Friday, June 28, 2013

This was another good week. Sister White and I went to the swap meet which is like an indoor market and they have a lot of California t-shirts so I will have to buy one sometime. We invited an in active couple to come to church and they said they would come but they didn't show up so hopefully next week. We also went to visit one of the in active sisters. She said she had had a really hard week and was thinking about calling us when we showed up at her house. She has been dealing with family problems and health problems but it amazes me how much faith she has. She has been through so much in her life but she turns to God in her hardest times. It was great to talk to her and to see her faith. We were working with an investigator but it looks like she still isn't ready to commit (she's been investigating for 3 years) Its hard because we can't make people have the desire to change and follow Christ we can only invite them to do so. She used to be in gangs when she was younger and has completely changed her life around (and is practically mormon she knows a ton about our church) She told us if we were ever in a bad situation that she would come and pick us up! (she knows everyone) That was comforting because a few of the areas we work in are a little . . . well ya don't worry mom i'm safe but there are certain place we don't go at night. Honestly I have never felt as safe as I have as a missionary and I know that the Holy Ghost protects us. Anyways we also have the cutest little family (a couple and their two kids)that a couple of elders found a while ago. They are out of town right now but I really hope they are ready for the gospel because they I can already see them as members of the church. We had a tune-up meeting this week with all of the missionaries that recently came from the MTC so it was fun to see my old companion and the other missionaries from my district. Also there were 3 new missionaries one from Mexico, Argentina, and Israel. The one from Israel moved to New Jersey when he was a teenager and converted from Judaism to our church a year and a half ago. (really cool to meet missionaries like that!) I also went knocking for the first time this week! It was actually kind of fun and we found a guy who seemed kind of interested but who knows. With the new mission changes I think they are trying to phase out knocking so at least I got to go once! Our ward also had their big chili cook off this week. The young men did the hakka (and it was legit because practically all of them are tongan) and the young women performed a tahitian dance. It was good to get to know more of the members at the activity. We sat with the Sheperd family. Most of the family is inactive except for the grandma who is really active and the mom and one of the daughters who come to church now. They are awesome and super outgoing (Sister Sheperd is like the white version of the "ain't nobody got time for that" lady, she even says that all the time) The sister missionaries are like their family, if we don't go by one week they start asking if we are okay because they love having us over. The missionary broadcast was amazing!!! I think that if members realize just how important they are in missionary work, we will be able to bring so many more people into the church. I love being a missionary and I love our church! I love how in one of the talks they said that if we invite our non-members friends to church out of love and concern for them, they will never feel offended. Missionary work can be intimidating but if we open our mouths the holy ghost will help us know what to say. Also the more we talk to people about the church the easier it gets! This is how full time missionaires become better. We practice all the time teaching, invitng people to do certain things, and talking to random people ono the street. All of the missionaries are here to do all they can and help the members in their missionary efforts. The message of the restoration and the plan of slavation can change lives. I am so grateful to be a member of this church and to serve the Lord as a missionary. Have a good time at Lake Powell!!
Love you!
Sister Washburn
Hi everyone!!
It has been another crazy week but I feel like I'm finally starting to get used to the missionary schedule, our area, and everything we have to do. We have a couple of investigators now! They have busy schedules so we haven't taught the first lesson yet so hopefully this week. Also one of them is an eternigator (eternal investigator) who has had missionaries coming by for about 5 years. Missionaries haven't visited her for the past year so we are hoping she will finally be ready for baptism. Other than that we have just been going by less actives and meeting everyone in the ward. Also I have a watch tan!! I'm pretty excited because its been a while since i had a tan to begin with. The other day I was doing my preach my gospel study in the living room of our apartment. I was setting down my book when I noticed there was a lizard under our desk! It was pretty big (at least 9 inches) anyways my companion freaked out and we didn't know how we were going to get it out of our apartment. Luckily the elders in our complex hadn't left yet so they came over and got it out, but it bit one of them before they could catch it! It was crazy but they finally got it. Needless to say we don't keep our screen door open as much any more. Our ward is having a chili cook off this weekend that they do every year so people are excited for that. Also everyone here has a dog or a cat, it crazy how may pets i have petted in the past few weeks. (i leave the cat petting to my companion) The other day we had dinner with a young couple in my ward. They have a little baby and I found out that the wife is 21, so that was a little weird but then it just felt like I was a college again. The other day Sister White and I were going to our evening appointments. The person we had planned to visit wanted to reschedule. We felt like a lot of the less actives we visit don't really want to change and sometimes don't really benefit all that much for our visits. (they just mostly like to talk) We were feeling discouraged but then we remembered that President told us if we were having a bad day we could go get some ice cream, figure out what we need to change, and then go back to work. So we took advantage of that and it helped! We figure that we need to find those who want to make the changes their lives. Our district leader always tells us to "look for the elect" the people whose hearts have been softened and are ready and willing to come closer to Christ. We are going to commit more of our less actives and if they won't progress we will focus more on investigators. I think that this will help us become more effective missionaries! On a random side note the library where we write our letters is super nice! There are tons of computers and the kids section is really cool there is a t-rex skeleton, a huge fish tank aquarium, a tree house, and outside there are water fountains and a sculpture garden, it's really cool. This week our new mission president comes so it will be good to meet him and his wife!!
Hope you all have a good week!!
love, Sister Washburn

