I just read Abby's email from this week and she has requested letters in the mail. She said her companion got 8 letters, and she only got one. She likes to get them because she can read and reread them throughout the week. She doesn't have access to a computer every day, just on Mondays. So, if anyone reading this would like to send her a letter in the mail, we would be forever grateful. Her mailing address is on this home page in the left column at the top.
We are grateful for your support and prayers for Abby. She is doing so well and is going to finish her mission strong. She promises! Her release date is December 2nd, but we haven't gotten her itinerary yet. I will let everyone know when we get it.
Once again, we are so very grateful for you all!
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Abby's email from July 6, 2015
So first of all, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!! It has been...239 years since that day in 1776. (I think I did the math right...and if not, don't judge; it's been a year!) This week was really fun! We went on exchanges so I got to learn from another sister--Sister Steed. She's super sweet and I'll talk more about that later (I have quite a shocking thing to tell you about that one).
On Monday, we had dinner with the O family. I love them so much. they are the best. She is the young women's president, as I think I told you. She has six kids--one of which is on a mission in New York right now. Then there are five others--there are three boys and three girls. It can totally happen! They are a really sweet family. They started talking about marriage (I'm not sure why) and were giving us advice on what we should do when we do get married. It was kind of funny. They are really sweet. Then we saw F. I love her. She's supposed to be getting baptized on August 8--so keep her in your prayers! I don't know if there will be any hold ups for that, but I'm hoping and praying that all will work out with her. I love F! (Moroni 7:27-28; Alma 34:8-10; D&C 19:16-19; 3 Nephi 11:32, 39-40)
Tuesday, we had district meeting! It was a really good one. Sister Putnam and I trained on "We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up." It was a really good training! I'm quite proud of it. We kind of had to rush through it because we were running short on time. But it was good anyway. then we went to Panera which I still love. It's one of my favorite places! We saw the F. they are so sweet. They are a little odd but they are great. Brother F opened up to us about why he doesn't come to church! So now we have something to work with!! We are just going to start from lesson 1--the Restoration of the Gospel. Then hopefully we can reconvert him--or just plain convert him. Help the spirit work in him. We had an appointment with a potential --in downtown. It was really kind of scary but he wasn't home so we didn't see him. we saw the F. They fed us. they own a few Little Caesars. So they fed us pizza. It was really good! They are awesome. Super funny. We saw Fs again. It's really hard to teach her because she likes to talk but she loves everything she has been taught so hopefully there won't be any problems. (Alma 53:16, 20-21)
On Wednesday, we had zone conference. It was really good! We learned about planning, teaching, and finding. And we had a whole bunch of trainings about the eight fundamentals. It was held at my first area building! I was in Alluvial for a few hours. It was great! And really weird to be back. I remembered everything! We went on exchanges. It was fun! Except...you'll never guess what I did...I RODE A BIKE. (FINALLY!!!!) We only rode for about two hours on Wednesday and two on Thursday but it was so weird! I haven't ridden a bike my whole mission and it was just...odd! It was fun at first but then it was...not fun. My butt hurt and my thighs hurt really bad. But that's okay! you should be proud of me that I rode a bike! We didn't see a lot of people but we did teach this sweet family. they are great. They are going to do an act of service for another family in the ward. (Alma 56:19)
Thursday we finished exchanges and it was good! Sister Putnam and Sister Cantrell found some potentials that we will hopefully try and teach soon. We saw … for dinner and it was...honestly one of the worst meals I've ever had. But I bit my tongue and ate it. Well, most of it. She made this gross looking stuff with peas and carrots and onions and I just...couldn't do it. but I ate! And then we had an appointment with a family! The P. They are great. Sister P is less active and has been for a while. And she has FIVE UNBAPTIZED KIDS. We are teaching them now! Well, kind of. Only her daughter and her daughter's friend were there this time but we are going back this week. She is in downtown...it's kind of sketchy. (Alma 56:44-48; 57:21, 24-25; 58:10)
Friday was an interesting day. We had a lot of appointments and a lot of them fell through. We did take a couple laurels out with us!! It was fun! At first, one of them was against serving a mission and was super quiet and shy, but by the end of our time together, she wanted to serve a mission! It was so cute. And now that she knows us, she trusts us and it was so cute on Sunday because we went to drop something off to Young Womens and she saw us and got super excited. It made me feel good to know that we helped laurels get excited about missionary work. We talked to a couple people and taught them a lesson. It was cool! Then we saw Sue. She thinks we're a cult and thinks we hold Joseph Smith too high...so we're just gonig to teach her and let the spirit correct. We had dinner with F and watched 17 Miracles with her! It was fun! She really liked it. At first, she thought they totally could have survived but then she realized that they really didn't know how. So it was good. (Alma 58:33, 39-41; 30:36...I FINISHED ALMA!)
