Monday, July 26, 2010

Transfers again already!

Doesn't it feel like every other week it's transfers? Well it does to me too! I can't believe I've been on my mission for so long and it just keeps going by faster and faster. Well I am not getting transferred, so release the mail and send it my way! But my companion Sis. Dunn is getting transferred :( She is going to Mt. Pleasant which is an area in Chesapeake. She'll be in another trio. My new companion is Sis. Vawdrey. Way back in early spring we went on exchanges together, so I've served with her for a few days before. She is super cute and a great missionary. I am excited to see how the area changes with her here with me. This last transfer was pretty slow because we were in a lot, so I am ready to go sweat some lbs off and find the awesome people the Lord has prepared here in Norfolk. The transfer day is still the same, so she will come here on Thursday afternoon. And I am so excited...Sis. Case is coming to Norfolk to step-train Sis. Boston in Norfolk 1st Ward. It'll be so fun living with her again!

Last Saturday we had interviews with Pres. Perry. He is a really great leader and I am excited to see how the different changes are implemented here. He has a great vision for the mission and truly seeks for inspiration. It's going to be great. He is very nice and his family is adjusting to VA. His youngest daughter still doesn't love it yet. But that is only because she doesn't have many girls her age. Which here in VA that doesn't surprise me.

We also went to the Stake Pioneer Day celebration. They had a BBQ and a bunch of different games. It was super hot, so they ended up putting up tables inside the Stake Center and also the giant bounce house inside too! The fun little games were still outside. I did the 3-legged race with Sis. Shumaker, which was so funny. I was paranoid I would fall in my skirt. I didn't fall, but I did get a nice bruise on my ankle. Bummer, but we didn't win. But it was so fun. And there was a little bit of a water fight too. Why do missionaries get targeted? I just don't get it. Haha

There isn't too much to report for this last week because we were in a lot. We are having a Relief Society Christmas in July activity tomorrow night, which will be fun. I'm making a fun craft that I will send home to the ladies in the family. We will have a lot of people there. We will probably have 3 less active ladies and 2 investigators on top of all the ward members coming. They are offering babysitting, so that probably helps the attendance!

I haven't gotten tired of telling people where I am from yet. Most people don't know Eagar, but randomly a few have heard of it. Or at least have heard of Snowflake. I just tell them it's by Snowflake most of the time. Pres. Perry said that he thought he had been all over AZ, but he'd never heard of Eagar before. Haha

Tonight we are having FHE with the Knight family. They are so great. They are one of my favorite families in the ward. Emma who is 9 is going to teach the lesson and so we are going to help her. It's on developing talents. I haven't taught a lesson on talents before, so this should be fun! We are also going to be at Sis. Cobb's house for an FHE which is for families who have husbands deployed or who are single. Here is Norfolk, that's a lot! One of the big ships (Eisenhower) is about to come home...I think this week actually. So that'll bring some husbands home!

Well I love you all!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Norfolk is an interesting city!

I cannot believe we have another transfer next week! It is going by so fast. I think something pretty significant is going to happen in Norfolk. Both wards seem to be struggling a little bit with a solid teaching pool and the other 3 sisters have been down and out this week. The other sisters have been having some problems and they have been in most of the time except for appointments. Sis. Dunn hasn't been feeling well, so we've been in about a third of the week. This was my first time staying in (for reasons other than the weather and the mission making us) and it's a little weird. I just feel like the Lord is preparing the area for a big change. I don't know what, but we'll find out next week. I think we will get transfer calls on Sunday nights now. Not sure on that one though. We haven't had our interviews with Pres. Perry yet, so I haven't been able to talk to him about the area yet. We were supposed to have them last Saturday but I guess there was an emergency in Richmond he had to be there for. He said he had to leave the 99 for the 1. I thought that was a nice way of putting it.

We met some super funny ladies this week. We have this road called Ft. Worth. The elders were riding through and this funny older black lady flagged them down and said she was a member. So they gave her our number and she called us and we set up a time to see them. She is sweet! She has had a rough past, which she tells us stopped about 20 days ago. Haha. Her and her sister (who we later found out is also a member) came to a baptism for the Bayside Ward with us. Between the 2 of them they have 6 kids and half of them are in jail/prison. Before the baptism we taught them about baptism covenants and also how the Lord can make our weaknesses strengths. We got a few amens and hallelujahs out of that lesson. I think I'm really going to like these ladies. Haha

We also met this other less active who just got out of jail in March. All of this jail talk doesn't make my companion like Norfolk very much I don't think. It's an interesting city and we have just been meeting the most interesting of them all.

Ooops, I'm out of time already. I sure didn't make Norfolk sound really awesome this email. But it is! And no, not everyone has been in jail. Just a lot of people. But not all. Haha. This ward is so great and we keep meeting the best members. The ward is really good about giving referrals and sharing the gospel with their friends. It's great when the members do the finding :)

The VA Beach stake is having a big celebration for the 24th. Hopefully we can get people we are teaching to it so we can go! It should be fun and hot and humid too.

I was studying this morning in Ch.9 of Preach My Gospel. There are a couple sections that talk about working with the members and their roles in missionary work. I thought this might be something interesting for you all to look at. Enjoy! I love PMG!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Interesting Week

So it's weird that it's Monday and I am emailing. It feels like I just had P-Day! Thanks for the emails. I love hearing from you all and getting the fun family updates. I am glad you are all having the opportunity to enjoy some monsoons. It hasn't really rained here in a while. I want it to soon!

