Sunday, May 25, 2014

Words from Elder Kade Garner in Peru

"Hey everyone,

So yesterday we talked on the phone so I do not have a whole ton to say, but I might repeat some of the things we talked about because it is easier for me to write down what I want to say in English rather than speak it. It just does not come out of my mouth very easily now.

I told you all that this week I met one of the Seventy: President Waddell. It was so great. I loved every second of the five hours we spent with him. It was what I needed very much. He taught us many important things, but we focused on conversion. We learned how we can help the investigators become converted through the Spirit, but he taught us more importantly is our conversion. This is what Elder Holland taught us while I was in the MTC but I forgot it a little. President Waddell told us that it is not a coincidence that we were born when we were born, where we were born, or in the circumstances we were born. Everything happened so that we would serve the mission in this time and where we are serving. He taught us that the Lord knows what we need to become converted. I am serving in the Perù Lima West mission in 2014 because it is the experience I need to become converted to the Lord. He taught us that a missionary who baptized 1,000`s but does not become converted is not successful, in fact, those baptisms mean nothing to the Lord. A missionary who becomes converted and who does not see many baptisms is successful in the eyes of the Lord. The mission is here to convert the missionaries. As missionaries we should never question why we were sent to where we were sent or why we do not have the success we want. We should only ask ourselves, ¨Am I converted to the Lord?¨ At times it is hard to be a missionary like Elder Holland said in conference, but I know there is a reason for it. We are here to learn what our Savior went through. We are here to get to know our Savior. We are here to become converted unto our Savior. I am converted to my Lord and Redeemer. I have a relationship with him that I never thought I would and luckily I still have some time left in the mission to become even more converted. I love the mission and the mission has taught me to love the Lord Jesus Christ. I know why I am here and I know that this was the best decision I have ever made. I am so glad I decided to accept that Lord`s call to become a true convert of Him.

This week we also had a baptism. Yes, it has been a while but we finally saw some fruits of our labor. Armando, a man who has waited for over 25 years to be baptized was finally able to do so. We helped him these last few weeks repent of some very hard things. He began to progress so quickly and he had to overcome some very hard challenges, but he did it. On Friday morning we went to the river as a district to clean the river and make a poso for the baptism. A poso is like a pool made out of stones in the river. We found a tranquil and beautiful spot in the river and we went to work. We cleaned and cleaned and made a small pool to baptize in. When we finished the whole district was so excited for the baptism. It was such a pretty spot. Saturday morning was the baptism. We did the program and had the talks in the church so that it would be a little more reverent. After we headed to the river. When we got there we saw that our poso was very low. The river was almost not running. We had no idea what to do. There was not enough water to baptize. We were all worried for Armando. This poor man had waited so many years and changed so many things in his life to be baptized this day and we could not do it. We did not know what else to do, so we decided to sing a hymn. We chose ¨Now Let Us Rejoice.¨ As we finished the hymn we looked towards the river and noticed that it had begun to run again. In a manner of minutes the pool was overflowing. We had become witnesses of a miracle. We all became emotional because we knew it was a blessing of God. He wanted this man to enter the sacred covenant of baptism. And so he did. How can you deny that this church is not true? This is the church of Jesus Christ... I am positive.

That really was the week. We were traveling a lot. Really, we were in buses almost the whole week, yet it was still filled with miracles and wonders. I am so grateful for the mission. I am so grateful for the family I have... especially the wonderful mother I have with whom I was able to talk to yesterday. I am grateful for the good town I grew up in and the people who helped raise me. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that helps us become more perfect. And I am most grateful for the Redeemer of the world Who had a love so perfect that he did the unthinkable; He suffered, bled, died, and lived again and all for you and me. What a blessing it is to know Who He is and what He did. I just hope that we all become more converted to Him.

I love you all una bucha... it is some slang from Argentina that means a bunch. I am learning how to speak like an Argentinean right now thanks to my companion and a sister in the district. So, we will talk next week."

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan

"Dear wonderful people, who are my family!

This email will be short for two reasons, 1 I spoke to you through
skype yesterday and 2 today was temple pday, so I don't have much
time! But to make up for it, I will send pics!
Today was amazing! I got to spend some time with Palmer Shimai, which
was so great! I also got to see and meet a lot of sisters
missionaries that I haven't met or seen in a long time! Plus, I got
to see the new video, all I have to say! I was soooo moved!
It was amazing! I love the temple!

This last week was great, we met
some awesome people who may have interest, and are going to meet us again! Yippee! And tomorrow is eikaiwa and hopefully a lot of them
will be coming!

Today, I went to Shibuya, which is like Tokyo Tokyo. It has the biggest crosswalk in the world! I will send a video!

Being a missionary is awesome! And yes, Sister Ipson and I do get
along very well! We are very different people, but we have very good communication and understanding of each other, so we work really well together and have a lot of fun! She is way smart and knows a ton about japan, so it's fun learning from her. I love working with her, and we are seeing lots of miracles!

Well, I know this is extremely short and lame, but I'm out of time! I
will make up for it next week I promise! Just know I love you, I know this gospel is true, and I know that families are forever! Those
simple truths are the best! I love you all!"

