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
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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!

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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!

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Us and Tim

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Tim, Melinda, and me!

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

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The sisters in the zone

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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!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Wedding Week and Other Mayhem: 9/21/15

Look at where we are! Melinda and Timothy were married. They were going to do a court house wedding but after a member offered her house. Between Sister Haight, our member, and me, we made it a day to remember. Due to turning their life around, they have had to get rid of a lot of people in their life. It was a small wedding. Sister Haight and I were bridesmaids! I also did Melinda's hair. It was a very special day.

This week has been crazy. Here's the Highlights:

1. Sunday through Tuesday I was having some more than normal complications with my health. I went to the doctors on Tuesday in Sparks. He pressed on my abdomen and as before, I started to cry. It hurt so bad. At the end of the appointment, he pretty much said, there is nothing I can do for you. You can go home and see your specialist or you can tough it out until November. I got so upset and sad. Missionaries go home a transfer early a lot so it wouldn't be unheard of but I had come so close to finishing, I didn't want to give up now. But I didn't want to be dumb. I decided it needed to go back to prayer. I recalled the multiple blessings I had received counseling me to "follow the counsel of your doctors". I read a few scriptures then I made the call to my doctor back home. She told me not to worry, it wasn't too big of a deal. "Just continue what you're doing and see me when you get back. There's no need to come back any sooner." It came as a shock. I took my scriptures and just let them fall open:
"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren...and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success" -Alma 26:27
Then, Thursday, all the problems disappeared. Everything just disappeared. Miracle.

2. Thursday was nuts. We went with a couple to the hospital to give a prayer to tim's uncle in the ICU. But.. they picked up this homeless guy from AA who was having seizures and it turned out that we couldn't leave him waiting alone. He was very interesting. I saw a Watchtower on the table and pulled out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to match the efforts of whoever left the opther pamphlet. Tony says "Who's that on the cover?" "That's Jesus Christ. Have you ever heard of him?" "No" "Have you ever heard of God?" "I've heard of him but I don't really understand who he is." We continued to give on of the most powerful lessons of my mission in hte middle of the hospital ER. I few people took out there ear buds and were unabashedly listening to the conversation. It ended with Tony giving the first prayer of his entire life. In the middle, he started crying, knowing it was real. It was so powerful. Ofcourse, people have agency and choose to go against what they discover with us. The hospital offered to find him a bed in rehab. Mid them filling out paper work, we walk away for a little bit and he tries to walk out of the hospital wth IV's in his arm! I still don't understand people, but they have agency. He found something good and decided to walk out in it.

3. Wedding :)

4. We had stake conference and I got to see SO many people from Gardnerville! The Harrisons, Snyders, Byingtons, Millers, Swensons, Funks, Lolies, Sturgess--I love them all so much. I saw even more people. I also got to see those from the Carson River ward that I rarely get to see. 

Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jim's Baptism and Camel Races: 9/14/15

I don't know if any of you remember the story I told of literally chasing someone down the street--something I generally am against--because I felt very prompted and I did it. Well, We have good news.

Guess where we are? Yep. Behind us is the baptismal font. Jim was baptized. Those are always the best of days. Nothing is better. They make all the referrals that are never home (aka most of this week) and empty doors worth it. I didn't realize how much I missed serving in the Carson River ward until that night. I'm grateful for the time I spent there and all the fun I am having in Hot Springs.

We spent a lot of this week helping Melinda and Tim work towards their wedding. We got permission to take time out of pday to go to the camel races at Virginia City with them! It is always an adventure with those two. 

I hit my two months left mark! I'm still in shock that it's been almost a year ago that I was sent home from my mission. So much has happened so quickly. It's been a year of humility and change and healing for me.

In Virginia City for Sister Haight's Birthday!

Me with the Camels! I fed them carrots and everything!

Love you all and have a great week!

More pics from the baptism:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy Labor Day: 9/7/15

Today is Sister Haight's birthday! We have plans to go to Virginia city. The lady we are living with look us up a mountain so we could run down for our morning exercise. So it has been a great start!

This week has been funny and amazing and great. One of the many reasons--I actually got letters from EVERYONE is my family! But here are some more missionary related good things:

We got a call in the middle of the day saying they were all nonmembers but needed help moving and it happened to be on split night so I went with 3 other members and we made an amazing contact! 
A man in the hospital knew one of our members and friends that worked there and asked us to come over because he's ALWAYS been interested in learning more about our church.
 We prayed with an older guy who wasn't really interested but when I asked if there was anything he wanted to be included in the prayer he said "Pray that all my buds can keep living the good life and just keep rockin baby!". 
Dorris is just the sweetest thing and is our number one fan. She even talked us into singing her two songs. She was too sick for a full lesson but we taught a short lesson on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 
Melinda and Timothy are really working on coming into the church and giving their lives to God. Timothy smoked his last cigarette and even bore his testimony at church! It was really neat. Of course this was AFTER the opening song. Tim may not sing the best but he does sing loud and with a lot of enthusiasm. It makes life fun. We had a lot of fun during the opening song "Scatter Sunshine" and may have gotten a few looks. 

