Monday, February 23, 2015

Missionary Newsletter #61 (Feb 16)

Christina's Family :)
Valentine's Day we ate a member's home and Darby, who always goes out on appointments with us, matched me! How fun is that?!
I love Valentine's Day and the sweet kind of holiday it is where love can be shared. :) It's so fun! It was so sweet to share it with my companion! The cutest part of it all was the day before, after a wonderful Zone Conference, we had an exchange. I stayed in Madison as she left with the other companion for Athens. That night, as I crawled into bed, I found a Valentine she had left for me! How cute is that?! (I am always finding cute notes she leaves for me.) It gave me warm and fuzzies to find it and first thing the next morning I read that Valentine! For my companion, I HEART ATTACKED her room. It was so fun to be reunited and thank the other for the friendship that we share. Later, at the end of the night, we were able to end the day right, with some cereal in the candlelight. :) It was so adorable. Valentine's day can always be a day we show love to those around. What a wonderful holiday we have to be adorable and celebrate! Muwah!

Our Candlelight Dinner (of cereal) ;)

Like I said above, we had Zone Conference this week. Once again, I was in the lucky companionship that got to train. Seems like every conference, I'm chosen. haha. That's ok, I am happy to do whatever I can to help. :) After training, we got to do some really cool finding workshops run by our assistants. They had us call numbers we didn't know in our phones, previous people taught in our records, and part-member families and see if we could come and share a message of Christ with them. It's was cool to have the conference be so hands on. 
Pic from Zone Conference: Sister Drummond, Sister Neufville, me, and Sister Zackrison.

Later, we were trained by President Hanks. It was really neat because he shared with us something that he discovered in his studies the day before. (Note: this is not taught doctrine, but his opinion, which I totally agree with and love, so I thought I'd share it with y'all.) In Moses 4:1, it states, "...That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying-- Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one should shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor." Satan never says, "I will take away their agency or ability to choose," he says, "I will redeem all mankind..." So, Satan is telling the Father that he will save everyone, regardless of the choices they make. There are no consequences for their actions. After hearing that, it made a lot more sense to me. It sounds more like the Satan we know and understand: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die;" (2 Nephi 28:7) Satan from the beginning, didn't believe that there should be consequences for our actions; however, God knew better. We have to have order and we had to have these guidelines so we could learn and grow and become like our Father in Heaven. We couldn't become like Him if we were doing the opposite with no consequences. Learning this strengthened my testimony of the love and wisdom of God. He loved and trusted us enough to let us go. He let us live our life, but advised us how and has been leading all along our way through parents, leaders, prophets, and the Holy Ghost. We are so blessed!

I love you all and hope y'all are having a fantabulous week! God is real. He loves us. And He wants us to return to Him. :) Take care and stay warm!

Lots of [Valentiney] Love,
Sister Salmond

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Missionary Newsletter #60 (Feb 9)

So, this week we had our mission leadership meeting with our mission president. One of the many things he trained on was being smart drivers cuz there's been a lot of accident lately, specially with parked vehicles. Little did I know what this training/announcement was foreshadowing... When Sister Zackrison and I cam out of the meeting, we found President's car parked right next to ours, KISSING the other vehicle!!! See????

As we were taking pictures, we heard his car beep and the lights flash. They were heading out! Eek! We quickly hid our cameras and acted like nothing. We don't think he even noticed he was touching the other car! We didn't point it out or anything because we didn't want to tease or embarrass him after that last training. But, I can definitely say, it made my day!

Then, just the other day, we were at an appointment. We were finishing up the lesson and about to close with a prayer, when there was a knock on the door. The neighbor had backed into our car! Of course, I was the driver that day. Just my luck. haha. I was parked on the street where the lady had asked me to park. I was partially on the road, partially the lawn (that is very typical out here in Alabama.) The guy had parked on his lawn at a crooked angle. When he backed out, he got our rear light. It wasn't too bad... Just ironic since President JUST talked about this. It totally wasn't my fault though. The officer had our back. :) I never knew, that small MLC training would lead to a series of unfortunate events. haha.

On a positive note, I got a surprise package in the mail! What? For me? I never get mail, so this was a pleasant surprise. I opened it to find.... Drum roll please....

