Friday, February 27, 2015

February 9th Weekly Update

Highlights of the week! Wednesday we stopped by to see Donna because she hadn't been answering our texts, and she was not only home, but her husband, Todd, was home too! He came home from the hospital and had been there for just a few days. They were huge chatter boxes and we were there for so long I had to go to the bathroom part way through, but we taught them the restoration! It was sweet, and Donna thought it was so cool! We don't have a solid return appointment but they said we can stop by again soon! 
We also found A NEW INVESTIGATOR!! Our first feat was to find a neighborhood that we could tract in because so many are no soliciting! We were walking around and we saw this guy out playing with his kids so we walked over and talked to him. He was super cool and his family was so sweet! We are going back to teach him Tuesday and are so excited! After we finally found another street we could tract we met this cute couple, the Vanlous, whose daughter and son in law were Mormon! Their son used to be Mormon, they said, and went on a mission, but had a lot of doubts after and decided not to keep going. They were pretty strong in their own religion but we talked to them about Family History and exchanged numbers so maybe we'll be able to go by again and show them more! We'll see.
 We went by the Vasquez family this week as well and they had a lot of non member visitors there! One of them even said he saw us earlier that week at a restaurant called Papa Roux's we went to as a district after district meeting! Another sweet thing that happened this week was when we were eating with the Sanders after we said the closing prayer Brother Sanders asked if he could add to the prayer, and prayed that we would be able to find new investigators. What a sweet, humble family!

Favorite quotes!
"Do you have English? I know he looks ethnic but..." Sydney, a former investigator, after we accidentally gave her a Spanish family history card

"He already peed on me twice so he doesn't get to sit on my lap" Stephanie, who we met at the Vasquezes, talking about their excited dog

"Elder Diaz could you possibly reach that? I'm not too flexible when I'm full" Elder Cathcart

"This cold weather's gotta suck for your knees!" President Cleveland
" does!" me
"They should've sent you to Tampa or something!" President Cleveland
"Ya! Maybe next time!" me
"There is no next time..." Sister Gil

February 2nd Weekly Update and Pictures

Highlights of the week!
On Wednesday after District meeting the elders asked us to come PC campus with them because Sister Gil served on another campus for a few months and we were not finding any new investigators tracting our neighborhood. The three of us mostly watched Sister Gil for a minute but then hopped in and tried, ourselves! It was pretty crazy and we met some pretty cool people! One of them was named Colton and he struck up a conversation with us while we were inside warming up for a minute. He talked about how he was researching cancer because his grandma was going through cancer for the second time, and we told him about the Book of Mormon. He was excited to read it and wants to learn more! He's super busy with going to work and school from home in Avon, but we're going to keep trying!
The other day we were trying Less Actives again and were referred by one less active (Sister Myers) to another (Dorthea), and got to share a scripture with her (Dorthea) and a friend (Amy)! They said they work a lot so it's going to be hard to see them again, but it was super cool they both happened to be there when we stopped by! Yesterday we went to meet her mom and brother (the Goodners) and found a nonmember there! His name was Mike and after we shared a scripture with Dagon (Goodner) Mike asked if we could pray for his daughter who had just passed away. We shared a little bit of the restoration with Mike and tried to give him a Book of Mormon but the print was too small for him to read. Nonetheless he is excited to learn more when we go back to see Sister Goodner on Tuesday! Wahoo for new investigators!!
Yesterday was an intense day at church! Ricky Taylor (returning less active) got called to be a gospel doctrine teacher, which he is perfect for him! and Jenny Taylor (recent convert) was so excited to be called as a visiting teacher she spit all over me telling me about it, which was pretty funny! Testimony meeting was AMAZING because Sister Durtschi, the Relief Society President, who's been trying to get over pnemonia so they can do surgery on a tumor behind her optic nerve they just found, was there and bore her testimony. Everyone was so glad to see her and has been praying so much for her family! The Sanders also bore their testimonies because Brother Sanders spent a lot of last week in the hospital with heart failure. Brother Durtschi sat behind Sister Durtschi as she was bearing her testimony and put his arm around her to walk back to their bench, it was so sweet! Then Sister Marks was bearing her testimony and said how sweet it was to watch two of the Durtschi kids watch their mom and dad walk up there and the boy just put his arm around the other and hugged them. I'm pretty there were no dry eyes there! Even better, Tyneka's daughter, Akaiah, went to church with the Sperry girls and Sister Pitcher was called as the seminary teacher! 

