January 6, 2014
It's amazing to see the extreme change in myself from the time that we said our good byes at the MTC to calling at the airport just 12 short days later to then calling you two months after entering the field…. I've loved this whole experience and I know that these next 14 months will just fly by because we are constantly changing lives and the work is nothing short of extraordinary. To be able to see people change and accept the gospel and to look back and say to yourself "I was a part of that. The Lord used me to make this change happen in this person." The feelings from this work is indescribable.
Today the weather is at 9, with the wind chill making it feel like -4! And it's 2 in the afternoon!!!! They said that we were gonna get a whole lot of snow, but instead we got a little snow and a whole lot of wind ;)
A lot of our investigators are sick with the flu, a couple of them are progressing and we'll be trying to teach the 15 step program to quit smoking with them either this week or early next. Just have to wait on them to get the supplies, but everything is looking good for them to get baptized on their scheduled day thus far :) Kelly didn't call and tell us about it! We had no idea that it happened until you told me on the call, but she said that they got everything cleared off the floor and all cleaned up pretty quick. You should ask her to send pictures of it, it looked like a pretty big spill but they got towels and blankets down very quick :)
High - Being able to get a lot of teaching in this week, even with Elder Beard and I not feeling well when we wake up at 6… We're not sick with the flu or anything like that so don't worry about it :)
Low - Not getting anyone to church yesterday, partially because of the supposed "huge storm" so church was pretty slim pickings this week.
To answer your question about the person that moved from Tennessee, she was a referral that we got and since we didn't have anything really to do during that time we decided to go and try to see her. The bad thing was that we couldn't find her address even with using the GPS, we knew that we were close to it, so we called her to verify that she wants to meet with us and that she lived at the address that we had received through the text. She said that she lived there and we set an appointment for night, since she was in the bike elders area we brought them too so that they could get to know her as well. We met with her and found out that her husband is a Less active member and he was baptized about 20 years ago, as we talked, her name is Misty Ramirez by the way, Misty told us that the Sister missionaries in Nashville were teaching her and it was Sister Burningham and another sister. I asked her to describe what Sister Burningham looked like and she described her exactly like Sid looks!!!! So that's the story, hopefully it's the same person :)
That's great to hear that the firstof 2014 went so well for you all! My favorite experience from last week was being able to have fun with some of the members on New Year's day and also to have fun with our investigators as we taught them about the gospel :)
December 30, 2013
It was a huge blessing to be able to see you and the whole family! Right after the call, it felt like a dream to know that I'm now half way done with my calls home and it's only a few months before I get to see everyone again :) Thank you so much, I've been doing a lot of great things in getting to the point that I want to be at and the great thing is that I've only been taking the supplaments for just over a month and I've made such a dramatic change from where I started out, I can't wait to see what will come of this hard work, and yes, we've been able to stay focused for the four days that we were able to work this week. We were able to hit a good number of our goals that we set last week, even though it was a little tough to press that end call button, it made me want to work even harder than ever and I knew that through doing missionary work and teaching people was gonna be the only way that I was going to get through not being able to see everyone for another five months :)
That's awesome! I can't believe that now I'm the only missionary in the whole family out right now.... It's a little scary, but now it just makes me want to work even harder!
Oh! Before I forget, what's Sidney Burningham's email? I want to know because we got a referral from Tennessee and she said that Sister Burningham was the one teaching her so I want to ask Sid if it's the same person that they were teaching that just moved up to Owensboro!
Yeah, we've been able to set a few more and re-set a couple that we've been working on. We've met with a few of them and we've added a couple more investigators in the last few days, and they've all got baptismal dates at this moment! We were able to re-set a bap date with Adrianna's grandmother for, there's also a few others that we've set for so we're hoping for at least one on that day. There's quite a few of our investigators that we'll be going over the quit smoking program with them so hopefully that'll help them draw closer to that goal of baptism!
High - Other than talking to you all ;) My high of the week was being able to meet with a lot of our investigators that we haven't been able to see in the last week and a half! As well as being able to re-set a few of the baptismal dates that we lost over the last couple weeks.
Low - Other than having to push the end call button, was not having anyone come to church yesterday and not being able to see everyone that we would have liked to this last week.
Here's the picture of Adrianna's baptism! Hopefully we'll be able to have a whole lot more of these moments in the near future!
