What time is it…it’s summer time!!!

My dearest Family and friends,

Holy cow. This week has been full of many ups and downs. I am now in Anderson, Indiana. Not gonna lie, I have lots of mixed feelings about it. Mostly good feelings though so don’t worry. I am so happy to be back in INDIANA!!!!!!!! I really do love this place. I know a lot of missionaries who have served here in Anderson, so that makes it kinda nice. Elder McDade (who was one of my DL’s in Miamisburg) is serving here in Anderson. There are also a few people in the zone who were just in the Middletown Zone with me. It was like we all got transferred to the Muncie South and Muncie North Zones. Haha. Kinda crazy! I was really hoping that if I got transferred that I would be able to go back to Columbia City to finish my mission, but apparently God has other plans. It’s okay though because I saw the Columbia City sisters at transfers and the ward is doing great up there.

So anyway, Indiana. Let me tell you a little bit about this past week. (As you can tell, my mind is kind of all over the place right now, so I am going to try and gather my thoughts.)

So at about 6:30 pm Monday night, we got a text from the Assistants saying that they were going to be temporarily closing down our area. WHAT???!!!!! Have you not been seeing our numbers lately? Do you not realize that we have a baptism this weekend and it is already crazy enough because we are getting doubled out?? Yeah….those were the thoughts that I had. We had an appointment that night with (M) and we had the Elders come so that she could get to know them a little better since they would be finishing things off with her. (M) is great though. We told her that we were getting doubled out, that our area was shutting down, and that the Elders would be finishing her teaching. She was shocked but her response was “Wow. I am so sorry guys.” I was like “(M)! You are sorry for us? I am sorry for you.” She seemed to take it pretty well though.

*Side note: (M) did get baptized this past weekend.

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Sister Witherspoon was able to go since she was within an hour from Miamisburg. I unfortunately wasn’t able to because I am like 2 hours or so away. 😥 That was definitely one of the bummers of my week, but I am super happy that she still got baptized. She is just too awesome.

So Monday night was crazy trying to get us all packed and the apartment finished cleaning and all the other stuff that we had to do because our area was getting shut down. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep, I was super stressed and very tired on Tuesday, and I was leaving one of the BEST AREAS EVER!!!!!! Yeah….I was an emotional wreck. I actually held it in pretty well, but it didn’t help me later on in the week. It kinda turned into some depression and bleh.

It rained a lot this week, so it has been kinda gloomy. That hasn’t helped any at all. I just need to sun to shine to make me feel happier!!! Anyway, I was really sad and depressed the first couple of days here and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it hit me….I was homesick for Miamisburg. And I mean homesick! I haven’t been homesick very much on my mission, so it kinda caught me off guard. It was a great area to serve in, and I am now going to have to party it up in Anderson!

The transfer meeting was crazy! There were a lot of missionaries going home, we had a pretty good sized group coming out, and there was a lot of screaming and yelling. Yeah, it was probably the most exciting transfer I have been to.  Sister Witherspoon is now in a trio with the Little Miami Sister Training Leaders. Booyah baby!! #proudmomma She just got out of training and she is companions with Sister Training Leaders. She is going to do awesome in this mission.

My new companion is Sister Blackburn. She is from Roy, Utah. She is 24 years old. She came out a transfer after I did, so she only has 2 transfers left on her mission. She is a little quiet, at least to me she is. I am a loud person though so it isn’t saying much. I don’t really know what else to say about her. We get along pretty well!

I don’t really know what else to say in my email right now either. My new address is (contact my parents if you want the address). I know I only have 6, well 5 weeks left now, but I would still love to get some mail from you all! Nothing makes a missionary happier! 😉

I love you all! Have a great week.

Love,

Sister Palmer

Pictures:

Saw Sister Davis at transfers.

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Always have to get a picture with her. She is one of my best friends!

#2 the corn is growing!

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# 3 beautiful Indiana sky. I am in love!

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Cinco de Mayo Mothers Day

PREFACE: I am a slacking parent…I went two weeks in a row without getting her letters posted. For this post I am actually combining the last two emails she sent home. I am doing this for two reasons: first, because they are both short. Second, because they are tied together with some of the things that Kayla talked about. So with that said, enjoy the first two weeks of May in the Aboite area of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Hola! Happy Cinco de Mayo to my family and friends! (Did I even spell those Spanish words right?)

