Wednesday, November 12, 2014

28-Beautiful Creations

"Why do you where the name tag?"
"Because it bears my savior's name, my church's name, and my family name, but not my own name." 
-Elder Nash and Sister Whittwer

Yes, I'm still stuck on the Trizone Conference we had with Elder Nash. It was so good!
At the MTC in April, 2014

But this week, I was actually able to go on exchanges with Sister Hawkes! 

My goodness! It was so awesome to be companions with her again for a day, from twelve days together in the MTC with no experience doing 'missionary' work, to one day six months later out in the field! 

At the Butterfly House in Nov, 2014
So cool to see the improvement in teaching and know-how and everything like that!

And also on exchanges, we were able to go into the butterflyhouse! 

YES! I've wanted to serve there since day one! But... Sister Burt dispises butterflies... So we serve elsewhere. But ah! 

It was so beautiful!
It's just an awesome room filled with about 1000 butterflies! And one even landed on me! And I got a sweeeeeeet picture! So proud of that picture. So glad I was holding the camera, because those big butterflies don't stay for long! And it's my like, my favorite butterfly to see flying around, because when their wings are open, they are a bright blue, and Sister Hawkes even got one to land on her skirt with its wings open! Whoa!


And there were little adorable quail! And they were so cute! And a butterfly JUST emerging from its cocoon and so many butterflies! I had lots of fun. And there was one butterfly that was on Sister Hawkes for like, half an hour, just chillin'. 
Doing service, sitting in a room filled with butterflies and just making sure that people don't have any butterflies on them when they exit basically, is like, the most awesome thing in the world.
Sister Burt and I always serve in the marine cove portion though. 

Which is still fun.

I usually man the bins, with the starfish and sea urchins and sea cucumbers and triton snails that you can touch. 

Sister Burt usually mans the stingrays. It's a good job too I suppose.

So many pictures these last two weeks! 

Anyway, we had dinner with a lot of cute families this week. I love going over to dinner with crazy kids! It makes me laugh and it's a great stress reliever. People apologize for crazy kids all the time, but I love it. In moderation, crazy kids are refreshing. They are so funny and cute!


We had a good zone training meeting this Friday. We focused a lot on bold statements and letting our light shine in this dark winter. For an object lesson to demonstrate that we should be bold, the zone leaders did a role play, wearing plastic bags as protection, and they told the elders at the table to pelt them with water whenever they used weak phrases and words, like 'kinda' and 'we think' and whatnot. It was great fun.

Sister Burt threw me under the bus by saying, "Sister Sanderson was super bold! She called someone to repentance!" A recent convert of almost a year took us to lunch at Olive Garden (got super full on their awesome soup) and when we were placing our orders she ordered green tea. Our hearts were weighed down when she did so. She must not have understood that green tea was against the Word of Wisdom. So after the waitress was gone I asked this Sister, "Did you know that green tea is against the Word of Wisdom?" 
"Really? Oh, no I didn't." 
She thought it was just black tea. She said she would repent. She ordered camamile tea to drink instead. I know if I was this recent convert, I would have appreciated being told this. I was just doing what a good friend would do. That's how the gospel works. We call people to repentance because we love them. It was a good experience.

Also a good experience, Sister Burt and I basically interpreted the Sunday school class yesterday. It was very simplified, but a success nonetheless! It was for the two deaf people who were there, one a recent convert, one a not so recent convert. It was a success because we were able to teach them and they understood us and would help us because they can read lips and yeah, it was great. 
The lesson was about the spirit world.

Also, the changes in this ward have been kinda crazy. During stake conference here, they called a new stake presidency, and they called the bishop of this ward into the stake presidency! So we called him "prishop" for awhile. lol 
But now a new bishop has been called, and a new bishopric, with one man who has never really been in the bishopric before. And then the new bishop was out of town Sunday, so poor never-has-been-in-the-bishopric guy had to conduct. But he did great.


And last thing, I would just like to share with you my planner cover. We make covers for our planners, just taping them over the original planner covers and hole punching the little holes for the spiral thingy. Many missionaries, especially sisters, decorate their planners to make them less boring. And I just really like mine haha, and I wanted to share it.


There are so many times in the scriptures where it lists many attributes and you read them and they kind of go 'in one ear and out the other' sometimes. I saw an ensign talk that spoke about putting a name of a person to a certain attribute, and it did that in the talk for this scripture, D&C 4:6 (Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperancepatience,brotherly kindnessgodliness, charity, humilitydiligence.), but it didn't give a person for all of the attributes. 
SO, I finished it. 
And I love it.

faith, The Brother of Jared
virtueAmmon
knowledge, Abraham
temperanceJohn the Baptist
patienceJoseph Smith
brotherly kindnessNephi
godlinessJesus Christ
charity, Mormon
humilityJonah
diligence, The Pioneers

27-Tract or Treat!

