On the 10th of this month Macy has been out for 6 months!! Yeah! We were thinking it would be fun to have her mailbox flooded with letters. Please write just a little note to her, it would make her day!
Her address is:
100 Lakeview Park Rd apt 29
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
How is everyone doing? Transfers are this week... again. Can't believe it! But Sister Jones and i will be enduring another six weeks of this awesome area :) haha this week has been great like always. Conference was so good! I hope you all got a chance to watch it! I'm so sad its over but i cant wait to study the talks these next 6 months! It is crazy how you can feel like almost every talk is directed just towards you! Thats how you know... the church is true.!
Haha anyway, Crissy is doing so awesome we had an amazing lesson with her this week. She opened right up to us and just told us how before we knocked on her door that one day that right before things were so hard and she was about ready to give up. It is so cool to see how the lord has been preparing her! She is reading the book of mormon like crazy and loving it and i dont think i have ever seen anyone so excited to watch general conference. She kept telling us how since she has been meeting with us she has recognized a huge difference in her life, she said that people at work and even her husband recognize how much happier she is. The lord is blessing her right and left.... she is even being promoted at work because her co-workers recognize how much better she is doing and they want her to work in different departments to get higher up and she works with a member and on their breaks at work they read the book of mormon together and talk about the church. Great right? oh just wait, it gets better. So we show up to our lesson this last week and she is sitting on her porch smoking and of course my initial thought "oh no" and it was stressing me out the whole lesson until she finally mentioned that she is trying to stop smoking cuz she has really bad health and so she was praying for help and strength to be able to stop smoking and right after the phone rang, and it was some healthcare people telling her that they were sending in the mail all these things to help her stop smoking cuz she needs to get off of nictotine as soon as possible. okay, go ahead and tell me the lord isnt just opening the doorway for her to baptism and just pouring out blessings. I saw a completely different crissy this past week. She is just lit up cuz she knows that this gospel can save her. It will save her from all of the hard things she is going through right now. It will make her burdens lighter and she knows that its true without a single doubt. She calls us her guardian angels and it was just one of the most humbling experiences hearing her tell us all about how her life has been blessed in just a couple of weeks and i just cant wait to see all the many more blessing she will receive if all that has happened in the last 2 weeks continues! This work is amazing. It is moments like those where i know i am needed here and i know that my companion and i were supposed to find her!
So one of my favorite things to teach people is about the pre-earth life and how we lived with our father in heaven before we came to this earth and we knew him and loved him and had a testimony of his gospel. i love to think about that and i love to picture all of us just so excited to embark on our journey here on earth. we all chose to come here and we were pumped!! We wanted to come and show to our heavenly father how faithful we could be and we wanted to live this gospel and do all that we could to return home to him... but we all knew that it would be hard. we had no idea what we would experience or go through here on earth. We didnt know what our struggles would be and we didnt know how we would make it through but we came. We knew it would be one of the hardest things we ever did and that we had to exercise our agency in a way that was aligned with our heavenly fathers plan. Well, if you think about it.... that is a pretty similar experience and feeling that those who are on missions or already served have felt here on earth. We get all excited to open our mission calls and awaiting the time to leave and report to the mtc just as we were excited to report here on earth. We have feelings of excitement but fear. We knew that it would be one of the hardest things we ever did and not knowing what to fully expect we chose to come here, to serve a full time mission for the lord. I have chosen to be here. Just like we have all chosen to be here on earth. I knew it would be hard. I knew it wasnt always going to be easy, but i knew it would be worth it. And i am here to show my faith in jesus christ and to do all i can to not only get myself back to live with him but others as well. I imagine heavenly father had similar feelings to what my mom and dad felt as i walked away from that curb at the mtc... watching his