Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm waking up to ash and dust...[June 22, 2015]

The Lake Shawnee elders have wifi at their place, so we woke up to them calling us at 6:30 to tell us the transfer doctrine. My companion is training and I will be going to Junction City! Elder Kartchner will be whitewashing and training in Wichita. The Shawnee dream team is being torn apart :(
Topeka as a zone will be having 5 trainees in it! Supa cwazy.
This week has been so awesome.
Well, it started with dinner last Monday, we brought Morgan (a solid investigator in her early 20s) with us to a members house and they were awesome fellowship. Morgan spent p-day with us at the church and she waited with us outside our apartment for the member to pick us up and I think because it was close to our apartment I just got this overwhelming impression that Morgan has the potential to be a part of this work. Later that evening she even mentioned to the members that she is considering missionary work after she gets baptized. so cool. The members were also converts and shared the struggles they dealt with when joining the church.
The elders had a baptism this Saturday. Morgan went and another one of our investigators and they both progressed so much after feeling the strong spirit that is always at baptisms. Morgan is now on date for August 1st. The elders have been giving us flak about how far out it is, but she chose that date and she has a long road ahead of her for the many addictions she has to overcome. I know she can make it! Now I just have to find me a ride from Junk city to Topeka for her splashtism!
The Lake Shawnee elders have realized (probably since the second day of transfers) that Sis. Westwood and I are the two most gullible people ever and they have taken advantage of it since. They may or may not of convinced us of the following: they have a jackrussell terrier puppy named Jack in their apartment, E.Kartchner was zone leader, they are permanently getting their car taken away since they went over miles, the list goes on. Well, we got them back. I did this with a dif set of elders, but it was way funnier this time. E. Kartchner handed me their phone, because they both were about to baptize someone and he didn't want to forget about it in his pocket. Well, I changed their wall paper to a selfie with me and my comp. I changed the zone leaders to dads and district leader to mom and then I of course changed our number to President Bell. Well, we were waiting for the member to finish making dinner after the baptism and I gave them their phone back and I called them and they shreaked like little girls, President Bells calling us!! and they leapt and went into a room. I might've finally stopped laughing about ten minutes later.
For the baptism my comp volunteered us to sing Savior, Redeemer of my soul. Yeah, I've never sung for a performance in my life and we each soloed and then sang harmony. The harmony went great #sightsinging4thewin But the soloing was the scariest thing in my life. When we finally practiced with the piano my brain went like this. This is embarrassing. I'm an idiot, what was I thinking. Where's the closest cello....the camillettis. will they let me borrow it even though its tomorrow! Oh no, its tomorrow....ahhhhhhhh!!!
It ended up being okay, but it will be a mistake that will never be repeated.
On Friday, we got this cool challenge. Visit a member in the morning and have them pray that you will have a miracle that day. After the miracle happens follow up with what happened to the member. Well, our first lesson was with an investigator who is a little mentally handicapped. she sometimes is more there than other times and we feel we are still making a difference with visiting her so we stop by every once and a while.
She was having a bad day so we talked about prayer and I figured it would be awesome to have her pray. She said that she has prayed for a miracle for herself and it hasn't happened yet. I told her about Gods will. We invited her to pray for a miracle or us and she said, so what kind of miracle do you want. We explained that we didn't really know...maybe someone to teach or somehow we can really allow someone to come closer to Christ. She sighed and said, alright, Ill do it. Well, her prayer was super innocent and perfect. Let someone come into these ladies lives that they can help come closer to thee.
Later that evening we were potential hopping (my comp and I coined that. def: when you go from one potential investigators house to another seeing who's home and willing to let you in) We originally didn't have it in our plans, but when we arrived at dinner at a less active house she completely forgot about it and since we weren't anywhere near our house we got subway sandwiches and had time to kill.
Well we had this one potential named Zach. We tracted into him, he said he has been thinking about coming to church and we gave him info for the church, but he said he was pretty busy so he couldn't set up a time for us to come back to visit with his family. Not a lot of potential, but still interested and we wanted to see if he remembered about church. Well, when we stopped by his wife (or gf) and kids were home and they were adorable. She was super nice and interested and accepted a date to be baptized and all that jazz. We called the original investigator and she started, you better have had a miracle! yep!!

This balloon has been in the air since
my birthday 4 MONTHS AGO! yeah,
it finally started sinking last week
so now its eye level and we pretend
 like its our pet when we get home....okay
 I pretend like its my pet when we get home.
Hey, balloon pal! Im going
literally insane....its the water in Kansas...

