Tuesday, August 28, 2012

summer is almost over

The heat is calming down, which has been soooo nice.  We had a crazy awesome week with funny stuff, and I still love being a missionary.  Sister Oliphant and I had to get a flu shot at our mission conference.  They make us do it.  She doesnt like needles.  She cried.  Y'know what Ive learned a lot more about on my mission??  Drugs.  Im becoming a drug professional.  Okay, not really, but we hear about them a LOT.  And they're like no big deal here, because everyone does them.  Drugs are causing so much damage to these people down here, I now have a better perspective on why they're so dumb to do.
We have one investigator named Joanna who is in a wheelchair because she weighs 600 pounds.  She cant really do much because her stomach is so big it hits her knees when she walks, so she's considered handicapped.  Anyway, we went to visit her the other day, and when we walked in we were blasted by the smell of urine.  She'd had an accident on the floor, and she was lying in her bed without clothes on under just a sheet.  There were a few times when we were talking with her that she twisted a bit too much and the sheet slipped off of her and we saw way more than we ever cared to see, but the poor lady must have just given up on having any dignity in herself because of her situation.  Its so sad to see people who live like that.  She doesnt really listen when we come over to teach, shes always asking us to clean something for her or take out her garbage full of diapers.  Joanna DOES have caregivers who come in everyday and help her, not sure why she wants us to help her too.  We will probably stop going by because her heart isn't in it.

 On the other hand, we added a new investigator last week, Kathy, who is a Wiccan!  She's really sweet and no, she doesn't call herself a "witch."  I'm very curious what the Wicca religion really believes, but it's apparently a very peaceful, loving culture and people really love it.  Kathy has already read like 20 pages from the book of mormon and she says she has a lot of questions for us.  We teach her again tomorrow, so it should be fun!!  

 Here in California, they have these terrible metal screen doors that you cant see though. They have itty bitty holes in the metal, but I hate it when someone opens the wood door but NOT the metal one because you don't know where to look!  You dont even know if they're really there because you cant see them.   Anyway, we just stand and present ourselves and try to not be awkward.  So the other day, sister Oliphant and I were at a door asking for a specific man who had met with missionaries before.  The lady opened up her screen door and we could see her figure vaguely, but not clearly.  She told us that the man wasnt home so we thanked her.  Then, out of the middle of nowhere, Sister Oliphant asks her "Are you a painter?"  I was so confused.  I looked at her, then at the lady, who replied "uhhh...no?" I tried to understand where sister Oliphant got that question and I asked her "does it smell like paint?"  She got really awkward and just said "no."  Then she looked up at the ceiling of their front porch at something and it was soo weird.  The poor lady was just bothered at us and all three of us kind of stood there for a second in confusion.  Then sister Oliphant explained "Well, isnt that a paintbrush in your hand?"  "No, this is a shishkabob skewer."  Stupid screen doors.  Sister O just said "oh, I thought you were holding a paintbrush.  Well, you have a good day!"  And we left.   hahaha.  We laughed our heads off when we got in the car and now I randomly ask sister Oliphant if she's a painter.  She's getting better at talking to people, but its still awkward for her at times.  It makes me realize how far I've really come on my mission, I remember all those awkward conversations I tried to start and all the times I didn't know what to do.  

 I had a spout of Sadness yesterday that lasted for a few hours.  I will explain: Lani went to to the Deaf branch on Sunday to give a talk up there, so I didnt have to interpret for Relief Society.  We had 5 people tell us they would be at church yesterday, but Dan was the only one to actually come.  So, we sit in the back of the Relief Society room, and for once, I could just sit there and enjoy the lesson.  I was very relieved that there was no stress of worrying about false doctrine being taught to my investigators or if they had friends, but I was also sad that they didn't make it.
We decided to sit near the back, which I havent done in a long long time, near a new lady.  Bad decision.  I remembered why I dont like sitting in the back row of church.  There were women in the back chatting and laughing in the middle of the lesson.  I couldn't focus!  Now, I can't judge those women, because there have been many weeks when I used to do that myself.  But I kind of became overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness.  I was sad my investigators didn't come.  I was sad that they women in the back weren't listening to a really good lesson.  I was sad as I looked around the room and half of them haven't made it through the temple yet.  I came home from church and my heart hurt.  A slight pain in my chest, for these people who I care about so much.

 I look forward to having Sundays when I don't have to be so worried about interpreting or false doctrine or everyone feeling welcomed.  I think when we're at church each week at home, we take advantage of what a wonderful opportunity it is to go and be overwhelmed by the spirit and personal revelation.  Sundays are a time when we can bask in the presence of the holy ghost.  I am reminded of two scriptures I read a month ago.  Ecclesiastes 1:18 "For in much wisdom, is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."  Ecclesiastes 7:3 "Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."  Sometimes when we love people so much, they hurt us more than if we didn't love them at all.  But I believe this to be a good thing, a Christlike thing.  I love being a missionary, it just definitely has its ups and downs.  Sister Oliphant is doing well, and I can see how much different I have become here in the past year.  

