Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hello cute family!!

Well, good morning, and Happy Monday!!

What a wonderful week it's been!

Can I just say again, how much I love my companions?! They are seriously the greatest. Sister Morrison reminds me SO much of Ashlyn!! I'm laughing my head off pretty much 24/7. And we spend most nights talking about silly things til 11:30. Sister Angimarou is the cutest--she sings all the time. But really, all the time. And sometimes, when it gets quiet during a dinner appointment, she starts to sing. The members get a kick out of it, and we do, too.

Some fun and exciting events of the week:
Well, we'll start with the picture Sister Sorensen sent you--sewing backpacks for kids in Africa!! It was an activity we're going to start doing each week as part of our JustServe program--there are members in our ward that go to Africa every few months to do humanitarian work. Cool, right? Well, funny story about that picture--behind our smiley faces, we all got secretly injured. Sister Angimarau accidentally stabbed herself in the leg with scissors...Sister Morrison got her finger chopped while trying to fix her bobbin...and I put a needle straight through my middle finger. Yep, who knew sewing could be so dangerous?! We didn't want Sister Sorensen to know, because we didn't want her to we all kept our little secrets til we got back to the car. The African kids might find out, though, cause there's probably a little blood on those backpacks. We had a lot of fun, but obviously, we're not pro-seamstresses.

We are, however, pro at teaching the ukulele!! Well...not really...but it HAS become our newest finding activity! We found out there was a pretty big group of people in the area that wanted to learn to play, (who would've thought?), so we're going to start teaching! I have no idea how to play...but Sister Angimarau does. So she'll teach us, then we'll teach everyone else. We'll see how it goes this week!

In other news, we've started doing a program called "The Legacy" at the senior center next door. Basically, we go and visit the seniors, and they just tell us about their lives. We consider it service, but sometimes they talk about the gospel with us, too. :) We're paired up with particular seniors to visit, so we meet with Chuck each Wednesday. We also read stories to Dorothy, because she's lost her sight with age. It's so much fun, and we LOVE them.

The Peggster's doing great! We're still visiting her twice a week, and she's just as confusing as ever!! She knows the Book of Mormon like the back of her hand. She's been working on this Jeopardy game for months now--there's 30 questions for every 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon. Seriously, if you asked her Pahoran's shoe size, she could tell you. As far as seeing how it will help her in her life...we're still working on it. :)

Herodia's doing just wonderfully! We taught her the Restoration on Wednesday, and on Sunday, she came to church for the first time. Not only that, but she stayed for ALL THREE HOURS, and brought her two adorable sons, Anthony and Giovanni. By the way, Giovanni is the world's cutest 4-year-old. Both of the kids LOVED primary, and are super excited to come back. Herodia loved it, too. Her only concern was in 3rd hour, when she said, "Man, do you guys ever get hungry during church?" Why, yes, yes we do.

I DID speak in church this Sunday, and it went better than expected. I always stress for the week I have to PREPARE the talk, but once I'm actually up there speaking, I'm just fine! Funny how that works. I spoke on having an attitude of gratitude, and how it leads us to selfless service. It gave me a chance to meet a lot of new members, and they've finally figured out that I'm not temporary. Sister Taylor, our Relief Society President, is the GREATEST. She has her house decorated exactly like ours back home, and it totally reminds me of you Mom! You guys would totally be friends.

I wish I had more time to talk, but I'm running a little bit low. We're headed off to district sports in just a few minutes. OH. Fun fact: the church building here is GIANT. It's got two floors, and each of them have a chapel, a gym...EVERYTHING. People just refer to it as the T.O. Temple. And guess what street it's on? Mormon Way. No Joke.

All is well, but I sure do miss you guys! It's weird to think that Thanksgiving is next week...especially when it's 65 degrees, and just as green as it was in the middle of the summer. What are you guys doing for the holidays? We'll be having dinner with the Bakers. They're a great family, and a lot of fun. Of course, not as fun as YOU guys, but it'll do for now. :)

This week, we'll be having Zone Conference, so I'll tell you any exciting news next week!! I love you all, and happy ALMOST Thanksgiving. :)

Sister Shaylie ♥

Happy Monday!!

