Monday, December 29, 2014

HAPPY (Almost) 2015!

Making gingerbread cookies. 

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! :) Ours was really great! I was kind of sick, but thankfully I'm feeling better now. We went to some members' homes to eat and open presents. The members here are so kind, they gave us so many presents! And FOOD! We were wayy stuffed, we ended up having 2 dinners. It was like Thanksgiving all over again. And I got to Skype my family!! That was definitely the best part :) 

I love this season of giving and remembering the ultimate Gift. I'm sad that it's almost over, but excited for the new year to begin! It's weird to think that this time next year, I'll be home. But I try not to think about that too much :)

The rest of our week hasn't been super eventful, everyone is out of town for Christmas. But we found out that our mission is doing a trial run of letting us do member dinners again. They picked like 6 wards out of the whole mission to try it with, and ours is one of them! So hopefully that's a good thing, we're excited :) There's going to be a lot of changes in our mission for the New Year, hopefully it'll be really good!

One of the new things is they've been having us study entirely out of Preach My Gospel, and nothing else. I was honestly not too excited about that at first, I love reading the scriptures and General Conference talks and everything. But I actually like it a lot. It's truly such an inspired book, and we still get to read out of the scriptures plenty because of all of the references in it. I've learned so much more from it than I ever thought I would. So of course, I have to end with a quote from Preach My Gospel :)

“There is neither man or woman in this Church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life.” -Brigham Young.

I'm so grateful for the knowledge of this gospel, and for the wonderful opportunity to share it; to have my purpose be His purpose. And I'm grateful for the 15,082,028 members of the church out there that are all on the same team, to bring Heavenly Father's children back to Him :)

Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014


I can't believe it's almost Christmas, I'm way excited!! :) I'll officially be a third of the way through my mission on Christmas, crazy stuff! 

We've had a good week, although it started off a little strange. We went to this Bible study with a potential investigator. It was all these people in their twenties that just spend their time hanging out and studying the Bible. They were all really nice and interested in what we do as missionaries. They fed us dinner and cheesecake (my weakness!). But before they started the Bible study, they all started doing the whole speaking in tongues thing, and it was kind of freaky. Sister Vanderhoff and I both really did not feel good about being there and we were like uhh should we just get up and leave? But thankfully they stopped and the rest was fine. Overall it was a really good and they were nicest people ever. 

We haven't been able to see L. at all this week and he didn't come to church on Sunday, so we're kind of worried about that. But we're having a lesson with him tonight, so hopefully that will go well. Everyone is out of town or busy for obvious reasons, so that makes it kind of hard to see people.

Best part of this week: the stake here does this really amazing live nativity called Night in Bethlehem. It's basically a pageant, complete with live animals and everything. Before you go in they have it set up like you're in Bethlehem and have all these fun shops where you can eat and dress up and make jewelry and pottery. It was really neat. Everyone had been talking about it since I got here, so we were really glad that we got to go. They had us directing people through it and handing out cookies and hot chocolate at the end. The first night J., K., and her family all came and we got to go through it with them. A lot of members also brought friends that we got to meet. Sunday night they were anticipating about 1400 people coming through, but it rained and they had to cancel it! It was such a bummer. But it was still good, everyone just visited, sang Christmas carols, and had cookies and hot chocolate.

The first night of Night in Bethlehem was kind slightly embarrassing. We put our purses in a closet so no one would take them and I was like haha, hopefully they don't lock it. And shocker, they did! Yeahhh, we should've known better. Well I did, but I was like nahh, it'll be fine. It was time for us to go home and we were frantically trying to find someone with a key, but nobody had one that opened it! We finally found the stake president and had to explain everything to him, but he unlocked it for us. Yeah, embarrassing :)

Well, I do believe that's all I have to share :) I'm just really grateful for the gift of our Savior and for this amazing opportunity I have to share that incredible gift.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 - STAYING IN TAMPA!

Sisters Coleman and Vanderhoff
Both staying in the are.
L. is getting baptized!!! And I'm going to be here to see it! I found out I'm not getting transferred, and I am quite happy about that :) I really thought I was done for, I've been here for almost 6 months. But alas, I live to see another transfer here in the Tampa 4th Ward. And Sister Vanderhoff is staying too! And we set a baptismal date with L. He's super solid too. We gave him a book of Mormon and the next day he told us he was already done with 1 Nephi. Um, what? He's so awesome. Needless to say, it's been a pretty great week.

