Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28 Weekly Update and Pictures

Hello! Time for updates!
On the 23rd Sister Ruth and I went to a specialized training for missionaries, where I got to see my MTC district which was super cool! The Elders were still silly and made us laugh most of the time. We got to practice all different kinds of role plays and it was very helpful! Training was in Fishers, a few hours away, so we were rushed to get in anything else that day. Sister Ruth and I still had a fun dinner break with peanut butter, sweet potatos, and Uno.
On the 24th we sang Come Come Ye Saints before bed, since we hadn't been able to earlier, which was pretty neat. That Thursday was also the first or second that we finished weekly planning in one day! We tried a different approach that we learned from the District video and were able to be much more efficient and personal with our plans! It was pretty exciting.
On the 25th we were talking to one of our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Bowen, who had talked to President before, and she told us he called us beacons of light after seeing us at training. After training I felt like there were so many things I had to work on as a missionary, but that was very encouraging! We had time that day to read a talk the cute mission nurse, sister Steadman, sent us, called "All Is Well". We also sang Christmas songs for Christmas in July!
On the 26th we went to the ward genealogy fair, which took a lot of our day. We were in classes most of the day and didn't get to talk to as many people as we were hoping, but later when we were tracting we found inspiration from something they said! In one of the classes the lady was talking about ancestors we hit brick walls with, and how we can research ancestors with intersecting lives to find them. We were going to see a Sister Marvin's son, Bowe, who wouldn't answer, and when we were driving away I looked at one house and it popped in my head, so we stopped and talked to them. The guy we first talked to called out another girl as soon as we mentioned Jesus, and she was on the phone, but agreed to a return appointment so we're excited to see how it goes!
Yesterday the less active family we visited last week, the Johnsons, were at church! We were talking to Sister Marvin when they walked in and we got so excited we wrapped up really quick and ran over to them. They were excited to see us, and were still excited when we visited them last night. Nora and Jessica were also at church, which was exciting! At the Johnsons they realized without our prompting that they needed to read the Book of Mormon more, which was such a lesson that when the spirit is in our teaching the things that need to be learned are taught by him! We had dinner with the Smith's whose son, Camden, just left on his mission, and his friend, Nora, who is getting baptized. We had an awesome lesson and are so happy the Smiths are such friends to Nora!
Hopefully this week, even with transfers, will be less crazy! I'll be staying in Mishawaka and Sister Ruth will be going somewhere close to Indy, probably. Crazy!
Favorite Quotes:
"My arms are so long so I do the scrubby" Elder Johnson
"It might've been a brown spider...which is spidorous" (also known as poisonous) Sister Mckendrick
"G6 like gangster to the 6th?" Sister Mckendrick
"That was the 2nd one eyed kitty I've taught on my mission" Sister Ruth
"and that was the 2nd prayer I've given where a cat has crawled on my lap" me
"There isn't normally a man here laying on the couch, but you know, YOLO" Elder Smith, during our practice church tours when one of the Elders was passed out there, I'm not sure what was going on, there.
"This is like the best delivery of peanut butter ever!" Sister Ruth and sweet potatoes
"Can we wash our hands in your sink? We just had a lesson with a cat" me at dinner, after we saw Dennis who has cats
"Patrick called and he's been throwing up so don't go pick him up...did I say that? I'm turning into a Hoosier!" Sister Ruth
"I figure it's the 25th so I can listen to Christmas songs!" Sister Ruth
"How were role plays?" Elder Easter
"They were smashing" Elder Russell
"Smash, smash, smash, smash" Elder Adams
"My usual advice is 'pray, read the scriptures, and suck it up'" Sister Bowen
"Sister Bowen is always drawn to old guys that are drunk or smoking" Sister Mckendrick
"to teach!" Sister Bowen
"You're getting ahead of my lesson, stop using revelation!" ward council
"we're just going to hand cuff you to the iron rod" Sister Ruth
"It might be cold but the spirit is warm!" me, aka why we role play before actually talking to people.

