Monday, December 30, 2013

So saith Sunshine.

Jammies! :)
How are you? I loved seeing y'all on Skype! It was so weird to see the family again!!
While you are out on a mission, it is almost like nothing else is real, and when I think back on it, it seems like I never left. Also, I swear to you that that was the shortest 2 hours of my life! It felt like I logged on and got right back off. :P I loved talking to y'all though. I'm so glad that you could see a difference in me. It is nice to hear every once and a while, because while you are out here, you change so much, and for the better too, but Satan does his best to make it seem like you are the same and that you aren't going anywhere or doing anything. I loved hearing that from Alec especially...It just about brought me to tears to hear him say that I sounded much older...and smarter. How is he doing?
I am really enjoying being obedient, I am definitely seeing the blessings that come from it. Not just with the people that I am around, but with myself a lot. I am really able to teach more clearly and I am happier. I am enjoying things so much more now, and I am having a lot of fun. Towards the beginning of my mission, it was a lot harder to get along with other missionaries because I was so young and not as 'mature' and I ended up annoying a lot of people. I can really see the way the Lord has been able to make me more 'mature' while striving to be obedient. :) I have also been able to see how immature a 21 year old can be. ;) Haha but it is all good fun.
I am OH MY GOSH!!!! LINCOLN IS COMING INTO MY MISSION!!!!!! WHAT????!??!?! HaHAHAHAHA that is so cool! I read ahead a little bit and had a freakout!! I can't wait! I so want to be his trainer!!! I might ask president if I can train him. :) That is so crazy! I love that kid so much! I can't believe that he's coming here! I am so excited! Now, send me Sawyer. :)
It's so true what you said about the femininity driving down in the world. I can't remember who it was, but there was a really good talk given on that this last conference, and I think it touched a lot of young Women. :)
This is the talk.
Where do the Medlins' live Momma? Did she find that out? Because I am probably going to get transferred soon, and I could get put in their area. :)
Tell Savannah that I say that she isn't allowed to go into Y/W's and that she isn't allowed to wear makeup until she is 16 and she isn't ever allowed to turn 16. :) So saith Sunshine.
I am so hoping that they will call me as  a ward missionary or somewhere in the primary when I come home. I would just love to help the missionaries as much as I could, and help the future missionaries while they are growing up. :) Hahah I love that your class figured out about the heater vents! I remember doing that as a kid! And I loved to put the side of my face on the ones at the church because they were cold when it was summertime! And I could hear the other teachers! I swear, Canyon is going to grow up to be such a great missionary. :) So many of the kids in your class are! Ammon is going to be President too. :) I'll vote for him.
Haha if you think those kids have it hard, try going to the MTC! Where you have a bunch of teenagers who have just turned an age where they have freedom and they can do what they want, then, deprive them of sleep, put them in monkey suits, and make them sit in a quiet classroom where they can't move around! Hahah It was TERRIBLE!!! Just kidding, but not really. I loved and hated it. :P
I will find out about a flu shot, I have to call the mission nurse anyway, I have had a small stye for about 4 weeks now :/ I have been doing the hot compresses also, and it hasn't been helping at all.
The Clows' are out of town, and I don't know when they are planning on being back, so if you are going to send anything, please send it priority to the mission office. That would probably be the easiest, then, if I don't get it before I transfer, I will get it as transfers. :)
I loved Christmas Momma, talking to you guys made it great. I could've done the whole thing without getting a single gift and I would've been just fine! :) Thank you so much for supporting me! I loved all the gifts, especially the jaw harp! I am enjoying that a lot! haha And the sweater vests are the BEST! I have always wanted one! :) I loved my gifts! haha they are all so great! And I wrote Grandma about the one grandpa sent! I loved it! I am going to send a picture of me wearing it soon! :) And I loved the Cow ties! haha so cool!! :P

The Homeless man, M***, is doing okay, he fell off for a while, but we picked him back up last night, I really don't know what to tell you about him. He is confusing me right now, and I need to figure out what happened to him. just keep praying for him. :)
We have been doing a lot of knocking lately, and I have really been enjoying it! Which is weird, because, up until very recently, I have hated knocking, but now I love it! we have met a bunch of really cool people, and we have some good appointments set up to where we can get a member to come out with us to teach them!

Also, when you come to Georgia, come see me, okay? But seriously..lets go to lunch or something. ;)
I love you so much Momma!
-Elder Odie, Sunshine, Barker. :)

Christmas DDM (District Development meeting)

Elder Maurer wore this the whole time, and shook it slightly every time he talked.
It was so hard not to laugh!


