Thursday, November 26, 2015

11/23/15 The field is WHITE and the ORANGE EAST SISTERS are BACK!

Dearest family and friends, 

Health challenges (allergic reactions to ant bites and colds) have been resolved, and the Orange East Sisters are back full force tearing up the white field here in Orange and Vinton! We have seen some amazing miracles this week. That's how it works, y'all. Whenever things are bad and you're feeling down, hang in there! There's something amazing right around the corner. The Lord knows! He does! 

Some miracles from this week: 

Last Monday we dropped by and had an AMAZING lesson with Regina and Rianna! We taught about temples and eternal marriage, which is normally something you teach either after baptism or like RIGHT BEFORE, but we felt prompted to teach it. So we did!  Well, actually, the SPIRIT did. It was the most amazing lesson! We showed them pictures of temples and talked about eternal marriage. Rianna, who is 14, was just floored. She said that she wants to be married in the temple and have a forever family! It was really cool. She is gonna get there one day. Her whole family is. They know it is true and they are just working on getting ready to be baptized! :) Let's hear it for temples! #favoritelesson #sprititeachestruth 

So we have been working with a less active single Mom, and her daughter Kira who is nine and wants to be baptized. We finally got in with them! A few weeks ago we made them a "Thankful Jar' for writing things they were thankful for and then putting them in the jar for like a family activity. We just gave it to them one night and didn't think much of it. Well we finally got back in and they have been doing it! And it really opened the Mom up and she agreed to let her daughter be baptized! YAY! :) OH. Answered prayer. So cool. 

Also. Felt prompted at like 7:30 (pretty late and dark) to go see a less active part member family that we had never met before. Well as we got to the road they lived on it had a "road closed" sign...but we were like. We know we need to see these people! So WE DROVE AROUND IT ANYWAY and went. Turns out it was like the only time he was home from work and we met his daughter and it was great!!! 

One more: Felt prompted to go talk to a Mom in her driveway. Went and it was one of those "Y'all are literally an answer from God. This is just what I needed. Thank you!" Heavenly Father knows all of His children. ALL OF THEM. And He knows what they need when they need it. And if you ask for the Spirit to guide you, it will! It really will! AH. It's so cool. 

Hope everyone has the most AMAZING Thanksgiving. And eat lots of pumpkin pie. :) One thing they have down here in the South is called "Corn Bread Dressing." It's kind of like stuffing but way better. And it'sin a casserole dish. :) mmmHMMM!! So good. 

THE church is true. :) Be so thankful this week! Thankful people are happy people. :)

-Sister Wilson

Picture- Shrimp Gumbo from a ward member on a rainy day :)

11/16/15 Sister Madsen Vs. the Fire Ant: An epic Battle!

Well hello everyone! 

It was quite the week here in Orange and Vinton. Let me tell you. 

So on MONDAY Sister Madsen got bit by a FIRE ANT on our way to pick up our laundry. She has been bitten by ants before but this one was different. Her WHOLE FOOT swelled up! The actual bite disappeared...and her whole foot got SUPER RED and HOT and itchy and swollen! We made it throughMonday and then Monday night it woke her up because it was itching SO bad!! So we had the Hammonds (senior couple in our district) look at it. They called the mission doctor and he said we just need to take benadryl. THen the swelling got WORSE and moved up her ankle to her LEG!!!!! 

Ok. So long story short, we narrowly avoided a run to Vidor to see a doctor, and we ended up having to have it ELEVATED FOR 24 HOURS. 

Yes. 24 hours. In the apartment. Elevating a foot. PLUS!! She was still trying to get over a cold. So. There you go. Inside we were. Going CRAZY!!! 

When you're a missionary, you wanna be out working. Not inside with your foot in the air!  But my oh my did the Lord have something to teach us. Yes, hmmmhmmm He sure did. 

