Tuesday, August 31, 2010

31 August 2010

Wow it sounds like you've had an awesome week! And things are going sweet. It's been crazy around here and I struggle for a down time in this crazy life of a missionary.
Oh, I love Annie! She's the best! I miss her face and I can't wait to talk to her again. She started school today and I know she's going to do amazing things! Oh, that girl. I just love her!
The court case huh? Wow. I hope that Gresham wins because Shawano is lame. Haha. But, I can't believe that Ben is 8. He is not. I'm pretty sure that he's still about 5. There's no way. Where the heck is the time going? I just...wow. I feel so old. I remember him when he was born. He's so big now. Yikes. I'm getting old. =)
So, we've had a crazy week. We put some girls on date and that's awesome! The work is going so great and it's just all the more awesome when you have awesome investigators. Could I use the word awesome any more? Haha. I just love it when you have people that are progressing...and fast. And it just makes you want to do more missionary work and be a better missionary. It truly is amazing to see all the Lord's hand in the work we do.
So, yesterday was my first district meeting without Elder Arnold. Tear. I had a moment of silence. It's hard to believe that he's been with me for over half my mission and now he's gone. Oh Arnie. But, I'm sure he's going to do amazing things! I just miss him. It's not the same. But that's okay, at least I still have most of my district.
Haha, so I know a lot of people in the mission, right? And, anyways, so the topic of being shy has come up quite a bit with a few people. And no one believes me when I tell them that I was shy once upon a time and that Dad used to have to make my friends for me. And I just think about how I changed that, and I don't really remember. But, I'm sure glad I did. I love people and I love knowing them and being their friends. I've made some amazing friends on my mission. The only bummer is that they live in all sorts of places around the world and I can't see them all. It's sad to know that I might never see some of them again in my life. Ugh. Stinkin' mission. Just, makes you all buddies and gives you a special bond and rips you apart. Ahh.
Oh, so I want to know more about Dad's mission. Like, how it was funded, if Grandpa and Grandma wrote him, how did it feel, etc. Just like the in's and the out's. He knows all about it and I'm just curious to see how different it is compared to having parents that are supportive.
Last week, I got a blessing cause I was really struggling with lots of things. And to top it all off, I was hurting like no one's business, so I just sucked up my pride and got one. And I asked Elder Bair to do it and it was just what I needed. He told me that my Heavenly Father knew of the talents I was blessed with and that the work and branch here are in need of them. I just, it's a testimony builder to me that I'm where I'm supposed to be and the time I'm supposed to be.
But thank you for supporting me in all I do. I really appreciate having awesome parents. Especially since I've seen so much what it's like for missionaries to come out without that and just how different it is. I'm lucky that I've been born in the gospel and have this foundation. I'm grateful for so many things, I can't begin to explain them. But, I love seeing the miracles that happen every single day. And I know that my mission has changed me. I know that I'm a better person and my priorities have changed.
I love you. More than I did last week. And next week, I'll love you even more.
Con amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

24 Aug 2010

Wow, I've got so little time. But, I'll probably end up writing you a hand written letter. THere's so much to say and so little time and I feel like I've got to just keep going and not stop or I'm going to fall. There's so much work to be done. We've got some amazing people we're teaching and it's just great! I can't wait to inform you all on it. But just know that I'm well and happy and things are going AWESOME!
Jenny comes home in like 3 months. She's almost done. I just got a letter from her the other day. Less than 3 months. Wow. That's insane! I hope DeAnna and Clare got to spend some time together. Sounds like you all are keeping busy. I sure am. And wow, I just, I'm so out of time, but I love you all and I am so happy to be a missionary.
And I wouldn't mind helping you clean the fridge Mom. I love cleaning now. And I'm really good at it. That and weeding. I've gotten super good on my mission. Haha. But, you're all amazing and thank you for all you do. I love you!
Con amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Monday, August 23, 2010

A note from Sister Greer

Today I received these photos from the mission president's wife. She attached a brief note which is always good to hear. Her letter is below.
Dear Families!

