Monday, March 28, 2016

Zone Conference, Temple Trip, and Chihuahuas!

Kansas Sky
Hi Friends and Family!

This week has felt like seconds it’s so weird! So this week has been really busy since we had zone conference and the Temple trip that took two full days but it was so worth it! Tuesday was Zone Conference from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  When we arrived we had breakfast and hung out for a bit, and then we went into the chapel for a devotional with the AP’s (Assistant to the Mission President.)It was really cool. The AP's talked about being Lovingly Bold to investigators because there is no other way for those investigating our church to understand just how important our message is and how much we care for them. Next, President Bell talked about the Elect and how we need to go through the chaff to find them. What he meant was that we have to talk to every single person we see and leave no one out! He also talked about how we are the descendants of Israel.  Teaching and Proclaiming the Gospel is in our blood and we need to Teach, Teach, Teach, because that is our calling. It was such an inspiring zone conference! We also got to do my least favorite thing which is role playing EWW!!!!  It’s so awkward for me but so useful.
Bus Ride to Oklahoma City!

We were all so excited because the next day we got to go to the
TEMPLE!!!!!!! All of us got on a huge bus and drove for THREE HOURS to Oklahoma City. Imagine what 50 missionaries do on a three hour bus ride with
 iPads. Wellllll…it’s taking and sending videos and photos to each other the whole time! If you fall asleep you are fair game—so everyone falls asleep with one eye open.
Clearly he does NOT have one eye open.
When we
 got to the Oklahoma City, Ok Temple we had a lunch and a testimony meeting while we were waiting to go in. It was such an amazing experience and it was so beautiful. After serving in the temple, we got to talk to the temple president. He answered some questions and talked with us for an hour. Then we drove three hours back to Wichita, KS (taking more pictures) with more one—eyed sleep.
Oklahoma City Temple
All of us at the Oklahoma City Temple

My Sisters!
We had to make up those two days by working our butts off! One night we had a lesson with an investigator that took us past 9:30 so we had to race home!  But its ok, we got home in like 8 min because they didn’t live that far away. On Saturday we have morning sports so we get up at 5:30am instead of6:30am so that we can play sports at the church. This past Saturday we ended up making silly music videos and playing slaughter ball. Hahaha! The result of having an iPad and being tired because we were up at such an early time—we got a little crazy!

These are the crazy videos!  One is Mormon Sista Rap and the other is Mormon Elder Rap!

Monday, March 14, 2016

He Will Carry Our Burdens With Us

March 14, 2016
Hello from Wichita!
What are THOSE? Clearly I'm not in California anymore.
So this week just FLEW BY!! It feels like just yesterday I was sending my last email to you. This email is going to be short because we have a VERY short P-day and that's because we are going to the Oklahoma Temple on Wednesday!!!!!
We Sisters have FUN!
I'm super excited but that means this week we have to cram a lot in just a few days because we are missing one full day of missionary work. We had District meeting today instead of tomorrow and we have Zone Conference tomorrow and that's from 8:00am-5:00pm and then off to the temple. That means today we only get to email, do laundry and shop and then it's off to work.

This crazy building made me laugh.
 So this week my companion and I did a lot of service with the Young Women. They were doing their fundraiser for girl’s camp. It’s a Garage Sale! The young women call people in the ward to see if they have anything they would like to donate to their Garage Sale. A LOT of people donated! So my companion and I went to the Kitchen's house where the garage sale was and helped organize and sell the stuff (Thank you DI). Mom’s note: Alisha worked at Deseret Industries (An LDS thrift and job training store) before she left on her mission and became quite the expert in pricing and organizing used items. We did that for two of the three days (Thursday and Friday.)
Somehow this sign does not give me comfort.

We also met with a lot of inactive members because sister Tafua loves to show me off to everyone cuz i'm AMAZING!!! you know it's true... lol ;) Then we did a lot of tracting and encountered some awesome people. We met this really cool lady who has a Huge Macaw!
Huge Macaw!
I have a picture with it that I will send you.
Super Cool Sister and her Macaw!
Then we met this older man and got to talking to him about how he loves to work on cars and that's all he wants to do. So we talked to him a little bit about what he did for a living. He worked with planes of some sort but now he's retired and works on his own cars as a hobby. He had a mouth like a sailor though hahaha. After that we met with another member who has been to Citrus Heights CA!!!! Her mom and dad used to be in the Citrus Heights 4th ward. She told us her brother or someone in the family made an Arch for some park in Citrus Heights so I thought that was super cool. She also knows a family with the last name Burke in the Wichita Derby Stake.
This is what 2 hrs playing Volleyball on a P-day looks like!

