for behold, the field is white already to harvest

Got Mail?

Got Mail?

Sister San Diego will now be receiving mail directly at her current address. However, due to church policy we cannot post her address publicly. Please email ssandieg@cox.net for her current address.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Hauoli Makahiki Hou - Happy New Year!

Dear everyone:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I can't believe it's already 2013!

This past week was the best & almost worst week ever.

It was the best because of Christmas Eve (p-day & dinner with a part-member family), Christmas Day (Skyping my family & a slough of meals & parties), our double-zone missionary Christmas party on Saturday (food, games, white elephant), & teaching a new investigator.  It was the worst because almost everyone we tried visiting was out of town, sick, or busy, so we only taught a couple people during the week.

But!  It's ok because our newest investigator makes the down times of the mission so worth it--he is a really nice guy who wants to start a new life & have God in his life more.  He brought himself to church 2 weeks in a row, he asked if he could take the lessons, & is a very dedicated person!  I was one told that it's after a little bit of downtime that you're springboarded to new heights, and it's true!  I look forward to this week & the new people we'll find!

In other news, transfers are tomorrow & Wednesday; all of us are staying where we are except for Elder Moyle, who has been called to be a traveling Zone Leader, which means he & Elder Sanft (my previous District Leader & the other traveling Zone Leader) get to work with every companionship of Elders in the mission!  Sisters Firmage & Nunn were also called as traveling Sisters to work with all of us Sisters in our missionary work--it's very exciting & I can't wait to see them!  While it is a bummer to see the last of my first District leave, I wish Elder Moyle the very best as he continues working hard & being an awesome example to those he serves!

Hope you all have a safe & Happy New Year!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

missionary snow angel (p-day)
It snowed actual flakes!!! (usually it's just snow crystals)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mele Kalikimaka - Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a Happy End-of-the-World Day!!  ;)

This week, I would like for you to focus on something--what is the most valuable thing that you have?  A smartphone (with facebook)?  A car?  A ring?  The temple?

These are all nice things, but they actually aren't the most valuable thing in your life. 
I encourage each of you to read this article before continuing to read this post:
http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/latter-day-saint-voices?lang=eng (the one titled "I Hope Someone Will Love Her")

John 3:16--
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ--he and His Atonement are the Most valuable gifts any one of us could ever receive.  Our Heavenly Father gave his only perfect Son so that all of us, His imperfect children, could have the opportunity to return to Him.  Christ gave all for the same purpose, and He did so willingly because He loves us so much.

Are you willing to receive these gifts in your lives?  What gifts can you give in return?

I hope you all have a very Mele Kalikimaka, and may you cherish the time with your families & remember the reason for the season :)

Love ya much!

Be strong & faithful because Jesus was!

~Sister San Diego

Merry Christmas from our 2 districts

Only in Northern Nevada, lol...hanging a deer from a tree
(they do that after getting their deer/elk hunt)


Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy 29th Birthday, Mom!!!

Hi All!

First off, I would like to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! to my Mom, who will be "29" tomorrow!  ;D

Tomorrow also is my 5-month mark since I came out into the mission field!  It's crazy how quickly time flies by!  13 months to go...!

Quick bit of news for any future Sister Missionary--lds.org has awesome tips on the main page!  Hopefully they will still be there by the time you read this :)

This week we got our car back on Wednesday!  The best part was that it snowed the day after--we were SO grateful the snow was held off until we had the car again!

We have still been having a little bit of a hard time in scheduling appointments & helping people to progress & come to church to be spiritually strengthened, but it's ok because this is a new week & it will be better!  And even though we've been having some difficulties, we have met a lot of people who may be interested in learning about the gospel!

CHRISTMAS IS A WEEK & A DAY AWAY!!!!!
Remember the reason for the season!  =)

Be strong & faithful because Jesus Christ, the Savior & Redeemer of the world, and our Exemplar, was!

~Sister San Diego

Nativities from the Creche

Santa Nativity 

We had to bike it last week,
sure glad we got our car back!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pieces Of Our Testimony Are Like Popsicle Sticks

Hi Everyone!

This week has been pretty good, considering we were without a car!  I don't recommend biking in the winter--it's bloom'in cold!!

Back in September, our car had a not-so-friendly encounter with a coyote, & the coyote ripped out a few cosmetic pieces.  We finally got to take it in for repair last week Monday, and we will get it back either later today or tomorrow (Yay).  In the meantime, we have done a combination of walking, biking, & catching rides w/ members & the other Sister Missionaries.  It was definitely an experience that made the two of us extra grateful for our car!!!  And like my brother ( http://eldersandiego.blogspot.com ), I can say that my mission has had an "impact" on me--I was biking, wrecked on a curb, & hit the top of my knees on the road.  I'm ok & can walk fine, but I now have a nice "battle wound." (Elder San Diego got a baseball-ankle)

Now as I said, despite us being car-less, it was a good week!  Even though a few appointments fell through, we have still met a bunch of people & had some good lessons with those we are teaching!  We also got to help with a service project for a family whose mom recently passed on--that was one of my favorite parts :)

We've been working with 2 brothers, JJ & Chris--they are awesome kids & are really good at reading the Book of Mormon & praying!  We meet with them every night to teach their lessons & read with them.  Their family is awesome :)

Another investigator named Ray came to church with his roommate yesterday!  They really felt that it was good for them to be there, especially on that day

We also are working with several others who are either investigators, part-member families, or people who may be interested in learning more about the gospel--I wish I could tell you about each of them, but I am running out of time!  I will let you know more about them next week :)

The work is good, the people are great, & I hope to serve my calling as best as I can while here!

Yesterday, Sis. Michaud & I had the opportunity to speak in church--our topics were about why Jesus Christ was born & why He was born in the circumstances He was, and about the shepherds & the wise men coming to see the Baby Jesus, & how we can relate their story to us.

