Tuesday, February 23, 2010

23 Feb 2010


Being a missionary is wearing me out. I've decided that I want to take the phrase that my mission president and his wife always say - they should take you home on a stretcher. I want to take that literally cause it's so true. We need to put all our efforts into this work. Otherwise, what the heck are we doing out here?

Oh the elders. I just love Elders. They're funny guys. But yeah, we've had all sorts of training and stuff on less actives. But I'm kind of torn between that, I guess. In the MTC, we were reading about how it's our job to find the new people and not concentrate on those less actives and stuff because they weren't 'our job'. And I just figure, you're right, I need to find those people who are looking for it, but at the same time, our job is to 'Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo...' [Invite others to come unto Christ] and if helping those less actives be re-fellowshipped, then yes, by all means. But at the same time, now that I see both sides of the coin, it's got to be a member effort. Cause I see people here that went less active because the elders that they connected with left, so they went inactive because they didn't know anyone else and didn't have fellowshippers. It's just become a huge realization to me how much the members and missionaries work together. Just like in Doctrine and Convenants 11 says - the word of God is sharper than a 2 edged sword. Missionaries and members working together to bring souls unto Christ is that two edged sword.

We all know that when you start talking personal stuff, it's so hard not to have feelings. And that's why it's so important as missionaries we talk about things that aren't that personal. I mean, it's one thing to share a story, but it's another to share that stuff all the time and dig deep into your heart to do it. And that's the lesson I've learned. It's okay to be friends, but if you need help or advice about more worldly things - don't go to the missionaries. Well, that doesn't stop people. But it's so hard to stay focused when that isn't where your thoughts are at.

I'm excited to play this game with Tom when I get home. Sounds like fun. I'm sure I'll dominate with my sneak attacks and stuff. He won't even know what hit him. But I'm glad that they're keeping everything entertaining and the house is still noisy. That's what I like to hear. Mucho ruido!

That's amazing about Lacy! How cool! Let me know how that goes. And let me know Nick Hoehn's MTC address when you get it. I can't believe how many miracles the Lord blesses us with everyday. They really do happen every day and it's exciting to see!

This is a lame email, and I know it. But I have to go. But I love you all! Thank you for your support because without it, I wouldn't be able to do this, and I know that. I love my Heavenly Father and He helps me every day, all day. This work is amazing and it can't be done if everyone isn't involved. Shall we not go forth in so great a cause?

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pleshek

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mission Address

Hermana Samantha Pleshek
8656 W Gage Blvd Ste 205
Kennewick, WA 99336

This address will be used her entire mission.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

16 Feb 2010

Oh man, oh man. This week has been a crazy one. Time is so weird in the mission. It seems like forever ago since I emailed, but in reality, it hasd only been one week.

There's all sorts of fun stuff that's going on here. The work is going along well and I'd like to think that my Spanish is, too. But it can always improve and be better. We're teaching some interesting people, but that's to be expected. The work is great.

I guess the most exciting thing that happened this week was on Friday. We went to a cincineta [I wish I had a Spanish keyboard], and it's basically a sweet 16 for the Hispanics, but it happens when they're 15. It's their 'welcome to womanhood' party, basically. Anyways, since it was for a recent convert, our zone leaders told us that we should go for the daddy-daughter dance and then leave. This thing was in Pasco. Well, we got there at 6 which is when it was supposed to start, but according to HST [Hispanic standard time], it started basically at 7. So by the time it was 7:30, we decided that we were going to leave because we hadn't eaten anything since 11 that morning, so we decide to leave. We start heading for the door and everyone and their mother stops us to talk to us. Whether it was give us a referral, or just whatever. So, we don't get out of the place til 8. We get in our car and head out of there. While we're pulling out of the parking lot we see like 5 police cars and I go 'oh look, police cars' and nothing else is said of it. Now usually when we hear sirens or see lights, we slow down and check it out - in a Tom sort of way. But, with this we didn't. We just wanted food, I guess. So we get home later that night and Brother Chandia calls us and asks us where we were. [Brother Chandia works for the Pasco police] We told him we were at home and he asked if we were at that party and we said that we were, but we had left early. He told us that there had been an armed robbery at that building where the party was at at about 7:30 and they stopped the kids and stuff, but there was all sorts of concealed weapons and just, yeah...real dangerous stuff. That explains all the police cars, but then we were thinking about it and we were like HOLY CRAP. We were going to walk out that door at 7:30 and if it hadn't been for all those people wanting to talk to us, we would have been in a really bad situation. So, miracles happen every day and sometimes it takes a little bit to realize what they are, but they're definitely happening all the time.

