Friday, April 29, 2016

Sickness, Bees, and the Power of Prayer!

April 25, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
A couple of Cute Chicks!
Now this week has been good/horrible!  As you already know, Sister Tafua was sick last Sunday and a little throughout the week. Well last Tuesday I woke up with a bit of a tickly throat but just kept going and doing work. Then the next day, I had fever symptoms and was feeling kinda poopy so I took an hour nap and then went back to work because we had a lot planned for Wednesday and had a lesson with one of our favorite member Sister S. (she's coming back into activity). I also knew I should get a priesthood blessing, so that night after Sister Tafua had to teach the achievement day girls how to Hula Dance I got a blessing. I was feeling pretty good until I woke up the next morning dying !!!! My throat was hurting, my body ached, and I felt very hot so again I took a nap for like 2 hours and then we did a little planning and then out the door we went for our very special dinner appointment.  I didn't want to cancel! It was with Sister S. and her boyfriend who isn't a member of the church.  We went over and as soon as I walked into their house I didn't feel sick anymore and was able to be myself! And… it was such an awesome dinner!  
Let me give you a little back story on Sister S. About three months ago before I came to Wichita, Sister Tafua and Sister Gallebert knocked on Sister S’s door and asked her a few questions.  Sister S. didn't want anything to do with them and said she wasn't going to come back to church and was about to close the door when Sister Gellabert asked her in a desperate voice if she could use the bathroom... She said, “I guess,” and so they all went inside. While Sister Gellabert was in the bathroom, it was just Sister Tafua and Sister S. sitting on the couch kinda in silence. So, Sister Tafua said, “we are supposed to do a service project a week.  Can I do you dishes?”  So Sister S. said, "... I guess if you want to."
Companions and Chickens!
Ever since then they kept visiting her and she would let them in and talk but she would always say she wasn't coming back to church and wouldn't tell you too much about her.  But… the Sunday before I arrived, (Sister Gellabert's last Sunday) she came to church!  Now she has been to church every Sunday since I’ve been here and even asks all these questions and wants to go through the temple. And, she had us over for dinner for the first time! It was so AWESOME!!!!! 
Love these people!
Then, after that my sickness kept getting worse and worse and on Saturday,  we did a service project for K.who's the person we baptized two weeks ago. We mowed her lawn and fixed a new light fixture in her bathroom and planted a flower garden for her it was super fun even though I was dying inside from my sickness. Funny story: While Sister Tafua was mowing her lawn there was a little Christmas tree sized tree in the middle of her yard and she was mowing around it and then I just hear her say, “OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!
I ran over to her and she was just pointing at the tree. When I look I saw a HUGE BEE HIVE!!!! She stopped mowing.  We then tried to get a hold of K. on her phone.  She was gone because she went to get more soil.  We couldn't get her on the phone,  so we asked N., her foster daughter, if I could use her phone to look up how to get rid of a beehive. All the information that came up was some expensive way or a way that would take too long. So I thought hmmm…maybe if I stood far back and sprayed it with a hose that would work... SO I...................didn't do that!   Ha ha ha!
I ended up reading that if they were honey bees they were not aggressive so when K. got back she had a friend who works with bees come and pick it up. Less drama, but so cool! 

I mentioned in an email several weeks back that I would be giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting at the end of April. Those of you who know me well know that I am TERRIBLE at speaking in front of a group.  I get so nervous and overthink things and feel like fainting.  Well, the time had arrived.  Saturday morning (the very DAY BEFORE I would be speaking) I got the topic for my talk.   It would be on Personal Revelation. The bishop also asked for me to include how I knew I was supposed to go on a mission. I only had an hour to write it and because I was so sick and had worked all day planting and mowing and fighting with bees, when I got home I had to go to bed right away and couldn't work on it anymore. I prayed that night that I had done all I could and I asked Heavenly father to help with the rest. Sunday morning I was still super sick and had Ward meetings before Sacrament Meeting.  Then, after those meetings, I sat on the stage and looked at my talk.  I had a half a page of bullet points and two scriptures and a story that was it but I didn't feel nervous. I was way calmer than ever. When I got up to speak, I didn't even look at my notes!  I just talked and read scriptures and told my mission story.  I was supposed to talk for 5-7 min and was up for like 8. Afterwards, everyone came up to me and said how they loved my talk. I couldn't be more grateful to my Heavenly Father because I couldn't have done it without Him!!! 

I love all of you and hope you have a fantabulastic week! 

