Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28th - I AM ONE LUCKY GIRL!

Wow I just spent 30 minutes rereading and relooking at all the pictures and emails you sent me.  I am a fan of my family, and I am excited to see you all again soon :)  I loved skyping and it made my heart happy to hear my real name.  It was really comforting.  I love my family so much! Thanks for all the Christmas presents!  

I agree that Lxxxxe and Rxxl are so cute!  They are like the joy in my life.  Mxx is so cute too.  Mxx loves the nativity set with his little Burrito haha.  They are going to get baptized the 16th of January at 7:00 pm We are all really happy and excited!  It is one day before Bxxxa and Jxxe Lxxs were baptized last year!  Full circle!  I am spoiled because Leilani told me they might come and visit me the last Sunday I am here!  

Jesus the Christ has not come yet hahahahaha (but I will be prepared for when it does).  It was so funny for Christmas for Exxxxo I gave him proselyting supplies (like a bunch of different types of proselyting cards, and a Book of Mormon to give away) and when he opened it he was like "woowoowoowowowow"  He was so excited about the proselyting materials hahaha.  Nut.  But I also drew him lyrics in fancy writing from one of the songs he wrote about the church.  I made it pinterest worthy and he looked like he was going to cry when he saw it.   I like people you can make happy with super little but heartfelt things.  

I also heard registration starts February 1st so could you check to see if I have to be a full time student at BYU??  I feel like a do, but I would like to know so I can start planning my classes.  I got permission to go onto BYU courses to search the classes available.  Tell Elizabeth no to worry about her classes next quarter! I will be there to help her!  I will bring her snacks in the library!! Is she going to stay up there for spring and summer do ya know??

I was so excited to see Bradley!  I wanted to ask him a bunch of questions like "are you going to be around next Christmas ;)" wink wink but I decided not to.
That's good everyone likes him, because I thought he seemed pretty fun! 

So you got called as a Primary teacher?? Wow that sounds like so much fun.  I want to be a Primary teacher someday!  Maybe can I help you out when I get back? It is on my bucketlist!

The shoes you sent were a size too big, but there is a Vans store here in Manteca, or I will bring them home with me.  But I did like the style!  

Count on me taking pictures! I am going to do a, “Day in the life of a missionary” the best I can without getting sued … which means it is going to be a, “Day in the life of a missionary without talking to people, which is what we do all day” hahaha but I have some ideas.  I am super excited!  So weird I told dad to buy a GoPro and you had purchased me one!  Crazy!!

My favorite part of this week was yesterday in Sunday School.  Rxxl was asked to say the prayer and he prayed that he was grateful for the Sister missionaries coming to his house and helping them learn more about our Father in Heaven and I just felt so peaceful.  I am one lucky girl that is for sure!!! 

Could you please send me the references to the scriptures that were shared during our Christmas Skype?  I forgot to write them down, I remember generally but not exactly where..... THANKS!


love, Hermana Sheffer

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


HEY DAD :)  You have to tell mom that she can't watch Star Wars without me because she promised she wouldn't!!

I am sending a Christmas present to the whole family.  It is a box of surprises and I didn’t really assign presents to anyone so you can all enjoy it! And fight over it!  I love giving you gifts but I didn’t have a ton of time to go shopping :) 

I am so excited for this week, let me tell you why.  The Sister Training Leaders get to make cookies for all the missionaries with Sister Palmer on Wednesday. Then on Thursday we are having District meeting AND a mission-wide devotional, and then Christmas Eve dinner. Then I am going to stay up until midnight to open a present, and then we aren't going to sleep in because Christmas is a normal work day, but then we get to skype on CHRISTMAS!! Then the day after Christmas that Punjabi pilot invited us to his wedding reception in Tracy so we are going to go! I am so excited! I am going to buy them a nice wedding gift! 

So I talked to a member who has 2 i-pads and she said that 10:30 am works best for her..... so that is pretty early, but not early enough ;) ! But it will be through face time not skype I think!  Just so ya know! 

So who is home for the holidays? Just Ashlee and her boyfriend?  That will be pretty fun. 

I am starting to think about what I want to write my homecoming talk on so that will be good.   

The weather had been super cold.  Our car tells us the 40’s and everyday we can see our breath!  Right now it is super windy too!!  Not very happy Californians.  For example we saw Exxxxo out walking his dog, and I wish I would have taken a picture but he had a sweater, puffy ski pants and a giant like russian looking hat and gloves. hahaha it was like 45 degrees.  These people just don’t know.  I am a liiittle nervous about my physical state of being when I get home.  I might freeze and lose limbs.  

So this week has been fun.  The two new Sisters in our Ward are really nice and cute so I am excited to be working with them.  I also only have one other set of sisters I am training so that will be a nice rest from the past couple of transfers.  I get to enjoy Manteca a little bit more!  

