Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast....

Kidding, we didnt get a Thanksgiving feast.  It was wonderful, though, and I loved being in my pajamas all day and writing a million letters.  Not much else has happened since I emailed on Thanksgiving, except we set up the Christmas tree.  (I still have the one Mom sent me from last year)   
We have a new Deaf investigator....who is a cross dresser.  kinda.  But she is wonderful and HUNGRY for truth about God.  The darn J-dubs snagged her for a few years, so she's really deep into their doctrine, but shes still willing to meet with us and she likes Mormons.  Come to find out, she was taught by ASL elders in San Diego, both of which were my MTC teachers!!  Other than that, the Deaf branch is basically the same.  Really small numbers on Sundays, and crazy Sunday School lessons.  

I've recently started doodling pictures on the letters I send people...missionary work is now in the marrow of my bones I guess. Also, a picture of my Christmas tree on the kitchen table and our Deaf map.  The map covers the wall from floor to ceiling, and all the little stickies are Deafies in the area.  I love having a ginormous area and lots of miles, its a blessing.   

I love you all!  The church is true!

Sister Wilson

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey day

Happy Turkey Day!!

You know what I am doing today??  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  We made it our goal to not leave our apartment.  Other than for emailing.  We are literally going to sit on the couch all day long and write letters.  Don't cry that I am not having Thanksgiving dinner, in fact, we had literally 13 different invitations, we just turned them all down.  We bought pie, so we're good.  :)  Ironically, I've read several scriptures about Thanksgiving this week during personal is my duty, I will share them with all ya'll.

D&C 78:19 "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

2 Corinthians 9:11-12 "Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.  For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God."

Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  

Colossians 3:15 "and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

This week was great.  Kathy (the Wiccan who lives in Stockton) is getting baptized on December 8th and I am SOOO HAPPY.  I went on my first exchanges as the exchange sister this week...the member dropped me off in Folsom with Sister Vaughan and sister Agavale.  Normally, I'm supposed to stay the night with them, watch them plan, watch them do the morning schedule, go out and work in their area all day and then I write up a transfer report and give it to the mission president.  Here's what happened instead: I got there and we planned, chatted and went to bed.  I tossed and turned all night with hot flashes, woke up at 5 am to worship the porcelain throne for a few hours.  The Sister woke up and watched me run to and from the bathroom until sister Oliphant came and picked me up to go back home.  Some exchange THAT was!  It was more like a sleepover...except it wasnt a fun one for me.  Pretty sure I had food poisoning.  I slept on the floor next to the vacuum when I came home.  For the next two days, I was super dehydrated and we didn't do any missionary work, and I lost 2 pounds.  Then, when I felt better on Wednesday, we got our new car and went out and today is Thursday.  Thats been my week thus far.  hah.  BUT!  I am much MUCH better.  and I'll be eating pie today, so I'm sure to gain those two lost pounds right back.

I havent been too serious today, have I?  Im kind of in a hyper/jolly-type mood right now.  On a more serious note I noticed something about myself...I am still afraid to knock on strangers doors.  This has puzzled me for quite some time.  I felt like that fear should leave me on my mission.  That I would be great and confident and happy even if people hated me.  nope.  It still hurts and I still cringe.  And I am still afraid of strangers.  HOWEVER!  Upon further pondering the topic I realized that although I am afraid of people, I fear my God more than I fear them.  Thats why I do it anyway.  So, although I still so far from being a perfect missionary, I know that Heavenly Father can see my sacrifices for Him and He knows that I love Him more.  I love Him more than myself, more than my fears, more than everything.  Thats why I am here, thats why I go out every day and do what I do.  I love being a missionary!

(I love you all too!)  love, Sister Wilson

Random otherness:

*We got a new car.  brand spankin'  2013 Chevy Cruz.  ooooh man.  its fun.

*Our mission gets 19 new sister missions in January.  Thats like.....16 more than we've ever had come in at once...good thing I'm outta here by the time all of this gets crazy!  haha

Monday, November 12, 2012

it's getting colder...