Sister Magda

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


April 18, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a less exciting week. Last Monday for our P-day activity, we went to a trampoline place in the city part of Wichita with the missionaries from three zones so it was a pretty big event.  Ha-ha we played dodge ball and did a lot of tricks and jumped into the foam blocks and then struggled to get out of them because it’s almost impossible to do. Then Tuesday we woke up and couldn't move and walked around like penguins the whole day... I couldn't lift anything for like FOUR DAYS! 
After Sister Tafua and I and Elder Call and Elder Shumway finished our pranking each other, everyone else in our zone started pranking people... it got kinda annoying ha-ha. On Friday it was my 6 week call so we went to the mission office and met with the entire sister's in the area that I came out with and the three AP's and President Bell. They called each of us up for accountabilities and two questions. It was pretty nerve racking to be in front of president but it was all good. Then later that night we had our missionary member MTC thing that Sister Tafua and I had to teach.   We taught three classes on how members can find people to teach... The thing is we had no time to plan it so we winged the whole thing and it turned out...GREAT!  Only a few families showed up but it was still super good. Then on Saturday we just did a whole bunch of service projects... I LOVE DOING SERVICE!!! because  1. you get to help people and 2. you get to wear PANTS!!!! 
Sister Magda rendering service in "PANTS."
                I think this week has been the first week of “nothing much happening.”  It didn't help that Sister Tafua got super sick and I had to stay in the apartment for like a day and a half calling people and updating the Area book and studying while she slept... I slept a little too but only because I was so bored and fell asleep studying ha-ha.
Then yesterday we had dinner with the family we baptized. It is the most amazing thing to see how much they have changed in just a week after being baptized. N. who is 17 made dinner she made chicken enchiladas which were soooo good!!! J. who is 13 made chocolate chip cookies. K. was so excited when we were talking to her about the temple and she said she can't wait to go! We talked with them for about 2 hours. They are the most amazing people I have ever met. The girls come from such a rough background and to see them grow so much and change has just made my love for them grow which I never thought it could grow any bigger. (Btw Mom: That is so cool that you are feeding the elders again! It makes me so happy!  You have to tell me all about them.)
                Well, there are no funny stories this week except we found a GIANT WOLF SPIDER while helping someone build a fence and we put it in a water bottle and are going to give it to our zone leader Elder Stock and scare him.
It was transfers week this week and a lot of my favorite people are leaving which is the worst! 
Elder Call takes the photo.
Elder Call is leaving which is the worst because he is the coolest elder ever, Elder Brasher is leaving he's our zone leader.
They have a message for you...
 Sister William's our STL is going home because she finished her mission. She has been one of my favorite sisters ever! Sister Filigrana is leaving also.

She is the other STL, Sister Hernandez is leaving, and Elder Moss is leaving :( all the people we hang out with. So this transfer is going to be difficult.

-Love Sister Magda

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


April 11, 2016
Hey Friends and Family how's it going?

This week I will share one story with you. Much like my mission farewell talk, there will be “flashbacks” to explain it all.  So….pay attention!

It was a Thursday, March 24th to be more precise, that my companion and I were going to go visit a less active member that we hadn't met before.  We were just going to visit with him for a bit.  As we were walking, we saw a young girl walking her little Chihuahua and we decided we were going to stop for a bit and talk to her. So we approached her and ask her name (N) and where she was from and what her dogs name was (Jo Jo)... all the get to know you questions. Then we went on to talk about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and about baptism and she was actually really interested. We then asked her if we were to come back and teach her more and she found what we taught to be true if she would be baptized. She said she would if her foster mom would let her. Then we asked if we could come back tomorrow and visit with her and her foster mom. She told us that she wouldn't be there the following day, but her foster mom would and she would like that.

That next day happened to be exchanges, so I didn't get to go over because I was with Sister Williams (who is one of the STL's—Sister Training Leaders and is from Rexburg Idaho and is SUPER AWESOME!!). Sister Filigrana( from Connecticut)   was the one who was with my companion Sister Tafua.  Those were the two who went over to N.K.’s house but no one was home.  Remember the less active person we originally were going to visit before we ran into N.K. and her Chihuahua?  He was home, so Sister Tafua and Sister Filigrana went to talk to him and they talked for a while but he wasn't really interested in coming back to church right then but thanked them for coming by. When they turned around there was a car in N's driveway so they went over and knocked on the door. A lady, “K”, answered and Sister Filigrana and Sister Tafua start talking to her about our church and asked if she had ever talked to missionaries before. She said, “No,” but her Aunt in Cunningham was a member...

