"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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Can you believe it will be 2015 this week?

This week was pretty packed full!
We started making new schedules for everyone on Friday and before that, we were making Tour Reports. At the end of each month, we make a report for all the tours to show the relations between people that become new investigators from scheduled/unscheduled tours, and some other fun information. Well, None of those reports had been done since September, so we had the fun task of doing October, November, and December all in 2 days haha. Thankfully we got them done and out of the way and were able to start on the schedules Friday. We will hopefully we done with them on Wednesday!

This morning we had a training form the Missionary Department about Meet the Mormons! It will be showing in the Legacy Theater starting on Friday. We Temple Square Sisters will get to open the movie for each showing! So we will be the ones introducing it to the audience and then greeting them afterward to see how they liked it. We're really excited because the movie is geared to non-members, so we are looking forward to using it as a great missionary tool. We will be able to show it in the Visitor's Centers too. A lot of people that come to the Legacy Theater will probably be members, but I think it is a great tool to help with Members' Missionary Work or even to strengthen their testimony.

We talked with Paul on Wednesday to wish him and his family a Merry Christmas. We were preparing to drop him later that week. He sent us a really nice text that said, "By the way I know it is Christmas Eve and you have much more to do that to converse with me, just hope and pray you are doing well! Merry Christmas and God bless you! One of my greatest blessings and joys this past year has been the conversations we have shared over the last couple months. I hope your testimony, and I know mine, has been strengthened and refined by the refiner's fire. It has also strengthened my personal courage. 1 Ne. 20:10 "For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." It was a really nice message. We wished him and his family a Merry Christmas then asked him what he thinks Heavenly Father expects him to do in regards to the church, after all he has learned and felt? He said he was going to pray and fast, and hold fast to that which is right and true, and that he will know it by the feeling he gets in his heart. So I guess for now we are not dropping him. He went to church on Sunday and loved it. He met the bishop too. Unfortunately he'll have to go to a different ward now because the wards in the building are switching times and he can't go to the earlier one. We have faith that he really will keep up with what he said. We want to invite him to be baptized this week, so he can have a goal. The analogy I like to use is to have them picture being stranded in the middle of the ocean. There are no landmarks anywhere around and they can't see anything but water and sky. Then we tell them that they're probably not going to swim very fast towards anything. But, if there was an island they could see a ways off, they'd probably swim pretty fast towards that island right? Then we like to explain how having a baptismal date is like that island. Not only does it give us something to work towards, but it gives Heavenly Father something to work with. We are hoping that Paul can be "the one" this transfer. I guess we will see!

I read a talk this week that was really profound. It's called His Grace is Sufficient and it's by Brad Wilcox. If you haven't already you should go read it! I love how he explains grace, and how he explains how the debt has already been paid in full by Jesus Christ, we are not paying our way, but we have access to His grace by exercising our faith. We as members of the church are not earning Heaven, but we are learning heaven, and Heaven won't be heaven for those that aren't heavenly. It is a great talk to share with those that are not members of our faith.

Well I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that 2015 starts off great! I'm excited to see what the new year brings. I guess I can say talk to you next year. Haha

Thanks for all the prayers!

Love,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Short



My email will be super short today, sorry about that...

But it's been a great week!

We had Zone Conference which was way good. We as a mission made a macro plan to measure our goals as a mission to continue our success. We has the highest amount of transfer baptisms last transfer in the history of the mission, and also the highest amount of monthly baptisms! President Poulsen is so good at helping us to be better.

We also got to be fed by a family for Christmas. It was really fun! I'll attach a picture. The mom is from Puerto Rico and they have a big fat bunny that we held. Haha

We saw Elder Cook on our way to Zone Conference! We were crossing the street and he was pulling out of his garage in his apt. complex so I was waving as we crossed to say thanks when I realized, that's Elder Cook! So we kept waving and he waved back and said, Hi Sisters!

Then the next night we were walking home and President Uchtdorf was on the Square enjoying the lights with his family! He had a huge hat on so you couldn't really tell, but security gave it away. It was way cool because no one recognized him so he got to enjoy it in peace!

We had some great lessons with a Japanese boy named Takeru. It's really nice when people are sincerely seeking!

We are probably going to drop Paul this week, he is not willing to listen to the spirit unfortunately. But we just know that Heavenly Father just has someone prepared for us.

Lauren is doing good but we didn't get to call her last week. We'll have to call her this week!

Well that's all we have time for but I'll tell you more when I call on Thursday! Talk to you soon! 

Love

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy 28th Anniversary to my parents!




Well week 1 was a success!

We gave a bunch of trainings and had to do a ton of little things like fixing bugs in schedules, and lots of other things but we have seen a lot of miracles. Sister Ichikawa is an awesome missionary. She is an excellent teacher and is focused on her purpose. Because of that, our goals for the transfer is the same. We want to teach as much as possible, so we have had more time to teach in the past week than we did last transfer. I think it's because we have set it as a priority. We've been able to set goals and make plans together. We have been making time for things, and choosing to delegate other things. I'm not sure if you've heard of the Urgent and Important chart, but if you picture a quad chart kind of like a geno map chart (I don't remember what you call it) from biology where if you stick the A characteristic and B characteristic you get AB, etc. I don't know if this makes sense haha. But if you picture it with Urgent on the top left, Not urgent on the top right, Important on the bottom left, not important on the bottom right, you can kind of map decisions. We can prioritize things according to their urgency and importance. So I think that's what we've been trying to do, focus on the things that urgent and important, get them done, and then go teach as much as possible. Hopefully that made sense!

We had an awesome experience on Friday. I was on a short exchange with Sister Penalba (Panama) because our companions had come back from outbound and had a meeting. It was like 4:30 and Sister Penalba hadn't eaten lunch yet, so we were gonna run down and eat for a couple minutes.We were walking past the Tabernacle where the Standby line for the Christmas Concert had already started to form, when a Senior missionary stopped us and said that there were some nonmembers in line and they had some questions, so he wanted us to go over and answer their questions. We went over and started talking to them. Their names were Jim and Kathy from North Dakota. They are Catholic. They said that we might have wrong expectations, because they were just curious about some points of the church. Well we got to talking and they liked how we don't make people give up what they believe but we invite them to come and get more good things. They asked, "where can we purchase more material we can read about your church?" So we said, we will go get something that will help. We brought them copies of the Book of Mormon and taught them all about it. They were amazed! And the spirit was so strong. They said what can we give you for these? And we of course said nothing. Well, Kathy had been trying to get tickets to the Christmas Concert for 5 years but no luck, so they were the 6th people in line. We told them they had pretty good chances of getting in. We shared with them about us as missionaries, and how we can help them learn more for themselves to know if this could be true and if there is more about Christ they could learn. They were interested and gave their contact information. Well later after we exchanged back, we were walking down to go have dinner and we walked past the Tabernacle. We went over to say hi so I could introduce Sister Ichikawa and a different Senior missionary stopped us and said that he had leanred we had talked with them and that they were interested in the Gospel so he was wondering if he could find 2 tickets to the Conference Center if we would walk them over. We were shocked! The CC was getting full, so they weren't going to let anyone from the standby line in probably, but he went through the trouble of finding two tickets and we waled them over. Kathy had tears in her eyes and they were so thankful. We texted them the next day so they could have our phone number and they said they loved the concert. Then the next day, they texted us and apologized and said that they have serious commitments that are going to make them decline our offer of teaching them more. We are so heart broken! The conversation with them was SO special and the spirit taught all of us. We are hoping we can save it some way. We will keep you updated! They are so prepared for the Gospel, and the Temple!

Paul has been a little tricky this week....We will have to work with him a little bit more to help him progress. Right now he feels like the church is really good but not for him. We hope that the spirit will teach him and he will focus on what Heavenly Father is trying to tell him.

