Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recharged and Ready to Go

Hello again! How is everyone doing? I am doing good. I feel like a rechargable battery that just got charged up. We just had exchanges and I got to go to Newport News 1st Ward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!! I got to serve with Sister Dunn and we had a blast. We are so similar and definitely both a product of Sister Cox (she trained us both). We have the same work style and like to just keep going. She's been out the same as my comp, but they are two different missionaries. It was a tender mercy to be sent back there. One of the first things we do is go see my favorite African grandma Sister Kabia. I love the diversity of that ward! (That is one thing I loved about SLC is there was soooo much diversity.) We also got to teach some recent converts that I was able to teach, but that got baptized after I left. It was so fun to see their change and how having the Holy Ghost has made them so much happier and excited. We also got to see the Barkdull's!!! I miss teaching them so much. We also got to see Sister Thorne who was less active, but now is active. She is so sweet and I love her. We had Taco Tuesday at her house. (We had Taco Tuesday at work every week...) We also of course did some tracting and Sister Dunn showed me this area they discovered that I had never been to before. Now I am excited to find those areas in NN2. I've been all over, but there are places that I need to rediscover I think. We found a couple of awesome new investigators and Sister Dunn and I were both bummed we couldn't teach them together. The appts. were for later this week. It was so fun tracting with her! She is from Whittier, CA, which is kind of by Disneyland. They are teaching this lady named Anna who is from the Philippines. Her husband is 6'4" and she is 4'11". Their military ball picture is so funny because she is so tiny compared to him. She is so awesome! She had the best questions for us about the Plan of Salvation. I love it when they ask us questions!

We have been able to teach Tommy and Maddie a few times this last week and we have three lessons with them this week. They are the 9 and 10 year old kids of a member couple. We have been inconsistent because they are a busy family, but I think the mom really wants things to move along. That is great for us. They might be moving to Gloucester in June, so I think she'll make a goal for them be baptized before the move. And we need to get them all to church of course. That is one of the hardest things here in this ward is getting people to church. With the ward being small and having a lack of diversity, it's a challenge anyways. Sister Anderson is trying to figure out a way to help the ward sing louder. They are so quiet and a lot of our investigators are used to going to churches with praise choirs. Haha

So we found this new puzzle that you should check out. I've heard you can get them on Amazon for really cheap. It's called Triazzle. You have a bunch of pieces that you have to try and match up to an already set border. I don't really know how to explain it, but it is crazy and really hard. But I think our family would like it! The Delaney's showed us last night at the Ft. Eustis FHE.

Well I love you all. Things are good. The exchange really helped to reenergize and I am ready to take on whatever the transfer brings next week. I am doing good.

Thanks for your love and support. I've been reading the war chapters in Alma and it's been interesting to apply and compare them to my life now. I've never done that before, but because of all the weirdness it's quite easy at this moment. Some verses that have hit home a little are Alma 51:14, Alma 53:20-21, Alma 55:31, Alma 56:16-17. Not sure if these will mean anything to you, but check them out anyways :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weekly Happenings

How is everyone doing? Thanks so much for keeping me in your prayers and for the letters of support. It's always good to hear from all of you and to see the pictures. I really love the is true that pictures are worth a thousand words! I always print them off the computer and hang them by my desk, so I can see my family everyday!

This last week was good. We found a new investigator named Maritza and she is so great. We knocked on her door and asked her about church and she tells us that she is looking for one. Well isn't that divine. So we invite her to come and she said that she would need to pray about it. Haha, okay do that!!! So we hope she'll come this Sunday. We teach her for the 3rd time on Saturday, so we hope she is able to find the time to read the Book of Mormon this week and pray about it. She has had a lot of interesting experiences in life that has helped her become the woman that she is. She has 4 kids and they are so cute. Her family is from Puerto Rico, but she is from NY. I just realized that at least 3 of the people we are teaching are from NY.

We were able to teach Ramnine and Nunez both also and they are still just incredibly amazing. I think they are both at the place where they know everything we teach is true but aren't quite ready to be baptized. Ramnine is concerned about being able to live it when she is "on her own"...when they are at AIT, they have very strict schedules, so it's easy to come to church and get away. She wants to make sure she will still live it when she gets stationed somewhere. I am going to pray she gets stationed at Ft. Eustis! Haha It's a very legit concern that she has. We also have a new investigator named Henderson. She is catholic, but at basic training met a member and has a lot of interest in learning. We haven't taught her a full lesson yet, but have talked to quite a bit and given her some reading to do. She's really excited about reading the Book of Mormon and pondering and praying. Oh how I wish everyone could be like that!! Haha

So we had our interviews with President Millburn yesterday. He is such a great mission president and is very inspired. The sisters weren't going on exchanges this transfer, but I requested that we still go and he is having us exchange with NN1!!!!! Yay!!! So I get to go back to my old area for 2 days. I think it will probably be next week. I am super excited! I'll get to be comps with Sister Dunn who rocks and she came in when I left.

Well things are going good here. The people are great and so is the ward. It's growing a little bit, which is exciting. We've had some new people move in and a big less active family we didn't know about just showed up to church. That was so cool! I'm still enjoying the weather and haven't been suffocating with humidity yet. It's been so nice!

Oh I forgot to mention in my mass email that I met an elder yesterday who used to live in Eagar. He is the grandson of the Reynolds who live behind us. I remember Justine Wiltbank telling me about him, but had completely forgotten till I talked to him. He will be in Eagar over the next month probably. He goes home in a few weeks. He said he might stop by and say hi. Small world!

One of the spanish elders I served with is going home a little early for football. Guess where he's playing? Boise St. Sweet huh? His name in Lusk.