K. and J. are doing really well too. K. is so adorable, when we found out at the Christmas party that neither of us are getting transferred she was running around saying "They're staying!!!!" And they were like what are you talking about? She's such a smart little kid, she's never been taught anything about God in her life before, and now she knows so much. She remembers and understands almost everything we tell her. And even more, all the time we're like how do you know that?? This kid is 7! She told us she's been feeling really good lately, especially when she prays, it's so cute. Another funny thing she said this week: she was talking about her grandma coming over and she said "Yeah, she's still alive! And my mom is like 30!!!"

Oh yeah, and I cut off all my hair this week. It was just too long, it was like getting past my waist. It's so much easier to deal with now. Hallelujah.

New Haircut
Dressed for ugly sweater contest

We had a mission Christmas party at the beach all day on Wednesday, that was super fun. Some days it's still hot here and others it's freezing cold, it's pretty annoying. But thankfully the beach day was one of the warmer ones, at least until the sun went down. We had our ward Christmas party this week too, and that was also really fun. The food was really good,and there were so many non-members there, it was awesome! Like all of our investigators and potentials and less-actives were all there, it was kind of overwhelming trying to talk to everyone. And they gave us enough leftover pork to last for the rest of our lives. 

Mission Christmas Dinner
Ahh Christmas is next week, I'm so excited! I don't really know what we'll be doing, but it's Christmas, I'm sure it'll be great :) I'm glad I get to spend it here too, I don't think I would've been too happy being in a brand new area with a new companion for Christmas. I love everyone here so much, I don't know what I'm going to do when I get transferred.

I just love this season that we get to remember the birth of our Savior, the greatest gift we've ever been given. It's been really nice to be able to just focus on that this year. If anything, my mission has definitely taught me what's actually important, and I'm so grateful for that.

PS.  Sister Vanderhoff, Jordan's companion, sent us a very sweet Christmas card, thanking us for raising an amazing daughter.  She included two photos.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Ornaments made with ward members.
I love seeing her handwriting.

This week has been great! It's been like in the 80's which is kind of weird. This lady told us she went to DC and it snowed and I was like it's snowing up there already? And Sister Vanderhoff was like well, it's December. I totally forgot. It does not feel like December!

We went to this really fun winter blast party at a hospital a few days ago, and somehow they like imported snow (or made it? I don't know) for people to go sledding. And they had all these Frozen ice sculptures that were like totally melted, it was great. 

Before we could only listen to MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir), but we got approved to listen to Christmas music, we're excited! And we're having a mission Christmas party this week at the beach, complete with an ugly sweater contest, so that'll be fun :)

Things have been going really well, we've been working really closely with the members of our ward, which has been awesome. I love them so much, I don't know how I'm ever going to leave. And I might be leaving soon, transfers are on the 18th and by then I'll have been here for almost 6 months :( I'm really nervous about getting transferred, I don't want to leave here. But I do know the Lord will take me wherever I need to be. I just hope that's here for a little while longer :)

L. and J. and K. all came to church this week! We had a really good lesson with L. last week, he's the referral from a really awesome family in our ward. And he even brought his girlfriend with him to church. He has really been prepared to receive the gospel, he keeps saying how he feels like something is missing and he wants to come closer to God and know why he's here. We're excited to teach him more :)

J. is the less-active that we've been working with, yesterday was her first time at church in like 20 years! It was awesome, she seemed right at home. And her goddaughter K. seemed to really like primary. She's been the first person we've taught who doesn't really know anything about God, so that's been kind of different, but she's so sweet and ready to learn.  M. has been "not feeling well" (we don't know if that's true or not), and we're not sure how interested she is, we might have to drop her.

We were at our church building for 11 1/2 hours straight yesterday. Yeah, too long. We had meetings and the young man leaving on his mission had his farewell and we just ended up staying all day. Thankfully, we watched the Christmas devotional at someone's home though. Wasn't it great? :) We didn't get to watch the whole thing since we have to be home by 9, but the part we saw was good :) I still can't believe it's getting close to Christmas, so weird.

Did anyone see He's the Gift on the YouTube banner yesterday? I thought it was pretty cool that they did that :) 

That's all folks! Have a fantastic week! We've been asking all the ward members this and I think it's awesome for everyone to think about :)

How will you #ShareTheGift of Jesus Christ? 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

I don't have a lot of time today because our p-day was Thanksgiving, so we only have a few hours to get everything done that we need to today. 

But Thanksgiving was great! We ended up having 3 Thanksgiving dinners, one the day after, sooo much food :) Everyone gave us leftovers too. We've actually had dinner with members like every night lately, which has been cool. We're not allowed to have dinner unless there's a non-member there, so it doesn't happen very often.

