Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Illinois

"This has been the most random week. So prepare yourself to have your
mind blown!!!!!

To start off, when we got home last night our power was out. But no
biggey, because we live in the more ghetto-ish part of town that
happens a lot. Now even though I grew up in the most Boy Scout
environment possible for a young women, i was not prepared. Sorry to
disappoint Grandma and Dad, this Sister missionary tuned you out
somewhere along the way. So because I was so unprepared we had no
flash lights, no candles, nothing whatsoever to illuminate light,
except our iPads:) Let's just say that I can now find the roll of
toilet paper in complete and utter darkness. Maybe I can put that on
my resume when I get home! But anyways, it's a good thing our phone
was charged or else we wouldn't have had an alarm or anything. This
morning it still wasn't on. We get up to do our exercises on my new
fancy work out DVD (thanks Mom!) and the DVD player ran out of battery
half way through exercises. So then i go to climb in the shower, no
hot water. Our day was off to a great start! Now I know you all South
American missionaries would tell me to man up and take a cold shower
because you didn't have warm water for 2 years. Well you know what,
it's cold outside today! And our heater wasn't working this morning so
don't judge me! Of course it's cloudy outside so even though it's day
time it's still not very bright. We heard them talking outside saying
they'd have the power on tonight or tomorrow. Geez, that's great! You
know, sometimes I really do feel like I'm serving in a 3rd world
country. I mean really, no electricity, no hot water, no car, and most
importantly, we were out of chocolate. But the really stinky thing
about all this is we spent a bunch if money last week and stocked up
on food because we knew we wouldn't have the car for 2 preparation
days in a row. Our fridge and freezer were full, and now it's all gone
bad:( You know they say that you really don't appreciate something
until it's gone. That's kinda how I felt about my parents when I got
out here.... Mom and Dad, you're like my electricity. Always there,
until you're not. Then I really miss you! Maybe I'll write a poem
about that someday:)
So our next random adventure for the week happened yesterday when we
were teaching Taylor. Now she has been coming to seminary for a month
now and she's not even a member! Mind you, seminary starts at 5:40 am!
She's friends with one of the youth so yesterday we taught her for the
first time and it was so great! The spirit was strong, she had already
started reading the Book of Mormon, it was the perfect lesson. And
then the members dog starts chocking in the corner and the member
start freaking out! So she tries to grab the dog and drag her outside
and in the process the dog throws up all over Sister Draney's nice
white carpet!!!!! I debated in my mind whether I was going to be the
mature one in the situation but it was too funny so I just busted up
laughing! Poor Sister Draney was so embarrassed and the spirit was
gone so fast, but it makes a good story. And so they couldn't just
leave this throw up there so they pull out the pet vacuum and clean it
up. We're all just sitting awkwardly on the couch while they're
cleaning it up. Then we go back to teaching the lesson and it still
ended in a good note and we invited her to be baptized and she said
yes!! Hallelujah!
And the next random event: we were at a members house this week and my
companion started petting their cat. Well after a few minutes I
thought I was going to die. My nose itched so bad, my eyes started
burning, I got all stuffy, and I was like Oh no! I think I'm allergic
to cats. But I didn't say anything about it because that's never
happened before so I decided to wait and see. So the next day we had
another cat sit on our laps and sure enough after a few minutes my
nose itches so bad, my eyes start itch, and i feel the effects of it
for a few hours afterwards. So can anyone diagnose me? I think I
developed an allergy to cats!!!!! This would happen to me. With 8 more
months on my mission. And Illinois people are big cats and dogs
people. I always tell them they should just get pigs and lambs,
they're much cuter and you get money and a lot more meet than you can
get from a cat or a dog. But everyone just looks at me appalled that
my favorite animal is a pig because I like to kill it and eat the
meat. There's a lot of softies out here. But anyways, someone should
do the research and let me know if there's anything I can do about it.
Seriously, help me!
Well to end this email on a more spiritual note, we had a great
mission conference this last Friday. All 180 missionaries in the
Illinois Chicago West Mission gathered for a Sacred Grove experience.
We met in a forest preserve and it was actually pretty close looking
to a "spring morning in the year of 1820." As I'm sure I've mentioned,
Sister Fenns grandpa is Joseph Fielding Smith, whose father is Joseph
F. Smith, whose father is Hyrum Smith, who is brothers to the Prophet
Joseph Smith. So President and Sister Fenn make Joseph Smith a big
focus of our mission. They talked to us about different accounts of
the first vision and all the things that we learn from that single
event. For instance, we know that God the Father, His Son Jesus
Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate beings. We know that God
answers prayers, even those of a 14 year old farm boy. We know that
God has not forgotten about us. That He loves all of His children and
will call a prophet on earth to lead and guide us. We learn that when
light is present darkness cannot be and will flee from the light. I
know with all of my heart that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. He
truly died for this work. He layed down his life because he knew that
the Book of Mormon was true. And just like Joseph Smith defended what
he knew to be true, I as well take my place in defending my Savior
Jesus Christ, as well as the prophet Joseph Smith. I would lay down my
life for a book, because it is the most correct of any book and it
changes lives. It is simply true. At some point in our lives we will
all be backed up to the wall of faith. I hope that each of you would
defend the Prophet Joseph Smith as well. Whether it be in your Sunday
school class and someone needs to be put in line, or in the grocery
store if you hear anti-Mormon literature. DEFEND THE PROPHET JOSEPH
SMITH AND DEFEND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. I hope and pray you all have
a testimony strong enough to do that. "A valid and binding testimony
of Christ grows out of a sound understanding of the Restoration. You
cannot get to Gethsemane without going through the Sacred Grove." -a
Elder Bruce R. McConkie. At this conference we had the ability to bear
our testimonies as well. About 60 missionaries bore their testimony.
That's about a 3 hour testimony meeting in the hot sun, yes I got
sunburned and more freckles, but it was all worth it. I felt the
spirit so strongly and my testimony grew of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Which an increased testimony of the Prophet Joseph leads us to know
that the Book of Mormon is true, which leads to the Church if Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth.
That's why it's important to gain a testimony of him.
Well I got all of my birthday packages this week! I got 3 from Mom,
and thanks for all the clothes and everything else. I love it all! And
I got an awesome package from Mellica and Stephanie. And Aunt Dian
sent me some really cool Sister missionary stuff! So thanks everybody
for thinking of me! I hope Garret had a good birthday as well! Thanks
for everything, I love you all!

