It was so great to get to talk to you all on Christmas!!! Aren't we just so blessed with the technology that lets us get to talk and see each other?!? It's just amazing! I'm glad you are all doing well :)
I'm glad you all had a wonderful Christmas! Thank you soooo much for the packages! You are all the sweetest!!! I sure do love candy but don't be surprised if I'm huge when I get home :) haha Also thanks for sending some things for my companion, she loved them!!!
There are just soo many things I'd love to talk to you all about, but 40 minutes just doesn't cover it all, luckily I'll be seeing you real soon. I can't believe how fast time is going by, there is less than a month until I can hug you all! I'm expecting LOTS of hugs :)
So I don't know if there is much news, but I will tell you about our investigator Brent. So he is 20, I think I told you about him... But he needs ALL of your prayers!!!! He comes to church every week, reads the Book of Mormon and meets with us. He had received a confirmation that he needed to be baptized, was on date, then his parents (who are catholic) told him he's moving way to fast. So he decided he wants to wait, then last time he said "I'm not sure about the whole baptism thing.." It's so sad to see him going the other way, He knows what God wants him to do, but is letting the fear of his parents get to him. We are praying really hard for him! Satan works hard on those who are coming closer to God....But I know that the power of God is stronger, faith in Christ is stronger, and the Prayer of Faith is Stronger! All things are possible with God! :)
I have to give an instruction on how to be a Humble, Patient, and Loving Companion at the Leadership Meeting tomorrow... Wish me luck! Instructing at this meeting is intense, and pretty intimidating, talking to a room full of people who are probably much better than me in a lot ways, hopefully I can say something good...
Anyways, thanks for letting me share my testimony with you on Christmas! Sorry I am such a bawl baby... But I just love my Savior Jesus Christ sooo much!! And I love my Heavenly Father! I know they love us too and I know their power is real! It is my hope that everyone can feel of that Love, and know for themselves of this truth! I'm so grateful for the parts of my testimony that I have learned on my mission, and the more I learn the more I realize I have so much more to learn :) Good thing life's not over and we can all still learn!!
One quick miracle.. Last week we were walking around downtown Farmington, contacting and trying to talk to people. My companion and I walked past this man, and after a few minutes she tells me we have to go back and talk to him. So we turn around and are pretty much stalking and chasing this man, like he is prey, hahaha... I feel awkward and ask my companion if she really feels like we should talk to him, cause I feel like a creeper..She says yes, so finally we catch up to him in the parking lot. His name is Rajesh and he is visiting from India, he is here for a few weeks and guess what..... He was walking around looking for a church!!!!! He wanted to pray and couldn't find a church that was open, so Heavenly Father sent him something that was better.... The TRUTH! We talked and prayed with him and he thanked us! We invited him to church and he came yesterday! He is so great, but he leaves in 2 weeks. We are praying real hard he and his family gets a visa so they can come back and live here!!! :) Anyways, I'm grateful for my companion, God puts us in 2 for a reason, so there is double chance for us to hear and act on the promptings of the spirit! :)
I can't believe it is Christmas already!! I love this time of year, everyone seems to be soo much happier during this time, it's because Christ is filling everyone's hearts :) I just love Jesus Christ!
Your week sounds super fun! I'm glad everything went real well! Thanks for updating me! :)
So for Christmas our relief society president said we could come to her home to Skype or call, so we'll be going over there 12 our time... so 10 am your time... My companion wants to call at the same time as her brother who is on a mission in Honduras, so I don't know exactly what time but it will be somewhere in between 10 and 12 your time. Just a reminder we only have 40 minutes :) I'm excited to get to talk to all of you!!
So Wow, yeah what a huge week! I am serving in Livonia with Sister Cardenas. She's from Texas and turns 20 on Saturday. She's been out for almost 9 months and she's been in Livonia for almost 6 months. Actually Haili, Sister Graham actually began her training, so that's cool :) It's definitely different than Ypsi and Hill Street, but I LOVE it!!! We've met some great people and we are working hard to find lots of new people! So we live in Northville, just outside of our area. We actually live with the Northville Sisters, Sister Gordon and Sister Price! I don't know if you remember but Sister Price was my companion in Rochester :) So it's fun being with all of them!
