Monday, June 23, 2014

Mission Newsletter #37

Good news! Sis. Shattuck and I'll be together in Sylacauga another transfer! Part-AY! Also, got creative
and made my own ice cream with frozen bananas, coconut, canned pineapple, and almond coconut milk. Turned out pretty good! Yum!

So, this week, I crossed off a bucket list item that I recently added since being on the mission. It was to go through the car wash (that had a POWERFUL blow dryer) and as the car is drying, roll down the window and let my face get blown off! Sounds stupid to y’all probably, but I thought it'd be fun and give a bit of a thrill. So, Sis. Shattuck and I found a specific gas station that had a particularly strong blower and set out last p-day as the lucky day to cross this item off the list. Oh baby!  I waited for the Booming Blow of the dryer, rolled down the window, let it blow! Wahoo! Call me Crazy. :) (Don't worry family, I did record this moment. I'll be sending it home on a drive soon. Until then, here's a pic to prove it.)

Here in the South, bugs are EVERYWHERE!!! Save me! Mom, I know you told me that on my mission I'd
Part of the trail of bites - Gross, huh?!
get use to spiders, but let me tell ya, it's NOT WORKING! If anything, they are scarier and more populated here, making my fear increase! I slept with one the other night on accident! Turns out we have a love-hate relationship. I hate them, but they LOVE me. The spider ate down my whole leg and wrapped around all the way to my big toe. Rude.

We also have roaches, of course, that keep trying to withstand our magical bug-killing spray to live a blissful life indoors. Let me tell ya, they keep kickin’ for a long time! Ew! Not ok. haha.

Lastly, we have silk worms everywhere in the trees! Crazy! I remember growing my own baby silk worm in 1st grade. For cute! The only thing is they're not as cute as I remember... They basically live in a huge spider web, which creeps me out a bit, so... I keep my distance. It's like a cute caterpillar that has spider-like abilities. It's cool for Spiderman, but not worms. ;)

Went running with Justin to spice up our lessons. It's his hobby. It was actually really good cuz we were just able to jog and talk about his interests, while teaching gospel principles along the way. It was a good gospel discussion and he really enjoyed it. :) 

Also, over the last few weeks we've been teaching a 13 year old girl, Esse and her grandmother. Esse is so sweet and has come to mutual all 3 times now, church twice, and will be baptized this coming Saturday! She's had a rough past with a mother leaving the picture young, but this will be a new life for her starting on the 28th. She is looking forward to that. :)  (Her grandma should be following her, shortly.)
Young Women's Wednesday! (Esse on left.) It was also Mariah's, our only current young woman’s, birthday.
Reason for the cake and sign. :)
This last Wednesday for young women's, we made pillow cases with our future goals on it! Sis. Shattuck and
I were lucky and able to make on too! How fun?! Being the perfectionist and girly-girl I am, I made mine princess themed. Esse, on the other hand, put baptism on hers! That was so exciting to see! As we made the cases, she saw Sis. Shattuck printing out Temple pictures to trace onto our cases. We were able to teach her a little bit and now she too wants to marry in the Temple!

Just like in the situation where Esse saw the Temples on our pillow cases, we all can be subtle examples of the believers. Don't be afraid to show what you believe or speak about it. Others are watching, even if we don't realize it. By doing so, it can open a door to help them receive the Restored Gospel or for current members, strengthen their testimony by your faith. In 3 Nephi 18:24, the Savior instructs the Nephites on this principle:

"Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up-"
Hold up your light. Let people learn and grow closer to their Savior by your example and faith. Let them feel the Savior's love through you and it will turn them naturally to our Father in Heaven to feel that love even greater in their life. I know this is true. I've seen other's influence me in my life this way and I continue to see it change me and others.

The gospel's true. I love you all. Have a blessed week!

Lots of Love,

Sister Heather Salmond

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mission Newsletter #36

Exciting Moment of the Week! Walter was Baptized on Saturday the 15th! First baptism from Tracting! It was so great to see the changes he has made up to this point and his countenance glows more each week! When we first began teaching him, he joked and said he wanted to be baptized with a rubber ducky in the font. We told him he couldn't do that unfortunately. However, we did give him a rubber ducky as a gift with the date of his baptism on the bottom. :) It also came with two smaller duckies so we each have one to
remember him by as well! We are some happy ducks!

