Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tarantula Season

Hello, hello family!

I'm a bit short on time today, but I just wanted to tell you a few fun and exciting things from this week:

1.  A VISIT FROM ELDER MALM. This was actually from last week, but I hadn't told you about it yet.  Elder Malm, from the Quorum of the Seventy came and visited our mission, and it was SO amazing! He reminded us that we should NEVER expect someone to say no--they all said yes to this plan once, and there's a part of everyone that wants to say yes again. There were lots of other wonderful things we talked about, but it'd take all day to write. You can just trust that it was FANTASTIC!

2.  TRANSFER MEETING! I got to see 4 of my favorite people at transfer meeting this week:
     a) The wonderful Doenice Chavez,
     b) Sister Kayla Cox,
     c) Hermana Proctor (man, I love her) and,
     d) JONATHAN!! In case you don't remember, John is one of my favorite investigators from Camarillo, whom I just adore. AND he came to transfers with news...HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED!! Apparently, he just walked right up to the sisters after we left, and said, "I've decided to be baptized...on THIS day (Sorry, I forget which day it is...:). And since then, he's been working toward it! It'll be interesting to see though--the Camarillo Sisters were just replaced with Elders...and John doesn't take too kindly to them. But, LUCKILY, he's converted to the gospel, not the missionaries. He'll be okay. :)

3.  I HAVE A NEW COMPANION!! Sister Platt is in Ventura 2nd ward now, and I'm serving with Sister Cox (not the same one that trained me :). She is from Mapleton, UT, and has been serving for about a year now. She is SO great. She has such a powerful testimony, and brings the spirit so strongly when she teaches. We've definitely seen miracles this week.

4.  TARANTULA SEASON. So...Sister Cox and I were driving down the road by the church, when we saw something sitting in the middle of the street: I might add, something big enough for us to not only see from down the street, but to stop, and say...what in the world is that?! We seriously though it was a small animal, so we tried driving around it...NOPE. IT WAS A SPIDER. Apparently, this is their time of year, and they are all over the place. They are horrifying...but it's okay, because we have faith that God will protect His missionaries. Still, SO gross.

5.  THE WORK IS PROGRESSING. Things are going great here with our investigators. We had an AWESOME lesson with Euell this week, and we were finally able to find out why he wouldn't commit to baptism. We're working right now on helping him overcome it, but he is SO close, and has so much potential. I have no doubt in my mind that he will get there, even if it takes a little while. :) We FINALLY helped Lenore fix her cupboards this week (who knew I could be handy?!), and she was so darn happy. Now that they're fixed, we've painted them...and next week, we're going back to paint flowers on them. :) Beside our handywork, she's also reading the Book of Mormon. It makes absolute and complete sense to her--it's so neat! She's another, that I have not doubt, will get there. I love that lady, and she's on my list of people to come back and visit. :)

6. EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING THIS WEEK! At the transfer, we actually go put into the Santa Barbara district, which means no more of our fun drives out to Lompoc. :( But this week, we're getting together with our district to see "Meet the Mormons." Yep, they're showing it to all of the missionaries, so we can talk about it with our investigators. It'll be a lot of fun!!

Well, cute family...I have to go for today. But, I hope you all know how much I love you. Can you believe I've been here SIX MONTHS?! Time's flying, and I'll be seeing all your cute faces very soon. Love you forever. :)

♥Sister Shay Shay

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Letter to Dad Oldroyd :)

Hello Dad!

So, it sounds like scout camp was a BLAST! I think it's so fun that you got to go, and really cool that you got to stay on a house boat. As Chayden would say, "You fancy, huh!" What a weirdo. But I'm sure that the boys loved having you there - careful, or the word's going to get out that you're really a big softie. :)

I'm glad you got to meet Pete and Doenice!! Aren't they just so cool?! They really are my pride and joy (well, as far as my mission goes), as far as life goes, you guys are my pride and joy. :) I show EVERYONE my family pictures! I'm glad the weekend was great, Doenice seriously just RAVED about you guys! And Pete's so cool, right?! We as missionaries always joke that it's the coolest to see someone with their tattooed sleeves, and a white baptismal suit. It kind of gives a visual of how much the gospel changes lives. Aren't we blessed to have it?!

