Mar 28, 2011

March 24, 2011 Letter

So today has been my official two month mark of being in the field!!!  It's so crazy to even think about!!!  Just 16 more months to go! Ha Ha  This week has been good so far.  Some days were kind of slow but some days were just great!  We didn't end up having a baptism this last weekend.  She got really sick and so she hasn't been coming to church.  Seems like we are going to have to hold off on her for a while.  But on a better note we set three baptismal dates on Sunday!!!  Can you say best day ever!!!!

The first two dates are with a set of sisters, Mimi and Neira.  They are both in high school and remind me of Samantha back home.  We set their date for April 16, 2011.  They both know that this church is true and want to get baptized. The only tricky thing is getting them to church because they work and so they don't know if they can get it off.  We'll just have to keep praying for them!

The second date we set is with Cheryl Sales!  I seriously love this woman so much!  She has a kind of crazy story.  In the 70's she got baptized, but couldn't remember ever getting confirmed.  Well because they have to go hand in hand, if you're not confirmed after baptism you have to then be re-baptized.  So we searched and searched the records for her but she isn't there.  So we set a date for her to get baptized on April 9!  Hope's Birthday!!! :)  She has been smoking for the last 40 years, so we had to help her quit smoking.  Her last cigarette was last Wednesday when we re-taught her about the word of wisdom!  Since then she hasn't had even one!  We have seen her everyday since then and you can just see how much happier each day that we go see her!  Her family is so supportive and we have all become so close with all of them!  I am just so excited about her baptism.  Most likely she will be the first person who I'll get to see get baptized.

Other then that the work is just coming right along. We have been riding our bikes a lot.  I'm starting to get pretty tan! :)  Summer is definitely on it's way!  I am so excited for Conference which is coming up here very quickly!  There is just something about conference that really touches my heart!!  I hope all of you take the time out of your weekend to listen to the prophet's counsel!  I know that what they have to say can really touch our lives!!!  I hope you know that I love you all so much and miss ya!  I miss ya, but the mission is the best thing I think I ever could have chosen to do!  I wouldn't give up this experience for anything or anyone!  I know that God blesses us for doing what he asks of us!  Know that I pray for you everyday!

Sister Tracy

Mar 22, 2011

Melinda's Letter - March 17, 2011


I'm with Mitch, when he says time really is just flying by.  It's weird to think that we are going to be calling home to talk to you in just a month and a half.  WEIRD!!  Time isn't really a concept out here sometimes.

This last week has been kind of slow.  So we are still homeless! :(  We have been homeless for three weeks now, and have just been skipping from place to place.  Hopefully we will have a place to live by next week!!!  Last Wednesday we stayed with a family who ended up being really sick.  Well to say the least both my companion and I also got really sick!  We were down for almost four days.  It is no fun being sick, especially when you aren't even at your own house!  Plus you feel bad, because you don't want to get the members sick.  We would have stayed with the original family that got us sick, but because of how old they are, they ended up being hospitalized because of how sick they were.  But, we are all feeling better now!

It has been getting pretty hot here in Roswell!!!  It's averaged about 85 everyday, but because it is so dry it feels hotter then that.  I have some pretty sick shoe tan lines though!!  They are awesome!  I will have to send you guys a picture soon!

One of the coolest experience for me this week was going to visit one of our less active members in the hospital.  It's weird how it all fell into place...So we had planned out our whole day the night before.  We had planned to go and visit a lady named Donna Foster at 6 and another lady named Carol Burnette at seven.  We had been trying to see Carol Burnette for the last couple days, and had had no success.  So anyways we went to see Donna at six.  When we got there she was already in bed, and said she was too tired to talk.  We asked her if there was anything we could do to help her out and she said, "Yes, could you please go visit my mother Carol Burnette.  She is at the hospital because she is having some issues breathing."  1st off...we had no idea they were related, and 2nd she was someone we had been feeling like we needed to go visit but couldn't get a hold of.  It was amazing that we had come to the right place to find out how to find her.  We then called a member from the ward and asked if she wanted to come with us.  Sister Jackson agreed, and we met at the hospital a few minutes later.  We walked up to the Carol's room, and to our dismay saw that she was sleeping.  At that moment I looked over at the bed next to Carol and saw another old woman.  I just had the strongest feeling that i needed to talk to her instead.  I just went over and started talking. I think my companion must have thought me to be half crazy as I started talking to some sick stranger.  Well comes to find out, this older woman, Rose, had been in the hospital for weeks and had had no visitors at all.  My heart just hurt for her.  We sat and talked with her for a bit.  You could see the light coming back to her face as she talked to people and realized that she was not forgotten and that people did care about her.  Sister Jackson then told her that she would come back the next day and visit.  I know that it was inspiration to bring Sister Jackson, because she needed to be there for that other lady.  We finally said our goodbyes and left the room. We didn't even make it half way down the hall when I said, we need to go back and sing to her.  I don't know why I would even feel that way, because I don't really care to sing.  I just felt like we needed to.  We went back to Rose's room and sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives."   I don't know if our singing helped anyone else, but I know that It made my testimony grow, and it touched my heart.  As we sang I looked around and realized that everyone in that hospital was going through some kind of hard time.   Sickness and Death surrounded us everywhere.  Even in the world outside sickness and death surround us with the disasters that have struck Japan and many other places.  Many people are in anguish and feel alone. Lives are broken.  As I sang the words, "He lives"  It all just clicked.  Sometimes we can't explain why certain things happen in life.  We don't know why good people get sick, die, and are left alone.  But that is where faith comes in.  HE LIVES, and because of that we truly can sing!  Because he lives everything will eventually fall into place!  He truly knows what we are experiencing and because of that we are never alone!!!!

