Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas on the Mission - Pictures

 Spent Christmas Eve with the Ellis family, Nian, and Scott! It was the best! 

 Parking in DC.

Ximena went through the temple on Saturday morning for the first time, and we got to be with her. It was by far the best moment of my mission so far, I love her SO much!! 

I love you all so much!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

This week has been great! I still can't really believe I'm in my 8th transfer. Only 5 more to go?! AH. Crazy! We got an awesome surprise this transfer though, and got another companion! Sister Sundwall joined Sister So and I in a trio! She's the STL, and I love her a ton. This is her last transfer too, so we're going all out, it's been so fun! Our first night together was a RIOT. Oh my gosh haha. After shift, we went to check on a referral. After driving an hour through DC traffic, we got to the referrals house, only to find 2 giant firetrucks, with firefighters running in an out of this guys house. We figured it probably wasn't the best time to stop by, so we left to check on another referral. This one lived right by Dottie and Bernice, so we figured we should stop in and say hi and get free parking out of it too! We walked inside, only to figure out that their retirement home was having their giant Christmas party that night! We got pulled in and watched 90 year olds dance to 50's music and drink egg nog. We stayed for a few minutes, met a bunch of residents, then left. IT WAS SO FUNNY. Then we went to the White House and contacted at the Christmas tree outside. So, so fun! It's going to be a great transfer! Other than that, not much has been happening. Festival is super, super busy! It's nuts. I've met some really great people, and too many rude members. Oh well. If any of you ever go to a visitors center and are rude to the sisters there, I'll have some words to say to you. Thanks, be nice to missionaries. Haha. It's been such a great experience though! I've met people from every part of the world, from all different cultures and religious and backgrounds. I love meeting people, and I love being a missionary. I love the Christmas season and the opportunity we have to remember the Savior. One thing the VC is doing differently this year is that we're giving out "gifts" to those of other faiths. It's a little "tabletopper", and has a cutout of the nativity scene. There's a link to the video on (watch it if you haven't already), and on the back, there's the following passage:

"On a quiet night long ago, the Savior Jesus Christ was born.
Born to change all hearts,
End all goodbyes, 
Reconcile all debts,
Atone for all sins. 
He is the only one that can bridge the lonely gap between God and man, and bring us home. 
This is why He came, and this is why we celebrate." 

It's such a simple message, but it's absolutely true! We celebrate because of Him. We're challenging families this Christmas to sit down together, watch the video on, read the poem above , and then to have a discussion about Jesus Christ and Christmas. For parents to share their faith in Christ with their children, or to express gratitude for their blessings if they don't have that Christian background. We've been promising them that their Christmas will be more meaningful, more filled with the spirit, and that their family relationships will be strengthened. And I'm going to challenge all of you to do the same! The promise applies to all of you just as much as it does to them. This is the best time of the year, and I'm so grateful to be a missionary right now. Jesus Christ is real, and I love Him dearly. I love you all as well, and hope you have the best Christmas! :)

Love you,

 White House Christmas tree contacting for the win
I have the cutest comp, period. 
Took Christmas pics today. Love you guys! ❤️


Monday, December 14, 2015

Festival - Week 2

Hello again! 

This week has been pretty good. Festival is getting busier every night, we've had over 6,000 people on both Saturday and Sunday, it's been nuts! I've met lots of incredible people and we're working hard! Zone Conference was this week, which was super awesome as always. Nian is doing super well, and doesn't want to go to YSA! YAY. Sorry this is crazy short, I keep putting off group emailing. Here are a couple pictures though. Love you all!

Elder and Sister White went home on Friday. It was the WORST. They're my favorite couple ever, and I love them like parents. Miss them so much already! 

The crèche room. Nice. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Festival De Luces

So, Festival is in full swing! And it's amazing! And absolutely EXHAUSTING. And we're only a week in! Gotta love it. We're in the VC every night now, except for Tuesday's, so we don't have much time in our area. I'd be more bummed about that if we had anybody to teach, but nah. Festival works great for us! Haha. Tuesday was ambassador night and the actual lighting ceremony, and then Wednesday was diplomat night. They were SO FUN. For ambassador night, they had a whole reception thing, and I got to bring around trays of finger foods and talk with them. So so so fun! Then on Wednesday, I was a "roamer", and did exactly that! I was free all night to wander and talk with the guests. I met diplomats from Canada, Israel, Thailand, Ukraine, Tahiti, Myanmar, Romania, Barbados, England, and a ton more. Seriously SO FUN. Festival's a riot. 

The rest of the week has been a blur! Every day is busier, and we're getting almost twice as many visitors as last year, which is nuts! One night we had over 4,500 come in between 5 and 10. It was nuts, and that's not nearly as busy as it's going to get later. AH. We're working with the Baltimore and DC South sisters, so every day we're on splits with one of them so we can be in more places and do more proselyting. It's great! Sister So and I have found almost 30 people that have agreed to meet with missionaries. We're working like nuts, it's the best thing ever! I love being in the VC SO MUCH. It's the best place in the world. Life is good, the Church Is true, and being a missionary is the BEST. 

