Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Exchange week!!

Hi cute family! :)

I'm running a little low on time this week, but I wanted to send you a quick update, and let you know that all is well here in Solvang.

This week, I had exchanged with THE one, THE only, SISTER COX!  Man, I seriously love her.  Of course, I love ALL my companions, but Sister Cox seems to have a special place in my heart.  I was so excited for our exchange, and it was just as good as I had hoped it'd be.  It was crazy to see how much both of us have changed and grown since we were companions!  And it's crazy to think that's been almost 4 months ago.  Whoa, time flies.  We had such a good day though, saw so many miracles...and spent a good portion of our time laughing our heads off.  We tend to do that. :)

As for YOU, I don't think I can explain how happy those pictures made me, of you with Pete and Doenice!  All of my favorite people (well, not all...but a lot) together, at the temple.  What could be better?!  And aren't they just awesome?!  I'm so happy you got to meet them, and Doenice told me today just how much they love you.  I believe it, but I love you more. ♥

Tomorrow, I get to go to my first Zone Conference!!  We'll be getting a lot of exciting new info, and doing all sorts of training.  It's with the whole Santa Barbara and Ventura Zones, so we'll be heading down to Ventura in the morning.  It's a LONG drive...but it's along the coast, so we get to see the ocean along the way.  Not bad. :)  I'll tell you about it next week, but for this week, know that I love you, and I'll be seeing you all very soon.

Sister Shay Shay

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Hello, hello family!

I honestly don't even know where to start...except to say that I am the happiest and luckiest aunt in the world. I get to come home to Baby Noyce AND Baby Oldroyd!  I'm so excited to meet them, and see their cute faces.  Seriously, congratulations! I'm so darn happy for you. :)

As for things here in Solvang, they're going well!!  This week, I think it's safe to say we're finally over the missionary disease (thank goodness!) and the dead body is out of our systems. :)  It's about time!!  Sadly, the sickness made me lazy on my looks, and I've officially adopted my crazy poodle hair.  It looks more and more like Hermione Granger, every single day (no, not from the 7th movie. I'm talking Sorcerer's Stone). But, it's okay.  That's really not what matters.

Our new district is AWESOME. We have 3 new Elders (Elder Cavazos, Elder Hurst, and Elder Harper), and a new Hermana in our ward (Hermana Bennion)!  She's the cutest.  I'll admit, I miss our other awesome district, but this one's going to be pretty great, too!  We had our first district meeting on Thursday. It was so good.  I sent Mom a whole letter explaining it, but to summarize: it started at about 10:00 am, and ended at 5:00 pm...whoops.  That was definitely not in our plans. But it was a good district-bonding experience, and we all became good friend pretty quickly!  And, we got a district picture out of it.  I'll send it as soon as I get it.

The work is going great! We had a Member-Present lesson with Albert this week!  The member happens to be quite the cowboy, and it turned out to be a lesson on church attendance...and rodeos. It's a little hard to imagine...and a little hard to explain. :)  It went well, though, and Albert came to church for the first time this week!!  It was so nice, and he was able to make friends in the ward. We're so excited for him!  His baptismal date is still set for September 20th.  We're also working with Euell, and he's doing really well.

On Friday, we also met a less-active woman named Kathy.  Sometimes, less-active members are less than thrilled to see us, but she could NOT have been happier.  Her husband isn't a member, but she has such a strong testimony and love for the gospel. It seriously was a miracle that we met her, and we're going to help set her with a goal of getting back to the temple. :)

Well, I'm about out of time today,so I'll let you all go... but I hope you have such a good week. You're always in my prayers, and I'll be seeing you very soon. ♥

♥Shay Shay

P.S. - Exchanges with Sister Cox are this week!! :D

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Staying in Solvang!

Hi everyone!

So, first of all, I'm staying in Solvang!!  Woohoo!!  Both Sister Platt and I will be here for another transfer, as well as Hermana Hernandez.  (Luckily, cause she's awesome!)  Not that I have too much experience at transfers...since I've only had 3.  But, from the experience I DO have, it's kinda funny: you can already feel whether you'll be leaving.  And we can usually tell when we need to stay a little longer.  The weekend before transfers, we always try to do some deep cleaning, and throw unnecessary things out (I LOVE throwing things out...I think I get that from you, Mom!) This weekend, though, even though we cleaned, we mostly decorated.  We made it cute and homey, cause we could just feel we'd be here a while longer.  Luckily, we were right. :)

There's actually a lot going on in Solvang right now.  Like I mentioned, Albert's getting baptized! I'm honestly not sure if I've talked about Albert before.  We met him our first week here, and even though he really liked to meet with us, he wasn't really progressing.  He got very distracted in lessons, and he wasn't really absorbing much of what we were teaching.  We weren't sure what to do, so we decided to have a lesson where we just read the Book of Mormon with him.  He LOVED it, and from then on, he started to progress! He came to lessons focused and ready to learn...and now...he's getting BAPTIZED!!  Man, the Book of Mormon is so powerful.  It made all the difference for Albert. :)

Euell's doing great, too!  This week, we did service with him, AND his wife! Normally, she avoids us when we're it was really cool to be able to talk to her and get to know her.  She even hugged us when we left!  That's progress, if you ask me. :)  Hopefully, we'll get to set him with a new baptismal date this week.  I'll let you know!

