Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 - Happy Halloween!

Well, I am currently dressed up as my reflection. I have my hair parted on the left side of my head and my name tag on the right side. Honestly, that is probably going to change really fast because my hair is not cut this way, and it is driving me batty!! Also, Sister Kemble and I are going to switch name tags! I am also dressed as much like Peter Pan as I can. So those are my three different costumes for the day!

Even though it is an all day P-day, I still can't email after six, and we are crazy busy! So I am going to try and make this short! Let's see how I do with that!

What did you learn this week?

I learned that there is such thing as mission drama. We have this little girl who was going to be baptized with her sister this Saturday. Their parents have joint custody, and the dad gave permission for them to be baptized. The mom didn't want him to come because he would have raised a stink about not being the one to baptize them and he is not worthy. Well, he was interrogating the kids this weekend and found this out, so he called the bishop for this ward and went on a long rant, and has decided that he never gave official permission and is not going to give permission. So we have to postpone the baptism so that the dad can meet with his bishop on Sunday. Right now they are no longer on date to be baptized and who knows when this will blow over. Yeah... lots of drama on the dad's part. It is madness.

What did you teach this week?

We had exchanges on Wednesday and I was staying here in this area with Sister Martinez, one of our STL's. So I taught a lot more than I normally do! We did get a cancellation for the lesson I was excited about, and the other lesson we had is a special case, but I did talk a lot more than usual. It was absolutely terrifying! We taught this really sweet lady about what happens at our church on Sunday and she actually came this week!!! We weren't there, of course... to be fair, though, we have six different wards that meet at 9. But we met her on exchanges then gave her a chapel tour on Saturday. It was so cool!

What did you share this week?

I shared my sarcasm. I was kinda bad... Sister Kemble and Afungia were really late coming back here after exchanges, so we were texting "Sister Kemble come save me" so they would think it was me texting, but I was driving and it was Sister Martinez, and we said some other stuff! It was fun! Then last night the sisters that we normally give rides to today didn't need one to the Mission office because they are on exchanges. So I told them we were really offended and insulted and asked if they were going shopping with their new best friends, too. Quick disclaimer, one of these sisters is my MTC companion Sister Harvey, and they got a full blast of me near the end of the MTC! So she understands. And Sister Kemble and Sister Colati are sarcastic to each other, too. So it all works out!

Did you run into anyone we know this week?

I don't think so... we did run into the family that we ate dinner with on my third night out here. The dad laughed because I was backing Sister Kemble up. He was happy that we still had to do that! They are an awesome (and normal) family!! (Missionaries are required to have one person stand outside the car that will direct the driver while backing up.)

Have you learned anything new about yourself lately?

Um... I learned that I have improved in speaking since I can out here. On Thursday we had a lesson with this little boy, but the mom wasn't going to be home. We needed to get another female there, but no one in the primary could help us, and we couldn't find anyone that was available. Finally, we decided to ask the daughter of the high councilman in the other Stake we cover because she is planning on going on a mission. Anyways, she was super great to have come with us. She is very much like I am when talking in lessons, so that made me realize that I have come quite a way since I started, even though it doesn't feel like it!

Questions from David's blog:

Have you done anything new and/or different this week?

Yes. I have now had a Utah jello. It was an... interesting experience...

Backstory: there is this super sweet lady we have been wanting to visit, so we went on Friday because all our afternoon appointments cancelled. We actually got to help put together little baby quilts! It was so much fun! And then she offered us jello.

It was a fruit jello instead of vegetables, so that was a blessing! It probably had other fruit in it too, but the majority was pineapple. I am not joking, it was like a can of pineapple held together by red jello. I am not a fan of either, but I didn't want to be rude, so I accepted. I actually enjoyed it! For the first five, ten bites. Then I hit twenty and I still had so much left in my bowl. Not exaggerating, it was a piece four by five inches wide and an inch and a half thick! Anyways, I was approaching my limit. I know that I eat slowly, especially things that I have trouble with, but I was shocked when Sister Kemble finished so quickly. I wasn't even halfway done! Well, I grit my teeth and kept eating, but when it got down to a  two by three inch piece I had to quit. Shamefully, I relinquished my bowl. When we left, I asked Sister Kemble how she ate the whole thing, and so fast! Turns out, the piece of jello that she got was almost the same size as what I couldn't eat! I got over twice as much as she did! And she likes jello! So that is my fun adventure for the week.

