Sunday, December 22, 2013

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

Well sad news friends. I am being transferred. I am going to Columbia, MO and I am serving at the University there and Sister Vilingia is staying here and training. I honestly knew this was coming, but I am really sad to leave. I was really hoping to stay here for Christmas and be with Sister Vilingia 6 more weeks, But hey waddyado?

So Indiana got hit by a ton of snow!!! It has been insanity. It's been cold but the snow has been beautiful! Sis. Vilingia and I have loved it because we have been playing in it and we tackled each other. Oh and we even went sledding!! It was really fun! But then we get wet and cold and then unfun. It's nice for a change in weather though!

The downer for the week has been that we had a lesson with some new investigators, and when they got there they told us they were no longer interested. They broke up with us right on their door step. Man was that hard. That was really discouraging. I literally wanted to wrap up in my blanket, eat some ice cream, and watch a chick flick. No worries though, I didn't let it get me down. The church is still true and the field is not brown nor green, but white and ready to harvest!!

This past Saturday was supposed to be the Christmas party, but due to bad weather, they postponed it til after church on Sunday. So because Saturday night I found out I was getting transferred, we milked it the next day to get less actives and such to come to church and the party to see me. :) Well the party came around and a less active family, who I have become very close with, came to see me. I totally cried. They said they knew that I was leaving so they and to come and see me. Then that night the Bishop went to their home and they said that they want their sone to have the Priesthood so they are going to come back to church. (oh and btw I mentioned the Priesthood and their son to them during the party-totally the spirit man.) Man was that a miracle to hear. I have been worrying and praying over this family for 4 months. I love them a ton and it's amazing to see the change in them.

We also and a lesson with the family we have been teaching and who are getting baptized on the 26th. Man that was probably the hardest thing I have and to do in my life. We did a short lesson on tithing and then I bore my testimony to them about how much I love them and about the gospel. Tears were def shed. Then we took a bunch of pics and then we had to get home. Saying bye to them was so difficult. I love this family with my whole heart and more. Seeing their lives change from this gospel has been remarkable. And when we got home, the husband texted us and told me that I was the reason he became interested in the Church. Needless to say, I cried more. I now believe that people are prepared for you when you come out on a mission because I know this family was.
Leaving Covington is going to be hard. A piece of my heart will always be here. The people I have met here have truly became my family! I even adopted a set of grandparents, the Newells. I have felt so at home here its crazy! I have grown so much in the gospel here and I feel infinitely blessed to have served among these people. I believe the chuch is a little more true in Indiana. I love this gospel so much and I am grateful to an instrument in the Lords hands.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Hello there family and friends! I cannot believe Christmas is in 2.5 weeks! I hope you are all excited because I am so stoked!! Plus, it snowed here AHHAH. It's quite beautiful ,but I am freezing.

Some really awesome things have been happening in our area and I am just loving life here in good ole' Indiana. It makes me sad/ nervous that transfers are a week from Wednesday. When I email next, I will know whether I am staying or leaving so keep a heads up. Refrain from sending any mail this week! But the ward thinks I am staying because they asked me to speak on the 22nd.

So our family that we have been working sooo hard with (the ones I mentioned last week that admitted the Church is true) are doing fantastic. So the husband and wife said they wanted to get baptized but we weren't super positive about the kids. So on Wednesday, we stopped by their house and talked with the mom. We had a super powerful lesson with her and talked about baptism and the importance of it. Sis. Vilingia shared with her that she believes we all knew each other in the pre-existence and we promised her we would do whatever it took to find her family and teach them the gospel. It was sooo awesome and all of us cried. It was very very poweful. Then we planned to come that night and talk to the kids about baptism. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and asked them about baptism and if they seriously wanted to get baptized. They said YES! So we set a baptismal calendar right then and there for December 26. Ah it was so special and so wonderful. Later that week we also committed the husband and the wife to live the Word of Wisdom and we had the Bishop explain the eternal significance and they both willingly agreed to live it! It was great to have the Bishop there because he really explained to them that coffee, alcohol, smoking, etc are insignificant when it comes to living with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever! Ah man it was so great. They are sooo great! I just cant get over how much my life has been touched by being able to know them. I know Heavenly Father has prepared them for this work!

Ah I thank Heavenly Father every day for being able to see so many miracles on my mission. I am no where near a good missionary, but I love being able to share the gospel with others and I love being here. There is so much I need to work on, but I know with the Lord's help I can do it. The Lord's hands are in all things. The Savior has done so much for us, that what He has asked us to do is not even comparable. The Church is true! How wonderful my calling is. I can't believe Heavenly Father is letting someone imperfect like me share this perfect gospel. Thanks to my wonderful parents who raised me in way that I am worthy to be out here.

Tis the Season

Hello y'all! I can't believe it is already December! That is soo cray. I can't event handle it! Christmas is in 3 weeks and that means I get to Skype home in 3 weeks! I am so freakin' excited!!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent the whole day with the other missionaries in our ward at a members home. It was so fun and so delicious. Although I was away from home and my family I felt like I was at home. I realized that even though I missed my family, I had too much to be grateful for to be sad. Ah Thanksgiving is the best.

This week did get super cold, but now it's starting to warm up!! I am happy because not gonna lie, I was freezing. I just don't want to admit it's winter yet. But we shouldn't see snow anytime soon so I should be okay for awhile.

Can I just say how much I love my companion.  We have so much fun together. But She has also helped me so much this transfer. She builds me up when I feel down and she makes me feel like a a good missionary. I appreciate her so much. We definitely got that unity thing going on. She's my soul sista. I am saying these things because transfers are in 2 weeks and its soooo up in the air if I am staying or not. I really hope I do though because I want to stay with Sis. Vilingia another 6 weeks and we are working so hard with these investigators!

Speaking of, so the family we have been teaching for the last 3 months, who I have mentioned a couple times, we had a miracle occur with them. So we haven't even picked up the husband as an investigator and we have been trying to talk to him, because he's been reading, but we haven't been able to pin him down. Well finally we set an appt on Wednesday to see him to see what's up. Well the wife called the Bishop and asked him to come to the appt too. So we all went and we kind of were like 'hey your kids are ready for baptism, how do you guys feel about that?" And the wife has been unsure and she feels like she hasn't gotten an answer to her prayers about it. So I read alma 32:21 on faith and testified to her of this gospel and the importance of it to her family, which I cried because I love them so much. And Bishop testified to her that they need to sincerely read the Book of Mormon if they want an answer. It was so powerful. Then the wife asked us to teach her husband the Plan of Salvation real fast because he hasn't heard it. So we taught it on a whim and it was soooo great! I am so happy the Bishop came because he made it really powerful. And the husband loved it. Then Bishop gave the husband a blessing because he's been sick, and we all cried the whole time. Man the spirit was so strong. Later she called us and she told us that her and her husband knows it's all true and wants to be baptized before the end of the year. I cried. (I know tons of crying.) But I have been praying for this family forever. I love them so deeply and I care about them so much. It is absolutely wonderful too see them accept this gospel.