We've had a fun and interesting week. Norfolk is one of a kind. Let's just say, at this point nothing surprises me.

We had a great authentic Mexican food dinner. We had sopas. It is a fatty homemade tortilla made from Maseca (masa) with mashed black beans, crumbling cheese, sour cream, onions, lettuce, and hot salsa. It was so good. They told us about a Mexican restaurant that is in our area that we are going to try soon.

We had a lesson on the Book of Mormon with a member (she became active last Sept. after like 20 years!) last Wed. night and we committed her to keep a study journal because she was telling us how she had an insight come to her and she didn't know what to do with it. It was so cute, she called us at like 9pm on Thursday night and was like okay what am I supposed to do with this notebook? Haha, she went and bought a notebook, so I'm excited to hear how her study journal goes. As missionaries we are pretty much required to keep one. It's something I didn't do before my mission, so I'm not really good at it, but I like it!

Thursday we taught this lady who is from Thailand. Her ex-husband (American) is a member and their 2 kids as well. They are in Norfolk visiting her before she moves to Florida. The ex-husband called bishop to ask about getting the kids to church, so we went and met the mom. She is buddhist and doesn't really know much English. So we taught her about the Godhead and had her 6 & 7 year old kids help us. Haha, it was fun to teach, but I'm not too sure how much she grasped. We see her again on Wed, so we'll see then!

We are teaching a friend of a member, Heather, in the ward. Her name is Whitney and she is great. Heather and Whitney work together and Heather has been talking to Whitney about the church for a while now and has really helped her to prepare to accept the gospel. We teach her again tonight! When we taught her last week she was telling us how her 10 year old was sad he couldn't come with her. We said to bring him, so hopefully he'll be there tonight. She has 2 other younger kids too. When we shared the First Vision with her she said that she felt great and it caused her to think that God allows us to make choices. Yes, He does! And thank heavens for that.

On that same day we also had an interesting lesson with a member who has started going to a Baptist church. Her husband is deployed and her life has just been crazy since then. Mark this as my first lesson where we were asked to leave. Haha, got to love the landmark lessons. We were talking about how sometimes our choices cause us to be in situations where bad things happen to us and how we have to pay consequences for our actions whether good or bad. The Spirit was really strong, but she definitely was not feeling it like we were.

Tonight we are having an FHE with the Books (downstairs), so it'll be fun. We've got some fun lessons coming up this week!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yes, it's hot!

The weather has turned hot again. Last week was so nice! We figured it was the Lord prepping us for a long time of hot weather again. I can't complain though...I'm in a car. Whenever we talk to the elders we feel so bad!

We just met our new mission president, Pres. Perry (formerly an Area Seventy out west) and so cross your fingers that he also will keep all sisters in cars. Haha I might melt out there if not. It makes for a funny day though. Some of the houses are pretty warm, but our half of the house is the hottest though. The night I hurt my finger it was 85 degrees in our rooms.

The Perry's are very nice. His wife is funny and I think will be quite involved. They have 2 daughters here (Eliza, 14 and Emma, 11) and they are just so cute. One of them is blonde. Yay! Of the 28 sister missionaries, only 3 of us are blondes. Weird! There were a lot more when I came out I think. Pres. Perry knows a lot of the General Authorities, so he drops a lot of big names. Maybe he'll be able to get some of them out here to speak to us! He is already starting to make some changes, but the ones for now are from SLC, not just him. The first order of business is that P-Day will now be on Monday.


So yes, you are still obligated to send me a nice long email even though it will only be 5 days. :)

And another change is that they are experimenting with some changes that might take place in all missions eventually. But we are one of the testing missions. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but there is an additional booklet with 8 chapters that we will study from and there will be training meetings that the mission leaders (incl. trainers) will have to attend every transfer. They are cutting back on interviews with the mission president from each transfer to quarterly. So I'll only get to meet with him a couple of times I guess. But he sounds like he will be around more in meetings, so I'm sure he'll get to know us all pretty fast.

We had a great meeting and one of the assistants (who each time he trains I swear he will be an apostle someday) gave a training on praying. He used the story of Rameumpton in Alma 31 to make his point. We looked at the elements of the prayers of the Zoramites and then we looked at that of Alma's prayers. Some key differences are that the Zoramites were not humble and they did not seek for knowledge or ask questions. They were rote and they were not in real communication with God. Alma prayed for his fellow laborers by name. Alma stated what the problem the Zoramites had and prayed for them. He was humble and you could tell he was conversing with God. It was interesting to think of how important our prayers are and how much thought should go into what we say. I get so tired on the mission, that I have to say them outloud or they are just pitiful. We are taught to pray by the Spirit which requires us to pray when and where we can be in tune.

We have a new member whose family is in town visiting. It was so crazy to learn that they live in the city that Sis. Dunn grew up in and they know a ton of the same people. And the mom is originally from Mexico and is going to be cooking us authentic Mexican food this Sunday! Yay!

Well my finger is recovering. It's stopped randomly oozing and it now is just about 2/3 black. I don't think I'll lose my nail. It is cut half way down on the one side, so it'll be a slow growing out process.

We were at a dinner the other day and the mom asked if I was excited to go home. I laughed and said February is a long time away. And she's like not really. It was so funny because it's not really something I think about. Probably because I have no idea what I'll do. Hopefully I can figure it out when I get back. Maybe I'll take the summer off.... :)

Well I love you all and can't wait to hear from you on Monday!
Sister Talbot