OREOS!!! Not just Oreos, but 6 boxes of them! Gluten Free and all! Was it a Dream?! No! It was for reals! Next thing I knew, Six Weeks to Sexy was out the window and I was down a box of Oreos. haha. I didn't know how many calories I intook. I didn't want to know. However, I do know that miracles happen when you serve the Lord. (Thank you mom and anyone else who had their hand in this! haha)

Also, we had a blitz in Albertville this week. When we got there, we found out that Sister Banks' hair had been thrashed by a member. They gave her a hair cut and everything was uneven. There were holes everywhere and it was shorter than she wanted! Poor girl! Luckily, I had my hair cutting scissors on me and touched up the job. It wasn't perfect, since it was kind of hard to cover some of it up, but was MUCH better! She was so relieved that she could at least wear it down again. It's amazing how the few tips my mom has taught me has really come in handy on the mission. I would've never guessed.

Bessemer! Sweet White Family, once again. :)
A Huge Miracle this week was after MLC. :) Since it takes place in Birmingham, I had gotten permission to go down to Bessemer again to visit a few people! I got to see Sister Kilgore, the Whites, and dear Alisa and her kids. Oh what a miracle that was for me! The joy it was to see them again after this very long year! The main highlights were seeing Sister White's face and screams when she saw me. :) I didn't tell her I was coming and just showed up. She kept screaming, "My Baby! My Baby! Ahhhh! My Baby!" I was so cute, fun and sweet! Besides seeing a few of my favorite people, I got to take a second with Alisa and her kids. Wow. The love I feel for them! I was so good just to see them, be near them, and feel of their love again. The kids are so amazing and has such amazing potential! They sang "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission" for me. Alisa is being such a strong influence for them. William is hoping to be baptized soon and Alisa is still making progress and taking steps that will lead her to the Temple. What an amazing blessing that will be for her! You better believe I wouldn't miss that for the world! I look forward to that experience. :) Bessemer still has a big part of me. It's amazing how these places steal your heart.

I am seeing this take place right now in Madison. My heart is started to become sold. I get so attached to areas and people that it's hard to get ripped away. I love being here in Madison. It's been a huge blessing and there are so many people I hold dear to me. Marcia is doing great and still progressing. She was invited by a member to go to their FHE tonight, which I thought was so great! She is really growing and becoming a greater Daughter of God in the process. It's been great to watch her grow in the time I've known her. Also, Brianna I mentioned a while back. It was a huge miracle knocking on her door when we had limited time before our next appointment. Brianna is really hungry to learn and we are really working with her. She is so sweet. Things seem to go wrong a lot, so she can be hard to catch, but we feel her spirit and recognize the miracle she was and is. This last visit she asked us, "I know it's always crazy and we are really hard to get a hold of, but please don't give up on this family. We need y'all." Brianna is so sweet and sincerely, there is no way we could give up on them. We love her and her family. They have been a miracle to us.

Life is great! I love being a missionary! There are so many things to be grateful for. I love doing this work and being a missionary out here in Alabama. I never want it to end. I love all of y'all and keep you in my prayers. Have a fantastic week and stay safe!

Love y'all Lots!
Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #59 (Feb 2)

Oh how I've missed my Double Stuffed. :)
This week I bought Gluten Free, Dairy Free Oreos and Ice Cream! First time I've had Oreos in a year and a half! Wahoo!!! So Good! That was my favorite cookie before I found out about my food allergies. Every finals I would stalk up on gold fish, oreos and frozen green beans for my snacks. Those were my studying treats. Since then, I haven't been able to spoil myself the same way. However, Sister Zackrison and I have been craving an oreo blizzard, so that is what we made!! It was so good! I am so grateful to have Oreos back in my life again. :) Probably not a good discovery, cuz I may or may not get addicted, but that's ok. "Our diet starts tomorrow." ;) But for reals. haha.

Our Clean Apt! We've been cleaning it out for weeks! I was working on it before with Sister Brunner, but it was a longer process since it was just me working on it and I wasn't quite sure what was hers or left behind from another sister. However, with Sister Zackrison, we've really attacked the place and made it better! Yipee! It's finally clean and we can function! All the trash is gone (4 garage bags) and we donated 5 garage bags to a thrift store! (We also gave two extra desks we had to the elders cuz they needed them. It is so much better now!) 