Lauren is doing really good! I always like talking with her. She is really open, even though she has had a really hard past. She has been praying!! She said that she hasn't felt anything, but that she isn't giving up and that she will keep trying. We had a great talk with her about being willing to act on our faith, and give Heavenly Father som3thing he can work with to answer our prayers. We talked about listening and what answers she can expect, and I think it really helped her. The spirit was really strong, and she learned new things she had never learned before. i shared a story about losing keys and praying to find them, and after she said that she was brought up being taught never to pray for little things like that because God doesn't have time for those kind of things. It was so sad! But we were able to teach her that the things that are important to us are important to Him, and He always has time for us, He wants to hear from us and is willing to help with anything. She has committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying each day so we are excited to follow up on that.

Sister Ichikawa contacted this Japanese guy in the North Visitor's center the other day. He is now a new investigator and hopefully will start to progress! It's cool how things like that just fall into our hands. We were just there for our assignment and a member friend brought him up to her and they just started talking and then he was really interested in the church.

Well that's all that we have time for! We love being companions and we love being able to be here as missionaries. We are so lucky!

Happy Anniversary to my parents on Thursday!

love you!

Love 







p.s. we got to go to the Christmas Concert!

Monday, December 8, 2014

(No Title)


Ah week 1, a new transfer already. My new companion is Sister Ichikawa, she is from Japan! She is serving outbound in Las Vegas right now, but she'll be back on Transfer day which is Wednesday. Ironically I was chosen to pick her up from the airport so that will be fun! I don't really know her, but she is super sweet!!

We have had such a crazy week trying to prepare for transfers. We got the pyramid (transfer information) last week and had to start making schedules all over again. The plus side is now that we've made schedules a million times, we are really fast at it. So we are almost done and it is only Monday!

Well one of the highlights of our week was before we got the transfer information, we took a tour. It was two guys from El Salvador. Gabriel and Umberto. One of them goes to the U, so he has heard a lot about the church. They had lots of questions. We ended up spending 2 hours with them! We taught them a lot. We shared about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Word of Wisdom, and the Temple. It was really cool. They both referred and we're going to keep teaching them! Well, actually I think Sister Asay and her next companion will but we are happy we got to show them around.

Paul is looking up! Yess we are so happy. He has been keeping an open mind and heart and I guess you could say he has seen the light haha. He wants to get baptized and shares about the Book of Mormon with everyone. It's really cool to see how God communicates with His children.

The First Presidency Devotional was SO good. Sister Asay and I got to watch the rebroadcast because we went to it last Christmas. I loved the talks. They were so good. I especially loved how President Eyring pointed out the Spirit and made us all accountable to it.The stories told by Sister Oscarson and Elder Christofferson were so good. I think what I liked most about it is that it can be shown and applies to everyone. It helps us remember how Christmas started, and how we can become more like the Savior. I loved how President Eyring said that the Christmas lights in the Conference Center symbolize our joy, and that the Savior came in to the world with light and lights were sent to represent Him. Jesus Christ really is the light and life of the world!

We got to talk with Lauren a little bit this week, she has been trying to pray!!!! Breakthrough! haha She's super busy with work but she is doing really good.

The Christus assignment is my favorite thing about Christmas. We get to testify to literally hundreds of people in an hour that Jesus Christ lives and that we know it. It is the coolest thing and probably my favorite thing about the mission. I don't care that most of them are already members because no one is ever done with coming closer to Jesus Christ. There's no cap, no point where we can say, I don't think I can get any closer to Jesus Christ. So we hope that our small testimonies and testaments of Christ are manifested by the Holy Ghost as we speak, and that the people who come up to see a statue and get a picture will leave with more than they intended. It's neat to see when you can tell that that has happened, and that people are changed because of the spirit they have felt, and the spirit that has whispered to them.

As I see Sisters going home this week, I can't help but feel grateful that it's not me, but sad because it will be me soon. I know I say it a lot but i am just so grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary here in this mission. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity that has changed me forever. I really think that if I would not have chosen to come on a mission, it would have taken me 10 years or more to make the progress in these 18 months. It's so cool to me that Heavenly Father lets us come on missions and teach people His perfect Gospel when we are so young. It really is the best thing for us, and helps mold us into His instruments, His people that He needs us to be. I think missions prepare us for just about anything so I am grateful once again to be a missionary. And just because we are not full-time set apart missionaries doesn't mean that we aren't expected to be missionaries, we are! We can bring others to the gospel each day :)

One of my favorite parts of the Christus narration is when He says "Learn of me." He doesn't say learn about me but learn of me. I think we can best do that by trying to become like Him. We become like Him as we follow His teachings and reach beyond ourselves and in turn, acquire His attributes that are what we ultimately need in order to reach our exaltation. As we do this, and act with real intent on His teachings, He has promised us that not only will we become converted to the Gospel but we will bring other souls to Him. Others will notice and will follow, and we will all experience the great joy that's promised in DC 18: "15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" And after all, God's whole plan and purpose is that we have eternal joy. It is the Plan of Happiness, not the Plan of misery or frustration or defeat but our Heavenly Father just wants us to be happy.

As we all make that our purpose this week, I know that we will feel ourselves becoming more like the Savior.

I love you!

Love



P.s. The picture is from Staff Meeting yesterday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elder Perry's so spry!


Hey!

I hope everyone had great Thanksgivings! We sure did. It was perfect. We love the Duke family! We wish we could come back for Christmas.

On Thanksgiving, the Square was closed from 12-6 so Sister Duke came and picked us up at12:15 and brought us back at 6:30, so we had all day spent with their family! They have 4 sons, and about 15 grandkids. 3 of the sons and about 12 grandkids were there for Thanksgiving. They were all just so nice and way funny, we just felt like part of the family! Sister Duke took our pictures and printed them out so we could have gratitude pages to share with the rest of the family. We wrote what we are thankful for and shared it with everyone. We got to help her prepare dinner and talk with them about their family and their missionary work. They are going to leave on a mission in June. She had so much food prepared! There was everything you could imagine on the table. We got so much food and somehow managed to eat it all (missionaries can't leave anything on their plates!) Then when it was time for dessert, they piled up our dessert plates and I thought I was going to be sick. Really though, I was contemplating making myself throw up I was so full haha but I couldn't do it because it tasted so good! After dinner, they drove us back with a bag full of leftovers! We've been eating them all week. It was such a great Thanksgiving!

The Christmas season has officially started on Temple Square! it's been a little dysfunctional so far haha it seems like no one was ready for Christmas this year or something....The nativity didn't work the first night, and all the crowds were super upset. Then the AV people didn't put a microphone by the Christus so the sisters had to run and get one in the mission office. Plus they have choirs this year on risers with microphones singing in the lobby of the North Visitor's Center with chairs set up for an audience so that combined with the He is the Gift (i will share more later!) things going on, and the line for the Christus, lost kids, and people coming in and out, it is super hard for us to do missionary work, no one can even hear us when we speak. But, Heavenly Father always provides a way! We got to have a shift at the Christus on Saturday, and I really just love that! For that shift, Sister Asay and I were at the bottom with the rope, cutting off the groups as they went up to the Christus. It was way fun to talk with everyone. People would be super upset because they waiting in line and then they would get cut off right before they went up, but then we would just talk with them and get to know them and they'd be happy when it was their time to go up! After all, people are about to go see Jesus, how can they be upset? That's why I love Christmas so much. Even though it's been a little crazy trying to work everything out, it's' all good because it's the season of Jesus Christ. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, especially in the visitor's centers! But it's been super cool to see all the things that the church has done with He is the Gift.

A guy from the Missionary Department came and gave a training about how we can best use He is the Gift.He told us all about what the church is doing to get the word out about it and whoa, it's crazy! The church bought about 6 HUGE billboards in times square in NYC and others in LA. They also bought the front page of YouTube. They fixed up 2 walls in the North Visitor's Center with the He is the Gift red color and nativity scene on the wall and hung a TV to play the video all day. They replaced the New Testament Paintings in the NVC with still shots from the Bible Christmas videos. They also redid a section in the South Visitor's center in the same reddish orange color and picture with he is the gift. Then there's mormon.org and the Ensign for December. We have boxes and boxes of the pass-along cards and he taught us how we should share it with everyone. It's a pretty huge campaign! The coolest thing is that it was all designed by Elder Bednar and Elder Nelson. So inspired!

