Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 25: Lake Stevens

Jumping in puddles is one of my most favorite pass times.
Mom I hope you are feeling better and I am so happy that your talk went so well at Stake Conference! Honestly Heavenly Father, I am convinced as we study and do our part He really does "write" our talks for us! I would agree. I am also so excited for Elder Munn and the new adventures he is going to be going on! Everyone in the world should serve a mission! There are so many things you learn and experience that you couldn't experience anywhere else. Also you all keep complaining about the snow, suck it up! I haven't seen one little snowflake in Washington! I can honestly say that I miss the cold and the snow. 

I love Lake Stevens and I am sad I am going to be getting transferred. There is so much work to be done and I am super excited for the missionary that is going to be able to get to work there with Sister Foster! I won't find out where I am going and who I will be serving with until tomorrow, so that will be a good-fun interesting time. Now all I have to do right now is pack all of my things. This last week has been so fun and amazing! But first I want to tell you about the house that is covered in Seahawks wrapping paper.

Community came together and made this house a super Seahawks house
When I got to Lake Stevens and I saw the house for the first time the thing I thought was these people are crazy obsessed. I mean you take my family and how much we love Utah and times it by 10, then you might be close to how the people of Washington feel about the Seahawks. I mean we can't even knock doors during the games or we will never be invited back. So when I saw this house I just though really? So I asked one of our members about the house and she said, "Oh that house has a really good story to it!" The first thing I thought was your kidding! But it is true! The family that lives in the house has a daughter with down syndrome. When she would go outside or go somewhere she would get really nervous if she couldn't see her home. So her family put up a flag with the number 12 on it for the Seahawks, so she would always be able to know what house was hers. One night some child of God stole the flag from the flagpole. When she realized this she started having panic attacks and would never go outside in fear of not being able to find her home. When the town found out about this they were not really happy that someone would feel as though taking her "Safe haven" away from her was an okay thing to do. So everyone on the “Buy Nothing Lake Stevens Facebook page” got together with all of their Seahawks things and went to the home and gave everything they could to this family. The first thing they did was put up a new flag and they wrapped the home in Seahawks wrapping paper. Now she is able to find her house whenever she steps away for a second. The town of Lake Stevens is very united, kind, and willing to help anyone who is in need. 

Sister Newman, She is a member of the church and
an artist in Lake Stevens. She painted Elle a picture
of the lake.
This last Sunday I was able to "watch" and experience this in Relief Society. The lesson was on Elder Nielson (A Plea to my Sisters) Click Here and Hollands talk (BeholdThy Mother) Click Here this last conference about being Daughters of our Heavenly Father and Sisters. It was fun to be able to learn about these two talks because they were a couple of my favorite conference talks. From Elder Nielson’s talk he talks about what attributes women of the church need to cultivate. We talked and went through this list and it was amazing to see the responsibility we as women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have. The reason I tell you this is that a Sister in the ward got up and talked about how we are all "Mothers to each other". Since her mom died whenever she needs help or is having a hard time with things she is able to turn to all the women of the ward. The things she would take to her mother she feels and knows she can turn to the ward for. The coolest part of the whole lesson is that the spirit was so strong! The love that theses Sisters have for each other is stronger than anything that I have ever seen. Actually that is a lie! They see each other's worth and value just as the Savior and our Father in Heaven see them. 
I have learned so much on my mission thus far from those in the Lake Stevens ward and those in the Lake Stevens community. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve here for as long as I have and would not have wanted to be any other place. I am excited to see where Heavenly Father needs and wants me to go! I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! Until next time! 

P.s. Read Alma 26 (Click Here) it is one of my favorite chapters in the whole world. Also the Book of Mormon has really become my most favorite book in the world. I thought missionaries just said that because they had to. But the truth is it really is the best book anyone could ever read! It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, but you can understand the things that it is saying!! I LOVE IT!

Elle, Sister Foster, Sister Tennant, and Sister Deaver

Elle made Sister Tennant Musubi

Elle said, "I could have gotten rabies".

