Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas from Cali!

Honestly, missionary work has slowed down because of the holidays.  People tell us to come back "after the holidays" or that they're busy until January.  okay.  During the end of the world on Friday, the 21st, I was in the temple.  Talk about the best place to be for the apocalypse, right??  We had a temple conference with all the missionaries and got to do an endowment session, it was amazing.  I miss the temple so much.  I want to go all the time when I come home.  We live so close to the temples there and don't visit them often enough.  Now that I cant go as often as I'd like to, I wish I had gone more when I had the chance!  Santa Clause came on Saturday and passed out all of our packages from home.  Or...I mean from him.  He came early.  :)   I have had enough patience to let them sit under the tree though I've been very tempted to open them.  I'm being a good girl!

Well, there isn't much to say today.  And I will see you all's a random fact: Sister Hudnor (the Deaf branch senior missionary) lived in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.  Literally. And she said the whole tv show is real.  Its really his house, he really lives there, they film it all in his neighborhood, and they visit the surrounding factories to see how stuff is made.  I was amazed and very excited to learn that.  Sister Hudnor is so much more cool now.  

My mother sent me two text messages on my phone this week.  I about had a heart attack.  (I have ideas about who gave her my phone number, but receiving texts from home is NOT a good idea for me!  I love you, Mom, but dont make me trunky!)

I was reflecting on my mission the other day and I am so blessed and grateful to have come on one.  I'm glad Heavenly Father waited patiently for me to agree to serve.  I love being a missionary!  I will see you all tomorrow around 1pm!!  

Sister Wilson

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

my birthday week

My birthday was great!  as great as a birthday can be on a mission, anyway!  This amazing friend of ours, Marsha, made us cupcakes and she gave me my favorite gift: a phone call telling me where RYLEE IS GOING ON HER MISSION!!  I'm sooo happy for my niece, Rylee!!  Houston Texas mission already has 2 of my friends and now it will have my niece.  I'm not sure, however, how I feel about missing her completely.  She enters the MTC 8 days before I get home.  erg.  Maybe they'll let me chat with her for an hour.  Or I'll just walk in with my name tag on and meet her.  I was hoping we could talk for hours before she left, but I guess not!  I also got tons of great presents and packages from home on the birthday, thanks all of you!!  Sister Oliphant made a banner and hung it over my desk!

We had a Deaf branch ASL Christmas dinner last Friday.  We had 34 Deaf nonmembers there!!  Holy cow!  Most of them are just friends of our members or they heard about free food or whatever, but we were so happy to have all of them come.  The dinner went really well and hopefully they were touched enough to be more curious about our church!  Our Deaf investigator Leon came, and he missed his bus home, so he sat outside at the bus stop after the Christmas party until midnight.  It was freezing cold, too.  We didnt know until the next morning but we felt bad!  Hopefully he will come to church soon.   

I spoke in Sacrament meeting with a 3 minute warning.  Our branch president doesnt really prepare people to give talks, we just all have to be ready each Sunday.  Its kind of annoying, but I did it anyway.  He just said "give a talk.  and relate it to Christmas."  okay.  So I did.  Yay for impromptu talks.  Speaking of Sunday in the Deaf branch, here are my two favorite quotes from our Sunday School lesson on the Milennium:  

"I dont care when Jesus comes, I'll already be dead."

"When the morning of the first resurrection happens, all the Deaf people wont hear the rooster crow, so we'll all sleep in!"

Sister Oliphant and I have discovered that we attended a party together in March of 2011.  haha.  Oh Provo is so small.  Even though she's from Wisconsin, she's spent the last 3 years in Utah county at BYU so we really feel that Utah is our home.  She knows people that I know and understands Utah county.  We talk about Provo all the time.  

