Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week 20: Christmas

This was sent to us by Jennifer Morton. She says, "Sis. Jackson and sis. Thompson
(from Arlington) on splits today! Beautiful young ladies and awesome missionaries! 

(Because we will get to talk with Elle this week for Christmas, this weeks email was short. We are looking forward to seeing her beautiful face and hearing her voice. Christmas 2015 can not come quick enough.- Todd and Liana)

We are going to have a baptism this coming Saturday! Heather and Regelio are going to be getting baptized! I am super excited and love that I get to make this journey with them!
 I got a phone call this week from a man in Tennessee, his name is John. Apparently John is the one that introduced the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Michael and Laurie who are going to be getting baptized January 2nd! We had an amazing conversation about how you may not get to see the end result of some missionary work but "planting seeds" is just as important as anything else. A few months back John would invite Michael and Laurie over for Book of Mormon study. Nothing happened with it, until we were able to find them and start teaching them and yes there were challenges and Satan can be very deceiving. The Book of Mormon has such an amazing power that can not be changed or messed with. It is because of the Book for Mormon the two of them are going to be getting baptized, and want to be baptized. It is nothing Sister Foster or I had to say, but what the spirit taught them when they would read from the Book of Mormon. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 19: Rain Rain Rain

There is a Christmas Tree down stairs but Elle likes
to have Christmas lights around her door so she can see them.
So it has been raining almost every other day. Which from what I understand it has been snowing a lot there in Utah. So I think we are pretty similar in the weather! We were able to help out at the Christmas Choir Concert that was yesterday, i​t was so beautiful! We had the Marysville Stake and the Snohomish Stake get together to put on the production. 

As we were ushering we had the opportunity to see Sister Daniels,​ she is 90 years old, an​
Austrian Schizophrenic who studies the Book of Mormon at the local 76 station. No that is not the story, but this week whilst studying with Sister Daniels she decided to tell Sister Foster about her friend who is struggling to "get a baby" (infertility not abduction). S​he told her about this woman's struggle and then promptly left, i​n her usual awkward way. 

This Sunday we got to help out at the Stake Christmas Concert,​ as I had said,​ and she showed up and began to tell Sister Foster even​ more about this lady. She said that she decided that it was her mount Moriah;​ Sister Foster said she liked the reasoning and her determination. She then told her that if she liked it so much she will never have babies. In fact she told her that now she is quite sure that she is going to live childless. 

Elle and Sister Foster
But on the bright side we were able to have a pretty good week! Laurie and Michael came to Church again and had an amazing time. They were able to meet a lot more people because they were able to stay the entire
time. But not just meet people but become a member of the ward family! I love it! I love watching it in action and being able to be a part of it all​ in such a great way! I think that we have been super blessed when it comes to our ward and I am super glad that I have had the opportunity to be able to be a part of their lives. 

But back to my story, at church Sister Van Leuvan came up to Laurie and asked her if she would like ​to go to the Arlington Nativity. The Arlington Nativity is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. The Stake comes together and decks out the Church with everything about Christmas. They had over 300 Nativity's set up in the gym and other rooms had paintings and then a room for the kids to dress up and take pictures and then a refreshment room. They only hold Sacrament while this is all set up because rooms are not available. Laurie was very excited to be invited. It was nice to be able to spend time with her by herself and not with Michael,"girl time"! 

Sister Stillwell got an early Christmas present   
We also had the Ward Christmas Party, it was so fun! It was really nice to be able to talk to everyone and just spend that time with our members and a few of our investigators. It is fun to be able to sit down with our ward family and get to know each other better and to be able to talk about the work that is going on in the area. It blows by mind all if the time when they are contently asking about what is going on and if there is anything that they can help with....even if they don't say that I know that is what they are trying to say! But I have to always remember that Missionaries make bad friends! 

I am super excited that Gable got his mission call!!!! You are going to do so amazing! This work is the hardest most rewarding work that you will ever get to be apart of! I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Sister Foster, Santa, and Elle at the Ward Christmas Party!

Helping out with the local food drive for the Food Bank.

top row left to right. Sister foster, me, Elder Gibbs, Elder Gonzalez,
 Elder Goodman, Elder Dowd
Bottom left to right. Elder Johnson, Elder Stoddard 

Ward Christmas Party.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 18: I Guess I Can Get Into Places!

Elle and Sister Foster Making Christmas Wreaths. 

