Merry Christmas!

Hopefully I can write about this all very quickly! I have spent the majority of my email time trying to send pictures! Maybe I will just write one great thing about each day. I doubt I can do that, but maybe. 

Monday- Many Pday things. Favorite: Giving treats to homeless people on corners. Oh, and Sister Talbert and I came up with a joke...The homeless person's pick-up line, "What's your sign?"

"The Pickle" game on Christmas Eve
Tuesday, Christmas eve!- Recent Convert, Eva's for Christmas movie. Pickle game at the Part-member family, the Coopers.
The Coopers 
Teaching 2 lessons in an hour and a half to Mallory, who is getting baptized THIS coming Saturday! Visiting the 1st Ward mission Leader, the Colemere's- treated like queens! Sister Diederich's- Christmas nativity.
Christmas pageant at the Diederich's!
Walker's- Video of the Savior and listening to the family perform Christmas music. The Anderson's, for dinner. 
The Andersons!
Wednesday, Christmas day!- Brunch at the Jones'.
Christmas at the Jones'!
Skyping the family from the Walker's home. Skyping my brother Matthew, my BFF. Visiting the CareCenter. Dinner in a mansion. Exchanging presents with Cecy, our landlady.
Cecy
Many other amazing visits all over the stake!

Thursday- Writing an article for the 26th ward newsletter, about Mallory's baptism. Moving heavy things in Cecy's garage.
Elders moving Cecy's things
Going on visits with the amazing 2nd ward Relief Society president, Sister Root.

Friday- Slipping on ice, graciously falling on my bum. Reading the Book of Mormon with our 91-year-old friend. 
Our little 91-year-old friend
My FAVORITE thing about this day is that we found a FAMILY!! I have been praying praying praying for a family to teach and we found them. Miracle!! I love the Lord. 
That night, we went to the Anderson's, a less-active family we've been visiting. They had us over for Christmas eve, but forgot to feed us dessert, so Karilyn invited us over to eat pie and icecream. We weren't planning on teaching anything specific, but the Spirit prompted me to talk to them about being sealed in the temple. The Spirit was SO STRONG! They both seemed very very interested in getting married in the temple and being sealed as a family. Love it!

Saturday- Bingo at the Healthcare center. Cute old people! 
We met Fawn at the Care Center!
Sunday- Day of miraclessss!! Our family came to church! Also, our other new investigator came to church! She texted us before church and said, "I have a question for you. Can I wear earrings and perfume to church?" So cute!! At 9:47 am, she texted and said, "I am getting ready already!" and church didn't start until 1 pm!! Ahh! 
We met with her and then with the family later the day. We officially have 5 people on date for baptism!! Miracleess!!

All is well! Happy New Year! 

"Wow, you have power that fills the whole room."

My goodness, I am exhausted already!
 Icicles!
Merry Christmas to all! I can't believe how quickly the end of the year is flying by! It's scary and wonderful and I have mixed emotions about life. I can tell that this email will be a gongshow, and so I apologize in advance! 

Last Monday- Sister Talbert and I spent hours at Walmart, searching for little presents to give to our landlady, Cecy. She is so wonderful and always surprises us with clothes, food, etc. She has basically everything though, so we were trying to think about what we could get her! We decided that we would get her lots of little things, so that she could have more options of things that she might enjoy. We ended up getting her random things that everybody would use, we think! We were wrapping them in the basement and she knocked on her door and we said, "Hey! Don't come in!"
Also, we ate pizza with a wonderful mother and her less-active daughter. 
To end the evening, we went to a nativity display at the church. It was a combined activity with another Christian church down the street. I wish I took pictures, but I didn't! It was so fancy and beautiful. 

Tuesday- Ahh! So great! I wish that I could be Dumbledore and just pull out all of my thoughts and experiences without having to actually put them into words. I'd put them in my Pensieve and you could just watch them... But.. I don't have a Pensieve, so here I go.
We went to visit a Part-Member family. The husband is a non-member (and he's the one who said I would be the first LDS woman bishop.) His neighbor told us that he told her how much he loves us and how great we are, so we thought we'd better keep trying! So we showed up and he invited us in and he and his wife talked to us. After a little while, his non-member brother showed up. He started asking a lot of questions, trying to stump us, and of course we said, "We have all of the answers to these questions! You should meet with missionaries!" Well he kept being a little antagonistic, but the BEST part is that the non-member who we had showed up to see, didn't just sit there. He defended us and actually defended the Book of Mormon! I love to hear the testimonies of non-members! Afterwards, he invited us over for Christmas Eve! So we are definitely going to stop by! I realllyyy hope that I get to teach him the gospel before I leave this area!
Other things that happened that day: Sister-wonderful-Sampson took us to meet her neighbor who had just recently moved out of the stake into the neighboring stake. They were so nice and let us in, and we noticed Restoration pamphlets on their table.. They had already been visited by the elders in their area and were taking the missionary lessons.. Brilliant!
That night, we had a lesson with the younger set of sisters we had been teaching. They are starting to slip because their mom hasn't given them permission to be baptized. Ahhhh! 

Wednesday- Sister Evans took us to meet a Less-Active member who she visit teaches. Sister Evans is so remarkably cute! She lives with her widower father. They are both so nice to us and always thinking of us. Sister Evans brought us a little Christmas present of hot chocolate and winter leggins. On the tag she wrote, "Love Sister Evans and my dad" hahah.
Christmas present from Sister Evans and her dad.. So cute.
Also, that day.. We visited Sister Marriott, an older woman who needs some visits. She talked to us about her memories and let us sing Christmas songs to her.
We also visited Jacob, a recent convert. He is the one who said we lived in "Ohio" before we were born. He has autism and A.D.D, but he is really good. Well anyway, we asked him if he knew any Christmas songs, and he said no. So we asked if he knew 'this song' and sang him a Christmas hymn.. To which he replied, no. Then we asked him if he knew another song and started to sing, and he said, "No.. So stop singing already!" hahah.
Thursday- Sister Talbert wasn't feeling well, so we stayed in most of the day. She slept while I read the Everyday Missionary. It's so good!

