Archive | January, 2014

January is coming to a close!

27 Jan
SNOW!

SNOW!

I can’t believe that this week will finish out January! January and February are supposed to be the worst here for winter, so I’m halfway through the cold! This past week was a good one. It was the start of a new transfer, but it didn’t really feel all that different since we stayed in the same place and with the same companion. Our whole zone for the most part wasn’t really affected by transfers- we’re lucky!

Last Monday for P-day, my companion and I finally crossed off one of our “Meeteetse Bucket List” items. There’s this bench on top of a hill that we always wanted to go sit on, so we finally did it! We got some delicious french fries from the restaurant in town and had a wonderful picnic lunch on our bench. 🙂 We drove up to Powell for a Zone Preparation day, which was pretty fun! We had like 30-something missionaries all playing an epic game of pod-ball…. it was impossible to win, so we finally just ended it after like 2 hours!

French fries on the bench.

French fries on the bench.

This week I finished reading Doctrine and Covenants and started on the Peal of Great Price. I ought to have that one done today or tomorrow! I’m so excited to start reading the New Testament and Old Testament. There is so much power in the scriptures! They are such a sure-fire way for me feel the Holy Spirit.

On Wednesday, we drove up to Cody because…. wait for it…. we got a truck!! Yep, the mission office finally got us a truck with 4 wheel drive. Such a blessing, especially since all we drive pretty much are dirt and gravel roads! The Corolla we had was nice, but the truck will be a lot better for us out here. I feel like a true “Wyoming girl” now! It’s snowed a couple times this week, but not too much accumulation overall. The truck doesn’t have as much traction as the Corolla, but once I got used to driving it, it’s been nice to not worry about getting stuck in the snow.

Hello, new truck!

Hello, new truck!

Teaching Seminary this week was really good. We’ve been studying in Alma about Alma and Amulek and the sons of Mosiah. Good stuff! Thursday morning after seminary we went out and shoveled snow for like 2 hours. It really tires ya out! But we press onward.

On Saturday, our Bishop came over to our house and tried to fix our faucet that has been running/dripping. It turned into an all day ordeal pretty much- poor man! In the end, we got all new pipes and a new faucet though, lol. We were out teaching a lesson at a part-member family’s house that live near us, and Bishop actually called the non-member dad to see if he had a certain type of wrench. The dad said to him, “I dunno, I’m over here doing all sorts of Mormon prayin’!”. It was hilarious, because Bishop had no idea that we were over there.

Well, that’s about it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!!

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Hello again!

21 Jan

Another week has gone by once again! It’s crazy that January is already over halfway over. Transfer calls were last night, and my companion and I are both staying in Meeteetse! She will go back to Temple Square in 4 weeks, so I’ll be getting a new companion then for sure. I’m excited to get to stay in Meeteetse! I bet I’ll be here at least another transfer after that so that I could train someone on the area- looks like my first area will be 6 months probably!

The welcome sign in the park.

The welcome sign in the park.

Last Monday’s preparation day was great! We met up with some of the missionaries in Cody and played some epic basketball. It was me and my companion and one elder versus four elders… And we won! Well, we won the first game and then came really close to winning the second game. We’ve been practicing in the mornings for exercise, so we’re pretty excited about our rematch today!

Monday night, we ate dinner with one of the younger families in the ward. Their little girl who is around 7 told us to “guess what I want to be when I grow up!” Of course, we responded “a missionary!” Her response was an emphatic “no!”… followed by “I want to be a missionary princess!” We had a pretty good laugh!

On Tuesday, we got up like usual to get ready for seminary and we got a phone call from the mom of the students we teach. She said, “Have you looked outside?” We said, “No, should we?” Needless to say, we’d had about a foot of snow dumped overnight! We decided to cancel seminary because the schools were being delayed, but we still had to head out not long after because we had zone training in Powell. When we stepped outside, our seminary student Brent and his mom were finishing shoveling our driveway for us! So nice! The plows had been going all night, so thankfully the drive to Powell was pretty easy. Zone training lasted most of the day, but it was really inspiring and revelatory. We had several missionary-led breakout sessions where we practiced different teaching skills and learned a ton.

Snow up to my knees! (That’s a spot on the photo, not a bruise on my face!!)

Snow up to my knees! (That’s a spot on the photo, not a bruise on my face!!)

Pile of snow in the church parking lot.

Pile of snow in the church parking lot.

Tuesday night, we went to the Relief Society activity which was such a fun activity! It was pretty simple- it was called “my favorite things”. Everyone brought three of their favorite things and shared them! It could be something sentimental, something useful, anything except family pictures (cause we’d all bring that!). It was neat to get to know everyone that way. My three favorite things were: my toothbrush stand (I love that it doesn’t fall over when I bump it!), my ring that I wear everyday (it says, “if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it”), and my OU t-shirt.

