Monday, January 28, 2013

Hola Mi Familia!

Well....hopefully the subject of my email isn't a foreshadowing of things to come! We are getting 6 Spanish speaking sisters in May, with only 1 sister who speaks Spanish that would be able to train them! President Weston has been asking everyone who speaks Spanish, and is trying to figure out what he will do with them haha. I joked around yesterday at the TC with Sister Whittaker that we should probably get out a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon and start reading it side by side and learn Spanish "The Other Side of Heaven" style- through the Book of Mormon! It will be really interesting to see what happens with them! I think that is when Clark Peterson's sister is coming....did she get called Spanish speaking and full proselyting? There are SO many changes happening in the mission, what with all of the "older" sisters we are losing in the next two transfers and all of the new missionaries coming in, Elder Cleverly getting here, stake boundaries being realigned (which means areas are realigned) and all sorts of other exciting things! I am so grateful that I am blessed enough to be here for all of these incredible changes!
I think last week I had mentioned that we stopped by and saw that young couple Matt and Elyssa that we were teaching and set up another appointment. It had been several weeks since we had seen them because they had been so busy so we were really unsure about where they were in their progression- or if they were even really interested at all I guess. Well, we saw them last Wednesday, and they are more ready than ever. We had an amazing team-up come out with us and he taught them all about the Atonement in such a beautiful way. They told us that they wish they could have us over every night so they could feel they way that they do when we are there all the time- which is so perfect because they CAN. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allows our investigators to feel the Spirit so strongly if they are just open to it! Tonight they are coming to the Trail Center and Wednesday we are having our lesson at the church building! They are AMAZING!
This email is a hodge podge of random things, but I'm in that kind of a mood...who is surprised!? One thing that I didn't expect as a missionary is to have so much FUN. I knew that I would be able to enjoy my time here and that I would love serving the Lord, but I don't think I ever expected to just be laughing so much. Especially when you get a bunch of us sisters together- like yesterday. EVERYTHING was funny. That's kind of how it is with our ward now too. We have built a good relationship with the members and they tease us like they've known us forever. I love it!
It has been interesting to be at the TC now that it has really slowed down. We had 120 visitors on Saturday, but a normal day right now is about 20 visitors. Max. So it gives you an opportunity to show Heavenly Father that you really want to be a diligent missionary, even when there isn't anything to do. We read pioneer books, study talks, read the Book of Mormon, and one of my favorite things is that sometimes we take each other on tour. Sister Whittaker had a hard day yesterday, and I took her on tour. It is such a sacred experience to really seek inspiration for someone that you love and try to say the things that the Lord needs her to hear. At the end she said "I don't mean this to sound selfish, but we spend all of our time thinking about others, which I love, but it felt really good to have someone focus on me." I think we all need to have that spiritual boost, so my invitiation to you is to seek out who it is that needs you to "focus" on them this week, and then ask Him what you can do in order to bless them. I can promise you that as you do that, you will receive answers to your own prayers. I would love to hear about what neat experiences happen from this, so please type them up and either send them to me or send them to Mom to send to me!!
Before I go I wanted to share with you an experience I had not too long ago with a man named Tom. He is one of the assistant's investigators. One day, we were at the TC and Tom walked in and I greeted him, and then he told me that he was waiting for the Elders to get there. I didn't know which elders they were at the time, but it doesn't really matter, because for some reason, taking the elders on tour with their investigators is kind of nerve wracking because you feel like there is a lot of pressure to say the right things and to be bold etc. Well, then I find out it's the assistants coming in, which shouldn't make any difference, but for some reason it does. So I knew I had to be really bold. I focused the tour around the temple and the blessings of the temple and how in order to go to the temple and receive blessings, he needed to get baptized. We got to the memorial room, and he just kept saying how peaceful it was and how he wanted to feel like that all of the time. I invited him to be baptized, but he said he isn't ready to commit to a day yet.
Fast forward to last Saturday, when the elders brought him in to watch the Joseph Smith movie. I wasn't supposed to be at the TC, but with Elder Watson leaving it was kind of a crazy day so we were still there. When he saw me he told me that he was hoping that I would be here because last time he came in I "recharged his batteries" and he had the best day he could remember in a long time. I told him again that he could feel like that all of the time if he was baptized because that is how the Holy Ghost makes us feel! After he finished watching the movie, we went to the memorial room and I sang the song "Angels" with another sister. I should send the CD home so you can listen to that song- it is incredible! Elder Bown and I both testified about the need to be baptized, and Tom said he knows that the church is true, and that he wants to be baptized, he's just not sure when. I am so excited for the day he gets baptized, and can't wait to go!!!! He is amazing.
I love this work. I love this gospel. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to Atone for our sins so that we can return to live with them someday. I know that because They love us so much, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth once more through a prophet of God. I am grateful for the priesthood that allows us to access the Atonement and all of the blessings that come!
I love you to the moon and back!!!
Sister Farnsworth

