"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, May 29, 2014

(No Subject)

Special guests in Relief Society

It has been another great week! It was way cool to see my family.

Well I guess I will tell you about our investigators! 

We've taught Cameron so many in the past week I don't know where to start haha but he went to institute! He really liked it. We were able to teach him Repentance, The Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ all of which he understands and agrees with. We had to talk a lot about forgiveness because he has had some people do some pretty bad things to him so he is struggling with forgiving them right now. He is actually on probation right now so we were able to talk to his Elders and discuss that a little. He has to be interviewed and a letter has to be sent to the First Presidency to receive approval to be baptized. Since his probation is pretty long, it will probably be a while before he can be baptized but we are still having faith and hope! He is doing really good though. He went to church on Sunday and met a lot of people, and met my old bishop, that's so wild haha. So now taht he is meeting with local missionaries, we are doing more of a hand-off, they will mainly be the ones teaching him lessons and we will just be calling to follow up with that and see how he is doing and offer help, things like that. It's a little hard to step off the front lines haha but it's the best thing to do. We are excited to see him progress and change, he is becoming a new person!

Do you remember Daniel? I think I told you about him last week. He was with the business people from Las Vegas that we took on a tour. He is 28, not married, and a manager of a company. Well we have taught him several times this week too! He is really golden. He has an awesome relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and has one of the strongest desires to do good that I have ever heard in a person. He used to be in the Army and went through some traumatic things that still haunt him and he has a hard time with temptations. He has heard a lot of false things about Mormons that make him a little anxious to meet with us but he is always honest and always lets us know when he has questions. The first time we talked to him, he said that he has tried out a lot of churches but he hates how people are hypocrites, how they don't practice what they preach and he wants to go to a church with honest people. He said that he doesn't like how the Christian churches he goes to let people drink coffee and tea and alcohol but that he is looking for a church that prohibits things like that and a church that has a good community that he could eventually raise a family in and we were speechless. I was like this is too good to be true! Haha. So we have been able to answer all his questions and concerns and each time he enjoys and agrees with the answers. Last night we taught him a little bit about the Plan of Salvation but it turned into more about the Atonement and some other things. He really opened up about a lot of things. He has such a strong desire to do good! But he is tempted so strongly as well. We told him about what the Brethren say; the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second best time is today. We told him to plant his tree and stop doing those things that are making him miserable. The Savior has already suffered for His sins, so it's useless for him to suffer too! We invited him to be baptized and he said yes. He also accepted to meet with local missionaries, which was a miracle! We don't know the story, but I guess a long time ago his brother was meeting with missionaries and it turned out very badly so he was hesitant about that, but we are glad we are building that relationship of trust. We are excited him to go to a YSA ward on Sunday. He is great. He is so prepared for the Gospel, it's what he has been looking for, he has been trying to quench his thirst, and now he has found the living water! 

We took some other tours that referred, one of them, His name is Chad. He was super nice and had a ton of questions. We taught him the Restoration in the North VC and he took a Book of Mormon and referred. We have taught him once and he is supposed to go to church on Sunday but we will see, we are not sure how interested he is, he doesn't really seem willing to change anything so we need to find out his level of commitment. Another person that referred, her name is Kelsey. We took around a huge Flagpole tour group and she had a bunch of really good questions and was the only one that was interested. She had a bunch of good questions at the Christus, and we ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation to everyone. After, she was the only one to refer but she was very hesitant, she hesitantly gave her email. We emailed her but she hasn't responded. I think it is one of those things like if you are going through a cashier line and they're like 'would you like to sign up to learn more about how you can save 10% off your next purchase?' and you're like, 'ssureeee.....here's my email address (you write down your email you have for junk mail).' haha I don't think she will respond but we have faith that she will, if Heavenly Father has helped her be ready, we have faith that He will guide her.

We met this really sweet girl on the square. Her name is Ariana. She was with this guy with all these tattoos, and when we started talking to them he goes, yeah I'm a member and she's my girlfriend, she is not a member so I'm just showing her around and answering her questions about Mormonism. So it turns out he is a returning member who is slowly returning to activity. She has questions, but doesn't want to meet with missionaries. We talked for a while and told her that we could call and teach her more and answer questions for her and she liked that. She is available on Mondays, so we will call her Monday, we are excited! I think it will be good for both of them, they will be able to have a goal to be sealed in the Temple. 

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned Dottie but she is a 72 year old lady from New Jersey that we teach! She has a lot of health problems, her spine was replaced in some places with metal, so it is very painful. She should actually be in a nursing home but she refuses to go. She was an inbound call to Sister Gearheart and was really interested in the church, it's what she has been looking for. She had children that passed away when she was younger, so the Plan of Salvation has been a great comfort to her. She struggles with smoking too. It's funny though, every time she talks about it, she says that she hates it and that it is disgusting and she wants to stop but it's so addicting. I thought that was cool, she didn't try to make excuses. Most people aren't like that. She has cut down a lot and hopefully will quit soon. She has had a baptismal date for a while, but because she hasn't been able to go to church and she's been in and out of the hospital, it's had to be pushed back. Well last Sunday, she finally went to church for the first time! A member picked her up. It was really hard for her to be there for 3 hours because of her back. After Sacrament she started to fade but she persevered. She loved it! We are really hoping she will be able to go again this week, even though it is hard for her. Something that was really cool was that we had to teach her a lot about faith and putting for effort when we tried to get her to go to church. We told her how Heavenly Father would bless her for it, and He did! All these cool things happened to her that day, and when we called her, she said that it had just been a wonderful day, and when we were about to get off the phone, she got a call from her granddaughter. She said that she hasn't seen her granddaughter in years, but that she was outside her door and had come to visit. She was so happy! We're excited for her to progress so she can be baptized, she really wants to!

