Friday, July 25, 2014

July 22

Letter (Sent July 15)

Hey all,
Wow! I'm in the greatest mission on earth! I love President and Sister Bell so much.  They are incredible people.  President Bell always addresses us as "Sisters and Elders" at Zone Conference haha!
Oh, Dad! I came out with an Elder Mejia from Chicago.  He was called to serve in the Garden City area, and met a less active member there.  This less active is being reactivated, but while Elder Mejia and his companion were talking to him for the first time, this gentleman asked Elder Mejia where he was from.  Elder Mejia said he was from Chicago, but originally from Colombia.  This less active member served his mission in Colombia and baptized a family by the name Mejia.  It was Elder Mejia's grandfather and his wife. How cool to know how much the Lord loves each of us.  The Lord knew this man needed to know of God's love and so He sent the grandson of one of his converts all the way to Kansas to reactive him.  Such a cool story!
Zone Conference was awesome! Ezekiel 3:17-19.  I will he held accountable for what kind of missionary I am.  I've learned that it's not the big rules that are hard to follow… Like not calling your family or not being far from your companion.  It's the little things that are hard…Like waking up on time and starting comp study right at 9:00.  Those ones are so simple and insignificant and they don't seem so challenging….but they are hard.  I'm a good missionary, but I need to be more 'exactly' obedient.  This week I've been trying harder to be more obedient and things have gone a little smoother.    Things have fallen by the wayside…like keeping our apartment totally organized.  But our teaching went really well this week.
I love being out here.  The people are awesome and the Kansas State fans are great! I got a k-state button to pin on my back pack, so GO WILDCATS! There is so much purple.  Nearly every house has purple wildcats on it or a purple door or something! They seem even more diehard than Provo BYU fans! Crazy!
Anyway, I've been sick for a few days.  I think I mentioned it in an email but I've been super congested.  I have to sleep sitting up in our big recliner in our room.  It smells weird and makes at the worst squeaking noises when you move it.  But it's better than suffocating :) Hopefully by the time you get this I will be well.
I love you and I love my mission!

July 21

 Hey all!
How was camping? I'm sure it's nice being in the woods without having to worry about chiggers. I have 19 chigger bites. Mosquitoes aren't a problem right now, but the chiggers are really bad!  They are like 10X worse that mosquitoes and spiders combined. They live in grass and in low hanging trees... so pretty much anytime you walk outside you are sure to get bit. Benadryl may have to be an option at night. Plus…today is suppose to get up to 110. Lovely :)  Just pray I don't get heat stroke. Or pray that the Lord will open the heavens and send rain! The humidity is alright if it stays in the  low 90's, but once it get's passed 98 its an adventure for sure. I guess its the best of both worlds here in Kansas. They say it's going to be a really cold winter here, too. YAY! Can't wait for that!  I'll  get to wear all my long sleeved shirts!
So this week was sort of a downer. We haven't been able to find any investigators in 2 weeks. We've been trying to help less actives come to church, and then ask them for referrals.  But we've been meeting with a family. The mom and her boys have been coming to church the past couple of weeks! Yay! Hopefully we will get the chance to ask them for referrals this week.
This week we had an investigator get really upset with us when we asked her how quitting smoking was going. We are supposed to follow up as missionaries , and She didn't like that. We had a recent convert with us,  she asked her why she joined the church.  Christina, our recent convert, was a little vague at first but then she talked about how she had chaos in her life and then when she joined the church she had more strength to carry the burden. But our investigator wanted to know more, and was still upset.  So, although we did everything we were suppose to do as missionaries, we didn't tailor to needs of our investigator very well. Now she has dropped off date and doesn't want us teaching her anymore. :(  She said we can still come by and teach her sister though. Needless to say we were not the most upbeat sisters for the next couple of days.
Sister Judy, Lisa Murphy, Sister Moffat
Donavan is still doing really well! Lisa's baptism was this week on saturday! It was soooooo awesome!! 1ST CONVERT! And I've only been out 6 weeks!! I'll send pictures. I don't have very much time right now, but I'll try and write more in my letters tonight, but this is where we are at:  Kia dropped us, Lagina is on date for August (cross fingers), Donavan is on date for the  July 26th, and Lisa was baptized!
Pray we can find people this week! 
PS. It was transfer day….But I'm staying here in Manhattan!  And so is sister Judy, Sister Herrin and Sister Clerico. YAY! The four amigos get to stay together! (Well actually we call our selves the Man-sisters,  haha!). Oh and we have a new DL elder McKeller.
Sister Moffat, Sister Judy, Lisa Murphy, Steve Murphy

