Monday, January 28, 2013

Its the Final Count Down!!

Monday, January 28, 2013 (email)

Most of you do not know our old neighbor Georgia...she was Emma's best friend when they were little. She and Emma used to sing karaoke together, and they always sang "Its the final countdown" and that was really the only line they knew from the they would sing it the loudest...and then mumble everything I keep hearing them say/scream/sing the phrase in my head. :)

There is so much to say, and hardly any time to say it....well, I mean you could wait for me to tell each of you in person, but that takes all the fun out of weekly emails.

I about had a fit in Sacrament meeting yesterday. There was an elder leaving on his mission, and THEY HAD A FULL BLOWN, LOOK-HOW-GREAT-MY-SON-IS-WHILE-I-CRY-ALL-OVER-THE-MICROPHONE FAREWELL!!!!!! WE DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE!!! DID THEY NOT GET THE MEMO?????? ITS BEEN TEN YEARS!!!!! BE GONE! AWAY WITH YOU!!! I was really irritated. no, it was not jealousy, it was..."um, excuse me, do you realize you are ignoring the instructions given by the prophet of the Lord?" Then at the end, it looked like a wedding reception line as all of the ward members filed to the stage and hugged the kid and all the teenage girls in Blanding blubbered their eyes out. "Girls, GO AWAY! He needs to focus!!! This is not about HIM! He is giving up the self centered focus and giving everything to the Lord. This is about the Lord!! Not how the star kid in town is going away!"

I had to remove myself from the room and think happy thoughts. Oh, I'm such a party pooper. So, if you were invited to my non homecoming talk...don't expect a lot of pomp and pagentry. I am going for plain. This is not about me. Yes, I am home, and that will be fun, but this section of my life has been about no big frilly-ness. We will party up at home afterwards, but the church will be reverent, and respectful and focused on church things. ...hhaaaaaaaa. I feel better :)

Monday we had a fantastic day. we went on a muddy/snowy hike as a district. We went to some Anasazi Ruins at the south end of town. It was sticky and pokey and AWESOME. The best part of the day was right before dinner. When an Elder is done with his mission, he burns an entire suit...well, I wanted to be a part of the fun. So I put a YSA in charge of I brought my clothes and my boots that I hate with a passion, and we hung them on the end of a long metal stick. I held the stick, the YSA doused the clothes in gasoline, and sister maynez held the blow torch...there is a before and after photo....the fire plume was at least 20 feet tall! AWESOME!!!!!

Oh, I get yet another CTR ring. This one is turquoise inlay from Bluff. Love it!! you think I liked CTR rings or something.

A monumental thing happened this week...for the first time ever, I witnessed someone cry when the first vision was introduced to someone!! Coolest thing ever! I will give more details later.

I got a wedding announcement for Sister Kesler this week. I had a fit. Why? Because the sealing is this WEDNESDAY!!! One week before I get home! I had a real fit..As in pacing the floor, arms flailing, and the morning I beat the tar out of a punching bag, and now I feel much better!!! Now all I feel is happiness and excitement for them. Congrats Chrysty and Nathan!

I seriously questioned my desire to have children yesterday. We were asked to help teach primary...but then we got there and we were teaching a large CTR 5 class. We made sure there was another adult there,but oye!! There was one little boy, CEDAR...oh, he and I are going to have a word in heaven. I wrestled that child for an hour. WRESTLED!!!! I have never had to refrain so hard from hitting a child!! (And I'm not even that fond of spanking!!!) Oh, I wanted to pin him to the ground and sit on him. Poor Sister Maynez had to teach the entire class while I tried to keep the boy in check. Where was the adult...snuggling with their child in the corner. Oye. I have officially decided I am not going to attend my parents ward when I get back, because I do not want a calling in the primary yet. I will stick with YSA and all that jazz. :)

There is so much more that I could say, but there really isn't time.

Love you all!! See you soon!! Like really soon!
Sister Wilkins

Monday, January 21, 2013

You Got Served

Monday, January 21, 2013 (email)

I got a terrible letter in the mail this was my flight information. NOT OK. You know the phrase relating to being handed divorce papers, "You got served".....well, that's how it felt. Not fun. But I learned that Heavenly Father wants to help me reach one of my goals. I want to place a Book of Mormon on the way home. At first I looked at it like the last thing to check off my missionary to do list: place a Book of Mormon in a crowd of people. But then I realized it is more special than that. I have one last chance to help change someone's life before I don't have the privilege of wearing the black name tag any more. I have been praying that someone's heart be prepared that will fly with me on the 6th, and that I be courageous enough to find them and talk to them.
Yesterday we gave talks and sang in church. We spoke in one of the Elder's wards (not sure why) and the Elders sat front and center to "show their support"...aka to bug us. They were critiquing us....they said I should have looked more nervous, because I was too comfortable and confident and collected up there. Not a bad critique. :) Then we sang....which was an experience. We knew that we were OK at it, but not great. we were both praying for angels to be there with us, because we knew we didn't sound as angelic as we wanted. The Elders came to that one too, and this time they gave compliments. "It sounded incredible. I couldn't believe that it was only the 2 of you. It really sounded like there were more voices."...and I just thought to myself, that's because there were more voices. I love knowing that there was heavenly help with us.