On Sunday, we were coming up the escalator in the NVC when I saw Cesar! He had come to see the Frosts, the Senior couple that baptized him. He was walking into the Square when some people from India stopped him and began to ask him all these questions about the Temple and the LDS religion. He had a huge missionary moment! He might as well have had a tag haha. He answered all their questions and testified and then brought them in and played the Restoration for them. Well he introduced us to them and we taught the lady, Reeta a little about Prophets and talked about the Restoration and the movie she walked. She cried and said she had never felt that before and that she loved what she had seen. She was feeling the Spirit! And we got a member present lesson, sweet! She gave us her email so we could teach her more but she wrote it very sloppily so we can't read it :( We are going to pray and try to discern it but I think we will just need to pray that she comes in contact with local missionaries in her area. She is so prepared! 

Do you remember the 3 travelers that I told you about? Cameron was one of them. Well, we saw Hyde, the one with dreadlocks in the NVC when we were on a tour, and when the tour was over, we tried to find him but no luck. We went to go get dinner and found him! He was not in a good state of mind....I will put it that way haha but it was really sad because as we testified of the Gospel and how it will bring him happiness, eternal happiness, not temporary happiness like the choices he was making, he just laughed. We asked him what he thinks this life is all about and where he is going after this life and he said that he wants to rot in a box when he dies for the things that he has done. How sad is that? We told him about the Atonement and how he can change but he doesn't want to. It was really sad. Hopefully when he isn't under any influences, he will be able to be touched by the Spirit and be given the opportunity to get out of the lifestyle he is living.

I am not sure if I ever told you about Erik, but we got his chat months ago. I've tried to get in contact with him but I always miss him because he is very busy with school. Well, it was Memorial day so I thought it would be a perfect time to call since it is a government holiday, and it was! I finally talked to him! He is doing great. He just finished the semester and is trying to get an internship, but he has been going to church and meeting with missionaries and still wants to be baptized. It was great to be able to talk to him! I know that he will be baptized.

We started talking to these three young guys by the map of Jerusalem. They are friends from college and they decided to take a roadtrip out here. Oddly enough, one of them had met up with the other two, after being in Indiana for a week where he met with missionaries, but then left the area and happened to come here. We taught the Restoration and they all were interested. We took them around and two of them referred. The one that met with missionaries seems pretty interested, his name is Sean. We are going to be teaching him this week!

Megan is doing great. She met with local missionaries! She wasn't able to go to church but she will be going this week, and she has been doing missionary work! She's not even baptized yet haha. The more time that passes, the more she feels that this church is true. She has been talking to her friends and family members, and co-workers about the church, answering their questions and testifying to them! She is really struggling with the lack of family support though, her family makes fun of her for what she is doing and that is hard for her but she still knows that it is right. I think it will just take a little more time, but she is having those patterns of light of revelation that is helping her realized the Spirit. She is even bringing a coworker to church on Sunday! We are excited for her to finally go!

A funny story that happened this week...

We were on desk when this sketchy looking guy comes up to the doors. I turned to my companion and said, this looks promising. Well he walked in and just stares at us. We tried to make conversation but he just stared at us and would only answer with like one word. He started saying crazy stuff and spinning in circles. We asked him what we could help with and he was just mumbling. We told some sisters to call security as they walked by and as we were waiting for them to come (I was just laughing at this point), we asked him why he came here. Keep in mind he is still glaring at us with his creepy face at this point. He said in a creepy voice, 'do you really want to know?' So I laughed and said sure. He said, 'Well, I was Adam once. But then Jesus Christ killed me in the Garden of Eden." I was like oh okay, yeah. Security came up at this point and went to shake his hand to be friendly and not scare him but he tried to pull a fast one on security and hit him, but security was too fast. They took him outside and kicked him off the property, it was way funny. Now I have met Jesus, and Adam. I hope Joseph Smith comes next!

Anyway...do you remember Rajiv? He was from my very first week here on Temple Square! I have tried to call him ever since but then he broke his ankle and was too busy. Well he finally picked up. Unfortunately, he decided that Hinduism is for him, and that he doesn't want to learn about the church anymore, he dropped us. It was so sad! But the Spirit will work on him and he will join the church one day.

I just want to end with the coolest story of the week!

