Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21

Despite the title of the email, I have not actually gotten to use my Spanish (yes, a bit misleading), but I'm still praying in Spanish and doing language study. Maybe one of these days I'll actually teach someone, though I won't say I'm in a rush. Some of it I will admit is starting to slip.

Anyways, this weekend was awesome! Our investigator Nickie was baptized, and it was quite the event :) Her family and her in-laws even showed up! She was so nervous about the baptism, and she said she felt like she was supposed to be in jail because of the attractive jumpsuit she was wearing. I told her she looked much prettier in white than she would in orange :)

Bless Brother Litster's heart, he tried so hard to make sure the water was esta. When she came out of the water the first time, you could tell she was a little shocked from the temperature. Her knee came up during the baptism, so she had to do it again! On the second dunk when she sent down, she hit her head on the railing! Elder Flinders felt so bad (he was the one who baptized her). After she changed and came back out, Brother Litster got up and said, "Not only do you become cleansed from your sins, but we do our best to make sure you can't remember them."

After the baptism, I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, and it went really well :) I talked about how the Spirit is like a flashlight, a GPS, a Tide-to-Go pen, and a blanket, of course using those objects in my lesson. I also related my baby-sitting story when I was 12 where the Spirit prompted me to make that 911 call. I had a lot of people give me compliments on it. My teaching is getting better and better all the time! :)

Easter was really great! Nickie was confirmed that day, and her family came to see it! :) Nickie's daughter, Susie, is also pretty great. She said she would be interested in learning more about what we have to teach, so that's awesome! In the spirit of giving, I decided to give her a skirt and a dress that I can't wear out here on my mission. She seemed pretty excited about them. It made me feel really good :)

To continue on the spirit of giving, Sister Raymer (my last companion) gave me a CD of the MoTab singing Hollywood and Broadway music because to her she felt like she was being disobedient. After awhile of having it, I decided the same, so I gave it to a less active family for Easter. They also seemed really excited about that. Giving just brings me so much joy!

We also made banana peanut-butter Reese's Cups bread with them. It was really nice to do some baking even though I couldn't eat any. I've learned that I really like cooking and baking and that I miss it since I don't get a lot of time for it.

I'm glad you had a good Easter! Have a good week! Love you!

Some pictures:

These are of my comps & giant dog that we live with :D

These are pictures of things my investigator Nickie made for us herself!  She knows how to weld metal! She gave these to Sister Vance and me as an Easter and thank you present.So cool!!!

Here's a few pictures of my hair with a more flattering view. Hurrah for selfies! (And here's also a picture with my headband on too. Thanks Mommy!)

Hermana Candland

April 14

Nothing too eventful to report this week since I was out for a few days with the stomach flu, but not too bad. Our investigator Nickie is just so awesome! She makes me so happy to be a missionary! She's the one that's getting baptized this Saturday!  She really genuinely wants to know the truth and tries her best to do what's right. She came for all 3 hours with us and I guess she started to cry according to the teachers, but I didn't notice. She said it went by faster than she thought it would and that she really enjoyed it! Everyone in the ward is so awesome. They announced her baptism and everyone came up to her and told her they were excited for her and that they would try their best to come! New Mark is a pretty great ward :)

Oh yeah, and crazy thing that got announced in church yesterday: the ward is getting split! Sister Vance and I are freaking out! We don't know how many investigators we'll lose and how many of our ward missionaries will be taken away! We love them all and can't bare the thought of not being able to work with them! But it should still be a good thing, it should really help the work move forward. We're curious to see who the missionaries will be for the new ward :)

I'm beginning to think that the theme for my mission is tornados. There were lots of talks in conference about tornados, and then this Sunday all of the speakers talked about the tornado talks and THEN I'm in a place where tornados aren't that uncommon! Not to mention my own spiritual tornados that come up being a missionary. Maybe I'll get to experince a real tornado out here? Let's hope not!

So there's also this new phrase that the missionaries have been using a lot out here: YOMO. You Only Mission Once. It's kinda funny since it's not entirely true, but still a good concept, like "Hey, do you think we should talk to that guy?" "HECK YEAH! They need the gospel too!!! YOMO!!!!" 

