Monday, March 31, 2014

3/31/2014 Missionary Barbie

I hope the whole mission is as amazing as Santa Rosa too, but I have had a lot of missionaries tell me this has been their favorite place soo....
Yes! My Spanish! Whew, I am pretty comfortable talking about gospelly stuff. Its everything else I need to work on haha
So yesterday we had 7 investigators at church! It was a miracle! Magdelena, and her daughters Liliana, and Nadia have a baptismal date for 19th of April! yay! So exciting! And Carolina and her kids Jonathon Aidan and Elizabeth came too! I love them so much!!!
At Tech Training on Saturday we acted out one of the Mormon messages and Elder Packer Dean was the scorpion, it was so dang funny hahaha
And the Musical Fireside practice last night was really good too.
We have an Hermana that we do exchanges with, Hermana Tracey, that has her birthday tomorrow and she LOVES Barbie. She wants to work for Barbie when she grows up. So we bought her a Barbie and Hermana Bryant had to make a modest outfit for it. And then drew on missionary shoes and a watch and a book of Mormon! haha its pretty cute!!
So it was a super fun week.
I hope you all are doing well! Love you! Talk to you soon!
Isn't that sweet?
This is such a testimony to me about the importance of talking to everyone! I am so honored and blessed that I get to touch so many lives in this work. Just by being a little friendly, and saying hi. I only talked to this lady a handful of times during my 6 weeks in the CCM, and she still remembers me!
Oh man. Please tell Uncle Russ and Aunt Adelaide I said thank you too!
(She just got Uncle Russ and Aunt Adelaide's Christmas Cards from Mexico)

This is a sweet painting we saw on the side of the road with Movies that have been filmed right here in Santa Rosa! I have been to a bunch of these places!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24/2014 Scriptures and Weakness

Favorite scriptures!
"The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." -1 Samuel 16:7
"Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past and the true light now shineth." -1 John 2:8
"Oh that I were an angel, and couple have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" -Alma 29:1
"Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the spark which ye have kindled."-2 Nephi 7

Not Withstanding Our Weakness by Neal A. Maxwell
And you can too mom. I hope it will help you. It helped me ALOT when I was having a super hard time. I was feeling really discouraged.
Also there are a couple awesome Mormon messages. Like
"The Will of God" and "Mountains to Climb" that us missionaries listen to when we are having a hard time. (: Mountains to Climb is every Provo Missionaries favorite haha Elder Tooley can quote the whole thing word for word, haha I like the Will of God.
Its a good reminder for me to humble myself...
And I know when we trust in the Lord we will learn and grow in ways we never thought possible, to become only what he saw in his eternal perspective of us
Oh, So one thing I forgot to tell you about was our musical fireside practice last night.
It was so much fun! We were all in the mission home from 6:30-8:30. I was in charge of herding everyone around and making sure they were in their assigned practice rooms and in the main room with Sister Alba when they needed to be. Every one was calling me "The Stage Manager" hahahah it was pretty funny. it was the best job, cuz I got to talk to all the other missionaries all night! oh, I love our zone. We are awesome!
It tanned the next day, I promise!

California MoProm. It was an underwater theme. They decorated as a service project.

this is at a members home. He lives in the middle of this big vineyard.
These are all the Elders in the Branch, plus two sisters makes 9!
From Left to Right
Elder Albertson,  Elder Jeske, Elder Debora, Elder Dunlap, Elder Despain,
Elder Mathusek and Elder Wright

