"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, August 25, 2014

Welcome Week!

Well it is officially the Fall Semester here on OSU. It's Welcome Week, which means a lot of free stuff is being given out! We are enjoying it. Haha. Yesterday we were out contacting and there was this huge event going on in the Oval, they were just dishing out free plates of food for anyone, and giving out all these free things so we scored big time. Haha.

The best news of the week goes to......Kenny! He is getting baptized on Saturday. We are all really excited. He hasn't smoked in almost a week, and his conviction level has deepened every day.We had a lesson with him on Tuesday, he had almost given up. He told us that he has learned a lot from us and that he knows there is more that he needs to learn but that he isn't willing to listen. He started to cry at this point and said that he doesn't want to give up his freedom, how he likes his life. Sister Larsen testified powerfully to him about how he can receive the strength he needs and that the Lord is on his side, and that is when he decided he wanted a blessing. One of the members that has formed a deep friendship with him, his name is Suwoei and he has only been a member for a year but recently went to the Temple to receive his Endowments, so he has been a great example to Kenny. Anyway, Suwoei right before the blessing had Kenny roleplay as if Kenny was the missionary teaching Suwoei the word of Wisdom. Holy cow the spirit was so strong! I have never seen the Word of Wisdom taught so well. We were all speechless and Kenny actually received revelation for himself. He received the confirmation that he was doing the right thing and that he needs to give up his old life. He asked one of the Elders for a blessing of strength. The blessing was way powerful. The Elder said that he had been thinking about what to say in the blessing but that he had no idea and that the blessing was going to be completely on the Spirit from the Lord, and that is exactly what happened. My favorite part was the beginning. It started off by saying that Kenny had chosen in the Pre-Earth life to come here, he had chosen God's plan and that now was the time to make that choice again. Then it was followed by more inspiring things that Kenny needed to hear. It was exactly what he needed. Then a couple days later Kenny was eating dinner with some of the Elders and Suwoei and he came and found Sister Larsen and me and he was very serious. He said that it just hit him how important this decision is, and how serious it is, but how ready he is to make that covenant. Ever since then, he has been so determined and his testimony has been strengthened a lot! The past couple weeks, I have wanted him to be a little more serious about everything, because he jokes around a lot. I felt that he needed to have more conviction, so we had been praying for that, and Heavenly Father answered our prayers. He is so prepared and ready to be baptized.He passed his interview on Saturday. And the best part is that he recognizes baptism as just a step. His next goal is to go to the Temple as soon as possible, and get the Priesthood, and go on a mission one year from now. I am so glad that he has a vision for himself and that he is making plans and setting goals to get there! That is so important for us to do that in life. Now if he could just find forms of identification so he could get a job and a place to live....haha we'll take it step by step. I can't wait to send pictures from his baptism next Preparation Day!

The bad news for the week would be Eric dropping us for real this time :( That broke my heart. Man, someone dropping us has never hit me that hard before! I knew that I came here specifically (among other reasons) to meet and teach Eric, so I was really sad when he dropped us. I felt a little like the sons of Mosiah when the scripture says, "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." And that's a little dramatic, I think that Eric will accept the Gospel eventually, maybe he just needs time or more good contacts, I think I am just being a little selfish because I won't get to see it happen. Regardless, Sister Larsen and I have become good friends with Eric so even if we are not able to teach him, we can still be friends that can support him. That was the hard part for me, he came to the lesson with thank you/goodbye notes for us, and started off the lesson by saying this is going to be our last lesson. Therefore, when we testified, asked inspired questions, did everything we could have done and more, it didn't help because he had already made up his mind and wasn't open to the spirit. I just wanted to shake him and say, 'do you feel that?? that is the spirit telling you to keep learning!' but I can't control agency :( haha. But hopefully if we keep in touch with him, one day we will be able to know that he has accepted the Gospel.

