Monday, November 30, 2015



I was grateful for all of you this Thanksgiving.  

This past Monday we had an amazing lesson with a family that I may have talked about before, a family that was very active in the church but later switched to an indian faith.  To be honest sometimes I was scared to go to their house because I don't want to get defensive of what I believe because that never helps, and ya because my trial with them is just to love them even though I felt like they were disregarding the truth.  I talked to the Hermano and I can see one of the blessings of being in this area so long is that people are used to me and they trust me a little more, it's not just "repeat the same story" over and over again to all the sets of missionaries that come through.  I read a scripture that talked about the love of God and we had an amazing discussion that has really changed my life.  This love of God is unexplainable I guess.  He explained about how he feels God's love, and how his testimony has grown of it since he left the church.  I feel like I had a peek of what the purpose behind what we do really is.  Like the love of God encompasses it all.  Its hard to explain I guess :)  But it was an amazing sneak peak, and I trusted a little more in God even with His less active families.  He knows what's going on.  

This Monday we played football as a zone and it was SO FUN!  I love this zone so much!  Our team won, and the elders had bought a nine yard box of Snickers for the prize.  We were crazy.  I was sore ALL week.  It was the best.

I also bought an "It's it" from a gas station.  Those are a mission tradition and are sooo good.  

We had a council this week as a mission and I learned so much.  It was just a happy love of God kind of week.   

The Elders also came and left hot chocolate on the hood of our car.  We are neighbors with the Elders which is awesome. 


So Thanksgiving was great.  First we went over to Lxxxxe's house and ate breakfast with her, and then helped her make a salad. It was her and Rxxl and us all chopping up nuts and fruits and tossing it in a giant bowl.  We talked about weird phrases in spanish and english that make no sense.  It was a beautiful moment.  I LOVE LxxxxE AND RxxL.  

I brought a banana creme pie!!  I MADE IT BY MYSELF! MY FIRST PIE EVER!  

We went to the store to buy some of the ingredients and a really nice man bought the ingredients for us!!!  It was a Thanksgiving Miracle!  

I made 2, one for Lxxxx and family, and one for the dinner we were going to have at night.  It wasn't very good looking because the pudding didn't settle and so it was liquidy (i used almond milk was the only difference) but we just froze it and it turned out ok!!  It was so much fun.  

Thursday morning two wards had a turkey bowl and we went and played.  It was beautiful and I love football.  I love happy people.  We wore our new BYU shirts! Hna Carpenter was at the mission office when I got the BYU package and we both reminisced over BYU while eating delicious BYU popcorn.

Elder King (my neighbor)/ Bancroft (district leader)/ Hopkin / Lopez (in my ward) / Spilsbury / Aburto (in Manteca biking) / Hogan (her companion) / Sheffer / Yuson from the Phillipines / Moreno (also in my ward) / Jones / Grover. These people are hilarious.

After football we came home and studied and then went and visited some less actives.  Then we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and played a thimble full of water and it was a good time!  It was a beautiful Thanksgiving!  

The new Christmas video is exciting!  It is way better in english than in spanish though.  That little girl is adorable.  I am not in love with it, but I still feel the spirit so that is good! 

Well my invention of genius of the week is I made a grilled cheese sandwich using coconut oil instead of butter.  It is sweetly delicious.

I also am studying Doctrine and Covenants right now and it is good.  I also started from Genesis again.  I want to finish the bible someday soon.  

I wanted to say thanks for the package, and also thanks for the money, I didn't mean to ask for it but I will use it for good purposes!! Thank you so much! Seriously I will be set until I get home.  

But anyway, I am doing ok.  I am a little shocked too that it is almost December.  I am just so busy that times seems slow, but then looking back its like it didn't exist.  

Don't worry about a new debit card for me - I have means now!  

It has been so cold lately, It was 40 degrees the other night! IN CALIFORNIA?!  But we are doing good thanks for everything!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23 - LIFE IS GOOD

Hey family!! 
This week was good.  Between exchanges and training I feel like the time is just flying by.  People it is week 4 of this transfer.  I am a goner.  I can't control the time, and too many things just keep happening.  

Stressed out I tell you.  

But I am living it up!  And I made a resolution to take more pictures these last weeks because I have taken like 2 this entire transfer..... So then you can see more of my life and I can remember it better because at this rate I will remember a whirlwind.  

