Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 31, 2012 (email)

Hello Everyone!

Happy New Year!! I'm sure all of you have really fun plans for this evening..."but as for me and my house"...we are serving the Lord and all of our days are alike. Holidays really don't mean much. I have 2 poppers left from a package mom and dad sent me last year, and we will use those...and that will be the excitement of our New Years. woot...

Coming home at the end of this transfer didn't seem real until I talked to everyone on Skype last week. I was in denial that it was actually happening, until I was told all of the plans when I get home. Its a weird mental place to be in, because I am excited for all of the new experiences, but I am LOVING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!!!! I love being in Blanding with Sister Maynez!

Oh, did I get to tell you that is my new companion? I can't remember. I am training sister Edith Maynez. Born in Mazatlan, Mexico and raised in the United States. She is INCREDIBLE. I adore it helps that she is a great missionary, and the most beautiful sister missionary I have ever seen! I love working with her. We are both really upset that I am only here for 7 weeks. But she is excited, because she is going to inherit a TON of my stuff, because I don't need it when I go home.

These last 2 weeks have been totally crazy and disorganized. We got to town and had absolutely NOTHING to work with. When we finally got some teaching records, they were not organized in any way, shape or form, and the information on those few sheets, was very scant (and in chicken scratch). It took forever and a day to get things put together. We were bustling around constantly that we didn't even have time to think about Christmas. We didn't really register that we should slow down and really think about the meaning of Christmas.

We had 3 dinners planned for Christmas Eve. We were mostly thinking about trying to eat all of the food. We are very tiny girls, and we didn't want to offend any of them. We got through the first dinner, and we were glad to get was a quiet and slightly awkward extended family dinner. Sister Maynez leaned over and said: "Are all white families like this? I don' think I can handle 2 more of these tonight. My family is Latin! We are loud, and this is sooo boring."

I just giggled and promised her that there are loud white people....(that was the 3rd dinner). We made our way to house number 2, the Pehrson's. Sister Pehrson had planned to invite one of the investigator families over to eat with her young family...but they couldn't come, so it was us, her family with 5 young children, and her parents. We thought it was just going to be any other dinner, but it actually changed our lives.

Her home was not a castle, you could tell children lived there, and the Christmas tree had lost some its magic from the children removing all the ornaments but the 3 on the very top. And yet her home was the ABSOLUTE BEST PLACE TO BE ON CHRISTMAS EVE!!! because she created the perfect evening. It was a simple dinner: soup and bread, but it was homemade and delicious. Not too heavy but very healthy and filling. The dinner conversation was really pleasant and happy. Sister Pehrson reminded me soooooo much of Maddy McHale Walker. I could have listened to Sister P all night.

The life changing moment came after dinner. Sister P gathered all of her cute red headed children into the family room. She sat on the floor with a baby crawling all over her. Us adults sat on the couches that had been obviously loved and played on. Sister P began to read her children the story of the nativity. The book she had was the Luke 2 words, but the paintings were done by the LDS artist Joseph Brickey (He has the painting of Joseph guiding the donkey, with Mary looking at the shepherd boy who is tending his sheep along the path). She paraphrased the story because she knew her children would not be able to hold still. As she read, some of the children sat still, while others be-bopped around. She would ask the moving child a question and they would pause, step closer, answer sweetly and correctly, and then sit at her feet.

The room was filled to the brim with the Spirit. It was the most tender and beautiful Christmas Eve I have EVER experienced. It was the perfect Christmas eve. Here was a righteous mother in Zion, who actively teaches her children the gospel. And she taught the way the Savior would: with love and patience. Her children had testimonies and they knew of their mother's love. That was a home where the spirit resides. It was the best experience I have ever had. I was moved to tears as I observed and watched and treasured the moment.

Yesterday we had to give 2 talks. One 20 minutes long in a ward we DON'T serve in...and another 10 minute talk in the one we live in. We were totally pooped. The coolest moment of the day was when Brother and Sister Brown from Encinitas/Olivenhein walked in with their daughter who lives in our ward! SOO COOL.

Wow, that was a really long email.

