Monday, July 30, 2012

Just call me Sister Muscles!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012 (email)

Oh my gosh, my computer just freaked out on me!! Usually I have an extra 30 min from the 30 they give you...but when there are lots of people, they cut you off at 30 must be busy because I have 3 minutes left!!


Sorry this is going to be a really lame letter!

We did oodles of service this week. For example, on Thursday night we got a call at 9:30pm, from the zone leaders asking us to be at the church at 7:30am the next morning and we should cancel all of our appointments, because we would be there until 8:00pm. WOW. We were the strike crew setting up hundreds of tables and chairs all day for a four stake youth conference.

Got to go.

Love you!!

Sister Wilkins

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bonnets and Ziplines

Monday, July 23, 2012 (email)

Hello Hello!!!!

LAST WEEK WAS THE BEST WEEK I HAVE HAD SINCE LAST WINTER IN SHIPROCK!!!!!! We had the best week for missionary work and numbers since I was in Shiprock, and it felt FANTASTIC!!!! We worked our tails off, and it worked. We were able to DOUBLE our numbers from last week, and reach a couple of the mission-wide weekly goals. IT FELT INCREDIBLE! We found new people to teach, taught lots of lessons, and loved the heck out of everybody! Oh, missionary work is so great! Yay life.

(Can ya tell I'm feeling really good?)

On Wednesday we were sure that I was going to be a terrible miserable day. It was nasty hot and we had absolutely NOTHING planned. Not fun.....that is until we got a referral from the mission office to see a family...Mom requested a missionary visit, and she had 3 children, one of which was baptized. Ok, so that's kinda odd, but we can totally work with that. We find the apartment and there is a young girl, around 11 out front. She kinda looked at us funny as we walked I gave her a little wave. Then her face lit up and she waved back. I asked if Barbara live there. "YES!" and she ran to the door. "Mom, the missionaries are here!" We hear a voice from inside: "Oh good, let them in"....IF THAT'S NOT THE RESPONSE YOU WANT TO HEAR THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!!! They had recently moved from a small town by Kayenta on the rez to Farmington. They went to the branch there, where only 20 people attend max, and the missionaries are Senior couples. The daughter (Aviana, the 11 year old) was baptized. I asked why mom and dad were not baptized. "Oh, we're not married. We've been together for 12 years, and he's proposed a dozen times, but we never knew how to do it." 

I GASPED! (not internally either) WWHHHHAAATTTT?????

Well guess what, I plan weddings for fun!!!!! And I've done it on the rez too! WOOTTT!!!!

SO, I got my hopes up. We fell in love with the family immediately. The other 2 children, Elijah and Alisia, are dolls. Aviana wants to learn everything, and is one of the most pure and tender spirits EVER!!!! LOVE THEM!! We spent an hour just telling her the stories that go along with the pictures in the Gospel art book. (She like the book so much that we went out and bought one at the mini LDS bookstore in town.) They said to come by again on Friday.

We show up Friday, and the kids come running out to us crying. NOT GOOD. Mom was kicking dad out of the house while we spoke in the parking lot. WOW. But she still wanted the kids to have the lesson. SO we went inside and taught the children, ALL WHILE MOM AND DAD ARE FIGHTING AND DEALING WITH ALL THAT CRAP. My heart just ached and crumbled inside, watching the expressions on the kids faces. They were a mess, but the worst part was, this is not the first time its happened...Oh, I was so ticked at the whole situation. But I had to keep a calm and loving face to keep the children in a slightly decent mood.

There was a Stake Pioneer Celebration at the park on Saturday, so we made sure to get rides for everyone. We were at the apartment when their ride showed up...But you should have seen the look on our faces when dad was there, dressed and ready to go.

So we go to the activity. Let me help you visualize...Lots of people, lots of food, lots of kids. Slip 'n slide, face painting, and a zip-line.... A ZIP-LINE!!!!!!!!! Dang, I wanted to ride it BAD!!! But to add to the fun, Sister Rowley and I were dressed up as full blown pioneers! yup! Mom sent my bonnet to me, and included one for Sister Rowley too. We were so tickled with them that we asked President if we could get all dressed up...His face totally lit up and gave us a great big "Go For It!!!" SWEET! We looked so good!!! There  was a lady in the ward who let us borrow her daughter's trek costumes, and we had a blast.