Words from Elder Garrett Anderson in Brazil

"Dear Family,
I need to do better on my weekly family emails. I have been kinda slacking on that and I know that I can do better.
One experience that really sticks out to me from the past week happened last night after the skype calls. We passed by a part member family, the mom and dad arent members but the kids are all members. There are 6 kids in the family and all of them are baptized except the youngest who turns 8 at the end of this month. This is an awesome family, their dad takes the 3 youngest Alex who is 7, Vitor, and Vitoria to church every sunday and they are really firm. The two middle sisters Thayane and Viviane are both less active who we are helping return to church and their oldest brother Enrique is active but lives in a different city. The parents are not members and we taught them a lesson last night about temples and the importance of having the necessary ordinances done so that we can return to live with our families again in the presence of the Father. It was an awesome lesson and the spirit was present. Our hope now is that they will take into consideration the things that were discussed and they will be humble enough to ask Heavenly Father about the truthfullness of our message.
As we bore testimony of Christ and the reality of us being able to return and live with our families again, the Spirit filled the room and bore testimony that the things we were bearing testimony of are true. I know they are true and as we all strive our best we will certainly come short of perfection, but through the infinate love and mercy of our Father in Heaven, we can all return to live again as a happy family.

love you all!"

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

"Hey whats up everyone,
I'm sorry but I dont have alot of time, so I'm gonna try to write quick! This week was awesome, but kinda sad. We got transfer information and it turns out I am leaving Suvorovski. It really made me sad at first cause I have only been here 12 weeks. Its kinda crazy I am only in my 6th transfer and I have had 4 new areas and 5 different companions. It would be nice to kinda settle down a little, but the Lord needs me other places. I'll be serving in Center Odessa which is only about a 45 minute bus ride from Suvorovski, so thats pretty cool. Center is awesome though! I have been there several times and everything is just so beautiful there! So I'll send ya some awesome pictures!
Everything is great here though! Life is just good! We did a lot of contacting this week and it was super fun. we're just trying to think of cool new ideas and its pretty fun. We're gonna play 4 square next week and see how that works out! I was on an exchange with an elder from the donetsk mission named Elder Maltba. He is a super cool guy and we were out in a park talking to people and we found these 2 ladies named luba and nina. At first they were pretty mean and kinda making fun of us, but we started teaching the restoration and they got so silent and still. We taught them the whole restoration and they didnt say one word. They just looked at us and the Spirit was their testifying. We finished and I felt prompted to ask them if we could pray with them right there. It felt kinda weird at first but they were like ya of course. So I said a prayer with them right there in the park and afterwards they were just so happy and hugged us and kissed us on the cheeks(thats a culture thing here) and it was just awesome! From now on I'm not gonna be afraid to just ask someone to pray with them right their on the spot.
We have this investigator named Christian who is from Nigeria. He is the coolest guy, but he doesn't speak a lick of Russian. He came to church yesterday and I translated for him and he said he really liked it. I have translated several times before, and it has always been super hard so i was pretty nervous. But I prayed before I started and I actually did a pretty good job. It is so hard to hear Russian in one ear, and then speak in English, but the Lord really blessed me. It was like my mind was just so clear and I could just focus on what was going on. I dont know its hard to describe, but it was a cool feeling. I'm not saying I speak great Russian cause thats not the case at all, but it was just one of those moments where the Lord just helped me out a lot.
I know that this work we are doing here is the work of God. His hand is in the details of these people's lives and He is helping His missionaries out so much. The whole political situation is crazy, but somehow the work is progressing rapidly. It is not just a coincidence or something, the Lord is gathering His people here, and its just an honor to be here.
I love you all!"

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine

"Hey whats up guys! Well I feel like I need to kinda explain the whole situation here a lil bit because a lot of you have asked if my mission got evacuated and that is not true! I am pretty sure I told you all about the Donetsk mission getting evacuated from their mission into ours the Kiev mission and they were here for about a month. It was awesome serving with them. They were super cool and funny guys. I was companions with one named elder Christiansen who's from Albuquerque (I dont know how to spell it). He was a super cool guy we had a lot of fun together. Anyways, we got had a conference calal with Pres Klebingat last week and he said that all of the donetsk missionaries were getting re assigned to other missions across the US. It was a sad day for all of us. I felt so sorry for all those missionaries who had to leave this beautiful country before they were supposed to. But there all studs and I'm sure they'll be fine! So my mission is still here and I really do feel like we are going to stay. Things are lookin better and I feel that we are going to stay.

Well this week I had some awesome things happen! I had to go up to Kiev with the Donetsk missionaries on tue so we took the 11 hr night train up there. Then Friday I met up with an elder named elder findlay and we took another 12 hr train back to odessa. Then when we got to odessa we jumped on another 6 hr train to a place called Kodima which is just a little village of like 200 people. There the missionaries just do service. It is not allowed to go proselyte or even where missionary clothes or name tags. And then we just did a bunch of service for the next few days! It was so awesome. It was the funnest time of my mission. Then we were supposed to take the 2:00 am train back to odessa this morning, but we slept in till 5. We were so mad cause the trains only run twice a day and we thought we weren't able to make it to odessa today. But the Lord is full of tender mercies and a train happened to come a few minutes later and we got on. It was a miracle we even got on. we just acted like "poor americans" and told the lady we needed to go to odessa because we needed to call our moms and she finally let us in. Sometimes it pays to be a foreign cause I know she never would have let a native on that train.

Life is so great! I love my mission. Its been crazy, and I'm more tired then I've ever been, but its alright! I love you and miss all you. Now I get to skype my mama and tell here how much I love her!"

