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week 39

Nov 26, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 39

This letter is from June 27. I am so grateful she has the opportunity to learn to love people from all sorts of backgrounds. It is one of the most important lessons of this life – loving those who are different than ourselves.

Aloha!

This has been a good week. We are teaching Brandyne, a long time less active member who has had a pretty rough life. Her dad abused her, her son and husband died, and her family and herself really fell apart. She’s made a lot of wrong turns, and has been absolutely miserable. A while back she ran into the missionaries, and was at a pretty low place, and wanted to meet with us. She’s about to have another baby, and she really wants to give him a better situation. If we had talked to her about God a few months ago, she would not have had ears to hear, but now with the path she has walked, her heart is starting to open. After all this time, she finally has the desire to repent, and have God in her life. There’s still a long road, but she is finally seeing the light. We taught her twice this week.

Venus is great! (She is a referral we received several weeks ago. Her co-worker is has been talking to her for a while, and she finally decided to meet with us. She’s SO ready, and is very close to the spirit. Her 7 year son is named Daniel.) She was not able to come to church this week because of her work schedule again, but she used her lunch break to go to Relief Society in Live Oak Canyon, close to her work. She is wonderful. She just has so much hope, even though she’s had a lot of trials. We are so excited! :)

Diana is great, too. (She’s the one we taught a couple weeks ago, but her husband isn’t ready for the gospel yet.) We stopped by to visit with her this week, and talked to her for a while. She is so sweet, and wonderful, and just loves us so much! If her husband wasn’t opposed, I think she’d be happy to be baptized. As it is, we’re praying for her husband’s heart to be softened. We’ll do what we can in the meantime. She is so awesome. Every time we see her around the community she gets super excited! We love her.

We had a funny experience this week. We were tracting in a part of our area that a lot of Hispanic people live and their houses are all sort of clumped together. We met several really great people out there, and one guy who argued/bashed us until we could leave. So we got there and there was this little girl playing outside her house and she was really excited to see us for some reason, so we said “hi,” and proceeded to knock on the doors, and she followed us, and we kind of wondered what to do. So we walked up to a door, and she says “You’re going to my house?!” really excitedly. There was some guy inside her house fixing something, and he was super awkward. He said “I don’t live here. Ah, let me get the lady who lives here” and he was trying not to talk to us. So turns out the girl’s mom is sleeping or something, so we told her we’d come back some time to see her mom. So then we walk away, and she keeps following us. All the doors face each other, so we were only like 15 feet from her door. Each door we walked up to, she’s say “This one is [blank]’s house. It two buttons (doorbells),” “This one has no buttons” “This one has 1 button” etc. It was pretty cute. We told her we’d have to come back when her mom could talk. It was pretty interesting.

Love,
Sister W.

week 38

Nov 26, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 38

My goodness, I am SOOOO behind on Blythe’s mission letters. This letter is from June 20 so I have over five months of letters to post. If it weren’t for the need I feel to have all her letters posted in one spot, I would give up! I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!

I think I just wrote to President Orgill for the last time, though it’s possible that the letters next week will still be to him. I’m not sure. It was pretty hard. It doesn’t seem real that he is actually leaving. I will miss him so much! He is incredible.

We got a baptismal date with Venus this week. She is so excited to be baptized. There is some ground work to do to make that happen, involving her job and some things she has to overcome, but she is very prepared. We are so excited for her. She is moving, and she doesn’t know where yet, but hopefully it won’t be out of ward boundaries, but if it is, then I think it will still work out well.

Gloria had a really good talk with the Bishop a little while ago. Her son died when he was very young, and had a cool near death experience, a while before he died. He told her when he woke up, that God had said he had a plan for their family to be together forever and that they would see each other on the other side. So she has always believed that. She’s been investigating for a long time, 18 years, and hasn’t gotten baptized, even though her husband was baptized about a year ago. She just didn’t see the necessity of it, because she just thought that since her son had told her that God had a plan, that it was kind of automatic, that you die, and it just happens, but the Bishop was able to explain the necessary steps to make that happen, how baptism and being sealed in the temple were the steps to make that happen, and laid it out very clear for her. They talked about how nothing in this life that is worthwhile, comes with out effort and work. I think she is close. She is very close to the Spirit, and I think when it happens for her, it will just fall into place. I am so excited for her!