Well the Church is so true. This gospel is wonderful. The Savior is wonderful. Like I said recently, I have been studying the Atonement and the life of Christ and its soo awesome! Christ did so much for us and he truly has experienced everything we have experienced. He knows what its like to face temptations and trials and he has felt our sorrow and our pain. Man I love the Atonement and I love being a missionary. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh man is it super cold here in Indiana. I can't even handle it. I am refusing to admit to myself that it's winter, whaddya do? 
But it truly is a wonderful season! Thanksgiving is super fun! All the missionaries got invited to go to a member's home ! Plus, we are allowed to watch football (if the tv is already on) and we will help the Tilmans decorate the tree! I am so freakin' excited! As I write this email, I am reminded of my families tradition of going around the table on Thanksgiving Day and saying what we are grateful for. I am so grateful for the gospel. I am grateful for the Savior and His Atonement in my life and that the repentance process allows me to change and grow closer to my Heavenly Father. I am grateful to be a missionary and to have witnessed so many miracles! 

Now that I got all sappy and spiritual (sorry to those who aren't used to this side of me), I will write about my week. We had Stake and Zone Conferences this week so we didn't get to do a ton of proselyting! It's okay though because we did fit in a couple lessons, saw a miracle, plus the meetings were so awesome. It made me realize how quickly the work is hastening and how blessed I am to be apart of it!

So the miracle we saw this week... While we were emailing at the library last week, I saw a girl walk in. Right when I looked at her, my first thought was "She super could be a member of the Church." But I brushed off the thought and kept emailing. My excuses being, I am super emotional looking at the pics from home and I am so lost in these emails. But as Sis. Vilingia and I were leaving, a car pulled up in front of us, asking us where the nearest church was, and it was the girl from the library. She pulled to the side of the road and we started talking. She confessed that she is a member but hasn't come in a long time and really wants to start coming back! She said she has been seeing us at the library the last couple of weeks and has been feeling prompted to talk to us but was scared. We exchanged numbers and we planned a time to see her when we gets home from out of town. She was so sweet and so kind, we loved meeting her! I was so mad though that I had ignored the promptings of the spirit. Because of that one instance, I spent the rest of the week closely listening to the spirit and strived to follow all the promptings I recieved! I truly felt rebuked for not listening the first time and I hope to not do it again!

We also had a really great lesson with some investigators who we have been trying to teach the Restoration too for quite some time! We finally pinned them down and they were super receptive and super interested. The wife even confessed that we were her only friends and that she trusts us and loves having us come around. This really testified to me that it means the world to people when we just sit and listen to their lives and establish friendships with them! The spirit we bring truly touches people!

Oh man I love being a missionary. I know y'all probably hate me by now for saying it so much but its true! I also wanted to say how grateful I am for all of you and your support and friendship. Y'all are truly the reason I am here today! Love you guys so much and miss all of you! Have a great Thanksgiving!

There is No Place Like Home

This title has plural meanings. First, it is true, tornadoes hit this area. The warnings and storms were intense there for awhile! We had to do a tornado drill in the Church, it was cray. I am fine though and Covington is safe! Danville, where we meet for church, is without power though. So things are still pretty chaotic. Second, my dear brother Carter is home, Although, I love being out here and I love being a missionary, I am sad that I couldn't have been home with my fam this weekend for such a wonderful occasion.

Speaking of weather.... IT SNOWED. Ah man was I cold. The longer I am in the cold the more inclined I am to live in AZ or CA for the rest of my life. But it was fun to experience plus my companion loved it. . Attached are some dweeb sauce pictures we took in honor of the first snowfall.

This week was great. Nothing crazy happened but Sister Vilingia and I are working hard. Side note: I LOVE my companion. We get along really well and we are very similar. I love her to death and she has already taught me so much. Its going to be a great transfer. 

We are working super hard with our most progressing family. They all came to church yesterday which was AWESOME!! This gospel is so perfect for them. When we were at a member's home, we were talking about the family that we are teaching and I started crying at the thought of them not joining the Church. And to clarify, it's not the fact that they may not join the church that made me sad, it's the fact that their family will be missing out on all the blessings that his gospel has to offer. But they are doing so great. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has allowed me to love them so much. Honestly, I can't imagine loving a family more than this. My heart is gonna burst because I love them so much!

We are also working with some promising investigators so all is going well in good ole Indiana!

I had a revelation this week. I kept thinking and praying out the people that we are teaching and I was like "what can I do more? How can I help them?" But then it hit me, it's not about me. It's about the Spirit and Heavenly Father, they do the converting. It's not about what I say or do, I am just the mouthpiece. It is all about the Savior. Because of His Atonement, it enables us to change and to grow. Ah man how I LOVE being a missionary. This is the happiest most blessed work I could be apart of.


It has really chilled up out here in Indiana. There is talk of possible snow storms in the next couple of weeks. Please keep me in your prayers for my Arizona blood may not be able to handle it!

So my new companion is Sis. Vilingia. (picture attached) She's tongan and sooooo rad.  We are co-senior companions, although she has been out longer than me. Since she has been out for awhile, she has so much great experience! I think she will bring the change Covington needs so I am excited to see some differences!! It will be great!

Saying goodbye to Sis. Scott was hard though. She really became a sister to me. Tears were shed when she left. Her last day here we said some goodbye's to people. We went to the Cxxxxx and gave them a picture of the temple and wrote our testimonies on the back! Then, they showed us their testimonies, they wrote down, of the gospel and the baptism. It was really touching. Tears were shed, again, I must be a girl or something. But I love their family a ton. The gospel is perfect for them and they are perfect for the gospel. They received the Holy Ghost on Sunday and Gary received the priesthood! Next stop, Patriarchal blessing! Soooo exciting!! 

Because we were in an out of Covington, due to Transfers, we really didn't see any investigators! But on Sunday, our investigators, whom we haven't seen since Oct. 30 and who said that something was holding them back from church, came to church!!! And it was the Primary Program I know they felt the Spirit! We are excited to follow up with them this week and see what they thought!

This transfer I decided to really focus on the Savior. I have started reading Jesus the Christ and other talks on the Atonement. My reason for doing this is because I want to be more like Him. I want to love the way He loved, and served the way He served. The more I learn about Him, the more I realize how much He and my Heavenly Father love me. In what other church will you find people teaching us that Savior and Heavenly Father have provided every single opportunity to have us return to them. At the last day, it won't be us begging for the Savior to let us enter the celestial kingdom. He will be telling us that He has paid the price for us and that He loves us enough to let us enter! Ah, I love gospel and I love that I get to wear the Savior's name on my tag everyday.

