Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014
HELLO everyone! SO we had a great week. I am not with Sister Perez! She is wonderful. She is 19, from California, and has only been out 6 months so has lots of fire and energy and it's so neat! Love it!

Monday we went and said goodbye to all of the recent converts Sister Stewart had here. It was hard for her to say goodbye. It's amazing how close missionaries and converts can get in just a little time. Tuesday we went out to lunch with a SUPER MEMBER who is like my Mom out here. She's a sweetheart. She took us to transfers. Transfers are one of my favorite meetings. I love being able to see old friends, old companions, and see where everyone is going to. It's weird to think that I only have 2 more transfer meetings left. But the spirit is always strong, the missionaries leaving bear their testimonies and share their experiences, and the new missionaries look like deer in the headlights, and everyone is really excited. The missionaries going home, it's strange because I know more and more of them every time, and it's so sad, but it's exciting to meet the new ones too. I got put with Sister Perez! We have had a great week of finding and teaching.

WE GOT A MEDIA REFERRAL!!!! YAY!!! I hardly ever get those but when they do happen it's really exciting. So this man ordered a bible. So we called and scheduled an appointment, and brought a member to teach him with us. (he's a man, so we couldn't have gone in without a member)  We talked about the bible, and it transitioned into the restoration so perfectly. He doesn't have much of a religious background, so we had to go super slow. We are working on teaching really simply! It's so important. He said he was working this week, so he didn't get to come to church but NEXT week :) I didn't realize before my mission people had to come to church 3 times before they can get baptized. Fun fact. 

On Saturday was our car fast day and the two appointments we had scheduled fell through... So we had a great day of WALKING YAY!! the weather was actually really nice so it worked out. We met a guy who just wanted to bash with us, and was asking us about weird random doctrine and obviously was "ANTI'D" as we call it. So we just bore testimony to him and answered his questions simply. My companion was great and very bold. But he wanted us to come back and talk more so we'll see how that goes. We also met a really nice 16 year old girl out walking who was talking about how she and her family used to be 7th day Adventist, and she was baptized there, but doesn't really necessarily believe it and her family doesn't go, she's searching for good things and a place to go, she says she was baptized when she was little but didn't think she knew what she was doing, and wants to do it again and wants it to be her decision. BINGO! We were like "Good news for you, that's our JOB!!" So she was about to go to work, but hopefully we'll see her again this week. It's amazing how God just puts prepared people in your path, if you only have the faith to open your mouth and talk to everyone. I think if more members opened their mouth and talked to their neighbors, they would find more prepared people! The Lord is truly hastening the work and preparing the hearts of people. 

On Saturday night we had a neat experience. There is a sweet sister in the ward who has been a member for 17 years. She joined the church, and her husband has never been interested. He is a chemistry professor, and he is very analytical, practical, scientific, and he doesn't really claim to believe in anything. He has never been open to the gospel. He doesn't prevent her from being active in the church or anything though, and she is very active and faithful and attends the temple and holds callings. We had dinner at her house with her and her husband was there. She is so cute, there were Restoration pamphlets on the counter, a preach my gospel sitting out, paintings of Christ and temples everywhere, scriptures written on the walls, and everything. She wants him to be a member SO BADLY and she's doing her best to plant the seeds. We had a great conversation at dinner, he was very nice to us. We shared a message about prayer. We shared how it was communication with God, and just a conversation between God and his children. We invited them to pray together. She took us home and she thanked us so much. She thinks he really was listening, and he really will pray with her. She told us about how she really really wanted him to come to church for the next day, because she was speaking. He has never ever attended church. BUT we all prayed in the car an exercised our faith that he would have a desire to come. AND Low and behold.. GOD answers prayers, and a man who has never been to church ever CAME! It was such a neat miracle. The Ward loved him, and he came and listened to his wife's talk. She thanked us so much for our faith and prayers and she was so excited. We have dinner with them in 2 more weeks, and we are excited to see what happens with him. I definitely think he'l be a slow mover, but is making HUGE PROGRESS!

Also, we met 2 less active families from the ward split (the ward gained some area that used to be in different boudaries) and we talked to them and they both were very excited to see us, and wanted us to come see them. One member and one nonmember in each home. We are excited to see them this week! 

Also.. our recent convert's husband came home yesterday! We haven't met him yet, but he is interested in learning and we're excited to meet him this week as well. 

We were supposed to teach a different recent converts 10 year old son this week, but he got sick so we're going to try again this week. 