children pass through the veil, choosing to follow him and come here and wondering if we would return back home to him. I know i will return back home in a year or so and one day back with my heavenly father.... but not until i fulfill what it says in 2 tim. 4:7 i have fought a good fight, i have kept the faith, i have finished my course with joy (something like that) that was a scripture that was mentioned in conference that really stood out to me. I invite you all to continue on this path back to heavenly father so that when we are kneeling at his feet we can feel the way it says in that scripture. We will be able to feel that we kept the faith the best we could and that we tried our very hardest. Things arent always easy but i know we are given certain struggles and trials are placed in our lives for a reason and the lord is aware of us and is cheering us on to return back home to him. I'm so grateful to be here! Love you all sooo much!! Have a great week! XOXO
A great week has flown by yet again! It has been awesome and i've learned so much. We are teaching a lot of people and finding a lot of people and are just working hard on getting them to progress and come to church! its a constant struggle. Haha but they will get there :) We had an awesome experience this past week with one of our new investigators named Crissy. We tracted into her a couple weeks ago and she didnt seem super interested but she set up a return appt. anyway... so we got to go back this week and she is so awesome!! She told us that when we knocked on her door a couple weeks ago that it was the perfect time and that this is exactly what she has been looking for. She has been a part of a couple different churches but said that she never felt like she was truly at home. AND... she even tried to order a book of mormon a while ago from a tv commercial she saw but nobody ever brought her one. I guess you could say we were pretty stoked for her to finally have one. She is so excited to read it and find out for herself. She has been going through a really rough time lately and has a lot going on and she actually works with a member and she told the member that we knocked on her door and the member said if anything was going to help... that it would be to meet with us. She is so accepting of everything and she just kept saying that it felt right and that it was what she needed to do. Ah i loved it. It is just so awesome cuz we had an appointment fall through the day we knocked on her door and we just felt like we should tract her street. It was all the spirit. The spirit is real! :) She has agreed to be baptized and i'm so pumped for her.!
Also, this week as we were cruising around on our bikes.... we were headed to see an investigator but as we passed a street that a member lived on we both felt like we needed to go see them. We found them outside looking for some jumper cables so we told them we would go find them some (they were a little hesitant to knock on their neighbors door and ask... and since we knock on random doors all the time we thought we could do the dirty work for them haha) Anyway, we found some and took them back but turns out they didnt need the cables... another neighbor did so we went over to take them to who needed it and were able to help her and her family out with their car but the coolest part about this really random story is that the little girl who lived there who is like 8 kept telling us that her old babysitter taught her about God all the timea and that she wants to know more about him. The mom was a little hesitant of having us help them but that little girls desire to learn more softened her moms heart and we got their number and will hopefully be able to teach them sometime :)
I heard a great quote this week that a swimmer once said "I kick when i dont want to kick, and i stroke when i dont want to stroke" i love that cuz i think a lot of times in life we have to go through things that we dont necessarily want to or things that are very hard for us but we do them anyway and we get through it. But what i learned this week is that it is easier to do it and get through those things with heavenly father on our side and by humbling ourselves enough to let him in and help us. It isnt always easy but i know that if we are always doing our best to remember him and our savior and his atoning sacrifice that we will be able to watch heavenly father carry us through things that we never thought possible. Each week we renew our baptismal covenants of "always remembering him" and as we do so we will "have his spirit to be with us" i know that if we each strive a little hard to always remember him that our hearts will be softened and our burdents will be made lighter because we are turning to the savior and relying on him. He didnt die and sacrifice for us for nothing. He did all that he did so that we could experience the joy that the atonement has to offer and to also be able to experience help and strength during the hard times.
