Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015 - LAST UPDATE

It's so weird that this is my last email! I'd like to say it'll be a really good one buuuut probs not. Sorry.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Ours was really good. We got to go to a couple different parties and we visited a lot of the single sisters in the ward who were alone on Christmas. There was lots of food. And I got to Skype my family of course! So that was great :) 

Family Phone Call
 We had a really neat Christmas devotional on Tuesday for the whole mission. They had everyone going home bear their testimony. I was really grateful for the opportunity. There are 8 sisters and 1 elder going home. That meeting made me realize how truly grateful I am to be a missionary and how much I'm going to miss this.
Sisters Coleman, Rhodes and Foderaro
at Mission Christmas Devotional

Our challenge this week was to give out 3 copies of The Book of Mormon every day. Once again, we didn't accomplish it every day :( But it definitely helped us stretch! And it helped us focus on The Book of Mormon more. Last night we gave out like 5 within a few hours, so that was really cool. I've definitely learned on my mission the importance of goals. Even if we don't reach them. Before I would get really depressed when I wouldn't reach my goals (I still do sometimes), but as long as we're trying our best they still help us grow and change. So the point isn't really even if we reach them or not, although it's great if we do. But what really matters is setting goals that will stretch us and then working hard to achieve them.

My ponderize scripture this week is Ecclesiastes 7:8: Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof:and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. I found this scripture this morning and it gave me a lot of comfort. And I know that going home is not an ending, it's a beginning. I'm excited to see what's in store for me :)

I am so so so infinitely grateful for this time I've had to serve the Lord full-time. I've met so many amazing people. I've had a lot of experiences- some of them incredible and some of them just downright weird :) I'm thankful for how my testimony has grown and how I've grown. I love this gospel. It is incredible. It is true. The Atonement is real. I know that Christ lives. I can feel His comfort and His love, and I know that He is there. I know that our Heavenly Father also loves us and that He hears and answers our prayers. I know He has a specific plan for each of us that is more amazing than we can ever imagine or come up with on our own. I know that with His help, we can accomplish anything. 

I love all of you! Thank you for your support and your letters and your emails and your prayers over the past 18 months. It's helped me to make it this far :) Have a Happy New Year! See you next week! :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Sisters Shirley, Coleman and Foderaro
at Mission Christmas Beach Party
This has been a crazy week! Really, every week is crazy, but awesome at the same time. The weather has been super warm, as you can see by our beach pictures. But then a cold front finally came, so we had a few days that were really cold (at least by Florida standards. It felt really cold, okay? (: ) But now it's back to warm again.

Florida Tamp Mission
Christmas Beach Party

Love the painted toes and sandal tans

Zone Sand Castle Competitions 

It has also been an emotionally crazy week. For Sister Foderaro and I because we're going home in 2 weeks and for Sister Shirley because we are leaving her and she has to take over the area. And missions are just hard. Going home is hard. Life is hard. But thankfully we have a Savior for that :) And I am very excited to see all of your faces again :)

And J and D got baptized! That was one of the more stressful days of my life. Everything that could go wrong did. Of course. Satan is a meanie pants. First of all, we almost flooded the church. In our defense, the baptismal font in our building fills up SO FAST! We had been watching it carefully, but then the W got there and we were talking to them. And... we went to check the font and it was overflowing. Yikes. Thankfully it just got on the tile around the font and not on the carpet. We were laughing hysterically for a few minutes at our own stupidity. The W were like "what's so funny?" Then H helped us dump many trashcans full of water into the toilet. He saved the day, we wouldn't have been able to do that in time on our own. I am never filling a baptismal font again.

J and D Baptism
And THEN the person who made the programs (I'm not naming any names, just know that this one was not our fault) put the wrong name on the baptismal program. Poor J. And they didn't have time to fix it before the baptism. They announced the error, but the person conducting still said the name wrong several times... awkward.

W Family

But hey, they got baptized! Overall, it was a very bittersweet day. We wish that the parents could've gotten baptized with them, but I know that they'll get there eventually. 


I chose for my ponderize scripture this week Luke 2:10-11 (Original, I know): 
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." 

I've been thinking today about how the angel told them to fear not and how we can apply that to all of us. Because Christ was born, we truly have no reason to fear. Anything. Ever. 