So we have been very blessed in teaching many people right now. God has really been mindful of us. The only hindrance seems to be the people's situations. They all seem to be people who will take a while until they can be baptized... Sister Zackrison and I are really trying to do all we can to bring people closer to Christ and if it's not while I'm here, that's ok. As long as I helped them come closer to Christ, I have fulfilled my purpose. 

However, although the people we are teaching right now may not be baptized soon, we are still praying to see a miracle. We have a goal to find someone who is ready and prepared to Come Unto Christ by entering into the waters of baptism, within the 6 weeks we will be serving together in Madison. We have been praying for it and trying to make this a possibility by talking to everyone and tracting whenever we have a chance. Last night, we tracted with this special prayer. We were sure we were going to find a miracle in the neighbor we were led to. Sadly, we did not see that miracle we had hoped for. And although we didn't see it, we know that as we keep trying, God will provide us with this miracle, just perhaps in a different way and in his own timing. " shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." (D&C 88:68) This miracle we can expect.

Well, I love you all! Expect Miracles! 
Hope you have a great week!
Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #58 (Jan 26)

Here's a pic with Stephanie, a recent convert, we said bye to before Sister Brunner left Madison. :)
New Transfer with Sister Zackrison! Even though it was a bit of a trial, we got Sister Zackrison here. Somehow, luggage expands on the mission and no one can explain it. It can be rough. Especially for sisters. Let's just say, every transfer I am reminded how out of shape I am. haha. I love working with her though! She is so great! She and I are so a like! Both very girly, go to BYU, Belle was our favorite Disney Princess as a little girl, clean, etc. It's going to be a good transfer. In fact, right now we are renovating the apartment to make it more livable! I've been trying to clean it little by little last transfer, but with little avail. However, now with a partner in grime, we are making a difference in [our] world! Also, teaching with her is a breeze. We compliment each other so well and are already very unified. Because of this, it has been amazing feeling the spirit in our lessons. We really work together and focus on the spirit. It's making a huge difference in our teaching and it's incredible to feel!

Ok. Now Investigator and Area Update!
So things are Hoppin' Down Here in Madison! We are teaching so much and having so much crazy going on right now! It's wonderful! It's the best kind of stress EVER! It's a stress of racing from one appointment to the next. I'm losing sleep and gaining new little colonies all over my face, but I couldn't be happier! This week we had 5 different investigators at church this week. It was a little bit to juggle, but members took them under their wing! Let me tell you what I mean...

Nene came in a little bit before church started and we sat her in by us. We are also teaching a younger girl, Julia, who's father is recently trying to come back into activity again. They came in and sat down together. The meeting started and had yet to see the few others we were expecting. After a few minutes, we see Marcia try to slip in and before she could come up to sit next to us, a sweet member of ours, who came to a lesson with Marcia, snagged her and had her sit by them. :) Marcia then waved at me across the chapel. It was the sweetest thing! After sacrament, we scanned the congregation looking to see if the others had come in. Sure enough, we saw Erica in the back of the chapel surrounded by a couple different members. A Young Women came over to us and stole Nene to go to class and Julia went to primary in the merry way. We then saw Christina in the back with her toddler and baby. Turns out that that the family that she sat by are her neighbors! They only live one house apart! They helped hold the boys and took her the nursery for her boy and then to the gospel principles class. With all our members lending a helping hand, we were able to pull Marcia aside with the first councilor in our ward and give her a blessing to help her with the Word of Wisdom. It was such a spiritual experience and she cried at the love and support she could feel from God. Leaving the blessing, she didn't need to take a smoking break, which she would normally have to do. It was incredible to see how the Lord helped us as we did all we could to bring His children closer to Him. :)

I love y'all and love the mission. We are so blessed right now. I can feeling the blessings of all y'alls' support and prayers. Thank you for that!

I love you! Take care!!
Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #57 (Jan 19)

It's snowing in Alabama!!!
In all my areas, I try to do everything in my power to help the area Boom by the time I leave. So far, I have been successful and in Madison this week it is really becoming evident! This week we got 8 new investigators and 6 progressing investigators! It's insane how many people are coming out of the wood works and we are working with! God is SO blessing us right now! It is so evident that He has seen our hard work and blessing us cuz, I can assure you, we couldn't do this alone! Sadly, Sister Brunner is being transferred and will not be able to see a lot of these people progress, but I know she will be a big blessing in the next area she goes. :)

Now, let me tell you about one of these miracles. I was on an exchange with Sister Gibbs. She and I were tracting and there were two kids on their bikes. Some missionaries don't talk to kids, but I love talking to them cuz they are honest and not afraid to refer you to neighbors or friends. So, we went up and started talking to them. The boy told us that his mom could use a message of Christ and sent us to his apartment on the next street over. We tracted our way over and knocked on the door. His mom, Tamika, answered. She said her son use to meet with missionaries in the park every Saturday a year ago and because of that is open to have us back over! Things seem really promising with that family which is exciting! 

