April 26, 2010

Re: Joy in the Journey 4-26-2010

Ok so you do write books but that's ok because I love hearing from you and yes it is very hard to write sometimes, well all the time because I don't have much time to do it. Everyone waits for you to finish your letter home so that they can leave.
Your pictures and box of fun will come soon. I only have P-days to get everything together and we don't have much time on p-days to get it pulled together, but I'm filling it and it will be fun!

Normal day: Run around like a chicken with his head cut off. lol
Wake up~ 6:30
Exercise till 7:00
Get ready~ 7-8
Personal study~ 8-9
Companionship study~ 9-10
Out the door by 10
Then the day could be filled with lots of things like tracting, appointments or whatever.
Lunch~ 1-1:30 or 2 (sometimes we get lunch or we take a snack or the lunch time gets moved so we can do more work.)
Lots of other running around talking to people all day.
Come home~ 9
Plan for next day~ 9
Bed time~ 10:30 (unless it's girls night then you stay up till 3am! never doing that again!)

So that is my normal day in a nut shell. Sundays are a different story and really it's just mass craziness!!!!!!! Sundays are hard for missionaries and I use to like them but now it's just a stress day to see if people will show up or get baptized or confirmed. This Sunday was good though. Kyara didn't get confirmed but we had three little kids get baptized, and there Mom will be next once she gets married. lol they were sooooo cute!!!! Love them!

So sorry I don't get full stories. It's hard to comment and then tell the story in so little time. You should just write down the stories I don't tell and ask me when I call on mother's day. Then I'll have something to say on the phone. lol

It's so weird Anna is getting married and in fact I already knew that from the Coffman's because they love me and tell me all the gossip. I love it! There is always something fun like that in their letters. I can totally imagine Heather saying it too. lol I'm sorry to hear about Michelle.

Sorry this letter is random. It's been a really crazy week and will continue that way. Have Dad forward his letter to you so you can see what the ward is like here. It's crazy and I love our ward back home and I hope you all are getting involved in missionary work. Mom I'm so happy you talked to Amanda's Mom. That is so sad. I didn't know that happened to her and her family. Pray for guidance and I know the words will come. Just bring her to church and she'll know. The ward is amazing back home!

I'm so happy to hear that the kids are doing well. The boys seem like there doing fantastic! I'm, so proud of them! I'm sending letters home to them in a box with stuff. I'm jealous you are going to Arizona but I guess you can go without me, I'll let you this time but next time you have to take me. Tell Tyler and Brandon hi for me and kiss the baby for me too!

I love you soo much and I know this letter doesn't say much about what is going on but everything is going great! We are doing the work and baptizing like crazy! This weekend made six for the transfer. God has blessed me so much and I don't know why! I love Him so much and thankful that I know that He is apart of my life and blesses me daily with little mercies to get me through. The people are enough. One person looked me strait in the eye and said "you are Eloheim." he was really weird, we then  told him he was wrong and left, but we laughed for the rest of the day. Another woman said she could see Jesus all over us. lol people are crazy here but so fun to talk to and share the gospel with.

I have to go but the Church is true so always share it!
love you!
~ your sister missionary~

To Dad,
I love my comp. she is amazing! We get along so well. I do like my ward but it is very small because 300 people in our ward are inactive!! Can you imagine that? We went to the bishop's house for dinner and it was a very good bonding experience. After dinner we went over our inactive or less-active list and man, we have a lot of work to do. Most people are not coming to church because they have been offended at one time or another. It's so stupid! People need to learn to let things go. One person got offended by how someone blessed their baby, in the blessing God said if the parents would stop smoking the baby would get well and they got mad but stopped smoking and that night the baby slept through the whole night and became well. Now the parents are smoking again and blame the reason for not coming back to church on the blessing when really it's because they are smoking again, plus if the Dad was worthy to give the blessing, this entire situation would have been avoided. So dumb, but because of him and the Mom 4 of their kids don't come to church and there extended family doesn't come either. So that is the whole ward in a nut shell. They mold the gospel to fit their way of life and then when someone points out that this isn't right they get offended and then never come back. But our PEC is amazing! We go to our wonderful mission leader's home every week on Sunday and they make us food and we go over the week and the people we have. I love him so much! His name is Brother Ward and he is amazing. He really loves the ward and he works really hard for the missionarys. He is a convert to the church so he knows how important the gospel is to someone's life that doesn't have it. He teaches gospel principles, and he gives rides to anyone who needs one to church or Wednesday night class. Sadly he is moving next week so we are losing him and I'm very sad. I'm scared to see who will fill his spot because there aren't a lot of people who are supportive of us in the ward and the way we go about missionary work but Brother Ward was on our side. Now we leave it in the Lords hands to see who will be the ward mission leader. God knows best and it will be just fine.