I cant believe that a year ago the historic announcement was made of lowering the age for missionary service. I will forever be grateful for that announcement and will never forget that day when my world was flipped upside down. I wouldnt trade any of the experiences, good and bad for anything in the world since i've been out here on my mission. Idk where i would be or what i would be doing if i werent out here but i know that i wouldnt be nearly as happy or learning as much as i am now. I am so grateful to be here serving the lord. I'm so grateful to be able to be wrapped up in this gospel constantly for 18 whole months. I know that i am here in virginia for a reason and i know that announcement was made when it was for a reason. i know that this church is true, i know that president monson is a prophet of god and that he receives revelation to lead and guide this church to help the work move forward. I will forever be grateful to be a part of that work! Have a great week! XOXO
Hey ya'll hey
Another week has flown by here in ghettosville. Things are going great! The work is really picking up and there is always something to laugh about every day. I just love it. Well, as you will be able to tell from the picture there is a reason we are wearing helmets... yep, you guessed it... BIKES. We are on bikes. hahaha. I know ya'll would pay good money to see me attempt to ride a bike in a skirt. Whoever thought that one day in life one of my biggest concerns would be getting my skirt caught in the wheel of a bike? I'm sure we have given this town a good laugh this past week. Haha, we still have a car, we just are out of miles so we are biking around doing our best. I love it. It is so fun to be on a bike and so easier to talk to people! Haha
Anyway, this week has been awesome and we have been working super hard. I told you last week about the lady we met at the funeral? Yeah, well her name is Pat and we have been trying to meet with her all week but she has been having a really hard time. Since she started reading the book of Mormon satan has been working very very hard on her and she had a really hard week this week so we couldn't meet with her. She is so awesome though, she calls us every day and tells us how much she loves us and how she just cant wait to meet with us and learn more but we weren't sure if that would ever happen cuz of all the craziness going on in her life so we decided to just go and see her yesterday and it was so awesome!! It was so good to see her, it is crazy how much love you can have for a person after only meeting them once but she really is so amazing and so prepared. She has been prepared these last 8 years since she met with missionaries last and the faith that she has blows me away. Through everything that she has gone through this past week the whole week she just kept telling us "it is all going to work out, God is aware of me and he wont let me down" Man, I wish I had faith like her. That was a huge lesson I learned that no matter when things are hard to just have faith that Heavenly Father is aware of us and that he won't let us fail if we are doing our very best. He is going to let us struggle so that we can grow but I know that he wont ever let us down! By the time we left her house yesterday she was glowing and just kept telling us that we saved her from the slump that she was in and that we had given her more hope that everything is going to work out. She is incredible and I know that we may not be able to help her with the things she is struggling with but what can help is the gospel and the message that we share. I am so excited for her and this journey she has begun to learn more about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, she is on the right path and I cant wait to help her continue on it.
We got a referral awhile ago from the Hermanas... they were at social services translating for some people and they saw a girl that they felt impressed to talk to.... well they didn't talk to her and felt bad that they didn't so they left a pass along card on her car with their number on it and she called them right up after she got it and wanted to learn more about the church! So we were able to meet with her this week and she is just struggling with so much right now. A lot of people.... even the ward.... think that if you are wearing a name tag that they can just tell you their whole life story... every little detail of it. Haha I love it. So she told us what was going on and being the 20 year old that I am with little experience in life, I sat there thinking "how in the world are we going to be able to help this girl with all that is going on in her life?" then it occurred to me that I may not be able to help her with all those things she is going through but the gospel can and my calling and my purpose is to teach her and help her come closer to our savior so she can feel of the power of his infinite atonement to help her better deal with the things going on in her life. It was a humbling experience to me that no matter what anyone is going through that this gospel can help them. It doesn't matter what circumstances they are living in or what they are going through cuz this message that we as members of the church can help ANYONE. it is the answer to everything.... it just takes a little effort and faith to be able to feel the effects that this gospel, the book of Mormon, the atonement, etc can have and impact ones life. The gospel is the answer to everything. It isn't always easy, but it is worth it.
