Monday, April 14, 2014

Mission Newsletter #27

Sister Butterfield and I :)

This week we have been getting a work out! Let me tell you! We bike and walk everywhere! After my first
day of riding I had bruises everywhere! You can see for yourself! (Pic) I also got into my first crash yesterday coming back from the church building! (Ok. Lies. I had another mini one before when I ran into a parked car. It was all good though cuz I was going slow.) But anyways, I biffed it on the gravel. I was a tough cookie though and kept riding! That's what you do on a mission, just keep going!

While in Sylacauga, overall, the people are nice and I love them, but you can find some Gems. There was a man who pulled over while we were biking. He asked us if we were mormon wives. Because this is a common misconception, we exchanged contact info to clarify and tell him briefly about what we believe. The next morning in our studies, we get a call from him, "What's for breakfast?" Awkward let me tell you. :) After this for several mornings, him calling us sweetie, and then trying to blame a car accident he got to on us since we rescheduled our appointment with him, we passed him on to the elders. haha. He were just getting nervous about meeting up with him and Hallelujah for that! He met the elders at Sonic and ended throwing his change in the air after removing his shirt and yelling to the sky or "heavens." He told them he wants to be a minister and so he's learning all he can. A little crazy in my opinion! haha. Who knows...
Everyday life in Sylacauga. First one, I accidentally turned around. Sis.Butterfield feels like it gave it an artistic edge. But I took another one a different day as a re-do! Enjoy!

Also this week, we have continued to teach Justin. He is such a Star! He is progressing amazingly! He came to church for the first time yesterday and bought a suit the day before to wear. He has had such a sweetness and enthusiasm throughout his whole teaching process. So neat to see! We had his baptismal date set for May 3rd, but he said he wants to be baptized as soon as possible. If Sis. Butterfield and I can teach him everything soon enough, we might be moving it up!
The Devil is everywhere! It's like he is taking over the world! I don't like it! See this wonderful necklace in hand? Yeah, just discovered that the swirls in it make a skull!!! What? That is horrible! He keeps into everything, even when we don't know it. I don't know if I can wear this necklace anymore... :'(
Yesterday, while walking back from an appointment, we got picked up by a sweet girl named Kayla. She had apparently seen us before outside of her apartment and felt a strong need to do a bible study with us. Her grandma used to be taught by missionaries before. We were able to set up an appointment to come back and see her! It's amazing how the Lord will place things in your path as you work hard and are obedient. He will truly bless you for your efforts and cause miracles to happen. We'll see what happens with her.

Meca's Baptism (I am a shrimp compared to Bro. Burdick...)
Lastly, on Saturday, I was able to go to see Meca get baptized in Bessemer! Congratulations to her! Her family is so sweet and cute! Michael is still on to be baptized in Ensley this next week. He is moved out until they are to be married. I am so happy for that family and it was such a blessing to be able to go back and watch it all take place.

While I was in Bessemer for the baptism, I also go to visit my dear Alisa. I love her so much! It was great to be able to see her and take her out to lunch. I pray for that family everyday.

Lovely Alisa and I after the baptism

I want to leave with you a scripture Sis. Butterfield and I found in our studies this morning. It's Acts 3:19-21. It says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things (referring to the Restoration of the Gospel), which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." We have found several places in the bible where it testifies of the Restoration of this gospel. It is so clear with our knowledge to find all this witnesses of the Lord's gospel. I know it is back on the earth and it contains the truthfulness. I am so grateful I get to be a part of the sharing of it here in Alabama. I am so happy. I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week!


Sister Salmond

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mission Newsletter #26

Sister Conant and I both got transferred this week! We packed up our stuff, PACKED it in the car (Sis. Conant's seat was pushed up as far as it would go) and headed out! I have to say, maybe these weren’t the best driving conditions, especially with the bikes on back. haha!