Do you have any snow, yet?

Not yet, and even the snow on the mountains has melted! Sad day!

Is your suitcase enjoying the sauna? (No idea how you will answer this one...)

Well, my suitcase is enjoying the little alcove it is hiding in. The bathroom does have a vent right over the door, and it is a small space, so honestly it is the warmest area down here. It is so nice to walk in and it be so nice and warm and wonderful. There is not room for the suitcases in there, though.

That's all I've got for now before we rush off to the Mission office. We might not be around WiFi for a long while because we might be going doing a fire with the Johnsons or glow-in-the-dark volleyball. Who knows!

Love you all!
Sister Milligan

Here is a picture of the really cool sky we got over some houses with the sun unobstructed further west! Pretty cool!

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016 - Hectic!

Hey hey, everyone!

I have been doing the questions first this week, and actually mentioned all the major points that I wanted to say... Um... we went to the pumpkin patch with one of our investigator's families! Said investigator is nine years old. It was so much fun! Then we went and taught a lesson with them before having pizza and root beer floats. It was a good day!

Except that night we were supposed to go get hot chocolate with the Spanish Elders in our area to discuss the missionary fireside we want to hold. But that did not happen because one of the Elders had a mishap with his bike. He was riding along and the front wheel for his bike fell off. So he flipped over the handle bars and landed on his back in the middle of the street. Needless to say, he is out of commission. His shoulder bore the brunt of it, but he has trouble moving his whole left side. They are in their apartment for the next few days. We went to go get them supplies on Saturday, and they asked us to go get them dinner from Chick-fil-a, and it was an adventure! Good times!!

The best thing that happened with that experience was that we ran into one of our less active families we were unable to meet with this week. They never got back to us about what day we could meet again, so we were unsure of what to do next. Then we saw them at Chick-fil-a! And they asked us when we could come over! They are such a wonderful family!!!
So we know that we were meant to go help the Elders get their dinner!

What did you teach this week?

We taught our final lesson with the sweet girl I talked about last week. We were looking at our maps and realized that she was one street over from our boundaries. So we had to pass her off to the Elders for the Kearns Central Stake. We are Kearns South Stake. It was really sad, but I know that the Elders will be good. And we got to meet her this way. Sigh...

What did you share this week?

I shared... Okay, this question is really hard for me! I never know what to say! I shared the info for three wards at our Stake correlation meeting all by myself on Wednesday. For the sake of time, we have been dividing and conquering the Kearns Stake meetings. I wish that we would do that for Westbrook, but they all trickle in when they can. Kearns people are way more prompt.

What did you learn this week?

I learned how much a little thing can mean to people. There is this really really sweet lady that we are working with. She has extreme social anxiety and PTSD, so it is a struggle for her to come to church and meet people. But we were able to meet with her again this week, so we told her about Stake Conference on Sunday and that we would save her a seat. When we went over to the Johnson's today, Sister Johnson told us that the bishop got a call from this wonderful lady's mother. She had called to thank him for really helping her daughter out. She even told the bishop about these two sweet sisters that told her daughter they would save her a seat! It is so nice to see what an impact a simple thing like talking and saving a seat can do for someone.

When is/are transfers?

Transfers are going to be November 8th. I really hope I get to stay here because I love these people!!!

How does that work in your mission? (How many weeks in one transfer?)

Transfers are every six weeks, on Tuesday. We learn where we are going the Saturday before. Stressful!

What is something new you've learned about your companion?

She does not like the song "My Kindness Shall not Depart from Thee." I don't know why, she doesn't know why, she just doesn't like it. Strange!

Are you having good experiences on your mission?

Yes! We get to know a lot of really awesome people! I love all of the people we are working with! And we have gotten to do a lot of service this week!! Making wedding decorations!!! Packing up even more stuff!! Cleaning this really gross house... but it has all been wonderful!

