Friday, July 29, 2016

The House Of The Lord

Psalm 122: 1 "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."

This week was spiritually, emotionally, and physically exhausting. But boy, was it good. All the sisters in the PPM spent the week preparing for the temple open house!

Wednesday and Thursday were our training's/dress rehearsals. Basically we practiced what we will be doing for the next month and a half. We woke up at 4:30 and drove to the temple, role played introducing videos, and role played answering question after question. We were a little disappointed when we were told we would have to wait until Sunday to go through the temple. Or so we thought!

Saturday, all the people who had helped to build the temple had the opportunity to go through and so did we! Having the opportunity to walk through the temple with the men and women that spent so much time and put so much care into building this beautiful place was very special. I couldn't hold back the tears as we walked through. This temple is the most unique and incredible temple that I've ever seen. It was built to replicate the Colonial style between the Revolutionary War and the Restoration of the Gospel. There are a number of paintings inside that aren't found anywhere else because they were specifically done for this temple. There's one in particular of the founding fathers signing the Declaration of Independence. As I looked at it I remembered what Sister Anderson had said at our last Zone Conference. "Founding Fathers have been waiting such a long time for this temple." I felt the spirit testify to me that those words were true. In the baptistery there is a mural on the wall of Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith being baptized. I couldn't help but think how wonderful it is that there is finally a temple near the place where the Priesthood was restored to the earth!

Our tour ended in the Sealing Room where a couple stood and bore their testimonies of eternal families. They expressed their gratitude for those that had helped build the temple. The spirit was so strong as the construction workers that we were experiencing the tour with started crying without really knowing why. You could see that their hearts were being touched as the spirit testified to them of the sacred work that goes on in temples. I am so thankful to the effort and care that was put into this holy building. Ah! I love it!

On Sunday Lois and Francess were confirmed as members of the church and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost! They received the coolest blessings! They have such strong testimonies and I am so excited for them. We also had the opportunity to take our investigator Chris to the temple! He is working toward baptism and has a lot to do but I know that the spirit he felt in the temple will help him to get there!

I feel so privileged to be a missionary here in Philadelphia at this time! There is finally a temple in the city where the nation was founded and the state where the Priesthood was restored! I am so blessed! The church is true! The book is blue!

I love you all! God bless!

Sister B

I love to see the Temple...

Me and my companions at training for the open house. 

Here we are, the Sisters that
do the morning shift for the open house.

We catch the train every morning at 5 AM.

Sister Fuelling and I starting tours off!

Philly life! The skyline. 

Widener ward missionaries and our investigators!

This temple is so beautiful...

I can't stop taking pictures of it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two Stories Later

Hello friends and family! This week was an adventure!

It started with an intense lesson for our investigator Chris. He's been on the fence for a while now about baptism and we asked for a final decision. Good news, he wants to be baptized! We set a date for August 14th. We then proceeded to teach him the Word of Wisdom AND the Law of Chastity in one lesson. As one would expect, it was a little overwhelming for him. In the lesson I felt the strongest prompting to promise him that if he read from the Book of Mormon every day, he would be able to quit smoking. So, I did. It was one of the most spiritually powerful moments on my mission so far. We get to take him to the Philadelphia temple for a special tour on the 24th and I'm so excited! I know that experience is going to give him the strength he needs to follow his savior.

Friday was just the craziest. In a rush to get baptismal suits before the mission office closed, we locked our keys in our apartment. Well, we couldn't call the mission office to bring us a key because then we wouldn't be able to get the suits. So, we went to the obvious course of action. We broke in through the window. Sister Fuelling and Sister Kraft hoisted me up onto their shoulders and I popped the screen off the second story window with my name tag. Because I have no upper body strength we then pushed up Sister Kraft, who shimmied through the window and let us in. The most impressive part is that we did it all in skirts! Life of a sister missionary.

The highlight of the week was Lois and Francess' baptism! Everything went smoothly and they were so happy! The young women went up and sang I Am A Child Of God for Francess and by the end of it everyone there was singing along. The spirit was so powerful! I feel so blessed to have been able to teach them and help them to enter in to Gods kingdom.

I love you all! The gospel is true, the book is blue.

God bless!

Sister B

Preppin the font for baptisms! 

Cow Appreciation Day at Chik-Fil-A!

Previously, on The District...
"Holy Moly!!" We have some stinkin good comp unity!
Happy Day! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sweat and Service

This week was a hot one! I have decided I'm not a big fan of humidity, or mosquito, or sunburns. This week I experienced a lot of all three.