P.s. Don't forget to read Preach My Gospel! It changes lives, and it
can change yours:)"

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan

"Hello!!! Happy Easter! Isn't Easter just fantastic! I loved it! This week was insane! I hate transferring. Maybe hate is too strong of a word, I dislike transferring. Not coming to a new area, that part is exciting, I don't like packing, and saying good bye to friends and family. But I love Oyama! It's awesome! I'm in a ward again with about 60 active members. And there are babies! I love babies! There are two 5-month old babies, and a primary of about 15. So cute! My new companion is Sister Ipson. She is from Utah, and is way nice! This is her second transfer here in Oyama. She studied Japanese before her mission, and is way good! She is studying animation and wants to make video games after her mission. She is crazy creative! This week was insane!

Monday we had transfer calls, and that began the good byes. Monday night we had fhe and my favorite family, the nakagawas came and their 2 teenage daughters, who are like my best friends, cried, and that of course made me cry. Then Tuesday we got to see beautiful Sakura with nakagawa Shimai and a less active from nagaoka church. It was beautiful and I will send pics. Wednesday was eikaiwa and more good byes! I love the people of Sanjo so much! They are so kind and loving to me. My branch pres. And his wife came to eikaiwa to say good bye and Kumagai Shimai, the branch pres.'s wife cried. Let's just say I've been a crying mess the last couple of days. Then Thursday came and I got on a bus bright and early and headed down to tokyo, then back up to Oyama where I met my new comp. Ok, so up in Niigata, you don't really have the opportunity to interact with other missionaries, but when I came down here, I got to see beloved friends who I haven't seen for 6 months, so that has been exciting. My trainer and my second companion are in my zone. It's so great to see Takishita Shimai and Ono Shimai again.m then Friday was planning and ping pong. Saturday we did an activity with the single adults and went to a strawberry farm, and for 30 min you just get to pick and eat as many strawberries as you can! I kept thing Cody would have loved it! Then we had the ward Easter party and I was about to meet the members. It was great! Then Sunday was fantastic! It was ward conference, so I got to meet a lot of people. Then we did some finding and then it became pday and I was finally able to unpack and clean!

It's been a busy week, full of emotions, but it was great! I'm so excited to work in Oyama. It's way bigger then Sanjo and, and the ward is great! We have an investigator named S. She is a bit slower and has a hard time with the word of wisdom, but she is so sweet and has a desire. I'm excited to become her friend and help her along the path back to our Heavenly Father. The weather has been nice, a bit rainy, but nice.

Basically I love my life! Being a missionary is amazing! I will have more to tell you about the area next week! I love you all! I hope you all had a great week! I'm so grateful we were able to celebrate our Savior's resurrection. I know he lives! I know that because he lives, we will live. I know that through Him and his atoning sacrifice, we can overcome anything. We can always move forward, and become who our Heavenly Father and savior know we can become! I love you! Have a great week!"

