"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, September 29, 2014

A Temple session with an Apostle?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, September 22, 2014

Endings and beginnings

Oh gosh I don't even know where to start.....I can't believe I am no longer in the Ohio Columbus Mission. It feels like a dream now. It went by so fast that sometimes it feels like it never happened! But I know it did. I will forever treasure the time that I was able to spend there, and the miracles that I was able to see. It's been pretty strange to be back here on Temple Square...It seems like all the other returning outbound Sisters have adjusted well but it's been a little bit of a strug for me! Which is fine, I think it will just take some time until I feel adjusted. I just don't want to feel like I have one foot in Ohio and one foot in Utah. But, I've only been back for a few days, I am sure by the end of this week I will be back to normal!

Well I guess I could tell you about my companion! Her name is Sister Skaggs and she is from Temecula, CA. We haven't had time to take a picture yet but we will have one next time! Our assignment this transfer is the Humanitarian Center! Oh man I was pretty psyched about that because the night before I came back to Utah, my District Leader was asking what I would pick if I was choosing my next transfer. I had said Humanitarian Center as my #1 choice so definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father when I came back and found that I would be serving there. So basically we take people on tours through the Humanitarian Center. We are there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We don't get to do anything with the Humanitarian efforts of the church really, but we do get to take people on tours and they feed us lunch for free :). We had training thereon Friday and literally I had so much food and chocolate milk (you know how good that chocolate milk is that the church makes...) I thought I was going to bust open! Looks like this transfer I'm gaining back the weight I lost haha. Oh well, it's worth it!

So our teaching pool is really empty since I am coming back from Outbound...but we have found some pretty neat New Investigators and we are really stretching to find find find so we can fill our teaching pool. My first day back, I received an inbound call from a woman named Joelle. She lives in Mesa, AZ. She told me she referred herself on the website and asked how long it takes for missionaries to come. We talked a little more and I asked how she came in contact with the church and she said she was introduced by a friend, and at first, she just brushed it off because she had been going through some hard things (lost a job, her rent is due but she doesn't have money to pay for it, her car is unusable because she didn't pay the bill and she hasn't had any luck being hired, etc.) and so she just told herself that she could handle it herself and that she doesn't need God. Well now some time later, she has been doing a lot of reading and reasearch and she knows that she can't choose to do it herself anymore, but that she feels Heavenly Father is trying to lead her by bringing her into the church. It was so crazy, because from the one phone call, she now has a baptismal date for October 18th! The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways. Now if the Local Missionaries would just move their butts over to her house.....

We got to watch the Ogden Temple Dedication from the Conference Center yesterday! That was another tender mercy for me because I knew that the Temple would be completed during the mission, and I was sad that I wouldn't be able to be a part of it or see it. Right when I left, they had just put the angel Moroni on top but the exterior wasn't even done! I can't believe they finished it so fast. Or maybe I've just been on the mission a long time haha. But I was so happy to hear that we would be able to watch it broadcasted live. And oh man, the dedication was beautiful. The Temple is gorgeous! Holy cow. I got to go to the first session, where Elder Clayton, Sister Wixom, Elder Bednar, President Eyring, and President Monson spoke. It was really good. I loved what President Monson said. Well first of all, he got up last after everyone, and they were all serious and spiritual so naturally he gets up and cracks a joke. Haha it was great. But I loved what he spoke about. He asked us to do 3 things: love the Temple, appreciate the Temple, and attend the Temple. It will help us grow so much if we will just do it. Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to go so He can communicate with us and bless us.

Well anyway...it was a great week so far. There are more exciting things coming up too...The General Women's meeting, then Conference, then Halloween, and into the Holidays. I can't believe how fast time flies.

Here is a quote I found this week that I really liked:"As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth, we fully flower in Heaven."

