Monday, November 23, 2015

I think we found Fluffy...[Nov. 23, 2015]

So last Monday we were driving to Walmart and I saw a big tumbleweed on the side of the road and I pulled over. Our apartment is rather dreary so I was thinking a tumbleweed decorated as a Christmas tree would lighten it up. Well the tumbleweed didn't fit in out car so we walked it the couple blocks which was awkward especially when people we knew honked at us. We tried stuffing it in the elders garage, but they walked out right as we were stuffing it in the was funny. Well, we got it in and later when we wanted to go home, Sister Birks was a trooper and held it outside the window as we drove the couple miles to our house. Of course we also left right as the elders came up with the Fillmores. They got a pic of us. 
One evening we were biking to an investigator and it was dark and this dog came out of nowhere and it was big and barking at us and following at my legs. It got real fast and I screamed bloody murder. Had I had the pepper spray on me that dog would've had it coming! But thank goodness I didn't because it ended up being our investigators dog. It was a German shepherd, but it was far scarier than some pitbulls I've met.

The elders have been driving all over the place and have had lots of adventures they've told us about, but they were butts and scared Sister Birks as she got something out of the trunk and saw a dead bird. I hate sharing a car with elders! They are good elders though and they met a guy two weeks ago and he's getting baptized Saturday!

 There was a crazy blizzard that happened earlier in the week and it calmed down enough that we could walk outside. Lots of semis were stuck in Lamar, because all the surrounding towns got tons of snow.

Lacey is still progressing. She is making small steps with changing her life. We are trying to really get her in the Book of Mormon, because that's really gonna be the key with her understanding everything. We also established that we are having a dinner with her every weekend in the hopes that she won't be tempted to go drinking afterwards. She is so fun and cute and I just clearly see how much potential she has.

We had dinner with this one member who told us that in Brazil on his mission whenever they had trouble with someone they were teaching who wouldn't stop talking, they would ask three random successive questions without giving them time to answer, to break their train of thought and the other companion would go straight into the lesson. The elders tried it on us one time and it was so annoying!

 Anyways, stay fly. Read the Book of Mormon. Go to church. Know that God loves you. Oh and pray for things that you need right then!

Pics: Sister Birks, Lacey, me
Our tumble tree
Sister Birks, and I with Lacey's dog, princess. She blended in with my
black scarf.
E. Michaelis, E. Porter, me and Sister Birks
E. Michaelis without adjusting the seat after I drove.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's a Christmas Miracle, Charlie Brown...[Nov. 16, 2015]

We have been teaching this lady named Lacey. She's had a rough past involving incarceration and teen pregnancy and she has SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but it is so hard for her to see! Babylon is all she knows. There's that popular quote, what the mind can conceive it can achieve. Yeah she is still at the conceiving part of it. But just within the past little over a week she has changed so much. She is feeling the spirit more and more during the lessons. Well, at the beginning of the week she was set to be baptized Feb 28th but then we taught her the WOW and LOC and she had a mini freak out. She mentioned that no one had taught her this when she was young. We fasted for her and the next day we took this awesome team up that helped her with her vision of herself. Then the next day she kind of dropped us and said she was going to a different church in Sunday. But we told her about priesthood blessings and she really wanted one so we set it up for at the church. She got it and felt really good about it and then we showed her the font and because of him on our iPads. Then I told her that God didn't send us to her in a few years, but NOW, because He knows she's ready. I asked her if she still wants to get baptized. She said yes. I asked when. She said Feb 28th. (Totally unexpected, we were thinking she would say months down the road) then I told her she would have to live WOW and LOC that day and she committed to do so. Such a MIRACLE! Lacey told us a psychic told her that people would be coming to see her and she will learn a lot about herself through them and she took us as those people. Another investigator this week told us that a lady in her old church that she doesn't know too well stood up and said that people are going to come to see Gail and she needs to listen to them and she is taking us as those people. Talk about prepared!

 Both the elders and us hit standard, which I think is the first time my whole mission that my entire district hit standard so that's a miracle itself.

 Yesterday I may or may not have told a random stranger that he is the most prideful person I ever met...we were in a gospel discussion talking about the existence and nature of God and he pretty much said he believes He exists, but that doesn't motivate him to change his sinful behaviors. We had a good discussion on pride and he's a new investigator and we have plans to meet his wife who is a referral we were planning on seeing anyways. I think I have old man syndrome again where my death is eminate and I'll say what I want to say. Oh who's
kidding....I have that all the time!

 One evening we prayed and I rubbed my eye....than it started burning and felt all blood shot and I had no idea why. Then later I was playing with the nozzle of the pepper spray in my pocket and was like...oooooh....

 We got a new phone (nothing to be excited's harder to text than the last one) well we tried setting it up, but it failed and then we didn't have any phone. So we went to our appointment and across the street was a member so we asked to borrow her phone and she was super
 nice. On the phone the lady that helped asked my first and last name and she started calling me by my first name and then it got to the account name and I was like LDS church? And she's like it sister? Uh yeah! And she started calling me that. I don't know if she
was a member or maybe just working at Sprint she must talk with a lot of missionaries changing their phone. But the member we borrowed the phone from asked if we had a dinner...we didn' she fed us dinner and talked about our investigators and just was so nice. I love members!

