Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009--President's email--What a Great Week!

As you know we had a little "glitch" in our week this week, so we didn't get as many lessons taught as we wanted to, but we still got to see one of our investigators baptized!! It was the first baptism that I have been able to teach the investigator. Her name is Tatiana and she is 18 years old. Her mom is a member of the church, but less active. Tatiana wanted to know what her mom believed in, so she got on and requested missionaries. It's so wonderful! She is so amazing and you can truely see in her that she loves this gospel and you can see how much it blesses her life. Her father doesn't know she got baptized because he is against it, but her mom is fully supportive in it. It is SO wonderful to be a part of this work!! I LOVE being here and I LOVE seeing people change their lives for the better!
I'm so excited for a new week with no hospital visits involved! We are going to head out in full force. That email was so inspiring! I'm excited to just WORK!!
Thank you so much for everything!
Sister Denson

December 28, 2009--Out of the Hospital!!

Haha I'm going to attach a ton of pictures of Christmas day in the hospital! The sisters were very good at getting pictures of all my visitors--even if I was asleep when they got there!!! Haha I'll document them all for you:
1. Me and the Elders in our ward/Zone Leaders in the ER.
2. Me and Sister Vance. I put the shirt up because again, no bra. Hahaha I totally would have put it back on, but they had me hooked up to a heart monitor, so it made it difficult. You don't need to post that on my blog by the way....
3. Me and Sister Schulthies--she lives in Bountiful by the way and she goes home in March. Go to her homecoming. Her mom is on Facebook.
4. MY VERY OWN Apostles photo!!!! Mal, I told President about it. He didn't come to the hospital, so when we do PPI's I'll show him. He's super excited to see it.
5. Sister Vance brushing my hair. She is so Christ-like!! She just LOVES to serve, and of course I love my hair being played with. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep during that.
6. Me sleeping, and probably drooling--given the fact that I can't swallow!!--and Elder Goodale and Elder Parry. They are so funny and smart! We were supposed to have lunch with them at a members home. They aren't in our ward, but they know her.
7. WATER!!!!! Oh my gosh I drank like 3/4 of that in like 10 min. I LOVED it!!!!
8. My FIRST Supper. YUM!! I had carrots, rice, string bean soup, mandarin oranges, golden loaf cake (whatever that was DELICIOUS though!) and SALMON!!! Yes, I was THAT hungry that I ate some of that salmon. Not a lot, but yes, I willingly ate it!!!

I checked out of the hospital at 7:00 ish. They didn't want me to leave, but President and the southern mission doctor did. I was in outpatient surgery so they were charging us by the hour and I had already racked up a bill of $10,000!!! Yeah, ridiculous!
Ugh!! My batteries just died in my camera, so I can't upload any pictures from the baptism!!! I'll for sure get them next week. We had a great time! She was just glowing!! I can't believe I was part of changing someones life!!!!! She is an absolute doll and is already ready to come on exchanges with us! Cool huh!!! I love her to death!

I'm so sorry I can't get you picutes, but I will next week.

Tell Grandma I want Peanut brittle and no shortbread.

Tell RaeLin that yes I got all the stuff she sent me a couple of weeks ago. Some of the sisters wanted to order Mary Kay stuff, so she sent me some catalogs and business cards. I need a new chapstick from her. I LOST mine! I've been dying for two weeks! I was going to ask you last week for one and then at christmas, and then I forgot. What a blessing that you brought it up!!
Thank you so much for all the gifts! Kenzi I'm wearing your shirt and necklace today! It's adorable! I'll try the new garments out and let you know. Oh, blast I got a picture of me in my jammies, but stupid batteries. Remind me next week!
Have a wonderful week! Sorry this is short and lame. It took forever to upload all the pictures! I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you so much for all the pictures that you sent!! I LOVE the ones of the dogs. Demi is pretty! I loved the florida attire! I'll try and find stuff that specifically says Ft. Lauderdale for next year!

LOVE, Sister Denson

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009--Our Christmas phone call was NOT what we expected!!

Our Christmas Day started out VERY unusual!! Because Sammi was transferred to a new area a week ago, one that hadn't had sisters in years, she didn't know how the Christmas phone call was going to work. She told us she would hopefully find a member who could text or call us and let us know her plans. This morning, at 8:00, the phone rang with caller ID saying: LDS Church! WOW!! I grabbed it and was completely surprised to hear President Hale's voice on the other end wishing me a Merry Christmas!! Interesting...he wanted to give me an update on my daughter...even MORE interesting... I couldn't quite figure out why the mission president would be calling to update me on my missionary's phone call time. Well...that wasn't it. Here's the story:

Sammi has always had a very hard time swallowing pills. For years, we crushed them if we couldn't find a liquid equivalent. Several times, she has tried swallowing one only to have it stick in her throat until she can choke, gag, or throw it up. It's so sad to watch and we feel completely helpless! As she's gotten older, she's gotten a bit better. She can swallow medicine daily for ADHD and allergies; but, if an antibiotic is needed, we still usually ask for liquid. The pharmacist looks at us like we've gone nuts and gives us HUGE bottles! Evidently, yesterday morning, Sammi took her normal daily pills. However, this time, the Allegra decided not to go down. She choked, gagged, tried to throw it up but nothing worked. She struggled throughout the day, called the mission nurse who called the Area Doctor in Orlando, and tried to work through it. After SEVERAL phone calls, they finally decided last night, that since she couldn't swallow her own saliva let alone anything else, she'd better go be checked out at the hospital. She and the three sisters she lives with along with the Zone Leaders who live nearby, headed over. Because it was Christmas Eve, there weren't any specialists on call so they admitted her and called someone in to check her out this morning. Elders Zubia and Hirschi gave her a WONDERFUL blessing and Hermana Schulthies spent the night with her. Hermanas Vance and Felton went back to the apartment to sleep. This morning, they brought all of the Christmas presents over to the hospital and had their own little Christmas morning in Sammi's room. SOOOOO sweet of them! She said it was actually kind of fun but she still wishes they could have been home (in the apartment). President Hale said he would be going down to Miami to see her later today and if we hadn't heard from her, he would let her use his cell phone to call us. We were to sit tight and wait to hear from her or he'd call us again with more information. HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!

She called us about 9:00 to tell us he had authorized her to use the missionary cell phone. She asked us to get the married kids home and she'd call again at 10:00. We were able to talk to her for about 35 minutes. She sounded WONDERFUL!!! Fortunately, she felt great except she couldn't swallow (she kept spitting throughout the phone call :D ). They came to get her for an x-ray so she said she'd call us back. During the x-ray, they had her swallow some stuff so they could watch it travel down her throat to see what was going on inside. She couldn't swallow it but enough trickled down to show that the pill was STILL lodged in her throat! They needed to get it out since it hadn't dissolved. She called us again to update us and talked again for 20-25 minutes until they came to get her. She said she was sure President would let her call again to update us after the procedure. He actually called us but we'd already been updated.

She called again an hour or so later to say that all went well, she could FINALLY swallow again and was drinking water like crazy! The pill had only dissolved about a third and they were shocked how much it blocked her esophagus! She said there was some swelling and a bit of ulceration because of the pill sitting there so long. They were going to keep her overnight for observation but were also going to let her eat a meal at 7:00. She was THRILLED!! We finished talking, she said a sweet family prayer, and reluctantly, we hung up. It was so emotional!!!! Worried about my baby girl and wanting to be there to take care of her, grateful she's become so independent that she can handle things on her own, and SOOOOOO glad she's in the Lord's hands and that He's the one taking care of her as she serves Him! She was AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Later this evening, President Hale called from the hospital and asked what Sammi's history had been after one of these episodes. She seemed a bit scared and wanted to take all the precautions the hospital could give her. However, at the recommendation the Area Doctor, a friend of President Hale's here in SLC, and talking with me, he was going to try to get her to check herself out. Evidently, the hospital is well-known for having patients stay longer than is necessary. He assured her that she could go back if necessary. He said he'd call us if there was any more news.

How grateful for a loving, compassionate President who is a "Dad" to all our precious kids! The down side of today has been hearing my baby is hurting and I'm not there to take care of her. The upside of today has been I got to talk to her and she's doing AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! They have a baptism tomorrow and she's SOOOO excited about it! She loves the people, she's excited (yet VERY nervous) to learn Spanish, she LOVES serving the Lord and is doing so well!!

I'll post pictures when she sends them on Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 19, 2009--Mission Christmas Conference

Mission Christmas Conference Dinner

President Hale, Sister Hale & Brother Wilcox
(Pres Hale and Brother Wilcox served together in
the Chile Vina del Mar Mission 28 Years ago)

The sweet Senior Couples who help take care of our Elders and Sisters.

Miami Zone

December 21, 2009--MIAMI!!!!!

Hey guys!!
How have you all been??? Obviously I'm doing GREAT!!! :):) As probably all of you know I've been transferred to Miami! It's been one crazy week! The Elders were in the area, but they took Elders out of Miami 4th North and Kendall, and put all Sisters in! Its been so hectic trying to white-wash this area. We have to just make phone call after phone call to meet new members and try to get meet our investigators. Of course, the elders that were before us just did a great job at filling out the teaching records and the whiteboards and everything! Hahah NOT!! We know nothing about anyone! We are lucky though that one of the elders that was in the Miami 4th North was just moved to Miami 4th South, so we have him to answer many of our questions. They hardly told anyone that they were taking both elders out and putting sisters in. It's been so long since Sisters have been in these areas (this is the first time since President and Sister Hale have been here) that the ward doesn't even know how to react to sisters. We still have a set of Elders with us, so that's a benefit. As far as I know there were no problems, we just needed more sisters areas because there are so many of us, and President wanted Sisters in every zone. I think he's only got one zone left that is all Elders. It's been fun though. It's such an adventure for both of us! As you heard, yes I am living with 3 spanish speaking missionaries. President pulled me and Herman Shulthies aside on Wednesday and said, "Sister Denson, learn Spanish. It will be a great advantage to you in the future." Hermana Schulthies is doing a great job at teaching me basic stuff, but it's going to be one long hard process. I'm excited though! It' is SO helpful to be here and know at least a little spanish. We are not in a spanish ward, though. The sisters that we live with, who are serving in the Kendall area are in a spanish ward, but ours is English. I told the sisters to all help me out and teach me new stuff each day. I've asked them to do mighty prayer in spanish so I can start catching on. So, we'll see!

