Saturday, January 31, 2015

Words from Eder Garrett Daivs in Thailand

"Transfers!:)
well this week was crazy till the end:) monday was pday and we also got the transfer call my companion and i  both moved, then tuesday we spent all day going and teaching rcs and telling them that we are moving, and wednesday about the same thing plus we had to start packing. thrusday came and i am now serving in kalasin which is a small town in the isaan (east side of thailand) and it was cool because i got a khon loa companion his name is Elder Sayavong:) i like him he is a small but ripped guy he is 22 and is great he is diligent and obedient it makes things easy:) then we have about a 7 hour bus ride to kalasin from bangkok! haha as you can imagine i slept basically the whole way:) it was nice and then we spent friday inviting all day and saturday inviting all day then around 7 we had some rcs we went and introduced our selves too! sunday was good we had chance to go serve a lady and the picture below is me cutting up wood with a butcher knife:) it work suprisingly well! but this week was good a little chaos sometime times but i am excited to be here and i know this is where i am supposed to be:) i love you guys and i hope everything is going well for you!:) thanks!"

 

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

"Hallo Liebe Familie,

Wie gehts euch? 

This week was really great! I had a lot of fun! I love the new function on my camera. I love making those GIF things. I have some super funny ones. Anyway... lets get crackin!

Last Monday was a lot of fun. But I already told you about it huh. Darn it. Elder Bader bought Meat for 28 euros. That is like 38 American dollars! Whoa! IT was really good though. I also played Elder Ashton in chess. I WON TWICE. Hehehe I love playing Harry potter sized chess. I love winning too. 

Tuesday we had an appointment with Sky and Bruder Kalenka. It went great. Sky kept his commitments and that is always good.. Bruder K is on the way to be baptized again and I am so excited for that! What Else Happened on Tuesday? I dont know. That IS why I have a journal. 

Mittwoch had we district meeting. It was ok. I had to give a lesson on Obedience... so I chopped up some carrots in front of everyone to show how exact obedience is like an exact knife from Solingen. Hahaha not bad eh? We then had a meeting with Alfred... and then I went to wuppertal on a split. 

Thursday was weird. I was with our very scared District leader. He is scared of everything. He yelled at me for not minding my own business and being nosey. Hahahah what the heck? I am always nice to him too. He must have had a bad day. We went to a forgein refugee house and taught 4 black people. They have bad English and no German. Nelson was so scared. He was like shaking the whole time. I was calm and taught the best I could. They seemed to really like me.  Later that night President Stoddard came to wuppertal to interveiw our whole districk. It was funny. HE got there 2 hours late due to an Autobahnbauwerk thing. So our whole districk just waited and had a good time. Our Distrik has two new goldens. One from France and one from America. Lots of moms, dads and children in our distrik. So yeah. The interview went great. I talked to him for a long time about this and that. He is a great man.

Friday was weekly planning! We met with Sky again and Kalenka. It was a lot of goodness again! I really still enjoy Solingen. The bus system is ranked way high. Lots of German learning chances. Lots of appointments. Lot of good. 

Saturday was also very good. Lots of appointments and Bruder Köster. Hahaha he was happy to see us again. He told us... Vertrau mir. ich komme bald. I also got a new haircut. hahaha. OH ja! It snowed too! It has been crazy cold. Still rocken my gym shorts though. Except I miss knives and fishing poles and trying to hit rabbits. OH well. This is a better use of my time:) The Lords time! It snowed about 3 inches of snow. Germany is super pretty when It snows. I love it! 

Sunday was an adventure. It was the Primary program. I am sure all the Germans thought it was super. But coming from America... It was the funniest thing ever! We have like 8 primary  kids in our ward. The leaders trying to organize them was hilarious. Sky was in it though. His dad kept taking pictures of him and it made a loud sound. The talks were hilarious too. The kids are just hilarious. I talked to Christopher Hansen for a while. He loves talking to me. He invited us over next week for dinner. I love my friends in Germany! It will be sad to leave.
We were then invited to go Burscheid... all 4 elders... for a lunch. We had great spanish food. It was awesome. Then we had to take a bus to the Wüstahubes for mexican food! TWO EATING APPOINTMENTS. BLegh. I wass stuffed. Elder Bader and I played basketball with snowballs and trashcans while we were waiting for a bus. Hahaha goodfun!

And Today ws good too. Demass got a catscan. He is ok. Then we played games and ate pizza with our district... minus wuppertal.  It was awesome! We played in the Solingen in the chapel. 

Now I am here.

I love you guys so much!

I am glad the seminary kids got my letters. I always wanted personal emails and letters from missionaries. So there you go.

I read today, in German of course, about Ammon chopping of the arms of the Lamanites. That guy is a haus. He was filled with the power of the Lord and he fought his enemies. Just like what we should be doing. Fight the gossip. Fight the anger and jealousy. Fight the bad thoughts and bad friends. We have the power to overcome everyone. Just do it. The Lord will be with you!

I love you guys! I hope to write you all back.

Any questions... let me know!

Love you!"

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru



"Hello everyone! Wow do i have a lot to say with not much time! Everything went well this week. Walked countless miles and didn't have many lessons but did find a chosen man who was ready to hear the gospel and accepted the gospel! He accepted to be baptized in February on the day of his wife's birthday! And his wife is already a member and his kids too. Hes awesome. Also gave a talk yesterday about the work of salvation. Invite all your friends to come to church and participate the great plan of salvation! Love you all!
Made me some macaroni the other day! "

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in the MTC (Brazil)





"Right now, I know you're all thinking "What the heck is wrong with this girl?" But yes, I have been re-reassigned. No, I didn't call and complain for them to change it. I just received a new call in the mail. To..... the Nevada Reno Mission! So it appears that maybe God was testing me. I still wholeheartedly believe that God has a plan and there are no accidents. I was meant to get both of these calls. And although I was getting super excited to serve in good ole AZ, I'm also way pumped for Nevada! Just thought I'd keep you all updated! Thanks for your love and support! I'll be sure to let you know if it gets switched again... Jk. I hope that doesn't happen. But whatever happens is good with me! I'm finally learning to just roll with things:) I am loving my crazy, unique missionary experience!! Amo voces!!<3

Love, 
Sister Overson

Ps: The pics are of me holding both of my new calls. (Excuse my clothes. I'm doing laundry right now) And the other pic is of both of my flight itineraries. SO FUN!!!"

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in the MTC (Brazil)



"Well, I finally got my reassignment last night. Many of you might have already heard, since word travels so fast in a small town. But I've been temporarily reassigned to the Arizona Scottsdale Mission. No, this is not a joke or a silly prank. Although, my first reaction was to accuse the elder who handed it to me of that very thing.

All last night, I threw a little bit of a fit. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not going to lie... I was pretty ticked. "Of course this is happening to me. I'm supposed to go to Brasil. And then,not only does my visa take forever, but now I'm going back to my home state. And not just my home state, my home mission! What is everyone going to say when they find out? They'll all think I'm being punished or something. Why would God do this to me?" These were just a few of the thoughts that raced through my head. I spent the rest of the night staring at that sheet of paper and wishing it would just disappear. But it didn't. It wasn't until later that night that I realized how ridiculous I was being. Here's just a few of the things I have learned in the short time I've had to think.

1. God has a sense of humor. 
I have said multiple times that wherever I go, I will be happy and serve the Lord, because that's where He wants me and it's where I need to be. Now- as my awesome dad put it- it's time to put my money where my mouth is. And that's exactly what I plan to do. I have also said multiple times that I would not be quite as happy somewhere cold- and neither would my wonderful mama cita. Arizona it is! I bet God giggled a tiny bit when He gave me this call.

2. Prayer changes everything. 
As I said my prayers last night, I really pled with God for me to be able to have faith and strength and know that this is His plan for me. It's not like He just went "Whoops! Oh well, I guess that's where she's going now!" I kept telling myself that- and so did everyone else- but it wasn't until I prayed that I really felt that it was true. I can't say that anything truly miraculous happened. But I can say that I feel loads better. And I know I didn't do that on my own. 