On our way to Burlingame

E. Kartchner took this photo
without my knowledge last week and thanks to
airdropping everyone in the zone has it
and they air drop it to me whenever
I'm within air dropping range and they all
roll on the floor together laughing afterwards.
Yay for being the most unphotogenic person
on planet earth!

We were in Burlingame, a small city south of Topeka.
 The gps took us to a members house
and it said we had arrived and their was
no sign of civilization in sight...yay....but
we eventually found it.
We found out that the husband isn't
actually a member and is paranoid
so it was a miracle he didn't pull a gun on us
when we first pulled up...yay
for being a sister missionary!
The wife was super nice and sat with us for a bit.

Sisters in the Zone

Monday, June 15, 2015

Where you lead, I will follow...[June 15, 2015]

So the Elders have an investigator that is preparing for baptism as  well as her boyfriend. They originally were going to get married and  we went dress shopping with her last Monday. So a couple days ago the  Elders were figuring out their baptism program and they asked her who  she wants to give her the Holy Ghost and she said Sister  Westwood....they had to explain Priesthood and the fact that men have that responsibility. Then they asked who she wanted to say the prayers  and she said Sister Westwood for the opening and the closing....who's  the one that follows her around?? Uh...Sister Seymour? Yeah her!! :(
 It's okay, because a few weeks ago we were sitting with this little girl that's in the ward and she never can remember my name and she whispered in my companions ear....what's your mommy's name and points  to me...awkward....

We got our iPads at Zone Conference and they are AWESOME. We've done  it a couple times where we talk with someone on the street and show them because of him or something and their whole countenance just  changes. It also has completely changed how we study because we can really focus on a subject for an investigator or stuff like that.

We can also check our emails during the week, but we can only reply back on Monday.

Long story: the most annoying hour is 10am, because that's when studies end, but that's too early to eat lunch and kinda too early to visit anyone. If you're in training that's when you do your training studies and sometimes they have like the Book of Mormon challenge where we use that hour to study it, but most the time we are just lost of what to do. Well, we also don't live in our area so we can't just leave and come back for lunch because we don't have miles for that.

We luckily found out that a lady whose records our in our ward lives in the nursing home across the street from our apartment. So we visited her 3 different days and she was sleeping every time. Then we had dinner with a lady in the Relief Society Presidency and she told us the lady was in the hospital so that week we went to the hospital to see her and she was pretty out of it, but we finally got to talk with her. Her husband is a less active member and he was there as well and was nice. He said that she was doing well and would be back in the nursing home Saturday, but at Ward Council that Sunday we found out she passed away the day after we saw her. We went to her funeral this morning. Going to funerals always helps me bring things into perspective. It's like going to a transfer devotional where you hear the testimonies of missionaries going home. There is an end to all of this, so what are we doing now about it?

Ashlyn shaved half her head
so we also took a selfie


Who's up for a selfie
after daily planning!

 FHE playing whiffle ball

Monday, June 8, 2015

You would not believe your eyes/ If ten million fireflies/ Lit up the world as I fell asleep...[June 8, 2015]

 ...This one is for Christina (as requested)...


You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

We had pizza 4 times this week for dinner....which I'm fine with. Our air conditioning is broken...along with 13 other apartments in our complex....so we'll see when that gets fixed. One morning I was doing situps and I was taking a break, and I felt something on my thigh. So I sit up and quickly brush whatever it was off and I look and see that it was a ginormo cockroach...bleg!
On a happy note I saw for the first time this year some fireflies. We were leaving coordination around 9:20 at the church and I saw them blink and my companion couldn't see them so she thought I was going crazy. We're going to have to go catch fireflies sometime so I can prove that I really was seeing them.
Yesterday and the day before were super hard. We were knocking doors when this cute old lady answered one. We introduce ourselves as representatives of Christ and she glares at us and in the most ugliest of ways says, "Get off my porch." We were just both taken aback that she was so bluntly rude and then yells at us to get off her property. We also had a return appt with a lady we met. She said she was looking for a church and she really needs this in her life right now. Well, when we came back to sit down with her. She told us her current troubles she was going through and really opened up. We started talking about revelation and prophets and I take out the Book of Mormon and she just shuts off. We try to explain what our purpose is and how we can help her gain a greater relationship with God, which she just explained she needs and she just didn't care.
Yesterday we were talking with a girl who seemed somewhat interested, but in the midst of talking with her, her dad came home. He just went on and on about the last days and all this stuff and it was like yeah...we believe that too...look we are the LATTER day saints. He then went on how we focus too much on Joseph Smith and by that time we hadn't even mentioned him or the Book of Mormon. We show our name tags and that Christ is the center of everything and the Book of Mormon is awesome for that fact that we can learn more about Him through it. He then was like, I know you don't want to hear this, but the Bible was not to be added on. It was like yeah...cuz we haven't heard that before...and it just was terrible. Mainly, because it was 99 degrees outside and it went on for about an hour and because like everyone else who wants to Bible bash with you, they are completely cut off from the Spirit and just want to prove their point.
We had a fairly average week. We were a little low with some things and we did pretty good with others. As we were accounting to our District Leader he literally said, "So what are you sisters going to do so you never have a week like this again?" If I wasn't driving I probably would have said like, "Sorry, we didn't hear that, do you want to rephrase it?" But I just was like uh....and then he was like that was a little harsh and I was like yeah...maybe, what are you sisters going to do to improve this week? Sometimes Elders are arrogant imbeciles, but they hold the priesthood, so...we can't really baptize people without them...the two that are in our ward (E. Karchtner and Bradshaw) are possibly the best Elders that I have worked with in the same ward thus far. Honestly what makes it work is good communication.
The young women had girls camp this week, so of course all the testimonies were about that. One girl mentioned about an activity they did where they had blindfolds on and they did a walk with Christ and they shouldered a heavy board and all this stuff and I honestly feel like that pretty much every day of my mission. I know that Christ is walking with me and even He was rejected, so we are just getting a little bit of what He went through.
Love you all! Thanks for the prayers!!