 I love all of you!

 Sister Wilson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This was a pretty good week, no room for complaining.  Mostly because Lynda wants to BE BAPTIZED ON SEPTEMBER 22ND!!!  Well, she has to stop smoking, but she can totally do it.  I know she can, she quit on her own far before we ever met her, so she's already done it once!  Dominick and Mickey are thinking about getting married, too.  We'll see if we can get that goin!

 On Tuesday, we went to contact this single boy in his 20's and the wind was a bit rambunctious that day.  This guy just happened to be outside with his friend.  Yup.  You guessed it.  My skirt caught a current and I flashed both of them with my garments.  Then we left and I laughed hysterically.  Oh, life.
 You know what is crazy to me?  People switch churches a lot!  I think I grew up thinking that everyone had one church that their parents took them to and they stayed with it most their lives.  Nope.  Not here.  People go to whatever church is closest to them, which is really sad.  I often hear "oh yeah, we just started going to this other church 2 weeks ago" or "Ive just started going to the one down the street."  Lucky for me, these people are actually SEARCHING for a church to go to, so when we come along its easy to challenge them to try ours. 

 Here's a cool miracle that happened to us this week!  We had about 10 minutes so we decided to go down to the park and talk with people.  As we got out of the car, I felt prompted to grab a DVD from our trunk, so I did.  The park we went to was kind of far from our area, so it was kinda' risky to meet people there that actually live in our teaching boundaries, but we didnt car.  Park contacting is difficult at times because you have to pick your people.  You can walk in any direction and you just pray that you're not skipping the person you are supposed to find!  Sister Oliphant and I felt inspired to talk with the first woman we saw who was a young black mother watching her son play.  We walked over and the whole conversation was so natural with her.  She actually asked US which church we were from before we could bring it up.  She said she was looking for a church!  Come to find out, she actually lives across the street from our church building, like, she could walk there if she needed to.  We gave her the DVD and she was so excited!  Her name is Shatavia and we teach her again tomorrow.  YAY! 

My car has bluetooth to our phone, so when people call us, our radio shuts off and the people speak to us through the car system.  Ive never been this high-tech in my life.  Strange that it should happen on my mission!  Then again, the church just came out with some new Mormon.org cards that have the little scanny thing for the iPhones.  I'm happy our church is staying up with the times, I just wish they would focus more on the DEAF technology and translation that we need. 

We went to the Delta on Friday night to eat dinner and see the boats and docks.  I love boats and docks, I'll send pictures.

My favorite Zina quote from the week: "God said Adam and Eve, NOT STEVE AND STEVE AND EVE AND EVE!"  She understands well.  That Zina says some crazy funny stuff. 

I love all of you! 

 Sister Wilson

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Companion

Sister Oliphant is amazing.  Yes, Oliphant, like elephant with an O. She's from Madison, Wisconsin and she isnt 5'2"!  When I picked her up from the office, she was just so bubbly and happy to be here.  She's had 5 years of ASL and helped me interpret on Sunday.  Yesterday when we went to contact a Deaf person, this way angry guy threw the door open before we even got to the front step.  He yelled at us to go away and that we were bothering him at home when he didnt want us there.  He slammed the door shut.  We get in the car.  Sister Oliphant yells "MY FIRST DOOR SLAMMED IN MY FACE!!  YES!!"  and she laughs.  I love her.  She's so enthusiastic and she has all these new fresh ideas and its good for me to remember everything I've forgotten from the MTC!  Dan was sick this past week so we asked him if he needed anything and he just answered "soup."  So directly after church, me and Sister Oliphant came home and she made Tomato Basil soup that was surprisingly good for the lack of ingredients we had.  (But naturally, it wasn't as good as Stacey's!)

 Lynda is so ready to be baptized!!  She just has to stop smoking.  She's now cut back to 2 cigarettes a day, and honestly, she only has 2 left.  She says that she 'aint buyin' no mo'.  We were talking with her about the Word of Wisdom and she had a testimony of it far before she met us.  She's like "Smoking isnt Godly!  I shouldnt be doing it!"  Then we taught the other substances that were harmful and she told us that drinking isnt going to be a problem to give up cuz she doesnt drink often and that coffee is no biggie either.  So if we can just get her to quit smoking we'll be good to go for her baptism!!   I'm so excited!!  We still need to teach the law of chastity, but in the last lesson she said "Fornication!  fornication, fornication.  I need to call my friend and tell him its over!"  So, pretty sure that wont be a problem either, she already knows it's a sin.  I LOVE LYNDA!!!! 

