Monday, March 24, 2014
I swear I was just emailing you... this was potentially the fastest week ever. Not a ton happened.. but I need you all to sit down because I have the COOLEST story ever. Really. Get prepared. I have been dying to tell you all week.
So let me start from the beginning. A few weeks ago we got a text from church headquarters giving us a referral. So it texted us a name and number for this girl named Faith. We called her and she is a student at Hiram College (it is a small college in my area) and she said she is in charge of a bible study and asked if we would come talk to them about our church and stuff. Obviously we were really excited because ya know that is exactly what we want to do. So we show up last Tuesday.. and it was a really small group, there were only 4 people.. but that is totally okay. So we met in this like old historic church upstairs and it was super cool. And we went around so that we could all introduce ourselves. This one girl (I actually can't remember her name right now and I actually want to die haha) but she says that she is majoring in political science, and I thought "Oh that's cool I am studying that too!" and so then it gets to my turn and I said that before my mission I did a year of school at a small private university in southern California and that I am double majoring in political science and communication studies.. and the girl gets all excited that we are studying the same thing and it was super cool and then she says "My dream school is in southern California. I am planning on transfering there next year" And I said "oh really what school?" and she said "Oh it's a small school no one here really knows about it." And I was like "Okay which one?" and she said "Chapman University." AND I DIED. I literally could not believe it. And so me and my companion both started freaking out and then we told her that's where I go and she started freaking out. It was the craziest thing of my entire life. Like out of all the schools in the world... she is going to transfer to Chapman to major in the same thing I am... and I just happened to be the missionary that came to do the Bible Study. All I can say is that is no coincidence. Oh and it was funny because part of the introducing ourselves we were supposed to say one way we have seen God in our lives this week.. and I was just like "RIGHT NOW" if that wasn't God who timed that out then I know nothing. Anyways so the girl was just honestly the most excited I have ever seen a person. She said we are "soul sisters" haha.
So then we got to spend the next hour talking about what we believe and they believe.. and it was no joke the most fun I have had in probably forever. I basically just got to share why I am a member of this church and all the cool experiences and blessings I have had. And we taught the first couple of lessons.. and they LOVED it. They were taking notes and they were so excited and after I would explain something they would say "I love that!!" and I have just never had people so excited to talk about religion and God and man it was literally a dream come true. They are all members of the Disciples of Christ church, so we got to learn a bit about that. So I guess in their religion they are pretty open to different interpretations of the Bible and basically each person just decides how they want to worship, which is interesting. But these kids are honestly SO COOL. I felt like I was hanging out with my friends talking about The Gospel.. and it was so fun. And then they asked if we would come back every week so they can keep learning more. And when I say "asked" I mean BEGGED.. like they really want us to come back. I told them they should be careful because once they tell us we can come back every week... we will... and we will probably never stop. haha not a lot on my mission has someone actually begged for us to come back. So we were just a little excited. At the end they said a prayer and she thanked Heavenly Father for "gracing us with these girl's presence" and I was like... woah. Never thought that would happen. And it was just so fun because I just got to be me and share my experiences and I feel like I learned so much and they learned a lot. Man it was so great. And they are super pumped to read the Book of Mormon!!
When we left me and my companion crossed the street and we heard them say "That was the coolest thing ever!!" they were all so excited. Basically it was the highlight of my entire mission. And I feel like that is why I am here in this area. And I am so excited forI may actually die. But seriously how cool is this?
So that whole thing just made my life complete so I don't even know what else to share. Haha okay besides just that I had a really good week. Kirtland was super busy because it is spring break (even though it is in no way spring here because it is currently snowing) so we got to give quite a few tours! One guy is investigating the church and preparing to get baptized. He said that the missionaries had been stopping by his house for years and that they drove him crazy.. and finally he decided he would just listen and read the Book of Mormon.. and He said that when he prayed about it he knew it was true and now he is getting baptized. It was awesome! The Book of Mormon really does change people's lives and it is so cool to see that.
Had another great experience doing service.. HA. No it really was good because we got to help someone who really needed our help. It was just terrifying. It was at the same lady's house as last week. I was sweeping the floor and you do not even want to know what was on it. Trust me. There are some things I wish I could unsee. My companion did the dishes and it took TWO HOURS for her to do them all because there were that many. It took me a good hour to clean the stove because there was some unidentifiable substances that I swear were permanently glued on it. Also my companion found underwear in the sink. If that doesn't tell you how sketchy it was.. nothing will. By the time we were done I was ready to start myself on fire so that I could be properly sanitized. She invited us to stay for dinner to have cow liver.. and I had to politely decline because I would have died. I would no joke rather eat off of a dirt floor in a hut in Africa because it would be a million times more sanitary. But I am glad that we could help her because man that was just not safe haha.
