Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Words from SIster Hailey Overson in Brazil

This place is great, the first day I got here, I learned an important lesson. BE HUMBLE. It's a constant battle for me but I'm always fighting. The most important knowledge I have is the knowledge that I know nothing. It's the truth, I love my comp, he's the human version of tow mater. Being humbled is actually a blessing here, cause I've found that after I am, I get the best spiritual highs. Funny how that works. I've learned so much about the gospel here, teaching it makes you have to know it well, thats for sure... I love my instructors here, if any missionaries get a sister rasmussen you're so lucky it's ridiculous. I freaking love her, she's taught me so much and she likes depth in gospel conversations amongst the district. She's so cool. The MTC is great, but I'm ready for the field.

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Brazil

Hey everyone! Sorry I´ve been so bad about writing! But this week was awesome. We have more people to be teaching and Paula is set for a baptism date on the 29th of Agosto. Her husband is a member but hasnt been to church in a real long time. When we taught the message of the restoration, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized he started crying. I love being a missionary. I love helping families. He´s already talking about getting married in the temple in a year and I am so excited for them. I´m so grateful for this gospel and for the knowledge that we have that families can be together forever. It was a beautiful experience for me. I love being a missionary. Oh! And as of tomorrow I´m going to be training a new missionary! I am so excited and so scared. My Portugu√™s isnt perfect but I know the Lord will help and we are going to see miracles here in Birigui!! I love you all so much! Thank you for the prayers and emails! Hope yall have a wonderful week!!!<3
Sister Overson

Words from Elder Jake Zieler in Canada

This week was a really good one! Sorry it's been a while. Things have been really busy over here, which is a good thing.
This past week was transfer week and it was pretty wild with missionaries who needed to catch flights and to be picked up from their flights, but everything worked out in the end. I got my new companion and he's from Missouri so i'm trying to make good friends with him so we can have a place to stay during the 2nd coming:) haha just kidding. But he's a really funny guy with a sarcastic sense of humor so we get along good. His name is Elder Briscoe and we served in the same district about 10 months ago. 
We saw a really awesome miracle together the other day. So a couple weeks ago, my companion and I found an awesome lady at her doorstep who said she had been looking for a church to go to. She was really nice and was a solid truth seeker. She gave us her number and said we could come back that next Tuesday. So when Tuesday rolled around we gave her a call to confirm the appointment and she told us that things weren't going to work out because she talked to her boyfriend about it and he said if we went by, it would cause a lot of problems between them and their relationship. So we were pretty disappointed. But then this last week, we were in her neighborhood and we wondered if we should go knock on the door, so while standing in the driveway, we prayed about it. We both felt good about knocking on her door, so we did. It turns out, it was her boyfriend that answered and we played it off like we were just making the rounds and he was pretty hesitant about the whole thing. We ended up talking about the Book of Mormon and he was hit by the spirit pretty hard. Then out of no where he said, "I know why you guys are here and I don't appreciate you trying to convert my girlfriend behind my back. you aren't welcome back at this door." And then it got slammed haha The slamming part wasn't so bad, but we knew he felt the spirit so it was frustrating. Anyway, we went to some of his neighbors and knocked on their doors, and on our way back to the car, he came outside and we were getting ready for some anti or something, but he walked up to us and said, "I'm sorry guys. That's not who I am. When I shut the door I realized how big of a jerk I was. I just wanted to apologize." And then he went on to tell us about this documentary that he watched about Mormons and told us if we wanted to teach his girlfriend, he'd rather have us teach them both at the same time! It was an awesome experience. God is good:)
Also, while transfers were going on, I was companions with an Elder from Papua New Guinea. His name is Elder Aua and he's legit! We had a pillow talk conversation all night about how he would have to run from alligators chasing him because he'd steal their eggs so he could eat them. And just told me stories about the life he  lives back home and it was awesome! makes me want to go there someday. He's the first missionary from there ever to come to Canada! He's a stud!

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everyone!

I don't have much time so this will be short sorry!
This week was SO busy but so great! It was packed full of meetings, but I have to say I have come to love meetings on my mission. I learn so much from them and feel the Spirit so strong. My poor companion though! She's been so patient and loving through this crazy week and how grateful I am for her! She's has such an amazing spirit and love for others. I feel like she's training me!
Sunday Jade got confirmed by our Ward Mission Leader and it was wonderful! He gave her the most beautiful blessing - he counseled her to marry a worthy young man in the temple and that if she did so, she would have a righteous family and her kids would call her blessed forever. Her mother was crying and so was I! She's hopefully going to seminary and her mother has agreed to go to institute! And she's really excited about family history. Please pray that we can start teaching her soon!
Something really cool that happened this week is we were out tracting (our mission president now requires that we tract at least an hour every day - if we don't have set appointments) and as we went up to one house to knock, I got a strong impression to go visit a man named Jude (he's a member's neighbor). So we went over to his house and he wasn't home. I figured the spirit wanted us there for a reason so we knocked some more doors with no success, and then low and behold Jude drove up! We talked to him for like 20 minutes and he told us he was given a BOM years ago by some co-workers and they had all signed it. He didn't necessarily agree to take the lessons, but he said he'd like to visit with us some more so I'm praying we can make it happen. We had such a good, spirit-filled conversation! How grateful I am for the Spirit in my life. This experience taught me to follow impressions always.
There were so many other miracles, but I just don't have time. I love you all so much and thank you for all your prayers! I am feeling their power in my life more and more every day. I have such a testimony of the power of prayer! I know it works and I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful week and please, keep doing missionary work. Keep finding people for the missionaries to teach! We need you. We so badly need your help. We cannot do this alone! I promise that more blessings will come into your life than you have room enough to receive if you put missionary work as a priority. It brings more joy than anything this world has to offer!

