Monday, November 25, 2013

"Oh.....I'm Catholic..."

Hey Yall!

     It has been a crazy fun interesting week! There is a couple in our ward (he is in the stake presidency) and her parents aren't members. Miss Eloise and David she has self proclaimed herself our southern tutor and she says that she doesn't have very long so she is making us try everything pickled and southern that she can find. Pecans, pickled peaches, picked watermelon rinds, Mayhaw jelly, fig preserves, peach jelly and other weird southern things. My experience: pickled things are nasty especially the peaches, we brought them to District Meeting and we all tried them and Elder McAllister claims they made him sick. I'm not sure how much I believe it but they weren't good. The watermelons rinds tasted like sweet pickles kinda but still not good. We don't eat too many weird things though.
     Southern people are funny. We helped out with a service project boxing cans and sorting them. The Elders were there, but busy carrying other boxes so I carried one over to the pile that had cans in it and an older gentleman freaked out because I carried it and "women are not to be doing those types of things!" Brother H who is also from Idaho said that they make the women do everything there. I obviously am not capable of carrying a box. Jeepers seester I'm pretty strong! :) haha funnnnyyy. If nobody gets that reference ask Miriam.
     I got the package and I. Love. David. I am so glad you sent it to me and the pictures they are super cute and I am glad to finally have some! And of course chap stick the is a necessity and I can't live without it you're great thanks for sending it! (I sent her a small package with a few things she wanted - mainly David Archuleta Christmas music)
     This week when we were tracting we walked up to a lady and she asked what we were selling and I told her nothing. She saw the Book of Mormon in my hands and put her hands on either side of my face and said "Ohhhh... I'm Catholic..." Awkward. When her hands came at me I panicked because I wasn't sure what she was doing and I probably reacted pretty awkwardly hey it wouldn't be missionary work if it wasn't awkward right? :)
     Tell Kiera to send me a picture of her hair I want to see it I bet it looks super cute!!! :) That sounds like some pretty good incentive to me... too bad they didn't have that when I was doing it. It is probably for the best anyways. (One of the YW leaders is a hairstylist and offered to do something free for the girls if they earned some personal progress things)
     We do have plans for Thanksgiving and already for Christmas we are eating with members this week that are really sweet with another trio of sisters which should be really fun. Hopefully it is good although I will miss my sweet potato pie! And you guys of course!  For Christmas we are eating with our Southern tutor and her family, which should be lots of fun. They are so cute! :)
     Anything for Christmas... hmmm I don't really know, I really like Cherry Cordial Hershey's Kisses :) It might be nice to have a navy blue, gray, or brown cardigan I don't really know I don't have many ideas I think that I'm pretty fine right now. (I asked if she wanted anything for christmas)
    I am happy healthy and our investigator Jalo came to church this week!!!! He is Nolan's age and height and in the same grade. We found him tracting and he is very interested and says that he feels like the Book of Mormon is true and very necessary. SAY WHAT?!? That took us by surprise but we were very excited and he wants to keep learning. We have a few other exciting lessons and people this week that we have been working really hard with they are amazing people. We love to go visit less actives and see why they don't come. Heavenly Father is really blessing us in helping to gather his flock and we have seen many tender mercies and miracles. We are very blessed.

     And, a brother in the ward works for General Mills so they gave us like 15 or 20 boxes of cereal yesterday. Good ole southern hospitality trying to fatten the sisters up. They have stopped feeding the elders as much because of us. Whoops. We feel bad but we're not really sure what to do besides give them some of our cereal and ramen noodles. :)

I hope that you all have a great week and I love you lots and pray for you always!!
Love Rach
Beautiful leaves changing in Georgia

Me and my new purse - should hold what I need! What a cutie patootie!

My district - many of these elders are going home this week.  My cousin Elder Young is in this picture too(front left).  How funny is that.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hey Yall!

Hey Yall!
     I got my purse from the mission office, we were actually there on Wednesday for the follow up meeting of a month of me being in Georgia and the package came that day so I got it! I LOVE it of course I am a bag lady. :) Miriam did a good job at picking! Thanks! (I sent her a new bag the one she took was not big enough and she did not want to shop for one.)

