Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Olympics Stripes and Hot Pot

This week was pretty great!!! We had some crazy adventures are were able to teach ALOT of lessons! It was pretty great :)

We had an awesome opportunity on Saturday to help out with the special olympics! They were having softball and corn hole tournaments! It was so much fun! There were lots of other missionaries that I have served with before there so it was fun to see friends! Most missionaries had specific jobs, like to help out in certain areas, but the assistants were just roaming and had a walkie talkie to make sure that everything else was alright that was going on! Sister Hales and I were made the assistants to the assistants so we also just roamed around to make sure everything was okay! The walkie talkie made us pretty official ;)

This week we had a pretty neat experience with Elliot. We were able to sit down after an activity at the church on Thursday and have a lesson with him. Cameron and Lucas were both able to come as well! He actually just moved in with Lucas and both Cameron and Lucas are converts-- so we couldn't ask for better fellowship! Elliot committed to baptism before and then canceled his baptism about an hour before had. Apparently there were some unresolved concerns. Sister Hales and I decided that we would read 3 Nephi 11 with him and talk about how when the Savior came one of the very first things he did was give Nephi the priesthood authority so he could baptize and we figured Christ could better explain why baptism was important. We were reading and the spirit was so strong. The coolest part is when he shared with us during the lesson that reading those verses gave him his answer and that he decided he wanted to be baptized!!!! Elliot is now working towards being baptized on October 4th :) We are pretty pumped!!!! 

Yolanda was doing great earlier this week, but we had some hic-ups yesterday. We are not sure if the baptism is going to happen this weekend or not. I guess there was just a lot that we didn't know. 

We also had a really cool experience with a girl named Kelly we met on campus this week :) Sister Hales and I had kind of had a long day and had just come out a really hard lesson. We sat down outside to do a lesson evaluation before we went and talked to some more people before we headed back to the church for dinner. We were pooped out and didn't have a whole lot of motivation. We decided that we just needed to get up and go and that talking to someone would be what made us feel better... So we did! Before we sat down, I had spotted a girl not to far from us in stripes. When we decided to get up, I was determined that that was who we needed to talk to! So that is what we did! We went and we talked to the girl in stripes. Turns out that she was at church the Sunday before and that she had been attending church in Kentucky the year before!! We were able to meet with her on Friday again and we had a sweet lesson and committed her to baptism!! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father prepares his children to receive our message!! 

So another cool story-- we were able to teach Kiki's boyfriend Min Gao this week :) We aren't sure how interested he is, but we were able to teach him more about God and we taught him how to pray. It was a pretty sweet experience. I love the spirit that comes as we teach others about God. I think that is one of my favorite things to teach on my mission! Kiki was also about to share her testimony with Min Gao and holy cow that girl is awesome!!!!!! She also made us hotpot on Sunday for dinner...which was kind of an adventure, but pretty yummy :)

Being a campus missionary is different! We get to teach so many people and we meet so many awesome people everyday, but it hard to get those we meet to keep their return appointments and often times they come across anti-mormon material between the times that we meet. So it’s hard, but it is an adventure :))

Oh and one more thing-- sweet quote I found this week :)
"Yes, every test, every trial, every challenge and hardship you endure is an opportunity to further develop your faith." Elder Russell M. Nelson

I love this truth!! Our trials are an opportunity for growth. I know that Heavenly Father knows us individually and that he also understands our divine potential. He is going to do everything that He can to help us become who He knows we can be. Our tests and trials and challenges are what shape us and allow us to become more like him. Through my trials I have found so much strength and growth. I know that God is aware and above all else, He loves us and will never allow us to fail.

I hope you all have a great week :))) 

<3 Sister Sarah Mumford

Monday, September 8, 2014

Staying at IUPIU

GUESS WHAT!!!!! Sister Hales and I get another transfer on IUPUI campus together!!! We are so excited!!!!! It is going to be great :))) We are super pumped cause with school back in session there are just so many people to talk to! It is wonderful!!! This week alone we were able to find 7 new investigators!!!! So end of story, this transfer is going to be amazing :))

Oh and total side note-- totally went running this morning along the canal that runs through Indy with some of my favorite missionaries in my zone.... yayay for Indy adventures :) 

This week we had mission leadership council! Which was awesome, as usual! It is amazing the direction and the inspiration that President Cleveland and the assistants receive for the mission! I am  very grateful for leaders who are in tune with the spirit! We were able to do lots of role plays, which was fun, and good practice! For the last two hours of mission leadership council this time, President Cleveland decided to do something a little different and we went to the park and we played sand volleyball and soccer and kickball. We were all organized into teams and everything! It was really fun-- even thought it was like 90 outside and crazy humid!

