Monday, February 17, 2014

The Last One!!!

Hello family!! I hope that everyone has had a great week!! This has been a week of emotions for me- I never thought that this would come or that I would have to leave this place. AH. This week was busy busy busy, and we got to do a lot of really amazing things!!! We had an awesome Relief Society activity (a spa and relaxation night) and we got to go on exchanges on Wednesday. Sister Anderson and I laughed LITERALLY the whole day. We taught a lesson over an intercom at a locked apartment building because the person was sick. OH MY GOSH. The things that missionaries do. We were trying so hard not to laugh during the lesson and we just busted up after the call ended. That night we had a 7 course meal prepared for us by a professional chef....not lying. It was insane. We were over at Dr. Fischer's for dinner. They even rented plates for the ordeal. It was so good. Saturday, we got to go to the temple for the Knotts. They are a family in Council Bluffs that Sister Jensen worked with. Brother Knotts got baptized just over a year ago, and yesterday they were sealed to each other and to their 13 year old daughter Bella. It was such a neat experience. I am so grateful that families can be together forever!!!! 

Saturday was also my departing testimony at Trail Center Training. I really did think that this day would never come and I was completely unprepared for it....I prayed about what God would have me say, but I think a majority of what came out of my mouth was unplanned and in the moment. Sister Whittaker stood up to give the announcements and was already emotional...we were both goners from there. I am just so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve- not only to serve the Lord as one of His missionaries, but to serve Him here, where the pioneers sacrificed so much. I have a testimony that this is hallowed ground, that this place is truly sacred.

I can't remember if I told you this, but when I was in the MTC I had a teacher who served here at the Trail Center. As we sat in a classroom in Provo, she promised us that Winter Quarters would be our healing ground. I have been so grateful to feel of that healing over the past year-and-a-half. I love the pioneers. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to learn about them and from them. I have been forever changed by their examples. My favorite pioneer story is about a woman named Eliza Cheney. This is what she says about her conversion and about her time in Winter Quarters: 

Dear Parents, Brothers and Sisters, The last letter I received from you was dated January 25th. The general tenor the letter is to have us return, but I have not the most distant idea, neither has Nathan, of ever turning back. Our course is and must be onward. Think of the words of our Savior,  “No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.” I did not embrace this work hastily, I came into it understandingly. I weighed the subject, I counted the cost. I know the consequence of every step I took. I have not been disappointed in the least. I compared this gospel with that which the Savior and the apostles preached and I saw what it cost them. I was convinced that the same doctrine must be preached at the same expense. It never did cost anything to support error, men can propagate error and be popular. But the truth always cost the best blood on earth, not excepting the Son of God and if I set my standard so high as to aspire to be a joint heir with Jesus Christ, of course I must not shrink from drinking the bitter cup."

I have gained a testimony over the course of my mission that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that He truly is my Father and that He is aware of the desires of my heart. I know that He has a plan for me that includes my happiness and my joy. That plan will never change. It is constant because He is constant, and I am His.
I know that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for me and to atone for my sins. I know that He has forgiven me of my shortcomings and has filled the wounds that have come by way of sickness and sadness. I love Him. He truly has borne my griefs and felt my pains. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said it best, not long before he died. He said,

"And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.
 I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way."

I too have been able to be one of His witnesses for the past 18  months. I have testified of Him and walked beside Him through the most wonderful parts of my trials and the most difficult times of my joys. I know that He lived, and more importantly, that He lives again.
I am grateful for the testimony that I have been able to gain of the prophet Joseph Smith. God used that young, humble, willing servant to bring to pass the most miraculous events that have ever occurred in this world with exception to the Savior's ministry and Atonement. His simple faith led him to become who God needed him to become- and that allowed us to have the blessings of the Restoration: eternal families, the Book of Mormon, and the priesthood ordinances that we need in order to return to Him once more, and so very many more things. We can have that same simple faith. It comes from reading from the pages of the Book of Mormon and learning about the Savior. When we do that we can fully understand His purposes and His desires for us to become.