We started the week off by finding 4 new investigators! A woman named Vita and her 3 adorable kids! We taught them the restoration and invited them to be baptized! Vita wasn't sure but her kids want to!

We got to see Lois and Francess twice this week! They are so ready for baptism! We went over the baptismal interview questions and they had their interviews! They rocked them! They have such strong testimonies. Lois has been through so much, coming from Africa to escape Ebola, family behind, going to law school, being a single mom, trying to find a job. And she does it all with so much faith that everything will work out if she relies on the Lord. She is my hero!

We had the opportunity to do a training at Zone Training this week. We talked about how the Book of Mormon is a springboard to personal revelation. Something that really stuck out to me was the realization that if we aren't reading the Book of Mormon and allowing our Heavenly Father to communicate with us, we are dying spiritually because we are separated from God. I know the Book of Mormon is true and brings us closer to our Heavenly Father.

We got to do a lot of service this week! We cleaned for a recent convert who just got in a car accident. And a few days later we got to volunteer for a local food bank! I love doing service! (And getting to wear pants!)

We had interviews with our new mission president and he is so great! He had me share a scripture that helped me understand the savior better and I shared 2 Nephi 26:24. Everything the Savior did, he did because he loves us! President Randall invited me to write down every day how I served people and how it helped me feel Christ's love. Will do!

Sunday we sang Count Your Blessings with the young women in sacrament meeting. It was Francess's favorite song when she went up to girls camp. The young women's leader had her tell the congregation why she liked it. She said because she felt the spirit when she sang it and the lord had given her so many blessings that she liked to sing about it. Ah! I love her!

All in all, it was a good, hot week! Lois and Francess get baptized on Sunday and I'm so excited!

Love you all! God bless!

Sister B

Lois and Francess!!

102 degrees with 75% humidity and still smiling!

Valley Forge West Zone

Philly Mural

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Widener is MAGIC!

First off, HAPPY 4TH!!

Secondly, Heavenly Father loves me! He has sent me to the most incredible area! This week was crazy full of miracles.

On Tuesday we went to contact a potential who turned out to be completely not interested. As we were walking back to our car we saw a lady getting groceries out of her car. We asked if we could help and when she said she was okay, we asked if we could share a message about Jesus Christ. That's when she dropped the bomb on us that she was already a member! Turns out that her family was baptized in Florida years ago, and when they moved here, they didn't know where a church was! Her husband recently passed away and she said they had never been sealed. We told her that we could help her get there and she said she would love to try. Hooray for temples! :) Speaking of temples, our investigator Francess got to go to the DC temple with the Young Women's group. She couldn't do baptisms but she got to go to the visitors center and learn more about it. She said it was such a cool experience. Her and her mom are so excited to be baptized! I might be more excited. The Lord has so many blessings in store for them! Francess said that she thinks she wants to be a missionary someday! :D

Wednesday we had an awesome experience with our new investigator Jay. We've had three appointments with him fall through because we couldn't find a woman to come with us. Well, we finally scheduled it on a day that a recent convert named Sherreese could come with. It turned out to be a miracle because Sherreese used to be baptist, just like Jay! She was able to testify to him that the Book of Mormon had all the answers to his questions, because they were the same questions she had had! It was such an inspired lesson.

We got a media referral on Thursday from a woman named Quitta, requesting a bible. We called her as soon as we got it and she told us we could bring it to her right then. When we got to her apartment she was so excited to see us and met us at the door! She invited us in and we were able to give her a bible and introduce her to the Book of Mormon. She was so excited to read it. We asked if we could come share more with her and she agreed, saying that she would invite her husband to listen too! The Lord is so good!

On Friday we had a Zone Conference and met our new Mission President and his family! President Randall, Sister Randall, and their three kids! They are great and I am so excited to work with them! Especially for the temple open house that is getting closer and closer!

This week has really strengthened my testimony of being accountable to the Lord and being where you tell him you're going to be. The times we followed our schedule with exactness were the days that we found the most prepared people that are so ready for the gospel. Alma 36:36 "Counsel with the Lord in ALL thy doings, and he shall direct thee for good..." I know that is true.

I love you all and hope you have a safe and happy Independence Day. :) God bless America!

Sister B

Francess and Lois and Sister Kanu! 

Zwahlens trip! :) Best caramel apples ever.

Sister Kraft love me and made me breakfast hash!

The racoon we spotted in the dumpster...

Playing Frisbee at a 4th of July picnic! :) 

Happy Birthday, America!