This week was a great week of miracles.  I just feel like we were guided with the time we do have to the people, even though none of them were truly interested.  BUT my miracle moment of the week is when one of my favorite people Mxxxxxa, felt the spirit.  She is a feeler.  Like she goes 100 percent off of what she feels and she was honestly searching and didn't feel it when she prayed the first days we were meeting with her.  So she kind of retired the idea from her mind for a bit, but then her husband wanted to try out our church (he just walks into the room, we have never met with him before, and he is like ya I think I want to try going to your church) so we had a lesson with the Union sisters so that they could go to the english ward here closer in Manteca and she prayed at the end and CRIED.  It was amazing, she totally felt it.  I love her a lot.  I want to be her friend.  She has the cutest girl named Gxxxxxs, and she loves me.  I hope they keep going strong.

Cxxxxs Jr came out and contacted with us this week for the first time!  He is super stoked to SERVE A MISSION!  He is awesome it was a good time, and he shared the gospel with his aunt and it made the biggest difference!
Cxxxxs Jr!

Thanks for the recipes and the money!!!!!!! I also got your Gratitude board!! I got it when the whole zone was together to have interviews with president, so I walked around and made everyone there sign it.  Then Sister Palmer signed it.  The two elders in our ward are Elder Moreno, and Elder Lopez.  Elder Moreno took it when he went to the mission office the next day and got everyone to sign it there haha.  Then I took it to the ward Thanksgiving party and got people to sign it there. It has been so much fun.  These elders are awesome but I went to a district meeting in Modesto, and saw Elder Griffin, and it was the best.  Elder Griffin is just irreplaceable.  And I saw Hermana Carpenter!  All these people I miss.  There are soo many people I love.  I want to get rid of facebook, but I don't think I can!

This picture just explains my life lately.

The shirt is my Christmas present opened early from the dear Hermana Porter!!  She knows me so well.  And I mean its a giant cardboard cutout of salsa sooooo.

We had the ward Thanksgiving party and it was awesome!  The party was so funny because it was a talent show too and so we had to sing.  Elder Lopez and Exxxxo also sang a Mexican song and Exxxxo was loving it! Haha he was so into it it was hilarious.  I can't wait to listen to hispanic music like crazy when I get back.  Scary thing is that Exxxxo actually got in a car accident the same day..... but he is ok.  He brought his dad to the party, so now I have met the whole family basically!  

We actually spend Thanksgiving  working like any normal day haha.  So hopefully that goes well.  We are participating in a turkey bowl though in Tracy, so hopefully that will be fun.  We also have a dinner appointment set up!

Note from Sonja: We have no idea what the story is behind this picture. We zoomed in on the envelope and everything. So we are going to assume it is Sister Splendid's first ever letter in the mission field.  Sounds good, eh?

Everything is going great!  Hope you all have a great week!


Monday, November 16, 2015

NOVEMBER 16 - answering all of mom's questions

Yes I need money. For some reason I am out out and it is only half through November.  Could you possibly transfer some of my money to my actual card? I haven't used that card in forever because I don't think I have any more money on there!  But I need some for this Christmas season/going home season.  I want to send home the rest of my library, and also I have something I have been meaning to send Nathan for his birthday!  Also I don't know my pin number anymore.... can you find that out? 

Christmas list: 
I want nothing.  Seriously don't send me a lot of stuff, I would rather get a little bit of start-up again money :)  I will be coming so soon after Christmas!  So don't worry about Christmas!  I want letters, and Newsie Broadway tickets (thanks Grandma!).

STL duties:
I am Sister Training Leader over 6 sisters, and my companion :) They are all the companionships that have a Spanish sister put with an English sister!  So I am the zebra STL :)  
We did lots of splits in the sisters areas so it was good to get to know all the Sisters.  They are all new new and still going strong, I am so proud of them!
What I need: 
Could you send me a banana creme pie recipe and a gingersnap cookie recipe? :)

But I will just tell you that my soul was taken to the heavens this week when guess who came to church?!?!?! Rxxl!!! The husband of Lxxxxe!  The Elders and I were freaking out!! Lxxxxe was on cloud nine.  I taught the Principles of the Gospel class and he asked SUCH good questions.  The talks in Sacrament were about tithing (which new members sometimes have a problem with) and doing temple work for the dead(one of the more unique things about the church) and I was just laughing inside.  But I taught about the recogimiento de Israel and how it was a family thing, and he totally made the connection that it affects our family for generations to come to become a member, and then he also said and generations back too right? He was referring to the talks about ancestor work!  He is super intelligent!  We are going to talk to Leslie tomorrow and see how he liked it and what he said.  I guess Hno Haro had invited him to a priesthood testimony meeting, and he actually went with him, and then the next day he wanted to go to church!! WOW!  I didn't expect this at all, so we will keep you updated on him and Lxxxxe!   I am so excited!!
That was the highlight of my week!  It is always good to have a heart lift like that! 

