Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sickly: 5/26/14

Our Zone leaders just called and asked how our week was. We were kinda quiet for a while and then finally managed "....Sickly?". Tuesday night Sister wood came down with nasty sinus thing that took her out asleep the whole next day. I got a bottle of Orange Juice and chugged it. The next day we managed to work and where able to get a lot of work done. The next day.... I think we used up all of Sister Woods energy and she was out like a light almost the whole day. I thought I had escaped it and my OJ chugging had payed off. Then Saturday I coughed a few times--didn't think much of it. Sunday I had a congested nose and sore throat. Today I have full blown something or other. Maybe it's just allergies, but my eyes will not  stop watering. It's not as bad as Sister Wood's, but now we are both sitting here typing and sniffling away.
The most exciting thing this week was a little boy's birthday party. He just turned seven and we have grown really close to the family. All of our little friends were there. When we pulled up and got out of the car they all ran to us and started attacking/playing with us. Lars was our only protector. Then we got shields and noodle swords and the battle was on. This was as the battle was ending.

Then after that we went to get lunch at McDonalds and a member stopped us and made us let her buy us lunch (she would not take no for an answer. She is so nice). As we start to pull away, we have to wait for 3 old people with walkers and canes to cross the street. Before they get halfway across, about 15 more pop up and start to cross. We inch forward. I look down to our food and hear Sister Wood exclaim, "HOLY OLD PEOPLE! It's ALL the old people!" There were over fifty old people steaming forward. They were swarming! It looked like a zombie apocalypse of old people with walkers and canes! It was insane! Finally we make it through and there's a big travel bus and they were still coming strong! It was one of the more funny things of my life. I wish I had got a picture or video.

Okay, actually that wasn't the most exciting thing. Last Monday we got a call from our Bishop's wife. She had been talking to someone in the post office and came to find out that she had had the missionary lessons before and now wanted to finish them and be baptized! You do not get calls like that everyday. We got to meet her on one of the three actual days we had. She is really cool and nice. I look forward to meeting with her more. There does have to be a marriage to the fiancee before anything can happen but they are already engaged so we don't have to be awkward and rush anything. 

Well. That's all I have for you this week. Oh! Talk of the town is finally away from my animal attack and now to my companions. Our Ward mission leader now owns Sugar Gliders. It REALLY liked Sister Wood. The feeling wasn't mutual. Because it could leap/fly though, it kept coming back.

Here is a picture from last week down in Ruby Valley.

Oh! and here's a picture with me hiking with Trish and her husband and dog!

And lots more pictures.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Closest Thing to a Vacation: 5/19/14

Now that people from here look at my blog I feel SUPER self conscientious about what I write and what they would approve of me writing but I have to stop and be super excited for two seconds. TRISH IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is such an amazing person and we have just loved teaching her. While she was talking to our  former Stake President who is soon going to be a mission president in Mexico, she said that it all happened because of something I said our first meeting. It changed her life. President Bowler asked me if I remembered saying it and I did. Trish asked "Are you guys different from other churches, and if you are is it important to be different?" It was probably the only thing I said in the two hours we were there but I answered the question and I could feel the spirit carrying my words far beyond my natural capacity. I said the "We aren't different. We believe in almost all of the same fundamental things as other Christians, but we have more. Not different, just more."  I guess that was what made the difference. How amazing is it that we have been with her from the beginning.I am so grateful for being part of her conversion. I know I haven't done anything. I has all been between her and God and Christ and the holy ghost; we were just here to help her along the way.
So back track to the beginning of the week. Sister Wood and I were in a slum. I didn't think I would take the Mothers Day phone call so harsh. Monday was our day off and then we went and saw the F. family and had a great time there, but come Tuesday and the first three doors we try they aren't home and I'm missing.. I wasn't even missing home, just normal life. I wanted to take a nap, I wanted to watch a Disney movie, I wanted to check my Facebook at night. I just turned to Sister wood and said in defeat, "I just can't do this." "Do what?" "All of this". I wasn't sure why I'm here, I started to doubt if it was worth it, I felt like I'd be fine if a mission lasted half a year. So, Sister Wood pulled the car over and we talked for a little bit. She was feeling the same way. Then the thought came to us--we needed to go to Ruby Valley. So, we threw all our plans out the door to spend two hours driving to see the Hoovers. It was perfect. We had a nice long talk and sparked the thought that we needed to spend the weekend in Ruby Valley.

