Nov 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 Letter

Well another week has come and gone.  We are really excited as we see the hand of the Lord working in the lives of those we are teaching.  We have a baptism this Saturday...on Mitchell's Birthday.  We are so excited to see this family all come together in the gospel!   I love them so much!!!

So not only has another week come and gone, but another transfer has also come and gone.   Next Tuesday and Wednesday are transfers.  We're not really sure what will happen.  I feel like I will end up staying here at least another transfer, and Sister Lao thinks she will leave.  I definitely don't want her to.  I will miss her a lot, but I know that the Lord always places us where we are needed the most. 

So this has definitely been a sad week, because of the news of the two Texas missionaries who were killed.  It makes you really think about life.  I know for me it has really put into perspective that, even though we are on the Lord's errand, we are not immune from tragedy.  I do believe that God allows bad things to happen to good people.  Every tragedy is paired with a lesson that can be learned, and an opportunity for growth if we allow it to. It motivates me to live life to its fullest and never allow room for regret or "what ifs..."  I guess with that said, I want each of you to know how much I love you.  I'm thankful for the continuous support that I receive from family and friends.  I don't know how I could do it without you!  I also want each of you to know, that I know, with all my heart that this church is true.  I'm so thankful for the Book of Mormon.  It has pulled me out of some of my darkest times.  There truly is a spirit that comes from reading it.  I will forever be grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice.  I know that even when I'm going through some of my hardest times, that I'm never really alone.  I know that he is always there, walking right beside me.  I'm thankful for modern day prophets, that lead and guide us today.  I'm thankful for their love and their prayers in our behalf.  I know that when we listen to the prophet we will be protected from Satan and the many evils of the world.  I'm so thankful for my family and the knowledge that we can be together forever.  It's such a comfort to me to know that this is not all there is, that there is more to life the just right now, and that I can spend eternities with those that really matter most to me.  I just love the gospel and everything that comes with it.

Well with all of that said, I wanted to let you know that this will also be my last mission blog that I post.  We have been asked by our mission president to discontinue any use of blogs, including that of family members writing things for us.  I've loved writing for a blog and am sad that I can not continue.  But like Nephi, I know that every commandment is given for a reason, even if we don't understand.  And even if I don't understand it's purpose, I am determined to be obedient! Thank you all for talking time to read my letters and experiences.  I've loved getting letters from those of you who have read it.  If you ever want to hear any more mission stories feel free to write me, and I will definitely write back!!!  Thanks for all of your love!!!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

October 27, 2011

Another week has come and gone.  It's been good, but now it's really cold!   It started raining last night, and there are rumors that it is going to snow soon too.  I'm freezing!    I can't wait till summer comes back and it's back to the 100s!!!   I hate the cold so much!  Ha Ha Oh well, that's life for you. 

This week we found an awesome family.  They all live in this little trailer.  There is two different families living there.  Each has 4 kids.  Plus the grandma stays there occasionally as well as one of the nephews.  So in total there are 13 people living there.  They have been through so much in their lives, but they are just great.  The kids are so excited to learn about the gospel and have been carrying their new Book of Mormons around everywhere since we gave it to them.  It makes me really appreciate what I have in life.  They really don't have very much, but the have each other and they realize that that's all they really need.

Oh and we also have been teaching the Davis family for a while.  They are so funny!  We get to see them once a week.  The mom and younger sister are members, but the 16 year old isn't.  I absolutely love this family!  They are awesome!! 

Well other then that things are going awesome!   I'm super excited for Halloween!  I will let you know if we get to do anything fun.  We might have to go home early cause of mission rules, but I'm sure we'll make it an adventure either way. 

Well I hope you all have a safe week.  I love you all tons!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

October 20, 2011 Letter

Hey family and friends!

Well this has been another good week.  We worked really hard last week and were able to teach a lot of lessons.  On Sunday we got a call from our zone leaders telling us that we were leading our zone.  That was pretty exciting.  It definitely made us want to keep teaching and doing well.  Although this week we weren't able to teach as many people.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but we will just keep working!  

This last Tuesday we had a huge storm. They haven't had a storm like that since the 1930's.  If you have ever seen "The Mummy."  There is a huge sand storm thing, with the mummys' face in it.  Well that's what we had on Tuesday-minus the face part.  It is called a Hauboob (p.s. i know i spelled that wrong, but that's what it sounds like.)  It was a nice hot day, clear skies...then bamb!  The sky went completely dark.  Our car was even rocking back and forth.  Sirens were going crazy.  It even broke some pretty big trees in half.  The winds ended up getting to 70 mph in some places.  It was pretty intense.  So now we have really cold weather.  It's been an average of 50 or 60 degrees.

Then on Wednesday we had a combined Zone Conference with Elder David S. Baxter of the 1st quorum of the 70.  It was a really good conference.  There were about 50,000 things that I realized that I need to improve on, but it was really good.  You think that, that is how we grow the most--When we realize what we could be doing better, the it gives motivation and the vision of what we really can do to improve.  Needless to say it was great. 

So I guess that's about it for now.  I will keep you updated if anything else cool happens.  Oh and I would like to make an official shout out to the Lao family. Thank you for letting Sister Lao come be my companion.  She's awesome!  She really is such a hard worker and a great missionary.   She would also like me to let you know that she would love a journal and some information on her grandma.  Well hope everything is going well in California.  Happy Birthday Sister Lao, Sister Lao's twin, and Audrey!  Hope it was a good one!

I hope that all of you know how much I love you!  Thank you so much for your love and support!  I couldn't have asked for better families or friends.  My prayers are always with you!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

September 15, 2011 Letter

Well another week has come and gone.  Today has been great!!!  It started at five in the morning when Sister Lao and I both got to go to the temple!   This has been temple week for both Mitchell and myself!   The temple is seriously the most awesome place ever!  We got to go with Sister Augustin (the mission presidents wife). It was a really great experience!

It's also raining this week!!  It started yesterday and has been going nonstop ever since!  I love the rain.  Last night there was lots of thunder and lightning.  I hope it continues for a while.  Only problem is that I don't have any rain boots.  I will have to get some today.  Otherwise my feet will be soaking.  Hopefully i can find some for cheep.  Also I might have to invest in a rain jacket.  I guess well just have to wait and see how bad it gets.  I know that last year it flooded a few times because of the rain. 

This week we were also able to set a date with Matt and Abby Reyes.  They have been taught for a while and we were able to set a date with Abby for the 24th of September and one with Matt for October 8th.  We are pretty excited to see them coming closer to Christ.  They are an awesome family!  The ward loves them too!  They really have tried to take them under their wing, and just love them!!  We have a few other investigators that are coming close to baptism, so we will I will keep you updated on all of that.

Hopefully everything is going well back home!  I miss all of you and love you lots. 

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

November 10, 2011

Well another week has come and gone.  We are really excited as we see the hand of the Lord working in the lives of those we are teaching.  We have a baptism this Saturday...on Mitchell's Birthday.  We are so excited to see this family all come together in the gospel!   I love them so much!!!

So not only has another week come and gone, but another transfer has also come and gone.   Next Tuesday and Wednesday are transfers.  We're not really sure what will happen.  I feel like I will end up staying here at least another transfer, and Sister Lao thinks she will leave.  I definitely don't want her to.  I will miss her a lot, but I know that the Lord always places us where we are needed the most. 

So this has definitely been a sad week, because of the news of the two Texas missionaries who were killed.  It makes you really think about life.  I know for me it has really put into perspective that, even though we are on the Lord's errand, we are not immune from tragedy.  I do believe that God allows bad things to happen to good people.  Every tragedy is paired with a lesson that can be learned, and an opportunity for growth if we allow it to. It motivates me to live life to its fullest and never allow room for regret or "what ifs..."  I guess with that said, I want each of you to know how much I love you.  I'm thankful for the continuous support that I receive from family and friends.  I don't know how I could do it without you!  I also want each of you to know, that I know, with all my heart that this church is true.  I'm so thankful for the Book of Mormon.  It has pulled me out of some of my darkest times.  There truly is a spirit that comes from reading it.  I will forever be grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice.  I know that even when I'm going through some of my hardest times, that I'm never really alone.  I know that he is always there, walking right beside me.  I'm thankful for modern day prophets, that lead and guide us today.  I'm thankful for their love and their prayers in our behalf.  I know that when we listen to the prophet we will be protected from Satan and the many evils of the world.  I'm so thankful for my family and the knowledge that we can be together forever.  It's such a comfort to me to know that this is not all there is, that there is more to life the just right now, and that I can spend eternities with those that really matter most to me.  I just love the gospel and everything that comes with it.

Well with all of that said, I wanted to let you know that this will also be my last mission blog that I post.  We have been asked by our mission president to discontinue any use of blogs, including that of family members writing things for us.  I've loved writing for a blog and am sad that I can not continue.  But like Nephi, I know that every commandment is given for a reason, even if we don't understand.  And even if I don't understand it's purpose, I am determined to be obedient! Thank you all for talking time to read my letters and experiences.  I've loved getting letters from those of you who have read it.  If you ever want to hear any more mission stories feel free to write me, and I will definitely write back!!!  Thanks for all of your love!!!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Oct 17, 2011

Texas Snow!

