Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015
|Gabby and Sister King wishing Mom a Happy Birthday!|
Super sorry but I don't have a ton of time today. We have been pretty busy and myldsmail was down for a while today so not a lot of time but here is a quick update:
So pretty much if you want an update of what we have been doing, we have been doing a LOT of tracting. We have been pushing the church's new Because He Lives initiative. If you haven't watched that video yet, do it now!
also while you are at it watch this one from last year. MY FAVE
Being a missionary at Easter time is the best because people are a lot more open to hearing what we have to say. People that usually would slam the door in our faces will listen for at least a second. That is the thing about Wausau- most people here are already very religious. Everyone is either Lutheran or Catholic. It makes me so happy to see people that have faith in the Savior. In Milwaukee and especially in Madison I met a lot of atheists or people that just didn't care. So we have been telling people about this Easter video to try to add to their Easter experience.
Selfie with our local Jehovah's Witnesses!
|How I felt about our empty mail box|
Me with Holden's Flat Stanley
My favorite scripture about Christ's resurrection is in Mosiah 16:
7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
The sting of death is swallowed up in Christ! He overcame both spiritual death and physical death as well. Because of Him, we will get to be united as a family again in our perfect resurrected bodies. And the amazing thing about this is that resurrection is a gift for everyone here on earth no matter what choices they made. Man, Christ must love us a lot.
We met with our new investigator this week. He was just sitting outside his house and I went up and started talking to him. He is recently divorced and having a really hard time. We testified of the Book of Mormon and he accepted a return appointment to learn more. We have taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and he came to church yesterday! So more to come on him.
The women's broadcast this past weekend was a huge highlight for me. LOVED the focus on the family. Though it did make me miss my family, especially because is was Mom's birthday. But like I said before, we will all be together forever. So no big. Favorite thing that I learned from that meeting- God has a plan for each of us, but He also has His timetable. Something that is always good to keep in mind.
The broadcast made me even more STOKED for general conference coming up this weekend. General conference is seriously like Christmas morn for a missionary. So sad that this is my last one! Excited to hear what all of you think about conference this year!
Also- I thought I would share with you something that Sister Hammatt shared with me this week. I guess they had a Jerusalem expert come to their mission to teach them about Jesus Christ.
Apparently there is a sign in the Garden of Gethsemane that says, "You have never before been to this place, but your sins have."
I love that! The Savior truly suffered for each of our sins. He loves us so much. So grateful for this Easter season that we have to celebrate that. And what better way to celebrate than hearing from his prophet on the earth today.
Love you all! Happy Easter and Happy General Conference!
Monday, March 23, 2015
Another week come and gone. I can hardly believe it.
So for starters- we found out about transfers this Wednesday. Sister Weaver and I are going to be staying here together another transfer in Wausau! YAY! That is what we thought was probably going to happen. But you can never be sure. So it is nice to know! :) But there was a sister training leader area that did close down so we are going to be picking up a couple of new sets of sisters that we go on exchanges with and stuff so that should be interesting. Gonna get to travel around the state a little more so that should be fun! Exhausting, but fun. :) The next transfer I believe is going to be on May 6.
This week was pretty cool.
Tuesday we got to meet with True. Do you remember her? She is the one that I talked about last week that we pulled over to help her with her car. Well, we set a baptismal date with her this week! We went over and taught her the Restoration and she loved it! There is still a lot that we have to teach her and a long way to go, but she has a day that she is working toward. She is a cute little Hmong lady and she is so kind to us! So hope that all goes well with her as we continue to teach her this week.
Wednesday we met a new investigator. The Elders in our ward had been teaching her dad, but he wasn't that interested. We decided to try stopping by his daughter's house to see if we might have more luck with her. She let us right in and we were able to teach her the Restoration. Her boyfriend has decided to sit in on the lessons too! They loved the Restoration so much, that they wanted us to come back the very next day on Thursday to teach them the next lesson! So we set a baptismal date with her has well. Her boyfriend is not as willing to work toward baptism. But we know that the Spirit will soften his heart. :)
It was cool though because our zone (like I talked about last week) set the goal for every area in our zone to set a new baptismal date before L. Tom Perry was going to come. OUR ZONE WAS ON FIRE THIS WEEK! We doubled our goal for baptismal dates. It was absolutely incredible. We were all working so hard to prepare to hear from an apostle. And then on Thursday, the day before we were going to be leaving for the conference, we got a call from our zone leaders to tell us that Elder Perry wasn't going to be coming anymore... Yeah... needless to say I was pretty disappointed. Still am a little bit... haha. But holy cow, look at all the miracles that came from just the thought of an apostle coming to our mission! The conference still ended up being such a cool experience.
