Friday, May 6, 2011

January 2011

Beautiful winter snowscapes surround the Salt Lake Valley and bring visitors from all over to experience world class skiing and resorts.

As the 2010 holiday season fades away, Alexandra and her missionary companions settle back into daily routines of missionary life on Temple Square.  The site of which so much national and church history is occurred continues to draw visitors from all parts of the world.

Ali is having the time of her life engaged in a work that she whole heartedly loves and is anxiously engaged in.

Things are a little different with the slower schedule, but it is the best! Again this past week there were so many that came that were so interested and so prepared to hear the message.  Heavenly Father really does have a part in so many people lives, and there are reasons why they come here in the middle of winter.  Sister Hernandez and I love seeing that this season is the best here, whereas most people would think that its not.  Winter is usually a time when people are grumpy and upset and just not happy because it isn't the great summer, but we really do get the best out of people as missionaries here! I wonder if the ways that I am able to ask questions and talk to people in a way for them to open up so much is something that will continue on after the mission.  So many people tell me things and then after say, well I don't know why I told you that, but I did! Haha. Having the spirit so strong as a missionary is the best! I do not want the day to come when I won't have it the way I do now, it is the best ever and I know that the promptings of the spirit are so strong with everything that we do as missionaries.

With the many people that I talk to and meet, I am just so grateful for the understanding of the fulness of the restored gospel.  So many people are still so confused and curious about their beliefs and the world around them, but I know I've got it all right! Over and over again I recognize what a blessing it is to be serving a mission and learning more, but also to be sharing this with others.  The hardest thing about being a missionary is knowing that there are still so many people in the world looking for this, but they don't know where to find it! I wish there was a little radar or something that would help us find those people and let us share with them the things they are continually looking for.  Never forget that there may be people that you associate with everyday or every once in a while that are those people.  Always be a witness of Jesus Christ and share what a blessing the gospel has been in your life ,and what it can do for everone else!

Thanks for all your love and prayers, and everything that you do! :)

Love you,
Sister Alexandra Teerlink

Well, she's obviously having a great time and is caught in the moment as she shares this glad message of hope to the world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

December 2010

Beautiful Temple Square at Christmastime!
Enjoying the beauty of the snow drifted landscape at Temple Square, Alexandra and her companions share the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Christmas season.  Her excitement for her missionary service is contagious and is loving every minute of it.

With all the Christmas lights that are on and so many members coming with family and friends we meet some great people and hear some great stories too! Sister Hernandez and I try to meet as many return missionaries as we can see.  We do this because we love having them go through their planners from their missions, and then let us call all those that they had to drop or lost contact with.  It's AWESOME!!!  I have been able to get in touch with a return missionaries contacts in New Zealand.  With the large time difference it is difficult, but we make the best of it.  Also, Sister Hernandez has a friend that is serving in Texas, so whomever she drops, she gives us their information so that we can call them, find out what happened, and try to get them to meet with the missionaries again.  We are so busy calling and teaching people that it's hard to get time in to find more people to teach.  Sometimes there are days that fly by and we talk to so many amazing people and wish we had more time, but there there are still other days that make it a little more difficult and we wish time would go by faster.  No matter what, we all know that the work that we are doing is going to help them progress.  We have since met return missionaries from Zimbabwe, and Johannesburg (where the elders from my MTC district are now serving) and we will be calling them back to find more people that we can call.

Just a few days ago I also ran into some old friends from my ward back in Idaho, Taylor and Kelli-with Taylor's family (they're from Woodland, CA).  Taylor has a brother that just recently got back from his mission and he is still in missionary mode and wants to reach out to everyone and help us call as many people as he knows.  He gave us just about everyone's number in his phone that isn't a member, and he said that he is even going to go through his planners and will have more when I follow up with him to let him know how it went with everyone else.  Return missionaries are great...and that means you too dad!

Well I better get going! And can I say that I am so excited to talk to you all on Saturday! WAHOO!!!!

Love you and Merry Christmas!
Sister Alexandra Teerlink

Our phone conversation was  a brief 45 minutes, but we loved hearing her voice and feeling the joy jumping off the phone line.  It served as a great reminder of Mosiah's words that, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."  No greater call, really.