The picture is of the cotton fields here!!!  They are all pure white right now.  They call it "Texas Snow."   It's pretty cool.  the field is literally "white and ready to harvest."

October 13, 2011 Letter

October is already half way over!  How crazy is that?   Well this week has been good.  We've been able to teach a lot of lessons this week.  I know that the Lord is blessing us with people to teach.  This week we have been focusing on studying the "The Gospel of Christ-The Missionary Purpose."  It really makes me so thankful to have the gospel in our lives.  We have such a blessing to be able to take this gospel to people around the world.  I think we forget that sometimes. 

Next week we are having Zone Conference and we are going to be visited by Elder David S. Baxter of the 1st quorum of the 70.  I'm pretty excited for it.  I will take good notes and let you all know how it goes next week.

Okay so this week we had a fun thing happen.  Our stake held a "Share Fair."  The Share Fair was a two day event.  On Friday people from three different wards brought all the things that they didn't want any more.  Kinda like garage/yard sale stuff.  But there was everything from furniture, to kitchen, to crafts, to clothes. Pretty much everything you could think of.  We organized it on Friday and there was seriously so much stuff!!! Almost every room in the building including the gym was packed with stuff.  Then on Saturday they opened the doors, and members and their friends came in and took what they needed.  Everything was FREE!!  So needless to say it was packed!   Then around four we put a sign outside for the public saying that everything was free!  We had a good turn out and a lot of the stuff was taken, but we had a ton of leftovers too.  The Salvation Army brought a huge moving truck and we filled it full with all the leftovers.  It was quite the project, but I know that it really helped a lot of the families out.  Sister Lao and I worked at it the last shift on Saturday, so we went through the left overs and found some pretty sweet stuff!!!  Sister Lao got this awesome Christmas dress that has a vest attached to it!  Ha Ha And I was able to get this pretty sweet Mexican looking vest thing!  I love it!   I can't wait to come home from my mission and wear it all the time! :)  I will have to send pictures of all of our awesome finds next week.

Well that's about all the news I have for this week!   I hope you know that I love you all so much!!   My prayers are with you!  Stay strong and don't forget to rely on the Lord! 

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Oct 10, 2011

October 6, 2011 Letter

So Yesterday was officially my 9 month mark!   Crazy right?!?!  It's weird to think that I'm about half way done.  Time just goes by too quickly. I took some pretty sweet pictures to celebrate my 9 months out.  I send one with this email so hopefully you enjoy it! :) This has been a busy week because of transfers.  I'm staying here in Lubbock with my companion.  But we got five new sisters in.  Two of them were coming from the Salt Lake City, Temple Square mission.  One of them was from Brazil and the other from Bolivia.  We had the privilege of taking them out with us for the day.  I seriously learned so much from these two in just the few hours that I was able to spend with them.  Their testimonies were So strong.  They really made me want to be a better missionary.

This next transfer is going to be a great one.  We are really excited for the work to take off here even more. 

Conference was great!!!  We got to watch all of the sessions including the Relief Society Session.  I look forward to hearing conference each year.  I know that it is such a blessing to be able to have a living prophet today who can lead and guide us in the things that we need to know.  Many people here don't see a need for a living prophet...not because we don't need one, but because they think the Bible is all we will ever have for guidance.  But something that I have come to love, is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us each so much.  Yes; the Bible can help us and teach us timeless truths, but the world is changing and we need that constant guidance for the things that are coming in our times today.  God has always called prophets in the past and it wouldn't make sense for him to stop now that the world is going out of control.  I'm so thankful that we can hear the words of our prophet Thomas S. Monson, and then go to our Heavenly Father in prayer to know if he really does lead and guide this church.  Each of us needs to have our own testimonies of prophets today.  When we do have our own testimonies we will see that life becomes easier.  We want to obey the commandments, not out of obligation, but because we know the blessings that come from following our leaders.  I'm SO thankful for the fullness of the gospel in my life and the joy and the peace it brings me.

One other thing that I saw this week that I loved was a video found on ""  If you scroll down the home page, on the right hand side you will see a tab for "videos."  Click on it and then scroll down till you see the video of some football players.  The title of the video is, "Sanctify yourselves."  It was a very touching story about a boy who was struck by lightning while playing football.  While is coaches tried to save his life, the assistant coach held this boys head in his hands.  The assistant coach had just turned 18 and had been ordained to the office of an Elder.  At that moment he remembered that he had been called and set apart as one holding the priesthood, or the power of God on earth.  As they continued to work on the young boy, the assistant coach gave him a blessing...It saved his life.   It made me think of my three brothers.  It made me think, that if one of my brothers had been hit by lightning, that there would be someone, who was worthy, who could give them one of those blessings.  We never know when "lightning can strike."  and in that moment we must be prepared to do whatever we can to "save a life."  It inspired me to make sure I am spiritually prepared.  You never know what life can throw at you and if you have not prepared, when that time of need comes, you will not be ready.   I hope that each of you can take five minutes of your time to watch this video!  It was great!  And then do whatever it is you need to, to prepare yourself for the things that life has in store for you.

Well I love you all so much, I hope all is going well!!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

September 29, 2011

So another week has already come and gone.  This is the last week of the transfer and it's weird how fast time goes by.  Sister Lao and I are pretty confident that we are going to be staying here in the Canyon West ward.  (that's what they told us would happen, so that's why we're pretty confident.) 

It was another slower week.  But We have faith that things will really start to pick up here!!   One exciting thing did happen!  We were able to set a date with a man named Joseph!  He is going to get baptized two days after their wedding on November 13.  Him and his almost wife Erica are so awesome!   They are such examples of faith and have really caught on the the importance of the gospel in their lives.  Their testimonies touch me every time we teach them.

Today we got to go to the Fair.  We went with a family from the ward.  It was fun.  Being in Texas there was lots of fried foods and everything was BIGGER!!!   I mean what else could you expect!! I seriously love carnivals!   They are the best.  I can't wait to go when I get home!!!   Today we are also going to play football with the elders.  I'm super excited for that.  I LOVE the picture of Hope throwing the football.  What a stud!  She is pretty awesome.  I am sad that I can't see the boys play as well.  You all better do it again next year so I can come and watch all of your games!

So weather here in Texas is bipolar!!!!   It will be cold in the mornings, but then super hot in the afternoon.  We'll have really nice days in the 70s.  Then it will be freezing and then today it's back to 100.   Ha Ha It can't seem to make up it's mind.   I haven't heard about any fires going on, but who knows, we don't really get to hear much of the news.  One thing that I do know though is that there is no rain!   We will get showered on every once in a while.  But it only lasts a few minutes.  I think a few weeks ago was the most rain we had seen all year. 

Well I love you all and miss you even more!  If you need anything on my end just let me know!  Love you all lots!

Sister Tracy

Sep 22, 2011

September 22, 2011 Letter

This week was so crazy busy and so many crazy miracles happened!

Okay the first and foremost miracle is that both Matt and Abby are baptized!  Yes, like officially baptized!!!  They were both baptized on Sunday the 18!  Super unexpected, but we were so happy about it!  Last Friday we went over with our ward mission leader to start planning their baptism..find out who was going to talk, baptized them, etc...  We started the lesson by talking about the importance of prayer and staying strong especially these next few weeks because Satan will be working extra hard on them.  As we told them this they both just looked at us and said, "let's do it tomorrow!"  We were so excited and happy for them!  I know that the Lord has really been working on them this last week and was preparing them and helping them realize how they needed the gospel in their lives!  So we had to get everything together quickly, and on Sunday they were baptized.  There was a great turn out from the ward and they had a lot of support!  We are so excited for them!  They will be confirmed this Sunday and I'm sure that will be great as well!!

Let's see...Something else that I've come to discover this week is just the importance of communication!   With out communication, whether it be between missionaries, leaders, the ward, investigators, or even with our Heavenly Father, nothing can really happen until we can learn to communicate with each other.  Communication is key.  Without it nothing can ever really be accomplished.  It's definitely something that I need to work on, but I know that as I do missionary work will become easier, and my life will become better.

The rest of the week has been kind of slow.  But I know that there are a lot of people here in Lubbock who are being prepared to receive the gospel.  It's just a matter of finding them. 

Well that's about it for the missionary work aspect of it!  Um...So I am pretty sad to hear about my Cougars!   Sounds like I'm not missing a whole lot.  I think this is maybe a good year to miss all their games.  Hopefully when I come back they will have all stepped it up!  Being in Texas during football season has been rough!  All I want to do is just watch football!  Ha Ha

Well I miss you all a lot!  I'm glad to hear that things are going well back home!  If you need anything Just let me know!   Any questions just ask!   Well I love you all a lot! 

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Sep 12, 2011

September 8, 2011 Letter

Well I hit my eight month mark the other day!  It's crazy how fast time goes by!  I will be home before any of you even know it.  This week has been good.  I have officially decided that the weather here is bipolar.  Last weekend it was an average of 103.  Then the next day it was 62.  Then the day after that it was in the 80s.  It just can't make up it's mind.  There is a saying here, "that if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes, it will change."  It's totally true.  The weather has evened out for the most part staying around the 80s.  It's been really great to ride our bikes and walk around, cause it's not too hot. 