I hope you all had a great week! I sure did. We have a zone fun day today, so I am typing this very fast and it will be a little short.

Hangin' with Sister Seamons again at a Zone Fun Day.

Hangin’ with Sister Seamons again at a Zone Fun Day.

I am hoping to get on a little later and I can update y’all a little more but here is a little update for my week…

(It didn’t happen so consider the second email below as her update.)

Wednesday and Thursday we didn’t have a car. It was in the shop because we had to get the front bumper fixed due to a small accident that happened in January. The roads were just too icy and we spun out and hit a snowbank. So yeah we had to get the bumper fixed. It was a pain because we had to call members to pick us up from a certain area, take us to a different area, and then a couple hours later we would have a different member pick us up and take us to another area. Yeah…it was a pain but it worked out! We did a lot of walking those two days though. We were so grateful when we finally got the car back! We are very lucky to have a car. 🙂

We were supposed to have a lesson with our golden investigator (C) on Thursday, but he got super sick and so we ended up just having a lesson with the member whose house we were at. In the middle of it, (C) texted the member (who is our ward mission leader) saying that he wouldn’t be able to come because he was sick. He spelled Sister Standage’s name wrong and so it said Spandage. Our ward mission leader was giving her a hard time about it, so that is her nickname with him now. My nickname is Sister Farmer because apparently I talk too much about owning farming land and stuff (I don’t really talk about that much) but they keep thinking that I am going to be a farmer someday. Who knows…

Okay well this email isn’t extremely interesting. Things are going great out here in Indiana. Next week is Mother’s Day and I get to Skype home with my family (WAHOO!) so there isn’t much that I have to say since I will get to see my family next week. I hope that you all have a great week though and that you eat some yummy tacos or something today okay?

I love you all!

Love,

Sister Palmer

(And the next week she said…)

Dear Friends and Family,

So how are you all doing? I am doing pretty great!

Mothers Day Skype 2014

Yesterday was Mother’s day and it was AWESOME!! It really was only awesome because I got to Skype home with my family, but it was awesome. It was so nice to see my family and talk to them for a little while.

Mothers Day Skype 2014 Family

The 40 minutes that we got to talk were probably the fastest 40 minutes of my life, but I am glad that things are going well at home and that I was able to share with them things that are going on here in Indiana. 🙂

Okay, so tomorrow is transfers. You are all probably wondering what is going to happen. I know that my family is. So any guesses??….Well, I’m staying!! Unfortunately Sister Standage is getting transferred. 😦 We figured she would, but it is still hard for me. We have become such good friends and have had so much fun during the time that we have been together.

Kayla and Sister Standage before transfers

It is going to be different having another companion. I haven’t gotten a call from President Porter yet saying that I am going to be training, but I most likely with be training someone fresh from the MTC. Boy are they going to be in for an adventure…..heehee. I actually feel like i am going to be in for more of an adventure than they are. Even though I have been out for like 5 months, I feel kind of like i am back at square one, because I have to teach someone everything that i have learned. Hopefully I can do a good job.

Okay so other than the fact that tomorrow is transfers, this week should be pretty good! Our golden investigator, (C) is scheduled to get baptized on Saturday. Wahoo! We have been so excited for this to happen. He has been such an amazing investigator and has just soaked up everything that we have taught him. Hopefully things go well! 🙂

The weather here continues to get warmer and warmer, and the humidity is getting worse and worse. Gah! Oh well, not anything I can do about it.

I don’t think there is much that I have left to update on. Mostly because I talked to my family yesterday, so I don’t know what else to write. I love you all though! I hope you have a great week! 🙂

Love,

Sister Palmer

Zone Conference, Silvia, and Gary

* PREFACE: Another p-day afternoon, hand-written letter. The email was to family and friends, but this letter was just for the family. We just couldn’t leave you out with this one. The whole letter isn’t included this time…just the best parts. Hope you are entertained.

Dear Family,

Yay! P-day again! I wrote what I thought was a pretty good email, but once again there are so many more things that I could tell you, and questions that I didn’t answer, so now I am writing a letter while I eat lunch and relax.

