Monday, November 25, 2013
This week's shout out goes out to my mom. Sorry I missed you last week. Happy (belated) birthday!
Seriously, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Well. It's like half a notch under Christmas and half a notch above my birthday. On Monday, this sister calls and says, "Hey, we are having a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at my in-law's house and I am inviting a non-member family over at 6!" Obviously we have to go. But then we already had a dinner appointment at 5. So, like the good missionaries we are, we had two dinners. Booyah. I refer to it as Thanksgiving Pre-gaming. Totally ready for this holiday. We have 2 or 3 dinners lined up with families since we can't knock doors, but I'm stoked. Love Thanksgiving.
We were at an FHE with the insanely adorable Allen family and we were playing Apples to Apples. They have this super sweet idea where they make their own cards. How genius is that? So you keep the green cards and make your own red cards. So we're playing, and the word is "Depressing." I put down "Going to jail" because that's depressing. Maddie, the oldest, was the judge and she goes through and she says "All of these make sense as depressing, but Papa Swallow?" And it got really quiet for a little and Allie says "...Grandpa Swallow isn't depressing" and we all just bust out laughing. Sister Olsen unknowingly insulted a whole family.
Taco miracle. Monday after we left the chapel, I was like "I really want Taco Bell" and Sister Olsen just laughed. But we drive up to John's house to say hi, and we're talking to him. Then his son rolls in and guess what he has? Taco Bell. Booyah.
We were at a park at like 6 PM and it was dark outside but we found these two people on a bench with their dog and started talking to them. They were discussing their relationship, totally awkward for us but the girl was totally open. Her name's Lisa. She's awesome. We hadn't even given her a Book of Mormon and she's like "Yeah. I'd love to read that. Do you have one?" And I was like "YES WE DO... hopefully it's in English." I'm not really sure what happened, but we have all these random language Book of Mormons in our trunk and none in English. I think we have one, but only because we stole it from the Danville sisters.
Knocked some doors the other day. This lady saw us and we were casually talking and she goes, "The Church of Jesus Christ... of Latter-day Saints? That's scary!" And she literally backs up and we were like "What's scary?" And she backs up more into her house and starts shutting the door and was like "You'll get saved somehow!" and shuts the door. We were like "The heck?" She was legitimately scared of us. And we've had people run away from us, but this was insane. It seemed like she thought we were the spawn of Satan or something...
Had an incredible lesson with Becca. She's really something else. We actually invited a couple young women to go with us, Alyssa and Tori, and we had a great lesson with Sister Waldron. It was great. We read 2 Nephi 4, which I encourage all of you to read, it's great. But sitting there with each other, we were able to get a lot out of it together and I know Becca felt the spirit while we were there. It was so awesome because Alyssa bore a super powerful testimony. She got all emotional, it was so cute. She's going to be a great missionary. But it was moments like that where I knew it was a great lesson. Hopefully Becca will come around soon. Soccer is ending, so she should be able to come to church now! :)
We taught John and the first thing he says is, "So I was reading on the internet..." And I was like aw naw. The internet is never a good sign. He tells us that he thinks the Book of Mormon is a fraud, and he's concerned for us because we're good people. Silly John. We talked to him and luckily we had some really great members who were able to talk with him and he's resolved to continue reading it. What a miracle.
WE SAW WENDY!!! I guess she went to Paradise, which is actually a place, and she also found a job striping, meaning painting the stripes on the road. She is really something else. She's basically running it even though it's basically bankrupt. She works sooo hard. We helped her get the water out of her truck bed because it rained like crazy the other day. She's so funny though, love her. She said she's basically not living there with Russ anymore, which is too bad.
Walked around for about an hour, rakes in hand, knocking doors, and asking people if we could rake their leaves for them. We got a lot of "Oh that's so sweet but we pay for someone to do that," but it was still really great. Me and Sister Chen (we were on exchanges) didn't really rake anything except for porches as we got there, but we were more than willing to help.
Everyone keeps bringing up the fact that I prayed for pizza. I've only prayed for it once, when I wrote about it a couple months back. I think this is one of those gifts that just keeps giving, because I think we only DIDN'T have pizza once this week. Sister Olsen's been trying to stay healthy so she's been kind of mad, but I'm pretty happy. Like really happy haha I love pizza! But yes, God is very mindful of us.