November 2010

Come on Dad!  Get the post updated!!!
Time to play some catch up here.  Alexandra is doing fantastic things while serving her mission.  Here are some highlights from her letters:

There were some wonderful experiences that we had as we were on Temple Square.  As Sister Kinikini and I were waiting to meet with our District Leader, Sister Ah-Sha, I got a page (yes on one of those old pagers that no one has anymore) but I was going to call for this and then found out that there was someone waiting to meet me, that was on his way through from Raymond, Alberta.  I don't remember his last name, but his first name was Bruce.  He had a package of goodies from Grandpa Brownie for me and it was just the sweetest thing I could have asked for.  He was very kind and had many stories for me and just expressed what a wonderful man Grandpa Brownie is...and I couldn't agree more.  Grandpa Brownie stocked me up with all sorts of goodies from Canada like chips, popcorn, wagonwheels, cookies, and of course his pickles!  It was such a fun surprise and I could just feel the love that Grandpa sent with that package.  Quite a few of the other sisters are enjoying all of the goodies too, especially some of the sisters from Canada.  I just love Canadians, and I am meeting them so much...who would've known so many would come to temple square. 

Winter Wonderland
Fun on Prep-day
Also on Monday, Sister Kinikini and I had some incredible experiences as we shared the gospel with Lana, from Stanford, and John, from Oregon.  They were both so kind and accepting of the gospel.  Lana is very open minded and was interested to learn more about our beliefs, and had previously been referred when she called in once.  John, we met by the New Testament paintings and was with a big family, but he seemed to continually drift behind to look at more.  We passed him a few times and then after we had passed him once more, we felt that we needed to go back and share the Book of Mormon.  As we did so, he was very interested and wanted to learn more for himself.  It was in just a matter of a few minutes that he had felt the spirit and was ready to have his own Book of Mormon.  Miracles like this happen all the time and it is just amazing to see that when we have so much faith in this work, we can truly find so many people that are prepared. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keep on Truck'n - October 2010

P-Day!  (Preparation Day).  In other words, a day off.  Ali and the companions in her district took some time to enjoy a picnic in the local park -before the snow starts to fall.  Highlights on P-days also include... SHOPPING at the local mall.  Every girl's dream.  I checked out the Wells account and saw the "big" spender hit WalMart (ewe!), forever 21!, and a few others.  Now that the mission rules have been updated for the sister missionaries, wardrobes can be more fashionable, but still modest.  They are having a blast, not to mention the mission president's wife who has been waiting for this change for a while.

October General Conference, featuring musical numbers from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, youth chorus, and men's chorus from the Missionary Training Center, added highlights to the plethora of general authorities of the church whose counsel and testimonies added so much needed wisdom in challenging times.  Truly, these men and women have so much to offer and we're so fortunate to be able to enjoy conference in the comfort of our homes on BYU TV.  Not like back in the day when I went to the old Tabernacle on Temple square.  Crammed in like sardines on hard wood benches, and no A/C.  But the nostalgia of that old building made details like that fade.

Ali was able to attend one of the 5 sessions of conference.  The rest were spent answering questions to the over 100,000 visitors at Temple Square over the weekend.  The great news was that they exceeded the mission goal to produce 5,000 referrals of interested people who were visiting that weekend.  All counted, they went beyond the goal to achieve over 5,600 referrals that will be sent to the various full-time missionaries throughout the world!  Great job ladies!!!

Now the big push is to prepare Temple Square for the fantastic Christmas decorations and various concerts that take place from November through December.  If you've ever seen Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade, this would be a good comparison for the display of Christmas lights spread over the entire grounds.  It really is a must see.

Ali is getting along great with all of her various roommates and companions.  Dawn and I received a sweet note from one of her roomates, Sister Anabelle Revard from Arizona who loves Ali's great smile and positive attitude.  Apparently, we've been invited to her home in Arizona after they complete their mission calls.  If we go, we're definitely not going down there in the Summer.  Since they both wrap it up in the winter months, this may be a good idea.  We get the feeling that we'll be traveling to visit quite a few of Ali's friends.  I just don't see us flying to Japan to visit Sister Nishino, however.

Well, now it's official.  Dear ole Dad is a softy when it comes to sister missionaries.  Every time I see sister missionaries doing their work on the various TV programs, such as the Tabernacle Choir on tour at Winter's Quarters in Omaha, Nebraska, I get a little emo.  No, not Elmo!  Emo, as in emotional.  Just being a bit of a proud father, I suppose, knowing she's able to touch people's lives in very meaningful ways.  What more could a dad ask for?  Way to go Alejandra!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Settled In and Getting to Work!

Sister Nishino and Ali are are great companionship at Temple Square!  A family with a Japanese exchange student toured the site and were directed to this dynamic duo.  Sister Nishino was able to speak with this exchange student in their native language and give meaning to the wonderful and peaceful spirit which resides at Temple Square.  With Ali's great smile and loving spirit  a connection was made with this family visiting from Cottonwood Canyon.  Later in that day, we received a phone message from an appreciative mother who expressed her appreciation for these sisters' spirit and enthusiasm.