3. I need to better understand what it means to trust God. 
God knows the end from the beginning. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. Our weaknesses, our strengths, our fears, our desires, our thoughts and feelings and futures! So why on earth was I questioning Him and His plan for me? We're all human, so we do that stuff. But I need to remember who is in charge. 

Sorry this was so long, but for those of you who have read the entire email, I hope it helped you. Or at least made you think about life. We are all so blessed to live the lives we do! I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that God loves me and has a plan for me. He wants the very best for each one of us. I love you all! And might see you around sometime;)"

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras





"My Dearest Family and Friends,

This week was amaizng!!! But first off, I want to wish the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the whole world, my mother, a very happy birthday on the 1st of February!!!! :) Please give her a ton of hugs for me! 

So, we had two baptisms this week! Isamar and Alison. These two girls are soo amazing. and how i wish you could all meet them! Isamar is 19 and Alison is 17. Seeing them make the decision to be baptized brought a happiness to me that i really have never experienced before. We had a beautiful baptism service. And the spirit was soo strong. I am so happy to be here in this country with these people. I am witnessing so many miracles, especially in my life. I just want to testify to you all that i know this church, La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, is true! My testimony of this church grows more and more with everyday here and i have come to realize that nothing is more important than this gospel and the work of The Lord. This gospel changes lives and changes people. I have seen it and i am witnessing it for myself! I am so sorry this is soo short... but i have no time... ugh I have to go. But i love you all so much! Thanks for your support and your love! i got six letter this week! SIX!!! That was a miracle and it felt like Christmas!!! Thank you all so much! You are all amazing!"

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

"So this has been a great week. I have a new companion named Elder Ramos, from Lima, Peru. He is a convert of 3 years and just a plain stud. We have had some awesome experiences lately one of which we baptized a family, Tânia and her two daughters Thayanne and Tatianne. It was such an awesome experience and now they are all gungho to share the gospel with everyone which has been sweet to see. Unfortunately i dont have much time but i love you all and hope you guys have a great week!"

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colordo

"Olo everyone!

What a great week we had! Thank you for prayers! I definitely felt them this week and I feel much better. I got a blessing from my Mission President and I can't tell you how much that helped! Funny story with the blessing: my companion and Sister Mendenhall were in the room when I got my blessing. Right before you get a blessing, the priesthood holder giving the blessing asks for your full name. So, President joked: "Sister Brittany Spears, right?" We joked about it back and forth and laughed, and then I gave him my full name. Well, halfway through the blessing he called me Sister Spears and didn't even notice!!!!! When he said "Sister Spears" I chuckled and I heard Sister Mendenhall and my companion both snicker. After the blessing we told President what he'd done and he couldn't believe it! He didn't even know he'd said it. So funny!! So now, every time I see him or call him, I'll refer to myself as Sister Spears. #brittanyspearsisamissionary
 
So, we had some wonderful miracles this week!! One thing we've been doing in our mission is learning more about family history and getting trained on the website. When I first got out on my mission, I told President Mendenhall I really wanted to put up a booth at the Denver Stock Show. Mostly, it was just because I wanted to go to the Stock show. :) BUT, he told me if I could really make it into a missionary tool, I could do it for next year's show. Well, when we had our training this last Friday, I caught the Spirit of Elijah! It was the most incredible feeling! And revelation just started to flow about how I could spread this amazing Spirit and it all had to do with the Stock Show! I don't even care anymore about my previous reasons for wanting to be at the show (although I still wouldn't mind seeing part of the rodeo. :)). It was like I had this vision of how we could set up a family history booth at the show. I told President all about my ideas and he loved them!!! So, I'm working on the details and will let you know how it goes! A miracle that has also come from that, is we finally contacted a Less-Active lady (who's originally from Eager, AZ!!! Small world?) and she let us into her home and she's feeding us dinner this week! It truly is a miracle as she and her husband refused to have any missionary's in their home since they've been married. Her husband's not a member either. Also, he and his father provide all the bulls for the stock show (for the rodeos and such), and he has some really good contacts. So he said he'd get me a number to call and find out more information about booking booths and so forth!! MIRACLE!!! God is good!
 
One of the coolest miracles from this week is we met with Jeff and Sarah twice. We taught them the third lesson and had them read the Word of Wisdom pamphlet. Jeff is a big chewer and he was a little against living the Word of Wisdom, but as we talked to him about it, he finally said, "I've been wanting to get rid of this for years and I guess now I have a really good excuse!". So he got all of his chew and dumped it in the garbage! And Sarah gave us her tea to throw away so she wouldn't be tempted to drink it!! Oh. My. Heavens!!! Miracles miracles!!! The Lord has truly prepared them for this! Also, they weren't going to come to church on Sunday because their baby was sick all night, but we asked them to come to just Sacrament and they did! And guess what the talks were on? The Word of Wisdom!!!!! Haha. God is SO good!!! We're meeting with them 3 times this week and next week to finish teaching the lessons and get them ready for baptism in 3 weeks. After the lesson with the Word of Wisdom, Sister Hoemann and I very calmly walked to our truck, but as soon as we got in we screamed and freaked out as only girls can do!! :) It was wonderful! Some other really cool things, is one Less-Active family we've been working with is coming to church pretty regularly now and got rid of their coffee pots!!! Miracles! We've also asked to other investigators, Lee and Dolores, to pray about getting baptized on the 14th. Lee is an elderly lady whose husband just passed and she really wants to go to the temple so we're hoping! Dolores, she's wonderful but she just won't come to church! She came once and that's it. She's very SLOWLY progressing. We don't know what else to do, but please continue to pray for her!
 
Something really cool that happened this week as well, is we had a zone pday out in Strasburg!!!! We had a big bonfire at a less-active's home and the whole zone came out. We played soccer and rugby and ate hotdogs and smores and had a wonderful time with this Less-active family. They LOVED it and all of the missionaries were so good to them. It really touched them!!! Even the husband who's been pretty anti came out and talked with some of us. MIRACLE!!! It was really neat!

Well, that's all for this week. There were so many more miracles, but I don't have time to write them! Thanks so much for all the prayers for my health this week! I truly could feel the power from them! My challenge to you this week is to read from the Book of Mormon every day! Don't just read it, but study it! It's got the COOLEST stories in it! Seriously, it's like reading an adventure novel!! I'm not only learning so many spiritual things from it, but it's fun! It's coming alive for me and I am gaining such a testimony of the characters in it. They are real and they're awesome!!! Oh my goodness, so many cool heros in that book! I'm reading about Alma and Amulek right now and they are the BOMB!"
 

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho





"Wow! I can't believe it! Almost five months on a mission!?!? Dang! Looking back on it, it has gone pretty fast! In the moment, it takes a little bit longer :) but that's ok! I love growing and learning new things every day! It's tough, but I love prayer, that is SO what has gotten me this far! It's amazing :)

So let me just say, first off, what a wonderful blessing it has been to have Elder Jones as a companion! We are like friends! Like real friends, not just companions!!! I didn't know that could happen! We laugh a ton and do crazy things all the time :) It makes being on a mission fun! There are many tough things we are doing, but the Lord has given us the strength to do it! Elder Jones has been doing a lot better lately, which has taken the stress off my shoulders. I still feel a little overwhelmed, but things are going good, because we are not giving up!

We had interviews on Friday with our mission president and his wife. That went really good! President Brinkerhoff congratulated me for being so bold with Kevin, and telling him he couldn't get baptized. That was tough for me, but I did it! And yes, glory glory, he is still getting baptized on Saturday! We are super excited :) He is doing awesome!

Sister Brinkerhoff said that the two of the sweetest Elders are in the roughest area for a reason! (us!) We are needed here where we can be kind but firm in teaching the gospel. The people here are pretty sensitive/stand-offish and they need us here so they don't feel "threatened" essentially. They love us, and we love them! We have 7 baptism dates!! Can you even imagine!? I mean, Idaho! Who thought that there would be 7 people getting baptized in Old town pocatello!? Well, we are here for a reason, and I am loving it more and more every day!

I have grown so much these past two weeks! I have truly had to rely on the Lord for strength. I have never prayed so much before. I can feel His love, and I know his arms are always outstretched, ready to receive us! It has been super difficult for me to lead out, but I have been qualified! I know the Lord does not give us anything bigger than we can handle. Prayer is so amazing. I wish I could just pray all day long! I can in my heart though. It's so important for us to align our will with the Lord's. He knows us better than we do, and he has the perfect plan for each and everyone of us. I will follow him any day!