LOTS of great things happening. 
We have been studying knowledge in our Christlike attributes study this week. I learned alot about how important knowledge is, and how to gain it. This week we are studying PATIENCE and it will be wonderful. Something I definitely can learn about. And it seems like whenever you study something, god gives you opportunities to exercise it. So I will have opportunities to exercise LOTS of patience this week. We'll see what great things God gives me to make me more patient. I'm kind of nervous. But it'll be great. 

Good luck registering for my classes this week! Ah. Weird. 

Study Patience this week and tell me what you learn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17

Hello everyone! This was a wonderful week. Monday we went with two other companionships of sisters out to get frozen yogurt and shopping at Old navy, Marshalls, and a few other stores. It was fun, and it felt weird to be "out shopping with the girls". And we definitely made a scene all out in our skirts and nametags.

Monday night we taught a less active couple with the relief society president. She is great. We have been trying to get in to visit this couple for a while and we were excited to teach them. They were hesitant about talking about what had happened and why they didn't come to church anymore, but as we see them more hopefully they'll warm up to us. We are excited to work with them more and help them come back to the gospel.

Tuesday we did our service. We go visit people at a nursing home who don't get visits alot. It is always great to help me gain perspective on life, and how the gospel really is so important, and at the end of life it's all that matters. It is so neat to see people who still have Faith in Jesus Christ and to see how it has blessed their lives and helped them. We sing with them and talk with them. We are also slowly but surely trying to share the gospel with the nurses there. :) One of them pulled out a scrapbook with all of these old pictures, and some of the older pictures reminded me of Mom and Dad's pictures of growing up and in their high school and college days. 

Wednesday we had District Meeting. Let's say our District Meetings haven't been as spiritual because we have some 18 year old Elders who are.. learning to be missionaries and not high schoolers. It's so weird that I am almost 4 years older than them. They'll learn though :) I can't say I would have been more mature at 18 either! After District Meeting we went out to lunch, it's always fun to get to know people and have lunch with each other. We went finding afterwards for a little bit in the rain, and then we saw one of the recent converts (baptized before I came) she's wonderful. We saw her in her Home Teachers home, and we talked about the Priesthood. She has 2 boys of baptismal age that she wants us to teach, but we have to get permission from the fathers. We are hoping we'll be able to do that! And on Sunday she said she's working on it :) She is wonderful and so strong. It's amazing to see how fast someone can learn and grow in the gospel. Recent converts really build my testimony. Tonight we saw the couple we met last week and taught with the members.. and think unfortunately they ran into a lot of anti material. They seemed closed off and something had definitely changed. We were deciding if it was beneficial for us to keep meeting, he asked us if we wanted to continue to meet even though he "wasn't going to change, but wanted to discuss doctrine" aka. we were afraid he wanted to bash. So I read in Moroni 10:3-5 and we explained real intent. We explained that if we were going to continue to meet, he has to be willing to ask God if what we say is true, and be willing to act on that answer. He wasn't.. so we left on a good note. 

Thursday we had weekly planning and it was also my Companions birthday. So I used the signs (Mom I have the signs leftover from my birthday last year that you sent in my suitcase and I use it for my companions birthdays, it's genius!) I decorated our house and was trying to make her feel special. A member also took us out to lunch so that was fun. We visited a less active and were able to teach her what we have been learning about Christlike Attributes and she really enjoyed it. She really enjoys our visits. She's less active mostly because of health reasons, but she was at church this week, which was wonderful! 

Friday we were out knocking doors because an appointment with a Recent Convert cancelled. We were able to meet a guy named Buddy. He was very nice. He talked to us on his porch about his love for the bible and his love for Jesus Christ. We talked with him a little about what we believed. At first he was hesitant about the Book of Mormon, but after we explained what it was and how it didn't go against the bible, he was more open to listening. He said he would read it and he wanted us to come back and talk to him about it! Great. We went on exchanges with the Sharon Sisters. It's funny not being a Sister Training Leader anymore. So I got to learn from them this time! It was great. I stayed in my area and one of them came here. She's a great Sister from Salt Lake. She's so fun and we had a great time. We were able to see some recent converts on Friday night, and on Saturday we were out street contacting in downtown. That's always great because there are so many people out on Saturdays. We had dinner with a nice family, and then went up to the stake center for Stake conference, and that's where we exchanged back. The focus was hastening the work. One of the Sisters in our mission spoke, one returned missionary spoke, one investigator even spoke (he has been going to church with his wife for 20 years and finally is getting baptized, he has a neat testimony) and the stake president, and president craven. Very amazing spiritual meeting. After, one of the members said "wow, you must feel like one of the most important people walking the earth right now!" It is really exciting to be a missionary at this time when the work is hastening and the church is so focused on it! It helps our cause :) And on the way home we got a ride with members who are both returned missionaries and we talked about missions, and transfers, and they talked about after the mission, mission reunions, etc. Good times. 