Ali writes some of her thoughts during the first month on the job:

Prep'd and Ready to Hit the Square!
"For all first transfer sisters we were assigned to read The Living Christ and study it and come to understand it better, and as I did so it was amazing how much I learned about Jesus Christ and what a large part he is in my life.  He is truly the perfect example for us he is the light to the world, and as he is no longer on the earth, missionaries and members of the church are the ones here for him...we are His hands to do his work in these days.  Our lives may be difficult, but He gave his life so that we could be here to gain experience to come closer to him and use his atonement.  I'm am still learning so much about him and gaining a better understanding of the atonement and all that he did while he was on the earth.  Each day is a gift from God that we are blessed with."

We have been impressed with the meaningful connections these great young women make with people from all over the world.  In Ali's last correspondence she relates the following experience:

"So I have such and amazing and exciting story I just could go on and on about, so I'll give you as much detail as I can.  A few weeks ago I met a mother and daughter, Amy and Elysse Ivy-from Texas, on a tour in the Beehive hosue.  Sister Nishino and I took them through and I got to know them really well.  Amy was dropping Elysse off at a school here in Utah- she's on a basketball scholarship and is so anxious to start a new season.  Well, at the end of all the tours we give we usually ask members if they have any friends or family members that we can share the gospel with.  I wasn't expecting anything because usually we don't get any...we call them 'potential referrals.'  Well, to my surprise they gave me 4!!!  I was so excited and they were so excited that I could do this for them.  A few days later I was able to call their family friend, Laci, and talk to her.  The Ivy family sounded like they were doing some amazing member missionary work.  Laci had been with the Ivy family when they had scripture study, family prayer, FHE (Family Home Evening), and she had also attended church with them.  Laci loved the Book of Mormon and loved going to church too.   I started sharing more about the gospel with her and invited her to receive a Book of Mormon of her own.  She said, 'I've never thought about having my own before, but if I can have one I would like that.'  YEAY!  That has been one of the best things I heard that day.  So I told her that missionaries would be able to come to her home and bring her that Book of Mormon and also teach her more, especially as she reads and has more questions." 
"Yesterday, I called Elysse to let her know about some of the other potentials that they gave me, and she told me she had some exciting news.  She has heard from her Mom, Amy, that Laci has been taking the lessons with the missionaries and is loving it!!!  Her mom has even sat in on a few lessons too!  Who knew that so much would come from a simple phone call.  I know that Laci is in great hands with missionaries in Texas.  I just keep praying that she will continue to have the desire to learn more and then be baptized!  We don't usually get to hear how things work out after we call, but what a blessing to know.  I couldn't have asked for anything better this transfer."

We are excited that Ali has caught the spirit of her mission call and is enthusiastic in her service.  She is a blessing to us as her family and we are happy to see that she is a blessing in the lives of others as well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

From MTC to Temple Square

August 4th, Sister Teerlink boarded a bus at 6:30 in the morning to head to Salt Lake City.  A quick stop by the airport to drop some Elder missionaries off, then off to new digs.

President & Sister Holmes
President and Sister Holmes oversee the SLC Temple Square mission.  Ali says her schedule is very rigorous, starting her day at 6:30, thirty minutes for lunch, then back to work.  She is learning the lay of the land -all 32 acres of it.

Her new full-time companion is Sister Nishino from Japan.  She is a 29 year old school teacher and is learning English as quickly as she can.  Ali wants to learn how to recite her testimony in every language she encounters, so I guess Japanese will be her first challenge.  That should be interesting...

We love reading her letters!  Ali is completely in her element and is thriving.  Although the schedule is packed each day, she's already had some time to reflect on why she's serving and is beginning to have some great experiences.

Ali's latest letter dated August 14th mentioned that workers are already getting the Temple Square grounds prepared for the annual Christmas decorations, which are a magnificent sight.

As her parents, we are grateful to see the exponential growth that Ali is experiencing at this time.  We are confident that she will be an excellent ambassador to the church and will be an instrument in the Lord's hands to further the work and bless the lives of those to whom she shares a very meaningful message of hope and light.

Elder Nielson (Kyle) - Tallahassee, Florida Mission
Ali had a great time in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and ran into some friends from back home and school.  Enjoy!

Sister Bunnell (Mikayla) Phoenix, Arizona
New Missionary Training Center (MTC) friends...
Sister Bruno from Brazil
District 14B
My MTC Companion Sister Fox - Provo, Utah temple

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MTC Drop Off

This is my first time i've ever posted anything on a "blog," so please be patient.