July 14

HELLO EVERYBODY! It's been a great week!
Monday:  We went to a super cool Japanese place for lunch called Umi. It's a hibachi house so they cook your food right in front of you. so fun! some of the workers there are investigators so we were able talk with them and see how things were going.
Tuesday: ZONE CONFERENCE! So….. I was called tot the greatest mission on earth! (Our mission president always says that, and I believe him!) I love my mission! So yeah...  I want to stay a missionary forever! Sorry family :)   Anyway, we learned so much at zone conference. We had the Manhattan and Salina zones there. President Bell and Sister Bell where there and I got to meet sister Bell!!  She was in Utah for a funeral when we got off the plane in Wichita, so that was exciting. After zone conference we had enrichment and Kia and Legina came! It was an awesome lesson! we talked about the women of the old testament and Kia loved it!
Wednesday: SISTER JUDY'S BIRTHDAY!! She's 20! I made her breakfast,  a happy birthday sign,  a birthday crown that said "queen for the day", and I gave her a mustard seed. We went and talked with a less active today and she committed to come to church! She had already talked with the bishop  about getting slacks for her boys because she didn't want them to feel out of place. We went and visited one of our new investigators who isn't keeping commitments as they should.   We are still going to go over at once every other week to see how she's doing, and see what we can do for her. Maybe we'll start teaching her again if she shows and real desire to be baptized. We went to dinner with one of our favorite new members, Christina. She is the best! So funny!  We're in the process of trying to commit her to start doing family history work, and we're also trying to commit her to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. She's nervous and "doesn't want to let down the dead".  We told her to think of her baptism day and how happy she was, and to think of those people who have passed on who haven't felt of the blessings of baptism. We asked her to think of how long they have been waiting, and how happy they will be once she went to the temple for them. She's still a little nervous.
Thursday: IT WAS SO HOT! buckets and buckets of sweat. Good thing we have lots and lots of water on hand. We got Donavan on Date!! Wooohooo! He's getting baptized on the 26th of July! Sister Judy and I are so stoked! Two baptism weeks in a row! We had dinner with a family in our ward. He served his mission in Salt Lake. Anyone Know an Elder Moberly?
Friday: We rode to a new investigators house, but he was just leaving when we rode up. Bummer! We asked when we could come back and he basically said that he doesn't want us to come back. We visited our non progressing investigator again, and we talked with her about the book of Mormon. We haven't gotten a solid commitment to read from her yet, but it was more than usual, so that's a good sign. We biked to one of our favorite members' homes for dinner. The Siegs. Her husband is deployed right now so it's just her and her three little boys. They are the Cutest!!!  "Big boy", "Chippy", and "Cubbie' are their nick names.
Saturday: I woke up pretty congested and not feeling too well. I took a little rest during our lunch break. We headed over to another one of our favorite Members house to do 'Service Saturday', which is when we put on our service clothes and go to members homes to do service. They can't refuse you when you're in service clothes standing on their porch :)  So yeah, we rode around for a little bit until we found a member who was home. Then we helped her paint her master bedroom. She wanted to get it done before her husband gets home from deployment. After that we had dinner with the bishop's family. We had gotten a ride there, and forgot to call for a ride home…. so we ended up walking for quite a bit until we could get a hold of somebody. It was another one of our favorite members and her boyfriend that came and picked us up.  They asked if we had eaten dinner. You always answer no to that question! (Teaching opportunity!!)  So they took us out for ice-cream.
Hanging out with a member of our ward
I'm out of time so I'll write about Sunday later.  XO Y'all!
Look who I ran into!!  Brookelyn Langhaim!
(Previous Alpine 7th Ward member)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June 30th

