Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hey ya'll
Sorry my emails have been coming late these past couple weeks. Things have been crazy with transfers! This past week has been super busy but very good! We got 37 new missionaries this past transfer! Crazy!! I'm still in the YSA ward in Charlottesville and its so great and we actually got some elders put in our ward, so that has definitely been an adjustment! It is exciting though, president feels like the work is really going to pick up in this area and it will be very busy with school at the university of vrginia starting up in a couple weeks! Sister Tanner is gone, so it is just me and Sister Walker and it is sooo weird having just one companion! Haha it's good though, i'm probably driving her crazy :P Haha
This week we were able to set Chris Brady for baptism!!! Holllllla!!! I'm soooo excited for him!! We have been teaching him since a little bit after i got here and he leaves to go to school in Richmond soon and wants to get baptized before he leaves. I'm so stoked for him. It is soo awesome to watch him go through this conversion process. The difference in him compared to when we first started teaching him to now is amazing. He wants to meet with us more often cuz of the spirit he feels when he meets with us and he says it just helps his week go by a lot better. Just imagine how much better his life is going to be after he gets baptized and is able to have that gift of the holy ghost with him always! I love to think about this huge step that he is taking in his life and how it won't only bless him but generations to come. He has such a strong desire to learn and grow in this gospel and i know that he will get there because he has that desire. The Lord knows our hearts and if we truly have the desire to follow him, and come unto him he will help us grow in ways that we never thought possible!
This weekend we got to go to the farmers market with the relief society! It was way fun, it has been such a cool experience to watch our relationship with the ward grow. The ward is just as important as the investigators, they also need to be strengthened. They need just as much lovin'! This past week we met with a few of them to teach the restoration and to just share a quick message. It was way neat. We basically just tried to get an understanding for the way that they feel about the restoration and it was amazing how many of them dont have a strong testimony of it. A lot of them just got super uncomfortable when we mentioned it, but we also shared a message with them about how when we were in the pre-earth life we all had friends. We were so happy and we loved the gospel and lived it. However, we all were given letters which was our call to go earth and we were so excited. Some of us were called to be sent to families with the gospel in their lives and unfortunately many were sent to families without the gospel. Our friends going to families without the gospel cried and pleaded for us to please find them and to please teach them the gospel. We were sent here to earth and this is our purpose. We need to find our friends. Find those who are lost and help them rekindle that testimony that they once had when they lived with us and heavenly father in the pre-earth life.
Idk if i have mentioned much about a less active that we are teaching named Will. If i havent, he served a mission in Japan and decided with about 8 months left of his mission that God didn't exist but he served the full 2 years. Pretty crazy! We have been meeting with him for a while now and it has just felt like we go nowhere with him cuz he is pretty set on the fact that the church isnt true ... our lessons the past couple weeks with him though have been awesome!! He is actually letting the spirit come into the room.... usually before he would do everything he could to drive it away. The coolest thing was when we saw him open up his scriptures again and he even pulled out his mission journal and showed it to us and just admitted that maybe while he was trying to figure things out on his mission that he was going about it the wrong way. He still is as stubborn as ever and is still going about it the wrong way... which is logically. But although the steps he is taking are super small and may not seem like it is making a difference in his life, it definitely is. He admitted to us that on his mission he really just wanted the church to be true and feels like he did all he could to try and get answers but didnt get any. I have been thinking a lot about that.... about how he really wanted it to be true... to me, that shows that he knows there is something about this church that is right. We may not get every answer we want, or in the way that we want but i know that answers do come. I know our heavenly father is listening to us and is waiting for us to turn to him so that we can receive those blessings he is waiting to give to us. We don't have the answers to everything in this church.... neither do we have the answers to many things just in life in general but for some reason people feel like they need to have the answer to every question in religion when we don't even have all the answers to things here on the earth in general. Idk, i was on one after our lesson with him last week.... i wasn't upset i was just confused that someone who has been able to see the blessings of this gospel in his life and someone who really did treasure his mission and love the people there can think that God doesn't exist and can deny himself the blessings of the gospel just cuz it doesn't make sense logically. One thing that breaks my heart when people reject this gospel is that they are rejecting an invitation to have more peace and happiness in this life. Everyone wants to be happy right? They are rejecting a loving father in heaven and Jesus Christ who suffered everything for them so that they could come to this earth and strive to return back to our heavenly home. Everyone wants to be loved right? This gospel is a message about happiness, it is a message about love, and it is a message that will help us all live happier and more successful lives. It doesnt necessarily mean we wont face any challenges.... we definitely will. But what a comfort to know that we have Heavenly Father right by our side with us to help us conquer every stumbling block that we come upon in our lives. This gospel is so amazing. My testimony is growing in ways that i never thought possible. I know that it is true. I know will knows it as well... he leaves to go teach english in Japan (back where he served his mission) and he is going to visit people he converted and i know it will help him so much. He thinks he is a lot further away from the gospel than he actually is. He will come back, i know it :)
I know how important this gospel is. I know that Heavenly Father sent his son Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins. I know that this gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith... and i know that cuz i know that Joseph smith wouldnt have gone through all that he did from 14 years old until the rest of his life if this church wasnt true. Joseph Smith knew his purpose and he knew what he was called to do. But he didn't give in, give out, or give up. I know that Joseph went through what he did for a reason. I know that we, here on earth all have a purpose and no matter what that purpose may be or what we have to go through, the gospel of jesus christ is how we will get through it and it is how we will be able to return back to our heavenly father. Things here in Charlottesville are amazing. The church is true! I'm loving being able to help my brothers and sisters every day come to feel of its truthfulness and all that it has to offer. I love ya'll so much. Thanks for all your prayers and support! Have a wonderful week :) XOXO
Sister Roosendaal