Picture: selfie with Kaitlyn

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oh When the Saints go Lamarching in...[Nov. 9. 2015]

This week was a hardun' companion likes to plan things to a T and I'm one that's like....let the spirit just blow me where I need to go. It's more PMG to plan to a T, but try planning with Sister Seymour at 10pm after biking up a small hill for 30 minutes to get home and see how that goes. :] Oh yeah it's also bike week...and we live about 2 miles outside of town...yay. Anyways, so I know that I've seen success, therefore I know what I'm doing is at least one right way to do things, so it's been a lot of a balance act with not letting my pride get in the way, but also correcting when I know there is a better way. Can I go back to training?

This week marks my first EVER flat tire on my bike. Even before my mission I used to go road biking and stuff and have never gotten one. The elders fixed it up. We got some gooduns!

The Fillmores have bailed us out so many times and they are such sweethearts! I have no idea what we would do with out them. She feeds us pancakes Monday mornings and they never go to bed before 9:30 in case they have to help one of us.

We had a double baptism! Isaiah and Kaitlyn! They are so awesome and were super ready. They're brother Jesse got baptized last week and their mom the week before. (Found through aunt who got baptized 2 years ago) The grandma and sister are left. The sister is named Kristina...its just a matter of time. :)

Lamar is interesting, because they really are the size of a small Ward, but the population is just a bit bigger than Goodland, which had to travel to go to a very small branch in the city 30 minutes away.
The difference? Goodland had one big less active family. Lamar has a big solidly active family which created a foundation for the ward. Goes to show every person is so vital in building the kingdom. It's
been hard coming from Junction where people come and go so often to here where everyone is related and if you talk with anyone they know at least a couple people that go to the LDS church.

On Weds we had a team-up with this active member who is probably about my age. She had these super cute glasses on and her hair was thick and was in this sleek slicked back pony tail. She had this perfectly cute coat on over her thin figure and I had this immediate....I want to be you when I grow up impression. The next thought....oh wait. We are like the same age. I have been working to be you for several years and yet here I am in my ugly black smudged shoes with my I don't care hair in a low falling out pony. Pale legs splotched with mosquito bite scars. Whatever make up I had on had long been sweated off from biking. Why am I failing at this goal of perfection? Haha, maybe because only Christ is perfect and He has no intention for me to be perfect in that way. But this goes far beyond the mission. Not having social media has been bliss because my self esteem doesn't at all stand with how many likes or followers I have. It doesn't rely on the funny or profound things I have to share on Facebook. My self esteem here completely relies on my standing before the Lord....that is until I have a run in with a team-up that the adversary uses to let me lose sight on what the vision for myself is. Don't know what I'll do when I get off this shin dig....I guess practice what I preach., pray, read.

Random AP visit... Me, sister Birks, AP Merrifield, DL Michaelis, E. Porter, AP Limb
Zone training
Baptism! Me, Sister Birks, Kaitlyn, Bro. white, Isaiah, MaryAnn (mom) there don't that. (Regarding the prompt to meet Elder Stevenson

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm not in Kansas anymore...[November 2, 2015]

This week has been crazy. It started off with so many sad good byes. Saying bye to Sarah was the hardest. She is a recent convert and just a classic teenager and when I told her I was leaving the next morning she started tearing up and I just hated life at that point. She was the first one to get baptized in her family and I just found out that her brother in law who is also like her adopted father is on date for baptism and committed to quit smoking. When I left he completely refused to quit smoking and consider baptism, but I just got Sister Chappells email and after fasting he had a change of heart. I LOVE THAT FAMILY sooooooooo MUCH.

 So Wednesday we drove 2 hours to Wichita, had the transfer devotional then I sat in a van for 3 hours awkwardly squished next to an elder and then another 3 hours to Lamar. So full day of driving. Then we had Thursday and Friday where Sister Birks introduced me to so many awesome people here in Lamar. I feel like right away I click with like everyone here, more than any other area I've been in. It's Gods way of saying, hey, you weren't done with just Junction.

 Saturday we were back on the road for 12 hours. We didn't get back til 12:30, thank goodness it was the time change! Sister Birks just finished her training, so she doesn't have driving privileges yet, but we took a bus for part of it so it wasn't all me. She is just like me when I was that far in the mission. She puts a lot of pressure on herself and I want to help, but I don't want to step on her toes with things, so it's a balance. I feel like I'm getting good at being in the background of things and a safety net when they need it. She has a very different personality than me and I realized that I just have to constantly decide we are going to get along. We'll be besties by the end of this.

 We drove 12 hours to see an apostle! The third one that I have shaken hands with. Elder Stevenson. He is so awesome! He asked who was here when E.Holland visited in May and most of us raised our hands and he was like oh should never lower your expectations...except for right now. Lower your expectations. I learned a lot from him. I need to promise specific blessings when committing people. I also need to testify at the end of each lesson to leave the spirit in their home. He talked for like 2 hours and it felt like nothing and it reached 6:30 and he was like holy smokes it's 6:30! Then he went on for another 15 minutes lol. So we missed Halloween in its entirety, but this was much preferred.

 Oh I forgot, Friday we had a baptism! When I got there late weds night they had nothing set up for the program including the talk and no one to baptize him. We got it pulled together though and it was awesome. It was for Jesse who is 11 and two of his older siblings are getting baptized this Saturday. His single mother got baptized a week ago.

 My mission dad (first district leader) went home this last transfer and in his departing testimony he talked about the Wizard of Oz and how it's about Dorothy and her adventures to Oz. She meets up with people along the way. They all help her and she helps them and in the end when she finally gets to her destination she realizes it wasn't where they were going that mattered, but the people you meet along the way. Completely describes my mission. Especially the meeting of people with no heart, courage or brains :P