I looked down at my watch. We had our dinner appointment in 15 minutes and the house was only 5-10 minutes away. I did a mini-debate in my mind, should we knock the second floor of the apartment complex or go to the appointment early. When I have these mini-debates, I have come to shut down the lazy voice quickly now to use the Lord's time more wisely. So, I encouraged us to go to the second story. The first door we knocked, a sweet girl in her later 20's answered the door. We told her we were missionaries and asked if she'd be open to a message of Christ. She agreed! Her name was Brianna and her little 1 year old girl's name is Bailey. They are staying there with her boyfriend, Michael. She said that she's been feeling like she needs to get closer to God and has been really praying for that the last 2 days. She continued to tell us that she's had missionaries knock before and never let them in, but this time for some reason she did. It was so evident that she has been prepared. God has a way of timing that is INCREDIBLE! We left her with a short message and prayer and will be back to teach her again soon. We've been able to keep in touch with her and things look really promising! She is a sweet girl and has a big heart with a big role in this life! Even though we were late to our dinner appointment, it was amazing how the Lord took care of everything because the family was running behind anyway and if we had left to go to their house just that little bit earlier, we would not have met Brianna and would've wasted some of the Lord's time waiting for dinner to be put on. He's timing is perfect and if we do all we can to be obedient and do that little bit extra, He'll take care of us! 

Lastly, we did a talent show with all the Madison missionaries for members to attend and invite their friends. I have to say, I am starting to get over my fear of singing in front of people and I am starting to get better at it. I think the trick has been that the last two times (Christmas Talent Show and Now) I've been so busy I haven't had time to think about it, so I don't have enough time to get nervous, which is good! Sister Brunner and I sang a duet of one of my all time favorite songs "For Those Tears I Died" (Come to the Waters) and in there I had a SOLO! Eek! Anyway, the talent show went great and we got quite a few members come with friends and lots of referrals with it! Such a success! 

Good things are happening in Madison and I'm grateful to be part of it. I hope things are going well for y'all. I love you all so much! Take care!


Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #56 (Jan 12)

Sorry I didn't send any letters last week. I had a lot to do and not enough time to attack them. You'll get plenty this time though! :D
This week was a week full of exchanges and blizzardy weather. In the pic, the weather looks just perfect, right? WRONG! That ice under my feet is a perfect example of the chill we experienced as we were out tracting. haha. In the south, we don't have much snow or anything, but we do have a breeze. Yes, this mild, whimpy breeze can be pretty powerful due to the humidity. It just pierces straight through you and insta-freezes your bones! Brrr! Good thing is that winter clothes are adorable. So bundling us isn't too much of a pain. ;)
This next two months is member-missionary month for our mission. So we have really been pushing hard to work with the members and it has been great! We went from having an average of 2-3 member present lessons to 9 this week! It was a big victory for us! We worked really hard this week to match and surpass our goals. It has been such a blessing to see how the Lord helps us with these goals we make to push ourselves and motivate ourselves in the work! 
Trying Gator!!! Bucket List crossed off!!!! ;)

