Monday, April 27, 2015

APRIL 27 - My voice rising from Sacramento to the world

Algunas experiencias que me gusto de la semana pasada.  

Tuvimos dos personas que asistieron a la iglesia este domingo!  Fue una experiencia muy buena.  Les gusto todo y quieren regresar el proximo domingo!  Eliseo regreso a la iglesia y le dimos un libro del principios del evangelio.  El estaba muy emocionado!!  El ha leyido hasta Jacob en el libro do mormon! Y entiende todo que ha estudiado. Entonces lo hizo feliz para recibirlo.  Mas para estudiar.   Porque he is eating everything up.   

Just kidding!  English time.

Church was really good.  Exxxxo is really prepared and I feel like he is really feeling it.  I can”t imagine coming from another church to ours.  It is like the Kingdom of God here on the earth.  Everything just makes sense and you can feel it.  I was imagining that the other day, and it made me really motivated.  We have something really special.  So here it is people.  I have a commitment for ALL of you.  My voice rising from Sacramento California to the world.  Will you seriously study the gospel?  We have been given so much to study and learn from and these things help us so much in our lives.  Study journal 30 minutes and the scriptures!  Our Heavenly Father is an active part of our lives and I feel like we see it more when we are taking the time to study what he has given us.  I know lots of people already do that, but I know I didn’t. I wish I would have done that before the mission.  I can't believe how many “Ellen” and “Jimmy Fallon” shows I watched without reading the scriptures.  I am sad to admit it :(  But I will forever work on being better at that!  I love the study journal I have started.  I am reading the Book of Mormon right now and it is really good.  I am finding things like crazy that I need to hear, and also for the people I am teaching.  It is so good.  Exxxxo believes the Book of Mormon and loves it so much.  He is having some conflicts with his family about investigating this church, but he was like "I was like Nefi in the scriptures and I defended the truth against my brothers!"  I was like aaaaahhhhh.  You are awesome.  Already applying the scriptures!!  He also said that we will talk about something and then later he will find it again in the scriptures so he knows it is true.  He is amazing.  

We are having a Family History night this Sunday and I am super excited so I made a flyer!!

We went thrifting for the first time in Manteca and we found 50 cent palm tree shirts.   :) hahahaha  Mine is the coolest shirt ever.  Hermana V found one too so we wore them to service together! 

We volunteer at the food bank two times a week.

So this week was a little rough…just combating the natural man stuff.  Little things would annoy me to death and I was completely unreasonable.  I hate it when that happens.  So I studied an attributo de Cristo.  I won’t tell you which one hahaha. 

I am a work in progress. 

But I love my mission and all the experiences that I have had.  I love the people, and I wish I could have done better in some things.  

(note from Sonja – I told Emily I am working on memorizing “The Living Christ” for our ward goal and that she should memorize it in Spanish) I have “The Living Christ” in Spanish so I agree.  That would be super cool.  I want to learn it now!!!

I got your memes and they are awesome!!  I hung some up on my wall.  Also I was wondering if you had a moment if you could send me some pictures of whales?  I want to make my last planner cover with whales.  I have a plan.  We were considering doing our trunky planners already because it will be our last planner covers, but then I decided against it haha. 

Earth day was really fun!  I wore an elephant shirt and ate a shake in the morning and that was it :( but its ok I celebrated in my heart.   Speaking of holidays  I AM EXCITED FOR MOTHERS DAY!!

Love you all a lot!

Hermana Sheffer

Monday, April 20, 2015


Alright some highlights of this week!

On Pday we had a district lunch in the church and we ate Korean Pasta!  It was basically ramen but better!  Ten times better than the squid leg that's for sure!!!  Elder Yi was really sad because he forgot chopsticks so Hermana Vergaray and I went on a mini quest to find us all chopsticks!   We went to Raley's and it was voted my favorite store once again!  Pulled through with some chopsticks.  It was a good surprise!  

We started off the week with a zone conference!  It was here that the entire mission received the DAP (Driver Assistance Program) box.  It is basically a black box that tracks where we are (you know just in case people leave the mission or something.... I am not the cause of this haha) and reports if you are speeding to the Mission President!!  Everyone is not happy hahaha.  We had a question and answer section and someone asked about keeping the norms with these crazy California drivers and they said, "Do what is right and you will probably have an old lady there, too".  That's what we need to hear haha.  I haven't heard mine talk to me yet though.  But ya we are being tracked and monitored for our safety now, so don't worry! 