President Weston has counseled us and challenged us to read from the pages of the Book of Mormon every day for 30 minutes. He promised us that if we did that, during our mission and after it, he will never have to worry about us. In other words, we will become and remain converted to Jesus Christ and our desire will be to serve Him. I know that promise is true. As I have immersed myself in the pages of the Book of Mormon (and as I will finish it again on the last day of my mission) I have learned about the doctrine of Christ. I have learned what He has done and what He would have me to do be more like Him. I love Elder Holland’s testimony of the Book of Mormon and would LOVE for all of you to watch it:

I have been changed by the power of my Savior Jesus Christ over the course of my mission. I have so much more change to go through, but I have been grateful that He has seen fit to take me for what I was and mold me into what He would have me become. He has cut me down and cut me back in all of the ways that I has been painful, at times, to say the least, but it has been worth every single step of it because it has brought me to Him. I don't have to let go of my conversion or the experiences that I've had here...I just get to add onto them and let them continue to change me and help me grow. This is just the very beginning of my journey with my Savior. This quote by Elder Holland has been on the back of my planner for the past 6 weeks. Sweet Sister Bowles picked it out, not knowing what it would really mean to me as I have carefully prepared to look to the future and all of the wonderful things that He has in store for me and for each of us. It is when we fully understand the concept behind this quote that we will aspire to much greater and grander things than we ever realized we could have. It says:

"Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.” 

I love you all so much. I really have been blessed with the best family and friends that anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for being so wonderful, and thank you for being mine. I love you and I can't wait to see you!!!!!!! 

