Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NYC Can't Breathe

Monday, November 13th

I want to start out by adding my continued sympathies to my family members. 

I love you all and pray for you.
I don't support graffiti but sometimes we find really cool ones. :)

This week I begun MyPlan (the six-week program missionaries take before they go home). That was crazy. These last six weeks will probably cold, rainy, and full of Christmas spirit. NYC dropped into the twenties, which is when one knows that winter has truly begun,

I made a lovely coloring page. It was really sweet of Genesys to give it to me, and I colored every single night, so clearly it was a good gift!

We also found eight new investigators (several by knocking and being let in on the spot, others by street contacting and member work), put two more investigators on date, had three investigators to church, and worked hard.

Someone needs to tell the grocery stores to stop putting the ice cream on sale, because *of course* if they are two for five we will each get a carton. No questions asked.

Service at Forest park is easily one of my favorite parts of the week, who doesn't enjoy getting down and dirty planting tulips (last week) and (this week) chopping down flower bushes?
We saw the people when they were making this mural. Cypress Hills is an area near Brooklyn.
People go all-out for Halloween.
The primary presentation is one of my favorite days of the year! The children are hilarious.
Also, Christmas is nearing, and it is just about time to #lighttheworld in 25 ways over 25 days! Prepare yourselves by looking at the calendar when it comes out after Thanksgiving and serving in every way you can. :)

I was just reading a talk by President Monson that I love. It states:

"I recall reading some time ago the counsel a father gave to his son when he went away to school: “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!” I offer to each of you the same advice: “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!”

The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. Every day of our lives courage is needed--not just for the momentous events but more often as we make decisions or respond to circumstances around us. Said Scottish poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson: “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.”

Courage comes in many forms. Wrote the Christian author Charles Swindoll: “Courage is not limited to the battlefield … or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one’s looking, … like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” I would add that this inner courage also includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular."
This precious girl got her call to Vancouver, Washington! How fun.
Zone activity in Rego! :-)
I know that courage in its many forms is often a battle, but it is so important that we are courageous.

"Courage, dear heart." -C.S. Lewis

I love you all. <3

-Hermana Ally Voss

Jehová, Sé Nuestro Guía

10/31

Happy Halloween!

I always like to keep you on your toes as to when I will email, which is why I never say which day it is. :) Elder Sitati of the Seventy actually visited us yesterday at our Zone conference which is why I didn't email. I'm not sure I mentioned anything about it, but I have actually known for about two and a half months that he was coming, so it was anticipated. It was amazing.
A ghetto pumpkin and honeydew to carve!
Moreover, this week we have seen a lot of tender mercies so I want to write a list of these moments:

-I think the Lice is gone!

-Luis and Leo got baptized. I will include pictures even though I wasn't there for either. :)

-Last night we talked about baptism to a part-member family and, emotional after reading 2 Nephi 31, the non-member wife said to her husband, "you know I feel something when the missionaries come over. I always have. I've prayed sincerely about baptism before and I've wanted to do it." She proceeded to mention how it was very hard for her because she saw her husband, and he didn't go to church ever so she didn't feel like it would be her family making the step together if she got baptized. The husband got emotional and it was a moment of true repentance, I think, on part of the whole family. The spirit was so tangible. So, so tangible.
Today at the pupusería we got this note in place of our check, "check is paid by the Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for your service". ❤️ It made me want to cry. Good people are out there!
The pupusería. It's called Nurias for anyone who is visiting New
York and wants to try it. Get the revuelta pupusas.
-On Sunday it rained all day. So what did we do? Why, we knocked, of course! But, this wasn't just rain. This was drenching rain. And I don't quite have a raincoat. So, I was just soaking as I talked to people on their doorsteps and pulled cards out of my bag as my fingers were dripping water (umbrellas are for the weak). Then, we met a lady who suspiciously said, "are you the Jehovah's Witness?"

"No, we're the Mormons!" We replied.

"Well then, come in!" (This conversation was in Spanish). I apologized many times for my dripping wet everything and she just kept saying, "well, that's why I have a mop." We taught Rosa most of the Restoration and are planning on teaching her the rest on our next visit on Friday!

-We met a deaf man on the subway who just lit up my life. He was so sweet! I did my best to move my hands in a game of charades in which I pulled out a couple of my ASL skills and called up the ASL sisters to communicate for me, and he is way interested! He was so sweet and I had a smile plastered over my face the rest of the night. We got McDonalds ice cream to celebrate.

