Monday, May 21, 2012


Greetings from....
Galveston Island!
That's right, I've been transferred down to Galveston Island.  And it is great!  I love being down here!  It is so different than being in Houston, or even the Houston suburbs.  The whole place is dripping with history.  Which is reallyl cool.  Plus, I get a more "southern" feel.  Houston is a relatively new city, it really started to grow once air conditioning became affordable for everyone.  So even the poor neighborhoods didn't feel that poor or even that old.  But Galveston on the other hand is totally an old little city.  I guess I'm about as far away from the mission office as the missionaries get.  So you should totally send stuff to me here, instead of at the office.  
My companion is Hna. Worthen.  She's from Centerville, she's the third of four girls.  And we get along really well.  We hit it off right away.  And Galveston is a bike area.  We don't even have a car.  So we ride around everywhere.  But that is the best way to do it.  We split the island with the elders, and the area of the English sisters is about the same as ours.  So we have a car that we share to use for things like going to church, shopping, and heading up to the mission office for things like zone conferences and stuff.  Sometimes I even forget that we are on an island.  We do a lot of our work in the "middle" of the island, so we don't see the ocean that much.  But that's ok.  There is definitely an island feel to everything.  People just live their lives at a slower pace than they do in Houston.  Plus, we see all sorts of people riding around on bikes too.  It's fun to ride along side them and talk about the gospel.  
There is just a little Spanish branch here, so they share with the English ward.  And they combine for things like primary and youth activities.  So our meetings are backwards.  We start with Sunday School and then Relief Society and Priesthood, and then have Sacrament meeting.  It's the smallest branch I've worked in.  
The last week of school must be fun! And crazy!  I don't really want to think about what summer is going to do to our missionary work.  There will be so many tourists here.  But last week was crazy, especially since we had to help with transfers!  Hna. Alsup and I were asked to go "running."  It's where they take the new missionaries, direct from the airport, and give them a chance to do some street contacting.  I had the privilege of being assigned to work with the sister from Spain.  Which was fun for both of us.  Especially since we played the "do you know" game.  And she had quite a few friends that I served with in Madrid.  So it was really fun to make those connections, for both of us!  
We still go running in the mornings. I've found that unless you get a companion who is a die hard runner, the both of you have to talk yourselves into it.  
I bet you all had a lot of fun up at Tyler's house.  And I would love to see some pictures!  (I will send you some next week for sure!)
And it sounds like you are all having a lot of fun playing games!  I loved the engagements that you sent!  They are so cute!
Before I forget I should probably give you my address:
2216 Ave. O (that's an O as in Oreo!)  Apt #3 
Galveston, TX  77550
It sound's like it's been a crazy week in Russia!  But conferences and stuff like that are always fun.  And we as missionaries always love going to them.   Last week, it kinda hit me what it must be like to have to plan the conferences.  We just always show up, and everything is just there and taken care of.   We stopped by the office a few times last week, and we had to help accommodate the new missionaries for their first night here, so I got a little glimpse of all that goes on.  I'm glad that we as missionaries don't have to worry about it.  
I forgot a few things that I wanted to tell you!
Like the cool contacts of the week!
Last week, (so my last week in Houston)  we went to the park to do some contacting, and talked to a guy who is going to be a four time Olympic athlete.  He's getting ready to head to London!  I believe he does Tae Kwan Do.  He had some really good questions about the church, and we had a good little conversation with him.
And then just the other day, here in Galveston, we talked to the flag man of Galveston.  Apparently, from what I could put together, he carries an American Flag across the country without money.  He's just got the faith that other people will take care of him. 
Ok, so I really think that that is all for today!
Love you lots!

May 14, 2012

Hello Everyone!
I know it feels a little weird to write to you all right after the phone calls yesterday.  But we do get some time!
I'm glad I look better,  My weight is still not what it was before I left, but I don't feel like I need to get there.  I'm ok with where I'm at.  
I totally believe that they eat a lot of mangoes in Honduras.  I've heard they get to be super cheap here during the summer!  So I'm kinda excited for that.  We actually teach quite a few people from Honduras here, so I often throw in that my cousin is serving there.  We like to show people that the church is the same no matter where you go, so using other missionaries is a great way to do that.
We found a great little family last week.  He really wants to be able to set aside Sundays.  He's a mechanic, and has his own business, so he works a lot, but he's noticed that his friends who make the sacrifice to go to a church on Sunday seem to be happier than he is right now, so he wants to be able to make the change.  And his wife really likes what we are teaching.  They do their reading, and have some great questions!  He even told us not to answer some of them because he wants to read the Book of Mormon and figure them out by himself!  They have two daughters  ages 10 & 5.  So they are a cute little family.
This week is transfers, and I'm getting transferred!  I can't tell you where yet, but next week I will! 
Hope everyone is doing great!
Love you all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things are going good in Houston