Welcome to North Dakota!
Ok, spent a LOT of time sending pictures, now to talk about the busy week that I will not have time to talk about. Whoops.

Sister Nelsen
First off, we left shortly after emailing last Monday to drive up to Fargo for a big missionary conference that the mission holds only once a year. If I'm lucky I might get another one of these, but I might be gone before then. 

Sisters Summer and Andersen
Sister Christiansen
Sister Springer
This conference is special because this is a multiple zone conference, aka, the most missionaries gathered in one place that you'll probably ever see outside the MTC. There were over twenty Sister missionaries and way more than twice that many elders. It was three zones that were there, and I got to see a whole bunch of people that I served with in Bismarck!!

You don't realize how much you miss people sometimes until you see them again! That was definitely how I felt with Sister Springer!

Multi-Zone Zone Conference
And what makes this conference super special is that a member of the seventy comes and gives most of the training. Man, I want to go into more detail, but my time is short. Elder Nash was the member who came, and he is in the first presidency of the seventy, so right up there just under the apostles, the same guy who spoke in Sioux Falls' stake conference. What a privilege! Something that stood out to me was how he used the scriptures, particularly 3 Nephi 11 and put himself in the story to make it so much more real. He is such, such SUCH an inspired man.


Oh, and the drive to and from, and sleeping over at the Sister's apartment in Fargo, was all super fun. Got to know lots of Sisters and know better the network of Sisters in the mission. Piece together who came out with whom, who served together, where people served, all that good stuff.


Wednesday the wards had their trunk or treat. Sister Burt had never been to a trunk or treat before. 

She is a convert, joined the church when she was eighteen, and no elementary schools did trunk or treats in Oregon I suppose. 

There were so many great games and costumes, as per usual at church Halloween parties. 

It was a pretty cold night (winter is on it's way, all the trees have basically lost their leaves,) but it was very warm in the church! haha.

And, we had fun distracted times during weekly planning. Had to take pictures.
















Now to talk about Halloween.



Sometimes for Halloween, the mission President will tell all the missionaries, send them a text, saying do be in by 6:00pm or something of the like. Sister Burt was really hoping some sort of text like that would come because tracting on Halloween.... eh.... probably not going to go over well. ...Well, a text did come, but it informed us that it would be a normal proselyting day. Well, it would just be an experience. But Sister Burt was still not enthused.

Halloween though turned out to be a day full of food. haha. We went to drop something off at a member's house, the one with the adorable german shepard, and they fed us soup for lunch on a whim and it was super good. I also taught brother whats his face about highfive turkeys and about how your reflection is upside down in one side of the spoon and rightside up on the other. So we were all looking at spoons for a few minutes. It was great fun, haha. Good memories.

And then we had an appointment fall through that a memeber came with us to and we unfortunately had no backups, so she took us out to DQ for icecream, how nice!
And then! For dinner, we were dropped off dinner actually and it was a total Halloween dinner, at least, in my opinion. It was this sweet potatoe chilli, chilli with sweet potatoes, which was super good, and a festive orange, and then really good cornbread. It was a treat!

Then, the dreaded tracting. It's true, when we went to tract at around 6:30 in a nieghborhood, people came to the door with the candy and their faces fell as soon as we said 'we're the missionaries' and they told us haistly they weren't interested. BUT! One of the people was very kind and had friends who were memebers and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, because she wanted to be informed but assured us that she wouldn't convert. Time will tell.

And when full force trick or treating started, we went to some apartments. Nobody trick or treats at apartments. And guess what! We were let in! And they were a super nice young couple and they need to be baptized! Not that other's don't, but yeah! The restoration lesson went very well, and we just hope their 'consulting of their (lutheran) parents' won't deter them from continuing to see us.

And we got some candy too. Halloween was a success!

Then on Saturday we helped someone move. 
It was a long long day. 
Moving for 5 hours is exhausting.

P.S.
Christmas! Wooo!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

26 - I LOVE THE DEAF!!!

Costco Shopping Bosses!
I don't have a whole lot of time to write today, but I'll cover as much as I can!

First of all, after we finished emailing last week, we went to Costco with a member.

As you can see from the picture, we felt pretty boss being able to shop at Costco as missionaries.


