Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Food Poisoning, Frog Legs and New Investigators

September 23,  2013

There is never a dull moment in the life of a missionary. Seriously. Nothing ever goes quite like we plan or expect it to. That is probably because our feeble little minds are not quite able to comprehend Heavenly Father's plan, but boy oh boy do I have some adventures to share this week!!

Tuesday: We went and visited a less active family in the ward that we hadn't met yet. We had a fantastic lesson with them on temples and the importance of eternal families. She even said she would try to find her dress for church!! They shared a scripture with us about their opinion of President Obama........ it really made us giggle a little (Psalms 109:8).
We also went to lunch with our district after district meeting. The four Elders in our district are all Spanish speaking elders and all Latino, except for the one elder who is  a visa-waiter for Argentina. We went to a very delicious Mexican restaurant called Ricky's. It was basically a glorified taco-stand... a lot like Chubby's at home... only one problem...how it made our insides react for the two days following..........

Wednesday: Sister Cutler and I were super adventurous and tried (drum roll please) FROG LEGS!!!! I sure wish we had our cameras with us to take a picture. Strange thing.... what they all say is true-- it tasted like chicken. We are teaching a less active (well maybe sometimes active family) who is coming back to church and have a 10 year old daughter who wants to be baptized and she made frog legs!!! Still kind of can't believe I actually ate it.

Thursday: This day was so fantastic!!! It was so busy we didn't even have dinner!! We did our weekly planning (which takes 3 hours...or more....),  taught 4 lessons that members were able to come with us to, and we got 2 new investigators!!! This truly made up for how nasty we felt!

Friday: This day’s adventure was a little different in nature. It was really raining and we didn't have the car and we decided that walking to the few appointments that we had might be a little safer then biking. We were walking home to take our dinner break and this man rolled down his window and pulled over and started talking to us. It was a little strange to have a random man stop us (see as missionaries, we normally do all the stopping-it was creepy, but almost refreshing) but then again nothing we do as missionaries is quite normal. Turns out he was a Jehovah's Witness preacher who had met with missionaries before. I think he was trying to indoctrinate us, but Sister Cutler and I just listened. We asked him why he stopped us and surprisingly he didn't have an answer for us. I think he has a subconscious desire to learn more. He was a neat man and a polite one too, it was just very strange.

Saturday: We were able to go to the Stake Activity, which was the "Country Fair". It was really fun and we helped the family in our ward that was in charge of the shaved ice. There was a big potluck dinner-- Sister Cutler and I realized after we finished eating that by the way we ate that meal it probably looks like no one feeds us. They had a big tug of war competition with all of the missionaries that came (20 plus Elders and us.....) Our team won.. of course ;)

Sunday: We made a discovery!!! The Warsaw Chapel is on land that has an apple orchard behind it..... that the church OWNS!!!!! The apples are so yummy!!! We grabbed as many as our hands could hold and have eaten a lot of them. Now I know what I will be eating for the next month or so while they are still fresh from the tree!!!!!!!

Now all of you probably know more than you want to about my week :) On a little bit of a more spiritual note about my adventures, this week Sister Cutler and I have been studying the atonement lots! It has been neat to see how Heavenly Father makes weak things strong. We have not been super fantastic about asking for referrals, but as we have borne our testimonies about Our Savior, and then asked we have received so many, more then we could have ever imagined!! As long as we rely on the Lord in our lives and realize that everything is done through and by the power of the Atonement, he will bless us in ways that we can not even comprehend.

I love you all!! Thank you for your prayers and continued support oh and letters too :)


Friday, September 20, 2013

Bikes in Warsaw

 September 9, 2013

This week was an adventure to say the least :) Sister Cutler and I still get lost... a lot, but we are thankfully starting to really get to know our area and the members in it. It is so fun to serve in a ward with so many individuals who are so excited about missionary work. We are starting to have more lessons in members’ homes which is just so fantastic!!

Sad to say the other sisters who serve with us in Warsaw totaled the car this week. From what we understand the accident was really bad and they shouldn't have walked away from it (but they did :D). We did go a while without a car at all- so this week we did a lot of walking and biking! The bikes are super nice, and now I have a super fantastic biking bag, but I am also very grateful for a car. Riding modestly is sometimes a challenge on windy days in Warsaw... if you can imagine. Thank goodness it is cooling down as well. 70 degrees on a bike is not bad, but 80 or 85 with humidity sometimes makes it hard to look like a representative of Christ at our appointments we have biked to!

