This past week was ABSOLUTELY amazing! Man... .the days are blurring together in a fantastic and crazy way. I feel like I can remember fondly the events of the past couple weeks but I have no clue when any of them happened. All I know is that they happened somewhere during this light speed transfer!
Mmmm.... alright, if you are reading this right now, open up another tab and look up the album "Redeemer" by the Nashville Tribute band. It is the most amazing album ever!! It is a collection of songs all sung about the Savior from the perspectives of different people he ministered among. It if life changingly good! :)
We had an absolutely fantastic lesson with some non members this past week! We were able to teach them about the Plan of Salvation, the Law of Tithing and the Law of Chastity. One is on track to be baptized this upcoming Saturday! Also, Darrin , an amazing man that I taught in Pocatello is being baptized on that day! Also, on Sunday, we get to participate in a Musical Fireside this upcoming Sunday! It is at a Stake Center over in Ammon and I get to sing in a choir and also sing "Come Unto Christ", the 2014 Youth Theme. My goodness... that song is so amazing! I get to sing it with another sister missionary and we are going to switch off parts with a choir in the background singing during the chorus! Oh man..... it's going to be great! Also, President and Sister Brinkerhoff will be there and it will be the last thing that I do "proselyting wise" on my mission! I hope everything goes well! :) Mmm.... what else.... oh! We had our Departing Temple Trip! 26 missionaries that will be heading home this next week all flocked to the temple for a morning session! It was SO sunny, SO beautiful and SO special! I absolutely love that temple! I can't wait to be able to go there more often this upcoming Fall! Also, we got to have Subway sandwiches in a park and go to Kiwi Loco (a frozen yogurt place).
Mmmm...... I want to express some appreciation for Elder Jordan. Elder Jordan has been the greatest companion to have as my mission is coming to a close. He has helped me to stay focused and has been an incredible friend. Having him help me through these past couple weeks has been a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father!
I absolutely love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love the fact that we can develop a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father and become better each and everyday as we apply the principles of the Gospel. There is nothing better than the beautiful plan that our Father has for us. As we live the way that he would have us live, we will be happy and peaceful, trusting that beautiful things make up the future in front of us!
I really can't think of anything else to say..... I love you all SO much! Thank you for all of your support and for everything you do! Be safe! Be happy! Stop reading this and go help someone!!! ;)
When I was in Pocatello, I had the honor of teaching a man by the name of Derrin . I was with Elder Bertoch at the time so this was about 14 months ago. We had SO many spiritual experiences with him and his wife, a LA member. We watched the Restoration Video with them along with Mountain of the Lord, Legacy, and the Testaments! We s and the reality of Christ's church being restored. We were able to plant a little seed and see it pop through the soil just enough for him to attend a baptism with us but that was about it. I was transferred to a different area for 3 months and then to Idaho Falls where I have spent the last 10 months of my mission. I got a call from the Zone Leaders serving in Pocatello who oversee the work in that area. They told me that Elder Clark and his companion, the missionaries now visited with him and through the Grace of God, Brother and Sister B came to church with them!! Afterward though, Elder Clark felt a prompting that told him not to go back for about a month, so, that's what they did! About a month later though, his name came up in Ward Council and the elders decided to visit him. Some of the first words that came out of his mouth was "I want to get baptized and we want to be sealed." I was told this and could not hold back a shout of pure joy!!! I am so excited!!!! :) On top of that, he wants me to baptize him!! He baptism was scheduled for the 23rd but because I will be returning home on the 23rd, they set up the baptism for the 22nd and we are working on getting permission for me to baptize him the evening before I go home in Pocatello!!! Sigh.... The Lord is SO good!!! We never know what He has in store for us but we can rest assured that because He loves us more than we can possibly imagine, his gifts and blessings will always be abundant and beautiful. :) I thank him for the opportunity I had to start teaching Derrin and his wife with Elder Bertoch and now for the opportunity I have to see him be baptized. :) I know that God loves each and every one of us and He never gives up on anyone!!! :)
Other than that, it was another absolutely crazy week full of many councils, meetings, teaching appointments, a couple sun burns and a few prayers every other minute! :) I love this work and I love the Lord with all my soul!!! :) Have a fantastic week everyone and please go find someone and help them!! :)
Amazing experience #1- So, the stage is set. Elder Jordan and I are driving down the road. Prior to that, we were discussing who to visit and felt prompted to go visit one lady. On the way to her home, we saw this guy walking down the road with a guitar. I asked Elder Jordan, "should we get out and talk to him?" In response to my question he said, 'Why not?" So, we sped up, parked on the side of the road, jumped out and started talking with him about guitar playing. We asked him to play something for us and he played an Em chord! It was awesome! ;) He told us that he had had dinner with Elder Nelson 5 times and that his grandparents live right next to him. That rung a bell for Elder Jordan! As it turns out, we had heard that same story from his mom, a LA member! We told him that we knew his mom, mentioned we had had an appointment set up but it had fallen through. He hung his head and said that he was the reason it fell through. He had gotten into some trouble and his mom had to cancel our appointment as a result. THAT is when the miracle happened! This boy was humble enough to admit his mistake and the spirit just came rushing in! As it turns out, he was heading to Salt Lake tomorrow (today) to get some help. Elder Jordan then went on to tell him that his story was and is the EXACT same. EXACT same situation, exact same scenario and he invited this boy to magnify the opportunity that he had been given, to go to Salt lake, read the Book of Mormon, pray and come back a changed man. They boy said he would and also said, "I'll probably never forget this experience." We then said goodbye, returned to our car, said a prayer and actually never got to talk to the woman that we felt inspired to go and visit! Haha! We now have much stronger testimonies of talking with everyone though and I truly know that the Lord puts us where He needs us. I look forward to that boys return and hopefully, he can serve a mission someday, just like Elder Jordan is right now. :)