And I also love verse 19: 
"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."

I've been trying to ponder in my heart what this story really means to me. I wish I had the words to describe how I feel about it. We are just so, so blessed. And I am so grateful that I get to share these good tidings of great joy here in Florida.

I hope that you get to take time this week to ponder what the birth of the Savior means to you personally. And I hope every one of you have a most wonderful Christmas! :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

Whew, I don't even know where to begin. This week has been wonderful. First of all, our zone leaders challenged us to set a baptismal date every day this week. It seemed kind of crazy. It is crazy actually. But we worked really hard and I feel like we accomplished a lot. We set a lot of dates. We're teaching more lessons than I ever have before on my mission. It's great, gotta go out with a bang ;)

"Our District"
We followed promptings to do some things that didn't make any sense to us. We went to visit P's cousin, M, and said a prayer with her. She is not interested at all and was a little weirded out. It was super awkward, but we're all really glad that we did it because we felt like we should do it, and we did. I still have no idea why, but thankfully God does :)

Photo from Thanksgiving.
The burnt fried turkey.

J and D W are getting baptized on Saturday!! We're super excited. It's a little bittersweet because we want the whole family to get baptized together, but as I've said, their situation is very complicated. Maybe I'll tell you all about it someday :) But the mom, P, was telling the boys what a big responsibility this is how they better never EVER turn back. She was teaching them all this stuff that we didn't even know she understood, it was awesome :)  She was getting pretty intense about it, to the point where D said "It should be a commandment to honor your children." I love that family :)

"We were going to go on a run with the young women
but we got rained out.  Because, Florida.
The girl in the middle is our investigator, H."

We had our ward Christmas party, so that was fun and yummy. It was Polar Express themed and very beautifully decorated. I am so excited for Christmas next week! We're having a mission Christmas party at the beach tomorrow, so that should be fun. Ahh Christmas is almost here!! It doesn't feel super Christmasy because it's still in the 70s and 80s. Warmest December of my life, I love it :) Although I hear NC has been pretty warm lately too!

"A lot of missionaries here go running, not just for fun,
but like at a 5K or something.  They give out pass-along cards.
I've only done one, it was just a small one for a member's school." 

We also saw an alligator! It's the first one I've really seen in the wild. All the other ones I've seen have been at nature preserves where you go specifically to see stuff like that. But this one we just saw when we were out tracting, just chilling by a pond. It was awesome. Sister Foderaro was pretty happy because she's never seen one before, she thought they were a myth :) She couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day :)

"This one is really old.
It's from when I first got to Riverview."

Weirdest moment of this week: We knocked on a door and dogs answered. Yup. Two HUGE Great Danes. Apparently they're smart enough to open the door on their own. They just stared at us. Then one of them ran away and the owner had to go get him. Super awkward. Only animals want to talk to us.

Have an amazingly Christmasy week everybody!

"It snowed!  In our fridge. . . "

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men,and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. -D&C 121:45

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Sisters Foderaro, Shirley and Coleman

We're getting really pumped for Christmas down here in good ol' 80 degree Florida. We found out that we can listen to Christmas music again this year! Normally we can only listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, so it's pretty exciting.

This week our stake had something called Festival of the Nativity. They gather nativities that different members have from all over the world and have lots of music, crafts, and cookies. I'm not sure how many people ended up coming, but I think it was over a thousand. We got to help out with it, it was really stressful but also really good. The first one they had was during the afternoon on Friday, and a bus full of elderly ladies from a retirement center for people who are losing their memory came. They were all so sweet and it was really fun to talk to them. One of them told us "I'll never forget you!" And we were like wow... that's really sad.... They sang "You Are My Sunshine" for us and it was really cute to see them get all excited about it.They didn't remember much, but they sure remembered "You are My Sunshine" :)

I found out that someone I found in Lake Wales got baptized on Saturday! Her name is S and she's amazing. We had to stop teaching her because her husband didn't want her to get baptized, but apparently the Lord provided a way! Funny how He always does that :)

This is from Lake Wales in the summer, back when I was tan.
This is the woman who got baptized.

Last Sunday Sister Foderaro and I sang "Lead Kindly Light" in sacrament meeting. Some members played the flute and the cello, it was a really pretty arrangement. I don't know if I can say the same for our singing...

