Hello my dear family!Another week has come and gone here in good old Grand Forks :) Nothing too exciting has happened. We just continue to teach and serve! Our investigator Kaedyn who was supposed to get baptized this coming Saturday will most likely have to push his date back a few weeks. They haven't been coming to church as much as we would hope but he is still on track to get to baptism! he just needs a bit more time. Which according to Sister Ransom is usually the case with investigators. so no worries there! this is the Lord's timing after all! We have a super busy week planned this coming week and hopefully should have some good success with the less active and the investigators that we are working with. We are teaching a woman who is a refugee from Burundi Africa. She doesn't speak English so her family helps us translate to her. We aren't sure exactly how much she has understood but we know that she feels the spirit when we are there and continues to let us come back! we are trying to get her a Book of Mormon in Swahili (I think that's how it is spelled.... but you know me... spelling and I aren't really friends..... ) so that she can read it and start to understand more what we are teaching. She is the cutest little old African woman and we completely love her! We have a few other investigators we are working with but mostly just teaching lessons and hopefully we will have some more people on date for baptism soon :)
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Hello parentals/anyone else who reads these wonderful emails that I send home :)
Things are good here in Grand Forks. Slow and steady but still great. We are working every week to slowly build up our numbers and so far each week we have been getting a little bit better. This past week we had a really good week and P-Day could not come soon enough! I am sooo incredibly tired :) and I would just like everyone to know that it is PERFECTLY okay for missionaries to take naps on Pday. so all you out there who told me that I would have to give up my nap time were in fact wrong! We take like 2 hour long naps every P-day :) oh and also we are allowed to take naps during our lunch and dinner. So in reality I can take a nap everyday! and it's amazing because missionary work is hard and I sure get tired! but I love every second of it :)
Nothing terribly exciting has happened out here. Life just kinda goes on. The work moves forward and we move with it! I did get a package from Melani two weeks ago and one from Dawnielle last week! and it was great to get both of them! Dawnielle sent me this super cute quote book which I love! it's nice to have a specific place that I can put quotes and things that I love. Just a reminder though that if you are going to send something to me that it needs to be through the post office or if you use any other it has to be priority otherwise the mission office can't send it on to me for free. If you want to send it any other way that's fine just ask me for my address where I am currently and you can send it directly to me but if you send it to the mission office and they have to send it on to me make sure that they can forward it on to me for free or basically we pay for the shipping twice :)
BUT I LOVE THAT YOU ARE ALL SENDING ME THINGS! it's fun to know that the people back home love me and miss me and remember me :) not that you all need to start sending me things just know that I do in fact appreciate them tons and tons!
so it's mesquito season up here in North Dakota. and the mesquito's here are NOT like the ones at home. They are evil. and they are ALWAYS out. No matter what time of day it is. like pretty sure that I have over 30 mesquitos bites. I stopped counting once I got to 20 but I am sure that I have gotten at least 10 more. It's not fun.
This past wednesday we have a few different lessons and all of the people had dogs. and It was soooo great! they were all so cute and friendly. and of course they all loved me because I am such a great dog lover :) they made me miss my doggies back home but also helped me to have some good puppy time :) I know I am a dork but what can I say I just love dogs! one member was giving us a ride and she had her two bulldog puppies with her (they are like 5 months old) and they are the CUTEST things that I have ever seen. and I am a massive push over so of course I let them sit on my lap and give me kisses and so by the time she dropped us off back in town I was COVERED in dog hair. good thing it was dinner time and we could go home and change hahaha. not sure why I just took the time to type that out for all of you but ya know I did so now you can read the random part of my letter about the dogs that I met on my mission. :)
It's great to hear that things are going good at home! Like I said things are going good here too! except the other day these people yelled at us and told us that we look like we are amish. Which I took slight offence to like, excuse me! I have better fashion sense than the amish. :) But of course we just laughed it off. Whenever we are walking around bored Sister Ransom and I always re live the funny things that people yell at us as we are out walking. It's good times :)
Our zone here has been doing really good lately. The past two weeks in a row we have taught more lessons than any other zone in the mission. (which has like NEVER happened in this zone.... it's kinda struggled in the past.....) but it's been doing really great these past couple of weeks! it's exciting to get to see the growth that is happening here.
Well I honestly can't thing of anything else that I need to write about. Life is good. Church is true. The Lord loves us. Sister Ransom and I have seen the blessings that come as we faithfully serve the Lord and do the best that we can to keep our will aligned with his. I know that the only reason that we have had success these past few weeks is because we are constantly striving to do the will of the Lord. Also this morning Sister Ransom shared something with me out of Preach My Gospel. It's in the lesson that we teach about the Gospel of Christ. The very last principle that we cover is enduring to the end. In there it basically says that as long as we are working to follow the commandments and be like Christ that everything will work itself out. And that over time we will come to be Christlike people. That it's not a check list of things that we have to do everyday but that it's constantly working to be a good person. It's knowing that we won't be perfect in a week or in a month or even in this lifetime but that as long as we never give up and just continue to follow the commandments to the best of our abilitiy we have the promise that we WILL recieve Eternal Life and find joy and happiness. Also we talked about how life isn't supposed to be unhappy. Living the gospel is supposed to bring us joy and peace. Not just at the end of this life but along every single step of the way. That's my current thought of the day. Hopefully it makes sense :) but I love you all with all of my heart! and I know that this Church is the True church of Christ again restored about the earth. and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. That he would have never sacrificed so much if he didn't know that the work he was doing was a calling from God. We watched the Joseph Smith movie this past week and it always makes me cry. Partly because it just re afirms my testimony that he was a prophet of God. and that this church is The Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days.