On Saturday, we went to the Fourth of July breakfast and had a lot of fun there! It was really yummy. Then we had to weekly plan. We did teach the Ms'. R came home! She was in the hospital. She's so pretty. They are a cute family of recent converts. It was great! Then we ate dinner with the H’s at the apartment complex they manage. Then we spent the rest of the night with the O’s. And...I can play a song on the ukelele! Come Thou Fount. P, their son, taught me. It was fun! Then I learned a little bit on the violin. It was great! I LOVE that family. Oh, and they ordered me garments. I just asked them if they could help me do it on their computer...and then they paid for them...so I appreciate them beyond belief. Sister O was giving us advice too. So...they are great! (Alma 61:12-13, 17-18, 21; 62:41, 49)
Sunday was good. We had MCM and ward council and Sister Putnam and I both bore our testimonies in Sacrament. It was good! I'm glad I got to. I've become more confident talking in front of people. So it was good. We ate dinner with Elvis/Neal Diamond/Brother H! It aws good. We had enchiladas. He is so sweet. I love him. Then we saw F again. She's great. She didn't come to church though :/ We are trying to help her make it a priority. Her granddaughter wants to come so badly! She's so sweet. (2 Nephi 9:14; Alma 5:15-16)
This week was really good! I love serving here and I'm so glad I get to be here, serving a mission. I love California and i love this area so much. Thank you for your support and love. I can definitely feel it. I LOVE YOU ALL!
Sister Abigail Reese
Abby's email from June 29, 2015
I had a really awesome week! I am just so happy and loving my mission right now. It's the best feeling ever! now the trick is I need to be able to feel this way for the next five months because if I don't...well...then it'll make my mission harder than it needs to be.
I learned a lot about preparation and patience and change this week. Well, sort of. I did learn a lot though. On Monday we went to see the R family who are less active. They seem active to me but they are not active. She's a cub scout master or something like that and she was doing the day camp all week. So we went on Monday because it was the only day they had available. We ended up watching Forever Strong with them. It was good! Our original intention was 17 Miracles. But they chose Forever Strong. That's a good movie too. I love it. But I don't think it really applied to the younger kids that were there. They did feed us dinner! They had ribs. they were actually really good. I wasn't expecting that since I'm not a big fan of ribs. (Alma 42:23, 30; Abraham 3:25; Moroni 7:19)
On Tuesday we had our first district meeting since I came back! And I seriously am so glad to be back in Fresno and in the Fresno East zone. there is a huge part of me that really hopes I get to serve in Alluvial/Woodward Park again but I wouldn't mind ending my mission here :) Our district meeting was really good. There is this elder, Elder Deacon, who is so passionate and loud about everything. He trained on the doctrine of Christ. It was a really good training. Then our district leader trained on something else that I can't remember. I do remember it was really good. OH YEAH! It was faith, hope, and charity. So of course it was really good. then we went to lunch with some of the sisters in our zone. That was fun too. We had an appointment with an investigator that fell through unfortunately but we ended up contacting a member of her family later on and committed him to be baptized on July 11! I don't think it's super solid so we might have to push it back but we are definitely going to baptize him at some point if he is willing to change. We went to see Sister J who is the granddaughter of one of our progressing investigators. She is super sweet. Then we ate dinner with the H’s. She served a mission! IN FRESNO! That's how she and her husband met :) Isn't it so sweet?? We also saw the O family. I love them. She is the young woman's president and they are just so sweet. I love them a lot. I didn't want to leave! The spirit is just so strong in their home. We were getting ready to drive away because they weren't home when the pulled up and the motioned for us to stay. It was so sweet. She has so many old books that I really want to read! But I can't. It's okay though! I can look. (Alma 43:4849; D&C 59:23; Alma 37:47)
On Wednesday, we watched 17 Miracles with Sister E. She's so sweet. She loved it. I think it made her cry. Sister Putnam was crying through the whole thing too. I love that movie a lot. It reminds us all to remember the Saints who sacrificed so much to come here. We ate with the Ph’s. They are super sweet. I love them. We saw a former named M. She is super cool and super...how do I say it...um...gangster? Haha, she's great though. Just a little rough around the edges! We taught K too! I really thought this would be the lesson he FINALLY committed to baptism, but he still won't commit to baptism. It's frustrating! But I know he's close. We told him to pray for a date. So...hopefully that will work. I just feel like there have been SOO many answers placed right in front of him, but he just doesn't recognize it. It's frustrating. But I really love them. they made us cookies :) And I think he's going to make homemade mac and cheese when we have dinner with them! (Alma 44:3-4)