Now for a little back story. Sister Tafua before she came to the Wichita Rolling Hills ward served in the Pratt Branch and Cunningham was part of the Pratt Branch. Sister Tafua was like, "WHO?????" and K said, “Sister Mayne,” and sister Tafua was like, "SISTER MAYNE! I LOVE SISTER MAYNE!!" K said, "I was just about to call her before you stopped by!" So my companion, Sister Tafua, her exchange companion for the day, Sister Filigrana and K talked to Sister Mayne  (K’s aunt) for a little bit. Then afterward the Sisters talked to K about the church. K replied that she had always wanted to go to church with her Aunt Mayne but she always seemed to get sick when she was visiting and they couldn't go.

Sister Tafua and Filigrana invited "K" to come on a church tour and go to the General Woman's Broadcast at the 29th street building and she said she would love to. The next day I was back with my companion and we gave her and her other foster daughter “J” a church tour, enjoyed a dinner before the broadcast and then we all watched the broadcast.  They loved it! (“J” is only 13 yrs., so you could tell 1 ½ hrs were a little long for her, but she still liked it.) “N”—the first foster daughter that we met who had the Chihuahua, was at work so she couldn't come that day.

The next thing we did was to invite them to Church at 9:00 am the next day.  The mom, “K,” said she would love to come. So on Easter Sunday we woke up and saw SNOW EVERYWHERE!! Right away we were a little worried. We waited and waited at the church but she didn't come which was so sad because she was so excited. So we called her after sacrament meeting and she said she was so tired because she had to pick “N” up from work at midnight and didn’t get to bed until 3 in the morning. We asked her if she could make the 12:00 pm sacrament meeting even though it was a different ward and she said she would. The time ticked along and we waited and waited and right at 11:50am ... THEY PULL IN!! Sister Tafua and I were so happy and she really liked it! “K”, “N”, and “J’ decided that they wanted to be baptized on April 9th which was two weeks from then!

Of course, the next week was full of trials... We taught them some more and on Wednesday we get a call from “K” saying her foster daughter, “N” was in the hospital with three Blood Clots in her lungs! So we prayed and prayed for “N” and continued to call and talk with “K.” “N” got better and came out of the hospital and then got bad again and had to go back into the hospital. Eventually “N” came out of the hospital for good and was doing a whole lot better. The only concern was she couldn't walk that much. Then, the week before the baptism, “ J” said she didn't understand baptism and wasn't sure if she wanted to get baptized. So we talked to her and taught her about baptism and she said that she would pray about it and decide on Wednesday if she would. Wednesday they had their baptismal interview and all of them EVEN “J” decided to be baptized!!!  

We were so happy. So we fitted into the white jumpsuits and then we got the program set up and Saturday at 9:00am they came and were BAPTIZED!!!!! It was the most amazing thing ever! Then, Sunday they came to church and got confirmed and they received the most amazing blessings I’ve ever heard. “N” had to take “K” home but “J” stayed for all 3 hours and loved it! Sister Tafua jumped into Sunday school for the 12 and 13 year olds and taught them the 10 commandments and now when we see them we quiz them and they always get it right. Then she didn't even wait for us and just followed everyone to Young Women’s and then went home and told her foster mom, “K” all about it. 

So that's the story about the past two weeks and the baptism. “K”, “N”, and “J” are such amazing women they have changed so much since the first day we met them and the whole ward absolutely loves them! 

Funny Story:  we were over at “K’s” house and Sister Tafua's mom (from Laie, Hawaii) sent Lei's to give to people who are getting baptized and so she told them this.   “J” then asked why would your mom send you chips?....hahahaha  (Lays.  Get it.  Lays Potato Chips.  Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Well I love all of you so much!
Sister Alisha Magda
Bowlin' bowlin' bowlin'...

Sister Magda and her Special Friend

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Conferences, April Fool's and White Mice

April 4, 2016
Dear Friends and Family,

This week was a roller-coaster week. We had a zone training on Tuesday and then District Meeting on Wednesday and then we also had Sister's conference on Friday (which was also April Fool’s Day—interesting in and of itself!) so all in all it was another week of meetings. 

Monday was really meh. It was just a low key P-day. We got up gave Sister Maxwell our laundry (we are spoiled!) and then went shopping... DO NOT GO TO WALMART ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!!!!!! We were so hungry and everything looked so good that we ended up buying a bunch of crappy food like Oreo Pop Tarts and other  foods I know my mom has told me to stay away…Captain Crunch cereal, hehehehehehe. Then to top it off we were walking to the check out and smelled FREAKING SUBWAY! So, like any normal hungry human we got lunch to go. Then, because it was April Fool’s weekend coming up, we had to go and buy a prank item we had planned to prank the elders with, so we went to... Petsmart!  hehehe we were going to put a live mouse in the car, so when the elder’s borrowed it, it would scare them. Who would have thought that Petsmart wouldn’t carry live white mice? (You know the ones that you would feed to snakes that are like $1?) I asked the lady where she carried the "live" white feeder mice and the girl looked at me with an appalled expression and said with her nose in the air, "We don't DO that here.  They're frozen because that’s better for the snakes anyway." I just thought to myself, "You still have Kill the mice for them to be frozen woman. How is THAT any better?"  Instead of saying any of that, I just smiled and replied, “Ok, where are THOSE?” We then bought a FROZEN mouse (which was $3. They are more expensive when dead.  Who knew?)

