Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Day


It was SO GREAT to see my family on Skype and be able to talk with them!!  I cant believe how the toddlers are growing up and how much I miss everybody!!  This week was an interesting one.  We had a few sick days with Sister Williams so work slowed down a bit but our mission is still seeing so many miracles!  Doesnt look like Ashlee is going to make it this month, but we are shooting for January because we know she can stop smoking soon, she's so close.  I'll let you all know next week how many baptisms we got as a mission!!

Its been warm as of late.  Walkin' around today without a coat on, its like 50 outside, doesnt feel like December to me.  I have a terrible cold right now, the back is doing better but after I see Doctor Armstrong tomorrow I'll be in a lot of pain again.  I guess he's going to have a lot of work to do to slowly correct my scoliosis, which includes ripping muscles on purpose and cracking my spine into positions it hasnt been in for years.  It hurts, but I'm so glad to have a diagnosis and amazing doctors to help me.  

We went to Anne's house a few days before Christmas and helped her set up her Christmas tree.  She told us that in the 60's they made these cool silver metal trees and I decided I want one some day.  Anne is doing great, she is so happy and she knows that going to church each week can make a difference in her life.  Caroline's baptism went fantastic, she's adorable.  I guess there was some confusion among my recent converts.  Javier was the only Deaf one!  Mike, Anne and Caroline are all hearing.  We serve in the Deaf branch as well as a hearing ward.  


On Christmas Eve we had a white elephant exchange with the zone.  I got a box of doggie treats.  It was really funny to see what these elders came up with from their apartments!  We also watched Mr. Kruger's Christmas and I was reminded of how awkwardly great that movie is.  Christmas day was wonderful.  We got up bright and early at 6:30 (of course) and opened our packages before we headed out to wake up Ashlee and other people for church at 9!  I am so happy that our ward is switching to 11 am.  Its just going to be easier to get investigators to church at that time, people struggled with 9 in the morning.  :)

 We went to our hearing ward and after Caroline's confirmation, Sister Williams and I sang a duet called "Born is the Light of the World" for the program.  We went home for a few hours before going back to have church at the Deaf branch.  After that, we went to the Steed's home (they are hearing members of the DEAF branch) to.......CALL OUR FAMILIES!!!  Of course, seeing the family was the best part of my Christmas day.  I've been looking forward to it for months, now, and I couldn't stop smiling I was just so happy!  Momma cried, but I'm surprised that I was able to hold my emotions in and I didnt cry!  I miss everyone so much, but I know that Sacramento is supposed to have me right now and I gotta go hunting for some Deaf non-members!!  After the family chat, we ate dinner with the Steeds then headed over to the Seamons' home (a senior couple serving in this mission) for a Christmas evening musical fireside.  Sister Williams and I sang for the missionaries the same song we did that morning and we all ate food and enjoyed the night.  
Transfers are coming up on January 9th and I finally won't be considered a greenie anymore!!  Ive learned so much from Sister Williams, she's the best trainer Heavenly Father could have given me.  I am teaching her life lessons, too!  She's learning how to whistle, how to cross only ONE eye, and how to make the teen girl squad voice!!  We spent a fun P-day at the hospital yesterday...Sister Williams is suffering from a lot of stomach pain as of late and it's not getting better and the hospital was the only place with the technology to test her.  So...they made us sign in to the ER and we got to stay there for six hours!  yay!  She did some ultrasounds that came back with no problems but we are probably going to visit another doctor for her soon because she's in so much pain.  Pray her her.  Between the two of us, we keep the mission medical adviser busy!  

 
I love all of you, and I'll send more pictures next week!!  The church is true!

Sister Wilson

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Hello everyone!  This week I want to say how awesomely amazing my birthday was!!  I was surrounded by SO MUCH love and joy.  Everywhere I went, people sang to me and made me blow out candles.  It was just fantastic.  We got donuts the night before for my birthday breakfast and I blew out a candle.  The only one we had, which was the number 2.  Then for lunch we went to fish and chips.  mmmm.... The rest of the day was normal, except we ate dinner at a member's home!  The Pilkingtons!  They made me a cake and bought me a bouquet of flowers!!  Orange ones!!  They're still on my table.  :)
 It was a joyful day.  


ANNE IS BAPTIZED!!!!  Oh, that was such a wonderful event.  We have been teaching her since I got here!  I just love Anne!!  She smiled all day long but she was obsessively worried about having to be baptized more than once!  She was so scared of her toes sticking out or her hair, but it all went great and she's happy.  Its amazing to see the joy that this gospel brings into people's lives!  I love it!!  Caroline's baptism is this Friday and we are still praying for a miracle with Ashlee!


I got X-rays last week for my back.  I find out tonight what the dealio is, and Doctor Armstrong can better know how to fix it!  Still taking my shark cartilage and I try my best to keep my back straight so it can heal!  Its just taking a lot of patience, but I needed to learn that anyway, right?  Christmas Eve we have to stop proselyting at 6 pm, so we are getting together as a zone to watch the Christmas devotional.  For Christmas day, we are going to the hearing ward, writing letters, going to the Deaf branch, then going to a member's home to call our family!  That night, we have a musical fireside at one of our senior missionary's home!  We do get a P-day that next day since we can't shop on Sunday.  :)

Random #1:  our fire alarm wakes us up in the middle of the night sometimes.  No fire included.  Just loud beeping.  So annoying.  

Random #2: Guess who forgot her temple reccommend when we went a few weeks back with the mission?  Thats right, go me.  

Random #3: The sun goes down at 3:30 and after it gets dark, nobody wants to talk to us because they're "going to bed."  

Random #4: Everybody thinks its cold here.  but its not.  Random #5: we went caroling last night to potential investigators and it was soooo much fun!!  People just dont have the guts to slam the door on carolers!  I think I'll use that as my new door approach and sing a whole hymn before introducing who we are.  

I got a random DearElder a few weeks back.  I guess you can still send those to me but you have to pay for postage online I think.  If anyone forgets my address, they can find it on there, just FYI.  

IM SOO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS DAY TO TALK TO THE FAMILY!!!!!!  I love you all!

Sister Wilson

Monday, December 12, 2011

happy birthday to me!!!

Happy Birthday to me tomorrow!!!  I may or may not have already opened my Birthday packages on Saturday.  Okay I did.  All of it.  (Dont tell mom!)  My amazing Mother got me some new sister clothes and other stuff I needed (thanks mom!) and Marci and Aaron sent me a new camera since mine broke!!  I hope to take lots of new pictures for all of you to see!  For my birthday, we are getting our cockroaches sprayed again.  YAY!  And, as previously stated, Sister Williams and I are planning on going to eat at the most delicious fish and chips place just down the street.  Ive been looking forward to it for a month since we last went there!  :)  

We had zone conference last week and Sister Williams and I sang a duet.  Then we sang at the ward Christmas party and we will sing again on Christmas day!  Its so great to have a companion who can sing with me!  We also had the chance to go TO THE TEMPLE!!!!  I looove the temple and Ive missed it sooo much!  The spirit is so strong there and its a good reminder to see that the temple is really what I want for all of my investigators.  Baptism is just the beginning!!  

My back is on its way to a slow healing process, but the chiropractor says within a few more weeks I should be back to normal.  I just need to be patient!  He made me buy some pills from the health food store that heal ligaments.  Guess what's inside??  SHARK CARTILAGE!  COOL!!!!  So no worries about me, I'm just filling my stomach up with shark cartilage to heal my back!  haha.  

Anne is still good for her baptism this Saturday!!  She's so wonderful and I know we arent supposed to have favorites, but I just know that I needed to meet her!!  She's always going to be special to me!  Ashlee set a new baptismal day for the 21st, she's still trying to go a whole week without smoking so she can be baptized, but we are so proud of her!!  Caroline is such a cutie and she loves primary.  Its such a program we all take advantage of!  We learn SO MUCH in primary!!   She's learning all the basics and I'm so happy she will have a better future because she joined the church at a young age.  Young Womens and all the programs we have are so wonderful to help the women in our church have confidence in themselves and their God.  Im so thankful for all of these programs we can learn the basics from at such a young age.  Caroline said in a sweet prayer last week that she was thankful for "these two ladies who came to teach [her] and make her so happy and [she] loves so much."  Investigator prayers are so simple and beautiful.  They're just full of truth and love and they aren't trying to impress anyone!

