Monday, May 26, 2014

May time to waste

Every Monday night, for the past few weeks or so, we have been going to the house of this older couple to help them strengthen their testimonies. It has turned in to what we call miracle Monday. We all start off by sharing a miracle that happened that week whether it was big or small. Then we ask what they call a "golden question", basically it is a question that gets them think deep about a gospel principle. For example, how do you know when you are feeling the Holy Ghost, or if you could focus on one Christ like attribute to work on which one would it be. These questions usually turn into sharing experiences and it is so amazing to hear the things they have accomplished in their lives. The sister shared with us something that I am going to hold on to for a long time. She said if youre ever getting a thought to do sometime and you dont know if it is you or the spirit, if it is good, just do it.

Tuesday we had a pretty good time. We were invited to have lunch with this couple since our dinner calendar is already full. They were a super awesome couple, they are really wanting to help out the missionary work in their ward. After lunch we went to the Provo Rehab and Nursing to teach our 94 year old. But I totally spaced that it was Tuesday and that she would be in physical therapy. So we headed out to contact some other people. We got to teach Jessica like we do every Tuesday and there was something about this lesson that was special. Usually she is pretty quiet and reserved but the past few times we have been over there she has opened up a lot more. She now has this glowing countenance that is amazing. She told us earlier that she used to struggle to avoid coffee at work, but she has been working really hard on quitting because she really wants to make it to the temple. She also told us about the reason she came back to the church, it was all because her brother kept loving her. After that we had dinner with a couple that served as mission president and wife in Columbia. And after dinner we got to go teach Malakai, it was his last lesson before his baptism. We were teaching about tithing and we asked him to read the scripture from  Malachi 3:10 and after he finished reading it he said, "and I said that." It was so funny coming from a 9 year old. Later that night we decided to contact one of our less active families we haven't seen for a little while and we actually were able to catch them at home. We then went and contacted a referral that we got from the ward mission leader. On our way home that night we walked past a house and the family was out working in the yard. They were Samoan and were really excited to see sister missionaries. They ran in and got us each a box of cookies and a thing of juice to take home. It felt like such a wonderful day!

Wednesday morning we got to do a service project for the mission. We helped plant bushes and plants at the mission office and put in bark around it. We also got to clean out the rain gutters on the street around the mission office and sweep out the parking lot. It took a good part of our day but it was fun. I am finally starting to have some color to my skin. The weather has been beautiful and I love it. After the service project we had lessons scheduled for the rest of the evening. The first lesson was with this sister who is trying to help her friend learn more about the gospel and so she was to get more active and have a better understanding so she is more helpful. She got really excited when we told her we could Facebook or Skype her friend to get her started with the missionary lessons. Then we got to teach Alan, he is doing so much better, he got a letter that day telling him that now he has been full fellowshipped back into the church he has the full power and duty of a Melchizedek priesthood holder. He also has been reading his scriptures more often and can feel and see the difference in his life. For our lesson with the Petersen's we did something a little different. We decided we wanted to teach about Christ like attributes and so we wrote all of them down from Preach My Gospel on post-it notes and had each of them pick one they wanted to work on. We then talked about each one and read scriptures to go along with it. Something that was quoted was "You are not punished for your sins you are punished by your sin."- Neal A. Maxwell. I really like this quote when it comes to the reason we are obedient. The spirit was so strong in the lesson and it definitely made me want to continue to develop Christ like attributes everyday. When we got home there was a bag of Samoan food sitting at our door. I guess the poly elders were given to much food so they brought some to us.

Thursday was a walking day. We seriously walk all day trying to find people at home and ready to be taught. We had two appointments that both fell through. The first one got stuck in bad traffic on his way home from work and wouldn't make it on time. And the second one was interesting, we were in his house ready to teach but he got a phone call right before we were going to get started and so we had to leave. He helps this boy down the street who is in a wheel chair and he needed help. So we did some more contacting of empty houses. Even our meeting Thursday night was strange. Usually we have at least 2 or 3 ward mission leaders show up. The meeting started at 8:00 and no one was there until 8:20 and he was the only one to show up.