Speaking of Mighty prayer, it is now at 9:30 in the morning and at night. So, if you are participating in it please take note of the time changes.

Friday was crazy with the rain! We made it to a members home and she said a couple hours before we got there, which was 4:00 pm, we had already received 14 inches in that day!!!! How insane is that??? I've never heard of such a thing! We got text after text from President warning us about it and reminding us to not go splashing through puddles and to be wise in tracting and bike riding. It sure was cold though! I don't have a rain coat though. I only have my cardigans. I would love the one we bought from NYand Company, but it doesn't have a hood. If you could find one WITH a hood, that would be FABULOUS!!
Christmas Conference was one of the most amazing days ever! We were able to just sit and visit with one another and also have the most amazing talk from Brother Wilcox. He's so animated in his talk and just kept everyone on the edge of their seat, but not once, the spirit left the room. He talked about who we really are and how we have the birthright of our Heavenly Father and what that truly means. It was so amazing! It was just what I needed. We had a wonderful lunch, then a slideshow of the year, and then President gave out some stuff. It was such a fun day. After that, we got to go to our new ward party. It was the smallest thing I've ever seen, but we all had so much fun! Santa came and read stories to the little kids. It was fun.
I sent my bags home because I don't need them and I don't have room for them. I gave my scriptures to the Lakes on Saturday. I gave them our address, so they can mail them. They are leaving for Utah today to spend Christmas there. I have a feeling that they just might hand deliver them:):) Don't be sad if they don't though! I love my scripture stickers, and I would love more, but they are way expensive and I don't have time to put them on. They honestly would just sit on my desk forever. But I think I saved the little paper folders that they each came in. I think they might be on my window seat, but I'm not positive. If they are, could you send those. I would at least be able to mark those in my new set. Oh, speaking of which, President and Sister Lake bought those scriptures just for me!!! They said a lot of thought went into buying them and she wanted to write in them for me, but just didn't get time. I LOVE them so much!!!! They told me they want me to marry their son! Haha I've never even met him. He's out in Utah right now. They'll just be the first people I visit when I go back. I seriously love them.
The pictures that I am adding are of us driving into downtown Miami, which is in our area :):) We also have Key Biscane too:) We're going to go adventure driving one day to see our area. We have members who live out there, so why not?? It's a beautiful city and I love being here, except I could just do without the traffic. Holy Moly there is alot of traffic! It takes an hour to get to one of our investigators homes! And the traffic is all throughout the day! It never stops!
Well, I've got to go! I wish I had more information on what time I'll be calling on Christmas day, but I don't! Sorry!!!!! I'm excited to talk to you though! Have a wonderful week!!!
Give all the dogs BIG HUGE buttrubs for me! I miss them a lot!
LOVE, Sister Denson

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Transfer Day!

Sisters Felton, Vance, Denson, Hale, and Schulties.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009--Bye-bye Boca!!

As you see from the subject line I am leaving Boca Raton. It's definitely bittersweet. I absolutely LOVE it here and LOVE the people in the ward. You all know how much I get emotionally attached to people, so that is why it is bitter. The sweet part is that I got to talk to President on Friday morning. Sister Eland has been really sick and really homesick. She just doesn't feel good and just wants a hug from her mom and her brother is getting married on the 29th and it's the first marriage in the family and she just misses a lot of the traditions at home. Anyway, so of course, me being so not a nurturer just called President to ask him what to do. He gave me advice on her and thanked me for the "heads-up" and then proceeded to tell ME a "heads up" about where I'll be spending Christmas. He, of course, didn't come right out and tell me--he never tells anyone where they are going--but he told me that it is "going to be a fun and exciting change, and that all of you sisters are going to guess where you are going and every single one of you are going to be WRONG!" I was like WHAT?? First, I was sad because I wanted to spend Christmas with people I know, but now I'm SO excited to see my new area and my new companion!!! I was worried about getting depressed on Sunday because that is the last day I would see a lot of the members, but it feels so natural for me to leave because I know that the Lord has something else in store for me. It sounds like I'll be white-washing an elder's area, but who knows! I'll let you know next week.