We went to dinner the other day at a less active's home and I was shocked at how much I enjoyed being around her.  I think growing up in the church, I think we can look down on less actives or people who don't quite obey the gospel, but that's not what Jesus Christ would do!  In fact, he came for the sinners!!  That's what I do as a missionary.  We chill with non-members and less actives all day every day.  I've never done that until my mission, in fact, I avoided them.  And come to find out, all of these people are just as awesome as the members!  I am learning so many lessons here and trying to become a better person.  I already know that my mission has shaped me and changed me for the rest of my life.  I am called to minister to these people who don't understand the principles of the gospel, but they are all fantastic!!  I have so much love for everyone I am surrounded with, the only other time I have felt this way was my experience in Ghana.  I know I will cherish this time in my life forever, so I have to enjoy each minute I can before its gone.  

I know that Heavenly Father loves all His children and if we all work together in this work, we can bring souls to Him!!  

Love and miss all of you!

Sister Wilson

Monday, December 5, 2011

it's a white Christmas

YAY!  White Christmas time!  Mike got baptized on Saturday!!!  Let me tell you a little more about Mike:  We met him and he INSTANTLY recognized the spirit.  He KNEW that we were sent from God.  Every time we were going to invite him to keep a commandment, he already knew which one we were going to commit him to before we finished our sentence.  Mike sees our Heavenly Father EVERYWHERE.  He constantly prays for everyone around him.  He reads the Book of Mormon for hours and hours every day.  He calls US to ask when we were going to teach him again.  He invited himself to see a baptism before we got the chance!  He even went out and bought himself a white shirt and tie for his baptism and nobody said a word about it!  He is just so close to the spirit that he knows what is right and he is starting to change his life to actually obey those commandments!  Mike takes notes on everything.  At church, during his BoM reading, during class.  At his baptism, he was just walking up to people and he'd say "HI!  I'm Mike!  Welcome to my baptism!"  He wants to share the gospel with everyone around him.  Hes always telling us stories about how he talks with strangers and tells them he is a Mormon.  He was so ready for this gospel.  Meeting and teaching Mike was a complete miracle.  


I already mentioned Anne a while back, but she is still good to be baptized the 17th!  I love this woman with all my heart.  She's like a special Aunt to me and I have a feeling that she's one of the reasons why I needed to come on this mission.  She's one that I was meant to teach.  Anne needed to hear the gospel from Sister missionaries, she has a hard time with men since her recent divorce.  She's been molded and softened over the last two months and its the most amazing thing to witness.  She is struggling right now with many trials, but she is finding hope in this gospel, just like ALL OF US DO!!!  She sent us a text the other night that simply said "Just the thought of being baptized makes me feel better!  I know that God is taking care of me, and that I will make it through this difficult time."  She finally gets it!  She has her own testimony now.  I love her very much.  

Next is Caroline.  She's 11, her grandmother (who raised her) is a less active who wants Caroline to be baptized!  We've been teaching her for a few weeks now and she agreed to be baptized on the 23rd of December!  Do you know what that means?!  She gets the GIFT of the holy ghost on Christmas Day!!  Its the greatest gift she will ever get!!!  Caroline is our 3rd White Christmas baptism!

Ashlee is still trying to go a week without smoking.  She hasnt BOUGHT any cigarettes in a month though!  (Saved lots of money from that, too!)  She needs a miracle to get her through a whole week without smokes.  Longest she can go is about 3 days.  But she knows this gospel is true and she wants to be baptized so much!  We pray she will make it before Christmas.  :)  When Ashlee makes it, we could see FOUR baptisms this month!  (Each ward is responsible for 1 baptism, but our companionship has 2 wards so our goal was 2)  Not to confuse baptism with success, of course, but its so wonderful to see people finally recognizing the gospel and seeing how it will bless them if they are baptized!  Thats basically what we are called to do as missionaries, guide people to baptism.  

Random:  I forgot to mention that we teach an ASL class on Wednesday nights.  Its super fun.  Another random: We met this awesome black dude with dreads.  He's Deaf and his name is Ernest.  He wants to know more about the gospel because his twin died 3 years ago and he doesn't know about heaven, so we are going to teach him!  yay!

I love this work I am doing.  Its the greatest joy I have ever felt and I know that the message we share is true.  Heavenly Father is blessing this mission with miracles!  I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us, and He prepared a way so we can return to that God who gave us life.  Its a message of hope and love that I share!  I love all of you!!

Sister Wink

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas time.....


Christmas!  Yay!  My amazing mother sent me a Christmas tree for the apartment and it is happily sitting by the non-functioning fireplace. Reminds me of Charlie Brown.  Also, we hung a bunch of snowflakes from the ceiling so our apartment looks like a department store.  They're fantastic.  So, the Christmas feeling isnt quite the same, but its fun to see the Christmas lights on houses and the feeling of joy.  But of course, theres no snow!!  There's FOG!!!!  I looooove fog!!!!!  Its so fun to drive around at night in the mystical clouds!  I dance around in our car every time we turn a corner and we can only see 5 houses down!  Its so fun.  

 Thanksgiving was grand.  As I said last week, we had a fancy Thanksgiving breakfast and then a lunch with a different member.  I love the members here, they are so supportive of the work.  They love us!!  

My back: improving. Its MUCH better than it was 3 weeks ago when I was crying out in pain just to stand up.  Doctor Armstrong is a GREAT chiropractor and I need to go back for the next few weeks until I'm better.  Every time I go, he re-sets my back so it can heal properly.  He told me yesterday that he had two different brother-in-laws who had to be sent home from their missions from Sacrolitis because they didn't get it fixed and after a while they couldn't walk anymore!  Lucky for me, I caught it near the beginning stages and am on my way to a full recovery and once I'm healed it will never happen again.  Such a random injury.  

Ashlees baptism had to be postponed again...every 3 days or so she has a breakdown and takes a few puffs but she really is doing so well because she used to be pack-a-day!  so I'm not complaining at 3 puffs every 72 hours!  BUT!  We have MIKES baptism this Saturday!  Mike has such a strength about him, We met him 3 weeks ago and he just sucked up everything so fast.  He told us last night on the phone that he was so grateful he met us,and that he was going to be a part of this for the rest of his life!  ITS SO EXCITING!!!  I LOVE THIS WORK!!!  

 The work is going forward as usual here in my area!  Transfers are today, but I already knew I was staying in Carmichael because I have another 6 weeks of training with Sister Williams (lucky me!!)  The zone is all leaving and we get new elders here, so its kind of sad, but I better get used to this because it happens every 6 weeks!  We all play zone sports together every P-day and we do Sunday night exchanges so we get to know all the elders pretty well who serve in this area.  

 We also scheduled ANOTHER baptism for December for a woman named Anne.  Anne is the most wonderful school teacher, she's in her 50's and she is going through a divorce.  Shes been surrounded by Mormons for the last decade, but her husband was so anti that she never checked it out!  With the recent separation and divorce, she decided that it was finally her time to be baptized.  Lessons with Anne for the last month are very different from other investigators because she already knows so much!!  She's been to church countless times and to Relief Society activities.  Shes so great and she's set to be baptized on December 17th!  YAY!  I'm so happy for her!  

One of our less active members expressed the other day that shes always had a hard time with prayer.  She won't pray.  She feels like an idiot because she feels like she's talking to a wall.  Because she won't pray, she has no relationship with her Father in Heaven and lacks a LOT of happiness and blessings.  I am so glad to be raised in a family where prayer was a regular part of our daily routine.  I love talking to my Father through prayer.  It has brought me so much peace and so many answers to trials.  I know He wants us to talk with Him regularly.  He doesn't expect us to do all of this alone!  He WANTS us to rely on Him!  That's the truth.  