Since we live out of our area we practically live at the church, we eat lunch and dinner there, so that's fun :) There are 3 sets of missionaries in our ward again. The Assistants, us, and then a trio. Also, President and Sister Gerber live in our area and the mission office is in our area too. I keep joking how president has to keep a close eye on me my last transfer by bringing me to Livonia, I guess he's afraid I'm going to go crazy or something.... Just joking :)
We're teaching an awesome guy named Brent. He's 20 and during the summer ordered his own Book of Mormon off of Barnes and Noble...don't know how legit it is.... But he's got a real one now :) But it was awesome, the sister knocked on his door a few weeks ago and he wanted to meet with them. He's a real thinker, but he truly wants to know what's right. He's prayed and come to know God wants him to be baptized, but is hesitant to move fast, which is totally good, It's just awesome that he is so sincere about this!!! Also he taught our Book of Mormon class that we have weekly, so that was Awesome!!
Real quick, remember to focus on Christ during this Christmas season! And if you haven't already, pass out all of the pass along cards that came in your Ensign :) We are SOOO blessed to have the Gift of Jesus Christ! Just as the angel told the shepherds in Luke Chapter 2 "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." I love that it says "to ALL people"!!! Jesus Christ is a gift of Joy to ALL people!!! Yes, that means us :) I don't know about you, but I sure love Joy :) :) I know with all my heart that if we want the most and greatest joy we can find on this earth, it is only through Christ! This last I guess 17 months, I have felt such great JOY! And Joy doesn't have end! As long as we keep our focus on Christ! We can't let a day go by without thinking of him. I love him So much! I love my Father in Heaven soo much, that He sent Jesus Christ for us! He loves us, He loves you! :) And I love you too! Have A Merry Christmas!!
Wow! I can't believe this is my last transfer! Time has just flown by and I seriously can't picture anything else other than being a missionary right now, good thing I at least have 6 weeks left!
The big news is I am being Transferred!!!!!!!!!!! I was so shocked! I even forgot it was transfer call day and when our district leader told me I was leaving I didn't even believe him. I was only here for 6 weeks and I LOVE everyone sooooo much! It's amazing how quickly you grow to love people! It's been sad to say goodbye to all of our investigators, but I told them they have to invite me to their baptisms!! :) President Gerber came to church on Sunday and I told him I wasn't too happy I was leaving, and he just laughs and says "No one is!" haha I just love him! I'm excited for my next transfer though I know I will be wherever God wants me! I will be training a new sister training leader my last transfer, so no pressure... Good thing we've got God helping us out! :) President pretty much told me where I'm going..... But I'll send you the address next week :)
So Christmas is next week!!!! Can you believe it?!? This month is flying by! We will have 40 minutes to talk on Christmas. I have no idea where we'll be or what our schedule is since I'll be in a new ward, I don't know if we'll be skyping or calling on the phone. Any preferences? What time is best for me to call? Make sure you let me know if it's your time zone or my time zone, so we get it right :) I'm excited to hear you all!!
Also anything anyone wants from Michigan let me know, or forever hold your piece!
So this week has been great! We've had the great privilege of having a lot of sister missionaries return home and come out and work with us! It's been fun to hear how they speak about their missions, how they've changed and things they are and aren't doing since they've been back. All I've got to say is, I'm making a promise with God that I will read my scriptures EVERY DAY of my life! I've seen how when you let little things slide, you start to slide and we just can't! It's also helped me ponder on my mission and the greatest things I've learned. I know I talk about this pretty much every week, but LOVE has to be pretty high up there! I JUST LOVE these people sooo much!!!! I know God loves them soo much and I'm grateful I get to feel that love as I teach them! We've been working with people that have some real tough situations, things I never even dreamed of. People that have made some awful decisions, but as I sit there and testify to them and as they tell us their true concerns, I am overwhelmed with Love for them! If there is one thing I know it is that we are God's children and He loves us!!!
2 cool experiences.... There's a woman whose son joined the church about a year ago, he passed away recently and his mom has been really struggling. We've been teaching her and this week she said "I'm finally starting to see why my son was drawn to your church" She's been able to see the light that comes from the Gospel and shines from those who are living it!
Next, one of our investigators has really struggled in life with addiction and temptation. He has been blown away at how we can be happy and have fun, without all of the garbage of the world. This week he told us how he's been filling the spirit so much in his life. And how he feels like he can literally see light the more he comes to things and as we meet with him. CHRIST is the Light! Those who are living Christlike lives, Living Christ's gospel, Teaching of Christ have this Light! "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:16
We had a wonderful Zone Conference and President talked about repentance! It was Amazing! I love repentance sooo much! We talked about how repentance is to change our view of God, ourselves, and the world. We discussed what that view might look like on different ends of the spectrum. We have to strive to have God's view, not the world's. It's so easy to get caught up in the world, but those things really don't matter. We discussed Lehi's dream and how Lehi was able to make it to the Tree of Life without getting distracted by the great and spacious building. He was focused on his eternal destination. Repentance helps us focus on our eternal destination. How blessed we are to repent! Repent Quickly and Daily!!! It is soooooo important!!!
