Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25 Pictures - Chicago Temple

What a week!
Last Monday we went shopping with a less active, Margy, so she could have a new outfit to wear to church. She's the same one the elders gave a blessing to last week and she was so excited to see us this week! She took us out for ice cream, even though we didn't have much time after p-day, and I ate a whole shake! It was a strawberry one, but I still ate it! In the car she was telling us about the new shoes she had gotten at a garage sale that she was so excited to wear, so I told her now she had new shoes, a new dress, and almost new friends! She was worried because she thought we were already friends, but I told her she was going to make more new friends and the smile that lit across her face was so sweet. We're excited to see her again, Friday.
Tuesday we had exchanges, and as we were going to one appointment it started pouring like I haven't seen it pour here, before! Sister Caldwell and I ran back to the car after no one answered the door, and weren't super sure what to do, so we ran back to the apartment so we could get my things ready before our next apartment. When we were bringing them out to the car we started talking to a few people outside and one of them, Monica, said her last name was Evans, and was super excited to talk to me! Sister Caldwell started talking to them about family history, and suddenly Monica told us that she wasn't actually a Wicken, or witch, like she had told the sisters before, but she was Christian! We gave them cards to the family history center and saw her again at the stake activity this weekend! I had tons of people coming up to me telling me I had a lady with dark hair and guy with a beard looking for me, and got to talk to her! It was so sweet! We also visited a sister in the relief society presidency who we hadn't been planning on visiting so when we pulled up sister Caldwell asked for my favorite scripture, and the we shared the first one that popped in my head, which was 2 Nephi 31:20. When we shared it with her she said she'd been thinking of that scripture earlier in the day and our visit helped her so much! It was so sweet!
Wednesday we got to go to the Chicago temple!! We went with Sister Braley and had Chicago style pizza for lunch! We drove many hours, talking about road kill, marriage, and the Book of Mormon. We got to see the new new new temple video and it was amazing! Then we sat in the celestial room for the longest time, and the spirit was amazing! That night we finally had the chance to follow a prompting I had received to visit a potential we met a while ago. When we went there, we met her husband, Dan, who was taking care of his grandma, Peggy. It was a strange first contact, and we were out of restoration pamphlets so we gave him a gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and set up another appointment. Last night we got to go see him, again, and the member we brought was a Laurel named Angela. When we were talking to him about why he let us back in he said he just wanted to learn more, and give us practice teaching, but when we taught him about the restoration and Joseph Smith, Angela began testifying and you could see the spirit working on him! One of my favorite things in lessons is to watch their eyes, because you can really see them brightening as they receive truth and hope! By the end he was very excited to learn more, we could barely get out! Afterward, Angela couldn't get over how cool it was to have the spirit put words in her mouth as she testified, and couldn't wait to come back! I hope she gets the chance to go on a mission, as well, she was amazing!
Thursday we visited a less active, Sister Roy, who we weren't planning on visiting, either. We went in to teach one thing and came out after teaching her about the atonement! The spirit just took over and helped us to be bold and have the faith to act! She's now reading the Book of Mormon and texting us daily! We also met a sweet girl named Kori on our way back from trying to contact Vikki who was super shy but had a super sweet smile that grew as we taught her about her Heavenly Father's love for her. We are hoping to meet with her again, soon!
Saturday we went to an investigator, Patricia Ann's for her birthday, with a recent convert from the south bend ward named Anna. Those two were like instant best friends, it was so cute! Anna sang her songs on the guitar and taught Patricia Ann the restoration like we have never been able to! Patricia Ann was so fired up she wanted to come to the stake activity that night and church the next day, but had a wedding and wasn't able to. We are excited to go back with Anna and teach her, or let Anna teach her, again! 

