On Monday, we had our Zone PDay. All the Elders and sisters in the Westminster Zone went to the church, and had a bbq. We played volleyball for about 4 hours, and it was so much fun. And there was a ton of food! Which is always nice :)
For Family Home Evening, we taught Danathan and his family about Ammon protecting King Lamonis flock, and chopping their arms off. The two young boys loved it :) The lesson went really well! I love the progress I can see in the Dean Family. When we first met with them, they never participated in the lesson, and never read the BOM reading assignments we left them. Now they really get involved, and they almost always read the chapters we leave for them. They have definitely drawn closer as a family, and to our Heavenly Father.
Tuesday we taught 6 lessons, which is more than we've ever taught in one day. And we got a new investigater as well! Her name is Lavanda, and she is a straight up bible lover. She wasnt interested in at all in the Book of Mormon, because she read that one scripture in Revelations where it says not to add anything to the Bible. I cant think of the exact reference right now, sorry. Each time we met with her we would always try to leave a BOM, but she never would accept it. But finally she saw how important it was to us, and she accepted it. We left her with 3rd Nephi 11 & 12 to read, and two days later we went by to check on her. She hadnt read it yet, so we decided to read it with her. We were short on time, so we only got through the first 11 verses, but she said "Oh wow! This is really interesting, I cant wait to read more" The three of us missionaries just looked at each other in amazement. Earlier in the evening, as a tripanionship we prayed for a miracle to occur, and if that wasnt a miracle I dont know what it was. I cant wait to meet with her again so she can gain more of a testimony of the BOM.
On Wednesday, we did this really awesome service project. We went to this inactive/investigaters home, The Hildebrants. Brother Hildebrant is opening a Military musuem, and he collects artifacts, like helmets, guns, uniforms, letters, and so much more. His basement is completely filled with the stuff, and it is so cool! The other sisters were moving around artifacts, but since I had the best handwriting he asked me to copy a soldiers journal. The journal is from a navy officer in ward war 2 and he was writing to his sweetheart. Its very faded and written in cursive, and he had me rewrite everything in a spiral notebook. This was sooo awesome! I loved just reading what he had to say, I cant wait to go back to finish it.
Friday is our weekly planning, and it normally only takes about 3 hours, but since we had to do both wards it took almost 7 hours to do. We took all of our stuff to the park nearby and brought basically a a months worth of food as well. :) Planning for that long always drives me insane, so it was great that we could do it outside on a beautiful sunny day instead of in a dark basement.
Sunday was FULL of meetings. We had Ward Council at 9, church for read leaf at 11. After sacrement meeting we went to 20 minutes of gospel principles, and then we had to go to Savory Ponds sacrement, gospel principles, and relief society till 4. Directly after church we had ward correlation with the ward mission leader, until 5 oclock. It felt like the longest day in history and we forgot to pack a lunch so we were pretty hungry by the end of it.
When I was studying this morning, I was reading the Ensign, and I found a article that made me think of you Mom. I really encourage you to read it. Its James E. Faust's "Dear are the sheep that have wandered" from June 2013. Your such a great Mom, and I'm so thankful for all the support I've had while I've been on my mission. I couldnt be here without you. Thank for for all the hard work that you do for the family, and for the loving example you are to me. I miss you so much, but I wouldn't give up this experience for anything. I have drawn so much closer to my Heavenly Father, and I know it wouldnt have happened if you didnt encourage me to serve this mission.
These two guys work at DQ, and they bring them home all the time, and their freezer was getting super full so they gave them to us ha-ha. We each had like two, and then brought them to our zone meeting we had the next day, so the elders ate the rest...
What a week! So on Monday, the sister training leaders, me and my companion, and two other sisters went to the park to play volleyball. We played for about ten minutes, and then it started POURING. Instead of going back inside, we pulled out a frisbee and just played in the rain for an hour or so. It was so much fun! We got COMPLETELY drenched. Afterwards we figured it would be a great idea to get some frozen yogurt :) What better time to eat frozen items when your cold and wet? :)
When PDay was over, we went over to the Deans home for FHE. We taught the kids (Danathan, the 12 y/o whose getting baptized, and Drayden, a 7 y/o) about the two thousand stripling warriors. You should have seen there faces, they were so excited about this story! Each week we have FHE with them, and teach them awesome stories from the BOM so that they will be more interested in reading it. So far we have taught Nephi retrieving the brass plates from Laban, the tree of life, helamans army, and tonight we are talking about Ammon, and how he protected the flock by chopping of the arms of the bad guys :) I'm sure they will enjoy that story.