I had a sweet experience yesterday... this transfer has been crazy. Just one thing after another keeps happening haha and my companion and I cant really figure out why. The adjustment from Charlottesville to here has been rough and very different. It is the exact opposite of Charlottesville and i'm still trying to get used to it while my companion is still trying to get used to just being a missionary in general. In sacrament meeting yesterday we got to speak and my companion got up and started talking about when they changed the age for missionaries and I just felt an overwhelming feeling of the spirit and of comfort.... thinking back to when my world was flipped upside down cuz of that decision I got to make about whether to serve or not and just thinking about how hard it has been but how worth it it has been all at the same time. It really got me thinking and as I felt the spirit so powerfully, tears came to my eyes and I heard a voice tell me "I need you here more than anything" I've never heard anything more clear in my life. It took me back to when I decided I was going on a mission and how happy and excited I was and how happy and excited you all were for me. It just reminded me how important it is that I am here.... all of me here not one foot in the world and one foot in my mission. The Lord needs everything I have and I am going to give it to him! I am so grateful to be here and I know this is where I am supposed to be! I love it! I love you all sooo much!! Have a great week ! XOXO
Hope ya'll had a great week.... we had an awesome week! There is so much work to be done in this area and we are super busy!! It is awesome!! I've never been so busy in my life. I love it. This area has so much potential and there are soooo many people here that need the gospel and they are so humble and willing to listen!! We have been finding people like crazy and referrals have literally just fallen into our lap this week, it has been amazing! There are so many people in this area that are prepared and ready to hear the gospel. We are teaching this couple... tom and chris... tom is 66 and Chris is 46 and they have a ten month old baby (ahhh) haha but they are soooo awesome! Ah I love them so much. I'm so excited for them. We taught them the plan of salvation this last week and they were blown away. They couldn't even comprehend everything we told them and they are still discovering if this is true and if it is the path for them.... but at the end tom said something pretty cool. He told us how great the message has been that we have shared with them and that they want it to be true and that they have a lot of praying to do! He told us that he could see the truth of this gospel in our faces! He could see it burning in our eyes and that he wanted to feel that same way and act on the feelings and the spirit we had brought into their home! It was really cool and a huge testimony to me and definitely increased my testimony after hearing that.
So this week we had a funeral for someone in our ward and we were at the church afterwards eating food and this lady came up to some members and was like "You apart of the church of jesus Christ of latter day saints?" and they were like "ya of course" and she said "Missionaries used to come over to my house but they stopped comin and I want them to come again!!" Turns out it has been 8 years since she met with missionaries and she kept telling us how she doesn't like her Baptist church because the people are hypocrites and that she wants to be a part of a church where the people are real and live what they teach and help and serve one another. So we talked to her a bit and gave her a book of Mormon and she was sooo excited! She kept saying how she was going to go home and read the whole thing and that she couldn't wait. I'm not sure she can get anymore golden... she is going to be walking herself to the font pretty soon. Ha so we get to meet with her this week and she has already made friends with a few members and she has called us every day since we met telling us what she read in the book of Mormon and how much she loves it and how much she loves us and cant wait for us to come over and teach her! I still cant believe that has happened, she is so amazing and so prepared! It is so crazy to think that those missionaries 8 whole years ago left such a lasting influence on her and they obviously planted a seed that has been growing and now that seed is ready to be harvested! I know that there are so many prepared people here and that the Lord is preparing people all over the world! It is crazy to think about all those people I have come in contact with where it hasn't worked out or they weren't prepared and to think that just them coming in contact with the missionaries is preparing them and that when they are ready someone else will come along and finish the work and will be able to do so successfully because of the impression that I leave on people. I know that we can all be examples of this gospel to those who don't have it in their lives and even though it may not seem like you are leaving an impression you really are! We are all so lucky to be apart of this gospel and to know what we know. There is no shame in living the way we do and having the standards that we do. We are so blessed!
So I heard this story awhile ago and i'm sorry if I have already shared it but this sister in the mission told of an experience she had with the provo tabernacle that burnt down. She said that she would go to that tabernacle all the time and she loved it and spent lots of time there. She was really upset that it burnt down because of one little mistake of someone just leaving a light on. She didn't understand how one little mistake could cause such a beautiful building to crash to the ground. When it burnt down she was going through a really hard time in her life and she felt like her world had burned to the ground just like that building.... but after she found out they were going to build a temple in place of the tabernacle she decided that even though it felt like her life had burned to the ground.... that she could rise from the ashes and become something more and something beautiful like the temple. I have been thinking a lot about this lately just because so often things happen in our lives that can easily get us down and make us feel like we aren't worth much but I know that we all have the potential to overcome those ashes in our lives and to be able to turn them into strengths to help us recognize the potential we have and the potential that our heavenly father sees in us. He sees us as temples. He created each of us in his own image and he loves us all so much. Our worth is the same to him whether or not things are going well in our lives or if things aren't going as good. He still sees us as the same and still loves us so much. I know this to be true and I know that we all have a divine potential to become what our heavenly father sees in us. I know he loves each of you all so much and I know that we are worth more than we can ever comprehend to him.
