Sunday, July 9, 2017

Popcorn and miracles

June 12, 2017

Hello all! It was an interesting week.

On Tuesday we went to the funeral for a less active sister in the ward who passed away. It was led by a pastor of another church who was a relative of the family, but last minute Sister Durrant got to lead the song and got many compliments. It was funny because they passed out little bags of popcorn because the sister had joked before she passed about putting popcorn in the crematorium with her. On Wednesday we taught Nina and brought a member Sister Capano who lives nearby so they could meet because Nina will need rides to church. They got along great and related to each other in a few different ways. Nina didn't end up being able to come to church, though. Later that day we stopped by a referral Vairy who we had received from some other missionaries and she was home and let us right in! Her son was there, too. We taught them the Restoration and she definitely felt the Spirit strongly. She said she would be baptized but wants to become more familiar with the scriptures and the church first. We can help with that!

On Friday we biked around a neighborhood, visited a member who was sick, visited a member in the hospital, taught John, then biked some more to visit a less active couple and they pulled in right as we were riding away and were able to talk to them. On the way back we met a lady who told us about an awesome service opportunity. In John's lesson we were able to reset his baptism date for June 24th. He seems confident about it and we feel good about it as long as we meet with him a lot more often which shouldn't be a problem. We are excited for him! He wasn't feeling well enough on Sunday to come to church, but the member who went to pick him up said he tried getting in the car.

On Sunday church was really good. We had a Spanish speaking sacrament meeting with the English words projected on the wall. After church there was a baptism for a little girl. Her friend who is not a member came and it was just a really special experience. That night we were biking near our apartment and stopped at the hospital for the bathroom. On the way out we met a young man who talked with us about how he used to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others and his baptism changed his life completely. He gave us his phone number and wants to meet with us. So many miracles in Apollo Beach!

I hope you all have a great week and remember your earthly father and your Heavenly Father on Father's Day! Hebrews 12:9

1. Sister Durrant made me this awesome quote because I liked it. It is from President Gordon B. Hinckley.
2. Sunset selfie!
3. Beautiful sunset
4. Emma's baptism!

A Land of Opportunity

June 5, 2017

Hello, all! So here I am with Sister Durrant. She's pretty awesome :) She is super silly and she loves to sing. We have seen so many miracles this week just by talking and meeting lots of different people. We went to one neighborhood I had never been to and were able to meet and set appointments with 2 less active members. On Friday we were able to help Tammy by cleaning her floors and making breakfast. She is so overwhelmed with everything that is going on. We ended up answering a couple questions about the Book of Mormon and Tammy basically committed herself to read the introduction page. After the lesson she got really emotional and gave me the biggest, most meaningful hug saying thank you so much for everything. We were also able to give their new hospice worker a Book of Mormon! We taught John that night. We had trouble finding a member to come with us but finally did and it was a great experience for her. She had never taught with missionaries before and she shared a beautiful testimony. John came to church and told us that he was planning on coming last week, but nobody showed up to give him a ride. We hadn't asked anybody to pick him up because he hadn't answered his phone so we weren't sure if he was planning on coming or not. He has a lot to learn, but he wants to learn and is trying hard despite all his questions.

On Saturday we met Nina who was a referral who moved from New York. She is super awesome and we set up an appointment for this week. She will come to church next Sunday if we can get her a ride, and there is an awesome member who lives in her neighborhood who can probably pick her and her daughter up. Her daughter was really excited to come to church, too :) That night we were about to leave a neighborhood, but I got a feeling we should go see somebody. Well, we didn't end up going to see that person but on the way we met several awesome people! One was a man who remembered us knocking on his door on Easter and sharing a video. I think I remember who he is but I'm not sure, haha.

Last night was awesome as well! We went back to an area near our apartment to try to see a woman we had met a couple weeks before. We not only got to see her and set up an appointment, but met a super cool man named Junior who said he has been wanting to get back into church and believed everything we taught him. He even said he would be baptized!

