism. Wrong! Just the same as before, she sweetly, quickly, matter-of-factly replied, "No, remember, I go to that Christian church."

If there was a word to properly describe the slightly deflated, shoulder-drooping, she-obviously-doesn't-get-it, uggh sort of feeling that comes at moments like these, I would use it here. I don't think there is though, so this description will just have to do.

Anyways, we talked to her a little more about it and set a return appointment, and we're going to try again when we go over tomorrow...IT was a pretty funny experience though!

OH!!!! Abraham got confirmed! FINALLY!!!!!!!! He's been MIA in Tijuana for the last several weeks, and we were getting a little worried. Something about your just-baptized, but unconfirmed investigator leaving town without a specific return date and no real way to get a hold of him makes a missionary worry a little bit. But he made it back safe and sound, was confirmed Sunday, and has an appointment to meet with the bishop about getting the PH this week!!!

All in all, life is good, and as always, I Love Being A Missionary!!!!!!! The church is still true, and I know it!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Lots of Love,

Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

email of 01 November 2010

Haloooooooo!!!!!

This will probably be pretty short because I spent a lot of my time reading and writing individually today...which I'm totally fine with, and hope you are too! If any of you see repeats from your individual email, sorry!

Happy Halloween!!! Last Halloween we were home in our apts for the night by 6pm...and had eaten dinner with la familia cristobal, now that I remember :) This year, we had a zone activity instead, which was really fun! We all met at the USC institute and had a little cook-out dinner and just some time to kind of chill out...unheard of for a missionary!!! It was fun though -- there was a group of us playing "Celestial Pursuit," which, by the way, is ridiculously hard, especially if you were born after 1984 and haven't studied the silly little details of obscure people, stories and facts in church history and the scriptures! It was really fun though, and I found a fellow scripture scout while we were playing!!! The question was something about the Zoramite's Rameumtum prayer, and I was quoting "Thanks for making me so special..." when one of the elders turned to me and said, "Hey! Scripture Scouts!" It was so funny! And SO FUN! Noone really understands SS unless they've experienced them...otherwise they just think you're a little weird.

This whole end-of-mission thing is hard. I'm really happy and excited to come home and to see and be with all of my family and everything again, but I'm also really scared. I'm scared to go back to being "normal," and to loose the missionary bubble. I know that I currently live in one of the most worldly places ever, but I'm so scared to go back and live in the world. Maybe scared isn't quite the right word, but maybe it is. I don't know. I just can't believe that the end is looming so near...I'm really trying to work as hard as I can and just not think about it, but it's a little difficult to avoid. But it's ok. I know it is. It's just daunting to look ahead to real life and the future. Exciting, and scary, and happy, but daunting. Oh the unknown.

I am SO GLAD that I came on a mission! This is by far the best decision I have ever made in my life.

I KNOW the church is true, that my Savior lives, and that this is His work and glory!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

Monday, October 18, 2010

email of 18 October 2010

Hello!!!!!!!

Well, like the subject line says, I was right! Heavenly Father is letting me stay here in S. Lynwood with Sister Fitzgerald for my last transfer! I'm really glad because that means I'll get to die speaking Spanish, and we have some really good work going on here right now! It'll be fun to be 3 transfers with Sis Fitzgerald too; there are for sure times when we both have rather mixed feelings about being together, but it's also a great experience in getting to know and love a person in the way that you do with a companion. We have (and continue to) learned a lot about love, compassion, understanding, charity, patience, and unity. We also have a ton of fun and very "molding and shaping" spiritual experiences together, and I'm grateful that we get to stay companions. It's funny though, the other day I was thinking about that old movie we have -- "It's a Miracle" -- and the part where the main character and his companion are having it out ("You want my peelings?"), and the way they sing at the end, "We're companions, we're companions, and we're going to get along!" I just had to laugh because sometimes that really describes our relationship. Now, I don't want you to think that my companion and I hate each other and never get along, because that's definitely not the case! We're just two different people who have had to stretch and change a lot in order to really work and be our best together, but it has really built and strengthened my testimony a lot, and I know that the Lord is in it! You see, we need each other -- both of us for whatever different reasons -- and I've learned SO MUCH from being with her! Anyways, all that to say that I love my companion, and am looking forward to another transfer together!

I did not end up singing at a mission-wide conference this weekend...it was cancelled because the visiting authority (E. Clayton of the 70) who had called it all together was assigned to go to another meeting of sorts instead. Oh well!

I'm trying to think of something funny/cool that happened this week...

We carved pumpkins for our Zone Activity this morning! Sis. F and I made a sick missionary pumpkin, one set of elders made a "El Libro de Mormon," and another carved the plan of salvation! So Funny! We took ours and the PoS to put on our balcony :) And Mom, guess what? My comp's favorite holiday is Halloween too!

Abraham still isn't back from Tijuana....we're kinda worried, but still praying our little hearts out and trusting that everything will be ok!

Rogelio is continuing to progress, and we're also now teaching a young single mom named Gladis, who is AWESOME!!! She's a former that we went back to visit, and she's totally ready now! The biggest struggle with her right now is that she works nights cleaning a movie theater, so the earliest she usually gets home on Sunday morning is about 10...church starts at 9:30, and it's Sacrament Mtg first. She got there in time for the last two classes yesterday, and really loved it, but we're going to have to figure something out for S.M.!!!!! I'm praying that she can get a new job...

We also met a girl and her little sister -- Jasmine and Jacqueline -- who are so cute, and really excited to learn about the gospel and get baptized!!! we had a great little lesson with them last night, and they committed to baptism on the 7th of November too!!! That's 5 people we're teaching now with dates for the 7th!!!!! PLEASE pray for them!!!

I want you all to know that I really, really do know that this is Jesus Christ's true gospel restored here on the earth! I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true, and I KNOW that the Atonement is real!!!!

I Love Being A Missionary!!!!!!!

I Love YOU!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

email of 12 October, 2010

Did you know that I am a missionary? Can you believe that?!?! I AM A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!

How in the world do these things happen? I've been thinking a lot about life lately and where I am in mine...I am a missionary. I am actually a sister missionary...almost a returned sister missionary! That's so weird. This was one of those things that I always just kind of thought about (or tried not to think about :), and wondered if I actually would, or even could do, and here I am! I have actually come and served...almost to the end now! I don't know that I ever knew I could really do this, but here I am! It's a little surreal, but not. Actually, I have to choose not to live in the surreal; otherwise I'm too focused on me, and not enough on what I'm here to do, and it won't get done! But that was just a thought I wanted to share this morning...I am a missionary!

And ok, I know this makes me totally sound like an old person, but since when did Thomas get old enough to go join the military?!?! Holy Cow have I lost track of time! I could've sworn he was only 15 or 16, tops; apparently not...congrats though! I hope everything continues going well for him in the National Guard (right?)!

Well, tomorrow's the first day of my twelfth transfer in the field! Pretty crazy! We'll find out our fates tonight...if we're staying or going. I'm guessing that both Sis. Fitzgerald and I will be staying together here in S. Lynwood (which would make her the companion I've been with the longest -- 3 transfers), but who knows! Sometimes President has some funny tricks up his sleeves, so we'll see...

If you don't mind, please say a few prayers for Abraham! He still hasn't been confirmed because he's had to go to Tijuana the last two weekends...first to see his mom before she moved back to Guadalajara, and then this weekend because one of his best friends died. He was so sad, and planned on going down for the weekend, coming back on Sunday or Monday. However, we haven't heard from him yet, so we're really hoping that everything is ok!!!

