Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010--Staying in Miami!!

Hey guys!

As you see from the heading I am staying in Miami! YES!!! I LOVE IT HERE!! We have had some way awesome experiences, as you can see in my email to President.

We weren't able to see Victor this week. We don't know why, but we will figure it out. He hasn't come to church yet, but he came to a baptism last week and loved it. We keep praying that he will come to church.

Mom, here is a response to your email:
1. That is totally awesome about Sister Gwynn! I am so proud of her!
2. That is SO AWESOME that Becky, Brigham and Celeste went to the Temple this week! I wish I could have seen that sealing! Tell them all I am so happy for them and congratulations!
3. The picture for the white jacket didn't come through, but if it's cute, sure! Size 6 is good for me! I love the patterned skirts and I would definitely like more of them. I also LOVE the pattern for the gray skirt. Mostly because it has pockets. I love them!! I wish all skirts had pocket!
4. Just put my tax return into savings. Thanks:) That is awesome that you got to talk to Scott this week. I've thought once or twice to send them a card or something. I think I might buy some postcards today, so maybe I'll send them one...
5. That is the cutest note from Mikaela!! I'll definitely send her a note today.
6. I actually just met Beth Story on Sunday. I don't know anything about her. She lives in the Elders area and we are still trying to get to know our own members, so I don't know her at all.
7. They have my bike. They are actually bringing it to me this week, unfortunately. I'm not excited, but there is nothing I can do about it. I don't think they have a temp one yet for Sister Schulthies, so I won't be riding mine until they get her one. Tell Scott and Carl that if they can invent a helmet that doesn't give me helmet hair, then I'd be totally fine with getting a bike. :):) Oh, speaking of Carl: Have him ask Kellan if he knew an Elder Navarro from Miami. I saw his plaque on Sunday at the church. He comes home in August. He's serving in Oakland.
8. Sorry, I haven't been sending President's emails. I just keep forgetting.
9. I got my GPS case on Saturday. Thank you so much for it! It makes me feel a lot more comfortable to put it in my bag.
10. I got to see Sister Olson a couple of weeks ago, but was planning on calling her today to say goodbye. Today is her last day, then she gets to go to the Temple tomorrow and then flies home on Thursday.
11. Yes, both the Kendall Sisters are staying. We all LOVED the pillowcases and I especially love my blanket. I love it so much that I put it on top of the Princesses!!!!! I love it so much! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12. I can't believe Randy comes home so soon! I better get one last letter to him before he goes home!
13. My Spanish isn't coming along well at all. I honestly have no desire to learn it right now, so I just pray every day for a softened heart. I just plug through though and continue to learn it. I haven't talked to anyone on the street yet. I don't have that much confidence yet!!
14. I can't believe I have to start thinking about my birthday already! I do like the idea of you making me a backpack though. Just kind of a mini one. I actually thought of the small Vera Bradley ones the other day, but know that they are expensive. If you could make something like that, that would rock!! Oh, also some more of the Shades tops that we got for me. I have two of them, but sometimes they are just way more comfortable than a tank. Maybe a couple more white, a black and some fun colors. Only if they are on sale though. Oh, and I am buying Jessika's birthday present today, just to let you know. Nothing expensive of course.

I have had a wonderful week. As you can see in President's email. It was by far the most amazing experience I have had thus far. We were all crying because we could feel the spirit so strong and we knew that Will, her husband, has accepted the gospel and is ready to be baptized. He's just waiting on her to get the things she needs to in order for her to go to the temple. It was AMAZING!!

I'm sorry this email was lame, but I wrote a long one to President today. Sorry, time flies so fast when you only have one hour to read and email!!!

LOVE, Sister Denson

PS We all sleep much better at night because of these pillowcases! :):)

NOTE: I (Mom) had seen this material on websites before Sammi even left. They've had "Elder" missionary fabric for a long time but nothing for the sisters! (NO FAIR!!) I've stalked the fabric stores and websites since she left and FINALLY it became available right before New Years. I grabbed a bunch, made the rag blanket and then decided to make all the sisters matching pillowcases to celebrate Sammi's "6-month Birthday" last Friday. I'm so glad they liked it!! :D


Wednesday night we were in bed and all of a sudden we got a text message from the Assistants--interesting. We looked at it and they told us that a sister, Miok Johnson, in the ward needed help, and that we needed to fit her into our schedule for Thursday. I called them on Thursday at about noon and talked to Elder Holland. He said that he was going to bed on Wednesday night and got a huge impression from that Sister Johnson needs help. When he served down here, he said she was just starting to come back to church and that her husband had died a couple years back, but nothing really happened, but that she needs help now. Okay, we know we don't do less-active work, but when someone gets a strong impression like that, we need to go. We went to her house shortly after talking to Elder Holland, but she wasn't home. We talked to a neighbor and she said to come back around 4:00. So we go back at 4:45 and she still isn't home, so we left a note. We talk to another neighbor who told us to come back at about 7:00 and if her gold car is there then she will be home. The third time we went back her car was there and lights were on, but she wouldn't answer the door. Well, of course we aren't going to give up! So I called her and talked to her. I told her how important it was that we talk to her. She didn't have time that night, but told us that we could come back on Sunday. Okay, we settled for that. I had anticipation building in me all day Sunday. We had no idea why we were going, but knew we had to go. As we walked up to her door I felt peace in my heart. I still had no idea why we were there, but I knew that we would shortly figure it out.

