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 :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Funny Mailbox

Hello everyone! :) Things in Florida are going well! Update on the zone development day last week: not fun. We played a game where they made us eat baby food. Baby food! And not the fruity kind, it was like turkey and potatoes or something, it was so nasty. It was like a race too, we had to eat it as fast as we could, I'm surprised no one puked. This is the kind of torture they put us through haha :) I was upset that they took almost my whole p-day for that, it's the only day we're allowed to nap! And being a missionary is so tiring, we randomly fall asleep all the time. But oh well, I'm trying to work on not being so sellfish, so I better get over it :)

A lot of really crazy things have been happening. We went over to visit a member referral the other day and their son was really excited that we were there, he was playing with us and he went over to the window and he was hitting it and it broke! I have no idea how that little kid shattered the window, but he did. His head was bleeding like CRAZY, it was all over the place. It was so scary. I've never seen anyone freak out like that before. The members that we were with drove them to the hospital and we stayed there with the wife and their daughter. This poor family, they just got in a really serious car accident last week, their car is completely totaled, but miraculously they were all alright. We think Satan's working really hard on them because they're about to receive the gospel. We hope that's why anyway :) But the kid is fine, he had like 9 stitches, but he's alright now. We feel so bad, we know it wasn't really are fault, but it feels like it.

Also, my grandpa passed away this week, so that's been kind of hard. The way I found out was surprising too. We got out of a lesson and a checked our phone and I told Sister Rowland "we have a missed call and I think it's from my dad's number." She was like are you sure?? We had no idea how he could've gotten our number, and that's so not allowed. We didn't know what to do, but he called back in a few minutes and sure enough it was him! And don't worry, he got permission from my mission president :) It was so good to talk to him, although of course it wasn't under the best circumstances. I've been so focused on the work that I almost forgot how much I miss everybody.

We don't have a lot of investigators right now. We've been instructed to drop everyone who isn't progressing, which is like everyone. So we've had to drop a lot of people, which has been really sad, we love them so much. But the point is to have time for people who are truly prepared and ready to receive the gospel. So hopefully we can find them! 

Also, this family that we work with a lot is really struggling, which has been hard for us. They're recent converts, they were baptized just before I got here. They are considering leaving the church, and it doesn't seem like we can say or do anything to change their minds, it's scary. So we've been pretty worried about them. Also, Danielle was supposed to get baptized this week but we have to postpone it because she still lives with her boyfriend. They're not even really together anymore, but he just has nowhere else to live and she doesn't want him to be homeless. We don't know what to do about that situation either, they don't want to get married but he has nowhere else to go. And she's so ready to be baptized.

So yeah, things have been kind of hard lately. But that's how it goes, and somehow I am still generally pretty happy :) I know that that happiness is all because of God, it certainly has nothing to do with me. Unfortunately I do get kind of discouraged sometimes, but I also know that this is the Lord's work, and He'll make it happen how it needs to. I'm just grateful to be a part of it :)


PS.  Jordan didn't mention it, but I learned from her companion's post that they are now doing their contacting through Facebook.  I'm anxious to hear more details about this.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

Lucky for y'all, I can't write a lot this week. We have a zone p-day (whatever that is, but it sounds fun!) all day today. I'm excited, and only a little disappointed that it means no nap time :)  I've really seen the power of prayer this week. Last Sunday our district leader asked us to fast for one of our investigators. It was hard to choose one, they all need a lot of help haha :) But a Sister Rowland and I both chose the same person, and we found out the next day that his atheist girlfriend was suddenly a lot more supportive.  She was the main problem, especially with the Law of Chastity, but they even decided to wait until marriage, which was a huge surprise
and a miracle.

The mom of the kids we're teaching agreed to be baptized this week!  They all still have a lot of learning to do but we're definitely making progress :)  Danielle is doing so well! She's set to be baptized in 2 weeks, and her mom is going to be here from Ohio and come to church with her and come to her baptism! And her boyfriend came to church with her this week. We never know when they're together or not. She says this is his trial period and they might be done for good soon. Honestly, we're kind of hoping they'll break up. He's really not a good influence at all. He's not interested in the church, but he really likes us. He bore his testimony at church on Sunday! That was a shocker. We were so worried about what he'd say. We think he might have drunk. But he just said how grateful he was that we come to see Danielle and how much he loved his family.