We got a ton of service this week, and the last couple, which is great, because there is never service in this area, since everyone seems to have everything they need. We were helping with set up for a high school grad night. They seriously go all out! It’s insane! Set up took weeks, and a ton of volunteers. It was fun, but this weekend was take down, and that was rough. It got so hot this weekend! Saturday it was in the high 90’s. Sunday it was 103 over here, and in Mission Viejo and RSM, it was 114! It was AWFUL!!! We went knocking on doors when it like 99 Sunday morning. We purposely chose Nellie Gale since the houses are really big, and have shaded porches frequently. We gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon in about 15 minutes of each other, which made our goal for the week. One lady named Jenny, was super nice to us. She was really impressed that we were doing this even on Father’s Day, and we talked and got to tell her about the Book of Mormon, and she seemed pretty serious about looking into it. She invited us in, and gave us drinks, which was great, since we were melting. She was visiting her dad, so she wasn’t local, but she lives pretty close, and she didn’t seem opposed to talking to missionaries there, or being in contact with us. She was awesome!

This morning I was reading the Book of Mormon, in the book of Mosiah in chapter 5. In verse 2, it talks about how the people had the Spirit of God given to them and how through that they had no more desire to do anything wrong anymore. I love how, through the Holy Ghost, we can be cleansed from our past and be able to receive strength to overcome our bad habits, so we can come closer to God. Verse 12 was also really cool. It talked about how, as we follow God’s commandments, and build our relationship with God, we become more like Him, so that when He calls us, we will recognize His voice, and that when we go back to Him, we will know Him. I really enjoyed that chapter. It really strengthened my faith and understanding.

Love you all!
Sister W.

hands hurt = memories lost

Nov 6, 2016 in family, my life as me | Comments Off on hands hurt = memories lost

Here’s the deal – I’m failing at this whole blog thing.

I could offer a zillion excuses like these ones:

  • My hands hurt
  • My life is extremely full with my homeschooling, church, health, and friends responsibilities.
  • My brain is tired.
  • There is a whole lotta crap going on that I can’t talk about and it makes it seemingly impossible to even begin to compose a sentence about the many lovely things I CAN talk about.
  • My room is filthy and it hard to justify sitting down to blog when I should be cleaning with my five minutes of time.
  • And while all of those things are true, so very true, it really boils down to me not making or taking the time to write and letting my online time be sucked up by other things.

    So, here it is November 6 and I have hardly blogged for an entire year. My right hand was injured one year ago and I had to really limit my typing and mousing, but what started as a temporary heal-the-hand activity change has become the norm. Typing and mousing have been hard this entire time and now my left hand is injured as well so I don’t know when it is going to get easier in the foreseeable future. But I do know this; I have missed an entire year of recording and remembering our family’s experiences and hilarious moments and I can’t get those back. So, I am going to try my darndest to make the time, to take the time, and start writing again. My soul needs it…and I don’t want any more memories to be lost.

week 37

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 37

So fun to go back and read this letter in August and to read her enthusiasm over meeting Venus since I now know she will be spending lots of time with her in the coming weeks.

Last Monday we started teaching a new investigator! Her name is Venus, and she is a friend/referral from a lady in Live Oak Canyon. She is a single mom, and super ready for the gospel. She was so excited to start reading the Book of Mormon, and was very receptive to the lesson. She has a 7 year old son named Daniel.

That is 3 Mondays, a.k.a. P-days, that we have picked up a new investigator! We’re going to call them Magic Mondays! It’s been really cool, since Mondays are often not the most productive time.

So, funny story about that. We got out of the lesson with Venus pretty late, especially since we just stopped in to contact her, and weren’t thinking she’d actually let us in. So we leave, and she lives at the end of this really long street where a lot of Hispanics live, and there is no parking ever. So we had to park down past the intersection of the main road, about 3/4 of a mile away, and we had to get back to our car quickly so we could get home, which was a 15 minute drive AFTER we got to the car, so we had to run back to the car. We got super hot, I was wearing a pencil skirt, and we almost got sprayed by a skunk since it happened to be near where we were running.

We also got a mission wide text on Friday morning, that there had been 3 earthquakes in the last 6 hours, which was “unusual” so we had to go over our emergency plan, and both of us and our roommates were talking about how unsafe our apartment is in case of an earthquake, as it is set on a hillside. It’s not really that unsafe, though. We were just having a good laugh over the image our apartment sliding down the hill. Then we were thinking that if we had an earthquake that maybe we’d be in danger of a tsunami, so we went over that plan, and talked about where we’d go if there was tsunami warning. Nothing happened, though. :)

I am also not losing my companion this transfer. For the first time in like 7 months I will have a companion for longer than 6 weeks. :)

Love you!
Sister W.

week 36

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 36

I’ve made it to the June 6th letter! Slowly, but surely making progress. Our girl is serving and loving and growing in her relationship with God. It’s a beautiful thing.

