Lovely Ladies

Lovely Ladies

Monday, September 29, 2014

Erin and a Taxi

In the NORMAL Life of Erin..... We were crossing a street in a neighborhood and a taxi driver came around and hit me. I curled into a ball and jumped. I rolled up onto the hood then back down. The only thing that hurt is when I hit the ground, but I'm ok. It didn't really hurt me. I got up off the ground and dusted myself off. The driver came running out and he was spastic. Here's this big black man going crazy while a little white girl is keeping her cool. Normally it's the other way around. Haha. He was really worried I was going to sue him, but instead, we invited him to be baptized. He's now preparing for October 19th to be baptized! Crazy! He's Dorcy from Nigeria. But, sadly, he's out of our area, so we don't get to teach him, but at least I could take one for the team and introduce him to the gospel. Best conversion story: "How did you contact with the missionaries?" "Oh, you know, I was just driving around, and hit one of them with my car. No big deal." Hahaha

Brooke 9.29.2014

Happy Late Hump Day.
Sister Schwab and I matched...what the?
Hey familia!! So, yesterday... WE COMMITTED 3 PEOPLE FOR BAPTISM!!!! The first one was Melissa Tunnel. She's turning 50 in December and she's been searching for this her whole life! She went to the Appalachian fair and filled out a church survey and so we've tried several times to deliver a Book of Mormon to her unsuccessfully. On the third time this past Saturday, she was home. She came right out and accepted the Book of Mormon. She said that God gave us the Bible, so why wouldn't he give us more scriptures. She also said that there were prophets in Bible times, so where are they now? We said, "We'd love to come back and share our message" and asked when. She was like, "Can you come back tomorrow??" and so we set up a time. Yesterday, we went back and she was waiting for us at a picnic table in her yard. I said the opening prayer and she was already in tears. We taught the Restoration and she was bawling the whole time. She had said that a few weeks before, she was praying, begging God to tell her where to go in her search because she was going to give up searching for the truth. She was driving past her old church where she'd always gone and read the sign out front and felt nothing drawing her there. She felt like there was something more. Two weeks after that prayer, we showed up. God had just answered her prayers! She kept saying, "You girls are so lucky for finding this so early in your lives. I've been searching my whole life, just waiting to find it. I just didn't know where to look." We pointed out that something (the SPIRIT) had led her to fill out that survey at the fair. She said, "I know. I've never done anything like that. After I filled it out, I thought to myself, Why did I just do that? Even my daughter asked me why I did it. I just didn't know." She was so happy as we talked to her. She said that everyone in her life needs to hear what we have to say. She said that she can't wait to tell her husband that she finally found it! She told us that she was sitting at the picnic table because she felt, "I can't miss them again. I can't miss them again." So, she cleared up her day and just sat at that table, waiting for us to come. She's the most prepared person I've ever met in my life!!! The other two we committed for a date are Eddie Bowlers and Maritsa Pullham. Eddie is a less-active's nephew, while Maritsa is that same less-active's granddaughter. Eddie is in his 40's I think and Maritsa is 12. We taught the Restoration and they both want to be baptized!!! WHAT AN AMAZING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you more than stingrays love saltwater!! Mom: I'm glad you got my letter! I got the post cards and a letter a while back with 2 pictures in it. I love fall! I actually miss doing yard work for fall. I look forward to my package! I love getting stuff, but I'm fine without it too. So, don't feel bad for not sending things. :) I look forward to helping you finish the house!! I can't wait! Good for Zach Tolman for going on a mission. Glenda will survive because you and Dad both did when your baby girls left the same day. She can do it. Thanks for the picture of Dace Face!! I can't believe Tyler broke his arm! Now, he feels mine and Erin's pains! :) We could all be triplets! Dad: I don't get the Minnesota thing, but that's ok. :) I'm glad things are going pretty good at work. I'm excited for things to slow down. Fall is amazing here in Tennessee! Everything looks like fruit-loops. :) Thanks for the scriptures. I love Enos. He's one of my heroes. The car is really coming along!! Yay! I hope you have a great week! Michael: Noble. :) What kinds of things do you and Anna like to do? Do you have any special movies or songs? What do you two do on holidays? I'm glad your job isn't the worst one you've had. Gross...bums. Yuck! Kevin: Hahaha, cereal in root beer, seaweed, and Jabeneros. :) I ate Ghost Pepper beef jerky the other day. Man, THAT was hot. It was really good though. The people watching me eat it didn't think a skinny little white girl would show 'em how it's done!! My eyes got a little teary, but after a few minutes, everything was back to normal. Take some random pictures of you for me this week! Jen: Happy bump day! Oh, I guess EVERY day is bump day for you. :) YAY for baby bumps! Erin: So, I've decided that you should be me for Halloween. Just sayin'. Just kidding! Only if you want. :) Way to wear that name tag the way it's meant to be worn...proudly. :)

