Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 14

We had a great week! I can't believe that things are going by so fast.
This week was wonderful, we were able to teach more lessons than this
area has had in a while! There is lots of work to do with the less
active members in this area. We were able to help a father and son we
have been working with who hasn't been to church in years, a couple
who hasn't been coming in a while, and another woman who is less
active and her investigator husband and daughter came to church. The
last one has some serious word of wisdom problems, but they have real
intent and we were able to help them to make a plan to live it! They
have already come a long way and have cut in half their drinking and
smoking in the past week. We are so excited for them and as soon as
they overcome their addictions the father and daughter can be
baptized. It was such a tender mercy to see all of the people at
church. We are so grateful that we are able to work with them, and we
know it's nothing that we did but it is the hand of God working in
their lives to help them want to come back. We were just instruments.
They invited us to dinner and we were able to make a step by step plan
for them to stop by next Monday, the 21 and we are going to celebrate
with them next Monday night when they have stopped smoking and
drinking! YAY!

Also we are teaching the foster daughter of one of the members and she
is doing great. She is 16, and she loves yw. If it were up to her, she
would be baptized tomorrow, she went to the temple with the youth
yesterday and sat in the waiting room and walked around the grounds as
the others did baptisms. How cute. She has a date for August 9th. I
can't wait to hear about it. But she has a phone so I will have to
Skype her after I get back and talk to her on the day of her baptism

One neat thing that happened this week, we were going to visit someone
on our Ward roster that we didn't know. We drove up to the trailer,
and there was a man outside working in the yard. We asked if he knew
the name, he said yes, that's my wife she is inside. It was really
really hot and their air conditioning was out. We sat and talked with
her for a while. Turns out she was an excommunicated member who was
working on coming back to church and going back to the temple. She was
so sweet. We talked a little and she prayed, after she did she got
tears in her eyes and said "Sisters, I know why my air went out today.
Because if it had been on, he would have been in here watching the
game and you wouldn't have been able to come in. He doesn't let people
from the church come to our house." So that was a small tender mercy
that we wee able to get into that house.

We had a great district meeting this week, we played a game where all
of the missionaries would act as people who were not the elect, just
trying to talk or waste time, and one of the 10 was elect, and you had
5 minutes to find them. Fun game :) After district meeting this week,
we went out to lunch as a district and it was weird because it was on
my 18 month mark and so that was bitter sweet. Everyone was asking me
how it felt, and what it's like. I can't describe it but bittersweet.
I am grateful for all that I have learned from observing priesthood
leaders, marriages and families, and the Cravens. I have learned a lot
about leadership and how to be a good member of the church and how to
serve in a calling. I know that God lives, I know He loves us! As I
think about the scripture I read when I felt that I needed to to on a
mission, now I see the truth of it. I know that there is nothing I
would have rather done the past 18 months than share the gospel and I
know that it really has brought me the most joy and has been of the
most worth to me.

Doctrine and Covenants 15: 4-6 "For many times you have desired of me
to know that which would be of the most worth unto you. Behold,
blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have
given you according to my commandments. And now, behold, I say unto
you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be
to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto
me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father."

I love you all and I will see you real soon! Just be warned, there are
about 20 other missionaries on my flight, so the airport is going to
be a real crazy place :) It will be really fun and exciting though :)

This week I get to have my exit interview with President and the rumor
is he tells you who you are supposed to go home and marry so we'll see
if he has advise for me. Ha ha :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 7

Happy Fourth of July!
​Hello everyone! So I am inland from the hurricane, but we did have a
little rain but mostly cloudy and overcast weather, which was perfect
for bike week!

Well we did have a little trouble, sister c got a flat tire, we went
to wal-mart to get a new tube and they didn't have he right size!
Apparently her bike is a special size and they only have it in another
area. We are going to have to drive quite a ways today to get it so
she can bike again, but now we got the car back for this week, so
that's good!

One of the members is doing foster care, and she is fostering a 16
year old girl who has learned a lot about the church already. She has
gone to young women's and learned a lot, she basically taught us the
restoration and the plan of salvation. She is so solid. It's amazing
how much The Lord prepares the hearts of people to receive the gospel.
She is wanting to be baptized, and we are going to set a date when we
see her again this week!

We found a few new less actives *returning members :) to teach this
week. One is an older man who lives on his own, and hasn't been to
church in years. And one is a lady who got divorced from her husband
who is still in the Ward, she still has a testimony but she doesn't
feel comfortable, with him there. Hopefully we can help her maybe go
to a different branch or something.

People down here love Christian music and at a frozen yogurt shop this
week, we heard them playing an efy cd! We were like woah we didn't
know people loved efy music but they do! Funny.

We had a great zone meeting this week and the zone leaders talked
about overcoming fear, how to overcome our fear of talking with
everyone and how to be bold.  They had some tiny raptors and a giant
T-Rex and talked about how our faith can be strong enough to overcome
our fears.

On the Fourth of July we went down to a huge Fourth of July festival
and got to contact and give out a ton of pas along cards and talk to
people. There were so many people there!

Today we went out to lunch with a recently returned sister missionary
and a sister who is going to the MTC soon, it was fun to have people
at all different levels there, rm, missionaries, and someone with a
mission call. We went to a museum downtown and just has a blast :)

I love this gospel and I know it is true. I know that God lives, and
that He loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is His word. If it
weren't, it wouldn't testify so much of Him! I am so grateful that I
get the chance to share it for a little longer. I want to share it
with everyone while I can. I am sprinting till the end! These last two
weeks are going to be the best and hardest working two weeks of my
mission. Thank you for all your love and support. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30

Hello everyone! I hope that you had a great week :) My companion and I
just went out to lunch at Olive Garden and so that was fun :) Yummy!!!
I am full and happy. Also we are on bikes this week, so I will
definitely burn it off.

Tuesday we did service at the he food bank again. That is such a neat
experience. I am so glad that we get to do that. It's great to help
people who really need it and who don't have enough. I decided that
this time I will take a mental note of the people who come get food of
where they live so we can go find on their streets. It's probably
legal... Also we heard of a member who was found about 19 years ago
because the missionaries were searching the newspaper of people who
recently had a baby or marriage announcements or death announcements
and they would go to those addresses. Has anybody tried that? Sounds
like a good idea.

