Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Week 38: Transfers

This kind Sir is from Alaska

Transfers are tomorrow and I will be staying here in Lynnwood! It is a very special area all in its own way. Sister Barletta is going to be leaving and so that is sad, but she is off to bigger and better things! I will find out who my new companion is tomorrow (4-26-16) and I am very excited! I love being able to serve with so many different people because of the fact that I get to learn and become better from the things that each companion has to teach me, this so awesome! 

Elle says, "This sister (Sister Foster) has become one of my best friends"

This week was super crazy! Brother Coles is progressing so well! I am honored to be able to teach him. I am super sad he is going to be moving at the beginning of June but that is okay. The Lord is going to take care of him wherever he and his family goes.  We were able to have our Ward Mission Leader come to one of the lessons with him and then the Bishop invited their family and us over for dinner so we could have a lesson with him after! When it is the right thing the Lord makes everything fall into place. But the only way that can happen is if we choose to use our agency wisely.

The District

On Tuesday we got to go and do some yard work for some people and let me tell you, “IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!” I love yard work and didn't realize how much I missed it. So all of the times I fought you mom you knew this was going to happen, right? Well if not surprise! 
We also had dinner another night with the Paces. They hunt fossils and have quite the collection. That is where I was able to take a picture with the Skull. I don't remember his name but he is from Alaska and has quite a story.

We also got to go a visit a Less Active member and little did I know we were going to be there as long as we were. He as so many different taxidermies animals from around the world in his house. He has been able to go hunt and then get them all taxidermy. I don't think that I spelled that right. He literally has a museum in his home that he has let over 800 people tour. Needless to say we were there for 2 hours and still didn't finish looking at everything. It is so amazing! 

The weather has been really nice the last couple of weeks minus today and so we have been able to go out and contact people! I love talking to everyone. It is so much fun, so when the weather will work with us watch out Lynnwood here we come! 

The home museum 
I have started reading Jesus the Christ and I am only in 100 pages. I love it so far! It has so much information in it. I didn't realize how much of my Savoir I didn't know about! My goal is to finish it by August 11, so this means I am going to have to be reading 6 pages a day, wish me luck. I have been thinking a lot about President Dieter F. Uchtodrfs talk, "He will place you on His shoulders and carry you Home" (Click Here). Someone said to me earlier this week...."It is hard to come to church (do anything like that) when your sins stink." That struck me; here was someone that didn't want to enter the church building because she smelt of cigarettes. I didn't have an answer for that response because it must be hard. I think that would be one of the greatest smells in a church building not the smell of the cigarettes, but of someone trying and doing their best to come back to our Savior. President Uchtodrf says in his talk, "Just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world, He will find you. “It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. Even those who are without hope, who live in despair, who have betrayed trust, surrendered their integrity, or turned away from God can be rebuilt. Save those rare sons of perdition, there is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored." Then he compares it to the parable of the lost sheep. He continues, "To me, the parable of the lost sheep is one of the most hopeful passages in all of the scripture. Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief, your silent pleadings, your fears, your tears. It matters not how you became lost-whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children." I think that it is all so true. I do know that there is nothing we can do that will make our Savior ever turn away from us. His hand will always be out stretched and we can always come home.

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

Our Zone

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 37: There is Sunshine in my Soul today!!

I love Washington so much!!! I love the sun, the people are so funny, and well I get to do the Lords work-so what could make me happier? 

This week was a lot of fun, all the hard work is starting to pay off! This is the last week of the Seven week Transfer. It has been so crazy! Back to hard work. I think this is one thing that is important to remember, is that you will go through trials and tribulations. Now whether they are trials of doubting who you are, or if you Father is Heaven is really there, or just nothing can seem to go right with whatever you try we will all go through something. But the real test isn't if you are able to make it through these situations. We are all going to make it out of something but do we keep Christ the center of our lives and continue to pray to our Heavenly Father. I have been reading this month’s Ensign and fist off it is AMAZING!!! The talk that has stuck with me the most is called "The Redeeming and the Strengthening Power of the Atonement"(Click here to read this talk) By Elder Kim B. Clark. In the talk he not only talks about the importance of the Atonement and that if we allow it to change us and a situation it can. In it he talks about Obedience. Obedience has become one of my all-time favorite things to learn, study, and apply! One of my all-time favorite quotes is from President Ezra Taft Benson he says, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power." there is so much truth and power to that quote. Elder Kim B. Clark says, "The great key to developing heart-and-soul obedience is to be obedient in small and simple things, like keeping the Sabbath day holy, saying our prayers, telling the truth, paying our tithing, following the Word of Wisdom, being kind to others, avoiding profanity, and honoring our promises. Remember, obedience in small things creates a spirit of obedience in all things. Moreover, obedience in small things brings the Spirit into our lives and strengthens our faith in Christ and our resolve to do His will. It opens our hearts to Him and blesses us with the strength and discipline to withstand temptations to violate the law of chastity, succumb to greed and materialism, or fall into apostasy. Obedience in small things prepares us to give our hearts to the Lord so that we will accept and fulfill the increasingly demanding personal assignments and commandments that come to us from the Lord throughout our lives." 
When we are obedient the Holy Ghost is able to be with us and that is when we are able to become a blessing in others’ lives and doing the things that our Father needs us to do. Most importantly we KNOW that he is there! It is such a beautiful concept.