Oh yeah, and I was able to go back to my last ward for a baptism for the 9-year-old Zack. It was so great! Zack was so adorable! He was really excited! He actually didn't recognize me at first with my haircut, he asked me who I was :P A lot of people were like "Whoa, your hair!" Bishop had a pretty funny face when he saw me! It was so good to see them all :)

That about sums it up for this week. Here are some pictures:


After the big cut

The final: With my new companion Sister Vance!

April fools dinner

 Here's Zack's baptism!

Hermana Candland

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 7

So here's a picture of a dinner I had at this family called the Litsters. They call it their "April Fools Dinner." They basically just take a buch of random things and we have to eat using them. I don't know if you can tell what I'm eating out of, but I'm eating out of a plastic thing in the shape of a shell, I'm using a serving utencil as my silverware, and I'm drinking from a mini watering pot. My companion got a cat food dish and a baby bottle to drink out of. You also might be able to notice how short my hair is. It's not a very good picture, but this is the only one I will probably be able to send since this was a picture sent to me by a member. Hopefully I can get my camera figured out and send some more pictures.

So yesterday I was sick with the pukies and I wasn't well enough to email, but I am doing a lot better today. Not fully recovered, a little queezy, but able to hold food down and not miserable! Yay! I'm taking it easy today regardless, I don't want to get other people sick.

This week was a really good one! Last Sunday I invited my second investigator to be baptized! It was so exciting! It was definitely guided by the Spirit, and she can hardly wait to be baptized! She should be getting baptized next Saturday!

This same investigator also was going to the Liberty Jail, and she asked US if we wanted to come! We're like, "Heck yeah we do!" It was so cool! I didn't realize how amazing the jail is; that alone is worth a trip to Independence!

Last Monday, I got to go back to the Visitor Center and see some old friends! It was so good to see Sister Raymer :) Sister Vance and I took one of our investigators through the whole building, and he seemed to get a lot from it. He was actually an investigator brought to us by a member, and so far he's been pretty solid. It just goes to show how important member missionaries are!

Speaking of member missinaries, our ward missionary Sister Decker is the best! She makes sure we have rides to appointments when we don't have a car, she meets with us regularly to stay updated on our schedule, she puts together goody bags for us whenever we have conferences, and she's so funny! She is seriously the best missionary ever! She takes really good care of us and magnifies her calling. I hope to be just like her when I get home :)

Sister Decker also helped us a lot with one of the ladies we visit. One night as she was driving us home, Sister Vance had this impression that we should go visit this woman named Stephanie. She really struggles with depression and alcoholism. When we visited her, she had admitted to us that she drank a little that night, and we talked to her about the Word of Wisdom. With my whole thing with giving up sweets, I was able to relate to her a little bit. There have been some days where I was having a bad or stressful day, and thought about eating some chocolate to help me feel better, but I never did because I knew that I had to be the example, even if it was just in a small way. Stephanie told me that she really appreciated my example. That night, we committed her to dumping out all of her alcohol down the sink, and we could see how hard it was for her, but we told her over and over how proud we were of her. This all came about because of Sister Decker. She was the one that came up with the idea of flushing out the alcohol herself. Also because of her, Stephanie will be attending alcoholics anonymous meetings. That night was a miracle.

Of course, General Conference was amazing. The members that we watched it with fed us SO MUCH. I thought my stomach was going to explode. That probably contributed to my sickness.  Elder Holland's and Elder Uchtdorf's were two of my favorites (I know, huge shocker). I also really liked Elder Bednar's talk a lot too. He's growing on me more and more as I've been out here.

BTW Adam, those Nutella brownies are apparently super delicious. My companion and I made them for our investigators and they really enjoyed them :)

Life is good out here! The mission keeps on becoming the best time of my life every day! Love you guys, and talk to you next week :)

Hermana Candland

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March 31

This week has been one full of amazing things! This area has been a little slow, but it's really starting to pick up! The Lord is hastening His work! Hurrah for Israel!