We found a new investigator Zason last night. He is from China and is really interested in learning more about the church because he has never had a religion and wants to be able to understand more about God. He is way solid! It was funny because he didn't know his schedule off the top of his head so we got his number and told him we would text him later that night to set up a time to meet with him, but he thought we were going to meet up that night so when we texted him he said that he was sad we weren't going to be able to meet up that day but that he would love to meet up this week. He is really funny! We are actually teaching about 5 people straight from China, it's crazy. Thankfully some recent converts have just returned from going home for the summer to China so we will be able to have them present in our lessons. And it's also cool because there are so many Chinese investigators here that they have a separate Gospel Principles class for them on Sundays. It's pretty sweet!

One of the coolest things happened to us on Friday...We had just finished having a lesson with Rashonda and were going to the kitchen to eat dinner but we saw this YSA age girl sitting down. I stopped and said, 'hey I don't think I've met you yet, what's your name?' She said her name was Jenna. I asked her what ward she was in and she said, 'actually I'm not a member but I think I would be in Riverside ward.' So I was like, okay so what are you doing here? And she said, 'actually I was hoping to talk to someone.' I was like holla!! So we pulled her into the Bishop's Office (Did I ever mention that that's where we teach our lessons?) and asked her what was going on. She said that she just got married a month ago, and that her husband Wendell is an inactive member of the church. She told us how she and her family are very strong Catholics, but that in the past month everything has changed for her. She said that on their wedding day, right after they said their vows, the thought came to her, 'you know, this is great, but now you guys need to be sealed.' Sister Larsen and I's jaws dropped haha. She then went on to tell us how she has read the Book of Mormon and been asking Wendell's family some questions and asked us, 'could you teach me the Plan of Salvation? I want to hear it from a correct source because the only thing I've heard is from some members at the Catholic church who were excommunicated from the Mormon church and are now Catholic, and I want to hear the whole thing from a true source.' Holy Cow. At this point I was about to just be like okay who put you up to this?? Haha. But we taught her the Plan of Salvation and at the end she just cried. I asked why she was crying and she said, 'I don't know, it just feels right.' Then she told us how she was kind of doing this behind Wendell's back because she was worried what he would think and didn't want to make him uncomfortable but that she wanted to meet up again this week for another lesson. She asked for homework, something she could read so we gave her a bunch of chapters to read. Later she sent us a text, and this is what she said!: "Hello Sisters! This is Jenna. I want to thank you so much for meeting with me today. I really truly felt so uplifted. I just want to let you know I talked to my husband about our meeting, and he was actually so thrilled! He was wondering if you would like to come to our house on Tuesday evening to do a discussion with both Wendell and I. He even said he wants to be a part of this and maybe even baptize me if that is what I choose. Can you believe it?!" And then she asked if she could feed us dinner before the lesson! Man she is crazy prepared! So we knew that because she is married we can't teach her, buuuut....we wanted to procrastinate as long as we could haha. I didn't care if we were the ones that baptize her or if it is the other missionaries, I just wanted to teach her! If I could have taught her until the day she got baptized and then hand her over, that would have been way awesome! Too bad it doesn't work like that...The bishop of the Riverside ward actually called them (I guess that was probably inspired) and invited them to attend that ward, so they couldn't come to our ward yesterday. Then, they met the missionaries in that ward and now we have to pass her off to them :( So we just get to teach her on Tuesday. Sad day. But hopefully she will get baptized before I leave so I can go!

Chenwei is doing so great. He came to church again this week, and the Gospel Principles lesson was on Tithing. After the lesson, he was asking a few questions to clarify but then he goes, 'it's okay, you don't have to ask, I already know I am going to do it.' He is so awesome! He's reading the Book of Mormon and praying and feels that everything is true. We are way excited for him. Actually, he is in the library we are emailing from right now haha so that is funny.