-We sang every Spanish hymn that isn't in English during language study and it was so awesome. There are so many good hymns out there!

-We (kinda) got Cristian on date! It's complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Some investigators just feel like they have to know everything before they get baptized and they don't believe us when we say they don't! It's so irritating!
Pumpkin-headed picture!
Oh no! Lady liberty is falling.
She survived it! Whew.
NYC and the Statue of Liberty
-Elder Sitati Mission Tour/ Zone Conference (mega-mega-Zone since it was zones 1-5):

Question President Reynolds asked: what is your favorite BOM scripture on missionary work?

Answers: Alma 12, Mosiah 28:3, Jacob 5:71-72, Alma 30:33-34, Alma 27:17, Alma 31:35, Alma 29, WOM 1:7, Alma 26:22, Alma 37:33-34, 2 Nephi 26:27-28, Alma 26:11-13, Alma 13:24, 3 Nephi 5:13, Alma 26:27.

Mine: 3 Nephi 5:13. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Alma 37:7. Small and simple means.

President's: Helaman and the stripling warriors. Obedience with exactness.

When we shared these I felt joy. Excited. Comforted. Psyched. I felt the spirit. "It's not two years it's your whole life."

Of course it is hard ("Some people struggle with just air some days." -PR), but isn't is great? Isn't the work of Salvation awesome?
Conference companion picture at the Elder Sitate conference
Everyone already knows that I love and admire President and Sister Reynolds, but Elder Sitati started talking about how very carefully Mission Presidents are chosen and narrowed down from over 5,000 names to about 130 each year and how very good of men they are. And their wives, as well. He talked about how their interest in their missionaries isn't just for the mission but extends long after. And, naturally, proceeded with, "President, are you a sealer yet?" (Someone who marries people in temples). *shakes head* "well, by the time all of you get married he will probably be a sealer and there will be nothing that makes him happier than seeing your eternal happiness." Mission Presidents are so great, aren't they? I'm so grateful to have the Reynolds.

Some other great things Elder Sitati said:

"We will have challenges. It is better for us to have those challenges when we have all our feet inside the gospel." (Talking about families raised inside the gospel).

"When they have expressed the deep feelings of their heart, the spirit will prompt you to say what will be helpful to them." Elder Sitati encouraged us to stay as long in the appointment as we need to have them open up and share the desires of their heart.

"No, you don't have to trust yourself, you only have to trust the Lord."

Have the determination to do whatever the Lord will tell you in prayer, even if it is hard.

Forget yourself and focus on the work. Stop thinking "am I able to do this?" "Of course you are not! But with him you are."

It was a blessing to meet Elder Sitati and his wife. Like I said earlier, being on a mission is just the best!

Love you all,

Hermana Ally Voss

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Tribute to Grandpa

November 6th, 2017

About a year ago at this time, I received a call at about 9:30pm at night from President Reynolds informing me that my grandmother had passed away.
G'pa's interment - full military honors


At 9:41pm this last Friday night (November 3rd) , I received yet another call from President Reynolds. He informed me that my Grandpa Wright had passed away. I have no other words to describe how I felt than heartbroken. It was hard enough to lose my Grandma last year, though at least my family had informed me it might happen. The unexpected death of my Grandpa was very hard for me.

I remember seeing him just last April in my skype call home. He did his little smile every time someone said something funny, and he told me to keep working hard. In the call I made on October 11th last year after the passing of grandma he said, "we... love you. We appreciate the work you do. She... still... loves... you." I know that even though he may not be here right now that his love and legacy lives on.

President Reynolds tried to help me remember to think of the Plan of Happiness that I all-so-frequently teach. I've been scared to teach it the last few days because of my tender feelings, but we are going to share it with a family tonight. I am scared, but I know that my Heavenly Father is always helping me to stay strong through such times as these.

I am so grateful for the influence of my Grandpa in my life. If not for him, I would not probably have been able to play cello - he provided the funds for my lessons. And as you all know, just thinking of a cello brings tears to my eyes. It is such a huge part of my life. Without Grandpa I wouldn't have been able to come on a mission - I didn't have the funds at my disposal to do so, and I wouldn't have wanted to be such a burden on my family or the church. And my mission has 100% changed my life. Without my Grandpa, I never would have seen so many beautiful places in Oregon and Washington. I wouldn't have visited Alaska with my beautiful extended family. And without Grandpa and Grandma having raised my mother to be a faithful member of the church, I wouldn't have an eternal family. The influence of these two angels in my life is incredible. I only hope that I am working hard enough in my life, in my mission, on my testimony, that it will in some way pay back a small part of what they have done for me.