Friday started early because we had a lesson at 10:00 and the DTM at 11:00. The lesson was super interesting. It was with these two Mennonite women, one who was older and one that was a little older than me. The one around my age actually didn't grow up a Mennonite, she was converted when she was in college. They love the Bible. They had a lot of questions about our religion and they always made sure it matched up with the doctrine in the Bible. We got to teach them about the Book of Mormon, and they committed to start reading it so they could find out if it is God's word. They also asked if we had set lessons about the basic doctrine in our church. So we are going to be teaching those, actually we won't be because she doesn't live in our area, but we are going to be handing her off to the other sisters. DTM was fun, we played Preach My Gospel jeopardy. Then we went to Costa Vida as a district and it was so yummy! Friday evening we went and taught a less-active and her girls, and we got to help clean the house. The youngest girl is 3 years old and she had a little boy from her daycare group die this week. What she said was the cutest thing, she said that Tyler is sleeping with Jesus now. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation.

Saturday was baptism day! We had a baptism at 11:00 for Malakai, he was so happy and so ready. The talks that were given at his baptism were very spiritual and inspired. After the baptism we went home and ate lunch, then did weekly planning. After weekly planning we tried doing more contacting and we actually went to this one lady's house that we have been trying to contact for awhile and she let us in. We wanted to show her the "Because of Him" video but she didn't want us to. She wanted to know how we knew Jesus, not what we know about him but how we personally know him. She was quite interesting to teach because there was some points where she was trying to convert us to her faith. She is from Africa and she really likes how safe Provo is. After her we had dinner with this couple that has seriously been married for only 2 months, we have been eating with a lot of people like that. After dinner we went down to Springville for one of Sister Lani's investigators baptisms. The was a huge turn out. They had all us missionaries stand up and be recognized and it was super awkward for me since I didn't know her at all. But that is the joy of being a companionship.

Sunday was probably one of the most successful Sunday's we have had in a while. We went to church at 9:00 and one of our less actives was there so we got to sit with her in relief society, and then after she invited us over for lunch. We were able to have a lesson about the importance of centering our homes on Jesus Christ. After her we went and did more contacting, and found a less active at home. We taught her the restoration and she said was an answer to her prayer. She told us that the only things she struggles with in the LDS faith is Joseph Smith's story, so when we got done teaching today she said she really wants to pray about Joseph Smith so that she can have a testimony. After her we had dinner and then a drop by to another less actives home. We had some fellowshippers from the ward come with us and at first we didn't think the family was home, but we knocked again and they answered. We were able to get to know them more and also teach them a short lesson about the Book of Mormon. At the end I felt prompted to ask them if we could go through all the discussions with them and they agreed that it would help them a lot! We then spent the rest of the night contacting more people.

Today we got our transfer list, and here is what is going to happen... I am going to be a sister training leader in North Orem with Sister Coleman, who is from Kennewick! I am going to miss being here in a walking area so much and all the AMAZING people! 

Some things I noticed that I love this week are the following:
- I love the reaction we get when we pull out our iPads to share a spiritual thought. So many return missionaries get jealous.
- I love members that feed us good. I feel pretty lucky to get fed every night and to be honest I haven't eaten anything to weird.
-I love my companion, she is seriously the best. There is not a day that goes by that she
doesn't make me laugh and smile.
- I love that everyday me and my companion coordinate our outfits so we can match.
- I love being honked at, even though it startles me every time. But it is people showing that they love missionaries.
- I love that as a missionary I can go into a strangers house and come out and feel like I just made a best friend.
- I love that we have iPads so that me and my companion can take pictures and videos all the time.

may 19...eventful!

Tuesday was full of fun and miracles. We went to the mission office and got to say good bye to Sister Mabey, her and her husband are leaving at the end of this month, and the new mission secretary seems super awesome too. We had some really good lessons. First with Jessica, a less active, she told us she has been going to church and her husband got a calling. They also have been working really close with the bishop to try and go to the temple soon. Then we decided to go and contact a part member family, the mom has been gone for a while but is back and she is actually the one that requested that her and her non-member daughters have the missionaries over. We had been trying contact them for awhile, but on Tuesday we were finally able to, they invited us in and we were able to get to know them and have a lesson. I guess both the girls (who are 18 and 13) had been really close to getting baptized before. As soon as one of them told them missionaries she wasn't quite ready because she still had a lot of questions the missionaries stopped coming. They also have never had girl missionaries and they said that would love to take the lessons from us. After dinner we had a lesson with our 9 year old investigator who is getting baptized be next week and so we set up a baptism interview for Saturday. He is so excited and so ready. After his lesson we went to the stake relief society activity. It was an around the world theme about coming unto Christ no matter where you are from. One of the sisters from the general relief society board was there and she spoke to us, and told some really funny and amazing stories.