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga

"A pretty good week for us this week:) We had another baptism and it was really nice. The spirit was really strong and I didn't know I was giving a spiritual thought until the baptism started. I was a little worried because I didn't prepare like normal, but I talked about Jesus Christ and his baptism and the spirit really hit me when I was talking. I felt the spirit seriously just take my breath away. It was really a cool experience. I am so thankful for our savior and what he did for us. I know I would be nothing without him. He takes my pains and weaknesses away when I turn to him and I know I don't deserve that so I am so grateful. Easter is just a good holiday I sure enjoy thinking about Christ. I was kinda shocked because usually every Easter its pretty easy to take a step back and think abut Christ, but this year it was a little different and the reason was because being a missionary everything you do revolves around Christ so you think about him all the time. So in reality it wasn't that it was hard to thin about Christ it was that I have gotten more familiar with it. I know I am getting closer to him everyday out here and I am so thankful for that. Being a missionary has really changed my life. To answer some of your questions Tongans had the day off on Friday too. All of the different churches had huge church gatherings and stuff we just had our normal church. That's one thing I really appreciate about our church. All of the other churches spend a couple days a year remembering Christ when our church we remember him every day and we do that by the way we act and our example to others. This church is so true. I love it and love you guys so much."

Words from Elder Tyler Johnson in Kansas

"Hi! This Easter was really good we set up an open house at the church for Easter and showed videos of Christ and toured people around the church it was so sweet we got so many people to come! the bishop was so surprised he came up to us and told us he is going to make sure this happens at least every 3 months because of how much of a success it was. we ate at a members house also and it was pretty fun not as good as the meals grandma use to make for Easter though. i miss going to the cabin and getting together as a family! i hope you all had fun!! tomorrow i am going over to the wrestling room to work with the kid. i talked to the coach and he said he would love my help so I'm excited to see how it goes. i walked in the wrestling room with my prost clothes on and everyone just stopped and looked at us like we were cops ha it was funny. every thing has been going pretty good. the mission pres said he is going to split our zone this transfer which will be on the 28th and told me i will be training a new zone leader again so I'm pretty excited about that kind of. before he told me this i saw him and i said pres i need to talk to you and he looked at me and said what do you need. and i asked him how many new missionaries are coming out this transfer ( cuz i really want to train!) and he looked at me and said they are pretty much all Spanish speakers. and i told him really no English and he told me no but why do you ask? and i told him i really really want to train a new missionary again and he was silent and looked at me with a smile and told me i was training and i was like NO WAY really president and he said yeh! your training a new zone leader hahaha and i told him "this conversation is over" and he grabbed me and told me don't worry elder Johnson i PROMISE you you will train before you leave i told him i will help him become the best missionary he has ever seen ha soooo i cant wait to train lol."

Words from Elder Kade Garner in Peru

"Yesterday as you all know was Sunday... Happy Easter. It was so sad. In church we did not have a single talk that spoke about the resurrection in fact, none of them even talked about Jesus Christ. How is that even possible in the Church of Jesus Christ? We did not have any Christ related hymns either. Quite frankly it was the saddest Easter sacrament service I have ever been to. The Peruvians do not understand the significance of the resurrection. They think of Christ as the man Who died on the Christ and not as the man Who lives! This way of thinking even extends to the members. So what did we do? We went around teaching everyone about the resurrection yesterday. That is all we talked about. The resurrection is the most important even in all the history of man. It is more important than even the birth of Christ. I hope while you were all decorating eggs and taking part in all of the super fun traditions we have a Easter that you thought about the importance of the event that took place on that day.

 That was the week. And though my letter was not anything super special and was not very spiritual I just want you to all know how thankful I am for the mission. I have learned so much about a lot of things, but most importantly I have learned a ton about our Savior. I now have a testimony that will never be able to be broken. I know at times doubts and troubles will come my way as that is part of this life I know that my newly strengthened testimony will always help me stay true to my values and leave hard situations victorious. I love the Savior and I know that He was resurrected so that one day we will be too."

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

"Everything is going really well here, Easter was good and the ward
took good care of us. This past Sunday they called a ward mission
leader, which was a big relief and should help things go really well.
Elder Rueda is doing great and teaching like a boss. We're close to
wrapping up his first transfer and heading into the summer. What are
your plans for the summer? The baptism was awesome, he came up out of
the water and just smiled and stood there for a second and just says,
Amen. It was kind of funny too because I've never heard people clap at
a baptism but when he said that everyone simultaneously started to
clap, so it was kind of like the people of Alma. We got a kick out of
that. It was cool reflecting on Easter the past couple of days, it is
truly the best day in the history of mankind. The Atonement was
complete, the bands of death were broken, and Savior comes back to
show us his redeeming love. I always like reading the last few
chapters of the gospel of John because Christ speaks like He has had a
great weight lifted from off of him. He seems happier and more at
peace compared to the days before. In a talk given to a priesthood
meeting Elder Eyring talks about Christ's example in the days before
Easter. While his work in mortality was finished He carried on to work
amongst the deceased in bringing them to the knowledge of His gospel.
During the three days in the spirit world He brought countless people
to salvation, all because He pressed forward rather than say, my part
is finished now I can rest. I think this type of perseverance is what
caused Him to be so glad when He returned. Thank you guys for
everything you are doing, for all of the prayers and all of the member
missionary work you are doing. Give everyone a big hug for me and tell
them that I love them. Thank you Dad, I love you and am always
grateful for the example that you set. I can't wait to hear from you
guys again."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Oregon

"Hello family!,
All in well here....I got transferred this week. I am training again! My new comp is Elder
Beamer he is from Indiana and is brand new.  We are in Oregon City now.  Going to have to
get to work! Conference was awsome i hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!
Busy week ahead sorry short on time today! Love you all so much  Be good1 Be happy!"