 Random: Pomegranates right off the tree are amazing.  My birthday is in 2 weeks!  What the?!  Where did the time go?!  Yay for turning 25!!  Half of a century old for me!

I love all of you.  I can feel your prayers so don't stop them!  Sister Williams takes good care of me and she's still the greatest companion I can ever imagine!  WINK!!

 Sister Wilson

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Yay for being thankful for EVERYTHING THE LORD GIVES US!!!!  Its so great!  
 
Update on the back: its terrible.  BUT!  I went to see a FANTASTIC Chiropractor, Dr Armstrong, this week who properly diagnosed me!  Yay!  I have Sacrolitis.  Basically, I messed up my ligament (in my sleep?) and he wants me to come back for the next few weeks to fix it.  Doctor Armstrong says its the 2nd hardest back problem to solve (the hardest being a herniated disc) but he is going to do it all pro bono for me because I'm a servant of the Lord!   hmmm... But Ive been to him twice and feel much better.  I mean, just look at that picture!  Something was definitely wrong.  So, here's to good healing!  Im just being lazy and not working out (like he told me) and hope my back can come back to normal!  No pun intended!  haha.  

 We have 7 investigators!  Ashlee is doing well! (Ashlee is hearing.  Sorry I didnt clarify)  Shes all set to be baptized the 28th and shes been without her smokes AND patches for 5 days!  yay!  The Lord is helping her!  We have 3 baptisms set up for December right now and one more that is a possibility!  Our Heavenly Father is blessing us to have A WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!  ITS SO AMAZING!!!  I love being here and seeing all these miracles!  Can you imagine?!  We might have four baptisms this December!  Its so fantastic.  

 Me and Sister Williams sang a duet last Sunday for the ward, a song called "When Love Came Down."  Both of us knew that song from previous choirs and we figured it would be easy to throw it together.  That was a mistake.  Everybody LOVED it and we are currently scheduled 3 more times to sing during random occasions in the month of December...oh boy!  

Me and Sister Williams have another transfer of training before I could get transfered.  I love being so close to the mission office here and serving in the Carmichael 1st ward.  The members are SO loving and they all invite us into their homes to eat dinner every night.  They are forever going to have special places in my heart!  Come to find out, Sister Williams heard me sing a solo at a concert in 2009, and I worked her sisters wedding at Wadley Farms.  Who knew?  We met many times before we were companions!  I love her so much. She is so patient with me and even though she's very short, shes always there for me to cry on if I need it!  Shes a wonderful example to me and I'm glad shes from Spanish Fork so that we can still be friends when we come home.  Sister Williams is definitely what I needed in a trainer.  She helps me obey all the rules and work hard!

I am so grateful for this gospel!  We have met many a confused individual here in Sacramento, but we are helping some of them come unto truth and light!  Its the greatest thing I could be doing right now!  I am mostly thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice for me.  I love being His representative and testifying of Him daily.  

Happy Thanksgiving loved ones!


Sister Wink

Monday, November 14, 2011

back issues

Hello everybody!  

Something I learned this week: backs are very important to everything we do. Without a functioning back, you cant do much!!  For some reason, I randomly woke up last week with terrible back pain, like something was out of place.  After struggling through 2 days and still being in intense pain, we went to see a chiropractor.  Lucky for me, she's a member and saw me for free!  But...she used this kind of strange little clicky tool and didn't do any back-popping.  When she "finished," I told her I was still in pain but she said it would get better over the course of the day, so we left.  Not better.  After another day of no relief, we went and our bishop gave me a blessing.  The next day we went to a member of my ward here, Uva Harris.  She's a massage therapist and she helped my muscles feel better using UV rays.  I'm currently doing a lot better than 4 days ago, but I'm still whimpering every time I have to get out of or into the car.  Depending how I feel tomorrow, I might see a different chiropractor who actually cracks me into place and maybe that will be better.  Pray for my back to heal!!  

 Here's a miracle, though, after that deep tissue massage and UV Ray treatment, we had to go directly to stake conference to interpret and I was able to!  We did the Sunday morning session, too, and I was able to be efficient enough, despite the back!  The lord is watching out for me!  

I also had the most DELICIOUS fish and chips I have ever tasted in my LIFE.  Seriously, if any of you come to Carmichael, you MUST stop at Tugboat Fish and Chips.  Its a South Korean couple that fry their food in tempura.  Ive already decided that Im going back for my birthday.  :)  Why doesnt Utah have good fish and chips places?  Its sooo delicious!  

 We also had a Sisters Training this week.  All 24 sisters from the whole mission came together and were uplifted and edified by our leaders.  It was wonderful. It took a while to get there, though.  We do a lot of driving as ASL sisters.  We spend a lot of our days in the car driving to see the deafies who live far away.  Another thing that shocked me about the mission.  I also didnt know how many MEETINGS are involved in missionary work!  my goodness!  We are constantly having meetings.   meetings with the district.  meetings with the zone.  with the ward mission leader.  with the bishopric.  with the deaf bishopric.  with all the sisters.  Its just busy!  but I love being busy and I always have!

Ashlee has started her patches and went from a whole pack a day to maybe HALF of a cigarette!  She's doing great!  Her baptism is set up for a few weeks down the road and she should be good to go!!  YAY!  

SO!  Guess what?!  We met this guy last week on the street who's name is Mike.  He invited us back.  We've taught him 3 times and he says he wants to be baptized December 3rd!  Its so wonderful to be able to see these miracles.  To see people like him who just EAT UP the gospel.  yes!  Hes been reading the book of mormon for like 3 hours a day.  Its so great. He recognizes the spirit every time we see him.  He came to stake conference and loved it.  

I love all of you!  Thanksgiving next week should be fun.  Its going to be a P-day, and we actually have a Thanksgiving breakfast as well as dinner, so I'll be eating a lot with the members.  Im so glad to have members to care for me while I'm here!  They make me so happy.  

 I love all of you!  The church is true!  

--Sister Wink

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

all is well

Hello All!

I love this work!  I love every minute.  Its so wonderful to help people change their lives!  I am helping these people come to Jesus Christ, my Savior!  There is no place I would rather be right now.  I know without a doubt that THIS is the place I was supposed to serve!  And NOW is the time I was supposed to serve!  I am meeting people that I need to help!  Its so wonderful.  The members in our ward and out here are so involved in the work.  When members help, the work goes exceedingly better because that investigator automatically has a friend to sit by and answer questions when missionaries arent there!  I'm so grateful to serve where the members love and support us missionaries!

We get fed dinners every night.  :)  Its so wonderful.  Watching 17 Miracles last week was so sad.  I cried through the whole thing.  Happy Halloween to me.  Sat on a couch and thought about those amazing pioneers.  

You know whats interesting about Utah?  Everyone knows their neighbors!  We go door to door and ask people if they know who the next door people are and nobody does!  Its really sad!  How could you have never met your next door neighbor??  Also, I am REALLY seeing the effects of the economy.  We meet very humble people out here every day who cant seem to find work.  We have a new investigator who has been praying to get this job at the Dollar Tree around the corner.  He's 30.  No schooling, no girlfriend.  I am so grateful for the schooling Ive been able to have and that Ive always had income!  

We had a zone picture last week.  Dont even worry, they put the sisters in the front row....uhh.....Sister Wilson CANT be on the front row!  It was a massive problem.  I can see over the heads of ALL the other sisters I serve with.  The average for sisters is 5'4".  It was so awkward for me, though, because the short elders who were standing behind me couldnt see.  yay!  Ive never been in the front row of a picture before!  What a great and rare opportunity for me.  hahaha.  