Visiting Janine.. She bought us Christmas caps!
Sister Talbert dyeing Jessie's hair in the healthcare center. 

That day, we got a media referral from Mormon.org. So we called the person and she was staying in the healthcare center. We later found out that she is a less-active member of the church. We decided to visit anyway. She is 30 years old, very lonely, but she wants to come closer to God and she needs friends. 


Well, we visited for a little while and then she told us that it was her birthday the next day. She said that she wanted to look beautiful for her birthday and so she really needed her hair colored. And then she pointed to a box of hair dye and asked if we could do it! She was basically crying and begging, and so we thought, Why not?! So Sister Talbert played Hair Salon, while I taught her the Restoration...ahah!

Rice Basil... My new favorite restaurant!!
Friday- Day of Chinese food. We ate lunch as a district at a Chinese food, and then a member took us to my new favorite restaurant in the world-- Rice Basil! They had an entire page full of vegetarian options. I got the Soy Orange "Chicken"... Completely irrelevant to missionary work, but important, none-the-less. 
Friday afternoon, I got a call from Sister Zeiner. She is serving in Park City, but she got a phone call from an area we had both served in in Cottonwood... She told me that 
the Amish man from Cottonwood, (the eternal investigator), is getting baptized!!!!! Ahhh! He might be doing it while we are both still on our missions!! Ahhh! The Lord is my light!
Other things: Sister Talbert and I have been doing a musical number of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"... Sister Talbert sings while I do the Cup Game as a beat! So fun. We are getting pretty famous..
Also, we made ornaments and gave them to a Less-Active family and had them write what they wanted to give Jesus this Christmas. They loved it!

Saturday- Long day! This is the day that I thought of Shane the most. It was a hard day, full of no set appointments, just contacting, trying to find people to teach. It was cold and I was tired. I thought of Shane in Europe, working with the little amount of members they have there, trying to find someone interested in learning about Christ. It's days like Saturday that I really feel like a good ole' fashioned missionary. Working and knocking and no success. We had a few really nice visits with widowed women in the stake. We shoveled a driveway, delivered mail, and sang a few hymns. 
The evening was so wonderful. The amazing, beautiful Sister Walker invited us inside and gave us some much-needed encouragement. She told us that even if we didn't convert anyone for the rest of our missions, us being in Holladay was worth it because we had changed her life. She is an active member with a perfect family and yet, she was expressing how much she needed us... I admit, I almost cried!! I love love love members. Especially devoted, wonderous, missionary-minded members.
That night, we had dinner with the Jensens. Our missionary-to-be friend, Madeline, made us a vegan meal. So sweet.


Harry Potter stampssss!!
When we got home, we got the mail from the DL... I got a package from home! The most PERFECTLY PERFECT in every way package. Harry Potter stamps were at the top and if those were the only thing in the box, I'd have been set!!! I LOVEEEE you, mom! Thank you for knowing exactly what superficial and goofy things I need! 
This email is soo longggg! Ahh! Quick break to tell about a funny thing I forgot to mention about Zone Conference last week.
The ZLs were giving a training and talking about the scripture that tells us to "Ask, Seek, and Knock".. They asked what it means to Seek and Elder Reidhead raised his hand and said the most perfect thing, "Well.. Harry Potter was a seeker." 
Commercial over.

Sunday- December 22. My SIXTEEN month mark. Wild wild wild. 
We went to many church meetings and heard lots of music and felt the Spirit. One important thing I should mention is the first ward sacrament meeting. At the end of the meeting, the choir invited anyone from the congregation to come up on stage and sing the song Hallelujah with them... Sister Diederich, who I love and adore, tried getting her family, Eva and Charles, Sister Talbert and I, all to go up. Everyone said no except for Sister Talbert, who willingly went, and eventually she dragged Charles up as well... Sister Diederich kept saying, "Come on!!" and trying so hard, but the rest of us wouldn't budge.. Ohhhh my goodness, I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard. Sister Diederich and Charles stood together on stage, looking completely bewildered, while the choir sang harmonies and melodies and crazy things. The whole Diederich family, Eva, and I laughed and laughed and laughed in the congregation. When the song was over, Sister Diederich came to sit down, and her husband said, "You got yourself in WAY over your head." She agreed and said, "I learned my lesson! I am NEVER doing that again!" 
We sat in on a really wonderful Relief Society lesson. Some women stood up and spoke from different women's perspectives. They were all women who would be a part in Christ's life, like an innkeeper's wife, Mary's mother (Christ's grandmother), and Mary. In between speaking parts, the relief society would sing a Christmas hymn. It was so beautiful! The Spirit touched me during innkeeper's wife's speaking part. She said how humble Mary was, how she didn't murmur, how content she looked even though she couldn't get in the inn. Ahhh! How I wish I was more patient! More humble. More kind. Etc... 
We had a lesson with one of the sisters getting baptized on the 4th of January.. She is SO great! We love her! We are meeting with her again on Christmas eve so that she can get through all of the lessons before her baptism. 
That night, a member named MORONI invited us to meet with his non-member friend who he met at the grocery store. So we went to Moroni and Jerry's house and met her. Again, I wish I had a Pensieve!! Basically, she said there were lots of churches that had pieces of the puzzle and someday the Lord would put them all together. I told her that she was right, but that the pieces were scattered during the Great Apostasy, but now we have the fullness of the gospel restored. I bore testimony that the Lord doesn't want us to wander. He wants us to know the truth. When I finished, it was silent. The woman said something like, "Wow, you have power that fills the whole room." ... I love bearing testimony. I love to feel the Spirit working through me! 

