Monday, December 8, 2014

Missionary Newsletter #50

This week, I noticed a few things I need to improve on. It seems like lately, there's been a pattern where those I teach struggle to recognize the spirit and in turn, their answer. It's not like they are purposely ignoring it, it's just not coming to them as easily as others I have taught in the past. Therefore, I am having to dig a little deeper. I love these people so much and want them too to have the blessings and spirit I know in my own life. The question is how... I have come to the conclusion that it has to start with me. I need to recognize the spirit more in my own life and make it a priority to feel it more strongly in the lessons we teach. It's not that the spirit isn't there; it just needs to be there more. Goodbye Sister Salmond! I am not the teacher. I need to let the spirit do all the work. I hope by studying and trying to focus on this more, those we are teaching, can feel it too and come to know of the truthfulness of this church. I have the faith, so I hope we can see miracles come rolling forward with this effort!

Outside of Spirituality, we have seen some BIG Thanksgiving Miracles! The first starts at the beginning of my Huntsville Days... There was a family that was taught previously and have been dropped for a few transfers now. (The mother found the missionaries after watching the Restoration video online and being touched by the spirit. How cool is that?) We have texted them every once in a while, but nothing really happened. Finally, just a little bit before thanksgiving, we heard back from the mother, Veronica! She told us to stop by on Thanksgiving day. There'll be there the whole day! Success!
I made myself Gluten, Dairy, Egg Free Pumpkin Pie and Cornbread Dressing (Southern-styled stuffing) And they turned out really good! Hooray! Victory!
We stopped by at noon, before all our many dinner appointments. They let us in and it was perfect timing cuz they were cutting the turkey to eat! No way! We made it time to eat there too. haha. (Let's just say that I legitimately gained 2 lbs and have yet to lose it from that Glorious Holiday. haha) Anyways, after feasting, we played Scategories, Thanksgiving Style! After a few laughs, we were
Their boy started eating straight from the fudge plate
 and he was set on doing it!
 There was no stopping him and it was soooo funny
able to bring in the spirit of gratitude and how they say "Thank You" back to God. In doing so, we asked how they still felt about baptism and THEY WANT TO BE BAPTIZED ASAP! Ok... I am jumping ahead... The mother, Veronica, and the youngest of their two sons, Kevin (14), loves it and is so on board! The eldest son, Wes Jr. (18) is open to the idea, but is standing back a little bit to do more research on what we believe, which is totally understandable and great! The father, Wes Sr., is not very interested at the time being. Veronica originally wanted them to get into church as a family, but can no longer wait for him to come around. Therefore, Veronica and Kevin are on for baptism on the 9th!

The next day, Veronica took us out for lunch. There, we were able to talk to her more one on one and answer some of her questions about the church, specifically about our current prophet, Pres. Thomas S. Monson. After explaining it she felt much better understanding the role of a prophet. She had so many good question, but overall, what impressed us most as we sat with her at lunch, was her incredible faith and testimony. She really is an incredible woman and God trusted her to seek out the church on her own. There's no doubt. After lunch, being Black Friday, she felt the need to take us shopping! We each got a few shirts, a pair of shoes and house slippers. The talk at lunch was great by herself, but the shopping was the icing on the cake. She seriously is too good to us.

It was great to see Veronica and Kevin at church. The topic was eternal families and having peace in the home. It was perfect for them! God is so aware. Everything is working perfectly, it's like a dream. The church is so true and is aware of each of us. Sister Millard and I are so grateful for this miracle we have been able to see and their baptism will be the best way for Millie to end her mission. :)

Lastly, we had Zone Conference this week. If you haven't heard, the church is doing a Christmas Initiative with the Christmas video, "He Is The Gift." We have all been given pass-along cards to promote it. In addition to missionary efforts, it'll be on the big home page of youtube starting Dec. 7th, allowing 220 million people to see it! And it will be a billboard in Time Square! Wow! It makes me think of the verse in Moses 7:62, "And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to beat testimony of mine Only Begotten;....and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth..." We're spreading the good news with the whole world! Because, He truly is the Gift that just keeps giving and if the whole world knew that, it would be a different place. Y'all should have gotten some pass-along cards in your December Ensign. Take them out and give them to someone you care about, who can use this message! Let us spread this truth to the world like a flood!