Words from Elder Kade Garner in Peru


"Halo familia mía,
Bueno, esta semana yo no sé que decirles tampoco. Esta semana fue muy larga y un poco aburrida. Pues, no hay mucho que quiero decirles y no sé si hay algo que les gustaría escuchar o saber. No obstante, voy a pensar de algo vamos a ver que pasará.
Okay so what do I tell you all? This week was really another slow one. We did a lot of contacting and we were rejected by a lot of people, but hey that is what happens in the mission. There really is no reason to get discouraged, but it is just not fun to tell y´all that we did not get a ton of productive work done. Although there were some very good moments in the week as well.
So the church is trying something new. At least here in South America. We get a list every three months of less active members that maybe still live in the ward boundaries. Our job is to go to their old addresses and look for them. They are usually not there or do not exist. So we are then to talk to the people who live in the house and see if they would like to learn more about the Gospel. After we are to contact six more houses in the street to find out what happened to this member and see if we can find new investigators. So, we did it this week and while we did not find any members or new investigators I am sure that this new program is going to help us a lot in our area.
This week we also had a baptism. Hermana Rosario whom I have spoken a little about in other letters got baptized. She was so excited. When we got to the part of the river where we were going to do the baptism she was getting in the water before we were even ready. We told her to wait just a second and she did not want to. Finally after more than 20 years of knowing the missionaries she finally gained a testimony in the Book of Mormon and entered into the covenant of baptism with her Heavenly Father. We have seen such a difference in her and her family. Her 22 year-old daughter has never wanted anything to do with the church and now she is even starting to progress little by little. She even went to her mom´s baptism. So, missionaries never give up on an investigator. Sometimes we do have to drop them for a little while but go after those old investigators. There is a reason they talked to the missionaries in the past. They are looking for a better life. Focus on the Book of Mormon and it will bring miracles. We do not convert the people. The Spirit and the Book of Mormon do. Remember that and I promise you you will see miracles in the mission and in you investigators´ lives.
The rainy season also ended this week. We have had cloudless sky's for the last three days. I am not going to lie. Though I did not like knocking doors for endless hours getting soaking wet without any luck, I am going to miss the rain a ton. It was fun while it lasted and it reminded me of the monsoons in Arizona. Well, all things come to an end and new better things come forward... right?
This week was also fast Sunday. It feels like we have fast and testimony meeting every two weeks. The weeks are really just starting to fly by. This week I fasted for the same thing that I fasted for earlier this month. I am doing all that I can with my comp to find a family to baptize. I have faith the the Lord is going to bless us with a family to baptize in April. I have such a strong testimony of the fast. I know that if we fast with faith for something righteous our Heavenly Father will always reward our faith and give us what we need.
While we were in the sacrament meeting I felt the Spirit so strong. I do not know if it was because of the massive migraine I had or because we did not have water that morning to bathe ourselves. However I felt the Spirit so strong and I was kinda emotional. Then the Sacrament hymn was I Know That My Redeemer Lives. This is one of my favorites and I got very emotional at this point. I thought a lot in the message that this hymn gives. Halfway through the meeting I had to get up to bear my testimony. I bore it only on Jesus Christ and I made a fool of myself as I could not help but weep at the pulpit. I can no longer think about all that our Saviour and Lord has done for us without being emotional. As we get closer to the Easter season I would like for all of you to think in all that He has done for you. And I want you to know how I feel for Him.
I still do not have a perfect knowledge of what the Saviour has done for me and I have a long way to go in my knowledge of Him, But I do know a few things. I know that almost 2,000 years ago the Son of Man whom we call Jesus of Nazareth was about His Father´s business. I know that in this time He had performed miracles and helped hundreds even thousands of people, but He was about to perform the grandest and most important miracle of them all. He was about to give His life (which was incapable of being taken by the hands of a mere mortal) in the all atoning sacrifice to save all mankind from the sins they had, were and would commit. Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden in a way we cannot imagine. He who was and is a god pleaded with His Father to remove His burden from Him. It could not be done and He then willing bled from every pore of his body. Days later after a grueling an insulting trial which was held illegally was convicted of crimes He DID NOT commit and therefore sentenced to death. He did not put up a fight for He knew what He must do. He then was cruelly mocked, spit upon, beaten and lead to that dreadful hill they call Calvary. Here He was nailed to a cross and left to die by the cause of man. This however did not happen. In a struggle I do not and cannot fathom the Father took His Spirit from His Son. The Lord knew that He must suffer this trial. He did so triumphantly and the Spirit returned to His bruised and beaten body. Here in this moment our Redeemer knew that He had conquered sin, He had saved us all, He had brought mercy upon all of His brothers who would choose to follow Him. I know that Jesus the Christ did these things. I know that He three days later was resurrected. He beat the one thing that had never been overcome. He Who once was dead now LIVES. I know He lives and I know that we will one day live because of Him. I know without a doubt that the man we call Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Redeemer of Man, the Creator of this World, and the very Christ. He lives I know He lives.
I love you all and I hope that this Easter you all remember what took place on this miraculous Sunday and what it means for us. I also hope you eat lots of good food and get super fat."