This week, I have been experimenting and finding answers to questions through the Book of Mormon.. So far, the Book of Mormon has a perfect record for answering my questions! I LOVE THAT BOOK!
Life is wonderful. Christmas time is magical. Missions are perfect. I love you all!! 
Merry Christmas!
Winter Wonderland!

Christmas things begin!

Christmas things!!
I always have so many things to say until I sit down to write. And then it all disappears. I can hardly remember the week, but I am sure that it was filled with so much goodness because I am a very happy missionary today!! 

Last Pday, the Mulfords came to Holladay! The Mulfords were the directors over the Park City Family Tree when I first served there. They got released last winter and I hadn't seen them for about a year! It was SO wonderful to hug Sister Mulford and to shake Elder Mulfords hand. They radiate joy and light! We went to lunch and talked about the past year a little bit. They are just as marvelous as ever! 
The Mulfords!
I got to talk to Shane last Pday a little bit. He finally left the MTC for France and I am so excited for him! I was talking about him all week long! Everyone asks if I am jealous that he got to go to Paris while I am "Stuck" in Utah. But I could not be more content with where the Lord placed each of us! I KNOW that Salt Lake is for me, and I know that France is for Shane! Plus, I will obviously go and pick him up at the end of his mission and get to experience France for myself!
Other things about Monday.. Sister Talbert and I had a teaching appointment with one of the 2 sets of sisters we are teaching. These are the sisters we have been working with since we got in the area. We had a lesson about bearing testimony and each person in the room was given the opportunity to share the things that they have come to believe and know. It was a nice lesson and the Spirit was so strong.

On Tuesday, Sister Talbert and I started our "40-Day-Fast" by physically fasting. This is my third time doing the 40 Day Challenge, in hopes of inviting the Spirit in more abundance. The idea is to give up any little thing that even if it is not disobedient, might be a distraction. 
During the day, Sister Talbert and I helped an active family move out of their house. We mostly cleaned and washed walls and things. 
In the evening, we went to a Relief Society activity at Sister Ott's house. It was just a little party with lots of wonderful people and so much good food. Those are some of my favorite things!

Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. It was so long, but it was really enlightening. Our zone leaders gave an amazing training and talked about aligning our will with God's. They compared it to the story of Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel, trying to get the plates. The first time they tried, they did it their way. The second time, they used strategy, and the third time, Nephi is led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand what he should do. I want to completely be led by the Spirit and know how the Lord wants me to do missionary work. That's the only way that we can be successful!
That night, Sister Talbert and I watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas! I love it so much!

Thursday, Sister Root, one of the Relief Society presidents, took us out on visits. She is so great!! We tried to make visits from a list of people that we didn't know. We ended up visiting this woman who wanted to come back to church! And on Sunday, we actually saw her at church! 
After our dinner appointment, Sister Neff shared her talent with us and played us some songs on her harp!
Harp woman
It was so completely perfect!!!! I absolutely love the harp and wish that I could play. It was so beautiful! I even recorded her on my camera! haha. 
In the evening, we had a lesson with this amazing girl that we are teaching. She and her sister are taking the lessons, but her sister wasn't there. We talked about Who Heavenly Father is, Who the Spirit is, and How we can feel Him more in our lives. We used a lot of scriptures and had a very good discussion. 
Later, we met the parents of this man that we are going to help to stop smoking. Round 2 with the Stop-Smoking program!

Friday, Sister Talbert and I visited our stubborn non-member. We were planning on dropping her, because she won't follow any of our advice and isn't progressing towards baptism. But we couldn't talk to her about us not teaching any more, because she had to get online and do her "Prayer Line".. She is a "Prayer Warrior".. So we just decorated her tree and took pictures with all of these life-size children dolls that are around her house. haha.
Fake children
On a completely different note, we had a wonderous evening. We went to a mission Christmas devotional! I got to see so many wonderful people who I love! The Jermans from the Family Tree came!
The Jermans!!
And I got to see Sister Willis from Wyoming! And Sister Summerhays! The three of us just hugged and hugged and hugged all night!
BFFs, Summerhays and Willis!
We first had dinner and got gifts from the mission and one of the wards in the area. So sweet! We are so blessed! And then we went to the chapel and heard from this mission president and his wife who served in Japan a few years ago during the earthquake and typhoon. It was such a good presentation. The Spirit was so strong and I really learned how much the Lord is aware of us. He knows exactly where we are and what we need. 

Saturday morning, we went to a Who-ville party. The decorations were awesome. And the special guest was the Grinch! He came riding in on a unicycle. It was so elaborate. We met a few new people and had a nice time.
 Who-ville!
In the afternoon, Sister Talbert and I painted walls for a member. We love to do service!

Sunday, Sister Talbert and I spoke in the first ward. We were speaking with a missionary returning from the Paris, France mission. The same mission that Shane just left for! Woo hoo! I love to speak in sacrament meeting. Sister Diederich, a ward missionary who helped us out with Eva, wasn't able to make it, but her husband sat in the audience and recorded our talks! haha! He sent them to her all the way in New York. I just love them. 
Later, we had a really wonderful lesson with the sister of the sister we taught earlier. Ahh, I don't know why I don't use names! This is so confusing, I'm sure. Anyways. We began teaching her the things we taught her sister earlier in the week- Who is God, the Spirit, etc. We hardly began the lesson when she came out and said, "I've been thinking about it and I decided that I want to be baptized. I just want a fresh start." :-O!! We were so happy!! We committed her to baptism on January 4 and she said yes!! The miracle, though, is that her sister, unexpectedly, came over at the end of the lesson and said she wants to be baptized on the same day! Yayy!!
That evening, Sister Talbert wasn't feeling well, and so I went out with my favorite little missionary, Madeline. We visited Tshering and watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas.
Thsering & her monkey vest!




