I'M STAYING IN ENUMCLAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I am so excited!!! I just feel like there is so much more for me to do here! I'm not done here yet and Heavenly Father agrees with me! I am so so so excited and blessed to be able to serve here for another transfer. Enumclaw is now officially my longest area! And Sister Collins will tie with Sister Carlin for my longest companion!
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Hello all!!! This week was one of those weeks that you never forget as a missionary! So many things that happened I will have to share with you all after my mission- an email just wouldn't do them justice!
First off, on Saturday, Angie, Isabell, and Laine were baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't remember who they are, they are a family I taught while serving in Renton! I was privileged to be able to attend their baptismal service and give the talk on the Holy Ghost! I am so happy for them and so happy that I was able to attend. As I stood by the stairs of the font and watched them be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I couldn't help but cry. They are such a good family and I love them so much! They took the first step towards being an eternal family!!! The sweetest sound I've ever heard, is the sound of water running in the church!
Then, on Saturday, we were also able to host the "Celebrate the Nativity" event in Maple Valley. They do this every year and there are over 600 nativities from all over the world displayed. There are musical numbers going on in the chapel, a live nativity, an art walk, a cookie room, and a photo room where you can dress up as the people in the nativity and have a picture taken. :) Sister Collins and I were hosting in the art walk....it was amazing! The pictures were of Christ's life and at the end of the art walk, there was a replica of the Savior's tomb. I was standing at the end of the art walk and the Spirit there was so strong. This was really the only part of the event that was quiet and so people could feel the Spirit as they walked up to the entrance. By the time they got to the tomb, most people were crying. Some people brought their children, and they made me cry. One of the ladies brought her daughter through and her daughter just sat at the entrance of the tomb and stared. All of a sudden she gasped and said, "MOM! This is where Jesus was! But He's not here because He's alive again!" It was such a sweet and powerful testimony from that little girl. I absolutely loved it!
This week a member bought both Sister Collins and I 2 pairs of boots because ours were destroyed. It was so kind of them!
This week I just want to remind you all of the power of the Atonement. It is for everyone! No matter what we do, we will ALWAYS be worthy of it! No matter how many times we slip up, we will still be worthy! It is just about us praying for forgiveness and doing all we can, with the Savior's help, to overcome our weaknesses.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Hello all!!! This week I am filled with gratitude for the Holy Ghost! This week I had an absolutely amazing experience with the Spirit. It is one of those stories that can only be told in person. If I sent it in an email, it just wouldn't make sense. So, remind me to tell you all about December 1, 2014!
This week we got a little bit of snow and it was like 20 degrees and the AP's called everyone and said that no one was to be driving or biking. We were all ON FOOT. In the snow and cold? That makes sense....not. So we walked like a mile to a members home and were freezing cold. And for once, their door was locked. Which is weird because their door is ALWAYS unlocked and we ALWAYS just walk in. Apparently they left to go to her brother's house and her son locked the door. He got reprimanded for that. lol. So we walked to the bishops house where his wife made us hot cider (I thought of Brittany) and we were able to warm up. At about noon, the AP's called and took back the ban on the cars. We were so happy! Luckily, we haven't frozen yet! It is getting pretty cold here and it is definitely starting to look a lot like Christmas! Which is weird because that means I have almost been gone a year. I can't believe how fast time is flying by! I love serving a mission!
I know that I am serving a mission for the true church on this earth. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and that it truly is the same church that He established on the earth over 2000 years ago. I know that when we live worthily, we are capable of being led by the Spirit and are, therefore, capable of doing amazing things. I love this gospel and I love having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I invite you each this week to change something in your lives so that you can have the Holy Ghost with you more fully. I know that you will feel the change immediately! I love you all!!!
Hello! I hope you all have a great week and eat lots of Turkey! :) Remember who gives us all of the things we have to be grateful for!
This week was a hard one. I have been praying to know what I can do to be a better missionary and for humility. And I sure got it! It's hard to have humility punch you in the face, but it is worth it! And now that I know what needs to change and how I can become even better, there is no where to go, but up! When I got onto the computer this morning, there was a new Mormon Message that really spoke to me. It is called "The Refiner's Fire." It reminded me why we have weeks like the one I had. It depicts a man shaping metal. It reminded me of the scriptures using the word "wrought". Wrought means to shape or form. When we go through these hard times in our lives, it is because we are being shaped into who we need to be, shaped into the disciple God needs us to be. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. I know that we all go through the Refiner's Fire. That is what this life is. I know that sometimes it is painful and we wish it was easier. But I also know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is shaping and molding us into something beautiful. I know that our trials will help us to gain eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I know they are for our own good and that with the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can endure! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Hello!!! This week has been good. I am more exhausted than I have EVER been, but that just means that I am working hard, right? :) I can't wait until all of our errands are done so I can go home and take a nice nap!! :) I never thought serving a mission would make me so exhausted. But, I wouldn't trade it for the world!! I love serving and I love being here in Washington!
This week was crazy because of all the wind and the power outages. We were able to do lots of service for people and help them to get things back in order after the storm. It was sure a crazy storm! I will attach some pictures of the aftermath. :) I love doing service and knowing that we helped someone!!
On Friday night we had a Harvest Festival for the 3rd ward and it was really fun. None of our investigators came, but some of the members that are less-active came. It was great to see everyone there. Our entertainment was provided by the bishopric who did a rendition of "Rindercella" where they told the story of Cinderella in back-talk while the rest of them acted it out. It was HILARIOUS. Everyone was dying of laughter.
After the ward activity, we went on exchanges with Sister Heaton and Sister Alder. I went to Buckley with Sister Heaton and I loved it! Sister Heaton trained one of my MTC companions, Sister Simmons and she also served in Renton so I knew her pretty well before the exchange. She gave me lots of great advice and I learned a lot from her. She goes home in January and Sister Alder goes home in December. It's so weird to see all of the sisters that I know going home. It's unreal to me that I have been a full-time missionary for 11 months now. Mom, whoever told you that time is a rocket, is correct. I feel like time is just flying by and I can't do anything to slow it down! :P As I look back on these past 11 months, I am filled with love for my Savior and my Heavenly Father. It hasn't been easy and at times, it has been harder than anything I have ever done. BUT, I can honestly say that I have come to love every second of this mission. On my exchange with Sister Heaton she asked me if I would consider my mission to be successful thus far. I have only had 1 baptism on my mission and to some people, that would be a failure. However, I can say that I am pleased with how my mission has gone. I am pleased with the efforts I have made and with the experiences I have had. Baptisms do NOT equal success. Invitations, DO.
I love this work and I have a stronger testimony of my Savior than I ever have. I have felt Him near me more than I have before. I KNOW He suffered and died and ROSE AGAIN for ME. I will forever be indebted to Him. I know my Heavenly Father lives and loves me. And I know that the Atonement covers all. I know these things because I have prayed about them and received an answer from Heavenly Father. I know these things because I have felt them. I invite you all to do the same! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hello!!!! I hope your week has been good! Our week here has been.....interesting! Good, but definitely interesting!