You know what Im thankful for?  Jehovah's Witnesses.  Who would want to join a church that doesnt even celebrate Birthdays?  Or a church that has already "chosen" their 144,000 who make it to heaven and the rest of us dont get in?  Our church invites ALL to come unto Christ and everybody has opportunity to live with God again.  It just makes more sense that way!  Why would our loving Heavenly Father limit the amount of souls who returned to live with him? He wouldnt.  :)  Thats what I love about this gospel.  It just makes so much sense.  And when I meet people I am able to tell them that they CAN make it back to Him and they CAN celebrate all Holidays and Birthdays.  Hahaha.  Its a benefit to us to have such crazy opposition.  

I saw a miracle this week.  We have an investigator who has been taking lessons for SEVEN MONTHS.  She's been struggling with quitting smoking.  Ashlee set up a baptismal date goal once and wasnt able to be baptized that day even though she wanted to because she slipped again on her addictions.  She has a testimony and comes to church each week.  We set up a new baptismal day for her and she is going to start Nicotine patches to help her stop.  Only problem is: they can't afford them.  Come to find out (I didnt know this) Nicotine Patches cost about $80 for a 2 week supply.  And Ashlee and her husband BOTH need patches.  So here's what happened: She was waiting for a check to come in but in order to be baptized on her chosen day, she would have to have that check by the 12th, and even then, they were going to split a box and do the rest cold turkey.  Here's the miracle.  We had an anonymous donor give us a $100 donation to give to Ashlee!  Sister Williams and I cried all the way to her house when we gave it to her.  She was shocked and went to buy the patches that day!  YAY!  And now she's super excited to be baptized!  She's so ready!  Now more determined than ever because she knows someone sacrificed for her to be able to do this!  Its such a great miracle that someone would be willing and giving enough to do such a thing.  It means all the world to her soul (quite literally!).  

I am doing well my family and friends.  Just out doing the work of my Lord and Savior every day.  I'm so happy and free.  I cant believe Ive been on my mission for 3 months!  I'm already sad that so much time has passed because I love it so much!  

Love, Sister Wink
No more eating squirrel for me.  That was a one time thing.  Promise.  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

hello all!  The mission is alive and well!!!


WE HAD A DEAF BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!  YAY!!!  Javier was baptized and he's so full of faith!!   Its wonderful!  I know that he will be so strong for the rest of his life.  Gonzalo and Darlene are still being taught....its really hard (I think I mentioned this before) to get them...or any deaf people...to church because most the time they can't afford the gas.  Thats a big hurdle we must overcome in Deaf work!  But we are expecting miracles here and the Lord blesses us for our service.  I know that He loves all of His children and if those children are willing to obey Him, they will see miracles in their lives.    

For Halloween we arent allowed to go out at night (obviously, that would be a bad time to knock doors...) so our zone is having a movie night to see 17 Miracles.   Which I never had a chance to see before the mission, so I'm quite excited!  The weather has still been soooo amazing.  Mid 70's.  I guess its rare to be so warm for so long.  Its usually raining here by now.  Guess Im just lucky!  I may have to invest in some Walmart Rain boots....

Sister Williams hacked off her hair today.  I mean hacked.  She cut off 7 inches and now has a pixie cut!  Its ADORABLE on her.  Speaking of adorable, Downtown Sacramento is the most charming place I have ever been in my entire life.  I want to live there.  The houses are all these beautiful bright colors and all of them have so much character!  Big bay windows and ginormous trees everywhere.  Its my favorite place to go here on the mission.  

 I think I mentioned this before, but for the month of December the Sacramento mission has a goal of having 101 baptisms!  Its called White Christmas!  So, Sister Williams and I gave the 5th Sunday lesson about member missionary work and how we need to find at least one person to baptize THIS DECEMBER!  Its our gift to the savior.  Souls.  (White Christmas because when you're baptized, you wear white.)  We have such wonderful members down here and our member lessons have increased.  I know there are so many people who are waiting to meet us, but havent had a chance yet!  We will find them, dont you worry!  

 We had zone conference with Elder Yamashita (of the 70) and it was.....AMAZING!  (of course!)  They asked me a whole 4 days in advance to do a special musical number for it and I said yes!  I love every chance I have to sing and invite the spirit!  So I sang "For Me Alone" and we all had a wonderful time.  I am sooo thankful that Heavenly Father gave me the talent of music.  It blesses my life so greatly!!  

I love all of you!  I can feel your prayers working down here, so dont stop them!  :)
Love, Sister Wink

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

hello!

Sister Wilson is you writing from the best mission EVER!
 
This week was great. of course. I'm doing the work of the Lord! First things first: squirrel tastes like chicken. The most difficult thing about eating squirrel is that you just cant ever get rid of every single itty bitty hair. I mean, it was skinned and everything, but.....you just give up and eat the hair too. But I did it! :) And no regrets.

For some unknown reason, the Jehovahs Witnesses beat us to EVERY Deaf investigator! It must be satan. They somehow know where all of the Deaf people of Sacramento live and they are sure to visit them far before those Deaf can ever meet us! Lucky for me, the Jehovahs Witnesses dont believe in celebrating ANY kind of holiday, birthdays included, so most of the Deaf people think they're crazy and tell them to go away. We get mistaken for JW's all the time. Its quite frustrating because they kind of have a bad name here. Ive met a lot of different people that are happy to find out that we're Mormon, though, because they "love the Mormons!"

So, we got this miracle referral this week from Mormon.org! If someone gets on Mormon.org and wants to know more about the church, they can send in their information for missionaries to come by (of course)!! So we get a referral that says "I'm Deaf, I would like to know more about Mormons." YAY! So we showed up at his house. His name was Chou Her. (Pronounced Chow.) His language levels were VERY low, so we struggled to really understand him but through a lot of charades and blue box, we found out he had been baptized in "Jesus Christ." Come to find out, he was a member. Baptized in 2005 and then lost. We got him some home teachers and let him go, but it was great for one day to think that we had a new investigator! Hahaha. We laughed about it for a long time.

We DO, however, have 3 Deaf investigators right now. The hardest thing with the Deaf work is that they cant get to church! None of them have gas money to drive all the way to the branch so they cant ever be baptized. But we still expect miracles here! Some of them are able to catch the bus. We taught a Deaf couple last week: Gonzalo and Darlene. They lovingly let us in and told us they would love to talk about Jesus Christ. We taught for about 45 minutes about Jesus and the Bible and then we introduced the Book of Mormon. A look of horror comes onto Darlene's face. "I hate Mormons," she says. uhhh.....oh dear. "If a Mormon ever comes to my door, I will slam it in their face." We asked her more and she was nice to us, but expressed that we had some beliefs that she highly disagreed with, such as how the husbands get a new wife every year and cast off the old one. Oh where do people come up with these crazy things?!
 We explained that that wasnt true and we strongly believed in family and husbands being true to their wives far after death. She calmed down and said that her ex-boyfriend was a less active Mormon and he abused her. great example. We offered to teach her more and she accepted. So, there you have it. A miracle. She didnt know we were Mormon so she let us in and she gave us a chance after she found out that we were! YAAY! The church is true. That was my favorite part of the week.

The work is progressing and I love it with all my heart. I cant believe 3 months of my mission are almost gone already! Sister Williams has a lot of patience with me and she is teaching me lots of good things! I love her so much!!

Be representatives of Jesus Christ! Share this greatest of all gifts with your friends who dont have it. The work goes forward when members are involved! The Lord promises us that if we open our mouths, He will fill it with things to say to these people we love.

I love you all! Be safe!

Sister Wink

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

another week down....

First off, here is a list of what Terminex DOESNT tell you:

1) Getting rid of and killing german cockroaches are two very different things.

2) Dying bugs can move for days. as they proceed to die.

3) Terminex will happily poison your home and then leave all the dead cockroaches on your kitchen floor.