Love, for the last time,
Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


This week was a really good, but really packed week. And it's just going to get worse this week!
We taught a ton of lessons and got to see so many people this week. The work in Old Mill really is just progressing so much!!! I will really miss these people. We have worked so hard to get where we are now, and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me to be able to see some of the fruits of those efforts.
We had an awesome chili cook-off this past weekend....don't know why they have it in February (it really seems like that is a fall thing?) but we had a great turnout- about 200 people and about 25 of them were investigators, not to mention all of the less actives that were there!!! Activities are such a great way to get people to come out to the church building where they can feel the Spirit.
So remember how I told you about miles? I thought I would fill you in on the new mission rules because I have been cracking up about them. Since the church sells the cars after 50,000 miles, we have to really preserve the miles on the cars because we aren't getting any new cars. So each car can only go about 1200 miles a week, or about 45 miles a day. Stressful, right there, because we can go up to close to 60 miles a day on some days. Then throw into the mix that we don't have a car, we use other sister's cars while they are at the TC. So they might drive in from their house (12 miles) and then have to get home (12 miles) leaving us 15 for the day. If the car goes over, it gets grounded (no one can use it) for a week. Hahahah. Oh man. It is so funny to me for some reason. I shouldn't laugh because it stresses my companion out a LOT. I just see it as a fun game because we have to be strategic about what car we take and about how to use the least amount of miles in day.
SO, because we found all of this out on Saturday morning, we decided that halfway through our day we would park our car and walk. Usually we don't have time because we have appointments every hour, but it was a nice day (25 degrees) and we had time! So we walked from 90th and Burt to 112th and Blondo! Not a short walk. At all. But it was really good to get out and walk, and it made it so we were under miles for the day! Miracles happen for sure.
We got a snow storm last Tuesday (pday) and our cars got grounded. Since we live far from our area, we can't go out and do missionary work like normal, so we decided to do service, and shoveled from 6-9 that night. For an Arizona girl who has never really shoveled snow before my mission, I've gotten pretty good at it ha! I was shoveling with Sister Bowles (oh, do I love her) and I was going a little crazy because I don't do very well when it's that long in between teaching a lesson, so I made her role play with me for an hour while we shoveled. I taught a guy named Joe who just killed someone because they stole his cat. Lots of entertainment to be found role playing. Hahahah. Things I will ONLY do as a missionary haha.
Well, I love you all a LOT. Dad told me in his email that it is supposed to be 46 degrees here next week when you come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for bringing the warmth :) I'm pretty sure my toes will be permanently cold. I love this place. I know that the pioneers that sacrificed their lives and their hearts here did it so that we could have the fulness of Christ's gospel and His love. The pioneers really did love the Savior so much, and I pray that I have been able to learn enough from them that I can live my life in a way that shows that I love Him too.
Thanks for all you have done to support me!
Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Hello! This week was really great! We had another week where we got to spend a lot of time in the area, which is always nice because you have time to see all of the people you need to see. It helps when you have great support from the ward and from the zone- our awesome zone leaders just texted us to tell us that we had a really great week. So nice.
We got to celebrate Sister Brough's birthday this week. Again, you all know how much I love birthdays. I made her this sweet tie-dye cake (kind of similar to those cupcakes I made for one of Marisa's birthdays) and we decorated her apartment. Try decorating an apartment in the dark at 6 in the morning. It's not the easiest!
I gave a training in district meeting this past week on how the apostasy makes the restoration appear more brilliant. I thought it was an awesome topic, which was nice because the topics I've been given for past trainings that I've given have always been really ridiculous or weird. I bought everyone mini flashlights and tied a quote about how the restoration is the light to the apostasy's darkness. I just tried to think about what mom would do haha. Did I do ok, Mom?
Our Trail Center training was really neat this week. All of the senior couples had a different part of the gallery assigned to them and they each had 5 minutes to teach us more about the history of that section. I think that the point was to solely focus on the history, not on the religious or faith aspect of it. But as they taught us about the history, it was impossible for them to not teach about the faith that the pioneers had. It is so intertwined! I think that is simply because every decision they made was an outgrowth of their desire to follow Christ. They knew they had made covenants with and decided to follow Him, so every action reflected that. Why aren't our lives like that?? If we made every decision based off of how we could follow Christ more fully, we would lead very different lives.
We taught our investigator Amy on Saturday. She has been having so many struggles thrown her way, so we decided to have a lesson focused on the healing power of the Atonement. We read out of Alma 7 and taught her about ways we can access that power. As we stood to leave, she looked at us and thanked us for coming, and then said that she felt like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. THAT is the power of the Atonement. THAT is how we feel when we give it over to Christ and let Him do the healing. I loved that simple example of the Spirit touching her heart.
Well, time to head back out into the snow. I guess Heavenly Father just wanted to make sure that I got a full Nebraska winter, right?!?
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for you and for your love and support!!!
Love, Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Holy cow. I think it just hit me today that I am coming home. Don't get me wrong, I am still a long way away and I am far from being READY to come home, but it just got really real haha. We had interviews with President this morning and it was a really neat experience. I just love him so much and have learned so much from him! I am so grateful to have been able to serve in this mission. Man. So lucky.
We had a great week! We were in our area a TON so we saw so so so many miracles. Sister Jensen's birthday was on Wednesday so Heavenly Father gave us a full day in the area and a miracle new investigator for her birthday presents. And it only snowed or got cold for a little bit. Of course, cold is relative to you desert people haha. I am going to be in for a shock. More like, YOU'LL be in for a shock when you get here. It was 0 degrees (Degree??) when we got here today. Ha. The funny thing is that I am so used to it now! I also took Sister Jensen to a buffet for lunch because that is her favorite place to eat.......we didn't really eat at buffets growing up in our home. Actually I'm pretty sure that my first time was on my mission. So it made me laugh but she LOVED it. We found our sweet new investigator when we buzzed the wrong apartment in a locked apartment complex and she let us in. She said that she had been looking for a church and she invited us to come back. Such a miracle.
Thursday we had district meeting and then were in our area for the rest of the night. Our meal appointment had to cancel so she called in pizza and bread sticks for us to pick up....which leaves us with the awkward problem of finding a place to eat said pizza. We ended up going to eat at Sister Reents house. So funny. Friday we weekly planned and then had the rest of the day in the area. We did have to go to a doctor appointment for Sister Jensen that Elder and Sister Cleverly took us to so we could save miles (oh man, everyone go drive your nearest missionaries around for awhile so they can save miles!!!) and then they took us to get ice cream at Culvers. Haha. Took me back to the beginning of my mission when Sister Coats and I used to get Culvers alllll the time.
Saturday we had ward coordination and then Trail Center all day Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday I took Elder Tatafu's investigator Fred on tour again. Tatafu asked him to pray at the end of the lesson (we were down in one of the theaters) and so we knelt down and prayed and he said the longest most entertaining prayers I have EVER heard. I looked up during the prayer (I know, irreverent) and all of us were dying laughing. I LOVE being a missionary haha.
Well, I somehow spent all of my time already. Don't know how that happened, but know that I love you all! You have been the best support a sister missionary could ask for!
LOVE, Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Hello! Hope everyone had a good week! I still think that time is completely warped on the mission because I never understand how a week passes by so fast. We had a lot happen, so I'll just get right into it....