The rest of the week, we really just taught a bunch of lessons! We’ve been averaging about 20 lessons a week, which is the best this area has ever seen. Actually, our whole mission is doing great! For 2013, we were the highest baptizing mission in the central US zone of missions. The Lord has His hand in Montana and Wyoming! We’re seeing a lot of progress in some of our less-actives, which is awesome. It’s just so sad to see people that still believe in the gospel, but let petty grievances things keep them from church. In time, I know that the spirit of the Lord will work on them and get them back on the right path. Our two main investigators both made some progress, but Satan is really working on both of them hard. Please keep them in your prayers!

On Wednesday morning we hit the pavement and shoveled basically all of town that hadn’t been shoveled yet! We did take a break at one point and build a snowman- it was awesome! Even with all the snow, the weather has been amazing all week and pretty warm, so it melted the snow just enough to make it perfect for snowballs and snowmen. 🙂 We built our snowman in the morning, but when we came back in the afternoon to take a picture, his head had fallen off! Such a shame!

So. Much. Snow.

So. Much. Snow.

One more random story for my letter this week- apparently I talk in my sleep! A lot too. Never would have known except for having a companion. I even sang a couple nights ago! We have a “Standards of Excellence” song set to the tune of “Follow the prophet” that gets stuck in our heads all the time, and it’s so ingrained in me that it’s even in my sleep now, hahaha.

I think my lips have finally adjusted to the dry weather here- they were permanently bleeding I think for the first month and a half, no matter how much chapstick I put on.

So we ate dinner last night out at a member’s house who lives on a ranch about 25 miles out of town. I just saw on Facebook that they spent half the night fighting wolves away from their house and livestock. And they also showed us pictures last night of the wolves and bears that they’ve seen… ahhh!! I really do live out in the boonies!

That’s about it for me this week! I’m excited to enter my third transfer now, and officially not be in training anymore. I hope you all have a fantastic week, and I love you!!

Seminary, cats and life as a missionary

13 Jan

Hello everyone! Hope you all had an amazing week. My week was great! We started teaching seminary on Monday, and that was a ton of fun. We only have two students, a brother and sister, and they are both just the sweetest kids. We’re studying Book of Mormon this year, so we started the book of Alma on Monday. It is such a wonderful way to start our day by studying the scriptures with them! Since seminary starts at 6:45am, we had to adjust our missionary schedule to make it compatible. We usually just come back and do our exercise and showers after seminary. I had a huge accomplishment in my exercise this week… I can actually touch my toes!! Never in my life have I been able to do that- not even in elementary school! It still hurts a lot, hahahaha, but I can do it sometimes! On Monday, we went over to Cody and played Ultimate Frisbee with the other missionaries and some of the youth up there. So fun!

Tuesday, my companion had her check-up appointment and got the green-light on returning to regular activity! We also had to get our oil changed in Powell because that’s where the Toyota dealership is, so we planned it all super well and the timing was perfect with the doctor’s appointment. We were pretty proud ourselves! Tuesday night, I had a pretty cool experience with one of our youths. She messaged me on Facebook with a question about how to share the gospel with one of her friends. After praying about it, I felt prompted that she needed to share a specific Mormon message and her testimony of Christ. I haven’t heard yet how it went, but how cool is it that Facebook lets us missionaries connect so easily with members of our ward?! It was also really great to be on the relationship level with her that she felt comfortable asking me for a suggestion.

The members give us fresh eggs all the time.    We're so spoiled!  Aren't they pretty?  They look like Easter eggs.

The members give us fresh eggs all the time. We’re so spoiled! Aren’t they pretty? They look like Easter eggs.

So I had to two unique experiences with cats this week, hahaha. We ate at a member’s house, and they brought up their cat from downstairs for us. First off, this cat was HUGE (its name was Turkey, haha). It was actually a really sweet cat, but when I was holding it, it started drooling all over me! I didn’t even know cats could drool. My iPad case and skirt were both completely drenched by the end though. My second experience was quite the adventure. We dropped by one of our less-active’s house to teach her, and she was just about to go try to catch some of the stray kittens that lived in an abandoned trailer next door. (I guess she knew some people that wanted them). Sensing an opportunity for service, as missionaries do, we offered our help! We probably had wayyyy too much fun trying to catch those kittens. It took us most of an hour and an entire package of bologna, but the girl and I finally managed to bribe one of them out, and while I distracted it, she swooped in and caught it! It was quite the adventure.
Friday and part of Saturday were kind of rough- I got a little stomach bug. No bueno!! But, a package of saltines and a can of ginger ale later, I was back at it. That was the first time I’ve been sick on the mission so far! (a part from the daily sneezing and sniffling. I swear I’m allergic to Wyoming!)

