Monday, April 26, 2010

email of 26 April 2010

So...I do in fact have a birthday coming 24th, as a matter-o-fact. :) Here's a little something fun about it too: This coming transfer (starting Wednesday) is another temple p-day transfer, and I realized a few weeks ago that my birthday is on a Wednesday (which is the day we go), so I thought, wouldn't it be cool if I got to go to the temple on my p-day?! Well, we just happen to work in the same ward as the APs (who also live right next door in the mission home, and with whom we play soccer every morning), so Sunday at ward correlation, I asked about it -- not trying to find out about transfers, just checking to see if my zone (that I'll be in) might be going on my birthday. Anyways, so those elders, being the little sweetie-heads that they are (and I mean that in total respect and appropriateness) said they'd "see what they could do" to get my zone going on my birthday!!!!! What a great way to celebrate a birthday, no? I'm excited, anyways!

So speaking of my birthday, if you so choose to send me a little something (which wouldn't hurt my feelings in the least), I think the three things that would really warm me heart and soul would be some of Mom's homemade granola, some pictures of my amazing and incredibly adorable family, and some bread...if you can. At least the granola and pictures :) Hmmmm, stuff to de-smell shoes, hand-written letters, and just lots and lots of love! I don't particularly need any sweets -- I have a whole drawer full of them already, although a small bag of pb m&ms would be just fine...mostly because of the sentimental value :) I can't think of much else, so whatever your little hearts desire!

Now, on to my week!!!

This Wednesday is transfer-time again (dun, dun, dun), and I at least know that I'm not training again this time around!!! Not that I don't love's just that it would be nice to work with a sister who also has other experience and ideas in the work that I can draw on. My guess is that I'll be transferred because I've been here in MdR for 6 months now, but it is possible that I'll stay again. Who knows? (Well, the Lord, President and all the office Elders...). I'm excited to see what happens!

Yesterday was kinda fun; I thought of you, Mom, because we got called in to teach a teen-age Sunday School class that was missing a teacher. It was really fun! We taught the first part of Lesson 2 (the Plan of Salvation) to about 10 14-18 year olds. It was funny to see the know-it-all seminary masters, as well as the quiet, shy, reserved ones, and to talk about the Fall of Adam and Agency and the Atonement, etc. I just love being a missionary :)

We, once again, had no one at church this week. I don't know what happened, but my patience is sure being tried with a couple of our investigators. My companion said "Be nice!" when I called James to find out why he wasn't there (again). I just said "I am nice! Even when I'm frustrated I really try to be nice on the phone!" "Yes, but you're visibly annoyed," was her reply. I guess sometimes that still comes out in the voice, even when I try to be nice... Anyways, there was a visitor at the singles' ward, who apparently already had all the lessons, is in Alma in her BofM reading, and wants to be baptized.

We're teaching her tonight, but will have to pass her on to the other set of sisters that works in our ward b/c she lives in their comp is a little bummed about that, but oh well.

After church, we went to see Cesar, because we hadn't seen or heard much from him all week--since last, amazing Sunday--and he was home! And Happy to see us! He'd been out of town all week, but was back, had read the pamphlet we gave him last Sunday, and was thrilled when we asked if he wanted to come up that night for a temple tour and the Joseph Smith movie!!! He's great, and just makes my little missionary heart happy!!!

I sure hope you have a great week! I Love you SO MUCH and pray for you everyday! The church is true!!!

I LOVE being a missionary!!!

I LOVE all of you!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


Monday, April 19, 2010

email of 19 April 2010

Dear family,

Oh my goodness, can I just tell you how wonderful and amazing and miraculous it is being a missionary?!?!?!?!

There's a song that's been running through my head since yesterday afternoon . . . remember the one from Fiddler on the Roof that goes "Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles..."? Well, that's the one that's been in my head! Now, let me tell you why...