On Tuesday, we met with tons of inactives. It was out busiest day of lessons yet. We had to bike like crazy to make it in time for our lessons. When we got home, we found out no one signed up for dinner, and just as we were making something to eat, a woman in our ward, Sis. Tanner, came and dropped of a 45$ gift card to Chipotle. Obviously we stopped making dinner and sped over to Chipotle, since we all know thats my favorite place :)
Dinner was great, and then we went to meet up with this woman, Shavonne.
She is from Jamaica, and has a heavy accent, and a huge love for Christ. She knows the Bible incredibly well, so we scheduled a study session with her, so we could introduce how the bible and book of mormon work together. We talked mainly about Jesus Christ, and his life. I brought up the fact that Jesus Christ walked miles and miles (50) in order to be baptized by John, who had the proper authority to baptize, and we talked about the importance of that authority, and that our Church has the very same authority mentioned. What a coincidence! :) Lol. I asked her to be baptized, but she didnt really understand since shes already been baptized. We again stressed the importance of that authority, and she then agreed to be baptized :) Third person I've asked, and all three have accepted :) The Lord is definitely blessing me.
On Wednesday, we had our mission tour, where a general authority comes to speak to us. Elder Corbridge (sp?) from the 1st quroum of the 70 came, and talked on teaching MIT, the Most Important Thing. Instead of focusing on details that wont matter to their salvation, focus on what will help them come to Christ and have that eternal life. It was really great, and has helped so much when planning our lessons. The conference lasted all day, from 9am till 430pm. Afterwards, me and Sis. Mataitusi got on our bikes, and went to visit some people.
Our ward council gave us a list of 45 people that they dont know who they are, but know they are members of the ward, and gave us two weeks to contact everyone and find out as much as we could about each person. Its a HUGE assignment and has been taking up a lot of time, so unfortuantely we havent had much time to meet with our investigaters, which sucks.
It started pouring down rain as soon as we got on our bikes, so we had to bike for a couple of hours, visting house to house, in the rain. We got completely drenched, and it wasnt much fun, but we got a lot of work done so thats great. I think they felt sorry for us so thats the reason we got into so many houses that night :)
On Friday night we got a call from our Mission President. He decided to send Sis. Jackson home, because of health reasons. She is the sister I went on exchanges the other week. She has been sick and in a lot of pain for almost two months now, and the doctors didnt know what was wrong, so she is going home for a transfer or two to get better. Since her companion, Sis. Faulk cant stay alone, he had us became a trio. So early Saturday morning we moved houses into Sis. Faulks house. She serves in the Red Leaf ward, so now we have two wards to cover, so its a lot more work to do. She is the best, and we've been able to work very well together. And now we have a car! Since we are covering two areas we need it. I'm so grateful because we are able to get so much more work done now.
Concerning the matter or rain: Wow. It has been raining nearly nonstop since Tuesday. I know you've probably heard in the news how bad its been, its flooding everywhere. We've been pretty blessed, and in Westminster we havent gotten flooded too bad. Not like it has been in Boulder, oh wow I feel so bad for everyone there. We didnt have much issue of flooding until Sunday. We have to go to both wards on Sunday which is pretty interesting. So we went to Red Leaf ward first, and the rain was nonstop. We went to their sacrement, and half of their sunday school before we had to go to Savory Ponds sacrement meeting. Sacrement was great, both wards talked about Following the Prophet, which is always a great lesson to hear. at the end of the meeting, the bishop told everyone that the last two hours of church has been canceled, because the rain was so bad and the roads were flooding. Almost every main road was flooded, so getting home was interesting because we took 59734769220 backstreets. But we're all safe, still doing the work, and recieveing tons of blessings. :) So no worrying!
I know I keep saying this, but I just love it here. Since that last time I wrote, so much has happened.
