Wednesday, March 31, 2010

30 March 2010

I for sure know what you mean about the mind going blank when you sit down to write. It's so true. I should just start making a list of all the things that I want to tell you each week and then when I finally sit down to write, it'd be a lot easier. But that would be a lot of effort and I don't always have time to do those little extra convenient stuff. But, here we are. Another week gone by and I can't believe it! Where is time going? It doesn't seem like it's been a week since I last wrote. Everyone always says that a mission flies by really fast, but I just...half of me still thinks it takes forever, but the other half is like holy cow!

Like, in all honesty, I'm almost at my 6 month mark and that freaks me out like you have no idea. It feels like you guys just dropped me off at the MTC. Well, I'm not really there anymore and it does feel like I'm still brand spanking new, just stepped off the plane. But that's not the case and it's almost just a big slap in the face every week when I sit down on a p-day to write about the week that just flew by.

So, let's see if anything exciting has happened this week. Oh, we went tracting for Collect the Elect this week. Which is we tract every other day for 3 hours on double exchanges. I have all the papers at the apartment that explain it, but we each take a lady from the branch for 3 hours and go tracting apartment complexes. In two days, we got 30 return appointments and we had about 7 new investigators this week. We had 3 baptisms in the branch this week and it's just been amazing! The Lord is truly blessing our efforts.

We're still working with some of the investigators I had with Hna. Dunoskovic, but a lot of them are either dropped or we don't pay as much attention to as we should. It's kind of frustrating to see these people I was teaching not progressing. But, everyone has their agency and that's something that we always have to remember. We can't force anyone to do anything. It's just the way the Lord intended it to be.

Let's see, what else? Did I mention how much I love my district? My district is amazing! Right now, my DL is Elder Garrett and he's so inspired. My ZL's, too. They are just absolutely amazing! I couldn't ask for betters ones because they walk and teach by the Spirit and when they teach us or have a meeting - whether it's in Spanish or English - it's always something that I am in need of hearing and helps me grow immensely.

Minus the minor frustrations, everything is going well. We're plugging along like missionaries do and we are always blessed beyond measure. But it's a HUGE testimony to me to see how much families are blessed by missionary work. Not only the families we teach, but the families of the missionaries!

We had this family come to sacrament meeting on Sunday and I was SO excited! It was a family that Hna. Dunoskovic and I were teaching and the mom was like 'yeah, I know that I need to be baptized' and then when the dad came back from Texas from working, he forbade her from coming. Well, the mom went to a lady in the branch and told her that we were pushing her and she didn't want us to come back. We honestly weren't, but you know, we respect her wishes. So anytime I'd go tracting with Hna. Garcia, I'd just look at their house and be like man! I just wish that they would have been baptized. Well, I forgot what apartment they lived in one day when we were tracting and we tracted into her husband [who I'd never met, so I had no idea it was him]. We gave him a pamphlet and asked him to read it. Their whole family shows up at church on Sunday and I was SO EXCITED! Like, I was just, oh I can't tell you how happy I was to see them in church again. So we're going to call them and see if we can come visit with them sometime soon.

On to your letter. I'm sure Todd will have a lot of fun coaching. At least it will be fun to have him along. Especially if he knows his stuff. You can only add when someone knows what they're talking about. It's his turn to do the coaching now and Tiff will have to take care of the kids, huh? Well, I'm sure it'll be exciting, regardless of the outcome. The weather here has been nuts. In the last week, I've worn my jacket more than in the past 2 months I've been here. It's crazy! Haha, oh, so it's been super duper windy. And so on Thursday when we went on exchanges, right before we went, I put my shorts on underneath my skirt so in case it would blow up, which it has previously, no one would see my stylish underwear. Haha. So, we were walking and a gust of wind came and my skirt went all the way to my head. No joke. And the ladies were like OH MY GOSH! I was like don't worry about it, I have shorts on. Haha. So funny.

Aww! I love Hna. Dunoskovic! I miss her like crazy! She's just a sweetheart!