Elle, Jager, and Sister Barletta
Miracles really do happen when you are obedient and you wait it out. The Lord has so many prepared people in Washington and we have had a successful week or sharing and being able to find three people who have accepted a date for baptism! It has been crazy to see how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ really does strengthen your family. I don't think I saw it as home because that is all I have ever had and most everyone around me had it also. But coming to where it is very uncommon I have really learned to appreciate having eternal Families and knowing about the Plan of Salvation and that Repentance is real. That is the cool thing, we have the solution for all problems and so we have to shout it to the world. 

Two side notes to end this letter. First I guess I have a really strong accent and I am told this by quite a few people. Second Dads beard is quite the hit in the mission....I love it to! I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week!

Elle with Sister Foster

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 36: Grateful to Wear The Tag!

Sisters Dalley, Barletta, Elle, and Shattuck

I can honestly say that I love, love, love the sun shine! Now the heat, if this is something that has to come with the sun I guess I can get over it- but....oh I love the sun. 

This week was so crazy busy! We had two exchanges and then Mission Leader Counsel on Thursday. So Sister Barletta and I were only in the area together for a couple of days.  Even though we were only in our area for a couple of days miracles happened! Miracles always happen, but the thing has been a long time coming! 

First off Patty is on date!!! Happy day! It is for June 4th and I am so excited! She said she is either going to be all in or not at all. Well, she is all in! So now we get to keep working with her. The cool thing with her is she is really doing this for herself and for no one else. She started to learn from the missionaries a little over a year ago and has been reading the Book of Mormon consistently and really is searching for an answer! I have a front row seat to being able to watch people come to know the truth for themselves and make the decision to come unto their Father in Heaven and follow our Savior Jesus Christ! I am one lucky girl, well missionary; but you get the point.

Then our Recent Convert just got engaged to someone who doesn't believe in Mormons and will not talk to us. But that's a long story in and of its self. I congratulated him and so the wedding will be in five years.

Elle and Hermana Richey
Exchanges were so much fun! I love getting to go and learn from other Sisters and figure out ways that I can become a better missionary! It is da-best! I got to go with Hermana Richey; she is in training right now but is so smart! She knows her stuff.  It is too bad we don't like to Bible bash because she would be good at it. But that is beside the point. I don't speak Spanish and so she was on her own pretty much most of the time. She had so much fun and came away from it knowing she was a good missionary! SUCCESS!! 

We then had Mission Leader Counsel which makes for a long day, a six and a half hour meeting. I know, I know, you are all so jealous of me because you didn't get to join in. Well that is okay you don't need to be. 

Then Exchanges with Sister Washburn!!! I love that Sister So much! It is first off nice to be with someone who is the same height! Selfish wish, I don't think so. I am really not that tall but it is hard to find someone I don't have to look down to. I got to spend the day in Everett! The sun was out and so we walked everywhere, well when it wasn't 6 miles away but it was so nice. Everyone one was outside enjoying the sun because their spring break had started. So there were a lot of people to talk to.
Elle and Sister Washburn

I don't know how I got so lucky to get to serve a mission but I did! I love it so much out here in Washington and am grateful every day that I am able to put my name tag on and be a representative of Jesus Christ. I have the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest missionaries that have ever lived! I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Autuia, I don't know how to spell his name! He is so stinken awesome!
 So sad that he will be going home in a few weeks

Elder Gonzalez. He was my zone leader when I got to Lake Stevens.
 Then we got transfered to Lynnwood together for a transfer and he was 
my District Leader But this transfer he was moved to Sonohomish 
to be the zone leader there. almost spent half of my mission with this elder!

Sisters Dalley, Barletta, Elle, and Shattuck.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 35: General Conference!

This week went by super quick! It had to be because of General Conference, which was amazing!!!! It is so cool we are able to listen to Prophets and Apostles, men called from God to lead and guide us! It is so funny how excited I get when General Conference is coming around! But I think there are certain things said in Conference that are meant just for us that no one else catches. Our Heavenly Father truly knows where we are and what we are going through. Although we were only able to listen to the prophet for a short time how great was that time.

I think that one of my favorite things said was by Elder Holland. He said, "[Lucifer] knows he can't improve, he can't progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable, too. Well, don't fall for that. With the gift of the Atonement and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed. Remember, the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christ-like virtues and strive to acquire them."

I love that he said we get credit for trying even if we don't always succeed! How amazing is that! All we have to do is try! This is something we have been asked to do since we were little so it is not like it is anything new and shocking.

Exchanges With Sister Shattuck.
We have so many amazing Missionaries in the Washington Everett Mission! I am so thankful I get to go on exchanges with them all! Sister Shattuck is so amazing! She is from Utah and has been on her mission....this is her second transfer. She is so bubbly and out-going.  She  is going to do some amazing things! I learned so many things from her. We were able to go and teach the Law of Chastity together to our Recent Convert James and she had only taught it once before, she did so amazing! It is awesome when a missionary and I go on exchanges and have never taught together and it all just clicks! BLESSINGS!!

Then I got to go on an Exchange with Sister Foster!!! It was so much fun to be able to go on an Exchange with her! Everything just clicks and we get the work done. We actually had the chance to put up a fence for some of her members. She is serving in Monroe and it is so cute! I loved it! I had a lot of fun going out and doing some yard work like that! One of my favorite things as a missionary is the fact that I get to talk to everyone! Certainly when the person that you are with is spunky and loves it to! 

General Conference

I am excited to see what this busy week has in store for us! I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! Enjoy SPRING BREAK!