We now have two investigators with a baptismal date!!!!!!! We were able to give both of them dates this week. It was so exciting!! And of course I have to tell you a little bit about them :)

Lucinda  is in her 40s and is a sweet woman. She is really tall (I think 6'3''). She has such a strong desire to learn. We brought Sister Nichols from our ward with us to her lesson. As we sat outside on her camper outside of her trailer and explained the importance of baptism, the spirit was so strong. When we asked her if she would accept her baptismal date-- her answer almost sounded like "duh, yeah I will be baptized" It was so exciting!!! This Sunday was her 3rd Sunday at church!

We were also able to give a baptismal date to Gloria, she is only 10 years old. Her parents are both less active right now. But Gloria said she would like to be baptized and they have started coming back to church again. We have only met with her a few times, but yesterday in our lesson after we extended her a specific date, we asked her why she wanted to be baptized. She said it was because she wanted a relationship with the Lord. HOLY COW... that is deep! But so perfect. Her understanding of the importance of baptism is so clear, I love it!

Sister Cutler and I have had a lot of laughs this week and I would love to share just a few of them with you... maybe you will find a little bit of joy (even if you are laughing at me) as well!

1. I put on my helmet backwards.... 2 days in a row. Best part- took a picture before I realized.
2. A member after a lesson asked if we wanted Ice Cream Sundaes. So, we drove through the McDonald's drive through. We drove through and it was fine, but then we decided we needed to go back through again and get some to take home to the other sisters. Only problem is she paid and started to drive off.......... so we drove through the drive through again (3rd times the charm, right?) cut a few cars off and successfully (after much laughter) got the remaining sundaes!

I am so excited to see what else this transfer has in store. It seems like the members are "catching the wave" as Elder Nelson would say and that there are so many people who are ready to receive the message of the restored gospel. I am so grateful I can share my testimony of the gospel with so many people. The atonement is for everyone! To more adventures and hopefully more investigators with baptismal dates this coming week!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Teach Baptize

This week was fantastic!! As usual :) 2 more of our investigators now have a baptismal date for November and Lucinda is progressing a lot faster then we had first thought she would, so we are going to move her date up. It is so exciting to be part of these changes that people are making in their lives. It has been nice to have several opportunities to teach and hopefully if all goes as planned (well as the Lord plans) we will continue to find more people to teach!!!

This may sound a little crazy- I have done a lot of thinking this week (I know pretty crazy). I think being on my mission and serving the Lord is the happiest that I have been in my entire life. It is a different kind of happy, a more pure kind of joy. Don't get me wrong, I was plenty happy before my mission, but inviting everyone I meet to come closer to Christ has brought me so much more joy. It is fantastic!!! And I love being a missionary :D

Now this is exciting!! I finally got on a computer today that I can send some pictures..... so whether or not you want to see them, here they come!! 

This is my super cute companion and trainee, Sister C!! We have a lot of fun together and have been so blessed to have so many opportunities to teach!

I really love this Bike. It helps me do missionary work......even when I put my helmet on backwards.......2 days in a row...... hahahahahaha 

Thought you might get as good of a laugh as we did (and yes-we did not notice the helmet was backwards until after the picture. You have permission to laugh at me) 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Welcome to Warsaw

I have a new home!! I am now in Warsaw, Indiana! So far I love it!! Our area is the entire county (it is pretty huge) but that is okay, it just means that there is lots of work for us to do! We live in town- which is super convenient. We actually share an apartment with the other sisters serving in our ward, which is super de duper fun!! (except for the 4 girls to one itty bitty tiny bathroom and not very much time in it). Because of the number of new missionaries, we now share a car! That is a new adventure in and of itself. But I decided there had to better a better mode of transportation than just my feet ;) and after talking to some members in the ward and some other missionaries........ (drum roll please) WE GOT BIKES!!!!!!!!!!!! Well we get our second bike tomorrow! I am so excited :) We will be able to talk to so many more people the days of the week where we ride instead of drive. You should ask my companion how excited I have been about this.... hahahaha SO EXCITED!!!! So that is probably the most exciting part of my new adventure!

So let me introduce you to my new companion. Her name is Sister Cutler. She is super cute and super fun and is already a fantastic missionary! She is 23 and already graduated from BYUI with a degree in Biology! We have already had a lot of good laughs together and some fantastic lessons!!

We were double transferred into the area, but the sisters before us had set up 4 appointments for our first day in the area. Which was fantastic, because we have already met almost all of our investigators!! Yayy :)  We are giving a bunch of them baptismal dates this week, which will be super exciting. They all seem so prepared to learn and to make this change in their lives. I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks (hopefully much much longer) in Warsaw!