Also, we got to go over to the Johnsons (who sent the picture from general conference and are the Senior missionary couple!) to have fun on her Cricut today!! She has the new one! Not the new new one, but the one without cartridges! MOM! IT IS SO FAST! It just zips along! It is crazy!!!!
I made a little elf. His name is Humphrey. He is adorable! I'll send a picture.
Do you get to dress up for Halloween?

No, unfortunately not. But I am going to switch which side my hair is "parted" on. Switching things up! Also, we might trade name tags for the day! It is an all day P-Day, so who knows.

Do you get to attend any ward Halloween parties?

Yup! Actually, our dinner appointment is the Ward Trunk-or-Treat dinner for the ward feeding us this week! We have had others scheduled to go to, but none actually attended yet. Other appointments are more important when you have fifteen wards to cover. These parties are good for finding people, but it is hard if you have an appointment already scheduled for someone in a different ward or Stake. Madness is the moral of this story.
Questions from David's assortment:

How much daylight do you have?

It is shrinking. The sunrise and set are now approximately 10 and a half hours apart. But we have been really overcast lately, which is AWESOME!!! So very little direct sunlight lately.

How much snow have you seen?

Quite a bit on the mountains! None down here, though.

Have you made any funny language errors lately?

Yes, actually. Quite embarrassing, I kept accidentally saying "married" instead "baptized."
It was so frustrating!! I would catch it right away, but it just kept coming out. It was horrible when I was talking about how Jaden was going to be baptized (read: married) with his brother. Yes. I am really happy it was just me and Sister Kemble in the car.

Well, that's all I've got! Love you guys!
Sister Milligan

October 17, 2016 - Quality vs. Quantity

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great week!

So, we actually only had one lesson a night every night this week except Saturday. One day I know I'd be happy to even have one a day, but with how many we had scheduled... it was pretty sad. And three of those days were with the same person. Wait... Tuesday was not a lesson. Sorry about that. So we had a lot of cancellations.

One of our less actives dropped us. To be honest, we were going to drop her soon anyways, so we think she did that just so we didn't do it to her first. Luckily her ward is super awesome, and the relief society is going to keep fellowshipping her. We hope that we can start meeting with her soon, though!

The lesson that we had on Wednesday was one of the best ones we've had, especially with this less active. We are just reading the Book of Mormon with him while he is working with the bishop to get the priesthood, and it has been kinda hard. His eyes get really tired really fast, and he has trouble comprehending and retaining what we read and talk about. This week at Zone Conference we got him a large print Book of Mormon, hoping that it would help his eyes. It was the coolest thing!!! We didn't think too much of getting from the mission office, since they had an extra one that we exchanged for two children's Books of Mormon. He and his parents thought it was the nicest thing ever! When we showed it to him he was so excited, and kept saying "it's better than Christmas!" as he showed it to his parents. They thanked us so much for "going out of our way" and when we told him it was his to keep he was so so excited. It was so humbling to think of what that little gesture meant to him. And that lesson! He was so excited to read, he read a whole two pages before asking one of us to read - and he only did that because his voice was going out, not his eyes. Then, every time we paused to talk about what he read, he had answers, he asked questions, and he quoted the verses back at us!! It was such an amazing change from the past couple weeks!!!

We also had the first baptism this transfer: our nine year old friend and his little brother. It was really awesome! We finished the last two lessons on Sunday and Monday before his interview on Tuesday. The baptism was really great, even with the slight... glitches... but I won't talk about those!

And finally, the most awkward thing... we just had our district meeting, and we all go to lunch together afterwards. The AP's came to our meeting, and they had gift cards to this restaurant, so we decided to all go there. We talked to this super sweet lady in the parking lot and as we all went to head inside she ran up and gave us money to pay for our lunch. And, of course, she had to hand it to me.
It was so horribly awkward.
I tried three times to give it back, and she refused.
I feel completely guilty.
So I went to my trainer to ask her what the heck I was supposed to do.
It was out of my hands at that point.
Well, long story short, the money she gave us paid for all six of us in my district.
I am a despicable human being.