I love you! got to go!
Sister Wilkins

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Here is my simplified year in photos!
Left top to right: Sister Isaacson, Sister Kesler, Sister Nay, Sister Rowley, Shiprock, and Sister Patrick.
Love, Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Monday, December 17, 2012 (email)

Um, really big things are happening here!!!! ahhhhhhhhhh

We got transfer news on Saturday...and I was shocked. President did not let me know before hand, and he usually hints or flat out tells us with something big.... I AM BEING TRANSFERRED TO BLANDING, UTAH!!!!! I am going to open the area to sister missionaries, and ......I AM GOING TO TRAIN AGAIN!!!!!! what?!?!?!?!? I am going to be in a YSA and a family ward!!! CRAZY!!! I have to pack up everything, twice...back to back....and because I don't know what she will have or need, I have to bring it ALLLLLLLLL. I can't just throw it away now or leave it for someone here, but instead carry all that junk to Utah, and then deal with it there. I thought I wanted to stay in Farmington, but this new assignment is so fantastic! I had a wish list of things I wanted to do before my mission ended, and this fulfills all of them! I wanted to serve in all 4 states, open an area, serve in a singles ward, and to train one last time. Wow. (I guess I should be careful what I wish for.)

Actually, getting what I asked for is what I really wanted to talk about today. Before I was put with Sister Nay for the second time, I was praying to know what else Heavenly Father had for me to learn before I finished, and I really wanted a closer connection to Christ. I had a lot of little things/characteristics I was asking Him about, and I hoped that I would live up to His expectations. When I was put with Sister Nay, I thought, "Well, this is just another trial and I will have to grit my teeth and get through it."

I had that mentality until this last week. We had a spat and it was not fun. I had to tell her that I was getting too frustrated to act and think appropriately, so I went to bed to pray and think and compromise in the morning.

The morning came, and I thought that I was being really Christlike and I was compromising really well, but when I presented my ideas to her, it totally flopped. Here I was being humble and submissive and it wasn't good enough.... (so I thought) ... But then she said something that clicked, and everything changed. At this point I can't tell you what it was, or what all of my questions were concerning, but I finally gave up my will and let the Spirit take charge. I took a HUGE step back and then saw the obvious right in front of me.

I realized that SHE was the answer to my prayers. She was not a trial, but in fact the perfect answer and the perfect way for me to learn what I had been asking about. I thought Heavenly Father was delaying my answer, but in reality, He gave it to me right away. Oh, I have been so hard and so blind. I can't believe that it took me this long to figure things out.

I wanted to work harder and tract better, and she has done exactly that. She has pushed me to work harder than any companion ever has. She has opened my eyes to new ways of doing things. At first I whined and complained and kicked against the pricks, but then I started to understand what she was trying to teach me. You know how much I don't like change, but she helped me to see that my way is NOT the only way (Here I was trying to teach her that, but I was wrong the entire time). This last week we worked our selves into the ground. Our average number of lessons, was around 18. the mission standard to aim for was 20...and this week we did 33!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY COW!!!!!! Plus, we have quadrupled our investigator pool, and it we had TONS of people at church! holy smokes!

Last night we had a white elephant gift exchange with the Gish Family. They are incredible, and they have adopted me as either another daughter or granddaughter. There is a joke in their family about what their granddaughter Tosha's first kiss over the alter will look like...and its a terrible cross eyed, fish lips thing. They were so proud of their unique idea, and then were tickled when I had a similar ability for awkward faces...for the last 3 months, when ever I go over, Tosha and I have to make the faces. Well, for the gift exchange, someone found UGLY kissing Tosha and I HAD to have them. So...tada!!! SSSOOOO UGLY!!! and so wonderful!!

I love you all so very much. I probably won't email next week, so MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope you have the most incredible year. This is the year that I finally understand and treasure  Christ at Christmas, instead of just enjoying the holiday. 