We did another musical number in Sacrament meeting, only we recruited some young women to do it with us. On a voluntary basis, they just really wanted to help us haha the youth in this ward are so great. Awesome testimonies, awesome voices, awesome faces... whole package haha
So this week's thought comes from 2 Nephi 4. It's verse 29, which says "Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions." This really hit me. It's hard to be patient with not only others, but yourself. And I'm running out of time, so.
Love you all! Maybe the attitude of gratitude be with you!
Posted by PL at 9:32 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
This week's shout out goes out to all those people I haven't written back yet. My sincerest apologies.
This week was insane. I only saw Sister Olsen 2 days out of the week, and I was roaming the Danvillage. PS did you know Danville has the highest clothes per capita in the NATION? Lifestyle of the rich and famous yo. Anyways, Sister Olsen had this huge 2 day meeting with all the leadership in the mission. So I was in a trio with Sister Chen and Sister Ierubwara. They're the chillest. We pretty much rocked it. Minus that we almost set the apartment on fire with the tea bag trick again. Maybe we should stop?
Becca dropped her baptismal date :( It was super sad. We are still working with her, we are very hopeful. She is the sweetest and you can tell she believes. We just aren't sure what happened to make her drop it... But the Lord knows what she needs, so we are going to leave it in His hands and He will let us know what we can do to help her.
Tons of miracles as we talked with everyone. People are so cool. At least most of them. Some of them are actually kind of mean. But they are still children of God, and everyone deserves a chance to hear our message. If not, we just leave them feeling better than before...
I learned how to fill tires this week. We are borrowing this new car since a raccoon destroyed our front bumper. It's a Chevy Malibu. I don't really like it, but I am grateful for a car... But this thing is a boat. It's HUGE and our stupid parking spot between two poles is nearly impossible in one fluid motion. Anyways, this car starts beeping and telling us it needs air in the tires. I had no idea how to do it, but this kind man came up and helped us. Not only did he help us, he also paid for it. How nice is that? We didn't even get to ask his name or anything, he just took off. Random Acts of Kindness. It's the thing to do.
We wanted to invite Glendoris to a baptism, so we had a stake out outside her house, waiting for her to come home. She didn't for awhile, so we left. Bummer. But we came back later, and she was home then and we were all standing on her porch and she says "Well, I won't be at church on Sunday" and I said "Oh! Well you should read... Chapter 20 in the Gospel Principles book" I had no idea what that was. Looked it up the next day, and of course it's baptism. Do I have a sweet sixth sense or what? Haha just kidding, it's the spirit.
There's been a huge push for gratitude this week. In Relief Society, they shared 5 steps to battle materialism, which is kind of the same thing:
1. Know who you are (It's more of what you are, not what you're wearing. But wear clothes.)
2. Know where you're going (What's your end goal? There's more to this life)
3. Be grateful (You don't have to have it all to have enough)
4. Think outside yourself (You are not the center of the world. Unfortunately.)
5. Be wise (Don't be stupid. Use yo brain.)
I'm super tired, so I don't really have much else to say, but I hope you are all having a fabulous week. This week is supposed to be great, like all weeks. But mostly this one. For now until next week.
Love you all!
Posted by PL at 6:34 PM
Monday, November 11, 2013
This week's shout out goes out to Ling! Happy birthday kid. You're the best. Everybody hit her today
What even happened this week.
I was basically never with Sister Olsen this whole week. Tuesday I was with Sister Park and Sister Evans. Wednesday I was with Sister Nelson in San Ramon. Saturday I was with a whole bunch of other sisters.
BECCAS GETTING BAPTIZED ON DEC 21!!!!!!!!!! So stoked. So so stoked. I've been waiting for this moment my WHOLE mission. Seriously. She's so ready. She's so great. She's the cutest ever and she has the best responses. We did ask her "If your friend invited you to go shopping on Sunday, what would you say?" And she said "I would say yes! But I would keep Jesus in my mind at all times." And we were like hmmmm. Anyways, she's totally on the right path. She's the best, love her.