Haha, I love that you said the letter was going to be boring like your life. That's funny. The weekend doesn't sound like it was boring in the slightest. Amidst all the puking and drunkeness, it does sound like it was not boring. I would be peeing my pants if some drunk guy was coming at me, trying to vandalize the squad. Dang. We have drunk people calling us all the time and it's kind of scary because they'll ask us where we are and to come over and it's just like oh man, guys. Get a life. So, yeah. But it sounds intense. I hope there's no puke in my bed. That's nasty!

I did get the package you sent. I was super excited! Elder Iosefa helped me opened it. He was really excited about it. Just as much as I was! I also appreciate the letter in there from Elder Heidt. Haha. I think it's funny that he sent one back to the house. I sent him a postcard with an address he needed and I didn't put my return address on there cause it's a postcard. So, I wrote him today and told him what was up. Haha.

We ate dinner with this family the other night and her sister was in S.O. It was cool cause I got to tell her all about Tom and stuff and we got to talk Special Olympics. It just made her day. She's like almost 55 or something. And I told her she didn't look a day over 22. She was just so happy. Grinning from ear to ear. It just makes my day when I can make someone smile. She honestly didn't look like she was 55 though. It was nuts. Oh well.

Well, that's all I really have for now. I'm glad that things are going swell over in Wisconsin. Oh man, I have to tell you about this other family we ate with the other day. They live on this HUGE farm and it smelled like nice. But, they have 15 kids. Yes. 15. I was like HOLY BUCKETS!!! But, they were fun, but just kind of over the top rude at some points. Like I was trying to give a spiritual thought and he just kept interuppting. On purpose. Because he thought it was funny. My comp just thrived off of that and started doing it, too. I was just like, oh my gosh. But their kids were really nice. It was just the dad that was a little over the top. Like they kept saying retarded and talking about the kids with disabilities and I was like yeah, I work with one every day. It's my brother. That shut them all up. I was just like come on have no idea what people's circumstances are. Let's try and be a little more compassionate and not say stupid things. I wasn't mad, but I was just like hey. Some people really would get offended. You don't know about what people's backgrounds or families are like. Anyways, that's all I have. I love being a missionary! It's legit!
Con mucho amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23 March 2010

Hola familia.

It sounds like there's some fun things going on with track. I bet Erin is just loving being the assistant. Even if there is a big creeper over in Bowler. Oh well, we all have 'em. I certainly have my share of creepers out here. What the heck? I'm on a mission. I shouldn't have creepers. But they certainly present themselves.

YES! I'm super stoked for my box to come! And have all sorts of good stuff in it. Did you see if it takes the same memory cards that I have? Man, I need to send a box home. I've got some stuff that I don't want here, but I want at home. Oh well, I'll get around to it eventually. Probably when I get transferred out of here, but who knows.

I'll ask around about those people, but does he know their exact address? Cause that would be a little more helpful. Yeah, I go to Pasco alot. But, I'll ask around too and try and find a directory. Or, I could even ask President Montierth. He's the Stake President over Pasco and I have to call him today about one of our investigators. But I'll probably for sure find them. That would be really cool. I want to see someone that Dean knows!

Yeah, I read Clare's email about the whole Roy/house situation. What a turd. I can't believe he thinks that anyone else would want to buy that house. Yuck. If he's not going to sell it to the Gourleys, he's better off just tearing it down and selling some of the crap she's got in there on ebay. Yikes. I can't believe he was a jerk about it all, though. Lame. At least they'll be living in MaryEllen's house. What a sweetheart. I just love her. And it'll be fun for them to still be in their own house and to be close by and yeah. Good deal.

Aww, Cami's all 3 now. What a little cutie! I'm sad that I missed her birthday, but that's okay. I bet it was fun. The cake looked good, excpet for the creepy Aurora topping. Clare showed me it in a picture and I was like EWW! That's nast! But at least she loved it. Is Princess and the Frog good? I'm sure it is. It's Disney! I don't think they're really allowed to be bad. I definitely want to see Cami with her little pop gun, pretending to shoot a deer and make it into jerky. Just make sure she doesn't try and kill Gus or Betty. That would be really sad. I think I would probably cry, since they're like my favorite ducks on the pond.

Yeah, we've still been having excellent weather! It's beautiful out here. We've even had the AC on in our apartment.

That's awesome about Lacy and her call! CONGRATS LACY! I'm sure she's just thrilled beyond all belief! It's still just a miracle that she hasn't fainted or anything since. Oh man, that's amazing!

