Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 Months: 6/23/14

I have officially hit my six months on the mission. How insane. I feel like I just got here. I feel like I just left. A third of the way done. At the six month mark, Elders usually burn ties. I felt like I needed to burn something equivalent.

Yep! I burned a pair of nylons. They sizzled and disintegrated. It was pretty cool to watch. I would recommend it but between those and retired flag later that day we discovered Nylons don't smell too good.

Other news: It's been Six months of my mission and I am leaving my first area and first companion. I am sad to go, but I am so incredibly grateful that I have had this long. I absolutely love it here and I love the people. Everyone is a little shocked. Usually the senior companion leaves, especially if it's the trainer, but I'm glad to know a lot of prayer went into this and it's a "god thing" as Trish would say.

I was holding strong until we were at the church and Bishop with the bishopric comes up to Sister Wood and asks for the news. I was talking elsewhere. They called me over and Sister Wood had informed them I had to inform them. So I point to myself and say I'm going to Carson City. Bishop with his little mustache, golf tie, and cowboy boots starts to get all teary eyed and simply says "Sister Goldin'!" as if he couldn't believe it was true. It was only then that I began to cry. Yep. I cried. They also made me speak in church. I was blubbering the whole time, but I think I managed to say something useful. It was in a very squeaky voice, but I don't think it mattered what I said. They know how I feel. I love Wells.

As I told ward members I was going. I would get control of myself and another person would start to tear and give me a hug and I would loose it again. What I said in my talk involved 3 Nephi 17:4-5. Christ was bidding the people of the Americas goodbye because he had the lost tribes of Israel to see. It was his time to go. Then he "cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer." Christ did stay and bless the children and performed miracle. I, on the other hand, have to go. I read my favorite lyrics from "God Be With You Til We Meet Again". My favorite part is the phrase "with his sheep securely fold you". I know the people of the Wells and Ruby Valley Wards are part of God's sheep. There are many sheep, though some have strayed or have become lost. According to John 10, his sheep are those who hear his voice, he knows them, and they follow. Christ did everything for the sheep. "I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:15) He will do Anything for his sheep. He knows us and "he calleth his own sheep by name". As I looked at the congregation, I knew the names of every person there--children and adults alike. I could tell you who everyone is related to and how they are related. If this is my love for those who I've been able to serve, how much greater is God's love for us?

"I am come that they might have lifeand that they might have it more abundantly." 
-John 10:10

I hope that those I have been able to touch and help may have life more abundantly  because of something I said, or did, or even what I was.

I've been studying Henry B. Eyring's talk "Rise to Your Call". It has meant a lot to me. I'll keep this brief because I got to go, but I saw a promise fulfilled. 

"In the world to come, thousandmay call your name blessed, even more than the people you  serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were."

I was amazed. We were in the grocery store. I literally ran into this lady. It was her cart. I have no clue why but I had been looking at House air fresheners which I had no intention of buying. I was still looking at them when I exited the isle and ran into this lady's cart. I apologize and say that she can go ahead. She thanks me. Then she sees my tag and begins to weep and thanks me again. As I got talking to her she told us that by just existing, by just seeing us, we answered her prayers. She needed that hope in humanity, hope in goodness, and a visual reminder that there is a God. We helped he just by being something we "were". It slapped me in the face with how jaded I have become to the importance of my calling and what I am doing. We asked to leave her with a prayer. You would have thought we were offering water after she had been on a long walk in the desert. "Can we really do that?!?" "We can in you would like us to. If your comfortable with it we are". She began to weep again. By the end of the prayer her face was completely wet. She hugged us and thanked us multiple times. "I hope you have a great day because you sure made mine". I will never forget that lady.

I'm looking forward to my next adventure and find out all that the Lord has in store for me there--of course with a little sadness for those who I am leaving, but I know I will one day see them again. I know that this is a "God thing" and I wish the best of luck to the next sister coming here and pray that she will love the people as much or more than I have. Change is good. Change leads to growth. You may have growing pains, but growth is good. That's why I'm here.