Another Highlight of the Week was our Temple Trip! The Temple is so beautiful and it is so spiritual to be able to go and remember the covenants we have made. Something different stands out to me each time. It is such a blessing to have Temples so easily accessible in so many areas. I am so grateful that we have them and can be in a place where we can feel our Father's love in His House.

While there, it was great to see my beloved MTC companion, Sis. Neufville. She is doing so great and is
Seeing Sis. Neufville (left) with her companion, Sis. Nelson (right)
amazing! She has such a light and love around her. It was so great for us to be reunited and to be able to reflect and learn from each other once again. I love that woman. :)

Lastly, EXCHANGE WEEK! I went on an exchange with Sis. Dodini. She is so sweet and teaches me so much! I swear, she speaks with such power. The Spirit and love just ooze from her as she speaks. We saw so many miracles that day together. I can't express how much the hand of the Lord was in the work that day. A cool thing we found that day out of coincidence was a road sign that said Lagniappe! Ok... what does that even mean? This is a word our Mission President taught us about.

Lagniappe- for good measure; and then some; a little bit extra. An example of this is a "Baker's Dozen." For those of you who don't know, a baker's dozen is giving 13 donuts instead of 12. They gave a baker's dozen back in the olden times because punishments were severe if someone was caught stealing, lying, etc. If they accidentally give someone the full dozen, bakers could receive this punishment. So they always gave an extra just in case. We all should have an attitude of giving a bit more. President Hanks told us that "the difference between ordinary and extraordinary people is explained in these three words, 'and then some.'" Remember Lagniappe in our callings, relationships, etc. Lagniappe! Give the Lord all you got! ...and then some. :)

Love you all with all my heart and lagniappe. :)
Have an Amazing Week!
Sister Heather Salmond

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mission Newsletter #35

Out on the mission, it's tradition that you have a matching item with each companion. Sis. Shattuck and I found ours this week: Matching Moo-Moos! For those of you who don't already know, I LOVE Moo-Moos. It's like my signature thing, so this was perfect! Now, our companionship is totally complete. :)

Funny Moment: When we went to go teach Justin, he brought home a baby bat he found at work! We both took pictures and held it. It was kind of cool to be able to hold one. I never did that before. When Sis. Shattuck got done holding it and gave it back to Justin, it pooped on him! It was sooooo Gross, but soooooo Funny! That bat knows how to treat a lady and waited to be back in Justin's possession. :) I love chivalry.

This week, the elders were oh so kind to give us five new people to go see and teach! Sis. Shattuck and I were enthused to meet these sweet ladies. The next afternoon, we trekked out. As we went down the street to meet Kim, there was a pitbull across the dirt street barking at us from the house. There was a gate, so I wasn't too concerned, but Sis. Shattuck has been bit by a pitbull on the mission before and has a scar to prove it. They scare her, so she began to run. The dog too began to run, heading straight for us. There was apparently an opening in the gate as the pitbull came beyond the gate right in front of us. She blocked the walkway to Kim's house. It stood it's ground and began to lunge at me. Sis. Shattuck and I repeated prayers to Heavenly Father over and over again in our heads. Kim peaked out and told us it wasn't her dog, but we better go cuz it was a mother pitbull and had puppies! We slowly backed up. Sis. Shattuck was able to pick up a brick that was by her and we slowly walked away. We continued to pray as the dog was still running at us and barking. We somehow got out of there safe and sound. I know the Lord was protecting us as we prayed with every fiber of our being. I am so grateful we were ok. The Lord truly protects his missionaries.

With all the craziness this week, we have also seen miracles. The greatest of all is of Walter. He is scheduled to be baptized this coming week and although the Autistic girl in the branch screamed during church, "There's a chair missing!" and the chorister appears to be always grumpy, he bore his testimony to us that he feels for the first time that a church is truly full. He said he's never felt that way ever before. He also knows the Book of Mormon is true 'cause he always wondered why in the Bible he only knew about the people over there. What about the people here? It is so apparent that the Lord has been preparing him for years to receive this true gospel into his life. It is so incredible to watch his change and light grow more and more every time we see him. The Lord loves him. That is for sure. The mission is a testimony to me that is church is so true and that God loves His children and wants them to return back to Him.