Sister Caldwell and I on exchanges

Favorite quotes!
"Hold still!" Brother Smith, before hitting bobby pins out of Sister Clegg's hair that he thought were bugs
"Do you wanna be awesome and come get this?" Sister Caldwell
"What??" Elder Rasmussen
"Do you wanna be awesome??" Sister Caldwell
"Do you want a mint?" me
"Ahhh" Sister Caldwell, opening her mouth to show she already had one
"ok, sounds good!" me
"I never use punctuation...and that's thing you know, someone will be eating their grandma!" Sister Caldwell
"The lights changed...because our attitudes changed!" me, and street lights
"I can't see you but I'm guessing you're blushing!" Sister Caldwell after lights out

"You're a good hugger" sister Caldwell
"thanks, I like hugs" me
"Hi! How are you?" me
"Good! Just admiring your hair!" lady at the pizza place
"eew I feel like humidity and sweatity!" Sister Clegg
"Oh girl I'm gonna be 59! Don't be giving me an extra 10 years!" Patricia Ann
"Girl, whatchu cookin'?" Anna
"Girl, don't you be a comin' in here with a nose like that!" Patricia Ann
"Anna you were so great! Patricia Ann loved you!" Sister Clegg
"Oh I know!" Anna
"Perfect, thank you"
"Did someone just text us?" Sister Clegg
"Nope, just talking to myself...I don't know what about...awkward..." me
"Oh boy! I haven't had a laugh like that since the 10 commandments!" Sister Clegg (she had sister Mckendrick forgot the 10th when they were teaching it the other day during splits)
"Ya! I'll have to tell Dustin I role played him!" Brother Sammons, after a church tour he pretended to be an investigator during
"This is chinese for 'I respect you'" Elder Rasmussen
"Really? Cool!!" Sister Clegg and me
"No, I just made that up!" Elder Rasmussen
"Ooh! They have forks!" me at the Country fair (they didn't have forks at the Luau, in my defense)
"You know it's humid when you end the day with mascara on your forehead, waterproof mascara on your forehead, no less!" me
Love, Sister Evans

​crazy fog!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18 Weekly Updates and Pictures

Today I've been in Indiana 2 months and it is awesome! This week has flown so quick I could hardly keep track!
On the 12th Sister Clegg and I did service at Sister Shoff's house, helping her clean before she went out of town for work and had company over! She is the cutest lady in her 50s with the cutest house, and her house smells the best! While we were cleaning the floor in the bathroom she was giving us a fashion show in the closet and just giggling with us, it was the cutest thing! Later her boyfriend, Ed, who is investigating the church came over! We got to teach him the restoration and the spirit was amazing, his testimony is already so strong! We invited him to pray about a baptismal date, which shocked Sister Shoff, but he said he would! He got sick and we haven't been able to meet with again, last week, but we are hopeful to get back with him this week!
On the 13th we got to meet with Orlando, who we found through a miracle the other week! He was so humble and so open to the message of the Plan of Salvation, it was amazing! We were so excited we wanted to teach him everything! We have another appointment with him this week and have a member lined up to come, already!
On the 14th we had two super awesome miracles! We had a less active, Sister Forsythe, call us in the morning, telling us she was having a really hard time and needed someone to talk to, and we had an appointment cancel, so we ran over to see her. She was looking for a blessing from the Elders, so we called them but they couldn't get there for a bit. While we were waiting she was telling us all the things that she was struggling with, which was a lot! It was amazing to see her after the blessing, she was not only so much more peaceful, but excited and laughing! She wants to come back to church but needs a new outfit so she set up a time to go shopping with us today! She keeps moving up the time she is so excited, it just makes us smile! That day we taught Dennis in the church after such a powerful church tour, which was so cool! The spirit was so strong and so humbling! The spirit of the tour and being in the church helped him progress so much!
On the 15th we gave another church tour, which means we show investigators specific paintings in the church to help them understand some of our basic beliefs and help them feel the spirit. This time we gave it to a part member/less active family, the Dirks. Vikki was pretty closed off to the church for a while but she was in the hospital recently which helped her see her priorities better, and when she walked in the church you could tell she felt the spirit! In just the first couple of minutes when we were telling her how much her Heavenly Father loved her she was already crying, it was so touching! She loved it and even accepted an invitation to pray about baptism at the end! That day we found two others who had been prepared, a Catholic, and a less active, which were so cool!
Saturday the 16th we knocked on a lady's door while she was having dinner, which we are pretty good at, but she told us she wanted us to come back, and ended up talking to us for a few minutes! She's had a lot of exposure to our church and was very interested, so we are excited to see her, again! We also met the nonmember husband of a less active ward member, who we taught the restoration to and invited to a ward party! He is super interested and already knows a bunch, so that was exciting! That day we also met our second Muslim family in one week! They were so sweet and let us in to talk to them. They were telling us about their religion when I had the prompting to teach them the restoration. I was nervous but the farther I got, the more interested they were! The husband had this little light come in his eye and said he was interested in a church tour! He didn't commit to a time but we think he'll call us again, soon.
What a week!
Favorite quotes:
"who did I talk to on the phone that said you were going to be here in 7 minutes?" Brother Brincefield
"that was me..haha" me
"do you have GPS or something that told you that?" Brother Brincefield
"Yep! It said 7 minutes and I couldn't say 10 or 5 or a few, so I said 7!" me
"are you two related?" Sister Clegg
"No. We're not even the same nationality." a gay couple we met after an appointment with a less active
"I know the gospel can help you through hard times--" Sister Clegg
"I'm not going through a hard time." same guys

