Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 30: Sun Sun is Out!!!

Not my favorite picture but the sun is out.
Well good news, the sun it out! It hasn't rained much this last week so we were able to walk!! It is such a blessing to be able to have a car, but those moments we are able to walk and soak up the sun are the best. OH MR. SUN, SUN, MR. GOLDEN SUN, PLEASE SHINE DOWN ON ME. But I really can't lie; I love the rain a lot. So I am just going to be stuck in the middle.

Too much fun emailing
 Side note about Sister Jackson- I have a couple favorite smells in the world. First, the smells of a pot roast when you walk in the door after church. Second, the smell of rain. Third, freshly made salsa. Fourth, the smell of tires. Fifth, the smell of fresh cut grass. Everyone has been mowing their lawns and so sometimes we have to drive with our windows rolled down so we can smell the fresh cut grass and appreciate for a second some of those simple pleasures of life.

So this last week at the Food Bank was an eventful day! I mean every week something funny happens, but for some reason this last week everyone decided to be funny. Here in the State of Washington there are, well here in Lynnwood with in one of the school districts there are 26 different cultures. So knowing this, it is pretty easy to figure out that we are running into a lot of different cultures during the day. So at the food bank we do our best to communicate with everyone we come into contact with, but some of them would rather play Pictionary or something like that. I think my favorite experience at the Food Bank this week was there was this really cute old guy (or so we thought.haha). We were filling his bag with potatoes and we gave him the same amount that we give everyone else. But he wanted more and so he was doing a little dance looking thing for more potatoes and so we gave him a couple more and he continued to do the dance. I told him we couldn't give him more. As he was walking away he started to say, "In my Country...." then he was too far for us to be able to hear the rest. It was super funny though and I just wanted to laugh. Then there was a cute little Japanese lady that also wanted more potatoes as well. Sister Barletta said that couldn't give her more. So instead of walking away all mad she stuck her tongue out at Sister Barletta!!! HAHA I started to laugh so hard!  That one I couldn't help myself.

We had an encounter with this officer and now we are best friends.
Didn't have time for the Gospel but he did have time for a picture.
We got a New Investigator! Patty is so awesome!  She is so ready for the Gospel and she loves the Book of Mormon! I am so excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for her! It is so crazy, if everyone would give the Book of Mormon a chance and really care and try to get something from it they would get the answers they were looking for. Some people would be surprised but who doesn't like surprises!
Good news, I am going to be a part of a play this week and next week. It is Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat. Show business is hard; I don't know how anyone does it. I leave and think I am going to go crazy. But some people are just meant to be in show business and I am not one of them. 

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

Exchanges with Sister Barr! This is her first transfer

Ward Party! We had Jimmy Fallon and it was awesome! I wanted to do the 
Russian Egg Roulette but my companion wouldn't do it with me... 
Seattle!!! Ha-ha out of mission!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 29: Big Changes can Occur!

Sister Rodda and Elle. Elle says, "I love her so much".

I first have to start off by saying I have a very good looking brother and if you haven't seen his Sweat Hearts Dace photos you might want to look, that is all I am going to say about that. Also if you need any fashion advice Nick Jackson is the one you should be asking, and Katie can make you very authentic coupons and badges so if you need something professionally done. She’s your girl!

 I am doing great! Just the stresses of being a missionary get to me sometimes. Except I love being a missionary and being able to wake up with a purpose every single day. I decided I can sleep on the plane and so I better be working stinking hard. I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by, I mean we just had transfers and now the next transfer is only in two weeks! WHAT!! Missionary time is super different from the normal everyday life time.

