Monday, November 9, 2015

The Last Letter: 11/9/15

Even though I am half packed, I am still in denial. But I finally finished the poem I started back when I was home for medical leave. I would get in these hate spirals where I would think of all the reasons why I didn't want to go back. Here are some different titles we have brain stormed: "For the Lord", "A Willing Heart", "John 6:38", and my personal favorite, "Eye Single to I'm Single" (haha that last one was a joke courtesy of Sister Keil). I would like to share the actually written down and probably not completed version with you all:

I may not love waking up at 6:30 every morning
But I love the people and I love the Lord
I may not love always having to put on my happy face
But I love the people and I love the Lord

I don't love talking to strangers who don't want to be bothered
I don't love walking in the snow with no one to see
I don't love having appointments all day to watch them all fall through
But I do love the people and I do love the Lord

I'll put on my dress, Clip the black nametag on
The Savior steps in and those don't loves are gone

I love the change that is wrought by faith
I love the doctrine that we get to teach
I love being the answer to somebody's prayer
I love the sweet spirit when I'm on my knees

Relaxation replaced with planning
Updating records instead of sleep
But letter by letter I see the person
The Lords making of these people and me

There are so many other things that I love about being a missionary. I love my mission. I wouldn't change it for the world. Missions are hard, but they are worth every step. There is a scripture that my stake president gave me before leaving for my mission the second time, Romans 10:14-15.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

I can promise you that my feet are NOT beautiful. Throughout the mission they get raw, they get blistered, they get callused, and (as many sisters can testify) during the summer they can get weird multi colored tan lines. But it has been a beautiful journey. Every step.

If this is your first time reading these email or if you have been reading faithfully every week, I just want to thank you for taking the time you've taken to listen to my random adventures! I hope to see many of you soon :) BYE!

Yep, we burned a dress.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Finish Strong: Sister's Conference and Dean's Baptism: 11/2/15

So much has happened This week! It's been crazy.

Monday: We carved pumpkins and sang songs. Then we met this AWESOME referral that came to church this Sunday

Tuesday: Ward trunk or Treat. We were very original and switched name tags. I think the saddest part was no one really noticed because no one knows our names without the tags. But we passed out candy with Tim and Melinda (Who were missionaries in Pday clothes with our extra tags) and Barry.

Wednesday: We get a call in the middle of the day saying that a family has a little boy that cam to said Trunk or Treat and talked to his mom about wanting a Book of Mormon. He's a funny guy.

Thursday:I got to go on exchanges with Sister Underly in Carson River. It was just like old times and we saw so many of our favorite people. It was also dean's baptism Interview... and we couldn't find it... and we lost our phone... By some miracle and many many prayers all day, we found him and got him to the interview. 

Friday: SISTER'S CONFERENCE! from 12 to 9 we had a special conference for all the sisters in the mission. It was a blast and really brought us all together. The theme was based off of President Uchtdorf's message in the Oct Ensign "Finish With Your Torch Still Lit". The last break off section had the mission divided into three sections: Start Fast, Keep Going, and Finish Strong. The whole day was very powerful and amazing.

Here's a picture of ALL the sisters in the mission
Inline image 1

Saturday: DEAN'S BAPTISM! He is HILARIOUS. We was definitely one of the funniest person we worked with in Carson River. When I left him and his wife we half begrudgingly taking the lessons but the next time I saw them, that Sunday at church, they were set to be baptized! It's been all uphill from there.

Sunday: We contacted another AMAZING referral. She is already coming to our Activity on Wednesday :)

Something I started praying a lot about was how I should treat these last few days. and I think it was Wednesday, the thought came "How would christ treat the last days of his ministry?" and I came to the realization, when we think of the life of christ most of what we think about occured in the last 7 days. He raised Lazarus from the dead, Palm Sunday, instituted the sacrament, suffered in the garden, healed the ear that Peter smote off, held his peace while on trial by the world, died on the cross, broke the bands of death and hell, and rose from the dead to invite everyone one last time to come unto him. I doubt I will accomplish anything of that magnitude, but a lot can happen in a week and it's not over until it's over.