We finally got over the missionary disease this week; it's about time! We're now very healthy, and drinking body-free water. :)

I wish I had more fun and exciting things to tell you, but this has honestly been a pretty normal missionary week.  Things really are great here, and I'm happy to be staying.

The church is true.  I promise. :)  LOVE YOU!

♥Shay Shay

DON'T drink the water!!

Hi family!

Things are going pretty well in Solvang.  In my last email I mentioned "the missionary disease" here's what's up.

Since the beginning of the transfer, people (well, missionaries) in our district have been getting really sick.  First, we thought it was just the flu, but it WOULDN'T go away.  People were staying in for first, days, then weeks at a time.  They couldn't keep food down, and were losing weight like you wouldn't believe. They couldn't find anything wrong though. THEN, we figured out that the missionaries who were sick were the ones who were drinking the tap water...which comes from Lake Chumash.  (In California, people are water-snobs, and everyone buys bottled water...but we just figured it was cheaper to drink from the tap.)  Since there's a drought though, the lake has gotten really low.  The doctor in the ward thought it was maybe because the water was starting to be contaminated by the junk and bacteria at the bottom of the lake, that we were getting sick.

*NEWS FLASH*  They found a dead body at the bottom of the lake.  Talk about "junk and bacteria." EW.  We aren't 100% sure that's why we were sick, but that's what Brother Saunders thinks (he's in our ward...and was Michael Jackson's doctor :).  He put all the missionaries on a broth-only diet, to kill whatever bacteria was making us sick.  We're all feeling a lot better now.

Another fun fact.  Aaron Eckheart lives in Buellton!  He and his family are less-active members. Pretty cool, huh?  Of course, it'd be cooler if they were ACTIVE members.  We'll work on it.

Here's a sort of random, but funny story:  Today was Elder Fairborne's (our district leader) birthday.  To celebrate, our whole district went out to lunch. Now we have this Elder, Elder Kingray, who's a VERY good missionary, but has a hard time drawing the line between being friendly to sister missionaries (which is always good), and flirting with sister missionaries (which is VERY frowned on).  When all of our checks came for lunch, in an effort to get on Sister Hernandez' good side, he took her check and paid it while she wasn't paying attention.  It was a very nice thought, but after, he felt SO guilty that he called President Felix to tell him he'd accidentally taken a sister missionary on a date. WHOOPS!

Even though we're not perfect, our district really is the BEST.  We have so much fun together, and have learned a lot from each other.  Sadly, transfers are on Monday, and about half of us will probably be leaving.  I think Sister Platt and I will be staying, though. :)  I don't know if I mentioned to you, but we white-washed Solvang this transfer...which means that we were both new to the area.  Usually when that happens, they keep you there at least 2 transfers, but you never know!  We always sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" on the morning of transfers to remind us we'll be happy wherever we go!

I love you all!

Monday, August 4, 2014


Hello, hello family!!

So this has been a little bit of a crazy week...but here's the latest and greatest:

This week, WE HAD EXCHANGES!  To answer your question (Mom), we do exchanges once every transfer.  There are three companionships of sisters in the mission who are Sister Training Leaders. They're job is about what it sounds like...They exchange with each companionship of Sisters in the mission, and give special training, and help us set some goals to work on.  They're the best.  We LOVE exchanges.  Especially now that Sister Cox is a Sister Training Leader...Man, I love her. :)

This exchange was ESPECIALLY fun because Sister Cox trained both Sister Platt AND me when we entered the mission.  We were both so excited to see her!  They come over the night before, stay the night with us, and then we go out together the next day.  This time, I was paired with Sister Hegstrom.  She's CRAZY awesome. She has a reputation in the mission for how diligent and dedicated she is.  The goal I had set for the day was to become more comfortable with street-contacting.  I'm pretty good at tracting, but to be honest, I get PRETTY intimidated when I have to stop someone walking down the street to tell them about the gospel.  Silly, right?  Well, we set the goal to contact and teach at least 10 people that were out on the street that day. By lunchtime, we had already talked to eight people on the street, and taught full lessons to THREE of them!  I couldn't believe it!  I'll was still awkward the first few times, to actually say hello, and introduce myself to someone just standing next to their car, or talking to their neighbor.  Each of the people we talked to, though, were so willing to listen, and to hear our message.

I remember in the Relief Society session of our last General Conference, they said something along the lines of  "All the easy things we'll be asked to do as members of this church...have already been done!"  It reminded me that yes, there will be times as missionaries, and as members of this church, that we will be asked to step out of our comfort zone, and do hard things.  Street-contacting may be my weakness, or my "hard thing" I have to do.  But I DO know that Heavenly Father is preparing people all around us to receive the gospel, and to find the truth.  If we put our trust in him, He will take care of the rest.

I love you all so much, and I'll talk to you soon!

♥ Love, Sister Shay Shay

P.S. - Funny story...right now, there's a sickness going around, we call the "missionary disease" because we're the only ones that seem to have it.  I'll tell you more about it next week, but you can know we're in good hands, because we're being treated by Michael Jackson's doctor. :)

P.S.S. - We discovered this week that Aaron Eckheart is a less-active member in our ward.  Yep, like Harvey Dent.