I chose the latter topic & related us to the shepherds & wise men, the star to the Gospel, & the angels to prophets, including several other traits of those people & ways we can come to/find Christ as they did.  I will see about taking my notes & actually writing them into a talk for my family to post.

On Friday, we had a visit from our Mission President & Mission Mom, Pres. & Sis. Hermansen.  Sis. Hermansen gave a nice lesson on how pieces of our testimonies are like Popsicle/craft sticks--the more pieces we have, the stronger they are together & the more difficult it is to break our testimonies.

I encourage you all to continue building your testimonies, even if it's about one principle of the gospel at a time!  I promise that when you do, you will have greater spiritual strength & you will know the truthfulness of the gospel even more!

Hope all is well with you & that you are having a good week!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Sis. Michaud & Sis. San Diego

OUCH!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December!!!

Hi there!  How is your December going so far?

This week we spent most of our time visiting part-member families & tracting, telling everyone about the Christmas Creche, which was last Thursday-Sunday.  The Creche is an event where most of the local Christian religions come together to display hundreds of Nativity scenes, tree toppers, and other artwork of the virgin Mary & baby Jesus.  Several musical performances also go on during the Creche.  It was an awesome sight to see all the displays!

In our visiting different people, we found a few who have been very nice & willing to have us over again!  We hope to have a few more solid investigators from these people we have met :)

Last night was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional-- the music was beautiful, and I loved the messages from each of the Presidency about graciously receiving gifts, treasuring our families, & giving of ourselves.  Watch it at http://www.lds.org !

Hope you are all having a good week, and that you & your families are having a good time together as we approach Christmas!

Be faithful & strong because the Savior was!

Love,
~Sister San Diego

Christmas Creche

It was an awesome sight to see all the displays!

Nativities from Mexico



Monday, November 26, 2012

"Tofa Sister Felagai!!"

Hi!!

First off, I MISS CARLIN & EUREKA!!!!!  I love you all very much!  I will return someday :)

This last week has been crazy!

Monday & Tuesday were full of trying to set appointments, saying goodbyes, & packing (fun.)

Wednesday was Transfer Day & Sister Felagai got split up & Sister Michaud (mi-Show) became my new companion (one of the sweetest Sisters ever)!  We spent the day getting settled, unpacking, & going around with the Zone Leaders to visit different people (it was formerly their area).

Our new missionaries are Elders Stene & Weed, who took over Carlin/Eureka, Elder Gellert, who is being trained by Elder Altamirano, & Elder Haynes, who is finishing Elder Clunas' training.

Thursday was Thanksgiving!  We had a good afternoon dinner with the family we now live with & did more unpacking, visiting people, etc.

Friday we met one of our first investigators!!  I'll call her Dina.  She is a super nice lady, & her daughter is so funny!  They believe in God & Christ and are open to learning!  We can't wait to continue teaching them the lessons.

We've also met several other people who we will be working with & teaching--it is very exciting to have so much work to do right off the bat!

Saturday & Sunday we continued visiting more people that the Elders had been working with.

Last night we also went to a special nighttime church meeting for miners.  During the service, a man who was taught by other Elders was confirmed a member of the church & received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Spirit was so strong there!

I look forward to what this next week brings!  Take care til next Monday!

Be faithful & strong because He was!

Luv,
~Sister San Diego

p.s. to you (mom n dad)--Elder Gellert is from Laie!  He said Willie is in his Ward back home--not sure if it's family ward or ysa.  I met a family by the last name of Carroll, & Bro. Carroll served in Grampa & Gramma Ching's area in 2001--he said he thinks he knew them :)

Transfer Day - Saying our goodbyes to Sister Felagai

Tofa Sister Felagai - You will be missed!!!

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hastings'

The food looks awesome - let's eat!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Same District....Different Ward

Howdy!

I forgot to mention last week that in Zone Conference, President Hermansen informed us that the Nevada Reno Mission will eventually reach a complement of 250 missionaries, increased from the original goal of 190!!!  That's enough to have a companionship in every Ward and every Branch, with extra to spare for large-area Wards!  We will also have Senior Couple Missionaries here soon!

Sis. Felagai & I got our call from the Zone Leaders on Saturday, aaaand........we're BOTH being transferred this Wednesday!!  Sis. Felagai will stay with the Sisters in Reno (her last companion, Sis. Wood, & my last companion, Sis. Moore) for the next 3 weeks until she goes home to Samoa on 12/12/12!  I am getting transferred to a different Ward in my District, and my new companion will be Sis. Michaud from the Sparks area.  Also, our District is getting split!  It's crazy how quickly this area of the mission is growing!  I'm sad to leave my beloved small towns, but at least I'll be close enough to run into the people every once in a while :)  I wish the new Elders in the area the best, and I can't wait to hear how the work progresses there!!

Elders Cruz & Martindale are also transferring, and training new missionaries too!  I'm so proud of them :)

Well, the next couple days will be filled with saying goodbyes, setting appointments with investigators, & everything that comes with transfers, woohoo!

With Thanksgiving approaching, I would like to encourage each of you to watch this video: http://youtu.be/Tuwid8_O8dk
Among the turkey dinner & family time, let us recognize all that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with, and let us remember to be grateful to Him for all that we have, both temporal & spiritual.

I am grateful for each of you and for the support and love you have shown me!  I am grateful for this Gospel and our Savior's Atonement, which makes it possible for us to overcome all & to become more like Him.

I hope you all have a wonderful & safe Thanksgiving week!

Be strong & faithful because Christ was!

Love,
~Sister San Diego

p.s. Oh one more thing!  I forgot to mention Sis. Felagai & I sang in church yesterday!  We sang our own twist of "As Sisters In Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth" using Samoan & English lyrics :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

"When You Give In To God, God Will Bless You."

Hey everyone!

Last week was Zone Conference, and our main focus for this one was finding people who are ready to receive the gospel.  President Hermansen, Sister Hermansen, the Assistants, & the Zone Leaders all gave great insights on how we can improve ourselves & our efforts so that we may be able to find those "who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" (D&C 123:12).

