Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 28, 2014

Well, I officially spent my first week serving in the state of Wisconsin!!!  It has truly been a great week and I feel so grateful for how the Lord has blessed me so much with amazing companions!  My new companion, Sister Ormsby, is a stellar sister missionary and such a good strength and support as a companion.  She is 19 yrs. old and just finished 12 weeks as a new missionary.  She's from Brigham City but went to Snow College for one semester before coming out on her mission.  With my last companion I was a little worried about being adjusting to a new companion but I really don't have any worries anymore.  I love her just like my other companion! It was a little hard this week not knowing the area or the people but I know the Lord strengthened us both.  I am now the designated driver, which has been quite the adventure since I don't know the area.  Thankfully, the sister before left her GPS for us to use and Sister Ormsby has been a great help with directions.  Fond du Lac is pretty small but has a more spread out feel than Marquette did.  It reminds me a lot of northern Utah.
On Tuesday we drove to Fond du lac for transfers and for the rest of the day I was in a trio with Sister Ormsby and her trainer.  Her trainer is now our sister training leader, so that will be fun.  We went and visited Angel, who is a recent convert.  I have already heard so much about Angel because my Sister Ostler used to talk about her all the time.  I hope soon we can start teaching her family as well. 
Then on Wednesday we drove to the transfer point in Osh Kosh and dropped off Sister Harris.  They had a really nice devotional that I found very comforting as I was still a little nervous.  Wednesday went great though and we truly have seen miracles this week!
We have had a lesson almost everyday with our investigator, Kelly.  She went through a really sad thing this week.  We taught her a lesson about faith and hope and she told us that she felt like her faith had really been shaken because of this really hard thing she was facing.  We also told her about priesthood blessings and she said she would like one.  Sister Ormsby said she didn't know who should give her a blessing so we got out the branch list and starting going down the names.   I was scanning down the list when I saw the name of a street named Arndt and remember Sister Orsmby telling me that we had dinner with some members in the branch named Arndt in a few days.  I mentioned this name to her and we both felt that we should call Brother Arndt.  We arranged a time the next and day and he and his wife came out and gave her a Priesthood blessing.  Kelly came to church on Sunday and said that she thinks that her faith is getting stronger.  We had another member present lesson with her last night.  We work very closely with the branch here.  They are very missionary focused.
We also we had an amazing first lesson with a less active this week!  We had only planned on sharing one verse with her from the scriptures about covenants and then talking about it.  We did and she began sobbing and said that she felt the spirit tell her that morning that she needed to have her lamp relit and she said she felt that's why we were there.  She has a desire to come back and definitely felt the spirit very strongly but I think it is still going to be hard for her to take the next steps to coming back.
On Sunday I received a very warm welcome from the branch!  They are very friendly!  One of the sisters here comes out with us and feeds us every Monday and Tuesday!  We usually go out with the ward mission leader and his wife at least once a week too! 

Well, I know with all my heart that the church is refreshingly true!  

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Wow, where to start?!  This was a very crazy and wonderful week!  I guess I'll start by telling you that we found out about transfers and I'm going to be transferred to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin this week!  I'm also going to be the senior companion!  I'm having a lot of mixed emotions right now but I definitely felt that it is my time to leave.  My companion and I have been thinking about and dreading transfers all week and did feel that I was probably going to leave.  When Saturday came I just felt really calm about it so I thought maybe I wasn't going to get transferred  but after the baptism we went to go have correlation with our ward mission leader and the elders and the first thing that Elder Sommer said was "you're leaving."  So there it is!  I do love Marquette a lot but I have felt more than anything that this is the Lord's work and He calls us to where we are supposed to go.  We will be in the right place at the right time.  I'm definitely going to be stretched a lot this week and will be praying for help through the atonement.  The little miracle is that I'm going to my companion's old area so she will be able to tell me all about it.  I'm very excited to meet and follow up with the recent convert that they baptized while she was there!  Sister Ostler will be staying in Marquette and will be training a new missionary! :D I'm so so excited for her because I know she is going to be SO wonderful and that the new missionary that comes out will be in very good hands!  Also, my old companion, Sister Brandley, is getting transferred to Green Bay to be a sister training leader!  So she is going to be one of the sister training leaders for the Marquette sisters and will get to come back to Marquette on exchanges!  I'm SO happy for her because I know how much she absolutely loves Marquette and she really wanted to serve sometime during her mission in Green Bay.  Anyway, Sister Ostler is telling me all about Fond du Lac and she says it is really an awesome place.

