Hello from California! I hope everyone is having a fantastic last few days of March!
Things In Pasadena are good. We have managed to do quite a bit of missionary work, through this last week. Not nearly what we would be doing, but we did still teach 14 lessons last week, 7 investigator lessons, and 7 less-active/recent convert lessons. We also have a new investigator, W, and he is fantastic. He lives at the same retirement home as Andrew and Sharon, and we are excited to be teaching him now, too.
Sister Pack sang in a quartet (sp?) yesterday; they sang, "Lead Kindly Light", and did a wonderful job. There is quite a lot of musical talent in our ward, and I'm excited for it to be put to use at our Easter Fireside on April 10th, where we will celebrate the life of Christ through music and testimony.
Our investigator, Aaron, will be sharing his testimony on the Savior, and our investigator, Kaitlin, is singing: "I know that My Redeemer lives, with Sister Pack. It's awesome to involve them, and Andrew and Sharon agreed to attend the fireside. The purpose is for people to invite their friends so we can find more people to teach, but it's also to strengthen ward members in their missionary efforts and in their personal testimonies of Jesus Christ.
We met a man, P, that we will be giving a church tour this week. He looks like Gaston; it's pretty hilarious. Anyway, he is super nice, and we are excited to give him a tour. We are also giving a tour on Thursday to a guy named Geronimo that we met last week on the street; I'm really excited for that one. We are praying that they both show up for their scheduled tours, ready to learn more about the Gospel and how it can bless their lives.
One thing Sister Pack and I share a lot is something from Preach My Gospel; I don't have it memorized, but the gist of it is that everyone in life faces challenges, and though our problems vary in type and severity, the answer is the same; through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed from our sins and strengthened in our temptation and healed from our pains.
Anyway, I hope everyone has the chance to watch General Conference this weekend. I am so excited to hear from the prophet, President Monson, and the Apostles and other inspired speakers. That's another thing we have been testifying about a lot lately; the opportunity to hear from the Prophet this weekend, and how adhering to his message can bless our spiritual and temporal lives.
We talked to as many people we could on Colorado Street (Downtown Pasadena, where there is a big mall and a lot of restaurants and shops, etc) yesterday afternoon about conference, and invited them to watch it; it was a good experience, testifying of the power and authority President Monson has as our Prophet, even if people weren't interested in the message.
Well, time is running out. Have a good week! :)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Greetings from Pasadena!
I hope everyone is having a fantastic start of the week.
Well, today's email will have to be a bit short, but briefly, stake conference was really good this last weekend. We heard a lot of "back to the basic" talks, and then there was a big emphasis on the temple. I loved the messages we heard.
Before the Sunday general session, Sister Pack and I attended a special meeting for recent converts from the stake. The Spirit was so strong in this meeting, and it was a humbling experience to hear the testimonies of people so new to the Gospel.
There is much to look forward to in the next month; we have General Conference the first week of April, which we are really looking forward to, and then April 29th, Elder L. Tom Perry is coming to speak to the Arcadia mission and I believe several other missions in an area conference. We are so excited to hear from him!
Also, sometime this transfer (so in the next five weeks) we will be given permission to do a temple session at the LA Temple. We don't know the exact date yet, but we are all looking forward to this opportunity.
We have been the recipients of some serious rain; it poured all day and all night yesterday; there has been people out all day today taking care of the water trying to prevent flooding. I love it when it rains because of how green the mountains become; it is absolutely beautiful.
Anyway, our district has changed a little bit. Sister Pack and I still meet in Alhambra for district meeting, but our next district leader is Elder Landes from Ohio, and his companion is Elder Gibbens, from Bountiful, Utah. Then Elder Dunn and Elder Cozzens, our zone leaders, are still in our district.
On Wednesday, all the missionaries from our mission are getting together for an 1 1/2 training in preparation for Elder Perry to come speak to us. I'm excited for the chance to see the missionaries from my MTC district!
Happy Spring everyone!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Happy P-Day to me, and happy PI-Day to the rest of the world!
I hope you all eat some pie in honor of 3/14! :)
Well, greetings from Pasadena! Sister Pack and I continue to serve in Pasadena, a wonderful blessing. Neither one of us were ready to be transferred yet; it seems that we just got here!