We have found a few more people who definitely have potential, and it's just a matter of fitting into their super busy schedules :)

Yesterday was Stake Conference out here, & the talks & testimonies that were shared were awesome!  I especially loved Mike's testimony that he shared; he spoke about his family's experience in coming out here--they started with nothing, & he prayed for the Lord to help them.  Soon after, they were so blessed everything they needed: a job, a place to live, food, and a church.  He testified that "When you give in to God, God will bless you."  He also spoke about Alma 32:28--"when you plant that seed and you make it grow, people can see that light."  He truly spoke from his heart and his testimony was so strong that everyone felt it and there was not a dry eye in the room.  I love this gospel and what I love even more is having the privilege of being a witness to the changes it brings to people's lives, and seeing them become truly converted!

I would also like to share an excerpt from an email from my family:

"Yesterday's [Stake Conference] session we listened to President Eyring and Elder Holland in and Area Broadcast to all 96 stakes in Arizona.  Each talked about the early days of the church in AZ and the sacrifice and dedication that was made by the early pioneers and settlers of the church here in the state and how blessed we are to now have six temples available.  Elder Holland emphasized some of the great announcements made at this last general conference, especially in regards to missionary work and how much more prepared the missionaries turning 18 need to be and how we as members need to "lengthen our stride" in supporting all these new missionaries to provide them with teaching opportunities that they will have a successful and fruitful mission.  President Eyring talked about being a positive optimist in these latter-days when so much is occurring and so many trials are being faced, we need to develop the faith in the Lord that will help us endure what is to come and prepare ourselves and look towards Christ's 2nd coming."

May we all do our best to become truly converted, strengthen those around us, and be optimistic in times of trial.  May we all be aware of & grateful for all that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with.
I know that God lives & He loves each and every one of us.  He is our Father & when we do our best, He will make up the rest.  I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Take care, be safe, and I love you all!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Car Inspection time
The Elko Zone - November 8, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy November!

How are you all doing??

I forgot to mention in my last email that it SNOWED on October 23rd!!  Yes, it was that exciting to this low desert Sister :)  There was enough to make snowballs ;) and the next day I drove in a snowstorm for the first time--fun stuff!

We have a couple new investigators!  One is Trevor, who was referred to us by some other Elders, and Naomi, who was an investigator before!  We have also met a few others who used to be taught by missionaries, and they were welcome to us coming by again--we just need to catch them at a good time in the midst of their crazy busy schedules :)

Trevor is a good guy--he has a sincere desire to turn his life around for the better & we are excited to watch him grow & improve as he learns more about the gospel!  Naomi is a young mom & wants to have a foundation for her kids--can't wait to visit her family again!

Saturday we had the privilege of being present for the baptism & confirmation of a girl in our ward, and the baptism of a man who was taught by Elders in our District!  Speakers from both baptisms mentioned how baptism is the gate that opens the pathway to the temple--how true & wonderful it is!

Yesterday was fast & testimony meeting, and I Loved all the testimonies that were shared--the Spirit was so strong there!  Different people shared about the baptism, the temple, the good examples of others, & missionary work.

During the meeting, I noticed some people who were there that I hadn't seen at church in a while, and I was so overjoyed to see them!  Then the thought came to me: "If this is how happy I am to see them in church, imagine how joyful it would be to meet each other in the temple, and even in the Celestial Kingdom!"

I testify that this is truly the Lord's Church restored again on the earth.  I know Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and was a true prophet.  The Book of Mormon is a true record written by ancient prophets, and if anyone will read it, learn from it, and apply what they learn to their lives, they will come closer to our Father in Heaven & will have the strength to face the challenges of life.  I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he took upon Himself each of our personal sins & sufferings, that through Him we may have the opportunity to enter God's kingdom.  I know President Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today, & he and the First Presidency & Twelve Apostles are inspired men of God.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and I testify that it can bring us true happiness & that those who live it are blessed.  I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Be strong & faithful because the Savior was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, October 29, 2012

April Gets Baptized! Hurray!!

Hi Everyone,

Here are my highlights for the week!

In our District Meeting, we got a few new ideas of how we can find more people who are ready to be taught--things have been a little slow lately.

Friday was the Ward's Trunk-or-Treat; a couple we've been working with brought a few nonmember friends with them, and another friend of theirs who is trying to come back to church was there yesterday!

We have been following up with people who used to take lessons from missionaries, and one was a man who I will call Stu.  He is a really good guy & is welcome to us coming to teach him!  Can't wait to see how it goes!

We were able to attend April's baptism, and it was such a privilege to witness it!  She is an awesome girl & I'm so proud of her & her desire to choose the right & help her family :)

Turns out Mike is already a member, & they will be getting married soon!  I am so excited for their family & their goal is to be sealed in the temple on their anniversary!  =D

That's about it for now--take care!

Be strong & faithful because Christ was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, October 22, 2012

Called of God To Declare HIS Word Among HIS People!!

Hello everyone!

We haven't had much success this week, but we have met a few new people & hope to have some progress with them!  What's funny is 2 of our investigators from the area that just got split from us are set for baptism on 10/27 (April) & in November (Mike, whose family moved into the ward a little before transfers).  Sis. Felagai & I are super excited & the best part is that we're still close enough to go to the baptisms!  The other Sisters are so lucky to come into an area & have people who are super ready to be baptized soon after!

This week we'll try different ways of finding more people who are ready to have Christ's gospel in their lives--we'll see how it goes!

One more thing--there are a lot of new pictures on the mission blog!  http://nevadarenomission.blogspot.com :D  Elder Santillan was one of the 11 that went home--we'll miss him & we wish him the best!

Seeing all those new missionaries makes me so excited, and it makes me remember how true this gospel is and how we have been truly called of God to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life!

Love you all--be faithful & strong because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pray Always For HIS Help!

Hi everyone!