"He lives to silence all my fears, he lives to wipe away my tears, he lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart.  He lives and grants me daily breath, he lives and I shall conquer death, he lives my mansion to prepare.  He lives to bring me safely there.  He lives!  All glory to his name!  He lives, my Savior, still the same. Oh, Sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!""

He does live!  I know this with all my heart!!  I know he loves each and everyone of us!!  Never forget that he is there and is helping us in every aspect of life. He will never leave us comfortless!  I am so thankful for the Atonement of my Savior.  I can't wait for the day when I can fall and his feet and thank him.  My heart is so full of love for the sacrifice that he made for me!!  I love him and can never forget what he has done for me!

There are some things that I would suggest for all of you to watch!!!!  I want you to go and watch the "Mormon Messages"  You can find them on  They are all amazing but the one I really want you to look up is, "Hope ya Know, We had a Hard Time" by Elder Quentin L. Cook.    This message just reminds us that we are not alone.  Because of his atonement eventually things will work out and that he is still with us through all of hardships, no matter what they may be!

I love you all so much!!  You are still in my prayers!  I'm so thankful for the letters and packages I've received these last few weeks!  They are something that I really look forward too, and really brighten my day!  I miss ya tons!  And hope all is well!!!

Love Always,

Sister Tracy

Mar 11, 2011

March 10, 2011 - Letter

Just for an update on the shooting, the man didn't die.  He is still in the hospital but he is doing much better now!  They still haven't caught the people who did it, but they know who they are.  It's still crazy to think all of that happened.  It's all just like a dream now...

This week has been good so far.  It was transfers this week.  I'm staying in Roswell!!! :)  It's weird to think that I'm already in my second transfer.  My whole mission consists of 13 transfers.  Just so you know each transfer is 6 weeks.  So only like 12 more to go! Ha Ha  Time really will just fly by.  We have been homeless for almost two weeks now.  It is exhausting moving from member to members house.  We have been living out of our suitcases and out of our cars since the shooting.  We stay with a member for about two days then they have us move.  Sister Robinson and I have decided that we are going to start rating the members homes and giving out awards. Ha Ha Best Bed, goes to the Jacksons, best Shower Pressure goes to the Prices, Best snack stash goes to the Eckstiens ect..  I have loved being with the members though. They are all just so charitable and ready to help us at a moments notice. We have been looking for a new apartment but havent really had any luck so far.  Hopefully we can find something soon, so that we can get back into our regular routine.

This week we re-set the date with Marie Ramos for March 26th.  She missed church on Sunday so we had to push it back so she could become more prepared for baptism.  We also set a date with a boy names Daniel!!  YAY!!  He is 20 years old.  We have been teaching him and his family.  The parents aren't too interested but they are okay with us teaching their children.  There is daniel who is 20, Desiree who's 12, and Ruby who is 8. Last night everyone was gone but daniel, so we just taught him.  We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation and the different Kingdoms.  He asked us if he had to get baptized to make it to the Celestial Kingdom.  We just kind of laughed and said Yes.  He then through his hands over is head and yelled, "Oh NO!  I need to get baptized immediately then!" Ha Ha It's amazing to see how the gospel really can change lives. I feel like it is such a blessing to see these people change right infront of you.  You just know that their lives will never be the same and that they will be so blessed because of this new knowledge in their lives.

Last Sunday Sister Robinson and I taught the young women.  We talked about how they needed to set goals and figure out who they were.  We talked about what we had done to get to where we are now. As I was preparing for this lesson, it made me think of the song, "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock."  We here about how the man on the rock built his home on that sure foundation and so when those tempests came he stood still.  But that's just it...He BUILT his house!  He didn't just idoly stand on top of the rock watching the sunsets or watching the people below,  He actively BUILT his house.  I think many times in life we make that tough journey to the top of the rock, but once we are there we become comfortable and then just sit and wait. We wait...thinking that we will be okay when those storms come.  That surely isn't the case.  We all must actively be building our houses, our testimonies, our faith on that rock.  It takes effort to build it, but building is what we must do to survie those whirly tempests.  Building isn't something that happens over night.  It is a slow process.  It is those small little moments that may seem trivial and pointless at the time, that in the end, built us up the most.  I pray that all of us can try to do a little more to build up our own testimonies.  That when those storms come, that there will be no doubt that we will stand firm.  I know that as we do the things we are asked, like reading and praying, going to the temple with faith, that our lives will be blessed. That God will watch over us and carry us through.  I love you all so much!