There has been a ton of fog here in Poky! Like, so much! At night it gets really bad, and it's hard to see a few yards in front of you! It's pretty cool :) Feels like I am swimming :) I think it's because there are mountains all around us and we are in a valley, so it just settles. But it's pretty awesome!

So many miracles are taking place, and I can't even begin to tell you them all! But I really do appreciate all you guys do for me and all of your prayers! You are amazing! Have a wonderful week :)"

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

 
"Hello family! This was a great week that really changed everything I
do. I am the oldest in the area, training, and district leader... It
has been fun and a good experience but I miss being Jr. comp. I have a
great son! He is going to be an amazing missionary. He is 21, an
amazing teacher, and ready to work. He has a cool story about how he
gained his testimony of this gospel and how he found out he needed to
serve a mission. He started when he was 19 being in the MTC for 9
weeks learning spanish but then he went home. He figured it out and
about 1 1/2 months ago decided he needed to come back. He is here and
is great! He knows how to teach with the spirit and he has amazing
personal experiences. He is from... Gilbert, AZ!!! He lives in those
houses across the street from Uncle Jared's office and is cousins with
Ryder Neilson! Such a small world!   we are having fun. He is very happy and excited about
serving here. We were also able to go to the temple this week because
it was his first week here. It was great and I love going.


Mason is getting his papers in! AHHHHH!!!!! I am OLD! Then Rex has a release date! AHHHHH!!!!! He is OLD! haha Now for the details of the week.


Tue... Today was not too exciting because Elder Sorensen had to pack.
We started the day off with District Meeting and it went well. It was
testimony meeting and I bore my testimony on patience. It was good! We
had Olive Garden after and that was delicious as always! Soup and
Salad! Woo Hoo! We had a dinner appointment with Ryan who fed us some
Brazilian food. It was ok but the soda called Guarana is so good! We
will have to try it sometime! Next we met with Million. We taught the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. The language barrier made it so we could only
teach the first three principles in just about an hour. He is
struggling to understand it all but we found a member who speaks
Amharic so he will join us and help teach. We will most likely have to
push his bday back a little. But it is all good.


Wed... This day was really quite fun. We got up and I left to go to
the VC with Elder Brimhall the ZL because we both had to be there
early. We went to get his truck and when we got to the church where it
was parked we saw that it was towed! Haha! So we had to figure that
out and were only like 2 minutes late for the VC. I met my son! his
name is Elder Levi (LeeVee is how to say it.) He is from non other
than Gilbert AZ.  he is 6'4 220. We sat in the meeting and the
departing testimonies were so good. Our super Hero group left. :( Some
of my favorite elders that I looked up to and talked to for advice
were leaving. SO SAD! But that is ok. Packed up the car and we were off.
We met with Kweli who is a Mystic Unitarian. She takes what she wants
from each belief and that is what she believes. It is sad. She is so
confused. Too old for us anyway so we handed her off. Went and got a
GPS and set it up then went to Ledo Pizza with Ryan. It was absolutely
amazing as always. We had a lesson with Cheryl next. She is a New
Investigator and is from China so she has no religious background. She
is learning and is just so happy and excited. She is sincere and she
prayed at the end of the lesson! She did it in Chinese but even then
you could feel the increased presence of the spirit! I loved it!


Thurs... Today we did a special fast for Manny. He is still seeking
his answer but I dont think he is looking how he should. We are going
to do our best to help bring the spirit into his life. Anyway, we met
with Jason this morning and made the flyer for the Ward Mission
Activity. It is going to be a Meet the Mormons night! Good times. We
did all of our studying time and then did weekly planning. It went
pretty well and we set up a few appointments. We broke our fast by
going to Chipotle and getting a Quesorito. A quesadilla that is made
into a burro. It is so good! I loved them! Then we met with Manny and
they made us dinner to. We were not expecting that but I still shocked
my son by how much I ate. haha still have it! It was a good lesson and
he is still hung up on how he was baptized Catholic already. He just
does not see it. So next lesson is on the Trinity. That is what
separates us from almost all other faiths. I am kind of excited. After
we swung by a Less Active members home. His name is Kyle and he is so
cool! He is trying now to get Sundays off so he can come again. He has
so much potential. I love it! Then home and sleep time!


Fri... My son knows how to lift and he convinced me to do a twelve week
program with him. So that is what I am
going to do. It was not too hard to get me to switch workouts. It will
be fun. We did all of our study time and then went to the temple. It
was such an amazing opportunity. We tried to go to the priesthood
assembly room on top but it was locked and the one guy with a key was
busy. Next time. We met with Lydia later that night at Cold Stone...
So i enjoyed myself :) It was really cold but so worth it! We finished
and then checked up on people that Bishop wants us to. None were home
but it was good.


Sat... Today was a leadership meeting. It went really well. We had the
transfers training plan presented and it was great. We are going to
get a lot done. Then Pres. Cooke talked about his "game plan" for
2015. It is good. We had a workshop on how we need to declare our
belief in the Godhead with each person we teach so that there can be
no doubts. So that is what we are going to do. It will go good I
think. Next we came home and ate then set up all of Elder Levi's
online stuff. We had an interesting dinner appointment and we thought
we were going to be killed. This Less Active guy fed us at his home
where he lives alone... in the backwoods of Maryland... with only two
lights on in the whole pitch black house... right above us... He was
also super creepy but fun. The whole time I was thinking, "This is why
you are still in the singles ward." But we lived and made it home. We
had a 40 minute meeting with Bishop then we came home. Good day!


Sun... Today was good. We had our normal meetings and then had church.
Todays church was so odd the speakers went WAY too deep into some stuff. I enjoyed it
but I bet some recent converts minds are blown as well as some
investigators. We now have damage control. But it all turned out.
Dinner was great. We had waffles and stuff. It was good. Then we saw
Meet the Mormons again with a few members. It was good but I have seen
it too many times. I had my first night of call ins and it was fun
being able to get a better understanding of the other areas. I like
being a part of their work too.  Today... It is supposed to snow a lot so we canceled football at the
mall. We are baking and writing home. So ya. Well love you a lot! Have
a great week!"

Words from Brother & Sister Haws in Costa Rica



"Hi friends and family we just got our release date today and I have mixed emotions but I am so excited to see you all once again. Our release date is Tuesday April 21. Can't wait to hold all my kids in my arms again. See you in April"

Words from Brother & Sister Lambson in the Philippines

We have been called to serve in the Philippines San Pablo Mission, and will serve here until the 25th of December, 2015

Our missionary assignment as "Membership & Leader Support' Missionaries is one that requires much imagination, creativeness, and inspiration. We were not told what we should do by President, except "roll up your sleeves, and go to work". Often times, we ask ourselves, what are we even doing here? Then we pray, and talk, and brain storm, and the answers as to what we need to do, just comes. It kind of like the Brother of Jared, when he had concerns as to how their boats would be lit inside, he went to The Lord, and asked him to do something to make that possible. Well, our wise and kind Father in heaven said "Jared, what are you going to do about it"? Jared, like us realizing that he had not done his part, replied; I will find some molten stone and they will light the way. He then took the stones to The Lord who touched them, and they were illuminated, and they provided light within their ships. We need to do our part. We need to show Heavenly Father that we are willing to do something, then after all we can do, we turned it over to The Lord and he does the rest.

Home Teaching is not even in existence here on the island of Marinduque where we are situated, probably for the duration of our mission. The church is still in its pioneer stages here. It has been here a little over 50 years. Our members are very aware of the mission of the Savior, but last week we met with a man who insists that Jesus is not the Son of God, but a wonderful teacher and example of how to live. He goes from place to place teaching school children, organizations, feels that is his mission in life, not married, not working, just telling them to love each other and not worry about what Church is right. He is very sincere, but off base a long ways.

