Monday, November 25, 2013

Words from Hermana Sandra Thompson in Chile Santiago East Mission

"Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles was here, along with Elder D Todd Christofferson. Elder Holland held a special meeting just with the missionaries. It was lovely, and inspiring, and touching. He is very concerned about the church collectively and people individually. He talked about an interview a long time ago with an Olympic Champion swimmer, who when asked how to be a gold metalist the swimmer said "when you don't feel like kicking, kick. When you don't feel like stroking, stroke". It made me think about Finding Nemo and when Dory says "just keep swimming, just keep swimming", I got after myself for being irreverent, but then after found out I was not the only one who has been Disney brainwashed. A scripture he shared was in 1 Nehi:1:12 "and it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord". I hope when I read my scriptrues that is what happens to me. Some days it does, some days not. He also
talked about the "astonishment" of a number of miraculous conversions in the Bible and Book of Mormon: Paul, Alma the younger, the Sons of Mosiah, the Nephite dissenters whom Lehi and Nephi taught (sons of Helaman). Every conversion, every time someone knowingly steps closer to God, they change and become renewed a little more. There is another scripture in 3 Nephi2:1 that talks about a people who became hard hearted and became less and less astonished at the signs and wonders the Lord provided. I hope I do not become "less astonished" at the goodness the Lord provides to me and my loved ones and those around me. Each day is a gift to me, every breath and every time my muscles moved and when my body works the way it is supposed to is a miracle, and I am astonished at the goodness the Lord brings to me."

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Illinois Chicago West Mission

"What a beautiful week it was! They call this week, the Indian Summer because it gets really warm for a couple of days so that the farmers can gather the last of their crop before it really gets cold. And so we had 60 degree weather this week and it was perfect for missionary work! But yes, we had a really bad storm yesterday! We had to stay in doors in the morning because there was a tornado warning! It was so exciting!!!! My companion got a little worried, but I found it rather fascinating to watch the road become a river :) And then it cleared up right before 11:00 so we went on our way to church.

This was a rather tiring week. I feel like these past 2 months have been exhausting! And we haven't been able to find anyone to teach. Its been rather hard to not get discouraged and to not lose faith, but we continue to work hard. Because I know that when all is said and done, at the end of the night, if I can say that I labored in the Lords vineyard with all of my heart, might, mind and strength then I know that I did my best. And the rest I leave to the Lord. We hardly had anybody at church yesterday because of the storm, but we're hoping this next Sunday we can get more less actives and investigators there. We had some great miracles week with the members! I have been waiting my whole mission to get the phone call from a member and say "I did it! I finally invited someone to hear the Gospel and they said YES!!" And this week, that call finally came. It was a dark Friday night, at about 9:00pm. We were headed home down State St. when we got a phone call. Sister Spendlove answered and we could hardly say Hello before the member was telling us this story about how she was at the Chicago Temple and she was leaving when she saw one of her friends in the waiting room. Her sister was getting sealed and this lady was a long time co-worker and friend to our member. So they talked and it was the non member who said "I think i'm ready to learn more about this gospel. When can we meet?" Well, how about now is what I would have said!!!! But the member scheduled a time and we'll be going over to her house soon. I am just so grateful for the blessings of the members. I am on my mission to help the members do missionary work, not the other way around. And so we have personally extended Elder Ballard's invitation from conference. He said " We are not asking everyone to do everything. WE are simply asking that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just "one" between now and Christmas, millions will feel of the love our Lord Jesus Christ." And so I want to invite you all to do the same thing. Sit down in FHE or something and make a list of some potential people you could share the Gospel with. Remember, they don't have to be your best friends. And then just tell them about your weekend and what you learned in church. I can promise each and every one of you ( and I don't even know who reads my emails!) but I know that when we are on the Lord's errand, we cannot fail. We succeed when we invite. Feel of the love our Savior has when we share Gospel, and invite someone into your home to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And when in doubt, bear testimony of the Prophet Joseph. I love this Gospel and I love the peace and joy that comes only from the Gospel. I hope you will all take my invitation seriously and pray for who you could share Gospel with. don't pray that I will be able to find those searching for the Gospel in this area. Rather, help the missionaries in your area find those searching. I love you all!!!! Have a great week:)"