Erin 9.29.2014

we worked on the only farm in ATL.
our little farm.
Mi compadre.
This is me.... in my true form...our scared faces
Well this week wasn't out of the ordinary. Sis Manzer and I were talking about how we both hate cats, but we wouldn't kick them no matter how much we disliked them. Well, right then, a cat rubbed up against the back of my leg so I swung my leg up... with the cat. The cat flew about 5 feet into the air, hit the back of my head, and fell over the edge of the railing. It literally was screaming!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Manzer shouted: You cat hater!!! Hahahahahahahaha. I think I nearly died because it was so funny. Well, that's what the cat gets for scaring me! I also had a nightmare this week. I got a random phone call from a man who introduced himself as Tommy. We talked for a bit, and he calmly said: Well Erin, we've prayed long and hard about this, and as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I would like you to speak in General Conference this upcoming week. None of the other General Authorities would like to speak on the Sunday morning session, so, you get the whole 2 hours to yourself. Good luck. The 12 and I will be sitting on the front row of the audience.... grading you... on how well you do. WHAT?????? WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's like the worst thing I can even imagine!!!!! I woke up sweating and couldn't sleep for the rest of the night. Hahaha #missionaryproblems Guess what??? It's probably not going to come true, but there are rumors going around the mission, that they might call me to be Spanish speaking! Don't tell anyone because it might not (probably won't) come true, but wowza!! That would be a dream come true!!! I was asked to give an on the spot talk in sacrament meeting as well as an on the spot lesson in Sunday school! Wow! Can you say stressful??? Well, for the talk, I basically got up there and rebuked the ward for not participating in the Lord's work and I was ridiculously bold. I kinda thought I was being a little mean, but afterwards, people kept telling be that they've never felt the need to repent after a young girl's sacrament talk. Hahahaha Yay! Maybe now, the work will pick up! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN A MISSIONARY LOVES SLEEP!!!!!!!!! Mom: Hahahaha. Your emails crack me up! Yay! I can't wait to get more letters and a package!! That's like all I live for this stage of my mission!!!! Just send me anything you think I would like. you know me... I'm not picky! I would like tons of letters flowing through the mail from everybody! What kind of ATL souvenir do you want? Dad: Oh how I love you! I love telling people that you're a secret agent for the government. They all love it too! I tell them that you sort with computers, but that you can't really explain what you do... but that's just because my little brain can't comprehend it haha. One day, I hope to be as smart as you, then I'll cure cancer, solve world hunger, and invent a machine that makes an infinite amount of popcorn. You genius, you. Jennifer: That picture with Dace Face is ADORABLE!!! That's so funny because I drew a picture on the envelope to mom that looks just like that! Haha. Great minds think alike!!!!! Michael: Darn! I wish I could have your phone! I love it! There are rumors here in the GAM of us getting iPads!!! Kevin: HAHAHAHA! I laughed so hard in the library that I snorted! Haha! Those jokes and fact are so funny!!!!! Brooke: I got this incredible talk by President Uchtdorf that I'm going to send to you. I hope it doesn't bother you that I write you a ton! RANDOMNESS: *We went on exchanges with the Spanish sisters and I whizzed out my Spanish and stunned them. Hahah *I'm obsessed with Hot Pockets, they're delicious *Every time I hear a plane, I get butterflies. I'm excited to finish for real this time. I hope there's a party and a half at the airport! *Sorry I didn't say goodbye last week, my computer time ran out! *Can you believe Brooke will be home in a couple of months??? *Are you absolutely positive Jennifer only has one baby????????? *Sister Hixon, Jessica Tripp, Mikayla Denison, and Elder Saunders (in Brazil) wrote me! Yayayayayayayay I LOVE GETTING MAIL!!!!!!!!!!! *Yes, Elder S. is yet another Elder who asked to write me! haha! *How's Brooke doing? How does she like training? *I laughed when someone was cussing us out which made them even madder. Haha. I felt bad #notreally *I committed an eternigator (eternal investigator) to a baptism date *We were having a grand ol' time with someone on the street and they said they want to come to church. When they saw the card, they hollered and said WHAT??? YOOZ ALL MOMONS??? We said YA and they were like WOW, I DIDN"T KNOW YOU COULD BE FUN! hahahahaha *Also, I accidently walked into someone's house, I went to knock and just walked in. Oops, thank goodness they didn't see me. I quietly shut the door and then rang the door bell and acted like nothing happened. Haha I LOVE YOU MORE THAN I LOVE PTC!!!!!!!! (Obviously.... which is a TON) Love,Erin