Thank you for your support~ I love reading your letters. I'm sad to hear about the destruction around the world but it's true. Christ is coming and I see it more and more every day. I'm not scared for his coming but rather look forward to it but the more I know that the time is near the more I'm pushed to do the work and fear for the people I teach and their unwillingness to accept the gospel. People are so stubborn in their own ways that they don't allow the spirit to testify to them of the truth of this gospel. I love it so much and there is so much work to be done but I know that with the Lord's strength I can do it. I love you so much and I'm thankful to have a Dad who holds the priesthood and reads and studies the scriptures and has taught me the right things in my life. I don't know where I would be without parents who care enough to push, to ask and to help me along in my life. I love you both so much!

The package is coming........ soon. lol
Love your sister missionary~

April 19, 2010

Pray like everything depends upon the Lord, work as if everything depends upon you!!‏ April 19, 2010

My Sweet Family~

I'm doing very well here in Whitehouse. We had another baptism on Sunday. Her name is Kyara Colonal and she is so awesome. We have been working with her for a while (when i mean a while it has been two weeks for me but for sister Joslin it has been I think four) she is a single Mom like most women here and her daughter is two and so very cute. She had a problem with the word of wisdom and she finally got over that and then was struggling with chastity. She had a fiancĂ©/boyfriend at the time and she didn't understand why it was so bad to sleep with him and we explained it over and over until finally the Lord stepped in and they had a fight and broke-up. That was so exciting for us cause that meant that she could get baptized but we would meet with her and she still said she had a problem with that and didn't know if she could be baptized but we committed her again to be baptized after talking to her almost every day. (We had dropped her twice but felt like we needed to go back and see her each time we dropped her.) She has read everything we gave her to read and she has kept all of her commitments so the only thing holding her back was her. So when we committed her again we brought that to her attention and she finally said yes to keep the law of chastity and be baptized, Sister Joslin and I both started to laugh and cry and were hugging like crazy and smiling through our tears. It was awesome and the spirit was there through the entire thing and told us what to say. It was amazing.

Two days later after Elder Brown interviewed her for her baptism we found out the reason why she felt like she couldn't keep the law of chastity was because she had been sleeping with men for money to pay her rent and food for her daughter. I never in a million years would picture that she of all people could do that. Before her baptism she broke down sobbing because she didn't know if she was good enough for baptism and she didn't know how she was going to pay for last month's rent this month's rent and a late fee on top of it as well as getting enough food for her baby girl. But we promised her that if she would keep the commandments and be baptized and continue doing what God would have her do, she would be blessed, and she was. She talked to the bishop about her situation and the church will help her until she can find a job, the bishop gave us a list of places we could go. We are going job hunting with her on Wednesday because she doesn't have a car and neither do her friends, plus she is a member now so we can drive her. I love her sooo much! I'm so happy for her and can already see a change and a start of a brand new life, pure and clean. I love it!!! Every time i witness a baptism I feel like I'm getting baptized and I feel renewed and clean all over again plus it's on Sunday after church so it's double replenishing for the rest of the week!! I love it!! This makes three baptisms here and one in Kingsland. Four so far and a million more to go! It's so fun!

I'm excited for Elder Pully to be transferred. It's nice to be in an area for so long because it becomes their home and you get to know the ward and the area really well, but it's good to be off to new land and new adventures.

Sister Joslin has been in this area for her entire mission thus far and she loves it here but we think this will be her last transfer here and then I'll stay and train. AHHH~ I don't know if that is true at all but it might be, so I'm preparing for it. Sister Joslin's first name is Marie and she is from California and i love her to death! She is so much fun and we already have plans to see each other after the mission and take a trip to Utah and Idaho together. She is a swimmer and taught before her mission. She has graduated from school as a film director? so you can imagine how much fun we have together! Oh and mom she loves old black and white movies like us and we quote them all the time and no one knows what we are talking about. I love it! We have a movie night planned when we get back. She is 25 and she does not look like it or act like it, in the sense that she is just so fun. I love her. Have I said that enough? I think not...