The work here is going great.  Sister Lao is a great companion and we are always laughing about something.   We have just been teaching a few people, and trying to get a few new investigators.  We tried to set a baptismal date with a younger man last night, but he said he wasn't ready.  We will just keep teaching him.  I know that it will happen eventually on his own time and on the the Lord's time.

This week I have been thinking a lot about helping those around us.  Elder Quentin L. Cook gave a talk called, "Hope ya Know, we had a Hard Time."  In it he talks about the trials that life will through at us.  How many times the approach that we have in our prayers is that of, "hope ya know, I'm having a hard time."  He talks about how the atonement can heal all of our trials.  How our lives can be fully healed when we put all of our trust in the Lord.  Knowing that he is going to carry us through.   Elder Cook also talks about our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  Last year for his birthday he was asked what would be the ultimate birthday gift.  His answer was, "Do something nice, for someone that is having a hard time."  Our prophet is such a great example of serving those around us.  As we help those that are also having a hard time we start to forget our own challenges in life.  We can feel the peace and joy that comes through serving others.  I definitely know that when we serve those around us that we will start to recognize the blessings in our own lives.  Our burdens will become light.

I hope you all know how much I love you!   I miss you all so much and am thankful for your constant support and love.  I pray for you all the time.  I hope that life is awesome! 

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Sep 1, 2011

September 1, 2011 Letter

Well This has been another long week here in Lubbock, Texas.  The weather is super hot!  I think the average is around 110.  It's rained a few times but nothing too crazy. We met a lot of the ward members this week and a lot more of the investigators here.  Everyone is really nice and friendly.  I don't really have a ton to write about today, but just know that things are going great!

One thing that I have really learned in the last few months is that God sends us exactly where he needs us.  There are times when you realize that it is more then just a coincidence that you meet some of the people that you do.  We each have different life experiences and because of that we can relate to people in different ways.  In turn those different experiences strengthen our testimonies and we can touch someone else's heart. 

Missionary life is great!  I still can't believe how fast time is flying by.  It's already September and i will be home in 11 months.  Time is just cruising!  I hope that all of you are doing well and that everything is going awesome!!!   I pray for you everyday.  I love the letters that I get from family and friends.  They always help lift my spirits!  You are all great!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Aug 25, 2011

August 25, 2011 Letter

Okay so this week has been super crazy!  I guess I'll jump forward a bit and start by telling you that I am no longer in Amarillo, Texas.  I am now serving in the Canyon West Ward, in Lubbock, Texas!  Also...I'm a trainer! The call definitely came as a shock to me. Ha ha  I wasn't expecting it, but I'm excited for this new adventure.  My companions name is Sister Lao.  She is Phillippino and is from California.  She's 23, and is already a rock star missionary.  I think that we are going to have a lot of success this next transfer.  So another huge change that they are making here is in the training program.  The church just released a whole new program for training.  It is now a requirement for new missionaries to be with their trainers for 12 weeks.  They've also added an additional hour of companion study, and everything is laid out on what we are supposed to learn and teach them.  The idea is that we are training them so that at the end of the 12 weeks they would be prepared to train someone else.  We are the first ones to test it out.  So we are kind of the Guinea pigs.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm sure it will be great. I'll definitely keep you all updated.

My new address is:

5402 66th St. #404
Lubbock, TX 79424

Okay so Now I guess I'll go back to my last week in Amarillo.  Sarah Salinas got baptized on Sunday!   It was honestly one of the most spiritual baptisms I've ever seen.  The spirit was so strong and we had awesome support from the ward. We had a few investigators who came as well!  Amarillo 2nd is just on fire right now!   Mary, Dominic, and James are all getting baptized this next Sunday as well!  I am SO sad that I am going to miss it, but I am so happy for them all the same!   Sister Hamaker promised to take pictures of it so when I get copies I will let you all know for sure. 

My last day in Amarillo was a crazy exciting one as well!  We finally got to meet that family from Haiti!  They are so awesome!!   I couldn't understand everything, because they were speaking Haitian.  But I could understand bits and pieces cause part of the language is French.  I gave them both of the Haitian Book of Mormons' that dad gave me and they absolutely loved it!  We set a date with them for September 11.  I am sad that I'm going to miss that one too.  But really I just love seeing people make commitments to be baptized!   You can just see the faith in their eyes!  I love the gospel!

I wish that I had more to tell you about my new area, but as of right now I've only been here one day.  The ward seems super supportive and nice!  They are just on fire about missionary work!   We are excited to get to work and find those that have been prepared by our Heavenly Father to hear about the gospel! 

Well I hope you all know how much I love you!  Thank you so much for all of your support and your prayers!   I know that God is watching out for us here in the Texas Lubbock Mission!   My prayers are with all of you constantly.  I hope everything is going well and hopefully I'll get to talk to you all soon! 

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Aug 18, 2011

August 18, 2011 Letter

Oh man so today was super crazy!!!  For Pday we went to Palo Duro Canyon.  It is the second largest one in the country.  We biked it...and let me just say that it was INTENSE!!!   This was not your typical little bike drive. We literally were biking down-straight down a mountain!!  I don't know why we thought we could do it, but it was pretty rough.  Last transfer the elders went and one of them got a pretty bad concussion. Ha Ha Yeah, so we were smart and wanted to do it again.  I flew off twice and ripped up my legs again, but hey, "If you don't bif it, it wasn't a good ride."  :)  I ended up having to walk most of it because my companion got sick and had heat stroke.  I think it would be fun to do it again, but to make sure everyone had enough water and make sure they were physically fit.  I also broke my bike.   Not too bad, I can still ride it, but the pedals are all sorts of messed up.  It should be an easy fix, but still sad.

This week has been a pretty awesome one!  We have a baptism coming up this Sunday for Sara Salinas!  We are super excited for her and have just been trying to get everything ready for that.  There is a lot that goes into planning a baptism and this is my first one as senior companion, having to plan all of it, so it's been stressful, but good!

We also have three baptisms next week with Mary, Dominic, and James Madut.  The ward has been so great at helping us with them.  They don't have a car, but yet the members have picked them up every Sunday and also for other activities through out the week.  We haven't been able to see Naugeet, but the rest of the family is doing awesome.

So we haven't been able to teach the french families yet, but we have talked on the phone a bit.  My French is soooo broken!  It's been really hard, but I feel so luck to be able to have had this opportunity to use French in Texas!

This is also the last week of the transfer so we have been busy making sure everything is organized and that all our info is written down in the Area Book. We aren't sure what is going to happen but just FYI I could be somewhere else next week.  I personally think that I will stay.  I think both of us will stay here, but you really just never know!

Life here in the mission is so great!  We have been staying busy and just loving life.  I love all of the letters that I get from everyone!  You really just don't know what it's like to get mail from home!  We LOVE it!     Well I hope all of you know how much I love you!  You are all so amazing and I'm so thankful that I have such supportive and loving friends and family.  You are all in my prayers.  Hopefully everything is going well back home.   I love you all a ton!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Aug 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

Sounds like things have been pretty crazy back at the Tracy home this last week.  I'm really glad to hear that Kimball is okay!  I Know God is watching out for our family!   Let me know if he has any side complications!  I'm pretty worried about him, and I'll definitely be keeping him in my prayers.

Well this week was a long one!  But still good.  We were able to set a baptismal date with the Madut family for August 27th. I'm pretty excited for them.  They all came to church on Sunday too, and they brought a friend, Naugeet, with them.  Naugeet told us that she wanted to be taught as well and that when her mom makes in to America in about a month she wants to be taught as well.  I love this family!  The ward here has done a great job fellow shipping them and making them feel welcome.  They have had to pick them up for church and mutual and stuff like that, but they are more then willing to do that!   I'm thankful for the ward support here.

I got the French and Haitian Book of Mormons that you sent me!  Thank you so much!  I have been trying to read at least a page everyday.  I can read it pretty well and can spell things.  But speaking is a whole different story.  Just a few days ago we were trying to get a hold of the Jean Family. (the Haitian family)  We called them and no one answered, their voicemail was all in french. and I'm pretty sure I went into shock mode.  Where everything I had practiced went out the door.  I left a pretty broken French message on the machine. HA Ha I don't even know if she will understand.  This week with all the foreign languages has really given me a taste of what Mitchell has been going through in Brazil.  Learning a new language is so hard, but it gets easier when God is on your side.

This week I also saw a clip of "Soul Surfer." Not on purpose of coarse, it just kind of happened, but it looked like a really good movie!  Have you guys seen in?  I saw the part where her arm gets bitten off, and it was supper intense! I can't even imagine my arm being there one second and then literally two seconds later it being gone!   How crazy would that be!?!

