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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Birthdays, Bug Bites, and Goodbyes: 7/20/2015

***********NEW ADDRESS*****************
Plans changed, I moved in with the STLs so my address has changed. SEND MAIL!
4827 Killdeer Rd
Carson City, NV 89701

Okay, they aren't bug bites. The day after my birthday I woke up with red dots covering my whole body. We thought they were bug bites, maybe ants in the bed. Then they grew and multiplied. We talked to a doctor and he checked it out--Pityriasis Rosea. Imaging mosquito bites over your whole body. It's non-contagious and should go away on it's own by next Thursday.

Though that's no fun but this week has been SO fun. We have seen so many good things happening in Hot Springs. Some very powerful lessons were taught this week. The not-so-spiritual highlight from this week was that it was my birthday! Most the day was normal proselyting. In keeping with tradition I have only gotten yelled at on my birthday! 

We were walking in this apartment complex. Our appointment fell though so we went to contact a Less Active in the same complex. Walking to the door I see a lady and call out "Hey, how are you today?".....nothing. We are a little closer and the member who was with us walks a little closer, makes eye contact and asks "how are you doin'?"... nothing. She stares and looks away. So we brush it off and get to the lady's door. We knock and wait. We knock again. About that time we see the silent lady walking towards the door we were at. Turns out she lives next door. I say Hi one more time to which she goes "ROT IN HELL!" and slams the door and locks it! BAhaha It took all I had not to laugh. I think I did pretty good. We write a note for our Less active who was not home and the member we were with goes "We should write her a note" "ummm.. not so sure that's a good idea." "Come on. Let's do it." We write on this note "You are a beloved daughter of God" and walk away. We try to contact a few more people and finally we were walking our member home and the silent lady walks past us with her laundry. a few steps later she turns around and FLIPS US OFF! Hahaha. I don't know why I think it's SO funny but it's just like how can you be so upset with someone who has never done anything to you? It makes me want to know the story. 

To end my birthday we went to a less actives house and had a "fake" 21st Birthday with IBC Cream Soda and Sparkling Apple Cider Martinellis on the back of his pick up. It was SO much fun and then of course it got more serious and we taught a lesson about Christ and what he's meant in our lives and how we can't wait to see him in the temple. He agreed to start working towards the temple that night. It was perfect.

Then for the sad part. Sister Ash finished her mission and is on her flight home to Wyoming as I type. I already miss her so much. Last night we dropped her off in Sparks and that was the end. She is an amazing sister and she has served so well during her 18 months. She has made such a difference in the lives of the people here and for me. 

I am now with the STLs and it's kinda strange because it's been made obvious to me by multiple leaders that it is more like they cover their area and I am more of the single sister over Hot Springs and am just waiting for my new companion who should come at the transfer in four weeks. But we will live it up as a trio for now.

It's funny. We are the beginning of a joke now. A blonde, a brunette, and a red head!

Goodbye Time

Learn ALL The Things: 7/13/2015

Hello Everyone! This week has been good with lots of emotions--sad and confusing but hilarious and amazing.

Monday and Tuesday was packing up and getting in those last lessons (aka the sad part). Wednesday, Sister Clegg got dropped off the Transfer bus in Lovelock. We got to spend the day together there until the transfer van was heading West--a perfect time to transition and get to know each other. It was so much fun. It was at the drop off that another missionary told me "You companion goes home in like ten days. Are you sure that's who your companion is?" 

Wednesday night I get to the mission home and get filled in. My companion goes home next Monday. I have 10 days to learn the area then I will be put with the Sister Training Leaders in a trio. I will teach them the area and we will cover both wards. It's a very strange situation but I'm ready for the challenge.

Carson is a fun place to be. There are SO many people it's crazy. Sister Ash and I get along very very well. We both keep saying "Why aren't we together longer!" or "Where have you been my whole mission!". It's been fun to get out and work hard in my new area. Always on my toes! 

I'm excited for this next week I can promise there will have some fun stories. One of our investigators talks to spirits (obviously) and is from a long line of witches. She drew Sister Ash's "Guardian Angel"....

"His name is Muelt and he said this picture is accurate except the ears are a little off!"

This picture is quite creepy and he has a sickle. Being a missionary is definitely interesting. But there are so many good times. Moments where the spirit is just there and wonderful chances to hear experiences with God.

