Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Miracles are Awesome!
December 23, 2013

I don't even know what to say this week! I love it! its going to be the best transfer ever. sister Hilton fell out of bed a few days ago and the lamp came crashing on my head and it was quite funny. HAHA she fell out of bed. that's the only thing I can think of when people ask us what happened this week. ahhaha just kidding missionary work happened.

Christmas miracles are awesome. our investigator came to church and made friends and also a whole family that hasnt been in a long time came too. everyone was so happy to see each other at church and it was just a joyous day.

Since its Christmas, we've been sharing a lot of Christmas messages with different families. that was an obvious sentence but im going to keep it. its been really cool though because we've been focusing on how Christmas does not just include His birth. His birth means SO much more. It includes everything from the Atonement to the Resurrection to what that means for us and our eternal salvation. there is an amazing quote that we've been thinking about a lot. its by one of the quorum of the 12, and he was talking about gifts we could give to the Savior at Christmas. he said, the Savior is the SON OF GOD. He has everything, doesn't He? no. He does not have us in His arms. That is what He truly wants. and He knows that that cannot be given to Him in one day, or even in one Christmas. He knows we are each on our individual journey home, so THATS what we can give to Him this year. and dedicate ourselves to returning home to Him with our families and those around us. we really are here for each other.

Its been a good week because our ward finally wants us. Just kidding but we got to help set up the ward Christmas party! sooo much work went into it and it was a great party. and someone invited us to their house for a relief society dinner so we could share a Christmas message! it was really fun and there were some people we didn't know as well and don't come to church as often so it was perfect. I really don't have much to say this week! everyone keeps asking us if this is really hard being away from home for Christmas and to be honest its not! I mean yeah I miss my family, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really have no job or school to distract from working with Heavenly Father. I absolutely love it and i'm excited for this week. love you!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

As you have all probably heard, there was a shooting this week at the high school in our area.  It's the school that all of the kids in our ward go to, and we drive past it every day! It's still so unreal and weird because I feel like I cant even begin to know how to relate to how they are feeling. Sure, there were bomb threats and stuff in high school, but NOTHING compared to the real terror that these kids faced. There are so many who heard the voice of the shooter, or ran through the blood to get out of the school. BUT. the cool part of this all is to see the strength in the youth of the church. We were at dinner the other night and one of the girls who was there broke down and just said, during this all, I sat and wondered if it would be okay if I left this earth now. She said, because of the gospel, I know that it would be okay.  This sounds kind of harsh at first, but really we are so blessed to have the knowledge that we do. Russel M. Nelson said that truly our gift to Christ is that we love Him, and keep ourselves 'unspotted from the world, worthy to enter His Holy Temple,' and with that, one of His many gifts to us is to know that we are worthy to enter His presence. The knowledge of the Plan of Salvation is truly the most comforting thing, and sometimes the only thing you can hold onto in these times of hardship and death, because Christ is the AUTHOR of it. Christ is the author of our salvation, which is also a very comforting thing, because He knows each of our backgrounds. He knows exactly how to nurture us according to our needs. HE KNOWS HOW TO GET US THERE. That is why we have to pay attention to the little things in life, the people that we are blessed with, and the small bursts of happiness that happen daily. HE LIVES. He lives and Russel M Nelson said, 'if we love him, He will love you, lift you, and manifest Himself unto you.'

SISTER HILTON AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER AGAIN! best news of the century? I think so. Orchard Ward for life.

I lied, there is better news of the century. We have been having family home evening with this less active family for about 4 months now, and the mom and kids have recently started coming back to church, but never the dad. Every time we asked him he would decline. BUT GUESS WHAT HAPPENED THIS SUNDAY? he came to church! it was the biggest answer to prayers that has ever happened! We had fasted in the beginning of the transfer that we would be able to bring someone back into activity in the church by the 15th, and even though the mom was coming, the fact that the whole family came was the biggest Christmas miracle.

Also we got to go shopping this week for all of the people at the rehab center where we volunteer! It was so fun! We have been volunteering there for a while so we know most of the residents and they don't have much at all. They wear pretty much the same thing every day, and really don't even have warm enough blankets. so we got to pick out clothes for them! now we are wrapping them and I feel like Santa and its great.