Straightening my Bible from the Rain we got stuck in. Wasn't dry after three days and I no longer had a blow dryer so hello straightener!... Don't worry. Didn't use the Lord's time. Work on it before bed. :)
Lastly, I want to do a shout out to the Fathers, especially mine for this upcoming week: Happy Father's Day! You men are incredible and we, as woman, are grateful for your roles! Elaine S. Dalton said in one of my favorite talks, Love Her Mother, "You are not ordinary men. Because of your valiance in the premortal realms, you qualified to be leaders and to possess priesthood power. There you exhibited “exceeding faith and good works,” (Alma 13:3) and you are here now to do the same. Your priesthood sets you apart." Dad, thank you for being a great example of one who is worthy to hold this priesthood. You have always done it humility and held it sacredly. That has been example to me and helped me as I have gone to better understand and appreciate that wonderful gift that you men can carry. Thank you Dad for being a great dad to me! I love you and I know that a lot of who I am today is due to that. I love you!

Sister Salmond

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mission Newsletter #34

Last Monday was Memorial Day! Hooray! We had so much fun! First, we were able to have a grand BBQ with Justin! He had the Elders and us over for some big meaty burgers! They were so good and so filling! Somehow, Justin was able to eat 4 BURGERS! How can you do that with these burgers?! But, all I have to say is I LOVED the southern "cook out!" Drinking out of Mason jars, flippin burgers, cooking the baked beans in the can on the grill, etc. Classic. :)

Right after Justin's, we headed over to the Rehab house, where we were able to meet with Cecil and Walter.
It seems like we are boiling down to the real serious investigators. For Memorial Day, we left them with a fruit American flag cake! Yippee! So cute! (All Sis. Shattuck's idea) Walter is progressing leaps and bounds! He once again came to church and took the Word of Wisdom lesson very well. We set goals and resolutions for him right there in the lesson. Justin sat in and was a good support for him. After the lesson, we watched as Justin and Walter exchanged numbers in the parking lot. They live just around the corner from each other and are starting to really hit it off! We are so excited and hope they become good friends, cuz that's something they both need. :)
Huge moth! 

This last week has been a momentous one with rain, Rain, and more RAIN! haha. In the South, when it rains, it pours! I don't think I understood that phrase as much as I do now. In Alabama, you feel a drop and RUN! Let me tell you a sweet little story that happened to Sis. Shattuck and I Saturday night that perfectly describes this point:

It was late and our appointment that was supposed to meet us at the church stood us up. So, it's 8:40 and
we begin our trek home. It's nice and warm. Clear skies. Just nice. However, about 10 minutes into our 45 minute walk, we felt a drip. Where did the beautiful skies go?! Being missionaries, we decided right then that we were going to have the faith that no matter how much it rains, we will be protected and remain dry. :) But, maybe we shouldn't have said it out loud and cursed ourselves cuz I'm pretty sure I heard the Lord say, "Wanna bet?" Because right then it dumped buckets of rain ALL over us! We ran as much as we could home, but it was pointless. We were soaked and so were our things. Some things ( cards, pamphlets, etc.) did not make it through the journey and some are trying to still recover (my Missionary Handbook, Bible, etc. still drying in the apartment). Needless to say, when we stopped by the elder's apartment to get our car keys back, we were not happy...

The same guy who stood us up that night rescheduled with us for Sunday. Little did we know that he planned to bring two other friends with Bibles in hand, ready to bash. What once used to scare me before the mission, does no longer. Sis. Shattuck refused to bash, although we answered their questions and left them with our testimony. Bible bashes don't scare me anymore, not cuz I have a greater knowledge of the Bible, but because I know the Lord will have my back and will allow the spirit to speak greater than I ever could. So, if anyone ever tries to back you up into a corner, remember, angels attend you and all you have to do is open your mouth and bear testimony of it!

Lastly, I want to share with you something that our President shared with us last week in his email to us.
Biggest flower EVER!
"God's gift of AGENCY was a supreme sacrifice of love by our Father. He knew we wouldn't always choose correctly, but he still allows us to choose. Jesus's gift of the ATONEMENT was likewise a supreme sacrifice of love by the Savior. Surely, no one has done more. And the sacrifice of OUR WILL to that of God can be our supreme sacrifice of love to Heavenly Father." Isn't that incredible? Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ both gave us big gifts of love. Our gift we can give is to align our will with God's. That gift is so small in comparison because His Will will always be in our best interest. Thank God today for these wonderful gifts we've been given and try to strive everyday to be in alignment with Him. I know no greater happiness comes than by that.

I love you all! Hope you have a fabulous week full of clear skies! ;) Remember, the Lord loves you and is watching over you.

Lots of Love,
Sister Salmond