Earlier this week (Wednesday), our zone leaders came out on team-ups with us (that just means they come out to teach a lesson with us to see how we're doing), and they are amazing at talking to everyone. One person they/we talked to was a young man (in his 20's) named Cesar. One of the elders noticed a tattoo of la virgin (Virgin Mary) on his arm, pointed to it and asked him if he was religious. Turns out he'd never been to a church before in his life, but his grandmother was a devout catholic, and he'd gotten the tattoo in honor of her when she passed away. He asked if we were from a church or something, so we asked him if he'd ever seen the big white building on Santa Monica and Overland (the temple). "Oh that's you guys?! I go by there all the time, and I've always wanted to go up and see it, but I've never really known if I could." We told him that of course he could, and we'd love to take him on a temple tour (guided walk around the grounds) sometime this week. He was super excited and said that he'd love to, but had to check his work schedule. So we got his phone number and address and promised to call him. When we called him a day or two later, he was again SO excited to come up. Well, things ended up falling through, but he called us right as he got off work Saturday night at 10:29pm (right before bedtime) to see if there was another time to come. We invited him to church the next day, and he told us that he'd love to come! "Ok, so I'll see you at 2 then!"

Those are the words that I love to hear!!!!

Well, Sunday morning comes, and in our first two wards (our Spanish and family wards) no one shows up. NO ONE. Not even our regulars! RRRRGH. As 2pm comes, right before the singles ward starts, we were outside waiting for and calling the four other people who were supposed to come to that ward. Nobody. Finally, we got a text (we can receive them but not send them) from Cesar telling us that he was on his way. So we went on inside and waited in class; about 10 minutes later we get another text telling us that he was outside. We went out and got him, and he was so happy to see us! He came right in, telling us how excited he was, and how nice it was that we'd invited him. He really enjoyed the gospel principles class, and we set him up with one of the ward missionaries for PH. When we met back up for SM, he was still going strong, just loving it! We introduced him to lots of people, and he really seemed to enjoy Sacrament Meeting. Sat quietly and very attentively through the whole thing. So right after it was over, we asked him how he'd liked it, and if we could teach him a little bit. He said yeah, he'd love that. So we grabbed another member and an empty classroom, sat down and taught him. Mostly, we just ended up teaching about who God and Jesus Christ are, how much they love and are aware of us, and how blessed we are as we follow them. He literally just soaked it all up, and had tons of questions and comments. He's been looking for something in his life lately -- knew something was missing, but didn't know what. Anyways, we committed him to baptism for may 9th, and he was thrilled. Honestly, thrilled. He couldn't thank us enough for the opportunity. That was really humbling for me. THEN, he came to a baptism that was happening right after wards at 6pm!!!!!


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

We're going to hike the Hollywood sign today...I'll send pictures!!!

Love you more than you know!!!!

I love being a missionary!!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


PS . . . for those of you looking for or who read the "Troll" story, sorry, it was determined to be an "urban legend", so we removed it. No blame on or offense to whoever passed it through to this point, and I appologize for not checking it sooner. (Sallie's Dad)

Monday, April 12, 2010

email of 12 April 2010

Hello, my beloved family!!!!!

I would like to tell you today about the most exciting phone call I think I have ever received in my entire life. No, seriously.

Wednesday evening, as we were driving home, the phone rang, and it was Patricia (our investigator who we've been teaching almost since I got here to MdR (Marina del Rey), who I love terribly). My companion answered (I'm the driver, hence no phone usage in the car for me), and started talking to her. Patricia said that she had something she wanted to tell us, and she decided this time to tell us right away, instead of keeping us on the edge of our seats for another 3 days (she's done that before..."I have something to tell you!...when you come over on Tuesday." AAAAAAH!). "So I'm just going to tell you, and not make you wait."

Sis Stout turned the phone on speaker, and we both just looked at each other in a sort of excited fear, because our last appointment had been a lot of resolving concerns and helping Patricia feel ok about things, stop freaking out about the idea of baptism (she psyched herself out every time she even thought about setting a date), and know that no, she wasn't wasting our time. So now, we were waiting to hear her "news".


"I decided that I want to be baptized on May 16th."


We were (are) two very excited sister missionaries, doing all in our power to not yell and scream and completely go ballistic with joy as we drove down the 405, let me just tell you! Patricia told us that she'd had a "revelation" last night -- she always does things for everyone else: what's best for her son, what would make her parents happy, what her friends would approve of, etc, etc, etc. Well, it finally occurred to her that if this is what makes her happy, and it's a good thing, and it's what she wants to do, then she ought to just do it!!! She chose May 16th because her birthday is May 18th, and she wants to do it right before her birthday.