Words from Sister Eevanna Brown in South Carolina Columbia Mission

I received the news that makes my heart sing! I get to stay here in Marion Branch for another 6 weeks!!!! Sister Daniels didn't get her visa and she is staying and we are getting another visa waiter, "Sister Gearhart. Sister Daniels knows her from the MTC and they are both going to Brazil. Its really great for them, because they get to have that hour of language study practicing together, and I think that snuck out of the whole thing with the best deal, I get to have two hours of personal study!!! I have had that these past six weeks and it has been amazing. So I will be in a trio... I am grateful for the opportunity, because I definitely need to learn how to be more humble and meek. It is amazing to me that the Lord has offered me the second chance to be a better companion to not only Sister Daniels, but Sister Gearhart too. The icing on the cake is that we all three have been called to be Sister Training Leaders too. Ha the Lord really must want me to be humble ha! I am so grateful for the opportunity. It is neat, because I want to do a lot of things differently than how I did it (hen I was one my first couple transfers on the mission. It is fun to see the progress I made, line upon line. I want to be the leader the Lord wants, not the one I want. And I have great examples to look to, Marisa and her service, Dad and his delegation and people-skills, and Mom with her sweetness and sincerity and many more.

      My heart is continually singing! We have the sacred privilege to go to the temple again! Our zone hit our goal again and we have the blessing of going. I am so happy beyond words. Kendale came to church again yesterday! He is hard to get to open up, but he said it was good. He turned 31 a couple days ago and we gave him some banana nut muffins. Ha the poor fellow had made himself a cake and it was raw in the middle :) He is so child-like. Thank you for your prayers for him. His baptism is less than two weeks ago and he is struggling quitting smoking and understanding why he should live the law of chastity, but his heart is continually softening. In Gospel Principles he gave the closing prayer and it was so sincere. Those are some of the greatest moments, hearing those simple prayers of faith from those you teach. When he comes to church, he walks into the chapel and already has "his spot" ha oh I love it. And a less-active couple that we have been working with the Elder's Quorum Presidency came to church too! We have been seeing the Lord pouring out blessings. Just when I think that it can't get any better, it does. It always somehow does. The times when I am being a chump or times when I am tired, the Lord still blesses me, ha sometimes with the gentle rebuke from the Holy Ghost, yet it is blessing, one of the greatest kind actually. This talk reminds me of that, "Being Accepted of the Lord"

Words from Elder Kent Waters in Italy Rome Mission

"I didnt get transfered we got calls on saturday and only 2 people out of the 8 in our district were transfered anziano bennett is going to naptown (naples) and sorella piccirillo is finishing her mission i but new thing this transfer is i am now zone leader its like district leader but bigger... district leader is like a councilman and zone leader is like mayor haha should be great my zone leader companion is anzinao kasper who has been assistant to the pres the last few transfers so he will help me out alot. work is going good struggling.
work is going good we got a few new investigators this week maybe one is promising but i cant tell yet he did by me this orzo (barley) (the legit mormon coffee) it is the exact same thing as coffee but without the coffee bean.
this week should be good not really sure what we hav eplanned yet but today went great i cooked spanish rice and tacos for the district and 3 memebers and every one really liked them i know how to cook other stuff just a few members of the district have been asking all transfer so i made it all. then after we played a couple games and then came to do internet. "

Words from Sister Heather Patterson in South Carolina Columbia Mission

"This week has been rather challenging. We have a lesson tonight with the Harmon family. They are the sweetest family every. I have been fasting and praying constantly for them. I am so scared because I want them so badly to feel the spirit. We are having the lesson in a member families home. They are the Mayos. I love their family. So please include the Lindsay and Corey Harmon in your prayers. I got your Halloween gift!! and was overly happy for the candy. Sister Gearheart is much like me in that respect. She was very excited for it:)

We Zone training meeting this past week, and I cant believe how many amazing missionaries are in my mission. They are in all reality the best missionaries in the world. I felt the spirit so strongly. That is one of the things I have come to realize lately is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Honestly I am not worthy of that gift always, but I can rocgnize when it is with me. Elder Ah Kui talked about The Saviors ministry and how he visited the sick and the afflicted, the struggling and perishing, and he healed them. We are asked to do the same. Who amoung us is perishing? Who amung us is sick? Let us follow the Savior and seek them out, and bring them to Christ. Bring them "the pleasing word of God that healeth the wounded soul." Jacob 2:8 Linds, please go reach out to that little girl. Bring her to church, be her friend. I have a tesitmony that we are the servants of the vineyard. We are here for such a cause. To help bring souls to Christ. Jacob 5: 71 " And the Lord of the Vineyard said unto them: Go to, and Labor in the vineyard with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myslef against the time which will soon come." God promises us that we will have joy if we labor with him. I have never experienced greater joy than that of serving others. If you ever want to know just how much God loves us, and he has in store for us, study Jacob five."