We contacted these 3 men down in the NVC. They were here for business, they are pilots. Turns out one of them is a member, and he was showing two of his colleagues around to explain his religion. We asked if they would like us to show them anything or answer questions and they said yes. So we taught them the Restoration! The member, John, was the best member present that I have ever seen. He casually testified so it wasn't too overwhelming and explained things personally to them since he knows them. The spirit was so strong when we taught about Joseph Smith! We even taught half of the Plan of Salvation too. The other two guys are Mac and Craig. Mac belongs to the Dutch Reformed church of South Africa (or something like hat...I didn't really catch that and we don't hear that too often or ever haha) and Craig is Catholic. They were very open and interested in what we shared with them. It was such a good lesson, I don't even know how to explain it, we were all just able to be ourselves (not that we aren't usually ourselves but it was like we had already known each other or something) and the Spirit was very present. It is such a blessing when a member is present. They help their friends feel comfortable and open up and are such a strong 3rd witness that they can trust. Now Mac and Craig understand a little more why John believes what he believes, and why his family is the way that it is. Both Mac and Craig referred and we are way excited to teach them!

Last week for p-day we went on a really long hike. I attached a picture so you can see my companion! It was really hot and it made me think of the pioneers. I don't know how they did it! We also went to a Chinese Restaurant, one of Sister Gearheart's investigators used to work there and gave her a gift certificate. It was so good to finally have some hot and sour soup. And it was a buffet, so we were so full! I was ready to bust, I thought I was going to throw it all up driving home haha but I attached a picture of our 'ready to bust we are so full faces.'

Music and the Spoken Word was insane on Sunday! It was a Memorial Day special, so the music was Patriotic and the band was extra good. You should try and watch a rerun of it!

Also, for Relief Society today, we had some special guests! I don't know their last names, but I am sure you know who they are, especially you dad! Cici, Lolli, and Reeve, three LDS professional golfers came to speak to us. I attached a picture. They are so awesome! They have led a humanitarian effort in Africa for years now, it's called Eyes4Zimbabwae and they help blind children receive cataracts surgery so they can see. They were really sweet. Cici was actually baptized because of the missionary work Reeve and Lolli did on and off of the golf course. It was so cool to see the person she had become because two members did missionary work. 

Member missionary work is so powerful! So powerful! If you will go the extra mile to be a missionary to a friend or even a member, Heavenly Father will reward you richly.

Well I think that is about it. Thanks for always reading my novels! I am grateful for the prayers and support that I feel. I love you!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The best week.....

I think this has been the best week of the mission so far.

We have seen so many miracles!

I don't even know where to begin haha. I'll just go in order!So last Friday, we decided to call a lady named Pam. She was transferred to me by another sister who returned home. Pam had come here on a motorcoach last summer and had been taught by our sisters ever since. She was going through cancer treatment (brain tumor) at that time. Well I had called her in March and she was really happy, she said that she just went into remission and that they were going on a cruise and we could call her when she returns. We called her Friday and when she picked up, she was distraught and crying, to the point of hysterics. She said that the cancer came back and she just kept saying, I don't want to die! We felt so bad. We did what we could do to comfort her and then offered her a Priesthood blessing, which she really wanted. She said she was moving in to a long-term care facility on Sunday, so it was perfect timing that we called. We had our Zone Leaders call the bishop in that area to send Elders over to give her a blessing, and so the ward can go over and fellowship her. I know that's exactly what she needs right now and the blessing will give her peace. We were so thankful we were able to call her!A little later that day, we were on the square and were asked to take a lady through God's plan. So we meet her and she tells us that she served in St. George Visitor's Center. We talked about that and started God's Plan. The whole time, I felt prompted to ask her if she is struggling with anything. After it was over, we asked if there was something that she has been struggling with lately and she said yes and began to cry. She told us that she suffers from depression and anxiety and that she has struggled with it a lot. A little story popped into my head so I asked if she had ever heard how the best way to eat an elephant is and she smiled and said yes, one bite at a time. So we talked about how this is her elephant, and she needs to eat it one bite at a time. We were able to talk a little more and testify, the Spirit was so strong. We were so glad we were able to talk to her!

That night, Friday, we had just gotten on the square and were looking for someone/people that we knew we needed to talk to. We saw these pretty young guys with big hiking backpacks walking up the Christus so we said, them! So we walked up and began to talk to them. There were 3 of them, and they looked pretty rough! 1 of them is a hitchhiker, his name is Toupoc, that's what he does is hitchhike all over. 1 of them is a train hopper, I guess you could call it. He hops from train to train. His name is Hyde, They were homeless and dirty. The third used to do that, he used to be a traveler a few years ago but went into the army and then had just gotten out of prison and had met up with the other 2, his name is Cameron. We talked with them for a while and listened to the Christus narration. They all referred but we felt that Cameron was sincerely interested while the others were not as sincerely interested. It was really cool to talk to them, security kept walking by in case we needed them haha but we could feel the Spirit and the need that we had to be there. The story will continue later in the email...

