Monday, June 27, 2016

Angels Among Us

Happy Monday! Some sisters needed to switch us pdays, so we have pday
today! It is definitely summer here, the humidity is crazy!!! But it
never stops us from continuing the work!

We have been trying to really focus on finding the less actives in
this ward and working with them to help them come back. We have been
going into lots of members homes and getting to know the ward better.
It's been really cool to watch their trust in us grow and I'm so
grateful for that!

We went all week without hearing from Darlene and we found out that
her husband, Mac, had a stroke! So we went and visited him in the
hospital and we are seeing Darlene tonight! We are praying this
strengthens her testimony of the Savior and His Atonement. We are
praying so hard for a miracle to happen with her!

The visitors center has been so busy! It is so much fun! It gets
busier and busier every week and I love it! We are on our feet,
talking to people all 6 hours and I have had some really cool
experiences. I love being able to invite EVERYONE to come closer to
Jesus Christ, because we all can! It always strengthens my testimony
taking people through and listening to the spirit's guidance on what
to testify of.

We also teach on what we call 'teaching center'. On, anyone
can chat with missionaries to ask any questions they have and we are
the ones chatting with these people! I had a phone call with this girl
named Sharon this week who wanted to order a bible. We were talking
about the bible for a while and then I asked her if she had ever heard
of the Book of Mormon before and she said she never had. I told her
what it is and she said it sounded so interesting and she would love
to have a copy! And we are going to read together!!! I'm so excited!
Teaching center is just another tool given to us missionaries to
fulfill our purpose and I'm so grateful for it!

Bishop Banks shared something that definitely warmed my heart
yesterday. He looked at the elders and us and told us "you are angels
walking among our ward...even if you aren't getting baptisms right
now, you're doing what you're supposed to be doing because you are
changing this ward." The spirit confirmed this to me and I just wept,
knowing that I am being an obedient and diligent missionary and we are
working hard to do what the Lord wants. One of the biggest tender
mercies of the week :) And then this morning I read one of my favorite
chapters in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 4... And verse 24 says 'angels
came down and ministered unto me.' I thought about that and how many
angels I have been given to help me change. I look back and there was
always an angel that was heaven sent to me right when I needed them
and I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is so aware of
us individually and what and WHO we need. I am so grateful for all
y'alls support and I love you so much! Have a wonderful week!!!

Independence temple lot with my ANGEL companion

We had Christmas in June and had a gift exchange!  Look at all those ANGELS I'm surrounded by :)

LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL....I took her through the VC  and had to take a picture with her because she reminds me of ME when I was that age!  Always in a BYU cheer uniform!

Companionship goals..making a handshake is very important

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful!

Hello to my favorite people! Hope you all had a marvelous week and a
wonderful Father's Day! I have to give a public shout out to my dad,
who is the best dad anyone could ever have! I am so grateful for him
and all he has taught me, including my dance skills :)

This week was SO GOOD! We had a member of the seventy, Elder Hales,
and his wife come and train us and it was incredible. The focus of his
training was repentance and it really changed the way I view
repentance. This is one of the biggest lessons I've learned on my
mission, how to truly repent. I used to think repentance was this big
and scary thing that I was nervous to think about...but now it is a
joyful thing to me! Elder Hamula described repentance as turning to
Christ and that explanation helped me so much to understand what
repentance truly is. That we need to take whatever is the focus of our
lives and turn it to Christ.

We had a lot of meetings this week, so there wasn't much time to go
out but this week was one of those weeks where I was able to be fed
spiritually and really experience repentance. We had a zone training
which was able to help Sister Maxwell and I to know what we can do to
help our ward and how to hasten the work here. We are really working
on activation, because there is a huge need for that in this ward!

I love being companions with Sister Maxwell! She and I have so much
fun together and we still know what we need to accomplish. We have set
some awesome goals and we are so excited to see what happens in the
next 3 weeks!