We tracted into a lady this week who really loves our church. She wasn't interested at all but told us "Congratulations on being Mormon!" We also met a man who was really offended that we wanted to pray with him. But he told us that women are the superior sex and not to ever let anyone tell us otherwise. Ah, I love tracting, you never know who you're gonna find :)


We had a really good zone conference this week. I got answers to a lot of questions that I had, especially how I can make the most out of this last transfer. I realized it was my last zone conference and that kind of freaked me out. But I'm so grateful for the time I have left to serve here. I LOVE being a missionary. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding. It's such a wonderful privilege to be able to represent the Savior and to teach people about Him. Especially at this time of year :)

This is from last week, before we got Sister Shirley.

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men -1 Corinthians 7:23. 
I found that scripture this morning and I love it, it's very straightforward and to the point :) It was a good reminder to me of what a heavy price was paid for us. So why would we ever serve men instead of God? That's just stupid :) Of course it's more complicated than that, but remembering the price that Christ paid for us can help give us the courage we need to serve Him more fully.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

New Trio:
Sisters Foderaro, Coleman and Shirley
So this week we had a very interesting surprise. We were out tracting on Tuesday and we got a phone call from the moving elders saying they were bringing us a new bed. And I was unintentionally kind of rude, I feel bad about it now... I kept insisting that our beds were fine and we didn't need a new one. Then after we hung up Sister Foderaro pointed out what had not even occurred to me. We might be getting a new companion! Right after that we got a call from the assistants saying that we were going to be in a trio and we needed to come to transfers the next day. Surprise!

So our new companion is Sister Shirley! She's awesome, I love her :) She just finished training, so she's been out for 3 months. Poor thing, I really hope we don't trunk her out... Trios are definitely different, but I've enjoyed it so far, we have a lot of fun! It helps that both of my companions are wonderful :) And I'm glad we'll have someone here to take over the area when we leave. President said that he wanted to have someone to take it over because we were doing a good job here. Yay!

I hope everybody had a happy and thankful Thanksgiving! Ours was really good! We had dinner with some families from the ward and the food was fantastic. Except they tried to fry the turkey but it turned out kind of... black. It was good on the inside though :) We have to email at the library now since our apartment complex only has 2 computers. And the ones here won't let me send any pictures :( So hopefully I can figure that out another week.

Oh, and the W are getting baptized! Finally!! On December 19th. There are still a lot of complicated things going on there, but they want it so badly. Especially the mom, P. So we're going to fast and pray really hard and have faith that it will work out.

The only other exciting thing that happened is I cut my hair. Nothing too drastic. I guess that wasn't that exciting. Yep. That's all. Have a wonderful first week of December!

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty -Job 5:17.

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

We were surprised by these photos via text
from a member in Jordan's area.  They
are helping put together Thanksgiving baskets.

First off, transfer news: Sister Foderaro and I are both staying! Which means we'll both be here for our last transfer! It was kind of a surprise because usually they don't have have missionaries go home together. But we're really happy! I'm very relieved to know that I'll never be transferred again. I love this area and I'm really glad to spend the rest of my time here!

This week was a really good one. We taught a lot more lessons than we usually do. We're both trying to work as hard as we can because we're realizing the end is near! Ah!

Some… interesting moments:
This week I thought I was going to meet my demise. It was going to be the Jehovah's Witness lady, in the front yard, with the butcher knife. Now don't get me wrong, most of the JW's we meet are very lovely people. And this lady was too. But she was standing in her yard with a butcher knife and slowly walked over to us. It was insanely creepy. I think she was just gardening… But she was a very nice lady who I guess just likes to garden with a very large knife. No judgement.
And a bird pooped on me. A pet bird. A little girl gave it to me to hold and it relieved itself all over my shirt. And I had to go around like that for the rest of the night.

There's this hilarious couple in our ward who recently found out that she's pregnant. We were the first ones that they told, before their family or anything. The wife is a member and the husband is not. But they told us that whether it's a boy or girl, the baby is going to be named Jordan Alissa (Sister Foderaro's first name) Martinez :) Lucky kid :)

We were able to set a baptismal date with S (the girl whose bird pooped on me). And we taught this really amazing lady who was a referral from a member of another ward. She's been through a lot of hard things, including cancer and losing both of her parents within a few months of each other. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and as I was testifying to her I very strongly felt the Spirit confirm that what I was saying was true. I love those moments. The Spirit is so amazing. Hopefully she felt it too.

