Monday, March 30, 2015


NOTE FROM SONJA:  These pictures were taken by Sister Gomez. She is the Hermana that served a mini-mission with Emily and Hermana Skidmore back in the fall. She is a powerhouse for good, and helps the missionaries out ALL THE TIME. She lives in Emily's current area.  I admire this Sister SO MUCH.

March 30 - I AM SO HAPPY

This week began with my new baby!!!! Her name is Hermana Vergaray. She is from Washington State, near Everett. Every day she says she loves the sun haha.  She had to phonetically spell out her name for me (VAIR-GUH-DIE). She said you can also say "Verygoodeye" haha.  She is AWESOME! I am still thinking of a nickname for her. I don't know if I said this before but Hermana Skidmore always called me "Shefskies". I am thinking something like VergaRAY SunRAY) but I don't know. I will have to think about it.
Her dad is from Peru, and she has been going to a Spanish branch, so she already knows a lot of Spanish. It will be a fun transfer to just get out here and work and learn together! We have talked in Spanish SO MUCH this week so I am really happy. This is exactly how I needed to start out training I think! The Lord knows us!  

We had to leave Manteca at 6:15 to get to the mission office in time, and so I slept zero hours ha ha. I was so keyed up it was hilarious.  
When she walked in I had a "comp at first sight" moment. I was like yep.  President Jardine said that he has no doubt in his mind we are where we are supposed to be so have confidence in that! I am really excited for these next 2 transfers!!  
This picture is the three new Spanish Hermana's and their trainers. Two came from the CCM, but mine came from Provo!  She has only been on her mission for 13 days when I got her! Nuevacita!

 Picking up all her stuff from the mission office!  While there I got to say goodbye to Hermana Hurley before she left.

 We had dinner with the Stake and ate "IT'S-IT"s.  They are a San Francisco tradition. I love traditions!

This is our new District!

My new companera is a workhorse! Let's just stay Manteca is going to get OWNED! I am so excited! No rest for the wicked RIGHTEOUS!  We are going to get so much done in Manteca!   She is really funny and happy and super spiritual.  She is already killing it so I don't know how much I am going to be actually training her haha!

This is my comp in all of her second day action glory! Writing those sticky notes! (Notice the classic aloe vera plant?? HA HA)

 A picture of all my planners! The new one is the top right... In honor of Earth Day of course.  The funny story behind this is that it was originally a Jehovah Witness pamphlet that was stuck in our door.  I sharpied out all the pictures. It looks sweet! And who doesn't like some irony?

One of our investigators, Dxxxa, has a son named Dxxxxl.  He thinks I am the coolest ever because I wanted to play baseball with him... but then we both got in trouble because he hadn't done his homework yet!!  When we were leaving her house, he stopped me and asked, "The next time you come will you tell me five things I can do to help my mom?"  IT WAS SO CUTE!!

General Conference is this week and I am so excited! We are telling the members of the Ward to think of questions they have and to ponder them for Conference.  One member was like, "Is it okay if I have three questions?" Haha. We are watching it in Spanish at the Stake Center! I am going to buy treats today. OUR WARD IS AWESOME.

I loved the General Women's Conference! It made me think of my amazing mom!  Which made me cry, but it was a good kind!  I am grateful to have the mom I do, and the family I do! I love you all so much!

The church released "Because He Lives" and while "Because of Him" will always be a favorite, I liked this one as well.  I am excited to start sharing it with people! The Church is doing a "You-Tube takeover" on Easter Sunday, so spread the word and share it!!  Invite people to learn more about the restored gospel!

I will send pictures of my apartment. I worked hard on decorating it and it includes my California signed flag, a map of Mexico, our area map, and a giant whiteboard on the wall. It is top notch I must say! I love it!

I got the best surprise ever this week! I got a packet of letters from Jxxe Lxxs and Bxxxxa and family! I had to share Juniors letter with you. Is that not the best thing you could ever read? This goes down in my life's greats. I am so happy!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015



First off I got allergies and sneezed 1,111 times in a row.  Manteca is attacking meeeee.  It was in the middle of the night and for almost an hour I was just sneezing.  We have a joke where we say salud/dinero/amor after each time you sneeze and I always only sneeze twice,  so I never reach love. We were joking I definitely got there this time!!!