Sometimes what we want is NOT what the Lord wants. Sometimes the Lord has a bigger plan. And we sometimes don't see it because all we see is the thing we want right now. It may be good- it may be a righteous desire. But we need to want what the LORD wants for us. We can't think we know what the Lord wants. We wanted to go out and TEACH! But the Lord wanted us to get that foot better and learn to want what HE wants, not what we want. Even when we think what we want should be what He wants. He knows so much more than we do. So how can we want what the LORD really wants and not what WE think we and He wants? 

THe answer is PRAYER. We read the the Bible dictionary that prayer is us aligning our will with the Father's. CHanging what WE want to what HE wants. Then we want what He wants and then it's a win win win. 

That's another thing I've realized with the Lord. It's always a win win win. No one ever looses. Except Satan. He's already lost. So. Sorry not sorry, Satan. I want what the Lord wants! I trust Him and know that He knows what's best. :) 

Thursday was ZONE CONFERENCE!! So that was cool. :) I was SO worried because we drive a 2015 Chevy Cruze and the TIRE pressure was like SUPER low that morning that we had to have the vehicle coordinator check it! I was so worried. But he explained what to do and after Zone Conferences we took the car to get fixed! I've never had to do that before on my own! It's been so weird to be in charge of a car. But it's good. We like it. :) 

Saturday was the coolest thing EVER! Because we got to help out at the Special ANGEL'S RODEO! It was a community Rodeo/activity for those with Special Needs. We were assigned to be buddies for some amazing people with special needs! It was really cool. We took them around and helped them do the rodeo activities! Something I will never forget. :)  

And remember the Mom and 2 kids? Well the daughter, Rianna, came to church! She has been reading the Book of Mormon, and she LOVES it. She says she feels enlightened when she reads it and super peaceful. We asked if she believes Joseph Smith was a prophet. SHe said YEAH because of him we have the Book of Mormon! We were like YES!! SHe's got it. SHe's got it. I am so excited for her. Her Mom's been having some health issues, but she will be at church next week. YAY! 

Love you all. Have a fantastic week. Remember to pray for what you want to be what the LORD wants. 

-Sister Wilson

11/09/15 Sister Poole and her "Alma"gator.... #adventuresinSTARKS and the Mom and 2 kids :)

Dearest family and friends,

What an adventurous week it has been! I am really started to feel adjusted to this new area! :) Oh. I have SO much to tell you! 

So first of all this week we went into STARKS LA for the first time. Starks is a small down in like the tippy-top of our area and it takes TONS of miles to drive there, so Sister Madsen had never been there before. But it's part of our area and there were a few Less Active members who lived out there and we felt we needed to go to that part of our area. So we went and visited Sister Poole! She has been inactive for awhile but used to be in YW. Her house is like the BYU Bean Museum..with like TONS of stuffed ones that used to be alive. Yeah. So we found out later from the Elders that apparently she has an ALLIGATOR in her backyard. 

She keeps it as a pet. 

In her backyard. 

She gets them as babies and when they get too big she gives them over to animal control...??? IDK!!! 

Kinda crazy cool. 

Kinda scary. 

Such is STARKS. 

Also. We named it the "Alma"gator. Idk why. We thought it fit. 

And she is so awesome. We don't even know why she is inactive. We will be working with her. :) 

Also I think I forgot to mention that the Elders had a baptism last week. It was super cool! Yay for Kasey and Kahlil. 

So the mission has recently come out with a requirement to do 10 hours of service a week! Well we already were going to Orange Christian Services and helping with clothing donations twice a week in the mornings, and it is so awesome! But Sister Madsen said that there was a Lady who does a Soup Kitchen at St. Mary's Catholic Church on we hunted that place down and went in and met THE NICEST PEOPLE EVER!!! And they were like OH! SISTERS! YOU CAME!!! Please come in!!! And then they like FED US and then we helped feed everyone that came in. It was so cool. Service opportunities are the best! Help your communities, people! There's nothing else like it. :) 

Also we are teaching Rebekah, she is 14 and reminds me so much of "Annie" it's not even funny. Like "Annie" the musical. She is committed to baptism and she has been coming to YW. She is super nice and we are so happy for her! But her parents haven't really opened up to us yet. We are praying to get in with the whole family! She has a little sister who we are teaching as well. They are both super awesome! 

