Grumpiness, Lots of Lessons, and the Heat

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Hi guys! This week Priel’s been struggling a bit with being grumpy, both because of the stress of her upcoming return home (two weeks!) and because of the heat. It’s been really annoyingly hot in Idaho this past week, which I can attest to — “like 106 degrees” Priel says. She’s not looking forward to having to pack up either — she’s got lots more stuff now than she did when she first arrived, gifts and things.

Tuesday they had district meeting. Wednesday, they spent a lot of time with Dixie, doing service. Priel adores Dixie. They also did some work trying to contact people. Thursday Sister Francies was sick, so they stayed home most the day. In the evening they went on splits with the ward mission leader, who the Shamrock bishop had talked to about previous issues. Priel really likes that bishop. Friday they did yard work service for an old less-active couple, and the heat had Priel sweating like mad — she says she soaked through her shirt. The couple will be dealing with some major surgeries soon, so the ward will be helping them out. Saturday they met with the ward mission leader for their other ward, and Priel says he’s a real go-getter and easy to work with. Sunday they just had meeting after meeting and collapsed into bed after.

In lessons this week: on Monday they had an FHE lesson with a less active family, and their little five-year-old girl rattled off the whole story of Korihor. She’s like a sponge, Priel says. Priel wishes she had more time to get to know these people.

On Tuesday, they had a lesson with Jon about the Restoration, and afterwards he agreed to be baptized! It’ll be hard because he’s got some issues in his life that mean he’ll need First Presidency approval first, but Priel believes in him. Wednesday, they taught Sheri about the Plan of Salvation. They invited her neighbor, a member of the church, over, and he was way helpful at teaching and bringing the Spirit. He’s a former Hell’s Angel and has come really far, and Priel says Sheri is too. She’s getting all kinds of important questions answered for herself through the scriptures. Friday they had a lesson with the Prescotts also about the Plan, and ditto with Jon on Saturday. Things are going well there.

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A Better Week

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Four weeks left, guys!!!!

Priel had a better time this week — she’s adjusted to the area and the area has adjusted to having sisters instead of elders. Monday they had a dart war, which Priel was super happy about — she says she’s “a boss” at them now. Also, “at the end, I was the only sister who was playing with the Elders because the other sisters were too busy flirting with a new missionary who is from French Canada. Sheesh.”

Oh my dear dear.

They had district meeting on Tuesday. Priel says, “Elder Stark, who is now AP, was at the meeting. I was really happy to see him, since he’s become one of my best friends, but he’s changed after becoming AP. He’s so serious now, and his “Starkle Sparkle” is gone. It makes me so sad when missionaries lose their personality once they go into a big leadership position!” My other missionary friend, Dalton, is zone leader now so I’m kinda hoping that’s not true for him, haha. The few letters I manage to get from him (the Brazil/US postal service is SO SLOW) don’t seem to be lacking personality.

It was a good meeting, though, and they did some teaching and meeting work, before having some drama with Relief Society: “Then we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off that night because our relief societies were having activities at the same time, so we had to run to both, and then the people in one ward got mad at us because we left early to go to the other activity. Seriously. People need to start acting like adults and learn to share us.” I’ve had trouble sharing Priel in the past, so I can’t totally blame them, myself. 😉

Wednesday they did some service for Dixie, who is a “dry Mormon” — would be a member but struggles with giving up wine. She’s called “the missionary mom” in their area and everyone loves her, including Priel, who cried at her for a little bit about not wanting to go home yet. Then they did some more proselyting.

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Slow Internet in a New Place

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I just got released from the hospital yesterday and things are kinda crazy, so I’m pasting the letter in this week. Thanks, guys!


Hello everyone!

First off, I want to say that the internet in the family history center is super slow. Second, I HAVE A NEW NEPHEW!!!!!! I can’t wait to squeeze him in a few months 🙂

This week was really kind of slow… we only have one progressing investigator, and I feel like we should have more considering how big the area is and how many people live here. But from what Sister T. told me, her and her previous companion used to sleep in, so that’s probably why. We’re going to work hard to find people to teach because having just one investigator is ridiculous.

So the area is pretty cool. It’s really diverse. We cover one of the wealthiest/oldest parts of Boise (look up Harrison Blvd) and the poorest part. There are 4 homeless shelters in the ward boundaries.The ward is a newly wed and nearly dead ward. Not very many families. Lots of old folks. And the activity rate is super low. We have about 700 people in the ward and we have a 20% activity rate. We have our work cut out for us here. Also, no one feeds us here, so if you ever feel inclined to send a package, please send food. I think this will be the first place on my mission where I will go hungry.