I was standing in this super shabby apartment and I was pondering Lehi’s dream.  I had a revelation!  As missionaries we have to go into the great and spacious shabby building (induced by this complex) and convince the people to come out and hold onto the rod! That’s why missions are hard you are IN the great and spacious building.  I thought it was clever.  I need someone to draw it for me and dedicate it to me or something. 

At our meeting with Elder Bednar!
We have an investigator named Dxxxa and she has 2 young kids.  We were over at her house for a lesson and her son Dxxxxxl said "I saw you today outside"  We were like what??  When?? He said, “Talking to that guy in the white chair!  So I yelled THE DICTIONARIES!!!  But you didn’t answer”.
We HAD been talking to a man who was sitting outside his house earlier that day. It was sooo cute :)

Let me tell you this transfer day was the CRAZIEST.  First off it started with us eating dried squid legs.  Elder Yi from Korea got a package from home and shared.  It was disgusting!  We get up at 6 to play futbol together as a District (this District has definitely been one of my favorites!!) and so we all tried the squid together after that.  IT WAS GROSS.

We did a “Man-Up-Monday” at the ranch (I kept singing "just another man - up Monday (whooo ooo)...... wish it were P- dayyyy"  I thought I was funny).  We dug some more holes.  Then Hermana Delgado made us Carne Asada!  We also got to eat vegan food with Hermana Gomez so that was awesome!  (Carne Asada then vegan food.... sigh disgrace)  It helped pass the time though because transfer days are sooo long! 

I had a feeling of something super big was happening, or nothing was happening.  So Hermana Cavazos and I were both going crazy.... all day!!  Because we had both been here the same amount of time anything could happen.   So I pulled a prank on her.   I secretly texted the other Spanish elders to prank call us around 6:00 pm (when they normally do training/leadership calls) just to freak out Hermana Cavazos.  Hahahaha it was CLASSIC.  She was screaming and driving haha it was hilarious. She was so mad haha.  But ya the verdict has been sent! Transfer Craziness.

**EVERYONE!  I am staying in MANTECA!!!**

I am super happy to stay here because I love this area! 

My companion is going to Elk Grove, and she got switched back to English work.  She is really sad, but she has cheered up a lot more today, so I am really excited for her!  She is companions with a missionary from the Christmas islands!!!

I also received a call that I don't know who my new companion is because I am training next transfer!!!!! I am getting a baby in the mission!  I am really nervous, but I am also really excited.  I go to the mission office tomorrow to pick her up right off the plane!  I feel extremely nervous, but I will take it as it comes, haha.  I went and bought Pan bread today, and made her a planner last night and I am just going crazy!!!  It will be good.

I love you all!

Thanks for the emails!

Mom and dad you are the best.  I hope you have a good week!!


p.s. On Hermana Cavazos – if you can send her little notes or quotes or thoughts.  She loves Star Wars. I want her to have some mail, too.
p.s.s If you can send me any trips for training that would be great J
p.s.s. If you have time can you send me military pamphlets? I am just curious

REUNITED! North-SAC Hermanas!


Here are pictures from a few weeks ago when we had to help fill the font by hand!

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16 - Elder Bednar

This week was just a little crazy.  But it was SUPER GOOD! Haaaaa.  Good stuff ahead …keep reading :)

I got your pictures!!!!  They were great!  

I love my geeky family.  Seriously I love that you counted down pi day.  haha.


When asked if she got time to practice for her duties as the ward pianist:
I don't get time to practice.  It has been interesting, but I am improving my spotting skills!  And I cheat sometimes and only play the bottomest note of the left hand.  Do what you got to do! 

When asked when she would find out if she was being recalled to the Modesto mission:
 I am not sure about Modesto......No one really knows anything about it!!!  But we are getting 6 new spanish Hermanas this next transfer.  Crazy!!!

