Sunday, November 30, 2014

Patience is a virtue.. and I don't have it apparently..(November 24)

So much to share and so little time. Not really much to share this week actually.

We had an amazing lesson last night with Sam. He is so close. He is a very logical thinker and is stuck on the idea that he doesn't know "everything" so he can't be baptized, yet. We decided to drop to the basics and ask him the Baptismal Interview questions. If he was to go through that process right now, he would sooo pass (not that there is any real way you could fail). We explained this to him. He can't quite see that the reason that, at this point, he is the happiest he's been in his life entire life is BECAUSE of the gospel. He said he loved going to church each week, feels relaxed and calm when he's reading the scriptures and he even feels relaxed and at peace when he's over at the Hull's home where we teach each week-- and they have 7 kids under the age of 16! Not the most quiet/calm/peaceful place that you would expect. Brother Hull testified to him that it was because of the spirit that comes with being a member of the church. Sam asked how the Holy Ghost can testify to him of the truthfulness of the gospel when he hasn't yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was amazing how quickly my scriptures opened up to Moroni 7:16, "For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." Every person here on the earth today is given a part of the Spirit of Christ. Else, how could they recognize his true church. But emphasizing that last phrase, that we "may know with a PERFECT KNOWLEDGE it is of God." God had given him the opportunity to KNOW, not just act on faith, that these things are true. Not guess or just rely on faith but actually logically KNOW. We can KNOW the things God has in store for us. The spirit was so strong as we invited him again to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God. Everyone in the room, even the 7 little kids, were silent as we watched the spirit work on Sam. He finally broke the silence by saying he would love to say yes but not knowing everything and his logical mind says not yet. He wants to but he's still figuring things out. The scripture in 1 Nephi 3:7 was brought up by someone, don't remember who, that if God wants us to do something he WILL prepare a way that is would be done. He's praying about December 6th as his date right now so he's hoping! He's so close..

Anyways, the rest of my week leading up to the lesson wasn't that intense..

Monday we went up to Idaho City with Sister Broberg and Metcalf and Sister Sharp from our ward. Just a super fun day but we got stuck in traffic on the way back down for 2 1/2 hours.. not so fun.

Tuesday I FINALLY beat VJ at chess! Wooooh!  And the Lord tried to teach me patience.

Wednesday the Lord REALLY tried to teach me patience.

Thursday the Lord still was working on the patience with me..

Friday the Lord tried to teach me patience again.. I don't know if it worked or not. 

Saturday and Sunday were good. Just a lot of finding between the learning patience and everything. (I was really sick so it was hard to do nothing when there's not much longer left for me to be out here. Patience was something I was meant to learn this week) We did manage to find 2 solid new investigators, Jared and Jon, so that's always a blessing.

It's been a pretty chill week- for once. This next week is a completely different story. We have pretty much back to back appointments every day except on Thursday and Saturday. It's going to be a really good week :)

Love you all and happy Thanksgiving!

1. Do you want to build a snow man:)
2. Troubling times
3-5. Fun with Icicles
6. IC Catholic Church
7. Sasparilla Ice Cream Parlor
8. Sister B with a REALLY big Icicle
9. 4 of 7 Hulls
10. Sam in our lesson.. jk he sleeps all day so Sundays are rough for him and he sleeps all the way from after church clear up until dinner.

(i love my job)

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Week in Pictures A.K.A Sledding with our car and Milano Suits

Lots of pictures and miracles happened this week so I'll try to get them all in.

You all have read my e-mails enough to know that we have a lot of fun out her in the IBM. This past week is no exception. Monday we hiked up to Table Rock for our zone activity. Most of our Zone didn't show up. Three other companionships showed up with us. It was still a lot of fun as we "ran around the hillside like little kids" (quote from Sam after we told him about our day).

Monday also marked the start of the MASTER FINDER COMPETITION!!!!!!! (and yes it was necessary that I needed to put that in different font/size and have seven exclamation points). Some may remember last year the game we played my second transfer. I was training a new missionary while I was training myself and we committed to show the Elders the Sister Power! In the end we totally trashed the Elders in our district. Not joking. Anyways, Elder Hook played this game last time so he's determined to beat me.. we shall see..