Words from Elder Garrett Anderson in Brazil

"Hello everybody,
Well another week has come and gone and i pretty much feel the same. Today was transfers, i ended up staying in the area and sad to say but my companion left. The good news is that i got a new american companion who seems pretty cool, Elder Ellis. He is from Texas and has a really good work ethic.

This past week we had a lot of investigators in church, 9 in fact. This was the most that we have had since we arrived. It was awesome to see these people there enjoying and trying to learn something new. Sometimes we really have to give up things we like for things that are even better. For example: I like to sleep past 6:30 but as a missionary i know that i have to get out of bed. Not so much that i have to but i need to, but why? Because it is what the Lord wants me to do and i need the blessings from being obedient. In Abraham 3:25 we learn that our purpose in being here is to be obedient to the Lord´s will."And we will aprove them herewith, to see if they will bdo all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;" It is not that we are forced because everyone has the gift of free agency, but that we will be blessed more than we can imagine for giving up the things of the world for the things of God. Love you guys and have a great week!"

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Chicago



"Happy Spring time!!!
Oh what a beautiful day! I actually got hot when I walked outside
today in my big jacket! You know what that means?! I get to wear my
light jackets:) This is a big moment for me. Anyways, Sister Teerlink
and I had a pretty average week. We had some down moments and we faced
more rejection than usual. Do you remember our 73 year old
investigator named Karen? Yeah well this week we went to go and visit
her and she didn't even open the door! She instead came to the window
and just starred at us. She slowly shook her head back and forth and
then turned around and walked away. It was so sad! We stood there for
like 5 minutes to see if she'd come back but she just left us standing
in the cold. So we may not see much of Karen anymore.
For the past few weeks we have gone and volunteered at the Senior
Center here in town. We get to serve lunch to all of the old people of
the community! We met this one lady and she is a Pearl of Great Price!
Get it? She's a pearl of great price, like the scriptures? Hahaha
that's my new favorite joke! It's okay to laugh:) Anyways, we stick
out like a sore thumb because it's the old and more able serving the
old and less able lunch. Everyone wants to know our story so it's the
perfect opportunity to share the gospel. And older people are so much
nicer! They don't slam doors in your face and threaten to call the
cops. So we are going to be doing that once a week and it's so fun!
But the definite highlight of my week was the General Women's
Broadcast. If you haven't seen it yet, shame on you! I am calling you
to repentance! ( 2 Nephi 2:21). Unless you're a guy, then you don't
have to watch it. But seriously, this was such a big deal! I had goose
bumps the entire time, I cried like a little baby, and it changed my
life. We had 2 investigators there and because of this broadcast both
are progressing and becoming more interested in the church because
their friends invited them. President Eyring was the concluding
speaker and his talk was so touching. At one point he told all the
little girls to look up at their Moms and give them a big smile for
all the work their Moms put into for helping them to be baptized. As I
smiled from inside and reflected upon my baptism day, once specific
memory of my Mom stood out. I hope you don't mind me sharing this Mom,
but it's so good! I remember as clear as day walking into the water
and being baptized by my Dad. I was so excited and so happy to be the
newest member! Grandma had bought me the prettiest white dress and I
could hardly wait to put it on. After I was baptized, Mom helped me
change into this beautiful dress. As I was changing, I noticed tears
coming from my Mothers eyes. Concerned as any 8 year old would be, I
asked my Mom what was wrong? She was supposed to be happy! To which
she responded, I am happy! I am so happy that you made the decision to
be baptized. Oh, that's strange that she's crying and she's happy. It
made no sense in my mind, but I didn't dwell on it long and my mind
was already wandering to the dessert we would eat after the baptism.
Well years later as I have reflected on this, it has had more of a
profound impact on me. Of course my Mom was crying! Not only was I her
favorite child, but I had just made serious covenants with God that
would shape the rest of my life. I had no idea the seriousness of
baptism at the time, but now I truly now why my Mother was so happy
she was moved to tears. I think that's how our Heavenly Father is with
us too. He is so so proud of us when we make the decision to follow
the example of His Son. I know that He weeps with us when we weep, and
we rejoices with us when we rejoice. Everyday I wake up and my goal is
to help others have the same experience that I had with my own Mother
at my baptism. To find that one who is ready and who will accept. I so
badly wish others could taste of the sweetness this gospel brings. It
is merely indescribable, and so worth every challenge along the way.
Well we have this awesome family in the Ward who has been working on
helping her neighbor learn more about the gospel. We were at the
broadcast and her neighbor was one of our investigators who attended,
so we we're talking to them all. And the member said "Well it's Sister
Hauser's birthday this Saturday so how about we celebrate on Sunday
after General Conference!" And so for my birthday we get to go over to
a members home WITH an investigator family and have dinner! What more
could a missionary want for her birthday?! Well besides her Grandmas
homemade bread, nothing! :) And today was our recent convert Leena's
Birthday, and so we went out to celebrate our double birthdays! Well
I'm about to be over the hill and out of my teens! Hip hip hooray!! I
am so happy that it's General Conference on my birthday. That is the
best birthday ever! And we're having an all mission conference on
Friday so I should get my packages then. Thanks for thinking of me and
thanks for the birthday emails! Tell Dad he owes me 3 letters in the
mail. One for missing last week and 1 for missing this week and one
more because it's my birthday! Last week I was pretty freaked out when
I found out that grandmas coming to a family reunion this summer in
Illinois. Who knows where I'll be serving then, but that is way close.
And of course I can't have visitors, but still. That's just crazy! I
hope you all had a great spring break and are loving life! Thanks for
all the support and love! I love you all!
Sister Hauser
P.s. This is Sister Teerlink and I doing serve at a members! She took
the picture right as I put a starburst in my mouth!"