We have a stinky Deaf investigator.  She has 13 animals that live with her.  One night, we went to go contact her and we couldn't even approach the door because we almost threw up.  She loves animals so much that she takes in all the strays.  She's only 20 years old.  Instead of being obsessed with animals, I wish that she could instead see how important Heavenly Father is in her life!  We'll keep working with her, but it's hard to even be in her apartment.  I heard that on the Hoarders tv show, the people put Vicks Vapo Rub under their noses and it helps them stand the stench.  Maybe we'll try that next time we go.  She's really nice, though!  You know whats funny?  She told us the other day that she has a "Deaf nose!"  She doesnt smell anything, so its hard to control your stink if you have no idea you're stinky!  Poor girl.

So...I may have mentioned the socials that we have here, but I'm not sure I explained them well enough, so I am going to do so again.  ASL missionaries have discovered that we can meet tons of Deaf people in concentrated places, like Deaf socials!  Starbucks is probably our best one.  So what do we do?  Go into Starbucks (I hate the smell of coffee.) and seriously just chat with people.  We invite all the ASL students to come to the branch and count it for a school assignment.  We try even HARDER, though, to meet Deaf people there and it's probably the most success we have in one night.  There's a pizza social twice a month, icecream once a month, and other random ones.  Its really fun to just go and show people that Mormons arent that weird.  Its not a great place to pray with people, but we always teach when we can and do our best to explain why we sign so well and what we do with our ASL.  This way, we aren't attacking Deaf people at their doors.  (Some of them flip out.  "How did you know I lived here!?? How do you know I'm Deaf?!?")  So...yeah.  We chill at Starbucks all the time.  No biggie.
This is Kathy, one of our Deaf investigators.  And this is an example of a "Deaf Doorbell" that the mission is always looking for.   The wire attaches to a light inside that blinks when you push it instead of making sound.  We have one other investigator who uses Ukranian sign language.  I dont know Ukranian sign language.  She doesnt know ASL.  Its interesting to communicate with her.  We're trying to teach her, but all she does is sign back all these weird signs that we dont know what they mean and she speaks in Russian.  So....I kinda wish I could speak Russian.  Oh well, pictures will have to do!  

To end, I call all of you who have procrastinated writing me to repentance using Alma 60:6  "and now behold, we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state."

I love you all!  

Sister Wilson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kathy gets baptized!!

WOW!  What a week!!  Kathy got BAPAMATIZED!!!!  She was glowing like a glow worm.  Only out of her face.  It was amazing.  We got there about 15 minutes until the baptism started and looked at the font.  It had 2 inches of water in it.  The plug wasn't working.  So what did we do??  (yay for women of the church!)  We set up an assembly line.  We grabbed all of the kitchen pitchers and ran back and forth from the kitchen sinks to the font dumping in as much water as we could.  We even filled up the mop bucket and a garbage can with water to dump it in as fast as we could!  We even flooded the mop closet with a few inches of water because the garbage can had a hole in the bottom!  But you know what?  None of us cared.  We were so happy.  The baptism started about 20 minutes late but I was completely at peace.  Kathy cried through the whole thing.  She got into the font, gasped because it was so COLD, and then she covered her face in her hands as tears streamed down.  The spirit was so strong.  I love baptisms.  I love Kathy.  From praying to candles to Mormon.  amazing!!

Other news...I got my flight plans in the mail.  ergheabfft.  Its exciting yet sickening.  Y know what's great about full Deaf work?  I never have to silence my cell phone.  Never.  (Unless we have a meeting with other missionaries)  During Sacrament meeting, people burp and groan and make all these noises and its no big deal.  Hope it doesn't rub off on me for when I come home!  Something else randomly funny about Sacrament meeting...because there are so few people, they tear the sacrament bread into GINORMOUS chunks.  I literally had to take two separate bites last week because I couldnt make it with only one.  Sister Oliphant and I have a hard time praying in English now.  When one of us is too tired to sign our prayer, we decide to do it in English, but what we've discovered is that we always end up staring at the person who is praying.  I can't close my eyes during prayers!!  Weird.

The Hudnors (senior couple) are doing amazing things.  Sister Hudnor can carry a basic conversation in ASL and she is the new RS 2nd councelor.  She only uses sign when we are at church or in our RS meetings.  Its so amazing how much those two help us.  They drive us everywhere, they feed us all the time, they can both pray in ASL now.  The Lord loves this Deaf branch.