First of all, I wanted to start by telling you about something that means a LOT to me. I have had so many evidences of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me over the course of my mission. I think that honestly, after Saturday, Heavenly Father has answered literally every prayer of my heart. I have been so blessed. I guess I should back up and say what actually happened. We have a meeting at 7:45 every Saturday morning with all of the Trail Center missionaries. President Weston comes and gives the training the second Saturday of every transfer. I was really excited to learn and received a lot of great answers to my questions, but the cherry on top of my day...week......mission? happened when Elder Cleverly stood up to end the meeting and said that he had an announcement that he had been asked to make by President and Sister Weston. Sister Bates, my old companion, has recently been re-assigned to serve in the California Fresno mission. She gets to be a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all she wanted but she was way too sick to serve when she was here, and going home was heartbreaking for her. I am so grateful for the healing power of the Atonement. I know that it wouldn't be possible for her without the help of her Savior and the guidance of the Spirit. AH. So happy. I bawled my way through the closing hymn. Which was awkward because I was leading the music. Haha, ok so maybe I wasn't really bawling, just crying a steady stream of tears. Whatever the case, I probably looked really weird because I'm pretty sure "Hark, all ye nations" isn't the most emotional song.... 

The work continues to keep us super busy, which we love. It's Sister Jensen's birthday this week which will be FUN (you all know how much I love a good birthday) and we should have a great week. We served all day at the Trail Center on Monday and we don't serve again until Saturday night, so we are going to forget how to take tours...haha. Ok, maybe not, but it will be really strange. 

I wanted to tell you about this HUGE miracle that happened over the course of the past few weeks. A while before Tom's baptism- actually, the it was the lesson that really helped him to decide that he was ready to get baptized that we team taught with the elders- we were talking about how he really wanted a different shift at work and he was up for the position because he had the 2nd most seniority. We promised him that day that if he would live the Word of Wisdom, he would get that shift at work. Now, I know that as a missionary I am allowed to promise blessings to those I have stewardship over and I have faith that God will hold up those promises. But I was a little nervous with that promise- it was kind of a big deal. At our ward coordination meeting on Saturday, the elders told us that Tom got the shift and the raise!!!!!! AH. I love that. God does answer prayers. He sees the sacrifices we make in our lives, and is bound to bless us when we do what He has asked. I love knowing that my Heavenly Father is aware of every part of our lives. He was aware of Tom's desire to change, and aware that it was hard for him to change. He was aware that this would make a huge difference in his life. And He was aware that the tiny amount of faith that I have allowed me to listen to His Spirit and He wanted to bless me for that tiny faith. I LOVE HIM. It has been one of the most powerful examples to me of my whole mission about God's love. 

I got to take a tour for Elder Tatafu and his companion yesterday. Their team up was their ward mission leader Brother Wilson who is my friend Kenneth's brother. Small world. The tour was NUTS. This man was so funny, but completely all over the place. I was really lucky to be able to even share any stories or history or bear my testimony before he would start talking again. And he was talking about the most RANDOM crazy things haha. We were cracking up the whole time because it was just so random. Then, we got around to the handcart and I told the story of Francis Webster (who is the best) and about halfway through after I had said the name "Francis" about 3 times, Tatafu and I both started cracking up laughing because that is his first name. Hahaha. Love that kid so much. He is really excited to meet you guys, and said he would make sure they had a car so that kid on crutches could still go out with him ( are going to have a BLAST. Wait. Do you even read my emails, bud??? Haha).
I love you all so much. I have been so blessed to have you all in my life. I know that Heavenly Father has given you all to me because He loves me!! So thanks for being you. thanks for helping me so much, and thanks for always being there!!
Love you!
Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Busy Week!

