Monday, November 29, 2010


Ok Sarah here. I'm begging all of your forgiveness since I've been a little behind on this blog! I know. I've already slapped my own hand. I commit to be better. (Mission language since it's a mission blog...that's the thing.) Anyway, the next 3 POSTS are new so please continue reading all through the November posts! Thanks!

Just another day in THE life:

Happy P-day!  I hope Mom's birthday went well, I hope she didn't go too crazy having everyone over on Thanksgiving, and I hope you're all sitting anxiously on the edges of your seats and staring with wide eyed anticipation into the empty void of your computer screen, just waiting for me to send this email so you can read it.  I know you're all really worried about what goes on in my life in this little corner of the world.  Don't worry, I'll send it in about a half an hour.  Whipe that sweat off your brow.

This has been a crazy/amazing/unforgettable week in THE mission.  (said with emphasis.  like you mean it)  That's probably because we had TWO baptisms this week.  Plus we got a new companion (the ever-fashionable Hermana Case) and we ate ourselves silly at two dinner appointments on Thanksgiving.  That's all. 

Our first baptism was Fernando.  haha I really can't believe that that kid is actually a mormon.  We had him in our phone under "atheist Fernando" and so now we need to switch it to "mormon Fernando."  haha.  he did it all in true Fernando flavor, but he got baptized!  He has been so happy.  Especially yesterday at church.  I've never seen him like that.  We had talked about taking the sacrament (because he would never take it and asked us if he HAD to take it after he was baptized...punk) and yesterday I was watching him from my perch on the stand by the piano.  He took the bread, looked right up at me, ate it, then laughed when he caught me looking at him and looked back down.  That laugh was worth a million dollars in my book.  DONE.  covenant made. He told us afterwards that he wants the priesthood (and that his "ultimate goal" was eternal marriage).  I told my companions that we need to teach him that the Priesthood power is not HIS power, it is GOD'S power...and then he called us up and asked what he would be able to DO once he got the priesthood. haha.  point proven.  one step at a time.

Carlos was our other baptism!  Do ya'll remember Carlos?  you may not.  But he accepted baptism on his first lesson and we were way excited about him until he told us he was moving to Mexico.  FALSE.  well, not entirely.  But he didn't go yet.  We ended up teaching him lessons 2, 3, and 4 this past week because we realized the bishop was willing to baptize and confirm him on the same day (saturday) which was also the day he would leave for Mexico!  Turns out he didn't even leave so we rushed it for nothing but that's okay.  He's baptized.  And he's so great.  After church yesterday he came up to me and asked how he pays his tithing so I got to go help him fill out his slip, which I've never done before, and I thought that was such a cool experience.  He is a great man. 

okay, next item of business: Thanksgiving.  So President gave us a "p-day" for thanksgiving... which basically was no different than any other day for us because we went to teach carlos in the morning, then headed to our meal appointment with Hector and Esperanza.  After we were completely stuffed silly, we went home and took a quick nap and then headed back out to our next meal appointment, with the Mendez family.  This one was SO much fun because a bunch of the other hermanas were there (not hermana warner, but don't ask her about it, because her district leader wouldn't give her permission to leave her area even though she got invited and she's pretty bitter...unrighteous dominion...haha what?  no...) .  But yeah.  it was way fun.  we ate and then we played games and guess what one of the games was? . . . JENGA!  Grandma Tingey's house anyone?  I was third in the line up and we just kept going around until it fell but the person who knocked it over had to sing in front of everyone.  needless to say I was shaking in my boots thinking of my voice singing spanish songs... but luckily i have years of expertness at that game!  Everyone thought it would fall on me the second time around but i miraculously managed to find a brick that was loose and wiggle it out. my hands were shaking really bad when I set it on top and everyone was laughing at me but hey, i didn't have to sing!  I knew all those jenga games with uncle brian would come in handy some day.  Everyone was so impressed. haha.  jk it was fun though. Overall, the best part was just being together with all the Hermanas.  Last year was kinda lonely for me at thanksgiving because I didn't know anybody yet and I was just missing home, but by now I feel so close to everyone and so it was like being with sisters or something.  or hermanas. haha

Anyways, it was a good thanksgiving, it was a good baptismal saturday, it was a good "gift of the holy ghost" sunday, and after church we went out and taught a guy named Luis who accepted a baptismal date for christmas day.  so that was a nice way to end the week.  "i'm dreaming of a white christmas...." 

