Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 56: "Sprinkles"

Elle at the Washington Everett Mission Office

Wow!! I cannot believe that another week has gone by!! Time is not a real thing out in the mission field. I can't even begin to wrap my head around it! I got the text today saying that I was going to be getting transferred. I don't know where I am going, but I am super sad to be leaving Lynnwood. I have been very lucky to be in the Alderwood Ward. They have helped me and taught me so many things. It is crazy to look back and think that seven and a half months ago I wanted to be transferred so-so bad, now I don't want to leave. Heavenly Father has blessed me a lot on my mission with being able to learn how to love things or people even if sometimes it takes longer then I would like it to. 

Kelsie Wilding, Elle, Sister Wilding, and Sister Leininger
To start off the amazing week Sister Leininger and I went golfing!!!! We went golfing with Sister Wilding (the Mission Presidents wife) and her daughter Kelsie. It was so fun! We did it for Sister Leiningers birthday which was on Tuesday. We went to the Columbia driving range. There is a golf course here in Mill Creek but when Sister Wilding called and asked them if we could golf and how much it would be the guy laughed at her and told her that it was a privet golf course. HAHAHA people are so funny! So we just went to the driving range instead. We got there and were walking to our "spot" and I guess you could say we were kind of being noisy. All of the old men seemed a little annoyed that we were there. But once we all started to hit the ball they didn't mind anymore because we were that good! I was so happy that I was able to hit the ball straight. It made me want to go and golf nine holes and just bask in glory of my good old days. After we went to this place called Nothing Bunt Cake, and I highly recommend it to everyone. There GF (Gluten free) cake didn't taste GF at all. 

Elle with a lime in her mouth
Then Monday evening we went and had a Ward FHE (Family Home Evening). It was so much fun! We had the opportunity to give the message. So we read the story of Samuel the Lamenite and the youth acted it out. It was so funny, I think that it would have been better if we could have practiced but it turned out really cute.

Tuesday we went and met with President Wilding. We talked with him and then he gave us a blessing. It is so cool to be able to have a Mission President that you feel like you can talk to.  That no matter what is said he is going to help and make sure no matter what is said or going to happen it is all going to work out for the better. I really do believe he and his wife were sent to this mission of me if not anything else. But the blessing that he gave was exactly what I needed to hear. It has been weird not being able to live in a house where a Priesthood holder lives. There is such a different feeling, it is even more different then the spirit. The reason I think that it is different is because the Priesthood is the power and authority of God. It is such a special blessing our Heavenly Father has given us. There is a quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard that I love! He says, "The same Priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen and bless families, our friends, and our neighbors." Couldn't say anything better than that.

Also Sister Leineingers Birthday was a success! 

Sister Leiningers 20th birthday
Wednesday was my last day at the food bank. I have loved it there and loved being able to learn a little bit of Russian. I am going to miss everyone there but I am glad that they LOVE Sisters! No matter what Sisters serve there they are going to love them and take good care of them. 

Joe, Elle. Chrissey, and Vicki at the Food Bank

We were getting ready to do a role play in District Meeting. Elder Thompson was giving us all of our situations. Sister Leininiger and I were going to teach someone that we just met about baptism. This person had already been baptized and was happy where they were but had some questions. So I asked Elder Thompson how this "person" was baptized and he told us that they were sprinkled. Sister Leininger chimed in and said, "Like a cupcake!" HAHAHA! We all got a really good laugh at that. We couldn't use the Bible we had to use the Book of Mormon so we read from 3 Nephi 11 which was as good as Matthew 3. 

Elle with the Harbour Point sisters.

Sunday Tevin and Amber came to Church!!!! WE WERE SO HAPPY! They had been up until 1 o'clock that morning and they still made it to 9 o’clock church. They spirit and this Gospel are amazing, they had to leave after Sacrament meeting but are planning on still coming to church next week and hopefully they are going to stay the full three hours. So many members came and introduced themselves to them and it was cool to be able to watch all of it happen. I was also asked to bear my testimony in church since I was going to be leaving. Normally you don't know you are leaving but President told us earlier in the week when we had met with him. We had a ward potluck at the park after church and there was a good turnout. The ward split awhile back and so they are working on helping people get to know each other. 

Tevin and Amber with their family

Later that day we were setting up appointments with members to come and start working on their Family Ward Mission Plan. At one of the stops Sister Jensen told us that her daughter was now planning of serving a mission because we had been such good examples. It wasn't us at all it was all of the spirit. We have been trying to work with the Youth more and help get them excited about missionary work. It was all I could do not to cry because it made everything worth it! It made every day worth it. 

Elle and Sister Leininger

I love being a missionary and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to dedicate my time and life to the Lord. There is no place I would rather be. I love you ALL so much and I hope that you had a good first week at school and that the weeks only get better! 