I spoke at church on Sunday about - surprise - missionary work! A young man from our ward gave his farewell talk, so they had me speak too. I think it went well but I don't know, people always say that :)

We have had SO many miracles this week, it's been really incredible. JJJJ, the less-active who we went and prayed with last week, told us that she wants to come back to church and wants us to teach her goddaughter! It's so amazing, she hasn't been active in like 20 years and just from us praying with her and her feeling the Spirit again, she wants to come back.And now we're teaching her goddaughter KKKK, who is adorable :)  I'm so grateful to be a part of things like this. I just think it's so amazing that God allows us to be a part of His work, it's not like he needs us, He can do it much better on His own. We're so lucky :) 

We also had some members call us and say that they had a friend they wanted us to teach. That NEVER happens. They said that they felt impressed that we should be the ones to teach him, and he actually lives in our apartment complex in the building next to us, so that was pretty crazy. So yeah, I'd say we're pretty excited about that!

Also, MMMM came to church on Sunday! Hopefully she liked it haha :) And so did 2 other people, so we had 3 investigators at church, which is what our goal was, so that was pretty sweet :)

If you haven't seen HE'S THE GIFT, you definitely should, it's really good! And the church has provided lots of ways to share it with people, whether on Facebook or giving out those cool pass-along cards in the Ensign :) It's cool how technology can be used to hasten the work :)

And that's all I have time for! Count your blessings and make your blessings count :) Love you guys, have a great week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

I'm super excited for Thanksgiving this week! I have so many things to be grateful for, and a big one is all of you, thank you for being so supportive and wonderful :) We're going to have 2 Thanksgiving dinners with members, one at 3 and one at 4, so we'll see how that goes. Wish me luck.

We've had a lot of miracles this week. We always do, I'm just not always so good at recognizing them :) One was this less-active lady we have been trying to see forever, but she's never home! We both felt like we really needed to meet her, so we went over there again this week and we heard this little voice telling us to just come in, we were like uh... It was really weird, especially since we knew she didn't have any kids. It kind of sounded like a parrot. We didn't want to just barge into this stranger's house, but finally a little girl answered and was like "I said come in!", so we did. The lady finally heard us and was appalled that the girl (who we later found out is her goddaughter who she recently got custody of) had let strangers into her house, but she was glad it was missionaries. We think that she might not have let us in if the little girl hadn't, so that was a blessing. She was a little apprehensive at first, but we prayed with her and afterwards she kept telling us how sweet we are and invited us back to decorate the Christmas tree with her and her friends the day after Thanksgiving, so we're pretty excited about that! 

Another miracle was this media referral named MMM. She requested a Bible online so we brought it to her and taught her a little bit and she said she'd have to think about it. We texted her the other day just to see how she was doing, and she called us saying she wanted to come to church! We got a ride for her and everything, but she overslept and didn't come :( Hopefully she'll come next week, no one EVER calls us asking to go to church.

We had another exchange this week (I know, it feels like every week), and it was really good! It was weird because one of our new Sister Training Leaders is my grandma, which means she trained my trainer. So she came here with me and got to see some of the people that she taught when she was here, it was really cool.

Also, tomorrow I'll have been out 5 months!!! What in the world! I'm almost a third of the way through my mission! It goes by way too fast. The other day someone asked how long I've been out and they were like "Really? We thought you'd been out way longer! So you're still new?" That definitely was nice to hear :)

Have a great week and a fantastic Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Metro Training Center

First of all, sorry that there was no email last week, I did type a really long email and it took forever. Then silly gmail somehow deleted it right before I was going to send it. I don't know how, you really have to make an effort to delete stuff, it asks you multiple times. Oh well.

I don't really remember much of what happened last week, it's hard for me to remember the previous day, much less 2 weeks ago :) But we had an exchange with these two sisters that were supposed to go home, but got an extension on their mission to do exchanges with all the sisters. It was really good, we got 28 referrals at church. The ward council's faces when we told them that yesterday were priceless :)

This week was really good, we went to what they call the Metro Training Center in South Tampa (so they can call it the MTC, clever). It was a really incredible, spiritual experience. We talked a lot about confidence and where it should come from (God, of course). And it's so true, we have every reason to be confident. We are loved beyond comprehension by the creator of the universe. We are His children, He trusts us, why shouldn't we be confident?

At one point in the training we went around and everyone said what we love about our companions. The Spirit was possibly the strongest I've ever felt it and even the really tough elders were crying because they love their companions so much. The second MTC was great, it really changed how I look at a lot of things :)

They're pushing working out hard in the mornings, they're having us wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:30 to get a good workout. In metro we ran all the way from their apartment to they bay, it almost killed me. I got blisters the first day and the second day I got home and there was blood all over my socks and sneakers. Obedience is hard sometimes haha. But it was cool, how often can you work out and see dolphins and the sunrise over the bay at the same time? In Florida you can!

