Monday, November 26, 2012

pie and more pie

Monday, November 26, 2012 (email)

I was so proud of myself because I had kept my figure looking soooo nice for so long....I don't think it will work out that way. I have had SOOOOOO MMUUCCHH PPIIEE!!!!! And I LIKE it!!! I have tried lots of different kinds, and I don't mind trying more. Just call me the pie queen from now on.
On Wednesday night we were invited to Pie Night at the Eagars...that family that I want to grow up to be like. Sister Eager and her mom made 12 pies that day, and 2 of them being my family's recipes: avocado and oatmeal! Avocado was definitely the hit of the night. Everyone was really curious about it, and you could tell they were nervous, but they all devoured was the only one completely gone. 

Thursday we had to go to Walmart to do our shopping....they were prepping for black Friday stuff. HOLY COW!! that is crazy. I am NOT going black Friday shopping. Nope. Not happening.

We went to the Gish's house for Thanksgiving day. They are another favorite family here. They are just like my real family, and I feel totally comfortable there. Sister Gish talks about me like I am her daughter or granddaughter  and their granddaughter is planning on driving me around town in her revamped VW bug when its finished. This family has also invited us over for Christmas day, and I couldn't be happier about it. I sat and crocheted while Sister Nay helped cook. (I didn't want to be another body in their tiny kitchen). We ate, and laughed, and played Uno, and walked around the neighborhood  and looked through all the black friday adds. (They are big shoppers)

Saturday we spent the ENTIRE day finding people to teach. I was pretty nervous about it, but Sister Nay assured me in the end I would enjoy it. It wasn't that bad. We did find a lot, and it was a highly productive day. The only bummer from the day was heartbreak at the Richman home. I wont disclose any details because its really personal for them, but I ask that you keep that entire family in your prayers. 

We visited with a couple different member families this week, who just made my day. They were telling me about the joy and light that I have brought to their lives. My heart melted. It made me feel like I was actually making a difference. Thank you to Nancy Wood and the Landry Family (especially Miguel, who is 3 years old and has a form of autism. He wants to marry me)

I hope you all have a terrific week!!
We are going to the Monticello Temple Next Monday as a mission, so I probably wont write until Tuesday. I'm sooooo excited!

Sister Wilkins

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jennifer's Baptism

Monday, November 19, 2012 (email)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

SO I have this terribly long list of things to email, but no time to do it. We will probably be kicked off the computers soon, and we are being given special permission to email today. Our pday was moved to Thursday...which I am SOOOO excited for.

Last Monday I was at the copy store, and this girl darts in the front door and throws her arms around me and starts crying. It was Nitra from Shiprock!!!! She saw me walk in an came darting after me. She and I were the dearest of friends and connected really well. But I wasn't really able to say goodbye when I left and I haven't heard from her since. I gave her my info and we were just sooo happy for that little moment. Thank heavens for tender mercies.

I got a blessing from the Toadalina and Shiprock Elders on Monday too. It was the sweetest experience. They have become good friends with Sister Isaacson and I and it was so kind of them to help me out before I got with Sister Nay again. There is something to be said about being surrounded by that much power and love. 

Sister Nay is really good at tracting...which is such a blessing because all of our investigators either moved or we dropped them. We need to overhaul our teaching pool now. We have been working hard...which is good. Because when we are teaching I hardly have time to get irritated or feel like I'm being talked down to. It is only at the end of the night that I feel crummy...but I have been working on smiling constantly, focusing on the positive, and listening to Christmas music. This Christmas is going to mean so much more to me, because I feel like I can connect to the Savior, His love, and His sacrifice more than I ever could thus far in my life.

I had an interview with president and was able to ask my questions. He said he woke up at 3 am one morning, and the spirit told him who all the sister companionships should be in a he wrote them down and did not question the logic. Ok, that is a good enough answer for me. He doesn't know how long we will be together, but I will just take it one week at a time...which is ok because the pattern is holiday, nothing, temple trip, nothing, transfers, holiday, holiday, freak out because I go home in a handful of weeks. yup. I'll make it :)

We had a less active member make us some chili this week, and it was the kind that burned your bum on the way out. It was soooo hot that I literally had to gasp for air after. They said this particular batch was only at a 6, but usually it is around a 9 or 10. holy crap. I have finally become a New Mexican, because I LOVE green chili on EVERYTHING!!! But I haven't burned my taste buds off yet. And I don't plan on it. I think I will have to make a yearly trek back to New Mexico so I can buy fresh green chili to use in all my cooking throughout the year.

Jennifer's baptism was incredible. The ward said it was on of the greatest baptisms they have ever had. Sister Isaacson was able to come, and she and I stood beside the font holding the towel, clutching each other and crying as Jennifer was baptized. We loved every minute of it. Jennifer shared her simple but extremely powerful testimony and had everyone in the room emotional. When she was confirmed on Sunday she was promised so really powerful things. She is so cute. When everyone said hello and congrats later, she just exclaimed: "This is the greatest Church EVER!!!"