Well, I'm officially here in Thousand Oaks, and all is well! :) I hadn't looked at my map very thoroughly, I guess...but as it turns out, this area is bordering Camarillo! So I'm seriously right next to Pete and Doenice again. We drove past their house on the way to Thousand Oaks, and we waved and yelled that we loved them. They weren't home, but it's the thought that counts, right? :)

So being in a tri-pan is a blast!! My companions are Sister Morrison and Sister Angimarou (I totally spelled it wrong last week)-- and they are WONDERFUL! This is Sister Morrison's last transfer, so she's heading home in December. She's so much fun, though. She TOTALLY reminds me of Ashlyn, and Sister Angimarau is great, too. She's from the Cristmas Islands (Kiribati), and she's just the world's happiest girl. She sings ALL the time, and we play ukelele for members. English is her second language, so every night we do language study now. :) As far as we know, the tri-pan will be permanent. But it will depend--if any sisters have to go home, or if there are any other unexpected things that happen, there's a good chance they will split us back into a companionship. So HOPEFULLY that doesn't happen. Cause I love it here!!

The work here is MUCH different than in Solvang. Like I mentioned last week, this is a really wealthy area. FOR EXAMPLE: Will Smith's kids go to the school here...Brittany Spears uses our gym...Bro. Porter produced the Hunger Games!! Bro. Neff (yep, like the founder of Neff clothing) is our ward mission leader...oh, and we knocked on Amanda Bynes door the other day! So's about like that here. :) We ARE, however, teaching a few fun people! Our most consistent investigator is Peggy (the Peggster. :) She's not a member, but she LOVES the Book of Mormon, and knows it like the back of her hand. Right now, we're helping her make a Book of Mormon Jeopardy game. And she's working on a painting of us! She's a funny lady. We also found a family named the Griggs...and they are just the greatest! Their oldest daughter, Natalie, is 10 years old, and is very sick with Lupus. But's she's the happiest, friendliest, smiliest girl I've ever seen, and it's amazing how positive she is, even though she's so sick. We're going to start taking her to activity days each week. Lastly, we're going to start teaching David and Brennan today! They have taken the discussions in the past, and WANT to be baptized, but they would need to get married first. At the moment, that's just not their first priority, but, hopefully, we can help them see how important it is. It's going to be an exciting week!!

Another fun fact? I get to speak in sacrament meeting this week, which will probably be good. The ward seems to think I'm temporary, because they're all very confused about this tri-pan. I can't blame 'em, we're a little confused, too. :)

I guess to sum it up, I love it here. I love the people, I love my companions, I love the members...I love that it's green (Solvang was pretty brown. :) It's a little strange that it's not getting cold yet, but I'm getting used to the fact that it's not going to get cold at all. Anyway, I love you all, and I'll see you very soon!

♥Shay Shay

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Transferred to T.O.!!

Hello, hello, cute family!!

Well, since I already ruined the surprise in the subject of this email...we'll just talk about it right now. That's right, I'm headed to Thousand Oaks, (all the cool kids just say T.O.). :)  It's pretty close to Camarillo, so I'm headed back down south!! I don't know a whole lot about it, but my zone leaders told me that it's the wealthiest ward in Thousand Oaks...which is one of the wealthiest areas of the mission. So, I have a feeling the work will be quite a bit different-- but of course, still wonderful!! And on top of that...I'm going to be in a "tri-pan!" Yep, I will have TWO companions--Sister Morrison and Sister Anginarou. Again, quite the change. But there are a lot of benefits to having three--more friends, more laughs, AND probably the most useful--we can go into a home, even if a woman isn't there. That's something that's pretty tough, when all our investigators seem to be that won't be a problem there. :) Yes, I'm SO sad to leave Solvang...but I know that it's right. Plus, as Sister Cox always says, "There's no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone." I'm pretty at home here in Solvang, no wonder it's time to go. :)

Still, I had an amazing last week here. Of course, it was Halloween!! We helped the ward put together a Spook Alley for the trunk-or-treat, and helped take all the kids through the maze. They absolutely LOVED it! And I don't know if I've mentioned before...Hermana Hurley used to be a circus clown before the mission. Hilarious, I know. :) So we also had a missionary station at the trunk or treat, where we would tie balloon animals. Everyone LOVED IT, and we met a TON of non-members that came!! It was great. :) So THAT was on Wednesday.