Yolanda has a new baptismal date now! Her date is now the 19th of September, so next Friday!!! This week with her was a roller coaster, that is for sure! On day she wanted to be baptized and the next she didn't want to make the commitment to change or want to repent! We had several lessons with her, not really knowing what to except. When she was at her lowest of lows this week, we committed her again to repent. She had expressed that she no longer really had a desire to repent and want to change. We were able to share our testimonies with her about the Savior and the blessings that come from making covenants with God. At the end of the lesson we committed her to pray about begin baptized and to pray for the desire to change. Not going to lie, we left that lesson pretty hopeless. We had been praying really hard for her all week, but we recognized that she had her free agency. End of story, we decided to put it in God's hands and let Him take control of the situation. We knew that if it was right and she could muster even just a little itty bitty tiny bit of faith that a miracle would happen. So that all happened on Wednesday. On Saturday we went back to her house. We had an awesome lesson on commitment and personal revelation. At the end of the lesson we asked her if she had prayed about a date and a desire to change. AND SHE HAD!!!!! She said for some reason she just kept praying about the 19th and she wasn't sure quite why, but she just did and that that was when felt right!! She even took the initiative to make some of the logistical preparation for her baptism! Her new found level of commitment I know comes because of her sincere desire to repent!! I am so grateful that the Lord softens hearts :) These next couple of weeks, well like 10 days are going to be hard for her, but they are going to be SO GOOD too. I know the Lord always provided a way when we do our best to follow His will and to keep the commandments!!

We also had a sweet lesson Sunday right after church with one of investigators named Elliot! He actually was really close to baptism about 2 months ago, but kind of chickened out... but he is meeting with us again! We were able to teach him about obedience and keeping the commandments by teaching him about Nephi in the Book of Mormon! I love how simply the Book of Mormon teaches us EVERYTHING that we need to know! I have heard it said several times that if you sincerely read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true that there is no way that you can not gain a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen this time and time again in nearly everyone that I have had the opportunity to teach on my mission. I know that Elliot will be able to make covenants with God by being baptized and be confident in His decision as he reads the Book of Mormon with and honest and open heart-- and is willing to act on it!
I think I have mostly seen this principle manifest in myself on my mission! I have learned so much about my Heavenly Father and about my Savior, Jesus Christ as I have been about to more sincerely study the teachings that are found in the Book of Mormon!! The Book of Mormon truly testifies of Christ and of God's love for all of His children. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to share this testimony with others on my mission!!!!!!

Well sorry for the super de duper long email today!!!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, especially for Yolanda!! I know that they are making a difference!! 
I love you all <3

Sister Sarah Mumford

Following a prompting

Here's a great story from 2 weeks ago

Okay so here is another really cool story that I just had to share!! So this morning we were on campus and we were walking around. We had just had a pretty cool restoration lesson with a guy from Burma, his name was Joseph and we committed him to baptism (didn't say yes.. but thats okay) but he has agreed to meet with us again! So sister Hales and I went and sat down and had a  quick lesson evaluation (where we talk about how the lesson went and the individual's needs for the next time that we meet). Anyways we got up and we had originally planned to go the way that we always go back towards the front end of the library, but instead I really felt that we needed to head in the opposite direction. So I told Sister Hales that and really having no idea where we were headed we took off. It was right in between classes, so campus was flooded with people! We were walking and Sister Hales saw a girl and said hey, we gotta talk to her! So we did, which was different for us, because we usually don't stop people who are walking, we usually try to talk to people who are already sitting down. We ended up walking back towards the library with her-- her name is Jackie. We had an amazing lesson with her on the Restoration. We also committed her to baptism.. she was actually raised Catholic and didn't want to commit right then and there to be baptized, but she was so excited about the message that we shared and wanted to learn more. We are actually meeting with her again tomorrow!!!! Right before we left she actually told us that she has been looking for church and more direction in her life! I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father guided us to her today!!!!! I know he knows all of His children and is aware of their needs individually!!! 