When asked how long her companion had been out:
My companion has been serving for 13 months.  I have written you a letter with more information.  But also I wanted to tell you I have gotten a ton of your letters.  Thanks for the support and everything.  If you get a minute could you send them to my companion?  Her name is Alyxx Cavazos! Same address and everything.  

Some insights of my missionary life that I wrote in my planner to write:

First off Manteca has a Union Pacific Railroad in the middle of town.  It makes me happy for some reason.  Train whistles are always blowing.  Insight into Manteca.    

We were talking to a man fixing his car outside.  Then his friend came up and she was totally out of it.  But she handed him a pair of board shorts and said here are your shorts!  We talked to her for a bit, and then she just broke out and said "Ok I got to be completely honest with you, I stole these shorts.........."  We were just like OH.  But it was super funny and she said she wants to turn her life around and not do that haha.  We were like YA YOU GOT THIS! 

Another funny is we were talking to a person who I didn't think was stoned, but I quickly realized he was when he fell asleep during the middle of our prayer against a fence.  We were just like.....what do we doooo..... walk away slowly..... hahaha he was out cold!! 

Exciting things is I have purchased my own set of white boards.  I am going to organize all the menos activos and investigators.  You should see our planning area.  Spot on.

One more funny experience.  We were talking to a woman about her religion.  She said she was an Israelite (she was Hispanic).  She explained that she belongs to the original tribes of Israel.  I was like that is really cool!  We love those tribes of Israel! In fact here is a book....... and then she is like sorry, I can't accept that pamphlet from you.  I am like ok but I know that these things are from God, and have helped me a lot in my life, and I am really happy.  Then she asks me "are you of European descent?"  I was like, “I don't know but probably”.  Then she said "Well I am glad you are happy because this earth is your heaven!”  Then she turned to Hna Cavazos and said, “Don't worry we will have our salvation soon." ....... hahahahaha I was like WHAT?  But then it has been the funniest thing haha.

We headed up north to see ELDER BEDNAR!!  It was great because never is the whole mission together.  I saw everyone that I love and miss!!  It was great.  Hermana Fly told me that Bxxxa and Jxxe Lxxs went to the temple for the first time this week!  They had a good experience and I was just so happy.  Everyone tells me they are just fireballs.  (Sidenote about your idea to invite their family to come visit and see the national parks -  Bxxxa wears leggings everyday because she is constantly walking and running SO I think Bryce Canyon would be amazing! But I want to be there!! Wait for me!!!) 

The conference with Bednar was super amazing.  It was solely us as missionaries and the Apostle.  When he walked into the room I could tell a difference.  When we were in the chapel I felt the same as though I was in the temple the whole time.  I have no doubt in my mind that God our Father and Jesus Christ direct this church.  These men are called by God.  We were with him for over 4 hours, but to me it felt like an hour.  I have no doubt in my mind that he is an Apostle chosen by the Lord.  I wish everyone could experience what we can as Latter Day Saints.  It definitely motivated me to work harder as a missionary.  I will always remember this experience.  It made me realize how important missionary work is to our Father in Heaven if he let one of his servants have that time with just us 200 missionaries.  

One missionary asked him that in this world, what is going to be the hardest for the Saints to push forward.  He answered their faith in the Plan of Salvation.  He said it plays out a million ways for each person, but from what he has seen the Plan of Salvation and our faith in it is what is going to be the hardest, but also the most necessary that we live and follow.  I thought that was very general, but so true.  I am going to study it a little more this week.  

He told us not to take notes on what he said, but on what was not said (but I still snuck in some notes haha). He talked about not being objects, but being agents.  It was really applicable to missionary work because I often shove informacion at people and turn them into objects.  Doesn’t work.  But we need to give people tools so they can find their own answers.  Make them an agent in their own life.  It is definitely harder missionary work.  But we are offering access to the atonement, to the power of God.  
I never want to not be a missionary.  There are a lot of hard things that happen, but I am sorry that I sometimes let that get in the way of sharing what miracles happen everyday.  I am super grateful for my life, and all that I have been able to see and do and experience.  I am one lucky girl that is for sure!  I know that this gospel is true, and I am going to try to always to work to show my gratitude for it.  