Love y'all
Sister Wilson

 Look who we found! 


 Rockville Zone!

Monday, November 30, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope it was the best one yet and that you ate lots for me! :) 

Our week was pretty good! After a crazy fiasco searching for my lost metro card on Tuesday night, we were able to meet with Joe! He took us out to a pizza place in Dupont, and it was so. good. Holy smokes. Definitely my new favorite pizza place here! Joe is super funny, he reminds me a lot of my dad haha. He's beyond prepared too!! He was basically teaching us the lessons. I'm super bummed that he's going back to Arizona in a week, but I'm trusting that my family there is going to swoop him up and be friends with him. Lol. But really guys, thanks. Our lesson with him was bomb, and he's already planning on how he's going to get his wife into the BOM (she's the only reason he's not getting baptized yet). He's so, so solid, and I'm way bummed that he's not going to be here longer!

Thanksgiving was super great! We couldn't do any proselyting, so we baked some pies to take to the VC later that day. Then we headed over to the Ellis's house, and spent the morning/afternoon with them!! They're my favorite family I've met here, and I love them SO much! We played board games and made food and it was just a blast. Nian was there too, so we got to know him a ton! After we ate, he asked a bunch of questions, and Sister Ellis taught him the entire restoration, and it was so powerful! She's the best. Then, we went to the VC, and had a potluck with the sisters and senior couples and had thanksgiving round 2. It was awesome! Holidays on the mission are so stinking fun! I love it!

On Saturday night, we went over to the Ellis's again, had thanksgiving round 3, and taught Nian again! He's super prepared too! We watched the Joseph smith movie, and invited him to be baptized. He doesn't want to set a date yet, but he's working towards a baptism! He loves the BOM and loves learning. He said that he's finally found a "home for his spirit" :') Only downside is he's 23, and we told him about the YSA Ward. We went with him yesterday during relief society/priesthood, and he loved it and made lots of friends. So we're probably going to be passing him soon. Agh. We'll still get to go to his baptism though, so that's awesome! He's so great!!

Festival starts TOMORROW, and I can't tell you how pumped I am!! They turned on the lights for the temple workers last night and I about cried. In our training meeting on Friday, we set a goal for how many referrals we were going to get during the month of December. 2 years ago, they got around 100. Last year, they set the goal of 800, and got 810! A lot of changes have happened since then, with Elder Fowler coming in January and really pushing us. After getting a super awesome training from him about "with God, nothing is impossible", we said a kneeling prayer. Then, we set the goal of getting 2,000 people during the month of December to give us their information and agree to meet with missionaries. I am absolutely confident that that goal was set prayerfully, and that the Lord is going to provide a way for us to exceed that 2,000. Then, as companionships, we set daily goals for the entire month of December, and how many referrals we wanted to get those nights. Sister So and I are going to get {at least} 200 of them, and we're so excited! December is going to be exhausting and challenging, but I am beyond excited. The spirit of Christmas is real, especially at the visitors center! Remember to be happy and give thanks always. Read the scriptures and pray often. God's real and He loves you! Love you all! 

 Brother Ellis and Tysi!

 Miss y'all.



 The morning shift wore pilgrim hats, night shift wore feathers. #winning.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Stake Conference

It's been a great week, this weekend was amazing! Sister So and I are totally shifting gears and spending our time working with the members. The youth invited us to a missionary night they had this week for mutual, and it was so fun! We got to talk about missions and how to prepare and what we do and answered a lot of their questions! Then we made pies afterwards, it was super fun!

This week was stake conference, and I'm not sure who I told already, but President Nelson and Elder Hallstrom both came out for it! This year is the 75th anniversary of the DC stake, so they had a special fireside on Friday night, then conference on Saturday and Sunday. SO. GOOD. We were on shift at the VC Friday night, so we didn't get to go to the special fireside. Earlier that day, we had been talking about how cool it would be if President Nelson came in to see the temple model, since he was at the stake center like 300 feet away. Friday night it was pretty slow, there were a few families there. We were talking to a couple other sisters, when we heard the door open. The room went totally silent, and we turned around just in time to see President Russell M. Nelson walking in the door, followed by Elder Hallstrom (Presidency of the 70), and some security guys. You could literally feel the spirit hit you when he walked in, the room was silent within seconds, and everyone turned around to see what was up. President Nelson looked around, then WALKED OVER TO US. He said, "Hi, I'm Brother Nelson!" (The most humble man on this planet). Then he went to all the sisters, and shook our hands, and we introduced ourselves. It was the most amazing experience!! He has the bluest eyes, and shaking his hand I thought my heart was going to explode the spirit was so strong! After that, he went and found Elder Fowler (they're best friends!), and looked at the temple model. He was only there for like 10 minutes, but the spirit was buzzing the rest of the night. Basically the best thing ever. I met him again on Saturday night before Conference started, I got to shake his hand again! SO COOL. 