We found a wopping 6 new investigators this week! Woohoo! We're so exited! That doesn't include the people we're already teaching! Sister Vance and I have been so blessed that we were able to find people that were prepared to hear the gospel. It makes being out here so much more fun when you have people to teach! One of the new investigators was definitely found with the help of the Lord; we were tracting through these appartments when Sister Vance got this feeling about a certain door. She felt like we really needed to knock on it. We knocked twice, and no one answered, and we almost walked away, but I had this feeling to knock just one more time and she opened the door! She let us talk to her a little about the church and she listened to everything we had to say and she told us we could come back! It was amazing!

One of our investigators, Nickie, is really awesome. She always asks really good questions and is really open minded to what the answers are. She really wants her family to get involved with the church as well, but they don't seem as interested as she is. Her daughter, Susie, sat in and listened to us talk about the restoration of the gospel, and she asked a few good questions :) Questions are our favorite! Nickie and Susie are both reading the Book of Mormon really faithfully! Nickie is especially excited that Susie has been reading :) She read 5 chapters in one sitting! They both came to church this Sunday and they seemed to really like it :) Everyone has been so welcoming and kind to them. The ward has been really awesome member missionaries :)

Speaking of which, one of the people in our congregation has been talking to a co-worker named Derek about religion and invited him to listen to us! It was a really good lesson, and he really liked what we had to say :) We actually have a meeting with him tonight back at the Visitors Center! Sister Vance and I are really excited to go back! :)

I still havent't had a chance to use my Spanish; I almost got to teach a lesson, but they never showed :/ I still pray in Spanish and do language study, so it's still there. My companion isn't Spanish speaking, but she knows quite a bit of Spanish :) She could help me teach a lesson if we had to. It's kinda funny, people ask me all the time if I'm waiting for my Visa, and I always tell them "Nope, I was called to serve here in the states." :D

I think you'll like this, mom. We met this family called the Andersons, who is a very interesing family, but I love them a lot; they remind me a little of home :) Anyways, the mom is really into photography and she's really good at it too! She is currently serving a mission for the church, but a different kind that's really cool! What the church has decided to do instead of hiring people to do the photography for the church is having members serve as photographers and donate their pictures to the church! This is pretty small since their just trying it out, but it's a great idea! What an awesome calling! I can see you doing that, mom :)

There's this article that a member told me about called "5 Things This Mormon Wish You Knew" on Facebook and it sounded really cool. People have been posting it all over and it's struck up some pretty cool conversations. You guys should check it out!

Sister Vance and I have also come up with this new phrase (which by the way Kortney, you can feel free to use on my Instagram) that we like to use. It's #mishprobs. For example: "That awkward moment when you realize you scheduled two dinner appointments in one night. #mishprobs" Tell the Elders they can use that whenever they want. It's gonna be a thing.

Sister Vance and I went shopping today at Target and I got a new bag! The one I got for Christmas is pretty good, but it was just wasn't quite big enough to fit everything. It's pretty cute :) And I also bought a dress from the maternity section. I figure if I gain weight on my mission I'll have plenty of room for growth in this dress :D It's comfy. 

Like I told you last week, I got a hair cut. I also donated it. I just got my certificate from Locks of Love. I'll have to forward the pic :) 


I also want to thank the family for praying on my behalf. I have felt the influence of your prayers. I have been doing so well this last week and I know it was because of the faith of my family members. Thank you so much.

Hope you guys are having a good week! Have a Happy Birthday mom!

I can't seem to get my camera to load up pictures to send to you :/ My camera doesn't want to cooperate. I might have to get something that will read my card that I can plug in. That's what I borrowed from my companion and that seems to work really well. Pictures might have to wait awhile. #picsprobs


Hermana Candland





March 24

This week was transfers and we thought that Sister Raymer was going to be leaving and that I would be staying, but no! She is staying in Independence and I was moved to a new area! I'm now in Platte City and the area is brand new to sisters; I'm officially the third sister to be part of this area.