We're having a hard time meeting with people this week because everyone's out of town for Thanksgiving. But we're going to have Thanksgiving with some members. Only one Thanksgiving dinner this year, last year we had 2 and that was wayyy too much food. We had some really good talks on Sunday about gratitude. I am amazed by people who are able to be grateful despite really difficult circumstances. I love this time of year when the more stubborn among us are almost forced to remember all the blessings the Lord has given us :) And oh boy, are there a lot of blessings.

Thanksgiving basket service project.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving everyone!! 

Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? -Alma 29:6

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

"YAY, snakes"

Something amazing happened this week: It's finally cooled down! It's so wonderful! I never thought it would come, but it finally did. It's been in the 70's. I don't think it's been this cool since February, it has really been a blessing. I was so done with the heat. Obviously. I know it's probably snowing where you're at, but here 70 is really amazing haha. I remember why people actually choose to live in Florida.

I got a surprise opportunity to speak in church yesterday, that was fun :) There are 2 sets of missionaries in the ward, but they only asked me to speak, right before sacrament meeting started. Several people asked me if I was getting transferred, because that's when they usually seem to have missionaries speak. I'm grateful that I'm not getting transferred! Well, yet. Transfers are next week. I'm really hoping that we both stay for our last transfer. Only 7 more weeks... how did this happen.

On Saturday we had a particularly hard day. Absolutely nobody would even talk to us. Except for 2 people who tried to convince us to join their churches. One man was wearing a cross necklace and Sister Foderaro said "I see that you're Christian!" and he said "I see that you're not." As you can imagine, it didn't go too well. I was feeling discouraged that we hadn't been able to even pray with a single person that day. We came home from dinner and I saw that I had gotten a letter from Lorraine, a lady that I taught in Lake Wales. She told me that she was going to go to the temple to be baptized for both of her grandmothers. She is so strong in the gospel, and it was a great reminder of why I'm doing this. I don't care if a thousand people say no to us and tell us we're not Christian (that's probably already happened to us actually haha). It is entirely worth it for the few people that say yes. 

Our sister training leaders came on a surprise exchange with us last night. It turned out really fun! We both taught a ton of lessons in just a few hours. It helped me to have more faith in what we can accomplish.

My ponderize scripture this week is Hebrews 12:1-2:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ah, I love that one. I love the analogy of life being a race. Probably because I HATE running. :) But life is hard! And we can't just be passive and go along with whatever. We can't walk or jog. We have to run, or we won't win. And it doesn't make sense to carry extra baggage with us. And not only do we have to run, we have to run patiently. That sounds really hard. But, thank goodness, if we look to Christ, it's possible, and we can make it. Don't give up! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

The other day we were knocking on someone's door and we saw a huge bird fly out of a tree above us. We thought maybe it was a hawk or a falcon, that happens pretty frequently. Nope. Peacock. For some reason in Florida, there are just peacocks running around. And apparently flying around! It's strange enough to me that they're just roaming the streets, but I didn't know they could fly. Birds can fly, go figure.

"Chasing the peacock"

This has been a crazy week, but overall really good! We set a date with a member's granddaughter, she's a really sweet kid. We don't know yet if her parents will let her get baptized though.

"I figured maybe if I acted like one of them it wouldn't run away.
For some reason it didn't work very well :)"

P.W.  also told us last Monday that she wants to be baptized and she's done waiting for her family. There are some complications there that we're trying to work out. That poor family has been through so much, and they are the kindest people ever. It's hard to have to just sit by and watch. But I know that the gospel will help them so much. She's basically willing to do whatever it takes to be baptized, so I know it will work out. Maybe not when and how we want it to, but it will :)

Ponderize scripture: 

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. -D&C 58:26-27

 I like this one a lot. I definitely don't want to be a slothful and unwise servant, so I've gotta step up my game! :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

"Pretty Sunset"
Well, last Monday was one of the worst days of my mission. We stopped by P's because she didn't show up to church on Sunday and she stopped answering our phone calls. And she invited us in and handed us all the church books she had and said "I'm done." She gave a lot of reasons, but basically she realized what a big commitment joining the church is and decided she didn't want to do it. All 3 of us cried. It was hard and really unexpected, but I feel satisfied that we did our part.