And we'll leave it at that...

What did you learn this week?

I learned that people actually do try and pay for missionaries' food. And that it is horribly awkward.

But besides that, I learned a lot about the topic of diligence, which is the Christlike attribute that I picked for my talk on Sunday. No comment on how the actual address went. But for the talk itself, I found this really neat article from the July 2011 Ensign. It is about these families in Peru who live on the Lake Titicaca on islands they make themselves out of totora reeds. The islands are four feet thick, and every ten to fifteen days they have to put another layer of reeds down because the ones on the bottom decompose, the ones on top either dry out or decay depending on the wet or dry season. My favorite line is : "the faith to build must always be followed by the diligence to maintain." The building and upkeep of these islands was compared to the building and upkeep of our personal testimonies and spiritual wellbeing. It was a really neat article!

What did you share this week?

I shared... air from my lungs in an intense dart battle between junior and senior companions for our zone activity today. I was the last one standing for my side. And defeated the last three people opposing me. They underestimated me.

I also shared my shoulder, unwillingly, with a little creature. We were helping our senior sister carry stuff out to her car and I had a tray with two pies on it in one hand and a box in the other. And I start feeling something brushing against the collar of my shirt on the left side. Anyone who knows about my run in with scorpions knows how I feel about things on the left side of my neck. So I was internally freaking out. I couldn't see it and I didn't have a free hand. Something was moving and I was NOT okay with it. Then we make it outside and this wasp flies past my face. I am so happy that I didn't have a hand free to brush my shoulder because the wasp would've gotten me, so instead I had to suffer for 30 seconds. And now my dislike of things on my neck has increased. I think this was payback for the wasp we killed in the MTC. Perhaps this was his brother. Shudder.

What did you teach this week?

I helped teach this really sweet girl that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will never give up on, even if her parents have. She has gone quite a ways astray and really really wants to turn her life around. She is a wonderful, strong young woman! I am so excited to meet with her again!

How are you doing with the language?

I like to think I'm doing okay. I have been reliably informed that I have a strange accent. Apparently there are very slight southern undertones but the rest is just kinda weird. I also "bounce [my] B's." I don't know what that means...
At least at this point in the game, an accent is to be expected. I sure I will get better soon.

What is something that challenged you this week?

Role plays. I don't like role plays. I can do the actual thing that we are practicing but when I am supposed to "act it out" I feel completely and utterly ridiculous and so so so so stupid. I very much dislike them. So I have had a lot of challenges with those things. I know that they help, and so I try to force myself to do them, but I literally can't! I know what I want to say, but the sheer power of how forced and awkward it all is makes it so that I can't even open my mouth. I have been trying so hard to get better, and it is honestly going nowhere.

Did you eat any authentic Utah food this week?

No, but I did meet someone who honestly, legitimately believes that vegetables are good in jello.
I don't believe her.
She said that I have to try her jello because she makes it good.
Again, I don't believe her.
At all.
Jello is meh in and of itself, you don't add vegetables, of all things, in it!!
I was willing to listen to her talk about her jello when she was talking about jello salad and fruit in it, but I very much disagree with the rest of that conversation. Ugh.

That's all I've got for this week! Wow, that was actually a long email. Sorry for those short on time. The invitation to ignore my prattling still stands!

Love you all!!
Sister Milligan

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 11, 2016 - It's Been A Week?!

It feels like I just emailed you all and now I get to do it again. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled! But wow! Time flies, I guess.

The most obvious thing that happened this week is the cancellations. We had sooooo many people cancel on us or just not answer the door. I don't know if I will feel different the more it happens to me, but I was honestly not super discouraged by it. Sure, I was upset for the person because I really wanted to meet them and I want to help them, but every single time we weren't able to do our original plan it opened up time for other needful things. Sometimes that was letting Sister Kemble rest and others it let us do service for this super sweet lady that has to sell her house and needs help sorting and packing things.