Oh and my district leader is a Spanish speaking elder and for some reason he thinks I am bi-lingual.... it may or may not be because we text him random lines from the Spanish conference ensign we have-- which is actually funny because we have a few Spanish investigators—a family whose mom has not been actively attending church for 20 some years, and wants her kids to learn more about the church. Stephanie who is 13 and Bryan who is 12 both want to be baptized! We are going to give them baptismal dates tonight :) We were able to teach them a lesson on the plan of salvation last Thursday. It was fantastic. Bryan and Stephanie were able to explain most of the plan from the cut outs that we have. The spirit was so strong as their mom bore testimony of the importance of baptism and as we discussed how we can dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father when we are baptized in the celestial kingdom. I love being a missionary!!

The church is true :) I feel Heavenly Father's love for me and for all of our investigators everyday! It is so exciting to teach people about the gospel. Thank you all for your prayers and your support! I love you!


I'm Having a Baby!

Yes, that is right, I am having a baby!! On Wednesday I will pick up my brand new green missionary at transfer meeting and take her who knows where (we will find out at the meeting)!! Epppp!! I am excited!! And a little nervous. This will for sure be a new adventure. I am excited to teach her all about being a missionary.....since I know soooo much (NOT!). Our mission is opening 14 new areas this transfer, so maybe that is where we will be sent. So next Monday I will know my new address.. If anyone is just DYING to send me mail, you can send it to the mission home and it will get forwarded to my new home :) I still can not believe that I have already been out for 3 months, 2 transfers, and am officially done with the training program.... until I start it again on Wednesday.. hahah

It will be really sad to say goodbye to Indy 1st. I have really grown to love the ward and to love the investigators that we do have! We still have not been able to meet with Mandy :( but she is getting surgery later this week, so Sister Hamblin and her new companion should be able to start teaching her soon!! 

It was neat to see the spirit work here in Indy 1st. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to take in this life changing.... ooopps eternity changing- process!! To be a tool in the Lord's hands is such a fantastic opportunity. As we invite others to come closer to Christ and to repent in their lives I cannot help but desire to draw nearer to him in my own life. 

I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father. I know that I am his daughter and that he is the Father of each of our Spirits. He loves us so much that he provided a beautiful plan and a way for us to return to live with him again. We are placed in families to learn and to grow, to ultimately become like our Savior. I am eternally grateful for our Heavenly Fathers' sacrifice, he loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us, that we might have the opportunity to return and live with him again. Through his son, we can become clean once again so we can live in our Father's presence again. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, for Joseph Smith the prophet who restored the Christ's church once again to the earth. With out the loving word's of the prophets, found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and from our modern day prophets, we would not know of the fullness of this gospel, we would not know what it would take to return to live again with our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to share these simple truths everyday as a missionary. I love the gospel and I love serving a mission!



Wednesday we went to a mission conference. Elder Switzer and President Cleveland both trained. It was an amazing meeting!! It was so fun to see Sister Blacker (my MTC companion) and Sister Vidmar again.. oh and my 4th or 5th cousin Elder Craven-- like a little mini- MTC district reunited! To hear these men talk about their love for missionary work and to teach us was fantastic

Sadly, we did not get to meet with Mandy this week, she is still very sick :( Sister Hamblin and I were able to fast for her this Sunday. She has such a strong desire to learn more and grow closer to our Heavenly Father, I know everything will work out, we just need to be patient and keep praying for her health. 

We were able to meet with one of our other investigators Nick, I think I wrote about him last week, but I am not entirely sure. He is fantastic. He wants to over come several things in his life. He wants to quit smoking, he wants to let go of his past, he wants his family to be centered on Christ and he wants to be baptized. He is so prepared. In our lesson yesterday, he actually told us that he know he needs help and wants to come closer to his savior, but he knows that he needs us (the missionaries) to be his guides. Talk about prepared. I am pretty sure that he made my week!!! 

Thank you all for your continued love and support. I know I couldn't be here without all of you behind me! I felt your prayers and your love this week. Thank you for all that you do to enable me to do the Lord's work. 

This is my "step-family" It goes Sister Barrett (step-aunt), Sister Tagg (step-gma), Sister Hamblin (step mom), Sister Blacker (step-aunt and MTC comp!!), Sister Vidmar (Step cousin- also from MTC district!), and Me!

This is Naradah who comes to lost of lessons with us :) I am sure you know that I think she is fantastic!!
I got to see Sister Blacker on Wednesday.... BEST DAY EVER... we are both praying we get to be companions again soon!!!