Fun at the Park
Some sweet girls we met at the park and we did leave them each with a BOM. They were so cute and excited! :)
In addition, we had the meeting with Chris this week. He was going to have a Bible-bash like meeting with the elders. However, when we stopped by his place, we were able to set up a time to visit with him separately, outside of this bash. It didn't go as well as we had hoped... His concerns were not the anti-mormon concerns that are lies that we can clear up, but issues he had with church history and some scriptures in the Book of Mormon. They seriously are things you just have to pray about and get confirmation in. However, he wouldn't take that for an answer because he knows that the Lord has given us brains and expects us to do our part. This principle is VERY true. However, God also expects us to follow Him, even if we don't understand everything. (1 Ne 11:17) Towards the end of the discussion, Chris turned to me and asked if I've been raised in the church and I answered yes. He then proceeded to say, "Well you did have moments where you had to find out it was true, but when you found out these problem with the church, wouldn't you say it was easy to fall back to it since it is all you have known?" I knew right then that is was a moment I had to defend my faith and my testimony. I told Chris straight out, "Trust me. I am a stubborn person. My mom really encouraged me to serve a mission, but I REFUSED to go until the Lord told me it was what He wanted me to do. I insist on discovering things on my own. And to be honest, as missionaries, we get people who bring up these things to us all the time. If I told you my faith has never been shaken, it would be a lie. It can be hard having people telling you you are wrong. I had to pray and do my own studies to know. God told me this is the true church. I could never leave it or doubt it. Even if my parents left the church, I would still stand faithfully beside it. I know it is true and no one could convince me otherwise." He followed up asking, "But what if you find out that you are wrong when you meet up with God?" "I would have no regrets. I know this church has made me my best self. I don't think God would ever be mad at me for doing all I can to serve and worship Him. No God could hate His child for that." With that said, the meeting came to an end. I don't know if it made a difference or pricked his heart at all, but all I know is that we gave it all we got. He has legitimate concerns. I can't blame him for that. And if he continues to study with real intent, God will tell him it's true. 
I love being a messenger and defender of the truth! It is a priceless opportunity I've been able to have for the last year and a half. It has changed my life and continues to do so. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Let us all press on! Steadfast in Christ!

With Lots of Love, 
Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #55 (Jan 5)

Ok. So this week has been a week of 5! So, to keep the pattern rolling, I tell you 5 things about my week!

1. This week we had our Mission Leadership Meeting and decided on our mission baptismal goal for the year. (We ended last year at 470.) After looking at all the patterns and stats for the mission, we decided to help change 500 people's lives! To make this a lasting goal for the whole year and to not let it die, we turned it into a theme/ culture for our mission! #faithfor500 We have been spreading this faith like wildfire around the mission in our zone trainings! We will see miracles this year by enacting some faith in these 500!

2. As part of this faith for 500, our zone made our personal zone baptismal goal of 5! To help with this goal of 5 and 500, we came up with an Hour of Power! This happens every day at 5:00 (500, get it?) and we invite at least one person to baptism during that next hour! (It could be in a teaching appointment or even a stranger on a street. Doesn't matter.) The results have been incredible! By that first day, miracles were happening like crazy! So, the next day, we brought it to the second zone we are over in Huntsville. Even more miracles were happening with both zones joining in! And on this second day, I got to witness a miracle from this Hour of Power in the Athens area on an exchange! Because of the success of this Hour of Power, Sunday night on a conference call, it was brought to the rest of the mission. So now, every day at 5, you know that everyone in the Alabama Birmingham Mission is inviting people to be baptized and seeing miracles!

3. Hour of Power Exchange Miracle: It was about time to go, but we decided to knock on one last door for this Hour of Power. A girl opened up. We invited her to come closer to Christ and one of the ways is through baptism. She accepted! We came in and she, Codi, told us how her and her fiance have been having a really hard time... he has lost some family recently and is having a hard time with the loss. She also has been feeling a need to get back into church and has yet to find one yet. We proceeded to teach her. The Spirit was very strong there. She already was recognizing the spirit. Over the lesson, she really opened up and Codi asked about church. Before we left, she made us Christian CDs. haha. It was so sweet. (I popped it into the CD player and it's Christian rap. So funny. I'll just tuck it away for another time. haha.)

4. We are still teaching Marcia! Things are going so well with her! She came to dinner in a member's home with her boyfriend, Josh, whose an atheist. I can't remember if I mentioned before, but he is starting to warm up to us and joining us for prayer. Anywho, when they came to the dinner appt, it was really good. Everything went so well and we talked about our Heavenly Father and who he is to us. As we shared 1 Nephi 1:1 "I, Nephi, being born of goodly parents..." and how that is true for us and our Heavenly Father, he didn't look up and kept reading. He seemed to be sucked in a bit. After a little bit, he looked up and pretended not to have been reading. (Good sign!) The night went well with lots of laughs. They are doing great and we are excited to see what's in store for that family. :)