This last week we had a zone meeting and Zone Conference. Zone meeting was on Wednesday and it was just with our zone. There are 5 sets of Sisters and 4 sets  of Elders in our zone. Pretty cool! Zone meeting was when I got my bedding. (The last big polar blast storm prevented her bedding from arriving at the mission home before she got there from the MTC. She has had to use some bedding that a member left for her.) Haha, it was kind of funny because everyone saw the size of the package and were like “what the?!” I was happy to have my soft blanket! Oh and my sheets and pillow. (By the way, the pillow is nice! Thank you!)

Thursday we had Zone Conference. That was with President & Sister Porter, the Assistants, the Fort Wayne Stake President, and the missionaries in the Fort Wayne stake, which consists of 2 zones.

Jan 2014 Zone Conference

It was really good! I love President and Sister Porter, although President Porter scares me a little bit. (He is just a little intimidating.) Anyways…It was really good, but it lasted FOREVER! Like 8 hours forever.

Okay moving on. Let me tell you a little bit about our area…Our area covers parts of the Columbia City and Huntington Wards, but no we don’t attend both wards. Just the Columbia City ward. The Columbia City ward has two sets of missionaries; Sister Standage and I and then a set of Elders…Elder St. Mars and Elder Jolley.

If there was anyone that wanted to send me stuff, or even you, it could be gift cards. Subway, Wendy’s, other eat out places. That was one thing missionaries got in the MTC…lots of Subway gift cards, so that when they got out to the field, they could go get something to eat when they wanted to eat out for lunch. Anyways, just a thought. Not extremely important, but Sister Standage & I have eaten out once or twice and it made me think of that.

I will let you know that my coat has been fantastic! (As well as my boots, gloves, hat, scarf, thermal socks…yeah.) I have stayed pretty warm for the most part but it is pretty cold out here! The first few days i didn’t think it was that bad, and I didn’t understand what people were freaking out about, but now I think it is cold. Temp wise, it doesn’t seem like it’s extremely colder than Utah, but the wind does blow. That’s when it is cold! Then there’s the snow, but I’m used to that. Sister Standage…not so much. Haha! She is good with the snow though.

Okay, now since I have time, let me tell you funny things about Sister Standage and I that I couldn’t tell you in an email (since there isn’t enough time). First off, we have named our car Silvia (actually she was already named). She is a beautiful, silver Toyota Corolla. Nice car. We also have a GPS whom we’ve name Gary (like Gary from Spongebob). Gary is a little retarded and sometimes tries to lead us down roads that don’t exist, or tries to lead us across big roads/highways.

The other night we were coming home and Gary brought us to a highway and told us we had to cross it. Sister Standage said, “Gary is trying to kill us!” as we watched all the cars go by. She then said, “I am going to scream when we go.” I got a little carried away as I was watching the cars go by while waiting for an opportunity to go. Finally an opportunity came, but I didn’t realize it. I just heard Sister Standage screaming as we headed across the highway. Hahaha, we were laughing so hard.

That’s one funny story. Pretty much, we are just super crazy and tired when we get back to the apartment at night, so we do dumb things like make funny faces, and we just laugh at everything.

Well, I hope you enjoy this long letter! I love you all so much! Have a great week. 🙂

Love,
Sister Palmer

They’re Here!

This post does not include a letter from Kayla. I’m just a proud dad that wanted to give an update on what has happened since leaving the Missionary Training Center three days ago. However, I will share part of the form letter that the office staff sent to me on behalf of President and Sister Porter.

As a curious parent with internet access at my fingertips, I decided to track Kayla’s flight to Cincinnati. With the snow storm that we had that day, I wanted to know if there were any delays or chances of rough weather that she would have to fly through. Well, the weather in Utah did delay the flight from leaving for about 30 minutes. But with a tail wind, most of that delay was made up during the flight. They arrived at the Cincinnati airport just 10 minutes late.

The mission president and some of the office staff were there to pick up the newly arrived missionaries. This group that arrived had 16 missionaries. It was actually one of the smallest groups to arrive in the mission since it was formed this last July.