Saturday was the Ward party, and it was really fun.  Lxxxxe and Rxxl came with Mxx,.  By the way, Mxx is loving the nativity set you sent him.  We were behind a couple of days so we brought him 3 pieces at the same time and he got JOY all over his face and was like YEEESSS! He was soo cute.

We got to do service with the food bank where we go hand out food in the community to those in need.  We helped people carry it to their car, and the food bank LOVES us.  They saw us walking up and were like OOHHH yaaayyyy!!!  It was cool.  I was helping this old guy carry it to his car, and he was wearing a bald eagle cap and I told him I liked it because I was really patriotic.  He was like, "REALLY?" and went to his car because he had a brand new one that he said he gives away.  So then I wore it the rest of the time haha.  Turns out he was LDS though! I asked him what happened and he said he became Un-LDS and then wished me a Merry Christmas and drove away :( ha.  I am thinking about giving my eagle hat to Elder Lopez though because he is getting his mission switched to Canada. So sad haha. 

Lxxxxe and Rxxl are amazing.  We decided to ask him to read in the Book of Mormon from the beginning and he was like, well I have a question about the Book of Mormon... and then started talking about how Nephi was wanting to see his fathers vision and what meant certain things and HE HAD ALREADY READ THE FIRST 1

3 CHAPTERS!  He is awesome I tell you people.  I am really excited for them. If they choose to be baptized I am totally driving back for it.

We had a crazy lady encounter this week.  She just lost her husband and was crying and upset so we were trying to comfort her, but she wanted money, but it was just so sad.  She told us she was 65 and then kept asking us how old we thought she was.  To be honest, I thought she looked older than 65 so I was like weeeelll I think you look like you are 62.  Hahaha it made her happy.  Sometimes you just got to tell people they look 62 when they are really 65 to make their day happy haha.  YAYYAYAY.  Also the sisters in the Ripon ward are waiting for an apartment to open up in Ripon so they have been living on our floor the past week. I think living with 4 sisters is the best thing in this entire world. Shorter shower times don't bother me. I wish they could stay with us the whole time :(  But they probably don't want to sleep on the floor.  ANYWAYS.  Till later, I want to talk to you soon!!!



(note from Sonja... found this picture on another missionary blog. I am such a good internet stalker.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14 - MY LAST TRANSFER!!

(Note from Sonja: the following lyrics are based LOOSELY on the Smash Mouth song “Rockstar”)

President Jardine once called me,
Manteca town to want me,
I was a little sad to leave Stockton....
But I was feeling a little ready, with my growing testimony,
I was going to make Manteca my hoo-ome. 

All that glitters is gospel,
Missionary work in Manteca, wont go on without me, oh woah.  


I am pleased to dedicate this song to my lovely family and friends that I have made here in Manteca, and I AM PLEASED TO BE STAYING HERE ANOTHER 6 WEEKS. 

 It’s true people. 

Missionaries CAN stay in an area for an unheard of amount of time.  I have broken all the records, and I am excited to spend my favorite time of year with my favorite people! 

Best Christmas present ever right? 

Who thought when I arrived a year ago, that I would never leave??  )Good thing I behaved this whole time haha ;) )

 I will also be staying with my companion Hermana Spilsbury!  I will be a Sister Training Leader as well! 

This last transfer there were 5 Sister Training Leaders (2 companionships together, and then me solo). I passed the solo test I think, and now all the Sister Training Leaders are solo!  So that is an interesting turn of events.  This will mean we have more companionships to serve, so hopefully time all works out!
We will be busy that is for sure! 

I am excited because Sister Palmer invited all the Sister Training Leaders to the mission home and we are going to make all the cookies for the Christmas Eve mission devotional, and it is going to be so classic. 

I am so excited for Christmas, I love this time of year! 

Another crazy is that there is going to be a new set of Sister missionaries in our Monte Vista ward, and they are going to be training themselves!  They did have the four of us all assigned to live in our Manteca apartment, but we aren't going to fit, so the elders are going to give them their apartment in Tracy, and move in with another set of elders.  So I will get to help these new sisters out as well! 

It is going to be an amazing last transfer because our District is awesome, there are a ton of missionaries, Sister Hogan is still going to be close, and I am just really excited!!!

It was a good last transfer call, they called us at 11:00 at night, and  I was already asleep, and then they got my heart rate going and I couldn’t fall back asleep until 12:30!  So that was surprising!