Wednesday one of our members took us out to lunch with one of her
nonmember friends. They are both funny old ladies. We had a good
conversation about the Book of Mormon, what it is and why it is
important. Then on the way home she also took us to see her mother and
aunt and we taught them as well. Go members!

Thursday we had Zone conference all day! I love meetings! It was so
great. I loved it. The zone leaders trained about having the same fire
for missionary work and the same dependence on The Lord as we did a
year ago, a year ago a lot of people on the mission were new, and
people like me were trainers after 5 weeks, and we didn't know what we
were doing, we really had to rely on The Lord, but are we relying on
Him as much now as we did then? President trained on finding and gave
some great suggestions and we had some great role plays about talking
with everyone and talking to people on different situations, like at a
restaurant or at a park. The more people we talk to, the more people
we teach! I want to be better at talking with everyone.

Thursday after zone conference we went on exchanges. I went to high
point with sister Nielsen. I have been with her 3 times. We had a real
good time. She's fun and we have gotten close. We talked a lot about
what we have learned on our missions. And she asked a lot of advise
about being a sister training leader, what advise I had for her. We
also talked to a crazy guy who thought he was a prophet. And talked to
a teenage girl named Alma, gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to
read the book of alma. :)

So we are teaching this lady who has been kind of flaky and we haven't
been able to see much but apparently they had a really good with her
while on exchange, so that's good. :) She was taught about 10 years
ago by elders and knows that what they said is true, reads the Book of
Mormon but feels like she has to quit smoking before she learns more
and comes to church, we are seeing her with a great member tonight and
we are going to help her get over that. :) The 9 year old we haven't
seen this week because her Dad has been at work :(

We had a great lesson with Lashea on Saturday.  We tracked into her
last week and have and taught her twice. She is a sweet single Mother
in her early 20's. She is just a really happy, she's quiet and soft
spoken. I really like her and I think we would be friends in real
life. We brought a great member with us and I am really excited to see
her progress!

FUNNY/CRAZY STORY: The member who went with us on Saturday, turns out
she was a missionary on our mission about a year ago, she came out
just a little before me. She served here in Salisbury for 9 months and
was teaching this less active guy and helping him get back to church.
At one point, they were going to give up and the spirit said "you
can't give up on your husband" She was like what? And turns out like a
month later, she had some really bad health problems and went home,
turned around and came back and married him and now they live in our
Ward. It's a crazy story, the way she tells it is hilarious!

We are on bikes this week. Pray for cool weather! Please. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also I got my flight itinerary and release letter in the mail this
week. Woah! Who said that could happen! I didn't know wether to cry or
be excited. I kind of feel like I have been like Rapunzel in tangled
when she leaves her stepmothers and is like "BEST DAY EVER" and then
"Oh no what have I done" I feel like I am super excited to see my
family and have a real life, but I know that this time will never come
again, I guess I will make the most of it while I can! Love ya'll!!

Sister Jenny Forsyth

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 23

Hello ya'll! I hope all is going well on the home front.

This has been a good week..because CRISSY got baptized!
I am so happy for her :) Even though I am not in that area anymore, I have been
messaging her on FB and she told me all about it. She is such a
sweetheart and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the
opportunity to find and teach her. She truly is an example of how
people really are prepared for the gospel, but know not where to find
it. She had been living with members in Idaho for 7 years, always
wanted to learn more about the church but never was invited to.
People, we need to talk to our friends and neighbors! Invite! You
never know who is ready, you never know what in their lives has
prepared them. I am so glad my companion stopped to talk to her on the
street that night, because I was going to walk right by her. It made
me so happy to hear about her happiness in finding the gospel and the
way that she felt at her baptism. And I am grateful that we have
Facebook so I can keep up with her. :)

This week in Salisbury has been good.  We had bikes, and it was really
hot. At the beginning of the week, we had to spend sometime updating
our map because it's way out of date. You kind of need a map to plan
where you need to go! We know even though that took some time, it will
bless us this week.

On Tuesday, we went to service and we have the best service project
set up!!! Ah I loved it. The neatest experience. We got to go to the
food bank and put together peoples orders and give them their food and
help them take it out to their car. It was so neat and we got to meet
a lot of great people. I am excited that we get to do that every week.
I thought a lot about how I want to do things like this for the rest
of my life, be service oriented and help other people. I think I have
learned on my mission that my life is really not my own and it's
supposed to be spent helping out other people. I don't remember who it
was, but a prophet said "My life is like my shoes, to be worn out in
The Lord's service."

We had a great district meeting on Wednesday. Sister Holman is in my
district, and it's funny because she was Steve's supervisor at the
creamery. I love finding connections and that the people in my mission
know people in my family.

We found a great new investigator tracting this week. She's so great.
She is a single mom, she's 26, we taught her a little bit and then
came back the next day with a member and had a really great lesson.
She seemed very receptive to what we were saying. She can't come to
church this week because of work but hopefully next week. There are
people prepared!

We had a girl in our Ward who is going on a mission soon and she loves
going out with us. She is super excited about everything. I love it.
She's just like " Wow, You are missionaries!" And she is just so
amazed by the littlest things and it's so cute. I hope she keeps that
her whole mission. I think we forget as missionaries how important and
special it is that we are missionaries and get to represent The Lord.
I am grateful for it.

We met with a less active who has some real word of wisdom problems.
It was so sad to see, she has so much potential and faith but has some
serious addictions! We helped her understand that through the
Atonement, she can overcome this. I have faith that she can do it, but
it won't be easy. She also has a 9 year old daughter she wants us to
teach, so we are going back to teach her tomorrow. I have taught a lot
of kids on my mission, I think The Lord is using my elementary
education background.

We taught the 9 year old daughter of another less active and she is so
cute. Her and her family came to church and it was so great to see
them. She read her Book of Mormon chapter we left her and she loves
learning. It's so sweet to see a child's faith and how they just are
so close to the spirit. Hopefully we will be able to talk to her
family about setting a date soon.

