May 30, 2012

I'm 22! Weird!!!

Katie's 22nd Birthday Picture with
Sister Hildenbrand
I really do feel like I'm turning into an old lady - it does NOT help that we decided to do lunges yesterday so I woke up super sore.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, cards, and packages!! I really do have the best family in the WORLD!!

So, good news! I'm not transferring! Neither is Sister Hildenbrand! Crazy news is that we're going to become a threesome! Weird!

I bet you can guess who sent her the
awesome mustaches for her birthday!
Elder Bingham (one of the elderly elders) who's in charge of furniture and cars and such brought a load of stuff (bed, desk, chairs, extra dishes) yesterday and our apartment is definitely a lot more cluttered. We're going to be bumper buddies when we're saying our prayers before we go to bed, but we'll have fun! Sister Rivera will be moving from Boston to here. She's been out for 3 transfers I think and is a fireball. She went on exchanges with Sister Hildenbrand when I went with Sister Figureda in Boston. Her family is from Honduras so she knows her Spanish (it will be nice to have someone around to always be able to ask questions to) but she grew up mostly in New York City. We're excited to see how it goes - we'll go to transfer meeting tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes next Monday :)

I have to tell you about Gabby - she is from Guatamala and is SUPER DE DUPER!! When she lived in Guatamala - all her friends were members and she was at the church ALL the time - she even graduated from seminary I think. Her dad just didn't want her to get baptized. So, she moved to the states 10 years ago and has been kind of passively looking for the church, but didn't find it. A few weeks ago she was talking to her cousin and her cousin got her information and she was going to send missionaries her way. So, the elders go knocking on the apartment right below her (because they're members) and she thought they were looking for her so she stopped and talked to them. And now we are teaching her - she is really excited! She really wants to come to church and to institute and is even way willing to change her work schedule so she can come (even though it's going to be really hard). We are so excited for her!

We still haven't gotten a hold of Rosa...but we still have faith!

The rest of this week has been pretty low key. We're just doing what we do. Oh yeah! We got to go to the temple on Monday - it was open for the Memorial Day Holiday and only our zone and Cambridge South were allowed to go - we're so lucky! It was awesome! It was nice to not have to get up super early and just get there, well rested and ready to receive some spiritual nourishment.

Our zone is going to change SO much this transfer! One of the Portuguese Elders, Elder Stone, is taking Elder Paredes' spot as zone leader because he's headed home to Utah. So, we're getting a new Portuguese elder, Elder Campos is transferring, Elder Haggard is going home to Australia and his companion is getting switched from Spanish to English so we'll have a whole new companionship in Revere. Sister Hales is STILL in Revere - her third transfer with Sister Henderson. At the end of this transfer she will have spent 11 months of her mission in Revere - so crazy!

We're getting a new Spanish sister from Vernal! How crazy is that! Sister Sadie McKee - now there will be 3 of us crazy Vernalites running around speaking Spanish here in Massachusetts - I think she's going to be trained by Sister Love in Providence Rhode Island.

As I am really working on recognizing the Spirit, I have been having a lot of cool experiences. I'm super stoked about this transfer! Things are looking up for Lynn.

LOVE YOU!! Thanks again for the Birthday wishes!