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan


"Hello hello! This week was fabulous! We saw so many miracles! But
first, sounds like you all enjoyed conference! I'm excited to see it
this next weekend! We will go to Niigata to see it, and we are way
excited! We watched the general woman's meeting on Saturday, with an
investigator, and I loved the meeting! I learned so much!
Conference is amazing, I'm so grateful that we have the opportunity to
listen to a modern day prophet. We are so blessed! I love this
gospel, and I'm so grateful for it, and the opportunity that I have to
share it with my Japanese brothers and sisters.

So this week was busy, so to make sure I get everything, we will do a
day by day report.

Sunday-So, the elders met a lady last week on the train, and invited
her to church. She came! Her name is A San and she is super
enthusiastic. She already knows a lot about Christianity and was
baptized when she was 12 into a different Christian religion. So, she
came to church and we met her.

Monday-p-day, but we had a lesson with A San. We taught her the
restoration and it went really well! Super enthusiastic, and we had
FHE after that, which she stayed for, along with another lady and her
son, K M San and T her son, who we have been building
a relationship wih.

Tuesday- We had exchanges in Nagaoka, with sister Asada and sister
brown, way fun! We did smile Dendo again, and we also did some
housing and found a young girl with some interest. We also did
something else, but I don't want to ruin the surprise, you will see
with the pics. Let's just say that Asada Shimai has skills.

Wednesday - Headed back home, visited H San in the hospital,
found out when she leaves, which is Easter Sunday, and then had
Eikaiwa. A San came, and we taught a joint lesson with her and the
elders and their investigator, C San. But during the lesson, A
San started testifying to C San that his ancestors had guided him
to this church, and because he is beginning to recognize that
guidance, he should just join. Who knew that our investigator would
be the one inviting others and committing then to things. It was
crazy awesome!

Thursday- we had mission leadership conference, we were suppose to go
to tokyo for that, but the prices went up, because it's Sakura season,
so we stayed in Sanjo and skyped in. It was a great conference, we
learned a lot.

Friday- we did some weekly planning, and had another lesson with A
San. We invited her to be baptized, she said yes, but she doesn't
want to do it alone, but with a friend. We asked her why, and she
said that she would be just fine if she was the last person baptized,
she just wants to help everyone be saved and to have a chance to hear
this message. She wants everyone to get happy together. Wow! So,
since meeting us, she has been inviting her friends to come to our
activities and meet us. Wow! She is a crazy miracle!

