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!"


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!



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'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 also LOVE being a missionary!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


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 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!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


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?"
"Man! I knew they sent the guys out -- I've seen them around -- but I didn't know they sent women too. And here!"
"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!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


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 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...


...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.


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

I also love being a missionary!!!

Hermana Sallie