Words from Elder Tyler Johnson in Kansas Mission

"ive been working with alot of members trying to help them find people and be more involved with our purpose in this life and help them and thier familys come closer by reaching out to others. do you have any ideas that you have been doing that can help them so they can become more involved? i have been pondering about christ like attributes and this week im focusing on love and charity for others. i know this church is true dad. i have no doughts. my faith is solid and i can feel the love that the saviour not only has for me but for everyone i begin to have so much sorrow for people that dont have what we have? so many people are lost and i just wish the members could understand how much we need them?"

Words from Elder Konner Lee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mission

"Things are good here we had a meeting with Elder Arnold. He is a 70 and it was really good and he was so cool. I got to talk to him a little cuz he came to Eire after he talked to the missionary's so that was cool, He is truly a man of God I know it. We are finding like crazy they are just everywhere. I don't know what to do with them all ha ha. Our zone leaders are always asking how we do it and I told them that the Lord blesses the walking Elder. So guess what? They started walking more, it was so funny. So we had l lesson with this lady and asked her to read and next time we went by to talk about reading she said it was true so we set her with a date of Nov. 16th. It's really cool the way people are ready, we have only been teaching her for about 3 weeks now and only 2 weeks when we set her date. Some people are just ready !! So here is a story I guess I will tell you cuz its not to bad. So this week was crazy as well as last week. I was walking with my comp and we saw a big car crash right in front of us so I took off running over to it to make sure they were okay!! One lady was really beat up her arm was messed up and her face was bleeding all over so I helped her out of her car and made her lay on her side and got a old shirt out of may bag that I had in there for p-day and had her hold it on her face so I could check on the other lady. She was okay just in shock. I hope all is well with you and the family I really miss you guys but this is the best choice I have ever made in my life, I have never felt so close to my Father in Heaven and I have never loved a people as much as I do of the people of PA !!"

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan Mission

"I LOVE serving in Niigata! There are powerful missionaries here, and I love getting to work with them. You already know about our white christmas vision, and Sanjo is definitely going to be white this christmas. We have a couple potential baptismal dates and we already have one for

the 29th of Dec.but we are hoping to move that up. Maybe christmas day! Sister P. and I are the only sisters in Sanjo. We have 2 elders as well.

you would be shocked at what I eat now and enjoy. For example the other day we had tomatoes with salt on them, rice and gyouza. (pot stickers) It was DELICIOUS!!! We have a goal to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies, so we are staying healthy...mostly! I still love my chocolate, and so does my beloved Companion.

Our branch is about 13 members big. We have 1 family and the rest are all old people. My best friends right now are a group of about 35 year old women who call themselves the Mecha Mitama Kanjiru club. Mecha MK for short, which just means they feel the spirit a lot. One of them just got baptized and we are working on the other 2 :)

So, this week we met with S Shimai again. Before she has always told Sister P that she is taking the lessons to learn and has no interest in being baptized. Well, we invited her this week, and she said ok! But she wants to have more faith first! Yay! We are going to set a date with her this week so she can have a goal to work toward.

This week we also had an awesome miracle. So there is a less active that a bunch of sisters in the ward wanted us to meet. Her name is N Shimai and she hasn:t been to church in a while. So we called and I set up a practice lesson, (mogi) at the church. She came to the church and we found out that she hadn:t been to the church in over 20 years! Then about halfway through our practice of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, it became a real lesson and she really opened up to us. We are going to visit her again on Friday! And when we told T Shimai (the sister who told us to contact her) she started to cry. It was such an awesome miracle. I hope we are able to help that sister build her faith again and feel the love that her Heavenly Father has for her, and help her come back to church.

My area is awesome! We have great people that we meet with every week. We are super busy and miracles never cease to happen in the great land of Sanjo Japan!"

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Michigan

"Things are going amazing on the mission, I would like to share a little story about this past week. SO we had an appointment with a girl who's name was Infiniti. Well my companion decided he wanted to wait til five minutes before we had our appoinment to leave, knowing that she live about four miles away and we are on bikes. Well anyways we were riding like crazy and had made it about 2 or 2.5 miles and my bike broke. We were not about to let that stop us from visiting that girl. SO we chained are bikes up in front of the First Lutheren Church and proceeded sprinting to our appointment. Well after we starting running it took us 10 minutes to get there, ya we were hauling! When we got there the girl had told us how she talked to he Mother about the Mormons and how she wasn't really interested anymore, but after much teaching and testifying through the Mercy of God we were able to convince her to try Moroni's promise. It was sweet, well I hope things are going as well for you as they are for me! Love you guys so much, and may God bless you!"

