"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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

March Madness

I can't believe it is already March! Well basically. Plus we just did weekly planning for week 3 of the transfer. Where does the time go?

Well, I am really excited to share some of the things that happened this week, it was a great week.

My companion is the best, I love her. She is so fun to be around, and shares her Japanese treats, they are so good!

Well to start it off,

We had a miracle happen in Guest Services! Everyone always says that, that they get miracles in GS but it never happened to me. Well last Friday, I received a call. The man asked how much the tours cost. Oftentimes, that is the extent of the conversation, but I felt prompted (now I realize it was a prompting) to ask him some more questions. Well come to find out, he is from Washington and is not a member and has been curious about the church. He just feels really strongly that he needs to come to Temple Square to have a tour! Well I was shocked, how cool is that? So I was able to share a little more about the Gospel with him, and he is a little weird, but hey, that's okay, so am I haha. We talked about the Book of Mormon, which he already has, and I told him how it makes all the difference when you pray to know if it is true when you read it. He said that he wasn't sure how to pray, so I was able to pray with him over the phone, and he was really excited to learn more. He said that it feels right to him, and that God is trying to tell him something. He became our New Investigator! Well we called him yesterday and he said that he has been praying and reading (We left him with Alma 32 and 2 Ne 31 to read) and that he feels calm and he feels the Book of Mormon is true. We taught him the Restoration, and he said that it was really cool and that he believes that Joseph Smith really did have a vision. Well, we invited him to be baptized on March 22 and he said yes! So it turns out miracles really do happen in Guest Services, God's hand is in the work.

Update on Tim. So...He is doing great. He planned out the program for his baptism, and is doing so well. He said that he really wanted me to be in the program but that obviously it wasn't possible. I told him I would be there in a year when he goes through the Temple! He always thanks us for teaching him, and for having patience with him, it is so funny. We love teaching him. So, as of recent, his doctor still will not allow him to be baptized. So the Elders passed it up to authorities, and it got passed up to President Monson! So currently, it is probably being discussed and prayed over, here at Church Headquarters...right where I am haha. They will try to find a solution so he can be baptized without immersion, which is crazy. I am anxious to hear the news, because that has to take place, it is not likely he will be baptized on Saturday :( But all in the Lord's time, it will be worth the wait. It is hard being right here though, I just want to call the Prophet from Guest Services and say, hey President, what's up with Tim's situation? haha. I will just work on my Christlike attribute of patience.

On Monday, we took a tour of a Pentecostal Pastor and his family. That was fun! haha They were really sweet, but not very interested in learning more. Every time we would teach the history and beliefs of the church about Christ or Eternal Families, they would just say, yeah yeah, it's true! And when we would try to testify, they would stand up, ready to go to the next place. I think they were trying to brush off the Spirit. But hey, maybe one day they will remember how they felt and have a desire to learn more. There was a girl our age, she was really nice, she waned to take a picture with us. It's kind of funny how often that happens, there are pictures of all of us TS Sisters with random strangers floating around out there, so we are basically famous haha. Especially Asians, all of us blonde sisters always catch them snapping pictures of us when we walk by, it's so funny!