This was my Christmas dinner BTW ;)
Prime rib and twice baked potato! :D
~Thank you Bro & Sis Crossen!~

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fire-in-the-belly Missionary!

Hello Momma! :)
It's me. Elder Sunshine. :)
I am having a pretty good day so far. Hahaha I am so happy that y'all are going to be lazy. :) We have a pretty lazy day ahead of us as well (Work wise) After we email, Elder Farnsworth is going to go with Elder Harris to a doctors appointment, because the other wards bishop wants to face the Columbia Elders at Racquetball, and  Elder Farnsworth doesn't really like it. So I am going to step in his stead. :) I am so excited.
I have about a 4 page letter that I am going to send to you, I just can never seem to finish it. :/ I never feel like I have said enough, and by the time I pick it up again, there is a ton to tell you! :P Isn't my life hard? haha ;)
Last night, Elder Harris and I just wanted to work, so we spent a good portion of our day knocking on doors. NO ONE ANSWERED. Haha people go to church like all day in the south! It's crazy! But it is nice because they are really receptive to the Bible, and the ones that are really being prepared for us, hear that there is a whole-nother book all about their Savior, and they get excited! :) I think one of the hardest things and the thing that we have to explain the most, is that the Book of Mormon is NOT our Bible. We have to explain to so many people that we read the KJV of the Bible just like everyone else, but you can't get the fullness of the book without the Book of Mormon's testimony. :) But I love explaining it! Back home, I'd get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, but out here when you start to explain, the spirit takes over and starts to explain for you. :) It's so amazing! And it is amazing how obvious it gets when you find someone who has been prepared to receive the Gospel. :)
God has definitely blessed my companionship for being obedient. :) And I am happier and have a big desire to go and work! I never really understood what everyone meant when they would say "Fire-in-the-belly missionaries" And now I do. When you really give everything up, and get out of the way of the work, God uses you in such a miraculous way! :) I love being a missionary!
I talked to Sister Clow on the phone just a minute ago, and she was telling me that you talked to her about my packages. She is hoping they'll get there today, and I have my fingers crossed. I promise I won't open them until Christmas morning. All except my jammies. ;) So, did you get me an ornament for this year? What is it? I am so excited to Skype in 2 days! It is unreal! I can't believe it is already Christmas! It was like yesterday that I was in the Airport and you told me, we love you, talk to you on Christmas! And you made me cry! Well, time flew by, and now it's that time. :) Haha we are going to be Skyping over at the Fengers home. They are so nice you wouldn't believe it. You really need to come here when I leave this area and y'all are in Savannah Georgia! You can stay with the Clows' while you are here. :) Or the Fengers'. :) Or any of the members that I love! :) I am so going to cry when I leave this area...Skyping on Christmas is going to be just that. :) you know me. I don't think about things like that until they actually happen, then I get the full effect. I am excited to see my loving family. :) And I am excited to show all of them that I am still Sunshine. I haven't changed. and I want to show Sawyer that I am still his "big brober". :)

Yes, my boots arrived. I wore them the other day when we crashed the ca.......ummmm...:D
Hahaha No big deal. Didn't CRASH per say. Elder Harris was driving and was pulling out of a driveway, cut it sharp in order to not bottom out, and didn't see a little brick retaining wall, and ran the side of the car into it. The only damage was to the back tire (I had to change it :) ) and he scratched it a bit and pulled some of the trim off. but we weren't even going 7 miles an hour. no one is hurt. Just his luck. :P

This week we are doing a lot a lot of biking. :) I am loving it. Even days that the car is ours, we will drive into our area, park and bike the day. :) I love the exercise. I love the freedom too! And my will is becoming very similar to His, so things that pop into my head that I want to do, are now okay to do, because they are ordained of God! :) I love it! I get up in the morning and pray that I won't lose this feeling of love that I have for the work right now. :) I just want to wake up, and knock on doors until the day is over. :)
I love you Momma!

This is us playing 'Don't break the ice' at a family home evening. :) It was my white elephant gift to give. :)

And this is what missionaries do when the video we watch is sideways. :)

I love changing tires. :)

Cyndi~ So, let's take inventory here. 
In 5 1/2 months he's had.... 
One eye Dr visit, one ankle injury, three bike wrecks, one car wreck, an ER visit, a dog I missing any? Oh yes, a jammed thumb and lacerated forehead, and a partridge in a pear tree..... 
And, of course, these are only the ones he has told us about!

