Monday, October 29, 2012

Halo, Happy Ween!

Monday, October 29, 2012 (email)

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

There is so much to say, that I wrote it all out in bullet form before hand....

So first off, Melanie, Dorothy's niece, who was preparing to be baptized in January, went off the deep end and was sent to that baptism is postponed....a lot. drat. She was doing so well after moving into Dorothy's home, but then she got involved with her old friends and extended family and things went sour. Dorothy was pretty heart broken over it. We are too. But we just have to carry on.

On Wednesday night we were put in charge of the YM/YW Mutual Activity. The YM leader wanted the kids to have a tracting experience. He had them all come in church clothes and bring their scriptures. They came to the opening exercises room, and had a missionary badge with their name on it put on their chest, and then they were escorted into the MTC. Elders on one side, Sisters on the other.  Sister Isaacson and I pretended to be their MTC instructors. When everyone was in the room, we had an opening song and prayer, but we skipped all the normal announcements and started talking to them as if they had just entered the real MTC. We had them all recite the Missionary Purpose and then started discussing why they are called to serve and how critical this work is. Then we put them into companionships and had them go tracting in the corridor  They were to knock every door and talk to every person. There were ward missionaries and youth leaders behind some of the doors, and they had an assigned personality/routine. The kids got to experience all sorts of people: kind but busy, grouchy, talking through the door, crazy families, random pedestrians, and a hidden Golden investigator. IT was such a neat experience. There were 2 grand moments. The first was the first companionship to start knocking. It was a priest and a deacon, and they got to an old lady who was grouchy and would only talk to them through the door. The lady tried to get them to go away, and the 12 year old yelled "CAN I AT LEAST TELL YOU MY TESTIMONY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?" the poor kid was muffled through the door and his voice cracked a ton as he yelled, but then he proceeded to tell her anyways. Oh, it made us laugh and smile. The second experience is more serious and tender. I was testifying to the kids about how critical it is to share salvation with all of our brothers and sisters, and I shocked myself with how passionately I felt. I was crying as I testified and taught and tried to help them see that this is not just an experience to check off the list, but this is a sacred opportunity to bring Heavenly Father's children to the Celestial Realm. 

We met with Sarah Combs this week, after having challenging her rather boldly last week to be baptized. We were excited to see what her answer would be after a week of praying about it. She said one night she had a peace wash over her as she prayed, and felt really good about the whole thing, but then the next day went ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. She thought the terrible day was a sign from the universe that she was not ready...but we jumped on that immediately. Heck no! That miserable day was from Satan, and we helped point out her answer. After a really powerful lesson, she said she wanted to be baptized and we would prepare for baptism soon. We were stoked. No date was set, but she is getting ready. She wants her less active husband to do it, but there are some complications....and we still need to work out the details.

There is a photo included here of me wearing a veil and holding a wedding bouquet. This week Melissa and Donny, Hal Richman's grandson and girlfriend, are getting married, and they had me come over to do the flowers. Oh, I was soooooo excited. Melissa had bought a veil, but was too shy to put it on, and you all know me, I LOVE weddings, so I volunteered to be the model. What do you think? :) Don't worry, I know a veil like that is not for me :)

Jennifer McDonald is doing great. She has a baptismal date of Nov. 17, which is the week after transfers, so I will probably miss it, but so far she is doing well. She has a Word of Wisdom issue, but she is actively working through it. She had a blessing on Sunday to help her through it. Please pray that she is able to fight the temptations that come her way and that she will be able to be baptized as planned.

We have a member family that we ABSOLUTELY ADORE, the Eagar Family. They are the cutest thing. They moved in recently, and he was put in as YM President  They have the most adorable home and the kids are to die for. I don't think I have ever seen a happier bunch of children. Their family is full of love and purity and it feel fantastic to be in their home. They are HUGE fans of the Piano guys, and always have their music playing when we are there (which is at least every other week). I LOVE THE PIANO GUYS!! I knew them before m mission, but they have really taken off recently, and I highly recommend them to everyone!! I can't wait to buy their CD!!! LOVE IT!!!! oh, and the photo of us with the whipped cream mustaches is at their house. they do it with their kids all the time, and we have watched the children multiple times die with laughter as they try to lick it all off. they finally invited us to do it to, and it was great, my mustache wasn't so good because I kept thrashing and laughing as Sister Isaacson tried to put it on me.

I also include a photo of a pin that an investigator showed me. It is totally me. The minute Sister Isaacson and I saw it we nearly fell out of our chairs laughing. Just to defend myself, I am working on NOT trying to control every aspect of my life and roll with the punches. 

