Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wind and Surprises

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 (email)

Hello everyone! Well, there are a couple little birdies flying around. Some of them family, some of them friends, and some of them were members in Cortez...So if you haven't heard....I'm in FARMINGTON!!! (So, April Yazzie, I am close by and totally willing to give hugs.) I came in this morning...and my new companion is............Sister Rachel Patrick!!!! AGAIN!!!! NO WAY!!!!  We are so excited. I know we had a slightly tense transfer, but we really figured things out at the end, and we have both changed and experienced a lot in the last 3 months, so we are STOKED!!!!
We got transfer news on Saturday, and I was so relieved. I was ready to do something else. And this transfer was SO MUCH EASIER than coming to Cortez. We are going to be in Farmington (4th ward) when we get our new mission president (President Batt) and I'm so thankful for that...because I really wanted to say goodbye to him. We live in a member's home. She has had sisters living with her for many many years, and everyone loves the woman. She is called the mom and therapist of all the sisters in Farmington. Sister Patrick has only been here for 2 weeks, so we are practically white washing the area. We look forward to the challenge. I guess in the past some of the sisters have been kinda snooty about working in some of the more poor areas of the ward...but with Sister Patrick and I having served reservation, NOTHING scares us. We hope to really gain the trust of the ward and make the work explode here.
This coming week, Tad Calister of the 70 is coming to tour the mission. We get to have a big meeting with him on Sunday, and we are so excited. There are going to be a couple zones at the meeting...and it will be a spiritual feast.
This past sunday there was a HUGE surprise for me. Sacrament meeting has just ended from the 9am ward, and someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and saw someone I recognized, but couldn't figure out how. It was a young man. Hey, a guy from my singles ward. Oh, it's Alex...who dated Sharla....WHO MARRIED SHARLA!!!!! SHARLA?!?!?!?!?! WHAT!!!!! Then I realized he was telling me something...there was someone in the hallway who wanted to see me. I darted into the hall, and there she was! Sharla Compton: my roommate and beloved best bud! She and Alex were honeymooning in Durango and she knew what ward I was in. So they drove an hour to come to sacrament meeting at 11am with me. Oh, I was so TICKLED!!! I couldn't believe it! So cool!!
Well, I feel like my brain is not connected to my body...and my thoughts are not really coming together. I hope everyone is doing well. I feel like I am starting to really get into missionary brain mode, and I'm happy about it. This is such an amazing experience, and I want to get as much out of it as I can. I love you all. Be safe. Have fun.
Sister Wilkins

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anniversaries and Mountains

Well, let's see if I can get my fingers to work this afternoon...because they are having a hard time....

This last week was rough. Just one of those weeks. Nothing really worked out and we just felt blah the whole time. Pres. Packer says that its good to have a bad day every once and a while, in fact a couple of bad days in a row is a good thing......well.....we had them.

We were driving in town when I felt the prompting to stop and visit the Millers (we helped their young son get ready for baptism, because the family was less active.) Sister Miller didn't think we were really needed at her home...but we were. She was painting her kitchen by herself with a terror of a 3 year old running around. We were able to save the child from death by frustrated mother, and the new puppy from being dropped kicked when he ate all of her new plants. Wheh! A prompting that actually resulted in something!

On Sunday we sat with Jimi and Rebecca Howell...Mother and daughter who were reactivated right before I got to Cortez. Jimi is the mom, and I totally ADORE her. She is like Ashlee Barrow (my bestest bud) in mom form. We have such a hoot together. Jimi is totally invited to everything important in my life from here on out. Well, they were so stinkin' sweet to me...they went on vacation and came back with a beautiful scarf for me...with a couple other goodies as well....oh, they are so kind, and I wish I could have them as my next door neighbors forever!

Yesterday felt like a total bust. NOTHING WORKED OUT until 7 when we got together with a Recent Convert YSA and an Investigator YSA. We all watched the eclipse...so FUN!!! Totally crossed that off of my bucket list. We had a pin hole thingy that we jimmy-rigged, and we really enjoyed our lame attempt to watch the sun. I was so excited that I was bouncing off the walls....OK so just skipping around the church parking lot, but still.

Today was my second best P-Day of all time...but Sister Nay would TOTALLY disagree. We had a big District hike up Mancos State Park...We drove for a coon's age up this mountain to Sharktooth something or other. There were aspen trees everywhere, and I don't think I've ever seen anything so beautiful to compare it to. I was driving a jeep of sisters, and had to put it in 4 wheel drive to get through some snow. YUP. SNOW. It's May, and HOT and there was A TON OF SNOW UP THERE!! We got going on our hike and I loved every minute of it...there were some piles of snow pack...and Sister Nay didn't do so well with those. She kept falling, and then falling, and then getting really frustrated instead of laughing it off. Everyone else (all 12 of us) were struggling just as much, but we didn't let it get to us.