Wednesday was a great day. We were able to see our recent convert at the nursing home. She is so fun to go see because she has such a wonderful spirit. Then we went and saw Sonny and Avery. They are always so full of energy. After dinner we were trying to do some contacting in the North Park 3 ward but no one was home. I had a feeling that we needed to visit this one less active the ward mission leader had told me about a while ago. It was definitely a prompting from the holy ghost. She was home and when she opened the door she looked so stressed. We asked her if we could come in and she said she was busy cleaning the house because there was cat hair everywhere. We asked if we could help her. She got all teary eyed and asked if we would really do that for her. She thought we wouldn't talk to her or help her because she is less active and because of her appearance. We were able to go in and help clean for a little while and then we realized that her vacuum was broken and that is why her house has so much cat hair because the past times she has been vacuuming it hasn't been sucking anything up. We then shared a spiritual message with her. She really need us there and God made sure we were there. 

Thursday we had a guy stop us on the street and ask us about the LDS 12 step program. We also almost caused an accident when we were at the temple booth. We were out waving and we had a sign that says I love to see the temple. Some one was waving at us and they didn't notice that the traffic had stopped in front of them so they had to slam on their brakes to avoid anything bad happening. When we work at the temple booth we have a lot of the construction workers walk by and I just felt like we needed to do something for them. So we went to Smith's and bought 4 bags of skittles and 2 bags of pretzels. We then separated them into 90 little bags with a note attached saying how grateful we are that they are helping build up the kingdom of God. After a wonderful dinner with one of my favorite people here in Provo, we were able to teach some one new. His name is JD, he is about 30 and he is less active. The lesson was super awesome. We taught the restoration, which he knew pretty well and then when it got to the part about how he needs to find out for himself by reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it he got interested. I decided to share my story about how I came to know for myself and he asked me lots of questions about it. I can tell he really has the desire to know for himself. 

Friday was such a weird day. We had DTM and it was good. On our way to the temple booth we passed this group of homeless people and one of them asked us if we could come over and pray with the group. To be honest I was so scared to shut my eyes because I didn't know what was going to happen. But I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bless them with the knowledge that they are his children, and that he loves them. As we were at the temple booth we got to hand out a lot of our little bags of goodies. It was so cool to see how happy they were to get some gratitude coming their way.  Also while we were working at the temple booth a guy walked past that was so drunk he couldn't even stand up. He fell over a few times. Me and Sister Lani had a weird feeling so we went inside the temple booth and locked it for a few minutes while he passed by. Towards the end of our turn at the temple booth all the construction workers were getting off work and so we were able to hand out a lot of our little baggies. After dinner we headed to do some contacting with one of the ward mission leaders and everyone we tried contacting wasn't home. So we were walking to the chapel to use the restroom and there was a big group of people across the street. They called us over and told us to join them. So we got to go to a big Poly BBQ. The food was so good! We talked to them a lot about missionary work and we even were able to share a spiritual thought and our phone number just in case they had friends that were ready to hear about the gospel. We had lots of good laughs and some small world moments, their was two of them that had just got home from their mission and they knew my friend from high school. 

Saturday was so hot! Sometimes it feels like we are melting but I much prefer this than the snow so I am not complaining. In the morning we were headed to the chapel for a baptism interview for our investigator and the mail man walked up with a big white envelope and handed it to me. It was what our mission calls "trunky papers". But it is a letter from President McCune that says we have four months left and he wants us to work harder than we have our whole mission. I am so excited to work even harder. The baptism interview went well. The Elder that interviewed him said he knows a lot for only being 9. We are all looking forward to Saturday when he is getting baptized. Then we had temple booth that afternoon and we were planning on going and handing out more of the little bags but then we realized that they don't work on Saturday's. But we had fun standing outside and doing lots of waving. I think my right muscle is getting so strong, actually probably not. After dinner we went to one of our less actives house and she thought she was feeding us and so we got to eat two dinners again, for the second night in a row. 