So, on Wednesday this last week we were asked by the YM and the YW to come and be judges at their activity, we were going to judge their food. So I guess you could say that we couldn't pass up such an opportunity! They also asked us to talk about finances after the judging of the food, and how it applies to a mission.  They wanted it taken from Preach My Gospel. Well....there is not a section in PMG that talks about finances; we told him we would do our best and figure something out. So when we got there I was super blessed because in one of the meals they used Teriyaki sauce and the other one they used flour as a thickener! So Sister Jackson didn't have to try the food, which made me so happy since we had just eaten dinner. But then came the hard part! I have no idea how to talk about anything other than the Gospel. It is a blessing and also a curse...more of a blessing though. So we were talking after and I am not sure what happened, but after the presentation they asked why we didn't use PMG and we had to explain it to them. But I don't know if they got it. So we left the house and we were just laughing walking to the car, only because we don't know how to talk about normal things.

The next day we were talking to this 18 year old boy and I don't know how it came up but we told him that we were 19 and he was shocked and said that we looked like we were 21. Well I took that as a compliment and I started to nod my head, squint my eyes and said, "That means we can get into places!" He laughed we talked and went on our ways. Sister Foster after told me that it was maybe not the most appropriate thing to say....but some times things come out of your mouth and you don't know why. Maybe he just needed to know that Mormons or Missionaries were normal people to...I am not sure. 

Elle and Sister Foster

This whole week was crazy and it ended with a bang! We had FIVE investigators at church!! I can honestly say that it was all Heavenly Father. We had only a little to do with it. We are just two individuals who are asking these people to change their entire life style and to make some major changes in their lives. The only logical reason that they do it is because they feel the spirit and the spirit feels so good, awesome, even amazing. And through the spirit we are able to feel your Heavenly Fathers love and know that we are cared about.

But Nicole and her son are one of the investigators that we have been trying to get to church for over a month now. We were finally able to get her there and even though we were 30 minutes late, she stayed for the whole time and was able to make some new friends, but best of all she LOVED IT! Said that it was everything she could have hoped for!

Then Laurie and Michael we able to make it! Only for the first hour...but our members are so amazing at fellow shipping and radiating Heavenly Fathers love for each of us and helping you feel as though you have been a part of the ward family forever. They had a wonderful time and look forward to see us and coming back to church.

On Saturday we had a church tour with them. Laurie came in and said that she didn't want to be baptized and that it just wasn't for her. This made me sick to my stomach and I asked her if we could do the Church tour and I would address all of her questions and concerns at the very end. So we went through the church tour and you could tell that she didn't really want to be there or want to be baptized. When we finished I asked them if they had time and we could have a spiritual thought. They said yes, and so we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we started to talk about baptism and the importance of it Laurie went quiet. Michael is all on board but Laurie has been a little difficult. I was running out of things to say so I went quiet for a second and look at them both and said, "You know Laurie that if Michael gets baptized before you, he can receive the priesthood and baptize you right after."  That was it! That is what she needed to hear! They looked at each other held hands and you knew that the spirit touched their hearts! The spirit works wonders and I am so thankful to have it as a constant companion!

Heather Hernandez is a blessing sent from Heaven above, she said that she knows this is what she is supposed to be doing because everything in her life has always brought her back to the LDS Church. We talked a little about the Word of Wisdom with her on Saturday and gave her a pamphlet. Then church on Sunday, she said she read the pamphlet and that she dumped out all of her wine and that she is going to be fully committed! What!! Heavenly Father THANK YOU so much! She is super excited to be baptized and do something "right" for once! Those were her exact words! 

All of our investigators have had a problem with the W.O.W. and when we teach the lesson they are all willing to commit to changing their life style. But honestly I am so thankful for Perot, that it is a substitute for coffee. Well that's about the only substitute but I’ll take it!  Honestly little blessings are amazing! 

A house with Christmas Lights.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 17: Christmas!

Elle and The Book of Mormon

This last week I have been super grateful for my companion! Heavenly Father knew he couldn't give me anyone with gluten problems, because we wouldn't do to well together.  For example this last week was Thanksgiving and I couldn't eat the stuffing and a couple of other things. Most of the time when I would get something I couldn’t eat I would just put it on Sister Fosters plate! So she got to eat even more than I did. Heavenly Father really is blessing me! 

