Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
What a great week!  So I finally got to give piano lessons and it was the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We gave them at the church to a little girl and a little boy.  They are super cute and great learners.  We are teaching them out of the Alfred basic books that I taught out of at home but we only have one so they share it.  They are a little competitive about it now since they are using the same book, haha.  The brother really wants to be ahead of his sister in that piano book :)  It was so SO much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :D
We met with one of our investigators that was again interested in being baptized.  She had lost the fire for it for a long time but last time we met with her, she once again had the desire to be baptized.  We had another great lesson with her but heard some sad news.......they are moving to Kentucky in a couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!  I am sad she will be leaving!  I enjoyed seeing the light in her eyes when we would teach her. 
Sister Brandley is so wonderful!  She is really good with people and with the ward members.  She is a great example to me of serving others, especially your companion. :)  The other day we volunteered at the children's museum.  We got to take the turtles out of their homes!  We had the children and people there sit in a circle on the floor and we put the turtles in the middle.  It was super fun!  I can now say that I am pretty comfortable holding turtles. :)
We met with Cherie and her son Alan.  She is doing so awesome!  She has a hard time reading because of the small print and so we got her a large print Book of Mormon.  We set a baptismal date for her on February 1.  They are so serving and kind.  At the Relief Society activity, she stayed the whole time and helped cook and clean up.  She was one of the last ones to leave!  What a humble and kind person she is! 
Also, this week I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting.  We were super busy and I didn't actually organize my talk until Sunday morning.  I was asked to speak on missionary work and felt prompted to also talk about the love of God.  I am continually humbled at how marvelous and great God's love is for us.  He knows us by name and is always there to help us in times of need when we rely on Him. After I spoke I got to sing in the choir, "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me."  It seemed to be the theme for the day because in Relief Society the lesson was on loving others like Jesus loves us.  After church they had a potluck dinner at the church!  It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Tons of really good food!  It seems either we get fed in abundance or we are super hungry, haha.  I have learned to carry granola bars with me just in case :)
Yesterday evening was really fun!  We went to the Northern Michigan University campus to see a few less active members there.  We ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation (with those pictures the sisters at home gave me:) in the hallway to a small group of college students.  A few that were walking by stopped to talk with us too.  We will be meeting with one of them again next week. 
So it is definitely hunting season! Everyone up here loves hunting!  It is quite the sight when we are driving down the road and see all these deer strapped to the top of the cars, haha.  And no I have not tried to deer meat here yet.  Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have so so SO much to be grateful for! (Alma 26:37) God is truly mindful of ALL of His children!  I'm grateful to be here right now. God is truly teaching me how much He cares for His children.  I love you!
Have fun eating good food this week! :D

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Another great week in Marquette, Michigan!!!!!!!!!!  We had zone conference this week and it was so so so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Our mission president, President Cutler has been really focusing on the Book of Mormon and getting our investigators to read because we are truly helping them come unto Christ when we help them to study the Book of Mormon.  The spirit was so amazing and I truly felt the joy of the spirit.  We have the truth and it is good but it is what we do because of the truth that we know that truly changes us.  We are trying to get souls into the Celestial kingdom, that is our goal.  We talked about the family.  Our goal is to bind families together.
We also went on exchanges this week with the sister training leaders.  I was with Sister Neal and it was an amazing day!  We met with an investigator who is a paraplegic.  He had a very intense accident that led him to be that way and has questions about what comes next after this life.  I know the gospel can help him as we continue to teach him.  Sister Neal and I also went tracting and I think she helped me to feel less like a salesman in door approaches, haha.  It was definitely good.  On Saturday we went to a less active members house and started teaching them about studying the scriptures and the blessing that come from reading the Book of Mormon.  I ended up talking a lot about how if we truly desire to feel of the joy that comes from coming closer to Christ through the Book of Mormon we can and a lot of desiring to have the blessings of the gospel and how the Book of Mormon can help us.  Then Sister Brandley surprised me by asking Lacey if she had the desire to be baptized.  I learned that although the rest of the family was less active, Lacey was not a member of the church.  She had the desire to be baptized and had taken the missionary lessons but then had lost the desire.  I thought it was cool that I hadn't realized this was her situation but through the Spirit I  had said what was needed to help her regain that desire.  She wants to be baptized again but she wants to understand the Book of Mormon better. She has a hard time understanding it so we will continue to work with her.  I was really bold in talking to her because I thought she was already a less active member and I probably wouldn't have said all the things I did if I knew she wasn't baptized yet but she needed to here my bold testimony of scripture reading.  I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways. :)  We also met with the Stockers and they really need prayers right now. They want to be baptized but life is hard and they are struggling right now.  Please pray for them. 
Sunday was amazing too!!!!!!!!!!!!  The sacrament meeting talks were super good!  One of them was on hastening the work!  The members here are so missionary minded, it is wonderful!  They are definitely a huge help!  We helped with a few lessons in Sunday school and we did missionary role plays with the young women. 