Stake Conference was incredible, I feel like I got just as much, if not more, revelation than general conference. I'll attach some cool facts below! 

Some fun facts from Conference:
-9 apostles came from the DC stake
-Ezra Taft Benson was the first stake president here
-President Nelson has 10 children, 52 grandchildren, and 91 great grandchildren. WHUT
-25% of missionaries are sisters 
-In 2 years, we went from having 58,000 to 88,000 missionaries worldwide 
-When Elder Hallstrom was born, there were only 8 temples. They just dedicated the 148th temple this weekend!

On Saturday night, President Nelson talked a little bit about the Book of Mormon and the atonement. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word "atonement", in any of its forms (atone, atoning, atonement, etc), is only found ONCE: Romans 5:11. In the Book of Mormon, it's found THIRTY NINE TIMES. That's a big deal! The Book of Mormon contains the "fullness of the gospel'" because it teaches about the atonement. I absolutely know that's true, and have come to understand Jesus Christ and the atonement through the Book of Mormon. It is a true book, and will change your life. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church, and we are led by a living prophet and apostles! That's something that I'm so beyond grateful for, and know to be true with all my heart!

I love you all so much! Have the best Thanksgiving and eat lots for me! :)

Sending lots of hugs (especially this week),
Sister Wilson

 Tried fixing our blinds, and it was going pretty well... Then they all started falling off the other side. So.
Dinner last night with the Ellis's! They're the BEST.

Every Sunday, they have all the converts over, and any nonmembers they know, and have Sunday dinner.

Nian made us all Chinese food!

President Nelson right after we shook hands. Dying.

SO COOL. he is the sweetest, funniest, most humble man on the planet.
Eyes dilated ;)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Over the Hill!

Happy 7th transfer! Thanks to everyone for their love and support, I love you all! 

 Wednesday was transfers, and it was the worst. They get worse every time as you watch people you've come to love so much leave! Sister Wathen went home, which was the worst. She's definitely been the one that's been keeping me sane a lot of the time this past transfer, and it's so different without her! She and Sister Amparo were huge examples to me, and we all miss then a ton already. Transfers stink. Sister So and I are staying together for another transfer, yay! She's the best. They also split our zone, so that's exciting I guess. 

On Wednesday night, Joe called us to tell us that he was moving back to Arizona permanently, and that he was leaving Thursday night! He's going to look up the church there! Bummer for us, but good for him. On Saturday morning, we woke up at 5 because our phone was going off. Ed texted us, and dropped us. He said he's decided to stop taking the lessons, and discontinue his association with the Church! So lame! He still hasn't responded to any of our texts or calls, and he's not responding to any of his friends from church either. Pretty sad, agency stinks! We were pretty bummed about that all day, we're back to finding! AH.

Despite having no investigators again, we had an awesome day Saturday morning at the VC!! We spent a couple hours with one couple, the husband is a convert of a few years, and his wife isn't a member (from China, doesn't speak any English and he doesn't speak any Chinese. Weird relationship, long story...). Sister so was able to teach her a ton, and I taught him a ton! The lady ended up upper boxing, and she has ton of potential! WOO. An hour or so after they left, a family from El Salvador walked in. They weren't members, and wanted to go in the temple. We were able to show them around and teach them a ton, and found out that their 16 year old son has been meeting with missionaries every other week! Apparently they meet in his room, so the rest of the family has no idea what they do or believe or what's going on, but they're supportive! We taught them a ton and they are SO PREPARED. When talking about sealings and eternal families, the dad leaned over to the youngest son and was like, "Andrew! Do you want to get baptized? How do you feel? Do you feel that burning deep in your heart??" UM IM SORRY WHUT. IT WAS SO COOL. The spirit was so powerful, it was such a neat experience! The whole family upperboxed! #MIRACLES. Even though our area is a huge struggle, I'm so grateful for the visitors center and the incredible miracles we see there every day. It's an amazing blessing and I love my calling!! :) 

The Ellis family is the best family in the world. They're the best member missionaries, and brought their neighbor to church yesterday! His name is Nian, he's also from China! Pretty sure he's YSA, but we're meeting with him on Sunday! NICE. MEMBER MISSIONARIES ARE THE BEST. Brother Ellis and Matthew came to Why I Believe last night, and told us about another one of their neighbors that Sister Ellis is talking to, they're bringing her to the VC sometime soon! The best people in the world!! 

Other than that, it's been a pretty normal week! We're back to finding, WOO. We've been doing tons of Festival prep, got trained for ambassador and diplomat night on Friday, I'm SO. PUMPED. Life's good. 