We have been here now for almost seven months, and a love every minute of it! The islanders are happy and live a very simple life. We are experiencing missionary life in a different light this go around. *(We served 4 years ago in the Philippines Naga Mission).  We just came in with a typhoon and as soon as possible sent to our area, having no real instructions, just go by the spirit as member-leadership support missionaries. Our 5-day experience in the MTC was inspiring and we saw how incredibly huge the Lord's efforts are to spread his gospel throughout the world, and how incredibly smoothly the MTC operates and well organized in every aspect. Now we live in a branch with 6 primary children. The District primary president presides and teaches. The branch is really struggling, but this week was the first baptism in 3 years! No thanks to us. We have wonderful young missionaries hard at work.

We are helping with transfers today and tomorrow. Yesterday it rained so hard that one man was up to his neck right in the middle of the road where we needed to go! The bull frogs are out in full force and sound like real bulls as they paw the ground sounding all tough; I have never heard such a humongous sound coming from such small bodies. Roosters crow all day, saying something like "Sister Lambson, Sister Lambson

I can hardly stand the crowing of the roosters continuously. I got up and went to the kitchen sink where Sister Lambson was standing by the window and said to her, they're calling your name again, Sister Lambson, Sister Lambson. She responded, "No they are not  Elder, that one is saying Elder Lambson, Elder Lambson, its lower. You gutta understand the language". "There you go Elder, thats why its important for you to learn the language."

I have just a short time in the morning from 5-5:45 am and again from 6-6:45 pm to catch water as it comes into our place. It is a scramble to get all the buckets, and containers filled so that we can have sufficient amount of water until it comes in again. When we do get a little we take advantage of the shower which feel really good. When there is no shower, we just pour cold water over ourselves to shower. Sister actually does look forward to that.

Sister mentioned to me the other day. "I just realized that islands don't just float on water, but have an earthen base, What was I thinking? I think that the Elders we were transporting when I received that revelation were quite amused. She also said "I love the hens and baby chicks in our yard. Isn't it amazing how they associate freely with scrawny dogs that look like they are starving to death, and they don't pay them any attention"!

Recently in ZL' s training each one of us was asked "Why are you serving a mission? I started out by mentioning, that I came on my mission because my girlfriend wanted me to.  Sister got a kick out of that.  We then each spent some time telling about ourselves.  There were two missionaries, Elder Koloa, and Elder Fa'asavalu who both come from large families, eleven and twelve children respectfully.  One little elder, Elder Taguiam mentioned that he was the only member of his family, and that he had no parents, he was orphaned.  He was raised by his grandmother, who always encouraged him to go on a mission. He said "I guess one reason why I'm here is because of her, but the real eason that I am here is because a Prophet of God has said that all young men should serve missions, and I want to please him and serve Heavenly Father's children here in this place.

We Love Our Mission!
Elder and Sister Lambson

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

"Olo Everyone!

So, we didn't get to e-mail yesterday because all the libraries were closed in observance of the holiday. But, luckily, we get to e-mail today!!! Woo hoo!
 
So, this past week has been full of miracles! The biggest ones had to do with Jeff and Sarah. Sarah got out of the hospital on Wednesday and we met with them Friday night. A couple from our ward came with us! Can I just say, if you've never gone to a lesson with the missionaries call them up right now!! There is so much power from members being present at lessons! They bring such a spirit in and give an immediate support system to the investigator. Anywhoo, we taught them the Plan of Salvation and they accepted everything! The Lord is bringing back to their remembrance what they learned in the pre-earth life. It was amazing! And both of them told us they know that Joseph Smith was a prophet!! They said it just makes sense and they feel it's true. What the heck?!?! MIRACLE!!!! They haven't been diligent about reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, so we emphasized that and they said they would. So, we had prayed about a date for their baptism and we felt to do it on Valentine's day, which is a Saturday. So, for the first time on my mission, I finally got to extend this invitation and they accepted!!!! It was the best feeling ever! I know as missionaries we're supposed to be professional, but I may have done a little shout for joy when they accepted. :) It was really neat because when I first told them how we had prayed about it and gave the date to them, they both looked shocked. Jeff said that Sarah didn't like Valentine's day. Sarah then explained that she was working at a movie theater on that day when a man came in, pointed a gun to her chest, and told her to give him all the money in the cash register. It really scarred her!! Sister Hoemann told her that we could change the bad memories she had with February 14th into good memories with her baptism and she whole-heartedly agreed!! It was truly the spirit speaking to their hearts and they were excited about the date. And the members that came with us bore their testimonies and talked about baptism and really connected with Jeff and Sarah!

Then, if that wasn't miraculous enough, Jeff and Sarah came to church on Sunday, stayed for all three hours, and Jeff bore his testimony about Joseph Smith in Priesthood!!!! And Sarah signed up for the weekly Relief Society e-mail and is coming to an activity on Tuesday to gold-leaf a picture of the temple so she can hang it up in her home!!! They also texted us and asked if we could get them a Gospel Principles manual so they could have that with them as they studied at home. GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, it is truly a miracle. And the thing is, we really haven't done anything!!! It is such a testimony to me that this really is God's work and the spirit is what teaches people. I'm just the messenger! What a glorious thing to be a part of His work! And the coolest thing is, we wouldn't have found Jeff and Sarah if it wasn't for the Relief Society President in our ward! She had done the work of praying what Less-Actives for us to go see and giving us a sheet of names. If she hadn't done that, the likelihood of us showing up at Jeff and Sarah's home (they were living in a Less-Active's former home) would be pretty much a zero! So members, we need you! The miracles come from you being pro-active in your individual missionary work and your callings! Tracting is the WORST way to do missionary work I promise! We need you!
 
Some other cool miracles is we got three new investigators (another couple who are searching for a church and a part-member family), one of our investigators is thinking about getting baptized, we now get to do service at a donkey shelter every week (we got to muck stalls----we were both so excited you would've thought we were nuts! Who gets excited about cleaning up poo?? #smalltowncountrygirls), we were in charge of the mutual activity (it was to end the missionary competition we were doing with the youth) and the youth loved the missionary competition! They gave out so many copies of the BOM and invited friends to church and activities (several came) and they and their parents talked about the miracles they saw in their lives from doing missionary work. The primary also finished their missionary competition and they had more miracles and experiences than the youth did! Soooo awesome!
 
Well, I just wanted to say one last thing. A mission is hard! There are miracles and it's wonderful, but it's also very frustrating and tiring and overwhelming at times. I've never felt so inadequate and weak in my whole life. I'm struggling with things and Satan seems to be working on me even harder since I've been in Strasburg. I've gotten really discouraged and have been on my knees many nights crying and pleading with the Lord for strength. Sometimes He's silent and I don't feel like He is answering my prayers. But, despite all the hardship, I want you all to know this truly is the greatest thing I've ever done! It's all worth it! Thank you for your prayers! I know their helping! I can feel the power of them in my life. I would ask that this week you pray for my health. I haven't been feeling well and I've been worried, but my mission president is giving me a blessing on Thursday and I know I will be healed. :) Thank you all so much for everything! I'm the most blessed girl on the planet I feel like!

Have a wonderful week and know that God loves you and is always aware of you! "

Words from Elder Brandon Day in Oklahoma

"Its been a wonderful week everyone! This last week we had a training on a few things. Towards the end we were asked a few questions.
1. How do I love myself more?
2. How do I love others more? (companion, members, investigators)
3. How do I love God more?

I've put a lot of thought into this. How do we really show our love? You have to have the same amount of love for all of them. Something I've thought of a lot is how can I love God more? A few things are, keep His commandments. A way we can do this is to have trust in Him. Trust that He is there for us, trust that He will help us, and Trust that he will bless us. That's something I've been struggling with is trusting Him. A lot of the time I let my own doubts take over and tell me what I should do. I get nervous and worry about what I should teach or what I should say. When really all I need to do is trust that God will get me through it. He will tell me what to say, what to teach. This is how we can show our love for God. 
This week we were struggling to find new people to teach. We just kept getting door after door shut. Another missionary mentioned he would love to find people that "a potted plant could baptize". Wouldn't that be wonderful? Then we had the idea to pray about that. Pray for God to lead us to people that a potted plant could baptize, the ones that were ready for this gospel, all they needed was for us to find them. In three days we found seven new people to start teaching. All of them mentioned that they had been searching for something, for a new church, for an answer to their prayer, for something. And then we showed up at their door. It was amazing to see these miracles happen. But it wasn't us that did it. We put our trust in God, this was all Him, we were just the tools he used to do this work. Its real, and I've loved being a part of this great work. So something for you all to ponder about. How do you love yourself, others and God more? Have a great week everyone!"