Mom, just send my Christmas package to the mission office. Don't call for the new address cause I want to be the one to tell you where I am!! It's going to be so fun! I'm so excited! It'll be such a suspense for all of you until Monday!! hehehehe :):) Oh, speaking of the 25 days of Christmas. I LOVE THE STOCKING!!!!!!!!!! That is the cutest thing ever!!! I took it to the church Tuesday night (we have a meeting every Tuesday at the church, and there are always other stuff going on on Tuesdays, too) so I could show the ladies in the ward. I showed the Bishop's wife, cause she loves to sew quilts (we've bonded:) and when I get home she is going to visit her brother in Bountiful and then come to Layton so I can teach her how to use a quilting machine! She LOVED it!! I showed Sister Lake, she LOVED it and then I showed Sister Gwynn last night! She actually wants one for each member in her family. She wants pink and white for the girls, and black and blue for the boys. She said she doesn't need them this year, but would pay you anything for them. She LOVED them!!! There is her, Keydi, her husband Tony, and their kids, Sarah (8), Samuel (6, we're friends) and Sophia (2 in Feb) Facebook email her for more details :):)

So we had the Ward Christmas Party on Saturday and it was so fun! There were like 14 non-members, and 12 less actives!! How cool is that! We were able to talk to a lot of them and it was really good. Oliver came and stayed until about 10:00!! He told us on Sunday that he is going to be baptized sooner than he thought because he isn't so sure his girlfriend is the one for him! How cool is that!!! Oh my gosh! What an answer to prayers!!!! I was like dying cause I couldn't jump for joy at the church!! Rosie didn't get baptized because she didn't realized how much she had to learn and didn't realized that she had to quit smoking completely. Keep praying for her. She's going through a lot of struggles right now because her mom is giving her a hard time about a lot of things.

While Sister Eland was sick this week I was just reading and studying a ton. I read the whole priesthood session and I'm totally going to have a ton of boys so that they can all be amazing priesthood holders!!! I'll have to have some daughters too because I need some amazing wives for the other amazing priesthood holders out there too! Hahahaha, yeah, me, Sister Denson wants a lot of kids now. You better right this down of paper!!!

So, I do need one last thing for Christmas. I was at the church on Sunday and was getting picture with President and Sister Lake. President wasn't at church because he had to do an interview down south somewhere and wouldn't be able to make it to the meetings, but would try his hardest to come back to Boca to get a picture with me and Sister Moore because we are leaving. He's the best. So anyway, my bag was SUPER heavy on Sunday because I put both my scriptures in their case in my bag. It says in the white handbook to always have your scriptures in their cases to protect them. I usually just carry around my triple combination because that Bible is so darn heavy!! Anyway, so of course, President makes a big fuss over it and just teases me like crazy--remember the bag story from last week?--anyway. So they invite us over for dessert that night. They still had some Red Velvet Cake left over from last week (my new favorite dessert) and wanted us over. So we go over there and have dessert and share a message with them and then President says, "Sister Denson, how are those scriptures of yours?" I was like, "Fine." He was like "It's really bad for your shoulder and back to be carrying around those big of scriptures." I was like, "President, I'll be fine, I'm just trying to be exactly obedient." So he walks out of the room and comes in with a brand new, still in the wrapper, standard size quad and hands them to me!! I was like "No way!" They both insisted because I should have a bought a new set of scriptures for my mission because they are the ones that every one cherishes the most and that I'm still new enough in my mission to mark up a new set. They also insisted that they are pretty cheap too. I didn't say it but of course I thought it--they're not cheap!! They are like $55 because they are all indexed too!! They are the sweetest people and I love them with all my heart!!! So, the last thing I need for Christmas is a new standard size scripture case. I don't care what it looks like, as long as it is not ugly. They are black, so something that matches black. I am going to give my big ones to Sister Lake on Saturday and she is going to ship them to you. I thought a lot about keeping my big ones, but finally decided to send them home. The hardest part for me was that all my Preach My Gospel scripture stickers are in my big ones and I LOVE those!!! I'm sorry, but I'll definitely use them in the future.
I plan on sending out your Christmas box today. I think I told you last week, but I don't remember...I am not buying big gifts at all. I'm just buying little tiny things. I'll buy you all AWESOME Florida ORIGINALS next year when I come home. They'll be souvenirs/Christmas gifts in one. Thanks for understanding!!!

I LOVE YOU guys so much!!!! Thank you so much for everything that you do!!

I will try and get a card to Bishop this week, but I have a lot of thank yous to write to ward members today as well as pack and everything else. I'll do my best, but no guarantees. I've sent cards to the Primary, no worries. And yes, I got something from the RS a couple of weeks ago, oh and from Richard and Heather Ford's family! I want to write them Thank Yous too, but it is not going to happen this week.

I LOVE YOU!!! Enjoy the snow for me!! It's been pretty darn warm this past week. I believe the highest we got was 89! The humidity isn't bad at all. The only time I feel it is when it rains. It's rained more than usual this week, not being rainy season and all, so Sister Eland and I have been inside a lot because we don't want to make her sickness worse.
I love you all!!!!
Have a wonderful week!!!!
LOVE, Sister Denson
PS the huge summer sausage was a BIG HIT this morning! We are excited to buy cheese and crackers at the store today:) They are all going to miss the gifts you send. Oh, and the Insta-Snow is AWESOME!!! Where did you find that stuff????