Our former Investigator Morgan who just got baptized is continuing to make amazing progress! We have been going over and teaching her the New Member lessons (Which are just all of the missionary lessons being taught all over again.  This time a member teaches these lessons.). Really Morgan has been all in! She is always asking questions, wanting to learn more and has been working on her parents. Her goal/dream is to get both of her parents coming to church and eventually her dad getting baptized. It is such a testimony builder to see this 13 year old girl and her little sister coming to church every week without their parents and staying so strong. I know Heavenly Father is softening their parent’s hearts and one day it is going to happen! I may not be around in Lake Stevens to see it, but that doesn't matter. All that matters to me is that they join the church someday. The only reason I know they will join the church one day is because of how much faith and love Morgan has. She is going to move mountains! 

Judy, Elle, and Sister Foster. Judy is a non-member who
Elle and Sister Foster visit and help.
We have started to teach the Hernandez family and they are super excited! They want to get sealed in the temple; well we can help you with that! So we are now teaching them the lessons and working towards baptism. It is so cool to talk to them and hear their story! Their dad (Mr. Hernandez) grew up Catholic and their mom (Mrs. Hernandez) has been baptized into (What seems like) every church that is available.  Super long story; Sister Hernandez grandma who she never knew was "Mormon" and so she wanted to learn more about the church.  This is when she learned about being sealed as a family for time and all eternity! This is what Brother and Sister Hernandez want! Heavenly Father really has been preparing them for a long time and the best part is they can see it! They look back at things that have happened in their life and they say, "It all makes sense! That is why it all happened. We were supposed to get here to Washington!” When they said this I just wanted to cry, because they are right. Everything happens for a reason and whether we are able to understand it at the time or not we will one day get to see the bigger picture.

It has blown my mind how much I have grown to love my ward and the people of Washington. I mean I hear things from people, sometimes good and sometimes bad.  I am either super excited by the news or I am saddened because of what someone has had to go through. Missionaries are truly blessed with the ability to be able to love everyone as our father in heaven does. To see others as he does no matter what they have done in their life or the decisions they are currently making. I am super grateful for this and that he would allow me to be able to recognize it! 

I love you all and hope that you had an amazing Thanksgiving! Happy (late) Birthday to Grandma Val! Have an amazing week! Don't forget to recognize the little blessings each week! 

Sister Foster and Elle on Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 16: The Fundamentals!

Sister Elle Jackson
This last week has for sure been a fun one! I haven’t really realized how emotionally and spiritually I am pushed, every day of my mission, until I was finally in the mission field. We have had so many great experiences this week that continue to remind me of how important it is to put my whole self, body and soul out there on the line every single day. When I do this I accomplish so much more then I could ever have even imagined! I am able to go home at the end of the night and feel as though I have done everything I could possibly do that day and once my head hits the pillow I am gone. But then when the alarm goes off at 6 am somehow and for some reason I am able to get up and start this amazing lifestyle again. The only reason I am able to keep going and not get sad, not be too tired, and not have the willpower to go on is because this Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives me the strength that I need to be able to continue on in my day to day life and not let the world get the best of me.

Hermana Webb and Elle
This last week the weather has played some crazy games with us. On Tuesday we were on exchanges with Hermana Gonzalez and Hermana Webb and it is always so much fun! But the weather was crazy! I have never in my life seen it rain so hard and seen wind as strong as it was! The weather was so crazy that it blew full grown trees over and the power went out for a long time. Some people still as of yesterday don't have their power on. On that little note the sun has been out almost every other day!
This week we had the opportunity to knock on a few doors! Let me tell you was the most fun thing we could have ever done! We went to visit some people and decided that we would just knock a few neighbors doors before we headed off to our other appointments. So we turned around and looked at the doors all lined up (we were in an apartment complex).  We stood there for a second and then Sister Foster said, “That one”, and pointed to a door that was on our left. So that is what we did. By doing so we were able to meet Kyle! We were able to teach Kyle the Restoration Pamphlet at the door and he wanted us to come back when his family was home so we could talk with all of them! He has never been really religious and so he had not heard a lot about what we talked about, but thinks this might be a good thing for him. We set up an appointment and that was that. We were super excited after that! So we decided to put Heavenly Father to the "test" and we walked back to where we were originally standing and said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to show us which door to knock on next. We stood there for a minute pondering and waiting for an answer and we got one! At the same time I pointed to a door on our right and Sister Foster said, “That one”. So that is what we did, we walked over to the door knocked on it and Jessica opened the door! She has been Christian her whole life...which is ironic because we are Christian also! So we started talking to her and were able to get a return appointment! We left that apartment complex happier than ever! How cool is it that Heavenly Father will give you an immediate answer if you take the time to ponder and see to where he would like you to go! 