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brooke 9.22.2014

Brooke and her companion Sister McNeill and an oversized Cookie. Hello Family!! Did you guys get my letter??? This week was pretty crazy! We had our Zone Training Meeting and President Griffin talked about the new movie that's coming out called Meet the Mormons! He's going to show it to us!!!! MOVIE NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! That will be my second movie night on the mission! (The first one was when I got snowed in in Asheville, NC.) I can't wait! Also, I've decided that I want to adopt the Griffin family into our family. They are so much fun and are so righteous! They're gonna be translated here pretty soon. :) So, this week, we had our Stake Conference too, and a lot of the Johnson City ward was there!!!!!! The PARKERS were there and I felt like I had been reunited with family! I also got to see Kyle, Shalise, Jessica Callahan, Brother Woodhouse, Bishop and Sister Roberts, Sister Numbers, the Mathsons, and a whole bunch of other people! Man I miss that ward! I love that I got to see many of them. :) I absolutely LOVE Tennessee! It's so different from anything I expected, but I love it! I love the accent and the people, and the culture! (Not so much the fried food, but other things are good!) You'd think after over a year of getting up at 6:30 am, that I'd be used to it by now, but NOPE! Every day, it's like the walking dead around here when the alarm goes off. Sister McNeill is a crazy morning person, so she is super chipper and just chatters while my eyes are still glued shut and I can't walk in a straight line. Also, 10:30 never felt so late. By the time it's lights out, I feel like it's 4 in the morning. Craziness! I love you all!!!! Muah! :) (That's what Jen would do!) I love you more than books love pages! Mom: Mom, did you get the text from Sister Stockinger? I think she sent you a picture of us with a giant cookie... I'm so glad Dad had an amazing birthday! That guy deserves it! :) And, yuns got to babysit the cutest nephew in existence. :) I how I love my Dace Face. Is he obsessed with Iron Man? From everything you send me, it seems like he LOVES him. He chose well. Robert Downey Jr. for life!!! I'm also glad you got to celebrate with Alex. It seems like there's a lot of things to do where he is. Fun! The leaves are starting to change here too. :) I like the colors, but NOT the cold! That's why I'm meant to be African, I think. ;) Raquel's wedding looks gorgeous! I like the picture with the red arrow pointing at a random lady in the back. :) Made me laugh. Haha. Is that shirt for me????? YAYAYAYAYA if it is!!! That picture is my favorite of all you good looking people in red! :) Dad: I'm so happy you had a great birthday! Birthdays are my favorite. :) I'm also glad you got my funny giraffe card! I thought it was pretty brilliant if I do say so myself. What gifts did you get? Are you going to finish the car before I get home? Wow, the Ogden Temple Dedication sounds like it was amazing. I can't wait to be able to go to the temple again! Have a great week! P.S. how did you Run From Work 5K go? Michael: Haha, squaw peak="make-out point" remember?? :) Hahahahahaha! What kind of phone did you get? Have someone take a picture of you with it and send it to me. I like to see these things. Is it still Tron themed? Wow, so you get to just do fun things with your clients? Is the one who recorded it the same one you tackled? What other things do you get to do? Anna still didn't write me, but that seems normal... :) Man, it TERRIFYING being a trainer. I feel inadequate every day. Kevin: That's crazy! Wait, what school session are you talking about? Are you going to school all of a sudden? Have a great week and eat something crazy for me! Jen: Yayayayayayayaya!!! Thank you soooo much Jennifer! You have no idea how much that means to me! That will be one of the best things that happens to me as a recently returned missionary! THANK YOU!! :) Hahaha, Dace's email is really funny. What was he so excited about? I love you and your beautiful family! (except Brian...I just love him because he's family. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Just kidding! I really do love him too! :)) Erin: You better be ready to be tackled at the airport... I think I got your letter! Is it the one where you drew Jesus? Way to be boss and wear that name tag proudly. Also, you are hillarious! ALOHA!!! Hahaha, you crack me up! Woah small world! Brianna Feitz was there of all places?? "Old Brooke" Woop woop! I love your style of clothes! You're so cute!

Erin 9.22.2014

Manzer's ankle had a bad reaction to a plant she touched on her ankle!
our gas station caught on fire, it was insane!someone dropped a cigarette and in a split second, it caught flames. The flames were like 15 feet into the air!it was really hot. you could feel the heat from like 100 feet away!
our cute balcony
the leaves are starting to change!!! The ward is a little interesting. We went over to our Ward Mission Leaders home and were talking about the Journey with his family and the wife straight up said No. Whoa! Most members tend to avoid us. I don't know if I've offended them in any way, but we're giving everything we have to build their faith and promote them to do missionary work. I never realized how hard it is to do missionary work without the members on your side, but now I know. And slowly but surely, we're kind of building their vision. Wow, it takes a TON of effort! We even had a member cuss us out and drop a couple f bombs. haha. They got mad when I started laughing. I don't know why, but I thought it was hilarious. Their face looked like it was going to explode. Hahahaha Sister Manzer and I went knocking around in a neighborhood and it's crazy because just about every house we knocked on was Jewish. One of the ladies was really sweet when she opened the door and offered us some water, once the words came from our mouths "We represent Jesus Christ", all Christ like attributes left her. She turned really mean. She screamed at us that there was no Jesus and slammed the door. It's interesting to me that once she admitted to herself that Jesus wasn't the son of God, all her Christ like attributes evaporated.... hmmmm. Coincidence? I think not! Some of the other Jewish people acted generally the same, we got doors slammed, spit on, screamed at, toys thrown at us, and so on.... but I have to admitt.... I've never been more proud/honored to say that I represent Jesus Christ. If I have to go through a fraction of what he had to go through, so be it. I'm happy to teach people about His gospel. I'm ecstatic to share His message. I'm joyous to talk about His life. Everything... I LOVE representing Him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We even had a little Jewish kid throw a rock at us. I didn't see it coming as he threw it from behind. But all of a sudden, I wizzed around and caught it just inches from Manzer's head. I looked at the kid and then dropped it on the ground (Normally, I would have tilted my head slightly and looked at him with my basketball death glare, then chucked it back.... but I'm a missionary) BOOM BABY!! NINJA SKILLZ!!! I'm sending a letter this week!!!!! Our bed bugs are a comin' back and we have to get exterminated all over again. yuck. The elders in our ward have it way worse than we do. They actually wake up to blood smeared across the walls and the stench of death everywhere. Nasty! But it's ok. Obviously the people who work for the pest control need to get baptized, otherwise, they wouldn't need to keep coming to missionary's apartments!! Haha! Mum: Wow! Ya I saw the days!! Mine are so long! I secretly want to come home with Brooke unless I go to downtown ATL or PTC. I'm so happy you all had a fun time for dad's birthday! Dace Face is adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love and miss him so much! He's probably already forgotten who I am. By the way.... Raquel's wedding is drop dead gorgeous!!! I'm so happy for her. What a man to have scooped up her heart!!!! Dad: YAYAYAYA!!!! I'm so happy you had an excellent birthday!!!! It's so cool that you got to be a part of the temple dedication!!!! I wish I could be there! It's so weird to think... I recently figured this out for things on my mission: I'll have no birthdays I'll have 4 general conferences I won't miss any of mom, michael, or kevin's birthdays Jennifer: Haha. Do you want to wait to bless Harley until I come home too?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Thanks for having Dace Face write me. Boy, do I miss that lil' man! I miss you and Brian too! It's crazy how much more I miss everyone in this mission part 2! Michael: Holy canolli! You got a new phone?!?! I claim your old one!!!!! (mine, with Heather, broke) It's so cool that you get to spend time in the mountains! One day, I'll be there with you bro! Kevin: It's really sad that you can't do your class. If I was there, I would have signed up with you! Did you get your money back? Send me some jokes and random facts again! Brooke: I love you!!! Ya, that's probably the letter I sent! I'm so happy you got it! I feel so weird! When you see me next in the summer, you won't even know who I am! I'm outgoing now!!!! RANDOMNESS: *I got called a boob this week from an old person. *Also, I got 3 oranges thrown at me. I got all of them and stunned the kids who were throwing them at me. I caught them all. People in DW really don't like missionaries... member and non member *Also, I got a rock chucked at me and snatched it out of the air like a ninja. *Also, We had our car inspections before zone conference and the AP's ran up to us and asked if I had an inhaler. I said yes and they handed us their keys and told us to run home and get it, so we missed the entire car inspections but a sister couldn't breath. It was so fun driving in their van. Right before we showed up, an ambulance came to get her. Excitement! *Also, I'm an epic photobomber

