Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 9!

Monday, July 8, 2013
Week 9

Mi familia! Como esta!

This was a good week. Well.. to answer some questions we definitely didn't do anything special for the fourth of July. In fact it was probably one of the most boring days of the mission thus far. Nobody wanted to set an appointment with us, understandable it IS the fourth of July. So it was a lot of just tracting and tracting, but nobody was home. Not a successful day as we had hoped. But that is okay!

We met the new mission president and oh my gosh, I love him. I really really feel like I was meant to come to this mission not just the Seattle one but the Federal Way mission. He worked at BYU-Idaho before he came and the way he teaches reminds me so much BYUI and I just love it! He is great and pretty much the opposite of our old mission president who I really liked but to be honest was a little scary. (granted I only knew him for 2 weeks so I can't say anything) But anyways I really like President Eaton. His dad is actually in the ward I am serving in right now and came to church at our ward on Sunday. He came into the gospel principles class with us and after class he came up to me specifically, even though there were 5 other missionaries in the room and asked me how I was doing and of course I say, Great! And he says, "great? or great great great?" And then he asked me how I was reeeaaally doing and then gave me this advice that I really really needed to hear. It was really incredible. I love him!

Funny story and then I get to the part that I've been waiting all day to tell you about! So we were tracting a couple days ago and ran into this lady named Cat..who actually has like 5 cats. I thought that was funny. My companion didn't. But anyways, She opens her door and just straight up says, "I am Roman Catholic...." long pause.."So I just want you to know...that I have faith!" So we just said ya know, "Oh that's great that you have faith...etc." And then as my companion is talking, Cat interrupts her and says, "WHERE ARE YOU FROM!?! You have an accent.." and starts talking about my companion's accent. (She has a Utah accent if you know what I am talking about). THen cat says, "have you ever recorded your voice and listened to it?" And my companion says no and she says, "well you're going to do it right now!" And she lets us in and Cat starts talking about her family and showing us pictures of her family and how they immigrated from Germany. And then she's staring at my companion and says, "I believe in reincarnation, and that's it! You were reincarnated. And the accent is because you are constantly changing realms." And then she went into how She is postive that my companion was reincarnated and how in her previous life she must have lived in South america. ANd then the whole time she keeps saying how she thinks that Hermana huchendor is a spitting image of herself (very old lady) and kind of comes to the conclusion that my companion and is the reincarnated version of herself and then talking about how she talks to dead people and whenever she can't find something she goes to hypnotists... it was funnier in person but it was great. You meet so many interesting people every day it is so fun. Anyways, we told her all about the family history center and she's super excited to try that out even though she says she'll never change religions. but it was good!

Then there is Edwin. We had a lesson scheduled with him Saturday at 7. But then we found out there was a baptism scheduled for that exact time and decided to invite him to the baptism instead, even though it's in English and he speaks very little English. Turns out after the baptism, he told us that that morning he thought, before I get more involved with all this I have to see a baptism. So it was just crazy! He loved that we did baptism by immersion, just as Christ was baptized and he loved that we did it in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. SO that was really neat, we brought a member that also only spoke spanish so that was good and then afterwards the member invited him to church and offered a ride. It was perfect!! So anyways, that was great, but then something came up and he couldn't come to church...ah sad. We don't know what happened but we're stopping by his house tonight so try and get in contact with him.

And lastly Saul! Sauls been reading and prayer every night for almost 3 weeks now, and came to church twice and still....nothing. He says he feels absolutely nothing. It was really sad!! He just says he's never felt the spirit in our lessons or at church or anything. He doesn't feel anything when he prays or when he reads either. But then last night we taught him a lesson about the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ and it went well! But still we thought...ahh same old, it went well but he didn't feel anything. We asked him to read Alma 36. Then about 30 minutes later he texts us ...already done with the reading and says, "I just want to let you know that for the first time I actually really related to the reading and really liked it and I really just want to thank you guys." WE WERE SCREAMING. We were just in our aparmtnet freaking out. Power of fasting! Let me tell you! Anyways I have to go! Love you all!!!