4) Cockroaches who dont want to die in the kitchen will crawl to the living room and die there

5) It smells funny

6) In an apartment of 5 sisters, Sister Larson is the only one willing to kill the cockroaches who WERENT influenced by poison

7) Survivors retreat to the ceiling so you can't squish them

8) Cockroaches have wings

9) I should have talked more to Kendall about bugs before I came on my mission

 Okay. So the roaches are mostly gone. mostly being the key word. Come to find out, we will probably need another treatment in a few weeks, but its better than it was. Meh. Ive been to Ghana. Other than a lot of german cockroaches, there are also a lot of SQUIRRELS in Sacramento! All. Over. everywhere. They're so cute. We are eating one tonight for dinner. One of the sisters in my apartment, Sister Foster, had an investigator who skins and eats squirrels and he gave us one to eat. I will let you know next week what it tastes like. :) Also, everybody has dogs. Lovely. Since I cant hold children, I pet dogs often. Love it.


 The Deaf work is so great here. I love it. We drive EVERYWHERE. We can teach in English in our zone only, but we can do Deaf work in the surrounding 9 zones. We drive up to an hour sometimes just to meet a Deaf potential investigator. Sooo...a lot of time in the car. We memorize scriptures and have great fun in that car we live in.

 The mission has a goal this December that's called "White Christmas." Its basically 101 baptisms for the mission during the month of December. (get it? white? baptismal suit?) So we are working hard and finding people to work with so they will be ready to be baptized! Also!!! We have one deaf investigator named Javier. He's scheduled to get baptized October 30th!! This Deaf branch hasnt had a baptism in a whole YEAR! YAY! AND! the other day, we got a text from a Deafie who wants us to come teach her! She found Mormon.org and says she wants to learn more so we are teaching her this Wednesday. The work is going forward! We also have another investigator named Ann. She's in her 50's and she teaches school. She's been surrounded by mormons and going to church for weeks now, but finally accepted missionary lessons because they were from Sisters missionaries! She's sooo ready to be baptized. Its just a matter of time. :)

 I'm really really sorry for all who have been getting my hacked emails! And facebooks! I cant log on to those in the mission field so just put me as spam!

 We have been in the 80's this week. So happy I'm not in Utah. (Baaa-hahahah) Its great. I love the work! Pray for me! I love you all!

 Sister Wilson

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm here!!!

YAY! I MADE IT TO SACRAMENTO!!!! Or rather...a city near sacramento named Carmichael. Its so wonderful. I'm serving in the very LARGE Deaf branch here (that was a lie. its tiny.)
 I came to my TWO trainers mid-transfer so Ive literally been thrown into the work for 2 weeks before I have my "in field training!" Yay for ASL! So, next week, I when all the NEW elders get here (the group I was supposed to arrive with) I will have a big welcome and training and meet my trainers. We get a big banquet dinner and it should be great. But for now, I'm tracting in the rain. Love it. Really, I do. That wasnt sarcastic. :)


 As mentioned before I have two trainers! Sister Larson and Sister Williams! I knew Sister Williams from UVU because she's from Spanish Fork and studied at UVU with me! Shes sooo amazing! and wonderful! And Sister Larson is a far distant cousin of mine! Both of them are so patient with me and my learning (and boy, is there a lot to learn!) and I love them both sooo much! The three of us go out and do half hearing work and half Deaf work.
The hearing ward is so wonderful and very involved in our investigators progress! Members come to lessons and support our efforts! The Deaf branch is...itty bitty. In Relief Society yesterday we had a grand total of 6 sisters and my companionship. Its crazy small, but we will soon reactivate so many that more women will be coming! YES!

 We met a man named James this week. He doesnt know it, but he is so desperately searching for the gospel! He's about 6'1", maybe about 350 pounds. He talked about his life and cried. I am so excited for him to continue to meet with us. We are gonna change his life!! We added FOUR new investigators this week!! James is one of many to come!
Sacramento is really diverse. I was told that Sacramento is probably one of the most diverse missions in the world. We have people from ALL OVER here. We have missionaries serving in Russian, Spanish, ASL, English, Hmong, Cambodian, Tongan, Marshaleese, and Laotian. I had my first baptism last Saturday! okay...so it wasnt technically mine because it was already set up when I got here, but I still went! And my companions taught her!

 I'm learning pretty quickly how to be bold and...well...that wasnt ever really something I lacked at home so its been pretty easy for me! Calling people to repentance. Telling them that through the atonement they can change their lives! So amazing!!! The first night I got here, President Lewis looked at me and said "sister Wilson, this is a baptizing mission." Okay President!! We invite at least 3 people per missionary each day to be baptized. :)

The other day during personal study, I had eaten a bananna and the peel was sitting on my desk as I read the good word of the Lord. Then this little cockroach came along (oh yeah. our apartment is infested with medium-sized cockroaches. but we are getting sprayed tomorrow.) so anyway. This cockroach was crawling on my desk and he went inside the bananna peel and started eating it. I didnt really care because it was garbage to me and I figured I'd let him enjoy his life before I crunched him. I watched him go around and around. He ate some bananna, then he ran around like a maniac and down the side of the desk. Onto the floor. Back up the desk, inside the desk. It was like he had forgotten where the bananna was! I looked at this poor little guy and thought that maybe he was like a lot of the investigators that I have. Searching for the feast. Searching for happiness and fulfillment and they just cant see it even though its staring at them in the face. But one day they will. One day all my investigators will be bananna-eating, gospel-reading, baptized latter-day saints!!!! I just got to lead them! yes.

 Yesterday during the Deaf branch, they announced the speaker and she just signed back that she had forgotten to prepare a talk. So they then announced that they would pleased to hear from Sister Wilson. uhhh....okay. So I stood up and signed a little bit about myself and why I came on a mission. then I shared my testimony and sat down. haha. The Deaf branch's Sacrament meeting is more like Sunday School. People ask questions and answer back in the middle of their talks. Its kind of funny, but its such a small, intimate group that formal speaking just doesnt really match. The Deaf branch is after the hearing ward. 6 hours of straight church. except its funny because we go to Sacrament, Sunday school, RS, RS again, Sunday school, then Sacrament. Like a palendrome! Someone's cell phone went off during the meeting, but only 4 of us noticed because the rest were Deaf. How convenient.

 I love all of you. SEND MORE LETTERS TO ME!!!!!

I think my brain is finally out of junk to say. :)
Love, Sister Wilson
*wink*

Thursday, September 29, 2011

next Tues.!!!

LAST P-DAY HERE AT THE MTC!!!!  IM SO EXCITED!!!!  So, I was forced to break my vow of silence last Tuesday because I had to make a trip to the...er....dentist.  One night I was getting ready for bed and noticed I had a big hole in my back molar.  Guess I swallowed it, cuz, I sure didnt spit it out.  oops.  I have to go back on Friday morning to get the permanent crown!  I am SOOO LUCKY that I had that hole in my tooth my last week, though!  Its a huge blessing!  If it had happened in California, I would have had to go to some strange dentist who doesnt have my dental records and he would have charged me a million dollars, which I then would have had to send home to mom and dad, since I dont have a million dollars.  :)  But my lovely dentist here in Orem did it all for free, because I'm a missionary.  and he always says Im his favorite patient.  guess it pays to be nice! 
 
I got my...(drum roll please....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....) FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!    I leave next Tuesday morning!!  My flight leaves at about 11 am.  only an hour long, so I'll be in my mission super quick!  yay!  I look back at these nine weeks at the MTC and I have learned SOOO MUCH!  so much.  At first, I was kinda bummed to have to stay the whole 9, but now I understand why.  Even though I already knew ASL, this has been an AMAZING review for me.  My ASL has improved, I was able to teach Sister Embley a LOT, and I have learned how to be a better missionary!  My teaching skills, though still far from excellent, have improved as well.  I actually feel BAD for the people who only stay 3 weeks!  They express their concerns and they are way freaked out to go start teaching!  As for me, Im feeling well-prepared.  I am sooo excited.  not a fear in me.  Ready for Cali.  Callie in Cali.  yes.  I think its marvelous! 
 
SO!  Dont send any more letters here....I probably wont get em.  unless you send them like TODAY.  or TOMORROW.  (Wednesday or Thursday).  I think my facebook has my mission address that all of you can write me! 
 
