"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall
proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas!


This will be my Christmas email because p-day is on Christmas so I won't get to email. But we'll get to talk on the phone so even better!

This week was crazy....and it is only Wednesday!

So Sunday we spoke at a different ward, it was fun! We ended up with only about 2 minutes each to speak, but it was good. It was nice to experience that.

On Monday, we got to.....drumroll.....eat at a members house! One of the couples in my mission President's ward had my district over for a Christmas Dinner! (Different couples had other districts over, so all the sisters get to do that, it wasn't just our district) Oh man was it good. We had roast beef on rolls with a ribbon salad, fresh vegetables, funeral potatoes, and all types of deserts....I had thirds I was so stuffed. Then we talked about our Christmas traditions, the food we eat, and got to play parts in a narration of 'The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever' It was great! It was such a treat to be fed!

So we were going to go straight home, but then we found out that some people from my companion's ward in India were here with some friends and wanted to see her so we ran (literally) to the square to see them. Well, as it turns out, the friends that the people from India were with were my cousin Megan and her husband Eric and his parents! So crazy. So we are talking to thm and guess who I see.....my entire YSA ward from Ogden was there! So we ended up staying and talking with them, it was so fun to see everyone.

Yesterday morning, all the sisters had the opportunity to go on an organ tour. We got to go behind the scenes and see what the organ really looks like from behind, in both the Tabernacle and the Conference Center!

The Tabernacle has 11,623 pipes ( i feel like i am giving a tour) and the Conference Center has 7000 i think, and we got to see them! Some are 32 ft. tall, and some are just 1/4 inch tall.

But when we were in the conference center we got to go on the stage, play the organ, go in the choir seats etc., and so I went and sat in the Prophet's chair! (I hope that isn't sacrilegious haha) but i had to do it.

Today we got to go to the Temple! It was so great, I really miss being able to go once a week...but I am so blessed to be able to go every six weeks, most missionaries do not get that.

It's been weird getting used to live sessions but good too. I love the SLC temple. I actually got to do a name for someone who brought some sisters some names for his family that he couldn't do since he is male. So it was really cool to be able to help someone do their family history (not that temple names aren't helping but you know what I mean).

So this week has been a week of miracles, we have found several new investigators and had multiple less-active lessons, which are a little harder to come by.

One of the less actives, Alisa came to Temple Square by herself a couple nights ago. She moved from Michigan and hasn't really gone to church but she acted like she was all happy. We could tell it was just a front though. She wanted to see the presentation God's Plan for His Families so we ended up taking her through it by herself, which is rare with all the people. I know that that was the work of God though because we needed to get to know her needs and we couldn't have done that with 10 other people in a big group. So at the end, we really just felt like we should tell her how much God loves her. We said, you know, we don't know what you are going through, but there is one person that does. Christ has felt what you are feeling, and has gone through what you are going through. She started crying and said that she is going through a lot. We invited her to pray and to work towards the temple, and she gave us her phone number so that we can continue talking to her and helping her get there.

We also found a new investigator on chat! Her name is Nan, and she lives in London England. She came on chat and had some questions. We taught her the Plan of Salvation in depth, and she really liked it. She found it really interesting. She is not religious at all, but lately has been really interested, and when she tried asking questions about where she is going after this life, why she is here etc., no one could ever tell her. So she liked that there was a solid answer. She committed to pray that night and we called her the next day. she prayed! She said she enjoyed praying. We got to teach her the Restoration and Priesthood. A lot of people get overwhelmed so we try not to teach as much at once, but she is so hungry for information, she wants to learn about it all! She said she will pray to know if it is true and committed to start the Book of Mormon. She is a student, and just finished the semester so she is going home for the holidays and said that we can call her when she gets back January 6th (I know so long time :( ! ) But she gave us her email so we could email until then. She is really willing to keep commitments, it is refreshing.

Toni, the lady we have been teaching for a couple months is still doing well. We have an appointment with her Friday, and we are hoping to set a baptismal date.

We have some other new investigators from chat too, Miracles come from chat! But this week we have had a lot of pranksters and antis too....but it is worth it.

One thing that I think is cool are our zone challenges. Each day, our zone leaders text out a challenge that we complete. We have a Christmas tree cut out of paper that we have hanging up, and if we complete the challenge, we get to put a "light" (colored dot) on the tree! and it is lighting up so fast! The challenges are so fun. Like this week some of them were to commit a couple to do companionship inventory, sharing our testimony of Christ with 2 pregnant ladies, testifying to someone in a white scarf, getting a RM to be a member present in a lesson, or committing youth to start preparing for a mission by using PMG. It's so fun because we usually by some miracle find someone to help us complete that challenge every day! It's really cool.

Some sisters were down in the tunnels last Friday and saw 10 of the brethren at once going to a meeting.....I am so mad. I haven't seen any yet....but my time will come! :)

Tomorrow for Relief Society, it is being held in the Relief Society building, so I am pretty sure we will have a "special" speaker! Man us Temple Square missionaries are so lucky!!

That is what I have really realized this week. How much I love the mission I am called to. I am sad that I wasn't more excited before because it is the best place to serve! Heavenly Father really knows me and knows what is best for me....I love being here!

I cannot believe it is Christmas next week and already time to call home....it is going to be weird but really cool. I know Christ lives, and He was born in a manger, the Prince of Peace. He is why we celebrate Christmas, and I love Him. He is our Savior!

So Merry Christmas, I hope you enjoy the celebration of this last special week before everyone gets excited for the next holiday. This is the best!

Love,


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

The Sister in front on the left taking the picture is Sister Simons
 who was on her outbound in our (Adam & Kami's) ward!

Well this week was a pretty busy one. We also got about a foot of snow dumped on us it's great! The best part of snow here is that it is constantly sliding off of the tabernacle and I can't wait for the day when it just nails someone! haha it almost happened to my companion and I.

Well I guess I will start out with my experience with Temple Service!

I was so excited to be able to finally do it!

So there were 10 of us sisters, and they grouped us with a stake from Tooele that was there for service as well. They had us change into all white and then they took just the sisters up to....................The Assembly Room! Holy cow, that was so cool! The Assembly Room was originally used to dedicate the Temple, but now is used for devotionals, meetings etc. for church leadership (a.k.a. the Prophet!). We got to set up chairs in there, and then dust. Then we were able to see the Talmage room where James E. Talmage wrote Jesus The Christ. There is even a little bathroom in there haha. Then we went down and cleaned the baseboards of hallways, etc. It was really cool to be able to clean in the Temple, it is pretty meticulous, but it is the Lord's house after all. The Pioneers did 800x the work I did daily, so I can scrub baseboards for a few hours. They gave us popcorn and cookies too. Temple Service is the best!

We also got to go the the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. All the Sisters! A YSA ward covered all our assignments for us. We were seated in Plaza 11, which is the middle front section! Not really close, but real good seats. Man it was so good, I loved Elder Nelson's use of media, I had never seen that before, it was really neat. Especially the part of his grand kid's singing!

So on Sunday at church, we actually arrived really early, so we were just quietly waiting for it to start when all of a sudden I look up and Elder Quentin L. Cook is sitting on the stand!! I was like what the heck that's Elder Cook! Turns out my Mission President saw him in the elevator, and he mentioned that he wanted to attend an early church because he is always going to Stake Conferences and wants to be able to take the sacrament. So my Mission President said, well, you can come to ours, we meet at 7:30. So he said he might do that then he did! And he might come back more! He didn't get to speak to us though. what a surprise for the sisters that were speaking that day! It was so funny because one sister was giving her talk and she goes, I wanted to share this story about Elder Holland. I just love Elder Holland so much, He is my favorite-- and then she turned around to Elder Cook and everyone busted up while she tried to make up for it. Then all the other sisters quoted pretty much every apostle except him haha. But one sister spoke about Elder Cook's visit to the Philippines where she is from and I think that really meant something to him. I really wish we could have heard him speak though!

So Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy is doing our mission tour this week. For three days he comes and talks to us with his wife, basically helping us to become better missionaries, and more purpose centered. It was really good. My group got to go yesterday and it was from 8-3:45 so very long but it went by really fast and we all learned so much! He is a really intense guy...Also, I had to say the closing prayer. I have a cold and everyone thought I was crying, I guess I sounded like a turtle or something haha but he shook my hand after. hopefully I didn't give him my cold...

So the Sisters that speak in our Sacrament meeting are usually in their last transfer. Only sisters that are going home soon have to speak, so I thought I would be in the clear until I found out that every week, sisters get sent over to local wards to go speak and give musical numbers. And guess who is speaking in Riverton this Sunday.....yep! we are. So not only do I have to give a talk sounding like a turtle, but I have to sing like it too! Those poor people in the congregation. It will be good practice for outbound though.

I will tell you about one tour that we took this week. They were 4 men from China. We started talking to them, and took them to the Temple Model. For some reason I just started teaching about the Temple as if they already knew who God was, etc., when my companion asked them what their religious beliefs were. Turns out they are all Atheist! Well of course, they are from mainland China, where that is common.They believe there is no God. I guess my belief in God is so strong, I forget that's people even believe differently. So after that point, we tried very hard to focus on testifying and bringing the Spirit, so that they can know that God is real. The whole time I was thinking I have to help them feel of God's love for them, I have to help them know that God is there. We took them to a few places and ended at the Christus where were talked about Christ. They said they felt peace. I know they felt God's love! We were able to give them Chinese material, and Chinese B.O.M.'s however there is a strict policy with China. We can teach them while they are here, and give them material, but we cannot contact them after they go back to China. So we just have to hope and pray that they will remember the spirit they felt, and read the B.O.M. and gain a testimony of it.

It has been fun to be able to talk to lots of people with the lights. Each night is distinguishable too, like Mondays are Family Nights and YSA FHE nights,Tuesday and Wednesday are mutual nights, and Friday Saturday and Sunday are date nights, which mean awkward couples! That's always fun. But I love talking to the youth and talking about future missions with them. It's really fun to take big groups like that through God's Plan to be able to show them why they should serve a mission. It's not about Baptisms, but it's about the Temple, and it's really neat to be able to show them that.

So I have been teaching a lady named Jennifer for a couple weeks. She is from Virginia and was a former investigator until she heard some false information about the church and decided to drop her baptismal date. Anyway, she decided to call in for a free Bible, and I decided to try to help her. She became interested again, and when we called her this week, we were able to teach her about the Word of Wisdom. She knows all the lessons, and reads daily from the Book of Mormon, She is halfway through Mosiah. She says she knows it's all true, the B.O.M., Joseph Smith, Modern Day Prophets, all. But she is a chain smoker and drinks coffee. We talked a lot about the W.o.W. and explained how the Atonement makes anything possible, and we invited her to live the W.o.W. and she said yes. Then we invited her to be baptized on January 4 and she said yes. So we texted her last night to see how she was doing and she said good. Then out of nowhere, she said she didn't want us to contact her anymore. So we call her and she says that she decided it's all false and that she doesn't want to change. she is happy in her religion and thinks that our church is false. Man that hit us hard! She went from being so ready to dropping us. We think that she might have some mental disorder or something because it has previously happened with the local missionaries. But we were just really sad because we wanted to see her change. But we let her know that we love her, and that we will always be here. In the end, everyone has their agency....

Well, it has been an exciting week! Today for p-day we are going to get free scalp treatments (free for missionaries yipee) and clean our apartment. It'll be great!

I hope everyone is having a great week and is getting ready for Christmas!!

Have a great week,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Well yesterday it snowed all day up here in Utah, and I think we got over 7 inches of snow, it's the best!

This week has been pretty insane....the lights bring in so many people! There are people everywhere. It's funny to have come from Ogden because I have bumped into so many people that I know, and people have come looking for me but never find me (I hear from other sisters). I think my companion is tired of seeing people that I know haha

So I would have to say that the highlight of the week was seeing Grandma & Grandpa, Kyle & Cynthia, and Jordan & Loren! I was totally not expecting it and it made my day! I was so shocked though I was speechless, I had no idea what to say. And I had to go to an assignment but I just wanted to tell them THANK YOU so much for coming and spending time looking for me! It was great!

So the lights turned on last Friday. It changes things a little on Temple Square for us missionaries. We actually do not take tours after 5 PM anymore because there are just too many people. It is crazy, people are shoulder to shoulder, and it takes a lot longer to walk places. But it is a great missionary tool. We get to contact so many people. Our schedules change, too. Our dinners are cut in half and we have new assignments (I'll tell you my favorite next!), and the square is open later. So a zone is in charge of being on the Square until 10 PM twice a week, so that at least 1 zone is there every night until 10. So it makes for long days! Like yesterday we got up to do van maintenance at 5:45 AM and didn't get home until after 10 PM. But I actually like it, I like being there for the extra hour. It is a good tired.

So my favorite assignment we only get to do once a week, but it is the Christus. There are so many people that want to see the Christus that they have to rope off the ramp and people wait in a big line. They let about 50 people up at once. So we rotate jobs like being the ones that let people up, directing people where to go, or being the ones that play the Christus. We got to be the ones that play the Christus this week. It is my favorite because for an hour, every 3-4 minutes I get to testify to groups of 50 about Christ. I get to share my testimony of Christ with hundreds of people in an hour! It is so great. And even though there are a lot of screaming kids and rude people, I know that there are people who feel the spirit and that is all that matters.

I really try to listen to the Spirit when I testify so I can be able to know what I should say that people need to hear from the Spirit, and one particular time I was testifying, I felt like everything I said didn't make sense and that no one was listening. But as soon as I finished and people got up to leave, a man came up and shook my hand and said 'thank you for the Spirit that you brought, i have several non-members with me and i know they needed to feel that' I was really surprised! and really humbled...I felt bad for doubting that what I said was from the Spirit. It sure taught me a lesson!

So our investigators...With my new companion, I have gained a lot of investigators from India! They are really hard for me to understand with their accent haha but I am working on it.

It's been really hard to teach investigators in the Teaching Center (TC) because we try to be on the Square as much as we can, and sometimes we go days without having time in the TC. And a lot of my investigators are in different countries, so trying to find a time that works for both their schedule and ours is really hard too. But it will all work out.

I have had bad luck with anti's lately, it seems all the chats I take are anti, and we even had a request for a 1st lesson in the North Visitor's Center (we thought they would be golden!) but it was too good to be true, they were just anti's trying to ruin our testimonies. Heavenly Father is definitely helping my weaknesses (like in Ether) because anti's are really hard for me not to be rude! I am learning to deal with them with patience and not arguing. I just say thank you for helping build my testimony. I know this is true because I prayed about it, and you can too if you will pray about it. Have a great day. They are so hard to love though....

Well that's about all that is interesting here, I would just like to share one of my favorite stories that I think of often when times get tough, I am sure many have heard it! It is the Refiner's Fire:

Malachi 3:3 says: 
"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." 
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God...One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. 
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says, "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver". She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was on fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that's easy-when I see my image in it."

I hope you can think of that when times get hard! The Lord is purifying and refining you, and he is watching you carefully. And when we have endured the trial, He will see His image in all of us!

I love you all, hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Namaste!


Happy Thanksgiving from Temple Square!

Anyone know what Namaste means? It means hello in Indian.....which means I have a new companion from India! Her name is Sister Doraiswamey and she is coming back from her outbound today. She is going to be my follow-up trainer for the transfer. It's going to be a curry Thanksgiving!

So my P-days are now Wednesdays, and are usually from 1PM-9PM but with the Christmas craziness starting on Friday, our p-days from this transfer are like normal missions, from 10-6.

So there are two sisters here on Temple Square who went outbound today to Tucson! Their names are Sister Cummings from Hawaii and Sister Ogata from Japan. They are two of my favorites so tell everyone to keep an eye out for them and feed them well!! [Sis Ogata is actually in our, Adam & Kami's, ward!]

Well it seems like I was just writing, P-day was just a few days ago! So I don't have too much to say. Transfer day is the biggest news.