Words from other Missionaries out there!

"CAN THERE ANY GOOD THING COME FROM SUBWAY?
"This is quite the story. Last Monday we had a 3.5 hour drive ahead of us to Show Low (in the white mountains). It was 5:30pm and we wanted to make a quick stop for dinner before we hit the road. We ended up not being so quick, but it was sooo worth it. Elder Hofman had a Subway card, and he wanted to use it. He knows I can't eat Subway because of allergies, but I told him I could go through the drive thru elsewhere, get something to go, and we would sit down in Subway to eat. I sat down with my food waited for Elder Hofman to order his sandwich, then we said a prayer. I did not know it, but a man had come in and sat down behind us. As soon as we said "amen", he said
"Excuse me Gentlemen, are you from the Mormon church?"
We said yes and he asked "Are you ministers?"
We said yes again. Then he said this:
"My New Years resolution is to try something new. I have seen you Mormons around, and I have never been willing to listen. But now I want to try something new. I want to listen to what you have to say."
Then he added "Is there room in your booth that I could just come sit over there with you?"
We were so excited to make room for him that we almost pushed our food off of the table We learned that this middle-age man just lost his home and was planning to move out of our area. the next day. He asked us:
"Tell me the truth guys, sometimes I wonder if God is on my side, or if he is out to get me."
We taught him about the nature of God, and the gift of his Son to the world who so badly needs Him. It was a powerful lesson. We taught him about forgiveness and starting anew. His face lit up!
He will move to Phoenix, and we are excited for the missionaries there to teach him.
When this man stood up and left, we saw that a woman sitting near us had listened to everything we had taught. We then started talking with her, She took our number, and said she has a friend who needs to hear that message. (Hopefully soon she will want to listen too).
I was happy that we went to Subway even though I would never choose to go there if it were not for Elder Hofman! On the way out to the car, Elder Hofman pulled a little piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to me. I said "What is this?" He smiled and said
"The phone number of the guy behind the counter who made my sandwich. He wants us to come over soon and teach him more."
Many of the Lord's children are ready to listen. Not just here in the Fountain Hills, AZ Subway sandwich shop, but every where. Unbind your tongues and share!
As hymn 319 says:
"The harvest is great and the labors are few, and if we're united, we all things can do."
Have a wonderful week!"

Monday, January 19, 2015

Words from Elder Konner Lee in New York

"Well I am so grateful for Christmas.  I love the lights and the cooking and the fun we have, but most of all I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and what he has done for me.  I couldn't be more sincere when I say I know He lives and I know he was born, lived and died for us.  Because of Him all of us as a family can be together for all time.  My joy is great and my heart is full that I know my Savior lives.  I thank you all so much for what you have done for me.  You all mean the world to me and I couldn't ask for better people to look up to.  This mission has changed my life and my heart and I am so happy to say that I have been able to help others out here as well.  So just keep in mind what today is for, and who we should be thanking for the things around us."

 

Words from Elder Konner Lee in New York

" So here what my huge testimony builder this week, one of, if not the biggest one of my mission.. so in the middle of sacrament meeting a man came up to us and asked us if he could talk to us outside. He told us that he had a family member that is really sick and has cancer and she is not doing well and she needs a blessing and asked us to go do that for her. We said yes and for some reason i just felt like i needed to give the blessing.  The spirit spoke to me and I  heard my own voice in my head say you just took the sacrament you are more clean and ready than you could ever be. So before we left we said a prayer and when we got there I gave the blessing.   At first in the blessing I just felt like I was waiting and waiting nothing was coming to me and finally I blessed this lady that she would be healed.. I don't know why but i just felt like that was what i needed to say. This lady was on her 4th stage of cancer and was really sick.. we left and i just felt really, I dont know, unsure about what I had just said.  This lady was really sick and did I just told her she would be okay? I was praying all the rest of that day and it was always on my mind.. after our class on Sunday the bishops first counselor came up to me and said " Elder Lee, I dont know why i am saying this but the spirit has prompted me to do so. I felt like i just needed to tell you that the Lord has heard your prayers" and he walked away.  It hit me like a ton of bricks and I at once came to peace and felt like it was all in the Lord hands. It was such an amazing day.. and i have been fasting ever sense that blessing and the lord has really blessed me and has been watching over me !

 

More recent letter, update of blessing:

I did talk to the member that asked us to give that blessing to the lady with cancer. He said she was in the hospital when we went over there because she had a blood disease.   I didn't know that when we gave her the blessing.  He said she is home and they can't really find the problem any more.  So that was way cool!  The priesthood is so real!"

 

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia


"Hey how are you doing? It's been a really great week here in
Charleston, unfortunately its my last week here, I'm transferring up
to Parkersburg zone a little north of Charleston. It's always exciting
around transfers time because there are new opportunities and new
people to meet. Our investigators are all doing really well, a good
group of them are coming to church regularly and making good
friendships. I'm excited for how our area will do in the future. It's
neat because if they are active in the church before they are baptized
they're so much more likely to stay active afterwards. I hope you guys
have a great week. I love you so much!"

Words from Elder Jake Zieler in Canada

 Hello everyone!
>
>      This week has been a cool and inspired week. It was cool because I felt my first earthquake. The best way i can describe how it felt is you know when you stand up too fast after sitting down for a long time and you get light headed and dizzy? it felt exactly like that without being light headed. Pretty cool.
>     It was an inspired week because i kept studying and thinking about a talk given by President Uchtdorf from this past October General Conference called "Lord is it I?" it's probably one of my favorite talks and yesterday at church, there was a great talk given on the same topic. Super inspired. "I'd just like to share some of my favorite parts of President Uchtdorf's talk with you.
>        "It was our beloved saviors final night in mortality, evening before he would offer himself as a ransom for all mankind. As he broke bread with his deciples, he said something that must have filled their hearts with great alarm and deep sadness. "One of you shall betray me." He told them. The deciples didn't question the truth of what he said. Nor did they look around point to someone else and ask, "Is it him?" Instead,"They were exceeding sorrowful, and began everyone of them to say unto him, Lord is it I?"
>        I wonder what each of us would do if we were asked the question by the savior. Would we look at those around us and say in our hearts, "He's probably talking about Brother Johnson. I've always wondered about him." Or, "I'm glad Brother Brown is here. He really needs to hear this message." Or would we, like those deciples of old look inward and ask that penetrating question: "is it I?"    - President Uchtdorf
>            Reading these words reminded me of a story that i've heard not to long ago. It fits along the lines of this subject. It's called " The deaf wife problem"
>       "Bert feared his wife Peg wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. The doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could preform to give the Dr. a better idea about her hearing loss.
>        'Here's what you do.' said the Dr,'stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone, see if she hears you. if not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.' That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the living room. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, lets see what happens." then in a normal tone he asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?" No response. So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Peg, what's for dinner?" Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again, no response. So he walks up to the kitchen door about 10 feet away, "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again, there is no response. So he walks up right behind her. "Peg, what's for dinner?" "Dang it Bert!! For the FIFTH time, it's chicken!!"
>          Haha I thought this was a pretty funny story along "Lord is it I?" that i would pass on. The reason why this talk was so inspired to me is because I've been praying to be stripped of pride and a quote from President Uchtdorf really stuck out to me. It says, " We must put aside our pride, see beyond our vanity, and in humility ask, "Lord is it I?"
>           The mission is going great! i'm learning so much everyday! I hope you all have a great week! Love and miss you all!!"

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

Oh boy! 

Can you believe we are already 12 days into January!? That kinda went by pretty fast! Christmas was like 20 days ago...Mind blown!