Sorry for those who think I am being mushy and spiritual, but I feel prompted to share my feelings. I hope that my testimony and touched some of you.

Melanie and Gary are Baptized!

First, thanks everybody for your emails and prayers. It really means a lot to me. I can feel your love and support everyday!

This email may be on the shorter side because I spent half my life in Champaign (which is an hour away). So transfer doctrine, drum roll........... I'm STAYING. No surprise, I pretty much want to live out the rest of my life in Indiana. But Sister Scott is leaving. She will be training and opening a new area in Crystal City Missouri. I really am gonna miss her but I am excited to spread my wings and fly! My new companion is Sister Vilingia! She is polynesian and has been out 6 months! The word on the street though is that she is super rad so I am excited for the change! But because Sister Scott is training, she had to take another girl who is also training (who doesn't have a car) down to St. Louis for the trainer meeting. So I spent the day with Sis. Collett in Champaign in the YSA ward! It was actually really fun and I learned so much from Sis. Collett. I could for sure see myself serving at a university in the future!
So the biggest news that I have to offer is MELANIE AND GARY ARE BAPTIZED! AAAAAHHHHHAAHAHHA. Can I just say that I balled all day Sunday. So we first met with Melanie and Gary on Monday to see if they were all ready for the baptism on the upcoming Sunday. When they let us in they were like we hope you can stay for the rest of the night, we made Ehtiopian food and prepared FHE and then we are going to carve pumpkins! First, ethiopian food is tres bon, second, it was nuts to go into their home and have them teach us something, and third, we finally got to carve pumpkins! I was going to do a cat but their daughter mary did it so I didn't want to copy her! Their family is just soo prepared! So Sunday rolled around and it was fabulous. Fast and Testimony meeting was soo spiritual, that's where the crying began. The rest of the meetings were wonderful as well. Then the baptism was right after church. As soon as Sister Strawser got up and gave her talk, Sister Scott, Melanie and I were done for. The water works just started. After the talks, we headed for the font. I went to the bathroom to help Melanie and hold her towel and she was just balling. It was sooo beautiful. The program was just fantastic. People told us it was the most spiritual convert baptism they had ever been too.
I am so grateful for the Cxxxxxx family. They have touched my life forever. I feel so blessed to be the missionary to witness their conversion. I can't believe Sis. Scott found her when she was walking down the street and saw Melanie sweeping her porch 5 months ago and now they are baptized. Man, I love this gospel more than I thought possible. I love these people more than I thought possible. During the baptism, all I could think was, "this is what this work is all about, this is why I am here, this is worth every sacrifice."
The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the most beautiful gift Heavenly Father could give each of us. I can't describe how joyful and how happy I am to be a bearer of the truth and an instrument in the Lord's hands. I love my Savior so much and I know that through Him, all things are possible. I feel more blessed and more happy than I have for a very long time. I know my Savior Lives. I know that Heavenly Father loves me so much. I can see it every single day. I am thankful for the happiness and joy the gospel brings. Nothing is comparable to this gospel. So all of you dont give up, don't stop, don't let yourselves get tired. Because how great your joy will be when you bring one soul unto him! Even if it's your own. Because the work you do will affect past and future generations. I love my calling. I love being a missionary. Its sad that after the mission, my only worry wont be sharing my testimony every day.

This week was just full of stuff it was great! The downfall of our week though, it's freezing here now. It even snowed a little bit! AAH The Arizona in me can't handle this.

Our latest update with the Cxxxxx  family! I love them, I love them, I love them. This week we finished teaching all the commandments, which they willingly and faithfully agreed to live all of them! We meet with them a couple of times a week since their baptism is THIS SUNDAY!!!! But in our most recent lesson we decided that in addition to going over the baptismal questions with them, we would have a testimony meeting as well. It was beautiful. I cried, Sis, Scott cried, Melanie, cried. It was great. They both told us how much their lives have changed and how grateful they were for it. Melanie said it feels so good to finally know the truth. Their family is so wonderful and I couldn't love them anymore if I tried! Next time I email they will be baptized. Oh and Melanie ordered herself a quad (4 books of scripture) with her name engraved on it. She is so perfect! The Cxxxxxx are opening up and are just so comfortable in the ward, its amazing! Its nice to have another solid family in the ward, especially in Covington!

Our miracle this week! Last week, I emailed about the family we are teaching, Julie Xxxxx, and how her husband is against the church. Well we have been praying big time to have his heart be softened and we have see the miracles! The Newells set it up to have us have dinner with their whole family, including Txxxx. We got asked him questions and got to know him, and come to find out, we are teaching his sister and her family in Covington! (Indiana is the smallest world ever). Since the kids love us, they invited us to their home afterwards and we taught them about the Godhead! The lesson was wonderful and the kids just love what we teach. The whole time though, Txxxx was just in and out. But at what point the kids asked us "How does God answer our prayers?" And I told them the story about how Sis. Scott and I were praying to teach a family and we found them at the last house on the last street we tracted and on the last door we knocked. And I told them that it was Txxxx's sister we were talking about! Anyway, he stayed for the prayer and such but we didn't know if our lesson touched him in any way. Well, when we got home, Julie texted us and said he was reading the Book of Mormon and asking when church was! God answers prayers. I started crying because I was soo happy! She thanked us for everything and told us that her and her family really loved us. It's experiences like these that you are just like being a missionary is sooooo awesome!

This weekend was also our Fall Fest. We had a trunk or treat and a chili cook off (which the missionaries were the judge, yah babay!). It was really, really fun! I got to fulfill my life long dream of playing a dead person YES (a lady in the ward is certified in trauma makeup)! Pictures are enclosed but it was totally wicked. People couldn't even look at me it was so real! All in all it was so fun! Plus, all 3 sets of missionaries had investigators show up -Hooray! Our investigator, Victoria came withe her boyfriend and they really seemed to enjoy themselves! It is actually really humbling that she came because we were going to drop her this week because we werent seeing any progression. It's all about the Lord's timing I guess!

I love this gospel so much. I know Heavenly Father is there and he will answer our prayers. He loves us so much and is concerned with what we are concerned with! Always turn to Him no matter what!

There is a young family in the ward who the husband is from Az. So we bonded on our love of Mexican food and I mentioned how I make wicked guacomole (Madeleine's recipe) and he said he probably made better. So we decided to have a guacomole-off to prove who made the best guacomole. So we went to their home for dinner and they invited another family to be the judges. Dinner was sweet pork tacos, by the way, talk about a little slice of home! We made the guacomoles anonymously and they they tasted them. And guess who won?!?!? Yours truly baby! He was a little bitter, but hey I was so excited. Thanks Madeleine for the kick-butt recipe! 