Joy of joys as a missionary, to have your investigator, who you've labored over and planned for and prayed and prayed and prayed about, call you and tell you she wants to be baptized and tells you a specific date!!!

I hope that brings all of you at least a little bit of the joy and excitement it brought me.

Thank you so much for all your prayers on my behalf and for our investigators. I can't tell you how much that means to me, and how much the Lord answers them! Now, if you could just pray a little more for us today -- we have a lesson with Patricia tonight, and we're going to see if she's willing to move her date up sooner. She's SO READY right now, and I don't want to run the risk of anything getting in the way of her getting baptized!!!

Oh, I thought you might enjoy knowing too that we met "probably the 3rd hippest person" on the subject of religion a few weeks ago. His name is Lee. We tracted into him, and he told us a few things about what Jesus really meant by certain things in the Bible. He also told us that we should go find others to talk to who needed this more than him, since he was "probably the 3rd hippest person on this subject". Why 3rd? I don't know; that's just what he told us.

We've been trying to work more with the members lately, and have been visiting them, teaching some about the Atonement, and the motivation that our really knowing, understanding, and experiencing the Atonement in our own lives gives us to share that knowledge and assurance with others. Alma 36, Mosiah 28:3.

No time left, but I do love you so much and pray for all of you daily! Remember who you are, choose the right, and keep trying to be like Jesus!!!!!

I Love Being a Missionary, and I Love All of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


Monday, April 5, 2010

email of 05 April 2010

Hello Family!!!

Wasn't General Conference A-MAZING?!?!?! Man alive, I LOVE conference! I actually meant to bring my notes with me to the library today so that I could share some of my favorite talks and other thoughts I had during GC, but I forgot it :( Sorry! I was rather impressed, however with how much the family was really talked about and emphasized this time around! I loved all the counsel for parents and for children, and Mom, I sat there thinking of you during all of E. Ballard's talk too! I'm always so excited when Conference time comes around, and so sad when it's over so quickly. Anyways, I just thought everything was so wonderful, and I am SO grateful that we are privileged to live in a time and place that allows us to: 1) Have a living prophet and apostles, and 2) be able to see and hear them speak almost instantaneously. What a blessing! We, of course, went to the chapel for each took me back a lot to my childhood days of dressing up and going to the chapel for every session, with Subway between sessions on Saturday, and plenty of whining about Sunday clothes and wanting to watch it in the gym...sorry about all that. Mom, Dad, thanks for persevering through all that to help instill such a love and appreciation for hearing the living prophets! We didn't have Subway between session on Saturday...we were actually helping one of our investigators move, so we didn't even get around to lunch on Saturday; we did, however have some hot and ready Little Caesar's pizza and freshly bought Mexican grilled chicken at our dinner appointment on Sunday...we're still working on Sabbath-day observance with some of our new-members here...

So I'm guessing you've all heard about our earthquake! Yep, apparently we got a 7.2 (from what I heard, the epicenter was in Baja, and it was felt into parts of AZ.), and would you believe that I DIDN'T EVEN FEEL IT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! AAAAAAAH! I'm so mad that I somehow missed it! I've always kinda wanted to feel an earthquake, and here I am, in California, sitting right on top of one of the biggest fault lines in the US (world?), we went and had one, and I didn't even realize it 'till someone we tracted into told us about it. I think we were out street contacting a little bit when it happened because we were talking to a guy named Mario when the homeless guy, David, who we'd just talked to, stood up, looked around, and pointed up at the power lines (he was several yards away from us, but I was facing his direction, which is why I saw him. He kept standing there for a minute, mostly looking up, so finally I looked up and noticed that the power lines were swaying, but I didn't think much of it. I think I just figured some animal or something had just run across them or something...I dunno. Anyways, apparently everybody else felt it but us...Lame. Oh, and as far as I know, or have noticed, there haven't been any major problems or structural damage or anything because of it.

Hmmm, let's see...I have more time than usual because I didn't have as many letters to read this week, and I'm not sure what to do with all this extra time! Sorry my letters have been getting shorter than they were at the beginning; I'll try to do better, but I just find myself more excited about reading than writing lately.

