Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life as a Missionary :)

Dear Family!! WOW! So school started today! That is pretty crazy! I hope you all loved it and love your teachers and your classes! Remember that everything is what YOU make of it! You will all have a fantastic year! Time really is flying by! I can't believe we already have Nate and Justin coming back! And Logan and Haili are leaving! Ah I'm so excited for Haili!!! She is just going to love it here in Michigan!!!! Thanks mom, for going to hear her speak!

So Virginia, that sounds pretty fun! Make sure you take lots of pictures and tell me all about it :) Happy Early Anniversary!! It's weird with football season here, not hearing much about it! Keep me updated on all the goods :)

So this week we had some pretty exciting things happen. On Wednesday we went over to Nancie's and we were all ready to teach the lesson on tithing and fasting, but for some reason we just felt like we should read Mosiah 2. We read the chapter together and Nancie just broke out in tears, it really had touched her. Her family has been going through surgeries and she has been trying to be really strong these last couple of weeks. She told us that the night before she was tempted to overdose on her pills and then she wouldn't have to wake up with all of her problems. We had called her that night and left her a message on the phone, leaving her with our love! She told us that what is keeping her going is the gospel! It really is hard to stay strong through trials but Mosiah shows us that the Lord will make our burdens feel light, just like Alma's and his brethren. No matter what struggles we are going through we can be given that strength to help us through and it is all because of our Savior! I have never felt so close to my Savior as I have had to rely on him completely! Make sure you are relying on the Lord as well, it is what he wants from us, and it makes things easier! (Oh and Nancie has not had any coffee since the day we taught her the Word of Wisdom! And she is getting baptized September 8th! Please keep her in your prayers!) Anyways we were running super late to our next appointment with a member because we were talking to Nancie, so we were trying to just leave quickly, on our way out a woman named Anaya stopped us and asked us all about our church. Long story short we have a new investigator and her daughter, Zanaya is really interested as well and we taught her on Friday. We learned how important it is to follow the spirit! We were not where we thought we should be but we were where the Lord wanted us to be. Sometimes in life we just go, go, go. When we step back and are in tune with the spirit we are put where we are supposed to be.

On Thursday we had a recent convert get married, so we went to his wedding! My first wedding on the mission. I just love weddings!! Everyone is just so happy and it just makes me so happy! It was really fun! :)

Saturday we went trackting and every single door we knocked on, we taught lessons and the spirit was just so strong! We met a man who actually went to the same church we attend when he was 9 with a friend. He doesn't know anything about our church though, we taught him a little bit but he said he is too old and stuck in his ways. The gospel really is for EVERYONE! You are never too old or too anything to have the amazing gospel in your life.

Anyways, we had another short training on Saturday all about how our purpose as missionaries to be a Blessing not a Burden! We are here as missionaries 24/7 and our whole purpose is to SERVE! I love serving! I really just don't know if in a year and a half i'll be ready to come home :)

So on Tuesday we got a call saying we would be speaking in church on Sunday. The next day we were asked to do sharing time in primary. So we were going to be speaking, giving a musical, and teaching primary. Oh and I went to Ward Council for the first time. Wow that is intense! It's amazing how much the wards care for each individual though! So we had been trying to get a hold of Sis. Haynes ALL Week and she was never home, or never answered our phone calls, or returned our messages. So we prayed she would come on Sunday but she didn't show, so we canceled the music number and hopefully we can get in touch with her and do it later. If we don't get a hold of her, I guess we will just get to keep her electric piano forever :) Anyways so I spoke in church on the Restoration and how important it was. It just happened that our Stake President was there and President and Sister Gerber were all there! Nothing like a little pressure! I talked about how just like the gospel needed a restoration, in a sense we all need our own restoration. We all were lost when we came onto the earth and we must be brought back to the gospel. We must also help our brothers and sisters find their way as well. We spoke with our ward mission leader and he is just so awesome! I have never felt the spirit so strong in sacrament meeting! There were not any babies crying, which was just a miracle! Our stake president stood up and said, "Sis. Williams I need to correct you on something. You said we as missionaries need your help. When it actually is the opposite, We as members need the missionaries help!" He shared how he had a 4 hour conversation with President Holland on a plane ride. Pres. Holland said that the number one thing he wanted to share was how the work is hastening. He said that it has never been more important to be missionaries. I have never heard so much talk in a ward about missionary work!! Then we went to Primary and what did we talk on???? Missionary Work!! :) It was fun we had my little suitcase and had objects that represented things we had to do to prepare to go on a mission. Like being healthy and reading your scriptures, and going to the temple, and waking up on time (which surprisingly I have had no trouble with :) ) We shared how they don't have to wait to be 18 or 19 to be missionaries, that they can be missionaries now. We gave them all pass along cards and it was so cute how excited they all were to be missionaries! I miss the primary a lot!! They are so stinkin cute!