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 24: Atonement of Jesus Christ

Teaching the Gospel in the rain

This week has been awesome! The weather was good and I was able to spend a lot more time in Lake Stevens this week. I was able to start the week off right by going on exchanges with Hermana Pirir and Bagley. They live in Mount Vernon and so we got to make another trip up there. The drive up I-5 is becoming a normal thing, but it is a lot of fun! This is Sister Pirir’s last transfer so it was fun to be able to do an exchange with her before she goes home. We spent the day in Lake Stevens and of course we were running around like crazy! Exchanges are a lot of fun. They are a lot of hard work, super crazy; but I get to know Sisters that I don't always get to serve with and we become such good friends just with in the 24 hours of being together

Sister Pirir and Elle

Sister Tennant and Elle

We (Sister Tennant and I are STL [Sister Training Leader] companions) had the opportunity to instruct three different times. We instructed at a couple of Zone Meetings and I was able to learn so much by preparing for them. One of the instructions was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I realized I don't know a lot, however with the Atonement of Jesus Christ right when I think I have learned everything there is to learn I find something else! It is so crazy and I am super grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ! My testimony has grown so much and is only growing more every day. I do know the Atonement is for everyone and we all can benefit from it if we allow ourselves too. That's the thing with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it doesn't only allow certain people to benefit from it! All are welcomed and loved! I have seen and worked with people from broken homes, people who have thrown their lives away from dumb choices they have made, and those who are too stubborn to change little things in their lives. The Atonement of Jesus Christ softens the hearts of all those who are able to admit they need the help

Sister Pickup, Sister Thompson, Sister Tennent, and Elle
We were able to go to lunch with Sister Pickup and Thompson in Arlington after their Zone Meeting, after lunch we went back up to Mount Vernon for the last time! Hallelujah!!!

We get to teach so many amazing people! Michael who was just baptized has such a strong testimony! He has been teaching us every time that we go over! The Holy Ghost is an amazing and can teach us way more than anyone could.

Transfers are coming up and this means Sister Tennant is going to be going home :( (Frowny Face), then who knows what is going to happen! Everything is up in the air at this point. 

Sorry this email is so short! I hope you all have an amazing week! Love you!

Sister Jennifer Morton wrote, "Sister Foster and Sister Jackson
are so great! They helped me turn my daughter into Princess Leia for a birthday party!"

Friday, January 15, 2016

Week 23: At Least There is the Spirit!

Sister Foster, Elle, Laurie, Michael, Patrick Disnmoor, Tom Glaves

Well first things first, Happy Birthday to Brad! I hope that you had an amazing day! Second good luck to Gabel for his farewell talk this Sunday! Georgia is getting a pretty amazing missionary. Third Bradyn I love you and I have surprise for you that is well needed. Last but not least I am super excited that you will all get to see the new Provo City Center Temple! 

I have been super blessed thus far on my Mission to be super busy. I feel sometimes I am running around with my head falling off, but I think this is a lot better than not having anything to do. Blessings, Blessings, Blessings! 

Elle and Sister Mackelprang
This last week we had to go on three exchanges and also had Mission Leader Council (MLC). So needless to say I was in Lake Stevens twice this week and only one of the days was with Sister Foster. It was super fun. Monday was P-Day and that night we drove up to Mount Vernon for an exchange. I got to spend the day with Sister Mackelprang, I have a picture that I am still trying to figure out how to send. It will get there....eventually. But she is such an amazing missionary and taught me so much. We were able to go and visit one of the members of her ward who has been a member for 10 years? She turned her life all the way around. She used to be a part of Hells Angels and almost got put in jail a few times, and a bunch of other crazy things! It was so much fun to be able to hear how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed her life for the better. She has such an amazing story and I wish that everyone could hear it.

Sister West and Elle
That night I traveled back home to Lake Stevens with Sister West (that picture will be coming soon) and was able to spend Wednesday with her! I was her STL her very first transfer! She has become such an amazing missionary! She really is losing herself in the work! She is actually Companions with Sister Krummanacher (Jen's cousin) and so two of my most favorite missionaries are together! WHAT WHAT! Drove back to Mount Vernon to drop her off and pick up Sister Tennant and then I was home for the night.