On Friday we were able to hear from Elder Hamula of the Quorum of the Seventy who spoke in this past General Conference. It was such a great experience and I loved hearing the things he had to say as a representative of Jesus Christ. After the conference, we had lunch and I was able to sit right next to Elder Hamula and hear, yet more, of his wise words! It was amazing! And I thought of Dad because Elder Hamula used to be a mission president in Washington DC. :)
The past few days we have had some pretty intense wind here. Several trees have fallen and almost everyone has lost power. When we got home last night, our power was out and it was very cold inside! Luckily, we have LOTS of blankets in our apartment! Anyway, this wind reminded me of a scripture in Helaman 5:12 " And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." I have seen a lot of pretty big trees fall this week. I was reminded that it doesn't matter what we believe or how big we get spiritually, if our foundation is not in Christ. If our foundation is not in Christ, we will easily fall. So, I invite you all to evaluate where your foundation is. If it is in Christ, strengthen it. If it is somewhere else, move it! I know that the promise in Helaman 5:12 is real. I know that if our foundation is in Christ, we will not fall when the fierce winds come. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am so thankful that He atoned for my sins so that I can move my foundation when I need to. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and His love for me. I know that this gospel is true and that this is the only true church on the earth today. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Hello!!! I hope you all are doing well! Things here in Enumclaw are great! I have had so many moments this week where I have realized again that I am exactly where I need to be. It has been so amazing! I love serving a mission and I love knowing this is what I am supposed to be doing!
For my thought this week, I wanted to share with you something I realized again this week. In Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 it says, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" So, as you might already know, last transfer we moved into an apartment that elders have lived in for a LONG time. Let me just tell you, elders are gross. I don't know when the last time it was that this apartment was cleaned, but it has been a while. Sister Collins and I have been going through and deep cleaning the WHOLE apartment. It has been really cool to feel of the change that has taken place in our apartment. The Spirit cannot dwell in unclean places. That doesn't mean just unclean spirits. That means unclean homes. Unclean cars, etc. When we have a house of order, we have a house of God. The Spirit can dwell there and we can be led by Him even more. I invite you all to organize your life so that the Spirit can dwell with you each more. I promise, you will feel the difference!
I love you all and hope that you each have a GREAT week! :)
Hello!! This week in Enumclaw has been great! We've been getting lots of rain!!! I love it!!! We were able to do lots of service this week and help both members and non-members! I love serving!! :) We have been having a lot of success in both of our wards with members inviting their non-member friends and family to hear our message! In both wards, we are teaching only people that have been invited by their friends! It is awesome to see how the Spirit works in each of us!
This week, one of the families we are working with had a bit of a scare. He is a member, and she is not. Well, he ended up in the hospital and none of the doctors knew what was wrong. They finally figured it out and had to operate and drain a 2inx2in pus pocket less than 4in from his heart! And then, because of the infection in the pus pocket, he got MRSA. He has been so sick and in so much pain! But we were able to really see how much the gospel brings hope in situations like that! When no one knows what is wrong, we still have the hope that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing! It is truly an amazing thing!
For my thought this week, I wanted to share about Family History! On our way out of the hospital one day, we started talking to a lady that we had bumped into several times since visiting Jacob. Turns out, her mother is in the hospital for Diverticulitis. We asked what her mom's name is so that we could pray for her. She said, **** Keele. I was so caught off guard! I said, "That's my last name!" We were then able to talk with her about family history and how it brings us closer to Heavenly Father because we know where we came from! Sister Weldon shared that she could trace one of her lines all the way back to Adam and Eve. The lady was amazed! She couldn't believe it! So it inspired me to see how far back our geneology goes. I was able to find a line back to Adam and Eve as well!!! It was so exciting!! Family history is so fun and such a tool from our Heavenly Father! Go ahead! Go visit familysearch.org and start doing it! I promise that it will bring you closer to our Heavenly Father!
I love you all! Have a great week!
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Hello all!! Enumclaw is great, once again! We had a few experiences this week that reminded me about the wonderful plan that our Heavenly Father has given us- The Plan of Salvation. One of the brothers in our ward passed away on Thursday and we had the opportunity to attend his memorial on Saturday morning. He was a good man who left such a legacy behind. He had always said that he didn't want a funeral where everyone sat around and cried about him. He wanted a memorial where his loved ones bore their testimonies about the Plan of Salvation. So that is what they did. It was amazing to hear his children and grandchildren share what they loved most about him and then bear their testimonies. It was one of the neatest memorials I have been to. The Plan of Salvation is truly amazing. No matter who we are, where we came from, or what choices we have made, The Plan is for all of us, if we choose to accept it! I love this gospel and I love sharing it with everyone we come in contact with!
When we live our lives without our Savior, we put ourselves at a great risk! I invite you all this week, to do what it takes to be securely anchored to our Savior, Jesus Christ! He loves each of us and could call you by name at this very moment. He wants to help you! He wants to take this journey with you!
I love you all!!!
Have a great week!!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Hello all!!! Things here in Enumclaw have been great! The first interesting part of my week was that I ended up in Urgent Care most of the day on Wednesday. My ear started hurting on Monday and progressively got worse. I called our mission nurse Wednesday afternoon wondering what to do for an ear infection. She said that I needed to go see a doctor and to go to Urgent Care. So that's what we did. We drove to Auburn and could only find the ER and finally went in and asked for directions. We had turned like 2 blocks early and got lost at the ER! To make a long story short, I have Psoriasis in my ear and the lymph-nods in front and behind my ear were inflamed and so it felt like I had a really bad ear infection. The doctor gave me some cortizone drops to put in my ear and some antibiotics to make sure I didn't develop an infection. I didn't even know it was possible to get Psoriasis in your ear! I guess you learn something new every day, right? :)
Then on Saturday we got to go help one of the members in one of our wards do a pony party! I've decided that I'm moving in with her after my mission. She has no say! :) LOL! But I have actually decided that I'm bringing the family to her farm to visit! You all would love it!! :)
Saturday was also Stake Conference! It was so good! The Sunday session was great as well!
We had interviews with President and Sister Eaton this week and it was great, as usual!! I love getting advice from them and being able to talk with them about the area! They are amazing people!!
On Saturday night on our way to conference, it started DUMPING rain so hard that I couldn't see out the window. I had to drive so slowly and it made us incredibly late! But we also got to see lightning on the way! It was so amazing!
I learned a lot this week about prayer. I have realized that prayer really is a two-way communication. It isn't just me kneeling down and talking to Heavenly Father. It is me coming to His feet and talking WITH Him. I have kept a journal and pen open and out and ready to write down the things He tells me during our talks. What a difference it makes when we realize the true power of prayer! I invite you all to study about prayer this week and do something that increases the power and strength of your prayers! I know that Heavenly Father is ready to bless us, we just need to open ourselves up to those blessings!
I love you all! Have a great week!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Hola family! How are you all? Our week here in Enumclaw has been great! We started off the week with an AWESOME training from President and Sister Eaton on studying the scriptures. At the end of the training we were blessed to be able to see the new movie, "Meet the Mormons." It was SUCH a GREAT movie! I definitely recommend it! It is a great opportunity to invite your friends to see members of the church in their day to day lives. It's playing in Long Beach and opens on Oct. 10....go see it! :)
This weekend we had the wonderful privilege of hearing from the Prophet and Apostles. It was absolutely amazing! I loved hearing from such inspired leaders! I invite you all to study the talks from this past weekend. If you haven't watched/listen to it yet, I invite you to do so! The messages that were shared are specifically for us for these next 6 months. Heavenly Father has specifically guided them to share what they did. Why not take advantage of it?! I loved Elder Bednar's talk. The missionaries are here to HELP the MEMBERS be missionaries! We cannot do this alone! Come join in the best work there is! I promise that as you share the gospel, you will have more happiness than you have ever known! It brings real, lasting happiness to all involved!
I love you all so much and look forward to hearing what you've learned from conference! Have a great week!