That's crazy about the dream! It sounds amazing though. I just wish...I just wish that Papa would change. But everyone has their agency and we can't make them change. Which is unfortunate for some people. GALL. But, we just tell them we love them. And that we're there for them. And it's all we can do. Pray. Fast. You know.

Well, the most exciting/scary thing that happened this week was on Sunday. We were driving to church and we saw this 2 car accident. This lady was driving [it was raining and the roads were wet.] and she hit the guard rail and started spinning. Luckily, she didn't go over, but she did hit the inside brick wall and stopped. But the car behind her...yeah, not so much. So that car smacked into the 1st one and just was out of control. It stopped right before the 2 roads merged. But anyways, my comp stops the car and is calling 911. She runs across the road and hops over the middle wall. I'm like okay, well, let's turn off the car and turn on some hazards here. So, I do it and then I run across the highway and hop the wall and there's just glass everywhere. This lady, Trina, had a HUGE goose egg on her head and it just was not pretty. She wasn't bleeding or anything, but she was really shaken up. We just stayed with her holding her hand, and telling her it was going to be okay. Finally police arrived and this state patrol man comes up to us and he's like Sisters? What are you doing? And we just told him what happened. We ended up staying at the scene for about 45 minutes and had to sit in the back of a cop car while we filled out our witness reports, but it was crazy. And it was such a testimony builder to me that God really does have a plan for all of us. This lady was SO lucky that she wasn't injured more than she was. She should have been. But, the Lord has a plan and it's just amazing to me that people go through that kind of stuff and don't realize that. We talked to her later in the day and she was sore, but doing okay. They realeased her from the hospital. Apparently she has a niece that's a member. She told us she was really grateful for being there with her.

Another thing to is that while I was getting ready for church on Sunday, I was listening to a John Bytheway talk and he said something about putting on your missionary tag and how it has Christ's name on it in big bold letters. Just as he was saying that, I was putting on my missionary tag and it was just amazing to realize once again, I'm a servant of the Lord. I'm doing HIS work. HIS time. HIS plan. These are HIS children and He's trusted me with them. It just built my testimony of that so much stronger. My testimony has been built so much this week.

I'm learning to rely on the Lord a lot. A lot more. It's super hard with my companion some days. And I'm learning patience. And love. And just how to rely on the Lord. He's always there for me and I just need to let Him help me. And I do. I always need the Lord's help. He's just been there for me. But whatever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger! And that's what I love. I know I'm going to grow from this so much!

Anyways, I love you! Thank you for all you do for me! I miss you, Mom.
Con mucho amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Thursday, March 18, 2010

17 Mar 2010

Sounds like everything with Elder and Sister Christofferson went really well. That's really cool. I'm sad I wasn't there to see it, but you know, I've had some pretty amazing experience with General Authorities, especially when I was in the MTC. So I can't complain too much. :-D Tom...that's such a Tom thing to do. That's really cool though. It really does make them more human when we see them on a normal basis. That's how it was in the MTC. We got to see those GA's and you know, the other auxiliaries in a different light than anyone else. And so it's really cool to see yeah, they're human and that they still get scared and all that jazz.
Looks like it's been a busy week. A lot of fun stuff going on. Normal stuff, and that's good.
Things here are going great. Hna Garcia and I are working our butts off. It's insane! We're starting this new program called Collect the Elect on Sunday. And it's a month program where we just work like dogs until we're absolutely burned out and yeah, we're super excited for it. We've been tracting a lot and it's been my first time, but it's super fun. I know everyone is like eww, tracting, but it's great! I love it. Hna. Garcia and I have a blast. It's definitely a change from Hna. Dunoskovic and it was so hard to let her leave. I can't even tell you how hard it was. But, the Lord sees the big picture and has a plan. And everything is going to be okay. I know that. It just sucks because Hna. Garcia is on her last transfer, so I have to say goodbye to another one of my companions. Gall. It's definitely going to be a test, that's for sure. But, the Lord knows and has a plan for all of us. I'm curious to see at what He's trying to do. Haha. See how much I can cry in 12 weeks? I don't know. Haha. But it's all good.
Oh man, I'm so excited to see where Lacy goes! And as far as Nick goes, when does he report? Some time in May, right? Man, that's nuts! That's not a long time. I can't believe that I've been out as long as I have. I hit my 4 month mark tomorrow. WHAT THE HECK? Where does the time go? I can't believe it. But I love every single day I spend out here in Washington! My Spanish is getting better every day and I'm astonished. It truly is a testimony to me that the Lord blesses His missionaries and that the gift of tongues is so real!