Melanie and Gary are doing fantastic, as always! They are basically members already. This week we invited Brother Strawser to a lesson with them so he could talk about the Priesthood and the temple. The lesson started off a little rocky but it ended wonderful. The spirit was so strong I cried. They both committed to being sealed a year from now and they are really excited! I hope I will be able to go. But this lesson just made me realize how truly grateful I am for the Priesthood. I am thankful that I always had a worthy Priesthood holder in my home or access to one at school. I realize now that the Priesthood as made such an impact in my life! Aw man I love the Priesthood!

Things are going super well this week for another one of our investigators named Julie! She was a member referral and we have been teaching her for over a month now. Progression has been slow but she loves having us over and is really interested in the things we teach her.  This week we finally picked up her kids as investigators! She has 2 boys and one girl, and a girl that lives with her. They are the ages of 13 to 15! We taught about faith and the kids just loved it! They seemed to really desire to know more about Christ and develop their faith! They committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray more! It was so great. We love them and they love us. Now we just need to soften the heart of her husband. We will just have to keep praying for him! But we know this family will truly be strengthened from the gospel so we are excited to teach them again this week.

Man the work is wonderful out here. It hit me one day this week, while we were tracting, that my life couldn't get any more wonderful right now. I get to go out and testify of this gospel with everyone I meet. I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ and invite others to come unto Him. Man this gospel is beautiful. I feel my heart being changed everyday. 

P.S. Here are some pics from my adventures in good ole Indiana! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hello all! It's been a minute (some weird mid-west saying). First, I want to tell all of you that I pray for you every night and I hope all is well!

So this week things have basically stayed the same! We have 6 people in our teaching pool but it's been hard to find more people who are eager and excited about the gospel! I have been sick this week to so I am trying to get over it!

Melanie and Gary couldn't be more awesome! We met with them and talked about conference and they loved it! Gary even asked if they could get baptized earlier! Talk about golden investigators! But, we taught them the Articles of Faith and read from the Book of Mormon together and they just eat everything up! We also met with them last night to start their baptismal calendar. Some ward activities are happening so we had to push their baptismal date to Nov 3rd but what's one more day! We taught them the Word of Wisdom and Tithing/Fast Offerings and they perfectly agreed to live both commandments. It just continues to astonish me how prepared they are for this gospel and how much it is strengthening their family. I feel so honored that I get to be apart of this journey for them. I love them so much, almost as if they were my own family. I know Heavenly Father has blessed me with the opportunity to feel of the love which He has for them. Man this gospel is great and true.

This weekend was really busy for the Danville ward. We had 2 baptisms for the Elders the weekend and we also held an activity. The activity was we re-enacted Lehi's dream. Now before any of you get hasty and assume that we stood on a stage and murmured like Lemuel I will explain! We first read in 1 Nephi about the vision. Then they blindfolded us and stuck us in a room. Then they started making a ton of noise, but you could faintly hear a bell in the distance. So I started following the bell and someone place my hands on a string. So I followed the string all around the church but sometimes it would be on a door handle or chair and it would get confusing to follow. The whole time someone would whisper to us keep going, or someone would come up and make a ton of noise and try to convince us to let go. Once we reached the RS room (the tree of life) we took off our blindfolds and talked about the symbolism of everything. Melanie and Gary came and they absolutely loved it. 

The mission is a rollercoaster. Sometimes I find myself focusing on my doubts and fears. But there are miracles all around us. Lately, I have been praying to have more miracles happen and I have been disappointed because I felt like they just werent happening. But they were. Even the spirit telling us what street to tract is a miracle. Miracles happen to us everyday we just have to pay attention. The Book of Mormon is a miracle in and of itself. I have full confidence that if you read the Book of Mormon, with real intent, you will unwaveringly know that Christ's gospel is back on the Earth. The gospel means everything to me and I hope all of you feel the same way. We have the truth and its right in our hands, who are we to keep it from others! I love you all and I hope you each are finding your own missionary experiences in your own lives!

His Words Never Cease

So this week has slowed down a lot for the Covington sisters but all is well! We hope to do some crazy finding this week though and find Heavenly Fathers children who are eager to hear the gospel!
We met with Melanie and Gary this week! We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ then they fed us the best eggplant parmesan I have ever had! Melanie is basically a member. When we got there, they were playing a prophets nad apostles matching game! We invited them to pray this week and take the question of getting baptized on Nov 2 to conference. They came and watched but they didn't get a chance to talk with them afterwards so hopefully we can meet this week and see if they got an answer and and ask what they thought about conference!

Speaking of conference- WASN'T IT WONDERFUL! How blessed are we that because we have a loving Heavenly Father, we get to hear His words through a modern prophet. The bishop of our ward compared it to this- If the Savior were coming to speak to us, wouldnt we do anything to be there to listen. Well conference is the same thing! We get to hear what Heavenly Father needs us to hear through Thomas S. Monson! I really felt like my questions were answered in conference.

The first day of conference (Sat). we went down to Newport for an event called the Hill Climb. So basically every year over 20,000 people travel to Newport, IN (pop of 300) to race antique, restored cars up a giant hill! It was ridiculously fun! We watched conference at a members home. In between sessions we went and contacted. FYI- it's super hard to go up and just talk to people about the gospel, but it was my goal this week to try to talk to everyone. A saying stuck with me "If you want to baptize everyone, you need to talk to everyone" So I am still working on it but I am seeing success and I feel Heavenly Father giving me courage and strength. 

Sunday of conference we watched it as missionaries! Man was it wonderful! So many inspired words. Even the prophet thought that it was the most inspired conference that has ever been! So neat. In between sessions we had a pot luck which was super fun! (picture attached.)

Miracle of my week (combined with last week.) So one day Sis. Scott and I were down in Cayuga. Every Wednesday we travel down there for appts and we usually spend the whole day there. Well someone cancelled so we had time to tract but we didn't have our map of previously tracted areas on us so we didn't quite know what to do. We knew we hadn't tracted 8th st so we stopped and started knocking on doors. 6th door in we found some less actives/potential investigators that we have been searching for for months! They were less active because of being offended but we were able to talk with them and they seemed to really enjoy our visit. We even brought the bishop by this week and they really seemed to soften their hearts. Bishop even got them to commit to come to a ward activity and maybe church once a month! It's crazy how the Spirit prompted and guided us to be there to find them.

This gospel is so beautiful and I feel so blessed to be a servant of the Lord. Something I realized this week is that we are never asked to sacrifice too much. Because of the Savior's great and eternal sacrifice for us, He is able to turn around and ask certain requirements of us. It is never too much because we will never be able to repay the Savior for what He has done but He loved us enough to do it anyways. 

I love this gospel with all of my heart! I love and miss you all a ton!