Our experience at the MTC was literally a drop off zone like at the airport.  We had a check-in time of 1:30.  We pulled the car in at 1:20 and were greeted by Rod and Jill Bergman -some very good friends/family for many years!   Good thing they were there too, so we could get some pictures taken.  The "Hosts" simply help you get your gear from the car and send you on your way.  This is definitely an airport loading zone.  I kept waiting for the airport cop to show up on a Segway...  We hugged each other for mere seconds, then Ali was off and disappeared into the other masses of missionaries heading in to the MTC.

Dawn and I were quite stunned at this experience and didn't realize what had just happened until we hit I-15 headed back to California.  The tears flowed for a while, then there was utter silence in the car until just before Wendover.  I tuned the satellite radio to listen to Dr. Laura to ease the emotions.  After changing our clothes in a smoke scented truck stop in West Wendover, we grabbed some snacks and had a great trip the rest of the way home.

Our day and half trip to the Prove MTC was special as just the three of us enjoyed each other's company and last hours together.  We even stopped by the "Sister Missionary Mall" to by some overpriced things.  Dinner at P.F. Changs was a nice send off just before that wonderful buffet cuisine at the MTC.

Wednesday morning, we stopped by the Cocoa Bean for a prized cupcake/muffin.  Ali's friend had moved back to Idaho Falls, so her hopes of visiting one last person were dashed.  Good food though.  :)

Now we wait for a response to our numerous e-mails to her MTC box.  This whole wait a week for feedback is for the birds.  I guess I, too, have become a texting junkie and neeeeed instant response.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

Richard, Dad, UR, blog servant...

Ooopsie.  Here's her MTC email address until 8/4/10:
Provo MTC
Box #165
8/4 departure date

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So Long For Now...

I still can't believe that in just a few short days I will be Sister Teerlink!!!
It feels like just a week or so ago I was waiting anxiously by the mailbox for my call to get here.

This summer has been full of so much fun and memories GaLoRe :)
family trips. nannying. visiting friends
dances. birthdays. swimming. holidays.
farewell. open house.

June 27 was a big day, my Farewell and Open House!
I was able to see all of my family in the area, which was so nice.  I haven't seen them in so long, and I from what I heard some people were looking for me, but hadn't realized how different I would look after a few years of not seeing each other.  The company was great and I was so happy I could say bye to so many people before leaving.  It was sad saying by to so many great people, but I know that I will see everyone again in 18 months.  

We didn't take as many pictures at the Open House, but Julie...our neighborhood's Martha Stewart... 
did a great job of putting everything together and of course had to use some of my favorite 
things for display.  Beautiful Sunflowers and Picnics :)

I am so grateful for so many loving friends and my family...they have all been such a strength and support in my life as I have grown to be the individual I am today.  
I love you all and hope to hear from you as you go out on your fun adventures in life as well.

Everyone have a Happy 4th of July!!!
BbQ's, FaMiLy, FrIeNdS, 
PaRaDeSSwImMiNg, & FiReWoRkS

Know that I love you all!
Until next time,
aLi :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Since I've been home I have been busy nannying and spending as much time with my family and friends, but it is all paying off.  Everything is always so fun and makes the last bit of time I have before my mission even more memorable!

We wanted to take some family pictures before I left so we could at least have an updated family shot.  It was one of the best times to take the pictures considering I'll be gone for 18 months and we will need to wait that long to get a full family picture. 

Also, my family was able to finally find a few days to get away and head out to one of our favorite spots...DISNEYLAND!!! Going to Disneyland always brings back so many memories and we all just laugh and play and all that fun stuff. 

Love You All!!! Thanks for all the FuN and MeMoRiEeS

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time Is Flying

Well the time has come for me to go out on a new adventure in life...I'll be entering the MTC on July 7 to prepare for the next 18 months to be Sister Teerlink in Salt Lake City at Temple Square. I can't believe that it is really this time in my life, I have always thought about this part of my life and its really here now.
Many people have been asking when I decided to go because all of a sudden my papers were in and I was opening my call. So here it goes...After a lot of thinking, praying, and talks with friends I knew it was the right thing to do. I was planning on going to school one more semester, but when you can easily drop all your classes, sell your contract, and have your parents drive out to help you move must be the right thing to do. I met with my Bishop got my papers started, made all the needed appointments to complete my papers, went to my last few interviews and my papers were in within 2 weeks. Then only 10 days later on April 16 I had my call and was opening it with my family.

All in all when everything falls into place, the Lord has a plan and is going to make it work. At that point I knew that I was doing the right thing and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to go and serve as a missionary. I have such amazing support from all my family and friends and cannot thank them enough for all that they do and bless me with daily.
Since then...I celebrated my birthday in the Sacramento Temple with the best company I could have asked to be there with me. The experience was amazing and I am so grateful for all that I felt and learned and know that I will continue learning and growing every time I go back.

Thank you to all my family and friends that were there! I Love you all and don't know where I would be without you.