Two weeks of letters below:
Letter from August 26, 2013:
the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days! i cant believe i am e-mailing again. man alive. time flies.
We had such an amazing week, my goodness, blessings are just DUMPING from heaven on our little town in Iowa! i love being here and i am so grateful to be serving the Lord.
Last Sunday the young women's president, sister Herrick, felt inspired to have sister palmer and i come into YW's and share our testimonies about temple marriage. ha. kind of a fun topic for sister missionaries. but anyway, the most amazing thing happened. so we go in and teach the lesson about why temple marriage is the most important thing EVER and how you can't make it to the highest degree of glory without it. it was extremely powerful, and sister palmer shared an extremely powerful testimony. her sister is engaged right now and she shared with the girls how she will not be getting married in the temple, and how that will effect her and her family forevefr - it has been really hard on Sister Palmer, and so to hear her testimony of the importance of it was earth-shaking. i was so proud.
....so a few days later we are at District Meeting, and sister Saufley (side note: sis Saufley is our ward mission leaders wife, and she is the mission's psychiatrist. she is the most incredible woman i have ever met. hands down, and i have become extremely close with her family) came up to us in tears. She has like 5 adopted children, 3 of them have been sealed to them and 2 have not. Well, i guess one of the daughters, Promise, who is 14, came home after yw's on sunday and insisted that she talk to Sis/bro Saufley. She told them that she wanted to be sealed, and that she wanted it to happen on her birthday, which is tomorrow! Sister Saufley just sobbed tears of joy as she was telling us how she didnt know what happened but that her daughter had a complete change of heart. i just sat there and cried as well haha as i felt so blessed to have had a tiny part in bringing the spirit to the lesson that would help influence Promise's decision.
it was an incredible moment that really reminded me of my purpose here. i will never forget it.
My favorite moment on my mission happened this week. I know, i say that every week, haha but REALLY. just thinking about it makes me so happy.
so this week we had a lesson with the Tillman's (the less active couple we've been working with). We have been struggling with helping them have the desire to come to church. they tell us that they want to, and that they WILL, but then sunday morning comes around and they cancel. Sister Palmer and i prayed a ton about what we should teach, and we felt like teaching the plan of salvation and focusing on our purpose in life was what they needed.
nothing crazy happened.. no lightening bolts or anything. BUT. it was the first time since Sister Palmer and i have been companions that the lesson was perfect. ok, not perfect, but we were COMPLETELY unified (meaning i wasnt looking at her waiting for her to speak and nothing comes out), and the spirit was absolutely THICK. she bore testimony, she used scriptures, and she spoke through the spirit. it was the best moment i have had. seeing her progress has been the highlight of serving in Glenwood, and really has been my focus. so to FINALLY (10 weeks in...haha not too bad?...) see her actually becoming the missionary she is was so rewarding. it was incredible.
One more miracle. and this one is AWESOME.
so we have been teaching a girl named Hannah who is 15, and who has been less active for about 5 years. she is so amazing. she told us when we first met that she really wanted to come back to church, because she knows it will help her in school. She battles depression, and it was amazing to hear from her mouth how she KNOWS that the church will be her saving grace with her depression. she is incredible.
.. we had a lesson with her this week, and i kept having the impression that we needed to teach the first discussion, about the Restoration. i didnt really know why because we have already talked to her about it. But, we went with it. so, we show up at her house, and hannah was there but she also had one of her friends with her, Kaylie. Kaylie has gone to church before when she was younger, but is not a member. and she is AMAZING. long story short, We are now teaching Kaylie. ha. isn't Heavenly Father so good to us? i wasnt kidding!
some fun things:
1. on friday sister palmer and i set up for the herrick's daughter's wedding reception from 10 am - 5 pm, and then served the food at it that night! we were SO exhausted. ha. and i was reminded of screwing in all of those light bulbs at clark and ellee's reception: except it was 100 degrees here and i couldnt be in a bathing suit! haha.
2. we had stake conference this last sunday and one of the speakers talked about the temple, and having "no vacant chairs" at his "celestial table". of course i thought of our family. and i am so grateful for the amazing family that we have!
i love you all! the church is true. this is the Lord's work and i dont know how i got so lucky to be a part of it!
as aunt suzanne shared with me, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the MAIN thing!"
i hope we all keep the main thing in our lives the gospel of Jesus Christ!
all my love,
1.we blew up those huge balloons for the wedding we set up!
2. i am going to start keeping a "cats" album. everyone has them! and they lay on everything!
Letter from today, September 3, 2013
Hello from IOWA! transfers are on friday... so no news yet! i am soaking in every minute of my time here though. thinking about leaving makes me want to sob. so im not thinking about it. haha.
happy birthday to Opal, Ellee, and Spencer! (and mindy i realized i am the worst sister in law ever but didnt give you a shout out last month!) i love you all so much and am wishing you the best year of your lives! so live it up. ha. miss you all.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ONE OF MY BEST FRIEND BROOKELYN ON BEING ENGAGED!!! so happy for you. seriously, so stinking happy for you. love you.
Where to begin? let's start from the very beginning (a very good place to start!)
this week was wonderful. absolutely wonderful. Things in Iowa are picking up and i am so grateful to be serving here. to think about where we began 3 months ago when we showed up in Tabor, to where we are now is absolutely incredible. Only through the Lord have we been able to have so many blessings and to see so much progress. it has been extremely humbling. i've realized that i dont know everything, ha, and that "success" is measured daily through small little baby steps. and man we have come far!
this week we had zone conference, where Elder Robbins from the Quorum of Seventy came. it was amazing. A group of us were asked to sing "Joseph Smith's first Prayer" and it set the tone for the entire conference. He talked a lot about how we can recognize the spirit in our lives and how sharing "pure, honest" testimony to those around us is so important to bringing the spirit.
He also spoke about how "being cheerful" is a commandment, and is probably the most broken commandment! i have a new resolve to be cheerful, hopeful, and more faithful for the rest of my life. i love the lord's servants, they truly are inspired men.
We did TONS of service this week: picking tomatoes/canning them, picking grapes, painting, more painting, cleaning... the whole 9 yards.. (or is it 10?) ha. either way, i loved it.
We taught Sheri this week. it honestly was super discouraging. she talked about how she had researched the Book of Mormon and how it physically and scientifically could not be true. she talked about how it was inspired of satan. haha. it was crazy. BUT. it was an amazing learning experience for me, because i KNOW that Satan is working extremely hard on her because she is so golden. She was looking up anti mormon things on the internet, so of course she found what she was looking for. But she has committed to still read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. so, who knows. But one thing is for certain. That Book, the Book of Mormon is of God, NOT of Satan. there is absolutely no doubt in my mind. that book alone brings people closer to Christ, including myself. and i am so grateful for it.
We found an incredible new investigator this week named Jodie. She has been through a ton this past year, and needs the gospel so bad. she is a friend of a less active member we just started teaching, named Nancy. Jodie was at Nancy's baptism and has sat through many discussions before. she is so prepared and i know she will be baptized. super exciting!
i am out of time. but please pray for me. i need it this week with transfers, because i will most likely be moved. i know the lord will send me where i am supposed to be, but sometimes its just hard to do it! But i have faith that the Lord is in charge... and if it is up to Him, He can move me wherever He pleases.
i am so happy. i love this work. i love you all!
Peace and blessings :)
PS: here are some pics of my district/district leader (the happiest person i have EVER met!), sister palmer and i, my ward's missionaries, sister baggs and i picking grapes!, and a few others!