Tuesday was fun. We decided to start down this street in a neighborhood nicked name Felony Ridge. First door- No body was home. On our wat to the second one we hear this huge clang noise. Sister Bottomley paused but we both walked up the drive way and this guy walked out of the garage. We started talking to him and he told us the noise was a project he was working on (still don't know what it is..). His name was Brandon. Visiting his mom for a couple weeks trying help her out. We talk about his hunting/fishing guide business and then the conversation moves to religion as always. Basically it comes down to the fact that he's agnostic and doesn't feel the need to change right now BUT he would like us to come back to teach him. BOOM! We set up an appointment for Thursday. 

Something we do on Tuesdays is volunteer at a retirement home. We play games usually but I've picked up playing chess with one of the residence, BJ. He's good.. I plan on beating him sometime in the next 4 weeks before I leave. BJ says I'm one of the best he's played against but just not good enough to beat him. He's kind of sassy for an old man. The Elders we go with also found a new friend running around the facility.

Wednesday, I cause quite a ruckus in our District meeting.. It was pretty bad haha. Elder Hook got on a table and started to preach to our District, Elder Avery was tossing media at him, Elder Bodine is in the back corner yelling and who knows what Elder Xoumphonphackdy, Thatcher and Sister Bottomley were doing. Elder Merrill is behind me in the picture just watching waiting to baptize people. It was pretty awesome. Needless to say, I probably won't be doing a skill check for the rest of my mission but  we did end on a spirit packed note. (They were acting out Samuel the Lamanite preaching to the Nephites. It was pretty great)

Back to Brandon. For our return appointment, we brought one of their neighbors with us. She had to go somewhere so we were just going to introduce them and hope Brandon's mom was going to be home. We knock on the door and his mom answers the door and tells us that he's not home. Making the best of an appointment that just fell through we start talking to his mom and you could tell she was having a really rough day. A thought came to mind but I shrugged it off. Then it came again and so I asked her if she wanted a hug. It was perfect and she really just needed it. The member had to leave but we asked if we could come in to talk a while. Ended up teaching her the first lesson and making a return appointment which turned out amazing as well. Brandon still wasn't there but she said that they read the beginning of the Book of Mormon together and really enjoyed it. 

Thursday and Friday we had record breaking snow fall. We  still have about a foot of snow left and since we're technically in unincorporated Boise we don't get all the fancy snow plows out here. So there is about an inch of ice on all the roads. I've only ever been stuck in the snow once before and never have really slid on ice. Sister Bottomley and I invented a new game called Car Sledding. You never know you're doing it until you are driving and your car doesn't want to stear/slow down because of the ice. Most of the time we ended up in a snow bank on the side of the road. It's been fun.. Basically we're pros now at getting people unstuck in the snow and have helped other people to. Friday we went out and shoveled our neighbors driveways and found several potential investigators. Wooh! I lost my camera for a few days so I didn't get very many pictures of the snow until last night.

Saturday I had my very last exchange..Sad but I went with Sister Molbek who is from Denmark! She is amazing and I learned a lot from her. She's going to try to get into BYU so we can hang out when she finishes her mission. 

Sunday came the miracle of the Milano Suit. We were visiting with one of our Recent Convert families, The Zimmermans, and we got talking about how she wants her husband to be excited about the gospel again. The aren't a family of means so he usually goes in jeans or sweats which makes him feel super out of place.  We talked about one of our other investigators, Sam, who just rocks the jeans and a sweater look. Going and going she mentioned that she bought a suit for him at D. I. but it didn't fit him because he's a bigger guy. Sister Zimmerman got this look in her eye and asked us to pause while she went and got something. She comes out with this $350 Milano suit (original price tags still on) and asked if this would fit Sam.  Sister Bottomley and I looked at each other because it looked like it would fit him exactly. She made us take it with out giving her anything. Sister Zimmerman said that if it fit him that was all the thanks she would need. We were meeting with Sam later that night so it worked out great. After the lesson we told Sam to try it on to see if it fit. He disappeared for a minute and then came back out. We asked how they worked. He said it fit. We all made him try in on again to show us. It was a miracle! So amazing how it basically fell out of heaven just for Sam. He is so close and has recognized that he's slowly receiving his answer but doesn't know if he's ready yet. Working on it still but as of this morning he was on Ether 10 in the Book of Mormon and we're meeting with him tonight. When he does feel he's ready I know that the rest of the process will go super fast.

Anyways, we got to run. Idaho City here we come! Enjoy the pictures!