We ran into this older couple who are now taking the lessons. God has played a huge role in their lives and has performed many many miracles. But they find him in the small things as well--the sunrise, the beauty of the world. We shared Alma 30:44 with her

" Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

I love the pattern in the scriptures. Many times the Lord commands to "Stand Still", "Be Still". We have to stop and slow down. It is then we see the evidence that God is in everything. Even when we think he isn't there, that is when He carries us.

Love you all and have a great week!

Independence Day from Sin & Transfers: 7/6/2015

Lori's baptism was amazing and truly special. It was on the fourth of July and we kept calling it "Independence day from Sin". She always talks about how she has been searching for 46  years for a church who tells her the truth and answers her questions and now she knows her search is over. Something she said that truely touched me in her testimony at the baptism is "For the first time I feel comfortable in my own skin, I feel comfortable in my own house and that is something for a person like me". She was confirmed yesterday and she has just been beaming. Yesterday I turn to her and say "I don't know if this is weird, but you LOOK brighter!" "What do you mean?" "You just look like a massive load of burdens and darkness has been lifted from you."

To this she said, "That's because it has. Do you know how much darkness has been in my life? And now, it is ALL gone. It's gone and I have a new life."

We absolutely love her. It's because of people like Lori that missionaries are sent out. There are those in darkness searching and needing the light. It was a perfect ending to the wonderful time I have spent in Lovelock.
Transfer calls were last night. Turns out they are sending me to the Hot Springs ward in Carson City! It is in the same zone as Gardnerville and I have actually been on exchanges there! From what I remember it's a fast pace and energetic area. My companion is Sister Ash and I've only met her in passing a few times, but I hear she is amazing. Unless there are multiple Sister Ash's, this is her last transfer and I plan to make it count :)

I love this work and can't wait to see what the Lord holds in store. Hope you all have a great week :)

Another BIG thing from this week was we met the New Mission President and his wife! They are SO cute and I fell instantly in love. They are so nice and fun. Everyone got to take pictures. So, here is President and Sister Chesnut!

​Another Big Thing (in size but not importance) We found a GIANT cactus. Sister Liddle kept saying it was real and I kept shaking my  head "No.. way!" Finally I got the nerve to touch it. Definitely metal. But it is still cool. There is just a giant cactus in the middle of nowhere!

Holy Hot Cakes: 6/29/2015

This week has been hot. Really hot. And there was rain so a little humid hot. Our car temperature gauge read 110 degrees this week and over 100 was just expected. Since we've been working on dropping people who really aren't moving forward and progressing, we were out finding in it. Here is a good summary of our week:
*Two O'clock in the blisteringly hot sun (107 degrees), we walk onto the property of a less active member and over the overgrown weeds to the front door. We knock. Nothing. We knock again and hear a faint voice in the distant and aren't sure whether they are talking to us
"Uh.... Can you repeat that?"
Nothing. We stand outside a bit longer... awkwardly so. Then we hear this booming angry  voice, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE!" 
"Hi, we are the missionaries from your wife's church. Is this somebody someone's house"
A larger man walks around with a big scowl on his face.
"Uh.... because it's your front door?"
"Okay, sorry about that"
"Well, my wife has blood clots in her leg and is not taking visitors right now and I'm taking a ciesta see. So, we are not taking visitors right now." 
*Man walks inside and slams door. We shrug our shoulders and walk back to our air conditioned car.
Yeah.. that's a good summary of our week. But it's been really good too. We are finishing up the lessons for a lady's baptism this week! The whole experience with her has been neat to be a part of. We love her so much. This work is amazing and great! The good moments always make up for the bad ones. You forget the bad days but you never forget the good ones.
This week I've really been thinking about how we are drop (or don't visit as often) those who are not keeping commitments that we leave with them. A few weeks back a missionary at his homecoming said "I have to be progressing". This has made me think about how I can't be a progressing investigator, but am I a progressing missionary? Am I a progressing daughter of God? If God was leaving commitments with me, what would they be and would I be keeping them? Then I ran into this Preach My Gospel quote by Boyd K. Packer

