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)



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