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

"Well I will strive to be better on my weekly letters. So I received a call Monday night that i was not expecting nor wanting. I was called to train another missionary and would not be able to finish the training of Elder Rodriguez. I have learned so much from him and i will miss him a lot, but i know that the Lord knows what is best for me. I am staying in the same area and we have A LOT of work and so little time. One thing i learned this week is how we need to be true, not only to others but to ourselves. It is really sad to see people who appear to be doing so good helping others and then when no one is looking they are a completely different person, I was pretty dis-heartened seeing this and will better strive to be the same person always, something that has been taught to me by the people i love the most. I am so grateful for this gospel and love you all."

Words from Sister Amanda Greer in Chile

One highlight of the week was when we asked Karla if she remember the Plan of Salvation we taught a few week ago and she remembered everything to a T. She knows that the gospel of Jesus Christ is important but doesn´t want to get baptized. But I am sure a few more days reading the book of mormon and feeling the holy ghost magic will happen and she want to follow Christ more in her life.
Other highlight of me week, I got to hear about my old sector in Punta Arenas. Johanna is doing great! She now has a calling in young womans, and is a friend with everyone in the ward and is doing very well :) And Yazna(remember the young couple with a little son?) is going to get baptized in a few weeks! I am so happy for them! They always go to church now too! Its a miracle! And the ward has almost doubled in number, and a lady there recently went to the temple to be sealed to her mom! How happy! And Patricia (the 7th day adventista) isn´t obsessed with which day is the sabbath day, and her husband is going to get baptized in a few weeks too! (she is still waiting for an answer if its true, but I know she has felt the spirit, and knows the book of mormon is the word of God, she just needs to realize that God doesn´t alway reveal the truth with huge visions and such)
ummm.. Entre Lagos is doing well. Sometimes its a little hard to do things, like have activities, and such because the president and councilor say they have already tried these type of things before, and that Maybe those things work in other sectors, but in this branch no. But we are trying to strenghen the faith here in this litte branch.
Sometimes it rains. A lot. Somtimes the rain passes through my two coats and shirt and its quite an adventure that I am excited to tell my grandkids one day:) Oh, but its not so bad when that happens, because the other night we got home and made a fire to dry off and roasted marshmallows and ate smores(more or less, they don´t have graham crackers here) and told stories.

I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and I am so thankful for this time I have in Chile to serve Him." "

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Illinois

"Greetings from Illinois!
It's been another great week here in Paradise! It even felt like we
were in Hawaii this week with the humidity and all the green grass and
all the trees. But the brutal reality is that it's not Hawaii and even
more so that I'm not allowed to swim. One of the many reasons I want
to come back and visit my mission next summer is because the Fox River
runs right through Oswego and people get floaties and float down the
river and it looks so fun! You can't do that in November. Well I guess
you could if you want to die, but I'd rather not! Okay, can I just
make a comment. Garret might kill me for this but he has 6 months to
get over it. So you all remember when my ear plugged up and I went
deaf and I had to go get a plunger thing to get the ear wax out? Well
I just about died laughing when Garret told me the same thing happened
to him this week! Hahaha, it must run in the family:) So Kirsten,
watch out!
Anyways, we had a really great week! Like really really great week! We
got 3 new solid investigators and all are super interested in the
gospel! And the investigators we have are all progressing. I'll start
with Carol. She's 68 and smokes and has for a long time. She's had
this date in mind for awhile on when she wants to quit smoking by but
she would never tell us saying it's just between her and The Lord. We
told her as long as she gave us a few days notice to plan the baptism
that was fine! Well this week she told us her date! It's June 21st!
And she really is going to quit smoking! She is determined. And this
week she got a blessing and made the comment that maybe June 21st
would be her baptism day and not her stop smoking day! That was a
super big miracle because we have been working with Carol for over 6
months and she was meeting with the Elders before that even. So pray
that Carol can overcome her addiction by June 21st!

You know this week I was thinking about how everyone always prays that
the missionaries will be able to find those who are ready for the
gospel. But what about the people we have already found that need help
accepting the gospel? Sometimes I feel like to pray for the latter
would be more powerful because you know who should be finding the
people for us to teach? You! And we find to, but we are called to
teach. So I want to challenge you all to pray for the people
investigating the church in your home area. And if you don't know
their names or who is, ask the missionaries! They can help you! And
the investigators need your prayers! They are changing their lives and
need the help! If you want some more people to pray for then you can
pray for my investigators but seriously. I feel like so much power
would come if we all prayed for the people we have already found, so
many more would be baptized and stay active.
Sorry for the tangent, anyways, we are also teaching this part member
family! The husband is a member, the wife is not. And this week we
invited her to be baptized and she said ABSOLUTELY! She said when I
have prayed and found this to be true I will be baptized. We were
pumped:) And her husband said the closing prayer and said he would
read with her which was a big step for him because he was a little
blunt when we first started going over.
And we met this guy named Ward! He's practically already a member
because his name is so Church-y! And so we take a member with us to
his house. And he answers the door but doesn't let us in. So we stand
on his porch for an hour teaching him the restoration. But halfway
through the lesson the cops pull up outside his house! And they were
shining their flashlights all around the neighborhood and kept
watching us. I got kinda scared thinking we were teaching some crazy
psycho but then the cops ran into his neighbors house! It was really
weird. But that just goes to show why normal people invite us into
their living rooms when we teach because there are too many
distractions outside!
So this week was Stake Conference and it was so good because we got to
see President Fenn 3 times this week! We had a meeting with all the
full-time missionaries, Ward mission leaders, and Bishops on Saturday.
We went with one of our Ward missionaries. Well I was supposed to lead
the music but we got there late so I wasn't able to. But as we were
walking in I hear "And then we'll have a special musical number by
Sister Hauser." This is one of those moments I wish we had a hidden
camera because I felt the color drain from my face and my eyes widen
and a look of pure terror was displayed. So in my mind I'm thinking,
did I forget I was singing? Did I tell someone I can play the piano? I
can always bang on some chairs and start a drum line, would that be
reverent? Maybe I'll just bust out singing The Star-Spangled Banner
with no piano? All of these thoughts go through my mind in about 5
seconds. So we sit down and the speakers start and I'm about to pee my
pants over here because this is the meeting with High Counselors,
Stake presidency, my mission president, and many many other important
people. Well one of my Zone Leaders must have seen the pure terror on
my face because came up to me after a few speakers and said "Sister
Hauser, you don't have to worry about the musical number." I didn't
know what to say so I just laughed and said a shaky thank you!
Apparently, since I was leading the music they had put that I would
lead the musical number, when really I had no part in it. The musical
number ended up being 4 Elders singing The Time is Far Spent and it
was lovely and I sat back in my chair enjoying every second of it.
Luckily, my patriotic drum line will be saved for another time:)
Well Stake Conference here was lovely as the whole Saturday night
session was in missionary work. It was grand! And I love that they're
inviting 12 and up now.
This pictures I'm including is me with the kids from my favorite
family in Oswego! Mom, you better hold onto this picture and print it
out and hang it on the wall! The twins graduated from high school this
week but they didn't have a party. So when we went over to their house
on Sunday we were their party! Who better than the sister missionaries
to spend your graduation with?!
Well the church is true, the Book is blue. I hope you all have a great
week! I pray for you all! Much love!"