Well, who knows what this next week will hold, but I do know that it will be full of miracles and that whatever happens is God's will. I love you all and hope you never forget how much Heavenly Father loves you!
Transfer Pics!
1. Sister Lesuma saying goodbye to the Bolt family
2. Transfers...bye Sister Lesuma! ☹️
3. Sister Swanson! 😊
4. Me and Sister Durrant...she's a lot of fun 😝


Circle of Life

May 30, 2017

Hello, all! Our P-day was changed due to Memorial Day. So first off, transfers are a real thing. Sister Lesuma and I didn't think that anything was going to happen to us, so we were shocked to find out that she is going to New Tampa to be in a trio with Sister Swanson's trainee. What?! My new companion will be Sister Durrant who was previously in Tampa 2 and was companions with Sister Hunt awhile ago. There is also a new sister training leader in Lithia, so I might be able to go on an exchange there!

This week we met a lot of people who seemed interested and said we could come back. The trick is catching them again, and before they forget the feeling from the Spirit that led them to invite us back. But we are very hopeful for the future! We also got a couple referrals, one from New York who is moving in and has been meeting with missionaries for about a year, one who some missionaries met in downtown Tampa, and another from the elders. She is a self referral who they hadn't been able to meet with. On Saturday, all of our appointments and plans fell through so we biked to her neighborhood to go see her and she was home. She is super awesome! She has been researching the church because she is looking for a church and has some friends who are members of our church. She said she wanted the happiness that she sees in them. We have an appointment with her on Thursday.

Oh, we also had to say goodbye to Rene and his family this week. They are so sweet. We will probably call them soon and hopefully in a few weeks they will be settled in their own house and we can ask the missionaries up there to start teaching them again.

We taught Tammy on Thursday and she had tried to read the chapters we gave her, but was not able to focus or understand. She just has so much on her mind. We promised her that reading the scriptures would help her mind be clear for the challenges she faces. We talked a little about prayer and eventually committed her to pray with her husband that night and try to make it a daily habit. It will bless their relationship and their outlook through their trials immensely. We also gave her a Restoration video in hopes that would speak to her if reading didn't.

That night, we did an activity with the 8-11 year old girls from the congregation about missionary work. They are amazing missionaries already! It was so cool to see. We all got "mission calls" (I'm going to Uganda) and we practiced with them talking to the adult leaders as if we were missionaries meeting them on the street.

We taught John on Friday night and the member we brought with us was really helpful in finding out his needs and helping him open up about his questions and concerns. He is still open to learning but we're not sure how he is progressing. There was a baptism on Saturday and we wanted him to come, but he didn't answer the phone so we didn't get him a ride. He didn't come to church and still hasn't called us back.

Last few random tidbits: On Saturday night, Sister Lesuma tried to make a cake but accidentally misread the instructions and mixed the cake ingredients with the icing ingredients. We also didn't have any eggs. It didn't turn out very edible, but it was fun to watch it bake! We had a family home evening with the Hackers and the Higbees last night which was also fun.

Well, that's about it for this week. Love y'alls!
1. The district
2 and 3. What happens when we try to take jumping pictures...
4. Giant grasshopper we found
5. Saying goodbye to the cutest family...the kids wanted us to hold the stuffed animals 😊
6. Sister Lesuma saying goodbye to the Hackers


Miracles all around

May 22, 2017

Hello, all! It was a pretty good week. On Wednesday we taught Tammy with Ashley, the girl who was visiting who just got home from her mission. She is awesome!

On Thursday we had zone conference! It was amazing. I got to see Sister Swanson as well as Sister Smith and Sister Frye. There were great musical numbers and we learned a lot. After the conference, a group of us stayed to practice a song for the Why I Believe fireside. It was so fun a send I felt like I was in choir again! Then we drove back to church, had English class, and played volleyball afterwards. We had invited a lot of people because we had heard that a few less actives had really enjoyed it in the past, but Rene's family and the elders were the only ones who came. But it was fun! I still think that those kids are the cutest ever :)

We had a couple of big thunderstorms this week! One started during a lesson with Tammy and she gave us trash bags to go outside with. We ate dinner on the beach before the lesson.

