Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015

We had a great week!  It was a big week with a lot of travelling and we will be doing more of that this week because Saturday is our mission conference in Milwaukee!  Elder Perry will be speaking to us!!!!!!!!!!  Yay! Also, we are supposed to tell people don't send letters next week because it is transfers and the address might change.  I probably won't get transferred though.  
So we went to Oshkosh on Tuesday for zone training and had an appointment with Holly at the Pond's house.  Holly is so amazing!  She truly wants to know for herself if these things are true and she is willing to act on it.  She loves the Pond family and is such a sweet girl!  We taught her about prophets and Sister Pond bore her testimony of our prophets, apostles today!  We talked to her about General Conference.  She is going to watch it with the Pond family!  I know that Thomas S.  Monson is a true prophet of God and can't wait for conference!  

We also had 3-6 week training at Oshkosh on Friday.  We had a training from Pres. Cutler about the doctrine of Christ and especially about faith.  It was very interesting.  He talked about different levels of faith that we have and that our investigators have.  He drew a scale that went from hope to perfect faith and said what matters on this scale is which direction we are going on our faith scale.  We want to always be increasing our faith.  I have been doing a Christlike attribute study of the Book of Mormon studying the attribute charity and marking anything in the Book of Mormon that might have to do with the pure love of Christ.  And I have been realizing how one of the most important things I can be doing as a companion is to have charity.  My companion got a little infection on her hand so this week I will have many opportunities to help her.  

This weekend was great!  Met a lot of new people!  Saturday before lunch we were really hungry but decided before we go eat that we would stay out and find one more person to talk to.  We did!  We met Tim.  We walked past his house right as he was pulling up into the driveway and share a message about the Book of Mormon with him.  He said he would read it.  

Another neat highlight was hmong family home evening last night with a group of hmong members from the branch!  They are so amazing!  It was fun to hear it in a different language.  You don't understand what they are saying but you still feel the Spirit.  We were able to comment as well and they translated for us.  

We reallly focused on working with the members this week!  We are doing great at that!  We had many appointments this week where our members are coming with us to visit less active members of the ward and little miracles are happening!
Ari and Adam are showing a lot more progression lately.  We talked to them about Ari's baptismal date and about coming to church.  They said they had talked about it as well and want to figure out a way they can come to church.  They have been reading the Book of Mormon together though. 

Last night we had dinner at Marsha's and Adam and Ari came as well as Marsha's little neighbor Jamie.  Jamie is 8 or 9 and loves coming to our lessons!  Jamie has been reading the Book of Mormon with Marsha and I think was a really good example to Ari and Adam.  If a little girl can do it, love it, and understand it; then they can too!  
This week was ward conference and the ward temple trip!  Marsha went for the first time to do baptisms for the dead.  She took 9 family names!  Her daughter said if she hadn't gotten baptized there would have been no way they would have been able to get permission to do it.  One of those 9 names was her husband!  The gospel is for families!  Two convert families of the ward were sealed in the temple yesterday!  It was a really big day for the ward.  56 members of our ward were at the temple!  The Bishop spoke about social networking and about technology and related to a parable about turf. Remind me about it next week because I need to tell you about this parable!  

I got my travel itinerary in the mail this week.  I will be arriving May 7th and will write you about the details!  I can't believe it has gone by so fast!  

I love you!  Remember to stand tall and be a light to all those around you!  They need what we have :) 

The church is illuminatingly true!

