Dear Jessica, when you come back to read these – I am so sorry, how does time go so quickly? Jessica has been out on her mission for an entire year – I can hardly believe it. I am so proud of my beautiful daughter. So lets get you all caught up to date – here are some recent emails.
January 27th (this might be a repeat – sorry)
I am really feeling so much better. I am excited for this week up ahead. This last week I just took it easy and didn’t do much. I was happy I’ve been able to take that time, because now I’m excited to get back to work. I won’t push myself or anything, but I am excited to get back to the swing of things. After this transfer I’ve been in Laconia about 5 months, so there’s a chance I could leave. I want to work as hard as I can these next three weeks. This ward has taken such good care of me I feel like I need to do everything I am able to share the gospel and help the members in the ward. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people! I can’t wait until I can bring you out to meet them. The ward has made sure I’m doing okay and they’re always asking how they can help. They’re so wonderful!
The weather is cold, but that’s not new. This morning the horses got out. Blaze and the two Belgiums Ben and Ruby, were walking around the house this morning. It was really funny. Blaze likes to adventure so that happens more then you would expect. Laura May’s Christmas present was to get a horse so she’s been looking at horses this week. I just want to be able to ride the horses one day haha. We talk with them all the time, but we can’t ride them as missionaries. It stinks. They do sleigh rides in the winter too. It’s really fun.
Feb 3rd Day after Ground Hog Day
Ground hog day doesn’t apply in New England. We actually have a huge storm coming this week. Not too excited. I’m back to teaching. It has been much better. (I said, yes it does, Ground Hog Day applies everywhere) She said,
Mom…the spring does not exists in New England. I’ve done this part haha. It goes from winter to mud season to summer. it doesn’t get warm until May. I wore my puffy coat until May last year.
I had my follow up appointment today. The surgeon said it was definitely gall bladder disease and there was scarring. I was a little relieved to hear that.
We are getting a lot of snow. I can’t wait for winter to end! It’s just cold and snowy right now. May better come quickly!
There’s a facebook page for the mission. I can’t remember the link for it, but if you type nhmm or New Hampshire Manchester Mission you should find it. It has a picture of President and Sister Stoker on it.
We also found out that we can go to the temple every six months! You can only go if you’re within two hours of the Boston Temple. We’re only an hour and a half so wer’re trying to figure out when we can go in the next two weeks, just in case one of us gets transferred super far away.
We had to reschedule zone conference because it got cancelled from one of those crazy storms. Zone Conference was so good though! We went down to the Joseph Smith Birth Place. It’s so pretty there! Even covered in snow you can feel the spirit so strongly. It’s amazing!
This week has been really fun! Our car got grounded two days (which means we can’t drive it because of the snow). We got to shovel people out. It was fun. We shoveled for Judy and then played with her dogs in the snow. We don’t do much work on days we’re grounded but we get to do a lot of service. So days we’re grounded are kind of fun.
Thanks for your valentine. It was cute!
My new companion is Sister Lundahl. We’ve actually been together for 5 weeks. How crazy is that? She’s great. She’s from American Fork. She actually played soccer so I think we played each other in high school. Small world.
This week we had a cool lesson with one of our less active lady’s Gina. We’ve been trying to help her get back to church. We see her every Wednesday. So, Wednesday morning she thought, “maybe I just need to go to church one Sunday and take the sacrament again.” Then without knowing that we planned to teach her more about the sacrament and go over the significance of it. How cool is that!? Total gift of the Spirit! It was a great lesson. She didn’t come to church, but there’s always next week!
I love you Dad! Have fun reading with Mom!
This week was good. Tuesday we had a great lesson with Ally. She’s a 12 yr old who comes to church with her family but isn’t baptized. She’s so smart. We thought she wouldn’t remember what we taught her, but she remembered all of it. It was really cool. She’s doing the Music Man for the school play right now. She’s really excited.
Wednesdays are always our really exciting days. We met with Beverly, Mary, and the Marcoux children. They’re all investigators. We also saw Gina and Chantalle, who are less active members.
Beverly is the sweetest old lady. We read Moroni 10 with her. She said she agrees with everything and it’s like she’s heard it before. I think as soon as she comes to church she will love the ward and really want to be there. She’s so cute. She rode an elephant once. It put my feeding a giraffe to shame.
Mary is another sweet old lady that Brother Swain plows for. She lives right on one of the lakes so it’s a little more chilly by her house. She’s a sweet Italian women. She was brought up catholic. She loves talking about the scriptures and how they really help us have better lives. She was very concerned about how I was healing. She’s a retired nurse so she wanted to make sure I was doing okay.
The Marcoux children are doing good. We played “don’t eat pete” and they thought it was the funnest thing in the world! It was so funny.
Gina’s lesson was really cool. You’ll have to ask Dad about that one 🙂
Chantalle is the Marcoux children’s mom. She’s trying to get to the temple. She’ll get there.