Oh and I almost got eaten by a dog this week. We were visiting this lady named Patsy.. and she has this man killing dog.. and normally it is put away. And last time she told us to be careful because she said that it will hurt us if it is ever lose (why she has this creature I have no clue) but we get out of the car the other day.. and we walk up to the door.. and all of the sudden the dog is right there. So we start to back away slowly as it is growling at us.. then it starts barking and runs towards me (of course it runs at me...) so I ran to the car as fast as I could but I couldn't get it unlocked and somehow right as the dog hit my legs I jumped in the car and quite literally had to shut the door on the dog as it was trying to bite me. It was the scariest thing of my life and I still have not recovered. It was a serious blessing that I didn't get bitten. haha
Things are SO GOOD with the Smiths! I love them so much. They were so excited that neither of us got transferred. Their mom told me that Hunter (the little boy who is 8) prayed that we wouldn't get transferred. That is seriously the cutest thing of my entire life. And they came to church yesterday and loved it! It was so funny so after Sacrament meeting we went to help them find their primary class.. and Hunter said "I don't want to go." and I asked him why not and he said "I don't want them to sing to me." hahah he was so scared they were going to make him stand up and sing to him. Luckily that is an easy fear to get rid of. But they loved it and they are planning on getting baptized! I am so excited. It is just really fun to see the Gospel become a part of their family and feel the spirit in their home. I know this will bless their lives and I am so grateful I get to be part of it.
Gladys (the walking skeleton) started coughing up blood while we were visiting with her so she had to go to the emergency room.. it was slightly traumatizing.. and we still have no clue if she is okay. So yeah that was interesting.
My ward here is seriously the best. They are the nicest people and they take such good care of us missionaries. They feed us delicious food and are just some of the nicest people ever. It is starting to kinda feel like home here. Also they buy us Chipotle quite a bit so obviously they are pretty cool. There was a pie auction the other night and one guy bought a pie for over a hundred dollars and then practically gave the whole thing to us. That was, as Shirley would say, delightful.
Oh in other news me and my companion no longer have a gps and are going full maps to find our way around Ohio. We almost ended up in Cleveland once this week while trying to go to her doctors. haha. Other than that we are becoming professional. You should probably be impressed.
Other than that.. not too much happened this week. One solid quote from the nursing home:
Dorthy wheeled up to me and said "I want a new butt." and I said "What?" and she said "I want a new butt. This one hurts." it was a classic.
Overall it was an awesome week. Things couldn't be better! I love you all and I hope that you have a great spring break!
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Well... I am staying here in Aurora for another 6 weeks! And the sun is actually shining today so things are looking good! We only had one blizzard/snow day this week so happy spring!. But no really this week was so good I hope I have time to sufficiently tell you about it. Here we go.
First off, the greatest human ever Shirley. So we went to the Historic Johnson Home with her and did a tour.. and it was so much fun. She loved it. It was funny because we normally go see her at like 8 at night when she is just hangin at her house.. and we met her for the tour and she was all dressed and had teeth in and lipstick on and I was like... who are you?! And she was driving in her new car that has a fin which she said makes her "cool". She told us that she will be dead before she figures out how to use the car. She kills me. The tour was really fun though and she is so funny because she keeps cracking old person jokes like "Oh yeah back when I was a child a hundred years ago we used those things" and she really was a kid 100 years ago so it is hilarious. She really likes learning about the church and Joseph Smith.. even though she told us "I am not going to become a Mormon now". We still get to help her learn more about the Book of Mormon and consequently Jesus Christ and that is what I am here to do. And okay last night we went and saw her and she had bought us the famous "Pure Ohio Maple Syrup" which I am really excited to try.. and then when we told her we were both staying for another 6 weeks she was the happiest person in the world. I didn't even know she liked us that much. Before we left I asked her if she wanted to say the prayer and she goes "Well sure. But I am just going to make it up as I go." then she goes "Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for keeping these two girls here. Thank you for sending them to knock on my door, because they have brought me so much happiness. You knew they would be a comfort and joy to me and I so glad to have them" and it was so sincere and sweet that I actually started crying because it just made me so happy to know that we were helping her so much.. and then she said "But I am going to ask you to please keep a close watch on these girls. Because sometimes I get really worried when I think about how they are outside knocking on strange people's doors." and I went from crying to laughing because she got so serious all of the sudden.. hahah it was the best. Long story short, okay actually this was long.. anyways I really love her and I am super happy I get another 6 weeks with her.
ED is still the coolest guy ever. He has read so much of the Book of Mormon and he has the coolest questions about it. It is just super fun to have someone who is actually really interested and does the work without us having to basically beg to do it. Most people we are begging to just read anything and he does it all on his own. He told us that he is really enjoying the Book of Mormon, and that so far it is good and He totally believes that God would give us more scripture.. so He said it definitely could be true, and that he is going to keep reading it! DREAM COME TRUE. But really he is smart and likes it and whenever we teach him he is super open and accepting.. it just makes me love being a missionary so much. And I just really have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. That book has helped me so much on my mission I just love it. I wish everyone would study it like Ed is! I think I should start calling him the Incredible Mr. Ed. Do you think that will offend him? I'll just go for it and let you know how it goes. haha.
So funny story. Last Tuesday it was randomly really nice outside.. (and by nice I mean it was like 48 or something) anyways so in the morning we were walking back from the gym, and it felt all springy outside so I was the happiest person ever and I was happily walking and managed to not notice that there was this huge patch of black ice. So I am just skipping along and.. long story short I ended up flat on my back with a bloody elbow and a few bruises. And then naturally the next night we went to do service... and the lady had me paint a ceiling.. and of course I had fallen on my painting arm. So there I am in this somewhat unsanitary environment (actually one of the sketchiest kitchens I have ever see).. and there was a dog bigger than me.. and 2 small boys chasing each other around.. and I am trying to balance on a broken latter while holding a paint tray and roller trying to paint a dirty ceiling with my damaged arm. It twas a great night in the Hosey household. On the plus side my prayers were answered and I wasn't knocked off the latter and I somehow got the entire room done.. and it looked pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself.
