Monday, September 30, 2013

Life is good!

MY GOODNESS!!! MY LITTLE BROTHER IS DRIVING!! :D That is so great! I love that! I can't wait to drive with him! :D Tell him how proud I am of him! That makes me feel old though! :P
I loved the Frisbee! It is so cool, I have always wanted a "Life is good" Frisbee! It brought back so many memories! Also, Stephen told me about the one he got and how happy he is that Y'all sent it. I can't wait to see him after we're done serving! He sounds like her is having so much fun! :)  Thank you so much for keeping in contact with all of my friends while I'm out, everyone loves you! :)
Things are great!
Being a Missionary, you'd be surprised how excited we are for conference! I can't wait to watch it! We are going to take so many notes! Hahaha I am excited to actually be able to, not only get something out of it, but to be able to use it in teaching as well! I really am Giddy about it!

I will probably be in Columbia until January. Most likely. :)
This week has been a week of miracles! We knocked in a few new places, and got 4 new investigators, and we are constantly finding new people! I love it! We have an appointment to meet with one of the new families we are teaching this Thursday. So we are way excited for that! I promise I will be good, careful and obedient! Haha I love you so much

Hahaha I just got a new investigator in the library. She's a 17 year old who lives in our area. She asked what I do, I told her the whole "I'm a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" And asked her if we could teach her and her family, and she gave me her number and address and stuff :P Hahaha
so weird
I love you Momma!

 God gave me a little reminder on riding my bike safely though..:P It was raining super hard again yesterday, and we were cutting through a parking lot and I was going way too fast. I braked and my back end slid to the side and I hit the ground and slid about 10 feet. :P The ground was wet and I was wearing my G's, so I didn't get hurt at all. I stopped on my back somehow, so I threw my hands and legs in the air and screamed "WOOOO!!!!" Haha then got up and rode home...slower.. :) But things are really great! We are having a ton of fun! The only thing injured was my belt.

Drove past this the other day :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Sawyer!

So, we are at the library a little bit early this morning because we were taken out to breakfast by someone in our ward. :) We enjoy that a lot haha It is starting to cool down in the mornings a lot here too! I am actually wearing a hoodie right now! :) I love this hoodie so much I might have to go buy another one! :) Tell Justin that I'm a hoodie Ninja! ;) He'll get it.
It hasn't rained all that much here though, so we are praying that it will start soon! We love the rain! Today we are headed to the museum and the capitol bldg and all of the places where we would need to take pictures, so we will both be taking a lot of pics. Tell Sawyer happy birthday for me!! AND I WANT PICTURES OF HIM DRIVING!!! I can't believe he is already old enough to drive! He is getting so big! I miss him so much! And The picture of Savannah and Hannah made me laugh :P It was cute. I really wish that we could swim! :P
I will look for your profile on Thursday!
Yes, in South Carolina they call shopping carts buggies. It was really weird when the first person asked us about it. We were proselyting in an apartment complex, and a security guard from the store across the street was driving around and he asked us if we had seen anyone in a buggy. I was so confused. I was picturing someone in like a little VW bug or a dune buggy. So it's funny that you'd ask that.
Church isn't too different, we are really close to Fort Jackson, so we have a lot of military families coming and going through, but other than that it is just like any other Ward. The LDS Church never really seems to change no matter where in the world you are. :) It is really nice actually. :)
One of the weird things about South Carolina, is they don't use wood-chips or anything like that as ground covering. Every place that we would put mulch or wood-chips, they have pine needles! They call it pine straw. I don't understand it!
Moving M****** was a lot of fun actually, we got to meet her Dad and her brother finally, so that was pretty cool. :) I enjoyed that. :) We got everything packed into the truck and we got a couple carpets and rugs for our apartment, so it looks really great now! We are always looking for things that we can do to make it look better! :)
Yes, we covered the sisters in Whipped cream, we had a bet and whoever baptized someone first got to throw a pie or something like that at the other ones. So we won and we did it. :P It was a bunch of fun and just funny :)
My head is actually doing great! The scab that was there fell off 2 days ago, and you can barely see anything anymore. So that is a good thing. :)
It was actually just me who spoke in church yesterday. Elder Sumner didn't have to talk, but it was kinda cool being on the flip-side of the missionaries talking :P
I am actually not sure how we do our flu shots out here. I imagine we just use our missionary medical cards and go to the doctor in our area, but I will try to find that out for you. :)
On Halloween we have to be in our apartment by 6 at night and we can't leave the apartment. Kinda sucks, but It makes sense. :)
 Haha Looking at your cake made me laugh a bunch too! :)

I love you Momma!

