Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NOVEMBER 17 - The turning of a new page

NOTE FROM SONJA (all notes from me are in BOLD):  When Emily says HERMANA or HNA she means SISTER.

Ok there is quite a bit to say, but I only have time to type for a bit because I want to send pictures!!!

We did a photo shoot and I am haaapppyyy.  Get ready to be blown away.

So the exciting news about my missionary life: I have a new companion starting tomorrow!

I am remaining in North Sac (YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY) and my new companion will be Hermana Cuesta! 

Fun facts about her.

o        She is the first Hermana that Hermana Skidmore ever trained!
o        She is currently companions with Hermana Fly who was my MTC companion.
o        She likes to recycle and wants to be a conservation officer!
o        She grew up speaking Spanish, but she is from Virginia!
o        She is hilarious and has lots of energy!
o        She likes to eat healthy!

Let’s just say I am excited! As excited as I can be even though HNA SKIDMORE IS LEAVING!! :( 

For the past 23 days she has said at least once she feels like she is dreaming and I am with her lately. 

So weird how things change so fast! But I am so grateful to have learned the ways from Hermana Skidmore.  She has taught me above anything to work the hardest you can… the kind of work you can only do if you have faith in the Lord and yourself and in every single person that you see. 

I love your pictures with the missionary moms.  I want to say that I am also loving being a missionary.  I am done being sad on myself.  I am trying and I am learning a ton out here, and that is what counts.  I am going to work on my relationships with other people like reaching out more.  I love all the experiences that I am having.  I am so blessed to be with the perfect people in the perfect mission in the perfect place.  Thanks for the pick me ups always.  I love getting your letters.

I LOVE NATER IN HIS SUIT!  I am so proud, even when he does fist bumps in front of the whole congregation.  He did it when he was baptized, and when he got the priesthood, and now he needs to do it when he gets his mission call and then........ When he gets married!! That would be soo cute! Tell him to plan on it!

We were all coordinating because it was Hnna Skidmores last Sunday and we sang a song in church!  We rocked it.  One of the elders is like Jordan Pearson and everyone was like WOW. 

Tell dad he makes me laugh super hard. 
Ok maybe more later!

Have a great week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

NOVEMBER 10 - liame (email for dyslexic people)

So soo many things are happening, and you guys get probably one hundredth part of what I want (anyone.... get it?.... anyone?) but some pretty exciting things happened so here is what's happening!

Gxxxxxxa is not really an investigator anymore.  We will still visit and see her occasionally but we are not teaching her.  She has only been coming to the activities, and doesn't really want to come to church.  It is really sad to leave her, but there is someone out there who will want to come to everything so putting our faith forward!  Funny story is that her son Axxxx got a popcorn kernel stuck in his nostril and was freaking out.  (HAHAHA) when you ask him about the story he says "Estoy mucho mejor" haha.

The Sxxxx familia is just working ALL the time, and especially on Sundays.  We can never find a time to meet with them.  We are always going to see them occasionally though because she is a member so that is good.

So this is the story of the week.  Soo cool.  So we received a referral from the English Elders (they send us a TON of good referrals). They said that the lady was basically chasing them down to learn more about the church.  So we were super excited and scheduled to stop by her house.  A couple hours before we were going to go visit her we get a call directly from her  asking when we were going to stop by!! Crazy!! We were super excited to go see her. 

So we drive to our appointment with her and when we saw the house..... we recognized it.  This was one of the first weeks that I was here that we had visited this house.  We had taught doorstep lesson to the husband about prayer and he said he though it was interesting and wanted to learn more.  We kept trying to come back but we could never get a hold of him.  First off every time we went to his house his wife would very bluntly say "we are not interested. Sorry we don't have time. I am Catholic and my daughter is doing her first communion soon." Stuff like that.  We tried a couple times but eventually stopped because we figured he was experiencing strong opposition from his wife. 

We opened the door and IT WAS HER.  She is like come in!  I was in shock!  I could not believe I was her.  Later in the lesson she was like, I bet you never thought I would do this after all the times I told you to go away.  HAHA. 

Basically she is a miracle.  Something happened at her church and she doesn't even want to go anymore! She didn't even go to her daughter’s first communion! Crazy.