Elle ready to leave for her new area

Kids playing at the park

Elle's letter to Sister Leininger after finding out about being transferred

Elle and Sister Leininger

Elle and Sister Ruef

Cammy made me these ankle things

Picking organic apples in Washington

Cake and ice cream with the Hernandez family

Mod with the Mergens before they left

Food Bank

Food Bank

Food Bank

Elle on exchanges

The Food Bank

Bye bye Sisters

Harbour Point

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week 55: When You Owe Your Mission President A $1,000,000

Having Breakfast

We had an amazing week! We almost hit standards! It was so exciting, then so devastated when we didn't.hit them. 

We were banking on our investigators on coming to church. They come almost every single Sunday and told us they were going to be coming this Sunday as well. They didn't show and we asked them what happened, they told us they got up and got ready and decided that since Sophia didn't need a ride they weren't going to come. That made us so sad, we talked about why we have kept them as investigators and made the decision we were probably only keeping them for numbers and not because they were progressing, because they aren't. We went over and gave them the drop talk and they were so sad. Maybe that is what they need! So that was exciting. 

Elle and Sister Leininger

We had a very difficult day on Tuesday. One thing I have had a really difficult time with is being open about my feelings and the things that I am thinking. I have had a really hard time with it most if not all of my life. It is one thing I have for sure had to fix over the course of my mission. It has been hard but it has also been the reason I am able to get along with most of my companions so well. Lucky for me it is really easy to talk to Sister Leininger. On Tuesday a lot of crazy thing had happened and we had to talk. We both had to put our pride aside and talk some things out. The best part of it all is that we came out not mad, upset, or hurt but happy because everything was able to be worked out. I think that is how it is supposed to be when you have a good or strong relationship with someone. You need to know you can talk to them with any concern or problem and that they are going to help you find a solution not make you uncomfortable and make you feel even more bad then you already are. 

Elle said, " We were driving by the Baptist Church and saw this sign. So we had to
 take a picture by it. The nice lady who goes there took the picture for us and invited
us to Bible study for the next couple of nights."

We went to see one of our Less Active couples and the husband wasn't there but the wife was. She was telling us how she really has never had a testimony or believed in the church but that she got baptized for her husband. That made me so sad, I hate when people allow feelings such as love to get in the way of them knowing for themselves if something is true. Her husband has been having a difficult time with coming back to church and several other things. She doesn't know how to help him and so she was asking us to tell her what to do. We told her that in order for her to know how to help him and what to say that she needs to ask her questions that she has about the church and to take the lessons again. We told her the only way that she is going to be able to help him is if she helps herself first. The whole conversation was led by the Spirit and it was amazing!! We are now going to meeting with her and doing our best to teach her and answer her questions. I think it is going to go well and it is only because she wants to know for herself why they church is so important to him. 

Thank you for the cute clothes!!! We were instructing at Snohomish Interviews
 and so I wore my cute outfit and Sister Leininger was sad that she didn't have anything 
new to wear...so I gave her the gift early! She loved it!!! SUCCESS

We had the most amazing phone lesson with a potential Wendy that we found while knocking doors. She told us that she recently has had a lot of different people giving her religious books or pamphlets and so she thinks that God is telling her that she needs to do something and make some changes in her life. She is so solid and amazing and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ made since to her and she said that she wanted to learn more. We asked if we could come to her house this next time and she told us yes and that she lives in Shore Line. Well that is out of mission, so it looks like we will be giving her to the Seattle Mission. But I am so grateful that we were able to introduce her to the LDS church. 

Elle's impersonation of a skater chick

We found ourselves out of mission the other day anyways.  We had a member who was taking us to dinner and she said that it was on 164th by Fred Myers. So we called the District Leader and got permission to go out of our area and go to dinner. We were leaving the apartment and our member turned to opposite way of 164th. Now she has lived there longer then I have and so I thought, "Maybe she is going to go drive over by the mall." Well I got this weird feeling and it wouldn't go away. Needless to say we looked on the map and had gone out of mission. We text President and told him what happened. He thanked us for telling him and then he told us we now owe him $1,000,000. We have given him six pennies, so I guess you could say that we have an eternal debt to pay. 

Mission car while the other one is getting fixed

On Friday we had the biggest miracle, we went over to the Batemans for dinner. Brother Bateman in on the High Council and is very kind person. We stopped in to the gas station a couple of days earlier and were setting up an appointment with our Less Active that works there. We ran into him and he made it sound like he had a Less Active grandkid that was living with them. So we couldn't tell what he wanted us to do and if he was trying to tell us not to share a scripture or if we should try to teach them. We went into dinner confused but knew that if we followed the spirit and everyone else that we were going to be fine. We got in there and met Tevin. He is the grandson to the Batemans which we didn't realize until the end because he is half black and they are both white. He was so kind and was talking to us the whole time. His wife didn't join us until the end of the meal, but during dinner he was saying that he and his wife would both be open to taking the discussions and learning more about the church. They have two young daughters and they want to raise them in the church, they like the churches standards and the whole family aspect. After dinner we went to share the message and taught them the entire Restoration. They had the best most sincere questions and they really want to know truth. Amber Tevins wife grew up and was Baptized Born again Christian. We asked them at the end if they would both be baptized by someone who holds the Priesthood authority. They both said yes and accepted a date for October 1st!