Helping at Sister Banks' farm

​Favorite Quotes!
"You ain't gonna be my husband!!" Sister Banks upset with Brother Pace pushing her cart

"We're gonna get you feelin' better and we're gonna get you running and jumping! I don't know why you like those things but we're gonna get you doing that!" Sister Steadman

"I'll buy your lunch!!" Sister Banks, when we had a lunch appointment when she wanted us to come to her farm
"Sister Gil, do you know what 'on sale' means??" Sister Banks, almost buying us 10 Reece's Peanut Butter spreads because they were on sale

January 26th Weekly Update

What a week!
This week we worked with Relief Society a lot on finding and contacting less actives, but were rejected by most of them! Monday one of them called the cops on us because we left a note in their door and they thought we were trying to break in. We were trying a few in the same neighborhood and had already gone to the next house, were parked in front and mid prayer, when we realized there were flashing lights behind us. We turned the car back on so we could roll down the window and they asked if we'd been on a street called Ithica way. We were like "oh ya, we actually were!" and they said someone called them because they heard their doorknob jiggling and they thought someone was trying to break in. Sister Gil promptly told them we were from their church and just wanting to visit them, "we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Also known as Mormons!" I almost thought she was going to ask if they'd heard of it before or had a faith in Jesus Christ! They asked our names and I said "Sister Evans and Sister Gil!" And Sister Gil said "Nicole Gil and--" and I said "Amanda Evans!" and they said "ok, and you left a note in their door?" and then he said something to another officer on the other side of us we noticed just then, and got back in their cars and left. That was definitely the first time I'd been pulled over! We knocked on the door we were stopped at, left a note, and went home real quick! The next day the elders were also having a rough one so we had pizza at Sister Banks, and milkshakes the next night! The crazy thing is we had tons of less actives at church, yesterday!
We did get to meet with a part member family yesterday who just found out the husband has cancer. They were super humbled and excited for a message and help from the Relief Society! They chatted with us for a couple hours and it was so great! We watched the video "Mountains to Climb" with them and all cried. 
Another exciting bit of news is that Nora from Mishawaka is going to be a gospel doctrine teacher! Oh my, she is amazing and I am so excited for her!! I can't believe it's been 5 months since she was baptized!

Favorite quotes!
"Bree open the door, I wanna talk to you! And these ladies want yo mama!!" A girl beating us to the door while tracting

"I don't got no bologna, I got cheese!!" Sister Banks

January 21st Weekly Update

Exciting week!

TRANSFER WEEK! I'm now with Sister Gil who is going home after this transfer, and Sister Peel is in Plymouth with Sister Hansen, who I met when she first came out! EXCITING NEWS: the temple is being dedicated August 23rd! The open house will be July 17-August 8 and the cultural celebration on August 22nd. Crazy!!
This week one of the highlights was teaching Donna Castner! Todd Castner was a former investigator, whose record sister Peel and I found and wanted to contact. We went by and met his wife, Donna, who greeted us by asking if we could give Priesthood blessings. We told her we couldn't, but could find someone who could for her, and she gave us her number to set up an appointment. We called and called but she didn't answer, until the elders received a referral for her, probably from her aunt serving a senior mission. They were able to give him a blessing for his MS, and the elders set up a return appointment for us to meet her because they live in our area. Sister Gil and I were looking for her house when sister Gil said she thought it was the one with a sign on the door, but by the time we got turned around to park the sign was gone. We walked to the door and she said she was nervous to talk to us because of how emotional she was about the situation with her husband's health, but decided to take it down. It was taken down as we drove by! We got to know her much better and she will be hopefully calling soon to set up another appointment when she is ready.
We also had a sweet experience with Tyneka, one of the recent converts, who asked if we had a few extra Books of Mormon her kids could have. Her daughter, Akiah, definitely didn't want to go to church or even talk to us but Sister Peel and I went over to play games with them and she started to like us, and then when we went to mutual, Wednesday she was not only there but having fun with the other girls! Tyneka told us Akiah and her son were going to Seminary with Tyneka's boyfriend's kids and wanted a book for it. Her boyfriend is Brother Sperry, he's also a cop, and they're going to get married soon! They're the best, and their kids are a hoot! I'm so excited for them!