After the beautiful day on Tuesday we naturally had a fat snow storm on Wednesday. They even canceled school. (Side-note they have had 9 snow days this year.. NINE I had maybe 3 my whole life let alone 9 in one year... Good ol Ohio). So then all of our appointments canceled. But really... even the nursing home wouldn't let us in because there was supposedly a "flu epidemic". WE GOT REJECTED BY THE NURSING HOME. I mean that just hurts. So we got to go tracting in a blizzard... it was super fun. One guy cussed us out when he opened the door because he thought we were so crazy for being outside. Rightly so. Haha. Then at dinner the power was out so they lady couldn't cook any food.. so we ate a couple vegetables.. and there wasn't even water. It was actually really funny. But then we had the best lesson ever with the Smiths! They are so awesome. Funnest family to teach ever. The kids made us cookies and it was so cute! I will send a picture of them! They just make teaching really fun.
Yesterday was so fun. So we went and got ice cream during lunch.. and this guys comes up and asks us why we weren't in school.. and I explained that we are missionaries so we are taking a break from school for a little while.. and he was like "you can't take a break from school" and I was like uh yeah you can.. and I was really confused... turns out he thought we were 14 years old and skipping middle school. When I said I am 19 he literally about had heart failure. It was so funny. I mean I look young but 14? Please. Then we got to have a cool discussion about the church so it turned out good. Then we went to the nursing home and this time they let us in! and there was an awesome St. Patrick's Day party going on. I tried to do an Irish jig for them but I was a failure. And man they were so funny yesterday I about died. So we are sitting there and this one lady Jane starts picking her nose... and Florence yells at her and claps her hands and says "JANE NO. Stop that. We don't do that. Stop picking your nose." And then this other lady named Dorthy was like clapping and calling a "bunny" to come to her (spoiler alert there was no bunny).. and I was talking to her and she was saying some crazy stuff and Florence just yells "LOOSE SCREWS" and I was like what? and Florence said "some of her screws are loose up there.." haha I was laughing so hard. I love that place so much. Really though it is impossible to not be happy when I am around them.
In other news we got to see Gladys (the walking dead) again, Gentonda, my companion got food poisoning, oh and Joan is still doing good! We had a slight scare with her. I called her the other day and there was a person from her church there when I called.. yeah bad news.. and apparently some people from her church tried to tell her that she shouldn't talk to us or let us come to her house ( because we are obviously the scariest people ever I mean look at me) so we didn't get to go over at all last week.. so I was really scared because that would just break my heart. But yesterday we went over and things are good and she isn't going to listen to those people! Seriously an answer to prayers.
Another cool news.. well sorta.. so Brenda Dougly from my last area (the one who can't stop smoking) has been going to church every week and paying tithing!! How great is that?! Which is awesome progress. I am still praying that she will be able to stop smoking.. it will kill me if she doesn't because she really wants to so bad and it will bless her life so much. I think it will happen! And if it happens in the next 6 weeks I can go to her baptism so please pray for her!
Okay well that is all I have time to write about and you guys are probably sick of hearing me ramble on about unexciting things. I hope you all have a great week! PRAY FOR SPRING TO COME and I will love you forever. Okay bye.
Monday, March 10, 2014
morning was super cool. We got to have a training meeting in the Kirtland Temple! It was the BEST. We were inside singing the Spirit of God, and the sun was shining through the windows (first time the sun has been out in 5 months) and the temple was just so beautiful. It made me so darn happy. It was such a neat meeting. It was just the sisters who serve at Kirtland.. so there was 20something of us. And one of my favorite parts was when this guys named Ron who is the director of the Community of Christ Visitor Center (So the people who own the temple) spoke to us. He talked about the song the Spirit of God and how it was written for the temple dedication.. and about the verse that says "how blessed the day when the lamb and the lion shall lie down together without any ire". He said that He thinks it was a prophesy about our two churches. He said that the LDS church is the Lion, as we are much bigger.. and their church is the Lamb. And even though we are both different, we are able to work together and help strengthen and build each other up. And it is so cool because it is true! Everyone thinks that because they broke off from our church and they own our first temple that we must hate each other or something.. but that is not how it is at all. We literally all work together and do what we can to share the neat spirit of Kirtland with everyone who visits. I just love being in the Kirtland temple. I wish you could all feel the spirit that is there. I feel so lucky to be serving here where we get to be so close to the Spirit and the beginning of the church.
Guess whatis? My 6 MONTH BIRTHDAY of being a missionary. Say what? Can you even believe I have been a missionary for six months already? I still feel like I am a baby. Insane. I have learned so much and I just keep learning so much every single week. I am really grateful I still have awhile left to go because I am nowhere near done here!
We had a great week this past week. I am feeling 100 times better and my bronchitis has been adios! So we were actually able to work thankfully.
