Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Letter

Dear familia,
Well, it's officially been a week and a day since I came to the MTC. WOOHOO!! But, it's been a great time. When I showed up, I was slightly overwhelmed because they were making us go every which way, but once we got settled and into the swing of things, it was great. We've just been keeping hecka busy and all sorts of good things. Lots of great devotionals and talks.
I've got two companions, so I am in a trio! It's really fun. My companions are Hermana Lara Christensen and Hermana Rebecca Jo Pechin [said like Peach-in]. Hermana Christensen is from Highland and Hermana Pechin is from Orem/Logan. They're great and I just love them. We have a lot of fun together, although they aren't the girls that I would have put myself with. But we have a ton of fun together and they are great. And even though are personalities are different and I have to exercise my patience, it's great and I know that I'll be blessed and we're all together for a reason.

My district and my zone are AMAZING!!! I couldn't have asked for a better district or zone. My ZLs are great! Elder Hamilton is from San Jose and Elder Stevenson is from Austrailia. Needless to say, I enjoy talking to Elder Stevenson. He and I are good buddies! :-D But, it's all well and good. My district is awesome, too. My DL is Elder Davis and he's from Vegas. He does a really good job with us, as he's 26 and we're all between 19 and 21. But, it's awesome. My favorite elder in my district tested out and I'm sad about that because he's my comic relief and he and I are a lot alike, but it's okay. I still get to see him. And I have to send him a cup for his birthday...which isn't til August, so it's all well and good. But he's great.

So, my roommates are HILARIOUS!! Hermana Wolfgram is going to Washington, except she's going to Seattle. Hermana Veazy is going to California, and Hermana Passentino is going to Clint's mission - NY NY North. But they're so fun and I love going back to the dorms after the long day to get some laughs in. They just make me laugh so hard, I love it.
I actually did test out of my class on Tuesday. And I passed and they told me I should be in a more advanced class than I'm in. But they haven't talked to me yet. But I'm not sure if I want to go or not. I have a choice and I'm praying about it and I'm hoping I find an answer today in one of our two devotionals or something like that. I'm all down with where Heavenly Father wants me to go.

