Sunday, November 6, 2011

One of those..

I can't decide if I should say it was one of those days, weeks, transfers, months; not quite sure. But we can go from there.
My companion decided to go home a transfer early. Hence, this past week was quite a rollercoaster of trying to get everything ready for her to leave this Friday. It is hard for me not to be able to fix things that I want to fix. I have been battling with the fact that people need a desire and that is something they need to decide on their own; I can't force people to have a desire to change. I have realized the importance of agency, because if we didn't have agency, there would be no point in being here. But how do we help people to gain that desire? I feel like I have not been able to accomplish this, and it has been difficult for me. Any thoughts?
Second, I got a speeding ticket. UGH. I could tell the whole story, but all in all I was in an area I didn't know for district meeting and didn't know what the speed limit was. And Mass cops are SO RUDE! I was convinced I was pulled over because the cop needed to hear about the gospel, so after he gave me the ticket, I said, "Can we give you a card for our website? We are missionaries and we teach people about Jesus Christ..." He didn't take it because of the "nature of his job." So then I thought I would ask him about his beliefs, and he said, "That is a really personal question." He had the grumbles, and they passed on to me. Oh well I guess, hopefully he will have a change of heart one day.
My new companion is Sister Takanoi, I don't know her, but she is from "a little Island in the middle of nowhere". That is what my comp told me. So next week will provide further details.
We had a chili cookoff and Sister Halverson and I were the judges! It was fun, and we had a great time. We carved pumpkins which was great. The storm kind of ruined everything though, everyone is still without power and no one can go to school. It was quite the storm.
The Lewis family fed us lobster and it tasted AMAZING! I absolutely LOVE that family. They are Utah fans, so they are great. I know mom will love the picture with all the lobster haha.
Nice job on the UTES! Sister Burt texted me with updates and I was very excited we won, I was feeling nervous for that game.
This last week was quite interesting, and we didn't get to do much teaching because of everything that went on. So this email is kind of depressing, I am sorry for that. But I do know that the gospel is true and I love sharing it with other people. Without being able to teach as much, I have missed testifying of what I know to be true. I Love this work and can't wait to get back out and share the gospel.
I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

When you are insane, you are the last one to know it.

I never realized someone could go crazy by sitting in an apartment for so long.... Now I know, because I did....
My companion was sick for 3 days this past week and all she did was sleep. I WENT INSANE! It was the most quiet I have ever been in my life, because I rarely talked to people. What a strange experience. Luckily I recovered, the fresh air was incredible.
Something very exciting happened yesterday! One of our investigators, Ann, has been having missionaries come over since May. She wanted to come to church, but hasn't been able to because she had foot surgery. Then she was putting it off because she kept getting sick. SO FINALLY yesterday she came to church!!!! I cannot even tell you how happy I was! We have been teaching her for so long and she finally got to come! It was the primary program and she just loved all of the kids. In Sunday School, we were talking about marriage and the roles of parents and she isn't married, and has been divorced for a while, so I was worried what she would think. So I asked her after what she had thought of church, and she said, "I LOVED it!! I feel at home here and it just feels so good to be here." I was so happy! My smile was huge! It was just incredible. It is amazing how the spirit works and touches people's hearts who are ready to receive it. She wants to come back next week. I can't wait, and am so grateful she enjoyed it.
We had another investigator come and she didn't like it because the kids were too distracting. She says our church isn't for her and wants all the kids to leave. Haha well if ya hate kids, this definitely is not the place you will want to be. Oh well I guess.
We taught Nicole and Paul this past week, and the spirit was strong! Nicole is searching for her testimony, she was baptized a year ago and is having a hard time. She has been asking a lot of questions and loved having us over to teach her again. I asked her if I could hear her conversion story, and she typed it up and was so excited to give it to me. I am excited because they both are progressing and gaining thier own testimonies. They are becoming truly converted.
I love this work and I am so grateful for it! There is nothing greater than bringing souls unto Christ. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elizabeth

Salem Witch Trials!