Thursday we saw a less active named Sister Ji. She is great. When we were praying before we left the apartment I had this impression to watch 17 Miracles with her so we did and she LOVED it. I think she really needed it. I'm really glad I followed that prompting. She's super sweet and I think she really needed it. We saw W P who is really sweet. I love her. She's this cute old lady who doesn't come to church because she doesn't have a ride. But she said she would come next week! We saw F. We actually at first went to her granddaughter's Taekwondo class. that was fun! I decided I want to kick box when I get home. (can you imagine ABBY doing this!) Then we went to dinner with the B’s. they are the best. Super sweet older couple. Then we saw the C's! I love them too. they are great. He is a convert with a really awesome story. he told us all about it. They tried to convince me he was Catholic and of course, I believe them because I'm gullible but he felt bad because apparently I look like I'm a super humble, sweet person. (Alma 45:78, 20; 46:12-13; 13:28-29)
Friday was weekly planning! Which is just about the longest day ever. We got a lot done though! We did get to see a sweet old lady who is in a rehabilitation center. Sister Pitman. I love her. She used to live in Woodward Park ward! Then we ate dinner with the H’--the bishop and his family. I love them so much. they served in the same mission--Thailand. that's how they met! I love their story :) We contacted a referral who was super open and they are new investigators! The C family. they are great. I love them a lot. Then we saw Brother H/Elvis/Neal Diamond/security guard. So to make everyone feel better, we have a security guard in our apartment complex. He also plays as Neal Diamond and Elvis...He's awesome! (Alma 46:20; Helaman 14:17)
Saturday was a good day too! We contacted a former and she is being taught again--K V.. She's really sweet. She sent jus home with egg rolls...which I don't like...but that's okay! It was a nice gesture. Then we saw the M family. Well, actually just Sister M. She's so sweet. I think we answered a lot of her questions. We didn't have a dinner so we went to Denny's. It was really good! I really want to see the new Fantastic 4 movie when I come home, yeah? We can all go together! Or just watch it on DVD...we then saw the A family. Their daughter married an elder that served in this ward recently...yeah...it's actually a really sweet story. I like it. We saw the H's. They have a daughter who really wants to be baptized and the dad won't let her :( It's sad. They are less active/part member. I want to help them. (Alma 48:7, 11-13, 17, 15-16, 25)
On Sunday, we had MCM and then ward council. It was the best ward council I have been in my whole mission. the bishop made everyone talk! It was great! Then we had church. Church was really good. We taught two lessons. We taught Gospel Principles--The Gathering of Israel. It was a good lesson! And we taught the Miamaids. It was short because they actually talked for the first little bit about the same-sex marriage legalization and how to handle it. I am very grateful the church is strong and will keep its standards. I am wondering how that is going to affect us as missionaries. We didn't really see anyone on Sunday. Just the Wo’s--our dinner. they are great. I love them a lot. We got hamburgers! We talked to a crazy lady named D. She has a lot of out of there beliefs. But she was sweet. (Alma 49:28; 50:19-20)
I really love this area and I wouldn't mind ending my mission here at all. Maybe I will! Who knows? I am really grateful to be serving a mission. That was reiterated to me this last week. I wouldn't be me without my mission. I'm so grateful for this and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for your support!
Sister Abigail Reese
Abby's email from June 22 (Hunter's Birthday!)
I guess I didn't actually clarify where I would be in Fresno East. I'm not back in Cedarwood, though that would be really awesome. I am in King's Canyon with Sister Putnam! That's in Fresno while Cedarwood was in Clovis. (I did go back to Cedarwood for dinner yesterday which I'll tell y'all about tomorrow.) I'm loving the new area though! I'm just so grateful to be back in Fresno. It makes me really happy! I did find out that Sister Hamilton and Elder Bean will be in the Modesto Mission which breaks my heart just a little, but I know they are going to do great things there.