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Hey Ya'll!!
Another wonderful week has flown by here in Virginia! So crazy, time is flyin! I can't believe it. We have transfers this week and my companion Sister Tanner is leaving and Sister Walker and I are staying here in Charlottesville in the YSA ward and I am still training. So things are crazy.... crazy good! This past week has been pretty good. Tanna, who we have been meeting with and is less active is doing so great. She is coming back to church and reading and praying and is just being amazing. It has been so incredible to watch her and help her go through this process. She talked to the Bishop on Sunday and got things worked out and started working the atonement in her life. She has so many great goals and dreams for her life and the only way she can get back on the path to reach those aspirations of hers is through the atonement. We had planned to teach her this week about the restoration and to gain her understanding of it but the lesson took a different direction and we ended up focusing on the atonement and how through the atonement she will be able to reach all of her dreams. Through the atonement she can get rid of the guilt and extra baggage that she is carrying and start over. The spirit was so powerful and her testimony and desire to fully apply the atonement in her life just helped me recognize how truly important and real the atonement is. Christ knows how we feel.... he knows everything we are going through and although at times we may feel misunderstood and alone, we arent. He understands us and is always with us no matter what we are going through. He has felt every pain we have and He is our truest and most loyal friend that we can always turn to with anything and everything and he will bear us up. He will be on our right hand and on our left with angels round about us to bear us up (D&C 84:88 <--- fav scripture lately) Anyway, Tanna wanted us to wait outside the Bishops office while she talked to him and when she came out she just told us how good she felt, she said she felt that load she was carrying was gone and that she just felt so happy and free. She looked so happy and it was soooo cool to watch her take the huge leap of faith and make things right again. She is amazing!!!
We are still meeting with our investigator named Niko. He is doing so good! He is the most chill and easy going guy ever, he is so great to teach and just so accepting and willing to learn and act on what we tell him. We had a good lesson with him this past week and actually set him for baptism for August 10! I'm super excited, we just need to get him coming to church though. So the Hermanas that we live with actually ran into Niko's friend and told him that he was getting baptized and i guess his friend was speechless and almost like passed out.... turns out that Niko used to be addicted to drugs and he has a pretty tough family life and some unstable parents and turns out he almost commited suicide a little bit ago and the reason his friend was so shocked to hear he was getting baptized was cuz he thought that Niko actually did commit suicide and that he was dead. Ahhhh. Crazy right? I was so surprised to hear that cuz something like that is just nothing that you would ever expect out of Niko. He is only 18 years old and just a clean cut solid dude and i was just so shocked to hear that. Anyway, i'm just so excited for him and his desire to change. I know that this is the right way and right path for him to choose. By living the gospel of Jesus Christ he wont and we wont ever go wrong. We may still face hard times and opposition but with Christ we can handle anything and he will help us get through anything! I know that. I know that he is with us and he just wants to help us if we will just simply turn to him.
So this past week the elders had a baptism for an old lady that they have been teaching in a nursing home. She is in a wheelchair but she took the biggest leap of faith and got out of that wheelchair to be baptized this past week! It was the coolest thing to watch her go through with that! She was so nervous but so excited and ready at the same time. The spirit was so strong and powerful when she came up out of that water and you could just tell she felt so good and so happy. She knows that this is the true church and although it was hard for her to get out of that wheelchair and get into the water... no matter how long it took her she was going to do it cuz she had such strong faith and such a strong desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized... to enter into that gate of baptism that will lead her back to her Heavenly Father. I was thinking a lot about her life... and how she has lived soo long without the gospel in her life. It made me kinda sad but happy for her too! That she has found it while she was here on earth and she is able to live it now. It just got me thinking about how easily we can take this gospel for granted. We are all just so blessed to have this gospel in our lives... it is so incredible and provides us so many blessings and miracles in our lives and a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father. That is the most important relationship that we have and we are so blessed to be able to continually exercise our faith in Him and to continually develop our relationship with our father in heaven.
I know this gospel has blessed my life so much. I know that Heavenly Father loves us all sooo much! Beyond comprehension. I know that He sent His son Jesus Christ here on earth to die for us and atone for our sins. And it is through him that we will be able to return safely back to our heavenly home and i'm just so grateful that we have that opportunity to each week be washed clean through the sacrament and to reflect on the sacrifice that christ made for us. I''m so grateful for this gospel. I'm so happy to be here sharing it with people, i know the Lord is preparing people and i know i will be led to those who are ready and prepared to accept it. We are so blessed to have this gospel in our lives. Living it is the best thing that we can be doing in our lives! I know it! I'm so happy to be here in Virginia. I've never been so happy. Teaching and sharing the gospel is the best thing ever. I know it is true! Love you all so much!! XOXO
Sister Roosendaal
The picture is us last night at family home evening with some people in our ward! They are awesome!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Hello everyone!!