5. Lastly, last week we received a referral for Chris and we went and taught him with Elder Smith and Elder Wright. They are the zone leaders we work with and needed some elders to help us with the job since we are female. After meeting with him last week and him really feeling the spirit, he has been in touch with the elders and trying to do his "research." Sadly, he texted the elders with some anti he got from a friend. They called us asking what to do since he is technically our investigator. Chris wanted to meet with this knowledgeable friend, aka a bible bash... We told that we're up for it. We want to clarify the lies and we know that if we have the spirit, there is nothing to fear. Chris so felt the spirit. That much we know and we don't want to give up with something so small. However, just yesterday, towards the end of our hour of power, we were led to just around the corner from his house. Since Chris texted the elders and didn't know that we knew about the situation, we decided to stop by. It was a success! Chris was there and talked to us on the porch. He mentioned some of his concerns and we encouraged him in what he was doing and heeded him to continue to read, pray, and pay attention the spirit he feels. After a few minutes, it was evident that his heart softened and asked if he could meet us somewhere this week before his meeting with the elders. We agreed. We'll be seeing him Thursday and clarifying more concerns without the contention that can drive away the spirit. It was such a blessing. Please pray for us so we can be led by the spirit in what to say to help ease him and his concerns. D&C 100:6

I love you all and thanks for your support! Wish us luck!
Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #54 (Dec 29)

Merry Christmas this past week to all! We had a blast at Christmas here in Madison! We got a pleasant surpurise Christmas Eve and a family was so sweet and got us some Christmas Pajamas! They were matching Alabama PJs! How stellar is that?! Couldn't ask for a better gift! (It was so good to have the family Christmas tradition continue, even though I was far, far away!
Christmas in Madison
Also for Christmas, the Huntsville Zone had a fun Christmas Breakfast and we played a Christmas game of Minute to Win It! So cute and fun! I will include a few pics of it.

Oreo Cookie Race

A conveyor belt to get the ornaments to the tree

My Competition (I had to shake all the jingle bells out of the tissue box) Very entertaining. I was against Elder Deitrich. Tough competition. We had to rewatch the video of the race to determine the winner and it was an exact tie! Fun stuff. haha. 
It's 2015 this coming up week! Can y'all believe it?! I sure can't! Sister Brunner and I have gotten excited and jumped ahead and already made some goals as a companionship. She and I have both been out about the same amount of time and we are thrilled to work hard together and run to the finish! We will Thrive, not Survive! Run to the Finish! Be a Plow Horse!! We are in it to win it! And we will have the Lord by our side as we make sure we use our time PERFECTLY! We have started asking ourselves every comp study, as we make a final analysis of our day from the plans we had made the night before, "Is this the best way to use the Lord's time?" So this way we can have time to correct and tweak our day to be the best it can be. Since we have started doing this, it's been amazing to see some miracles come into play:

Marcia (pronounced Marsha) who we started teaching a few weeks back, CAME TO CHURCH! Her boyfriend dropped her off with their 2 year old son! Things are really looking up for her and she is soaking everything in! We want to set a baptismal date with her, however, there are a few complications due to potential legal issues and whether or not her and her boyfriend are going to marry. It's looking like it could go either way. He is atheist, however, he is warming up to us and starting to sit in a little more as we invite him to. We hope to help him also learn of God and that God cares and loves him.

Also, we received a referral for a man named Chris. As we approached the duplex the man said, "No, I'm not interested. No thanks," as he got in his vehicle. Bummer! It was such a disappointment since we had walked all the way there. Sister Brunner then suggested, "Well, maybe that was his neighbor. Let's check just in case." I have to admit, I wasn't the most faithful about this attempt, but everything is worth a shot, so we tried it! She was right! Chris was home and it was his neighbor! We almost missed him! We ended up teaching him about the Book of Mormon. However, with his many questions, it was more features based. I thought back to previous trainings and last MLC. I wanted him to feel the power and spirit that this book holds. He needed to get inside of it and have something that would relate to him or hit him someway. As I continued to listen to the conversation, a scripture would come, "No, that's not it" and another would come to mind, and another. They were just not what he was needing. Then Moroni's promise came into mind. I felt the peaceful confirmation that that was what God wanted him to hear. We shared that verse to him, and the Spirit did the teaching. Nothing needed to be said. He read the scripture and his eyes teared up. It softened his heart. It was really neat for me to see how the whole spirit and atmosphere could change in one moment as God takes over in the lesson. There is a great strength the Book of Mormon has. It's indescribable, so there's no point in trying to describe it. All we can do is provide them with the opportunity to discover it themselves.