The members in the Rolling Hills ward are the best people ever. It’s like home to me now. They are such AMAZING people that care so much for the missionaries and do so much for us. It’s going to be the hardest thing when I have to leave them. I am just super glad that won't be for a while! Even though this week has been fun it has also been super challenging for me to come out of my comfort zone and tell people what I know to be true. And once I started to trust in the Lord and have faith that only through my willingness to open my mouth and bare my testimony will He grant me the words to say through the Spirit. It has been the MOST challenging thing I have ever done in my life but the most rewarding thing as well. I leave you with my testimony that I know the Savior lives and that through the Atonement we can return to our Heavenly Father again. And as we practice faith and trust in the lord with all of our hearts, He will guide us through our challenges. He won't take them away, but He will help us to grow from them and become stronger and better people. He will carry our burdens with us. I love my Savior so much and couldn't do this without His help. I can be reluctant to listen but He still doesn't give up and is always there whenever we decide to listen.
Please take some time to visit this link and enjoy a beautiful Easter message.

Love from the Midwest,

After the storm comes the Sun!
Sister Alisha Magda
Foggy Kansas Morning (8:00 am) 

Monday, March 7, 2016

I Made It To Kansas!

March 7, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,

I made it to Kansas!! Man, was it an eventful and stressful trip. It all began last Monday. My companion and I and the two other sisters in my room were all going to Kansas the next morning and had to leave at 2:30 am. We put our alarm on for 1:30am so that it would give us time to get ready and to get to the travel office on time. Well we were woken up by a loud banging noise outside our door and it was a security guard telling us that we better hurry or the bus is going to leave us... IT WAS 2:45 AM!!!! WE HAD SLEPT IN WAY TOO LATE!!!! So like a “tornado” we were super-fast and made it there with only seconds to spare.

 We then took a huge bus and drove to Salt Lake and made it to our gate. This gave us 30 min to rest or call home. Just my luck, everyone else got to the pay phones before I did. I wasn’t too upset because we had an hour layover in Dallas,Texas where I could use my calling card and call home. This really nice man saw that we were new missionaries and that I had no chance at the pay phones, so he gave me his cell phone to use for as long as I wanted so that I didn't have to use minutes on my phone card which was AWESOME!!!! And it gave me a chance to speak to my Dad before he went to work (because it was like 4:00am in Cali hehehe) (Mom’s note: This nice person not only let Alisha use his cell phone, but he took pictures of all of the missionaries leaving for Wichita and texted it to their moms.)

The next thing I knew is we were on the plane. I got to sit by the window and sleep for an hour and it was NICE very NICE! As we were flying over Texas I thought DAANNGGG THAT’S ONE UNATTRACTIVE STATE hahahaha. We then landed in Dallas where I was able to call home for 45min and talk to my mom. It was then that I noticed there were some missionaries who hadn’t yet got to use the pay phones.  I realized I needed to give up the rest of my time so some other missionary could also call home. ( pfft they were lucky I was so nice ... :P)   Our last plane out of Dallas to Wichita was so small that it only had two seats on the right side and only one seat on the left for a total of 24 seats. Once we were over Kansas I looked out the window and LAUGHED... IT’S SO FLAT!!!!! (Welcome to Kansas Sister Magda!)

We met the mission president and his wife and they are so sweet. Then we took pictures and had a snack at the mission office. The next thing we knew, they shoved two greenies and two “non” greenie missionaries in a car to go tracting for 4 hours. It was a cool experience. I was able to bare my testimony a lot. At one home I asked this one lady that was sitting on her porch with her dog if she would take the lessons. I asked if she found it to be true would she follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. She said YES! The best part is that despite not being Latino, she could speak Spanish fluently and my companion for the day was a Spanish speaking sister. My “non” greenie training companion for the day could then go back with her regular companion and teach her the lessons.  So cool!   Next we had interviews and then bed (the mission president’s home is sooo nice!!! it was like a dream home.)