On Saturday, we didn't have time to grab any dinner so we were eating at the Food Court. A Mall ecurity guy walked up to us and asked if we have any Swahili speaking sisters on Temple Square. We told him no but asked why and he said that there is a guard that he works with that always asks him questions, so he gave him a Book of Mormon is Swahili since that is his native language. I knew who he was talking about! I said, what's his name? And the guard said, Dominik. I knew it! I am not sure if you remember or if I even mentioned him, but way back in October I think it was, he had become Sister Mendoza and I's new investigator. Well we had tried to call him a ton of times. The first couple times he answered but was busy and then never answered after that so I had to drop him. Well come to find out from this security guard, he is still interested! So we are starting to call him again. He hasn't answered yet and doesn't return our messages, but we will keep calling him! It was so cool to see.

The next day, Sunday, we were on the square and 2 groups came up and asked us for a tour. One group were members who just moved here from Russia, and the other group were colleagues here for a conference from Las Vegas. We took them to the Temple Model and explained the Temple and the concept of Eternal Families. We took them to the Assembly hall and talked about the building and church, and ended at the Christus. The members kind of drifted off and left but the people from Las Vegas were really interested and asked a bunch of good questions. They were very friendly and open and agreed with the things we shared. They wanted Books of Mormon too, so we went down and got them Books of Mormon and 3 of them referred! One of them doesn't seem so sincere, but the other 2 do. We haven't been able to get a hold of one of them but the one we did get a hold of is Daniel. He really wanted to read the Book of Mormon. We have an appointment with him tomorrow, and we are so excited to see how his reading has gone and be able to try to answer questions that he has. He is really prepared, we could tell that God had prepared those 2 to receive the Gospel. We are going to invite him to be baptized on June 21st!

Continuation of Cameron...So Sunday afternoon, we called him to see how everything was going and see if he was still interested in learning more. He was! We were able to teach him the Restoration. He said that he would be in Salt Lake until Wednesday because he is moving up to Ogden, where he is receiving help from the Homeless Veteran Affairs, he will be in temporary housing. We realized that he was still here in Salt Lake, so we asked him to come to the Square and we could give him a Book of Mormon. We had a lesson with him on the Square, we solidified the Restoration. He believes it and doesn't have any problems with it. We explained the Book of Mormon more and he wants to read it all. He said that he had a 20 year sentence for something he didn't do, but that when it was changed to 4, and he was released, he knew that it was God, and that God had something prepared for him, and he thinks it could be this church. We were walking outside and he went to put the Book of Mormon into his backpack and pulled out his cigarettes and mentioned that he wished he wouldn't have stated smoking again once he was released from Prison. We told him that it was a commandment from God not to smoke, so that we can have healthy bodies and feel the Holy Ghost. We made him throw one cigarette away, and then told him he could smoke what was left but that he couldn't buy any more. He promised he would do that. Also, we invited him to be baptized on June 21stand he said yes! We're not sure how that will work with probation, he will have to go through the mission president up in Ogden, but we hope that a miracle will happen and that he will be able to be baptized on the 21st.

Later that day, we were walking on the Square and felt prompted to talk to this couple sitting down outside the Temple. We walked up and said how are you? And they said, Oh, not good. We asked why and they said that their little granddaughter who was just a couple days old had just been released from the hospital because there was nothing left they could do for her, and her parents (their daughter and her husband) had just texted them telling them that they had decided to bring her home so she could die. They had decided that the best place they could go was the Temple. So they came and sat outside the Temple. They were pretty emotional but we could tell that they were members and could see the big picture. We reminded them of the Plan of Salvation and they said that's what they have been thinking of all day. We told them how she was needed in the Spirit World right now as a missionary, and to picture her with a name tag on. The man said that he just lost his brother a week before who was not a member and began to cry. We told him that his granddaughter is up in the Spirit World teaching his brother right now, and that she was needed to bring their family all together. That gave them great peace and joy to know that their granddaughter was teaching him, and that their family will be together forever. They were so sweet, and such examples to us. The first place they went was the temple! What an example.

On Monday we called Megan. She is such a rock star. She said that she has no doubts that the church is true and that if she were baptized tomorrow she would never be able to deny that it is true. All her friends and all her family members tell her that she is doing something stupid and that the church isn't true, but she doesn't listen. She defends the church and continues doing what she knows is right. So her new baptismal date is June 14th! Which is right before she goes on vacation, so that will be a great time to be baptized and begin a new journey before a literal journey is began. She is going to meet with local missionaries to prepare her for that! She is so prepared!

Monday we had another lesson with Cameron on the Square. We focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how all things are possible through Him and we can be forgiven of sins. We talked about baptism and covenants. We talked about the Temple and why he should prepare for it. We talked about setting goals and being surrounded by good influences. We gave him a ton of gum that will help him not smoke. He was really grateful, I don't think that he has been given a gift in a very long time. We invited him to go to institute up in Ogden, and since I went there, I told him the address and when classes are. It was wild! Haha. We told him to go and to make good friends that will help him at this time in his life. It dawned on me to ask him the address of the house he will be living in and he told me and I audibly gasped haha he is in my old singles ward boundries! So Bishop Story is going to be his bishop. How crazy is that? I told him to go to church on Sunday and find Bishop Story and tell him that I sent him. There isn't a better ward for him he will fit in perfectly and Bishop Story will be able to help him so much. I am so excited! What a miracle! It was one of those "did that really just happen?" moments. If that isn't a testimony that I need to be serving here, then I don't know what is.