HIGHLIGHT of the week: 

We went to visit a "Mom and two kids" that were on our potentials. Yes, we didn't even know their names but we went to go visit them and we actually had a member with us from a previous lesson that came too. And this Mom and this daughter were like SO prepared. We taught the Restoration and they said that it all made sense. After the first vision and we explained Joseph Smith all she could say was, "Beautiful. So beautiful." She was almost in tears. The Spirit was so strong. They committed to be baptized. They are so ready! We also got in with them again this week and taught the Plan of Salvation. She said that there literally was a burden LIFTED when she learned about people having a second chance in the Spirit world. Both her and their daughter. AH! Moments to live for. Right there. I am so excited and happy for them. :) 

Also! Last P-day we went to this cool park that is like a castle. It also has a lion statue in front that we rode on and took pictures. :) Also a district picture after District Meeting. :) 

I love you all. Remember how beautiful the gospel truly is. Try to see it from someone else's eyes who had no idea about it. How amazing and beautiful the truth can be. 

I love you all! 

-Sister Wilson

11/02/15 LOUISIANA, PEOPLE! Dreams do come true. :)

OH, how do I begin? 

Hello, everyone. 

Yes. I was transferred. 

Yes, I am training. 


Well, technically I live in Orange, Texas and am serving in the Orange Ward... but we cover an area that is IN LOUISIANA! We cross the border almost every day to go to our area! Dreams do come true, everyone! They really do. :) There are only 2 other areas in the whole missions that sisters get to go to Louisiana, and I got blessed enough to serve here in East Orange! YAY! It is so awesome. The personality and FEEL of Louisiana is COMPLETELY different than Texas. It's so strange...yet SO awesome. AH. It's just the best. 

We cover two VERY small towns in Louisiana. Vinton is basically the story of radiator springs from Cars, the Disney movie! So there used to be a main road and railroad that went through it but then they built a new road. And it's like hidden in the south west end of Louisianna... Just yes. I will send pictures. :) 

My new adopted daughter (the sister I am training) is Sister Madsen! She is from Rexburg, ID and is pretty much amazing. I was a little worried about getting a new companion but all I can say is... THE LORD KNOWS. OH how He knows us each so well. Sister Madsen is dedicated to the work and loves the gospel so much! She is a great example to me and I love her. We are pretty much twins. People have asked us that actually! We both LOVE the gospel and are SO pumped for what this transfer has to hold! :) 

We had a lot of work to do on our apartment...but we did it!

We have been working with some awesome people! Something really cool about this area is we have a Senior Couple who work with the family history center and do lots of other work for the ward! Elder and Sister Hammond are awesome. 

Some highlights from this week: 

We got to go do a service project at the Orange Christian services and go hang up clothes for a discount store. We also did a service project with a Methodist church where we helped bag rice. It was awesome! 

This guy named Garry is so prepared for the Gospel! Sister Madsen contacted him last week and we taught him this week and he committed to baptism! He wants to come to church but needs to have his work schedule changed. Pray he can get it off so he can come to church! :) 

We are also working with some AWESOME energetic and NOT shy at all girls named Rebecca and Riley. They even came to mutual on Wednesday. Hopefully we will be able to get in with their whole family! :) 

That's all I have time for now. I wish I could tell every detail but there is just not time. 

I just want you all do know, that the Lord does answer prayers. They key is if we align our will with His- want what He wants- and everything will work out just the way it is supposed to. 

I love you all! Have a fantastic week! 


Sister Wilson

Fun Fact: I found out a guy a knew from High School (Elder Lawrence) was out on THIS  mission and I ended up in his district! #whatarethechances #nocoincidences
ALSO; Fun connection we found with a family from my home ward! Their son and his wife's family is all in this Orange ward here and I met them on Sunday. Super cool! :) 

10/26/15 An apology and BIG NEWS!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!