At sister's conference, this scripture was read:
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. (3 Nephi 5:13)
Sometimes I would get in these hate spirals before I would come back and think of all the reasons why I didn't want to come back on a mission and when I thought of it as an ambigious "they" it wouldn't be enough. Then I would think about Celina, Shaun, Quinlin, Trish, Sister Lolies, Josh, Elizabeth... and I couldn't fathom not being there for them. I thought about how horrible I would feel knowing there were more Celina's, ect, that I needed to meet. Now that I'm at the end of my mission, I know almost all of my they's and I re-wrote the verse.
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they, Celina, Shaun, Quinlin, Trish, Sister Lolies, Josh, Elizabeth, Autumn, Lori, Jan, Samantha, Shelby, Tim, Dean, and many more might have everlasting life. (3 Nephi 5:13)

I'm grateful for my mission. I have learned a lotand have been part of the best work in the world. If there was only on of those names in that sentence, I still would have come. Even if there was no names, I would have come because I know that I have grown. I know that God lives and loves everyone of his children. He has established His church throughout the history of time and he has revealed it again because he loves us. Through Christ we can grow and change everyday. It will get better and better, until the "perfect day". Love you all!

Inline image 3
Inline image 2
Not trunky at all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Biggest Baddest Baptism Ever: 10/26/15

Do You remember this?
"A random car drives past and stops a little too early for it to be at the stop sign and then reverses up to our car. Sister Underly somewhat scared yells  'We're gonna get SHOT!' 
I respond, 'Roll down the window! What if they want to be baptized!'
So we roll down the window. Most random conversation ever. Then they see the badges and tell us where there house is and to come visit anytime and drive off. So crazy! When does that happen?"

About two months later....

This has been the perfect week. At least the weekend. We were worried it wouldn't work out because Melinda caught what I had and we had three days to teach two big lessons. It all worked out perfectly and the baptism was amazing. It was PACKED. His whole family came and every set of missionaries brought someone who had been contemplating baptism. Tim requested to give his OWN talk on baptism! He got pretty nervous in front of all the people but it was awesome. Sister Keil and I sang a mash up of Joseph Smith's First Prayer and The Spirit of God. Due to forgetting to tell Tim he could plug his nose, his hand popped up and he had to go under again. As he was getting out he says "BAPTIZED TWICE!" and everyone just laughs. There was just a special spirit. It was perfect and just for Tim. Barry is officially addicted to going to baptisms. At the end of Tim's Baptism he says "I just didn't know it could be that GOOD!". We told him we were doing the song during the down time when the person is changing at a baptism that night and he came again! Carla, Tim's mom, has really been touched by the past few days. A few days before the baptism I say, "So, Carla you're next right?". she laughs and says, "Maaaaaayybe!". Then at the baptism, "I'll think about it". Then after church sister Keil tells her to pray about November 14. She agrees then I say I won't be there but it will be amazing. Then suddenly things change. She's gonna try quitting today so she can be baptized before I go home! Of course, that is NOT what it's all about but it would be amazing. 

One of Tim's funniest quotes from the week: "I was going to be a doctor, but I think I'll be a Bishop instead"

As I have been phrasing it to those who imply I am running short on time, "I still have half a month left!". I just think, "How would I treat this time if I received a call to serve for half a month?". But I know, in reality, it is no time left at all. One of the things that made me so upset when I was released was how much I DIDN'T know the scriptures and how much the spirit had been helping me out there. To try to preserve my knowledge a little bit, I've been going through the Book Of Mormon and Bible and writting down my "Go To" scriptures which has turned out to be like the WHOLE book. I finished the Book of Mormon and New Testament this week. I love the scriptures. I refound an old one that my Trainer and I would use a lot at the very beggining of my Mission. It the very last verse by Jesus Christ before he leaves the Americas, 3 Nephi 30:2.
Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.
I feel like it just shows, no matter where you have been, what you have done, the Lord is still reaching out and wants us to come to Him. Turn away from what you have done and come to Christ. He doesn't care what we have done but he cares about what we do now.

Have a great week!

Inline image 1

Us and Tim

Inline image 2
Tim, Melinda, and me!

Inline image 3
"I'm gonna be like a little fish in there"

Inline image 4

Inline image 5
The sisters in the zone

Inline image 6
Posing AFTER the baptism to capture the moment for Brother Engstrom. Hahaha

Monday, October 19, 2015

Down with a Sickness: 10/19/15

Tuesday, my normal health problems acted up and lasted until Thursday.  Then Saturday, I caught one of the stomach bugs going around. I don't think I've been that sick since Bird Flu last year! Nasty. Luckily I'm feeling a million bucks better today and this week will be better.

We were still able to get out and work. BIG NEWS: Tim has not smoked since last Saturday and we have a baptism set up for him! We are so happy it is finally happening. He's stoked. This week threw us off, so pray we can teach everything we have left before then!

My ponderizing scripture this week was actually pretty fitting. 2 Nephi 2:24

"But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things."

I picked it in conjunction with a quote I wanted to understand a little more by President Uchtdorf,

"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges... acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."