Another Highlight: Look at who I got to see this week!

It's Sister Lolies from Gardnerville! My Gardnerville mom! It was a breif visit but it was so nice to see her again. One of the Elders that replaced me the transfer a few weeks after I was sent home was there as well. She is such a sweet lady AND she said she gets her temple recommend in a month. I am so ecstatic! 

I love you all and hope you have a great week! I know that through Christ it is possible for everyone to change and become better. That is something I've seen over and over again both in the life of others and myself. I'm grateful for charity, the pure love of Christ--Love for Christ, Love from Christ, and being able to love like Christ. The scriptures tell us that without charity we are nothing. But then the opposite must be true, with charity we can be everything.

Our hike this morning

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Week of Miracles: 8/31/15

I really don't want to write today but I wanted to include some highlights.

-We met this lady named Dorris. She's in the nursing home and super cute. She has us sing to her every Sunday
-This lady named Nicole made us dinner! She is so amazing and we all become quick friends. She even loves Korean Dramas. Turns out we both love Boys Over Flowers.
-Grandma Jan came out to a lesson with us!
-Do you remember the story where the car backs up to our window and sister Underly was like "We're gonna get shot!" and then I said "roll down the window! What if they want to get baptized?!?" Well, we met with them. I was right. Timothy wanted to get baptized into our church 6 months ago and just couldn't quit smoking. They are an Awesome Part Member Family. It has led to a lot of fun stories and adventures the short time we've known them!

Love you all!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Animal Farm (Sister Golding Vs. Even More Animals)

This week has been fun and crazy and fun. We moved in with the most amazing lady in the world as well as two cats, three dogs, 4 chicks, and about a dozen hens. Our member we live with shortly after the move left town for Utah leaving us on animal duty. The chickens would not get in the cage, the dogs would make messes, the cat ran away (and luckily we got him back)--It's been interesting. I think we finally got the groove down but we are quite happy Sister G is coming back tonight :)

Sister Golding vs. the Dogs. To help with Sister Haight's allergies during our lunch hour we bathed the three dogs. Sister G. told us to put them in the bath tub and use the shower head. When we finally got the 120/130 pound dog in the bath tub. We shut the shower door. There we were. Two sisters and a giant dog in the bath tub. Bode just looks up at us like "What the heck is going on?" and I just had to laugh because his expression was EXACTLY how I was feeling.

The work has been amazing this week. Samantha (one of our investigators in Carson River Ward) got baptized on Tuesday! We thought we wouldn't be able to go due to transfers, but we weren't invited to stay for the transfer meeting and went to Carson minus Sister Grandy and plus Sister Haight at noon. We surprised her! It was an amazing baptism where the spirit was so strong. Grandma Jan got confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week. Very tender moment. She looked so happy. We have been able to find and have started working with 3 amazing part member families this week. One of our investigators we thought may be a lost cause has turned a new page and now has a baptism date of September 26. I have a feeling this one may actually go though.

One of our more interesting stories from this week happened at a motel... I'll spare my dad the details (he told me to stop scaring him), but after an event we felt a strong prompting to knock on this door. The event kinda shook us so we were scared but the prompting was undeniable. We knocked on the door and found this most amazing 21 year old who needs this in her life right now. Our meeting was brief but perfect. We found a friend. I can't wait to continue working with her!

I know that the church is true. The grace of Jesus Christ gives us healing, forgiveness, and strength. God still talks to his people, the heavens are not closed but very open. Open because a Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to have greater access to that amazing grace. Just as God gives us a sun rise after the dark, with every second there is second chance to feel the beams of light breaking through the darkness. God has a plan. Perhaps we don't quite understand what it is, but he does and that is enough for me.

I hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Transfer news! And Grandma Jan's Baptism: 8/17/15

Sister Golding is staying Hot Springs but I actually get a companion! My companion will be Sister Haight. She is a temple square sister on her second transfer in the field.

This week has been amazing and awesome. Thank you for the chance to serve with Sister Grandy and Underly. They are amazing.
Grandma Jan got baptized yesterday. The spirit was so amazing. It really is never too late to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ! I love the gospel and I know this church is true. Have a great week.

