March 8, Dear family,
I can’t believe I’ve been in New Mexico for 3 weeks! I’m starting my 4th week today. Crazy! This week has been crazy! We went to Albuquerque last Monday because my comp is sick. I was so excited to go to the city! But it actually wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I was glad to come back to Gallup. Weird for me, huh? I think I wouldn’t like tracting in the city, it’s too big for me. WEIRD! I LOVE the reservations out here! We want to tract the rez one of these days. We would tract about 8 miles. I’m so excited for that! We’ll hopefully do that next week or so. We actually went to the Superman Canyon Rez- which is named after the movie because that’s where they filmed a scene or something. Anyway! We went out there to see someone, but the sun had caked over the mud so it looked dry. So we got way stuck- we were even in 4WD. It was insane! So I had to get out and push- but the truck did not budge an inch! I even almost lost my shoe in the mud, I had to hop back to get my shoe and I could barely see it. That’s how muddy/deep it was. But some guys in a truck drove by and pulled us out. We want to find them again and teach them the gospel! They were way nice.:) I actually loved being stuck for some reason, being on the rez makes me really happy! I really hope they’ll keep me on the rez, especially put me in the deep rez. That’s my dream, but we’ll see where Heavenly Father needs me.
Love, Sis. Stolp
March 22, 2010
Last Tuesday we had a baptism for a lady we’ve been teaching. Her name is Cookie. She’s an incredible lady who I just love to death! Her baptism went very well… mostly because I played for it. JK! :) It was my first baptism which happened to be on my month mark here in Gallup. Cool!
Yesterday we went to Vanderwagen (the rez) to teach a lady whose been taking the lessons for a while now. She doesn’t come to church because her husband is afraid she’s going to leave him behind. So the sweet lady is waiting patiently for her husband to sit in on the lessons (he’s been a little antagonistic in the past). He doesn’t speak much English, so we bring a Navajo speaker with us to translate. So anyway! He finally sat in the lesson yesterday! We taught the 1st lesson in English and Bro. Billy translated into Navajo. WOW! The Navajo language is beautiful! It was amazing sitting there and listening to it. :) Eugene finally agreed to come to church with his wife Celecia (Su-lee-see-uh).
Nothing much else happened this week. Well, I cut my heel on some barbed wire, thank goodness I got my tetanus shot!
Love, Sis. Stolp
P.S. I had a dream about mom the other night. She was very happy and was smiling the whole time. It wasn’t for very long, it was like her face flashed into my dream. I was telling my companion that I think she was happy because I’m on a mission. I think that was her way of saying she is proud of me. It’s funny, but I feel like she really is always with me. :)
March 29, 2010
How is everyone? This week has been CRAZY! So it’s week 6, and we get a certain amount of miles each transfer/month, well we almost ran out of miles. So we had to walk a ton last week. We walked about 9 miles one day and then about 4 the next. It wasn’t too hard for me because my legs are still in pretty good shape from climbing the stairs of death at BYU. But Sis. Anderson’s legs hurt her for a few days. My ankle was kinda hurting me a bit, but it feels fine now. It was crazy, but everyone we walked to go see, was home! There’s this one lady we’ve been trying to get a hold of for about 6 weeks now and she was home! It was amazing! But wow, we were so blessed for trying to conserve miles. It was probably one of our more successful weeks. We thought walking would cut into a lot of our time, but we really didn’t suffer in teaching appointments. On Friday we had to walk to a lady’s trailer across the field behind us, but it was like pelting ice/snow. My ear was really starting to ache because the snow was pelting it. I really wanted to just drive over, but Sis. Anderson said no because we would be blessed for it. So anyway, after the appointment we walked outside and it was totally sunny. Sis. Anderson was like “See, we were blessed.” It was pretty cool, even though I still wanted to drive over!:)
We got transfer news, and Sis. Anderson is going to Bloomfield… We thought for sure she was staying one more transfer. We both had a good cry. She’s been in Gallup for 7 1/2 months-so it’s been really hard for her. I’m getting Sis. Abney who’s coming from Shiprock up north (Sis. Anderson also served in Shiprock and loved it!). Sis. Abney has served in Gallup before but doesn’t know the 2nd Ward area which we are in. So some people may recognize her. But it’s scary because now Gallup is my area… and I’ve only been with my trainer for 6 weeks! Usually you’re with your trainer for 12 weeks. So I feel kinda gypped. But whatever, Heavenly Father knows best.