Monday, June 10, 2013

First Week!

Hey everyone!
So i just finished my first week in the field! On Tuesday the 27 missionaries going to Long Beach all flew out on the same flight and it was a small plane so we took up like half of it. One of the other sisters and I were talking to a couple before going on the flight and we gave them a pass-along card. They were awesome so hopefully they look up Also I sat next our district leader on the flight. His name is Elder Wilkes and he is from Nampa! but he said he doesn't know any Washburn's (I think he lives on the other side of town). The mission president and his wife are really great. They leave in a couple of weeks though and then President Tew will be here. My trainer is Sister White and she is really cool. She's from Mapleton and she's majoring in el ed too! We get a long really well and this is her last 3 months before she goes home so she knows a lot! Also we have a car which is so nice. They are cutting down the number of miles we can drive so we try to walk a lot but we can drive in the evening and to far appointments which is nice. Our apartment is pretty nice too. We each have our own bathroom and there is an extra bedroom that I get to use for all of my stuff, someone's genius planning! In the morning we walk on a high school track near our apartments and apparently its the school where they filmed Greece. Right now I'm serving in the Cerritos/Norwalk area. Over half of the ward is inactive so we have been trying to reactivate people and hopefully baptize a part-member family. Also we do a lot of street contacting which is just talking to people around our area and passing out cards about (it is such a great website you can refer people to who want to know more about our church and what we believe, it also has all of the "I'm a Mormon" videos) There are always people walking around and since there are two other elder companionships living in our apartment complex we always see them tracting or walking round our area too. This area is really diverse. All of our neighbors are Korean and there are a lot of Korean shops around where we live (to bad Aimee isn't here to talk to them because I don't think they speak a ton of english) Also our ward has a lot of Polynesian people and there are a ton of hispanic people and indian people in our area too. We have been to a Brazilian, Philipino, and Vietnamese family's house so this ward really does have a lot of different people. Our ward is a random mix of  a lot of young families and old people so its kind of an interesting dynamic. It makes bringing members to lessons hard and its kind of hard to get people excited about missionary work, but hopefully we will find a way to do it. Also the weather here has been really nice. It is cloudy and hazy every morning until the smog burns off at about 11:30 (its kind of weird to wake up to cloudy skies every morning but it is still going to be a nice day later on) and then it is sunny and nice until the end of the day. Also it is humid here! Not super bad but it has been a struggle figuring out how to manage my hair since the humidity makes it frizzy all the time. I think I'm kind of starting to figure out how to fix it so hopefully I'll get used to it. Also we hear sirens at least twice a day here, I don't know why but there are always ambulances going somewhere (probably because there are so many people here!) Also our area i kind of interesting because you can be driving around in a pretty nice suburban area and then a couple blocks down you are in the ghetto. So there is definitely a wide range of living in a small area.
So far though I really like it! It has been cool to meet so many different people. Sister White and I really want to find a family to teach so we are going to keep working hard until we do! I am so grateful for this gospel and how it has led me to make the choices that I have in my life. A lot here you see people who are recovering from drugs or other bad choices that have ruined their lives. With the gospel we are able to make good choices that bring us closer to Christ and give us lasting peace and happiness that we can't find anywhere else.
Love you all!
Sister Washburn



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sister Washburn left the MTC this morning and flew out to CA!