We actually have a baptism this Saturday!! It is a nine year old boy that wants to get baptized with his younger step brother. This is really great because these two boys getting baptized has helped activate the whole family again! Especially his dad! It has been such a neat experience. The younger brother is my favorite person I've met here so far. He has moderate autism and is the sweetest little boy I have ever met! He really likes me (and the dragon I made him) and always sits next to me during lessons. Last week he asked if my kids were nice to me. I told him I didn't have kids yet, but that I hope when I do that they are nice. And he said, very seriously, "they better be." It was pretty adorable! I love the whole family!

Yesterday was my first actual Sunday, and as far as Sundays go, it was pretty mild! It was fast Sunday, so we didn't have any ward councils to go to and we only went to three different wards. So seven hours of church. Not bad at all! Sister Kemble said that normally they go to nine hours of church as well as several ward councils. Madness!
Two of our investigators went to church yesterday!! Zander is 11 and he is getting baptized on November 5th. Sherri is our brand new investigator that we got from our STL's. She is awesome! She has social anxiety, so she only came to sacrament meeting, but she came all on her own!!!
Unfortunately... I am speaking next Sunday. Pray for me. I will need it.

Well, that's all original content that I have... questions!

What is something you learned this week?

I learned that when I get really into a lesson it is possible to forget that I am shy. We were giving a "practice" lesson to this family. The wife is an active member, and the husband goes to church, but he does not believe in the church at all. He offered to let us practice on him, so we went over to teach the restoration. It ended up not being about that very much, but we had a great discussion. He would ask a lot of questions, and I actually answered some without being shy at all! I just knew the answer and went for it!

What is something you shared this week?

I shared my origami talents, I guess. I made  rose and dragons for Jaden's family. I also made a snowflake and a bunny for the STL's. It was pretty fun.

What is something you taught this week?

I taught the Plan of Salvation to our ward mission leader and his wife last night as another practice lesson. They were super nice, and we all learned something from that experience, I think. I know that Sister Kemble and I did, me so did the WML's wife. It was very good practice!!

How is the weather? Have you had any snow?

For the majority of the time I have been here the highs have been in the 50s. Except for this week where it decides to go back up to the 70s. So I'm loving it! The only bad thing is how dry it is! Lots of lotion. And chapstick. Lots. We haven't had any snow yet, but we had some hail and the mountain top are turning white! At least the mountains to the east. The western ones are still brown.

How much daylight do you have left each day?

Love this question! We are getting about 12 hours a day. Good stuff!

Are the members feeding you?

The answer to that question is yes. Very much so. Too much so. We get fed dinner every night. And we often get sent home with leftovers. We didn't go food shopping this week. The only food we got were veggie straws. And those were more spur of the moment. We went for soap, laundry detergent, and Clorox wipes. We do not need to buy food because we have so much!! I am going to blow up like  whale!! Especially because we have a car!! The average weight gain for sisters is 40 lbs, and 70 for elders. THAT IS NOT OKAY!!!!!!

Have you tried any new foods? Anything strange?

I eat tomatoes now. I am not a huge fan of tomatoes. At all. So that is strange to me. New food... I tried these strange enchiladas, that were all white. Not red sauce at all! Strange! It was good though!

Now a few pictures from this last week!

There is this beautiful place called Waffle Love that sells, imagine it, waffles! They are sooooooo good!!! I got the Churro waffle, with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!! And it is free for missionaries! So that's a plus! Then there is a fun picture of us in the car!

Okay, love you all!! Gotta go!

Sister Milligan

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 3, 2016 - LOOOOOOOOONG Email - But Pictures Are Included!

As the title suggests, this is going to be a loooooooooooong email because it has been two weeks since I conversed with you all last. So if you don't end up reading it all at once (or ever) I won't be offended. In fact, I won't even know!

First off. Pictures. Um... so I put my pictures on my google drive so that I would not have to use the SD card reader to send pictures when I emailed next time.
But now I have an iPad. With an app for mail. And a restriction on my browser that doesn't let me access my drive for my ldsmail account. So no pictures except those taken from this week. I will give mom my sign-in details so she can get some of the ones on my drive that she likes. I am sad because there are explanations needed for a lot of them... but that's okay...