The next day was MLC so Sister Tennant and I drove to Mill Creek for the day for that and then finished the day in Armar with Sister Tennant. We were able to find a potential Devan and are going back to see him tonight! I am super excited because I will get to go and teach him with her....only because we are driving back to Mount Vernon tonight but that is a story for another time...next week. Friday I was with Sister Foster and we were able to be in Lake Stevens together. Working super hard! That night we had another exchange and this time it was with the Hermanas, so I was able to go Spanish for Saturday and spend the time teaching people in a language that I don't know. At least I could feel the spirit and so that is good! That is one language the "Language of the Spirit" that is universal! It doesn't matter where you have come from or what language you are speaking, EVERYONE is able to feel the SPIRIT! Now not everyone understands what the spirit feels like, but they do feel it. This is why we as members of the church need to help everyone understand they are feeling the Spirit!  I am super grateful for how busy I have been! It truly is such a big blessing!

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

Elle with Laurie and Michael

Sister Foster, Rogelio, heather, and Elle

Sister Foster and Elle trying to capture Tom the Spider

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Week 22: All is Well in Zion!

Sister Foster, Elle, and Elder Kappel

Well we had an amazing week! We were able to have four baptisms this last week! That was super exciting and stressful! I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and that everything was going to fall into place! But that was a lie, it is a lot harder than I realized but everything worked out for the better! It all started when Sister Foster and I went to the church to start to fill the baptismal font. That was a lot of fun, we got the water to the right temperature and the right speed, and then I saw it! A spider was right there in the font trying to climb up the wall to get to safety. I was going to try and kill it but that didn't work out, the water already covered the ground and I couldn't reach it from anywhere else. So we watched it try and climb up the side. There are spiders everywhere in Washington! I thought that there were a lot in Utah...no there isn't at all! 

Any-who we started to fill the font, set up all the chairs, and get the Restoration Movie ready; and do all of this by the time Michael and Laurie showed up! We had a couple more things we had to talk to them about and so they came early. They showed up in their jeans and a tee-shirt. It made me remember why I love them so much! But we got everything finished and got them in their baptism clothes, and it was about 15 minutes before the service was to start and Heather and Rogelio still weren't there. So we tried calling them and no one answered. So we sat and waited and waited and waited. Then about 20 minutes after two o'clock they came running through the door. Well right behind them were President and Sister Bonham which made my heart drop right to my stomach. Not because I don't love them and didn't want them there, but because I wasn't expecting them to be there at all. So they went in and sat down. Sister Foster and I went and were helping Heather and all of them get changed and ready. Well even though we had already tried on the jumpers they didn't want the ones we had set aside and so we were running back and forth trying to get the right one for them. So by the time we got all of this figured out we started half an hour late. Which if that is the least of our worries I am okay and I can handle that! 

Everyone got changed, the program started, and when it got quiet for the prayer there it was everyone could hear it. The water was draining! WHAT! REALLY! Oh well as long as there is enough water for them to lay down in it and be covered then all is well. Luckily that is normal and so no one was worried yet they didn't inform us of the water draining issue until the end. We sat down and started to enjoy the program when it hit me! It hit me like a wall of bricks...I forgot to get the spider out of the water. So when we are in heaven and there is a spider walking around DO NOT KILL IT! He was baptized and has every right to be there, even though I hate spiders so much. We decided to name it Tom and well he was baptized and so he is now a part of our ward family. I think he is already in heaven cause after it was all over I looked in the water and is seemed as though he wasn't able to make it, RIP Tom we will be sure to keep his family in your prayers.
It was a beautiful baptism. We had a lot of support from the ward, other missionaries, and President and Sister Bonham! 

On Sunday we luckily were able to move to 11 o'clock church! It is so nice! I won't have to hurry in the mornings, well until we have to start to teach Mission Prep Classes. They will be starting on the 17th and I am super excited. When we got to church on Sunday there was Heather and Rogelio! They were early and waiting for us! Not the ideal situation but that made me so happy because they were not late! We had a spirit filled sacrament meeting and everyone in the ward was so excited to have four new members in the ward. 
Oh and little miracle! Summer our New Investigator who we are going to put on date this week showed up to church! She was supposed to be out of town with her mom and so she said she wouldn't be able to make it to church. Low and behold she showed but with her kids and her boyfriend who is a Less Active, along with his kids! It was a great day to be a missionary.