I'm glad the Utah season has started off right, although Mom said we have a really hard schedule this year. How do you think we'll do? Is Travis Wilson a senior this year? Hopefully not, I want to see him play again! Do we still have our awesome punter? It seems that all the church members here follow the Utah teams, but I try not to ask TOO many questions. Our Bishop's family, in particular, are GIANT "U" fans, and always try to get the football fan out of me. Members are TROUBLEMAKERS and try to temp the missionaries. "Sisters, the game's on. You can 'linger in the hall' and check the score!" NO, BISHOP HAWS!!

Just a few updates - it's the last week of the transfer. Crazy, right?! I said in my email today: I'm pretty sure I'm staying. However, today I found out that District predictions say I'm leaving for Santa Barbara! :) WOOHOO! Basically, the week before transfers, we all make guesses of where the district's going. We have an Elder who's practically a transfer prophet. Last transfer, he guessed EVERYONE who'd be leaving and where they were going! Either way, don't write to my Solvang address until I can update you on Monday, and tell you where I'm headed. :)

Just another fun update for the week: Euell missed our appointment. Why, you may ask? Our conversation went like this when we called: "So Euell, what're you up up to right now?" "Oh, just at the airport in Camarillo, looking at airplane parts." "Oh...why are you doing that?" "Girls...I've decided I'm going to build a plane." " you know how to FLY a plane?" Well, of course not!! I just came up with this idea yesterday!!" now 'plane building' has been added to his current list of "to-do's," along with taking the bar exam, starting medical school, and teaching anger management classes. Euell dreams big, and we love him for it. :)

Well I've got to go, but I love you both (I'm assuming you'll read this to mom). I love you both!

♥Shay Shay

P.S. - We played "missionary werewolf" in district meeting today! It reminded me of home...except that after we got mauled, we went onto preach the gospel to the dead. :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ostrichland, USA

Do you remember the opening scene in Jurassic Park 2, where the little British girl almost got eaten because she thought the little dinosaurs were cute? This week, I experienced that, in the form of Ostrichland, USA. Scariest place on earth.

MAYBE that's a slight exaggeration, but seriously, it was freaky. We went with the district, instead of doing sports this week! It was fun, but they are SO CREEPY. The ostriches are semi-cute, and at least pretty funny.  They're mean, though, so we have to feed them with a dogbowl glued to a dustpan...yep. The emus, though, are not cute, they're just horrifying. From far away, they look all cute and tiny...til 30 of them come running toward you, and you realize they are just feathered dinosaurs.  THEY ARE SO SCARY!! But, it was a fun day with the district, and we got to explore a little more of Solvang. :)

As far as missionary work goes (that's the important part, right?!), we've officially started the "JustServe" program, and it has brought so many miracles!! I'll tell you about it in much more detail next week, but today, we just have a couple minutes left. Through service, we were able to pick up an old investigator that had dropped the missionaries about a year ago...but this week, the ward will be coming to give her a Priesthood blessing! We also were able to contact a less-active member, that disappeared right after her baptism, about a year ago. Now, we serve with her every Tuesday, and have lunch together!

In other news...this week was Stake Conference.  It was SO good! And it's pretty funny, that even though I've only been in this Stake for 3 months, I knew so many people! That's one of the benefits of being a missionary...we know EVERY SINGLE ward member. This week, we'll also be serving at DANISH DAYS!! It starts this Friday. We'll be having an aebleskiver breakfast Saturday morning, then helping all throughout the festival. It'll give me a good chance to practice my Danish dancing. ;)

Lastly, then I have to go...We have ANOTHER Zone Conference on Friday!! We'll be having Elder Malm of the Quorum of the Seventy come to the mission to speak to us. We can't wait! And then...transfer news comes next Monday! Sister Platt and I have both been here for 2 transfers now--it's more than likely one of us is leaving. We don't KNOW who, but I think Sister Platt's heading out. I think Solvang may be my home for a little while. :)

Anyway, I'm out for the day, but I love you all so much, and I'll talk to you very soon!