Monday, December 16, 2013

God never forgets to answer my prayers!

Thank you to The Cipriano Family for the picture and song!

Hahaha I love the song that they sang in primary! We had our little Christmas party the other night, and I got to sit on Santa's lap and take pictures! I heard Brother Cipriano sent you one. :) I love that man, I promised him that I would come back and visit him as soon as I can, so you have to hold me accountable to do that, okay? ;)
My week has been pretty fun. :) Crashed my bike, went to the ER, took the car to get it fixed, they won't let me do it by myself. :(  and we met a bunch of way awesome people that we are working with! There is this one guy named M*** D****. He just came out of being homeless for years, and he loves the LDS faith. God has prepared him in so many ways! He loves movies, and he rented one that was called "New York Doll the movie" And it was about a band that was getting back together, and the lead actor is LDS! He was like "Hey! I know them!" :) God is pointing him back to us in so many ways. He is very goofy and loving, and he is the most humble man I have ever met. I love him so much, and I am excited to see him get baptized on January 4th. :)
The bike accident was dumb. I swerved to miss some branches and when I corrected my swerve, I lost control of my bike, and slid sideways. The only real damage I got was I scraped my palm a little on the landing, and I think I hit my helmet. I got up and kept biking, but the next day my neck was pretty sore. I guess I jerked it the wrong way. After a day of just babying it and taking Ibuprofen, I called the mission nurse and she told me to go to the ER and have it looked at. The people at the ER were really nice and got me in very quick. They had a muscle specialist and a physical therapist come in and check me out, and he massaged it a little and did some other things that were weird and helpful at the same time, then he put this weird tape stuff on my neck and back that is supposed to help with inflammation. They gave me a prescription for Flexeril (I think is how you spell it) and some Ibuprofen. They also gave me a prescription for pain medicine, but I didn't fill it out because I didn't need it. I have been steady on Ibuprofen, and I take one muscle relaxer right before bed. I have only taken two. I am doing fine though, It hasn't been hurting at all yesterday or today, and I can use it just fine. I am okay Momma, I'm sorry that I hurt your son :/
Bike is fine. :) Your boy is fine. I promise. :)  Not even hurting any more. :) Please don't put my bike on the roof..I need it to do missionary work! ;) I'm sorry to worry you. I really was trying to avoid a doctor so that I wouldn't worry you, but I am just fine. :) All Sunshiny and great!

I am so excited to talk to y'all on Christmas! We are going over to the Fengers in the morning and they are letting us do it over there, we will be able to figure out all of the details on the phone beforehand. 
I love these people so much momma! I am going to be so sad when I leave!

We did a little exchange thing on Saturday because the Columbia Elders needed to have someone interviewed for baptism, and Elder Harris had to be the one to do it, but we had like 3 appointments at the same time, so we exchanged and I went with Elder Farnsworth into my area, we just biked. The other Elders took the car because we were going to be going with a priest from out ward, Well, we went out, and all of our appointments fell through, so we relied on the Lord to tell us where we needed to go, we ended up running into a lot of people we had been trying to get a hold of, and taught 3 really great lessons with this kid. :) He is getting ready to leave on his mission, just waiting on his call, so it was really cool to have him out with us and to be able to answer the questions that he had about what to expect. :) Well, we did this until about three. And we weren't switching back until 5. IT started POURING rain. :) I like the rain. Elder Farnsworth and I got to bike in the rain for about 2 hours on Saturday, and it was crazy! haha we were so wet! We were having a ton of fun though. :) Just picture me, soaking wet, riding a bike, smiling and singing to myself. :)

We have been doing a lot more biking lately, but you will always hear that from an Elder. We are always trying to conserve miles :P That's one thing I am going to be very exited for when I get back, I won't have to pay attention to how many miles I go a day! :P We try to see people on our way to appointments, but sometimes we have to get right out and right to the far parts of our area to be sure we'll get to an appointment on time. I find myself praying to myself throughout the day, just asking for strength to continue onward and praying for opportunities to teach people. :) And God never forgets to answer my prayers. :)

We have some pretty big hills in our area that we bike up, so when we are in the car, I am extra thankful that we have a car. People are being much nicer to us with the Christmas season coming so fast. 9 days!!! That's so crazy! Do you remember in the airport when I called and you told me "Talk to you on Christmas!" Well, that's almost here! So fast! I can't wait to Skype with y'all! I know I am going to cry! :P
I have to go Momma, I love you!
Merry Christmas!
Your Sunshine! :)

The extend of my external wreck damage. :P

There was a pocket for my nametag, the Doctor got a kick out of that :P

I am okay, see :P

Merry Christmas!