But Saturday was the best! It was such an amazing day. We did service at the thrift store, had lunch, called a bunch of people, and then went to see a family that we had met a week or so before. We walked up just in time to help the wife and son carry a couch up the front steps and into their house. The wife and daughter were open to learning more about the church and we set an appointment for next Saturday. Then we went to visit Sister Valdez. She is less active and her husband is not a member. We got to meet her husband and he is really nice! They were talking about doing yard work and we offered to help. Sister Valdez was hesitant to let us help, but Brother Valdez was all for it! So next Saturday we will (most likely) be going over there to help out. It will be a great way to get to know him and see if he is interested in being taught. Then we stopped by a couple of potential investigators and had good conversations with them. We set up an appointment with one of them for...wait for Saturday! Wow, that is going to be a great day! After that we decided to try to find this nice beach with a restaurant that a lot of people had told us about because it was Sister Lesuma's 10 month mark. We found it and the restaurant wasn't great, but when we walked out onto the beach we started talking to a lady who was sitting on a bench. She was really nice and eventually told us that she had met with elders when she was a teenager because her friend had invited her to. She mentioned that she had moved here recently and seen the elders biking around. She felt it was a sign from God that we had run into her. We were led to that beach, and she told us that they had been about to leave, but her sons had asked to stay longer. She said she would come to the Why I Believe fireside, but she didn't make it. However, she did say that she would be willing to learn more if we would be openminded towards her. She is so cool! Her name is Shauntae. But the miracles of the day don't end there! We stopped by a less active man and he and his daughter opened the door. They were really nice and he was going to let us in, but his wife wasn't home. He said he would talk to his wife about coming to the fireside, and that we could come back and share a message sometime. The Lord definitely has a hand in His work!

Yesterday John made it to church! After church we came home, had studies and dinner, and then headed to the stake center for the Why I Believe fireside! It was really cool. There were 4 or 5 recent converts to the church who bore their testimonies, interspersed with musical numbers by the missionaries. It seemed as if almost the whole mission was there, haha. Then President Cooper and President Howell, the stake president, spoke. It was a great event.

Well, I love you all and hope you aren't too cold up farther from the tropics :)

1. Us with Ashley after teaching Tammy :)
2. Zone conference
3. Rene and his family after volleyball
4. Storm coming in on the beach 
5. Manatee mailbox.  Manatees are big in Apollo Beach
6. Adorable little kitten at the Valdezes!
7, 8, 9. Us on the beach with Shauntae
10. A random group of missionaries after the Why I Believe fireside



Another week in the hot sun

May 15, 2017

Hello, all! What a crazy week. Here is what happened:

We had a lesson with Rene and his family on Wednesday and it went well. There was a even a less active young man there who helped us translate. We invited them to be baptized and they said yes. But when we tried to pick a date, Rene says, "We have a big problem." He goes on to tell us that they are moving back to Wisconsin in 2 weeks! So sad. But the whole family came to the multicultural event on Friday night and it was super fun! Rene is the coolest DJ ever. He went around and took pictures of everyone and put them straight on the projector screen. There were lots of tables with food and artifacts from China, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Honduras, El Salvador, Denmark, Germany, and more! I love the diversity here. Us missionaries did some fun acts. The last act was our presentation on Fiji that Sister Lesuma came up with. The elders were the first missionaries in Fiji who found her uncle's wife's mother, played by me. We made props and everything. It was great, even though I totally missed the elders with the water I was supposed to throw at them...

Yesterday we met a girl who was visiting family in the ward who just got off her mission less than 3 weeks ago. She really wants to come teach with us. She is so cool! I wonder if I'll be that cool when I get home 🤔

Then last night we got to skype our families! It was so fun. It was so weird because it felt so natural, but so crazy at the same time. I can't believe it's the last call I have before I come home.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Pics from Zone Activity, Multicultural Event, Mother's Day
1. Zone Activity
2. Cutest kids! (Rene's)
3. Us with our ward mission leader, Brother Young
4. Happy Mother's Day!