On the up side of things, we have a new investigator -- Rogelio Montes! He's really great, and we're super excited about him! He's an older single man probably somewhere in his 50's or 60's(...sorry mom and dad! note that I didn't say that he's old...just older). Anyways, we tracted into him a few weeks ago, and were finally able to go back and see him this week! He seems to be a very humble, honest seeker of truth

**quick side note: So yesterday we were playing with/redoing the ringtones on our cell phone, and we recorded us singing the mail song from blues clues for our voicemail alert. So just now, sitting here in the library, all the sudden we hear from Sis Fitzgerald's bag, "Here's the mail, it never fails! It makes me..." SO FUNNY!!! She very quickly grabbed and silenced it, but not before being startled by it and getting a little embarrassed (she gets embarrassed really easily).**

Back to Rogelio! We taught him twice this week, and he came to church (!!!!!!!!!!!!) Sunday, and to a Mission President's fireside Sunday night! He has really good questions, and you can just tell that he wants to be happy and is seeking to know and do the Lord's will. He's scheduled for baptism the 7th of November! He was so cute after church on Sunday because Hermana Lilia (a recent convert of not quite a year who we've been using as a fellowshipper) was talking to him a lot, and had shown him her Book of Mormon where she'd had different missionaries write their names and phone numbers inside the front cover, so he came over to us and asked if we'd do that too in his. He seems very happy and muy contento with everything, and I just love to see him!

We finally had to drop (stop teaching...at least for a while) Faustino and Margie. :( They just weren't progressing, and wouldn't make the gospel a priority right now. UGH! I hope and pray that someday they will, but right now just isn't the time, I guess. It's so frustrating because we know that they know, but there's a lack of willingness in a lot of areas. Oh well. As sad as it is, it's kind of relieving too because it frees us up more to be able to find and teach those who are ready and truly elect right now!

Hopefully you got the little package I sent by now! Mom, thanks again SO MUCH for the cute little Halloween package you sent me! I've been thoroughly enjoying the granola and m&ms, and we'll probably carve our little pumpkins next p-day!

Sorry I haven't actually followed through on telling you about different converts...I may or may not do better at that, but it's whatever!

I'll be singing again at a mission-wide conference on Saturday! Pray for me!

I know the church is true and I love it!!!! I LOVE this gospel, I LOVE the Book of Mormon, and I LOVE being involved in this great work!!!!

I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

email of 04 October 2010

Happy October! The weather finally agrees! Last week it was ridiculously, unbearably hot -- seriously, 104, 106, 112 degrees almost every day! But today it's beautiful! It's really great October, fall, Halloween weather! It's been cool, gray and drizzly all day. A little on the chilly side, but that's a nice little change from the heat!


YAYAYAYAYAYAY for General Conference!!!!!

Yes, I LOVED conference!!! I totally meant to bring my notes and share a few things, but alas, it is at home sitting on my desk. Oh well, I'll try to share a few thoughts. I loved Pres. Monson's opening remarks...something about being a full-time missionary just makes those comments and talks stand out a little more :) I was really impressed with Elder Christofferson's comments about living a consecrated life. I wrote the 5 or so points on a 3x5 card with the words "How consecrated am I?" to remind me and help me stay focused.

Mom and Dad, I especially want to thank you. As E. Holland spoke about his mission and the sacrifice made by his parents, it really brought me to tears as I thought about the incredible love and sacrifice you've always given me, especially in coming on this mission. Also in E. Lawrence's talk, as he mentioned the 5 things that will keep your children anchored (Family prayer, scripture study, FHE, family dinners, and personal interviews), I could look back on my life and see what a great blessing all of those have been to me. So thank you. I know we weren't perfect, but like it's been said, we don't have to be. Perfection does not come in this life, but thank you for working so hard to do all of those things, even and especially when it was hard. I know you always say that you were blessed with good kids, but we don't just turn out like this on accident! I can honestly say, with Nephi and Joseph Smith that I was born of goodly parents who loved and taught me in the ways of the Lord, and I am eternally indebted to you for that. Thank you. I Love You SO MUCH.

I miss you, you know! Sometimes here at the end it's hard not to think about or look forward to being home with you again. As much as I love my mission and am not looking forward to leaving it, I'm really looking forward to seeing and being with my family again!

PRESS FORWARD, SAINTS!!!!!

I also loved Pres. Uchtdof's talk! It's been interesting on my mission to see people from so many different walks of life, to see their lives, their joys and challenges, and to learn from them, both good and bad. I can really see the great importance of following Pres. Uchtdorf's counsel of simplifying and making sure that we know and have a strong relationship with the Lord, others, and ourselves! I was really struck with the impression of how important it will be for me to keep up my personal scripture study and prayers, and not to get caught up in the snares of wasting time on unimportant things once I'm home and in school and everything. Oh how important it is to put the Lord first!!! I see it, I see it, I see it! When we forget Him and let other things come in the way, we slowly, gradually let go of the rod and get lost! I DON'T WANT TO GET LOST!!!!!!!


Something that I've been thinking a LOT about lately is how important and what a blessing it is to keep the commandments (just ask my companion -- I say this all the time!). Oh my goodness, I just wish the whole world would JUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!! There is so much sadness and heartache and misery in the world, just because people break the commandments -- those natural and moral laws established by our Father in Heaven for our joy and happiness. Do you realize how much happier the world would be if everyone would just follow God and keep the commandments?!?! It breaks my heart as I see individuals and families suffering with the results of bad decisions. Por ejemplo, the RC (recent convert) family where the husband and wife got married just before her baptism so that she could be baptized, who are now getting a divorce because the wife is having an affair. She moved out, and the husband has been struggling to make ends meet and take care of his son. Their 9 year old son is now having to deal with parents fighting over custody, and just terrible sad circumstances and consequences. It kills me -- absolutely breaks my heart to see them suffering and so sad. And we see it every day...people breaking the law of chastity, the word of wisdom...pretty much any commandment you can think of, we see it being broken, and we see the terrible sadness that it brings; are they happy? NO! I can honestly say that most of the sadness and suffering I see everyday is a direct result of someone choosing not to obey God. Truly, wickedness NEVER was happiness!!! As Harvey Carroway always said, "Keep the commandments and you'll be blessed."

That is my plea for the day: Please, Please, PLEASE just keep the commandments!!!! I promise you'll be so much happier if you just will! Heavenly Father promises that, and He definitely doesn't lie!

Now, all that said, I know there are other things in life that cause us grief and sorrow that aren't direct results of sin, but I know too that throught the Atonement of Jesus Christ, peace, comfort and and underlying sense of joy or even just being ok can be ours if we'll follow Him and allow Him to heal us.

Ok, ok, all that said, I'm doing GREAT! I'll keep you in my prayers, and you keep praying for me, ok? I need you!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

who LOVES being a missionary!!!!!

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

email of 28 September 2010

Hello Hello Hello!!!!!!

So there's this funny old black man sitting two computers down from me, who has been reading/talking to himself the whole time we've been here. It's not a quite mutter either. He's just reading and talking as if he were talking to someone next to him. Here's what I've learned in about the last 1/2 hour: Pres. Carter is recovering just fine after having been carried off a plane with a stomach ache recently, the U.S. dollar is depreciating (says some Chinese political guy) and is in crisis, and something about the American Dream. I think he started off doing his taxes or something, but now he's just reading news. Out Loud. And it's all we can do not to crack up out loud, though I don't know if he would notice even if we did. :) I'll keep you updated throughout the email with comments like **this**.