So we spent a considerable amount of time with elderly again this week.. as normal haha. We made it back to the nursing home and not joking everyone cheered when I walked in because they thought I had died or something. 2 weeks must seem like a year to them or something. We made it for the marti gras party so that was exciting. This one old lady was trying to make me eat her soup.. it was weird. And then this one lady started chewing out a worker and said "Look at Jane. SHE NEEDS HELP. Have you seen her hands? We held a meeting and we decided that you need to help Jane eat." I was just laughing so hard because this old lady is saying that her and the other old ladies were holding a meeting about the nurses helping Jane. These people kill me.
Shirley is still kickin and is as cool as ever! She is still working on the Book of Mormon. It is really fun meeting with her because we get to learn a lot about her catholic faith, and we get to talk a lot about our church. It is cool to see where we all come together and the similarities that we all have. When it comes down to it we are all trying to be good people and worship God. I also love at Shirleys because she says the best prayers when we leave. She always says "God watch over these girls as they go to strange doors that they don't know that they will only find nice people." She is always so worried that we are going to knock on the door of a crazy murderer or something. She said she prays for us every single day. How nice is she? Also (well this was sorta depressing) so yesterday she was going to a big pancake breakfast with this supposedly "Famous" Ohio fresh maple syrup.. so she couldn't come to my talk (which she was so sad about).. but she said she was going to get us syrup! So that is exciting. She's so cool. I hope I don't get transferred yet because I am not ready to say goodbye to Shirley.
Or Joan. I will actually cry if I have to leave Joan already. I really feel like she is one of the people/reasons why I needed to come to Ohio. I just honestly feel like I was meant to find her and teach her. And I was meant to learn from her. Because she has helped me to grow so much as a missionary. We had such a great lesson this week about Joesph Smith. She is so much more open to learning and the other day she started asking lots of questions wanting to know about Him and about our church and everything And when I was telling her about the first vision and how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Him.. It was one of the most spiritually powerful moments of my mission. I felt such a confirmation of the truthfulness of what I was saying.. and I could just see it touching her heart. It was the most incredible experience to actually see the spirit working through me to help her. She has a strong belief that God still communicates with us like we believe. I have such a great feeling about her! I know that the gospel will really bless her life and I can't wait to see that happen.
We also visited this old lady named Gladys. She looks like the walking dead. Literally. She is apparently only in her 70s but I thought FOR SURE she was 108 years old. So we stopped by to share a message.. and (oh and she has no teeth so we really cannot understand her) it was very interesting. She has this monstrous husky that is no joke bigger than me that insisted on jumping on me the ENTIRE time I was there.. I almost got knocked over slash killed 7 times. So there is a beast jumping on me and this old lady about to die.. and I am just trying to share a scripture .. it was a mess. But we made it through and then she asked me for my name and number so she can call me when I get home from my mission. All I know is if I get a call from Gladys when I get home I will probably die of happiness. Too good.
Oh we got lied to AGAIN this week. So we go to this house and I ask if Traci Gerheart lives there.. and this guy gets super mad at us and says that he doesn't know her and that she doesn't live there and he is so mad that people keep stopping by... and he is wearing a sweatshirt that says GERHEART on it. Hahah I mean people these days are really horrible at lying. It is actually quite humorous.
We had a great lesson with Haley and Hunter Smith again! They are still getting ready to get baptized and it is just super fun.
We did some service with a woman named Barbra this week. She is a classic. I have talked about her a few times before.. she is the one that we sneakily dropped off the food for. We helped her paint her sons bedroom. He has down syndrome and we helped her paint the walls with chalkboard paint so that he can draw on the walls. It was great. She is the funniest lady. And the nicest. It is incredible how much she does for others when she doesn't even have the time to do it for herself. And she was really down on herself because she felt like she isn't doing all she can or that she is failing.. and we were able to talk to her and encourage her and I told her that Heavenly Father is really proud of her.. and she started tearing up. I was really grateful for that experience and that Heavenly Father let me feel His love for her.
My talk went super great yesterday. OF COURSE we had to get snownight so we people were "scared" to drive out to church haha. It is incredible how that has happened every single week that I have been in this area. But I spoke about how God gives us our weaknesses as blessings to help us learn how to be humble and rely on Him. I think it was a hit! Multiple people asked me if I would speak every week from now on.. so I guess it turned out okay! I really enjoyed preparing for the talk because I learned a lot about why I have the weaknesses I have. And as a missionary I feel like I am way more aware of my weaknesses than I ever was before.. but it has given me a lot of opportunities to rely on the Savior more and have Him be what helps me overcome them. I really have such a strong testimony that He can turn all of our trials and weaknesses into chances for us to become better than we even think we can.
The one depressing note of this week was Melissa got a new phone number and we don't have it.. so we weren't able to see her at all. SO SAD. Pray that we are able to get in contact with her somehow!
But yeah other than that it was a great week. This week should be good too! I am scared this might be my last week in this area.. so I am going to make it the best week ever. I love you all and I hope things keep going great for all of you. Thanks for your love and support!
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Happy March everyone! I am ecstatic that I survived February and I am hoping March decides to not be a frozen tundra.. Everyone keeps telling us that this is the worst Ohio winter they have ever had... I mean why wouldn't it be the one year I am here? Gotta love it!