I love you all!  The church is true!  (still!)  Oh, and its transfers.  I'm staying.  I'll probably end my mission here.  Also, I am now deeply in love with all Thrift Stores.  Why doesnt Utah have more Thrift Stores?!?  Goodwill is the greatest buys I've ever found in my LIFE!  Seriously, DI....your stuff is kinda crappy.  These Thrift Stores down here are awesomely filled with treasures and sales. I love it!!  

oh yeah!  I almost forgot its my birthday in 2 days!  For "our" birthday (Sister Oliphant's is on the 12th, I'm the 13th) one of the sister missionaries who works in the office took us out to this restaurant called the Elephant Bar.  It was really fun, and they brought both of us free dessert with candles to blow out.  Wow.  Cant believe I'm already 26!  I'm closer to 30 than I am 20!  strange.  We have one Deaf investigator, Molly, who is Hmong. She wanted to serve us Asian cake for our birthday.  Just if any of you were wondering, Asian cake tastes the same as American cake.  

Sister Wilson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Lights

Oooh I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!  The lights are going up everywhere and you know whats funny?  People here hang up snowflakes.  Even though there's no snow.  Whats with that?  (Doesnt that just tell all of us that deep down, we know that Christmas should always have snow?)  My birthday is coming again, weird.  It doesn't even feel like my birthday.  I can't believe I'll be 26!! Sister Oliphant's birthday is on December 12th, day before mine!  We'll be sure to have a birthday party between the two of us! 

We went to the mall last week to return something and upon leaving the main hallway we hear "sisters!!  Sisters!"  I turn around to see a jolly Santa Clause.  He waves his hand at us, signaling that we should come talk to him and I shook my head no.  I'm sure all of you remember how uncomfortable I am around people in full-body costumes.  Ooooh no, I'm NOT going over there for Santa to make fun of the Mormons and make me sit on his lap.  Nope.  But then, he was so insistant "sisters, come here!!"  I didnt want to offend, and there were people all over the mall watching us, so we walked towards him and he met us half way.  He chatted with us and asked us how we were....he looked a little too "glowy" so I asked him if he was LDS.  We laughed at his reply all night: "Didn't you know Santa was a member of the CHURCH??"  haha.  So there you go.  Santa is real, and he's Mormon.  

This week, we had elder Porter of the Seventy come and train us as a mission.  It was really great, and I remembered that even just walking around with the spirit can sometimes touch people, when we don't even say anything!  We got to interpret for Sister Sellers, so we got to go to the meeting with elder Porter twice, which was cool.  I double felt the spirit.  haha.  We also had some crazy flooding lately down here.  The water has been pretty deep, and yesterday, there were a few wards who cancelled church because people needed to go home and take care of their houses.  The sisters we live with put on their jeans after sacrament meeting and went to go clear off tree branches and dry up all the water.  We're expecting more flooding this week, so we'll see how that goes!!  exciting stuff!

 Kathy is getting baptized this Saturday.  I'm pretty sure her conversion story is the craziest one I have for my whole mission.  I know I'll be friends with her for the rest of my life.  She was fired from her job last week, and isnt sure why she's having so many trials, but we all know why.  Darn satan.  BUT!  She is going forward with faith and getting baptized!!  (This is her 5th baptism, but the only one with authority!)  Dianne, on the other hand, is supposed to get baptized on December 9th.  Her family is extremely opposed to the LDS church, and they have given her a ton of crap about us.  They threatened Sister Sellers, and told us never to come back.  Some kind of crazy fight happened, and Dianne ended up stabbing her sister and some other guy.  Well....she went to jail.  So....we'll see when this baptism happens.  She only stayed in for a week, but I'm pretty sure she might need to postpone for a while.  At least she has a testimony to stand up for the church, but I'm not sure stabbing people is the best thing to do.  (The sister and the other guy are okay, I think they went to the hospital.  Just lots of blood.)

I love you all!!  Christmas is the best time ever!  

 Sister Wink