We were riding bikes outside and stopped to talk to this guy and he wasn't very nice.  He blew cigarette smoke in my face, and then he was like "so what you girls pedaling?" and Hermana V was like "Oh only bikes". Hahahaha it was hilarious.  She is hilarious I tell you people. 

There is a family that we visit sometimes that are menos activo.  We stopped by and every time the lady (she is in her 80's probably) doesn't really want to talk to us.  And I was like this is enough!  We are going to help her!!  So we kept talking to her.  And I asked her, "When were you baptized in the church?"
Her: "Oh when I was really small, you know how it is."

Me: "Oh so like 8 years old?"

Her: "No when I was a baby."

Me: "Oh you mean in the catholic church, when you were Catholic before?  How about in this church?  The LDS church?"

Her: "I was never baptized in your church."

Me: "What? Wait! What's your name?"

Her: (name that is not in our ward list).

Me: "So (name that is on ward list) doesn't live here at all?"

Her: "No I have lived here for 2 years now."
Me: "Wait, have lots of missionaries stopped by and talked to you?"

Her: "Ya ... about every  month since I moved here!!"

Me:  "We thought you were a member of our church!"

Her: "Oh they all have thought I was a member since I moved here.  Two years of missionaries have come by.  I always tell them I am Catholic and they get sad and tell me I can't switch back.  They didn't understand that I never was a member. "

HAHAHAHA It was hilarious.  All of us for 2 years now have thought she was a member hahaha.  It was really funny!

I see the California Blue birds(sooo pretty!) all the time, and I actually got one on film.  Another one for "CALIFORNIA BIRD BINGO!" (anyone, anyone? ..... yaaa its all comin together)

I planted a new plant this week!  It was a birthday mission present to me so I was really excited!  I do love succulents!

We taught Exxxxo the Plan of Salvacion! (he is on the right, with a member on the left)  I normally never take pictures in lessons because I think that is a little weird but we seem to be good enough friends and this lesson was one of the best ones I have been in! I mean first off its the Plan of Salvation and it is just amazing.  I think it is my favorite lesson to teach.  Exxxxo really liked spirit "Exxxxo" haha.

We also have to teach our lessons outside because we can't be in houses alone with men so we were outside on his porch and it was WINDY and freezing.  We didn't have a problem with that but we were talking about death and how our body goes in the ground and our spirit to the world of the spirits and there was a gust of wind and only the little spirit bob goes flying, and I was like "ya resucito!" and Hermana V lost it haha.

IT WAS SO FUNNY.  I am so grateful for these experiences. 
I love this gospel it is so true.  There isn't a doubt in my mind. 

We have an investigator that is just the best!!  We met him on his first full day in the United States.  So he has been working really hard on his English.  I am super proud of how he isn't scared to just use what he knows and learn!  He is going to learn English so fast!  

If I can't have a hippie van because they are rare and expensive I have decided that second best would be a silver bullet!  Something like this.  I want it to travel the National Parks with my children!  But I would need gas money probably too haha.  That is the sweetest van ever!
We took Sxxxxxxa to the Family History center for the first time ever!  She made a family tree and then tried to find records.  IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE.  But it was really fun to try.  We aren't going to give up!
We are going to find Rxxxxxo Rxxxs Lxxxz if it kills us!!  She is from Chihuahua, MX!  So cool! 

I think family history work is a super good tool for missionary work, but I have never used it.  Hermana V and I are planning a Family History cultural event for the last Sunday of this transfer! We are going to invite everyone, and bring food from their cultures and do Family History Work introductions!  I am really excited!

Every Tuesday and Thursday we do some service at the local Second Harvest Food Bank!  We usually sit around giant tubs of food and sort good from bad.  It is really good to talk to other volunteers and it is just really good overall.  This week we did cabbages and I thought they were beautiful!  We sort them into bags that go out to local shelters and schools!! 

The whole crew!  (I made them all hold cabbages haha)  I love doing service!!

Manteca had a city wide do service day, so we got to help out!  We painted all the white lines on an elementary school playground and it was awesome!  I basically painted lines and remembered my childhood and then cried when I thought of education and when I saw the little cups growing plants in them.  Aaahhh I love education.  All those white lines were drawn by us haha.  

This is the week that I .... HIT 9 MONTHS OLD.  Ouch.  That is a little crazy!  It was perfect because my Awesome MOM sent me a hump-day package. hahahahahahahaha. Classic.  It was hilarious!  It came on my actual day too so it was awesome!  I am halfway there! 

Also another fun hump day surprise was we had a conference and President JARDINE TOLD US THAT IN 6-8 weeks we would have IPADS!!! I am pretty excited!!

