Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27 Weekly Update and Pictures

What a week! I probably say that too much, but it was a pretty wild week!

Last week in Mishawaka, teaching the Eskridges was amazing! We went back to teach Tyler and Ashlynn and got to teach another granddaughter, Mckenna! Her mom, Tabitha Lynn, is less active and dating a nonmember. We took them on a church tour but they weren't too interested, and didn't want to talk to us much. She came in but was fine letting us teach her daughter! Hopefully the new sisters will be able to keep the momentum going and have a few baptisms! Dennis was pretty sad we were being double transfered and took us to dinner with his daughter, which was super fun! She ended up liking us more than Dennis thought she would, which was great! He said he's still working on his testimony so he can be baptized, which we are still invited to:)

NOW I'M IN PLAINFIELD!! Not exactly Indy, but super close! My companion is Sister Ostler, who is from Preston, Idaho, and even made a celebrity debut in Napoleon Dynamite! She's been out for 6 months, and was just companions with Sister Olsen, my MTC companion! We have so many things in common it is crazy. 

One super cool experience we had was tracting before district meeting--we had just a few minutes but we wanted to go! We stopped on one street and prayed, but both felt like trying a different street, and ended up both feeling like we should stop at the one next to it. We were getting out of the car when we saw a lady in one house looking at us so we went and taught her. She was a sweet little old lady named JoAnn who we shared the Book of Mormon story with and she loved it! I thought her eyes were going to pop out when we showed her the painting of Christ visiting the Americas and told her about 1 Nephi 11. It was so neat, and we have a return appointment with her this week! 

We also had a 24 hour exchange with a 17 year old recent convert of 2 weeks, which was way cool! Her name is Tori and she reminds me of Nora, she is so great! We took her tracting and she was so excited she wants to go on a mission like right now! She bore testimony with us and it was such a unique and fun experience! At the end of the day she was saying how she was struggling with her family but being able to serve made her feel so good! 

Last night we had dinner with a part less active family, the Hacklers, who are originally from Utah, and we finally figured out Sister Hackler, formerly Sister Betten, were both in the North Salt Lake Parkway Stake and went to girls camp together! We reminisced of faith walks, the siren alarms, crafts in the lodge, and other fun things, it was so fun! We became great friends, it was so great and it made me so excited to build relationships with all the ward members!

There were a lot of pictures this week...prepare yourself...

me, sister Hoffheins, Sister Clegg, Sister Warner, and Sister Blacker, my step sister, step mom, step grandma, and step great grandma!

Sister Ostler and me! Yes, I did cut my hair again, but I had some super cool gospel conversations with the hair cutter lady, Trista!

Favorite quotes!
"So everyone in Idaho is named after Potatoes?" Dennis, referring to Mikesell potato chips and Sister Clegg

"I heard that knock and I was like 'here comes Satan'" Sister Ostler, when JoAnn's son came in part way through the lesson and didn't want to hear about the Book of Mormon--luckily she still did and even stuck up for prophets! It was pretty sweet!

"Tori you should go invite him to church!" Sister Ostler
"You guys suck!" Tori
"We suck? We taught you the gospel!" Sister Ostler

"and then the gospel was restored, just like your car!" me

"I think my hair grows faster than it dries..." me

Love you all, have a great week!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20 Weekly Update and Pictures

Last week in Mishawaka! AHH!
This week we had more amazing experiences, as usual! We were trying to set up an appointment with Dan who is still recuperating from the funeral of his grandma that he took care of, but he was super busy and short with us on the phone, which was unusual for him. During weekly planning we felt impressed to text him a scripture because we were worried about him and he gave us a call that we were super afraid was going to be a drop call! He thanked us for the scripture and after we talked for a bit set up a better day to call and set up a time, and he didn't drop us! It was a little miracle but meant a lot to us.

Another day this week we were coming back from Margy's when we drove by Patricia Ann's whose house was super dark and it was getting later but I told Sister Clegg to stop so we could see her. She ended up being home and let us in! She was struggling because the next day was the funeral for her niece, who was one of her best friends. We taught her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and prayed with her and assured her that we were still looking out for her! It was so sweet and it was amazing that we caught her at home!