I love and miss you all!! Keep smiling, Keep working, and Keep loving those around you!!!
Love your favorite sister missionary,
Friday, June 14, 2013
Hello my wonderful family!!!
Things are going good here in North Dakota. the other day I told Sister Ransom that I LOVE North Dakota. Like who would have ever guessed?! not me that's for sure! but it's amazing up here and the people are incredibly nice.
This is kinda a boring letter I guess... I don't really know what to say in it.... Nothing super duper exciting has happened. oh! I guess we taught more lessons last week than we have since we got here! we were excited about that. The elders who serve in the second ward here in Grand Forks had a baptism this past Saturday so we went to that and it was soooo great. She is super solid. Her testimony was beautiful. It's raining here like every other day. The weather can't decide if it wants to be sunny or not. Seriously it's like every other day. One day it's all nice and sunny and we feel like we are burning. Next day it's pouring rain. Today we woke up and there was fog outside. What can I say it's always an adventure!
Yesterday we had a YSA (young single adult) breakfast with some of the YSA's who are still in the area. That was fun. I even made chocolate chip pancakes! and no one died from eating them. I am working on my domestic skills our here as a missionary. I was joking around with the YSA's and I was like "someday I will be married so I have to practice on all of you my pancake making skills" and then someone jokingly was like "well what if you don't get married?" and I was like "well then I will make chocolate chip pancakes for myself! either way I need to hone my skills" :) it was funny. OH! and there is a girl here in our ward who just got called on her mission to Gilbert Arizona! she's a nice girl.... a little sheltered.... but nice :) so if Brandon and Melani run into a Sister Minkler she is from up here in Grand Forks, ND!
Sorry this letter is so short! I don't know what else to say.
This past week Sister Ransom and I have just repeatedly (like probably 7 or 8 times no joke) come across scriptures, conference talks, articles in the ensign, and our lesson from relief society this past sunday, that talk about putting our trust in God and submitting our will to his will. Basically we have been rebuked from on high :) and while it's been a hard lesson to learn it's one that when we fully come to understand it will help our area blossom like it never could have (or would have) before. I realized this past week that for the first two months of my mission I have been working incredibly hard. But that the only thing I have withheld is my whole soul. I realized that if I want my mission to change my life then I can't keep back my heart. That I have to give EVERYTHING to the Lord. and trust in him. It's a scary thought and I have been praying for the faith and courage to do so. But I know that once I am able to submit my will to Heavenly Father's there is nothing that I won't be able to accomplish as a missionary. It's scary! I don't want to put my heart into this work and be disappointed. It's much easier to just say well I am working really really hard! isn't that enough? but Heavenly Father has made it incredibly plain to me this past week that if I want to have a real lasting success as a missionary, the kind that chagnes not only my life but the lives of my future family, then no just working hard is not enough. That it's up to me but that if I want to let my mission change my life then I have to give up this last bit of control. I have to put my trust completly in him. So here goes nothing!!! I guess we will see how it turns out :)
I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOO MUCH! and I love getting your emails :) the brighten my Mondays and help me have the courage and energy to keep working.
Love your favorite sister missionary,
Monday, June 3, 2013
Things are going GREAT here! WE found 4 new investigators this past week which is more than we have basically since we got here.... but one of them turned out to live in the Elders area so we passed her off to them. But hopefully they will have good success with her! We also taught more lessons this past week than we have since we got here! and we placed 8 Book of Mormons in 4 days :) so we were pretty excited. The boy we have on date for baptism is named Kaedyn Thompson and his date is set for June 29th. So far things are going good so we are still planning on that day. His family came to church yesterday (well his Dad didn't come but I do know he has come with them in the past) and his mom bore her testimony. It was great to get to hear her share her testimony and to hear that she does know that the church is true. We keep praying for his dad Rocky and we hope that someday his heart will be softened to the gospel. Kaedyn has a little sister named Caisey (said cazey) and she is sooo adorable! she just turned 7 and she has been listening to our lessons with her older brother. The other day we thought about giving her a Book of Mormon and she was sooo incredibly thankful for it. She brought it with her to church yesterday and told us that she was been reading from it every night :) It's so great to see the faith of children and to just realize that they understand and believe so much greater than we do. Christ counsels us again and again to be like the little children and it's great to see that here as I am serving.
This past fast Sunday we fasted as a Zone (so all of the missionaries in the Stake that I serve in.... which is about the size of Utah..... ) and we fasted for unity as a zone, as districts, and as companionships. We also fasted for success in our zone. It was a super powerful fast and I can already see how we are being blessed for it. The zone leaders attached the scripture Alma 31:32-35 to our fast and that just added to the spirit and strength of our fast. It's been amazing!!!!