We had exchanges this week, and we were really nervous. They told us late the night before, so we didn't have a chance to plan for it. It was the first time I had to do it in our area, so I'd be in charge of everything, and I still don't know a lot haha. I don't know where anything is either, I've only driven here once. I was so scared but I just prayed really hard and just told Heavenly Father that I trusted him. I knew there was no way I could do it on my own, but that with His help, I can do anything. I also felt really sick that morning and I prayed that everything would work out. And I know that he answered my prayers. It was such a good day, I felt so much better, I always knew exactly what to say and I didn't get lost. We had some really good lessons and Sister Takaki and I had a lot of fun together.

I know that God loves us and that he truly hears and answers our prayers.  That's all I have time for! Oh, and you should all read the talk  "Following Up" by Ballard, it's super awesome :)  Have a good week everyone, I love you guys! And thanks for all your support! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Sisters Coleman and Rowland playing a game at a member's home after a missionary fireside.
I am so thankful for the Nelms family who send me photos and videos of our girl in action.

Things are going pretty great, as usual :) Danielle is doing so awesome! She keeps telling us how happy the gospel is making her and how it's what she needed. Unfortunately, her family is giving her a hard time about it. It seems like that always happens. It's sad but we know she'll be alright.  She's been through a lot in her life and it's made her a really strong person. It's so incredible to see people who have been through so much, yet they still have so much faith. She never let us into her house, she's embarrassed by it because her aunt is kind of a hoarder. But yesterday she finally let us in! We were really happy, both because she's coming to trust us more and more, and because it is so hot outside. Her 2-year-old daughter really likes us too now, every time we try to leave she stands on the sidewalk and says "no, you trapped!" She's adorable :) But once Danielle can quit smoking she can be baptized! She's so close and we're so excited :)

Our AC got fixed! Temporarily. It was funny because we got so used to our apartment being super hot. We came home after they fixed it and we were like - it's freezing in here! It feels like a refrigerator! But we looked at the temperature and it was 72, which is what we always used to keep it at. Now it's not working so great again, but it's not uncomfortable, so I'm grateful :)
The older lady we're teaching told us this week about when she worked for the king of Jordan and how when she was engaged to her husband a prince fell in love with her and gave her all these jewels to not marry her American husband but she refused. The craziest part is that it's all true. She's had quite the life :)

Our mission president has told us to do all our finding within a 5-mile radius of the church, which is a great idea, but it hasn't been working out for us so well. Almost nowhere in our area is within that radius. So we have to go to the other sisters' area and walk around for hours in the 100+ degree weather where there are no people. Being obedient is hard sometimes. But oh well, we're still alive :) They also might move us and change our area so I'm kind of nervous about
that. We'll see what happens.

We went to see that super Christian lady again, and he Bible bashed us HARD for over an hour. Sister Rowland was crying. And I don't blame her, she was being really mean. Everything we would say she would ask "where's that in the Bible?" And she basically would jut say why every single thing was wrong. But then she would be like "I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you, I love you guys!" But yeah, that was the most attacked I've ever felt in my life. But afterwards she felt bad and texted us and said she didn't want to argue anymore. So she
invited us over for dinner with her family and it was really great. We have an interesting relationship :)  She calls us Sister Jordan and Sister Kaitlin, she refuses to use our last names. She was introducing us to her husband and I was like who's  that? Oh wait, that's me! It's so weird to hear my first name :)

We had a great game night this week with some recent converts and our ward did a missionary fireside where we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. They were both really fun! We never get to watch movies or play games, so that was awesome :)

Cool story with a guy we met last week! He was the kid who came up to us and said he wanted to come to church, but he didn't come! (No one ever does.) But we were so bummed because he just seemed like such a miracle but we didn't have any of his information to get a hold of him. But the other day, we had an appointment in the neighborhood where we saw him. We were about to leave, but Sister Rowland felt like we should stay and walk around the neighborhood. So we did, and right
as we got to the edge of the neighborhood, there he was! Both he and we were like - seriously?? But we got his phone number and he told us he wanted to introduce us to everyone in his apartment complex, because apparently "everyone knows him." He's really awesome, hopefully he'll get baptized :)

I think that's about it! I hope you all have an amazing Labor Day and get to rest from your labors :) Have a great week! The church is true! :)