Amazing Experience #2- We were teaching one of our investigators, about the Restoration of the Gospel and the lesson was going so well! We invited her to be baptized on June 20th @ 6 and with gusto and excitement she exclaimed, "Oh wow! I have a date!!!" and then went on to laugh and clap for joy. Wow is exactly what I was thinking and probably the word that was written on my forehead for the next couple moments. It was amazing! She will be baptized the Saturday before I return home and her and her fellow shipper, a returning to activity member, came to Stake Conference yesterday! They cried a lot and loved it! Can someone say, "Miracles?!?!" We are loving it! :) We have another appointment with her this evening and will be taking her on a church tour! :)
Amazing Experience #3- This wasn't really an amazing experience but it was definitely a funny one! Alas, towards the end of May..... Elder Jordan and I ran out of miles...... SO, we were forced to ride our bikes (one of which is quite broken and inconvenient to ride) to our area and in our area. Maybe I'm a wimp who is way to comfortable with his car BUT, it was terrible!!! Haha! It was definitely a humbling experience though and we are better because we went through it though! :)
Overall, this past week was amazing!! It rained a lot, we had a thunderstorm last night, we had Stake Conference which was AMAZING, and this week I get to have dinner with the Axlines! (an amazing family from Pocatello) Life is good! :) I love you all!! :) My invitation is for everyone to take some time this week to read from "Preach My Gospel" and "Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M. Christensen! it will change your life! Have an amazing week! :)
What an amazing roller coaster ride of a week!! First off, let me tell you all a little more about a man we are teaching. We found him just a little while ago and all the obstacles before him and baptism had been swept down EXCEPT for his divorce papers going through so that he could marry his fiance and live the Law of Chastity. MIRACLE TIME! After our lesson with them earlier this week, they went to the court and unfortunately it was too busy for them to get through. He left a call back number and that was that. Then, about 20 min later, they called him back and told him that somehow, all the papers had been processed and he was legally divorced! WOW! That moment taught me that God is first and foremost, powerful, and that He can do anything. :) Our faith enables those miracles to be manifest in our own lives! :)
Also, I had an amazing personal study this past week! I started out by studying Mosiah 5. I eventually branched off on studying covenants. MY GOODNESS! What an amazing experience! It absolutely blew my mind! I know with all my soul that our covenants are SO powerful and that in a very real way, when we are baptized, partake of the sacrament, are given the priesthood and enter into the temple, we bind ourselves to God! That binding is beautiful! It enables us to more fully receive His blessings but at the same time, we step onto a tough playing field! That's why he gives us the Holy Ghost though! :) But, if we want to continually qualify for heaven's blessings, we've gotta work for it! We can't clock out when things get hard or give up! We've gotta endure and push push push push! We can do it though! I am 1000% dedicated to fulfilling my Father's will now! For the rest of eternity! :)
Also, I have officially been transferred! My new companion's name is Elder Jordan! He is from Delaware, likes basketball, he's been skydiving, has been out 11 months, he's got 5 siblings, all of them, along with his parents have served missions. He just came from Blackfoot and we are ready to go! We cover some of the 4 most amazing wards in Idaho Falls! the members are so wonderful and there is so much work here! We are up to our eyebrows in God's blessings! Also, our fellow missionaries in the Idaho Falls North Zone are doing very well too! We are preparing for a wonderful June! :)
Also, I got to have lunch at Olive Garden with an amazing member family from Pocatello! I love them! Also, Italian food is the best! Oh! Amazing experience time! So, there was a woman, Jennifer who waited our table. We got talking with her, she said that she was a member and that she would like us to come and teach her 8 year old daughter about the church! We told her we would make sure miracles contacted her! :) Then, 30 minutes later, while we were out contacting people, we ran into her again! She was taking her lunch break and we got to share a brief message of hope with her and set up a return appointment! She wants to start coming back to church too! It's like the stars aligned for us all to meet.... twice! Haha! We are seeing that so much in this area. Miracles are happening everyday! We are excited for the miracles that are to come!! :)
Overall, the CHURCH IS TRUE! I know that with all my soul! I know that God loves us as well and when we exercise faith and truly show Him that we love and adore Him, our lives are so happy. :) I invite everyone reading this to show God that you love Him TODAY but serving someone TODAY! I love you all! Bye!
First off, in our mission and I'm pretty sure worldwide, missionaries are not allowed to use headphones because they "isolate" you from your companion. So, Elder Fontes and I tried to find our way around that rule! Recently, we have been running what is called the Green Belt, basically just the ring of water that makes up the part of the Snake River directly in front of the Idaho Falls Temple. We tried to run right next to each other and both listen to a song in Portuguese using the same set of headphones, he having one and me having the other! That way, we weren't "isolated" from one another! We gave up shortly after starting because it was much too difficult. ;) But, on a different note, running the green belt has been SO much fun! Elder Fontes wants to start getting more lean so we have been running and "trying" to eat healthier. The running has been amazing! It's so fun to be out there super early in the morning, right as the sun is rising! Also, we get to dodge geese along the way! There are so many of them right on the river and I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's scary running so close to them! They hiss at you when you get to close to their little ones! Overall, that has been an awesome experience!