"I'm sister Evans! Can I have a five high, too?"
"Oh! I just swallowed a bug!" Sister Clegg
"Ya, there are a lot of them out there!" man whose door we knocked on
"Yep, sounds like I'm gonna be pretty full!" Sister Clegg
"Oh my! My blanket fell off and I wasn't ready!" me
"Sister Evans, remember that time our trailer was 62 and you were icing your knees?"
"The Lord is my light, then why should I...AHHH! My sweater is so cold!!" operatically singing hymns while getting ready
"I wanna be queen of the girls!" Hannah Willard (7), during a service project
"Fine, you can be in charge of the pretty sister in the blue shirt!" Hayden Willard (5)
"The spider from Harry Potter? Ya, it's under that shed." Elder Rasmussen, same service project
"I'm just drinking the juice!" William Rose (member's little boy) eating everyone's leftover ice cream
"Please help me to know if the BOM is true, I mean I know, but please help me" Dennis's forced prayer
""Please help me to know about...uuuuuggghh...baptism" Dennis
"Please help me reach my know what they are...she knows what they are...other people know what they are..." Ed's prayer about marrying Sister Shoff
"BYU-I, also known as BYU-I-do--" Sister Clegg
"Ooh honey, let's go there!" Ed
"this is off topic but did you know Robin Williams died?" Derrick Dirks (LA)
"Yes, so Vikki, the temple in Indianapolis..." Sister Clegg
"And I like white people! Especially their restaurants! Applebees is my favorite!" Patricia Ann (Investigator)
"Ooh! There's someone in the garage! Let's go talk to them!!" me
"You're so smiley! You're just such good ambassadors!" Kathy (Catholic investigator)
"Who would you like to say the prayer, Steve?" Sister Clegg
"How can I pick? You're both so pretty!" Steve Breen, now investigator, LA wife

"Come in! What are you selling?" Fatima, Muslim lady
"Why are you both so pretty?" Wally, Muslim husband of Fatima
"Larry H. Miller? Didn't he just die?" Elder Rasmussen
"No, that was Robin Williams!" me

Aug 18 Zone Pictures

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11 Weekly Update and Pictures