I will be going to the Carson City zone in the Pinion Hills ward. Me and another sister who came out with Sister Wood are being double transferred in. We will see what lies in store. My new address is:

1486 Hussman Ave #D
Gardnerville, NV 89410

Random Fact: It snowed this week. I'll miss Wells weather.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rocky Mountain Oysters: 6/16/14

About a month ago we asked our bishop how we could help him, he responded "June 13, come help with the branding!" He has reminded us almost every time we have seen him since. Finally the date has arrived! Warnings I have got: Rocky Mountain Oysters are cooked cow balls, they don't taste like chicken. I also was warned since I was a newcomer I could expect cow balls to be thrown at me. So I can mentally and physically prepared.
How they brand at this branding: A set of ropers get the cow by the hind leg(s) and the other one the front legs or head. Then someone pulls the calf by the tail to the ground or they (what I call) body slam them to the ground and rearrange the ropes to tie both feet. Then a couple things happen simultaneously: (1) They get 2 shots (2) Antiparasitic is poured on them, which was Sister Wood's job (3) They got branded (4) The heifers, which I now know are female cows, get warbles cut on their neck and the bulls get turned into steers by pulling out the testicles. 

Well, my job was the collect the "oysters" in my little Box O' Balls. Of all the things I pictured doing on my mission... I can't say this was one of them. At least I had control of the box and I knew there were no surprise attacks. One time I didn't stand up because I thought from far away it was a heifer and I hear "Sister Golding, Heads Up!" I see them flying in the air. I stand up, hold out my box, and catch them! Proud moment. At first I was somewhat squimish, but mostly it made me laugh. Of course this is the job they would give a "city slicker"! I think it was a game for them who could make me the most grossed out. They thought I'd be grossed out by the fact they fried them up and ate them. I already knew it though. Bishop takes it a step farther and takes the cake. "You can also eat em raw!" I say "yeah right! You do not do that". He reached into my box, picked one up, and slurped it in! I was in laughing shock and he was just smiling. Sister wood walks up and says "Bishop, you have a little blood on your face?". He smiles and I just say "He just ate a cow ball raw!"

All in all it was a fun day though. We got about 200 cows branded. The dust storms were crazy. I felt like I was seeing people from the ward in their natural habitat, the Wild Wild West. We were D-i-r-t-y afterwards.  It was fun though. Unfortunately we had to leave before the Post Branding Dinner for an appointment so I never ate the fruits of my labors, but I did tell them if we stayed long enough I would. I'm all for saying I've done weird things. I can now add collecting cow balls at a branding to the list.

As for the rest of the week... it has been less than inspiring. It's been a long week with a lot of empty doors and streets. It's been a lot of work with very little progression. Hopefully this next week will be better. We just gotta keep working and trust that we are here for a reason.

Preach My Gospel Moment: This week I've decided to study out "Questions of the Soul" in the the Book of Mormon Chapter. One of the questions was "How can a relationship with Christ help me in my life?" It then pointed to reading Alma 36. It's the experience of Alma the younger talking to his son Helaman. It is a simple testimony of how his life had been blessed after changing his ways from complete rebellion to being converted and being a disciple of Christ. He speaks of deliverance from trials and afflictions as well as deliverance from sin. He was being racked with the torment of a damned soul (v16) until he remembered the words of his father and called upon christ.

20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
 21 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.
And then he testifies to his son
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
And that is why we do what we do. It's not to shove our religion down peoples throats, but it's because we know the joy that comes from faith and want to share it. 
Hope everyone had a great week! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Goats, Graduations, and Good Times: 6/9/14

We pulled up across the school in front of the park gazebo for the graduation party. I get out and see a truck window is rolled down and I see an animal inside. I walk up to the truck and say "Is this a cute doggie?".... It was a GOAT! Only in Wells.