Love you and God bless!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Well guess what?! :) i got transfered to a new area! It was ssooooo hard to leave my Sabana Grande but i love my new area. Its called Comayagua and its crazy hot.. its one of the hottest areas of the mission... yay!!! I love the heat!! (haha kinda....) I love htis area. It is HUGE! Like i didn`t know areas could be this big.... its the most i have ever walked on my mission.. and i thought i had walked a lot. haha But its great. :) we sweat always.... every moment.. and there is no relief.. how did people do it in the olden days?! i don`t know.. but htey were amazing! I have a new comp. and she is white like me :) she is from new mexico. Her name is Hermana Hurst and she is the most amazing Hermana I have ever met. She is sooo positive and loves people llike i have never seen. We are working so much and have already seen a lot of blessings together. 

We had a baptism Saturday. Her name is Noemi and she is 9 years old. Her parents are member and we are helping them return to church. She is the most cutest little thing ever! In one of our lessons, we asked if there was a time in her life when she felt really happy, adn she told us that when we started coming to their house, she felt beyond happy. :) we were able to explain it was the spirit and she was so excited. I am soo grateful to have been able to teach her this week before her baptism. My heart is full of love for her. This area is amazing. We have soo much help from the members and i am soo excited to work her!

Well, I just need to thank you for all your prayers and support here! I have had an amaing 2 weeks and i can honestly say that my grandma`s death has changed my mission. She changes my life everyday here. And it has made me such a better missionary. I feel her soo much here and i feel her pushing me forward. I love this mission! i can`t describe the joy that comes from being able to help people. That is our job as missionaries, to help people. To invite them to have better lives through our Savior, Jesus Crhist and i testify that nothing brings greater joy! I love this gospel. I love my Savior. and i am soooo grateful for this chance to represent Him to the people of Honduras. I love you all!! I love my family and i know that we will live together forever!!! I thank you all for all you do. You are all amazing!!


Hermana Platt

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well family another week has gone by and we are breathing and so is my companion so we must be doing something right. Haha I love my comp! So let's look at the week.

Tuesday... Today was a lot of fun. I was on exchanges with a Elder Gaudette who is one of my favorite missionaries. He is such a good kid! We had a super good day to. This week as a whole was incredible.
We taught Sister Jackson who is living in a group home and we had a great chat on the light of Christ. She is so innocent and she finally came to church this week! We had another good lesson with the Forsons who, as a family, are now going to have a ward mission plan specifically designed for their family to use during the school year. We then had a classic Anacostia night when we went to check on sister white. She was not home but her son in law was there out front writing a note to leave
on the door. He and the family want Robert to go. You all don't understand what is going on. It is something I will tell you in 10
months. But we heard a real and legit scary death threat on Roberts life. That is all I will say now.

Wednesday... Departing Temple Trip!! We had a wonderful session and I just love being in the temple. It was a good session. The temple will be closing soon so I was able to get my fair share of time in before
then. We had our mission office trip after which took up a lot of time. We hustled home to make it back in time for our dinner
appointment with sister Walker. She had a friend over who is a very well learned bible scholar. He studies the different meanings of the words in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, etc. it was fun talking about the use of those words and phrases back in Christs day. He is also very interested. Before we had even started the lesson he asked if he was
allowed to come to church. What!?!? No way! Yea you can! That was my highlight of the day.

Thursday... Today we also spent the entire day up by the temple. We had our Zone District Meeting at the DC Stake center right next to it before we had a meeting on the 7th floor, which is the priesthood
assembly room. The talks were the bomb! I learned so much more about symbolism. We were not permitted to do a session because Salt Lake says missionaries can only do one a transfer. So we did our weekly planning at the VC and then went back to the temple that evening for a
recent convert stake baptism trip. Walking in we saw a couple from our Ward who were baptized just under a year ago and they had just been sealed and endowed. They had to get 1st presidency approval to do it but we pushed because the temple is closing for two months. They were
so happy! Temple days are the best.