Crazy story:  on 9/30, I saw 3 guys from a friend's YSA ward back home in the Branch I serve in!  Then yesterday, I saw one more from the same ward in the Ward I'm serving in!  It was funny to run into people from Mesa all the way out here in these small town Nevada places :)

Transfers were on Wednesday & we welcomed Sisters Anderson & Boots and Elder Clunas to our District!  The Sisters took over a Ward of ours, so we spent the whole day showing them the area, introducing them to Melissa & April, and escorting them to their home--it was a very fulfilling day!

Having only one Ward & one Branch is so helpful--not only does the other Ward have their own full-time missionaries 24/7, we get to focus more on these two units.  So excited to see the work progress!

We have been visiting a Sister who is gradually making progress in coming back to church & improving her life--there have been ups & downs, but it is AMAZING seeing how far she has come in the past 3 months!  I truly testify that when we determine to be with God & do our best to follow His Son, & pray always for His help, we will be strengthened in our efforts to do so & our faith & testimonies will be strengthened as well!!!

I look forward to what this transfer brings, & hope that you are all doing well!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference!

Hi all!

A couple crazy announcements:

1) as of Saturday, the minimum missionary age has been changed to 18 for Elders, 19 for Sisters!  So exciting!  Can't wait to have those extra helps in the field!

2) Sister Felagai & I are still together for this transfer & covering part of our area--one ward of ours will be covered by a new set of Sisters--that makes 6 Elders & 4 Sisters in our District, woohoo!

3) Elder Siddoway, one of our Zone Leaders, has been called as the new Assistant to the President!!  (knew it would happen, haha :) )  The current Assistants are Elders Marks, Sparks, & Sohkanen, & the first two go home tomorrow!  I can't believe those 3 months have flown by already!  Elders Marks & Sparks were such awesome examples & I wish them the best as they move on in their lives!  Elder Siddoway is going to be a wonderful Assistant--he is very focused, humble, obedient, and has such a strong testimony.  We'll miss him a lot, but at least we get to see him at Zone Conferences.

4) Elders Watson & Fillmore's area is being placed in a different Zone, so we don't get to have them in our District anymore :(  but congrats to Elder Watson on becoming a District Leader in their new District!  We'll miss them too--hope to see them another time!

5) We get 25 new missionaries tomorrow!  21 Elders & 4 Sisters!

6) Tucson temple was announced!  Yay for AZ!!

I forgot to mention last week that we had a Sister Missionary Conference last Friday--it was so AWESOME!!!  I loved seeing all the other Sisters, especially Sisters Frost, Moore, Overson, Nunn, & it was a great opportunity to meet the new Sisters that came in August!  I loved the things that were shared & I look forward to the next one in March!

We watched General Conference with the Elders at the Stake Center & with Melissa at her house.  I loved the Saturday Morning session so much!!  If you haven't watched General Conference, stop reading this & go to lds.org right now!

Among my favorite talks were from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Dallin H. Oaks, Jeffrey R. Holland, Shayne M. Bowen, & Russell M. Nelson (if you watch Elder Nelson's talk, you'll know why, haha)

This Conference has been amazing--everything that was spoken about is what everyone needs to hear right now.  Common topics were time, family, the Atonement, and what matters most.  Especially pay attention to things that are mentioned more than once--those things aren't repeated just for the sake of saying it.

I would love to elaborate &/or add quotes like my dear younger Elder brother has, but the time is far spent for me to email today, so I encourage ALL of you to watch General Conference!  Please :)  I promise that if you do, you will find a talk that speaks to YOU, that has guidance for your life, that will help you if you will listen to & heed the words of the Prophet, Apostles, & other Church leaders.

Until next week!  Love ya, & so do Jesus & Heavenly Father!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Sister Missionary Conference
We began our fun day with breakfast!  There were lots of 
cooks in the kitchen and we enjoyed every minute of it!
As Sisters in Zion We'll All Work Together!
Lunch at Dickey's
Smile Sisters!

The sisters can't get enough of each other!

Monday, October 1, 2012

General Conference is coming up!

Hi all!

Hope you're doing awesome!

I can't believe it's October already!

This week has been one of our less-fantastic ones; different days left us with less time than usual for different reasons.  Yay for a new week!!

Transfers are going to be on the 9th & 10th, and I really hope that I'll get to stay in some part of our area.  The people here are so great, I love working with them, and I really want to see this area grow!!

We have investigators that are progressing, and others that aren't as much.  I would be bummed to let go of any of them, but there comes a point when we need to let them take more initiative on keeping commitments & moving forward.

General Conference is coming up!  I'm so excited to hear from the Prophet & the Apostles this coming Saturday & Sunday!  Check it out at lds.org!  Chances are a question on your mind will be answered by something someone says in those 2 days.  Also, the Women's Conference is already on the site--the speakers shared some wonderful talks regarding the Atonement :)

That's about it for now, take care and be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, September 24, 2012

"CHOOSE The Right!!"

Hi Everyone!

This week has been pretty good--people are coming to church, we have a new investigator, Annie, & we have been told about a teenage girl who wants to be baptized ASAP!  Talk about miracles!  With Annie, we taught the 1st lesson & will keep teaching her each week.  Can't wait to meet the girl, who I will call Allie.  The work has been getting a little better--I hope that we'll have this whole area busy & ready for next transfer!  Transfers are on Oct. 9th & 10th, and who knows what could happen--I'm sure the area will split, so Sis Felagai & I could be split up, or we might be kept together in one part of our area.  We'll see!

We had to change Melissa & April's baptism dates because we need a little more time to work with them through the lessons, but they are both doing great!  I hope to be close to their area next transfer, because that's when their dates will need to be.