I am sorry to hear about all that is happening at home.  It is always a little different with people you know and love.  But it puts more power in what you believe to be true.  I know that we can always grow no matter what happens.  But I feel really sad.  I love you all, and I love where I am from.  

I love you all my family so much, and we are eternal beings!  I hope you have a good week and know that I love you all a lot!



Saturday, March 14, 2015


I found a blog of a Hermana that lived in the same apartment as Emily during her time in North Sacramento.  It was so wonderful to read things from a different point of view. And getting to see pictures of Emily that I hadn't seen before was seriously just AMAZING.  Of course I downloaded all of them that had Emily in them.

My favorite part of the sisters blog was written in January. Her mom had posted the question about how it was in the apartment after transfers. The sister wrote, "It just feels off. I don't think any of us realized just how much Hermana Sheffer kept us balanced out.  We really really miss her".

 Pretty cool.

Enjoy these "blast from the past" photos of our beautiful girl.


Our lives have had a connection even though we didn't know it!  I spoke in church on Sunday as well and my talk was boring too!  YAY!!  I was so proud because I wrote it (WITHOUT A COMPUTER) (IN SPANISH)  and I was so excited to get up there which is NOT normal.  And I talked my talk about how obedience brings joy and having joy in the journey and it ROCKED.  Then I sat down and the other missionary wrote me a note that said.  "You talked for 14 minutes" ...... I was supposed to talk for 8...  After my talk everyone was restless, and we went overtime in sacrament :)  As disappointing as it felt at first to be one of those people who just talk and talk and make sacrament go over..... I DON'T CARE!!!  I TALKED IN SACRAMENT IN SPANISH and WASN'T SCARED!  So ya. EMILY JUMPED A HURDLE OF HER LIFE.  Be proud (in a humble sort of way) :)
I also wanted to apologize for my ungratefulness concerning the manner of letters.  I received a lot more letters this week and your chip package (so cute). Thank you a lot.  I also got your letter mom!  I felt really ungrateful because you don't know a super ton of my mission and what I choose to write is pathetic whining!  You really don't have to send my more letters!  I have a reputation for being very well supported and I am super grateful!!  I have just kind of had a freakout transfer and kind of went irrational haha.  Lo siento :) 
The coolest person I met this week was a young man named Axxxxxxo.  He is 18 years old and a christian rapper.  He showed  us some of his stuff and I was like STOP my missionary eaarrrrsss..... but then it was ok.  It was about how he overcame trials through reading the Bible and it was interesting!  He said he would get baptized if he knew these things were true!  I told him that the things we talk about he is going to WANT to write a rap about haha he thought that was funny.  So get ready I might help baptize the first Mormon rapper.  
I asked two people to be baptized this week and they said yes!!  We arranged them to get a ride to Tracy for church and we all showed up and they didn't answer the door!!  I blame daylight savings time!!!  I WILL HAVE SOMEONE COME TO CHURCH IF ITS THE LAST THING I DOOOO.  Curse daylight savings!!!!!!!!! It's the worst! 

Also in part of my slow progress of becoming vegan I made a big step in my life.  I opened and cracked my very own coconut!!!  Basically an islander.  In the process I sliced my thumb open on the shell and have a 2 inch gash on my thumb hahahaha.  Worth it!  Hermana Gomez was eating lunch with us so it was really fun to have her expertise because I had no idea how I was supposed to open it!  It includes putting it in plastic bags and banging it against the ground a lot of times.  Good time.  
Also we were doing service on the ranch again this week and we were digging the little holes to put the fence posts in.  And there was a bunch of plants around us.  And Rxxxxl just grabs one with his hand and hands it to one of the Elders and he holds it for like 2 seconds and then yells and drops it.  hahahaha. Rxxxxl had handed him some stinging nettle to hold. He laughed and laughed at the Elder.  It reminded me of how Grandpa and Uncle Burke can just basically grab fire with their hands and it doesn't hurt.  It was funny though because I had coconut cut on my thumb and he had a stinging nettle burn on his thumb.