To be honest, I wasn't super impressed with the video but I liked it the more I watched it. It has a really great message, but I was comparing it to Because of Him, the one that came out in Easter, and I liked that one more. But I really love the message of He is the Gift, and I think it's great for member missionary work and self improvement. It is really cool to show to members and ask them what gift they are going to give to the Savior this year. There are so many reasons why this church is just so cool. Haha.

Well Paul turned a little sour this week :( He texted us on Tuesday, sharing some things he learned on anti-websites and said that he understood why we told him to stay on lds websites because they made him sad. But he didn't stop. He kept going on anti websites and began to text us what he was "learning." He said some pretty bad things about the church and things that we won't go into detail about. But we sent him a really long text reminding him of what he had felt earlier in the week, how the Holy Ghost had testified to him of truth and how he had felt that light of knowledge and truth from God. We told him how God has been speaking to him through the Holy Ghost and how his life has changed since he started learning more from us and through the Book of Mormon. We reminded him that God really loves and knows him, and wouldn't give him that confirmation through the Holy Ghost just to rip it apart days later through new information that brought darkness and confusion into his life. God doesn't work like that. He wants us to be happy but He also wants us to trust him. We told him to pray and ask God for truth and to help him find the light. He didn't really respond but on Sunday he texted us and said that he went to Sacrament meeting with a question in his heart, and it was answered. He really liked the meeting because they talked about serving others, and his question was answered through a scripture I guess, and he was told that he needs to trust God, not man. Which is what he was doing. So he is looking up! I want to share with him sometime today or tomorrow something I've learned. Technology and the internet can crash, books can burn, people can die, but confirmations and feelings from the Holy Ghost are infinite and eternal. He's existed from the beginning of time and will exist for eternity. A true testimony from the Holy Ghost never fails. Sometimes, because we are imperfect beings, we can forget that confirmation, and that's okay. Heavenly Father understands. All He asks is that we ask for that confirmation again, and He is more than willing to give it to us! Just like is says in 3rd Nephi 27: "And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened." As we put our lives in harmony with the truth, the Lord increases our light and understanding. It's like a math equation haha but Heavenly Father really loves us. He will always answer our prayers through the Holy Ghost. Just like it says in D&C: "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" Those moments that we get to feel the Holy Ghost are so sacred and we should do all we can to not only act with real intent, but live in a way that we can gain more light and knowledge through the Holy Ghost. That's why this church is so awesome, because it's the only one where we can be baptized by water, AND fire through the Gift of the Holy Ghost!

I got to see Chenwei! I will attach pictures. He is doing so good. He came for Thanksgiving because he got time off of school, and because he is from China, he doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and so coming to Salt Lake was a perfect vacation for him. He really enjoyed it and it was so good to see him!

A couple days ago when we were opening the square (we open all the buildings), we saw this guy with his huge dog walking on Temple Square. I stopped to tell him he can't have his dog there, but that he could go on the other side, and we all got to talking. His name is Ethan and he was here for a book tour, he write books about something to do with the number 4. Eventually it turned into a Gospel conversation and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon which he was way excited to read. We're gonna teach him more about it and why it is so important.

Later that day, we were stationed on a desk, and this Philipino family walked by. I started talking with them and turns out the dad met with missionaries in the 1980's and read the Book of Mormon but never got baptized. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the LDS church and beliefs, and I guess I was a little too bold for him because he became totally uninterested in the conversation and began to roll his eyes. But his wife became very interested in the conversation. She really wanted to know how she could go to the temple so her family could be together forever. She ended up taking a Book of Mormon back home to San Francisco and she wants us to call her to teach her more! Hopefully her husband;s heart will be softened so they can all learn together! It has been my dream to find a family to teach since the beginning of the mission; I have been thinking about it a lot recently, so it was so cool to have this opportunity!

Oh man I have to tell you about our last Preparation day...it was so crazy. We were dealing with a ton of things all day, phone calls back and forth, trying to arrange things, all while trying to email. Then we went to get some lunch, and I realized I left my missionary debit card in my coat back home. So Sister Asay paid for mine and I decided I would get the groceries after we stopped to pick up my card. Well we got it and I got back in the car and had it in my mouth while I was driving. I realized how gross that is because there must be so many germs on a debit card so I put it in the console in between the seats. I got out of the car when we got to Walmart and then remembered I needed my card so I went to grab it, and after looking for a little while realilzed it fell underneath the little drawer of the console, and fell back way underneath like where the AC is. We realized it was impossible to reach after trying for almost an hour. By this time, our time with the car was up so we only had time to go in and get the bare necessities with other funds. It was such a stressful day we were so bummed! I realized I'd probably have to get another card which would take weeks. Well, the next day, Elder Moore (he and his wife are the mission secretaries) came and helped us. He unscrewed some things, stuck his head in some crevices and used some weird tool and got it out of the abyss! Hallelujah haha we were so happy. Then that day just went super awesome and we had s many miracles. Long story short, sometimes we have to pass through storms to get to the rainbow!

Well I just can't believe this is the last week of the Transfer. It really is just going by so fast.

Today we had to wash the car so we were coming out of the COB garage and while we were stopped at the light, we looked over and Elder Perry was waiting to cross the street in front of us! So we rolled down our windows and said Hi Elder Perry! And as he crossed the street, he waved and said, wow a car full of ya, huh? Well, don't drive too fast! Haha and gave one of his big cheesy smiles. He is so cute!! Crossing the street all spry at 90 years old. Haha.

Okay now that I have written the biggest email ever, it's time to go. Sister Asay and I are going to get cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory for our last week together!

Thanks for all the support and prayers sent my way, I hope you have a great week!

Love,






Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!



Hi!

This week has been a great week.

We had a special speaker come to our Relief Society. Clayton Christensen, the author of the Power of Everyday Missionaries. He is way cool! He told us all about the missionary experiences he and his wife have. They are great missionaries. I took some notes that I will return to when I go home, to help me be the best member missionary. I wanted to share them with you since you are all member missionaries...some of those things he said were:

-People will learn when they're ready to learn, not when we're ready to teach.

-The door into the Book of Mormon isn't the beginning, it's the answers to their questions (he's saying that we should help them find places in the Book of Mormon to read that will answer their questions, not necessarily starting from the beginning, so they can gain a testimony of it).

-If you help them learn, they can teach themselves and us. (For example, he told us how he invited a friend over to meet with the missionaries in their home, and he gave his friend assignments to complete. He gave him reading assignments and had him write essays about what his answers to his questions were. When he returned to their home, they were asking if he was able to do the assignments and he said yes. One of the questions he had was about the age and means of baptism. When they asked what answer he found, he said something profound that taught the Christensen's. He said, "It makes God mad when infants are baptized because it trivializes the Atonement of Jesus Christ." Holy Cow, so cool!)

-follow-up!

Use these things in your missionary work. Invite people over for dinner and ask if you can also invite missionaries to share a brief message with them. You just never know :)

We got to go to Savior of the World again this year! I think it was better than last year. It's really good. The people in charge of it were so nice, they gave us tickets for every night of every performance that we can give to investigators! Such a cool missionary tool to show people about our belief in Jesus Christ.

I don't know if you remember the Recent Convert Cesar, he got baptized last November. Well, he entered the MTC this week! How cool is that? He is serving in Las, Vega Nevada, where the missionary who found him is from. He will be such a great missionary.

We've had some really good missionary experiences this week. We found some new investigators and were able to teach more than we were able to, not really sure how we did that haha but we were so grateful we got to. We talked to some awesome people when we weer at our desk assignments and felt the spirit as we tried to uplift members.

