Archive | August, 2014

Missoula, NOT Great Falls!

26 Aug

MISSOULA! Yep, yours truly was actually transferred to Missoula, MT instead of Great Falls. I found out on the transfer van that the zone leaders had read us the old list by accident, so they had gotten my info wrong. I am serving in the Missoula YSA ward and part-time in the Missoula 4th ward. My companion is from Jacksonville, Florida. I’ll tell you more about my area as my letter proceeds.

My new companion!

My new companion!

Manning the Institute table.

Manning the Institute table.

We spent most of the day on Friday on-campus with a table. President Mecham and the stake president here told us not to wear proselyting clothes on campus, because otherwise we are super unapproachable. So instead we literally wear neon clothes and our tags! Our purpose this past Friday was to get people to sign up for Institute classes and get them aware of the LDSSA. We had them come up and write on the table what they love about Jesus, and then they got candy. We got a ton of OYMs and met some really cool people. Very successful! It rained on us for the first hour though, which stunk. During that time, we just gave out the candy for free. We shouted at the students for them to come over and get the candy. We got some pretty great answers, but our favorite was from a black guy who said, “I’m all the chocolate I need”. Oh college students, how I have missed thee.

What U of M students think of Jesus

What U of M students think of Jesus

U of M Grizzly

U of M Grizzly

Honestly, there is way too much stuff that happened this week for me to even begin to cover it all, so I’ll just end it here. It’s been a crazy week! I love you all and hope you have a great day!!!

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Transfer time

18 Aug

Well, it’s transfer time once again! The lot has fallen on me this time. On Wednesday, I’ll head up to meet my new companion in Great Falls. It is very sad to leave Bozeman. I seriously feel like transfers are one of the hardest things for me as a missionary. But I know the Lord has great things in store!

So many rainbows in Bozeman!

So many rainbows in Bozeman!

Last preparation day was really fun, but tiring! We met up as a zone and hiked the Sypes Canyon trail in the Bridger mountains. It was about a two mile hike each way (4 total) and it was fun but really steep. I definitely got my workout for the day! Since we did the hike as a zone, we didn’t get started until 2pm, and by then it was pushing 92 degrees. Yikes! We made our way through streams, bushes, rocks, and an elder jumping out from behind bushes to scare us. Haha, it was was a good day.

Our newest investigator is doing awesome! We met with him again on Monday night and taught the Plan of Salvation. He seriously just gets the scriptures so well and is so prepared. We ended up teaching about eternal families and why we do family history work, and he loved it. He and his wife just had their first baby this week too, so our ward is gonna bring them dinners.

My companion took this while I practiced the piano.

My companion took this while I practiced the piano.

On Tuesday after district meeting, we drove another sister to Butte for her exchange, and then I stayed with a different companion for three days. It was a crazy exchange format, so I’m not even going to try to clarify any further, haha. We had a lesson with one of our less actives that we rarely see, and it was amazing!! She really opened up to us, and she expressed her desire to go to the temple and relearn why she was baptized and read the Book of Mormon with us. Ahhh, so exciting!

Also on Tuesday, we visited a ward member to do some service. That lady’s trailer has to be one of the worst smelling experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I have a pretty strong stomach, but I was gagging. Just imagine cats, rotting mice, and rotting food… Oh, the things we do as missionaries. 🙂

On Friday, I got to be back with my companion again! It’s good to be with your own companion again. I am really going to miss her! It’s been a good 4 months together though, so I can’t really complain. The girl who who just got baptized, is still doing great. We met with her and her boyfriend on Friday night, and had one of the most spiritual lessons we’ve had with them. We each shared our testimonies and it was awesome. They are planning to be sealed in the temple in about a year, and I will totally be there when it happens. We went to her birthday party on Saturday night and gave her her own CTR ring, which she loves. We met a lot of new people at the party, and even got a potential investigator from it!

This letter was a little scattered I know… Sorry! Got a lot of packing and sorting to do over the next few days. Next week you’ll be hearing from me in Great Falls! Love you and miss you all!!!

Baptism!

12 Aug
Saw this street sign on the way to Butte.... yeah!

Saw this street sign on the way to Butte…. yeah!

Another week has flown by! So much has happened since last week, so I’m excited to tell you about it! I’ll start off with the best and most exciting news- our investigator got baptized on Saturday! It’s seriously one of the best feelings in the world to see your investigator enter the waters of baptism. She first met missionaries about a year ago when her boyfriend, who is a member, started coming back to church. She didn’t start seriously investigating until about five months ago, and even them she wasn’t sure if she ever wanted to be baptized. Through continued church attendance, prayer, and scripture study though, she gained the desire and we finally set a date! The baptismal service on Saturday was so beautiful. We had an amazing turnout from the ward to support her! (Bozeman 3rd is the best…. No joke) She was just grinning from ear to ear the whole night. She was confirmed on Sunday during sacrament meeting, and it was a beautiful and simple blessing. The Spirit was just so strong this entire weekend.