We had 2 day exchanges with a set of traveling sisters this week. These 2 sisters were originally each in trio's, and have been made companions for the last 3 weeks of the transfer. They drive to each sister area and go on splits/exchanges for 2 days. It was a crazy experience, because we got sooooo much work done. We were feeling swamped before because we didn't have time to meet all of the referrals that we had been given...and then after the exchanges we had met so many new people that we were swamped with all of the people to teach. It feels great to have sooooo much to do, but we are really struggling to learn how to manage our time and pick what is the most important thing. 

When I got to Shiprock a year and a half ago, I discovered a world of Native fabric. There are really expensive blankets, known as Pendleton Blankets, that are everywhere on the reservation. They are heavy wool blankets with intricate patterns and intense colors. I have wanted one since week one of my mission. But they are ridiculously expensive. I have never bought one, and told myself that someday, way in the future, I would come back and buy one. Well, I don't have to anymore. There is a family that we absolutely adore here in Blanding, the Keith's. They are native and working on getting to the temple. We have been helping the grandmother to catch the fire and bring her family along as she prepares for the temple. She is thriving with us (in comparison to when she was slightly overlooked when the Elders worked with her family). We were talking about the beauties of the reservation, and that Sister Maynez is missing out. We started talking about Pendleton blankets. Adella ran in the back and got one to show Sister Maynez, and then turned to me and said, "You can have this one." I tried to turn her down, but it was no use. Her husband said, "You really treasured your experience on the reservation, and we can tell that you are a great missionary. You deserve it." I was stunned. I jumped up and threw my arms around Adella. I wanted to hug her husband too, but I refrained.

There is a ward mission leader who is trying to marry me off to a kid from Blanding. He wants me to stay here because he thinks I will be good for the area, as a wife and ward member. Oye. He is pitching this kid hard, and it really isn't doing him any good :) I have no intention of marrying anyone from Blanding. Sorry. I love the area, but no. The missionaries here are now taking bets on how quickly I will be engaged when I get home. Ugh. It just makes me blush and feel silly.

I love you all!

Happy Monday!
Love, Sister Wilkins

Monday, January 14, 2013

Miracles in Blanding

Monday, January 14, 2013 (email)

Your prayers were heard! Aaron got baptized! It almost didn't happen...we saw him Wednesday at 5, just to pop in and give him some paperwork...and he was really excited for his baptism. By 8pm that night, he was a totally different person. Something was really wrong, and we couldn't figure it out. We did our best and started praying. Thursday night was his interview, and he came with a big smile (Aaron never shows emotion) He passed his interview with flying colors. Afterwards we talked to the district leader and his mom. The district leader said that when Aaron walked in the room, the elder knew he didn't even have to interview the kid: spirit to spirit he knew Aaron was ready. But the interview happened anyways and Aaron did great. His mom enlightened us about Wednesday night. His doubts started to go crazy during our final lesson. As soon as it was over, he stormed out of the house and went for a walk. He didn't even get a block before he had to stop and pray. It was a powerful moment for him, and he got his answer very clearly that he should move forward with the baptism...and he hasn't looked back since. He has been meeting with missionaries for 2 years...that's a lot of sets of missionaries. And we just happened to be the lucky ones there. I included a picture of Aaron's big day.

I also put a picture of Sister Maynez and I outside the Monticello Temple. We have district meeting every other week in Monticello, and we are 2 minutes from the temple, so I ran her over there and we looked at it for a minute...well, it only takes a minute because it is sooooo small. :)

So, last Monday we drove with our district to Farmington for a zone conference, but we took the slightly longer way by going through Teec Nos Pos, AZ instead of closer to Cortez, CO. We stopped at 4 Corners monument. IT really isn't that exciting at this point. I've been there 4 times with 3 different sets of people, and there are less vendors set up each time. At least I didn't spend a ton of money...all I did was buy late Christmas gifts for Sister Isaacson and Sister Patrick. We had to race from Teec Nos Pos back to Farmington, because we needed to get the car washed before the best car wash in town closed for the night. I LOVE Octopus Car is my ALL TIME FAVORITE car wash!!!! Well, the racing paid off, because after a year of trying, I FINALLY WON THE VEHICLE INSPECTIONS COMPETITION!!!!! I have tried to win every zone conference, but never could because the Shiprock truck was soooo beat up that it never had a chance. Well, this time  I was driving a brand new jeep, and no one else stood a chance!! We got a trophy and everything!!! WAHOO!!