Other than that I don't think that I have anything else exciting to talk about..... Life is going good here in Grand Forks! we love being here! I LOVE being a missionary!!!! and I LOVE all of you back home!!!!
This morning I was studying and lately I have really been pondering about how the Lord views me and I just have felt like there are soooo many things that I should be better at and sooooo many things that I need to change. So I prayed this morning before I studied to know how the Lord saw me as his servant. and the answer that I got was that the Lord has confidence in me but that the reason he shows me my weaknesses is to help me remember that without him I am nothing. Without my savior this work would never be able to go forth. There is no point to missionary work and really anything that we do in the church without the Lord. Everything that we do is a blessing from him. All of our success comes through his Grace and Love and Mercy. So that's why he reminds us of our weakness. Not to tear us down but so that we always remember him. It was a good lesson that I learned this morning and I just wanted to share it with you! also lately we have been reading the conference talks from this past conference and they are soooo amazing! so many of them make me cry every time that I read them. If you have the chance you should read the talks from the Young Womens broadcast. OH and President Monsons talk from the Priesthood sesson. That one literally makes me cry every single time that I read it :)
I love hearing what is going on at home and I love knowing that I have such an amazing strong support system! I can feel your love and your prayers for me everyday! Your great examples and testimonies help me as I work here in North Dakota. The Lord loves us all so much! and I know that he has blessed me with amazing people in my life who I needed to help me. Thanks for the prayers and the love!!! I love you all with all of my heart! Don't forget your crazy daughter/sister/aunt/friend!!!!!!
Love your favorite sister missionary,
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Hello Hello family of mine!!!!
So update just so everyon knows on Monday Holidays (which is like half of them) we still have P-Day but we get to email our families on tuesday because the library is closed on the Holiday :)
It has been soooo great to get to hear from everyone! It's just the boost that I need to help me out at the start of each week. Things here have been a little slow recently. Sister Ransom was in a car accident in her last area and she didn't have any major injuries at the time but recently she has had a super bad pain in her back so we spent like half of last week trying to get it all worked out. She has gone to the chiropractor a few times now and has gotten everything worked out. so she is fine now! but it took a bit of time last week to get it all worked out. :)
OH!!! and the good exciting news! I am NOT being transfered!! I was incredibly excited for that bit of news thsi past weekend. We changed the ringtones of the mission president and both of his assistants in our phone so that we would know if it was them calling us or not :) We are just both super duper excited for the work here and we love each other and were not ready to change.
Oh and the text that Mom got was from Sister Taylor who is the most amazing relief society president here. But sadly she is moving! to Henderson Nevada. We were super sad because she is for reals the most amazing person ever. We are not sure how we are going to function without her. But we know this is good for her family. So I am glad you got the picture and I am doing great out here!!!
I love to hear about the great spiritual experiences that are going on back home. and the fun stories. I just love hearing from you guys!
This past week we got one of our investigators on date (which means that we have a set date for baptism that they are working to) He is a 9 year old and his Mom is a member and his Dad is not. Because he has turned 9 he is a convert baptism and therefore must be taught and interviewed by the missionaries in order to get baptized. So far things have been going really well for him and we hope that by June 29th he will be ready! His dad has been sitting in on our lessons. He hasn't said anything but we are praying that his heart will be softened to the message and that he will follow the example of his son and accept this gospel of Jesus Christ.
Other than that the work has also been a little slow with memorial day weekend. We actually went to a big going away picnic for Sister Taylor and her family last night with like half of our current ward and half of the other ward (since the wards just split when we got here) It was a lot of fun and we got to interact with a lot of the memebers. OH and we also spoke in church yesterday. that was good. I talked about missionary work. I shared from Elder Nelsons conference about Catching the Wave and from Elder Andersons talk It's a Miracle. Both are amazing! and they both talk about how important the members are in this unfolding miracle with the age change and sooooo many new missionaires serving.
Well that is all that I can think of for the moment...... Life is basically going good here in Grand Forks! I love it more than ever. I feel your prayers and support every day. The other day I was kinda having a hard time and just thinking how we had to get through the day. And then in my personal study the next morning I read from President Monsons talk in the Priesthood sesson about how all the new missionaries sit and wait for their calls to come and how many are sent to far away places and then at the bottom of the column he says that no matter where they go their answers are always the same, I will Serve. And I just had a moment of clarity that that is exactly what I told my Heavenly Father when I decided that I wanted to serve a mission. That I was going to serve him no matter what. No matter where he sent me, no matter what he asked of me, no matter if no one wanted to talk with me, no matter if it was the hardest thing that I had ever done in my entire life, I promised him that I would serve. I and know that he has blessed me because of that. I just know that this church is true with all of my heart! and I am so incredibly blessed to get to share that with others every single day. Sister Ransom and I are currently fasting to find a family who has been prepared for the gospel so hopefully by the next email I send home I will have some good news in that regard!
I love you all with all of my heart!!!!!!!!!!!
Love your favorite sister missionary,