San Ramon was the cat's pajamas. Honestly, it's so different. And Sister Nelson is the bomb diggity. She's the coolest. And I made her hot chocolate and left her a note that said "This cup of hot chocolate isn't even hotter than you!" I have a future with Hallmark. We were teaching this Chinese class (they didn't tell me they all spoke Cantonese until the end) and here we are in the park. I'm listening, because I can understand the Mandarin, but I'm responding in broken Chinese haha. Really they just repeat the English words. We just do pronunciation. But halfway through, I feel hands in my hair and I hear a sniff. This girl came up behind me and sniffed my hair. It's a good thing I showered. Seriously. But she did that and walked off like nothing happened. And then she came back and sniffed Sister Nelson's hair and shoulder, and got super close and said "WHAT DOES THE CHICKEN SAY? WHAT DOES THE COW SAY?" Not gonna lie, kind of super freaked out. But, it was okay. Sort of.
We are still teaching John. We had to Kanye him a couple times, but it was necessary. Our member, Sister Coons, just shut him up. She's awesome. She's probably actually my favorite person in this ward. Seriously, I love her so much. But she bore a powerful testimony and told him things she knew as a convert that we didn't. We are still going to talk to him, but he isn't reading the Book of Mormon :(
We had like a 1 second earthquake. That was kind of fun.
Got to go to another wedding. Pretty sweet. Got to meet all these awesome people. One lady told me she misses the shore. It was like music to my ears. You never know how much you miss the east coast until you leave and people start thinking you talk funny. I totally DON'T have an accent. Yo. BUT there's a certain lingo that you only hear in the East coast. And I miss the shore. Sigh. But anyways, met this really nice girl named Sarah, who might potentially be interested in the church! But she lives out of our area, so we will send her on. Seriously, she's the sweetest. She got in a photo booth with us to take pictures! I'll figure out how to send those on next week. And we met this lady, who a couple months ago, we knocked on her door and she yelled through the door "WE AREN'T INTERESTED GO AWAY" so we did. But, we met her and she totally like. She loves me basically. And I don't say that in a super self centered way, just that she told me to try on a ring and she told me she'd make me one, that's all. Either way, she's invited us back to her house. Call in the choir. For real.
Stake Conference/church was in Oakland, so we hitched a ride with Bishop Smyth in his 12 passenger van. So it's 8 amand it rolls in and the Elders are getting a ride with us. They have 6 kids, but one is on a mission. So technically they didn't have to, but it was more comfortable for them to take this van. We had a great stake conference though. Learned a lot, which I will talk about in a bit. Afterwards, Bishop says "Do you sisters want ice cream?" And Sister Olsen says "We kind of need to go back and plan..." And Bishop says "Well. We are getting ice cream." So we did. But not breaking the Sabbath! One of our members, Brother Perry, works for Nestle. So we go into this huge corporation and there's an ice cream bar. Not like one bar of ice cream, but multiple gallon containers of ice cream. Soooo good. It was really really great. Totally worth it haha
Seriously, the members here are so nice. They are like the best examples of being wealthy yet humble and so giving. We were just outside and a member offered to buy us lunch. And everyone is always taking such good care of us and I am so so grateful for all of them. I write about it in my gratitude journal! Words can't describe how grateful I am. They're all just so thoughtful...
We had this great talk about being "all in" to the gospel. One of my favorite things he talked about was having a legacy of kindness. A lot of times you remember those who are mean, but more often than not, you remember those who are kind to you. You may not remember their name, but you remember their kindness towards you. That's something we should all shoot for. We don't need personal recognition, but we want that kind of legacy to follow us. I shared that story a couple months ago about my co-worker (at least I hope I did, because I don't feel like re-typing it) and I maybe not remember her name in a couple years, but I'll remember what she did. It was great, and I'll always remember her for that and be grateful.
You're all like sunshine- you make everything better :)
Posted by PL at 8:48 PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
This week's shout out goes out to Ray-Ray the raccoon. If I'd been driving, I would've swerved but... I'm sure you made good decisions, take care little buddy.
Holy cow it's been a long week.
Started this week with an exchange. She's been out like 8 weeks now, so it was pretty fun. We were out doing some yard work for our investigator, Kristi, and we made this huge pile of leaves. And of course, I jumped in it. She refused to, she said she saw some mushrooms or something. But Kristi is super awesome. She had this huge brain tumor and was supposed to die, but here she is. She's totally fine. It's a miracle. She loves God and she really just wants to be like him. She's golden, but right off the bat she told us she doesn't want to be baptized. So we are just going to keep meeting with her and serving her :) But she's so nice, she fed us PIZZA. That's a sure sign of a good person. And she had some like horse chestnuts or something on her lawn from her tree. Super bitter, don't eat them.