Monday, September 15, 2014

Erin 9.15.2014

my district (half are waiting to go to Brazil)
Apartment prep for bed bugs
Apartment prep for bed bugs
We finally got our apartment sprayed for bed bugs and so we had to study out in the hall because it was so full of POISON!!
I saw Brianna Feitz(former Orem neighbor)!!!!!! Aldous is her RS president
My meeting with Aldous
Sister Ryan and her Dog of All....
This one's for Brooke.... Hey there Famster!! So this week. Wow. There were quite the ups and downs. We went to a Jewish neighbor hood and wow..... people did not like us knocking on their doors. We had one lady who was really nice to us when she first opened the doors. We said we represent Jesus Christ and then she wigged out. She started spitting on us and throwing toys and pinecones at us. Now I know what Jesus felt like, only a little bit. She was screaming at us that there was no Jesus and it was really interesting because once those words came out of her mouth, all Christ like attributes left her and she turned into a mean lady. Interesting.... but even after that lil' experience, I feel so proud and happy to say that I represent Jesus Christ. It made me smile to think about it. We also met an incredible lady who wants to be baptized, well, we went back over to her house and who was waiting for us? Her world famous old time preacher. He attacked me. Not physically or anything like that, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally, all of the above. He got into my face and denied everything my heart and soul believe. He denied my testimony. He denied the Holy Ghost. I am positive he worships Satan because God was not in that room with us, it was Satan. I was bawling. Finally, the spirit told me to LEAVE NOW!!! So, while this man was literally spitting in my face and screaming at me, I stood up, knocking the chair over and bore solemn testimony of what I KNEW was true. I didn't care what he thought. I bore it and he tried a dozen or so times to interrupt me, but I kept going. Finally when I closed in the name of Jesus Christ, I grabbed my companion without another word and we walked out the door. The member who came with us said that I looked like Nephi, glowing with power and authority. I hope I never have to go through that again because it was awful. But at least my testimony did not waver. And it never will. But on the bright side of this week, we got to go to a women's conference where Elder Giddens (70) and Sister Linda Burton (RS general President) spoke to us. They asked me to be the microphone girl and carry around the mike all night. It was awesome. I felt so official with it. They had me do a sound check and all the other mike people were saying 'testing, testing' and when it was my turn I said 'ALOHA!!!'. The crowd went wild. I had a line of people want to talk to me afterwards because they said I was just so darn cute and funny! Hahaha. I thought it was hilarious. It even made the general authorities laugh a lot. Hehehe. I saw Aldous there and I literally dropped my stuff and ran to her. We almost tackled each other when we hugged and we hugged for a good couple of minutes. I got teary eyed when I saw her and she cried. She's one of my greatest friends ever! Then, to add to my joy, PTC walked in. I ran to them as well. I got lots of hugs and kisses and I even got lifted off the ground from them being so happy to see me. I wanted to cry the entire night just by seeing them. A lot of them called me Erin because we're FB friends and they stumbled and said Sister Echols. I said it was ok because I was Erin for a while. And plus, I like my name. I love hearing it. Well, that was the big things of my week so far! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF GREASE THAT BUILDS UP UNDERNIETH A CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mamacita: Dace Face is soooo cute!! Does he remember me? Probably not..... oh well, at least we can become besties in a year when I see him again. :D HUZZAH!! Raquel got married!!! I miss her so much! Where are President and Sister Wilson going on their mission? Bro Vaughn will do awesome! He probably doesn't remember me either. Fabio: That meeting sounds incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You got to hear from 3 of my favorite general authorities!!! And you saw Megan and Debbi Sackett? Coolio!!! Jenife: How are the mini me's doing? I can't wait to meet them in person! You're the greatest older sister ever!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU! Brain: Your email made me cry. I miss you a ton and I'm so thankful for the example you have been in my life. Thanks for writing me. It made my day! After all, this is the second time you've written me and it really helps me a ton. Ha! I'm still convinced you're having twins. Love you lots!!! Miguel: You went star gazing?!?! How fun!!! I'm excited for when I'm allowed to stay out late without rushing home for the 9:30 curfew. :D I've always wanted to see a super nova and the northern lights!!!!!!!!! It's a dream I have, along with being complimented by Simon, becoming an anesthesiologist, winning the nobel prize, be the first person to completely understand the human brain, see what light would look like if you could move the same speed as it and so on. I love you Miguel!!! Kev: Holy canoli boi! I had to read your email like 8 times to understand what you were saying! Seriously, I am not very good with rhymes. Hahaha. Ha! I think that's funny that they talked about me a lot. I think they might miss me and I know I miss them a TON! I'm glad Kaci finally responded to you. When does she come home? It's pretty soon right? Brookie: OH how I love you. I really hope you get my letter soon! I put my heart and soul into it! I can't wait to hug you too! I got to see the fam, but it felt weird without you there too. It was even more awkward how I had a birthday alone. Oh well, At least I'll see you next summer!!!!! ERIN RANDOMNESS: ‏ We finally got our bed bugs sprayed and they'll come in another couple of weeks to take care of all the newly hatched ones *we missed district meeting because the guy came to spray. And then, he was waiting for us in our apartment. So awkward, we gave him a pass along card and sent him on his way.... *we were on the phone with one of our investigators and she accidently didn't hang up afterwards so we could still hear her talking and she rattled off like 4 F words. Haha *that same day, we got called nuns and the b word. oops. Crazy people. *we got to talk to our investigator in jail. He called, and poor guy is going crazy in there. But, thank goodness, he still reads his Book of Mormon every day. *we almost got evicted from our apartment because our insurance wasn't working out, they almost kicked us out for that. *I got hit by a taxi and the driver was so worried that we were going to press charges but instead, we invited him to be baptized and he accepted! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THERE ARE BOOKS IN A LIBRARY!! Extra Photos...
We had to chase after the dog and catch him so we took pictures to celebrate our success
these are on my map