Primera Dios - God First

May 8, 2017

Hello, all! So many amazing things happened this week. I think it was the best week of my mission! Here we go:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had an exchange and I went with Sister Suman in YSA (USF Campus). It was so fun! We met a lot of awesome people and hope they keep in contact. One of their investigators came to institute class with us and said he felt something different there. We also went to Vallarta's for dollar tacos - so good!

On Thursday we cleaned out a disabled member's pantry and food storage that was old and dirty. English class was cancelled both days this week because they all work at the same place and had to work late. We taught John on Friday and he seems to be progressing in his knowledge. He wasn't able to come to church on Sunday but has been reading the Book of Mormon.

Saturday and Sunday were the best. We stopped by Rene's house and were able to teach his whole family! He and his son Haritz took turns translating for Rosa, Rene's wife. They were very receptive and had already been planning on coming to church with their cousins. When we asked them to come, they looked at each other and said, "Primera Dios" or "God first". They are so amazing and the kids are so cute. They came to church and got Spanish translation headsets. We have a Spanish Sunday school class, so Rene and Rosa went there while we got to go to Primary with Sbeide, their daughter! It was so fun.

After church we had a lesson with Tammy and she opened up to us with questions and concerns. It was really good because we were able to understand how to teach her better. She wouldn't take a Book of Mormon because she said this week was so crazy she wouldn't have time to read it and she also wanted time to absorb what we had taught her. But she agreed with almost everything we said and is very close to the Spirit.

Missionary work is amazing. There is no greater happiness than to see someone come closer to Jesus Christ. The love we feel for those we teach is amazing as well. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's blessings. He knows us perfectly and wants what is best for us.

Have a great week!

Crazy week #52!

May 1, 2017

Crazy week. It feels like it has been 3. But here's what happened:

On Tuesday, we had district meeting and stopped by a woman named Tammy who we had met last week and she told us to come back. This time, her husband let us in and we were able to teach them a little bit. They are very nice and seem open to the gospel, but can't come to church because they watch over his mother and nurses don't come to help on Sundays. We haven't taught them very much yet, so we'll see what happens. But she said we came at just the right time and she knows God is watching over her because of that. That night, we went to the Barahonas and they gave us a "snack" because they know we can't eat with them. The snack was 2 tacos and a huge bowl of ice cream. Funny!

On Wednesday, we taught John with the Howells and they were amazing at helping us teach and helping John feel comfortable. We were able to help him accept a baptismal date! He was hesitant at first because he said he didn't think he was worthy. He came to church on Sunday as well! He still has a few questions, but he seemed to enjoy it and said it was inspiring.

Thursday - We stopped by Tammy and happened to be there right when they were about to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake for the mom's birthday with her nurse. How fun! Then, we went and got ice cream because GUESS WHAT. It was my year mark! I have been gone a year. I can now look back in my journal and see what happened in my mission last year. Crazy! Anyway, we had English class after that and Rene, one of the people who comes, said he had been looking at LDS movies. (He also said a fantastic prayer on Tuesday, by the way) So we asked him if we could teach his family! When we went over on Sunday, there were a lot of people there just hanging out so we didn't really get to teach anything. But we initiated a spiritual discussion and prayer and it was cool because his cousins who he lives with are members and were able to share their conversion stories and testify of eternal families. Rene and his wife Rosa listened and seemed to enjoy it. We wish their kids had stuck around to listen, too! Maybe next time.

On Saturday we helped to clean the church a little. The Kekoolanis invited us to go out to lunch with them. It was pretty good! Then we went to teach some former investigators and a few minutes in, their pastor walked in and started challenging our beliefs. He really wouldn't let us talk back. About an hour later, we walk out feeling pretty awful. We drive home for dinner, I plop down on my bed, and then the neighbors invite us over for dinner! It was really nice, and definitely a blessing after the crazy day. I realized from the experience how important it is to have a strong testimony from the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for what I have learned in the past so that I could not be confused by what that pastor was saying. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is written by inspiration from Him and not by man. It testifies of Christ. I know that we have a prophet just like in the Bible who leads and guides us and teaches us what God wants us to know right now. I know not because of what anyone told me, but what I feel from the Holy Ghost. It brings me a lot of peace and happiness.