PPS the picture is with President and Sister Lake. I made him hold my bag :):):) and the other is with my new friends Andressa and Renata. I LOVE THOSE GIRLS!!! and with the Briggs girls. The 8 year old twins LOVE me:):) I love them:):)

PPPS Sister Olson already knows about her homecoming and she knows your going to be there too. She is so excited to meet you!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Hales

Cameron, Heather, Sister Hale, Tanner, President Hale, Spencer, Katherine
What a wonderful family!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 12, 2009--Boca Raton Ward Christmas Party

Sammi found a dear friend in one of the sweet sisters from the Boca Raton Ward. Sister Keydi Vallencillo-Gwynn has been taking the Sister Missionaries out on appointments, out to lunch, helping them with their Spanish, and generally being a great friend to them. Sammi and Keydi have become dear friends. One of the best parts, for us, of this friendship has been Keydi found me on Facebook and shares them with us. She's been a GREAT blessing to us!!

These pictures are from the Boca Raton Christmas Party held Saturday night. They look like they had a GREAT time!!

Sister Eland, Keydi Gwynn, and Sammi

The Gwynn family

Sister Eland and Santa!

Looks like Santa loves the Sister Missionaries!!

The Boca Raton Sister Missionaries: Sister Moore, Sister Ellsworth, Sister Denson, and Sister Eland.

Sammi and Samuel Gwynn.

Sister Ellsworth and Sammi (not sure who the man is...)

Sister Eland helping serve food at the party. She's got the sweetest smile!!

Sister Ellsworth helping out.

Sammi and Sister Moore serving dinner.

Sammi and Sara Gwynn

Sammi and Sister Eland with their Beanie Babies. (Not sure of the story behind that...)

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009--Enjoy the snow for me!

Okay, so this is probably the weirdest Christmas ever. It's so weird to see Christmas lights with no snow and especially weird to have 80 degree weather!! So please, enjoy the snow for me. :):)

This week was pretty slow one, because Sister Eland got a cold, and had to take it easy, and then yesterday I got a migraine that just wouldn't go away. No worries, it's the first in a long time, and everyone keeps telling me its just the Barometric pressure. I'm totally fine today and feel no after effects.

I only have one funny story to tell and it's just because I'm a total smart-aleck. Hehehe:) So President and Sister Lake invited us over to their home because the former mission president two presidents ago was visiting. He was the Mission President when Sister Eland's brother served in this mission--yeah, they served in the same mission! Anyway, so President Lake ALWAYS teases me about my big bags. How they are always in the way and how they weigh so much and just all this other stuff. Well, knowing me, I'm not just going to let someone dish me crap without giving it back, so last night when they invite us over the last thing he mentions is for me to not forget my big bag. Haha I HAD to pull a joke on him! So, as I mentioned, smart-aleck that I am emptied everything out of my small suitcase and just put my bag in there and went to their house. I walk in and he just gives me this puzzled look. I pipe up and say, "That bag that my mom gave me just last week is already too small! The only thing that will hold all my stuff is my little suitcase!" Hahaha You probably had to be there, but it was hilarious! He just laughed and laughed. Oh man, I love the Lakes. He's so funny. He always jokes that he may not have a say where I am going, but he does have connections and can make suggestions. He teases me that he will send me down to Homestead or the Key (both of which have no Sisters in that zone).
Haha Anyway. Did you watch the Christmas devotional last night? It was awesome. I totally miss the Conference Center at Christmas time!!! It was beautiful!! and all the talks were wonderful, of course!

Rosie should be getting baptized this week, I'll send my email to President to you. I forgot to do that. We dropped Alex, but not Oliver. Oliver wasn't contacting us for like two weeks, and we told him to call us whenever he was ready to learn more. He came to church yesterday and we have an appointment with him tonight at 6:30 and we are going to give him a chapel tour and show him the baptismal font. Pray that everything goes well!

Just to let you know I'm going to be sending little gifts this year for Christmas because I figure I'm coming home close to Christmas next year and can get you all awesome "authentic Christmas gifts/souvenirs" for when I get home.
I know this is ridiculously short, but we just didn't have an eventful week at all!!!
I hope you all are doing well and are having a Very Merry Christmas!!!
The pictures are of our Christmas tree, when I put the star on, and then when it was all finished! It's so beautiful!! We love it! We got a gift from one of the ward members last night and it's really funny because we put the gift next to the tree and the gift is way bigger than the tree. Hehehehe I love that tree though! Thank you so much for it!!!

LOVE, Sister Denson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 30, 2009--I'm SO glad Thanksgiving is OVER!