Brooke 9.15.2014

Hello Family!!!! So, this week, I got my brand new missionary, fresh off the plane. Her name is Janessa McNeill and she's from Sandy, UT! :) She came pre-trained, so my job is pretty easy. :):) Hahaha! She's really funny. Since she got here in RV on Wednesday, we've found 4 new investigators, and one of them came to church yesterday, and we committed one of them for baptism!!! Woop Woop! #PromisedLand #LandOfMilkAndHoney #Zion I'm not gonna lie though, it's really hard being a trainer. It makes me stretch and grow. So, this week was pretty intense... I'm still doing the push-up challenge (100 push-ups a day), but I'm starting to rethink it. I'm so tired and sore! Hahahaha! Also this week, I got slapped in the face by a cat! It jumped on the table behind my head at a member's house, and when I turned to look at it, it just slapped me. More like patted me. It didn't have it's claws out, so that's good. And I ate ALLIGATOR!!! I'm a true southerner now! Hahaha! :) I love the south! I've had squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, alligator, bear, fish, cow, chicken, and turtle. Now, I just need to have Possum and my southern experience will be complete. :) So, I want to tell you about Eddie.... we went to a less-active member's family reunion, and one of her drunk nephews came up to me and said, "I want to learn about your church. I used to be freewill Baptist, but I don't want to be that anymore and I'm looking for another church, and y'alls interests me." I told him that we teach people and he was like, "Good. How 'bout Friday?" !!!! He's the one that showed up to church the next day!! And, he showed up sober and is excited for us to come over on Friday! I also want to tell you about Abby. We met Abby tracting, and we started talking to her about her beliefs. We mentioned the Plan of Salvation, and she invited us back the next day. We went over there, taught her and her mom the Restoration, and committed Abby for baptism!! She's awesome! This area is so prepared!!!! :):):):) And that basically sums up my week! I love you more than pulled pork loves barbeque!!! Dad: Holy cow! 7900 missionaries just from Utah Valley! Wooo! I'm one of those! It's cool you saw Megan and Debbie Sackett on the big screen! They're great! I believe in Angels too! The way that Elder Nelson explains them is perfect! President Vaughn will do amazing and his new calling. Have fun this week! Mom: It's crazy that Raquel's married! Good for her! Shaylee Russell's getting married!?!?! What?! Dace is such a ham! He'll make an amazing big brother! Did you take pictures of Raquel's wedding? I love that lady! Michael/Anna: Where did you have to go to see the stars? Not in Orem... You got 4th out of 150 people in that 5K? Woah! That's so awesome! You are pretty boss. I love the ALS Ice Bucket video!!!! I about died! Who recorded it? I couldn't tell who's voice it was... Tell Anna to write me! Kevin: To go along with all your rhyming are dumb. Hahahaha! Just kidding! I liked the NUN part the best. :) I love Kaci! My comp's name is McNeill, but with 2 L's. :) Tell Kaci Hi for me back! And go on a date! Jen: So, since I can't be there for when Harley is born, would you be willing to consider waiting to give her baby blessing for when I get back?? I would love to be there for it, and it would only be a month after she's born, but if you don't want to do that, I understand too. I love you and miss you every day! Erin: Hahahaha, I'm glad you know what real itching feels like. It's crazy what we get to learn on our missions right? Hahahahaha! I can imagine you saying, "I hope you get a canker-sore from that." :) I love you! Hahaha, it's so funny a bee stung you in your bum! That's what you get fool! :) What did you do, sit on the poor thing?? :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Erin 9.8.2014