So this week was... different. I got myself a nice little bad case of bronchitis. It was actually super funny so last Monday night we were at these people's houses.. and I had to cough so bad but I was trying not to because ya know I was attempting to be polite and all that jazz.. so I was trying to keep the cough in and the next thing I knew it made me start crying.. so this couple we were visiting were just wondering what my problem was. Haha it was really funny. Then I had a coughing attack and they thought I was dying. So... Tuesday we spent the day at the doctor.
We spent the entire morning at the doctors/pharmacies.. and then we went out to lunch.. and while we were at lunch we got a phone call from these other missionaries.. and they said "You have an appointment with at girl named Melissa Gomez today at 2:30" and we were like... okay... so we head out to find this Melissa character.. and we get to her house and she lets us in.. and basically straight up told us she wants to get baptized. I REPEAT.. she wants to get baptized. And she told us. We didn't even ASK her. So I basically passed out.. partially because I was sick and partly because I was SO HAPPY. So we get talking to her.. she is 21. She has a one year old daughter named Cassidy (that baby is set for success) and she was probably the cutest baby ever. Anyways so Melissa went to church with her grandma from the age of 12-18, and she had been meeting with the missionaries so she could get baptized. But then her parents got divorced and all this stuff happened.. and she stopped going to church. And she told us that she has noticed the biggest difference since she stopped going. She said her life has gone downhill so much and that she misses the person she was when she was going to church. So she is ready and wants to come back and turn her life around. IS THIS NOT SO COOL? It is so awesome that she is able to see and recognize that making God and Christ a part of her life is what will help her be happier and have a better life. That is what we are constantly praying to have people realize, so to have someone come to us who is ready and excited to change was such a huge blessing! I am so excited to teach her and help her get her life back together. So that was basically the miracle of the week. The Gospel changes lives. So there you have it.
Since I was sick.. we decided it was best to not go visit all of our old best friends this week.. so hopefully they are all still kickin and we can see them this week!
Wednesday was awesome too! So we started teaching this family named the Smiths. The mom is baptized, but hasn't been to church for a good while.. and the kids have decided that they want to get baptized! So we got to have an awesome lesson with the whole family. It was so cute.. we taught about the Restoration and how Heavenly Father and Christ appeared to Joesph Smith.. and I asked the girl what Heavenly Father would tell her if He was to speak to her right now.. and she said "He would tell me He is so proud of me for getting baptized" and her mom started tearin up! It was so cute. They are going to get baptized in April! We are pumped. SO.. in a span of TWO Days.. we got THREE people committed to baptism.. and I had bronchitis. Pretty solid.
We also were able to see Joan Lawley. She is still as funny as ever. Luckily I avoided the creepy doll room this week. Her sister just passed away.. so she has all of her sister's stuff, so we spent a few hours helping her go through it. So we were in the basement.. and the phone starts ringing.. and she goes "Oh the phone! Will you had me that tennis shoe behind you" to my companion.. and we were both like.. what.... and so she picked up the shoe.. and it was a phone. It was the weirdest thing ever. It was just so funny because it was so random and she was so casual about it. Old people these days and their shoe phones.
Some other good things that happened this week:
We found a Chick-fil-a.. that was the greatest thing ever.
We found a Chick-fil-a.. that was the greatest thing ever.
We went and got milkshakes at this place the other day.. and we started talking to the worker.. and he asked if we were junior Nuns. Hahah that was a good one. I really wish I would have kept tract of how many times I have been asked if I am a nun of some kind. I literally get that at least 5 times a week. I didn't realize I looked so much like a Nun. But then we started talking to him about the church and stuff and he told us we were the coolest Mormons he had ever met. I am choosing to take that as a compliment. It is fun being a missionary and having a nametag because we just get to talk to everyone about the Gospel and it isn't even weird. I love it so much.
Yesterday none of our people showed up at church because it was all snowy and our building is in the boonies and the roads NEVER get plowed.. so it is basically a miracle every time we get there without sliding off the road. And then... 3 of our appointments canceled yesterday because they were "sick"... okay I am sure they really are sick.. the whole state of Ohio is sick. But we still had a good day! We got to visit a few people and we had some great lessons. We had dinner at this families house.. and only one kid threw up. So that was pleasant. And then I ate chocolate.. and it is confirmed I really am allergic.. so we were driving home and I did not feel good.. and I already have a case of bronchitis.. and THEN.... I GOT pulled over. Yep. Apparently the police officer thought the light was red when it was clearly yellow. ha ha ha. I am proud to say I did not get a ticket.. and all he said was "try to not speed up so much when you see a yellow light".. I couldn't help but laugh. I mean.. I guess I could try not to. ha ha ha. In my defense I felt it was much safer to just go then to slam on my breaks on the icy road and slide into the middle of the intersection. Oh well it added some excitement I suppose. Oh and some other excitement.. our shower is broken so we cannot currently shower.. so we feel like we are in Mexico.. except that it is 8 degrees instead of 80. Good times.
But yeah I think that is basically what happened this week! Slower than normal because I was busy turning into a crying seal. But I am starting to feel better and this week is going to be SO GOOD. Just you wait. I am speaking in churchso we are going to get everyone and their dogs to come listen.. I am so excited!
I have been studying a lot this week about patience and the importance of enduring our trials and struggles well. We are all going to have problems.. but the point is to have patience and endure our trials cheerfully! I notice that as I try to do this, I am able to learn a lot more from my struggles or disappointments.. because when it comes down to it God gives us challenges so that we can grow. And I know that not giving up and staying happy when things get hard is the most important thing we can do. I LOVE Mosiah 24:14-16. And it is so true!