Yesterday, we took a tour of 3 people. They had combined two groups who were waiting for a tour. One was an older couple from Florida, and the other was a man from Germany who was here on business. On the way to show them the Temple Model, the couple said they were from Fort Lauderdale, and immediately, I brought up the Temple Open House that will be there. They said, yeah we know! We have watched them build it, we live right by it! They said they had tickets to go to the open house. So we got to show them what the Temple looks like, and what it is for, and how families can be together forever. Then we took them to the Assembly hall, and then the Christus. On the way to the Christus, I was talking to the German man. His English is pretty good, so I asked how he learned, and he said that he learned in the past two years, since he has been dealing with business with Americans. It was crazy! Well when we got to the NVC they were looking at the map of Jerusalem, and the Frank, the German guy asked about the Word of Wisdom, if we can drink Coffee, and why. I explained that it was a revelation from Heavenly Father, and that it keeps our bodies healthy and strong, and I testified how always keeping the Word of Wisdom has blessed my body and that I know that it really came from God, and that God created our bodies, so don't you think He would know best what is good to put in them? He said yeah, and that it made sense. Well we walked past the paintings of Christ, and Frank asked about them. He said, this seems like my religion, what makes your religion different than the other Christian churches? So we explained the Book of Mormon and Modern-day Prophets, and skipped the apostasy part for the moment. We said that we have free copies of the Book of Mormon and asked he seemed pleased, then I said, well we actually have German copies too, and he lit up and said he would like one. We took them to the Christus and testified of Christ. One of my favorite things to do when at the Christus is show how from where they are in the room, through the large window they can see the Temple, and also the Christus in front of them, and how it is through Christ that they are able to go to the Temple where they can be sealed to their families for eternity. After that, we went to God's Plan. We were waiting to go in when another sister asked if she could combine her tour with ours so they could go through at the same time and not have to wait for us. I really wanted to say no, because I wanted to have the three people to ourselves, and it makes it more awkward at the end, but of course I couldn't do that. So we combined, and just like I thought at the end, it was awkward. There were 4 of us standing in front of them, not sure who was going to talk, but we testified. The hard part is trying to invite them to learn more, because you don't know if the other group are members, and the other group doesn't know you, so I just said, well our three can come out here, and so we talked with them outside. We asked the couple if we could stay in contact with them to share more with them and see how the open house goes, and they said they didn't want to. We asked if they would like a Book of Mormon and they said no. Shot through the heart! Haha. We asked Frank if he would like to learn more and he said yes! We told him that we could have German sisters call him, and he was happy about that. He filled out a referral card, and got a Book of Mormon and was excited to read it. We invited him to pray each time he reads, and he accepted. We gave the referral to one of favorite Sisters, Sister Hodgkin (her dad is american, but served in Germany so she grew up there until 3 years before the mission, they moved to California). When we gave it to her, she said, what?! A German referred? He wants to learn more and took a Book of Mormon? And he is Catholic? Apparently they don't refer ever, so she is really excited to teach him, and this is her last transfer, so she only has 4 weeks to baptize him! haha I think he will get baptized, he was a miracle, and he is prepared. It wasn't anything that we did.

Well oh my heck, this is a long letter, sorry about that! I hope everyone has had a great week so far, and is ready to kick off the month of March! It's a new month, it will be what you make it. Happy March Madness to all you B-Ball fans, pray for inspiration on your brackets haha.

Until we meet again, farewell from Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Music & the Spoken Word Loyd Newell style haha),


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Transfer Week...Mysterious!

This is me announcing with the English sign!
So what happened this week??

Well, I am in the same zone... I have the same P-day... I have the same assignment...I have the same apartment...but only one thing has changed. I have a new companion! Konnichiwa! Her name is Sister Chayama and she is from Japan. She is the sweetest, nicest little thing ever! I am so thankful and exited for this transfer. I will have to send a picture of us together next week! This is going to be my favorite transfer for sure.

So this week. Sunday, I got to do something pretty cool. So every Sunday after Music & The Spoken Word, 10 sisters form a circle by the flagpole outside the Tabernacle, and they get to announce in their language into a microphone how tours are available. I will attach pictures so you can see. So only 2 English Sisters per week do it, so I didn't think I would do it so soon, but I did! It was really fun, and we got to take a big tour right after. Two of them I am sure were members of the Russian Mafia haha but really. They were a couple from Ukraine. We asked how they met, and he was quiet for a long time and said, don't worry about it, we were introduced. (Russian mail order bride! haha) And she had the biggest diamond on her finger I have ever seen. We asked what he does for work, and he would only say private business....sketchy! None of them referred, but we planted some serious seeds haha.

So Sister Ogata & Sister Cummings returned from Tucson back to Temple Square. But 2 more Sisters left for their outbound there! So keep an eye out for Sister Souza (from Brazil) & Sister Taito (from Fiji). They are two of the sweetest Sisters and will do fabulous. Feed them well!

Transfer week is always really crazy. I hate it because you get less time to teach, and you have to say goodbye to sisters going outbound, or home. Imagine 200 Sisters crying and screaming and that pretty much sums up transfer week haha. So there are new sisters from some pretty cool places. There is Norway, Peru, Marshall Islands, and some others. It makes my flag look even more boring! haha.