Sister Tracy

Mar 3, 2011

March 3, 2011 Letter

This week has been one of the most intense weeks of my whole life!!!!

It all started on Friday.  We had just finished with our last appointment and got home around 9:20. As we were getting out of the car we heard two gun shots!!!  Sister Robinson and I jumped back into the car and just looked at each other!  We were both shocked and scared!  I started yelling, "what should I do?  I'm calling 911 okay?!  I'm going to call!?!"  We started getting back out of the car and heard some man yelling "I'm dying!  I'm dying!  Help me!!!"  We were so confused on what was going on we jumped back into the car and i just kept saying "Should I call, I'm going to call.Should I call?"  We once again got out of the car and as we did sister Robinson turned around and saw two people running away!  We then run through the breeze way of our apartments to the alley way behind our house.  As we came to the other side we met up with two men from the other apartment complex, they were already on the phone with 911 so I hung up the phone.  We could still here the man yelling for help!  I seriously was so scared!!  It was like a bad movie!  One of the men ran up the stairs and yelled, "There is blood everywhere!"  Not really thinking the rest of us sprinted up the stairs. by this point the man on the phone was freaking out so Sis. Robinson grabbed the phone from him!  She started giving directions and explaining what was going on. As I reached the doorway, the first thing I saw was a huge pile of blood everywhere!!!  It was just like I was in one of those crime scene movies.  Blood really was everywhere and there was a streek of blood from where the man had crawled into the back room.  All i could think about was how on T.V shows they say you should never go into the house of a crime like that!  One of the other guys had already run in, and so I just started yelling instructions on how to help the guy.  I told him to keep the man coherent and to put a lot of pressure on his neck.  He had been shot twice in the groin and then his neck had been cut!  The cops got there pretty soon after that and they took the man to the hospital!  They took my companion and I to the police station!  I totally rode in the back of a cop car for the first time in my life!  We had to wait for hours for the detectives to finally get there.  They then took us into different rooms and questioned us.  It was like being on an episode of 24, but without the torture.  They finally let us leave around midnight.  Our mission president had been informed of what had happened and had arranged for us to stay with the bishop for the night.  I'm so thankful that we weren't hurt in this whole process and that we were out of the way of the killers as they ran away from the house!

The rest of this week has been pretty crazy just because of that whole thing!  They haven't caught the people who did it yet and so they don't want us to go home.  We have been staying with a family here in Roswell until they can find us a new apartment!  So if you send me any letters send them to my Lubbock mission office:

Sentry III Plaza
5214 68th St. Ste 202
Lubbock, Texas 79424

They can forward them to me.  Anyways that whole experience has seemed to change the rest of the week!  Other cool things happened but nothing that tops that!  I Hope everything is going well with everyone!  I'd love to get some letters from the little kids!  I haven't really heard from them in a while!  I sure hope everything is going well!!!

Besides this crazy stuff!!  We have been able to meet one new family!  The parents aren't very interested, but they are okay with us teaching their kids. The whole neighborhood gathers when we come. Its kind of funny.  There is Daniel (20), Desrai (14), and Ruby (8). They are all really interested.  On top of it Daniels friend Silveo (18) is really interested!!!  He told us that he really wanted to know if there was a god and as soon as he did he would be baptized that same day!  I'm really excited for him.  We also teach their neighbor Adreinne (11). He's really interested, but i'm not sure if his parents would be okay with him getting baptized.  It's really cool to be teaching pretty much a whole street!  I am excited to see what comes of it and I will keep you all updated!

This week Carlynn's dog had puppies!!!  We got to see them the day they were born!!  They are just so stinkin cute!!  Hope would love them!  They are half Shitzo and half something else that looks like a shitzo! ha ha i forget what it's called.  But they are just so tiny and cute!

I am excited for this next week!  We are hoping to set a date with another family!  The mom is a member but her two girls aren't.  I'll let you know how it goes!  This is also the last week for transfers!  I can't believe how fast time flies!  I will let you know if they transfer me or not next Wednesday!  I will be really sad if they move me!  Even through all the crazy stuff, I really love the people here!  i definitely don't want to go!  Oh well, I know The Lord knows whats best for me...Just know I  miss ya all tons!!!  I know your prayers have kept me safe this week!  I love you tons and miss ya!  Have a good week and I'll talk to you soon!


Sister Tracy