Winter Quarters Temple Session


On a chilly January 18, 2013 all twenty-six sister missionaries serving in the Nebraska, Omaha Mission gathered at the Winter Quarters Temple to participate in a special, early morning missionary  temple session.  This was not an ordinary, scheduled Friday session, but one added to accommodate the mission president and his wife, the young sister missionaries, the senior missionary couples (who served as the ordinance workers for that particular session), and two special patrons who came to the temple one last time before returning home to Utah.  Elder and Sister Watson, Directors of the Mormon Pioneer Trail Center at Winter Quarters completed their two year mission assignment the weekend of January 19th and were returning home to Utah.  The temple session that morning, they were told, would include President and Sister Weston, of the Nebraska, Omaha Mission, and a small group of acquaintances, so when they walked into the temple ordinance room filled with their twenty-six sister missionaries, it was almost overwhelming.  The outpouring of love that filled the room was tangible and tender and added completeness to their fulfilling two-year mission experience.

The young sisters wanted to show their feelings of love and respect for the Watsons and came up with the idea of gathering at the temple for a special session with just Elder and Sister Watson, the missionaries, and President and Sister Weston, not knowing if it would even be possible.  After contacting the mission president, the temple president and making a detailed plan, it all fell into place.  Righteous desires of the heart are often granted, and in this case twenty six sister missionaries, twenty-two senior missionaries and the departing directors, the Watsons, were the recipients of a heart-felt heavenly experience.      
                                       (Allison is on the back row, to the left...peeking over)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Cold!

Hi!! So, it decided to get cold in Omaha again. But, as we hear DAILY, this is Nebraska. If you don't like the weather, wait an hour, and it will change. That's about right!! With the wind chill, President said it was -11 yesterday morning. Luckily we were in the trail center 9-3, but we were out tracting at night! BRRRRR. Good thing we have the Spirit to keep us warm.....haha that was a joke, but really, when we are teaching a lesson on the street it's like I can't even feel the cold because I am so focused on saying what He wants me to say that I can't focus on the fact that my toes are going to fall off. Or my nose. We honestly saw miracles last night though! Let me tell you....

After our dinner appointment we were praying that we would be able to achieve all of the goals we had set for ourselves that night. We had an appointment with Mike at 830, so we had an hour and a half to get 2 "other" lessons. We prayed that we would have the opportunity to get those lessons, and decided to go check a less-active member's house that we have never tried before. It was in an apartment building that you have to be buzzed in to, and she wasn't there, so we were kind of discouraged because we couldn't teach ANYONE there, but we felt like we were supposed to be there. We talked to some people in the parking lot, but, as mentioned earlier, it was about 10 degrees, and that is not counting what the windchill made it feel like, so people weren't too keen on standing in a parking lot to talk to people about Jesus. Which is too bad because it's the most important thing you could talk about, but oh well! That's what agency is for. ANYWAYS. Right before we left we heard a car door close so we walked back that way and met a girl named Nicole who is in hair school. She said that she has just started going to a church because she wants God in her life more and so it was a HUGE coincidence that we started talking to her....I told her it wasn't a coincidence. She is so prepared. We had an incredible lesson. Outside. She didn't have a coat on, and she was more than willing to stand out in the cold and learn more because she knew that this was something that she needed in her life. She agreed to be baptized on February 23rd. She is a young single adult, so she will be turned over to some other sisters, which is even more of a miracle because they just fasted for new investigators because they can't find anyone to teach!!!!!!!!!! It was so incredible!

