Jan 22, 2013

January 22, 2013 Letter

HOLA again!!!

I honestly don't know what to say...

And I only have 5 minutes.

I'm getting worse and worse at managing my time!

We got to go visit a couple of adorable Ecuadorian members. El Hermano is 83 years old and La hermana is 79 or something. They are seriously the cutest couple ever!! Getting a chance to visit with them and finding out their stories was actually very inspiring for me. I really loved listening to their conversions and all the missionary experiences they've had. Hno. Diaz is pretty hard of hearing and moves around pretty slow but when he talks, he has the spirit with him, and he speaks from the heart with so much passion for the gospel. They're members of 50+ years and truly love the Lord.

I realized that I'm going home pretty soon...not so cool! I'm getting really attached to the ward here in Providence and we're starting to find a lot of opportunities to find investigators through the members. I love working so closely with the members and it's really teaching me how to be a better member missionary in the not terribly distant future.

I have 41 seconds left on the computer. Sorry this is so epic-ly lame! LOVES!!

Sister Palmer

January 14, 2013 Letter

Hey there ya'll!! So, once again, I have used my time unwisely. Well, not so unwisely. I started out writing personal responses to emails and just didn't spend any time writing a big email...and now my companions are waiting for me...patiently, but still. I don't want to impose on their kindness.

Oh yes, you may have noticed that I said companions...that is is because we are now the 3 amigas!! "My little buttercup..." Just kidding!

So, long story short, Sister Henderson and I are training!!! WOOT!! Sister Bradshaw just got here on Thursday - it was a shocker for everyone. President let us know not long after he found out last Tuesday. So, we made some arrangements, got another bed, and drove up to the mission home on Thursday to welcome her to the mission! She's amazing! She had been home for a couple of months after she finished her 9 weeks in the MTC because she needed a hip surgery. But the doctor cleared her and she suddenly got a call on Tuesday that she was leaving. Surprise!!

The ward was very surprised when we showed up on Sunday with 3 of us :) Good things is that they all wanted to treat her to a nice meal so our dinner calender is filling up fast! But after her first meal with a member yesterday, she has realized that it might be filling up too fast. We got hammered with food yesterday! But it was delish :)

The thing that I have learned this week is something from PMG - in chapter 4 it says that Yielding to temptation drives away the Spirit. It's true!!

Something super fun that I've been doing is that I started writing down 3 blessings each day at the beginning of my journal entries - keeps me looking for really happy and wonderful things! Yay!

We had FHE last night with Felix and Norena - they're investigators but they're basically members. They're super awesome - we let them teach the lesson for the first time and they did a great job! We ended up going around the circle and just baring our testimonies. It was really awesome to hear about their conversion stories and share in a very special spiritual experience with them.

Well, that's all for now folks! Love yous!!!
Sister Katie

January 7, 2013 Letter


So, it's official...well, in my journal it's still not official because I still keep putting 2012 instead of 2013 - but by the rest of the world's standards, it's a brand new year!! Woohoo!! I'm excited to hear what everyone's new years resolutions are (or as Elder Neilson would call them - New Years Revolutions). I'm still fine tuning the long term goals for my year, but I have a few things that I really want to work on that I'm very excited about. My goals revolve around the idea that I will work towards being the kind of person that I've always wanted to be. Sounds pretty straight-forward and even pretty "duh! no-brainer!" but I've realized that now is the time to start living like the person I want to be.

So that is what I will do. I want to be kinder and more loving. I want to know and love the scriptures. I want to always have a prayer in my heart.

So, this week has been pretty eventful. What with the late night new years party (don't worry, we missionaries were not invited :) and our zone meeting and we even had some fun exchanges! I got to serve in Connecticut for 24 hours - cool, eh?

I don't even know where to start. So many great stories.

We've been working with a completely inactive member this week. His name is Eddy. His wife is a member and has been active in the church for the last year or so. they have two adorable kids that come each week as well. Eddy is just LAZY!! He stopped coming to church because it didn't really catch his attention. So, since he seems to really like meeting with us, we are going over every day to read the scriptures there with their family. It's actually been really cool. We've only gone a few times but each time we go he and his wife take turns asking a question and we try to find an answer. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!! One of his questions was, "How can I be a better father?" and we read 1 Nephi chapter 3. He realized that he needs to be a better example to his kids like Lehi was to Nephi. I don't think he quite grasped that being a good example means obeying all the commandments like GOING TO CHURCH!! But at least he's on to something. I love their family. Hna. Miriam is so sweet.