Monday, September 29, 2014
Hello family! Things here in Enumclaw are great! We've had a crazy week, but it all worked out in the end! On Tuesday we went and got bread from a member in one of our wards. She and her husband get bread every other week and give it to the families that are struggling. We picked some up for some people we are working with. That is where we get our bread too. I love that family! They are so fun! The wife is about 57 and has MS pretty badly. It is so touching to see her husband take such good care of her. It reminds me of the Mormon Message, "Enduring Love." We had a pretty good district meeting on Tuesday as well! :)
This week we helped a family pack up all of their things because they were getting evicted. It was so sad. They didn't know where they were going or what they were going to do with their things. The saddest part of it all, was that they have a 5 year old daughter. As we were leaving their home one day, all I could do was cry. I just felt so terrible that this sweet family was going to end up on the streets. Sister Weldon shared with me that as soon as we had seen them that day, she had this overwhelming feeling that everything was going to work out. I hoped so! Sure enough, the next day, they found a place to stay for the next month while they figure things out. It was another testament to me that Heavenly Father is mindful of us each moment! No matter the circumstances, He is on our side and rooting for us!
On Saturday we had the pleasure of attending the General Women's Broadcast! It was so good! It is such a pleasure and great gift that we have to hear the words of our leaders! I can't wait for this coming weekend when we will have the wonderful opportunity to hear from a living Prophet and apostles! I hope that you all will take advantage of that wonderful gift that we have been given!
Have a great week!
Hey family! How are things going? I hope well! Things here in Enumclaw are great! My new companion is Sister Weldon and she has been out for 3 months. She is from Mesa, Arizona and she is super sweet! We get along great! And I love my new area! We are covering 2 wards and are white washing one of them. We replaced the Elders and since they didn't write any addresses down, we have been frantically searching for ways to contact the people they were working with. It has definitely been a crazy week! But an amazing one!
This area is so beautiful and everyone lives on a farm/ranch! Our view of Mt. Rainier is gorgeous! We have so many opportunities to do service here as well! I am loving it!
Last night we had another mission devotional and it was so good! Music, videos, and testimonies are a sure way to get the Spirit in a room quickly! Which brings me to my thought this week. There are so many ways to feel the Spirit. The truth is often referred to as "light." We are all seeking this "light" in our lives. But, much like in Lehi's dream, we often come across "a dark and dreary waste." But darkness is only the absence of light. So when we find ourselves in this "mist of darkness," we only need to diligently seek the light and we will be able to find it. There are many ways to do this. Prayer, scripture study, going to church, and many more. My challenge this week is seek that light in your life more diligently than you have before. You will be able to feel closer to your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I can promise that!
I love you all so much and pray for you often! Keep working hard and seeking God in your lives!
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Man! This week was so great! Which makes today even harder! I am getting transferred today to Enumclaw. I am excited to go where the Lord needs me, but I am sad to leave behind such amazing people! I have grown and learned so much here in this area and it will always have a huge spot in my heart. Clark Lake is an amazing place!!!!So this week we did a ton of service! On Wednesday we got to clean some baseball fields for the start of the Little League season. It was so much fun! Our whole zone was there and so we had a blast! The field was actually at a different church here in Kent and the church posted a shout-out to us on their facebook page. It was awesome! We got to share the gospel by serving!
Monday, September 8, 2014
Hello!!! How is everyone doing?? I hope everything at home is going well! Things here in Clark Lake are going great! :) I love serving here! But, I know that anywhere I serve is amazing! I know I was sent to this mission for a reason! I feel at home here! I love it!
This week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges to Buckley with Sister Wolfe. She was my Sister Training Leader my very first transfer too and I was with her on my very first exchange. It's amazing to see how we both have grown! I love it! AND! I loved Buckley!!! It is a small farming town out near Graham. They have a lot of opportunities to serve and I was so happy to do so while being there! I even built a horse fence! I'm practically a country woman now! :) It was so much fun! I learned so much from Sister Wolfe! She is a very diligent missionary! I am blessed to have such great examples to show me the way!
This week we had such a great attendance at church! We have been working with a family that was baptized about a year ago up in Seattle and they are going through a really hard time in their lives right now. They were offended by something that happened and so they are hesitant about coming back to church. The father and one of the sons came to church yesterday and the father bore his testimony. It was so humbling to hear him. He basically told the congregation that he has lost his way and pleaded for their help. It was humbling to hear this son of God so down and in a place that he had no where else to turn. It reminded me that no matter where we are in life, it is never too late to come back. It is never past the point of no return. We matter to our Heavenly Father and He loves us. He wants us back. He knows us each by name. His arms are outstretched towards us each day. He is pleading for us to come to Him and seek His help. He is there. He is ALWAYS there. I know that He is. I have felt it and I have seen it. I invite each of you to seek Him in your lives this week. Seek His outstretched arms and run to them. You WILL find them. He WILL heal you.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Aloha family!!! How are you all? Our week here in Kent has been great! Great things are happening! I just love being here and I love the people that I am honored to serve! I never thought that I could love people like this, other than my family. Heavenly Father is truly showing me how to have pure love like His son. It's truly amazing!!!
So my birthday was awesome! The senior sisters in our ward sang to me and it was so sweet! They also gave me some home made chocolate chip cookies. Yummmm. Then President and Sister Eaton called and sang to me. They are basically perfect! I love them! And then Davina told me I had to go over to their house for a few minutes and when we pulled in, her daughters came outside and her 2 year old was holding a present for me. It almost made me cry. Somehow they found out that I love giraffes and so they got me this cute giraffe stuffed animal and a cute singing card! AND they ordered a cake with a giraffe on it. I'll attach pictures! The cake was the best tres leches cake I've ever had! I love that family so much!!!
Back to missionary work! I love being a missionary! Sister Eaton came out with us on Friday and we went to contact a referral we got. We knocked on the door and we asked for the lady we were referred to. She was the one that had opened the door so we talked with her. Sister Eaton was silent the whole time. As we walked away she looked at us and commented on the fact that the woman had not been born a woman and so she had no idea what to say. It was so funny. I was not phased by it at all and just acted like she was another one of God's children.....because she is!!! I love being a missionary!!
This week I want to end with a story that shows me that ANYONE can be a missionary! When Sister VerHoef first got here, we had dinner with a man that is in his 80's and his daughter who takes care of him. He has had a stroke or two and has other health problems. He doesn't really ever leave the house unless he is going to church or a doctors appointment. He only comes in contact with 1 nonmember. Ever. She is his caregiver that he sees twice a week. That night at dinner he was so excited to tell us that she finally agreed to meet with us! We were able to meet her and have two lessons with her. Although she is not interested, he was successful! He talked to her about the gospel, and then INVITED. This is where our success comes from. It is not in the number of people who get baptized. If that was what our success was measured on, I would not be a successful missionary. But, thankfully, that isn't. No matter how many people we come in contact with each week, we CAN share the gospel! Heavenly Father will bless us in our efforts to invite!
I love you all! Have a great week!
Hello family!! This week has been a great one! Last Tuesday we had an AWESOME Zone Conference all about being active learners! It was absolutely amazing!! I have learned so much about learning on my mission. I never really realized how important it is to gain knowledge!
Anyway, I have realized this week how happy I actually am. I was pondering why I was so happy one night and I thought of the scripture, "Wickedness never was happiness." The inverse of that is righteousness is always happiness. As I have come to know my Savior at an even deeper level, I have felt more happiness than I ever have before. This is the feeling I want to share with others. The never ending, true, happiness. It is a happiness that no one can take away from you. It is a lasting happiness. I absolutely love being a missionary!