Love, Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Monday, December 10, 2012, (email)

I am FROZEN. It is rotten cold. OK, so its still in the 30s but that is as cold as I want to go. Yesterday we got a whopping 1/2 inch of snow. It hardly stuck to the ground, but it was snow none the less. We were studying, and I looked out the window and had to dart out the front door to run in it.
On Tuesday, after emailing you, Sister Nay started to feel kinda crummy. Her stomach bothered her and at dinner, she just sipped her water. We went to our first home that night, and knocked on the door. The guy walked out, and Sister Nay said, "Excuse me," and she walked away. "Sister Nay? Sister Nay?" I rescheduled with the man, and walked around the corner. The poor thing was busy being sick in the dirt and we canceled everything for the night and went home. I felt bad that she was so miserable  but I was thankful for the opportunity to catch up on my extremely long to-do list.

On Wednesday we met with Leonard. I taught him in Shiprock. Actually, he was the very first appointment that I went to on my first day there. I love Leonard. There is something very special about his spirit. I feel connected to him on so many levels. When I was in Shiprock,  discovered something cool with him. We would read the Book of Mormon outside because he was a single man, every single appointment. He was on probation, and was waiting to be baptized. He is still waiting, but he is incredible. We sat and read again this week. Whenever I read with Leonard, the scriptures become alive for me. I feel like I am transported there and that everything is happening right around me. It doesn't happen with anyone else, but I love that experience.

On Thursday we had a Zone Training Meeting, which is pretty much a glorified district meeting where the entire zone is there. Elder Huff, has been serving in Toadalina for a few transfers, and has become a good friend. He is an incredible missionary, and is soo focused and put together. You know he will be a great leader someday. Well, in this mission there is the tradition of passing down ties from Elder to Elder...In all of my areas, there have been good friends that I have given ties to...but NO ONE HAS EVER GIVEN ME ONE BACK (I know I'm a girl, and don't wear them, but Sister Tsosie and Sister Thomas ALWAYS got ties in return, and I never did)...well, Elder Huff gave me a tie. Hooray. I know its not a big deal for you, but for me that is huge!

The day got better because at lunch, the lady at KFC (our regular Thursday, post-meeting-food-place) remembered my order! That has never happened to me! I have never been regular enough at a place for people to remember me. Dang. It was just a good day. 

We spent all day Saturday finding new investigators  it was a long day, but very rewarding, At the end of this week, we found 7 new people to teach, and that is the most I have ever gotten in a week. Sister Nay may be a pain to live with, but she is the best tracter and finder I have ever been with.

I love you all! I'm sorry there aren't any photos to send, I don't take many pictures with Sister Nay.

Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Temples and Pillows

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (email)

My letter is a day late, because we went to the Monticello Temple yesterday. It was the absolutely BEST day I have had in a LONG time!!! I got to sit by Sister Patrick and Sister Isaacson and then they sandwiched me on the couch in the celestial room and we all held hands as we cried and prayed silently. We had one handkerchief (that Grandma Hardy gave me for my birthday) that we passed back and forth between the 3 of us so we wouldn't have to get up. I had some serious questions to ask Heavenly Father, and He answered EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Oh, it was fantastic. I definitely needed that to deal with the craziness and stress that is my life now with Sister Nay.
Speaking of Sister Nay, she has made incredible changes since the last time we were together...and this transfer is not one of oppression or depression like last time....but it still isn't totally fun. We do laugh more now, and I have learned how to show her love in a way that she will recognize. 

Oh, in the subject line, I mentioned pillows...there will not be a mission-wide Christmas gathering this year, so yesterday became our celebration (non of us knew that until after it was practically over). The mission office gave us some little gifts....and one of them was a travel pillow made out of a Blue Corn Flour sack..that is the MOST USED FLOUR IN ALL OF NEW MEXICO...and the only flour that Navajo's will use to make fry bread. Us missionaries have gotten pretty creative about how to use those bags to make cool things for ourselves. I LOVE MY PILLOW!!!!!! So fun!!!

I feel like there isn't much to tell you....I just keep trucking on, and taking it day by day. Time was previously going at light's speed, but now it is crawling....oh well. We have been doing a lot of tracting and it gets easier and easier every day. (Thank heavens.) 

Well, I'm totally clueless on what else to say...sooooo....

Sister Wilkins