The next day we got our iPads and more orientation. Then we met our companions... drum roll please...... My trainer is SISTER Tafua!!! She is from Laie, Hawaii and has been out for 7 months. Mom you are actually wrong. The mission president prayed about where I would go the night before and changed everything so I am not serving in Topeka but in West Wichita Rolling Hills Ward. (Mom’s note again: I talked to a friend not far from the Wichita area and they had Stake Conference this past Sunday.  My friend spoke to Alisha’s mission president and he told her Alisha had been assigned to Topeka.  Imagine my surprise when Alisha told me differently.)

It has been so awesome and yet so difficult. I have a hard time trusting myself and what to say and I keep overthinking everything. Whenever I go to a member’s home everyone picks on the “greenie” to say the prayer and I think to myself, "You don’t want me to say it. I’ve been in your home for like an hour and I still can't remember your last name."  Hahaha buts it’s been great!

The hardest part for me is getting up at 6:25am (not 6:30am) and going to the gym. Our gym is super tiny with two treadmills and weights.  We work out until 7:00am then have personal study... or at least try to.  It’s so early for me and I have to memorize stuff at such an hour. Often I end up just nodding my head for an hour until it smacks into my desk and I wake up.  My poor companion has to deal with how fast I fall asleep if I sit too long. (She must have inherited this from her mother.) I was at this family’s house and caught myself nodding off and thought to myself, "If we don't leave soon I am going to start snoring” so I tried to bite the inside of my cheek to stay awake. This has happened more than once... Fast Sunday was no exception. There’s nothing like a very hungry tummy, a soft chair, and a warm building to put you to sleep.

On the question of if I had to bare my testimony on Sunday—no I didn't! That must just be something our ward does haha. (Alisha’s family ward in California usually calls new missionaries up to the stand to bare their testimonies on Fast and Testimony Sacrament Meetings. That way the whole ward gets to see who they are and learn a bit about them.) I was leaving the chapel thinking I had just gotten away with not speaking when the bishop stopped me and asked if I would give a talk the last Sunday in April on Compassion ... so yeah, Heavenly Father didn’t let me get away with that one. Hmmmm…oh! So I found out that I am serving in the same ward as Darian Kempter did! I saw his picture on Sister Pinkerton fridge and he also signed a table cloth at the Kitchen's house. So that was really cool. 
I absolutely LOVE my district and the elders in our ward (there are sisters and elders in the Rolling Hills Ward.) We have Elder Shumley, who has a month and a half left and Elder Call (Who is like a guy version of SISTER CALL !!! ) 

This week we have been teaching everyone about the strength of the Atonement and how having that strength enables you to do anything. Jesus Christ did more than just atone for our sins. He also gave us strength to face our hardest trials and to have compassion for people who are struggling when we are not. He is our best example in this life and in the eternities. He died so that we could be with our Heavenly Father again and so that we can show our love and desire to come back to Him and to help others come back as well. I think of the Atonement whenever I am having a hard time and it gives me the strength to carry on and to be my best and to be the missionary he needs me to be. 


Sister Magda
1.      I'm sorry if this letter is a little scattered. We only get 2 hours to email now. To answer more questions about mail, I am not allowed to give out my address to anyone. All mail must go to the mission office but they forward it to me if you use priority mail.  Don't use UPS or Amazon as it can't be forwarded.

2.      I did get my big jacket mom and have been using the liner because it’s not that cold right now. But it is very windy!!!

3.      My IPad case didn't fit because it was for an iPad mini4 and I have a mini2 but there is a Best Buy here so I got it exchanged even though it was past 15 days. BLESSING!!! It’s the same color and keyboard but it’s a Logitech. Blessings of Wichita!

4.       My homesickness is way better now that I’m in the field and is only there for a little bit until I get out to work. Today we went to Walmart and Best Buy and then Chipotle with my companion and the two elder companions.

5.      Someone in our ward is doing our laundry for us...” we is sooo special :D” Really, we are so blessed for such a kindness.