Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010--This has been a great week!

Hey guys!

How is everything going with everyone?? I hope good! How is the weather? It's starting to really warm up here, but of course we have the occasional rainy day. Like today. Just on again and off again. The other night the rain was pouring so hard that we couldn't see anything out the windows. Of course it was in the wee hours of the morning, so of course I couldn't sleep. It was crazy! Believe it or not I love the stormy Florida days. They are so beautiful. I think we're coming up on rainy season, but I'm not sure. We have had a lot lately though.

This week has been so wonderful! Okay, so Wednesday we had District Council up at almost the top of our border. We were low on miles, so we thought we'd take advantage of the bikes. We had an appointment up there later Wednesday night, so obviously it'd be smart to stay up there. So after District Council we jumped on the bikes and went to a couple of homes. I LOVE THE BIKE!! They are so much fun! I was wearing the shirt Kenzi gave me for Christmas with just a Shade shirt under it. Yeah, of course I forgot sunscreen and we were in the sun for 4 hours straight. Yeah, the back of my neck got fried!! Surprisingly it didn't hurt that bad. I put lotion on my arms but apparently not far enough up because the tops of my arms got burned too and so now I've got a wonderful tan line. Haha it's actually quite hilarious. Thursday hurt the worst, but luckily it was weekly planning, so I just wore a shade shirt and pants around the house most of the day. It started to peel yesterday and today it was so gross! Sister Brown loves peeling it off, so I sat on the floor while she just had the time of her life. It feels so much better now because it was itching really really bad! Haha she's a goof. Anyway, while we were headed to see one person when we passed a street and I felt like we should go down there. I pulled over and told Sister L and so we turned around and went down there. We ended up meeting a member from Gilbert, AZ. He's the ward mission leader there. He was so awesome! He is here in Miami all the time, but never has come to church because he's not usually here over the weekend. He might be here for Conference Weekend so we gave him a church invite with a mini map of where the church was. It was so awesome to just sit there and talk to a member for a while. We talked about how our mission is doing in the work and how his is going and his mission experiences. It was so fun! I'm so grateful I followed that prompting!

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the YW broadcast on Saturday. It was AMAZING! We had to leave right after President Uchtdorf's talk, so we missed a little, but I'm so glad we got to stay for his. It was amazing! I'm excited to reread all of them when we get a Conference Ensign! I'm so excited for Conference this week! Make sure you are all home at 10:00 so you can see the whole thing! We're not expecting any exciting announcements, but you just need to make sure you are there. REALLY listen to the talks. They are so amazing! We only get this beautiful opportunity twice a year! We take having a prophet for granted! My challenge for you is to watch and listen to conference and to not do other tasks while doing so. No cleaning the house, no sewing, no nothing. Take notes! I promise. You will get so much more from Conference!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you so much for everything!
I love you all so much!
Love, Sister Denson

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010--Best Birthday Ever!!

Hey guys!! How was your week? I hope it was good! From the looks of the pictures that mom sent me it looks like the weather is starting to brighten! It's been SO beautiful here! I love it! Low seventies all day long! Today, though, it's pouring. Gotta love the Florida rain.

