Sep 15, 2012 Article

Andy found this link through the Salt Lake Tribune.  We thought it was interesting!!!!

September 10, 2012 Letter

Hello there!!

How are you all this week?! I sure do love when I get to hear from friends and family. Thanks so much for your emails and for your updates on your busy and fun lives.

Being here in the big city has been a really great experience for me so far - to see what exactly people my age are having to cope with in their daily lives as we talk to members here has been really good for me. There are many good examples around me for which I am very grateful. Some of the single adults here have gone through a lot and are still here, faithful, fulfilling their callings, and sharing their joy. It is really cool when a member comes up to you and says, "Hey, I've got a friend who I'd like you to meet, can you come have dinner with us this week so she can get to know the missionaries and ask you some questions?" That is a wonderful thing! Members who are actively making these natural, simple invitations to their friends and getting us involved unobtrusively is amazing. I've never had this experience until this transfer - and now we've had it 3 times! One of those dinners, with a girl named Alex, has turned into an investigator.

I don't know that I've told you about Alex. She's super cool! She and her friend Jake (member) both started as interns on the Romney campaign and were hired on full-time at about the same time. They work up to 80 hours a week - super crazy! They are both covering different swing states and are busy setting up events and doing lots of other things. Anyway, so as they've gotten to know each other, Alex has kind of started to have questions about the church and Jake has been answering them. Then he invited the elders to dinner and brought Alex along - she really enjoyed talking about the gospel over food so the next week (last Tuesday) Jake invited us too! We had a really good little discussion about personal revelation and gave her a Book of Mormon which she was super excited to receive! She enjoyed our meeting so much that she wanted to meet again on Saturday (2 days ago). We had dinner at Quincy market and explained a little more about the Book of Mormon - she was a little more closed off because she wasn't having the best of days at work (they usually don't actually take a break for lunch or dinner - but they've been taking breaks to come eat with us so work is still very much on the brain for them I would imagine). But she was still super happy to get to talk to us and share some food. Things are looking up :) We have 2 investigators now! Woot!

We had a very fun treat on Sunday - President Packard and his whole family spoke in LP1 Sacrament Meeting. It was super great! It amazes me how much Michael, his 12 year old son, understands about the gospel and how simply and clearly he can explain. It's quite incredible. He talked about a really cool experience their family had with a guy going door to door selling magazines. He knocked on the door of the mission home and they declined buying magazines but invited him in for dinner and to talk about the gospel and he was super touched by their kindness. Something that is hitting me as more and more important is just making the gospel the very core of who I am so that anybody that even knows who I am knows that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is starting to be an integral part of me and once it really does I will have no problem sharing the gospel with absolutely everyone I come in contact with.

Anyway, life is super great - I got to teach our district a little Spanish on Friday at our district meeting - just enough for them to make a street contact. Some days I feel like I'm forgetting Spanish and other days I feel like I'm still struggling teaching in English mode.

It's starting to get a little bit chilly in the evenings - fall is on the way! I'm so excited for the colors here! We'll see if it's everything the "pirates who don't do anything" have sung about.

I love you all SOOOOOOO much!! Truly, I do!

All my love and adoration,
Sister Palmer

September 4, 2012 Letter

Hey there ya'll!!!

Just another week in Boston - no big deal!

It's super crazy to be here in the big city. It is SO diverse here - Sister Williams and I have very recently been noticing all the crazy different restaurants around and have decided that we're never going to the same place twice (when we go - we're also not eating out much because it's kind of expensive here in the big city). But, some of the places we've scoped out is an Ethopian place, a Thai place someone recommended, and just yesterday we found a Russian market/deli that had some delicious and greasy foods that we tried (eggplant wrap thing, sweet cheese pancakes, etc.). Let the food adventures begin!

So much to say! So little time!

Sadly, not much of what has happened this week has been with cool lessons - we really honestly haven't taught many lessons. This week has been all about service - we've been helping lots of people move - it's cool because it's helping us train for the "Porter Challenge."

For those of you who are wondering what the Porter Challenge is - it includes some insane stairs that are located at the "Porter" t-stop (on the redline? Honestly I have no idea where it is). My second or third day Sister Williams and I decided to run up them. It was good fun and very tiring - there are about 200 steps. So, we decided to have some fun - we've challenged our whole Cambridge South zone to a race. It's going down in a couple weeks. We're still working on the details, but we're planning on dominating. We've walked up and down lots of stairs - carrying rather heavy objects. We definitely have an advantage there.

My companion, Sister Williams, is seriously the best! She is so happy and positive ALL the time! It really makes it impossible for me to get down about anything for any real length of time.

So fun p-day experience of yesterday - we were rushing to the Science Museum on foot because we only had one more stop to go and we were waiting too long for the train - when we somehow got talking with a homeless guy in a wheelchair. To make a long story short, we got serenaded to for about 10 minutes before we could get away - our roommates were waiting for us. It was quite the treat - I think he's going to make it big :)

I can't believe that it has been one whole year! It seems pretty unreal to me. Just thinking about it is super surreal. Sister Williams (as an illustration of her greatness) made me a "Birthday" treat to celebrate my year mark - she surprised me with a delicious raspberry crumble dessert - and then made me a delicious, healthy, birthday lunch and the whole zone sang happy birthday :) It was quite the treat. I don't know that it's something to really celebrate - I'm kind of sad that it's going so fast, but it was fun to have a reason to celebrate a little bit.

Being a missionary is so great - people just open right up to you. Just this morning as we were on the way to help another member move, I was talking to a girl on her way to work as a staff assistant for some important people at Harvard. We started talking about how our relationships with God have effected our lives and how sad it is that some people just dismiss that sacred relationship. She didn't go into a lot of detail, but she expressed her very deep conviction that she knows there is a higher power who is guiding her and has felt His influence as she has worked with people in drug rehab and with people with disabilities. It amazes me how mindful Heavenly Father is of each one of us even there are SO many of us! That especially strikes me as very special being here where there are MILLIONS of people everywhere. Someone without the knowledge of the gospel might think, "I'm not special, why would God care about someone like me?" But with that knowledge we receive direction and guidance and assurance that we are here for a purpose. I think I have shared my testimony so many times this week with people about the Plan of Salvation - sometimes I don't realize how unique we are to have it so clearly laid out for us as members.

Wow, that was rambly.

I want to let you all know that I love you so much!!! If you haven't recently I would challenge you to be a good missionary - share your testimony! I never realized how easy it is to do until I came on a mission - but it's super easy. As we ourselves are more focused on an eternal perspective and on the spiritual aspect of our lives, the types of conversations where we can freely share our beliefs will be abundant.

Sister Palmer