Yesterday after church we had an appointment to see a less active. But
when we looked on the roster, the note said incorrect address. So we
called and called and she didn't answer to tell us the correct
address, so we weren't planning on going. But then she called right at
the time we were going to be there and she was like "Oh aren't you
coming??" We were pretty far away and on our bikes. But we said we
would get there as fast as we could. Then the BEST members EVER came
to our rescue. They are an older couple who just moved here from Utah.
They came with their truck and picked us up and took us and our bikes
to the appointment, waited for us to finish, then took us back, and on
top of that, they had already fed us earlier in the week but theyh
asked if we had a dinner appointment and when we didn't answer because
we didn't want to be a burden, they fed us as well, they are so kind!
He said with tears in his eyes, " I have had 6 kids serve missions and
I know people rescued and fed them, so please let us help you out, I
want to
pay them back!" They are just great examples of Christian service and
Faith. Ya'll pay it forward to, if you see some missionaries or anyone
who needs help this week, go help them because I was helped!

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom, that ye
may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye
are only in the service of your God"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 16, 2014

Hello ya'll from Salisbury, North Carolina! Yup! I am officially here now with Sister Carter. She's so great. Transfer meeting was on Tuesday. Sister P was really nervous about becoming a trainer, it is her first time. Before transfer meeting, she's like "I hate transfer meeting, it's like the reaping!" For those of you who have seen the Hunger Games, it's when they pick one person out of the crowd to go into the hunger games. I was like "Don't worry, when they call your name I will run up and say " I VOLUNTEER AS TRAINER!!" Ha ha. The meeting was really great though, President talked about our potential and what Heavenly Father sees in us. He is always such an inspiring speaker. All of the members here agree and love hearing from him.
I got a great welcome from Salisbury :) It's a great place. It's SO country! Everything is trailer parks and forest and run down houses from the 1800's as far as the eye can see. SO much different than the wealthy Waxhaw.

There are a lot of things that I love about Salisbury...
-Everyone here is actually Southern and has thick Southern accents. Maybe I'll catch one before my time is up :)
-Everyone is so nice! The ward is wonderful. There is a family, the Artensen family who used to live in South Jordan. I went to High School with their son and daughter, and Steve knows their younger daughter and I'm pretty sure Mike knows their older daughter.
- The Ward Mission Leader brought us donuts during our studies one morning. He also is kind of goofy and reminds me a lot of John.
- We have a set of Elders in our ward! It's fun to be serving with another set of missionaries.
- At church yesterday, a less active member who hasn't been to church in years came and asked us if we could teach his 9 year old daughter and wife and help him come back to church. Sweet. We're going to see them tonight!
- Okay so here one of the members is an expert on Bikes. Turns out my bike has been braking non stop while I have been riding, and the tires have been flatter than they should be. SO all of the times I was biking and thought I was a whimp and out of shape are NOT true. YAY! I can't believe I have been riding on it for that long and just thought I was a wimp. At least I haven't had to ride it too much. I have been in full car areas my whole mission, and just ride it on Saturdays. BUT good thing I got my bike fixed now, because we are in a car share area, so we only have it every other week.
- Sister Carter, my new companion took an INSTITUTE CLASS FROM DAD. Weird, right? She's from Sandy, and she's hilarious.
- There are lots of less actives in this area, and lots of people to visit and see and hopefully we'll turn them into teaching opportunities!
I listened to a wonderful talk the other day from Elder Holland from when he was a President at BYU called "The Will of the Father". It's great and I think ya'll should read it. He talks about how the very first thing that Christ tells the people in the Americas is that he has done the Father's will and been submissive in all things. And one of the very first stories in the Book of Mormon is Nephi being asked to kill Laban. He says it isn't a coincidence that story is placed so early in the Book of Mormon, but it is there to teach us the importance of obedience to the Fathers will.  And in turn, the first thing that Christ will want to know about each of us is how obedient we each have been to what Heavenly Father has asked of us. It's a great talk, and it really makes you think about where you can follow the Savior more closely. Go read it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9, 2014

We got TRANSFER calls this week. President said "Sister Forsyth, we always know you love adventure, are you up for one last change?" AH. I am getting TRANSFERRED to a new area for my last 6 weeks. I am excited, but it will be strange trying to build relationships with members and people when I know I won't be there for long>>> But I will try!
This week was great. We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders and two of them came here with me. They actually have a missionary from Ukraine who got relocated to Charlotte, and it was interesting to hear from her all of the things that are going on there and what the work was like there. We had a great day of teaching and finding, we had fun and learned a lot from each other. 

Crissy is doing so great! She has so much faith and has such a strong desire to be baptized. We taught her twice this week and it's so neat to teach her, she is just so excited about the gospel and she does her reading, prays, comes to church, and she just loves everything that we teach her. She reminds me of the scripture that says there are people who are kept from the truth, only because they know not where to find it. She's one of those and now that she has found it she loves it! I am so sad that I won't be here for her baptism which is set for the 21, but I will be able to talk to her on Facebook and keep up with her. 

We also had dinner with part member family. She has been a member for 17 years, and he has never come to church, but I mentioned a while ago that recently he has been reading and praying every day with his wife, and coming to church alot of the time. It's amazing to see the change that this can make in people. He'll take a while, but I know that he'll join the church one day! It's amazing to see the progress in him even since I have been here. 

We had Zone Meeting we learned a lot about teaching people not lessons, and we had a training on how to ask inspired questions. We read from the Book of Mormon together on how the missionaries asked inspired questions to the people they were teaching and learned a lot. 

In downtown Waxhaw, there was a little party on Friday night. Actually there were bands playing until like 11:00 and we are right next to it so it was hard to sleep. But, we went out contacting people and talked to a lot of people. Also they had nitrogen frozen ice cream, and it was so good! I don't know how but it is the best ice cream ever. Ya'll should try it the next time you see some. 