EVERYONE!! Ah. I have so much to tell you. 

First off. I am sosososososososos sorry for not doing a group email last week. I felt super bad and it will not happen again if I can help it. The reason why is because we had a Zone Pday where we went to President Rascone's house... he is a member of the mission presidency and he is also like one of the main newscasters for Houston...needless to say they are NOT poor. I will send some pics of us outside the pool in their backyard and of their stage/movie theater inside their house. 

So much has happened these past 2 weeks! 

I will start with the biggest news...


Yes! They did! They really did!! It was so amazing! And also kinda stressful. Because Tyler's Mom is STAUNT baptist and isnt' exactly friendly towards the church... and she had to sign the permission/record form before he could be baptized and then the baptismal service started and she wasn't there and we were trying not to panic because not only was the STAKE PRESIDENT there but also our MISSION PRESIDENT came .... so talk about PRESSURE. But it was OK because she showed up 15 min late right after the talks and then we had her sign it and then he got baptized. PHEW! The Lord answers prayers, people! He really does. 

THEN. Amber got baptized too! She is a hairdresser who gets LOTS of crap from people she does hair for about the church. But she has received a spiritual witness that it was true and she decided to be baptized. She is hilarious and so awesome! Her friend Mary came too who was also involved with her receiving an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Mary shouldn't be far behind Amber...she basically already knows the Book of Mormon is true so....yeah. :) 

Next Big News. 

TRANSFER CALLS!!! So when you are trained you are trained for 12 weeks (2 transfers). And we were supposed to get calls on Friday to tell us if we were staying or if we were going or if one was staying or one know?? It's good to know because then you can say goodbye's to people and have time to pack. But then Friday passed and there was no call...then Sat call...we were like...uh... I guess we are staying...??? But then BOOM.Saturday night we got the call! 

So we all thought Sister Casas was leaving. Because A) she has trained 2 other missionaries before me and she left them right after they finished training. and B) Because they often give missionaries the chance to lead out the area and C) because there weren't very many new missionaries coming out and chances of training were slim and D) Sister Casas realized she had an extra transfer. So for all these reasons we thought she was leaving. 

Well. The Lord had other plans! 

I am leaving Dayton. Yes. I cried. What a way to end the transfer, though. 2 Baptisms! I still couldn't believe it. Then at the church after the baptisms President told Sister Casas she was training the next transfer there in Dayton. THEN. He called me later that day and told me ...

I am training too!!!! This is a very rare situation, though. I will be half training...meaning that the new missionary has been here for her first 6 weeks of training and then I will be her trainer (AKA Mom in the mission field) for the last 6 weeks! President said he needed someone who could, "Get the job done right." Whoa. That's a lot of trust in me! It's a big responsibility. Prayers would be helpful. :) But...

I seriously am like so excited. 

But it was so hard to say goodbye to everyone in Dayton. 

But the Lord has GREAT things in store for me and my new adopted daughter! YAY for THE MISSION!! 

Also. We had exchanges this past week and Hermana Baker came to Dayton with me! We helped our investigators move and we took pictures because the packing was like so SKETCH...everything went ok though. No worries. :) 

Well. That is all for now. 

Y'all rock. Have a fantastic week. 

Remember that, "It will all work out." 


Sister Wilson 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

10/12/15 Mountains to Climb

Hey everyone. :) 

So this week was one of those weeks that seriously tries your patience. But also TOTALLY strengthens your testimony.

 So this is how it works (in the mission field, and in life.) Things are going good, and fine. Then little things start to happen and then things fall apart, and you feel like (to use Sis. Casas' most accurate phrase) you're scrounging around like chickens with their heads cut off. And you're praying like crazy but nothing seems to change. And you're just like. Man. Today was rough. Yesterday was rough. I really hope tomorrow isn't rough. 

And then it is. 

And you're like. Really? Come. On. 