(Went to a Missionary open house and some friend brought a Photo Booth) Hi Fam Bam! BED BUGS! We've been infested for a week now and we can't sleep in our beds. So, we improvised... we made beds on the floor in the living room. :D It's hard waking up each morning feeling as though you have leprosy and chicken pox, but at least we don't look like we do. Haha. We still look like representatives of Jesus Christ, even if our mortal bodies do not feel that way. We go throughout each day with smiles on our faces and we're ready to face the Adversary. It's actually kind of cool, the guy who came to check our apartment to confirm whether or not we actually had bed bugs took one look and said, "Ok, wow. We've got to get our guys up here to spray this. this is REALLY infested." He continued to talk to us about everyday stuff; cops, service, his best friend, flight school. Then he told us that his best friend served an LDS mission! We gave him a card and invited him to learn more and he is soooo cool! He said he'll check it out and talk to his friend more about it. :D We've been super busy with trying to get our apartment ready for the extermination guys to come kill the bugs. We had to pull up the carpet, take out the lights and outlets and stuff. It's all so crazy. He said that we'll have them for a couple of week because we have the kind where the spray doesn't kill the eggs. So when they hatch, we'll have to start the process all over again. I'm sorry it's so expensive for the mission. I feel bad. It's someone's tithing money that could be paying for another missionary. I feel sick when I think of the price. In the ward, it's really hard. We're slowly gaining members' trust, but it's definitely quite the process. Every day, we meet at least 2 more members of the ward who are not active at all. More often than not, at least 1 of those are not friendly to the gospel and insist on having their records removed. I said in my letter last week that it's extremely hard watching more people leave the church than enter, and that's still true this week also. My heart feels crushed each time I walk away from one of those people's houses. I feel like I'm not fulfilling my purpose. I'm doing the opposite. I guess, by removing their records, it can help them to start progressing again. I think the only way to help me through this is to think of something good that will eventually come out of it. :D We had such an awesome miracle!!!!! We got an HQ referral and the lady requested a bible. So, one night, before curfew, we stopped by her house. When we introduced who we were, she started to close the door and wanted nothing to do with us. I asked why and she said it was because we were LDS. When she found that out, she tried canceling the request for a bible. She wouldn't take the bible because it was associated with our religion. We asked her why she didn't like our religion and she opened right up. She said that she didn't like us because we had very different views on things. She hated the fact that we had our own bible along with the normal bible. We explained what the BOM really was. She opened the door right up. After 10 or so minutes, she was fascinated and asked if we had an extra BOM to leave with her. She gave us her name and number and said, "come teach me more on Thursday!" HOLY GUACAMOLE!!!! I have such a testimony of being bold! If we hadn't been bold and asked her WHY, she never would have told us and we never would have gotten anywhere, but now, she will learn about God's true gospel!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THERE ARE ELECTRONS IN A SULFERIC ACID COMPOUND MOLECULE!!! #H2SO4 #ilovescience #nexteinstein Mum: I'm so jealous you went to Montana and got to see your family! I love them all bunches! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR LETTERS!! Now, the rest of the family can follow your example and write to me too. Haha. It's cool that you figured how to use FB to create a page for your family. :D In our ward, we're having the youth teach all the adults how to use technology because nobody here knows how. Tehe Pop: Work sounds busy, especially since you have stuff to do till the end of the year. When people ask me what my parents do for a living is that they both test hot tubs and you're a spy. :D Just kidding, I don't. I say that mom is a model for a living and you're a professional computer hacker. Hahaha. Ok, ok. I tell them that Mom works for God and you work for a computer company. :) I LOVE YOU!!! Jennifer: Don't have your babies until I get home! Harley and Marie can wait an extra 5 months inside your belly!!!!!! :D Hehe Michael/Anna: Wowza! That was the longest email I've ever gotten from you! My longest paragraph from Michael and my first paragraph from Anna! How have you been? I love it here. The area is..... well, let's just say, it an area that I'll be excited when next transfer comes around in 6 weeks. :) It's good, just hard. Fun that you ate Greek food! Michael, you hot dog. Rock climbing sounds fun! Kevin: Was the summer in Idaho worth it? Did you get ridiculously buff and tan? It looks way fun in Montana and it sounds like you had lots of adventures! Did any of the family ask about me or Brooke? I LOVE YOU boyfriend!!!! Brooke: Bahaha! You fool! How'd you miss a spider in your shower??? If it makes you feel any better, I got a bee sting on my right cheek (that's bum, not face.... Mom, don't put that on the blog haha). It swelled a little bit and felt as though a samurai warrior stabbed me with his super sharp sword. : RANDOMNESS……Manzer and I are sleeping on the ground because we're so infested with bed bugs and one night she kicked me. Not a normal kick, more like a kangaroo kick. haha *Last night... she reached over in her sleep, grabbed my throat and started to choke me. I ripped off her hand and woke her up. In her dream, she was dreaming about shaking somebody's hand and greeting them, but instead, she got a hold of my throat. Hahahahahaha She was so confused and I was just plain upset. My adrenaline got so high after that because I thought someone was trying to kill me, I couldn't go back to sleep because my heart was racing. Haha *I accidently hugged a guy. Haha. I don't think I'm quite in missionary mode yet... *I'm pretty sure I eat a bag of popcorn, a pb&j sandwich, a peach, a pear, and 2 oranges, and sometimes a bowl of cereal every time we come into our home at night. I'm just so hungry all the time! * you'd be so proud of me, I drink half of a water bottle everyday!!!!! Huzzah! Of course, I have to pee like a mad man, but at least I drink some water. :) *we have a MAJOR flood warning going around all of Atlanta because we've been having ginormous storms. I hope we get flooded big time, then we can do service and wear normal clothes. I also like the thrill of danger, just a little bit, not too much.... Haha *I got 2 mosquito bites on either side of my forehead and someone came up to me and said, "SEE?!?! I told you Mormons have horns!!!" Haha #awkward #ipromisetheyarejustmosquitobites Also, my torso looks like I have chicken pox from all the bed bug bites. Also, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE PIXELS OUR EYES CAN SEE!!
(Biggest bird poop ever, just kidding, it's a slug)
(I accidently super-glued my fingers together.)
My arm works again!!!(good thing for shorts under the skirts)
(Part of our district with an elder going to Peru)
(Sister Woodruff took us to eat real Chinese food!)
(some members fed us and we had to eat outside because there was only guys)
(yellow eyes)