Words from Elder Ryder Nielsen in the Philippines

"Thank you for your letter and also thank you for the package! My Kabahay (companion) and I have really been enjoying the sunflower seeds! Sounds like everything just keeps rolling back at home that is great! The Lord will bless all those who are obedient to his commandments. Over and over the Prophets testify in the Book of Mormon that "Inasmuch as ye keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land." I have seen that in this challenging area. When i got here we had about 2 progressing investigators. My companion and I have now moved up to 12 progressing investigators. We are being blessed with prepared families that are ready for the Gospel. One Family in particular their surname is Alfaro, Fransico(father), Merlinda(mother), Joann (16), Jon Jon (14), Jenann (12), and Jennifer (8), They have a baptism date for the 21st of June! There still is some obstacles we must overcome but we are really excited they have come to church from the very first week we met them. I am grateful for the success we are beggining to see and i know it all began with Faith in Jesus Christ. Let the Glory be to God and His Son. My heart is full of joy. Thank you for your prayers! I love you mom! Take Care!


Elder Nielsen

PS: Elder Christenson of the presidency of the seventy is coming to speak to us this coming May 30th so thats kind of cool. I have already heard him speak in the MTC."

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring from Japan

"Hello! How are you? I'm great! Just a shout out to all the
birthdays this month, and a special shout out to tracer! Happy 10th
birthday buddy! Don't worry your special letter from is coming, with
chocolate in it!
This week was a learning experience, but good. It's amazing how much
you learn when things are a bit harder. Our progressing investigator
moved to a different area, and we have other investigators, but it's
hard to meet with them, so we have been trying to figure out what is
the most productive and effective thing to do. We have been busy, but
things that we have been doing, aren't bringing results. It's hard,
but it's also really good. I have reevaluated everything that I've
been doing. Trying to become a more effective tool, closer to the
spirit, more capable and able. But I get really excited and inspired
and set a new goal, then it's time to go and do, and it's hard to not
get discouraged and keep going, when things are slow going. Some of
the most important changes and goals we make, don't have instant
results, they slowly build, over time. Until eventually it changes
us, and we become better, we become more like the savior, we get
closer to out potential. But silly me likes instant results, I think
everyone does. But through patient, diligence, and relying in The
Lord we grow, and He makes us better then we thought we could be. It
just takes time. That was a lesson I learned this week.

Then, as I look ahead to this coming week, I get excited and feel so
grateful for Heavenly Father who loves me and wants to help me. We
are busy this week! We have been able to set up appointments, and
even found a new investigator today. It still will take some time,
but things are looking up. We also get to have a special conference
with the south mission this week, with Elder Cook! I'm way excited to
hear straight from an apostle of The Lord. I love this gospel! Sorry
this email is a bit scattered!
But I have one more thing that I learned. I was feeling kind of down,
as you already know, and I was realizing all of my weaknesses and
mistakes, and looking back at the week and just wishing I could have
done better, been better. Then, I got to take the sacrament and for
the first time, in a long time I decided to read it in English. I
understand the prayers, but reading it in your own language is
powerful, anyway as I read it, I just felt this feeling of love and
peace rush through me. I knew that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
were aware of me. I felt the power of the atonement, and the words of
one of my favorite verses came to mind in D&C 6:35ish? It says
Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform
with soberness the work which I have commanded you...Behold the wounds
which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands
and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the
kingdom of Heaven. I really felt like He was talking to me, and it
brought tears to my eyes, realizing that he loved me anyway. He loved
me even though I'm not perfect, even though I keep making mistakes. I
know that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer, I know the power
of the atonement is real and that He always, no matter what will love
us. I'm so grateful for this opportunity that I have to share this
truth with the people of Oyama, and japan. I'm so excited for chan do
have this same opportunity in just a few short weeks. I know this is
the lords work, and if we trust in him, we can not fail!