Then we just started following the spirit. A person would come to our mind and we would throw out all plans and see them. Every visit was so obviously needed by those people we saw and wonderful and perfect. By the end of Tuesday I was back to normal. By the end of the week I walking on air and just wanting to do missionary work for the rest of my life.

We got the phone call Thursday. Trish called and wanted to tell us that she has decided to be baptized here and she wants to do it while we are still here because it feels important. While she was on speaker phone Sister Wood and I placed the phone down, silently freaked out, gave each other a hug, and shed a few tears of joy. We were so happy that we already had plans to go up there to see her. Saturday at noon we made the trek down to the Refuge. Once we got there, Trish took us on a tour down to Shannytown and made sure to stop by everyone she knew to introduce us and then before we could there she was inviting everyone to church and offering a ride. It was so much fun meeting everyone and seeing Trish so excited about the things she has learned. We complimented her on how great of a missionary she was and she just said "Well, there's nothing to be shy about!". I wish everyone had that attitude. I wish I had it more. Then we were going to talk about the logistics of her baptism while hiking in the mountains, but her husband decided to join us so we kept it a bit more casual. There we were in the second most remote national forest in the lower 48. It was absolutely breathtaking. 

Then we drove up and had dinner with the Hoovers, attended a broadcast--which was amazing, and spent the night in the Hoovers cabin. I cannot describe how amazing it felt to wake up in a beautiful cabin in the mountains in this beautiful rustic town. I woke up and I knew. I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. I am here for a greater purpose and the Lord will magnify all that I do, because I have been set apart and called by a prophet.

I wish I could describe every miracle this week and what made it so amazing, but I don't have time. I think it will suffice to say that the difference has been that we put the Lord back into His work and gave it over to Him and took the time to just enjoy what we were doing and miracles followed.

No pictures this week. I forget my camera cord at home. But we did take some good ones because it was Ruby Valley and our other pictures did it absolutely no justice. 

Spiritual moment: I did go over the next little section in PMG, but I was so touched by the broadcast I wanted to share portions of it. It was Elder Robins of the seventy and Elder Keel that spoke to us. It was spot on with what our investigator needed, but it was also just good in general. A main topic they were on was love. Love is the most important, wonderful, magical emotion that God has created. He did not set it in motion for it to end in death. He did not create it just for it to stop. Without Christ's Atonement, we could not love, we could not love forever. God has commanded us to love. Commandments are given as opportunities to exercise faith and make the choice to choose God's way. Because he commanded us to love, it is a choice we can make and should make to love.

So those are my thoughts on the week. At least some of them. Hope you have a great week.

Also, my companion was just talking about how she dislikes mass emails because they feel so unperson-able, but I hope you know that when I write these I think of the people who will read it and I get excited for them to see. Like Jenna Michnick! I'll do a quick shout out to you! I think it's so cool that my babysitter from so long ago still finds interest in my life. I was a little shock but also so happy to see you add your email address. I thought it was so cool. 

K. Now I'll go for reals. Bye!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mothers Day: 5/12/14

I cannot even remember what happened this week! It's all been wiped away from talking to the family last night! Everyone talks about how it's so hard to talk to your family and it just makes you want to go home. For me, well. Talking to them was just so great and fun! It felt so normal. The hard part is that I know I won't be able to do it again until Christmas and I had so much more to say and wanted to hear. Well, it's over now. Back to mission life.

So onto missionary stuff and things: It is official. We (Sister Wood and I) are staying in Wells together for another transfer. Everyone is pretty shocked. That is 6 months and a third of our mission together. It's a great thing that we love each other and this area :) The ward is pretty happy about it as wells.