Well Goodbye Ypsilanti and U of M! It was great serving here and I'll always love these people!
Thanks so much for your emails every week! They sure do mean a lot to me!! This has been a fabulous week! And we only have 1 more left of the transfer!! Crazy stuff, I only have 1 transfer left after this, and I'm just doing my best to sprint to the end, and then hopefully I'll be in good shape for the next race I'm starting :) I feel like the mission I've been serving has been like a giant workout, where I'm preparing for the rest of life! I've learned so much and am still learning, and guess what... I will always be learning!
This week was pretty remarkable! We were teaching one of our recent converts since it will be his first Christmas as a Christian. As we taught him the story of our Savior's birth for the first time, the Spirit was SOOO strong! It was absolutely beautiful to watch him discover how his Savior came into this world and the gift He is to all of us!
We also went to a really neat program. It's called 1 night in Bethlehem. We went to it last year. So we drive up there to Rochester with our investigator MaRye, it's a walk through nativity and the spirit was Sooo strong! I also got to see a lot of the people who I LOVE soo much! But even more than those people I love, I just love my Savior so much! It's been a breath of fresh air to get to talk with Him so much!! We've been watching He is the Gift with everyone we can. We just say "Hey do you have a smart phone?" "Pull it out, we've got an awesome video to show you!" We've found 3 of our new investigators that way this week!
I can't believe it is December already!! Time is going so fast! How do I slow it down?! I LOVE this season sooooo much!!!
I'm glad you all had a wonderful time in Colorado for Thanksgiving! We had a WONDERFUL week!!! We don't have much time today since we're going to the Henry Ford Museum :) I'm excite so, I'll just write as much as I can.
I just can't testify enough of God's Love! God just Loves us sooo much, He is sooo good!! We had had like no time to set up the appointments we needed to for our week. Tuesday we had to take in our car, cause it was making all sorts of funny noises. We start texting and in a half hour we had appointments back to back to back set up. We saw some sweet miracles! We were at the church that night for our correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and some members were at the church playing ball. We go in and say hello and the sister whispers to us, "Alright you're not leaving here until you have appointments set up with these kids." (They were mostly all non-members). So that's what we did! The members here are AMAZING!
Our investigators Gma made us some sweet potato pie!! IT WAS DELICIOUS!! Food in Ypsi is heaven! :)
Thanksgiving was Wonderful! We did lots of finding that day, knocking lots of doors and talking to people walking the streets. Funny story... We go up to this one door with like ten cars parked all around. We knock and the Grandpa opens up and lets us right in and is very welcoming. The rest of the family is just staring at us, like we are nuts. Good old Grandpa thought we were part of the family!!! :) Haha We definitely all are part of God's eternal family :)
We went to President and Sister Gerber's for lunch and had Bacon wrapped turkey :) YUMMMMMOOO! We talked about the 2 most important things the Gospel and Bacon :) Haha We then had dinner with a member in Ypsi, It was real fun! And then we had dessert with our Senior Couple the Hunts! It was a day full of Thanks and Love and Christ!
We had another awesome experience! We went up to campus on Friday and it was as if everyone has fled the country! We walked around and I saw one kid from a distance. We eventually get to him and he was lost looking for his friends apartment. He's from China and we asked him if he knew what was about to happen in December? He's a freshman and has never seen Christmas before. We told him we had a video to show him about what Christmas is all about. We stood standing on the sidewalk, with the snow falling down on us, watching "He is the Gift" on his phone. The Spirit was SOOOO Strong!!! It finishes and he looks up at us and says, "I feel peaceful". It was a very neat experience and we're seeing him again this week to teach him about all that this Gift entails!
If you haven't already, you have to watch He is the Gift! It is a wonderful video and I feel the spirit EVERYTIME! Go to Christmas.mormon.org or youtube if the website isn't working. The greatest evidence of God's Love is his gift to the world, Jesus Christ! I love my Savior and I know as we discover, embrace, and share the Gift, we will be filled with Peace, Joy, and Love :) I spoke yesterday in Church about our journey here on earth and how we fail and fall when we are on our path to our destination. But because of the Gift of Jesus Christ we can get up and finish our journey! I know this is true! Hope you have a wonderful DAY!! :)
Hey Family! It's a great day and a great week!! I love the Thanksgiving season! I love when everyone focuses on what they are grateful, you can just feel the joy in the air :)
I can't believe how warm St. George is!! It's been a week full of snow, everywhere is white and Beautiful!! We definitely don't have as much snow as New York though, Did you hear you much they got!? Crazy stuff! Sounds like you all had fun though! And I love that you were able to go watch Melinda dance, I will be excited to see her when I get home :) I LOVE the power of the priesthood! I'm so grateful that Dad has that priesthood and is able to worthily use it! It's the coolest!!!
