Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Allison and her companion, Sister Coats had dinner with Elder and Sister Ellsworth.  Sister Ellsworth sent us a picture and a note after they left to go to their appointment!  Looks like artichokes were on the menu!  It was a big hit!!  Thanks Ellsworths! We love you for watching out for our Sister Farnsworth!!


Hello wonderful family! It has been such a wonderful week- I have learned so much. That is one thing that I have been loving so much about the mission...I learn more in one week than I would have learned in months on my own. It has just been so clear to me that Heavenly Father is in every detail of our lives. Well, it finally happened. We got some snow. However, I don't know if I can really even count it as snow...it barely came down, and it didn't really stick. So I'm still sticking by my idea that if we can make it until December (Saturday) with no snow, I will be able to survive the winter. Everyone we meet just laughs at me when I tell them that I am from AZ though. There is a woman in one of the wards here that takes good care of the sisters- brings us food to share at the TC and such, and as I was talking to her the other day, she said that she has a home on McQueen and Ocotillo! Crazy right? She doesn't go down there very often, just has it for when she wants to spend time away.
It sounds like Thanksgiving in Mexico was really great! Tell everyone that I love them! Thanksgiving was great! When Sister Coats first got to Nebraska, she found distant relatives that lived in Iowa. When I say distant, I mean that when the pioneers came across, one of the siblings went to Utah (Sis Coats ancestors) and the other siblings stayed here. Anyways, Sister Coats got in contact with them and the Elders have been teaching her for about a year now. Her husband is not interested, so she won't get baptized yet, but she has read the Book of Mormon and knows that it is true. We got permission from President to travel over there and have lunch with them and teach them a lesson, which was great! We stopped in at the TC because there was a big party there with all of the sisters, the new sisters, President and his family, and the senior couples. We wanted to see who was transferred where and who the new companionships were, and it was fun to see people even though we couldn't stay for the party. We had dinner with the Hills, which was awesome, and then dessert at the O'Donnells in our ward with 3 other families in our ward. We ended our night by seeing Sister Jones who is a woman who has just started coming back to church recently. We love her so much!
Mike Hall came to church this week for the whole block! Every year he wins an award for his Christmas lights at his house, and on Saturday he put them up, with the help of several members of our ward! I love this ward so much- they are really catching the missionary spirit and it is amazing! Last night, I called Mike just to see how his day was and how church was, and he was very excited to tell us that he has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily! I am so excited for him and the amazing progress he has been making. Last week when we taught him the Plan of Salvation, he just lit up. He kept saying how it made so much sense that Heavenly Father would be so fair in His plan for us and what will happen to us when we die! Gary and Star continue to come to church every week. They LOVE church. They are still learning and progressing as we go teach them.
In Nebraska, people are super into decorating. Not just some people, EVERYONE. Christmas lights are everywhere, and have been even before Thanksgiving. We came home the other night, and as she normally does, Sister Hill had decorated our room. She gave us a little Christmas tree and ornaments to decorate it how we wanted, and stockings to hang up in our room. She said that since it is our last month living there, we need to have it be really special. She is the BEST. Then, we went to the Ludlows for dinner on Sunday night. She is a returned sister missionary and so she always gets really mad at us when we don't call her if we don't have someone signed up to feed us haha. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that she has a son on a mission. Anyways...she is in the Primary, and she gave us a mini Christmas tree with ornaments that the Primary kids made and letters that they wrote to us. SUCH a great night.
I am not sure how it will actually work out with the 66 new sisters coming in. 2 came in this transfer, and we know of 4 coming in January. I just can't imagine all of these sisters coming in- it will be amazing! In answer to some of your questions, Sister Whittaker is doing really well! It is a blessing that we get to see each other so often. In fact, Sister Coats was sick yesterday, so Sister Whittaker stayed at our place with her and her companion came out with me because we had some appointments. In return, I am singing at a fireside for them tonight. One thing I am really jealous of Sister Whittaker about is that she gets to drive. Normally the senior companion is the driver for the whole transfer. However, there is a rule that no one can drive during their last transfer, and it is Sister Belka's last transfer, so Sis Whitt gets to drive. I'm jealous because I feel like I will understand how to get around better once I can actually drive!
I love you so much, and am so grateful for the continued support and love through your letters. I hope that everything is going well there, and am so excited to hear about all that is happening in your lives!
Love you to the moon and back! I'm having a good time!