On Tuesday, Elder Don R. Clarke from the Seventy came to our mission again for a Mission Tour. He was here in December but came again as they usually do. It was really really good. It gave us such a desire to do all the things he shared with us. The spirit was so strong and I learned so much. One of the things that he shared that I love is how RM's come home and go inactive. They have this strong testimony where they say I know, but then they forget. He told us how we can NEVER forget. I will never forget because I know that the First Vision happened. It really, really happened. He told us how everyone needs their own sacred grove to receive answers to prayers, and that there is a difference between begging and praying. Another thins he said, "exceptional faith, exceptional action." He said a lot of great things! He told us that out of all the missions in the US & Canada, Temple Square had the highest number of baptisms in the month of April!! How cool is that! And who says we are just seed planters?! It was a great mission tour and I love rereading those notes. I wish I could type them all up in this email. Haha. The Missionary Department also came for part of it (I thought they were going to give us iPads but not yet haha), they decided to pilot something in our mission. They came out with a new pass-along card. It's a free download of the Book of Mormon onto an iPad or iPhone or Android. It has a QR code that can be scanned and an automatic download of the Book of Mormon begins. It's pretty cool! Especially for all of those who come here on business and don't want to take a Book of Mormon because they don't want to add anything heavy. Well this adds nothing! haha. It's pretty cool.

Well, right after the mission tour we were dying to go on the square, we were on fire! Haha So we go over to this old man sitting down and begin to talk to him. He looked a little scary but we tried to look past that. He began to talk about his mother and how she is the only woman who was ever good to him and how he hates this church because when he was younger, his mormon girlfriend's bishop wrote him a letter and told him her was gay or something. it really didn't make sense. He got really loud about it and really mean and stood up and began to yell at us about how he doesn't like the church and he's jabbing his finger in our faces. I looked around for a sister I could give a sign to, but there were none. I prayed security would walk by and I look over, and one of them was coming out of one of their booths. I gave him the sign and he nodded and came over and dismissed us while him and another guard talked to him. It wasn't that bad of a situation, we were just really sad for him. My companion was pretty upset so I was going to suggest that we go pray, but then we got to the flagpole and there is this old couple there. We started talking to them, and they asked us if we were the sisters that would take them on a tour, so we said, well we can be! We began the tour, and they were really sweet! The man is one of those old men that have a twinkle in their eye, I love those old guys! Their names are Gay and Gene (Eugene). They were strong Christians that know the bible, but they were really open. They were so so so prepared! I have never felt the Spirit so strongly on a tour before. We took them to the Temple Model and talked about Eternal Families. They had great questions. We took them into the North Visitor's Center down to the basement and taught them the Restoration. They were very open and everything made sense to them. I got to recount the story of the First Vision and tell them in Joseph's Smith's words what happened. The Spirit was so so strong! Gene said, wow, you must study that a lot. We got to testify and say yes, we do study it a lot because it is near and dear to us, we know that it happened, it really really happened. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it is so important in knowing that what Joseph saw is true so that they can know for themselves. and they said that they want to read it, and that they were going to buy one but that they were going on a cruise after this. It was perfect that we got those new pass-along cars because I said, well you can actually download a free copy if you scan this. Gay said oh perfect! How did you know I have a smartphone? I am a website designer. Haha she is so cute. Well we invited them right there to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if it is true and they said oh yes, we will do that. We took them to the Christus and they loved it the moment they walked in, they teared up. Gene said, do you know the significance of the Beehive? My companion started to say that it doesn't have anything to do with the doctrine but he broke through and said oh but it has everything to do with the doctrine. He went on to say how it symbolizes industrialization and humans working together and how we need other people in our life, and he said this really long beautiful thing, I don't know where it was from, but it was beautiful! He sounded like an apostle and I had a little mini-vision of him in the Temple being a Temple worker! It was sweet. He got emotional and tried to give us a hug haha. We played the narration and testified and invited them to be baptized and they said yes! Then they decided that they would take paper copies of the Book of Mormon after all since they can't really use their phone when they're out in the ocean. I don't really know how to describe the bond that we all had. Their bodies were old, but we knew that our spirits and their spirits were the same age, and I know that I knew them in the preexistence. We are so excited to teach them when they return home on June 7th. We want to give them a baptismal date of June 21st! That tour was one of the best moments of the entire mission.

Yesterday we didn't get to teach much, we had to get a ton of Fleet things done, and then when we were going to teach, a sister got in a little fender bender with another car so we had to go down to the scene and take pictures and fill out a bunch of paperwork. I had no idea what I was doing because I never had to do it before so I was just running around like a crazy woman haha my poor companion. But we got it all done and everything worked out. The sisters were totally fine and there was very minor damage.

Tim is doing great and is going to hold FHE with his grandson and maybe granddaughter!

It has been a week of miracles hasn't it? I am so thankful to be a missionary! I am thankful to be on Temple Square. I have really been wanting to go outbound, but this week has really shown me that I need to be here right now, that Heavenly Father needs me to meet people that He has prepared. It has just been so great being able to teach the Gospel to people, I love it.