Saturday- we went to Niigata to watch the woman's broadcast with A
San. While on the train we met this cute mom with her 4 year old
little boy and 5 year old little girl. We ended up talking and
playing with them the whole train ride to Niigata, and when the train
stopped, the little boy got up, told me to stand up, grabbed my hand
and began walking and asking if I could come with him. His little
sister soon joined in by grabbing my other hand and asking where we
were going. It was the sweetest moment ever! My heart almost
exploded, and I got teary for a sec. I love them so much! We were
able to talk to the mom a bit and invited her to kids eikaiwa. She is
super interested in having her kids learn English, so hopefully we
will meet again! They were so cute! I just love kids! The
broadcast was awesome! A San really liked it, and got to meet a
lot of great members in the stake. When we got back to Sanjo, she
introduced us to her friends that she has been trying to invite to
meet us. Super awesome day! I was on cloud nine! And to top it off,
we went to my favorite restaurant, but it was gone! But that's ok, we
met the people who started a new one, and she speaks English and was
super interested in seeing us again, and asked for our info, and we
got hers. She even asked if we could teach eikaiwa at her place of
business. Definitely something to look into. So awesome! One of the
best days ever!

Sunday- fast Sunday, super great! But A San didn't come...but she
should be coming tonight, and I will let you know next week. And after
we ate the best meal ever! We found an international store, and in
this store, they had taco shells, something close enough to tortillas
and refried beans! We had a Mexican feast! It was delicious, and I
was so happy! I love Mexican food!

Monday- zone p day, we had lunch with M Shimai before, which was
good. I'm so worried about her. She has recently not been coming to
church, and I'm not sure how to help her. But lunch was good. Then
we went to nagaoka to play sports with the zone. We played soccer and
ultimate frisbee. It was way fun! I'm so glad the weather is warming
up a bit, even though it snowed the other day! Ah!

So, as you can seem The Lord is pouring out his blessings on Sanjo.
It's been an awesome week! I'm exhausted but so happy! I hope you
all have a great week! Next Monday is transfer calls. I am probably
getting transferred, and I don't like that at all. I might stay but
probably not. I've been in Sanjo for 6 months, this little branch has
become my family. I love them so much! Thanks for all of your love
and prayers! I feel them! I love you, and am so grateful for the
family that I have. I have been so blessed! Have a marvelous week!
Big hugs and kisses!

Words from Elder Tyler Johnson in Kansas

"how did you like general conf this week was so sweet! we had MLCs which is where all the Zone leaders get together and they council on the mission and how to help it and progress the work and after i was upstairs at the mission home with all the missionaries and a missionary ran up and shouted my name ELDER JOHNSON we need you down here and i ran down their and the mission pres is sitting down in the council room and these three missionaries were saying they can take me in a wrestling match and so i put my plate down and moved all the chairs and made room and said lets go and all three of them were like backing down and the mission pres was like lets go guys and and whispered to me dont hurt them ha. one of them came up which is a missionary that is super athletic and was raised in the military and we went all out and we slammed each other against the wall he was really good at defence but he got to high and i took him down and got two points and started working on top to turn him over and their was a lil anger out and we were going all out and the mission pres grabbed both of us and said ok ok that's enough!! and all the sisters and elders were gathered around quiet staring at us and i look at my shirt and it has blood from a carpet burn on the elders elbow and my shirt was ripped and my pants were also ripped down the middle so the sister missionaries had to go upstairs hahaha it was soo sweet after we left i had so much adrenaline pumping threw my body i couldn't even focus on missionary work cuz i was pondering really hard on what i did wrong and what i could have done better reviewing the match in my head ha it was so so so much fun! oh man im so pumped for wrestling!"

Words from Elder Bo Mullenaux in California

"Everything has been awesome! Conference was the bomb! Transfers are coming up pretty soon, we will find out on friday what happens! Nothing too new has happened. I love you all!"
 This is a picture of our zone 

**Current Addresses**

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

Packages only:
SDQ 4102
2250 NW 114th Ave. Unit 1A
Miami, FL 33172
the address for letters only is:
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 224thPl. Ste. 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

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

Elder Allan Holden
665 North 200 West
Clearfield, Utah 84015

Elder Austin Davis
1400 N. W Compton Suite 250
Beaverton, Oregon 97006

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 John Tyler Crosby
Nuku'alofa Tonga
Box 58

Elder Konner Lee
906 South Logan Blvd.
Building 2 Apt. 101
Holidaysburg, PA 16648

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

Elder Garrett Hollembeak
West Virginia Charleston Mission
888 Oakwood Rd. Ste. 310
Charleston WV
United States

Elder Rick Bloomfield
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
7951 S W 6th St, Suite 110
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324-3211

Words from Heather Patterson in South Carolina

"I am so grateful for our opportunity to listen to conference! This has been one of the most spiritual conferences I have ever had. I cried all the way through Elder Ballard's talk. The emphasis he put on following through with commitments and coming together with the members made me very happy and stressed at the same time. I realized the weight on my calling just a little more, as I am supposed to not only strengthen my investigators, but I am responsible to help the members keep their commitments as well. It made me happy because I know an apostle of Christ followed up on how well the members are supposed to be support our missionary efforts. It makes me happy that the members and I will be talking about PMG more :) More dinner conversations ;) lol

