Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello from The Great California Long Beach Mission!

Hello from The Great California Long Beach Mission! (as my mission president would say)
This was a good week other than my companion getting sick! She was sick in bed for 2 days so I just had to sit around at home all day. Basically I finished the book of mormon, organized all my stuff, read the whole ensign, read my study journal, took a couple naps, and tried not to be too bored since there wasn't much to do. I got to go on exchanges with Sister White this week!  So that was super fun cause I miss getting to see her. I'm getting along a lot better with my companion. I think that once we merged our ways of doing things and figured out more what we are doing we are really getting along. We got 4 headquarter refferals this week!! This like never happens. Headquarter referrals are when someone requested the missionaries from or missionaries street contact someone who isn't in their area so they send the info to you. Usually you are lucky if you get one referral  a transfer so we were really surprised! One of them was a hindu lady who just wanted a bible so she could teach her kids about Christianity (but she wasn't interested in the discussions), another one we have a return appointment with a guy named Richard, and the other 2 we haven't gotten ahold of yet. The investigators we have right now have been really busy and our appointments have been falling through. They aren't home when we go to their house for our appointments and they are hard to contact. Hopefully things will work out because we haven't been able to meet with Leslie in like 3 weeks! As a district we have all been praying that each companionship will be able to see someone they are teaching enter the waters of baptism this transfer. We try to remember this in every prayer and since we pray at least around 20 times a day, it is really helpful in keeping us focused! Hopefully someone we are working with or someone we will find will be committed enough so that they will join the church! I rode my bike for the first time last week. It's hard to ride in a skirt and I hate wearing helmets because they are super dorky and mess up my hair but oh well-- all in the name of safety right? We usually just walk or drive. Our area is 3 times as big as most of the areas in the mission so we drive to a certain part and then walk around. Also I went to ward council for the first time on my mission (finally!) The ward has good intentions to do missionary work but hopefully we can help them become more actively involved. Sister Reinsch and I want to do splits sometimes with some of the sisters it is just hard because they are either older ladies who aren't super capable/willing or they are young mothers with a bunch of little kids. So we will see what we can do. I just finished the book of mormon but I read the books in random order so I finished with Alma. Suprisingly the war chapters were some of my favorites. Captain Moroni is awesome!!! I love how devoted he was to God and his country and how even when the Nephites seemed outnumbered or they weren't sure how they were going to get back a city, he always told his people to trust in the Lord. As they showed obedience to God and his commandments, time and time again they were delivered by the hand of the Lord. And then come in the stripling warriors who had so much faith, strong testimonies, and courage that they did not doubt that God would help them. They ended up fighting with so fearlessly and with miraculous strength that not a single one was killed. These examples have helped me a lot to remember that if I continue to have faith and to show God that I am willing to follow him and do what he says that he will guide us in our efforts. Sister White used to always say "sometimes we are the seed planters, sometimes we are the growers, and sometimes we are the harvesters." As missionaries it is easy to just want to be the harvesters all the time and to see people getting baptized right and left. But a lot of the time we are planting seeds or helping people grow in the gospel. It we have faith and work diligently God will lead us to those who are ready and through patience and obedience we will be able to see people enter the waters of baptism.
Love you all!!
Sister Washburn
Me and Sister Reinsch, yes that is a super fancy library in the background.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Hello everyone!!
