Monday, January 25, 2016


This week was an amazing last week.  I feel so loved.  I am so grateful that I was able to spend my last weeks together with the people I really love.  It was an amazing week.  I will tell you some of my favorite parts!

-I was able to be with Leilani and enjoy the beauty of the earth as we went to Big Trees State Park.  It was a great road-trip, and I am so grateful for where I was called.  California girl!
-Lxxxxe and Rxxl and the Haros and the Mezas and the Maganas and the Cruzs and Exxxxo all got together and had a barbecue.  Exxxxo made my favorite homemade tortillas.  They all shared their testimonies and thanked me for my service.   I was able to share my testimony and thank THEM for all they had taught me. I made them all get together for my GoPro and we shouted "VIVA MEXICO!!"

-The Brooksby's had us all over for Saturday morning breakfast (my first of my whole mission haha) and we had a good time with the Union biking sisters.  I love those sisters!

-I gave a "farewell" talk basically in el barrio Monte Vista, and the bishop said...  "We are sad to announce Hermanita Sheffer is leaving us this week, from her mission serving here in Manteca, California ... well that's where she should have been called". :)  I started my talk with a "year in review" like they do in General Conference ( haha ). I gave off a bunch of statistics and memories from the past year.  For my talk, I omitted names and just told every story of the people that got baptized.  I made it an ode to them, and I think they all liked it a lot. I illustrated how God was the author of their life.  Because it is so true, every baptism I saw wasn't a direct result of my missionary efforts.  God knows his children.  Rxxl came up to me after and told me that it was a beautiful talk :)  Coming from Rxxl that is top notch.  Some people even complimented my Spanish which made me want to cry because all I want in life is to speak good Spanish!
-I went to say goodbye last night to Cxxxxs Hernandez and his family.  Cxxxxs Hernandez is such a "man" (that's what Sister Splendid says) and he was thanking me for teaching his family, and he actually choked up. I will always remember standing on his porch and talking to him. My whole mission is worth those little moments like that.
 -Exxxxo wrote me the most beautiful letter.  He also wrote a song about missionary work that he gave me the rights to.  So I have a beautiful song about missionary work in Spanish.
-I had my last interview with President Palmer, and I felt the spirit so strong.  I feel really calm, and ready for the next couple days.
-The Elders we live near all came to play tennis in the mornings, because I love morning sports. 
-I got doorbell ditched with more notes from the ward.
-We worked all day Saturday trying to find new people and God led us to the funniest people ever!!! I loved being outside talking to random people and knocking on doors.  Even though that was so hard for me at first, it is now one of my favorite and most cherished memories of missionary work.  

I know that God knows me a lot.  I love my mission.  I look back on these 18 months and I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people I was able to meet and learn from.  I was able to see the hand of God in so many ways.  There is no doubt that my mission has helped me grow, and I am so grateful that I decided to serve.  I have such an appreciation for God and how He orchestrates our lives.  I am excited for my future.  I hope to always be a servant for Him.  I am excited to share more stories when I get home.  I am excited to see my beautiful family again.  My life is so full of JOY.  

I am excited to see you :)
Hermana Sheffer

Monday, January 18, 2016


WELL.  I will just say that I am pretty sure God has a mission checklist for me in heaven and He is making sure I get all my experiences checked off :) 
This week I was seriously attacked by a dog.  We were just walking around at night and this giant pit bull comes whipping around the corner barking and growling and starts heading right for us!  I was on exchanges with Sister Rodas and she had just told me that she is terrified of dogs so in my mind I was like, "I should throw myself in front of her and protect her!"  But I seriously I couldn't.  I didn't go into flight or fight mode I was just in frozen mode.  My feet wouldn't move.  It jumped up on me and I could see its teeth.... IT WAS TERRIFYING.  But then the owner came running and grabbed it off of us.... I survived and didn't have my GoPro on me unfortunately.   
Also I won't go into details until I get home ;) but the Elders/all missionaries were hidden in the Family History Center for the first hour and a half of church this past Sunday because of threats that were being made outside.  Don't let anyone be concerned it wasn't a huge deal.  But it was cool to see the Priesthood come and guard us with their lives. 
Also just to let you know this email will be shorter because I ORGANIZED A TRIP TO BIG TREES NATIONAL PARK!!  Our whole District is going and Leilani too and it is going to be great! I am so excited to see a little glimpse of this park.  Alfred is going to drive us.  I woke up over and over again all night because I was so keyed up.  I woke up at 5am and it was pouring rain.  Probably the worst I have seen in California so I said a prayer and woke up to the most beautiful outside everywhere.  Not too many clouds and everything was so bright and clean.  SO I WILL SEND PICTURES NEXT WEEK OF THAT!!!!! :) :):):)
Also I am studying myplan right now that the church has established to help Missionaries transition back home and I will just say that it is AMAZING.  I am going to use it a ton after my mission.  I will share my favorite parts with you.  
So now onto the best part of this email.   