She welcomed us into her home. She was just finishing vacuuming when we arrived, so she just put it away and told us to have a seat for a minute. As we sat on the couch I glanced up and saw a picture frame full of Army medals. I stood up to look at them and as she walks in I asked her if they were her husbands. She started talking about him and how good of a person he was. We hadn't been there 5 minutes when I got the strongest impression that we were there to prepare her for the Temple so she could get his work done and so that they can be sealed because he has fully accepted the gospel on the other side and is waiting for her. She had bought us some ice cream and once she got it scooped, we sat down, said a prayer, and told her why we were there. It was an AMAZING experience. One that I will never forget. She just kept talking about him and it just kept confirming in my heart that he was the reason why we were there. She had personally made a goal at New Years that this year she was going to start coming back to church. She hadn't made it to church yet, but we were that one last nudge that she needed. It was such a beautiful moment. We are so excited to be working with her and to help her in any way that we can to get her to the Temple as soon as possible.

I LOVE this work! I couldn't believe how strong the spirit was. Both Sister Schulthies and I have seen the benefits of writing our promptings down that we get throughout the day in a notebook and then returning and reporting to Heavenly Father at night.
My testimony has grown so much this week and I am so grateful and excited to stay here in Miami to continue to get to know that people and bring others unto Christ!

It’s been an interesting few days at the mission home. The wife of the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission President was airlifted out of of Haiti a few days ago following the quake with her two young boys, ages 5 and 7. She was due to deliver a baby at any time and we’re now pleased to announce that she delivered a healthy 6 ½ pound baby girl this evening. Sister Welch was amazing! She was right there every step of the way. Nice to have a nurse in the mission. I’ll bet she never anticipated assisting in the delivery of a baby on her mission! Nor did I really ever anticipate shopping for newborn diapers, clothing, car seat, etc. etc. for one of our little missionaries – but what an eventful day it has been. The happy father … a 29 year-old Haitian mission president is thrilled with the receipt of each additional emailed photograph of his new little one. Imagine that! So I guess that makes all of you Aunts and Uncles to little “Burnsey” (See photos below). Never a dull moment in the great Florida Ft. Lauderdale mission – We do it all!

We think this story includes a picture of "Burnsey's" dad, President Kerving H. Joseph, as he helps the Haitians. Check out this link to the LDS Church News: "Haiti Earthquake inspires compassion."

LDS Mission President Kerving H. Joseph, right, and Elder Sterrin Dumelus pause for a moment while helping Haitians in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 19. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the region Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010--Hey Guys!!

Hey everyone! How are all of you?? I'm doing great!!

It sounds like you have had a fun week at home, I don't know about you Zack and Kenzi and Mal and Tom! You should write! I would LOVE to hear from you!!!

Mom, here are the answer to your questions:
1. I will get a shot as soon as I can. I have seen the signs all over the walgreens bilboards, but didn't know if I should get one.
2. I just want to buy a case for my GPS so it doesn't get scratched. BTW WE LOVE THAT GPS!!!!!! We have found so many shortcuts that we didn't know existed. It got us lost once or twice, but it didn't matter because as soon as we got into the area we knew we needed to get out!
3. Yes, we have been emotionally affected by the earthquake. We obviously haven't been able to see any of it on the news, so we just hear from members how bad it was. We did a mission wide fast yesterday for them and continually keep them in our prayers. Apparently we have a port here in Miami that goes to Haiti and the ward is collecting tons of things to send down. The announcement was made in Sacrament Meeting and by the end of church we had a full hallway! It was awesome. If you couuld keep them in your prayers I would really appreciate it. There aren't as much Hatians here in Miami as there are in other places like Boca and the Palm Beach zone, but nonetheless we pray for them because they are our brothers and sisters of course.

In my PPI with President we talked about my bike. He knows that as soon as he gets them they will all be put together and then mine will go straight into storage. We don't know how long that will be, but I am pretty sure I won't have one while Sister Schulthies is my companion. And we think that I will be her last companion. Crazy. President says he is pretty sure that he knows who my next companion will be after Sister Schulthies. Weird! We still have part of this transfer left and then the whole next one. She thinks I will be training a new sister, but I hope not. I'm not ready for the responsibility of teaching someone how to be a missionary!!