Dallin H. Oaks came to our devotional on Tuesday and it was excellent!! He and Sister Oaks are just so great. I love their personalities. They talked about the mantle of a missionary and it was just so awesome! We sang Called to Serve as our opening hymn, and I just felt the Spirit so much. It was so great! I just started crying and it was a testimony again to me that I'm where I'm supposed to be at and doing what I'm supposed to be doing.Oh, P.S. Sorry it took so long to email. Our P-days are on Thursdays and so we didn't get one last week and this week is kind of cut short because of Thanksgiving. So we really are getting the short end of the stick. Boo. But, it's all well and good. We're blessed for our obedience.
Everything here is great. I did laundry this morning and that took a little longer than I would have wanted. I'm also determined that I will come back with huge bags under my eyes because of all the waking up at 5:45 or 6:00 a.m. stuff I'm doing. And even though I go to bed when I'm supposed to, it just doesn't seem quite enough sleep. And I can't believe that I was staying up til midnight and getting up at 6 when I was at home, getting ready to go to work. Maybe it's because I wasn't always on the go or I could take a nap? I don't know. It's okay though, because we'll be alright. It's the Lord's work and we're just the instruments in His hands. I only hope that I can do all that He asks of me and that I can have the suffiecient knowledge when I leave here. Technically, this is my second week in. They go by weeks on Sundays and not Wednesdays. So even though I've only been here for a week, according to the MTC, I've been here for 2. I can't believe that, though. It's nuts!!!
I love how small of a world it is here. I've seen Bradley Duncan all the time. He's so funny. And I think it's hilarious that I see him here. He's going to Canada Winnepeg mission. Oh and yes, he says hi to the family. Haha. Even though I'm sure you're just rolling your eyes, Mom, and saying something to the effect of 'why does he say hi? He doesn't even talk to us'. Anyways, just a formality I guess.
So, we have gym class every week and it's great. I play volleyball every single day and I love it. When I first started playing, I met this Elder named Elder Stone and he's from Burley. And he knows Lance and Liz. Another Hermana in my zone knows Liz, too. It's so funny. I just love all these little connections I'm making with everyone. Anyways, back to volleyball. So I play volleyball and I usually play on the newbie's court because it's not as intense as all the kids jump serving and what not on the other court. Anyways, so I was playing on the good court on Tuesday because the other court hadn't started up and these Tongan and Samoan elders come up to me and I'm scared. Because they're huge and I'm just this little white girl. Anyways, they were like 'Hey Hermana, you're so good.' I was just like, oh thanks. And then yesterday, they came up to me and were like Hermana, are you going to play with us today? I was like heck yes!!! So, I was the only girl on the court and I did awesome! They were so great! And so now they all come and talk to me all the time. It's so funny.
On Sunday, we get to take temple walks, which we get to leave campus and go on a walk up to the temple. Well, I was taking pictures with my coordinating sisters [they're like Zone Leaders for the girls] and all these Tongan missionaries came up to us - at least 8 of them and were just like PICTURES WITH THE AMERICAN GIRLS!!! It was hilarious. I loved it. I'll send pictures when I actually get a chance to make some. But, it's just great. I love it here!
Oh, so I have this Elder in my district named Elder Ballard and he's SO FUNNY! I just love him. I'm seriously going to shrink him down, and carry him in my pocket everywhere I go for the rest of my life. He's so funny, though. I have a picture with him to of me hitting him with a stick. It's great. But, he does say Hi Heidi. See? He's just so cute.
So, funny story. My coordinating sister, Hermana Hymas [haha, yes, what a last name!] is from South Jordan and graduated the same year that Brett did. And she knows him. And it's totally funny. And then another Elder in my district, Elder Meldrum, knows Blake. It's crazy. Oh speaking of which, can you send me his address? I forgot to get it when I left and I really want to write Brett a letter.
So, I have 7 minutes left and I've run out of things to say. So I'll tell you another story. So, my comps and I were walking back from lunch yesterday and it's been really hard for me to get out of the habit of saying 'y tu' after someone asks me how I'm doing. The tu form in Spanish is you, but it's informal and as missionaries, we're going to be using the usted form instead of the tu form. Anyways, so we're walking back to class and this elder asks me how I'm doing. I told him I was good and so the first time since I've been here, I remember to say 'y usted' and the elder I was passing by. So he doesn't say anything and then I hear him yell 'it's "y tu"' And I just yelled back to him 'You don't know me! It's y usted!' But it was really funny. Guess you had to be there.
Well, my time is winding down and we've got a devotional to go to. But I love you all. I'm so excited to be here and to do this work! It's such a great work and I wish more people would take advantage of the great opportunity that we as members have to be missionaries. It's so important to be a member missionary and have referrals because it's from every 2 referrals, 1 of them gets baptized. Those are the statistics. And don't we all want our brothers and sisters to know of this gospel and have everlasting happiness that only our Heavenly Father can bring? I SURE DO! But, I know this gospel is true with all my heart and I'm so excited to give my all to Heavenly Father. He sure does love us so much and blesses our lives every single day! I love this church and my full time calling as a missionary of the Lord. I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you soon!!!! :-D is such a great tool to use! Yo se que Jose Smith fue un profeta y Thomas S. Monson es un profeta, hoy. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Hermana Pleshek

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Letter from MTC

Hola Madre,
Yo necessito...haha. I need the dates of when I got my Hep A shots. If you don't send those, I'll have to pay $59.00 for one and I would need two. Personally, I am NOT down with paying $120 for shots. She never had Hep A shots so she's out of luck there.

Things are going great here! I'm loving it! Even though it is the 2nd day. My comps are sweet! I'm in a trio--it's way cool. My comp, Hermana Christensen is from Highland and Hermana Pechin is from Orem. Both awesome! My district is cool too. Funny, funny Elders. My Spanish is coming along great! I can hear my testimony in Spanish and a lot is coming back to me.

Despite the crazy rules here, things are great! I've only got lost a couple times! :) We had newe missionary orientation yesterday and the whole MTC presidency talked to us! Awesome! Actually Elizabeth Smart went in the same day as me! And Bradley Duncan too.

