Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snowed In

Wow! This week has been insane!

On Tuesday we had interviews with President Anderson. It was great getting to see him and his wife again. On Wednesday we had District Meeting which is always fun. Then we met up with our zone and watched the World Wide Missionary Broadcast! That was awesome!! It's always awesome when Apostles speak to you! Especially about missionary work!

Some of our appointments fell through again this week, but we found a new investigator! His name is R! He had met with missionaries before but lost contact. We taught him about the Restoration and he believes that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He has a baptismal date set for March 5 and we are so stoked!

We also got to finally have a lesson with B!  He told us that he always feels the spirit so strongly when he reads the Book of Mormon. We bore testimony that it was because the spirit testifies of truth. He knows he should get baptized but also knows that he has a lot of changing to do. He was planning on coming to church but CHURCH WAS CANCELLED! I can't believe it!

A huge winter storm hit us and buried us in snow on Saturday. 2 1/2 feet! It was crazy! So, our Sunday was spent digging ourselves out. We shoveled snow ALL DAY. But we were able to help quite a few people and talk to some of them about the temple that's being built in Philadelphia!

Another reason that it was such a bummer that church was cancelled was because Brother H was supposed to get the priesthood! We had a lesson with him earlier in the week and it was so funny! We called the Bishop who told him that he would be getting sustained and ordained on Sunday. Brother H's face was priceless! We are so so happy for him!

This week while tracting, we went to the weirdest place. It was a street full of row homes, and because the houses were so close together they were numbered in halves. So, 728, 728 1/2, 730, 730.5...... You get the picture. It was dead silent and empty except for this kid up the street playing a recorder. I felt like I was in some crazy dream!

Well, that's all for now! I love you all! Stay warm!

So! Much! Snow!
Lehigh Valley Zone! 

Service at the Salvation Army.

Helping Sister A put away her roommates forgotten Christmas tree!
I'd like to say we're smarter than a fake tree, but...

We couldn't open our apartment door Saturday morning!
Literally snowed in!
Made it outside! Winter wonderland!
Our Sister-mobile that we had to completely unbury on  Sunday!

Brother H getting told about receiving the priesthood on Sunday!

Happy to be here!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Snow Squalls and A Stuffy Nose

Hello friends and family!

I'm not gonna lie, this week has been a tough one. Despite that, my testimony of the Gospel and Heavenly Father's hand in my life have grown so much. He has an eternal perspective and is a meticulous planner. When the going gets rough, miracles happen.

We had most of our appointments cancel on us this week. Including B and S. Because of certain circumstances we weren't able to teach B all week and were worried that we wouldn't get to teach him again for a few weeks. We prayed our hearts out for him and surprise! We get to teach him tonight. I'm excited to see him continue to progress! Our hearts broke a little when S texted us and told us that she had talked to her pastor. She wouldn't be meeting with us to learn about our "Mormon book."

However, when one door closes another one opens. We went tracting and were able meet V! She met with the missionaries years ago but had some concerns and never got baptized. She said she wanted to try taking the discussions again and invited us back to teach her! We also met L. This hilarious 73 year-old lady who the missionaries had lost contact with a couple months ago. She let us know that she feels this church is true and wants to be baptized, but has two surgeries coming up that will have to delay it. We are praying that everything goes smoothly and that we will be able to set a date soon. Yay for new investigators!

Also! Brother H is awesome! He is set to get the Aaronic priesthood soon! We are going to start helping him with family history so that he has names he can take to the temple for baptisms! We are so excited for him!

Tracting, as always, has been a delight. This week we shared a video about Christ with a man and he went bonkers. He yelled at us and everyone else on the street, saying that we were messengers of Satan and yada yada yada.

It has been freezing here in Bethlehem. We've had a few of what they call "snow squalls". From what I've experienced thus far, it's just snow blowing around in ten different windy directions. It's great! I'm blaming the squalls for the sore throat and stuffy nose that I have now. It makes our constant singing difficult, but you know how it goes. "Onward, ever onward!"

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers! Keep smiling!

Hi! We're the missionaries!

Tracting is rough.

My reaction to snow squalls.

Weekly planning!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Born In Bethlehem - Week 4


I made it! Tuesday morning at 3 we left the MTC for the airport! I got to call and talk to my mom for an hour before we boarded. That was such a blessing! I got extremely sick on the plane to Detroit and equally sick on the plane to Philadelphia. But that's okay. Sister Abbott took good care of me. Though, it would have been better if I hadn't run into the men's bathroom at the Detroit airport. Oh well.

We met President and Sister Anderson at the airport. What amazing people! They took us to their house and fed us. Finally! Real food! And then we got to sleep in real beds! Greatest ever! The next day we got our assignments. I'm in Bethlehem Pennsylvania with Sister Gomm! So, my mission life starts in Bethlehem. You could say I was born there. ;)

Sister Gomm is incredible and I love her to pieces! It's only been a week and we've had some of the craziest experiences! My first day tracting we met a guy who told us he only talked to Catholics and then tried to steal her nose?? Haha so strange!

We don't have very many investigators so we go tracting a lot! The craziest people live here! The other night we knocked on a door and this guy with the longest goatee I've ever seen answers. All we get out is "Hi! We're missionaries-" and then he comes out of his house and starts praying on the front porch. He prays about how our beliefs contradict one another and that we'll be brought to the light. Sister Gomm and I just stared at each other. He then told us about how he burned all his magic books after he found Jesus. We said amen and then left quickly.

Such a funny place! It smells like rotting leaves and cigarette smoke and is always freezing cold.

We teach a less active man named Brother H who is working on getting the priesthood. He's progressing so well and we are so excited for him! He loves having us over for dinner and feeding is until we feel like we'll burst. What a funny guy.