Weekly Update-
Saturday: I was on exchanges with our STLs. I Went down to Salina! Its a little hotter down there. Its so flat, but it gets even flatter! So weird, I'm getting used to it though.   So in Salina I was with Sister Roquemore and Sister Walker. They are so cool! We knocked on so may doors I lost count.  They are like the top proselyting missionaries in the mission. Always one more door, one more door. Hey look another door!…. Lets knock this door, eh? One more door. Oh we're home?! .... lets go across the street and knock a few doors :) 
 Both of them have "cop knocks".  They knock super loud only three times.  So its scary whenever they knock. So they made me knock doors haha!   A LOT OF DOORS! It really made me stretch, and I am so grateful for it!  Being a missionary is to be continually growing. You're always growing and continually learning and changing for the better. Its awesome!
Sunday: Well both our progressing investigators came to church YAY!  But none of our investigators who are on date. Bummer! That's only 2 of 7 who should have come. Its ok,  we'll try again next week. There's always next Sunday.
Monday: After emailing we went hiking. Yes, you can go hiking in Kansas. They call it hiking, I call it walking. But there where some substantial hills. Once we got on top of them we could see all of Manhattan and beyond. Kansas is so gorgeous! I totally forgot to bring my camera to the library so I will try and send those pictures later. OH!  I almost forgot about the turkeys! We saw a flock of wild turkey running around. I realized then, that I don't think I've ever seen a wild turkey, and it sort of struck me.. I need to get out more when I come back to Utah.
Ok, so on top of the hills (that Kansas calls mountains) it started to rain... and rain hard. This wasn't no skimpy Utah rain. It was like someone turned on a faucet. No joke! It was glorious! I was sort of scared though, it suddenly got cold ...and that is a sign of a tornado. Luckily we didn't see any tornadoes.
OH! I almost forgot! Elder Goodsell saved my life! When we got down to the cars he noticed a tick on my arm. Who knows how long it had been there, all I know is that its head was burrowed under my skin! AAAAH! One of the other elders had a pair of tweezers, and they were able to get it out without breaking off the head.  So  I decided, well... I guess I'll check to see if I have anymore ticks. Yup I had another on my shoulder. I was able to brush it off because it hadn't had the chance to get its head in my skin yet. So two ticks in one day right? Nope!  I found another on my back pack, and another in my clothes after we got home. I HATE TICKS! Please pray I don't have lime disease.
Tuesday: So we finally decided to knock our apartment building and we were able to find a potential investigator! Cool! Her name is Kate.
So today I noticed how pretty the sky is here. The sky is gorgeous. Its goes on forever! It has layers, upon layers, upon layers of big white fluffy clouds.  Its crazy! Today was our first day on bikes. We worked hard today. Really hard. We are in quite a bit of pain. Really, really sore. I cant really sit down.
Thursday: We rode our bikes again today. We are sort of exhausted. But I love it! I got a really rude door today. She told us (not very nicely) to go away.

Hiking :)

June 23

We had a cricket in our tub a couple days ago. Sister Judy had to shower with a bug in the shower. Gross. It wasn't as big as that giant thing  you guys caught, but still pretty big. 
Oh! President Bell has given us permission to play musical instruments on P-Day :) so I can play my ukelele. Will you guys send that to me?
Its humid as all get out here and nothing in comfortable except t shirts and full skirts. All the sisters pretty much live in White t shirts and skirts. Its miserable in anything else.  The sisters here have a trading system going on. Unless there are elders moving into the apartment after you, you can leave any clothes you don't want or don't fit into, in the apartment closets and other sisters can take it and leave other clothes. (Ps I've gained like 8 pounds since I've left. Dead serious.) SO, I grabbed a skirt form the other sisters hand out closet. We had elders in the apartment before us so no handout closet for us. Oh well. …we're  hopefully going thrifting today :D

