Sunday, December 21, 2014

Letter from Shaylie's Zone Leader

Dear Sister Williams' Family,

You obviously don't know who we are, but we are your daughter's Zone Leaders, currently. Sister Williams is so great! I (Elder Teeples) was her Zone Leader in Camarillo when she first came into the mission, and I've always been impressed with how hard she works. She is also very mature and is a great missionary. Many missionaries, back then, though that she had been out on her mission much longer than she really had because she adjusted so quickly and was so mature. Sister Williams is also so reliable! We can count on her to do anything we ask her to do.

Sister Williams is definitely working as hard as she can in serving the Lord, and this is such a huge blessing to us all here in the mission! Especially to those precious souls she is leading back to Heavenly Father. We thank you for any and all sacrifices that you have made, and that she has made to be here. We can promise that you'll be blessed for her service! Sister Williams and your family will constantly be in our prayers!

Elder Jared Teeples
Elder Moser

Trios, Transfers and the Time-Out Doll

Good morning, cute family!!

I hope you're having a wonderful day so far, and that all is well back home. :) Things are just fantastic here, and it's been a great last week of the transfer.

Of course, it IS transfer week, so let me just start by saying: these past six weeks have been some of the greatest of my mission so far. I have absolutely LOVED being in a trio with Sister Morrison and Sister Angimarau. For some reason, it seems like all I've ever heard about trios are horror stories, but it seriously was PHENOMENAL. I don't know if I've mentioned to you in the past, but all of our beds are like six inches apart...since we all have to stay in the same room. Every once in a while, Sister Morrison would turn around to say something, and she'd be like 3 inches from my face: awkward, but we'd just laugh our heads off until we finally fell asleep! And Sister Angimarau 's singing is the GREATEST. She sings all day, ever day: quite literally. She just has the happiest personality, and it's totally contagious. Both of my cute companions have become my greatest friends, and I'm excited to see them after the mission!! (It also gives me an excuse to visit Christmas Island! :)

That being said...the transfer news is in, and I'm staying in T.O. 2nd ward! I'll be Senior Companion to Sister Brown. We were actually in the MTC together, but I haven't seen her since! I've heard a lot of really good things about her, and I'm excited! I AM a little nervous though, to be the driver again...especially because Thousand Oaks is basically a giant maze! But it will be great, and I'll be excited to tell you all about her next week!!

And of course, I just needed to take a minute to tell you about the "time-out doll." It's become our running prank of the week. So, a member in the ward left us this terrifying, faceless, time-out doll a few weeks ago, to try and scare us. And it DID. It's the creepiest little thing, and we hid it in a closet for the transfer. UNTIL a few nights ago, when it somehow turned up in my bed as I was going to sleep...then was waiting outside the bathroom after Sister Morrison's shower...and was hiding in Sister Angimarau's cupboard. It's like the Elf on the Shelf gone terribly wrong. And it's just as scary every time.

I have to head out in a few minutes, but I just wanted to send a quick hello, and tell you all I love you!! I'll try to have a slightly more spiritual email next week...but until then, the church is true. I promise. :) Love you guys!!

♥Shay Shay

Nearly Christmas!!

Well hi!!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day--and a happy Monday (cause Monday's are ALWAYS happy, right?!) :) I don't have a whole lot of time this morning, so I just wanted to send you a quick little note to remind you how much I love you all. ♥

It's funny to think it's almost Christmas, when it's still 80 degrees outside! But it's a good thing we know it's not all about snow-covered Christmas trees. :) As missionaries, we've been going around sharing the video, "He Is the Gift." By now, you've probably all seen it, but if you haven't, DO. It really is wonderful, and reminds us what this season's really about--I think we all need a little reminder, some days. :)

I hope you are all staying warm and cozy...and today, Mom reminded me that I get to talk to you in 17 days! Time is really flying, and from there, I know it will just continue to fly by. I'll be seeing you in really no time at all. I love you. ♥

Love, Shay Shay

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Week After Thanksgiving!!

Good morning, everyone!!

