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)