Here is my weekly update:
Monday: P-day we spent like three years in Wal-Mart.  It took us forever to get bikes.  I finally got one... its red….and called the ADMIRAL!  I love it. Its a men's bike but it works great for me.  Then we were able to stop by a Referrals house. Their names are Kia and Legina. They are super awesome! We committed them to read the book of Mormon and come to church, they really like reading the book of Mormon, but they didn't come to church  :( They came to a church tour we had on Friday though!
Tuesday: We contacted less actives and we met a girl who wanted her records removed from the church :( super sad! We tried to ask her why, but she wouldn't answer the question and was adamant about us talking to the bishop to get her records removed.  One thing I  have learned is to BE BOLD! BE BRAVE! and open your mouth and testify of truth!
Wednesday: We have new investigators! We met Angelina and Christian, a mom and son with a less active grandmother who lives with them. I think they're interested but we need to apply our lessons to their life. I don't think the grandmother understand how much this will changer her life and make her so happy. We are hoping that as we teach Christian and Angelina, their grandmother's testimony will grow and she will become active again.
Thursday: One of our progressing investigators is pretty much a "dry Mormon".  She comes to church and she has a calling and she has visiting teachers and she lives the word of wisdom and pays her tithing, but she hasn't been baptized yet. Her family is the only thing holding her back. They are anti-mormon, and would not be happy if she joined the church…. but she wants to  be baptized so badly! Her father was in the hospital Thursday night and she asked us to pray for him. I hope this will help her see how important baptism is.
Friday: We met With Donavan. He's ten and wants to be baptized, so we're planning on getting him on date next week.  YAY! super solid and loves church!
LOVE it here!
Anyway, I need to go.  But I love you all!
Me with Sister Judy after an institute meeting

June 16, 2014

Well…. so here I am in Kansas! I'm up North about 2 hrs from Wichita, in a little place called Manhattan! Its so cute! They call it the little apple! 
So my first companion, my trainer's name is Sister Judy, she's form Idaho, Ammon Idaho.   I also totally met Sister Miller, who knows aunt Jodi.  My first day here I was on exchanges with Sister Miller and we helped a lady pull weeds.  I totally  tripped over a plaque and cut my leg.  It was bleeding everywhere! Ugh.
So our apartment sits about half way up a hill, yes hill. We're up North in the flint hills. LOVE it! It's really green…. and humid. Really, really humid. And I'm told it gets worse WAY worse. I think I'm going to die in August. I'll send you a letter so you will know my address. Or you could just send packages to the mission office, they'll know where to send it.  
Sister Judy and I are opening up the area, they haven't had sisters in our ward forever! So we have a lot of work to do!  We got a ton of former investigators from the elders, but when we contacted them, none of them were interested. Bummer.
Our apartment smells like smoke, pretty much constantly, and we have no idea where we're going. Neither of us know the area or the members, so we work hard, and don't accomplish much. But I've never been happier! I LOVE THIS WORK!
Me with President Bell


MTC #4

So….Sister Cox, Magleby, Chlerico and I just got locked out of our room.  Its 10:00 and we had to go down to the front office on the other side of campus in our PJ's and without shoes.  We didn't even have on our name tags…..the worst! When we first realized we were locked out, we called down to the front desk and they told us to come down.  Sister Chlerico and I went out of the building to go to the front desk, but realized we didn't have our key cards that get us into all the buildings so we had to knock on the door until someone let us in.  We then had to borrow a card from another sister so we could get to the front desk to get back into our building with a key for our room.  As we turned down a hall we saw some elders…. and went BLITZING back the other way!  As we ran back to our building we could hear them calling after us and taunting, "Oh, Sisters… In your pajamas!"  I really hope they didn't see our faces! But we made it back to our room before 10:20 so everything was OK.  Although it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life.  Sort of hilarious, but still awful.

Thats what happened to us tonight.  I wish I could say this afternoon was better.  It wasn't.  We had a really discouraging, humbling day.  Sister Chlerico and I had prepared, and prayed, and studied and then prayed some more about our investigator Bobby.  We both have come to love and care for him so much.  We really felt good about the lesson we prepared and we tried to invited the spirit by sharing our testimonies and by testifying of prayer and the Book of Mormon.  But the spirit just wasn't there and I don't know why.  He committed to come to church though, and we know now why he's having problems praying….so we made a little progress.   But this lesson that we had planned so well just wend completely different…in a not so great way.  We felt really disappointed with ourselves and really discouraged.  We both cried when we did an evaluation with our teacher.  We both feel so inadequate.  Although, our teacher keeps telling us how great we're doing, so that makes me feel a little better.  We have worked so hard to know what he needs….we just want to be good missionaries.