But remember the lady from Estonia that I am teaching? She wants to be baptized! Super exciting. She has a daughter, and I can't wait until they can be sealed together.

I did get to see one of my favorite customers from the bank that I worked at, He came on the Square to meet his kids and grandkids and by some odd chance, I was the first person he saw! That never happens so it was really nice to chat with him.

I am a little nervous for the lights to turn on because it is going to be insane, but I am also really excited! I love Christmas and I can't wait to talk about Christ with everyone. That is why I am on my mission, and I couldn't think of a better place to talk about Christ than at Temple Square around Christmas with all the lights. I think the reason I love Christmas so much is because even it is just for a short time, most people put off the Natural man and become a little more Christlike. They think about Christ and the whole spirit and atmosphere of people change, and that is what the Savior is all about is change. It really just testifies to me that change is possible,and that through the Savior's infinite Atonement, we are able to truly change and become better. We are able to become the person that He wants and needs us to be. Nothing is impossible with Christ.

Well I don't have too much more to say....but at least you don't have a novel from me to read today!

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow. Eat extra for me!

Love,

Friday, November 22, 2013

What are you thankful for?

Well next Thursday is Thanksgiving, can you believe it?

This week, actually this whole transfer has flown by. Wednesday starts a new transfer. It probably won't impact me too much, since I will still be with my trainer for another transfer. Unless she becomes a Zone Leader, I probably won't even move apartments. Wahoo!

Hey the performance from last Tuesday is going to be put on DVD's and distributed to all the sisters! I didn't think they would do that. I'm so happy thought because you get to see all the crazy good talent.

So this week I would have to say the craziest story would probably be this:

We were talking to an RM who served in Vanuatu when this man in a red sweatshirt walked by. Something really grabbed my attention, I don't know how to explain it, but now I recognize that was the Spirit getting my attention. We continued talking, but then we had to go to our next assignment. So we said bye and started walking to our teaching center. On our way, I saw that man in the red sweatshirt going down the escalator. I had a feeling, someone needs to go talk to him. But we were going to the Teaching Center, we had appointments with people to call and I figured there are over 100 of us on the square, someone will talk to him. We were outside the TC but I couldn't stop thinking about it, someone needs to talk to him. I couldn't put it aside anymore so I spoke up and said to my companion: "I wonder if anyone has talked to that guy down there, I think someone needs to." She asked if I wanted to go talk to him and I said yes. Well we go down there and find him at an Inner Peace kiosk. We start talking and he explains that he served a mission in New Mexico and had been back for 4 years, but that he had been in and out of the church ever since. He told us how he came here because he needs peace. He knows the church is true, the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he does not have a testimony of modern-day prophets. We asked him questions and testified, and he started crying. Then he explained his situation in life. He is in a very....very very dark place in life...We talked and testified some more, and he cried a lot. He said that he really felt like he needed to come here, and he was hoping someone would come talk to him. My companion told him how we were supposed to be at an assignment but that we had a prompting to come talk to him, and how important he is. We explained about the Atonement, how it is infinite, and how nothing is impossible through Christ. I told him to think of the temple often, because that is where he will be safe from Satan.I know he felt peace when he was here. We called him last night to see how he was doing, and unfortunately, he was on his way "out." And did not want to talk to us. I have to just trust in the Lord that his experience will come back to him, and help him through this hard time in his life. I know the words that we said were not our words, they were the Spirit, so I need to trust that he will be strong enough. Hopefully our continued calls will be able to help him. But regardless, everyone has their agency and can choose what they do with their lives, as hard as that is sometimes. But I felt so thankful for the Spirit. I am grateful that Heavenly Father trusted me with a prompting to talk to one of His children that really needed someone to talk to.

Anyway, a funny story for the week.....

So we had a Spanish investigator lesson a few nights ago. This is when elders from the surrounding missions bring investigators here for a tour. The Elders had told us that the lady had been dropped before, so we needed to make it really extra spiritual and that it had to be really good. So we start with God's Plan. Well it's set up where you move to different rooms. We get through two rooms and I turn into the third room, and there is a homeless man sleeping on the seats!! I gasped, and we all were like what do we do! He is just laying there sprawled out, snoring! God's Plan is playing not quietly, and he is still sleeping. So the Elders start trying to wake him up, and we all sit down to watch God's Plan. Finally the man wakes up and sits up and starts watching God's Plan like he was a part of the group and nothing happened...we were like what the heck. I said we should call security so we called while the Elders were talking to the man. We finished talking to Security and the man goes, so I guess I should leave? The Elders were like yeah......you should. Well we continue on in God's Plan and security comes busting in, about 7 of them with flashlights (it's dark in there) and they're all sweaty, they must have ran there. I explained how he left, and what he was wearing and looked like and they left. Well at this point the spirit is all ruined, and we finish God's Plan. We then go to the Christus, and guess who's sitting there, yep! The man! I called security again, and they came to check it out. I talked to the security guy and he said that they spoke with him, and that he said he was just tired and wanted to sleep, but that he knew he had to be out in a little bit because we would be closing. I couldn't help but think of what would have happened if no one found him, he would have been there all night! But I think it's part of the night shift security to check it so maybe he wouldn't have been there all night. But still...I am thankful for security!

Yesterday the lady who wrote President Monson's biography came and spoke to us (I can't remember her name). [Heidi S. Swinton] She was so great! She told us a bunch of stories about President Monson that were so cool that I had never heard before. He is such a great servant of the Lord.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! What are you thankful for??

I hope everyone has a great week, and a great Thanksgiving. I sure am thankful for all of my blessings, especially my family. Heavenly Father sure loves His children.

Since Transfers are on Wednesday, I am not quite sure if my P-day will switch (it depends on your zone, I'm hoping to get moved to the Beehive house, cross your fingers!) so I am not sure when you will hear from me. But it won't make too much difference.

Happy Thanksgiving, I love you all and am thankful for all of you.

Love,


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Field Is White Already to Harvest

Literally white this week. I bought pumpkin eggnog (my favorite holiday treat probably) and the next morning we wake up to 4 inches of snow. Coincidence? I think not! So every one in AZ where it's still in the 80's, drink the eggnog it works!

The snow has all melted though. But there will be plenty more time for that!

So the biggest miracle of this week is probably this:

It happened last Saturday. We were out on the Square. How it works is every night during our planning time (9-930) one of the things we do is plan our locations for the square times for the next day. So we pray about the places we should go and when. Then we pick 3 places for every hour. So Saturday we were going to one of those places when the sisters at one of the desks told us we needed to find this lady. They said she had literally walked out and said "I can't wait to learn more." So we were like what the heck we gotta find her! So we start checking every building and we decide to go to the North Visitor Center. We walk up to the Christus, and she is just leaving. We say hi and she says "This is so beautiful, I can't wait to learn more!" She is dating a member, and they started getting serious so they decided it was time to discuss religion. He brought her here, and it was the first she had heard about the church. We knew that we needed to take her though God's Plan (hopefully I have explained about this presentation it's wonderful). So we take her through and she cries the whole time. After she said how much she loved it and how she has felt like something is missing in her life and that she thinks it's this church. So I said, "Toni, as you come to know for yourself that this church is true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?" and she said....."Oh yes. I want to follow God, and i want to be close to Jesus." (she's black so picture it in a black voice haha) She is so prepared! Holy cow. I wasn't even nervous asking her because I knew the Lord had prepared her already and the veil was so thin she couldn't help but say yes! So we have been teaching her this week. It's hard because she travels for work a lot (She is kind of like a motivational speaker. She speaks about her past life; she was out on the streets for 19 years and fell into drugs and alcohol and a lot of horrible things happened to her. So she goes around telling her story of hope. And she said she wants to add the Gospel to that story!). So it's hard for her to find time but she is going to try to go to church. We are going to set a date for her baptism.

Sorry about my typing. We are not in our usual building, and this keyboard doesn't allow me to go back and correct mistakes so I can't catch them all.

Other miracles....