But. Then. You're like, hey. This is a mountain to climb. I guess I will keep climbing. And keep praying. What else can I do? 
(Satan says: (more or less) GIVE UP, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF GARBAGE!) (Which, again may I remind you, is completely not true.)  
And then. When you feel like you've given all you can, and more. And more, things start to look up. (they may crash again right here but hang in there the best part is coming up.) 

SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENS. Yep. After all this struggle and negativity, something awesome happens. Satan always tries to get us down and discourage us right before something really awesome and super great is about to happen. 

So. If you're feeling like life is rough, hang in there. Something FANTASTIC is right around the corner. 

That is pretty much what happened this week. We tried a lot of potentials to try and find more new investigators to reach our goal, and we like could not find anyone! 

Except... Alicia. #miracle. 

It was getting late on Thursday. We had scheduled to go tracting but we really shouldn't go after dark for safety issues. But. We were like. We had a goal. and it's still dusk. Let's go. So we PRAYED about where to go. But we didn't really get any specific inspiration. So I was just like, hey, let's go down by the Elementary School. Why not? So we went down there and the first house we went to was Alicia's. She answered the door and we explained who we were and what we do and asked if she was interested. She was like. Yes, always! We were like. AHHH THIS IS AWESOME!! So we got her number and a return appointment. Yipee!! The Lord answers prayers.

We also had a game night at the church this Friday. Our investigator came because we hooked her up with a ride. Sadly not a lot of people came and our investigator is pretty shy and Sis. Casas and I were SO worried that she didn't have a good time, and that it scared her off because she didnt' really say anything about it. But then she came to church on Sunday and said she LOVED game night and wants to come again. YAY! 

Then on Sunday we worked SUPER hard to get everyone to come to sacrament! We had to work out rides for like EVERYONE  but the ward pulled through and helped give rides. it was a super cool feeling to see so many investigators at church! We got 6 there! Yay!! 

We also randomly had the mission office people come do clean checks. Luckily Sis. Casas and I are pretty tidy so we were fine. #phew 

Elder Johnson just threw a dead wasp at us while I was trying to type this email here in the Library. #rude. These Elders drive us crazy sometimes. But they do take good care of us most of the time so we keep them around. lol

Well anyways. This week just goes to show that the Lord knows what' going on. And he's got something fantastic in store. You just have to trust in Him and His timing. 

Have a blessed week, 

Sister Wilson 

10/5/15 Flu Shots and Conference Talks

Hello all! 

So this week was awesome. Because. 2 words. GENERAL CONFERENCE. And 3 words. RASBAND, STEVENSON, RENLUND. #welcometothetwelve #sustained #wemisspacker/perry/scott

And just so everyone knows,  President Monson is my hero. He totally is a prophet of God. No normal mortal man could've had the power to stay up there and deliver the word of God, overcoming whatever physical ailments were trying to take him down. He was suffering. He is human. And although the devil sent forth is might winds, PRESIDENT MONSON COULD NOT FALL. Why? Because of the rock upon which he is built. A foundation upon which if we build, we can not fall. What was that foundation? Our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST. The Lord will support and help us do things which the natural man could never imagine was possible. 

Never put mortal limits on an immortal God who loves you. 

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me. " Philippians 4:12

Speaking of amazing things, this week was pretty awesome. :)

We had exchanges! Our Sister Training Leader for the zone came to Dayton with me! I lead out the area once again. I felt a lot better about doing it this time because I had done it before.  We planned out our day and honestly it went pretty OK. There was good and there was some rough but we learned from it all! 

