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!