So this woman and her daughter came into the Trail Center with her four grandkids and said they know someone in our ward really well and told Sister Coats approximately where they live, and so we tried that area last night (we kind of knew...exactly...where they lived haha) and when we knocked on their door, you could tell that they were really nice but had just finished bath time with their grandkids and weren't going to let two girls into their house, but then she recognized that Sister Coats looked familiar. Once she realized it was from the TC, she said oh come in!!!!! We were able to share a lesson with them about the Book of Mormon- they are prepared. I am PRAYING that we can continue to teach them!
We haven't seen Matt and Elyssa in a little while and we were worried that they were starting to not be interested, but when I was on exchanges with Sister Beatty (a new missionary) this past week we stopped by their house, and Matt was there. He apologized about 100 times because they have been so busy, but made sure to tell me that he still reads the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for tomorrow night! Before we left, I said Matt, you're going to get baptized- somewhat jokingly- and he just smiled and nodded and said I know I am!!!!! He is so.prepared.
We are praying that we can have a baptism on February 15...Sister Coats will no longer be my companion, but she will still be here and her parents will be as well! That would be so amazing!
I will never forget last Friday. We all spent the night at different houses closer to the Trail Center so we could be at the temple by 630 in the morning. There is normally a session at 6, but the temple President allowed us to have a special session with only the sister missionaries and the senior couples. The senior couples officiated, so the only people there were missionaries and the temple President and his wife. President and Sister Weston were there as well. Elder and Sister Watson walked in together, and he walked back out because he was so overwhelmed. He was crying instantly, and came around and shook all of our hands. The whole thing was incredible. To be there with all of those people I love, in the temple that I love so much was so amazing! When parents come to pick up their missionaries, they meet them in the temple for a session with all of the departing missionaries, so Sister Coats is telling her parents when to meet her today! So crazy! It is sad that the Watsons are gone, but the Cleverlys are amazing and I am so excited that they are here!
I know I say it all of the time, but I am so grateful to be serving in Lakeview!!! I am so grateful to be serving at the Trail Center! Some of the sisters made a music video to one of the songs from the new youth list on music during their exercise time...we were laughing hysterically watching it. Where else in the world do missionaries do this kind of stuff!??! I am so grateful to be in Nebraska, and that like the necklaces I sent you for Christmas, that my heart is in Omaha!!!
Love you to the moon and back!
Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


It feels like I just sent an email, and to be honest, there isn't THAT much to update you on! We have been teaching and finding just like normal, and we have spent a lot of time at the Trail Center this past weekend! Sundays are usually a lot of fun because we work almost every Sunday, and now that our church time is 9-12, we work from 1-9 at the TC when we work. Pretty much every time we work, we work with Sister Whitt and her companion, who is now Sister Graham! The Openshaws are usually there too, so it's a party at the Trail Center!
This past week, the Ellsworth's son and his family came to visit since they are only 4 hours away in Kansas. I LOVED meeting them, and Sister Ellsworth asked if I would take them on tour. That was such an honor for me, especially because there were other sisters on shift-like my companion-who are PROS, but she asked me. I love them so much, and it was so much fun to take their family around. I hope that soon I will be able to see some of her other children...hint hint! Come to OMAHA! The weather's great ;)
Brother Hall received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday and was ordained to the office of Priest. He also received his temple recommend and a calling, and tonight we are going to the Family History Center so we can do family history work and get names for him to take to the temple! He is amazing, and is such an example to all of us about how to become converted to the gospel. There is a less-active woman in our ward who wants to start coming back to church, and she went with us to see Brother Hall last week. As usual, his Book of Mormon, Bible, Gospel Principles book, Stand a Little Taller, and other church material was spread out on his kitchen table. He really inspired her to start studying the scriptures more, which was so incredible! I think we are going to take him with us when we go teach a man named Lewis and his wife tomorrow night because they are around the same age and Lutheran like Brother Hall was. Our ward is full of amazing converts, so it isn't hard to find someone who was the same religion as the people that we are teaching to go on team ups with us!
The Trail Center has a really different feel to it already with the 5 new sisters here, and it will only continue to change over the next few transfers. I heard we are getting 6 new sisters in February, and it will only continue to increase from there! Elder Watson leaves on the 19th, which is coming up a lot sooner than I can believe. President gave all of the sisters permission to surprise him and go to the 6 am temple session on the 18th. I think all of the senior couples will be there as well! I am always saying that I wish that we could all be in the temple together, but that wouldn't be possible because we are all on different temple days and SOMEONE has to be at the Trail Center to keep it running....well, solution is to go at 6 am! It is going to be a really amazing experience, and I can't wait! We also have our interviews with President this week, so lots of exciting things are going on out here!
In answer to some of your questions in your email...Sister Belka is from St. George, andshe started school yesterday (about 3 days after she got home) at Dixie so she should be around! That would be fun for you to see her! I think you said it was in March, and at that point Sister Coats will be home too! She's up in Spanish Fork though, but I know she wants to meet you at some point, so next time you are up there you should let her know! Sister Jones who was in Jen's institute class at ASU lives in Peoria and will be going to ASU again, so I told her to look for David and Anessa Hakes!
Love you to the moon and back! I'm having a good time!
You should look up Elder Holland's talk "The Inconvenient Messiah" on (especially the girls). It is so good!!! And then we can be reading the same thing :)
Love, Sister Farnsworth