So what’s going on with Evan? Did he have to be released? I hope not! So I take it he’s home right? Man, that would be hard to be missionary and then not. Did I tell you I dream in missionary? I’ve had people call me Leda and I say “No, my name is actually Sis. Stolp.” It’s weird!
Oh, and Helen, we had transfers you know. So a lot of missionaries are moving around, including Elder Hansen. He’s going to Albuquerque somewhere. It’s in a bike area haha! He’s been on a bike for like a week while their truck was in the shop. I’m so glad Elder Sumpter (DL) is staying though. He’s way easy going and tries to make my life as a greenie better! I have a really good picture of Elders Sumpter and Hansen-Elder Hansen totally looks like a homo! Haha! I might send it home sometime.
Anyway! I gotta go. We’re driving to Albuquerque tonight for transfers tomorrow. Love ya’ll.
Love, Sis. Stolp
April 19, 2010
My hives have cleared up-I had them for about 5 days. I think it was my allergies finally getting the best of me. I heard that a lot of people in this ward get them around the same time I did. Crazy I tell ya! So about my foot. It has been hurting for a few months now, and I finally saw the Dr. they took x-rays of it but couldn’t find anything. Which is weird because it’s been swollen for a while. So he put me in a boot cast and on crutches. Which is no easy feat! Most people have stairs-which means I have to hop up the stairs- and all the driveways are mostly gravel. I feel like I’ve been doing push-ups all day for about 3-4 days My one leg is really super buff now! The other one looks like a chicken leg (Steven, I’ve joined the club :) ). While I was in the brace and hopping around, my foot swelled up even more-it looked like I had 2 walnuts in my foot on either side. Oh ya, I forgot, the Dr. said he couldn’t find a break in my foot or ankle, so he thinks it’s a stress fracture. Anyway! So after it swelled really bad, I told the Dr. and he wanted to do an ultra-sound on it to see if I had any clots-but I don’t. THANK GOODNESS! So the Dr. said to stay off it for 2 weeks to get the swelling down and to keep my foot from breaking completely, if I do have a stress/hairline fracture. I’m going crazy just sitting here all day!!! But President was doing interviews yesterday and came to our trailer and gave me a few assignments to keep busy and keep my skills sharp. He even brought his own personal copy of the Oct. 2007 conference talks! :) He loves me. )
We had zone conferences the day before I was put on strict rest. It was amazing! I of course had to hop up the stairs to play the piano-but President said he really appreciated me sharing my talent and the dedication to hop up the stairs. He said hearing the real piano play was better than listening to the I-pod. Of course!
Here is what I learned:
Don’t think that every thought that comes into your head is from the Holy Ghost. Verify! You need time to prepare, meaning study! Don’t blurt things out. Think for a minute before you speak.
We need to always be bearing a living witness. Meaning, I am the living witness! A living witness is stronger than a testimony. You can blend them together, but you can’t bear a living witness w/out bearing your testimony.
Don’t get stuck in the truck (we have trucks:) ), let them see you walk the Navajo land. We are part of the earth when we walk it. Walk the landscape- be a part of it. They will accept you more if they see this.
It was a way good conference. :) The elders were nice to me too-which is rare for them to be concerned about sisters. One of the assistants to the President- Elder van Etten- started filling my plate when I walked in. He didn’t even have to ask if I wanted him to get me my lunch! It was really nice. :) Sis. Abney and I ate lunch w/President and Sister Anderson and the other leaders. I felt like I was eating with General Authorities-pretty much he is one of them in my eyes! They all called me Sister Hop-a-Long. :) But I wanted to be called Sister Speedy because I’m so fast on crutches.:) The elders in my district would tease me and race me to the door or tell me they were going to kick my crutches out from under me. Meanies! But it was fun getting teased.:) So Gallup is split into 2 wards/areas, we cover Gallup 2nd Ward on the east side and the district leader Elder Sumpter and his comp Elder Roberts cover Gallup 1st Ward on the west side. The elders’ truck has been in the shop for a few days-ok weeks- and we felt bad for them. So we got permission for them to use our truck until theirs gets fixed, since we’re not going anywhere naytime soon. Elder Sumpter told President in his interview that me breaking my foot was inspired of God, L so that they could get our truck. But since they have our truck they have to get our mail and stuff. Haha! We’re totally making them work for our truck!:) They’re good elders.
