Monday, July 28, 2014

July 27...exchanges, laughs and lessons

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the American Fork Spanish sisters. I
got to be in their area for the day with Sister Sanchez. We did a lot
of contacting the non members in the area and when people answered
they responded very quickly that they are already catholic. We offered
them English classes and some of them took some interest in that. We
also had an interesting experience that afternoon. The car's breaks
were really squeaky and so we took the car into the shop. They told us
it would only take about 20 minutes, but that 20 minutes turned into 1
hour and 20 minutes. They said they were training someone new. Luckily
it didn't interfere with to much of our work. That night we had a
great lesson with a guy who is here from Chile for a few weeks and he
is staying with his uncle who is a member of the church. We were able
to have some really good lessons. Our last appointment even made us
homemade juice. She made it out of cantaloupes and lime, and it was
surprisingly good.

Wednesday I was happy to come back to my area with my companion for a
few hours until we had to do exchanges again. It was also nice to come
back and seeing that Sister Hedley had a really successful day on
Tuesday. We went to DTM and talk about the importance of our nightly
planning sessions, and ever since I have been companions with Sister
Hedley I have realized what a difference it makes to plan every half
hour and always have plenty of backups. For exchanges I got to stay in
my area with Sister Montanares. I was excited because we had such a
full day planned and one after another almost all of the appointments
cancelled on us. So it gave us plenty of time to contact and find new
people to teach. The evening was fun because we were able to stay
busy. We had our chapel tour and there was a young women's group that
came. We had a lesson with a recent convert and at the end we asked
her to pray and she said she didn't want to because she doesn't know
how to pray in English. We told her she could pray in her language
that they speak in the Congo and she still didn't want to, so Sister
Montanares said it in Norwegian so that Grace would be comfortable
saying it next time. Then we were able to stop by some other recent
converts and share with them the importance of daily scripture study
and prayer. They said they really do try it is just hard sometimes. We
finished our night off with a lesson in the Italian villages.

Thursday was Pioneer Day and here in Utah it is just as big as the 4th
of July. Because it was a holiday we had a lot of people cancel there
appointments or not want to set up appointments in the first place.
That morning we took our car into the shop because it was time for an
oil change and aligning. They said it would be about an hour and it
was lunch time. The only close restaurant was Sonic and so we ate
there. After we got the car back we didn't have to much planned, so we
decided to use our free time to serve people. We made over 8 dozen
cookies and we delivered them to people we felt needed a pick me up or
a thank you. We also delivered them to the sisters in our zone and the
zone leaders. It is so fun to be able to serve people in different
ways. After dinner we taught one of our investigators and they haven't
been reading their Book of Mormon so we read with them.

Friday was weekly planning and it was great this time because we
really kept in mind what people need to help them come closer to
Christ. After weekly planning we went and did some more contacting. We
didn't have much success but it was all good. I was asked by our
investigator if I could give a talk on baptism for her baptism and I
am so excited for it. That evening we went to a ward party for dinner
and they had a dunk tank. They asked if us sisters could go in it, we
asked for permission but they sadly told us no. After the ward party
we had a lesson with a less active family that is coming back to
church. Before the appointment we had a really good laugh. I had to go
to the bathroom so bad but we didn't rally have time. When I told my
companion that I was going to pee my pants I had to go so bad she
assured me it was going to be a problem because I wasn't wearing pants
(since we are in skirts all day). If this doesn't seem to funny to you
it may have been a "you had to be there" moment. The lesson we had
went really well besides the distraction of the kids throwing temper

Saturday right after studies we got to head down to Springville for
another one of Sister Hedley's baptisms. The little girl getting
baptized was so cute and so eager to get baptized. After the baptism
Elder and Sister Cornish took us out to eat at the Olive Garden. While
I was there I ran into a kid I knew from Skyline High School. He was
Jess's age so I asked if he knew her and then got to the fact that I
was her sister and it was just cool what a small world it is here in
Provo. After the baptism we got to go to a lesson and finish teaching
the plan of salvation. The person we taught really needed hope this
week. We are going to try to start seeing her twice a week because we
love teaching her. The rest of the afternoon before dinner we did lots
of contacting. It was some what successful this time. We even got to
teach this former investigator and set up an appointment with a
different former investigator. We are going to try everything to find
more people to teach and everything to help the people we are already
teaching to progress. After dinner we heard that there was going to be
a super awesome ward party and so we decided to go to it. And it was
AWESOME! The ward was so missionary minded. They had 26 non members
show up and we were being introduced to as many as them as we could.
We even got an appointment with a family of non members! We ended the
night teaching the Parramore family about the word of wisdom and we
talked about standing up for what we believe in even if it means we
are standing alone.

