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Saturday, February 28, 2015

16-Month Mark - Only 2 months to go! (02/23/2015)

Holo Madre!
I can't believe it is the end of February!! I am totally gonna freak when March 1st comes along. Today is my 16 month mark, so I am already freaking a little bit. It feels like I just got here in Oregon and yet I feel so much time has gone by as well. I have no idea how I'm gonna handle being home with no set schedule. Here is the District I was in before this last transfer, with the exception of the guy in the vest. 
Of course, me and Sisters Burrell and Chalfant (lower left). The one kneeling right above me is our District Leader. Above him is his previous companion who is now home. The other two are the Waldport Elders and our Senior Missionary couple, the Deals.
So, I can't seem to find the Pancit recipe. Could you resend it to me? I will be making it for the Relief Society birthday party in March. I'll just do a half-batch though, since the last time I made it it was just gigantic and no one has a pan big enough.
Here are a bunch of pictures from the Tide Pools last p-day. It was all pretty much on the shore. We got to go at low tide and it was totally perfect. Since it was President's Day, we got to get in for free!!! It was a great, long walk up too, since we had to walk across treacherous cobblestones to get to them. Talk about unsure footing.
The green things are the Anemone. We weren't allowed to touch the Starfish since they are recovering from a mysterious disease they had back in June of last year. 
No oysters, but we did see a lot of mussels. There were entire beds of them everywhere that we were advised not to step on. Totally not allowed to touch them or pick them up. You'd be literally tearing them out of their home and possibly body if you're not careful. 
The only thing we were allowed to take out of the area was drift wood, which I have a huge armful of now to make something super cool ;)  Not sure yet who I'll give it to yet though. I did make something for Mara and Josh that I'll be sending today hopefully. I got a 'Living Christ' and put it in a bigger frame. Then, around the edges I cut out different pictures/scenes with Jesus and put them around the border. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself ;) I'll take a picture of it and send it to you later so you can see it. And you can tell Jimbo that I got him a birthday present that I'll be sending but he isn't to open it until his birthday hehehe ;)
Seals and tons of birds hangin' out on a little rock island thing we couldn't get to.
And here are some super cool pictures that any one missionary who comes to the coast has to get :)
Photo on the left is a bed of mussels.
I got a Valentine's package full of awesome chocolates and letters from Jay and Kim and the kids. Please tell them Thank you from me :)
Hahaha (no sugar allowed in the house) sounds ok to me as long as I get to have my Foo Chow chinese food when I get home. I am dying for Foo Chow and Roma's. And even more for my bookshelf. I am just going to stare at my books for a while when I get home and then take them off the shelf, put them on my bed and sleep with them. They've been oh so neglected ;)
<Mom's response to Sister Duenas: "So, you want me to go move your books around for you? Then they won't feel so neglected......muwahahaha <evil laugh> ;)   >
AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! DON'T YOU TOUCH MY BABIES!!!!  unless you are going to dust them of course, then feel free :)    I WILL know if they are out of order :(
What?! Movies I understand going without, but how have you lived without Foo Chow for 16 months?? I had to live without any good chinese food for a year until I got to Central Point. Now I'm in heaven with 5 chinese restaurants pretty close by. Seriously, Newport is amazing and I would totally consider living here permanently.
This is a new project I am doing. I've learned how to crochet and I am making a washcloth for whoever what's it :) 
I've been super crafty lately...that's just scary. I'm crocheting, made the 'Living Christ' frame thing, made a Plan of Salvation out of felt, made a Restoration tower out of Jenga blocks, and now I have my favorite "Armor of God" man to substitute for "Hangman". Crafts are addicting once you get into them. Scary, scary....hahaha. Seriously, I have soooo many visuals for nearly any kind of lesson now it isn't even funny. They are all pretty cool though. I'm proud of them :)
ADIOS! Love you too!!
xoxoxoxoooo.............and back <3

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Homework - Study the Atonement and Resurrection (02/16/2015)

Holo Madre!
We get to go to the Portland Temple March 4th! So very excited!. I have written a letter for Jimbo in response to the letter he just sent me. Great letter, highlight of the day award :)  Tell Roger and Lynne I got their card as well, and the money. Please tell them that I said Thanks and that I can't wait to get back there to see everyone. Also got the chocolates and card from Gma Darling, yummy! and a card from the Collyers/Momma C. Tell everyone thanks for me. Tell Patty Mayonnaise I said HI as well!
Yes, We are still serving in the Food Bank and we might be helping out in the garden soon too.
Check this out! Lilian Lane is the north boundary on the coastal area of the Oregon Eugene Mission. It is at the tippy top of Depoe Bay. Technically if we stepped over it we'd still be okay and in our boundaries but if we went around the bend past it then we would be in Oregon Salem Mission territory.

