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! :)