This has been a crazy week with transfers and everything. Also the two sisters that were living with us got an apartment so they moved out. My new companion is Sister Reinsch. She is 25 and she's from Nebraska. She has only been out for 6 weeks longer than me and I'm still in training so its kinda crazy. She really nice, our personalities are more different than me and Sister White so it will take some time to get used to a new person. Also we have had a couple of disagreements because we were taught to do somethings differently and we're both still trying to figure stuff out since we're both greenies so that has been a little hard. Now that we have been together for a week we are getting along better so things should be good. My new mission president is great! He and his wife are from Wyoming and they are super excited to be here. Also Sister Tew, the mission president's wife, is able to be a lot more involved since all of their kids are grown while Sister Bubert still had two high school kids living at home. I think this is really good since there are about 50 sisters in our mission now when 6 months ago there was only 12! My new companion loves knocking so we have been already been knocking 4 times in the 6 days we've been together. Suprisingly we got two return appointments out of it. One of them is a young dad named Aaron who has two little girls. He played football at Weber State and so he has known some Mormons. We gave him the first discussion and he was really open to it all, he said that it made sense that God would have prophets today and he said he would read the book of mormon. We haven't met his wife yet who he said is strong in another church so hopefully her heart will be open so that we can teach them both. He gave a really great prayer at the end of the lesson (he basically already prays the same way we do which was cool!). Also we met a girl in her 20s who said she was looking for a new youth group because her church moved so hopefully we can talk to her some more (she wasn't there when we went back). We were meeting a member at a park for dinner on Wednesday and they were running late. A guy came up to us and we started talking with him and he asked us for a book of mormon. Neither of us had one on us! Usually we have a ton in our car but we had taken them out since we had been moving stuff. Luckily he said we would meet us at the park the next day and we taught him the first discussion and gave him the book of mormon. He was really opened to it, but we'll see how much of a desire he has to learn more (i think he is interested in learning about our religion but I'm not sure how interested he is in changing) I'm pretty sure he is a reformed gang member (there tend to be a few of those around here, they are randomly really nice people just with a rough past). He is really nice but we had the Elders contact in the park while we taught the lesson just to be safe. :) So ya we have a lot of new investigators, hopefully they will continue to build their desire to know more. The new Elders in our ward are awesome, they are also our zone leaders so they are just good missionaries in general. (Sister Reinsch and I are going to learn all of their secrets because they have a lot of experience and are good at a lot of things) Also a member of the ward took us out for dinner to a Korean barbeque restaurant. It was so good! They have little grills in the middle of the table and you just order what meat you want and then you grill it yourself. The waiter brings you rice, rice paper (kind of like an egg roll wrapper), a bunch of dipping sauces, cabbage, and kimchi to make little wraps with the meat. I ate a ton because the member that took us is Tongan so of course he ordered a ton of meat. We managed to eat most of it though. We aren't using technology yet but one of the Elders in our zone said we are supposed to be getting ipads soon. ( I think we are but I'm sure sure how soon it will be) It has been a lot cooler and even a little rainy here the past couple of days. It's weird because it is overcast a lot because the ocean is near by but it hardly ever rains. This has been a really tiring week but we can take naps on p-day so I am totally taking advantage of that! Glad to hear that you are all having a good summer. I got your letters and pictures in the mail so I'll write back to you today.
Love you all!!