On another note, Davina and her 2 daughters came to church again!!! I am so excited for them!!! Also, I wish that you all could see what Sunday mornings are like here in Clark Lake!! You all would laugh so hard! It involves waking people up for church! I would explain, but email just wouldn't do it justice!!
I love you all so much!!!! Do something this week that will bring you that lasting happiness that comes from the gospel!!! You WILL feel of that happiness! God will bring you that happiness!
Monday, August 18, 2014
Oh my goodness!!! Today marks 8 months that I have been a full-time missionary. Where in the world has the time gone?! I feel so blessed to be a part of this great work! Each day, I succeed at doing the impossible. Each day I feel the Savior leading and guiding me! How great is this work!
That goes along with what I wanted to share with you all today. The church recently released a new Mormon Message, "The Hope of God's Light." It is the true story of Todd Sylvester. You can watch it here: http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001
We sometimes expect answers to our prayers right away. That is not how it works most of the time. Like Todd, we can get answers 700 days after the prayer was said. Heavenly Father's timing is perfect. "God promises to illuminate the way before us; no matter how long it takes." He gives us our answers line upon line, precept upon precept. "It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the light of Christ." When we act on that faith, the way WILL be illuminated. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy. I have felt that warm feeling like a hug and there is no denying it. God is here. God is real. We just need to be patient and wait for His plan to be revealed to us. I love this gospel and I love being able to witness that change take place in others and to be able to see them as they will become. It is the most amazing feeling!
I am so grateful for these past 8 months and for the next 10 months I have to be a full-time servant of the Lord. I invite you all to seek God in your lives more this week. You will feel that love and you will WANT it in your lives every day, all day! I love you all!
God is here!
Monday, August 11, 2014
Talofa!!! If you couldn't tell, I've learned a few Samoan words this week!! I love serving here in Kent!! I meet so many different people from all over the world and I absolutely love it!! This week was great! We are working with a family that I absolutely love! We met them at the park when Sister Judd was here and it was a miracle that we even met them! The mom struggles a lot with anxiety and we met her on the only night she had been out of her house in a long time. We had a lesson with them at the park right then and have been meeting with them ever since. I was able to really connect with the mom that night at the park and yesterday she told me that when I shared my experiences with them, that was when she really started listening. It made me so happy that I was able to be an instrument in Heavenly Father's hands in that way. I know that we go through specific experiences in life for specific reasons! Even though we go through hard things, it is all for a perfect reason in God's perfect plan!! The mom in this family has been through SO MUCH in her life and she has learned so much and become so much because of it. She has 6 amazing children who she loves very much. Her husband has been by her side for 17 years and they love each other! When we first met them, she was reluctant to even go on a church tour because of her anxiety. Yesterday, SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! It is the best feeling to be able to literally SEE the Spirit working in people. You can see the change that starts when people feel the Spirit. The best part is that they are noticing the difference too!
I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! It is the best thing I have ever been a part of! I have decided that I am never coming home!! LOL!! JK, mom...I know you wouldn't allow that! Funny story, a couple weeks ago I went on an exchange with a sister that is going home in just a few weeks. We were talking about how going home is going to be so weird and how we want to be missionaries forever. That night I had a dream that I went home and as soon as I got off the plane, Mom told me I was getting released in 5 minutes. I didn't like that idea and so I ran away from President Larsen. The remainder of my dream was President Larsen chasing me as I avoided getting released. Serving a mission is just so great! I never want it to end!
Anyway, I love you all so much! I hope that you all have a great week full of joy and love! Especially love from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!
Hello family!! I hope you are all doing well! Today is transfers and I'm sad to report that Sister Judd will be leaving me!! :( I'm sad to not be her companion anymore, but I know that the Lord has other plans for both of us! My new companion will be Sister VerHof. I don't know her, but I've heard good things about her! I'm excited to start this new transfer!
We had a great experience this Sunday! As a mission, we have been discussing the importance of church attendance. The Sacrament is the most important part of our week. We have been bummed that we haven't been able to help people come to church. We were ecstatic when one of our investigators showed up with 2 of her kids AND one of her friends! She loved church and felt the Spirit so strongly! After church we introduced her to one of the sisters in our ward and they really hit it off. We found out later that our investigator asked how soon she could go to the temple after she was baptized!!!!!!!!!! We were out of our minds happy!! She has been so prepared and is loving the gospel! This experience strengthened my testimony of attending church! Nothing could have brought the Spirit like church did!!!
I encourage each of you to study the importance of church and of taking the sacrament. Then, take a step to be better at your Sabbath-day worship! For some of us, that is paying more attention to the Spirit during Sacrament. For others, it will be to go to church. Whatever that step is for you, take it! Pray for the strength to do so! You WILL be blessed!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Man!!! Where has the time gone?? We are already in the last week of the transfer!!! I feel like I just got here to Clark Lake and I've already been here for 2 months! This week has been awesome! We had 3 exchanges and I stayed in the area for all 3 of them. Poor Sister Judd wasn't home like all week! Sometimes I feel like I don't really have a companion! haha. :) Anyway, we were able to attend the baptism of the Brandenburg family this past Saturday. They are a couple that I was able to teach on exchanges in the Lake Sawyer ward a couple weeks ago. I just love them! We were asked to teach the 5 minute restoration while they were getting changed. We were super nervous because President and Sister Eaton were going to be there. But, it went well and President Eaton told us it was the best Restoration he had ever heard. That made us happy! But, not the point! The baptism was amazing and the Brandenburgs were SO HAPPY!!! They are going to be such strong members of the Lord's church!!
We also had dinner with a 93 year old woman this week. She is a sister in our ward and she does NOT look or act 93! She travels to Germany at least once a year and she was up and getting dishes, setting the table, and cooking! I've decided that I am going to be her when I get old! :)
We had an awesome church tour with a family we are teaching. The mother struggles with really bad anxiety and hardly ever leaves her house. She was really nervous to come on the church tour, but finally agreed to come. Her husband is Catholic and "will always be Catholic." He came as well. :) It was an amazing experience to be able to walk into the Chapel with them and see the change they felt. Lorenzo just sat there quietly taking it all in. When we asked him how he felt, all he could say was, "I feel good. Really good." Davina managed to go through the whole church tour without having a panic attack and she felt the Spirit as well! Their 9 year old daughter was quiet the whole church tour and said the prayer at the end. She thanked Heavenly Father for the opportunity they had to be in His home. It was a moment you live for as a missionary. I know that the Spirit was felt by everyone who attended the church tour. I know that the Chapel is filled with a Spirit that is unlike the Spirit in our homes. And I know that this gospel is one of change and of hope.
I invite you all to attend church each week and partake of the Sacrament. It is the most important thing we do all week! I have seen the blessings of it in my life and I know you will see the blessings in your life!
I love you all!!!