It got cold.  and rainy.  Now is the point that I stop caring about what I look like and simply throw on whatever will keep me warm and pull my hair into a bun because it doesnt stay nice and straight.  yay!!  

Not much to say today, just that everybody tells us "I voted for Mitt!"  and we just smile and say "thats great!  Our church is neutral."  However, be it known to the world that I DID vote using an absentee ballot (thanks mom!) like the good American citizen should.  

Elder Bassett of the Seventy is in town.  He's visiting all the stake presidents with our mission president to talk about my new favorite topic: MISSIONARY WORK.  All the Stake presidents are basically getting a chastisement and kick in the pants.  We are going to have 1 set of missionaries to EVERY ward, so there needs to be a LOT more people to teach or all these 18 and 19 year old missionaries who are on fire will be very sad!  So, he is holding these special meetings every week and they asked me to sing in a special musical number (in a trio with Elder Walker and Elder Tilley) for the meeting.  So...I'm traveling the mission to sing for a Seventy!  Its kind of fun!  We did our first one last week and I got to hear all about how the 12 apostles think about missionary work and its so exciting.  The field is truly white and I know that the world is being prepared for Jesus to come again!!  We have 2 more meetings to go to this week to sing for him and probably 6 more after that!  I'm also busy doing exchanges with other sister's companionships and my own deaf work!  Busy busy!!!

I need to explain our car situation, just for fun.  Because I got transferred back to Carmichael, I'm back in the old 2010 Corolla.  It has 53,000 miles on it.  SO!  We are going to get a new one soon!  Yay for my second new car on the mission!  We have an allotment of 1, 675 miles a month and we struggle to stay under that.  We usually drive an average of 50-70 a day.  I withdrew myself from being the driver so Sister Oliphant could continue to drive when I left her to do exchanges with other sisters.  So....I'm back to being the rediculous-looking backer-upper.  

I love you all, the church is STILL true.  muah!

Sister Wink

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh the deaf branch....

Most importantly: daylight savings is Heavenly Father's greatest gift to missionaries. Alright, it may be ranked 2nd next to a baptism, but it was really quite amazing. I've been waiting for 6 months just to sleep in one more hour. It was another "interesting" week in the branch. Sister Oliphant and I have basically re-vamped everything that was being previously done here...the area needs a good kick in the pants. Halloween was fun, we watched a movie about the Life of President Monson. Sister Oliphant and I got a good laugh at dressing up and taking pictures of us being elders. Some of the elders thought it was funny.

I had a meeting on Friday that lasted from 9am until 4pm. Its the first time the exchange sisters have been invited to the Zone Leader council with the AP's and the President. I LOVED it. So...there we were in a group of all the leadership of the mission and the three coordinating sisters got to have our input shared and valued. We changed a few rules and discussed how we can best help the sisters of the mission. (Did I mention last week that with the new increase of missionaries, Salt Lake asked us to increase from a cap of 193 missionaries to 250 by this summer? 30 of those should be sisters!!) We will have 50 sister missionaries by summer, thats exactly double what we have now. So, part of my new calling is to prepare the sisters to be able to handle more sisters and to teach them proper principles of locking their hearts and going to the right source (me) with their troubles instead of to President or the elders. It should be amazing. With the new calling, however, the more I recognize how many darn weaknesses I have. I have so much to repent of and improve about myself. Being a missionary does that to you....its a good thing. This assignment is given to me because I need to grow and do better.

sister oliphant and I met a deaf lady
with a bird that likes kisses.
On a much happy note, Mike, my recent convert from last December called us on the phone the other day. "Is Sister Wilson there?? I need help! Sister Wilson?!?" He sounded panicked. I got on the phone and said "whats up, Mike? Do you need something?" He goes "Do you KNOW what today is?!" My brain was blank....uhhh....Sister Williams wedding? no....thats not until Saturday...what happens on November 1st?? I just answered with a "no?" He laughs and says "Today is the exact day I met you and Sister Williams!! It was one YEAR ago!" My heart jumped with joy. "Well, Mike, happy anniversary!" hahaha. He's so amazing. Mike was so great to call and remind me that I was able to help make a difference in his life a year ago. He kind of realized that it wasn't strange that I had forgotten the exact day we met, but he said "oh...I guess my baptism day is kind of the more important one we celebrate, huh?" Recent. Converts. Make. Me. So. Happy.

