Jul 24, 2012


Well, today my thoughts and my prayers are definitely very focused on my very dear family. I'm so grateful that we've been blessed with the knowledge of the gospel. I'm grateful that as a family we are trying to be worthy to obtain eternal life together someday. It is that knowledge that I have that it is keeping me going. It is spurring me on. It is super sad to know that in this mortal life I will never again see my dear Grandpa Fran, but I know that God's plan is perfect. As we obey the commandments and press forward with faith we can obtain that promised eternal life. I am so grateful for that. More grateful than I will ever be able to express in words.

This week has been pretty good. I've been learning a lot and getting to know my Companions better. Sister Figueredo is really trying to help me get to the level of Spanish that I want to be at - she made a deal with me that if I will help her find some Portuguese investigators that she would promise not to speak English to me. I also have to speak Spanish (or Portuguese, which she's trying to teach me) all the time in return. It hasn't worked 100% just yet, but I'm speaking a lot more Spanish than I used to. I've even started writing in my journal in spanish (my poor grandchildren who will want to read it someday...I guess they will just have to learn :)

This last Sunday Gaby wasn't supposed to be able to come to church because she had to work. But she didn't realize that the bus doesn't come around until 12 on Sundays and she doesn't have a car right now. So, she called her boss and he told her to just not worry about it - so she ran home, changed, and came to church! She came late but she came! She really is making changes in her life and I'm super excited for her! She even got her temple recommend to be able to go do baptisms this Sunday with the ward. Woot!

Life is good in general. I love the Gospel and I super dee duperly love my family! they are the best!! (Maybe I'm a little biased...)

-Sister Palmer

Jul 22, 2012

Short & Sweet (July 16, 2012 Letter)

The best missionaries Lynn has EVER seen!

Wet and happy after the fireworks - Elder Dantas photo crashing...Elders love doing that :)

So, I haven't even started my email and they just came and told me that they need my computer in a few minutes. I guess that means that I am not very good at managing my time and that I'm not used to staying under an hour to email.

So, we had a baptism and a confirmation this last weekend. Gaby got baptized! Yay! It's really incredible how strong I felt the spirit - both in the baptismal service and during her confirmation. She really is trying to come closer to Christ and I am praying that she keeps finding the strength to deal with all the stuff she has to go through. She's super strong though. Probably way stronger than I am.

Sister Figueredo is trying to teach me Portuguese! It's so hard! I was practicing my pronunciation and reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese with her a few days ago - it was hard, but I'm starting to get a hang of a few things. I'm picking up a few phrases from other missionaries, but I just have no idea how to spell anything yet.

Mostly I just want my family to know that I am doing well. I know the Lord is looking after and after all my family wherever they are and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I love you all so much!!
-Sister Palmer

So, hey there! (July 11, 2012 Letter)

So, hey there! A week and a half has come and gone. Tomorrow is transfer meeting. I know everyone is waiting on bated breath to know if I'm going or staying, but you can rest easy knowing that I am staying for one more transfer in Lynn. Yay!! I'm probably way too scared to leave. I really have just made myself at home here. When we did exchanges a couple weeks ago, I was impressed with my ability to navigate the streets of Lynn and Salem without the assistance of my GPS. (No applause necessary, please).

The sad part about transfers is that my dear companion Sister Hildenbrand, who I have basically spent my entire mission with, is LEAVING ME!! Not trying to be dramatic or anything. She's actually just going a little bit south of us to Revere which was my first area - where I was trained by Sister Hales. I think she'll really enjoy it there. I miss the members there and I know that they'll take good care of her.

So, you would think that that just leaves Sister Rivera and I as a normal, two-person companionship...but you're wrong! We're going to be in a trio again :) Sister Figuredo, who was serving in Boston for the last 8 or 9 months, is going to join us. She's actually Sister Rivera's trainer so I think we'll all make fast friends. It will be great for my Spanish because now I'll be serving with two native-Spanish speakers. Sister Figuredo is from Paraguay (she actually speaks Portuguese too because her Father is from Brazil but she grew up in Paraguay). She also speaks excellent English because she spent the last 5 years in Utah. So, it will be great fun. 