I took pictures with some of the great families in Waxhaw and said goodbye yesterday! There are so many wonderful people I have learned so much from. A lot of what I have learned on my mission is what kind of family and marriage that I want someday. I have had so many great examples to learn from.
Off to my next and last adventure! I'll let you know where I'm going!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 2, 2014

This is our District. And the second is Thelma. Notice how she is in the shade eating a sandwich while we work...
Hello everyone! Can you believe it's June already! Crazy!

Let's see. This week we had a great district meeting. I really learn alot from our district leader (even though he is 18 and 4 years younger than me.. don't' want to talk about how old that makes me feel) he is successful and good at motivating and training us on how to do better. And we all went to Sams Club for district lunch after, yum :)

We had dinner with this lady in the ward who just had a baby last week! She's so great and she's so giving and it was kind of her to feed us even with her new baby. She served a mission so she is always ready and willing to help us out and feed us. I think I said this before but our ward has a lot of sisters who have served missions, which is wonderful! And this member's neighbors came to church for the baby blessing! Yay for member missionary work! 

We helped our neighbor, Thelma this week with more ​yard-work. She is a hilarious old lady. We talked about what happens at her church, and what happens at ours. She's great. 

Crissy is doing great! ( the one I talked about last week who moved here from living with a member in Idaho). We had a lesson in a members house with her about the plan of salvation and she loved it. She really just soaks everything up, does her reading, and I love the opportunity to teach her! She says everything in her life is starting to make more sense now. She is still working towards her date on June 21

Blechhhhhhhh for the past 3 days though I have been in bed with the flu. Fever, sore throat, headache, stomach ache. The works. I haven't even been sick my whole mission for more than a couple hours until now! This flu was bad, but I'm feeling much better and almost back to normal. I was well enough to go to church yesterday. I love fast and testimony meeting, and some of the recent converts bore their testimonies and they are so sweet and a lot of them are struggling with a lot of issues but it's amazing how when they are planted in the Gospel, they can get through it. We also had dinner with the Bishop and his family, and talked about what we can do to work together. Also they made us homemade ice cream, yum!!!!! 

Fun fact. I accidentally stepped in an ant hill this week, and got bitten all over my foot. Yuck. 

Well I hope we can pick up the work now that I am feeling better! I want to work hard with every day that I have left to find more people. I am grateful for this time that I don't have a care in the world except helping people accept the gospel! It's pretty amazing when you think about it. I am not worrying about work, school, bills, dating, gas, nothing. Just helping people receive the gospel! BUT soon.. I will have to deal with those things, so I am going to enjoy it while I can. 

As a mission we have all been asked to study the 12 week training again. It's been so good to get back to the basics, and to practice things, even if I have practiced them a million times before, you can never be perfect at it!  I am really grateful for the Doctrine of Christ and how we can change and get better every day! No matter what mistakes we make, which we all do, we can always repent and try again! I was grateful for the sacrament this week, almost not feeling well enough to go made me appreciate it that much more. 

This Saturday will be transfer calls! President likes to move people for their last transfer, so we'll see! I will let you know next week. And we are going on exchanges tomorrow with the STL's! That will be fun. And Zone Meeting this Friday. Good week. :) 

May 27, 2014

Monday we went and played games at the church with other missionaries and then the family that was feeding us was cleaning the church that night, so they brought pizza to the church and we helped them clean! It was fun. After that we went to the home of an active member family whose less active niece is living with them for the summer and taught her. She was baptized at 8, but has never really been to church except for now while she's living with them so she's basically like an investigator. But she really liked learning about the plan of salvation! 

We have had a lot of opportunities to do service this week! We found out about a service project that a bunch of churches in our community are doing in a few weeks, and we went to talk to the head lady about it. She's such a nice old lady and she is involved in like 10 different charities. We asked her if there was anything we could do to help her, and she didn't think we were serious when we said we were really good at vacuuming and would love to help her clean her house. She is one of just like maybe 2-3 people who take us seriously when we say that. But she was like well, if you offer, I'll take you up on it! YAY SERVICE!!! So we helped her vacuum and dust and clean her house. She was so happy. And while we were serving, she asked what the difference is between our church and other churches and we were able to tell her about the restoration and give her a Book of Mormon!!! And then we also went to a less actives house and helped her with some yardwork. She actually wasn't there, so her husband just told us what she wanted us to do, which was pick clovers. They have a bunch of clovers in their yard and they are trying to get rid of them or something? I don't know if we actually did much. But it was just me and sister p sitting in the grass for like 2 hours just talking about life and what we are going to do with our lives. And we laughed a lot. Good times. And we helped our neighbor, Thelma again. She doesn't have a pressure washer, so we just took some brushes and soap and helped scrub her house and her deck. Mostly she just watched us sitting in a chair in the shade and eating her lunch with lemonade and watched us work in the sun. She's really funny though and we were cracking jokes and she was telling us funny stories from her life. 

We had interviews with President this week. He asked me if I wanted a new area for my last transfer, and gave me good advise about how to finish strong. He told me that I now need to "kick when I don't feel like kicking" (there is an Olympic champion that when people asked him how he was successful he said he kicked when he didn't feel like it) and that much of what I remember about my mission will be how I finish. He said he wants me to work hard, and to "dissapear." aka, don't make a big deal about it. Also, I got my sprint papers this week! Whew! It's basically a paper you sign and hang somewhere that is a promise to yourself that you are going to work hard and forget yourself. 

MIRACLE!!!! READ THIS!!!! Okay so on Thursday we were walking home at the very end of the night, and my companion sees someone across the street. She said "CROSS" I was like ok.. so we crossed the street and talked to her. She was so nice. Turns out she just moved here from Idaho. She knew a lot of members, she had been living with a member roommate for 7 years and never was invited to go to church. She always wanted to though, and has already read the Book of Mormon. What a miracle that we met her! There are so many things that have prepared her in her life. She has had a lot of hardships, and when she came here she viewed it as her new start, her fresh slate. So she is super open to the gospel! I am so glad that my companion followed the spirit to talk to her. We saw her on Saturday Morning. We talked to her about the restoration, which she already knew about, and believed that it made sense God would call prophets today. She committed to pray about June 21, and she came to church yesterday and had a great time! She is such a wonderful person and we are so grateful to be able to teach her. Yesterday we taught her in a members home and it went well. I definitely have a testimony of the scripture "many are kept from the truth, because they know not where to find it." It's motivating to make me talk to everyone I see because now I see them all as her. 