Also, last night we met with a Chinese investigator named Shuang!!!!!!!!!!  She fed us real Asian soup!  She has to go to the doctor today and is super nervous so pray for her.  She is so nice and likes to learn about Jesus.  It was a very interesting lesson.  They have Chinese copies of the Book of Mormon so when we would take turns reading the scriptures out loud, Shuang and her father would read it in Chinese and then we would read it in English.  Difficult but it worked, haha.  Take advantage of reading the Book of Mormon!  Even as our prayers go up to the ears of the Lord, His voice comes down to us when we read the scriptures.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

First Letter from the Field

Missionary work is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D  I am now in my first area, Marquette Michigan!  It is pretty much as north as you can get, and I live right next to lake Superior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The lake looks like an ocean and gets kind of moody with the weather, haha.  It looks a lot like Yellowstone here with a lot of pine trees and forests but no mountains, it is sooooooooooooooooo flat!  That is probably why everyone gets lost here.  We have already gotten lost twice.  My companion is Sister Brandley and she is the best!!!  She plays the piano and one of the very first things that I found out from her was that she started teaching piano lessons as part of our missionary work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was so so excited and happy!  I think we will be teaching a lesson this week :) 
It is very cold here and at the moment it is very snowy!  We have a truck (the elders were jealous that the sisters got the truck, haha)  so that helps. 
As for missionary work, we have teaching some less active members that need a lot of love and the hardest part right now is getting investigators and less actives to come to church.  There is only one ward here and it is huge!  So a lot of the ward lives about 30 minutes to a couple hours away from the church building.  The actually broadcast it to other places to make it easier but it is still hard.  This week we had two of our investigator families come to church and that was sooo exctiing.  It was the primary program and also we had a ward baptism after church that Sister Brandley and I spoke at.  So I gave my first talk on baptism yesterday and it went really well.  We also set a baptismal date for one of the families that came to church!!!!!!!!!!!  It will be in December :)
We have a couple new investigators that we found this week.   The first two people that we talked to street contacting we were able to give Book of Mormons to and we have a return appointment today with one of them!  She was playing outside with a super cute puppy and we started talking to her.    I'm excited to teach her later today!  Also, last night we met a girl named Evelyn.  We actually went to go see her room mate is less active but she was busy so we taught Evelyn about the restoration.  She is super amazing!  She is a cross country runner and is here because of a running scholarship she got, but unfortunately she is injured right now.  She told us that right before every race she would always say a prayer.  She said she didn't know why but she said it always calmed her down and it was just her thing she did.  She has such a sweet spirit and such faith!  We invited her to be baptized if she comes to know it is true and she said yes! 
We also contacted one of our referrals, a super nice family!   We taught two darling girls, Hope and Grace, about prayer and the scriptures.  Hope asked about Mary and wanted to know what she looked like so she could draw her, it was so cute! We read in 1 Nephi that Mary was beautiful and fair to answer her question.  Children really do love the Savior and are so faithful.  That was probably one of my favorite lessons.

Right now we are staying at a members home, the Rayhorn's.  They are super nice and have a great big sheep dog named Riley.  Riley is a very big but very sweet dog.  As for meals, we have had at least one dinner appointment everyday that I have been here and the food is delicious!  The members are absolutely awesome at helping us with missionary work!!!!!!!  It is a very missionary minded ward and that is super great!  I know that this gospel is so true and that God knows each and everyone of us!  Seeing God's hand in the lives of His children is such a blessing!  I have seen that so much, even from the moment that I got to the MTC.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!