Okay, so this years birthday was the best birthday ever! I was so excited to have Zone Conference on my birthday. I LOVE Zone Conferences. They are so spiritually uplifting and I learn so much from them! I love being able to see missionaries from other zones that you don't get to see on a daily basis. They just rock. I love them! Anyway, so I opened my birthday outfit on Tuesday night because we had to get up at the crack of dawn to be at the chapel at 7:45. Okay, we only got up at 5:30, but taking away that one hour from a missionaries sleep is crucial! So I got up on Wednesday and could see in the dark that there was stuff all over the floor in our room. I knew that I didn't leave it a mess when I went to bed.... So I got up and walked across the room and what? I like tripped over a gazillion balloons!! I flip on the closet light and apologize to Sister L and all she says is Happy Birthday. Haha So I go into the bathroom and there is a banner across the mirror saying Happy B-day! It made me so happy:) I showered and then went out the kitchen and as soon as I opened the door to the living room there comes a ton of green streamers in my face. The sisters decorated the apartment after I had fallen asleep. They took advantage of the fact that I hit the pillow and in less than 5 min and knocked out cold. Anyway so there was the streamer stuff that mom sent ALL OVER! From wall to wall, kitchen to living room. They definitely had a lot of fun. Then, on the counter was a cake for me. It was so adorable! The cake that you sent, mom, didn't last in the mail. It was totally crunched and munched. They went and bought a new one and made it for me. The grocery stores don't sell rainbow chip down here, so they bought a vanilla one and put red and green sprinkles in it to trick me. Haha they're so cute. I LOVE the skirts that you made me! Thank you so much! And just to let you know, I wear my wacky skirts all the time, apparently I just don't get pictures taken while I am wearing them. I promise though. I wear them!
Going to Zone Conference was ridiculously awesome! Elder Gibbons had such a wonderful discussion with us. He taught us more about Doctrine, Principle, Application. We role played a little, but just mostly discussed how we can better improve working with our members, doctrine, prinicple, application, and helping our members invite their friends! After, we had lunch. It was fun! As we were headed to the gym for lunch President announced over the pulpit for everyone to wish me a happy birthday. I just shook my head at him and he just grinned. Sister Crane and Sister Call came to me as I was talking to Sister Hale in the gym before I got my food and they told Sister Hale to keep me there. They run off and come back with a cake that they made for me. It was so adorable! I love those two sisers SO much!! They are so dang fun! Sister Vance is amazing and thinks of everything, so she went and got my camera and started snapping pictures of me. It was funny because my batteries were dying and of course I didn't have back ups so she was taking them as fast as she could. They are totally candid, but I love them. So we ate lunch, then Sister Hale came in with the birthday basket and announced all the birthdays. Of course she started with mine because mine was that day, and when I got up from my table and walked up to her everyone started clapping for me. My "former" Sister Denson would have been beet red and completely embarrassed. Now, I was only a tiny bit embarrassed, but pretty much loved every minute of it:) It was so fun! So everyone came up and we all sang happy birthday. It was so fun!

We went home and I opened the rest of my gifts. Thank you so much for all the clothes! I love them all! Haha don't worry, I haven't gained weight. I think I've lost some, so no worries. All of them fit. Today I'm wearing the green one that you tried to iron, but gave up on. It wrinkles when I look at it, but it's adorable so I live with it :) I had such a good day! Thank you so much for everything!!! I loved it all! It was truly the best birthday ever!

The rest of the week was good. A little slow because all of our investigators are "too busy" to meet with us. Ugh. It's frustrating sometimes. I'm excited though for this week. We are going to be out in the sun and finding new people to teach. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tell Jordan I said he rocks! That is so cool that he got to play on the organ again!!! I'm totally jealous. I hope he gets to play on it again when I get home so I can hear him!

That's the craziest thing about Sister Pirotta's mom and Lauren's mom! Unbelievable! BTW Tell Lauren I would like to hear from her. I sent her a card ages ago and she hasn't written back. She needs to write more.

The only thing I need in my Easter Basket is some birthday cards. I'm almost out! The sisters love to use them for their family and friends.

I am going to take that shirt back from Target, and buy a bike pump. We don't have one and for some reason my tires are low. It'll be what Grandma Denson got me for my birthday ;)

I'm attaching a few pictures from my birthday. Some of the ones that I like the best.

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all the clothes! You guys are the BEST!!!
LOVE, Sister Denson

She FINALLY got her white jacket!! WAHOO!!

Happy Birthday Sister Denson!!

Sister Call and Sister Crane from the Homestead Zone brought her a cake!

Sister Call, Sister Denson, and Sister Crane.
Love those girls (and their moms!!)!!

Sister Denson, Sister Call, Sister Lowe, and Sister Crane.
Silly girls!

These must be the pictures she said Sister Vance was snapping as fast as she could before the batteries died in her camera. Funny!!

Sister Lealaogata and Sister Denson doing wheelies on their bikes.
(That giggle/hysterical laugh is so typical of Sammi! We miss that!!!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010--Le-ala-o-gata

Hey guys! How is everything going!??

It sounds like the week went well! You all looked happy at Red Robin, well, except Zack... But he was just making his usual Zack face, so I assume he is doing well ;)
Just a note on those pictures mom: PLEASE re-size them. They are HUGE!! I have to scroll across the screen to see each one of your faces. Talk about up close and personal! Yeah, if you could just do that I'd really appreciate it, that way I can actually enjoy the pictures....