The worst of it came when we had to cross a small stream. It really wasn't a big deal...I just stepped across it...but it would have been just as easy to walk through it. She tried to fandangle some odd way to get over without getting wet. Bad plan. Just suck it up and trudge.....Well...she fell into the stream and then just sat there pouting like when Emma fell into ocean  at the family photos. When we convinced her to get up, she got all kinds of tangled up in a stick, and fell 3 more times and cut up her hand pretty good. It was pretty much downhill from there for her.

In the mean time, I'm loving this experience. I don't care about the twigs or sinking in the snow up to your thigh. I thought it was grand...well she pretty much gave up. The other sister we drove needed to leave, but Sister Nay was not in a mental state to go faster...nor was she in the physical health. They wanted to go faster down the mountain, but Sister Nay just pooped along. I was working really hard on my patience. I am proud to say that I did not mention one negative thing.

There was one point where she just broke down and cried and sat in the snow. There was another moment where her leg got caught in the snow, and she didn't know how to move, so she twisted it really bad and was in a world of hurt. She kept making little mistakes that were just killing her. She was caught so bad I had to run back up to her and dig her out with my bare hands and sit there patiently while she cried.

This story sounds really dramatic and dangerous. NOT DANGEROUS. NOT AGAINST MISSION RULES. NOT A BAD THING....but Sister Nay was in such a mood and so unexperienced that this was like Hell to her. Everyone else had a blast, but not her. At one point one of the other sisters asked her to hurry up...and when the sister walked away Sister Nay turned to me and said, "If she ever talks to me like that, I will knock her out"....AND SHE WAS TOTALLY SERIOUS!! I just kept my mouth shut...because I agreed with the other sister...but I have to live with Sister Nay....

So you can guess that I am ready for a change. :) this week we find out about transfers...and I don't care if I go somewhere else or get someone else...I just would like something different.

Well, I'll let you know how it all goes. As for me, I TOTALLY LOVED TODAY!!! TOTALLY INCREDIBLE!!! I've never seen something so wonderful. I will surely bring my family there in the future.

Love you lots!!

Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day and Mad Moms

Monday, May 14, 2012 (email)
Well, I talked to my family yesterday!!!! WAHOO!!
Can't hardly believe it! It was probably the fastest 45 minutes of my life.
There is so much to tell you about this last week!
On Saturday I met a lot of MAD MOMMAS!!!! They were cows.....We went branding at the Relief Society President's house, and we had a blast! We gave 10 full grown cows their shots and tagged their ears. (I was the one to do the ears) Oh, it was tough. They would thrash their heads all over the place, and FLING snot 20 ft...not fun. But then we had to get the baby cows into their mess: we gave them shots too, and they got branded: UKC (Uncle Ken's Cows). They would scream and thrash and get all sorts of messed up. Whenever one of the calves would start yelling, their moms would come running and just mooooooo and mmmoooo at us. Afterward we threw knives and tomahawks and then we used wrist rockets to shoot marbles at a target. I was best at the tomahawks.
There is a lady in the ward with a HUGE bush of Peonies...and she knew I loved them, so she gave me a HUGE bouquet of bright fuschia flowers!! SO AWESOME!!!!
I found out that the Bishop of the Cortez 3rd ward (where  I serve) is related to me....but I'm not sure how close. His family is from Ramah, NM too. His middle name is Bloomfield!! WOAH. Bishop's name is McGee (Larry McGee)
We had a miracle yesterday! There is a less active woman, Marilyn, who had not come in 10 years. She was offended and has always come up with an excuse to not be there at the last minute. Sisters have worked with her for ages! Everyone in the ward insisted that she wouldn't come..but we were determined. We have had the goal of her attending on Mother's day for over a month. We were praying left and right that she would fight the temptation to not come. Then, on the morning of, I was prompted several times in the morning to pray that she get to church....well, we pull into the parking lot and, she had just gotten there herself. We ran to the car, and saw a look of terror on her face. She looked seconds from driving off. We got the door open, and just talked to her. We got her on the way into the church, and I talked about silly things that would keep her attention on me, and not on where her feet were taking her. We got in, sat down, and.....SHE LOVED IT!!!!!!! Hoorah for Israel!!! Can't believe it happened. She told me later that she had almost not come multiple times that morning, and then really was ready to leave, so it was good that we showed up when we did.
Love you lots!
Sister Wilkins

Happy Missionary Mother's Day

Sunday, May 13, 2012 (email)

Happy Mother's Day!!!
Your favorite missionary
This was taken on Friday May 11th at zone conference in Durango Colorado .