Also, this week we had interviews with President Cutler.  He taught a little lesson on the atonement and compared to free cookies.  Then later that day Sister Cutler came out with us while President Cutler went out with the elders.  What a great day it was!  Sister Cutler is a wonderful missionary and is one of the sweetest and most humble people I have ever met!  I loved having her with us.  We had a dinner appointment and then did some contacting.  We met a couple named Laurie and Jim who didn't even know us but were so sweet to us.  We taught them a little about the Book of Mormon and shared some Easter scriptures with them and then they gave us Easter cookies that they had baked.   We said a prayer for them and afterwards Jim clasped his hands together and closed his eyes and earnestly said a few words in prayer for us.  It kind of took us by surprise.  He didn't end the prayer in amen but he humbly tried praying for us in the only way he knew how. (I guess we"ll have to teach him the restoration next time.)   It was so spur of the moment and sincere.  It really touched my heart that he did that. 

Then on Saturday Treasa was baptized!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D  I don't think I possibly tell you how amazing she is and how happy I am for her!  The font wasn't filled up high enough so they had try to about 5 times with her really bending down her knees for it to work but you could just see each time how earnestly and sincerely she wanted to be baptized!  I don't know many other people that would be as patient as she was!  She just seems to always see the bright side of things!  She didn't say anything bad about it at all in fact, she said that the Spirit just seemed to get stronger each time.  Her husband and some of her extended family that are not members came and watched.  After the baptism her husband said to us"it will take me a little longer than her to get where she's at, but it's pretty much like Catholic."  I took that as someday he will join the church too.  He is Catholic but has been coming to church to support her.  I'm really going to miss Treasa but I look back and wow it was really a tender mercy that I was even able to see her get baptized!  Everything worked out perfectly so she could be baptized this week, even though we originally had her baptism scheduled for next Saturday. 

Well, love you all!!!  The church is astoundingly true!

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

My heart is overwhelmed with joy right now for the blessings we have seen!  Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day and we saw a lot of miracles and tender mercies.  We made the long trip out to Munising on Tuesday and visited our investigator Treasa, who is preparing for baptism this weekend! :D  She never ceases to amaze Sister Ostler and I!  She is so filled with love and so close to the Lord.  She also came to church yesterday and sat by us during sacrament meeting.  We had an awesome sacrament meeting all about the atonement.  After the meeting, one of the converts in the ward came up to us and told her to right in her journal the day she gets baptized because she will never forget it and it will be the best decision she ever made.  She told us with tears streaming down her face that she knows the Lord has been leading her here.  She told us she felt joy and then said "wow, wouldn't it be great if everyone could feel this."   It sure would!  She is definitely motivated me to have a greater desire to work hard and make the most of my time here.  We had another lesson with her after church about tithing and fast offerings.  I will never forget her prayer.  It touched my heart so much to hear her humbly pray for the opportunity to share the gospel.  We are so excited for her baptism this Saturday!  What an amazing Easter weekend it is going to be! 

Yesterday, we also stopped by a former investigator that I have great hopes for.  His wife is a less active member and his daughter was baptized but the ward does not have record of it.  It sounds like he really wants to start reading the Book of Mormon again.  I think some of his previous hangups aren't bothering him as much anymore.  His daughter, Audrey, wants to come to young womens this  week.  We did a Book of Mormon reading calender for Craig before and sent him out a scripture reminder text.  He seemed to like it and wants to do that again! Good things are happening. :)
The family we are teaching is still progressing slowly but baby steps are good too, as long as they keep taking them. 
I hope you all have a great Easter and use this wonderful time to reflect upon the Savior this week.  The gospel brings joy, and Christ brings light and joy!  It never ceases to amaze me how much the Lord is mindful of us and is quick to answer our prayers.  I know that Jesus Christ lives!  He is our Savior and Redeemer!  There is not a doubt in my mind that this gospel is true and that this is the Lord's work.  He knows these people and He knows us. 