Sister Washburn
This fine establishment is right across the street from our apartments. Looks like a Mexican restaurant but its actually a Chinese restaurant, welcome to California.

Monday, July 15, 2013

First Progressing Investigator!

Hi everyone!
I'm glad you guys had a good vacation. That's cool to hear about all of the mission calls. I had no idea the sisters wanted to go but they will be awesome!!!!! (it's cool they're going to the same country) I have by bike I just haven't really used it yet. Sister White has a bad back so we get to use the car more or we just walk. Sister White usually drives but I went on splits with Sister Black when Sister White had a meeting and I got to drive. Ya I think sending letters to the mission home is better than giving you my apartment address since we get switched around so much. The zone leaders pick up the mail and give it to us at district meeting on Thursdays. We are only allowed to write letters on Mondays so I won't be able to write a letter back right away. Transfers are tomorrow. They happen every six weeks. Usually you stay in an area for 2 or three transfers. This transfer they are making a lot of changes which surprised everyone because the President has only been here for a couple weeks. We are getting new zone leaders, our district is different because they are splitting our zone in half (it was really big), and sadly Sister White is getting transferred. :( So I'm staying in the same area but I'm getting a new trainer. It will be interesting because she doesn't know the area but she is also training me so I will have to update her on the ward and everything. The elders in our ward are getting transferred too so I will be the only missionary out of the 4 of us that knows the area. So this will be a crazy week, and I'll let you know how everything goes. This last week flew by. I have my first progressing investigator!!!! Her name is Leslie, she is in her early 20s and she has a 3 year old son. She has a catholic background but there are some things she doesn't like about Catholicism. We taught her the first lesson and she said that she would get baptized!! We are giving her a church tour this week and hopefully she keeps progressing. We just got trained on how to do church tours and they are actually really cool! We take people around the building and show them each of the rooms and explain all of the classes and church groups. As we go around we show them the pictures on the walls in the halls and teach a lesson as we go and use the pictures to help them learn more and show them how we believe and teach of Christ. Then we end in the chapel and we tell them to focus on how they feel as they walk into the chapel. I'm going to be honest, I have felt the spirit when listening to a talk or music in the chapel, but I don't think I've felt a huge different when I walk through the doors. As we've practiced doing tours I've felt the spirit so strongly each time we enter the chapel at the end of the tours. It as really strengthened my testimony that church buildings really are houses of the Lord. As we go into the chapel with our investigators we tell them that the difference they feel is the spirit. Then we let them ponder for a few minutes and then we bear testimony. Then we invite them to kneel and pray with us and to specifically ask God if this church is true. We did a practice tour with each other and it totally works!! People can really feel the spirit in the building and will be able to receive a more clear answer when they are away from the distractions of the world. Another less active came to church on Sunday which was great. On Sunday was the departure fireside for the missionaries that are leaving this transfer. Sister white is leaving a week early for school so she bore her testimony. It was great to hear all of the testimonies. All of the missionaries who came (if your companion isn't in the program you have to bring an investigator in order to come) sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth." Nothing like 50+ missionaries blasting the investigators and members with that song to get them all misty-eyed and excited about missionary work. :) There was a baptism this week for the Elders in our ward's investigator named Dan. After the baptism a lady from the Lakewood ward came up to talk to me and she served in Arizona years ago and Grandpa Washburn was her mission president!!! Her name is Sister Deister and she said that she even visited the house in Page for a mission reunion. So it was neat running into her. Last p-day we ate lunch at this really good thai restaurant and district meeting this week was on 7/11/13 so 7eleven was giving out free slurpies. Last week a lady in our ward took us out to eat and I got really sick after (food poisoning?) so I'm trying to be a little more careful of what I eat. (people feed us some random things sometimes so its kind of hard) That's one of the things I miss about the MTC. We didn't have to cook and we got to chose what we wanted to eat. That's funny that everyone is moving to St. George. We just ate at a lady's house this week who is from Honduras and she was telling us how great St. George is and how they are probably moving there soon. I got Tawni's wedding announcement. She looks gorgeous of course and I am so excited for her and Jeff. Well, have a great week! The church is true! Have faith in the Lord and in his timing! Try to be more like Jesus!
Love you all!!!
Sister Washburn

 Me and Sister White
  This really really tall palm tree in front of a tiny house made me laugh.
There are tons of really tall pine trees here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July

Hello everyone!