We have our ward Thanksgiving party this week so I am so excited.  Lxxxxe said it is her first time having turkey haha.  Mxx starts school this week so Lxxxxxe is going to finally get some rest!  I am relieved for her.  That talk by Jeffrey R. Holland about mothers being like Jesus Christ is 100% true in Lxxxxe's case.  

I am sad about Uncle Burke :(  But I felt really good reading what you had sent me, and I am excited for him to be with his family again and out of pain!! I will send a letter to Grandpa and Grandma!  Keep me updated on Grandma. Let me know how she is and tell her I love her!

I am reading in Revelations, and am about to finish the New Testament!  Then I am going to start Doctrine and Covenants, and after that the Old Testament.  I am going to have read the standard works before my 22nd birthday!!  

We had lots of good times this week for sure.

Thanks for the package you have sent, I always love awaiting packages!

More next week!

Hasta Luego!

Monday, November 9, 2015


(NOTE FROM SONJA: We received this picture from some kind soul in California. We figured it was Emily's new companion.  I zoomed in on her name tag but couldn't make it out. I could tell her name started with SP and had an L so I decided she would be hereafter known as Sister Splendid.)

Hello family!

This week was like level 100 with a Bowser level.  But it was AWESOME! 

I had problems balancing Sister Training Leader with my area of Manteca before, and now add in a new missionary who is on fire and wanting to contact the whole world, but is getting drug along to sit outside meetings.... I am definitely learning how to use time wisely that is for sure. 

I am grateful that she is being patient, and she is helping me out so much because she makes me LAUGH.  

My new companion is Hermana Spilsbury  (hahahaha or Splendid, I think that is appropriate as well). She is from Mesa, Arizona.  She was one of the rare people these days to go to the CCM in D.F. Mexico!! She loves the Spanish language, and is willing to communicate with everyone, even if she doesn’t understand a word they say.  She can sing, and play the piano, and can quote books and movies like nobody's business.  The moment I met her, I was like, “you are a kindred spirit with my sister Elizabeth”.  Seriously people.  They have the exact same humor.  I feel like this is a part of home come to me.  Which is great!  

One fun experience that we had is that I had a leadership meeting and so I decided to leave Hna Spilsbury in the area with Leilani to be her companion.  Other Sister Training Leaders dropped Leilani off at our apartments and then I went with them to the meeting.  Hna Spilsbury asked if this was the moment that we parted and I was like yes, and gave her a hug.  But then I went to get in the car and Leilani hadn’t gotten out yet and Hna Spilsbury started walking back to the apartments.  Haha she thought that I was leaving her without a companion her 3rd day in the mission!  Poor girl was like what is going on?!?!?! 

I chased after her, and we met Leilani together haha.  3rd day abandonment haha. 

We also went biking and talked with a bunch of rude people in the dark.  Haha She is a trooper because she kind of got depressed that there were so many mean people.  I guess I got used to it, because it didn’t bother me and then she felt sad.  Ah man - those first days are the worst!! But she keeps going, and trusts me a lot.  I think she is grateful she has a trainer because lots of the new missionaries are training each other.  Craziness!  She always says lead the way Sensei, hahahaha.  Sensei and Splendid. New nicknames.

Some exciting news is that Rxxl, the husband of Lxxxxe came to the church to play soccer!!  The bad thing was that we had to cancel it..... So he came to play soccer with nobody and drove all the way from Manteca.  We called the Elders and got them over there fast, but then no one else could come so he would arrive to a church with 4 missionaries waiting to pounce him.  hahaha ITS A TRAP!!  So we decided to just tell him it was canceled.  It was the WORST timing ever..... Oh well I think he will come next week!! Hope soo!!  But I am so proud of Lxxxxe too!  She is one of my heroes in this world.  She is so strong to do what she does.  She is amazing. 

WOWWOWWOWWOW NEWSIES TICKETS?? MY life is complete.  WOW.  I am so excited!