I love being a missionary.  I've grown so much since the MTC.  Sister Oliphant gives me flash backs to my first few weeks and my fears of being a new missionary.  I remember being scared to talk to strangers, feeling nervous and stuttering on my sentences while Sister Williams did most the talking.  I have come far and I realized that I'm now comfortable here.  Not comfortable in a "I dont need to improve" kind of way, but comfortable like...at peace.  I am at peace as a missionary, answering questions people ask and resolving concerns they have.  The gospel is amazing!!!

Love you all!                           these are all the deaf sister missionaries in my mission

 Sister Wilson

Last night, there was a man playing a trumpet outside our window.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Meet Sister Wilson, the new trainer of the MTC GREENIE!!!! WOOOO!!!!   IM SO EXCITED!!!  Sister Oliphant, a new ASL sister arrives today and I will be training her in the field.  I was never technically ever senior companion, but who needs that, right?  I'll just jump straight to trainer I guess!  I had my "mission birthday" last week.  Exactly one year since I entered the MTC and began this whole adventure.  I'm amazed at the growth that's occured and everything I've learned.  I was pondering the other day and I think one big change I've made is being able to take critisizm better than I used to.  Before my mission, when someone ever told me I was doing something wrong, I would be defensive, or if I knew it was true I would be extremely sad and disappointed in myself.  Now, I can sit down with my companions and we can work through problems.  They can correct me and I know I can repent and move on.  I have need of repentance daily, and THATS OKAY!  I love the gospel!  For my mission birthday, I made monkey bread for the apartment sisters and I blew out a 1-year-match. 

 Sunday was a VERY interesting testimony meeting.  Lets just say I'm glad some of my investigators werent able to make it that day.  The very first testimony was a less active guy stormed to the front of the pulpit and yelled at the audience.  He explained that his wife had just walked out of the meeting because she had felt SO shunned by everyone and didnt feel welcome.  He was upset that we werent all being like disciples of Jesus Christ.  There goes the spirit.  Gone.  Out the door.  Lucky for us, he just stopped there and said "uhh....amen."  Bishop was out of town, but the 2nd councelor walked the guy off the stage and out the door to talk with him.  He later joined the back row, so I guess he calmed down.  We are sooo happy to have Sister Johnson in our ward because she saved the meeting.  After he left, she stood up and powerfully bore testimony that she LOVED the ward and that she's sorry someone doesn't feel the way she does about it.  After her, Zina got up and bore testimony and then sang a gospel song  to all of us a cappella.  Then this old lady who just moved in to our ward stood up and annoucned that she was single and that she was very lonely and looking for a lonely single man to marry.  She told all of us she hadnt been sealed in the temple yet and if anyone wanted to meet her she lived at such and such apartments.  wow. 

Deaf Dianne called!!!!  She's back from her brain surgery but she has one more to go through before she heals completely!  So, she will probably finish up the lessons and be baptized in September but I'm so excited for her to come back.  We hadnt heard from her for about a month!!  Some of these investigators are in the very depths of poverty.
 We had one investigator named Barb who lives in a trailer park.  She pays her rent by going to the stadium and collecting plastic cans to recycle.  She calls it "her job" and she "goes to work" every day.  She's a little off her rocker as far as doctrine goes, she doesnt even believe in the king james bible, yet she thinks that Nephi is a reincarnated Moses.  I will send a picture of her.  Barb's mother who she lives with calls us "Morons" cuz she thinks its funny.  We just laugh at her because she's like 80 and she honestly believes she's a prophetess.  Crazy people, but I love them. 

 Lynda has been cutting back on her smoking!!  She still wants to be baptized and she has decided that we are the church she wants to go to!  Its such a wonderful feeling when someone finally understands all the truths we teach them.  Dan has been cutting back too and he's doing well.  We had a sisters meeting last monday, too, that was really fun.  I got to see sister Despain before she left.  There's only about 25 sisters here in the mission. 
 One last story.  Zina told us a few weeks back one of her stories from her crazy past and I want to share it because we were all crying it was so funny.  When Zina was doing drugs, she decided to try crack for the first time.  She sniffed it all and rubbed the remainder of it all over her gums to get high.  Then, she had so much energy that she ran for miles in the middle of the night without stopping.  She climbed up a scoreboard at the stadium and was sitting at the top when the police arrested her.  The nicknamed her Scoreboard.  A few weeks later she was eating an apple when her two front teeth simply fell out. So she took the two teeth and SUPERGLUED them back into her head.  Needless to say that didnt last long.  Come to find out, superglue destroys your gums so the gums wont hold the teeth anymore!  While she went shopping at the grocery store, they fell out again randomly and she was on her hands and knees looking for them on the ground of the store.  They had to escort her out because they thought she was high.  She just kept saying "NO!  my teeth!!  I have to find my teeth!  They're here somewhere!"  The dentist had to scrape off the superglue and give her a retainer with two fake front teeth in it.  So thats what she wears now.  Ohhh drugs.  Dont do drugs, kids. 

Sister Teerime can now effectively cross just one of her eyes.  That is all.

Love you all! 

Sister Wilson