Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tender Mercies

This week was fantastic!! We were so blessed to have PERFECT weather here in Indy! It was in the 70’s most of the week and not too humid! Heavenly Father decided that he would bless Sister Hamblin and I with the opportunity to take advantage of this gorgeous weather!! Most of our appointments- okay-- not most, ALL of our appointments with investigators this week fell through. It was sad, but as we went about our day we prayed for guidance as we followed through with our back up plans- -which mostly consisted of tracting. We had the opportunity to meet several people and hopefully we will be able to go back and see lots of them this week!! I think I have now officially broken in my mission shoes ;) Well the grandma tracting ones- I do have to say they are incredibly comfortable!  So word to the wise for future missionaries- get the comfy grandma shoes-- and strange thing is, sometimes I even get compliments on them..........

I don't know how many of you have heard of missionary laminating- but yes it is real- missionaries actually do take packing tape and tape up everything-- My first piece of true missionary laminating happened this week. I had to tape my conference Ensign back together, which of course involved "laminating" it. It was so pitiful looking before. I guess I just loved it a little bit too much!! It is amazing how every talk is so applicable! I love hearing from the prophets-- I cannot wait for October, but for now I am incredibly grateful that I have my own well loved and highlighted copy to continue to study!!

This week was full of tender mercies! Sister Hamblin and I are learning how we can best work together. It is amazing to see how the Lord places the people in our path who need to hear the word from us- as a companionship (if that makes sense). I think I mentioned this before, but a lot of our appointments fell through this week. It was amazing to see how willing members were to come out and teach with us. It was just really sad when we had to cancel the lesson so last minute :( But that's okay, because it will be different this week! And all in the Lord's timing!! One of the largest tender mercies this week was the Buckles family, because, drum roll please, JACK IS AN INVESTIGATOR AGAIN!!! The Buckles family made sure to invite him on the youth boating trip this weekend and then to invite and then provide a ride for him to church on Sunday. We were able to talk to him after church and he said that he would like to meet with us again!! He apologized for not wanting to meet before. He said that he is not sure if he wants to be baptized, but he knows that he wants to keep learning more. Without the Buckle family, there is no way that he would want to meet with us. It took their love and their fellowship to help Jack have the desire to continue to learn more. One thing that I wish I had done before my mission is go out with the missionaries. Even just to knock on doors! The friendship that comes from serving and inviting others to come closer to Christ is priceless. Sister Donaldson, my Sister Trainer Leader this transfer said that our effort to get members to lessons is a direct indication of our love for our investigators. It is amazing to see the change in members here Indy--to see them open up their homes for lessons and to willingly offer their friendship and their spirits. It helps the investigators see what they are working towards, in a sense.

Sister Donaldson --my Sister Trainer leader for now

All right sorry for the rant!!! I know you probably don't want to hear sad news, but Mandy (I think I have written about her before), her kidneys are failing worse than they were before. She actually ended up back in the hospital :( We were able to get the chance to talk to her- just over the phone- about priesthood blessings. This woman has such amazing faith- right after we told her about priesthood blessings she said, "I need that- can you get me that?" We are going in a couple of days with the Elders and our Ward mission leader to her home to give her a blessing- hopefully everything will turn out- but it is all in the Lord's timing. 

I hope everyone has an amazing week! Thank you all for your prayers. I know I have said this many times before, but I feel them, it gives me so much strength to know and feel your love.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I have a new companion

I have a new companion!!!! She is pretty fun :) Sorry I don't have a picture.. (goal for next week!)  Her name is Sister Hambline and she is from a little town called Whales in Utah.   It is by Manti. She is one of 11 kids! She grew up on a farm.  While our backgrounds are different, she has a strong testimony of the gospel and I have a lot to learn from her. So I guess in mission terms she is my step-mom :)

On Monday we taught the Law of chastity to Jack. It went over well, but I had butterflies the whole day leading up to it... because come on, who wants to teach the law of Chastity -- let alone to a 17 year old boy who is already a little awkward.   It ended up being a sad day with Jack, his parents don't want him converting, so he stopped meeting with us and we had to cancel his baptismal date. This was really tough because we know the gospel has everything he needs to have a better life, but he says he is not even sure if he wants to meet with us after he turns 18 in a month. So sad day :( 
Agency is a beautiful thing-- I mean it is God's greatest gift to us, outside of our bodies-- but it is one of the most frustrating things as a missionary. 