Scripture Study and Breakfast
On Friday we went on another exchange with Hermana Clark and Hermana Hubner. This time I went to their area and was able to be a part of the Hispanic culture for a day! My stomach wouldn't be able to handle an entire transfer, but it was so much fun. I was able learn how to say my testimony in Spanish and also be able to say a prayer! One of these days I am going to be fluent in saying both of them. But I had so much fun with Sister Clark! She is such an amazing person and an even better missionary, it helps that we are a lot alike. I also was able to appreciate what I have been given a lot more! 

Elle and Hermana Clark
This week though I have had a hard time with not being the best and why can't I just be given all the experience I want now, why do I have to work for it?  Well I received my answer. I was listening to a talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in 2010, (Click Here) Of Things That Matter Most.  He talked about Vince Lombardi and when he would get his new football team every year he had a ritual he would do. He would gather them all together and show them a football and say, "This is a football." and would explain a little about it. Then he would take them out to the football field and do the same thing he did with the football. Even though the team were experienced football players who have been playing for years, he would start at the beginning and explain the rules, the game and all of the little things. President Uchtdorf explained that it is important to understand the Fundamentals before you are able to move on and become even better than you thought you could be. It was almost a smack in the face because I was able to realize that I have to learn the fundamentals of anything before I am able to become the best. 

I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week!

Weekly planning meeting at Taco Bell!

This is the front yard of Elle's duplex.

Either a little snow or frost.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 15: The Rain is Here!Elle

Sister Foster and Sister Jackson were given these cute little handmade turkeys
from the residents at the senior living facility they serve at each week.

Well this week has been a good lead in to what Washington weather really is like. It starts to get dark at 4 o'clock and rains all day and all night. Well I guess that is over exaggerating a bit. Two days this week it quit raining for a couple of hours! Oh and the Sun was out for 10 minutes yesterday! But the weather is okay because we had some miracles this week.

We went to visit Deborah, she is a potential. When we got there (We have stopped by before and so I know what apartment is hers), but for some reason I couldn't remember. So I look at the two doors and decided I was going to have to take a guess because I had no idea which one it was. So we walked up knocked, waited a second, and Deborah didn’t answer the door! But that's okay because a neighbor of hers, Rosemary answered her door. This gave me a chance I get to talk with her! So after talking to Rosemary for a while she was about to shut the door on us. Her daughter Michi came to the door to see who it was. The door opened wider. That was my chance! This was my shot to be able to get in the house! So I asked them if we could come in and talk to them more. They looked at each other than at us and with a big smile said, "Of course!"  We went in and started to talk and then we taught them about the Plan of Salvation. They loved it and invited us back talk more and also to eat dinner with the two of them. I know I just didn't forget what door it was on purpose because Heavenly Father knew we needed to talk to Rosemary and Michi! 

Not only did we get to have that miracle this week but we had a similar experience! We went to visit another Potential, her name is Sara and she lives on the other side of town. We knocked on the door, no answer. We knocked again, no answer. So we were just getting ready to leave and a lady (Amanda) started to walk up the stairs, so I asked her if this was her apartment. She said yes and so we started talking. We started to teach her right there. She told us when she was younger that her mom had the missionaries over to help them move and that it was a long time ago. She thought it was crazy that we just showed up out of nowhere and found her. So Sara moved and Amanda is now living in her apartment. We went in and talked to her more and now are going to be going back. She is living with her boyfriend right now and he is Baptist but she said she would love to learn and that everything happens for a reason! After we left her house we were just amazed at all of the miracles we were able to see and the blessings we were able to receive. 

Heavenly Father really does love me! He is constantly blessing me every day and has given me an amazing companion that wants to improve and learn everything that she can. I am so grateful to be able to be serving a mission right now at this time. Thank you so much for all the love and support! I love you all so much and hope you have such an amazing week! 

Elle and Sister Foster

Elle with Christmas Lights

This is from Jeff and Adrienne's trip to the Utah Football game in Seattle.
 They were less then an hour from Elle.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 14: Cold, Colder, and Coldest!