This whole week was spent with me getting to know the members. There are so many neat people here, and really like some of the sisters and elders in the zone. One sister that just came from the MTC actually lived down the street from my cousin! Small world!

So on Thursday we had a funny. So we teach a Book of Mormon class every Thursday night with the other sisters and a set of Elders. The Elders left their shaving gel in our car (no idea why) and Sister T. and I were going to give it back to them. Well, Elder Szendre was in the bathroom and we got the brilliant idea to spray him with the shaving gel. Sister T hid in one corner and Elder Thompson and I hid in the other corner. Elder Szendre came out and Sis T sprayed him with the gel. He jumped back and yelled, “What the flip, island girl?!?!” It was so hilarious. Elder Thompson filmed the whole thing, so I’ll have to get the video from him sometime.

Well, I would email more, but this internet is making me want to murder people. I’ll email ya’ll next week. Love you all!!

Love, Sister Bawden

She Lives!!!!

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Okay, so, the LDS mail server recently got changed which means that Priel’s emails from last week never went through! We’ve all been panicking, like, “Did she get eaten by a moose? Did her new companion sacrifice her to a band of cats?” But today, which was this week’s (late) P-Day for her, her emails went through again so now we can rest assured that she’s alive and at least pretty well.

I’m going to copy last week’s email, which she re-sent to me, underneath and then I’ll tell you about this week’s email. Go.


Last Week (Summarizing Jan 26 — Feb 1)

Hello everyone! 

So this week has had it’s ups and downs. Mostly ups though! I’ve been taking Sister Palmer around to meet all of the ward auxiliaries and ward members. Sister Palmer is so awesome! She’s an amazing missionary and has the best sense of humor. 

On Monday we played dart wars. As usual it was super fun! I’m so glad the Elders in our district would rather do that than play basketball (well with the exception of one elder, but no one cares about what he wants to do hahaha). We got Sister Palmer all moved in and then I introduced her to the Bishop and Relief Society President. 

On Tuesday we had district meeting and went to Garbanzo’s for lunch. Garbanzo’s is a pizza place that has all you can eat lunch and they give missionaries discounts, so the Elders love it, of course. Then we helped the Elders with a service project. We cleared huge weeds out of someone’s property. Afterwards I took Sister Palmer to meet some of our investigators and members of the ward. 

On Wednesday we helped out the Elders some more because we’d only cleared out about a tenth of the weeds and garbage. But we got a lot done. Afterwards I introduced her to some more members. That night we taught the Finelli’s the Plan of Salvation. Bro. Finelli is a recent convert of a few months, but we haven’t been able to set up a time to teach him the new member lessons because he’s been so busy. Fortunately he has an amazing home teacher and he set it all up for us!

A New Companion

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This week was transfers and Priel’s companion, Sister Facer, was moved out. She’s going to miss her! But her new companion, Sister Palmer, also seems cool. She’s from Iowa and used to be a kindergarten teacher. Priel had Sister Facer until Sunday, and now it’s Sister Palmer’s time. In light of the transfer, Priel’s decided to resolve to exercise more. She says transfers are a good chance for renewal.

Before the transfer, things went as usual! Monday they had another dart war, but with the whole zone, which was crazier and more frustrating. Tuesday they went on exchanges, which was nice, and they went to a Relief Society (adult women) activity about beauty and how to reclaim beauty from the media and make it into something more genuine and honest. Wednesday they went to a Laurels (girls ages 16-18) activity on the temple, and something awesome happened — quoting from Priel: “After the activity, one of the laurels came up to me and Sister Facer and asked if she could take a picture with us. After she asked, she whispered, ‘Because you’re the missionaries that made me decide to go on a mission.’ This really touched me. My whole mission I’ve hoped that I would be able to influence someone to go on a mission because some sister missionaries influenced me to go on a mission. I am so grateful that I was able to help this girl decide to serve a mission and that the Lord placed me here so I could meet her!”

On Thursday they had weekly planning and on Friday they went to lunch with a member who talked for three whole hours, haha. Saturday was another good day — Elder Russell M. Nelson came to visit the missionaries and give them a talk. They were all to come with three questions in mind, and all of Priel’s were answered within the talk without her even having to ask. It was very inspirational for her — she says, “I know for sure that he really is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and that he is called to help guide us in this day. I am so grateful that we have this leadership once again on earth because that shows that God truly loves us! He wants us to always hear his word and doesn’t want to hang us out to dry. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!”