Hi everyone! How are each of you? I'm doing wonderful! This week has been great.
I'll start off with the most asked question: Thanksgiving. So you all know that I'm not the biggest Thanksgiving fan, and I really don't care for the dinner, but here that DID NOT matter! Of course, members invited us over, and President set a limit for 2 meals with members. I was like Okay, I can handle that. Awesome. I won't eat a ton at either home and so I won't be crazy stuffed by the end of the night, right? WRONG!!! We had the 2 families that we were going to go to, but then a part-member family invited us over and we talked to President and he said that would be a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel. Ugh! yeah, we had to go to THREE homes!!!!!!! The first home was a born and raised Cuban family. Gosh, they talk A LOT and there are like 3-4 different conversations going at one time! It was a little overwhelming. I just kept looking back and forth at the table between each converstations. Sheesh. Keep this in mind, we went to them at 2:00. They served us a little bit different meal: turkey breast slices, ham chops, chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (the BEST I've ever had in my life, and I hardly like them!), rice, salad (Olive Garden style), lard bread, and this really weird/not my favorite dessert, and a really yummy brand of ginger ale. It was like something peanut buttery and you wrap it in guda cheese. Needless to say I only had one. So I was pretty much stuffed to the brim! I was so sick because of course they're like "Eat, Eat!" At 4:00 we went to a Brazilian family's home. They had a more traditional style dinner, but still a little unusual. They had an actual turkey, chicken and rice with some red sauce, crab casserole (of course I didn't even try that!), potato salad, salad, some sort of vegetable concoction (I couldn't even attempt that because I was so full) and something else Brazilian that was at the end of the table. I didn't attempt that one either. I was on the verge of regurgitating my food. Haha sad and gross. And of course they had the famous Brazilian drink that Tom introduced to us that Dad likes. I don't remember it being so good at home...... Haha:) So the third house was at 6:00. Yes, 6 straight hours of stuffing our faces full. Oh my gosh. This was the only traditional meal of the day. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yam, green beans, corn and Sprite!! Oh, and apple pie. I've never been so stuffed in my entire life and I'm already dreading next Thanksgiving!!! Oh gosh, don't make me think about it! We had a really good time at everyone's homes, but I couldn't think about food for like 24 hours after our last dinner, and of course another member took us out to dinner on Friday night to a fany Italian restaurant and ice cream after. Ugh. Food.
Okay, so I mentioned Rosie in my email to president and not Oliver or Alex. Here's the brief on them: Oliver, we met with him last Monday night and it went great. We've got this great member that has fellowshipped him so well! They have a lot in common and Oliver is going through a lot of the same things our member, Cesar went through. We asked him on Friday how his Thanksgivng was, he said good, and then we asked if we could meet with him on Friday or Saturday and haven't heard from him since. He wasn't at church either, so we don't know what is up with him. Alex, we'll probably drop him this week because he really doesn't want to live the Law of Chastity. If we hang on to him he probably won't go any where, but if we drop him Heavenly Father will bless us with new investigators that are ready to progress.

Rosie is a member referral. Carlos Iglesias (who's home was first on Thanksgiving) owns an air conditioning company (no HV here. Just AC! hahaha) went to fix her A/C one day. He's like the most amazing member missionay ever! He shares the gospel with each home that he goes to. He's wonderful. He invited her and she took him up on the offer. We've been teaching her and she's amazing. She's set for baptism next Saturday. She is so excited and so are we.

Oh, I have to tell you about this other "investigator" of ours, Uvidio (Oovideo). He's not an official investigator yet because he just likes to talk about himself, eat ice cream with us, and tell me how much he loves me. He's Romanian, therefore he loves blonde hair. Yeah, lucky me. No worries though, he's going to wait for me to get off my mission to marry me. Don't worry mom and dad, he's only 45!!!!!

I'm glad to hear you have had a wonderful week! I love you guys with all my heart and I'm glad you each had a good week! Have a wonderful week this week and enjoy the snow for me. 64 degrees the other morning just about froze our buns off!!! Haha
Love, Sister Denson:)
PS the other two pictures are of me teaching 2 of the Creole elders how to make rock/hard candy. The red head is Elder Hudson-the biggest goof, and the dark haired one is Elder Nelson. They're awesome Elders. And they know Creole! Cool huh! It's one crazy language!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One tired Sister Missionary!!

One of the sisters in Sammi's ward found me (Mom) on Facebook. It has been so much fun chatting with her about Sammi and hearing firsthand how she's doing. Keydi has been awesome about taking pictures of her and posting them so we can see her in action. This one is CLASSIC Sammi!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009--More pictures!

Sister Ellsworth's mom just emailed me some pictures she sent this week. LOVE getting more pictures of our Sister Denson!!

Outside their apartment Tuesday in Boca Raton.

Sister Moore and Sister Ellsworth

"The Braids!" Remember President Hale wanted to see Sammi's hair in "soft curls"? Well, this is the process! She said she LOVES that Sister Eland and Sister Moore love to play with her hair!

The Boca Raton Sisters!!
Sister Denson, Sister Ellsworth, Sister Moore, and Sister Eland.
Aren't they BEAUTIFUL!!??

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009--Hey Guys!!