This week has been a good one. Lots of stories. Sister Wood had to leave for a leadership meeting 6 hours away in Reno, so we had Sister Cook in town for a few days. We always have told her that there is always a story everyday. She was surprised that we weren't exaggerating. First stop, there is a man sitting outside. I originally thought was naked so I said Hi and then averted my eyes... Sister Cook walked up to talk with him. He starts to stand up, I'm freaking out. He was wearing short black baggy shorts that were just scrunched up funny. She asked what he though his purpose in life was... he said smoking ribs. He wasn't interested. He said we could leave him with a prayer...and then walked away. Next stop, lady told us we could visit her yesterday. And thus went our days. When Sister Wood got back it was back in the normal groove. We were invited to Graduation Parties and it was just so much fun! We were able to meet a lot of people and talk to a lot of people and just show face. It was fun to see how much the community has come to love us. We got teased and we teased right back. One of us would get up to throw something away, get food, get a napkin and we would be talking with someone for 30 minutes or more before we got back. Sometimes even longer because on the walk back you got talking to someone else. People I never would have imagined we have impacted found out one of us might leave in two weeks and members and nonmembers alike told us we weren't allowed to leave. I love this area. I love these people. This is our area. We are the Wells Sisters. I just can't see how that will ever change. I know it will, but we've changed missionary work here and there part of us here that will never die.

I love missionary work. We get to talk to so many different people. We get to devote our time to helping others. Service truly does bring you closer to God and brings happiness. 

This is us getting back to Wells after being apart for two days. We were excited.

 My kick of the week that I have been leaving as a spiritual thought and just thinking about myself is 2 Nephi 20:3 (which quotes Isaiah 10). It hasn't even been the whole verse. It is one line "And where will ye leave your glory?" It is talking about the Second Coming of Christ. How there will be destruction prior. When all is said and done and this earth passes away, where will ye leave your glory? God's glory is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". His purpose, His glory is to bring us happiness that we can live with Him forever--more knowledgeable, more refined, glorified in Him. Satan's... he is nothing. What is he that we should give him our glory? Where will we leave our glory? I know that if I were to die tomorrow, and maybe this is a little morbid, but if it were to happen I would have no regrets. I've spent my life trying to do good. While a lot of 19-20 year olds are doing something much different, I'm in Nevada devoting this time to God and helping others by trying to do what I believe the Savior would have done and just loving the people. I'm so glad I did this. It is something I will cherish forever. I know where I want to leave my glory.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Miracle Healing: 6/2/14

Monday was okay. I think it may have been allergies because I had more of a watery eyes than runny nose. Tuesday came in with a vengeance. Wednesday wasn't much better. I prayed so hard to feel better for Trish's baptism. Also, that my nose wouldn't be Rudolf red and bleeding because it was so dry for the pictures. Despite the two benedryl I was up all night. That did mean more neosporin for my nose and Vick's chest rub. When I finally got to bed at 3am and woke up at 6am for the drive to Elko for zone conference, I COULD BREATH AGAIN!!!! My prayer worked! There are tomatoes! I could breath and even though it was a bit vain I didn't have a red nose--tender mercies.
We had to rush back to Wells. We were running late, our Ward Mission Leader was joking slash it wasn't funny that the font was freezing cold, we found out 20 minutes prior to us getting there that there was a PRESCHOOL GRADUATION going on right next to the baptismal font at 6 and they were rehearsing with a microphone, the people who did the graduation didn't know about us so they destroyed the room we had set up the night before (which we found out when we got there late)--needless to say, we were stressed. Then there was Trish as calm as can be. "It's no big deal. It doesn't matter as long as I get baptized. It will start a little later and it will be great." We knew it but we just wanted it to be so perfect and we were feeling like chickens with our head chopped off instead of happy and peaceful.

We moved our stuff to the Relief Society room and calmed down. Lots of people showed up to support Trish in this step. Once the song and prayer was done, there was nothing but peace. The whole thing was beautiful. The spirit was so strong. I didn't cry but I was so moved the entire time. It all worked out and was wonderful. I don't think I have ever scene Trish more excited than when her husband saw her in her white jumper and he said "I feel like I need one of those!" WE told him we could get him one. He quickly laughed it off and took it back, but Trish was just the happiest. Before she entered the font we asked her how she felt. She considered it and looked off into the distance and just smiled and nodded her head and said "I feel at peace." When she said it she was glowing. Perhaps it was just her happiness, but I swear  she was literally glowing. Then she recieved the Holy Ghost on Sunday. She was happy then as well. She is just as wonderful as they come, perfect in every way.

We also said goodbye to a dear friend this week. We met her our first Monday here. She has been through so much! She is finally getting back to New York with her dog Floppy! We love her and wish her the best.