We had a ward Halloween party on Saturday, and we had SOOO MANY INVESTIGATORS AND LESS ACTIVE FAMILIES COME!!! It was incredible!! There is a photo of my favorite activity booth. It it a GIANT Witch nose, and the kids had to put their arm up one of the nostrils to get either a treat or snot. Sister Isaacson did it and she got snot. LOVE IT!!!!

The last picture was of Camden Castelli. He is Ronda's grandson. He is the cutest thing. Well, Sister Isaacson and I had fun putting her glasses on him, and this is what happened: one happy and cute kid.

Well, I love you all very much! have a fantastic week! please remember to pray for Jennifer and Sarah!
Sister Wilkins

Monday, October 22, 2012

me and my chitty

Monday, October 22, 2012 (email)

Hello Family and Friends!!
Sister Isaacson and I discovered something terribly scary this week: She has been out as long as I have left. AAHHHH!!!!!! WHAT THE HECK!!!?????!!!!!??? That is not a fun thing to think about. This is my life. This is what I love doing! This is not supposed to end! When I have to go home, I have to do hard things! I have to start thinking about me! I have to date again! I have to look for eternal blessings....holy crap that is scary business!!! UGH. "Not happy Bob. Not happy." (Name that movie.......Incredibles)
We had a member of the 70, Paul V. Johnson, come and to a Zone Conference on Tuesday, and it was AWESOME!!! He had some exciting news. He started asking us what we thought would happen to our mission directly because of the age change....
"More Missionaries?"
"Yup. You need to be opening new area president....But what about the MTC? What do you think will happen there?"
"Will they build more?"
"No. That is not in the plans. What else could happen?"
"The missionaries will stay less time?"
"You hit it there. Starting January 2012, Missionaries will only stay at the MTC for 2 weeks." 
A hush and then a buzz went across the room. We all knew what that meant....Training in the field would be more intense and more critical. Then we started discussing the 12 week training program that was introduced to the world wide mission force the week I entered the field. It was a preparatory step the Lord put in place to make sure that the current missionaries could be ready to train the newer and younger missionaries. It is  so cool to see how the Lord is hastening His work, and how everything comes together. SOOOO COOOOOLLL!!!!!
I sent a blurry photo of me and Sister Isaacson in "surgery mode". We went to visit Hal Richman this week, but he had gone to the hospital. His blood pressure was 40 over 30!!! I'm not trained in the medical world, but I know that is pretty bad. His wife asked us to visit him in the hospital, but to go inside, we had to put on the smocks and gloves. The photo is blurry because Hal took it........and we tried twice, but both came out like this.....but you get the picture.
I also sent a photo of me and Sister Isaacson, just playing around with the camera this morning....but then I also sent one of the two of us with pink fuzzy mustaches. THANK YOU ASHLEE BARROW!!! She knows me sooo we had a photo shoot this morning. 
The last photo is probably of no consequence for any of you, but for me it was big. I was driving the car in Shiprock when it hit 20,000 miles. When that happened, I drove around in a parking lot in circles, because there were no other cars and I knew I could stare at the odometer and never lift my eyes to pay attention to other things (I didn't want to miss the change)....Well, This week I was driving and I watched it change to 30,000 miles. WAHOO!! I know you don't care, but I have a really close relationship with that truck. 9 Months is a LONG time with a mission vehicle. For the longest time, I debated contacting the mission after I had been home, so I could purchase it and just keep it after it hit the 50,000 mile mission limit......BUT....after what happened this week, I changed my mind. I have had a handful of problems with that beloved truck, but this week I finally hit the limit. It wouldn't start. It was late. We were trying to get home for curfew, and it wouldn't turn over. Not fun. I love Larry (that's what I named him) but I won't purchase him now. I don't want to deal with any more problems. 