Well, transfer week came and went and Sister Jensen and I stayed together in Old Mill. Actually, pretty much the whole mission stayed together. I love that, because it gives us more of a chance to gain the trust of our companions and the members in the areas where we are serving. Hopefully I will stay in Old Mill for the next 5 months (haha...just kidding Mom. Don't have a heart attack). We have the best kind of problem to have as missionaries right now...we have too many people to teach in our area, which is AWESOME. It gives us a really good opportunity to use the members and to prioritize, but it is a little crazy trying to get everything done that we feel like we need to get done in a week. Guess that's why we need to rely on the Lord to tell us what we have to get done, not just rely on our own instincts, right?

Holy cow. Saturday was REPLETE with appointments. We were scheduled to have our weekly morning meeting, our ward coordination meeting (which typically lasts 2 hours) and then had 8 appointments scheduled. So we had appointments at 1, 2, 3, 4, 530, 630, 7, and 730. Um....yeah. Crazy day. The other set of sisters that we had serving in Old Mill got transferred over to open the Kanesville area (in Council Bluffs, one of the areas I covered in the singles ward) so we got to split the investigators and less actives that they were working with between us and the elders. So 7 of those appointments were ours, and then the 7 o clock was one of their appointments that we took on. I had absolutely no idea how we were going to get it all done, so I kept praying that we would be effective in all of our lessons with time and that we would be able to do the things that we actually NEEDED to do. It ended up that 2 people canceled and we added one appointment, and we were able to see 7 people people...not the same people that had been scheduled in every case, but close. And all of our appointments ran almost exactly how long we needed them to run in order to travel to the next appointment. I don't know if I'm explaining this well enough for you all to realize what an incredible MIRACLE this is....but it is. I always get nervous when we have back to backs because you get late on one and then you're running behind all day long. But Heavenly Father seriously blessed us. And we saw huge miracles in every single appointment. I love Old Mill and I love being companions with Sister Jensen. I swear I have never seen so many miracles my whole mission....ok I probably have, but it just feels like we are seeing so many miracles!
Nothing too exciting happening over here.....the Trail Center has officially hit JANUARY because we have been as slow as you could possibly imagine. It's given us lots and lots of time to study and read and role play and.....anything else you can imagine. Our area book has never been in such great shape haha. The REALLY good news was that after our horrifying cold at the beginning of last week, it warmed up for the rest of the week. It even got to 50 degrees! That is no jacket weather (who thought I would ever say that?)! I think we will nosedive back into the 20s soon though.
Today I was listening to the song "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" and one of the lines really stood out to me. It said "chasten my soul till I shall be in perfect harmony with Thee." Sometimes we have to be chastened and taught and rebuked over and over and over again so we can line up our will with the Lord's will. Sometimes that will hurt. A LOT. Because we have to rip things out of our lives to make ourselves be in harmony with Him.
I love being a missionary. I love getting the opportunity each day to try to be more in line with Him and His will for me and those of His children that I get to serve with and around.

I love you all so much!!

Sister Farnsworth

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A few more pics......