So this week was a dud, sad to say. I was sick all week long, and I just wasn't coherent for most of it. However, we were able to get in quite a few lessons and good stuff like that. We got transfer calls on Thursday! And golly, the Lord has a plan for me! He's decided to make me a Senior Companion!! And lead out the area and our companionship! I will be getting a new comp, Elder Jones. He has been out 1 transfer longer than me. I am super nervous and stressed, but I know I can do it. I am just still so shocked the Lord trusts me with this...I can do it! So much more responsibility and exerted effort, but I am excited to finally let loose! Hahah :) We gonna tear it up and have a bajillion baptisms :)

So that's the biggest news of the week. Oh, Vanilla man is getting baptized for sure! I better start calling him his real name so ya'll know who I'm talking about. His name is Kevin :). And I am so excited for him! He has been reading all the material we have been leaving for him, and he is just so funny and positive! Sweet old man :) He's a bit sad Elder Miller is leaving, but he's also pretty happy I am staying. I am pretty nervous now, knowing that I have to set up the baptism and lead that out as well. But oh well, whom the Lord calls he qualifies! He is getting baptized on Saturday :)

I gave a talk yesterday, and I actually think it went pretty well! I took up all the time I needed to, too! I talked on the importance of having a living prophet. I think lots of people, including myself, take that for granted. We have a LIVING PROPHET. How cool is that!? I read a story out of the Bible in Acts 2 while preparing my talk. The Apostle Peter is teaching a group of people and shares his testimony of Christ. His testimony is so powerful, that 3,000 people are converted. 3,000!!! That same day!! So folks, as you can see, it is VERY important to listen to the words of the prophets and apostles. They convert! I encourage all of you to read the words of our LIVING prophet frequently. It is such a big blessing. We are SO blessed to have Thomas S. Monson leading and guiding us today. Make sure you pray for him!!

As a zone last zone training about 2 weeks ago, we set a goal that by January 14th we would have 40 baptism dates. And it's working! We have so many people who are getting baptized soon! The Lord blesses us when we are obedient.

Well, that's about all I have to say this week. Thank you so much for all that you do, all your emails and letters, and prayers! They mean so much to me! You are all amazing! I love you!

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

"Well this week has been something else! We have had so many different things happen. We got a bunch of snow, and there is ice everywhere! I slipped on the ice and fell on my bum, but I just laughed!! :)

We had zone activities on new years eve and day. They were a lot of fun! We watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Star Wars 5. Then the next day we had a fun nerf gun fight! It was super awesome! We broke a pinata too! Oh, the times of a missionary :) I love it!!

I got really sick yesterday; we had to wake up at 5 for meetings and so it was a long day. I had a terrible fever and the worst headache I have ever had! I was totally out of it. So I rested, and I have never felt so sick before. It was terrible. Last night was a hard night! My whole body was super sore. Today I am feeling a little better, just really dizzy and still a bad headache. So sorry if my emails don't make sense today.

We are teaching this new investigator, and he is on weed and is schizophrenic. He talks to Satan, but really wants to be baptized. He looks in the sky and up a lot. He tells us what Satan is telling him during lessons. He likes talking to him, and isn't willing to try to change. So we may not teach him much longer. He sees really odd things. Not a good spirit when we are around him. But it's an adventure teaching him! Pretty fun! :)

So is gas really low in the rest of the country?! Because here it is $1.93 a gallon! It's so crazy! It goes down more and more every day! Which is good, except we still are walking :)

So Vanilla man found out he has cancer and diabetes. He is so sad! He starts crying when he talks about it. I think he is in his 60's. He loves us so much! He told me the other day "If Toto leaves, I'm done!" (He calls me Toto because he was drunk when I first met him and got the letters in my name mixed up.) He doesn't want us to get transferred ever. He is so sweet. He really wants to get baptized on the 17th, but he won't stop drinking. We took all his alcohol on Saturday. He gave it up really willingly, which was a miracle!

Well, my head is throbbing, so this is all for this week! But I am loving it here so much! I hope you all are doing well! Love you!"

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

"6th month over:)
well it was a great week this week i had my sixth month mark on my mission and it is crazy to see how much has changed i think back to when i first got into country and how my language has improved since then:) i am doing great this week was good lots of inviting people to church but it all pays off in the end:) this week we taught a couple people and we also had one of our investigators get baptized this week:) his name is brother Gay and he is a great humble guy i love the guy he hasn't had any problems i know the Lord is preparing people over here.( he is the one closest to me in white) so a little heads up we have transfers this week so we will see if i am staying or going and i am okay with either one i love this area:) so one thing that i would have to say i learned this week is that missions don't last forever i started off thinking that i was thinking i had forever to go and now i am a quarter the way done and my first companion finishes his mission on Thursday but i am just lucky to be here in Thailand and have a opportunity to serve:) i love you guys and thank you so much for your  letters:) i will respond:) 
i love you guys:)"

 

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

"Hey everyone, another great week here in peru! getting a little sunburned but not too bad! Had a great Bday, spent a little time with some members and they made me dinner, a cake, and a poster! She is my pensionista(lady that makes us lunch) and those are her two daughters and the other man is Italo and he is always accompanying us when we proselite! Hes the best. This past week we had 1 less active single mother of 2 kids and 1 investigator single mother of 1 little girl assist church with us. And they endured all three hours with their kids yelling and screaming the whole time! I was real impressed but i know i do not have the patience to be a father yet! ahhaha Well love you all and hope all is well!"


Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

 
 


"All,,
So i have like no time which stinks because there is so much i want to tell all of you! But i have like 5 minutes to write this... so i will try to do my best. This week was completely amazing. Ever since i have decided to be positive and happy and give it all to the Lord, everything has completely changed. We have been teaching a girl named Isamar for about a month now and she is perfect. She has been to church 5 times and loves it all. But she wouldn´t commit to a baptismal date. We didn´t know what to do to help her. But yesterday, we had a lesson with her after church. And i prayed so hard before that somehow she could feel the spirit and know that she needed to be baptized. During the lesson, i had an overwhelming feeling to tell her that i knew she had already received an answer to be baptized and was ready. So, in my broken Spanish, I expressed to her exactly that and told her that she was a special daughter of God and had been prepared to receive us and that God had already answered her prayers. After, there was complete silence and i was so scared she would reject a date again... but guess what?! She didn´t. She agreed to be baptized this Saturday and told us that yes, she was ready. This was a miracle! I can´t even tell you all. I am so grateful for the Lord and for His goodness. Seeing her except the restored gospel and making the decision to move forward was the greatest blessing i have received on this mission. I can just testify so much of the power of prayer. So many times on this mission, I have offered prayers and seen miracles as results. And i know with my whole heart that the Lord will answer every prayer we offer as long as we have faith that He will. I cannot express to you all how much i love this mission. It is the best decision i have ever made. I love this country of Honduras soo much. We had the opportunity to go to the temple this week and it was soo beautiful. And guess what?! It had carpet!! haha i was pretty excited about that ;) But during our session, i sat by an older lady and she asked me where i was from. When i said Arizona, she started to cry and told me that she was sealed to her husband and family in the Mesa Arizona Temple. She said that during that time, there wasn´t a temple in central America and that The mesa Arizona temple was the closest so her husband saved enough money and they were able to go. It made me realized how blessed i have been my entire life to have a temple so close. I am soo grateful for the faith of the people here. They amaze me more and more everyday and i hope i can become more like them. Take advantage of the temple being so close to you. Go as much as you can and when you do, think of the saints all over the world that don´t have the privilege to go all the time. 

Well, i have to go... but i love you all so much! I love your emails and i am so grateful for them. I am sorry i can´t reply to them all but i do read them. I love you all with my whole heart. I love this work and i love this mission more than I can say!"
 

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

"Well i have to break the news. The tests came out positive, my lower back hurts, I am cranky, so it must all be true...
I am going to have a baby... I am so excited! I get to train this transfer! Having
a baby is mission lingo for training. Elder Thornton, my trainer, is my Dad and his trainer is my grandpa. I do not know anything more about it but I find out who it is on Wednesday morning at 8:30am. It
is going to be fun. If any of you have trained please send me a quick
email before Wednesday with tips! I will need all the help I can get!