Paul is doing SO good it's crazy. This morning, he texted us and said, "How do I prepare myself for baptism? I believe that I am a sinner, Christ died for my sins, Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God that did see Jesus and God the Father, that the Book of Mormon was inspired and is another testament of and to Jesus Christ, and we are the Restored Church of God. Is this sufficient?" Haha we died. All we could say is NO WAY haha. He wasn't able to go to church on Sunday because he was with his wife and daughter at a restaurant and they came in one car but he said that he is going to start riding his motorcycle when they go to lunch so he can go to church after. He also told us that he thinks tithing is really a blessing and a chance to be an example to other people. Yesterday he told us that he went to the gym and was reading the Book of Mormon on the elliptical and some lady walked up and asked if he is LDS and HE SAID YES haha. He is so funny. Turns out she is an inactive member, and he invited her to church and is being a missionary to her. Oh man, he is so cool! We are so excited to see his progression.

This week, I have been focusing on the Book of Mormon. I've been reading it at every chance I have. During studies, meals, after planning, during prep time, etc. and it has been so cool. My love for the Book of Mormon has deepened when I didn't think it was possible! I'm trying to finish before Christmas. I just finished the book of Helaman and it's so cool to read. I love hearing about the war chapters, how they prayerfully do things to protect their freedom and family and religion. It's sad to see how wicked people can become, but how quick Heavenly Father is to forgive them and remember their sins no more if they will just choose to repent. This church is the best!!!

It's been cool as I've been reading to see how I have changed, and how my Gospel knowledge has changed. I really don't know how they let me come on a mission, haha I didn't know anything. Not that I know tons now, but I have grown so much in my understanding and love for the Gospel that it's just been neat to see the way that I understand the Book of Mormon now, and how I can apply it to my life. It's so cool to me that the scriptures apply to each of us as individuals in our personal lives even though there are billions of members of the church. The coolest thing is that learning is an eternal thing in this church. We will learn for the rest of our lives. Good thing we take knowledge with us when we die haha.

We are really excited for Thanksgiving. We get the chance to go to a family's house for dinner up in Bountiful! We are going to get so fat haha. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and think about President Uchtdorf's talk on being grateful in every circumstance. Heavenly Father is so good to us.

Last Preparation Day we had a Zone Activity at the Moore's (mission secretaries) house. It was way fun! We got to make turkey hats for hospital kids and eat BBQ (oh man my favorite). It was the best! I'll attach some pictures.

Chenwei (the one I taught in Ohio) is coming this week for Thanksgiving!! I am so excited to see him! Hopefully he will be able to watch Savior of the World. He is doing so good and I can't wait to see him.

Oh, I got to see Sister Malloy this week!! (My companion my first transfer in Ohio, I refuse to call her by her first name haha) It was so good to see her! She is doing so good. I'll send pictures of that too.

Well I think that's about it. The lights come on on Friday, which means our new schedules start then, which means we have to be done by Thursday with the schedules, which means Sister Asay and I should have time this week to not be in our office! We are so excited about that, we are going to tear the square up. Haha and we get to be in West Gate when the lights come on so that will be way fun. Well Happy Thanksgiving! Have the best week ever!

Love






Monday, November 17, 2014

A Blind Date



No way has it really bee a week since I sat here. Haha it's so weird how fast time flies. The transfer is already halfway over an I can't even believe it!

This week has been a really busy week for Sister Asay and I. On Thursday, we had to give a training to the whole mission about what to do on the square during Christmas time. So naturally, Sister Asay and I looked in our closets and found matching outfits and put on Santa hats. Then, we decided to do an elf yourself video to have a fun intro for the training and hopefully to get people excited for Christmas. So we made one of people who are in the Office. It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time! I am like dad and cry when I laugh, so when we watched it for the first time, I literally had tears streaming down my face. Something about seeing your Mission President dancing is just so funny! Here is the link so you can see it:

http://www.elfyourself.com/?mId=61535171.3


Everyone loved it! President Poulsen even requested his own copy of it haha.

But the training went really well. There was a lot we had to talk about and thankfully, we only forgot one or two things. President Poulsen is so sweet. After we finished, he got up and came to the front and said, "can you imagine being in these sisters' position? Imagine all that they do. They work so hard. Thank you so much sisters." and then sat down. Gosh it was so nice! That's my favorite part of this calling is working closely with the mission president. It's really neat. He has some really cool things planned for us to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am excited to tell you when it gets closer!

Like I said, this is a super busy time for Sister Asay and I. It's always busy in this calling, but not usually this crazy but because of Christmas, we have double duty schedules. Amongst the trainings, we have to create a new schedule for each companionship because everything changes after the lights come on. Preparation day changes from 1-9 to 10-6, we stay on the square until 10 PM, and we add about 8 new Christmas things to the schedule. So we put in about 15 things to 80+ schedules, all the while working around current assignments, preparation days and companionship studies. Over the weekend, we had gotten a lot done. We had spent days filling in almost all the Christmas assignments. We were probably about halfway through. Then we realized that we should have started a different way, and that it was becoming a big headache because we probably wouldn't be able to fix it so we had to start over from scratch. Haha. But actually it made it a lot easier. It's been more smooth to figure it out and to make it more workable in people's schedules. Honestly, it's been a learning experience for me in many ways. I am so grateful I can serve the sisters and it's stretching me in different ways. It makes me super excited for teaching, that whenever I get to get out of the office, I feel like a 5 year old, I want to run around haha. But we have seen so many miracles! We always make time everyday to go and teach and whenever we do, we always see awesome miracles.

For example, Paul is doing so well!! He went to church on Sunday, and the missionaries are coming over tomorrow. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and even left it on top of his laptop, hoping his wife would pick it up and read it. He is trying to convert her haha. I won't type up his texts again but I can't even explain to you how prepared he is. He talks about his faith and his testimony of the restoration and the Book of Mormon and he sounds more converted then some members! We have been ITCHING to invite him to be baptized and we finally got to call him today. He was in a rush so we answered questions he had and shared about the Holy Spirit. It was really good! He said he had to go, so we just blurted out a baptismal invitation because the spirit was there and we couldn't wait any longer. He said, "I don't have any objections." So he is working towards getting baptized on November 29th!! He even said the closing prayer, and prays like a champ! We are so excited for him.

Here is the embarrassing moment of the week to make you just laugh about as hard as I did with the elf yourself video...So the secretary came to us to schedule a tour request she got. It was from a blind guy that wanted to take a blind girl on a tour as a date (literally a blind date hahah). We thought, oh that would be fun, so we decided that we would be the ones to take them around (also because we wanted an excuse for more teaching time). They walk in the North Visitor's Center and we immediately know it's them because they have their blind sticks and all. In that entrance, they have to come down some stairs. The guy starts coming down them and the girl runs into the railing straight on. We were like oh ummm go to your right a little....then the guy gets to us and says hi I'm Jim, and sticks out his hand. So I shake it and say nice to meet you. Then, the girl says, I'm Jessica. So I STICK OUT MY HAND and say nice to meet you. After about 5 seconds I realized that she CAN'T SEE my hand hahaha Oh man I was like 'oh shoot' under my breath. While everyone in the NVC saw that I actually did that haha. Oh gosh. Then we start the tour and take them to the Christus because we wanted them to feel the prints of the nails in His feet. Turns out he is atheist and she wasn't really interested. So the whole Christ thing wasn't very applicable no matter how hard we tried...so we start going to the Tabernacle so they can hear the acoustics and there was a sign in the middle of the walkway we were too late in warning them about, but they were fine and we kept walking and guiding them, all the while I try to make conversation by asking them how long they've been blind... Then we realized the door we were trying to go to wasn't working so we had to walk all the way around the entire tabernacle to where we started....It was a little rough because they kept accidentally tripping us with their sticks and we weren't very good voice guides so they kept going off the sidewalk, but finally we got to the Temple Grounds for our last location and started talking about the Temple and it's significance. Jim's said that he didn't want to learn about religious stuff, but that they had come for the history. He also said some more things about God that were really sad but we just testified and I felt impressed to tell him that a time in his life will come when he won't know where to turn or what to do, and that he will remember our invitation to him to pray and that when that time comes, he should pray. That was the rest of the tour. I hope he will pray and give it a chance!

Hopefully that gave you a nice laugh. It seemed like something Michael Scott from the office would do gosh...haha.