One More Picture

Last Transfer Week

other than to tell you how COLD IT IS HERE. Haha kidding, I have LOTS to say. But the thing that's on my brain MOST is that yesterday was the coldest day that Nebraska has had in over 15 years. As in, it was -12. And with the windchill, it was colder than -31. HA. Do all of you Arizonans even know what that MEANS!?!? I sure didn't. It was an adventure of a day for sure. We were in the TC until 3 and then out in our area for the rest of the night, and we were nice and bundled up so all was well.
This week has been a week of changes. Sister Owen has been sick for awhile and has been so tough and sticking it out, but she went home this past week. I miss her to death but I want her to get better more than I want to be selfish and keep her here with me. When she left, Sister Mahlstede got transferred down to Bellevue 1st with Sister Tarpenning, so Sister Jensen and I are back to being just a normal companionship. No more trio for us.....well, I guess I should wait until transfers happen this week to make any comments like that. :)
Last week was really good! The TC feels so much better now that all of the Christmas decorations are down and that the GB houses are gone. Haha I feel like Marisa, trying to get rid of Christmas as soon as it is over. We had a great district meeting, and I want on exchanges with Sister Anderson on Thursday, which was a lot of fun. We have served together for over a year now but we haven't ever gone out teaching together. I wish we would have had more time to just be out in the area, but we had 6 appointments and just had to run from one place to another. Welcome to Old Mill though.

TOM GOT BAPTIZED! The elders texted us Tuesday night and told us that Tom wanted me to speak at his baptism...meaning...he's getting baptized! AH. Best text ever to get. I think this has been one of the biggest miracles/evidences that the Lord is in control and that He loves us. Seriously, what are the chances that I would be transferred into Old Mill the transfer he gets baptized after he has been taught for over a year? So good. He had his interview on Thursday before district meeting, and I was a nervous wreck during it. I normally am during baptism interviews, though, so nothing new haha. He came out joking and smiling (and asking really specific details about what he has to pay tithing on....I wanted to tell him to call Dad because I didn't know/care about the details haha) and told me that he would see me Saturday morning!

We showed up to the church at 8 on Saturday morning (yes, 8 in the morning) and found the elders dumping buckets of water in the font. They had been filling it up for long enough but, as we would find out later in the day, they put the wrong end of the plug in the font so it was draining at the same time it was filling. Tom was glowing. We took a bunch of pictures and then started the baptism. I spoke, then Tom went to get in the font with Brother Vaterlaus. We heard a crash. Come to find out later, Tom slipped down the stairs, and then as he was being baptized, bumped his head on the back wall of the font. Yikes. What a baptism.
After that, Sister Jensen and I and Sisters Mahlstede and Tarpenning studied and grabbed some lunch, and then headed BACK to the church for cute Brandon Carruther's baptism. I love that kid and his family so much. It was really hard to see the girls try to be supportive and happy for their brother even though they were really sad that they weren't being baptized too, but Brandon was SO happy that it made up for it. After the baptism, he went and hugged every single person in the room, including Sister Tarpenning who he has never met before, and a woman in the ward who the other set of sisters brought with them so she could see a baptism again. Oh man. It was so cute. Love that kid.

Today was one of the best Sundays of my mission. I guess it's more like it was one of the best times at church of my mission. Fast Sundays usually make me so nervous because you never know what people are going to say, and you hope that the Spirit will smooth over anything crazy that happens haha. Sacrament meeting started by having cute Brandon stand up when they talked about his baptism. He was smiling SO huge and kept looking over to us and waving. I love that kid! Then, Tom received the gift of the Holy Ghost. THEN, Brother Mullin blessed their baby boy and Brother Forbush blessed the Miller's (a family that is returning to activity) little boy Laughlin. And then, to top it all off, William passed the Sacrament. I could have died. It was the best sequence of events. EVER. And the testimonies that followed the Sacrament were brief, powerful, Christ-centered testimonies of truth. The comment was made by Brother Morrison (in the bishopric) that it was such a sacred and spirit filled meeting because it began with so many priesthood ordinances, and that the truthfulness of that priesthood was confirmed through the Spirit.

I always sit next to Tom in Sunday School. He saves me a seat every week. During class, Brother Vaterlaus announced that Tom had been baptized the day before, and sweet Tom yelled out "It was AWESOME!" To which I leaned over and responded "aren't ya glad you finally did it?" He just looked at me and smiled and kind of teared up as he nodded. He is such a humble man.
I love you all so much. I hope your weeks are great and that you know that I love you!!!
Love, Sister Farnsworth