It has both been a great week and a hard week. Our new, basically golden investigator from last week will not be meeting with us for lessons anymore because her husband decided he’s not ready to hear about Jesus yet. But she wants us to come by and see her whenever we can and she was really excited to read the Book of Mormon we personalized for her. So we’ll keep seeing her and maybe something will change.

This week the zone was really pushing to get 70 contacts in every companionship. This area, of course, is really hard to get contacts in, so it was a little intimidating, but we decided we were going to do it. Sister Wright planned out carefully how many contacts we could get each day so we could make the goal, based on how much time we had available to contact, which was amazing. Some days we got behind, and we were trying to make it up as we went. We really prioritized contacts above some things we normally do. Saturday rolled around and we knew this week our Sunday was booked and we would have no contacting time. We had 17 more contacts to go, had breakfast with a member, a meeting in the morning for temple tours, lunch, and then a district blitz in LH2 for an hour before we could make it back to our area. It was super hot, and we were tracting for the blitz, then we had to run to a window, where we were tracting for another hour, in which we only talked to 3 people out of the 20-something doors we knocked. So we were super hot and only had 3 of the 17 contacts we needed, though they were pretty great contacts. We had an hour before dinner, and we would have very little contacting time after that, so we were getting worried that we would not be able to make that goal. We ran to contact a referral we’d received, then went tracting for the last 40 minutes before dinner. We were super hot and still had 11 more people we had to talk to after dinner, so we ran to the park hoping that by some miracle there would be that many people at the park. There were more people there than usual. We got down to 3 more needed contacts to make it to 70. Up to this point we had seen no miracles from all this contacting we had done all week, and no new potentials from it, so Sister Wright was thinking we probably wouldn’t see a miracle from all this work, aside from the fact that we actually made the goal. We went to contact these last three people who were in this group together, and we got talking to the guy, and found out he was a former investigator from when they were reorganizing the mission 3 years ago, and that his wife and mother had just come from China. So we got his number and address. So we saw a miracle from it, and it wasn’t until the 70th contact. We thought that was pretty cool.

There’s this couple in the ward that are having some health issues, and so we went to leave them sticky notes. We showed up at like 10, and there was some guy painting their house, so we decided we’d come back later, since we were trying not to get caught. So we came back at 2, and he was still painting the house. So we come back at like 7, thinking surely he must be done by then, but nope, he was still out there. So we went back the next morning, and stuck them on the fence. The guy was still there, but he was in the garage. So that was fun.

We also finally have a progressing investigator! We haven’t had one the whole time I’ve been here, but Amy has started reading the Book of Mormon!

I felt pretty badly last night. I was feeling like I wasn’t making a very big difference and was down on myself for some things I haven’t been doing so great on. I feel like I could have been a better companion for Sister Wright. Even though we haven’t had any problems, I still feel like I haven’t done enough for her, and for the Lord. I think I’m a good missionary, I hope I am, but I want to be great missionary. Anyway, I decided to read some from the Book of Mormon and see what I’d find, and I ended up opening up to 2 Nephi 3, and it was talking about how out of our weakness God will make us strong. Then I read in chapter 4, and it was just what I needed, because the feelings that Nephi had of his weakness and struggles were just what I was feeling, and it was cool to know that even someone as great as Nephi still felt that way.

Love,
Sister W.

week 35

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 35

This is her letter from May 31! I have so many to catch up on posting! AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH, how did I let this happen? Well, at least I am into the summer months and since it is only August that I am posting this that means have about 12 more to go. Love this girl of mine! It is so fun to reread her letters as I post them.

I cannot believe that it is week 5 of this transfer! I still feel like I don’t know the area. Wow, the time goes so fast!

So last Monday we got in to a Potential investigator that they have had for a while. She’s just let them come and given them water, but this time her husband let us in and we taught an awesome Restoration lesson! They had several questions and we were able to have a really great discussion with them. We are going to see them again tonight.

I had an exchange with Sister Bambas that was great! We had a lot of fun getting to know each other. We both really like books and we talked about all our favorites. It was awesome! We also did lots of missionary work. :)

Yesterday we talked to another potential. She’s in high school, and they haven’t caught her at home for quite a while, and weren’t sure if she was still interested, but we finally got to talk to her, gave her a Book of Mormon and she invited us to come by later today. She’s super sweet. :)

We went to the memorial service for Gloria’s husband this week. The military service was pretty cool, but a little intimidating. He was a Green Beret, and we had to walk up between these two files of Green Berets to get there. The service was cool because it was all about our trust in God, and the origins of our country. Something I didn’t know was that they give the wife three empty cartridges from the 21 gun salute, and they represent God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We will be seeing Gloria tomorrow to see how she’s doing.