The work is going so good here and I am PUMPED for this week. I'm loving the work, I love being a missionary and I am so grateful to be here! I know I am supposed to be here for a reason! I love you all have a good week! XOXO
Hey ya'llllll hey!!!
Well i'm not sure i can even put into words what kind of week we have had! Ha it has been crazy! But crazy good of course. I have never laughed so hard in my life about the most uncomfortable and awkward situations we have encountered. This area i am serving in is definitely an adjustment and just so different than anything i have ever experienced in my life. It is really teaching me a lot, especially about just making and enjoying the good of any and every situation. That's something i have really learned a lot about this week is to just slow down and enjoy where i am at. I know i've talked about this before, but man for some reason it is something that is super easy to forget sometimes! We were in the hospital this week with a lady in our ward (we are at the hospital a lot) haha and she was just telling us how guilty she felt for just rushing through life and not stopping to take in the moments that matter most and to just enjoy the situations she is put in and the people she is surrounded by. I learned a lot from her talking and just realiized how easy it is to take so many things for granted. This area we are in ..... well lets just say i feel like i'm in a foreign country most times just cuz of the poverty that is around and just seeing the way that people are living. Yeah, it could be worse definitely but it is still pretty bad. It is so humbling to me and i'm so grateful to be serving in this area. Yeah, it is hard. and it is not perfect, but this work that i am doing is perfect and this message i carry is so significant. i just look around all the time at the people here and they just all need this gospel so bad! it kills me. It can bless their lives in so many ways and bring some hope that seems to be so lost back into their lives. It is interesting serving here where there are tons of civil war sites and everyone is still scarred from the war and they still let it affect their lives. This town is pretty gloomy and people arent very happy. it is so crazy! But i really am so grateful to be here. It is soooo beyond different from my last area but i love the people here. I love who they are and i love that i can help bring some light back into their lives by the message that i carry. I need the people here. I need them probably more than they need me. They have already taught me so much... just people i come in contact with every day and even ward members. It is so humbling to hear the many stories they have and the many different situations they are put in and the hard things they have to go through.
The work is slowly picking up here. We are struggling to find people cuz petersburg is a ghost town and isnt safe to walk around and talk to the couple people that will randomly be roaming the streets and tracting for the most part isnt safe...well there are some safe areas but president has just given us a whole other set of rules for this area so we can stay safe. Anyway, its all great. But we were trying to contact just some less actives the other day and we drove by this random house and i just felt like we needed to stop and knock on the door at just that one house. It didnt look like anyone was home so my companion probably thought i was just a little crazier than she already thinks i am. So we knock on the door and wait..... we knock again and wait... and we start to turn around when the door swings open and there is this sweet girl who actually lives with members and has always wanted to be taught by the missionaries. She is super lonely cuz she is from brazil and her whole family is still there and she is the only one here so we invited her to activities and she was so giddy and excited and we are going back to teach her this week. Just a small miracle we had this week as we are struggling to find and i just know that the lord is preparing people here and i know that he will lead us to those who are ready... it may not be in the ways that we think but i know that they will come as long as we are doing our part as missionaries and being worthy to have the spirit.