Alright, on a more spiritual note, let me tell you about Jon. We were driving along and saw the Andrews, an amazing member family in one of our wards, off to the right. We pulled over and they gave us a referral! As they were out contacting people, they ran into a couple. They told us that she was a member, not presently attending and her fiance was not a member but both we were very interested in being a part of the church! We were elated! We were soon able to meet them and they exceeded all expectations. He was in Hawaii previous to Idaho and was able to attend church 2 times and read from the Book of Mormon while he was there. They were praying and talking about a church to attend when they met the Andrews! AHHHH!! We have been able to teach them 3 times and we've only know them for three days and guess what! We have another apt for this evening and guess what! He has been saving money to pay tithing and guess what! He is going to be baptized on May 27th and guess what! Elder Fontes and I are being transferred!!! ;) We really are! This past week, we met him, another amazing individual that we have been able to take on a church tour and to a baptism and she wants to get baptized as well and also, 5 children that all are interested in learning and their families are very wonderful as well! All in all, we found 7 new investigators this past week and we are leaving on Wednesday! But, all is well in the kingdom! I feel SO good about the upcoming transfer! My new companion is going to be Elder Jordan. He is serving in a town called Blackfoot right now and we are going to work harder than we've ever worked before! The zone is doing SO amazing! The Lord's hand is amongst us without a doubt! We had an individual who was on date to be baptized in June move his baptism to this last Saturday and was baptized! Also, there was a girl that after watching Elder Bednar's Face to Face broadcast made then decision to be interviewed and baptized the very next day! She fulfilled all of the requirements and was baptized! Also, there was a girl that was baptized on Saturday that an elder and I one exchanges were able to find! She is 17 and after meeting with the missionaries for 2 weeks was baptized! WHOO! :) I know with all my heart and soul that Jesus is the Christ and that He loves each and every one of us. I know that God is real and that He is our Father. If we allow Him to be a part of our lives, we will find access to stores of happiness and joy that we never thought were available. He is eternal and will always care for us. :)
This past week was such a whirlwind of amazing events! I'm losing track of everything that I have mentioned and the things that I have forgotten. The bottom line is that things here in Idaho Falls are SO good. Spirits are high and smiles are large. :) I hope everyone is doing well and happy! My invitation is for everyone to have an amazing day and to help someone! I promise you that by helping someone, the day WILL be amazing! :) Love you all!
Skyping at the Smiths! While Elder Fontes was still on the line with his family, I was able to be a part of a lesson with Anton in spanish! I got to bear my testimony in portuguese! It was SO cool!!
There was a face painting/balloon animal making lady there and instead of painting our faces, she painted temples on our hands! Elder Fontes' is the Salt Lake Temple and mine is the Seattle, Washington Temple! They were amazing!
This past week was an amazing one AND to put the cherry on top, I'm updated AND writing in my journal so 20 years from now, I'll actually be able to remember these experiences! Haha! We had a roller coaster ride with one of our investigator. Her mom came to church this past Sunday and on Monday granted her the permission to be baptized. We set it up for this past Saturday and things were looking great for about a day and then her mom, got a hold of some anti-mormon material on the internet and went downhill VERY VERY fast. In the end, she completely withdrew permission and we were left standing there, dumbstruck to be honest. The only thing left to do is pray and seek the Lord's help and that is most definitely what we are doing. :) Other than that, we have started teaching a new family. They are so great! They were a referrel from a couple in one of our wards. We were able to teach them twice this past week and the ENTIRE family came to church! During one of our apts, the 8 year old girl, came up to us holding her Book of Mormon telling us that she wanted to go to church! It was so heart warming! Also, we had a zone fast for miracles this past Friday and as a result of the fast, 13 return appointments were set with new people/families, 2 baptismal dates were set with investigators and 13 or so lessons were taught. It was a miracle! :)
This past week was such a blur as well. Everything seems to be going by so fast. I pray that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do and I will be able to look back on these past couple months free of regrets. :) Oh! I was also able to give a talk on Sunday! I talked about the Atonement and specifically, the blessings that Christ's grace brings us. I identified 3 blessings, one of them being the opportunity we ALL will eventually have to stand before God, the second being that we can be forgiven of our sins and the third being that we can overcome our weaknesses. As we combine our efforts with Christ's miracles can and will happen. :) My invitation is for everyone to try and share Christ's grace with someone! Help someone come to know their Savior a little better by serving them, sharing the gospel with them or praying for them! Do your best and you will see the hand of the Lord working in your life and the lives of those around you! :) I love you all! Have a great week!
Miracle #1- Xielyr was baptized!! It was such an amazing service! I had the wonderful privilege of performing his baptism! It was an experience that I'll carry with me forever! :) Also, 3 children, Harvey, Seraphine, and Joseph came! We are praying SO hard for them! Please pray for them as well! :) After the baptism, we got to go get ice cream and I got to pet a baby cow! It was awesome! ;)
Miracle #2- I got to go on an amazing exchange with Elder Bradfield! It was very hot and we walked ALL DAY! Whoo! We did get to have a Cafe Rio style dinner though and THAT was awesome! We also found a new girl for them to start teaching! on the doorstep she told us that she wanted to be baptized when she was 8 but her dad wouldn't let her. She then told us that since then, he has changed his mind! Elder Bradfield asked her, "how old are you?" She said, "17." He then asked her if she still wanted to be baptized to which she responded, "Yes!" We asked her what would be holding her back and she said school is pretty busy. Of all the reasons in the book, that is not a hard one to overcome! Haha! She is going to be baptized on May 16th! :)
Miracle #3- We got to attend a baptism of a family in our zone! There were 4 individuals getting baptized, a mom and her three daughters. We were asked to teach the Restoration while they were all getting changed after they were baptized! There was a LA member in the audience, and 2 non-members that we knew of! It was SO powerful! While we recited the First Vision, the pianist played, "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" lightly. Oh man.... the spirit was so strong. While I was reciting His vision, I felt like I was having an out of body experience! I was entirely unaware of what I was saying! All I knew was that my mouth was moving and that the spirit was engulfing all of us! Man..... what an experience. :) I know with all my SOUL that Joseph Smith really was a prophet! Every fiber of my being and every cell in my body proclaims that testimony loud and proud! I believe it! :) The joy and happiness that that knowledge brings me is something I will treasure forever. :)