We invited her to a baptism, She came.  We invited her to church the next day.  She came.  She brought her whole family! And she walked out with a Gospel Principles manual because she loved the lesson so much.  Must have been a blessing in disguise, because she loved it and wanted to learn more. She is on fire.  She even invited one of her catholic girlfriends (who funny enough, we also know haha) to the Thanksgiving dinner!  I am so excited I can't even tell you!

Also this week I would like to honor my trainer Hermana Skidmore.  For her diligence, hard work, love, patience, virtue, knowledge, temperance, “Hermana-erly” kindness, and humility…and because she turned her driving privileges over to me.  I am working on getting to know our area better so I can lead it.  That is love I tell you people.  If you ever have the chance visit her blog, she is amazing!

Also I would love to say I was ALMOST successfully vegan.  I can report more later, but I am feeling great, and I love the idea of a plant based diet.  Yes I will have to tell you more later, because I got to go.

Love you all!
Hermana Sheffer



Emily sent this list to us of places she would like to visit with us if her Mission President allows us to pick her up.  I love love love it that the first place she listed is the Ochoa family.  It makes my heart happy.

  • La Familia Ochoa
  • Lake Tahoe.
  • The Ocean (every morning I can feel the ocean mist brushing my face)
  • Plane Museum.
  • Old Town Sacramento
  • The Mexican Market.
  • The World Market.
  • The river.
  • My morning park.
  • The Redwoods
  • San Francisco
  • Church in my ward. (My tile in the bench)
  • Church in the Tongan ward.

November 3 - EMAILY (an email from EMILY)

 Hello Family!
This week has been great! I am learning a lot every day. 

Some interesting things that have happened:

Gxxxxxxa and her family were doing really well.  She was doing really good, and she was liking everything so far.  So we were really feeling good that she will be able to be baptized on the November 15. The only thing that could impede that is if she is not married, so we were pretty keyed up about teaching the law of chastity lesson. 

Listen to how this lesson went. 

We go to her house.  She opens the door.  The burglary alarm goes off.  It was SO LOUD! My head was ringing after! Somehow we had set the alarm off.  We could not figure out how to turn it off! So after a bit of time we decided that we would have the lesson outside on the porch but on the way out it randomly turned off again. 


So we sit down and talk to her about the law of chastity (yeesss) and the doorbell rings.... The police are here!!!  We had to translate that the alarm is going weird but everything was ok.  HAHA. 

So we talk to her about how she needs to be married to be baptized and found out that she is not married, and her husband not really husband at this point doesn't want to be.  I was so sad in that moment.  I was hurting in my heart. WHEN.... baby Jxx does a HEAD DIVE off the couch and bounces on his head.  HAAA HHAAA I have this image of my head like he is standing up, but he is inverted and bouncing off the ground...  

It was so bad but later in the car I was almost crying I was laughing so hard.  Just the situation and the image in my head of him.  Comedic Relief! I was dying.

Another fun experience is that Axxx, her older son PRAYED.  Everyone, I marked this day as a mini miracle!  So context, he usually yells through the whole prayer.  "No cierren sus ojos!!" He is paranoid about people closing their eyes.  He hates praying because of it.  So he was playing with a robot that was talking (enemy sighted...enemy terminated) stuff like that.  And he asked what it was saying because it was talking in English and Hermana Gomez said "that it’s time to pray". Totally threw him for a loop.  And then when he started to freak out about the prayer, I asked if it was ok if we only closed one eye! AND HE WAS LIKE OK!  So we were all sitting there praying with one eye closed....... hahahhahahahahahahah.  It was sooo funny!! BUT Axxx PRAYED!!! This is progress people!

Another fun thing is the Sxxxa familia invited us over to celebrate their son Dxxxx’s birthday! We thought it was going to be a party but it was just us and them.  It was like a family!  We had tres leche cake and everything!  I loved that they wanted to invite us.  Their family is amazing!

I have been working a lot on control this week (approaching the throne of God with confidence from general conference this year).  Probably my favorite talk.  I have been applying it to my life (I like checklists).  I have taken control of my missionary life.  I am going running in the morning, I am on a quest to eat healthier (see below) and I am doing my best.  I made it a goal so it is set in stone.  So it is awesome to have a goal! 