Love you all! Have a great week.

-- Sister Porter
1. We got ice cream to celebrate one year!
2. The elders decided to decorate our car with invitations to the ward party...


Let the Holy Spirit Guide

April 24, 2017

Hello, all! It was a great week.

Let's see. Something really cool that happened was on Tuesday, we went to visit someone and on the way back, we saw a nice old lady outside and we offered to take her trash for her. We talked to her for awhile and then she mentioned she needed to clean her floor. We offered to clean her floor for her, too. And guess what? She let us! That never happens! Nobody ever accepts our help when we offer. We haven't been able to see her again yet, but we hope our service touched her heart.

But the highlight of our week was probably Wednesday. We had zone training meeting and interviews with President Cooper, and then that night Sister Cooper came with us to a lesson and to stop by a few people. It was so great! She is awesome.

On Thursday, we stopped by someone Sister Lesuma knew who lives in our apartment complex and she let us right in! We were able to teach her about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She seemed open to it and wants to come to church next Sunday. We gave her a Book of Mormon and are going back to teach her again tonight.

On Saturday we did service at a thrift store that supports a battered women's shelter. The lady who works there asked us to help a customer get 2 wooden end tables out of a shed and into her car. It was a little outside of my ability and hard for Sister Lesuma. Maybe we should get the elders over there, haha. That night we spent time with the young women and their leaders preparing for the camp that they will be having this summer. It was really fun!

I invite you all to reach out and be a friend to someone this week. One kind act can make a huge difference in someone's life. Just follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit that you have and everything will work out. Heavenly Father loves us and wants the best for His children. D&C 100:4 "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls."

Love you all!
1. Zone Training Meeting.  The Brandon zone is almost twice as big as Odessa!
2 and 3. Sister Cooper!


Apollo Beach: Week One!

April 17, 2017

Hello, all! What a crazy week! But it has been really good. Apollo Beach is great and so is Sister Lesuma. It was not a hard transition at all. Heavenly Father has his plan, and it is always better than what we think!

So let's see. Transfers were on Wednesday and because Sister Lesuma and I were waiting for something at the mission office, we got to eat lunch with Sister Swanson and the other trainers and trainees! It was super fun. Then we drove to Apollo Beach and had dinner and I got mostly unpacked. We had a lesson with an investigator named John and had members coming, but we got there and he said he wasn't feeling well and couldn't meet. We still had an awesome discussion at the door, though. The Hales, the couple who came with us, were very good missionaries and friends for him. We have an investigator who is preparing for baptism, but I haven't been able to meet her yet and we have stopped by and texted her and she has not responded. The last thing she said had to do with being sick and something about the hospital, so we hope she's ok.

On Thursday, we got a new car! A 2017 Chevy Malibu! It's great, but it doesn't seem to have a CD player, which is a real bummer. But it has 3 months of free wifi. Everyone who sees it keeps commenting on it. Sister Swanson got a new car, too, 4 months after we hit the deer. 😂 We also taught an English class and a scripture study class at the church that night.

On Friday we taught a recent convert named Tyler who is 17 and super awesome. He is planning on going to the temple for baptisms by the end of the month. Our apartment complex was having an Easter egg hunt and we asked if we could help. They were really appreciative and had us hide the Easter eggs.

On Saturday, we had the ward Easter egg hunt. So we hid more Easter eggs. The members here seem super awesome and it was really fun. Then, here is the coolest story ever: we stopped by a lady who is listed as a member but has no connection to the church and hasn't been baptized. We think she somehow got mixed up with someone who has the same name. But she was really nice and let us in to show her the #PRINCEofPEACE video. Then her brother walked in, and we were able to teach them both a brief overview of the Restoration and they both wanted Book of Mormons! Super cool. After that, we taught the Lambsons and asked them to think of someone they could share the #PRINCEofPEACE video with. Sister Lambson thought of their neighbor, so we'll see if anything comes of it. They seem to be really good at missionary work, though.

