Friday, October 31, 2014

A letter from President Samuelian

31 October 2014 

Dear Sister Hayley Elizabeth Meise,

Congratulations on your new calling as a Sister Trainer Leader in the Oregon 
Salem Mission!  This honor and responsibility comes to very few sisters in the 
entire mission.

No other calling, other than training a new missionary, will have more 
importance while serving the Lord.  As a Sister Trainer Leader you will be 
responsible for the training and welfare of female missionaries assigned to you. 
You will be a member of and participate in, the new Mission Leadership Council 
(MLC).  Sister Training Leaders will continue to proselyte and will also spend 
time each week training and evaluating the needs of female missionaries. You 
will report directly to the Mission President on the needs of sister 
missionaries. You will also work closely with Sister Samuelian as part of your 
new duties.

Your parents and priesthood leaders will also receive a copy of this message. To 
them we say how thankful we are for sending this great sister to us, and know 
that your hopes and dreams will in great measure be fulfilled in their service.

The call to leadership is best done by example. Those you serve will watch you 
and will desire to become like you. This will require you to be faithful, 
diligent and most importantly, loving in all you do.

Your calling comes through inspiration and qualification from your Father in 
Heaven. It is a sacred trust given to you, from Him.  Know also of my trust and 
gratitude for your willingness to accept and fulfill this calling.

With Love,


President Samuelian 

CC:  Stake President, Bishop & Parents

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good news and bad news

Hi everyone,

So much to tell this week! I'll start with the good news-- I've been called as a STL (Sister Training Leader)! For those of you who don't know what a STL is, it's basically a zone leader for sister missionaries. For those of you who don't know what a zone leader is, I'm basically going to be helping other sisters improve, going to their areas and having them come to mine to train them and what not. To be totally honest, I'm a little bit terrified and definitely feeling super under qualified for this. I'm the second "youngest" Hermana in this mission, in terms of how long we've been out. I definitely do not feel capable of telling any of these Hermanas, who have been missionaries way longer than me, what things they can work on. Aye aye aye, it'll be fine, right? The Lord qualifies who He calls, right? I kind of knew it was coming because President talked about it in my interview last week, but at that point it was up in the air as to whether it would happen this transfer or next transfer. I was really hoping next transfer, but I guess this is what's best.  

The bad news is that this means Hermana Perez and I will be getting split up! I can't even tell you how sad I am about this. I know who my new companion is already so that's nice but I'm just so sad. I LOVE Hermana Perez, she is seriously my best friend. We have had a blast being together and have been able to see so many wonderful things happen. The only light at the end of the tunnel in this is that she's going to go to BYU so we're planning on being roommates again after our missions.

We also had a Halloween activity for the Primary this week! It was so cute to see all the kids. The S______s, P_____ and her family, and another investigator M_____ all came so it was great to see so many people there. They had some little games and we decorated cupcakes, and it was super fun. This week our ward is having a trunk or treat so that'll be fun! I'm hoping we'll have a bunch of people there as well.

This little girl reminds me of Zoey

The S______ family had their court date this morning to see if they were going back to Mexico or not and we don't know the details yet, but she said it went super well! That was definitely good, good news. 

Yesterday in Gospel Principles we had a lesson about the importance of family history work and temples. It was so good and inspiring.  I can't wait to go home and do more family history work.

Love you,


Monday, October 20, 2014


Hi everyone!

Another week has come and gone.  It's almost Halloween! We went into the store today and saw CHRISTMAS decorations out already! How crazy is that? This holiday season is going to go by so fast. 

This week we were able to teach the girl we met at Baskin Robbin's! We went in and she said,  "I didn't have a ton of time to write down questions; I just jotted these down really quickly."  She then showed us the THREE pages of questions she had written!  It was so awesome, they were really, really good questions.  It was exciting because it showed that she hadn't just been reading it, she'd been actually thinking about and pondering it and was eager to know more. We spent a little while there with her and, obviously, couldn't answer every one of her questions right then, but we were able to help her to have clarity on a lot of things. 

It's crazy how many people we meet through the S_______ family. On Saturday, she texted us and told us she was making birria (soup with beef in this red tomato chile broth - super, super good) at one of her son's friend's house and we should come over.  So we went over to their house and ended up meeting the dad of the friend.  When he first started talking to us he kind of had an attitude about it and kept telling us, "Listen, I've been all around the world.  I've seen a lot of stuff.  I mean, I pretty much know everything."  We talked to him a little about the things we believed and especially about the Book of Mormon and eventually he just broke down crying saying how lost and broken he felt.  He came to church yesterday with some of the S_______ family. The S_____'s neighbor also came with her boyfriend and their two kids. When we walked into Sacrament meeting, it felt like we were ushering in our whole crew. So awesome.  Hermanita S_______ is still recovering from her surgery so she only stayed for Sacrament Meeting because she was in a lot of pain. She only stopped working for a few days after her surgery and then started working her graveyard shift again. She works cleaning and waxing floors by hand and it's a lot of bending so her recovery is taking a long time. She always tells us "Yeah, I'm mostly fine; I just am bleeding green liquid." That woman is crazy. We try to tell her to rest and she's says, "I have four boys to feed and they eat so much!" Love her so much. 

Here's some pictures: 
 Going to a lesson with a girl from our ward. She just got her call to the Kirtland Ohio Mission and part of the time she'll be in the visitor's center!

 S______ boy and their neighbor's daughter


Monday, October 13, 2014

His Plan is Always Better

Hi everyone!

This week was a really great week! We had the opportunity to go to the temple on Tuesday with our zone. That temple is absolutely beautiful!  It seriously looks like a castle.  It was good though.  Did you know they came out with another new movie?  Pretty cool.