Fun things that happened this week:
I have officially been a vegan for 24 hours(ok only 3 meals but it is success ok!) .  One of my goals this week was to be a vegan for a whole week.  I am loving it.  I feel good about it and at one with mother nature!  And it is super easy.  Kind of. (I ate some pretty nasty oatmeal this morning, without sugar using water!) But  I baked a sweet potato in the oven for half an hour and ate it. So good. That is basically frozen food but HEALTHY.  I will report my success next week.  It is really fun.  
Obispo Galvez and his chimichangas. This was the first meal I ate on my mission (from a member) and still my favorite. I can't even describe how good they are. I told him they were in my drams, and it's an inside joke now ha ha.
Dinner with Obispo! By his pool!
 ALSO there is also a lady in our ward who collects recycling from us and the ward, and she smashes all of them and takes them to a recycling plant and puts the money in the ward missionary fund!! So cool!!! 

MOTHER EARTH ROCKS.  California is beautiful right now I will just say.  The leaves do change colors!

Life is a process (Matt 18:3, Mosiah 3:19, 1 Samuel 16:7, D&C 137:9, approaching throne of god with confidence, Alma 7, which way do you face (general conference, 2 Kings 5:1,9-14, D&C 101:44-54)) Something I learned from our zone conference!  More on that later!

Mom-funded Zone training Halloween decorations. And my companions.
THANK YOU so much mom for the packages!  They were delicious and both packages were received and the food was great!  I made the cupcakes for the Halloween party.  The caramel apples were DELICIOUS.  My comps think you are the coolest thing ever.  We ate them on Halloween and it was awesome.  Where did you get those? Was that really expensive?

NATHANS HAIR!!! Holy cow that is long.  Tell everyone hi!

I love you guys!

Hermana Sheffer

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Thank you both for your emails.  This week has been full of experiences and I am proud to say I learned from most of them!  Lista para la pista (de vida como misionera)

Thank you SO MUCH for the Halloween package.  It was awesome.  I loved it.

One of the happiest things I have ever read in my life was in your email, that little black kitten that loves you.  I am so happy you don't even know.

So we got the call last pday night (around 10:30 pm) that...... WE ARE GETTING A NEW MISSIONARY.  So we are now a companionship.  Tripship.  AHOY!! That is like our call to arms.  It is weird to have 3 sometimes, but it has been really fun.  She is from Tracy and has basically been serving a mission for 2 years since she was baptized!  She went out with the missionaries for lessons all the time in Tracy, and got permission from her parents to serve a mini mission.  Hermana Skidmore totally knew her from when she served in Tracy so it was like having a friend move in.  It is really fun.  She is vegan and inspirational.  I want to be a vegan person that eats meat.   Sooooo a healthy person?  Not sure what that would be called.  But she has a super strong testimony and is a great teacher.  I am learning from the best!

Some fun things that happened this week.  I ate my first ribs ever.  It is like chicken on a leg but better!  I loved it.  Also I met a man from Egypt!  I have met soo many cool people from around the world, but this was my first one from Egypt.  It was so cool.  We talked a lot about Jesus. 

Another fun thing was the Halloween party.  

The people in the ward don't say fiesta they say party but it sounds like "paddy"  It is really funny.  

We can't dress up but Obispo brought us some of his sombreros that he owns.  

The party was hoppin'!!! 
Spanish people are the best!  All the people were dancing and it was really fun.  

Gxxxxxxxa was able to come too!  

 Also, one more funny experience.  A while ago we were in an apartment complex and there was this 20 year old kid outside of his apartment smoking.  He is from El Salvador and believes in God and everything.  We asked him if he prays, and he said not a ton.  So we were talking about how prayer is like a conversation with God.  He wants to hear about you and your day.  So on a sticky note we left him it was like

"Dear Heavenly Father, Hi my name is Jason...

estoy agradecido por....

te pido.....

en el nombre de jesucristo, amen." 