Sounds like the cabin and fish lake were tons of fun! I hope ya'll had an awesome fourth of july! This week has been great and i had an awesome fourth of july here in virginia. We didn't necessarily have the day off we were just told to stay productive cuz it was really hard to meet with people cuz everyone was busy. so we went to a small town parade to watch Wesley (recent convert) in it, he restores old cars and he and his parents were driving them in the parade so we went to support! It lasted like 20 min. haha it was just a small parade but it was way fun. No one would throw us candy except the baptist church... but i'm pretty sure they were throwing it at us, not to us! haha that night we went to Wesleys for a BBQ with his family. We ate, played corn hull, had dessert, and caught fireflies. My kinda fourth of july... it was way fun! Apparently that is how it is done out here in the south ;) We didn't get to stay out late to watch fireworks but we could hear them going off while we were planning and we could see them out of a tiny window in our apt. so just imagine 5 girls crowded around a window trying to see fireworks that arent even close it was just like watching colorful dots fly up into the air. Haha i loved it. Doesn't get better than that!

Anyway, it has been so awesome spending time with Wesley and his parents who aren't members. It has been cool to watch their hearts soften towards us and to be able to get to know them better. It has been a huge lesson to me that although people may not be interested in the church it is important to still love them and still treat them with kindness cuz it softens their heart toward the church and it plants many seeds. I know that by still friendshipping them and reaching out to them that they will want to know why we do what we do and even why we are so nice to them. We aren't out here to force anything on people, missionaries are sent out into the field to help others come closer to christ and although everyone we come in contact with may not be receptive to our message they will never forget the impact we had on them. As members of the church we are always being watched. People are interested in us, the way we live our lives, and why we do what we do so i know how important it is that no matter who it is, you treat them as Christ would. Whether or not they accept this gospel you still love and care for them. They willl get baptized one day :)

This week i had a huge testimony builder of how important members are in this work. We had a member come to a lesson with us with Anthony who isnt really progressing, he has been taught everything, and we are just kinda stuck with him. it was during our lesson with him this last week that i realized that everyone needs a friend in the church. if anthony had no fellowship in the church and didn't know anyone then there is no way he would still be meeting with us cuz he is in a bad position right now to be baptized and he has been taught everything. i know the reason he still comes to church and still meets with us is cuz of how the members help him and how they make him feel. Well he told us of how he has been having a hard time lately and and how he just feels pretty alone and pretty unimportant at times. There was nothing cooler than when we told him that he has a heavenly father who knows and loves him and knows exactly what he is going through but what made the biggest difference was when the member there with us bore a solid and powerful testimony to him of the same thing and made anthony feel like a million bucks. Afterwards the member asked anthony to go to a movie with him and i have never seen him light up so much before. Haha it was so sweet to watch them walk away together with anthony holding his scriptures down by his side. i know he is going to make it to the waters of baptism soon, and it is because of the members and how they treat and fellowship him. So i just invite you all to be aware of those in your wards who are investigating the church and even just reaching out to those friends of yours at work or school who arent members. By loving them, caring about them, and reaching out to them you will make the biggest difference in their lives. You may not see it, but i promise that it is affecting them in more ways than one and planting seeds in them for when they are prepared and ready to hear the gospel.