I had a lot to say earlier, but it has been so long that stuff doesn't seem as important anymore. Um... L. Whitney Clayton was our Tuesday fireside. I saw McKenna Williams at the MTC. Elder Lavoie from our district got surgery on his knee that he busted the first exercise time we got scheduled. He was not required to spend the six extra weeks in the MTC like they said he would, but he got to go to his mission and serve in the mission office in Orem. Elder Schmidt, who is going to Ireland Scotland, revealed to us that he is the son of Jon Schmidt from the Piano Guys. So that was cool! Sister Harvey and I were Branch Music Coordinators for a week.

And that's all I've got for that last week at the MTC. This email might not be as long as I thought it would be. But it is too soon to really tell.

This week we got to go to the Saturday morning session of conference in the center! We brought up my MTC companion and her trainer, who had tickets for the afternoon, so Sister Kemble and I watched that one in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was walking back up to the conference center that I passed Lexi Goff, the male Edgingtons, and Whitney Christenson!!

 Me and Brother Edgington

I have pictures from the morning session!
From left to right: Sister Harvey, me, Sister Colati, Sister Kemble, and William.

 Me and Sister Harvey

And I think the questions tell everything else about this week that I want to share. We shall see.

What is your location?

I am serving in West Jordan and Kearns!

Who is your companion?

Sister Kemble! She is from Salem Oregon, and is super awesome! She is actually half deaf, so she knows sign language. She was called to this mission English speaking, but got to serve sign language for a while, so she has a sign language tag! I am going to join her in her language study when time and circumstances permit. They haven't yet. I feel bad because Sister Kemble has been sick lately. She just finished her antibiotics and if it doesn't get better she'll have to get surgery. Luckily, there is a specialist in Layton that can help her so she won't have to go home.

What did you learn this week?

I learned that I really like it here. I also learned that Clayton's family is amazing. My mission president and his wife, the Palmers, are the best, and so is the SLC West mission itself. I also learned the fundamentals in dealing with an iPad. It has been harder than I thought.

What did you share this week?

Lots of little spiritual thoughts at our dinner appointments, lots of testimonies at lessons, and lots of smiles. My favorite thought was the one I shared last night about President Nelson's talk about joy and the way that we can have it, regardless of circumstances, if we focus on Christ.

What did you teach this week?

We taught the Plan of Salvation to an adorable 9 year old this week. It was a lot of fun! We are teaching four different little kids! These ones have lizards!!
The one I held is named Jelly Bean!!

Did the little package arrive? I forgot to put a letter in it!

Yes!! POPCORN!!!!!!!!!!

What is the first thing you did/will do when you arrive in your mission?

I got to ride to the mission office in the mission president's car! Then we met all the other trainers and ate lunch, got interviews, and iPads, and all sorts of technical stuff. The first thing I did outside of the office was set up my iPad and open my present from the Allreds.

How many stakes does your area cover?

We cover two stakes, the Westbrook no Kearns South Stakes. That gives us fifteen wards. FIFTEEN WARDS!!!!

What did Clayton's mom surprise you with?

So Clayton's mom got me a whole bunch of things that I will use on my mission, and it was all bee themed. I'll attach pictures:

So essentially, I love them!! They also told me their stake and gave me their phone number if I need anything. That was so so sweet of Sister Allred to drop that off at the mission office for someone she didn't even know! I have already blackmailed Clayton for a way to send them a thank you note. I told him I'd sic Hannah on his brother if he didn't.

Should we send letters and packages to the mission address?

I think so... yes. I will check my welcome paper and find that out. We are actually living in the basement of a widow's house, and I don't know if I should send stuff there. So safer just to drop it off at the office.

In case you didn't tell us yet, What is your companion's name? Birthday? Hometown? # of siblings? SS#, blood type, and mother's maiden name? (Someone will fall for that eventually!)

Well, Sister Kemble has not disclosed that information yet. I am trying o lull her into a false sense of security before I extract that information from her. It is a work in progress.

None of David's questions really apply for this week...All of his are about his bike, his warm coat, the plane ride... Oh! Here's one!!!
What is something interesting you have eaten since arriving in Utah?

I ate papaya on Saturday! That was pretty interesting! I'm still not sure how I felt about it.