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mosquito Bites and Trampolines

Monday, May 7, 2012 (email)

Happy Cinco de M*** (Mayo)  (sorry, you know I can't spell the dumb thing)
Happy Mother's Day
Happy beginning of Mosquito Season!!

How do I know about the bugs? Because I got bit 3 times in 10 minutes by MONSTER bugs. My ankle got HUGE!!!! and I have slathered itch cream on it constantly for 4 days!! oye

So, if you feel poor and like you don't have any food, first pray for food, then when you get it...give it away....What? yup give it away. its the tithing principle:you always get more! We didn't have a ton of food or dinners a while back, and so Sister Nay started praying for food...it worked. Then we had so much that we started giving it away to other missionaries...but then we just got more and more food!!
 Now we have so much we don't know what to do with it.

The trampoline reference is because I set up a trampoline with a recent convert's family the other day. It was not as hard as I thought it would be...but now I am an expert trampoline setter-upper. AND this family has made it their personal goal to help me not be afraid of animals. Their son, Troy, who I helped prepare for baptism, said the dinner prayer: "Please bless the food. Please help Sister Wilkins not be afraid of animals, and please help us to have a fun night. Amen." NO JOKE!!!! I started busting up mid-prayer!! But by the end of the night I had held: a puppy, a chicken, a lizard, and a cricket. The lizard and cricket are a really big deal!!! And I have photos!!! Too bad I can't get them to you on this stupid computer!!! ugh

Oh, and here is the biggest news of all!!!! The sisters in Shiprock called me yesterday totally frantic. Shiprock is being closed for sisters this week!!! They are being emergency transferred into Farmington (both of them) and President is going to put a senior couple in with the elders! WOAH!!!!! There has been all kinds of junk going down there since I left, and I am pretty glad that I didn't have to be a part of it. It would probably break my heart to see the mess that has erupted. I'm sure I will get more details from those sisters later.

Not so interesting....I found a Celestial Pursuit this week under the bed. It's like Trivial Pursuit but from a 1970's LDS perspective. I feel soooooo dumb when we quiz each other. WE don't have a clue on any of the info. Its like going to a BYU Religion class: you think "I'm a good Mormon, and I've always payed attention and worked hard! I should totally ace this thing!!!" and then you most definitely don't do well.....but now I can memorize it all, and whoop all your bums when I get home :) ha. just kidding!

Well, I think I have run out of interesting things to say. I love you all!!!
Love, Sister Melinda Wilkins

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

chugging along with a smile on my face

Monday, April 30, 2012 (email)

Hi. There really isn't anything monumental to tell you about. We are doing our thing. We get up, we exercise, we study (and Sister Nay can hardly sit still.. It cracks me up.) We have lunch, we go out and teach and serve all day, and we get home with enough energy to "plan" and then we totally crash, exhausted beyond belief.

We have a woman, Susie Honeycut, who is awesome. She has been around LDS people forever, but is just now in a position to hear and accept the gospel. We connect with her so well. She does home care for and LDS man, and they read, discuss, and pray about the Book of Mormon everyday!!!! Hooray!! The only reason she can't come to church is because she is the only person who's not LDS who works at the house. She is waiting for another gal to get back from the hospital, so she can come, and then be baptized. All we are waiting on is the other lady to get better, so please pray for her recovery, and that Susie will be able to work things out. But, here's a cool thing, Susie has received the Sacrament a good number of times at the house with Bob, the man she takes care of.

There is another investigator, Jamie, who we were working with a while ago, but she kinda dropped off the face of the planet. We were finally able to get back in the door with her, and she is so excited to have us back in her life. She said this week that she was not going to flip flop between churches anymore. Everything in the LDS church makes sense and feels right. No more wishy-washy. From now on, she considers herself Mormon. LOVE IT!!! But we are having a hard time getting her to church as well. We have rides, but she backs out at the last moment. Please pray that her desire to come will overpower her Sunday blues or concerns.

The other big thing from the week was Judy. She is a less-active lady who gets her feeling hurt easily. She is one stubborn lass. She had knee surgery recently, and we came by to see her. She has been sick for YEARS with a number of things, and has not been able to clean her house. Plus she has 4 HUGE dogs. If an inspector went to the home, they would condemn it. She wanted us to just sit and talk, but we insisted on cleaning while we talked. She was peeved at first, but by the end of it, she had a number of walls broken down, and we were totally in with her. SO EXCITED!!! How bad was this house? There was literally 1/4 inch of dust on everything, and the counter-top in the kitchen was not visible. No exaggeration there.

Well, I love you all, I have to run!

My prayers are with you!

Sister Wilkins