My companion gave me a website to go to to get cheap glasses. It’s zennioptical.com check it out.
I don’t think there’s anything else other than like I said I’m going crazy!
Oh! And it seems to me that all the elders who are serving and have served in Gallup since I have gotten here have crushes on me, or something. Maybe they just hate me. :) Boys, when you go on your missions, don’t you dare flirt with the sisters! But you better respect them! Or I’ll come to your mission and punch you. :)
Your loving sister in the gospel…
May 17, 2010
It was great talking to all of you last week! We had transfers and we have new Sister- Sister Kavatoe (Ka-vu-toe-ee)- so we are in a threesome. Sister Kavatoe is from Tonga and is just hilarious! She already loves the area, so I think she’s going to be here for a while. J I still could go anywhere. Sis. Kavatoe could take this area and I could leave, or I could stay, or we can both stay. Sis. Abney is going home, se we could get another sister and be a 3-some again. Sis. Kavatoe thinks we’re going to train-which is a possibility. But I could be transferred to the city because of my foot, but I doubt it. They probably wouldn’t put me anywhere north because of the cold, but I could move west into Az.-if I’m in the new mission. By the way-I went to the physical therapist and he thinks I have nerve damage. He started messing around with my foot- and boy did it hurt! But where the pain was is on the ankle joint on top of my foot where all my nerves run. According to him at least. (note from the editor: Leda drew a picture of her right foot with arrows pointing to her ankles, and then to where the pain (!) was, near the left side ankle.) So he pressed right where the arrow is, and pressed. Did I mention it hurt? I was sweating bullets and almost cried. He had to remind me to breathe. But I guess he wanted to clear the nerves or something-I don’t know- I was in a lot of pain. Anyway. My foot went numb, so I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. Thank goodness! He said to massage my foot everyday to get the mobility again in my ankle. :/ It hurts so bad to massage it! But I do it, I have noticed it doesn’t hurt as much when I point my toe-so I’m guessing it’s working. Thanks, Brenda, for sending the liniment. I think it’s helping too. My knees have been acting up again. The doctor said my back is out of whack too. He told me to get some better shoe insole and gave me a place to go to. But they’re like $50 a pair! Sis. Anderson said to bargain/finagle him into giving me 2 for the price of 1. Anyway. The hospital said I don’t have to pay any co-pays. Well, I think it’s one co-pay of $10 a month. So I paid the $10 for May and will pay for June if I do p. t. up to then. Sis. Anderson also said the insurance might pay for the insoles-so I need to find out. But since I don’t have any co-pays (except June) that I’m aware of0 it it ok if I use the money you sent me (if the insurance doesn’t pay) to get the insoles? Like I said, I’m going to wait and see if I have nay more co-pays before I use the money.
I love you all, and don’t forget to write me your responses to my letters boys and Val!
Love, Sis. Stolp
May 24, 2010
This week has been really good so far! We taught 18 lessons and the goal in 20 lessons a week, I think 18 is the most I’ve had. :) So that was way exciting! We went tracting a lot this week. We had about 4 lessons from tracting which is almost unheard of to get lessons from! One lady that we ran into believed in an Eastern Indian religion (sounded like something the Beatles would believe in) all about love and stuff. So it was a little strange, and Sis. Kavatoe was scared to death by her! She was nice, but very strange. She didn’t believe in Christ or Christianity. Then we tracted into a guy named Dan, he’s a Catholic and stood outside with us while we talked. He was pretty polite and listened to what we had to say. He had a lot of “bashing” questions, but we didn’t let it get to that. He believes in the Trinity, and believes that Jesus Christ is a “full God” - He has no more progression. It was hard to tell him that everyone can progress to become a god. We didn’t say that because we didn’t want it to sound blasphemous. Anyway! It was good.
We are having Zone Conference this week in Farmington and I’m way excited! It’s going to be half the mission- so I get to see Sisters Anderson and Edwards and of course some of my MTC elders. So I’m excited!
When does school get out? What is everyone doing once school gets out?