It was a beautiful experience, and many people were there to support.  Lxxxxe and Rxxl had a really bad run in with Rxxl's parents the morning of, and so Lxxxxe was a wreck, but she was so strong.  I asked how Rxxl was doing, and she said, "He is doing way better than me!" He is strong and knows it will all work out.  So basically they were attacked by the thing that matters most, and they were still baptized.  They are so amazing.  Rxxl is just the coolest person I have ever met.  I am so lucky to be part of their lives.  I was thinking they are only 24 so I am basically going to grow up with them and we are going to share lots of experiences together.

I am excited for this upcoming week, and I am really numb/shocked right now.
I bought a suitcase last week and already have basically everything packed.

I want to make dinner the Thursday after I get home if that is ok.... A SURPRISE! I want Grandpa Taylor to help me.  

I am excited to see you and I LOVE YOU TOO
love, Hermana Sheffer

Monday, January 11, 2016



Let me tell you about them.

Sooooooo.... when is the soonest possible that I could return to California?  I would like to come pretty soon after so just wondering!  I want you to coooommmmeee!!

Also can you send my birthday lemon ice cream cake recipe??  I want to make it if  Mxxxxl gets baptized, because of that whole lemon joke that we have.

Let me tell you about Mxxxxl.  He is one of my favorite people I have ever taught and I pray that he gets baptized.  We had a really bad lesson with him on Wednesday, like I prepared days in advance and then we just had no flow and it was really long, and the poor guy was probably super confused.  But then the Elders in Manteca went over on Thursday and they watched the Joseph Smith movie on his bed and bonded.  They are like, “He is so good”!..... and then we haven’t heard much from him since.  We have an appointment tonight and we hope he is there because he didn’t come to Stake Conference this week. I am sure everything is fine, but we don't really know what is going on!  BUT HE IS SOO COOL... I am sure he just had to work or wasn’t feeling good or something.  I will let you know next week!

Lxxxxxe and Rxxl are of course doing awesome.  They will for sure get baptized this Saturday.  YAYAYAYAYAY!!! They are a miracle to me that is for sure!  I am excited for all they are going to do in the Church.  They are going to be awesome.

Elder Moreno is awesome.  Let me tell you why.  He is going around to all my favorite people and having them write thank you notes to me, and then he doorbell ditches them on my door every night.  Of all the good bye presents I could possibly receive these are the best.  They are really priceless to me so I am super grateful.

I love being a Mormon that is for sure.  We had Stake Conference this week and it was great to be all together.  I WAS ABLE TO TRANSLATE ONE OF THE TALKS!  Elder Moreno was translating for the bishop and then a woman was talking and he was like, “I CANT DO A WOMAN’S VOICE!”  SO I DID IT!!! FROM ENGLISH TO SPANISH!! THEY DIDNT PAUSE FOR ME TO TRANSLATE IT WAS A CONTINUOUS STREAM OF WORDS AND I STILL DID IT!!!!!!!!  I was too scared to do it, and then I just did and then I felt like I was on top of a mountain after!!  I want to go into translating for my career ;)  It was awesome!

My GoPro documentary is going to be pretty sweet.  I will not say more, but I will be editing it when I get home, and I can hang out with you at work while I do it!

We had a joke war this week and I told the get down off the elephant one and NOBODY got it.  Elder King told me he laid in bed for half an hour thinking.  The one who got it was the Elder from the Philippines because he has an English dictionary and just looked up the words haha. 

(Note from Sonja:
Q: How do you get down from an elephant?
A: You don’t. You get down from a duck.
In the Elder’s defense I didn’t get it at first either…..)

Well hopefully Mxxxxl is alright and not in a hospital somewhere.

This week I also finished the Doctrine and Covenants.  So I have started the Old Testament and am almost through Genesis.  I am really excited.  Before my golden 22 I am going to read everything!

Well thanks for the emails, and talk to ya next week.


My latest planner creations. I passed down the hole punch I got from Sister Skidmore to Sister Spilsbury!

Christmas Picture

The presents we opened at the stroke of Midnight on Christmas Eve!

Random pictures with the familia Hernandez. Some of my favorite people ever!

With the full time bike riding Sisters!

Manteca Beauties (get it??)

Monday, January 4, 2016


Ok I am going to speed type because there are not enough computers and we are all sharing.  Just so ya know I am typing very fast right now... and it might be short. 


Not even kidding people Manteca is throwing a farewell party for me, and the grand finale is happening!  