How are all of you doing this week?! I am FANTASTIC, here in South Lynwood, California! I have pictures for you from our BAPTISM this weekend, but I'll be sending them next week when I'm hopefully on a computer that I can send them from a little easier.

**We are 3.5 trillion this year**

ABRAHAM (pronounced Ah-Brahm) GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! Faustino and Margie did not, but they will! Abraham's baptism was wonderful though!!! He is a walking miracle, and the process of finding, teaching, and helping him get baptized has been so incredible! Truly, truly one of the elect! I've decided that from here on out, I'm going to try to include the conversion story of at least one of my converts in my email each week; partially so that you can enjoy reading about and getting to know some of my favorite people in the world, but also to help preserve some of my own memories!

This week: Abraham (duh)!

Abraham is the first baptism in my entire mission that I can attribute to tracting! The very last week of my 10th transfer, Sis. Fitzgerald and I decided to tract one day on a street in our area named 2nd Ave. We were on bike that day, and had been knocking doors for about 15 minutes, when we knocked on a door that was opened by a young man named Hector. Hector is about 15, and seemed pretty interested. He told us he wanted to know if families could be together forever. GOLDEN, right? So as we continued to teach him there at the door, his dad walked up and started talking to us too. He seemed semi-interested, though more so in the two cute white missionary girls standing on his porch than in their message. However, both made return appointments, and we were really excited! So we went back the following Tuesday for our appt with Hector Jr....not there. Oh well, maybe he forgot or changed his mind or something -- he is only 15. Saturday, Sept.4th 2010, we went back for our appt with Hector Sr. He was home -- Yay!

**Obama's seekin' power...evesdroppin'...internet cellphone wire taps**

So we went in and sat down, and Hector began talking to us about how he's Catholic, and how his parent were Catholic, (etc, etc, etc...typical Mexican), and so he was happy to talk to us, but, I mean, OBVIOUSLY he wasn't going to change religion or anything -- he's Catholic! Oh Brother.

BUT, his nephew, Abraham, had just moved in that day from Mexico, and was really interested in learning more! YAY!!!!

Ok, long story really short, we taught Abraham that night, he came to church the next day, we taught him again on Monday, and he committed to getting baptized, and 3 1/2 weeks later he was!!!!!

**there are 433 banks IMMEDIATELY in danger of failing**

Hopefully I can write a more next week!!!

I Love you SO MUCH!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie
...who loves being a missionary!!!

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

email of 20 September 2010

Helloooooo!!!

How is everyone?!

Well, we had stake conference this weekend! We only went to the Sunday session (the Stake Center is really far away, and we didn't have any investigators who could go), but it was great! I'm so grateful that I speak and understand Spanish now! It really makes, well, everything, much more enjoyable and edifying. The talks were mostly on missionary work, but the stake president gave a really great talk about charity.

After stake conf, we went up to the Visitor's Center with our RC, Javier. It was SO GOOD!!! I LOVE our VC, and really, really, really hope that I'll have a chance sometime to come back here with you to show you too! There are so many awesome things there, and such a special spirit!

Ok, we needs LOTS of prayers this week! We have 3 baptisms scheduled for this Sunday, and it's going to really take the hand of the Lord and a few miracles from Him for it to all go well, but we've been praying our little hearts out, and are doing our best to do our part! Faustino, Margie, and Abraham are all going to be baptized on Sunday, and I am SO excited!!! It's amazing to see their progress, and the changes in their lives!!! So please, please, please include them and us in your prayers this week!!!

Ok, here's my funny missionary story for the week. It was way funnier in person, but hopefully you get a little laugh out of it:

So on Saturday, we were walking down the sidewalk to our car, and there was a boy, his mother, and grandmother walking towards us. The boy looked to be about 15 or so, with some type of mental handicap, and his mom was walking along with his grandmother, who was very old and frail, holding her arm to support and help her as they walked. Well, as we were walking towards them, the boy called out to us:

"Hey, that's a nice car!" (We drive a little 2009 silver Toyota Corolla)
"Thanks," We replied, enjoying his bubbly friendliness.
"Yeah, it's dirty!" he said, enthusiastically

That's the first funny part of the story. But then it continued:

"Yeah, it is, huh? Good thing we're going to wash it on Monday!"
"You're going to wash it on Monday?"
"Yep, that's our car washing day! See, we're missionaries, and we only do that kind of stuff on Mondays."
"Ooh," he said, kind of trailing off, but still very enthusiastic and happy to talk to us.
"Hey, can I give you a card?" I asked, walking over to him
"Yeah! What's it for?"
"Well, do you like to read, or do you like movies better?"
"I like to read!"
"Great! I have a card for you that you can call to get a free book that talks about Jesus!" I said, reaching into my planner to get one out for him.

Now this was the best part: As I was standing there next to him, reaching to get a card, he just reached right over and stroked my arm! It startled me for a second, and I thought he might be going in for a hug, so I got the card, turned and handed it to him, then quickly took a little step back. We talked to him and his mom for another second, then they kept walking and we left, but it was so funny, and we laughed about it all day! I know it's probably not nearly as funny just reading it, but it was hilarious in the moment, and just so sweet! Standing right there on the side of Long Beach Blvd in Compton, CA., and this sweet little handicapped boy told us we had a dirty car, then stroked my arm! Only on a mission!

Have a great week, and know that you're always in my thoughts and prayers!!!

I LOVE Being A Missionary!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

email of September 13, 2010

Good Monday Afternoon!!!!!

How is my darling family this week?!

Here in sunny So Cal things are going great! We had a good week at church this week -- 3 investigators, and they stayed for all three hours! The best part was that they liked it! Margie, Faustino's wife said that it didn't even feel like 3 hours, and she really enjoyed it. The down side is that we currently have only one investigator with a baptismal date. That is wonderful for him, but not as wonderful for the other 2 who came to church. You see, one thing that we're really encouraged to do is have a baptismal date for each investigator who comes to church, but try as we might, it just doesn't always work out that way. We went over to teach F&M after church, with the intent of teaching them an awesome, spiritually powerful lesson and inviting them to be baptized on Sept 26th.

We did not have an awesome, spiritually powerful lesson wherein they were invited and accepted the invitation to be baptized on Sept. 26th.

It was a really frustrating, difficult, and potentially discouraging lesson.

BUT we press forward, saints! We are NOT discouraged, and DID gain wisdom and understanding in how to handle some of the concerns and challenges that those particular investigators face, but it wasn't quite the way we'd have liked to find it out. I cannot express to you how much I love these people and just want them to be happy, or the frustration that comes when we don't understand each other (due to the spiritual language barrier, not the English-Spanish one), when we as missionaries fail to listen to the Spirit, and they in turn fail to progress the way they could! It's so hard! I just so wish sometimes that I really had the words and the ability to express my feelings and knowledge and desire for their salvation and happiness, but it just doesn't always come out/have the effect the way that I want it to! But it's coming -- I can just feel it!

Anyways, that was just a little challenge that we had yesterday that I thought I'd share with you. Missionary work is wonderful and joyful, but it's really tough sometimes!!!

We found some really great new/potential investigators this week, and I'm really excited to go back, teach them, and help them come unto Jesus Christ through His gospel and baptism!!! It was crazy because one day this week, as we were tracting/street contacting, we ran into 3 people right in a row who were really interested and pretty stinking golden! Right in a row! It was almost too good to be true!

Abraham is doing great -- reading, praying, coming to church, progressing!!!!

I hope that you all have a WONDERFUL week, and I love you and know that the church is true!!! I LOVE the Book of Mormon SO MUCH!!!!!