Thanks for reading my novel! I love you all,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Transfer week!

Tuesday night, the night before transfers, we had to go unload all the luggage/boxes like I told you about. They were full of books and heavy things, There were so many! We are really tired and sore but have big muscles so it's okay.

It was great talking to my family on Mother's Day!

Well we made it through Transfer Day. Haha.

I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Gearheart, she is from Renton, Washington. She is so great!

I will tell you how Transfer Day went:

We had to be down in the garage at 4:30 AM.

We helped the departing sisters and those going outbound weigh their luggage and load their stuff in the cars and saw them off. One Sister departing home got taken to the airport, but we got a call from her at 5:30 saying her flight was cancelled and wouldn't be until today so we had to go and pick her up. Some flights got cancelled and sisters were stranded in the airport in FL overnight. Other sisters filghts' got delayed and we had to find sisters that could come with us to pick them up from the airport and find a car to do so, and other sisters took longer coming home, and other sisters took cars without asking so schedules got messed up and things were really crazy for a while, but it all got figured out! Thank goodness. Everyone that needed to be picked up from the airport was picked up, and everyone that needed a car to move their things from apartment building to apartment building, we were able to find them a car. I seriously don't know how it all worked out! 34 Sisters returning, 4 going outbound, 4 departing, and about 15 Sisters moving all they own into different apartments, all with 8 cars. It was a stressful miracle. But we are so exhausted! We are happy that we have an all-day p-day today.

This morning Sherri Dew came to speak to us! It was really good. She came to speak to us on the topic of Women and the Priesthood. A lot of people have been speaking to us about that so I was a little disappointed at first, but then pleasantly surprised. She covered all corners and every question the sisters had, and the things I was wondering about, she answered them without me asking her any questions. On Temple Square we have access cards that we can scan to enter buildings or doors that are locked. She gave a great analogy about those. She said that when Temple Square first got those cards, she just tucked it into her binder and never used it or tried to explore it because every time she would enter into the COB or another building on Temple Square, people would say, Hi Sherri, how are you? And let her in. She never needed it because people recognized her from the General Relief Society Presidency. Well, the day after she got released from that calling, she had to go to the Conference Center Theater early in the morning to speak to some people. She was trying to go through the tunnels, but because it was early, she got to some doors that usually opened for her, but were locked. She found a button on the wall and pressed it, and the voice of one of the security officers said, Hi Sherri, what can I help you with? She said that she needed to get to the Conference Center to speak. He said, do you have your badge? (She thought in her head, you know me, why do I need my badge?) She looked through her binder and found the card she had never used and said, yes, and held it up to the camera. He said, hold it up to the wall by the button you pressed. She did, and to her surprise, the doors opened! She said wow, did my badge do that? What else can it open? And Security said, well Sherri, you are on the General Board, it can open a lot of things. She said, wow, I am going to have to explore this and see what it opens! He goes, Sherri, weren't you released yesterday? She says, well yes. He says, well you better do all the exploring you can because that will be deactivated tonight at midnight. Haha anyways, her point of that story was to help us see that she had a lot of power, but she just tucked it away into her binder, never to use it or try it out. She asked us, "What are we walking around with that gives us a whole lot of power, and are we using it?" What are all of you that are reading this walking around with that gives you power, and are you using it? She did a great job addressing the Women and the Priesthood issue, and broke down Priesthood Keys, Priesthood Authority, and Priesthood Power. It was great!

So unfortunately, we haven't really been able to teach much because of Transfer week, but now that that is over, we will have a lot of time. We have a huge amount of time on the Square this transfer, because there are over 200 Sisters here on Temple Square. It's going to be like General Conference, every day haha. But I know we are going to see a lot of miracles. We are excited for that. But do you remember Aaron? The one who dropped us about a month ago? Just as I suspected he would, he has been leaving voicemails, asking us why we haven't been calling. I am not quite sure how to handle it, but I think I will give him some more time to work with the local missionaries before we respond.

Megan is doing great, she is progressing right along. She told us about some fires that are taking place in California, I guess she is near them and people have had to be evacuated, so I hope that she and her family will not be affected. We taught her the Restoration and she already believes it! We asked if she wants to meet with local missionaries to prepare to be baptized and she really wants to. We asked for her address and have been waiting for her to send it to us. Last night when we texted here her daily scripture, she responded with a long message that got broken up, and so the only part that I saw was a part saying that she wasn't comfortable and other things, and I thought she was dropping us! I was so scared. But after I read the whole thing, it said that her mom didn't feel comfortable with her giving out her address, but that she is going to sit down with the bishop so that she can meet up with the local missionaries and some other things. We were so relieved. She is so great!

Tim has been having a really hard time with his health lately. He's been in the ER and back and forth at the doctor, but he was finally able to go to church! He was so excited since he hadn't been able to go for 2 weeks. He said that he felt so relieved to finally be there. We shared with him about Service and he is excited to do service now.

Well I think that is about it, we are going to find so many new investigators and progressing investigators this week! Just wait till next week :)

Have a wonderful day, I love you!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You'll never guess what I saw this week...