Can you believe I've been out for 4 months????? Time is flying WAY TOO FAST! Okay before I forget, Maddi, yes I got Elder Swains letter (Wednesday or Thursday) and the cutest picture of him and his companion "bored on p-day." It is such an adorable snap shot. I hope he sends it to you too. The only thing is that he has his tag on the wrong side. Silly Elder Swain. I haven't gotten anything from Lauren yet. Its making me really really sad. Is she sending them USPS? and I'm EXCITED for Jessika's letter!!
Okay, I'm glad you guys had a fast-paced week. I did too! Zone Conference was amazing. I can't even tell you how amazing. They are so powerful! After each one, I'm like completely spiritually drained. Oh, and I gave a talk too! They give us a talk each time to study so we can be prepared for the day. Then they call 4 missionaries to give a talk. You've got about 3 minutes notice to give it. Yeah, I gave a whole 3 minute talk with NO notes!!! ME! Someone who had to write her farewell talk word-for-word! Heavenly Father is blessing me so much!
Sister Gwynn is my favorite. She updates me daily on facebook. Haha I don't think it was the best choice though to take pictures in Sharing Time... Oh well, it's done.... She is from Honduras, and her husband is from West Jordan area I believe. They are so missionary minded and she is so willing to go when we need her because she loves to help out with her Spanish. I'm not officially learning Spanish, but I feel like we are meeting more and more Spanish speaking people each day. I just asked her to help me because 1) I love her to death, and 2) I've just had this feeling that I need to learn Spanish. Hmmmm......
Sister Eland and Sister Moore both braided my hair Monday night because president wanted to see it with soft beautiful curls. It turned out more crimpy than anything because they put 5 braids in it!! I felt like Snoop Dogg. A wanna be black girl. I'll add some pictures. President loved it and while I was talking to him he told me about Brother Bradley (Shawn) and how he was trying to remember my name while talking to president. He couldn't remember my name and so he goes, "You know, she looks like (such and such actress--Pres. Hales words).." President was like I have no idea who you're talking about. Missionary or actress. Shawn was like, you know, she's in this movie. President was like "I still have no idea who you are talking about." So President goes on to say that they finally figured out it was Sister Denson, but he still has no idea who the actress is. Sister Pirotta was standing next to me and goes, "Gwyneth Paltrow." President was like, "What??" She repeats and he was like, "That's it! How did you know??" It was funny. So President goes, "So, Sister Denson, a celebrity thinks you look like another celebrity!" Haha awesome..... I told him that I get told that more often then he thinks. He loved it though. Even though he doesn't know who she is.
Anyway! Thanksgiving Dinner--I will forward you President's email that talks all about it. He says to limit the dinners to 2 families and to keep them at 2 hours each. Good! I don't want to have to go family to family stuffing my face! Sad thing is we've had 3 invites! Ugh! Now we have to tell someone that we can't come. But our main focus that day is to find a family! It explains everything in Presidents email.
Neither Oliver or Alex got baptized this week. It's sad because both are SO ready to be baptized, but they just don't have any faith in themselves. Total bummer. We're giving Alex some time because he is really not willing to live the Law of Chastity. We're seeing Oliver tonight to see how we can help in any way.
As for the bikes: I got the same email you did. I don't know if I'm supposed to respond to the email, or what. I'll think about how I would do on a bike and then tell President on Wednesday when we see him for PPI's. I wouldn't mind it, because I want to get in shape, but if I stay in Boca I would hate it because our area is HUGE!! I'll talk to him about it though and let you know what he says.
I'm excited to get my bag this week! I'm also excited to see what else comes in that package, because it is the end of the month.... A new month starts..... A new pillowcase!!! I'm excited! I can't believe that we're practically done with November already! I feel like it just started a little while ago. Time is flying so fast!!!
I'm so excited that you guys get the missionaries over for dinner on Friday night. Ask them a lot of questions and tell me all about them! I'm so happy!!!
Well, we didn't have a very eventful week either. Sorry.
Have a wonderful week and a BEAUTIFUL Thanksgiving. Oh, another challenge that Sister Hale has asked us to do is to have one prayer each day to say everything we are grateful for. A prayer of thanks. I love it. Its just telling Heavenly Father everything you are grateful for without asking for ANYTHING! Try it! It's so wonderful!
Well, I feel like this is another one of those scattered emails. I'll try and get better at making them more flowy.
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!
Have a wonderful week!!!
Love, Sister Denson :):)

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009--Sounds like fun!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!

It sounds like you guys had a pretty fun night last night! I wish I could be there, but I had an AMAZING day on Friday, so I'll tell you all about that.

First though, last week at Transfer Meeting, Sister Hale talked to us about Grace and how we see the grace of God in our lives daily. She challenged us to study it and then to recognize it daily. She's amazing. So Wednesday Sister Eland and I were at an appointment, was provided with dinner from the Gwynn family (the family that just moved from Utah). We were debating if we should go home and eat it, or if we should go to the church and eat it. We're not supposed to be in our apartments after 6:00, so we just felt right to go to the church and eat it there. So we microwave the dinner, and as Sister Eland is blessing it we get a knock on the door in the kitchen. I open my eyes and look over there and tell the girl at the door, "Just on minute." So when Sister Eland finishes the prayer, I go to the door and open it for this girl who is just sobbing! She walks past me and says, "I just need someone to talk to." Sister Eland gives her a big hug and we go down the foyer where we can sit and talk. I get her a glass of water and she just pours her heart out to us. She had been sitting at the Calvary Chapel across the street (a VERY popular chapel here in Boca) and didn't like it. All the people were so happy, but the chapel it self was just too flashy. She wanted a simple church and had always thought our church looked nice and simple. So she proceeds to tell us all the struggles she's been going through and asked for help. We told her if she was willing to do anything she needs to do in order to grow closer to Christ, we could help her, but she had to be willing to do anything. She was, so we gave her a Book of Mormon, some of our pamphlet and told her to go home and read them. She said she would. The most amazing part of the story is that we were SO close to going home to eat, but something-obviously the spirit-told us to go to the church. We definitely saw the grace of God in our lives on Wednesday.