I love you all!  I wish I could share so many more experiences but it will have to go in the journal and wait for a few months.  too much happens in one week to type out in one hour!  Have a great week. 

Happy Tanksgibing Bach. (What movie!?)

First off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Is mom going crazy making the kids scrub the doorframes and everything? haha.  I wish I could be there.  That will be fun.  But i'm going to have a pretty fun thanksgiving myself.  Let me explain why:
1. I'm staying in Cloverleaf, so I'll actually be spending it with members that i KNOW. 
2. Hermana Killpack is staying with me so I'll be with a companion that i love. 
3. Hermana CASE is now with us!  so there's more cloverleaf hermana to share thanksgiving with!  hahaha
that's right everybody.  This duo just became a trio.  Welcome, Hermana Ashley Case from Manti, Utah.  Here's the cool story:  She started her mission the same day as I did, but when she showed up to the MTC, they didn't have a companion for her because her companion she had been assigned to had been moved up to the advanced class.  Yes.  are you putting this together?  we were supposed to be companions in the MTC!  so we've been wanting to get together for about a year now.  she's really cute.  One of those people who just has that "cool" factor.  And she's a great missionary.  She just got done training so she's all on fire and all that. haha.  We're excited to have her.  I don't know how the shower situation will work out...three girls and one bathroom...wait.  I grew up with FOUR of us using the same shower! haha we'll work it out somehow.  So i'm a little apprehensive about being in a trio but i'm excited for her to be here with us for the holidays. (this transfer covers thanksgiving, christmas, AND new years) 

Other good transfer news:  I'm having not one, but TWO "grandbabies!!!"  that's right:  both hermana Harry AND Hermana Warner are training this transfer.  I'm really excited for both of them.  They'll be great. I know you don't know them but they've become a huge part of my life. haha.  it's cool.

So for thanksgiving, we're going to go over to a member family's house.  They are the Mendez family.  And their son has decided to go to the U of U because of the good word I put in for my alma mater.  (what? i don't know if i used that word right... haha) But he called me yesterday from the u of u campus because he was lost. huh?  i know.  I told him he was making me trunky and he couldn't call for stuff like that! haha he's a fun member.  they're hilarious.  we're excited to go there.  and they're inviting like every hermana in the mission so it should be a blast. 

Other than that, we have Fernando's baptism on Saturday morning, and the Cardenas family all came to church again.  Good days for the work here in cloverleaf!  We just wish they weren't going to the english ward...haha jk.  (but seriously)

Fernando is getting ready for his baptism.  He told me last night that he knows that God governs his life and that he's not the one in control.  He also said he feels a "special presence" in this church.  I think it's so cool how far he's come.  He still has a long ways to go but I feel good about his baptism.  He's ready.  Now let's see if we can get it all organized and ready to go in time! haha jk we will.  the ward is totally behind him.  they love him.  And I just found out that one of the english ward members was his cross country coach in highschool so he came to one of our lessons and told him he's going to come to the baptism and he told him he was proud of him and his decision to be baptized.  That had to be huge for Fernando.  He gets so little positive adult feedback.  It was sweet.  There are some really good people in this world!

Other than that, nothing too exciting.  i'm trying to rush it today because we only have half a p-day to get everything done plus transfers.  president decided that if we just had half a pday today then he would give us the rest of it on thanksgiving so... i guess that works.   but thanksgiving will be a nice break now.  So i'm sorry if this sounds really scatterbrained but I love you all and i"m THANKFUL FOR YOU! haha

Hello to all my Jamaican brudders!!