We had Zone Conference this week! It's one of my favorite parts of the transfer! We were trained on/talked a lot about working with the ward leaders, especially having a good relationship with the bishop and ward mission leader, and also had some really excellent trainings on our purpose as missionaries, charity, and the Atonement. It's such a great pick-me-up, and always comes at the right time...kind of like holiday breaks when you're in school, but on a slightly more intense spiritual level.

How is everything going for everyone?! Mom, I'm sure you're just loving being up in Oregon with Joseph, Wendy and their three little guys! How's little Caleb? Joseph says he's a pretty chill baby, which I'm sure is a nice contrast to the more energetic older boys. Give them all hugs and kisses for me!

Dad, sorry to hear about the tires...Kinda funny and slightly ironic the way you lost both front left tires right in a row, huh? Sounds like everything else is going well though -- thanks for your notes and thoughts on Conference! Oh, and thank you so much too for the E. Bednar talk you snail-mailed me a few weeks ago on faith! What an awesome talk!

David, how are all the plans going for graduation/college, etc? How's work, school, friends, all of that?

Sam, Suzan and little Samuel, how in the world are things going for y'all? Thanks for the little card you sent with the quotes and stuff in it a few weeks ago (sorry, I can't remember if I already said thanks for that or not)! Hope life is treating you well!

And Joseph and Wendy, I hope things are still going super well with the new baby and the other two little boys! Sorry to hear you've been so sick, Joseph -- I'll definitely send some prayers your way!

Well, that's it for now. Hope you all have a great week! Always remember that your missionary in SoCal loves you, prays for you, and misses you! The church is TRUE!!!


Hermana Sallie


I still love being a missionary :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

email of 29 March 2010

Note: Why she was late this week: (Apparently Monday was Cesar Chavez day, so I'm just now getting to write ... I was under the impression that we live in the U.S., but I guess this is southern California...might as well be Mexico :) )

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here today to once again examine a week in the life of a missionary...

First of all, much love and congratulations to the Brown family!!! I'm so happy to hear how things are going for you right now! Thanks to the Lord for His abundant tender mercies over us and your family! I know lots of prayers have been offered on your behalf!

I'm SO EXCITED to have another little boy in our family! Babies and little children are one of the things I miss the most being a missionary...there's lots of them, but it's pretty much hands off for us, which kills! And then there's all these babies at home that I don't get to meet for a while, but it's all ok! Like the saying goes, I've left my family for a year and a half so that other people can be with their's for eternity! Speaking of which, I really want to find a family to teach and baptize! I was looking over the names of my recent converts this morning, and was just thinking of how much I love them all, but really really really want to be able to see a family come into the church and progress to the temple and everything. That is so much of what this is all about! It's not just "getting people wet," but helping all of them receive the exalting ordinances of the temple!!! One of the incredible blessings of serving a mission in the LA mission is being so close to the temple! It's been closed for the last week and a half or so for cleaning, and, as missionaries, we get a chance to help with cleaning assignments! We went and served last Wednesday, and got to help the florist take apart, and prep for a lot of the floral pieces in the temple and visitor's center! We also helped clean all the seats in one of the endowment rooms, and dusted railings and baseboards in another room. I LOVE the temple! It's such a beautiful place, especially when you know and understand the significance of what happens there. Being a missionary and studying the gospel much more in-depth than I ever have before has done so much to help me better understand and appreciate the temple, and I just want everyone to know about it and go there!!!

We had beach p-day this week! "Beach p-day?", you ask? Yes, it's true. We got to go to the beach this last Monday!!! We just stayed up on the sand, playing volleyball and building sand castles and looking at the ocean, and it was SO GREAT!!!! My companion got super sunburned. I wore sun screen. I do have some pretty great farmer's tan lines that are coming back now that it's warming up again. :) Love it.

Hmmm, let's see. Nothing else super exciting at the moment...we're teaching some great people; including a young man from Australia (Syndey) named James. He has a baptismal date for April 18th. Now we just need to get him more excited about it! He's willing and happy, but not exactly enthused...I don't think he's fully caught the vision yet. But he will!

I would like you all to know again how much I really love my life and love my mission. I'm so grateful that the Lord allowed me -- even prompted me -- to come and have this privilege.

Hope you all have a great week! Your missionary in LA is praying for you!!!!!

I Love you, and I love being a missionary!!!

Much Love,
Hermana Sallie