I took a chat from a man named Stephen. He said missionaries came and visited him and told him a little about the church and told him about mormon.org. They tried to give him a book of Mormon but he insisted on looking at the website, so that's how he got there. We had a great discussion about the Book of Mormon and he wanted to learn more. So I got his phone number and called Him the next day. Well he is from Ghana, but living in Finland to finish his degree. The day I called him, we were having problems with our phones so they were fuzzy and his thick African accent made it so I couldn't understand a word he said. But I really wanted to teach him so I would ask him a question, pretend like I understood what he was saying, and try to follow the spirit in my response, and keep teaching. I felt so bad but I didn't want to hang up! So the next day my companion and I called Him back. Come to find out it's not just the fuzziness, we really just can't understand him! It literally gave us headaches straining for the entire lesson as we taught the whole Plan of Salvation. We only understood about 20% of what he said (still an improvement from before haha) but tried to rely on the Spirit as best we could. His faith is amazing. He wants to do what God wants him to do, and he wants to do what is right. We asked him if he would be baptized and he said yes! He has a date of December 21st (has to finish finals and such) so please pray for him to continue to prepare for that day and act on his faith! The Lord prepares people to receive His Gospel. So crazy!

So then....I think the next day. I took a chat from a guy in India. He said that He found this site, and that He wants to know about the plan of salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said some sisters are teaching Him but that He is really busy and can only get on chat every so often on weekends. So I taught about the plan of Salvation and he was so enthused! He loved it. I taught about Lesson 3 ( Gospel of Jesus Christ) and focused on baptism. He thought it was really amazing that we could be forgiven for everything we have ever done. I asked if He would be baptized on December 7th and He said yes! He wants to prepare for that day. The nearest church is 2 hours away but he said he is willing to make the sacrifice to go so he can be baptized. The only downside about this is.....The way our systems are set up, each time we get a referral or they want to know more, we use a program called Connect (like an online area book) to keep track of them. So they become a contact, and there cannot be duplicates. So because the other sisters already have him in Connect, I can't teach him! I actually know the sisters, so I will just have to keep asking them how he is doing. He was sad I couldn't keep teaching him but understood. Hopefully they can prepare him for that date!

So do you remember about the african-american girl I wrote about a few weeks ago? The less-active who came from Las Vegas because she knew she needed to change her life? Well she left saying that she knew exactly what to do and how to change and that she couldn't wait to go to the temple. I called her a few days ago, thinking that that wonderful feeling might have worn off and that she might have slipped into her old ways. Well she answers and says hello? And I say May I speak with Natoya? And she says who is this (kind of rudely, I was nervous)? I say Sister Ferguson from Temple Square, do you remember me? and she says(all this time speaking almost in a whisper and I couldn't think of why)....................................................................................................................................................Oh my gosh hi! I'm in institute right now. I could have died I was so happy! I think that was my happiest moment of my mission so far. I was so proud that she was acting on her experience! I'm so happy that she is changing her life! It made my entire day/week/mission really! I am so thankful to the Lord for helping her feel the Spirit, and giving me the words she needed to hear at that time.

I have gotten pro at making chow mein out of ramen! it's so good!

Embarrassing story of the week: during our dinner break, we decided to go to the grocery store around the corner (we can go during our lunch times) and we bought a bunch of groceries since we didn't go on p-day last week. Well we're walking back and we cut through city creek because it's warm and faster and we're walking over the bridge when....the handle on my paper bag broke! And like in the movies, things rolled away haha and no one helped us!! we made it back to the mission home and got them in the fridge, but that night when it came time to go home, i was carrying my package mom sent me too, and the other bag broke! I was like what the heck! So some kind sisters helped me carry it all home. hopefully that gave you a good laugh!

Well we re excited for the Christmas lights to come on. They come on after Thanksgiving,

Also, the Sisters are putting on a performance on November 12th for the public. It's meant to bring investigators to. we are in the choir (even though I suck at singing...I'm gonna mouth the words haha). So if anyone wants to come and invite non-members or less actives do it!

I think that's probably it for the week. The Church is true! Don't forget about Elder Ballard's challenge. I love you all!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shook an Apostle's Hand This Week... Who Was It?!

So form a guess in your mind. Winner gets......to buy themselves something! Or a free Book of Mormon...haha. The Apostle was.....














Elder Oaks! And his wife Kristin.

They came Monday morning just to the Temple Square mission home (in the South Visitor Center) and talked to us sisters. I have never been so close to an apostle before it was nuts. And he has really soft hands. It was so good! He talked about how a mission call is very inspired and special. And he was so not-serious! Usually at conference he is very serious but he was cracking jokes left and right, him and Kristin were having a great time together (they spoke to us together). It was humbling to have an Apostle of the Lord talk to us, and for once, I didn't fall asleep in a meeting! Miracle.

So this week....

I will start off by telling you what literally just happened. So we work like a usual day until one, when it becomes p-day. Today we were on the Square from 10-12 then in the Teaching Center (where we teach online and over the phone) from 12-1. It got to be 12:45 and we were going to our last location in the South Visitor Center. I saw a man sitting by himself kind of hiding behind a tree, and I felt impressed to go talk to him. So I told my companion and we went and talked to him, got to know him. His name is Rob. He was a young member who was waiting for his wife to come meet him. He explained where he is from, where he served his mission, and that he had had to come home early on a medical release. We talked a little more, and there was not much more reason of us being there, but I felt like I should ask him if there were any questions we could answer for him. And he said, well I'm not sure if you guys could help with this but.....and UNLOADED this story about how he had been previously married (he's only like 24 or less!) in the temple and divorced, but was waiting on a temple divorce so his wife and he had not been sealed. Also that he desperately wants his wife to come to church, but that she won't come. She has anxiety about getting ready for church or something like that. He then told us all about how his now second marriage is failing, and how she wants to leave him and kick him out. I guess he had done something to lose her trust 6 months ago but has since tried hard to regain the trust. She is unwilling to forgive. He sees the bishop for counsel every week, and she refuses. She won't go to a therapist, and blah blah...My companion and I were like what the...WHAT do we do haha. So we bore our testimonies about God's love for him, and the Atonement, how powerful it is and how all things are possible. Then he said he wanted us to talk with his wife. We were like uh yeah (but we can't counsel as missionaries!) So we left to grab something (and pray!) and came back and she was there, really mad. She was very rude, and upset that he had set up an "intervention." We tried bringing the Spirit, asking her questions to rediscover her testimony, and took them to the Christus. We had them read the Living Christ before we played the narration, and I bore my heart and soul about the Atonement and how nothing is impossible and about God's love and understanding for her. She cried a little, and I finally thought we were making progress but she then proceeded to tell us how unhappy she was, and how her marriage sucked, therefore her life sucked (keep in mind her husband is sitting right...next...to...her). And how she so badly wanted a divorce because she knew it would make her happy, but that she was raised to believe divorce isn't an option. We tried to explain that Christ can help people get through anything, but at that point, she was not receptive. She has no desire to change and forgive, so there was nothing we could do. I just said look, we as missionaries can't counsel you. But we bore our testimonies, said this was the last of the tour, and left them in the theatre to watch a Mormon Message on marriage and divorce so that we wouldn't have to see how it ended...it was so crazy. I tried very hard to listen to the spirit, and prayed a lot so I am comfortable in the fact that we did all we could do...I am not sure what else we could have done but he put us in an awful spot! So awkward.

On a better note, we had a sweet miracle this week!