We've had to drop DDDDD for the time being because she's not progressing, which is really sad. But we've gotten some more awesome church headquarters referrals, so stay tuned for what happens with those people :) And we've been working through the members a lot more lately, which is definitely the best way to do missionary work. Possibly the only way, please help the poor missionaries out and introduce them to your friends :)

Okay, some things that I'm really excited about that aren't really that exciting: the church is going to be releasing a new video in a few weeks called He Is the Gift for Christmas! They're going to have it on the banner on YouTube on December 7th, it's going to be awesome :) Also, we got this really cool new Restoration pamphlet on our iPads, it has videos and everything in it. It's cool to see how technology can be used for good. And you have to understand that we've been using these really cheesy, old pamphlets :)

Well, that's all I can think of! Have a great week everyone! :) Love you guys!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

On Exchanges with
Sister Trainers

"Did you get my weekly email? I'm afraid I accidentally deleted it, I can't find it :(  And I'm out of time. I'm sorry, I don't know what happened! I didn't really have any good stuff to update you on. Just know that I had a good week and I'm doing really well and I'm happy :) Love you!"

As you can tell,  Jordan's update this week was deleted before she sent it.  I did get to "chat" with her via email, so I will try to summarize some of what she shared with me.

On Tuesday of last week, my maternal grandfather passed away.  Joran was quickly made aware of his passing and felt peace.  She shares a funny story from a member in the ward she is serving in:

"Sister Nelms saw about Grandpa Tom and Facebook, but she didn't know if I knew, so she was like have you looked on Facebook lately? Or talked to your mom? And I was no and she was like oh... And I told her that I knew though and she was like whew, okay, good! 

How are you doing with that? I'm sure you miss him but you seem okay. And how is Grandma Linda? I'm glad that you get to go out to Arizona and go to his funeral."

I asked her how she was doing and processing the death of Grandpa Tom.  Her reply:

"Yeah, I'm fine! I don't really have time to think about it, it still doesn't seem real. I feel like so many bad things are happening to everyone since I left on my mission! Well, good things too, like everyone is pregnant. I'm missing everything haha."

It appears that she had exchanges with the Sister Trainers this week, given the photo she sent.  I love seeing her smile and giant spirit, although petite stature.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

It's cold in Florida! I can't believe it! I was not prepared for this :) It was funny to see everyone at church with their big marshmallow coats, gloves, and hats, the works :) I used to think Floridians were funny, but I'm becoming one of them!  You really do get adjusted to the heat, and 50 feels more like 20. Plus the humidity and wind don't help. It's probably not even that cold, but it feels freezing! Hopefully I'll survive the oh so brisk Florida winter :)

The sister's conference at the beach on Tuesday was awesome!!! I was SO happy to be at the beach! Of course we couldn't swim or anything, but it was still really fun. And it was beautiful, it was the whitest sand and the clearest water I've ever seen. Sister Vanderhoff has all the pictures, but hopefully I'll be able to get them soon :) 

Our ward trunk or treat was this week and it was really great! A lot of people brought friends, which is always fantastic :) And DDDD and her whole family came, and they loved it! The ward had us judge the costume contest, which was a mess. We didn't know any of the categories ahead of time, so we kind of just had to give them to random people. Plus it was dark outside so we couldn't even see. But oh well. It was funny how many Elsa's there were. There are missionaries here who have been out so long that they haven't seen Frozen!! Blows my mind.

On actual Halloween, we explored this little island in our area that we'd never been too, it was really cool! Then that night we went trick or treating with a family in our ward, it was a great way to meet people :)

We got a REALLY amazing media referral this week, which means that they requested a missionary visit on We called him and he told us that he's in Hong Kong right now, and he went to an LDS church there! He said the people there were really nice and that he wanted to meet with us. BUT he doesn't live in our area. It's the worst when that happen. We were pretty sad about that, he's so golden. But I'm sure the missionaries in South Tampa will be happy, and it doesn't matter who teaches him. Something that they tell us all the time is that these are the Lord's investigator's, not ours, which is so true. 

We also got another media referral (we never get this many), and it's this funny old lady who is living with someone she's not married to and wanted our advice on it. She's knows what she's doing is wrong, but she's doing it anyway, I don't know what she wants us to tell her :) She says she's happier than she's ever been in her life, but she doesn't want to marry him. She says it's too late, she's 70 and he's like 50 (quite the cougar). She's out of town right now (in NC actually!), but hopefully we'll be able to see her when she get's back, and she'll either break up with her boyfriend or marry him :) We shall see.