Tshering sent us home with 3 boxes of chocolates! One for Madeline, and 2 for Sister Talbert and I! I just love herrr!! At church she said to me, "Your skin is very thin. Do you have polio?" hahaha

I have had many moments this week where I have been able to feel the Spirit so strongly. I don't know if it has to do with my 40-day-challenge, fasting from my weaknesses, or if it's some other reason. But I know that the things that I am studying and teaching are true! The Spirit testifies to me over and over! A few thoughts that have come to me this week:
-What if this is the year that the Savior will come? How could I prepare myself?
-Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
-I will be safe in all of my decisions, if I just ask, 'What would my mother say?' 'What would my future children say?' 
I love you so much! Happy Christmas!
 Tshering's melting snow man!
 

Homesick… no… just home sick!

Ahhh! What a week! Not very much to update because I was at home sick most of the week!

All during the day on Monday, I was feeling SO sick! Ick! I didn't eat all day and then I started vomiting. Cecy, our landlady took me to Instacare in the evening, and on the way there, I vomited into a bag in her car :( Not fun! They gave me an IV at the hospital and gave me some medicine for nausea that didn't help much. We had the elders and one of their great bishops come and give me a Priesthood blessing.

Tuesday, Cecy's friend, Alana, came over to "babysit" me! Sister Talbert spent the day going out with members and ward missionaries.
Sister Zeiner came to the Valley for some meetings and so she stayed the night at our house! She was my companion all evening until Sister Talbert came home & we were in a trio. I had so much fun catching up with "Zeinee"! 

Wednesday, I still was at home, not eating. Cecy sat on the couch with me all day & asked me her "deep doctrine" questions. It was so funny; she said she knew that her questions wouldn't "shake" me and so she could talk to me about them. She's totally wild; I just love her. At the end of our 3 hour long conversation, she said something to the effect of, "I am so glad I can talk to you about these things. You have a very strong testimony and I know you will not budge!" She said that she knows Sister Talbert and I were sent to her from God.

By Thursday, I was so tired of staying in! Cecy kept telling me that I was not allowed to leave. I decided to stay home in the morning, until Sister Talbert's doctor's appointment in the afternoon, and then I would go out and work! I got permission from the mission president and started reading The Power of Everyday Missionaries. It is so good! I highly recommend it. 
In the evening, we went to a wonderful Christmas party. The primary did a nativity play and it was really cute.

Friday, we had Zone meeting. Went to Great Harvest as a district and got free lunch from some women there! We did Weekly Planning at home. Then we visited this active member family from Sudan. They are learning to speak English and they are SOOO sweet. They are so humble and wonderful. We read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with them in English. The husband loves us! He told me that he wants to take me to Sudan! haha. 
We had dinner with the wonderful Walker family and talked to them about their missionary efforts. They have such great desires to spread the gospel! They gave us a gift of waffle mix and syrup! 
That night, we visited a Relief Society president. She was great. We offered to make her calling easier by making visits to people she hasn't gotten around to seeing. She was grateful for the help! She made so many phone calls to women and set up appointments to fill out agenda for the next day! 

Saturday, we were party animals. We went party hopping to 3 ward Christmas parties. We drove in the snow. We started singing Christmas carols during all of our visits.

Sunday, Sister Talbert and I got to speak in the Care Center branch. All of the old people were so friendly and sweet. 
That afternoon, we visited with a less-active couple who are preparing to get sealed in the temple in two weeks!! We are so excited to start working with them! 
We went to Bishop Doxey's for dinner and watched the Christmas devotional with them. 
Afterwards, we went to Tshering's and visited with her.

What a wonderful season! My testimony is growing stronger each day. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It is the foundation of my testimony. I have witnessed the truthfulness of that book each time I read it! The Spirit testifies to me that it is from the Lord. We are so fortunate to have the restored gospel. If we accept the Atonement, Christ will lift us higher than we can lift ourselves! I love my family. I love my friends. I love these wonderful Utah citizens. I love Jesus Christ. I know that all things are given to us according to our faith. I pray and pray and pray to strengthen my faith every day. I want to find those who have been prepared to receive the gospel. 

Thanksgiving week

I feel like I have very few things to update about, but there have been such great and wonderful things in the past few days!!

Our new best friend, Turk!
Thanksgiving was wonderous! We spent the afternoon with Bishop and Sister Jones. I love that beautiful couple! It has been said about Bishop Jones and I that "he has met his match," i.e, I am just as sarcastic and witty as he has a reputation of being! 
We played games and snacked for a few hours and then went to a family in the 3rd ward, the Clawsons. They had a lot of family over and it was so sweet of them to invite us, but a little overwhelming! By the end, Sister Talbert and I were exhausted of food and talking to people. We went home and did absolutely nothing on the couch! We went to bed the earliest I've ever been on my mission! It felt so nice! 

Friday, we got a text from Eva that she was in the Hospital!! She wasn't feeling well and had to get some X-rays and things... But before we could even ask, she sent us a text saying, "I'm still getting baptized!" Ahh! I love her!

Saturday was a wonderful, gongshow, perfect, busy day! We started the morning in Bishop Jones' office. Bishop and Brother Colemere, our Ward Mission Leader, gave Charles (Eva's husband) the Priesthood! A beautiful sight!
Afterwards, we went to Temple Square with our other investigator and her member husband. She has progressed a lot! She goes to church every week, has a calling, Hometeaches with her husband, and has been reading the Book of Mormon. 

That evening, we had dinner with some members and the non-member grandpa was there. He was telling us that he completely believes that Church is true but will wait to be baptized when he is dead. It made absolutely no sense. We asked what was stopping him from being baptized and he said that it never fit into his plans. I asked, "What are you doing tonight? The font is filled! Will you come and be baptized tonight?" I was completely avoiding looking at his daughter, because I could tell that she was horrified! hahah. Sadly...He didn't get baptized, but that would've been an amazing story, hey? 