I love this church and I am so grateful to be on the mission for such a momentous thing as this. I know miracles will come all over the world from this initiative. I know this work is truly inspired. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season as the crazy begins. ;) Happy Holidays!

Love you All!
Sister Salmond

Mission Newsletter #49

So this week has been kind of dull. We haven't seen many crazy miracles right now. We've just both been sick. Sister Millard with Bronchitis and me with a sinus infection. We had such faith that we'd get over it last week, but sadly didn't. haha. We were on strict orders from the doctor, ward members, and the mission nurse to rest. Rest?! That's like crazy talk for a missionary! We sat in our apartment, looking out the window, watching the elect walk by! After a few hours of nervous twitches and longing to get out, we decided to sneak out. We are such rebels. (evil snickers) and let me tell you with was no easy task! Everyone and their dog was checking on us! But, somehow, we were able to do it!  With much medication, finally, these illnesses are getting kicked to the curb!

Went back to Sandra's to say thank you and when we came, she was preparing Chitlins! For those of you who don't know (which I didn't until I got to the south), that's pig intestine. Yuck! I haven't had to eat it yet and praise the heavens for that! Welcome to Alabama! :)
As far as updates, there aren't much. We are still teaching Ryan though! He is really awesome! He has such a hunger to learn and grow! He set goals to receive an answer and to be baptized! He is really cool to meet up with! We were teaching him the plan of Salvation this week and he related the path we have to make our way home to heaven to the Iron Rod, which he read in his Book of Mormon reading (1 Nephi 8) How cool is that? He perfectly applied the scriptures to our lesson!

With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to say some thank you's. :) (In no particular order)
I am thankful for:
1. Shoes
2. Health
3. Toilet Paper
4. Tissues
5. Food
6. Money
7. Support
8. Friendships
10. Family! Parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, etc.
11. Letters
12. My Charleston Peeps
13. Cars
14. Coats
15. Small Dogs
16. Sunny days
17. Trees (especially in the fall)
18. The Church Families
19. The Gospel
20. Our Savior
21. Music
22. Cooking
23. Our Brains to keep learning with
24. Games
25. Books
26. The Scriptures
27. The mission
28. Miracles
29. Prophets
30. Flowers
31. Windows down
32. Sleep
33. Cute Clothes
34. Water
35. Technology (Hallelujah for that one!)
36. Bug Spray
37. Cleaning wipes
38. Tights (to keep warm with)
39. My voice
40. Air
41. Medications
42. Bags/ Backpacks
43. Make up
44. Junk food
45. Time
46. Warm showers
47. Good smelling stuff
48. Beds & Pillows
49. Jewelry
50. Colors!!! That make this world a beautiful place.

Let us all remember to be grateful, especially during this time of year. "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." Doctrine & Covenants 78:19 What a great promise!?! If we just take a moment to say thank you, God will bless us even more. I encourage all of y'all to take a moment on this Thanksgiving and remember all the simple pleasures God has blessed you with throughout your life.

I love you all! Take care and Happy Thanksgiving!
Sister Salmond

Mission Newsletter #48

So this week has been an interesting one. The weather has really taken a turn... FOR THE WORSE!
It's fReEzInG! and I'm a wimp and can't handle it! Ok... maybe I can, I just don't like to. haha. Unfortunately, with the change of weather, everyone is getting sick! Over half our zone has caught a gnarly cold, including my companion and I! Mine is not bad at all. Very livable. A little sore throat, sneezing and a runny nose, here and there, but nothing bad. Millie on the other hand is dying and going to her grave. She has hacked up a couple of lungs, completely lost her voice and looks overall very sad. Poor thing!  So, we've been indoors quite a bit these last few days. Some may fake being sick, but trust me, this girl is a trooper, and REALLY sick. No worries though, the ward is taking good care of us and we got her some prescription medications this morning finally, so things should be turning around in no time! Hallelujah!