The other exciting thing that happened to us yesterday was that we were over to a recent converts house to help with some stuff and do some service. She offered to make us breakfast and we were pretty excited because she lives in a clean house and won't feed us weird stuff. Except, she cooks with a lot of oil, as most of the people we see do. But I don't know how much oil went into Hna. Dunoskovic's and my system, but we were hit pretty hard and it didn't agree with us...AT ALL. We felt so terrible all day long - like there was a huge brick of crap sitting in our stomachs. We just didn't really eat anything at all the rest of the day. And it only got worse. At our dinner appointment, we didn't have huge appetites, cause, who would? But, Hna. Dunoskovic is allergic to beans, peas, etc. and we ate chili last night for dinner. And so even though she didn't eat the beans, the fact that the beans were sitting in there and had been cooking in there with it all day long - that didn't make her tummy feel better. I felt so bad cause I was like what can I do for you? I mean, the only option was to eat the chili. And not to eat wouldn't have been an option. Oh man, it's nuts.

It was Chinese New Year on Sunday and we went to a Chinese house to eat. It was so good. I'm not quite sure what I all ate, but whatever it was, it was good. Didn't agree with my system the next day, but it was good on Sunday.

I've definitely been humbled being on a mission. These people we teach here have nothing. I mean, we always had heat and lights and food and they're lucky if they have all three. I always had a job and they're lucky if they can find one. It's a really humbling experience to work with these people and try and help them. I'm not sure how well I do, but I try. We were at this investigator's house on Sunday and she wanted us to eat a donut. We were like oh can we take it home? But she insisted we ate it there. It doesn't help the experience when you're eating something she just cooked and you see cockroaches crawling all over the walls and stuff.

Other than that, things have been going good. I love Hna. Dunoskovic. We get along so great and we just have fun together. She's teaching me a lot and I appreciate it so much. I'm so glad that I get to stay with her for as long as I do. I'm probably going to 'kill' her. And I hope I do. She needs me as much as I need her. We're really good for each other. And I love it because we just get up in the morning or when we're planning and night and we just want to go kick butt. We just want to teach and it's fun to have the fire with someone. It's a lovely experience.

Well, I don't think there's anything else I have to say. Sounds like things are going well at home. WOOHOO. That's what I like to hear. We have all sorts of good stuff planned for this week and I'm catching up on my journal writing. I'm trying to be a better writer and I'm glad that these things are getting blogged so I don't forget some of the stuff. Because I'm just filling in bits and pieces of January in my journal. But it will get done.

When you see Alex, give him a hug for me and tell him that I love him. I was going to write him a letter today, but then I figured he'd probably be gone before I got it to him. Oh, tell Dad that I have a Penguins of Madagascar toy for him and I have a painting that I did today to send home. It's pretty good. But you just gotta buy a frame and shove it in there. It's pretty. It's got a temple on it. One of the ladies in the Cascade ward is a really talented painter and she gave us all a lesson today. It was fun.

Haha, Brother Chandia is awesome. That whole family is great! I'm so blessed to be in this area with them because they treat me as one of their children and they're just so willing to help in any way, shape, or form. And Brother Chandia also wants to tell Clint: Be safe and watch your six. I think that's it. Six = back? I'm not sure. I guess he'll correct me if he read this and sees it's wrong. I'm sorry! :-D

I love you. I love being a missionary. It's the greatest thing I could have possibly done this far into my life. Although I do miss home and my friends and my family. But you know what? I have time for this. I owe this much to my Heavenly Father for all that He's done for me. I'll never be able to repay that, but I'll certainly try. Until next week.
Hermana Pleshek

Saturday, February 13, 2010


She is an awesome sister missionary and we are happy she serving in our area. Her and her companion, Sister Dunoskovic, are having great success in this area among the Hispanic population. Both are great fun when they come over to our home. We love to serve the missionaries since we both also served missions (a looooooong time ago ;-) ) and our two oldest boys, Ben and Nick, are currently serving in Argentina.

The Chandias from Kennewick, Washington (chandia@charter.net)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

9 Feb 2010

Oh, wow. I think I just had a heart attack!! Way to start off my letter, Mom. Well, at first I thought that I was in trouble because the last time I got a letter that started with "Before I say everything I have to say..." yeah. Wasn't my favorite. But it's okay. I'm a better person because of it. And I'm glad that I've grown and that you sent it. Entonces...

I'm glad that you're okay and everything is alright. It would be super hard to do anything here if I knew that you weren't doing okay and that my family wasn't alright. I'd be distracted and I can't have that because my focus needs to be on being a good missionary and on my investigators. They're who I concentrate on really anymore. It's important, though. But don't die, please. I wouldn't like that very much.