Friday... Today was the most successful day of checking on referrals I have ever had on my mission. I loved these days! We were super blessed and were able to get two return appointments and a new investigator who seems very genuine. His name is Jima (pronounced Jimmy) and he is baptist. Very converted to Christ and he is still seeking the truth. We loved our talk and Man my comp is such a good teacher! We teach well together also. It is just great. We ended the night with my first exposure to the Jacks. They are such a fun family. They are investigators who ask silly questions and believe the anti videos they
see on YouTube. It is kind of pathetic but this time we met we actually had a good discussion. She posed questions and we searched the scriptures together in a friendly manner without contention. We
read and prayed together and it actually helped her. Those are good lessons :)

Saturday... Baseball!! We had our annual baseball game! But the morning
first. We had a lot of service and I did a lot of weed pulling and mowing. Their yard looks fabulous now. Anywho, the baseball game. We had our Nats game and it was a lot of fun. There was a new mission
president there and I got a super cool hat. Before the game we had convinced elder Tilby and Tuffly that we were not going to the game because we were in trouble. We had them convinced and when they saw us
they were like, "why are you here President will get mad at you" :) we got them! Haha. It was a good day to relax while still doing
missionary work. Late night though with call ins. Our zone is the furthest south so for that last companionship to get in it took a while. We got to bed around 1am. Mom, you know me at 1 in the morning... All sunshine and roses huh? (He's definitely a a "early to bed early to rise" kinda guy, always has been)

So as you can see life here is good. I have found out I will most likely be leaving this transfer. No fun leaving Anacostia. It is a
good Ward and the people are so fun. I love being a missionary and serving the lord. He really is there to strengthen us. I love him and you!

Elder Herring

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

SAMUT PRAKAN (this is the area i am currently serving it)
well its crazy to think another week has gone by and its also the last summer week back home! hope you all enjoy it but this week was great started off with monday heading over to a zoo which was interesting there were a lot of people there and it was pretty fun  everyone ahd a good time then tuesday rolls around we had meetins as usual and then we had the chance to teach a new investigator who was good then we taught englsih which i like doing i also had one of my friends who made it this week so that made it that much better! wednesday we went and invited and got some small things we needed to get done done and so we also taught and investigator and then we had zone training thursday we had the chnace to go and visit and rc and meet his wife and it was great i was very humbled after the visit they are great people and its was great the wife made some food and asked us to try it and ahha i thought thai food was spicy i ahd some cambodian food and it was like eating pure peppers but it was great:) friday we had the chance to teach and visit some people who we dont usually talk to so that was great then we invited and went over the a members house and had a family home eving and watch john tanners story with them:) then saturday we went and served at a members house where we got some jack fruit out of her tree for her it was pretty great:) sunday the other companionship had a baptism is was great her testimony was short and sweet and to the point:) it was good but all is going well here and i see the Lords hand in the work everyday!i pray all is well and that all is safe back home enjpy the last week:) Love you guys
Love Elder Davis:) 

Words from Elder Eli Frazier in Peru

Awesome week, wow, the spirit really burns like a fire! I have a constant confirmation being full of the spirit everyday! This coming 26 of aguast we get to have a huge conference with Elder Bednar!!!! Im way pumped that hes coming to our mission! This past week my relationship with my companion grew so much as we turned over all of our lessons to the spirit and helped one another. Really charity is everything! Theres lots of feelings and thoughts i have in my head that i cant really explain but i know theyre true. Personal <revelaton is so important, please continue to read and pray everyday and go to church every week! And invite your family, and every single person in this world is your family. Love and miss you all!
A member made me a scarf! a little femenine but i wore it cuz shes just awesome! And a pic of a lady on a wall. And spme crackers and my coke! hahaha:)
Elder FRazier

Words from Sister Abbi Waite in Texas

Dear all,

Miracletown continues to be full of miracles! The Merrilltown ward hadn't had a baptism in over a year, and we've had two in the last two weeks! I wish I could say that I had anything to do with it. It was all the Spirit... and the members! Members play such a huge role in missionary work! Especially in the stories of Lupe and Ryan. They were both active member referrals who had seen the light and example of their member friends and desired it for themselves! 

Did you realize that you can do missionary work by just being a good example? However, the invitation is super important, too! The success is in the invitation! In the commitment you have to living true to the gospel and setting a good example! How wonderful is that? I was always super scared to invite... but there was no reason to be! The success is in the invitation, not in if the person you invite is baptized, or even hears what you have to say. All we're asked to do is open our mouths! 

... Oh no. Have I become preachy?! ... I don't even know who I am anymore. Haha! I'll get off my soap box. 

I hope y'all are doing well and noticing all the miracles in your lives! God's hand is everywhere. I feel like we too often look for big things, but the little things are miracles, too!

Ryan was baptized and confirmed this weekend, and it was really neat to see. He's been letting the Atonement change his life! Which is something we all need to do! He's so super great! :) 

We were able to meet a lot of neat people this week, including a guy who we're pretty sure plays football for UT. He was really jealous that I'd had dinner with Ty Detmer. But, honestly, who wouldn't be? ;) 

I have so many things flying around in my head that I could write about, but I just can't choose and I am running out of time. Just know that I love this area and my companion so much! We are working hard (not hardly working) and seeing the miracles and blessings that come from that. I can hardly believe that it is week 5 of the transfer already! And August! ... I don't remember authorizing that! Oh well, time moves on. I hope to be able to continue growing as it continues running. 