The big to-do this week has been meeting the new president - President Daniel Packard and his wife Sister Allison Packard. Their family is AMAZING! We are so excited to get to work with them. We got to meet them on Thursday morning (right after a late night of watching fireworks...we were a little tired, but it was totally worth it! More later if I have time). Basically, they had a power point with some pictures and they went through and told stories about their family, and bore their testimonies and we just had a really good time getting to know who these people really are. They have 4 children, and the youngest 3 will be in the mission home during their whole 3 years here in Boston. The oldest, Brent (19) is in the MTC getting ready to go to Chile. Angela is a year younger I think and will be staying with her parents - she has a lot of health issues and is actually super excited for this experience because this really is going to be her shot at going on a mission. Then Natalie is a Sophomore in High School - she's an amazing piano player, very social and excited, talented at lots of things, and has a really strong testimony. Michael, who's about 12 years old, has some really fun attitude! He loves to break dance and play basketball. His nickname on his team was Minja - Midget Ninja :) It was astounding to me that he had such an incredible testimony at his age - he also knows how to work the crowd, that's for sure. 

All in all, their family is excited to get some work done and we're excited to get to know them more as the transfers go rolling on.

We did get to go to Boston a week ago to see the World-Famous Boston Fireworks show over the Charles river. It was FANTASTIC!! We got there around 7:00 and there were SO many people there! We decided to watch it from the Cambridge side (it's a little safer). We still got to see a screen of the Boston Pops (from afar) playing their show with Jennifer Hudson as their guest performer. We had a jolly good time - it even started raining about 5 minutes into the show, but we were all super stoked to be there that it didn't matter.

Other than that, it's just been same old same old. Sister Hildenbrand has been trying to say goodbye to everyone so we've been visiting lots of members. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to leave...let's not think about that.

So, back home, I know that Grandpa Fran isn't doing very well. I just want you all to know that I love you and that I'm praying for you. It's hard to be so far away when I would love to be there close to all of my family, but I know that everything happens for a reason and that all will be well. I can see that Heavenly Father is blessing our lives in so many ways.

I love you all! Peace out!
-Sister Palmer   

Another week.... (July 2, 2012 Letter)

Another week....

Good news: President Packer (Not the same President Packer you are probably thinking of - our new mission president who got here on Saturday) gave us all permission to go see fireworks on Wednesday! We can even leave our areas to see them so we might try to go to Boston! Woot! I'm super excited!

Speaking of our new mission president - we get to meet him and his family on Thursday. We're really excited! It's a little bitter sweet to have President and Sister Evans gone (our zone didn't even get to say goodbye!), but I know that they are where they need to be and our new mission president is going to do things differently, but the work is going to carry on regardless.

I have been getting really excited about missionary work lately. I feel like my heart is really starting to get into it. It's really exciting to see Gaby (one of our investigators) stay so strong through so much adversity as she's preparing for baptism. She has gone through a lot! We were there helping her move on Saturday night at 9:30 with President Fuentes. She also got her hours cut down a lot at work because she was asking for Sundays off. But amidst all of that, she came to church yesterday (even though she had to get up at 5:30 to finish moving a last load with the help of one of her roommates). The spirit was really strong as Ezekiel was confirmed. The fact that he and his family were even there was a miracle in itself. They are chronically late to Sacrament Meeting, but they were there early (by early, I mean 5 minutes after 10:00 but we don't actually start until around 10:10...). But they got there with the help of another member that has a car and everything went super well. The spirit was so strong.

Anyway, I'm trying to think of other cool things...

I got two late birthday packages this week! Cool! I love late birthday presents - they just make the fun last even longer. Shout out thanks to my crazy cousins and my Auntie Melinda and to Candace (Cat) Clark! You are the best!

Oh yeah! We had exchanges this week! duh! Sister Hales switched Sister Hildenbrand on Friday after district meeting until Saturday after lunch. It was super fun to be with my trainer again. It was kind of tricky to be thrown all together for a day and a lot of our appointments fell through so it was kind of stressful, but we managed. I loved getting to hang out with Sister Hales. I didn't realize how much I missed her!

Bianca's birthday was on Saturday! I made cupcakes (using my birthday cake mix - sorry mom! At least it didn't go to waste!) and we went and gave her a surprise! It was so fun! Bianca just has a year until she can go on a mission! She's been going out with us a lot to visit investigators and inactive members which has been super fun. She loves it and isn't working or going to school so it works out super well for us. I love her!

So, I kind of realized how much I miss getting to hold babies or really play with kids. I got to sit by Rebekah Orton in Relief Society and her adorable little baby girl Violet was just making faces at me the whole time. It was delightful! Then as she was kind of making a tired face, i copied it, but then broke into a cheesy grin and so did she! Then Rebekah says, "You should hear her - sometimes she breaks into a full on laugh!" and then she totally did! Right then! It made my whole day! Children are such miracles.

I really should go. We said we'd meet the Revere sisters at 1:30 (in four minutes) in Saugus...which is about 20 minutes away. We late!!