OOOO, dances! There's a familia in this area who has a daughter and she's 15 and she was talking to me about dances and if I liked them or not. We got into this huge discussion about them and I just told her to give them a chance because one day she will like them. I didn't like them at first, but now look. I love them. They go all out for dances, here. It's nuts. But I'm sure you'll find a way for him to go. Hopefully. You can have Erin chaperone. Haha. She's old enough and she doesn't really have anymore friends there...does she? I don't know, I think everyone is older than they actually are. Time is such a crazy thing. It means nothing here, but at the same time, it's everything. It's the most precious commodity we have.

Oh, Alex. I can't believe he's coming home so soon! It just seems like yesterday that he was going out. But what am I talking about? I've been out for 3 months and it just seems like you and Dad were dropping me off at the MTC. Oh how time flies, right? It's nuts because everyone is like, it goes fast, it goes fast and I'm just sitting here like whatever, in a year, I'll still be here. But in a year, I'll only have like 3 months left. And then I'll be freaking out. I was freaking out just thinking about it. Oh boy.

Oh, I love the Barretts. It's so funny because I talk about them and I'm like oh my gosh, they're just the best people and the best mission president. And then I remember...oh yeah...I'm on a mission now. Well, I love the Belnaps, too. They're tied for first. But honestly, I'm a little bit more bias because I barely know the Belnaps and I absolutely adore the Barretts. It's fun, though. Todd should be going out soon, huh? Crazy! Everyone is all growing up and I feel like I'm just still the same person I was when I left.

That'll be fun to have Clare and Clint next door. I really hope the house works out for them...although it's in need of some TLC. But Clare should love that. Plus, it'll be fun. And they won't have to change a whole lot. And Gresham isn't ideal, but there are worse places...like Pasco. Or Yakima.

Baby Zoey is so cute! She's a little doll.

Haha, sounds like everything at home is normal. She got a letter from E. Davis? I haven't even gotten a letter from Elder Davis. Haha. No, but I think it's funny. He's like oh my gosh, I didn't think she'd actually write me. He was so funny when I gave him that letter. He wanted it really bad. Of course, I read it first. But it was funny because he was asking me questions about what the letter meant and all this stuff. I'm like umm, what? Like about officiating and stuff and I was like OH...okay. Yeah. Basketball. But, he's a funny guy.

Okay, we've had some CRAZY dinner appointments the last two days. Sunday, right? We have to go eat with these people and we couldn't find their house. They live on Keller St., but there's like 7 Keller streets in Kennewick. So we're driving around for 45 minutes and end up being late. So we knock on the door and this is how it goes:
Us: We're so sorry! We got lost and we couldn't find your house.
Her: We already ate.
Us: We're so sorry. We just couldn't find which Keller street it was on.
Her: Dinner is probably cold. And my daughter was excited to see you, but you're late, so she's not anymore.
Us: We're SOOO sorry.
Her: Oh well, come on in. We were just getting ready to watch the Super Bowl.
Us: Oh...umm...okay. Sorry about disturbing you.
Her: It's fine. Come in. You can have a beet and goat cheese salad.
Me in my head: WHAT?! What is this? Who eats this stuff?
I look at it and I'm like PUKE! IT's got CHUNKS of beets and it's NASTY. So, we sit down and try and talk and EVERYTHING relates back to the fact that we were an hour late. Just, it was getting ridiculous. So finally, after about 10 minutes, so goes:
Her: Oh, so do you have another appointment?
Us: Yeah, and we're late for it.
Her: Oh, well you're late for everything. We had the elders over a couple weeks ago and they were early. You should probably go.

She rushes us out the door and shoves some sort of fruit jelly things in our hands and is like goodbye. We didn't get to share a spiritual thought, or anything. We were in there for 15 minutes max. We called people who love us - the Chandias - and they let us come over and eat REAL food. Oh man, it was so bad.

But there's a fun story for ya. It was ridiculous. I'll tell you another one next time because I'm out of time right now. But I love you! And I'm glad everyone is doing good and you're all safe. The Church is true and I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve. It's an amazing thing and I wish more people would serve missions. If only they knew how important it was. Anyways, I love you all!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pleshek

Thursday, February 4, 2010

3 February 2010

So, this stupid thing makes me have a new email, so here it is. The old one will still work...I guess? But just use this one? I'm not sure how it's all working, but here we are.

My first week in the field=over! Haha. No, it really wasn't that bad...now that I look at it all over again. YIKES. But, I thought I was going to die. And seriously contemplated the thought of coming home. But, it's so great. I love it here. This is real and it's fantastic and I just love every single bit of it. So, my p-days are on Tuesdays now instead of Thursdays. So, that's good. Umm, I just can't think of what I all want to say because I have so much. Okay, so there's lots of things here that are totally different than the MTC. Basically everything. And it was crazy because I got out here and I was like 'WHAT DID I DO in the MTC for the last 10 weeks?" I don't think anything could have prepared me for this. Yeah, nothing did. But, I'm here and fine and good and that's what's important.