While we were driving home, I tried to put the frozen mouse up in the sun visor but it kept FALLING ONTO ME !!!!!!!! IT WAS SO GROSS!!!! I finally got it to stay.... not saying HOW though. There’s a video of it but it’s too long to send. The elder's didn't end up finding it until 12 hours later so it was pretty thawed out. Through the whole week they teased us with it because they kept it and would put things that looked like a thawed mouse but wasn't really into our stuff and then would be like, ”Where's Richard ?(that’s the name of the mouse) Squeak, Squeak!”  Then we got it back ... again not saying how.  But let’s just say it went on for the rest of the week. 

On Tuesday we had Zone Conference with President Bell and learned about helping members and investigators see how the adversary will try to prevent our path to happiness and how we can help them notice it and prevent that from happening.  It was really a good lesson that they gave us with really good examples to teach.  One was on keeping your eyes focused on Christ like how Peter did when he jumped out of the boat and was walking towards Christ on the water. When he looked down and saw how great the waves were and took his eyes off of the Savior and started to fear, he began to sink. Then he looked back to Christ and called out for rescue. I know this happens to all of us at one point or another but we shouldn't let that hold us back. Our goal is to continue to strengthen our faith in Christ and to not let hard times define us. Another lesson was on Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life and how the mists of darkness lead the people away from the tree. Even some who held fast to the iron rod while traveling toward the Tree, doubted or were tempted away and they let go of the rod of iron.  Some even partook of the fruit and then heard the voices of the people from the great and spacious building laughing and pointing their mocking fingers at them and the people felt ashamed and left towards the mist of darkness. Despite this, all is not lost.  They CAN turn back.  We must be there for them.

On Thursday we did a service project for Sister Maxwell and helped her make a baby blanket and clean her house.
Then on April 1st we had our Sister’s Conference.  That is where ALL the sisters in the WHOLE mission get together and have workshops and speakers. We also had Zumba in the morning.  The shocker is…I actually participated in the Zumba and was in the front row! This, of course, was not by my choice.  I was just trying to show my companion that I can do things out of my comfort zone.  It was actually pretty fun.  Then, we had workshops lead by the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) and they were all really awesome and inspiring. I got to see my MTC companion Sister Radford and all of my roommates from the MTC!!!
My MTC Sisters!
It was so awesome! And I got to meet my mission grandma and great grandma and we had a picture taken.
Mission  Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma!
My mission grandma is Sister Peterson and she serves in the Lawrence 2nd ward and she KNOWS TERESA KELLEY!!!!!! Ahhhh that was the coolest part!!!  I met someone who knows a family member of mine!

After that, we had dinner at the Couch's house and then visited more people.
Happy Birthday Brother Couch!
When we got home, the elders were going to pick up the car so we decided our prank was going to be Saran wrapping the car and taking all the music out. When we got to our house there was a picture on the door and that’s when we knew the elders got into our apartment. We opened the door and they had flipped all of the couches over and put 200 little cups filled with water all over the house and put goldfish in our bathtub and sink and then knocked on the door and threw a bag of flour at Sister Tafua!  I have never seen her move so fast!  It was like a gazelle fleeing a lion on the Serengeti!  So funny!

On Saturday we watched General Conference on TV at a less active family’s home. Throughout the first session, the mom kept saying how happy she was and how good it felt to be so obedient and she was tearing up. It made me feel so good to know that we could help her have those feelings. I have never been the one to watch General Conference at home.  I was the one with the snuggie on the couch snoring.  Now that I am on my mission, I really regret not listening to all of the speakers.  I realize now that if you truly listen to every single talk, you will find so many answers to questions you might have. It will help to guide you to be a better person and to make good decisions. One of my favorite talks was the one about Fathers. I am truly blessed to have such a loving Dad. I am so thankful for how hard he works for us and how he is always there for me when I am sad or angry or frustrated. I am so thankful for how he has been an example of helping others—especially  missionaries when they are in need and dropping what he was doing to help them out and taking them places. He has been a great example of a loving father and I couldn't ask for a better dad and would never trade him for any other dad. He has helped me be the person I am today! I love you with all of my heart dad, and am so grateful for what you do.