With Eva and Charles
After dinner, we went to the church for EVA'S BAPTISM!! Yayya! It was a wonderful evening! She was so nervous and the water and baptism because she has really bad knees and Charles has a bad back. We assured them that it would be fine. When it came time for the baptism, Eva had to go under FOUR times! Ohh, poor Eva! But Sister Talbert and I stood on the side of the font right there and gave her encouragement all throughout! Every time they thought she went under, she had an elbow out or some other part of her. They ended up having another man go into the font in a jumpsuit and help her go under and come back up. Oh my my, what an adventure! She was so clean! 

Sunday: Eva's confirmation. The old directors from the Family Tree, Elder and Sister Mulford, called me!! I LOVE THEM! That night, we went to the "Messiah" production with Cecy. It is a choir/orchestra performance. 

Well.. I don't know what else to say! I love my mission. I love the Lord. We are finding a lot of potential investigators but somehow, they are all situations that we need to be "patient" with. So that is what I am working on.. My patience. 
Love you all! Happy HOLLADAYS!

Holidays in Holladay!!

New planners! Staying together another transfer
HAPPY HOLLADAY! Happy Thanksgiving, from Holladay, Utah! It is official that I will be here for at least 6 more weeks, which means that I will be here to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years! I want to keep saying puns about Holladay and the holidays, but I think you get it.

There is so much to update you on! An eventful week and a half, in fact! Here we go...

November 18, Monday: Sister Talbert went to the doctor on exchanges with our mission president's wife, Sister Eberhardt. I went with Sister Giguire (who I did Extreme Street Contacting in SLC with) and her companion. We went shopping, and I bought some much needed winter tops. That evening, Sister Talbert and I ended Pday early and went to dinner with one of our Less-Actives, who has been coming to church the past couple of weeks. She is so sweet! She took us to Cafe Rio, and we sat and talked for almost 2 hours! 

19, Tuesday: Rainy day. Sister Talbert and I made a few GIANT thank-you cards for some very helpful members and delivered them. We were still on foot, so Sister Talbert protected the cards inside of her coat and had a very flat stomach. 
That night, the phone rang and on the other end, a voice said, "Hello Sister Wall, this is Moroni." I thought it might be an elder playing a prank (because I always say "I'm going to kill you like Moroni), but it was actually a man in the 2nd ward named Moroni! He told us how much he loved our talks in his ward and how they inspired him and his roommate to do missionary work! He told us about some potential investigators, and we were very excited to hear about them!

20, Wednesday: Our investigator tried to cancel our lesson and we asked what she was doing. She and her husband have a calling in the church to clean & set up chairs, so she said they would be doing that. I asked if we could help, she said No, and I said, "Too bad, we'll see you in a minute!" and we met them at the church. We helped set up chairs and then had a lesson by the baptismal font. She saying that she was expecting the bishop to walk in any minute and baptize her. 
Later, we had a lesson with a young boy who is a recent convert and the primary president came with us. The lesson was short and we had some time before dinner, so we asked her if she knew anyone that we could visit. She took us to a woman who she visit teaches and it went so well! The Primary President was so impressed with us and told us that she couldn't believe the woman let us share a spiritual thought! I love strengthening the faith of the members!
And after our dinner appointment, we did the same thing with the mother of the family we ate with. She seemed hesitant at first, and asked if she could go buy cookies first. haha. She said if she had something to give them that she would feel more comfortable! So we ran to the store with her very quickly and then made visits... They went so well!! We visited a few homes and got in & even scheduled a service for one of the women. Afterwards, the member was so happy & excited & couldn't wait to take us to more people that she knows! 

21, Thursday: Sister Talbert and I went on exchanges. She stayed in our area with Sister Mahterian and I went to the Monument Park stake with Sister Orellana. She took me to some appointments that went well. We visited one investigator who she said was pretty tough. They have been meeting with him, but he's stubborn, and I thought, Perfect! We visited with him on his doorstep and we had a really good conversation! We invited him to go to church and I really hope that he went! 
Afterwards, Sister Orellana took me to lunch at Subway and then we went to this adorable bakery, The Sweet Tooth Fairy! 
Exchanges & the Sweet Tooth Fairy bakery
We exchanged back and I went with Sister Talbert to Sister Diederich's house. We had a beautiful celebration for Eva, our investigator who had been smoke free for a whole week!
Eva! Non-smoker celebration!
We ate brownies, watched Mormon Messages, and I danced inside because I just love that woman!!

22, Friday: Getting frustrated with members who don't want to be missionaries. Repenting. Oops.

23, Saturday: We went to a Super Saturday activity with our landlady, Cecy!
Home-made hair bows!
Tshering was there and a lot of women who we love. Sister Talbert and I made headbands, and the wonderful Relief Society president bought them for us! And we got a phonecall from the Assistant to the President, saying, "We have a surprise for you... You're getting a car!" and I said, "Elder, if you're lying to me, I'm going to kill you," and he said, "No seriously, you're getting a car!" And i jumped up and down and hugged Sister Talbert and all of the women at Super Saturday were clapping for us! haha.
Celebrating our new Jeep Compass
Later, we went to a lesson with Eva and her husband, who is getting active in the church. The bishop talked to Charles and Charles is getting the priesthood to baptize Eva on Saturday!! Woohooo!! 
That night, we went to the adult session of Stake Conference. Elder Nash of the 70 and Elder Evans of the area 70 were there. It was so wonderful. They came up to us and said they had heard a lot of good things about us. The entire conference, no exaggeration, every speaker included very kind words about Sister Talbert and I! We are so loved in this stake! It's amazing! 

24, Sunday: Stake Conference. We sat with Bishop and Sister Jones and Eva & Charles. They had this amazing live symphony and choir! That night, Sister Talbert wasn't feeling well, so she stayed home with Cecy and I went out with one of our ward missionaries, Sister Evans. We found 2 new investigators!! Yayy!!