-Sister Palmer

May 21, 2012


This is going to be short! My sincerest apologies! I just got SO many emails today (and the computer I'm using is very slow) so it's taking me longer than usual to reply. And, we're in a crunch because we're going to play sports on Revere Beach with the zone...and we're already late! Oops!
I just love grocery shopping - we went to Market Basket in Salem today and I've been pretty careful with my money this month so I went a little crazy this morning. I got some serious produce, and a big can of peanut butter (I LOVE peanut butter! It has been something that really has developed on the mission).
Happy 50th Anniversary to Grandma Carol and Grandpa Fran!! Yay!! 50 years is a long time and an exciting landmark.
This week was good. We're really going to have to be in a finding mood this next week, because we need to find some more good solid investigators :) We're getting pretty good at making our door contacts and our street contacts seem fairly natural. And then again, if they're not natural and they end up super awkward and weird, it usually doesn't matter too much because we usually don't run into the same people twice. We've got nothing to lose by talking with everyone and everyone has something to gain by us trying.
I'm kind of nervous for transfers - I don't want either of us to go. I want both Sister Hildenbrand and I to stay here! I thought seriously about sending my email to President Evans this week and asking that for my birthday present we can both stay here :) I don't think it works that way though. Only one new hermana is coming in and one is I'm hoping that they will just switch places and leave the rest of us in peace...we'll see how it goes. I will let you know next Wednesday.
This last week, on Thursday, we got the opportunity to go to a Leadership training. They invited all the sisters to go - their reasoning being that the leaders can't really do exchanges with us to train so it would be beneficial for us to come - and it was! I learned a lot and we got some DELICIOUS fruit salad...that's a good day :) It was strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries! All the things I'm too cheap to buy at the grocery store. SO good!
That's so crazy that Andrew's on a mission! I only had time to read a smidge of the email, but it really takes me back to the good old days in the MTC and I'm sure he's taking it by storm.
Something that I've been learning a lot about the last several days has been the importance of really praying by the Holy Ghost. Until a few months ago, I had never even thought of that concept, but it keeps coming up. I'm still working on putting it into practice, but I have been learning that when we really are praying by the Spirit, all of our righteous desires will be fulfilled because we won't be asking somthing contrary to the will of our Heavenly Father.
I'm so grateful to be on a mission :) Lots to learn and lots to do.
I love you all!
-Sister Katie

May 19, 2012

Mother's Day

Oh my dear family!! It was so delightful to see your faces yesterday! Happy Late Mother's Day to all those mothers out there who I didn't get to personally thank. I sure love all the mothers in my life! First and foremost my own mother, and my grandmothers, and aunts and friends, etc. You're all AWESOME! It really does require so much sacrifice and love for mothers to do what they do.
I am so blessed to feel like I even have a few moms here. I have gotten really close with a lot of the members her in the Lynn Branch. Yesterday was a really special day at church because I got to thank all of them and the Elder's Quorum put on a HUGE Mother's Day Luncheon after church. When they got all the food set out, I was quite certain that there was no way we could eat all of it...but we did. There really wasn't even enough for seconds. Hispanic people have very healthy appetites :) It was super delish though. We had chicken, rice and beans (these come with almost every hispanic meal), and some yummy fruit/pasta salads, plantains, and it was all topped off with some cake and ice cream. Good stuff!
This week Sister Hildenbrand and I have been having a good ole time. We just crack each other up at every little thing. It makes the work a lot more fun and we're getting to know one another even better each day. The other day I said the name of the street and it sounded to my companion like I said, "We'll have to cancel" just out of the blue. So I followed it up with, "wouldn't it be funny if I decided to just start randomly yelling out phrases?" So...that's we did for a few minutes straight in the car on the way to our next appointment. We had each other laughing SO hard!
Rosa, our investigator, is doing really well! She came to church again and brought her inactive brother and his family too :) We're really excited to see just how many people she can get to come to church - she's already started inviting her children and other people she knows. She's the best!
Sister Hildenbrand is AWESOME! She seriously is just the best - her only sister got married on Saturday in Rexburg and she didn't even let it show that it was distracting her or bothering her, but I know deep down it totally was. How could it not? If it was MY only sister getting married without letting me be there, I'd be really sad! (Take note, Allie!) :) But she's a real trooper and she got to talk to her whole family yesterday- (including new brother-in-law who she met for the first time) via skype. That was a real blessing to be able to talk to them about their big day the day right after. It was a real blessing for me to get to talk to my family yesterday too. I love you and miss you all!
Thanks for all the support and for your prayers!
Sister Palmer

May 8, 2012

Quite the Delight!