Anyway, you are all probably wondering how on earth you say my new companions name. Her name is Hermana Le/ala/o/gata (Le is not said like Lee, but like it's got a Spanish accent on it. Le/Lay) She is from Taylorsville, UT. Why do you ask?? Hahaha her heritage is pure Samoan. She is so fun! She is such a hard worker and I am so excited to be with her this transfer! She is a Spanish speaking sister, so she is able to help that way. I think I am going to take advantage of Sister Brown living in the same apartment as me. She is extremely skilled at Spanish and will definitely be one that will help me. It's her last transfer, so I only have six weeks! She's a total goof. I love her.

Dad, you asked how it is to be Senior Companion. I thought it would be much different, but it's not really. Obviously I'm in charge of keeping us busy and making sure we get work done, and if anything goes wrong, then it falls on my shoulders. I don't feel any different or added pressure or anything. I know that I have to live even closer to the spirit, so that I know where we need to go or what we need to do. I'm grateful for that. It forces me to be even more exactly obedient. We work together though, and we're really unified already. This transfer is going to be so great!

Speaking of babies. It was so fun last week to have that opportunity to meet Sister Joseph. She told me to tell you, Mom, that she is "Astonished, amazed, and grateful." She said that in her broken English. Her English has improved so much since she has been here. The other girl in the picture is one from the Weston Ward that is helping her out. She drives her and translates when she needs to. They have become really good friends. Sister Joseph was just so sweet and humble. The Kendall Sisters and us got to help set up the Hale's home for the departing missionaries dinner, and then got to eat lunch with them. It was so fun to just sit back and relax with President and Sister Hale. They are so amazing.

I'm crushed that Sister Schulthies hasn't contacted you at all. She has Mom's birthday present! She was supposed to give it to you yesterday. Hand-delivered and all. I'm so sorry mom!!!! I promise, I did get you something! I'm not a horrible daughter! Let me know if you get it on Sunday. If she forgets, make sure and ask her. Tuesday night was hard because they made me say the mighty prayer and I just started bawling when I prayed for her safety and for being ready to see her family again. Wednesday she was just so excited to go to the Temple and to be with Hermana Keller again that she just gave me a quick hug and ran to the van. I can't blame her. I would be dying to get to the Temple as soon as I could too!

I am sending a package home this week, or sometime soon. I have some clothes that I just don't wear, and know I won't ever wear. I'm including some other things too. One, being my stack of CD's. President Hale had to get even stricter on our music privileges. We are now only allowed to listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I'm totally fine with it, except, I can't listen to the Reflections of Christ CD's and Alex Boye's Be Still, My Soul. Those three are my absolute favorite. I'm so sad to send them home. Take care of them. Don't let them get scratched. I will listen to them all the time when I get home.

Mom, my bag is becoming even more and more a big hit. I was over at a members home last night and they want two! One for mom, and one for daughter. Can you make up a list of prices, sizes and all your info? Everyone is asking me about them! Also, Sister Lealaogata wants a backpack for the bike. I asked what her favorite colors are and she said she'll have her sister buy the material and stuff if you just tell her what she needs. Her name is Mona. Will you just call her. Let Brother Wilton know if you need any more info. Thanks!!

I love you all so much!!
Have a great week!!! LOVE, Sister Denson
PS President has the apostles pic hanging right as you walk in the door. It's in the most perfect spot. Everyone raves about it as they walk in. It was fun to be there the other day when so many sisters just awed over it. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 10, 2010--New Companion!!

Sister Denson's new companion is
Sister Lealaogata
from Taylorsville, Utah!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sister Joseph

From Mom...
I sent the receiving blanket and pillowcases I made for Sister Joseph, wife of the Haitian Mission President, and her two boys and new baby girl. I sent them to Sammi so she could wrap them and write on the card. She gave them to President and Sister Hale who decided it would be better if Sammi was able to give them to her herself. Since today was transfers, she was at the Mission Home. I just received these pictures from President Hale with the message, "Fun to be with your daughter today! She's incredible!" Can't get much better than that!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010--What's Up?!?!?!

How is everyone?? It sounds like you are all doing good! It's really good to hear that!
I'm doing so good! We have had a wonderful past week. There are actually pictures to depict all of it, so I'm going to attach them and then narrate each one. That's how it's going to be this week.