Sister Farnsworth

A letter from November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!  I can't believe I have already been in Omaha for 6 weeks-time flies.  It has been such a blessing for Sister Whittaker and I to be around each other still because we are always experiencing similar emothions and feelings!  She had her first baptisms last week, and it was so fun to hear all about that!

A few weeks ago we visited an older couple named the Evans in our ward.  They are AMAZING.  She is always serving people and you can feel his testimony.  He just got called to be a service missionary and you can tell that it is really exciting for him to put that name tag on.  We committed them to study from Preach My Gospel daily and promised them that if they did, the person that they were thinking of would have a change of heart about the gospel.  Last Sunday, Sister Evens came up to us and, in tears, told us that she has been doing exactly what we asked her to do.  Her daughter who lives in a neighboring ward is married to a man who isn't a member of the church, but last week, he held a family council and told her that he didn't feel right about sitting at home while his wife and kids were at church, so he will be attending with them from now on.  I know that the blessings we promise are not our own- Our Heavenly Father is so incredibly aware of each person we come in contact with.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hola from Omaha!

Hello! It is 68 degrees here!!!!!!!!!!!! This is my kind of Thanksgiving! Tomorrow we will have a very busy Thanksgiving, which will be so much fun! Mom- before I forget, THANK YOU so much for sending those adorable aprons. I love them so much and am so excited to give them to people. Amanda- thank you for sending me an email! It was so great to hear from you and David this week in email, and to get letters from Papa and Jen. I love hearing from my family! Jen...it doesn't look like Gena's baptism will be this weekend in Nebraska OR Utah, but I will let you know if she ends up having it in Utah! Before I go into the details of my week (which may not be very exciting to you this week) I want to explain about Gingerbread. You should probably google Mormon Trail Center Gingerbread display. I am sure it will be online somewhere. People from all over make gingerbread houses and there is a huge display during November and December in the basement at the TC. People make them in their families, Relief Societies, cub scout groups, or just with friends. Then, people from all over the state and the surrounding states come to see them! It is so much fun, and tons of people come to it, so we get really busy. We even pull them up and take them on tour while they are there, which makes it even better.
SO. Now that we've got that crucial bit of information out of the way haha. This week was kind of crazy because we were only in our area for a total of about 6 hours. Gave me a taste of what it must be like to be one of the Assistants! Part of the reason we weren't in the area was because I was invited to go to that Leadership Training meeting, which was absolutely incredible. Tracy Watson from the Proselyting section of the Missionary Department came and spoke to us about how to be better missionaries and really focused us on telling the "stories" of the lessons. I guess he would know how they are meant to be told because he was one of the authors of Preach my Gospel. He made us role play a TON and his main focus was to have us be able to teach the whole lesson and extend an invitation to be baptized. I guess that would be my advice to those who are soon to leave on a mission or put in their papers (Megan Arntsen and Madi Webber!?!?) because it really helps you understand what is important to say and what you can leave out. Especially since you will have less time in the MTC, I would recommend really going through PMG! President Weston also spoke at this training about how the whole mission culture is about to change. He said that President Monson would like missionaries to be in an area for an average of 8 months- 3 months is normal right now! He would also like them to stay with their companions that long if at all possible! The big announcement, however, is that all of the sisters in the mission will now serve 3 months of their mission full proselyting- no time at the trail center. I am both excited and nervous about this annoucement. I absolutely love teaching people, but I will miss the TC when it's my time to serve full pros. So, even though I am pretty positive that I will stay with Sister Coats in Lakeview for the next transfer, I guess we will see when we get a phone call tomorrow to tell us who is being transferred!
We had another full day of Training the next day, and the rest of the week was spent at the Trail Center or at the funeral for President Clarke. It was a really beautiful funeral and it was so amazing to see the members of our ward just really take care of everything that needed to be done. President Clarke's grandson-whose father also died in the plane crash- spoke at the funeral, and I kept thinking he looked SO familiar, but I couldn't figure out why a 17 year old kid from Missouri would look familiar to me. Then I figured it out that he was in one of my sessions at EFY. Reez- I think it was the week we did together. He had super curly hair and sang in the variety show and was up on stage just about every 5 minutes because he was AMAZING? So crazy how Heavenly Father has such a way of bringing us all together.
Mike Hall is doing really well! He was going to tell his children that he is joining the church last night, so hopefully that went well! We are going to teach him on Saturday when he gets back in town from Thanksgiving and help him hang up his Christmas lights! We are going to Gary's house for dinner tonight- his girlfriend, Star, has been coming to church with him the past few weeks, so we are excited that we will be able to teach both of them for the first time! I'm praying that we will be able to get them married and baptized soon! Tracy Watson (the man who gave our training last week) said we don't "get it" if we aren't inviting everyone to be baptized during their first lesson with us, so you can bet she will be invited tonight haha! Even if they don't say yes, at least they know then why we are there and we can know where they stand! Everyone says I'm pretty bold, but I guess we can always be more bold. Haha....see what I did there?
None of us really know what to expect because of the 66 new sisters that will be coming here over the next few months- especially because we have so many sisters going home in the next few months! New sisters got here last night, and I can't wait to meet them! So strange that I am not the greenie anymore. Well.....really I still am, but there are now people that are newer than I am.
I love you all so much! I am so grateful for your love and your support- especially for the letters! Thank you Irene, Jen, Papa, Amy & Logan, Marc & Kylie, and SYS Blomquist for the letters this week!
I'm having a good time! Love you to the moon and back!
Love, Sister Farnsworth
 This is Sister Ellsworth!  She is modeling the apron that I made and had Allison give her!  Isn't she cute!  We sure do love her, and are so grateful to know she is watching out for Sister Farnsworth!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


