Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mission Newsletter #2

Hello Everyone!

I love you all so, so much! I miss you all so much, but don't worry. I'm not homesick like I was in the beginning of the MTC. Everything is going so well, but let me do a break down before I get ahead of myself.

The last of my time at the MTC flew by soooo fast. I was just getting a hang of everything and really enjoying my time there when we were shipped out. We didn't get much sleep before the flight. We had to be up & going by 2:30 AM!!!! We also got to bed late cuz we had to pack and clean our room. So total amount of sleep: 2 hours. Total amount of catch up sleep: 0 hours.  So, let's just say I have dosed at the baptism of a little boy in the ward when the bishop was killing time, waiting for them to get dressed and cleaned up. Whatever though! That is not a surprise with me at all. Haha.
Everyone excited to start the Alabama journey. (Sis. Drummond in the front. She was my temporary companion on the first night here)

Alabama has been great so far. There is quite a bit of poverty. I didn't really expect that to be true. Everyone is so sweet though. It is so religious so they are really friendly and nice and THEN reject the message. At least they are way nice about it first. I love that. But seriously, it is so religious. One business building said, "JESUS 'Then Business'." How funny! It is such a different culture, but I love it. I can't wait to show you, Mom & Dad, out here to see everything I have so far.

My first view of Alabama - so green and beautiful!
My companion is Sister Senior. She is so nice! I love her. We have gotten along great. She is from Utah and did ballroom dancing professionally until age 17, but she still loves to dance and go to Latin clubs and such. She has a boyfriend in ARGENTINA, too! Buenos Aires. How crazy is that?! He lives there, though. He's from Argentina and is going to Medical School right now. He is already an RM. His name is Nikko. It's so cute though. He sends her packages for her and her companions. He is a sweetheart. It's really funny all the things we have in common. Also, the night before we became companions, she dreamed her new companion was going be have long brown hair and be 22. I call that revelation.
Me and my companion, sis. Senior. The first day we met. :)

We have quite a few investigators right now. Tywanna is really progressing a lot. She has a heart of gold. She is always wanting to learn more and more. We talked to her about the plan of salvation this last time and she was so relieved she flopped back on the couch and reclined and said, "That makes me so happy!" With a huge smile on her face. She was so joyful. It was seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen. We are also starting to teach Christian. He is 17 and is very promising. He seems interested. He has been going to church (a different one) on his own for years and his friend Marlee in our ward referred him to us. He has accepted baptism after our first lesson with him and our hopes for him is that he will serve a mission too. :) Essex and Kenny are cousins. They have had all the discussions, we are just getting them to come to church so they can be baptized. They used to smoke a pack a day, but the sisters had them commit to lose one cigarette a week. By the time I came, they were at 1 cigarette a day. Now they are completely off them! They are so strong and they have done great! They haven't cheated at all. Kenny especially loves learning what we teach. Essex especially loves to talk. haha. They are great though. There are a few more we are teaching as well and then we are working with less actives/recent converts, but it's hard to talk about everyone.

The thing I have learned most this week is love. Missionary work isn't as stressful and hard as I had thought. Basically, speak simple truths and love them. Can I also say, the Lord knows me so well. He sent me to the perfect mission for me with a wonderful companion. He has given me everything I need to jump right in and love every minute of it. I also went tracting, which was like my greatest fear, and it wasn't bad!  I feel like He has just been helping me every step of the way.

I feel like it has been so long since I have talked to everyone because so many big things have happened in only one short week. I can tell this mission is going to fly already!

Well, I love you all and I miss you! Xoxo
-Sister Salmond

P.S. Sister Senior and I ordering XL Fried Lovers! They are from Ralley's. They have their own seasoning which tastes like a poultry seasoning.

Also, at Sister Ali's she was making dinner as she left and it was french fries with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and a homemade classic white gravy. A true Southern meal. Never would see that in Utah. haha. Maybe you guys could try that one too!

Oh! Sister Gunter, a Japanese lady in the ward, made us curry and rice with a good salad. The dressing was rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and Japanese seasoning. Might make a good asian salad for dinner one night with nuts, mandarin oranges, chicken, carrots, etc.

MTC Photos

My district with Bro. Cowdin (He was awesome!)

Bro. Usevitch's class (He had me give a modesty talk!!! I was the most modest of all the missionaries! They even admitted it. That's ok though. I am now being more cautious to learn and heed his words...)