Here's my new address: 23175 224th PL SE suite E
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Love you all! Thanks for the letters! I didn't ahve a lot of time to reply to them but I read them! And thank yoU!

Love Hermana Olson

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 8 in the Washington Federal Way Mission

Monday, July 1, 2013
Week 8

hello family! 
This week was good. I'm finally starting to come out of my shell during lessons instead of just sitting there very uncomfortably haha. Last week we had a training with all the new missionaries and I got to see Hermana Pingree. We were practice teaching together which I am really used to with her since I was her companion for 6 weeks and that's all you do in the MTC. And it was the most terrible experience ever. My spanish has drastically gotten worse since the MTC. I was so angry and I pretty much haven't spoken english since. My companion and I are thinking about finding a really big rock and who ever speaks english has to carry the rock in their bag until the other person slips up and speaks english because seriously, my spanish should be improving here not getting worse. 

Saul came to church! But it was so funny because afterwards we went to a class for new converts or investigators, gospel principles. So I'm thinking, this will be good. Super basic and Saul can asks questions and it will all be good!  And the teacher starts off by saying, today we are going to talk about the organization of the priesthood. So I was like, "okay saul might be super interested in this, this is good." Then the teacher starts throwing out all these words, quorum, stakes, wards, the 70, priests and so forth. Then he starts talking about temple work and how we baptize for the dead, and have to "do our ancestors work." then he starts talking about patriarchal blessings, and details about the spirit world and all this just super heavy doctrine. And he asked my investigator kind of intimidating questions and shoving baptism down his throat...at first I was sitting there just sweating bullets because I've taught Saul like 4 lessons, just basic lessons. But by the end I was just cracking up, like, this can't be happening! Afterwards Saul said he was just super confused and was like, "it's okay, I'll just google everything." And my companion and I were like, "nooo!" and gave him a mormon.org card and told him to go there. Oh it was not good. haha But the Lord knows what he is doing so I just laughed about it. 

I'm pretty much just teaching the same people I talked about last week. I'm starting to realize that a conversion takes awhile. In the MTC it sounds so easy, teach, they keep their commitments, then they get baptized...but I'm realizing it takes a lot of time and it's never smooth sailing. But God knows what he is doing. 

Today is officially the first day of the Washington Federal Way mission existing! I'm excited to meet the new mission president! It's so exciting, so many missionaries coming out! Well I love you all! Write me!

Hermana Olson

Week 7

Monday, June 24, 2013
Week 7

Hello Familia!

The mission is sooooo easy! NOT! But I guess everyone told me that before I left. I thought I was prepared for it, but no, man it's hard. But I am trying to have a postive attitude and have faith! Ayways, I loved that picture of Holly that you sent, that's hilarious and looks so fun. I loved the emails from everybody! Thanks! Oh first of all, I am in the WhiteRIVER ward not the Whitewater ward. All week I was embarrassed that I wrote that in the email. But yeah, it reminds me A LOT of San Jose. And the ward, is just like that ward we went to in San Jose. It's the most interesting ward I have ever been to. A little shocking actually. But the people are great! Yesterday we had dinner at a members house. It was hilarious, she's this lady in her 60s probably and she's like, "Oh I hope you don't mind, I invted one of the single men in our ward over." And then the whole time she was just flirting with him. My companion and I were laughing pretty hard about it afterwards. Remember that movie Baptist at our Barbeque...this place reminds me a lot of that place. The city is called Auburn if you want to google it or something. It's really pretty and yes...it does rain everyday. Even if it's sunny, don't let that fool you, it WILL rain.

