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.