Chelsea our investigator who is getting baptized got sick this week so we have to push her baptism back a few weeks. She’s doing great though.
Everything is going well. Cold, but good. We’re getting another storm right now, so we won’t have a car after we get home, but that’s okay, I don’t mind.
We got to go to the temple today so our pday was changed to today this week…again. Next week it will be more normal. I didn’t get transferred so I’ll be here for 6 months. Thank you for putting the money in my account. I don’t know if I’ll be down by the lindt chocolate factory soon, but I’ll send you something fun.
I’m sad to hear about Sister Peck.
This week was weird. A lot of people cancelled on us at the last second or didn’t show up. That’s not an unusual thing to happen, but we only taught two lessons this week. We’re not used to everyone we work with canceling on us. That’s okay, it’s a new week.
We do have a lot of snow. Sometimes I can’t see if a car is coming because the snow bank in so high. Fun issues with New England
Alright. This week it warmed up some. We milked some cows at the Swains farm and played with the baby cows. We also got to tap some trees with Brother Swain. Maple Syrup is hopefully coming soon.
Thank you for the Samoa cookies. They were really yummy. I never got Dad’s letter. Maybe I will today.
I hit my one year mark. It’s kind of weirding me out but whatever. I’m mainly just nervous of dealing with real life again.
ONE YEAR – MARCH 13TH -IT HAPPENS THIS DAY —WAY TO GO SISTER VANDERHOEF!!
Our week was good. Cold, but good. We tried contacting some less active members and went tracting in Belmont. We have district meeting every week on Thursday, but this Thursday we got grounded because of the snow so we had to move it to Friday. This week we don’t have district meeting, but that’s because we have interviews with President Stoker. We only get to do that about every three months. Those are always fun.
We met with Judi twice this week. We helped her clean and did a mini lesson. Mainly just answered some questions and talked about the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. She really enjoyed reading that. When we saw her again we talked about Family History work and the temple. She gets to do baptisms for the dead for the first time in May. She’s really excited.
We also met with the Vantassels. They’re a part member family in Sanbornton. They’re really sweet. They have these two huge Great Danes. The dogs were so friendly. We’re going to see them again on Thursday.
We also met with Chelsea and are trying to set a new baptismal date and schedule a baptismal interview with her. She started working at Walmart so it’s been hard to make an appointment with her. The poor girl is super busy!
We had dinner with the Ortons on Tuesday. Brother Orton was telling us funny stories about his mission. He kept asking us about different things about USU. Kayla their daughter is going there in the fall. Kayla and Brother Orton always ask us about USU. I’m really excited she’s going there. It will be fun to see her there.
Yesterday at church Brother Albert gave us a bag filled with Easter candy. Normally he’ll give it to the Elders, but loved Sister Lundahl’s talk so much he wanted us to have it. He’s such a funny old man.
So yeah, those are some things that happened this week.
This last week seems like for ever ago. We taught Alison last Monday. She’s 12 and her Mom and step-Dad are members. We read the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses with her. She’s going to be in the Music Man this week. President Stoker gave us permission to go see it, so Thursday we’re going to the play! We’re really excited!
Tuesday we were up in Plymouth all day. We had interviews with President Stoker. We were very last and interviews always go long so we got home in time to eat dinner and go to bed. It was good, but tiring day.
Wednesday we went to Belmont. We tracted for an hour and a half then met with Gina. She’s a less active lady we work with. We read part of Moroni 7 with her. I really like that chapter. We’re trying to get her to come back to church, but she’s really involved in another church. We just want her to come back to church!
We had dinner with the Presbys on Wednesday. They’re really fun. They’re in the ward. They have 3 boys and 1 girl. Their daughter is 11 and she was so excited the Sisters were coming to dinner instead of the Elders. Their youngest Ethan was in love with Sister Lundahl. I think he’s 6. He told Sister Lundahl that she would be his girlfriend when he grows up. We had to explain that missionaries can’t date.
We didn’t do much on Thursday
Friday we went visiting teaching with Judi for the first time. She loved it! You could tell she was a bit nervous, but once we started teaching she relaxed more and more. She’s so much fun to be with.
Saturday we made maple syrup with Brother Swain and Tyler. That was really fun and sticky. We got to fill up the bottles when it was finished. We also had dinner with the Flanders. Sister Flanders is from Colombia. She had her “Colombian group” there. There were 4 couples (including the Flanders) where one of the spouses were from Colombia and one from New Hampshire. It was so much fun! We love Sister Flanders. She’s so funny.
Sunday we had dinner with the Millis family. That’s Sister Swain’s aunt. They have 4 kids who are grown up. The youngest is my age, but they have 6 that are adopted. They go from 15 to 3. They’re a lot of fun. The 3 year olds are twin girls. They are so funny. They had to help Sister Millis read the scriptures out loud.
Ok, friends and family there you have it – 3 months of catch up – I love you all – I love my girl, my wonderful missionary daughter.