Also, I finally gave in to mission life and got myself some good old granny shoes. ;) They have the nice support on the inside, nice style, and HEIGHT! Talk about groovy, man! Gotta love 'em!
Granny Shoes :) Look at that support & the tassels are boss. ;)

This week, even with the sickness, we had some fun activities! We went to Sandra's house on Saturday and got some good "soul food!" Soul food, for those who may not know, is true southern cookin'. Yes, this sweet lady who we met, offered to show us how it was done. And let me tell ya, we dun it! It was good, although my plate looked a little different from everyone else's. haha.
Everyone had these action shots of making food. All of it I couldn't eat so I was only in charge of the salad. Ta-da! That is one nice salad! ;)

Everyone else's plate

My plate

Lastly, we've been teaching a guy named Ryan. We met him at the mall when he was out on his break. He is a proclaimed agnostic, not because of a lack of faith, but because he has yet to find a religion that he believes is true or right for him. After meeting him, we met up with him the next day. It was so cool meeting and talking with him. It's like God lined everything up for him to receive the gospel. When we gave him the Book of Mormon, he was excited to get started. Since then, he has read 8 chapters and come to church! He loves everything so far and things are going well with him. It's cool to hear everything that comes out of his mouth. It's like he is thinking what I am and says it before I even have a chance to express it! Talk about the spirit! ("[the Holy Ghost] shall teach you all things" John 14:26) It's seriously great to be teaching with him. :)

Well, I love you all. Take care!

Hugs & Kisses!
Sister Salmond

Mission Newsletter #47

Lots of Fun Stories to share this week, so here we go! Btw, Sister Millard and I have come up with cute nicknames: Sammi and Millie! Isn't that adorable? Ok. So, just realize I may be using these nicknames in my emails and such. :)

So first of all, it was Birthday week! Thank you everyone for making my birthday a blast! It was great having Millie's birthday first on the 7th, followed by mine on the 8th! Double whammy! Party central!

November 8th: Waking up and choosing an outfit was difficult. I felt like wearing pink. I wanted to be a Princess for my birthday! So, I started going through all my outfits, then my companion's
outfits... I had made a wreck and didn't find much success. I settled with combining one of her items and one of mine. Wasn't exactly what I was feeling, but it would work. Got ready for the day and then OPEN PACKAGE TIME! Right before Personal Study time. :) I opened up my package from the family and you would not believe what I got?! It was an adorable soft pink and black lace-ish dress! The exact color I was looking for! Perfect style too! It was perfect! I quickly changed and all was right with the world. :)

The rest of my birthday we spent at our Stake's Women's Conference! It was so good! The speaker was Wendy Ulrich and she spoke on the "Habits of Happiness." Sister Ulrich wrote the Adjusting to Missionary Life book and works a lot with missionaries and so she had a special lunch with the Sister Missionaries in our stake. We were able to talk as a group about different problems we face on the mission and it was such a blessing to hear what she and the other sisters had to say about mission life. She also told us that there is a new White Handbook that they are working on that will allow missionaries to have more flexibility and control over their schedule. That seems so strange to me, but I am curious to see what they end up doing. So look forward to that Victoria!

Lastly, for my Birthday, we made my cake! (Thank you family for the means to do so.) GERMAN CHOCOLATE! My favorite! We ate like half of it that night after making it! Yum! So good warm! We've been eating tons of it every day. Will we get fat from it? Heck no! Faith! We have faith that that cake won't make us fat so therefore, we are safe to eat as much of it as we want. :)

The other night we were out and there were coyotes WAY close to where we were! I could hear them howl! Eek! Let's just say, I'm a chicken and jumped in the car! They are scary down here. They come into the neighborhoods at night and we have been warned that they hide and sneak in the bushes. There are accounts of them attacking people and of course cats. I'm paranoid! But crazy! You can tell we are in the country!