Hey mon!  so I sorta wish I was in jamaica with my padres but then I look around at the muddy ditches and homeless refuse of cloverleaf texas and realize that I have it WAY better than mom and dad, and they should think about coming HERE for their next romantic getaway.  haha keep telling myself that, right? false.  I do not miss Jim.  and the truth is, I really do have it at least as well off as they do, because while they're lying in a hammock on a sunny white beach, and buying red, yellow and green beads to braid into eachother's hair, I am watching THIRTEEN members of the Cardenas family walk into the chapel on a sunday morning and file in to sacrament meeting!  that is right folks.  they ALL came and they took up the whole middle pew!  It was amazing, to say the least.  Veronica (momma cardenas)  seemed so happy to be there.  Normally you try to sit by your investigators when they come to church, but seeing as how there were SO MANY of them there was no room left on the pew, hermana Killpack and I sat right behind them and we saw Mom and Dad Cardenas start holding hands halfway through sacrament meeting.  It was very cute.  That was one of those heartwarming moments you wish you could bottle up and keep to open on a cold day when everything is going wrong.    It was a cool sacrament meeting.  I think the english ward was slightly in awe of us. haha.  The english elders have asked us to help out with teaching them because there's so many kids in a little tiny house so it's hard to have the spirit there when the kids are running all around.  Hermana Killpack and I will probably take charge of teaching the younger kids so I'm excited to see what happens with them... it won't count for our numbers but that's not what it's about anyways, right? haha. 

Fernando is back in business.  He wants this baptism thing.  I just hope I don't get transferred next week so that I can be here to see it happen.  His testimony has really come just through reading the Book of Mormon. It's crazy how nothing we could say would convince him but as he reads he just gradually softens.  That book is magic.  or something close to that. 

So in case you're all thinking that missionary life is EASY after all that sugar I just poured out, this morning I had one of the GROSSEST experiences of my life.  I was vacuuming and once again turned the vacuum off halfway through to complain to Hermana Killpack about the weird smell issuing from the ancient depths of the monster that is our vacuum, along with the irritating lack of suction coming from the bottom of it, even when I went over and over the same spot and let it sit there for ten seconds or more.  Sister Killpack is very down to earth so she just asked if I had changed the bag recently (and I had!) so I just kinda said "yeah, I don't know what the problem is" in a whiny voice and then she said, "well, let's tip it over and see if we can see anything wrong with it."  So we tipped it over and there was about one full Jon Tingey head of hair rolled around the bottom brushes of the vacuum.  In fact, so much hair that you couldn't even see the brushes.  I looked at Hermana killpack and we just stared at eachother in silence for about five whole seconds until i said, "SICK." and she kinda laughed and then I said, "go get me the scissors and a plastic bag."  twenty minutes later we had cut our way through that rodent of a hairball and were able to take some nasty pictures and turn the vacuum back over and successfully vacuum the rest of the room!  hahaha it was NASTY.  nasty.  Everybody reading this go right now to your vacuum and make sure that you are cleaning it out with regularity.  I probably just ripped out a five year's supply of sister missionary hair from our vacuum brushes.  yuck! 

Other than that, the work is going well.  We met a really cute girl named Linda this week that we're really excited about.  We've only taught her once and probably won't see her for a while because she's going out of town because she's in the army or something, but she's really cool.  She's our age so that's always fun.  And she speaks English which helps... (don't tell all my friends who are on foreign missions!  it's just easier to relate to them in english, ok?)  The good news is, she asked if we had church services in spanish because she's always gone to church in spanish.  hahah yes we do! so we get to keep her. 

We're getting excited for our temple trip this thursday (and i'm WAY excited because Hermana Warner is going to come stay with us Wednesday night and go to the temple with us because her companion has a doctor's appointment that day and since she's in a trio the other companion is going to go to the doctor so she gets to come with us!  i can't wait to see her again.)  And then it is transfers!  I can't believe another transfer has gone by so fast.  It's ridiculous.  I think I'll probably stay here with Hermana Killpack but I guess you never really know.  I'll just leave you all on the edges of your seats on that one and get back to you next week with the results. 
Love you all!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Lord's Way...