Welcome to our awkward district

​Sister Ruth and I half inadvertently, half planned matching
me, Sister Ruth, Nora, and Sister Smith

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22 Weekly Update and Pictures

Weekly highlights!
On the fourteenth we had to take the car in the shop so we got to stay at the sister training leaders' apartment, where they played guitar for us and made lunch. They are so sweet! That day at the library we found a lot of awesome Mormon Messages that we got to show Jessica the next day, it was so great!
Sister Ruth has been struggling and on the fifteenth I was trying so hard that day to find ways to help her, especially during studies, but mostly found "Be still and know that I am God and all flesh is in My hands". It was pretty hard because I wanted to help, but we talked to President Cleveland for help and he told me that I was the best companion for Sister Ruth by being there for her, which was so comforting. That day we got to play volleyball with the stake because some of our investigators were there, and it was pretty fun. Volleyball ends up being mostly retries and laughing but it is fun. I wore my BYU shirt and ended up being "sister Loyal Strong and True" for the day.
On the sixteenth persistence helped us find Vikki in the hospital. We called her family a few times to see if we were at the right hospital and what her maiden name was in case she was in under that name, and finally found her! Her husband is a less active and they have a pretty rough home life. When we were there she was very sick but her husband asked if she wanted a priesthood blessing and she said yes so the elders went and gave her a blessing and it was so neat. After ward correlation sister Ruth got a blessing that was amazing! It was such a confirmation that God knows each of us so perfectly! We were both so comforted.
On the 17th we got to help sew busy aprons for autistic kids in the food pantry and later, with members, shared "Following Up" from Elder Ballard. It is a great talk from conference about using the full name of the church to help others recognize our faith in Christ, and studying Preach My Gospel to increase missionary opportunities. It is a must read!
On the 18th we had district meeting in Plymouth, but got lost on the way back! We were on some random freeway and Sister Ruth was worried so I asked if we should pray and she said yes, and asked me to say a power prayer:) we were able to find our way home and have a good day! That day we had a ward picnic that Jessica and her family came to! It was awesome because not all her family is super excited about the church. She noticed Sister Ruth and I both had CTR rings and decided she wanted one too, so that was cool!
On the 19th we taught Nora, and it was amazing!! She related to us the confirmation she had to be baptized and the spirit was so strong we had to pass around a box of tissues. She just graduated, her best friend who introduced her to the church just left on a mission, and she's going to school soon, so she's been going through a lot of changes, but was finally able to find peace!
On the 20th we went to visit Angie but she was in the hospital too, her less active son told us. We did get to talk to him, though, and found it he was so ready for the gospel at that moment! We were talking to him about scriptures and prayer when we both felt prompted to commit to stop smoking, which was crazy but awesome! He was so excited he wants home teachers, rides to church, volleyball, basketball, and our addiction recovery class! We gave him the number for the elders and when we called to let them know Patrick had already called them! We are so excited for him! We also had a cool spiritual moment when we were deciding between two ladies who to go see when Sister Ruth and I both felt like we should go visit a less active family. They were home and were so excited to see us! They said that day they couldn't stop thinking about the last time they saw the sisters and committed to going to the genealogy fair this week! We already have another appointment set up and are so excited!
Yesterday we had interviews and they were great. They got off schedule so president was hurrying when he got to me but basically said "you're awesome, get out!" but it was exactly what I needed. Yesterday we ended up having great lessons even with our funky schedule. Our last one was supposed to be with Jessica, but her boyfriend asked her on a date last minute so she asked us to teach her family, instead. We told stories about Moses because her niece was little and super excited about learning, which turned into us teaching them the wise man and foolish man song, but it was great! We are hoping Jaylee's enthusiasm will help her mom let her go to Primary. I'll keep you updated!
Favorite quotes:
"Mailman! Stop! I live in this house!" Shania, after our appointment with her mom
"This week I made the mistake of praying for humility so it's been interesting" Elder Young
"Welcome to Mishawaka flocka rocka!" Elder Johnson
"That darn principle of agency!" Elder Stott, sister Odermott's friend