My new companion is Sister Vance! She's super sweet and she's got a really relaxed personality, so that's nice :) The area that I'm serving in with her is pretty new, so it can be a little slow. Being a full-proselyting sister is WAY different than serving part-time at the Visitor Center. It's a lot more laid back since you have so much more time to go see people and you don't have to cram for time to see people. It's nice to be somewhere that I have a little more room to breathe :) sometimes I think I have a little bit too much wiggle room, but that just makes me more motivated to find people to teach so I have something to do!

We don't have too many investigators, and I've only met one of them. The one that we taught this last week is this older man named Roy. He's been Baptist almost his whole life, and so his biggest obstacle is leaving the people that look up to him in that church and just the fact that it's a change, which we understand.We asked him that if he prayed and found out that this church was the place that God wanted him to be and if he would be baptized, and he said he would! Yay for progress! Baby steps! :) We're going to invite him to teach the Boy Scouts one night and we're going to bring some people from our ward to help him feel a little more comfortable with the church :)

The new ward is really nice and they feed us well. One night this family made us homemade pizza with chicken, bacon, and Alfredo. It was WAY good! The family that made it for us is pretty creative with her food; for a chili contest she made a dish with BBQ sauce and bacon, and guess who one that contest???? SHE DID!! :) This ward is also nick-named "The Sugar Ward" because they always feed the missionaries desserts, which means it's going to be a little tough for me and my goal. The bishop was teasing me when I mentioned it, saying, "Well, good luck with that Sister Candyland!" I'm determined now more than ever to prove him wrong!! :D

I think that you might like this, Dad. Before transfers, on my last pday with Sister Raymer, she had this prompting that we should to go to Famous Dave's for lunch (which, by the way, in my opinion is not as good as your cooking) :) While we were in there, we tried to figure out why she felt prompted to come. We decided to try to talk to our waitress, "Famous Bobbie," but we had a hard time figuring out what to say to her. Then, all of a sudden, she walks by us and says, "If you don't mind me askin', what are y'all doin' here?" (Yes, she has a slight accent). We were so excited! We started talking to her about our purpose, and we eventually asked her if she would like a Book of Mormon, and she accepted it very excitedly! She was so sweet and we gave her our number on a card with our tip :) When we left we gave her a hug and she told us that we should come back and see her again! I'll have to ask Sister Raymer how things are with her now :)

So, now that I'm in a new area, my pday will be on Mondays. As long as I'm full-pros it should be Mondays. VC sisters usually have different pday's because they need girls on shift.

Hope all is continuing to go well back home! Thank you for your prayers!
BTW I got a haircut. I'll send pics next week! :)
Hermana Candland


March 18

This last week has been a little rough because of all the stress. Today we're going to use my pday and stay in the apartment to just relax and allow myself to recuperate.

Sister Raymer has been such a great companion and is the exact person that I have needed at this time in my life. Today she got "Dear Jane-d" and it seemed to hit her pretty hard. I want to be there for her just like she has been there for me. This companionship has been truly inspired of the Lord. It just makes me realize how mindful God is of each and everyone of us.

On a lighter note, we've been talking to an investigator named Austin over the phone at the Visitors Center and he is absolutely amazing. He called the VC one day asking about the scripture that says "you'll know if these things are true if you pray about it." We told him it was in Moroni 10:3-5 and told him we wanted to talk to him after he'd read it. We've been discussing with him about the church a lot and he reads a prays...well...religiously. He wants to know what the truth is so badly, and he wants and to do what the Lord asks of him. He said a prayer over the phone and those are the things that he said. He said he's been receiving answers from studying and praying, getting feelings that he's never felt before in his life. He said he had strong feelings of peace and clarity. We told him that those feelings were from the Holy Ghost, and these feelings have been coming from Heavenly Father, telling him that he's going down the right path. He told us that he went to church for the first time this last Sunday and that everyone was so welcoming. He said he felt like he was home. One of the members took him on a tour through the building, and when they got into the room with the baptismal fount he said he was overcome with emotion. After that experience, he just wants to know when he can get baptized. For awhile, Sister Raymer and I questioned whether or not this was real! We couldn't believe this was happening!!! We told him to meet with the missionaries in his area (since he lives in Oregon) and talk with them about taking the rest of the lessons and setting a date for baptism. He also said his family has been very unsupportive of his decision, but he knows that he's doing the right thing. He has been such a blessing to me and I feel priviledged to have the opportunity to teach him. He has strengthened my testimony and is an amazing example to me. He is so amazing, and I hope that one day I'll be able to meet him!