So dad asked about why members helping with missionary work is so important.  Member-missionary work is SO IMPORTANT!  In the mission we know that nothing happens in missionary work until we have someone to teach.  Members are the key to finding people to teach.  Missionaries can knock on doors everyday, all day, but to find the people that are truly prepared, we need the members.  When a member helps with missionary work the investigator already has a friend in the church.  Someone they can turn to who is normal and that they trust.  Members have a different look at life then missionaries sometimes do and so we need members to be with us so that they can more fully relate to investigators.  Missionaries come and go, but the ward stays the same.  The convert or investigator needs that stability so that when we leave they aren't left alone in this new world.   Cause it is a new world, with a new way of living, and even a new language.  If they don't have fellowship in the ward, their chances of becoming inactive are increased ten-fold!   Member missionary work doesn't just involve teaching people or sharing the gospel all the time.  IT really starts with being a good example and being kind to everyone.  Let everyone know what your standards are, but don't be judgemental or proud.  Be humble and love all those you meet.  It's things like that that really help people to see that the gospel is something that they want and need in their lives. 

Also dad asked about playing the piano.  I don't really have to play a whole lot.  Every once in a while we will if no one shows up at church.  Which has happened a few times. but for the most part I'm off the hook.

Well I guess that's about it for today!  I hope everything is going well back home!   I love you all so very much!  Make sure you all keep praying and reading your scriptures!  You're the best ever!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Aug 4, 2011

August 4, 2011 Letter

Okay this week has been a pretty awesome one.   We have been really busy and trying to find new investigators.  On Sunday sister Hamaker and I sat down and talked about things that we could do to be more obedient.  We decided that we could just be better on every aspect!  So Monday we just started to do the very best we possibly could.  That day we got two new investigators!  They are from Sudan!  They are a pretty big family, and the twins, who are 14 were baptized a few months ago.  Well when we went to visit them, the mom started to go off like crazy speaking in her home language.  The son who is 18 came up to translate and said that she really wanted to be baptized.  The son said that he would also like to be baptized!  They also have a house full of ten other people, who we are going to meet with on Saturday!  I can not even wait!!   The are such an awesome family!  The language barrier may be hard, but I know that we can do it!

Then on Tuesday we had our interviews with President Augustin.  It went really well, and it was really nice to be able to get to know him better.  Then we went out to work.  Where we were able to find three new investigators.  They were formers and when we met them the dad was like, "Yes!  We need this in our lives right now!"  so we are going back to see them tomorrow.

We also had a Haitian family move in.  We were told that the dad is a member but the rest of the family is not.  Their previous bishop said that  the family wants to be baptized but that no one can communicate with them!  They speak French. So The mission president told me to go to the library and pick up a french dictionary.  They gave me a french Book of Mormon and we are going to try and teach them.  I took three and a half years of French and never in a million years thought that I would be able to use it on a mission to Lubbock, Texas.  But it turns out that God knows where we need to be.  I can't speak it fluently, but I can understand enough to get by.  I can read from the book of Mormon, and I know that if it's the Lord's will we will be able to teach this family to help them come closer to Christ!  The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.

Then on Wednesday we had Zone Conference!  It was AMAZING!!  It was so spiritual and it really made me want to be better!!  One of my favorite things that I heard yesterday was from Sister Augustin.  She said, "Obediencee brings blessings, strict obedience brings miracles."  That quote just really hit me.  We really have two choices, one we can do what's right and just scratch by or we can give our whole heart and more!   I know that I want to give my whole heart and more, and that by doing so we really will see the miracles that the Lord has promised us!  We also talked a lot about the Resurrection.  A lot of times in the church and especially in missionary work we talk about the Atonement all the time, but that's usually where we stop.  But really it's the Resurrection that makes it all possible.  We did a few sessions where we would practice teaching with the other missionaries.  And in one circumstance we were supposed to be teaching a recent convert, and talk about how the Resurrection and atonement had helped them get to that point.  The spirit was so unreal!  It was just pure spirit!  We were all crying.  The power of the Atonement in peoples lives, not only our own, but those of the people that we teach and love, is so incredible.  I am forever indebted to my Savior for his loving sacrifice.  I would be so lost with out him.  I couldn't be where I am today if it had not been for the Atonement and the reality of Jesus Christ's resurrection!  My deepest hope is that all of you will take some time this week and really think about what the atonement has done for you in your lives.  Of how it's brought you where you are today, or how it's going to help you become what you want to be!  This gospel really is so perfect and is perfect for each one of us.  We just have to have the faith to take that step and follow Christ's example.

I hope everything is going well for all of you and can't wait to hear back!   Things are going great here.  I love and miss you all so much!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Aug 1, 2011

July 28, 2011 Letter

Okay so here's a crazy thought, I will offically be home in less then a year!  How crazy is that!  Time just goes by so quick. It stresses me out.

Well this week has been a good one.  We have been really busy and have spent a lot of time just trying to go through our area book and see a lot of the former investigators.  So far it has been pretty slow.  It's good though, cause we have met lots of really cool people and some really crazy people too!   This week was a pretty cool one because it actually rained!!!   Sister Hamaker and I were out in the middle of no where getto when it started.  We were out in what would be the equivalent to "the projects."  It was kind of a sketch neighborhood, but we decided to walk around anyway.  It started to rain and we got got in it.  It was pretty awesome I love the rain.  But the best part was that we got a new investigator!  We are going to see her tomorrow, so hopefully that all goes well.

Okay and on Saturday LuAnn got baptized!!!!  I got to call and talk to her.   It was all just really emotional.  I'm so happy to see how far she's come.  Sister peaver called me afterwards and told me that it was one of the coolest baptisms she's ever seen.  I guess when LuAnn came out of the water she just started laughing because she was so happy!  It's moments like that that just make the mission worth it.

Well this week I have been thinking a lot about how crazy the world is.  We see so many people, with such crazy lives that it just makes you sad.  It really makes me realize how important it is to be honest!!!  This week I've just seen how dishonestly ruins a lot of lives.  To put it straight forward, if you say your going to do something, then you better do it!  There are so many disfunctional relationships out here and a lot of them are all because people wouldn't be honest with each other.  All relationships would be improved if we could just be honest with each other.  And it's not just even straight up lying that I'm talking about.  It's the people who are sneaky and just aren't completely honest with their friends and loved ones.  Someone ALWAYS gets hurt when someone else isn't honest and straight forward with them.  It's just sad to see that stuff like that happens even with people in the church.  People you thought that you could trust but really they just don't love you enough to be honest with you.  It's sad.  I guess you just really have to be careful of who your friends are.  It's sad but true.  I'm with Mitchell's email, when he said that people forget how short this life really is.  We all need to focus on the things that are really Important.  It's when we forget about Jesus Christ and those basic principles he taught that our lives start to fall apart.

Well I hope you are all staying strong and having a great summer!  Let me know how things are going back home.

Love ya Always.

Sister Tracy

Jul 23, 2011

July 21, 2011 Letter

Well this week has been a crazy one, just trying to get to know the area better.  We still get lost sometimes, but I'm getting better. 
Let's see, things are kind of slow here too.  I'm with Mitchell that it is kind of frustrating sometimes.  This past Sunday was a whole new experience for me.  On our ward roster we have about 700+ members, and at church less then 50 showed up.  It was really small.  We didn't have any investigators come, which was new for me cause I have never had a Sunday that we didn't have at least one or two people come.  I guess that just means more work for us.  There is a ton of potential here though.  Last week we were able to find 5 new investigators.  Two of them are from Persia.  They are pretty cool people.  They gave us some Persian candy and it was pretty good.  I love candy so I was pretty excited!  We also have two people who are getting baptized on August 6th.  We are both pretty excited about that.  Both Sara and Brandon are excited too.  They're biggest hold up is that they are having a hard time getting work off on Sundays.  We are praying for them a lot so that their baptism goes through.

Even though I'm no longer in Clovis, Clovis has had an awesome week too!!  Conner Harris got baptized last night and LuAnn Todd is getting baptized on Saturday!  I get to call both of them and congratulate them so I'm supper excited about that!  I'm so proud of both of them for making so many changes in their life to follow the Savior!  I love both of them lots!!!

Okay so dad asked a lot of questions so I'll try to answer them now:

1. We are staying at an apartment complex.  The complex itself is pretty nice, but we have these little bugs all over the kitchen so that's no Bueno.  It's pretty small just one bedroom, one bathroom, but it's good in enough for what we need.  I really like the neighborhood too.  It's pretty central to a lot of the stuff we need.

2. We cover just one ward and one stake.  It's the Amarillo stake and I know that there are four wards plus a Spanish "group" in the city of Amarillo itself, but there are many other wards in the outlying cities.   We are in the 2nd ward, which is almost all of the Eastern side of Amarillo.  I will try to send you a copy of our mission boundaries so you can see where I've served.

3. We don't really get to go to the temple very often here.  If you aren't in Lubbock you can go once every six months if you can find a member to drive you.  If you are serving in Lubbock you can go once every transfer.  So that's really nice.  But I haven't been since that last trip.  Which was maybe in April?

4. Our truck is a ford Colorado LT.  It's not the biggest Texas truck ever, but I like it!  It's cool to be able to drive the truck.  Even though my companion and I have been out the same amount of time, I'm the only one assigned to drive it.  Just cause they only put so missionaries on the insurance and so they just assign one person to drive all the time.