Missionary Wise: This week we dropped all our previous investigators and started from scratch! Booya Baby! So we started tracting all over. As we bicycled down a country road, we passed a little house that looked abandoned, so we kept biking. I hollered Millie to a stop when I saw toes in the window! She turned around and saw the toes too! Someone was in there! We knocked on the door and started talking to the woman. As we talked to her, a bug flew down Millie's shirt! AH! It was orange and we were afraid it was a red wasp! I untucked her shirts to find it was a little baby lady bug that I peeled off her back. fewf! Sister Millard then asked to use her bathroom! Yay! Great way to get in the door! We went in and it smelled mildewing, but it's doable. I started talking and teaching the woman as Millie went. We then hear toilet struggles. The lady says to me, "She won't be able to get the toilet to flush. It's broken." I tried not to laugh as Millie peaked outside of the blanket (since there was no door) and said, "Um... I can't get your toilet to flush..." The lady told her it was fine and she would take care of it. Millie was humiliated, which I can't blame her. The Lady ended up not going anywhere, but man! It was an experience to remember! I couldn't help, but laugh SO HARD! I could hardly bike. Man! The adventures as a missionary. :)
Prank from the Elders after coming out of MLC. Elder Collins broke it when he was leaning back! We laughed so hard and then found it on our car thanks to the Assistants. haha! 
Well, with dropping investigators and seeking for more, the Lord has blessed us with 3 new people we have met and are starting to teach. Each one has just started their journey and is uniquely different, but all are so great and it seem like there's a lot of potential. I'll give you more detes when we meet with them more. Also, a previous family that was dropped, we picked back up. It seems like the timing is right now for them! Before, they didn't make time for the missionaries, but now it seems like they really are ready to learn and have God play a larger role in their life! The Lord is blessing us time and time again with people as we work hard! As Sister Millard and I talked about it, it really is such a blessing. We were out of our area for half the week with exchanges, MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), and then Women's Conference, and yet, these big miracles were able to still come forth. I am so grateful for God's evident had in the work. He is so mindful of His missionaries and will bless us, no matter the circumstances as long as we do all we can to do His work. (Alma 26:28, 29:13 hehe.)

Well, I love you all. I hope you enjoyed the many stories this week! I'm praying for you! Take care!
Sister Salmond (Sammi)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mission Newsletter #46

Last minute packing. haha. Happens every time. 
I got transferred this last week from Russellville to Huntsville. Russellville was a quick area, but I loved being there SO much! However, in my new area, I am now with SISTER SHERRI MILLARD!!!! So fun! For those of you who don't know, Sister Millard and I were in the same ward at BYU and lived across the hall! Party! We always joked and hoped we'd be companions and now we are! Who would've thunk!?! Let's just say, we both freaked out when we saw our faces pop up next to each other on the screen! Wahoo! You can expect great things with the two of us together! We are going to kill it out here for the next six weeks!!! WAAAAAHOOOOO!!!
Making wreaths with Becky and Sister Heirtzler

Relief Society Activity of the tour of Downtown. (I realized I walk weird! My butt out! I look like I am going to fall forward. haha. Whatever. No biggy. haha.)

Lynn & Joe :)
However, before I left Russellville, God blessed me to see one last miracle. It's His way of showing His love to me and telling me "Don't worry, I'll take care of them." This time, it was with Lynn and Joe. Sister Woodard and I went for my last lesson with them before I was to leave. As we gathered together to begin the lesson, Joe said he was going to pray. (Now, this is a big deal. Lynn and Joe pray on their own; however, they are very timid and don't pray in front of us. So, him volunteering was very BIG.) He began his prayer. The spirit was incredibly strong as he expressed his gratitude to our Father in Heaven for allowing us to come and change their family's lives. I couldn't help the tears that
ran down my face. God loves them so much and I am so grateful I got to meet them. I feel like they were more of a blessing to me than I was to them, although I'm sure they would disagree. God knew we needed each other. I love them so much and I am so grateful I got to hear such a wonderful, powerful, humble prayer from such a dear man. The Lord will bless their family. I will be overjoyed the day they enter into the waters of baptism and covenant with God. I wouldn't miss that experience for the world. I love them so much and miss them dearly.

Being Velma :)
So far, things are going well here. Sister Millard and I had fun at the Ward's Trunk or Treat! We went with a few girls who have been less active for a long time and some other youth from the ward. The whole night was a miracle! (We were Indians, although a primary kid said we should've been Nephites. "[We] should know that as missionaries." Harsh. haha.) On the day of Halloween, I was Velma from ScoobyDoo! Can you tell?!  I hope so! Best Mission Halloween outfit ever! Yay! We had a good time visiting investigators that night and contacting. I hope all of y'all had a Happy Halloween too!

One of our neighbors is an eternalgator. President Hanks has quoted him before in a transfer meeting, "If you is what you were then you ain't." Which can be translated as, if you say you are spiritual, but you aren't growing or changing, then you are not. We, as Christians, need to always be progressing and coming closer and closer to God in order to do what He would have us do. If we aren't going up, then we are going down. Let us stay going UP!

Ok. So we were carving pumpkins and the CTR didn't turn out so good. :'( But don't worry! I used mom's trick and we put the pieces together with toothpicks!