I'm so glad that you got to do the temple thing! So great! And
before I forget, thank you welchs for the package! And family for the
letters! I love you all! Keep being wonderful! Talk to you soon!
Like, next week! Lol!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Words from Elder Tyler Crosby in Tonga

"My last couple weeks have been just awesome. I am learning so much from my mission and from the tongan people. I am excited to see what the rest of it has in for store for me. I am emailing you guys to let you know that I will not be able to email for a while because of some disobedience in the mission. I hope you guys know I love you all and am thankful for your support.
If you want to write me, please do, my address is:

Elder John Tyler Crosby
Nuku'alofa Tonga
Box 58

Ofa Atu! Lots of Love from Tonga,

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

"Well this has been another great week of work. Things are starting to get up and going and so i am very happy! The miracles we see everyday make me wish that i could be set apart as a missionary for my whole life, but i will share one from this week that was really awesome. We have been finding a lot of people that just like to talk and so turning them into real solid investigators has been a problem. We had made plans one night to visit a bunch of people that lived in an Called Bom Jesus. But we felt prompted that this was not what we should do, so instead we began walking down the road to an investigators house who was not progressing. When we nearly got there we decided to visit a person we had contacted about a week earlier. her name is Paula, in our initial contact she wasn't very interested, so we kinda forgot about her. But that night we went and visited her. We knocked on her door and asked if we could share a message, she agreed and we went in and began to teach, several times we saw her husband wandering about not appearing to give us any attention, to my surprise about 1/2 through the lesson he came and sat down with there 9 year old son. He sat down right as we began speaking of the restoration and Joseph Smith seeing our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. It was powerful, we bore witness of the reality of this event and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, silently the family began to weep, my heart was so full gratitude for their humility. they agreed to read the4 Book of Mormon as a Family and we will be returning tomorrow to continue teaching them. I have know doubt of the truthfulness of this Gospel, I have seen so greatly how it can bless our lives, i am so thankful for each and everyone of you and love you very much. "

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Illinois

"Happy Easter everyone!
It was a great Easter here in Oswego! Everyone is talking about the
Because of Him video and that's because it changed lives! My favorite
thing about having iPads is being able to show those little Mormon
messages for our lessons. I've seen that video like 100 times and it
never gets old. If you haven't seen it then go to and watch it
right now!
I'm way jealous that my family got to go to the Easter Pageant, I've
still never been to that! And that so cool you all got to do baptisms
for the dead in the Gilbert temple. So many exciting things are
Well the biggest news from the week is I met someone from home! I'm
telling you, there's just something about where we live. So there is
an Elder Skinner serving in this mission. I met him at Zone Conference
this week and he's from Thatcher Arizona. So already we know we are
going to have friends in common! Then I tell him that I'm from Heaven,
also know as St. Johns, and he asks if I know the Hancock family. Well
of course I do! So get this, his sister is married to Trent Hancock! I
think her name is Adele. And I was like, No Way! My best friend is
Mellica and she's his cousin! I was way pumped. It's such a small
world in the church:)
Well Easter is so good as a missionary! Because when you knock on
people's doors and say you want to share an Easter message they feel
more obligated to let you in. We went to this awesome families house
for dinner and it was so good! It didn't really feel like Easter but
it definitely meant more in the way of the true meaning of Easter. I
can't believe that Mothers Day is only 3 weeks away! You know what
that means?! It means it'll be my 11 month mark! Just kidding, it
means I get to Skype home and see your wonderful faces! I have no idea
time or anything like that yet but just let me know next week so I can
plan around that. I'll have to Skype Garret separately so work it out
amongst yourselves who goes first and I'll be able to Skype from my
iPad again.
We have transfers next week. I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks
with Sister Teerlink! I have no idea what's going to happen. I always
make a guess and it seems like the opposite or unexpected always
happens. But I don't really feel like my time in Oswego is to an end
yet. We shall see what The Lord has in store.
Well I am officially allergic to cats. This week we stopped by a less
actives house and she has a cat. A really mean cat! She jumped up and
bit my companions arm and was just hanging on! It's a good thing it
wasn't me, I probably would have died! I wouldn't be surprised if it
were part cat part lion, it was so mean! But anyways, this lion cat
walked across my lap and out of habit I reached up and pet it's tale.
Bad idea. And the worse idea I had was to scratch my face after that.
Really bad idea. During the next lesson we were watching the
Restoration DVD with Taylor, the 18 year old whose been coming to
seminary, and my face started to swell up!!!! I could just picture me
looking like Harry Potter when Hermione hits him with a curse and his
face swells up. That was not comforting! But luckily The Lord was
blessing me because it didn't swell up noticeably and a member gave me
some allergy medicine. I feel like every week for the rest of my
mission I'm going to have some eventful cat story. So I am trying to
figure out how to deal with this infirmity. I can't just take allergy
pills everyday, I don't want to! And we went to this other members
house and I didn't even touch her cat and I could barely breath when
we left her house. So I took an allergy pill when we left and that was
a bad idea. Because it was our last appointment of the night so I went
to bed not too long after that and the next morning I felt so groggy.
This is what happens when I don't have my Mom to tell me what to do.
So we'll see what I figure out to deal with this. Is there anybody in
our family allergic to cats? I don't think so!
This week we had a wonderful Zone Conference. I know I've mentioned
President Fenn is wonderful, but he is truly so great! I wanted to
share with you a little of what he talked about. He taught us about
trials and adversity in this life. I find it interesting how when some
people face a hard time, they turn away from God. They leave all that
was good in their lives and turn to what they think it easier. But why
isn't our natural instinct to turn to that very being who created us?
Jesus Christ is the one and only person who knows exactly what we are
going through because He also endured the same agony. We know that
Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, he bled from every
pore and he suffered such agonizing pain we cannot comprehend it. And
He did it willingly because He loves us. Well each of us must go
through our own Gethsemane experience. Each of us must feel just a
tiny bit of what He felt so that we can come to appreciate the true
sacrifice He made for us. And that's why we can always find hope
through the hard times. We aren't the first to experience these hard
times. President Fenn said that the answer for everything you are
facing at this moment is to carry on. Pray for extra help but always
carry on. When Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail it took 110 days for
him to receive the revelation from The Lord that we all know so well.
Joseph asks Oh God, where art thou? And The Lord responds "My son,
peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be
but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt
thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. (D&C 121:7-8) I
love how He calls him, My son. We truly are sons and daughters of God.
And that knowledge is enough to get me out of bed every morning and to
do the Lords work. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ
atoned for each one of us. Because of Him, I can be with my family
forever. Because of Him, none of us never need feel alone. Because of
Him, I get a clean start each week at church. Because of Him, I am
here in Illinois teaching about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I
am so grateful for Him and I know that He lives. I, add my testimony
to that off Elder Bruce R. McConkie. I love his final testimony: "And
now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding
of the blood of God--I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at
Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the
Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He
is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent
of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I
shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet
his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I
know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and
Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood
and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as
God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the
blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin." I know
these words are true and I am grateful for them.
Never forget your testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. He really lives.
I hope you all have a safe and blessed week! May you share this
happiness with those around you. I love you all!!!!"