Hey there Fetchers!  (from that weird dog show...not the way my cunado says it)
First things first:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOUUUUUUUUUUU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOUUUUUUUU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MARYJAAAAAAANE.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!  happy birthday we (I) sing to you, may your dreams and wishes come true.  May your hours be filled with happiness! and all your days with love be blessed!  Tis love brings us (me) here.... Tis love brings us (me) here.... happy birthday maryjaaaaaanne.  Tis love brings us (me) here!  So what are you now, twenty two?  hahaha jk Maryjane!  you are twelve.  That is cool.  Beehives or bust.  haha  I hope you have a good day today and know that I am thinking about you and talking about you to my companion.  No more primary!  that's always a good day.  Not that there is anything wrong with primary know what i mean.  So this makes twelve years since we moved in to HOLLAday.  that is weird. I love you janey.  and I'm sending you a car for your birthday.  A mexican one, which means it will be two toned truck with really loud speakers that you can blast your mariachi music from and crazy blades/ rims/whatever they are and a smokestack and at LEAST a six inch lift.  you should be excited.  you're going to look great in it!
We had such a cool experience this week!  We had a day where EVERYTHING fell through.  I'm talking like seven appointments and all of our backups and so we ended up knocking doors on the spur of the moment.  We even had someone call and full on YELL at us over the phone for a misunderstanding they had, so I wasn't feeling too pumped up, but we did a "let's go right here" and "how bout right again" until we got to a good street to knock.  We got off the bikes and I started walking into the first driveway I saw, which happened to have a mom and kids out playing in the yard.  As soon as we got within her fence, she stood up and walked inside.  I was thinking in my head, "nice.  real nice." and then (even better) she sends her husband out to deal with us.  I was feeling like "of course.  of course you send him out to get rid of us."  Until I introduced myself and shook his hand and he immediately invited us in. It was all royal treatment from there - he's getting us chairs to sit on and asking if he can get us something to drink... the whole shebang.   Turns out, she originally thought we were jehovah's witnesses (i HATE it when that happens.  almost as much as i hate it when they think we're menonites.. no.  actually, i'm just a normal young girl wearing a really ugly skirt.)  but that's why she went inside.  She told her husband "you better go talk to them because if it's anyone but the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, I'm going to say something mean to them." what? haha how often do you hear that?  Her mother and grandmother are both members, but she was raised catholic because of her stepfather.  She and her husband have NINE kids and they were taking the discussions but then they moved and haven't been able to get in touch with the church since then.  She said that the other day she was having a really hard time with some of her kids and she wanted to read the "mormon book" so she started looking for it and realized she lost it!  She didn't know what to do or how to get in touch with anyone from the church so she was pretty desperate.  She said,"my husband doesn't even know this, but I knelt down that day and pryaed that if I couldn't find the Mormons, that the Mormons would find ME."  what?????  i know.  It was incredible.  The only thing wrong with this whole experience was that they speak english.  but that was so cool!  The elders for the english ward are basically kissing our feet now.  "Hey elders, we have ELEVEN golden referrals for you!"  But I just think Hermana Killpack and I were lucky to be a part of answering that woman's prayer.  And it was a good reminder for me that God's plan for our day is ten billion times better than OUR plan for our day.  Welcome to the fold, Cardinas Family!
Fernando update:  We've put his baptism on hold until he can change a few things.  As of right now, he's just not doing it for the right reasons.  I think he feels a stronger desire to join the church than he does to have his sins washed away.  He knows he needs Christ to cleanse his sins, but it's almost like that BUGS him or something.  I dunno.  But he is still coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon and he even went to a fireside last night without us knowing it... but he's still got a lot of pride.  He was pretty disappointed though when we told him he couldn't get baptized yet.  He told us he'd pray about it - so that is a good sign.  A few weeks ago we would have been the ones asking HIM to pray, and he would have had a huge problem with that.  so we'll take whatever progress we see. 
Anyways, life is good.  We saw a live possum walk through our headlights while we were recording our milage at the end of the day yesterday.  Welcome to Texas.  ROUS. 
oh yeah, and Hermana Killpack's bike broke.  Her tire has something wrong with it but we're too independent to be needy and call the elders so we've basically wanted to rip our hair out for the past couple days.  It went flat one day while we were out in the very far corner of our area so we ended up walking a bit until (miraculous tender mercy) we saw a kid on the side of his trailer pumping up his bike tires and he let us use his pump!  so then we were able to ride to a member's home where she gave us a ride home. But we now know how to change bike tire tubes!  every cloud has a silver lining...(and we did have young albert insured!)  nobody will get that but us Tingey's - we're odd like that. 
I love you all!
have a great week!

