Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a wonderful week! On Monday we had dinner with the Mathews- they made a Utah dinner especially for me, since they're from Utah, too. :) We had chicken, green beans, and FUNERAL POTATOES!!! Although they were not as delicious as my Mom's, they were still very yummy and brought back many wonderful memories of being with my family.

Tuesday, we had an incredibly powerful lesson with Marlyse! She said she had loved church, and that her favorite thing was how happy everyone was- just like her! She felt right at home! She loved the message of the Restoration, and shared with us some of her personal experiences. She is developing a lot of trust in us, and we already love her so much. She said she has noticed that she feels greater joy and hope since meeting with us. She is incredible! We're so blessed to teach her!

On Wednesday we took Rod on a tour of the church, with Kevin McSheehy and Brooke, who is his niece (members). It was so powerful! Sometimes I forget how sacred of a place the church building is- it is a consecrated building of the Lord and the Spirit is very present there, especially in the chapel. We showed him each of the main rooms in the building, as well as the baptismal font. Rod said he felt very comfortable and welcome there. The Spirit is so real and powerful!
That evening, the young men and young women had an etiquette dinner that we helped serve at. It was fun!

Thursday was the family history presentation and one-on-one help with the Prices! They are the senior missionary couple in our mission who travel around the panhandle giving presentations. There were two nonmembers there who I signed up at the Pow Wow! They loved it- I worked with the wife while one of the elders worked with the husband. They started talking about the gospel, and the elders have an appointment to go teach them! Talking about our families is so powerful, and the Spirit of Elijah which turns our hearts to the hearts of our ancestors is so real, and softens hearts!
Saturday, the ward held a chili cook-off and spud derby! It was awesome! We all made cars out of potatoes, put wheels and decorations on them, then raced them on a pinewood car derby track used by the cub scouts. It was wonderful, especially since Carmela came! It was so good for her to come to a ward activity.

Funny story of the week: Sister Trawick and I were walking down the sidewalk on Racetrack when I suddenly felt something hit me in the back of my knee, hard. I turned around to see what had hit me, and saw a broken egg on the sidewalk a few feet back! Someone EGGED me! I just started laughing, which Sister Trawick probably thought was really weird, but I just thought it was so funny! Especially since it didn't crack on me- that was a blessing. It actually made my day- persecution is real, the gospel is true- whoever threw it at me probably didn't think I would react that way! :)

Our mission has created a new theme: love through obedience, obedience through love. I love this! As missionaries, obedience is stressed a lot, and it is truly important so that we can have the Spirit with us which is what will convert individuals to Jesus Christ and His Gospel. We show our love for them when we obey willingly. I love you all!


Utah reps!!

Etiquette dinner


Sushi lunch!

Utah funeral potatoes!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


It's been another beautiful week in paradise!

This week- we went to go see an elderly woman named Marie Thomas who hasn't been to church for 50 years and doesn't want to be a Mormon again- she opened the door and said, "How on earth did you find me?"- but she let us read the Book of Mormon with her and said she would come to church! I love how the Spirit softens hearts.

Thursday we went to lunch with Sister Brock and I was able to satisfy the craving that I've had for SUSHI! It was soooo good! We had a very powerful lesson with Rod- he wants the gift of the Holy Ghost so much and is going to be so blessed by it.

Friday- Sister Moeller came with us to go see Marlyse and it was INCREDIBLE! Marlyse GLOWS when she speaks! She is so full of light! She just opened her heart to us and told us how her whole life other people including her ex-husband have questioned why she is so happy- wow, she's practically Mormon! She expressed how she has loved and served others her whole life, but that not a lot of people have returned that to her. We testified that God has a work for Marlyse to do and that she would feel the love she needs at church- Sister Trawick brilliantly remembered that Sunday would be the Primary Program (Marlyse loves children)- and that sure sparked her interest! MARLYSE CAME TO CHURCH!!! She loved the Primary Program so much! We have an appointment with her Tuesday that I am so excited for. I can't wait for her to experience the blessings of the restored gospel!

Yesterday, we had a wonderful lesson with Jim and Vicky at the Dorleys, teaching about the commandment to study the scriptures. The scriptures are truly powerful- I know that they are God's words and that as we study them, they will fill our lives and us with light, just like the light that Marlyse has. As we apply the teachings of Jesus Christ found in the scriptures to ourselves, we will draw nearer to God and become like Him. Wow! We will become even as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! That is incredible. This gospel is true!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Family history fun!

Fun fact: the leaves do not change color on the trees in Florida- it looks just as green as it did when I got here. However, there have been a lot of changes going on here in Paradise! Last Wednesday was the transfer- one of our elders left the area, and a set of additional elders came in so that now each ward has its own set of Sisters and Elders, and the 1st ward also has its Spanish Elders. So there are are now TEN missionaries in Fort Walton Beach- the work is gonna hasten like no body's business here!

Last Tuesday we had a super powerful lesson with our investigator Rod. One of the many McSheehys came with us (the dad Kevin) and we sat outside on Rod's porch. We talked about the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that enables us to repent- to change those things in our lives that aren't in harmony with God's commandments, and to become more Christlike. Kevin shared how he was blessed with the strength to overcome several addictions, how he changed the way he saw himself, God, and the world. Then Brother McSheehy told Rod: "Rod, there are very few people like you that I've met, who have that spiritual sensitivity, who are close to God and clearly understand His place in their life. As we've been talking, I am convinced that God has a work for you to do- and you need to come to church so you can get just a taste of what that work is. Because He has much more in store for you than you can imagine." WOW. The Spirit there was palpable- and Rod's heart was softened. For the first time, he didn't come up with excuses when we invited him to come to church as soon as he had work off on a Sunday. He worked this Sunday, but I am so excited for when he can come- because he will!

On Saturday, all the missionaries in our zone (22 of us from surrounding cities) went to the Thunderbird Pow Wow in Niceville where one of their ward members with lots of connections has had a family history booth for the past four years. We all wore t-shirts and either walked around the grounds or stood at the booth, talking to as many people as we could, for practically all day. We invited them to attend the family history classes that will be held in each city in the coming weeks- so many people signed up! (it helps that it's free). There was even one man I talked to who started asking questions about our beliefs and why we were there, and I referred him to the Niceville elders. I had such a fun time!!! I love pow wows! The dancing, regalia, and booths with handmade items were sooo cool! If you've never been to a pow wow, you need to go!

Then on Sunday- church was wonderful, (except we had no less actives or recent converts show up, so that was interesting, and not wonderful...) and we had a Thanksgiving themed linger-longer afterwards. Boy was it hard to say no to all that pumpkin pie... That evening, we drove to Niceville for the stake's performance of Handel's Messiah! It was SO beautiful!! And it satisfied my hunger for a concert, which I hadn't been to for seven months. The singing, the string ensemble, the Spirit- ahhhh, it was perfect. Not quite the Utah Symphony/Chorus, but still- incredible. I love the scriptures used by Handel- "I know that my Redeemer liveth!" Because of Christ, who truly has born our afflictions and carried our sorrows, who suffered, bled and died for us, death has no sting, the grave has no victory, there is joy and there is hope. And that is so incredibly real- I experience that joy every single day. There is nothing like it. I know He lives!

Nicky was very happy to get a package... 
especially with pumpkin food that isn't dessert!

 Sharing about Family Search at the pow wow!