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Pictures

                           Brother Hall was baptized on December 29th. He is next to Allison

                  She was baptized on December 22nd!  She wanted to wait until her birthday!
                                       A bit of snow at the Hill Home where Allison lives

                                                           Sister Whittaker and Allison

Happy New Year!

Well, we are officially into 2013...the year that I will be a missionary the WHOLE year! So crazy to think about! This past week has been a great one. It was so good to see everyone's faces on Christmas Day, and it pumped me up to go out and do the work! Sounds weird to say that talking to people at home gets me focused instead of distracted, but I think it just gave me a good boost! We had a fairly uneventful New Years Eve (obviously) but we cleaned all of the Christmas decorations out of the TC after it closed at 4.
Tomorrow is transfers, so all morning we kind of tried to ignore the phone while at the same time tried to STARE at the phone just waiting to see who is going funny that we get so nervous, but we do! There were about a billion possibilities, so we had absolutely no idea what was going to happen. Funny thing is....the last option either of us thought would happen is what ended up happening! We are staying together as companions in Lakeview! We are both really excited, we love the area and the ward and feel really blessed to be here! This is Sister Coats' last transfer, and missionaries in our mission aren't allowed to drive their last transfer, so HALLELUJAH, I'm driving starting tomorrow! I am so excited because it is really hard to figure out all the different ways to get places when you don't drive. I am really excited! There have been a lot of changes in the mission, with 5 sisters going home tomorrow and 5 that got here today! I just met them, and am so excited to spend the next year and a half getting to know them better! It will be interesting to see what changes happen this next transfer with the new Trail Center director coming in and all the "older" sisters leaving in the next few transfers! Sister Whittaker is staying in her area, but her companion is going home tomorrow to St. George, so she will be with Sister Graham now!
Well, Brother Hall's baptism was this past Friday!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how great that day was. At first I was a little nervous because I was not feeling very good right before the service, and then the Stake President showed up, and THEN the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency showed up, and I was supposed to be teaching the Restoration of the Gospel while Mike was changing back into his clothes after he was baptized. Not to mention the fact that his 2 daughters and sister who are of other faiths were also at the baptism. It's amazing to see, though, what happens when you let Heavenly Father be in charge, because that baptism was INCREDIBLE. When he came out of the font, he told us that he feels like it was a rebirth- like he is a completely new person. When he received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, he said he felt like Heavenly Father poured something over his head and he could feel it from head to toe! He will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday, and will be going to the temple soon! I wish we could go to the temple with him, but in a year we will be able to!
I forgot to tell you that Matt (the young couple we found) had a Polynesian friend in high school in Kansas City whose last name was Aiono! So crazy! They played football together, and Matt is really athletic, so we speak the same language haha. I love how sports have been an "in" with people because I never thought I would talk about sports on my mission. The other day in District Meeting, my District leader even asked me who my favorite current professional athlete was because he knew how much I loved sports before my mission and he wanted to use it as an analogy!!!
A part-member family that we had Christmas dinner with gave us gift cards to Build a Bear for a present, so today we went to Build-a Bear! Our bears both have Nebraska Husker shirts on and mine has a little football and a bow on her ear. I'm not really a stuffed animal ALL, but it's really cute! Plus, it is a good memory to have, and I will always remember it was from the Granados!
On Christmas we played Speed Scrabble and one of the sisters said that she and her companion play every night after they are done planning!!! Keep an eye out at like Goodwill or DI or places like that for scrabble boards, because I would absolutely LOVE that!
I love you all so much! Hope that you had a Happy New Year and that everything is going well! Have a good semester (for all of you in school) and find someone to share the gospel with!
Love you to the moon and back! I'm "having a good time"!
Love, Sister Farnsworth