Most of this week we spent doing service--house cleaning, yard help, and moving--or we were in Elko. Tuesday we had a Zone Training and we hit up Walmart afterwards. Then on Friday we had a member of the Seventy tour our mission. It was Elder Teh who spoke in General Conference. He was super nice and it was great to have hime. However, my mind was a bit preoccupied the whole time because I kknew that afterwards I was finally getting my staples removed!

I GOT MY STAPLES REMOVED! It was a happy day...the next day. The day of, I had scabby dandruff and was bleeding again. Also they ripped out chunks of hair with every staple. I whimpered like a puppy. They told Sister Wood she could do one when I got them in. The looser ones didn't hurt so bad, so I let her pull out the last one. She was excited. I got to keep all my staples and the staple remover! Now my head it doing great. I can't even find it anymore without Sister Wood. So I'm put back together and fully functioning!

Here's us at Zone Training. Sister Wood told me she would come stand by me. This is me actually yelling at her because she betrayed me to fend for myself.

Then another fun moment: We were eating at the Bates house and Lanny leans over and says "Do you wanna shoot a Blowdart?" I think over the rules... It's not a firearms and we have fifteen more minutes for dinner. So I say back "I think that is necessary" and we shot blowdarts at the wall and tried to hit the orange dot on the tape he put up. I think that is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary is people having you in their homes and random things ensuing. 

Well, great. Now it looks like all we do is mess around. I swear we do spiritual things as well. Most the time we aren't messing around, but you have to find fun along the way. And we do. 

Spiritual moment: One of the things we talked about with Elder Teh is why we were on missions. A lot of missionaries stood up and told both heart wrenching stories of disbelief turning into something miraculous and good, stories of love for the Savior, stories of overcoming so much opposition. Every time Elder Teh would say, "Yes, your story sounds familiar". Then he pulled the story in the Book of Mormon of Alma the younger and he said that when it boils down to it, our stories are all the same. The doctrines found in the church have touched our lives and we want others to have what we do. And that is the truth.

He showed us What Alma the younger had to say to his son and I think it is so beautiful because it shows the juxtaposition of the state we are in without a savior from our sins and guilt to our life with the savior and being cleansed. But also, it shows that to everything bad in the world there is an equal and greater force of good. No matter how bad the world can get, there is light; there is hope. Yes, there is darkness, but do not dwell there because there is also light. There is a joy that comes from living a life of goodness and giving and faith beyond measure and beyond explanation. I'm glad for the chance I've had to have faith in my life and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share that with others.

"Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." -Alma 36:21

Monday, May 5, 2014

Much Better: 5/5/2014

Many people have asked how I am. Last Sunday was definitely the start of the downhill stretch. I was pretty much back to normal minus some dizzy/nauseous spells and a little tiredness. Tuesday I was practically back to normal I had five or so spells and took only a thirty minute nap. By Saturday I only had one somewhat nauseous and dizzy spell and Zero nap. By yesterday I felt fine! I didn't think I was too bad last week, but then all the people we saw again from last week this week commented that I look so much better and I look like death last week. Well. What do you do! So feel better and I guess I look better--not that I have any pictures to prove this. We talked about taking pictures this week but we didn't take any. However our investigators wife took these and sent them to us. They are horrible, but I figured the family might want a visual. Sister Hoover is a twig and makes me look Jumbo sized, but that's okay.

There has been a new goal for the zone to meet five new people everyday. So, we have done this by walking more and talking to everyone we see. We pass them and Say "Hi! How are you!" If they start talking back and obviously aren't in a hurry, we talk to them for a while. If they say a quick good and keep their head down, we don't! We don't believe in being annoying. This has led to a few funny conversations and situation. Here are the best ones:

"Well. I'm Catholic so let's just be friends" We say Okay and we talked and talked for a good 30 minutes.

One guy gets talking to us for a while. He was out in his yard watering the flowers. Then he asks "So, did school get out early?" and we sheepishly say "um, no. We don't go to school right now. We are missionaries". He simply says " well...... Have a good day." and turns his back on us! 

