Week 58

March 29, 2017:

Sorry it has been a while since I have emailed. This week p-day was moved to Wednesday because we are going to the temple. Since we are in the northern half of the mission we are headed up to Portland.  I will definitely send pictures later on today.

First of all we have a baptism next week! It is a mother and daughter that are going to get baptized on April 8. The mother removed her name from the records of the church years ago and has decided that she wants to come back and her 15 year old daughter is going to get baptized as well! The daughter is Kaylee. So there is a fun story that
comes along with this: Kaylee was originally going to get baptized on April 29. Last Monday we had a lesson with them and before the lesson we were talking about how we felt that her date could be moved a lot sooner. During the lesson Kaylee said she couldn’t wait until the 29th and wanted it to be sooner. We had not even brought that up yet!
She is so wonderful and has decided that she is going to surprise her family at the baptism. None of her extended family knows that she is getting baptized.  They are all planning on coming to the baptism and they think it will just be her mom getting baptized. We are really excited and we have spent a lot of time working with them this past week.
Another thing that happened this week was we had interviews. After we finished with our interviews we left our car at the church and decided to walk. We didn’t make it too far before we ran into someone.  We talk to everyone so we stopped and started
talking to him. Turns out that at the same time President and Sister Russell were walking out of the church building. We had turned so we were facing back towards the church so we could see them come out. It didn’t take too long before they we could tell that they were watching. They were definitely too far away to hear what was being said but they just stood and watched. He wasn’t interested so we just kept walking and went to find more people. Fast forward to Saturday night and we went to the women’s broadcast and it was SO great! Right after we had a lesson with another investigator that is on date for
baptism. Right before we went into the lesson we noticed that we had missed a call from President Russell. We texted him and told him we would call back after the lesson. The lesson went really well!

After the lesson we went to the car and called President back. He told us that both he and Sister Russell were there and that they had something to tell us. They went on to explain that when they heard the talk about certain women they thought about when they saw us talking to the boy after interviews. They explained that they knew that we had certain testimonies because we were sharing the gospel with everyone.  It was so great to hear that from them.

I hope that you all have an absolutely amazing weekend and enjoy General Conference!

 

I don’t think we have gotten into wifi yet today so you will probably get this email and the last at the same time…. oops. The temple was wonderful and it is so beautiful! We ended up missing our 10:00 session so we went to the 10:30. But it worked out just fine. As we were waiting for the session to start I noticed that there were some elders that I was in the MTC with in the 10:30 session. They are serving in a mission in Washington so that was super cool to see them! I felt bad though because I didn’t remember their names….. haha afterward we had to get a picture in front of the temple! Love you and I will send more on Monday!

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Week 57

From March 20, 2017:

Today was Darrell’s birthday, so Emily’s email was more personal to him.  She is struggling to decide the best date to return home.  Her mission president has given her the option of coming home up to 30 days early so she can be here in time to start the semester.  Please keep her in your prayers as she makes the decision of what is best for both her mission and her plans following the mission.

Week 56

From March 13, 2017:

This week at MLC they announced that this transfer will be a 5 week transfer. They also announced that they are going to have a 7 week transfer that follows that. That will make it so the August transfer will end on August 28. That means I will come home on August 29. They won’t tell us any reasons behind why they are adjusting the transfers, they just said it is a good reason.

We knew there was a five week transfer coming up but they surprised us with the seven week transfer. We stopped by the mission office this week while we were in Eugene and the secretary, Sister Mabey, told us that they buy our tickets about three months ahead of time and send the information to our families. By the end of May you will know for sure the exact date that I will be home.

I am staying here in Corvallis. My new companion will be Sister Mills.  She is from Orem I think.  She won’t be here until at least 5 this evening.

We were so busy all week long.  Most of what we were doing was meetings and planning though. But we got three more people on date! We are so excited because we are seeing the results of all of the hard work. Also I am staying in Corvallis for the next five weeks!