Words from Sister Elese Hauser in Illinois

"Happy Monday!
Sometimes i forget the rest of the world dreads Mondays, because i love them! Well this was a crazy week and a lot of funny, and some not so funny, experiences.Sister Teerlink and I are safe here in Oswego for 6 more weeks! We survived this transfer and i am so glad! I started getting nervous on Saturday wondering if i really could be leaving, but we got the text saying that we would NOT be receiving a transfer call. So far on my mission ever companion I've had has been for 12 weeks, 2 transfers. Its exciting! Now that i know I'll be here for Mothers Day we can figure out what will happen. So my church is from 11:30-2:30 and if we are 2 hours ahead of you it will probably have to be a little later on in the day. We won't have the car so we'll be reliant on members to use their wifi and for rides so we will figure that out this week and i'll let you know next Monday what time. I'll Skype home to St. Johns first and then to Garret in Colorado. I am beyond excited to see all of you! It feels like its been so long, and yet its gone by so fast.
So this week we did a lot of walking. My blond hair is becoming blonder and my freckled face is more freckly than ever. But i am still as white as ever, thanks to my German ancestors. One day we were walking and we knocked on this lady's door. We met a very sweet and old grandma. But we were wrong. Not about the old part, about the sweet part. I said "Hi, we are servants of God and we are in the area today sharing a message about the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon can change your life, can we step in and tell you more?" She got this twitch in her eye and said "Are you servants of God or are you servants of Mormon?" I looked at her and said "Servants of God. I'm pretty sure we know who we serve." Well she went on to tell us we were a blaspheme church and what ever else people feel the need to say to these sweet young girls. So we turned around and walked away. But the best part was what she said as we were walking away! We smiled and told her to have a nice day and she said "No you have a nice day. Because i won't see you in Heaven and that's a shame." Hahahahaha! Sometimes people say the weirdest things! After we met that lady nobody wanted to talk to us. It was a long day in the sun with rejection. Later that night we had time to go out and do some more finding. Now this is your typical missionary story,but its because we all have to learn it. Sister Teerlink and i were tired. I had blisters on my feet because of the transition between summer and winter shoes. And we were feeling pretty discouraged. But you know those times when you want to give up the most are the times when you are so close to something great and if you just carry on a little bit farther then you will see a miracle. Well that's what happened. We first met Sarah, who said it wasn't a good time time to share a message now but we could come back. And then we met Ward, i know its meant to be that he's a member because his name is so church-y! And he was walking into his house right as we were walking by so we waved him down. He has been searching for a church and we were able to share a message with him on his doorstep. Sister Teerlink was prompted to ask him the question If you could ask Jesus Christ one question, what would it be? It was so cool! He was stumped but it gave us the perfect opportunity to come back and follow up. And then we met Tony, who is very religious and is interested to know that God still speaks to us today. It was such small thing meeting 3 new people. but it was huge miracle for us.
Grandma would have enjoyed this, one day when we were walking we got to walk along the Fox River for about 2 miles and it was so beautiful! One reason why i don't want to be picked up but i want you all to come back and visit in the summer is because of this gorgeous river! I just have this strong urge to jump in! But of course i refrain myself, but someday i want that privilege.
Another funny thing that happened this week was when we had the car and we were driving down the road. Up ahead of us a guy was getting ready to cross the street after we drove by. Sister Teerlink said "Give this guy a card!" So she slows down and pulls up right next to him. Poor guy probably thought we were going to take his money or something. So i roll down my window and say "Here's a card! You should check out the website i know it will make you happy!" and i hurried and rolled up my window before he could change his mind and shove it through the window. It wasn't until afterwards that i thought he was probably really freaked out! I mean we are in Chicago land and the crime rate is high here. I would be scared if a nice white car slowed down and pulled up to me then rolled down their window. Maybe we should be more careful... Nahhh:) We're on the Lord's side!
Well we have been teaching this part member family, the Haynies and they came to church for the first time yesterday! The wife isn't a member and in our lesson this week we asked her how her reading and praying was going and she said that she sometimes prays during work and asks God if our message is true. She loves the Book of Mormon and she absolutely loved learning about the Plan of Salvation. We are still teaching Taylor and she continues to come to seminary every morning but she seemed nervous about coming to church so she wasn't there yesterday.
Well this is a short email, we've got a busy day! I love you all and miss you so much! Just a gentle reminder to read Preach My Gospel everyday and pray for the courage to do missionary opportunities. I love you all!"

