Monday, January 16, 2012

Email from Sister Stacey 1/09/12

    It's been an interesting week up here in Spring Valley Lake.  As I mentioned last week, we just had transfers.  I am now with Sister Hicken.  She's been out for 13 months, so definitely a lot longer than me.  I am not the senior companion, obviously, which is okay.  I am learning a lot from her.  It's been nice to go try potential investigators because they don't know who we are so they can't get mad at us for trying them again.  So far, most of them are not interested, or they're going to another church, or various other excuses.  There was one name Cynthia who seemed more interested than the others and invited us to come back over.  We're excited to meet with her this week.  Along with that, we have been trying to contact all the less active members in our ward who live in the gated community.  We were able to set return appointments with a couple of them, but most of the others said they don't like visitors, or they're not really prepared for company, or anything else that would keep the missionaries away.  We've also been realizing this week how hard it is to proselyte at night time.  NO ONE and I mean NO ONE will open their door past 7PM here.  They did in the summer, but not now that it's dark.  They'll sort of talk to us through the door and tell us to come back later or something.  Some people seem really scared of us.  I don't understand.  We're just two girls in skirts. How much less intimidating could you be.  Plus also, this is Spring Valley Lake.  It's weird if we don't see like 10 cops a day patrolling the streets.  People walk their dogs at night here.  For the desert, Spring Valley Lake is actually pretty safe.  But oh well.  Does anyone have suggestions on how to stay busy at night?  We're running out of ideas, and it's only been a week.  We're going to try having our appointments at night from now on.  
    It's been fun taking Sister Hicken around the area and introducing her to some of the people that we teach.  We went over to the ward clerks house to request a new ward list and just visited his next door neighbors, the VanCleaves, who are also members.  Sister VanCleave was so touched that we were there.  She started tearing up and said that in all the 8 and half years they've lived in that house, that the missionaries never came to visit them, even though she really wanted them to.  I thought that was so sweet that she appreciated our visit that much.  Even though some members may be active, they love having the missionaries over just to bring the spirit with them.  I am glad we were able to do that for her.  
    We FINALLY got back in touch with Ken and Kim.  They have been out of town for the last month.  They're really busy this week getting back into work and life and things, so we'll hopefully be able to sit down with them for the first time this weekend.  How long have I been talking about this?  Forever.  I hope it works out this time.  We were also able to see Ilene for a minute.  We haven't seen her for a while so I was nervous that she was getting ready to drop us again, but she wasn't that way at all when we were there.  She was excited to see us and set a return appointment and she said that she decided she doesn't want to give up until she's given it an honest chance.  She said she's not really open to change, but if she feels like this is where the Lord is leading her then she'll do it.  It's so hard when people say things like that not to just be like, IT IS!  THIS IS WHERE THE LORD IS LEADING YOU HOW DO YOU NOT SEE IT but it doesn't work like that unfortunately.  They have to come to the knowledge themselves, which is the whole point.  It will do them no good unless they do learn for themselves.  Is that a word?  I've always wondered.  Themselves.  It just sounds incorrect.
    It was a really good week.  It was long, and it felt like the days would never end at times, and we're struggling to stay out working at night, but we had some really good moments.  I am enjoying this time to work with a new sister and to learn from her and see how we will be able to influence this area.  I think this transfer is going to fly by.  I can't believe how fast time seems to go when you start measuring time in transfers.  I also can't believe that, on tomorrow, it will officially be five months since I went into the MTC.  Time flies when you're busy!
    Well that's it from me for this week.  I love you all!  Have a wonderful week!
-Sister Stacey

Email from Megan 1/02/12

   Well it's a new year, in case anyone wants to know.  I officially get to say 'I go home next year'.  It feels about the same as when I said I'll be going home in 2013 while it was still 2011.  Plus also I am jealous of everyone who got to participate in the nerf war.  I wish I had a Nerf gun.  Out here.  
   ANYWAY whilst skyping last week I couldn't help but notice that dad was unwell.  I felt bad about this, since he is my father and I love him, but was secretly glad I was not at home, because I hate being sick.  Well I have some news that should be interesting, perhaps even alarming, to you, and you should prepare accordingly.  
   Viruses travel through cyberspace.  I can prove it, because I got sick.  
   Dec. 26 was just Pday as usual.  At about 11 pm that night, Sister Rimington got sick with the stomach flu.  She was down all the next day.  I felt badly for her and helped where I could, but I spent most of the day out of our room.  At about 9PM Dec. 27, I, too, got sick with the stomach flu.  The next day, Dec. 28, we spent on the couches trying not to be so sick.  Fortunately the sisters who live in the same house as us were willing to help us out and get us anything we needed.  We all just stayed at the house that day, since they were covered in our germs and didn't want to get anyone sick.  Thursday morning, Dec. 29, one of the other sisters got sick.  So we had to stick around and help her out and also we were still covered in germs and didn't want to get any of our investigators sick.  Then we had to deep clean our house to get rid of all the germs and stuff so that no one else would get sick.  The moral of this story is that we didn't see anyone this week, because we were all sick.  So this is going to be a rather short email.
   Transfers are tomorrow, and Sister Rimington will be leaving the area.  I will be staying here again.  I am nervous to get a new companion, but also excited for the change.  I will be the senior companion, so that will be interesting.  I am excited for all the new opportunities I'll have for learning and growth this next transfer.  What a great way to start off the new year.  
   Yesterday at church a couple of the talks were about setting righteous goals, and I liked a thought one of the speakers had.  Our most important goal we have in this life is to gain eternal life.  The goals we set, our own personal goals, should reflect that.  We can experience more fulness of joy when our goals and our desires match what Heavenly Father wants for us.  These last few months have been some of my happiest months because I am being more obedient and trying even harder to stand as a witness of God and share my testimony.  Another one of the speakers said 'obedience is the cure for everything' and I just think that's true.  Obedience truly brings blessings.  Blessings make you happy!  
   Anyway, that's all from me for this week.  I can't wait to see who my new companion is and to try different things to help this area progress.  Love you all!  Happy New Year!  OH YEAH and our mission office address just changed, so mail things to the following address:
Sister Megan Stacey
California San Bernardino Mission
6541 Woodruff Pl.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701
-Sister Stacey