Tuesday, February 28, 2012

new area

Yokwe everybody!  (that means hello in Marshallese)

wow.  I have so much to say I dont think I'll be able to read anyone's emails or write back, but I will tell you ALL ABOUT Marshallese program!!  My comp doesnt really know that much Marshallese, she understands it well but doesnt speak big words.  She teaches all the lessons and I...well....I drive us around?  Haha.  I get to drive a 2012 Chevy Malibu.  I really dislike that car, the turning radius is nada.  It makes me nervous to drive such a new car, too!   There are 500 thousand speed bumps here!  I'm glad Utah doesnt have that many.  Also, I no longer have a GPS so we tough it by map.  And get lost a lot. 

Sister Konou is pretty shy, wouldnt hurt a fly.  Literally.  There was a fly in her face yesterday and she just gently pushed it out of the way.  Marshallese culture is very different.  Everyone is soft-spoken and gentle.  All the people let us in even if they have no intention on getting baptized so its interesting because we have a hard time knowing if they are really interested!  There is a lot of conversational silence, too.  Long.  periods.  of awkward.  silence.  There are a bazillion children everywhere we go.  When I get bored because I cant understand anything, I find myself just making funny faces at the kids and they play with me sometimes.  I wear a flower in my ear now and we remove our shoes at every door. 
Marshallese language sounds like jibberish.  Like a 18 month old baby who is just babbling.  It doesnt sound like a real language.  Most people we teach CAN speak English, they just prefer Marshallese, so thats what we do.  Everyone is related, too.  We are teaching Sister Konou's uncle, her aunt, one of her cousins, and another aunt.  We share our Marshallese branch with 2 elders, Elder Zepty and Elder Jones.  Elder Zepty is Marshallese too, but it makes me happy that Elder Jones and I are in the same confused state constantly.  Guess I like the company of not being the only one who is utterly lost all the time.
We went to a birthday party last week for a Marshallese 1 year old girl.  I was thinking "great!  a few friends and family at an apartment with some cake!"  nope.  The first few birthdays are celebrated with ginormous parties for the whole Marshallese community.  Like, they probably fed a full-fledged dinner (complete with oysters, which I ate) to about 300 people.  There was a program of dancing and the birthday girl's family gives GIFTS to everyone!  They gave away like 50 blankets and toys for the kids.  It was a huge deal. 
 Sister Wilson

p.s.  Can someone please tell me the difference between a speed bump, a speed lump, a speed hump, a speed table, and undulations?  Because they all just slow down the car.   Why do we need  5 different names??

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Transfer calls came yesterday.....I'm being transferred to the MARSHALLESE PROGRAM!!!!  I was totally blown out of the water on that one.  Never expected that to happen.  Every missionary LOVES it there, but I guess I'll find out why!  To be completely honest, I bawled my eyes out for a few hours because it breaks my heart to leave Deaf work and the Carmichael 1st ward, but as a servant of the Lord, I believe that my leaders are inspired and I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded.  I dont speak Marshallese, but my new companion, Sister Konou (Ko-no) is from the Marshall Islands so I guess she will be my interpreter?  All of the ASL sisters are with English companions right now and its really sad to me because I feel like our Deaf work was coming along so well in the area.  We have 6 Deaf investigators, but Sister Williams can keep teaching them.  Its so hard for me to leave these people I love so much.  I pack up this afternoon and drive out tomorrow morning.  Here's to being the languageless tall White girl!!  

I dont have much to say today because I forgot my planner with my notes, but the Lord is blessing me.  As sad as I am to leave Carmichael, I know South Sacramento is in need of me as much as I need that area.  New adventures lie ahead!!  I was reading a scripture that really stood out to me the other day in Alma chapter 29.  Verse 10 says "And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord my God, then is my soul filled with joy."  Then verse 13 says "...and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full."  I can feel that joy in my heart when I share the gospel.  I feel it so much when I talk with my recent converts who thank me and see a pouring out of blessings in their lives since they were baptized.  I love being a missionary.  

I love you!

Sister Wilson

p.s.  I found out last week that anybody can send me emails if they want to save on postage.  Even friends, but I can't write emails BACK to them.  So if anyone feels burdened by having to hand-write a letter to me or buying a stamp, they can just shoot me an email and I'll write you back!

Monday, February 13, 2012

happy Valentines Day

Hello family and friends!