In teaching, this week they taught some less actives the first standard lesson, talked to the Caziers with the Primary (children up to age 12) president about overcoming their embarrassment and letting their kids go to church, and talked to Delaney some more about the Plan of Salvation (our version of the afterlife, plus more). They also met with Jerry, who continues to really improve. They talked to him about keeping the Sabbath day holy and about fasting, which he had some concerns about — it seemed selfish to him but they managed to explain it to him. He’s been off cigarettes for three weeks, which is awesome! They talked to Cathrine, who likes to learn about the Gospel but doesn’t care to believe in it — she’s been in lessons for almost 8 months.

And that’s what happened this past week! Priel sends her love, and we’ll talk next week again.

Two Busy, Complicated Weeks

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I apologize; I forgot to post last week. So I’ll copy and paste Priel’s last two emails below today.


Last Week

Hello everyone!

This week was a rollercoaster. At the beginning of the week we were super frustrated because we weren’t really getting much done, but by the end of the week things were super good!

On Monday we played dart wars with the Elders. It’s become a favorite activity in our district. It was pretty intense this time, Elder Stark ended up with a goose egg on his head because a dart hit him so hard, and the rest of us got bruises from the darts and tripping over things. But it was still super fun. After that we had to move to our new home. It was super sad. I really grew to love the Bakers, and they were sad to see us go. We are living with a widow now. She’s super nice, but she has 3 small dogs that pee on everything. I am grateful to have a place to live, I just wish that she didn’t have those pee dogs. I have officially decided that I do not like dogs at all, and I am never ever going to own one. I’ll just own tons of cats instead!

On Tuesday we had district meeting. Elder Stark had me give a training, which I was super nervous about. I hate giving trainings. But district meeting was awesome, as usual, and then we all went to Subway for lunch. After that we tracked down the people we are working with and scheduled appointments with them. They were successful at escaping us during all of the holidays, but they don’t have an excuse anymore! Then we had dinner with a part member family, the Whitman’s. They are super nice! I don’t understand why Brother Whitman hasn’t jumped into the font full of water to eternal life. Anyways, it was a good dinner, but they wouldn’t stop talking, so we were at their house for 3 hours. I always start to get uncomfortable when we’re at someone’s house for longer than an hour, so by the time we left, I was so ready to leave. When you have the missionaries over, don’t keep them for longer than an hour.

On Wednesday, we stopped by some more people and scheduled appointments with them. And then the fiesta bowl started at 2:00, and Boise State was playing. There is an unwritten rule here that says that you do not try to visit people when there is a Boise State game because Boise State football is a religion here. So because of that, Sister Facer and I decided to explore a part of our area that is completely farmland to see if anyone lived down there. It was a super awesome and pretty drive, but, unfortunately, no one lived within our ward boundaries. We took lots of cool pictures though! On the way back, we decided that we’d stop by a family that recently moved into the ward. The house numbers aren’t marked very clearly, so we accidentally drove by their house 3 times. On the 3rd time, Sister Facer drove off the road to turn around, and ended up getting the car stuck in the snow and mud. She tried to drive out, and started freaking out, and I was just laughing the entire time (I think I’m starting to turn into Mom). But we ended up getting out ok, our car is just covered in mud now. It’s awesome. We had dinner with the Beath’s later that night, and Sister Beath made me a Doctor Who hat! I was super excited about it.
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Halfway Mark

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Hi guys! Priel’s had a pretty good week!

Monday, they didn’t get a chance to do much.

Tuesday, they did a lot of visits with less active members, none of whom seemed interested in coming back to church, but at least they accepted the message the missionaries brought.

Wednesday, they visited Sister Kreller, who hasn’t been going to church because of health issues, and tried to encourage her twenty-year-old grandson to think about going on a mission himself. They also visited Sister Padgette, which was a positive visit, and Annie, the girl out on parole who’s their newest investigator. Priel says Annie’s golden! They’re super excited for her parole to be up in a year so that she can finally get baptized like she desperately wants.

It was also Priel’s halfway mark Wednesday! She’s now been out for nine months, and has nine months left to go! I personally can’t quite believe it–I guess I felt like she was going to be gone forever, but she’s already half through! So her district celebrated and the elders made her a pj+j casserole, which was quite exciting and original, and, Priel says, the strangest thing she’s eaten on her mission. LOL, good old America. She then took the traditional halfway mark photo that sisters take–a faux pregnancy photo for nine months. She thinks it looks more like a tumor than a baby, LOL. (See pictures below)

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