Monday, August 29, 2016

Deja Vu!

This week has been CRAZY!!! Transfers took place and I am now in
Platte City serving with SISTER DAY!!! I am reunited with my baby!!!
And now we are serving as sister training leaders together! It is so
much fun and I already love Platte City so much! It is BEAUTIFUL and
the people are so awesome! And I'm serving in the Liberty YSA, so I'm
in a YSA again! I'm so excited and I know so many great things are
going to happen this transfer! But, it's been forever since I've
emailed so I have a lot to tell you!

Last week in Independence:
A couple of weeks ago, Brother Lopez, our ward mission leader, gave us
an Applebee's gift card, so on pday (a week and a half ago) we didn't
have a dinner so we went to Applebee's! A guy who was working (who
wasn't even our waiter!) came up to us and recognized us as
missionaries. His name is Cameron and he told us his dad has been a
member for about 20 years and he just moved here two weeks ago and
wanted to know where the church was. So we gave him our number but
didn't get his information because we didn't want to get him in
trouble at work. So we were praying really hard that he would call us
back! And he did!!! So he came to church with us on Sunday and had an
amazing experience! Before sacrament meeting started he leaned over
and said his dad has been trying to get him to come to church for
years but he feels like now is the time. I was holding tears back! We
had the strong impression to take him to the visitors center after
church ended. So we walked up to the VC with Cameron and Brother Lopez
and we went through gods plan and it was AMAZING! Brother Lopez bore
really powerful testimony of eternal families and Cameron totally
opened up to us. He said when he first moved here he said that if he
didn't find a job he would join the church. And then he got pretty
emotional and said he didn't get a job for the first few days and he
broke his promise... Then he said he saw us sitting in Applebee's and
he knew that God was giving him a chance to keep that promise. I am
bawling at this point! He also said that one verse kept running
through his mind and it was "honor thy father and mother" and he felt
like this is how he can fulfill that commandment. The spirit was
tangible in that room. He said he wanted all of this and he already
knows the church is true. We invited him to be baptized and he said
yes!!!! He is on date for SEPTEMBER 10!!!! We went to the Christus and
Cameron offered one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. All
of this happened in 4 days! And his baptism date is 3 weeks away! The
sad part is that he is in the Raytown area so we referred him to the
elders there. But the story gets better! Elder Taylor (the elder in
Raytown) called us on Monday after he went over to visit Cameron and
told us his experience with this whole thing! He had been praying and
fasting for someone to baptize in Raytown and on Sunday, 10 seconds
after he ended his fast, he got the referral from us from Cameron! He
said he knew this was the answer to his prayers. This experience has
strengthened my testimony in so many ways... God is a God of miracles!
How on earth did we happen to be at Applebee's on a night where
someone who was prepared for the gospel was that same very night and
then he lives in the area of an elder who has been praying and fasting
for someone to teach? The only way it could be done is by Heavenly
Father! It also helps me know that the elect are out there for us to
find! Cameron truly is prepared for the gospel and I'm so excited for
him to be baptized! He has sent me emails and he can't wait to be
baptized either! Heavenly Father is too good!

We had a lesson with Darlene and she is doing well! She is taking
everything so well and I am so proud of her. She came to church again
even! She is really doing this for herself now which is awesome. She
told us that she really wants to be sealed to Mac! Im praying really
hard she continues to progress toward her baptism so they can be

We saw a ton of little miracles leading up to transfers so I'm so
excited for the sisters in 2nd ward to continue the work there. As
always, I was a little sad to be leaving Independence because I've
spent so much of my mission there! But I'm so excited for my new

First few days of Platte City:
It's still so crazy to be companions with Sister Day! Hence the title,
deja vu. But it's so much fun! She is an incredible missionary and I'm
so grateful that I get to be with her again! I haven't met a ton of
our people, but we did have a couple miracles happen!

We have an investigator named Lexi who has been learning about the
church for a while now. But she got a blessing right before I got here
to help her quit smoking and when we saw her on Friday we asked how
things are going and she said she didn't have a desire to smoke
anymore! She told us she was going to go to work and she was trying to
make herself want a cigarette because she always had one but she
couldn't do it. The power of the priesthood is so real!

Lexi also came to church and she brought one of her friends! Lexi
wants to get baptized but still has to figure a few things out still
but she is so awesome! The Bennett family also came to church! Keisha
was baptized last October and Jesse has been a member but not very
active for a while. They have an adorable 9 year old daughter named
Maddox who we are teaching! Jesse is working really hard right now so
we hope to have a baptism for Maddox in the next few weeks :)

Other than that, the members here are incredible! We live with our
ward mission leader and his family so that is way fun! Platte City is
full of nice people. When we go tracting even, we just met a bunch of
nice people! Part of Platte City is full of really nice homes that
makes me feel like I'm back in Eagle again and then the other part is
super rural. It's got a lot of hills, which makes for good running in
the morning :) I love it! I'm sorry this email is super long but it's
been forever since I've been able to send anything! I love you all and
have a wonderful wonderful week!

The famous Banks family :)

Last Mo-Spo in Independence!