I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I am always praying for you :)
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Middle photo: Me and Joan
Bottom photo: An older couple took us out to lunch and we got some delicious Mexican dessert. About as foreign as my mission gets…ha ha I will take it!
Well shoot that week went by so fast. But it sure was a hysterically good week! Just so much happened I hope I have time to write about it all.
Well shoot that week went by so fast. But it sure was a hysterically good week! Just so much happened I hope I have time to write about it all.
I will just go through the week.
First off, I am OFFICIALLY THE DRIVER. So yeah I was really excited after not driving since August. And we haven't gotten in any accidents yet so success. So Tuesday we went to see the Waleys (the nice older couple who always gives us hot chocolate)... and we found out that their name is NOT Waley... it is Lawley. Hmm... who knew. Only the man was home, and his name is Arley. Yep, Arley Lawley. Now that my friends is just funny. Anyways we talked to him for a few minutes.. once he got to the door. We knocked and we knew someone was home so we literally waited there for probably almost 5 minutes... finally he gets to the door and said "sorry, I was stuck on the toilet" and we were like... that is great to know Arley, thank you. So we talked to him for a bit and he started crying because he said that he was lonely and that we brightened his whole day. It was the cutest thing ever.
Then we went to this lady's house named Gentonda. And believe it or not she is actually white. Just clarifying. So anyways we go in.. and I guess she fell on the ice and broke 3 of her ribs the other day, but you could never tell because she is just running around bending over doing everything. She is 77. And she is hysterical. So we are just sitting there talking and the next thing we know she is just reciting the entire Gettysburg Address for us.. and we were like what is going on. Then she says "I am in really good shape for my age." And we were like.. yeah you are... and she goes "No really. I am SOLID." Next thing we know she slams her leg up on the coffee table and says "Feel my leg muscle" and she was flexing.. and I was debating of wether it was mission appropriate or not but oh well we felt her leg muscle.. and yeah she was solid. Then she made us feel her arm muscles. Then she gets out this exercise thing and starts working out.. and we were like hello you have broken ribs and you are not particularly young so sit down. Then she said "this is hard exercise. I bet you can't even do it". Needless to say I didn't even try because I probably couldn't do it. hahah. Then she gave us money to go out to Valentines day dinner because we didn't have dates. It was one of the funniest visits of my entire life. I am not sure where these people come from but I am sure glad that we have found them.
Kirtland was really good this week! We had this one tour with a lady... and we were in just the store front of the Whitney Store.. and this is the like least spiritual part of the tour.. and I got something stuck in my throat and I couldn't breathe and I started crying.. and the lady thought I was just super emotional about the store counter and it was probably one of the funniest things ever.
Then on Thursday morning we got asked to take a tour.... and for some reason I was feeling lazy and tired and it was freezing outside so the thought of doing a tour just didn't sound fun.. so I was a little annoyed and wondering why in the world they picked us to take the tour. But man I am SO grateful that I got to take that tour. It was so neat. The spirit was so strong throughout the whole tour. And the lady served her mission in Romania, and when I told her that I went there this summer she got SO excited and was just so happy and we got to talk about it and her mission and I honestly thought she was going to die of excitement. We had visited right where she served and it literally made her life. And right then it hit me that that was one of the reasons why I needed to take that tour.. because I could connect with her and help her feel the spirit. It was such a neat testimony to me that Heavenly Father's hands are even in who I take on tour. And I will never ever be upset about taking a tour again, because I learned so much and felt the spirit so strongly! It was great.
Valentines Day was actually so much fun. Me and my companion went out to lunch and got steaks (thank you Gentonda)! Then we went to Aurora Manor (the nursing home) and visited all of our best friends there. It is just so funny everytime we walk in.. there are like 8 ladies that go "The girls are here!" haha it is nice to feel so loved. They were classic as usual. They were playing 20 questions.. and one of them didn't understand.. so the first time it was her turn to ask a question she turned to the lady that was "it" and said "how old are you" and the lady goes "I am 85." haha then her next turn she asked "How are you feeling" and the lady said "I am feel pretty good" hahah not how you play 20 questions. It was so funny. Then Florence couldn't get the trivia questions right.. and she leaned over to me and said "Man I sure am a blockhead" hahaha they kill me.
Then we spent the night at the Lawleys again! Joan was home this time so we were able to go in an actually visit. She had us help her make dinner. She is a hoot too. I am starting to realize that old people really love us. Like honestly we spend about 90 percent of our time with people who are 70 or older. But hey they are hilarious so I am not complaining. We were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon. She met missionaries awhile ago and they gave her one, but they didn't explain what it was.. so she thought it was about Joseph Smith. And she also said that she feels like she really clicks with us in a way she didn't with the past missionaries. So I explained what the Book of Mormon is and how it goes along with the Bible to teach us about Jesus Christ.. and she was so interested. She knows the Bible like the back of her hand so she is having a sorta hard time accepting that there is more. But I straight up asked her if God loved everyone the same.. and she said yes.. and then I asked her why He wouldn't call prophets in other parts of the world to teach them.. and asked her why we should doubt or complain that God has given us even more knowledge to help us come closer to Him. She really felt the spirit. When she prayed she said "Thank you Heavenly Father for sending these sweet girls to us. I love what they teach and I love learning from them. Please help them find those who are prepared to receive their truth" and first of all I was like aww.. and then I was like in shock because she is praying for us like members of the church do. It was awesome. We told her to call us if she ever needed anything.. and she said "Okay I will give ya a call my sister lady friends!" So funny. Then the next morning bright and early we get a call from her telling us to "Have a good day and an even better weekend!" hahaha so yeah I am basically besties with a bunch of 70 year olds.