Sunday felt like such a long day. We had meetings from 7:30-11:00 and
then we ate lunch and went off to teach people. It was hard to find
people home. We are hoping they were all at church but we have heard
Sunday is the best day to go out and do things if your a non member
here in Utah because there is no lines. I don't believe it but it was
hard to find them at home for sure. Then we went to church, sacrament
meeting was interesting. The topic was about the importance of being
morally clean and the first speaker just took it to a whole new level
that was a little awkward for everyone. He was talking about he
worldly benefits of being morally clean. Sunday school was super
awesome though, they have a class that is all about how to be a member
missionary. That afternoon we taught the other former investigator and
he has a very strong opinion about things. We showed the "Because of
Him" video because he loves Christ. After the lesson we had a few
minutes before we had to head off to another meeting and we were
starving so we stopped in on the Cornish's and grabbed some food.
After dinner I didn't feel very good so we came home and did some
online missionary work before heading back out. We had an appointment
set for 8:00 but we got a text from our investigator's sister telling
us she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. This broke my heart
because this girl has been ready to be baptized for a while now but
her family keeps holding her back. Hopefully we can figure things out
with her.

Today is an exciting and unusual day. Tonight we have a baptism! I
love when some one realizes the importance of following Christ. She
has so much support from the ward and we also got her mom to start
opening up to us too! We are looking forward to it!
I love you all and I am loving my mission so much right now, I really
am sprinting to the end. There is no reason to give up when the finish
line is so close! Only 9 more weeks

July 21...16 months

Well yesterday me and Jessalyn hit 16 months. At the beginning of my mission I never would have thought I would be at this point so soon. 18 months seemed so long but now that it is almost over I can't believe it! Okay this week was more than incredible. There really isn't words to describe it but I will do my best.

Tuesday we had to go to the mission office right after studies to pick up some supplies for the month. Then we went on exchanges. I was able to stay in my area with Sister Banuelos. She has only been out for 5 months, but she is already an amazing missionary. We did a lot of contacting, but I enjoy contacting now because we are finding so many people that are willing to listen to the message we share, all we have to do is find them and invite. One of the less active families we are teaching right now actually gave us the name of their friends that live just upstairs from them and we are now teaching them too.

Wednesday was a great day. I got to be back with my companion. She has taught me to love contacting and so that is what we did the majority of the morning and afternoon. We taught our investigator S*** who is getting ready to be baptized in August. Her parents are being taught by the senior couple in the area which they love, and then we are able to really focus on S***. After the lesson we headed off to President interviews. I was able to have a really good talk with President about the remaining time I have left. He also asked me a question that definitely was inspired. He asked if I could go back to the new missionary I was 16 months ago and give advice to myself what would I say. After interviews we went to dinner and the sister we ate with was from Idaho Falls originally and when her mom and dad got a divorce her dad moved to West Richland. Her little girl who was 2 has diabetes and she was so good about letting her mom poke her to test her blood but as soon as the needle came out to give her medicine she wasn't so happy. After dinner we had 6 lessons. We got to talk to I*** about her baptism and teach her about the important commitment we are making to the lord. The we got to do a chapel tour for one of our less actives. He said he hasn't been in church for a really long time and he could feel the spirit so strong. We then got to teach this girl who a foster daughter in a members home and she is from the Congo. She was baptized about 2 years ago and when we asked why she decided to be baptized she said her family did it so the missionaries would leave them alone. Hopefully we can change her perspective a little bit. Then we were able to teach about the 10 commandments to D*** and talk about the importance of all the commandments God gives us. Then we stopped by the A*** who are recent converts and we were able to share a short message with Sister A*** out on the porch since her husband was sick.
Thursday we did exchanges again and I stayed in the area with Sister McIntire. She is from Spokane and she did ballet growing up so a lot of our car conversations were about dance. We got to teach the P*** girls the 10 commandments and the fun hands signs that go with them. That night we had a pretty good turn out at our chapel tour and then we had a super awesome lesson with the M***. They are trying to get to the temple and so we taught them a lesson from the Gospel Principles book about having a successful family. I think it is so cool. Heavenly Father has given us instruction manuals on how we should raise our families.