Tim is doing really well. He went to a baptism to be able to see what his will be like. He said that he really liked it, and that he felt peaceful. The Elders usually come over to his house once a week, but last week they came over 3 times! They came over like usual and taught about the commandments (Lesson 4), and automatically said, well next week when we come we will teach you about the 10 commandments. Tim said, well I don't have anything on Tuesday, how about you come then? Then on Tuesday he invited them back on Thursday! When we called him and he answered the phone, he sounded so happy! Now he laughs and cracks jokes and loves talking about the Gospel and everything he is learning. His growth is so crazy! When we first met him he had a scowl on his face and was miserable but now you can physically and spiritually see the growth, he has turned into a happy person. We followed up with the commandments we taught him a few weeks ago, and he said that he is fine with all of them, he said that he sees that it takes faith, and work to keep commandments, and that 3/4 of them are common sense! haha it is so true. I wish everyone could be that open-minded to see that they really are just common sense, and are simple ways that allow Heavenly Father to bless us. He also said that the reason why he loves this church and wants to join is because there is a modern-day Prophet, and the teachings apply today. In the past, preachers would preach about Prophets, and the people in those dispensations, but it never really applied to him now, so he loves that the things that are taught in the church are meant for us right now in this moment. When we asked him if he has read anything that applies to him lately, he said that almost every verse applies to his life, and that he loves to re-read everything. So the Elders found a solution for him, regarding baptism. I don't know all the details, but they were able to make it so that he can be baptized on March 1st. However, yesterday he told us that his doctor will not allow it, and that the Elders have to find a new solution. He has talked to a doctor in his ward, but his doctor basically said that the church is going to go by what his doctor says. But he has faith that Heavenly Father will provide a miracle so he can be baptized on March 1st. This week we want to teach about faith, how God will provide a way to accomplish the things He commands, and enduring to the end. It is going to be great!

Do you remember Jam? The Less-Active from England who has fallen away because he doesn't believe Heavenly Father ever answered his prayers or that he received a witness of the truth of the church? Well He is doing good! last we heard, he was reading the conference talks we shared with him. We shared the conference talk from Elder Holland, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come," and helped him to see that he needs to walk by faith. And he actually has been praying! Which he said he was not open to doing. I know the Lord is softening his heart. We are hoping he will go to church this Sunday.

A couple days ago we sacrificed our companionship study time to take a tour. It started out pretty good, there were 3 of them on a layover for business who just needed to kill time. They were pretty receptive until we started explaining about the Restoration and why it was needed. One of them turned completely anti and started being confrontational about Prophets. He kept interrupting and asking questions about it and we would try our best to explain. He asked why Prophets were needed if we can receive personal revelation, then he cut me off when I was answering and just rudely said, but how do YOU know? I was actually really thankful for this moment. I had the opportunity to just stop and be still and look him in the eyes and smile and say, because I prayed about it. I know that God calls prophets, and I know that the Prophet holds the authority of God. He shut up after that but none of them referred. But I know they felt the spirit and that is all that matters!

Well that is pretty much all of the news for this week, some other New Investigators, but no one has been picking up the phone this week, Satan is hard at work, but we are even harder at work!

The future is as bright as your faith.

Love you!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well Happy Valentine's Day! Hope all you lovebirds out there have a good one.

This week has been pretty uneventful, but I'll start off with a new investigator we received.

Sandra. She is in her 50's. She came on chat because she wants a better relationship with Heavenly Father. She has depression, a bad marriage, is bipolar, and suicidal. Whoa! Well we talked for a long time and she was really interested so we invited her to be baptized and she said yes. I called her a few days later and she was a little put-off. She said that her neighbor told her not to talk to Mormon's because they just want to convert you. She felt that that is what we were trying to do. We were able to explain our purpose, and how the Holy Ghost converts. She felt a lot better. We were able to talk about the things that make her happy, and what she loves about her Husband. She had a child when she was 16 but was forced to give it up for adoption so she has never seen him. She had an infection that caused her never to be able to have children again, so she doesn't have children, only pets. She was in a car accident when she was 17 that put her through the windshield. She lost almost all the blood in her body and needed a blood transfusion, she was very close to death. It marred her face and she needed several reconstructions and recovery was about a year. She felt that she had a purpose in life and that Heavenly Father was preserving her. We were able to teach about the Atonement, and having faith. We talked about Baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and she liked it all. She wants to do whatever she needs to in order to be closer to Heavenly Father. She really wants to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, the local missionaries just need to come! She is a sad lonely lady but I love her. I know the Gospel can help her!

Do you remember Randal? About 6-7 weeks ago when we were on desk a miracle happened. A host lady from the JSMB walked in an older man who had just seen the Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration movie, and now wanted a Book of Mormon. So basically, she walked up and said, this man would like a Book of Mormon! So we gave him one and he took one for his brother as well, and he gave us his contact information so we could follow up and send missionaries to him in CA. Well, I had tried calling but the number was invalid, and I tried emailing but one message was returned, and he never responded to the others. I thought that I would never get in contact with him, but today he emailed me back! He said he had been lazy in responding but that everything had been going well. The missionaries actually came today for the first time! He said it caught him off guard and they talked outside, but after a while he invited them into his living room so they could talk more. He likes what they shared with him. He says that he thinks it can help him a lot. They left some pamphlets and invited him to pray morning and night. He is even going to see what a church looks like tomorrow. That was my miracle for the day!