Here are some pictures that we took when we were on desk this week. We have the most boring time to have the most boring desk, there were almost no guests the whole time! So you can see what we get to look at. Empty Visitor's Center haha.

Okay this was a cool experience. So we had to go talk to some people in the COB Garage, so we were down there and I see a ton of people crowded around this really nice car. I knew it had to be someone important. So I say, okay who's car is that that everyone is gathered around? And the lady we were talking to goes, oh that's probably going to be President Monson's new car. He's really tall so they are making sure that it will fit him. WHAT! haha it was so cool! Shoutout to Adam, you would have cried if you were there and saw the car. That's all I can say!

Also, Elder Cook was at our Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. But he didn't sit on the stand, he sat in the back so he could leave when he needed to, so it was weird to have an apostle sitting behind me!

Well, it's been a good week. Megan is progressing very well. She was unable to attend church, but really wants to go. She is going to try to go right after work if she can make it in time on Sunday. She is so golden, I don't really know what else to share about her!

Did I tell you that we are teaching an investigator in Liberia? His name is Isaac, and he is really cool. He is way hard to understand though. We might have to just chat with him because we can't really understand what he is saying when he talks.

I think I told you about Edward right? He is from Texas, and has a friend who is LDS so he was curious about the beliefs. He is really polite! He always says yes ma'am and no ma'am haha. We've had trouble finding a time to call him that works for both of us, he is a student, so hopefully we'll be able to work that out and invite him to be baptized! You know it's funny, when I first came on the mission, I was nervous about inviting people to be baptized because I thought that I would scare them away, or things like that, but now, I try my best to, unless prompted by the spirit otherwise, invite them on the first contact or lesson to be baptized like it says in PMG. I have found that to be so helpful because if they say no, then you can say why? And then you can address their concerns and re-invite. And if they say no again, you can say why? And if they are really prepared and want to change, they will have a desire to learn about the Gospel and prepare for baptism and if not, then they are not ready yet and maybe need more time before they can be taught. But this really applies to you who are not on missions! You can invite someone to come to church with you, or meet with local missionaries, etc., and if they say no, instead of being sad and feeling rejected, or saying, well I did my part I'm good, you can say why? And then address their concerns and re-invite! I hope that you'll try that sometime! Don't be afraid :)

This morning the Missionary Department came to speak to us to train us more on our Online Area Books. I liked one thing that they said. They were addressing those who come online who are insincere or pranking or anti, etc (reminds me of Robert). They had us think of the Savior, and all the people who came to him and asked him questions insincerely. He got it too! We are doing His work, so of course we will have people just like the ones that persecuted Him, who will persecute us. I hope that made sense. And also, that those people that we talked to, we still gave them truth. That';s a fact. And that truth can be brought back by the Spirit some time later as clear as when we shared it with them in the first place. We are fulfilling our purpose when we do that. It made me feel a lot better! Sometimes I get frustrated, but now I have a new perspective.

Tim is doing great. He is still having a hard time health-wise, but the Home Teachers come over, missionaries still visit him, and the Young Men are going to do a service project to help him clean up his yard. We talked with him about Temple Work, and how he can do his parents' Temple work when that time comes. He is excited for that.

Well that's probably about it, we have been preparing everything for Transfer day like I told you about last week, so we have been pretty busy unfortunately. But we've got most of it done, so we are well prepared for Wednesday. Now we will have more time to teach!

Thanks for all the prayers and support, I feel them!
Read Mosiah 24 this week and remember that you are a child of God, and He loves you. You are 
numbered and He knows you and answers your prayers!


Thursday, May 1, 2014


Here is a picture of Downtown Salt Lake taken from the freeway!
The Sun is shining on the Temple :)

Happy May!

It's been another fast week. I can't believe it is almost time for transfers. It's the craziest week for Fleet....We have to fill up all the cars the night before and get all the spreadsheets ready that have all the information of all the flights coming and going and what cars need to be taken when. We have to organize sisters who can drive to pick up those who are returning from outbound (35 this transfer!), organize sisters to drive departing home sisters to the airport and make sure they are ready to get on a plane, organize sisters that are going outbound, weigh all their luggage, find sisters to drive them, see each one of them off on time, and take care of the stuff they are leaving. So when we go outbound, we are able to leave 1 suitcase & 1 box, or 2 suitcases, or 2 boxes. We have to collect those and stack them in a corner of a room in the garage. And we have to unstack the sisters things that are coming back from outbound. So the 35 sisters that are coming back, we need to take their things out and replace them with the sisters who are going outbound...we will have big muscles. Haha. Also, we need to organize walmart-runs for those returning from outbound, and new sisters, and find sisters to take them there. So this all happens on one day, a crazy transfer day, and to top it all off, we only have 9 cars to be able to do all this and very few drives since it is an international mission. It will be a task. Haha. Excuse my sentence structures, I wasn't quite sure how to explain that! 

Well, it has been a pretty great week!