The longer I'm out here the bolder and bolder I'm getting. Except sometimes I think its just my impatience showing through and I just tell them that the church is true and the book of Mormon has all the answers. Just kidding I do it in a really loving way and OH I thought of something else. We taught this lady that a less active family in our ward invited to be taught, and we read the book of Mormon with her and it was the best ever! The first chapter of the book of Mormon is the most golden chapter of all time. If you think about it, the Book of Mormon brings people nearer to God than any other book, so the first chapter must be the most brilliant chapter of all time! Those weren't my words, they were some quote I heard one time but I forgot by who. Anyway, everyone should read it while thinking about the Plan of Salvation. It has a lot in there!


Click here for a free copy of the Book of Mormon

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013 

I don't even know where to begin, I think this was the best week of my entire life. seriously. Sometimes its dumb because I get scared for a second to do things and then I get over it and miracles happen. SO. we visit this one guy's dad who is 93 because he's lonely and we always liked talking to his son so we kept going to his house and once we taught him the plan of salvation but then we were stuck in this rut of not exactly teaching him but just sharing scriptures every time we went haha. so we were like, WE HAVE TO INVITE HIM TO BE TAUGHT. so we showed up to his house and we ended up talking to him for a while, and we shared a scripture and asked if he would want to learn more about what we shared with him before. he kind of didn't answer the question and talked about how he was really searching for a church but he was scared and wanted to kind of take it slow in his search. I was thinking in my head I AM NOT LEAVING UNTIL HE SAYS YES. so then I kept bringing it back and saying on this search we really would love to come talk to you. as missionaries we really love to talk to people about Christ and help them figure out what they believe because really that is most important to us. we don't ask you to just believe what we say, but to pray and develop that relationship with God yourself. he said he'd meet with us! we were so excited. he has had such a lonely and tough life, and I just can feel how much God loves him and wants him to be happy! so we went back to his house a few days later and he ended up asking US about the restoration! he loves pioneers and says that their faith was the most amazing thing ever and we just had the best conversation about it. the whole time we were talking I was thinking in my head, I HAVE to invite him to be baptized. and set him on date. and I was like WHAT Ive never done that before! but the whole time he was talking I just KNEW that I had to do it. it was the most calm prompting I had ever felt. we asked him to pray about the book of Mormon and he was like yeah I will do that! then we asked him, if you came to know it was true, would you be baptized? and he sat and thought about it and he was like, yes I would! and then I was like OKAY HERE GOES NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE and I said we'd be holding a baptismal service on jan 4th, would you prepare yourself to be baptized on this day? and he sat there and thought about it and said YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If he got the answer, he would. he said he still wanted to check out other churches a little to see how he felt, so we weren't really expecting him to come to church on sunday. BUT HE DID.  We were walking on clouds for the rest of the day. HE CAME TO CHURCH AND THE TALKS WERE SO INSPIRED FOR HIM. everything that was said was so perfect for him to hear and we just wanted to scream. the Lord really knows what He's doing.

ALSO. we felt prompted to go see this less active family earlier in the week, and we really didn't know why and we didn't know what we were going to do there. so we went, and we ended up inviting them to be taught the restoration because we are going around teaching all the members to get them psyched about missionary work. they said yes! so then we went back to teach them and when we got there they were like, is it okay if we invite our neighbor over to listen? we said no. HAHA NOT WE SAID YES OF COURSE YOU CAN A MILLION TIMES! so she came and it ended up being the most spiritual lesson ever! it was so cool. it was the best sister Hilton and I had ever taught as a companionship. the lady said that she wasn't sure at first about meeting us, and so she prayed about it and she felt this overwhelming sense of peace and calm that confirmed that she should come. and then at the end we read Moroni 10:3-5 and we asked her what she thought it meant and she was like I AM GOING TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON AND PRAY ABOUT IT! she said she wasn't just accepting this to be nice, but she really felt so calm and loved our message and felt the Spirit so strongly. she has such a testimony of Christ and it was so cool to be able to tell her that there is more about Christ in the Book of Mormon! also it was awesome because the family offered such great testimony and the dad who hasn't been at church in forever told us his whole conversion story and how he had such a strong testimony of prophets. he said he needed to go back to church to take the sacrament. there were just so many miracles in this one night and we walked away feeling so happy. we knew that it really wasn't us who did anything in that meeting, it was the Spirit. It is the best feeling to know that you are working as an instrument in the Lord's hands and doing what He NEEDS you to do!

Also the Christmas devotional was the best thing ever.

December 2, 2013

THIS WAS THE BEST THANKSGIVING EVER! okay wait no i'll start with the beginning of the week. I got my turkey breads from boudins in the mail and it made our life. It was great. 