Hello from Washington! We recently selected some sisters to attend specialized training from the missionary department. Your daughter was one of the sisters selected. They were in our home for four days and attended intensive training that they will help to implement in their area.

They were wonderful and darling and we love them!! Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. They love you and are serving well.

Thank you for sharing them with us!

Much love,

President and Sister Greer
Washington Kennewick Mission

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

18 Aug 2010

What a week is has been! I don't even know where it went! I'll tell you that much. On Wednesday, we went out with Jocelyn. It was a lot of fun despite the hot weather. The less active we were going to see wasn't awake yet, so we went and ate lunch [we were supposed to eat with her]. But, we ate at our apartment. And we were supposed to go blackberry picking, so we just went by ourselves. We picked a handful of them. They were so good. But, my comp was really upset with the whole day. No one was home and for that, she was irritated. Resulted in a meltdown of some sort. She'll just start crying and I don't know what to do. If I ask, she just says nothing. So I don't know. Ugh. I feel so helpless. World's worst trainer. We were also late for like every appointment that night. It was so full and with old ladies that like to talk, we don't get anywhere very fast. It was a good day though.
We had a hilarious Thursday. We did a lot of tracting. And it was HOT! And even though our 4 o'clock cancelled on us, we still had a funny day. We had dinner at the Campos/Fagg home with the elders. They are SO funny! She's from Chile and he's an old white guy and they are hilarious together. hna. Fagg asked me when I get married if I'll send him an invite. I said well, If I get married, then you can come. He looked and me and scoffed and said "What is this 'if' business? When you get home, stick your meat hook in 'em and hang on!" Hilarious! I just about died laughing. I told him my grandpa was a butcher and so it would work out great! He was pumped. Haha. We had some more appointments that night. And I for real got violated Thursday night. So, we're at this house for an appointment and we leave and decide to go tracting some more. We're walking from this house and this guy is like 'Hermanas! Como estan?" And so I just look in the fence, cause he's sitting in his backyard and I'm like ...bien... I have no idea who this guy is. Never met him before in my life. He's all, 'You speak Spanish? I like that' so we went into his backyard where he and his wife are just chilling out. They get up to talk to us and this guy comes up [I'm assuming it's their son] and he's got his beer belly all hanging out without his shirt on [EWW] and paint all over him. There's like 4 different conversations going on so I'm really confused and I'm just trying to talk to them all. So the son [he's like 40] puts out his hand. I shake his, and he starts petting and caressing mine. Okay, freaking out. Yep, yank my hand away pretty fast. They basically push us into their house to talk and the son asks Sister Rico if she wants to see his room cause he was painting it. She says sure and she's like come on. I poke my head in and I'm like cool, yep, let's go. So, we sit down and the son just starts talking to us for like 10 minutes in a Spanglish jibberish that I don't understand at all. It's all over the place. He's walking around and he comes over and tells me I have pretty eyes and starts touching my face. I'm all freaked out and just pulled away. So, then, he asks for an English BOM and so I tell him we'll run to the car and get one. He says he'll come with us and I'm like oh, that's okay, we'll be back in like a minute. So we walk out the door and he starts following us. He tries to shake my hand again and then starts putting his arms around me and trying to hug me. And if it wasn't awkward enough, his lips start coming at me. Yeah, freaking out. And so I'm like basically running away and I'm like yeah, sorry, can't do that. It's against the rules. I'm a missionary! And wow, yeah. It was crazy. To add to it all, he was drinking and I'm not sure his elevator goes all the way to the top? Yeah, it was an interesting night.
Friday, we started with some studying with the elders. It was great! I also learned that before the end of the year, the branch in Pasco will be a ward! =) I'm so excited! I can't wait to go back and see the ward! But studying with the elders is always great! Oh, so my foot's been hurting for like a week or two. What do you think? Anyways, after studying, we had lunch and weekly planning. It was about 100 degrees outside when we left our house. We went and tracted a little before we went to dinner. We did some more tracting after dinner and found a few new people to teach. And even some for the english missionaries to teach. A really excellent day.
Saturday is always a fun day! I helped teach a recent convert english for about an hour and then we had an awesome member present lesson with Juan Carlos. We finished teaching him a first and he's so...AHH! He's exactly like Joseph Smith! He says there's a contradiction going on in his head about every church and he just wants to know the truth and change his life. He's so ready and he doesn't even know it. We went tractings some more. We went to have dinner with the Alquicira's. We ate sandwhiches cause it was SO hot! We saw Jocely after cause she had to talk to us. Aww man, I love her! I will for sure miss her when I leave. She's the rock of her family and the rock needs to vent sometimes. She does SO much for her family! She's amazing and will be an awesome missionary! She also received her patriarchal blessing on Sunday. We got in early and planned a busy Sunday. I took a cold shower and it felt SOOO good! I never thought I would want to take one, but oh, I was so gross!
Sunday was another lovely hot day. But it's okay because Juan Carlos came to church for the 3rd time in a row! And after church, he left with a Gospel Principles manual and said he would study up for next week! What an AMAZING thing to come out of his mouth. Every missionary's dream! And he's coming to the branch campout this weekend! Really, what could have been more amazing to hear? nothing!
Monday, we had to wash and clean our car for zone conference on Tuesday. That took a while, but it's okay because, another blaring hot day. I'm about ready for that to be done. Haha. But, we also had like this 6 course meal at this recent converts house. It was SO much food and I couldn't eat it all. She told me I was a bad eater, but I don't care. I could NOT finish off that food. Yikes! Especially when on Sunday some little girl told me that I was going to have a baby. She was really disappointed when I told her I wasn't because I wasn't married. Haha. But, yeah.
Tuesday was an amazing zone conference with Elder Ringwood of the 70. I heard him speak in the MTC and he was such a rockstar! Still is! I loved it and I am so grateful that I got to be here when he came. Oh want to hear something funny? So, Elder Hafen [last summer] was here before he came to Wisconsin. Crazy, huh? I may have already told you that, but oh well. We also found 3 new investigators yesterday. It was so cool and I love to see the Lord working in every aspect of the work!
And, today. P-day! And it's my birthday! Happy 9 months to me! And it's apparently all downhill from here. At least that's what they tell me. But anyways, that's really all I've got for today. I'm running out of time, but I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again next week! The church is true and it's amazing how it blesses our lives!
Les quiero y les extrano MUCHO!
Con amor,
Hna. Pleshek!
Oh and as for the dress, YES! Isn't that a show? Say yes to the dress? For sure, sell it off to her. Just tell her I want pictures from her in it! =)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 Aug 2010