So we are working with a lot of people right now, most people here are so nice, at least the latinos. They never say no. They always say, "yeah come back anytime." Which we have learned that, that is not a good thing. Usaully we come back and they aren't home, or they are busy, or they just like to talk to us instead of listen to our lesson. It's a little frustrating. There's one lady we are teaching named Veronica and she's so sweet but we kind of get the idea she just invites us over just so she'll have some company. It's discouraging. But that's the mission I guess! We do have one person that I REALLY excited about. His name Saul. He's around my age, he speaks English which is nice! Our first lesson we put him on date! Then the 2nd lesson he talked about how he really wants to know what his purpose is and everything so we are teaching him the plan of Salvation today. Then we met this girl whose pprobably around Holly's age. And when we came to teach her again we met her Dad, Ernesto. And turns out Ernesto took the lessons from the missonaries years ago. But he didn't have time back then to meet with them or go to church because he had 3 jobs, slept 5 hours every night and barely had time for his family. But now! He's totally ready! That first day when we taught his daught, marisol, he saw us walking out of his house and said that he thought, "oh, it's the missionaries. I wish they would come back so I could talk to them." Little did he know, we did come back! So that was cool. Then there is this guy named Edwin, and he's super interested in the gospel and we are taking him on a church tour tomorrow. There's a recent convert in our ward named Ricardo and we brought him to the lesson with us and those two really hit it off, so he already has fellowship!

Right now we are in the Whiteriver area. So most companionships cover a ward area. But since we are spanish we cover an entire stake. Then all the spanish people meet in an english ward but they have headsets to listen to during sacrament and then class is in spanish afterwards. BUT! We have the paperwork in to make a new spanish branch! So it's really exciting. It's crazy because it looks like it would only be like a 10 person branch, but that's why were here! To build the kingdom! There are plenty of latinos here to teach. Are lessons are usually in spanish but if thee person is young they usually know English so we kind of teach in Spanglish a lot. So I'm pretty worried I'll never learn spanish. My companion has only been out for 11 weeks and she isn't a native speaker either. We try and practice a lot, but when I ask her a question about spanish a lot of the time she doesn't know the answer. But she can at least communicate with people. I just kind of feel useless just sitting there smiling and nodding to people. But I am trying to talk because I know you will never learn if you just sit there. So I am just maknig a fool of myself 24/7. Sometimes during lessons I just want to cry because it's such a struggle just to say one sentence and then after they don't even konw what I said. But I try not to let it get me down...sigh. I'm just worried I'll never learn. I know it's only been a week but how am I suppose to learn spanish in the United states!! Anyways, that's that! Love you all!! Thanks for the emails!!

Love, Hermana Olson!

Oh. P.s. we were being all productive today and decided to clean the apartment super fast, go grocery shopping and then email and then do laundry and then spend the rest of the day writing letters or what not. And then when we left to go to the car to go grocery shopping we realized we locked ourselves out, of the car and the apartment. So we walked here to this building to email. And now we are stranded. Hopefully the manager will call us back.... If not, I'll be on the streets of Auburn. I don't even have my scriptures! All I have is my walet and some passalong cards!! Oh well! Hasta luego!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Going into Seattle!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Week 6

Surprise surprise I get to email today! So my companion's name is Hermana Huchendorf and she is from Rexburg! She's exactly who I was praying for. She's so kind and humble and genuine and sweet and cute and such a good missionary! I can tell she is going to be a hard worker and she's extremely obedient. I'll just tell you what happened since the plane.

So as we are flying into Seattle you can already see the space needle and the skyline, it was so cool! Seattle by the way is 10x prettier than what everybody has been telling me. It's incredible. Anyways, the president picked us up from the airport and we drove through seattle to Mercer Island where the mission home is. We had interviews, ate lunch, and had some training. Then we went to a church building and we got matched with our companions. Then we drove off. Straight from our meeting we went to English Class. It was so cool! Two people showed up which was exciting because it's very likely that nobody shows up. It was kind of funny teaching somebody fluent in spanish, english and I'm fluent and English and am trying to learn Spanish. But my companion, she's only been out 10 weeks, and is not a native, speaks incredible spanish! She could understand everything and was just talking and talking. She said she took 5 years of spanish in High school, then got assigned to advanced spanish at the MTC, was at the MTC for 12 days, and then has been here for 10 weeks. At first I was nervous. I was thinking, oh no, we both can't speak spanish. But then I heard her talking and she sounds fluent to me! 

After spanish class we drove over to some apartment complexes were to meet with some inactive girls. But we got lost and ended up going to the wrong place and then happened to see a father and son get out of the car, so my companion was like, "hey let's go talk to them." Turns out the man an inactive for like...20 years or something. And he kept saying over and over, "it's incredible that you two came just now because I just have been having the hardest time." We shared a little thought and gave him a card and it was great! 