PS. Hey I forgot!  The cutest thing ever happened to me yesterday. 
We have a sweet little old lady who just recently converted who lives in our ward and she is almost 100% deaf but she always gets up to bear her testimony and so the whole time she just gets louder and louder until she's just about yelling into the mike. haha.  it's so cute.  but she is so sweet and I went up to her after Relief Society and told her thanks for her testimony and she gave me a big 'ole hug.  I saw she was wearing this funny sparkly necklace so I told her it was pretty and she said, "do you like it?" and I said yeah, so she said "I'll give it to you." and she took it off her neck and put it around mine!  It was so nice of her.  I felt bad... but it taught me a good lesson about being Christlike.  How are some people so good?  I need to be more like that. 
anways, pass it on.
me again

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hope y'all had a good day yesterday.  Everyone you know was just GIVING out candy! how is that not a good day? anyways, on to the good stuff:
Let me just tell you what a "missionary's dream" of a sunday we had yesterday.  SEVEN investigators in church.  count them.  seven.  siete.  shi shi - whatever.  It was cool.  IT WAS SO COOL!  And two of them have baptismal dates:
the first is the guy Carlos that we met last week and he's just progressing great.  the only problem is he works late during the week so we can only visit on sundays.  bit of a setback, but nothing huge.  He's living the word of wisdom and the law of chastity already and i'm pretty sure he felt the spirit pretty strong at church becuase it was the primary program and everyone was feeling it. 
the second is . . . drumroll... ATHEIST FERNANDO. what?  i know.  So we dropped him about a week and a half ago and then he started humbling himself and actually praying.  He kept coming to everything and we'd ask him how his prayers were going and then this week I said, You know Fernando, if you're praying, that means we can start meeting with you again.  So we met again and got him to admit that what he wants MOST is a family.  From there, we talked about dying and not having a family if you haven't lived the gospel.  Then we talked about making promises with God that assure us we will have things like eternal life and an eternal family.  We told him he hadn't made any promises with God up to this point in his life.  So he had no assurance of any of that.  He thought for a long time about that one.  We finally told him that when we make a promise with God we know he'll keep his side of the bargain, so if we live obedient to our side, then we can live IN PEACE, knowing what the outcome will be.  He showed up in a suit to church that sunday and called me after and asked if he can be baptized on Saturday.  We told him he'll have to wait until november 20th because he still hasn't taken the discussions. haha.  but it's cool how much he has changed.  Now if we ask him to pray he doesn't even hesitate.  Last night in his prayer, he thanked God for the person he was going to become.  Now that is poignant.  have I ever said that in a prayer?  
We also had a man named Pedro and his daughter Melisa show up unexpected to church yesterday.  We have taught pedro and his wife gloria before but gloria basically told us, my door is open to anyone who talks about god, but please leave.  so it was a bit of an awkward situation and I knew that pedro liked what he was hearing but we didn't really have a choice.  I asked him what he thought and he said "i think I shouldn't break up my family.  I go to church with my wife."  But I guess his member friend talked to him and he's going to start coming now.  It was good to see him there.  I almost had a heart attack, haha but it was good to see him.  
The others who came are people we've been working with - we're glad they came!  I do have to say though, finding rides for investigators on sundays is probably the bane of my existence!  but it worked out.  
Like I said, it was also our primary program yesterday.  Don't you just love primary programs?  They had us all dress in white (I say us because I am the primary pianist.  and the relief society pianist.  and the ward pianist.  and the stake choir pianist.  you get the idea) but it was so cute to see all those little dark kids in white!  (can I say that?  it was cute though)  And they get up and say their little spanish parts.  so cute.  "Dios vive."  I especially loved when my favorite little Julie got up and gave her part.  we eat at her house every tuesday and so I was the one that helped her learn her part!  I just kept saying it over and over and making her say it and then i'd say it and leave out a word or two and make her fill them in.  (she's four and adorable)  but she got up and without any fear at all said, "Jesucristo tiene poder sobre de la muerte."  (Jesus Christ has power over death )  except her part really went "Jesucrist tiene poder sobre la muerte."  we couldn't get her to stop saying the de.  but anywyas.  it was cute. 
So we had a good week.  to say the least.   
but that's about it.  we're still here, speakin da spanitch.  (that's what our less active elderly Hermana Banda [who could probably beat up a hardened criminal] always says to us if we start speaking english in front of her:  "HEY you supposed to be speakin da spanitch!" haha)  but that's what we do all day. 
Hope you have another good week!  sounds like everyone is doing well.  thanks for your letters!  I LOVE YOU ALL