Ok so Tuesday... Today was District Meeting and I had to give a
workshop on Saving People. I thought it went ok. I had great participation which is good. We had a good time and I was able to get Elder Sorensen to dress up like a Ninja and use my Katanas. It went
great! We went to the VC to teach Iesha (ok, I thought he was just not capitalizing the "l" but it is a capital "i".  Chan cleared that one up for me so thought I'd pass it along incase any of you suffered as I do, haha!)  the Plan of Salvation. She seemed to be super great! It was an amazing lesson and lots of interaction, positive feedback and great questions from her and then
since that lesson we have not nor has our ward had any contact with
her. She does not respond like she used to and it is sad. We think she
got anti stuff. We are trying to get in contact still. We watched Meet
the Mormons yet again and I love that movie! They show it at the VC
and encourage the missionaries to bring people and watch it. We had
dinner that night with a recent convert, his fiance, and his future
family. It was delish! We also taught the gospel of Jesus Christ as
part of the new member lessons and it went super well. he is an
awesome guy!


Wednesday... Today was a decent day. We have been given a list from
Bishop of people to try to find which is super fun to do... I dislike
sitting in the car forever! But we did that for a while, weekly
planned, and did online time. It went well. We went to the institute
class towards the evening and it was great! We stole our investigator
back from the Chinese elders. haha! Her name is Cheryl and she is so
nice! she loves members and is loving reading the BofM. She is one of
the most happy people I have ever met! We had a good talk with her and
invited her to a lot of different things. She is not going to make it
to church this week because of friends coming into the country from
China but she will be there next week. It was a great night and the
ward really stepped it up and did a great job fellowshipping!


Thursday... today was good! We had to drive for a long time to get
over to Bethesda to put a bike hitch on our car. It is now on and the
car is now photo cop resistant. Which is super nice. We had to wait
for a while but when it was done we drove home and went to a
retirement party for a ward members dad. He called and invited us
because he had some workers who were interested in family history! Are
you doing it? Yes YOU reader... DO IT!!!! Anyway it went well and we
helped a few set up some stuff. We hurried over to dinner later with
Manny and Carla. They are great! Just got engaged and the way he
proposed was cute. He showed us the video. He was very proud of it. We
finished teaching the Commandments and he agrees with them. We are
going to have a group fast for him this week that he will get his
answer on when and if he should be baptized. So we set a specific
time, day, place and everything so that we did our part all we need
now is the Lord to help his continue on this path! Then I got the call
that I will be training!


Friday... We had a training meeting this morning. It was nothing
special but nice to get some info on what we all need to do to help
them. The end goal is to have the kid in a place to where he can train
right when he is done. So we will see how this goes... We were at the
VC for this meeting and others for a good chunk of the day but still
made it to our late lunch apt at Sister Mays. She is so funny! She was
wearing a shirt that said, " Black Queen" on it and it just made me
laugh with all of her sass. She is an amazing cook too!  I walked down
her hall and nailed my head on a light that was hanging from the
ceiling. That is one thing here I ALWAYS have to duck under doorways
and lights because everything here is shorter! I am going to get a
concussion if I am not careful! We continued to work on that list that
Bishop gave us and had Dinner with Timothy. He is a member and we had
amazing homemade pizza. He is super smart and is going for his Ph.D.
in Economics. He is also writing a 3 book series on some really cool
fiction story.


Saturday... Today was a little slower but good. We had our normal
morning and taught a RC earlier at like 10:30. he is great. He even
came to church this week! Then we came home and were putting new names
on the map for new people. We finally have it all 100% updated! That
was a long process but it is done. Then we had interviews with
President Cooke. He is great! It is fun working with him and he is a
great leader! It was a short interview but good. Nice to see him in
interviews every transfer. Then we had more exciting times checking on
a lot of referrals. We were able to make contact with two of them and
one is too young and not interested while the other was the girls mom
who is a former member. Her daughter is not and she is encouraging
them to get active so this will be good!


Sunday... Amazing day until like 6:30pm. I will just say it once and
it is done. The Packers lost and I did not even get to watch one
football game this year... I am having withdrawals... But other than
that it was great. We had super productive meetings and then at church
we had 4 people come! It was so good! They loved it and we are going
to be seeing them all this week. We also got like 2 new potential
investigators and 1 new one! It was so nice to build up our teaching
pool before my son gets here! (we are expecting him any day now) haha.
We had great enchiladas with bacon for dinner and then a great turnout
for Why I Believe. The meeting was great and I got to see a lot of
DC3rd members again. Love that ward!  So ya. Today was the best. We
met or exceeded all of our goals this week and taught a lot of people.
I love missionary work! Mason you will love it! Kailan you too!  All of you guys!

So that is what life is like here in the greatest mission in the
history of life.. Thank you all for your love and prays! You are the best!

p.s. Could you all email me some salsa recipes.. I am out and am in
need. Thank you all! I have a lot of stores so close so i can get ingredients fairly easily so all i need is to know what to get! Love
you all!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in the MTC(Brazil)

"Oi Everyone!! This week has once again been the best!!! Gosh, I just love being a missionary. So I've been here for 5 weeks. Can you believe that?! It's so crazy! My visa still isn't here, but that's ok! Tomorrow I'll find out where I'm getting reassigned to wait! So exciting! And I'll get to email you all and tell you tomorrow!

The MTC is one of the greatest places on earth. Besides the food and the fact that everyone is tired all the time- those are minor issues- everything is so wonderful. My district is my family. We are so close and just thinking about leaving them all this week gets me all choked up. Something funny: Elder Holman ate my pen this week. He ATE MY PEN. He asked me what I would give him if he did it and I (thinking he must be joking) said a dollar. So he ate it. Besides the ink anyways. He paid for it the next day... Poor kid. But he is ok now! 

Sis. Post, my wonderful companion, has been going to PT a lot this week and is preparing for another procedure on her shoulder tomorrow. This has meant a lot of time out of class, which is hard. But I wouldn't trade that time for anything. She has taught me how to love. If any of you know me very well, I'm not super affectionate, but PT has been really hard for her. It's painful both physically and emotionally. Throughout the past two weeks, I have learned to care for and help and love. I know that God put us together so that we could teach each other things that we couldn't have learned other wise. God's plan is perfect. 

My teachers are amazing. Irmao Belchior is a little man from Mozambique. He speaks Portugues super fast and has a crazy accent so it's hard to understand him. But he has taught me so much. His testimony of the Book of Mormon is so powerful. I don't want to sound preachy, ok? But if you have never read it or if it's been a while since you have, PLEASE pick it up and read. God gave us that book as another testament of Christ. He still speaks to us today! How amazing is that! I'm so grateful for that knowledge I have and can't wait to share it with everyone else! No matter if it's in Brazil or.... I don't know yet! 

Anyway, sorry it was long, but I love you all so much!! Please have a wonderful week!! Amo Voces!
Love, 
Sister Overson

PS: I saw Sister Waite! And Elder Waite left for Georgia today! Keep him in your prayers!
PSS: Pics will come later today:)"

Words from Sister Heather Patterson in South Carolina

 
 
"This Christmas really was wonderful:) We had so many opportunities to serve and love people. I love Christmas as a missionary. We gave 3 investigator boys (Issiah, Jesus, Nesario) stockings full of toothpaste and deodorant and necessities. They loved it! And in return, Issiah gave us his bike, skateboard, and a couple toys to give to another boy who didn't have anything. I LOVE HIM!  Issiah wants so bad to be baptized. Its just hard getting the support system he needs. At this point, the adult figures in his life are not willing to get him to church, or help him live the standards. But its amazing how much Issiah understands. They went to another Church for a Christmas party and unfortunately they found out that we were coming over, and they began to “anti” Issiah. Issiah stood up for the church...He told them he knew it was true. And he didn't want to hear them talk bad about "The Sisters." He also tells every one in his house they aren't allowed to drink in the house. He's 10! I love him! Modern day Daniel. We gave the bike and skateboard to a little boy named Andre, whose parents don't even have enough money for the water bill. It was amazing to see the charity people have for each other. It made me want to be that way."



