Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24

What a wonderful week! The weather has been a LOT better this week and all of the snow is gone. Yay!

So we went to the Church to play vball and sports with everyone in the zone on Monday, which is always fun. 
Tuesday we did service. For service in this area, we go to the retirement home and sing and talk with the people who don't get visited. It was a great experience and reminds me how short life really is and how important the work I am doing is. A good reality check. Then we had dinner with Decima at one of her fellowshippers house.
Wednesday we had district meeting. Some of the missionaries in our district are new and it's fun to see their fire for missionary work and how dedicated they are. We went on exchange with Albamarle afterwards. ( I am not a Sister Training Leader anymore, but President asked us to go on a few exchanges anyway :) ) It was such a fun time and there is so much good work going on their. I went to coordination meeting actually and their ward has a lot of people they are working with and it's great to see. Sister Tucker is great too, and I found out I was in her brothers ward at college. Small world. On Thursday we got up and did service and it was the funnest service project I have ever done. I am jealous that we don't have this in our area. Maybe I'm weird but I was so excited.. we volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and we rode around in a Uhall for a few hours picking up furniture from people. I thought it was so much fun and we just laughed and talked and had a great time. Being in the big truck was fun. Then back to our area and we had dinner with the Elders Quorum president and talked alot about home and visiting teaching. We want to coordinate with them on their visits to less actives and find teaching opportunities. I definitely have gained a testimony of visiting teaching and home teaching on my mission. I guess I just didn't see the purpose of it before and I didn't understand it. But now i see that it is so important for each person to have a representative of Jesus Christ for them who cares for them personally and is there for them! it makes such a difference also just to have someone who cares. It makes me appreciate Mom and Dad and their examples of always doing visiting and home teaching and going above and beyond in helping those people. 
Friday we were able to see a less active member and help her. She is so great. She struggles coming to church because her husband doesn't want to go, and she has an aging mother and children to take care of. She is endowed and misses the temple. We showed her the mormon message (we love mormon messages on our ipads) about temples, and how no sacrifice is too great to get there. We talked a lot about how reading, praying, and coming to church are little things that will make a big difference in helping her come back. She said she loved our visits and wants us to come more.Then we stopped by another less active member that we didn't know and we met her husband. He came out and was drinking and smoking. We talked with him a little bit and he really wants to change and he really wants help. We talked with him about how the Atonement can help us overcome not only sin, but trials, challenges, and addictions too! We are going to help him.. when he is sober. I have actually served in very well off areas so far and not a lot of people are struggling with addictions so it is neat when you find someone who really needs your help. We had dinner with a part member family. The wife has been a member for like 15 years. But her husband is not a member. It is so funny because he has never really been interested in the church. He is kind of a grumpy old man. He is a professor of chemistry at a college, so he is very scientific and analytical and wants PROOF that there is a god. He says he doesn't have faith in God but he has faith in his gut. Sister Stewart is a biochemistry major so they talked chemistry the whole time. Which was great. I think it helped him open up. His sweet wife though, she is so funny she is totally trying to convert him and doing her best. She leaves restoration pamphlets, preach my gospels, copies o the book of Mormon all over the house, and has temple pictures everywhere. It is so funny how hard she is trying to convert him. We are trying to be helpful.. we are going to work with her to help him. But we talked a little about faith and experimenting on your faith and it was neat. We'll pray and find out how to help him, and his wife is obviously on board. 

Saturday February 22 was DECIMA'S BAPTISM. What a wonderful service. It was short, sweet, and powerful. The talks were top notch. One was a returned missionary sister and one was a funny older man. They were both sweet and powerful. The spirit was strong. Our Ward Mission leader did the baptism. The water apparently was cold though, and so it was very fast. They were in an out very quickly, where last week at the baptism they had to stay in there for a while. She was very cold, but very happy! She bore her testimony after and it was so sweet. She said how she was so sad when her husband left for the military and felt so alone and was searching for something and prayed God would lead her. And then the Sisters came to her door :) She is so happy and she isn't really a cryer but she did cry at the baptism and definitely felt the spirit really strongly. She is so sweet and we are so happy for her. And the neat part, in her confirmation on Sunday she was blessed that her husband would see her example and feel the difference in the spirit in her home when he came back and would follow in her footsteps. SO NEAT! We hope that he will be receptive to the gospel whenever he comes home. But apparently he likes to surprise her and not tell her when she's coming home.. so we don't know when that would be. But it's exciting. After church we brought over her home teacher and introduced them and explained home teaching. She's the ward's now! It takes a lot of trust to turn someone over to their home teachers and the ward but like I said, that's the importance of Home teaching. They are there to help and support when we can't. We love her and will still help out with the new member lessons, but now we have got to find more people to teach! 