This was a good week. We have had roommates for the past couple of weeks because the other 2 sisters in our district were living with a ward member but it didn't work out. Sister Black was in my MTC district and Sister Jessop is from American Samoa. It has been fun having more people around and last p-day we went clothes shopping just like old pre-mission times (it was weird). This week for the fourth of July we were walking to a less active's house and we passed by a big hispanic family eating in their front yard. They asked us if we wanted to join them and my companion said yes. It ended up being really cool! They feed us carne asada and some other good mexcian food and aguas frescas. We talked to them about missionaries and what we do. Some of them didn't speak a ton of english (some of them were from Peru) so they were teaching us some Spanish. They were really nice and we are going to send the Spanish missionaries by to see them next week. Then we had dinner with a lady in our ward at the park. After that we were walking around figuring we would contact since everyone was busy. As we were walking a car pulled over to the side and a guy rolled down his window. He was like "I just want to thank you missionaries for everything that you do because a couple of you saved my life a few years back and I just really appreciate it." We talked to him a little bit more so it was random but cool. Then around 8:30 all the fireworks started. People like to do their own fireworks here so there was a ton of smoke and explosions everywhere it felt like we were in a war zone so we went back to our car and decided to go home. (some people have these illegal fireworks that sound like bombs, they are super loud) When we got back to our apartment we could see big fireworks everywhere. You could literally stand in one spot and just turn in a circle and you could see fireworks in the sky all around. So the fourth turned out better than we were expecting. :) Also there is a less active lady that we read the book of mormon with and she is dating one of the members. He carved me and Sister White each pens out of wood and he stained mine blue (since that's my favorite color) It's really cool. Sister White had a training meeting this week so I went on splits with Sister Black and Sister Puttapong. It was during our morning studies so we didn't have to go out but Sister Puttapong was telling us about her home in Thailand and how there are lots of elephants and stuff where she lives. She is a temple square sister so she will be going back to Salt Lake next month. Then on sunday two of the less actives we visit came to church!!!!!! It was so good to see them there. One of the ladies Sister Edes hadn't been to church in 20 years and the other sister works weird hours and doesn't get much sleep so it was a sacrifice for her to be there. It was so awesome and I feel like being there and taking the sacrament and feeling the spirit really will help them to realize the importance of coming to church and how it can help them throughout the week. This up coming week is the last week of my first transfer! The days go by slow but the weeks are flying by. I also can't believe that I wake up at 6:30 every morning. Not being able to sleep in has been an adjustment but I really believe that the Lord blesses us when we are exactly obedient. I know that as we do what the Lord asks that we will be blessed. Even doing the small things day by day will show the Lord that we are committed to him. I have been studying the recent general conference talks as part of my studies and I am so grateful for a prophet on the earth today and leaders who are inspired by God to teach us. I know that by following what the Lord says we will be happier and will find comfort and peace that only the Savior can give. Love you all!! Hope you had a good vacation!!

Sister Washburn
^^^This is some of the sisters in our zone (sister black, sister fulgim, sister jessop, sister monson, sister white, sister puttapong, and me :) it was funny cause the 2 asian sisters were really excited to celebrate 4th of july.^^^

^^^when we went shopping at old navy last week and we didn't realize we all bought the same shirt until we got home so we all wore it to district meeting^^^

^^^random picture of me walking in Norwalk^^^

Last week!

How was Lake Powell? You will have me send me some pictures. I got grandma and grandpa's email saying you are in Utah now. This was kind of a slow week. My companion got sick so we only got one lesson in one of the days and a lot of people are out of town so it was hard to get in contact with people. We thought 3 of our less actives would come to church which we were really excited about but non of them ended up coming. So hopefully next week otherwise we might have to drop them. We are starting a book of mormon study class with the elders in our ward for less actives and recent converts or for members to bring their non-member friends. So hopefully it ends up going well! Also our new mission president got here this week which is exciting! We are going to meet him on Wednesday and have a zone testimony meeting. Tonight we are teaching a family and we really hope that they are interested! There are a couple of members in our ward we have had dinner with who have had some recent missionary experiences so hopefully they find people we can teach soon. Also there is a sister in our zone who is from Thailand so last p-day she taught us how to make some thai food, and it was really good! It has been really hot here and since it is humid too it feels really sticky and hot when we are out walking. Luckily the members load us up with water bottles when we stop by. We read the Book of Mormon with a lot of people to start them off so they can read on their own. I don't know how man times I have read 1 Nephi in the past few weeks. One of the things I love about reading in Nephi is the incredible amount of faith that he had. Time and time again in  numerous difficult situations, Nephi chose to turn to the Lord and have faith that things would work out as the Lord guided him. This contrasts with Laman and Lemuel who would complain or try to get out of doing hard things. As a missionary having faith is so important. If we have faith and rely on the spirit the Lord will help us in our efforts and lead us to those who are ready for the gospel. I know when we act in faith the Lord will help us with whatever we need. I will try to take more pictures I just don't know what to take pictures of. (there are pretty much just houses and a few restaurants in our area) Have a good time with the cousins in Utah.
Love you all!!
Sister Washburn