Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Hello! Congratulations to Jen and Jed for being the first to take my "challenge" to write me...you rock. I was so sorry to hear that Jack has been so sick and am praying for him! I will make sure that his name goes on the prayer roll at the temple here today when the departing missionaries go. I am so blessed to have the best family in the world. Everyone is jealous because they know that my grandparents write me every week, and then they see the letters that I get from my aunts and uncles and cousins. I am so blessed!!!!
This has been a really great week! We found some new investigators, Monica and Katie, and saw some really cool miracles. I think the biggest miracle for me, though, is the miracle of being close enough to the Spirit to know which house to knock at or what question to ask someone. We had so many experiences like that this week, because when we go tracting we don't knock on every door- just the ones we feel like we should. Sometimes I will try to "ignore" a feeling to knock on a house- like on Saturday- and it was like something hit me in the FACE until I crossed the street to knock on that house. Earlier that same day we were talking to a guy and we were talking about Christ and out of no where I asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon before and it started a really neat conversation about the Book of Mormon because he had actually studied the Book of Mormon before. I am so grateful that, as missionaries, we are able to learn how to be close enough to the Spirit to listen to the promptings to know where to be and what to say, so we can find those people that Heavenly Father has prepared. Really, it's just preparing us to be in tune with the Spirit for the rest of our lives so that we can continue to find those people that Heavenly Father has prepared for us to help bring unto Christ.
This week I took some people on tour who had just returned from their mission in Tonga. They are from Elkridge, Utah (I think that is what is called?) which is by Payson and Salem. I'm pretty sure I was with them for about 1 1/2 hours. Minimum. We laughed and cried and the Spirit was so incredibly strong. More than anything though, we were able to know that Heavenly Father loves His children and wants for us to return to live with Him so He gives us people and tools to get there. We went out to the cemetery and found their ancestors who are buried there. I can't wait until you can all stand there with me. It is THE most sacred place.
Speaking of which...I've been doing a LOT of learning this week, both about the pioneers in general and about my family members as much as I can. I started with James Brinkerhoff since he is buried in plot #1 and I don't know much about him other than he was a baby when he died here. So I studied about his parents and his siblings because we have a TON of information in the pioneer library here. I learned what ward they were in when they were here at WQ. I measured out how big a lot would have been to see how much land they would have had. As I learn more and more about the pioneers, and especially about my incredible ancestors who were so faithful, I know that I am able to blend my testimony with theirs as I take tours. I love being a Trail Center sister.
One of the favorite parts of my week is when I get Mom's letter that she sends every week where she prints out the missionary letters and sends them to me from Syster Blomquist, Elder Aiono, and then usually a surprise missionary- this week Elder Urry. It is so amazing to me to hear about the Lord's work going forth in different missions around the world, each by VERY different missionaries. I have such a unique mission- serving in a visitor center, learning about the pioneers, being so close to home- that it is so fun for me to hear about the ways in which those missionaries that are so dear to me get to serve the Lord and those people in the countries that they are serving! This is God's work. We're just His army on the earth. Brent leaves in June right? Get me his info and I will try to be good about writing him....I want to be part of this awesome family who is good at writing their missionaries!
I'm so excited to see where this next week takes me...transfers will actually apply to me for the first time in my mission?! SOOO crazy. I love you all and will let you know next week the update on my new area and new companion! Love you all!
Monday, April 22, 2013
So, for now the rule is we can only email each friend once a month, so all of you friends that I have already emailed this month, you will have to wait until May for a reply! It might just get too complicated for me to keep track of....so you should write me LETTERS. I like letters. All missionaries like letters. And there are 65,500 missionaries in the field! So pick up a pen and paper and write your favorite missionary a letter. In fact, since I'm a missionary, I'll put it in a commitment...WILL YOU write me (or another missionary of your choice) a letter? I'm assuming you'll say yes. I can promise you that if you do, that missionary will absolutely love you and that the things that you say in that letter, regardless of the importance, will be exactly what they need to hear that day. I know that the letter that I get from my papa and grandma every week is like gold. GOLD I tell you. Every single sister at the trail center knows who that letter is from and is jealous that I get a letter every week. Ok. Thanks. The whole emailing friends once a month thing is complicated and I might just get way too confused!