One note about Tom (The Spider), he wasn't confirmed and I am not even sure he was of age and so he won't be in heaven until his work is done for him. I will pray he was at least nine so I don't get in trouble in heaven.

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week. I will also try and figure out how to get the photos off my camera so that I will be able to send them to you! In all seriousness I probably won't be able to figure it out sorry. Oh and by the way there are some pretty good looking people in the photos! 

Elle and Sister Foster with their new Christmas Socks

Older picture of Elle and Sister Mahone cooking lunch for the Elders

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 21: Satan!!!

Satan can be pretty impressive sometimes and only sometimes! I think he has a full time job in Lake Stevens. He should just be banished forever and all would be well. I have been informed by several Missionaries that can't be the case because of the Millennium. In the last week we've had:

Baptisms postponed
A car wreck
The Sisters in Armar (our roommates), their car broke down
Out of Miles
Had to take 3 Trips to Everett (Couple more coming)
Sister Foster almost killed herself and three other Missionaries; they almost died on I-5 (Which would have been bad because I would have to call President)
Baptism chaos
P-day was moved to Friday (Which wouldn't be an issue but we hadn't been shopping in two weeks) 
5 pm Curfew on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

With every challenge come many blessings!!! Although I was in way over my head with a lot of these things not knowing what to do or where to start everything worked out. We are told in Mosiah 4:27 (Click Here) "...all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. ....it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; all things must be done in order." However it doesn't matter how much borrowed energy I am running on because, "...I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak;I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, For in his strength I can do all things;... many mighty miracles....for which we will praise his name forever." Alma 26:12 (Click Here) 

Elle on Christmas Eve
Although that baptism was postponed, and we got in a car wreck we had a lady walk into church on Sunday and asked if she would be able to learn from the Missionaries, .that's US! Her name is Summer and she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met! She is going through a divorce right now and one thing she knew for sure is she didn't agree with her husband’s religion. That is not the reason for the divorce but now she is "free" to be able to follow Him the way that she wants to and knows is right. We have already started teaching her and she loves it! 
Then we had the opportunity to be able to work with our new Ward Mission Leader and he has been such a blessing! We have been able to turn to him and get help every single time we need it! I have been blessed to be able to work with Sister Foster who is such an amazing missionary and has taught me so much even though the work can be hard at times she always perseveres and does what needs to be done! Harder worker! I love it! 
The mission car after the wreck, Elle and Sister Foster are alright

No one was injured in the car wreck and everyone was able to walk away with no problems...well physical ones that is. The car is still working as well as it is able! 
We have an amazing District Leader, Zone Leader, Assistants, and Mission President who always have our best interest at heart but are able to stay focused with what needs to be done.
Now we will be baptizing city's just like Ammon and Aaron! 

Although a love of hard things tend to happen the blessings are always so much bigger and I have been able to see that so much this week! We had blessings and miracles that we didn't even get to see! But I am grateful for them no matter what they were. I feel so much love for this work and this Gospel, Ammon explains it the best he says, "...I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Alma 26:16 (Click Here) He is right I have no words to describe how much happiness I feel every day! 
I love you all and hope that you have such an amazing couple of days...Monday! 

Elle and Sister Foster at Lake Stevens, Wshington


Well 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 and 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 ending result of some missionary work but that "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, but the Book of Mormon has such an amazing power that cannot be changed or messed with. It is because of the Book for Mormon that the two of them are going to be getting baptized...and want to be baptized. It is nothing that I and Sister Foster had to say, but what the spirit taught them when they would read from the Book of Mormon. 

Elle and her roomates on Christmas Eve.
Sisters Deaver, Tennant, Elle, and Foster.

Elle's Christmas gifts from everyone

Ginger Bread house made by Elle

Taking the mission car to Everett to get fixed

New Years Eve Party, missionary style

Sisters Tennant, Deaver, Elle, and Foster at
Lake Stevens, Washington