Then we went to go visit this lady who is comitted to Baptism but then kind of got busy and the previous missioanries kind of just lost contact. But right when we pulled up to her apartment, we got a call from a complete stranger asking about our English class! We told him all about it, then told him about church. He was excited for both class and church and wants to come! It was so cool that this random guy neither one of us had met just called us out of the blue! 

Then we got home and planned and went to bed. My apartment is so cute! It feels like a little log cabin. The area I am in is called Whitewater (I think) and I just feel like I am up in Big Bear...but its way prettier than Big Bear, but that same feeling. Just small town, cute little old homes, and trees everywhere! There are so many trees in this state!!! It's so beautiful! Oh! By the way I am in the Federal Way mission, not Seattle. So yeah! Good thing I didn't put that on the plaque yet. And my scripture that I wanted was Alma 26:12. Anyways... Then we woke up this morning, went running around, it was beautiful, and then got ready, personal study, companionship study, and now I am here writing you all. We did a lot of role playing, in spanish, it was fun. 

Man, missions are hard. It's weird because it's so hard but really if you take one thing at a time then it's better. That's how I feel at least, and thank goodness I have such a kind, patient companion! Anyways, thanks for everything!! Love you all!!! 

Hermana Olson

Monday, June 17, 2013

Last week in the MTC!

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Week 5 at MTC!

Dear Family!

Before I forget! I got my travel plans on Friday and I am going to Seattle this Tuesday! I love the MTC but this week has been hard. I just really want to go to Seattle. 6 weeks is too long! So yay! Finally! Anyways! I'm excited to call!

Every week for sacrament we all have to prepare talks in spanish and then the bishop calls 2 people up to give their talk just on the spot. It's really scary. Anyways, I got called on this past sunday. So I gave a 3-5 minute talk about enduring to the end in spanish! It was terrifying and I'm pretty sure I just keept repeating myself. Es importante que perseveren hasta al fin para que puedan obtener vida eternal....did you catch my use of subjunctive? haha I love spanish but I dislike subjunctive a lot.

Gym is so much fun here! Lately my district has been getting really into four square haha. We get so into it it's so funny. Spanards vs. the finish/albanians. Every day! Then yesterday we got into volleyball, it's super fun. I love gym time. We just study all day so it's nice to get to have some fun with the district.

So for the first time ever, we had our devotional this past Tuesday at the Marriott center at BYU. So we all got to walk over there! It was really fun! I was sore then next day, either from 4 square or the walk, either way it's pretty pathetic haha. Mervyn Arnold was the speaker. He was the man that gave the "stupid cow" talk a couple of conferences ago. Remember that talk? How can you not. It was a really good talk, buth the cow talk and the talk he gave on Tuesday.

Anyways, I can't wait to get to Seattle!! I worry I won't be able to teach at all because my spanish is just....not good haha but esta mejorando! Can't wait! Love you all!

Hermana Olson

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week 4 at MTC!

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Week 4 at MTC!

I hit my one month mark! Where is time going! I feel like I've been here for 2 or 3 weeks tops! I never have anything to write once I finally get the chance to email. It's a little frustrating haha. Tad R. Callister spoke to us for Devotional on Tuesday. It was such a great talk on the "blueprint" of the church. It was about how our church is set up exactly how Christ's church was set up when He was on the Earth. He went through all the ordinances, beliefs and so forth and how we have the exact same church. I always knew that but it was so cool because his talk was just packed with scriptures from the New Testament. It just proves to me the Book of Mormon and Bible really do complement each other and this is Christ's church. It was really cool.

A new district came this week. 4 new sisters and 6 new elders! and 5 of them are going to the Texas Houston Mission, and my companion's parents are the mission presidents of that mission! So that was really cool! What are the odds. Did I ever mention that Hermana Pingree's parents are mission presidents? Because of that, she actually got to serve a little "mini mission" for 6 weeks with the name tag and everything. So she just has so much more experience with teaching and everything. So I'm pretty lucky she's my companion, she knows a lot about missionary work.