Saturday we were out in the sketchy / creepy part of our area. It is out in the country and I feel like I am entering a weird foreign country out there. It is hands down the weirdest place I have ever been, and trust me I have been some weird places. So naturally all the people out there are a little different too. Like most people do not have teeth. And they smell funny. But it makes for a really entertaining time! One person we tried to go visit... their house was literally just gone. We pull up to the address and it is just a blank space between 2 houses.. we were like... interesting. These other people live in a garage behind this other old house.. so finding them was a challenge.. and we finally found them and they weren't home. Classic. We did get to have a short lesson with this lady named Paula.. but she wouldn't let us in because she said her dog smells really bad... so I was secretly grateful we didn't have to go in.. but it was 10 degrees and she didn't have a coat so I was basically like "I know God loves you don't forget it" and go inside because I don't want to be responsible for your death. And I asked for her phone number and she said "oh I don't have one of those things".. and she seemed really genuine... and so basically either she lied or she is an alien. haha
Then we stopped by this one lady... and she comes to the door, and I go "Hi! How are you" and she then YELLED at us and told us to "don't take this personally (all sweet).. GET AWAY RIGHT NOW (in the scariest voice possible)" and I was just like yes mam off we go goodbye we are leaving. Couldn't get us out of there fast enough. No clue what happened to her but I was just grateful we got outta there before she had time to chase us with a bat or something. I mean I was having a bad hair day... but I didn't look THAT scary. Needless to say it was a really interesting day.
Sunday was great! Church is always good. And yesterday.. okay seriously someone lied to us AGAIN. So we knocked on the door, (sidenote.. as a missionary you develop this awesome hearing skill and you can hear everything people say inside) so I clearly heard them say "It's two chicks from your church" and so I was all pumped because we finally found this guy... so they open the door and I ask if Jose is there... and he goes "Uh Jose? Never heard of him. He doesn't live here.." and I was oh really.... interesting. I felt like saying "OPEN THE DOOR AND STOP HIDING JOSE WE KNOW YOU"RE IN THERE" but I just smiled and told him to have a nice day. People love lying to me for some unkown reason. Oh well it really doesn't bother me because I am doing my job.
All in all it was a super great week. I am just so glad I get to serve here. It really hit me yesterday how lucky I am to be a missionary. I was thinking about everything I have learned and how much I have changed. I have so much more patience and love for people, and I am way less judgmental than I was before. I have such a greater appreciation for everything I have, and for the Gospel in my life. I have been able to see the power of the Holy Ghost and the immediate blessings of doing what Heavenly Father asks. I have seen His hand in my life more than ever before, and my relationship with Him has grown more than I ever imagined it would. And I still have a year left. I just can't imagine what my life would be if I didn't decide to come on a mission... my mission has changed my life so much that I can't even picture it. I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father is blessing me with this experience. My testimony of the Savior and His Atonement is strengthened every single day. I know with out a doubt that He knows us personally and loves us more than we comprehend. I feel so much peace knowing He is always with me comforting me and guiding me. That truly is the greatest blessing. Nothing has made me happier than doing what He asks and having Him be the one to guide my life.
Basically, my mission is the best. And I couldn't be happier to be out here serving.
I hope you all have a great week! Remember to include Heavenly Father in everything you are doing, because I know that seeking His will and His help is the best way to be happy.
I love you all!
Well it was a good week as usual! It is actually hard to have a bad week as a missionary because there are just too many blessings.. so I can't even complain. Except the snow.. that can go. hahah that is the only thing I can complain about, and only because we get SO MUCH SNOW it is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Last Monday night it literally snowed almost a foot... so we decided to go out and snow shovel for people. So we go to this older lady named Kathy's house and we start shoveling.. and it was actually really hard because the snow was so heavy.. or maybe I am just a wimp. Either way. So we are working for like 30 minutes... when a snow plow shows up. (Here in Ohio they get so much snow that people will pay someone to come with a plow truck and plow their driveways... but we didn't think/know that Kathy had one) so this guy pulls up and says ""What are you doing" and I was like...... uh "Shoveling snow" and he said "Why would you do that?" and I said "To be nice?" and he looks at us and says "No you are not. No one does that. People don't just shovel a driveway to be nice. That does not happen." And I was like well buddy we are living proof. He was literally speechless. And then he plowed the driveway in 3 minutes.. and we watched all our hard work go to waste haha... it was a classic. So then he drove a different house.. and we stalked him so we could talk to him and tell him about how we are missionaries and about the church. SO even though the shoveling was for nothing we got to meet this guy and talk to him so it was so worth it! God helps us find people in interesting ways sometimes.