The major thing I've been studying this week is called "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence E. Corbridge. I don't know if you have ever heard of it but it is AMAZING!!! It talks about 4 different types of missionaries and how we should be the fourth type. The 4th missionary gives himself completely to the Lord. It talks about how "your heart and your will is all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have." I love this!!! "Only in losing yourself, may you find yourself; only by enriching others, may you be enriched; only by giving may you recieve; only in surrendering, may you become free" "The only way to win is to Lose." We must lose ourselves to the Lord, to give ourselves completely to him and we will Become the person our Heavenly father can see us becoming! I know this does not only apply to missionaries! If we truly want to become like Christ we must give ourselves to him and he will mold us into something truly wonderful! If you get a chance look this talk up, it is Wonderful!

Love you lots,

Sister Samantha Tracy (Or as in our Sunday program, Sister Taylor (I obviously need to make myself more known to the ward)) :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monday I had my first exchange!! I loved it! I went with Sister Decker, who is also from Riverton. (Mitchell she told me to tell you hello, and talked all about the Nerd Hurd :) She serves in Belle Isle, which is the closest they little sisters serve to Detroit. It cuts off right as you get to 8 mile. I LOVED IT! I hope I get to serve there someday! The people are so humble and most of them are pretty hilarious as well. We taught a man named Auto and he raps our lessons. He rapped about the plan of salvation and it was super good! Detroit is really sad though. As you drive by, the houses are either abandoned, or burnt down. There are homeless people all over and it really needs help. People have bumper stickers that say, "Last one out of Detroit, turn off the lights." It is hard to see some great people really struggle. It is a difficult lifestyle but they still find a way to be happy. I am learning a lot about not complaining and finding joy in the small things. As long as I have the gospel, I know I can find joy in whatever comes my way!
Wednesday we had a Specialized Training all day. It was really neat! President Gerber gave us a lot of motivation and got us excited about serving! We talked about Ammon and his great example of missionary work! I really love Ammon and want to be more like him! He had to prepare to be able to have the spirit of revelation. As we search the scriptures, and had much prayer and fasting. I have seen as we do these things DILIGENTLY, we will be able to teach with the power of God! We talked a lot about member missionary work. It is really stressed how important it is and we are working very hard to work with the members and prepare them to be missionaries. It is important that as families we pray together, search the scriptures together, and have family home evening. When we build our families, we will see the blessings start to come into our lives. Then as we have love for everyone around us, we will WANT to share the blessings we have received with EVERYONE! President also told us that our mission will be starting the new technology very soon. We will be one of the first missions. We will all have facebook, ipads, the area book will be online, and a lot more. We don't know too much yet but it's exciting to see the change. We really have to prepare ourselves for this!
On Thursday we went to the temple!!!! I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! The new video actually was played and I really like it! The temple is really that place where you can feel sooo much peace and comfort! I realized how blessed we are to attend the temple so frequently and often. I wish I could go every single day!
We practiced the flute and picallo with Sister Haynes (our less-active) We are going to play Nearer my God to thee with her on Sunday, but I'm not sure how great we are going to sound... But all that matters is that Sister Haynes is coming back to church! She has a lot of anxiety and if we can get her to just go in one time, she will keep coming :) After our practice we saw a toad and I ran and caught it! We took it home and had played with him!! I was so excited!! The next morning we were reading in the handbook, and we read the sentence that says, No pets allowed. We felt so guilty, so that night we gave it to our Ward Missionary leader. I'm telling you, that toad was such good luck! I grew pretty attached to him and after we gave him away, I was pretty sad, haha The whole next day every single door we knocked on rejected us and we almost got in a wreck! If you find a toad, catch it, because they are good luck!!! :)
Nancie is still excited for her baptism! We taught her Word of Wisdom and she is living it but really missing her coffee. She has such a strong testimony though! I am so excited for her to get Baptized!!
Thanks so much for the package!!!! I LOVED IT!!! That was so cute! You guys are just awesome!! Mom, you sound pretty busy! I can't believe Kimball is going to middle school!! And Conner is in High School! That's so crazy! Good luck!!
I Love you all soo much! Keep safe and remember to stand steadfast in Christ and everything will work out! Talk to you next week :)