What is the best that lies within us? Of how much are we capable? None of us yet knows... An old Arabic legend tells of a rider finding a spindly sparrow lying on its back in the middle of the road. He dismounted and asked the sparrow why his feet where in the air.
Replied the sparrow, “I heard the heavens were going to fall today.”
“And I suppose you think your puny bird legs can hold up the whole universe?” laughed the horseman.
“Perhaps not,” said the sparrow with conviction, “but one does whatever one can.”
This week has been too fast but also amazing and great. The greatest part Was Grandma Jan's baptism! The spirit there was so sweet and amazing. I cannot believe this day has come. She has lived with Brother and Sister Thornton for years and when we first started teaching her she would look at us and say "You can't teach old dogs new tricks!". Well, as it turns out, it is never too late to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her GREAT grandchildren gave the prayers as well as as the talk on baptism. It was too cute. I love her just so much. It made my life to see it all.

So transfers have been announced. Sister Grandy is finishing out and headed back to AZ. Sister Underly is getting a sister from Ely. And Sister Golding? I'm getting a Temple Square sister. She is on her second and last transfer in the field and should be heading back to Temple Square at the end of this transfer. I went on exchanges with her for a few hours when Sister Ash went through the temple before going home, so it should be good :)

A story has really touched me this week. It is in a BYU devotional by Elder Jeffery R Holland He says,

"What is the best that lies within us? Of how much are we capable? None of us yet knows... An old Arabic legend tells of a rider finding a spindly sparrow lying on its back in the middle of the road. He dismounted and asked the sparrow why his feet where in the air.
Replied the sparrow, “I heard the heavens were going to fall today.”
“And I suppose you think your puny bird legs can hold up the whole universe?” laughed the horseman.
“Perhaps not,” said the sparrow with conviction, “but one does whatever one can.”
This short tale has given me a lot of courage this past week. I can just picture the puny little legs of the sparrow and his desire to take on the world. Perhaps we won't change the world. Maybe my contribution is small. But not matter what we have to face, we have to keep going. We have to keep trying. On talking about the Pioneers, Brad Wilcox said, "The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them". I know that when we have God on our side, when we have grace--the enabling power of the Atonement, the task in front of us will NEVER be as great as the power behind us.

Love you all and have a great week! 

Are you religious? No. I'm Christian: 8/8/15

Okay. This week has been strange and all over (with one of us getting sick, the sisters needing to go to reno and going on splits, and just days where things went crazy). So many funny things.

*This guy passes us in a motel trying to contact another lady and mumbles
"Galatians 6:5"
"OH cool. What's that one?"
"I have no need to answer any man because I have applied the blood of Christ and have no need to do anything more" (Actual Scripture: "For every man shall bear his own burden." So close)
"Nice. So are you very religious?"
Then he walks away. We all look at each other in silence for a few seconds and I finally say "So... It that his name? Hi Christian. I'm Sister Golding!"

*We walked into the WRONG house for dinner and spend 15 minutes talking to this lady thinking they just forgot she was feeding us dinner.

*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!" 
"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 bages and tell us where there house is and to come visit anytime and drive off. So crazy! When does that happen?

On a More spiritual note.

I've been thinking a lot about the miracle of Christ calming the storm (Mark 4). I would see videos of this account and wonder why the disciples were SO worried. But then I thought of the story from the point of view of one of the disicples. The waves "beat into the ship" so much that it was "now full". The water had filled the boat so much that it was filled to it's maximum capacity. Death was imminent. Then they turned to the Savior and there he was "asleep on a pillow". What they must have felt was complete abandonment. They asked, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Do I matter so little to you that you can sleep while I am fighting for my life? I feel like I and many people have been in that boat. I remember times where I was drowning in trials and sorrows and the heavens seemed closed. I would pray in my own way "Master, carest thou not that I perish". You have all power, can't you take this away? But he always, in his own time, says "Peace be still". He let's the boat get full but he will never let us drown.  Then comes the rebuke.

"Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?"

Which reminds me of a similar rebuke I use to think was very harsh. When Peter walks on water and falls into the water after seeing the winds and waves.

"O thou of little faith"

Didn't they face death? Didn't he just WALK ON WATER? Didn't they desert everything they own to follow the Savior" As I thought I came to realization that perhaps the rebuke wasn't towards their faith in whole. But they were rebuked because they feared. Just as cold is the absence of heat. Just as darkness is the absence of light. Fear is the absence of faith. All of our fears can be overcome through faith.

Not once does the Lord say fear, worry, be anxious. He always says "Peace, be still" "Be strong and of a good courage. Be not afraid. Neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest" "Doubt not, Fear not." Faith is truly the antidote to fear. He tells his disciples, "if you turn to me, you have no need to fear."