So, this email may be shorter than normal because I have the best family and friends and I have been reading emails and looking and pictures for a majority of my time here already. First, I wanted to say how sad I was to hear about Shad and that my prayers are with Jessica and Trevor. His name will be added to the WQ temple prayer roll on Friday.
You may have seen this in the news, but this weekend a man in my ward, who was also in the mission presidency, was killed in a plane crash. President Clarke was a wonderful man, and it will be a hard few weeks in particular for this ward. His son also died in the crash, and one of his other sons was just released as the bishop of my ward. I am so grateful at times like these for my knowledge of what comes after this life and for the peace that was felt at church on Sunday despite such a huge tragedy.
In lighter news, we had Zone Conference this past week, and it was incredible! President Weston's message to us was based around Elder Bednar's talk about Testimony vs. Conversion. If you haven't studied it yet, DO IT. I loved it so much, it has really changed my whole perspective about what I believe. This week is going to be crazy busy, which is just how I like it, but I'm sad because we will not be in our area very much. We have lots of trainings happening and will be at the Trail Center a lot- which is great because Gingerbread starts on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait. We decorated for Christmas last night at the TC, tree and all, which was fun but I just kept thinking about how much Marisa would hate it hahahahah. Can you send some Christmas CDs? In the car we listen to cds so it would be nice to have a few.
Apparently Elder Snow came to another stake's stake conference this past weekend and him and President Weston talked about what all these new missionaries will mean for the people in Nebraska. President Weston said at Zone conference that we will be getting 66 new sisters, and that the mission (which only has 170 missionaries now) will soon have 250 or more. He said that only 4% of missionaries live with members as compared to some missions near us that have over 40% with members. He told them that this will need to change! It is such a blessing to live with members and I am so grateful for people who open their homes for missionaries.
We taught Gena last week- the woman who said she wants to be baptized soon- and I feel like I've known her my whole life. She told us that she is thinking about November 23rd or 24th! However, she may want to be baptized in Salt Lake because all of her friends who have fellowshipped her live out there now! If that happens, who wants to go for me?? I am so excited. She is 37, single, wonderful, and lives down the street from us. Such a blessing! I feel like I've known her my whole life.
OH! Jen- thanks for writing that Ensign article. Sister Coats was talking to someone the other day and was trying to remember what the article was about being single in the ward, and I just happened to overhear her, and could obviously tell her exactly who wrote it and where to find it! You're wonderful!