Friday we got to go to a baptism in Springville for one of Sister Hedley's investigators. We also got to do weekly planning and set awesome goals for this week. We are so excited to pick things up even more than they already are and we found our source of people to teach. Apartments! There are a lot of different apartment complexes in our area and so we are going to work hard there. It already started showing success Friday night. We have 4 families in the Italian Village that we are always trying to get in contact with and we finally found one at home and we were able to teach her. Then we were walking to contact someone else and this older couple stopped us. We were talking about their ward and they told us that 50% of the apartments were non-members. So me and Sister Hedley are going to be doing some tracting through there.
Saturday we had 2 more baptisms in Springville. The one in the morning was interesting because a member gave us a ride down and then she left. So we were stranded in Springville. Luckily Sister Soper (one of my trainers) now lives in Springville and so she was able to give us a ride home. That night we had a miracle. We weren't sure where to go and so we prayed and we felt like going down to the apartments on 1200 W and we taught a lady on the side of the sidewalk who wasn't a member and now we have a return appointment with her. Sister Hedley and I both felt so prompted to be out walking between the two apartment complexes to contact some specific names. None of them were home but we both know the reason The Lord prompted us to be there specifically was for T*** (the lady we taught) and now we have a return appointment with her. It was awesome! We asked her if there was anything we could do for her and she said that we did exactly what she needed.
Sunday was a crazy day. We spoke in two sacrament meetings about missionary work/virtue. The first one was a little stressful because there was a lot of ward business and so we didn't have much time to talk especially since the high councilor wanted a least 20 minutes to speak. The second one was a lot better. Luckily we got to use the same talk for both meetings. We had a great lesson with our investigator F***  after that and she is progressing so well. All of our appointments for the evening cancelled but something crazy happened instead. More like a miracle. We got a call from one of our investigators (I***, who is 11 years old) Dad and was asking for the baptism to be when his brother was in town since that is who I***  wants to baptize her. They were hoping to do it on like Tuesday since they are all going to California on Wednesday but it was all craziness as she needs an interview and four more lessons. She is definitely really ready though. We ended up working it out that we will be teaching her every day until she leaves and then have her baptism next Monday at 5pm. It is going to be great! I am so impressed with I*** and her two older siblings (who are already baptized). Both of their parents are less active but the kids just have such a strong conviction to follow God and live the gospel. It is really great and amazing to see in them.
I am grateful that I am able to see God's hand in this great work and all he does for His children. He loves us and knows that we are of eternal worth!
Love you all!

P.S. Only 10 more weeks!

July 14...transfer #12

Tuesday we spent a lot of the day packing and Sister Coleman wrote a bunch of letters to people we are teaching. We delivered them and we also taught a super awesome lesson to one of our ward mission leaders foster daughters. They had recently had an FHE on the Plan of Salvation and since that is what we were teaching she already knew a lot. We are waiting for the states clearance on her getting baptized, which she really wants.

Wednesday was transfers but we did things a little different this time. Sister Coleman was going to be going to an endowment that night and her new companion is my new companions old companion, since they had lots of lessons that night and we did to Sister Hedley and Sister Lasson stayed together until 9:00 that night. We were able to find a split for me and a split for Sister Coleman so she could go to the temple and I could stay and teach lessons. That afternoon we had a super awesome lesson with Mercy. She is interesting to teach because she really does believe everything that we believe except that polygamy is no longer. We taught about the Book of Mormon and she had a very strong testimony of that book. That evening I had a really good lessons about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a good lesson because the lady we were teaching knew the gospel blesses us she just was struggling putting that faith into action. She has been doing a lot better lately.

Thursday we did a lot of contacting. Sister Hedley has a list of people her mom knows down here, since she grew up here. One of her friends that live in our area is a non-member and so we decided to go drop by. When she answered the door Sister Hedley told her that she was the daughter of her friend so she let us right in. We talked a lot about memories she had and then I decided to bring up the gospel. She has lived in Utah all her life and isn't a member. She said she had investigated the church when she was younger and never became interested. Our chapel tour was interesting. We spent about 30 minutes setting up for it and then no one showed up. It was a little disappointing but hopefully next week will be better!