So this week was transfer week which means it was somewhat stressful and lots of missionaries said good bye. On Monday, we had preparation day which was good. I was packing throughout the day before we went to do stuff. I went to get a mouth guard because when I went to the dentist they told me to get one. (I think I grind my teeth in my sleep--thanks, Mom!) I think I got the wrong size though...I'm not quite sure what to do. We went to see T and her family on Monday because they are great. Also, we wanted to teach them. Haha. Anyway, we ended up just teaching her and her boys, K and H. H actually reminds me of...well, H. T's son reminds me of my little brother! Isn't that crazy? I told him that and he gave me a funny look. They are going to miss me. I just know it ;) then we went to see B and K because I hadn't been able to say good bye to them. We walked up and B was sitting outside and told me that they heard. Her neighbor, Pa, told them. We'd seen her a day before. So we went in and we talked to them for a while. K tried to get me to hold their baby because I love that little girl, but I wouldn't do it. I wasn't going to break the rules...as much as I wanted to. Then we went to see Sister C and her brother, M. I love them a lot. They thought that Sister Arruda was the one getting transferred and so they had her favorite cookies made. It was okay though. They are great and wanted to see me again before I go but they didn't have the time. Sister C gave me a gift though! It was sweet. (Alma 34:3-4, 13-16, 19, 31-33, 36, 38, 40-41)
Tuesday was kind of a hard day. I REEEEAAAALLLLLLYYYYY wanted to go to the farewell because Elder Judy was going home, Sister Wilkins, Elder Rainey, Elder Taufa...and a lot of others. We didn't get to though. We couldn't find anyone to take us and I was SOOO sad. It broke my heart a little. And I found out both sister Hamilton and Elder Bean were there so I missed seeing them :P But it was okay. the one thing I did get to do was say good bye to families I love. We ate lunch with a family in 1st ward. The A’s. They fed us seviche (sp?) which was seafood, tomatoes, avocado, lemon juice...and just everything I didn't like. I tried not to show it though. I ate some! Then we saw A because we hadn't had the chance to say good bye to her yet. She's the best. I love her. We were able to see J and S but M wasn't home so I didn't get to say good bye to her :( We also saw the G’s. They fed us. They fed us REALLY good hamburgers. I really liked them. We stopped by the S’s and while we were there, we found out we had a flat tire. And I don't actually know how to change a tire...so we ended going to the R’s (yes, Dad, I drove on a flat...it was scary) and Brother R and his son changed it for us. Then I got to say good bye to J. I'm glad I got to see those people but sad I didn't get to say good bye to the missionaries. (Alma 356:3, 20-21, 27)
Wednesday was transfers. Sister M’s brought me to Fresno and I was just so excited to be back. It is a little weird being back but not in the same area. Sister B is in our zone though! I'm so excited. I love her a lot. I'm so excited to be here. We went to see an investigator, S, who's really sweet. She is older and a little slow but she's great! Then we ate dinner with the H’s. She is a ward missionary. They are great. We saw Bishop Haroldsen and his family. They are so sweet. All the members here are just so loving and so welcoming. Then I got to meet our ward mission leader, Brother L. He's very quiet and shy. But the members I met were awesome. (sorry, no scripture today...we didn't do studies. Also...do y'all even read them?)
Thursday was good! We saw the F in the morning. They are pretty cool. Not really active but cool. She is pregnant and she likes to talk. We talked about families with them since they are about to have a baby. Apparently Brother F isn't usually as engaged as he was to this lesson. We then went to see this sweet old lady named W P. She's awesome. I really love her a lot. She just let us in and told us about her life. It was sweet. then we ate with a different family whose last name is P. He was the ward mission leader previous to the new one. I met him once! I went to be a baptism in King's Canyon when I was in Cedarwood. He remembered me :) We saw the R family. They are great. We are going to see them again tonight. Then we saw A M. She goes to C every weekend for her mom. She's sweet. (Alma 37:6-8, 17, 33, 36-37, 40, 44)
On Friday, we weekly planned. It was good! I really missed going to the soup kitchen and the Remington but it's okay. It's good anyway. We saw Sister E who is super sweet. We ate with the M family. K is not a member and has been investigating for a long time now. A was inactive for a while until she went to a baptism of a cousin or niece or something and then she just had this feeling she needed to come back so ever since her husband has been taught. He knows he needs to get baptized but he says there is just difference in doctrine holding him back. I am hoping he'll commit to be baptized this week. We also saw the B’s. They are great and super sweet. I love them. They were just so welcoming--just like all the members I've met so far. (Alma 38:2, 4-5, 9)
On Saturday we saw the Mb family who is this really adorable black family. Brother M was the first baptized last October or so and the rest of his family followed. they are great. Then I went to a baptism! A and A finally got baptized! Do you remember them from Woodward Park?? I got to go! I felt a little out of place since I'm not there anymore but it was good to see everyone! They were so cute that day. It was a really good day! (Alma 39:15, 17. Also, sister Jo said something I loved at the baptism: "It's a simple plan and a complicated life.")
Sunday, was Father's Day! (so HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL FATHERS READING THIS.) We went to church--it's the first time I haven't had church at nine! It's at one which is...eh. But it was good! After church we went to dinner with the K’s who are members from Cedarwood that I love. We didn't have a dinner and he invited us and the zone leaders because he's the high councilman over missionary work. While we were in the area, we stopped by sister R and the O’s. I really had to go to the bathroom. they O’s are going to be in Boise on July 24! I told them to go see you when they are there if they get the chance. Sister O said she would email you. It was really good to see them. And it made me feel really good that they were so excited to see me. I missed them. (Alma 40:12, 23, 25; 41:2)
I love being in King's Canyon again. It has been a lot of fun so far. My companion is still pretty new and doesn't have a lot of confidence in herself and she feels super inadequate which I'm not sure how to handle, but I'm doing my best. So far, I have been really patient and loving and it seems to work! I know we will do incredible things if we do our very best.
I LOVE YOU ALL!
Sister Abigail Reese