The other missionaries would show up, get a look at us, smirk, and then ignore us for the rest of the night. I guess we were just not cool enough for them...But who gives a HOOT!!??!!! Not us! We had fun. We had lots of compliments. The members thought it was awesome. And the families we brought with us thought it was way fun....So, I don't give a rat's patootie what the other missionaries thought.

Well, that was our wonderful week. now the goal will be to try to have this one do just as well!

Love you lots!!
Sister Wilkins

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stuart Little Got Evicted

Monday, July 16, 2012 (email)

Good afternoon Everyone!!

There are so many things to tell you...and this time I wrote it all down before hand so I wouldn't forget anything.

1. This week with transfers was kinda crazy, so we really didn't have very good numbers....But I have been SO incredibly blessed. I told you my apprehension about being with Sister Rowley, but things are already better than I could have expected. I have felt the most wonderful feeling of complete calm since Sunday. And then I was able to meet with President Batt right before Sister Rowley got into town, and he gave me a blessing. It wasn't anything particularly world changing, but it brought the feeling of "I can do it." When we got together, things were already different from the first time. She had a more calm air to her...but she still talks incessantly (I know, i know, I talk a lot too...but imagine how much she talks if I say its a ton.) She recognizes that there are lots of things she needs to work on, and she is open to correction. She is so excited to learn, and willing to try all sorts of new things. So far we have had a pretty good time (but we are still in the honeymoon stage.) There have only been a few times where I needed to help her out with some member dinner etiquette.

She actually made me one proud momma the other night. We had practiced giving someone the baptismal commitment in the morning, and I gave her some pointers for improvement. Well that night in a lesson with Blair, I felt prompted to extend the commitment again, but didn't have the right way to put it in. Sister Rowley started testifying, and she implemented EVERYTHING from that morning. She was INCREDIBLE!!! She was so powerful and did fantastic! Blair had a very emotional encounter because of it. Blair still didn't agree to baptism....but she WILL!! We know it! Blair's grandma Dorothy is a recent convert and she was so excited to realize that Blair get's the importance, and she wants to be baptized...Blair just needs to realize that she CAN have the happiness we are offering. that she IS worth it.

2. Dorothy is another exciting person to mention. She is a Navajo woman who I totally adore. I may not have been a part of her conversion, but I know I was meant to be a part of her life now. She is AWESOME. She totally understands the importance of the gospel, and she won't let anything stand in her way. In the Navajo language, the most personal and tender form of the word Grandma is sha-ma. (the "sha" is quick and short, but the "ma" sounds more like "muh".) You only refer to someone that way when you have a very personal relationship. well, this week, Dorothy and I decided that I was allowed to call her Shama now. YAY!!  I have wanted to have that kind of relationship with a "grandma" since Shiprock, and this is so exciting for me!

3. A couple weeks back I noticed mouse poop in our office, but I didn't mention it to anyone because I didn't want to freak out Sister Patrick, and I didn't want to throw a fit if it was old and not a current problem.... WELLLLLLLLL.......Sister Patrick saw a mouse. So then we made a fuss about it...Ronda (the woman we live with) freaked out, and called her exterminator people (she actually has a really close relationship with them. weird.) We had the traps set up for a couple days...nothing. So the night I bring Sister Rowley home, I go to show her where to be careful and NOT step...and TADA!!!!! 2 MICE!!! EWE GROSSSS!!!! The only problem was no one was brave enough to touch the things. DANG IT!!! That means ME!!!! Oye. So I squared my shoulders, took some pictures, and picked up the stupid things. I was SOOOOOO proud of myself. So the next day when we woke up to a 3rd caught mouse, it was "go time" again. YAY ME!!!! I'm so proud of myself.

4. We had dinner with a member family last week, and there was ANOTHER connection to my extended family. Grandpa Wilkins, do you know a Richard Lines, and his wife Ona-Dell Ward? She was a field mathematician for Hughes Aircraft and her husband was in the Satellite business too. Richard is still around, but Ona Dell died a couple years back.