Sister Prestwich

March 9, 2015

Well, first and foremost, it hit 50 degrees today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!  :D  It was just like summer!  It is the first time I have felt hot in a long time, haha!  It has been very enjoyable and warmer temperatures means there is more people outside to talk to!  Yay!  So that has been really fun for us!  
We met with a former investigator this week named Sally.  She said she loved learning about our church before from the other missionaries she just had to stop because of her surgeries she had to have on her back.  When she would meet with the missionaries she wouldn't be able to think clearly so she just stopped.  She loves the Book of Mormon and says that it has helped her to understand the BIble better.  She said that at one point in her life she questioned, "Does God really exist?"  because of a baby that had passed away in her family.  She had gotten an answer yes and from that experience knows that God does exist.  She told us that she never really felt a huge need to go to church because she could worship God anywhere.  We started talking to her about the sacrament.  It was really neat because as we taught her about the importance of the sacrament she had a change of heart and told us that she needs to go church because she wasn't taking the body and the blood of Christ.  She couldn't go this week but is planning on coming next week.  We are excited to meet with her again. :)
We also met with Ana, and gave her a Book of Mormon in Romanian!  She was super excited.  I guess she was getting teased at work for reading the Book of Mormon and said now I can read it anywhere and I won't get teased.  It kind of reminded me of how in Lehi's vision of the tree of life there was peer pressure from the people in the great and spacious building but it we hold fast to the word of God we will be led safely to the tree of life!  
We found out that Elder Perry will be coming to speak to us on March 21st and we are all preparing by doing that 40 day fast I told you about.  I am very excited!  
We had a really neat lesson at a dinner appointment with a member this week.  Sister Clayton is a convert of a couple of years.  At district meeting we were committed to teach members about the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lesson with them this week.  We decided to do this with Sister Clayton by reading "the Living Christ"  with her.  She is from Korea and has been attending the temple very diligently and trying to read church materials and just filling her life with good things but has been going through a lot of trials.  As we read it about the part where it quotes Joseph Smith's testimony of the Savior "He lives!"  she began to cry softly.  We all sat silently for a moment and then finished.  After, she said I have never felt that much love for the Savior before.  She said it was even greater than the love she has for her family and she had never felt that before.  It was an amazing moment and something that really stood out to me was after that experience she naturally went in to talk about sharing the gospel with others.  Feeling love for Jesus Christ and and His love for us through the Atonement motivate us to share the gospel more than anything else.  That quote in PMG on page 2 about how as we increase our understanding of the atonement and that will increase our desire to share the gospel, I think it says "as your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ increases your desire to share the gospel will increase"  or something like that.  I know that is true and have seen that in myself and others like Sister Clayton.  
Also, a funny thing yesterday, Sister Calderon was having a hard time talking to people.  As a new missionary it can be scary to go up and talk to people on the street.  She said, "I wish people would just come up to us and say 'hey sisters!"  Fast forward about an hour.  We are outside getting out of our car and a lady is walking our way.  I told Sister Calderon this was her chance to overcome her fear.  Just then, the lady yelled out, "hey sisters!"  and began waving at us enthusiastically!  She had been to Marsha's baptism in the summer and had met sister before! It was funny and we both agreed that Heaven Father has a sense of humor and wanted to give SIster Calderon what she wanted!  We are really trying to have at least 1 of our investigators to progress towards a baptismal date!  Thanks for all the prayers!

Well, the church is outstandingly true!  Love you!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 2, 2015

It has definitely been cold on the hands and toes lately but today has been 27 and it feels like spring, haha! 
It has been a very different week.  On Tuesday we had a lesson with Holly about the sacrament.  She is really amazing!  She says it just makes sense to her and she did occasionally take the sacrament in her other church but never understood why they did it.  She came to church again this week! 
The member family we ran into last week came to church this week!  That was definitely not a coincidence!  I don't know if I told you the story last week but we were going to contact a referral that we haven't been able to get in contact yet and their next door neighbor was outside.  We talked to her and she is a member from Alabama but hadn't found the church here yet.  And we contacted the referral :)  We also had another referral for a woman who was southern baptist.  Her name was Vysella.  That was a very interesting lesson.  She sang us a couple songs, and had such a sweet heart but couldn't really hear us very well.  She loved to sing though!
Anyway, this week was zone conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay!!!!!!!!!!!   I was asked to accompany the musical number and what a wonderful experience that was!  Wow!  That song was so powerful and beautiful.  We were going to do "I know that my Redeemer LIves"  but ended up doing a song called "Come ye Disconsolate."  This was my last zone conference so I was asked to bear my testimony.  I had a lot of mixed emotions.  I was very grateful that not only was I able to stand and bear my testimony but I was able to bear my testimony through music.  A couple that had joined the church this last year came and bore their testimonies.  They were so grateful for the missionaries that came and taught them and persisted.  The husband said at first he had no intention of coming back to church but he is so glad that he came and taught his wife and then he was able to realize that he needed support her in this.  He knew that "this wasn't just about him."  He thought he was letting her choose for herself by not coming to church with her until she told him that it was really hard to be an active investigator married to an inactive member. 
Saturday we had the opportunity to serve a family that had lost a mother to cancer.  Their was 10 kids and their friend Mandy, who is not a member of our church told us and the relief society president about them.  We went over and helped clean the house and clear some boxes.  They were so grateful!  I'm really seeing the importance of serving others. 
My companion's name is Sister Calderon, from Midland Texas!  She is a fantastic cook and has been trying to teach me a little, haha.  She is a wonderful companion!
I know that this gospel is true with all of my heart!  Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and the prophet of the restoration. 
I love you all!

The church is prophetically true!