I got to eat lobster for the first time in my life! And it was DELICIOUS! A less active member that the elders have been working with invited us all over to eat "Langosta" The member, Rene (a guy), is super smart and a really great cook. He's just basically soaks up every bit of information that comes his way. He also has some hook-ups with some fishermen around here...so he made us lobster. Delish! "We got to play with our food too!"

I was listening to a CES fireside from Elder Christofferson this week. It was from last year I think and it was all about using the time we have right now. I really like listening to his talk. Especially as I think about this time for change in a brand new year. I realized that I must make goals for the future but make sure my actions today lead me towards attaining said goals.

I got to go on exchanges from Friday to Saturday - I went with Sister Ford to Waterford CT and had a grand time! We taught some lessons and did some sweet service. The sisters there live with members - Bill and Mary Weseman (AKA Pops and Sweetie...don't ask me where the names came from). They are adorable and very kind and giving. It was amazing to learn about all they have done for the missionary work in their area. They have pretty much dedicated their lives to the missionary work in that area for the last 10 years or so. Also, it was a very nice change to actually get to see the stars at night.

I love you all bunches and bunches and BUNCHES!! More than I could ever type.

Peace be with you!

Sister Palmer

Happy New Year - December 31, 2012 Letter

Hey there all!!

Christmas was a blast!!  It was so great to talk to my dear parents and little sis - and even some of my crazy cousins.  I love you all!!

We spent a lot of time eating on christmas.  Something that I'm getting used to again is just how much the members here like to feed us.  The food is amazing and I will miss it like crazy when I go home. 

I don't have a ton of time to write, as per usual around here.  This is the only library open around these parts and so it is BUSY which means shorter internet time.  But it's fine!  I'll try to give you a quick update on the week.

So, we had some interesting lessons this week.  Some good, some not so good.  But there's one couple that I've loved meeting with.  She's from Honduras and he's from Guatemala.  Every time we go meet with them someone else is there so it's been a good opportunity to meet lots of very receptive people.  I'm getting used to teaching people with Christian backgrounds again and it's kind of nice because most of them really do have some sort of faith and have a good starting place for the things we have to teach. 

We had our first "red dot" day on Saturday.  We had a pretty full night with appointments but we got to our 4:00 one and it had started flurrying.  By the time we got out at 5:00 there were already several inches of snow and the roads were not lookin' so good.  So, all the cars were grounded.  We went back to our apartment and may or may not have engaged in some snowball warfare with some other missionaries :)  We had a good time.  For the rest of the evening we went crazy and started cleaning and re-organizing our apartment.  It's a super cool space but had been set up super tackily so we rearranged it to open up the space a bit more and make it look cooler. I'll send pics next week of the finished product :)  It's really actually helped me to focus a lot as a missionary to have had the chance to really do a deep clean.  It makes my life in general feel a lot cleaner and free of distraction.

I've been making some new years resolutions and I'm still not sure what will make the final cut but I want this to be the year that I just start being the kind of person that I want to be.  I'm not suggesting that I'm dissatisfied with myself the way I am, but I have really wanted to master the technique of living in a way that I can truly become the person I have striven all my life to be.  That is the goal :)  Now I just need to make some plans and work hard to be better!

I was listening to a great talk this morning by Elder Bednar about the difference between having a testimony and being converted.  I loved learning about them both and how they relate to each other.  I realized that I've actually seen that disconnect a lot.  It's honestly why a lot of people fall away from the church.  They receive a testimony of the gospel, but they don't actually become converted to it.  Kind of a problem.  It's the conversion that we must receive and must work towards in order to firm and immovable amid temptation and adversity. 

I'm excited for the new year.  It will be a year full of change and excitement.  May yours be full of love and peace and joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Palmer

December 24, 2012 Letter



I seriously LOVE Christmas time :)  I thought I would be super sad having to change areas right before Christmas but I have had a great adjustment and it has been super nice to actually be in a family ward for the holiday.  What's even better was that I didn't miss the Christmas party!  We had a hoppin' good time at the ward Christmas fiesta on Saturday - so fun!  I was, admittedly, a little frazzled and stressed because of all the name learning/forgetting and ALL the nonmembers friends that members brought (their ward is amazing at missionary work!!  We got 3 solid referrals for us and both sets of elders also got some information for people.