I love you all!
Sister Talbot

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beautiful Virginia

After Conference with the soldiers

My Easter treats from home!

The pollen the day after the wash job

They have huge butterflies everywhere!

Goofy picture of me smelling a flowering tree.

They are everywhere and soooo pretty!

  The flowering trees are sure pretty out here. Pink is the common color. The dogwood trees are blooming and they are white. The wisteria's are purple. I don't actually know what trees are pink, I just know they are everywhere. A lot of people have azalea's as well. It looks so pretty! My allergies are doing just fine. It was a big concern before I came out, but they are just fine if not better than they were in Utah. Sister Anderson has really bad allergies now though. I feel bad, but I'm glad it's not me!

Things are going good here. The area is crazy as always and we are still working consistently with the same people. Ramnine is still my favorite person to teach. She has such a cool accent too. She read Mosiah 12-13 and then we taugh the 10 Commandments last night to her. When we saw her on Sunday she said she was excited for the lesson. She is here until she graduates AIT in July. We are also teaching another person named Nunez. I can't remember if I've mentioned him or not. He is really cool and has a question for everything. He is doing well and I think really enjoys the lessons. He isn't really reading his BoM much, but we got him a military size one, so hopefully that changes and picks up.

Thanks for your prayers and letters. I really appreciate the support and love!
Sister Talbot

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's definitely Spring

How is everyone doing? Things are good here! It's definitely Spring. All the trees are blossoming and getting leaves back! Which of course means POLLEN! Yay, my favorite. Luckily my medicine has been working good enough though. It's pretty funny to go out to our car in the mornings. It always has a nice layer of pollen on it. We don't even park by a flowering treee, but yet...still pollen.

We have been able to teach a great lady lately. Her name in RaeNell and she has been less active for years. She is a returned missionary and still has a testimony, but has let her smoking addiction keep her from coming to church and being active. She really wants to be active again because she still has a great testimony, but of course Satan is telling her she can't because she smokes and yada yada. Basically we told her that right now smoking isn't her problem. She is great. I can't remember if I have told you about her before or not. She went to her family's house for a session of Conference and then she is coming to a lesson with us tonight. It's going to be cool to have her come. She hasn't done anything like that in so long. Once she is back into coming to church and etc. she will kick the smoking. Have I told you the skills I have developed on how to help people quit smoking? It's a great skill to have here in Newport News.

Ramnine did come to all 4 sessions of Conference. She really liked it. She was telling us a little bit more about her family. Some of her ancestors are from India and her dad is Muslim and her mom Hindu. She has a brother that is Jewish, one that is Muslim, and I think a sister that is Christian and the rest I can't remember. Very diverse. She learned about Christianity when she lived on Tobago as a teenager.

Josh Forster...I don't know if I've mentioned him either. He is a part member and grew up in a few different Christian faiths. He's been baptized 7 times! But all it takes is one...and that's where we come in :) He has just been eating up everything we teach and asks great questions. He's progressing really well and understands how the Bible and Book of Mormon work together. He is set to be baptized (with the right authority!) on 29 May (which is when I was baptized FYI). Last week they told us that they are moving :( And to where you ask? NN1!!!! Of course! Haha. We average under 100 each week and NN1 is over 200 because of all the Spanish and RC. Well the 1st Ward is getting a great family. She is pregnant with twins and she just found out what she's having. We'll find out tomorrow when we teach him for maybe the last time. They move Friday and I don't know how long they'll be able to stay in NN2.

Well things are going well. We are having fun and meeting lots of interesting people. Love ya!

Sister Talbot

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Being a Missionary Rocks!

Working the Salem (VA Beach) area for a few hours!

Ramnine, Sis. Anderson, Sis. Delaney dyeing eggs!

Sis. Anderson and I...trying to get the blooming tree too, but didn't work so well.

Can you guess which one is ours?


How is everything going in AZ? How are the D'Backs doing so far? I don't get any sport reports at all out here. Or weather reports! When they say missionaries are cut off from the world, they aren't kidding at all! People we meet assume we watch the news and talk to us about Pakistan and all this random stuff and we just nod our heads and try and seem like we're on the same page.

I'm excited for Conference this upcoming weekend. We should be to all 4 sessions. We can only go on Saturday if we have less actives, or investigators going. We are supposed to have a handful to all sessions. The soldiers are coming to all 4 sessions and Ramnine is planning on coming to all 4. She is so cool and I love teaching her. She is really progressing well and asks great questions. We taught her the Plan of Salvation while we dyed Easter eggs last night at the Family Home Evening activity. She actually was taught PoS at basic training, so it was more of a review and she remembered a lot of it. I can't remember if I've told you about her or not. She is from Trinidad and moved to NYC as a teenager and got a Master's degree before she joined the military as active duty. She's always wanted to be a drill sargeant. She is 24 too! We are still teaching Nunez on base as well. They will both be there this weekend. In between sessions, the senior couple, the Delaney's will be making food for us. So Sunday we will have Easter dinner in between sessions and then we will go to a member's home after the late session. The sessions here are 12-2 and 4-6. Funny huh?

Last Friday we had a Pinewood Derby. It was for all ages and the only restriction was it couldn't explode. It was so funny. We didn't have any tools, so we made use of the missionary "tools" we have. I'll have to email a picture.

Well I have run out of time again. Oh one more thing...we have been teaching a less active member named Marie Ganthier (from Haiti/NYC) and she has struggled for almost as long as she's been a member with her testimony of Joseph Smith. She went to the Saints Unified Voices fireside and between that, meeting with us, reading, and praying she now has a testimony that Joseph Smith was truly called to be the prophet to restore Christ's church to the earth. It was so awesome to hear that from her! Being a missionary rocks!