I love being here. Deaf work is hard, but its so specialized that the Lord knew I could handle it. I'm blessed to be here.

Sister Wink

Thursday, November 1, 2012

new calling...

Carmichael is wonderful, but our little Deaf branch is suffering!  Just a few updates:

*We are now allowed to go into the Roseville mission to find Deafies.  They don't have ASL sisters, and half our members in the branch live in Roseville anyway.  Its fun to cross mission borders when nobody else can.  I feel like I can break rules on purpose.  BUT!  Its just open for a trial period to see how it

*Sister Larson is flying home and I am going to miss serving with my COUSIN!  She's amazing.  BYE SISTER LARSON! 

*I decided to be an elder for Halloween, here's a sneak preview of my new nametag.

*Sister Williams, my trainer, is getting MARRIED this weekend and I am so sad I cant go.  But I publicly congratulate her.  

We have a new senior couple in the Deaf branch, here's a picture of them!

The Hudnors are the answer to many-a-prayer for the branch.  There is so little priesthood leaders that we don't have a 1st or 2nd councelor in the bishopric.  Or a financial clerk.  I'm pretty sure elder Hudnor is going to help out a lot.  They don't sign, so we do a lot more interpreting, but we are happy to have their support!  Sunday was the most exhausting day I've ever had.  We got to church and there wasn't anyone to teach any of the classes.  They asked if I would teach Relief Society, but I declined because we aren't supposed to be teaching classes.  Sister Hudnor ended up teaching in English and I signed for her (Which was probably more work than just teaching it myself...)  Then, the Sunday school teachers didn't show up, so we ended up winging it for Sunday school.  I taught about the holy ghost.  For Sacrament, the speakers on the printed program simply said "missionaries."  We didn't know.  So then we all stood up and gave talks for the Sacrament meeting.  When I wasn't voicing so the Hudnors could understand the signs, I was signing so the Deafies could understand.  I seriously don't know what this branch would do without us.  Actually, I do.  It would fall apart.

Because we dont really have counselors for the branch president, he ends up counseling with the missionary team.  Which....honestly....isn't very appropriate. Its hard, but we are all just doing everything we can to keep the branch together.  Its probably on the risk of closing down soon, its too tiny.  We only had 9 at sacrament on Sunday.  It might be better if the branch shut down and combined with another ward...that way they could be trained in the way things are supposed to be.    

I also sent pictures of  our"weekly planning."

Weekly planning is every Friday morning for like 5 hours.  You sit and schedule every minute of every day and pray about your investigators to see what they need to be taught.  Make phone calls, call dinner appointments and such.  You can tell by the look on my face how much I love it.  The other picture is the Folsom bridge!  (Folsom is where all the rich people live.  There's only like 3 Deaf people out there)

Also, President called me the other night...Drum Roll please.....BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR........COORDINATING SISTER!!!!  I'm the new Coordinating sister for the north half of the mission.  They also call us "exchange sisters."  I'm basically like a Sister Zone-leader.  So, I go to all the zone leader training and other leadership training.  I get to go on exchanges with some of the other sisters and provide some counsel for them!!  I'm really excited, and it should be fun to end my mission this way.  Sister Oliphant has to find another companion for the day and I go sleep in other apartments and watch the companionships and I report back to president how they are doing!  I feel under-qualified for the position, and I was honestly hoping I never had to deal with the stress, but when the Lord calls...too bad for me!  haha.  It will be great.  I am thankful for the chance to shake things up a bit and get to work with many many sister missionaries in their areas!!  
I love all of you!!!  The church is true!  Go read your scriptures!

Love, Sister Wink