We got to meet our new mission president this week, president wilson. He and his wife are so great and i'm excited to work with them. They havent changed too many things, they are still working lots of things out but transfers are on July 18 and they are bringing lots of new missionaries into the area i am in and getting rid of all trio companionships... which targets my companions and i. We arent sure they are doing it all this transfer or what but there is a chance one of us will be gone next week. I guess we will see! We got two stakes from the DC south mission.... Fredericksburg and Woodgate so we got some new missionaries in our mission and its just all really exciting! Lots of new changes and i'm sure more to come as president gets settled and figures things out.

This week, especially at walk and talk where we set up the lemonade stand we had a lot of people try and bring us down and not really bash with us but just try and shake our faith a little bit. I've never had it happen so many times in one week. Satan is working really hard. My testimony of this gospel and especially the Restoration is growing in ways that i never thought possible. I know how important this message is that i carry out here in Virginia. I have the most important and significant message to share with the people here it is just my job to help them remember and regain that testimony that they once had in the pre-earth life. It is not easy and the Restoration is not just a story... it is a life-changing significant event that happened in history. It is easy to just blow through the Restoration and to tell it just like a happy story. But its not just that.. the restoration is what brought this gospel back here on the earth and if we wouldnt have had such a faithful 14 year old boy and prophet who suffered so much pain and persecution for many years and died as a martyr for this gospel then we wouldnt be so blessed to have the church in our lives. I know that Joseph Smith saw what he saw... and i know that he didnt go through what he did for nothing. He did it cuz he knew his calling and he knew his purpose despite all the persecution he faced. I'm so grateful for him and his great faith cuz i dont know what i would do or who or where i would be without this gospel in our lives. we are so blessed to have it here on the earth and to have that proper priesthood authority to act in Gods name. Although we are going to go throughout life facing much hardship and temptaions of the world and the influences of other people it is hard to stand firm in our faith and to not waver. But i know that it is so important to be strong. Our hardships may not be as signifigant as Joseph Smith but if he could keep such great faith as he did at fourteen years old until he died going through all that he did then we most definitely can handle the opposition the Lord puts in our path. I know that if we face those trials the way that Joseph Smith faced restoring this church to the earth that we will be blessed in numerous ways and we will become an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord.

I'm so grateful to be out here serving the Lord and i'm so grateful to be a part of his team. We are all a part of a wonderful team with the Lord as our captain and he needs us to be faithful teammates in helping our brothers and sisters come closer to him. I know how important this work is and how important it is to share it with everyone. that is why we are here. We are here to help our friends... our brothers and sisters... that we once knew in the pre-earth life to come to know of the truth so we can all return back to our Heavenly Father. They are waiting for us and counting on us. We are all important members of this team and we all have an important job to do. The church is true! I love you all! Have a good week! XOXO