Ive been thinking this week about how no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God.  Thats what I'm doing as a missionary!!!  I'm helping people become clean again so they can see Him and live in His presence forever!!  What an exciting and wonderful calling!!!  I'm such a lucky girl.  er...sister.  :) 
 
Other randomness:  I miss music.  very much.  Most of my days are completely silent.  Theres a hallway that we walk through to get to the cafeteria and its full of rooms with pianos.  Every time I walk by an elder or sister playing music I start melting....then I scoop myself up into a cup and walk past the next room and spill out onto the floor again.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  I miss music.  I'm excited just to be able to listen to a music CD when I get to the field!  It will be grand!
 
I love you all!  Wish me luck my last week!  Thanks for all the prayers!  I can feel them!  And go pay special attention this weekend as our prophets speak to us!!!!!  YAAAAAAY!!!!   GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! 
 
love, Sister Wink

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the time is gettingt close....

hello all!! 
 What a great week here at the MTC!  The end is near!!!  Im really excited to leave here on October 4th, but strangely, I am super happy that I had a full 9 weeks!  We have had some sisters who speak English in our room and they only stay for 3 weeks, but all of them have felt so unprepared to enter the mission field!  I am grateful to have taught so many lessons even though I know I have SO much to learn and improve!!  Its really a wonderful place to be for so long, and its helped me be sooo excited to get out and teach real people instead of my teachers! 
 Elder Ballard came to speak to us last week.  oh man.  Gave a lot of good advice and now I have quotes from him!  Yesterday evening, we had Russell M. Nelson!  MORE good advice and quotes!  Thats THREE apostles since Ive been here!  (but honestly, Holland was my favorite of the 3.  his talk rocked my socks) 
 
Sooo...I miss children.  The other day I went to therapy with Sister Sellers to a place in provo and as we walked by one of the offices, there was a woman standing at the desk.  Her little blonde haired boy was sleeping on the bench.  He was so beautiful.  I started crying.  yeah.  I realized that I really miss all my nieces and nephews.  Its going to be hard for me to not play too much with the kids on my mission.  I havent been around children for 2 months and its driving me crazy!!! 
 
THE ENSIGN!!!!  AMAZING!!  You all better have read it.  All about the Book of Mormon.  They printed a special copy for all of us here at the MTC to have our own.  sooooo good!!! 
 
I took a vow of silence last friday.  I havent used my voice in 5 days.  Just ASL.  It frustrates some people.  Everyone in the district made the vow but all of them have failed except for me!  Im still going strong!  Determined to not speak a word until I call mom the day I leave!  (oh, and Im singing for the departing devotional the same song I did for Holland, so that is allowed too)    My testimony of missionary work has increased so much since I got here.  I dont think I really understood it before now!  Its so important to gather the children of Israel!!  And I am so happy to be involved in the work. 
 
The wrist is doing much better.  Thanks to an AMAZING MOTHER who shipped me a brace within 24 hours after she heard I needed one. Thanks mom.  One of my friends that I made here told me she loves it that I wink at her all the time.  She doesnt do ASL.  hmmmm.  I guess I wink at everyone.  Why didnt any of my family or friends ever tell me this....
 
Last week, we taught our investigator Veronica (the one who doesnt know ASL, you can only teach her through charades) the ENTIRE PLAN OF SALVATION!!!  Wow.  I NEVER thought I would be able to teach someone such amazing principals using only face expressions, body shifting, and acting like a mime.  Im getting better at it but sometimes its really hard.  Anyway, the spirit was sooo strong and she wants to be BAPTIZED!!!!!  YAY!  The church is true!!!
 
Elder Alder left this week early for Houston.  It was a sad day for all of us.  I love all of you soo much!  Thank you for the prayers on my behalf and all the other missionaries!  I can feel them working!  It is such an amazing opportunity for me to serve ASL.  I havent forgotten that!  I love every minute of this language and I am so blessed to have the chance to serve God with the talents He gave me!  All of us should use our talents for His work! 
 
I miss you all!  Keep the letter coming!
 
Sister Wilson
...wink....

Monday, September 19, 2011

MTC District pictures

Left to Right: Elder Wardle (deaf with 2 cochlear implants), Elder Alder (deaf district leader - yes, the white streak is natural since birth), Elder Roper, Sister Sellers (deaf), Sister Embley, Me
Sister Embley, Sister Sellers (deaf), Me
Me, Sister Embley

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ASL in the temple...awesome!

well hey yall!!  I had an exciting week last week!!!!  To start off, our Branch President let us do the ASL SESSION AT THE TEMPLE!!!!!!   oh.  my.  heavenly. days.  no pun intended!  YAYA!!!!!!   IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!!  And I even got to go through the veil while using sign language.  :)   sooooo cool.  Im really looking forward to daylight savings.  I need that extra hour of sleep!  haha.  25th right? 
 
We had a fireside last Sunday for September 11th.  oh.  my.  amazing.  The president of the MTC reminded us that after 9/11, people remembered God and did a lot of repenting and tried their best to be better about spending time with their families.  But here we are, 10 years later, and the world has again forgotten the Lord their God.  Its MY job to go remind them and call them to come unto Him!!!  So great!  We also sang Called to Serve.  Which we sing like 49 times a week.  and its actually really fun to do in ASL.  haha.  I'm NOT sick of it yet!  It inspires me!!  I'm getting used to wearing a dress every day.  I just wish I had some longer ones....the weather is pretty cold in the mornings now and for some reason our classroom doesnt understand that its no longer air conditioning season.  We often bring blankets to class.  :) 
 
On a bit of a sadder note...(is sadder a word?  meh.  who cares)  I'm having pain in my wrist....from signing 12 hours a day.  My body isnt used to Sign Language for so long every day and I guess its taking its toll on me.  But I'm trying to correct my signs so they dont injure my hand any worse.  I went to the therapist with Sister Sellers because of her therapy for her knee and because he LOVES us, he looked at my wrist for free.  He says its NOT carpal tunnel.  Which made me really really happy.  I was so worried.  I just need to brace it at night and be more careful with the way I sign because sometimes I guess I get a little too expressive.  (surprise to any of you?   I think not.)  But all will be well!  And the Lord knows what he's doing with me!  and my wrists!  :)
 
The MTC is still pretty grand.  But I'm feeling a bit ready for the field!  yeah.  excited.  Sorry if I havent answered any of your questions!  The mail room CLOSED DOWN for a week so they stopped packages and dearelders, so if any of you wrote me....I didnt get it yet.  but I will.  and I'll write back next week, mmmkay?  I love love all of you!!  Thanks for the prayers and support!!!
 
Sister Wilson

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall

Hello all!!!!

I LOVE FALLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! ITS MY FAVORITE TIME OF EVER!!! Fall is a gift from God. Just to me. okay, I guess I can share with you guys too. I love love LOVE September. Soooo perfect. The weather makes me happy. Every time I go outside I just breathe it all in and smile. and stick out my arms like I'm hugging the air like an idiot. :) So marvelous.   Love love love it.  But it makes me miss Wadley Farms.  September weddings are my mostest favoritest.  of all. 

I may have already said this but I am older than ALL my teachers.  grand.  I get the old jokes but its just funny. 

I have a cold.  not so marvelous.  but it will fade.  I knew Id catch a cold while I'm here in Azkaban anyway.  :)  Stuck with all these bazillion people, illness spreads easily.  Hey--if you want me to answer your questions in email, send me them by Monday night.  I'm getting all these letters JUST after I write on P-day that complain that I didn't answer questions and then I cant answer for ANOTHER 6 days.  so dear elder me on Mondays would be best if ya want to hear back in a timely manner.  :) 

This week has been great.  Lots of lessons learned.  Some hard, some not so hard.  Alright, all of them were hard.  but still so GREAT!  Proverbs 3:12.  :)  look it up.  I dare you.  Sorry this is so short today.  I miss all of you.  Play with Roxie for me.  Hug the little ones. 