Oh, by the way, there's flour in my ears because for our zone activity today we played "capture the flag paint ball" with flour-filled nylon (as in old knee-highs) balls instead of paint balls. SO fun!!! You see, there's a new policy out that Sister missionaries are no longer required to wear nylons (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), so most of us have moved to wearing the little footies instead; that means there is a plethora of unused nylons, which make for really good flour paint balls!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!

Love,

Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

email of September 06, 2010

(NOTE: New photos added at the bottom of the page!!!)

Ok, so loading and sending pictures kind of takes a while, so I don't have a ton of time to write, but write I will with what time I have!!!!!

Pday is kind of a funny day of the week; it's nice because I have a chance to take care of everything for the week coming, but it's a pain because there's always SO MUCH to do! Also, I've discovered that I really do not enjoy shopping very much, especially grocery shopping. Mostly because it's just a lot of trouble, it's time-consuming, and the music they play kills me! OH THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!! THAT is why missionaries are only allowed to listen to uplifting spiritual music...it's SO easy to be distracted otherwise!

So there's this funny thing that they do here in Lynwood, and that is that they only allow yard sales on a specific weekend (sat and sun) every 3 months. This last weekend was one of those weekends. It's was nuts how many yard sales there were! We counted at least 25 within probably about a 3 mile distance! I couldn't help but think that Mom and Aunt Julie would have been in yard sale HEAVEN...except that probably 90% of those yard sales were run by people who don't speak any English :) Too bad they don't have yard sales on Mondays...

We've had a good week here! Javier was confirmed yesterday, which was great; we also have a new investigator who we met and taught for about 20 minutes on Saturday night who then came to church on Sunday, and Sunday pm asked for a BofM!!!!! His name is Abraham, and he almost seems a little too good to be true!!!

Something I've really been focusing on, praying for, and working on is recognizing and following the Spirit, and I've had some really good experiences this week with it! Probably the biggest thing that I'm realizing is just how small and quiet that voice usually is. It really is like E. Bednar taught us at the MTC: as long as we're "being good," obeying the commandments and keeping our covenants, doing our best to do our best, we're guided! And most of the time we don't even realize it until later! But it's a beautiful thing to be led by the Spirit, and I'm grateful to have the knowledge that I have, the gift of the HG, and to have the fulness of the gospel in my life!!!

The Church is TRUE!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

...who loves being a missionary!!!

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

email of 30 August 2010

Good Afternoon!!!

How are all of you this beautiful Monday?! I'm doing GREAT here in Lynwood, and I have some GREAT stories for you from this week!!!

First of all, JAVIER GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The baptism was yesterday (Sunday) at 5pm. Well, it was supposed to be at 5pm...Latin Mormon Standard Time is a thing to be reckoned with, so the baptism actually didn't really start until about 5:40pm, but it DID start, and went beautifully! Afterwards, we went over to Javier's for dinner -- we made them the Italian chicken goop from Nauvoo, and it was delicious! It was SO great to see Javier after his baptism -- they invited him to come up and share his testimony, and he just shared very sweetly how good he felt and how happy and content he was to be baptized. It was beautiful.

Oh, I spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday! In Spanish!!! Since it was a 5th Sunday (I think...), and also probably because our ward was just reorganized and we have a new bishopric, we had a missionary SM, and I and one of my MTC district Elders spoke! I spoke about becoming like Jesus Christ by being "shepherds" to those who are new and less-active members. THAT'S SO IMPORTANT!!!!!!! Anyways, it went pretty well!

A really, really cool experience came this week as we had a lesson with Faustino and Margie on Friday. We watched a couple of clips from the DVD "Special Witnesses of Christ," and then, as we were bearing our testimonies afterward, specifically about the prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration, Faustino began to really open up about some of his questions and doubts about those very things. So we asked him if he had actually prayed to know that they were true. Nope, he hadn't. So we invited him to kneel down and pray right then and there with us, and then to pause and wait for his answer. He did -- said a really sweet prayer specifically asking those questions, followed by praying for all the children in the world, etc, finished, and waited silently on his knees. I have never prayed so hard for someone to get an answer in my life.

After a minute or two, he looked up at us and smiled, then said "I feel all warm, like HOT, like I'm about to catch on fire or something!"

YES!!!!!

We listened for a minute as he described his feelings, then pulled out D/C 9, which he thought was really cool...

He's still thinking about baptism, but he DEFINITELY got an answer, and it was SO COOL!!!!!

Oh, something funny that just happened right before we came to do email: So as missionaries, anytime you're backing up in the car, there has to be a missionary standing behind the car, directing/checking for safety. Now, this is TERRIBLY embarrassing for my dear companion, especially when we're in public and there's anyone around. So as we were backing out of our spot over at the 99cent store, I was very attentively watching my companion in my rearview mirror, when I noticed a rather large black man walk in front of our car, spot my companion, and then look at me with WIDE open eyes, frantically pointing behind me, saying, "Oh! Oh!" I at first thought that he was teasing us, but then realized that he was very genuinely concerned for my companion's well-being, as he thought I didn't see her and was going to run her over! It was hilarious! Probably way funnier in person than in writing, but super funny nonetheless!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!!! I'll keep praying for you!

I LOVE YOU and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!

Love,

Hermana Sallie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

email of 26 August 2010

Hello Family of Mine!!!!!

Happy week 6 of the transfer!!! I can't believe it's here again! Every week when we have our 3-hour weekly planning session, we always say, "Didn't we JUST have weekly planning?!" It's kind of like open line Friday...again!!!

This week has been SO GOOD!!! We had our big training meetings Tues-Fri of last week, then Zone Conference with a 70 (Elder Alan F. Packer...Pres Packer's son) on Monday, then temple p-day yesterday! Man, what a spiritually uplifting week!

The new training that we received is so awesome! I'm reminded of Sam in the last little while of his mission, when PMG just came out. This training still uses PMG, it's just that it changes the emphasis a little bit and helps us to be better PMG missionaries; it's all about teaching by the Spirit, and is so powerful! There are 4 main points to the "new" teaching model:

1. Ask Inspired Questions
2. Listen (to your investigator and the Spirit)
3. Discern
4. Teach Doctrine

They focused a lot on taking time to pause, and ponder, and to let your investigator ponder as well; THAT is how revelation will come to both of us, and that is how people become truly converted: by having powerful Spiritual experiences! It's also changes the amount of time we spend talking/teaching/explaining, and is just wonderful! It's hard...takes really being in tune and listening to the Spirit, and breaking out of old teaching patterns and habits. It's so good though! When E. Packer spoke to us at ZC, he told us how blessed we are to be here in this mission at this time; our new mission pres was in the MTC for the training there, and is really implementing things here...it's just such a blessing!

Speaking of Zone Conf, it was also great! We all got to shake Elder and Sis Packers' hands, and at the end of his closing remarks, E. Packer told us how he'd been at a small b-day party for Pres Monson on Friday and had shaken his hand there, so we all got to "shake a hand that shook the prophet's hand on Friday." Awesome, huh?!

Also at ZC, I and another elder did one of the special musical numbers, and it really turned out beautifully! We sang the words of "Oh My Father" to the Sally DeFord arrangement of "Come Thou Fount." I sang solo on the first verse, and then we sang together for the rest of the song (he didn't want to sing solo), doing some harmony here and there. What was really cool was that on the parts where we sang together, we changed all the "I"s and "Me"s, etc. to "We"s and "Us"s etc. It was really cool, and I really enjoyed being able to do it!

Then, Temple p-day yesterday, of course was wonderful! Another col thing that happened was that my companion had a question after the session, and we got to go talk to one of the temple presidency and his wife about it!

