Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mission Newsletter #30

ome sweet sisters in my zone sent me gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free treats from an Allergy  Bakery in their area! How sweet of them! They seriously are the sweetest and made my week with each brownie, cookie, and cupcake! :) Thank you Sisters! 

Fewf! Life is slowing down a bit! If you couldn't tell, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind! Fun, but crazy! Even though things are slowing down, we still busy bees! Being in a branch, there's a lot of work, but every second of it is worth it! I love serving here: whether we are teaching, knocking, or assisting the branch. Missionary work is the best work around!

Let me tell you, Young Women's is a party! At least it was this week!!! The girls wanted to do a fun, sleepover, movie night, so that we did! Sis. Shattuck and I decorated the multi-purpose room, which is where we hold sacrament meeting, and turned it into a Girl's Paradise! It was a fun night with the girls and we were able to conclude with the spirit with a gospel message. I love how Spirit can come in so quickly as we testify of the truth. It's evidence to me that is church is so full and true.

A member brought a Cotton Candy Machine for us to use! Yum!
(Yes, that's my handy work. haha)

This week we had interviews with our wonderful mission president, President Hanks. He is an incredible man. A Huge Teddy Bear! I wish Presidents were an exception to the no hugging men rule. Every time I see him, I want to give him a big hug! It is so evident how much he loves us. I look up to him so much and am grateful to have him as my mission president. Every time I talk to him, I feel so loved and cared for. I imagine that is much like our Father in Heaven. His presence alone (of the Holy Ghost), we can feel His love.

Went on exchanges this week! I was with wonderful Sis. Sheffer. This exchange was a testament to me about how much God loves us. Throughout the day, the Lord put people in my path that answered my prayers. The Lord knew what I needed to hear and what needed to be said to help me with things no one could've known about. God is so incredibly mindful of us. It blows me away. I am grateful for all the ways He blesses are lives, if we only look for the miracles and then act on the revelation we receive. "...ask me in faith, believing ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you." (1 Nephi 15:11)

I love y'all! Let the Lord bless you! You're in my prayers my loves!

Yours Truly,
Sister Salmond

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mission Newsletter #29

Went to the Jenkins home and got to watch the fireworks off the lake.
Justin was able to come too! So fun. :)  
So, I have food allergies, like most of you know. So, in addition to the sacrament bread, we also have tortilla chips on the trays for me. In our congregation, we have an autistic girl. This last Sunday, when they were blessing the sacrament bread, after they said, "bless this bread..." she panickly said "and chips! And Chips!" haha. It was so darn cute! I couldn't help, but chuckle. I love my little branch here in Sylacauga! :)

This weekend, we also had a branch 4th of July Cook-out! With lots of fun and games!...and eLdErS! We didn't plan on that one... They dropped off our elders and stayed to clean up and ended up joining in, since we had a small turn out. Ended up being lots of fun though with good food, a pie eating contest, egg race, balloon toss, and singing. It was  good times for those who were able to come. :)
Some of the prizes we made!

All the pies and party stuff shoved in our fridge! Don't know how we got it to fit!

Eat up!

Let the pie eating contest begin!

The Pie Contest got a bit messy...

Egg race, so fun!


This week was Clara Jean's Baptism! She is Esse's grandma and is so funny and sweet! Let me tell you, she
is adding some nice baptist spice to our congregation! :) She bore her testimony several times during our testimony meeting from her chair. haha. I love her so much!

Huge Miracle: Last transfer, I met two sisters, Anna & Stephanie, on an exchange. They said we could come back and teach them. They seemed really nice and open. A couple days later, Sis. Shattuck and I went to their house. They seemed cold and said they weren't ready for church. It's was like a 180 since last time I saw them. I felt an urge to go back again, but Sis. Shattuck pointed out that it was a pretty solid no. I too could recognize it. So, I prayed that God would provide a way for them to have another chance to receive the gospel, if not with me, with missionaries in the future. I just felt that they still needed it for some reason.

A month later: I went to call a lady we met, Anna, but I accidentally called the wrong Anna. I didn't realize it at first. I set up the appointment and then asked for her address. When she gave it to me, I recognized the error. Oops! So, the next day, we headed to the appointment on foot, although we were quite afraid of another shut down. However, when we got there, they were open and ready to hear the gospel. Anna & Stephanie mentioned how they get confused with all the different interpretations of the Bible. They are studying with many religions, trying to find truth. We were able to share with them the example of Joseph Smith and how they are much like him. We shared with them about how we have a Book of Mormon to help clarify the meanings of the Bible. We promised to bring them one back and they were excited about that. Since then, we have brought them a Book of Mormon and taught them the Plan of Salvation. They love what we have been teaching them thus far.

I know God loves His children. This is only one of the evidences of it. He won't ever give up on us and will give us another chance over and over again. I love our Savior and I am so grateful, I was able to play a part in this miracle. I know it wasn't a co-incidence that we made that accidental phone call. Miracles happen in his due time. Look for the miracles in your life and the amazing timing the Lord has and He places things in your life. He truly is an incredible micro-manager and is watching over each of us, helping us every way He can. I love Him for that.

I love you all! Thank you for all the prayers and blessings!
Have a great week!
Sister Salmond

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mission Newsletter #28

So, since Sis. Shattuck and I have been companions, we haven't ridden our bikes much cuz Sis. Shattuck was having back problems. Lately, we've picked it back up again! I've expressed to her that my bike skills aren't the greatest and I am still learning some things. She didn't really believe me and said "You'll be fine!" So, we headed off! Since I told her I wasn't very good at curbs, we had one coming up I would have to jump up onto. Being in front, Sis. Shattuck pulled aside and braked, I figured to watch me. So, I slowly approached the curb with great anticipation, pulled up my front tire, and did a smack down into the pavement! Sis. Shattuck busted into laughter! Let's just say, I ate it! I so wish I could've been a bystander and seen it myself. It was a sight to see! Let's just say, I don't have that skill mastered yet...

Exciting News! Esse got baptized this last Saturday! And Justin baptized her! Wahoo!!! It was so great to see her make that commitment! And to see Justin be able to receive the priesthood and baptize her! What a blessing. You don't get to see that every day as a missionary! Sis. Shattuck and I are so happy for her! We look forward to her grandmother's baptism this coming up week. :)

This week we had a really cool miracle happen: Friday night, our plans fell through. We had planned to see Walter, a recent convert of a few weeks, the next day, but decided to just stop by and see if we could see him then. He was home and told us that he actually was thinking about us (about a half an hour before) and was hoping he could see us, but didn't know how to word the text. He was needing a spiritual boosting and we didn't even know it! The Spirit directed us there! However, the miracle doesn't end there... As we sat down to talk with him outside, it began to sprinkle, which quickly turned to sheets of rain! We tried to take shelter under the picnic table's canopy, but the rain was too hard! It was leaking through and dumping all around us. There was no way we could pull out our scriptures without them getting destroyed! We could hardly hear each other with the beating rain. So, I offered a prayer to ask Heavenly Father to calm the storm to allow us to teach. As I offered the prayer, the rain started to lesson and after only a few minutes, it was completely stopped. It was incredible to see God respond to that prayer so immediately. Just that morning in my studies, I had read Moroni 7:26, "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you." This miracle was a witness of that scripture. I know that if we pray, and it be good (or of the Will of God), he will grant it to us according to our faith. What more can I say?

The love the joy this gospel brings and the many witnesses God gives us of his love for us. I love you all and challenge you to look for some of those witnesses of God's love within your own life as you go from day to day.

Love you much!
Sis. Salmond