"'If we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, ‘Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth.’ (1 Sam. 3:10.)” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53).
The Lord does do what we do in a way. When we don't listen he has to step back, but the second we come seeking him and willing to change he is there to help us and we will be granted a greater portion of His spirit which brings us happiness.
Well, I hope you all have a great week! Stay cool ;)

Times Are A-Changin': 6/22/2015

This week went by so incredibly fast. This week was crazy because our Mission President, President Hermansen came to say his goodbyes. He will be returning to Idaho after serving for 3 years over the missionaries in Reno Nevada and we will be receiving President Chestnut soon.
Some of President's closing council to us (and I wish I brought the paper so I could get it correct) is:
"When life gets hard, which it often does. When things go wrong, which they often do. When life seems unfair, which it often is--Remember who you are. You are a child of God, the most powerful being in the universe."
Life gets hard, things go wrong, and it often is unfair, but it really is just part of our mortal test and everything will be made right in the end. God, our loving Father, will see to that and give us comfort while we face the mountains we have to climb.
These are things I know to be true and right and just.
I love my mission and the people I get to serve here. There is nothing that can describe nor compare to the joy it brings.
Hope you have a great week!

What if you get attacked by a village of angry women?!?: 6/8/2015

Our week was packed with appointments! I love the people we are teaching so much. It has been fun working with the ward more to get those preparing for baptism integrated with the people. So much work and so little time!
But we did have an unexpected finding moment. We were walking to an appointment and started talking to this Hispanic man who was working on a water covering. We say Hi and he asks what we are doing. "We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We teach people about Jesus Christ and what he has done for us as well as beliefs unique to our faith." Within seconds (and we only had seconds), he told us that he was prepared to listen to us and gave us all of his contact information. We don't have much time to find but as we are obedient the Lord will not let us pass by those who are prepared and will make it possible for us to reach them.
As for my title this week....
We were in a very strange lesson. We were teaching about repentance and well, suddenly we found ourselves in a slew of random moral situations and extreme outcomes. Here are a few examples.
-What if someone falsely accuses you and they chop your head off!
-What if you lived in a bubble and never learned how to park and a mall cop gives you a ticket?
- (And my Favorite) What if you shoot down a paratrooper in Vietnam and the next thing you know you are being attacked by a whole village, a whole village of women nonetheless. What if you get mobbed by an angry village of women!!!
It was an interesting moment. But that's what life is for! The lesson turned out alright and it's all good.
Hope you all have a great week!

I got to wear an exact replica of one of Clint Eastwood's belts thanks to a traveler through at the Cowpoke Cafe. Super cool.

Here's An awesome object lesson for repentance involving random sauces and cornflakes! I showed Sister Liddle and naturally she then had to "practice" on me. Yes. This is what missionaries do before bed.

Another picture to perfectly describe missionary work in Nevada! Gotta love the country.

When Life Poops on You, Laugh In It's Face: 6/1/2015

Yesterday, we were at an investigators house. The dog came up and cuddled with me after playing catch for a bit. Suddenly, the dog squirms under my arm and around my body. My head follows his trail. "What are you--" I look down. There is a freshly laid turd sitting on my lap. My original response was "Is that what I think it is?" Complete shock. Then I died. I could not stop laughing. The investigator was mortified. The dog was hiding for it's dear life in complete shame. I was sitting there laughing with tears running down my face. The lady comes over with a trash can and we attempt to roll it off my dress into the trash can but it gets stuck in it's final descent so we use my dress as a trampoline and launch it into the can-setting off another roll of laughter. 

The Culprit

I feel like it was God's way of saying, Lighten up and do what you always do. Roll with the punches and laugh at whatever comes your way!
Not much time but here are the highlights from the week:
-I did a fast on Wednesday for the health of one of our investigators as well as family back home, but the investigators doctor appointment is what sparked it. Midday, we call to give her a daily scripture and we are informed they moved the appointment to Monday. A lot of things tempted me to end my fast--I didn't eat much for dinner the night before, I could just end it at 3, etc.--but I kept feeling that I needed to continue my fast 100% and make it to dinner at 5:30. We get called over to that investigators to help with an unexpected project that was WAY too much for anyone. While there, she found out a friend stole a precious picture keepsake on top of all the other things she stole. She angrily picked up the phone to call the lady who had done this to her, but to our surprise her voice was even. She expressed apologies for things she had done. Completely calm. When I came back from the bathroom, she was sitting on the couch shaking her head. "I don't know what just happened. I had it all planned out what I was going to say. Those were not my words. I don't think I said that. Something just took over me and overpowered everything." Over and over again, it was confirmed to me. It was because I had fasted that she had the strength.
-We went to a car show and saw TOMATER from cars!
-My bishop and his wife from Wells came and visited me!
-Graduation parties
-Lots of awesome lessons and teaching. It's been a great week.