Bro. Burdette! (He just came in and helped with our class, but he served in our mission . He was so fun and told us lots of stories. He was cool!)

My district in front of the MTC map
The Girls in my zone in front of the MTC map
Me and Elder Scruggs in front of the MTC
Me and Elder Scruggs in the MTC

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mission Newsletter #1

Hello Everyone!

Ok, so the MTC is hard right off the bat. I got homesick like... A LOT! Had a breakdown or two, so I guess I am doing something right, since that is what people have told me I should have at least once while I am here. Everyone tells you, make it through Sunday! It will be much easier after that.  Yeah, whatever!  Monday came and my morning still was a little sad. I thought maybe the rule wouldn't apply since we had had Conference and not classes the last two days, but nope! Monday got so much better!  Also, Conference was great!  I loved David McConkie's talk and Christofferson's. (Christofferson is probably no surprise since I want to be a mommy.) Either way, Conference helped me relax, feel caught up and feel a little closer to home, although it still isn't quite the same.

Life is getting so much better though!  Well, first off, I AM WEARING JEANS!!! Let me tell you, you don't realize the joy behind something so simple. It feels so good to wear them again.  Want to hear something totally and completely ironic?  So I had my jacket in the air depressor bag and I got to the MTC and it got FrEeZiNg! I did not want to open the bag and get out my jacket unless I absolutely had to.  After two days of being frigid, I finally cracked it opened and got out my jacket. I only used it half of the day and haven't needed it since! What the heck?! Lame Utah weather!

Classes are going good! I have been learning and growing so much! My scriptures are starting to get more and more colorful. :) I really like our teacher Brother Cowdon! He is awesome and teaches really well. Brother Usevitch, on the other hand, can be way strict. He turns to Preach my Gospel for everything, which isn't necessarily bad. Did you know that he made me feel bad for saying "Ready Freddy?"  He said we need to have dignified language as missionaries. I agree, and I know that is good, but i feel that "ready freddy" is a completely innocent pump up phrase. But I am working on it. I just haven't dealt with someone like this before.

My companion, Sister Neufville, and I taught our first investigator yesterday! We had no clue that that is what we were supposed to do. The schedule said TRC, which we didn't know what that was, so we just went to the classroom. When we got there, we were informed and set upstairs to teach her. WHAT?! We didn't get to prepare or anything! So we said a quick prayer and knocked. It didn't go too bad actually. We were really happy leaving the room. Now, I had a baby idea of what they mean by the joy you feel from bringing someone unto Christ. It is wonderful!

Ok, I never thought this would every happen to me, but I get made fun of for being the studious one!  Me?  So here's the truth, I just use my study time. We are here to learn andif I'm not learning, what am I doing here?  If we finished something early, I usually try to write in my journal or read. The other girls think I should break more and think it is ridiculous how much I study, but if I don't learn, how is the Holy Ghost and the Lord supposed to help me? Also, I am here for the Lord. Therefore, all my actions should be made with him in mind. If I am sacrificing so much myself, and others are sacrificing for me, I will not mock this precious time I am given. Kind of harsh sounding I guess, but I want to do my best.

Lastly, yes, I have seen "Elder Scruggs." It's weird calling him that!  I saw him the first day at dinner. It was seriously so cute! He covered his mouth with a big smile and did a total double take. We raced to each other and chatted. It was so hard not to hug him. I have seen him quite a bit since then. It gets easier and easier not to touch him. We have taken pictures together! I can't send them to you since my lack of resources right now, but they'll be coming soon hopefully!  He has introduced me to his district and apparently they know quite a bit about me. Also, he totally LOVED the Superman onsie I got him. So did all his roommates.  :)  It has been a blessing to have him around. (Oh, I can't write him! How sad! That was hard when I first found that out, but now I am just looking forward to getting all of them at once in Alabama since we agreed to still write, just not send them.)

Well, that's it for now!  Thank you everyone for your prayers!
Love you!
-Sister Heather Salmond

p.s. I am losing weight here... still! I am eating only fruit and salad everyday. I am getting sick of the salad since it is only lettuce, carrots, oil and vinegar. A teacher from our mission, Brother Burdette, says I'll do fine with my dietary things on the mission, which made me feel good. He also said he lost weight on the mission! Didn't see that one coming! Hopefully, that will be the case for me too! hehe. Love you!