In the airport

It is evident from the look on her face in this picture that she wasn’t really wanting to have her picture taken. Why is that? Probably because it was 3:00 in the afternoon and she had already been up for 12 hours. Plus hauling the luggage around…

When they were all situated and getting ready to leave the airport, they decided to have a group picture as the newest missionaries in the Ohio Cincinnati Mission. They were joined in the picture by President and Sister Porter and the office elders that came to help.

Group arriving at airport

From the airport they went to the mission home where she would spend the night. Kayla told us on the phone earlier that morning that she was really looking forward to being at the mission home and hoping that Sister Porter was a really good cook…she was ready for a home-cooked (not cafeteria prepared) meal. She didn’t mind the food at the MTC, but there definitely is a difference between a cafeteria meal and a home-cooked dinner.

There were also going to be some orientation take place while they were in the mission home. I am assuming that the orientation took place that same evening. That is the only reason I can explain everyone sitting in a group as they are in this next picture.

Group in the mission home

Or maybe they had just finished eating a really good dinner. Yeah, that must be it…look at the smiles on their faces. Or they were just so happy and excited to be there.

That night a form email was sent out to the families letting us know that our missionary had arrived. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

Dear Missionary Parents,

Your missionary has arrived in the great Ohio Cincinnati Mission!  We very much look forward to the strength he/she will be to this great work.  Many thanks for all you are doing to assist.  Your ongoing letters of encouragement and prayers of faith are so important.  We constantly ask the Lord to pour out His spirit upon our missionaries, members, and the people of Ohio and invite you to join us in daily prayers on their behalf…

 

We are excited to share photos with you of some of our events on Facebook!  Search for our page, Ohio Cincinnati Mission.

 

Attached is an awesome photo of your missionary with President and Sister Porter at the Mission Home!

Sister Palmer

As a side comment to the email, they do a great job of posting pictures whenever there are zone meetings, transfers, new arrivals, departures for home, and any other reason to take a picture. I recommend you look at some of them.

The next morning was the day they would head out to their area with their new companion. Kayla has been assigned to Fort Wayne, Indiana…the city that is just about as far away from the mission home as you can go while staying in the mission boundaries.

There is a Lisa C. from the ward that Kayla is serving in that picked her up. I don’t know if Lisa drove all the way to the mission home or if Kayla had some other transportation to a drop-off point, but this is where you cue the Disney song “It’s a Small World”. Because it really is.

Lisa asked Kayla where she was from, and upon hearing that she was from Orem, asked if she knew a particular family. Well not only did Kayla know them, they live just a few houses down from us and are in our ward. Lisa happens to be the sister-in-law of Ruth E., the lady that lives down the street from us. Lisa is not only married to the younger brother of the Ruth, but her husband and I knew each other in junior high school. Well, Lisa took a picture of Kayla on her phone and sent it as a text to Ruth, who then forwarded it on to my wife. Kayla obviously was excited…or confused…or drunk…(definitely not drunk)…or something else.

Kayla on way to Ft Wayne

Now as a father that is already glad to see his daughter had arrived safely in her mission, it gives me some added satisfaction to know that we have a connection to someone in the area that Kayla is serving in. It doesn’t mean we will have extra contact with Kayla, but we can trust that she will be well taken care of by the members.

55 years ago my dad was serving in what was then called the Great Lakes Mission. The mission home was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He spent two different periods working in Fort Wayne, totaling about 6 months of his mission. He made comments to me at times that he really liked the Fort Wayne area, that it was his favorite mission area to serve in. I told Kayla that, so I am sure that she has some added excitement being assigned to work there. I think about how awesome it would be if Kayla met a child or grandchild of someone that my dad taught or at least knew when he was a missionary there. Not that it needs to happen, but it would be added proof to me that her assignment was guided by the Lord.

I also have a neighbor friend who served part of his mission in Fort Wayne and talks positively about it. He was excited to learn that Kayla is serving there.

So with this post I have updated the banner at the top of the blog page to show where she is currently serving. She may actually be in a suburb or Fort Wayne, which we hope to find out for sure when she emails on Monday. But I will leave the assignment city as Fort Wayne for the time being.

We know that transfers won’t happen for another six weeks, so it is pretty safe to say she won’t go anywhere before then. I think it is fairly safe to say she will be there longer than six weeks too. I hope for her sake that she is…it will allow her to establish stronger relationships with the members and investigators that she works with. This will be a great assignment.