Mom! Thanks for the cookies! You are the sweetest!! My district and I really enjoyed them! Oh, I have 2 new investigators. I guess for the last 2 weeks each of is an investigator for the other missionaries in the district. So we have the opportunity to know what it feels like to be an investigator. It's fun being the investigator and you learn a lot from it.

Well I'm doing super well! I love you all! Write me!!
Hermana Olson

Also, I remembered a funny story I wanted to add to my email. So now that I am living at the west campus every time we want to come to the main one we have to catch the bus. And we still haven't mastered this bus schedule yet. Anyways, the other day we came up to the main campus to practice for this musical number and Hra Pingree wanted to use a violin. So we get up there, we finish practicing and then we quickly sprint to the bus stop. We are always running to the bus stop! Anyways we get there and we look at the time and were like, "dang it! We missed by 2 minutes!" But no worries, we'll be late but there’s another bus coming in a half hour. So we wait at the bus stop and the bus just never comes! And then finally we look at the schedule and realize that that bus we missed was the last bus for the day! So then we run back to the main campus and go to the front desk and they are like, "oh it's okay, we have people driving to and from the campuses all day! No worries!" and then they realize...the transportation was done for the day! So they had to call in somebody to drive us back haha it was such an adventure. But the shuttle driver was from Bolivia so we had a good time talking to her in Spanish. And every time we go on real bus we always find people that speak Spanish and practice with them! It’s so fun. Or the other day we went to the creamery and the guy working there spoke Spanish and some customers who were in the store were from Chile so we got to talk to them. Ah it was so cool! We are learning the BEST language!
We go up to the main campus every p-day. I there right now. We go up, go to the temple, come here and email (just because there are more computers) and then we usually go to the store and pick up something, today I bought my calling card for the airport! (so excited to call!) and then we usually eat lunch here because our card works here too and it kind of feels like going out to lunch hahaha and then we go back. But we go up here for haircuts, immunizations, things like that. But in  a few months they will have the same facilities at raintree but now yet. But it's fun because we get to go on the bus and it's an adventure every time.

Week 3 at MTC!

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Week 3 at MTC

Hello everybody! How is it all going! I am doing just great! This week was awesome! First of all my district has moved to the new "west campus" MTC. It's...awesome! We live in the Wyview apartments with living rooms and kitchens and everything. Everything is new and it's only the girls in my district. So two bedrooms and 1 bathroom and 4 girls! It's super fun! And then we get to walk across the street to Raintree apartments for class and to eat and everything. The freedom is just really nice! I am loving it! Plus it's nice to have a change. 3 weeks in the main MTC and 3 weeks in the new one! I'm super lucky that I get to experience both. So we were the first to move there...which was on Tuesday! They picked 8 or 9 zones to move (about 150 missionaries) and we are the only spanish zone! Pretty cool! The day was pretty historical, there were all these photographers and as we ate dinner all these people were just standing around us watching us eat. The people are all so concerned about us. It's really sweet, but we are loving it! No complaints! They took a group picture of all the missionaries who are first to go there and emailed it to us, so I'll forward that email so you can see the pictures. I'm in the front.

Sudnay was really cool. For devotional we had ...Stephen Allen (I think that's his name) come and speak to us for Devotional. He said he had been preparing his talk for the past 3 weeks and then a few mintues before he stood up to give his talk, the spirit told him not to speak about that. So he literally just talked by the Spirit. He invited us all to say a little prayer and ask questions we wanted answered and he'd try to listen to the spirit answer them. So I did just that. As he was speaking he suddenly stopped. He was silent for a few seconds...and then litterally answered my question. It was amazing! Amazing!