The plane ride question I will replace with train ride. It was SO COOL!!! The FrontRunner is awesome! They really scared us because we only had 30 seconds to get 16 missionaries' luggage off of the plan. We had a whole game plan set up, but it was kinda pointless because they held the train. That was nice of them, I supposed. We were doing so well!!

Alright... I think that's it! Did you make it to the end? Congrats if you read this email in the proper Smedry approved manner. If not, untold millions screamed out in pain and horror.

Thank you to those who get the reference! (For those who didn't: You have to read the series Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. You're welcome. ~ Mom)

Sister Milligan

P.S. Her Mission President sent us this picture to let us know she arrived safely!
 President and Sister Palmer with Sister Milligan

P.P.S. Thanks to a set of Senior missionaries who are feeding my girl and taking pictures to send me! This was taken after the Sunday sessions of General Conference.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016 - She Left The MTC Today!!!

At 1:39pm today I received a text from an unknown phone number with a Utah area code. Judging by the message, I believe it to be from the one and only Sister Milligan. It said:

Hey, momma!!! I made it here to the mission safely!! The train was awesome! Also, Clayton's mom dropped off a gift for me here at the mission office!! I have a picture of it! Love you all bunches!!!!!!!!!!

No picture followed. We will assume the picture is on her camera, not on the phone she borrowed to send the text. Clayton is a friend of hers from OU. His parents live in the mission Zandi is now serving in! Small world.

At 8:21pm today I received a text from another unknown phone number with a Utah area code. This was not sent by Sister Milligan, but it was sent from someone who had seen her! It said:

Sister Milligan,
Your daughter has been assigned to our stake which is the West Jordan, Westbrook Stake. She is a wonderful missionary and we are happy and excited to have her here.

A picture followed!!! Can you see her name tag??!!!! We are assuming this is her new companion.

September 20, 2016 - One Week Left...WHAT?

Okay, wow. This week has flown by. And we now have our travel itinerary! So here is how it works:

We meet at the Travel Office at 7:50 next Tuesday morning.
At 8:50 our FrontRunner train departs.
Six stops and 48 minutes later, we get off at the Murray Central Station.
I am assuming that the Mission President will meet us there. It just tells us to get off. Scary. It will all work out, I'm sure!


About the pictures...

I didn't have any cash on me when we went to the bookstore, so I didn't get the SD Card Reader. Sister Harvey, my companion got one, and said that we could share it until we got me one. But she left it. So now you have to wait another week. I'm sorry. It's okay though. You just won't get any photos while I'm actually at the MTC.

Oh yeah, that's another thing. My P-Day is Tuesday, but we are leaving next Tuesday morning. So I don't know if I will be able to email (or do laundry) at the Mission Home, or what... So you might not get another email for two weeks. Who knows?

So, you know how last Sunday we got our devotional from Elder Ballard? Well that Tuesday we got to here from Elder Cook! Two of the Twelve in two devotionals! This last Sunday was a District President and his wife from here in the Provo MTC. And not gonna lie, it was better than the two Apostles that preceded them. Well, Sister Mehr's was! President Mehr's was good too. Just not as good.

So right before the fireside, I started thinking again about how all these other missionaries are going to exotic, foreign places speaking different languages and I am going to Utah. I knew within ten seconds of reading my call that this mission is where I am meant to go, so that is not the issue. When I told people, one literally said: "Utah, Zandi? Really?" and that got me a little upset. Because why would someone get called to Utah? I started feeling that perhaps missionaries that aren't as good get sent to Utah missions, and since that is where I am meant to be, that perhaps that made me not as important or effective as those that get called to other places.

So I started having those feelings again right before Sister Mehr got up to talk. And then she started talking about the blessings of not being chosen. About how sometimes we feel over-looked, or not good enough because we are not called to do certain things. Then she talked about Holland's Lift Where You Stand talk from 2012. And then she shared this wonderful story about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which she had been a part of for years. They were performing on a stage where there was not enough room to seat all of the choir and the orchestra, so they split the choir in half. Half of the choir was in their uniforms, on the stage, on display. The other half wore whatever Sunday clothes they wanted, and stood in a large tent behind the stage, not visible at all. It was those in the tent that everyone heard. The choir on stage lip-synced, while those not in view of the audience were miked and were sharing their voices.