All of my beautiful friends at the VC!  I was crying so much during this photo because I was one of two who left...

We are back together!

One of the amazing views of Platte City

Monday, August 22, 2016

Raytown Reunion

Hi my wonderful family and friends! Another week has come and gone!
Time just goes faster and faster... I wish it would slow down! This
week I was able to have some experiences that I will forever cherish
in my heart. I have come to realize how important and sacred personal
revelation is. I'm so grateful that I have been able to learn how to
receive personal revelation more clearly on my mission.

On Friday we had a zone conference and it was probably the most
revelatory meeting I've ever been in! I have truly learned that
personal revelation is direct messages given to us from our Heavenly
Father and He doesn't treat that lightly. I've also learned that faith
can't increase without revelation. One of the main focuses of the
meeting was the atonement of Jesus Christ...something that we talk so
much about, but we do so for a reason. The message that Christ came to
earth to establish His church and to die for us and that He rose on
the third day is the glorious message that we ALL get to share with
everyone around us. We talked about how we are the Atonement Delivery
System. And I have really pondered on that...that I am literally going
around as a representative of the Son of God and giving people all
they need to receive salvation. I am so grateful for my calling as a
full time missionary and that I get to share this joy with everyone
around me all day every day!

On a sadder note, Mac, Darlene's husband, passed away last week :( We
woke up to a call last week telling us and we were really nervous that
this would turn Darlene away from God... But Darlene is so awesome!
She told us she is not going to stop coming to church and that she
knows she is on the right path! Sometimes Heavenly Father works in
mysterious ways... She was even talking about how she knows Mac will
be excited when they get sealed in the temple!

Atasha is also doing awesome. She is reading the Book of Mormon now
too! We just gotta get her living the word of wisdom. She is on date
for September 30! She told us she really wants to change and she
doesn't have a lot of support from her family, which is sad. But the
ward has been really supportive of her. We found out that some members
had her over for dinner this week! That's the best news to a

Another miracle was on Monday we ate dinner with our elders quorum
president and his wife and he asked us to go see a less active brother
from the ward that neither of us had ever visited before. His name is
Brother Tuiono and we just stopped by and he lives in one of those
apartment buildings where you have to call them and they let you in.
So we called him and we said it was the sisters and he definitely
wasn't expecting us haha! But we talked in the lobby for a bit and
then we watched a Mormon message about Jesus Christ and talked about
the sacrament. Three years ago his wife left him and he said he has
been pretty angry with God. We invited him to come to church and he
said maybe one day... Then we really testified of the sacrament and
how much leave he will find there and these feelings will leave him.
He started crying and said "I promise I will be at church on Sunday."
My testimony strengthened that our leaders truly hold priesthood keys
to receive revelation for those under their stewardship. President
Harris knew that Brother Tuiono needed a visit and we are so grateful
we were able to see him and have that experience!

when I was in Raytown with Sister Wilkey and she got baptized on
Saturday! It was so awesome to see her and Brother Jordan in the font
together. I just pictured the day in a year when they will go to the
temple with their baby girl, Olivia. I love being a missionary so

Transfers are next week!!!! So if I stay here you'll hear from me next
Thursday, if I leave, I have no idea when I'll email next! Love you!!!

Jessica's baptism!!!  It was a mini Raytown reunion with all these wonderful sisters who taught Jessica!

Some sisters at zone conference by the Kansas City temple!

Me and my beautiful companion!

The tapestry!!!  Pointing to my name :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The miracles continue!

A lot of people ask what it's like to serve in a visitors center...
Well here is a taste of visitor center life! We had 9,500 people in
the VC in July!!! That's 9,500 people who were able to feel the spirit
and feel their Savior's love for them. And that's 9,500 people who we
as VC missionaries got to share our testimonies with!

We went to the stake production "Families Are Eternal" last week and I
was so impressed! It went all throughout the plan of salvation and the
music brought the spirit so strongly. President Cato announced this
last summer when I was serving here and I am so happy I got to be here
to see it! He came up to me after and said "I told you it would be
awesome." I am so very grateful for the plan of salvation and the
comfort it brings me. I can't imagine not knowing that we will see our
loved ones again. I'm also so grateful for a Savior, who makes this

I've been in the visitors center for 7 transfers now, and that is a
long time! I've never had a VC baptism or a teaching center baptism
though, and I've been really wanting one. There has been a lot of
focus in our mission by our leaders and all the general authorities
who have visited to learn the principle of setting goals, making
plans, and taking it to the Lord. So this has been a huge focus of
mine for this past transfer. I've been praying that I would have a
miracle VC or teaching center baptism and I would do anything I needed
to to make it happen. On Friday, there were 3 guys who walked in and I
wasn't on hot seat, but for some reason I stood up and wandered over
and greeted them. I met Jeff, his 14 year old son, Marshall, and their
friend, Derrick. They had traveled from South Dakota to see the
sights. I was then told that Derrick is Joseph Smith's
great-great-great grandson and that he was a member of the reorganized
church!!! Jeff is the ward mission leader of the ward Derrick has been
attending back home as he has been investigating for a little over a
year. I talked to Derrick for a bit before we started and I was asking
him about his journey of investigating. He told me he just didn't feel
like he had an answer I promised him that if he opened up his
heart to the spirit while he was at the VC, he would receive his