5. This week will be my One Year Mark. holy crap.....'nough said.

6. This morning I was shocked to wake up to a patch of dry skin by my eye, exactly like dad's weird spot....does this mean I am turning into my parents? Yup...I don't think that's a bad thing for the most part.

7. Last night at a lesson with the less active family, the Landry's...I was given one of the sweetest compliments. Sister Landry and I have hit it off really well, and I feel very privileged to have been the sister around in her moments of need. She is so kind, and adores us missionaries. Last night she asked if I was familiar with Anne of Green Gables. YES MAM!! "Do you know who you remind me of?" " I hope its not Diana!!!"   "NOOOOO!!! Much better than that. You are the Bosom buddy; the Kindred Spirit." She couldn't explain much more, because she was crying so hard. I just had to run over and give her a hug! Oh, that just made my heart melt. There are not many compliments better than that one.

8. About a year ago, right before Sister Tsosie got transferred out of Shiprock, we spent half an hour parked on the side of the road out in Red Valley, picking weeds to make "Navajo Tea". Its a really popular herbal tea and its totally ok with the Word of Wisdom. I was so excited to try it, because I had heard so many people talk about it. We cleaned it, dried it, tied it....and then she got transferred and took it with her. RATS!!! Well, a couple weeks ago I was talking with the sisters in Gallup, and they said they had a package of weeds in their kitchen that they didn't know what it was....I decided it was probably Navajo Tea.....Then I forgot about it. Well, when sister Rowley came to town, she brought me a little package...the weeds....AKA the exact same Navajo Tea I picked and tied last summer!!! SOOO EXCITED!!!

Well, I love you all!!!!
Sister Melinda Wilkins

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rain, Rain, Come Again...No Seriously...Come More Often!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012 (email)

Hello Hello! Well, the rest of the west might be burning, but in Farmington, we almost washed out yesterday. We have had rain (at least a little bit) everyday this last week, and it has been incredible. The temperature drops every time, and we get a relaxing moment every evening. Last night it rained and rained and rained. We came home for the night and sat in the car to listen to it pelt the roof. Sister Patrick got a funny look on her face, and I could totally read her mind. I counted down from 3 and we flung ourselves from the truck. We spent a couple minutes just puddle jumping and enjoying the thrill of water (being in the desert this long will make you go a little loopy.)

So, I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Ours was kinda "somehow." (That's the word the Navajo people use when they don't have any other way to describe a situation.) We had a ward party first thing in the morning, and it was really fun. We were able to help a recent convert family join in and feel a part of the ward. Then there was a dessert auction afterwords to raise money for Girls' Camp. WAY FUN!!!!!! They were just plates of cookies, cakes, pies, and fudge, but some of the items went for $50-$60!!! Holy Cow! We were really worried what we were going to do for the rest of the day because everyone would be celebrating with family, and wouldn't want us around. We stopped in at the mission office (which was across the street from the ward party) to get some info and ran into the 2 secretaries. These senior missionaries are my new best friend. This last week we got the new Mission President (President Batt) and in one week 2 of the office couples had huge health problems, so the only people running the entire office were 2 senior couple missionaries (they are just the secretaries normally, but they were having to run the entire show this week.) Anyways, with all this drama, they needed all the help they could get, so we were able to do service for them in the office. They were about ready to lose it when we got there, but by the time we left, they were so calm and good to go. We were so tickled with ourselves.

There is also a photo I sent of the high school field. They had 800 flags set up on the foot ball field, and it was really quite stunning. especially when the wind would blow. So cool!

On Wednesday night we were required to be in by 9 pm most of the missionaries were ticked because they wouldn't be able to see any fireworks....BUT.......we happen to live directly under where the fireworks are set off. Whoopie!!!! We thought we were so lucky....until the rain started. But we refused to let that slow us down. We came home, changed our clothes, and then sat in the back of our truck, in the rain, and watched them anyways. We were slightly soggy by the end, but we enjoyed ourselves.