Miracle #4- I'm a missionary! It is such a privilege to serve the Lord! :) I pray that I can magnify this next month and a half and give it EVERYTHING THAT I'VE GOT! I know that the Lord will provide a way! There are a couple more miracles out there that I want to squeeze out of my mission! ;) I love you all! Have a fantastic week!!! :) INVITATION: Please go and serve someone this week! Make someone smile and take a minute to leap of your "road" and care for someone who has fallen off of theirs. :)
This past week was incredible!! :) I got attacked by a bee! Explanation: We were on the way to this guy's house to have dinner with him. Elder Fontes and him were in the front seat and I was in the back seat. I start to hear this weird sound and look around to find the source. Well, I found it! It was a bee about as big as a baseball!! Well, maybe not that bit but, it was BIG! He was trying to get out of the truck by flying against a closed window! After my not so gracious spaz attack, we pulled into a parking lot and let him out. I value my life more as a result of that experience! To be super dramatic, I'd say that that experience was given to me so that I could learn how to find more joy everyday realizing that being alive is a joy in and of itself. ;)
Aside from that, the week was AMAZING! I got to go on exchanges with Elder Hales! Aside from the proselyting success we had, it was such a great learning experience. He taught me a lot about maintaining a healthy state of mind. I learned, more fully, that other's disobedience and wrongful actions don't directly affect me unless I let them. We are all individuals and have our own agency. :)
Also, there is a little girl in one of the wards that we cover . She is 10 and wants to be baptized so bad! The only thing, is that her dad won't let her. :( BUT, we got word this past week that there is a potential date set for May 29th or May 31st! The parents are talking about it! Everyone! Please pray that his heart will soften and that all will go well for that wonderful family! :)
Also, there is an AWESOME buffet in Idaho Falls and I FINALLY got to go to it! It's called Chuck-a-rama and it is a little piece of heaven on earth! One of our investigator families took us there too! :) I got to have some sort of dish that can only be described as jello and whipped cream coming together in a beautiful creamy, green combination with a kiwi on top. It was great! Also, we got to share a lesson with them in the middle of the restaurant. It was fantastic!
Elder Fontes and I got to give talks in one of our wards on Sunday too! I talked about "receiving greater fulfillment and joy through Jesus Christ." I identified 3 things that we as Children of God can do to accomplish just that. I talked about prayer, scripture study and service. As I was pondering as to how prayer can enable us to find greater joy and fulfillment I discovered that prayer is literally a channel through which the Lord can bless us! We know from the Plan of Salvation that He TREASURES our agency! When we pray, we righteously us our agency in such a way that He can help us. :) Also, there are SO many fantastic ways to study the gospel effectively. We can study our Patriarichal blessings, listen to the hymns, study by topic, use the resources available on Mormonchannel.org and even memorize scriptures so as to help them enter into our heart more fully! The Lord has a wealth of knowledge that He is wiling to give us! We need to be willing to pray in faith and study diligently and we will see Him in the details of our lives. :) Also, service is the bottom line I've decided! When I think of service, I always think of Gail Halverson from Meet the Mormons. In the movie he talks about how the Dead Sea is dead because it wraps it's arms around all the fresh water, takes in everything, gives out nothing! May we ever be found NOT being dead sea servants! We need to be out on the front lines helping those around! Aside from the blessings that will come into other's lives, we are promised so much joy and fulfillment. I know that there is joy reserved for the faithful servant. :) My invitation is for EVERYONE to try to pray with more strength, study with more diligence and serve with more willingness this week! :)
To close, we also had MLC this past week. :) It was amazing! It was also 8 hours long! Phew! Overall though, it was a spiritual explosion. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about miracles, loving others and going the extra mile for the Lord. :)
It was an amazing week! I hope everyone has a good one and finds lots of happiness! Keep praying, reading and serving!! Love you all! :)
This past week was incredible. :) Proselyting wise, we had a lot of success. :) One of our investigators is still looking good for baptism on April 29th @ 7. :) Also, we met a new guy, Kevin that said he would most definitely be baptized if he knew that it was true. Whoo! Also, we just received a new YSA branch and we got to meet one of our "new" investigators. They have 10 siblings and there mom is the most interesting lady ever! She wants to get baptized so bad but her mom won't let her. It breaks my heart to witness something like that. :( On a happier note, transfers went very well! We received two new missionaries who were visa waiters for about 2 days and then they both got their visas for Taiwan. Lucky elders.................... ;) I am so excited for them! The excitement in the zone is amazing as well! We are gearing up for a HUGE Aprill and an INCREDIBLY HUGE May! The goal is for every single companionship in the mission to help 2 of our Father's children enter the waters of baptism! We are investing LOTS of effort into preparing for it right now. It's going really well! It's very obvious that the hand of the Lord is with us and moving us forward. Miracles are happening everyday. :) It is so exciting to live during a time where the hastening of the work is so prominent and strong! May we ALL ever be found CATCHING THE WAVE and obeying the call to action that the Lord himself has given us! Mmm..... what else happened...... the weather has been really nice! Haha! Also, I got to go running around the green belt one morning! Man.... SO refreshing and beautiful! Exercise is THE BEST!
So, Saturday was my birthday and some amazing people (Brittany and Mark Hargis) gave us an oreo pie! We had a couple pieces and THEN..... things got intense. It started small, then I threw some water at Elder Fontes and ran downstairs. It didn't take him long to come down WITH THE PIE!!! I ran into a little walk in closet (bad idea!!!) I was yelling, "DON'T DO IT!!" and he was yelling, "I'M GONNA DO IT!!" We were at a stand still for about 30 seconds and then...... he did it. That started the war of the oreo pie! We spent the next 4 to 5 minutes throwing pie at one another in a walk in a closet. Then, we spent the next 25 minutes cleaning it up!!! It was amazing! ;) Overall, as bad as it was having to clean everything up and shower afterward, It'll be a super fun memory that we will always be able to look back on and laugh!!! ;) It taught me that even though working hard is VERY VERY important, when the time is right, we all need to take a moment to relax and laugh! :)
We had a zone companionship study and this is the whole group!! It has been SO amazing to serve with all of these elders and sisters! A couple of them will be leaving us to go home and several of them will be getting transferred this upcoming Wednesday. They have done some marvelous work though!!!