Okay well this email has turned into a novel...sorry about that. Just know that the work is hastening! That is for sure. Missionary work is such an awesome thing. We as full-time missionaries and member missionaries get to see the miracles that come from it every single day. I encourage you to share a mormon.org card or a smile or a Book of Mormon or an act of service with someone today. Don't forget the quote from the First Presidency, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." Our actions are so noticed by others. We can be an example anywhere we go. Here is one more quote to leave you with, it was given to me by a friend:
"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." -Charles R. Swindoll

Have a great week!

P.S. Go Bucks! Cheer for OSU this football season :)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Lull

It's been a bit of a summer lull here on campus, but we have been seeing a lot of miracles!

We finally had the breakthrough lesson with Kenny that we were loking for. He finally admitted that he knows the church is true and that Heavenly Father wants him to get baptized and change and become a missionary, but that he doesn't want to do it. We told him to come back later that night after he had time to think about what he is going to do. He came back and said that he is going to do whatever it takes to change and get baptized. He knows that the environment of the streets is taking a toll on him so he has been spending all day every day at the institute to get away from it. He is getting baptized on August 30th! We set a 14 day plan for him. His biggest struggle right now is quiting sm oking but he knows he can do it.

We got to meet up with Chenwei again this week. He is so cute haha he is this cute little skinny asian boy with a chipped tooth and big smile. We taught him the restoration and invited him to be baptized. His first response was 'yes!' Then, he said 'will it be soon?' and after we explained that we want to help him learn mroe and be prepared to get baptized onSeptember 13th, he said, 'will I be able to wear clothing?' Haha we explained that yes he would be wearing clothing, a jumpsuit, and he asked if he needed to provide it. How cool is that! He was willing to do anything in order to get baptized because he knows it is right. He has been praying and feels that Heavenly Father is telling him that this church is true. Also, he came to church yesterday, and loved it. I was greatful he liked it because I was ready to have a heart attack in Gospel Principles. A recently returned Sister teaches every week, and she doesn't use the manual. She's been teaching the Plan of Salvation for months now haha and yesterday she taught about Heavenly Mother, the Grand War, and intelligences using the Pearl of Great Price. All the missionaries wanted to take our investigators out of the class haha. The class is called Gospel Principles because it is supposed to teach the basics and fundamentals, not deep doctrine haha. Thankfully he liked it, he said he learned a lot.

We met a girl named Fan this week on campus. She is from China, and is getting her Master's Degree in Engineering.She is way awesome and is super sweet! My companion complimented her shoes, and she said that she wished she had bought a lot of pairs so she could give them to us. We brought her to the institute and gave her a chapel tour and a Book of Mormon in Mandarin. She came to church yesterday and really liked it. We're going to meet with her this week and hopefully teach the Restoration!

Eric is....Eric haha. He is so close to receiving a personal confirmation, I just hope he doesn't give up. Each lesson we have with him he says that it is going to be our last. This past week we taught him about Christ and Heavenly Father and what we need to do in order to gain a relationship with them. I gave him the talk 'Lord, I Believe' to read and 'Character of Christ' by Elder Bednar. We had a very very long lesson with him where he just barfed out all his concerns, which for us is really helpful because we understand better what is going on and what he is having a hard time with. It also makes it hard because we can't address them all at once. We can't really address all his concerns if he doesn't first have a belief in God or Jesus Christ. Like one of his biggest concerns is that joining the church would cause a rift in his family. Well, we're trying to help him see that he has to take it one step at a time. You don't start with College, you start with Kindergarten and work your way up. It really makes me hate agency sometimes haha. But that also makes me think of Heavenly Father, and how he must feel when we knowingly use our agency poorly. It was a great lesson though! He went home and stayed up all night studying the things that we gave him and said he really like the talk 'Lord, I Believe." He got 2 new jobs and wasn't able to come to church on Sunday but we hope that as we meet with him this week, that he will be able to build his faith. That's what it all comes down to is faith, it's the first principle of the Gospel! Nothing else can grow if it's not started with faith.