Wow. I can't believe that it's been another week. It's come and gone so fast, I can't even wrap my mind around it. Well, so let's get down to business. I didn't get to write out your letter like I've been able to do the last couple weeks, so this one might be a considerable amount shorter. But, we'll see what I can do.

Even though it's a million and one degrees in Nauvoo, I still want to be there. It's the first time in a REALLY long time that I haven't been able to go and I'm sad. I miss it and the Spirit there. I can't believe that it's already been a year since I've gotten my mission call and gone through the temple. Well, almost a year. I don't remember the exact date, but I do remember that it was amazing and I sure have grown to love the temple so much. I was at a less active's house yesterday and we were sharing a lesson about the temple and how we have such a GREAT responsibility to do the work for these people and I was telling her about how special it is to get to do that. We were talking about the first time I went through and the tears just started going down my face. I'm a lot more emotional person on my mission. A lot more emotional about spiritual things and really, that's how it should be.

Let's see. ATF is all the time finding. When we're doing whatever we do, and we're looking for people to find and talk to, that's what ATF-ing is. There's all sorts of fun lingo in the mission and wow. It's amazing that I didn't know it before hand. Haha. Now it's just a second...well, third language to me.

So, this conference we had this week was AMAZING! I couldn't have asked for anything more awesome! I was spiritually drained, but I learned so much! I can't even go into every single detail about how great it was. But, I really did gain a huge appreciation for the companion I have. She's great and I knew that, but after seeing some of the other girl's companions and how much they struggle with them, I was so grateful that I have the companion I do. I love her and we have fun together.