5. I still have my bike!  We actually use them a lot!  We will just load them into the back of the truck park in a certain area and just bike all day there.  It really helps us save miles on our car, and on top of that we get to talk to more people that way.

6. Lucky for me I haven't really gotten sick.  I got sick my second transfer out in Roswell, but since then I've felt great!

7. Yes it is very hot here!!  It is averaging 103.  But it's more humid so that makes it even harder.  But I love the heat so I can't really complain to much.  I like it!

Well I think that's about it.  If you guys have more questions just ask!!!  I hope you know how much I love all of you!  I pray for you all the time and hope things are going great!  Can't wait to hear back from all of you!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Jul 14, 2011

Picture of Dale, LuAnn, Sister Peavler and Melinda

July 14, 2011 Letter

Okay so crazy changes this week!!!  I am no longer in Clovis, New Mexico!   I am now in Amarillo, Texas!  YAY for Texas!!!!  So a lot has happened as you can tell in the last week.  It was SO hard to say goodbye to all of the people in Clovis.  It's amazing how quickly you can fall in love with people.  I think the hardest person to say goodbye to was Dale and LuAnn Todd.  LuAnn has a baptismal date for July 23rd.  And when I told her that I was leaving she started to cry.  So I started to cry, and it was just one big crying mess.  I'm going to miss her so much!  My heart is so sad to leave, but so happy to see how excited and determined she is to get baptized.  There are some amazing things happening in Clovis, New Mexico.   Conner Harris is also getting baptized next Wednesday.  I get to call him before he gets baptized to wish him luck!  There is also a couple, Kody and Tatum who are getting baptized in the next few weeks. Sister Peavler has promised to take lots of pictures for me so as soon as she sends them to me I will mail copies home. I am so thankful for the time that I had to serve in Clovis. I learned so much about myself and things that I want for my future. I learned a lot about families and the importance of them.  Clovis will always have a special place in my heart!

Okay so Amarillo!  I got the call on Saturday night to tell me where I was going.  I was called as senior companion and told who my companion was going to be.  Guess who it is...Sister Hamaker!!  My MTC companion!!!  Crazy right?!  Well we were both shocked to be serving with each other again so soon, but I know that it will be awesome!  We are white-washing into the Amarillo 2nd ward.  White-washing just means that we go in without another missionary who has already been in the area. So we pretty much have to start from scratch trying to figure out the area and getting to know all the members and investigators. It will be good though.  I think we have a lot of potential here, so I'm excited for the next few weeks.  Also big new, I get to drive now!!  And...I got a truck!  It's pretty sweet.  I mean really though it's Texas. You can't serve in Texas without a truck! Ha Ha  Navigation has been rough the last few days, but the Zone Leaders lent us their GPS so that's helped a lot.  I might have to eventually invest in my own.  I don't know how I will be able to figure out the area without it.

Well that's about all the big news that I have as of right now.  I guess just some random things about Amarillo.  It's Humid! Really Humid. Ha but it's okay cause in a weird way I really like it!  Um, yep that's about all that I know. Ha Ha I've only been here two days so hopefully next week I will know more about this place.  Well I hope things are going super great back home!  From the sounds of it they are going great.   Make sure you send letters to my new address:

2700 W. 16th Ave.. #143
Amarillo, TX 79102

Well I love you all and hope to hear from you soon! Stay safe!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Jul 7, 2011

July 7, 2011 Letter

So this last week has been crazy busy!  We have had so many miracles this last week or so...

Okay so I'm going to start with Thursday.  Every Thursday we go and see the Harris Family!  This is such an awesome family!  They are all baptized except for their youngest son Conner, who is turning nine in about a month.  We have been teaching them each week, and we are hoping that Conner gets baptized really soon.  I just had to give them a shout out cause I love them so much!

Then on Saturday Neira, Mimi, and Toby all got baptized in Roswell!!! Woot Woot!!!   I was so happy for all of them!   I was able to call and talk to Norma (the mom) and congratulate all of them.  There whole story is just such a miracle.  We first found them in my first week out in the mission field.  They ended up being out of town for a while so they weren't able to get baptized until now.  But this family is Solid!!  They are all just rock stars and I am so happy for them!

Sunday was also a great day.  As you all know it was fast Sunday this last week.  Well one of our investigators, LuAnn, came for the first time to church this last Sunday.  That same day a man from the Roswell ward, Brother Kopp, came up to Clovis to celebrate is 41st anniversary of being a member of the church.  During testimony meeting Brother Kopp stood up to bear his testimony.  He told his story about originally being a member of the Church of Christ, (the same church that LuAnn has been a part of), and how he came to know that the church was true.  It was such a powerful testimony.  Then at the end he looked right and LuAnn and her husband Dale, pointed at them and said "I want you two to know that this church is true!!" I think everyone in the audience got chills.  It was just so spiritual.  After Church LuAnn told me that she had prayed about getting baptized on the 23rd and she said that it was already on her calendar!  That she loved the feeling that she got at church!  It's crazy to see how God will place people right where they need to be. How LuAnn and Dale were able to hear the testimonies that could touch them the most!  So anyway...I'm stoked for her baptism!  It will be awesome.

Monday was the fourth of July!  I LOVE holidays!!!!  :)  We first went and had a big pancake breakfast over at the church.  There was a pretty good turn out and we even had some investigators who came.  Then we went home to prepare for "the big day."  we had heard lots of rumors about how the huge event of the year was going to be talking place right outside of our apartment.  So we gathered together every book of Mormon we could find and loaded our pockets with cards and headed out.  Well it turned out to be a total bust.  Ha Ha Okay total bust wouldn't be the right word, cause we were able to talk to one of the security guys who wants to learn more and we found a less active family who just moved back and wants to start coming to church.  So that was great, but really the carnival wasn't really busy.  The time when it would be getting busy wouldn't be until after six.  so that was no good, cause all missionaries had to be in their apartments at six on the fourth of July. so around four we headed down to Roswell to hang out with the rest of the sisters from our Zone.  While I was in Roswell I was able to stop by and see Chery Sales. One of our recent converts.  It was so good to see her!  I just love her to death.  Then we went to my old apartment and played uno all night and then watched the city fireworks.  That night we all had a big sleep over with all the sisters.  It was a lot of fun, because each of us had at one point served with at least two of the sisters there.  We all just shared our mission stories and had a blast!   The next morning we all woke up early and headed to Zone Conference to meet our new mission president.  President and Sister Augustin seem really nice.  It's really weird and different getting a new mission president but i'm excited to see the work continue to progress.

Then yesterday we had the most amazing lesson Ever with a couple named Kody and Tatum!  I have never, in my whole life, met anyone who was as prepared to hear the gospel then these two were!  We taught about the Plan of Salvation and they just ate it all up!  They had so many questions and just couldn't wait to hear more.  i think we could have stayed there till midnight just talking about the gospel!  I love them so much!  I'm so thankful that God prepares his children and then puts us right where they need us.  We are meeting with them again on Sunday and I'm sure that lesson will be just as great if not better!   Agh!!  I just LOVE being a missionary.

So this next week is definitely going to be a crazy one!  This is the last week of the transfers and there will be some big changes coming.  We are loosing three sisters, and getting in five new ones.  Over half of our sister missionaries now have only been out for five months or less. It is going to be super crazy to see what happens.  There is a chance that I might not be in Clovis next week.  I really hope I don't leave cause I love it here so much.  But I also know that God knows what's best and he knows where we are needed the most. 

I'm so thankful for this opportunity that I have to serve!   I love it so much!  I love the gospel so much!  I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything in the world. I want you all to know how much I love and care about each one of you!  I really look forward to your letters, they really give me that boost that I need to keep going sometimes.  I pray for all of you all the time.  I hope everything is going well for each of you!   I love you all tons.

Love always,

Sister Tracy  

Jun 30, 2011

Melinda's June 30, 2011 Letter

Holy Cow!!!  It is already the last day of June!   Agh!!!  Where has all the time gone!?!   It's weird to think that in about a year I will be home.  TIme just needs to slow down a little bit.