One scripture I absolutely love is Mark 9:23:

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

All things are possible to him that believeth! Believing, or faith, being the key word there. I have seen the effects of faith in my life, and especially in missionary work. We are taught to find by faith, to teach with the faith that the Spirit will confirm our words, to have faith that those we help bring into the fold will be able to continue onward... To HAVE FAITH. 

I thought I had faith before, but as I have truly learned to study the scriptures, pray meaningfully, and truly obey and believe... my faith has grown! Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said

"Our faith is the foundation upon which all our spiritual lives rest. It should be the most important resource of our lives. Faith is not so much something we believe; faith is something we live." 

Brothers and sisters and the like, faith is something that we live! If we live like we believe, our faith will grow, and all things will be possible to us! We will not be left alone. In Elder Wirthlin's words:

"Be of good cheer. Have faith and confidence. The Lord will not forsake you."

I know this to be true, just as I know it was spoken by a chosen servant of the Lord. An Apostle! 

Look for miracles and strengthen your faith! 

Sister Waite

Words from Elder McKell Bradshaw in Scotland

The week has been good though! lots of dropped appointments again, but still good. Found a couple more people. oh and I had the coolest experience with the Holy Ghost on Thursday! So we were waiting to get on the bus when a guy came up to us and asked us if we were Mormons, so we said yeah. He then began to tell us how our church destroyed his relationship with his girlfriend, and got him thrown in jail... We didn't really know what to say, but luckily our bus got there so we just went and got on. But he got on as well, and sat by us and asked us why we celebrate Christmas since its a Pagen holiday or something like that. So we were explaining things and everytime we answered his questions, he would say, "Nope, that's not how it is" and then he would continue to say that he was not trying to say we were wrong... like flip, what a hypocrite! Then he began to tell us stuff about how God was a hypocrite, and that Satan was really actually good, and how God was really a female.... like I had no idea where this was all coming from... I really didn't know what to tell him. I was kind of just silent, when I felt like I needed to confront him about his own hypocritical sayings.  So I did told him that he kept saying he wasn't trying to prove us wrong, but really he was! Then I said a bunch of other stuff that I don't even remember, and by the time we got off the bus, he was kind of in shock, and was really contradicting everything he was telling us in the beginning! He then told us to keep up our beliefs! I have no doubt that the Holy Ghost made a fool out of him. Nothing I said were my own words! They were the spirit's! So that was my cool experience of the week! 

Words from Sister Brittany Platt in Colorado

Olo everyone!