I accidentally deleted my VERY long description of the week....... WHOO! ;) The important events include Chelsey baptism! I got to sing, be a witness, and give a talk! Whoo! Also, we had an AMAZING missionary meeting with our Mission President. We talked about sacrifice. I feel more ready than ever to give EVERYTHING to the Lord and sacrifice everything I've got. :) Also, we got to watch Meet the Mormons with 2 amazing families that we are working with, one of whom came to church as well! So spiritual and so perfect. :) Overall, AMAZING week!
My week in review: What a glorious week!!! :) First off, I got to attend an amazing fireside! The speaker was an individual who was formerly a member of the islamic faith and now has converted to Christinaty and since joined the LDS church! Oh my goodness...... what a story! He is literally an Arab Prince! He grew up as royalty in the Middle East and after moving to London to learn english was introdced to Mormon Missionaries and Christianity and has never looked back! He gave up EVERYTHING and his life is constantly in danger! After he converted he was almost murdered but survived! Man, it was an amazing example of sacrifice, RIGHTEOUS sacrifice. When there is something out there that is worthy of receiving, we should be willing to give it our all to get it. When Christ is involved, we should be willing to give up EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, just like this brother. Amazing story. :)
Also, I was able to go on exchanges with two other elders in our zone! It was a wonderful experience! I got to teach Bryan, an agnostic man. We spent so much time talking about faith believing without seeing. He has such a good heart and a desire to know and be with his family forever. I felt such a great love for him! We shouldn't ever give up on anybody! Everyone has great potential and we need to always keep that in mind everyday! Overall, it was a great day!
Also, the weather here has been AMAZING! SO GOOD!
Mmmm..... we had a Zone Companionship study too! We got together Friday morning and practiced inviting our investigators to come unto Christ! It went really well! Invitations are an amazing thing! Change is a beautiful thing as well! When we are willing to keep our commitments and help those around us to become better, the power of God is definitely manifest! Also, I've learned that if we extend an invitation of any kind to someone and don't follow up, it's useless! We need to ask them about it again and again and help them continue to come unto Christ! Nephi himself said that most individuals will not change unless invited to do so. Along with inviting others to change, let us invite ourselves to change! EVERYDAY and always follow up with ourselves! :)
Also, the Idaho Falls Temple is officially closed for 18 months for renovation. It feels strange! It's almost like something is missing now. The assurance that the temple was there, alive and well proved to be a beautiful strength! Now that that is not the case, things aren't terrible but it's just.... different. We've still got Rexburg though and in reality, we are still INCREDIBLE spoiled. :)
Also, we as a zone are fasting for greater success and miracles! My sacrifice for the rest of March is dessert/candy and also, using the stick shift in our car. No more of that! ;) Also, I'm gonna do better at writing in my journal! Haha!
Overall, this past week was great! I can't think of lots of events that were specifically amazing but looking back, the week just had a good feel to it. It baffles me how fast time goes by though. Father Time is definitely doing his job right! Haha! I know with all my soul that Jesus is the Christ! That knowledge has given me so much comfort and happiness so far on my mission. I fully expect to, as I stand upon that rock, find happiness throughout life. :) I invite everyone to find greater faith in and through Christ! Rely on Him! Trust Him! He knows what He is doing. :)
This past week was amazing! It was a roller coaster ride too! So much work was able to get done! Specific instances that pop out to me definitely include Tuesday. My goodness! So, we went on splits for a good long while. Elder Fontes went with a couple and I went with oen of our Relief Society Presidents and her son. It was amazing! We were able to visit so many wonderful people and between the two of us and including the time we were together, we taught 10 lessons! Also, I got to proselyte in an office building! Haha! We were going through a list and an address that we were looking for led us to an office building. We thought, "Well, here goes nothing!" and walked in! We ended up teaching a teenager who's dad works there and also, got to meet his dad, who is an attorney and he is open to us coming by! Yessssss!!! Amazing memory and the young man I was with was very enthused by the experience!
Also, we met Damian! Another set of elders had met him and he told them he wanted to be baptized. He went and saw Meet the Mormons with them as well! He actually is in one of the wards that we cover though so we have started to teach him! We asked him, "What do you like to do?" and he said, "I like to get baptized!" I think we've got a keeper! Haha! He came to church and we have another appointment with him tomorrow!
Also, I got the chance to bear my testimony in every Sacrament meeting we were in! Ya know how there are commonly long pauses where no one gets up? Elder Fontes told me that it is never like that in Brazil! Apparently, it is like a race! Right when the meeting is opened up to the congregation, individuals flood the stage and sit in the choir seats. If you don't jump on the opportunity you don't GET an opportunity! Wow! Imagine what it would be like to see that! :) I feel strongly that we need to share our testimonies are they will fade. Only in sharing it can we keep it. :)
Oh man, we had an amazing meeting this past week! We had a meeting with the whole stake's Ward Mission Leaders and also, the High Counselor over Missionary Work. It was EXCITING! I felt very vocal during the meeting and greatly enjoyed commenting and helping to solve problems and concerns that people in the stake had. Basically, I REALLY want to be a Ward Mission Leader someday or at least be a missionary EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE! :)
Mmmm.... we went on exchanges with one of the Assistants to the President, Elder Deppermann. It was incredible! We got to talk with a whole bunch of people outside of a homeless shelter, give a Church tour in 2 different church buildings, have a baptism and Elder Deppermann talked with us about our zone. It was humbling! I really can be doing a lot better! :) I WILL do better! :)
Also, the health is going wonderfully! I've been praying for a greater desire to care for my body and it has been going very well! I've been able to control the natural man and eat healthier! There is such a profound difference in one's spiritual countenance when healthy foods are placed in the temple as opposed to unhealthy foods! The exercising has been great as well! Lots of cardio, some weight lifting and lots of positive endorphins floating around! Haha! Life is GREAT! :)
I think that is good for this week! Haha! Basically, it was an amazing roller coaster ride of excitement and business! Love you all! Bye!