Every missionary has to have a picture like this!  The mound of snow was maybe 3 feet high, but we tried to make it look bigger.

Every missionary has to have a picture like this! The mound of snow was maybe 3 feet high, but we tried to make it look bigger.

We had a really powerful meeting with one of our investigators this week. Last week, he had gotten into a lot of anti-material and the whole lesson just really didn’t have the Spirit. So this week, we decided that it wasn’t going to happen like that again! At the end, we each bore witness of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without the Atonement- without Christ’s sacrifice, we would not have a way back to our Heavenly Father. It really is the most central, important thing of everything. What an incredible gift it is!

Yesterday we spoke in church, and we got to speak on the best topic: missionary work! It was a great experience. Our ward members are all such great member-missionaries. It really does make a world of difference in the missionary work in the area! We find out about transfers this Sunday, so we’ll see where I end up! My companion and I both feel pretty strongly that we’ll stay here. Since Temple Square’s transfer schedule is different than ours, she’ll only be here for 4 of the 6 weeks of next transfer. So it’ll be interesting on how it’ll all work out!

A companion selfie!

A companion selfie!

Sending you all so much love from Wyoming!!! The weather has been super great here. I’m getting spoiled! The only downside is that there is a ton of ice all around town, and we both almost fall every day, hahaha. Anyways…. miss you bunches, and have a great week!!

A new year!

7 Jan

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year!! This time of year truly is a time for reflection and goals. I know that as I sat down and wrote out my goals for this year, I was filled with anticipation for everything to come! (I hope each of you set a goal to write your favorite missionary! hahaha) Some of my goals for 2014 are to read the entire standard works and work on a different Christ-like attribute every month. This month is faith, so you’ll probably hear a lot about that because it’s been on my mind! Our Mission theme for 2014 is “Fear not, but BE BELIEVING”. I am so excited for all the wonderful things that are in store for the upcoming year!

Pretty, pretty, pretty Wyoming!

Pretty, pretty, pretty Wyoming!

Last Monday was just a pretty chill day all-around. We stayed in most of the day so my companion could rest and finish healing. With my extra time, I finally got around to fixing some of my clothes! For some reason, I had a jacket, a shirt, a sweater, and a sock all get holes within two weeks of each other! So I got to be all domestic and hand-sew my clothes that evening. I’m not sure that being a seamstress is in my future, but hey, I didn’t do too terrible of a job by my reckoning!

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting in Cody as always, and I got to give a discussion on hope. After District Meeting, we went over to Walmart and got our groceries for the week. My companion tried to use one of the electric scooter things, but the only one available was broken! So instead I pushed her around in a wheelchair, and we probably had way too much fun doing so.

On Wednesday, we got back into the swing of missionary work! My companion is doing super well, and then only thing really bothering her any more is that the pain medication that she was on messed up her sleep. No bueno! But overall, it’s been pretty good. We taught bunches of lessons this week, which was awesome. It’s frustrating sometimes to see our investigators believe and accept our message, but not be willing to change their lives. I have FAITH that, in time, their hearts will be changed!

On Thursday we did service over at the Antique store, and we started trying to organize the upstairs part. It’ll be a process, but with time I think it’ll eventually look pretty good! On Friday we had dinner with a family, and they live about 30 minutes out of town on a huge ranch. It was dirt roads 98% of the way, and I thought our poor car wasn’t gonna survive! We did manage to get lost once, but thankfully it just led us back to where we started, so we got an easy redo, hahaha. They had the cutest little one week old puppies!!

Puppies!!!!

Puppies!!!!

On our way back home, at one point we decided to just pull over and get out and look at the stars. There is seriously nothing like it! It was just utterly pitch black all around us and the sky was just incredible. The trip to and from the ranch had a death toll of two rabbits, and I felt so bad!! My companion promised me that they would be waiting to greet me in Heaven though.

It snowed a couple times this week, but I don’t think the accumulation was ever over an inch or two. Thankfully the snow is super powdery, so we can walk in it just fine and not get wet!

Got caught partying in the snow... haha!

Got caught partying in the snow… haha!

In testimony meeting on Sunday, one of the little primary kids got up and bore their testimony and said, “I know that Heavenly Father died for us, and Jesus was the first true prophet”…. hahaha, well, she was just a little off. On Sunday, we kept slipping on the ice! It had been warm a couple days before, so some snow had melted but had since refrozen as ice. And then it snowed on Sunday, so we couldn’t see what was ice and what wasn’t! Needless to say, we decided to step very carefully for the rest of the day.

Just watchin' out for my fellow people!

Just watchin’ out for my fellow people!