Well, things are going well here. I love y'all and are thinking of you! Take care and keep us in your prayers! Don't worry about me though! I am in good hands and will be having the time of my life here in Huntsville with Sister Millard!

Love y'all!
Sister Salmond

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mission Newsletter #45

And I have to work with these guys!?!?! haha. Jk. They are great.

I just got news that I'm being transferred from Russellville!!! :'( I know bigger things are in store for me elsewhere, but it's always hard to leave. On Sunday, the Bishop had me bear my testimony and I bawled like a BABY! Holy Cow! Talk about water works! Normally I only cry or tear up a little bit, but every time I looked at Lynn or Joe, it was like a whole river would gush out of my eyeball! It was ridiculous. I really am sad I have to leave them. They are my family. I firmly feel and know that I was sent to Russellville for them. We needed each other. I know that we were friends in the life before. There is that spiritual, undeniable connection. We will be friends forever. That much I know. :) I hope and pray that wherever I go, I will get permission to go back to see them be baptized. That would mean the WORLD to me!

Goodbye, Russelville!
This week we were privileged to have Interviews with President Hanks. I just LOVE that man. He is
great! He is so nice, caring, but also genius! He is so conscious and aware of the Lord and His work. He can know just what to say to help it continue to move forward in vigor! That is a spiritual gift and I am so lucky to have him as my mission president to lead us in the field.

Exciting moment! AMBER WAS BAPTIZED!!! It took place on Saturday! What a great experience for her! You could tell she was happy. :) She said it was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. It's been great to help her and show her what God has in store for her. This is a new start and God is so pleased. :)

This transfer, we've had a huge blessing that every companionship in our ward has had a baptism. 3 Baptisms! That's incredible! It was so great to work together to help with the work. We have a great ward and Sister Woodard and I have been blessed to work with some stellar elders! I'll miss this place!

I am excited for my new area and nervous at the same time. There'll be changes and much growth. I know I will grow a lot in my next area. God has a plan and watches over all of us. No matter where we are. Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." As long as we remember that and put our trust in Him, we can go in courage and say, "All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go." (Joshua 1:16) Wherever I am called, I will go. It's hard to say goodbye, but it's time for another new start! I will have faith, courage, and spunk and go!

I love you all! Take care and pray for me!
With Lots of Cuteness,
Sister Salmond ;)

P.S. Visiting the Home of Elvis for President Interviews! Hubba-hubba. I've been a Belieber, a Directioner, and you better believe that if I were alive during Elvis's reign, I would've been a Elvister!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mission Newsletter #44

On Monday night, after making Gumbo with Causey's for our P-day fun, a tornado came through! Touched down LITERALLY around the corner from our house. Kind of crazy cool! Wasn't a terribly bad one though. It was rated an F1, which F5 is the highest, so we were all ok. :) Kind of fun to be in though! Did the strict instructions we get as missionaries from President and partied in the tub. Fun stuff! 

So, this week, Sister Woodard and I have been trying to think outside the box to help find people who are ready to receive the gospel. By doing so, we actually found ourselves thinking inside the Box! In downtown, we came across a little Library box! Take one book and you give one! Genius! So we took the scandal book and got rid of it and replaced it with a Book of Mormon! All Sister Woodard's idea. :) We placed our card in there too, hoping that someone will call us about it down the road. We'll see!

The GORGEOUS Sunsets here!
We also did a bit of tracting. Not gonna lie, not my fave. I'm trying to find more joy in it though. It's one of my many weaknesses... Anywho, while tracting, we ran into a retired baptist preacher. Oh Joy! It was rough; however, once again, it only strengthens my testimony and the knowledge I have of the gospel. One of the many things he explained to us is that it's all by grace we are saved, and that once you are saved, you are always saved. By that logic, it doesn't matter what you do tomorrow: lie, steal, cheat, murder, etc. What a distorted truth. It saddens me. Yes, our works alone can't save us, and it is only through Jesus Christ, but there is so much more. Our works have a HUGE role in the midst of it. Why would Christ show and teach the way if it didn't matter if you followed the way? It just doesn't add up. Satan wants us to think that it doesn't matter what we do. He takes the plain and precious truths and makes them pleasing to the man. I know "it takes two baby." We must do all we can to live according to the way God would have us live and Christ is the one who has made it possible for us to be forgiven for those times when we do fall short and mess up. There is so much joy in following His commandments and I am so grateful He has given them to us and asked us to follow in his ways. I am so grateful to be a Mormon! 
The Nerd that I am
Outside of planting seeds and talking to everyone, we have been still teaching Amber and helping her prepare for baptism. Yes, BAPTISM! She has been interviewed and everything is squared away for her to be baptized this coming Saturday at 11am! Wahoo!! We are so excited for her. She's faced a little opposition, but she is holding strong. She is so sweet and ready to start a new chapter in her life, which is so good! I know she'll be so blessed by this experience.