Well things are going so great here in Clovis.  This week has been a crazy one full of changes and exciting adventures. 
Adventure #1:  I got to help make wedding flower arrangements with one of our investigators.  She is making the arrangements for a wedding that is on the 4th of July.  I loved it!!!!! I think it is something that I'd love to do as a side job when I get home!  I really enjoyed it.
Adventure #2: I completely chopped off my hair this week!!!  I know, crazy right!?!  I officially have short hair. Ha Ha I will have to send you a picture.
Adventure #3: We officially have a new mission president.  President Robison is on a plane as we speak.  Our new presidents name is President Augustin.  I got to talk to him on the phone last night and he sounds like a really great guy!!
Adventure #4:  Clovis had a "Mircoburst" the other day.  A microburst is like a mini tornado.  There wasn't too much damage.  It got one farm pretty bad, and knocked out a power line for a while but no one got hurt.
Well I'm sure I could come up with lots more adventures, but that's all I've got for now.  Like I said this week has been a crazy one.  One thing that we have been experiencing here in Clovis is hearing tons of stories about how crazy the world is.  There is one lady that we were teaching who was telling us about a horrible experience that happened to that niece. Her niece lives in Mexico.  She was walking home from work with five of her other friends, when the soldiers (who were fighting in the drug wars) kidnapped them.  They were all raped and killed.  Her niece's life was spared, because she had a history of seizures.  She went into a seizure and they thought she was dead, so they didn't kill her.  They then threw all the bodies on the side of a deserted road. Eventually her nieces' seizure stopped and she was able to sneak home.  They now have to keep her hidden now so that the soldiers don't see her alive.   We have heard stories like this all week long, but the sad thing is that they are everywhere, not just in other countries. It really has weighed down on our hearts.  It's sad to see what the world is coming to.  Although the world is getting worse and worse it's good to find a comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father never leaves us.  He is constantly by our side, pushing us to move forward in the face of adversity.  We just need to have the faith that things are going to work together for our good.  I'm so thankful for the gospel in my life.  It really does give me the guidance and support that I need in my life.  Life would be miserable without it.  I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the gospel!!!

Thank you for all of your prayers. I know that they really do help!  I love all of you and hope that life is going great.  Remember to keep saying your prayers! :)

Love ya Always,

Sister Tracy

Jun 23, 2011

June 23, 2011 - Letter

Hey!!!  So this week has been pretty busy!!!!  We have been teaching a lot of lessons, and trying to get new investigators.  So far we are up to four new investigators and they are all really awesome people!!!  Missionary work here is just going great!!!!

So I don't know if you all know what a Ham Radio is, but if you have one there is a thing they are doing this weekend from 12pm Sat-12pm sun.  People from all over the world get on their radios and try to talk to each other.  Whoever gets the most signals wins the contest.  So anyway my companion and I are going to see our investigator is really into the Ham Radio stuff on Saturday around noon.  If you have a radio you should listen in and see if you can here us! :)  Our code is KA5B (3AlphaNM)

So let's see....crazy story for the week.   Well, yesterday we were riding on our bikes.  I was on the sidewalk (cause I thought it would be safer then the busy road)  when I looked up and saw another lady on her bike, heading my way.  I was nervous cause I didn't think that she was going to scoot over.  well we had just almost cleared each other, when she accidentally bumped me, I hit a pole and flipped my bike.  Okay, keep in mind, we are on one of the busiest roads in Clovis and I'm wearing a skirt!  So pretty much I flashed all of Clovis.  And then to top in off I got pretty scraped up!  I have a pretty nice looking gash in my knee.  And the back of my calf looks like a shark got to it.  Ugh!  Ha Ha I look pretty frazzled and it's been rough trying to walk around, cause it hurts pretty bad.  But I'll tell you what!  It's going to make a nice battle wound to take home.  :) Ha Ha

Well I just absolutely love it here!  The mission is the best choice that I could have ever made!  Every day we get to experience something new that helps us grow.   There are moments when we will go to teach someone, and will have their lesson all planned out.  And then when you start talking, you realized that you are sharing a whole new message, and a whole different subject.  But then they start to cry and you know, you KNOW, that it was just what Heavenly Father needed them to hear.  Our Heavenly Father really does work in mysterious ways.  Many times he is trying to speak to us, but we are just to blind to see it.  Being on a mission had really helped me to open my mind to accepting the will of our Heavenly Father.  Just being able to sit back and relax as the hard times role in, knowing that God sure does know what he's doing, is a rare possession.  I know without a doubt that he has bigger things in store for me then I ever could have imagined!  i just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.  I know everything works out for our benefit in the end.  We just have to have the faith to know that he really is always there for us.  Once we have that faith we can see how blessed we really are.

I love all of you so much!  My prayers are with you!.

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Jun 16, 2011

June 16, 2011 Letter

So I absolutely love it here in Clovis, New Mexico!  The people here are so amazing.  They are all just so nice.  Plus a lot of the people we are teaching remind me of people from home.  There is a lady named Kim Schiller and she is just like Karen Hudson!  I love her a lot.  Also we are teaching a lady named Tracy Gaurdipee, and she is just like Cassie Swensons mom.  I love her too!!!  Pretty much to sum it up, I just love everyone here!!!

This week we set a date with a girl named Morgan Edwards.  The Edwards are a less-active, part-member family.  My companion Sis. Peavler has been trying to get a hold of this family for months and has had no success.  Well the other day we pulled up and the dad was sitting outside.  He was so excited to see us!  He said that he had been thinking a lot about the church lately and that he wanted his family to start coming back.  Then his 9 year old daughter came up and said, "I want to get baptized, when is the soonest we could do it?"  It was so cool!  They whole family is just awesome.  We are going to see them everyday next week to help the daughter get baptized.  We are also going to help their 14 year-old son, get the priesthood and the mom get her patriarchal blessing.  They also really want to work towards going to the temple together!  I'm so excited to see them progress.  What else is crazy is that my friend David Glover served his mission here a few years ago and taught them when the mom was just baptized.  Small world!

This week we kind of had a crazy experience.  It was just a regular night, and we both jumped into bed.  Around 12:30 am Sister Peavler woke me up and told me that our Carbon Monoxide Detector was going off like crazy.  First off, I didn't even hear it so I'm thankful that she woke up.  But of coarse we were kind of scared cause things like that don't always happen. So both of us are half asleep trying to figure out what is wrong with our detector.  We couldn't figure out how CO2 would be getting into our apartment.  So we just assumed that it would be going off cause our batteries were dead.  After messing around with it for a 15 ish minutes we decided that we were going to pack our bags and go find somewhere else to stay for the night.  We packed our bags and then decided that we would keep trying to fix the alarm.  I know it sounds like we are a bunch of really dumb girls, but neither of us wanted to leave our apartment in the middle of the night. Ha Ha. Our apartment is a little broken and not all of our outlets work and so we tried plugging it in every socket. Sometimes it would beep, other times it wouldn't.  We didn't have a bad feeling or anything so we decided that we would just pray so that we would know what we should do.  I said the prayer, and obviously didn't think it through all the way, because I prayed that Heavenly Father wouldn't let us fall asleep if we shouldn't.  So after the prayer neither of us felt bad about the situation so we just jumped back into bed.  Well neither of us slept all night because we were so paranoid.  We couldn't decide if we were tired cause it was the crack of dawn, or if it was the CO2.  Then we couldn't figure out if we weren't tired because Heavenly Father didn't want us to sleep or if it was because we were paranoid and had just walked around the house for the last hour.  Well needless to say we are still alive.  Then next day we ran out and got new batteries, and since then we haven't had any problems.  It's nice to know that God is watching out for us.

The work is going well here in Clovis!  There is a lot of potential here and I'm excited to see what happens in the near future!  I love you all so much!  Thank you for your prayers and your letters!  It means a lot!  Hope all is going well!

Love Always Sister Tracy

Jun 9, 2011

June 9, 2011 Letter

Well things are going good here in Clovis.  We have just been staying really busy.  I'm still trying to remember all of the people here.  It's hard to remember everyone, and where they live, and all their stories.  But I'm getting there.  This week we were able to drive down to Roswell for interviews with President Robison.  It was really sad, because this is the last meeting that we will have with him.  He is being released at the end of this month.  It will be weird getting a new mission president.  Our new presidents name is President Augustin.  He is from Utah, and from what I've heard, he is really great!  There are lots of big changes coming soon here, but it will be good! 

I absolutely love it out here!  I learn something new everyday.  Today for example I was reading in Alma.  He is talking to each of his sons and trying to teach them.  It is amazing to me what a great example he is of how to be a parent.  I've noticed that he talks differently to each of his children.  They each are different and so therefore, they each need to be taught and loved differently.  It's amazing how the Book of Mormon can teach you about everything in life!  Not just about Jesus Christ, but about how to live and raise your family.  The Book of Mormon really does answer so many questions!  In fact, it can answer all questions!   I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!  It's great!

Well I hope you all know how much I love you!  I miss you and you are all in my prayers!  I hope everything is going well back home!   Hope to hear from you all soon!

Love always,

Sister Tracy

Jun 3, 2011

June 2, 2011 Letter

Wow!!!  So we've had some crazy changes since I talked to you last week!!!   I am officially no longer in Roswell, New Mexico.   We had transfers on Tuesday and I got moved to Clovis, New Mexico.  It's a pretty big area. We cover three cities in New Mexico and two in Texas.  It's a huge ward, but over half are inactive so they can't split the ward.  So far I like it here a lot.  It's a lot more humid then it was in Roswell, but not too bad.  I haven't really met tons of people yet, but from what I've heard they are all really great!  My new companions name is Samantha Peavler.  She is from Provo, UT.  She is really cute and funny!  I'll have to send some pictures.  I'm sure we will have lots of fun and even more success here!!!  One thing that is crazy about Clovis is that the members feed us like crazy!!  Ha Ha Yesterday we had TWO dinner appointments.  We also have a dinner appointment every night for the next two weeks.  We also have lunches scheduled. And a few nights where we have two dinners! Ha Ha Ha It's so crazy!!  But if it gets us in to teach, I guess I'll be willing to gain a pound or two.  Ha Ha   So something else about Clovis is that it is the number one baptizing area in the whole mission, which is pretty sweet.  I'm so excited to get to know the area better.