There were so many amazing talks I could talk all day about every single one but there just isn't enough time so if you haven't watched General Conference, I would really encourage you to watch all four sessions and to take notes and listen with a sincere heart. I love this Gospel so much. It is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and the true church and has blessed me and my family so many ways.

Now to answer questions :
Mom asked: What kind of car do you drive?  Have you driven it yet?
The car we drive is a silver Toyota with a bike rack on the back, I cannot drive the car yet until I memorize all 5 lessons and watch a video and get my twee card.
Mom: You have received so many packages so far.  Are you the “package queen” there?
Yes, I am the package queen of the mission hahaha !
Mom: Can I send you the Ensign magazines?  Are you all allowed to read those?
 Yes please send me Ensigns.
Mom: What kind of service projects have you been doing lately? 
We have been helping people move lately and cleaning houses.  That’s been our service so far. 
Mom: Have you noticed people there referring to soda as “pop?”
Almost everyone calls soda “pop”
Mom: “I’ve heard that Californians talk really fast.  Do Kansans talk slower than Californians?
 You know, I have noticed that some of the people here talk a little bit slower paced, but what I’ve really liked is that the people in Kansas have a more friendly feeling about them than Californian's. Ah, but man do I miss California and its crazy people.
I love everyone so much I miss you guys a lot.

 Sister Magda

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Growing Season

March 28, 2016
Hello Friends and Family!
I hope everyone is doing awesome! I loved everyone's packages! I want to thank Sister Marshall for the See's Candy and popcorn and hot coco,
The Kempter's sent "Missionary Minion" Twinkies!
and Sister Kempter for the missionary minion Twinkies, and Sister Dunham for both packages (the Greenie one and the Easter one.) I loved them both and they came at such a perfect time. I am sorry I’ve been really bad with sending letters lately it’s been CRAZY haha but I will be sending letters very soon, and thank you mom for the Easter baggies and the stuff I left at home and the card.  I just got the package from the Bryan's today and I loved it thank you so much!
                So last week Monday after I emailed home, my companion and Elder Shumway, Elder Call, Elder Daily, and Elder Moss and I went to “Worlds of Fun” (an amusement park with arcades like Six Flags) and played mini golf, go karting, and laser tagging. It was so much fun!! We just had a blast! It was Elder Call, and Elder Moss and I on a team, and Sister Tafua, Elder Shumway, and Elder Daily on a team for mini golfing and my team won because we were awesome that way. I came in first place on the go karts (thank you Need for Speed haha) and Sister Tafua came first in laser tagging, but I came second to her so she barely won. I got my Laser Tagging skills from Sam Shear man if Sam and I were on a team we would demolish them all hahaha :P.
Easter Sunday in Wichita

                After last Monday everything changed for me. It seemedlike everything that I was getting used to suddenly become extremely challenging. Heavenly Father has been working really hard on me and taking everything I was used to and stripping it away from me and really making rely on Him. It has been the most challenging week of my life. I started to realize that I wasn't doing what I needed to. I wasn't opening my mouth and was relying on my companion for everything and while that’s ok in the beginning, it isn’t as time goes by. I have been out for a little over a month and realized I needed to pull more of my own weight so my companion and I could work as one unit. I must not allow Sister Tafua do all the work. I have really had to learn how to forget myself and stop thinking of how I sound to others or how others will see me. That’s not important. None of that is important. I am doing the Lord’s work and all that matters is how well I am serving Him and how I am showing my love for Him by loving others and bringing them closer to Him and helping them to gain more knowledge of how He can change their lives and bring their families together for eternity.
Happy Easter!
That is all that matters. As soon as I realized that and focused on the Lord and kept my eyes on Him, everything changed. I started to truly listen to others and their concerns and needs and felt the love Heavenly Father has for them. It was then when Heavenly Father granted me with the words to say and the courage to say them. I am still not perfect but every day I am changing—hopefully for the better.

It’s through the challenges Heavenly Father gives you that you learn who you are and how you can change to become who He wants you to be and who He knows you can be. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father more than words can ever describe and I am so blessed to be on a mission where I can serve Him.

I love everyone that has been such a support for me and I promise I will be sending a lot of letters out to people. 


Sister Magda

Missionary Pranks
P.S.  The elders left some of their clothes in our car.  We decided to wrap them up in plastic and LOTS of tape.  Then...we slathered them with Icy Hot rub.  Heh heh heh...
Bwah ha ha ha!