Okay so we went from having the best lesson ever on Saturday to having a not so great lesson Saturday night. We were teaching this young man who went to bible school and he is very smart. He doesn't believe that the Book of Mormon could be true, and isn't really interested in progressing. He's so nice though! He came to church last week, and he wanted to meet again. So we met at a members house (the members are both RM's so we thought they would understand if anything crazy happened, they have been there before) and he brought his friend from Bible College. Oh my goodness. The bible college friend was totally trying to bash with the members, and with us, and wanted to get into it. The member was very gracious though, and was trying to find common ground and agree that we both believed that only through Christ we can return to live with God and we can respect each other. I was worried about what the members thought, but they both were fine with it and had the same things happen on their mission. It just happens a little more often in the South. :) 

We also had dinner with a less active this week. She's super nice, she went to BYU for 2 years, but then went to the military, married a non member and hasn't been active since. They were both really nice and we had a good time. Her husband totally reminds me of John. They weren't necessarily interested in taking lessons, or having us teach their kids, but we hope to see them again. 

And yesterday we had dinner with a member who is wonderful. She's a single lady in her 30's and she took us out for Chinese food, and she told us all about her dating life and she is hilarious she had us laughing so hard. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and I am so grateful for the gospel in my life. I know that it is true! There is no way a man could have made up the Book of Mormon. I know that no good man ever would write it, and no wicked man ever could. 

Ya'll should go to the temple for me! Sister P and I have been talking about how much we miss going to the temple. We have made schemes to sneak to Columbia and nobody would know. Ha can you get sent home for going to the temple, really? But not even our President gets to go, which makes me feel better. But still. I wish we could go at least a few times!! 

This is our Zone. Can you spot Elder Burrup? ( And Steve, Sister Zarbock is in there too :) )

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

Hello everyone! Sister P and I are doing great. Life is good in Waxhaw. The weather has been a lot cooler this week too, which we were very grateful for!!

We talked to a less active after our dinner on Monday. She grew up in the church and went to BYU for 2 years, then went into the military, married a non member and stopped going. She was nice and friendly to us though, and she invited us to come to dinner this week! We are going on Wednesday! We hope that we will be able to start teaching her husband and 2 kids. :)

Tuesday we had a Mission Conference. Half the mission was there, and most of my old companions. OH MY GOODNESS I was so happy to see everyone, and my old companions! It's neat to see their growth. My trainee's have been out for more than a year now! Proud momma. It was sad though, realizing that this is probably the last time I will see a lot of the missionaries there. It's not very often you get to see people outside your zone. It was good to get updates on my old areas, what is going on and how people are doing though. 

FUNNY STORY!! Okay we had dinner with a member this week, and her Sister In Law who lives close but not in our ward was there and told us this story. The missionaries in her ward told her and her family to write down the nonmembers they knew of that needed the gospel. She works at home, and doesn't really know many people. But she likes her mailman. He delivers a lot of things to her, she orders a lot of things online. She says "Well how can I share the gospel with the mailman?" So she bakes Banana Bread and writes a note in a Restoration Pamphlet and leaves it out for the mailman. On Sunday, a lady comes looking for her. She's like "ARE YOU MRS. So and so? DID YOU GIVE THIS PAMPHLET TO MY HUSBAND?" She thought she would be in trouble. BUT the lady laughs and says "My husband and I are in the other ward!" Ha ha. THEY WERE MEMBERS. Hilarious. Must have been really funny for the mailman! 

This weekend there was a festival in downtown Waxhaw. It was a spring festival, with music, art, petting zoo for the kids, lots of food. Yum. We went on Saturday and were walking around talking with people. We saw these 3 punk looking teenagers outside of the library. I was asked to give a talk in church on Sunday, so we talked to them and invited them to come to church and come to my talk. We didn't think anything of it. BUT lo an behold.. one of them CAME. We were really surprised! We were in the back of the chapel, talking to members and were like "Oh my goodness, is that the kid we saw at the festival yesterday?" That was exciting. He came to sacrament meeting, the talks were all investigator friendly, I gave a talk from President Monson's address the last general conference. BUT the lesson in Gospel Principles was about Priesthood Organization. Ya. Not investigator friendly. We hadn't taught him anything about the restoration, Christ's church, nothing and they were talking about the responsibilities of high councilmen, patriarchal blessings, what the 70 do and I was like oh no. But he said he enjoyed church and we are meeting with him to actually start teaching him tomorrow. So that will be great! 

Oh and on Saturday Night remember the really wealthy Stake President? Well his son got married on Saturday and we were asked to help with the reception at his house on Saturday night. We were on food crew, making sandwiches, refilling stuff, collecting garbage, we also helped with the decorations, It was so fun! Weird to be at a reception. Really weird. But it's fun to serve in a different way! And the reception was gorgeous and something that I will never be able to afford so it was nice to see :) 

Yesterday we had lunch with the RS president. It was good to coordinate and talk with her about how we can help with some of the less actives in the ward. BUT yesterday we were out finding in a neighborhood on the way back and we met a crazy old lady who was really funny. We talked to her for a minute about the restoration, and how God has called a prophet today, she was like "WOW! Does the President know about this? The President needs to know." Anyway I can't even describe it, but she was crazy and old and hilarious. 

I know that the Gospel is true! I am glad that my family can be together forever. OYM #Open your mouth!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Mothers Day and told your Mom how much you love her and are grateful for her!! I love you all and I thank you again Mom for all that you have done for me and taught me :)
Well this week we have been teaching the niece of an active family, who was baptized when she was 8 but hasn't been active since, and now she is 16. We saw her at church this week and she has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and it's neat to see the change in her.
We did service at a Less Active's house, she has a big garden with lots of work to do. We helped her thin her monkey grass and it was pretty intense work in the hot sun with lots of shoveling. But it was great! And she made us a great lunch after and was very grateful. Service softens hearts!!!!!!
We had Zone Meeting on Friday which is always great, we had a training on revelation through prayer and how important it is to help people have a desire to pray and receive answers from Heavenly Father. 