25, Monday: We got transfer information. We are staying! Half Pday, sorry I didn't write any emails! Sister Talbert and I got MUCH NEEDED haircuts. She got her hair cut in half! Mine was only cut about 2 inches.
Then, we went to Temple Square with Eva and Charles and the Ward mission leader and his wife, Brother and Sister Colemere.
          Eva & Charles
It was so so wonderful!! I love, absolutely love the Christus statue!
          Christus with Eva

Eva felt the Spirit very strong in that room. She said, "This is so nice. It feels weird!" haha.
Later, I got a package from home!! yayay! Included was a little mirror with the SLC temple on it, a Gratitude journal, a little flower, and JuJu coins!! My favooorite! I love my family!
That night, we visited this referral for a part-member family. The mother is a member, but the father, son, and daughter are not. When we went, the teenage boy answered the door and the dad and sister were at the table. We started to talk to them and the dad was super nice, but the kids didn't speak. The boy was kind of behind the door, but right beside the door was a picture, where I could see the reflection of the boy turned towards his dad. He was shaking his head no and saying No. I said to him, "I can totally SEE YOU in the reflection!" 

26, Tuesday: We got a call from a Wyoming number. Sister Talbert answered it and the voice asked for me. I got on the phone and heard, "Ramona!" ..It was my old district leader from Park City, Elder Simon! They are serving in Wyoming and need the Jeep more than we do, so we went to the mission office to switch vehicles with them. We got their Chevy Cruise, and they got our brand new Jeep! We switched all of our things but every time we left, we forgot something we left in the Jeep! We left and came back THREE times! haha. It was so ridiculous. But it was soo good to see a lot of my friends who were at the mission office being transferred. 
That evening, we went to this family of members. They called and asked us to help them with missionary work!! I LOVE THAT! The Spirit prompted me to extend a challenge that I never have before. I asked them to make 3 invitations of any kind: i.e. come to church, read BOM, meet with missionaries, etc. AND I asked them to make invitations until they heard 2 "No"s. The wife was so so excited and said it was the perfect challenge for her, because she would look forward to getting No's rather than scared of them. I love the Spirit!
That night, we went to our investigators, the two girls, and we painted Prayer Rocks with them so that they can remember to pray! 
                          Prayer rocks

And FINALLY, yesterday, 27, Wednesday: Eva had her baptismal interview!!! We took her to the stake center and let her see the baptismal font. It went really well. She passed with flying colors. I am so excited for her baptism on Saturday!!
Also, Sister Talbert and I made this adorable Gospel of Jesus Christ layout for our lesson. Sister Talbert made the Kindgom, and I made everything else.
                  Gospel of Jesus Christ

I am obsessed with crafting! We do it every time we get a chance! Cecy has an entire craft room that she lets us use, so I've been going crazy! Our visual aids are getting progressively more cute.

Well, that's my week and a half. I'm exhausted even just writing about it! This morning, Cecy made Sister Talbert and I some Mickey Mouse waffles and delicious smoothies!
                    Mickey waffle!
We are going to our Bishops house a little later, and then dinner with Cecy and some members in her ward. Love you all!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanks to the WONDERFUL members of Holladay, Utah

Ohh what a beautiful Monday! There is no snow on the ground, we have TONS of treats (thanks to the WONDERFUL members of Holladay, Utah), and it is Pday! 

I don't know how much information I've included about our home or the area, so I want to include a few things to help you understand how blessed I am! 
Our landlady, Cecy, is borderline offended when we buy our own food. She is from Chile and is very generous. She vacuums our room, makes us meals, and encourages us to take a Vitamin-C every day. She's basically our nanny.
The members are really lovely. We honestly have at least 4 types of cookies at home, as well as cupcakes, a caramel apple or two, a bowl full of fortune cookies, a bag full of candy, many chocolates, and a box full of pie. We end up sharing so many of our desserts with people who we teach, but the more we give, the more we receive! Don't judge me if I am super large when I come home. 
We have been so blessed to receive winter things, rides to our meetings and appointments, notes of encouragement, photos of my companion and I sent to my mom, waves on the street, free Apollo burger every Wednesday, dinner almost every night excluding Mondays, and so much more! From time to time, I feel guilty and attempt to not accept these favors, but the members are so generous and wonderful. It's like that song, "Enoch was a prophet; he taught what was good. People in his city did just what they should. When they were so righteous that there was no sin, Heavenly Father took them up to live with him." 

So.. About our week!
Tuesday: Sister Talbert and I went to the home of a part member family. A member at church came up to me after bearing my testimony and told me that I NEEDED to visit her neighbor because I look "exactly like his daughter." So we went and knocked on the door. He let us right in and then I explained about his neighbor. He said, "You DO look like my daughter!" We talked for a while about the Book of Mormon and he said he would consider reading it. I said, "Well, what does that mean?" and he said, "It means that I will consider it!" haha. We kept talking and while I was in the middle of a sentence, he stopped me and told me that I will be the first woman to be an LDS bishop! hahah
The highlight of Tuesday was our Stake Bishopric Council. We met with all 5 bishops, their counselors, all 5 ward mission leaders, and the Stake Presidency. It was so empowering to be surrounded by these worthy Priesthood holders. They talked about us like we were the Queens of the world or something! One after another, they shared experiences they had witnessed or stories they had heard about us. They were so complimentary and just the best! The Stake President is very missionary minded and asked every single person in the room to pray for us by name in EVERY PRAYER! He said, "and that even includes the prayer over the Cheerios." 