Before I just zoom ahead - This last week was probably the craziest week on my mission. 

Sister Khaled decided to talk to President on Monday because she still wasn't feeling any better after her surgery last Wednesday.  So, she talked to him and then informed me that she was thinking about going home and President supported her - with the condition that when she gets feeling better she can totally come back.  The thought of going home terrified her at first but then became a much more realistic option. 

Long story short, she went home two days ago - on Saturday morning :(  This frowny face cannot begin to describe how sad I was that she left.

That is really what shook up my entire week.  We had one more emergency room visit, for old times sake, on my very last day in Boston.  The mission doctor arranged for her to meet her doctor in the ER of Boston Children's so we went.  We went thinking it would be a go and come back but it turned out to mirror our other ER experiences so I didn't actually even to go back home before the transfer meeting.

Luckily (and I mean that this was the Spirit pushing and prompting me) I had already finished packing the night before.  What remained were some odds and ends strewn around the apartment but my angel of a roommate Sis. Stevens took care of getting everything together, the ZL's came and got my stuff and took it to Belmont to the second Christmas party/Transfer meeting. 

So, meanwhile we're still hangin' out in the Hospital, Sis. Williams and Sis. Caldwell come to visit.  They were originally going to come give us a ride home in the afternoon, but by afternoon they still weren't done trying to figure out what was wrong with Sis. Khaled.  Sis. Packard called while they were there saying that she wanted Sis. Williams to stay with Sis. Khaled while Sis. Caldwell took me to transfer meeting. 

Ugh! That was actually super super hard! So, we were ripped apart and I was left to worry and wonder about what was going on with her throughout the night.  She ended up getting admitted to the hospital (sis. Williams, thankfully, was able to stay the night with her) but still no one had any firm answers as to what was paining her. 

This story is becoming very drawn out and my time is waning.  I got to the transfer meeting, met up with Sis. Henderson, got my stuff moved to our very nice new car, said some goodbyes to my old zone, and we headed out.  From that point I'm not entirely sure what happened between companionships but I know that they resolved the trio situation but Emergency Transferring (ETing) Sis. Figueredo out of Lynn and into my old area with Sis. Brierly. I feel so bad for them!  We didn't leave it ready for two missionaries to just jump in not knowing anything.

I got a phonecall from Sis. Khaled the next day saying that she was skipping town Saturday morning.  I got to say goodbye Friday night over phone and I got an email from her today - seems like she's doing well.  She says it's super weird but she still sounds like her perky crazy self :) 

that was a long story!   sorry!

So now I'm here in Rhode Island.  Like I said earlier, the ward is awesome.  The people I've met I have just instantly loved and so I am very much looking forward to spending my last few months on my mission here.  I don't imagine I would get transferred for just my last 6 weeks :) Our zone is actually really great here.  We are constantly giving the elders rides - one companionship from our ward doesn't have a car and the other is on a car share.  So we see them a lot.  They're super duper immature but they are good comic relief and they really get down to business when it comes to real missionary work.  They have a good balance of work and play and they've been great. 

I'm really excited for a new shot at really making a difference and at learning more Spanish.  I was SO rusty on Wednesday when I first started speaking it again.  But last night I feel like I hit a turning point and it's just going to go up from here. 

Tis the season for joy and laughter and love.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and to spread the joy that this Christmas season brings.  I love you all so VERY much and pray for you daily.  Thanks for all your support and for ALL the packages!!  I let myself feel really bad about that this week - I haven't sent out a single Christmas card/present but I realized that this isn't my last chance to do nice things for people.  So, my Christmas resolution is to keep its' spirit in my heart all year round. 

Much love!!  Peace Be unto you!! 
Sister Palmer

Dec 21, 2012

October 15, 2012 Letter

This week has been super duper Great!!!!  It is totally blowing my mind that my dear friend Courtney comes home in less than 2 weeks!! 