Another cool story, today for P-day we got to go to the temple. And after we were done and changing back into our regular clothes in the lockerroom, one of the girls in my district, Hermana Christley was like, "My clothes aren't in my locker." Her clothes were no where to be found! The temple workers kept saying over and over, "this has never happened before, I don't even know how to deal with this kind of situation." It was pretty strange and we were all opening up different lockers looking for her clothes. 20 minutes or so pass by and we were just about to give up and go back to our apartment and get her more clothes. And THEN! Who walks into the dressing room? Her mom and grandma!! It was seriously divine intervention. She was crying, her mom was crying, I was tearing up, all the other sisters in my district were too. It was so tender. I think she's been having a little bit of a hard time and seeing her mom was just sooo amazing. And if she hadn't lost her clothes we would have been gone when her mom came into the dressing room. ANd not only that, but we missed the bus to the temple, so we went to the 8:20 session instead of 7:20 and I mean, what are the chances that she runs into her mom! That isn't evne the temple her mom usually goes to! And then a minute later...we found her clothes! It was so amazing!  Then they treated us to lunch in the temple cafetria. It was really sweet!

Oh, Hermana Pingree and I got called to be the sister training leaders..it's kind of like zone leader..for the girls haha. So that's cool! We basically are there to help all the girls in the zone and make sure they are doing okay, answer questions, and yeah I'm excited. Except were not getting and new girls until next week. But I'm looking forward to some new girls!

Anyways I am loving it here. I have been "liking it" so I've been praying hard to love it. And the more I'm here, the more I love it. God answers all my prayers! I'm still surprised everytime He does. I really just can't wait to get to Seattle, that idea used to be terrifying but now i am just looking forward to it! I love everybody!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 2 at MTC!

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Week 2 at the MTC!

Hello Familia!

I don't really have too much to say this week. Everything is pretty much the same. Thanks for all the dearelders! I love every single one! Sara and Scotty were cracking me up. I don't know, I really can't think of anything. Elder Nash from the seventy came and talked at Devotional this week. It was good, I took really good notes. Ummm... I have 2 new investigators. Carlos, he's 14 and pretty much just answers "si" or "no" or "no se" to everything we ask him....Oh Carlos. And then there is Luis. He's cool. He has a desire to be a good person and follow Christ, so he has lots of potential!!

Maybe you guys should asks me questions. Cause I really don't know what to write. This week has been super humbling. I have realized that I am not good at anything. haha not in a low self esteem sort of way, but in a humble way. I can't do this without the Lord. Really I'm just an instrument so I try not to get stressed out over how bad I am at everything. I'm doing pretty good with not getting stressed out. That's one thing I AM really good at. I am really really really just trying to spend every single second of my time working. When we have study time from 3:00 to 4:00 I try and study literally from 3:00 to 4:00. It's kind of frustrating because that's something I am really trying to work on but sometimes the other missionaries in my district don't share my same attitude and kind of just goof off until 3:15 and then get tired of studying by like 4:50...and a lot of time just gets wasted. And it's hard to focus on studying when everyone in the room is talking. And then I try and suggest studying somewhere else...but that doesn't always happen. It's hard, my comp was dating a guy up at school up until the day before she entered the MTC..and guess what...he's in our district. And his best friend is his companion. So them 3 have a lot of fun together and...I totally understand why it would be hard for them to focus, but's its hard on me sometimes because I really want to work hard and focus, but I have to be with my comp at all times, and she wants to be with her boyfriend and his comp/best friend and when all 3 of them get together... ah it's not good haha. Ah what are the odds. But nothing in missionary work is a coincidence.

So how is everybody? How is life? How are the ukrainians! How is work? How is school? How was your mother's day mama? I get to go to the temple every P-day. We have it first thing in the morning which I love, but I am so tired! I totally fell asleep today haha. But I loved it still! I think that's the hardest thing for me right now, being so tired. It's so hard to wake up early every day. And yeah you don't have to wake up at 6:30, but breakfast is at 6:45...so I usally wake up at like 5:50 or 6. Buuut, I kind of made this goal to never complain about being tired because everybody here is tired.

But I am liking it here. I can't wait to go to Seattle! But I'm not ready yet so I'm fine with the idea of being here for 4 more weeks. But yeah, I really love missionary work! I love my fake investigators, it's always my favorite part of the day.

Well I love you all!!!

Hermana Olson

Friday, May 17, 2013

First week in the MTC!