September 30, 2013 email

So this week was crazy! Just non-stop business out here in good ol' Indiana.

S0 update on Melanie! We had FHE with her and her husband and her daughter on Monday night at the Strawser's home! It was sooo great. Their family really enjoyed it. It was a great time to get to know Melanie's husband Gary! We actually met with them a couple of days later and we planned to teach him the Restoration. When we got there though, he had already watched the Restoration video! It was nuts! We were shocked. So we ended up just talking about the Book of Mormon and the Apostasy. He said he totally agreed with the Restoration though! It was neat. Plus Melanie loved FHE so much that she has already planned the next one. She's basically a member already. Gary and Melanie and Mary actually came to church yesterday too! It was wonderful! So we met with them last night to ask him what he thought. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he seemed to like it. He didn't read this week but he said he will this week because he knows the church is an adjustment but he wants to gain his own testimony! We invited him to baptism and he agreed! So we changed Melanie and Gary's baptismal date to Nov. 2 so they can do it as a family and he will be ready and comfortable by then. Oh and Melanie watched the Relief Society broadcast and is super stoked for Conference this weekend! She even created a prophet matching game for Mary. I seriously want to cry every time I think about how much this gospel has changed their lives and how blessed I am to be able to be apart of it. 

That was the big news of the week but we also had some "Do or Die" lessons with some an investigators. Meaning, we asked them if they are seriously interested and if they want us to keep coming back! Luckily, they all said yes, but their progression is going to move real slow. We are praying to know what the best route will be to take for them so I will keep all of you updated!

This weekend was also homecoming for the High School here in Covington! Because the town is so small everyone gets involved with the events. We watched a parade then they had a big hog roast! It was delicious plus we were able to show people that we are normal humans! We even helped clean up. We also had the apple fest (pics attached)! It was this gigantor festival held in the square! There was a ton of food and booths and an antique car show! It was soo cool and there was tons of people there! We volunteered at it most of the morning. It was great to really get our name out to people to show them that we want to be involved and that we are caring members of the community. People have already told us that it has made an impact. For those who watch Gilmore Girls, this town is sooo like Stars Hallow, especially with the Apple Fest! 

Well Spiritual time. This week Sis. Scott and I read the talk Preach My Gospel Missionary by Elder Bednar. Reading it made me realize how much this work is not about me. The salvation of others and spreading the gospel is not about us! I love being apart of this work and I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He loves us so much and we can tell because we have the Book of Mormon and prophets on this earth again! Man the church is true!

Color Run

One Transfer Down!

I cannot believe I have accomplished one transfer (period of 6 weeks) here in good 'ole Indiana! It flew by! My companion and I are staying because training lasts 3 months, but half of our district is leaving! Because we all serve in the same ward we got pretty close, so it's sad to see them leave but I know it's for the best and that change is good! The Elders are so awesome though! 3 of them are training, one's going to be a district leader, and ones going to be a zone leader! Attached is a picture of all of us at Sunday yesterday!

This week has been so busy. Everyday is full of stuff. I can honestly say I feel exhausted, but hey I better get used to it for the next 16 months! 

Our teaching this week has been the most it has been! We have 2 baptismal dates! One on Oct 12th and one on Nov 2nd. We also invited two investigators to baptism and they said yes! The husband, Brian, is just so busy at work we are waiting til things calm down so we can set a date! This week we are hoping to really get some finding done! We are going to ask everyone we talk to for referrals and spend lots of time tracting! We know people are waiting to hear the beautiful message of the gospel!

Melanie, our most progressing investigator, is doing absolutely fantastic! While teaching her this week we asked her if she prayed about the date of Oct 12th for baptism and she said that she did and everything points to yes! We even finally got her to pray and it was beautiful! She prayed for the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and us! I got choked up! She came to church again yesterday. It was great. We had a linger longer after church and she stayed for it and even brought some delicious cake! And last night we were at a members home, the Strawsers, who live down the street from her, and we saw her and her family walking by so we invited them in! We got to know her husband a little more and they are actually having FHE with us and the Strawsers and the Strawsers home tonight! Melanie even said we could start teaching her husband too and that he wants to learn more! Things are just going so great with Melanie.

Man this week has been sooo fun though! If you all go to my facebook page you will see pictures from the Color Run. It was a 5k, in a town in our area, where they throw chalk on you as you run! It was soo fun! We went with a member and we ran it in 35 min! Which is actually pretty good considering I have never ran a 5k in my life! We ran most of it and finished in the top 30 out of 500 people. It was hard and I am still sore, but there are more 5k's coming up that I am excited to run. That same night though we tore down that woman's walls (the same one from last week) again so we didn't wash our hair because we knew we would get dirty again! Apparently, I didn't realize how much chalk was in my hair because it was pink the whole day and I am still finding pink today. haha

Well this Church is true and I am so grateful to be representative of the Savior. It is my responsibility to do and say what He would do and say if He were here. How great is my calling! 

Miracles in Covington!

This week absolutely flew by but was full of miracles! At the beginning of the week we had Mission Conference! Something that is weird about being the only missionaries in Indiana..we go off Illinois time. So we accidentally got up an hour earlier than necessary and as we were leaving for Springfield (which is 3 hrs away) we realized the mistake and slept for another hour! Needless to say, we were exhausted the rest of the day but the meeting was great. We received some training from Elder Carlos Godoy from the Seventy. He trained on the necessary things we have to do as missionaries using Alma 26:22. It was such a great training. I love taking time to focus on how to become better more effective missionaries.

So a goal Sister Scott and I main goal this week was to establish relationships between our investigators and the members. So when we plan a member present lesson, we call the member the day before, tell them the lesson plan and give them a specific assignment and encourage them to really befriend our investigators. It has been working so great and have really seen some success. 

This week we met with Melanie again! We have been meeting with her pretty regularly. She is progressing so well! We taught her the Plan Of Salvation and she was like I accept all of it! She loves everything we teach her and she just eats it up! She came to church last Sunday and came to church again yesterday! I just died! She brought her daughter Mary this week, she is 3. We came prepared and had stickers, coloring books, and goldfish for her! We held her attention so her mom could pay attention! She ended up coming to all the meetings and loved them and her daughter loved Primary! It was such a great Sunday! We set her baptismal date with her for Oct 12 and invited her to pray about it! When we meet this week we hope to start her baptismal calender and get her husband involved. Melanie has been teaching him the things we teach her, but we have never met him so we are hoping to get him involved! During Sacrament meeting we actually saw Melanie reading the Book of Mormon and she is already in Jacob! What a miracle! I can just picture her and her family being sealed in the temple. It is beautiful to see how much the gospel has changed her life.