Zone conference was actually a Tri-Zone Conference. It was not fun to look around and realized that I was the "oldest missionary" in the entire chapel. It was terrible. I didn't like that feeling of knowing that my mission was most definitely coming to an end. The last zone conference before you go home, they have you give a farewell testimony to everyone else. NOT FUN. I was dreading it the whole time. As a new missionary, I would look at those behind the podium and wonder if I was ever going to learn as much as them and be as confident and sure as them. When I was out for 6 months I hoped that the podium would come faster. At 12 months I realized that it wasn't too far away. And this week I actually had to stand at it. My main goal was to have my remarks touch someone's heart. They didn't need to be fancy, they just had to be exactly what someone needed. Afterwords, I had multiple people come up and tell me that my testimony was one of the most powerful testimonies they have heard in a long time (one sister even said it was the best she had ever heard) WOAH!!!!! That made me feel good...:)

A miracle from the trip was Monday night. We went to dinner, and then met up with the Farmington 4th Sisters to teach until bed. What family did we go see? The Behrens!!!! They didn't know we were coming. We got there before the other sisters, so I knocked on the door, and Aviana opened it. She recognized sisters, and invited us in, but didn't realize which sisters were at her door. "Aviana, its Sister Wilkins"...she cocked her head, and looked at me funny and then threw herself out the door and landed on me. She started sobbing and all the other kids came running out for a giant group hug. Barbie eventually came out and saw me standing there, and pulled all of her children off of me, so that she could wrap her tiny arms around me. She cried harder than Aviana. I found out that Aviana had been having dreams for a week that I would come back, and then Barbie told me that she had been praying that I come back. Oh, it made me feel so good to know that I had touched someone's life and help them feel loved. Elijah will turn 8 in March, and they want me to come back for his baptism. I didn't make any promises, but I sure will do everything in my power to make it happen! Oh, I love that family.

Yesterday we spoke in 2 sacrament meetings...again. And next week we are speaking in one of the elder's wards (why don't they ever ask them?!?!?) and singing in one of our wards. Oye. We are going to sing a duet. Faith in Every  Footstep. We are doing parts, and we are crossing back and forth over each other. It is kinda hard....OK, its downright tough, but we are excited about it.

Oh, and one of my ward mission leaders is trying really hard to set me up with my future husband. He is trying to be all kinds of sneaky and meddle with everything. Oye. I just smile and nod.

Well, that is my life! Love you,
Sister Wilkins

P.S. If any of you did not hear, my non-homecoming talk is now on February 17 at 1pm at my parent's ward building, the Provo UT Stake Center: 1315 East 900 South PROVO, UTAH 84606

Monday, January 7, 2013

ka pow! punch! bang!

January 7, 2013 (email)

Why such an active subject line? Because I interact with people who do that for a living.
There is a man, Brother Ford, in one of our wards who is a professional MMA fighter. He does the BIG televized fights. He could kill me in about 2 seconds if he wanted to. He owns a gym in Blanding, where he trains people how to fight, and he is a personal trainer. He invited the Elders to come and work out with him in the mornings years ago. He is a convert and likes to have the missionary spirit nearby. When we came into town, he invited us to join too....and we did....and we wanted to die the first day. OYE! It was sooo intense. But then we got the hang of it, and we are really enjoying ourselves. We don't do any fighting or anything like that, he just works our tooshes. He has us lift weights, but in a way I have never done before. I have always focused on toning, but he does power lifting. We do 3 sets of 5...with CRAZY HEAVY WEIGHTS!! He had us dead lift 130 pounds!!! Here I am, tiny little me, picking up more than what I weigh! HOLY FREAKING COW!!!! Brother Ford has a big, televized, national title fight on Feb. 9 in Salt Lake. WOAH!
This week was SOOO busy. Our New Years was bland...for Blanding. :) We painted our toes, popped a single popper at 10 pm with New York City, and went to bed. Woot.
We had a meeting in Cortez this week, and I had a really odd experience. As we drove into town, and all of the familiar scenes came into view, I started to stress out. A nasty wave of anxiety and fear came over me. All of the anxiousness and ugly feelings from my abusive companionship there came flooding back. NOT FUN. All I wanted to do was turn the car around and leave town. I felt better once our meeting got going, but it was not an enjoyable experience driving around town. I don't care to go back there any time soon.  The best moment of the day was when the Zone Leaders announced in front of everyone, that President had told them that I was the best missionary in the Farmington mission at organizing and keeping the area books up to date. The best? I thought they were exaggerating. Nope. Pres says I am better than the assistants. SWEET!!! That's kinda cool. At least I did something right.
This week we are planning a baptism for Aaron Tree. He has investigated the Church many times, and this time seems ready to go. His mom is a reactivating member, and his older brother is also investigating. Aaron is 14, and really prepared. We love working with him. Please pray that everything goes well.
I do have some bad news. My parents' bishopric didn't check the stake schedule before planning my talk, so my talk has been moved back a week. I will be speaking on February 17, at 1pm instead. I'm sorry for the confusion. I hope you all have a fantastic week!
All my love,
Sister Wilkins
Random wooly mammoth made of twigs in Bluff, UT
This is my awesome pioneer church I go to for 3 different sacrament meetings