On Tuesday we went to Eugene and had MLC, it was so great and we learned so many great things about church attendance. They talked a lot about the importance of getting investigators to church.

On Thursday we had a lesson where we took the talking stick. It worked out super well and put our investigator on date. He just needed to be able to share his feelings while his grandpa was quiet.

On Friday we taught ZTM and President and Sister Russell showed up! It was so stressful! There were so many people in the room and I hate being the center of attention. It went  well though and we only heard good things about it afterwards. President also showed us the new Easter initiative. It is called Prince of Peace and we are super excited to be able to use it! Also on Friday we decided to chase the chickens in our backyard, I don’t think they liked it that much….

 

 

 

Week 55

From March 6, 2017:

Em week 55-1.png

The picture above is of two sisters who are serving in Grandma Stringham’s mission.  The one on the left is from California,  and the one on the right is from Medford (her last name is Ruis and they are in a ward in Central Point).

Other background for this week’s email:  Braxton and Riley wandered away from the house and were found about a half hour later.  They had made their way down to the bus stop to wait for their brothers to come home (too bad it would be three hours before the bus came).

From Emily: I have seen her before! She was a temple worker for a while.  She was in the Medford 4th Ward which is in the Central Point stake.  She went to lessons all the time with the sisters.  I think I talked to her once. Is Braxton really reading? That is crazy! Tell him happy birthday for me! I was thinking about it this week and realized that everyone has to have one more birthday and then I will be home! And it always seems like all of the birthdays are so close together and go so fast. I love the cake! It looks so good! That is so funny that they were waiting for all of their brothers! They are so cute!

We had a great week in Corvallis! There were quite a few days that the sun came out. But this morning we work up to 5 inches of snow! That just made it an adventure. This past week we were super busy – we taught 20 lessons! It was so great!   On Tuesday we had zone conference.  We learned about the Book of Mormon – how we can use it to help those that we are teaching. It was great because we are now focusing on that with quite a few of our investigators. President Russell also announced that we are now a mile a day mission. That means every morning every companionship has to do one mile for exercises. We have been loving it so much!  On Wednesday we had lessons all day long.  We worked so hard all weekend and by the end of the week we had 7 new investigators.  It has been kind of a crazy day so far.  It took us 45 minutes to get out of our driveway because of the snow. We also lost power.  There is a power line and a tree in the middle of the street right by our house.  Luckily we had both showered already and the washer had finished.  We are excited for the least week of the transfer! 

 

Week 54

From February 27, 2017:

This week Grandma Stringham finished her time in the MTC and we drove her to Texas to serve for 18 months in the Texas Dallas Mission.  After reaching Dallas, we were invited to attend two lessons with Grandma Stringham and her companion (Sister Nebeker).

From Emily:

I love all of the pictures that you sent and it sounds like you had a fun drive! It is good to
hear that Tyson is getting better.  I love you and hope that your lessons go absolutely wonderful!

Last Monday we had dinner with a family that lives out in the middle of nowhere so they came and picked us up.  On the way out to their place we passed a field that OSU owns and they do a whole bunch of research there.  All of the elk go there because they know that they cannot be hunted so we got a pretty cool little video of when we were driving by.

We also got to meet a cute little old couple that gave us pie and ice cream. There were some members that told us to go and visit some of their neighbors so we went and had a great conversation with them and they gave us really great pie!

Every day we had quite a few lessons that were all great.  On Thursday we were doing weekly planning and there was a loud sound so we walked outside and it was hailing like crazy!

On Friday we started an exchange.  I went with Sister Cortez! It was so great and we found out that she loves Oreo ice cream. We had a great exchange with a good lesson where we were able to teach the plan of salvation.

We had a great week and we are excited for this coming week!