Wasn't daylight savings wonderful? It was especially great for us because we're always so tired, and the amount of time we can sleep is so restricted. We were so happy :) We woke up and it was light outside, it was amazing!

We've been working with some less-actives in our ward and they're doing really great! This one girl, AAAA, is 16, and she hasn't really been to church since she was baptized when she was 10. But now she's been coming to mutual and church every week :)

Transfers are this week and thankfully we're both staying! I'm finally becoming an old timer in the ward :) It's crazy that I've been here for 4 months!

I think that's about it, have a great week everybody! The gospel is incredible, how awesome is it that we get to tell people about it! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Who Has Time for That? - October 27, 2014

Sisters Vanderhoff and Coleman

I have titled my email in honor of a less-active lady we were teaching. We showed her a video about Joseph Smith and I asked her how she felt about his experience, and she was like well, it's amazing, but who has time for that?! We were like uh... We think she meant who has time for everything he did, I don't know, she's kinda crazy :) She's so funny though, we laughed about it for a long time afterwards.

This week has been good! Things are still kind of slow, but we're really happy. Everybody is sick though. DDDDD is sick, so we haven't been able to see her this week, and her boyfriend moved back in. MMMMM is sick, and his mom is in the hospital. He told us that she has breast cancer and the other day he found her wandering around the parking lot early in the morning. They took her to the hospital and found out that the cancer has spread to her brain. So yeah, not good. He loves her more than anything in the world, it's so sad. He told us he's too worried about her to worry about himself right now, so we haven't been able to see him lately either. Poor guy.

Some members of our ward invited us to a race at their son's school, called the Family Fun Run. And it was fun! And this guy came up to us and told us that he knew missionaries before and felt bad that he had never gone to church, it was awesome!

Another ward member had us come over and do service for her neighbor. She was planting some flowers, we shoveled for her for hours. It was fun though, and we got to meet her and her husband. They're super awesome, and she asked a lot of questions about missionaries and about the church.

Tomorrow- oh my goodness, I'm so excited- we get to go to the beach!!!!! Here I am living in Florida, our apartment complex is right by the ocean, and I haven't been to the beach since I've been here! We're having a conference for all the sisters in the whole mission on a little island in St. Pete tomorrow, I can't wait! :)

Also, I wanted to share one of my favorite scripture stories that I didn't even really know about until my mission: the story of Enoch. I knew about Zion getting taken up into heaven and everything, but not about what happens before that. So in Moses 6 the Lord calls him to preach to the people, and in verse 31 he says "Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?" and the Lord tells him "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you... thou shalt abide in me, and I in you: therefore walk with me." Then in the next chapter, verse 13 says: "And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him."
I LOVE that. It's so amazing how God makes our weaknesses into strengths. This story really inspires me because sometimes I feel the way Enoch did, but I know that through the Atonement I can become strong too. Maybe not making the earth tremble and the mountains flee strong, but still better than I was :) And there's my little spiel! (Kind of little.) The church is true, and God is wonderful :) Have a great week!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

This week the other sisters in our ward got transferred out, so it's just us now!! Our area pretty much doubled over night, it's crazy. I guess there just wasn't enough work for the both of us, and they had to do a lot of emergency transfers because some people went home :( So we might be moving into their old apartment, since it's much more central to the area. Ours is like at the very edge, which doesn't make a lot of sense. We don't want to move though, moving is such a pain. They're leaving it up to us to decide, which I don't think is a very wise decision :)
The Spanish ward in our stake had a Hispanic Festival this week, and it was probably the best thing ever. They had food and dances from all these different countries, and some members of our ward brought friends, it was awesome :) Some elders we know did a cowboy dance. THAT was probably the best thing ever :) They're both Hispanic, so it's pretty funny that they were representing America, one of them is from Mexico. And I don't think cowboys even accurately represent America, but I digress :)
We had exchanges again this week, this time on Sunday, which was pretty weird. I went to Tampa 1st Ward, which is the one in downtown Tampa, so that was pretty cool. It's an awesome ward, although everyone was a little confused why I was there, they all thought I was actually going to be serving there. Kinda weird for everyone, but it was good :)

I can't think of much else worthy of writing this week :) But that means less for you to read! We've been walking a lot because Sister Vanderhoff's bike has a flat tire and we don't have a lot of miles on our car. So yeah, that makes double the area kind of difficult :) Our car also has a leak in one of the tires; we have to put air in it like every day. We don't want to take it to the shop because we're afraid they'll keep it for a little while, and then I don't know how we're going to get around. But I'm doing really well, a little overwhelmed sometimes, but overall really good :) I love all the people that I get to meet and serve, and serve with. As always, the gospel is so awesome, and so true :) The end!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