Well got to go!  THANKS DAD  FOR YOUR EMAIL.  You make me crack up.  

TELL MOM THANKS THANKS THANKS!  Everyone at Zone Conference said they loved the eggs! 

Love you all a lot!
Love Hermana Sheffer

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13 - Chihuahua's in sweaters.....

So this week I accidentally drove to Modesto.... I think it is a foreshadowing of things to come :)  

(NOTE FROM SONJA:  Emily is referring to the fact that chunks of the California Sacramento Mission and chunks of the Fresno mission are being made into a new mission... the California Modesto mission. This will happen July 1. Emily may get called to a "new" mission).

I was a little sidetracked driving to Ripon from Manteca (talking in Spanish on a speaker phone and driving is just too much for me), and just kept going and never exited.  It was really funny because I noticed what I had done, and I couldn't turn around on the freeway and then I saw a Modesto sign :)  I was like, "WE AREN'T IN OUR MISSION!!!" This is the first time I have left my mission in 9 months.  No lie 20 seconds later from seeing that sign our Zone Leaders called us!! I was like, "HOW DID THEY KNOW!!!!" We answered and the first thing he said was "Where are you two right now?"  I was like "AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH HOW DID YOU KNOW.  WERE IN MODESTO IT WAS AN ACCIDENT WERE COMING BACK!" 
WEIRD RIGHT?  But then they are like "wait..... what are you doing?  We are just calling because we got in an accident and we need an accident report form from your car. But you are in Modesto you say.....??"  HAHAHA.  It was hilarious.  OOPS.

This week a miracle happened.  We received a referral from the temple for a man named EXXXXO. He had called the temple for more information and they had talked to him for 3 hours!  He was at la pulga and received a card from a missionary there (totally HNA PORTER!!!) and was super interested.  So we contacted him and taught the Restoration and got him started on the book of 
Elder Yi made these for everyone from Post-it notes
Mormon, and the rest is history.  He is super ready for the gospel.  He was Catholic, and didn't really like it.  He tried lots of Christian centers but got kicked out because he couldn't pay tithing :(  He is a 60 year old man that doesn't work.  He worked with wood and now has ligament problems in his arms and can't work.  He hasn't worked for 5 years and hasn't had solid income.  He isn't married and his mom lives in Lathrop so he is still around family.  He had a pet bunny that died in his arms while he was running with it to the vet because it accidentally ate sprayed plants in the yard while he wasn't looking.  It broke his heart because he loved that bunny and feels really responsible.  He can't sleep at night and he said that he normally wakes up at 3, but since he has started reading the Book of Mormon he lasts until 4:30 (the Book of Mormon helps everything I tell you!).  I totally understand because I have had pets like kitty, and Baloo, and Depp.  But especially kitty, I would feel so sad too!  Poor guy!  I totally understand.  But he is really taking everything in, and I hope we can do the best we can with him because he trusts us a lot.  He even came to church this Sunday!  We have been working really hard to have someone come to church and he was the first person to come since I have been working in Manteca!  Definitely worth the wait!! He stayed all three hours!  He said it was really pretty.  He is really kind of quiet but super funny, which is how I feel like I am a bit, and Hermana Vergaray too a bit.  So we all get along really great.  I am excited, I will keep you updated on him!

I started a new Standard Works Study Journal. LOVE IT!
This week while outside contacting people I got my ankles bitten by a Chihuahua!  I have learned that Chihuahuas are all loud but once you try to approach them, they will stop or run away.  I was a little too confident in my analysis of these dogs because it went straight for my ankles.  It was like getting bit a million times over and over pinching me!!  It wasn't a pleasant experience.  It was wearing an sweater too..... grrrrrr.

Banana Spinach Strawberry Almond Milk shake
I actually got called to give another talk in church.  WHAT??  It has only been 3 weeks?  But I went really simple this time and used lots of scriptures and only talked for my 10 minutes instead of double what I was supposed to haha.  People liked it!  I talked about the part of the scripture that we need to REMEMBER how merciful the Lord has been from ADAM to YOU.  We are super included in that scripture.  What do we remember as members of this church?  Happiness, family, the gospel helping us.  Truth in the scriptures.  Relationship with our Father in Heaven.  Stuff like that that we all have felt I think as followers.  So I started with an investigators view, of remember and learn truth of all things, and remembering as a member.  I thought it was cool, and was pretty fun to write.  Then I exhorted the whole ward to do missionary work!!  It was great!