So Tuesday I think it was, we were having a rough day. Every single person we called either didn't answer, were too busy, didn't want to talk with us, argued with us, or was anti. Every person! We didn't have any good tours either where people wanted to know more. We were like what the heck this sucks..So we decided we were going to go to Kneader's to cheer us up haha. So on the way to the food court, we met two security guards. One is a member, and the other (Domincko from some country that speaks Swahili) is not a member. He is a new employee, and the other guard was training him, and explaining a little about the church as he went. So we talked with them for a bit, then off we went. We got to kneaders, and I remembered how expensive it is, and felt guilty but just said oh well, we're already here, and really wanted kneaders. So I ordered and then said oh, how much is your pupkin loaf? And the guy behind the cashier said, oh it's free! I was like what? How? And they said, you're sisters! We need blessings. I was shocked and so happy! I thanked them and handed them my card for the rest of the order and he wouldn't take it. He said you don't need that, we got it. I was like what? The whole meal? No! I can't do that. Then they both said no, that they needed the blessings, and that they were paying for our meals. So they paid for our meals! It made my entire day. They didn't know that we had had a bad day, but they had served us, and went out of their way to make our day. It was so great! And the miraculous part of this miracle was that the whole time we were there, there was always someone in line, except for when we were in line, so I know that if we would have gotten there at any other time, that I'm not sure they would have been allowed to do that with other customers around. I was so grateful for that tender mercy of the Lord. And it gets better! On our way back to the square, we bumped into the security guards again. It was at the entrance, so you could see the temple, and they had just been discussing it. We asked Dominicko some questions, and explained how we want everyone to enter the temple, and how wonderful it is. I felt prompted to ask if he would like a BOM. He said yes, that books were his favorite gift. So we went and grabbed him one and wrote our testimonies in it and gave it to him. He is so humble and gentle, and open-hearted! He also gave us his contact information so we could keep teaching him. I was so so so thankful to the Lord that day. Even though we didn't have success, no one wanted to talk to us, but just in that one hour for dinner, everything changed. The Lord went out of His way to show His love for us. I felt so special, and humbled!

It seems like the whole continent of China came to the square this week....there have been so many Mandarin tours, those poor Mandarin sisters! There was a conference last weekend for Nuskin (cosmetics), and the headquarters are here in Salt Lake. The Owner and his Assistant i think are both LDS and are serving as Mission Presidents. So all the Nuskin people who were here for the convention all wanted to come to temple square to see what it is all about. We took so many of them on tours it was way cool. Talk about being an example missionary! Thousands came to the square because of those men.

So First transfer missionaries had a Living Christ meeting, where we talked about the Living Christ document, and shared our testimonies. They had us quickly write our testimonies on the back so we could mail it home to our families, so I will do that this week a long with my SD card. But there are too many pictures on there to try to explain them all sorry!

Oh, I watched Mountain of the Lord this week, that is a good movie. I have always appreciated the pioneers and their sacrifice for the Temple, but this really solidified that! I am so thankful for their dedication. For chipping away at granite for 40 years, to give their posterity something beautiful. I feel so grateful. They were so willing to obey the Lord, they volunteered their time, talents, and efforts every single day. And I get to look at what they have given us every day! They really gave us so much!

Anyway, what else can I share...Oh yeah! I passed of on giving tours this week! I had to take my zone leaders on a tour (like a role play but real tour) that both had all the historical facts, and spiritual converting tour too. They said it was awesome! So now my compy and I get passes to the Lion House to eat for free :)

This week I cooked chorizo for the first time. I was so scared! But it was really good! I sauteed red potatoes with spices and celery and carrots together with the chorizo and it was good. My companion even loved it! She's from Mexico and said that it was really good and that it reminded her of home. Proudest moment of my life. haha jk

Well I guess I don't have as many stories as I did last week. It was a little slower here on the square this week.

Oh yeah Halloween! So we ended our day yesterday at 5 and all the Sisters and couples came down to the Mission Home where we were lovingly served a baked potato bar, and various types of delicious cookies. I felt like a queen, they stuffed us! Then as a mission we watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was weird to watch a worldy movie, and the sisters are crazy haha they giggled and screamed the whole time, which if you know me, you know that's not how I am! haha but it was funny. I couldn't help but relate it to being a missionary the entire time. It basically represents the atonement and I compared Edmund to Judas haha and they kill the Lion and he comes back to life...I couldn't help but think of the crucifixion and resurrection haha so funny! Oh and we got to wear p-day clothes for the first time! So comfy! 

But the time has seemed to start going by faster. It's crazy, but I still haven't been out for very long.
Oh! Something we do everyday: Count our miracles. I invite you all to do that this week! Count your miracles, it really opens your eyes! Heavenly Father really loves His children.

Well I'm not sure what else to share. I hope this wasn't too boring! It was a great week though.

Anyway, I love the mission, not my mission, but the mission. Because it's not my time here, it's the Lord's. I have really come to see that here. It's his mission, and I cannot do anything without Him.

The Church is true, and change is possible!

Love you,


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some Teaching Experiences This Week....

  1. So my companion speaks Spanish, and we were told there were 4 Spanish speakers up by the Christus, so we went up there to play the narration for them in Spanish, but when we got up there, they weren't there. But there was a man standing by himself, so my companion started speaking to him in Spanish. His name is Oscar. We ended up taking him through a little movie presentation called God's Plan, and were talking with him after, and he talked about how beautiful it was, but how his wife left him, and wondered why God would allow that to happen, if families are so important to Him. So we explained about agency, and how everyone has the ability to make their own choices, good or bad, and other people have to live with the consequences of them. So that was the start of the tour. As we were walking from that presentation to the next place, I was looking at him while he was talking, and it really hit me: he is prepared to hear the gospel from us, in this very moment. I felt such great love for him, and how ready he was to hear the Gospel, it was so wonderful! So we took him to a bunch of places, probably spent 1 1/2- 2 hours with him. I didn't get to speak much, because it was in Spanish, but I understood most of it. Then we started talking about the Book of Mormon, and I told him a little about what the book is while my compy translated, but felt that I should keep it simple. So I just told a little about it but then just looked him in the eyes and said how it is like a road map for life, and any questions about life can be answered in this book, and how special it was and then just said, and I know that it is true. and he just looked at me for a few seconds and said thank you, that was beautiful (or something like that) and then wanted one in Spanish, which we wrote our testimonies in. He said he would pray to know if the things we shared with him were true, but how wonderful he felt while he was here. So then we talked about church, and asked if he would go to church on Sunday, and he said that he would. We also talked about baptism, and he didn't know why he would have to be baptized if he had previously been as a baby. We asked him why baptism is performed, and he said for a remission of sins, and we asked him if he thought he had sins as a baby, and he said no, and talked about how that makes sense to him, and how he wants to share everything with his wife. It was so cool! We called him yesterday on the phone and he was really busy, but told us over and over how beautiful the things that we said were, and how good he felt, that he came back the next day and stayed for a few hours. (He lives in TX but is a truck driver, that's why he was up here). He said that he wants to talk more but that that time wasn't good for him because his kids and grand kids just arrived from CA. But he prayed with us over the phone, and is going to read the book of Mormon, and we are going to talk about baptism with him after Sunday, after he goes to church. It was so great! It was incredible to see the Hand of God in that work, how many miracles he prepared for us to be there at that moment, and for his heart to be opened. I am excited to keep teaching him.

  2. Then yesterday, I had to go on exchanges again for a bit while my compy was in a meeting. So some sisters asked if we could take this lady on a tour and we said yes. So we meet her and she is a black lady originally from Jamaica, named Natoya, but lives in Vegas. She said that she is a member, but hasn't always made the right choices, but decided to drive up here this weekend because she knew that she needed that back in her life again. We got to talk to her, and discover some of the things she was struggling with. We took her to see God's Plan, and she cried a lot (i love when they cry... >:) ) she expressed how she wants to get sealed in the Temple, but doesn't know when she will. We asked if she had her pat. blessing and she said yes, that it said in there that she would be sealed in the temple. I told her how I wanted her to know that that will happen, and that she deserves it. And how much worth she has. She said that she is carrying some baggage that she needs to let go. A Christian song popped into my head, and told her how 'you can't run when you're holding suitcases' and that God wants her to be able to run down her path, or something like that and she loved it! She kept repeating that during our lesson. So we got to set her in front of the Christus, and she was at peace. She came to an understanding of what God wants for her, and what she wants, and said how she knew what she needed to do when she got home, and how she planned to move out of Las Vegas. Then she gave us her contact info so we can stay in touch and help her, she was so excited. Oh yeah, funny moment: my exchange compy asked if have you ever heard of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? and She did the Black attitude face with lips poking out and goes, 'guuuurl, pulease.' haha it was so funny!