It reminds me of a primary song, "I have a family here on earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can."

I am heartbroken and grieved at my Grandpapa's passing, but I look forward to getting to see my Grandpa and Grandma together one day in celestial courts on high. I love them, I cherish them, I am beyond grateful for all they have done for me. ❤️

Preparing the flag
Taps
--------------------

Sometimes, everything seems to go downhill, or to not be looking up. One thing that Elder Sinclair said to us at Stake Conference on Sunday was, "I got an email from my daughter the other day who loves natural remedies. We call her a bit crunchy. Her scalp was apparently flaking so the Internet solutions told her to make a sugar and olive oil scrub. It sounded delightful to her, so she did it. Then she tried to figure out how to get the oil out. Apparently it is almost impossible to get olive oil out of one's hair. One of the Internet suggestions was to use dry shampoo. So she used her normal baking powder dry shampoo. It didn't soak up enough, so she used an egg wash with cocoa powder to try to soak up more oil. After more tries with powdered baking ingredients, Nothing was working! So she thought about it and listed off everything she had used, 'sugar, oil, baking powder, eggs, cocoa.... dad,' she said, 'I figured it out! I made brownies in my hair!'" His point was to tell us that when everything goes crazily wrong sometimes we need to look outside the box (or brownie box jaja) and find the joy in life.

Some joyful moments for me were seeing all of my beloved Rego Park friends in Stake Conference. The Grandma of Leo, a boy who got baptized, saw me and burst into tears and thanked me for doing my little part in helping him towards the waters of baptism. I thought Leo was already pretty great, but she shared how much he has changed for the better since baptism! Sitting next to her was an investigator who began to cry as well for the story she was relating. It was a tender moment for all of us.

Also, a daughter of a beloved Rego family, let's call her Ariel (she's probably four or five), went into the aisle during Stake Conference for some reason and tried to go back to find her family but kept walking right past the aisle. I could see her, but to get past the six people on my left would have been very awkward. I watched her wander into the next aisle, confused and searching for her seres queridos (loved ones). A member from Rego Park saw her wandering and guided her back to her family. I saw the reunion as she saw her family, then burst into tears as her family consoled her. Her sister, mom, and dad were all hugging her. And I thought of the member who guided her back, and imagined her as the Good Shepherd. Always out searching for his lost sheep to bring them back to the fold. May we ever follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exchanges are fun!

Last joyful comment from a youth speaker in Stake Conference: "If the Book of Mormon had never been written, Joseph Smith probably never would have translated it." Probably not! ;)

I love you all and my heart goes out to my mourning family. May each of you feel of God's love in this difficult time.

Love,

Hermana Ally Voss

"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." Mosiah 16:8

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Of Lice and Men

October 24th, 2017

Shoutout to my mom who is officially Doctor Voss! Yay, how exciting.

This week many fun things happened. Like interviews, and trainer-trainee meeting, and a bishopric activity, and me getting lice.
A Joyous Reunion!


I have been a bit suspicious since my head has been itchy lately and I didn't want to jump to any irrational conclusions, yet I decided to have Sister Postma check me out at Trainer-trainee meeting just to be sure. She looked at me and didn't see anything, but I was still skeptical. And with good reason!

The next morning my head was quite itchy and to relieve it I moved my brush rather roughly against my scalp. I looked down, and was horrified when I saw insects filled with my blood crawling on it. It was positively awful.

Then, after I got the lice-killing shampoo from Rite Aid I discovered that one can never actually trust Rite Aid because it didn't kill any of the lice. And then I combed through my hair with the nit comb, and combed out hundreds upon hundreds of LIVE lice. Like, they were crawling around on the paper towel where I was depositing them. It was nasty. And they were big. And had my blood in them. Basically, I had blood-sucking parasites on my head (shoutout to Sister Reeve for the parting gift). I would include a picture, but I don't want to scare any children. Also, I was nauseous when I was picking them out, so I didn't actually take a picture.

And then every day since I have been brushing more live lice out of my hair. And washing clothes regularly. It isn't the end of the world, yet it is not quite what I expected to be doing this week!

Cristian came to church again, though! :) And everything else. Basically, he is golden. We love him. The Ward was talking all about him during Ward council and we felt like proud mothers.