this past week was a roller coaster ride of wonderful and amazement! I began the week in Taylor Mountain 2, my previous area. That area was SO incredible for me. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about leadership while I was there. I learned, more fully, that leadership isn't about serving OVER others but serving with or UNDER others. It is an opportunity to be an example and unless you fulfill the very call that you give others, it is hypocritical! Also, the correct way to lead and guide is to teach correct principles and let others govern themselves. End of story! :) I had the opportunity to meet amazing people that have changed my life! The opportunity I had to serve with Elder Olson and Elder Dalling was amazing! Those elders are great men that I will always remember! Overall, Taylor Mtn 2 is the best area other than all the other areas which are also the best areas ever! ;)
Alright, here we go! IF North 1 with Elder Fontes! This area is CRAZY. I have had some wild experiences! WE are amongst some of the most humble and wonderful people that I know. :) Elder Fontes is incredible as well! When he talks, PEOPLE LISTEN! It's as simple as that! He has got a fire for the work and we are excited to move forward together in this great cause and bring about much fruit! BRING IT ON WORLD! We have our zone training tomorrow as well! This zone is amazing! There is a lot of good stuff going on. In our zone, we have all the sisters serving in the Visitor's Center as well as all the IF Spanish missionaries and on top of that, we have the biggest zone in the mission! Talk about an amazing dynamic! Elder Fontes is teaching me a lot though and is most definitely teaching me a lot too!
Finally, Sister Fica's sealing. What a day!!! It was AMAZING! So many memories and joyful feelings were abundant in the temple that day! She was GLOWING! The spirit of the Lord was there. I know that with all my soul! The Lord is in His Holy Temples! :) Elder Abbott (Now JT) and I got to be Sealing Witnesses too! I had never done that! It was AMAZING! We got to sign her marriage certificate and everything! :)
Overall, the joy of Idaho Falls is abundant and we are drinking it in generously! :) I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and support! I know with all my soul that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I invite everyone to read from it, ponder it, and pray about the message it contains! You will come to know with more surety that Jesus is the Christ, that the Priesthood has been restored to the earth and the Lord's kingdom is BACK! :) Go share the Gospel with someone today! :)
2/23/2015 This past week was an absolutely amazing one! Jeremy Marston has been baptized! It was a fantastic service! After I performed his baptism, I had the opportunity to just stand there for a second and think about the beauty of the gospel and the joy that is reserved for the faithful! Being faithful is so much more than just doing the minimum. Putting in the minimimal effort will result in minimal blessings but putting in the maximum effort will maximize one's blessings and tender mercies! The Lord loves us and wants to bless us. We have to do the foot work and ACT! :) Also, I found out that I am getting transferred! I will be with an Elder Fontes! He is from Brazil! Coincidence?? NOPE! :) I am SO excited for the work that is to be done, here in my present area and over yonder! I'll still be in Idaho Falls! I have roughly 4 months left! GAME TIME! WHOOOO!!!! Mmm.... Oh! I also got to go on an exchange with an Elder Frazier! We walked...... A LOT! we talked to some wonderful people too! It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about patience, offering correction lovingly and also, having hope that God will provide a way, no matter what. :) I also got to talk this past Sunday in one of our wards! I got to give me "farewell!" ;) I talked about how "gathering daily manna brings us closer to God." The daily manna that I touched on was daily prayer and scripture study and also, GOOD HEALTH! It was so much fun to speak and bear my testimony about the wonder of God's love and how we can access that love! :) Man, the experiences I have had here have been through the roof. The joy and stress has been very abundant. I feel that I have grown in so many ways! I feel that I have more self control and strength than I did before coming to Idaho Falls 6 months ago. I feel more knowledgeable and wise, as strange as that sounds! God really is our loving Heavenly Father. Everything He does is for our good. :) Love you all! Go help someone today! :)
I don't have a lot of time but this past week was AMAZING! I got to go on exchanges with an Elder Harrs and we had a fantastic time! Lots of good experiences and lots of lessons learned. I've been learning a TON about the scriptures lately. There is a wealth of knowledge there that NEEDS to be accessed and dove into every single day! I've been spending lots of time memorizing/familiarizing myself with various scriptures and really trying to be a better teacher! The scriptures are SUCH a powerful teaching tool. Aside from our testimony and the spirit that we can invite, easily the strongest and most dynamic one out there! :) AHHHHHH!!! It is the best! If anyone gets the chance... please look at Psalms 40:1-2 and correlate that with Psalms 82:3 and don't forget to look at Moses 6:28 and always ready D&C 4! :) In addition to my studies and my exchange, we took a family of 4 on a Church Tour this past Saturday and committed 3 of them to be baptized on march 28th! We are very excited for them! :) Also, the exercising and healthy eating has been going AMAZING. I feel so good, inside and out. I feel like I can conquer the world! The confidence that clean living gives us as individuals can move mountains. :) Also, we have a baptism this upcoming Friday, a sealing next week and a baptism the 28th of February! Best. Month. Ever. :) So excited for everything and everybody! I hope everyone is doing well back home! Go find someone that needs help and be sure to lend a helping hand today! :)
Miracle #1- We have been able to have several visits with a wonderful woman. We found her by contacting her mom and after her telling us, "my daughter lives next door", we went over and contacted her! She didn't seem quite interested then but after scrolling through the phone on day, I found her name and decided to call her. So far, we've taught her 4 times and she is going to be baptized March 21st! She loves the gospel and finds the fact that we can be forgiven and move forward a beautiful and sacred thing. She is going to be a pioneer for her family and bless the lives of many around her!