My trainer is FANTASTIC!!! I love her. She and I are so much alike so it's really fun. We get a lot done, too. She's teaching me a lot. And we're the only sister in the whole mission that have our own apartment. So I don't know if that's good or bad, but it's whatever. I love it though. We just work well together and everything is a lot smoother than it was in the MTC. Especially with planning and lessons.

Yeah, so I teach lessons. To real people. In Spanish. And it's nuts. We have progressing investigators. And I have zone conference yesterday. So, I'm serving right now in the Pasco zone. But, I live in Kennewick. Hna. Dunoskovic and I cover ALL of Kennewick because Pasco is too dangerous for sisters. And yeah. So I'm serving in Pasco 5th Branch - all in Spanish. I have to teach in 2 weeks and I'm scared out of my mind. BUt it'll be okay. When I got introduced on Sunday, they said 'not only is she White, but she's Green, too'. Of course, I had no idea what they said, so I kind of felt a little stupid when everyone was laughing but Elder Huff and I. It's okay. We're white and new and have NO idea what people are saying 99.9% of the time. But that's alright. It'll come with time.

Umm, let's see...what else? Yeah, not too much. I haven't had to go tracting yet, so that'll be fun when the time comes. I mean, we've door contacted and stuff, but not exactly tracting. By the way, did I mention that it was 43 degrees last night at 8? Yeah...8 at night and it's that warm. I haven't had to use my coat a lot, but I wear it just cause it's nice to be toasty. But I really hope I get to spend all my winters in Kennewick. Apparently this isn't normal though...but still. It beats being under 5 feet of snow.

I don't really have a ton to say. I'm trying to squeeze everything in and I have to leave soon so I can go make some Elders cry by beating them in a game of volleyball. But, oh I need new shoes. I threw the ones you got from...I don't even know where you got them, but I threw those away in the MTC. But my other black ones that I got from Kohls are like falling apart and I'm like Que es eso??? What is that? So, I have to go get new ones.

Oh, I could definitely use recipies. I wasn't sure if I should bring them or not, but send them. Hna. Dunoskovic and I are just going to make food in bulk and eat it til it's gone. Oh joy, eh?? Well, yeah.

Well, I don't know what else I have to say. Many letters to write. And yeah. Oh p.s. Erin I won't be going to Yakima. They don't send sisters there because someone gets shot once a day. So...yeah. But I'll still work on getting you an I love Yakima t-shirt. Haha. Anyways, I know this is short, but I have to go. I love you!! I'm so excited to be a missionary. It's hard work, and it's already going way too fast for my liking. But, it's amazing! And I love doing the Lord's work. He really does bless us when we're obedient. I'll send you letters later.

I love you!
Hermana Pleshek

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Handwritten on 1-26-10

Dear Parental Units,
So Pres. Belnap says that I need to write you and let you know I'm safe! Well, I'm safe! I'm in Washington and it's for sure bittersweet! It's a totally new beginning, which is cool, but, I know that I would totally be lost without MY Elders here with me. Now that it's just us 5, I'm very territorial of them. It sucks cause now we're not all goingto be together and I can't even find out how they're doing since I can't write. But, we're all on this side of teh mission (east side) so I will see them at zone conferences and stuff. Well, I will get to see Elder Huff. He and I are serving in the same branch (Pasco 5th), so at least I'll be able to see how he is.
I love my mission president and his wife! They are great! My 1st interview was so good. I walk in and he's like "You are different! You are so happy and never change that, ever! It will come in handy." But he's great! I love them.

My plane ride here was...interesting. I sat next to this guy who was from Idaho. He knew a little bit about missions, but asked me a lot of questions. We talked almost the whole plane ride and I know a lot of it was hitting on me. It sucks cause I was trying to talk to him about families and missions and he was trying to touch my leg, arm, etc. UGH! He's not a member...at least I'm pretty sure. And if he is, he's inactive.

I'm impressed with the Spanish I've used tonight. Pres. Belnap asked me to pray for lunch in Spanish which was fun. Maybe its cause no one understands besides a handful of the missionaries. But a majority of the people don't. It's like a secret language right now and that makes it fun.

Well, I still want to get some studying in tonight. I'm definately tired.

Oh, I saw Amy Mann this morning. And Sis. Liz Hendricks (Sara's cousin) is training my friend Sister Miller. And ask Sara Oba if she fell of the planet or what? Tell her I love her too.

And Sister Belnap wants us all to take vitamins. If you send me a package send it postal service so it can be forwarded. And when people send letters, or anyone, make sure my first and last name are on it.
I love you. The church is true, the book is blue. Sounds better in Ingles!
Hermana Pleshek
P.S. Dad!! I have a mission song!! I can't wait to sing it for you! singing A sacred commission given from on high....