We're also teaching a man named B! I invited him to be baptized in our last lesson and he really wants to! But he hasn't shown up to church yet. We hope we can get him to come this next week. He is so prepared!

Miracle time! When B didn't show up on Sunday we went to his house to check on him but he wasn't there. So we decided to knock on a few doors. We met an awesome lady named S with three daughters. She invited us in to share a message with her. We showed her a video about Christ and she said that her heart was pounding and that she could feel Christ's love for her! We asked if we could come back to share more and she said yes! We get to teach her on Wednesday! I'm so excited!

The members here are incredible and are so welcoming and generous! I love this place and I feel so blessed that I get to serve the people here! I love all of you! Keep smiling!

Sister Gomm taking me tracting for the first time! Let's do this! 

Freezing our butts off during weekly planning! Our apartment smells like rice bags.

All bundled up for tracting! It's freezing!

Eating whatever we can find! Chicken noodle soup and cheesecake!

A sign in an area I was tracting. I cracked up.

God Speed - Week 3

Hey Everyone!

This week was my last week in the MTC! What a roller coaster.

For starters, I accidentally locked all of the sisters out of the room while they were in the shower. Sister Ackerman and I had to run to the main building for a replacement key with wet hair and no shoes. The other sisters were not happy.

We said goodbye to Sister Yorgenson and Brother White. What amazing teachers they've been. I'm so thankful for the spirit that they helped us feel at the MTC.

Our last night, I was able to receive a priesthood blessing from Elder Rhibar! It was such an incredibly comforting blessing. I'm so thankful for worthy priesthood holders!

Cool little miracle story! The day before we left I was feeling so inadequate and so scared. So, on the way to dinner I said a little prayer in my head asking Heavenly Father for comfort. Immediately an Elder walks by whistling, How Firm A Foundation and the third verse starts playing in my head:

"Fear not I am with thee
Oh, be not dismayed
For I am thy God
And will still give thee aid
I'll strengthen thee, help thee
And cause thee to stand
Upheld by my righteous
Omnipotent hand"

Heavenly Father is so aware of us! I think it's so incredible how He is able to work through other people.

We had our departing devotional and I was reminded of the chapter in the Book of Mormon where the sons of Mosiah split up to go to their individual missions (Alma 17:13).

"And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken."

It's only been three weeks and I have grown so much! I'll forever remember my experiences here and the Elders and Sisters that I was lucky enough to share those experiences with. They'll all be amazing missionaries. God Speed!

Sister Yorgenson! 

All of us with Brother White!

The picture that somehow captured our personalities perfectly!

Goodbye Elder Wilson and Elder Hansen! Tuscon Arizona bound!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas At The MTC! - Week 2

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was quite something! Elder Bednar and his family came and spoke to us! Cellphones were passed around so that we could text in questions, and then he answered them. It was so awesome! It was an incredible experience to hear an apostle come and speak directly to you. I'll never forget it.

In the evening we had another awesome guest! DAVID ARCHULETTA! He came and sang and it was beautiful! He did his performance of "Come, Come Ye Saints" and it's safe to say that I cried quite a bit. Not as much as when I got to call my family though. It was so great to hear their voices even if it was for just 30 minutes.

We said goodbye to our dear teacher, Sister Linford. She has been such an incredible example to me. Always happy and smiling. She showed me the kind of missionary that I want to be.

Elder Wilson and I performed a musical number on Sunday. I played "Redeemer" on piano and he improvised on the cello. It was so fun!

I'm so happy to be here, constantly learning more about this incredible gospel. I love my Savior and am so happy that I get to go represent him in Philly. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

The incredible Sister Linford. Oh, how I miss her. 

Matching Sister Missionary stockings. Merry Christmas!

Sister Ackerman got Dr. Pepper for Christmas. We need an intervention.

The Elders rockin' scarves for Christmas.

Hello From The MTC - Week 1

Hello From The MTC !

Hey everyone! Wow! What a week it has been! It's gone by so fast, but at the same time I feel like I've been here for years. I feel like a different person. More awake I guess you could say.

So, my companion is Sister Abbott. She's just so awesome and is going to Philly too! Her being my companion is definitley a tender mercy. She's very mellow and helps me not to stress on the little things. Our district is absolutely incredible. There are two sets of elders and a trio companionship of sisters. I have never laughed so hard in my life, and each of them have such wonderful testimonies. The spirit here at the MTC is SO STRONG! I wouldn't be able to do any of this without it.

We are in class for about 9-10 hours everyday and sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode. There is so much to know! The Book of Mormon has quickly become the most phenomenal book. Not that it wasn't before the mission but it's different reading it here. I honestly don't know how to explain it. Every story is more real and more applicable than it ever has been. I love it!!

We've had the opportunity to teach three investigators that the MTC has provided for us. They've been a bit rocky. It's terrifying until they open the door and I introduce myself. My favorite part of being a missionary is meeting someone and immediately feeling how much love our Heavenly Father has for them. I need them to know it! So, I end up talking a lot during discussions. Probably something I need to work on. This gospel is just so amazing and has the ability to change lives for the better.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas this week! ​Remember our Savior and know that because of Him you are never alone. If we center our lives around him we'll feel the love He has for us. I love you all! Keep smiling!

Me and my dork dot. Just for you Mom.

I'm going to Philly!

Me and Sister Abbott!!

District Sister! Me, Sister Abbott, Sister Ackerman, Sister Pauu, and Sister Stapley.

This awesome little snowman we found!

The coolest District that ever was!

Our District is mighty talented in the art of Photobombing!

Me and Sister Pauu!

Taking a break after a long evening of studying. We are exhausted.