This week really has been quite the delight! Sister Hildenbrand and I were talking this morning about how it's weeks like these that just make the mission seem so worthwhile. We have one solidly progressing investigator and one investigator that just needs to get a couple health problems worked out before she can come to church and then we'll have TWO progressing investigators!! It makes me feel so warm and happy inside to see both of these women making such long and strong strides towards baptism and eternal salvation! Sounds kind of corny and silly when I write it, but I really am filled with such great excitement for them. It gives me more energy and motivation to work harder and help more people do the same thing.
So, we had an incredible experience with Theresa - she's the wife of a very active recently converted member. When her husband first joined the church she was honestly angry. She would try to distort doctrines and kept asking him to quit going to church. But her husband stuck it out. He gave her lots of books and manuals (Triple Combination, Gospel Principles, True to the Faith, etc.) but she still just didn't really give a hoot. Then, He wanted to receive his Endowment. So, the Stake President came to his home to interview him and his wife and ask her permission for him to do that. She consented and as they got to know each other, President Lowe felt very impressed to ask her (or challenge her) to take the missionary discussions. She'd talked to several missionaries before and had scared the daylights out of them with some not very pleasant remarks at loud volumes. But, she consented. President Lowe gave us the referral because he wanted sisters to teach her (even though she is actually American and speaks better English than Spanish). During our first couple meetings with her she threw some hard questions and wanted to have a confrontation with us. We didn't really bite onto her hook, but it really scared me and made me very unsure and feel really sad for her. She refused to believe that Baptism was a commandment. Also, she had a really hard time with the fact that her husband had been baptized for one of his brothers that had passed away many years ago. She kept saying, "How does he have the right to be baptized for someone that can't consent to it?!"
About a week passed before we could come again - we'd made several appointments and she had to cancel for legitimate health reasons. When we met with her, everything had changed! She had been reading the Book of Mormon (80 pages or so), and had been zooming through Gospel Principles. She explained that everything was starting to make sense and that after reading this stuff she has just really felt more peace and has been more calm and hopeful about all the things that are going on in her life. It is really incredible to see that someone's heart can be softened by the still small voice. She is getting very good at recognizing the Holy Ghost in her life and is ready to make the changes she needs to get baptized. During that next meeting after she had so defiantly pronounced that she wouldn't believe Baptism was an essential ordinance, she told us, unprompted, that she wanted to be baptized.
Theresa has really been prepared. As she talks about the experiences she's had in her life, she is recognizing that she has really been prepared.
Rosa is getting prepared to be baptized soon and she came to church for the second time in a row yesterday! She got there 10 minutes early - before all the members! She's the sister of an inactive member and his family. I think that as she is starting to put her life in harmony with the teachings of the gospel, that she is going to be a very good influence on them. Her Nephew, Angel, he's 12 and when his family was baptized he was too young and now they're inactive so he's never been baptized. He asked Rosa if she could take him to church, so she even went and picked him up. He had a really good experience at church and is going to Young Men's tomorrow and has told her he wants to be baptized. How cool!!!! They both came to church in their Sunday Best and since Rosa was there, Hno. Palacios asked her to say the closing prayer in sacrament meeting and she was all for it! She did such a great job! It was such a tender and simple prayer.
This week really just has been amazing! Also, yesterday at church one of the inactive members that we've been visiting came! She missed most of Sacrament Meeting (which is unfortunate because it really is the most important part) but she STILL came late and brought her 2 year old daughter. She was welcomed back into loving arms and I pray that she will continue to progress in her membership.
Food Sister Hildenbrand and I were talking and saying how when we get home from our missions it will be a long long time before we eat rice again because we get lots of mealsthat consist of rice, beans, and chicken. We were complaining about having it sooooooo often...well. Heavenly Father sure showed us that we should be grateful for that very meal because we went to a less-active's house and she fed us egg, cheese, ketchup...and bologna sandwiches on the kind of white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth! She gave us each four slices of bread so we could have two sandwiches each. So, we choked down the first ones. As I hurried and made my own sandwich I got away with just eggs and bread on the second one, but the member put 2 pieces of Bologna on Sister Hildenbrand's bread after she had already tried to get away with just eating the eggs. She said, "No you're forgetting the bread! It's for you!" So, she had to eat another sandwich plus extra eggs...poor dear! I took pity and may have hidden half of the second sandwich in my pocket (skirts with pockets are hard to come by, but heaven-sent!). With that said, we will gladly eat rice, beans and chicken every day for the rest of our missions!
This email is really long and we must be going now. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day on Sunday! Mothers sure are wonderful! I know I sure do love mine :) She's the best!
-Sister Palmer