And the week did get better after that :) Our ward had a really fun trunk or treat, complete with a petting zoo and pony ride. And there were lots of our investigators and other non-members there, so we were basically running around like crazy. It was really good though! Then on Halloween we went trick or treating with a bunch of members. We gave some of the little kids cards to give out. One little girl even gave away 2 copies of The Book of Mormon :) Kids are the best! 

"Sister Foderaro decided to take all the stuffing
out of her pillow so of course this happened."

We also had a family show up to church on Sunday. We met them tracting a couple weeks ago. The dad used to live in Greensboro and also went to Elon University where my dad teaches so that was pretty cool!

We've been going around to the young women in the ward and helping them answer their concerns with The Book of Mormon. It's been awesome! We just turn to a random scripture and every time it's helped them. About half of them have cried so far, so I'd count that as a success :) The young women in this ward are super awesome.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm in the tropical rainforest.
This thing is huge!"

I was having kind of a hard day yesterday (Sundays are always really stressful) and so I decided to try the random scripture thing. The one I opened to was Alma 26:27:

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst they brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

I made that my ponderize scripture for the week and decided I need to bear my afflictions with a lot more patience. It gave me a lot of comfort because we haven't been having a lot of success lately. I know that the Lord is aware of us and I know that The Book of Mormon is His word and we can find answers and comfort in it. I love this gospel so much, and I love being a missionary :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Yup. Our 16 month mark was yesterday. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

This has been a really good week! Crazy, but good. As usual. We found some really amazing people. One of them was a less-active member we just tracted into. None of her family are members and her husband is very against the church. But she LOVES sister missionaries. She started crying telling us about how there are things in the church that she knows to be true. She is amazing, we reeeeally want to teach her family. We also met a guy who used to live in Greensboro and go to Elon University, so that was pretty cool! He knows a lot about the church, his family even does family home evening.

We're probably going to pass the W off to the Spanish sisters. We were hesitant because the sisters live really far away, but hopefully it will be better for everyone. Even though it feels like giving your child up for adoption :)

P told us this week that she's going to be baptized but she's not sure when yet. Gahh, we're getting so close with her. But then she didn't come to church on Sunday! She always comes, and she always calls us back but she hasn't... so we're a little worried about that.

Story time: Last night we were tracting and realized some members we had never met lived close so we decided to stop by. There were a bunch of little kids in front of there house and we said "I don't know if this is the right place..." (We should've known, those Mormons) But then we heard "Look! It's the missionaries!" And then next thing we knew we were being attacked by hugs from little children. It turned out it was the member, T's, birthday party and there were a ton of people over. It was a real blessing, they had REALLY good Polynesian food and we got to share a message with all of them. It changed the attitude of the whole party; afterward T bore his testimony and with tears told everyone how much they meant to him. It was really sweet. I wish I could say he was the only grown man that we just met and saw cry this week.

And lastly, my ponderize scripture for the week is Luke 9:61-62: "And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Wow. This scripture made me really think about the importance of sacrificing everything, even good things, for the work of the Lord. It also reminded me of Lot's wife. Obviously, God is not too fond of us looking back :) Some things are really hard to give up. Like, really hard. But we are so blessed, and so much happier, when we give everything and don't look back.

Have a Happy Halloween everybody! It's a great time to share the gospel because everyone is already scary/scared and knocking on doors anyway! What can go wrong? :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

"Happy Fall, ya'll!"

This week has been amazing!! My favorite part was probably P!! So we found her right after I got to this area, so we've been teaching her for about 6 weeks. And a few days ago she finally got her answer that this is where she's supposed to be! She kept telling us that she wanted to try other churches. But this week apparently she was listening to a Guy Penrod song (refer to my previous email if you're curious how much P loves that Guy) called Singing with the Saints. And she thought well, this is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SAINTS. And she just felt that this is where God wanted her to be. Yep, pretty strange way to get an answer. But hey, we're not complaining :) God really does know us all perfectly and He knows what kind of answers all of us need. Even if it is from Guy Penrod :)

On a sadder note, we had to stop teaching the W :( There just wasn't anything else we could do to help them at this point until they know for themselves that the church is true. We both felt that that's what we needed to do. But they still keep coming to church, they love the church so much. The dad, H, hardly ever talks but in the last lesson we had he really opened up to us and told us how he was feeling and how much this all means to him and how he much he loves us, it was so sweet. The Spirit was really strong. His wife and the member we had with us to translate were in tears. I truly think that they will get baptized, just not right now.