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux in California Santa Rosa Mission

"Things are definitely getting stepped up around here!! We had interviews with President Alba while Sister Alba gave us some really good training. We are starting to establish a mission with a "Culture of High Expectations." Those being the words of Elder Ballard. President and Sister Alba went to a seminar type deal and President Ballard instructed them all. So Sister Alba kind of "threw down" on how we are doing things and how we can improve. I love President and Sister Alba so much. Even though we dont see them very often I know that they love and care for every single missionary here. And they are so inspired to help each missionary, each area and each zone accomplish the most that they possibly can.
I am so excited! We get to go to the temple this Thursday!! I will be going to the Sacramento Temple this time. I love the temple so much, it is my favorite place in the world! I wish i could go everyday! It is weird to think that I only go 8 times while im out here. Speaking of time, i cant believe i already hit 5 months last week! Brother Beauchamp, The High Councilor over Missionary work, said If you know how many days until you go home it's not good. You should only know that if you use that to motivate you to do better and work harder. I'm still not where i want to be, but im trying!

I am doing really great though. Everything is going so well. I wouldn't trade the experiences im having for the world. I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer. Christ can change people when nothing else can. I love you all and i hope that you have a great week!"

Words from Sister Anna Herring from West Virginia, Charleston Mission


"Thank you for your emails and especially those handwritten letters *wink *wink haha I love hearing anything and everything! Truly! Remember this gospel is true! Reach out to one person before Christmas! Share the gospel this Christmas and experience the love and joy that brings to your life. We are so blessed to be a part of this great work. We have something that every person would die for if they understood the eternal effects it has on our lives. The gospel is not simply a church, but it is a way of life that I am so grateful for. I love it! I know that prayers are answered! I know that our Savior Jesus Christ died and rose again for each of us. The atonement is real. Take advantage of it daily! Strive to have the Holy Ghost with you at all times. I love you. Have the most wonderful day ever!"

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga Nuku Alofa Mission

"Its been a good couple of weeks. I got the package from mom and my companion and I loved it. Mom is too nice to me. I also got a bunch of letters which is always good i have a lot of support and it influences me a ton. Dad I got to baptize someone last Saturday and I cant even explain its hard enough typing it. It has changed my life forever and I am so thankful to have been able to do that. I will never forget that experience and the joy that came from it. Happy Birthday !! I missed it last week, but my companion and I celebrated with the halloween candy from MOM. It was great. It's fun to share with them."

Words from Elder Kade Garner in Peru Lima West Mission

"We also helped two families start to reactvate in the church. One of the families has a 15 year old daughter who is not a member. She has been going to church with one of her aunts for some time now. We finally set a date for her baptism and a date to reactivate her mom. Well, she was baptized on Saturday and her mom is now attending her meetings after 20 years. The bishop did not want us to baptize this girl for fear that she would not have any support, however, in the mission we are baptizing and reativating in the same time. This young girls decision to be baptized and follow her Saviour will also be a huge blessing to others and her family more than anything. We saw the blessings that follow baptism this week as well. This young girl´s neighbor is our pensionista who is also less active right now and best friends with the mother of this girl. Now that this girl´s mom is attending our pensionista has a friend to go to church with and she is now attending her meetings too.

This week we also found a family of five to teach. They are great. The mother, Martha, is a devout member of her church but she is looking for the truth. Her husband, William, is a drunk who is ready to leave it behind, follow Christ, and be a better father. In our first meeting Martha kept asking us what was the new and true church that the Bible talks about. We explained the resuration to them and then left them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. When we asked why they would do it she said, ¨porque quiero saber la verdad,¨ and her husband said, ¨porque si este libro es verdadero tendremos todas las enseñanzas de Jesús en las manos y yo quiero tener todas sus enseñanzas.´´ This family is looking for the happiness that only comes when we have the fullness of the Gospel. My prayer is that they will read, ponder, and pray about the book. I know that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and I just want this family to have the blessings I have.