I’ve been keeping a journal called “questions for God”, as suggested by one of the mission presidency. I write down my question, then write the answer God gives. It’s been a really cool experience. You should try it!

Love you!
Sister W.

week 34

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 34

I love it when she sends long, newsy letters! She is having a wonderful time serving and spreading the message of Jesus Christ’s love for each of God’s children. I got this letter when I was in Mexico receiving stem cell treatments and was only a few hours from her.

Also, do you remember Joanie from back at the beginning of her mission? She got baptized! And Elder Everette, her grandson, was able to baptize her!

Aloha!!!!!

This week has been great! It’s been a little crazy, but lots of good stuff. We had a really successful window yesterday, and we talked to this guy for quite a while. He knows a lot about other religions, not too much about ours, and had a few questions about it. He was very open and was really excited to have a Book of Mormon. He suggested that HE would like to come to church and check it out and that he would like for his 16 year old son to get into the boy scouts with the ward! :) He was pretty awesome.

We had a funny experience this week. There’s this one less active lady who’s a little older and we’ve been knocking on her door the whole time I’ve been here. We went to put some cute little sticky notes on her door with some cute little notes and scripture references and right when we got to the door, before we could even get there, she throws open the door, says she only has a few minutes, but she’d love to visit with us for a minute. Now, we weren’t even planning on knocking, and we just had these sticky notes in our hands, so we tried to keep them out of sight. We also had not brought our scriptures, and we were very taken aback, as you might imagine. So we go in there, and we talk, and she tells us about this party she’s going to, and we were trying to act as if we had totally expected this, and we get to when we’re supposed to give a spiritual thought. Luckily Sister Wright had had the idea to write out the whole scripture, instead of just writing the reference for it, so she just pulled it out, and read the scripture, and it was great. So then we just sticky noted someone else. :) We also went to sticky note another less active lady who we see a lot. As soon as we got to her door, her dog started barking, and so we hurried and stuck them all on, and ran away. By the time we pulled out, the lady was standing on her porch. So we just turned around, and had a good laugh with her.

Another funny thing that happened this week was on Thursday night one of the lead Sister Training Leaders (basically girl AP’s) came on an exchange with our roommates, Sister Hunter and Sister Baker. Well, at about 10:45 we hear someone talking in the hallway. Now this is obviously past curfew, so I was a little confused. So we were like “Hello?” Come to find out that Sister Hunter was sleep walking! Yes, for real! She just really wanted to go downstairs and “turn the lights off,” and she would not believe us that they were off. Eventually we had to let her go downstairs and we all just sat there. It took like 15 minutes to distract her from turning off the lights that she couldn’t find. Then we just talked about random stuff and tried to get her to go to bed, but she just kept saying that she’d go to bed at 10:30 and wouldn’t believe us that it was past that. We couldn’t leave her alone because she’s opened the door and gone outside before. She also talked about the light of Christ. :) You know you’re a missionary when you talk missionary stuff in your sleep. It was pretty hilarious. It took us over an hour to convince her to go back to sleep, so Sister Weston (Lead Sister Training Leader) and I just looked through our giant dictionary for a while. (It was awesome. I want to keep it. It’s super old.)

We have two four hour temple tours shifts now. :( The absolute minimum time that it takes out of our week is 10 hours, between the shifts and driving to and from our area, and that’s if we are super on time, with no holdups, and traffic often makes it take longer. Pretty crazy!

This week is the memorial for Gloria’s husband. She is so exhausted between work and planning for this and everything else. She was so tired when we saw her last week.

We had a dinner with a somewhat older couple in the ward this week. He’s a Jewish convert. He talked about how when he came here, that everything was so logical, and how he’d felt the Spirit, and how the message we carry is the most important in the world. He pulled out these little cards that he has. It has 3 Nephi 27:27: “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.” Then it has a quote from President Ezra Taft Benson, “Christ, then, has set us the example of what we should be like and what we should do. While many men have admirable qualities, there is only one man who ever walked the earth who was without sin… Christ is God the Son and possesses every virtue in it’s perfection. Therefore, the only measure of true greatness is how close a man might become like Jesus. That man is greatest who is most like Christ, and those who love him most will be most like him.” Then he said that he fully believed that we are those who love him most and that this quote applies directly to us. It really touched me. I don’t think I’m all that, and I’ve been seeing a lot of my faults. I have a ways to go, and I’m not what I want to be, yet, but it was wonderful to see how sincere he was, and that he saw in us representatives of Christ.