This week has been super different and if something was going to go wrong it did. Except I believe one good thing has to come out of a bad thing. So this week we had the chance to go and contact a referral. They were former's (Former Investigators) and our Ward Mission Leader asked if we had met them or gone to see them. We told him no and so he said we needed to meet them. That is what we set out to do. We knocked on the door and the wife answered and we introduced our self's. She turned around and said, "Honey should I let them in?" There was a pause for a second and he said in return, "Sure." So we walked in and the apartment smelled of Cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol. But we sat down and talked to them for a while to get to know them. Then he told us that the reason they had dropped the Sisters before was because they can’t afford to pay 10% of their income to the church. The fact this is the problem is awesome, because if they need the blessings and the help then they need to pay their tithing. Also the money doesn't go to the "Church" it goes to the Lord.  He is the one who provides the money for us anyways, and if we didn't have the money we wouldn't be able to afford a house and a car, need I say more. At the end I was trying to set up a time to come back and he said, "I don't want to learn and I don't want to join your church." He made that quite clear. So we told him we don't want to teach him at all. All we want to do is come over and get to know them, just be friends (by the way Missionaries make the worst friends, He doesn't need to know that yet).  When we told him this he said, "Okay." So now we get to go back and just talk and hear his stories. When we left the smell of cigarettes had soaked all the way to our garments and our car smelt like it for days. Although I stunk and we weren't going to be able to go back to teach them I realized I left that place feeling more at home and happier then I have for a while!

When we were at a former's house he had been
 working on this for over an hour and just got it

I love being able to work in those types of situations because that is where the biggest change can occur and they accept you for who you are and what you are doing and don't slam the door in your face, but take a second and ask, "Do I want you to come in?" But when they take that second to ask "Do I want you to come in?" the spirit is able to work and soften their heart, and they let you in or come back. They don't know why they did but they do it!  Now I know we aren't going back to teach, but the fact they are letting us come back to get to know them shows Heavenly Father does have a bigger plan for all of us and we just have to take the chance on that 19 year old that you have never met before. Who knows they may have that exact thing that you have been looking for, or may be able to answer that question because no one else could. The only reason that we as missionaries are able to do that is because we are NOT the teacher but the spirit is and when you do all you can to provide an environment the spirit can be in and you bear testimony there is no way on this earth they could not feel it!!!

So that is my one good thing that came out of this week. But it is exactly what I needed, and my Heavenly Father provided it!  It’s awesome to think someone knows me better then I know myself and can provide me with experience that will either help me grow or just make it one of the best days ever! 

But I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week! Don't forget that there is always one thing that is good that can come out of any day or any situation! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Week 28: Rain Rain Go Away!!!

Rain Rain Go Away
Rain, Rain, Go Away. Don’t ever come back. I decided I don't like the rain as a missionary. I loved the rain before my mission and I think it is because I was able to go in and watch a movie, be lazy, and not have to go and work in it. But this is not the case now. Plus the people of Washington are so nice, they tell us to go home and get dry because no one should have to be sitting in the rain

Elle and Sister Bird

I love being a missionary so much it is the most amazing thing in the world. I love the fact that we get to talk to everyone and see how they are doing and find out their interest. The crazy thing is that I did not like talking to everyone at the beginning of my mission. I just wanted people to walk up to me and tell me that they wanted to learn more about the gospel or that they need Jesus in their life. But this is not the case, I actually have to work if I want to go and teach people. The more I talk to people the more I really want to know about them and talk with them and see the things that interest them. Or even the things that make them mad, sad, and happy! But doing this is not easy, it is completely hard. But nothing ever worth fighting for was ever easy. 

By talking to everyone we were able to teach Joe. Joe is a very interesting person! We were outside of an apartment. I was sitting on the edge and Sister Barletta was on the stairs and he walked by. I said hi and we started to talk to him. The first thing he told us is that he isn't going to hell. That is good he knows this. Then after a good conversation we were able to learn his mom passed away and he has been alone ever since. We were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome! I am excited to be able to go back and see him this next week. He is a little creepy and I don't want to go alone but luckily I have members and a companion!  All is well! I hope you all have an amazing week and love the snow! I love you all! 

Also sorry it is short and not a lot on info. The other letter I wrote I accidentally deleted, so I had to start over. My time is just about over. I will give you more good stories next week!  

Elle by her car at night.
Elle with her Valentine socks.

On the ferry.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 27: Keep the Sabbath Day Holy!

Sister Loerstscher and Elle
This week has been a week full of meeting members and still trying to figure out how to be a missionary. I would have thought I have figured it out by now, but that is not true! I am consistently starting at square one and figuring out how to do it. But I think this is how it is supposed to be. I mean when is it that we fully turn our self’s over to the Lord? It is when we have done all we think we can do and we need help? It is in that moment and time that you submit yourself over to the Father and all that He has to offer you. I find this super interesting! Why do we wait until that last moment? I think it has to be the natural man in us that keeps us from "advancing", so to say sooner. Now I believe the real winner is the person who turns to the Lord for the smallest things and doesn't have to wait until last minute because they know they can't do any of it without His help. These have just been some of my thoughts this last week. 