Something awesome from this week was a lesson in church about sacrifice, the main point being "to be a living sacrifice."  Being a living sacrifice means several things: to be giving of yourself, to change the way you live, to give something up for something greater, etc.  But a very good point that the teacher brought up is that it all comes down to CHOICE.  What we are & what we do is all based on the choices we make in our lives.  If we are a living sacrifice, that means we CHOOSE to follow Christ and we CHOOSE to do the things Heavenly Father would have us do, and we CHOOSE to give our time, efforts, and desires to Him.  So with that, I would like for each of you to ask yourselves what choices you are going to make right here, right now.  Will you choose to be better today than you were yesterday?  Will you choose to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him"?

I hope that all of you are doing well in all areas of your lives.  Always remember that you have a Father in Heaven who loves you very much & He only wants to bless you & help you, and He can when you willingly follow the Savior's example.  I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, September 17, 2012

Temples - The House of The Lord

Hi All!!

Well, this past week wasn't quite as productive as we would've hoped.  But!  The work has been pretty good in supporting & strengthening members who haven't been active for a while.  We hope to find more nonmembers to teach this week!

I am so excited for my cousin Michan & her soon-to-be hubby Harrison to be sealed for time and all eternity this Friday!!!  I wish I could tell everyone how wonderful the temples are!!!  The temple is such a place of peace & comfort, and so sacred too!  I hope many people will have the opportunity to see open houses of temples & get a glimpse of how special they are!  :)

Sorry this one is short!  Hope all is well with you!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, September 10, 2012

"I'm Here To Be Sister San Diego!!"

Hey Everyone!!

This week, a few people we've been visiting & teaching made it to church yesterday!  I was so happy :)  We have 2 investigators that are set for baptism on the 29th!  I won't be using people's actual names from this point forward, so I will call them Melissa & April.  Melissa is a high schooler who has been so awesome in her determination to live the gospel!  April is a young girl who is SO SMART!  She has a great understanding of what we've taught her so far & she asks awesome questions!  AND she isn't shy to pray!  I LOVE TEACHING KIDS!!!!!

A couple days ago, I said something that really made me think about it: "I'm not here to be Heather San Diego--t."  It partly stemmed from our Zone Meeting & a meeting with President before that.  The main theme was being a disciple of Christ & our commission as missionaries.  We, as Missionaries, are called to be Representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We stand in His place & are here to serve others as He would serve them, do the things He would do, and say the things He would say.  We are here to be dignified servants of the Lord and to act in a manner better than how we were before our missions.  So that is what I meant when I said that, and it has served as a good reminder to me of what I am here for & how I should be each day.

There are a few more awesome insights I would love to share, but I have to run!

Hope things are well on the homefront--take care!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Am A Disciple of Jesus Christ!

Hi all! 

Hope you had a great Labor Day!

This week has been a pretty good one; on Wednesday we had transfers & said bye to Sister Frost, our District Leader Elder Hall, Elder Santillan, & Elder Wiley.  I miss them so much!!!  But! The work must go on! :)  I know they will do awesome in their new areas!  As they got in the transfer van, we got the new missionaries to our zone--3 greenies (Elders Martindale, Cruz, & Fillmore), our new District Leader, Elder Sanft, & another Elder from a different zone, Elder Altamirano.  Now our District has 5 companionships, 4 of which are training!  We had our first District Meeting this morning & Elder Sanft did really well!

After transfers, Sister Felagai & I had an awesome day of proselyting!  Every person we intended to meet & teach that day was home!!  We loved it!  But it was still a little "odd" without Sister Frost around, as she would say, haha.

The rest of the week was ok--lots of meeting people, & a couple days of doing service.  On Sunday, only one of our investigators had been in church which makes me a little sad, but we'll keep teaching & encouraging all of them--all I want is for them to feel the Spirit & more peace in their lives, & the simple "Primary answers" are the way to do it: prayer, scripture study, & going to Church, as well as living the gospel of Jesus Christ!  I hope all of you at home keep those as a constant in your lives.

One more thing--I love 3 Nephi 5:13 ; it is kind of our mission motto: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

Take care!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

p.s. to family--so Elder Martindale is from Utah, but he lived in San Tan 1st ward for the past 2 years!  and Elder Sanft is from Laie & he knows Willie!!  small world, huh? :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Every Member A Missionary!

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow & Wednesday are transfer days!  Transfers are when missionaries get moved around or their areas change.  Sister Frost is getting transferred to Lake Tahoe & she gets to train a new missionary!  Pretty exciting :)  A few others in our District are also getting transferred--life in our District will be interesting without them.  Sister Felagai & I are staying together (I'm still in training) and we still have the same area! :)  We'll miss having Hermana Frost around, but we know that she'll be an awesome missionary out there.

This week hasn't been quite as fruitful as we would've hoped, but with the changes that have happened, I'm determined to do my best to help our companionship do way better this transfer!  We don't have any solid investigators yet, but people are open & welcoming, so that is a definite plus.  We also just need to work on being on the ball with making more appointments & involving members more--members help SO, SO much, you have no idea!! (unless you served a mission).  I hope all of you back home will do something (and be willing!) to help the missionaries in doing the work.  Yes, we as missionaries do this full time, but all of us as members have the responsibility of sharing the joy of living the gospel with others instead of just keeping it to ourselves.  I'll step down from my soap box now, haha.

I love the members here!  I can't wait to see how this transfer goes!  I love you all and hope your lives are great, if not awesome!  Have a righteous week!

Be faithful & strong because He was!

~Sister San Diego

p.s.--I love letters ;)  I will write replies as quickly as possible!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Have Faith And Be Obedient!

Hi everyone!

Sorry about last week, ran out of time

These past 2 weeks have been good--we have 8 investigators total now!  Can't wait to see how they progress!   We finally have a whiteboard for planning, YES!!  We have met with many members of our wards who aren't very active, and I hope to be able to help them feel the love of their Heavenly Father & a desire to "ten fe, y se obediente" as mi hermano would say :)   Some of the non-members we've met have been AMAZING & we have had awesome discussions with them on different gospel topics--I can't wait to see what this next week holds!