I have some pictures to send you, but keep forgetting to bring my camera in with me! I'll really try to send a bunch on Monday when I write again!

Javier is getting baptized on Sunday!!!!!!! PLEASE pray for him and for the baptism to go well!!! He's awesome, and I'm super excited!

I'll try to have some funny experiences this week so that I can tell you the stories on Monday!

I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!
I also LOVE being a missionary!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

email of 16 August, 2010

Buenas Tardes a toda mi familia!!!

Well, here we are...P-day again! We've had a good week here in South Lynwood, and have another great one coming up!

Tuesday-Friday of this week, we have some big training that I'm excited for. It'll be 6 hours per day (9-3), for 4 days, which cuts a lot into our finding time, but I'm super excited to because I love big meetings that help pump you up for the missionary work, and help you bring yourself up to a higher level! THEN, next week (on Monday) we have Zone Conference with a visiting general authority (E. Packer of the 70), at which I'll get to do a musical number, AND we have temple p-day on Wednesday!!! So your email will be coming on Wednesday next week, instead of Monday, just to give you a heads up!

Ok, let's see...what are a few little funnies I can share with you from this week...
One of our investigators, Faustino, really wants to take us out for dinner (with his family), so we're going tonight...should be great, as long as he doesn't try to take us out of mission boundaries (apparently there's this great little restaurant just over our border). Anyways, the other night, he wanted to look up th addresses of a few places online so that he could see if they were close enough for us; When he asked his kids where his computer was, they responded that it was broken (they said it had gotten a virus). His response? "VIRUS?!?!?!?! You de virus!!!" SO FUNNY!!!

I would like to just share that my companion really looks like a sister missionary. I know, I know, she is a sister missionary, but she just really looks the part!!!

Ok, I need to ask you all a favor. It's really hard being toward the end of the mission, and while I'm so excited to go home and see you all, I'm also sad and a little scared to leave the mission and go back to "real life". And trunkiness is a strange thing...it just tends to sneak up on a person (i.e. me) unexpectedly, and makes focusing and working diligently really difficult. This condition, of course, isn't helped at all by the fact that everyone (members) asks the missionaries how long they've been out, which for me is unfailingly followed by a comment somewhere along the lines of: "Oh, so you're going home soon, huh?" DAAAAAH! Yes, yes I am. I've taken to using that "Oh, I've been out a little over a year" comment, which helps a little, but still. So anyways, the favor I'm asking is if we could avoid "trunky talk" as much as possible, at least until I really am at the end. I know I still need to think about and plan for school and things like that, and I'm not at all upset about anything that's been said or written before now because I know that you're excited for me to be coming home soon, and I am too! It's just that I know that I can't be as effective a missionary as I'd like to be when my thoughts keep getting drawn away from the work. So I would love and appreciate SO MUCH lots of loving, spirit and missionary-experience-filled emails as possible! I love those!!!

Speaking of missionary experiences, Mom, sorry I haven't commented much on this yet (I've thought about it lots, just have forgotten to say anything), but way to go on sharing the Book of Mormon with your friend, Paul! IT's so exciting to be able to share the gospel with people, especially when you know the blessings of it in your own life, and can really see how much it will bless and help their lives!

the church is true!!!

I Love You, and I Love Being a Missionary!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

email of August 09, 2010

Hello hello to my wonderful family and friends!!!!! How are you all?

Actually, I know how MOST of you are, but there are two people in particular that are overdue in giving me an update about their lives! One of them APPARENTLY just bought a car, and the other is still planning how to get me back with the rolo...

LA is great, and I have a really good story about this last week to tell you :D
So South Lynwood (my new area) is mainly Hispanic, with some black as well, but little to no white people; I'm pretty sure we're some of the only white girls in the place. We absolutely love it here, though I've never been quite so painfully aware of the fact that I am indeed WHITE. This really hasn't been a problem at all though, so please don't worry! The funny story though, happened on Saturday, the 7th, when we were biking down to an appointment that's in the Compton part of our area (the southern 1/4-1/3 or so). It was in the middle of the day, and as we were biking, we passed two cops who were stopped talking to each other. I casually waved (I always wave to cops) and kept going. A second later though, I hear my companion calling, "Hermana, Hermana! Stop!" I looked back to see the cop pulling up along side of us with his window down, and stopped. Sis. Fitzgerald was scared to death; she thought for sure we were getting pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign or something like that. Instead, the cop pulled up, looked out his window at us, and incredulously said, "Do you know where you are?!"

Uh, yeah.

"Uh huh!" We replied.
"Good Heavens!" he said, "where are you girls from?!"
"Oh, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" we said with a smile.
"So, what, are you Jehovah's Witnesses, or Mormons?"
"Mormons!"
"Man! I knew they sent the guys out -- I've seen them around -- but I didn't know they sent women too. And here!"
"Yep!"
"So where are you girls actually from, originally?"
"Well I'm from Las Vegas" said Sis. F,
"And I'm from South Carolina," I chimed in.
"Does anyone ever bother you or anything?" He asked, again, incredulous.
"No, not really." (...well, except you...)
"You have cell phones, right?"
"Yes, of course. We have a cell phone; AND we're very careful!"
"So do you, where do you live?"
"Oh, we have an apartment up in Lynwood"
"Good L---, where?"
"Oh, up by the hospital. Do you live around here?"
"Heck no! I live over in the valley!"
"Oh, ok; hey, can we give you a card?"
"Uh, sure, if you want to," he said, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head.
"Ok! This is to receive a free Book of Mormon....blah blah blah schpeel about the card..."
"Yeah, thanks. Alright then, you girls be careful ok?"
"Don't worry, we will!"

We chatted for another minute or so, and then he left, but yeah, it was pretty stinking funny. Now, even though we're thee only two white girls around here, really and truly, no one had ever really bothered us up to that point, minus the occasional cat call, which happens no matter what as a sister missionary, but darn it all if we didn't get more than usual after he drove off! IT's all good though, and I really do love being a missionary here!

(Photo of Sallie with her new mission president [Baker] and his wife.)

The new Visitor's Center finally opened this last weekend, and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! We went up with some investigators yesterday, and had a great experience! I hope I can bring you guys out here someday so that you can see it too! I LOVE IT!!!!

Well, that's about all my time for this week! I love you so much! I love this gospel, I love this work, IT'S ALL TRUE!!!!!!!!!


I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

I Love Being a Missionary!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

email of 2 August 2010

Good evening!!!

I'm sorry that this one will be short...I only have 18 minutes left because I was taking care of my byui readmission stuff...so weird.

Anyways, how was your week, everyone?! Sounds pretty good, what with weddings, and new jobs, and missionary experiences!!! Isn't life great?! Not always sunshine and roses, but great nonetheless :)

This week was good! There is SO much work in this area! I'd forgotten how open and talkative latins tend to be! It can be hard to get them to actually follow through on a commitment, but that's just part of it. We have some great investigators right now, who I'm so excited about, and who keep surprising me!

Edgar is A-Mazing! He has been an on-and-off investigator for a little while now, but is SO close to baptism!!! He's already read the Book of Mormon, and is about 1/3 of the way through the D/C. He loves the gospel, loves the church, loves the Lord, has SO much faith, and wants so badly to get baptized!!! Problem? He's not married. Ugh. He's willing, but his marido is not. They totally live in seperate rooms and everything, but still..."living together as if married" is the wording used in our standard, so we're not 100% sure what's going to happen, but we're working and praying!