Sunday was the normal session of Stake Conference. One of our Stake Presidency members spoke, and then we had a broadcast from Salt Lake where a member of the 70 spoke, a member of the primary general presidency, and Elder Perry spoke. It was really neat and all about hastening the work, of course. Members and missionaries working together. We had dinner with a great member family and talked about how they can help us, and they have a daughter at BYU who just graduated and is home now working and wants to come out with us. So that's exciting.

Our investigator, Dee, is now transferred to the area where she lives. We hope she'll continue to progress there. 

OH and yesterday we got transfer calls. Sister Stewart is getting transferred, and I am staying! It's a little scary because she's been here for a while, she knows the area and I hope I can not mess things up! We have some great recent converts and we are hoping to find many more people to teach. But it's comforting to know that this is the Lord's harvest, not mine so I don't need to worry! I wonder who my new companion will be. This will be my 13th companion! Crazyness! 

This week we are studying about knowledge. My goal is to learn something new every day. 

Today I am spending some time at the library making a list of classes I need and sending it to Mike for my registration date! It's exciting but really strange. 

Love you all! thanks for the support and love.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Hello friends and family!

Wow what a great week we have been blessed to have. Monday we had dinner and a lesson with our recent convert Amina, her son, a less active sister who lives with her and her two boys who we are trying to teach but their mother is kind of stopping their progress. We had a great lesson at a fantastic members house and the boys and their mother came. It was such a blessing. We had a great discussion on the plan of Salvation. Sister S and I made a giant board game almost of the plan of salvation and talked about each part. The members children asked really great questions, and so did the nonmember boys. It was a wonderful lesson! 

Tuesday we taught the Young Womens. It was wonderful. We had one group ask questions that they get asked at school about what they believe, and role play what they could say, and the other group role played a training we got at zone conference about introducing the book of mormon using the pictures in the front (Which is a great idea by the way. Ya'll should try it!!) It was wonderful and we got a lot of good feedback. I really really believe the Youth have the most prepared friends for the gospel and we want to work with them. 

Wednesday we were out tracting and we met a great lady named Melanie and her daughter. She let us RIGHT IN (I was shocked, that has only happened maybe a handful of times. Ever.) She's in her 30's and her daughter is about 13. They let us right in to share a message about Christ. They are from Brazil (MIKE!) and they have moved a lot around the country and haven't stayed in a place long enough to find a church. We had a wonderful lesson, she was really interested in what we had to say. She said she would read the Book of Mormon. We had a return appointment, which she had to miss.. and she called and said her husband isn't really a fan of her learning about this.. pray we'll be able to get into contact with her again! That night we went back to meet the guy we were afraid just wanted to bash with us ( we met them knocking on doors last week) and his wife. It ended up being a wonderful lesson because we brought the right members with us. The member we brought had the same questions he had when he was investigating (alot about the Godhead, and the Book of Mormon) and was able to answer his questions. It was wonderful to have a member testify and I know that that is what makes the difference in lessons!!!! Members are the fellow-shippers, and can actually be a friend to be there when we are not. His wife was really interested to and was really getting it and helped her husband understand. She was quiet, but she was interested. We are going to see them again on Wednesday with the same member. Woot! We also met a less active lady who was basically just too lazy to come to church. Ah. BUT we are studying Charity in our Christlike attributes study as a mission this week so I was able to exercise charity towards her :) She is wonderful, and wants to come back. We'll help her. 
Thursday was interviews with President craven. He gave a great talk about raising our vision. The train has left the station, the hastening is happening and we need to be on board. More people than ever are ready RIGHT NOW. He talked about how one of the presidents of the 70 came to talk to him and said when they presented as a southern area to Elder Perry about what their goals were for the south Elder Perry said they didn't get it, and they needed to get on board with the hastening! Wow! We need to really have a vision of how broad this hastening is. SO many people are ready NOW. President shared a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants about how the LORD will soften people's hearts, and prepare them. NOT US. So do we have Faith that the Lord can do that? Again, it's nothing that we are doing, it's him. We need to have faith in his word that HE is hastening His work. Not the missionaries or the members. Had a quick interview with President because he was running behind, but he asked me about school and made sure I was ready to go for fall and was on top of class registration and housing and things like that. And I am. He said he doesn't let anyone go home until they have a plan.