Forget all your worries; Forget all your cares and go downtown...[June 1, 2015]

This week has just been one giant bowl of awesome.
We got our "digital technology training" really it was a 4 hour training turned 6 hours and ipads took up about an hour. It was with a 70- Elder Clark and he was hilarious! It was fantastic and I learned how to be a better missionary/person. I would be more specific, but I have the memory of a goldfish (my comp can testify) and I forgot my notes.
We are working with investigators that our actually progressing...only took about 3 1/2 months. One girl we went to visit and she committed that she would quit smoking within a week. We were calling her every night to see how it was going (when we have fb we can just stalk them on that.) Yeah, it's about 10x a day that I have to point out ways that having an ipad will make our lives incredibly easier. They obviously talked about ways missionaries misuse ipads in the training and obviously porn was brought up and people that are addicted to it and then they talked about how we will use facebook. I realized that I am/was completely addicted to that. Hopefully by the end of this, I will have more self-control. Wow side tangent, anyways, back to the girl who "quit" smoking. Well we visited her on Friday, and she needed to stop that day. We were sitting down and she's like, "guys, yeah, I don't know about that smoking thing, I don't think I can do it."  I was like....what?....and then broke out the BOM and slayed her with the sword of the Spirit and got all pumped, like I literally was out of my seat jumping up and down saying she can do it. She jumped up and was like you're right and got her last two packs of cigarettes and we ripped them all up. She's getting baptized on the 13th.
We were walking the other day and ran into a teenager and talked a bit with her. We asked if we could talk with her again...and surprisingly she said yes and gave us her address and we went back...and surprisingly it was the right address...and surprisingly she was expecting us...and surprisingly she accepted everything we said...and surprisingly she said she'll come to church...and surprisingly she has transportation to get there...and surprisingly she also accepted a date to get baptized. Meeruhcuhls.
Here's the ironic statement of the day. My companion is Asian and detests eating fish. Well, it was quite entertaining when a member fed us fish fry this week (which by the way is delicious) and she covered the fish in potatoes and tartar sauce. She looked close to hurling at times. I love my companion.
Sister Westwood has pointed out that at about 3:00 every day I remember who is feeding us that night and every time I say, oh yeah they are the best family to eat with. I say that about literally everyone though, because I'm a garbage disposal and all the members are over the top nice here.
We were in charge of the lesson for 5th Sunday and it went so well! We set it up all nice and Bro. Scerbo (wml) printed off these posters and fliers that we put on all the seats. We talked about family mission plans and members shared these awesome missionary experiences and it was the
bomb.com. Bro. Scerbo texted saying he has been getting some good feedback and people are now excited for family mission plans! Yay!
So much to write, so little time!
At the beginning of my mission I came out because I was being obedient to a prompting Heavenly Father gave me. I didn't really care what happened on my mission, where I was going or anything, I just knew this is what He wanted me to do and I'll go get it done and come back. Well, now that I've been here a bit I'm realizing He wants me here because I'm a prideful piece of work and only through a mission would He be able to help me recognize several of my many weaknesses. I've recently been realizing so many that I've been making a list since last week and it's ever growing and maybe at the end of about 10 lifetimes will I be able to make a dent. Now it's just a matter of creating spiritual steps for myself and realizing the dents that I am making. Small drops of awesome.
I love this work! Keep missionaries in your prayers, cuz we need them!

5th Sunday Presentation


Lake Shawnee Crew