Anyway, things here are going good. Just remember that the Lord is always by your side no matter what you are going through. There MUST be opposition in all things! In order for us to learn and grow and truly rely on the savior and his atonement! We must have opposition just as the people in the scriptures always did that is why we can always turn to the scriptures and learn! To talk to god we must pray, and if we want him to answer we must turn to the scriptures! No matter how hard things get, how crazy busy they get, or how stressful just remember to take some deep breaths and just take in and enjoy the moments that matter most in this life. With the Lord on our side EVERYTHING will always work out the way it is supposed to! I know that to be true! I know i am called of God to serve as a missionary and in this area. I'm so grateful to be here. I'm so grateful for the people here and the things i am learning. Like i said earlier, i need these people more than anything and the things they are teaching me will forever change me and the person i am. I love you all so much. have a good week!!!! XOXO
Well it has been a crazy week and i have been transferred from Charlottesville! I am now serving in the appomattox ward near petersburg and colonial heights and such, just about 20 miles south of richmond. I definitely miss charlottesville and i'm so grateful for the experiences i had there, the people i met, and the many many things i learned! It has been such an amazing experience and i am excited to work here in this new area and see what the Lord has in store for me! I am training a brand new missionary again, fresh off the plane just less than a week ago. Her name is Sister Jones and she is from Denver, Colorado. She is awesome and we are having lots of fun figuring out this new area together. We are obviously both new to the area so we are trying to figure everything out and trying to find people to teach and get things goin!
So i guess you could basically say that i am servinig in total hicktown. It is pretty entertaining. Sisters havent served in this area or ward for many many years. In fact, people we have met and even ward members didn't even know sister missionaries existed so they are just eating us right up and are really excited to have us here. We had little girls on Sunday run up to us like we were movie stars cuz they want to be missionaries someday too they had just never seen a "real" sister missionary. It's crazy cuz i was actually reading an article a while ago somewhere probably from the ensign about an experience someone had when they were in the MTC and he said that when he was walking to the temple there was a little girl they walked by and she whispered to her mom "is that a REAL missionary?!" haha i love that story because he goes on to say from that moment on that he would always be a "real" missionary in everything he did and said. That story really affected me most especially since i've been in this area because people are so amazed that sisters serve missions too that i want to make sure i am being a REAL sister missionary. That i am always doing what the Lord expects me to be doing and being a strong example for the people who are always watching and observing us as missionaries....and also that i am being exactly obedient in everything i do and testifying with power and the spirit to those who dont have the gospel in their lives. Cuz if i'm not doing what i am supposed to and not being a "real" missionary then the work doesnt move forward and nothing gets accomplished out here. So i will always be striving to be the best real missionary i can be so that i can be an example to the people here of what a real sister missionary is like since most of them had no clue we existed :)
The area we are serving in has a lot of work to be done! There are about 700 members and only 100 or so are active. So we have plenty to do! Haha the ward is very different. Most of them are converts and they are such amazing and humble people... i am excited to get to know them all a little better. Everyone and their dog around here is baptist so our ward is very "baptist" i guess you could call it. Throughout sacrament meeting when people are talking the whole audience is nodding and "mmmm hmmm ing" in agreement to what they are saying and people will even randomly yell out "amen!" or some other odd things. Haha It is like nothing i have ever experienced before thats for sure! But i can tell i am going to have some awesome stories out of this area! Ha i am excited to strengthen this ward and to figure out why the Lord needs me here! It is going to be awesome.
I just want you all to know that i really am loving being a missionary. I wouldnt trade any of the experiences i have had for anything in the world. It has been so cool to truly rely on the Lord when you have absolutely no idea what else to do. I can testify that he is there by your side throughout whatever your going through or how hard it may seem. He cares so much about each of us and is just waiting for us to turn to him and let him help us. He will carry you through whatever your going through. He will strengthen and uplift you in ways that you never thought possible. He is right there by your side! I know he is cuz i have felt him so powerfully in my life ever since i got here in virginia. I know how much he cares about each of us especially those who dont have the gospel and he just wants all of his children to return back home to him! I'm doing by best out here to help my brothers and sisters find their way onto the straight and narrow path that will lead them back to their heavenly home. i am so grateful for this opportunity to serve and to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I know this church is true, i know i carry and that we all as members of the church carry the most important message in the world or whatever area we are in. We have the most important message that everyone needs to hear, so we must share it by either opening our mouths or just living and being an example of this gospel. I love you all so much and hope you all have such a good week! Thanks for all your support! XOXO