I realized something big. When I love people, I feel complete. When I get rushed and Sister Nay is more concerned with the number of people we see, and I don't get to focus on the individual and their needs, then I feel incomplete. I realized that my duty in life will be a visiting teacher for the masses....and I'm ok with that because it makes me feel really good to do it.

I had to play piano for district meeting...which is bad because I am NOT good. The worst part was, my only chance to practice at Ronda's was when her famous son in law, Sheldon Pickering, the concert pianist with CDs world wide, was there to hear me mess up left and right. I was sooooo self conscious  But I promised him that I would take lessons again when I get home. 

Well, my fingers are dead from typing so fast. I'm sorry to my family members who didn't get long responses because of this email. I love you all!!!

Sister Wilkins

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Just rip it off like a bandaid ELDER!!!!!!"

Monday, November 12, 2012 (email)

Um, transfer news came in....We about fell over.

We have tried not to mention the "T Word" at all, because we didn't want to psych ourselves out. Since I have been in Farmington for 6 Months, and only have 3 left, we were sure I was leaving. Either me going to Bloomfield to help Sister Patrick (because she is really struggling) or going to Flagstaff. We were preparing people for the news, and told them we thought I would leave, but didn't know for sure....

The news normally comes in at 9pm...but we didn't get a call until 9:45.
"So nice of you to FINALLY call us."
"Actually, you are the first ones I called....I was going to make you last...but I was so shocked and I knew you wouldn't like it, so..."
"What is it Elder?"
"I mean, this is really surprising, and wow. Just wow."
"Elder what is the news?!?!"
"I hope you don't freak-"

He then word vomited REALLY quick: "Sister Isaacson is going to Bloomfield to be with Sister Patrick, and Sister Nay is coming here with Sister Wilkins."

Silence on our end.

"See, I told you, you wouldn't like it."
"Wow Elder. Wow."
"Ya, I know."
"Okaaayyy then. Um. Thanks. Have a good night."
"Yaaaah, you guys too. You too."

Do you know enough about me and Sister Nay? Maybe not. When I was together with her the first time, I candy coated how bad it was because I didn't want to complain to you all....It was BAD. It was, for lack of a better word, an abusive relationship. It was just ugly. It wore me down into someone almost unrecognizable. When Sister Kesler saw me for the first time after leaving Cortez, she was shocked at who she saw. I wasn't my bubbly self. I wasn't happy. I wasn't me. Sister Isaacson has healed me and brought be back to myself...but this next transfer makes me nervous. It is only 5 weeks long because Christmas day hit right on transfers, so they are moving it up a week....but I don't know what will happen for the 7 week transfer, but I won't allow myself to go there mentally. I will take it one day at a time. The Lord obviously needs me to do it again, and he trusts me. He knows there is a lesson I didn't learn the first now I am at his mercy.

For the last few months, I have been focusing on the phrase, "Not my will, but Thine be done." and this next transfer is a perfect example of that. It was reiterated yesterday at church when we sang the hymn with that title. I will truly miss Sister Isaacson with my whole heart, but I know the Lord needs her to help other people. She healed my broken heart with laughter and love, and hopefully she can do the same for Sister Patrick.

I will change the subject. Jennifer had her baptismal interview last night, and it went INCREDIBLE!!! She is soooooo prepared and ready. I have never met a person so guided by the hand of the Lord. She has been softened and changed and you would never recognize the woman she used to be.

Last Monday at Four Corners National Monument, we had a BLAST! (Literally: the wind was blowing sooo hard that we had a difficult time keeping our skirts down.) We had our lesson, with 5-10 minutes in each state: New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. As we were closing up the lesson, I had the thought: "Well, there are hardly any people here, and no one is taking pictures....It is kinda tacky, but how often do you get the opportunity to pray in 4 states at once? Ya, I'll ask if they want to pray on the center plate."

So I asked, and they all LOVED the idea, so we jumped up in the wind and put our toes on the center plate. I was about to offer to say the closing prayer, because I didn't want Jennifer to be nervous, but before I could open my mouth, she was praying!!! We thought it was great...but we didn't realize how big of a deal that was to her until we were driving home. For Jennifer, that was a moment where she was not ashamed. She was proud to become a Latter Day Saint. She wanted to show the world that this was her decision, and she was going to stick to it. (I felt silly, because I just wanted to pray in 4 states, but for her this was  a MAJOR testimony moment). We had a fantastic time.

Another photo is of what we came out of church to yesterday: Someone had Cheese Whizzed all of our door handles. Seriously? We have the worst luck with our Chitty.