The other day we knocked on someone's door and a teenage girl answered and came outside to talk to us. Her little brother came outside, looked at us and said "Am I in trouble?" It's actually quite fun to strike fear in the hearts of many :)

Last Monday we felt that we should go to the store to get some supplies we needed for a display we were making. And just as we were leaving, we saw a member's friend who we have been trying to meet with the whole time I've been here. She was so excited to see us, she took us out to lunch at Outback on Saturday and we were able to answer a lot of her questions about the church. I'm being taught over and over again that the Lord's timing is absolutely perfect, even if things aren't going exactly the way we want.

My ponderize scripture for the week is D&C 3:1-3: The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught. For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men

These verses are a great reminder to me of whose work this is that we are engaged in. It's very inspiring that when we are on His team, when we do His work, we cannot fail. His works truly cannot be frustrated :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

"This is us being super excited because
it was actually kind of cool outside!"

Well, another transfer is over. That makes for, I think, 11 down and 2 to go! Yikes! But Sister Foderaro and I are both staying so we're really excited about that! That means we'll most likely both die here (Sorry, that means go home (: ). But we're not sure how that will work because missionaries aren't supposed to drive the last month of their mission, soo we'll see what happens! Haha maybe full bike.

Speaking of bikes, this week I fell, head over heels.... off my bike. There was a really steep hill with a sharp turn at the bottom and I didn't slow down enough (oops). One second I was just biking along having a grand old time and the next thing I knew I was just standing there with my bike laying on the ground going "What just happened?" Sister Foderaro biked up behind me and said "Woah!!! That was the best fall I've ever seen!!" Apparently there was a summersault involved and I didn't even flash anybody. Yay! I'm quite pleased with my talent at falling. I've got some nice bruises to show for it but other than that I am a-okay :)

The weather has been getting cooler little by little, so that's been happy :) It's still in the 80s and 90s most days, but it gone down to 72 last week! It was the best! I am so ready for it to cool down :)

"Our lovely district of all elders."
We had a really neat lesson with P where we talked about the Spirit and she recognized that she felt it at General Conference. We keep thinking we've made progress with her but then she says that she still wants to try other churches. It's frustrating. But she keeps saying that and hasn't tried any other churches yet, so we'll see. Also, P is hilarious. In one lesson she was talking about committing adultery and she said "Well, there is this one guy... I don't exactly lust after him. But if I saw him, I would hug him REAL good. And that guy is Guy Penrod." And in case you don't know about Guy Penrod, he is old and bearded :) It was so funny, she cracks us up.

We had 9 investigators come to sacrament meeting this week, so that was pretty exciting. And slightly stressful.

A couple of weeks ago we got to go into a youth Sunday school class and pretend to be their friends. They had to teach us about For the Strength of the Youth. It was great to be an investigator for once :) And it made me very grateful that I am not 13 (no offense anybody).

I also thought I would share my ponderize scripture with y'all :) My one for this week is Alma 12:10- And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. 

This scripture really made me want to work harder on softening my heart so God can mold me into what He wants me to be. And I mean, who doesn't want to know the mysteries of God in full? :)

Have a spectacular week everybody!

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Is Conference not the best thing ever? I loved it so much. I'm so grateful for living prophets and apostles. There's no way I could choose a favorite talk, they were all incredible. I'm grateful for the personal revelation and answers to our questions we can all receive. 

L, a lady who got baptized when I was in Lake Wales, told me that she went to the temple to do baptisms this week! So I'm pretty excited about that. She also said that as she was doing family history she discovered that her aunt and his husband were members of the church in Logan, Utah! Small world. She said that one of the people she did baptisms for was named Coleman :) 

And once again, I've ran out of time. Basically, this week has been amazing and full of miracles. I love Sister Foderaro and this area so much. I love this gospel and the prophet and just everything :) And I love you all!