It's been a pretty exciting week, so much has happened!!
On the 29th we got to see Patricia Ann who has been sick but was so excited to see us! She takes most lessons telling us stories, and telling us how much she loves seeing us smile and how it brightens her day, but it's so fun seeing her! We drove to Carmel with the sister training leaders that night for transfer meeting. What a ride! We listened to Sheri Dew and sang along to Christmas CDs and had a great time, though. That night we stayed with Sister Clegg and Sister Hoffheins, who are super sweet!
On the 30th I found out my new companion was Sister Clegg! It was super neat not only because I already thought she was super sweet, but the spirit brought such a confirmation to us both that this was what God wanted for the next transfer. We had dinner with the Sandsmarcks (don't worry, I am now spelling their name right) but got pretty lost, thanks to our struggle bus GPS and my lack of direction. We got there super late but they were way good sports and gave us dinner and let us teach them. Being late also allowed for both Kerry and Steve Sandsmarck to be there so we were able to have a pretty great lesson!
On the 31st we had one strange day! We began with service at the food bank with our sister training leaders, who drove us (thankfully we were not in charge of directions!). We don't usually get to have gospel conversations while there, but that day we had a whole table around us working on a craft super interested in what we were in Indiana for, and there were like 50 gospel conversations going at once! It was so exciting! That day we also ran around trying to get in a few lessons before going to a baseball game called "Mormon night at the Cove". We went with a member family, the Braleys, and got to see lots of other missionaries there, too. The ward got a section all together so I was super excited to introduce Sister Clegg to everyone but people were upset we were standing in the way, so we had to just sit by the other missionaries part of the time. The Braleys have a few kids, one of them named Desi, who is a hoot. She was trying to learn Sister Clegg's name and we were trying to figure out how to say Desirae and with so many kids in the car Sister Clegg and I somehow became "Cleggy and Evie" which we rolled with and still laugh about! It was great to get to know the family and help them. We also found Sister Clegg's GPS which has been like the third member of our companionship, it gets us pretty much everywhere.
On the first we had district meeting with so many new members of our district! We went to Stake and Shake and I went so far as to have french fries with seasoning and ketchup. It was pretty wild. That day we were tracting and found the neatest lady! Her name is Kalene and when she first opened the door she was bent over and looked a little skeptical. As we talked to her, she began to straighten up and open the door more, and her eyes began to look brighter. She was feeling the spirit! We got to know her and will hopefully be able to see her again soon! It was definitely a miracle, though, and we were pretty excited to have had the guidance to knock on her door specifically.
On the second we had another cool experience tracting! We were deciding which doors to start with but couldn't decide so we said a prayer, right out on the sidewalk, and I had a feeling we were going to be able to answer someone's prayer that night. It took a few doors to find someone, but when we did, she was just walking from her car to her house. Her name was Katy and we asked her if she had ever heard of the church before. She said she had a friend, who she began describing, when I realized her friend was in our ward! It was super cool! She said she was Catholic and very happy with her beliefs but were introducing the Book of Mormon with the pictures and when baptism came up she said she agreed with our beliefs of baptism more than her own religion, and agreed to read the book! We were walking around the house trying to find the house number after that when we saw a man in his yard just staring at us, so we waved and he waved back. Sister Clegg was still writing about our visit in her planner when I was talking to him. He was very friendly and talked for us for a while about how he'd seen other elders, before he told us he was a Jehova's Witness. He was the first Jehova's Witness I've talked to on my mission! Sister Ruth has been wanting to talk to them so much! He had so many questions about the Book of Mormon, he just about talked our ears off! We had to get home for curfew but were trying to pray with him before we left and finally just had to say bye and run to our car! It was pretty exciting. Earlier in the day we had a lesson with Bowe Marvin's neighbor, Shauna, and her mom, Christy, who we met that day. We taught them out on their lawn, but the spirit was so strong as we shared the first vision and when we finished they told us what peace they had felt! It was amazing, they just soaked it right up! We have another appointment and are so excited to keep seeing them! Miraculously, we reached our lesson goal for that day! There was a lot to do, but as Sister Clegg and I just hopped into the work Heavenly Father blessed us so much!
Yesterday we fasted for Nora, whose family now knows she wants to be baptized and is growing more and more upset about it. We got to sit with her through the meetings, though, and everything was perfect for her! Our hearts were so full! We watched a movie in Relief Society about enduring trials, and one of the songs was "Come Thou Fount" which is one of her favorites, that we will hopefully be singing at her baptism. When it came on we all looked at each other and just cried! We tried to get her into the Smith's home for an FHE but her parents wouldn't let her out of the house so we are praying for her so much! We also got to see the Bryces, who were even more open than last we saw them. We learned a lot about them and the spirit helped us know what we can teach them next, which will be tonight!
Sorry for the novel, here are some pictures!