I've felt the Spirit here so strong! We had some mock teaching experiences as a group of new missionaries and it was so cool. Also, while I was bearing my testimony in Spanish, I felt it so strong. I love this place. They said most likely we will have our P-days on Thursday.

Well, I've go to finish this becasue class will start soon and I've got to get this out.

Sammi bears her testimony in Spanish and I can only tell you that she knows Jesus Christ lives. Joseph Smith was a prophet and Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. She says the Book of Mormon is true and translated through Joseph Smith. It is exactly what I, as her mom was hoping to hear.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

MTC address

Here is the address to write to Sammi at the MTC.

Samantha Sue Pleshek

MTC Mailbox # 349

WA-KENN 0111

2005 N 900 E

Provo, UT 84604-1793

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christlike Attritbutes

I just wanted to post my talk - sheerly for my own personal journaling stuff that will be happening on here. It's on chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel and if you want to read it, that's fine. There are things in there that I talked about that weren't written down, but here's the general idea.

I got asked to talk on chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel which is all about developing Christlike attributes. As I’ve been studying this chapter, three things have stuck out in my mind. The first thing is that Christlike attributes are gifts from God. And in order to receive them, we must use our agency wisely. We have to:
1. Ask Heavenly Father to help us develop these attributes
2. Recognize our weaknesses
3. Be willing and anxious to improve ourselves
The second thought that impressed me is that because of the Restoration, we can become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And the third is that who we are is as important as what we do. That’s the one point that hit me the most. Who we are is as important as what we do. Actions speak louder that words and so I asked myself if I was showing my co-workers, my family, the Young Women in my ward that I help teach, and everyone around me that I have these attributes. Preach My Gospel mentions 10 attributes of Christ that are important. They are faith, hope, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience. I just want to touch on a few of these attributes today that have given me experience in my life.
The minute I got this assignment, I thought of Bishop Burton’s talk “Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts” from the Sunday morning session of this last General Conference. He mentioned many “-ity” words that to me are most definitely Christlike characteristics. He says: “Virtuous traits form the foundation of a Christian life and are the outward manifestation of the inner man. The spelling in English of many individual virtues concludes with the letters ity: integrity, humility, charity, spirituality, accountability, civility, fidelity, and the list goes on and on. Relying on literary license, I refer to the virtues ending in ity as the “ity” virtues. “Ity” is a suffix that means quality, state, or degree of being.” Preach My Gospel says that “virtuous people are clean and pure spiritually. They live worthy of a temple recommend.” When I was 9, my parents got me this – I guess we’ll call it my mini temple recommend. It’s got the Salt Lake City temple on it and in the corner it says “Begin the Journey”. I’m not sure where this came from and I’m sure I only got it because of the pretty picture on the front. On the back it says: I, the undersigned, commit to:
-Uphold the Word of Wisdom at all times
-Keep myself morally clean and chaste
-Be honest with others and myself
-Provide frequent service to those in need
-Willingly obey the law of tithing
-Attend my church meetings and activities
-Strive to uphold all other commandments of God
-Gain forgiveness often by repentance through the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ
I signed this card as a future recommend holder and my mom signed as the witness. Now, I didn’t carry this mini temple recommend around with me. It got lost and found time after time in my room. I found it again the night after I had gotten my assignment to talk. I didn’t even know I still had it. And even though I hadn’t thought of it when I was 9, this future recommend was an example of virtue as well as the current temple recommend I carry with me today.
Other Christlike attributes that have impacted my life are those of charity and love. Moroni 7:47 says: “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” Matthew 22:36-39 states “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Charity and love go hand and hand. Jesus demonstrates that as He washes the disciples feet in John chapter 13. I was only a newborn when I had my first experience with love and charity. A lady in my ward had had a miscarriage shortly after I was born. My mom went over to her house to take her a meal and she left me in the car, not knowing if a baby would be exactly what she would want to see. After bringing the meal in, the woman asked where I was. My mom told her that I was out in the car and she was asked to bring me in. After holding me for an hours and hours, she handed me back to my mom and said that was exactly what she needed. To this day, this woman and I share a very special bond and friendship. I’ve learned from her example charity and love. I’ve learned how to be a better person and the value of someone. I’ve learned the pure love of Christ through her. She has and always will have a special place in my heart.