Also working now with his "wife," Maria. She's great too, but a little more stuck in her Catholic tradition, and still in a lot of emotional and spiritual pain from losing her youngest two children as babies, as well as a brother, and her youngest son has a lot of health problems as well. She wants really badly to believe that she'll see and be with her children again, but just doesn't entirely. We'll be teaching her all about the plan of salvation this week. Also praying lots for her!!! She's so funny...loves me because I'm white :) The other day she made some comment about how white I am, to which I responded by showing her my awesome missionary tan lines -- SO FUNNY!!! She just gasped...couldn't believe how white I really am. She's says I look like a barbie...

Javier is the husband of recent convert Fanny. He's great, and came to church yesterday, but the really sad news is that he moved out Saturday night because he and Fanny are having some problems right now...

I HATE HOW SATAN ATTACKS THE FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!

...hopefully he'll still get baptized, but we'll just keep working and praying. Agency and the Lord -- that's what it all comes down to.

Jessica is 20 years old, single, and has a 1 year old little boy named Jordan. She's struggling a lot right now, but wants to change so badly, and is really excited to get baptized! She surprises us a lot (in a good way) with her responses and desires.

Faustino and Margie are great. Hilarious. Faustino talks A LOT, and very quickly. He seems very sensitive to the spirit though, and slowly but surely is progressing!

The work here is wonderful! Even when it's hard, I LOVE being a missionary!!! 3 Nephi 3 has some great "spiritual preparation" things in it.

THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

I also love being a missionary!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

email of July 27, 2010

Mija numero tres!!!

Hola, Hola!!!

Well, I was DEAD WRONG about transfers this time! I thought, that since I hadn't gotten a phone call from president by the time I wrote my letter last week, that I was safe, but alas, the phone call came Monday late afternoon! Yep, I'm training again! FLUSH training again, in South Lynwood, which is the only full-field sister Spanish area now! AAAAAAAAH!!! Actually, I was SO excited to come to South Lynwood, because I really wanted to be able to serve in a Spanish area before I die (in the mission), but also a little nervous too about training, especially in Spanish. But it's been really good so far! My new companion is Hermana Stephanie Fitzgerald, from Las Vegas, NV, and she's so excited to be here on a mission! She reminds me a lot of me when I first came out, only more willing and desirous to work hard! Her Spanish is improving a lot every day, though it's still difficult for her, and I know she gets a little down about it sometimes. I won't lie, it has been a little tough for me, getting used to being in an all-Spanish area (this is pretty much little Mexico here), and a lot of the responsibility has fallen on me, but it's been really good too! I got a blessing on Friday after our district meeting, and have been feeling a lot better since then. Sis Fitzgerald is great though, and is working and trying so hard to learn Spanish and be a good missionary!

I'm having to re-learn how to tract, teach and contact because 1) It's all in Spanish, instead of English or Japanese; 2) Everyone already believes in God, and most are Catholic; and 3) Almost EVERYONE will talk to us! I've really only had one, maybe 2 door rejections in the last week here...it's really strange. Also, there is SO MUCH WORK here!!! We have a baptism coming up this Sunday (who is getting married on Saturday -- PLEASE pray for him!!!), and at least 3 other investigators with baptismal dates, plus about 3-4 other/progressing investigators, and just TONS of people who are ready to receive the gospel here!!!! It's amazing, but just a little bit of pressure to make sure that it keeps momentum, and we don't lose anyone!!! So anyways, I'm loving it here! Oh, and the food -- I LOVE real Hispanic food!!!! I don't know that there's anything in this world that I love more than beans, rice, and a hot corn tortilla (well, besides God, my family and baptisms! :)!!!

I have some great pictures I'll try to send next week...my new companion, my old companion, our bikes, and my awesome bike tan-lines!

I'm writing today because the library here is closed on Mondays...we may just try going to an internet cafe next week...that would be way easier.

Anyways, my time is almost gone, but I'm doing well, I love you all, and I know that this church, gospel, and work is true and of the Lord!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!

ps oh, and I LOVE SPANISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

email of July 19 2010

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Another transfer, almost gone! Transfers are this Wednesday, and everyone's curious to see what happens, especially since we have a new president. I'm not expecting much; actually, I'm not expecting anything. I'm pretty sure that I'll be staying here in Torrance with Sis. Molina for at least one more transfer, since I've only been here two, and we've only been together one. But who knows, maybe there are other plans for me! I'm happy either way -- the Lord's hand is always in it, and He'll put me where He needs me. I do hope that I get to serve in a spanish area before I go home though! Even with a native companion, the language skills dwindle when you don't speak it much.

Speaking of native companions and language skills though, I don't know if I ever mentioned this when I was with Sis. Tavares, but having a native companion really makes you examine your own native speech! I discovered very quickly at the beginning of the transfer that I say "gotcha" a lot...or at least I used to; I've cut back since I hear a little echo of myself with a spanish accent every time I say it. Apparently I add "ya," or rather, "cha" to the end of lots of my words...gotcha, nice to meetcha, good to see ya, how are ya, etc, etc, etc. So I thought it was pretty funny this last week when my email from Mom began with: "How in the world are ya?!"

This week Sister Molina also learned the phrase "Speak of the devil!" as well as the word "bummer." I now realize how often I use those words/phrases as well :)

We've been on bike for almost 2 weeks now, and it's going well! For about the first week, I was tireder (is that a word?) than I think I ever have been in my life, but it's all good! We're getting more and more used to it everyday, and for the most part are really enjoying ourselves. This week has been super hot though, so thank goodness you get a good breeze when you ride a bike!

I finally finished Alma this week! That's kind of sad because I LOVE reading Alma, but really exciting too because I LOVE what comes after Alma! I started in on Helaman this morning, and came across a favorite scripture -- Hel. 3:35. In my very first Zone Conference, the APs shared this in their training, and it was such a blessing to me then, so it was really good to read it again today! When I shared it with my companion during comp study, she called it "the process of sanctification," (she also referred to Moroni 10:32) which I LOVE! I hadn't thought of it like that until she said that, but it's so true. It's through fasting and praying often, and yeilding our whole souls unto God that we are fully sanctified and truly made His. I still need to ponder on it a little bit, but I think this is so much how we are able to really apply the Atonement in our lives. Aren't the scriptures and the Lord awesome?!?!

I often have to remind myself to be patient as we are all progressing at different rates, and are all at different spots on our path to perfection and the Celestial Kingdom. Sometimes I wish people could just get it and know everything that I know!!! Then I have to remind myself that I've been at this for 24 years now, and am still learning myself! Other times I have to be patient with myself, as I find myself just wanting to be perfect right now so that I can start applying all the knowledge and perfection to my everyday life and tasks! Oh, the mortal life :) I'm grateful for the patience of our Heavenly Father, and for His perfect understanding, and especially for the Atonement that helps us all along our way!

I hope that you all have a WONDERFUL week!!! You're in my prayers always, even if they're the ones where I'm falling asleep ;)

The Church is true, and I LOVE YOU!!!!!

I Love Being A Missionary!

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

email of 12 July 2010

I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my-ee biiiike :)

Big news in Torrance this week, ladies and gentleman...er, Brothers and Sisters! This week, it was determined that the Sister missionaries currently serving in North Torrance, namely Sister Molina and Sister Wilson, are the coolest, the toughest, the most amazing sisters in the California Los Angeles Mission! That's right, for the first time in the known history of the CLAM, they have made and official full-bike sisters area!!!! Yep, Sister Molina and I are now on bike full-time! And no, it's not because of an accident, or me being a terrible driver or anything of the sort! It's just that there were some cars in the mission that just had to be sold (per SLC), so there was some rearranging, and we ended up being made a bike area! It's not bad though -- there are some definite challenges, but also some definite blessings, por ejemplo:

Challenge: biking in a skirt.
Blessing: I don't have to worry about doing my hair in the morning anymore :)

Challenge: Torrance is built on a slight slope toward the west, meaning if we're biking west in the evening when the sea breeze kicks up, it's terrible!!!
Blessing: We're giong to be the fittest, tannest sisters in the mission :)

...Anyways, we're enjoying it!