Then there is a photo of us and the Behrens/Begay family. We tried soo hard to gt us all in the photo, with me reaching my arm out in front of us. There is Barbara and Woody, with Aviana, Alicia (Aleesia), and Elijah. We love them. Aviana is the only baptized member, but we are working on the rest of the family. They are sooo sweet.

The last picture is of us and the Eagar Girls, Abigail and Jane. They are the family that we did the mustaches with last time. We went by to say goodbye yesterday, and the little girls brought out the whipped cream again. this time was way more fun, because the little girls put the cream on us, and then us on them. We just laughed and laughed.

Oh, the last bit of big news, President gave Sister Isaacson permission to come to Jennifer's baptism on Saturday!! We are soooo excited. 

I love you all!!!

Have a fantastic week!!
Sister Wilkins

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Eternal Life - Video

Monday, October 29, 2012 (email)
 Please put this on my blog!!! This is awesome!!! I just found it on LOVE IT!!!!!

Candy, Weddings, and Baptisms

Monday, November 5, 2012 (email)

Well, this week was a TOTAL blur!! Halloween feels like it was 2 whole weeks ago...but I'm pretty sure it was only a handful of days back.

On Tuesday we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with Jennifer. We had Sister Gladden from the ward come with us...just because she was the only person whose schedule would allow her to come...and then it was PERFECT!!!!!! Jennifer has been going to the Addiction Recovery Program to help her stop drinking Alcohol...and Sister Gladden has had a ton of experience with that program helping her extended family. She had the PERFECT insight and connected well with Jennifer. On Thursday we had another Sister, Sister Landrum, come with us, and AGAIN we had a miracle strike. Sister Landrum just fell into our lap, and then she was the right person for the job. Jennifer has changed soooo much. I have watched her heart be softened, changed, and empowered. She went from not being interested, to liking the lessons, to loving the messages, to loving changing, and to loving being a part of a bigger family. She is soooooo great!!!! 

Wednesday was Halloween, and it was tough. We didn't have much to do, but we didn't feel it was right to go tracting on Halloween. People would probably open the door because they would expect kids, but we didn't think they would believe we were real missionaries, or that they would even take us serious. We met with a couple less active families to fill the time. At dinner we had ham and pineapple and green chili pizza...and it was THE BEST!!!!! That is my new favorite pizza. I never thought I would love green chili (especially when I hated it as a kid at Grandma and Grandpa Wilkins') but now I can't imagine a world without green chili! 

I included pictures of our pumpkins that we painted on Halloween night. Mine are the 3 little ones. I knew my plan from the get go. I spent FOREVER taping all of those pumpkins, and then painting meticulously....but when I pulled the tape off, half of the paint came off with it....and I ended up free handing the rest of it. Sister Isaacson just started painting her bulbous and ugly pumpkin...fretted over it, and then just went with it. At the end of the night we laughed, because our pumpkins totally match our personalities. I try to plan it all out, and everything has its place...while she frets for a while and then just jumps head first. My plan usually gets messed up and I have to jimmy rig something...but it turns out ok in the end. She just sees what happens, and it still turns out great. (I think her way is a lot less stressful than mine, but I can't seem to figure out how to let things go.)

Friday was Donny and Melissa's Wedding (Hal Richman's grandson). Melissa had me come over and do her makeup before the wedding...which was really fun and I was really proud of myself. It looked fantastic. I included a photo of the 3 of us...I apologize for it not being the most modest picture, but it was the best one we got. We had such a wonderful time a the wedding...probably because we were laughing so hard. That was the most random wedding EVER. Bishop was awkward. The group of people there were a mismatched sort. The bride and groom were soooooo fidgety that we thought they would pass out when Bishop said he would give them some tips on married life, and then said it was from his 20 point collection. 20 Point!!!!!!! Oye. We just had a ball. What we didn't realize was that Sister Isaason's wallet was stolen during the ordeal. not fun. I've been there. I know how miserable that can be. At least now I know what to do to help her.

Saturday was a day of baptisms. But none of them were ours. We were asked to help with 2 of the other ward's baptisms.....because she can play piano, and I am really good at waving my arm around and pretending to know what I'm doing. Jennifer came to one, and she had the BEST time. She testified to us about the power of the priesthood and she was sooo moved by it all. She won't let anything get in her way. When we do our lessons with her, we try to be ourselves, but on our best behavior....well.....this weekend we were able to be more of our silly selves with her, and she ate it up. We were all giggles after the baptism as she was trying to say goodbye. We were talking about 4 Corners and how far it was....and then Jennifer yelled, "CAN WE HAVE A LESSON AT FOUR CORNERS?" Well....if we get permission, and you drive us!....So we got permission, and today we are road tripping to 4 Corners to have a lesson in 4 different states!!! Love it!!!

I love you all!!! Have a fantastic week!!!!
Sister Wilkins