We also go tot meet up with Saige. She is doing a lot better thankfully! She has broken through her clouds of doubt and is enjoying the sunshine that is God's love.

Well sorry this is so long! But thanks for the prayers and support. I am so excited for Christmas and can't wait to tell you about all the cool experiences!!

Love

Monday, November 10, 2014

Orange tabs...



Week of miracles!! We have some really cool stories to tell you about :)

We called Lauren and she is doing so good! She told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon. Usually she has a bunch of questions, but she didn't even have questions because she likes what she has been reading. She told us more about her job. She's a truck driver, but because she isn't a solo driver, she is in the truck moving 24/7. So when she isn't driving, she's in the back sleeping and her partner is driving. She really wants to go to church but can only go on a day off which she doesn't get very often. So she wants to do that soon. We talked with her more about prayer, and why we pray and how it is special to us. She has been super hesitant to pray because of her past history with Christian churches, but at the end of the lesson, she said she would try to do it! That was such a huge step for her! Right before we were about to end the call, she said, "I don't know how long you continue to call people, but if it's okay, I want you to keep calling me." We were like OF COURSE! haha it was way cool. She even got some sasparilla for us, and wants to bring it to us if she ever gets to stop in Temple Square. She's way awesome!

We also got to talk with Cameron. He is still on Probation so he hasn't been able to be baptized. But, he is doing really well. He has changed a lot since we first met him in May. He told us all the things he wants to be better at and how he is going to do that. Hopefully he will be able to be baptized soon!

Frank is doing really well! We have met with him almost every day since Tuesday. He's kind of crazy haha really eccentric is a better way to put it. But anyway, he wants to return to the Temple and get his life back on track. He's been working with the Homeless Veteran's Association to find housing too. He came to Music and the Spoken Word with us on Sunday and attended church in a local ward too. On Saturday we finally had a break-through lesson. His whole eccentric personality was pushed to the side as we showed him the presentation God's Plan and talked about the Temple and having goals in his life. Finally we were beginning to see that 'broken heart and a contrite spirit.' I think the Spirit really hit him. Hopefully we will be able to help him as he fully returns spiritually and physically to where God wants him to be. The Temple is SO special. I love the Salt Lake Temple because of it's symbolism. It's so neat to me that the Lord teaches us through symbolism. It really makes us think :) As I have been a missionary, the importance of the Temple has really stuck out to me. We are so blessed that God would let us, imperfect people, make covenants with Him in His house! Like Elder Anderson said,'making and keeping covenants with Godgives us the power to smile throughhardships, to convert tribulation into triumph, to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, … andbring to pass much righteousness."' Remember the power of your covenants! :)

Ah the coolest thing happened to me this week! We were in West Gate when this guy walked up to my window. His name is Paul and he is fro Colorado. He was talking about missionaries, and then he said, "They knock on my door, so I figured I'd come and knock on theirs." We were like no way right now....haha no way!! So I started talking to him while Sister Asay was talking to someone. He was way interested in the symbolism on the Temple exterior. He said that he had been reading all about it (on some bogus site called moroni.com or something...) so I was like, oh well can I show you a website that has a lot of helpful information? (So I showed him mormon.org haha hopefully he will go there now) And I showed him the features of it, he really liked it. Then he was like well thanks bye! Before we could say anything else. oh man! I was thinking, I want to teach this guy, come back! but he was gone. About 5 minutes later, I looked up, and there he was! I was like no way... so I started talking more to him and explaining the Book of Mormon and asked if he wanted one. He said yes. We talked a little more and I was just thinking, I can't let him leave without inviting him to act on his faith, and without him having a chance to learn more because he is so prepared. So I just said, "Paul, here's the thing. I want to share more with you about how this all relates to you and your family. Here on Temple Square, we actually get to call people all around the world and teach them more, without it being as invasive as knocking on people's doors. Can we call you and share more with you?" And he was like yeah, do you want my phone number? It was way awesome! Then we set an appointment with him for the next day, and when we called him, he answered and said, "is this sister Ferguson and Sister Asay?" We said yes and he said that he had been reading the Book of Mormon but that when he shared his experience with his wife, she said absolutely not. She is baptist and feels like it would ruin their family relationship. Well, we can't mess with that, so we told him that we want him to have peace in his home, and that we respect him and his wife, and gave our phone number for if he ever has anything we can help with and told him the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and ended the call. I was way sad because I knew he had been prepared for us and I felt so strongly we needed to teach him! I kid you not, less that 15 minutes later as we were going home, he texted us. His text said, "The minor things fade in comparison to the reading of the Book of Mormon, addictive, and meditative." and yest again, Sister Asay and I were like NO WAY haha. Then he said, "I want to find a way to worship indirectly with other Mormons ie through the radio/internet. I know the church we have been going to broadcasts over the Internet do Mormons?" and then he said, "If I ever went to the Temple [where I am from] would I be able to go into it or do I need an invitation/sponsor?" We answered all these questions and told about the preparation needed to enter the Temple and why we need it. He then said he was going to listen to the broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word as he was driving the next day. He is so cool!! I don't know if we will be able to teach him or what will happen, but I know he will be baptized one day because he is so prepared, and is recognizing truth so fast. It is amazing to see the work of the Lord! In my scriptures, I use an orange tab to mark all instances of miracles. If I had to do that even just for the time period of the mission, I would run out of tabs really fast. Haha. I love this mission so much because you see so many miracles. Even Sister Asay and I see so many, and we are in our office almost all day! It's unlike any other mission in the World. I can't even believe I am so blessed to be one of the few that get to serve here.

Well that's all the time we have. Look for the 'orange tabs' in your life this week as you remember the power of your covenants. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Love

Monday, November 3, 2014

'The Plan would be frustrated'


Well it was a great week! :)

We have been doing office stuff all week though so we haven't been able to teach as much as we would like to but we have had great experiences nonetheless. I don't have a lot of time left so this is going to be really short but that's okay!

Joelle and Alissa got baptized! We got to skype Joelle's baptism. It was way cool! She is really strong.

I had a neat experience on Saturday. We were at our desk assignment and right when we were about to leave, I started talking with these three people. One was from Puerto Rico, and I always like talking to people from there because Dad served there. We were small talking and the daughter and I started talking while the father and other lady were talking. She told me how she wanted to go on a mission but got married instead, and her husband is inactive and she questions whether she should have gone on a mission or gotten married. I had found a scripture the day before that popped into my mind so I shared it with her: "And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son." And she just cried. She said that she hasn't been going to church lately because it's just easier to spend time with him and doesn't want to create tension but I just testified of the importance of doing the little things, going to church, praying, and reading. She said she was going to go to church this Sunday and I told her I would pray for her husband and her. She is way sweet and I hope that things will start to work out!

For Halloween, we got to have dinner in the Church Office Building (we had a potato bar) and then go to the Temple as a mission after. It was way cool, I've never had an experience like that. It was literally so full of sisters, it was the neatest things to see 180 sisters dressed in the Temple. I don't know how we all fit into the same session but we did! The spirit was so strong and it was way cool to have President and Sister Poulsen there too. It was the best Halloween ever.

Funny story...yesterday in Staff meeting, we were talking about our Christmas Schedules and ideas we could incorporate and we were talking about Caroling every night and he was asking if they would just sing without music and my companion was joking around about beat boxing and my mission president started beat boxing (by saying boots and cats and boots and cats) we all DIED. Literally one of the funniest things I have ever seen!! He is in his 70's and he's beatboxing haha. Today I asked him if I could record him doing it and he laughed so hard and said yes. That will be the best video ever!