Just thought I would share that cool story!!! oh and totally almost forgot our #sundayselfie


Here's Sarah's news from August 25th

I am SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!!! What an awesome week :)) And we are on campus emailing RIGHT NOW... and their are people everywhere... and after a meeting with the Dean of Students... we are back in business!!! We can work on campus again... we just can't have first contacts with people in buildings, but their are plenty of people outside.... WE are just SO PUMPED to work this week!!!!!! 

Michael and Kiki are both now officially members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! I am so proud of both of them and the changes and the commitment that they both made!!! Sister Hales and I were so blessed to have the opportunity to teach them, to share those things that we know are true with them!!! They are both just so fantastic!!! Michael couldn't stop grinning the WHOLE time... it was awesome-- especially since he struggles to always show his emotion! Kiki came out of the water smiling pretty big too. She explained to us that she just felt light... that she knew she was clean again! Righteously living the gospel cleanses us!! I love that they are at the beginning of a journey.  They were baptized and received the gift of the holy ghost which was the gate way to the path to return to live again with our Heavenly Father!! 
I loved that I had the opportunity to be a part of Michael and Kiki's conversion. Teaching them, and then having the opportunity to watch them be baptized and make that covenant with God and receive the Holy Ghost reminded me of the covenants,the promises that I have made with Heavenly Father. I think one of the biggest things that serving a mission has taught me is that Heavenly Father will always keep His promises to us!!! By making this covenant with God, as I have strived to keep my end of the deal-I have been blessed more then I could have ever imagined. Our Heavenly Father is perfectly aware of our needs and is just waiting to bless us!!! I know that living the gospel truly brings us joy!!!

I also had the opportunity to go back to the Carmel Ward on Friday night to see Sabrina Stiegler get baptized!!!!! She is now almost 7 months preggo!!! She has changed so much!!! It was amazing to see the light in her eyes. It was also fun to see familiar faces and old friends :) 

IUPUI Adventures

Here is Sarah's news form August 18th

This week was awesome!!!! A little strange... but who isn't up for an adventure!

No one is on campus this week, which is a total bummer. We are super excited for fall semester to start next week so we can talk to more people again! BUT... we got "kicked off" of campus by the Dean last week. And by we I mean the elders. Apparently we are not allowed to solicit and what we are doing as missionaries I guess qualified as soliciting. So we are respecting that for the time being. The zone leaders and President Cleveland have a meeting with the Dean this week. So hopefully everything will work out so we can work on campus again!! So anyways... that made for a strange week. But its all good :) This also mean that we went on 2 exchanges this week!! We went to Greencastle and the Indy 3rd ward. It is always fun to go and serve with other sisters. 

We were actually able to go back to the fair on Monday (got free tickets) and President Cleveland gave all of the missionaries permission to ride some rides.... CRAZY. It also decided to rain cats and dogs, so that made for an adventure!! 

Michael and Kiki are both doing fantastic!!! Their baptism is this Saturday! We are so excited!!! Both of them had their interviews this week and both of them asked Elder Van Haren, and elder serving in our ward to baptize them! 
Coolest Michael story of the week. So we had a lesson with one of our other investigators, Taylor. We could not find any one to go to the lesson with us, but we had just had a lesson with Michael right before, so we asked him if he would like to join us!!! So, Michael came with us and bore a sweet testimony of why it is important to keep the sabbath day holy... it was awesome!!! He is so ready to be baptized!!! 
Kiki was super nervous for her interview-- so we went over the questions with her, which of course she flew threw with ease. After we finished the last question we told her we were done and she was like... wait, that's all?!? that was easy. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father prepares his children to make and keep sacred covenants. Kiki and Michael are both so prepared. What a wonderful opportunity I have to teach them!! 

Terribly hilarious story.... So we were on exchanges with the Green Castle sisters and we were walking home to go to have lunch. Well there was a tree that was hanging over the sidewalk and the sidewalk was super bumpy. And guess who ran SMACK into the tree... yup I know how embarrassing. Thank goodness it was only me and S
ister London (the sister I was on exchanges with!)