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Whew! Time is flying! Sister Foderaro and I hit our 15 month mark this week. Only 3 to go!! I may only be 20, but I am definitely already seeing how the further you get into life, the faster it goes. Scary!

There was a triple 8-year-old baptism yesterday, just for 3 kids who happened to have turned 8 recently in the ward. I felt like I was in Utah :) I love baptisms, it was so sweet. I got to conduct the music and it was cool to see how many people came! The chapel was pretty much full. And it's the stake center, so it's a big chapel. Our investigator P came to see. She's doing awesome! She told us at the baptism that she went to her church and told them that she was moving on. She broke up with them, she must be pretty serious! She loooved that church. Of course it's sad too that she had to leave them, but she's recognizing that there's so much more.

We met this really neat lady this week who was having a hard time and told us that she knew God sent us. She has been wanting to find a new church and going through a lot of hard things. I love being sent to those who need us. Well they don't need us of course, they need the gospel. I feel so fortunate to be able to give them that at precisely the moment they need it. God's timing is perfect.

"More shenanigans"

Okay, disclaimer, this has nothing to do with anything. But we were pretty excited about it so I have to share. As a missionary you really have to appreciate the simple joys in life :) So anyway, the new iOS update is awesome (in case you didn't know, we have iPads). You can change the race of the emojis now! Most exciting part of my week.  Like I said, the simple joys :)

Kid moments:
A little girl who I've never seen before came up to me and asked if I was a sister missionary. I said yes and she said YAYY! and gave me a big hug. Haha I love being a missionary.
And a little boy who's normally really rowdy and hyper just came up to me and held my hand, I was honored :) I could hear all these ladies saying in Spanish "ooooh, look, he's holding the Sister's hand!" :)

And for all you ladies out there: Wasn't the Women's Broadcast amazing??? I loved it so much. Especially Uchtdorf's talk. He's the best :) I'm so excited for Conference this weekend!! I am so grateful for modern-day prophets. We have a living Moses on the earth right now! How cool is that? :) I love this gospel so much. I'm very thankful to get to share it with everyone I can :)

Sorry, as usual, for the random craziness. I hope you can make sense of it :) Have a great week everybody!!

"Our ward mission leader sang the song to Sister Foderaro 
about nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna go eat worms, 
so she did."

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

This week has been A LOT better than last week. Hallelujah. The weather even cooled off for a few days. But now it's back to hot again. I can't wait for it to actually get cool. And General Conference is coming up, I'm so excited for that!!

Sisters Coleman & Foderaro
 The mission president and his wife from the North Carolina Raleigh Mission came home a few weeks ago and are in my ward here! So that's pretty awesome :) The members of this ward are so great. I seriously love this area. My last areas were kind of ghetto but this one is soo fancy. That also means that people tend to be less receptive, but we've still been meeting some pretty nice people.

The W are doing great, they're coming to church every week. H, the dad, even drives the oldest son to seminary every morning. They're so funny, in our last lesson H said "I don't know which is harder to learn, the gospel or English." We still have to have a translator for every lesson, they each only know a handful of words in English, the parents especially. But they're awesome, thank goodness everyone can understand the language of the Spirit.

"The other girls are a family from the ward.  We went to their
house to take gospel-related picture for them to post on Facebook."

We have this awesome investigator named P who we met a few weeks ago. At first she wasn't very interested, and told us she usually avoided Mormons like the plague. But the 3rd time we came back she had a lot of great questions and was so excited that we were teaching her all these new things she had never heard before. At first she was skeptical of everything we said, it was like an overnight change. I told her she was welcome at church if she ever wanted to come, but then felt like I needed to push more. I asked her if she would come this Sunday and she said "No, I need to go to my church." But she paused for a minute and then said "You know what? Yeah. I'll come." And she did! The ward was very welcoming to her, which makes a big difference. She said she enjoyed it a lot. At the end of church she was like "Nobody hugs here, are you allowed to hug?" And we said of course! And she gave us both a big hug :)

Scariest moment of the week: We saw the biggest frog. Ever. It was probably a toad actually. Now they have some freaky wildlife here in Florida, and I thought I had seen some big frogs. But I was wrong. This was like the size of a cantaloupe. We were knocking on someone's door and we saw something hopping on a bench on their porch. Sister Foderaro and I both thought it was a bunny at first. But when we realized what it was we were both like "Nope nope nope, I'm done!" I booked it out of there. As Sister Foderaro was coming to follow me, a cat, who was also on their porch, scratched her. She HATES animals. The rest of the night we were like "did we really just see that?" Needless to say, it was a very emotionally scarring experience for both of us.