Sunday was Skype day!!! So good to talk to everyone!The kids look so grown up! I was so excited that Landon remembered me!!! We had dinner with the Bishop after, Skype. His son is in Chile on his mission, and they were all pretty excited to talk to him. We had a good talk with Bishop about how we can work with the ward and how we can help them do missionary work. How do you help people have a desire to share the gospel with their friends and family?I think a lot of people here are just so wealthy and well off, they probably go to a church and probably read the scriptures and pray everyday.. what else to they need? What are they missing? But it's not that they are missing anything but that they don't have every blessing they could. It's hard to describe someone who has the gospel in their life that they don't have the fullness... 

We had so much chocolate yesterday. The Bishopric brought chocolates for all of the women at church, and the Stake President's wife brought donuts and more chocolate for all of the relief society.. and we had an Oreo cream pie after dinner..sugared out. Tonight we have dinner with the Stake President! I can't even describe how nice his house is to you. It's amazing. The people here are very wealthy. It's intimidating sometimes. All of my clothes are from the DI....

We have a Mission Conference with President tomorrow... he hasn't really told us what it's about but wants to train us on something. So we will see. And Zone Activity today! Woot! Love being able to have fun with other missionaries. 

I know that the Book of Mormon is true! Keep reading it! How can anyone who had read it deny that it is from Heavenly Father, and NOT just made up from someone's head! If more people would just read it they would be able to understand that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 28, 2014

Hello everyone! Apparently there was a tornado in Charlotte this week? I haven't heard much about it though, and it wasn't where I am so no worries! 

This week I got Steven's chocolate he sent me from Sweden. YUM>>>> He does get the best little brother award. 

This week we had a lot of great experiences

- We had lunch with my trainer and her parents who were visiting the mission. WEIRDEST thing ever. She was wearing pants and she didn't even let me back her out when she was driving. So strange. She told us some stories of her post mission awkwardness and told us what the missionaries who have gone home that she has hungout with are REALLY like. It was pretty funny. We had a good time.  

- One of our members goes to a "neighborhood spiritual group" and she invited them to listen to us! So neat! We had lunch and talked with 4 ladies all about the church and what we believed. They didn't actually ask that many weird questions, but some of them didn't even know we were Christian! It's so weird. I don't know how people get that idea. One of them was really excited and loved the story of the restoration and was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. The others were just quietly sitting and listening to learn, but she was actually excited. She talked to us for a while after, and I think she will let us teach her more! They asked questions about "well if I don't believe what you believe am I going to hell then?" and asked all about salvation and what it means. BUT I knew the one got it when at the end she said "Ok, so you are not trying to get everyone to be Mormon, but to help people be like Christ." YESSSSSSS.  

-We went out to dinner with a member who brought a neighbor who we are going to start teaching. She's so sweet. They have been good friends for a while and she has been to church and learned a lot from her friend, but never has read the Book of Mormon or taken the discussions. Why? I don't even know. BUT she's open, and she even takes her daughter to achievement days, TAUGHT achievement days when the member was out of town, and she volunteered to help clean the church on Saturday. We are going back to teach her tomorrow

- We had a day of service this week which was neat. The community is building a park and we all (the ward and people in the community) went and helped clean the land on Saturday afternoon. Some less actives came out, and alot of the members were able to talk to people they were working with about the church. Which was wonderful. And it was just fun to wear PANTSSS. We moved bricks and sand and mulched and it reminded me of my days in Uganda building the health clinic.  

- We taught the young man who is a former investigator, he has a lot of.. deep questions about the universe, who God is and where he came from, how the universe began, and random things like that. Especially about the Godhead. There was a member who used to have similar questions when he was learning about the church, and we brought him and his wife and had a great discussion and he was able to help answer the questions better than we could! He will hopefully come to church next week. 

- So there is a group down here of bible translators. It is an organization that goes to random parts of the world and learns their language and translates the bible into it. And their headquarters are here in Waxhaw. SO there are a lot of people here who definitely appreciate what we do because they are missionaries and have lived in other countries before too. I do love being around people who love the Bible and the word of God so much! There was a couple who belonged to this organization and they gave us water when we were out the other day and it was really hot ( it has been really hot this week!!) and they were asking us about what we do and basically very nicely telling us we were wrong because we believe we can "work our way to heaven" and trying to convert us. We just smiled and said thank you for the water and bore our testimonies of Christ and that only through Him we can be saved. I remember though the first night I came here that President was asking us what we had heard about Charlotte, or serving in the South and someone said "It's the Bible Belt, so I studied the Bible really hard!" President says "the Bible Belt doesn't mean you need to know your Bible better, it means you need to testify of the Book of Mormon more, you don't bring out your bible before your Book of Mormon." I guess that is true anywhere in the world, but especially here. There alot of people that really believe that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon and it's the story of Joseph Smith's life or something, because they never take the time to listen or read! It's about CHRIST people!

- Yesterday we had a lesson on missionary work in Relief Society. It was different being a missionary sitting in on this lesson, but it's great to hear the fears of the members and understand what their fears really are so that we can help them overcome their fears. BUT at the same time I had to restrain myself from wanting to just take over the lesson and say "GET OVER YOUR FEARS AND DO IT!!" But that's not what Christ would do :) 

I know that the Book of Mormon is true! It really does come down to that. if the Book of Mormon is true, the church is true. If it's not, it's not. It's that simple. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Okay first of all all of you who are not on missions should go listen to the song "22" by Taylor Swift right now because I don't know about you, but I'M FEELIN 22!! Sister Perez decorated the cake Mom sent me in the mail and put up the signs.. and a great member took us out to breakfast this morning.. and we are going to have a Zone Activity playing games at a park this afternoon.. so it's going to be a great birthday! I love being with other missionaries! It's the best! 