Well some amazing things happened this week!  Let me tell ya my will must have been pretty one with the Saviors because I just wished something would happen and IT DID!  So some fun events this week.................
First off yesterday at church Rxxl and Lxxxxe both came!  They are the cutest couple ever!  When Mxx is with both his mom and his dad he is so much calmer!  They are just a superhero couple I tell you.  She is always so happy, and Rxxl is really intelligent.  He was really Catholic, but in our first real lesson all together this week he said that he recognized that the Catholic Church was really good, and had good traditions, but that's what it is.  Traditions, that aren't exactly found in the scriptures.  So that is some definite progress! They are both praying together, and we are having a lesson with them tonight!  They are so prepared, and it is all thanks to members reaching out and sharing the gospel with the people that surround them.  It is a great lesson for me to learn.  I hope to always be able to bring people into the church.  

Another miracle is Pxxxo Rodriguez.  He is the dad of Cxxxxs Hernandez, and Grandpa of Cxxxxs Jr and Axxxxn.  I had talked to him before with Hermana Cuesta I think, but we just barely started teaching him.  He loves the Plan of Salvation, but doesn’t believe in it because he refuses to read the Book of Mormon, because it isn’t the Bible.  Well we brought out our big guns.  We invited Exxxxo to his second lesson, and we just sat back and watched a miracle happen.  There was so much passion going on.  They were talking about everything and they found out they agree on basically everything (because we use the Bible too haha) and all Pxxxo's questions were answered, and they are friends haha.  These two old men love the truth.  If Exxxxo can't make a best friend, he'll baptize one! ;)  So that was amazing, and then miracle round two.  Exxxxo stopped by his house and invited him to church AND HE CAME!  It was beautiful to see him there, and then see CxxxxsHernandez walk in and be surprised to see his dad sitting there.  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!  A miracle I have seen on my mission is the faith of Cxxxxxs Hernandez and Axxxxxn, and their diligence, slowly turn to his whole family!! I love this family a lot! 

So church this week was quite the event.  I was so happy.  It was sooo funny though because Pxxxo doesnt want to read in the Book of Mormon, and in church someone was giving their talk, and they said that they were reading in the Book of Mormon, and right then Mxx yells, "OOOOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOO" right after he said it hahahahaha. He was talking about his dinosaurs but it was the PERFECT timing haha.  I had to laugh.  

Speaking of the familia Hernandez, we had dinner with them.  Usually Axxxxn will always volunteer to say the closing prayer, and one of us will help him with what to say because he doesn’t know spanish very well.  So this time we were like Hno!  You help out your son! You got this!  So he did and he was telling him what to say.  Hno Cxxxxs uses a lot more fancy spanish words than we do, and he said

 "te pedimos que nos des fuerzas" 

and Axxxxn paused for a second and then said,

"te pedimos que podemos comer fresas".

I couldn't help it I had a laugh balloon in my chest that had to get out.  I was glad when Cxxxxs Jr laughed with me so that I wasn't entirely alone in being rude on accident haha.  It was adorable!  

Speaking of eating, we were talking to this random white guy on the street who was in a wheelchair because he was skateboarding and got hit 2 times by a car (I can't help but laugh) only because everything turned out ok, and he has a great desire to come to God again, because he shouldn’t have survived and all that.  God will humble you if he has to ha.  He told us he was prescribed pot and was taking it..... um ya he was a little loopy I think.  We invited him to church and he asked if there was going to be food there, and we said no, but I added, But you can feast on the word of God right?! He was like "Shuuuut your religioooous mouth!, You got to take it slow with me" hahahaha.  Now every time I say anything Sister Spilsbury is like, “shut your religious mouth!” ha.
Another cool thing is that all the Sisters I served this past transfer have been biking companionships so I have ridden my bike a lot lately.  But anyways I was on an exchange in Modesto and the sister took me to the Mayor of Modesto’s house!!  It was decorated like a giant gingerbread house.  It was awesome!  I was on the mayor of Modesto’s property!!

Another day this week I wasn’t feeling like the happiest person, and God was totally trying to make me laugh.  We went to this potential investigators house to try and meet them, and this guy answers the door in nothing but a towel. He was embarrassed and hiding behind the door and was like, “another time!!” and I was like woah, I have never had anyone do that on the mission before.  AWK. 

THEN we decided next to go to Lxxxxe’s house and we knock on the door and she answers it in a towel too hahaha.  We had planned to visit Pxxxl next but I was like nooo wayyy haha can't risk that one, not keeping this trend up!!

So this week we had the choir concert for the Stake.  I don't remember if I told you, but there is an Indian couple in our apartment complex that we talk to sometimes, and last week he just walks up to us on the way to our car, and asks if our church has choirs.  We were like oh do we!  His wife is a professional singer (however you spell Punjabi) and wanted to learn more about American music.  We were on our way to the Christmas Choir concert and we went and knocked on their door to invite them but they weren’t there :( Later on our way to the car we saw them coming home from shopping and invited them!  They said they would come and THEY DID!  I was a little scared at first because you know.... we aren't all professional singers, but there were some really amazing awe-inspiring songs that made it all worth it.  They loved it and she was fascinated by the organ, so after I took them up on the stage and we watched the lady play it with her hands and her feet.  She was like WHAT? All four are playing something different? She was impressed.  She asked if we ever drum and I said no :( but she promised she would show me some of the songs she does because she is really professional at it I guess :) So anyway the choir performance was awesome!  I love being in the Spanish ward, and I love our church.  