Thank you so much for all your support and prayers and love for me and my sister and also for my family. I cried today as I read about my grandma's funeral and the celebrations of her life! I know she wouldn't want there to be sorrow, only happiness and a huuuuuuge party! How I wish I could've been there, but how grateful I am that so many people came. I wish I could tell you all of the moments I have felt her on my mission this past week. I know she is with me and I have felt more strength than I ever have in my entire life this past week.
Something truly wonderful happened this past week.....Jade, our 14-year old investigator, got baptized!!!!!! Oh how I wish all of you could've been there. She came back from a trip last Monday and we met with her on Tuesday. We were so nervous because we weren't sure if she had received an answer to be baptized. As we taught her and then asked her if she still wanted to be baptized she very reverently said she felt it was right for her and really wanted to! Oh my goodness, I wanted to shout for joy right then (we did later in the car as we drove away)!!!! We planned the baptism and she asked that two of the young women we had brought to her lessons give talks at her baptism. How wonderful is that? Then, her next door neighbor, Sister Forsythe (she's the member that introduced us to Jade initially) offered to have her two little girls and Jade's little sister Phoebe sing "I Am a Child of God." And she also offered to have a dinner and dessert right after the baptism for anyone who wanted to come! Blessings, miracles, tender mercies!!!!! We met with Jade 3 other times and I wish I had time to describe all of the miracles that came from those meetings! I will tell briefly of one. She texted us Thursday night asking if we could come over first thing in the morning. We were a little worried about her, but she said everything was fine. Well, when we got over there she told us of a very creepy and real experience she had had with the devil the night before and I could not believe what I was hearing! I knew that he was trying to stop her from getting baptized! She expressed doubts about baptism because of the creepy experience she had had. Sister Wilde and I had one of the most spirit-filled lessons I've ever had on my mission! The Spirit literally put into our minds everything we needed to say, to read, and to testify of. It was not us speaking! It was incredible to watch her countenance change as she felt the Spirit and as her concerns were resolved. I truly believe that the Lord has great things in store for this young woman because Satan was fighting her so hard! Well, Sunday at 4:30 she was baptized and the relief society room was packed!! It felt like the entire ward was there! And Jade's whole family came - her parents and her brother and sister. It was such a beautiful and spiritual baptism. And the ward just loved on her parents and family and greeted them and gave them gifts! And afterwards they all went to Sister Forsythe's for dinner and dessert and loved on Jade's family even more. It was truly one of the most touching experiences I've ever had. God is SO good. She will be confirmed next Sunday and she's so on fire, it's wonderful to see! Her mother told us that she also knows the church is true and that she someday wants to get baptized, just like her daughter! MIRACLES!
One more story and then I need to go. So, I received a call Friday night that I was to train a brand-new missionary. I have to say, I was so nervous and it was the last thing in the world that I wanted to do. After saying goodbye to my dear, wonderful companion (she finished her mission and went back to Canada :( :( :( ), we picked up our new missionaries on Monday. We drove to the mission office where they were at receiving some training and instructions, and the AP's stuck us in a separate room to wait until it was time to meet our new companions. Well, they filed us in to the adjoining room where all the Greenies were, and we were separated by those huge divider things. They lined us up and I was third in line. Man was I nervous!!!! Right before they let me into the room to meet my Greenie, one of the AP's whispered "Say something awesome!" I walked in, held out my arms, and exclaimed "Hi Sweetie!" ........... What the what?!?! That's what came out of my mouth?! #thatjusthappened I NEVER say the word sweetie, EVER! It was so embarrassing. #oldladyproblems Everyone burst out laughing and I turned bright red. I tell ya what, the longer I serve the more awkward I get! My Greenie told me afterwards that she felt like it was the perfect thing I could've said for her because it calmed her nerves immediately.....I think she's just being nice, but ya know. I'll just go down in history as THE awkward trainer in the Colorado Denver North Mission!
Other than that, God has been so good to me because I have the best Greenie ever! She's from Oregon, she's 23, and she's on fire! Her name is Sister Banner and she came pre-trained and she already seems like she's been on a mission for like 6 months. I think God knew, because I'm so old, that I needed someone easy to train and who can also train me. :) :) Well, there were so many other miracles and funny stories from last week I wish I could tell y'all but I just don't have time. I want you all to know that I know, with all the conviction I have, that this gospel is true. That Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer, and that there are prophets on the earth today and that the Book of Mormon is THE best book on this earth. Oh how I love that book! My previous companion, Sister Wilde, and I memorized "The Living Christ." We had the opportunity to recite it as a dinner message to a few members before she left and I testify that the words in that declaration of our Savior are true. It feels like it's now my words, my testimony.
I hope you all have an amazing week and that you continue to live every day for the Lord! Don't ever forget your purpose. Study the scriptures and pray every day, go to church every week, be obedient, and go to the temple, and I promise you you will be blessed beyond comprehension! God bless you all!

Love, Sister Platt

Words from Elder Garrett Davis in Thailand

"well this week w as great sorry i am short on time this week but i just wanted to let you know that this week was great as always week starts off with pday with ping pong in the elders house it was pretty relaxed:) tuesday we had meetings and also had some investigator lessons then english class which was pretty exciting wednesday we had a switch off with the zone leaders but i went with another companion and his name is elder dickey and hes from maine hes a stud i love the guy reminded me a little bit of Austin:) haha funny guy thrusday we had a chance to meet with president Johnson and talk about our area then we had the chance to talk to him individually which was great i asked some things that i was curious to know :) we also had book of mormon class which was great! fridday we did some things that need to be done like updating our area and dealing some house stuff:) then we invited and taught investigators and had a meeting with bishop and trying to help some less actives come back then saturday we invited taught a couple lessons and then set and cleaned up the church:) sunday we had church and then visited some people who were sick with some members and the visit the nice old guy pie tune no thats not his name its just sounds like his thai name:) but he is a stud paralyzed on the right side of his body great guy:) but all is well  i pray all is well and that all the spirits are high and everyone is healthy:) Love you guys:)
Love Elder Davis!!"

Words from Elder Chandon Herring in Washington DC

Well this week is over again. We keep chipping away and they get faster. Life here is really good. We had a great week.

Tuesday... We started the week with exchanges and I was down in the
best ward in the mission. White Plains 2!! We had a good day with quite a few lessons. One of the ladies we met with has had a rough last few years and she is very bitter about it. We tried to comfort
her a little then my companion who will remain unnamed rebuked her for
having such a bad attitude and she broke down crying and was done. I tried to recover and she ended up staying and apologizing but he was really harsh on her. We ended the night at a families home for dinner. We had tacos for the first time on my mission. They were just like
grandma carols tacos. Delish! The best part was we milked their goat andThursday... Today was our regular zone district meeting which went super well. The lessons and workshops helped us and the zone had a good week. Our zone is improving. After we went to Olive Garden and I have to say I love the soup and salad thing. I ate so much! We drove home and went on an exchange with the assistants. I went with a Elder Ord. He is a super cool kid from Cali who I don't know to well. We had an awesome night. We stopped by and taught Robert and Sis white. And
scheduled some service. We then checked on a few referrals and one of them is super solid! Her name is Latori and we are seeing her tonight. She is very nice and tries to grow. She is, "very careful what I feed
myself spiritually." But we are excited to see her. We ended the night with a recent convert who is struggling. They are a good family but just like high school kids dating. On the off. And we were  able to
enjoy some of the best food ever. Sister Biolo makes pumpkin bars that are so darn delicious.
good day. We got a lot done. We ended the night with a couple
that are married by African tradition but not by our requirements who are wanting to separate. We had a good marriage counseling session with the Biolos then they left us to teach and it was so awkward
because those two are done with eachother. No fun there.