Wednesday: We went over the Plan of Salvation with one of our tough-cookie investigators. She asked questions all along the way, but we referenced the Bible for every doctrine we taught and she seemed to approve. 
We had dinner with this family and they had the funniest little four-year-old. I wanted to put him in a box and write down everything he said! At one point, I said, "Chill out!" and he said, "You chill out!" and I said, "You chill out!" and very calmly he said, "No, let's both chill out."
That night, we went to a senior dinner. Everyone offered us dinner and wanted us to eat so bad! They kept putting plates in front of us and then came out with 3 boxes full of food for us to take home. Ahhhh! We watched them all play Bingo. We sat at the table with the Bishop and his family. He was so competitive and we all were laughing so hard!

Thursday: Ahhh, I was having back problems and wished I could see my good ole pal, Brother Passey! The elders came over to give me a Priesthood blessing and the zone leader, Elder Clark, gave me a blessing to be healed by the next morning. Well, since then, I haven't been hurting! Miracle!
That night we had an AMAZING lesson at the Diedrich's home. We started the Stop Smoking Program with our investigator and she was very willing. She has such sincere desires to stop!! The Diedrichs are awesome and bought all of the little supplies such as grapefruit juice, cinnamon mouthwash, fresh fruits, etc. Sister Diedrich went crazy on Pinterest and printed out all of these adorable signs with motivational saying for our investigator to hang around her house! 

Friday: We went tracting as a zone. We went on exchanges again, and this time I was with Sister Day. We didn't have any success because it was the middle of the day and only 2 people were home. Both of them were on drugs. Eesh.. Also, I knocked on one door and accidentally pushed it open! Woops. 
We went to dinner with some members.
We went to a Chinese food restaurant and the waitress was so funny. The dad told her to "Fill us" and she brought out all of these vegetarian foods that we could all eat! At the end, she kept piling food on our plates, even after we were all full. I started to talk to her about the church and she said to me, "You are so nice! Your companion, not as nice as you!" 
We went to Tshering's for a lesson and she is so great. She could basically teach us the entire Plan of Salvation. I asked if she had any questions and she said, "Yes, it's about the meat again." haha. She always wants to talk about eating animals! We told her that it's okay to be vegetarian and she says that she feels like God doesn't want her just to be vegetarian, but to convince other people to stop eating animals. I said, "Tshering! You can't just tell people what to do before you even do it!" hahha. She went on and on, asking me questions. I told her that I eat eggs and she chastised me, but I said, "Hey Tshering! You can't tell me not to eat eggs while you aren't even vegetarian!" She's so cute.
That night, we stopped at a single sister's house to get warm. She invited us in and told us all about her 3 kids who are less active. She was so so sweet. She reminded me a lot of my mom when she talked about her children and I hugged her and said, "I'm sorry, mom!!!" 

Saturday: Cold day!! Freezing. We still are on foot. Our stake is too uphill to ride our bikes, so we walk mostly. Sometimes we get rides when we have appointments, but we do a lot of walking. 
We walked to our investigator's house, who is trying to stop smoking. She had all of her signs up around the house. It was so cute! One of the Emergency Procedures to stop smoking is to drink raw grapefruit juice when you get a craving. So during the entire lesson, she was taking shots of juice! hahaha. She is supposed to keep herself busy to keep her mind off of it, so she went out and bought a ton of yarn and started crocheting. I am so proud of her!

Sunday: Sister Talbert and I spoke in one ward, taught a youth Sunday school lesson in another, and attended Relief Society in a ANOTHER ward. We went to two ward councils. Sundays are NOT days of rest in the mission field. They are so exhausting! Sister Aldous, the young women's president in the 10th ward, is an absolute ANGEL and made us brown paperbag lunches! So so sweet. 
Our talks in the 3rd ward went really well! One lady came up to me at the end of the meeting and handed me a little note. It was so sweet. She wrote about how grateful she is for me sharing my light :) 
And when we got home, our landlady and I were alone in the kitchen and she told me how much she liked my talk. I thanked her and she said, "No..Sister.. You have a very powerful testimony!"  
That night, I got a feeling to call Madeline, our friend who is putting her mission papers in at the end of the month. She sounded sad and I asked if she was okay. She said she was fine and I said, "You don't souuuund okay," and she said, "I'm not okay." So we went over there to talk to her and I hugged her and she started crying on my shoulder. She said that she was having a bad day and that she was sitting on her bed and started to cry, but that her phone rang and it was us calling! AHH! I absolutely LOVE the Spirit and how it directs us where we need to be! 

I heard part of an Elder Holland talk yesterday at church, and today I printed it to read. One line that sticks out to me is when he says, "There is a sheepfold and we are all supposed to be in it." I love this work. I love being the shepherd leading the sheep to our ultimate example, the Savior, our Good Shepherd. 

Love you all! Also, Happy birthday, Sister Summerhays! 

I love member missionaries!

Happy Veteran's Day!
It has been an eventful, long, forgetful week! I lost 2 of my nametags, but I found one of them! Woo hoo! Here are some things that happened this week:

Monday: Brother Smith gave us a ton of chocolate from his shop. And some journals and stationary and things! I love the Smiths!
I got Shane's email from the MTC! I am so excited for him! 
Sister Talbert needed winter boots, so we went to Sugarhouse with a member and her daughter-in-law. They were so sweet. We found Talbert some boots and then ate at Zuppas! We saw Sister Mahterian and her companion there, so we sat and ate with them. We went to this adorable local store in Holladay called "Paisley Pomegranate"... I wanted everything and I want to have a shop of my own like it some day! There were so many handmade things, very vintage and cute. Everything was a thousand dollars though, so we just window shopped. 
We had our first New Member Lesson with Tshering and her family. She is so wonderful. Her mom is a member of about 4 years. She still has so many questions though, so we basically spent the entire time talking to her about the Priesthood and answering her questions. Tshering has such great faith. She asks questions, but is receptive to the answers. She has such a strong spirit!