1. Master Finder Plaque that we've have for a year now. 
2. BJ and Chess
3. Moka and the Elders
4,5,6,7. Results of the snow. Icy roads, sideways icicles and the fact it's snowing on the inside of our car..
8. Sam in his new Milano Suit.

(i love my job)

Pictures from Table Rock Hike!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

"I thought you weren't supposed to get sick on a mission" Yeah I wish.

Another week already? Seriously? It is going by way to fast. It has been a looong, stressful week but I really feel like I was sitting at this computer yesterday. Weird. They say that after a year, time flies by. Try on the last transfer..

So I also realized that I never put in my e-mail what happened with transfers... awkward.. drum roll please! I'm still with Sister Bottomley! So, Sister Smith, I'm not in a trio since I'm staying the full transfer:)  Sister Bottomley will be "killing" me off. I also have Elder Merrill and Hook as my Zone Leaders. I can't get away from them! Now we just need Elders Cornell and Williams and we would have the Best Paramount District ever back. (Elder Merrill trained Elder Hook and they get along a little tooooo well sometimes).

Anyways, last Monday was awesome. Guess what we did! Nothing.. It was awesome! Finally caught up on most my letters.. most.. Never really had time to write being STL so I'm getting back to some of you who wrote me and I never wrote back. Sorry about that! Truly, we just e-mailed, shopped and went home. I think that's the first time in several months its happened. Amazing..

Tuesday was pretty great. We had an amazing meal that night with a family and they made the most amazing breakfast-for-dinner ever! Have you ever heard of pumpkin pie french toast? Neither did I! So good.. We went to a Relief Society Activity with some less actives after and about halfway through I lost all my energy. It was super weird but it was all I could do to keep going the rest of the night. On our way home, Sister Bottomley was telling me how they made our dinner that night (I was doing something during that conversation. Don't quite remember what. ) and she mentioned there was cream cheese in the eggs. What?! She paused because she had just remembered something very important.. I can't have dairy! So the next two days basically consisted of me being sick.. We still made it out to our set appointments but that's it..

Friday we had Zone meeting and, as I said before, having both Elder Merrill and Hook as my Zone Leaders has been fun. We were paired up with the other Amity Sisters to do a follow-up training. Thinking since we were giving the follow-up we thought we would be first so we planned this super fun activity to start off Zone Meeting but guess what? We were almost the very last.. We decided not to do the activity and just do the training. It was really good still but not as fun as we planned it on being. 

That night we went over to the Lloyd's (probably one of my favorite families in this ward). We were talking and I mentioned that I had gotten sick earlier that week. Their second youngest, Bryson, looked at me with shock! "I thought you weren't supposed to get sick on a mission! You're a missionary!" Yeah, I wish, kid. He has a brother on a mission who told him that they weren't allowed to get sick. It was just a super fun night at that house.

Saturday was Stake Conference. We had several investigators and less actives come to the adult session and the speakers were awesome! While most sat with fellow shippers we introduced, we sat with Sam. Our Mission President, nicked named "The Bubbly Guy" by Sam, came and spoke to a few of them after with us. Two of them are sooo close. They are just waiting for an answer they say. When they get it, they will both move super fast. Sam read all of Mosiah between the Adult Session Saturday night and the General Session Sunday Morning (His nights are our days and days are our nights. He works graveyard shifts.) He's also read most of the Gospel Principles book. He's trying to sort out 2 Nephi 31:14 vs. Mosiah 18:10. The "die versus double die factor" as he calls it. Just lots of prayers needed. The thing about Sam is he remembers EVERYTHING he reads. He's a computer programmer and it all works for him. So he remembers everything he reads but it takes time for him to process it all when it's not in code. We're meeting with him again tonight so we'll see how everything goes.

Lesson of the Week from Sister Lloyd: I love this woman. She is amazing in alot of what she does. Bryson was asking her question at the table like "Does God really care that we go to a specific church?" and similar to it. The way she taught is the way I've been striving to my entire mission. She basically helped him to answer his own question. The whole conversation came down to one phrase that has stuck in my mind, "God loves his children equally and has placed them where they will have the best opportunity to accept his invitation to come back home." It is an idea I've thought about my whole mission because if I wasn't born into the gospel, I probably would have never joined the church. I am so glad that I was placed where I was so I could not only have the best opportunity to accept his invitation to come home but now I'm having the chance to fulfill what I promised before and helping others to have the chance, as well. It's a beautiful idea really..