Hello Family!
Things are going good here in Houston.  Although this last week it has started to get pretty hot.  And although the humidity doesn't really bother me like it did the first day,  I can definitely tell that the humidity makes a difference.  
I can imagine that wedding planning is pretty chaotic, especially if you're not quite sure what you're looking for.  But I guess it is a good way to stay busy.
It sounds like youth conference was good!  I'm glad that everybody had a good time. 
Hna. Alsup is the youngest of four girls.  She grew up in San Diego, although her family has moved to Utah over the last few years.  She went to BYU, and also got her master's at BYU.  In a lot of ways we are pretty similar.  
Brenna's flight sounds like a real adventure.  I just wasn't sure if it was an experience because it was Brenna who was flying, or if it really was a bad flight experience.  But I'm glad that she got there and back in one piece.  
We've got a good little pool of investigators right now.  And we've managed to find a few that really seem to have potential.  Sometimes people will let us in, and we'll teach them a few times, but we aren't quite sure if they are really going to understand and get baptized,  but right now almost all of our investigators seem like they'll be willing to make that step one day.  
Those little miracles are things like people who will really listen to you during a contact, so you can teach a little bit more than just "we're missionaries, and what we have to say will bless your life."  Or when a street contact will invite us in right on the spot, so we get to teach a first lesson right then and there.  And sometime people are just ready to accept the gospel,  so when people say "yeah of course"  it comes as a kind of shock, because we are so used to hearing no.  
I can't believe that this is the last week of the transfer.  It seems so unreal.  It really feels like I just got here yesterday, and yet it feels like I've been here forever.  But that is just how mission time goes.
Sometimes it feels like I've got forever to go, but then when I break the time down into transfers, it seems so short.  Especially since the time I spent in Spain seems so short looking back at it.
I'm finding myself thinking less and less about Spain.  It was a little weird to have to adapt to a new mission and a new mission culture, but I'm learning to love Houston!
Last week we had a zone p-day activity.  They divided the zone up into teams, and then we had an olympics/amazing race activity.  So that was pretty fun.  And today we are going to do something with our district, although we are still figuring out the details.  
Church was good this last weekend, although the English wards had stake conference this weekend, so we had the whole building to ourselves.  We had come early for meetings and whatnot, and the parking lot was absolutely empty.  It kinda reminded me of when the Portugese ward was meeting in our building, and they had stake conference, or world cup games or whatever, and no one was there when they were supposed to be.  
I think that's it for now!
Love you lots, Amber

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pictures from the Houston Temple

Sister Matthews, Sister Lewis, Sister Parra, Sister Avery

 The beautiful Houston Temple

Sister Avery and SisterLewis

A BIG thanks to the Avery family for sending us these pictures!  Sister Avery lives in our stake and played volleyball in high school with Sister Lewis!

Zone Conference and Intercambios

Hello everyone!  I hope that everyone has had a good week!
I had forgotten my camera, so I'm glad you got see some pictures!  So go ahead and post them!  I probably won't ever get to be companions with Sis. Avery, but sometimes you just never know!
This week we had zone conference!  It was amazing!  I love going them!  I also got to be part of the special musical number (I also get to play the opening and closing hymns, but that's just normal stuff)  I accompanied one of the other sisters in my district, Hna. Harper.  I had a lot of fun practicing last week.  (We did most of the practicing on P-day, and then ran into the other sisters at the church building so we had a bit of an impromptu practice session.  I didn't want to take up too much time out of our regular week)
We also had intercambios this week.  I stayed here and had Hna. Harper with me.  We had a good time, and saw a lot of miracles this weekend!  
I wonder what constitutes an eventful flight with Brenna.  Was there something more that made it eventful?  I'm glad that she's having a good time with his family, but we all knew that she would. And it sounds like wedding plans are coming along slowly but surely!  Which is probably the best way to do it.  
We don't do a lot of door to door tracting.  We mostly just talk to everyone we come across.  So we'll talk to people as we are coming and going from lessons, or while we are trying to find some unscheduled lessons.  We will also go out on our bikes and ride around looking for people who are out and about.  Sometimes we'll knock on a few doors, but it's not very effective and we knock on a lot of doors that don't get answered, so we don't do it a lot.  But we do get more references from members than we did in Spain, so that always helps.  Although I don't think we'll ever get to the point where we have so many member referrals that street contacting just gets in the way. 
We'll probably be doing phone calls between three and six on Sunday.  We have 11:00 church, so we'll just do it afterwards.  I'll let the members know and give them your email address. 
Sorry Gramma, I haven't met Sis. Cable yet...I'll let you know when I do.