 My comp is the cutest
 Mid singles! Volunteered at a food bank. It was rad. 


 Last McDonalds run with these babes. OH MY HEART. 😭
 Rockville District!
 Elder Fowlers bitdaee
 Leaning to use chopsticks. Basically Chinese.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hump Day 🐪

So, I've been a missionary for 9 months. That's weird. It's been a roller coaster for sure, but I'm loving it! More sentimental stuff later. As far as transfers go, Sister So and I are both staying in Chevy Chase! NICE. I love this area so much, it feels like home! (eh, maybe not "home", but it's growing on me). The Ward is incredible and I'm so blessed to be serving here for so long! Praying I stay for Christmas too! WOO.  

This week has been good! We didn't have much time in our area, so finding time for all our appointments was hard, but it's been a relatively good week! Last Monday night, we got to the VC to see CHRISTMAS TREES all over the floor. Cried a lil bit. We've been fluffing them up in our spare time, getting ready for Festival! Oh man it's going to be SO. AWESOME. More on that in my pictures. 

Tuesday was great! Around 11, a man walked into the VC and went straight for the temple model. I went over and started talking to him and found out he's not a member. He's an engineer doing a project up the road, and his boss told him that he had to come check out our temple model! He popped in on his lunch break, and he was totally wigging out over it! l ended up talking to him for over an hour and got his information! He's been to tons of different churches but has never found that "one true church". He had tons of great questions, and after every response I gave, he would pause, think about it, then say "well, I can't argue with that!". He's so awesome! Calling him tonight to see how church went, woo! Because we talked for so long, we totally missed lunch and went to zone district meeting for 3 hours, then got sucked into a Chinese and full-pros sisters meeting, and eventually made our way to some food late that night. Whew. We also met with Ed for the first time that night! Not sure what I've told you about him, he met with missionaries 15 years ago, but stopped investigating when he got a work transfer to California. He's back in DC now, and wants to investigate the church again! He also had lots of deep doctrine questions and has some concerns that we're resolving, but he's great! He loves church and loves Mormons in general. NICE. 

Wednesday we went finding again. It's definitely something that you have to practice as a missionary, living out of our area makes it hard to just go out and talk to people all the time, so I'm a bit rusty! We metro contacted, the street contacted, then tracted. AH. DC people are terrifying. Plus some creepy old guy that didn't speak any English gave us his number, we gave him a VC card, he hugged us, took a picture of us, and has called us like 5 times a day since then. So. Ah. 

On Thursday morning, we got a call from one of the older ladies in our Ward, Mildred. She invited us to go get some ice cream with her, so we headed down to Georgetown and for ice cream with her. It was FREEZING, but she loved the company. What a cutie. 

Friday, we met with Ed again, Sara came with. It was good! He's progressing, so that's awesome! On Saturday, he came with us to a Veterans Day Concert at the VC. We were able to show him around afterwards and answer a lot of his questions about everything happening right now in the Church.  He came back again Sunday nightjust after we left the VC, and spent like 3 hours watching the Joseph Smith movie and every church movie he could before we closed! NICE. He came to church, and Joe came too! Joe is our new investigator, he's actually from Phoenix too!! He lives right by Arrowhead, but he's here for a couple months for work. He took the first discussion in California on his last work trip (he travels lots), came to the VC, and now he's meeting with us. He's awesome too! NICE. Go figure his first Sunday at church was the primary program, but oh well haha. Miracles are happening in Chevy Chase!! 

The past 9 months have been wonderful and challenging! Being a missionary isn't what I thought it'd be, it's a lot more difficult in a lot of different ways. But being out here in DC, teaching people about the restored gospel and how it can completely change their life is amazing (even when people are really mean). Nothing has brought me more joy than this! I've grown and changed so much, and I'm eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord this way. I know that God lives! He loves and knows each of us perfectly, and answers our prayers. He speaks today through a living prophet and 12 apostles. The Book of Mormon is true, and can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Read it! The atonement is real and it works. I love Jesus Christ and I love His gospel! I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the plan of salvation and eternal families, Sister So and I have really been learning that one this week together. Serving at a visitors center and teaching people every day about the blessings of the temple is the best calling in the Church! The temple is the goal! Get there! It's worth it, I promise! 

I love each and every one of you so much! Thank you SO much for all the love and support you've shown for me, it means so much. I love you all!! 

Sister Wilson


Some guy took this pic early Friday morning. WOOOO. 

Saw my first AZ plate on Saturday #bittersweet
Sis So's favorite American song is "Oh Cwismus Twee, oh Chiwmus tweeeeee..." 

Wathen leaves in 2 days and I'm panicking. She's so cute. 
Some not so cute things from the Chinese market this morning. So blessed to be serving stateside, English speaking.