P.S....my camera died this week...so no pictures! :'(
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Hello! How is everyone? Doing well, I hope! Last week I forgot to tell you all about the funniest thing! We were in a lesson last week with 2 members who are less active and Sister Judd was really struggling to stay awake. She hadn't slept well that night and the couch was super comfy and it was warm. Basically, it was a recipe for disaster! We were teaching the restoration and I taught the First Vision and transitioned back to Sister Judd. She asked Agnes if she remember the question that Joseph Smith had asked. She didn't, to which Sister Judd replied, "The question that Joseph Smith asked was, 'How do I become a more successful and worthwhile missionary?'" Her eyes were closed and everything. I tried so hard to not laugh but I just couldn't help it. She looked over at me with such a confused look and said, "How about you just take it from here?" When we were done with the lesson we walked out and she turned to me and asked what she had said. She was so asleep that she had NO RECOLLECTION of what she had said. She didn't believe me that she had said that at first. It was SOOOO funny! So advice to all of those that are planning on serving missions: get sleep now while you can! :)
We have had a great week here in Kent. Our teaching pool has changed so much since I first got here. It's so strange. But everything happens for a reason! And we found a great family this week! The mom was a referral a couple months ago but she wasn't interested then. We saw her again last week and set up an appointment with her. We had an amazing lesson on the Restoration and invited her to pray at the end. She prayed and even compared herself to Joseph Smith in the prayer. After the prayer she said that she felt peace and that she saw how this was different and that it was truly a message of hope. She committed to be baptized on August 30th! What a great birthday present! ;P
I was reading this week in Helaman 10. I love this chapter! It is when Nephi is speaking to the Lord about the people that will be destroyed if they do not repent. The Lord tells him a bunch of stuff and then tells him to go and tell the people. In verse 12 it says, "And behold, now it came to pass that when the Lord had spoken these words unto Nephi, he did stop and did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes..." I LOVE that verse! Nephi STOPPED and WENT. There was no complaining or asking why. There was only going forth with faith. That is the kind of missionary I want to be. That is the kind of child of God I want to be. I know that we can ALL be like Nephi. We need only to have willing hearts and minds. I invite you all this week to take inventory of yourselves and see where you can improve in your obedience to the Lord. Ask for His help. You will receive it! I love you all and I know that this gospel is true! I love it with all my heart!
Have a great week! Pray hard and work hard!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Yokwe!! How is everyone? I hope everything is going well! I've enjoyed all of the snail mail I got this week and the package I got today! thank you so much! This week has been, well, interesting, to say the least! We went on exchanges this week and I stayed in Clark Lake with Sister Ripplinger. It was my first time staying in the area and so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't know the area well enough, but it was great!Interesting story of the week: I think it was Wednesday night, Sister Judd and I were driving home for the night and the car in front of us slammed on it's breaks and we noticed that there was a guy running crazily in the street. All of a sudden, a bunch of undercover cop cars that were parked there turned on their lights and started driving trying to cut him off and trap him. He ran over to the sidewalk and the police officers got out of their cars and pulled out their gun. One of them tased the guy and he fell to the floor and they handcuffed him-guns out the whole time. It was crazy! Needless to say, we were late getting home that night. Oops. :)
Hello family! How are you all? I hope you are all doing well!
Today I am very grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I am saddened at the news of Jeri Emmi passing away, but I know where she is, and that brings me great comfort. I know that I will see her again one day and that she will no longer struggle with the physical or mental things that she while on this earth. I love her and I will be so happy when I can sit and talk with her and see her again!
This week was a good one. I went on back to back exchanges and I left the area both times. I felt like Sister Judd and I weren't even companions for a whole 48 hours. haha. I went to Lake Sawyer with Sister Webb and to Fairwood with Sister Collins. I had a great time with both sisters. I learned a lot from them! I love exchanges!
We went to a park to contact some people this week and found an amazing family that we are now teaching! It is amazing how God puts people into our lives! The mom in the family suffers from anxiety quite severely. She never goes outside of her house unless her family forces her to. We "happened" to meet her on one of those nights. We taught them the restoration and they loved it! On our return appointment, she shared with us that she has felt comforted, and much happier since we met. We are so excited for her to soon recognize that those feelings are from the Holy Ghost! She is amazing and we are looking forward to working with her more!
I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. And I know that He loves each one of you. When we put forth the effort to know Him and come closer to Him, we WILL feel of His love. We get out what we put in. If we don't put anything into our relationship, we won't get anything out. He will not force Himself into our lives. We have to invite Him in. I invite you all to open the door to our Heavenly Father and let His love into your life. You will be greatly blessed!
I love you all! Remember who you are and where you are headed!
#1...sister collins and I
#2....Literally my DREAM CAR!!!! 1968 aquamarine mustang coupe. and I got to sit in it. and see the engine. and it was all stock. and she offered to let me drive it. and it took every ounce of self control I had to say no. but I was so tempted. wahhh. One day, I will own that car!
#3...sister webb and I
Friday, July 4, 2014
Yokwe! How is everyone doing? If you hadn't noticed, I'm picking up a few words in Marshallese! Yokwe means hello! :) Anyway, this week has been a good one! Nanita was confirmed yesterday and she was so happy!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the change in people once they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! They are new people! It is absolutely amazing!
I got to go on exchanges to Tiffany Park this week! I was with Sister Peterson and it was so fun! She is a great missionary! Sister Copen, one of my MTC companions, is now in Tiffany Park. Sister Carlin just got transferred! She's in my zone now in the YSA ward! '
I have met so many amazing people this week! I just love being a missionary! It is my favorite! :) The good days far outweigh the hard days! And the hard days make it all worth it!!
Yesterday, since it was the 5th Sunday, we had a combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting. It was on music and how we can bear our testimony through music. It was really cool. I am going to attach a video of a song I am pretty much obsessed with right now. It is called, "Come Unto Christ". https://www.lds.org/youth/video/come-unto-christ-2014-theme-song?lang=eng
I know that as we "come unto Christ," we will feel of His love and we will never be the same. He will make us whole. "He's waiting for [us] with arms open wide." I know that He is! We just need to put forth a little effort! I love my Savior and I know that He loves each of us!! I invite you all to come closer to Christ each day this week! I know that you WILL be blessed and that you WILL feel of His love!
P.S....I wouldn't mind some snail mail ;)
Hey family!!! I hope you are all doing well!! Things here in Kent are great! We had the baptismal service for Nanita this past Saturday and it was a great one! Two other people got baptized as well! One of the Elder's investigators, Abi, got baptized and the Senior Sisters had their investigator, Ruth, be baptized as well! It was a wonderful service! The spirit was so strongly felt and I know that they knew they had made the right decision. We had a scare that morning though during companion study. Nanita called us and said she wasn't going to make it to her baptism!!! The little stinker!!! She woke up with the right side of her back inflamed and she was in pain. We told her that she would be blessed if she came to her baptism and went through with it. After a few minutes of discussing with her, she agreed to come regardless of the pain she was in. I know she didn't regret it.
However, she didn't show up for her confirmation on Sunday. Sister Judd and I were so sad. We called her and texted her and we didn't hear from her all day. She never even turned her phone on. We were starting to get worried and so we went over to her house and her shoes were out by the door and her car was there, but there wasn't a sign of life inside. We started to get really worried. Long story short, she called us yesterday and said that she had woken up at 6:30am and taken a muscle relaxer because of the pain. I immediately knew what she about to say (thanks for the experience with muscle relaxers, mom.) :) She said that she didn't wake up until after 4pm. Church starts at 1pm. She was so sad she had missed it! But, we have arranged to have her confirmed in Sacrament meeting next week!
This week has been full of adventures here in Kent! To keep from writing an email that takes 15 hours to read, I'll just send pictures and tell the stories about them when I get home!
I just want to remind you all that Heavenly Father loves you. He cares about you and only wants the best for you. Bad things happen sometimes, but they don't happen because He doesn't care about you. It's actually quite the opposite. Bad things happen to help us learn and grow and come closer to Him. I invite you all to write down 3 ways you see Heavenly Father's hand in your life each night before you go to bed. I promise that you will see more than 3 ways. You will struggle choosing which three to write down. Not only that, you will be happier and better rested the next morning! I know that Heavenly Father loves you! Don't ever forget that!