|Some pictures from our mission conference|
|Got to see Sister Osmond!|
|Celebrating Gabby's year mark!|
It was about a 4 hour drive down to Milwaukee because we had to pick up another set of sisters in Gresham on the way. We didn't get to stay with anyone from West Allis. :( But we did get to stay with a family from Sister Weaver's old area in Waukesha! So that was pretty cool. We stayed the night there and then headed to the Milwaukee South Stake center in the morning. This is the church building where the West Allis ward meets! So many memories flooded through my mind as we walked into the building. Such a tender mercy to be able to be in Milwaukee again. I sure do miss that place. And I got to see so many of my missionary friends there. Biggest highlight though- seeing Sister Kelley! Made my whole life. Sure do miss that girl. She told me all about what has been going on back in Madison too so that was pretty cool. Praying that she gets transferred up here to Wausau next transfer... :)
So Elder Perry didn't end up coming.... Yeah that was a bummer. But Craig C. Christensen of the seventy still came. And he is pretty awesome! This is kind of sad though- he told us that the reason that Elder Perry wasn't able to come at the last minute is because President Monson and President Packer are both not doing well. Their health just been declining so much. And he needed to stay last minute to do some things to get ready for general conference coming up because he is the next in seniority.
Even though Elder Perry wasn't able to be there, it was still a very special meeting! Elder Christensen is also a very inspired man. He talked to us a lot about the Atonement and how we can learn about it has we read from the Book of Mormon. I thought that was interesting because that is something that President Cutler has been talking to us about that a lot lately. So I guess they both received the same revelation that that is what we needed to hear! Elder Christensen also talked a lot about humility. I thought that was interesting because the question that I took to this meeting was, "How can I be more humble." I thought this was interesting- he said, "Humility is knowing who you are and at the same time knowing who God is." Kind of makes you think doesn't it. I think sometimes we think that if we are humble that we need to think very low of ourselves. That isn't true! Humility should make us confident! But we just need to make sure that we are equally confident in the Lord as we are in ourselves. It is really hard to find that balance. But then I think about how we have a perfect example to look to- The Savior. Boy was he humble. He did exactly what the Father asked him to do, but he was also confident in his testimony and in the things that he knew.
So this week was a pretty special one! I think that Sister Cutler said she was going to be posting a picture of the whole mission that we took together on the mission blog soon. (There should also be some pictures there from the last zone conference here in Wausau and from my first MLC!)
So grateful for the experiences that I have been having out here. I miss you all everyday. But I cherish every moment that I get to spend here.
Love you all so much! Have an awesome week!
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
|Mission Leadership for the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission|
|Sister Weaver and Sister King, Sister Training Leaders for the Wausau area|
Here is a link to the blog for the Milwaukee Wisconsin mission: http://wisconsinmilwaukeemission.blogspot.com/2015/03/milwaukee-south-green-bay-and-ellsworth.html
Monday, March 16, 2015
|Driving for the first time since December 2013!|
Hope that everyone had an awesome week because I sure did back here in Wausau. The weather is finally getting warmer! FINALLY. I even down-graded from fleece lined to regular tights today which is a pretty big step haha. I don't think the winter here is over yet, but it is a bit more bearable.
Had a pretty good and busy week this week-
Tuesday we had Zone Training meeting. It was very inspiring. I think the zone leaders here are my favorite zone leaders that I have had so far. All of the missionaries in this zone are pretty experienced. With the exception of my cousin Elder Shaum who just barely came out... haha, everyone in the zone has been out for over a year! So this zone likes to work hard and work smart! I love it, but it also made it that much more intimidating to have to give a couple of trainings. It wasn't as scary as the zone conference trainings that we had to give though because we just train them on the things that we learn at MLC instead of having to start from scratch. I felt pretty good about the trainings that we gave though! Still getting the hang of everything, but it is coming slowly but surely. After the meeting we went on exchanges with the Wisconsin Rapids sisters from Tuesday to Wednesday.
|Some of the people that we got to see in Wisconsin Rapids that Sister Kelley taught.|
I got to go with Sis. Roper to Wisconsin Rapids. Wisconsin Rapids is where Sister Kelley had been serving before she came down to Madison to be with me. She always talked about the Grunden family and about Carol so I felt like I knew them. And then I got to meet them! So that was pretty cool. I have grown to love exchanges a lot. Oh and by the way- we got our car back on Wednesday!!! Yay!