Reasons why this week was super duper great:

  1. We got to go to a fireside for single adults in Boston last night where Elder and Sister Anderson (of the 12) were the main speakers.  It was very uplifting and I learned lots of things.  The biggest thing I learned is that it is so important to look outside ourselves as we seek revelation.  When we seek for revelation for how to help and bless the lives of others we will be blessed with revelation more quickly and more frequently
  2. I got to see Maria Rudas and Carolina Soto from the Lynn branch last night!  Carolina's mom, Bianela (our investigator who has been investigating for 4 years) is getting baptized this weekend!  Woohoo!
  3. We had lessons with all of our Chinese investigators this week - with members too :)  It makes a lot of a difference to have members there to testify about their recent life experiences that help them to know the truthfulness of the gospel.  Our investigators are all so great - they have sincere desires to study out the things we teach.  The problems have been that they now need to feel that what they are learning about is true.  Alma 32 they need to have that particle of faith and a desire to believe.  It takes so much patience.  Hopefully it's something they are all willing to exercise in order to receive their answers
  4. Forgot to mention above - Alex, Romney campaign investigator, came with her friend Jake to the fireside last night.  It was awesome!  We even drug her into the hallway just as Elder Anderson was leaving so we all got to shake his hand!  Woot!  She was kind of embarrassed but it was really cool - he complimented her smile and said she has a great spirit about her.  
  5. We've been visiting the AP's investigator, Theresa (who reminds me a ton of Lynn Theresa...) because they're super busy and she's in a nursing home pretty close to where we live.  We've just been reading the Book of Mormon with her but this week decided to teach lesson 3 about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and felt prompted to commit her to quit smoking and extend a baptismal date.  She's gone cold turkey - going strong!  and has a baptismal date for November 11th.  Awesome!
  6. We have had lots of homemade food adventures - Sister Khaled is very handy in the kitchen.  She can use anything to throw together a pretty good meal.  She made us some delicious vegetable soup and some pasta with veggies.  Sister Williams got creative and made us a Kish and I got to make some Tostadas.  Luckily this week we are having lots of member dinners :)
  7. We witnessed a miracle - Sister Williams had misplaced her planner so we called around to the members we were with the night before to see if we'd left it in a car or in someone's apartment.  We had left a message on Tin-tin's phone.  She called us back without listening to the message and told us she'd found something of ours.  She was walking down her street and saw something in the gutter and almost passed it but did a double take.  It was her planner!!  It was her planner from two transfers ago so she mostly just needed her T-pass (subway/bus pass) out of it.  It was a total miracle.  Minutes before she called us Sister Khaled told us to kneel down and pray.  Once it had been located we knelt down and offered a prayer of gratitude.  
  8. Sister Edwards had her birthday on Tuesday - it was lots of fun decorating, watching her open presents, and making a cake and eating a cake...all the normal birthday goodness.  We had a great time!
  9. Sister Khaled says the cutest things!  My very favorite phrase of hers is "keep calm!"  which she uses when anyone gets excited or jumpy or antsy about something.  I love that girl.  I seriously have the two best companions ever
  10. Today I had a croissant from a bakery near our apartment - life is good!
I love you all.  Keep the faith!
Sister Palmer

October 22, 2012 Letter

Hey there fam!! 

GUESS WHAT?!?!  BIANELA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! Sadly I wasn't able to go because we had some investigator lessons here yesterday afternoon, but the Lynn Sisters let me know that Bianela, after 4 or 5 years of semi-investigating and lots of procrastinating, was getting baptized!!  Yay!!  I am so happy for her!  Finally making that decision to stop putting it off will bless her life so much! 

I sure love ya'll!  This week was super crazy!!  I can't say it better than Pumba and Timon - our trio's down to two :(  That is the biggest and most shocking news of the week.  It all happened Friday afternoon - we were doing some weekly planning at the stake center after we'd had a great district meeting and a zone lunch.  I grabbed the phone and there were a bunch of missed calls and a couple messages from different people.  We had a couple voice mails so we listened to the first one from the AP's giving us a hard time for being late to district meeting (an all too frequent occurance :) and the other from President.  He said it was urgent and that it was for Sister Williams.  She called him back and after a matter of 20 seconds she was bawling.  Not knowing what was going on we could only offer comfort and support.  Soon after the close of their conversation she managed to tell us that she was getting moved to Belmont.  Apparently another sister has to go home for health reasons and we are the only trio of sisters. 