On Tuesday we met with Mandy again! She wanted to know more about the temple!! And asked if we could take her there someday :) We asked if she would be baptized and she said of course. We talked about Joseph Smith. I cried, she cried, Sister Cordner cried. It was an amazing lesson! She says she wants to be baptized because she knows it is right and she knows it from how she feels. I cannot wait to keep teaching her! The only thing that might be tricky is law of Chastity with her. She has been living with her boyfriend from 18 years........ 

Wednesday, I got my new companion!! And Grandma and Grandpa, I checked with Elder Craven and as far as he knows we share the same great-great grandparents! So yayyyy!!!! I am serving with a cousin- like an 8th cousin or something, but still a cousin!!! Next transfer meeting we are both going to bring our fan charts so we know for sure! (Wow.. you know you are missionary when you talk about comparing family history...) Oh and we no longer have a GPS, because that was Sister Cordner's personal GPS, but I got us home from Fishers without getting lost :) And now I am a pro at reading the map, seeing as I am the official navigator as junior companion! Thank goodness I am fairly familiar with the area! My new companion is supposed to be my trainer- but this week I have "trained" her on the area, which was interesting. Not exactly what I expected, but we have still been able to work really hard, and only have gotten lost a few times :)

The more I look for the hand of the Lord in my life, the more apparent it is. I love it! It is amazing to see how he has a part of everything and how he is always watching out for us. Sister Hamblin hasn’t had a ton of driving experience in cities, but we have been kept out of harms way :) I have said a lot of prayers in the car- but it is amazing to see how Heavenly Father protects us! 

The church is true! This week was hard, with the adjustment and Jack, but that is okay, because it is all part of the plan! I love being a missionary. Oh and random but I cry almost everyday-- happy tears when I bear my testimony. I thought maybe this would change, but it looks like it is time for Sister Mumford to invest in some waterproof mascara!!



Back to Week One

Back to Week 1

Transfers are on Wednesday! I made it!! We got a phone call last night and I am staying in Indy :D SO EXCITED!! But sadly, Sister Cordner is being transferred... I am losing my mom :( but that is okay, because I will get a new trainer, or new mom? Or something along those lines. I won't find out who it is until Wednesday at transfer meeting! So next Monday prepare yourselves for an awesome picture of me and my new companion! I am so excited that I am staying! I feel like I am finally getting to know the ward members and finally find more people to teach!! Oh and I got to drive this week, well for one whole day, on exchanges in our area and I got around without the GPS! So I kind of sort of know the area too :) 

I have a firm belief in the power of exchanges! We ended up coming back to Indy for two exchanges in the past couple of weeks. It is amazing the power of an exchange, because Heavenly Father seems to put people who need to hear the gospel in our paths, even more so than He already does. We have found a ton of new investigators between the two exchanges!! Sadly, most of them cancelled their appointments like 5 hours before... but that is okay, we will keep trying! 

I don't know if I said much about Mandy in my last email, but we met with her again! She was still in the hospital, and actually just got released a few days ago. She said she was praying that we would come back and talk to her while she was in the hospital. We are going to see her later tonight!!! I can't wait. She told us that in order to prepare herself to meet with us that she quit smoking 2 weeks ago, and she used to smoke 2 packs a day and she just quit cold turkey! She is so prepared to receive the message of the restored gospel! I just cannot wait to start teaching her. She is fantastic and her spirit is so strong!! I had a super cute picture with her, but of course, I pulled a Sarah and forgot my camera cord.....

