Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015

"We found another stray kitten :(
This one was so cute, it kept following us around.
We wanted to keep it so bad!"

Today is my 11 month mark! Crazy!! This is going by so fast.

Main event from this week that's on my mind right now, because it just happened: we accidentally locked ALL OUR STUFF in the clerk's office. Since it's Memorial Day (oh yeah, happy Memorial Day!), the library is closed, so we have to email at the church. This is so embarrassing because it's my fault and it's all because of Mexican food... But anyway, I had brought some food and put it in the microwave so we went to go get it and forgot that the clerk's office locks and shuts automatically. So all of our stuff was in there: keys, phone, everything. Thankfully there is a member that lives not too far away, so we walked down to their house and hallelujah! They had a key to the clerk's office.

So that's how much of our p-day was spent. But on the bright side, the Mexican food was really good :)

But we found some really awesome new investigators! We knocked on this guy named H's door and he said he'd come take a tour of the church the next day. So we showed up to the church, and there's this random guy standing in front of the church talking to the member we had invited. We were like who is this dude?? And somehow he had a Restoration pamphlet. Turns out, it was H's brother, F. And he's super awesome. We were able to set a baptismal date with him, and both brothers came to church on Sunday.

My funny little kid moment of the week: this little girl came up to me and gave me a hug and said "I missed you!" I said "You missed me? You've never met me before" and she was like oh... Haha it was so cute. 

The really crazy Florida storm season has started. We got caught in a pretty bad one the other day, that was pretty fun. We had to just go back to our apartment and the steps were like a giant waterfall. We were SOAKED. Fun stuff :)

Several people have dropped us this week, so that's been kinda sad. As I'm sure you all know, it's hard to deal with people's agency sometimes. But thankfully, the Lord continues to lead us to those who are searching. 

Mission life is good :)

****Jordan's mission president's wife posted zone conference photos on facebook.  So fun to see random shots of her.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

J's Baptism
Sister Rudd, J and Sister Coleman
My dad is so nice and bought me a new camera, so I finally have some pictures to share! Yay! 

I probably say this every week, but it's been amazing. J was baptized on Saturday and it was the best. His mom wasn't sure if she was going to be able to make it because she works like crazy, but she made it right before it started. He was so excited, it was so cute. He gave everybody that came in a program and said "hey, guess what! I'm getting baptized!" We were a little worried about his reverence but he did really well.

And we found the most amazing family! We met them last week and on Saturday we decided to stop by again. We taught them the Restoration and the grandmother was in tears. We invited them to be baptized and they all said yes. Unfortunately the grandma works every Sunday :\ But the whole rest of the family came to church the next day. L, the dad, told us to come wake them up in the morning, and to bang on the door if we had to :) But we went by and they were all up and ready! It's really neat because L went to church with his uncle in Ecuador when he was little and- surprise! - his uncle was Mormon.

We also met another lady who also started crying (I am constantly surprised at how many people we make cry. But it's not really us of course, it's the Spirit, so it's okay (: ) and she told us she had been praying to find a new church and she knew that we were an answer to her prayer.
"C, our investigator from Haiti, brought us a watermelon."

"It was heavy."

And all of these things happened on Saturday. Normally we go back to our apartment for meals but on Saturday they asked us to stay out all day. We were kind of skeptical about how that was going to work out, but obviously it went great, it ended up being the best day ever! :) So to sum it up, Saturday was amazing and the rest of the week was pretty great too :)
"We found stray kittens, it was the saddest thing ever.
They were so cute!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

Mother's Day phone call 2015

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!! I think the Church's It Was Mom video sums it up pretty well. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely watch it and share it, it's really cute. Thank you to my mom and my grandmas and all the other women who have had such a big influence on my life, I couldn't have made it this far without you :) I don't have the smallest idea of what motherhood is like, but I know it's not easy. So thank you :)  Without you we would be... well, literally nowhere, we would not exist haha.

As for me, we continue to see so many miracles. The Lord is so good. We had like 8 investigators at mutual on Wednesday and 7 at church. But they were almost all different people, we can't get very many to come consistently haha.

But J is going to be baptized on Saturday! He's made a lot of progress, he used to tell us half the times we went over there that he didn't even want to be baptized. But now he's reading the Book of Mormon every day and he's super excited. It's been neat to see the change in him. 