We took Darlene to the Liberty Jail and she loved it! She told us she
feels like her testimony is growing every time she learns more! She
also is reading the Book of Mormon which is so good! We have another
lesson with her tonight and we are hoping to help her connect all of
the dots that she is developing a testimony.

The visitors center has been super busy and it has been so much fun! I
love being able to serve here in this special place and being able to
help all people come closer to Jesus Christ. A family from eagle came
through so it was way fun to see some of my friends!! I forgot how
much I love serving in the visitors center and I'm so grateful to be
back. It is definitely one of my favorite places!

Here's a fun story from the week to end: last night, Sister Maxwell
and I were walking to see some people and a parked car from a parking
lot honked at us and asked us to come over to talk to him so we did...
He recognized me from the visitors center last year and I recognized
him too. We talked about a few different things and he remembered that
we sang at the Christus, so he asked us to sing to him. Anyway, after
we talked for a while, we shook his hand to get going and he asked us
if we were married and we said no.... And then he said we need to stay
that way because he wants us for his wives in heaven! Sister Maxwell
and I were speechless, we had no idea what to say... We started
walking away and he was yelling after us telling us he loved us and we
need to remember to stay single... Welcome to Independence :) Hahaha
have a good week, y'all!

The VC sisters, the Toronto's, the Vest's, and the Hamula's

The Robertson Family from Eagle!

The Toronto's cute granddaughter!  We have twinning hair!  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Hello my dearest friends and family! Hope you all had a wonderful
week! This week was SO wonderful and I can't wait to tell you all
about it! It's definitely summer here!! It has been hotter than heck
and the visitors center has been super busy! Missouri in the summer is
the BEST!

We have seen some really cool miracles this week. A couple days ago, a
former investigator, Kimberly, called us and she said that she had
been clean for two weeks and she wants to get baptized!! She has had
some family trials so we haven't been able to see her yet but we are
so excited that she wants to be baptized!

We had some AWESOME lessons with Darlene! On Wednesday we took her to
walk the temple grounds and we had a lesson in the waiting room. It
reminded me that the everything in the gospel points us to the temple.
And it was cool to see Darlene walking around and I was able to
picture her there one day. She said she needed to learn more about
Joseph Smith, so we watched the Restoration movie with her and it was
SO GOOD. She said she is starting to believe that he is a prophet!!

We ate dinner with our Bishop and his family on Sunday and they are an
AWESOME family! Our bishop is amazing and so led by the spirit. I have
already learned so much from Bishop Banks and I am so excited to learn
more from him! This ward is super super 40 people were at
church. But bishop has this vision of missionary work and President
Cato has a vision of 50 percent activity in the stake.

On Friday, I hit my ONE YEAR MARK!!! I can't believe how fast this
past year has gone. I feel like I just left for the MTC yesterday. And
here I am, one year out! I have really learned so much over the past
year and how important the gospel is. I didn't realize what it meant
to live a life centered on Christ, but after this past year, I know
that making Him the center of our lives is so important. Especially if
we want to find happiness and peace! I have never been happier in my
life than now. I also haven't ever been tried as much as I have been
this past year, but I feel that those two things go together -
happiness and trials. Because it's in those hard times that you
exercise faith and see the blessings of the gospel. I know that the
gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it is the way for us to enjoy all
the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us.

Love you all, have a wonderful week and happy father day this week! :)

Darlene at the temple

In the works... VC the musical!  :)

Sister Bentley, Sister Maxwell, Sister Soto and I are all serving in the VC together and got to celebrate our one year mark together!  We were all in the MTC together!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I'M BACK!!!!

Holy cow, transfers are SO CRAZY, but they are so inspired!! I got
transferred back to Independence and I'm serving at the Visitors
Center again! When I found out, I nearly passed out because I couldn't
believe it! I'm still trying to realize that this is real life! And my
companion is Sister Maxwell! We were in the same MTC district! She is
an absolute angel. I LOVE being companions with her! She is the
definition of a Christlike missionary and I feel so blessed to be
serving alongside her.