I love Elder Farnsworth!

This is one of my favorite pictures. :) I balanced my camera on a vine! :)

Our wonderful photographer and Bishop's sons...

This is one of my favorites, Zakary. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

How great is my calling!?

Hello Momma! I love seeing the pictures of the snow! I think I miss that the most. Here, the South has too much pride to actually snow, so instead it just gets about 20 degrees and starts to rain, then it will rain ice for a little, then the humidity in the air will freeze, and we will be riding our bikes through a frozen fog. :P It is so weird! We get all bundled up and bike like big marshmallows. :) You'd laugh at us if you saw us! I am very thankful for our members, because they'll see us and pull over and drop us off wherever we need to go.
Last night, our Elders Aquarium President picked us up, came to an appointment with us, then brought us back to his house to help wrap a couple presents, and to drink hot chocolate. :) YAY! Haha I knew how to wrap the presents very well because my momma taught me how. :)
I am thankful for members with dogs, because I miss mine so much. haha I get to play tug-o-war and scratch plenty of bellies. :)
I can't believe Carlin is home! It is weird to think about how long he's been gone. He and Brandon Peterson felt like they were gone way longer than 2 years, or maybe I was just more conscious of things in this time. :) If that makes sense at all :P
Haha I got weird looks when I started laughing in the Library about the bear in the big blue house and me not wanting to get sniffed. I remember the video you showed me. :)
I miss you Momma, the other day, I thought about that video you showed me of the missionary coming home off the plane and his Momma wasn't there yet, the one where he picks her up and hugs her for like 10 minutes, and I just cried. I know that's how it's going to be when I get home, I just know it. I am crying right now just thinking about it. :P I'm a baby when it comes to my Momma. :) It is crazy that I have been out for 5 months though! So fast! Time is seriously flying by! I am excited for Christmas so I can Skype with y'all. :) I am so excited to see your faces! I miss you so much Momma! I am having so much fun though! I am doing so well, we are now in our car-share as you know, so we are getting used to biking a lot of the time. :) I enjoy it though! It has been really weird with the temperature lately. The other day it got to 81, then below freezing the next. I'm so confused :P

I wanted to tell you a story. The other night, we stopped at a young couples home right before we headed in for the night. I am not going to mention names because I am sworn to secrecy. The wife asked us if we wanted anything to drink and I said sure, so I followed her into the kitchen, she opened the fridge and asked if I wanted a soda, I said sure. When she opened the fridge, there was an Ultrasound magneted to the fridge..haha She closed it, handed me the soda and I just looked at her with a smile and said, "umm...." she followed my eyes, her jaw dropped and she just looked at her husband. We all started laughing and she yelled, "I told you someone would find out!" Haha He said, "missionaries seem to always know things before everyone else" :P It was so funny. They told us that they haven't even told their families yet, and that we would never ever be heard from again if we told anyone. :P So I'm telling you. :) That's THAT story.

Another story. :) We have been working around the parts of our area that we haven't worked before, and we are doing a lot of knocking. I don't particularly like knocking, because I think it's boring :P But that's just my ADHD. We were knocking in this little neighborhood, and we knocked into a preacher. Oh joy. Haha he was very nice, surprisingly. But he did bash with us a bit, but it was in a very different way than I have ever Bible-bashed. He spent about 15 minutes trying to prove to us that Elder Harris and I were prophets. um...he said that if we go do the Lord's work, that makes us prophets. We have an appointment to go back in a week, so I hope we can help him to come to the truth. :) Satan is so good at what he does. I can really see what he is doing more clearly. I feel so bad for him. Knocking is getting fun though! We are running into a lot of people that are much friendlier because we are listening to the promptings of the spirit, as well as how close it is coming to Christmas, there is a special spirit in the air. :) People in the South are very hospitable especially around the holidays.

We are working with a man that we found just 2 days ago, and he is just coming out of being homeless. He has very little, and spends most of his time thinking of things that he can do for his 14 year old son that lives in Georgia with his mother. He is probably the most humble man I have ever met. After our first lesson, he gave us some of his favorite caramel corn. :) He was so happy to see us happy by something that he was able to give us. He is always thinking about giving, this gospel is exactly what he needs. Yesterday after church, he called us just to tell us that he has been reading the Book of Mormon, and that he is very excited to see us again tomorrow. :) I love being a missionary! How great is my calling Momma!?