I saw Sister Gourley yesterday! Her mom saw me on the street and the Sister Gourley chased after me and gave me a hug. :) I was very grateful to see her and meet her wonderful parents.




Luis and Leo are getting baptized next week in Rego Park!!!! I am so psyched for them!

¡Funnies!

***At trainer-trainee meeting the Assistants came up to me and, laughing, looked slyly at each other and back to me and said, "so... we heard that your first day in Richmond Hill you went knocking in Jew Gardens." And they burst out laughing. 'Jew Gardens' is apparently what all the missionaries term Kew Gardens. The shoe definitely fits, though!

***Also, at trainer-trainee meeting I was scandalized by one of our senior missionaries. I started talking to him about how our Elders needed a new metro card because of really weird circumstances and I began with, "Well, you know Elders. They're pretty irresponsible sometimes. What are you going to do?"

He responded: "well, hopefully you're going to go home and marry one of them!"

"Oh my goodness! Elder_____!" I exclaimed. It was really quite shocking. And then he just started chuckling like a naughty little boy. Elders. *exasperated sigh*. But y'all never fear. My heart is quite locked.

***We spent quite a sum on getting rid of lice and in the process had little money left. Yet, we had an abundant amount of Oreos. Sister Gillespie turned to me and said, "why buy groceries when you have Oreos?" I agreed. One could live on oreos and water, right?

***The nine-year-old we are teaching talking to her friend to invite her to be taught by us:

"Hey you know how I've been talking to the girls who talk about God?"

"Yeah."

"You know how you have anger problems?"

"... yeah."

"You wanna meet with me and them?"

"Yeah."

"Okay."

"Okay."

"Bye."

"Bye."

It was quite a deep conversation, as one could tell.

Spiritual Thought:

D&C 28:16 "And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen."

On Sunday I sat next to a Hispanic couple on the bus who were involved in a serious conversation. I hate to be socially inappropriate but I always think about the phrase, "some missionaries are so worried about offending people that in the process they don't save any." So, I opened my mouth! Maravelli was from Ecuador and used to investigate and even had a baptismal date it sounded like. She described the Elders as having been like sons to her. She wanted to have us over and when I gave her the Book of Mormon she looked at it like the priceless book it is and said, "I have missed this book so much."

The Book of Mormon is true! And we need to open our mouths. :)

Love,

Hermana Ally Voss

Sunday, October 29, 2017

When Our Hearts Were Depressed

October 16th, 2017

I bring glad tidings of great joy! Members in Richmond Hill cook very well. Period. Our dinner appointments consisted of several arroz con pollos. It was delicious.❤️ The sad thing is that I may have to watch my weight a little bit more in Richmond Hill because we don't necessarily eat very well at home, either. This week we ate: 4 Mac 'n Cheese dinners, two containers of spaghetti, a brownie box, and a full loaf of bread. Not counting Día de Hispanidad. Día de Hispanidad was... wow! The Mexicans killed it. The performances were top of the line and the food was most delightful to the stomach. Tamales, buñuelos, tostones, and pupusas? Yes. Please.
Hard to find a picture with my eyes open... I know.

Spanish old wives tale: If you have curly hair and want it to stay curly don't let a straight-haired person cut it. Or it will become straight. Same goes with straight hair - if a curly-haired person cuts it you automatically get curly hair. Heard it from a Honduranian, so it's probably true.

I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish this week! It took a long time, because I was only reading it out loud. So I had to speak every word of the BOM in Spanish. Difficult, but evidently do-able. :)

Also, Cristian, a man we found last Saturday, came to church! But first he came to both English classes, and Día de Hispanidad. Church was a bit overwhelming (they talked about tithing, fasting, and paying fast offerings- CLASSIC for a first-time sacrament meeting) so he left after the first hour, but he has intentions to come next Sunday and stay. He really likes the people.

Find, find, find? More like grind, grind, grind!