Elle and her new companion Sister Foster.

Well if I haven’t told you already it is starting to get pretty cold. About 4:00 pm is when the sun starts to go down, if it was even out-and then 5:00 pm it is pretty dark. So around 5:30 we can go knock on doors.  Most of the time when knocking doors after 5:30 we wake someone up who has gone to bed for the night. So now we are going to have to get smart with what we do and when we do it. Make sure we are using our time wisely. 

Elle and Sister Foster. P-Day sending E-mails.
On a better note I was able to get my new companion on Tuesday! Her name is Sister Foster. She is from Exeter, California. She is so awesome! She is so ready and excited to work! Heavenly Father really has blessed me with awesome companions thus far. I do believe He will continue to bless me as long as I continue to be obedient and work hard. I love being able to work with other missionaries who have the same goals as I do and who are out here ready to share what has brought them happiness and joy. I think that is why it is so easy to create friendships with missionaries (before my mission I would run the other way).  We understand each other because we have the same goals every day. 

When I picked Sister Foster up on Tuesday we didn't get home to Lake Stevens until 9:00 pm. It was okay because the next day we were going to go out and work hard, just like every other day. We had a really good week!

Let me just tell you how much Heavenly Father loves me! The other night when it was raining and we were doing the normal missionary thing knocking, walking and talking. Sister Jackson lost her name tag and didn't realize it until well we had showed up to our next appointment. When I realized it was gone I started to have a small panic attack. Lucky for me Sister Foster had the brilliant idea to look at the last picture we took (we had just previously taken a photo) and it wasn't in the photo so it had to be at out last appointment. Sure enough it was! It was lying in the middle of the street! Oh Heavenly Father loves me so much and is looking out for me.

 We went and taught Sandra and she is such a blessing. We found her from contacting. Before we ran into Sandra I did not like contacting and I just didn't want to do it.  It's not because I don't like talking to people but I thought it was a waste of time and that we could be doing something better. Because I felt this way Heavenly Father knew that something big was going to have to happen, sad but true. So the one day we go contact we contact into Sandra and now we are teaching her and she is on date for December 5! She has been the perfect investigator! She has been looking for a church that doesn't talk about negative things. Well this is what I love about our church; we are so positive and celebrate the happy little victories of life.  She came to church this Sunday and it was the primary program! The rest is history! HAHA no! But the primary program is one of the best sacrament meetings of the whole year! The spirit is so strong and I always end up in tears!

I am so thankful of the chance I have to serve a mission! I have learned so much and know that it is only going to go up from here! I love you all and I hope you have such an amazing week! Don't forget that you are a child of God and He loves you immensely! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 13: It's Not All Beer and Skittles!

Elle at the Ward Halloween Party.
So you may be wondering why my heading is the way that it is. Well when you are talking to people and they tell you their whole life story and all of that fun stuff instead of saying, "All that and a bag of chips." They prefer to say, "It's not all beer and skittles."

On a better note this week has been really amazing! We ended up running out of miles, because we had to go on several emergencies.  So we had to walk everywhere. You can't be a real missionary unless you walk everywhere for a couple of days. So our AMAZING members would pick us up in the morning and drop us off in the area and we would walk from appointment to appointment. So that meant we were going to get to talk to everyone we passed instead of driving by them! And that is what we did! We did as the Pioneer Children did and we talked and we walked and walked and walked! Name that tune!? That is beside the point, we were able to find a new investigator, Sandra!! It is so amazing how Heavenly Father places you where people are ready. You just have to be willing to open your mouth and share what you know! Sandra is so amazing and she truly has been prepared. We were able to teach her the Restoration on the street and she loved it! When we had talked about the Great Apostasy she said, "Oh that is what happened." Then about Joseph Smith and he didn't know what church to join she said that she doesn't blame them and that she would have done the same thing! Anyways we went back the next day and we were able to put her on date for baptism and she is super excited for everything!

Then we had another MIRACLE!!! Heavenly Father seriously loves us!!! We were walking the next day and we went to visit a potential, Nicole. Nicole is so ready to be baptized! She is also a new investigator and she is all about her family, them being together, being happy, and she wants them to be a part of a church! We can help her will all of that! So we went into her house and we started to teach her, she got super excited and said she hasn't felt this good in a while! She told us about her friend who is a Jehovah Witness and that she doesn't really like everything that they talk about. But when we come over she has such a better feeling and she knows that by that feeling joining "our" church is the better thing for her family! She wants to come to church and wants her boys to join scouts. She wants to join Relief Society! We have seen so many miracles this week and it was all because we had to walk because we ran out of miles...and a lot of them were even before that! 