So for skyping this year I wanted to try something different.
I would like to invite all of you who will be there to search a scripture related to the ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST, and THOUGHTS.  Then maybe we can have a scripture sharing section from what we have learned!  Do it - it will be awesome!  I am going to be doing it too!  I am really excited, and I just picked something I have been working on and we can all learn together!  DO IT!!

I am excited to talk to you all on Christmas!

-You are so busy, thanks for always writing me the best emails.
-I want to see/hear about the ward party
-GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ARE LEAVING FOR CHRISTMAS? Good thing I am not there, or I would give them a whooping.  Ashlee is bringing someone home too!  Bad timing there.... or not I don't know.  Little bits at a time maybe ha!
-tell Elissa good luck on the Nutcracker!
--I don’t want anything for Christmas, because I want to be able to start up again, and buy things I need for when I get home.... I would just have to bring it back anyways, so I am good on Christmas!
-- tell Dad I am “hecka” good (that is a California saying that is driving me crazy!  They put hecka in front of EVERYTHING)



Tuesday, December 8, 2015


We missionaries just had a breakdown in the Family History Center about BYU vs UTAH for the Las Vegas Bowl and Bronco leaving................


We are all BYU kids haha.

Ah man what day is it so I can pray really hard, and be really obedient?  HA HA ;) Missionary power!

I have a feeling I am leaving Manteca too..... we’ll see next week what is going down for my last transfer!! I am just flying through this whole mission deal.  I got a lot under my belt already.  I also had some pupusas under my belt.  Our whole ward is from El Salvador almost, and so we ate some deliciousness  yesterday.  We are definitely going to that El Salvador restaurant in Provo pronto!  Sooo good!  

This week was fun.  I found out that Manteca does a light parade, so I got the sisters together and went and talked with everyone.  It was a good contacting opportunity.  I felt like I was in Richfield, physically (but not spiritually haha).  It was like a contacting crash course, person after person after person, with no break.  Both of us had to sit in the car for a few minutes and relax because it was a little brutal.  But we shared the new Christmas video with a lot of people who really will watch it I think!  But some people are meanies. 

 I decided that I am going to retire to Manteca!  You can come with me if you want.  

Cxxxxs Jr. is doing so awesome.  He has been going to seminary every morning even though he is probably really tired from all his practices!  I am so proud of him!  His family means so much to me!  We actually started teaching his grandpa who refuses to read from the Book of Mormon, so I brought him the General Conference issue of the Ensign. I snuck a look at him in the kitchen and he had already started reading it!  He is going to get baptized someday - I can just feel he sees it!  That was exciting this week.  

I have been awful about taking pictures.... sorry.  I want to do a picture of the day from here on out, so hopefully next week will be better!  

I loved the Christmas Devotional.  I just feel like I could feel that light after watching it because I feel like there is just an increasing tide of evilness lately.  Exxxxo has been complaining that our choir doesn’t practice enough, and then he saw the Christmas devotional and was awed more than I have seen him awed before haha.  He couldn’t stop talking about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, so I think we are not going to get a break from the, “We need to practice more speech”! 

Exxxxo has been doing his family history and he got his grandparents ready to be baptized!!!! wooot!!  It has taken a while but we are all super excited!

We should be talking to Rxxl and Lxxxxe more this week.  We haven’t been able to meet, but a fun little miracle: We hadn’t seen Lxxxxe all week. We were on the phone with the Elders, when they contacted someone outside that spoke Spanish, and they were like "wow we have the Spanish missionaries on the phone right now!! Talk to them!" and she was like, "Hermanas soy Lxxxe!"  It was an awesome little miracle.  I hope Mxx is doing well so Lxxxxe would be able to sleep and have some time for herself!  Not that she wouldn’t give all her time to someone besides herself because she is like that anyway.  Seriously I learn so much from the amazing people that surround me!

Leilani is making my trunky planner too so that is exciting. 

The choir is performing on Sunday so I am excited to be a part of that, we have been working hard.

I just know my time here is important.  I hope that you all can realize your time is important too, and we should always be trying to be a little more like Jesus.  I would like to invite you to avoid TV or Facebook and study the life of Jesus Christ instead!  The scriptures are amazing, and I can promise you a beautiful more spiritual Christmas if you do it.

Lots of love from the Modesto Mission,

Hna Sheffer

(NOTE FROM SONJA: I was stalking some of the other Modesto missionary blogs and found the following pictures)