Missionary Newsletter #53 (Dec 22)

Ok. So, this week is a little crazy, especially today, so I have to keep the newsletter very short! Sorry!!!

Well, this week was great and a crazy busy one! We had our Mission Christmas Party and there we watched FROZEN!!! Man! I am so lucky and have the best mission ever! Also there was a talent show! Fun! We were in it a number of times, excluding being in charge of it. It's was a crazy day, but full of fun!
Talent Show: Playing the Harmonica I learned that day... Evidently it was a struggle. hahaha. (Madison Sisters with Sister Hanks, Mission Pres.'s wife. She's the sweetest.)
Also, things with Marcia (which I mentioned as Marsha last week) is still going great! She came to our ward Christmas party, which was great! She had planned to come to church and was very excited, however, she was unable to cuz she got called into work right quick. So, hopefully we'll see her next week! But overall, she is doing great and loving the gospel. We gave her a Book of Mormon to start reading and introduced it to her by reading her Helaman 5:12 and told her she could apply the scriptures to herself. She looked down to a different part to the page. She pointed verse 34 and exclaimed, "Hey, I'm a Lamanite! This is the same sh-- I'm going through!" Bahahahahahaha! We couldn't help, but bust out! She is such a pleasure and has such a hunger for God in her life. We left with her Mosiah 24 to read and she said she was crying and wanted more for her next assignment to read! How great is that?! She has a lot in store for her. She will be super blessed.

Making Christmas Cookies with a member for our investigators! So cute!!
Well, I love y'all! Because of the Christmas season, I want to leave you with a wonderful quote Elder Russell M. Nelson said recently, which I just LOVE! "Christmas is a time of reflection on what we can become because of God's sacred gift." I have changed and grown so much in the gospel over the last year because of the Savior and his love and sacrifice for me. I am so grateful for that gift and I pray that I can continually strive to be worthy of it. And I am grateful to start 2015 with new goals and ambitions to become even more than I am today. I love serving here in Alabama.

Have a Merry Christmas!!

With love,

Sister Salmond

This is from our Ward Christmas Party. The four of us attempted to perform, however, we forgot to get a hymn book and the elders ended up forgetting the second verse when it was their turn. We all busted laughing with a grand finish! Ignore that I look like a donkey... haha. It's a horrible spirit animal really, but I can't deny it. haha

Missionary Newsletter #52 (Dec 15)

My first crocheted item!!! A baby sack (or pod) Turned out pretty good!

This is only a small portion of my stuff.... I'm a hoarder...

Two girls Sis. Millard and I were really working with. They are the coolest girls ever! So funny & lots of good times and sweets. :)

Saying goodbye to Kevin! He's such a good kid and has the strongest testimony

The Main Room as we were setting up :) There were 500 nativities, decorated tress, 4 decorated fire places, and quits over all the walls! Crazy cool!

Baby Jesus
The Shepard's sheep :)

Ok. So mission life can get CrAzY busy sometimes! And that's what is has been for us this last week. It's been fun though! I think I have something wrong with me cuz I kind of love the stress. It's like I get an adrenaline rush from trying to make the impossible possible. It's really quite thrilling! Occasionally, as I look at our calendar or the list of things to do, I couldn't stop giggling! There was just no possible way we could do it. hahaha. Oh well! So, let me give you a small idea of our past and upcoming week. :)

Crazy Breakdown: Mon-Tues: Goodbyes and packing. Wed: Transfers- in MADISON! with Sister Brunner We're now in the present: This last Sunday, we both gave talks in church. We also have had to plan our Exchanges and Blitz with the two zones within our car's mile limitations, which is a little tricky with the large number of sisters. In my last area, we had more miles allotted us with just the Huntsville zone than we do now with TWO ZONES! Ah! We're not really sure how we are going to do it. So, we've been jumbling things around to do the math and we FINALLY got it all worked out!!! Yay!! Lastly, this last week, we had to help set up, take down and work at the Huntsville Christmas Festival our stake does each year. So our evenings have been spent there the last four days. It was so good to get things worked out one by one. However, it seemed that as one thing got done, another one got added.... Dun, Dun, Dun.
The New Comp, Sister Brunner. :) Isn't she pretty?