Sister Mahoni and Elle

My trainer went home yesterday and I will be getting my new companion tomorrow. I am going to be staying in Lake Stevens and will be training. Heavenly Fathers has to have something up his sleeve to be letting this happen but I have full faith that he be by my side the entire time as I turn to him for help and seek the spirit in all that I do. We will be able to have success this ward needs. The field really is white and ready to harvest! I love you all and hope everything goes amazing this week! Thank you so much for the letters and packages! 

Favorite Quote: "There is enough going on in this life that anyone can work themselves into a puddle of pessimism and a mess of melancholy. But I know people who, even when things don't work out, focus on the wonders and miracles of life. These folks are the happiest people I know."

- Deter F. Uchtdorf 

E. Gibb, S.Johnson, E. Gonzalez, S. PAcker, S. Mahoni, Elle, E. Howlett, E. Dowd

Ward Halloween Party

Ward Halloween Party

Sister Packer and Johnson

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 12: Baptized!

Elle on her first ferry boat..just like Grey's Anatomy

This weekend has been the most spiritually uplifting weekend!! We were able to have both of our baptisms on Saturday and then the conformations on Sunday! Morgan, Avery, and Jaydah are so beautiful and had such amazing experiences! That whole day was so crazy! I had no idea how much work was put into a baptism until this last week, and on top of that we were on exchanges every day until the baptism! I was making phone calls left and right inviting people, setting up the program, and finding members to bring something to eat after the baptism. Thank You Mom and Dad for making it look so easy! I had no idea but it was so rewarding and was such an amazing day! Both of their families are super supportive and have invited me to live with them after my mission. I told them I am only at the beginning and have a while to go (Even though it is going so fast). They told me that it is okay I can just stay in Lake Stevens the rest of my mission and live with them.

Elle, Jayda, Sister Mahoni, Sister Moody
Sister Mahoni,Morgan, Avery, Elle, Sister Moody

Heavenly Father really has blessed me with amazing people and my mission could not have started any better! Our members have been amazing and are so good at supporting the new members and Investigators. It really all starts with the bishop, and our bishop is so amazing! He reminds me a lot of Dad and Jeff...his name is Jeff LaPerle fitting hugh?! Even though we had such an amazing weekend Heavenly Father only let it get better and better! At church Jaydah's family stayed the entire time and in Relief Society. Her mom was participating like she had been there every Sunday. I love Heather Hernandez so stink'n much! After we were talking to her and she said, " OH YA, we are all going to be baptized...we just need to learn a little more. " We didn't bring anything like that up. It was so amazing and then later that night we went and saw them to set up an appointment so that we can start to teach them. She also brought up that they are going to be getting sealed together!! Holy Cow! How is she not baptized already? She has been through a lot the last couple of years and she know that God needs her in Washington. She said everything makes sence and so it would only make sence to get baptized and join the church! After Sister Mahoni told me that if they get baptized before my six month mark and go to the temple a year later I will still be on my mission and I will get to go! I don't want to get to excited to fast because Satan works really hard on people that are so close, but I know that if Heavenly Father is ready for this to happen it will.

The end of the transfer is coming up and Sister Mahoni will be leaving me this Sunday and will be going home to Hawaii. She has been so amazing and I could not have asked for a better Trainer/Companion. She has taught me so much and I know that Heavenly Father put us together for a reason.  She has helped me forget myself, love everyone that I see, and become a P.L.O.W.S. Missionary. P- Preach My Gospel, L- Love Everyone, O- Obedience, W- Work Hard Work Worthily, S- Strive for Excellence. She has started my mission in the best ways possible and I will continue to work hard because that is the only way that Heavenly Father is going to continue to place people in your path. I will miss her greatly but I know that my next companion which I will get next Tuesday will be just as amazing and be ready to continue to work hard. I have loved my mission so much and am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve my Father in Heaven and be able to bring others to know of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

I love you all and hope that you have such an amazing week. 

P.S. I hope Bradyn's 16th was everything he could have ever wished!