Matt and Elyssa asked me to say HELLO to the family- we were over there this morning and went to Bed, Bath and Beyond with Elyssa to look at vaccuums with her because hers died and she needs a new one. Yesterday they both received callings- Matt is the priest's quorum advisor (he will be AWESOME) and Elyssa is going to be a visiting teaching supervisor which will be so good so she can get to know people! Matt will be getting the Aaronic priesthood next Sunday and then they will both have temple recommends and will go do baptisms for the dead! They are so excited to go to the temple, and have been looking online to buy a picture of the temple for their home! It has been so amazing to see all of these incredible blessings come into their lives since they have joined the church- even blessings from paying tithing!
Last week for preparation day we went to Lincoln with the Openshaws and the Monsens and the Cleverlys (senior couples) and a bunch of other sisters to see the state capitol which was a BLAST. We had so much fun going out there, and I just about hypervenilated when we passed the football stadium. Fall. 2015. Please buy some tickets for me as soon as they go on sale ok?!?!? There is no way in this world that I would miss BYU playing Nebraska. That is all I will say about that. Haha I just reread that paragraph and it made me sound like a SUPER unconsecrated missionary. I promise that I never think about football! It was awesome down there, and I really loved the feel of Lincoln! I hope that I get to serve down there someday!
This past week, I added something to my list of "things I never thought I'd do on my mission." Pretty much every week we see a less-active woman named Sister Jones who I love with my WHOLE HEART. She is in her 60s and she hasn't been active since she was a teenager until about 6 months ago, and now she comes to church almost every week. So anyways...a couple of weeks ago when we had our lesson with her we asked if she was doing anything exciting that next week, and she said that the only thing was that she had bought a dog grooming kit and that she was going to try to groom her own dog by herself and she asked if either of us had ever groomed a dog. Obviously, you all know me. I've never groomed a dog. EVER. But, Sister Owen said that she had. Later, she told me that she "kind of had, a long time ago." I cracked up laughing when she told me that. So we went to Sister Jones house this past week for our lesson, but first, we groomed her dog Bear! I have never laughed so hard in my life. There was fluffy dog hair EVERYWHERE. Seriously, everywhere.
I don't think I told you about whats happening in July so I'm going to tell you now. I really hope that I am serving at the Trail Center in July when this happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paul Cardall is coming to the Trail Center...actually I think it will be held at Kanesville, and is going to be playing music that he is going to write based on the 5 pioneer stories that the Trail Center sisters choose as our favorites! SERIOUSLY!? I was freaking out when Sister Latey was announcing it. Sister Jasper was cracking up laughing at my face. There is a play called Come Home to Kanesville every July and actors from the play will read the stories and then there will be pictures or videos put up on a screen while he plays the music.
I serve in the best mission in the world. It's just that simple.
I love you all to the moon and back. Thank you for your prayers!!! The church is true. Our Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of us!
Monday, April 15, 2013
This week has been great- another busy Trail Center week! This week as I was taking tours I regained a testimony that I was called to exactly where Heavenly Father needed me to be. I love the Trail Center and I know that each group or person that I take on tour was meant to come in at the exact time that I was "sitting up." (in position to take the tour) I have been trying to learn new pioneer stories and learn about the artifacts and different sections of the gallery more so that I can take better tours because I know that when we are more prepared, Heavenly Father can use us more fully, and I really just want to be an instrument in His hands. I have been so grateful to see that as I have done that, He has really allowed me to use those things that I have prayerfully studied and tried to learn about! I LOVE it when that happens!
Matt and Elyssa were confirmed and receieved the gift of the Holy Ghost in Sacrament meeting yesterday! It was so incredible to watch them just BEAMING after they stood up- realizing that they had received this sacred gift from their Heavenly Father and that a member of the Godhead could be with them all of the time. Their blessings both really talked about working together and use the priesthood to raise a righteous family- I am so excited for them! It is so amazing to see the difference in just one short week after they have been baptized and confirmed members of the church- they are soooo different, which is weird because they were incredible before!
I love the power of the priesthood. It can change us, if we let it! I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration of the gospel. I know that God lives, and that He loves us as His children!