We also learned something new this week. President Monson has declared that two revelations from D&C have been fulfilled. Section 88:73 ´´Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.´´ Monson said that it has been fulfilled. The work is not being hastened right how, but has already been hastened. Also Section 65 is a prayer Joseph Smith had for the work. Monson said that this prayer has been answered. We are in a new era of missionary work. We have more trainings and conferences than ever before. The Apostles and the Prophet have told us that we are not missionaries of the past and that we can not work like missionaries in the past. We are not to work alone knocking doors. We are to work with the ward councils, leaders, and members. The churc is progressing so quickly and we have to change the way we work to help it continue growing. That means the missionaries have to work more and the members have to help the missionaries more too. There is a theory here in the mission field. We believe that we are not going to see a huge increase in convert baptisms right now with the increase of missionaries, but we will see it when these 90,000 missionaries return home. We are learning how to be good members and great leaders."

Words from Elder Bradley Lynch in Washington Federal Way Mission

"I had an awesome week this week! It was so great! I love being out here it is so fun. So we went on an exchange this week and I got to serve in the Korean ward for a day or so, so that was wonderful! I learned a lot of Korean so that is awesome.

My week was good. It was a pretty good week. Its hard up here but I love the people so much they are so great. Things are going super well. We had President Eaton come out and teach with us and it was so awesome he is such a good teacher! We had such good lessons with him and he has so much charity for the people that it is crazy! He is really funny too. I love him so much, he takes such good care of all of us missionaries! I am so glad to have the opportunity to serve under 2 mission presidents, they have both changed my life for the better and I love them to death!

I love the work its so true and I am excited to keep going strong."

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Ilinois Chicago West Mission

"The best story I have for this week is we had the privilege of having a General Authority come and talk to us this week.  His name is Elder James Martino and he is in the Second Quorum of the Seventy (he's in the Ensign this month).  Anyway he came and taught us so much!  I was overwhelmed he taught us so many things that it was so spiritually edifying.  So anyway at one point in the meeting,, he told us that he was going to do a very hard role play of 2 missionaries inviting the investigator, him, to be baptized.  We could only say 3-4 sentences before asking him an inspired question that wasn't a yes or no question.  There are probably 80 missionaries at this meeting.  Guess what companionship he chooses?  You got it, he chose the companionship with the 2 newest missionaries, Sister Spendlove and ME!  My companion has horrible stage fright.  She was about to have a heart attack!  I knew that I hadn't done 4 years of high school plays for nothin', so I walked up there with my head held high even though I was freaking out!!  This is a General Authority, for crying out loud!  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little nervous to be up there in front of President and Sister Fenn, 80 very seasoned missionaries, the assistants, a General Authority's wife, and of course, a General Authority.  I'm getting nervous just thinking about it.  Anyway, so we get started and I just say whatever question comes to mind.  The most miraculous and amazing thing happened.  All of the sudden, my mouth was filled just like it says in D&C 84:88, I knew exactly what to say and I knew exactly what this person needed. My companion just about fainted, but she did very well and she said some amazing things.  It was afterwards when everyone was saying it was the best role play they'd ever seen!  The Assistants went out of their way to tell us that they learned things from watching us.  Wow!!  Then President Fenn walked  up to us and puffed out his chest and looked at us like a proud father and said, 'I was very proud of you and how well you both did in the role play.'  Elder Martino told me afterwards that he had never seen a missionary do a better job.  'You passed the test with flying colors and you did not bring shame on the mission.'  Would you all be surprised if I had burst into tears right then and there because I was so humbled.  I've never been so complimented in all my life and by a General Authority who was a mission president before and having President Fenn say that he was proud of me was dear to my heart.  I admire and love that man more than anyone else out here.  That was the greatest experience of my life and I learned more than anyone else who was watching.  I learned even more than I already had to rely on the Spirit, which is vital in the mission field."

Words from Elder Travis Wahl in Argentina Mission

"This has been an interesting area to be in.  We have a lot of different ;people in our area.  We are always talking to people, but they aren't always talking back.  That's okay though.  We then learn who we can or can't go back to.  This week went a little better with working with members and finding our investigators.  I don't know if you remember but when I first got here I found a guy, Fernando, that I met up in San Juan. Well, we finally had our first real lesson with him and it was way good to see the interest that he has and how excited he was to learn.  We taught in the house of a member because he says his dad doesn't want us to enter the house.  Fernando is a really prepared person that knows that these things are important and really wants to learn more.  The only problem he has is that he is really hard to find and he drives to San Juan a lot on the weekends.  He is way awesome though, and it really helped out the member as well.  The member that helped us just had his son pass away two days before this lesson. I couldn't believe that he was still willing to help us teach. The Spirit that was there was incredible and the love that this member has for everyone and everything is just unbelievable.  It is quite incredible what one can learn fron simple situations.  We also learned this last weekend that an umbrella can get a family to get to church.  We have been teaching some Bolivians and they finally got excited to go to church.  Sunday came around and it was a little drizzly in the morning, but nothing bad. These people sometimes find any excuse just to stay in their house and not go to church.  We left with an umbrella and when we got to the house, they tried to tell us it was raining and they weren't going to come, but we had an umbrella and they came.  It was way funny because the moment we walked out the door, it stopped raining.