  3. Today we taught a man straight up from Jerusalem. Man that guy knows the Old Testament! He said that he was raised Jewish, but is Agnostic, searching. I told him how at some point, we are all searching, and have to come to our own conclusions. We shared The Restoration with him and it was a little hard. It's hard for me to imagine not believing in the Second coming, how Christ already came. It made me really sad. But it was a good experience. He liked the things that we said (well not us...the spirit) and referred so that we can continue to teach him.

  4. Yesterday, we got assigned to a tour of 5 Koreans. All members except one, and she was the only one who speaks English., but they didn't want a Korean tour for some reason. So we took them on a tour, but the non member had to translate every thing, but she was unfamiliar with all of our church words, so it was really hard. (Her name is Hailey) Plus, she didn't sleep the night before so she was really tired. But we tried our best to explain everything simply. She said that she doesn't base her belief on knowledge, but on feelings. I was like SCORE! I love when people are like that, she was golden! We took them to a bunch of places, and she was again one of those people who I know had been prepared to hear the gospel specifically from us. it was way cool. She said how much she enjoyed being there, and that if they hadn't dragged her with them, that she wouldn't have gone, but how glad she was that she went. She wanted a BoM in English (she likes English more than Korean) and wanted to stay in contact so that we can continue to teach her. She was so happy, and wants to know more. So golden! I love being able to teach people after they come here. It is such a blessing. I can't really imagine a more powerful place to teach someone than Temple Square...I feel so lucky it is humbling.

Love, 

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Your Favorite Day of the Week!

Well hello!

This week has been great. Time goes by pretty fast. But it is my favorite weather outside, I don't want it to change!

So Kami, you asked about the temple service, well guess what...I didn't get to do it :( It wasn't allowed for 1st transfers. So not only did I not get to do it, but I had to go on exchanges while my companion got to do it! And she got to go into the Assembly room and a sister that was with her...wait for it....SAW THE PROPHET. I was so mad I didn't get to go haha.

Something that I have slowly come to realize is how fast you can love a person, and feel God's love for them. Except the Anti's....those are hard to love. It is pretty cool to not even know someone for a minute, and already have such a great love for them.

So something that is really hard for me is anti's. People who are not receptive to the Gospel, who aren't really searching, but trying to break down your testimony. It's hard for me because you don't see us over at their churches trying to tell them how they are going to hell (even though...haha just kidding! ) or trying to change their beliefs, but rather add to them, like an ice cream sundae (I came up with that, it's good huh!). It just makes me really sad, I guess. They are so lost. And their hearts are so far gone, like I think it says in Alma. I just want to help them so much, but they don't want help. I just try to bear testimony, and thank them for strengthening my testimony, and tell them how I know it's true, and they can too if they will pray about it. But they don't care. I need to learn to love them anyway, that is really hard. Something I am working on!

I have noticed what a great opportunity it is to be able to teach someone with a member present. Someone that the visitor (or investigator for other missions) knows and trusts, so that when they bear testimony they can see how it has affected their lives, because they know their lives. Yes we can tell people that we know things and how it has changed our lives, but they don't know our lives. It's great to have members present! Just like in Hailey's case, she was able to see how the Gospel changed the other 4 peoples lives (3/4 are converts).

Life is good, I am in the best place ever, doing the best thing ever. Its hard, it's exhausting, it's stressful, but it's WORTH it. Even if all our lessons in a day don't want to continue to be taught, we still are able to pick out miracles each day, and see the Hand of God in all that we do.

This church is true, and I challenge everyone to start working on Elder Ballard's promise of finding one person to share the gospel with by Christmas....let's get the membership to 30 mil! We can do it!
I love you all, and hope you have a great weekend.

Love,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some Anecdotes

So I'll share a short teaching story from yesterday. This guy from new york came in with his colleague who lives in SLC but both are non-members. The one from New york was visiting his colleague and he took him up here. The NY one is Hindu, and just straight up asked so what are the beliefs in this church? Keep in mind this was my first full day...and my companion was turned around talking to someone so i was all by myself! I was like uh...then I started talking about how God loves us all because we are his children, and how He has a individual plan for each of us, each one being different, and how we are given families to make us happy, and how God wants us to be happy ( I think the Spirit spoke for me because I don't remember too much of what I said) and before I could go on, I got interrupted and we kept talking about other things, answering other questions. Anyway, after a long time, he said hoe clean it felt here and how much he liked being here and how he wanted to come back and bring his daughter, but only specifically to us haha. He gladly filled out his information so we can keep in contact, and we gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet and a book of Mormon and he said he would read them cover to cover and that we could quiz him on them haha it was so cool to see how much he liked being there, and saying how he wants to come back. His daughter actually called him while he was there, and he made us talk to her so she could meet us haha. And he gave us her number so we can call her too. The Lord work in mysterious ways, and the Spirit is powerful. DC 100 it shall be given you what to say in the very moment!

Something I bet is interesting to hear is about Security here! It's to be kept on the down-low though so don't tell too many people haha. So there are Security men walking around, and there are cameras on us most of the time. So there are signals that we are directed to do when we need security, and they will come. Or if you call them and say 'bring me my scriptures' that works too. We actually had to call security today. We were downstairs in the south visitor's center and this weird guy was yelling on the phone while reading thing's from the displays, and when we would walk by he would get quiet and start walking away but would come back. We couldn't tell if he was really just schizophrenic and talking to himself but using the phone as a decoy, or if he was anti, or what. but we called security just in case. so 3 or 4 security guys came and kicked him off the square. It was interesting for sure. I was trying to find where the security guys were packing (adam) haha but couldn't (i guess that's the point).

So I try to write in my journal every day, and one of the things I decided I would start doing it writing an awkward story of the day haha so I will share one!

Yesterday, my companion and I were going to go to dinner (we went to city creek and I got real food for the first time since the MTC!!) and we saw this older guy who looked like someone we had met the day before. So we started talking to him (it wasn't the guy we thought) and he said he was meeting someone. Then this older lady walks up and says oh, I think this is the man I am meeting! So they have this awkward tight hug and come to find out, they met online, and decided to meet.....in a fetching visitor's center on temple square?? who does that anyway...It was so awkward! We decided to let them have their "alone" time. I jokingly said to my companion, watch them still be here when we get back. Well, when we got back after dinner and some assignments almost three hours later, they were sitting in the same spot where we left them! Still awkwardly hugging...haha. Man it was hilarious.

I LOVE serving on Temple Square. It is such a special place. I love being able to share my testimony all day, and explain about the temple. I love seeing people change, and their hearts be softened. I love seeing miracles. I know that all things are possible through Christ, and that He needs me here at this specific place at this specific time, and it is wonderful. Exhausting, but wonderful. The church is true, all things point to that! I love everything about it.

Hope you all have a great week.

Love,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Flag Tag!

Well, I am officially on the square, equipped with my temple tag and flag tag! They are the coolest, nowhere else gets a temple on their tag and a flag for their country!

SO it has been a pretty crazy week...not sure where to start, i guess I will jump right in.

Fridays are my P-days this transfer!

Oh, I get 2 hours of email time here, holler!

My trainer! She is Sister Mendoza from Arizona and Mexico (she has dual citizenship). She is very sweet and gorgeous. Next transfer is her last before she goes home, so she has been out for a while. She served her outbound 2 transfers ago in Birmingham (that is a place i would love to serve outbound). She is teaching me a lot! A little hard at first because she knows all the sisters and speaks Spanish to everyone so I kind of just stand there and smile a lot haha.

So last week, ELDER OAKS came to the MTC. We had heard a rumor he was coming, and since it was our last day, we figured why not camp out just in case. So we were like the 4th people in line waiting and....drumroll....He came! and we were in the third row :) it was way awesome. Him and His wife gave great talks. There was a really special feeling in the air and when everyone stood when he walked in, you could just feel how much of a man of God he is.
It was harder to leave the MTC than i thought, but not for the place..for the people! I miss the girls in my district, we are so close. And now I only get to see them in passing on the square every now and then.
The other two girls in my apartment are from Cambodia and Fiji, they are really sweet and funny I like them!
I was a little overwhelmed by all the foreign sisters here because 80% are foreign so a lot are hard to understand, but I am really starting to love them. They are so special and have wonderful testimonies.
So Temple Square covers 10 acres, and there are 235 Sisters here! (granted about 30 are on their outbound, but still!) So I am still always seeing new faces, it is cool.