We had Zone Conference last week and it was great to hear from President Hermansen, Sister Hermansen, the Assistants, the Zone Leaders, & especially everyone's testimonies :)   I love being here & I love what we're doing!!   Next week is Transfers--I can't believe 6 weeks have almost passed already!   I hope we'll get to stay in this area, but I'll just have to wait until Sunday to find out!

Congratulations to Laurynn Pettitt (now Burns) & her new husband!
Congratulations to Jason & Chrissy on finding out it's a girl!
Can't believe Michan & Harrison get married next month already!  So excited!!!

Love you all & I hope only the best for you!

Be strong and faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Even the Sisters learn a thing or two about vehicle maintenance!
Time for Role-playing!  We learn from each other and the spirit is with us.

The Elko Zone Conference
August 15, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Garfield Would Love This Area!!

Hola mis amigos y familia!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my baby brother MICHAEL!!! Hope you had a great day!!

Random bits: 1) I've never had lasagna so often, and I LOVE it!!  2) my skin has become pretty brown--I have tan lines from my shoes!

This week has been pretty busy; Melayna is going to be baptized in 2-3 weeks & she is progressing awesomely!  Beth has been out of town for the most part, so we haven't met with her much, but we'll continue meeting with her this week.  Other than that, about half of the people we've tried to meet or contact either weren't home or didn't answer the door (bummer), but! the other half have been home & were willing to talk to us, yay!  We continue to receive lots of referrals, so we always have quite a bit of work to do!  We haven't had any new investigators yet, it's a matter of meeting them when they're at home.  Hopefully we'll meet them this week :)  We've met with some families in the wards we cover, and we've had some awesome experiences sharing our testimonies with them--I love when the Spirit is strongly present :)

That's the summary of my week--hope yours has been excellent!  Take care!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

Love you all!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, July 30, 2012

Road Trip To Reno!

Hi yall! (as Elder Moyle, one of my Zone Leaders, would say--he's from Arkansas :) )

This week has been somewhat eventful--last week on P-Day we did our shopping, went to dinner, & visited a few people. 

Tuesday, we had our weekly District meeting; the other Elders in the District are Elders Siddoway, Moyle, Hall, Santillan, Watson, & Wiley.  We're the only Sisters, and I'm the only greenie (new missionary).  Tuesday was also Elder Siddoway's birthday, & Elder Moyle's birthday was the previous Saturday, so we made a cake for them & had it after our meeting.  We met with Melayna, an investigator in one of the Wards.  Her dad is a member & she wants to be baptized--she knows that going to church, praying, & living the gospel are important and she sets a great example by encouraging her dad to do so.  Can't wait to help her progress toward baptism!  We also met Sean & Beth--Sean is a member & Beth, his wife, is not a member but expressed a desire to be baptized.  We're excited to meet with her more & teach her :)

Wednesday, we split up and Sis. Frost went with a ward member to one area while Sis. Felagai & I went with another member to a different area.  We met several people in that area, mainly ward members. 

Thursday we tried contacting people, but none of them were home.  Later that afternoon, we went on a road trip to Reno/Sparks!!  There was a Leadership Training on Friday, so everyone who is a Zone Leader, District Leader, or trainer had to go and Sis. Frost & I got to go with my trainer, Sis. Felagai & our Leaders on the trip!  We stayed with Sis. Gifford & her trainer overnight and during the leadership meeting on Friday, Sis. Frost, Sis. Overson, & I went tracting with Sis. Nunn in her area (3 greenies & Sis. Frost, haha).  We met a couple people that Sis. Nunn & her companion are teaching, one of them being Steve.  Steve is a funny, sweet guy--he is a member who hadn't been to church since he was 9.  He suffered a neurological disease a few years ago that paralyzed him & damaged his memory a little bit.  At that point, he started praying a lot more for help & strength in his recovery and decided to change his life for the better.  He gradually recovered & walked again, and he loves learning as much as he can about the gospel :)  He has this hope & brightness about him and I know it is a result of him following our Savior--I can't wait to help others experience that awesome change in their lives!!! 

Saturday, we were back home & tried contacting as many people as we could--most weren't home or didn't answer the door, but we did get to visit with the Ray & Howes families and invite them to church.  Their families are awesome :)

Sunday, we did another split--I went with Sis. Frost while Sis. Felagai went with another ward member.  We tried finding & meeting more people, but most still weren't home.  But that's ok!  We have this week to try contacting all those people again :D

That's about it for now--hope all is well with every one of you!

Be strong & faithful because He was!  Take care!

~Sister San Diego

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Week In The Field!!!!

Hi all!

This has been a pretty crazy week--last week on P-Day (Tuesday), the day was spent preparing for our departure to Reno: laundry, packing, saying goodbyes, etc.  Early Wednesday morning, we reported to the MTC Travel Office at 5am & got on a bus with several other missionaries to go to SLC airport.  Upon arriving, our group of 16 Reno missionaries made our way through the airport & got to make some calls to our families before boarding our plane. :) (that plane was the tiniest one I've ever been on!  The ceiling was barely 6 feet high!)

At the Reno airport, we were greeted by President & Sister Hermansen, my Mission President & "Mission Mom", along with the President's assistants, Elder Sparks & Elder Marks (I laugh every time I say their names--what's funnier is the Mission Office is in a place called Sparks).  We all went to the mission home, ate breakfast, took pictures, & went to the Mission Office to start training.  After training, we met our new companions/trainers; it was sad to say bye to everyone from the MTC group (I'll miss Sister Moore!!!), but at the same time exciting for all of us to start our work out in the mission field!  My new companion is Sister Felagai from Samoa (that is pronounced feh-LONG-hi).  We were assigned to a Zone in Eastern Nevada, so we had to stay the night in Reno with a few other Sisters, then we made the long journey out here the next morning.