This just really stuck out to me, because I feel like no one cares about Utah missions, but we are going to do a lot of good here, if not by converting people, by strengthening the testimonies of those in the church that are struggling. It was awesome! So that is why her talk was the best one yet. It was for me. So it was cool to hear from Elders Ballard and Cook, but the Lord knew what I needed to hear before I did.

Alright. That was enough sap for me.  The Questions await!

What did you learn this week?

Read the three large paragraphs above. That's what I learned. I also learned my travel schedule. See the beginning of this email for that.

What did you share this week?

Um... my testimony in a lot of lessons... I don't know...

What did you teach this week?

Well, we taught the Plan of Salvation to our TRC "investigator" and she totally applied it to herself without any prompting. In her prayer at the end she even prayed that someone would find her grandpa and teach him in the spirit world. It was the neatest thing!

What is your favorite thing about the MTC?

I think I would have to say the teachers. We have the best ones: Brother Ales and Brother Anderson. They rock!!

What is the goofiest thing your companion has done?

She snorts when she laughs too hard, so we have been working hard to make her do so. Sister Fossum is up to fourteen, I am at five, and Sister Turner is at one. Good times.

What is the goofiest thing YOU have done?

This is a great story that I will have to shorten for the sake of time. So this morning we were getting up early to got to the temple. And a wasp decided that this room was it's home. So it started flying around and dive-bombing things. It was terrifying. It finally chills out on the light, so we make our great escape. When we came back it was nowhere to be found. It felt like a horror movie.

The wasp lulled us into a false sense of security, letting us think it was gone, when THERE IT WAS AGAIN!!!! FLYING AROUND LIKE A MANIAC!!!!!!!!! So we freaked out, as can be expected. It settled down on the light again, but we didn't want to leave and have it disappear again, so Sister Fossum, Sister Turner and I made a daring effort to destroy Lucifer the Wasp. It is actually a movie now. We filmed it. It's a trilogy. Here's the summary:

Part one:
Us insulting the wasp, telling it to "get thee hence" and whatnot.

Part two:
I stole the water bottle from the ironing board out in the hallway as my sword, took my towel as my shield, and sprayed at the evil beast, trying to get it out. But, cliffhanger, it didn't go anywhere, just stuck there.

Part Three:
Sister Turner gets a broom from the cleaning closet. And wacks the wasp off of the ceiling. Then viciously strikes the ground it lay on. Before stomping on it and throwing its mangled corpse in the trashcan. This whole time I was backup with the bottle, in case it got angry.

It was a great experience.

What is the best thing your companion has done?

Try and get the SD Card Reader so that I could send you all pictures.

What is the best thing YOU have done?
I would have to say... make people laugh? I guess...

What are you looking forward to in the next week?

Not getting attacked by wasps, and singing Hope of Israel at the devotional tonight

What are you looking forward to when you leave for Salt Lake City?

Being able to exercise in the morning instead of in the middle of the day and having to shower at weird times.

What is something fun/funny that your district does/has done?

We have to sing the musical number next week in sacrament meeting because we are the departing district. The first time we sang A Child's Prayer was just before a class, not for any reason. We decided that since we sounded good, we should sing that song. But the second time we tried to sing it - the first practice - it sounded soooooooo bad that we couldn't stop laughing. It was that bad.

What do you need us to send you before you head off to Salt Lake City?

Nothing, I think I'm good!

Do you speak mostly Utahan now or do you still speak in English? (Remember I'm trying to replace Finnish questions!)

I pretty much speak English, but the two Utah natives help us to pick up nuances of the language.

What is your favorite English phrase?

"Get Thee Hence!"

Unasked Question: Was the sketchy vent a Narnia Hole?

Yes! But there was nothing in it... I have pictures that I will show you next time. Unfortunately, We were informed by our Branch President that we can't put anything in them. So no fun adventures. Sad day.

Okay, That's all the time I have! Love you all bunches!

~Sister Milligan