Well, I hope you all have an amazing Easter!  We woke up to another foot of snow this morning so I'm pretty sure we will be having a white Easter, haha!  It certainly makes things entertaining sometimes.  Transfers are next week and there is a great possibility I will get transferred.  I'm so grateful for my companion she is so amazing and I really hope that we get to be together for one more transfer but I guess we'll see.  Love you all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Happy April and General Conference!
What a great week!  I'm so gratefully for the words of modern prophets and apostles on the earth today!  It is truly something special!   Treasa is progressing so much!  We called her this week and had a phone lesson with her and she told us they drove down to downstate Michigan to pick their car and that gave her plenty of time to read the Book of Mormon!  Yes!  Also, she watched General Conference at one of the Maynard's home.  We planned a time to brave another trip to Munising this week so we can have another lesson with her in her home.  We are praying we'll be able to make it work with miles this month! 
Also, we had a lesson with the Stocker family this week on the plan of salvation.  The little girls love the diagram of the plan of salvation I have and love trying to put it the right order without any help, haha.  It went really well, and was a lot of fun too!  Sister Ostler and I are teaching family night lessons tonight as well to two part member families and I am super excited! 
We had an interesting experience on Saturday evening after General Conference.  So the bishop is just opening the only frozen yogurt shop in Marquette and had an open house for friends and family.  So we were able to talk to some people there and get frozen yogurt. :)  After that we just couldn't find anyone that was home!  We were just praying for one more person we could talk to and pray with.  We saw a man shoveling and felt impressed to stop and help him.  The roads are really cramped in Marquette so we had to park a ways up and walk down to where he was.  By the time we got there it looked like he had finished and he was sitting in his van.  We went up to the van and asked him if he needed any more help.  He told us that he had broken his back and had surgery on it and may have sprained it and just said that the snow was really heavy.  He said that he had gotten his 17 year old son to help him but that it is hard to get him to help out.  We told him that we were missionaries and that we would love to help him.  We gave him a pass-along card of the temple with our number on it and prayed with him.  I love seeing the change and the peace in people's faces after you pray for them!  After that we hadn't had dinner yet and so we decided to celebrate conference by getting pizza, haha.  I think we were supposed to be there because a man walking out of the pizza place stopped and said, "hey are you Mormon missionaries?"  Then he told us he used to meet with the elders and told us to tell them he says hi.  We got his name and will have to tell the elders to stop by.

I loved General Conference!!!!!!!!  We watched the morning session with a potential elder and his wife Lori.  They are wonderful!  Then we watched the afternoon session all by ourselves in the chapel.  That was different, haha.  Even more different was watching the last session of conference all alone in the chapel with one of our investigators!  Olive, the elderly lady we have been teaching came with us to watch conference and we were the only ones watching it in chapel.  I think Olive was very surprised, haha.  Thankfully there was some other sisters from the ward there too, watching it in the relief society room.  She was able to talk with them a little bit. She thought the talks were good but said that it was too long and too much to take in all at once.  We told her that they will be online and printed out in a magazine so we can study them more.  She liked that. I love how perfect the Lord's timing is!  I know that, that session was the one that Olive needed to be at with us.  I can't wait to start studying the talks.  I really enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk on the importance of following up.  It is so true in missionary work and definitely a reminder I needed! 
 Well, I love you all!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

March 31, 2014

What an awesome week! 
On Wednesday, we had exchanges with the sister training leaders in Green Bay.  Sister Arnold came here to Marquette and my companion went to Green Bay with Sister Taylor.  I love all of the sisters here!  I really enjoyed exchanges!  Sister Arnold is so funny and has such a fun energy for the gospel!  We met almost all of our goals that day and had a great lesson with the Auston family.  We also tracted into a lady named Nancy who was super friendly and invited us in.  She thought we were nuns from her friends church, that her friend had sent over, haha.  She was still really nice to us though when we explained we were actually missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.  We taught her the restoration and have a return appointment with her this week.  She referred us to her friend who is a nun and we went straight there after our lesson.  Her friend's name was Lud and she let us in and told us that she was a nun and asked a lot of questions about our service as missionaries.  She told us about a service opportunity that she is involved in that we actually agreed to do as well just a few houses before hers, haha.  It is amazing to see how things work out sometimes, haha.  Well, I learned a lot from Sister Arnold and really want to apply some of the things she showed me. 
  Aaron was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The water was freezing because the water heater doesn't work very well so he looked really cold when he went under but he said that he felt really happy.   I hope I never forget the joy on his face!  He just radiated light when he stood up to shake everyone's hand after his confirmation.  What a humbling thing it was to witness it.  I'm excited that their family is headed for the temple in a year!  They are such a good family, so humble, and striving to do what's right. 
Then yesterday we had a lot of people at church and a few people surprised us!  We called Treasa this week and had a phone lesson with her and she told us that unfortunately she would not be able to make it to church this week because they were driving to downstate Michigan to go pick up another car.  Well, we went to ward council in the morning and then were surprised when we walked into the empty chapel (we were early)  and saw Treasa and her husband Jon sitting on the second row!  She said they decided they weren't going to get the car and so they came to church.  That was such a tender mercy!  In sacrament meeting, the 1st counselor in the bishopric started his testimony by talking about fast offerings and fast and testimony meeting.  After the meeting the first thing Treasa said to us was, how do I pay fast offerings?  We talked to her about fasting and then showed her a tithing slip.  She already has a great desire to give fast offerings!  She love the testimony meeting and also loved the women's conference on Saturday!  She just has so much love for the gospel and such an open heart.  We haven't taught her husband yet though and she said that  she needs to work on him a little and that he is not as open.  We hope to make another trip out to Munising again this month so we can have a lesson with both of them.  Besides that though, we had a less active family come to church too!

Good things are happening here!  I can't believe how fast this week went by!
The church is blissfully true!  love you all!!!!!!