On Monday, directly after emailing, and shopping for food, we went to the park and had a water balloon fight :) It was over 90 degrees, so it just felt perfect and it was a TON of fun. Today after emailing, we are going to the same park to play volleyball, which I'm excited about.
Oh wait. I just remembered last week I emailed on Tuesday because of Labor day... oh well... :)
So on TUESDAY I was on companion exchanges, with Sis. Jackson. She's great and I learned so much from her. She had such a great perspective on Charity that I've never heard before. Charity is the pure love of Christ, but it also was the MOTIVATION of Christ. I love that. Jesus Christ did everything that he did because of his love for you and me. Although I've always known that, it's still amazing to think about. We focused all of our lessons that day on that concept. And each lesson we taught we began with the hymn I Stand All Amazed. Each time we sang it, the Spirit was so incredibly strong, and I've definitely grown a new appreciation for that hymn.
In the evening, we taught Danathan, the kid who is getting baptized on the 22nd of this month. We taught him the Plan Of Salvation, and it went really well. I was nervous to start because I thought it might be too difficult for him to understand, but me and Sis. M were able to simplify it enough that he just paid strict attention and wanted to know everything about it. I love his desire to know more about his relationship with his Heavenly Father, and how to return to Him. He really inspires me, because he is completely focused on this path. He reads the scriptures every night, and is always eager to share to us what he learned while he read.
On Thursday, at our District Meeting, we did a whole bunch of role plays, which are so not my favorite, but i do always learn from them. We worked with our zone leaders, Elders Traasdahl and Brennen, and I had to recite the first vision, and immediately ask them to be baptized. I messed up on it :/ but it all worked out in the end. Thursday way the Broncos game, so unfortunately when we went tracking, no one was interested in talking to us because they were too busy watching the game. Stupid football lol. Now if it was soccer, I'd understand! :) Just kidding.
We did meet this one young lady, Felicia, who we did the prayer approach on, and after the prayer she was in tears. We made a return appointment for this week, so I'm excited to see how that'll go. On Friday, I committed another person to baptism :) Her name is Brittany, and she's in her mid thirties. She is still a little unsure about the church, but is interested in learning more, and said if she felt like if she had a testimony by her date then she will get baptized. Unfortunately her baptism wont be till Oct. 13th, because she will be in and out of town for a while, so its difficult to give her all the lessons, but I know she will be ready and excited for her baptism.
Friday evening we went on another companion exchange, this time with our Sister Training Leaders. I was with Sister Kim, and this time we served in my area. I was really nervous because I have no idea where anyone lives ha-ha. Sister Mataitusi is beast at remembering directions, so I always just follow her... It turned out all right though, I only got us lost once :) but we were able to find our way again. We went to the stake baptism for children, and four kids got baptized, which was great to see. In the evening, we met with this inactive, Abba. He is from Israel, and has a heavy accent, but is literally the sweetest person you'll ever meet. We talked to him for about an hour, about blessings that he recognizes comes from his Heavenly Father, and I tied that into blessings you can receive from attending church. He has no family, so I talked to him how he can strengthen his family relationship his Father in Heaven, and his brother Jesus Christ. I also mentioned that he is in a ward family, and they would love to have him come back to the church. He was in tears by the end of it, and committed to coming back to church, which he hasn't come in years. And he actually did! He showed up in this throwback suit from the 80s, but he was there :)
On Sunday, we met with another inactive family before church. It was a woman, Burgandy, and her two sons, Orian (9) and Briggs (7). We showed them how to do FHE, and they soaked it right up. We taught them the story of the stripling warriors, and the boys ate it right up. They came to church as well, and they haven't been active in years. Its so great! I love missionary work :)
I cant remember if I mentioned that me and my companion are looking for new housing. Well we are :)
We found this really great apartment, that's a decent price, and its right next to where we have tons of inactive and potentials. The move in date is tentatively set for the 26th of this month. We won't know for sure until next week, the mission office is handling all the lease agreements and stuff. The apartment is called Highland Way, in Northglenn CO.
I'm surviving the biking, barely. Its definitely gotten a lot easier, but I do struggle with all the hills. Bro. Crawford is right, there are tons of hills. We're actually getting a car within two weeks, so I'm super excited about that. I don't mind biking, but its so inconvenient for planning. It takes like 20-30 minutes of biking between appointments, which sucks because then we can't meet with as many people per day.