Anyways, love you all and talk to you next week!

1. Sunset driving home on Thursday
2. Sunset Saturday nigh (yes, that is totally a real, no edit sunset)
3. The sunrise when I was outside during personal study this morning. Love it!
4. Elder Stark after our Zone Meeting training on avoiding traps.. #fail
5. Planning our next move..
6. Walking down the Jone's driveway!

(i love my job)

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Wouldn't it be nice if it came back? Yeah, I guess. It has. What?!?!?" -E. Godoy talking about his conversion

So basically it was one of the best weeks ever! So much has happened (including transfers) but my least favorite part would have probably been when Sister Smith got a member of the first quorum of the Seventy to give me the $2 that we've been passing back and forth.. grrrr..

Rewind a bit. We had some pretty amazing lessons this week. We took one of our progressing investigators to walk around the temple grounds in the evening. We went over again the purpose of this life and the purpose of temples. It was spirit packed and he told us he knows that "something" is true but needs the knowledge now. Total golden guy and is just finding his way.

Back to the member of the Seventy: Elder Godoy

We had Zone Conference on Halloween and it was probably the best way I could have spent my day! So this was not your typical Zone Conference. Since it was my very last zone conference I had to give my departing testimony (aka trunkimony). Usually we do them last so I figured I was good to go but guess what! First thing on the agenda! Not cool. I am sloooooowly getting used to the idea of going home but I'm really not ready. One more transfer! We had several good speakers first but Elder Godoy is probably my favorite in the history of Ever. I've heard him speak in several MLCs over the months but this is the first time he's come to talk to the entire mission. 

The theme of his address was "Every phase is building the future of you". He really focused on marriage and future families. Now as an 'older' missionary, whenever these topics come up I'm usually like "Lalalalalala! I can't hear you!" attitude because that step is closer than I like it to be but he applied it to other phases of life, as well. As missionaries we've all gone through the stages of being a new greenie/missionary. Some of us have been a new leader or trainer. One day we will all be new RMs, new couple, new parents or grandperents, new dead person on the other side (he mentioned how he's pretty sure there is a MTC for the newly deseased). One day we will all be new gods talking classes like 'How To Create Worlds 101'. Elder Godoy brought up the idea that as important as DOING what you're supposed to in what ever phase of life is BEING who the Lord wants youto be. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." No one can be perfect in every phase as Christ was but we each have a level that we are perfect at. An apple is perfect as an apple should be. A banana is perfect as a banana. One should not look at the other and judge according to what they see as perfection (And then he started to go off on the Barney song about apples and bananas. I told you, he's crazy in the best possible way). So we all are given a level that we have to achieve at that time and no more. Just a brilliant talk. He then brought up that the baptisms in the world have gone up 11% across the world and 13% in the United States. How much in the Idaho Boise Mission? A grand total of 31%! Wooh! Just random tidbit he threw in:) Quote in the Subject box is from Elder Godoy talking about his conversion with "his sister missionaries"

The best part came later. I was eating lunch in the cultural hall and one of the APs came up to me and said in a hushed tone "Elder Godoy has asked to speak with you privately when you have the opportunity." You can probably guess what was running through my mind at that point.. The second thing that went through my mind was something like this.. Sister Smith don't you dare tell me that you gave him the $2 to give to me! She said she hadn't (but as you could see from the opening in my e-mail she was lying..)

I went in and we talked for a little while. He asked me about myself and my family. He then asked me some more personal questions and it was quite amazing. One of my worst fears of going home is that I'm not who the Lord expects me to be when I go home. I didn't have that fear when I came out but I'm not the same person I was when I came out either. Elder Godoy's idea on DOING vs BEING really hit home for me and I let him know that. Speaking with him really helped me feel better about going home at the end of this transfer. I'm not ready yet, still have a long way to go but I'm getting there. (He also tried to set me up with his single-byu-attending-RM son but I don't know how that would go..)

Anyways, I hope this all made sense. I took about 4 pages of notes and just pulled some things that I felt like I should share. Go read his talk from this past conference.  Love you all!

(i love my job)

1,2 Pumpkin carving last p-day!
3,4,5 "Helping" the Lloyd's out a bit with the yard:)
6, 7 Sister Smith and her planner. She's awesome!
8 METCALF! (and Elder Hunt's hand..)