Then we had this awesome day where like everything fell into place and we kept like running into people and teaching and it was really super cool. We taught like way more lessons then we normally do and it was a really neat experience. Really, the Lord will guide you when you ask for Him to. :) 

So on Thursday we got a media referral! Which means someone online requested a Book Of Mormon in our area so we contacted him figure out when we could drop a Book of Mormon by. Well we called him and he said we could possibly meet us at the high school or at his house. K. Well. Based on the voice we COULD NOT TELL if it was like a TEACHER or a STUDENT. He surely sounded like a teacher. Well we got there and it was a student! He was super official and professional. Turns out he has to do a report on a religion and he chose MORMONS!! We were like, 
" AHHH YESSS what do you want to know?? We have all the answers! Let us teach you everything!!" Ok maybe not exactly that but that's what we were saying in our heads haha. :) Well. He is like Thanks for the Book of Mormon I will totally read it and give you a call when I have any questions for my project. We can meet again next week. #miraclemediareferral

And. Our good friend MELINDA came to conference!! She was NOT going to come but we were persistent! We knocked until she opened. We woke her up. She was like in her PJ's. She was like I'm not coming. (She came. and loved it.) 

We also got flu shots this week! They were free. Yay! 

The church is so true! Listen to conference again and again it is the best. 


Sister Wilson

9/28/15 Lesson it up

Hello to all :) 

Let me just say, WHAT A WEEK my friends. WHAT. A. WEEK. Wow. One of the hardest weeks so far. But also, one of the most amazing. So awesome how that works. 

First off, we taught SO MANY LESSONS THIS WEEK!  New record! We did a lot better with getting members out with us to teach. It was hard but we did it. 

Update on our friend Melinda. We try to see her every day to help her stop smoking. She is getting there, but she also doesn't really... ahh...she is just like... eh. She will be like, "I'm quitting tomorrow!" But then tomorrow arrives and we are like, "Any cigarettes today?" And she'll be like "Only one! Isn't that great!?" We are like yes....but... gah. No. You need to stop. Slowly but surely. Pray for her! 

Our friend Jackie who we are teaching how to read out of the Children's Book of Mormon FINALLY realized that Joseph Smith and the first vision and the gold plates REALLY HAPPENED and it's not just a story that we read about. Huge break through. #hallelujah Also his nurse Lady who is totally southern baptist and wouldn't even look at us when we first started working with Jackie actually opened up to us and was like, 

**Read with the up-most black lady southern baptist SASS accent:

"I just have to say I think what y'all do is marvelous. We don't believe the same, but the basis Christian life is the same. Y'all have so much patience and love. It is just marvelous. I've seen a change in Mr. Jackie, here. Just the other day I told him my sister was in the hospital and he said he would pray for her. Mr Jackie! Pray for my Sister! He would've never said that. But thanks to you girls he has changed. I just think it's marvelous." 

So that kind of made our day. :) 

Bryant and Sandra Rosales had their baby!! Little Dominick is here! We taught them twice this week. We got to have some members come with us and they are great fellowshippers. Bryant is serious about getting in touch with God and trying to be a good father. Sandra is interested to learn more. And. Get this. THEY CAME TO CHURCH. Yes. Their texted us Sunday morning and said their car wouldn't start. So we called the family that helped teach the lesson and they were able to last minute go pick them all up (all 6 of them, they have 4 kids now!) and bring them to church!! It was so amazing! Satan tried to keep them from church but HA TAKE THAT SATAN. :) 

Also Jackie came to church, last minute we were able to find him a ride. That was ANOTHER miracle. 

We also had Tyler- a 14 yr old boy who stays with his gma on weekends come to church too. Yay for Tyler. :) 

And. Amber. She came to church. She knows it is true. She DOES! She is totally set to be baptized on Oct. 25!! YAYAYAYAYAYAY  I seriously love her so much and she is amazing. 

And Sat. Night I got to go to the Women's session with Sis. Mournsalways. (her husband is Native American...isn't that like the craziest/coolest/kindofsaddest last name you've ever heard??) She served a mission in Switzerland and told us tons of her cool mission stories. So the stake center that we went to looked so much like home...I felt like I was home...because I was like watching the exact same women's session that they were at home. It was strange. But good. I LOVED IT!! So excited for conference. PREPARE NOW, PEOPLE! :) 

Well, that's all I have time for this week. Love you all. 

-Sis. Wilson