Thanks for that great package! That's a lot of yummy food :) Feel free to keep sending stuff! Ha-ha. We tried the fettuccine alfredo last night, and it was super yummy! And we made some pancakes this morning. Its definitely appreciated. It adds a variety to all the cereal, and meat & cheese sandwiches lol.
My roommates are all jealous that my mom sends me so much food. Its great, now I barely have to grocery shop this week.
Phew, this week has been crazy busy. So since we last talked, on Monday we went golfing. I suck... but it was a LOT of fun!
We have done a lot of service in the community as well. We cleaned up a local park, which took forever since there was a lot of trash. By the end of it we were all exhausted, dehydrated and sunburt (well mine turned into a tan atleast, lol) but it was really great to see all the progress we were able to make.
When we first arrived into the mission field, President Toombs issued a
challenge to the greenines that by the end of the first two weeks,
to pass out a Book of Mormon and also invite someone to be baptized.
Well I didn't put too much effort in to this, and the day before the
two weeks was up (with a meeting with the president to check our progress) I still hadn't done either of them. So Thursday I really focused on handing out a Book of Mormon. I literally talked to 40 or so people that day, and they either were completely uniterested, or the past missionaries had already given them a book. Darn those missionaries for doing their jobs...
By the end of the night I was really disapointed in myself because I couldn't get anyone to accept it. But on Friday, directly after the meeting, I was able to talk to this investigater. His name is Danathan, and he's twelve years old. To back up a few days, we taught him and his family on Monday for FHE. We taught him about how Nephi retrieved the plates from Laban. He loved hearing the epic stories in the scriptures. Then when we met on Friday, we taught him the Restoration, and I offered him the Book of Mormon, and he accepted! In this book, my companion and I, actually took the time to highlight all of our favorite scriptures in it, to give him an idea of the things he'll find in the book. He was really receptive to it, and wanted to start reading it right away. And then we started talking about Christ, and then I felt inspired to invite him to be baptized. AND HE ACCEPTED. He's getting baptized on September 22nd, and I'm so excited for him. He's such a precocious kid, and I know he'll gain so much from this Gospel. At the end of the night, I just knew that the reason I wasnt able to hand out a Book of Mormon on Thursday, even though I tried super hard, was because Danathan was meant to be my first person I was able to reach.
Yesterday was P-day, (but we couldnt get to the library because it was labor day) and we as a district went to the park, and played frisbee and basketball. The sister training leaders (Sisters Kim & Hand) showed up and we had a water balloon fight. It was so much fun! And was perfect timing, since it was boiling outside. The weather has been hard to get used to, since in WA we start freaking out when it gets to like 75. Its either super hot, or we have a lot of lightning/rain storms. But the great thing is than I'm pretty tan :) I love it.
After the park, we went and did companion exchanges. I slept the night at another sisters home (Sis. Jackson) and today I'm with her all day. So I'm serving in her ward, and her companion is serving in mine.
Its been a really great experience and I've really gotten a chance to learn how to do things in a different way, which is always good.
Sister Jackson is super sweet and I've learned alot from her. We're switching companions back after dinner, so around 6:30.
Like mom pointed out, its hard to believe that I've been out on my mission for almost a month now. At times it seems like its a really short time, and others it feels like I've been out here for months.
The knowledge that I've gained in the gospel and my testimony has strengthened so much, that its strange to think about. I love this church so much. I might not understand every aspect of it, but I know its true. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That through Joseph, Jesus Christ restored his church on the earth. I know through personal revelation that Brother Joseph correctly translated the Book of Mormon. That the words inside are true, and that they are of God. I know that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God, and he recieves revelation for us daily.
I have grown such an appreciation in the principle of Faith. At times it seems like we are alone and that we can't do what we've been asked, but I know through Jesus Christ we are able to do anything. Faith has been such a huge blessing to me. I feel really out of my element, but I've really grown to rely and trust my Heavenly Father to help me out.
My new favorite scripture of the week is D&C 50:41-42. I highly recommend you all read it. :)