Thanks for the pictures of the wedding- I got the ones from Papa last week and it was so great to see them. Susan looked gorgeous! I'm sure it was a wonderful sealing and reception!
We had an amazing lesson with Mike Hall a few nights ago and invited him to follow the example of his Savior and be baptized! He said he would prepare for December 8th! He is so great. Eli came to church on Sunday for all three hours, without his wife even!!!!!!!! We wanted to scream we were so happy.
I am going to the temple on Friday! I cannot wait. I have missed so much being able to go to the temple often, and it is even harder when I am teaching about how much the temple will bless people's lives and I can't go! I am so grateful to have a temple so close that I can see every time I am at the TC. Our P-day is cut 3 hours short today for the time we will spend in the temple on Friday, so there may not be very many letters coming out. I will try to write Lexie back finally (sorry Luther) and get as many other letters as I can, but know that I love you and am so grateful for the emails I got today.
I know that this church is true, and that it doesn't matter where we are at in our lifes, this gospel can bring us more happiness than we could ever imagine. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, is my Savior and that He Atoned for my sins and pains. I know that His church has been restored once more to the church through a prophet of God and that Christ stands at the head of that church.
If I didn't know this, I wouldn't be here!
I love you to the moon and back! I'm having a good time!!!!

Sister Farnsworth

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello, Hello!!