This week has been great. So a few weeks ago we had a media referral for a man who ordered a bible off of LDS.org. We went and brought it to him with a member and taught him about the restoration. He had surgery after and wasn't able to meet with us. We hadn't heard from his in a few weeks, and we had dinner with someone in that area so we stopped by. We were walking down the street and talked to a kid and we asked him his name and he said the name of our investigator. Turns out it was his son, and he came home as we were talking, we taught them both. We taught them both. It is a mom and dad and 2 kids. The Dad and one of the kids came to church on Sunday and they are so great. I think they had a great experience at church and they seemed to like it. Our WML talked to them after and they wanted to come back. Pray that they'll keep progressing! The Duncan family!

So we also taught our Nigerian friend. We went and taught him and his mother in law was there, she was not that interested and not that happy that we were there. BUT at the end we also got to meet his wonderful family, he has a wife who is probably in her 40's but looks like she's 16. It's crazy. And they have like 5 kids and they are so great!!!! We are hoping to start to teach the whole family. They are devout 7th Day Adventists. The Dad said he would start reading the Book of Mormon, now we clarified that Joseph Smith DID NOT write it, and that we also believe in the Bible. They are so NICE>>> love this family. 

FUNNY MOMENT: We did our service at the nursing home, I love going there and talking to people. It was so funny, my companion and I talked to this old lady in the lounge and she was like "Do you have boyfriends? Why NOT! You are pretty! You should get one!!!" There is also this old lady who lives there, but she thinks she works there, and she was like "I can help you get a job here, I work here and I love it!" Ha. 

Saturday was a long day.. it was car fast, so we were walking alot.. and it was pouring rain all day.. and we only had 1 appointment.. so we walked there, it was like 2 miles in the pouring rain and stayed around there for a while.. came back and dried our coats in the dryer.. went back out for a few hours, dried our coats in the dryer again. We had dinner with a great member family though, who made yummy enchiladas and we did Easter Eggs after dinner! SO fun! 

Easter Sunday was great, great speakers. Our recent convert and her husband weren't there.. they were sick again this week. After church we taught the restoration to a family we didn't know very well and it was great. I love teaching members.We had a family have us over for Easter Dinner who had like 3 different families over! It was crazy busy and loud but it was fun! Felt right at home. They sent us home with a LOT of leftovers though too. We will be eating them for a while. We also went to our old lady neighbors house and shared the Because of Him video with her and talked to her about what she believes. 

We had District Meeting on Wednesday and had great role plays on teaching now and being bold. It was great. Sometimes it's hard to find the balance though between teaching now and taking the time to actually get to know someone. Because you have to find relevance for them, and they have to know how much you care before they care how much you know. Anyway.. we went to lunch after District Meeting and we went to SAMS! I didn't even know there was a Sams club in the area but there IS! It made me so happy! Made me think of all of the times Mom and I go to lunch at Sams at home :) 

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Can't wait to see pictures. 

Can't believe the time is going so fast, this week will start the less than 3 months countdown! 

My trainer is coming back into town and I am going to lunch with her on Wednesday! So excited. It'll be strange though.. she'll be a pants wearing, phone using PERSON! Strange. Ha.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Hello everyone! Is it HOT in Utah?! It has been SO HOT and humid here this week.... but this week is supposed to be rainy and overcast and cold. Weird weather.
So we had a great week this week. Last Monday we met with some missionaries at the gym and the Elders made a course with the chairs and tables for a nerf war. Ha I felt right at home. It was pretty funny. I love playing sports on Mondays. It's the best. On Monday night we had dinner with a great family. THEY FEED US SO MUCH>>> and it's always SO good. After dinner, we went and visited with a man who was a returned missionary who served in the Philippines. He was nice to us, but just "wasn't interested in the doctrine and thought talking to him was a waste of time". It is sad how people who have returned from missions can let Satan have so much of an influence on them. But it happens!
Tuesday to Wednesday we went on EXCHANGES!! We went with the Sharon Sisters. They are so great. I went to Sharon. It was pretty funny, the one that I went on exchanges with was my sister training leader, and 5 months earlier to the day we went on exchanges and I was HER sister training leader. It was interesting role reversal. But I definitely learned a lot from her and she is a great missionary!  She's also the one that I want Steve to marry. We also went to lunch at Panara before the exchange. YUM.We talked alot the whole time about how much we have learned and how we will be different when we go home and life in general. Loved it. I love my companion, but sometimes it's just refreshing to be in a different area with someone else for a change! I LOVE exchanges, and I miss doing them all of the time.
Thursday we had Zone Conference. I always love Zone Conferences. They are amazing. The Assistants gave a great training about using scriptures while we are teaching. We all came up with questions we get regularly, and split up into groups and came up with scriptures we could use to answer them, and role played doing that. It was great. Then Sister C gave a great training on how important our bodies are and how we really need to take care of them and eat healthy, get enough rest, exercise hard in the mornings. Good reminder. I sang in a group at zone conference, 3 sisters and 2 elders. We sang "Nearer my God to thee." Elder Burrup was one of them. Mom you should tell his Mom that we are in the same zone and see each other all of the time. She'd get a kick out of it. That night after dinner we went around the neighborhood, and found a guy from Nigeria! He was so funny. We hope to teach him again soon. He said he knew a little about our church, but he wanted to read the Book of Mormon and learn more. Sweet! It was crazy, this one street we found someone from nigeria, isreal, and india all on the same street.
FUNNY STORY: Friday morning I LOCKED US OUT OF THE HOUSE>>>>>>>> whoops!!! We went running and I thought I had the key.. but turns out I didn't. The keys and the phone were inside the house and it was 6:45 am. Nobody was around. We had to look through the window on the fridge and try to read the emergency numbers on the fridge for our landlord. We had to try a few different numbers before we got the right one, we went to the gas station across the street and they let us use their phone. Ha. We only had to wait about 1/2 hour and our landlord came to the rescue. YAY!!!
Saturday we helped our neighboor Thelma with her yard. We raked and weeded her garden. She's nice and super funny. Two of the other neighbors on the street were also out doing yardwork and we talked to them. There is one family on our street that seems really nice that we want to start teaching! Hopefully soon. We did introduce ourselves to everyone on the street, because we actually live in a HOUSE not an apartment (which is strange). So remember that part member family where the wife REALLY REALLY wants him to be a member? And he came to church to hear her talk and it was the first time he'd ever ever been? Well we had dinner with them on Saturday and HE CAME TO CHURCH AGAIN!! It was a miracle. We didn't even ask him to or think he would ever com e again, at least anytime soon. BUT apparently the Bishop went over and talked to him and invited him to come with his wife every week. Members are the best. Our recent converts husband is STILL here in America, they watched all of General Conference and they loved it. He is applying for jobs here in Charlotte, and in Utah! Hopefully he'll get one so he'll be able to STAY!!!
Yesterday afternoon we went over to the high priest group leaders house and we had some home teaching companion ships come over. We talked about each of their families they visit. If they were active, we talked about how we can get referrals, if they are part members, how we can fellowship and teach the non member, if they are less active, how we can help them. Sometimes some people get visits a lot and some don't get them at all, so we wanted to coordinate the missionaries, home teachers, and priesthood leaders efforts. It was great, and we made a lot of great plans.
And last night we went and found a former investigator we had one our records and taught him. Basically he had a lot of anti information that he had run into when he was learning about the church from his bible school. BUT we testified of the Book of Mormon. We don't have to answer every question, like PMG says, everyone just has to decide for themselves whether the Book of Mormon is from god or if it is made up. That's what it comes down too. So he had a lot of concerns but we invited him to do that! Love the Book of Mormon!
This weeks Christlike attribute is obedience. Study it and tell me what you think!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHARE THE #becauseofHim video on mormon.org. I LOVE it. We are going to share it with everyone this week, and get all of our members to share it too.
I told the Zone Leaders we have to do our zone activity next Monday for my BIRTHDAY. So I'll be hanging out probably at the Stake Center with everyone in the Zone! Playing volleyball and ultimate ball= FUN :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7