I love you all so much and hope that you have the most amazing week! Have fun going back to school! Also good luck with all of the games that will be coming up! Go fight WIN!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Week 54: "We are Going to Have one Heck of a Companionship Inventory"

Sister Leininger and Elle received their packages from home.
Thanks to the Mergens for hauling them back to Washington.
Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, but it is up to us if we are willing to recognize them or not. This is a very interesting principle and it all goes back to the Plan of Salvation with our agency and being able to come to this earth to choose for yourself. What we are going to do and how we want to choose to live our lives.  I can't even imagine how hard that would be for our Father in Heaven to have to watch so many of His children choose to do things that are not going to help them and only hurt them. He must love us a lot to be able to sit and let us learn and grow and make decisions for our best self yet know when to give us the help that we need, but not so much that he does things for us! 

Sisters Oveson, Washburn, Leininger, and Elle

This last week has been a lot of fun and full of so many blessings. On Tuesday we had exchanges with Sister Packer and Sister Deaver. I was with Sister Packer here in Lynnwood and Sister Leininger went to Harbour Point with Sister Deaver. So many amazing things happened. So many miracles happen every day but whenever I go on an exchange there is always just an abundance of miracles

Elle learning to cook.

So a couple of months ago Sister Leininger and I ran in to this lady who just moved here from the East. She is not interested in learning about the Church but when we were talking to her we learned that she loves to cook. So we asked her if she would help teach us how to cook something and she said that she would be more than willing to! So fast forward some time, Sister Packer and I were able to go to our fist cooking lesson. When we got there she was telling us about how she wants to blog about how Mormons and Christians can be friends and that Mormons are actually really cool people. She said she was either going to video it our take pictures she didn't know yet. We told her that she could do whatever she would like. Side note it has become pet peeve of mine when people say that "Mormons are not Christians" So that was so much fun to be able to learn how to cook and she told us that next time she is going to teach us how to make a dessert! 

Thursday we went on exchanges with Sister Oveson and Washburn. Sister Oveson is in the first six weeks of her training and she is so funny. I can now laugh because I am not at all where I once was. We had such a good day! We talked to everyone and their dog, it was so much fun. We talked to this one lady who has friends to that are LDS but she herself was not interested. We answered questions about the Book of Mormon and the Church and it was so cool. We then were able to find a new investigator and we are all loving missionary work now! 

We had an interview with President and Sister Wilding!!! They are amazing and I am soooo grateful that they are my Mission President and wife!!!!!!

The lemonade stand

We also did a lemonade stand at the Park and gave away Free Lemonade. We had so many people come over and obviously ask for some lemonade and then there were quite a few people that asked about the church and for the missionaries to come and answer questions and teach them more!!! What a successful day! To make things even better Sister Leininger and I had breakfast with the Wildings! It was really good. Good oil Texan cookin'! 

Sister Leininger and Elle

When we were knocking doors this past week I had a really loud and clear call to repentance. We were knocking, knocking and knocking and at one of the doors this lady answers. When she opened the door all the gross Smokey air came out and we had to catch our breath. She wasn't too excited to see us but then we asked her if she knew anyone that needed service or an uplifting message and she started to cry. She told us to go and visit P101. She told us that her husband just died and that she needs the Mormons now! We told her we could go visit her and that we would help her in any way that we could. We walked up the stairs and I knew exactly who she was talking about. I had seen Annette before and I didn't want to see her again. It took me a couple minutes before I would move to the door. We knocked the door....no answer; we knocked again....no answer. I was so happy; as we were walking away there was Annette. So we said Hi and she invited us in and we told her we would love to. I was not too excited but I went in anyways. While we were in there I was in a serious call to repentance. The Spirit was so clear that we needed to invite her to take the lessons. Then again the Spirit told me that we needed to invite her to be baptized. So I did and now we are teaching Annette!

I have never heard the Spirit speak so clearly in my entire life. Right then and there I made a commitment to forget myself and go to work! We have so many amazing things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I will never do anything that will hinder the spirit from being able to talk to me! I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week! 

Olympic fever

Book of Mormon in the window

Lemonade anyone

Elders and Sisters working the lemonade stand

Elle's meeting house

Setting up for the lemonade stand

Free lemonade