I love you all!!!
Monday, June 16, 2014
Hello Family! This week has been a great week! I love Kent! And Sister Judd is awesome! She was born in Detroit but grew up in England....and when she goes home, she'll be going home to Tokyo as her family is moving in 2 weeks! She is a sister training leader right now and is a wonderful missionary! We get along great! Kent is a very interesting place. There are people here from all walks of life and from all around the world! I met someone from Koren the other day. Apparently it's some place near China. I've never heard of it before! I've also met people from Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Afghanistan, pretty much everywhere! It is such a cool experience to hear so many different languages and experience so many different cultures!
I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us! He wants us to be happy! If we follow His commandments and do the things He wants us to do, we will be eternally happy! This gospel isn't just about this life; it is about our eternal welfare. It is an urgent matter and when we treat it as such, we understand how important it truly is! I invite you all to read the Book of Mormon each day this week and pray to know if it is true. This is the only way we can find out if this church is true. There is no other way! I know that as you do so, you will receive an answer and you will be able to come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!
Have a great week!
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
This week has been so crazy! It started with a great exchange in Ridgecrest with Sister Sharpe and is ending with a transfer. I have mixed emotions about this week, but I know that everything that has happened is in Heavenly Father's plan for me!
It was hard to say "goodbye" to the people here in Sunrise. It's funny how you come to love people so much in such a little amount of time. I have only been here for 10 weeks and I feel like I have known these people for years! I will definitely miss them, but I know that I will love the people in Clarke Lake as well! I am excited for what the Lord has in store for me these next couple of weeks!
As I was in the hospital this week, Sister Cox said something to me that really hit me. I was struggling with pain and anxiety and she said, "The Atonement works for everything. Even this. Just remember that Christ felt what you are feeling now and that He can help you through it." I had never really thought about the Atonement working in situations like that. But as I thought more about it, I realized how silly I had been to not recognize Christ in that part of my life. He should be in every thing, big or small. And being in the hospital is definitely a big thing! I was able to feel the power of the Atonement and Priesthood blessings that day. Before I left for the hospital, my district leader and his companion came and gave me a blessing. The first thing that the blessing said strengthened my testimony of the Priesthood even more. I was so worried that the doctors would find something that I would have to be sent home for and that scared me so much. I don't want to go home early...or even at all sometimes. I could be a missionary forever and be just fine! Anyway, the first thing the blessing said was, "You will stay on your mission for the whole time period." I was so thankful that Heavenly Father was so aware of me. I NEEDED to hear that and I needed to hear it from a trusted source. You can't have a more trusted source than Heavenly Father and I am so glad that He knows me and knows what I need! I invite you all to pray to our Heavenly Father this week and ask Him to help you feel of His love more fully. I promise you that as you do so, He will answer your prayers! I know that, because I have felt it and I have seen it in the lives of those around me. Heavenly Father is waiting to bless us, we just need to ask!
I love you all!
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Hey Family!! How's it going? Life in Graham is pretty good. We've had a much better week this week. We even had a baptism! It was exciting for several reasons. One, it was my first baptism of someone that I have taught. Two, it was the first baptism this ward has had in over a year. Three, he was SO ready! I'm bummed because I forgot my camera cord today, so I can't send you all the pictures! I'll send them next week. :) Anyway, when I first met Ben he was so ready to be baptized. He said to us, "I want to have everlasting life. The Bible says in order to have everlasting life, you have to follow Jesus Christ's example. He was baptized. I want to be baptized. When can I do that?" I almost fell over. He just needed to be taught the lessons and make some small changes in his life. His baptism was an amazing experience. There is a song we listen to a lot that says, "The sweetest sound I've ever loved to hear, is the sound of water running in the church. as someone I've come to love gets dressed in white I see their first glimpse of Heaven's light." It really is the sweetest sound, and it is the most amazing feeling to see someone you love so much get dressed in white and make that covenant with the Lord!
So as I was praying the other day, I felt very strongly that someone reading my email needed to read something very specific this week. So here goes. Please pay attention to how you feel as you watch this video and read the rest of the email. Have the courage to act on what you feel. :)
I would like to echo President Eyring in that I know that "someday" is too late. It will be hard to change things in your life, but when we stop saying "someday" and start following Christ TODAY, it will be worth it! You WILL feel of God's love.
But how do we start following Christ? We need to start with creating righteous habits in our lives. Habits will shape who you are. If we pray right when we wake up every morning, we are more likely to seek Heavenly Father's help throughout the day. If we study our scriptures in the morning, we will remember God's words in our struggles. Something that President Eaton always tells us is, "In order to help other people progress in the gospel, you have to be a progressing missionary." We should ALL be spiritually progressing. Complacency truly is of the devil. I have seen it ruin people on my mission. Please, DON'T BE COMPLACENT! Heavenly Father wants us to progress! That is the whole purpose of this life!
We learn in Alma 23 that some of the Lamanites are converted. In verse 7 they "did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more..." We all have weapons of rebellion. They may not be weapons of war like the Lamanites, but they are just as destructive! For me, these past few weeks I have had contention in my companionship as my main weapon. I have found myself saying, "Someday, I can love her." "When she's not my companion, I'll be able to love her." How rude and selfish of me! Someday is TOO LATE to make a change. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next hour. Resolve to change!
President Eaton has said, "There is happiness in spiritual progress." I invite you all to find that happiness that comes from being spiritually progressing by eliminating "someday" from your thinking. If you are "someday" going to pick up your scriptures and read, today is the day! If you are "someday" going to seek Heavenly Father in your life, today is that day! "Someday" is dangerous and destructive to our eternal progression! Don't put it off any longer! I promise that as you seek our Father in Heaven and choose to serve Him, you will become the person you are meant to become! You will find happiness and strength. You will become the child of God you are meant to be! I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Hello familia! How are things in Sunny Southern California?! Hopefully you are all doing great! Things here this week have been hard, but they are getting better! We had some really awesome training on Family History this past Thursday and then on Friday we had a GREAT Zone Conference! I learned so much this week during those meetings, and even more outside of our meetings. I have been learning about truly relying on our Savior and having patience and charity. These are HARD things to learn, but they are so worth it. There is a song by Nashville Tribute called, "The Hardest Thing I Ever Loved." It is so how I feel! There's another one called "Stronger" that fits perfectly as well. If you haven't heard them, you should definitely look them up! It's on their CD "The Work" and it's a tribute to missionary work. So many of those songs fit perfectly with how most missionaries feel. This work is the hardest thing I've ever loved to do. It truly makes me stronger and I am so grateful to be here!
I wanted to share some of the things I learned this week from our trainings. In our family history meeting we were talking about receiving the full blessings of family history. When we ONLY do genealogy work or ONLY do temple work, we are receiving half of the blessings. We need to do BOTH genealogy and temple work to receive the full blessings! We have the obligation to do the work for our ancestors! The Brother that was teaching the class said something that really struck me. He said something like, "Some of our ancestors have already received the witness that what the missionaries teach is true. If we don't do their work, they cannot have eternal life." I thought about people that I love that have passed away without the knowledge of the gospel. When they come to know that this gospel is true, they need to have the opportunity to accept baptism. That is OUR job to help them with! What a great blessing that is!
He also showed us a website Puzilla.org. It's a super cool website on Family History that connects your line with all of your cousins! It's a really neat tool!