     Anything else... hmmm, chap stick maybe because I don't know where to get it here and a couple pair of my polka dot socks. And I use my Daniel croup salve a lot it really helps me be able to breath at night.  I can't really think of anything else. Thank you, I really appreciate it!  ( I was just getting ready to send her a few things she requested)
     I'm glad Kiera is enjoying my clothes, someone should I guess. I miss her and her funny comments. I am glad she is doing her stretches!! Good job!! :) Hopefully she's not too much like me... that could be bad. :)  (I told her Kiera was enjoying her shoes and clothes and she is doing her stretches like Rachel told her to before she left - they are a lot alike in so many ways)
     Hallmark Channel?!? NO WAY! Why now? Humph. I am super jealous, I have seen all the ones you have mentioned though... that is a problem, I might have a slight addiction. It better be there when I get back. ;) Hopefully you guys are getting things done because I know if I was there that is all I would want to do and that is probably all I would do...  (Rachel loves Hallmark movies - we just got a new TV and that station happens to come in now and we have enjoyed their countdown to Christmas movies)
     We do exercise everyday but Sunday, Sister Parker likes running every other day and I hate running up hills so I ride my bike and just put it on a lot of resistance :) Sometimes I run then the other days we just stay in our apartment and I use my book. Sister Wolfert came to our area on Friday and we had a little "pow wow" that is what she called it anyway. They talked about nutrition and exercising and we did some exercise and ate a healthy breakfast. Einstein Bagels are my heros. It was so good. She is more than welcome to come any time if she feeds me that. :) And it was really fun.   (I asked if she exercised every day)
     The Follow up meeting was super fun. I got to see all the Elders and Sisters from my MTC district and it was a lot of fun!
     We met some amazing people this week. Mary is at the top of the list! She accepted the invitation to be baptized in December hopefully she keeps her date! We actually had 6 lessons this week a few of them were with Bible Thumpers but it happens. I don't even know what to say to those people they get so feisty and the spirit is not there at all.  We had to walk out of a lesson this week -  we just said a prayer and left.  We had a lesson with a Pastor last night who invited us over and then wanted to know our definition of grace.  We told them and then they were getting upset and trying to argue, but they said the same thing as us.... He is a youth pastor and invited his youth there as well. I hope that one of them felt the spirit and maybe will remember it someday.
    The members here are great an it is nice that we're girls because then we can get team ups during the day.  The Elders have a struggle with that because only Priesthood holders can go with them. The members here are always more than willing to help with anything.
     The work in Watkinsville is moving along and we are really excited to be here.  We have met a lot of interesting and great people. Never answer the door half naked... it makes the situation awkward for everyone... It has been a good week. I think that Sunday is my favorite day of the week going to church is fantastic. There is a family in the ward that have 4 girls no boys but they still remind me of us.  We went over there for dinner and they just made me laugh so hard. I understand the missionaries laughing at us now when they would come over  and eat with us.  A couple of the Young Women have got it bad for the Elders and it is funnnyy. :)

     My companion likes to borrow my clothes.  It is no bueno!  I really don't like to share clothes or my shoes, but don't know how to tell her no without her getting angry again.  Oh well, I guess I will just deal with it.  She is planning on buying boots today too so hopefully that will help.  I'll have to buy myself food she doesn't like too.  Oh well I am fine and dealing with it the best way I know how.  I do love missionary work and sharing my testimony.

     Well, I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week! I love hearing from you an you are always in my prayers! LOVE YOU!
Love Sister Rach :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Every country song that talks about road kill in the south is true.

Dear Family,
     That title states it all. There is so much road kill in Georgia and it is disgusting. I got your package this week and I was really excited. I love the quote thing, it is so cute and it is hanging on our wall and makes it perfect! :)( Thanks Diane for the great idea!) Did you just not get the pictures printed out to send? 

     We had Zone Conference this last week and my companion decided to tell them that I would play the musical number and President and Sister Wolfert came and it is not just one zone. She totally threw me under the bus! I was in shock that she actually said it and they hung up before I could say anything, so I had to play the musical number.  Now the word is out that I play the piano. Bad Sister Parker. :) I guess it's fine but since then I've already been asked to play twice. I think that you would like that Mom but I don't because I just have to wing it and I like to be able to practice first. (Glad to know years of paying for lessons is paying of its dividends) But everyone loved the musical number and said it went well so I guess it is okay. Zone conference was amazing and I learned so much President and Sister Wolfert are amazing and I want to be just like them. We got fed a form of Thanksgiving dinner afterwards and I say form because there was gritz stuffing... only in the south.