Then, yesterday was Easter. What a beautiful day to remember our Savior and the gifts He has given us! The church service was wonderful and some members invited us over. We went to the Venturas and were only expecting to share a short message, but we got a 3 course meal! It was delicious, too. Then we went straight to the Hackers for another meal, and then to the Hales (different from the other Hales who came to a lesson with us). The Hales live on a boat right now and are going to move to the Virgin Islands in a few weeks and give boat tours. They are really cool. So we ate on a pavilion near their boat and it was really nice.

I found this really cool scripture this morning. It is in the book of 2 Nephi, but it is Nephi's brother Jacob quoting Isaiah.

2 Nephi 8

11 Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

12 I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass?

He is the way! And we don't need to be afraid. Also, isn't it so cool that the people in America around 600 B.C. had some of the scriptures that were written across the world? And all because one young man (Nephi) followed the Spirit on how to get the record from Laban. God loves his children!

Have a great week!

-Sister Porter
Transfers and Easter!
1. Transfers! Sister Lesuma is in the back with me, and Sister Swanson and her trainee Sister Graff are in front.
2. We got these in Relief Society.  Cute!
3. Our view from Easter dinner. We ate on a pavilion overlooking the bay :)


Area #6, Companion #8!

April 10, 2017

We got transfer calls today. I am transferring to Apollo Beach and will be with Sister Lesuma! I am excited, but super nervous. I will miss Sister Swanson and Hudson a lot.

This week was great! We got out to find and talk to people a lot. We helped with the youth cultural night on Wednesday. It was really cool! The first part was set up like an airplane and then there were 5 different booths of ward members presenting on different countries that they were either from or had visited. Sister Farmer, the young women president, came up with it all on her own!

Thursday was zone service day. We went to Metropolitan Ministries, and Sister Swanson and I cleaned the bathroom and dining area, made egg salad, served lunch for a little while, and cleaned the dining area again. It was fun!

On Saturday, we taught the stop smoking lesson to a friend of an investigator in Palm Harbor. She had no problem with it and the lesson went really well. She had already been doing some of the things that she needed to do to quit. Her son joined in as well and agreed to do all of the steps, but we aren't sure how committed he was.

Sunday was interesting. The microphone was not working in sacrament meeting, so the congregation sang hymns the whole time. It was pretty cool. All of us missionaries were already planning on doing a musical number, so it worked out great. We sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee".

Well, that was pretty much our week. It was a great last week in Hudson. I hope you all have a great week!

District and Zone Shenanigans
1. The district.  We are pretty awkward.
2. This one is a little better.  The zone leaders decided to jump in.
3. Zone Service Day at Metropolitan Ministries!


Conference Week!

April 3, 2017

Hello, all! This was an interesting week.

We had exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, we had zone conference and I got to go to the youth activities for Odessa and Land O Lakes. I got to see Reese and Bishop and Sister Cook, but even better...I got to see Nicole! She seems to be doing really well and was excited to see me. She was planning to watch the Sunday morning session of General Conference with the Cooks.

The new Easter video came out this week! It is so good! It is called the Prince of Peace. We are so excited to share it with people. It really shows how we can find peace through Jesus Christ. Who wouldn't want that?! I hope you all can watch it. It brings the Spirit so powerfully every time I see it.

On Friday, we taught Marissa and it was only her this time. It went really well! She was cheerful and willing to participate. We showed her the old Easter video because we didn't have the new one yet, and invited her to share the new one with a friend. She said she had a friend from school already in mind. She is awesome!