My thumb is doing very well. Not as good as I wish :P But it is great. It hasn't been hurting too bad, I still can't bend it too far without it hurting a bunch, but I can use it just fine for writing and biking and all that. :)
I did get my Christmas countdown, and I LOVE IT! Haha such a cool idea! I am loving the ornaments also! Such a good idea! You should patent it. :) I also got your letter with the pictures, and I am very jealous! I miss The Who group! I am so glad Sawyer is coping well. :) Also, I thought Todd was Greg in all of them! Holy cow! He's huge! haha I miss that boy terribly. Is he doing alright? I love you Momma! I don't a have ton of time, so I am going to send this. :)
Love you!
You're the best Momma there ever was!
Also, we got to watch the scout program the other day, and I wanted to tell you, Momma, you earned your Eagle, but they gave the badge to me. :)
Thank you so much for all you do Momma, I love you too much!
I love you more than Sawyer does! ;)

The Fengers.
 They take good care of us. :)!!!!

24 days of Christmas! :)

The Elders in my apartment think these are the coolest things in the whole world. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's all fun & games till the Bishop dislocates his shoulder...

Okay, so I haven't gotten a package yet, I think this transfer messed everything up, because none of us have gotten any mail in over a week. With it being a holiday, and having transfers a day early, I think everything is just all out of whack. I should be getting mail today though, so I will be watching for it. :) You can always send mail to the Clows and I will get it faster. Even if it is a letter. :) I am writing you back about the letter you wrote me when you sent my sweater. :) I hope I'll finish it today, I will do my best. I just get so carried away when I start writing! :) I hope y'all can read my handwriting!
I have been able to email Elder Sherwood, Elder Whitehead, and Elder Hardman! The first two were in my MTC zone, they are both in Uganda right now :) And the last one is Little John from camp! :D Haha I am loving it! I am excited to get your letter!
See, this is what happens when I start to write an email before I read what you've said. You answer my questions before I ask them :P
The picture you and Sawyer got came from Sister Bonni Crossen They have had us over a lot lately and we are gaining a lot of trust from all the members. :) The Crossens live in Southern Utah, but they are down here for his work. This next year they should be moving to Vegas. :)  I love them!
Thanksgiving was weird :P We had planned to go see about 4 families, and eat a little with each of them, but we ended up being a little behind on time because the new sister came into the area, and she had no clue what was going on, so she changed all the plans and stood-up 2 families. They just didn't show up, so after our dinner, we went to one of them and ended up eating there too. So that was 2 Thanksgivings.
Our first one was with the Crossens, and we ate SO MUCH!! haha then we went to the Fengers and they fed us, Then we went to the Clows' and hung out there for a little while. :) I am going to try to have Sister Clow send you her recipe for corn-bread stuffing/dressing! SO GOOD! Hahaha.
We started off Thanksgiving, However, with our wards Turkey bowl, but because we have virtually no youth, it was us 4 elders, and the bishop and his son, but we had tons of fun!..until Bishop fell and dislocated his shoulder :) Haha he's a trooper. But we spent Thanksgiving with a bunch of amazing families. :) I never want to leave this area! I love it too much! haha :) I'm so happy!
I thought it was ironic that I wanted to go somewhere cold, and this is supposed to be the coldest winter they have had in a while! haha My luck, right? ;)
I love it! People let us in when it's cold! :)
I was curious if you COULD send me a couple of things...I would love to have boots out here...service projects are a lot easier in the cold or mud with boots. :) I miss them.
Also, if you or Sawyer find any country Christmas music, I would appreciate that! I bought a Muppets and John Denver Christmas and we have been listening to them for a while. :) Or Relient K? I know they have some good Christmas. I'm sure Sawyer wouldn't mind putting something together, :)
I love you Momma! Have I ever told you you're a good Momma?!

Proof that it gets cold in SC! haha

Thanksgiving :)

 This is the Fengers who fed us, they are wonderful people!

Sister Clow loves to send y'all pictures :) and I love asking her to take them! We had fun helping them remodel, and we get to go over to help paint soon too! :) That was the first day we had to bike in a while because we have had the car, but now that E. Farnsworth is here, we have it every other day. :) 
I am actually doing a lot better on warmth now! I have my thermal G's, earmuffs, a hat, gloves, and sweaters and scarves! :) I just have to buy an ugly Christmas sweater now! ;)