Week 53

From February 20, 2017:

How is Tyson doing? I know you said that you were going to take him to a spine specialist this week? When will you send him back to school?
It is crazy to think that grandma is a missionary! It was a little bit strange to get pictures of someone else going to the MTC! Does she have an email address? Also what is her mailing address? I have a letter I want to send to her.
I can’t believe Dallin is already old enough to turn in his papers! I guess it really will be 3 1/2 years that we go without seeing each other.
Valentine’s Day was so much fun! We really didn’t do anything – it was just like any other day for us. Although we did both wear pink.  The only picture that I have from this week was on that day, and we had just finished a couple hours of walking so the picture is a little bit rough. But we did get to talk to a lot of great people on that day!
On Wednesday we just taught lessons all day long.  It was so great! There was one lesson that we were teaching a new investigator named Alex. He was interested in the Book of Mormon because he studies ancient civilizations and he said that the Book of Mormon would line up with some ancient American civilization. It was just so interesting to see that he was so willing to read the Book of Mormon but he was not willing to pray because he said that he is not a spiritual person. It was sad to see him not even willing to talk to Heavenly Father.
On Thursday we went and helped a less active member of the ward. She is going through a really bad divorce right now. She told us that she needed help going through stuff because she had not been able to because she was crying too much. It was so sad – basically we sat and watched her go through closets and sort them. After that we decided to go eat Panda Express to make us happier, and it did because a member was there and bought us food.
On Friday we started an exchange with the YSA sisters. I was with Sister Santiago. She has been out for about 7 months and this is her first area that has not been Spanish speaking. She is from Mexico and she definitely loves Spanish. But she also has great English! She is super cute and we had lots of good times.
We are looking forward to another wonderful week!
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Week 52

From February 13, 2017:

ONE YEAR DOWN!

This is the email Emily got from home this week:

Darrell had a scout camp on Friday night.  There weren’t very many boys going,  so he took Nathan and Tyson.  On Saturday morning they were cleaning up and the boys were sleigh riding. Tyson decided to go down a bigger hill with a jump.  He remembers starting, but has no recollection of landing.  He was apparently thrown off the sleigh and landed on his head on a log.  We’re not sure how long he was unconscious,  but it was a few minutes.  They were up Hobble Creek Canyon so there was no cell phone service.  Darrell carefully put Tyson in a toboggan and got him off the hill.  They carefully loaded him into the suburban and headed down.  By the time Darrell got to Mapleton, Tyson was in terrible pain and struggling to breathe.  He went straight to the fire station.  They put Tyson in the ambulance and started an IV and headed to the hospital.
By the time I got to the hospital there were about 20 people working on Tyson in the trauma unit.  He was still having a hard time breathing and his pain was through the roof.  It’s almost unbearable to watch that happen!  One doctor told me that she suspected he had broken ribs and possibly a punctured lung.  They did a CT scan and found that lungs and ribs were okay.  He does have a concussion,  internal bleeding,  and three broken vertebrae.
We came home from the hospital today.  We’ll be keeping a very close eye on him for the next 72 hours to watch for signs of any more bleeding.  We don’t expect any problems and Tyson acts like nothing is wrong tonight.  He can’t go to recess or PE or playgrounds for 6 weeks while we wait for his “broken back” to heal.  We’re basically wrapping him in bubble wrap to protect him until April.
This event shook me up.  I don’t know if Darrell will tell you,  but it scared him pretty bad too. We were sitting in the trauma room with Tyson and I sent this text to my mom and sisters: “My testimony of missionary work has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.  Our family has been blessed time after time since Emily left.  Today we’re sitting at the ER. Tyson lost consciousness after a pretty bad sleigh riding accident.  He rode to the hospital in the ambulance and is being treated in the trauma unit.  He is now alert, and both lungs are inflated – even the doctor is surprised. We’re waiting to hear back from Primary Children’s about test results, but expect everything to be okay. I have no doubt we are watched over so Emily doesn’t have to be distracted from her work.  This isn’t our first ER visit since she left,  and we have always had surprisingly positive outcomes. Mom,  I know that there are an awful lot of new and scary things you will face over the next 18 months,  but I am truly grateful for the “insurance policy” you’re giving the rest of us.  The Lord will no doubt bless the family you leave here so that there won’t be a distraction from the great work you will do.”
Em,  there have been many times over the past year that I have told you that your family is being blessed through your service.  This week was the pinnacle example of that.  Even though Tyson’s injuries are serious,  he will be okay.  I know that there has been intervention on his behalf. I know that a huge part off that reason is because of your service.  We love you so much!  We have such great (and growing) faith in the work you are doing.  Always remember that every effort is rewarded. Maybe you don’t see the reward,  but we see it every day at home.
Love you,
Mom
This reply from Emily:
I am so glad that he is going to be ok! That is really scary! Is he allowed to go back to school?
Here is the little bit about our week:

What a fun week! We spent a lot of time in meetings this week but we were also able to find 6 new investigators.

On Tuesday we had to go to Eugene again. We had MLC – it is a big meeting for all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders. We are taught for about 6  hours, but it is all really good though and it doesn’t feel that long. President and Sister Russell teach, as well as the other members of the mission presidency. The APs also teach. This time the meeting was focused a lot on prayer and how to begin teaching. There were a lot of really good things that were discussed.

On Wednesday we found one of our new investigators; her name is Madison. We went to her house looking for someone else but she was the one that was there so we taught her. We were able to teach her a shortened version of the restoration. She really got the idea of having a living prophet! It was such a miracle to find her. We also taught Ed. This week one of the first things he did was give me a ring that he made. Apparently a Native American tradition is to give your friends a gift and they keep it and remember you every time they see it. So all of the missionaries that he likes he has made a ring for. The thing is he makes them out of quarters. So he went through all of his quarters and found a Utah one so that it would be meaningful to me. It is super cool!

On Friday we got to teach ZTM.  We go to MLC so that we can go back and teach the rest of the zone everything that we learned there. I am not going to lie, I was super nervous! Corvallis is the biggest zone in the mission. There are currently 23 missionaries up here. Between us and the zone leaders we teach the three hour meeting. It actually turned out pretty well. It makes me laugh because I think about if I was asked to do that a year ago I would have laughed and told them to keep dreaming! Also on Friday we had an exchange with the sisters that are serving in Waldport. It was basically a big sleepover because they stayed with us and we just traded companions and went out working.

On Saturday we had interviews with President Russell. We had a small meeting before he started the interviews. Because our zone is so big it took forever! The funny thing is we had so much planning we could have done except our area book crashed. That means that any missionary in the world who had an iPad could not use their area book. The problem is that everything we do is in our area book app.  We also had stake conference that night so we basically spent all day at the church. But it’s ok because Ed came to the adult session of stake conference! After that we got to have our interviews. We were there from 8:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night.

Overall a great week. We are super excited for this coming week.

Week 51

From February 6, 2017:

Wow, what a great week it has been! It honestly does not feel like it has been a full week since I got here. We have been so busy that it has gone by so fast. Here goes the attempt to put this week into words:

On Monday we left Eugene not long after 4.  We made it up here to Corvallis not too long after 5. We got up here and ended up waiting at the transfer spot for a while with some elders who were going out to the coast. They didn’t have a phone or any way to get in contact with the member that was taking them out there. The transfer spot up here is a gas station. Around 6 the member showed up so we ran to dinner. After dinner we spent the evening meeting the bishop and ward mission leader.

On Tuesday we went and did service for a couple of hours.  We hung up clothes at a little thrift store. After we went and had lunch with the Spanish sisters. Hermana Dueñas is from Mexico and Hermana Cortez is from El Salvador. They both are native Spanish speakers. Turns out that I know like zero Spanish. Hermana Dueñas has really good English and Hermana Cortez can understand most English and speak some. Google translate has become our best friend! After that we went finding. We went out walking for a lot of the day. We were able to have a lesson with some of our investigators that are on date for baptism in March; their names are Nikki and Anthony. They are engaged, so at that lesson we got to see her dress!