At the baptism

At the baptism

Earlier this week, we had another sister with us because her companion had to go to Butte on a leadership exchange. We covered both of our areas over the three days she was with us, and it was fun to get to know some of their investigators. One lady we met was a hoot! She’s an older lady from Louisiana and is so sassy and funny! We also met some recent converts of about a year, and their friend who is investigating. The guy is a rapper, and before he became a member he would write all sorts of raps with bad themes and words. When the elders started working him though, they challenged him to clean up his stuff. He played us some of his music, and they are all LDS raps now! And actually pretty good! (Think “Sons of Provo” but better) He said that he has had so much more success now than he ever did before. You should look him up on YouTube or iTunes- it’s called “Celestial Kingdom Entertainment”.

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

On Thursday, since our missionary yoga instructor was gone, haha, we all met up and played basketball at 6:15am for exercise. It was pretty fun! I sunk some solid baskets too. Also on Thursday, we saw one of our less active friends that we teach for the first time in like 6 weeks because she’s been in France on study abroad. We just dropped by her house, and she was so excited to see us! It’s a good feeling when people open the door and are happy you are there, rather than irritated, haha! Friday was our zone training meeting, and my companion and I led one of the breakout session role-plays. We were assigned to lead a role-play on teaching about Temples and Family History. We decided to focus our role-play on teaching it simply and clearly. We went around in a circle and taught it, and you weren’t allowed to use any Mormon jargon, rambling sentences, or vague promised blessings. It went pretty well I thought! After zone training, all of the sisters splurged and went to Olive Garden for their lunch special. Yum!

Ok, one last funny story. So after the baptism on Saturday, the member that baptized her and his wife invited us out to dinner. We went over to a place called Perkin’s, and it’s really similar to an IHOP. Her boyfriend leans over to me about half way through the meal and says, “Don’t worry, this place doesn’t live up to it’s nickname”. I asked what the nick name was… “Puke-ins”, he said. I thought to myself, “well that’s a comforting thought!”. Haha. The food was pretty good, but I did have a nasty stomach ache for the rest of the night.

Well, I gotta wrap this up now so that we can make it to our hike on time! Our zone is going to hike one of the canyons nearby and get up to the overlook. Should be fun! I hope you all had a great week, and know that I love you all so much.

I made it!

I made it!

What in the world are tater pigs?

5 Aug

It’s been a good week out here in the mission field! Transfers are coming up in a couple of weeks, but I’m glad we don’t have to worry about them yet. Bozeman has been pretty hot this past week, and we’re definitely feeling it! It rains almost every day though for like 30 minutes. And it always manages to be when we are biking! The other day we got absolutely drenched. The mountains do weird things to our weather, haha. Last Monday for preparation day we did our normal stuff (laundry, emailing, etc) and then we played pod-ball and basketball with our zone. I earned a sweet carpet burn on my knee from pod-ball too. That evening, we had dinner with an older couple in our ward and the wife told us about how she was entering a Ping pong tournament. After dinner, we played a couple rounds and it reminded me so much of playing back at the Institute. I did pretty well playing too!

You can't really tell in the picture, but my clothes are sooooo soaked. I looked like I had just jumped in a pool!

You can’t really tell in the picture, but my clothes are sooooo soaked. I looked like I had just jumped in a pool!

On Tuesday, I gave a discussion at District Meeting on patience and diligence. I chose to speak about what it means to “wait upon The Lord”. In one interpretation, waiting means being patient and not becoming anxious or frustrated when promised blessings are not realized immediately. In another sense of the word, waiting means being an attendant to someone, like being a waiter at a restaurant. If we are “waiting” upon The Lord, then we are actively serving Him with all diligence.

So the biggest thing that went on this week was the Bozeman Sweet Pea Festival! As a part of the pre-festival activities, they had a big sidewalk chalking event on Main Street. We decided to participate, so we chalked a banner with Mormon.org on it and some other LDS stuff. Pretty fun!

Chalkin' it up!

Chalkin’ it up!

On Friday, we volunteered with the festival set-up. We worked in a forum of about 12 volunteers, and they were so fun. We had some good conversation with a lady who works for E-Free Evangelical church, and since that church supposedly hates Mormons, that was really cool! We mostly worked with setting up barricades around the stages and setting up the children’s area. And as a reward for volunteering, we got a free 3 day wristband for the festival!

We went to the Sweet Pea Festival on Friday and Saturday. We had some good Open-Your-Mouth’s with some people! The food was amazing- I had a black bean burrito on Friday and then fried chicken on a stick on Saturday. The weirded thing was these things called “tater pigs”, which was a baked potato with a sausage in the center. When we were walking around, I heard a lady yelling from a food vendor stand, “The Spirit is prompting you to get a hot dog!” and I was like, “huh?”. Of course it ended up being members messing with us. Every time members saw us they would be like “oh look, the missionaries! Hi!!” Being a missionary is like being a celebrity- people just walk up to you and want to talk to you. The arts and crafts vendors were amazing… People are so creative and talented! I splurged and bought a print of a picture that just makes me laugh. I framed it in a dollar tree frame, and I love it so much! I’ve attached a picture. 🙂

This picture makes me so happy!

This picture makes me so happy!

Our investigator had her baptismal interview on Sunday, and she passed with flying colors, so we’re all set for her baptism on Saturday! Please pray for her this week so that everything will work out. Our other lessons went really well this week too. I think one of my favorite things about being a missionary is the power of the Spirit that we bring into people’s homes and lives. We see people who are sad and angry, and then when we come their whole dispositions change. I am so grateful for the power of the Spirit!

Love you all so much!!! Have a fantastic week!