So this is Brady, he is M****** dog that acts just like Ellie. His tail was like a roll of
quarters when he was happy to see you! :P

And this is M****** and me right before she took off for Virginia. :)
We miss her dearly.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Turtles, spiders, and Spongebob?

Momma! :) 
I had no idea Time Out for Women was this month! It seems like everything is moving so fast! Sawyer’s birthday is almost here, September is almost over, the FFA kids have already gone to the fair! Things are moving very fast! And Savannah went to Time Out for Girls?? I haven't ever even heard of that! :) I am so proud of her! Tell her I love her! Also, Tell Sis Hammond and my other Momma that I say hi and that I love them! :)

Brother Clow is taking us to Frankie’s fun park again! :D I promise I will take it easy though. It has been raining hard since last night, and it just stopped a couple hours ago, so it is nice and cool outside too! :)

I am so happy that I was born into this faith, and that I have parents like you and Dad. It is amazing how much I have grown to love the gospel out here. And now I can see how much I have been taking it for granted. Thank you for providing this for me Momma. I love you :)

Yes, I got my Salsa package a while ago actually. I think it was last Saturday. :) And everyone in my apartment was very happy about that one. :) 
I am always so jealous that y’all get to go to the temple weekly! I really really wish that I could go! We bike past the temple frequently, and it is so pretty! I can't wait for my first chance to go inside of this one! :) And, after my mission, Y'all need to come down here and go through with me! :) 
The Benson’s just had their farewell!? I thought they had left a while ago! That's insane! I bet they will love serving. :) The senior missionaries always seem so much happier than anyone else. :) 

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying myself out here Momma! Everything is just so great! This week we have another fireside, and we are all pretty excited for that, we should have a couple of our investigators there! :) This past week, I went on exchanged with Elder Gundersen’s new Companion, Elder Maurer, and it was another one of the best days I have had yet. We biked all over my area, and we talked to like 20 people on the street in one day! :) We taught a bunch of people too! And he said that, if he didn't know that I was a newer missionary before hand, he wouldn't have been able to tell. :) I really loved going on exchanges with him. 

We have been spending some of our time helping M****** tear her apartment down in preparation to move, so that has been fun too. Her father is picking us up Saturday morning to have us help load things in the truck, and we are both excited to finally meet him. :) On Saturday, we went over to the Clow’s and did service for them (Sister Clow took pictures and had me give her your info so she could send them. ;) ) It was good service, but it was hard because we were cleaning a pool...and I couldn't get in… :) Haha but we joked around and had a lot of fun! 
My ankle is doing well, and I am still working it out every morning, I am also starting to have dreams about teaching the missionary lessons each night, so I think I am now a true missionary. 
I love you family! 
The church is true! 
Thomas S. Monson is a prophet!
I love the Gospel! :)

This morning I had a bit of an accident  :/ But I am alright haha. 
We were all rough housing, and for some reason, Elder Sumner was holding a 10 lb. weight. 
I happened to whip around just at the right moment to smack my head into said weight... :)

Elder Sumner got to hold a turtle! :)

This is Elder Maurer :)

Cleaning the Clow’s pool. Trying not to "Fall" in. ;)

We also found a huge Zipper spider, and fed it a cockroach! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

The worth of a soul.