It is definitely quite trying to not have a pool. It means that we are out finding all day, every day. This last week we had five or six member visits but they were all from Monday to Thursday. That meant that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all of the finding was "through our own efforts" which means knocking and street contacting (including bus and train contacting). It was quite the grind. 7-8+ hours daily just knocking and talking. And sadly we were just not finding success. Friday passed and we were tired but we knew we would find someone the next day. Saturday we were totally pumped but after hearing "I'm Catholic and good" and "you're knocking way too loudly to be doing what you're doing" and rejection after rejection it gets a bit discouraging. Especially when you don't really have anyone in your pool to begin with, so each "no" means we still have no one to teach.
Eyepiece of my purpose? :-)
Looking for investigators...
Sunday we really wanted to meet our weekly goals, so we were excited in the morning, but church was still a bit overwhelming for Sister Gillespie (it's so hard when you can barely understand what's going on and you don't hear English for hours for a new missionary) so it was already a grind getting into the finding for the rest of the day. And we knock, and knock, and knock. And at 8:00pm Sister Gillespie (rather reasonably) says, "maybe we should go to the church and get some more English cards." It was true, we had run out and were meeting many English-speaking friends.
¡Viva México!
These were the ones that made us amazing food last Sunday.<3 Long live Mexico indeed! 
Honduras Hotties

Mexico: Live action
I thought for a second and said, "maybe we can just finish this street." In my mind, however, my thoughts were actually, 'just this next house. One more house. Just one more.'

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Because the odds began to be in our favor.

1. A Dominican man came to the door. I started off the usual spiel and his dad came up and said, "wouldn't you be more comfortable in the house?" We agreed and proceeded to show the video to the entire family inside from the couch. We talked to them for about twenty minutes, the mom gave us juice, and they accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon.

2. Directly afterwards as we waited for the bus a cop came up to us and said, "you ladies good? Just wanna make sure." Sweet, right?

3. And then we had a lovely conversation with the bus operator in an empty bus. (Note: apparently to not work on weekends you need to have over 10+ years as a NYC bus driver)

4. Moreover, as we waited for the next bus required to get home a boy leaned out of a car and asked, "hey, Norma? are you Norma?" We informed him we were not but had a lovely shout-conversation about how we were the Mormons.

5. Indeed not seconds later a car pulled up next to the stop blasting music and about four men looked over at us seductively. We must have looked something terribly awkward because their faces cracked and they burst out laughing rather good-naturedly as they sped away.
The District
Alma 26:27 "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites [citizens of New York City], and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

The Lord loves us, and tries us to prove our faithfulness. I love you all!

Kindest regards,

Hermana Ally Voss

Richmond Hill makes me weep

October 9th, 2017

Richmond Hill? Yeah, so it is crazy. Definitely in many ways the most ghetto and the nicest of areas I have served in. We live really close to a lot of Jews, which basically means we live in a really nice area. The only downside is that a lot of people have money in this area, and due to that the food is outrageously expensive. Last week and this week alone I have spent over $100 on groceries! For not too much, either!
Cool graffiti calls for a picture!


The upside is that we have many member appointments this week so we won't be feeding ourselves much. :)

Should I do this in bullet points?

- Sister Gillespie is precious and lovely and a ballerina and violinist.❤️ I love her so much.

- The Carlins (the senior couple down the hall) are wonderful and we ate a pot pie together for dinner this week and it was fabulous.

- Last night I had a Mexican feast with plátanos, jerky beef, limón agua, frijol, y arroz y era una de mis comidas favoritas en mi misión.

- Also Peruvian food is amazing. If I'm not equivocado (wrong) the amazing rice I tried is called chaufa.

- We were walking around on our first day in Richmond Hill in the Brooklyn slice of our area and we were talking to this girl named Aly about the hope Christ can bring and she began to cry and said she really needed that.

- Yesterday, an investigator of the Elders in Rego Park was baptized. It was weird because on Saturday I had a dream about him getting baptized and then it happened. I was so happy! What a miracle for him to be baptized after he went through so much to get to that point.

- The members here talk to all of their friends about missionary work! It is such a missionary-focused Ward.

- We have street contacted and knocked A LOT this week. And we have to keep doing it until we find solid people!

- Did I mention that Josh in Brooklyn was baptized who I worked with over a year ago? And Elder Menden baptized him, with Elder Creager was there, too!:) How awesome is that? I think I mentioned that already though. It just makes me really happy.

- Also Sister Chung is a Sister Training Leader. And Sister McAllister is training, so my generation picture is included.
 Hermana Gillespie (my new companion) and I
Four generations! Me, Sister Chung, Sister McAllister, and Sister Robison respectively.
Generations + Sister Gillespie ( all photo creds to Elder Rogers whom I dearly appreciate)
- Sister Reeve and I were nosy sticking around at the church for weekly Planning last last week on Thursday and transfer planning was the same day (and they were hiding Elder Asplund so that no one knew he was the new Assistant). Sooo Elder Asplund confronted us at transfers and said, "because you two were 'eating lunch' in the church, President wouldn't let me go to the bathroom so I had to wait forty-five minutes until you sisters left and I had to go SO bad." But the good thing is that we are bros with Elder Asplund now.