The biggest thing that I have learned fron this area is that frustration doesn't get the work done.  We have had to leave many people, but we have found a lot of awesome people and have gotten to help a lot of members.  All in all a missionary can and should one happy at the end of the day."

Words from Elder John and Sister Terry Haws in Costa Rica Temple

Buenos Dias (good morning),
All is going well and we couldn't be happier here serving the Lord and the people in Costa Rica.  They all love to give hugs so I fit right in. We work every shift which consists of 2 shifts on Wednesday 7-1, then 2-9:30 so that is a very busy day. Then we have an afternoon shift on Thursday and Friday from 2-9:30, then on Saturday from 5-2:30. We often lose track of time and the days just run into each other.  Before we know it, it's Sunday again. Sundays are very different from the states, but the spirit is just the same. The music is beautiful and they sing from their hearts.  They love to sing.  Music truly brings the spirit to the meetings.  I really enjoy Sunday and just listening to how they just love the Savior and bear their beautiful testimonies. We are having the Primary this Sunday which should be amazing.

We are having an amazing mission.  This is truly where we are needed and our lives are being blessed every day.  It is truly awesome to be able to serve others and be a part of their growth.  The temple is an amazing place and we pray that all back home will make it a point to go more often. These dear people here have to ride the bus or train to come to the temple, but they are here and we pray each day that more will come.  I think sometimes we take advantage of the things we have. Being here has made me realize that there are things that I can definitely do without or make do with what is available.  Life is so precious, we need to do whatever we can to bring the light of Christ to everyone.

Costa Rica is beautiful and is so green. Where we live we get to overlook the hillside and the volcano (not active).  It is breathtaking. We are fortunate to live in a 3 bedroom home and 2 other couples live in the same gated community as we are in and we get to do things together and enjoy their wonderful company and spirit.  This mission has brought me closer to my Savior and I encourage anyone that can go on a mission, especially the senior couples, to get prepared to serve.  We are going to be in need of a senior couple in January and then some in 2015 so please get prepared now.  It helps at least one speaks Spanish.
They are truly needed here.  If anyone would like to know about our mission or kmo9w of anyone that would like to be ready in January or February have them call me at 928-433-2017 it is a United States number."

Words from Sister Angela Smith in Illinois Chicago Mission

"There is some pretty cool news that the mission just told about this morning.  Our mission has just been selected Facebook! We are the 9th mission in the world to do this!  Only the leadership knows about it right now, but they will know about it Wed.  It's really exciting that I get to be a part of this new wave of missionary work:)  I think it's God's way of making me more technologically savvy. 

This Facebook program is going pretty well.  It makes getting contact with some people a lot easier and we get news about what's going on in their lives.  (It helps us know what they need sometimes, but sometimes it is just blah, blah, blah).  It's all good though.  It's so great how big a presence the Church is getting on line.  It's another testimony builder, really.  We move with the times, but we stay true to eternal principles that never change. 

Facebook is definitely weird.  It's been so long, and my purpose on it is completely different, but it is really useful.  The first day we set it up we had two online lessons and set up an event for our baptism to invite everyone too.  Turns out we had the first online lesson in the mission, which is kinda cool.  We were given a packet of basic guidelines that we reviewed, but it's still so new that we are refining the rules and stuff.  I hope that people take this seriously and don't waste time.  Half of our mission is really young (been out less than 3 months),but a lot of them are really solid.  It will be good. "