     I am so glad you got to go to the temple with Melissa and a little jealous, I wish that I could be there but I'm glad that you were there to support her and have fun eating. That is such a special experience and I wish that I could go to the temple, because I LOVE it. (Rachel's best friend is going on a mission and went through the temple on Sat.  I was her escort.)
     We go to go on exchanges last Friday with the Sister Training Leaders, I went to another part of Athens with Sister Blaylock and it was soooo much fun, we had a great talk and found so many amazing people and I learned a lot. I love exchanges, it was fun to able to have a different perspective and learn new things. And we got reeses ice cream since we both love peanut butter and  chocolate. She knows the way to my heart. :)
     Funny story of the week: 
We had a musical number in church this week Homeward Bound and one of the Young Women did a solo and she did beautifully. I was about to tell her good job when and Elder in our ward did. She turned around and did a little YES fist pump and squeezed her eyes closed and I had to turn around I was laughing so hard. Elder just won her heart and he doesn't even know it. She lit up. Oh to be 13 again, it was hilarious.
      We had our first lesson ever to an investigator this week, it is a long time coming. We were pretty excited.   Her name is Barbara.  She was really curious and open and had a lot of questions. We are hoping a young family that we met from a member referral will say yes to letting us come over. We're praying hard for that one! :)
     If you wanted to send me my man shirt I wouldn't object... It has been a little bit colder here but not to bad, it feels like fall in Idaho, I just don't like cold weather and it doesn't seem like it is November but it is already half over. I feel like it has been the longest and the shortest 41 days of my life I can't decide which and it depends on the moment.
     Mom you are right. Elders are hilarious. Sister Parker and I take advantage of it and provoke it and we end up laughing a lot. We are the only sisters in our district so we have plenty of opportunities. We have an excellent district, except that half of it is going home by January so we'll see what happens. And I am determined to go and visit a cemetery here in Georgia next P-day. :) See if I can find any sticks.  (This is a story from my mission - I enjoyed cemeteries they were quite different)

      There is an Elder in this mission that looks EXACTLY like Elder Calhoun of the Best Two Years. I kid you not it is hilarious. He was saying a couple things and I laughed so hard.
     My companion is lactose intolerant so when she eats dairy she gets really gassy so it is like living with Nolan still. Nasty. :)
     And crazy story. You will never believe (and by that I mean you actually will) who I happened upon today and by today I mean I just realized who he was today. :) I was looking at the address list that you gave me and and I looked at Valaine's last name because I couldn't remember and I was wondering what part of the mission her son was in. I saw it was Young because I don't even know his first or last name and then I realized Elder Young is in my district I see him at least once a week for a couple hours and neither of us have realized after almost 5 weeks that we are related. I so knew he looked familiar, don't judge me I'm a little slow... :) At least I figured it out eventually. (He was in the library with her then and she told him they were related and now they both know and got a good laugh from it)
     The talks and things that you gave me in the package were awesome! The ones from your mission I like a lot! I have been slowly reading them when I have time and they are helpful. I have gotten a lot better at tracting and we laugh a lot so it is a lot more enjoyable now that I am more confident and know what to say. I like talking to people. We talked to a pastor and he listened but we didn't think he was that interested and we left. Not even 10 minutes later he texted us and asked us to come back next Sunday to talk and he said he'd feed us. Awesome and weird... we'll see what comes of it! We have a goal to get 70 contacts a week and we were down by 26 on Sunday and they are due Sunday night. We said a prayer and by the end of Sunday we had 72! We were so excited there are miracles everywhere!

I hope that you guys have a good week it is always so nice to hear from you and how things are going! I love you lots and pray for you always!
Love Sista Rach
Love the sign - I just have to take pictures of them.

Saw this while tracting - They should be members don't you think?

Our living room - study and eating area.

Member family at Halloween - Merida from Brave.

My Package came - HOORAY!