Friday was AMAZING!!! Brother Bradley isn't freakishly tall. I don't really like how you make him sound like a monster....Sorry, I don't mean to sound rude, but he a completely normal person, just taller than most. He communicates with his wife just as any other man would communicate with his wife. They are so normal, I love it! President introduced them and then turned the time over to Brother Bradley. He is told a little bit about his life in the NBA and how he and Sister Bradley met. He served his mission in Sydney, Australia and she served here. They are both SO missionary minded. They carry a box of English and a box of Spanish Books of Mormon in the back of their car to give to EVERYONE! The woman in the post office, the man that takes their groceries to their car, and to the members on each of the teams that he's played on. They give them out for Christmas presents to teachers and to friends and to the teammates. Its so awesome!! She told a lot about her experiences while here on her mission and gave us a lot of GREAT advice! We were able to ask a lot of questions after they spoke to us. One asked what he did for work now and he said that he is the Vice President at a "non-denominational/gospel based correctional facility for troubled teens." I thought that was super cool, but didn't know they lived in Utah (Duh Sister Denson, they are both from Utah!) During lunch, I had the pleasure of sitting with them and talking about their family and what they do. I asked what facility, because I had learned they live in Murray, he said Westridge Academy. I was like, "That is so cool! My brother was there while it was Utah Boys Ranch!" (I hope that is okay with you Zack! Sorry if it's not! I won't mention it to anyone else) He asked me about you and how you are doing now and was SO SO SO happy to hear that me, you and Kenzi were able to go through the Temple together. He is so proud of you! He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES success stories like that. He is no longer the Vice President, but is still on the board and actively involved. He said that they look over old files to see if there is any way they can help with current boys and girls. I would not be surprised at all if he goes home and looks at your file now. He was SO happy!!!! They are SO humble for how famous they are!! I LOVE IT!!! He is now ranching and loving life out on the farm. Obviously, not right now--yesterday I was told about the blizzard earlier this week--but still loves that he has a ranch.

I love that you guys were able to spend time with Jason. I would have loved to have been there, but I was enjoying myself with the Lakes. President Lake, is from the mission presidency. He is in our ward and just LOVES to tease me!!! Ha ha EVERYONE here loves to tease me. It's a good thing I can take it and dish it right back!!! Hahaha I love this ward and I love being a missionary! Seeing miracles daily is the most amazing thing!

Alex and Oliver are doing great! Alex was supposed to be baptized on the 14th, but is having doubts in himself. He knows it's what he needs to do, but he doesn't think that he'll be able to commit to it for the rest of his life. We found out on Saturday that his is NOT willing to live the law of chastity. He doesn't' want to stop what he's already started and is afraid he wont get married until he's like 50. We will meet with him again this week and clear up any problems that he is having.

Oliver pretty much has the same problems. He's excited to get baptized, but is planning on moving in with his girlfriend soon. He's got a lot of questions about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, and repentance, so when we meet with him tonight we'll clear up anything that he is having problems with too. He's set for this Saturday for baptism, but doesn't think he is going to do it. Right now at least.
They are both amazing and buddies now too. Ha ha they talk about what they learn and what each one is struggling with. They met at church a couple of weeks ago and just hit it off. It's awesome. Pray for them!!

Tomorrow is Zone Conference and I'm so excited!! If you get the chance read the talk, "Seek Learning By Faith" by Elder Bednar. It's amazing! I love it!

I love the pictures that you sent! I want to see the finished product of Char Char though!

Oh, I got to teach the 8 year olds yesterday at church and get to do sharing time next week! I'm excited! This primary is so different from our primary at home, but I love that it's the same at the same time! Kids are just a bit more crazy.

Well, the pictures I'm attaching are from Sisters Conference. Our goofy president just wanting to know what it feels like to be 7'6"; Sister Call, Olson, and myself (we thought all our moms would like that--it's not the best picture. Sister Pirotta just sits there snapping pictures, plus the wind was blowing) and one of the Elders here that is 7'2" with his companion and Brother Bradley. It was such a fun day!!! Oh! and one of me and Sister Hale! Gosh, I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!

Remember last week I told you President wants to see my hair with soft beautiful curls? Well Sister Moore and Eland are going to braid it tonight so they I can show him tomorrow at Zone Conference. He is excited. He reminded me at Sisters Conference on Friday.

I'll take pictures and show you how it turns out!
Have a great week!
LOVE, Sister Denson!!!!

More pictures from the Sisters' Luncheon

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that someone can be this tall!! Sammi said they are completely amazing and she had a great opportunity to talk with Shawn. Oh the blessings she's receiving on this mission!!

President Hale wanted to see what it would be like to be 7'6". I can't imagine!!

Sammi with some sweet sisters at the Sisters' Luncheon. The picture was taken outside the Hale's home. BEAUTIFUL!!
Sister Olsen, Sister Call, Sister Denson