Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Abby's Excursion to Yosemite


It's okay. I always love hearing about what's going on at home. Just not a ton of detail so this was great! I hope you had fun. I know I always love camping. You didn't need stitches though right? (I slammed my finger in the door of the truck.  Abby did the same when she was about 12, but she had to have stitches!) Those are the worst. I hate them so much.

Yosemite was amazing! I saw a lot of gorgeous things. I loved it. We were able to see the mountains, El Capitan and Half Dome, but it was through a haze of smoke. There was a fire on the other side of the park on Saturday and they hadn't contained it yet so there was a lot of smoke in the air. But it was still a lot of fun. We saw the sequoias which are ginormous trees. If I have time, I'll send pictures home. If not, I'll do it next week. They were so pretty though and so awesome. We also ate at the Awhanee which is a really nice hotel with a really nice restaurant. I felt really bad because it was so expensive and the Freemans--the members who took us--paid for everything. It was fun and I am grateful for them!

It was a long week. I've had an exhausting one. I don't even know why. We went on exchanges on Thursday so I led our area again. That was interesting. I'm still waiting to get the GPS. I'm afraid I may not get it until zone conference in a couple weeks. Maybe I'll get it tomorrow though...depends when the zone leaders went to the mission office last. I had a new missionary on this exchange and she was Spanish speaking. She knew English pretty well though. It was fun but I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure everything out. It was hard. But I did it and I know I have grown because of it.

Chuck, the man whose dog bit me, was supposed to come to Church on Sunday, but he didn't make it. When we called he told us he got home really late on Saturday night but he really wanted to come. Hopefully we will get him there next week. I'm really hoping we will.

Thank you for the addresses! I do still need them. I wanted to write them letters. Have you talked to Grandpa Luckey since I've left? I didn't get to see him which was sad but I wanted him to know how grateful I am for his support. 

Oh and you met Jared? That's cool! I was hoping he'd come out this next transfer, but if it's not till December then that's two or three additional transfers. But that's okay. I really hope he will come back out though. It is the best thing he will ever do in his life. I know that with all my heart.

We had a Pioneer Day Celebration through the church on Saturday so we got to be around a lot of people that day. It was so much fun! Remember how before I left, I hated being around people? Well...I love it now. I love people and being around people. It helps me rejuvenate myself and it helps me to be more outgoing. You wouldn't believe that I talk to everyone now.

You mentioned that I am becoming the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. Sometimes I feel like I am taking one step back, but I know I am progressing and I am changing. I am not the same person I was when I left and I am so glad you see that. Being changed is such an amazing part of being a missionary. I love it.

Jill told me that her companion was related to us somehow which in turn made Jill related to her companion...I was a little confused though haha. That's crazy though!

I love being here and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I know I am being blessed and so are you and so many others. I love you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese


Yosemite was amazing! It was so pretty and fun! There was a fire on one side of the park, so it was a little hazy and there was a lot of smoke so we couldn't see as clearly as we would have liked, but I got some really cool pictures. We were able to see El Capitan, sort of, and Half Dome so that was cool. We saw the sequoias which were amazing. I loved the big trees. I got some really great pictures of them. And near them. I was thinking while we were going through the park that it would be a really awesome family vacation when I come home...that way I will be able to see more of it and you will be able to enjoy it! I know you'd love it up there.

I was thinking of you all in Copper Basin. It kind of felt like I was camping when we went to Yosemite, and it reminded me of you in Copper Basin even though you weren't there anymore. I bet Hunter is having a good time with those ATVs. I'm jealous! And it's good Duke had fun. Even though he had to take a bath when you got home. I can only imagine how gross he was. Why didn't you just hose him off in the backyard?

I miss Green Lake. I saw a spot in Yosemite that sort of reminded me of Green Lake but it was only a patch of water...and there wasn't a lot of it. We saw a waterfall that was really a mist that was supposed to have more water. That's what a drought in California is.

I'm glad the stake is doing that! That's so awesome! (The stake issued a challenge to all the families who had missionaries out to invite someone to an open house they are having every other month in one of our buildings)  I hope y'all can think of people to invite.  I wish the members were more missionary-minded here. There are some who are but there are a lot who could do more....we're trying to get them excited about missionary work...so hopefully it'll work eventually.

We were supposed to have our investigator Chuck (the one whose dog bit me) at Church on Sunday but he didn't show up. We were disappointed, but we know God has a plan. We called him yesterday and he told us he got home really late on Saturday but he really did want to come. Hopefully we will get him there next week.

This week has been really long but I know that I am here for a reason and I know as I search for that reason, those reasons, I will be able to find people that I am meant to teach. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I hope you all see the blessings that you receive as I am here. I love you, Dad, and I hope you have a good week!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

PS Did we ever have family in Oakhurst? A Bill and Rick? They have our same last name and the Freemans, who took us to Yosemite, knew them and asked if we were related in any way.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Abby is Growing Up!