On Thursday we did this Zone Leadership conference call and we talked with the zone leaders and all of the district leaders in our zone. we came up with the goal to have every area in our zone set a new baptismal date before our all-mission meeting this weekend. Sister Weaver and I were bound and determined to set an example for the zone and set a baptismal date! So we prayed so hard that Heavenly Father would bless us to find someone to set a date with as we worked hard. I promised Heavenly Father in our prayer that even after we set a baptismal date we would continue to work just as hard. We went out that day and set a baptismal date with the very first potential investigator that we contacted! It was seriously such a miracle! We met her tracting a few weeks ago but hadn't been able to get back in contact with her. So now she is working toward May 2! It was seriously the coolest thing. I know that Heavenly Father was blessing us for our righteous desires and our hard work. And just so you know- I have been keeping my end of the bargain by continuing to work hard and be obedient!
Friday was a good day. I have never really had one of those experiences on my mission where the Spirit prompts you to knock on a specific house and then that person opens the door and starts crying because you are an answer to their prayer and then they start begging you to let them be baptized. haha. Though that would be SUPER COOL, it has just never really worked that way for me. But on this particular morning we were driving out of an apartment complex and I saw this cute little boy playing on the grass. We turned the corner and I saw his mom out working on their car. Normally I am not one to stop the car and start chasing people down the street like a crazy person, but I for some weird reasons felt strongly that we needed to talk to her. Before I knew it I was yelling at Sister Weaver to quick stop the car and I walked over to this woman and asked her if we could help her with her car. (I don't know why because I know absolutely NOTHING about cars... haha). We got to talking and I brought up that we were missionaries for our church and I bore my testimony about how I know that this gospel will bless her family. We prayed with her and set an appointment to come and start teaching her next week. Now even though this story doesn't have a huge miraculous ending (yet), I was so grateful for this experience. It really helped me to build my testimony of acting on the spiritual promptings that we receive. She didn't start begging us to be baptized, but we do now have the opportunity to start teaching her and her family more about the restored Gospel. I feel really good about her and her family and am excited to see what happens this coming week when we go meet with her. And even if she doesn't show up to the appointment like so many people do when you are a missionary, I KNOW that we were supposed to talk to her that day.
|Nail party with Lavona|
Saturday we got to go on exchanges again with the sisters serving in Gresham. I stayed in Wausau this time and Sister Payne from Billings, Montana came to be with me. Because I stayed in our area this time, I had to be the designated driver. I have never had a car on my mission until now so that was the first time that I had driven a car in over 14 months!! haha weird feeling. But don't worry, I didn't kill us. It did make me miss Barb a whole lot though...
So we had a pretty great week! Right now I am just looking forward to our all-mission meeting down in Milwaukee this weekend! I will get to see all of my missionary friends and we will have the opportunity of hearing from L. Tom Perry and Craig C. Christensen! So that is pretty exciting!
Hope that all continues to go well back home! As always, you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Sure do love you a lot! The church is true!
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
My time is cut super short today for a couple of different reasons so I will just try and give you a mini update of the week before I have to run.
For starters, last p-day after we were leaving the library from e-mailing we stopped to get gas and noticed that we had an oil leak. So we took it in to get it checked. They told us that it would only take a few minutes. But then they came back out and told us that the problem was a lot worse than they thought. We ended up having to take our BRAND NEW car back to the dealership to get a bunch of things fixed haha. So we have been without a car for the week and still don't have it back yet. This is nothing new to me though! Haha we got bus passes this week and have been doing a lot of walking. Sister Weaver has not been used to it, but I am trying to help her to love it as much as I do. It is a little harder though because our area is WAY spread out so it is a little more difficult to maneuver on foot. I really think that because of this whole ordeal there is someone that Heavenly Father really needs us to meet! There was this really cute old man that we started talking to at the dealership while we were waiting for the news on our car. He wouldn't take a Book of Mormon but he liked talking to us and had a lot of questions about the church. Or maybe the reason is because we needed to meet the guy that works at the dealership that has been helping us out. He has been really nice about everything so I am going to give him a Book of Mormon whenever we get to go get our car back.
But we pretty much just spent the week tracting the neighborhoods around our house since we couldn't go too far and I got to do my favorite thing in the whole entire world- contacting people on the bus! We talked to some cool people and gave away a good number of copies of the Book of Mormon, but not a lot has come from that yet. Sister Weaver and I decided that we pretty much need to start this area from scratch. The sisters that were here before Sister Weaver and I had just had quite a few baptisms right before we both got here. So we are definitely in finding mode. We have been working hard at talking to people and trying to find them. We hope that we will start to see some of those fruits here in the next couple of weeks.