Hello! To start off, I love you Momma! And I love you Family! You are all in my prayers every day! :) I am always doing well. :) The Lord has my back.
This week has been full of true inspiration and the spirit! There have been one or two things that have been kind of disappointing, but nothing that prayer and study can't fix! :)
I have a story to tell! We have been working with this lady named P**. She isn't a member, and she gets really sick out of the blue & frequently, so it is hard to plan a time to come teach her. She is probably in her fifties. One of the hardest things for her to do is going outside. The heat just takes a lot out of her. So Elder Sumner and I decided to go do some service for her on Friday. We were going to go over and weed the front garden (hers is a little bigger than the flowerbed in front of our house) and just rake it and make it look good. We asked one of the members if he would come help, he said he would love to and told us he'd be there at 9 am to pick us up. Well, he picked us up, and took us to Lowe's rather than to her house. There, out of his own pocket, he bought a wheel barrow, gloves, & drinks. He brought a bunch of rakes and shovels, a leaf-blower, weed whacker, and he bought like 10 bags of mulch! We worked until about 12:30, and when we were done, it looked so great! I had no idea the members here were just so cool! And generous! It made a huge difference to P**, and she is making a big effort to come to church this Sunday. :) Hopefully this week, we will be headed over there to do some more service, because her daughter needs her brakes changed, and doesn't know how. They have the tools and, Thanks to Grandpa and Justin, I have the know-how! :) So I am very excited for that! :)
In one of our earlier lessons with her, we were able to give her a blessing. It was probably the most memorable blessing I have ever taken part in, but not for why you're probably thinking. Her daughter lives with her, and she has a little 2 year old named G*****. She is a "Monkey see Monkey do" kind of little girl. Well, I anointed and Elder Sumner started her blessing. About 30 seconds into it, I felt two very tiny hands on top of mine. I peeked through just a little bit, to see G***** had climbed up, had her eyes closed and had her hands on her Grammy's head. Just like us. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen!
Afterwords we kept teaching, and G***** was watching TV. I have a bit of trouble paying attention while there is a TV on in a house, regardless of what is being played. I was doing a pretty good job however, because it was a dumb little kids show on. I was paying really close attention to the lesson, until I heard "It's time for your check-up!"....All concentration was lost.. :) Then the music started and "It's okay if you giggle! This will only tickle a little!" And I was just laughing! I had to stop and explain why I knew this little kids TV show tune. P** got a good laugh out of my story.
We have started teaching a couple of new families, and we are filling up sacrament meeting! :)
The Clow's are just the best! I may have already told y'all, but they took our car away this last transfer because of the sister missionaries that came in, and brother Clow said "Whenever Y'all need a ride, call me. I'm serious. It's too hot fer biking." We love him. :) Hahaha We didn't get a new companion :/ His Visa came in and he went somewhere else. We are happy for him, but also a little bummed. We were excited to have him!
We found out this last Wednesday, that M****** is moving back to Virginia to finish her school. :( We are very sad about that. We will miss her so very much. But she promised Elder Sumner and Me that she would be at our weddings! :) But she will be missed by everyone in the Ward greatly.
To answer some questions, I work out my ankle every morning with those elastic bands they give people in physical therapy. It is healing very well. :)
I am still getting very soaked every day, but with sweat! It hasn't rained all that much lately, but it has been in the upper 90's the past week. So that has kinda been rough for biking. You walk outside and are already sweating! haha yay for humidity!
I got that jacket from sister France and it will be put to great use as soon as it rains again, or snows. :) It is a very nice jacket.
Apartment life is just fine. We got a new comp for Elder G. Elder Maurer. He is from Colorado, and has been out for 20 months. He's a pretty good kid.
Elder Sumner and I are still getting along great! I have no idea how he is putting up with me to well! ;)
Momma, I love being a missionary. :) Being a missionary is so great. So amazing. The Spirit just takes over everything. You truly become tool in the Lords hand and you are able to listen to every single little prompting and inspiration. You feel the spirit all the time. The spirit that I felt in Nauvoo, is the spirit that I feel all the time here. Knowing that I am being useful to the Lord and helping Him build up His kingdom, and recruiting His children, gives such a greater importance than I thought I had. :)
Haha Tell everyone that told you to tell me hi that I say hi back and that I love and miss them!
I love y'all so much!
Pray for me!

Cyndi~ This is Stanley. 
The treefrog he found after a rain storm. 
No idea if he kept it. I told him no pets on the mission, but.....

The land never ends!

 This was elder sumners birthday at Frankies Fun Park. :)

 Brother Clow :)

 Sweet CTS After a hot day :)

We found the ice-cream man... :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Rainy days and Birthdays

I am so glad M****** sent those pictures! It is really sad, we found out yesterday that M****** is actually moving away on the 21st.. :( She is going back to Virginia and she's finishing her schooling there. We are going to miss her very very much, but she has already found which church bldg is closest to her, and she is excited to meet the missionaries there.
I was asked to give a talk on the 22nd about how Seminary effected my decision to serve a mission! I am so excited to do that! And I promise I will send it to you. :)
How on earth did you get in contact with E. Roetkers mother? That's just crazy! Momma, your job sounds like a blast! I am so jealous! You'll have to send me a bunch of pictures while you are there! :) I would love to see where you are and who you are with! :) Also! Send me a picture of that puppy! I want to see!