Another strong family is Amber and Brian. They are a family we tracted into and were super open to our message. Brian actually texted us this week and told us he wants to join the church! We wanted to cry from joy!! We told him that is wonderful but we need to teach more of the doctrine to him so him and his family are aware! We taught his wife the Plan of Salvation and she was like I believe all of it and we are going to come check the church out on Sunday! It's crazy to see how people are already so prepared to hear the gospel. They actually didn't end up coming to church and we haven't heard why yet from them. We are a little nervous but we should find out soon!

Now for the most spiritual moment I have had on my mission yet. We received a referral from a family in our ward for their niece who used to live with them. As we were planning for the lesson we usually just start with Lesson 2 the Restoration. But I felt really prompted that that wasn't the lesson. After some prayer and pondering we decided to start with the Atonement and God is our Loving Heavenly Father. How right the spirit was. We were teaching her and the spirit was so strong. She disclosed to us the pain that she has been feeling and guilt from her decisions with her family. The family that referred her was there as well and we all got really emotional. We promised her that the gospel and the Atonement would bring her peace. Sis. Scott and I probably cried the hardest we ever had on our whole missions (well for me atleast). It was so great to see how our message touched her heart. She asked us to come back next week and every week after that! The church is true man!

Now for the cool part of my week. So a less active woman is remodeling her house and we offered to help! We went to her home Saturday and little did we know what we were getting into. We tore down a whole room! It was totally WICKED!! I was like cat woman of carpentry. It was so rad. It took us forever to do but it was really fun! We are going to bring the elders with us this week because she has 4 other rooms to do. She was really grateful for our help so we hope by establishing a relationship with her it will soften her heart and bring her one step closer to coming back to church! Plus we just love her and she is like the raddest woman ever. Afterwards she took us to a dinner to the best steakhouse in IN and bought us the best steak I have ever had. We eat really good in Indiana.

I have learned so much hear on my mission and to be apart of this work is the most amazing experience I have had so far in my life. I know that My Savior lives and that he loves us so much. The truth is restored and I am so humbled to be able to spread this message to the good people of Indiana!

Friday, September 13, 2013

True Blue Indianan

I think I am starting to get the hang of this Midwest thing.  I love Indiana and I have truly become a huge Hoosier fan! I even got some paraphernalia! If anyone would like some Hoosier pride let me know and I will try to get you some!

This week started out rough. I won't lie. The first day we were able to go and proselyte, no one answered the door. In reality, that doesn't sound too bad, but when you know they are legitimately there and they don't answer, it hurts a little. One woman, who we tracted into and gave a Book of Mormon and seemed pretty interested, actually gave us back the Book of Mormon when we went to follow up. I stood there absolutely speechless and wanted to shed tears. It hurt. The day was just awful! We visited a less active woman, because we knew she would lift our spirits because she was such a hoot. That helped a little but what was such a miracle was we got a media referral, which never happens! A woman tried to order the Book of Mormon online! So Later that week we went to her home and dropped it off to her! She seemed really interested and has a lot of questions that no one has been able to answer for her so we told her she found the right people! So we set up a return appt and told her to read it and she said she would have most of it read by the time we returned! I was blown away! Basically God totally is concerned with what we are concerned with. he is absolutely aware of us and our needs! It was such a humbling experience!

After that, the week perked up! It was a finding week though! We tracted 4 hrs the other day. It was fun though and we found lots of potentials! Funny story actually. We tracted into an old man who was super nice to us. He told us he was 80 yrs old and a die hard baptist. And as a missionary, if you hear someone say there are a baptist, you run away because they tend to hate Mormons. But we kept talking and he proceeded to tell us that we belong to the wrong church. His reasoning was that the baptist church has existed longer so they are the true church. He told us that the best thing we could ever do in our lives was to become a baptist. We exchanged pamphlets with him though and then left. We just laughed about it and added it to the story book!

The peak of the week was yesterday! First off, we had our first investigator attend church!!!  It was awesome! I almost cried. It was Melanie! So now that she has come we see that she is starting to progress and we can solidify a baptismal date! It was so great! We also had a lot of less actives come too! And then the Elders has lots of investigators and less actives come as well. Church as just nuts. Then last night we met with Amber and Brian (a couple we tracted into) We haven't been able to meet with them recently because he works a lot, but we have been giving them pamphlets to read! They ate the pamphlets up! They asked us a ton of questions and loved the answers they got! They even have started changing their lives to start coming to Church and we haven't even taught them the second lesson! It was a Festivus miracle!! I was so happy! I can just picture them being apart of the ward. That's what'
s so special about this gospel. I love to see people change their lives once they start realizing the truth! Man the church is true!

So the reason I am a true blue Indianan is because we picked corn!!! The parents of a woman in our ward own a farm and grew a fourth of an acre of sweet corn and we got to pick it, shuck it, and cook it! It was ridiculously fun and probs the coolest experience I have had! We probably picked 600 ears of corn. It was nuts! She tagged pictures of me on FB so try to find them and I will try to send some!

Well the church is true and I love and miss all of you!

Happy Labor Day!

Hello all!  First big news. I chopped my hair. It was a must. We were talking to one of the elders investigators and he was like yeah your hair is dead. So i cut it so it can be healthy. I am sending a picture in this email of what it looks like (along with a sign that saays please write me). I may have had an anxiety attack when I first cut it, but I love it now! I have always wanted to cut it this short but I have been too scared!

So I will share some cools stuff this week then some spiritual stuff!
This week Sis. Scott and I helped build a roof! It was soooooo cool. We complained that no one invites us to help them serve, so the RS Pres. invited us to help her sister build a roof. It was waaaay legit. Hopefully I can get some pictures out there soon.

Hilarious story. So we tracted into a super old guy named Darryl. He answered the door shirtless and looks like Dumbledore. We gave A Book of Mormon and set up a return appt. When we came back we tried to teach a lesson but it would just ramble on. For some reason he is OBSESSED with Ezekial. He would always bring it back to that. And apparently in chapter 3 it says something about wheels, well he claims its flying saucers. Oh and the light that rested upon baby Jesus's face- a UFO.  It was so nuts. Well, there was some miscommunication between Sis. Scott and I and we invited him to church.  He didn't come, but it would have been so funny. He was cray and we are so not going back. But its awesome to get funny stories like this!

We also celebrated Labor Day by going to Springfield, IL and having a BBQ. Two zones attended so we had an intense game of Capture the Flag. I am super cut up, but we had a ton of fun. Sis Scott and I are like the only sisters that really get into playing games with the Elders. It's prertty rad. I bet none of you expected that one from me!

Afterwards, we ended up sleeping over at another set of sisters apt (because we would have had to drive home for 3 hrs) because we had zone combined District meeting where we received some training! The training was awesome. It really sparked the fire in me to invite more, be more bold, and work harder. Someone said that no one will change unless we invite them to do so.