I really liked that. I am so thankful for the Spirit World, and for the grace, mercy, and justice we receive from our Savior and from our Heavenly Father. I am so excited for the chance we all have for eternal progression. It's so neat that we get to see a fraction of that progression here on earth, too. It amazes me every day that Heavenly Father trust me, an imperfect 21 year old, with such an important calling of teaching others the perfect Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know why He trusts me with that....haha but I am grateful he lets me be a part of His work. I love this mission. I love being a missionary. It has changed me so much. I have seen that as I have come back from Ohio, I have changed a lot and I am so grateful because that means the Savior has been in my life.

Thank you for all the support and prayers! I pray for you. May you all blossom this week as you grow closer to the Savior.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just a quick note

Hey just wanted to get on real quick to let you know I'm alive! I'll fly out tomorrow at 11:30, have a layover in Chicago and land in SLC at 4:10.

Thanks for the emails, they were great! Wish I had time to respond to them and to talk about Chenwei's baptism...it was amazing! One of the most powerful moments of my life. 

Thanks for all the prayers! I'll write on my next Preparation day, whenever that is...Love you!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Endings are not in our destiny...

Endings are not in our destiny, but when it comes to being outbound, I guess some good things come to an end right? I can't believe that this is the last Preparation day I have here....Last week I was sitting here in the library, then I blinked and here I am again. It baffles me how time can go so fast. I have treasured this time that I have had here, it has just been incredible to see and experience the things that I have. I would give anything to be able to do it again. I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to be here!

Our investigators are doing so well. All of them but one are straight from China! I am going to miss them so much.

Chenwei is a rockstar. We were a little worried because he didn't come to church last week and wasn't responding to our texts and calls. Then we got a call from one of the Elder companionships and we answered and they told us that Chenwei wanted to say hi. It was so good to hear from him! He said, why haven't you texted me or called me? We said, We did!! He said he hadn't gotten anything. We were relieved. We got to meet up with him twice this past week. We taught the Word of Wisdom. He responded so well. He said that he h ad always felt like he shouldn't use those substances, but that he didn't know why. He said know he knows the reason why. Then during the next lesson, we taught him a bunch of other commandments. He responded really well and wanted to keep all of them. He had his baptismal interview and passed! He came to church yesterday and met the bishop. He is so excited to be baptized on Saturday and we are so excited to watch him make that covenant! It is the coolest thing to be able to meet someone that is a stranger, and you get to share with them the things that are precious to you, and as they pray, they begin to change and you get to see that process. Then you get to see how willing they are to make a covenant with God. We have seen this whole process and will be able to see his baptism on Saturday! We are so humbled that we have been able to be a part of the Lord's work. He is an amazing example to us.

It has been so neat fr me to teach so many people straight from China. They are so prepared! Holy cow it amazes me how open hearted they are. They are so teachable. I am so looking forward to the day when China opens up...that will be one of the greatest days ever. We need to start building portable baptismal fonts to prepare for it haha.

Another Chinese we are teaching, his name is Mike. He is a freshman here. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We taught him the plan f salvation this week, and he was so receptive. We were asking questions to check his understanding and see what he thought, and he said that he was so excited when he was offered a chance to come here to OSU and that he feels that meeting us and learning about the church was the reason he came here and that he thinks that Heavenly Father really has a plan for him. It is amazing to me how someone who has never believed in God can be so open to believing.

Kimi is also from China. We met with him and took it very slow. He has a hard time with English and doesn't have a religious background. We, with the help of a Chinese member, taught who God was, and taught him about prayer so her can come to know for himself if there is a God. The spirit was so strong, it was such a powerful lesson! I love being able to teach according to the spirit. I'm glad we don't have memorized lessons but really can teach at the pace of the investigator. Kimi is so sweet. He really believes now that he can pray and talk with God and that God will reveal truth to him.

There are so many more things to share but I don't have time :(

When I think about ending this time in Ohio, I think of the Sons of Mosiah, I feel like them in Alma chapter 26. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."