This morning, we taught Seminary for the first time!! It went really well I thought. Seminary has such a special place in my heart- I feel so blessed to get to teach it right now! We already have to have a sub tomorrow though, lol. We have to go to Powell tomorrow for my companion’s follow-up appointment and to get the oil changed in the car- fun times!
Well, I think that’s about it for me this week! I hope you all have a wonderful day!!!

Christmas and a day at the hospital (not for me though!!!)

1 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone!

Last Monday for preparation day we drove up to Cody and spent the afternoon with some of the other missionaries. SO fun! We helped the Cody sisters make cookies for their investigators, then we went over and played sports with the elders. We played a fun game called “pod-ball”. Essentially, it was a game of tag with two balls and a few extra rules, but it was a blast! My companion and I tried to make some “secret combinations” during the game, but it didn’t really work out in our favor, hahaha.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were just really nice, quiet, relaxing days for us. We couldn’t really make any appointments, so we spent the day studying and eating essentially. Christmas Eve, we went over to our bishop’s home for dinner and participated in their little Christmas program. Christmas Day, we studied, opened presents, Skyped, napped, and ate some more! We ate dinner with an older couple in our ward. Overall, it was just a relaxing couple of days, which was wonderful.

I felt so spoiled on Christmas!

I felt so spoiled on Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who sent me one who sent me  card!  I was so excited every time!!

Thank you to everyone who sent me a card! I was so excited every time!!

Christmas night, we got a phone call from one of the Cody elders and they asked us how we were getting up to the training the next day in Billings. We were like “what training….?”! Apparently somewhere along the line, Meeteetse was left off the memo list that we had a meeting in Billings on the 26th for all trainers/trainees! After about a dozen phone calls and such, we finally got it all sorted.

Another "Wyoming is pretty" shot.

Another “Wyoming is pretty” shot.

So Thursday morning we had the joy of getting up at four am to head up to Billings. (Thankfully we had caught up on some sleep the day before!). We had to drive through Lovell to pick up some sisters there, so it added about 45 minutes to our drive, so it took about 3 hours overall one way. The training was really good though! We had some pretty funny moments during it too: with so many more sisters serving lately, at pretty much every meeting we have they talk about elder/sister relationships and what’s appropriate and what’s not. One of the Billings zone leaders was giving a discussion on it, and these were some of his thoughts: “Elders, just because she played the same sport as you in high school, does not mean that she is flirting with you! She is NOT your eternal queen! Stop IMAGINING things!”. Oh my gosh, the entire room was laughing so hard! It was hilarious. When we went to Billings, I had “big city” shock again. And Billings is smaller than Norman! I won’t know what to do with myself back home.

On Friday we had a really great lesson with one of our progressing investigators. We read Mosiah chapter 4 together, with the “rule of three” in place. We did this in the MTC, and what the “rule of three” is that you can’t read more than three verses without pausing to talk about it. You can do it more often than that, but not less! The Spirit was there so strong, and I think it really makes the Book of Mormon more meaningful when you stop to apply it to your life and discuss it. Friday night I also finished reading the Book of Mormon again for myself! I can testify if its truthfulness and power, and it really is another testament of CHRIST. My goal for 2014 is to read the rest of the Standard Works, so I started on the Doctrine and Covenants this weekend.

So, Saturday was when all the craziness started! During studies, my companion started feeling kind of bad and had a lot of pain in her stomach. It kept getting worse, so at lunchtime we called our medical adviser. She was having all the signs of appendicitis! It had started to snow and we are 30 miles from the nearest medical help, so he advised us to go ahead and head to the Cody hospital. So we quickly packed a couple things, and then headed out! At the hospital, they did tons of tests and we did tons of waiting. One set of the Cody elders came and gave her a blessing. She mostly just had pain when she moved or touched the area, but overall she felt pretty good and was in really good spirits, which was good. After a CT scan, they determined that it was in fact appendicitis! The nearest surgeon was in Powell, so since she was still feeling ok, they had us drive over to the Powell hospital and take care of it there.

Sister Mecham offered to let her call her parents before the operation, but she decided that she didn’t want to freak her mom out. The operation to remove the appendix went really smoothly, and they went ahead and released her that night! Such a blessing. We got back home Saturday night around 10:30 and just crashed basically. On Sunday, the Sister Mecham told us to just stay put and not go anywhere. My companion was tired and in some pain from the surgery, but overall really not that bad. I got a nice day with lots of studying, so that was great! The ward was so kind and brought us the sacrament, cookies, and dinner. We are so blessed! We’re just going take it easy for the next couple days so she can fully heal and rest. We didn’t even have to do our laundry today because the member whose home we do it at offered to do it for us so we wouldn’t have to walk over. SO NICE! 🙂 I’ve been the personal chef this weekend- I’ve made some pretty awesome grilled cheese sandwiches.

I hope you all have a happy new year!!!