I hope that you all have a great week!!!! Thank you for your continued prayers and support! 

<3 Sarah

Busy Busy Busy

Here is Sarah's news from September 2

This week was fantastic!!! I feel like every email now starts that way..... which of course is awesome!!!! This last week was pretty busy- 

Monday was preparation day an Family Home Evening
Tuesday we mostly "PC"ed (personal contacted) on campus and meet lots of amazing new people!
Wednesday was Sister Hales and Elder Bakers birthdays! and President Cleveland came on a church tour with us with a member, Kaley and her non-member Jewish friend Daniel!
Thursday we had Zone Conference!!! It was super exciting we used the office missionaries IPADs to video our role plays... talk about instant feed back!
Friday we had an awesome exchange with the sisters who are serving in the White River Ward.
Saturday we exchanged with the sisters who are serving in Plainfield 
Sunday is game day at church!! We were super excited that our investigators, Elliot and Yolanda came!!! plus lots of other meetings!

So not that you necessarily wanted a play by play on my week... long story short it was lots of fun and lots of work! It sure is a good thing that I love being busy :)

So amazing miracle of the week!!! YOLANDA HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!! So Yolanda has been coming to church for nearly 10 years. Her mom and her sisters are both members, she just has never felt totally ready to make that commitment. When things got pretty rough for her last year she decided to meet with missionaries again, so she has been investigating the church for a while. !! After talking to our branch president, President Myers, we were pumped because he also had had the strong impression that she needed to get baptized sooner rather then later. Her original goal was to be baptized next summer! We felt like this was way far away and that she needed the gift of the Holy Ghost and the blessings that come from making a covenant with God much sooner. So we shared all of this with her on Friday and had a sweet lesson with her about the blessings that come from being baptized. At the end of the lesson she agreed that she would pray about being baptized on September 13th.
So, fast forward to Sunday, after church I am chatting with her in the hall. I asked the usual like how she was doing and what she like about church and stuff. I then asked her if she had prayed about the 13th and what she thought about it. She started to list off a bunch of excuses... like I don't feel ready and I don't know if I will be a good mormon and this is a transition period for me and I don't know if I want one more change and so on. I wanted to but in and ask her to think about the blessings, but instead I decided to just listen. At the end (which felt like and eternity, but in reality was probably only like 2 or 3 minutes) she finished with a simple "but yeah the 13th sounds good to me." I think scared her with how excited I was!!!! hahahhahaha We are just so excited with her. She for sure has some set backs still (just with her own desire and feeling prepared.. so if you wouldn't mind praying for her that would be great!) but we are so exciting that she is so willing to take this HUGE leap of faith. I know that the blessings that come from being baptized, making promises with God and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, those things are invaluable! We can not make it through this life with out the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit, the 3rd member of the Godhead to guide us! I am so grateful for a God who loves and is going to do everything He can to help us return to live with him again! We are super pumped for her baptism and hopefully there will be many more to come!!!!! 

Well that is probably all for today!!!! I am so grateful for this gospel and for the opportunity I have to be a full time missionary!!! Everyday I have the wonderful opportunity of seeing the had of the Lord in my life! I am so grateful for this marvelous work!!! I love you all and thank you so much again for your support!! 

<3 Sister Sarah Mumford 

State Fair Gators and Goats

This week was fantastic!!! So many adventures!! And Sister Hales, just like last week is wonderful!! We work so well together!! I am just so grateful that we became such fast friends. Being a missionary when you get to work so closely with someone you love just makes it that much more rewarding! 

This week was kind of crazy!

So Michael is progressing wonderfully !!! We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week. Actually, he was super hesitant at first. He didnt feel like he could give up drinking tea. We of course gave him a pep talk and told him that of course he could. The next day, we asked how living the word of wisdom had been going and he told us that he just threw it all away and was done!!! GO MICHAEL!!! And he announced that his baptism was on the 23rd at 1pm at FHE this week! He already just fits in perfectly with the branch- we love it!!!!! He has his interview this week-- and we only have a few more lessons to teach him.. we are getting pumped for his baptism!! It is really neat to see the change that is happening to him. I feel so lucky as a missionary to have a front row seat to conversion!!! 