Our teaching pool is really small right now but this week we will be run tracting like crazy, literally running from door to door so that we have that much more time to find people. It's awesome! But there are 4 soon to be 5 people betting baptized this upcoming weekend, three kids who we have been seeing for awhile but the Mom won't be because she will not get married to the boyfriend she has lived with for six years, and has had four kids with! I don't get it. We also have a mother and daughter that showed up in church on Sunday and said they want to be baptized and we were like" how about next Sunday?" and the daughter said "sure" but the Mom is still thinking about it, so she is the soon to be 5. I'm praying that they all get baptized so badly. I would love to see the entire family get baptized with the three kids but what can we do, people have their own free agency.

I wrote Shanna a letter and sent her some pictures. I love hearing how everyone is doing and I hope my package will get to the family his week. I have to get some things in it before I can send it but soon Mom it will be out. I love you and the whole family so much! This work is nothing short of a miracle and everyday that I go out and work my hardest I see miracle. I love this work more than anything in the world! We had to drop a family the other day because after 7 years of being absent from the family, the Mother shows up and decides that no one is getting baptized because the family is Baptist. I was so angry and hurt. I couldn't believe it! She showed up out of nowhere and the family was so excited to be baptized and she comes and changes everything. I hate how Satan thinks he can change things and do what he wants! AHHH! It is not fun when it happens and I explain the pain as being worse than the worse brake up I have ever had and Mom you know how bad that break-up was, and it's worse than that, because this is for eternity and you are sometimes there only hope or shot at the gospel. It just hurts my heart sometimes, But like I said, people have their own free agency to do whatever they want. but even through all the down i have had thus far, I would do it all over again just to see people feel and look as happy as kyara did when she was baptized. It was so sweet and I almost cried at the baptism. she was soooooo cute!!! I love her!!! I'll have to send you pictures with the package. I love you all so much and am proud of the missionary work you all do.

P.S. I'm excited for Molly and Kaitlyn to get there calls and feel what I feel here. I think they will both go foreign.

I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!~

~Love your sister missionary~

April 12, 2010

A little to Mom a lot to Christopher April 12, 2010

I dont have alot to write this week cause there isn't a lot going on but read Christopher's letter and you'll get how I'm feeling. I feel bad this is really really short but you'll get a tape from me and feel all better. I really dont have a long time to write and a lot of people wait on me to finish so I have to get off but I wanted to send you something, so i'm sending you this "muah" that is a kiss from me to you!

I love you mom so much! you give me a lot of support that I'm so thankful for. both you and Dad. I'm again so sorry this short.
love your sister missionary~

To Christopher:
Re: love you!‏

Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!! I'm beaming and I look like an idiot sitting here on the computer smiling to myself but I don't care! You are so stinkin cute and I can't wait until you're on a mission and can see what it's like.

I didn't get your letter you sent or maybe it was an e-mail but don't worry if it's a letter I'll get it on Thursday. I have a new address now and i can't remember it but I sent it to mom so she has it.

I'm so happy that you are going out with the missionaries a lot cause I wish I would have done that before I left. I had no idea the way they taught or how they did door approaches but I figured it out. Every mission is different when it comes to the door approaches. It's crazy here cause we invite people to be baptized at the door, but don't worry about that in the MTC. They don't really teach you because you don't really need to know it until you're out there in the field. The MTC was fun and you might get sick of it because you'll see everyone leave before you but it's all in the attitude, you'll be there for awhile so make it fun and do your best. Don't be so hard on yourself if you can't do it right the first time because no one gets it right the first time. Just keep studying preach my gospel; especially the first lesson. I think it's in red, but just go over my letter that I sent you when i was in the MTC. Most of my advice is in there. One thing you will learn is that people and companions can be a lot of drama. Just stay away from that and love your comp no matter what. Never gossip because that is what people will know you by and you're not like that anyway, but people will ask you what you think about this person or that girl and you just say something nice and that is it. The MTC can either be a training center for what you want to be or it can be high school all over again without the learning that you need. You choose.

There are going to be cute girls there but don't flirt with them, protect them. There will be a lot of guys that will talk bad about sisters or say stupid things but be the one that protects them and defends them because when you do, you're protecting me. Whenever you see a sister, think of me and treat them like your sister. Oh by the way they will ask you a lot about why you came on a mission, figure out why you're really on a mission and write it down. Not just cause you always wanted to go or cause it's the right thing to do but why do YOU want to go? Then pray and make a goal of how many people you want to baptize on your mission and then do it. It doesn't matter where you serve, God will give you that number; therefore he will help you accomplish it. It's important to have that Goal set in your mind so it will always push you forward.