But I did have a neat experience yesterday at church, that connects with the truck. We were there early, and there was a woman sitting in the back with her children long before the meeting started. Something in me registered her face, but I didn't know why. Sister Isaacson and I went up to talk to her, and it was the first time she had been to church in 15 years. Well, its not that I had seen her there. She lived on the edge of Farmington. Nope...that's outside our ward boundaries. She is a police officer...DING DING DING DING!!!!!! Then my mind flashed a dozen images. I could see her in her officer's uniform. Then I saw her put her hand on her holster. In that memory I realized she was standing in a lit room. Wait, it was the Shiprock Trailer living room. SHE WAS THE POLICE OFFICER WHO TOOK THE REPORT ON OUR STOLEN TRUCK LAST DECEMBER!!!!!!! I got all sorts of excited, and then word vomited it all at her. (Ashlee, do you remember when we went to the dollar theater, and I couldn't figure out who the ticket guy was..but then realized he was the coordinator at the baptistery in felt like that)
Sunday was a big day. We got a call LATE Saturday night asking us to speak in the morning. Ok, fine, but only because we love you. We were going to speak on temples....Life got crazy though when almost EVERYONE we work with was at church!!! Then the mission president and his wife walked in, and everything had a whole new level of importance. We had investigators and less actives coming out the wazoo. It felt really good to have them all there, but it made me slightly frazzled.
We have been meeting with Oscar Keeling, and his wife Bonnie for a long time. He is less active because he got mad at a bishop 15 years ago. His wife is not a member. He is just a sweet old grandpa. He came yesterday and was telling some ward members that he was there just because of the sweet sister missionaries. He kept saying how much we had convinced him...I cut him off: "Excuse me! We were just in the right place at the right time! You talked yourself into coming. I never mentioned anything. All I do is smile!" He responded, "Oh, but a girl as cute and sweet as you could smile and make the whole world do whatever you want." OH!!!! So cute!!!! Thanks Brother Keeling.
Brother Keeling and his wife are teaching us how to crochet...and we are getting pretty good. We had dinner with them on Saturday night, and we were about to leave, and they said, "We think you girls deserve a gift for all of your hard work." WHAT? Then they pulled out 2 large bags of crochet supplies. They had tons of yarn and goodies. It was soooo sweet of them. But now we have to figure out what to do with all of it! Its not like we can cart it all around! Oye. We will figure it out.
Well, I love you!!!! I miss you!! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Following Promptings

Monday, October 15, 2012 (email)

Sister Isaacson and I have started to pay really close attention to the mini promptings that we receive. We don't want to ignore a single one of them. We have seen marvelous things happen when we listen. We were on our way to visit the Davis family Monday night...we didn't have an appointment, but we were going to give it a shot. I got a prompting to visit the Behern family and tried to categorize it as a drifted thought, not a prompting. When the mother's name kept repeating over and over in my head, I finally told Sister Isaacson. She said she wasn't feeling anything, so we continued on to the Davis'. When we were almost there, she threw her arm across the car and grabbed me. "We have to go to the Behrens. NOW" I whipped the truck around, and we were there pretty darn quick :) We found the family in a really tight spot, because of their alcoholic dad. We were able to have a tremendously powerful lesson, and got out before the drunk dad came home. Sister Isaacson then had the firm impression to visit the ward mission leader and tell him about it all. We did, and it was an incredible experience. We realized the intensity of the situation for the children. Dad will probably go to jail soon, and if he is drinking around mom, then she will go to jail too, because she's on probation. The ward mission leader was talking to us about what to do with the children if the worst happened. He was just talking about where they would go, and said to us, "Well, if we can, then we will adopt them." He wasn't joking. Totally serious. His wife was on the couch with him, and her head popped up, but then she nodded. THEY TOTALLY MEANT IT!!!! (They have raised 12 children and are grandparents now, with their youngest kids in high school. They should be done. BUT THEY ARE WILLING TO ADOPT a 5, 7, and 11 year old. Wow.) I love the ward mission leader. He is as close to a dad as I can get. I keep telling him that when I come back to visit, I will give him the best hug ever.
Yesterday we had Jennifer come to church, and she LOVED IT!!! (She is the investigator we watched general conference with). She is so ready. She always seems kinda shocked when we present something new, but after we answer her questions, she seems to accept it openly and completely. She wants to be baptized, and we are so excited for her. We want to help her develop a stronger testimony of Joseph Smith before we set a date, but we are really excited for her. After watching conference, she told us that it just felt good and right and true. OH!!! That is exactly what we love to hear.

Also, for the last few weeks, every time there is an option to sing a hymn, #243 Let Us All Press On, has been on the agenda. EVERY TIME!!! At first Sister Isaacson and I were laughing about its occurrence. Then we tried to really learn the alto part, which was hard, but then this last time I realized someone was trying to send me a message. OK!! I GET THE PICTURE!!!!! So I started studying the words and the scripture references, and it hasn't popped up since. 