Thursday, we arrived & met our District & Zone Leaders.  We also met our other companion, Hermana Frost from Reno.  We'll be a trio for some time, which works because we have a very large area to cover.  Funny story: Sis. Felagai was serving in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission & Sis. Frost was serving in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission before the areas they were in got changed to be part of the Reno Mission.  So we have 3 Sisters with calls to 3 different missions, and we have name tags in 3 different languages (Samoan, Spanish, & English).  We met Bro. Mitchell, the ward mission leader from one of our wards (we are assigned to 2 wards and 1 branch, and it's also a new area, so we get to start mostly from scratch!).  He & his sister helped us take our luggage to our house, & they took us to meet some members of the ward (Curtises, Jacobsens, Sis. Jones).  We soon found out that we have a lot of work to do here, and it is exciting!

Friday, we met more ward members (Cordovas, Bro. Howes) & got to know them.  I am loving these people already!

Saturday, we had a training meeting for the 3 of us in our Zone who are brand new (me, Elder Linn, & Elder Sayeed). Everyone else from the MTC met in Carson City; we're too far away..sad!  We met the Stake President, President Shumway--I can tell he is a very awesome man of God & we're excited to work with him!  After training, we all had lunch at Port of Subs, then our Zone Leaders guided my companionship around town to show us where some members of the other ward live.  We spent the rest of the afternoon meeting those members (Braithwaites, Bro. Kelly, Fullertons, Browns).  We had dinner back in our home town with the Winegar family, who are awesome & a fun family.  We met the Prices & Knights later that evening.

Sunday, we split up--Sis. Felagai & I attended the 2 wards, while Sis. Frost went with a Sister from the ward to go to the branch.  We met several more people from both wards and also the Rays family, & had dinner with Sister Gunnels, a sweet widow.

Sum up of the week: we've met a LOT of members who are so excited to have Sister Missionaries in the area again (and missionaries in general), and they are excited to work with us!  D&C 4:1 couldn't be more right for the Nevada Reno Mission and this area!!! Can't wait to see what this week brings!

Fun part of the week--I've been sick ALL week!  I had a cough on Saturday 7/14 which developed into a cough/cold/sinus infection over the following days.  On Wednesday I asked the Elders from my MTC District to give me a blessing; that, plus full nights of sleep after getting settled in our home, really helped & I am almost 100% over the remaining cough :)  Priesthood blessings are awesome and I am so grateful for those who live worthily to hold the priesthood!

Til next Monday, take care!  Love you all!

Be strong & faithful because He was!

~Sister San Diego

Arriving at Reno Airport
Happy & Excited!!
Let's kick things off!!
Group Shot with the APs
Heading to the van
Loading up...smile Sis. San Diego!
The New Sisters
Sisters @ the Mission Home
The first new missionaries to the Nevada Reno Mission!
First meal in the field
President & Sister Hermansen
My Poly-Sista & Trainer - Sister Felagai
Heading out to our first area with our trainers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"The Spirit Filled The Room!"

Well, it's my last P-Day and my last day at the MTC!!!  SO exciting, yet so sad at the same time!  I've loved my experience here at the MTC--when I was set apart as a missionary, it was mentioned that I would love the MTC so much that I would never want to leave.  Boy was that right, haha!  I haven't completed my last two emails, so I'm going to cram & condense as much as I can into this one!

first week:
-got several DearElder letters from mom, dad, & my friend Aimee--Aimee, thank you so much, I love you, & I am so sorry I haven't written you back yet!!!
-met my District!!  Did I mention how much I LOVE them all?!?!?!
-met my teachers, Bro. Christensen, Bro. Pickett, & Bro. Hainsworth (no, Bro. Pickett is not related to the Picketts from Page Ward.  his family is from Washington) ; they are so awesome and have helped us so much in learning how to study & teach with the Spirit!  It's a little funny & weird calling them Brother [So-&-So], considering they're my age, haha.  Michael Oliver might know Bro. Nate Hainsworth--he served in the same mission & had one of the same companions as Mike
-Met President Hermansen, my Mission President, and other missionaries going to Reno: Elders Linn (from Texas), Bailey (from Spokane), Schembri (from Oregon), & Clark (from Georgia), and Sisters Overson (from Gilbert) & Nunn (from Louisiana).  Also met the 2 Visitors Center Sisters in their District: Sisters Gillespie & Butters.  Their whole District is so funny :)
-met our Zone Leaders, Elder Coleman of Mesa & Elder Broberg of San Diego (the most diligent, mature, studious, obedient, humble, sweet, awesome pair of 19-year olds I've ever met.  Or at least they seem that way, haha.  they're going to be Doctors someday, go figure :) ), and the 4 Sisters in their District--Sisters Hunt, Baantjer (she has the same birthday as me!), Hickman, & Hutcheson.  They are going to Indonesia :)
-met District F, another District in our Zone--they are the ones going to Pocatello & Ogden.  Pocatello: Elders Vigil, Clay, Montes, & Edwards; Ogden: Elders Henderson, Quain, Costello, & Totten.  They were a few doors down from us & were very welcoming :)
-met Branch Presidency :)
-Elder Horne called as District Leader (funny because I felt like it would posssibly be him--he seemed like a leader & example before he was assigned)
-first Sunday here--so nice to have a day to rest :)  everyone here says to "make it to Sunday" despite how overwhelming it can be, and then the rest of the time will fly.  So true!  Loved the temple walk around Provo Temple
-met Scott & Damien, our first investigators.  Both are awesome & have been through so much in their lives; both committed to baptism & I am so proud of them relying on our Savior to overcome their struggles :D
-met & taught Bro. Smith & had an awesome experience with teaching him
-Tuesday Devotional w/ Elder Kikuchi of the 70

second week:
--met the new District in our Zone, and one of the Elders is Elder Figgins from Page Ward!  Their classroom is next door to ours :)
-District F took off for their missions
-Independence Day Celebration
-met Lawanna, another investigator; only got to meet with her twice, then she was out of town this last week.. :/

third week:
--taught a lady named MaryBeth, and I had the most powerful teaching experience EVER.  Sis. Moore & I were answering questions of hers concerning what makes the Church different, and the discussion led to us teaching about the First Vision.  As I told her Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision, the Spirit filled the room so strongly that I felt in every fiber of my being that what I was saying was true. I knew it, and I know that MaryBeth could also feel that it was true just as much as I did.  In her own words, she said she had the feeling of "This is important.  You need to listen to this."   I can't begin to describe how awesome it was to have that experience :)
-we had in-field orientation, cool experience :)
-met Jose & shared with him our testimonies
awesome Sunday Devotional with Jenny Oaks Baker
-Tuesday Devotional with Elder Steuer
-Elder Horne departed for South Carolina Monday morning--we'll miss him very much!
-Elder Cooper & his District left this morning

that's all I have for now!  take care, & I love you all!!