The highlight of the week, was definitely Ed's baptism!! He is so elect and was so prepared! The night before we watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration with him, and he cried through so much of it that we were crying too! At the baptism he bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and the spirit he felt the first time outside the Las Vegas temple, and it was the sweetest thing. After he was confirmed yesterday he was already fellowshipping our investigators and being a missionary!
We were super sad Rob didn't come to the baptism but he did go to church yesterday and ended up loving it! Rob and Laura got an apartment in the city of Mishawaka but the South Bend ward, and we were so sad! We went by to see him last night because he was super sad it was almost transfers and he already knew and trusted us, and we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with him. He loved it and even though he had a hard time with the wording, got into it and downloaded it on his phone so he could keep up in Priesthood the next week! Please pray he will do well with the transition!
I'm officially headed to Indy next transfer, Sister Clegg is leaving and going Sister Training Leader, a trainer and trainee will come in behind us, Elder Rasmussen is going Zone Leader, and Elder Nyman is training! What a blessing it's been serving with amazing missionaries and in such a great ward with such great investigators! I have learned so much.

Favorite Quotes!
"Sister Evans is leaving? Geez!...Tell her she can't go!" Jessica
"I know, I've been telling her that and she's not listening!" Sister Clegg
"He's getting so old he peed in the house the other day right in front of me!" Greg Forsythe, talking about their dog
"Poor Peppy!" me
"Poor Peppy? Poor me! I had to clean it up!" Greg
"Tell her to come over for gumbo and we'll talk about the gospel!" Sister Mullins, one of the best member missionaries ever!
"all you need is the Priesthood and Melaluka!" Tara Ciesiolka, advice for being sick/prepared for anything.

Ed's baptism with Sister Shoff!

Breakfast with Monica, Alaina (members), and Jessica (Investigator)

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13 Weekly Updates and Pictures

Highlights from another great week!
So many good spiritual experiences this week! In one, we were teaching about the restoration to Paula, the wife of Jim who we met on exchanges the other week, and she not only felt and understood the spirit and was excited about how much it made sense, but couldn't get over how bright our eyes were--she could see the light of Christ! We also had an awesome lesson with a less active and her non member husband, Kelly and Kaushik Roy. We had the prompting to show them the "The Hope of God's Light" Mormon Message and they were both so touched by the spirit! We also got to see Nora who came home for fall break and she is doing so well! She is in a family ward at school because the singles ward is 40 minutes away and is still so strong! She even taught Ed with us after church on Sunday and we were so proud! ED IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!! He took us out to lunch on Saturday while Sister Shoff was out of town, and he also finished the Book of Mormon, which we were so excited about! He is so elect, I feel like I learn 3x more than he does from our lessons!

This week we taught Rob, Laura Smith's boyfriend about faith and repentance. They are in quite a situation with housing but have been so faithful and strong! Our lesson about repentance was one I will never forget! Rob had a rough beginning, growing up in Chicago and already told us there were a lot of things he was going to need to change in his life. We went into it wanting him to see the hope of repentance, and what happened was totally by the spirit! We got to the page in the pamphlet with the picture of the Savior and I asked him how he thought the Savior felt about him. He laughed and said "Sister Evans why you gotta always ask the hard questions??" but then we shared the story of the Prodigal Son and how much he was loved and even he was crying! Laura said it was the second time she had ever seen him cry in his life! We invited him to church and he wasn't actually able to come but was so excited and so grateful for "his sisters" that kept him going! He looks like a big, tough, African American guy but he's really just a big teddy bear that loves so much! What a blessing it has been teaching their family!
Testimony Meeting yesterday...oh my! How can I even describe it? Dennis came to the Mishawaka ward, and skipped his Nappanese Church Saturday and Sunday! Transfers are not this Wednesday but the next and knowing I'm probably leaving, I knew I had to bear my testimony. Finally I got up the nerve, and stood up, at the same time Sister Clegg did! We stood up at the same time in our unintentionally matching polka dots. We have uncanny comp unity. I shared my testimony of the prophet and apostles, and talked about how much I loved Elder Bednar's talk about the power of the Atonement and our desire to share it. I related that that was the reason I was on a mission, because even with my struggling knees I knew the Atonement was strong and I couldn't keep the blessing of that knowledge to myself. Luckily I was almost done before I was in tears! After I sat back down by Dennis who just squeezed my hand, thanked me for sharing, and told me what a good job I did. The testimonies were perfect for Dennis and he felt the spirit so strongly! After he said he didn't know I struggled with my knees and was worried about when I'd be leaving, and when I said it wasn't until next Wednesday he was relieved that we'd have a few more lessons together.
Favorite Quotes!
"Who are you with?" Dana
"My girlfriends" Dennis
"What??" Dana
"The missionaries" Dennis
"The Mormons?" Dana
"Ok. Tell them hi" Dana
"And I was like 'don't give me sass, woman!'" Nora, when her roommate didn't understand temple sealings
"Hi! This is Sister Evans from the Indiana Indianapolis mission!" me
"What?? Who?" Receptionist
"Amanda Evans...sorry" me