 

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in the MTC(Brazil)

"Oi everyone!! Not much time today, so it'll be short. Sorry! But this week has been soo fun. I love the MTC:) New Years Eve was fun. My district had a little party with the stuff Elder Harrison's family sent him. We had food and sparkling cider but the window was open. Some missionaries walked by and freaked out and started pointing at us! Haha they thought we were drinking or something!! Crazies. Then the girls in our room threw a little party. More food, loud toys and poppers that almost set off the fire alarm at 10:30!! Whoo hoo!! The Portuguese language is coming along great! Still no visa, but that's ok. Wherever the Lord sends me is where I will serve with my whole heart! I love this gospel. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be on this mission, spreading this joyous message!! What a wonderful time to be alive! The Provo temple opens again today so that's super exciting!! I love the temple so much.

We got a whole bunch of new sisters this week!! SO EXCITING!! And I also see my good friend, Elder Dayton Waite all the time! Good ole St. Johns. Also, my bff Abbie Waite tomorrow!! Yay for SJ kids letting the world know who we are!;)

One of our investigators were committed to be baptized this week!! Yay! And I'm able to form real, complete sentences now... without taking 20 minutes!!! I think the reason I've improved so much this week is completely because of my attitude. I just decided to be happy. It's a decision, you know? I trust that the Lord will help me and I'll keep doing what I can. I have faith that I'm going to be able to really learn this language. Even if I don't get to Brazil right away. Please pray for the missionaries so that they will find people ready to open their hearts to the Savior! I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful start to this new year! 2015! What?! Anyway, have a wonderful week! Eu amo voces!! Tchau!!:

Words from Elder Jared Anderson in Brazil

"This has been a great week filled with many miracles. On Saturday we were trying to contact Tâina who would be baptized the very next day. We literally tried all day passing by her house calling and everything, but to no avail. As we walked a little disheartened to our house i looked up at the sky and just prayed. Begging our Father in Heaven to bless our efforts that Tâina might be baptized. We decided to pass by her moms house one last time with just a li9ttle time before curfew. She wasn't there......... So her mom tried calling and...... she didn't answer.. I felt so much peace and just smiled and knew everything would be ok just as we were getting ready to leave Tâina called her mom and asked what was the matter the mom handed the phone to me and Tâina said, ¨ Elder Anderson, Are you ready for my baptism?¨ I just smiled so big and thanked our Father in Heaven for His mercy. Tânia was baptized the very next day, and what a wonderful day it was. Love you all and wish you the best!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Words from Elder Shad Lindsey in the Ukraine



Hey guys,
I had a really great week this week. Christmas and new years were awesome! We didn't really do anything, just worked, but thats the way it oughta be. I love my mission president, president packer. He is so focused on the purpose of missionary work. He told us a story about on his mission, he had a goal to commit someone to be baptized on christmas. He fasted and prayed and worked super hard for it. then on christmas day, he was too busy with setting up his zone's christmas party, that he never got the chance to teach a lesson on christmas. 

Then he told us that that is why we aren't going to have any sort of zone or mission activites during the holidays. He doesn't want to rob us of the chance that he didn't have to work on christmas and new years. I think that is so cool, and I have been really praying for help on how I can keep focused during this season. 

if I really do love these people, then the most important thing I can do is connect them to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is true, enduring love.

Well, we got transfers, and it looks like I'm staying one more in Brovary!!! OH YA This is gonna be my 5th transfer here. Its awesome cause before Brovary, the longest i'd ever been in one place was 2 transfer. I love these members and I know every single on of them and their story. Its so cool i m so happy to be here at least one more. Some cool news is that my new comp is from Kazakztan and he doesn't speak any english! Looks like I'll be speaking a ton of Russian next transfer! I really am excited, its gonna be hard, but I know it'll help my russian out a ton.

I love you all and I pray for ya!

The clark kids,
mom, I love you and I am so happy that you are mexican. We made enchiladas for a family the other night and they loved it!"
 

Words from Elder Kyle James in Germany

 
"Liebe Familie,

Hallo! Things are going great here! I cannot complain at all. Except the cold. Even though I am still wearing gym shorts... hahaha P-day. Well I might as well start!

Monday was a lot of fun. We played ball in Düsseldorf. We played against some German kids and also some Türkish ones. We killed them. I dunked it like 10 times hahahah. It wasn't too hard. Elder Demass and Elder Bader went to the Doctors office for DeMasss head. He is ok now though. We thought that he would have to go home... but he is ok now. Ashton and I played ball... and then Ashton cut my hair. Hmmmm... Schade. Hahha Oh well. It will grow again. Monday night... I went to Düsseldorf on a split with Nelson. It was a lot of fun. Our Train fell out to get to Düsseldorf... so the zone leaders came and got us in the car. Sweet! I love being in cars! We then went and got Pizza. 

Tuesday- was a blast. I love Elder Nelson. We had to shower in the Seminary building across town... cuz their shower ist kaputt. So we studied in the church. We then met with a member in a cafe. Then we blessed her haus for some reason. Then we went to a scary, smelly  house thing. It stunk like old sea food. We then went contacting by the Rhein. It was awesome. That was the pic of me with Das Buch Mormon next to the river. I like that picture. We gave out a Book of Mormon and a card. We then were on our way to a member appt, when we waved at a sauer looking lady in a car. We waved at her, and she smiled. Yay! We helped someone be happy! We then went to the appointment and ate some ok meat loaf. Then we split back at Düsseldorf HBH. It was a great split. Haha

Wednesday- We had DDM in the other Elders Appt. It was a lot of fun. Except when Elder Nelsen... Other elder Nelsen... gave a theme on comparing starwars to the gospel. It was weird. Then we had lunch and then met with Bruder Kalenke. He will be baptized here soon. He is super cool... and I Have seen way good progress with him. He is getting so happy! So cool! Then we had a split with Wuppertal. Yay. I stayed in Solingen.   We then went to Monheim trying to meet with inactives. It rained literally all day. Like literally. Then we went home and I bought myself a birthday dinner of wings and pizza. It was great. Sister Stoddard called me and wished me happy birthday. It was nice. 

Thursday- we met with investigators and less actives. It was a good day.

Friday was danger day. We didnt get a call. I will be in Solingen for 6 more weeks. That is fine by me! We also went and met with Investigators and what not. It was also a great day.

Saturday was transfer calls. We are all staying the same in Solingen. Yes! The Solingen Brotherhood stays! Elder Tinker got transfered:( schade. He is in Bamberg now. But ja... another 6 weeks in Solingen!

Sunday was great. It was the farewell of  Thaddäus. Lots of people came. it was great. Standermann came. He followed me all day and kept telling me weird secrets and then said that I was his brother and his friend. Heck yes! Hahaha HE was kinda loud in Sunday school. He loves talking and laughing. I love that guy. Oh ja! On Firday... we got on a bus... and someone had thrown up all over it. Saturday nights arent good. Too much bier! Hahah it stunk so bad... and people freaked out about it... we laughed at peoples faces when they saw the puke. But ja... great stuff. I figured out how to send pictures fast. I hate doing it in the internet laden. It takes forever.  So ja.

WELL that Is about it. This week will be a super good week. I am excited to see what It brings. I love doing missionary work. OH YEAH! I got the packages. From grandma and grandpa and from you guys. I loved them. I have totally seen the company that made the Solingen stuff. I saw it like everyday when we had to take the Ersatzverkehr to Remscheid. Pretty cool! That you so much! ANd thank you Grandma and grandpa! Love you guys!

Today we are going to Düsseldorf to shop for Bader. He lost my split bag on the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal.. it had a lot of his stuff in it. I feel bad for him. He though I was going to be mad... but I wasnt. I am a good dad. 

Anyway... I love you guys. Thank you so much for everything. I love serving the Lord and watching people as they come closer to Him. I love seeing progress in their Eyes. It is a mircale. I am so blessed. I really am. I love having fun here. I try to make every bad situation fun. There is no point in being a grumpy missionary. The work goes great... and I am doing great as well.

I love you guys! Thank you for praying for me. Remember that the Lord loves you more than you can comprehend. I cant wait to see you in a year and a half! I will be sad to leave too:( Oh well!


And could you send me lots of pictures via email? Like pictures of me and fishing and that huge carp I caught? Could you just send me like a lot of pictures of you guys... us... me... everything? I would really love that. Lots of pictures are on my FB. Just steal them! Haha

Anyway... thankyou!

Love you guys!

Stay good!"