Lynn and Joe are still doing great! Love them. :)

This week we were privileged to see Mary be baptized as well. She has been taught by Elder Matson
Mary's Baptism
and Elder VanDyke. We've just helped with the fellowshipping process and such, but she was so happy. At the baptism, we went with her and a member into the bathroom that led into the font. Mary was a little nervous. (She didn't want to slip or anything.) So, we said a prayer with her. After closing, she took a deep breath and said, "I'm ready." We watched her as she went into and out of the water. It went beautifully, no tripping or falling or nothing. In the bathroom, as she changed out of the wet clothes, she giggled. She was so happy! She kept repeating "That was easy as pie!" and "I can't believe I did it! This is the best decision I have ever made.... next to marrying my husband." haha. She was so cute! She was glowing from head to toe. It was such a privilege to be part of that and to see her so happy and ready to be living with the Lord by her side.

That is what it is all about, coming unto Christ. We all have to be baptized in order to live with our Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ again. Christ didn't need to be baptized to remove sin, for he was sinless. Neither did He do it just as an example for us. It goes deeper than that. He did it to "fulfill all righteousness." We all have to be baptized in order to enter in the gates of heaven, and that was true for Christ too. By doing so, we can be so happy, receive so many blessings and live with our Heavenly Family in the eternities. I know this is so true and I want everyone I can be up there in heaven with me. The More the Merrier! :) I love the gospel. I love all the truths found within it and I love the joy it brings. Can't get any greater warm and fuzzies than that!

I love you all and thank you for all you do for me. I love you! (again)
Join the Cause! Spread the Gospel!
Love ya!

Sister Salmond

Mission Newsletter #43

Well, this week, there was an amazing "Mascarade" sale at the hospital that went towards some cause. Everything was five dollars!!! Ok. We went there just to contact, but being the girl I am, I didn't leave empty handed... Oops. But hey! I have to show you what I got! There were some really fun funky pants that are uber comfortable that I couldn't resist! When Sister Woodard saw them, she wanted a pair too! So we now have our matching companion item! Yay!

This week, we had Family Home Evening in Lynn and Joe's home. We brought a super cute, young couple from our ward, Emma and Danny Perkins. They recently moved from Utah and both served their mission in Italy. They did the FHE with all the grandkids to kind of show what a typical night would look like. Emma did a cute little story about repentance and had them put together a puzzle that had the steps of repentance on it. Danny then did the activity called "Nickel, Nickel, who has the Nickel?" In this game, he put his hands flat, palms facing in with the nickel inside. Everyone had to put their hands the same way with a little hole at the top. He went around the whole circle and dropped the nickel in one person's hands. The guesser then had to figure out who had it. The kids went crazy and wanted to play it over and over again. The parents were laughing and Lynn and Joe were having a great time as all 4 generations got involved! We ended the night with dessert. Lynn and Joe loved it! You could tell it meant a lot to them to be able to have such a good time with the whole family. We will be helping them plan a month worth of lessons and activities! Lynn texted us after and said "Thank you ladies for a wonderful evening!!! I enjoyed it more than words can say. :)" That is very unusual for her. That night really strengthened my testimony of FHE. I have grown up with it and kind of took it for granted. It was great to see something so simple mean the world to this family. That is what all this is about. The gospel is here to bless families and help them grow in love and strength in Christ. Lynn and Joe will not be getting baptized this coming week like we had originally planned, but they will soon. :) The most important thing is that they feel ready. They take it seriously, which a huge blessing cuz once they join, they will be a strong force for good! They will be a big contribution to this ward! It is so evident. I love them so much! (Probably will get you pics of it next week...)

