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!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


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!


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!!!!!

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!!!

Hermana Sallie