I'm going to miss the Barretts. They've been amazing. I'm going to miss the Belnaps, too. They leave in July as well and then we get President Greer. I think that's his name. But he's a lawyer, too. He's also from Arizona and so I'm really excited for all the change that's coming, but at the same it's crazy. I A mission is full of change and sometimes I have to remind myself that I signed up for this and I knew this was going to happen. But it doesn't always make things easier. But sometimes it does. :-D
Other than adjusting to life with a new companion and all that jazz, it's pretty uneventful here. We're just doing what we're doing - finding people and teaching everyone about how great of a guy God is. We had Zone Conference yesterday, and that was fun. I love Zone Conference. And we get to learn so many awesome things! Yesterday, President Belnap was giving us advice for after our missions and the biggest thing he told us as sisters is that when we're interviewing our future husbands, always ask if they've been a full tithe payer. And he said, it's not about the tithing. It's about the act of faith it takes to pay tithing. So, I thought that was really cool.
Oh another quick question I had. So, I really need a new camera. And preferably one soon because I don't want to have my camera that's breaking for my whole mission. I've just been using my companions' cameras, but eventually I probably will need a new one. So, could I just get that now and have a new camera be my Christmas and birthday present? That would be awesome. You should probably let me know, so I can look for one or not. Or just start buying disposables. Haha. That'd be great.
Kay, I love you all. Thank you for everything! Keep being member missionaries, because without the members, the missionaries don't go succeed as well as we can.
Con mucho amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9 Mar 2010

Morning Mom.

Sounds like you've had the exciting week teaching Erin the ropes of the Fiber. Love that place. But I don't miss the boringness of it all. It's okay though, cause it's easy money and it doesn't take a whole lot of brain power to answer phones, push buttons, and talk to the guys. Haha. She'll love it. I did, I just hated getting up at the butt crack of dawn and going outside to the cold to drive there.

Erin told me about your guys' walk around the block. Man, I wish I could just get out there and go walking. But, we don't have that kind of time to just meander around and shoot the breeze. Especially with all the things we've got going on today and tomorrow. Yikes. But I'm glad it turned out good and wore Camille to the bone. I sure could use a 3 hour nap right now.

I'm sure Zobeck will go for the whole assistant track coach idea. He loves Erin and he knows that she can do it, so she might as well. It would be fun. I know I loved coaching and I'm sad I can't do it again. I really am. If the jobs still open when I get home, I'd love to do it again. That would be tight. So, we'll see when that time comes. But I'm sure it'll be a fun time. It's starting so soon. I can't believe it's already March!

Yeah, I'd heard that James joined the Navy. Well, good for him, if that's what he wants to do. And I honestly hope that everything works out for him and he finds what he's looking for.

Dang, I want to go see Elder Christofferson! If they don't go, I'll go kick them in the pants. I'm sure Alex will go though. He'd love that kind of stuff. Oh speaking of, what's he driving these days? The Urban Suburban?? Haha. Oh my gosh, I can't tell you how many of those I see out here. Same color and everything. It's super funny.

Ugh, people. I tell you what. It's really sad when inactives use every which reason they can think of to not go to church. I'm dealing with a lot of people like that out here. And it's unfortunate. It's not uncommon for me to see 16 year olds with babies. Yeah, it's crazy. One of our old investigators was pregnant. And she was 14!!! 8th grader! She's going to fail 8th grade because of it. She lost the baby and it's for the best. But people need to learn choice and consequence. They really do go together. I promise they do. It's a hard concept for people to learn. I know it's one thing that we try and teach our investigators.

About the Garmi. I'm going to need that ASAP. Wanna know why? Well, I'll tell you.