Love, Sister Tracy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm glad to hear everything is going good at home! I keep you all in my prayers! You are all just amazing!! I'm excited about the new temple video! Sister Williams and I are actually going to the temple on Thursday so I'm really excited! Unfortunately the video won't be in the Temple until next week though. But we get to go at least once a transfer, so I will get to see it next time! I can't believe the kids are already going back to school and mom is going back to work! It seems like summer just started. Time really does go by quick! Being on a mission makes time seem to fly by even quicker! The days are so long and it seems like we do a million things but the weeks are so quick and you wonder how it just flew by!? It's exciting to see how many people are going on missions in our ward! Missions are just amazing! I wish everyone had this opportunity because there is really nothing like it!
So this week has been awesome!! Sis. Williams told me this has been the best week teaching wise since she's been on her mission! First of all there was a street we really wanted to go trackting on. The very first person we talked to we went in and taught the Restoration. She loved the bible and told us she would try to read the whole book of mormon before the next time we met (Which is today at 3). It was very interesting however. She kept telling us to be really careful and that she had a prompting to tell us to be safe. She probably told us over 10 times in just an hour to be careful. She showed us her gun and mase and told us we should probably get some. That night we had a random old woman just walk into our apartment, and then another man from our building came knocking on our door. It was kind of a strange night. So I told Sister Williams we are not going back to this investigator's house without a member. I think I'm just paranoid :)
We also found another investigator named Alexia and she seems pretty interested as well. So our very SOLID investigator Nancie that I set a date with last week has been really struggling. Her sister is not supportive in her baptism at all. It has been really sad to see Nancie struggle to do what makes her happy (get baptized) but to see her hurt so much from her sister. We fasted for her and prayed a lot!! The first time this week we saw her she had no light in her eyes and wanted to drop the baptism date. After our fast, we went back and she wants to keep her date and she has been studying the Book of Mormon A LOT! She is gaining a very strong testimony! I know when we fast and pray our Heavenly Father answers those prayers. He is concerned for us and truly cares that we are Happy!
We've really been able to get really close with the less-actives. We've had some cool experiences of them opening up and us being able to share exactly the right scripture that they needed. It has been cool to watch their testimonies start to come alive again. Some are really struggling with smoking habits, or feel embarrassed or think they don't fit in. The members really have a great responsibility to open up their arms in love to EVERYONE!! Our ward has focused a lot on missionary work. We have set a goal to have every family set a date where they will find someone to meet with the missionaries. Some of the families have really had that faith and set dates and we are seeing how great they are being blessed and having the Lord help them find those that are ready to hear the gospel. There are a lot of people that are ready but it is important for us to find them and then to be missionaries. We are so blessed to have this gospel and the happiness it brings. Sometimes I think we are selfish by not sharing that happiness with those around us. We can all be missionaries and it doesn't matter if we have a name tag or not. I have really looked to the example of Ammon in Alma 17. He reaches out to everyone through his service and love! I'm learning to see how important having charity and serving others is! We are all children of our Heavenly Father and he wants us ALL to return back to him!!
Oh so in order to get one of our less actives to come back to church, we are learning a hymn on the picallo so we can play it during Sacrament Meeting! That's pretty fun! Another Sister had us over for dinner and we had fried chicken. I think Sis. Williams and I had food poisoning for a little bit, but we had a priesthood blessing and we are both feeling a lot better today! It is amazing how priesthood blessing truly have AMAZING Power!!
On Thursday we were able to go to Greenfield Village, which was soooo fun!! Hopefully one day I can bring the family there. I was able to see where Henry Ford was born, I saw the first ever light bulb made by Thomas Edison. There are a lot of cool historical houses and farms and it was just super neat! We had a member Sis. Mayo take us and I really just Love her! It was super fun! We drove past Detroit and it really looks like it has been abandoned. There are buildings with smashed windows and graffiti EVERYWHERE! It is really sad to see the city struggling like that. Even in the cities where I serve there are a lot of people on welfare and a lot of people struggling. But I love how the gospel is probably the greatest gift we can ever have and it doesn't cost any money at all. It is free to all those who believe in Christ and obey his commandments! I can see how the gospel has helped many people here through their hard times! I really just love Christ's gospel!!
This morning we had the awesome opportunity to have President and Sister Gerber come and study with us. It was really neat! A lot of people think they have been saved because Christ died for us and because of that they don't have to do anything else. So we read Alma chapter 42 and how through his mercy and justice we are able to return to our father in Heaven. It was cool to see how our works is what gives us access to the Atonement of Christ! I love in 2 Nephi 25, where it says by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. It truly is After all we can do. We must have that strong faith in Christ and Repent everyday in order to access his atonement. When we reach the judgment our savior will plead our case because he knows that we could not be perfect but through him we will be glorified (D&C 45). I know that when we repent and try our very best each and everyday our Savior will be pleased with us and he will be willing to plead our case so we can be with our Father in Heaven for all eternity! I love my Savior and all that he has done for me! I know that it is through him that I can be made perfect!