Words from Sister Kortlynn Herring in Japan

"This week was excellent as per usual! I had multiple requests for more info in my
emails. I apologize for recently, but we have been busy on p-days
lately. I will do my best.
Tuesday! We had a sports activity as a stake. It was way fun!
Especially because I got to play basketball for real again for the
first time in like a year! It was awesome! Our ward won in
basketball btw. It was great seeing a bunch of people from my first
area again. And our investigator S San came. On the way home we
were driving with a member, and we asked about her conversion story.
From there we taught about baptism and what it means and why we do it,
and what happens. It was way good. S San has a bit of a mental
disability, so it was really good just to talk to her in a setting
that didn't feel like a study session to her. And kaneko Shimai was a
great member present! We also figured out that S San learns better
through playing games, and so we are in the process of making the
coolest Plan of Salvation game ever! I'm excited for it! I think it
will really help her!

Wednesday! We had eikaiwa and a district meeting in Koga. There are
some sisters there who have been struggling and after district meeting we
were able to talk with them and really figure out what was going on.
Which worked out perfect because we had splits this week with them, so we
were able to help them more. And eikaiwa was great! This week is
called golden week in japan, and lots of people leave, but we have
been able to still meet so it's been a blessing.

Thursday! We went to tokyo for mission leadership conference! When I
was in Sanjo we had to Skype in because it was too far, but this time I
got to go! It was so good seeing so many missionaries that I love and
look up to! It has been 6 months since I have seen these people, so
it was fun. I missed tokyo. We also had some crazy miracles in the
train while going there and back. Everyone we talked to had some tie
back to or interest in Christianity. We gave a BoM and invited lots of
people to church and eikaiwa. It was great for me, because I realized
that I'm not scared to talk to people anymore. Before it was so scary
because I didn't understand them, but I realized that even though I am
not fluent in Japanese at all, I'm finally to the point where I don't
have to worry as much. It was just great being able to be myself and
just talk to people.

Friday! We had interviews with Pres. Budge and then some weekly
planning, then we started splits. I went to Koga and had an awesome
dinner of sushi with an awesome family. The father is from canada and
his wife is Japanese. He is the only one who speaks English, his
family just speaks Japanese. But it was way cool!

Saturday! Was a beautiful day, we talked to a bunch of people at the
park and housed a bit. I was with Athay Shimai and she is a great

Sunday! Church, some more planning and finding. We met some super
nice people who had a bit of interest. We had dinner with the nakai
family. They have a 5 year old boy and we became fast friends. I
just click with Japanese kids. I love this ward, because there are SO
many young kids! It's so fun, but hard too because I can't hold them!
But it's still great! And ya, that was my day!

This next week we have a lot planned, and
I'm excited! Next week I finally get to go to the temple again! Yay!
And the new video is here now, so I'm excited! I can't wait to see
you via skype video on Monday! Love you lots! Btw email time next
week is on Tuesday! Love you!

Glad everyone had fun, mom at conference, the boys at fathers and sons
and Madi and Lexi at aunt Bridget's! I miss you and can't wait to see
you soon! I love this gospel, and I love being a missionary and
sharing it!"


Sister Herring

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

 "I am doing really well. I'm sorry about last week, it was kind of an
odd P-Day and we were taking care of some stuff but transfers are this
week and thankfully Elder Rueda and I will be staying here in the
University Ward for the next six weeks. Happy Birthday to you and Emma
by the way, there should be some mail for you guys in the next bit.
We're adjusting things for the summer since a lot of the students go
home, however we're still able to teach an awesome group of people.
The sister companionship in the ward is leaving so we're making the
transition of who they were teaching and getting acquainted with
everyone. That's awesome that Emma is getting baptized, it's crazy
sometimes to think about how young we are when God gives us
responsibility. At eight we can make eternal covenants and at twelve
He gives us the ability and authority to have His holy priesthood.
Even now at nineteen I hardly feel old enough to be part of this work.
Tell Emma that I am proud of her and so grateful that she is making
this decision. That'll be great to have a basketball court at the
house. If you guys go to the feed store give Clint and Cherie a big
hug for me and let them know that whenever we get to move someone out
of a three story walk-up I am happy that I practiced moving bails of
hay. We have a baptism on this Saturday, a guy we've been teaching for
a short time named Craig. He began investigating the church when he
was nineteen and he's twenty six now. A couple of months ago he
decided to make some changes in his life and quit smoking and drinking
and started reading Jesus the Christ and Preach My Gospel. It was
great because he knew the lessons well enough to teach Elder Rueda and
I. The cool part is that he wanted to get baptized in a natural body
of water so he's getting baptized at Cheat Lake here in Morgantown.
I'll make sure to send pictures of everything because it's going to be
awesome. We had a cool experience with Family History this past week.
On Friday we had a zone meeting and they encouraged us to use family
history more in finding and teaching. After the meeting we went to the
library to brush up and do the training module. When we walk in we see
Quin sitting at one of the tables. Quin was supposed to be baptized on
April 25th but his parents talked him out of it and it wasn't a
completely great situation. So we talk to him and tell him about what
we're doing and he asks if he can watch us go through We ended up helping him set up his profile and get
his family tree going which was great because he went back five
generations and found out that a bunch of work had already been done
so all of the sudden his family tree goes back to the 1500's. He was
loving it and it turned into a perfect way he could be involved in the
church without it causing any problems. It was funny too because he
said he just felt like he needed to go to the library that day. The
spirit of Elijah is actively involved in the hastening of the work
today. Family history is such a big part of what we do in the church.
Another experience we had this week reinforced this a lot. In
Morgantown there's a good number of homeless people, especially around
where we street contact. We would talk to one guy named Bill pretty
frequently. His second wife was a member of the church and we gave him
a Book of Mormon and he reads it and we would talk about it.
Last Friday we found out that Bill tripped and hit his head on the
side of the road. They took him to the hospital but unfortunately he
passed away. It was really rough and its weighed on my mind a lot.
Bill is in the spirit world now and we don't know quite what that is
like but we can assume that it's a lot better when you have family
there with you and they know that there are still people on the other
side of the veil helping them. Family history is important because
there are those out there who are unconnected and waiting for us to
take their names to the temple. We had a lot of experiences this week
that seem to reinforce and reiterate that. I am grateful for how much
family history is done in our family and excited to do more when I get
back. I love you guys and hope you have a great week, I'll be sending
some pictures from the last few weeks here soon. I love you guys so
much and miss you and hope you have a wonderful week. I'll be calling
on Mother's day after church around 2:00 here. I can't wait to talk to
you, give everyone a hug for me and tell them I love them."

