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!!!!

Hermana Sallie



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)'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!!!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie


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!!!

Hermana Sallie


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."

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


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!!!!



Hermana Sallie