We also have a New Investigator named Rashonda. She is about 19, is homeless and works at Kroger and is way sweet! We gave her a chapel tour and she really wanted t come to church, but got called into work. It was really sweet though, right before the sacrament was passed, I turned around, and she had just walked in. She came up and gave us a hug and said that she was so sorry that she couldn't stay, but that she was on her way to work and just wanted to say hi. It was way nice of her to do that! We are looking forward to teaching her the Restoration because she goes to a baptist church and says that they don't talk about Christ very often, just about God and the Trinity so she really likes that we have such an emphasis on Christ as our Savior.

Kenneth is still diong great. We taught him some of the commandments and he agreed with them and is going to live them. UInfortunately he went out of town so he wasn't able to come to church but he will this week!

Lately I have grown such an appreciation for the Sacrament. I have had some special experiences with how important it is. I have realized that it's not just for forgiveness of sins or renewal of covenants, but it's acceses to the complete Atonement, which means healing, comfort, anything we need. It is in remembrance of what Christ did for us. I am so grateful to be able to take the sacrament twice each Sunday and have my testimony grow stronger each time.

Well it's been a pretty great week and I wish I could share all the adventures. Hope you all have a great week!

P.S. Sidenote, the millipedes are still raging :(


Monday, August 11, 2014


Everyone wish my mom a happy birthday!! She's turning 40 today. ( hee hee)

Miracle of the week....Kenny came back! He said he tried to leave but felt prompted not to and that he needed to stay. So he is staying! He wanted to keep his original baptismal date but because of the word of wisdom issues, he won't be able to. So hopefully August 23rd! I attached a picture of him holding a piece of paper that says I'm getting baptized on Saturday. Just imagine it says next saturday haha. He came to a baptism with us on Saturday. He said it made him really excited but nervous for Saturday because it is a big thing. Our lesson with him last night started to go south...for some reason it turned into a bash and he started listing off all these things that he doesn't believe to be true. This like Baptism, ressurection, kingdoms of glory, etc. We just testified and really bluntly told him that they come from the bible and he knows they are true. The spirit filled the room when we testified and his heart was softened and he said that he knows that they and the church are true, but that he is tired of going through trials, and that it would be wasier without any church, just a belief in God. I felt the spirit speak through me many times and he was able to return to his normal self and we showed the Restoration which he really enjoyed. He has forms on the way here so he can get a State license and find a job and place to live. I know that will really help!

Eric has been struggling...He tried to drop us on Thursday because he is caught up in all the lifestyle changes he would have to make. The spirit was way strong and it occured to me that those little things wouldn't matter until he really believes in God and Jesus Christ. When we asked him if he did, he said no. So we were able to convince him to have one more lesson on the basics, and to give it one more try with all he has, to be able to find out if there is a God. Man he is so prepared, I just want him to stop holding himself back!

We've found some great new investigators this week. Unfortunately, this is the break in between the summer and fall semesters, so we haven't really had many people to talk to. Chen Wei is one of the New Investigators, he is a really cute Asain kid. He came to church yesterday and liked it. He is really open to learning more.

Kenneth is doing well also. He has been reading in the Book of Mormon and praying! He says that he thinks he has received answers to his prayer so we look forward to meeitng with him this week to see what those answers are.

Molly is doing well in Cleveland, she will get back on the 22nd.

Cheyenne is doing well also, but she will be out of town for a while too.

Kevin is still in China.

Brent came to church yesterday. We transferred him to the Elders because he is a little creepy towards us Sisters. They are going to gauge his sincerity and go from there.

I love being here in Ohio. I love the people we get to teach! I am so blessed to be here.

Hope you have great week!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Well I am staying here on OSU! Sister Malloy is leaving (we don't know where she is going until tomorrow at Transfer Conference) so Sister Larsen and I will be staying together.
This week has been kind of all over the place haha...