I love you so much and I'm excited for you!! Stay strong and do your best. Don't just be a good missionary, be a great missionary. There is a difference. One has a desire and tries and one sacrifices and does the work. Which one are you going to be? Your mission is filled with choices that you will have to make and make fast. Do I talk to that person, do I obey, do i say this, and do I ask that? You decide. Make the decision now what kind of missionary you want to be because if you don't decide now than you will waste a year of your mission (like some other elders do) figuring out who you are and what you want to be and there will be a lot of bad habits to break instead of building on good ones. There are people who served in this mission who were what we call "the Greats". They were never really the smartest or best looking but they had all the faith in the world that they could accomplish whatever was before them. They baptized in the 90's and set a standard for the mission and they ended up all becoming assistants to the president. Is that going to be you? I hope it is Christopher because I see it in you. Don't be shy and don't back down. There is this quote I want you to look up and print out in big letters and put it on your wall and take it with you to the MTC and mission so you will always be reminded of what your working toward. It's called "the fellowship of the unashamed" This is my favorite quote ever! It is now my motto for the rest of my mission and I hope it will be yours too. This can be and will be you depending on the choices you make. I love you so much! *(oh and get a flag of your mission so that people can sign it when they leave or you leave, I wish i would have done it, it's a way sweet idea.)
I'm so excited for you and jealous that you get to go to Arizona. They will definitely teach you a thing or two. Didn't' they go to the same mission? Anyways they can teach you a little Spanish and tell you what to wear!!!!!! Oh my gosh you're going through the temple!

April 5, 2010

Re: Happy Easter!! April 5, 2010

I have been transferred to Whitehouse in Florida. It's not exactly in Whitehouse because it's so big but it's like the Westside of Jacksonville, It's hard to explain. My new companion is sister Joslin. She is 25 very cute and I love her already! She is the most loving person I have ever met. She reminds me of BreAnne that way. We have a lot of fun and she laughs all the time. Oh and we room with two other sisters. It's the only 4 room sister area in the mission. Our roomies are sister kitchen, this is her first area and her trainer sister Johnson!!! I know we are still together! I have realized though that God gives me patience for each companion that I have and when they are not my companion it's a different story; but I love everyone! They are so great! I'm still getting to know our zone leaders Elder parker and elder Garnett. Our district leader is elder Brown and I have only met him once but we see the zone leaders a lot because sister Joslin is very close with them because she has been in this area her entire mission; 5 transfers!!!! That's crazy but people love her here.

I got your package and I love the Skirt!!!! It's still a little long cause it goes to my ankles but it is so cute and it looks really good on. I love it. I wore it my first day here. I like the candy too but I'm trying to stay skinny. Oh and I did the scripture egg thing and messed up and had to start it over again but I loved it! I explained to my comp about how we do it at home and she was so jealous. I love my family!!

Speaking of family, General conference was all about family! I think God is telling us something. If anything else it tells us how important the work is right now. The more I'm out on my mission the realization set's in that these are the last days and you don't have time to sit back or mess up. If you mess up you may not have the time to fix it and come back, Well you always have time cause that is the entire reason for the atonement but don't turn back just press forward, enjoying and learning to the end!.

I love it here! The people are so ready to hear the Gospel; they eat it up and want to change. Matt ended up getting baptized before we left which was so sweet! It was perfect. After he was baptized and in the font he got up and was like "that was it?" we all started to laugh, but we explained to him that that wasn't it but just the beginning. He's preparing to go to the temple and receive the priesthood!! I'm so excited for him. I hope the elders that took our place won't screw it up, lol I'm sure they will be just great as long as they follow the spirit. Oh and two people were baptized here yesterday. Nick and Nikki. a daughter and father. I met them 4 days ago and they had been to church were interviewed and baptized! It was so awesome. there older sister Debra was baptized 3 months ago and I already feel really close to their family~ I love them so much and I want the best for them.

Oh, ok so finances have been crazy, why can't I use my personal account? One time or another, the mission card didn't work because the money didn't come in time before I got things at the store, I keep all my receipts, but you have to understand that we go shopping every week and when you get transferred you leave all your food and start over. It's a pain in the butt. I didn't think I was getting transferred so I bought a lot of groceries before the transfer and had to leave them behind! Never again!! I was mad but I didn't think about it or care at the time. All I cared about was that I was leaving my area. It was really weird to leave but i think this will be a very good transfer and sister Joslin needed me to step in for her. She thinks she'll be transferred next transfer and then I'll stay but we will see; you never know.

I love my family so much and am thankful for your support and all the prayers you send my way. I hope everything is going good and I'm almost done with my tape to send home! I think you will love it. One side is from last transfer and one side is from this transfer. It's very fun.

I love you!!!

~~your sister missionary~~

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