Miracle #2- We had our Zone Training! A bunch of us missionaries got together and spent 3 hours talking about everything we need to do better! Haha! Ya know what made it even better? The Mission President decided to come!!! ;) It was fantastic having him there. He invites the spirit and has such a presence. It was a beautiful and spiritual meeting. Many testimonies were shared. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. No evidence, no claim, no intellectual war I lose will EVER suede me.
Miracle #3- We had a fantastic exchange this past week! I was in Shelley with Elder Wright and got to experience walking around for the first time in a while! Haha! Luckily, it was 62 degrees outside and sunny sunny sunny! It was a day of patience and perseverance. I'm glad I had the opportunity to grow in that department. :)
Miracle #4- Being on a mission is a miracle! I've been able to find TONS of joy lately! I had an experience that I thought was profound as well. So, the whole week I had done pretty good. I exercised every morning and had been eating very healthy foods. As a result, I felt the spirit, I felt good and I felt happy! Then, Sunday rolled around. It was Fast Sunday so dinner was a bit of a feast. After fully enjoying the food, I felt muggy and gross! I felt like I couldn't focus and I didn't feel nearly as confident! The contrast was undeniable. When we take care of our temples, God blesses us. When we don't, we lose those blessings and that connection. My invitation to everyone is to not only take care of our spiritual being through scripture study, prayer, service and church attendance but to make your physical health a LONG LASTING and eternal priority. God has great things in store for those who truly LIVE the Word of Wisdom
My Week in Review: What a week....... MAN! Alright, the success and miracles started on Monday, convenient right??? ;)
Monday: It was amazing! We had 4 lessons that evening! We got to teach one of our recent converts and after that, we went to an appointment we had with a family. Once we walked in, Mykal, a 9 year old boy, went up to us and said, "I got my answer, I am getting baptized!" We were dumbfounded and SO happy! Whoo! Then, we went and met with one of our new investigators and she said that she has read the Book of Mormon 3 times, grew up in a Mormon household and wants to be baptized and sealed to her husband. .. Now that is something that we can help with! Haha! Then, we got to teach another wonderful family and then start an exchange with Elders Bregg and Franks. Boom! Amazing day!
MLC: we got to go to Mission Leadership Council and it was so amazing! It is always a great experience to feel the excitement in the mission and to learn from President and Sister Brinkerhoff. Overall, a great experience. :)
Stake Conference: Oh man.... we went to the Saturday Adult Session and the Sunday Session and they were amazing! Pres. Vance, our Stake President, is an AMAZING teacher and a fantastic individual! Also, we got to hear from Elder Webb of the 5th quorum of the seventy. He was fantastic! He talked about how growth never happens without the fire! We've gotta have the heat!
I think that was it! Between all that though, we got to laugh a lot, find a lot of new people to start teaching and see incredible blessings everyday. :) I love you all! Help someone come closer to Christ this week! :)
Dear everyone, This past week was an amazing one!!! Miracle #1- This past week, we were SO BUSY! We were able to teach 30 lessons! We had appointments out the WAZUU! Also, we found 2 new individuals to start teaching, we have 11 potential investigator families to visit this past week AND Cloe is good to be baptized this coming Sunday! we just gotta teach her a little more and she needs to be interviewed! WHOO! My goodness, I don't think I have ever been so excited to see a pillow every night as I was this past week. Along with that exhaustion comes and INCREDIBLE sense of fulfillment though. In regards to missionary work AND life, hard work is ALWAYS worth it. If we are willing to sweat, persevere and LIVE, we will see Heaven now AND later. :)
Miracle #2- Intervews!! We got to have interviews with our Mission President and his wife. It's moments like that that make me SO grateful I am here. They are SUCH wonderful people. :) I talked with them about what I can do to finish my mission strong and they are just so great at motivating and encouraging you. That's what we all need to do! We should all be ALWAYS EMBARKING on a journey that will bless the lives around us. No matter how isolated or independent you think you are, SERVE. It's worth it! :)
Miracle #3- So, we were in our 3rd Sacrament meeting on Sunday, things weren't looking too good. Not too many of our investigators were gonna come and we were slightly bummed. BUT! The Lord came through! The Ward Mission Leader, Brother Walker came up to us and told us that as he drove around and picked people up for church that morning a woman came up to him and told him that she wanted the missionaries to come and teach her. ....................................................... We were speechless! Heavenly Father has so many "behind the curtain" blessings out there for us! As we are OBEDIENT THANKFUL AND FAITHFUL, we'll see em'. :)
1/19/20 Miracle #1- Transfers! That sounds really bad.... I don't mean to say that I did not enjoy the time I spent with Elder Olson. It was a VERY fun 4 1/4 months and the miracles we saw will be things I hope to remember forever. I heard a quote a little while ago that said, "your faith is only as good as your memory." Wow. It makes sense though! If we can't remember faith building experiences, our structure is going to fall because we won't just have a weak foundation, we won't have a foundation! I really built that foundation with Elder Olson AND Elder Dalling is here and we have seen amazing miracles already! Jeremy, an 11 year old boy is going to be baptized on February 20th! We are VERY excited for him! He wasn't really showing a lot of desire BUT all the sudden, he just sparked! Now, he's on 1 Nephi 8, has come to church two times, and is saying his prayers. Awesome kid? yes sir! Elder Dalling is an incredible missionary as well! Very humble, a fantastic teacher, very willing, very fun to work with! I am greatly looking forward to this transfer serving with him and hopefully, a couple more after that because that's all I've got! Haha! Also, if anybody hasn't already heard the new youth theme, "Embark", go listen to it right now! It's amazing! :) Miracle #2- Another investigator came to church! My goodness, I was so excited! They were late so I was REALLY on edge for about 10 min BUT all the prayers and hopefulness payed off! Haha! She is gonna be baptized on January 31st! :) Also another investigator came to church! She has only bee once and it was months ago! SHE CAME! Miracle #3- I went on an amazing exchange with an elder by the name by the name of Elder Pulsipher. It was a great experience! We got to give a blessing, throw a bunch of snow at one another and find a new investigator! Miracle #4- BEING A MISSIONARY. I have absolutely loved these past couple weeks and months. They've been really hard and really stressful but SO rewarding. :) Obviously, serving a mission isn't a requirement to GET to heaven but it is an excellent way to BRING heaven to earth for 2 years and beyond. )