 Thursday... Today was our regular zone district meeting which went super well. The lessons and workshops helped us and the zone had a good week. Our zone is improving. After we went to Olive Garden and I have to say I love the soup and salad thing. I ate so much! We drove home and went on an exchange with the assistants. I went with a Elder Ord. He is a super cool kid from Cali who I don't know to well. We had an awesome night. We stopped by and taught Robert and Sis white. And
scheduled some service. We then checked on a few referrals and one of them is super solid! Her name is Latori and we are seeing her tonight. She is very nice and tries to grow. She is, "very careful what I feed
myself spiritually." But we are excited to see her. We ended the night with a recent convert who is struggling. They are a good family but just like high school kids dating. On the off. And we were  able to
enjoy some of the best food ever. Sister Biolo makes pumpkin bars that are so darn delicious.

Friday... Interviews! Yes you guessed it! We were at the stake center from 9-5:30 coordinating the interviews. It is a lot of fun to talk with the other members of the zone. They are a bunch of good missionaries. Nothing too big is wrong. Our interviews are last and president cooke told us that he has never seen this zone performing
better. That was a good compliment to hear. We are trying. He told us he will try to keep us here for a couple more to keep it up. He is a good man. We then went to an appointment with Van. He is a very smart
guy but not at the same time. We talked about the BOM and how we need it. It was a super good night!
Saturday! We got to go to the temple for a few hours! It was the recent convert temple trip and it was not as organized as it was
before.  So it was a bit of a mess but the
experience went well. Our recent convert had his own family names and it just was cool. All that came loved it. We had a meeting before with all the ZLs, the APs, and president talking about some new things that the mission is going to be starting and how to improve our current
situation as a mission. Our mission is doing well. It was a good time to be with the other missionaries. They are just a good group of guys.

Sunday... Good day as well. We had a great meeting before church and a good service. I was the organ player again. Woo Hoo! I am now a certified button pusher! It was awkward because the hymn for the
sacrament was not programmed on the organ and I do not know that one so we and to change it haha. After church we enjoyed a break the fast at the Forsons home. We ate a ton of spaghetti!  That was where their son Malik decided he liked me.
He is a good kid. We ended the night checking in on some people and it
was a good night talking. We saw a drunk and high Jamaican walking down the street with a guitar and elder Humphrey is a good player so we stopped and talked then elder Humphrey played his guitar for a while. We had fun. I love being with these people they are just good.

So I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Herring

Words from Sister Abbi Waite in Texas

Dear all, 

It cooled down a little bit this week... I even wore some sweaters! And by that I mean that it was only in the upper-90s and I was freezing. What have I become?! Haha! 

We also celebrated Christmas in July this week... mostly because we found the David Archuleta Christmas CD in our car. (Isn't that always the reason? Haha!) That may or may not still be playing. I admit to nothing. 

This week was definitely a busy one. The work is truly rolling forward in Merrilltown/Heritage Trail! We've been teaching so many wonderful people! We're still working on continually finding, but we've already seen the Lord's hand in that, with so many new people falling into our path. We visited a less-active family yesterday, and set their unbaptized son on date! They all had such wonderful questions and insights and were really ready to come back. We're excited to continue working with them! An answer to our prayers and fasts. We're especially excited to continue working with members to find (especially future and new members!)

We also have another baptism on Saturday at 1 o'clock. Ryan is awesome. He's so willing to change and he's already started doing missionary work! :) 

I was able to witness two baptisms on Saturday and I can't tell you how great it was to be able to see two people who I have come to know and love take that step! Especially Geoff, since I've worked with him so much longer. That was such a spiritual strengthening. It also got me thinking about how blessed I have been on my mission to be able to meet so great children of Heavenly Father! I feel much as Ammon did in Alma 26: How great reason have I to rejoice; for could I have supposed when I started from the land of Arizona that God would have granted unto me such great blessings? Who can glory too much in the Lord? Who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. Have I not reason to rejoice?

I wish I had time to tell the entirety of Lupe's story, but you'll have to be content in knowing that it is much like Cesario's. When friends share the gospel, lives are changed! 

We had to leave Geoff's baptism a little early to rush north to Lupe's, so I missed Geoff bearing his testimony. BUT, he did share with me a quote that he was going to use, and I think it's very fitting: 

"I bear my witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I testify to you that, thanks to His love, it is possible to change. It is possible to leave our weaknesses behind. It is possible to reject the evil influences in our lives, control our anger, become meek, and develop the attributes of our Savior. He showed us the way. He gave us the perfect example and commanded each one of us to become as He is. His invitation to us is to follow Him, follow His example, and become like Him." 
-Elder Ulisses Soares (Be Meek and Lowly of Heart)

Oh Geoff. I love Geoff. 