Guess who got another 17 year old male investigator. Yup, that's right, this girl. It's so weird, we are teaching three 17 year old boys right now.... crazy!! We met Casey on Saturday, when he came to Cody's lesson with him. He said he wanted to learn more! Cody is amazing and actually explained the first vision to Casey in our lesson. I don't know if it is totally allowed... but our investigator is teaching our investigator!!! Jack's baptismal date had to be moved back- for some reason the Elders who were teaching him before gave him a date of Saturday- but he said he wanted to move it because he didn't feel ready. We still have to pray about a new date with him, but hopefully by this weekend he will have a date again!! 

I don't know if anything else too exciting has happened this week. I mean besides working hard, getting rained on a sweating a lot. But hey that's half the fun!! I am so excited to see what the next 6 weeks in Indy bring. Thanks for the mail. It is always so excited to get it! I love you all so much! I can feel your prayers- I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve! I love being a missionary!!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finding Fast

This week was hard, but so good at the same time!! I love being a missionary!! Oh and Sister Ware got her VISA!!!! So yayyy for her, but sad day for me :( 

Yesterday, Sunday, my companions and I had a finding fast! This is actually something that our mission president suggested that we do. We prepared for it all week by praying to be able to be prompted by the Spirit and then align our will with our Father in Heaven’s in order to be able to prepare to be able to efficiently find those who are ready to receive the message of the restored gospel. It was amazing to see as we started to carefully follow promptings how we started to get more and more promptings!

On Thursday we got a new investigator!!!! His name is Jack and he is 17. He was actually being taught by the Elders in the ward next to ours, (Greenwood) but they found out that he is just barely in our area. He actually has a baptismal date too!! It is on the 27th of July.... So we have a lot of work in the next couple of weeks to do in order to get him ready for that! We have already met with him twice since then and we will meet with him again tonight. I think one of the most exciting parts about teaching him is to see his eyes light up when he understands things and see how he is starting to draw nearer to the Lord in his life. I love it! 

On Wednesday, we visited Mandy in the hospital. Every Wednesday we play Bingo at a rest care place. It is super fun. Sister Cordner calls out the numbers and then Sister Ware and I help people who can't see or hear very well (which is most of them) play. It is fun. Side note, there is one really cute old lady who only speaks Spanish. She has quite a bit of memory loss, but loves to sit by me. Apparently my dark hair reminds her of her daughters. We are pretty sure that she tells me how pretty I am... but then again I am not that good at Spanish.... Anyways Mandy is in charge of bingo and she wasn’t there. After asking around we found out that she was in the hospital. We all felt very impressed that we should go and visit her. She tells us every week how much she loves us and that there is something different about us missionaries. We found her in the hospital and after she recognized us she cried she was so happy to see us. We ended up giving her a short lesson and leaving her with a copy of the Book of Mormon. We asked if we could put it on her bedside table and she said "No, no, put it here, put it right here, I want it close to me," as she patted her heart. We decided to go back the next day and see how she was doing. We were so lucky. She said that she knows that we have exactly what she is looking for in her life. As I bore testimony of Christ's atonement, I felt God's love for her so strongly that I cried (which actually is not out of the ordinary for me... turns out being on a mission has made me cry...... a lot). We are so excited to see her later this week!! 
Fourth of July lunch.
We met President Cleveland on Friday!! He is awesome! His wife is super cute and a hairdresser :) We even got a basketball analogy... imagine that! It was about running suicides and how we need to touch all of the lines on our mission. We also found out a little bit more about internet proselyting. We will hopefully be picked as one of the first 50 missions to try it. Our area books are going to be totally on ipads and all missions will be electronically based within the next year!! I am so excited. It is going to move missionary work forward so much! And I am so excited to learn so much more  from President and Sister Cleveland.

So -- not too much excitement last week. I am so excited to continue to find, hopefully many many more investigators. Transfers are coming up next Wednesday (so 9 days) and from what the assistants said, it looks like Sister Cordner and I probably won't be companions for this next transfer. Sister Ware leaves in a week for Brazil (CRAZY!!). So maybe I will get two mission moms! I guess I will just have to wait and see! I love you all so much. I love reading your emails on preparation days, and the letters this past week were awesome!! 