When I first got out here, they told me once I got the hang of things, they'd change them right away. I didn't know how true that was until this week. Hna. Dunoskovic and I have started completely from scratch. We dropped all of our investigators, kept only 2 of them, and have been getting new ones. Well, we had transfer calls on Saturday and guess what? My trainer is being transferred! What the heck? That's the last thing in the world that either of us thought was going to happen. I mean, I've only been out here for 6 weeks and a trainer stays with their greenie for 12 at least. So, it's just been...ugh. It's been a hard couple days since Saturday. If she wasn't crying on Saturday, I was. If I wasn't, she was. It's just been really emotional and I just can't begin to describe how much it hurts. I know that the Lord has an amazing thing for her to do in Vancouver, but still. I need her here with me. She's my 'mom' and I still feel like I have so much more to learn from her. But, He sees the eternal perspective, and at this point, I'm just thinking about myself. And I know I'm not here for myself, I'm here to serve other people. She's like my sister. She's my best friend out here. We've gotten so close, you would think she grew up with us. For real. We decided that if we would have gotten raised by each other's parents, we would have turned out exactly the same. Like, it's crazy, but at the same time, it was amazing. We work so well together and I just. Ugh. It's so hard for me. I'm not bitter. I'm really not. I was REALLY bitter on Saturday. But now it's just the point where I'm super sad and I feel like my heart is cracked into a million pieces. She's been there for me when I've been low and we've raised and relied on each other.

So, I'm getting a new companion and her name is Hna. Garcia. She's from Arizona and her parents are from Honduras. And she only has one transfer left. So I'm going to kill her and then I'll get a new companion again. 3 transfers - 3 new companions. But, since I am not confident in finding where I'm going and Hna. Garcia doesn't know this area since she's coming here from Vancouver, I'll need that when you can get it to me. Gracias!

Oh, another story for you this week.

We had a really scary experience the other night. We were leaving the Chandia's from dinner and we went to go teach, but our appointment cancelled on us. So, we went to go contact these people that we haven't seen yet. So, we drive over to their house and it's in a super sketch neighborhood. And it was at night. We have been meaning to contact this person for a really long time, but have had trouble contacting her. So, we go over there and get out of the car, and immediately, 2 drunks are like oh it's the Mormons. And they start saying all these rude things to us as we're getting our stuff together. Then another guy walks by, looking us up and down like we're meat. Umm, no thanks creep-o. But, so we walk over to this apartment and my companion knocks on the door and right after she does, I was just like, I don't feel good about this and she said she didn't either. Right as I was saying it, she was thinking it. We shouldn't have been there. So, even though we heard the people coming to the door, we immediately left their porch. And the whole time we were there - from when we got out of the car to walking back to the car, the karate moves Brother Chandia taught us were going through my head. My attacker stick was in my hand and I was ready to use it. We both got in the car and almost started crying because we know that the Lord was watching over us and protecting us. We shouldn't have been there at that time of night, but we went. And I'm just so glad that I'm a missionary because I know that if we wouldn't have left, things would have gotten really bad and turned out terrible.

Umm, let's see, what else. We're babysitting some cats right now. Yeah, cats. They're 1500 dollars a piece and they look like wild jungle cats. Cougars, leopards, etc. It's crazy! But, yeah. So we're staying in this huge house in Canyon Lakes - approved by President Belnap. And it's just been a nutso week. From getting transfer calls and trying to pack between here and there. Oh man. And we're trying to see everyone and their mother. It's just been non-stop days. We were up til 1 a.m. this morning, packing Hna Dunoskovic's stuff and when we finally got to sleep, some stupid cats started fighting for about 10 minutes. Ugh. And it was our downstairs neighbor's cats. And then it woke up their 2 dogs. So they started barking. And then our neighbor started yelling. Ugh. It was frustrating. And we were up earlier than normal because a recent convert wanted to take us out to breakfast. So, we've just been up and going and I know that tomorrow, since we have to be at the transfer sight at 7, will be just as crazy.

So that's been my week. And it's been nuts. But I know the Lord loves me and this whole transfer thing is just a trial and I'm going to have to overcome it. I'll see the positive and just be optimistic. Otherwise I'll be miserable and cry myself to sleep every night. You think I'm joking, but I'm serious. It's going to be really hard to say goodbye. But, we're blessed for what we do and the people over in Vancouver need MY companion more than I do.