We may not unstand all we have to go through, but God does. And he can help us through everything.

p.s. This is from last week, but this is our biggest fan Dorris! She is so sweet.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Different Kind of Year Mark: 10/12/15

​This is one of the amazing people we meet with! Don't you just love his sign. I finally got a picture with it! It's spring and it's amazing. The work here is really booming. No complaints. So much happens in one day and it's all a blur! So I'm not really sure what to write.

Monday, I sprained my pinky playing a game entitled Oompa Loompa Ball. I went up for the football, my comp went up behind me, my hand shifted and my pinky took the full force of a football across the court. At one one point my companion goes "That's not too bad..... Your pinky is gonna fall off man!"

Other awkward thing I have done this week: I thought a guy named Randy was named Brandy. So close.

We also did service at a foodbank and taught Tim to bear his testimony. He made us so proud! Collin is on date and things are good in the Hot springs.

Tomorrow is October 13th and marks a year since I was sent home from my mission for medical. It feels like yesterday, but so much has changed and happened since then. I never imagined then that I would still be on a mission now. I wasn't even sure if I would be able to come back. I didn't know anything. I am so happy about the decision I made to return. I cannot imagine how many experiences and relationships I would have thrown away if I hadn't of made the decision to follow the Lord and come back. I know I am at the right place at the right time. Anything good comes with sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice worth making.

Love you all and hope you have a great.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Companions and General Conference Weekend: 10/5/15

This is my new companion Sister Keil (pronounced Sister Kyle. It's German). One of the first things she said to me was "Do you think my rollerblades allowed? Will they fit in the car?" HAHAHA. Then I just pulled out the camera and said "We got to take our first selfie with the blades!" and that's a good summary of the week. Life has become significantly more hilarious with her around. Here are some of our funny moments:

-Random referral contact for Paula and Butch Baker. A man answers the door.
"Hi, are you Butch?"
(man totally confuse)"what???"
"Hi.. Are you Buuutch?"
(Man disgusted) "Excuse me!!!!!!!"
"No, no, like Paula and Butch Baker!!!"
"Oh, you are those guys that keep leaving those sticky notes! No, they moved away"
Moral of story, I asked a man if he was butch. Haha. Not a good door contact.
-We had a less active give us a Costco case of brownies. So much! We were running to an appointment but someone SUPER excitedly waves to us so we had to stop. We had a quick conversation and offered him a brownie. Before we walked over this guy quickly got in his car to avoid us. Obviously he had watched everything go down and in total disbelief and outrage he exclaims to himself "What the HECK! What do I need to do to talk to two fine ladies and get a brownie!!!!!!" Naturally we had to talk to him too!  

There's a lot more, but I would like to take a moment to talk about Conference. This week we got to hear from the Prophet and Apostles. During the last 6 months three have passed on. I think this was the first conference I was aware and knew the apostles that have passed on and realized the significance of the calling of three new apostles. It was very touching. A sober spirit persisted through the whole conference.

  Something from conference I intend on applying: Elder Lawrence's and Hale's challenge to ask "What Lack I Yet" and then act on what is received. It's a scary concept  because I know I lack and there's a lot. However, (as one of them mentioned) the Holy Ghost knows what we can handle and probably won't ask us to be perfect all at once. I know he can tell me what the next step is. I also plan on ponderizing. I got my scripture and everything--Helaman 5:43
My favorite line from conference was from Elder Hale--"Because of the Atonement, the power is in you". I would like to add the power is already in you. Christ suffered. He already payed that price. Through him we already have the power in us to change. We already have the power to be healed. We already have the power to do all that is required of us, because he did all that was required of Him.

Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Shelby's Baptism and Transfer News: 9/28/15

This is one of my investigators from the Carson River ward :) She wins the most improved award. She has come such a long way. There is no depths or pains that the Savior cannot heal. She has conquered the seemingly impossible to be here. It was such a good day.

Transfer news: I am staying in Hot Springs ward! Sister Haight is returning to temple square and I will be getting Sister Keil. She came out in May. I've never met her but I heard she's a hard working missionary and hilarious.

We had an AMAZING lesson with this guy who just randomly showed up at the church to get a prayer or just talk to someone. Thy were in our area but they were Hispanic so we unfortunately had to hand them over to the Spanish elders and he accepted everything and agreed to baptism the first lesson!

We worked at a food bank this week and contacted a LOT of refferals. Most interesting line from this week:

"My religion is American, U S of A. We believe in drinking and fighting for what we believe"   .... He was from Mexico. Interesting man. haha

Women's conference was this week. My favorite quote was "forever Is composed if NOWS". I love that. We have to make the most of our nows.

Have a great week!