Finally, on Saturday and Sunday, it was conference! It was amazing. I love hearing from the prophet, apostles, and other leaders of the church who are so inspired by God to know exactly what we need to hear. My favorite talk was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's. He talked about my favorite hymn, There is Sunshine in My Soul Today, and what we can do when we don't feel that sunshine. I really needed it. Anyway, we watched conference at the church on Saturday and again on Sunday morning because we had a couple families tentatively planned to watch it with who fell through. But on Saturday afternoon, we went to the Kemples' and it was super fun! We had lasagna and cheesecake afterwards.

Well, that's about it. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

The worth of souls

March 20, 2017 
So we moved this week!  The new apartment is great. We also have the apartment complex gym all to ourselves every morning :)  On moving day, we had mission president interviews.  It is always great to talk to President and Sister Cooper.  They are so awesome.

On Tuesday I got to be in Odessa again!  Sister Huber wasn't feeling well, so I went with Sister Smith and Sister Frye.  I got to see a couple people that I knew.  It was weird to be back.  I also got to see a few old people on Saturday night at the General Women's Conference.  It was an awesome meeting.  My favorite part was when Sister Burton talked about sacrifices and how they sanctify us.  As we make the greatest sacrifices, we come closer to Heavenly Father.

One of the coolest missionary experiences we had this week was walking out of a lesson with a less active family.  We passed by a house with a woman out front with her toddler playing in a kiddie pool.  We started talking to her and she invited us right over.  She has met with missionaries before and wanted to learn more, so we set up another appointment.  We are excited to see how it goes!  We have been able to talk to a lot of people and give a lot of people Book of Mormons this week.  

Well, that's about it!  We have zone conference and exchanges coming up this week.  I am excited to hear the prophet and apostles speak this weekend!  I know that they are true disciples of Christ like when He was on the earth.  I know that God has a plan for each of us, and even if that plan doesn't make sense to us, it is always for the best.  He loves us so much!

D&C 18:10-13
10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

I'm tired of thinking of titles

March 20, 2017

Hello, all!  It was a great week!

We taught Matthew a short Restoration on Tuesday because his wife wasn't home so we couldn't go inside.  He seemed very open to learning more and we set up another appointment, but he had to cancel it.

On Wednesday we had zone training meeting and it was great!  We did a role play of how to contact someone off the street and not saying the same thing every time, etc.  This is something I have struggled with and I was really, really nervous...but it went great!  I had the courage to go up to someone and start a conversation, even if it was just another missionary, and relate the conversation to the gospel.  The Spirit guided me, and I know He will guide you all as you strive to share the gospel and teach others any kind of truth.  It was simple, but I needed it.  I love D&C 100:5-8:
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
7 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
8 And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.

Thursday was really cool, too.  We were going to contact a referral we had received and she did not answer the door, but we went and talked to a lady across the street and it turns out she was the lady we were looking for.  She ended up not being interested, but she was very nice and because we went to her house, we got to talk to a few other people on the walk.  We had learned in zone training meeting that it is better to park a few blocks away from where you are going so you can talk to people along the way.  One of the people we met was a lady named Elaine who was standing on her porch.  She has a lot of really hard things going on and we were able to testify to her of God's love and give her a Book of Mormon.  We told her it would bring her a lot of peace.  I am excited to go see her again and see how it helped her!

On Friday, we did service at Eckerd Kids, a place where foster kids can go to get clothes and supplies if they have to move unexpectedly.  We folded and sorted clothes and put away some supplies.  It was really fun!  Then we taught a less active member at the Habitat for Humanity garden where she volunteers.  Her boyfriend joined us for the whole lesson while he was eating lunch!  She understands the gospel very well, but has a couple of struggles that she hasn't been able to overcome so she doesn't feel like she can come back to church.  Hopefully we can help her!  She wants to eventually go to the temple.

That night, we went to teach Sister Neumeier and her 12-year-old granddaughter Marissa who is struggling with her testimony.  Last week when we taught them, the lesson did not go very well.  This week, Marissa had some friends over and didn't participate in the lesson, but one of her friends joined in for the whole lesson and seemed to really like it.  We gave her a Book of Mormon at the end!  We are excited to see how she likes it.  Her older sister came with Marissa to church yesterday.