The church is true!  Heavenly Father answers prayers through the book of Mormon!!  He loves all of His children.  :)   (and I'm learning to as well!) 

oh yeah!  Random:  Elder Roper worked for a chiropractor (sp?) for a few years before he came on his mission.  He's fixing my "foot flare" (which basically means that I walk like a duck.  which I do)  So, I'm walking better!  YAY!  And also, my calves are actually looking like calves instead of toothpicks!  ANOTHER YAY!!! 

17 months to go!  haha. jk.  I wont start counting like that.  Its really crazy though, that Ive been on my mission for a month though!   If anyone feels so inclined, I could use another book of stamps.  :)

love you all! taa taa for now!!


Sister Wilson

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

singing in the MTC


AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!  I SANG A SOLO LAST NIGHT IN FRONT OF JEFFREY R. HOLLAND AND 2,685 MISSIONARIES!!!!!!  ALL BY MYSELF!!!  WITH SIGN LANGUAGE!!!!!  IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING AWESOME FREAKY INTIMIDATING BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!!  ME!!!"  SISTER CALLIE WILSON!!!  SANG A SOLO FOR ONE OF THE TWELVE!!!!    oh.  my.  I cant even find words to express what that was like.  We auditioned last thursday for a possible performance of a musical number and me and sister sellers translated Savior Redeemer of My Soul into ASL and as I sang, we both signed it.  The entire presidency cried through our audition and said they wanted us to perform for the devotional on Tuesday (last night).  They have NEVER EVER EVER HAD A SPECIAL MUSICAL NUMBER FOR A DEVOTIONAL ON A TUESDAY NIGHT!!!!!  IM THE VERY FIRST!!!  We touched them so much they said they had to fit us in for when Elder Holland came but we didnt know it was going to be him until the day of!!!  oh my heavens!!!!  He gave an AMAZING devotional about missionary work, and it was sooo good.  and then we sang for the ending number.  my brain isnt working right now.  Im super A.D.D...  Im soooo happy the Lord gave me this musical talent that I can use to help other people feel the spirit!!!  I feel the only way I can give back to him is to use this talent for His work and thats what I was able to do last night.  What an amaaaazing opportunity!! 
So...we were kind of already considered really cool, but now Im literally a celebrity.  People ask to take pictures with me, everywhere we go, Im attacked by missionaries expressing the wonderful spirit that the Lord brought through my song.  I am so grateful for Him that He blessed me to be able to calm down enough to sign while signing in ASL because the grammar is completely opposite!!!  It was so great!  Theres no way I could have done it without His help!!  The Lord gave people the spirit through me and I love every minute of my time that I can be an instrument for him! I love it when He uses me!!!  So amazing!  So, Im getting a LOT of compliments from people, but Im remembering that the Lord is the reason, all I did was let Him use me.  gotta stay humble, right!!! 
Im doing well.  really well especially after yesterday.  It might be because I cant stop smiling when people express to me that the felt the spirit so strongly.  I love the fact that the Lord touched many last night!!!!  On other terms....things are good.  The days are passing more quickly.  I know that serving a mission is the best possible thing I could be doing in my life right now!!  Im just sooo happy to be a missionary!!!  I know that the Lord gives us trials but in the end, he ALWAYS wants whats best for us and the paths we choose need to be in accordance with His will.  If we do His will, we will become the most joyful, happy people!! Even more happy that we can imagine!! I am filled with the joy of the gospel here at the MTC, but excited and ready to go to the field!!! 
Im interpreting some here, which is great experience for me and Im getting better at voicing.  The only time I REALLY struggle to interpret is when we watch Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday mornings.  My companion, Sister Sellers (deaf) asks me to interpret but the MoTab keeps singing these really weird ancient songs from the 1800s and only half the lyrics are understandable.  So she looks at me and signs WELL!!!  WHAT ARE THEY SAYING!!!  but I tell her over and over again that I cant understand the words.  We just laugh.  She thinks that because Im hearing I should be able to understand them.  nope.  all the other hearing people are lost too!!!  hahaha.  since the elders of my district are the new zone leaders, Ive been interpreting some of their training meetings, too.  Its been great.  Nice to know that the Lord needs me to be here at the MTC right now.  Makes me feel needed. 
Elder Wardle, the one with 2 cochlear implants, walks around singing songs all the time.  he thinks hes good.  he sounds like a DEAF PERSON SINGING...  surprise!!  It makes me laugh but I tell him to stop all the time.  hahah. 
I love love LOVE YOU ALLL!  The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth!!  Share your testimonies!!  Write me on Dear Elder!  muah!
Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

week 3

Another week come and gone!  Going by so fast!!  The three elders in my district have been called as....zone leaders.  Its really amazing how theyve grown up since we got here..but we are helping them stop doing dumb things so they can be good examples for our branch.  I have been going to physical therapy with my deaf companion, sister sellers, for her bad knee and I have run across several people while doing so.  The other day I saw the Madsens from the home ward and I also saw cousin Wendy!  Random!  And while at the temple, Kendall walked by!!!  so weird to see family and friends.  oh.  and Bill Baby drove by this morning and waved to me out his car.  haha.  guess thats what you get when you're from this area! 
 
We did a VOICE OFF day yesterday and we all had different punishments for speaking, depening on what we hated.  Sister Embley had to run a lap at gym for every time she spoke, she only had to do 3 which is pretty good!  I wont tell you what Elder Wardle has to do....
 
My name sign is "sister wink" because apparently, I wink all the time.  Like when someone answers my question right or I want them to know they did a good job.  Guess I never noticed I winked often, but my district thinks its great.  I dont think I wink that much when I speak English, but ASL Im noticing it a lot.  haha. 
 
P-day will switch to Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays, so if you dont get an email from me next Tuesday, thats why.  but it could be the week AFTER next.  not sure.  The MTC is the FULLEST IT HAS EVER BEEN IN THE EXISTENCE OF THE MTC.   That came out kinda weird, but you know what I meant.  There are 2,075 missionaries here right now and we have to beat each other up to eat dinner in the cafeteria.  mmmm.  that cafeteria food.  :)  I'm actually eating cream of wheat for breakfast, Mom, by the way.  Reminds me of home.  and I do LOVE the fact that I can have 8 strips of bacon when its available.  hee hee. 
 
Last Friday we had our first REAL DEAF INVESTIGATORS in the TRC!!!!! (training ...uh...recreational...okay.... I dont know what TRC stands for)!!!!   and also... okay.  They werent real investigators.  just members who volunteer to listen to us speak.  but they WERE both Deaf and they were both strangers as well.  instead of my teacher pretending to be some strange other character.  it was a lot of fun and the spirit was so strong!  It was great to finally teach a stranger Ive never met and have them respond positively to my message. 
 
While at Sister Sellers appointment for physical therapy, we were waiting for the shuttle to come take us back to the MTC when a lady spoke to us.  I turned to look at her and noticed that all of her fingers on one hand had been amputated.  It was on our voice-off day, so I couldnt talk to her but we began to converse back and forth via writing on paper.  I decided to not beat around the bush and I asked her what happened to her hand.  She explained that she had to amputate fingers because of dialasis.  Then I had this impression come over me that she needed to know of Gods love for her!  So I wrote her again and I told her that He loved her very much and He knew this was a hard trial to accept.  I then wrote that He would compensate her for her sacrifices.  It was a very strange and bold thing for me to do, but I figure I better start getting bolder if I'm going into the mission field, right?!  She smiled a big smile (for the first time) and said He had been supporting her for years.  It was such a great testimony to me that God loves all of us!! 
 
Random:  I dont miss my cell phone at all.  Thought I would.  I dont.  or facebook.  I dont even care.  My district all mocks me for recieving dried plums and tomatoes and carrots in my packages but they make me giggle.  hehe.  and I eat them all.  :)  Thanks mom.  Elder Roper's mom sent marshmellows and chocolate with graham crackers and we made microwave smores the other night.  Super delicious.  I watched Legacy the other day and couldnt help but laugh at those dumb mistakes we laughed at as kids.  Thanks to Brett and Kyle for ruining the movie for me.  I cant ever take it seriously anymore.
 