Tim is doing really good. When we talked to him last week, the lesson went really well. We taught him almost all the commandments! If it were me I would have been overwhelmed, but with each one he said oh, okay that makes sense. He said that He would keep all of them, and that he thinks that they are all from God. He even said that even though he can't fast (medically), he would give up chocolate on Fast Sundays. He has quit coffee too! He only drinks herbal tea. Now there is only one thing keeping him from being baptized...the font. Like I talked about last week, he has to find a way that he can be baptized without the risk of infection. He said the Elders are working on it, and that he should have an answer soon. We told him to find out if there is a doctor in his ward, and seek his advice. We also invited him to receive a Priesthood Blessing from the Elders, and told him what it is, and he said he would get one. But on Sunday, they had a freak storm come through where he lives in Bonney Lake, WA so church was cancelled. So I think the Elders still came over that night, but we have not heard yet if there is a solution for baptism or if he received a blessing. We will follow up when we call him on Saturday. I am really excited!

One cool thing that happened this week. Do you remember Rajiv? From the very beginning of the mission? He lives in New York and is from India. He was really interested in what we shared with him when he was here, and even wanted to share it with his daughter. Well, I have been trying to get a hold of him ever since then, but he has been busy. He's been in India for his daughter's wedding, and other things. So finally when I called again this week he answered! He said that now wasn't a good time because he broke his ankle really bad and is confined to a wheelchair. He just seemed like he wasn't interested, so we asked, well Rajiv, are you still interested in learning more about this church so you can know for yourself if it is true? And he said, oh yeah yeah I am still interested, I just need to get better first, you can call me next month. So I am glad he is still interested and that he is still going to read the Book of Mormon we gave him. We invited him to read Alma 32 and pray about it. So stay tuned!

Well that is about all, I just wanted to end with a story that one of the departing sisters shared in her talk:

The following event took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. It occurred during a sacrament meeting and was told to me by a Regional Representative of the Twelve who was in the meeting. A young man, just before leaving on his mission stood in sacrament meeting and bore in essence the following testimony.

Brothers and Sisters, as you know, the past two weeks I've been waiting for a mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream. I knew it was not an ordinary dream. I dreamed I was in the preexistence and awaiting my call to come to earth. I was filled with the same anticipation and excitement that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream I was talking to a friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go to earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. It said:

"You've been called to the earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born to the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be born into a land of plenty, in a land of freedom. You will go to the earth in the United States of America."

My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call, and while we were rejoicing the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to earth. My friend gave me the letter to read out loud. His letter said:

"You've been called to go to earth in a circumstance of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be fraught with political and social difficulties which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica."

We wept, my friend and I, as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes, and said, "When we are down on earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and find me."

Then this young missionary, with tears in his eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica."

There is a sequel to the story. About a year after the sacrament meeting, the bishop received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The Letter had one sheet of paper in it and on that sheet in capital letters were four words: I FOUND MY FRIEND.

I am really grateful to be a missionary. I want to give my best so that I can find all the people I promised I would find in the preexistence. I hope I can find them and share the gospel with them.

I love you all, have a wonderful week.


Thursday, February 6, 2014


Well it is officially February!

I want to start off by sharing a miracle that happened yesterday!

Remember Juan from Mexico City? Well I had been trying to call him like 6 times, and he never answered. So I called yesterday, and he answered. I asked if he went to church and he said that yes, he had but that it wasn't what he was looking for and that he is going to begin his search again. He said he talked with the bishop and tried to explain why it wasn't for him, but his English is really broken and it didn't make a lot of sense. Well anyway, he started to drop me. I was really sad because I knew he was so prepared! I tried really hard to ask him if he prayed about it, etc. but he didn't want anything about it. So my last ditch effort was to ask if I could have a Sister who speaks Spanish call him. He said that would be okay, so I said bye. Well there is a Sister in my district from Panama, so I went over and talked to her and asked if I could transfer his contact to her and she said yes. Well she called him and worked her Panama magic. She came over to me and she said, so I just called Juan, and we were able to talk abut his concerns and now he wants to take his whole family to church on Sunday, and he wants to be baptized he is really excited!

I was so surprised! That was so great to see the hand of the Lord in His work, softening the hearts of those who are prepared to receive the Gospel and helping His servants to do His work. And I am super excited to see what happens.