The Smallest of Grapes (Beating the Funk): 5/26/2015

As expected, Sister Liddle and I will be staying another transfer in Lovelock! Super Happy about that. The work is really coming along. We have SIX people preparing for baptism and they are solid. We spent yesterday with our investigator Lori, dying Sister Liddle's hair bronze! It looks SO good. It was so much fun. 

We are SO busy, but busy isn't the right word because it's not business for business sake but actual meaningful work every second of everyday. We get to the end of the night and there are people that we wished we had time to see. I'm worrying that we aren't finding as much as we should, but the only way to free time would be to drop someone and everyone that we are teaching is keeping commitments and progressing in their own ways and I would NEVER want to ruin that. It's a great problem to have as a missionary. I love it here in Lovelock and I love the people even more.

As my mom told me to, I just uptowned my funk. Really, I got over any of the remnants this morning. Turns out laughter is great medicine. But I found as I went about my week and wrote more sincerely in my journal, that everything always falls into place and the Lord does the heavy lifting. I found an amazing quote this week quoted in "raising the Bar" by a former mission and MTC president Ed Pinegar.

Faith is the Power
Love is the Motive
Obedience is the Price
The Spirit is the Key
Christ is the Reason

I love it so much because it is true. Then I thought about the Savior and how he lived his life by the first three. Faith in His father was the power behind everything he did. When He was suffering in the Garden, he must of had faith in His role as the Savior. But the reason he did it was love, deeper than we can imagine, for all of us. But surely, obedience was the price, a high price to be made. In the depths of His agony He cried out "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matt 26:39). In an act of perfect obedience, He payed the price that had to be payed for all of us. 

Another quote that I just loved from this week was from a speaker in Sacrament Meeting, Brother Puttey. 

"The sun shines it's light on the smallest of grapes as if it had nothing better to do that to warm that one grape"

How fitting is that in reference to our loving Heavenly Father who is all knowing and all powerful, yet takes the time to listen and answer every prayer even when we are telling him the smallest of our concerns. 

It has been a week of growth and humility, but that is exactly what missions are for. As I am becoming the missionary I know I can be, it becomes easier to have fun and find enjoyment along the way.

Well, I love all of you and miss you! 

Happy Mother's Day and the Year Mark...ish: 5/11/2015

During church a definition of Motherhood was read that said it is the act of taking someone into your protective care. So, to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

It was amazing to be able to talk to my family :) This can put some missionaries in a funk but I guess I just saw them and will be back in a short 6 months so all I have is pure enjoyment of being able to talk to them. I think it can last me the rest of my 6 months :)

I'm not sure how to count my year mark with being sent home. I figured I would just count back 6 months from when I went home and that was yesterday! I burned a shirt with the Autumn and her family :)

This week has been really amazing. Sister Liddle was sick for most of it, but when we were able to go out a LOT of lessons and miracles happened. I've gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. There is a man we have been working with. Though we were teaching well, using the spirit, and showing scripture, you could tell that nothing was really sinking. They were just facts of our belief to him. He finally keeps his commitment to read the Book of Mormon. He not only read, but he read FOUR chapters! That lesson was very spiritual and there was a change in the atmosphere and a change in him. 

A dear friend sent me this quote That I wanted to share:
    “When filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways even surprising to us.” John H. Groberg
    The Lord loves all his children so much, when we understand his love for us and our relationship to others, it gives us power and strength and allows us to bless others in ways that we can never imagine. I assume that it is this love parents have for their children. I know it is this love that missionaries have to those they serve. I love seeing others through the light of God. There are no lost causes. There is always hope. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Sister Liddle and I helped out on a farm :)

I tried on a fur coat made from Timber Wolves!

Skirt Burning!