Love, Shay Shay

Monday, September 1, 2014

5-Month Zone Conference!!

Good morning, cute family!!

WHAT A WEEK!  There are so many fun and exciting things happening in our mission; I wish you could be here to see it! Instead, I'll try to summarize it as well as I can in the time I have. :)

First of all, Zone Conference was this week!  All the missionaries from the Santa Barbara and Ventura Zones met with President Felix (all the way down in's a pretty good drive!). Let me start by just saying, President Felix is SO cool! It's crazy how different he is from President Castro, but they're both so great in different ways. Anyway, we had a theme centered in Zion, this conference.  We talked about how we can build Zion where we are, if we have Zion in our hearts. He always reminds us that we CAN be Zion.  And he speaks in a way that the spirit is SO strong, you can feel everything he's telling us, and it gets us so excited to do this work.  One day, you'll have to meet him, and you'll understand what I'm talking about.  It was really neat though, throughout the whole conference we had trainings about how to bring Zion to every aspect of our work.  It was such a good day!

Another announcement made for us at the conference, was It's a new website started by the church, where we'll be finding service opportunities in the community.  Normally, we're asked to do 4 hours of service a week, in investigators or member's homes. Now, we'll be doing TEN hours a week, and serving with all kinds of organizations.  We'll be volunteering in Soup Kitchens, Senior Centers, with the Red Cross, etc. We're actually going to start doing service at the Santa Ynez Catholic Mission down the street, too. :)  They've tried this in 3 other missions, and it's had a HUGE impact on the way the community looks at the missionaries, and it'll make it so we hardly ever tract. (FUN FACT: We're going to be volunteering for DANISH DAYS!! What's cooler than that?!)  It'll be so nice to be able to get to know people in the community, and to break down some of the barriers that we all seem to put up. It's going to be great!!

Also...Zone Conference was on my 5-MONTH mark!!  Holy cow, it seems crazy that I've been out that long already--time is just FLYING by!  It was fun though, because I was there with Sister Currie, Sister Olsen, and Elder Payne, some of my favorite missionaries from my MTC district.  We all got to celebrate together. :)

In other news, Lenore is still doing awesome. She seriously is the funniest lady.  This week, she said "You know, you two are just like Marie Osmond...SO VIVACIOUS!" What...?  Man, she's so cool. She's TOTALLY someone I'm coming back to see! We found out a few weeks ago, though, that she was having a hard time reading the Book of Mormon, because the print was so small.  This week, we were finally able to get her a large print book, and she was so excited.  SOOOO excited! She just sat down right there, started reading, and talking about how neat it was that Christ came to the Americas. She loves that chapter.

Euell's still doing really well. At our last lesson, while reading, he flipped RIGHT open to the diagram in Abraham...and just STARED at it.  Sister Platt and I were PETRIFIED, and just stared at each other with a look that said, a "Are you ready to explain Kolob, cause I'm sure not! Luckily, he finally just looked up and said, "YEP. There's a lotta knowledge in this good book." Phew. I'll admit, some things, I am just not prepared to teach quite yet. :)

I've also found the funniest family in the ward--the Goodwins.  They're the ULTIMATE member family, and their daughter is such a good missionary.  She's ACTUALLY the one who found Euell! But this week we were having dinner at their house...and somehow it ended up with them setting up rat traps on the dinner table, and having us set them off with screwdrivers.  I don't know how things like that happen...but we turned it  into a Book of Mormon object lesson.

I love you all, and miss you.  But you're always in my prayers, and I'll see you very soon. ♥