Monday, February 29, 2016

Miracle Phone Tag!

Oh my goodness! This week was crazy and had the most amazing miracle!

So, last week Sister Gomm and I were woken up by our phone going off at 11:30 at night. (Crazy late I know, but such is the life of a missionary.) I got up and turned it off, being half asleep I thought it was an alarm. Fast forward to a few days later. This nighttime fiasco came up in conversation and Sister Gomm and I decided to check and make sure we didn't have an alarm that would go off again that late. Well, there were no alarms set for 11:30. Weird. We then figure that maybe someone had called us. Sure enough, a few days earlier, a former investigator named Bridget had called us at 11:30 at night. So, we try and call her back but no one answers, and we shrug it off as a pocket dial. Tuesday comes and we just cannot stop thinking about this lady calling us so we decide to try again. There was no answer but this time we left a voice mail. There's not much else we can do after so we go about our day, knocking on doors and such. When we get back to our car we see that we have a missed call and a voicemail from B!

Now, it's a joke Sister Gomm and I have that every time we check our phone, we're checking to see if someone has called or texted us wanting to be baptized. Hilarious, I know. Well, we listen to this voicemail and Bridget tells us that she had talked to some sister missionaries this summer and they had asked her if she wanted to be baptized in Christ's church, and she had decided that she did! WHAT?! We called back, finally got a hold of her, and scheduled a time to meet with her. The lesson was amazing! She has such an enthusiasm for gospel! We asked her if she believed that the Book of Mormon was true and she said: "I don't know, I haven't read it yet! But I'm going to read it every second that I'm not doing anything." So amazing! She has a baptismal date set for April 10!! The Lord is so good! :)

In other news, we had some awesome dinners with some awesome members this week and talked to so many different people! Being a missionary is so great!

I hope you are all doing well. Have a wonderful week and keep smiling! :)

Me laughing at this sign because I'm immature.

B! She's incredible!

Monday, February 22, 2016

..... - Week 10

Hello friends and family! Wow! This week has been a struggle.

We had to drop two of our investigators. :( Lately, B has been more interested in teaching us what he believes than listening to us. He told us that we need to be more humble and that we need to listen
because God anointed him to teach the bible. It was rough. Then R, our investigator with a date, told us that he doesn't  really have a desire to know that the church is true and that he is fine where he is at. Super disappointing. Sister Gomm and I shared some laughs and some tears. It's okay though! Because the gospel is still true!

Everything got pretty overwhelming and discouraging for us after all that, so we asked our district leader for priesthood blessings. I am so, so thankful for the power of the priesthood and the comfort that a blessing can bring. It was definitely needed.

On the brighter side, we got to go have dinner at Rosie's, the woman who got baptized last week! Oh my goodness, she is so amazing! We met her husband, who is just as cool. Rosie is dead set on him joining the church so that they can have a "third wedding" in the temple. :) That's what we like to hear!

We had a lesson with a part-member family and taught a woman named C. We asked her a lot of questions which led to her going off on a lot of tangents. She loves the Book of Mormon but she told us that she has been Catholic for many years and loves praying to the saints. She has a hard time praying directly to God. We testified that he is our loving Father in Heaven and that he wants to hear from us. She said she would try praying before she read the Book of Mormon each day. Whoo!

Despite the hard week, I know that this gospel is true and that our Heavenly Father loves us so much! There is someone here in Bethlehem that wants to accept His plan for them and Sister Gomm and I are determined to find them.

I hope you are all doing well! Lots of love!

Weekly tracting selfie.

This was outside some guys house. Coconuts, cigars, car keys, candles,
and a plastic toy truck. I took a picture when no one answered the door.
We found out there was someone home when he opened his window
and started yelling at me.

When it's so cold that water freezes while it's running...

Taking selfies while we were on the phone with R,
trying to follow up on his Book of Mormon reading. 

No coats! We were blessed with a 60 degree day!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pray, or Else

Hello friends and family! I hope every one is doing awesome! This week was so great! Cold! But great! I've been out a whole transfer! Can you believe it?