|Reunited with Sister Packer :)|
|This is Sister Askerlund. She took my place in West Allis when I left.|
|West Allis represent|
The biggest highlight of the week was my first Mission Leadership Conference! Ok, my first MLC might actually be one of the biggest highlights of my mission too. Seriously such an amazing experience. For starters, got to see so many friends from the mission! Sister Packer was there. She is an STL down in Milwaukee. And I got to see Sister Askerlund who took my place when I left West Allis and she is now an STL in Kenosha. She got to tell me all about a lot of things that have been going on. Do you remember that less-active named Fred that I worked with the entire 7 1/2 months that I was there? We taught him every single week so I am sure that I talked about him a lot. He is also the guy that I talked about when I wrote that letter to the relief society about how awesome the Book of Mormon is. Anyways, Fred only came to church probably 1 or 2 times while I was there but only stayed for sacrament. Sister Askerlund told me that he is completely active!! He comes and stays for all 3 hours and participates and is paying his tithing and got the priesthood! I just about collapsed when she told me that! So cool to know that all of that hard work wasn't for nothing!
Oh no I am running out of time so I won't be able to tell you everything about MLC that I wish I could. But MLC was all about the priesthood. The priesthood is something that I have never really understood a lot about. But I have learned a lot about it on my mission. The cool thing about the priesthood is that even though only men can hold an office in the priesthood, priesthood power affects everyone! We can have and feel the power of the priesthood in our lives everyday. That power is God's power. And it is real. I know that is true. One of the reasons that I have to leave so soon is because we have to plan a training on the stuff that we learned at MLC to train to zone on it this week at zone training. So hopefully I can tell you all more about it then.
Love you guys! Hope that you have a great week!
Monday, March 2, 2015
So good to hear from you this week!
Here is an extra shout out to Ash who has now joined the ranks as a fellow cougar. #gocougs
Things are going well out here in good old Wausau, Wisconsin! Things are warming up a little bit. And by warming up, I mean it was 10 degrees when we got out of the car. So that is good news!
the Elders put this huge ice boulder on the top of our car
As for the week this week...
Tuesday we met with our investigator. She is super cool. She is probably one of my very favorites of the people that we are teaching right now. She was found through a Family History Booth that the sisters set up over the summer and they have been teaching her every since. She is older, probably in her late 60's. and she is coming along slowly but surely! She really loves all of the things that she has learned and she told us on Tuesday that she believes the Book of Mormon is true! The hard thing for her is leaving the Lutheran heritage of her family... :( She really wants to, she just needs to get up the courage to do it. She told us that she had a cool experience with her family this week though. They were having a big family dinner and one of her grandsons brought up the subject of Mormons and said something along the lines of "Mormons aren't Christians." I was gearing myself up for some bad news... but then she told us that 2 of her sons actually stood up for the church! One of them, the most Lutheran of them all said, "Mormons are some of the most Christian people that I know!" Our investigator said that the room just lit up and that she could feel the Spirit. She doesn't know if her kids know that she has been seriously investigating the church, but she said that this was a huge tender mercy for her. We are planning on trying to set a baptismal date with her either this week or next week, so keep her in your prayers!
Wednesday we had a really good lesson with another investigator. She is the one that is trying to quite smoking. She actually has made a lot of progress this week! She said that she can feel the priesthood blessing helping her. So that was a huge miracle!
Thursday we had a service project at the local food pantry, so that was a lot of fun! and Thursday night was my first experience with Hmong food! I LOVE IT!!!!!!! I love all of the Hmong members of the ward already. haha
I decided to take a couple of pictures of the inside of our house. Don't worry, today is p-day so that clutter will be cleaned when we get home.
Friday was my very first exchange as a sister training leader. I got to go to Stevens Point, Wisconsin with Sis. Kunz. (I forgot to take a picture... Sorry!) She is from Spokane, Washington and came out in July with Sister Kelley! So it was fun to get to be with her for the day. It was cool because there is a college here, UW-Stevens Point. So we got to go campus contacting! I WAS IN THE ZONE. It was just like being back in good old Madison. So that was a huge tender mercy for me. And in the process we found some new investigators there for the Stevens Point sisters to start working with. I think it helped Sister Kunz to get re-excited about the work. So I was grateful for that. As we were driving down the road, Sister Kunz felt prompted to stop at this one apartment complex and tract it out. So we did and ended up giving away 7 copies of the Book of Mormon! So I was so grateful that I was able to go there and help the Stevens Point Sisters get some work done. I was super nervous at first, but I would call my first exchange a success!
Sorry- I am always running out of time! haha. But I thought that I would just leave you with this quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
"Success may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him."
Sometimes missions are hard because you don't see large amounts of success every day. But I know that the Lord is grateful for all of our efforts. He sees the little successes and little victories that we have. Even ones that we don't see. And He will bless us for our hard work. I know that is true! I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that more than anything he wants us to be able to make it back to live with him again. I sure do love you guys! Can't wait to hear from you again next week!