On Wednesday we went finding with the YSA sisters, Sister Herbst (from Utah) and Sister Santiago (from Mexico). They are both new to the area. Basically when you go finding with YSA you walk around campus and talk to as many people as will let you. It is slightly stressful but kind of fun at the same time. At least they usually don’t have much time to be super mean – they either let you talk to them or just say they are late to their next class. We talked to a ton of really cool people so hopefully the sisters will have more to work with.

We also had to take Hermana Cortez to the doctor.  She has been having heart problems so they had her wear a monitor for a couple of days to see what is going on. We also had a lesson with Ed.  He is amazing! He is Native American and is an elder in his tribe. We watched the restoration movie with him. He also just finished reading the Book of Mormon all the way through this past week. We asked him how he felt about it and he said that he wasn’t going to say that it is not true, but he loves coming to church and meeting with us. Also he can apparently read people very well. At the end of the lesson he had me stand up and he looked into my eyes and held my hands so he could decide if he wanted to invite us back. I guess I passed the test because we are going back this next week and he is making me a ring! We also had a lesson where we watched Meet the Mormons with a recent convert and his grandson (who is not yet a member).

Thursday we did a lot of weekly planning, and that took most of the day. We also got to meet the new sister in the zone. Her name is Sister Clarke and she is being trained out in Waldport on the coast. Sister Tofilau is training her! We also had another lesson with Nikki and Anthony on Thursday night.

Friday we had district meeting and talked a lot about personal revelation. After that we went to the doctor because my companion has been sick all week long.  My companion is Sister Vance, I don’t know if I ever said that…. haha!  Anyway she has had a super bad cough and has not been feeling good at all so she went to the doctor. We also had four other lessons that day but those people are all progressing a little bit slower so we don’t really need to go into depth about those.

On Saturday we went to Eugene. I had to go to a new STL training in the mission home. It was really good.

On Sunday we had three investigators at church! We sat with Ed. After church we went finding for a while before we went and had dinner with the family that we live with. We live with the Barlow family.  They are so great! We live in a part of their basement and they treat us like family. For instance the Christmas tree is still up so yesterday while we were out they went in and decorated it for Valentine’s Day! They have four kids and are so much fun! They joked about decorating it for every holiday and so we will see how that goes.  I am excited to see all of the different holidays!

I am really doing great here.  It is slightly stressful and crazy. There are six other sisters here who we have to help whenever they call, so it keeps us on our toes. But I love being able to help them. It really hit me that I might be getting to be an old missionary when I realized that out of all of the sisters here my companion is the only one who has been out longer than me. I still feel like a new missionary and I know that I have so much room to grow. I am excited to be here serving!

Week 50

From January 30, 2017:

I am going to Corvallis. Right now we are sitting at the church in Eugene waiting for the transfer van to get up here.

Kind of a crazy last week of the transfer. First of all there was a worldwide broadcast for missionaries on Wednesday. It was really good because we got to sit and learn from Elders Oaks, Bednar, and a couple of other general authorities. They changed a lot of the missionary schedule so we are super excited for that. The main difference is that now our p-days are two hours longer.  They start at 8am instead of 10. That is super helpful! On Thursday we went to a relief society activity and there was a lady that told me that after we left their house for dinner one night that she hoped that her daughter would turn out like me.  She has a ton of brothers and it just made me happy! Friday we got our transfer call. I am going to be an STL (sister training leader) in Corvallis 3rd ward! We are leaving in an hour. Love you lots!
Also Lightening and Thunder got baptized on Saturday!
The little girls are some investigators from Springfield.

Week 49

From January 23, 2017:

Transfers are next week; this one was seven weeks long. This one had to be longer to accommodate for the last one.  I am leaving next week.  I will talk to you more this next week hopefully. We went into Eugene this morning and celebrated Sister Russell’s birthday. We really did not even have many lessons this week.