We talked a lot about the Atonement at Zone Conference. President Eaton said several things that I loved. He said that succor means to run to someone's relief. The Savior went through the Atonement so that He could succor us. How cool is that?! He runs to our relief as soon as we ask for His help!! He also said, "The Atonement is the wind at our backs and our faith is the sail that catches the winds." The Atonement gives us what we need to go throughout this life. It is the wind that carries us and gives us the push we need! I am so grateful for my Savior and all that He has done for me! I invite you all to seek our the Savior this week in all that you do. I promise you that you will find that He is in every aspect of your life. You will literally FEEL His presence in your life! As you pray and ask for His guidance, He will pour out His blessings upon you!
I love you all and hope that you all have a GREAT week!!!
P.S.....We have a baptism on Thursday!!!!! :D
Monday, May 19, 2014
I hope you are all well. Things here have been interesting this week. It has been the hardest week of my mission, thus far. But I know that all that has happened, has been in my Heavenly Father's plan. I have already learned to lean more on Him and on my Savior. I have learned that missions are NOT for wimps. They are not for people who will give up at the first sign of hardship. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, one of the speakers said, "Your struggles will make you strong, IF YOU LET THEM." I know that is true. Your struggles are to help you grow and come closer to our Savior. They are not there to hurt us or bring us down. Even when we feel like nothing is going right and that this hardship is never going to end, it will. It is ALL in our Heavenly Father's plan for us! Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love is referred to over and over again in the scriptures. We can feel it in our lives. There is no denying that They love us. We just have to pray to feel and recognize that love. I invite you all to do just that; to pray to feel and recognize our Savior and Heavenly Father's love more each day this week. I know that you will all be blessed by doing so. And I know that you WILL feel that love!
I love you all, and hope that you all have a FANTASTIC week! Work hard and pray harder!
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Hello family! I hope you all are well! I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone by! It seems like I was just meeting Sister Hopkins yesterday! And now she is getting transferred up to Renton! These six weeks have been WAY fun, but the Lord needs her somewhere else! And I'm excited to learn from Sister Cox! She used to be a sister training leader, so I'm sure she is a great missionary!
This week was so great! I loved getting to see everyone's faces and talk with you all! It went by way too fast! We went to the Group Home yesterday and one of the residents there played some songs on his banjo for us. He first played "How Great Thou Art." It was so sweet! He shakes so badly that he can't stand still most of the time, but he still manages to read his Bible every day and play hymns on his guitar and banjo. The Spirit was definitely there! He then played a Johnny Cash song, "Nearest thing to Heaven." It was so cute! He said that when he was in the military every one called him Carry Cash. He does sound like him! :) It was really cool!
President Eaton invited us all to keep track of how many conversations we are having each day. We are supposed to be having 10 conversations per day, per companion. That is really hard now that we aren't tracting. We have had to figure out new ways to be out in the streets or talking to people. It seems like every time we walk, no one is out and every time we drive, there are tons of people out! So we tried our very best to talk with everyone that we saw, and we managed to reach our goal a couple of times this week! Setting goals in our lives helps keep us going. It helps us to have the motivation to take the extra steps in our lives. It also says to Heavenly Father that we are going to do our very best to meet that goal. He can then place people in our path to help us reach that goal! I invite you all to make goals this week and pray for the help to reach those goals! If we are doing all we can to reach them, Heavenly Father WILL give us the help we need!
I love you all! Have a great week!
P.S...sorry for the short email and no pictures! I will make up for it next week! :)
Monday, May 5, 2014
Hey Family! I hope your week has been great! It has been absolutely beautiful here in Washington! It got up to 88 this week and it was so hot! But the sky was clear and everything was so green! I loved it!
This week was rough in regards to teaching people, but it was great anyway! Sister Hopkins and I were able to learn so much! We have decided to work even harder than we have been so that the work here will move forward. We have the faith that there are people here that are prepared and ready for the gospel...we just need to find them!
This week we had an interesting experience on keeping the rules in the white handbook, NO MATTER WHAT. We had a ward activity on Saturday, that 2 of our investigators went to! Woohoo!!! It got over WAY later than we had expected and we realized on the way home that we needed to get cash for our fast offering. It was about 8:55 and curfew is at 9. We decided that since it was for a good reason, we would stop at Walmart and get cash. By the time we got there, it was 9. We walked in and as soon as we walked in, we saw some men picking up.....um...a "lady friend" that looked like Cruella DeVil. It was not a place that we wanted to be in. As we grabbed a candy bar so that we could get cash, we started to feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. We hurried and got the cash and ran to our car. We felt so badly for breaking curfew and promised that we would NEVER do it again! There is a reason, a very good reason, why Heavenly Father has given us these rules. They are for our protection and safety. It is the same with the Commandments and every other rule we have been given. If we abide by His rules, we will be protected!
We also had a lice scare this week. We went to do some service at an investigators home and she was putting stuff in her daughters hair to get the lice out. The bugs were so big that we could see the legs on them and everything. It was nasty. Since we had been there several times this week, we went over to Sister Bernfeld's house and had her check us as soon as we were done! Thankfully, neither of us had lice! We were both itchy for the rest of the day just thinking about it!
We have been teaching 2 gentlemen that live in a group home in our area. One of them is almost 83 years old and looks like Mr. Fredrickson from UP! His goal is to be the first centurion in the house! He's really funny! Anyway, he has told us several times that he was born Catholic, and he'll die Catholic. We read from the Bible and Book of Mormon with him every week. This week, we read like we normally do and sang one of his favorite songs, as per usual. His two favorite songs are "How Great Thou Art" and "Nearer My God to Thee." We sang "How Great Thou Art" and for the first time, he sang along. It was so sweet. At the end of the song he said, "Thank you, ladies. This is a first, but I'd like to say the closing prayer today." It was so sweet! It was one of those moments that you live for as a missionary! The Spirit was so strong and everyone in the room felt it!
As we have been counseled to share what we have learned from Preach my Gospel, I want to share with you all something that I learned this week. On page 11 of PMG, it says, "When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you." It is so easy to feel inadequate or that you have not done everything you can to help people come closer to Christ. It is easy to be disappointed in yourself. However, when we have done absolutely everything we can, we can be sure that the Lord is pleased with us. This applies to every aspect of our lives. Not just in missionary work. I know that this is true and that Preach my Gospel is an inspired book. As we study from it, we will grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I invite you all to read from it every day this week and learn from the Spirit!
I love you all and I know that this church hold the truthfulness of the restored gospel! I love it so much and love sharing it with everyone I come in contact with!
P.S....Shout out to Ellen Michael! Congratulations on turning in your mission papers! You'll love it! :)
Monday, April 28, 2014
Hello family! How is everyone? I hope you are all doing well! Life here in Puyallup is great! This week was...well, kind of strange. It was a great week, just strange. Which explains the subject line of the email....I'll tell you more about it throughout this email :) Just warning you though, some of it is pretty disgusting.