I'm off to Lincoln for preparation day...Have a great week!!!
Monday, April 8, 2013
Well. This has had to have been approximately the best week of my life. I just looked at the sentence that I typed and re-wrote it because it was a gramatical disaster. I guess you can take the girl out of the english class but not the english class out of the girl? Ok we will start with the lest important of exciting things. Sister Owen and I got a new car! I think it's exciting.....it smells like a new car and everything. It's a subaru legacy. Not my first choice of cars, but I love it!
Ok, now on to important things! How great was conference!? I was so grateful that we were able to watch a majority of conference. There are some talks that we will have to go back to watch later when we have time on chat, or just read in the conference edition of the Ensign, but I was so grateful to hear the testimonies of the apostles and prophets of God. It strengthened my testimony that we do, in fact have a prophet of God on the earth today that leads and guides us and if we heed his promptings we will be directed back to Heavenly Father and to live in happiness in His presence. I LOVED so many talks that I couldn't even begin to start, but I was so grateful that I was able to finish Elder Holland's talk right before I took a tour yesterday, because that was POWERFUL!
And, now, for the most exciting of all, Matt and Elyssa got baptized Sunday morning! Everything was absolutely perfect for the baptism. We got there early in the morning to fill the font and set up. The batism font in our building is in the cultural hall, and we knew that we were going to have a pretty big turn out for the baptism, so we chose to have the baptism in the chapel, which we were glad we did because there were a lot of people there to support them on their big day! Lakeview is absolutely incredible. The talks, musical numbers, and the baptism were all extremely spiritual and I was so grateful to be able to even be there much less to be a part of it! The last thing on the program was for Matt and Elyssa to bear their testimonies. They both bore powerful testimonies of the restoration and of the Book of Mormon, and of Jesus Christ. I was blown away. They are so amazing!!!!!
I love this gospel. It changes hearts and brings people unto Jesus Christ- it helps them know their Heavenly Father and understand that they are His children! I hope that we can all do what Elder Nelson encouraged us to do and catch the wave of the missionary spirit that has come along with the age change. We are so blessed to live in this time where the Lord is hastening His work- that means, though, that He is trusting us to use this time that He has given us well! I love being a missionary. I love this time that He has allowed me to have to serve Him and His children with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.
Love you so much!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Happy Easter everyone! I hope that everyone's Easter was wonderful and that you had the opportunity to reflect on the reason that we celebrate- our Savior's Resurrection and all that entails for us! Dad, you hit it right on the head when you said that this Easter would be one of the most special of my life- because it is now that I understand the Atonement and the Resurrection and our Savior better than ever before in my life and that I am helping others understand that in their own lives. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait.....did you know that. Here, let me say it again, just in case you guys have never heard me say it before. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
I need to buckle down and write this email because I keep getting distracted...sorry if this email is short this week but it's because I am writing all you lovely people. Matt and Elyssa will be getting baptized this Sunday morning at 9:30 in the morning- right before conference starst at 11! We are so excited for them!!!!!!!!!! It has been so amazing to watch how far they have come and to see them progress so much. Their testimonies are so deep and I am so excited to watch their conversions continue to deepen over the years. They truly are what it is all about.
A few weeks ago we met a guy named Craig on mormon.org chat. He had found a copy of the Book of Mormon, read a verse, felt a connection to it, and gotten online to ask where he could get his own. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, invited him to read it, and then committed him to read Moroni 10: 3-5 and pray about it to know if it was true and invited him to have missionaries come to his house. He accepted. Then, this week, I called him to see how he was progressing. The sisters in Iowa have been teaching him, have set him for baptism in a few weeks, and he went to church yesterday with them. Miracles truly happen every day, and I love being able to witness them! Our Heavenly Father loves us, and He wants us to be happy, so He is always sending us people and things to help remind us of His love for us- I know that Craig found that copy of the Book of Mormon not as a coincidence but because His Heavenly Father loves him and because his heart was humble enough to realize that God was giving him something would make him happy. How often do we pass up what God has given us to make us happy just because we think we are already "happy enough?" Do we really believe God wouldn't want to make us happier?!
I love you! Thank you so much for all that you do!