Brooke 9.8.2014

(One of our members has Sugar Gliders as pets that just fly around her house. This one landed on me, so I wanted to take a picture with it... It pooped on me!!! You can even see the little pebbles behind his little legs! Groooossss! P.S. I had a red Power-ade, can you tell?)
(Our investigator,John, wanted to take a picture with the sun-flowers, so I made him hold a Book of Mormon. P.S. I look BLONDE! What?!)
(They say "Everything's bigger in Texas". I say, "Everything's creepier in Tennessee...." this spider had a shell! With Spikes!! Ewwww!)
(These kids were reading, so I thought I'd join em!...Ashlynne calls us "Jesus' girls"...I got in the pool the other day...Me, Anna, and Sam Greene) I can send pics today because I'm on a computer in Kingsport!! Woop woop! I got my brace off!!!!!!! I"M HEALED!!!!!!!!! The doc came in after he had it re-x-rayed. He was like, "HOW??? Just tell me HOW! There is no evidence of any break or damage in your hand!!!!" He was absolutely shocked! The church is true!!! Of course, we started talking about the gospel, and he was just blown away by everything! It was incredible!! This week, I found out on Friday something terrifying... Prez called and told me he wanted me to train!!!!!! I'm so scared! I feel like I'm gonna corrupt that poor missionary! I'm nervous and excited and terrified and stoked all at the same time! Sister Hargis was sick all week, so we had to stay home. :/ I got cabin fever and I was just running around the apartment cleaning things so I'll be ready for my greenie. :) So, there's no news about anybody or anything. The branch here loves me! They celebrated when they found out I was staying! (I knew I would stay, but they celebrated anyways.) Sorry, today's will be short, but... I love you more than Jack Sparrow loves rum!!! Dad: Hahaha, me and Erin are twins for sure! 4 breaks, and really itchy. Sounds like the Echols' curse! Dad, the car is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I showed it off to the other missionaries here! That red is the perfect color for it! I can't wait to see it with my own eyes. I hate spiders too! Mom: Haha, that sounds like a long day, but a fun day too! Hahaha, "Blast from the past" is the title that Erin and I would use about good ole times! I hope you had an absolute BLAST in MT!! Haha, I'm an electronic hoarder too. :) Your dad is so cute! Michael: That's really funny that Kevin asked for the fudge recipe at the same time!! Thank you for all the pics! I really like the tron shirts! That beach is gorgeous!! Where is that? I like your squid hat! You pull it off nicely! Hi Anna! Thanks for writing me! Sometimes, I forget that I have a new family member (probably because I haven't met you yet), but that'll change in 5 months!! Love you both! Kevin: Kevin, so I've decided that I want you to marry Sister Messer. She's the greatest person on the face of the planet, and I want her as my Sister in law. Her favorite band is "Shine down" so start listening to it so you two will have something to like together. :) Hahahahaha! YOU STUD MUFFIN YOU! You sound like you've had a blast being a farmer. I'm glad you're having the time of your life! Jen: How is mini you doing? How about your better half? Also, what about Baby Harley? :) I love you Jennifer!! I hope you have an amazing week! Crave some chips and salsa for me! Erin: I haven't gotten a letter from you yet, but hopefully soon! I can write again, so I'll start writing to my list of people that have written me and I wasn't able to respond to. I have a large list, but family comes first. :) I'm counting down the days until I get to hug you again. Forget counting down days till I go home...that's old school. What I'm most excited for is seeing my BFFE again. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Brooke 9.2.2014

Hey family! I never realized I don't like holidays until I became a missionary... Hahahahaha! No, they're great, but I hate it when the library's closed. :) My next doctor appointment is tomorrow in Knoxville. Honestly, I might as well live there, since I'm there every week pretty much. I think the Doc is going to clear me to take off my brace!! I hope so...this thing feels like someone turned the thermostat to "Hell" on my arm. No joke. #ThisGirlIsOnFire #BurnBabyBurn #I'mJustAHunkOfBurningLove I sent my camera home today. Please look for it! The highlights of my week: I got pooped on by a Sugar Glider... I played a musical number with a broken hand in Sacrament on the spot because the musical number fell through....EVERYONE was in tears. :) Also, we got 7 new investigators this week!! They are so prepared and ready for the gospel! And, I got covered in Poison Ivy. All over my arms and legs... fortunately, I'm only mildly allergic, so it's just like hives almost. And, you know you're in Tennessee when you step into the shower and step face-first into a spider web with the spider still attached.... Don't ask me how I missed a big black spider hanging in a white shower, but I did. Let's just say I had an episode. I love you more than the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop!!! Mom: I want to go to Montana!!! I'm don't want fall to come. I don't like the cold...especially as a missionary because I have to be out in it all the time. My release date? I don't know... I think it would be in February because I will have been out 18 months... How can I find out what my release date is? Dad: Vic needs to get baptized! When I come home, I want to go over there with you and teach him! :):):) I'm so glad the Spitfire's coming along so well! Just save something for me to do when I get home. Even if it's just the final car wash. :) I just want to be able to do something if I can. :) No one here believes me when I tell them about working on the car with you. They all get shocked when I start telling them about the different parts and tools... Like alternator, cylinders, wobble joint, racket wrench, lug nuts... etc. Kevin: Take pictures of you in MT!!! I never get enough pictures from people, so I always have to just imagine it. Did you take pics of you and Michael Rock Climbing? I love that you herd cattle! Do you ride a horse when you do it? Michael: I told a member here about your fudge with the marshmallows in it... they want to try it. Can you send me the recipe? I'll give them a copy so they can make it. Send me pics of you and Kevin Rock Climbing! Send me pics of the Tron shirts! Send me pics of you being weird! Send me pics of you and your new wife! Jen: Yaya for missionary tithing! Listen to the song, "Bless my Son" by the Nashville Tribute. You'll love it! hahaha, Dace called me Erin! What a ham! Erin: I was confused about Dad's "no more arrests" comment, but you cleared that up. ????!?!?!?!!!! What????? How do you almost get arrested????? Only YOU would turn a situation like that into a teaching moment! You're my hero!! HAHAHAHAHA BED BUGS!!