Monday, September 1, 2014


Well happy Labor Day! I'm denying the fact that it is September. I don't appreciate that! But I do appreciate the fact that Kenny got baptized on Saturday! It was such a great day. The spirit was so strong. After he was brought out of the water, he just stood there still and then smiled. It was so great. Then I killed the spirit when I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. Haha just kidding I didn't kill it but it was hard because when he asked me to give the talk he also gave the condition that I couldn't prepare anything. So it was a little scatterbrained but hopefully people felt the spirit. Also, all the OSU missionaries sang 'Homeward Bound,' it was a really good service. It was cool because he came out of the water and looked int he mirror and said that his eyes look different. When he told us we noticed that they really do! It's pretty neat. He has already changed so much. Then he got confirmed yesterday and brought a friend to the institute later that we are teaching now. He is going to make such a great missionary. Oh yeah, and Sister Malloy came to the baptism so I got to see her! It was so awesome. Then we went to this diner place on campus called Sloopy's and did what's called the "Sloopy challenge." It's three huge chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter and syrup. The goal is to finish it and beat the records of previous missionaries. Well, Sister Larsen rocked it! She did it in 9 minutes. Sister Malloy did it in 13, and I.....didn't finish it :( Haha I wasn't full, but the texture of the pancakes made me so sick that I didn't want to throw up so I didn't finish. Lame! but oh well. It was way fun anyway!

Chenwei is such a champ! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ last week. After the Plan of Salvation lesson, we asked him if he would pray to know if what we shared with him is true, and he goes, oh it's true. I don't need to ask, I trust. It was way sweet. Then later that week when we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he became so excited to be baptized. We had a member present who served in Taiwan so he could help with the minor language barrier. During the lesson, the spirit was so strong! Then at the end, we asked Chenwei if he would pray. He prayed in Mandarin and the spirit was way strong. After, the member said that Chenwei was very grateful. He thanked Heavenly Father for the chance he has to come and learn more here, and how sometimes he feels lonely or sad, but when he come here he feels good and he feels like it is a home. He thanked Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be baptized and then he ended with a big smile on his face. He left and was walking down the street and ran into the Elders. He just walked up to them and gave them a hug and said, I'm getting baptized! The Elders told us about it. It was so cute! I really hope that everything works out so he can get baptized on the 13th, that would be the best going away present ever.

I am not sure if we mentioned Mike, but he is a new investigator we found on campus a couple weeks ago or so. He is from China and is studying here. We called him up and set up a time to meet and we were able to give him a chapel tour and a Book of Mormon. He has no religious background at all, so we are starting from ground zero. It's been amazing to see how open he is, how teachable and willing to try things. It just adds to my testimony that Heavenly Father is hastening his work. He came to church yesterday and loved it. We will be meeting again with him this week and will invite him to be baptized.

We also met with Joshua and Yi Xu on Saturday and taught them the Restoration. It went very well. They also have no religious background, so everything has to be explained like you were talking to a child, but it's a great challenge because it is much better to teach simply anyway.

Jenna....Oh man where do I start! Well we went over to their house on Tuesday for a lesson/dinner and to pass them off to the other Sisters. We had a great lesson, and then the other sisters had to leave for an appointment, so we ate dinner with them. She already has such a strong testimony. She already knows that it is true and that it is what she has been missing. Her husband Wendell is so great. They are an amazing couple, I would have never guessed that they had been together for 4 years. They both work so hard for their relationship. Anyway, we had some great conversations. Her only concern is her unsupportive parents. They aren't even active Catholics, but they don't want her to be Mormon. I shared with her Dad's conversion story and she cried. They expressed their disappointment that we couldn't teach them. They said they were sad when the Bishop came and told them that the other Sisters would be the ones teaching them now. But the other sisters are fantastic and they are just what they need. They love the sisters already anyway. But we bumped into Jenna the next day and got to talk with her a little bit. Oh man I could just talk about her all day haha she is so awesome. We're going to be best friends forever! THEN the next day I found out she is getting baptized on the 20th!! I am hoping she will bump it up a few days so I can be there but we will see :)

Well everyone else is doing great, it's been a little rough trying to meet up with everyone because of their new busy schedules but we are exited to see who decides to make time because we know they will be so blessed!

Well I hope everyone has a great Labor Day!
Remember that "we are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions!"
Love you!