Last night, we were able to cover a tour at Welfare Square. That was way fun! There are usually no tours after 3 PM, but on Wednesdays, they allow one group to do a tour at 6PM if they are doing service (Bishop's Storehouse) after. Since me companion had served at Welfare Square, we were able to take that tour. It was a group of 8 deacon boy scouts it was so fun! They were very well behaved. There was a cute boy with pretty high-functioning autism in the group who was hilarious. Each time we would ask a question, he would excitedly answer first so no one else got to haha. We got to show them the welfare film, then take them through the Bishop's Storehouse, and over to the cannery. Right when we were leaving the cannery, I was leading them and got to an automatic door. I swiped my bible in front of it to catch the sensor, and the fire alarm starts going off! We were like what the heck! I thought I did something wrong. Security comes and they're like, oh don't worry about it, we've been having problems with our alarms it is nothing you did. What a relief haha it was perfect timing though, right in the middle of the tour when we were leaving the building! After that we got to go past the D.I. and into the dairy, the best part! We explained about the powdery and showed how they make the cheese and the milk and sour cream, etc., how fast offerings are so important because they are used for all of it! I think they really liked being able to see visually where they fast offerings go, and what those fast-offerings that they pick up from homes every Fast-Sunday are really for. Then, the best part, they got to taste the cheese and chocolate milk. Man, those poor people that receive cheese and chocolate milk are so lucky! It is so good. I always love going to Welfare Square because of it. I wish we could buy it but it's not for sale. Oh well, people need it, and I just want it! I love going to Welfare Square because of the quality of things that the church produces. They don't just give the basics for people to survive, but they have things available that people don't need, but want, like ice cream or cereal, etc., that help people enjoy the things they eat, and they also keep everything so clean. I love seeing the equipment they produce things on because you can tell that they keep it clean like they would the Temple. Each batch is just as fresh and pure as any other, and no one gets a bad batch. I guess I don't quite know how to explain it, it just reminds me of what the Savior would do. And most of those people are volunteers they don't get paid!

Here is a funny story I just have to share...So there is a Sister in my district, Sister Peñalba from Panama. She is from my class. She is one my favorites, she is so funny! She speaks Spanish, and learned English in the MTC. Well they were on a tour yesterday, a young guy that is a non-member. They got to the end of the tour at the Christus and as Sister Peñalba was shaking his had, she goes, "Wow, you're hot!" She meant temperature hot, his hands were hot. Haha imagine how awkward that must have been!

Well we had a miracle happen this week. We were on exchanges Monday, and my exchange companion, Sister Cheng and I found this girl on chat, Megan. She dated a member guy who just left for his mission. She hasn't heard from him, but ever since then, she has felt something. She has the Gospel Library app on her phone for some reason, and she was lying awake one night and decided to listen to the Audio from the Book of Mormon. She started from the beginning and when she heard Joseph Smith's testimony, it made her cry. Well, she referred, and we called her today. She told us all about how she would go to a Christian church when she was younger, and all her friends would be crying from the Pastor, and she felt good, but never really had that reaction of feeling the Spirit. She has recognized the Spirit a few times since she has been questioning about the church. She talked about wanting to fee like she should convert, and some other things, and we just knew that we needed to invite her to be baptized. We invited her to be baptized on May 17th and she said yes! She even took off work this Sunday so she can go to church. She is so awesome and so so so prepared. We are way excited to teach her. But we basically don't even need to teach her she is so prepared!

Tim is doing great. He bore his testimony to us and it was so sweet! He is going to get his patriarchal blessing. Not much else to say, he is just progressing right along! We invited him to share his testimony with a friend/family member this week and he accepted.

We found a Less Active on chat this week, he is awesome. his name is Nick. He said that he was raised a member, but when his family moved when he was 13, there was no church nearby so they became inactive. He came to Utah for the University of Utah and now wants to go back to church so he can serve a mission. We are going to be able to teach him on the square since he lives so close! I have been aching to be able to teach an investigator in person (that's why I am excited for outbound). 

It's going to be great!

So Sister Hodgkin, one of the sisters who finished the mission last transfer transferred me a less-active. It was like "her person," her near and dear person. He's 35 and was baptized at 8 but never really went to church. He has a lot of issues going on, like social issues (OCD, etc.) and some other problems. I was scared to call him because I didn't want to ruin it, but I finally got a hold of him and it was great ! He is way cool. He went to church for a few weeks, but stopped because in Gospel Principles the room is so small, and the teacher makes them divide into groups and answer questions together. He loves Sacrament though. He said that he knows he needs to go back but that it is really hard. I suggested that even though he is new returning, he try Gospel Doctrine. He was really happy! He didn't know he could go to that. He technically should go to Gospel Principles, but if it's the difference of him going to church or not, then I don't really care, as long as he is there. He was so happy and he was like, I am so glad you called! I am really going to try now. Haha I am glad Sister Hodgkin trusted me with him, I think we connected pretty well.

We found another new investigator, Edward, on chat. He has a neighbor who is 14 who is a member, and told him about the church and how he wants to serve a mission. Edward has been researching churches, so he decided to come check it out. We were able to share more with him, and now he is a new investigator. We are excited to share more with him!

"Meet the Mormons," the new movie I told you about is featured in the back of the May Ensign! You can go read about it.

Well, I think I need to stop typing so you can stop reading. We will keep you updated on everyone, we are excited for Megan.

Pray for miracles!