May 16, 2013
First week in the MTC

Found Elder Seth Olson at the MTC!

Hola familia!

I just realized that I didn't tell anyone my address! Ooops. Oh well, now you have my email address. I have been looking forward to emailing all 8 days. And now it's here and I don't really know what to say. The MTC is great. I am loving it the more I am here. Sorry for that really depressing letter I sent you. Please save it, I want to read it when I get home from the mission. I think it will be funny to read. I'm doing much better now. Here at the MTC its never a good day or a bad day. Its just good moments and bad moments. But the good moments rock! The spirit it way strong here. I am loving it! I can't believe how much I have learned in just 1 week. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Spiritually and with the language. Man, spanish is hard. But it is ridiculous how much I know in just 8 days. All my prayers are in spanish now, I can pretty much read preach my gospel (predicad mi evangelio) in spanish and understand. I even started reading the Book of Mormon in spanish. I never hear english anymore, it's pretty sad. Since the first day, my teacher Hermano Mitchell (who rocks) only speaks spanish. We learn about how to be good missionaries...in spanish. We learn how to speak spanish...in spanish. And when we participate in class he wants us to always answer and speak in spanish. Already some words come to me in spanish before english but I just only hear spanish. But I'm improving super fast. My 2nd day I was so overwhelmed that I came out of class just so frustrated and kind of just gave up with trying to understand. But now, I can go through the whole 3 hours just in spanish and understand pretty much everything. Church is in spanish here. I am loving it....I think you can tell how much I am loving spanish!! I was asked to lead the music in sacrament meeting. It's harding leading a song, in spanish!! But I am getting better! I am loving spanish and I am totally being blessed with the gift of tongues. I know it's not me at all. Seriously, I could never learn this much if I wasn't a missionary serving the Lord. Man, He is blessing me so much! I know he's watching over me. Everytime I am super down about something and pray for help, He answers. In incredible ways. One day I was super frustrated because the people in my distrit (whom I love) can kind of be...unfocused at times. They are hilarious but sometimes they kinda forget why they are here and treat it more like and EFY and it totatlly drives the spirit away. It was pretty discouraging because I am only here for 6 weeks and I want to have a really good experience here! But they just joke around and don't take things seriously. I was praying really hard about that that night...for help pretty much. Then the next day the elders walked into the classroom and said, So we had a "corazon to corazon" last night and decided that we kinda went too far and need to settle down and take things more seriously. I was .... shocked! Then we had a district meeting later that day and our branch president talked to us about that same thing. It was amazing.

Sunday was amazing! Everybody here said if you can make it to Sunday you can make it through your entire mission. How true was that. The first 4 days were...rough. I thought to myself, if I got sick right now and had to be sent home....I'd probably not come back haha That's really sad. But once I made it to Sunday...I LOVE IT! I love the MTC! I can't wait to be a missionary and I don't want to leave! 18 months seems like nothing! I love my classes and studying...even though it's ALLL day. Anyways, back to Sunday, it was amazing. For relief society we get to go to "music and the spoken word." This week was about mothers...oh happy mothers day mom!! I missed you a lot that day! But the speaker on sudnay said there isn't a better present you can give your mom than being where you are right now. I hope that's true! Hope you had a great day! ANd happy birthday Sara! I thought of you for sure! How was your "surprise" birthday party? I'm sad I missed it, but Happy Birthday! Love you!!! Anyways, back to Sunday. The speaker for relief society was the lady who wrote all the best hymns and primary songs...can't remeber her name. Anyways, she wrote As sisters in Zion, A Child's prayer, Armies of Helamen, I Love to see the temple, Love is spoken here.... I can't think of the others, but a bunch and they are all my favorite ones! Anyways, she gave an awesome talk, and then we just sang all her songs, she changed the words to "As Sisters In Zion" so it was about Missioanries, and we sang all these songs about it that she wrote and by the end everybody was crying. It was great. Then later we had a devotional, we got to watch the Joseph Smith story, LOVE! and walk to the Temple. It was great. And other stuff but I can't remember.