That about sums it up for this week, or at least that's all I can muster up to type. This week has been exhausting. I'm going to take a very laid back pday today.
I did a new hair.
 My district.
 My district goofing off.

Some food.

Hermana Candland

March 11

Holy guacamole where has the time gone??? I'm almost done with my first transfer! Sister Raymer and I are hoping she gets to stay, but we'll just have to see :P

I've noticed that the sunrises and sunsets are absolutely GORGEOUS here! Sister Raymer and I chased the sunrise this morning and snapped a few pics :)
The weather here has been improving! 60 degrees! It's so balmy! I'm shedding of the layers of jackets and sweaters! Spoken like a true Washintonian.

A lot of people ask me where I'm from and I always say Seattle because who's gonna know about cow-town Carnation? I've met very few people who know where that is. When I say Seattle they're always like "Ooohh, Super Bowl champs...." and I'm like "Yep, that's right!!!! Seattle pride!!!!!" >:D

I've been doing really well and improving a lot. I had a moment this week where I was really down on myself and just didn't want to do anything because I was feeling so upset. I had this nagging voice in the back of my head saying I should be doing this and doing that, but I ignored it because I was so frustrated. Then I said a prayer. I felt really bad for feeling sorry for myself when people need my help and for being so prideful, so I asked Heavenly Father for forgiveness. I told Him I was sorry that I lacked the mental strength to give of myself and prayed that the Atonement would make up for that. After my prayer, a gentle voice came into my mind saying, "It's alright Sister Candland.... Shaini, I love you." I felt a strong sense of peace overcome me and I began to cry tears of relief. After a moment, I had another thought come into my head. "Okay Sister Candland, you're alright now. It's time to get to work." These words did not bring me stress like the nagging one before. They reasurred me that I CAN do this, that everything's going to work out, and that the Lord would help me every step of the way. I know that He wants to bless us, but we need to change and come unto Him with a broken heart and contrite spirit in order for His blessings to flow.

Other than that, this week has been pretty mellow. I'm starting to really get into the flow of things and I feel like I know a little more of what I'm doing, although there are still awkward moments. I've been told by the more experienced missionaries that the awkwardness never really goes away. One of our zone leaders actually told us that you should approach people ESPECIALLY when it's awkward! Better learn to embrace it.

We haven't really had a lot of progress with our investigators. We can't even seem to get them to read 1 verse. We've challenged this to some adults to do this and their getting smoked by a little 9-year-old boy named Zack! He rocks my socks!!!! We asked him why he wanted to learn from us and he said, "I just want to learn more about Jesus and to do the right thing." It was the most adorable thing I've ever heard! He's been faithfully reading out of his children's Book of Mormon and he finished it! He prays every night and he wants to get baptized! His baptismal date is set for the end of this month :) 

This last week Sister Raymer and I went to a wedding and met this woman named Amy, who was the photographer. We got to talk to her for awhile and she ended up telling us her whole life's story. We told her about the church and how we believe that families can be together forever and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring us peace. She was so touched by what we said and she said she "felt like she was home." She really wants to find a church where she can belong and she already believes that it's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She actually showed up one day at the Visitors Center and asked one of the sisters "I've got 10 minutes. Can you tell me more about your church?" She's been chatting with us over email at the VC and some other sisters in Salt Lake. We've got an appointment with her on Sunday at a members home and we're so excited! She is such a wonderful lady!
Anyways, sorry for the last few weeks again. Being a missionary is crazy! Crazy AWESOME! I got the chance to write Kortney and Rylee letters so expect to see something from me in the mail :) Until next week!

Hermana Candland