Well, lucky me, I got to go to Salem, Massachusetts and see the city around Halloween time. It was so cool!!!! Some of it even had Harry Potter themes and there was a store dedicated to Harry Potter!! I bought some Floo powder so I can come home for a little bit and come back. I felt like I was in Diagon Alley, because that is what it looked like! It was an experience to remember, let me tell you! There were witches everywhere, and people dressed up, so it was very fitting for the season. Our District made shirts to wear to Salem, so we looked pretty legit. So yes, I have experienced Salem around Halloweentime and it was EPIC!
We had interviews this past week, and as I went in and sat down, President Evans said, "Now before I forget, missionaries keep asking about a video you made last year at Christmas for the mission. I was wondering if you would make another video of the mission this year! Would you mind doing that?" Well, if you have to twist my arm... YES!!! I am so excited!! I can't wait to make another video. Definitely awesome to be here for 2 Christmas seasons. Its gonna be good!
So I remember back when we went to Boston for the 4th of July, we met the RS president in the Worcester ward, and she had said she was from Thailand. So I was sitting there this past week, and that thought came into my head, and I realized how perfect it would be if she came to our lesson with Bee! So I got her number and called her and she had just been thinking of ideas of how she can serve more in the church. Pretty cool. So she came with us to our lesson with Bee and was able to share her testimony and what we were teaching in Thai so that Bee could understand the gospel better. It went so well! Bee loved her and really loved what she had to say. Bee and Everett just happened to buy an apartment in Worcester earlier that day, so they will be moving into this ward. I am sad that we won't be teaching them anymore, but it is perfect for Bee to be in this ward where she can talk to someone in Thai. It was so perfect and such a blessing!
One night, after a dinner appointment, I had an impression to go visit an investigator that we hadn't been able to get a hold of for a while. It was totally out of our way, and if she wasn't home, it would waste time and miles so I was hesitant on going. And it was late, so I was worried to bother her husband as well. But, I received the prompting again, and after waiting for too long, I decided we would go. We drove past the house, and all the lights were off, and I felt ashamed that we had waited too long and the opportunity was now gone. We sat there for a minute, and suddenly, the light in the house went on. SO, I didn't hesitate, and I said, "LETS GO!!" I got out of the car and quickly walked up to the door. We knocked and she answered, and she was not too excited to see us. In fact, I think she was mad that we were there, but she let us in any way. SO we sat down, and she wanted to know why we were there. Ha, so I just said we wanted to see how she was doing. After a while of talking, it all came out. She said she has been feeling so sad and unhappy and doesn't feel there is a purpose to life. So I felt impressed to talk to her about God's love for her individually and how important prayer is. Tears came to her eyes, and she said, "I should pray shouldn't I?" It was a breaking point where she realized she needs Jesus Christ in her life, because otherwise she has nothing. It was an incredible experience for me. The Lord has truly blessed me, and I am so grateful for it.
I love you all, have a great week!!
Love, Elizabeth

Grumbles gonna get you...

Ya know, a lot of people have the grumbles out here and I don't think they realize it. But if you tell someone they have the grumbles, they either become happy, or they get even more mad. I learned that one the hard way.
We were out street contacting, and for some reason, it was just a grumbly day for people! Everyone was really mean, but we of course stayed happy. So after a while of this, a man walks up and says, "Can I have one of those cards you are handing out?" He had been sitting on a bench watching us and then he said, "How do you stay happy with how people treat you?" It was really interesting to me, because I noticed after that I had a huge smile on my face. It didn't bother me that people had the grumbles that day, because I enjoyed what I was doing. Because of what he saw, he was interested, and that was really neat for me to see. It also made me realize how important it is to always be happy, not just act happy, because we had no idea he was watching us from a bench. I didn't need to fake anything, I just was happy.
So Ian was baptized! He was so excited and all of his friends came to support him. He asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost and it was such a neat experience to testify of how wonderful the Holy Ghost is. I love how the Lord works through me to say what someone needs to hear. I focused a lot on how the Holy Ghost comforts us so that we are never alone and so we can be lifted in times of trial. I also fcoused a lot on how we should never give up because we have the Holy Ghost at our side. That has been on my mind a lot lately. Just how we need to keep enduring and we cannot give up. Too much is at stake to just give up. With the Holy Ghost at our side, we should never give up. It was an interesting twist.
Everett and Bee had their baby blessed yesterday and they were so happy! They are progressing so well and things are great with them.
A lot of changes are happening with people we are teaching. We will see how this week goes.
Last week we went on a crazy hike in our area and it was fun!! That is what the pictures are. And it was sister allen's birthday, so we got to meet up with them and go to dinner. We are wicked close so it all worked out.
I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth

It is better to look up!!