I love that you brought up that fact of how much I'll be changing. Just this week I was looking in the mirror (which you all know I hate to do...) but I hardly recognized myself! I told Sister Schulthies that I don't look like the person I was before I left. It's so crazy! Sister Felton looked at the picture of me and the dogs on the morning that I left and she said I have matured a lot. No worries though!! I still have the same goofy sense of humor that I had before. That will never leave me! :):):)

Anyway! You all know that I spoke in church on Sunday. I think I butchered it, but a lot of people told me I did a good job. It was so weird because I had my talk all written out, but when I got up there I hardly used it. I just taught by the spirit and said what I was told to say. I still stayed on the same topic of course, but it was changed a little..... I looked out at the ward and wasn't nervous or anything. I had a lot on my mind that day, and was a little nervous, but the spirit helped me out 100%!

Mom, I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO proud of you for being off Diet Coke!!! I'm so excited that you are going to do this diet. I'm sorry for the migraines, but you will definitely be happy with the end result? What are you drinking in place of the Diet Coke? WATER??? Haha that would be awesome!

I heard about the inversion the other day and how horrible it has been. Make sure and drink lots of water!

I LOVE the pictures of Charlie! You can print those out and mail them to me if you want ;) I wouldn't mind:) He is so pretty!! I always talk about him to Sister Schulthies. Her parents gave her some money for Christmas to think about what she wants to buy when she gets home. I'm pretty sure I've conviniced her to get a dog:):) She feels like she knows our dogs, but wants to visit them when she gets home. She wants and OES, but I told her it probably wouldn't be the wisest choice for a first dog. She wants to go up to our house one day and meet them and spend time with you guys. I told her you all would probably be fine with that:)

I'm trying to think of other things to say, but I can't think of any.... It was kinda a slow week because Sister Schulthies has been a little under the weather. Her body is fighting off an infection and she is just weak. It's funny though because we will have conversations at night and she does not remember them in the morning. Haha they are hilarious!

We met with Victor on Saturday. He watched a documentory on Mormonism and is really thinking about converting. We watched the Restoration with him and it clarified things that he was struggling with. He kept thinking that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, but now he is positive that he didnt:) Yay! Haha He said the sweetest most humble prayer when we finished the lesson. He came to the baptism on Saturday night that the elders had. He loved it and a girl that he went to high school with is in the singles ward. It was perfect! It was so perfect to watch him go off on his own! Haha we felt like proud parents sending their kids on their way! He was going to go to the Singles ward on Sunday, but he walks to church and it was POURING, so he didn't show up. We'll make sure and get him there next week! Keep him in your prayers!

How is your Book of Mormon reading going? I'm in Alma 20. Ammon is the best missionary ever. He is so cool and obedient. I love chapter 17 how it talks about how much faith the sons of Mosiah had as they went out to teach the Lamanites.
Sister Schulthies wants to read the Book of Mormon on last time as a missionary, and President is having all of us do the activity on page 114 of PMG. The only thing that is different is we are not marking the doctrine. It's been way fun so far. We made a committment as a companionship that we will finish it before she leaves. The other day she had 56 days left, 2 of those days she wont be with me, so we make the commitment to read it and have it marked in 53 days! We have to read 10 pages a day. It's awesome. Its fun to read it aloud with someone and then talk about it. We get to have a general authority come speak to us in March! Cool huh!! It was in last weeks email from him.

Thank you so much for all your support!!! I love each of you so so so much!!!

Ps Sorry I don't have any pictures this week. It was slow and we just haven't taken any. I'll make sure and get you some next week though!

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010--IT'S FREEZING!!!!!!!!!

Hey guys!!!

Okay, sorry for the short emails in the last few weeks. I've told you though that all those pictures take forever to upload and I can't type while they are uploading. We're all still grateful though that I have sent emails though....Right??? :):)

I sent the Books of Mormon home to challenge you to pray about someone whom you could give it to. Don't wait for those opportunities to "arise," because they won't if you just sit back and wait. People are out there searching that you know. Pray for those opportunities and then have the faith to take action. I promise, it's easier than you think. Hello, I was like the shyest/shiest one in the family and now I'm doing it all the time. I actually just gave someone a Book of Mormon at lunch. I glanced at a guy in the restaurant and he was telling his mom about Temple Square and showing her pictures of the Salt Lake Temple on his iPhone. I just leaned over and was like, "Isn't it beautiful??" I don't know if I can hand them out with your testimonies in it. I have my PPI this week, so I'll make sure and ask him.