Friday morning about 1:30 Sister Hedley woke me up because she had the stomach flu. So I called Sister Stewart (the mission nurse) and she said there was nothing we could really do. The Elders had told us the day before at DTM if we ever needed a blessing of healing in the middle of night they would move mountains to be able to help us out. So we called them to see if they could come and give Sister Hedley a blessing. After the blessing she felt a lot better, the only problem was that we were wide awake and not tired anymore. So we ended up watching the "Prophet of the Restoration" movie until 3:30, and then we were finally tired enough to go to sleep. The nurse called in the morning and told us to rest for the day because she wasn't sure if Sister Hedley was contagious or not. So we did our normal studies, got to know each other a lot more, and we also were able to do weekly planning and get a lot of calls done. That night since we had nothing else to do we played some Mancala and some Skip-Bo. It was fun!

Saturday was such an exciting and busy day. We were able to have quite a few lessons and we made some contacts and set up a ton of lessons for Sunday. In the morning we went to a ward breakfast and our investigators were there which was cool to see. After that we decided to go sticky note the elders door with thank you's for coming to the rescue the night before. After lunch we met with one of our recent converts and he has been talking with his non-member sister about the church and now she wants to meet with the missionaries. She is in Missouri so we talked to him about the different ways he could get missionaries over there. After that we met our new investigator. Her name is F*** and she is awesome. She is from California and right now she is here in Utah at a eating disorder treatment center. But she says she is progressing quickly. In California she was on date to be baptized and so she is very golden. She reads the Book of Mormon all the time, prays and goes to church. That afternoon we got to go down to Spanish Fork for B*** baptism. I taught him for a long time and so it was awesome that I was able to go down. That night our dinner told us about this house that they were pretty sure had non-members in it. I really don't enjoy cold contacting but Sister Hedley was a good missionary and talked me into it. It was an amazing miracle. The lady that answered the door invited us in. She said she had taken the missionary lessons before but never finished them. As we were talking she let us know that she didn't think it was for her. We showed the "Because of Him" video and her whole perspective changed. She wants us to come back and teach her and her family!  

Sunday was a busy day. We went to our coordination meeting and then we went to a ward council. We had to leave the ward council early so we could make it to the primary sharing time that we were teaching. After that we ran to another ward to teach relief society. All the topics were baptism and the covenants we make. It was such a fun lesson to teach about since that is the goal we have for everyone we teach. Our afternoon and evening was filled with lessons and all of them went really well. The sad thing that happened is we basically dropped one of our family of investigators because they just aren't progressing. But they said that if they do it, they want to do it as a family! Which is exactly what we want!

So now a little bit about my new companion. First of all, SHE IS AWESOME! She is from Toronto Canada. She is 21 and she loves to be active. She is such a hard working missionary and we have a fun time working hard. I think I am going to love this transfer! I just hope time doesn't go by to fast!

Love you all!

July 7...celebrate

Monday was a great PDay. We were able to get so much accomplished, including washing our car that hasn't been washed or vacuumed in weeks. A clean car is so much more fun to get into. I also got to go see the mission doctor. Don't worry I am okay! I have been having dizzy spells and really low blood pressure so they wanted me to come in. I am doing a lot better now.

Tuesday morning I got to go get an EKG. To see if the dizzy spells was caused by my heart. But I got good news on Wednesday my heart is totally normal. Also on Tuesday we got to do exchanges. I got to go with Sister Wang in her area. It was interesting because they cover two cities that are merged together quite a bit, so it was hard to find addresses. We did a lot of finding and setting up appointments, we also had the chance to do a service project for this young mom who has cancer. I was so shocked when I walked into the house. You could hardly see an inch of their floor. The mom was up in bed and so we got right to work. I wish I could have spent hours at their house organizing and cleaning because they really needed and deserved it. We got to eat dinner at home because they didn't have a dinner appointment set. Cooking dinner was interesting because they have a microwave and a hot plate to cook with and that's it. As I was cleaning up I moved the hot plate with our realizing it was still hot. Luckily my burn went away with in a few hours. That night we switched back for one of our appointments because Sister Naef wanted to see the people they were teaching because it was most likely her last time seeing them. So I got to teach the Parramore's in my area. The twins are too cute. We talked about the plan of salvation and I was so impressed with what they knew. Then we switched back and me and Sister Wang went and contacted this guy who they are trying to work with and he wasn't home but one of  his roommates was and she wanted to talk to us. She has really been struggling and she knows that the gospel is what is going to help her. It was such a busy day and it went by so fast.