There’s really not much going on around here. None of our investigators are progressing because they all need to get married! We had one of- well, not our- recent converts that moved here about a month ago come with us to a lesson. His name is Timothy Watchman (cool last name, huh?), he’s 20 and is planning on serving a mission in a year. So the ward gave him a Preach My Gospel (PMG) and has been studying from that. We talked about the Priesthood and the differences between the two. So that was pretty cool. He knew a ton about them! And he only had the scriptures to go by! It was awesome!
I’m totally going through green chili withdrawals! I haven’t had green chilies in a few weeks! I’ve gotten used to eating plain refried beans and Spanish rice. At first I thought it was so gross to eat refried beans plain! But man are they good with the rice! People feed us so good out here! I haven’t gained any weight since I got here, but I sure do feel fat! Sister Kavatoe and Sister Abney are good eaters too. Believe it or not I’m not the eater in the companionship! I think I eat less than the other 2, but I’m the shortest for sure- so I pack it smaller. :) We joke around and say “too much eating!” with a Tongan/Navajo accent. It’s hilarious! We’ve nicknamed all of our stomachs jr. And when we eat a lot, there’s jr. and sr. Haha! It’s funny. Anyway! I just wish they would send me where they don’t feed the missionaries! I hat eating dinner every night! Oh, by the way, how was dinner with the Spanish missionaries? They were elders right? What did you feed them? Well, that’s about it. Dad can tell you about my foot.
Love, Sis. Stolp
June 1, 2010
I did find time today to write. They moved our P-Day to Tuesday and we had an appt. this morning and ate lunch with a member, then we got our haircut. So that took up most of our day.
I hope you guys are feeling better. We are all suffering (still) from allergies. :/ But mine are definitely not as bad as before. :) How is Allen doing?
We had zone conference last week- it was about the Restoration and how to better teach it, especially door approaches. After Z.C. we were stoked! So our next 1st lesson about the Restoration we did what we learned and used our resources (the DVD). After the lesson we asked them individually if they know Joseph Smith is/was a prophet. They all said yes, they knew. After the lesson their cousin showed up to ask us questions. He asked who Joseph Smith was- we had his cousin (one of them that said Joseph Smith was a prophet) explain to him who J.S. was. He repeated the First Vision almost word for word! I can’t even do it! It was amazing! Most of them came to church on Sunday J - and the 17 year-old girl (who has a kid) leaned over to Sis. Abney during church and said she had a good feeling when she sat down. Man! This gospel is awesome! It changes people’s lives- if they let it. It’s all about the attitude. For sure! I’ve been out for 4 months. Woohoo! :) (I have a feeling I’m training next transfer. Yikes!) (I think I’m leaving Gallup too.:/ )
Love, Sis. Stolp
June 7, 2010
How is everything going? You boys and Val need to write back to me! Nothing too new and exciting is happening around here. No baptism dates. :/ No one wants to get married!
We’re going to try something new for this ward. We are going to have the members open up their homes for us to teach the investigators in- so they can feel what it’s like to have the Spirit in a home. The only problem is to get the investigators to the members’ home. No one is very motivated out here. So we’re going to invite the members to the investigators home first for a lesson, and have the member invite them to their home for dinner or something and then do an FHE or maybe we’ll come over after for a lesson. I hope it works!
Yesterday was Sis. Abney’s last Fast Sunday, and for some reason Sis. Kavatoe wanted to bear her testimony. So we all went up there (we’re supposed to, to show comp. unity). I really didn’t want to bear my testimony. You all know me, I never do! But to show comp. unity I bore my testimony. I was shaking at first, but after I started talking, I stopped. I told them how I wanted an “I KNOW” testimony and to pound the pulpit! But I didn’t have one until a few days ago. I told them about my experience with the lady who started attacking our belief on God. I told them from that experience I gained an “I KNOW” testimony. I pounded the pulpit and told them I KNOW that God is our Father and that Christ is my brother and my Savior. I don’t know why but I was bawling. I looked around and I saw a few other people crying too. I hope the Spirit was able to touch their hearts and our investigators will want to change now. One of our recent converts, Cookie Villegas (I gave you a picture of us at her baptism), was so mad at me for making her cry. Let me tell you, it wasn’t me!
But ya, we had 23 lessons this week, and the goal is to have 20! We totally passed it! WOOHOO!