Sunday was great too. Every day is great when you are serving the Lord. We actually had quite the adventure in the morning. We were planning on going to the 11:00 ward with some of our investigators and I was pretty sure it was at the stake center which is the farthest church from our home. So we left our house quite early so we could be there on time. When we got there we saw the Elder's bikes and so we went in and I guess their Spanish ward meets at 11:00 at the stake center. It was already 10:50 so we borrowed the Elder's bikes in order to get to the right church building by 11:00. After church we went to our investigator's house since they didn't show up to church. They weren't home. So we went and ate lunch and did some other contacting. Then we had a coordination meeting at 4 and then dinner. The people we ate dinner with were so awesome. They had just been reactivated by some elders a little while ago and so the wife had just gone through the temple and they are going to the temple next month to get sealed. After dinner a ward invited us to their "walk and talk",  which is just a bunch of neighbors getting together and talking but there are lots of non-members and less-actives that come. Then we had a lesson at 7 and our less active that we were teaching had some super awesome news for us. He just got re-fellowshipped into the church and was able to take the sacrament for the first time in 20 years! He is doing so great! After the appointment we met up with Vanessa at a church to talk for a little while because her friend died in a car accident that morning and she was really struggling. It was my first time seeing her in about 7 months which was way to long. But she is doing awesome! She is a supervisor at her job and her kids are growing up like crazy! 

I am so grateful for the Lord and allowing me to see so many blessings every day. Transfers are next week and I don't know what is going to happen, but I know the Lord will put me where ever I am needed!:)

Monday, May 12, 2014

May week

Tuesday we did exchanges with the sister training leaders.  It was so cool how busy we stayed that day. We were able to contact a lot of people and teach a lot of lessons. We also were able to have fellowshippers at every single lesson. I usually really don't like going on exchanges with the sister training leaders but this week it was really fun. We also got to teach a lesson to an active family and it was so amazing how strong the spirit was as we were teaching them. They're really excited to reach out to their friends, family and neighbors and teach them more about the gospel. Our dinner appointment was really interesting, the couple had signed up to feed the missionaries three times and we were the first ones to finally show up. Even though me and Sister Hedley had only been companions for the day we taught really well together.
Wednesday morning we had DTM. Me and Sister Lani got to do the training and teach about the importance of how to begin teaching and do a role play. We had each of the sets of elders teach a sister, it was really cool to see how well they did. In preach my gospel it has certain bullet points we're supposed to use as we teach the first time and each of the missionaries used quite a few. We also finally got to teach one of our investigators has been out of town for three months. She is from Mexico so she doesn't know a lot of English so we are trying to hand her off to the Spanish elders. She is convinced that she knows English really well but she always gives us a blank stare when we teach her about the gospel principles. We also got to teach one of our investigators about eternal families. She loves all the principles that we teach she just doesn't know if Joseph Smith is a prophet or not or if the Book of Mormon is true. She has tried so hard to find out, she prays daily and reads the Book of Mormon all the time, she also goes to church every Sunday. I really hope one day she'll be able to find her answer. This week's dinners were really interesting we were fed a lot of healthy food. Wednesday night we got salad. The weather here in Utah is so bipolar, one minute it is sunny and warm and the next it is windy, cold and rainy. Luckily one of the ladies that we taught that day gave us her umbrella to use in the rain. Because when we left home it was so sunny and warm so I didn't think we would be needing one, but I was wrong.
Thursday was fun. The weather was super bipolar again, and for some reason the work was a bit slower. We were able to teach one lesson to our recent convert and it was her last official lesson with us. We are going to keep stopping by just to make sure she is keeping on the straight and narrow. Both of our appointments that night cancelled and so we were left to contacting. We found a family that was playing football outside and we started talking to them. They told us they moved here from out east and they like it here because of the safety. We asked them if we could share a short message and they said not right now but we were welcome to come back sometime. So we will be following up with them some time this week. As we were walking around finding people, we were walking on the main road and all of a sudden I heard someone yell my first name. It confused me so bad, there was a car that had pulled over and was waving at me. I started walking towards them and they took off. I found out later that it was one of the high councilors from Spanish Fork. I don't know why in the world he called me by my first name. That night we had our regular missionary coordination meeting and only one ward mission leader showed up so it was a really short meeting.
Friday was our Zone Conference and I learned so much. I am seriously so grateful for President and Sister McCune. They have taught me so much and they are amazing! In the middle of the conference we did a split meeting, so the Elders went with Sister McCune and us sisters got to stay with President. He talked a lot about how even if you don't ever get into a leadership position on your mission it doesn't mean you are not a good missionary. I think sister missionaries are really bad when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. This lead in to what Sister McCune taught us all and that was the "4 deadly C's", compete, compare, complain, and critize. But I know all of us missionaries are really good at getting frustrated with our selves when we don't stay away from these things. At the end of Zone Conference we went and talked to President about our living situation and he had the housing couple come take a look. We just don't feel very safe in the area where we live. I am grateful to have an apartment but its been kind of creepy lately. They said we should be okay because if anything does happen the police department is close. But I really think it will be okay. 
Saturday we got to do a service project for a family that is moving. The mom is pregnant and the dad just had knee surgery and they are supposed to be moving by the end of this month. So we got to help do some cleaning and packing. We tackled the walls(scrubbed them with magic erasers) and the kitchen(moved the fridge and stove out and cleaned behind them.) When we got done Sister Lani got to Skype her family, because they are 18 hours ahead of us. It was so cool listening to her speak her language. Saturday night it decided to be winter again. It didn't snow but it was really cold and rainy. I just wish Utah would get the memo that it is supposed to be summer soon.
Sunday was by far the best day! It felt like church was never going to end. I loved the speakers and the lessons but I just couldn't wait to Skype my wonderful family. It was so good seeing everyone and I just can't believe how much everyone has grown. I thought going on a mission would be like going into the Narnia wardrobe where I would come home and nothing would have changed. I guess even though lots of things are changing I am still super happy to be serving. Getting told by Jace that he could drive me home from the airport and be dating... SCARY! And Kade having a beautiful smile and growing like crazy! It was also so good to see Summer, Bradley and Zoey. What a cute family! Also seeing the most supportive parents in the world was wonderful. I can't wait until I can give all of you the biggest hug in the world. 
I am going to keep working my hardest and learning and growing everyday. 
 Love you all!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 5...enjoying the little things