Besides that, we are still teaching Amber. Things are going well there. :) She probably won't get baptized as soon as she had hoped cuz Sister Woodard and I want to make sure she realizes the lifestyle changes she will be making and be solid in making them. It'll be a bigger change than we think she realizes right now. But that is the great thing about the gospel! We love all and invite all to come into His fold, but yet, God has order. He is never changing. So, it is required of all of us to find our faith in Him and align ourselves with His will in order to be baptized and be called "His people." God loves us all and wants us all to come back, but He does have a plan. Our job, as missionaries, is to help people discover this plan and the many joys that come along with that. Key word: "Joys." That is what this work is, a Joy! We have a privilege to bring joy into people's lives and in return, feel that joy ourselves! What a blessing! I love serving a mission and the joy you feel as you serve the Lord.

I love you all so much! I pray for you and think of you oft! Write me! ;)

Sister Salmond             

Mission Newsletter #42

Ok. Look at this HUGE spider outside of our church building!!! It's the biggest I have EVER SEEN! Of course I discovered it. Seems like it's just my luck. But look at the comparison to the rocks! And next to Becky's thumb (it's the size of the smooshed abdomen) Gross!!! I can't do spiders! I just Can't!

Ok. I just LOVE conference! I was so lucky to start my mission with Conference at the MTC 1 Year Ago. YES! It's been a Year! Crazy. To be honest, I don't know how to feel about it, so don't ask. I just don't think about it. However, I do love celebrations, sooo... I couldn't help but do something special. :) I made me an Everything-Free Chocolate Cake and celebrated like any one year old child would! I got down and dirty! I couldn't help it! A girl's got to do, what a girls got to do. *shrug* (But don't worry, I paid for it later with a whopping stomach ache! I don't think I'm used to eating that much cake/chocolate anymore. haha. Next time I better "take it easy!" -Nacho. It was all well-worth it though.)

Conference Weekend brought more than just my one year mark, but many miracles too. :)
Lynn & Joe went to Conference. Joe LOVED hearing the prophet speak and said that the spirit is so much stronger hearing it from them (aka prophets and apostles.) It is so true! Lynn went with a specific question/concern in mind (don't know what it was), but by the third session, it was answered! I love putting the Lord and His love to us specifically to the test, and seeing Him always pull through! It's incredible! The two are still pulling strong and doing great things! We are going to do a sample FHE with their family this coming week cuz Lynn wants us to help her prepare for a month's worth of FHE. (She's so organized and a huge planner!) We are so excited to help her do that! This family is incredible and driving into the gospel. I have been so blessed to work with them!   
Also, last Sunday, we met a girl named Amber. We set up an appt to see her that coming Tuesday night. When we got there, it couldn't have been better timing. She had just gotten in a fight with her boyfriend. We were there to comfort her and give her comfort through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We went and saw her just a few days later and we taught her the Restoration. We were on an exchange and Sister Wittwer asked, "if you could hear God tell you anything right now, what would it be?" She said, "Come Home." The spirit was strong throughout the whole lesson. She knows it is true and wanted to come to all the Conference Sessions if she could. We only were able to find her a ride to the Sunday ones since she lives so far out, but she loved both of them. She went with the question, "Is there hope for me?" It was answered when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang, "Softly and Tenderly." She buried her face in her hands and balled as they repeated "Come Home." She now has a baptismal date set for October 25th! We will do everything in our power to help teach her and to give her that new start and life we can find in Christ. :)

Lastly, Conference was another testimony builder for me. I went to Conference with 3 questions to bring to the Lord and He answered all 5! Yes, 5! There were a few other things I didn't think about going into Conference and He gave me answers to the concerns and questions I went with and He also took care of the ones I didn't really think of. THAT is how much He loves us. He will take care of our basic needs and then some. He loves to bless us and give us more and more. How lucky are we to have a Heavenly Father who loves us SOOO Much! I am so grateful that He took the time to think of me specifically and answered all my concerns and more. This is the God we know and love. I promise that if you bring all your questions and concerns to the Lord, He will answer them and give you even more than you had hoped for. He loves you. :)  Isn't that incredible?! I love it! Don't you feel like a spoiled little princess? (Or if you are a boy, a spoiled Prince.) Allow God to show His love to you and spoil you a little bit. All you have to do is go to Him. :)

I love this gospel! We are so lucky! And I love being a missionary! I wish it'd never end!

I love you all!!!

Sister Salmond