Picture one: The Weidner's. Krystal, the mom, just had Jacob on Feb. 13. This is all of them with the blanket that mom made for Jacob. Brother Weidner wasn't there when we gave it to them two weeks ago. He got called into work. But he did send us a text later saying, "Thank you so much for the coolest blanket ever!" Haha, so Mom, props. He loves it! They both do.

Picture two: Sister Schulthies on her birthday. I drug her into Chili's with a blindfold (AKA her slip. I forgot to grab something) and earplugs. Stacia took this while sitting at the table. Haha Sister Schulthies had no idea!!

Picture three: Annette's baptism. She got baptized on Sunday. She's 8 years old. We taught her, but she is a child of record. When we first started going over there, her mom was an angry woman. She was always throwing out hatred towards the church. She was baptized in 1989, but never had a firm testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She was always telling us false doctrine and crazy stuff. We challenged her to read it again with a new mindset. She is amazing now! She just finished it Sunday and has the firmest testimony of it. She is a completely different person now! Annette is so smart and knows so much about the gospel! She bore her testimony on Sunday about the Book of Mormon, about what a prophet is and how important it is that we have them on the earth today. It was amazing! It was so wonderful!

Picture four: Us and her after her baptism in her new pretty white dress.

Picture five: Us and Sister Johnson. Isn't she beautiful??? She is so amazing! Sunday night she cooked us the traditional Korean New Year's Eve dinner. It was so weird and good. Hand made rice cakes--which are nothing like the ones that Quaker Oats Brand makes, and these things that Sister Schulthies knows as pot stickers. I guess you can buy them at Costco. But these were 10 times better because they were the real deal. Sorry her eyes were closed.

Picture Six (She forgot to attach this one): Brielle Gagne. Her parents are divorced, and her dad is ex-communicated. He's so amazing though. He is working towards baptism as fast as he can. She's got three older brothers that are there each time we go over. They are the most amazing family! What she was wearing that day reminded us of a Sister Missionary, so Sister Schulthies gave her her tag for a minute and snapped a picture of us. Isn't she adorable!

I just have a couple of things to mention, mostly for Mom:
1. Can I wash my bag in the washer? It's getting dirty...
2. The other night my GPS flashed a sign of plugging it into the computer. I guess to update it. I don't have anything to attach it with. Can you search that out. She's been pretty darn slow lately....
3. The leggings rock. I'm wearing a pair today to test them out. They feel good under a skirt, but I just don't see how girls wear them with "longer shirts."
4. I don't think I'll be able to have Heather Hale do my hair because I can't just take a day off and go up to Plantation to have her do it. If I ever serve there I for sure will though. I'll have to find someone around here to do it. I'll ask around some of the ladies in the ward.

It sounds like all of you are doing good this week! I hope you have a wonderful week and remember to read from the Book of Mormon.

Speaking of which!!!! I finished the Book of Mormon for my first time ever! It was so amazing! I finished it Friday! I of course have always known it's true, but I prayed anyway. It was amazing. I was in the bedroom, and Sister S was in the living room. I wen and sat on the couch next to the chair she was sitting in and told her I finished it. And then of course, you all know me....I started bawling my eyes out!!!!!! I just sat there and cried! It is the most amazing book ever! I can't ever go another day in my life without reading it. Just as Joseph Smith says in the introduction: It is the most true book on the earth today. I love this book with all my heart. I love learning about what we are to do to prepare to meet Christ and Heavenly Father. I can't even express in words my love for this Book. It's so beautiful! Please read it! I want you to know how precious it is to me, and how precious it can be to you!

I love you all so much! I know it is sometimes hard to be apart, but it is most definitely for the best. Just like Sister Vuki said mom, this has changed my eternity. I love being a missionary and I love seeing others changes as they read the Book of Mormon!!!!

Love, Sister Denson!