While I was in the Tri-cities, I got to go back to my old area and that was AMAZING! But, at the same time, really sad. I just don't know what happened after I left. I found a ton of people I was teaching and some are doing really well, but some are struggling, too. And I just...wow. It really just broke my heart to see some of the things that have happened since I left. But, you know, it's not my area anymore and I just have to trust that the Lord will take care of everything. I just want to go back before I end my mission. That would be super fun! But, I just loved seeing all the people and they were so stoked to see me. It was awesome!

So, I accomplished one of my goals this week. Right before Elder Montoya left Vancouver to go back to Pasco, we were talking about Spanish. And he's from Mexico City. Obviously knows Spanish. So, we were talking in the car and he goes 'Sister Pleshek, you're always saying how your Spanish is bad. What are you going to do about it?' And it really took me off guard because I was trying and studying and just I was really trying to to better and then he just cut me down. And I told him I was trying. So, I made a goal to just get better. To do it all. And when I saw him this week, he came up to me and he just started talking to me in Spanish and we had a long conversation. And it was AWESOME! And he just looked at me and was absolutely amazed that my Spanish had improved that much. And, so I just felt really good and now I'm a lot more confident in my abilities. It's funny because I don't even know the difference between English and Spanish anymore. People can talk to me and I don't remember if we had that conversation in English or Spanish. It's second nature to me now and that's how it should be. But, I was so excited!

It sounds like things are going well at home. I'm glad that you're all enjoying your time in Nauvoo and all that jazz. I really miss you all, but I couldn't be more excited to be here in Vancouver serving my Heavenly Father. It's the best decision I ever made in my life and I'm just so thrilled that I'm here and get to watch people change! There's a man we're teaching and he's so awesome! He wants to change his life around. He came to church 2 weeks in a row now and came to a MEGA spiritual baptism on Saturday. I've got high hopes for him. He's absorbing everything like a sponge. We are truly blessed!

I love you! Sigue adelante!
Con amor,
Hna. Pleshek

Saturday, August 7, 2010

2 Aug 2010

It's Monday and we have p-day today! Mainly because we are going to the Tri-Cities tomorrow in the morning and President Greer wanted us to have a p-day. Sweet, huh? Well, it's been a crazy week! We had an RS activity on Tuesday and we learned how to make pies. Well, I didn't. I got roped into entertaining the children. We read books, sang songs, and drank some juice. It was like nursery. Haha. We were supposed to have an appointment or 2, but we got stood up. Story of my life. I think only a handful of people this transfer have been home when we have set appointments with them. Anyways, the transfer is like half way over. Wow. That's insane! It for real just feels like it just started. On Wednesday, it'll be 2 weeks until it ends. Crazy! Transfers are on the 25th. I'm looking forward to a transfer call that does NOT include my name.

Wednesday, was an exciting day! We were headed to lunch and we got stopped by this traffic jam. All this black smoke was coming out of McDonald's on Fort Vancouver Way, so we stopped to look at it. Apparently, a car burst into flames in the Drive-Thru because of a gas leak and resulted in the restaurant burning. Luckily, the play equipment was not harmed.

Before we were going to lunch, we were knocking doors. We ran into 2 ladies who are both named Maria. They are both awesome and I hope we get to teach them.

