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