Ps Yes, I know Elder Hatfield-I served with him my first transfer and just saw him yesterday. I know Sister Keller, but have never served with her. I've heard great things about her though. Her and Sister S were companions during the MTC and have been companions a lot here.
PPS that is CRAZY about Sister Ellsworth!!! How COOL!!!!!!
PPS the past few times I have gotten pictures from you I can't even see them. They are huge!!! I could tell this week that it was Char Char, but last week all I could tell is that it was some girl. I have no idea what she was doing, or who she was....
PPPS Yes, I am staying in Miami. I thought I told you that last week. They wouldn't whitewash this area that fast.... I think I know who my next companion is going to be, but I'm not going to say anything. She and I are going to light this place on fire though, according to President. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010--Hey Guys!!

Hey guys, how are you? Sounds like everyone is feeling better? Good! I have felt much better this week too. I had a LOT of Powerade this week and it has helped. No migraines!

I'm so jealous that you all got to see Randy (It's so weird not to call him Elder Denson!). He looks good! I love all the pictures. Make sure Brady knows I love the one of him. Classic Brady. Dork. Tell him I sent a card to him, but he never responded back. I'm so disappointed! ;)

I am so jealous that you got to hear from L. Tom Perry and the others! That would have been amazing! Elder Gibbons from the Seventy will be here on my birthday, and we get to work with him one on one. I'm so excited. He gave a killer talk at our broadcast Stake Conference in January. He's going to go more in depth of that.

I only have one birthday request. I want my hair highlighted. I have no idea who will do it yet, but I look so ugly. The sisters say I don't, but it will totally boost my self esteem:) You all know what I'm talking about;) Other than that, I can't think of anything. I've asked President about wearing leggin's under our skirts to cover our garments, but he hasn't said anything. I'll text him today and let you know as soon as I can. If you think I would like the shirts, then yeah! I would love some new shirts. I don't really care what colors. I love variety! Although, please keep in mind how bad sweat shows up on your clothes in the summer down here:):)

I've only got a few plans for Sister Schulthies. We have a dinner with a member out on Key Biscayne, which she is ridiculously excited for. She loves going out there. Some how I am going to get us to Chili's at 7:15. The whole District will be there, as well as Stacia and Ryan. Stacia has decoration for the table, she's going to get balloons, she's going to make us all wear party hats and just humiliate her as much as she can. I'm excited!!:) She has no idea. I've talked with the other sisters about it a lot. Haha each morning when she is in the shower! Yes! She has no idea about it either! You'll most definitely be getting pictures. You'll have to for sure send them to her mom when I get them to you.

Biffy Turner had a baby?? I totally don't remember that. Hmmm.... Tell them I said congratulations!

That is so sad to hear about Sister Dayer. She was such an amazing sister. She added so much to our ward! Give them my sympathy. Aren't we SO grateful to know that this life is not the end?? I love reading about the Plan of Salvation in the Book of Mormon. It's so comforting! How can anyone deny this work??

Yeah, the Dallings weren't supposed to go home until the end of February, but the left early because their daughter needed their help with her newborn. You should go to their Homecoming! I LOVE THE DALLINGS!!! I was heartbroken to hear they went home early.

Peter is awesome. He has incredible faith. He was so prepared! His first week in the YSA branch, the Branch President felt so good about him that he gave him a Preach My Gospel. He loves it. He cherishes it. He had a lame boss that made him choose a paycheck or his religion. Most Recent Converts would have a hard time making that decision, but he didn't at all. It was black and white. He no longer has a job, but he knows that Heavenly Father will bless him because he made the right decision. He's so cool!

I'm for sure staying in this area. I was driving home last night, and I just got this strong impression that I will be here for a while longer because I am needed here. President told me that my next companion will come in here with a fire and we are going to rock this place! I'm so excited! It's exactly what I need!!!!!!

I'm so sorry this email is ridiculously lame. I don't have a whole lot to report on.
Will you all dedicate to reading the Book of Mormon? Reading it everyday completely effects my day. Yes, I am a missionary, but I am also still a human being. Satan works harder on us that most other people. I've noticed, when I had my migraines I didn't get a chance to read from it, and it completely affected me. Learn from their teachings. They are incredible!!! I'm in Mormon 5. Yes, this is my first time finishing it in my life. I thought that I was the worst person ever for never reading it, but as I read it I've realized that my heart was never prepared for it until now. I've always known it's true, but have never known the teachings or events. Its AMAZING! I love it with all my heart. I promise you, as a official representative of Jesus Christ, that it will bless you. The heavens will open and blessings will be poured out upon you!!

I love you all with all my heart!
Love, Sister Denson