~Sister San Diego

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Be Faithful And Strong Because Christ Was!"

Hey all!

It's my second P-Day!! Pretty much my favorite day of the week other than Sunday, because it allows for time to catch up on writing letters & taking care of errands :)

This past week has been so busy & has flown so fast!!! I can't believe in a little over one week most of my district & I will be gone! Elder Horne leaves 2 days before us Reno missionaries since he is going to South Carolina, and Sister Stewart has to stay for another week because she will train for being a temple visitors center missionary...I wish we could take those two with us...I'll miss them so much!

Our friends from District F have left this morning to go to the Utah Ogden & Idaho Pocatello missions--those Elders were a hoot & we'll really feel their absence this week..! On the bright side, our district gets to host the new missionaries coming imnto the MTC tomorrow!!! So exciting! Hosting means we each get to help a missionary by giving them brief tour, guide them through the MTC, help them gather their class materials, & show them their room. I love service!

Update on teaching: Scott & Damien (two of Sister Moore & my investigators) have made awesome progress! Scott accepted the invitation to be baptized! I know that he can make this change in his life & be so much happier--I'm overjoyed for him! :) Damien is really feeling that learning the lessons is a step in the right direction for him; it is exciting watching them both progress because I know what knowing Christ's gospel can do for them! :D We will meet with both of them a couple more times this week.

Sis. Moore & I have also met with Lawanna, another investigator. We've had a bit of a hard time trying to know her needs through the Spirit's promptings...hopefully things will go better on Thursday when we meet with her again!

Fun stories: last Wednesday was Independence Day (Happy Independence Day, by the way!!) We had a celebration with music & a narration, along with a guest speaker. After that, we all got Magnum ice cream bars & watched the fireworks shooting from the BYU Stadium nearby! It was pretty awesome =D

I love this work & I love being a missionary! I love helping others come closer to our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ ^__^ I am so grateful for the opportunity & hope I can be an effective instrument in the Lord's hands in doing His work!

There is so much more I would like to tell you about, but I am again out of time!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed His church, and it is SO TRUE!!!

Love you much!

~Sister San Diego

P.S.--I have found a motto like my brother Elder San Diego! It is partly from a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland, with a bit of my own input. "Be faithful and strong because Christ was."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I LOVE THE MTC!!!!!

Hi, everyone!

Hope all is well back home & abroad!

First off, I just want to say: I LOVE THE MTC!!!!! I wish I could stay here, haha, but work needs to be done out in the mission field! I can't believe one week has flown by already! This has been such an awesome experience so far :)

Starting with my report date--at the airport, my parents & I met an Elder named Elder Cooper & his parents; we offered to give him a ride with my relatives from the airport to the MTC, & when we were picked up, my Uncle Clayton & Auntie Krissi asked where we wanted to eat. We were fine with Cafe Rio, but after a while Uncle Clayton suggested Red Lobster (it was so funny because when we got there I realized it was Wednesday & my family has a tradition of going to Red Lobster on Wednesday when my grandparents are in town from Hawaii, hahaha).

After arriving here at the MTC, I got situated & met my District, which consists of 8 missionaries: Elder Horne of Newbury Park, CA--South Carolina Columbia Mission, Elder Funk of Hansen, ID, Elder Chatterton of Pocatello, ID, & Elder Tobler of Little Rock, AR, all going to the Nevada Reno Mission, Sister Stewart of Santaquin, UT--San Francisco/Oakland Temple Visitors Center Mission, Sister Gifford of Columbus, OH, Sister Moore of Memphis, TN, & me, going to Nevada Reno Mission!!! I love my District so much & it is incredibly exciting to be with them & to learn together!

Sister Moore is my companion--I love her!! She is so sweet & we get along so well; lots of fun times :) 

Thursday, we met our Branch Presidency & Elder Horne was called as District Leader--he is an awesome example & leader!

Friday & Saturday, we met two investigators: Scott & Damian; I'll write more about them in a letter home...my time is running out!

There is so much more that happened this past week, but know that I am well & so happy here! gotta run! more to come later!

-- Sister San Diego

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Nevada Reno Mission Is Official!

Update from the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission Blog:

Today has been a historical day.

As of Sunday, July 1,2012 there is a Nevada Reno Mission.

President Black and I, along with President and Sister Neider of the Nevada Las Vegas Mission, went up north to welcome President and Sister Hermansen to Reno and to pass the baton on to them. There are 73 missionaries from the Las Vegas West Mission and 14 from the Las Vegas Mission that have been called to serve in the Reno Mission.

We are happy to see the missionary work move forward in the northern part of the state of Nevada and are excited for those missionaries who will be serving under their direction.

After spending only a few hours with them we love President and Sister Hermansen and know that the elders and sisters in the mission will love them also. Welcome to the Nevada Reno Mission!

Mission Office
The Hermansen's visiting with a few missionaries before 
walking in to the mission office. 
Welcome!
First things first....get the phones working!
Sisters Black, Hermansen, Neider sharing ideas.
The assistants.....Elder Marks and Elder Sparks
Office Couple .... Elder and Sister Lynn
President and Sister Black - Nevada Las Vegas West Mission
President and Sister Hermansen - Nevada Reno Mission
President and Sister Neider - Nevada Las Vegas Mission