The Alaskan senior couple is finally here in the OEM Mission Office. It'll be fun now that we have two sets of Christiansens in the office. We also got two Chinese sisters! Great things are going to happen in the OEM! Haven't met the Chinese Sisters yet since I'm out on the coast. We will be having a mission wide conference though with Elder Nielsen again on the 24th so I might get to meet them. Homework for the mission-wide conference is to study the resurrection and Atonement...oh darn ;)    Seriously one of the greatest subjects to focus on. Since it is the entire mission there's no telling if I'll have to talk or not. We all have to prepare a talk and I don't know how many will be asked to speak. 
Valentine's Day was just like any other day for the most part. We got some valentines from the young women and some 'mystery' white and pink tulips with chocolate covered strawberries from someone ;)  Thanks Mom! 
We had scheduled lessons for that day, but when our people remembered that it was Valentines Day they all cancelled on us. Such is mission life. So instead we went outside and street contacted since everyone was outside anyway enjoying the beautiful day. 
To end the day, we had the evening session of Stake Conference. Despite the holiday there was a good number of people present. It was a great session and Elder David Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy is an awesome speaker. He was someone you wanted to listen to, you could tell that really loves the people and you could just feel that the Spirit and him are good friends. The Stake Conference was a lot about councils; Ward councils, family councils and then down to the smallest husband and wife councils. It was great for the members to know that the bishopric and all the other auxiliaries always council together in keeping the ward unified and healthy. I think most people think that the bishop is always the one who makes all the decisions, but often it is really a group of people making decisions based on what's best for the ward or branch. Elder Evans also talked about forgiveness, both giving and receiving. He mentioned that when we confess to the Lord and have gone through the repentance process that, as it states in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord remembers them (our sins) no more. Of course you, I and many others already know that scripture well, but then he added this wonderful insight. Once we have repented and the Lord has forgiven us, virtue lost becomes virtue again. The lair becomes honest (in a way) again and all is set back into original place with a nice clean slate to instead make the right choices. Of course I couldn't remember what he said exactly so it's a paraphrase but you get the idea. The Atonement is a beautiful gift and I am grateful to be out and sharing it.
Love you! I'll make sure to get pictures at the tide pools.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Finish the Race Strong (02/09/2015)

Holo Madre, 
Yes I got the little package! I absolutely love the little Book of Mormon!! I have given it a name it is so adorable, it's name is Bomito. BoM = Book of Mormon and then -ito for little :)
We have been getting tons and tons of rain this past week, and today I think is the worst. I had to drive from Corvallis back to Newport this morning at 6:45am in the crazy sideways rain and impatient drivers. It wasn't bad, though I had stayed up with Sister Haugen (love her!) helping her pack and stuff til midnight last night and so I was really tired since we had to wake up at 5:30 the next day for transfers :) We all drove up to Corvallis so Sister Burrell could get to the transfer spot at 6:30 and we wouldn't have to wake up at 4am to get her there from Newport. We stayed with Sister Haugen and her PA companion Sister Geisler and had way too much fun talking all night long. She is going to Riverside Grants Pass, neighbor to my Missionary "birthplace" (first area of her mission) Redwood.
My companions wanted to see how long my hair could get. So, of course, that means they had to straighten it. I have very long hair right now :)
Last P-Day... laundry, eat, and wrote letters. A rare nice relaxing P-Day :). We hope to go to the tide pools next Monday since it says it'll be sunny. The low tide is at 4:30 pm so I'll make sure to get pictures to you the next Monday since I'll have already emailed.
Believe me. I am in hyper-drive trying to get everything done here before I go. There is work still needed to be done and 3 months is nothing. We had a specialized training this last week and those of us going home in May, June and July have been given a challenge. Since we are the last of the people who answered the call immediately after the change (aka. part of The Wave) we are part of history and we are to be finishing the race strong and not slowing down because we see the end of the tunnel. Missionaries leaving in the month of May (me!) have been challenged to get 2 baptisms before they leave, missionaries leaving in June - 3 baptisms, and missionaries leaving in July - 4 baptisms. We are all pretty excited about it and feel the spirit working within us. As soon as President issued the challenge I thought of certain people we needed to get more serious on working with. We have a great teaching pool but now we need to really light the spiritual fire under them. These last months are going to fly by and I just hope I'll be able to help Newport out in some way before I get to the chopping block and have to leave these wonderful people :)
Time to go grocery shopping now.
Love you,

Had a super fun time playing "Minute To Win It" game for Newport Ward activity.
There were five challenges that each team member had to complete. Our team placed a very close 2nd overall. 
1- Sail boat races; paper sail boat to blow around a "buoy" (rock) with a straw, most lap in the minute wins.
2- M&M Mover; suck up M&M with a straw and transfer it over into a cup at the other end of the table. I did this one and tied with another member, he one the second time. Though since he is a bagpipe player I feel like he cheated. Who would be able to beat that great lung capacity?
3- Penne Pick Up; spaghetti noodle in mouth to skewer a penne noodles and transfer it to the plate. No hands.
4- Cookie Face; move oreo cookie from forehead down to mouth just using your face muscles. Totally got it ;).
5- Stocking Smackdown; with a stocking that has a tennis ball stuffed in the end on your head you must knock over half filled water bottles on the ground. Super funny to watch.
M&M Challenge - part 1
M&M Challenge - part 2
Winners of the Oreo Cookie challenge