1/12/15 This week really was an amazing one. :) It was busy.... busy.... busy BUT that is a super good thing! The exhaustion we felt was in line with the happiness we felt. :) Miracle #1- I got up to date on my journal!!! That's a miracle in and of itself. ;) Miracle #2- We have 3 investigators in particular that could be baptized in January. We were hoping a praying mightily that they would be able to attend church this Sunday so they could qualify. I spent a good deal of time pleading with Heavenly Father during one of our Sacrament meetings to help this come to pass. Long story short, one of them didn't come but the one that I was less confident about coming, The other one came! The first was sick and in an effort to try and help her come, we went over in between Sacrament meetings and gave her a blessing. It was obvious she wasn't going to come though. As we were driving away, Elder Olson informed me that he had just gotten off the phone with the other's aunt and she said that she was there at the church. She is one step closer to baptism for the 31st! After Elder Olson told me that, I felt like my soul shattered. The joy and happiness that washed over me was something that I'll treasure for a long time. It was amazing. :)
Miracle #3- I had the opportunity to go on exchanges in Shelley! It was an amazing experience. I was with an Elder Harrs, who next transfer will be one of the District Leaders we get to work with. It was an incredible day! It was filled with WORK WORK and more WORK! We had a ward breakfast in the morning, amazing studies before and after that and we got to go out with two people, each of them for 3 hours! These members taught with us and it was a joy to experience! By the time the evening came around, I was exhausted! We planned for the next day and for goals that we are going to accomplish in the future, then exchanged back. Rest assured, I slept well that night. ;)
Miracle #4- We also had the opportunity to take 3 families to the Visitor's Center to watch "Meet the Mormons!" They were all amazing experiences! One of them was a family that was recently baptized and the father's non member brother. They enjoyed it! the next was one of our investigators and her family and boyfriend. There were a lot of people there! We had a great time though and a good discussion afterward! The 3rd one was with another one of our investigators and her family. Man... it was incredible. :) We testified to her afterward that she could be with her late husband of 34 years again someday. We invited her to be baptized and she said she would think about it. Baby steps. :)
Miracle #5- BEING A MISSIONARY! I love it. :)
I love you all as well! Please have an amazing day and share the gospel with someone. There are millions of people that need the joy and peace of Christ in their lives. It's our responsibility to share it with them. :)
WHOO! Remember, It's hard to beat someone who never gives up
1/5/2015.. This week was incredible! We experienced a beautiful spectrum of amazing experiences. It was full and wonderful! Miracle #1- Our investigator is progressing very well! we have taught her 3 times and she is going to be baptized on January 31st @ 11 o clock. Save the date! Haha! We will be taking her to the Idaho Falls Temple Visitor's Center this upcoming Tuesday which is going to be excellent as well. We have some girls in the ward that we are going to introduce her too. Man.... She's gonna make it! :)
Miracle #2- We went on exchanges this past week! I went with Elder Franks! He is from South Carolina. He has been out just over 5 months and is AWESOME! Man.... Heavenly Father has MIRACLES in store for exchanges! we were happy and the day was just brimming with happiness! we had 6 lessons, one of which was a blessing and we had such a wonderful ongoing conversation. He had LOTS of questions about different factors of missionary work and together, we came to some wonderful conclusions and I am very much looking forward to following up with him on the goals we set. GO SOUTH CAROLINA!
Miracle #3- We had an amazing lesson with another family. She told us she wants to be baptized! The only thing is that because of the standards the Lord has set, they have to be married first. That's the main hurdle we are trying to overcome right now BUT it's looking very hopeful. :) Right now, they have a marriage date for June 10th, 20 days before I go home but we are seeing if we can't help them make that amazing day come a little sooner. ;) We love them!
Miracle #1- So, I went to the Physical Therapist Christmas Eve at about 2 in the afternoon and as we were returning to our home we got a call from a woman we are teaching.. She is a member but doesn't presently attend. She has got such a good heart though and really wants to come back! She called us in a panic because her niece arrived at her home this morning and after a whirlwind of events, She now has full custody of her 11 year old niece and had no way to provide Christmas (the presents at least) for her. She called us seeking counsel. We told her we would contact the Bishop and see what we could do. Here is the cool part! About 20 min later, we got a call from a man in her ward and he said that he and his family would like to do something nice for someone this Christmas. Our jaws DROPPED. We told him all about the situation, called her and asked about what her niece liked, got that info to this man and BOOM. It all worked out! Also, we've taught the niece 3 times since then and she is going to be baptized on January 24th! :) Heavenly Father works in mysterious and synonymous, beautiful and amazing ways. :)
Miracle #2- We were able to reconnect with an amazing family; one is a member, but doesn't attend and his fiance is not a member of the church and they have a 6 month old baby. They are INCREDIBLE! They've been through a lot lately BUT came to church this past Sunday! AND they stayed for Sunday School. It was REALLY hard for him because he was so uncomfortable being there but he has such a desire to be a better father and someday, husband. They expressed an appreciation for the ward and how nonjudgmental; everybody was. Hopefully miracles will come down on them. :)
Miracle #3- I got to go on exchanges in Shelley! I love that place!!! We were able to find a new person for the elders to teach, teach 5 lessons and invite 2 individuals to be baptized! It was such a CRAZY day going from place to place, walking around in the 15 degree weather and talking with everyone! We even got to play a little basketball. Overall, it was AMAZING. :)
I have loved my stay here so far. :) I am hoping for many more days and miracles to come!