Friday was Zone Meeting. A really great training from our Zone Leaders. Then we had lunch with most of the zone. That's always fun. We had dinner and a lesson with a great recent convert who was baptized right before I got here. she's on fire. Love her. Tonight we were walking around talking to people in little Downtown Waxhaw. It was somehow the 125th anniversary of the town. So there was a celebration with cake and stuff. It was fun. We talked to a guy dressed up as Andrew Jackson (he was born here apparently) and he was telling us all about how he had been to Salt Lake on a business trip. WE think he was just trying to not get us to talk to people at the party though :) 

Saturday was a "car fast day" which means in the mission we don't use our cars on Saturdays any more.. it was great though because the weather was good. We talked to one lady and taught her on her porch, we have an appointment to go back tonight, and we talked to a former investigator we found in the area book who set an appointment for when his wife was home. how great! And there was a way fun Ward Activity at night. It was a games night, and pig roast.  A few people brought nonmember friends or family, and one of our recent converts brought her nonmember mom and grandma to the activity, and then to church! WOW!! So great :) :) Hope we can start teaching them soon, but they looked a little overwhelmed. Might take some time. 

Yesterday was Ward Conference, so all of the Stake people were at our church. The Stake President gave a great talk. He talked about how missionaries and members need to work together. He said Elder Perry (who had a conference call with all 7 stake presidents in our mission and president craven) said that the missionaries need to teach people like YOU. ( our stake presidents who are all successful business men) but the only people they can find on their own are the really humble people. Who are a great asset to the church, but we need leadership like you. The only way they can get into those homes are through YOU and we need to work together. SO TRUE. 

Decima (who was baptized a few weeks ago) came to sacrament but her little boy hit his head on the car on the way in and it was bleeding and she had to take him home. BUT we went with her home teachers to see her after church. Her husband who is int he military, works ALOT. He is home only a few weeks out of the whole year. But she has been talking with him through this whole process (he was against it at first) BUT she says he wants to learn, come to church, and is considering it. WOW! What a miracle. She was so happy. She knows the gospel has blessed her life so much. The Home Teachers offered to help her with her yard with the Young Men. A Mom with 2 kids, home by her self most of the time. She says she always does it by herself, and was so amazed someone would want to help for free. I have such a strong testimony of home and visiting teachers :) :) 

I know the Gospel is true. I know that this is His work. Have a great week and share the gospel with someone! 

Also our Christlike attribute we are studying this week is virtue. Study it and let me know what you learn!

Going up to the church now to play games, I'll email pictures from there :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3

Hello everyone! So the computer at the library was being dumb so I am trying this on the iPad. We will see how this works.

This week has been great. We a lot of our recent converts with their home and visiting teachers. Which is so good, that is how we were going to keep them in the gospel is to get them connected to the people in the Ward. We saw one recent convert who is struggling and hasn't been to church in months. Its kind of a touchy situation but she let us in to teach her which was good, I hadn't met her before. We are teaching a lady named Dee. She is so great. She is coming to church, reading, and has a baptismal date. She is friends with one of the recent converts in the Ward. She is so excited to learn and is so ready for the gospel, she just soaks it up. She loves learning and she doesn't have much of a religious background at all so it is neat. This week we taught her about the Atonement and how it helps us. She had never heard of that or how it works before and it was neat to explain it to her and see the spirit testify of truth. But the sad thing is we found out she lives outside of our boundaries, ( that always happens to me!!) so we are going to transition her to the Ward where she lives. But I know she will be fine.

This week we went on exchange ( even though we are not leaders anymore, president asked us to helpout with a few exchanges) and I went with sister Hudson. She is a great missionary. It surprised me to find out that she is older. She is 25 and graduated from college. So she has a lot of knowledge and experience. She is great. We had a lot of fun. We talked a lot about how to have fun and still be a missionary, and how to keep productive and keep learning and growing in the last few months of our mission. She is a transfer behind me so we're almost the same. We went to a mission home fireside last night with a recent convert. I love going to those so much, I love hearing from president craven. He is such an incredible speaker. I love hearing his testimony. He spoke about the restoration of the priesthood and the gospel, how we are different from Catholics and different from Protestants, and we believe in Christ's original truth and church.

I can't believe I have to worry about things like registration and housing and school. It's crazy time has gone by so fast.

I know the gospel is true and I know the work I am engaged in is the lords work. President craven told us last night after the meeting that we need to stop worrying about ourselves and what we are going to do and Leave the work to him. I love that.

This week we are teaching the young women for youth night tomorrow,that will be fun we have a great activity planned. And there is a Ward game night activity on Saturday, interviews with president Thursdays, Sunday is Ward conference, it'll be busy but good!

Love you all.