I am doing awesome! I can honestly say love the people of Washington and I LOVE President Bonham and Sister Bonham. It is crazy to think I met them in August at the Airport for the first time and have since created a relationship in which I will be able to talk to them about anything I want or need to!

We had Stake Conference this last Sunday and Elder Call of the Seventy came and spoke to us! What was really cool is that the Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions were all about missionary work. Well the Saturday night was more than the Sunday. It is awesome to see other people get as excited about missionary work as I do! He talked about the Sabbath day as well and how this has been a hot topic for I believe almost a year now? It is crazy to think it is so true about how much the Sabbath day really does affect the rest of the week. When we are able to start the week off spiritually filled the rest of the week goes a lot better.  Not that it is easier but we are able to face all our problems head on.

So I don't know if I told you but my companion Sister Stacie Barletta is from Baldwinsville, New York(Click Here). She is 27 and a convert to the church. She was baptized when she was13 years old and has been active in the church for about 2 1/2 years. She is an amazing missionary and I am so thankful I have the opportunity to learn from her! We are both Sister Training Leaders and so exchanges have been fun! 

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

Have a Happy Valentine’s day. Keep the Sabbath Holy. Also I think we will be emailing Tuesday because I believe it is Presidents Day on Monday so talk to you all then!

Elle, Sister Barletta, Sister Foster, and Sister Loerstscher. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 26: Lynnwood

Elle's new area is Lynnwood

We just heard from Elle and she has been transferred to Lynnwood, Washington. Click on the link to learn more about the area she will be serving in. Lynnwood, Washington (Click Here)

Elle's new companion, Sister Barletta
Well it is official I have been transferred to the Alderwood Ward in Lynnwood and I am now with Sister Barletta. It is super crazy to think that President was right. Missionaries make the worst friends. Because well we do, we can't go bowling, we can't go to the movies or just come over for the night to hang out, and we are constantly moving. We don't stay in one place to long so don't get attached...which is super impossible by the way. 

Lynnwood is a very nice area it reminds me of Orem with hints of Salt Lake here and there. If you can picture this, when I get home hit me up for a little game of guess what Sister Jackson is thinking. You might just win. But I am super excited to be able to experience something new and to be able to meet new people. As hard as it is these are the times that I grow as an individual and my relationship with Heavenly Father is strengthened. 
Lynnwood is super awesome and this last week I had the opportunity to go and meet a lot of members, less actives, and go tracking. So I am getting pretty acquainted with the people here and it is very nice. There are mainly apartment complexes which are super different and I am learning how to be a better missionary in so many different ways. We were able to find some new investigators this week which was super exciting! It was a little weird to go to a new ward on Sunday but that is going to get easier. The people are so easy to fall in love with. 

Sister Barletta is from upstate New York, she is 27 and a convert to the church. She is super awesome! You would all love her so much! She has been on her mission for 10 months and has been in Lynnwood for only a transfer before I got here. So she doesn't know really where anything is and so we are learning together. Just kidding she knows a lot more than me but we are learning together! We are both STL's (Sister Training Leaders) this transfer and are super excited to be able to serve some of the Sisters! We are serving the Sisters in Lake Stevens and so I will be able to go back!! I am a little excited for that!

We went to visit a New Move In and you will never guess who it was!!!! My investigator from Lake Stevens, Summer, it is her boyfriend!!! So guess who will be able to see her sometimes!!! ME! I am so excited I love her so much. I was sad I wasn't going to be able to teach her anymore, but now I get to see her at church sometimes and we are going over for dinner and well there has to be a third female and so she will be there!!

The weather here is rain, and more rain and more rain. So normal, but the sun came out twice this week for a couple hours!!!! Happy Day!!!!! 

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing snow filled week! HAHA

My favorite Bishop, Bishop LaPerle and his family.
His son is leaving on his mission this month.

Bye bye to the Bissell family