We had a fantastic week!  The weather has been pretty warm and its only rained a few days.  The trees are getting blossoms!  In February!  I kind of miss the snow, but then I slap myself and I'm happy to be out of the cold weather.  We were able to have dinner with Marci's friend, Marsha last week and shes an amazing cook!  Her home is beautiful.  There are so many people who love us here and take care of us.  

The other day, we met a black guy on the street named Alex.  He was a visionary man.  And he rubbed his hands together REALLY fast and placed them on my hand.  He looked at me so seriously.  "Do you feel that?"  "yes?"  "Its healing power."   uhhh....I think its just friction, Alex.  But he was very happy to have healed me, so we just smiled, taught him a lesson and said a prayer with him.  Then we laughed our heads off for a few days over it.  I love meeting strangers.  

We have a medium-sized teaching pool right now and another few people that will soon be added!!  The Deaf investigators always take a bit longer to progress since it takes a while to get them to church, and a lot of them can be pretty flaky, but we are teaching them nonetheless!!  One hearing lady we just started teaching asked us about pregnancy.  She has a Mormon friend who told her that when Mormons get pregnant, we believe that a dead spirit enters our womb.  Where on earth do people come up with these things??  

Sacramentoians have whomping willow trees like in Harry Potter!  I'll send a picture.  And yes, that's our car in the background.  I LOVE driving it.  oh yeah, Sister Williams hates driving, so I do most of the driving now.  Its kind of a problem because of how directionally challenged I am.  I couldn't even navigate myself around Utah before the mission, but we have a GPS so he helps me!!

I'm doing well, not much else to say today.  I go to the chiropractor again on Wednesday for relief.  (YAY!)  I love and miss all of you!!

Sister Wilson

Monday, February 6, 2012


Welcome February!  I love it in California!  Feels like April here!  Its been crazy dry weather but its nice we have been able to keep dry and do the work of the Lord!!
 SO!  The highlight of this week was our recent convert, Mike.  Yesterday at fast and testimony meeting, he literally JUMPED onto his feet from the back row, put his hands on his hips like Peter Pan, and proudly walked to the front of the pulpit where he bore his testimony.  There cant be anything happier I have ever experienced than for someone to share how the gospel has changed their life.  He's even been facing struggles with his family accepting his conversion, but Mike knows that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, so he stands true to his baptism.  He is preparing to soon receive the Priesthood and it all just makes me grin bigger than I ever have.  I know that through this gospel, we can all have the true joy that I see in Mike.  My favorite part of his testimony was this: "I do know that God is with us, and He will REMAIN with us when we do what He asks!"
I am truly a missionary.  I feel like I finally get what all of this is about.  During sacrament meeting, its so hard for me to focus because I'm looking at all the less actives and geeking out that they came!  I'm constantly pondering if the words in the talks are the things that the recent converts need and I just cling to every word thinking "I hope they are feeling the spirit!!  Are they getting this?!"  I'm just so happy when people come to church.  Church strengthens us!  We have several people this week that we are planning on visiting who will soon become new investigators and I can honestly say that I know that Holland's promise will happen!  
Unfortunately, we only got one referral from the Gladys Knight concert because they were all in the southern half of the mission.  Our referral was actually a handicapped member of our ward.  haha.  But I know there are plenty of others who are ready and waiting for us to find them.  

Behold, the Great Redeemer Die in ASL is the most beautiful spiritual experience I've had in the Deaf branch.  The lyrics to that song are so simple and plain as it explains the Atonement and Resurrection and to see that all wrapped up in a visual language was so touching to me last week.  ASL has such a great way of being beautiful, humorous, and touching.  I love that Heavenly Father allowed me to serve with this language that was already so precious to my heart.  I don't speak English very well anymore... especially since Sister Williams and I can sign the concepts that don't translate and still understand each other.  It's gonna be a problem when I have a companion that doesnt know ASL.  We use Sign-glish.  

Update on the "back issues":  I found out that when you have a bad back and you go walking for 4 hours to meet people, you will be in mucho pain for the next few days.  We were behind on some of our goals for the week so we decided to meet as many people as we could on the street and it was GREAT because we invited 21 people to be baptized, but now I understand why Doctor Armstrong doesn't want me playing sports for a while!  I'm doing better though and we are lucky to have a car so I can take it easy and slowly heal.  The Lord is blessing me!  

I love all of you!  I can feel your prayers and I can feel that the Lord is fulfilling all of His promises!  

Sister Wink