We were trying to contact a Potential Investigator in the more Hispanic pert of our area. She wasn’t home, and we were about to leave when Hermana Garcia turns the corner. We were excited, of course. She said she’d had a prompting to turn left instead of right, and there we were. They needed some copies of the Book of Mormon, and we had some, and we talked for a minute, then we went to sticky note a less active right near there, and just as we were walking away the Potential Investigator walks up! So because Hermana Garcia talked to us, we were still there when the PI got home. :) Pretty cool how God makes everything work.

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Love you!
Sister W.

week 33

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 33

WAHOO!!! A special baptism! I am so, so happy she was able to experience sharing the message of Jesus Christ with Sarah and that she accepted Him all the way in to her heart!

Sarah’s baptism was wonderful! She was super happy! Sarah was baptized on Saturday! She was super excited. Brother Greiner baptized her. She brought several family members and they were great. A lot of the ward showed up and it turned out really well. I was so excited to be able to go! It was awesome! It’s an amazing testimony builder to see not only how the gospel changes your life, but how much it changes another person’s life! It is incredible. If it can change someone that much it must be true. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” She has truly found the strength that Christ promises us if we are faithful. She exemplifies Ether 12:27, “…and weak things will become strong unto them.”

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My new area is great. It’s interesting though. It’s one of the especially wealthy sections. Our boundaries include Nelly Gale, which is incredibly expensive/super fancy. The people in Nelly Gale have agents for their houses, as if they were actors, and people come to film stuff at their houses. It crazy! I’ll have to get some pictures.

Sister Wright is super funny! It’s been fun getting to know her. I’m excited! It’s been really good.

My bed is pretty uncomfortable. I mean, I used to sleep on the ground with no pad, but the bed is still uncomfortable, but oh well, comes with the job. The shower is pretty awful, too. It barely has any water pressure. One of my roommates said it’s like getting spit on. Luckily our roommates’ shower is better, so if I just shower at night then I can use that one. :) The funny thing is that this apartment is probably super expensive even with all it’s problems.

We are working with lady named Gloria and a younger couple named Amy and Anthony right now. Will update next week.

Love you!!
Sister W.

week 32

Aug 23, 2016 in blythe's mission | Comments Off on week 32

We were able to FaceTime with Blythe during this week, which was clear back on Mother’s Day. And she sang to us with her ukulele and share her adorable self with us. It was so, so lovely to hear and see her!

This week has been great! I really like the new area!

It was awesome to FaceTime my family yesterday! It was kind of sad, because yesterday’s call was really short, but it was so fun to see you! I was super excited! It’s weird to think that I haven’t seen you in 7 1/2 months. It definitely doesn’t seem that long. I love you guys!

This week we had a surprise Luau for President and Sister Orgill, for their goodbye party :(. It was so awesome! We stood in a double line through the gym so they would walk between us, and people put leis on for them. We sang “Called to Serve.” Instead of just walking through though, they both went through the whole room and hugged each of us. There are at least 160+ missionaries, but they took time to come around to everyone. They are so wonderful! It just really showed how much they love us. Each zone did a song for them and gave a Mother’s Day card to Sister Orgill. It was super cute. At the end we sang “God Be With You till We Meet Again” and “Aloha O’e.” We were crying so much we could barely sing.

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Love you all!
Sister W.

And then in her personal letter to me, she gave me a gem!

If I didn’t have you as a mom, I would have chosen you as a friend.

Oh, my stinkin’ heck, I cried my eyes out when I read those precious words. Blythe and I have always been close, but we haven’t always gotten along. There were some days we didn’t like each other much at all. But we both stuck it out and kept trying to behave in loving ways to one another. And the love eventually won.

yes, it is august 23

Aug 23, 2016 in family | Comments Off on yes, it is august 23

Sooooo, I have been incognito all summer. We have played hard and worked hard and had a lot of heartache and a lot of wonderfulness all at the same time. My computer has been broken for months and after all was said and done, the hard drive and a whole host of other parts needed replaced. I just got it back last night and I am trying to recover some lost programs and make it totally functional again. So, now I can blog again.

I am going to try.

For reals.

My hand is still in a splint. But it is the only body part in a brace of any kind and that is fantastic.

And drumroll : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Last night I rode my Elliptigo OUTSIDE!!!