This week I hit another big milestone in the mission: 1 year in the field.
Which makes 14 months in total.

Man! I can't even begin to tell you how strange that is! I don't feel like it's been that long! I don't really feel like a experienced missionary, and I don't feel like there's anyway that I'm so far down the downward slope of my time here! Have I really been out serving the Lord as a full-time missionary in California for over a year now?!?! (Ok, Mom, I can here your "YES!" already :)

It just amazes me how the time flies. Once again, I'm so grateful for this time in my life, and the great privilege it is for me to be a missionary! Thank you thank you thank you all of you for your great love and support! I wouldn't be here without you, and I'm grateful for all the sacrifice that has gotten me here. Blessings, Blessings, Blessings on all of your heads!!!!

We had an interesting experience this week of meeting a couple that was really, really concerned about our salvation, and just wanted us to come to Jesus and stop being deceived. I won't lie, sometimes it's a bit disconcerting talking to people like that, esecially when they're normal. I'm grateful that I at least know how to recognize it when the conversation turns that direction, and has no hope of being productive or spirit-filled, so that we can walk away. Those kinds of encounters do tend to stick with me for a few days though, and I think and think and think about them. Not so much being bothered, just thinking and pondering on them and my own testimony. Anyways, I had a really good personal study this morning that just again confirmed my own tesitmony and surety of this gospel, the Book of Mormon, and the great work that I'm involved in!

The church is true, and the BofM is the word of God, as is the Bible! I know it, and I'm so grateful that I do!!!!

I Love you all!!!!!
I Love being a missionary!!!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

email of 6 July 2010

Happy Tuesday!!!

How is everyone today?! Based on the emails I got, everyone seems to be doing pretty well! I got some great pictures from Joseph and Wendy, and even a little note from "el Rolo" ("It's a miracle, a miracle, It's a MIRACLE!!!!!!!!")!!!

Big happy birthday to Grandma Lynes!!! Hope you have a GREAT birthday, and know that your missionary in LA is thinking about you today! I Love You!

I didn't hear anything about the family reunion...did that happen this year?

I want to share with you my favorite scripture from this last week -- it's a 4th of July scripture! Only this one is an "Independance from sin" kind of 4th of July. It's Alma 10:6-7 :

"6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.
7 As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house."

Cool, huh? :D

So our new mission pres came in this week! Pres and Sis Baker, from Utah (Springfield, I think)! They're really great. We had a zone meeting with them the day after they got here, and they seem really excited and really nervous! I can't blame them -- I was nervous enough coming out on a mission myself, and I'm mostly only responsible for me! They come, having complete stewardship over about 200 missionaries and all the missionary work here in the LA area, and they're here for 3 years! They're very happy to be here though, and we're happy to have them! Something really neat that they told us is that when they first got their call, they printed off all of our pictures (they have special access to that kind of stuff), and made flash cards with them to memorize our names! President said that they were on a trip in Seattle to visit their daughter and her family, and that one day while they were there, their little 2 year old grandson was sitting with him as he was looking through these flash cards. As he would look at each one, Pres. would say, "That's Elder Jones," or "This is Sister Wilson," to which his little grandson would reply with this personal greeting: "Hi Elder Jones!" or "Hi Sister Wilson!" SO CUTE!!!

It's great to the Lord's hand in His work, and how it all just progresses on forward no matter what! It'll be interesting to see the focus and emphasis that Pres Baker has; He did mention that there will be a lot more training on things to do with teaching skills and teaching by the Spirit. The MTC is changing it's curriculum and the way that the new missionaries are taught so as to help them come out better prepared and able to do that, so we have to be prepared to receive those new missionaries! So, David, your MTC experience may be a bit different -- better, probably -- than mine!

I realize that I never really mentioned much about my new companion! Well, not so new anymore, I guess...

Sister Molina is great! She's from El Salvador, and this is her first time ever to the states! She's 25 -- back home, she had already finished college, and is a teacher! As a matter of fact, she taught english as a second language there in El Salvador! So her english is quite good; we work a lot on her pronunciation, but she has a good handle on the language, which is nice, and her accent is cute! She is also a great cook! I told her she has to teach me to make latin food (specifically Pupusas, Chile Rellenos, and beans and rice) while we're companions! She also has a great testimony, and I'm learning lots from her everyday that we're together. It's interesting to see and feel the different dynamic with each companion; each is totally different, but with SO much to offer!

Well that's about it for this week -- the church is true, and I am SO grateful that I was born and raised in a strong family in the gospel!!! Thank you all so much for your examples, for your love and support in everything!

I Love you all SO MUCH, and I LOVE being a missionary!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

email for 28 June 2010

Dear Family!!!

I'm glad you got the card and pictures, and that you've enjoyed the pictures :) The videos of Saroj and Mohini are my favorite! I'm going to try to attach a few pictures onto this email from last week (it didn't work last week); some from the temple, and a couple from our district bowling last week.

video

Mom, thank you SO much for the little package you sent me! David, I now happily sport LDSBC every morning playing soccer with the Elders :) The article you sent was so great -- really what I've been needing. Something funny: when I first opened up and pulled out your letter(s), I was thinking, "Wow, Mom, that's a lot!" So I flipped through to the back really briefly to see if it was all letter, or if there was other stuff in there too. Well, the first end of a letter that I got to was your primary letter, only I didn't realize that and just thought that it was the last page of my letter! I was so confused because it was signed "Sister Wilson". I thought, "What? Why did she sign her letter 'Sister Wilson,' and nothing else -- not even a 'HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!'? Maybe it's because I'm Hermana Wilson, and she wanted to sign it Sister Wilson...?" I was so confused, and a little sad thinking that you hadn't even signed it, MOM! But then, after I actually read it, I figured it all out, and laughed at myself for the confusion! Thanks for being such a great mom, and for being in tune with the Spirit to help your little missionary in LA!

To share a little from my journal this week, as to why that article and your letters are such a blessing, "The article [Mom sent me] is exactly what I need...it's about our short-sided, inadequate striving for perfection, and our great need for the Atonement. I have discovered since being on my mission that I am very much a perfectionist, and nowhere near perfect. The thing is though, before my mission, I knew I wasn't perfect, but I could fake it pretty well. However, here in the mission, my flaws and short-comings are ever before me, and being within sight and hearing of a companion 25/7, I've found that my short-comings and imperfections are in view of her too. I remember once, when I was with Sister Tavares, having a breakdown over her trying to practice Spanish door approaches with me; I don't remember all that happened or was said, but I do remember saying to her through my tears, "I guess it's because I'm not perfect." And then that loving mission- and life-changing phrase [from Hna T]: "Hermana, you don't have to be perfect in order for someone to love you." So here I am, almost a year later, having learned and grown so much since then, but still often struggling with feelings of weakness and inadequacy. Especially over the last transfer (#8), I have often felt bombarded and overwhelmed by my inadequacy. I cannot say how grateful I am to have had Sis Tittle as my companion! She was ever loving, encouraging, and complimentary of me -- who I am, what I do, etc -- Anyways, I haven't felt so down as of late, but I wanted to get this down because it's an experience that I've learned and grown much from." So yeah, Mom, the article was great for me! Thanks!!