"Maybe you're just not supposed to have super toasted toast" Sister Ruth
"Hey Jesus girls! Church people!" Jaylee
"Stop becoming sons of perdition!" Sister Ruth to her runaway Plan of Salvation cutouts
"oh you're not 5'7", baby!" Brother Johnson (old less active man)
"I think I'm 5'7" and a quarter" me
"oh, ok" Brother Johnson
"I'll have like a baby scoop of ice cream" me
"would you like a baby brownie too?" Sister Crowder

"You definitely need to go see my son! You, Sister Ruth, with your evolution insights, and you, sister Evans, with your knees and girlish charm!" Sister Marvin
Until next time!
Sister Evans

St. Joe Riverwalk

Sister Training leaders, Sister Ruth and me. We had to get pictures in our matching braids.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14 Weekly Update

Time for updates!
Last p-day we learned the cup song which ended up mostly making us laugh really hard. Sister Mcendrick was trying to teach me through lots of weird noises and we were just cracking up!
On the 8th we also had a lot of excitement. I set off the fire alarm burning toast on the lowest setting, saw a crab at the library we volunteer at, and witnessed an investigator's neighbor scolding a squirrel on his porch that wouldn't move. That day we got to teach Angel who is still super excited, and started teaching the daughter of a part-member, less active family. Her name is Mckenzie.
On the 9th Sister Ruth and I got to experience the adventure of the doctors office as missionaries. The doctor had us in and out as fast as possible, but we still got her a card:). People also looked at us a little funny when we were smelling candles in wallmart waiting for prescriptions. What a presence we have as missionaries! We had dinner with the Howards, where we shared a talk from women's conference. We were planning on just Sister Howard being there, but Brother Howard was home from work and listening, too. We were so worried about our choice, but it turned out being great for both of them! Heavenly Father helped us find the parts that would help them both, which was very cool.
On the 10th we had dinner with a member family with a few cats, which tried to eat part of our dinner, mostly unsuccessfully. After we went to knock on a door an investigator had referred to us and had the hardest time finding somewhere to park! The road was very narrow and so were so many around it! We parked along the street to say a quick prayer and had the strangest impression we just needed to go home and continue planning. It seemed like a strange impression but it was comforting to be reminded how involved the Lord is in His work.
The 11th was very exciting! We extended a date to Angel of August 23rd. She had already committed to baptism on another appointment but told us she was actually thinking about September 21st, which is her birthday. She said her birthday or her mom's birthday would probably be good. We asked when her mom's birthday was and she told us it was the 23rd! We extended her her mom's birthday!! We could hardly believe it! We also had zone meeting that day and learned so much!
On the 12th one visit we had made me smile. It was with a less active named Margi, who, at the end, asked me to say the closing prayer because of the good advice she said I gave her. It made me realize that the smallest things we say through the spirit can make such an impact! I also got to share a few cheesy quotes with her:)
Yesterday was super awesome! We met with a recent convert who had questions last visit about temples and baptisms for the dead. We showed him a video about temples which made his wife as well as Sister Ruth and me cry. We shared with him about times we felt peace in the temple--Sister Ruth when she got her endowments out and me when I walked up to the Provo temple from my apartment because my knees were so sore but they didn't hurt on my way or in the temple--and the spirit was so strong! After we extended him the commitment to get a recommend he turned to his wife and said "Kristen! Get out the phone! We need to call bishop! Right now!" and she was like "David! He's out of town!" but we were like "you can still set up an appointment! We'll get you a number of one of his counselors!" so he's super excited and so are we! We saw Angel again yesterday and she told us she was leaning toward the 23rd of August, and we were squealing in the car we were so excited! Our sister training leaders had a baptism yesterday for this cute little old lady named Anna, that we got to bring Nora and Jessica to, who both loved it! We learned the other day a statistic that 80% of nonmembers/investigators who attend a baptism will attend their own baptism in the future, so we are hoping that will help them! Jessica didn't make it to church yesterday but when she came to the baptism with us she was so excited to see sister Crowder, who had had us over for dinner with some of her friends the night before. She asked when our next "girls night" was and we were so excited that she was making such great friends!
I forgot my camera cord today but will send pictures next week!