Well Here is my new address:

2100 Mitchell #30
Clovis, New Mexico 88101

Well I don't really have anything else to share about the new area, other then I love it!  Ha It's only been two days, but I can tell it will be a good transfer.  Well I love ya a lot lot!  Hope everything is going well!  Talk to you all soon.

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

May 30, 2011

May 26, 2011 Letter

Well I don't have tons of exciting news to share with you this week.  It has definitely been a long one!  Each month we are allotted a certain amount of miles.  Well this month we look a trip to Lubbock, which used up a lot of our miles.  Well we had used up all of our miles last Friday.  So needless to say we have been on our bikes all day, everyday.  It's pretty hot, but it's okay.  I actually really like to bike.  Some times it can get tricky in a skirt, but we usually do okay. It also helps keep us in shape.

Well this is the last week of the transfer. It's crazy how fast time is flying by.  I only get to serve for 13 transfers so I only have like 9 left!  It's really stressing me out.  Both of my companions right now go home next transfer and so they are stressed out like crazy!  Neither of them want to go home, and I think their anxiety is starting to wear off on me.  I still have over a year, but I can tell that I don't think I will ever be ready to leave.  Well...needless to say, this could be my last week here in Roswell.  I'll let you know next Thursday where I am.

This weekend we are hoping to have a baptism with Mimi Reyes.  She had to go out of town unexpectedly and so she hasn't been interviewed yet.  We haven't even been able to get a hold of her.  Right now our fingers are just crossed hoping that it can go through this weekend so that we can all still be here to watch it happen.

Well the work has been going good so far!   I just love it tons.  Thanks for all the letters and packages.  I miss you tons and can't wait to hear back from you!  Hope all is going well!!!

Love Always

Sister Tracy

May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011 Letter

Holy Cow!!!!  I can't believe it's already the end of may.  The year is half way over already!

So not tons of things have happened this week.  Just small little moments.  But all at the same time, each small moment is really just a miracle in our eyes.  One big thing that we saw this week was in an appointment with Daniel Mediola.  We have been teaching him for about two and a half weeks, and he is just AWESOME!!!   Since we met him a few weeks ago he has already read to Jacob!  We can barely get our investigators to read the introduction, let alone half of the book of Mormon. But he has just been cruising along.  He has also been praying a lot.  He hasn't gotten a for sure answer but he knows that something about it is really just pushing him to keep pursuing it.  Anyway, this week was going to be an intense one for us, because we were going to be teaching him the word of wisdom.  We were nervous because his house always smells really smoky.  Well both of my companions were determined that he was the smoker, but I just wasn't so sure.  All week I have been praying that Daniel didn't smoke, and then yesterday when we taught him, turns out he doesn't!!!  When he told us that he had quit years ago, you could just see how happy all three of us were!!  He also quit drinking all alcohol ten years ago.  The only thing he would have a problem with is coffee, and he says he doesn't even like it very much. He just drinks it cuz it's there.  It's amazing how the lord with prepare his children long before they ever receive the gospel their lives.

This week I was also talking with one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Rose, at District Meeting.  We started talking about Lavell Edwards.  We were talking about how he was a really well known coach because of his ability to win.  Something that he said has really hit me hard.  "We don't win games on Saturday.  We win games Monday through Friday." --Lavell Edwards
How true is this quote!?!   I think a lot of times we just focus on the "big day."  Whether it be in sports, or a wedding day, or just some other even in our lives.  But what we forget about is those other days that lead up to it.  We HAVE to be preparing ourselves on the rest of those days in order to be ready for the day that really counts.  Lavell Edswards told them, without the proper practice and training throughout the week, they would never be ready on Saturday to win the game.  I hope that we can all remember how important those little days are.  Remember to read your scriptures and to constantly pray.  Because when those winds come to blow us over, we have to be prepared in order to not fall over.

I love you all so much!  I'm so thankful for all of the support and love you have shown me.  I hope everything is going well back home! 

Love Always,

May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011 Letter

Okay so I don't really have a ton of news this week.  Everything has been going really well.  We had Zone Conference, so that was a of fun. I love it because I always learn so much!  It was kind-of nerve racking though, because president had me sit in front of everyone and had me teach by myself for a second.  It was stressful but just what I needed.  I really like Zone Conferences.  Other big news for this week, we re-set the date with the Reyes Sisters, Mimi and Neira.  They are set to get baptized on May 28th. Mimi is a for sure, and Neira is a little unsure.  Just pray a lot for both of them that it can go through.  Well that's about all that I have for this week.  The work is going great!!  I absolutely love it out here.  I'm so thankful for all of the support that I have gotten from friends and family!  You are all the best!  I love and miss ya tons!

Love Forever,

Sister Tracy

May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011 Letter

So this week has been good so far.  Today is Wednesday and we totally are driving to Lubbock, TX in a few hours to go to the temple!!!   I am so excited!  Really you don't realize how much you miss the temple, until you can't go there any more.  That is one thing that I miss so much about home.  I loved going to the temple each week with some of my very best friends.  There is nothing cooler then being in the house of the Lord with the people that you love the very most!!!  I know that tonight will be so cool, going to the temple in Lubbock.  I just can't even wait!  YAY!!!   I would tell everyone who doesn't have a recommend yet, that they do everything they possibly can to get one.  It will change your life more then you could ever imagine!!!!

I'm also excited for tomorrow.  We have a big leadership training meeting with all the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and all the sisters.  I always love going because I learn so much.  I swear sometimes it feels like I am learning more then anyone else that I teach. But i Just love it!  I think that is what life is all about, Learning!!!   Well I don't have much more time, but I hope you know that I love you all so much!!  I love your letters, they mean so much to me!!   I hope you know that I pray and think about you often!!  Can't wait to talk to you on Mothers Day!

Love Always

Sister Tracy

Apr 28, 2011

April 28, 2011 Letter

So things have been going really well here in Roswell.  Like I said last week we are now in a three-some.  Sister Sainsbury, Sister Robinson and myself are just having some amazing experiences here.  We are starting to find so many new investigators and we are trying to set some baptismal dates with quite a few of them.  One of the most amazing things about our new investigators is that they have almost all come from member referrals.  It's amazing how much easier the work can become when you have the support of the members.  I love that we have such a mission-minded ward.  Everyone is just so willing to come teaching with us, helping to fellowship those around us, and just help to find those that are ready to hear the gospel.  It's just amazing!! 

One thing that I have really learned a lot about since Sister Sainsbury got here is about prayer!  I mean, I've always known how important prayer can be...but she has really helped me to see how much we really need it.  As missionaries we pray ALL the TIME!!!  Ha Ha We pray in the morning, at meals, before study, after study, before companionship study, after companionship study, before and every time we leave the house, before bed, etc....  So to me, I felt like we were already praying a lot.  Little did I know, you can always pray more.  One of the cool experiences that we had this week with prayer had to do with one of our new investigators Daniel M.  He is in is 50's and we just weren't really sure how committed he was to his appointments.  We figured we would give him the benefit of the doubt.  So on our way home for the night we stopped and Brother Chamber's home (he's a member)  and asked if he would be willing to come to Daniels appointment with us the next day.  Brother Chambers explained to us that him and his wife would be going out of town that next morning and wouldn't be able to make it.  We said that we would just try to catch him for a different time.  Well then we continued throughout the night.  When we finished with our next appointment we looked at our phone and we had a message.  It was from Brother Chambers, he told us that him and his wife would postpone their vacation so that he could come with us.  We were just at a stand still.  We didnt know what to do.  On one hand we really would love someone to come to the appointment, and Brother Chambers would be the perfect fellowship.  But on the other had we weren't sure how reliable Daniel would be, and we wouldn't want Brother Chambers to cancel his vacation for the appointment to just fall through.  After sitting their debating with each other for about ten minutes, Sister Sainsbury suggested that we pray about it.  For a second I hesitated, because I didn't want to be the crazy intense kind of missionary who prays for EVERY SINGLE DECISION.  but then I had to ask my self..."Sister Tracy, why are you here? Who are you serving?  and why would you not be willing to pray for something so simple?"  I realized that my pride was getting in the way of the Lords work. That we could only gain from praying to know what to do.  So, we parked on the side of the road and prayed to know what to do.  After the prayer we all just sat in silence trying to think and listen for those answers, that we knew could come.  Almost in unison Sister Sainsbury and I said, "I feel good about it!"  We called and confirmed the appointment with Brother Chambers.  The next day we all met up at Daniels house, and not only had he kept his commitment to be at the appointment, but he had also read all of 1 Nephi and payed to know that it was true!!!  He said he loved  it and couldn't get enough! It also turns out that Brother Chambers was even more perfect for Daniel then we could have ever imagined!!  They had so much in common and Brother Chambers was able to share is conversion story, and how it was the book of mormon that helped him make the decision. It is amazing to see how the Lord will provide the way.  Sometimes we just need to have the faith and then be willing to pray to know where to go and how to serve.  It was a little thing, but all of us saw it as the miracle that it was!