Thanks for the compliments on my clothes and skirt. Hermana Spilsbury lent me her skirt.  I had to talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, so I wanted to wear mixed patterns, so she lent me her skirt!  My hair was curled on the toppish layers because we are now not allowed to get up before6:30am...... and we have no time to get ready in the mornings, so I shower at night and hope for the best in the morning haha.  But I do have to curl the top to have it be normal looking.

And I don’t know why you think I’m too skinny.   I have actually gained a little weight on my mission sooooooo... hahaha don't know whats going on there.  Don't be surprised if I am biggerr when I get home because I still have a Christmas season to go through :)

Wow you always sound so busy all of you.  Way to be, thanks for having time for me.  I appreciate it.  LETS EAT PUPUSAS IN PROVO AND GO TO THE TEMPLE!!! THAT SOUNDS AWESOME! 

Thanks for the email!


Monday, November 2, 2015

NOVEMBER 2 - do I qualify for Manteca citizenship yet?

So this week was super long and stretched out but right now I am so HAPPY!  

I received my call Sunday night that I would be training a new missionary as well as remain a Sister Training Leader (my mother has sixth senses) and that I will be serving in MANTECA.  

I will just say that being in Manteca for a year should automatically qualify you for Manteca citizenship.  I mean I have already met the Mayor, so it should be a piece of cake to get that arranged. I only have 2 transfers left soooo Manteca til the day I die!!!  I was a little shocked, but EXCITED! 

Hermana Carpenter will be going to Modesto 12th branch training a new Sister Training Leader!  Elder Griffin is actually going with her!  So I win the record of being in the same area, I am only behind Hermana Hurley in the most time spent in the ward Monte Vista.  She had a year there as well!

I am super excited because training was the best time of my mission, and I am grateful to spend it here in Manteca with the Christmas spirit, and we have so many people here ready!  It is going to be an amazing 2 transfers!   WWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT.

I am almost done with the New Testament and I am eating it up!  It is so good!  I feel no difference sometimes between that and reading general conference talks.  Go team apostles.  Apostles are just amazing.  I really like Elder Bednar.  I am just really grateful for the moments I have every morning in the scriptures.  Seriously that hour is the fastest of my whole day and I love it a lot.  

Lxxxxe is still coming to church and I have no doubt that she will be baptized soon.  We are trying to love her husband and help him have good experiences with members and us.  He is really sweet they are the cutest couple ever.

Sad thing that happened this week.  I forgot Exxxxo's birthday, and he got MAD at me... it was not a pleasant experience.  I felt so bad especially because he does so much for our birthdays!  I am going to go buy him an animal tie, and Jesus the Christ on Deseret book.  But still.... sympathize with me, it wasn't pleasant.  haha life.
The best thing I have eaten this week was homemade flour tortilla quesadillas with beans and chili.  I am learning how to make the tortillas so don't worry!  It was on Halloween night before Fast Sunday and I ate so many of them.  I did some damage.  

On Halloween we were told to stay inside, so Hermana Carpenter and I organized our area books.  Then we cleaned.  Then we made planners!! We were keyed up because we were supposed to get our calls Halloween night........ supposed to.  So that was a long night.  We did our facial masks too!  They were awesome! THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE!  Axxxxn one of my favorite Manteca kids ever told us one time he was scared of the dark so we gave him the glow-sticks.  It was so funny he was a black ninja for Halloween, and we were outside his house in the car and he saw us and came out and was trying to sneak like a ninja to the car and we totally saw him but it was the cutest thing ever!  I want a kid like him! You will understand when you meet him!  I got a video recording of him and it is sooo cute. 

So Halloween was weird because we went to bed a little early AND it was daylight savings time.  I got the most sleep I have ever gotten on my mission!  It was weird because I had a VERY vivid dream where I was getting married to an Elder in our Manteca Zone in a very big Catholic church! hahaha.  That is the most vivid marriage dream I have ever had! I loved that Elder a lot in my dream, and I really don't in real life.....  I THINK MY MIND IS GOING TRUNKY! TRUNK OR TREAT! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! HOPEFULLY THIS NEVER  HAPPENS AGAIN BECAUSE IT WAS WEEEEEIRD!! So that was the scariest thing that happened to me this Halloween :)

I am sending home a box of notes/books that I don't need right now.  


I got to keep it short because I am going to make Yoga disks on the computer today, but thanks for the amazing email!

Hermana Sheffer