Beautiful Indiana

Posterity pic! Sister Warner, my step grandma, Sister Hoffheins, my step sister, and Sister Clegg, my step mom!

​Nora and Elder Smith, her best friend, Camden's dad

​Nora with brother and sister Smith--they are so great!

Hello, friends and family! It's been an exciting week, and you are about to get an exciting email! (At least you've been warned!)
On the 5th Sister Clegg and I were teaching a recent convert which was an interesting situation we weren't totally sure what to do with, but we had a really cool experience! We were just being filled with words to tell them, and there was even a point where I told his wife something that she liked a lot, and I still don't remember what I said. The spirit is definitely the best teacher! After their lesson we weren't sure where to go to save on miles, since we've been using so many, getting to know the area. We pulled off on one road to look at our map and ward directory when a family walked by. They walked by several times while we were there before we decided they needed the gospel, so we tried to think of a not scary way to hop out and talk to them because they were already part way down the road. We decided to "tract" into them after knocking on a few doors. The first door we knocked on we found a mom named Tiffany who was in the middle of bath time but actually looking for a church to take her girls to! She was so excited to hear about primary and church tours, her daughter was too! We went to set up a time for a church tour and I jokingly suggested after bath time, and the daughter was all for it! She just kept saying "after bath time! After bath time!" and we knew they were so ready! We found another man on that road who was super ready for the gospel, too, and we couldn't stop smiling after our little miracle street.
On the 6th we had dinner with a member named Sister Shoff whose boyfriend, Ed, is not a member. We found out he was super immersed in the gospel but not home enough in his ward boundaries for the missionaries to teach him, but he was so ready, and he liked us so much he wanted us to teach him! We called President Cleveland and had to work out quite a few logistics but got clearance to teach him! We are so excited, he is amazing and such a hoot!
On the 9th we had lunch with a part member/less active family, the Roys, who we had invited earlier in the week to Nora's baptism. It turned out the husband was very interested in learning the gospel, and I asked, again, if they would come. I admittedly guilted them a little bit by telling Nora's story and her need for support, but the husband was totally on board, and asked when it was. When we were filling up the font, after, sister Roy texted to ask if they needed to dress up. Sister Clegg were so excited we did a little dance and texted them back. They came!! It was so exciting, and the baptism was amazing! We had another investigator there, along with a bunch of Nora's friends. The talks were perfect and so great for them! When sister smith finished her talk on the Holy Ghost, she pulled out a clip of a song that Camden and Brother Smith sang in sacrament a few weeks ago. She said even though Camden was on his mission, he was there in spirit, and played the song. The spirit was amazing and we couldn't stop crying!
The 10th we had another miracle! We were mapping out less actives we wanted to visit, one of them being the Long family. When we went we met a different brother, Orlando, because the one we were looking for had actually moved to Hawaii. Orlando was so ready for the gospel! He mentioned several times feeling lost, and unsure, and worried about his mom who had passed away. We taught him part of the plan of salvation and he wanted the address of the church and a return appointment! That night we also found a family of girls painting their nails on their porch and taught them while the mom was on the phone, but they were so receptive! Oh my, they were amazing! We squealed a little on our way back to the car because we were so excited to see them again on Tuesday!