I am sure all of you agree with me saying this, but wasn't conference incredible? General Conference is like Christmas for me! The Spirit is always so strong, and the words they say always speak right to me. I wrote down a list of questions before I watched conference, and they were all answered in one way or another. I am so grateful for the love that Heavenly Father has for me in that He would answer all of my questions. I loved seeing President Thomas S. Monson speak. The Spirit is always so strong when he speaks, and I am able to know that he is a true prophet. I am so grateful to have the knowledge of the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt like a central theme to the conference was that the Book of Mormon is true and Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to gain a closer relationship with Him. He loves us so much.
Yesterday was Ian's birthday, and he said, "There is no better birthday present than hearing the prophet of the Lord speak to me." Ya, he is great. He is still on for being baptized this weekend, and I am very excited for it! He loved conference, and hung on to every word that was spoken. He was feeling nervous about his baptism before this past week, because he didn't feel like he was ready yet. So we told him to pray and read the Book of Mormon every day and he can receive an answer that he is ready. So we went over last week and he told us of his story. He had been praying to know if he was ready, and he felt sorrow. He thought at first that it was sorrow because he wasn't ready, but then he received an answer that it was sorrow that he thought he wasn't ready. He then thought "If I don't have faith in myself, I don't have faith in the Lord." It was such a neat story, and after that, he said he couldn't be more excited to be baptized. I love hearing the answers the Lord gives us to our prayers. He truly does love us and has answers to our prayers if we open our hearts to receive them.
I was studying this past week and felt impressed to study a specific chapter in the Book of Mormon. It was one of the war chapters in Alma, and so I thought that was strange, but I did anyway. It really gave me an appreciation for what the soldiers do for our country and why things have to be done to keep our religious freedom. So that same day we went to an appointment with Ann, and we were reading in Mosiah about a war that went on. She then asked, "I keep thinking about the commandment, 'thou shalt not kill'. Why are they killing so much?" Right then I realized why I was prompted to study what I did that morning. I was able to answer her question with another reference in the Book of Mormon and it made so much sense to her. It was something so simple, but I was grateful that I was able to answer her question.
One thing that really stood out to me in conference was that we need to always be worthy to receive spiritual promptings. That is something I really want to work on and I hope that all of you will as well. The Lord needs us to be ready to receive His promptings to help His other children.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elizabeth

Turns out pudding pictionary is very entertaining

So this past week we were at the library emailing, and we had an appointment that we had to hurry to. So I told my companion we had to end at a certain time so we wouldn't be late. So that time comes, I get off, and she isn't quite finished. So I sat there and waited for her to finish, worrying that we are going to be late to this appointment. So finally she finishes, and we are walking out and we run into a lady named Vera. We were teaching Vera right when I first got here and she just wasn't interested in changing so we stopped going. The interesting thing, is that the night before she had called us but we missed it because we were in an appointment. So we tried calling her back and she just hadn't returned the call. So of course we run into her on her way out and she explained to us that the reason she called was because she is pregnant and wanted us to come over and pray with her. She hadn't told her husband yet because she wanted to talk to us first. She then said she never comes to the library and we are never there on Wednesday nights. From this she said she knew she needed to meet with us, and that what we have is important. It was incredible. So we set up a time to meet with her this week and I am excited. The Lord truly has timing for everything. And I also realized I need to be patient because if we had left on time, we would have missed her. I love things like this!
So we have a lady we are teaching named Christina and when we found her, her life was very low. She said her life has been terrible, and her boyfriend wanted to leave her and her 2 kids, and everything that could be messed up in her life was. SO we began to teach her and have been continually going over there to help her. This last time, we went over and she has cut down her smoking tremendously, and told us all of the amazing things that have been happening since we have come and how much happier she is. Her boyfriend has seen a change in her as well and wants us to teach him too so they can be taught as a family. It has been amazing to actually see a difference in this family since we have been teaching her. That is what the gospel does, it brings happiness and meaning into people's lives.
Things are going great! I love you all!
Love, Elizabeth