Sister Isaacson told me something cool the other day. She said when she was at BYU-Idaho, her professor had to go to Salt Lake to be on a committee. When he came back he told everyone that the church was planning on changing the scripture mastery...WHICH NEVER HAPPENS and it was going to correlate with Preach My Gospel more. Well, now she knows why. The brethren are trying to prepare the youth better and earlier for missionary service. COOL!!!! 

I am out of time, but I love you all very much!

Have a fantastic week!

Sister Wilkins

Monday, October 8, 2012


Monday, October 8, 2012 (email)

SOOOOOO!!!!!!! HHHOOOORRRAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!! Sisters can serve at 19!!!! WHAT THE HECK!!!!!!!! We were FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!! I'm sure the internet and singles wards are all abuzz. At first I thought, "Oh man, this is going to get tricky! Sisters and Elders the same age!!! Ohhhh, bad plan...." But then I started to mellow out and think...This is the best thing that could happen for the future families of the church! Let me explain. Now there are going to be soooo many more sister missionaries, which will not only result in more converts, but the women of the church will become stronger in general. The girls who always wanted to serve, but got married instead...will almost be a thing of the past. I am just thinking out loud, and I'm not talking for everyone, but how many girls are truly prepared to be married at 19? Not many. I certainly wasn't. Serving a mission has been the greatest thing to happen to my life and my spiritual/emotional maturity. I feel so much better prepared to handle life and my future as a mother because I did get to serve a mission. There are a lot of really incredible women, who did not need to serve missions, because they were incredible already. I was not one of those really mature and incredible women, so I needed to serve to refine me. ...My thoughts are all over the place, and I don't want my inability to articulate them to get me in trouble, so I will just stop there. My final words: I am glad that more sisters will get the opportunity to serve.
And because I am a missionary, I obviously LOVED Elder Nelson's talk. I thought it was GREAT! We had an investigator by our side, and she kept looking over in shock as he listed all the things we do. "Do you really do all of that?" YUP!!! Every day! And we love it!!! 

We tried to be really tricky with our conference plans this weekend, and it TOTALLY WORKED OUT!!! We have been planning extensively for weeks about who our investigators and less active families would watch conference with (plus the when's and where's). It was great! So many of them got to experience the blessing on conference, and we were able to be involved with their experience. 

Saturday morning we went to Jennifer McDonald's to watch it. She is our investigator who loves to read the Book of Mormon. She had gone out of town and hadn't been able to meet with us to preface the conference. She didn't know what she was getting herself into and what to expect...and she was quite nervous. But when we walked in the door, she had 3 platters of snacks out and was ready to go. She LOVED THE SESSION!! She thought it was fantastic! She enjoyed it so much, she invited us to come back Sunday Morning as well. (Big bummer, solar flares stopped the satellite feed, so we missed the first half of Dieter's talk!)

Saturday Afternoon, we went to watch it will Hal Richman and his family. He is the less active guy we have been working with forEVER who finally came last week. He and his wife were TOTALLY GLUED to the TV, and thought it was fantastic! We had such a terrific discussion afterwords. 

Sunday morning, we walked in Jennifer's door, and she had gotten all dressed up in a skirt and was wearing all kinds of makeup and jewelry..which is a big deal because she is a farm girl/tom-boy type. She had the snacks out again, and had prepared questions for her life and had a notebook and everything! Again we had the first half of the last speaker's talk, Monson, cut off, (but that was okay.) We discussed afterwards and she talked about how inspired she was to change. At first she didn't want to give up anything, but she recognized that her heart was softened, and she felt the task was doable, one step at a time. Oh yay!!!!.....Oh and HOLLAND IS MY HERO!!!!! I LOVED HIS TALK!! (big surprise)

Sunday Afternoon we went to the Stake Center to meet all the people who had promised to come to that session. We had a pretty good turn out. And it was just good. :)

This week we learned how to least the beginner stuff. We are going to a part member family's home to have the non member mom teach us today. We are really excited.

There was a crazy thing that happened this thursday! Okay, it was probably pretty normal, but to me it was a big deal. We pulled into home, and Sister Isaacson opened her car door to have smoke come in. She flipped, "Get out of the car! Get out of the car!" So then I flipped "Get your stuff! Get your stuff! And then call Elder James." Since my mind is crazy anyways, I think we are getting close to an explosion or something. Sister Isaacson cracks me up, because when she calls the vehicle coordinator, she takes the time to say: "I have a story to tell you. Once upon a time there were two sister missionaries....there was smoke, and they didn't know what to do....the end!" WHAHH??? There is SMOKE BILLOWING out of the engine, and fluid gushing from the underbelly, and you are telling a story?!?!?!?! He instructed her to open the hood and figure it out...and I;m thinking, "Are you CRAZY!?!?!?! Smoke means flames! Flames mean Fire. You DONT OPEN THE HOOD!!! CAUSE THAT MEANS A BIGGER FIRE....which means BOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!! (explosion)" but, I listened to my instructions and risked losing my eyebrows, arm-hair, and life, by opening the hood. ....Nothing as dramatic as I expected happened. :) ....The radiator hose popped off and fluid went EVERYWHERE. So, now we have a loaner truck while that one is getting fixed.