We had an awesome zone conference this week, and we got to watch Meet the Mormons before it came out in theaters, it was pretty exciting :) And it was so good, I loved it! If you haven't seen it yet, I would definitely recommend it :) And it works! We have a lady in our ward who brought her non-member friend and her friend was so touched that she came to church with her yesterday. It's weird to watch movies as a missionary though, it's like, is this even allowed? :) It's so great though, you should definitely go, and tell/and or take all your friends :)


At the zone conference we also found out that we get to go to the temple!!! You should've seen how excited we all were when President announced it, it was awesome :) We thought we were never going to get to go. He's been trying for like 14 months to get permission for us to go and he kept getting denied. But I guess they finally approved it! We'll only get to go once or possibly twice on our whole mission, but it's still exciting! Everything becomes so much more meaningful when you can't do it anymore haha :) Ahh I'm so excited!!

For those of you who have friended me on Facebook, I wish I could be your friend! But we can only be friends with people here and immediate family. Sorry :(

(Note - Jordan's parents have edited out any names mentioned for privacy sake.)

DDDDDD''s boyfriend moved out!!! I'm so happy! :) Hopefully it's for good this time. It was so exciting, we were really worried that we were going to have to drop her. She's just so awesome, she tells us all the time about how much she loves church and the Book of Mormon, and how the things she's learning are changing her. It's really neat because apparently the day the sisters showed up (it was like the week before I got here) she prayed because she was wanting to make some major changes in her life and wanted to know how. She's doing so great at quitting smoking, she's cut down from like a pack a day, to one or none. We just gotta keep it at none :) We know she can do it, she's quit WAY worse things than cigarettes. And as soon as she does that she can be baptized, it's so exciting! :)
MMMMMM's working on quitting smoking too. We went over like a week ago and he was outside smoking and drinking. I was like okay, we need to do the Word of Wisdom :) He told us that he felt really bad about doing that in front of us haha. But he was SO excited to quit, so hopefully that'll go well :) He STILL hasn't come to church though, he keeps getting sick! Gah! A brother in our ward gave him a priesthood blessing though, and he loved it; he said he's felt a lot better since then. He's still so excited to be baptized, so hopefully he'll feel well enough to come to church.
On a sadder note, a member of our ward that we were really closed to passed away this week. He wasn't very old, only in his 50's, and nobody knows what happened. But a member of our ward who was one of his best friends found him, and it's been really hard for him. RRRRRR was so wonderful (and of course, still is), he's this really funny gay guy, and he joined the church under a year ago. He left his partner of like 20 years to join the church, and he's probably the smartest, funniest, friendliest, most honest man I've ever met. He told it like it is :) He knew like a ton of languages and got his masters like 5 times.  He would always hug us, even though he knew it's not allowed :) He'll really be missed.  We went to his funeral in Dunedin yesterday and there almost wasn't enough room in the funeral home for everyone, people had to stand. It seemed like our whole ward was there. It was a really good service, as far as funerals go, people just told funny stories about him, and I'm sure that's what he'd want. He was at a really good place in his life, he was ready to go to the temple, and he was so excited :) I really miss him, but I know that he's in a better place and I'll see him again someday. I'm really grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation and that I get to share that hope with others. The gospel is such a beautiful thing :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014


Sisters Coleman and Vanderhoff

I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Vanderhoff, and she's awesome :) We get along really well and have a lot of fun (but not too much of course :) ). She's been out 6 months, and this is her third area, which is really unusual for our mission, normally we stay in one area for at least 6 months. She's really a wonderful missionary, and person. Getting a new companion is so weird, it's really strange to be with someone 24/7, and then never see them anymore, and suddenly have to be with this new stranger all the time. But it's going well, so far I've gotten along with my companions instantly. It kind of feels like we already know each other. 

Taking over the area has been scary, I'm definitely not ready. But there have been no disasters yet, and I'm actually really grateful, it's helping me learn and grow a lot. It's really helping me become more confident and come out of my shell more and more. I think the best way to grow is when you have no choice :) Hard times are no fun of course, but they really teach us to rely on God.