So Lxxxxe and Rxx are getting baptized the 16 of January at 7.  They are already sharing testimonies in fast and testimony meeting, and they both wrote me the sweetest note, that I just absolutely needed.  It was so sweet.  I love them both so much.  Mxx is just so sweet.  Lots of families have really come to love them and Mxx and it is just so comfortable to have Mxx in church and everyone loves him.  They are totally getting baptized because of the love they feel at church.  Rxxl as always has great questions that I sometimes can't explain but they are so progressing.  

So I don't remember if I told you, but Christmas eve we went and tried to visit Bxxxxo and his family because we knew he wouldn't be working, and he basically ran us from his house and I cried.  But we stopped by this week and he was there and he let us in and he said, "Look, lets set up a schedule.  No doubts about it.  I will be here ready at that time, and you two will always plan on coming at that time.  We will keep learning! "


It was a Bxxxxo miracle. I was on cloud nine.  I did fist pumps in the lesson because I was so excited.  Sounds like his job isn’t going too great either and he doesn’t have work again.  But at least he can come to church.  But the thing is as soon as he gets a job again I bet he will be gone, so I am going to try to get him more friends.  But if Bxxxxo came back to church one time before I go home..... I WOULD CRY!

Also get ready for the light of my life.  His name is Mxxxxl Axxxxo.  Isn’t that the coolest name?  He is a new investigator.  He is going to get baptized on the 23 of January.  He is like a Mexican Iron man.  I am not even kidding you.  He is hilarious, and we just have the best lessons.  Also he had heart failure and he has a little machine in his heart that shocks him if it detects that his heart isn't beating as fast or something.   He was like, "Ya, I have to charge up every night" and I was like WHAT???  But he was just kidding :) 

It is very different teaching him, because he has 2 17 year old sons (twins) (one named Mxxxxl) (and the other Axxxl) (get it??) and he is very determined to help them out.  So his lessons are more based on personal testimonies and stuff instead of stuff like straight from the scriptures.  Like with Exxxxo we just read together and he was like ok perfect and then got it.  But Mxxxxl wants to feel it and experience it and that side of the gospel (which is going to be good for me to share that part of my life instead of the logical part if that makes sense). 

He loves his twins so much and all his family too.  He realized he needed to change his life, and Sister Spilsbury and one of the Tracy sisters contacted him in Tracy when we were working in their area. 

Then we stopped by, he let us right in and he is going to get baptized.  We left him a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read and he read it 3 times and talked about how he thought about during the day, and he even applied it into his own life.  You could just tell he was so excited.  So I was like wow he is doing it, and so I tried to give him 3 more chapters to read and he was like hold up!  You are giving me so much homework and I want to read what you already gave me again!!  Hahaha it was AWESOME! I could totally see God orchestrating this one. 

He couldn't come to church last week because of an emergency work call, but then he came this week.  It was fast and testimony meeting and I am not even kidding you EVERY person talked about their families, how much they loved them, and how the gospel has helped them.  WOW.  Then to top it off two of our young men (I have been here a year and RARELY have seen the young men share their testimonies)  got up and shared their testimonies.  It was a game changer.  Seeing them up there you could tell he wanted his sons to be there.  He would say amen so quiet still but like "ya this is what is going on" kind of amen. 

Then we went to gospel doctrines and he LOVED it.  We always sit in a circle and it was just so comfortable.  Everyone was laughing and learning and it was beautiful.  He contributed a lot of spot on stuff.  I am so excited for him. 

We heard that in Priesthood he stood up to introduce himself and was like "Hello I’m Mxxxxl Axxxxo, this is my first time but I think I am here to stay, so I hope we can all be brothers" and everyone was like "YAAAA we are family! You da best!"  So sounds like it was a good experience. 

Sister Spilsbury is in love with this investigator.  She quotes everything, but Mxxxxxl wins.  She can quote him so good.  One time we called him and when we asked him what he was doing he was like "I am making little houses for the pajaritos (little birds)” and then one time in a lesson he was talking about how he just wants to be a good person, and he was like "I mean I never kill anyone" and we all lost it.  Then every time we were talking about something, we would be like, "well at least nobody died".  "We kept it in and didn’t kill anyone" etc it was hilarious.  We bring Cxxxxs Jr and Cxxxxs Hxxxxxxxxz to our lessons and it is awesome.  IT IS THE BEST EVER!  I am seriously so excited for you all to meet him! I think he is the coolest person ever!! 

My Go-Pro “Day in the life” is going very well...... I think at least.  I haven't reviewed my footage, but I have taken over 100 videos haha.  I have a very good idea so ya.  You will just have to seeeeeeeeee.

Anyways I hope you all survive the cold, and you might need to majorly prepare me for this because I freeze here and its like 50 degrees outside........... This is going to be tough.....

Anyways thank you for the emails, love you, have a great week, read in your scriptures, and love everybody and drive safe!