Now to the spiritual stuff!

This week the sisters training leaders stopped by and we did exchanges. It was super awesome. The Sister Training Leaders are great. Sis. Scott mainly taught lessons and me and one of the sister training leaders tracted. To preface, I hated tracted. It is super hot and humid and most people respond with "I've already been saved." But I have been praying to learn to love it because it is the main way we get investigators. So Sis Errington and I tracted. We placed 6 copies of the Book of Mormon and got 3 return appts! I LOVE TRACTING. The Lord really helped me and answered my prayers. He knew this was a challenge for me and helped me overcome it. 

We now have 8 people in our teeaching pool. People are slowly progressing, but we hope to ignite the fire and help them progress! The Church is so true. Being here has humbled me so much. Everyday I realize that there is something I need to work on. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and his patience and kindness with an imperfect person like me.

Fast Sunday was great. The testimonies were awesome. The ward is truly coming together and unifying. I feel like fasting is a way we are able to align our will with Heavenly Father's. I know it's hard, but it truly blesses us.

The thunder and lightning storms have started here too! Its been beautiful and a nice change of weather!

My Month Mark

This week has seriously flown by. But I have seen soo many miracles I can't even believe it!
My first P'day here was soo fun. We hung out with the Elders and played dodgeball and played soccer with some investigators. Needless to say though I was so sore for days. That's what I get for participating in physical activity.
My birthday was great. I honestly kept forgetting it was my birthday! But a lady in the ward came out with us for a member lesson, but our investigator bailed because she got called into work! So instead we visited some members down there, then she took us out for my birthday. We went to the best steak house in IN called the Beef House. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD. I had ribs. We ate so much that I went to bed and woke up full. Then after we went on some visits and stuff. All in all it was great! Thanks to everyone who remembered and emailed and sent pkgs and stuff.
WEDNESDAY was the day of miracles. So our teaching pool was basically thrown out from the last transfer. Everyone we had just wasn't interested or dropped us and avoided us. So we have been doing lots of tracting and it has been discouraging. But we had 2 lessons with a member present that day and both went wonderful! Our first lesson was with an investigator name Melanie who was met tracting. She is super sweet and soft spoken and is married with one little girl. We gave her a tour of the church and then sat in the chapel and taught her about the Atonement and sacrament. She started crying and admitted to us that this church felt like the perfect fit for her and her family and it is exactly what they ahve been looking for. Then we invited her to be baptized and she accepted! It was soo wonderful. That night we had a lesson with a older woman named Tina. She was also found tracting. She is single and lives with her sister. Shes been really into reading the BOM and thinks it totally makes sense. She believes that God placed us in her path and that this is the right thing for her. She really loves learning about the Church. 
Thursday was Zone Conference in Champaign, IL, which is an hour away from us. The Mission Pres and AP's came and we got a lot of training. It was soo great. It was a kick in the butt to not get comfortable. I realized that I need to be consistently striving to improve my weaknesses and find ways to strengthen myself as a missionary. We focused on the talk "Lift Where you Stand" and also the "Consecrated Missionary". It made me realize that I need to sacrifice more. There are still things about me and my life back at home that I need to let go of. The Zone Conference was really spiritual and helped so much! Afterwards we went to Texas Roadhouse for my birthday with a group of elders. Someone slipped that it was my birthday so they made me ride the saddle. IT WAS HUMILIATING. But funny. 
Saturday was the best part of the week. Just to preface. The Relief Society Pres, as well as others, told us the best way to pray is to be specific. So Sis Scott and I decided that the ward needs more families and worthy Priesthood holders so we have been praying to find some to teach. Wednesday we went tracting, and at the last house at the end of the street we met a lady sitting out front with some of her kids. We talked to her and she told us some really sad things about her life. We bore testimony and gave her a pamphlet and told her to read it then set an appt to come back on Saturday to talk with her about it. We go on Saturday with no hopes of anything happening. When we get there, her and her husband had read the pamphlet and totally anticipated us coming. They were so ready and willing to learn and asked us a ton of questions. We taught about the BofM and prophets,and apostasy. They asked us so many questions that we said we would go home and study them then set an appt for Wed night! We gave them a B of M and told them they were the answer to our prayers. IT WAS MAGICAL! I cannot believe that happened. We were in disbelief. Later that day we also picked up another 80 yr old man name Frank as an investigator. So we got 3 new investigators this week and now we are at 6 total! Our work has truly picked up!
Sunday is the best. This week we are focusing on unplugging from media before our ward fast on Sunday. We are fasting as a ward for unity. It is gonna be powerful! Also, Pres. Bednar, Elder Bednars son, came and visited and spoke. He even quoted his father from his talk Character of Christ. Us missioanries were tripping. haha it was soo cool. Also, these super inactive people came to church! We have been trying to see them for weeks but they flat out said they didn't want to see the missionaries. So after Sacrament meeting we jumped on it like a kangaroo! Hopefully, we can visit this week and reactivate them in the Church! I love this ward and I really feel like I am growing in the ward and establishing relationships! Miracles are AWESOME!

Being out here I realized I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I couldn't imagine being any happier or fulfilled if I wasn't here. I have reached a point where I can testify to people with full faith that the gospel will change their lives if they seek the truth faithfully. It is so wonderful to see the impact of our message to people.  I love this gospel so much. If we truly center our lives around the Savior he will change our hearts and we will become better and happier. Aw man the church is true! Love all of you and miss you a ton!

Cornfield for Days!

You will not believe where my first area is! Covington Indiana! In the St. Louis Missouri mission it covers a sliver of Indiana. We are the only missionaries here and we are the farthest mission from the mission home! It's insanity! But I love it here so far. Covington is a small town of about 2000 people. The issue is that everyone is a devout christian, baptist, methodist, or presbyterian! So when we meet people and try to share our message it stinks because people are like, "Oh, I know God and I am comfortable with where I am at."
Leaving the MTC was hard and exciting! We got to Missouri at about 2 pm Missouri time and met the mission pres and his wife! They were so sweet and nice! Sis. Morgan and I made a connection with West Lafayette and the Provonshas! So rad! We got to see the Missouri temple (in this mission we get to go to the temple once a transfer, but since we are so far away we have to get a member to take us. We are going Sep 7!!!) and take pics and stuff then we did interviews/testimony meeting/BBQ at the mission home. It was the longest day, but great to chill! Then the next day was transfers.