 Kika drove us to the temple

We had another temple trip planned to go with the ward yesterday.  We had it all planned with Jessi's neighbor, Priscilla, to come and they were so excited. We had a lesson with her Saturday night and confirmed everything.  As soon as we got out of the lesson, we received a text saying that the trip had been cancelled. We were SO disappointed. We spent the whole night trying to get rides set up so that we could go anyway and everyone turned us down. FINALLY, at the very last second, we got everything worked out and when the time came for this family to meet us at the church, they didn't show up. We were SO upset. We took the member that was going to give us a ride and swung by their house to see what had happened. It turns out their car had stopped working that day and so they hadn't been able to drive to meet us at the church. But, as it turns out, the member we had brought with us actually knows Priscilla's boyfriend and his brother SUPER well from school. Crazy, right?  So, all this time we thought we had been planning a temple trip, we actually were just planning the perfect opportunity to make that connection between the member and Priscilla's boyfriend.  Sometimes Heavenly Father has a plan that's very different from our plan but it's always better. They're going to come to the rescheduled ward trip next Sunday so, really, it all worked out. 

Remember that story I told a few months back about finding a family to teach from picking blackberries? Well it seems like food is a really effective finding technique for Hermana Perez and I. There's a Baskin Robbins really close to our house and, every once in a while, we'll stop in and get a little treat. Every single time we go in there, the same girl is working so we started talking to her quite a bit, but just about how our days were and that kind of stuff. We stopped in this past week and she said "Hey, can I ask you guys something? Those name tags, are you Mormons?" and we were like, "Yeah we are! Do you know anything about the church?". She said, "Yeah, actually, my boyfriend's a Mormon and I've read half the Book of Mormon but I don't really understand it." We were SHOCKED.  We exchanged numbers and, hopefully, we'll be able to see her really soon. We were cracking up afterwards saying, "We just thought we wanted ice cream, but look at that, it was the Spirit directing us there this whole time!"

We have interviews this week with President!  I'm super excited.  I absolutely love President Samuelian and his wife. I know it'll be a really great interview.  We also just found out we're getting SIX new Hermanas in December! So exciting. They'll replace the five that are going home that transfer. Here's some more pictures from the week:

 P-day fun with the zone

 Two S_____ boys in their Halloween costumes

 The littliest S_____ ...his cheeks are to die for!

Note from Mom:  I always love it when she sends video clips.  This one is nothing special but it's just makes me feel closer to her when I see these little snippets.  This one was entitled "Spider Video"...Hermana Hayley to the rescue!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Service, "Meet the Mormons" and Conference - a good week!

Hi everyone!!!

This week was a weird week but a good one.  Right after I stopped emailing last week, we got a call from the mom in the Familia S_____ telling us that she was in the hospital about to enter surgery to have her appendix removed.  We had a member drive us over to the hospital she was in so we could see her and bring her some things she had forgotten at home.  By the time we got there, she had already gone into surgery so we waited a little while with her friend, Julian, for it to be over.  We've spent some time this week just doing service for her around the home like cleaning and what not because she can barely walk.  She's really obsessed, though, with showing us the incisions every time we go over, like undoing the bandages and gauze and saying "mira" which means "look".  Every time she does it makes me feel like I'm going to pass out.  I've definitely realized I'm not good with that kind of stuff.  HOWEVER, she's also been throwing up a lot and I can watch her throw up and it doesn't bother me at all so I'm not totally hopeless. 

We got to watch "Meet the Mormons" this past Friday!!!  I absolutely loved it.  I would definitely recommend that, if it comes to a theater near you guys, you go check it out. It basically just told a little bit about the lives of six different members from very different backgrounds.  It really demonstrated the fact that this is a worldwide church with a lot of diversity within its membership.  It was funny and touching; I just loved it. 
For those who haven't seen it already, here's the trailer:  
It's also supposed to come out on Netflix at some point

Another highlight from the week was obviously the fact that this was conference weekend!  How good was conference?  I loved so much of it, but my favorite session has to be the Saturday morning one.  I felt like that was one of the most intellectually enlightening conference sessions I've ever seen.  Everything was just so good.  Here's some of my favorite talks:

1. Lynn G. Robbins- Which way do you face? I loved what he said about how the general authorities represent the prophet to the people, not the people to the prophet. I was thinking about how different that is from the ways of the world. In government, you have these senators and congressmen whose job it is to represent their constituencies to the higher authorities but in God's church, it isn't like that. The reason is because God's ways, as revealed through His prophets, aren't dependent on the opinions of the people. They are eternal. 

2. D. Todd Christofferson- I loved the quote "God will not act to make us something we do not choose to become." In this life, we are expected to make choices that move us towards reaching the potential God sees in us. In order to facilitate this, God gives us commandments. While God does love each and every one of His children, He does want us to follow the guidelines He sets because He wants our happiness.  Refusal to believe in God doesn't change the reality of His existence just like "resenting the law of gravity doesn't keep someone from falling off a cliff". 

3. Jorg Klebingat- I loved loved LOVED the six steps he listed and it is absolutely something I'm going to implement into my life. Often I wonder how I can develop the kind of faith that will bring miracles and so I loved how he said the faith that brings miracles goes hand in hand with the personal confidence of righteousness. 

Conference is amazing! I'm so grateful that our church is led by a living prophet under the direction of God. 

We used our dinner hour one night this week to go watch two of the S______ boys play soccer.  Here's a picture! They all turned out kind of blurry because we were far away.  Also, my sunflowers bloomed! 

 We're not really sure what kind of sunflower this is...Hayley says the seeds came from Sis. Manso's birdseed.