Happy Birthday Sister Liddle! 5/4/2015

It's been a long week, because so much has happened. As of this week, we have THREE investigators with a baptismal date and another person that agreed top the soft commitment! Three with a date was what Sister Harris and I were working for the whole time we were companions. When I went to write on our board the date Lori Wise agreed to and saw that we have finally achieved our goal, I began to cry and immediately had to say a prayer. I have been so filled with gratitude that the Lord is trusting us with these people to teach and bring closer to God. I've been thinking a lot about the scripture "whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain" (Matt 5:41). I have to think that God takes this advice. When we ask him for something in faith, he gives us what we ask and then some more. 

Our ward, due to the size and we just did a month fast in January, adjusted the fast to be a 30 day fast. On May 1st, the day the fast ended, we tried seeing people all day. Even our most solid appointments and solid backups fell through. No one was home. We had only one other lesson the whole day. If that doesn't strengthen your testimony on the power of fasting I don't know what will. I feel like it was a very strong message to make sure I knew all the success had been, in reality, due to the faith of others and our own. The days following were normal again, but I was very amazed by that.

ALL the crazy things happened. For Sister Liddle's Birthday, we got the black/tiwi boxes. They aren't too bad.They give you like generous "grace period" before they yell at you. But the traffic getting to Reno was insane. We got lost. During our time there we almost got hit 3 times. We have a new investigator that agreed softly to baptism. Then, this lady, Lori. She is awesome. She just knows this is the path for her. We only taught a Restoration overview while we were eating our dinner and she was like, "I know this is the path, what is the next step?". We say baptism. She is aiming for as soon as she possibly can. She is awesome. We have three amazing people with a date and a solid teaching pool. We are busy.

Funny/Awkward Moments:
-Sister Liddle turned 20, but her mom thought she turned 21. After laughing about this in the car for a while, we stop to get gas. A 25 year old guy tells us that he's a member of our church and starts chatting with us. I only realize it's a lie when he motions to my companion and asks if she's my little sister. I laugh thinking it was a play on her name. "Close! She's my Sister Liddle!" and then "Oh! I thought she was like 13!". "umm.. no." Then he brings up dating and I'm like "We don't date. BYE!". This was probably one of the most awkward encounters for both of us in our entire mission. Weird.
-This lady gave me a shirt! It didn't fit perfectly but when I tried it on she yells "fit's you better than me! It's yours now!" Then she makes me wear it right then and there! haha. I love her. Here's a picture it happened while on exchanges so I got to surprise Sister Liddle :)

Inline image 2

It's been a great week. Love you all!

My Goodbye to Sister Harris. On her last morning we hiked the L for our morning exercise in our Awesome Lovelock Shirts!

Sister Liddle and I on our "Taking the long way through Unionville to District Meeting" trip

Our "We had to shower because we were covered in horse poop" Face


Driving back from our trip to the Lovelock Caves, Sister Liddle and I saw a JUMBO tumbleweed crossing the road. Naturally we pulled over to take the picture. It's as big as me!

Great Things in Store: 4/27/2015

Once again, I have no clue where my email time has gone. Also, I have failed to bring my camera but I have pictures from our Fun Run a month or so ago!

The former Love-a-mucca Mountain Zistrict!

Life here is good. Loving role plays is something we have both struggled with, but they have been helping a TON for our teaching. We are starting to get in the groove with each other. All my previous companions were all super confident, knew what you were doing, people so it's a change, but a good one. Lots of room for growth for both of us. The area has been booming. It is all the fast. We have a family in the ward fasting every day of April for missionary work. I've worked this hard, if not much much harder, my whole mission and have never seen the results we are seeing. I told my district leader to not be too surprised if things slow down after the fast. He told me that didn't sound like faith talking. I just laughed and said, "No! It is faith! It's faith in the power of fasting!". The Lord is letting great things happen here. It's fun to be part of it. I hope everything continues, but I also know that it is the Lord's work and I can feel satisfied when I am doing all I can. 

News: Tomorrow we get the Driver Accountability Program installed in the car. It monitors everything, even if you go one mile over the speed limit, and it you prove to not follow the rules of the road I heard you get you driving privileges taken away! I've been practicing since I got the car not going even one over. We will see! 

Love you all tons! Hope everything is going good in your neighborhood!