Elder Russel M. Nelson spoke to us a devotional on Tuesday! So aweesome! He talked about how much the ancestors of our investigators are praying for our success. I never thought of that before but it's so true! He said a lot of great things, I took good notes. Oh mom!! During devotional, my companion and I sat next to Elder Patterson! The one from the airport. haha It was funny! I just realized I never told you about my companion. Her name is Hermana Pingree, she's from Salt Lake, super social and cute. We make a good companionship at least with our teaching. We always talk about how cool it is because we kinda make up for what the other lacks. We really compliment each other. She's also going to Seattle so we'll be together for the full 18 months. So that's a nice thought! We're in it together! Pretty awesome!

Okay, best part of my week, my investigator!!! I didn't really like the MTC until I started teaching. Our 3rd day here we had to give a 40 minute lesson in Spanish to our new investigator, Joti. It's crazy he's not real but I love him so much! I found this new passion for teaching that I never knew I had. I LOOOOOVE teaching! Everytime we get to teach I get so excited! The first time I was nervous cause I was like, oh my gosh I don't know spanish. But halfway thorugh my lesson I realized that it's okay, as long as I follow the spirit I'll teach what the Lord wants me to teach. Most people in my district didn't find that out untl their 4th lesson. Most people literally write word for word what they want to teach and just follow the lesson plan. I try to stress to my companion to not do that, buuuut I think she's starting to firgure it out. It's just so much better when you jsut come in there with the spirit, good preparation, and key vocab words necessary to teach. That's all I do. My spanish is atroshus (don't know how to spell that) but I just talk to the investigator and we get way father with him then planning a lesson and reading it word for word. By the 4th lesson he said he wanted to be baptized but...he's living with his pareja Gaby, so he needs to get married first. Our next lesson is going to be about the temple and being sealed together and were going to use the proclamation to the family. It's going to be good. Anyways, today...we got a new teacher and guess who it was? JOTI OUR INVESTIGATOR! Kind of embarrassing cause he has seen us teach and knows how bad we are but kind of awesome because I already love him so much. It's crazy how much I love Joti. He's not even real but after our first lesson I just loved him SO MUCH! So anyways, my investigator is now my teacher. He's such a good teacher. I really love class.

Oh, you know how the MTC is making another campus in Raintree? BYU housing? Well, they picked 1 zone, of all the zones to go...and we got picked! Crazy! So we are moving there May 28th. It's it's completely own MTC. It has it's own mailing building, cafeteria, classrooms, gym, bookstore, eveything. So I won't go to the MTC every again. It's gonna be called the west campus. So that's sweet, we are the first district to go there! We are legends! haha. So that's exciting. We got to take a field trip there today! We left the MTC and went into the outside world! Pretty exciting! We got to go on a bus and it's ridiculous how excited we were haha.

Thanks for the dearelders, I can't describe how much it means to me when I get one! Dearelders are way better than getting emails because then I get the full hour just to write emails instead of reading and then responding. And getting dearelders during the week is really nice. Its always sad when everyone gets a letter except you. But...not that sad. It just makes my day when I get one. Thanks Mom and Holly and Grandma and Jared! Jared...you didn't write your full address on the dearelder sooo I couldn't write you back! I really wanted to write you back! So send me your address. Anways, I am going to try and send some pictures! I am taking a lot of pictures haha. Love you all sooo much! ....sorry this letter isn't too spiritual but seriously, I am being so spiritually fed here and I love it! I know the church is true! I love missionary work! I love jesucristo y su expiacion. Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero! En el nombre de Jesuscristo, amen!

OH!!! I saw seth!! He's doing great! We ate dinner together just before I wrote this email. We got a picture together so I'll have to send it...if I have time. Love you! And if you love me...dearelder me :)

Off to the Missionary Training Center

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sydney enters the MTC!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sydney has left California and is headed for the MTC!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Getting my mission call!

Decmeber 28th, 2013  

Holly and I! Seriously, so happy!

The letter!

Opening the call. Sorry I'm talking too fast, I'm just so excited!!! And it's on my facebook so you can only watch it if we are facebook friends.


It's here! 

Mission photo

My mission photo! Submitted my papers Saturday, December 15th, 2013!