Our district will change a little bit; our district leader, Elder Valdez, was transferred and his companion, Elder Wood, went back to serving in the Armenian branch, so we will be getting a new district leader, Elder Landes, and he will be training a new missionary. Our zone leaders, Elder Dunn and Elder Cozzens, will continue to be in our district. We meet every Thursday morning in a neighboring city to Pasadena, Alhambra.
I can now consider myself officially "broken". During a missionary's first transfer, they are a "greenie", and then the second transfer, a missionary is "greenie broken".
Today starts my 3rd transfer; 12 weeks in California already. They have been wonderful.
This morning, I took my last Amoxicillin pill, and good news, all signs of strep throat have left me. Sister Pack and I were pretty much out of commission for a week, from Wednesday to Wednesday, with the exception of attending church Sunday and teaching a few lessons last Tuesday. We are both grateful to have been back into our missionary efforts with full energy.
The last few days have been really great. Daylight savings that started yesterday is a huge blessing; now, it is light outside until 7 PM, which gives us a longer amount of time to be out talking to people. The warmer weather is causing more people to be outside as well, another huge blessing.
In personal study this morning, I finished reading the book of 2nd Nephi, and I remembered how much I love 2nd Nephi, chapter 33. Nephi's closing remarks are so powerful, and his testimony of the Gospel really affected me this morning for the positive. Reading his words felt like a motivational speech, and I'm really excited to continue serving this week.
Happy PI Day everyone!
HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY, HAPPY FAMILY DAY (CELEBRATED IN PARTS OF CANADA), HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO SISTER PACK'S PARENTS (30 YEARS!) AND HAPPY 2 MONTH MARK TO SERVING IN CALIFORNIA (NOT INCLUDING THE MTC) FOR ME! SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE TODAY :)
Can you tell I am a bit hyper today? Well I was this morning, but have mellowed out a lot since then, because it took Sister Pack and I an hour and a half to find someplace to email today-- library's are not open on this holiday! Thankfully, there was someone kind enough to open up the family history library at a stake center and let us email here.
Anyway, our transfer is already half over. That is insane to me! It's been 3 weeks, and in three more, we'll see who will stay and who will go... or preferably, we will both stay. We shall see what God has planned.
The work in Pasadena is moving along nicely.
We continue to teach K, and she is progressing in the Gospel, and Brother S, also making Gospel progression. That's been the highlight of serving in Pasadena, is teaching these two individuals. Brother S's wife came to church yesterday; it was really nice to meet her, and we hope to see her again soon.
Another highlight of the week is we were asked to help at a child of record baptism for an adorable little girl, Shirley. She turned 8 on Tuesday, and her baptism was held Saturday. I had the opportunity to speak on baptism, and Sister Pack sang "When I am Baptized". (I like to look for rainbows). She did an amazing job; the accompanist, Sister Tebbs, did a beautiful arrangement, and together, they helped bring in an amazing spirit that only comes with music.
I will send pictures, hopefully next week, of Shirley and her family; they turned out so well. Shirley's brother, Walter baptized her. He is 18, and that is the first baptism he performed, so it was a very special day for the whole family.
My Canadian study is going well. I am learning new Canadian phrases all the time, and it's been fun. Did you know that smarties are rockets, that slug bugs are punch buggies, and it really is important to say "eh" all the time? I've gotten good at saying "tag" and "bag" with the "eh" rather than "a" sound.. if that makes sense.
Yesterday, we had ward conference. It was really nice to hear the Stake President, (President Nelson, small world :) speak, as well as our Bishop, Bishop Tervet, and the Elders Quorum President, President Hendry. The choir did a beautiful job singing as well; it was a great meeting.
The ward members are very supportive in Pasadena Ward. We have been teaching a lot of member lessons, teaching primarily about Mormon.org and having members create profiles. We also continue to give the member tour of the church.
There are Spanish Elders and Spanish Sisters serving on either side of our area, so we do get English referrals from them sometimes, which is a wonderful blessing.
One great referral we had from last week is a media referral from a Gladys Knight concert that was held in Ontario several weeks ago; the packet included a copy of the Book of Mormon, a Restoration DVD, and a CD from Sister Knight from her concert.
Tyrone and Yomi attended the concert; they have 2 adorable little boys, and we delivered them their packet on Saturday and had a great visit with their family. They are excited to read from the Book of Mormon, and are considering our invitation to begin teaching them about the Gospel.
There is so much more I would love to write about, but the time is up for now.
Have a great week everyone!
Sister Ally Snow