I'll start off with the gross story so we get it over with pretty quickly. :) So there is a trailer park in our area that a couple of members live in and some people that have investigated in the past. We went there several times this week and met this guy the first day we were there. He was sitting outside his trailer with several cats surrounding him. While talking with him we discovered that he has SIXTEEN cats!!! That is A LOT of cats. But, that is not the disgusting part. As we were talking with him, one of his cats felt the need to go to the bathroom fairly close to us. The cat farted and had disgusting diarrhea. It was so gross and the guy just laughed and said, "you didn't have to go where we could see AND hear you!" Sister Hopkins and I were mortified. It was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. Also, I've never heard a cat fart before. That was weird. (Mom, you don't have to post that story on my blog. :))
I learned a lot this week about how Heavenly Father truly is looking out for us and that He has a plan, even if we can't see it. I have been struggling feeling like we are in this alone in this area because there are not many people who are willing to help us. On Sunday at ward council, I went in prepared to be disapointed. However, Heavenly Father had a way different plan. He showed me that the members really are willing to help and they love this work. Not only did that happen, several of the members that are less-active that we have been visiting were at church! And we had an investigator there! It was amazing! Then, this morning in my personal study, I read in Alma 29. Verse 3 says, "But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." I realized that I had been wishing for things to be different here. That I was wishing the members would know what we needed without us having to shove it in their faces. But that is not what the Lord has given me. I am learning so much about humility here! It's great! :)
We had exchanges with the STL's this week. It was great! I love exchanges because they allow me to learn from other sisters! Sister Taylor came to my area and Sister Hopkins went to hers with Sister Wolfe. Sister Taylor is amazing. She taught me so much!
We had a mission devotional last night for members, their friends, recent converts, and investigators. Sister Hopkins and I sang in the mission choir. We sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and our mission hymn, "Hark All Ye Nations." It went well and the Spirit was definitely felt by many! There were so many people in attendance! The whole Chapel was filled and the cultural hall was filled almost all the way back to the stage! And it was our first one! I got to see Angie there! It was great to see her! She should be getting baptized next month! I am so excited for her! I WILL be there! :D
Well, that is about all there is to report this week! Wait, have any of you been studying from Preach my Gospel? If not, you should definitely get a copy and study from it! It was great that we, as members, were counseled to read it in this past General Conference! Preach my Gospel is not just for missionaries! It helps us ALL to know how we can improve and become more like our Savior!
Stay strong, Pray fervently, and Live courageously! I love you all!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hola Familia!! How are you all? I hope you all had a great Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior! If you haven't gotten a chance to, check out the video on easter.mormon.org It is a great video titled "Because of Him" that really touched my heart! I'm sure you will all enjoy it!
On to this week! This week was an interesting one. We have been struggling with meeting our goals each day and feeling like we haven't succeeded. I have been slowly realizing that it isn't our numbers that matter. If we witness a miracle and can't count it as a lesson, oh well! It counts to us and to Heavenly Father! I'm so glad that I have been given this chance to realize that!
We live in this apartment complex that has little pods of 4 apartments grouped in a circle. There are about 10 pods and next to ours, there is a little playground for the kids. There's a little boy that always plays there named Colin and he is a little bugger. But so cute! He lives with his grandma and when we found that out, I admit, I judged his parents for not being there. All I could thing was how sad it was that this little 6 year old boy was being raised by his grandmother because his parents couldn't do it. But, I learned a lesson when Colin wanted us to meet his grandmother. We ended up talking to her for about 45 minutes and in the course of our conversation, we found out that Colin's father isn't around because he is very sick and has some pretty bad heart problems. He has just had a pacemaker put in and is waiting for a heart transplant. I felt so bad for judging them righteously. It is by no fault of their own that they cannot be there to raise their child. It just showed me how much we need to always give people the benefit of the doubt. We are ALL Heavenly Father's children and we ALL deserve to be treated as such! This was reiterated on Sunday when our Stake President got up and spoke in Sacrament meeting. He said, "Is deservedness criteria for charity? NO!" He then went on to talk about how we are trying to become like Jesus Christ and He performed the Atonement for us when we did not deserve it, even a little bit! I am so grateful for that! And I am grateful for being able to learn this lesson this week! I am truly learning so much!
There isn't much more to report this week! But I am VERY blessed to be serving a mission! I love it so much and I am so excited for what is to come in the future! I love you all! Have a great week!!!
P.S....HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKE!!!! I LOVE YOU SISTER!!!!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Hello Family! How has your week been? I hope good! I've had a good week here! Hard, but good! I love being a missionary. It is the greatest thing I have ever done!!
So we have been visiting a lady in a private neighborhood recently. There are members that live there as well, so sometimes we go see our investigator and then walk to a member's home. We came out of our investigators home and found a sticky note on our car that said, " To whom it may concern, this car is seen in this neighborhood often. You are not visiting friends or family. No soliciting is allowed- see sign at gate. If this continues, I will have your car towed away." When we read that, we were shocked. Was someone really that angry that we were there? Did he have nothing better to do with his life than put angry sticky notes on our car? How rude! We were sitting there in shock and not knowing what to do. We were so upset. We prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help us to forgive the person that did it. We prayed that his heart would be softened and not be upset by our being there. I immediately felt comfort. I hadn't forgiven him completely yet, but I felt comforted. The next time we were there, nothing was done to our car. I am still working on forgiving, but I know that no matter what, we are all children of Heavenly Father and that He loves us unconditionally.
I got a letter this week from Sister Carlin. All it said is that Angie, Laine, and Isabel are getting baptized on the 26th!!!! I am so excited to attend that baptism!! I will be there, no matter what it takes!!! I am so happy that they have chosen to be baptized! I cannot wait to see them again!!
We go to an adult group home every week and there is the cutest little 82 year old man there. He had gotten a haircut this week and Sister Hopkins said to him, "Jim! You're looking spiffy with that new haircut!" To which he replied, "Oh you like that huh? It's alright...I just feel like an airhead now!" We were dying laughing!! It made it even funnier that he was laughing so hard at his own joke! It was great! There is also a 35ish year old man there. He has epilepsy and some complications because of that. We were talking to Jim about something and he got frustrated and wanted to say something. He started yelling Sister Hopkins name and getting frustrated that she wasn't answering. It was hilarious! He was able to come to church this week and he loved it! He keeps asking us to baptize him! He doesn't quite understand that Sister Hopkins and I can't do that. haha
So this week Sister Hopkins and I were trying to do different things to try and find more people to teach. We walked so much! But it seems like everyone runs when they see us! ha. So we saw this woman and said hello to her but she just kept walking and didn't stop to talk to us. After she was already down the street, I got the impression that we needed to give her a picture of Christ. AFTER she had already walked away. We literally ran down the street to catch up with her. When we finally caught up with her, we said, "We saw you down the street and felt like we needed to give you this picture." She said, "I have my own Bible. I'm Pentacostal. I don't need that." We tried to explain that it was a picture and we weren't trying to change her religion. She wasn't having it and just walked away from us. I was so bummed. We have been struggling to find more people to teach and we tried so hard to follow the Spirit and we were turned down. But then Sister Carlin's voice came into my head saying, "Sometimes we are asked to follow a prompting so that Heavenly Father can show us that we do have faith. It isn't always to show Him our faith, sometimes, it is for us." Even though it was disappointing, I learned something about my faith. And I am grateful for that! And now you know that as missionaries we have no social boundaries. We run after people on the street. haha.
To end this letter, I wanted to share something with you all that I learned this week. I was studying about hope. In Preach my Gospel there is a quote from President James E. Faust. He says, "Hope is the anchor of our souls." I loved that! As I was studying about hope, I learned that an anchor is a source of confidence. and that hope is expecting that something will happen. So if we say, "I hope that Heavenly Father will answer my prayers," we are really saying, "I expect that Heavenly Father will answer my prayers." That doesn't mean that we are demanding things, it just means that we understand the concept of, "ask and ye shall receive." The real question is, is our anchor in the right place? Is our source of confidence something of the world, or is it Jesus Christ? I know that if our anchor is Jesus Christ, we can never fail! We will triumph over all! We will still need to work and work hard, but we will not drift away! I invite you all to evaluate where your anchor is this week and make changes in your lives, if necessary. I can promise you that you will be blessed if you do so! I love you all! Have a great week!