I love all of you and all you do for me! Thank Chad, Corin, Kaleb, Parker, and Kasie for their letters! I loved them!! Continue to stand steadfast in Christ! Be the best missionaries you can be and be more like Christ by serving and Loving everyone!! Have a good week!

Love always, Sister Tracy! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013


Wow! Sounds like you all had a super fun week!! The River Run sounds like it was fun and so does the Tracy Reunion! I'm not going to lie it made me a little jealous :) But then I remember that what I am doing is soooo much more fun :)  I loved the story that uncle Jim shared about Jordan being healed. It was remarkable!!! It's so cool how powerful FAITH is! I have had to really exercise my faith a lot this past week, because the work is not easy stuff. And there is absolutely no way I could do this alone. I have learned that the Lord is standing there waiting for me to take his hand just like Peter in Matthew 14. It is just up to me to have faith in him and rely on him completely!!
My companion is from Alpine, Utah. She has been out 10 months. She just got to our area last transfer and white washed the area. So we are still familiarizing ourselves with the area. She is really nice. I like her but I feel bad she is really sick a lot. She is allergic to wheat, corn, and dairy. So we eat A TON of Veggies and fruit. For dinner last night I ate squash and potatoes, for lunch I had banana and carrots, for breakfast I actually do eat cereal but with almond milk, etc. So yeah I'm eating a lot of healthy foods. So I really enjoy the few reeses and granola bars I have from the package you sent me in the MTC.
So I have exercise for a half hour and then we do study and training until 11. We have lunch for an hour and then we get to work. There are a lot of less actives, so Sis. Williams really wants to strengthen the less actives before we try to bring more into the ward. Our ward has 8 missionaries, Sis Williams and I , and then 2 trio companionships. So the coolest thing this week was probably getting an investigator to set a date for baptism. She is a really neat lady! She is growing so quickly!!! Her family is all Pentecostal, and her sister is not super supportive, so we keep praying that her heart will be softened and Nancie will be more confident in getting baptized in a few weeks :)
President and Sister Gerber are Amazing!!! They are always there for us and have drove out to apartments just to check up and talk with us!! I really feel so much love from them and they give great advice that I need to hear.
So yesterday Sister Williams and I taught Gospel Principles. We talked about Spiritual Gifts. It is soooo important that we know our spiritual gifts so we are able to use them. Heavenly Father has given us each a gift so we can bless our lives as well as others. I have felt sometimes inadequate in my teaching and being a missionary but as I pray to know what my spiritual gifts are I know Heavenly Father is showing me my strengths, so I can use those to become a better missionary! I am learning soooo much here!! Remember to always go to the Lord and he can help you through everything! It becomes a lot easier when we take the Lord's hand!
Well I'm out of time, but I love you all soo much! I pray for you and am always thinking of you! I'll talk to you next week!
Love, Sister Tracy

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finally In The Field :)

Hey Family!!!
So they told us all we could email you real quick. I made it safely to Detroit, Michigan. We got here and the mission president and his wife are very kind! I love them! We went straight out knocking door to door. It was a good experience for me to be seeing what I will be doing for the next two years. The mission home is beautiful but there are some very poor areas around Farmington Hills.  I really didn't know what to expect but I am really excited to start this adventure. I know I have so much to learn and I have never felt so lost in my life, but I know this is exactly where and what I need to be doing. My trainer's name is Sister Williams she is from Utah and I really like her. She is a great missionary so I think I will learn a lot from her! I am going to be serving in the North Shores North Mission. My address is 

24084 Hall Rd #2
Clinton Township, MI 48036
We have really only had transfer meeting all day so I just barely got back to our area. I am actually kind of nervous to start this journey so I need as many prayers as possible. I love you all so much and hope you are doing well. Oh and my Pday will be on Mondays just so you know.
Love ya, Sister Tracy 

MTC Pics.