"Well, enjoy the rest of your life because we'll probably never see you again!" Library lady to Sister Peel
"Hi! How are you?" Sister Gil and I to everyone at the hospital when we went to see Sister Chisler after her surgery
"You two are such a hoot!" Sister Holt

"I think I'm moving to...moving" Sister Chisler, visited after surgery
"A condo?" Brother Holt
"No--a rehab" Sister Chisler
"Brother Holt! Who brought you, anyway?" Sister Holt

January 12th Weekly Update

Hello! It's been an exciting week to report on! 

First off, we got transfer calls on Saturday! Sister Peel is leaving and I am staying, as expected, but we will both be training in not this transfer but the next! We are pretty excited! I will be in Beech Grove for 4.5 more months then, and Sister Peel will be in her next area for the same amount, wherever it is! 

Todd Castner, the former we tried by whose sister or aunt was a senior missionary and wanted a blessing we have been calling and calling for a few weeks without answer! The elders got a referral the other day and when they went to go contact them it turned out to be Todd! The elders gave him a blessing and will be going back to teach him, Friday! So cool!!

Yesterday was a crazy day, we saw more progress from our investigators in one day than we have in like 3 months! We stopped by the Riveras and showed them "The Hope of God's Light" and part way through when it was talking about addictions Will said it was so weird because the day before he'd been thinking about stopping drinking! They also prayed as a family the night before!! This man wasn't even sure he believed in God the first time Sister Peel contacted him!! They loved the video and agreed to read Alma 32 for real before we take them on a church tour next Thursday! At the end he asked if he could pray for Sister Peel before she left. OH MY it was amazing!! The Jones hadn't been taught the restoration yet but have been to church, and love us coming over but hardly give us time to even talk about the gospel! They read the restoration pamphlet and we showed them the restoration video yesterday, and let us talk about it! We asked how they felt and Laura said she felt nothing, it was just logical. We kept talking further and she finally said she kinda felt content! We explained that that was the spirit and tried to get them on a church tour but they are moving this week and will be crazy until after. 

Yesterday we also saw Brizeida, the elder's recent convert. She was super sad that Elder Mortenson was leaving and talking about the difference missionaries had in her life and how hard transfers were for her. It was a sweet reminder that as missionaries we leave our families for a year and a half or two so that others can be with their families for forever! Another sweet experience we had with members was when we got a ride home from church with the Crumbos. It started ice raining and Sister Crumbo got really worried so she said we need to say a prayer! Then her son said oh, prayers always help! And the daughter started praying. After she asked for us to get home safely and the rain to stop, it did for a few minutes! Then they felt silly for praying for safety when the missionaries were with them and they would've been safe, anyway:) afterward she thanked us for the spirit we brought even in the car on the way home from church. She is so sweet! I am glad I get to be with the members of the Beech Grove for 6 months! 

"And what's your name, lady?" Theron (former investigator)

"I learned this during WWII, if you eat that salad and think really hard about rolls, your salad will taste exactly like salad!...I mean a roll!" Elder Lorsch

"It wasn't oatmeal lotion! It was lavender stress relieving lotion!" Elder Diaz

"Where do generals hide their armies?...up their sleevies!" Elder Lorsch

Thanks for reading, have a great week!!