We had a meeting this week for all the sisters in the mission and that was really fun. I'm like one of the older sisters in the mission now and it's really weird... Sister Rudd is actually the oldest (not age-wise necessarily, just time she's been out). We talked about what it truly means to be successful. As long as you're doing your best to invite others to come unto Christ, you're successful, whether or not they accept it. Of course we all know that, but it was a good reminder. One of the leaders said that he was successful even though the cashier at Walmart wouldn't accept his pass-along card and President Cusick jokingly said he should've walked away and said "YES! I'm successful!!" So Sister Rudd and I do that now every time someone tells us no :) And it's pretty fun, we realized after awhile that it actually makes us feel successful haha, when they say yes we don't know what to do!

One of my favorite moments: one of our investigators has twin 3-year-old daughters who really like me for some reason, and one of them came up and held my hand and her older sister was like "Do you even know her?" and she said "Nope!" Gotta love kids :)

And I got to talk to my family yesterday for Mother's Day and it was the best :) I love my family and I'm so glad I get to be with those crazy people forever :) Yay for eternal families!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Bok Tower
(aka Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower)
is a National Historic Landmark, contemplative
garden, and bird sanctuary.
This week has been really good. We got to go to the graduation of a girl in our ward. It was really nice, they drove us all down from the parking lot to the college in golf carts. I think it would've been like a 3 minute walk haha, if even that. The girl who graduated is Samoan and her family came out for her graduation. It was really funny, I guess they have some kind of tradition with leis, and they put so many on her that you could barely see her face. They had made all of them by hand, some of them had money and candy on them. And they gave each of us a lei when we left, it was neat.

Tower contains 205-foot tall Singing Tower
with its 60-carillon bells.
 Y went back to Japan on Saturday :( We're going to miss her a lot, but she's planning on coming back in a few months, so hopefully we'll still be here. We got to go to Wendy's with her the other day and say goodbye. One of the less-actives we had been working with and a few other members also moved this week, we felt like everyone was leaving. Florida seems to be a very transient place.

The tower is built upon Iron Mountain,
one of the highest points of peninsular Florida (~295 ft above sea level).
It was dedicated in 1929 by President Calvin Coolidge.
Last p-day we went to Bok Tower, it was so cool! It's at the highest point in Florida and it was built by a millionaire, just for fun I guess. It's only a few miles from us but we had never gone because it was too expensive, but we decided just to go anyway. I don't have any pictures I can send yet because my camera is out of commission, but you should google it or something, it's really pretty :)

Although the tower's interior is not open to the public,
it contains the largest carillon library in the world.
Recitals are given daily.

We've met some really neat people this week. One is this guy the elders used to teach that we had been trying to get in contact with and just happened to run into on the street. He told us "one of their names was Elder, but I can't remember the other one... Yeah, I knew Mr. Elder real good" :)

The gardens began in 1921 when a Dutch immigrant, Edward W. Bok,
editor of the popular women's magazine Ladies Home Journal
and his wife were spending the winter beside Florida's Lake Wales Ridge.
We also got to take a journey to the very bottom of our area, which is probably like 45 minutes away, so we never go down there. We went there to do some service for the cousin of a member in another ward. We basically just dug a hole for  a few hours. Not even basically, that's what we did :)

The site is a refuge for more than a hundred bird species.
Wild turkey and groups of sandhill cranes are also often seen in wandering groups.
Attempts were made to introduce flamingos several times.
But the flamingos were not native to central Florida and could not survive the
winters that were cooler than those of southern Florida.

Last night the bishop and his wife had us over for dinner with some girls they had met who are also kind of missionaries. They're training to go all over the world and teach people how to be self-sustainable. One of them is from Alaska and the other is from Africa, they were really cool. We talked to them about what we do and a little bit about the church. And after they left we told Bishop we had wanted to give them a Book of Mormon (we completely ran out and ever since then everyone has been asking for one!) and he told us he had 2. So we chased them down on their bikes in his big creepy white van and we found them just as they were about to disappear into the woods and he jumped out of the van and ran after them and was able to give them both a Book of Mormon. It was the best :)

The ornate brass door leading into the tower.
The tower is surrounded by a 15-foot moat
that serves as a koi pond

I don't really have much else to say, except to just express how grateful I am. Grateful for my family, for this gospel, for this wonderful opportunity to share it, for all the wonderful people I get to meet, and of course for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that I've been able to come to understand it better and to realize that without His sacrifice I would truly have nothing. But because of it, we have everything! :) What a privilege to share that with the world :)