On Halloween, we're asked to come in early--so we had our party in the daytime! Mom sent us a pizza, so we invited the hermanas over, and had our own celebration. It was wonderful. Arturo, one of our recent coverts, provided the drinks...and it was some aweful, BRIGHT PINK, "strawberry" flavored...stuff. By the time it finished cooking, it was more like gravy than a drink. Needless to say, we skipped out on that. We actually spent most of the day helping Carl, another of our recent converts, pack up and move to Paso Robles. I didn't know moving could be so much fun!! As un-Halloweenish as the day was just perfect. :) And to top it all off...


It was truly a miracle. We went out and danced, until we were soaked and muddy from puddle-jumping. I think the whole city did, actually.

What did all of YOU guys do for Halloween?!

Just a little bit of other news...Lisa's cute sons are doing great--they all came to church this Sunday!! We were so happy to see them there, and the ward's doing an awesome job of welcoming them back in. Albert came to church, too!! I bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting...and of course, I cried. No surprise there!! But it was nice to be able to say goodbye to people in the ward. We don't normally get a chance to do that (we usually don't get transfer news til Monday morning, but this time they told us on Saturday!). Solvang is definitely somewhere I'll be coming back to visit. ♥ Tonight, we're running around to a few places to do our last performances of the "Restoration cup song," and we're going to sing our version of "Nearer to Me" for Lenore. (Hopefully, you were able to see that in the video we sent!) It'll be a great last day.

I have to head out for today, but I hope you know, you're in my thoughts and prayers. I love you each with all my heart, and I'll be seeing you very soon. ♥

All my love,
Sister Shay Shay

♥you guys!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

We've been BOO'D!!?

Let me just start by pointing out...this week, we got BOO'd all the way from Bluffdale, Utah. If THAT's not the coolest thing in the world, then I don't know what is!!

Today, we're actually heading down to Santa Barbara to spend the day with our I don't have a whole lot of time. But I DID want to share some exciting news, all the way from Camarillo...

JONATHAN GOT BAPTIZED!!! You got it!! Just another evidence that miracles DO happen. :) I got word today that on Saturday, Jonathan was baptized, and on Sunday, confirmed a member of the church. I couldn't be happier for him, and I'm just SO excited!!!

And as if THAT wasn't exciting enough...PETE'S RECEIVING THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD!! (Did I spell that right? I'm really not sure.) But WOW!! Doenice says he's at the sacrament table on Sundays now. :) I wish I could be there to see it, but hearing about it is really just as good. I am so happy for those cute Chavez's. I sure love them. ♥

As far as news here? We've had an interesting week! Since we've gotten here, we've found quite a problem with a language barrier...not only Spanish, but a LOT of Danish...of course, since this is a Danish town. But this past week, we've decided to start teaching English classes!! It will be gospel based...but will also teach them the basics--and we already have 6 people that want to come! We can't wait. We're ALSO going to start singing in the streets of downtown! WOOHOO! It's a "finding" activity that our ward mission leader suggested to us...and we thought we'd give it a try. So, starting this Saturday, you can see the Solvang sisters on the corner of Copenhagen singing hymns. :)

This week will be quite an exciting one, with LOTS of service!! For one, we're helping Carl, a recent convert in our ward, get ready to move. I'm pretty sad he's leaving...but he'll be headed to Paso Robles with his son. We love him, and will miss him, but it'll be really good for their family. We're going to be assembling packages for the soldiers this week, as well!! This is honestly one of my favorite service projects, so I'm pretty excited!

And of course...HALLOWEEN IS HERE! We're all helping at the ward trunk-or-treat, which will be a blast, and on November 1st, we're having the HARVEST BALL! Apparently, it's the event of the year, and everyone in the community is going. It's really cool, because it's a church activity, but everyone comes. We'll have a live band, and yummy dinner. :)

Lastly, transfers are next Tuesday. I seriously cannot believe how this time has flown by. It DOES NOT feel like it's been six weeks, and it especially doesn't seem like I've been in Solvang for four and a half months...time sure does fly here. Again, predictions say I'm leaving for San Luis Obispo...but who knows! We'll be finding out a few days early this time, so by Saturday, I'll know where I'm going!

Until then, the mission home address is probably your best bet--and I'll try to get some letters out today! I love you all, and will be seeing you soon. :)

♥Shay Shay