January 5th Weekly Update

Hello! This week was pretty exciting! Tuesday Sister Richardson came to Beech Grove for exchanges and we were going to start the day by going to see a less active, Allen Skaggs, and tracting around his house, but when we knocked, this girl, Sylvia, answered the door. Turns out I was looking at an old ward roster and now the Vasquezes live there, who are related to him in some way that I don't remember. The Vasquezes are a part member family and Sylvia was living with them, but I didn't know if she'd been taught by missionaries before. It was super awkward, I had no idea what to do! We just talked to her and then I was about to share a scripture with her and asked if she knew much about the Book of Mormon when she said she'd been taught by missionaries before. Sister Richardson asked why she stopped, and she said it was because she went to college and lost touch, but had been thinking about coming back to church! We got her address and referred the missionaries from her campus to her and invited her to church! It was so cool! Then when we were tracting we met Stephanie, a mom who was looking for a church for her kids! 
Wednesday Sister Peel and I had like no miles left, so we tracted the rest of the neighborhood for a few hours! It was super cold and people kept shutting the door on us but I kept asking questions as they were shutting the door, to see if they knew anyone we could share a message with or if we could say a prayer with them, especially because we're working a lot on referrals! One guy was shutting the door and when I asked him, he was like "oh, and we watch BYUTV!" after saying he was too busy to talk to us. Finally at the end of the day when we were with investigator family, the Jones, we asked for a referral and they gave us a way solid one! We saw her the other day and there were so many things going on in her life that she needed the gospel for so much but she wasn't quite ready. We're going to give her a little time and go back! 
One night all our appointments were falling through so we tried making cookies with our Indiana cookie cutter and they did not turn out! They looked a little bit like really obese Indianas!
Also, during weekly planning the toilet in our appartment broke so we were like dying for a few hours until after lunch we ran to target on our way to see a recent convert, and laughed about our missionary problems!
"I need to live in a bubble, but I'd probably suffocate in it or something" Tyneka, who is always hurting herself!
"My wife and I used to go to the temple every week and I'd fight with her everytime saying we'd just gone last week and after every time she didn't say anything but I knew that she knew that I knew she was right" Brother Kistemann
"On exchanges the other day I fell off like 3 porches!" me
love you! Have a good week!

December 29 Weekly Update

What a week!

On the 23rd Sister Peel received a prompting to go see a former investigator, Mr. Jameson, who she had seen with her previous companion, Sister Vidmar, but he was taking care of his wife with cancer and trying to help her through the holidays. He came out as we were pulling up to tell us it was not a good time, because his wife had passed away a few hours earlier. It was so sad! We shared Alma 7:11-13 with him about the atonement and cried most of the way home that Heavenly Father trusted us to go take care of him. Later in the week we went to see another former, Todd, with MS. His wife answered the door, and asked if we could give blessings. We told her we couldn't, but could find someone who could for her, and she was excited. She said her husband's aunt was serving a senior mission for our church and kept telling him he should get a blessing. We got her number and said we'd call to set up a time for the blessing, it was so cool! We talked to some members pretty close to them about going to give him a blessing and be a friend to their family. 

Yesterday at church one of our Recent Converts, Sister Chisler, had a friend in Gospel Principles while we were talking about final judgement, which we were a little nervous about! Afterward I was talking to her and found out she was less active, which was a relief! Her name is Pam and she is living with her parents while going through a divorce and trying to help some wayward kids, so her life is a little crazy! At first she just said she was going through a rough time, but the more I talked to her, the more she shared her life story! I told her that we texted quotes and scriptures each day to a group of people and asked if she'd like us to send her some as well, which she did, and we got her number. She was so sweet, we are definitely praying for her!

Yesterday we had a super sweet lesson with the returning to activity/recent convert family, the Taylors, about family history and the temple. They have a son who is deaf and a daughter who has down syndrome and is deaf, so talking about their eternal family was so sweet! We talked about when they would be sealed next year, on October 17th and they invited me to go with them:)

Favorite Quotes! (I forgot to write most of them this week, and my camera is dead...sorry!)
"Happy birthday, brother Jesus! Amen" Sister Burtzo

"That was sassy, sister Evans! I'm proud" Elder Mortenson