​We liked the sign

Favorite quotes!
"That's actually the closet" sister Sammons to sister Clegg, when she was trying to open the front door but not looking
"She says she got out all the pictures of Ben..oh, now she's laughing" Sister Sammons, who called my mom to check on them
"YOMO! You only mission once!" Sister Clegg--AKA our motto and reassurance when we're really awkward
"You're welcome! Y'all can take showers anytime!" Sister Mckendrick, after I told sister Clegg about the time we had to shower at the STLs apartment after the tornado warning
"So I have a question...are his teeth--" sister Clegg
"That's a grill" Sister Caldwell
"That was a girl??" Sister Mckendrick
"ooh you smell good!" Sister Mckendrick
"thanks! I just put on hand sanitizer!" me

"I told her, 'come on over tomorrow, it's the Mormon book club!'" Dennis
"If you do this, people will not think you're as awkward, and that's a legit promised blessing" Elder Johnson
"Do you think they need help backing?" me
"haha...ha...ha..." sister Clegg
"Oh ya, that is kinda weird" me
"Oh Ryan! You shall be baptized in the morning!" me

At the end of his lesson (this is a super embarrassing story, P.S.) sister Clegg was building up for me to testify and the spirit was so strong and this scripture popped in my head to share with him, but I had to use the restroom so badly! Sister Clegg was wrapping up her thought and I knew I had to share the scripture but I couldn't do it I had to use the restroom! So She finishes up and looks at me so I can say what I had to say and I leaned closer to Dennis and whispered "I'm really sorry, Dennis, can I use your restroom?" he was so confused, but let me in the house so I ran to the bathroom, but when I got back he was already talking about body building with our member and I was so sad I had ruinned the spirit! I sat down and apologized for ruinning the spirit and told Dennis that I wanted to share a scripture that popped in my head by the spirit, but had to use the restroom first, and his famous words were "You were moved by the spirit--literally!" but I shared the scripture which brought back the spirit and we wrapped it up and left, but it was so embarrassing! Sister Clegg and I can luckily laugh about it now, and use it as our code!
from Indiana,
Sister Evans :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Aug 4 Weekly Update and Pictures

​Finally got a picture of the sign of my area!
Also, I almost forgot favorite quotes of the week!
"Are you stalking me?" Sister Oswalt, at the store
"Hey! I saw you guys at Dairy Queen the other day and I've seen you like 5 times since then!" guy at Kroger
"What's the area like?" Sister Mckendrick to the Logansport elders
"Meth and mopeds" Elders
"Meth and mopads?" Sister Mckendrick
"I've been out for 11 months" Elder Bush, when I was trying to give him a pep talk (super awkward)
"Woods cross? Did you know Lexi Midgley?" Elder West
"I did! I ran track and cross country with her!" me
"Oh ok, I went on a date with her once. Is she...married?" Elder West
"Is she what??" me
"Is she married?" Elder West
"Oh, uh...not last I checked!"
"What kind of cheese?" Subway worker
"Murikan" Subway guy
"Murikah!" Sister Clegg and me
"Why was everyone born in the 19?" Allie Braley (19th century)
"We know baptisms have a special spirit and would love to see you and your family and friends there!" Sister Clegg and me
" I've already been baptized" Shauna
"Cello wars! It's like star wars but with cellos!" me
"I think our cat...I hate to say gay...he's just really feminine" Brother Smith
"Sorry, we got talking to a Jehova's Witness but we're on our way home!" me
"A JW? How'd you meet him?" District leader
"Ya, a JW! How's my knee?" me
"No, how'd you meet him?"
"Oh! Well we were coming back-"
"This is just normal bug spray, like for humans" Sister Clegg
"well, I'm gonna go get in my pajamas so if I get attacked by bugs at least I'll be in my pajamas" me
"oh boy, struggle bus" Sister Clegg