Me, Sister Butterfield, and Sister Neufville (MTC Comp) at transfers!
But now I am here in Sylacauga for the next little while! Here is a poem Sister Butterfield, my new companion, and I wrote on the wonderful new time spent here in Sylacauga! :)

Well, Shoot my Boot!
We're in Sylacauga, Whoot! Whoot!
With transfers, Sister Salmond is here to stay,
We're ready for anything that comes our way!
The tiny branch here is crazy and old,
We're the Mormon Wives? at least we've been told...
We tip-toe so the ladies living below don't start a fight,
The weather alarm goes off all night.
As summer begins, all it does is rain,
Thank goodness Megan and Chris keep us sane!
Bikes at night can be pretty scary,
A lesson went from apostasy to Katy Perry!
Oh my! Don't know how that came out of his mouth!
But all I gotta say is I LOVE THE SOUTH!

haha. Hope you enjoyed that! Overall, Sylacauga is awesome! It's very country out here and there is more poverty than my last area. It's a very small branch of 15-20 people. We are on the verge of potentially losing our building. Our ward is really old, so we are only losing people and it can be hard to fellowship. Overall, I love elderly though, so I don't think that'll be a problem! :)

I finally started using my bike! First Time on the Mission! YAY!

First day on the Bike. SO SORE! haha!
We teaching a couple, Megan and Chris (like you read in the poem.) They are way sweet! But I want us to pause for a moment. Do you see the pattern I see? Let me review the couples I've taught thus far...
Meagan & Michael
Meca & Michael
Megan & Chris
There is either a Megan or a Michael every time! (Twilight Zone Theme Music)
It's kind of crazy weird. It freaks me out a little bit! It's obviously meant to be. Which reminds me, Meca will be baptized next week! (At least if everything goes according to plans...) Michael moved out so they can proceed to baptism, and hopefully he'll follow shortly behind Meca. He's solid though. I hope I'll be able to attend the baptism, but I am not sure yet. We'll see.

Logan was baptized yesterday! I couldn't go, but I loved teaching him all along the way! He was so
sweet and he knows God loves him. He has such sweet and genuine desires to do good. I wish I could've been there to see him be baptized, but I know he will do amazing things in his life!

Right after I got here to Sylacauga, we went to the Sander's family home. They have a beautiful home with 10 kids on about 150 acres. They eat basically off of everything on their farm and in their garden. How neat?! They are a very Christian family and invited us to come share our beliefs with them. We came, ate dinner and then we went to gospel discussion with the father leading. He asked, "What do you believe you have to be saved?" Sister Butterfield asked for clarification, "What do you mean by saved? Everyone has their own definition..." He began to explain their beliefs first. He basically drew out their Plan of Salvation and asked us to explain the differences we have. We first began explaining that we don't believe in the Trinity and then went into Modern Day Prophets. It quickly became apparent that they didn't really want to know what we wanted to believe, but that they wanted to save us instead. The father told us that we essentially we're the ones it speaks of in the bible that go to Christ and thought they knew Him, but are denied and cast into hell. Don't get me wrong, they weren't mean, but genuinely concerned for us. The night grew late and we left, not being able to explain much of what we believed. (It was hard to get a word in with so many people in the family participating.) Many questions were left open, which turned me to the scriptures to study it out.
        The question I have been studying much up on is "Where in the Bible does it say we have a need for a modern day prophet?" I was not sure to be honest. I was familiar with Amos 3:7, which I left with them, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." However, as I did more studies, I could not find where it specifically spoke of it. I found one of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon in Isaiah, but that was it. So I thought again. I remember them saying to us that we have to be aware of false prophets... I then thought, if there are false prophets, then there must be real ones! I turned my studies to characteristics of false prophets. It was an incredible experience to study these characteristics and then the next day watch general conference. It is so evident that they are men of God! I know that they speak truth and that they are true witnesses of Him. I love this church and I know it is true with all my heart. I am grateful for the modern revelation that we have. No matter how others may feel, I know that I am doing what the Lord would have me do and this is truly His divine church on the earth.

I love you all! Have a fabulous week!
Sister Salmond