Hermana Vergaray's first time having KFC .... seriously????
We saw BXXXXo this week and he is busy busy busy with work.  He hasn't been able to come to church for a while so I am really sad.  We are working on that, and he knows and everything, but sometimes you just got to work I feel like.  Don't know if that is sacrelig or not, but I trust him!  He is doing everything he can!  Anyways we were talking about food and I was like "I like tamales!"  He was like "You do?? Hold on a bit"  Then he gets up walks out the door, a few seconds we hear his truck start up and he is gone!  His wife was like hahaha.  So we talked to her and 5 minutes later he came back with a bag of tamales he had bought from the Mexican market fresh!!  He is so awesome!!!!  I have had good times with him.
Benito with the tamales. I realized I had never taken a picture of him to show you before

But ya church was also awesome because DXXXa came for the first time!!  I am so proud of her because she has said church is a hard thing for her.  She was kind of the rebel child haha.  But she came and handled this random girl eating all her fruitsnacks for her children, a kid with a cough behind her and listening to me talk and all that haha.  Rough sacrament meeting.  Because we had 2 people there this week everything felt SOOOO LLOOONNNG... longest Sacrament of my LIFE.  But it was really just normal!

My companion!
California has also got me scared of getting cancer.  Everyone tells me I am going to get cancer if I drink the tap water so I think I might just not take the chance.  Quest to find a water bottle, and those 99 cent filtered water jugs are in my future!  Don't know how true it is haha but ya. 

Things are going good!  It is starting to get pretty warm down here.  We are planning our biking days AFTER consulting the weather.  But the work is going really well.  I love Spanish and Manteca and my companion and my ward and going running in the cemetery and playing sports in our district and walking outside and talking to everyone and helping someone who actually listens to us really good and ya.  Good point in my mission.  This week I am HALF WAY THERE.  Freaky.

Where we go running in the morning ...a really old cemetery.
I loved your email mom! I am excited for the Babylon box in the future, and DON'T OPEN THE BOX I SENT YOU!
You have to save it! 
Thanks for everything!

Hermanita Tersita always gives us GIANT boxes of cereal from Costco. It is her missionary tradition. I want a cool tradition like that when I come a member again! I want to be active with the missionaries!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mid Week letter

NOTE FROM SONJA:  Emily sent a handwritten letter this week. It was seriously great.  I am so proud of her! I wanted to add a few excerpts from it as it had great tidbits about her missionary life.


I thought I would write you a letter :)  I just wanted to say thank you for sending all the letters. Seriously. Last transfer was rough because it was hard to work and work together, and there were was just a lot of things going on. But seriously the last 2 1/2 weeks were probably the best of my mission. I was sad to see my companion go.  I got to learn so much last transfer because I was the one speaking all the time. And I got a bajillion letters. You guys rock! I also just felt really good because I was fighting a battle where I was on top. Like things may be hard but I was doing my best and was here trying to do what I'm supposed to do so there wasn't any internal battle going on.  Anyway I just wanted to say that good things end up happening from hard situations!  


I really like Manteca becuase we are really close as a district. There are 4 sets of us here, and we have Manteca Spirit. It is because every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday we play futbol or milk jug lacrosse at 6:15 a.m. in the church gym. It was kind of a pain at first, but it has become a sustaining influence in my life. We all have goofy memories (i.e. for every time we hit a stack of chairs or something a missionary yells "TITHING MONEY".... ha ha ha I think that is hilarious!).  We all have game nicknames.  We also go to a food bank (like a MAJOR MAJOR one) and sort giant tubs or oranges from the rotten oranges.  Or we find carrots and spell each other's names.  

I just love Manteca a lot!  I have a feeling that Hermana Vergaray and I are going to find someone and baptize them!  She is a go-getter for sure! I never got to bed before 10:30 because I think it is a waste of time, but I have done it twice this week! Haha fiery newby is gonna wear me out!

I have a dream. I want to never go a day again without studying my scriptures again! I want to be super obedient and live the hardest life ever (not really wishing hard times on myself hahahaha) and be happy about it! That is the hardest thing for me, is not to get so wrapped up in myself!

Our Relief Society president is named Hermana Carino. Ha ha that is like love, but a tender love for everyone rather than a romantic love.  It is HILARIOUS!

Thanks for the updates! I know how hard it is to write letters but they really make me happy!  Thank you for writing me and supporting me!  

Side story -
The Sister Training Leaders had assigned my old companion to keep a "Good Thing A Day/Miracle" journal.  Hermana Cavazos gave it to me at the end of the transfer. It was the sweetest thing and so now I am starting one for my greenie :) Hers is going to be 80 pages long haha! It is just a a really happy summary.

- Enjoy conference!
-Read your Scriptures!
-Go to the Temple!
- Love Life!