Words from Elder Austin Davis in Oregon

"How is everyone this week? This week was okay we had 9 lessons fall
through. But we still taught 7 so it was okay... so this week I had the
opportunity to give quite of blessings so that's always up lifting. We
have an appointment with this lady and her husband but her name is
kookai she seems super nice anyways she is from Thailand so I'm going
to be pushing and praying really hard. It's going to be awesome when
she gets baptized that will defiantly be so cool. This week was okay
though my email won't be to long darn it. The bishop and WML here are
great. They really love the missionaries which is great to have. It
kinda sucks having 2 sets of missionaries in the ward. We would be
teaching probably twenty plus lessons but it's okay life goes on. So
the bomb being dropped in this email ha I'll put it on the last line.
:) but yesterday I taught some youth about hero's . Talked about how
if we look up to some one we are eventually going to become like them
and become what they think about. it was a good topic I read Alma
48:17 because he is my hero. Pretty cool though really good topic. A
quote I found" "I say to all and especially the youth of the Church
that if you haven’t already, you will one day find yourself called
upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse
simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints." Elder Holland
This week has been up and down up and down all week. But I must go on
:) you know it was beautiful this week 80+ it was nice:)! But I love
you I'm thankful for my family."

Words from Elder Ryder Nielsen in the Philippines

"The windows of heaven have opened this last week and the Lord is pouring out his blessings upon my companion and I and all the people we have had a chance to teach. This area has been the most challenging i have served in but because of perseverance and patience and through faith we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 32:42. This week we were blessed with 7 investigators that attended church. We have also begun teaching 16 new investigators. It all started 2 weeks ago when we met with our relief society president in the Ward Sister Magaspac. She told us that back in March they had an activity outside of there apartment complex in which the missionaries and young single adults sang hymns and then handed out Books of Mormon to those who came out and listened. She told us they handed out more than 5 boxes of books of Mormon. With that in mind we came up with a plan in to knock on all the doors in the apartment complex which consists of 4 different buildings all of which are 10 stories high. We knew it would be a lot of work but we felt it was a solid plan and a good reason to be knocking on every door to ask if some how they had received a book of Mormon. We began on Monday night after p-day to filter through these apartments and because of it we have a very long list of potential investigators. It is amazing what the Lord can do when you let him know what your plans are to lead and guide you to those he has prepared. On one occasion we were knocking doors late at night on the 1st floor of the building when a family entered into the Lobby with alot of groceries and luggage we knew they could use help because the elevator was broken in the building forcing them to walk up the stairs 5 floors we offered to help and they accepted. When we got to their room we set the groceries down and asked the mother if they had received a book of Mormon she responded No so we began to try and start a gospel conversation but she didn't show any kind of interest. So they thanked us and we headed back down to the 1st floor but when we reached the 2nd floor there was an elderly women outside her apartment I smiled and said "Magandang gabi po." Which is good evening in tagalog she had a bigger smile than i did and we began to talk with her and shortly we found out she received a book of Mormon she invited us in and we began to answer some of her questions. It was amazing to me to see the hand of the Lord guiding us to find this women. we started on the 1st floor them went up to the 6th floor to help the family and in the Lords timing on the way down we ran into sister Nympha.

On Saturday my companion and i decided we were going to split with 2 men in our ward so we could get more done we had a lot of lessons planned for that day. We decided that my companion and brother Cuba a returned missionary would spend the day at the big apartment complex knocking doors and trying to find the elect while Brother Magaspac and I taught out set appointments with investigators and less-active members. It was a great day for all of us I was able to contact a referral who ended up being a family of 6. My companion found 12 new investigators at the apartments who all expressed interest to learn more. The Lord is smiling on us at this time and i am so grateful. I love being a missionary it is a once and a life time experience. I love you mom thank you for your letter and i cant wait to call you! seems like yesterday we were talking at Christmas. I will call you Monday 11 a.m. so 8 p.m. for you on mothers day. What a wonderful birthday present to talk with my family. Love you guys! take care! Please pray for our success in bringing these many souls unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know God lives and loves us!"