Monday, July 1, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

It has rained buckets the past week!! Makes tracting--well, interesting....... 

Hoosier: A Kentuckian gone to Detroit who ran out of gas.

The above definition comes from a less active sister in my ward. We met with her earlier this week. We are having dinner with her tonight! She is fantastic and hilarious. She told us all kinds of crazy stories about the ghetto and drug busts when she was a police officer. She just says what is exactly on her mind. She loved when she had a calling and was active when she did, so we talked to her a lot about service. We are hopefully going to teach her the lessons for "practice" and hopefully she will come back to church, because she is fantastic and has such a good perspective on life!

This week we went on two more exchanges with the Clear Creek and Highland Sisters. I would just love to serve in either of those areas. All of the sisters I went on exchanges with this time around have a really good understanding of what it takes to be a good missionary. I love getting to know the other sisters and learn from them as I go. I especially love the Highland sisters because we work really well together and we just laugh and laugh and laugh! That is one thing that I love about being on a mission. The whole point of this life is to have joy, so I know that if I am working hard 1) I will find more joy in the gospel and serving and 2) the amount of fun and laughter I enjoy is equal to how hard I work. It is funny how the hour of personal study is the fastest hour of the day!

Being in a threesome (triship?) is hard! It is fun because there are three of us to study, plan and teach, but that is exactly why it is hard. Sister Cordner and Sister Ware are both really strong teachers, so we pray extra hard for unity and the Spirit as we teach so as not to overwhelm those who we do teach. It is strange, because sometimes I am quiet...... It is a new skill I am trying to learn......

The package from home was so sweet and so perfect!!! Everything in it MADE MY DAY!!! My companions were SO jealous, but so excited when they saw the 5 Guys gift card. I don't know how I got so lucky.... but I love you all so much!! I love being able to mark in my own copy of the General Conference Ensign. I never expected to be so excited to read conference talks, but they are the BEST! I just love having modern day prophets and so much revelation that is all so applicable to my life!!!

We went and taught the C. girls this week again (their mom was baptized about 6 years ago, but doesn’t currently attend church.) They are in very poor living conditions right now. It is really sad to see Sister C. and her five girls struggle. We were teaching our lesson and her boyfriend and some other strange boys/men came into her home. The Spirit left upon their arrival and all three of us were prompted to leave. We said a prayer and got out as fast as we could. I have been worried about those young girls all week because of all of the circumstances regarding their living situation. We called President Cleaveland (He is here now!!) to see what exactly we should do about the situation. I already love him. I could just feel his love for all of the missionaries as he spoke to us over the phone! I am really excited to meet him in person on Friday!! 

We have been teaching a Preach My Gospel class in Sunday School the past couple of weeks. This Sunday was our last class and it was on how to be a better member missionary. All of the missionaries in our ward spoke in sacrament meeting as well (I spoke on the Book of Mormon). It was so fun to see the ward get so excited about missionary work!! I have already seen a change in their attitude. As a companionship we are actually doing a finding fast this fast Sunday. I cannot wait to see the results! In fact, this Sunday we got two new investigators already!! One is a 17 year old boy named Cody-- who said he was searching for the truth and wanted a relationship with God, we invited him to be baptized at the end of our lesson and he SAID YES!!!!!!!! The other is a sweet sweet older lady named Dorothy. We can’t really tell where teaching her will go, but we can tell she already has a strong love for the Book of Mormon! Heavenly Father is real and he answers prayers. I am just so grateful that I have the opportunity to be in these people’s lives at this time. 

Transfers and coming up and rumor has is that my trainer is probably going to be transferred into an area with another Sister Trainer Leader.  So I might get another trainer ( which would be fun, cause two is better than one, right?!?) So anyways, I guess we will see in a couple of weeks. 

Being a missionary is hard. But I love it! I love serving and teaching! It is so cool to see how the Lord works through me by means of the Spirit. The church is true and I love it!!!!!!

Love you all,