Tuesday: Gongshow day! 
We went out with this 18-year-old, Madeline. She's so cool! She's really positive and funny, which made the day completely brilliant. She did missionary work with us all day long! I absolutely loved it. Afterwards, we went back to her house to drop her off & our dinner appt came to pick us up. The only problem was that it was just the guy who came. (We can't ride with just Sister Talbert and myself and a man.. we need another sister in the car). So Maddie ended up just coming with us to dinner, too!
That night, Sister Evans came to our house and brought ALL of these winter things! She said that they were from an ANONYMOUS member of the ward. She had sworn that she wouldn't tell us! So we got these really nice Calvin Klein winter coats. They are so light and warm and wonderful. We each got new winter boots (kind of like Uggs). We got socks and sweaters, as well. So so so blessed!
New boots!
New coats (& wearing my Park City tag because my others were lost!)
Wednesday: We did service for our investigator. Her husband is a recent convert. They are so wonderful. While we were our raking her yard and getting rid of the leaves, the neighbor was standing on his roof, blowing leaves off. I made a comment like, "You'd better not blow those over here!" We laughed and started talking. He's like 22 and not a member of the church. The RC husband came out and invited the neighbor to meet with us and learn more! I LOVE MEMBER MISSIONARIES! The neighbor said yes and gave us his phone number! Yayay!
That night, we had an appointment, so a ward missionary was coming with us. The appointment fell through and we asked the ward missionary to take us somewhere that we could have a lesson. She was so scared at first, but we said a prayer and encouraged her. We met a lot of people and had a really successful evening! 

Thursday: We went to visit a LessActive who wasn't home and the Spirit guided us to tract. We hardly ever knock doors, but I felt like we needed to. So we went across the street and knocked on a door. No one home. Knocked another door. This really sweet lady answered and let us in. She is a less-active member who is floating between her parent's ward, the ward she lives in, and a single adult ward. She got divorced a few years ago and is pretty lost. She was so beautiful and really friendly. She started to cry as we spoke with her, saying it was a miracle that we came at that time. She usually works a lot, but was taking the day off to just relax around the house. I love the Spirit!
We met this man cutting down a stump in a yard. He's a LessActive as well. He talked to us for a minute and told us that we are some of the best missionaries he's ever met. He went on and on about how wonderful we are and said he wants to go back to church! We  kept walking but a few hours later, we were on the same street again. We said Hi and he called us over. He said, "I've had this tune in my head ever since you left!" I asked what it was and he said he didn't know, but he could hum it. He hummed it and I sang, "Hail to the prophet, ascended to heaven, traitors and tyrants, now fight him in va-ai-ai-ain." haha. I loved it!! 
Sister Talbert and I met up with this woman who lives in a Care Center for elderly people. She's kind of wild, but says she might have a friend for us to teach. We will probably go back and do service some time soon.

Friday: AHHHH! My favorite day. After zone meeting and weekly planning, the Assistants to the President (AP's) took us to downtown Salt Lake to do "Extreme Street Contacting". The companionships all went on exchanges, so I was with Sister Giguiere. She's this amazing sister who has been out for about 9 months. "Extreme Street Contacting" is where you just go talk to every single person. You are given a bag full of things like the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, Mormon.org cards, pass-along cards, referral cards, DVDs, etc. You try to give away as many things as possible and invite every non-member to be baptized. At the end, you tally up the points from invitations made and things given away. Sister Guiguiere and I invited SEVEN people to be baptized!! It was such an amazing experience. 
We saw this guy in a white shirt and tie who said he had just come from his niece's wedding at the temple. We assumed that he was a member and asked him who he knew in California (where he was from), that we could send missionaries to. He said he didn't know anyone. I said, "Can we give you a challenge?" He said, "Umm, sure," and I gave him a Mormon.org card and said, "Will you give this out to a non-member before you go home?" He said, hesitantly, "Yeah." And suddenly, I thought to ask him.."Are you a member of the Church?" He said "..No"...!!!..hahahahha. We talked to him a bit more and he had to leave. But I just love that I challenged a non-member to give away a Mormon.org card and he said yes!
We had a wonderful lesson with our investigator whose leaves we raked. The bishop came and it was super great. 

Saturday: The weather was 65 degrees! It has been so nice and beautiful outside! Sister Talbert and I rode our bikes up this giant hill and almost died. We might have decided to retire our bikes in Holladay. These hills are mountains! 
I found out that Sister Giguiere and I won the Extreme Street Contacting competition! Yay! As a prize, our zone leaders bought us milkshakes! 
I texted our 15-year-old investigator, whose mom won't let her be baptized. I asked if she had time during the day for us to visit. It was kind of random, because we always have lessons on Monday nights, but I just thought we could get another visit in. When we showed up, her grandma told us that the girl had such a terrible day and the grandma almost said we couldn't come but the girl said, "Please grandma. I need them." Ahhh. Again.. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Spirit. 

Sunday: Such a successful day!!! Ahh!! We got a ride to this LessActive family and they went to church for the first time in a long while. They have 2 little girls, and we arranged for them to be in the primary program! After sacrament, the mom said that the little girls disappeared to primary (They had been planning on leaving after sacrament). We invited the parents to come to Sunday School with us and they came!! 
Later, we arranged for another LessActive woman to meet us at church so that she could hear us speak in sacrament. She doesn't come to church because she has very bad depression, so she hasn't come in a long time. She showed up and was very anxious and nervous to sit alone, so we sat in the front row with her, rather than up on the stand. We each got up to speak when it was our turn, then sat back with her in the congregation. After sacrament, a member came up and started talking to her and invited her to Sunday School. She went! 
And THEN, we went to ANOTHER ward, and met with ANOTHER LessActive woman, who sat with us in Relief Society. We were so happy to hear that she even went to Sacrament! After years of inactivity, the women welcomed her with open arms!! 
That night, we asked a member to introduce us to a LessActive woman in her ward. She called the lady and we were allowed to go! She was making excuses for not coming to church and things. I was bold and loving with her. I can't remember what I said, but she responded, "Your mom must be so proud of you." hahah.