Sister Hilton was sick this week, so I got a lot of time to read the book of Mormon! and I noticed something that I never noticed before. In the beginning of Moroni, he said that the things he was about to write he didn't think he was going to, but then the Lord told him that he should and if you look at those last 9 chapters of Moroni, ITS EVERYTHING IMPORTANT! He talks about the sacrament, baptisms, holy ghost, gifts of the Spirit, ordination, and a lot more. I sat there and thought, HE WASN'T GOING TO INCLUDE THIS!? What would we do without those things! thank goodness he wrote them! also if he wrote a lot in the Book of Mormon and then all of the sudden was like, oh I guess I could share these things too, he must have known a lot more. I still can't wrap my head around why he almost didn't write those things. The whole book of Moroni is a blessing!

Okay so then thanksgiving. We offered to help at Pearl Rehab Center with their Thanksgiving meal, and it was really the best experience. the resident's families came in and ate with them and it was so fun to see who everyone was related to. but also it was sad when people sat alone and ate. it really made me thankful for what I had, especially that I even had family that would come and see me. (I think..haha) the staff was so grateful for our help because they were short staffed! We got to be the waitresses of the tables and talk to everyone and they were so happy and it was just a great day. It made me think..why did I never do anything helpful before my mission!? hahahaha. but really. Then we came home and helped finish making dinner at the Krell's and then we had thanksgiving! it was really fun. the elders also came over and we played settlers of catan after dinner and I was really bad. ive lost all ability to win or think about games. but it was a really cool day because it just made me happy knowing that I could give up a few thanksgivings to help with others, and then ill get to go back to my family once im done doing what the Lord wants me to do. it made me excited for Christmas because I think itll be really focused on Christ and seeing others in a Christlike way more than ever.

so we have this new goal to talk to EVERYONE that we see. because sometimes we chicken out and think, oh well, they're getting in their car and its too late. NOT ANYMORE. its never too late! On Saturday we really tried to talk to everyone. Before dinner, we had an awkward 5 minutes that we didn't know what to do with. we were driving around, and sister Hilton said "I wonder if we should just stop on this street!" and I had been thinking the same thing but then we kept driving cause we didn't know where to stop. then I saw a house at the end of the street and thought GO THERE. but then we kept driving, haha but then I just kept feeling sooo strongly that we should stop and turn around so I was like TURN AROUND! So we did and we knocked on the door and no one was home. but then we turned around and we saw a man walking to his car and he was about to get in it. I ran across the street and was like WAIT! sorry I know youre leaving, but we just wanted to leave you with this card! then I told him we were missionaries and had a message about Jesus Christ and asked if we could come back and share it. He said yes! so we set up a time to go back and meet with him! he said he works with a lot of Mormons and really likes what we do. we are so excited to go back!  Sometimes its hard to just randomly start conversations with people. I'm getting better at it. kind of. We were going to visit this less active lady and there were two guys on the driveway so we went to talk to them and I asked how they were and he was like ...good.....and looked really scared and then I started laughing and he was like uhhhh why are you laughing?! and then i didn't know what to say so i said because you looked extremely scared. and then he relaxed and smiled and we became friends and talked about the Word of Wisdom.

This Sunday was one of the best Sundays ever. It was fast and testimony meeting, and we were sitting by one of our investigators at church. She's the one that has a daughter on a mission and comes to church every week that i talked about last week. so during the Sacrament i was thinking, what the heck do we do next for her!? and the thought came into my mind, do what your dad always did. Say "i'll go up if you go up"! and I was like okay cool thought..but really? then I felt the Spirit SO STRONGLY. as i sat there and pondered this, i was like..okay but what do i say up there! i felt like i should bear my testimony on fasting because i love Isaiah 58. so i leaned over and told her that id go up if she would. she said no promises hahaha. so as i sat there pondering what the heck to do, the Holy Ghost was SO STRONG and i just felt like i needed to jump up and run to the stand. i was actually uncomfortable sitting there, i thought my chest was going to explode. i have never felt the Spirit so strongly in my entire life. i thought someone was going to come down from heaven and pick up up and throw me on the stand. so when the lady was finally done talking i went up to talk and said, "i told her that if i got up she had to, but she didn't agree, but i thought id try anyway." hahaha. she never went up. but it was okay. i just talked about how Isaiah 58 is so real. it tells us that if we cry, Christ will answer and say HERE I AM. i have never been so thankful for Christ in my life. He is so real. The Spirit is so real and i am so thankful for it.