Wednesday morning I got to do more service. We went to help this lady pack who is moving to Texas in a few weeks. We didn't get to much done before we had to leave so that I could be back with Sister Coleman. Me and Sister Coleman were able to eat lunch together and go to DTM and then we had to switch and go on exchanges with another set of sisters. This time I went to the Spanish sisters area. We also did a lot of driving around like yesterday because the area is big and they only cover the Spanish people in that area. So driving from one place to another usually took a while. All the lessons that were taught were in Spanish so I was no help. At one point in the day we went to this trailer park that made me feel like I was in the middle of Mexico. Not in a bad way at all, it was just a very humble place and all the little kids that were running around were these little Hispanic kids.

Thursday we went to another district DTM and we were able to help with the training. We talked about how to effectively plan everyday so we are using the lords time wisely. After that me and Sister Coleman headed back home to eat some lunch. The rest of the day was spent contacting but we had little success because everyone went out of town for 4th of July. That evening for our dinner appointment they had us come to the ward BBQ. All day was so hot but as soon as the BBQ started this storm cloud rolled in and it got super windy and then started down pouring. Luckily their was a pavilion everyone could get under. We ended the night with a very great training for the ward mission leaders by the stake president.

Friday was such a crazy,  fun, exhausting day. I wish I could say its because we had appointments every half hour all day long, but since it was 4th of July that was not the case. We had to wake up at 5:00am just so that we could make it to the mission office by 7:00. And with all the crazy traffic and all the roads closed for the 5K and the parade it took us 45 minutes longer than expected just to find a way to the mission office. We then got carpooled over to the high school where the parade started. The parade was so much fun, just like last year everyone stood up when we came by. You could tell who was mission moms because they were all crying. The parade this year was a little more fun because I saw a lot of people I knew. Holly Taylor and her family, Brett Palmer(who served in the Kennewick mission)  Mindy Strong, Kylie Egbert, Nathan Christensen, Copa girls, and a few more. It was so cute. They Taylor girls made me cute little posters and I got a mommy hug from Holly. After the parade we were allowed to walk around for 45 minutes or so and talk to people so me and Sister headed off to see who else we could find. After a while we got super tired of walking and it was so hot out so we headed to the chapel for lunch. During lunch I showed President McCune a picture of all 6 of us Tri-cities sisters. He asked us to send it to him so he could send it to the church news. How crazy would that be if they published something about us! After lunch we headed back to Orem and we dropped by the Cornish's for a little while to talk to them about the parade. At 5:00 we were required to go to a chapel with the district. While we were there we had a member bring us dinner, it was so yummy! And we got to watch "Frozen"! Such a cute movie! I love it! After the movie we finished by playing some volleyball. When we got home we did our planning out on the porch so we could watch some fireworks for a few minutes. We got a bit of a show but there were a lot of trees in the way. It was a fun 4th but I am excited to see what next year will be like.

Saturday we did some contacting and we also had to help some sisters out that weren't getting along. So we didn't have time to do everything that we needed to do but we had time on Sunday. Saturday night we taught some really awesome lessons, they weren't awesome because of the things we said but because the spirit was there and so strong. Sister Coleman felt prompted to go stop by this one couple who she had been working with quite a but last transfer but we haven't really seen this transfer. They usually never let us in their RV (where they live) but A***  told us she was just about to light her cigarette but when she heard us knock she put it down. She invited us in and she told us about the struggles she has been having lately with falling back into addiction. We talked a lot about the atonement and that she can use it to help her. It was such a powerful lesson. She really needed the drop by and I am grateful Heavenly Father led us there.

Sunday was going to be a busy day but then one after another appointments cancelled. We were still able to get in two really great lessons. That morning we also had the opportunity to teach the young men. We talked about getting ready for a mission and what it was going to be like adjusting to the new life. The all had really good questions. After church we finally got to do our weekly planning. We have some pretty big goals set for the month and in order to reach them we need to see more people so this next week will be a busy one.

So transfers... Sister Coleman is being transferred to Springville and I am staying and getting Sister Hedley as my new companion. She is from Canada and at one point was my STL. This is going to be a new adventure and I don't know how okay I am with it all yet but I know The Lord has inspired President McCune with these calls. So yes I am now on my 15th companion. I am freaking out a little, okay a lot because I really don't know this area very well because I have spent all transfer in other sisters areas on exchanges. How in the world do you avoid being stress? AHH!
Love you all! Only two more transfers!