So, we had lunch with Elders Covington and Mick and their mini missionaries. One of them [the cooler one] was born in Wisconsin. So we bonded! It was so great! There's also a missionary here that just came in from Whitefish Bay, WI. It was exciting to see someone else from home. We had dinner at Costo with our elders. There's an hermano in the branch who always takes us to Costco; buys each companionship a pizza, and we just eat. It was kind of a rant session for us cause on Tuesday, our district was the only one that weren't invited to this hike. We were told it was zone p-day and so we were all kind of upset that no one told any of us. Turns out it wasn't, but we were still not involved...on purpose. So there was this huge riff between my district and the rest of the zone. It was a huge drama fest. But we purposely were not invited, so it sucked. But, we had fun playing without them. But yeah. Don't know if it's still a problem, but man. We weren't invited cause the elders in my district wanted to plan a fishing trip [which didn't actually happen] and one of the elders took it personally, so that's why. Ridiculous, but oh well. So we kind of ranted about that at dinner. But, afterwards, there was this guy on the side of the road that was selling flags. We stopped and ATF'ed him and saw how much the flags cost. I don't really want to pay 30 bucks for a Mexican flag. To end our awesome night, we found a man named Luis, who is separated from his wife and has an interest in the Gospel. It's amazing how the Atonement automatically connects everyone to the gospel, no matter what. But, that was our Wednesday and it was very exciting!

Our Thursday was exciting, too. We went over to a recent convert’s house and she had 700 yellow page books to put into bags. Yeah, so we did that for a while and helped her do it all. It took a while but it was really funny. Her name is Marta and she's been kind of sad/depressed for a while, but she was actually happy. It was so awesome to see her happy! We had this lesson at a less active member's house about prayer and it went so well. I just started crying in the middle of the lesson. I was and am so grateful for you and Dad that we had family prayer in the morning and that we grew up with scripture study. Just realizing too how much prayer means to me. It's something I need for sure in my future home and with my future family. No ands, ifs, or buts. We had dinner at the Garcia's and it was great! I always love eating with the elders. Hna. Rico and I were walking down the street after and we went into this gas station because we had to use the bathroom. While Hna. Rico was in the bathroom, I ATF'ed the workers and they liked us so they told us to come back so we would be regulars. Haha. I can't this week, but I want to go back next week! We were walking back and talking and all these girls started meowing at us while they were driving past. Like how Clint barks, but meowing. Made Hna. Rico scream. Haha. But we ended our night with a lesson to a man named Juan Carlos. He's a little crazy, but so funny! He said he would come to church and he did! And he loved it! Awesome, huh? I was excited and still am! But it was good. And we got some horchata that night. Sooo good!

Friday was amazing for me! We had a meeting with President Alder. The elders were late, so it gave me a chance to play and practice the piano. We had a fast weekly planning, which was probably not good, but oh well. We had no time. Hna. Rico thought we should make cookies for this investigator family that we love, so we did. And I got a letter from Brazil! Probably one of my most favorite things now! I got one from Argentina last week, but that wasn't as good. Haha. It for sure made the rest of the night better. I didn't really care that people weren't home for our appointments and I didn't get discouraged. It was a really nice feeling to not have.

Saturday was nuts! We struck out all morning, but the Lord knows where we need to be. We were on one side of town and we left cause no one was answering. We stopped at this apartment complex and as we were leaving, Eduardo, one of our awesome investigators that I haven't seen for almost a month, rode by on his bike. He recognized me through the window. He stopped and we set up an appointment for tonight. I hope it goes well. We headed to Washougal to teach a contact we had. His wife is a less active member. So we went over and I just got right down to it cause I didn't want to waste time. It's about a 15 minute drive to their house and we don't have the miles to do it if he won't progress. He said he's been having the lessons on and off for 8 years, doesn't believe in changing religions [he's Catholic and doesn't even go] and even though he believes it all, he doesn't believe in Joseph Smith. So, we aren't going to waste our time teaching him when he told us basically he won't progress. We went out to eat that night with the Hibbards and it was SO great! I love that family!

Yesterday was super well. Juan Carlos was at church and we had a break the fast and it was awesome! Hna. Rico wasn't feeling too well, so that was not fun for her. But, other than that, it was great! We had a break the fast afterwards and it was really good. Did a number on my stomach, but SO good!

We have zone p-day today and I'm stoked about that. It'll be fun and I'm really looking forward to it. But, I love you all and have fun at girl's camp. Our stake had it this last week and the U-Haul that was carrying all their stuff burst into flames. Lovely, right? Anyways, have a fantastic week! I sure do love being a missionary!

Con amor,

Hna. Pleshek