On Saturday, we were serving in the West Gate booth when this man walked up. His name is Frank. He was asking whee he could get a warm meal. We told him that there were shelters around, but that we didn't know too much information. He then told us how he is inactive, and all the horrible trials that happened to him. He bore his testimony to us! We were able to give him a bishop's number and talk for a long time about the Gospel. It was cool because he testified of the Word of Wisdom and how he knows he needs to live it. We encouraged him to go back to the Temple and gave him a quote about why bad things happen to good people: "[these things happen] to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teaching of Jesus Christ. As you do so, you are changed to become more like Him...without opposition, the plan would be frustrated." I'm not sure if I have shared that before but it was perfect for him. We shared also, "the best paths in life are rarely the easiest" and told him to look up the talk 'I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee' by President Monson and to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon. It was the neatest thing to see because his countenance was completely changed from when he walked up to the window. The spirit really spoke to hm and he was so happy when he left! We are looking forward to talking more with him and helping him become active again.

Well that's about all the time that we have. I just want you to know how important the First Vision is to me. I am so grateful for that account. I know that Joseph Smith was a humble servant of God that actually saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in answer to his prayer. He was called to be a Prophet, to teach the people what they need to do in order to be happy, and to teach them that there is a God and a Savior of the World, and that there is a plan for us. Through him, keys and ordinances were restored that make it possible for us to be with our families for eternity. Heaven wouldn't be heaven without my family. It's possible through Jesus Christ. I know that we have a Savior that knows us! Because of Him, literally nothing is impossible. (Watch this video!) I am so grateful to know that this Gospel has been restored. I know we can see the miracles that come from it every day.

I invite you to tell someone this week how important the Restoration is to you! :)

Have a wonderful week and tell me about the experiences you have when you do that!

love,



p.s. attached are pictures from the halloween dinner!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I can't even believe next transfer is real...


Okay last week I forgot to say that President pulled me into his office to tell me that I don't have a lot of time left and to ask me what I would like to do with that time. I told him that I wanted to serve with Sister Asay, but that I would do whatever the Lord wanted me to do. Well today we had Transfer Conference and next transfer I will be with Sister Asay! We are the Temple Square Coordinators. It's so crazy haha it will be so much fun.

This week has been really good. We learned how to quilt at the Humanitarian Center so we have been giving service on our downtime there. It's actually really relaxing (Shoutout to Grandma Baczuk-let's quilt together!). I am so grateful for the time that I have had to serve there at the Humanitarian Center. It has really opened my eyes not only to what the church does in it's humanitarian efforts, but to what I can do more in my life to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. I have seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action, and like it says in the video, I want and pray that Heavenly Father will use me as an answer to other people's prayers.

Oh man it has slowed down a huge amount on Temple Square this week...it's made for a lot of turn-over in the mission. They are sending 25 sisters outbound, 24 are going home, 18 new sisters are coming, and 20 sisters are coming back from outbound....I'm just glad I am not in charge of airport runs because that transfer day is going to be crazy! We are all really excited to see what this transfer has to bring. With so much change we are excited to see all the miracles and experiences that will happen.

We found an awesome New Investigator yesterday named Richard. He is Native American and came on chat asking questions because missionaries had come and given him a pass-along card with the address of the church, but he is bedridden at the moment, waiting for some type of surgery. He is looking for something that he can be a part of that will give him hope. We had such a great conversation with him and were able to share why the Book of Mormon is so special to us, and how we think it would be interesting and special to him too. I mean it's literally a record of his ancestry haha. He really wants to read it. I so look forward to him gaining a testimony of it and seeing how it will change his life.

Do you remember Cameron? I taught him before I went outbound and he is in my old single's ward up in Ogden. Well he hasn't received approval to be baptized but has been going to church, except for the last couple weeks. He said that he doesn't have an excuse, but that he has just been busy and lazy. We talked about the importance of church with him and compared it to a job. You know, after a week of work, you physically need a day to recuperate and prepare for the next week. For us spiritually, it is similar. We need that time with Heavenly Father to prepare for our next week and to spiritually recuperate. Our spirits get tired too! He recognized that and was going to go yesterday, but someone stole his gas tank from his jeep so he had to go to the police station to file a police report :( Satan sucks. Haha. But we are looking forward to him going next week. I hope that he will get approval to get baptized so he can get the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Tim is doing really good. We read with him in the scriptures (he is in 2 Nephi....I need help reading that too haha) and talked about the importance of the little things; going to church, reading scriptures, and praying. Then we invited him to do something that I have been trying out lately. It's been such a neat experience for me, and I invite you to try it out too! :) The night before or the morning of Sunday before church, I pray and ask Heavenly Father that one of the hymns we will sing in Sacrament will be something from Him that i need to hear. I have had the coolest experiences doing that and those hymns are now some of my favorite. Try it out on Sunday, it's like you are getting a blessing.

I got to see Saige this week! She had been one the square for a little bit but because we had some things going on, by the time I was able to respond to her text, I thought she had left. But it turns out she was still here! So we were able to do a lesson with her and then go to Nauvoo Cafe for dinner. The lesson was amazing...she is such an awesome girl. She is so dilligent in praying and reading and going to church, but she was telling me how she has been really struggling spiritually lately because no matter what she has done or how often she has tried, she hasn't felt the spirit. She was starting to get upset because she doesn't like feeling the spirit. She hadn't done anything wrong. We were talking about why she would need to go through something like this when something popped into my head. I thought of my senior year of High School when I was on the seminary council and we decided our theme of Climb the Mountain (Shout out to Bishop Somerville!). The scripture for that was DC 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." We compared her trial right now to climbing a mountain. She is going through switchbacks, steep climbs, faint paths, etc., but when she gets to the top of mountain and she can see all that she conquered, it will be worth it because without the bitter, we wouldn't know the sweet (2 Ne. 2:11-"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."). She just has to cheerfully do everything in her power, and then she can stand still to see God's hand in her life. A Conference Talk popped into my mind to have her read. It's one of my favorites: 'Where is the Pavilion' by Elder Eyring. We gave her that and a few other things to do, and then went to dinner. The next day, she texted us and told us that she was up at 2 AM and decided to watch the talk. She said that it felt so good to hear, and that just like the woman in the talk, she decided to really really pray and she felt such peace. She said that that peace allowed her to know that Heavenly Father hears her. She might not have gotten to the top of the mountain and finished her trial, but she is heard and that meant so much to her. This experience meant to much to me! I was so grateful that she was able to feel how much she is loved. It taught me so much about why we must pass through hard times, and the kind of attitude we should have as we do so. She is such an example to me and I am so grateful that months ago, someone came on chat and pretended to be her haha.

Well anyway I think I have word vomitted enough for today haha. I am so SO grateful for my calling to be a missionary. It amazes me that Heavenly Father lets me. It amazes me that not only that, but He allows me to teach other the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ! I am just a 21 year old girl and I don't feel qualified to do that...But I'm amazed to see that He does qualify me to do His work, and that it is nothing that I can do, but it is Jesus Christ next to me, making this all possible. Just like it says in DC 84: 88, "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I have felt that. It is such a miracle!

I love you! Have a wonderful week,

Love,


P.s. I attached a cliche picture of Asians on Temple Square (this is a real picture a sister took, it's not staged!!), and a picture of me and Saige, a picture of the transfer board this transfer, and a picture of me being silly yesterday.



Monday, October 20, 2014

It's really been a whole week? And it's week 6?

Man, I can't believe this is the end of another transfer....time has never gone so fast in my entire life. But time flies when you are having fun, right??

Well this week has been so great! We've seen a lot of neat things. Hopefully I will have time to tell them all :)

My favorite thing that happened this week was when we found Lauren. I was on exchanges and we had just gotten back from the Humanitarian Center. We were on the Square and we went down into the basement of the NVC and starting talking to this man and woman. Turns out, her name is Lauren and his name is Anthony. They are truck drivers and she is training him. We asked if they had any questions and he said she had a lot of questions and then walked away. So she was a little embarrassed but started asking her questions. She had really good ones. She also has a pretty peculiar concern I had never heard of before. But I guess we all have our own interests. Anyway, she is super nice and super sincere. She was in the Army and her battle mate was LDS so she went to church a few times with her and always had questions answered by her. We were able to give her a book of Mormon and we have been teaching her this week. She's reading the Book of Mormon. She is awesome! The last question she asked was something along the lines of, 'my husband is Atheist. He will allow me to go to whatever church I want to but I can't take the kids. if I were to convert, would I be allowed to do so or would I be looked down on? Would I be kept from anything if he and my kids didn't go but I did?' We were like no! haha of course you will be able to enjoy all the same blessings every other member of the church does. She is so great!