It FINALLY cooled down here! We wore long sleeves the other day because we were just so excited that we could! It probably wasn't even that cool, it was just so nice to not be in the 90's. Florida is so hot. I can't even explain how weird it was to walk outside and have it actually feel nice, we were freaking out a little. I don't know how long it'll stay this way, I'm hoping for forever, but we'll see :)

Ahhh, General Conference was so awesome!!! I honestly never appreciated it in the past like I should have. It was so good, I never wanted it to end. I loved how bold they were, we obviously need to shape up :) I loved when they talked about sharing the gospel! Missionaries really do need the members help, I never had any clue until I came out here. We absolutely cannot do it without you guys. And I loved what Elder Bednar said about how we naturally want to share something that has given us so much joy, and helped us through our pain. It's so true. I've seen our investigators' and new members' desire to share the things they're learning and their brand new testimonies, and I wish we could all have the same fire they do.

Apparently the satellite at our church got fried by lightning, so a member took us to the church for the morning sessions both days, and we watched the afternoon sessions at their home. They're really good friends of ours, if I wasn't on a mission I'd probably just hang out at their house all day :) The relationships that you build with people is one of my favorite parts of my mission so far, it's really wonderful.

People here are so good to us. It's great to be so loved by members and investigators, especially since the people we talk to on the street don't always love us so much... But the other day this kid came up to me when we were leaving from visiting an investigator. He just ran up and hugged me and was like "We love you guys!" I had never seen him before in my life, it was so cute :) Apparently they're in the Spanish ward in our stake. There's this sweet old lady who lives in our apartment complex who we helped carry in her groceries one day. We stopped by yesterday and she was like "It's so wonderful to have someone who cares." And a member of our ward told us how good she feels when we come over and how it gives her hope that she can get through hard things. It's such a blessing to be able to make people feel that way. 

Sorry, I feel like I'm bragging a little, but in the words of Ammon, "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strenhth I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." 

Seriously though.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Todd got this necklace for Jordan not long after she arrived in Tampa.
Her companion recently recieved the same necklace.
I think they are both glad to not be riding as frequently.

Sister Rowland is getting transferred!!! Ah! Which means that I'll be taking over the area. I'm kind of nervous, it still feels like I just got here, I'm definitely not ready at all. But I know that God will help me. I've really seen how as long as we're doing our best best, He makes up for our weaknesses and inadequacies. It'll be a really good learning experience too. I'm sad to see Sister Rowland go, we became really good friends, but I'm excited for her. She's going to be training again! I keep telling her it's because she did such a good job with me ;) I'm excited, and once again, a little nervous, to get a new companion! Transfers are on Thursday, so this will be quite the week.

This week has been good though. I got to meet Maximo! He's sooooo incredible. I adore him. He's so sick that it's hard for us to meet with him. Poor guy. He hasn't been able to come to church yet. I hope he can soon, he'd love it. We told him about fast and testimony meeting and he said that he wanted to bear his testimony, so it was really a bummer that he couldn't make it. He's so ready, as soon as he can come to church twice, he can be baptized. Some men in our ward are going over to give him a blessing, that'll be really good.

We had exchanges again this week. They're only supposed to be about once a transfer, but our STLs like to do them a lot I guess. They were really good though. I was with Sister Davis, and I was a little intimidated because she's so awesome, she's almost at the end of her mission. We had kind of a rough day, we didn't have a lot of people to see since her and her companion both came to our area. Everyone we had scheduled wasn't home. She had a few promptings to go certain places, but nothing came of it. One of them was to get ice cream at Twistee Treat (uhuh, "prompting" ;) ), and talk to a family there. I sure wasn't complaining :) The family wasn't interested, but we ran into this girl that she used to teach! It was crazy. Nothing really came of that either, but hopefully something will in the future.

Sisters Davis & Coleman
Iinspired to stop for ice cream

Then we were outside walking and this guy pulled over and gave us water bottles. It was so weird because we just see this man running towards us and we're like uh... He just handed them to us and ran away. We were like wuh.. wait!! Sister Davis was on the phone and she was like I'm gonna have to call you back! And she hung up on whoever it was. We called the guy back and he told us that he saw us walking earlier and just felt like he should stop and give us water bottles. Crazy! He was so nice, he agreed for us to come and teach him and his family! We went over there once and no one was home, I'm reeeeally hoping we can teach them! He was seriously the nicest guy ever. 

Sisters Coleman & Davis
Receiving water from generous man - potential investigator
Then it started POURING, and we were really far from our car. And Florida rain is like nothing else I've ever seen, it's insane. Needless to say, we got soaked. But it turned out being really fun, we ran into this girl from the ward and her friends, one of whom we're trying to teach. They walked all the way to our car with us. Sister Davis told me it was one of the best exchanges she's ever gone on. And she's been on A LOT of exchanges, she's been a Sister Training Leader for a lot of her mission. She said we needed to celebrate, and when we pulled up to our apartment complex, they were giving out free pizza! It ended up being a good day :) We did almost get struck by lightning though, it was like within 20 feet of us, it was so scary. Buuut we didn't :)

Sisters Coleman & Davis
Free Pizza - Great day!