On Saturday we pulled weeds at a family's house...we were there for 3 hours and were only able to get the 4ft by 40ft side yard done. can guess how many weeds there were....OODLES AND OODLES!!!

Saturday was also a big day because it was transfer news. We were not expecting any changes. Wrong. About 12:30 I got a call from President Batt. It went something like this: "Sister Wilkins, this is President Batt. I have a special assignment for you. There is a sister who is REALLY struggling. She has a great desire to serve and to be a missionary........but she doesn't understand social norms. This might be the hardest thing you have done yet...actually this WILL be the hardest assignment you will ever have on your mission. She is really tough to be around, and needs lots of help. But we will not leave you alone; there are lots of sisters around that you can go on exchanges with often. we will not let you falter: you can call Sister Batt or myself directly at any time. Please remind me later that this is ONLY a 6 week assignment."

OYE! Way to make me nervous. My new companion is Sister Rowley...the greenie from Gallup that I went on exchanges with a few weeks ago.....Which means that was a trial run to see if I could handle her. Oye. So, I will need all the prayers I can get. I will let you know how it goes.. I will try not to complain....but there may be some negativity. I have to admit, I did cry when I retold Sister Patrick the news, but that was it. I refuse to cry anymore. Now I am at peace. now I know I can do it. IT will be yucky, but it will change me, and help me become better. ahhhhhhhh....that was a sigh...or the sign of me faking my calmness :)

I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week.

Oh, and we just found out that transfers have been postponed from tomorrow to Wednesday...because the greenies are stuck in Denver. Bummer. Not I have one more day with Sister Patrick. Yay!

Love, Sister Wilkins

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wicked Thoughts About a Dog

Monday, July 2, 2012 (email)

Last night was my worst night of sleep EVER while on my mission. It was so miserably hot and we opened our window to get some cool air. first I was just having a hard time getting my brain to stop thinking and let me sleep...but at 11:30 when I was still lying there miserable, the STUPID dog started barking. And not just a bark every couple minutes....CONSTANT BARKING UNTIL 4 AM!!!!!!!!!!! RIGHT UNDER OUR WINDOW!!!!!!! Oh!!!! Makes me so mad. Then I couldn't really get up to close the window, because Sister Patrick's bed it DIRECTLY beneath it!!! Oooohhhhh.. I got to sleep for 2 hours but then the stupid yipper started up again!!! I had such unrighteous thoughts about that dog!!! I was cursing at it in my head, and pleading with Heavenly Father to do anything to make it stop and help me to sleep. (But, that was all told with a smile on my face and that dramatic way I tell stories.)

Now, I'm at the point where you have a weird crazy level of energy...probably because I'm running off of fumes....and we will have to see what happens tomorrow.
When we are done with email, we are going to meet the zone leaders from way down in Gallup at the Apache building, because they have Sister Patrick's wallet...which she left there while on exchanges. And they have presents for us!! Sister Patrick and I bought CTR rings in NAVAJO!!!! SOOOOO COOOOLLLLL!!!!

This last week totally flew by. We didn't have a huge amount of luck, except for one golden investigator. She had just moved into town, and we offered to help her unpack. She had an LDS friend and knew a little, but most of it was incorrect. We taught her about the restoration while we worked, and then sat down to talk about the Book of Mormon. We weren't done with our spiel...and she cut in..."Well, how could I get my hands on one of those books, because that sounds really great. It would be so much more pure than the Bible, and I would love to read it!"....WELL!!!!!!!! "Actually, I have one right here." I handed it to her, and she responded, "This is great. I will totally read it with an open mind and ask god about it."...Double wow!...."Actually, that's what we were hoping you would do. Will you read this paragraph..."

Holy cow, we are way excited! Oh, her name is Beth Hasenbog.

Sister Patrick and I love being together, and we are going to plead with the new mission president that we stay together...for the ward's sake...because they have had miserable whip lash from all the missionaries that have been emergency transferred in and out.

I feel totally shot for ideas of things to tell you about. I wish there were more interesting things to say.

I want to send extra love to Ashlee as she takes her big test today! YOU ARE GOING TO DO AMAZING SWEETHEART!!!!

Love you all!!!
Sister Wilkins