So my assignment this transfer is Square. So we are primarily out on the square contacting people or taking tours and such. It is so cool!

So I will explain the way we teach a little bit. So we contact someone and take them on a "tour" (which is really a lesson, but they don't know that). Our tours are special, it's kind of like a good, better or best thing: good being history tours, better being feel-good tours, and best being converting, life-changing tours. So we try to have all our tours be BEST tours, it's fun. Anyway, Then we usually invite them to do something and tell them how we want to keep in contact and follow up on their commitment. So we get their contact information, and here on Temple Square, we have the opportunity and the time to contact them through email (not this email, a mission email) and over the phone. It's pretty cool! i thought it would be like we teach people, and they leave, and we never hear from them again but it's the opposite! I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father created technology for missionaries/ the Gospel, to be able to take it to all ends of the Earth it's way cool.

I just want to share how much I love being a missionary! I love being a representative of Jesus Christ, hastening the work of The Lord in these last days. He is preparing people now, more than ever, the field is white, already to harvest.

Love,

Friday, October 11, 2013

P-Days Are Sent From Heaven

(Holly's letter from Friday)

Well here it is! 2 1/2 weeks down....4 days to go.

So this week was a long one, lots of information to remember, hopefully I don't forget it all!

So last Friday, I finally weighed myself. I gained 8 POUNDS in the one week i was here!! Which is weird because I never really eat that much because the food is gross. So i'm convinced they put something in the food to fatten you up before you go into the field. The food stinks! I weighed myself yesterday though, and I lost 5 of those pounds. It was before breakfast though. But I've been working out hard and really eating healthy!

Anyway. The elders left Wednesday, so it is just us sisters in our district now. We loved them! We were like one big family. They are gonna make great missionaries.

I started Visitor's Center training Wednesday. Wednesday they also took us to temple square and took us on a mini tour of the north visitor's center and talked to us a little bit. it was really short but it was crazy to be on the exact spot that i will be serving. Cool though! Plus I got a nap on the bus so I was a happy camper.

Tomorrow [Saturday] we will be at temple square for like five hours..... We will be doing splits and they are going to make us teach! I am so scared haha but excited. I am glad I will still have a companion if I go blank. But it will be cool.

We started doing chat! Legitimately with real people not actors. It's the people who go on mormon.org and chat. We respond to those! It's crazy. We talked to someone from New Jersey and someone from Haiti. I am writing down all the places it's going to be a long list after 18 months haha.

For our devo[tional] Tuesday night, John Madsen and his wife came and talked. He's an emeritus G.A. [General Authority] real good talks.

We do TRC differently now. We do it as if we were in a visitor center! It's cool.

I see Nate all the time! Almost every day. His class was two doors down from mine but I moved for VC training. But I'm just on a different floor. It's fun to see him! And now I know what he does. It is pretty cool.

I've had some great teachers I have been really...really blessed here. With everything. Even with my schedule! Some people have really hard schedules like bfast at 630 and gym time in the middle of the day but I don't so I am really glad.

So something cool this week. We were role playing with a girl from our zone, me and my companion were teaching, and we really taught by the spirit and she cried and cried it was so good! Just in a role play! This work is awesome.

Yesterday we did a TRC where a guy was a member but just wanted to know how he could better do missionary work even though he served a mission and wanted to come closer to Christ. Something I said he liked so much he wrote it down! I've always wanted to be quoted! haha

Hopefully this email isn't too lame. I felt like a lot happened, but I guess I can't remember it or it isn't important! Oh well.

Don't forget Elder Ballard's challenge: everyone talk to someone by Christmas! [See the challenge HERE]

Well, don't just talk, let the Spirit talk, and they will feel the Spirit. Ask them thought provoking questions, and just focus on listening and you will know what to say! Boldness with charity is never overwhelming and doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith! [See that talk HERE] Faith works miracles, I sure know that.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

I am not sure when pday will be next week with me departing. We shall see I guess....

The Church is true, anything is possible through our Savior.

Love,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Few Pictures from the MTC!

(I don't know anything about these pictures, I assume they are of the sisters in Holly's district in the MTC)
[she said there was 4 sisters including herself]
(I'll update the info here when we hear from Sister Ferguson)





Friday, October 4, 2013

MTC Teaching Experience

So last week, our very first investigator was Lawanna. A black lady from Arkansas who moved out here to receive treatment at Huntsman Cancer Center. So basically we bombed the lesson. It's pretty funny... it'll give you a good laugh. So we knock on the door and she lets us in and we sit down. Usually, we would get to know them, make them feel comfortable and that we care about them... but for some reason my companion just blurted out "what's your relationship with God?" So she was on edge the whole time. I also forgot she was a member referral and asked her why she wanted to meet with us and she said, y'all knocked on my door!" I was like oh....crap ha. Then I tried to go back to get to know her and I stupidly asked her "What type of cancer do you have?" where she proceeded to tell us this was awkward and that she was just 'sick'. So THEN we're trying to figure out her needs and what we are going to teach her but she is so closed off so there were a lot of awkward pauses. Then she basically just asked why were there and I told her how God loves her and we love her and want to help her come closer to Christ and how it will bring her happiness. Then she said how awkward it was how we came into her home and only know her for 20 minutes and are telling her we love her haha oh man I was dying. Then we find out that she won't pray because she feels like God didn't answer her prayer... so I tried to explain that God answers all prayers, but sometimes it's not the answer or the time frame we would like and how he is aware of Her and loves her and she cuts me off and goes, "oh it's too late, she dead!" (in her black voice) I guess she prayed to ask God not to take her Mom, but she died. Man. Then my companion shared the Bible Dictionary definition of Prayer and had her read it. Well that was bad because it says in there that sometimes God doesn't answer prayers because we don't end in the name of Jesus Christ so she freaked out and said that we were telling her that her mom died because she didn't say in the name of Jesus Christ... haha gosh this is a long story. But it was a train wreck and it got worse and worse. We did an awful job of listening to the Spirit and getting to know her. So Monday, we met with her again (by a miracle, she let us back) and it was a different story. We had prayed and studied for her and the Spirit was so strong! We asked inspired questions that made her cry, and she actually prayed with us in the lesson! The difference was night and day. She is going to read the Book of Mormon too I think. We'll see!

Anyway I hope that wasn't too long just thought you needed a good laugh. All the rest of the lessons we have taught have been pretty amazing! It's so great to see change in people.

I love being a missionary and I love all of you. So does God.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First Week in the MTC!

Well hello everyone!

Can't believe it's already been a week since I left. I'm glad time flies. I love it here, but I am anxious to get out in the field and out of my classroom!

So the first day was really good. Second day not so much... but every day after that was great. It is very different than what I am used to. It's funny though... the Lord sure does bless his children. Something I thought I would have a really hard time with was waking up early. It actually has been the least of my worries. It usually makes me very grumpy and takes me hours to wake up but I have been up out of bed alert every morning usually at 5:50 ish. It's nice.

SO I am sure you want me to walk you through a regular day. Well,
  • wake up around 6
  • exercise 30 mins
  • get ready until 7:30
  • Personal Study in class at 7:30
  • Breakfast at 8:30
  • Comp study till 9:30 (or somewhere around there)
  • Class for 3 hours
  • TRC (training resource center) where we teach investigators (I'll explain later) for 45 mins
  • Lunch 140
  • Class for 3 more hours
  • another TRC
  • Dinner 6:40
  • Some sort of devotional or branch meeting or zone meeting
  • Planning time (for investigators and such) 9-9:30
  • Journaling/Personal time till 10:30
So there is my whole day most days!

Today is Pday and we got to go to the 9 o clock sesh at the temple. It was wonderful. Except that I slept through the first half of the session until we had to stand up...oops. I guess I don't sleep very well here because as I hard as I try to stay awake, I usually doze off in personal study too! Anyways back to the temple, I've never felt so close to Heavenly Father, and the Provo temple is beautiful.

