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!!!!!

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


Monday, September 20, 2010

email of 20 September 2010


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!!!!!!!


Hermana Sallie


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!!!!!!!!!!



Hermana Sallie


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!!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie

...who loves being a missionary!!!