I have been continuing to look for the miracles in my life everyday and it is making me so much more happy. Even on the days we don't teach anyone and we can't find anyone home I am still completely filled with the joy of knowing that God is in my everyday life. Last P-day was so much fun. We went to "Sacred Gifts" which is the art museum on BYU campus and right now it is an exhibit of all the famous paintings of Christ. We then joined up with our district and went and hiked the "Y". I seriously miss hiking Badger Mountain and all the hikes up in Canada.

Tuesday was so crazy busy. We started with the temple booth and had so much fun waving at lots of people driving by in cars. Then our adventure started. We had 7 scheduled appointments and most of them were in the evening so we had them almost every 30 minutes. Only two of the 7 appointments cancelled which made us happy. We got to teach the less-active couple that referred themselves on They are so awesome and fun to teach. The wife knows a lot and the husband is excited to learn more so they can someday soon go to the temple. We were teaching the restoration and it was probably one of the best first lessons I have had in a while. It was a missionary dream come true to be busy all day. I wish every day could be like that.

Wednesday was cold and windy. We got to work at the temple booth again and wave. After the temple booth we ran to the post-office and at night we had dinner with a family from Spokane and it was super entertaining. I love when we go to dinner with people and they are super talkative. As we were leaving their house I was walking down the steps to leave and their huge lab came and ran right in between my legs and almost made me fall over. It was so funny. Me and my companion had a good laugh after that one.  We then got to go to the family history center with the Peteresen's. It was so fun and exciting. A lot of it was trying to figure out where all the information went that they put in on Sunday but we eventually got it figured out. 

Thursday we got to make a trip to the dentist in the morning for Sister Lani's root canal. And so the rest of the day was spent letting her recover. We did still have a meeting we had to go to that night but she was feeling good enough to go. She recovered really fast. 

Friday was fun. We had ZTM in the morning and then I  decided to be charitable and buy the whole zone pizza. It was just 5 Buck pizza but it was still yummy. Then me and my companion did a lot of trying to contact with little success. But it's funny because I don't even get discouraged anymore when days like this happen because I know that at least I am trying. We then decided to do some street contacting down university ave and center st it was fun because I guess there was a bunch of different things going on and so there was people every where. We were able to hand out our phone number and we even got some free donuts. 

Saturday was so beautiful outside. We had a lesson set up at 10:30, they weren't home when we went over there and so we decided to go see our 94 year old that lives in the old folks home. She was still sleeping and so we went back a little later and she was still sleeping. We did some contacting and we were able to meet some people that we have been trying to get a hold of for a while. We went to lunch at Roco's and this guy tried paying for us and the lady behind the counter said that's nice of you but we feed them for free. I love Provo! Then we got to go to temple booth again. I love seeing that beautiful temple so often and I love that the progress on it is moving quickly. The rest of Saturday we spent trying to find people at home, and then we went to Gloria's with the district for icecream.

This week was so fun and I learned some really cool stuff from my studies. Alma 26 is amazing because it tells us that there is so much to find joy in. It also teaches us that we should never give up, the Lord is always on our side and is there to help us. In Ether 12 it teaches all about faith, hope and charity. Without those things we can not return to our Heavenly Father. 
I love the Book of Mormon!