Monday, May 26, 2014

Knock, knock... :)

Good morning, cute family!!

Aaaaaand...Happy 2 months on a mission!  How crazy is that?!  I'm already in my second transfer! So, I guess the exciting events of this week would include...

1.  Sort of learning Portuguese!!  I'll be honest, I've been studying Spanish more than Portuguese so that I'll have something I can use after Sister Proctor is in Brazil.  But I CAN say " more door...goodnight..." and I can KIND OF teach you how to pray in Portuguese...I'm getting there slowly.  But it's been a lot of fun to be able to have language study for an hour every day, and I've loved being with Sister Proctor.  I don't know that I'll be fluent when I get home, but it's a fun experience to have, at least for this transfer. :)

2.  Knock, Knock, Knocking!  So, now that our ward has been split, that also means our Teaching Pools were split in half.  And since it was done geographically, most of our old investigators aren't in my area anymore.  It's been weird, because I don't get to teach Sean, Mitchell, or Saige anymore, but I see them at church, and hear all about their lessons from sister Reneer and Cox.  But since we're not really teaching anyone right now, it's given us the chance to work on our knocking skills.  We tract for most of our days right now.  It's a blessing in disguise though, because shy Sister Williams has left the Ventura mission, and been replaced with the girl who won't shut up.  Look out Camarillo, I'm coming to convert you!!  It's been a lot of fun, and I've met SO many new people!  We have a new investigator named Jeremiah, whose brother, we found out, was baptized in Las Vegas a few months ago.  We also met Will, who we'll now be teaching weekly.  It's been a week of hard work, but very rewarding. :)

3.  Speaking in Church!  I gave my first talk in church yesterday.  Woohoo!  It was on Missionary Work and the Atonement, and even though it wasn't at Jeffrey R. Holland's level, I think it went pretty well!  We were able to get a few of our investigators out to church that don't normally come, with the bribe of having Sister Cox and I as the guest speakers.  I know, we're not supposed to do that as missionaries.  BUT, they were able to meet people in the ward, and make some new friends.  Bribery isn't always bad...and Johnathan agreed to come back next week because of it.  YAY!

Overall, there's not a whole lot to report this week.  The work is going well, and I love being a missionary.  Most of all, I love each of you. :)  I got your letters and cards, and they brighten EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Anytime I'm missing you guys, I just remember that this is only a blink in the eternity we get to spend together. I love you all and hope you have such a good week. ♥

Shay Shay ♥

Monday, May 19, 2014

Temple Tuesday...and Transfers!

Hello, hello, family!!

This has been a pretty eventful week, so here are just a few highlights:

Every year, on the month of our birthday, we get to visit the Los Angeles temple!  So this week, we had the chance to go to the big city!  Woohoo!!  It was such a fun day, and quite the adventure.  We left at about 6:00, so we could get there in time for an early session, and walked the temple grounds for a while in the morning.  It really is BEAUTIFUL.  It's weird to see palm trees at the temple...definitely different than home.  But it was such a fun experience, and a pretty great birthday present. :)  Afterward, we got the chance to walk Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica (which is the closest we'll get to the beach on our whole mission), and stopped for lunch in Malibu.  We drove the Pacific Highway home, and the drive was so pretty!  It's neat to see the beach houses, and mansions on the coast, but I'm glad I can call Utah home.  California's a good place to vacation...but I'll be excited to see my mountains again. :)

Along with that, we had Pete's baptismal interview this week!  President Castro came down from Ventura, which is always exciting...we adore him so much.  Pete was pretty nervous to be interviewed by the Mission President, but the first thing he said when he came out of the interview was, "I LOVE PRESDIENT CASTRO!"  He's hard not to love. :)  But the interview went WONDERFULLY.  Afterward, President Castro came up to us and said, "After 3 years of baptismal interviews, I've never seen someone to prepared and ready as Pete."  WOW.  That just goes to show what an amazing guy Pete is, and how fully he has embraced the gospel.  I'll be sure to send you pictures of them next week.  But all is well, and Pete has set his baptismal date for May 31st!!

Of course, transfers were this there was the question of whether or not I'd be able to stay to see Pete get baptized.  Well, there's good news!!  Sister Cox and I will BOTH be staying in the 6th ward!  But, there's a twist...we're both getting new companions!!  They decided because there's been so much work going on in our ward, we're going to get a second set of missionaries!  We'll be splitting our ward in half tomorrow when I pick up my new companion, Sister Proctor.  Sister Proctor is on wait right now for her visa to go to Brazil, so in the meantime, we'll be learning Portuguese together!  It'll definitely be an interesting transfer, but we're so excited!

It's been such a wonderful week, and so many good things are happening in Camarillo.  I love you all so much, and I'm sending sunshine home.  I'll see you soon!

♥Sister Shay Shay

Monday, May 12, 2014

Progress in Paradise ♥

Oh, what a wonderful week!