We were all pretty devastated.  I'm not going to lie.  We had an amazing trio and Sister Williams was definitely our better third.  Even though my mind was completely blown and I was pretty scared for all the changes that would come, looking back I can definitely see that the Lord was there calming my heard because deep down I knew it would be okay and I didn't let myself get too out of sorts.

So Friday night became our last night together.  We enjoyed some good food together with our roommates and then headed home to pack.  Sister Khaled is amazing at packing and basically took over.  We said our goodbyes after taking some "family photos" in the morning.  Sister Khaled and I had to rush off to a lesson with Kay at BU campus.  I sure love that tall girl and will miss her.  Luckily we're not too far away - we're in the same zone and we'll get to see her after district meeting each week and sometimes on P-day if we're lucky :)  I learned a lot of things from Sister Williams.  The biggest one being that service is so important!  Sister Williams was constantly looking outside herself to do things for other people.  She is amazing at really digging into the scriptures to learn new things.  The way she shares about what she learns is very edifying and I will miss having that around. 

Now it's just me and Sister Khaled and while I definitely miss Sister Williams it has been a really neat experience to hear just how much Sister Khaled has to say.  Now we have a lot better balance as we teach our lessons - for the first time in my mission I have to be the one making sure I don't talk too much.  Sister Khaled has some amazing experiences to share and is always uplifting and helping those around her to be happy.  I love her!

We have been working really hard this week and we have seen the blessings begin to abound - we had an amazing lesson yesterday with a new investigator named Rhea.  She has come to church 4 times already with her friend in the ward and after teaching her about the Restoration of the Gospel Sister Khaled boldly invited her to be baptized without really knowing what it was :)  But after a turn to the scriptures, an explanation of the mechanics and testimony of its importance, she was ready and willing to accept baptism contingent upon her receiving an answer to her prayers.  Her prayer was so sincere and heartfelt - her desire to truly know for herself was apparent and she said that "this is possibly the happiest time of my life."  The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings true happiness.  As she connects that happiness she feels with the restored gospel she will be so blessed!  The best part is that she is letting the good feeling she has at church draw her there.  She had told us on Saturday that she was going to be busy at school and wouldn't be able to come.  We expressed our desire to see her at church but obviously left it up to her and she surprised us by showing up - she had to move her group study back a couple of hours so she could come to Sacrament Meeting.  Yay! 

School is turning out to be a big obstacle in the spiritual progression of our other Chinese investigators - 3 of them were planning to come on Sunday, apart from Rhea, and all let us know last minute that they were too busy with school/projects/papers to come.  Lame!!  This week we are definitely going to be stressing the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy :) 

I love being a missionary!  A couple of our members who served missions were talking to us about how the mission is such a great opportunity to boldly proclaim the gospel.  It made me realize what a great responsibility we have upon our shoulders.  Their encouragement has been really helping me to be more bold and we've been having more good conversations about the gospel with the people we meet on the street.

Today we're going to Alewife to play some soccer with our district - should be fun!

It's getting a little chillier here - winter is on its way and I am just praying that it is as uneventful as last year :) 

I love you all a lot!  Have an amazing spirit-driven week!  Keep the faith!!