Favorite quotes of the week include:
"Teancom is like a modern day spiderman, or maybe a ninja, because ninjas are cooler" sister Ruth
"Sister Ruth, this is the second day we've matched, unintentionally!" me
"Yesterday we both wore mint, white and black" Sister Ruth
"Mint?" Elder Easter
"Yes" Sister Ruth
"Male translation?" Elder Easter
"Light green." Sister Ruth
"Sister missionaries are like the future stripling warrior moms! Moms of a super buff, super tough, super awesome Army of Helaman!" me
"Now that I've got you both crying, I'll pray" David Wilcox (temples)
"I try not to sneeze on my name tag but it happens like everyday" Sister Bowen
Have a great week!

Sister Evans

​Crab from the library! One of the workers came back from Boston with it in her carry on! The library is much more exciting than you would think.

​I tried dipping my toast in soup but it was too far gone. Notice the low level of the toaster.

​Sister Ruth and I went with Sister Bowen and Sister Mcendrick to see Anna who got baptised yesterday! She is the cutest lady who knows the scriptures inside and out! She also sings and plays the guitar. She was telling us about the "gospel parties" her and her husband have praising Jesus, she is pretty funny! Needless to say, there were a lot of "hallelujah"s at her baptism but our investigators loved her and wanted to have a lesson with her sometime. We just love Anna! Also, sister Ruth and I totally matched unintentionally. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7 Weekly Highlights and Pictures