Words from Sister Eevanna Brown in South Carolina Columbia Mission

"This week was incredible and ended on a magnificent note.  We had this sacred privilege of having Elder Bednar speak to our mission.  It was the first tine I had been with all the missionaries in the SCCM all at one time.  The South Carolina stake presidents were there as well.   It was from 6-9 PM of pure Elder Bednar.  The most beautiful thing was that he didn't get up and speak for 3 hours.  It was question and answer for 3 hours, not questions like 'Where is Kolob?'; they were all centered on this work, this area, this time.  He basically taught us how to teach our investigators through his example.  Someone would ask him a question and he would then usually respond, 'May I ask you a question?' and that allowed us to be agents and act and learn from the Holy Ghost.  The basic thing that we as missionaries had learned through the Holy Ghost,with Elder Bednar, just being the guider, was to Jump Out of the Boat.  He related the story of Peter, that he had the faith to jump out of the boat, to leave behind the script, to let his gaze be completely focused on the Savior and the Holy Ghost to be his guide.  I wish I could tell all that I learned now, but I will share snippets each week.  My challenge to you,  and myself, is not to worry about the script, the bells and whistles, the fancy handouts, but to simply let others feel the Holy Ghost that will cause them to be agents to act for themselves.  Elder Bednar could have just talked for 3 hours (which still would have been great), but he allowed us to act, he taught us how to fish, not just handing us one fish for the night."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Oregon Portland Mission

"This week was kinda crazy!  So Tuesday playing dodge ball in the morning and an Elder dislocated his shoulder and is now going home for surgery, it stinks.  We had a zone meeting that day that was great!  Getting the zone all excited!  We got a new investigator.  She walked up to us and was like, 'Can I sit down with you guys and learn more about the church?'  That was so cool.  She came to stake conference, too.  Then I struggled one day.  Satan was just really getting on me that day.  I strongly dislike him!  He really wanted me to quit!  We went tracting and knocked on the door. This guy had pornography everywhere and it was gross!  That is Satan's #1 to lead people's soul to hell, darn it!  I hate it and Oregon is huge for it.  It stinks!  Then later we were tracting and a little person answered the door and oh man, was he from the South Pole or what?!:)  Ha, ha!  Ah, you're an angry elf, aren't you?!  Ha, ha.  You must be from the South Pole, is what I was thinking as I was walking away, and quoting Elf':)  This week was just overall awkward.  That's it in a nutshell.  Continue working hard is all we can do."

Words from Elder Garrett Anderson in Brazil Brasilia Mission

"Man, this week has been great.  We had two baptisms yesterday and the work is really starting to pick up in Posse.  We have 5 people on date for Dec. and I never thought I would say this, but I will be sad to leave Posse.  When you stay in an area for an extended area of time, you really get attached to the members, investigators, to everything.  We have been teaching a family of 5 these past couple of weeks.  The  mom's  name is Sandra, her 3 kids, Henrique, Vitor, and Vanessa.  Their dad works on the farm so he is gone all week and only comes home on the weekends.  Yesterday during our 2 baptisms, I had the opportunity to baptize Vanessa and my companion baptized Vitor.  Vanessa is 12 years old and I didn't know until we were in in the baptismal font that she has a fear of water.  the first time I did the ordinance, and when it came time to lower her in the water, her grip got really tight and when she went under the water, she kicked her legs up and out of the water.l  When I brought her back up, she was really nervous and started coughing like she was choking on water.  We had to do it again  because she had brought her legs up out of the water.  It took awhile to calm her down and talk her through it.  I thought she was going to back out, but finally  we calmed her down enough and I had to baptize her kneeling down because of her fear and how nervous she was.  When I went to lay her down the second time, she grabbed onto my shirt but I had to push her down into the water and she about took me with her!  Thankfully my companion's baptism went a lot smoother and no one left the font injured."

Words from Elder Ryder Nielsen in Philippines Manila Mission

"All is well, Manila was only kissed by the edge of the storm.  We experienced some pretty intense wind, the rain was strong but it didn't last long at all.  As you have heard, Tacloban was hit the hardest.  The last death count I heard was 10,000.  What a horrific tragedy!  I was transferred last to a new area so I don't know if Elder Julito's family made it through safely.  Las Pinas Paranaque is my new area.  I was supposed to be training a new missionary again but he ended up going home.  This was the second time he went home, I'm not really sure of the reason, but I think it had to do with stress and homesickness.  Unfortunately, I didn't even get to meet him.  Now my assignment is follow-up training and district leader.  My new companion is Elder Nonay from Cagayan De Oro from the Philippines.  He is a really cool guy.  He just got through with the training program and he is really excited about the work.  It has been a week of mixed emotions.  It was hard to leave my last area.  I love Pasay!  After my mission I might decide to come back to the Philippines just to live in Pasay.  Ha, ha! Right now I am just trying to adjust to all the changes.  In my opinion that is the hardest part about the mission is change.  The members in Las Pinas First Ward are very kind and caring. I was very surprised to see the support the members have with missionary work which is a very good sign.  The work seems to go a lot smoother when members are involved with the work.  As far as helping out with the storm victims and cleanup, we have not been informed that we will take part in that, but I won't be surprised if that is the case.  As for now, I am just trying to learn my new area and the investigators.  Time just keeps zooming  on by.  I am not entirely sure that there is supposed to be another storm to hit.  I don't know all the details, but that's what the members here are saying.  My new area is so much different than Pasay.  Las Pinas has a lot of wealthy people.  The neighborhoods are very beautiful, just like America, but of course it makes the work more challenging, because if you are wealthy and successful, people usually harden their hearts of the gospel.  It takes a humble heart.  That's our mission here--to seek out the honest in heart."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Addresses of all the current missionaries serving from the St. Johns, AZ Stake

