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