Erin 9.2.2014

(ATL ATL ATL ATL!!!!!!!!!!Kashima fam...Look how tan I am...makin' truffles!...Our bed bug solution...Stalker status.... this guy looks like Albert Einstein...The Danklefs came all the way up from PTC to see me!...Trip to ATL...Wet spider web...YSA sisters(funny)...YSA sisters) Well, this week was kind of sad and exciting at the same time. Our bishop has asked that we contact all the less-actives and in-actives. A lot of them have labeled themselves as DNC (Do Not Contact), but instead, we thought it meant (Definitely Needs Contact). We chippely go to contact them and they are so anti-God that we help them in the way we best can. We help them remove their records. My heart weeps every time I do it because if they want nothing to do with this church, in reality, they want nothing to do with God, because this is His church. It's so sad, but we do what we can to help them start progress again. We got a bed bug infestation in our apartment, so we have to have an exterminator come, throw away or mattresses and pray that our clothes will be alright. It's so crazy. You wake up and you feel like you just got struck by lighting, you itch like crazy and tingle everywhere. Even when you shower, it feels as though you're not clean because you itch so badly, We tore apart our room and slept on the living room floor. The mission office just laughs every time I call for something, because we always get the weirdest things happening to us. Hahaha. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN CANIBALS LOVE TOE NECKLACES!!!!! Mom: YOU"RE IN MONTANA?!?!?!?! What? I'm so jealous! It sounds like you're having lots and lots and lots of fun! I LOVE Montana! Tell the whole fam bam Hi for me! I love and miss them all sooooo much! And, also, tell them to write me and send me pictures and packages and stuff like that. :) Dad: You're so cute! You've always been such a hard worker and a great friend! I'm sure Bro Ontiveros will get baptized and join God's family. I'm positive. I'm so excited for you to get Brooke back! It turns out that I'll be serving in Georgia for 22 months total! I might as well be an Elder! Jennifer: No wayyyyy! I realized that 'missinoary tithing' just last night!!! Dace Face's notes are super cute! I love how he called Brooke Erin. :D I love and miss you bunches! Give Harley and Marie kisses for me. Michael: You went rock climbing? Fun! You're emails are very vague. Just remember, I wrote you a hand written letter almost every week for 2 years, I'm sure you can add a sentence or two to your emails. Haha. I love you boi! Kevin: You cute boy! I'm so happy you're a farmer! And I'm so jealous you're in Montana right now! How long are you going to live in Idaho still? Brooke: How's the hand? Pftshahaha! I still crack up when I think of it! I love you and I don't think you heard, but I'll tell you what Dad means when he says, 'don't get arrested'...... I almost got arrested. We were right outside of a gated community and the only way in was to sneak in. A car drove through the gate and I sprinted to get through before it closed again and lo and behold who was waiting on the other side of the gate? Yep, a security officer. He hollered at me and came running towards me. I totally would have run away, but since I was wearing a nametag that said "Jesus Christ" and I was wearing a skirt, I decided not to. I calmly walked towards him thinking everything would be alright, but to my surprise, he took me into custody. And he called the cops to come pick me up. As I glumly sat on the curb, I wanted to burst into tears knowing that I was about to be arrested for trespassing, but instead, I started talking to the security officer. We talked about everything; life, BYUI, missions, basketball, families, the restored gospel, everything... eventually we were laughing at the smallest things and he finally released me. He invited me back to teach him more. Haha! #epic That's the short story of it. Haha. Isn't that crazy?!?! RANDOMNESS....... I miss you. *I can't wait for you to see Brooke. *Brooke never wrote me. *did you know I'm obsessed with fruit? I buy a TON of it on Pdays and then it's gone by the next day.... *my favorite prophet in the Old Testament is by far Isaiah. *the scripture I want on my missionary plaque is D&C 6:36. *Manzer got kissed by a drunk Hispanic and I pounced on him. Poor guy. Didn't see me coming. She went to shake his hand and he pulled her in for a kiss. I threw him off of her and she just stood there in shock, trying to comprehend what had happened and I became a ninja. It was a sketchy situation, because there were 3 drunk men. We quickly hopped in the car and left. I think I might have sworn, but I can't remember..... *I have a wicked high immune system. Everyone here is getting sick but I'm not. I think that may have a fact that I eat at least 4 oranges every day, but I'm not sure. :D #healthyasahorse Also, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN TRACEY LOVES PETER AT THE PERK!!!