Another guy we talked to had no teeth and was from Spain. He's going back there in a month. We talked a good 45 minutes in the street. He talked to us how we were good girls and needed to go home and marry good guys. Then Sister Wood asked to leave him with a pass-along card (a picture of Jesus with a phone number for a free video on the back) and we talk about religion. Then we ask to leave him with a prayer and Sister Wood threw me under the bus to say it. As I pray (I guess Sister Wood was peeking), he was staring at me. When I finish he says Amen in complete and utter shock and say to Sister Wood. "Oooooh.... She's a Jesus girl!" Sister Wood says "yep!" and he looks at me "Your a Jesus girl!" I've never been told that before and was unsure how to respond so I said Thank you.

The great moments of the week:
*Trish told us that she was ready to be baptized! She also said "I feel like I've been Mormon or... from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (because she took up the challenge in General conference to use the full name) all along!" I was elated! She is so special.

*We made a brilliant Atheist scientist think.

*Our Mission President came out to do interviews and after he heard our preference to stay together here he practically told us we were stay another transfer! Also They obviously didn't understand what happened with the dog and felt really bad for not caring more. Also it was pretty much president telling us that we were awesome for 30 minutes so that was cool.

*We saw a lot of people we haven't seen in a while because we finally had a normal week! 

Speaking Spiritually: Okay, I was really bad and haven't studies the next section I wanted to write about from Preach My Gospel, but I just want to tell you about what has been on my mind the past couple days. We were in a lesson with Celina and brought our Ward Mission Leader along. We began talking about how much God loves us and how close he is willing to go to us. Never underestimate those things. But the story was of an acquaintance of his. She was going to the temple, because her daughter was dying of cancer. She went into the bride's room where she could be alone. As she sat in there pondering, she could hear someone walking up to the door. She heard His hand touch the door. She knew instantly that it was the Savior and that all she had to do was to call out to Him to come in or open the door and she could meet Him..... but she didn't. She was worried. She was unsure if her faith was truly that strong that she would feel comfortable in His presence. However the Savior is always at the door waiting to come in if we let Him.

When I first heard it, I was somewhat upset with the lady. Don't you know how wonderful it will be to see Him? Don't you know how much he loves you?

Then I remembered my own fears and doubts. I was in a giant group of youth and the question was what would you do if the savior walked in this room right now. Would you recognize Him? Would you run up to greet him? Would you feel uncomfortable? 

I pictured the scene and I imagined Christ walking in and people flocking to see Him. I imagined me staying in my seat scared to see Him. He meant everything to me, but what was I to Him? How could he really love me among all these other people that he also loves? What makes me so special? And that's what a thought. It always made me upset.

Then one day I saw an old friend on campus at college and the second we saw each other we recognized each other--even though it had been before puberty since we last had seen each other and we had both changed so much. Upon our mutual recognition, we started running to each other excitedly and gave each other a bear hug and started talking like we had never parted from each other and nothing had changed. It was a great moment. Then in my prayers that night I realized something. It's not going to be Christ walking in waiting for people to flock towards him and introduce themselves, it's going to be like seeing an old friend and He will also be excited to see us again because he love us.

Hope you all have a great week!

P.S. Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts sent my way this week. Even beyond the people in this email I know have been praying for me. I am so incredibly grateful and I know I have been watched over. I have healed so quick and everything has gone so smoothly. My anxiety over the dogs has drastically decreased and I am feeling completely better (except for the fact that I still have staples in and still can't really do my hair, but that's just annoying and not an issue at all).
It was a bad situation, but it has been the best outcome. It's kinda a shame it's on the back of my head and I won't be able to find or see the scar--my battle wound will be gone--but at the same time I can move on with life as if it never happened. The body is such a miracle how it heals and fixes itself. It's kinda cool. Well, on that note, I am doing good and ready to rock possibly my last (though probably not) week in Wells with Sister Wood :)