Right now I am doing my Laundry.

So my companion! Her name is Sister Brock, she is from Salem, Oregon. I love her. It is hard sometimes though because she just got out of high school and she really likes to be in charge and to be the one talking... haha sometimes that is hard but I am sure I do annoying things too. We are pretty similar though, we even dress the same. We actually have a few of the same things it's funny. But we work pretty well together.

I love my district!! They are so great. There are 4 sisters (including me) and 4 elders. All the sisters are going to temple square, and all the elders are going to Australia Brisbane! Sister Jones in my district is from Washington D.C. and she reminds me so much of Emily Baczuk... She dresses like her, acts like her, and even looks like her if she had red hair! She's funny. Sister Richardson is her companion, she is from North Carolina.

Anyway, It has been so nice to get some 'Dear Elders' this week, thank you for those!

Okay so now I will explain about how I teach. So my district of 8 people are a pilot District. Out of the 600 new missionaries that we got last Wednesday, our 8 missionaries were chosen to be this pilot district. I still am not entirely sure on what it entails, all I know it that all the other missionaries didn't start TRC until yesterday, and we started our 2nd day. So we basically got thrown to the wolves! Also, we have the heads of the teaching department teaching us, so we should be pretty prepared by the end of our MTC stay!

So TRC is where we teach investigators. These investigators are paid by the MTC to basically be actors. With each set of missionaries that teach them, they start as if they have never talked to missionaries before basically. Most of them are LDS who are converts so it's their real story, but some of them are actually non-members so it's a little scary. There are small rooms that just have three chairs in them which serve as their "home" and there is a big camera filming us teach every lesson. So each investigator is different. Some are so difficult and don't even let you in the door! If we hadn't been told, we would all think they were really investigators, they do such a good job of acting and never break character.

Well, long story short I love being a missionary and I love all of you. So does God. Oh!!! everyone look up the MTC devotional by Elder Bednar, Character of Christ. Please do it it is amazing. Watch it it will change your life!

Love you everyone


Friday, September 27, 2013

Write to Sister Ferguson!

There are lots of ways you can write to Sister Ferguson!  She gets to check email once a week but can receive a letter in the mail any day of normal mail service.  She can only send direct email to immediate family members, but can hand write letters to anyone.

  1. Dear Elder website

    - Go to: http://www.dearelder.com/
    - From the drop down menu where it says Select Mission, select "Provo MTC - FREE"
    - Click "Write a Letter" button
    - And then fill in the information with your return address, her name and unit number (79), write your letter and hit send! She'll get it the same or next day! (the cutoff time for same day is 12 noon MST)
  2. Email: holly.ferguson@myldsmail.net -- Be sure to include your mailing address so she can write you back!
  3. Snail mail.  Her address while she's in the MTC is:

    Sister Holly Liana Ferguson
    2007 North 900 East Unit 79
    Provo, UT 84602
  4. Comments left on her blog or Facebook will be emailed to her periodically.

Now send away!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Holly's First Day As a Missionary

Holly got on a plane early this morning and flew in to Utah.  She got picked up by her brother Nate who lives there and had lunch with him and his wife.  Nate and Jenny are both MTC teachers so they got to grab a few pictures of the official new missionary!  Nathan teaches literally 3 classrooms away from where Holly's is.  That's pretty awesome considering how big that place is!


Lunch at PF Chang's





At the MTC!




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Set Apart

Well, this is it. Tonight I am getting set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I couldn't be more excited! While I am out of my head nervous, I know that because I have answered Heavenly Father's call to serve, He will help me with the rest. I know this church is true because I have prayed and received an answer from Heavenly Father, and I know you can too. All you have to do is kneel down and ask God sincerely. I love this Gospel with all my heart, I know every aspect of it is true. I know we each have a divine plan created for each of us that leads us back to Him. Be good!!You're always a little better than you think you are. You can do hard things!
-Sister Ferguson

Monday, September 23, 2013

Living Each Moment to the Fullest

I wanted to share a few things that I have done in that past few weeks to soak up my last days before the mish. I had posted a picture on facebook talking about wondering how i can fully take advantage of moments before they pass me by. i always look back on moments and i hate the feeling of when things are over. i always wish i could relive them so that i could soak it up more, but recently i have come to realize that the way to completely soak it up for all it's worth is to continually express my gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. I have come to realize that when i do, i feel more joy, and feel more complete, rather than wanting to go back and relive it, because i know that i have done all i can to take the moment in. i have so much in my life to be thankful for, and expressing that gratitude is something i have recognized that i need to do better on. i have tried to improve on it lately. thanking Heavenly Father makes me feel more worthy of those blessings and tender mercies, and helps me to open my eyes to other blessings that i haven't recognized before. God is good! i feel like i am saying i a lot in this post...sorry! i could use a grammar lecture right about now, but don't really feel like re-reading this so sorry all you ocd grammar people :) here are a few of the fun things i have been up to lately, and they are all kind of jumbled and not in order...sorry for the length of this and all the pictures!
p.s. last post tomorrow as a pre-mish!
 playing around at pineview reservoir- eden, ut
 stopped to say bye to my close friend melanie- provo, ut
 more pineview- eden, ut
 chow time! - provo, ut
 endowments with wonderful family support-brigham city, ut
 with my closest cousin...regardless of how long it has 
been since we have seen each other, wecan never tell a 
difference. we are pretty funny! - alpine, ut
 visiting my mission - slc, ut
 did a session in spanish - oquirrh, ut
 with melanie - oquirrh mtn., ut
 when you see it.....- talladega, al
 spent time with all my dad's family - talladega, al
 my wonderful grandmother flew me out to spend
time with her before i left. i even got to spend
time with the honeymooners while i was there too.
was lucky to see lots of family i haven't seen in 
a very long time. - talladega, al
 playing apple/peach ball with nate. - talladega, al
 visiting the square with ashley - slc, ut
 had to post this to the future temple square missionaries
facebook page! - slc, ut
 peach days carnival...no one understands my 
love for caramel apples - brigham city, ut
 peach days festival - brigham city, ut
 peach days with ashley and kaitlyn - brigham city, ut
 one of my favorite pictures...carnival excitement
-brigham city, ut
 5K color run for melanie's birthday...they throw chalk
at you as you run by. before picture- eden, ut
after picture: so fun!! i was wearing sunglasses...resulting 
in a unibrow...more like a 5K walk...funny thing is is that it
was raining, so chalk + rain = dye apparently, because
my hair has been purple for weeks. inevitably being purple
the next day for my farewell talk in utah and i actually
ended up dying over it yesterday...don't think the mtc
would appreciate the purple hair! - eden, ut
 i worked as a teller at wells fargo for this past year
and can't even express how much i loved it! i 
worked in a small town where i got to know virtually
every customer. I looked forward to going to work
in the mornings. hands down my favorite job!
this was part of the many farewell presents that
my wonderful coworkers put together for me...
along with an adorable top and necklace and notes
that i will be taking on my mission. they have great
taste! i will sure miss them. - eden, ut
 this was a picture i took of the outskirts of eden
as i was leaving on my last day. this doesn't even
begin to capture it's beauty. absolutely the most
beautiful place i have seen! i will live there someday.
-eden, ut
 my dad and i got to go on to the field for 
the diamondback's game, my favorite baseball
team. i resisted the urge to run across the field
and slap the players butts...if paul goldschmit 
was single.....- chase field: phoenix, az
 on the field- phoenix, az
 hey we're on the big screen which means
we are officially famous. let me know if 
you want an autograph. - phoenix, az
 man i love this little guy. my little nephew
eli. this doesn't even show how cute he
is. he is starting to crawl and even taking
baby steps with help! it will be hard not to be 
there to see him growing because i know
he will grow really fast, but luckily my
sister will send me updated pictures every
week so i don't miss out on too much!
- marana, az
 i was taken aback by how beautiful this temple is
inside...love it! - mesa, az
 these sunsets are one thing utah definitely doesn't
have...no filter either! - tucson, az
 nate, jen jen and i - provo, ut
another picture on the field with my dad. 
- phoenix, az