Zone Conference this week -- Pres and Sister Blackburn's last one! It was wonderful -- bittersweet, but really, really wonderful! They had permission to hug all the missionaries, Elders and Sisters, which was soooo nice! When President announced it, he said "..and when you come back into the chapel from lunch, Sister Blackburn and I will be standing at the door, and we want to greet you all -- with a hug. Yes, Elders, you now have permission to hug Sis. Blackburn; you don't have to, if that's too uncomfortable or you just don't want to, but you can if you'd like; and Sisters, I'm going to hug each one of you, like it or not!" So I got to hug President!!! The whole ZC was wonderful; I found myself being taught some really great things by the Spirit that I needed; mostly about working with members, but also for my own sense and feeling of working hard enough/being good enough...I don't know if that makes sense or not to you, but it was just what I needed. Anyways, so today is the Blackburn's last full day in LA -- they leave tomorrow, and the Baker's come in! I'm excited for the change and to see what all happens; we'll have interviews with the new president next week, and I'm really looking forward to meeting and getting to know him.

I got Carrie's wedding announcement this week! Oh my goodness, I can't believe she's getting married!!!! I'm really happy for her, but good grief -- that announcement made me momentarily trunkier than I think anything else I've received during my mission! I'm so bummed that she's going to go off and get married WITHOUT ME THERE!!!!!, but then apparently life goes on, even when you're on a mission...at least she'll be able to be there when I get married! Love you tons Carrie -- best wishes!!!!

We're kind of in a "finding" phase right now...not a lot of progressing investigators we're working with right now, so any and all prayers you could offer in that regard would be GREAT!!! Thanks!!!

Oh, and one more thing -- a quote that has helped me a lot lately: "My dear brothers and sister, don't get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don't feel downcast or despair if you don't feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets, choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible, and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you." E. Uchtdorf

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

I ♥ being a missionary ☺

Love, Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

email of 21 June 2010

Hello Hello Hello!!!!!

I've been writing a few individual emails today, so this big one won't be quite as big as usual...but I'm only kind of sorry about that :)

Yesterday was a good Sunday! A little disappointing because most of the people we'd hoped would come didn't, but as President put it, "That's a sad part of the job" sometimes. On the plus side, Mohammad was confirmed, and it was wonderful! Pres and Sis Blackburn came (they weren't able to come to his baptism, which killed Sis B), and President even stood in the circle!!! How special is that?!

We had a wonderful experience this week! We had the opportunity to go to the temple for a chapel session and an endowment session -- as an ENTIRE mission!! President and Sister Blackburn are going home, and this was a sort of special "goodbye party". It was wonderful, just wonderful to be in the temple with our mission -- about 200 missionaries total!! The session was great, and it was really wonderful to be able to go into the Celstial room and be greeted by Pres and Sis Blackburn, and then to see all of my dear missionary friends and companions! THAT is what heaven is going to be like...only better!

I've been learning a lot about faith this week. Sometimes my faith is really weak and lacking, but the Lord is really strenthening and blessing me, as I go to Him and humbly ask. I shared with Dad my recent favorite scripture/story. It's in Alma 14, and is Alma and Amulek. Please read it -- especially verse 26! I wish I had the time and ability to express my love and testimony for and of the Lord, His Gospel, and my faith. Faith (along with all other Christlike attributes) is a gift you know! It comes, says PMG, as we exercise our agency righteously.

I love you all! Have a WONDERFUL week!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Sallie

who LOVES being a missionary!!!!

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

email from 14 June 2010


NOTE: sorry this was late posting...my fault. ALSO...I finally learned how to insert photos in the letters!!!! Thanks Wendy!!!
Sallie's Dad


MOHAMMAD GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, life is good! I love baptisms -- they are truly the joy of missionary work -- but can I just tell you that they are the most stressful things as well?! They are.

Things actually went very well yesterday though; most of our opposition came the week before, so really, things were good. I was getting a little nervous when our baptizee wasn't there until 5:50 (the baptism started at 6), and the baptizer was even later! But, nonetheless (sin embargo!) everything went wonderfully! There was a great turn-out, the talks and testimonies were great -- really just perfect -- our missionary moment (the missionaries always stand up and share a brief gospel lesson while the person is changing, and Sis Tittle and I did it for this one), Mohammad was so happy; it just was a really great day! Oh someday I hope that you can come and meet all these people here! I just love them so much! It's really amazing what happens as a missionary -- the kind of love that you experience for others, especially those you teach and baptize! I also had a very nice compliment after the baptism, which I want to share by way of future remembrance for myself, and also because I thought you'd enjoy hearing, but not at all in a prideful way. You really don't need to include it on the blog, I mostly just wanted to share with my family :)

There's a man in our ward -- Bro. Christmas -- who looks like Santa Clause, and is a really funny old man. He's always making smart-alec remarks through Gospel Principles, and doesn't go to any conferences (stake, or general) because he says they repeat themselves too much. I know, I know -- it's just what he says!
Anyways, just after the baptism, Bro Christmas came up to me, shook my hand, and said (something to the effect of), "I really enjoyed your comments up there; I appreciated the things you said, and I felt the Spirit. Oh, and your eye contact is impeccable!"

I just thought that was so nice! It's always nice to hear a "good job!" when you do things like that, and I just especially appreciated that he noticed and commented on something specific; I guess I feel like that means he really meant it! Anyways, it was just nice -- I really try to be personal and meaningful when I teach, which includes looking people in the eyes. It's not something I really even think about too much, but I do it, and I'm grateful that he noticed :)

By the way -- we taught a short version of the 3rd lesson (PMG ch. 3), just in case you were curious :)

Guess what?! I felt and Earthquake!!!!!!!!!!!! It was actually last Monday, at about 2 in the morning. I woke up because my bed was shaking, and I laid there for just a second, then it stopped. My companion slept right through it, but I definitely felt it! Then, for the rest of the night I dreamt about earthquakes...weird dreams. Anyways, when I woke up the next morning, I wasn't 100% sure if I had jsut been dreaming, or what, but I was pretty sure, because I distinctly remembered waking up and looking at the clock and all that. So later that day when we ran into our WML's wife and son at Target, she asked us if we'd felt it. YES!!! There really was an earthquake, and I felt it! Apparently it was pretty close by -- just in Hermosa beach, but nothing else has really happened since then. Don't worry though -- I'm safe, everything is just fine; it's just part of living in California.

Sorry Mom, I hope I didn't worry you too much; I was just excited to have finally felt an earthquake. I'm over it now, and would be fine with no more earthquakes :)

It was great to hear from mom and dad this week -- I love getting letters full of Spiritual insights and happiness! Thank you!!!

I really excited because this week we'll be going to the temple for a special mission-wide devotional with Pres. Blackburn in the temple!!!!!!! Bah -- I can hardly wait!!!

I'm also sending a few pictures with this email :) One is of most of my zone last transfer, and the others are from Mohammad's baptism yesterday. The picture with just two sisters and Mohammad is Sis. Tittle and I; the other (with 3) is Sister Nef, who was Sis Tittle's companion when they very first started teaching Mohammad. Enjoy!

I want you to know that I really do love being a missionary! I know that the church it true -- the Book of Mormon is true, and no one can convince me otherwise!!! I'm SO grateful for the gospel in my life! Thanks for raising me in a good, righteous, gospel-centered home. I am forever indebted to you for that.

Just so you know, I'm walking in truth :)

I Love All of You SO MUCH, and I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!!!

Love,

Hermana Sallie

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!