Geoff told me a story once. I almost cried (and by that, of course, I mean that I did cry and just didn't want to admit it). He told us that after returning home after church his first Sunday, he got down next to his bed on his self-described "busted and crippled" knees and prayed to know if what he was learning about was true. He was in tears when he told us of his answer: Yes! 

I hope that all of us will follow Geoff's example. His is a story of true change and learning. He learned how to use the Atonement and worked until he got there. His testimony never faltered, even amidst some crazy trials. He has truly tested Moroni's promise, and look at where he is now! :) 

I have done the same! I know with all of my heart that the true gospel of Jesus Christ is once again upon the earth! I know that Heavenly Father used Joseph Smith as an instrument in His hands to restore to the earth the priesthood and the other essential principles and ordinances of the gospel that were lost after the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles. I know that the Book of Mormon is evidence of this and will help us grow closer to Jesus Christ than any other book will. I know that Christ himself leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through prophets and apostles, including President Thomas S. Monson. And most importantly, I know that Jesus is the Christ, my Redeemer and faithful Friend. It is through Him that I will be able to return to my loving Father in Heaven. And for that, I am ever grateful. 

Sister Waite

Words from Sister Hannah Platt in Honduras

Thank you soo much for your sweet emails this week! i have no time to wirte today, bu ti just want you all to know that i love you and am so grateful for all you ahve done for me and my family this week! i have felt your prayers and am doing well!
hermana Platt

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

This week was pretty much the best week of my life :) I don't know why, it just was! I have never been happier before in my whole entire life! I have just felt such love for these people and the gospel, and it has been soo wonderful! We have exceeded many of our goals, and truly are giving our whole might over to the lord. Our whole hearts, mind, might and strength! It's pretty exhausting, but there is NOTHING more rewarding :)

We were able to set 2 baptism dates with two brand new people :) They are young boys, and are soaking up the gospel with all of their little bodies! They are so prepared, and the parents are so on board! It was a true miracle! It was such a tender mercy being able to teach them the restored gospel and watch their faces light up. How to pray. It was awesome :) Little kids are the best! We have another lesson with them tonight!

Yesterday was the best day ever! It was fast Sunday, so we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies in three of our wards. Oh my gosh, all throughout the day, the spirit was so apparent. We were super busy, and had the best lessons ever.

Last night we were able to teach Stephanie, who has also accepted to be baptized. She is so wonderful. The spirit was so strong during our lesson, as we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is accepting all of it, and has such a pure heart and sweet spirit. We bore our testimonies of our love for her, and of the love our Heavenly Father has for her. I've never seen so many people cry before in a lesson! Her husbands face was GLOWING when she said she would be baptized. I know it will bless their lives tremendously :) I know it!

Terry- oh goodness- what a miracle! Terry is such a neat person. She is feeling the spirit, and believes the restored gospel. She says it just makes SENSE! It all has been clicking in her mind, and the spirit is testifying so strongly to her. Her husband shared his AMAZING conversion story, and all of our testimonies doubled. The Atonement truly works, and cleanses people. And Terry really wants that for herself and her family :)She said her choice to be baptized is between her and the Lord, and thats it. And she has definitely made some progress :)

This week I have truly learned what happiness is. I've been wondering why it is so happy. We get yelled at, we get exhausted, Satan works on us super hard, we get discouraged, yet it is so happy. Why?! Because it doesn't matter how WE feel. It doesn't matter if I'M tired. It doesn't matter if WE get doors slammed in our face. Because the true happiness comes from watching OTHERS come unto Christ. When we see our INVESTIGATORS learn how to pray, when I see my COMPANION learning to trust in the spirit, when I see SOMEONE accept the gospel and read the Book of Mormon. Those are pure joys. That is when I am happy.And by doing my very very best, and allowing the Lord to do the rest, I can be satisfied with my work. I know that the Spirit is guiding me, and by showing my love for others, I am blessings lives. As I take the time to pray for these people by name, their concerns, their lives, my love deepens for them. I can feel the love the savior has for all of us.I know this gospel is true! I KNOW the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints is the ONLY true church upon the face of the earth. I know it, and I will never ever ever ever ever deny it. It is true. And how do I know?! I know by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know because when I read the Book of Mormon, the spirit testifies to me what I read is true.

I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for my Savior! And I am grateful I have learned to type really fast so that I can say so much in my emails :) Thanks for everything!

Elder Otto

Words from Elder McKell Bradshaw in Scotland

Hey Everyone! This week has been quite grand! Haha, had normal district meetings, and then a Zone meeting, which are always fun! Mainly because you get to see other missionaries and hear a bunch of other stories! It's pretty great really! 