My Ponderizing Scripture:  Mosiah 3:19 (Click Here)

Morgan and Avery

Sister Mahoni, Jaydais in the pink. Lillyhas her eyes closed and Jasel

First time on a ferry.

Exchanges with Sister Rodda

Exchanges with Sister West

Is a caption really needed?

Morgan, Avery, and their parents.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 11: A Week Full of Miracles and Excitement!

Gracie and Kristi

Well this week was full of miracles and excitement! We went on an exchange every day this week and it was exhausting. On Thursday we got a call from one of the Sisters that we get to serve and she said she was going to be going home and that she is done with this (Her Mission). I gave her a call and we talked for about half an hour on the phone, by the end of the conversation she said she would wait until the weekend before she makes any decisions.  We also decided we would go on an emergency exchange and talk things out more. She agreed and that was that. About half way through the day I got a text message that said she had her plane ticket and she would be going home on Saturday. I was so shocked (even though I really shouldn't have been).  I had prayed about her everyday and I knew she was suppose to be out here teaching and serving the Lord. If she wasn't supposed to be here something would have happened that would have made it so that she wouldn't be able to come out. So we ended the exchange we were on early and drove over to these Sisters apartment. When I saw her it was all I could do not to cry. We went in the back room and talked for about an hour. The entire time we were talking she was only coming up with reasons she needed to go home and no reasons for why she was supposed to stay. It took me an hour before I was able to realize she needed to go home and that she was not going to be able to get any work done out here because she didn't want to be out here. At the end of the conversation I told her I would support her all of the way even though I was still heartbroken and sad.

Sisters Johnson, Packer,Moody,Mahoni, Elders Dowd and Howlet
 After all of that we got home at 11:00 pm and we were exhausted. I kept wondering why Heavenly Father would let something like this happen. Let such a powerhouse missionary go home and not be able to help all of those who are ready to hear this message. I pondered this for a while and then I was able to come to the realization that she had done all that she was suppose to, and maybe she was only suppose to be out here for three weeks and she was going to be able to learn what lesson she was suppose to. I know Heavenly Father has a reason for everything and even though I may not be able to understand all of it right now this is okay. He can see the big picture and he will put me where I need to be and with those I need to be around, even though it may be heartbreaking at the time. 

Sister Moody, Sister Krumonacher, and Elle
On a happier note we are going to be having two baptisms this weekend!! I am so excited! The first baptism is going to be with Morgan and her sister Avery. We have been working with these two sisters almost the whole time that I have been out here. They were ready to be baptised the first time we met them. They were a referral from our bishop and a member in our ward. I have truly been able understand the importance of working with our members and the role they play in missionary work. Hard work is paying off because of these two baptisms. These two girls are so excited and I am so excited for them! Because of their decision to be baptised they will be able to come closer to our Father in Heaven and be able to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion! This gospel is so amazing and brings so much happiness into your life whether you want to admit it or not. Their mom is a super less active and doesn't go to church at all, their dad is not a member. But they drop them off at church and the mom will sit in on the lessons and will read the scriptures and pray at night with the two girls! Heavenly Father has softened their hearts a ton and continues to do it every time we go over! One day this family will be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity and that will be the happiest day of their lives!

Heather in the Green and Sara. Sister Mahonie and Elle
Our other baptism is with Jaydah, she is 14 years old. Her family are not members but they live with her uncle and his family who are. So the first time we met Jaydah she came up to us and took us to her mom and told her, "Mom these Sisters are going to baptism me and they are going to baptize you and the rest of the family!" When she said this we all were thinking well this is great. But the mom looked at us, smiled, and said that is great come on in. This is the second week we have been teaching her and she will be getting baptized on SATURDAY!! We have been working hard to teach her all of the lessons and she has been doing her part in keeping all of the commitments. She even takes the Book of Mormon to school and reads it! Future Missionary!!!! The Young Women in our ward have been so amazing at fellow shipping her and making her feel as though she is a part of everything! They even take the initiative to teaching her some of the lessons so that when we go and actually teach it she already knows a bit about it! We have a pretty amazing ward and our Bishop is all for missionary work and helping the work continue on strong. I love my area! There is so much work to be done we just have to be willing to ask for the help and Heavenly Father is going to be help us. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Happy Birthday Bradyn!!! 
Elle Fell asleep while studying.

Sister Stanley

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