Sister Roosendaal  

June 1, 2013

Hey everyone!!!
Another week has flown by... the weeks get faster and faster every time it is crazy! But it has been such an awesome week! We found a couple new investigators and had some awesome experiences, i have learned a TON about how important the spirit is this week! So we got a referral from the elders last week and we spent a couple days trying to contact him... and one day we were just out tracting and we passed a big group of guys and just kept walking but my companion just all of a sudden stopped after we passed them and said that we needed to go back and talk to them.... so we turned around but it was too late, they were already gone. We felt terrible about it cuz we knew it was the spirit directing us back to them but they were gone. So the next day we were able to get in contact with the referral, his name is Dre and he is soooo sick. But anyway, turns out he was one of the guys that we passed by the day before and that we were supposed to go back and talk to! If we would have followed the spirit the first time and talked to them, then we would have been able to get in contact with Dre sooner and also be able to talk to all of his friends cuz he always tells us how he is trying to get his friends to come to church and try and help them change too. So the spirit is so important and if we would have just talked to them the first time we saw them and if we would have acted on the spirits prompting faster we would have been able to meet with Dre a lot sooner and also be able to talk to and meet his friends. I know that the spirit is real and so crucial to this work and although Dre is a new investigator and we still get to teach him, the spirit was just trying to help us out by helping us meet with him earlier and also his friends. But i'm just so excited for Dre and i just feel like he is so prepared and ready especially since the spirit is working so hard to get us to meet with him. he is obsessed with basketball, it is hilarious and he struggles with drinking and smoking but he is so ready to change and we have only taught him the restoration and he just wants to learn about the word of wisdom right away so he knows what he is going to have to do to change. haha its pretty funny. i'm way excited for him. We also met with Chris this week and he came to church yesterday too and loved it! He says that he wants to be baptized in august before he moves back to richmond for school! I am sooooo excited for him, he is so great and he just fit right in at church yesterday! We taught him this week the importance of church, scripture study, and prayer and although those are all really simple things and things that he already knows he should be doing.... after the lesson was over he told us that he now recognizes the importance of those three things and constantly striving to do them and i'm pretty sure he wasnt planning on talking about baptism or setting a specific time for it but i think it just unexpectedly came out of his mouth cuz he seemed so surprised after he said it! haha it was awesome!! I feel like i have taught about church, scripture study, and prayer a million times this week.... and i've learned so much about it and i'm so grateful i was able to teach so much about it. We met with a less active this week named Tanna.... the biggest sweetheart in the world! I was super nervous cuz i had no idea what to do or say to a less active to help them.... so i was just praying and praying the whole time for direction on what we could do to help her. Well, turns out the reason she hasnt been to church is cuz of her job, she works a lot on sundays.... but as she started working so much and not coming to church, she stopped praying and reading her scriptures and eventually all desire was lost to live this gospel and so she fell away for awhile and her life got kinda crazy and she says she just feels a huge hole in her life and she wants to come back. So the spirit just took over in that lesson.... we had no idea what we were going to say or teach before we went in there and i have never really done much with less actives so i had no clue what i was doing and that is why i know that the spirit took over in that lesson cuz what we told her and taught her brought her to tears and really touched her heart and helped her see and understand the importance of coming to church and the importance of reading and praying. Those three things are crucial for us to have a strong testimony and desire to live this gospel. They all seem so little and so simple and just typical sunday school answers but really without those three things in our life we end up falling off the path and end up feeling some sort of hole or emptiness in our lives. It was such a cool lesson, i was literally worn out by the end cuz the spirit was so strong and so powerful. I could truly feel heavenly fathers love for tanna... and he just wants her to come back to him, he just wants to hear from her and wants her to do those things that would bring her closer to him. We left her with a chapter to read in the b.o.m... cuz she said she would do better if she had something specific to read and what came out of my mouth was ether 12... and i wasnt really even sure what was in that chapter but it just kinda came out and this morning i read that chapter and realize how perfect it is for tanna and how the spirit was really working through me when we taught her and guess what! she came to church yesterday!! I asked her if she had read and prayed and she said yes and she got teary eyed and said that what she read in the bom was perfect and exactly what she needed! The spirit is soooo real and sooo amazing! I am so grateful for it... cuz without it we wouldnt be able to effectively help these people come closer to christ. the spirit knows them better than we do and its not anything i say or anything my companions say ... it is what the spirit says... and what the spirit says through us that converts people cuz heavenly father is aware of them and their needs! i know how important church, prayer, and scripture study are and i recognize that they must all be used together in order for us to have a strong testimony and to be living this gospel the way that we are supposed to. i know that if we continually do those things that our relationship with our heavenly father will be stronger and we will come to recgonize how much he truly does know and love us and he is just waiting to pour out blessings upon us if we will simply obey him and do what he says. he wants to give us everything and he wants to bless us but only if we will turn our hearts to him and do his will! One last thing... sorry this week has just been full of cool experiences. But we got a new investigator named Niko. He is also sooo awesome. we taught him downtown just on some steps outside in a grungy lookin place with people all over and i was worried that it would be difficult for the spirit to be there as we taught him cuz what was around us was so busy and so crazy but as we taught him it was almost as if no one was around. all the sounds, noises, and distractions of the world were completely blotted out and we were able to teach as if we were sitting in a quiet rooom. After we taught the restoration, Niko had tears in his eyes and a look on his face as if he had just found what he has been looking for his whole life. it was sooo amazing!!! He said he wants to get baptized and he has been reading the book of mormon and texting us with his questions! i am so excited for our investigators and the journey they are on and the journey they will begin when they enter the waters of baptism. There is no greater thing in this world than the gospel. It is soo true and so amazing and i know how important it is to live by it and i know that if we do we will be blessed and guided and continually watched over by our father in heaven who loves all of us soooooo much. I love being a missionary, there is no greater joy than helping others come to know of the truth and to help bring them to the gospel path that will guide and bless them for the rest of their lives. I know this is where i am supposed to be and i am soo happy i get to be here teaching the gospel! I know it is true, every bit of it! Happy 4th of July this week! have tons of fun at fish lake and the cabin, i cant wait to hear all about it!! Love you all sooo much!! Thanks for everything!! XOXO

Sister Roosendaal

 Sister Roosendaal in her trio