- Elder Brown helped us figure out Richmond Hill a bit as well and led us towards Brooklyn for finding.

Cheesy pick-up lines used on my companion and I this week:

"Hey! You dropped something!" *we look back* "my heart." *wink*

"I just wanna let you know that redheads make me weep. I love you! I love both of you!"

Spiritual thought:

"Looking back, I learned some of the best lessons during the hardest times - whether as a youth, on a mission, starting a new career, striving to magnify my callings, raising a large family, or struggling to be self-reliant. It seems clear that hard is good!"
Rooftop fun in Richmond Hill :-)
I know that the challenges in our lives help purify us and allow us to become more Christ-like. Opening up Richmond Hill is difficult, but it is an adventure for which we are more than a match!

I love each of you, have a blessed week!

Hermana Ally Voss

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Perfection Still Pending

October 2nd, 2017

Hello most devoted, loyal fan base,

To summarize my week in three words: sick, surprising, inspiring.

I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of our dear Elder Hales. He has been an inspiration to us all, and it was precious to me how Elder Andersen read a few of the words that he wished us to hear. My heart goes out to him and his family.
The Reynolds Pamphlet. 1782. Okay jk just exchanges with one of the most perfect women in the world aka Sister Reynolds. "Were you surprised when your husband was called to be a mission president?" "Well... no. I mean, he's always been amazing. People always told me he would be one."
This week I encountered some mission-changing news! President called me on a Friday and made me aware that the Lord has decided I am to train a new missionary blinded in to Richmond Hill (Mission Lingo: Blinded in. Definition: thrown carelessly into a different area, of the which you know nothing. No foresight included). Granted, I can't say I did not ask for it. I may or may not have mentioned that I would be more than happy to train, and I perhaps mentioned that Richmond Hill was a successful area, and why not put in Sisters? So, I definitely put myself knowingly into this situation.... Be careful for what you wish for!

For the first time, I had an opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Reynolds! It was so pleasant and after visiting a new mom in our ward we went to the Cheesecake Factory for a magnificent lunch. The Cobb salad was possibly the largest salad that I have ever laid eyes on and was very filling and extraordinarily delicious. The time that we had to speak with Sister Reynolds was like gold, so precious and rare. I am so grateful and know that she does all she can to help us missionaries.
Why am I always the shortest?
Sister McDowell leaves tomorrow and takes part of my heart with her❤️
I also caught the plague this week. And we found out that Sister Reeve has been living with a bug-infested head for the last five months. The lice shampoo smelled pleasantly of evergreens.

In the words of my dearest companion:

"ok this is a good one. So nearly 5 months ago, back when i was with Hma Vaughn in Brentwood, my head started itching SO BAD like ALL THE TIME. And I was convinced I had lice so I had the mission nurse check it out and she said that I was clean and lice-free and that I should change my shampoo and the itching would go away. Well fast forward until last week when after 5 months of itching, I finally gave up hope that it was ever gonna go away by itself and caved in and called the doctor. We went in and it took her about 0.2 seconds to figure out that i had LICE! FOR REALS! So gross! So basically i got this crazy shampoo that is basically just like putting straight up pesticides in your hair and left it in for 12 hours and then Hma Voss and I combed out all the dead bugs from my hair. It was awesome. Highlight of my week for sure."
Marcia ❤️❤️
I scream, you scream, we all scream for papusas!
My cold medicine, however, tasted like fake cherry poison. Moreover, my cough sounds like I'm choking on a rag. But, all is well.

Conference was wonderful the other day. To quote a few powerful words (please take these as more like approximate quotes):

"Salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter." -someone quoted by Elder Oaks

"We must internalize the Character of Christ.... we can not be content with remaining where we are." -D. Todd Christofferson

"Here in mortality perfection is still pending," quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland.

"He loves to be with us." -Elder Rasband.

"Make time and take time to come and know your Savior." -Jean B. Bingham

"Remember to put Jesus Christ at the center of your life today." -W. Craig Zwick

"It is clear that hard is good." -Stanley G. Ellis ('For evil to prevail all that is necessary is that good men do nothing.')

Take care and I will tell you how lost I get this week on the next episode of: Adventures in Queens, New York. ;)

Love,

Hermana Ally Voss