Monday, April 6, 2015


So this week was just amazing.  Manteca is exploding with miracles.  

We have been meeting cool people that are accepting the gospel pretty well, and we have a whole bunch of leads with people that I am excited to pursue if that makes sense.  We found 2 members of the church that are menos activo but not in our records, and we are now teaching 4 solid-ish people!  Exciting stuff!  

Fun thing this week is we went biking for the first time!  Hermana Vergaray was really funny haha.  We had to do some practice turns in the parking lot.  Some guy stopped and said . “You must be the Mormons…” and then gave us tips on riding bikes haha. 
We started off good, talking with everyone we saw. We talked to this person who stands on the corner and dances with the signs for advertisement.  We talked for a long time and he almost came to general conference!  The elders are teaching him and said it is going awesome!  Every single person we talked to on the bikes spoke Spanish or had talked to missionaries before and almost got baptized so #miracles.


And we rocked the helmets!  People think its is awesome we ride bikes.  
We weren't ready for this picture. HA. After bike slushies

We also met a man who received an answer from God through a black mark on his pancakes he was making.  The black mark looked a little like the recycling man but he was bending over.  So it looked like he was leaning down to pick something up.  He said it was Jesus reaching down to help him.  His wife was like, "there is no way I am eating that" and he was like "I'M EATING IT!" and he ate the whole pancake haha.  The pictures were funny though.  

This week we also met my personal dog high.  We contacted someone that had 8 chihuahuas yapping around us.... 8.... i counted them all!!  It was impossible to share anything… but they told us to go away so we weren't there too long anyway ha.
Speaking of rejection Hermana Vergaray got her first door in the face. 

#Missionary progression (haha).  

It has actually only happened like 3 times on my whole mission though.  Which I think is really amazing.  People are usually really nice!

There was a sign on one of the doors that said NO SOLICITING.  And Hermana V was like "We aren't soliciting, were sharing"  Then I was like "NO SHARING!" and then we made a super long chain.

NO LOVE means

We went on forever it was hilarious :)

Also a funny mistake I made is we were praying in the car and I was saying "tocar su corazon" which means like touch their heart, receive the message, enter into the way kind of plea.  But I accidently said "tocar en su puerta"  Which means knock on their door.  Haha we use those words a lot haha.  

I paid attention to all 10 hours of the conference and I am super sad I have not done it my whole life.  It was SO GOOD.  ALL of it!!!  My favorite sessions were Saturday morning and Sunday morning.  I have no doubt in my mind of the witnesses we have of Jesus Christ.  I love the church.  I love the motivation I have.  I have something I can improve on from every talk.  I made my notes with squares for the scriptures I want to find that were quoted, and also arrows with things I want to do. 

We tried really hard to get people there.  But we couldn't.  One person was like "I am making tortillas I can't" and I was like "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH THIS IS THE PROPHET OF THE LORD!! "  But I also made a resolution to watch all the Conferences for the rest of my life, and not let little things get in the way of the big things.  I left all my notes at home,  but I really liked Bednar’s talk.  Maybe more next week don't have time to write down all my loves of Conference!  TBC!!!

Easter was fun because I spent my Easter dinner with an older couple in our ward, and they told us all the inner workings of the Catholic church and how it is.  They were hard core Catholic for a long time.  It was perfect because I have been wondering a lot about it lately.  They actually have 12 apostles as well and a 70.  I am also reading the Bible more than ever and LOVE IT.  I have a study guide which guides me through the stuff that is really awesome which helps a lot.  It is like my mission version of netflix.  I come home excited at night to read from the bible.  I really like MOSES too.  Like in the end of the D&C.  

I took Hermana Vergaray to In-N-Out for the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE!!!
A really nice man took our picture, and we were able to talk to him a bit! Miracles in Manteca! Happening like crazy!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE EASTER EGGS.  They accidently sent them all to me for some reason, but I honestly redistributed them to the proper people.  I only kept one to eat (Hna Hurleys because she left from her mission the end of March). 


Also tell Aunt Regina a GIANT THANK YOU.  So fun getting mail!  

Also I got dad’s Postcards.  And moms’s letter.  And Elizabeth’s letter.  And Juliana’s Letter.  Y’all da best.  Also dads email.  And a letter from GMA.  And postcard funnies from Ashlee.  



You are all awesome!  Thank you!  I love you a lot!! Have a great week.


p.s. I am sending you something in the mail(like a box, and you CAN'T I repeat CAN'T open it until mothers day.  DO YOU HEAR??  
By pain of sin.
(I signed electronically for you)