Sorry this is a long email. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Another funny moment...
* We talked to these VERY VERY intoxicated people. the drunk guy mumbles "This morning, this is so weird, but this morning I was just singing 'Mary did you know' do you know that song? Now you guys are here." Then he starts singing and I start singing along and he FREAKS out and starts slapping his buddy. "SPARKY! SPARK! I was singing this song this morning and. this is so weird. She just started singing! OUT OF NOWHERE!" Then he sang the first line and made a motion to me "SING IT! SING IT!" then he put his arms in the air and swayed as I sang. Yep. Pretty fun.
* Then a man walked down the stairs and Mary Did You Know guy yells out "TONY! TONY! Come over here for a second. You need to shake hands with this lady. Tony shakes my hand and walks away. We pass Tony on the way back to the car and say "Hey! It's Tony right?" "No, it's Bob." "I thought... you were Tony" "HE doesn't know me! He has no clue what he is saying!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

If you squeeze lemons... : 8/3/15

If you squeeze lemons, you get lemon Juice
If you squeeze oranges, you get orange juice.
If you you squeeze Christ, you get Jesus Christ
If you squeeze a Mormon....

Supposedly you get Joseph Smith. We ran into this guy who really like deep religious philosophy. It was a VERY interesting conversation of learning. He wanted to show us that you can't put a box on a religion or else you cease to "squeeze" Jesus Christ. Something we tried to help him understand is the role of a prophet. Christ only gets to physically be on the earth and lead his people twice--His mortal ministry and His second coming. Don't you think, he would call someone just as he has in the past to lead His people and His church prior top the second coming? We do not follow Joseph Smith, we worship and follow our savior Jesus Christ. Very interesting conversation. We often run into people who want to save the missionaries because we have been brain washed... supposedly. I can tell you something though. No one could make me believe something based solely off their word. At one point the man said "If you are so confident in your faith you need to challenge it." To which I responded with full confidence "Oh, I challenge it everyday and everyday I know even more that it is true." I later used his challenge to me in response to the fact he had never actually read all of the Book of Mormon, "If you are so confident in YOUR faith, you need to read and challenge this book." In the end, he looked at me and said, "I like your challenging feisty spirit. You have obviously done some questioning. I like it." I don't know how much he got out of that conversation but my testimony grew leaps and bounds as I challenged my faith once more and found once again that it is true. He asked why they send the young ones out. To which I quoted Paul, "When I am weak, then am I strong". When it is the truth, when we have God on our side, it doesn't matter if you are the most eloquent,  knowledgeable speaker. It is the truth. How else could a 19-21 year old defend their faith to someone who can quote the bible back and forth in English, Hebrew, and Greek and make him think? The lord has always called the weak and simple, the fisherman to do His work. It's the truth. If it's the truth then nothing else matters.

We have seen so many miracles and amazing things this week. Week two has gone smoother than week one by a lot. Definitely faster. This week flew. I love missionary work. We are enrolled in a great cause.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trio? Try Triple Threat: 7/27/2015

This week has been the longest week in my life and yet it has passed by in a blur. So much happens in a day. We added up our areas and this week we had 61 lessons! God has definitely given us miracles in abundance. So much happens that mornings feel like they were weeks ago. We  now have 4 people with a baptism date that we are helping.

It's interesting covering a ward by myself. I talked with President this week and they do intend to keep the areas separate so it's up to us to keep the area alive. We fasted that finding would just fall into our laps because we don't have time to find, we got 5 referrals! 

You know how some people just throw their kids into the pool to teach them how to swim? That's pretty much been my week. Either sink or swim. I definitely feel like I'm dog paddling but I'm staying above!

The trio was an adjustment but after a few days it was a lot of fun. I think the moment of offical bonding was when we realized we could do three part harmony. We have been singing a lot. I love it. I usually take the Tenor line an octave above, Sister Underly takes the Alto, and Sister Grandy rocks the melody. It's been good. 

Spiritual Moment:
I've been studying a LOT about Luke 15: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. My brother-in-law posed the question, why are there 3 different stories to say the same thing. This morning I read over it another time and realized they are not the same at all! The sheep wanders off innocently, almost unaware. A sheep is symbolic of innocence. They enter a sin unsuspectingly and soon find themselves lost. In order to get back to the fold, those who represent the savior put them upon their backs and carry them home. The lost coin: It gets lost through the carelessness of others. It takes the efforts "seek(ing) diligently" and "sweeping", cleaning out the offenders own dirt to bring them back. Then you have the prodigal son, someone who willfully disobeys or turns against their Heavenly Father. For them, you just have to watch and wait for them to "come to themselves" and start their own walk home. Then when they come, run, greet them with open arms. You have to let go of past grudges and welcome them back rejoicing.

I don't know if that is completely correct but it's what I felt thisa morning. Hope you all have a great week!