Kiki is also doing wonderfully!! She is so sweet!! And Sister Navarro got to come to a lesson with us this week! We were so excited. Actually at the beginning of this week, we were in a bit of a panic. Kiki wasn't returning our texts and when we called her it went straight to voicemail, she didn't show up to her lesson and usually we can find her in the library and we couldn't. So we were pretty frustrated and confused about all of that earlier this week. Well on Friday we got a text from her saying that someone had stolen her phone charger while she was at the library and that it took her a few days to get a new one. We were so grateful that she wasn't dodging us!! I think my favorite thing about teaching Kiki is her love for the gospel!!! If we rewind to two months ago, she had no idea who God was and she didn't have a relationship with him. Baptism was never even a thought of hers. It is amazing to hear her pray because her prayers are so pure. You know that she knows Heavenly Father is there and that he listens. You can feel her desire to grow closer to him! She has been experiencing some opposition from her friends but she said that she doesn't care what they say because she knows that she is doing the right thing! Boy oh boy I just love her!!! 

And on an exciting note, last night I got to see Muttie and Sue Fleener at the "Why I Believe" fireside. It was sooooo good to see them again!! They are just as sweet as ever. The first thing that Muttie did was come up and give me a huge HUG! haha gotta love him. Thank goodness I have permission from President to hug him!!! 

Okay.... so now it is story time. On Saturday we had the opportunity to go to the state fair and help some members show their goats..... THAT'S right.. you heard what I said... SHOWED GOATS. So Sister Hales knew this family from one of her last areas and they needed some help showing their goats. A couple of other missionaries that also served in that area who are now in Indy also got to go! It was crazy. Never in my life did I ever think that I would show goats, I mean milking a goat was enough, but showing goats! So we would take the goat and walk around the ring in front of the judge and then we would ask to stop and we would have to place the goats feet (which invovled moving them to the right positions-- so their udders looked the best). It was crazy fun!!!!! And kind of stinky. I think every goat I showed stopped and peed when we were parading around. Talk about an adventure!!!! But really :)

At the Fair with Sister Cooley Sister Hunt and Sister Hales

Well I love you all!! I hope you have an amazing week and thank you for your love and support! I really love it when I get to hear from you all!! 

<3 Sarah 

Welcome to INDY

Hello Hello!!! So I am now on IUPUI CAMPUS-- which means that I am in the Indy YSA Branch!! It is so much fun!!! My companion is Sister Hales. She is so much fun and knows how to work really hard! Basically we are like the same person.. okay not really, because that would just be weird, but what I guess I am trying to stay is that we get along really well!!

So a little bit about campus life :)
-We spend all of our time on campus. The only place we teach lessons besides on campus is at the church
-Summer term is about to end, which means fall will start in just a couple of weeks, which means... LOTS of people to talk to!!!
-Sister Hales and I got white washed in-- double transferred, which means that we are both new in the area-- which makes the first week an adventure!
-We pack our lunches everywhere and most of the time eat dinner at the church.
-Weekends on campus are DEAD. So we try to do as much service as we possibly can on Saturdays!!
-We get to go to FHE (family home evening) and Institute every week and our investigators come too  :) 

So now about the people that we are teaching!

Michael: Michael is 19 yrs old. He has been meeting with the sisters for about 2 months now. In our very first lesson we were able to commit him to baptism.  After several months Michael decided to finally pray about if what the missionaries were teaching him  was true and that he got the answer yes! He has been pretty religious his whole life, but he really likes the Book of Mormon and the fact that we have a modern day prophet. We were able to extend the baptismal date of August 23rd to him!! We love it because he knows almost everyone in the Branch already. In the words of our ward mission leader, Logan, he is "basically already a member!" We are excited to prepare him for baptism and to help him live his testimony! 

Kiki: Kiki is a PHD student. She is super cute! She didn't know who God was at all, but was taught about him and prayed about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. When she got her answer yes  that God was real, she decided to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. Her baptismal date is also August 23rd!

Awkward story of the week-- one of our investigators was at church. Her name is Yolanda. We didn't know that she was an investigators until after church...... #newsisterprobs

Love you all!! Thank you for your continued support <3 Sarah

And we made homemade mango salsa!!!