Then we spent 2 hours shoveling a different house... and by the end the piles on the side of the driveway were as tall as I was. I wish I would have taken a picture. It was unreal. So you could say that after that little adventure we have permanent back problems. But it was fun. Then we went and saw Gentonda, which was exciting as always. She didn't recite any famous speeches this time though so that was a disappointment. Then Tuesday night okay it was SO COOL. So do you remember Ed? Let me refresh your memory. So we met him eh a month or so ago... we were tracting and no one was talking to us and I was about to lose my mind (I know you can't lose what you never had but anyways) and I prayed that we would find someone who would at least talk to us.. and then BAM next house we met Ed and taught him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon! So we went back... and He answered the door and said "I'll be right back let me go get my Book of Mormon" and we were basically doing a celebratory dance on the porch because that meant he had been reading it. AND HE HAS! He is far too! And he is really liking it. And it was crazy because I restarted the Book of Mormon like 2 weeks ago.. and I was at the exact same place as Him so I had just read all that he had so I was able to answer his questions way better than I normally would have been able to. Tender mercy! And he said he can't wait to read more and we are meeting with him tomorrow! PUMPED. It was great.
Then we went to this guy named Brother Jeffery, and he got baptized about a year ago. He lived out in the boonies. And I will include a picture of him. He is classic. He is one of the funniest guys probably ever. He was the one that gave us a speech saying "Fear will put you in a ditch" or "Stop Wearyin" I can't remember if I told you that story hopefully I did. Anyways long story short it he is a hoot. And we took a young high school aged girl with us.. and it was definitely interesting. He loves to talk.. so he started telling us lots of stories.. and was giving us relationship advice.. and he was giving us way too much information about his past relationships and we were trying to change the subject and it was just a wreck. Poor girl that came with us may potentially be scared for life. But I really feel bad for Brother Jeffery. He has a lot of hard things going on and he told us yesterday that he was having a horrible day when we went.. his exact words were "I was 10 feet under having the worst day.. and when you left I was up in the sky. You really brightened my day" So even though it was one of the weirdest visits of my mission.. it really helped him and I am grateful for that!
Wednesday we had zone conference with the Mission President. It was great! It is always good to get more training and get remotivated about the work that we are doing!
Friday we had a training meeting at the Johnson Home. It was great! I love (well I don't love the story it is really sad but you can learn a lot) the story of Joesph Smith getting tarred and feathered and almost killed. It is really sad to be where it happened and to hear what they did to him.. but also so inspiring. I think of this young man who was willing to go through so much in order to serve God and others. He knew what was the truth, and even though people were literally trying to kill him, he never gave up. I also think it is really interesting because he was doing so much good, and these hard things happened to him. I think that sometimes we think that if we are doing good things than bad things shouldn't/won't happen to us. But they will. It doesn't mean God doesn't love us or that we are doing things wrong. It is just a chance for us to become closer to God and learn more how to humble ourselves and rely on him. I have experienced this a lot on my mission when things don't work out. There is always something I need to learn.. and even though I may be disappointed or depressed at the time.. I am also so grateful for the opportunities I have to grow closer to Him.
We went and visited the Lawleys.. it was good as usual! Joan had surgery this week so we went over to try to help her with stuff. And okay this was actually the scariest thing ever. So she takes us into this "doll room" and I am not kidding there were at least over 200 dolls in there. Just walls and shelves full of doll... everywhere. And some of them were the creepiest things I have ever seen in my life. So I was trying to pretend that it was really cool.. but secretly I was just creeped out by all of these old broken big scary possessed dolls staring at me.. and then the song "Tiptoe by the window.. through the garden" started playing on the tv in the other room and that song scares me more than anything in the world.. and for a minute I thought I was in a scary movie. This is totally unrelated to missionary work, but I am just happy I survived that experience. I would rather face a gang than a room of scary dolls haha.
Anyways I shared a story from the Book of Mormon with her and she loved it! It is SO cool to see her heart soften towards the Book of Mormon compared to when we first met her and she told us she would never read our book. She said "This teaches what the Bible does" and I was like EXACTLY it helps clarify the Bible and teach us about Christ. She is starting to understand it and I am so excited! Also she is just so funny because she loves us so much. Her son came while we were there.. and she was like "These are my sisters! They are here on their missions and we are their sponsor family" hahah I was like what are you talking about Joan.. but hey it is nice to be loved!
Then we visited this lady who had been meeting with the missionaries.. and it was insane. She said that she knows it is all true.. and that our church is the way to make it back to live with Heavenly Father.. but she doesn't want to. She was smoking while we were talking to her (and I was sorta focused on not having an asthma attack haha) but she said she is content with being addicted to smoking and living in a bad apartment. It sorta broke my heart because I have never in my life met someone who knows that they have so much more potential.. but they just don't want to become better. Hopefully someday she will have a change of heart.
And yeah that basically sums up my week. This next week is going to be great. We are starting to teach these two kids that want to get baptized!! So we will be getting them ready for that! I am dyin of excitement.
But I have to get going.. I hope that you have a wonderful week! Happy March! Maybe spring will come.... eh probably not but it really wouldn't hurt to pray that it does. I love you all and I love this Gospel! Being a missionary is the best and I couldn't be happier that I get to spend this time of my life doing the Lord's work. Nothing is more satisfying or important. And nothing is greater than the miracles I get to see everyday. I am so blessed. Thanks for all your support!