I hope you all have fun in Copper Basin! Thinking about you being there made me a little homesick, but it's okay. I know I am here and I am doing good work. I hope everything is well with you. Sister Ard told me that her best friend's family is the Fourth ward there...and I couldn't think of who is in Fourth ward that I know.

I heard that it was going to be a small group, but that's okay(family going camping). You'll have fun anyway! Are you going to Copper Basin or the property? I thought you were going to the property, but I couldn't remember. How is Duke up there? I think that should be interesting. He will probably love it. He'll be dirty and gross by the time it's over. And why would you ride in the back with Duke? The back seat of the truck is pretty spacious. How did Dad do taking less? I'm not sure how much I believe that...

Good luck at school! Don't take any math classes because I'm not there to help you! oh! Speaking of math classes, how did Hunter do at the end of his summer class? I've been praying for that too. I just reread that paragraph and you said you were taking an English class....that will be great for you!

Dad told me about Hunter's games. I didn't know he played forward wing though! That's good! Is that going to be his position in the fall or is he staying at defense? Or is he going to play mid? He'd be good at any of them!

I am hoping my zone leaders have my package with them today. I will see them today at the stake center so hopefully I'll get it. If not...I'm not sure when I'll get it. But that's okay!

I had the opportunity to take a new missionary out named Sister Warnick (I didn't get a picture though--I will when I see her next!). She's so great. For that hour I was with her, I had to be the example of what a great California Fresno Missionary is. So I was. I talked with everyone. I saw miracles because of it. There was a man who asked for a Book of Mormon and then who gave us his number to call. There was another man that I invited to be baptized and he said yes! I was so excited! So I got his address and phone number. It was great! Then Sister Warnick invited this girl to be baptized after we prayed with her and taught her a little bit about the Gospel. She said yes too and it was a great experience for the both of us! I love her and I know she is going to be a great missionary. It was really amazing to see how much I have changed since I went out for the first time. I saw how much I had changed and I knew that the Lord was working in my life. I wished for a moment that my area was as great as the one that we took new missionaries out in but then I realized that it is. I just need to figure out how to get it moving--both Sister Ard and I do.

The sister who took me out on my first day left this week. It was really sad and really hard to say good-bye. I learned so much from her and she helped me so much, but I know that she will have a great life. Oh and crazy story: Austin Coon was her brother's companion! Isn't that so crazy?? Connections all over the place! Another sister from our district left as well and that was hard too. But I know God will help me through everything.

Next Monday, we are going to Yosemite, so I will be emailing on Tuesday. Happy early birthday! I will be sending some stuff home that will have a gift for you and Hunter and Dad as it has been Father's Day, Hunter's birthday, and your birthday. You should get it in the next few weeks.

I love being a missionary. It is the greatest feeling ever and I know that I will continue to grow. When I come home. I will be a completely different person! I love you and I hope everything is going well.

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese


Someone told me you were going to Copper Basin this week but I can't remember who it was...I hope you have fun! I've been praying for you all week. They are already playing teams (Hunter's soccer team)? It's July...How come they are already playing? That's sad that they aren't doing well. How did they do against Preston?? I hope they beat them. I am glad Hunter is playing well. I hope y'all tell me how his games go in the fall too!

I have been away from home for two months now and it's so crazy to believe that. I can't believe it! It has gone by so fast...before I know it, I'll be halfway through my mission.

Yes, I am super excited for my GPS! My companion thinks that I can use a map, but she apparently hasn't realized what a horrible sense of direction I have...she has been trying for like seven weeks now to teach me how to read a map. I have gotten alright at it but not the greatest.

Some members told us about the flood in Rexburg! I wasn't sure if Marisa would have been part of it. Is she okay? I hope so!

I am so jealous of this four-wheeler! It is yellow which means it is obviously being saved for me. That's just how it goes...but I like it!

This week was really great. Mostly. It was the end of the transfer so there was a farewell for the departing missionaries. The sister who took me out on my first day went home and I was sad. Sister Weston, who was in my district here, went home too. It was really hard to have to say good-bye. But the next day we got new missionaries! Sister Ard and I got to take two of them out. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I took Sister Warnick, a Spanish sister, out. She is so great. For that hour we were out, I did not have the weaknesses that I have been struggling with. I was able to talk to this man and I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He isn't in our area so I had to give him to a set of elders in our district, I think. But it was a miracle. And Sister Warnick invited this seventeen year old girl to be baptized after we prayed with her and taught her a little bit about the Gospel. She said yes too! We referred the Spanish elders to them. It's so exciting! I saw the change in myself and a few people commented on it. I loved it so much and it was the highlight of my week.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to lead our area for the day. It was good. I did it and I was able to get the places I needed to be (after getting lost a few times) and we were great! Sister Torres is an incredible missionary. I love her.

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love it so much and I am so glad that I am here and serving the Lord. I love you and I am praying for you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

PS Keep praying that we will find people to teach! I know your prayers will help!