I didn't know you got another Camry! That's exciting. I can't believe it got all cut up! I'm glad Dad is OK!!!
HAVE FUN IN COLORADO!!! That will be soo fun! So many of my favorite people all in the same place :)
This week we were out of our Area 2 days. Sister Rikard had her one year temple trip, so I went up to Brighton with a Sister Sorenson who was actually Sister Kesler's MTC companion. It was FUN! Then we spent Saturday in Plymouth with Sister Mo'unga :) and Sister Kunzler! It was a Fabulous week with some Fabulous Sisters!
I JUST LOVE this area sooo much!! We are still working hard and I'm loving it! We have quite a few progressing investigators and they are all Asians :) I just love our Asians!! They are the most sincere, honest, and soul searching people I've ever met! Yesterday we were teaching a woman Xiuryi, and we were teaching her what the spirit was. As we explained the role of the spirit, she thought it was just the coolest thing ever, and kept saying I want to feel that, I want to feel that!
Chen Chen came to church!!! We've been seeing soo many miracles!! He told us he wanted to focus on the Book of Mormon, so he wasn't coming to church. But our appointment fell through on Friday then Saturday, so we text him and say "We can meet at 1-4 at the church" And he didn't hesitate and said YES and he CAME!!
Yusong is doing super great as well! Turns out his student professor is a member of the church!! We've seen a great jump in his interest and progression since he found out and talks to this member. Members are SOOO important, We've got to all work together! As we taught him the importance of church we related it to a race car that is running the track but has to stop to change his tires, ect. We are running the track of life every week and we need to stop each Sunday and spiritually refuel ourselves! In his closing prayer this is what he says "Thank you for the sisters teaching me to change my tires." :) :) He just brings me soooo much joy!! :) :)
We had A SUPER miracle!!!! So Saturday night at 3 in the morning Sister Rikard wakes me up to find our toilet overflowing and water is EVERYWHERE! We got it to stop and then did our best using a bedspread to soak up the water. We tried plunging it and nothing was working, so we went to bed and in the morning tried again.... Nothing... So we went to our 6 hours of church and came home at night to find it in the same situation.. We had called maintenance already twice and no one even called us back. So what do we do? We pray that we can figure out to fix our toilet. We get up and the first flush WORKS!! haha I know this sounds ridiculous, but GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!! He knows us and loves us and helps us with the small little things, like fixing our toilets :)
Now to a different note... This week I've studied about THANKS! We often learn and study about thanks and make gratitude lists, and prayers of thanks, and do some service. As I've thought about what I'm grateful for, I am so Grateful for the Gift from God, Our Savior Jesus Christ!! This Christmas season the church has a campaign called, "He is the Gift" it is SOOO cool!! Just like the Easter video "Because of Him", there will be a "He is the Gift" video, It will be available to watch in about 2 days and 2 hours! :) It will be at Christmas.mormon.org. As a mission we've been giving lots of pass along cards and other ideas to help spread the GIFT! It's super awesome! Anyways I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and as I've thought about how to give thanks, I was reading in Mosiah 2. King Benjamin is talking to the people about giving thanks and in vs. 22 he explains how all that is required of us to keep His commandments! Are we truly that grateful that we do keep His commandments? With my time ticking away, I've been studying a lot on becoming a more consecrated missionary. As missionaries we have to sacrifice everything! Give it All Up! Not just to be here, but as we are here. We have to give up our desires, forget ourselves and not do what we want to do, but what the Lord wants us to do!! Even those that don't wear a name tag have been asked to offer their whole souls (Omni 1:26). Everything we have is the Lord's!! Everything except our will, which he is asking we give to him. I know with all my heart blessings await us as we consecrate ourselves! Are we giving all we can to the Lord in whatever calling we have at this time in our life?!