Friday was the day we've all been waiting for...Sean got baptized!!  We couldn't believe how many people came...there were at least 50 people that came to support him, and we filled up every bit of the room!  We were totally amazed, and Sean was just GLOWING.  We were so excited to see his mom come, and starting next week...we'll be teaching her the discussions as well!!  He was so funny though. He got his first ever suit this week to wear to the baptism, and he was STOKED.  When we told him he'd be changing into a jumpsuit, he asked if he could put it on at the last second so he could greet everyone while he was looking fancy. :)  So that's him, in the middle of the picture, with the priest that took the lessons with him.  The baptism was beautiful--Bishop Parry spoke, as well as Sean's neighbor, that first introduced him to the church.  I wish you all could've been there, the spirit was so strong, and it was such a neat experience!  He was confirmed on Sunday, and has been welcomed into the ward with so much love.  Oh, we love Sean so much!

Along with that exciting news...Pete has his baptismal interview this Thursday!  Because he is being interviewed by President Castro, the process has taken a little bit longer than usual.  Meanwhile, Pete has quit drinking coffee, committed to pay tithing, and basically, has finished the missionary discussions.  He's so ready to be baptized, and is already talking about when he will get to be sealed to Doenice and Brooke.  SO COOL!  Once his interview is over, we can officially set a date, but we're expecting May 31st.  We love the Chavez family. :)

Lastly, this week we met a new investigator named Sage.  She's 14 and was recently adopted by a family in the ward.  She has totally embraced the gospel though, and is already seeing the blessings it brings in her life.  We'll be teaching her tonight, and will set her with an official baptismal date.  Possibly the same day as Pete!

As far as the rest of the week goes...All is well here. :)  I was so excited to talk to some of you on Sunday, and it reminded me why I'm here.  I feel so blessed to have such an amazing family, and I'm so glad I get to spend forever with you. ♥  I get to visit the Los Angeles Temple this week for my birthday...and we are SO excited!!  It seems weird, going to the temple every week before my mission, then not going for a month and a half.  We've been counting down the days!

This is the last week of the transfer, so by the next time we talk, I may be packing to head somewhere new.  I'd love to stay here in Camarillo to see Pete and Sage's baptisms, but I guess we'll just wait and find out.  I love you all and I'll talk to you soon!

♥Shay Shay

Monday, May 5, 2014

Awkward...but awesome!!

This week has been absolutely wonderful, and I could probably spend all day talking about it. But instead, here are some of my favorite moments!

For one, I taught the entire Priest and Laurels class the law of chastity.  So, that was....something.  It was time for that lesson with Sean, and it was the LAST one we needed to teach him.  We had it all planned and ready, when we get this text from the Young Men's president: "In an effort to support Sean, we've cancelled mutual this week, and will be joining you for the discussion with Sean!  See you there!"  Now, we as missionaries love a support group.  But of all days....So, I braved my first chastity lesson, and taught about 15 mortified teenagers. Yep.
With all of that said, it's been a wonderful experience teaching these young men and women, and it's been so neat to see them all come together to help him!  They've each been there, every step of the way, loving and supporting him. Recently, his family decided to move to Ventura, so he'll be moving in with a family in our ward.  We're so excited that he'll be staying here in Camarillo, and he's SO excited to be baptized.  It's scheduled and ready to go for this Friday at 4:00, so you'll have pictures by next week!

Just another bit of exciting news...PETE COMMITTED TO BE BAPTIZED!!  What?! 
Honestly, they are just an amazing family.  Since I last updated you, THEY GOT MARRIED!!  Woohoo!!  Over Easter weekend, they had a wedding in Vegas, then planned to be sealed...eventually.  Pete's been taking lessons since about December, and has been such a faithful investigator.  He's kept all his commitments, always come to church, and really, has done everything he can.  But he's been very cautious in making sure he's joining for the right reasons, and wanted to receive an answer that the Book of Mormon was true before committing to be baptized.  So this week, we focused on teaching him to recognize the spirit.  Everyone shared times that they felt the spirit, and how they recognized the answers they received.  He loved the lesson, and at the end, said, "Well sisters...I think my days of investigating are coming to an end."   He asked us to give him a few days to think about what we had taught.  By the next night though, he asked us to come back over.  He said, "I know now that Heavenly Father answered my prayers a long time ago.  I just didn't recognize it until now!"  He committed to be baptized, and we're in the works of setting an exact date and getting his interview set up!  He wants it to be before the transfer so we can both be there, but there's really no way it can be done that quickly.  Of course, we'd love the chance to be around for it, but we'll go wherever the Lords needs us.  Still, we've been so blessed to have the chance to meet Pete, Doenice, and Brooke.  It's amazing to see how much they've grown as a family, and we're so excited for their future.

Well, I've got to head out for today...But, I love you, and will talk to you on SUNDAY!!! :)