I learned another very valuable lesson just after one of the sessions. Previous to Sister Seaman leaving, we had a day full of plans and all of them fell through. For most of the day we were finding. Eight thirty at night came around, and I was pretty much done. Sister Seaman encouraged me and we kept knocking doors. For the first time that day, a man named Michael answered the door and invited us to sit down. We had one of the most fulfilling and edifying conversations about knowing and recognizing Christ and being able to be like him. He was excited to learn and wanted to come to general conference. Sunday came, and we text him that morning, and he was just as excited as the day we had met him. Thirty minutes before the session started he text and told us he had read from the Book of Mormon and decided it was not what he believed in. I frantically tried to ask if he would allow us to address his concerns and answer his questions. He declined. I was heart broken. I fought to hold back tears. I felt so close to him even though I had only spent an hour with the man. I felt cheated and discouraged because I had worked so hard to find him. As I tried to compose myself in front of the members and the Elders, I remembered the talk given by Elder Uchdorf on gratitude in our trials, regardless of circumstance. I said a prayer in my heart of gratitude for Heavenly Father giving me a chance to teach and testify when I was at my ropes end. I thanked him for being able to feel the love of the Savior for Michael, and overwhelming peace entered my soul. I still felt awful that Michael didn't want to learn and that I couldn't do anything to change it, but I felt like Heavenly Father still loved me. I have learned that gratitude for the trials we face is submitting our will to his. I am grateful I am a missionary, and face the trials I do. I am sooooo grateful we have prophets on the Earth.

Brother Masteller and I had a wonderful conversation before I had my melt down. I was very emotional, and told me a lot about his feelings. I am grateful that he trusts me, and that God gave me this area. I feel inadequacy every day of my life, and even more weak as I try and help these people, but I know that I will learned how to rely on God more than man if I keep trying. "

Words from Elder Ryder Nielsen in the Philippines

"I am doing great. Working hard.

Any way things are going good i actually just got done with a temple session so i feel spiritually purified and uplifted. This week was really good when it came to teaching lessons. We taught alot but no one is really progressing or rejecting the message for me rejection was a really hard thing to face and it still is now. My heart some times feels like it is going to burst when i get home especially when i know the only reason they are rejecting the message is because of their social life. That is some thing that you will find with most people at least here in the Philipinnes, is that they have no problem with the doctrine, they just are not ready to make changes in their life that line up with Gods will. It hurts because you desire so bad their salvation and happiness. But these experiences have brought me really close to our Savior. You can read in His life of all the rejection that lead up to his crucifixion. And all the way no matter what trial He faced He always desired their salvation. It is seen while He hung on the cross "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." His mind was still looking outward to the welfare of others. I have gathered strength to press on and not get discouraged but keep my mind focused on my purpose in inviting other to come unto Him.

This week we were able to find a family. A mother and her 15 yearold daughter. Her name is Rose Chit and her daughter Pauline. Rose is a member we were suprised to findout she was baptized in 1995 but then fell less-active in 2005 after the death of her husband. I am sad to say Sister Rose and Pauline Witnessed the murder of her husband and Father. This is the reason she fell less-active. She turned to drinking and smoking to ease the pain of her wounded soul. We have been working really close with them. Teaching them about the power of the Atonement in overcoming our trials and the tragedies that come to each of us in life. They have been really progressing especially her daughter. She has been reading like crazy in the Book of Mormon. They both came to church which was her daughter's first time and sister Rose's first time in about 9 years. We are really excited for them.

The lesson went really well that President Stucki had us demonstrate. The new group of missionaries i am with are really great! They are all Elders absolutely no sisters which is weird because my last Zone was almost all Sisters haha. I am trying to serve and help them in anyway i can especially the new ones from americe who are still learning the language. I know that they need to be strengthened in their Faith. My house mates are both filipino both are 3 year converts to the church and the only members in their family now that is some strong Faith! They are awesome their names are Elder Dayacap and Elder Aguinaldo. We are all like brothers. We take turns cooking for eachother (mine is the best cooking ;) ) hahaha its a blast!"

Words from Elder Spencer Lee in New York

"Today we watched General Conference at the New Canaan chapel. Elder Golding, Snow, Sato, and I were there; also with Sister Udy and Awerkamp. Sister Ohrn and Webb, along with a few others. The Sunday morning session had my favorite talk from all of Sunday in it; it was President Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude. He said that our level of gratitude should not change with our circumstances, we should make gratitude a way of life instead of an outcome of prosperity. No matter our trails or hardships, we should always live in a spirit of gratitude.

That talk really spoke to me, it made me think about how much of a spoiled brat I have been in my life or when I have complained over simple things. It made me realize that I need to repent and be better, I need to live in a spirit of gratitude for all I have been blessed with; I am the last person who should be ungrateful. "