I love it here on my mission.  I love seeing those little miracles every single day!  I am so thankful for the gospel in my life!   I know this is right where I need to be!  I miss you all and love you tons!  I can't wait to call home and talk to you all next week!!

Love Ya Forever,

Sister Tracy!

Apr 21, 2011

April 21, 2011 - Letter

I had my first baptism this week.    Chery Sales got baptized on April 16!  I have never seen anyone more happy!  It's amazing to see how far she has come.  I just love missionary work!  The other baptism we had didn't go through, but we are still working with Daniel.  Also we have a date set for the two sisters Neira and Mimi.  There date is set for the 30th, but it is also prom day so we might end up pushing it back for the next week.

I still can't believe how fast time flys by!  It's already the start of my third transfer.  I was possitive that I was getting transfered.  I had over heard the zone leaders talking about it and everything.  Well guess what...I'm staying in Roswell for at least another 6 weeks!! :)  and to top it off we got a third companion!!  Her name is Sister Sainsbury!  She is from Murry, Utah and is so funny.  Both her and Sister Robinson were MTC companions.  So now they are reunied.  They both go home in three months.  So who knowns what wil happen.  They just might keep me here forever so I can show the new sisters that come to roswell the area.

well our big focus in the mission right now is faith!!!  The average amount of baptisms a month here is 40.  We have never beat 42.  Well President Robison had a conference with some of the 70, and twelve apostles. Elder Ballard told him that if we had faith we could baptize in the upper 80s!!!!  So we all fasted as a mission last week so that we could start working towards that goal.  In the next month we want to hit 50!  It would be a mission high.  One thing that really stuck out to me is something that President told us on a conference call.  He said, "Hope is the faith that if we act now miracles will occur!"  What a true statement!  I know that if we can all just build our faith, miracles really will occur in our lives!  I love this gospel so much.  It has changed my life in so many different ways.  I am thankful for the chance that I have been given to serve a mission!  I miss and love you all so much!

Love Forever,

Sister Tracy

Apr 17, 2011

April 14, 2011 Letter

It's crazy how fast time flies by!!!  This is the last week of our transfers!  I will know on Monday (18th) if I am staying or leaving.  I really hope I stay here, but I feel like I might end up being transfered.  I know that no matter where I go though it will be awesome.  So far we haven't had any baptisms, but Cheryl Sales gets baptized on Saturday!!!  I am so excited for her!!!  She went out of town this week and comes come tonight.  So yesterday my companion and I went and Chalked her entire driveway saying things like, "We Love You!" and "You're gettin' baptized!"  Ha Ha It was really fun!  Also we were supposed to have another baptism with Daniel Juarez on Sunday, but some things have come up and so we had to push it back a week or so.  Hopefully it will all workout soon.  We also have two dates set with two sisters, Neira and Mimi.  They are 16 and 17 years-old.  It's so weird cause when we go over there we all just laugh and have a good time.  I feel like I'm teaching Sammy!  It makes me miss her a lot.  But anyway tons of exciting things have been happening this week!  We have been so busy and have been riding our bikes so much!!!  I swear, when I get home I'm signing up for a bike marathon! Ha Ha Ha

Well today was a really fun Pday.  We went to the Carlsbad Caverns.  It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world.  We had a member who asked if he could take us down there.  But once we were there we hiked 750 feet down into the ground.  It was pretty awesome. One if the things that the Carlsbad Caverns are know for are the bats!!  CREEPY; I KNOW RIGHT!!!!  Well we didn't hike into the "bat cave" cuz they have it all blocked off.  But they were definitely in there.  Everynight people from all over come and sit in this little ampitheater, and at dusk thousands of bats leave the cave.  So the bats are just right there by your head.  It seems pretty creepy to me!  Not my idea of fun, but it definitely was interesting to learn about.  I will have to send you guys a picture of it!  It's so crazy!!!  So anyway that's pretty much what we did all day today.  It took two hours to drive there, then three hours to hike it.  If you are ever in the area you should definitely go!  It's definitely worth seeing!

I'm not sure what else is really new around here....Just working hard and having fun.  We have met a few crazy people lately, but that's not really news, cuz that happens all the time here in Roswell. Ha Ha Ha

So I guess I never really told you about our apartment, but It's really nice.  It is more like a little town home.  We have a garage, and two rooms, a pretty big kitchen and living room.  It's also in a really nice area!!

Conference was great I loved it and took tons of notes.

Well I have to run, but I will write home soon! Love you guys!!!

Sister Tracy

Apr 7, 2011

April 7, 2011 Letter

Well this week has just been amazing!  One thing that my companion and I were really struggling with was finding new investigators.  Well we decided to fast as a companionship so that we could find people to teach.  We were driving along a super deserted road and just pulled over and prayed right there, and then to start our fast.  Well that was on Monday and since then we have had six new investigators!!  I LOVE FASTING!!  Even those that we were already teaching have started to progress so much!!!  We have two baptisms that should be going through next Saturday and two for April 30th.  They have all been coming to church. And two of the girls we taught even came to mutual!  Oh man!  It has just been so great!!!  It's starting to get really hot here, and we have been on our bikes a ton, but it has been such a blessing because we get to talk to more people and find new investigators!  I'm so thankful that I am able to serve a mission!  It really doesn't matter where you are called because the gospel is needed everywhere!  I am thankful for all of your prayers and support!  I love the letters that I get from all of you!!  I hope all is well.  I love and miss ya tons!

Love Always!

Sister Tracy

Apr 2, 2011

March 31, 2011 Letter

WOW!!!   I can't believe it's already April. (or at least, almost April!)  Time sure does just fly by!!!  So far I have loved every single second of my experience here!  We have had our share of bad and good times, but I wouldn't trade a second of it!  I know I sound like a broken record but I know this is exactly where I need to be right now!!   It's crazy how the Lord knows exactly what we need, ever before we ever realize it!
This last week has been really good!  I've gotten a new sense of enthusiasm!!  My companion and I have set some awesome goals and we are just not letting anything get us down!  It's amazing having someone to lean on during the good and bad times.  We are able to support and encourage each other in everything we do!  I'm so thankful for Sister Robinson!  I don't know how I'd do it without her!   This week was big of coarse just because we finally got a house!!  We where officially homeless for a month, but we were finally able to move into our new apartment last Friday!!!  It feels so great to finally be able to settle down and get back on track!  It is a pretty big place.  Two bedrooms and a big living room!  We even have a garage!  It is really nice, and we just don't even know what to do with all of the space! :)

Last Pday we went to the Roswell Zoo!  It wasn't the best ever but for how small Roswell is, I was pretty impressed! Ha Ha I LOVE THE ZOO!!  It just felt like we were little kids again running around and getting all excited about the monkeys and Leopards!!!!

We were also able to start teaching a few new families this week!  One of our new investigators names is Kaylee.  She is about to turn 9, and her grandparents really want her to get baptized!  I got to go to primary with her last Sunday and it was so much fun!  I love little kids so much!  They are just innocent and have such strong desires to do what is right!  They all are just trying so hard to do what is right!  Our world with be so much better if we would all just try to be more like them!

This week was just great for two reasons!  First off, Cheryl Sales got interviewed for her baptismal date and she is good to go!!! :) She has gone over two weeks without smoking now and is so excited to get baptized!!  Words just can't describe how much I love this Woman!!!   I can't wait for her to be baptized!  Her original date was set for the 9th, but her whole family really wants to come.  They aren't all members and so we are so excited that they are all so supportive of her.  Anyway, they are going out of town that day, so we have to push it back a week, but we are still so excited for her!!!!  The second amazing thing that happened was that I set a baptismal date!  So far Sister Robinson has been the one to ask everyone, but last Friday I set one with a boy named Daniel.  It's the first one I've done all on my own!!! :)  He came to church last week and said he just loved it!  He has been reading a ton from the Book of Mormon and says he knows it's true.  He will tell us all these stories about the people who feed him anti about the church and how he totally defends us, and says he knows their comments are so dumb and they have no clue what they are talking about! Ha Ha I'm so excited for him.  We also set his date for the 16th.  We are so excited for both of them!  The work is really starting to come along.  It's amazing how the Lord blesses us when we start to be more obedient and really try to strengthen of faith in finding.

In Alma 21, in the Book of Mormon, it talks about Aaron and his brethren.  They go forth to teach the gospel to the Amalekites.  They are then imprisoned.  The people have rejected their words, and yet they don't loose their faith.  It says that they suffered many things, but the second they got out they went straight back into the city and began preaching!  They knew how important it was, and so nothing could stop them! Eventually many people listened to them and many believed on their words.  I think many times that's how life is. We try to do what is right and then the bad comes.  But during those bad times we can not loose our faith!  If we just keep persevering God will eventually bless us and we can have great success in our lives!  I love you all so much!  I pray for you and wish you all the best!  Don't give up and keep going!  I know the Lord strengthens us in our adversities!


Sister Tracy