This week we have had dinner with some wonderful members.This ward has been really great at feeding us. Other wards in the mission are NOT and I am grateful for it. They are really wonderful. One of my FAVORITE families found out this week they are moving to Utah, and they are possibly going to SOUTH JORDAN and I was so excited!! Ya'll will love them!!!! :) :) 

Highlights of the Week: 

Tuesday we did our service time at a retirement home. We just to visit with and sing to people who don't get visits. It is wonderful. I love seeing them and helping them to smile :) And we are still working on the nurses slowly but surely. 

Tuesday we did an activity with the Young Womens. It went really well. We had them split up into different groups and we had objects for each of the missionary lessons, the cups for the restoration, the plan of salvation map, and a drawing of the gospel of Jesus Christ (by the way.. before my mission I don't think I knew that the Gospel of Jesus Christ/Doctrine of Christ is the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. Why do you think that people don't teach that much? Maybe they did and I just missed it..) Then we role played with them inviting people to General Conference, an FHE, or a church activity. I think they really liked it. 

We made cards with the information to General Conference on it and invited a LOT of people to watch this week. 

So we did see our Recent Converts husband.. he didn't get his papers to leave the country so he IS staying here for at least another week and a half. We went with the home teacher to visit/ teach them both. I think that going to church really helped him open up to the gospel. And I think it was great having the home teacher there because her husband is a military man, and I think he needs a man to man, an authority figure to relate to. They both did watch General Conference, but we haven't been able to teach him much because they were also sick this weekend. We hope to teach him at least a little more before he leaves. 

We had Zone Meeting on Friday. Our Zone Leader used to be an Assistant for a few transfers, so he is a lot different than the Zone Leaders before him. It's good though. And we had great role plays and training about inviting people to church. It's an important invitation. 

Wasn't General Conference wonderful? I LOVE IT. It is always such a spiritual boost. I think one of my favorite talks was about gratitude. How we are grateful in our circumstances, not just for things. We can be grateful in any situation. We watched conference at the church and kind of camped out there for the day, taking a lunch hour and doing Facebook in between sessions. We had someone coming, but she got called into work. In between sessions both days there was a really funny family that fed us REALLY good food!! They made Cafe Rio (still not the same as the real thing.. but it was pretty good!) and they both went on missions so we talked about their missions but they just told really funny stories so it was them and like 12 of us missionaries and we had such a great time. Also there was a girl from another ward who just got back from her mission like 2 weeks ago and she came and talked with all of us Sisters for a while. It was weird, there IS life after the mission after all! She told us about how weird it was to RUN with an IPOD by herself... whoa that WILL be weird. She served in Texas, and her mission was so different than ours, you wouldn't think so but it was. They had totally different rules. HEY BROTHERS What kind of things did your mission presidents allow and not allow?! 

MIRACLE STORY:: So we felt like we needed to meet our neighbors, the missionaries before us knew people on our street, but I never have really met them. So.. we met our neighbor who is a cute little old lady named Thelma. She was so happy to see us. She let us right in and started showing us pictures of the grand kids. We asked if there was anything we could do to help her. She said yes, and that we were an answer to prayer. We talked with her a bit and come to find our that she had been praying that morning (she showed us where she wrote it in her prayer journal) that she was praying that God would send her help for all she has to do around the house. She was so happy we were there to help and we went back the next day and raked ALL of the leaves in her yard for a few hours (she sat on her deck in the shade and watched us ha ha), and we are going to paint her deck this week!!! God really puts us where we need to be if we just will listen!  

This week in the Christlike Attributes study, we are studying DILLIGENCE. Study it in Preach my Gospel (just like Elder Ballard said)  and tell me what you think! 

I thought on my mission that my testimony would become complex and i would learn so much, but I really just have learned the basics. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. I know that He has a prophet on the Earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that families can be together forever. 

What missionary moments have you had lately!?!???????? #openyourmouth

p.s if you want to send anything for my birthday (cough cough.. :) 
This is my address here in Waxhaw
313 North Providence Street 
Waxhaw, North Carolina 
(BUT transfers are on the 30th so if you send something make sure it gets here before then just in case)