Lunch with Ed! 

Church with Nora!

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6 Weekly Update and Pictures

Weekly Highlights!
This week we got to serve Val Williams, from the ward. She asked us to help her change the air vent in her basement that she couldn't get to very well. We were struggling pretty badly because the parts weren't fitting right so I asked if we could pray and try it again. I got to say it, and it was so humbling! Heavenly Father showed me how he saw her and how many prayers she needed for her family and health problems and house, it was amazing! Then Val got an idea, and asked me to climb up and try it. It took me a while to figure out what she wanted me to do, bless her heart, but I figured it out finally and we got it! We shared a message after about how much Heavenly Father loves us, knows us, and cares about us, to our smallest cares like air vents!
This week we got to teach a less active's husband, Steve Breen, which was amazing! He was so prepared, and there was such a spirit there! His wife and mother in law and half their family were in the kitchen canning apples and being super loud but Sister Clegg was praying for the spirit to be there at least for the first vision and as soon as we began sharing it, it was super quiet! At the end he committed to being baptized and said the prayer, and we were so humbled! He had found the path he was looking for and we were and are so excited!
We also taught Rob again, Laura Smith's boyfriend, who committed to baptism, as well! When we extended the date to him he said "OF THIS YEAR??" but said he would do his best! They have to get married first but he wants to change so much!
This week we went out for ice cream with a member and her daughter. Sister Braley had had a rough week and it was Brittany's birthday the day before or so, so we took them out and oh my, what a hoot it was! The guy working came over and asked if we had just come from a function, confused why Sister Clegg and I were all dressed up. We told him we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sister Braley told him she'd had a rough week so we were taking her out, and he was just getting more confused as we went haha! I mentioned we were also celebrating a birthday for Brittany and then he got really excited and ran to the back! He came back with a birthday hat for her and made her stand up on a chair while he sang to her, she was so embarrassed! She was such a good sport and is luckily still talking to me! They were doing ribbons for breast cancer awareness and said we could write ANYTHING encouraging, so we of course were looking up the best quotes from conference and writing scriptures on them:).
Conference was AMAZING and I could write an entire email about it but I will try to spare you all! We watched two sessions at the church, one of them with Ed and Dennis, which was great! Ed was so excited to meet Dennis and was telling him about how he needed to come to his baptism on the 18th, it was so great! We also watched a session with the Ward Mission leader, Brother Petras's family, and the Bishop's family, the Lees, which was so much fun! Before going to the Lee's yesterday we were tracting in their neighborhood and ran into a lady, well,stalked into her garage as she was coming home (the spirit told us to, don't worry), and found out she knew Sister Lee and was thinking about checking out our church! She was so elect and we are so excited we are trying not to be too much!
Favorite Quotes!
"you two are like bags of fertilizer" Dennis, giving us a very serious and sincere compliment which we had to laugh about later
"and we're grateful for dramatic children" Sister Caplinger as her granddaughter cried through the prayer
"we're not missionaries, we're date crashers! We're the worst!!" Sister Clegg, trying to coordinate church keys with Bishop and Brother Smith, who were both on dates with their wives

Conference with Bishop's family, the Lees!

Ice Cream with the Braleys!