Hmmm. A Pivot Point and Two Blades...
Eureka! Homemade Scissors!
Also, Sister Burt figured out in a moment of distraction during weekly planning how the first scissors were invented. Two butter knifes and a rubber band everyone!

Genius!


"Are You Talking About ME?"
"Yep, You're an Alright Sister!"
I wish you ALL could meet my favorite dog ever, Lexer, a German Sheppard. He's the most gorgeous, sweetest dog in the world! I haven't seen very many purebred German Sheppards and they just steal my heart! He's the dog of the members that took us to Costco. I wanna just take him home! haha

Kids Will Be Kids!
Also, hide and seek is the best! It was a blast playing with these two little boys, first at their house before being fed dinner, then at the church while waiting for our ride to be ready to leave in the church. But one of the boys, as always happens, was running and tripped over his own feet and biffed it, face planting into the carpet, cutting his lip on his teeth. You could almost see it happen in slow motion. But, you could put all sorts of pads of protection on little ones and they would still get hurt, I'm convinced of it. Good thing they're resilient.

"On Your Bike!"
Also, we get to ride bikes! Only rode it basically up the block and back because we didn't have much time that day it ended up to use them, but the situation is that we share the car with the sisters in the first ward, so we have the car Thursday Friday and Saturday and we have a bike rack on the back of the car as so we can snag the bikes on the days we don't have the car if we want. 
So yeah! I can now say I've ridden a bike on my mission. 
I feel accomplished.

My MTC Companion, Sister Hawkes.

Also, I don't remember if I emphasized this at all my last entree, but this right here in the picture, this is Sister Hawkes. She was my beloved MTC companion! AND she is serving in the Sioux Falls First Ward! I get to see her every time we switch the car, every p-day, every Sunday at church, and goodness! It's so awesome to, after six months of not seeing each other and not knowing if you ever would in the mission, to be able to see how she is doing!! So awesome!!


But as far as what happened this week. We taught a lot of members this week, members who are less active (LA) and also members who are recent converts (RC), and a member who is a recent convert AND less active! Any and all of these lessons are what we call LARC lessons. So if I use that term, that's what it means.

So there is a women who we are working with who is deaf and we've been able to see her six times in the two weeks that I have been here, which is fantastic! She is the sweetest thing with the best teasing sense of humor. Her speech is very good and she can read lips, so she is able to help us out with our sign as needed. Sister Burt actually has worked with a deaf person in every single area she has been in, which I find interesting, and she had never had any exposure to ASL before her mission. Also, Sister Burt has only two months of her mission left. She actually came to the mission (and will go home of course too) at the same time as Sister Easter, my first companion. So, pretty crazy. I might be Sister Burt's last companion.

But anyway, this deaf lady is progressing so much! She hadn't come to church in a long time and she didn't make it to church yesterday, but she did the week before! YAY!

But man oh man. Watching the interpreters during church... it is exhausting for your eyes, but I watched them the entire duration of sacrament meeting and relief society. And it's just crazy. I feel like all the sign language that I know is coming back to me, resurfacing. I have way more motivation to communicate in sign language than I have before. Well, I did have a desire before, when I was more immersed in the culture when Marshall was going to a deaf school years ago, but now I just feel like I'm more capable.

There are only two active deaf people in the ward, (soon to be three), and we have four interpreters in the ward. One of the interpreters has a brother who's deaf, and one of the interpreters, and this is just crazy to me, she was called to be an ASL interpreter for the ward and she said, "um, I don't know sign language!" "Hm? But don't you work with deaf kids?" "No, I work with BLIND kids." "...Oh....well, we're going to call you anyway." And so she LEARNED sign language just to be an interpreter in the ward for these two deaf sisters! And she is just fantastic!

My goodness. I just feel so blessed being in this ward. MAN! I love it! I'm excited for my ASL to continue to improve I know I'm making my mom prouder than... idk, something! Just super super proud! So that has been my awesome week! Until next time!

Happy Birthday, YoYo Man! (Elder Elison)




P.S. The yoyo elder is in our district. It was his birthday.


Fall in Sioux Falls


Interesting License Plate

Sioux Falls Pictures:

25 - And It Came to Pass

Before we go any further, no, the title is not about the kidney stone I had (though it DID pass). That's all over and done with. You'll see the reason behind the title later. 

AND before I go any further again, here is my new address.