On Tuesday we had a first ever sisters only conference. I sent a picture of all our shoes at the mission home...I thought it was cool. It was great, I had a lot of my personal struggles addressed, and I felt so uplifted. At the conference, my rug that I had custom made out in Toadalina was delivered to me! LOVE IT!!!! That thing is worth $300-$400, and I got it for $150. WOW. LOVE IT!!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love you
Sister Wilkins

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012 (email)

I get to stay!!!! WOOOOOTTTTT!!!! We are so excited!!! Words cannot describe how happy we are! And big news, Sister Patrick and Sister Nay are going to be companions....I'm kinda anxious to see how that all turns out. I think it has the potential to be extremely helpful for both of them. ...

Last week I forgot to tell you about HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS!!!!!!! (I think) YOU NEED TO TRY THEM!!! EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!! I am not normally one for marshmallows, but these were to die for!! They were so fresh and spongy and perfect!!! Just look it up!!!

More heartbreak and things that I forgot to tell you: We had a fantastic lesson with Wood Begay last week (he is the dad of one of our favorite families). He and the mom, Barbara hadn't gotten married in the last 12 years, because he was an alcoholic and was terrible when drunk. She wanted her family together, but not when he was terrible. For the last 2 months, since we had been meeting with them, he had totally changed his life around and had sobered up. But then on Friday night he started drinking again. He fessed up to us, and we had an incredible lesson on the Atonement and repentance. He was so open and vulnerable, and the spirit was there so strong. He opened up about all of the miserable and terrible things that had happened to him, that led him to drink. The poor guy has never had anyone ever believe in him, and so he doesn't think he is worth anything. He has been belittled and put down for so long, that he thinks he is destined to be unhappy, in jail, and to die young. I had a completely new understanding of the Atonement after talking to him. I wanted to take away all his pain. All of it. I was willing to suffer, so he didn't have to. But then I also knew that even if I did suffer, he would still have to do something about it all to make it applicable. It was so cool to have first hand experience of the tiniest bit of what Christ felt.

Then we also had a FANTASTIC Tuesday, because we set a Baptismal Date with Melanie James, Dorothy Pinto's granddaughter who is living with them. We were so excited, and so was she....BUT....then we found out that Melanie is on Probation, which means that she can't be baptized yet...for another YEAR!!!! AHHHH!! :( Ooohhhhh....we still have to tell her, and I'm not looking forward to it! Ah. pray for us!

I included a photo of Sister Isaacson and I from last week with our matching shirts. We thought we were soooo stinkin' cute!

Then there is a photo of the awesome sky we have here! I think you should all be jealous!

And a photo of me holding a dead dragon fly. I LOVE dragon flies, but it was really creepy looking dead. I was really proud of myself for touching it.

Finally, there is a picture of a quote from an old pioneer journal. We found it when we went to the Family History Library with Dorothy... It was a book on the saints who settled the Ramah area...and for all of you non-Wilkins readers, Ramah is where my pioneer ancestors settled. The quote cracked me up as well as inspired me from their courage and determination.

Yesterday we had a TOTALLY FANTASTIC SACRAMENT MEETING!! Why? Because we had 2 less active families that we work with come. Neither have come in 10 years, and they were both there on the same day!!! Hal and Connie Richman came, and we see them EVERY WEEK. Hal is always the talkative one, and Connie would just deal with us being there. Then Connie started to open up...and yesterday when Hal and Connie were there, we expected Hall to be much more excited...NOPE!! It was CONNIE!!! She was beaming from head to toe! And smiling like there is no tomorrow! Then Oscar Keeling came, and he has been a toughie! because he was offended by a past bishop. He just showed up, without us ever really pushing him! AWESOME!! Everyone just took him under their wings and took him everywhere. He was grinning and jolly and fantastic! Oh yay!!!!

I hope you have a terrific week!!!

Love you lots!

Love, Sister Wilkins