Well, as always, it's been an absolutely wonderful week. So, I guess I'll just start from the very beginning (a very good place to start). :)

1. Zone Activity--I don't remember if I mentioned last Monday, but after emails we left for Zone Activity at Sister Taylor's house. The barbecue was a total success, and it was so much fun having everyone there together! It really isn't very often that we get to gather in big groups of missionaries, so when we do, we love it. We all made tie-dyed shirts (I'll have to send you pictures next week!), and played some good old kickball. I thought I'd be SO sad to have to leave my Lompoc Zone last transfer...but Thousand Oaks is pretty good, too. :)

2. The Interfaith Celebration--So the day before Thanksgiving, we had this celebration with all the churches in the community. We had been inviting people to it for weeks, but they were a little concerned about the turnout...this is the first time the committee has let our church actually host the event. We expected about 600 people to come...guess how many came? FIFTEEN HUNDRED. No joke. It was crazy. It was lucky that we held it at the T.O. Temple, because when the first cultural hall filled up...we just opened the second. And then the third. And then the second chapel. And then the fourth cultural hall--it's honestly a little bit ridiculous how giant that building is. But it was such a neat experience! It started with the Islamic call to prayer, then a bagpipe procession. We heard from pastors, rabbis...and it was neat to see everyone come together for it. We're having a Christmas devotional on the 7th, and the turnout is supposed to be even greater. Man, aren't the holidays just magical? :)

3. THANKSGIVING--I won't tell you TOO much about it, since I already told you the whole game-plan last week. But it really was a blast!! The Bakers are so much fun! We had about a 10 minute game of "Who Can Hold a Spoon on Their Nose the Longest." You guessed it--me and my ski-jump of a nose lost pretty quickly. But I WAS a pro at catching chickens, which was our post-dinner game. :) It was weird to be away from home, definitely...but I can't complain too much. It really was a wonderful day!

4. Sacrament Meeting--So guess who sang in Sacrament Meeting--TOTALLY LAST MINUTE!! Yep, that'd be us. They called us Saturday night, letting us know they needed us to sing "Nearer, My God, To Thee" the next day. Luckily, we already have a fun version of that from Solvang...So we just practiced Sunday morning. The tough thing was, when we performed it in Solvang, there were 4 of us...and the song has 3 parts. So I played the piano, and the other 3 sang. This time, there were only 3 of us, so I had to sing, too. YIKES. The sisters sang at the podium, and they gave me a microphone at the piano. It was SO SCARY. But, it turned out well. :)

I wish I had more time to tell you all about everything--this really has been a crazy week! But for now, I have to get headed out. So, I'll just remind you that I love you, and I'll be talking to you soon!!

♥Shay Shay

Happy Thanksgiving♥

Happy Monday, everyone. ♥

I don't have a whole lot of time's sort of a crazy week, but I wanted to let you each know how much I love you, and how grateful I am to have you in my life. I hope you each have a wonderful Thanksgiving--you'll all be in my thoughts this week!

Thanksgiving holiday will be a LITTLE different here, but still great. :) The evening before Thanksgiving, we are having an "interfaith Thanksgiving" with the whole community. It's a tradition here in Thousand Oaks, and it's going to be really neat! It's held at our church building, but there will be sermons from MANY different religions--an Islam call to prayer, readings from the Jewish prayer books, etc. We've been looking forward to it for weeks, and it's finally here! And of course...the missionaries get to serve homemade pie after, so that's always a plus!

Thanksgiving will start with...district meeting. I think we'd still have district meeting, even if the world was ending. :) And, I'll be giving ANOTHER talk on gratitude! Luckily, I already have one written from last week's sacrament I'm already prepared! We'll go to Thanksgiving lunch with the Bakers, who are a lot of fun, so that'll be great! We'll head off to a service project with the students from Cal-Lutheran...then head to Thanksgiving with the Taylors. Woohoo!! Lastly, we'll be going to spend the evening with Sister Petrie, the sweetest old lady I know. Her family's far away, and her health isn't good enough to fly to see we'll be visiting her for the night. :)

Things are great here. I wish I had time to tell you about everything, but for today, just know that I love you. Herodia and her family are doing great, the Peggster's just as funny as usual...I love my companions, but I love you guys most. :) I'll be seeing you before we know it. ♥

Love, Shay