December 24, 2013
Sorry for not getting to you earlier, the Library is closed today so we have to email at Best Buy :) Also, we were in Louisville yesterday for the Mission Christmas Conference/party ;)
The baptism was AWESOME! The little girls name is Adreianna, she's 9 years old, a really cool thing that happened during it was that her mom and dad were both crying during the whole baptism! There is not a doubt in my mind that her mom won't be baptized soon, I did take pictures, also I won't be able to send pictures today because of emailing at best buy! I was the one who baptized her, and it was so awesome to be able to have that opportunity to perform that ordinance again :)
My favorite thing about serving a mission during the Christmas season is that there are so many people who are interested and want to hear our message about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It seems like the last little bit, Elder Beard and I haven't really tried to find anyone and yet we were able to find some more investigators over this past week. We also had interviews last week, and President Woodbury told me that I would be in Owensboro for at least one more transfer, and maybe even longer depending on the success that Elder Beard and I have while we're working together. No matter what, I will be pleading with him to let me stay as next transfer draws to a close because I know that there is so much more work here to be done and I feel and believe that it's the right time for Elder Beard and I to do the work that we were sent here to do.
Over this next week we don't really have a whole lot of things set up, but with the days that we do, we will be filling our schedule up as much as possible in order to do our part as we serve during this important part of the year, we will be focusing on our solid people so that we can re-set the baptismal dates with them, we really wanted to get Adrianna baptized first so that she can be the rock or first stone for the whole family :)
We were able to get one at church, Tim (a new investigator that lives right by the church), he had a good time during sacrament, sadly he had to leave after that because he wasn't feeling very good but we're really glad that he was able to come to church for that time :)
We have not been able to do it quite yet, that's our goal for this next week, and there's not a doubt that we won't be able to do that soon.
High - Baptizing Adrianna on Saturday, two days before Joseph Smiths birthday and three months after the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph :) Also, allowing the spirit to work on Adriannas' mom and dad at her baptism :)
Low - Seeing all the missionaries, that I've worked with through my mission so far, go home in the next two weeks. It was really tough to see them for the last time, but it was really good though because they helped me in so many ways that it's indescribable. Yes, I did take pictures with them ;)
We didn't have an ice storm this last week, but we did have a really big rain storm on Saturday! We were driving around in it seeing some investigators, and as we were driving a huge wind blast ripped through the city and it began to rain sideways, don't worry I got it all on video!!!!!! :D
December 16, 2013
I'm doing really great! I've never felt better, from working (both working out and doing missionary work) with Elder Beard, my knowledge of the gospel has grown and I'm getting stronger each and every day, the week started off kinda slow but it picked up near the end and honestly it didn't feel like we were really working very hard, but we did better overall than we did last week number wise.
We only got one, her name is Adrianna and she's a 9 year old granddaughter of another investigator of ours, yesterday was her third time to church so she can get baptized on Saturday!!! We've got a couple things to go over with her but we'll be able to get her baptized before the Mission Christmas party and before the call home! We've had to move a lot back, and we still have to re-set them, but we were able to add a couple with some new investigators that we were able to see this week :) The majority of our investigators are progressing, they just need to find someway to come to church and work towards baptism.
High - Doing a whole lot of work without really feeling like I've done a lot. Also, getting Adrianna to church so that she can reach her goal to get baptized on the 21st!
Low - Not having all those come to church that committed throughout the week. Also, having to push a few bap. dates back because of last week and no church
I just love how open and inviting people are during this time of the year, it seems like we stand out above the rest around this time so more people are really finding us as we're out contacting or stopping by to teach someone. It seems like they're more likely to accept the message because of their own belief in Christ and they find out that a lot of their beliefs are similar or right on with ours.
I've learned that I know more that what I thought I knew, Elder Beard has helped me come to more knowledge of the scriptures, as well as help me become more confident in myself while working out for these last 3 weeks.
I've noticed that I'm more intune with the spirit and really acting on the promptings that I recieve, whether for investigators or where to go for the day. I've just come to know that I can be a very powerful and successful missionary, if I only put my mind to it and push myself to do all that I possibly can to be obedient and follow the rules, I know that I will be blessed with so much success because I'm learning to become a hard working and smart missionary with the knowledge that is gained through studies and revelation.