We got to see a lot of members this week! Both active and less active. I love hearing people's stories of conversion so much! Everyone here is so awesome! We've been sharing a bible video as our message with most of them called "Suffer The Little Children" and then the scripture 2 Nephi 26:24 (one of my favorites). "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation." The video we share is of Christ blessing, playing with, and teaching little kids. It's incredible. We then get to share our testimonies of how much we know our Savior loves us. We shared it with a member family that I just adore and it was so amazing. The spirit was so strong and by the end, they were crying and I was bawling and the room was so warm and happy. Our Savior loves us so much!

Thursday was District Meeting! Whoooo! Instead of a role play, our District Leader had us go into the chapel and just pray, read, and ponder what it means to have 'real intent'. It was way cool! I found a scripture that I now love! Jacob 5:72. "And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things." The Lord is laboring with us and we need to align our will with His in order to do the work.

We saw R twice this week and called him every day to remind him to read from the Book of Mormon and pray. (He's forgetful). He's slowly but surely gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the truths that it holds! He's so funny! One of the nights we called him, he said he had forgotten again. We said we were gonna have to get after him if he kept forgetting. We suggested he write it down, that way he'd remember. He wrote down: "Pray, or else."

Miracle time! So, this last week our personal accountability goal was to get two new investigators. We were having a really hard time. Well, our District Leader Elder Naylor and his companion decided that they were going to double into our area. And guess what? They found a husband and wife that were interested and set up a time for us to meet with them! Two new investigators! Whooo!

This weekend was so cold! Like, bitter cold. It was 1 degree on Saturday with -17 degree windchill. What do you think we did? If you guessed tracting, then you would be correct! Sister Gomm and I were running from door to door, pretty much hunched over to try and block the wind. I guarantee we looked like lunatics. One man answered and told us that we were crazy and that people would still need saving on Tuesday. Haha! That they will!

Sunday was Valentines Day AND our ward had two baptisms!! Our ward is split into the south side and north side, and each side has a set of sister missionaries. The south side sisters had two of their investigators get baptized and it was so so happy!! Rosie and Suki! We were so happy for them! We have had the chance to get to know them both at church and we just love them to pieces! And now they get to have us over for dinners! Hooray!

Well, that's about it! I love you all bunches! Keep smiling! :)

The District!

North Side and South Side sisters! 

Selfie with Sister Statum and Robert!

Lunch with Sister Dodge and Herod! I love her so much!

Text from a member. Yeah. It was that cold.

Our neighbor George got us chocolates for Valentines!

It was so cold, I was crying.

Suki and Rosie just got baptized! Whoohoo!!

Sporting our CTR rings! Love these ladies!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Book of Mormon Stories

Okay, where did the week go? Everything is flying by way too fast!

We started off the week by going to a members house for dinner and a presentation on the authenticity of the Book of Mormon! It was awesome! He's been studying for years and has traveled all over North, South and Central America researching. He discussed different Mayan legends, unique writing and language techniques, and archaeological finds that coincide with events in the Book of Mormon. It was better than Christmas and just strengthened my testimony of the scriptures even more! They are truly the word of God and have been brought forward in our day for a reason!

8 of our 12 lessons cancelled this week. So, we did lots of tracting, as always! :) Even on Wednesday when it poured rain! That was an adventure and we were soaked to the bone. We met lots of awesome people though, and I got to place some copies of the Book of Mormon. I'm starting to hand them out to anyone who talks to us longer than to tell us what church they go to and that they're not interested. (That is, if they even remember what church they're "supposed" to go to.)

Zone Training on Thursday was PHENOMENAL! We discussed what qualifies us to have the Holy Ghost with us as we teach, and then we did role plays focused on following the Spirit to know our investigators needs. Oh my goodness! They were amazing and that's saying a lot because I dread role plays. The Spirit was overwhelming and I teared up playing both the missionary and the investigator. It was such a cool experience and I'm so thankful for inspired lessons!