So Tim, we were able to talk with him and he is doing great! We send him scripture texts daily, and he told us that he loves them. He said he goes back and reads them 4 or more times a day. He is still going to church and reading the scriptures. We invited him to read the next chapter, 1 Nephi 3, and he said yeah, I can do that, I am going to read 4 too. We were so excited!! Such a rockstar. He said that the missionaries there had asked him if he knew the Book of Mormon is true, and he said, well I haven't read the whole thing, how can I know? So we explained that he can pray each time he reads, to know if it is true, and to gain a testimony of it, and were able to testify of it's truth and that if Heavenly Father gives him an answer that what he has read is true, it all has to be true, or else Heavenly Father wouldn't mislead like that. It is the word of God and either it is all true, or none of it is true. Well when we explained that, it really made sense to him he really liked it. He said that he would start doing that each time now. But a little discouragement....So he is on Dialysis, and recently remember how I told you he got an infection? Well he's been receiving treatment for that, and he talked with the elders about baptism, and he can't be baptized in a font because of bacteria. It is too big of a risk of infection, imagine all the people who have gone in there. I definitely understand that. So he will probably wait until that treatment is over because he is so susceptible which means that his date for Feb. 22nd is going to be pushed back to April or May....which really increases the chances that I will be outbound. It made me really sad because I want to be able to talk to him the day of his baptism and see how it goes and everything, but I probably won't be able to do so. But hey, he still has that desire to be baptized so that is all that matters. And I want to talk to him about other option, like getting the font sterilized, I don't know how he wold go about with that, I am sure the church would love to do that. We will see.

I love the new Mission President and his wife. We feel so loved, they are so devoted. They had a new granddaughter born two days ago, but neither of them left until like 8 o'clock at night, because they didn't want us to miss our interviews! They are great. And they know us by name too, they have made a great effort in their calling.

So we had to teach Relief Society today! That was intimidating. So the whole mission attends relief society, even President and his wife! The relief society Presidency prayed to know who to ask and asked 2 companionships to teach Lesson 2 from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual, which is about Jesus Christ. So we taught one half of the lesson. Imagine teaching 200 sisters, plus the senior couple's (wives) and the mission President and his wife....at 7:45 in the morning...about Jesus Christ! I was just a little nervous. But it went really well. The other companionship that went first took a lot of the time, so we only had time to teach for like 5 minutes, which is fine, but it kind of stinks when you prepare a lesson plan and have to figure out what to cut out. But that is how Relief Society usually goes right? haha. But really, it went well, and I know the sisters were able to feel the Spirit and that is all that matters. For an activity, we put confetti in balloons and blew them up and had sisters come up and write a concern or struggle that they have. Well at the end after we taught and testified about Christ and His Atonement, we had them come back up and pop them. The confetti represented his blood, and how his blood overcomes the concern or struggle, and the concern/struggle (balloon) is swallowed up in the blood of Christ. It was great!

We've been taking all the tours we can (the square has been pretty dead) but haven't had too much success as far as them referring goes. It is successful as we are doing all we can and bearing testimony, but lately it's just been "um, not I am not interested in learning more." Like we took an old man this morning around who has been inactive all his life. He is not inactive for any particular reason, he just feels no need to go. He said he believes it, but that he lives a good honorable life, and that he doesn't think he needs to do anything else. He says he will be able to stand before the Savior and say I did all I could do. It made me so sad! Because we started testifying to him, and he just broke in and said I don't care, and laughed. It made it hard to finish the tour, but we tried really hard to bring the spirit, and I know he felt it. I hope he will see that his faith has to be acted upon. But I have not gotten discouraged because I know that I am doing all I can. That is one of the best feelings! Being able to account to Heavenly Father and say hey, you know, I did all I could do today, may thy will be done. And I am certainly not perfect, I can't always say I did all I could do, but I am working towards being able to say that each and every day when I account to the Lord at the end of the night. I am thankful for the help that I receive form Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And during hard times, something I have learned to do that helps is picturing the Savior walking beside me, or when I am praying, picture him next to me praying. Because I know He is, and I am so thankful. And I know He too is with all of you, In your classes at school, sitting next to you, encouraging you to keep studying, keep trying. He is with you at work while you deal with frustrating or incompetent (haha) people. When you are at home, and you don't want to clean the house, he is there, encouraging you and praying for you. When you are having a hard day, He has His arms wrapped around you. I know He does, we just have to recognize it! He is always there.

Well that is my shpeel (how do you even spell that) for the week. I love this work. I love Temple Square. And I love Jesus Christ. That is why I am here.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!