We went into God's Plan for His Family and really focused on the
temples. Derrick said he has walked around temple grounds before and
that he felt the spirit there and it was similar to how he felt here.
We talked about the fruits of the spirit and how the Holy Ghost is the
testifier of truth. Jeff was able to share a really powerful testimony
of the temple which invited the spirit so strongly. While I was
praying, I was told very clearly by the spirit that this was the
answer to my prayers! I pleaded with the Lord that He would let me
know what to share to help Derrick progress toward baptism. After
God's Plan, we went into the prophet's room and talked a little bit
more about temples and modern day prophets. Derrick said he thinks
it's really cool how we have prophets today and we talked about what
that really means.

Then we went down to the history and I hardly taught any history at
all! We had some really good chats and it was so awesome. We went in
the printing press room and I showed a video clip about missionary
work and I felt really prompted to share the experience I just had
with praying and knowing I was supposed to help Derrick towards
baptism, so I did! Derrick didn't really say a whole lot at first, but
we moved into the 5 screen room, and he said "I have to tell you
something." He told me that the missionaries at home asked him to be
baptized and he wasn't going to do it... Then he said "but after what
you just shared, I seriously am thinking I will." !!!!! I was totally
taken away and the spirit hit me like a brick wall. We went up to the
Christus and got a picture (which I sadly don't have) and Derrick gave
me his info. It was SO COOL! And my testimony grew so much that
Heavenly Father takes our goals and plans and consecrates them.

Another example of this principle- we had a goal to have 3
investigators at sacrament meeting, but on Saturday night it looked
like we were only going to have 2. So we were praying so hard for a
miracle that we would reach the goal we set for ourselves. Right when
sacrament meeting was starting JILL LAMB (my investigator from 1st
ward!!!) walked in! We went up and sat by her and she loved fast and
testimony meeting! She moved out of 1st ward area and wants to get
baptized really badly. Heavenly Father took our faith and goal and
made a miracle...3 investigators at sacrament meeting! And what a
tender mercy that it was Jill who came!

Updates on our investigators... Darlene is so awesome! She now
introduces herself to everyone as Sister Sampson :) she is one of the
most faithful church goers I know! Atasha is also doing so good! We
met with her yesterday and she has a new baptism date of September 30!
We are really going to try and help her overcome smoking for this to
happen. She told us she feels a difference in this church which is so
cool! She is really sensitive to the spirit.

Funny story of the week! We knocked on this door trying to find this
girl and these two other girls opened the door and the first thing
they said was, "We are eating pizza and drinking lots of beer." We
started laughing so hard!!! They were so drunk. We asked for Krista
and one of the girls said she was in the bathroom throwing up because
she was so drunk and we were really trying to hold back our laughs.
They continued to offer us some beer and we said no and they told us
that they were Catholic because they let them drink "lots of beer".
Hahaha then they said we probably shouldn't come back. Sister Wilkins
and I were crying because we were laughing so hard. Have such a
wonderful week everyone! I love you all!

Our little Garden of Eden behind the Visitor Center

Ushering at the stake production with our Elders!

Jill and I at church!  My heart was exploding with pure love at this moment!

At one of our dinners this week, they had these on the table and it was a little taste of home!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My heart is forever in Independence!

Hello to my beautiful friends and family! I hope you all are having an
excellent week and enjoying the little bit of summer that is left! I
can't believe it's already August!

This morning, we went on a walk down the Missouri River with Elder and
Sister Sharp and it was so much fun! It was so pretty! Missouri is
beautiful with all of the green trees and bushes. The whole time I was
singing to myself the primary song that says 'I'm glad that I live in
this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me.' I am so grateful
for a God who gave us this beautiful place to live so we can come
closer to Him.

So a long time ago there used to be a pageant here in Independence but
for some reason they stopped it. But the Independence stake is putting
on a musical thing to try and get things going again here and we get
to see it tonight! I am so excited and will tell you all about it next
week! Independence is such an awesome place. I usually have to remind
myself that I am in ZION!

Atasha watched the Joseph smith movie with us and she came to church
again and she is doing awesome! She loves everything! And Darlene is
doing good, she got sick so she couldn't come to church but she is
coming to the stake production tonight!

Awesome miracle of the week: last night we were at dinner and we asked
for referrals as always and the husband said "The only people that I
keep thinking about are Sami and Sekope Kafusi." Sami is a less active
and her husband, Sekope isn't a obviously we have tried
them in the past but we couldn't ever get in touch with them. But
because Brother Steeple said he was thinking of them we knew it was
from the spirit and we went over. We found Sami at home! Even she said
we were lucky to have caught her at home! We talked about temple
marriage and invited her and her husband to come see Gods Plan for His
Family at the VC and she got so excited! We also invited her to the
production and she was excited for that too!

Also! The new Meet the Mormons stories came out! But they're only
being shown in visitors centers! So if you're around a visitors
center, stop in to watch them because they're amazing!

Our walk along the Missouri River!


Relief Society Pool party!