Sister Palmer

December 10, 2012 Letter

Hey there familia and amigos!!
Well, there really isn't that much to say about this week.  We've been taking it really easy with Sister Khaled feeling so down and out.  So Monday we went to Dr. Laufer - this fancy schmancy doctor who's the leading in his field to try and figure out if this really is what we think it is.  He gave Sis. K some pills to help but after almost a week of not getting any better, we made another call to Sister Hatch who then arranged to do the surgery next Wednesday (in 2 days now).  So, she's going in for a laproscopy on Wednsday and if it's Endomitriosis like we think it is they'll be able to take care of it while they're still in there diagnosing.  We'll rest up in the hospital for a couple hours after, then head home.  She'll be on some heavy meds for a couple days and they said the full recovery is about 5-6 days.  Most people can go back to work or school the following Monday.  That's great news for us - I really hope this does the trick! 
Sister Packard was pretty worried about Sis. Khaled and decided to have us come to the mission home - so we came here on Tuesday and we've been kickin' it here ever since.  We've only been home once since then - kinda weird but really cool.  It's been good for me because being here makes it a little easier to deal with the down time - for starters there's not as much here.  There's always something to do!  Michael LOVES playing Monopoly and the Packards love playing games and there have been lots of things to do to help with the Christmas conference coming up.  So we're keeping a little bit busy with busywork.
I love being with the Packards.  They are such a great family - there's always something to learn from them and from their examples.  President is constantly throwing out future family advice to us - "Now don't forget that when you have kids it's important..." and "You're husband will always be...."  sorts of things based on his own experience.  The whole family is just overflowing with Spiritual knowledge and insight.  The best part of the week has been sitting in on the Packard scripture study sessions.  has definitely redefined the way I look at the scriptures and helped me to really understand and not just skim them.  We've gotten to hear all of President Packard's plans for his big Christmas talk at our Christmas conference on Tuesday.  He's been reading up about the story of Christ's birth and has realized, with some help from a book that he's reading, just how humble and even humiliating the actual birth of Christ must have been. It was really very humble circumstances.  And either Mary didn't tell her family that the baby she was carrying was Christ's son or they certainly didn't believe her.  Think about it.  If they had known and believed her, there is NO WAY they would have sent her off on a donkey to give birth in a barn with no midwife "no nothin!" as President Packard says.  It certainly was a humble circumstance.  As I have learned more about it it has driven me to be more humble and to be more meek and lowly.  I know that as to my strength I am weak. But I will boast of my God and of my Savior because in them I can become strong.
I am so grateful for this time of year - for the joy and the peace that the season brings.  I got the chance to go to a Christmas concert last night for a Relief Society choir that has been practicing for several months now.  It was amazing!  There is a lot of talent here.  It definitely got me excited to get back into practicing the piano.  This week I've had a few hours when we've been here alone at the Packard House to just play to my hearts' content.  I do love music and the happiness it brings me. 
Our district is amazing - they know that we're stuck here in Needham for our p-day so they're going to come and play board games and just chillax here :)  It's going to be fun!! 
Much love ya'll!! 

Sister Palmer
Michael's scary mask he's been wearing everywhere - don't worry Sis. Khaled is the one who's kissing me.  Not Michael
Anglea and Natalie and I in the kitchen!  Angela loves to make cookies - and we all love to eat them :)

All Sis. Khaled's pills haha! 

December 17, 2012 Letter

Well hey there!! 

It's almost Christmas!!

This week has been kinda crazy -

First off: Sister Khaled had surgery on Wednesday.  Before any of you worry - it went really well, she's still alive and all that jazz.  They found what they were looking for and got it taken care of.  She's still in a good bit of pain from the recovery - they pumped her insides full of gases so they could see when they did the Laproscopy and so it's normal for it to be a little painful until all of those gases work themselves out.  She hasn't been able to really walk up or down stairs very well at all.  The AP's were great to carry her up the 2 flights of stairs to our apartment and then helped us go to church yesterday.  In order to get here to email she ventured down the stairs for the first time by herself.  Also, today she's on no pain meds and seems to be doing pretty well considering how rotten she's felt the last few days. 

So, things are looking up.  We went to the mission home after the surgery and stayed a couple days.  We then had to come to our apt because Sis. Packard's brother was in town and we couldn't be left alone during the day with him.  Makes sense :)  Anyway, while we were there we had a great time.  It was really good for Sis. Khaled to have other people besides me bothering her to take her medicine or asking how she feels.  She was super tired of me :)  Also makes sense.  But now we're happy.  Now that she's more coherent and chatty we've had lots of time to talk and get really close.

Just in time to be ripped apart!!  This brings me to my second point.

I'm getting transferred!!

Funny story about this.  During the week I was staying in the mission home President and Sister Packard actually called me into President's office to talk about transfers.  He obviously didn't let me make any decisions but he wanted to hear my thoughts.  They had spent a couple of hours already trying to figure out how to move me back to Spanish and still keep all the English sister areas open.  After many attempts and many failures, they wanted to know how I would feel to stay in English until my last transfer.  In other words, stay in English until next transfer and then probably shotgun train in Spanish for my very last 6 weeks (train in an area that neither of us are familiar with). 

I told him how I felt.  I didn't feel right making it so they had to close a sister area.  I also didn't feel super good about leaving Sis. Khaled now that she's just had a surgery and needs some help reving back up.  I also voiced that I did miss Spanish but that I'm kinda rusty...