We explained that God already knows about him and knows his name, but to illustrate that it was like a conversation.  ANYWAYS, we saw him again on Friday!  So we run up to him and catch up, and ask him how his prayers are doing.  When we are leaving we asked if he would like to say the prayer.  So he is like ya sure.  He goes "hola dios, soy Jason....."  HAHAHAHAHA.  It was sooo funny.  He remembered!!! I had even forgot about that, but when he said that I was cracking up inside :)

Hermana Skidmore is a sister training leader, so we go on exchanges every transfer.  Since she always goes with another person I end up going on around 4-5 transfers every six weeks.  This week my first transfer was with Hermana Kaaa from Hawaii.  It was really fun.  We were in her area and we are both being trained so we were kind of nervous, but it was really fun.  AND miracles!  We were knocking and contacting in an apartment complex and we knocked on this door.  A young guy who was white opened the door, but we got talking and he speaks perfect Spanish because he is from Mexico!  Anyways we talked with him for a long time and he had all these questions about religion because he has been researching all sorts of churches.  So we talked about the restoration and focused on why there were so many churches (Mom I used the approach that you sent me) and he totally understood the restoration.  We set up another appointment with him, and went on.  I was so excited because we were totally both newer, and it was a good lesson.  Then today Sister Kaaa called us and said that their return appointment went really good and he WANTS to be baptized!!!

So some cool things I learned this week is in Doctrine and Covenants 89.  This is where it talks about the Word of Wisdom, but it is also talking about life. It is talking about how each herb has its season, that are good for the body.  But it is the same with life.  All of us have seasons of life, that even when they are hard it is really good for us.  We just need to learn how to handle them.  SO I also studied one of my favorite talks from General Conference this week called “Approaching the throne of God with confidence”.  It is really good, and it answers a lot of the questions I had.  I like how it has points to follow.  I am taking responsibility for myself and ... becoming a vegan that eats meat, and using my study time the most effectively I can and I can't be disappointed with trying my hardest!

Love you all.  Enjoy the fall time.  Carve some awesome pumpkins. 



DAD! DONT LET NATHAN WRESTLE! Just kidding that was a joke.  Wrestling just makes me uncomfortable too.  It is ok as a sport but I think the whole throwing up thing is too much.  Also I am glad the cat is pooping normal.  Thanks for telling me these things, I feel like I am getting actual updates on your guys life!! You and mom write the best emails. 


--Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance??--

Because he didn't have anybody to go with!



Guess what?? I can now understand Spanish!  When you hear people talking in Spanish think in your head, “My daughter can understand that”.  It’s a miracle!!  I feel like this week something clicked and everything is making a lot more sense.  I still have troubles getting my thoughts out.... but I can talk to people on the phone (which I will say is basically a different dialect of Spanish trying to figure out what they are saying on the phone)!!!  You could say I am a pretty happy camper.

Tiles for a bench for the park across from the church. We will have to visit it someday!
I am really working hard out here! Hermana Skidmore and I are working well together, we are really similar and we have been skipping a lot of our dinner times to keep doing the work and I don't even mind because it is really fun to be a missionary!  Lots of things happen, but you know that God is working, and I have been a lot more positive! I am out of the “I am new at this and have no idea what’s going on” stage :) You could say I am a pretty happy fisher.

Cleaning the font
How is having a new cat in the house haha?  He is seriously adorable.  Is it loving mom? I feel weird at night sometimes because I want to pray that this little cat will just love mom haha.  Heavenly Father probably gets a kick out of that. 
I just want to say sorry. I was super stressed out last week! I really am doing awesome and the Spanish is coming along and I miss you guys but I am working on only missing you guys a little and focusing on other people while I am out here.  I am loving it here and I think I am finally getting the hang of things.  Hermana Skidmore is teaching me so much and says that I have been helping her out a lot lately which is good as she is super busy! She is a sister training leader so she has a lot to do.

P-days stress me out because there is a lot to do and a lot I want to say but then there are back stories and intricate details and I don't know what to tell you so I end up telling you about cool food I've eaten and then I think of Skyler (HAHA) and try to think of spiritual things etc.  Please keep emailing me your little updates and I will respond the best I can! 

That is so cool you get to drive a fork lift.  Be careful! 
You are awesome possum.
Love your hija,