December 9, 2013
I'm doing wonderful! We've been up to a lot, over this last week we were able to grow our teaching pool so much that it's ridiculous! We ended up with 14 new investigators that really want to learn more about the gospel and what we have to offer :) We met with a few members who offered their homes for teaching appointments as we get nearer to becoming a ward! We also doubled our goal/ the standard of other lessons taught as we got 20 in just one week.
We were unable to get them to church, on a count of them being sick and paired with the storm, they decided to cancel churchso all but two of our seven baptismal dates have to be re set with our investigators...
High - getting a whole lot of people to teach without really trying to find people, we found five new investigators just from one referral who was moving and we went as they were moving things. As we started to help, we began talking with them individually and they seem pretty interested and want to meet with us :)
Low - Having church get cancelled and having just about all of our investigators get sick
Just more confirmation to move forward, and also that I need to be doing all that I can to help our investigators towards the waters of baptism in the next month and a half or so.
Owensboro has taught me to not judge the people right off the bat, it has taught me that there are many wonderful people who are ready and willing to hear our message of the Savior. All I need to do is trust in the Lord and go out and find these people!
December 2, 2013
I know! It's crazy that Christmas is in a couple weeks! It's been a really fast 6 months but it has been amazing and completely worth it, Thanksgiving was a blast! We had so much food that we didn't know what to do! Nonetheless, it was really nice to have a day for ourselves a little bit because it was a non-proselyting day for us so the numbers didn't count if we went and taught someone.
Yes! We are having so much success with just the little time in which we've been paired together! Over the last couple days we've dropped a lot of people who weren't really progressing and that Elder Stoddard was just seeing just to see really, and the same day that we dropped all those people we went and tracted an apartment complex and we were able to find 5 new investigators in a matter of an hour and a half!
Elder Beard is a really hard working missionary, he's only been out a transfer less than me and we've served around each other our whole missions thus far and now we get to work together! Owensboro has been getting prepared for two hard working missionaries and I believe that we are it. We both have the vision of getting a lot of people baptized in the next month or two, right now (on Saturday and) we have been able to set not just one or two baptismal dates for Dec. 28 but we've set 5 with people who are ready to progress in the gospel and learn more about it!
High - Getting 6 new investigators in a matter of two days work with Elder Beard!
Low - not getting any investigators to church, but we were able to get two of them to the other two hours so it counted as member presents at church :)
I had a pretty spiritual experience last night, I was giving someone a blessing, and I promised her a few things and then the words just stopped coming and I kinda felt unworthy to be standing there..... I know that I am clean but it felt like someone else was there and I dared not to open my eyes. As I struggled for words I closed the blessing and began to think and pray, and a feeling of peace came over me like I've never felt before.... I knew that someone was there with me and giving me the words that I needed to say, and I know that I was only supposed to promise her a few things, I absolutely love to be so close with the spirit and so sensitive to it at this time :) It truly is a blessing to have this priesthood power and to "live worthy of it" as President Monson puts it. There has been a change in me that I've come to see slowly, I know that I'm not the same person that left the MTC back in March, and it's been such an amazing ride and growth over the last nine months of service.
November 25, 2013
It's alright :) Thank you, Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! It's wonderful to have a branch as big as this one open their arms to yet another missionary coming from the ghettos of Louisville ;) a member gave us these spuds, and even though I've never seen one or even heard of them! I tried it and it was pretty tasty, thank goodness I'm not a picky eater, I don't know what would happen if I was :P We had dinner with a member family last night and they have a little girl named Ellie, she's 4 yrs. old and just adorable as can be :) Just so you know I've got one suit at the dry cleaners getting altered and cleaned so I'll be picking it up on Wednesday all cleaned and pressed.
The teaching pool is staying about the same, we're constantly trying to find new people to teach and bring closer to Christ. This last week was a down week for lessons, I don't know why but some how it wasn't as good as the other weeks. We got one person to church and he's one of our new investigators who will be moving to Tell City, IN in the next little bit which stinks because he's super golden and ready to be baptized!
High - Getting to stay in Owensboro as the work is starting to speed up and getting to work with another hard working missionary this next transfer!
Low - Having just about all of our investigators other than one keep their commitment to come to church, as well as not teaching as many people as we would have liked to this past week.