I hope that this week has been great for everyone! Sounds like the wedding was wonderful! I'm so glad that I got two new uncles this year! Such a great blessing! Well, today is the first day that I really feel like winter is starting to set in. It's about 40 degrees and very overcast and kind of rainy. One of my MTC teachers said if she could describe Nebraska in one word it would be windy, and I would agree. Especially when we are running. At 630. In the dark. Up hills. Haha it makes for a fun wake-up every day. I have felt really lucky though because I have still not broken out my big coat or gotten really serious about dressing warm! I feel like if we can make it half way through November without snow I will be great! So much to tell you and I feel like I can't focus on what needs to be said, so this email might be a little scattered. Sorry! First of all, thank you so much for the cute package! I loved everything in it- especially the cute note cards and necklace! You are the best. It was waiting for me Saturday morning when we showed up for Trail Center Training, so it sounds like it doesn't take too long to get here! Tell Papa thank you so much for being the most dedicated writer of all time. It is so great to get his letters! This week Training was about fitness and healthy eating, which was so great because most of the sisters here say they have gained between 10 and 20 pounds. yikes. Luckily, I have lost some weight since being out, but I know that I need to stay focused on it, so this nutritionist was AWESOME. 
We have been in our area a lot lately (as opposed to being in the TC) which is always nice because we get to see more people and find more people to teach. We dropped Ann yesterday because she won't come to church anymore, even though she says she wants to be baptized. She'll come around, and I have faith that she will be baptized within the time that I am in Lakeview. We have only seen the little family once this week, but they are doing really well! Gary- who we met our first day out- is still doing really well! When we went by on Saturday we made sure he would be at church the next day, and he said yes, and that he bought his girlfriend and his little baby church outfits so they would come with him, so their whole family was at church yesterday! SO great! The ward was incredible after church, and about 15 people came and introduced themselves. The ward is really starting to catch the missionary fire I think! We have seen them really reach out to us, and we have been so grateful for them- especially as we have taken them out with us to teach people. I will talk about that more in a second, but first I want to tell you the MIRACLE we saw yesterday. A couple of weeks ago, Bishop called with a referral that he had received- someone called him about her friend that lived within our ward boundaries. Her friend said she was beyond a golden investigator, so we were sooo excited. Her name is Gina. We called her like 5 times, and left messages, but we didn't hear ANYTHING. Well, yesterday after church, Bishop came up to us and said Gina is here, she wants to talk to you. We went up and talked to her, she hugged us right away, and said that she is sorry we haven't met yet, but she was trying to prepare herself to meet with missionaries in person. She has been taught by sister missionaries in Salt Lake over the phone for quite awhile now! When she moved to Omaha 15 years ago to work as a realator, her first clients were a big Mormon family. They reffered her to another Mormon family and on and on and on and on, and these families became her good friends. Well, she told us this story, and then, almost nonchalantly, said, so I'll be getting baptized soon, I just have to tell my parents, and my parents love Mormons so it's not a big deal! We set up a time to see her this week, and then both walked away super excited!!! We had both- without telling each other- fasted that we would know who is ready to be baptized in November and that we would be led to someone who is ready. SO cool. Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us and will bless us if we humble ourselves and do as He has asked! It was incredible.
SO. I don't think I've told you about Mike Hall yet. He is an older man who lost his wife 3 years ago to cancer. We have taught him 3 times, and last time we took Sister King with us, who we absolutely ADORE. She is this cute Southern woman in our ward who is so much fun, and always wants to go out on teamups with us, which is so awesome. So we took her to see Mike on Tuesday, right after I emailed, and they became friends which was really great. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and about eternal families, and you could tell he felt the Spirit strongly. Sister King invited him to come to the trail center with her and her husband and us on Sunday night, and he agreed! So last night, we took him up there, gave him a tour, and watched God's Plan for the family. If you haven't seen this yet, GO SEE IT. It is worth the drive to your nearest Visitor Center. Plus it is only 10 minutes. Mike left the TC crying. I am so excited to teach him again this week, and set him to be baptized! We absolutely love him.
Someone else we are teaching that I don't think I've told you about is Eli. We saw him last Tuesday after I emailed too! His wife, Nicole, has been a member for about 6 years and they are the CUTEST young married couple. Nicole is really quiet, and Eli is off the walls crazy. They love to do anything outdoors, and Eli loves hats and watches. Sound like anyone I know? Curt? Haha. Eli told us on Tuesday during our lesson that he KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true and that he could never deny anything that is of God, so he can't deny that it is true. We asked him to pray about what Heavenly Father wants him to do with that knowledge, because without action it doesn't do us any good. We absolutely love them, and I am just praying like crazy that he will get baptized soon, and that I can see them sealed while I am still on my mission! How great would that be!?
So after we got home from teaching Mike and Eli last P-day, we came home to a Happy Halloween gift from Sister Hill aka the best person ever haha. She had flowers, a candle, chocolate and a card on a table for us, and she bought me the running gloves that she had bought for Sister Coats and her old companion because it is so cold when we run. In the card was a giftcard for each of us to Target. To top it all off, she asked if we would like to have Thanksgiving at her house! Sister Beach, who is the Stake Relief Society President, also asked if we would like to have a meal at her house for Thanksgiving! The members of this ward are really taking care of us, and I have been so grateful!
The Hill's daughter, who graduated from BYU but is living with them for a few months, got a cat. She looks like Charlie, but is more hyper, so that's fun haha. Never a dull moment on the mission.
I have been thinking a lot about the people in my life that I could have shared the gospel with. I know that if we show Heavenly Father we are willing to share it, He will provide a way for us. This message is for everyone. It blesses our lives SO incredibly much- why would we not want to share that joy with others? So I guess that is the thought that I want to leave with you. To pray about who is ready to hear this message, and then to act on it. Invite them to come unto Christ. Be brave and be bold. Study Preach my Gospel. When we taught Relief Society yesterday, we told them to build their confidence in their Savior, because if they do, they will want to do His work. I know that is true- if we are confident in our message, which we should be, because it is perfect, then we will not be held back by fear or doubt in ourselves. Who is that you will share the gospel with?
This morning I was studying conversion, and Alma 26:35 stood out to me. It says "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God, for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and He is a merciful Being, even unto salvation to those who will repent and believe on His name."
Ammon got it. I hope that I can get it like he did!
I love you all to the moon and back! I'm having a good time! Love you LOTS,
Sister Farnsworth