"Girls kept wanting to take selfies.  haha"

Some funny child moments:
#1. We were having a serious meeting with our ward mission leader and his son came in. He let him stay if he promised to be quiet. A few minutes later, we noticed that his son was was staring at his foot, looking horrified. He simply said "My toenail is SO big."
#2. We were teaching a less-active family and their 8-year-old said "If God were here right now, He would tell you what good missionaries you are." Just out of nowhere. We were like aww, thank you! And she said "What? You are."

So yep, I think that pretty much sums up my life right now. Things are going great, I love being a missionary, I love teaching people about Christ :) It's probably the hardest, but also the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I love love love it :) Okay I think that's enough love for now. Have a great week everybody!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

"So in this picture Sister Foderaro, my current companion, 
is on my left and Sister Rhodes, my last companion 
is on my right. And they were companions right 
before I was with Sister Rhodes, so it's great fun :)"
This week has been kind of rough with us both being sick. And we also moved into a new apartment, which was a real hassle. The poor elders got our old... not so nice apartment. The new ones that we're in are brand new, and suuuuper nice. I feel like a millionaire (well, if a millionaire had to live in a one bedroom apartment). It's great :)

"We drew gospel related things with sidewalk chalk with a couple of families."

We also had a fireside last night with Glen Beck, it was pretty awesome. I got to see some members from Tampa 4 and Lake Wales, it was great! And I think there were more non-members than members there. We got to meet some really nice people and hopefully plant some seeds.

"This is Jesus on the cross, apparently."

And once again, I am out of time, sorry for how brief this is! But I love all of you, I love this gospel, and I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I guess that's all you really need to know :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

Sisters Coleman & Foderaro
 First of all, sorry I didn't email yesterday. All the libraries were closed for Labor Day, so we're emailing today instead. But we were actually both sick anyway, so it worked out.

But anyway, my new area is Riverview! It's right outside of Brandon, and it's much busier than Lake Wales haha. I like it a lot, the members here are amazing!  And my companion is Sister Foderaro, who I actually came out with! She was in my district in the MTC and we also roomed together, so I know her very well. She's an awesome missionary, and we're having a blast :)


I'm back to a district full of elders, so that's always fun haha. In my last district there slowly became more sisters, so maybe that will happen here too :) Not that elders aren't great, it just gets a little lonely sometimes :)

We're teaching a really awesome family named the W. Buuuut, they only speak Spanish. So we have to have members translate for all of our lessons. Why yes, W isn't the most Hispanic sounding name. The dad, H, is actually of Chinese descent. But all their lives they've lived in Peru. Lots of complicated things going on with that. But basically, they're awesome.

I see her green luggage in the trunk.
I'm wondering how she fit everything in. -Mom

On Thursday the young women were supposed to have a 5K and so we were going to run with them. But like good ol' Florida loves to do, it rained :( So they basically just ended up having a big party instead and we were in our running clothes. I can't even tell you how strange it was to wear pants. I never want to do that again. Ever. :) And I see why we wear skirts now, everyone kept thinking we were young women.

Cool experience: There's a woman in this ward that knows my grandma (Mom's mom)! When I introduced myself she asked me who my grandma was. She was soo happy; she hugged me and took a selfie with me :) Apparently they used to be in the same ward in Arizona and my grandma had a pretty big impact on her :) She has been trying to track me down my whole mission and now I finally came to her! It's really neat to see how the Lord truly is aware of all of us. I know that I'm supposed to be here, even if it was only for that :)

Sisters Lacott & Coleman
This is Grandma's friend.
Funny experience: An 18-year-old recent convert told us that for the longest time he thought the bishop's name was Rick. Everyone would always say "We're going to talk to the bishopric" and so he thought they were saying "Bishop Rick." Haha it was awesome. I finally realize that there are soo many things that we take for granted growing up in the church, sometimes it's nice to see things from a fresher perspective :)

But life is good! The gospel is true no matter where you go :) I love this gospel so much, and I love all you people :) I hope you have a wonderful week!