Finally, on Saturday we taught a less active recent convert who recently moved from Pennsylvania, where she was baptized.  She is really nice and wants to come back to church.  She tried to come a couple of times in October but nobody was there because the first time was General Conference and the second time was Stake Conference.  Because of that, she has been attending another church that is closer.  We gave her a Book of Mormon because she lost hers in the move and set up another appointment to teach her family.  Her two kids are members of the church as well.

Well, this email is kind of a long mumble-jumbled mess of stuff, but I hope you all get the idea that missionary work is awesome!   You can do it without hardly even knowing you are doing it.  It doesn't have to be this hard, complicated thing, but it can be easy, simple, and fun!  It all works out, because God is in the details, and He knows His children and what they need.

I hope you all have a great week!

Another week in Hudson

March 13, 2017

Hello, all!

On Monday night we met with a few member families. One of them, Sister Kemple, sells clothes from her home and gave us leggings! They are super cute and comfy. Sister Swanson calls them her "positive pants". We are hoping to go there one P-day after we move to look at clothes because her house will be very close to our apartment.

We had a great week, but there's not too much exciting to share. The main thing that happened was we started teaching a less active father and daughter (they are older) who really want to go to the temple! They are really awesome and know a lot about the gospel already.

Yesterday was pretty great, too. We were able to set up a lot of appointments for this next week with members or less actives. Also, I was with Sister Smith and Sister Frye for a couple of hours while our companions were in a meeting, and we had a miracle! We stopped by a lot of people that Sister Hunt had recommended to us. One of them was a less active and we were able to talk to her for awhile and set up another appointment. Another was a man named Matthew who had met with missionaries before. At first he didn't answer the door so we got back in the car. As we were about to drive away, we saw him waving at us from the door. We got back out and he was really nice. He asked us to pray for him and his wife who is going in for surgery soon. Then we asked if he would like to hear a message. He thought for a second and then said, "Actually, I would." "Ok, when is a good time?" "Does about 4:00 work?" "Yeah, what day? Tuesday?" "Tuesday's perfect." "Great!" It was awesome! Also, daylight savings is great because it gives us a little more daylight at night to safely be out talking to people.

Well, I hope you all have a great week! It's been pretty great here in Hudson.

Transfers, and Biking!


Our trio's down to two...

March 6, 2017

Hello, all! This week was great.  I got to go to the temple on Wednesday with a bunch of awesome sisters. The Duffins took us to Panera afterwards and we passed the Disney sign!  It was super fun. I know that the temple is the closest to heaven that we can get in this life.  I felt so much peace and love there.

We have been teaching Shalini more and we think she is grasping what we are teaching better than before. We tried using pictures with sidewalk chalk and we think it helped. Her little cousin Shariah joins in for some of the lessons. We even met Shalini's aunt who seemed pretty interested and open to learning more, but goes in and out of the hospital so is hard to catch.  

We received a referral from a member and when we went and visited her, she was outside and was excited to see us.  She seemed very open and willing to learn and said she would bring her family to church, but they did not come.  Neither did Shalini.  But it was an interesting day at church nonetheless.  Someone had a seizure in front of us in the middle of the sacrament, I sat next to a dog in Sunday school (she was a service dog), and Sister Swanson wasn't there because of a meeting for the leaders.

Also, we just got the call for transfers!  Sister Swanson and I are staying, and Sister Hunt is going to Venice with one of her old companions.  There are several other changes in the zone, so it is going to be exciting.  Love y'alls!

P.S. Is it really March already?!
Temple Pics and Shalini!
1. On the way to the temple!
2. I love to see the temple
3. Sister Duffin, Hermana Anderson, Hermana Chavez, Hermana Whitlock, me, Sister Meagher, Sister Jensen, Sister Naa, Sister Lance, and Sister Zinck
4. Us with Shalini and her little cousin Shariah. We taught part of the Restoration with sidewalk chalk 

More temple pics and Disney sign!
We're all pretty awkward. But we got to see the Disney sign!