Our room and nasty carpet.  I never go without shoes!

Our apartment - 6 Cedar Drive

Pumpkin bread from a member

sign I sent Rachel for decor. (Thanks Diane!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Robinhood and Tinker Bell

Heya!! :)
            It has been a pretty good week and things really are moving a long and going a lot better! I bet Miriam looks super cute in her dress and I'm really excited for her I just know things will go fantastic! She is amazing! We ate with a few more members this week because the Elders felt bad for us and just went around the ward and asked people to feed us it was really nice of them. We have a kitchen that is pretty well stocked the members and the ward mission leader gave us a lot of things for it, it is just like college we have all the things we need to prepare meals for ourselves. Sister Sanchez gave us toaster strudels, it was like Christmas! :) Getting groceries from members is really nice, sometimes they just take us shopping on Pday and say get what you need, that is what we are doing today, it is kinda strange but they won't let us out of it and they said members were great to their missionaries so they want to do the same and they want their kids to be taken care of so we have a lot of Moms and a substitute Gramsy and Gramps although I like the real ones A LOT! :) And miss them.

             We just buy groceries and necessities with our money, food and other such things and fast offerings I don't really buy much because the members have provided a lot of it and I don't need many things. We have a table and chairs and a desk and beds that is all the furniture we are allowed to have in our apartment, but we aren't in there all that often anyways. My blanket keeps me toasty, I'm really glad I made it and brought it or I would have had to buy one, they don't keep any of that stuff in the apartments. But I am warm! It is still warm here and for now I just wear my jacket and sometimes not at all and it isn't too humid, I noticed my hair gets oilier faster and it is a little curlier but really not too shabby. :) We live about 15 minutes away from the church it is 1080 Julian Dr. in Watkinsville. Members know how to cook a lot of the time they just don't want to and take us out. We try to do service every week and just see what the people in the ward need done. (As you can tell, she responded to a bunch of my questions.)

            Anything that I need? Well, I could really go for some of your raspberry jam but I don't know how well that would send, but it would be good, I took that for granted. :) Maybe some Natural Ice chapstick in a little bit and some wart stuff I lost mine in packing and I have no idea where it went.  We shop at Kroger, Publix or Walmart and some member is taking us to Sams Club to today, she's our Grandma it is like Gramsy I went to Sams club with her too! :) The stores are mostly in Watkisville and really that is where we stay most of the time, that is our area. The sisters stay there and the other 2 sets of elders have it divided into an inner and an outer loop and that is where they stay, one of the sets only has bikes. We mostly just clean and write letters on Pday.  The Elders want us to come play sports so we go and watch and laugh at their ridiculousness. I am determined to visit a cemetery and see what it is like it is definitely on the agenda. :)  (Again, more answers to my questions about her life in general as a missionary.)

            We teach less actives a lot and have only found 2 or 3 people to teach so far.  Things fall through a lot but we are slowly finding more people. We haven't had any come to church but a member in the ward invited a family that she wants us to teach and they came and we are praying for a miracle that they say yes and we might get to go over this week they are an amazing family! 

            Don't worry too much Mom it really is going well and I am grateful for your prayers and all that you do! Something crazy -  if I sleep 8 hours a night which is a rule so I do -  that is 1/3 the Lords mission that I'll be sleeping. 6 whole months, that is crazy! 

            We  had a ward Halloween party and a lady was spraying EVERYONE with glitter spray it was awful and everywhere. Gross, I managed to avoid it except for into my lungs but she got the elders GOOD. They looked like Tinkerbell they were so sparkly!  Hahaha it was pretty funny. The ward party was super fun and there were a lot of nonmembers so we met a lot of people, it was missionary heaven! :)
            I hope you guys have  a great week and I am so grateful for all that you do and I love you lots I hope the play goes well! And just so you know you can send anything including packages and letters to my apartment, it just goes better that way. I got the relief society notes I appreciate it they were cute! (Our RS sent out letters to the 4 sisters out from our ward for a RS Activity)

LOVE YOU LOTS have a great week
Love Sister Weeks

This just had to be done, it was Robinhood!

It is a good omen you are going to rock it at the play tonight! I made my companion stop so I could take a picture of it! Love you Miriam everything will go great!!!