I got assigned to the Covington, IN area! It took a 4 hr bus ride and 1 hr car ride to get to our apt! The
town is small and everyone knows everyone and everyone is related! I met the ward yesterday! Everyone is sooo great! The ward covers a big area and goes into Illinois. About 40 people show up every week and there are 120 people on the roster. Lots of inactives because lots of people get offended for dumb reasons. My companion is great though! She's from California and we get along really well! We both want to work hard and get things done. The ward is sooo involved with missionary work! We go to ward council every other week. We meet with the bishop and relief society regularly. We meet with the ward mission leader every sunday! There are 3 sets of missionaries in our ward because it covers such a large area, but we are the only sisters. They constantly arrange refferals and lessons with a member and are wonderful at fellowshipping! I seriously love it here so much! The ward was so welcoming and i know we can get some great work done.
Our teaching pool is small. We have a hard time keeping people and commitments. I haven't taught one lesson. We knock on lots of doors so it's a little tough, but all is well. We are searching for people who are ready to hear the gospel. Sis. Scott and I talked about it and we feel like maybe our purpose here is to unite the ward and bring back less actives. And also to plant seeds in people's hearts. Since it is such a small town we are really trying to get our names out by being involved in the community and participating in events and service projects. We are hoping that if the people of Covington love Mormons then they will be more receptive to our message. I had a hard time with coming to this realization. I really wanted to come on my mission and convert and change lives! But I guess it will be in a more simpler way! We stay positive and don't let things get to us! I have faith that the Lord will guide us where he needs us to be!
I love this work and things are going great! Miss all of you!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friends From Home...

Sister Bailey with Elder Bingham and Elder Nelson

"I Hope They Call Me On a Mission..."

Man have the spiritual times been rolling though. I will try to keep my thoughts cohesive but I just have soo much I want to share. First, how little did I know before the MTC. Before the MTC you think you have a testimony and you are somewhat prepared to teach the gospel..HAHA no. Heavenly Father truly humbles you while you are here so he can show you what it is truly like to be converted (watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, it changed my life!) I have never felt so close to my Savior in my entire life, and I have only been here a week. I realized that if I had never decided to go on a mission I would never have learned and grown the way I have. I am so grateful to be apart of Heavenly Father's work and to be His humble servant.  I learned that to truly be converted we must be changed. We must begin to turn outward when the natural man would have us turn inward. Jesus Christ suffered so much for us in the garden. And what did he do when he was done taking on the sins of the world and having sweat pour out as drops of blood? He didn't seek recognition or praise. He healed the guards ear and humbly died on the cross for us. I realized that who am I to seek recognition for this sacrifice that I have made. I am here because this is the Lord's work and he has given me the wonderful opportunity to be apart of it!
Faith works too. I realized that when I got here, I probably had little faith. But being here, faith works my friends. If you have faith the Spirit will come, He will. If you have faith an invstigator will begin to change, he will. If you ahve faith the scriptures will answer your questions, they will. And if you have faith that God will speak to you, He will. That is what is so beautiful and powerful about faith. And honestly I am trying to exercise as much of it as I can. It's neat to think that the Brother of Jared saw the Lord's finger. He didn't see it at first. God began to light the stones, like the Brother of Jared asked. The Brother of Jared's faith increased to the point that he was able to see the Lord's hand. THAT IS SO COOL. You know why those miracles don't occur anymore, because of the lack of faith! You learn so much rad stuff here.
Being at the MTC, you think great I am going to learn how to be a missionary. But you don't just learn that. You learn how to be a disciple of Christ. That is why I love it here.
Our devotional Sunday was given by Jenny Baker, Elder Oak's daughter.  She's a famous violinist and so it was a musical devotional! It was beautiful! Then we watched the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar!! I have never been so chastized and edified in my life! It was sooo great! 


First Week in the MTC

...So my district is 6 guys 4 girls. And we are all going to St. Louis! There is also another district of 10 people going to St. Louis! So we got a big group heading out! I think that is pretty rad! My companion is Sister Mendenhall, she is from Salt Lake! She's a big athlete so she kicks my butt to work out. But I really like her and I am grateful that she is normal! haha
The first day was long and intense. Everyone says hello too in several different languages! The host takes you on a tour then takes you to class where you just dive into learning! It was insane. The first night we did this group thing where we sat in on an investigator's home and witnessed missionaries teach him then we got to ask him questions and teach him like one, gigantor companionship. It was really neat. I really felt like I learned that when we hear people's concerns we tend to just teach at them and bombard them with doctrine and info. In contrast, it showed me that in order for conversion to occur, we need to go where the investigator is. We need to feel what they are feeling. It was really cool.
The next day was pretty tough. The schedule was long and kinda hard to adjust. We had to do personal study for like 4 hrs. It was hard and I had a tough time staying awake! I also started to feel unprepared and inadequate but when those feelings come, Heavenly Father provides spiritual moments where you remember why you are here! We had a great workshop yesterday where we focused on our purpose as misssionaries! That was wonderful! We have also met all of our teachers. Dad you will enjoy this. My teacher Brother Rassmussen quoted a scene from Remember the Titans, where they go running where the Gettysburg battle occcured. It was sooo funny! But They are so great and really funny and insightful. I really think it is the coolest thing to be able to feel the Spirit here all the time. I am trying really hard to have strict obedience but sometimes I forget to do stuff or I don't think some things are a big deal, but my sisters help me and remind me.
Today has been wonderful!! We had class time for 4 hrs this morning already! Sister Mendenhall and I met our Progressive Investigator today(it's just one of our teachers). I feel like Sister Mendenhall and I did really well and worked well together, especially for our first time. We taught him about trials and the Atonement and invited him to practice praying and communicating with Heavenly Father! We have another lesson tomorrow and we are planning to teach him about the Book of Mormon! Today we focused on the doctrine of Christ and how it pertains to the invitation of baptism! It was soo great! I really feel like we think its weird to talk to people about the gospel and invite them to learm more about it, but in reality we are just inviting people to access the Atonement and come unto the Savior. That just really touched me and I kinda got emotional!
So far what I have learned is a lot about missionary work, but a lot about myself too! Before I came to the MTC, I focused on what I would do as a missionary and what kind of missionary work I wanted to accomplish. But this isn't my mission, it's HIS mission. I need to open my heart and mind to the Spirit and be able to follow God's will when it comes to teaching. I also learned the importance of the Doctrine of Christ. That we need to have it engraven in our hearts in order to be effective members and to help us the rest of our lives. Guys, THE CHURCH IS TRUE. And I love how I am able to feel that and have it testified to me every day!
I SEE EVERYBODY HERE! I already saw Sister Allen (Courtney Allen), Elder Evans (Laurens boyfrend), Elder Sellars (Amys boyfriend), Sister Crandall (Kathryn), Elder Nye, and Elder Perez (friends from BYU)! Its so fun seeing everybody and it makes me soo happy! Although it's been a little hard to adjust to the schedule, today has been wonderful! But something that I am sooo grateful for is that we aren't speaking a language! That seems sooo tough! It is truly wonderful here and I love that I am able to be apart of the Lord's work!