Dad, if you have any advice I would really appreciate it.  I need it as a missionary.  I don't need encouragement…I know I can get through it.  Yes, its hard, but I need to know how I can better prepare myself for lessons and how I can better invite the spirit.  We're not the teachers, the spirit is and we both know that.  I guess its why we were so disappointed that the spirit wasn't there.
Anyway, besides that I'm doing great! I love being here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

MTC #3

Today was a little harder…..OK, a lot harder.  I am tired, and all day I was distracted and frazzled.  I can really see now how important our health is in relation to our spirit.  Our physical health is directly related to our spiritual health.  If we are hungry, thats all we think about….and its only when we meet our physical needs that we can really focus on the spirit and strengthen our testimonies.  
So tonight's letter will be a little bit shorter so I can get to bed a few minutes earlier to get some more rest.  I don't want to take any time out of my doctrinal study for my investigators.  
We've been getting up early and going to an early morning aerobics class.  This morning was kick boxing.  It was really great, but I woke up tired and the day was a little disorganized and frustrating.  But there were a couple hours right before lunch that the spirit was really strong.  Its incredible….the spirit that is felt here when your entire day is spent thinking and praying and planning for others.  Its amazing the love that you feel.  

My district

Sister Clerico and I

MTC #2

The MTC is incredible! It is true to it's dedication to be a 'house of learning'.   I have been here a little more than a day and I already feel like its been a week.   We have so many experiences and so many opportunities to feel and invite the spirit.  Our day is a simple one: We get up….learn to be missionaries….feel the spirit….go to sleep :)
I failed to mention who the missionaries in my district are, and most importantly my companion:  My comps name is Sister Clerico.  She is from Oregon and is really incredible! Sister Cox in my district is from Texas, Sister Magleby is from Utah, Elder Whitaker is from Arizona and Elder Mabey is from Idaho.  Its a great district.  We all work really well together.  
Today I felt sort-of overwhelmed.  We taught our first discussion with zero training.  I guess it wasn't a true discussion…we just got to know our investigator a little and were able to plan a lesson centered around his needs.  We plan on teaching him about the plan of salvation tomorrow afternoon.  It has been a lot to take in.  I was shocked they had us teach without any preparation….it all went well though. 
I don't have a lot of time….they keep us really busy.
Night y'all!
My Companion: Sister Clerico

Can you send my hair dryer and a pair of jeans?….oh and some shampoo :)

MTC #1

The first day was AMAZING! Really awesome! We learned so much!
So, at first, they sort-of whisk you away and take you to different places to get your name tag or get your books or meet your companion.  Then they take you to class and thats where you meet your teachers and your district.  There are 4 sisters and 2 elders in our district, although only 4 of us are going to Kansas. After we finished getting to know our teachers we went to a welcoming devotional.  There are about 200+ new missionaries that arrived today! CRAZY! The work is hastening!
After the devotional we went to dinner.  The food was great….(but my BBQ ribs are better ;D ) 
Oh, at dinner I saw Elders Stephen Lind and Payton Moss, and Sister Lisa Evans. So cool! After dinner we went back to our residence and got settled in, then back to our devotional where we got to talk to 3 investigators….uhhhhh, yes….we taught people on our fist day as missionaries!
After that we went back to class to meet our zone leaders.  Guess who is one of our ZLs?! Elder Aaron Fjelstead.  I went to school with him, and I know his brother pretty well.  He also played lacrosse with Cole Huntsman.  So cool! The whole day was awesome! It really is amazing here and I'm so glad I chose to serve a mission.  I love you guys all so much! I'm doing just fine! You don't have to worry at all.  I love it here! :D

Me at the end of our LONG first Day
My MTC District