I heard you all went to mom’s grave last week and shared a memory of her. What were the memories you shared? I remember mommy used to dance, and I thought it was so stupid! She would wave her arms around and swing her body (since she didn’t have any hips to swing:) ) and shout WOOHOO! Or something like that. The lame thing is, I do it too! :/ My comps laugh at me and even took a video on their camera. It is pretty funny. Anyway! Dad if you want to eat something hot, get Chili Garlic Sauce “Tuong ot toi viet-nam” it has a green cap (if you can tell:) ). I’m practicing eating hot foods so when I get home we can have a hot food eating contest. :) I have a feeling Jalepeno’s aren’t hot to me anymore. Haha! Just try it. You will thank me! I wish you all could come to New Mexico and try green chilies! I’m addicted to that stuff! There’s this one place called Genero’s that has the BEST salsa ever! I’m going to miss that place when I leave. If I leave! :)
Sis. Kavatoe and I work out together. I’m up to 150 crunches in a day, and my arms are pretty buff! A lady in the ward (Sis. Curtis. Love her!) gave us an old water jug, and we filled it with water to 20 lbs. So that’s what we work out with. We lay on a ball (exercise ball) on our stomachs and put our feet on the couch for balance then take the water jug and do backwards crunches to get our lower abs. It’s hard to explain, but we’re totally dead after out work-out!
It’s getting really hot out here. I’m looking at our outside thermometer and it says 101ish. But it’s in the sun, so it could be a little cooler, especially with the wind. It’s week 5, so we find out transfer news next Saturday! Stay tuned!
Love, Sis. Stolp
P.S. And Dad, thanks for saying nice things about mommy. I like to hear you say those things.
How is everything going? How are the jobs? Nathan, did you ever get a job picking tomatoes? Brian and Steven, are you practicing for madrigals? I wish I could hear that! Valerie, have you made any good friends? Do you guys still hang out with Skyler Andersen? He’s a good kid.:)
We’ve been doing a lot of tracting this week, me and Sis. Kavatoe love it! Sis. Abney is not so fond of it. We ran into a boy who believes in the Greek mythology gods like Zeus and stuff. It was interesting! He didn’t go into details of his beliefs, but I totally wanted to hear it! Oh well. Then we tracted into a guy who said he was a pagan heathen with theological tendencies. Haha! It was awesome! I think he was being sarcastic. Then we met a lady who didn’t want to learn about the church, but had heard of our awesome fascination with genealogy. She started telling of her family history and stuff. I found out we are related somehow. I just need to find our connection. She has ancestors who went to Linden (?) Holland then came to America- as our ancestors did. Cool! Anyway! It was a pretty fun week.:) Some of the members have told us that they wouldn’t be able to handle the rejection. But the thing is, they don’t know us personally, so how can they reject us? The thing they are rejecting is Jesus Christ or families or Joseph Smith- but not us personally. So all of you at home that plan to go on missions remember that- they are not rejecting you they are rejecting Jesus Christ and His church.
So the other night the Zone Leaders called and I answered, but I wasn’t really thinking. We have to say who we are when we answer. So I said “Hi, this is Sister Stolp… uh wait, yes, it’s Sister Stolp.” My comps and I had a good 5 min. laugh. J The zone leader, Elder Dahl (Doll), asked if he could write that in his journal. Oh man it was funny! I thought for a second I had said Elder Stolp or something. The Navajos call us elders, thinking it means missionary. I have caught myself a couple of times before I say Elder Stolp. Man, it was funny! Haha!
On Monday we had cleaning checks again, and the couple, the Martinez’s, are finishing their mission this month. L They are awesome people! Sis. Martinez’s b-day was also Monday so we (I) made her a cake that said “Happy 22nd B-day Sis. Martinez” but she turned 60-something. It was awesome! We stuck it in the fridge so when she checked it it was chilling there. She loved it! J It was the best clean check ever! Then Sis. Kavatoe’s b-day was Thursday. It was a good week for b-days. I’m sad I can’t celebrate the boys’ b-day with ya’ll! I’ll be there in spirit. J Love ya’ll!
Love, Sis. Stolp
P.S. Transfer news comes this Saturday! I’ll let you know which mission I’ll be in on Monday. I’m so nervous! But wherever Heavenly Father needs me, that’s where I’ll go.:)
(note from the editor: Please write to Leda!)