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.  


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