Anyway, only had one lesson this week, a couple more dropped appointments... which are never good. But we had a lot of time to go finding. And finding really isn't my favorite thing to do. But after a week of finding like this, I might come to actually like finding! We seriously found like 7 solid potential investigators! I've also come to the conclusion, that we find more success talking to the younger people here. Mostly because they aren't stuck in a religion like the older people are. Were getting ready to teach about 7 or 8 people all in their early 20's. That doesn't happen too often here in Scotland. So hopefully they will go great! I definetly have a testimony that the Lord does put people, prepared to hear the gospel, in missionaries paths!

Anyway, I love you guys! Its great to hear from everyone!

Elder Mckell Bradshaw  

Words from Elder Adam Otto in Idaho

This week was amazing! We saw SO many miracles happen! Life has just been so extremely good lately! I know for a fact know, that after we are tested and tried, after the trial of our faith, we are blessed tremendously! 
Last week was pretty difficult, but this week has just soared! We were able to exceed many of our goals, and we got several new people to teach. We have 3 current progressing investigators who are just so prepared!
Terry has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying with her member husband daily. She has a strong desire to change so she can help her family. She realized yesterday while we were giving talks about families, that she needed to help herself before she could help her loved ones. We discussed the Restoration, and she believes it all! She has expressed many spiritual experiences, and loves seeing how happy this all makes her. She comes to church every week! We should be seeing some wonderful results soon! J

Stephanie is in another similar situation! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel with her member husband. She really wants to KNOW the church is true. We had another lesson with her yesterday, and discussed the Plan of Salvation. She said it all makes so much sense, and compared to her other religious background, this gospel goes into detail, and tells ya how it is! That’s because it’s true J She has been coming to church weekly, and is doing great! We were reading about resurrection in Alma 11, and she was glad her husband would not be bald when he was resurrected J

Tom is doing great! He would totally be baptized tomorrow, but he needs to marry his girlfriend first! They have been living together for 22 years, and just need to commit! But his girlfriends heart is truly softening, and she has been expressing many feelings of how she needs to change, and get back active again. Tom also comes to church every week J

This past week we have been totally focused on improving. We have been super obedient, but we decided we needed to be more effectively and efficiently obedient! So we have been praying our whole hearts out, planning extensively for our investigators, and just loving them! Miracles have happened all over our area. The members here are excellent and helping us achieve all that the Father has planned for in Shelley J

Everyday of my life I just thank my Heavenly Father for the privilege I have of being a missionary! It is so wonderful, and I love every bit of it! Thank you all so much for your prayers. I have TRULY felt them this week. Satan has been more and more apparent the more we try to follow our Savior. But we have gained extra strength from Christ to deal with these trials. We are strong soldiers in God’s army!
I love you all, and hope you have an excellente week!!!!
Love, Elder Otto

Words from Elder Levi Crosby in Kentucky

Man what an exciting week. This week there was the county fair. We did a family history booth. it worked pretty good. I felt like a salesman for some reason. I got to see a couple tractor and truck pulls and that was really cool! We also went to this crazy ladies house, the one where we wrangled alpacas to help her kill some chickens. My companion got kind of weirded out.. He was from a big city so that explains that. We had a roast for lunch and I asked what it was and she said what do you think? And I said beef? No way.. It was alpaca.. The mission is still nothing I expected. Haha anyways the thing that struck me the hardest this week was when we went to do some service for a lady in a town about 25 miles outside of bowling green. She is struggling financially and inside her family. She just has so many trials and hardships and she is just hanging in there. She won't give up. And she inspires me to do good and to always strive to do my best. It was very humbling. I am blessed with a good, solid, and loving family. And I took that for granted most of the time. I have it so good compared to others. So just stop and think of all of the great blessings that you have. Keep those in mind. And Sunday yesterday was pretty cool. I had to go on an emergency exchange with a Spanish elder so I went into a zebra companionship for that day. Man it was awesome. I got to sit in a testimony meeting with all of the Hispanics. Even though I had pretty much no clue what they were saying. I could just feel and understand what they were saying from inside my heart. It's so amazing how the spirit can work. So just listen to that still small voice and you'll be amazed about what you can feel and how it can change you. So that's what my highlight was this week. I hope everybody is enjoying their last bit of summer! Good luck with everything this week and be safe! Love you guys! (: 

Elder Crosby

Words from Sister Hailey Overson in Brazil

Hey everyone! Sorry I´ve been so bad about writing! But this week was awesome. We have more people to be teaching and Paula is set for a baptism date on the 29th of Agosto. Her husband is a member but hasnt been to church in a real long time. When we taught the message of the restoration, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized he started crying. I love being a missionary. I love helping families. He´s already talking about getting married in the temple in a year and I am so excited for them. I´m so grateful for this gospel and for the knowledge that we have that families can be together forever. It was a beautiful experience for me. I love being a missionary. Oh! And as of tomorrow I´m going to be training a new missionary! I am so excited and so scared. My Portugu√™s isnt perfect but I know the Lord will help and we are going to see miracles here in Birigui!! I love you all so much! Thank you for the prayers and emails! Hope yall have a wonderful week!!!<3
Sister Overson