Anyway, no decisions were made and I was left to wonder about what would happen while President went to the Lord to continue to receive revelation.

We got transfer texts on Saturday and we all started to be really upset to see my name.  I'm actually pretty bummed to be leaving.  I love our wards and I adore Sis. Khaled.   Good news is that I will be back in a Spanish area - Providence Rhode Island.  They are having incredible success - they just baptized 3 people a couple weeks ago and have 8 baptismal dates for people preparing.  I will get to serve with Sis. Henderson which I'm really excited about.  I really love her and have wanted to serve with her.  She's a little quirky but we get along well. 

Saying goodbye to people yesterday was weird.  I didn't get to talk to a lot of them.  Sis. Khaled was pretty slow moving so I only caught the slow ones :)  Also, everyone is leaving this week to go home for the holiday.  I'm a little worried about Sis. Khaled.  It's a big responsibility to have to be the one helping someone else get accustomed to the area.  I also haven't been able to really prepare her to get around in the big city because we haven't been taking buses or trains for a couple weeks now.  Poor dear!  Keep her in her prayers, will you?  Also, if anyone has extra time and means, I'm sure she could use some Christmas cheer.  I don't know that her Christmas from Portugal will get here in time.  :( 

I love you all bunches!!  Keep the Spirit of Christmas in your hearts all year round! 

God Bless Us, Every One

Sister Palmer

December 3, 2012 Letter

Hey there ya'll!! 

Mosiah 2:41 apparently is not enough to reinforce the idea that we are blessed spiritually AND temporally when we obey the commandments.  All of our poor Chinese investigators are the type that when the going gets tough, especially academically, they forget everything about church.  AHHHHH!!!  I feel like a parent lamenting a child's poor decisions.  Obviously I can't take away their agency, but it hurts to see them just throw away the blessings they could receive if they were just coming to church and keeping their commitments.

This is especially on my mind because we had a really powerful lesson with Shanshan this week.  We spent an entire lesson just talking about the first commandment in the 10 commandments - Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.  We talked about how we can relate that to how we prioritize our time and our efforts.  She understood.  She committed to come to church even if it was hard, and then on Saturday night we got a text saying that she had some project thing to do on Sunday...ugh! 

I feel good knowing that we did our part, but it still just makes me sad :(

This week has been kinda slow actually.  Sis. Khaled, the poor thing, has been out a lot of the week.  Just feeling lots of abdominal pain.  We think we may be on the right track now and have yet another doctors appointment today.  If it's what we think it is, she could likely have a surgery this week to get her sorted out and she'll be back on her feet in no time at all.  The Packard's have been super supportive and sweet.  We couldn't make it to church yesterday morning - her pain plus the cold plus the 5:30 wake up didn't really work well together so Sister Packard came and picked us up and we went to their ward - Weston 2nd (were Bishop Ainge presides :).  It was a great experience - it was so much fun to be in a family ward!  Everyone got so excited to see sisters there - we kept having to tell everyone that we weren't permanent.  Sis. Khaled got a chance to talk to someone who has a lot of experience with what the doctors think might be her problem.  We also got to talk to all the Young Women about what it's like to be a missionary.  So fun!!  Sis. Khaled's true colors showed through - she LOVES the Young Women.  She was the YW president in her branch before she got her mission call.

Then we got to enjoy an afternoon with the Packards.  President Packard had a fairly low-key day as his days go and so he made us all some good ole' fashioned gumbo that was delicious!!  It was my first Gumbo experience was definitely a success.  We had to try to get a hold of Sis. Khaled's family to tell them about her medical adventures.  After an hour of trying every way we knew how to call Portugal we decided to Skype so I got to see her mom and her little brother - at 11:30 their time :)  Poor dears!  It was super fun to hear them chatting away in Portuguese.  I understand a lot more now than I did a couple months ago.

Anyway, that's really all there is to report on this week.  I love you all a LOT!!  Thanks for all the support and I hope to hear from you all soon. 

Sister Katie

Our district

In the "party bus" on the way to film the video

Oh ya know - just filming a music video on the subway...no big deal! 
Elder Leonard on top of Elder Medley - just a day in Boston...no big deal!

Nutella party last night - good times!!!