Monday, March 17, 2014

Birthday Week for Companion

Unfortunately you were in the lame part of Cali. With traffic, and too many people, and its too hot there. Northern California! That's where its at! Hahah its still only in the 70s 80s. But its getting warmer every day. Today I am going shopping for some nice Tshirts/ Blouses cuz I wear sweaters with all my outfits right now.
How cow! Congrats Hunter! That's awesome! Tell Brother Bigelow, its the best mission in the world. No kidding. And yes, its all mine haha
Ummm Poor Autumn! Yeah I loved Mexico for 6 weeks, but I would have been happy to stay there for 4 weeks and call it good, definitely not two years! haha
Yeah this was a crazy week.
So Tuesday we had interviews with President Alba and Sister Alba. I guess we have them every other transfer. I was really down and discouraged that day, but its ok. I got over it. I was just super stressed out because we had Exchanges the next day and President Alba said I should know more spanish haha On Wednesday I had to lead out our Area with 2 English sisters following me around. That was exactly what I needed! It totally boosted my confidence again! So I'm doing good. I taught like 3 lessons that day by myself 100% in Spanish. Thursday I got Hermana Bryant back and we just saw lots of miracles. We have been teaching a lot of lessons! And meeting a ton of new people!
Friday was Hermana Bryant's Birthday! Our elders are so nice to her! She turned 20! We had weekly planning all day, but we wanted to have a Weekly Planning Pazookie Pancake Party. So we tried to make pancakes, but we failed. haha the first attempt tasted like celery. So then the Elders made pancakes for us instead haha Elder Albertson tried to make an airplane, it didn't turn out. Elder Wright made Mickey Mouse pancakes for us hahah
And Elder Wright made us a Pazookie because he owed us. We helped him our with his baptism a couple weeks ago, so he said he would make us a Pazookie. it was super good! Then Elder Jeske and Elder Debora showed up. They had to drive half an hour from their house to the Church where we all were. They made a Red Velvet cake! and bought balloons! And sticky noted our car! And they got her a present.. and Abercrombie bag with a picture of a shirtless man on it. It was soooo funny! Oh it was such a great day! Then we went to dinner at Sazon! Jose our less active owns the restaurant and said we could eat there on a Friday night for Hermana Bryant's birthday!
So then Saturday happened. Saturday was a super weird day. Hermana Bryant woke up with a Migraine so she slept through studies. And she still wasn't feeling great but we went to do service at Jose's house. Apparently Elder Wright has a car detailing business at home, so he taught us all how to do it and we had a huge missionary car wash in Jose's driveway haha it was awesome! We like buffed it (is that the right word) and everything. it was so clean it was like looking in  a mirror. It was a great service project haha So Jose treated us all to Sazon (all 7 of us) for lunch! Oh yeah, there was 7 of us. Hermana Bryant, me, Elder Albertson, Elder Dunlap, Elder Wright, Elder Mathusek and their new companion.. .ELDER DESPAIN! From my MTC district?? Whaaat? What are the odds that 3/5 of us would go to Santa Rosa and be in the same branch! hahahah its crazy! His companion had to go home to have a back surgery, he couldn't walk :( So he got ETed (emergency transferred) to Santa Rosa! Yay! Super fun! So after lunch we did a blitz in the Elders Area (where everyone in our branch goes to one area to proselyte for 1-2 hours) So we saw more miracles! Then we went to dinner at the Vasquez family's house... she fed us this soup stuff, I think it is called Pasole. We've had it before... but when Hermana Vasquez makes it... she makes it with Pig Feet. So yes father, all 9 of us missionaries have eaten Pig's Feet now...
Then it was wonderful Sunday! We had church, there was a lady that came that doesn't speak Spanish and her husband asked if I could translate for her. So I did. All of Gospel Principles and Relief Society!!! I was so nervous but I did it! At the end of two hours though my head was killing me! Then we had dinner at the Escamia's. They made a nice American meal. Mashed Potatoes. BBQ chicken. We haven't had a meal like that In a long time haha And then they called it "Kentucky" style salad. Its just lettuce, corn, and mayonnaise! It was soooo good! And then cake and ice cream for dessert. Then we did BOOGA BOOGA!! its something the Escamias do with all the missionaries. You are not allowed to tell any one until they have done it too and they are in the club. So for all 9 of us missionaries it was our first time doing it! We are all initiated now! So I might have to teach you guys when I get home. It was so funny. I am totally doing it to the missionaries when I get home hahaha Next Sunday we are gonna try to get President and Sister Alba to come so we can make them do it too! hahaha
And then last night we had practice for the musical fireside from 6:30-9. at the mission home. I am super excited. It is going to be amazing! The Elders in our branch are mad cuz we roped them into singing haha. I am singing Down To the River. It's a MOTAB song if you want to look it up. And the Olive Tree of course:)
So yeah. it was a crazy week here in California. This week I am leading our area for like 3 days. We are doing back to back exchanges! I'm nervous! But I'm sure it'll be fine! I'll survive!
Anyway, I love you guys!


Monday, March 3, 2014

First Transfer!