I love all of you so much!  Write me on dear elder until I get into the field!!  Also, I dont have ANYONES emails on here...so I cant write you back... I only have moms.  :S... so if you want me to write ya, send me a quick note so I have it. 
 
Love Sister Wilson
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

week 2

WEEK TWO!!!!  It feels like MUCH longer, but things are going well.  30 minutes to email is really not ever enough time, but when I sit down to write, I forget everything I needed to say...  hmmm...  writing me on Dear Elder is the best thing because I dont have time to read emails on here because I use my time to write!  Thanks for the dear elders Ive gotten so far.  even though I cant write back until P-day, theyre fun to get randomly throughout the week.  MOM BROKE HER FOOT?????  HOW ON EARTH??!  Did Rob pick her up and spin her around again?!  I leave for one week and you guys cant even take care of Mom for me.  geez.  I am going to try out to sing a solo for the fireside on Tuesday night and my Deaf companion is going to sign it with me.  signing and singing at the same time is hard, but we are figuring out the grammar.  That should be fun! 
 
 
My FIRST Sunday, they called me up to the podium to speak.  great.  They randomly call on missionaries and for some reason, my president thought that I needed to be the first speaker so I had to get up in front of everyone and give a talk about Repentance.  it actually wasnt too bad!  Kinda scary to be called on at random, though!! 
Sooo....heres a funny story.  I wasnt feeling well after breakfast yesterday and I decided to take one of my nausea pills.  After about an hour, I was dizzy and feeling like a zombie.  I wasnt even able to walk I was so tired.  I fell asleep in class like 12 times and I couldnt understand what anyone was signing because I couldnt focus.  We went to gym and I thought maybe if I worked out my tiredness would go away, so I got on the bike.  I fell asleep while biking.  Pretty sure I accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of my nausea medication.  They look very similar.  hahahaha.  So I gave up and we skipped gym so I could take a nap because I was completely NOT functional.  hahaha.  so dumb.  I made sure to look at the right pills last night but my district was making fun of me the whole day, which they had every right to do.  I have never been so tired in my life!!!  Guess thats what sleeping pills do to ya, huh???  haha. 
My companion sister Embley is improving her ASL.  She gets frustrated sometimes but I am learning patience and doing a lot of one-on-one tutoring her with the language.  Heavenly Father loves His deaf children in Oregon and He wants her to learn this language so she can find and teach them!!!  YAY! 
I have such a strong testimony that God loves all of His children.  He sends us out to different countries and different languages to teach the people!  Its such a great work!  We have some so-called- investigators that we are teaching....which are really just our teachers in the other room who are pretending to be investigators....  anyway.  We taught a lady named Veronica yesterday.  Shes deaf.  She is also an illegal immigrant from Mexico so she DOESNT KNOW ASL.   We taught the resurrection, the atonement, prayer, and about Jesus Christ JUST BY GESTURING!!!!!  It was amaaaazing.  We had to act everything out.  Just face expressions, pointing to pictures, acting out concepts.  In the mission field, there are so many deaf people who grew up with hearing families who didnt sign so they are LANGUAGELESS.  We have to find those deaf people and teach them but we cant use any kind of language, so its interesting.  I hear that in my mission, I will do this with 60% of my investigators.  Most of them are so uneducated that they just didnt learn language and they cant speak English.  Or else they know some other kind of sign like Italian Sign Language and so we have to adjust to the individual.  Soooo hard.  and interesting.  I love it though and I am getting better!!!
I forgot to tell you about my first day!  I forgot my meal card, and we werent supposed to go back to the classroom, so the PRESIDENT OF THE MTC payed for my dinner!!  hahahaha.  They all love us because we sign. 
The three elders in my district are....19.  Well, sometimes theyre 12, but I love them anyway.  haha.  Elder Wardle has 2 cochlear implants and he cant ever stop talking.  We have to tell him to turn his voice off more than any of the hearing people!  Elder Roper is from Gilbert, Arizona.  Hes hearing but he took 2 years of ASL in high school.  Elder Alder is the district leader.  Hes Deaf and hes from (Brett will love this) Preston, Idaho.  Im really glad we have a small district.  Its kind of crazy that there are only 6 of us learning ASL in the whole MTC, though. 
 
 
Im so happy I dont have to wear nylons.  Did Stacey pop yet!???!  I miss Roxie. 
I love you I love you!!  Could someone tell me if my blog is working?
Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm in the MTC

IM ALIVE!!!  Everything here at the MTC is so so so amazing.  :)  Please tell everyone to write me through DearElder.com. Just create a free acount and Its a much better system because I dont have to limit the amount of time I can read the letters.  They only give us THIRTY minutes to read and write emails on P-days, so writing me through dear elder will let me have an easier time.  I love you all!!

I'm eating a lot of food.  its so great.  not.  really.  Ive had a few hypoglycemic attacks and cant seem to eat enough protein, so sending nuts or other snacks would help!  or popcorn!  Microwave popcorn, if anyone feels so inclined.  We have a microwave and girls are always making popcorn at night and I cant ever eat any of it cuz it isnt mine.  haha.  Cafeteria food is....fine.  There are days when its super gross and days when it isnt awful.  I really miss fresh vegetables.  They give us these gross mixed frozen stuff... blegh.

My ASL District:  ASL is amazing. I already loved the language before I came.... My district has 6 of us learning ASL.  3 Deaf and 3 hearing.  I have 2 companions!  Sister Sellers is Deaf.  She signs but she can also speak near perfectly.  Shes so outgoing and fun that she talks to everyone around us.  Its kind of funny that we are a novelty.  Everyone instantly thinks I'm super cool cuz I know sign language and Ive been interpreting quite a bit so people sit and watch me when they sit behind us at devotionals and I'm interpreting.  We get a lot of questions about ASL and Deaf people, which I LOVE explaining over and over!!  It makes me so happy to know that people are interested and I love to share the Deaf knowledge.  Tell Brett I dont have a ground- AC.  so no fridge for me.  :)



Sister Embley didnt know a LICK of ASL before she got here a week ago.  She has been learning and growing so much!  Shes the only one in the district with NO asl background.  On our third day, she was able to say a simple prayer!  AMAZING!  The Lord wants her to learn this language!  She was originally called English speaking to California, but 2 days before she left, she got switched to the Portland Oregon mission using ASL.  The Lord must need her.  Its interesting because Sister Embley and sister Sellers cant communicate AT ALL.  Sister Embley has a severe speech impediment and she doesnt know sign language, so Sister Sellers cant read her lips.  and Sister Sellers can voice to her but cant understand what she says back so I have been the constant interpreter.  Its so perfect.  I know that this companionship is the way God wanted it to be!  They could be companions without me and I couldnt be without them.  I love it.

Because we are ASL, we get reserved seats to EVERYTHING.  hahahah.  Front row seats to devotionals from the apostles, BABY!  YEAH!  so fun.  Merril J. Bateman was like 10 feet away from me.  :)  marvelous.  OH!!!  I need to tell you all that WE ARE THE VERY VERY VERY FIRST GROUP OF MISSIONARIES TO BE TAUGHT BY THE NEW PREACH MY GOSPEL PROGRAM!!!  They just re-did the program and we are the first to be trained in it!  It is sooo inspired by God!  Its so wopnderful!!!  I love and miss you all!!  The church is true!  Please pray for sister Embley to be able to learn the language, she's really struggling and its sooo hard to be thrown into a district where everyone signs and she doesnt understand.


Went to the temple this morning for P-day and it was amazing.  I love love love the temple.  I challenge all of you to go very soon!  Its so amazing there!  I'm learning to take short showers and get up early. Been soooooooper busy and tired.  a lot of emotional experiences in the MTC.  Its amazing how close you can get to your district when you spend all day every day with them in classrooms.  They have all already seen me cry like 4 times.  We bear testimony and support each other.  I love it.

I need Erin and Amy to send me their addresses!  I cant write anyone unless they write me first! Or send me their address through dear elder!

Love sister Wilson!!!!

9 weeks here I come!  one down, 8 to go!