We were starting a lesson with Kenny last week and he asked us what we would teach him if it were our last lesson with him. He ended up telling us that he had received a prompting that he needed to leave Columbus. He had the elders give him a blessing and still felt that he needed to go. He was doing so well! He had stopped smoking, drinking, everything, completely living all the commandments and was so in tune with the spirit and so happy and ready to be baptized. We all felt okay about his prompting, and said our goodbyes. He didn't want to go, but said he would be leaving that night or the morning. Well, he has still been hanging around and is still here, but hasn't met with us. We're not quite sure what happened, but I think that once you ignore a prompting long enough, it goes away. He said he is going to hop trains to Palmyra to go visit the sites. Ultimately he is using his agency, but we hope he turns it around. He is such a great guy!

Eric is doing so great. We were able to meet with him twice last week, and then he came to a baptism on Saturday, and then to all 3 hours of church and break the fast! It was so great! He fits right in. He is way smart, so he can grasp a lot at once. We've taught almost all the lessons now, and he is working towards baptism. He just needs to pray more about what he is learning and reading. He is already almost done with Alma! And he's not just reading it to read it as fast as he can, but he tells us all about hat he has learned it is insane! 

Sadly, Jeremy has not been responding to our texts and calls. It breaks my heart because he is so prepared. I know that this Gospel is exactly what he needs but he just doesn't know it yet. Sometimes I hate agency haha. We're going to keep trying to get a hold of him though.

Molly is doing great too. She went home to Cleveland for a few weeks so we won't be able to meet with her but hopefully we can still keep up with her progress through texting in the meantime.

I am not sure if we told you about Brent, but we met Brent outside a convenience store a few weeks ago, and began chatting with him. He has had a rough past with some other churches and has a bad taste in his mouth about church but we were able to talk about a lot of things and we set up another time to meet with him. Well he came to the institute and we gave him a chapel tour. It went really south really fast...We had a member with us, and Brent really didn't like him for some reason so whenever the member Joel would try to testify or add to anything, Brent would just be like, dude don't try to convince me of that. Then at the end, it just got really awkward for us because he began to be really closed off. We explained to him why we wanted to meet with him but he said that we were just trying to convert him and he left. Then he texted us later and apologized, saying he was on edge because of the experiences he had had. We totally understood, and we told him that and tried to tell him how we want him to have peace in his life and to be able to be happy but he said some pretty nasty things to us and said thanks for the sales pitch, but I don't need God, it's me myself and I from here on out. So we didn't reply. Last week, I felt really prompted to send him a text, so we sent one that just said that we didn't expect a reply, but that he had been in our thoughts and prayers. We never heard anything back. Well we were sitting in sacrament meeting and we turned around and he was in the foyer! He apologized for what he said and said he cleared his day so he could spend it here at church. He stayed for all meetings and even came and watched Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration. The lesson in Sunday School was the Word of Wisdom, and he said that he knew that he needed to stop drinking and smoking and that the lesson was what he needed to hear. He didn't like the movie though, and ended up leaving quickly after it ended. We're not sure what he'll end up doing but at least he was able to recognize that he needs God in his life and he needs to change.

Kenneth is doing great, he has accepted the invitation for baptism and has been reading in the Book of Mormon. We got him to open up a little bit this last lesson, so we hope we will continue to make progress! He is such a sweet kid. And way smart. He graduated High School when he was 15! 

Cheyenne is doing good. We met with her this week. She is actually trying to get her boyfriend to learn about the church. She's read in the Book of Mormon and has been praying, and feels good about it. We invited her to be baptized and she is going to work towards it. 

We have a new investigator Chelita. She is homeless but looking to get off the streets. She was baptized into the Baptist church 4 years ago but we taught her part of the Restoration and invited her to be baptized by the right authority and she said, I would love to be baptized again! Haha I had never heard that one before. She knows that she needs to get back into going to church and letting Heavenly Father in. 

Well that's about it! I love the people here, especially our investigators. I am so thankful I get the opportunity to share my testimony with them.

The power of prayer is so unmeasurable. I know that Heavenly Father is there and that He listens and and answers our prayers.

Hope you have a great week!