Last Monday before Preparation day started (I forgot to mention this one I think), we were chatting with a Less Active member named Janice. She told us how she had been a member all her life (over 40 years) and received her endowments and went on a mission, but that God had told her through the Holy Ghost that she needs to be ordained to the Priesthood. She went on to tell me that she wants to baptize her children and give blessings and I thought I was going to be sick. It just made me beyond sad to hear all the things that she thinks are coming from God. In reality, the lack of the little things like reading scriptures and praying daily and attending church and the Temple had moved her far off the path. Nothing we said by the Spirit could do anything. We have been trying to teach her this week but she is literally so convinced that she sees no other possible way of her staying in the church than her being ordained to the Priesthood. Oh man. As a missionary or member in general that is so hard to watch. We will pray for her though. The Lord works miracles on hardened hearts! The little things that Heavenly Father asks us to do may seem so trivial but they are so important! We can't miss days of doing them, it is how we put on the armor of God.

I am not sure if you remember me talking about Pam before I went outbound. Well I finally got her contact transferred back to me and I called her yesterday. Man I always feel the love Heavenly Father has for her so strongly when I talk to her! To refresh your memory, she is probably in her 60's. She had been going through all sorts of treatment for brain cancer last time we talked to her (this is after previous treatment and remission). I found out yesterday that she just had another brain surgery 2 weeks ago and she just fractured her hip...obviously she's not doing too well! She is so sweet. I just shared a scripture with her and offered to have Elders come give her a blessing. Hopefully we will be able to help her!

Okay we had the best tour on Saturday! There was a huge Girl scouts of America convention this past week, so we had thousands of people from that here on the Square. Well we took 2 ladies (they weer from Ohio so they weer automatically cool to me haha) around on a tour and they were so prepared! They said that they came to have a tour because they had heard a lot about the church and they wanted to come find out what was true and what wasn't about what they heard. They said they wanted to educate themselves so they could tell others. They were so nice and had wonderful questions and comments and definitely felt the Spirit as we took them to the Assembly Hall, the Temple Model, and Scriptures and Revelation where we taught the Restoration. One of them took a Book of Mormon and the other already had one, she said missionaries stop by often. They didn't want to learn more from us, but that was okay! It was a seed planted. We tried to harvest but they weren't ready :) One day they will be!

On Thursday at the Humanitarian Center, we took a ton of tours. On one of the tours, there were little kids that were so well behaved! At the end of the tour, we show a movie. It's way good and the spirit is always really strong. Usually when we ask kids questions after the movie, they will give us blank stares or just avoid eye contact haha but these kids said, I felt the Spirit! And another said, I felt the spirit, too. It was way cool! I actually am going to see if I can attach the URL so you can watch it...

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/visitor-center-films?lang=eng

Hopefully that works! Now you can see the things that we show people at the Humanitarian Center. It is really cool to serve there to see where the Humanitarian Funds of the church end up. I hope you like it!

Yesterday we were able to take a family around on a lesson with some SLC sisters. Ironically, they were actually from Tucson but live here now. It's a blended family and they aren't married because they had really bad previous marriages so they are afraid to get married. But they are so sweet I don't know how anyone could treat them poorly. They are perfect for each other and I want them to get married already so the Dad can get baptized and they can be sealed! They all want that. I hope that I will get to see them again.

Our investigators are doing really well. Joelle has been getting the help that she needs. She said that she wishes she could return to others the help that she has receives. She's been going to church and sharing the Gospel with her daughter and is so looking forward to getting baptized on the 1st!
We have some other great New Investigators I don't have time to tell you about sorry!

I hope you all have a great week this week, every week is great when you have the Restored Gospel :) May we all remember the counsel given by President Monson at the Ogden Temple Dedication: "Love the Temple, appreciate the temple, attend the Temple."

Love you,


Monday, October 13, 2014

Surprise Fireside...

We had a Surprise Fireside from David Archuleta last night! I felt so bad for him....200 dramatic sisters...haha. He did a great job though. I never really liked his music, but he is so much better in person! He has an amazing talent. He sung some songs and did a Q&A about his mission. It was neat!

This week was so good. It went by so fast though! I just want to share some of the experiences we had and then update on our investigators...

My favorite experience we had was on Tuesday. We were coming back to the Square after serving at the Humanitarian Center all day, and my companion complimented this girl's dress. She was sitting on a bench outside the Temple with her Temple bag, and upon getting closer, we saw she was crying. We asked what was wrong, and she began to tell us that she just moved up here because she felt prompted to but that she had just had a job interview and didn't think it went very well. She asked us if we ever had experiences where things were falling apart but we knew they were 'falling together'? We shared experiences and testified and she began to feel such peace, she said. She thanked us for coming to talk with her and said that she had just gotten off the phone with her dad, and he had basically given her a blessing over the phone, and he had said that Christ's love would be manifested to her and that's when we walked up. She thanked us for being disciples of Christ. It was so neat! Then as a joke, she said, wow now all I need is chocolate! And for some reason, I had felt to put in my dinner bag some of the cookies mom made me. And so I gave them to her and she cried again. It was the coolest thing ever!

We were walking on the square when two guys walked up to us and asked is we were busy. One guy whose name is Apollo said that he had recently returned from a mission, and that he wanted to bring this guy Alex he just met to Tempe Square and wanted us to give them a tour. So naturally we said yes haha. So we took them around and taught the Restoration and Alex took a Book of Mormon and became a New Investigator. It was way cool because having a Member Present Lesson on the Square is pretty rare...but Heavenly Father blessed us with one.

We were able to find a lot of New Investigators last week that have great potential. We have been so blessed to meet all these people that have been prepared. As they progress, I will share more information about them.

Today we met the new Temple President for the Freiberg, Germany Temple. They are about to get set apart by President Uchtdorf. They were so nice!

Our other investigators and Recent Converts are doing so good! I wanted to share the text that Chenwei sent me yesterday after I said hi and asked how he was doing:

"Hi! I just get back from library! Met many new friends on church and they are super nice person. Besides I get my priesthood this morning! Next time you get back to Ohio you might see I serve the water and the bread! Such a new incredible experience for me! Share my joy with you my dear superwoman Ferguson!"
Oh my heck it was the cutest thing I have ever read. It just warmed my heart! It's so neat. He then went onto say about how we are angels because we brought him the gospel, and how his real experience shows him God does exist since he sends messengers to his life. Man I feel so blessed that I was able to teach him when I was in Ohio. What a precious time of my life!

I've gotten well adjusted here to Temple Square though. I feel so blessed to be here and have found many people I know I needed to meet.

We were able to go to Music and the Spoken Word yesterday, it was way good. I really liked what was said in the Spoken Word, so I actually wanted to type it up...

It's called "This is our time":"Have you ever wanted to trade places with someone? Maybe you know someone whose life appears to be so happy, so free from heartache, pain, and difficulty-especially when compared to yours. Perhaps he or she has better health, a more exciting job, or more possessions or prestige. Or maybe you've wished you could live in a different age of history, when times seemed simpler and stresses seemed more manageable. But if you were able to spend a day in another person's life, you may discover that you didn't know the whole story or hadn't looked very deeply. Every life, in every era, is touched by some degree of trouble and tribulation, shaded by some measure of sorrow and stress. That's the nature of life. The truth is, you are the sum total of your accumulated years, experiences, and relationships. Your background has helped to shape you into the person you've become. You live and breathe today with all the hard-won wisdom and life lessons embedded into your soul. You wouldn't be you without all that is in your heart and head. All of this makes you uniquely qualified to conquer the challenges you now face. To quote a classic piece of homespun wisdom, 'if all of our troubles were hung on a line, you'd take yours and I'd take mine.' Perhaps on a birthday we might wish we were a few years younger, and perhaps on stressful days we might wish we could live in another time. But each of us is here at this time and in this place for a purpose, and one thing that can keep us from fulfilling that purpose is wishing we were somewhere else. This is our time, our season. We can't really go back to another time or trade places with someone else, but we can enjoy the present and meet the future with faith. The wisdom of the Psalmist echoes through the ages: 'This is the day which the Lord hath made; [let us ] rejoice and be glad in it' (Psalm 118:24)."