Baptizing two weeks in a row is great, and but it is very stressful. We have been so focused on the baptisms and interviews and everything.. we haven't had as much time to find new people to teach. Now this week will be back to the basics and finding. 
We did have someone who came to church yesterday, a friend of a recent convert. We had a lesson and dinner with her at the recent converts house later at night. She wants to learn and she says she wants to be baptized, but there are changes she needs to make first and she doesn't know exactly when that will happen. Apparently the sisters have tried to work with her before, but she's not the most consistent person. But hopefully now she'll mean it and want to progress! 

This ward is wonderful. There are about 10 returned missionary Sisters and it's so neat! They served all around the world. I love having returned missionaries who know what they are doing and who have been in your shoes and who want to share the gospel. I know this is training me for the rest of my life. 

 I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It is so neat to read letters every week from family and friends around the world. I feel like I am a little piece of this big whole and I feel like a part of a world wide army. I love it. I love that there are 80,000 people around the world doing the same thing. Finding people to teach, and helping people receive the gospel. I love thinking of it, the army around the world. I feel blessed to be a part of it. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Feb 10 - Welcome to Waxhaw!

Hello everyone! So this week was big.. TRANSFERS!!

So.. Sister Chandler and I got really close and it was hard to say goodbye. We already plan the adventures we are going to have at home. She is probably the companion I have been the closest to. We went to say a few goodbyes to people the last few hours I had in Huntersville. As you know, I was there for 8 months so I really knew the members well and I loved my time there. It was hard to say goodbye. I have learned so much from these people. The WML did actually have coordination last Monday we thought he was going to have a party, but we actually had coordination. Ha. On Tuesday a member took the Elders and us (one of them was getting transferred as well) and we went to transfers! There were big changes. First my TRAINER Sister Bowman went home so it was sad to say goodbye to her. Then.. all of the Sister Training Leaders got switched up and they opened new areas ( they want one set of Sister Training Leaders in each Zone, which there is not right now) and so they had to close some areas and open new ones, and it was crazy. Some of us got released and they called new Sister Training Leaders. I did get released, and will just be back to a regular joe missionary. It doesn't matter where you serve, but how. No leader is better than any other missionary, and I am glad that the other sisters get the opportunity to grow and learn and serve as leaders! I am now serving in the little town of WAXHAW, North Carolina. With Sister Stewart. She just got released as a Sister training leader as well. So she's experienced, and I know her a little bit from seeing her as MLC. She's from Cali.And she goes to BYU, was there at the same time as me! She actually worked at the cannon center almost the same time as me :)  She is great and fun! 

Waxhaw is so wonderful. Downtown is a really cute place, it's a small town center that kind of reminds me of Cardston. BUT then you got out a little bit and all of the surroundings are mostly really wealthy neighborhoods and giant homes. Actually there are really no apartments here, so Sister Stewart and I actually live in a small house. I will show you a picture next time :) This is another wealthy, wealthy area. Except some of the homes here are even bigger than Huntersville. Woah. They are like castles. The members here also a lot of them work at the banks in downtown Charlotte, but the ward is a little bit older than Huntersville, most people have kids in late elementary school, middle school and high school as opposed to under 5 years old. I already love all of the members I have met here. So many great families. And the work is BOOMING!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. We are so blessed, the members are on fire. The Sisters here just baptized a family with 8 kids, who are really excited about the gospel. And we are teaching a mother and son who are on track for baptism this Saturday, the 15th. The great thing is when we went to the mission home firesides, the lady they are teaching here, was there and so I have already met her twice. So that was fun to get to teach her. She is a wonderful person, kind of like Gladys. Make that.. kind of like Queen Latifa. She speaks her mind and is fun, loud, and bold. Love it. Her son is 11 and he is getting baptized too. She loves the gospel already and loves the Book of Mormon. She wants to make changes in her live and is so excited to be baptized. We had dinner with her and her son at the Bishop's house last night, and they got a long great. She is having dinner with another member family tonight, and so they are getting fellow shipped really well. They found her because she lives with a Less Active member. 

We are teaching another lady who is half Korean and she has 2 little boys. Her Husband works in the military, and he lives in the Middle East for most of the year, and is only home for a few weeks out of the year. But the Sisters found her knocking on her door and they have been teaching her for a while! She hasn't really had religion too much in her life before, and wants to find God and be closer to him. She has been taught for a little while, come to church a few times, and has a baptism date for the 22. SO exciting! She came to a baptismal service yesterday for a baptism in another ward and she liked it and is excited for hers. She came to church yesterday too. 

There are a few other people who are potentials who have a lot of promise we will be seeing this week as well. 