One of my favorite stories in the whole Book of Mormon is about Helaman and the Strippling Warriors. The 2000 young men that were part of Helaman’s army were so obedient that it saved their lives when they went to battle. Not only were they obedient to what they had been taught by their mothers, but by what their captain and Heavenly Father directed. I’ve learned obedience is a necessary aspect to receiving personal revelation. When I was in Idaho in January, I was all signed up for school. I had my classes set and was hoping my financial aid would come through for me. As I was checking into my apartment, my cousins came up with the great idea that instead of living in Rexburg, I should take a break from school, move to Idaho Falls to work and save up money. I thought that I wasn’t going to get my financial aid, so this sounded like a pretty good idea to me – especially since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go to school for. I had to decide fast since I had a certain time period to back out of my contract. My cousin and I had hammered out all the details and so I called my parents to get an opinion. My mom told me that I could do what I want, but that I should ultimately pray and fast that Sunday to see what was right. I had every intention of moving to Idaho Falls until that Sunday. I felt that I wouldn’t spiritually grow in Idaho Falls and that I should stay in Rexburg. I ended up staying and I’m glad I did because it was in Rexburg where I first got the idea and impression that I wanted to go on a mission.
My last and final attribute I want to talk about is knowledge. We’re always told that knowledge is the only thing we get to take with us into the next life. And not just knowledge of the scriptures and the gospel, but secular knowledge. The things we learn at home and in school. I learned at home that even when Dad does it, you should not stick your fingers in the blender because they will get cut and bleed. A lot. I learned that when I was about 8 or 9. I learned that Mom will find out when you and your sister color your little brother. I also learned Mom’s are tricky and will find out the things the things you do when you know that she wouldn’t like it or probably wouldn’t approve of. And thanks to Elder Neil Anderson’s talk in the October 2008 Conference, I learned that I know enough. I know enough to be a missionary and thanks to the MTC, I’ll be able to learn even more! Elder Anderson talks about when he was a young guy and was embarking on his mission adventure. He says: “I felt very inadequate and unprepared. I remember praying, “Heavenly Father, how can I serve a mission when I know so little?” I believed in the Church, but I felt my spiritual knowledge was very limited. As I prayed, the feeling came: “You don’t know everything, but you know enough!” That reassurance gave me the courage to take the next step into the mission field.” There have been times during the last month where I’ve felt like Elder Anderson – inadequate and unprepared. I’ve felt discouraged and sadness, but the Lord knows exactly how I feel and what I need. He’s sent those people into my life to help me overcome those feelings that Satan would have me feel. He’s inspired my friends to tell me things that I need to hear. He’s sent the Spirit to comfort me. And since fear and faith cannot co-exist together, it’s the faith I have in my Father in Heaven that got me through those trials and will get my through my future trials.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This week has been full of lasts for me. I just worked my last day at the Fiber and tomorrow is my last day at Old Navy. And as I'm going through all these lasts, I can't help but think about how I'm spending my 'last days'. I'm not doing anything too spectacular. Monday, I got a flu shot and went and saw my cousin Lauren and their new cat, Ike. I also went and watched Andrew play basketball. Tuesday I worked, took a nap, watched 2 hours of the Tyra show, and watched the Biggest Loser. I also fell asleep talking to Matt. Today, I worked at the Fiber, spent some time with my niece and nephew and watched ANTM with my sister. I work tomorrow and get my swine flu shot on Friday. I'm swimming with my family on Saturday and going on a date with Clare. I'm sure that most of the other time I spend this week will just be like any other week at home. 18 months is a long time, but I'm not dying by any means, so I guess right now, it isn't a goodbye. It's a see ya later. I'm excited for this new, hard, crazy experience I have ahead of me. I'm scared, yes. But I know this is something I can do. And I have every confidence that I'll be blessed extremely by this service. I guess at this point I'm concerned with what I'm going to pack, what the last movie I'm going to watch at home will be, and how on earth am I going to give up my phone?!