What a week!
Last week we read a conference talk to Angie about taking Christ's yoke upon us and he would help us, which she loved so much! She told us about a story she had read of sisters in the Philipeans when there were wild storms and flooding but they got up on the roof and were singing so they wouldn't be as afraid. That night, Sister Ruth woke up to some crazy noises from the phone after which she woke me, "Sister's a tornado warning" my response was "...uh...ok. Wait, what??" Being both from Utah where there aren't hardly any tornadoes, we were freaking out. We were running around basically like chickens with our heads cut off and had no idea what to do. We are living in a trailer, it is a nice one, but it doesn't have a basement. That was our only thought, until we realized that we needed to pray. We decided our laundry room without windows was the safest spot to pray. We were kneeling there in the dark and hadn't even finished our prayer before a lady in the ward called. She told us that there was a tornado warning and that the bathroom would be the safest place for us. We were still pretty nervous, but were so grateful to have that bit of guidance! We yanked Sister Ruth's mattress off her bed, hoisted it up a few stairs to the bathroom, and put it in front of the tub that we climbed in, to keep us safe. The power and water went out, so we were huddled in the tub in the dark. It was one of the craziest things I have ever experienced! The story Angie told us popped in my head and I asked Sister Ruth if we could hold hands and sing like the sisters in the Philipeans, and she agreed. As we sang, the most amazing peace came into the room! It brought me so much closer to Sister Ruth and to my loving Heavenly Father who is so patient and kind, even when we are being a little bit silly. The next morning we called her to read her a scripture, which we do because she's not super healthy and up to reading herself, and shared Alma 36:3 about God helping us through our trials. We told her the story of our prayer being answered, and the strength we gained from singing, like the sisters in the story she told us. She was so excited that she could help us and was so glad she could have such a great start to her day! It was so neat.
Later that day Sister Ruth and I ran into a Subway for lunch and we had an awkward moment. There was one worker and many people standing in line who weren't really talking. Everyone was just sort of looking at each other, especially at us. We were definitely being stared down by a few people. One of them was an older man, who I looked at and smiled, but he neither smiled back nor looked away. I looked at one other who was staring and we also made eye contact but he was not phased. It made me laugh!
On the second we had another awkward moment. We were on exchanges and at a graduation party for a girl in the ward. The radio was blaring nearby and we were on the patio eating hot dogs when one of her friends came up to talk to us about missionary work, as he had been interested in humanitarian missionary work with another church. As we talked to him about what our church believed he just kept nodding and saying uh-huh, ok, and ya. I was almost waiting for him to find something to disagree on, but we got to the story of Joseph, where I recited the first vision, and he just kept listening! It was so exciting! He said he was interested in learning more and gave us his number! We tried setting up an appointment with him which he hasn't gotten back to us on, but we were pretty excited. My exchange companion was very proud of me and how well I did talking to everyone at the party.
On the third we watched the restoration movie with an investigator and he said he could really relate to Joseph Smith, which we weren't expecting! It was really cool! We had a member with us who related her conversion story and although he said he doesn't quite believe yet we believe his faith is growing. We also got to see this cute little old lady, Alice, who let us read the Book of Mormon to her. She was excited how simple it seemed as we read it and said it answered so many of her questions and she just felt uplifted. We told her it was the spirit helping her understand it, and that as we continued to read it to her she would be able to find answers to even more questions. She asked if reading could get her a boyfriend and we all laughed.
On the fourth we got to visit Notre Dame and went to a Luau! We saw two of our investigators dance there and a few other ward members that we knew. It was definitely different from a Utah party and we had to leave once the music started getting worse but we got to hang out at the church with other missionaries and have a ball. We even ate chips and salsa and got to stay out until 10:30. We were living on the edge for sure. The sisters tried to teach us the cup song which ended up in us laughing hysterically, mostly.
On the fifth one member from our ward, Monica, helped us out so much! She let us teach Jessica in her house and offered her so much great advice in a lot of questions she had about the gospel and life in general. We were super worried about Jessica when we taught her the time before because she'd run across some anti-Mormon literature and was really struggling. Getting her into Monica's helped her feel the spirit and be in a good environment to help her! We were so excited, and Monica even fed us dinner when she found out we hadn't had any yet. She is so awesome and lives just down the street from us!
Yesterday, the sixth, we got to teach Angel and Wade who we tracted into a little while ago. They invited us to lunch, so we weren't sure we'd be able to teach, but we ended up teaching them a lot and they were so excited! Oh my, it was so great! Angel we taught a lesson more than Wade and she came back with a few notebook pages of questions from the pamphlet we gave her and reading she had done in the bible. She is really soaking up everything and thinking so deeply about it! She has awesome questions and we love teaching her so much! She didn't have much of a religious background so there is a lot to teach her but she is so receptive and awesome! That day we went to the riverwalk to plan and met a member who was actually originally from Utah! We also sang in primary that day, which was pretty fun.
Favorite Quotations of the week
"Sick, I'm covered in dog!" Sister Ruth
"I think it's just sucking that creature's blood" Sister Ruth and bugs on our door
"I like your skirt, Sister Ruth, can I have it, just kidding." Investigator Anne, said all in one breath and very seriously
"Dude, stop texting and biking on the wrong side of the road, you're gonna get yourself killed" Sister Ruth
"Jessica just needs to date a Captain Moroni!" me
"You're never alone" church movie
"I'm sorry to tell you, but you're never're stuck with me" Sister Ruth
"Which brings us to the restoration-"me
"we mean the prophet, Mormon-" Sister Ruth
"Well, Bianca, is there anything we can do for you?" Sister Ruth
"You could get me a pizza! Just kidding, there's nothing." (It was a distracting outside lesson)

The other day we didn't have a dinner appointment and sister Ruth wasn't feeling super good so she was taking a nap, and I attempted to make her dinner. I even put some M&Ms from my trail mix on her pancake to make her smile. She was so kind she asked for the recipe for the pancakes, which came from a box I found in the cupboard.​

Picture 1 of Notre Dame!

The things you see in Indiana..

Jozlyn and Raelynn, tan and red, are two of our investigators, that we saw dancing at the Luau. They are so fun!

I was nervous just watching this!! It was pretty wild.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014