Speaking of which! We taught R twice this week and we were worried because he was a little skeptical about getting baptized. But we had Sister Statum with us and we asked her to share what it felt like to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Wow! So inspired! Everything she said was exactly what R needed to hear and he is now looking forward to having the comfort of the Holy Ghost with him always. And guess what?! R CAME TO CHURCH! WHOO!

The members here are so incredible! Hearing all their testimonies on Sunday was just- AH! I started crying! I am so thankful that I get this little bit of time to get to know them and serve them! I love Bethlehem, PA!

I hope you are all doing great! Keep praying and keep smiling! Lots of love!

Attempting to get dry and get warm! Do you like our kinda heart-shaped donuts?

My first sub from Wawa's! Hooray for the East Coast!
Eden! One of the member's little girls and seriously the sweetest angel ever! 

I'm not even going to pretend I know what this is.
But it was outside the Hotel Bethlehem and I needed a picture with it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Unexpected Miracles

I hope everybody is doing well! This week has been amazing!

It started off with Golden Retraining! Which means I got to see Sister Abbott! It was so great! We got to discuss what we learned at the Missionary Broadcast and what we've learned our first few weeks on our missions. It was so awesome to see how much we've all grown since the MTC!

Traffic is so so terrible here because the streets have become one lane. There is nowhere to park so people have saved the spots they've cleared out with things like fans and kitchen chairs. So funny! Bethlehem just has nowhere to put all this snow. We're hoping it melts soon, it would make our jobs a lot easier.

On Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders! I went with Sister McCuen. It was such a blast! Our appointment fell through so we spent the day tracting and meeting the coolest people. But on our way back we realized that we had been tracting in a different area! Whoops! That night Sister Gomm and I were tracting and we ran into this awesome guy who was a Christian musician and loved rapping about Jesus. After talking to him we regretted not having him rap for us. Maybe we'll see him again someday. A bit later we started down a darker, quieter street. The further we went the more we could feel the spirit leave. At the same moment we both stopped and headed back the other way. I don't know what would have happened if we had kept going but I am so thankful for the spirit and the protection and guidance it brings us.

We got to meet with R again! He is set to be baptized on March 5. We started teaching him about the Plan of Salvation but we didn't get very far. R is quite the talker and really enjoyed telling us what other religions taught about Adam and Eve.

During weekly planning this week, Sister Gomm and I really pondered what we could do to help get our investigators to church. We decided to fast and boy did we see miracles! Just not the ones we were expecting. One of the biggest ones was with B! We had his lesson at our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Finch's house. And B brought a friend! We were a bit nervous because the lesson was on the law of chastity but it turned out to be awesome! The spirit was so strong! B has progressed so much from when I first met him. You can really see the change in him and he is so aware of the spirit. B's friend was able to tell us how he had been praying to know if God had a plan for him that would help him improve his life. We testified that God did have a plan for him and that it wasn't a coincidence that he was there. After the lesson we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet that answers some of the questions he had. We got his number and will hopefully be able to meet with him again!

Sunday rolled around and none of our investigators showed up at church. I won't lie, it was a little discouraging. We had been so excited from all the miracles happening, but at the end of the day
people still have their agency. But the miracles weren't over! There's a member who brings his Fiancee, K, almost every week who is not a member. We went over and asked her why she hadn't met with us yet. She said she would meet with us next week! Then after church Brother H received the Aaronic Priesthood and we got to be there for it! In the blessing he received after, he was told that the missionaries he was now meeting with were sent specifically at this time and were angels sent to help him progress in the gospel. It was so amazing!

I'm so humbled and grateful that I have this opportunity as a missionary to be the answer to people's prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep smiling!


The blue cake at a members house! It reminded us of Percy Jackson!!

Stuck in traffic!

The random kitchen chairs on every street make me laugh.
Especially in spots where the snow has melted.

Sister McCuen! Companion for a day!

I do every day!

Sister Statum! One of our members! She's the most hilarious lady!

Winter sunsets in Pennsylvania. Be still, my beating heart.