I am so blessed to be in this area where the work of the Lord is definitely hastening and the members are catching the wave! I am excited to serve in Waxhaw. This ward has about 5-10 returned missionary sisters in it, and it makes a difference to the work that we do. 

It is a little weird not being Sister Training Leaders anymore.. we have a lot more time in our area together instead of going on exchanges and to meetings all of the time. It's different, but it will help me get to know the area and the members faster, so that'll be good! 

I truly know that the Lord is hastening his work. It's amazing what is happening. How strong the Church will be because of this age change. I know that the marriages that my generation has will be so strong. I think the hastening of the work is definitely happening now, but it will REALLY hasten in 10-15 years from now when the relief societies are full of returned missionary sisters who know how to do the work, and who have experience. The Ward Councils will have so much more power in bringing less actives back to church, and in bringing more people into the gospel because we are learning now to have missionaries and members work together.  And our children will be better missionaries because they will have been trained by two returned missionaries. I know that my mission definitely has changed how I will raise my family one day and how important sharing the gospel will be to me and to my family. I am so grateful for it. I know that this is the Lords work. I know that I am not a perfect person or missionary. But I know that by applying the Doctrine of Christ I can be just a little better every day, and every week. And I am grateful for that.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Hello everyone! 

So this week was crazy weather wise. As you can see, on Monday night it snowed! The roads were actually pretty icy because it snowed and then got really cold. The next day it snowed more. The next day it was gone. And by Sunday, it was 75 degrees. Crazyness! But it's really nice outside now and I think that that was the worst of the storms. 
We went on exchange this week. I went with Sister Castro. She is wonderful. She is from Columbia, and we went and found a bunch of Spanish speaking investigators! We actually found one who was really nice and wanted to let us in to learn but we couldn't because it was just him so we called the Elders and they came so we could go in and teach him. He's such a nice man. The Elders connected with him and took over teaching him and they brought a spanish speaker back to teach him and he came to church yesterday! It was really neat because our ward is like a provo ward, mostly Utah mormons. BUT a lot of them spoke Spanish (because of their missions) and were able to speak to him! He was surprised that everyone could speak spanish. And the Bishop even bore his testimony in Spanish for him over the pulpit in fast and testimony meeting yesterday. The Ward definitely welcomed him.
We had Missionary Leadership Council this week. It was so wonderful. Those are always my favorite meetings. Us as a council are really close and it's so great to get together. We counseled on how we can do better as a mission, what problems we are seeing and what we can do about it. We received some training about cars and how to check oil and tires and things like that. Of course I still don't know. 

Sister Chandler and I found a few new investigators this week and hopefully they will progress. 

We ate dinner with a young couple this week. We were talking and we found out that she and I lived at the same complex together at the same time! We could have dated the same people! Weird! And actually when she was dating her husband she was living there. So I probably saw them around all of the time, and we have some mutual friends. Except they are married with a 1 year old baby. And.....I'm here. Ha ha. Made me feel a little old. 
We got the call on Saturday that I am getting TRANSFERRED from my beloved Huntersville. I have been here for 8 months now! The Ward was very sad when I told everyone yesterday. Everyone was taking pictures and telling me goodbye and to keep in touch. I got everyone's emails and I am friends with everyone on Facebook too. They have become like my second family (the funny thing is some of them have MET my family) I wasn't going to go up and bear my testimony because I had given a talk 2 weeks earlier. BUT the Bishop asked me to bear my testimony for everyone. Pretty funny. I will definitely miss and love this ward so much. And Sister Chandler too. She's staying. We have become really close and it'll be hard to say goodbye to each other. BUT we live really close in real life so we'll be in touch a lot! (even if she probably will be married).... 
I don't know where I am going, I'll find out at the transfer meeting on Tuesday! It'll probably be my last area though. It's weird, as I was packing today I thought.. the next time I'll pack my suitcase will probably be when I go home! Crazy. This will probably be my last ward, my last area. I am going to work my hardest and do my very best!! Sprint to the finish! It's exciting though to go to a new place and have a new companion.
I had to bear my testimony in Gospel Principles yesterday as well. Our WML is a really funny guy and we are good friends. He asked if we could "come over for coordination" tonight, but really I think he just wants to have a going away party. We'll see! Ha ha. 
I have definitely learned so much in this ward about what I want in a future marriage and family. It has deepened my testimony that the Gospel really is true and how much it blesses our families, now and forever. I know that even if I didn't have a testimony, living the standards of the gospel is the way I would want to live because it makes me so happy. I have seen so many families, and it's interesting to feel the difference between a members home and a nonmembers home. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants the best for us! 
I read a great conference talk this week. Ya'll should go read it. (Yes I say Ya'll all of the time now.. :) )
It's called "Missionary Memories" from President Monson back in 1987.