I really liked that, it reminded me of President Uchtdorf's talk about being grateful in our circumstances. We go through everything for a reason :)

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love,


Monday, October 6, 2014

The best weekend of my life!

This weekend was the greatest. I LOVED being a missionary on Temple Square. It was exhausting though...I'm currently so tired that I don't think I can type much of an email today. I've just been sitting here staring at the screen for the past 30 minutes because I don't have the energy to type haha but that is so good! I love feeling spent from doing the Lord's work. I can't believe that was the last time I will be a missionary during General Conference. It was such a bittersweet (mostly bitter) moment on the square after the last session when the Square became quiet again. The sadness of an ending became real, but the sweetness of being able to be an instrument in the Lord's hand that weekend and knowing I did all I could do hung with me as well. I just felt so blessed to be able to be there one more time.

After spending 27 hours on the Square for conference, we ended the weekend as a mission by sharing cool experiences we had and watching Meet the Mormons again. I've seen it 3 times now, and it gets better every time! It comes out in theaters on Friday so you all HAVE to go watch it! I am commanding you. Haha. If you do go watch it, put yourselves in the shoes of a non-member as you do so. It's pretty incredible to have such a resource to show people who Mormons really are. Whether you know it or not, people are constantly watching you as a member of the church. We are different, and people see that. So I love that there is a film to show what it's like to be a member of the church.

I hope you all enjoyed Conference! We are anticipating it will be slow at the Humanitarian Center this week, and for once, we are hoping it is so we can catch up on Conference talks haha. I heard the Priesthood session was so good!

Our investigators are doing really well. We received a lot of new people to teach this weekend and we are so happy about that. Saturdays and Sundays are our prime teaching days, so we didn't get to talk with our investigators as much as we would have hoped to, but Conference was a good trade-off.

Megan (RC) has been going through a hard time lately, but I think it is helping her become closer to the Savior.

Tim is doing well, he loved attending the Temple! Because of his dialysis, he couldn't do baptisms but he was able to do Confirmations and he really enjoyed it.

Joelle is doing well too. She was planning on bringing a question to Conference so we are looking forward to how she enjoyed watching it.

Well I hope that you were able to receive the messages from Conference that were meant for you. Sorry this email is so lame! I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for your support.

Love,


Monday, September 29, 2014

A Temple session with an Apostle?!


 
Here's a picture from when we got caught in the rain, and then the rest are from this morning after the temple!

Wow today was such a good day! Let me tell you why...

We got to go to the Temple today! Oh man I missed that so much. I haven't been in 4 months. That's the longest I've gone without going to the Temple in a long time. So needless to say, I was super excited. So we get situated and are sitting in the chapel waiting for it to start, when I get this feeling that there is someone important there in the session. I look up and Elder Oaks and his wife are sitting in front of me! No big deal or anything. Haha so I got to do a session with an Apostle! That is probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. Then to add to that....we were walking out of the Temple and I look up and David Archuleta walks past us into the Temple with his mom! what! Haha today has been so strange but in a good way. Oh man, serving on Temple Square is wild.

It's been raining so much everyday here! We have been caught in a bunch of storms, I'm surprised we didn't get struck by lightening haha. But it's always good to get rain though. We just look like wet stray dogs a lot!

Well this week has been so great! I have just loved serving in the Humanitarian Center. I hope I never get transferred. Funny story of the week: The HC feeds us lunch for free, so on Tuesday, I got all my food on my tray and turns out I got way too much, but I felt bad for taking it so I decided to eat it all. I ate a big enchilada, rice, beans, the other sides with the enchilada, bread, 2 things of fruit, a 16 oz. parfait, cake, and 3 glasses of chocolate milk....bad idea. I have never been that full in my entire life! Not even at Thanksgiving...I was so full it hurt. So I contemplated making myself throw up. Okay this is getting embarrassing. haha. Oh well. So I tried, but I have never done it before so it didn't work and we had a tour waiting so I just had to take the tour all hunched over haha. I made a commitment to myself that I will never eat that much again!

Also at the Humanitarian Center, we took this tour of two older couples. It was so neat! One of the ladies said to me, "this woman was my missionary years ago and now my husband and I are receiving our endowments and getting sealed together in the Salt Lake Temple today!" She then told me that they would also be sealed for her parents and other family members. Oh man it was so neat to see that. It made me think of the joy the other couple must have! Here they are, 60 years later, reaping what they sowed. Seed planting works miracles. I hope I get to have experiences like that too.

On Wednesday, we were in the Tabernacle. I greeted this guy named Leonard, and we got to talking. We ended up getting his phone number and setting up another appointment on the square while he is in town. We got to meet up with him on Friday, and he is way nice! He is a non-denominational Christian from West Virginia, here on vacation. He became religious about 15 years ago when he got in a motorcycle accident. He loves reading the Bible but only reads the NIV version. He told us that he tried to read the Book of Mormon once but that he couldn't understand the language. We had a great lesson with him and taught him about the restoration and plan of salvation, and he thought it was pretty cool and agreed but isn't willing to accept it. He is so stuck on not wanting to be a denomination that he won't even give truth a chance! We are hoping that we can read the Book of Mormon with him and help him learn how to understand it so he can receive revelation from it and then he will be able to see that the communication with God isn't closed, but that He still speaks today! And we can learn from His servants and be servants ourselves.

Jenna got baptized! Oh man she is such a rockstar! It was a bittersweet moment though because as we were setting skype up, apparently Persident Daines denied it....so I wasn't able to skype her baptism. I was kinda ticked! Especially since he was my Mission President...but I need to respect both Mission Presidents I guess! But she is just so awesome. I am excited for her to send me her testimony, she wrote it out since I couldn't be there.

Joelle is doing really good! She went to church yesterday and is hopefully receiving the help she needs from the Bishop. She is so ready to be baptized on November 1st. She knows without a doubt that this is the church with the fullness of truth and that she needs to be a part of it so she can receive the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for her.

I met the coolest girl/lady/woman (I couldn't decide which one to say ha) on chat the other day! Her name is Raniyah and she lives in Chicago. She had a friend that is LDS and she's been interested in the church. We had a great discussion and we were able to mail her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she really wanted to go to church on Sunday. We'll have to see if she made it. She was way open and willing to accept our invitations because she feels like there could be more out there. I am constantly reminded of how cool this mission is, and why I need to be serving here. It's more for selfish reasons I think. Haha Heavenly Father keeps giving me the coolest experiences! It's like He's trying to tell me that I needed to come back from Ohio.

I LOVED the General Women's Conference. I got to go! I got really lucky. They didn't have many tickets but I was able to go. It was amazing. I loved all the speakers, and I had prayers answered. It was so neat because right before it started, I had a prayer in my heart to learn something. Then the first thing out of the speaker's mouth was exactly what I needed to hear. Funny how that works!

Well we are gearing up for Conference this week...it's about to be nuts here! I can't believe that this is my last Conference. I am so psyched to just go and give it everything I've got and just be totally spent after this weekend. It's going to be so awesome, I can feel it! I just encourage you all to watch as much as Conference as you can, and just like we invite our investigators to do, I invite you to go to Conference with a question, and as you watch as much of it as you can, I know that you will receive an answer. I know that because the Savior of the World has promised you that if you will 'ask, seek, and knock,' that 'it will be opened unto you'. Something that I have been learning a lot about or just that has been standing out to me is miracles. I was reading today in Mormon chapter 9, which has some of my favorite verses about miracles. Every time I read it I love it more. The promise given is so powerful: "Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth." Remember that this week. As you ask in faith, it will be granted. Look for those miracles!

Love,