Last week, I got to say bye to some of my favorite people before
leaving the Overland Park 2nd ward. I am grateful for the time I had
to serve there and for all the wonderful people I met and all the
things I learned. I know that Heavenly Father puts missionaries in
specific areas for specific purposes and I know that I fulfilled my
purpose in that area. I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who
helps us succeed!

I am serving in the Independence 2nd ward now! I haven't met a lot of
people yet, but I am so excited to be back. The Independence, Missouri
stake is a very special place. On Sunday we had stake conference and I
was reminded that this stake is such a special place and the people
here are incredible and the spirit is so strong. I got to see all of
my 1st ward and Raytown friends and I got to feel the incredible
spirit of the saints of this stake all gathered together....IN ZION!
This is like the best stake in the whole church! (Sorry Eagle, Idaho're second!)

When President Cato (the stake president) speaks, I always feel the
spirit and he testified that we need to come together and strengthen
Zion. For the closing hymn, we all stood and sang The Spirit of God
(President Cato's theme song) and both the organ and the piano were
being played and everyone was singing so fervently...the spirit was so
strong I couldn't even sing because I was crying so hard! Independence
is so dear to my heart... I am so grateful to be back!

The Visitors Center is busy because it's summer now! And the first day
I was back, I was testifying in front of the Christus and I was
overcome with love and I forgot the special spirit that is in the
Visitors Center. I feel so blessed to be serving in the VC. It's a
place to receive revelation and feel God's love and to come closer to
Christ. And every time I take a presentation I get to witness that in
the people I take through and in myself. Heavenly Father loves all of
His children and wants us all to return to Him.

Love you all so much! Have a wonderful, wonderful week!

Me and my new ANGEL companion, Sister Maxwell at the Visitor's Center!  We matched our very first day together!

Remember Patrick!  :)  He was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood on Sunday!

Saying goodbye to my lovely Leia Mojica

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Happy Memorial Day! It has been such a wonderful day today! This
morning we were with Sister Vest, Sister Fuhriman, and Sister Matagi
to finish the art project that we started when I was with Sister
Fuhriman! It is so pretty and I'm so excited for it to be finished!
Then we had a Memorial Day picnic with our ward. The Overland Park 2nd
ward is such a special place and as I sat there, I looked around at
all the families and I was overwhelmed with love. I have grown so much
as I've served in this area and the members here have changed me so
much. I am so grateful for the chance that I had to serve them.

We focused a lot on finding this week and really strengthened our
relationship with the members. We have been focusing a lot on Courtnie
as well. She is doing really well with quitting smoking. She also is
reading her Book of Mormon and praying every single night which is
amazing. I know that reading and praying are two of the most important
things to build a solid foundation. She just needs to come to church

Something I notice every week, but especially this week, is how aware
the Lord is of each of us individually. He knows what each of us need
and He sends us those little tender mercies to remind us that He loves
us. I have been thinking about a talk given by Elder Bednar a few
years ago that was about tender mercies. Elder Bednar said, "The
simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of
the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times
in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the
solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to
attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason
cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and
inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are
insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that
perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender
mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of
deliverance." I know the Lord's tender mercies are real and they are
all around us!

The biggest tender mercy that I have experience this week is the peace
of mind that I have had as I have been so anxious about my brother
leaving on his mission. I think it's a big sister thing, but I've been
very anxious about him leaving and me not being there and knowing I
won't see him for 3 years...but the Lord gave me the assurance that
this is how everything is supposed to be and that Tanner and the rest
of my family will be blessed. Heavenly Father is truly so wonderful.

I hope you have a wonderful week! It's transfer week here in the MIM,
so we will see what happens! Talk to you all next week! Love you!

Some Jehovah Witnesses decided to check up on our investigator  #accaawkward

Working on the project

This is the tapestry!   We started writing the names on the leaves this morning and will finish it tomorrow!