Miami is GREAT!!!!! I LOVE living here! With all the hustle and bustle and the people and the way of life. Mom, quite frankly, you probably don't want to know about the places that we've been and the things that I've seen:):) Just know that I love it and it is polar opposite of nice, quiet little Boca Raton:) I'll try and find a hoodie. You'd be surprised of the winter clothes that you find here. It will be like in the 50's and people are wearing parkas and big furry boots. Wimps. Although, yes it is FREEZING!!! We got in our car yesterday to go to church at 7:15 and it was 36 degrees!!!! Of course, we don't have coats, so we're double freezing and theN we're some of the first ones in the church, so it's not warm yet. It bites. Yes, I have enough blankets for the night. When I first got to Boca I had to buy a thicker one than my princess one. We have a heater in the apartment too, so we turn that on during the night. I would like some thicker sweaters though, and yes, my coat. Sorry Maddi! It'll only be for a few weeks! I only have my cardigans to wear over my short sleeve button up tops. Mom, did you get that text from Brother Wilton? I changed my mind a couple days later when it was bone chilling cold. My body has definitely adapted to the warm weather here.

I finally got nailed by the Bishopric yesterday at church. I have to give a talk on Sunday about member missionary work. I think the topic because all we do with members is tell them how they can become better member missionaries. It's going to be dumb to have a missionary talk about it. Its just going to be repetitive and no one is going to want to listen. Oh well. The bishopric asked me, and of course I can't turn down something that they ask me to do. Even if it is a cop-out:):)

Maddi, Hermana Schulthies' sister-in-law that lives here is an interpreter for the deaf. She makes a killing. Her husband doesn't have to go to work and they are doing just fine financially. I talked to her last week actually and she said you are more than welcome to contact her at any time to talk about what she did to get her degree. She is SO kind, so don't hesitate to call her. She would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to help you out!!!!!! Her name is Stacia (Staesha) ***. Give her a call, or text her anytime. Just remember the time change. ;)

We are teaching these two 18-19 year old boys. They are so adorable. We have met with Victor 3 times now and Marcus 2. The first time we met Marcus, Saturday, he told us he would like to do something like what we are doing. You know, serving a mission, because he felt so blessed to have us there. We committed them to write down a commitment that they wanted to keep. Victor was to read a certain chapter in the Book of Mormon, pray about it and then come to church. He's struggling with the fact that God is loving. His grandma always told him God is someone who is rude. HOW SAD!!!!! Marcus wrote down on his to pray to God to ask for repentance! We hadn't even talked about repentance in that lesson! Cool huh! He's committed to live the word of wisdom too. He's so cute! We are SO excited to get to teach them.

That card that you sent from President Lake is for after my mission. I opened it and read the first line and it said something like "By the time you read this card you will be released from serving a full-time mission." I slapped it shut and shoved it back into the envelope. I'm going to give it to Sister Holdstock to put in my file. They keep one for each of us and then give it to us at the end of our mission. That way I won't be tempted to read it and I won't lose it.

I got my GPS this morning and I'm excited to use it. It is going to help us SO much!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for it!!!!!!!

Sorry, I don't have much to say today! At least it's been longer than the ones in the past 3 weeks.

LOVE, Sister Denson

PS. Yes I got the chapstick from RaeLin
PPS: Sister Eland is with Sister Olsen and Sister Call. I knew about it earlier this week. They stopped by our apartment to say hi because they were up in Kendall at a doctor appointment for Sister Call. She has to get an MRI. The mission is smaller than you think. :):) We find out things way fast.
PPPS: Remember the pictures that you sent of the dogs the email after Christmas? Can you print those out and send them to me? I LOVED those ones!!! :):)Thanks!

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010--HAPPY 2010!!

Here are more pictures:
1. The sisters I live with and the zone leaders that I serve with in the ward.
2. The four of us sisters.
3. Just as I'm ready to open the gifts she had to check my blood pressure. Party poop. I LOVED that nurse though. She brought me food!!! :):)
4. Elder Zubia, Tatiana, Sister Schulthies, and me.
5. Me in my jammies
The baptism was great! Tatiana is so amazing!

So, you already knew about Oliver. Sister Eland texted me early Friday morning and told me about it. I didn't know that he backed out though. It makes me sad, but at least he's going to wait until he's fully ready. I just wish I am the one to tell you all the exciting news.... Sister Gwynn kinda ruins the fun:(
I don't need my coat. It's cold here, but we are either always in the car or in someones house. I've got my cardigans and a sweater. I wear tights all day too if it gets too cold. The flannel jammies sure have helped though!
I feel like I have a lot to say, but can't think of what you asked in your email. I'll print it off and hand write you a letter if I have time.

Yes, I want you to send the card from my scriptures, and whatever else.
THANK YOU so much for buying me a GPS!!! I felt really bad asking for it right after Christmas!! I should have asked for it FOR Christmas!
Thank you for everything!!!!!!
PS Maddi--Elder Swain shouldn't hit his 6-months for another month. I hit my 6 months on Janurary 22nd........
LOVE, Sister Denson :) :) :)