Things are going pretty well here! We started our first day of only biking yesterday (our car is with a set of sisters now) And I had a lot of fun. We biked about the equivalent of from our house to grandma Jackson's house in order to meet with M******, only to have her tell us that she was leaving :P But we were still able to sit down and talk with her for quite a while, so it was good. We got out of our apartment a little late because we were in a deep cleaning session before Elder Gundersens new Comp. came. So we were able to stop and see 2 investigators and a couple of less-active families. We then headed home. People in South Carolina tend to only text when they're driving, so Elder Sumner somehow nearly gets hit by cars pulling out of gas stations or restaurants. It is kinda funny to watch :P But we're still alive. No need to worry. :) I am made out of magic and rubber, remember? ;) We have a meeting on Tuesday with this 18 year old and his mother that we are teaching, he is getting ready for baptism, and we are working on putting her on date! We are very hopeful, can I put in a prayer request for them? :) Elder Welty is gone now, and Elder Gundersens new Comp. is named Elder Maurer. He is from Colorado, and he seems like a pretty cool kid. He has been out a little over 20 months, and he just came from being a ZL, so he REALLY knows what he is doing. :) He'll be good for Elder G.  The transfer story is kinda of funny..not really because we are both really bummed about it. :/ About 10 minutes after I got through emailing Y'all on Monday, the AP's called us, and told us that (for whatever reason) Our Visa waiter was no longer going to be with Elders Sumner and me. We don't know if they just changed their minds, or his Visa came in, or what, but I don't get a brother. :( Elder Sumner wrote in his Journal (He told me, I didn't read it) That he had a miscarriage today. So, it was a bit of a let down. But I am just happy to still be with Elder Sumner. The more I am with him, the more I realize why I get along with him and am so fond of him..He is a lot like Alec. And he treats me like his little brother the same way (Almost) that Alec did. It gives this comforting feeling of being home, but makes me REALLY miss my family. :) But I am in good hands. :) And I am truly loving it!
I sent you a letter 2 days ago, I hope you get it soon!
Today, it is in the lower 90's and very humid. We are praying for a heavy rainstorm soon! I love biking in the rain for some reason, so unlike me, right? ;)
Monday was Elder Sumner's 20th birthday, and Bro. C*** (Coolest man alive) Took us to Frankies Fun Park. It is basically Boondocks. We started off by having a 4-way go cart race between the 4 elders, and
then played 18 holes of awesome mini golf!! Or PutPut as they refer to it here. No one calls it mini golf here, and it is odd. But it was way fun! I even got Dip 'n Dots!! :) Then we came back, did our shopping and went over to M****** for dinner. Afterwords, she gave Elder Sumner a cake! Haha We sang happy birthday to him and then ate cake. It was just a really fun day. I bought him a new knife, because the one he had out here was dead awful! He loves it! :) I got him the same one Sawyer bought for camp! I have found that a good pocket knife is something the elders use on a regular basis out here, so I might end up buying like a 20$ knife on Monday. That's all I've got for now, I will send a bunch of pictures on Monday, from last Monday. I forgot that SD card today. Love Y'all!!!
-Elder Sunshine!

Cyndi~ Elder Barker also has challenged us all to make a profile and he mentioned that if anyone wanted to send him something, that Walmart giftcards are VERY helpful :)
Thank you all for writing to him, sending gifts, and supporting him in this great work!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day Y'all!

So, the library is closed today, so we are emailing at a members home. They are so nice! But I am emailing on a mini this is somewhat difficult :P So I might write my big email on Wednesday.

I am so good, Just a busy week! We have planned and helped with two baptisms this last Saturday for the sisters and the other elders, so we have been pretty busy lately haha. We have had some big news happen, this Wednesday is transfers. One of the other elders in our apt is leaving, and we will be getting a new companion for Elder Gundersen, then, Elder Sumner and I are going to be getting a 3rd companion! We will be training a visa waiter! Haha crazy, right? Also, there are going to be about 37 new missionaries coming in this transfer, and 22 of them are sisters. So we are losing our car :P No big though, I am somewhat excited to get to use my bike more! Yesterday was one of the hottest days I have experienced here yet! So those days are going to suck biking, but everything is just going great! 

Today is Elder Sumners Birthday, and a member is taking us to a place somewhat like Boondocks I guess :P

 Have the kids all write me, I love getting letters from them, Tell Justin and Grandma & Grandpa I love and miss them, and I appreciate the package! Tell Justin I love the seeds!  

Cyndi~ These are some pictures Elder Barker sent home on his SD card from the MTC. These are his explanations:

The paper airplanes? We found those in the ceiling! Hahaha We found like 60 of them! We went exploring in the ceiling while we were there! We found tons of stuff! 
Who explores a ceiling?  Elders Roetker, Whitehead, and Sherwood and I! 

 Hahaha we found that pumpkin bucket in the ceiling and it was full of old Halloween candy! 
Haha like a geocache type thing.
 We took some, signed our names and missions, and then put some stuff in and put it back!