I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, that he has given me opportunities to Become like my Father in Heaven. Because of Him I can repent and change. Because of Him I can receive his strength to overcome my weaknesses. Because of Him I can find true and eternal lasting JOY! :)
I'm grateful for all of you! I LOVE you and wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
So where to even start! This week has been SOOOOO crazy!!! So, Monday was just super crazy with both Sister Kesler and I leaving our area! Packing, running errands, saying goodbyes, and getting the apartment ready for the new sisters! So we go to transfers and here's the news....... I'm in the Ypsi Hill area with Sister Rikard!!!! So it's been SUPER busy! The Hill street area was the sisters that serve on the U of M campus and in the YSA ward, It was Sister Rikard and Sister Weber, our STL's last transfer. And the Ypsi Hill area is in the Ypsilanti ward and they also worked with the YSA at EMU also in the Hill Street Ward. So due to so many missionaries leaving in the next few months... About a third of the mission will be leaving by January..... The Hill Street area and Ypsi Hill area were combined! And yes it has been insanely busy!! :) It's the BEST!!!!! Both areas had weeks filled with appointments, so we've had to cancel many different appointments and figure out how to blend the two wards and areas. God is definitely blessing us though! And I'm sooo Grateful Sister Rikard knew about Hill Street already cause that would have been even more insane!
I LOVE the two wards! It's fun to be in a YSA ward, very different than serving in a family ward, but the ward is on fire!!! We had at least 12 members come out with us to appointments this week! We had a recent convert (Alex) bring his girlfriend to Church!! Then they both came to an appointment with us for an investigator Ryan. We taught about the Book of Mormon and at the end, Alex's girlfriend kept her Book of Mormon it was AWESOME! We had a few other student's bring roommates/coworkers/classmates to church and they are inviting everyone to meet the missionaries! It's Fantastic!! Then in the Ypsi ward, the ward is on fire as well!! Our ward mission leader is FANTASTIC! He's super involved and so are all the members! The ward mission plan is so specific to every individual family and as we've met with the families, Everyone is Doing sooo much missionary work! I feel so blessed to get to serve in these two wards! Then to top it off my companion is practically perfect in every way! She's from Oregon and then went to school at BYU-Hawaii, she got her bachelors, in peace building and business (I think...) She has been a Sister Training Leader since day 1 of her mission and has been out almost a year! I'm learning so much from her! :) I just am so excited to be serving in this area!
We're working with Sooo many amazing people!! We are working with over 40 people (investigators, less-actives, and recent converts) combining the two areas, and I love ALL of them sooo much! I'll tell you about a few...
Van Rice lives in Ypsi, he's from Detroit and met the sisters at a fair, where they set up a booth. He's on date for baptism in January. He is the sweetest man! He loves The Book of Mormon and the priesthood! He told us he could only come maybe once a month to church so we called to invite him again and we find out he was embarrassed to come because he doesn't have a suit. We said "Van, you don't need a suit, God just wants you to be at church and to remember Jesus Christ!" He got sooo excited and it was the sweetest thing! God just loves us all and wants us to come to him, with where we are at right now, I love how much God loves his children!!!
Kelly Williams is a convert from Arizona. She's wonderful and we taught her about family history work. She's Obsessed now :) haha She's caught the spirit of Elijah! She's going to the temple for the first time this week to do her families baptisms!! :) YAY!!!!
Chen Chen is from China going to school here at U of M. He didn't believe in God and now he does! He's read all the way to 2 Nephi! He was asking about how we know Laman and Lemuel were the ones who were wrong and not Nephi. He continued to ask how we know if our answers are right.... he paused and then said.... "Prayer?" The spirit is so powerful and such a great teacher!! We didn't have to say anything, the spirit taught him what he needed to know!
Zola is from Ethiopia. He's only here for about a couple more months. He had soo many questions about the Godhead, so we knew he needed to be taught the Restoration! I love the Restoration sooo much! It just makes so much sense! We know eternal truths like the Godhead being 3 separate beings and the main evidence is the Restoration and how do we know the Restoration to be true? The Book of Mormon! The Book of Mormon is the best super weapon ever! At the end he just said, "I need to read the Book of Mormon." :)
Yusong is also from China. We took him on a church tour and it was quite the experience. So he had never been in a church building before, so we're going around and we wanted to show him the baptismal font at the end.... but we couldn't find it.... haha We walked in circles forever and he just kept saying "Are we lost?" hahaha It was pretty hilarious! We finally found it!! When we invited him to be baptized he said "Baptism is like cutting your arm off... or getting a tattoo... It's permanent." I've never thought of baptism like that, but he understands how important and life changing this decision is. We just need to now help him understand it's a Wonderful change! More like signing up for an endless supply of ice-cream :)
MaRye is a 14 year old girl whose Mom is less-active. She is soooo smart! And she just wants to know if God is there! As I've served I feel like the root of most people comes down to just wanting to feel God's Love! It is soo important and It's a blessing to be a part of helping people find that love that is there for them!
So there are probably like a ton more things to share, but that will probably be good for today :) I Love you all! I Love Michigan and this Mission! I Love most of all may Savior Jesus Christ and our Loving Heavenly Father! They love you too and don't forget that! :)