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!