Another example of everyone here having a connection to North Carolina: there's a guy in our ward here who apparently spoke in Burlington once! Like I was probably there when he spoke at our ward, it was so weird.
We also had a baby shower for a lady in our ward this week at this really fancy restaurant, it was so fun hanging out with all the young moms in our ward. And her non-member friend was there, she does an excercise class that we go to sometimes. She's great, we're working on her :)

We taught the lesson in young women's on Wednesday. It was fun, I miss being a young woman, I'm so old now :)

That's all I can think of! Have fun watching conference! I'm sure it'll be so great, it always is :) Have a fantastic week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

This week has been a lot better! We still don't have a lot of investigators since we can only teach people who are progressing, and it's nearly impossible to get people to keep commitments. If we feel like we're dragging anyone at all, which is what we usually had to do, we're supposed to drop them. But I mean it's good, you shouldn't ever have to force someone to get baptized, and even to meet with you. It's just hard because it means we have no one to teach! And we've been hoping and praying that the Lord would bless us with some new investigators, but we weren't finding anyone who was prepared, and it was kind of hard. But we're realizing that it's because a lot of people who we taught in the past are ready now! One of them is this lady who lives in our apartment complex. Her son was baptized right before I got here, but soon after I arrived his dad just took him away to Georgia and never came back. This poor lady is so heartbroken, she just wants her son back. But she told us that she still reads the Book of Mormon all the time, and it's how she finds comfort. She's wonderful, we really hope she can get Sundays off work so she can be baptized!

There was also a family that we had dropped in the past because they didn't seem very interested, and we went back to see them this week. We love them so much, they have kids around our age and they're like our best friends. We're afraid we're going to have to drop them again, because they still don't seem too interested. It's going to be really hard, because like I said, they're like our best friends and they're so much fun and we just adore them. But oh well, we're not here to hang out and have fun, we're here to baptize! (:

We had a huge miracle this week with another former investigator! They were teaching him before I got here and he really wanted to be baptized and he was so excited, but he has lupus and was so sick that they couldn't meet with him anymore. But the other day Sister Rowland felt like we should call him, and he was so happy to hear from us. He told us that he just got out of the hospital that day and was thinking about us! He went on for like 10 minutes about how happy he was that we called him, and then at the end he said "and don't forget, I still have to be baptized!" It was awesome, we're going to see him tomorrow and I'm so excited to meet him!

There was another lady who Sister Rowland and her previous companion had met before who we ran into the other day. She was like "hey, I know you!", and asked us to come over. So we did, and she lectured us on why we should stay faithful to one man and told us that it's better to date ugly men because no one else will want them. She's pretty funny :) She wants her 7 kids to be baptized though, so we're excited to start teaching them!
Danielle is doing really well, she's so ready to be baptized, so it's kinda frustrating that she's still living with her boyfriend! She's already in Omni! She really wants to be baptized but she doesn't want it to tear her family apart, which is what she thinks would happen if her boyfriend left. She doesn't want to marry him though, she doesn't even like him very much, she just doesn't want to take away her daughter's father. We're kind of up against a wall with that one, which is hard because she's just so ready. We're going to need a miracle and I know that God can provide a way, I just hope that her boyfriend will understand and agree to live somewhere else. We shall see.
We had another miracle with a less-active lady! Wayyyy less-active. We went to her house because it said a member lived there and we wanted to see who it was. He didn't live there, so we're assuming he left and she just happened to move into his house. Crazy! But she was baptized when she was little and still believes the church is true, but she never goes. She goes to other churches where she can "get the most out of it." The Jehovah's Witnesses were over the other day when we went to see her, so that was awkward :)

Oh, apparently Obama was here last week! Like a few miles from where we live, and we had no idea! World War III could break out and we would have no clue.

We found out something really awesome this week about Lehi's dream when we were preparing to teach our scripture study class. I'm sorry if y'all already knew this, but we didn't and we thought it was cool :) I always thought that the tree of life represents the love of God, because that's what Nephi says. But what he meant by that was the ultimate act of God's love, in sending His Son to die for us. So the tree represents Christ! And the fruit is like the Atonement, that's why everyone can individually partake of it and feel the joy of forgiveness. Cool stuff! I love this gospel, and I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior so much. I'm so blessed to know about them and what they've done for me, and to have the chance to share that knowledge with others, even though they don't always listen :) But when they do, it's the best thing ever :)