This coming Tuesday we have a Mission Christmas Party! Fun! As STLs we are in charge of getting our zone's talents together for the talent show. For Sister Brunner and I, that means we are over two zone's talents. We then got a call from Sister Hanks (our Mission President's wife) asking us to put together the whole talent show! This includes:
  • Finding a MC
  • Getting all the Talent's names, the people performing them, etc.
  • Having the right amount of talents to fill the time, without going over
  • Getting the props, lighting, etc. together for the talents being performed
  • Creating the program and order of talents
  • Approve all the talents to make sure they are mission appropriate

Fewf! What a job!?! In addition to that, Sister Hanks called me and asked me to sing a lullaby she composed years back for they devotional they will be giving for the Christmas Party. She said she was told I was the sister to go to!!!! WhO tOlD hEr ThAt?!! AHHHHHHHHhh!!!! No pressure. Just can't slaughter a song she composed!!!!! I asked if I could have a few other sisters sing it with me and she said that would be ok, so we are doing that. I couldn't do it all on my own! (I really don't know how she got this false info about me singing good. haha.)  With learning that song, we have skits as a zone we are doing (equaling two) and it seems that somehow the sisters always get left putting it together. Also, for the talent show, Sis. Brunner is teaching me to play the harmonica cuz we are playing it at the talent show with Sis. Hanks and another set of sisters. The last thing we have to do for the talent show is learn a song we are singing with Elder Mayfield and Tessa in a quartet (which I have a small solo in as well). Then finally the Christmas Party is done!!! We also are having our Sister Christmas Party for the two zones on the same day as the Mission Christmas Party to save on miles. We're planning to serve breakfast, have a Dirty Santa Exchange (in the west know as White Elephant), and then a devotional. Let's just say, we just have to make it through Tuesday and then we can breath. haha! (oh! and don't forget that it's two people's birthday in our zone on Tuesday, so we have to plan something to do for them too. haha.) Life is insane! Now you can see why I can't help but laugh at the crazy! hehehehe. Man, life is good! I am so happy to be alive. hehe. :D

Besides that, not much is too new. I haven't learned much of the area with since we have been doing so many other things, but I am sure I will soon. :) We had the neatest miracle the other day though! We were caroling with the Madison missionaries. There we met a woman named Marsha. We ended up picking her up and went to see her yesterday. Sis. Brunner was making phone calls for the talent show as I started teaching her! She has been looking for a new church. She wondered about the many churches and believed that Joseph Smith is a very possible and real thing. She described moments she had felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost. When it was timed to go, we asked her to say the closing prayer. In her prayer, she thanked God for sending us to her and asked that we could come back. It was such a sweet prayer, even though she was nervous. :)

The thing that I have found, that even at moments when things are in disarray and chaos around us, the Lord knows our efforts and how hard we are working. And even though, Sister Brunner and I haven't been able to proselyte as much as we usually do, He still provided us with this miracle because of the work and intentions we do have. None of us will be perfect. We can't be. However, the Lord, like for us missionaries, knows our intentions and the work we do do and He will reward us on the things we do, not punish us for the things we can't get done. It's the victories that matter to Him, and He'll find every excuse to bless us. That is our Loving Father. :)

I love you all and I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas Season!

With Lots of Love,

Sister Salmond

Missionary Newsletter #51 (Dec 8)

A pic with the Sisters in Guntersville! hhaha. They are so great!
Our Grandma shoes :)

Out tracting!
Ok! So sure enough, I am next door to sweet ole Huntsville, staying in the Madison area now! My new companion is Sister Brunner. :) We have already worked together a bit in the mission, so this will be a fun transfer. Our mission has gone from 55% sisters to 33% sisters and that was the reason why we closed my last area. Not too much is changed though, cuz Sister Brunner and I are now just the STL over two zones now: the Madison and Huntsville Southeast (the one I came from.) We are the only STLs over two zones as for now, so it'll fixin' to be a crazy, fun adventure balancing the two areas. Wish us luck!

Here's my new address:
194 Shelton Rd #116
Madison, AL 35758
(And packages can be sent there.)

If you sent me a letter or something in the mail, let me know. My previous neighbor is on mail watch duty for me. :) He's a sweet guy and will get it to me if I tell him to look out for it.

Thanks y'all! Love ya! And take care!

Sister Salmond