This super nice family lets us go to their house on p-days and do laundry, and they have the cutest little dog, Trixie. She sat and read scriptures with me haha
This super nice family lets us go to their house on p-days and do laundry, and they have the cutest little dog, Trixie. She sat and read scriptures with me haha
We have another new investigator, John MXXXXw. My first encounter with him, I was ready to punch him in the face. Totally un-Christlike. But he has some major issues with the Book of Mormon and he's been taught on and off for the past 5 years. We were talking about how we got the Book of Mormon and he was ranting and raving and totally upset by the fact we put the Book of Mormon at the same level as the Bible, but we started talking about the Plan of Happiness. And he was quiet. HE WAS QUIET. And I was like "HOLY GOLDEN SILENCE" and we told him all about it, and he said he's not "sold" but he doesn't think it's wrong. Booyah. He said he would keep studying the Book of Mormon, but we've gotten further with him than the past couple missionaries have. And I'm slowly starting to like him. Slowly.
Tallia dropped us :( She has no desire to learn and her parents aren't going to push her.
Becca's doing great! She had an awesome time at Youth Conference and apparently met some boys. Woohoo! But she's reading the scriptures, praying, and she takes what we tell her and processes it and gives us these awesome metaphors in return. She totally gets it. BUT we technically haven't asked her parents if she'd be allowed to be baptized yet. Oops. But we will! She's great.
So we have this stupid parking spot. It's between two poles. Who builds these things? Anyways, the other night Sister Olsen was getting out and POP and she didn't think about it, but the morning after... yeah, she's kind of crippled. I mean, I guess she probably isn't actually. But it's funny because the day she was in a lot of pain, we were having dinner with a ward member who just happens to be an orthopedic surgeon. And get this, he was leaving for Italy the next day. The Lord loves His missionaries, let me tell you. Either way, she hobbles along. And I run downstairs at night to grab the ice packs and what not...
Got to peel wallpaper. Like 3 layers of it. But it gets like wet and cements to fingers and clothes and you're peeling... Sure is a test of patience. I'm pretty sure the lesson here is to paint, not cover. Otherwise you'll spend hours recruiting neighbors, friends, and missionaries to come peel it off. And your house will be covered in random strips of paper.
So Happy Halloween, only not. We got to do Haunted Housecleaning. Get it? I thought it was pretty tricky. We cleaned everything and its mother. And there I was with the vacuum again. I ran around looking for the scissors, and remembered they were in the car. Luckily (or unluckily) we found this random pair of nose hair scissors that belonged to neither of us. I'll attach pictures.
A cat came into our car! Only, I forgot my cord, so I'll put that picture up next week.
And on the super awesome day of Americans believing they can control time (AKA daylight savings), we lost. Hard. We set all our clocks back and stuff EXCEPT THE PHONE. And this thing goes off and I was like "I'm still tired. I don't feel like I got more sleep, and it's still dark outside... but I'll be good and just get up." Then our bishop texts us at 9 and then everything started making sense and I was like "IM GOING BACK TO BED" so I did for an hour. But like, the one day we get to sleep in... we don't. Not gonna lie, I'm kind of expecting major blessings for accidentally... yeah...
This week's thought comes from Becca, who learned this at youth conference. So, giraffes. They can kick lions. Which probably looks ridiculous, but they're super strong so they can decapitate lions (or so I was told). But apparently there was a picture of a lion eating a giraffe and the reasons were because 1 It was wounded, 2 It was alone, and 3 Its foot got stuck in a rut or something. That giraffe could be us. Sometimes words hurt us, or people hurt us, and we let ourselves get taken down by it. Sometimes we've wandered and hang out with the wrong crowd or we refuse to let anyone in. Sometimes we've wandered into a place where we can't be strong and we get in trouble. Either way, these can all lead us down a path that will ultimately hurt us more than it will help. We have to apply the Savior's atonement. We have to stick together. We have to stand on a firm foundation and stay away from the ground that will consume us.
Hope your weeks are all gobble-tastic!
Posted by PL at 9:49 PM