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