A Better Week


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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Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts


Short one, so I’m pasting Priel in.

Hello everyone!

Holy crud, this week has been so stressful. I forgot how hard whitewashing is. But we’ve been able to stay busy, and as a result, we collapse once we come home at night. We’ve also been eating our feelings a lot, so I might gain another 10 pounds before I come home.

Sister Francies and I are getting along well so far. She is from St. Louis, so she’s got the eastern toughness going on. It’s a little scary sometimes. She has a really feisty personality and loves to call people to repentance. Yeah, we’re going to have to work on that this transfer. I don’t want our wards to hate Sister Missionaries.

We visited a ton of people this week, and, to my surprise, a lot of them were angry that we replaced the Elders. One 7 year old wouldn’t listen to our lesson because “we weren’t as beautiful as Elder Cortez.” Direct quote. Even the old ladies are obsessed with Elder Cortez! People also won’t let us do service for them because we can’t lift heavy things like the Elders. Psh. I lifted 40 pound boxes at my last job! I can do as much as the Elders can. It kind of wounds the ego, not going to lie, haha! I think it’s going to take a little bit for the wards to like us. But that’s ok. It might not happen while I’m here, but that doesn’t matter. I just want them to like Sisters at some point.

Well, that’s really all I have to say this week. My brain is fried from all the stress, so I’ll have more to say next week, when we’re actually settled and have some idea of what we’re doing.

Love you all! Have a great week 🙂

Love, Sister Bawden

Final Transfer, Lots of Feels


This week, Priel says, was probably the hardest of her mission. She’s only got six weeks left now, which alarms her, but I’M SO HaAaAaAaAaAaApPyYyYyY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They spent the week prepping for Sister T’s return home, saying goodbyes and stuff. Sister T waited til last minute to pack, though, haha. Friday, she left, which was really hard on Priel. She says, “Even though she sometimes drove me crazy I really grew to love her a lot and we got super close. I’ve honestly gotten closer to her than any other companion I’ve had. She and I were bawling and hugging in the mission office, and I didn’t want to send her off! We took one picture before we left and it’s probably the saddest picture I’ve ever seen. Our faces are red from crying.”

Priel was then paired up with Sister Leavitt for the weekend since both their companions had left, who is her “mission twin” because people say they look alike, but Priel doesn’t see it. They do fangirl together, though.

Saturday, the two of them helped an old lady move out, and Priel says she nearly died because of the heat and humidity in Idaho this past weekend. Which I too can attest to, being at BYU-Idaho right now. Then they got transfer calls, and Priel is being moved finally out of the area, which led to an emotional breakdown that evening. She really loves the ward she’s been in and the people there. She wrote, “I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for about an hour straight. I had a complete mental breakdown, and called Sister Lomu and Petersen and kept telling them that I couldn’t handle getting my heart broken anymore and that I wanted to go home. I’d lost my companion that I loved very much and then I was getting transferred from an area that I’ve loved from the instant that I got transferred there. They tried to calm me down with encouraging words, but I just got mad at them and hung up. The Elders ended up calling me, and Elder Szendre was really good at calming me down. He said exactly what I needed to hear. He’s also getting transferred to Meridian East, so I’m glad I’ll have a friend here. Sister Leavitt was a big help too. She cancelled all of the appointments she had in her area, and let me go to my area to start saying goodbye to everyone. She also bought me a shake from Dairy Queen, which also helped a lot.”

Milkshakes win the world.
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A Blur of Events


Here are LaPriel’s beautiful words! She seems to be doing well.

Hello everyone!

This first week of the transfer has been good so far. It’s been crazy busy but good. There is so much to take in though. I’ve met so many people this week and I can’t remember most of their names. Sister Facer has been amazing, so she’s really helped me out with the transition. We’ve discovered that we have a lot in common. We discovered that we both really like the word poop, so that broke the ice immediately.

On Monday, Sister Facer took me to meet the Bishop and other ward auxiliaries. Holy cow, this ward is super young. Our bishop is only in his early 30’s, and so are most of the other auxiliaries.

Tuesday was a crazy busy day. We met a lot of ward members and with a couple of people that we’re teaching. There’s this lady, Sis Clayton, who is a recent convert that we visited. Her kids are crazy. Her 4 year old son was jumping all over me while we were trying to teach his mom, so Sister Facer ended up teaching the lesson by herself while I tried to entertain the kid and keep him from mauling us.

Then we visited one of our investigators, Jerry. He’s a pretty cool guy. He’s hispanic, and he has hair that goes past his waist and a super thick mustache. He has a lot of deep insights and stuff. We taught the Word of Wisdom, and committed him to live it, but he said it’s too much to change all at once, because he loves his coffee and cigarettes. We told him to give up one thing this week and then give up the other thing next week. He chose to give up soda. We laughed and said, “Soda isn’t in the Word of Wisdom, Jerry!” He claimed that he’s more addicted to soda than the rest of the stuff, so he thinks he should start off with that. We decided to just let him do that, so next time we go over we’ll try to convince him to give up smoking.

Wednesday was also a blur of visiting members whose names I do not remember. We went to mutual that night, and so I was able to meet a lot of the youth in the ward.

On Thursday, we visited this less active lady, Teresa, who has MS. She is super sweet and funny. I love her already! We taught her the Word of Wisdom, and found out that she has an addiction to cigarettes as well. She said that she would wean herself off of them and be done with smoking by Thanksgiving. We also visited a less active lady, Julie. She is 50, and is addicted to World of Warcraft. I kid you not. I’ve never met a lady who is 50 who plays computer games like a teenage boy. It is a little ridiculous haha. But she’s really funny, and wants to get back into activity.

Difficult Times


Priel’s been feeling more down since her transfer to Boise North, which is a lot poorer and rougher of an area than her last place. (It’s so sad to see cuz she was so upbeat before. But everyone has their down times, of course.) She’s glad to have a lot of contacts there to work with, and she and her companion are getting along all right, but it’s a very different experience.

She has gotten some unique opportunities, of course, like going to a 12-step program run by the church for people struggling with addiction. She found that really interesting. It’s just an adjustment, especially when the entire area feels that much more threatening. She’s been having lots of anxiety attacks.

But, I think it’s also going to be very rewarding, being in any area so different from what we’re used to. I think she can do a lot of good work. =) Let’s just remember to pray for her, everyone, to have less anxiety attacks and to be able to feel happier, because it’s hard to see her so sad.

Also, this week, she got bitten by a chihuahua hard enough to draw blood. That is not a very nice dog.

I pray God protect her as she continues her work!