Hey sorry I don't have a lot of time this week, we have to leave early because there is some crazy stuff happening today.
This week is Transfers, officially the end of my first transfer. We found out on Friday who was staying and who was going. Hermana Bryant and I are staying together in Santa Rosa! Yay! Some of our friends are leaving, but that's ok. Part of missionary life. Elder Dunlap and Elder Albertson are staying. Elder Stuart is leaving! He is one of our favorites!
So because we are in Santa Rosa we have to house extra sisters this week with transfers. Some sisters are going home, so their companions have to stay with us, Some sisters are training new greenies so they have to stay with us too. Its gonna be nuts. Things will get back to normal and everyone will be back to living with the right people by Thursday or Friday this week haha
Umm, I am crying I am laughing so hard. I am so excited about the vests on the Reindeer haha that is too dang funny! hahahahhaha Yes I recognized most of the reindeer in the pictures :)
I am glad that Reindeer Party was fun! And those Cowgirls sound great! haha
I am so super glad that you got my letter on your birthday! I hope you enjoyed it. I took a bunch!
I am doing fine, I don't need anything haha we just got more money because it is a new month. So don't worry about me:) I have target! ahhaa
Also, the STL's had training this week because it is the last week of the transfer so Hermana Bryant and Hermana Vance had to go to training all day. So I hung out with Hermana Vance's companion all day. And Hermana Vance's companion is... HERMANA HUNT! oh it was so fun!!! We had such a blast! It was pouring rain outside and we got soaked but we had a lot of fun! I loved seeing her again!
So I want to tell you about one of the miracles we had this week!
Wow what a week we had! I had the awesome opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's Hands yet again!
Last Sunday, I was on splits with the Windsor Sisters when a member from their ward called. She had a friend she had wanted the missionaries to visit, but she specifically requested sisters. The Windsor Sisters didn't have the miles to drive all the way to Stony Point, but I happened to be in the Car. So I volunteered that Hermana Bryant and I could introduce her to the English Elders. So we went to visit Laurie. We had an amazing lesson. Laurie is less active, and her husband and her two teenage nephews are not LDS. And her sister Terri that lives with her is not LDS either. We went and they were very interested in the gospel! Terri's daughter was in the other room because she didn't want to talk to missionaries. Terri's daughter is in a custody battle for her children, she needs 5 senators to support her so she can plead her case, and while we were in their house the 4th senator called and told her he would support her. He was from Utah. Wow! There are no coincidences! Also, there was a man that knocked at the door and wanted to install a security system, but Laurie told him she had a lot of company so he couldn't come in. Hermana Bryant and I went back Saturday night with the Elders to introduce them. Laurie told us the next day they saw the same man on the news. He had been breaking into houses with a gun and holding people hostage and shooting a few. Wow. What are the odds? I know the Lord was protecting his missionaries and his children that day. Laurie and Terri both came to church yesterday. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and see so many miracles in this work.
It was amazing!
So today we have to pick up some sisters to take home to our apartment. And we have a meeting with Sister Alba about the Musical Fireside (we are working on doing an Easter Program this next transfer!)
At the Beach
Favorite Quote of the week what we saw on a sign on the streets of California.
"Don't be afraid to try something new. Remember an amateur built the ark, and professionals built the Titanic."
Sweet huh?
"I stand all Amazed at what it means to be a missionary in this church today" -Jeffrey R. Holland
Love that one


Sunday, March 2, 2014

3/1/14 MTC song

This is a song Lauren and friends in the Mexico City MTC arranged and sang in their sacrament meeting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2/24/14 Daily Schedule!

Ok here is a little sneak peak at Santa Rosa missionary life.
6:30 wake up and run for a half our "Santa Rosa Shape Up"
7:00 Shower get ready
8:00 Personal Study
9:00 Companion Study
10:00 Language Study
11:00 Lunch Break
12:00 12 week program (For new missionaries)
so everyday from 1-5pm is different. Usually we are out on the streets contacting people. Meeting people, handing out cards, knocking doors, occasionally we teach a lesson, and we always do facebook for an hour in the afternoons if we have time. Our Dinner appointments start at 5 or 5:30.
So from 5:30-6:30 we have dinner
6:30-9 We are usually teaching lessons with set appointments or just dropping in (usually they are home when you just stop by and never home if you schedule an appointment haha) on our investigators.
9:00pm We plan for the next day and fill our all our teaching records for the day.
Then we have to be in bed with the lights off at 10:30. Usually getting ready for bed takes forever because all the other missionaries call us to plan stuff for the next day during that time because they know we will be home. The District leader calls us every night. The Zone Leaders usually call us most nights. And the Elders in our branch call us to coordinate dinner and language study (sometimes we do it together). And then if we need to call anyone (like members to invite to lessons) we do it during that time too.
So that is a normal day. But really the only "normal" days we have are Wednesday and Thursday.
Monday is Pday. Tuesday is district meeting. Friday is weekly planning, and Saturdays we do service. and of course sunday we have church.
So (Tyler won't think these numbers are impressive but..) This last week we taught 10 lessons. And yesterday we had a less active (Ezekiel) and an investigator (Griselda) at church!!