I LOVE CALIFORNIA AND BEING A MISSIONARY.  There are a lot of hard things but I know who I am I know God's plan and I have an awesome family!  

Seriously I am just so grateful for the person that I am.  I am an eternal being and I will dedicate my life for the better (both bettering of myself...... AND THE WORLD!!!)! haha that is supposed to be really dramatic!  
We are all excited to get together as a whole mission this week and listen to Elder Bednar speak.  I am really excited!  Good week ahead!! Then only one more week until transfers again???!!! crazy!

MOM AND DAD AND LIZZY AND REE AND NATHAN AND JULI AND GPA AND GMA I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.  Thanks for the pictures and everything too mom.  I LOVED ALL THE PICTURES.  I LOVED to see your beautiful faces!  I LOVED the picture of Liz and Ree in the hall of the school (the dance one).  CLASSIC picture for the rest of their lives!! Also the Las Vegas one.  I love pictures and I am buying an iphone or something no matter what when I get back.  I feel OUT of the loop but not at the same time.  I leave and everyone gets i-phones??!  What is going on here?! 
Tell Nathan I would follow him on Instagram.  HOW MANY INCHES HAS HE GROWN????  He looks like he stretched out hard core!!  He looks way taller!?
Also TAYLOR'S engagement pictures are PERFECT.  Holy cow I love them.  I didn't think I would ever want pictures while it was happening, but changed my mind - he did way good!!  I am so excited for her!!!! 
So many cool things happening!  Lots of good stuff here in Manteca too!  I hope you all have a super good week and get done everything you want and know I am thinking about you :) 
Love from Hermana Sheffers heart,

#NATERTESEGUIRE.  #NathanIwouldfollowyou #totheendoftheworld #andoninstagram

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Hola Familia!  I wanted to say I love you a lot!!
I really needed some happiness this week and..........................

You are all the best.  I received your letters and was super happy.  I love hearing from you all.  Every time I went to the mailbox I was like "MIGHT AS WELL BE AN ORPHAN" (haha) and then I realized that was extremely unjustified.  It's just been one of those times let me tell ya! And then the next day I got a whole bunch of letters haha.  Humbling.  I LOVE YOU.  I am going to write you all back today!!!  

On the subject of writing.... sorry I don't always write back very well to all the people who are amazing and have written.  I want to be better about that! It is hard as I don't have a lot of time.

I am glad the snow is coming down.  I am also loving California.  Seriously it is 65 degrees outside and feels great.  I have only had maybe 1 or 2 days of weird weather out here.  It is exactly the same.  But ya enjoy that snow!

I am giving an 8 minute talk in church next Sunday.  As daunting as an 8 minute talk in spanish (or english haha) would have seemed to me, I am actually really excited! I am going to talk about the word JOY in the scriptures and how we can use the context around that word to apply in our own lives.  I have a paper BOM that I have been reading and every time I see the word JOY I circle it and it has been a really cool experience.  I can upload my talk maybe next week! 

Also I am the ward pianista.  For choir, sacrament meeting, baptisms AND Relief Society.  The kids wont want to hear this but PRACTICE THE PIANO!  At least to the point where you can play all the hymns.  I promise that you will receive blessings for your hard work and diligence!!  I wish I would have practiced a bit more (the ward probably does too haha).

Also a cool experience this week is that Bxxxxx bore his testimony in sacrament meeting.  He is amazing.  He bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.  It was the perfect testimony.  It is moments like that that make everything worth it.  Work harder so more people can have that. 

It is super exciting because next week we are having a mission conference with ELDER BEDNAR!!!!  I am sooooo excited.  Conferences are always the funnest things.  



Emily ROSE and SHOUTED, a CHEER she let out.
As she read Lizzy got accepted to BYU UUUUU
<<true story, right in the middle of the family history center>>
I am soooo happy!!!!!!!!!!