Sister Hannah Sanderson
6300 S Avalon Ave #121
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Bismarck Ward Sisters and Families
My last hours in Bismarck were fantastic. The women of the ward are so awesome. I was saying goodbye on Sunday and one of the women said that she would love to feed us lunch the day following and that other women could come too and I could say goodbye to all of them at once. It was such a fun gathering. I feel such a sisterhood to these women, a special connection with all of them and I am going to miss them all dearly. I'm so happy to have met and gotten to know them.
Lots to Pack

I'll Miss You, Sister Gray!
But alas, I had to leave. It's good though, I felt that I needed a change of scenery pretty soon.

Stuffed everything into suitcases and headed to the church on Tuesday at 2:00pm.

 
The Four Bismarck Sisters
I will miss all the dear Sisters I lived with. It was a blast. Sister Christiansen's actually been transferred to Brookings though, so we're both in South Dakota, so that's cool. 

And another crazy thing is the area that I'm in, it was her old area, and her first area at that. I feel so privileged to be literally walking in her footsteps, someone whom I know and respect so much, picking up and working with an area that she's worked in before. So neat! I'm living in the same apartment and everything it turns out!

Hamlet's Ready! All Aboard the Transfer Train!
Well, it was time. 

We boarded the transfer train, or in other-words the big van with the trailer behind it with all our luggage, and we hit the road.

The Transfer Train goes around the mission on a clockwise route starting in Rapid City, heading north then east across North Dakota.  From Bismarck we continued our eastward journey. 

Sister Devey, from the same MTC District!
Our next stop was Jamestown.  

I would never have thought that SISTER DEVEY would get on the train!!!

We were in the MTC six months ago together and I haven't seen her since! AH! I love her so much! It's so nice to reunite with people who you've bonded so closely with! She's going to Rapid City, South Dakota, so exciting!

Fargo N. Dakota Chapel

Next stop:  Fargo, North Dakota.

When we stopped at Fargo I thought of my trainer, Sister Easter, because she served in Fargo for nine months! Her first area! 

So, had to take a picture of the church for her.

It was dark as we rolled into Sioux Falls
We arrived at Sioux Falls, which is the biggest city in the mission by the way, late at night, around 10:00pm.
My New Companion, Sister Burt!

There I met my new companion, Sister Burt. 

She's great. 
A great companion to work with. We've been getting along just fine! 
And this, THIS is where you will find meaning in the title of this blog entree title:

And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of the which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things, (Mosiah 5:3).

We were driving over to the other sister's apartment to drop some sisters off to spend the night. Sister Burt was talking to her previous companion... using bits of sign language? And Burt turned to me and said, "oh, by the way, you're basically serving in the deaf ward."
My heart LEAPT up in sheer joy and excitement!!
The Sister's "Digs" in Sioux Falls

"OH! YES! THANK YOU! OOOOH YES!!"

See, I knew, I just KNEW that I would at some point in my mission work with someone who was deaf in some way shape or form, even if I wasn't called to a deaf speaking mission. I just knew it would happen. There was no denying it. With my previous exposure to the deaf community and to ASL, my mom being an interpreter and my youngest brother Marshall "being deaf" (or mute rather) for the first five years of his life and going to a deaf school for a couple years? I just knew I would work with someone who was deaf. 

And here it was. Confirmed. This was it. And this, this wasn't just one person spontaneously. It is a ward that has multiple deaf people in it, that has people who have been called as interpreters in the ward, FOUR interpreters at that. What a special confirmation. It came to pass.



We went back home to our not so humble apartment and slept. 

The reason I say "not so humble" is because it's one of the best apartments with the most conveniences in the mission. 

We have our own washer and dryer and we even have an outside building that has an exercise room in it. We are very blessed here.







(My new bed and the bathroom...complete with washer and dryer!)

We have taught a deaf women here already this week. 

She's a less active, also a recent convert, and she came to church on Sunday! Which was stake conference here... which was great but... I haven't taken the sacrament consequently for four weeks in a row... Not ideal... 

BUT SHE CAME TO CHURCH! Yay! I'm praying for the gift of tongues! I need it as much as anyone! Goodness. But, her speech is very very good and she can read lips. So communicating isn't too bad at all. And Sister Burt has gotten pretty good at ASL over the three months that she's been here.

It's also really nice being in Sioux Falls because it's like I jumped backward a month. 

I flew South for the winter! 

Super grateful for that. 



So we are just starting fall here.

The weather is a tiny bit more mild.

It's SO nice!




The people here in the ward are great! 

I love it here! I am so so so grateful to be here and I am excited to give a report of next weeks' happenings! 

I love you all! 

Till next week!!