I love you. I love this work. It's amazing. I'm so grateful I'm a missionary and that the Lord blesses me each and every day.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pleshek

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2 March 2010

This picture was sent to us by some members.
The Hermanas "heart attacking!"
AHH!!! This email is going to but nuts because I'm done with writing emails and I'm only like 4 months in. Haha. But oh well, it'll be not as long as I want because I don't have as much time as I'd want.

It sounds like your week has been exciting from the power outage to Miriam coming and Alex coming home. I can't believe that he's home. I was like freaking out about it last week, but now it's real and he's back and I can't believe that I'm not there to see him. It's just really sad for me because he's Alex and I love him and who knows when I'll get to see him next, ya know?

So, things this week have been really rough. For both me and my companion. We've just had a really down week and just wow. It's been tough. It started on Wednesday, I think. I had a dream that I was there when Alex got home and I was just crying and shaking cause I was so happy to see him and everything was awesome. I woke up with tears just coming down my face because it was so sad. Oh well, though. That was just the tip of the ice berg and for the first time on my mission, I've truly been trunky. It's sad though. Like I've never wanted to go home so bad while being here and it was just...ahh, really heartbreaking for me. But I got over it.
On Thursday, we found out that a family we were teaching and getting ready for baptism went over to a member's house and basically said she never wants to see us again...and this member didn't call us. Like, and this member is in our meetings, but she didn't call us. And that sucked because we had no idea. And it's jsut because of this lady's husband. Ugh.
Saturday we had our meeting with the WML and some of the auxilieries and stuff ...oh our Corrolation meeting. And it was awful. Like, it's so unorganized and it just...well, not that it always isn't. Some days it's just better than others. I don't know. I feel like we need to get a temple prep class started in our branch, and everything depends on the missionaries, so yeah. We need a temple prep class and we need it now. And I don't even know where to start with that. Any ideas?? Dad???

Anyways, yesterday was better and today is P-day, so of course it'll be good. I got a letter from Brett. I wasn't expecting that at all. But it was good. It's the first time I've heard from him and it's always fun. I actually heard from a lot of people this week that I didn't think I'd ever hear from. So, it has been a good week.

I'll remember all that good stuff for when I get to give my talk. Maybe I'll just start writing it now - that would be fun. It's not like I don't have a ton of stuff to do already. Haha. No, I really do. It's so hard to find the time to do anything. I've never scrapped around for more time in my life. And now I can see why it's so hard to adjust post mission becaues you're always going, going, going and then BAM! Nothing. It's just being slammed into a wall. Haha. But that's alright, we all have to adjust.

WAH! Sounds like that girl is in desperate need of a ...counselor? If that. Meds, that's for sure. It's crazy how things happen and how people just get sent home. It's unfortunate because being a missionary rocks. It's really an amazing calling and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to be a missionary right now. I have an incredible companion, an amazing mission president and his wife is absolutely wonderful. I'm so blessed to be here in the states, especially in Washington. It's so awesome!

As far as other things go - it really is just going great out here. We're working hard and I'm so tired at the end of the day. It's insane. I'm trying to find my way around places and I'm always asking where we are and how to get places.

We went and ate at the Chandia's last night and they had a less active guy over there. He's a friend of their son Ben and he's in the Navy. Ha. Doesn't that sound familiar? But, it was really interesting to say the least. It's a sad story when they know that they're not living their lives on the straight and narrow and yet, they just don't care. If I knew all that I knew and still didn't do what was right, I'd be so scared. In fact, I'd be so scared that I'd do it cause the wrath of God...WOAH. Don't even want to think about that. But really, it's a tragic story. I mean, if you aren't going to live your life according to those convenants you've made, then alright. That's your choice. But don't lie about it.

Well, I'm almost done with my first transfer and I can't believe it. Time has gone by so quickly. I still feel just like a little baby who doesn't even really know anything. Yikes. But, I'm still learning and growing. It's what we do.

Well, I've gotta get going. But I love you all. And I'm grateful for your support and that we're an eternal family. It's the greatest blessing that we're given and I believe that with everything in me. Families are great! And I sure was blessed to have an amazing one! Pues, hasta el proxima semana. Te quiero.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pleshek