Hermana Sandra Thompson
Chile Santiago East Mission
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Elder Clay & Sister Cookie Overson
Assoc. Brasil I.J.C.S.U.D
Fundo Perpetuo de Educacao
Av. Francisco Morato 2430
05512-0300 San Paulo,

Elder John & Sister Terry Haws

Apartado Postal 92-4005
Belen, Heredia
Costa Rica

Elder Lamar & Sister Sarah Jean Gray
SDQ 4102
2250 NW 114th Ave. Unit 1A
Miami, FL 33172

Elder Kent Bloomfield
New York Utica Mission
PO Box 149
Whitesboro, NY 13492-0149

Elder Tyler Johnson
7011 E. 13th N
Wichita, KS 67206

Sister Eevanna Brown
South Carolina, Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Drive, Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063-6110

Elder Ammon Fulton
Mexico Torreon Mission
Calle Ernesto Breede
Col. Ampliacion Los Angeles #301
27146 Torreon, Coahula Mexico

Elder Ryder Nielsen
Philippines, Manila Mission
PO Box 1997
Makati Central P.O. Makati City
1200 Metro Manila, Phillippines

Elder Bradley Lynch
Washington Federal Way Mission
23175 224th P1 Street E
Maple Valley, Washington 98038

Sister Jessica Mireles
Arizona, Gilbert Mission
65 E Olive Avenue #102
Gilbert, AZ 85234

Sister Heather Patterson
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Dr. Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063-6110

Elder Shad Lindsey
2009 N 900 E. Unit 128
Provo, UT 84602

Elder Reymond Patterson
Idaho Boise Mission Office
111 S. Cole Road
Boise, Idaho 83709

Elder Kent Waters
Italy Rome Mission
Piazza Carnaro 20
00141 Rome

Elder Kade Garner
Peru Lima West Mission
Carlos Salaverry 3664
Los Olivos
Casillo do Corres 39-054
Lima 39

Sister Anna Herring
West Virginia Charleston Mission
888 Oakwood Rd. Ste. 310
Charleston, WV 25314-2071

Sister Elese Hauser
Illinois Chicago West Mission
1319 Butterfield Rd. Ste. 522
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Elder Spencer Wilhelm
Igreja De Jesus Cristo Dos U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda Angola

Hermana Amanda Greer
Chile Osorno Mission
Camilla 7-0
Regions X

Elder Allan Holden
665 North 200 West
Clearfield, Utah 84015

Sister Angela Smith
Chicago, Illinois Mission
800 Waukegan Road, Suite #203
Glenview, IL 60025

Elder Travis Wahl
Mission Argentina
Casilla De Correo 631
Mendoza 5500

Elder Austin Davis
1755 NW 173rd Ave. Apt 511
Beaverton, OR 97006-7328

Elder Riley Pulsipher
Oficinas de Mission
Mexico Xalapa
Av. Arco Vial Sur No. 738
Col. Lomas Verdes
Xalapa, Veracruz, C.P.

Elder Spencer Lee
New York, New York North Mission
700 White Plains Rd. Ste. 315
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Elder Garrett Anderson
Brazil Brasilia Mission
Shin CA 05 LOTE B1 SALAS 304/307
71503-505 BRASILIA-DF

Elder Jared Anderson
Brazil Joao Pessoa Mission
Rua Deputado Jose' Mariz, 515
58042-020 Joao Pessoa-PB

Elder Tyler Crosby
Tonga Nuku Alofa Mission
Box 58
Nuku Alofa

Elder Konnor W. Lee
2110 Washington
Erie, PA 16502

Elder Bo Mullenaux
California Santa Rosa Mission
5301 Badger Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Sister Kortlynn Pearl Herring
4-25-12 Nishi-Ochiai
Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo-To
161-0031, JAPAN