Monday, December 2, 2013

11 Months!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much for your emails - it was great to hear from you!! Thanksgiving definitely wasn't the same without you but it was still good. I missed you guys! Today is 11 months!! Woohoo!!!! Also, I loved reading your little notes on Thanksgiving - it was fun to read and to still have a little piece of you guys in my Thanksgiving. Thank you!!! So today is zone pday and Sister Johnson and I planned it and we have to be there at 12:30 so I might not be able to write something to everyone. Since the Elders typically plan zone pday and it's SUPER LAME, we volunteered to do this one and we are throwing a Christmas party at the Holbrooks house!! We are having an ugly sweater contest and when everyone gets there we are going to play a get-to-know you game and then we are going to decorate sugar cookies. While everyone decorates, they will cast their votes for the ugliest sweater and then we are going to play that one game where you roll dice and have to unwrap a present with oven mits (got that one from you Mom!) and then we are going to watch 17 Miracles! The Holbrooks have done so much to help out with the party - they are so wonderful!!!! They bought a ton of cookie dough and we made sugar cookies yesterday and they made a ton of icing. They're making popcorn, hot chocolate, providing sprinkles for decorating, etc. Also, the person who wins the ugliest sweater contest is getting $20 to Walmart and they bought that too!! PLUS they are letting 32 missionaries come to their house. We hope everyone has fun!
Monday was p-day and we just emailed, grocery shopped, and then we had a lesson with Matt Westfall at the Pruetts home and it went really well. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and he seemed really accepting of it and was asking questions but he still won't set a date to get baptized. It's so frustrating!! Like he wants his daughter to get baptized but he is more hesitant and it doesn't make sense!! He knows it's true!
Tuesday we were on exchanges in Charleston with Sister Bierman and Sister Johnson. Sister Bierman was still getting over a virus she had so she has been on bed rest for about a week so I stayed in the apartment the majority of the day with her. I did some extra studying and then I made a treat for the sisters for when they got back. I made it up all on my own and they liked it! It really wasn't that cool but it was cool that it turned out I guess.
Wednesday we were on exchanges in Paris with Sister Felt and Sister Fernandez. That morning, we did service at a food pantry and we were in charge of carrying peoples baskets of food to their cars (it was FREEZING) and you can just really tell the people that appreciate it and are so grateful for what they were given and it makes it all worth it. That night we drove home and had a lesson with Alannah and just watched the Thanksgiving Mormon Message and then talked about what we are grateful for. We are thinking we are going to try and get ladies from the Relief Society to visit her and then maybe eventually she will be a little more receptive of what we have to share with her.
Thursday was Thanksgiving!!!!!! We ended up not doing the Gobble Hobble run because you had to register in advance if you wanted a t shirt and it was only 2 miles and I think it was centered more for little kids. We went to the Rose's for dinner. After that, we went to the Kraude's and ate and it was so great!!!! They are one of my favorite families here and it felt like eating at home there!! After dinner, we talked and then played Guesstures and Catch Phrase and then Sister Kraude makes each child their favorite dessert so we tried a few different desserts and then left! It was really nice spending Thanksgiving with them. Their daughter, Camie, who's 8 made me a card and I thought it was so sweet. After that, we had the rest of the day "off" and so we decided we would just make random dessert creations (since we didn't already have enough to eat). So we made the HUGE mistake of going to Walmart first. It was CRAZY!!!! Walmart starts their Black Friday stuff on Thanksgiving and there were so many people and you couldn't even go into the store unless you had a wrist band so we left. I missed our families' Thanksgiving meal and tradition so much but it was fun to see what other families do and spend it with Sister Johnson!
Friday we had the meeting with all the zone leaders and president in St. Louis and then we went to dinner with Sister Erickson and Sister Wayment. They are the older sisters that work in the mission office and when were in Frontenac, they were in our ward and we love them!! Sister Wayment is going home in about a week so we went to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with her and it was really fun. On our way home, we visited a less active family and then that was pretty much our day!
That night, we helped prepare for our Christmas party today and went to the Holbrooks and helped clean their house and decorate and everything.
Yesterday after church, we had a lesson with Steve and he is just so amazing. I don't feel like you meet very many converts that really "get it" as soon as their baptized and he totally does! He's excited to get a calling and just help others in the ward and he's working in Oklahoma right now but comes home on the weekends just so he can attend church. We are making cupcakes with his daughter later this week and hopefully we will be able to start teaching her too!! After that, we went to the Holbrooks and baked sugar cookies for today and then we had a lesson with Deana and Aaron on the Plan of Salvation. Aaron(not a member) just kinda listens and agrees with pretty much everything we believe and Deana(less active pretty much her whole life) asks so many questions and it's really cool! She really wants to start bringing her family to church!! After that we had a lesson with the Clarks! Quinn's mom and siblings and family all said they would come to her baptism and she is really excited!! The only thing is.... we set her date for December 21st but with the holidays and everything, Suzi is thinking it might be best to wait until the beginning of the year!!! We are trying to move it up and not wait until the beginning of the year but they said they will talk about it all together. Pray that it will work out on the 21st or earlier!!!!!
That was pretty much my week!!! Our missions' goal is to get 450 baptisms by the end of the year and we are at 393 right now. All of the missionaries for the whole entire year have been praying at 10:00 pm everynight that it will happen and we really hope it does!! Anyway, I hope you all have a super fabulous week!!!!!! I miss you all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for your emails - I love hearing from you!!!! It is seriously COLD in Illinois right now. It's not snowing (yet) or anything but it's just so freezing when you walk outside!! NOT a fan. Anyway, we were pretty busy this week with zone conferences and things like that and in just a few days it's THANKSGIVING!!!!!! Yay!!! Sister Johnson and I are going to do a 5K on Thanksgiving morning called the Gobble Hobble and then we have the rest of the day off! We are going to the Rose's and the Kraude's for Thanksgiving and then we will probably just visit other families in the ward for the rest of the day. I'm definitely going to miss our Thanksgiving food though because I personally think it's the BEST and I'm going to miss Thanksgiving leftovers:( But it's alright! I'm so grateful for the families that invited us to come to their home!!!
Monday was p-day so we just like emailed, grocery shopped, and looked in a few little stores we have in Highland. That night, we went to sushi with Quinn and it was so fun!!! She asked us a lot of questions about missionary life and she is really excited about getting baptized and it just went really well and I think she had fun too.
Tuesday we had O'Fallon zone conference and it was good! Sister Johnson and I did a training on baptism and confirmation and it was fun. We started out by having 3 bags out that everyone could see and 1 of them had chocolate chips in them, 1 of them had a baked cookie that was missing sugar, salt, and baking soda, and 1 of them had everything but the chocolate chips. We had 3 people take a bag and taste the cookie and then tell what it tasted like and then talked about how just like a cookie needs ALL the ingredients, our investigators need to have ALL the qualifications in order to be baptized. Then, we talked about how during the process of teaching our investigators, we need to help them become part of the church even before they are baptized because we need members that will help build up the church and people that will be contributing members and not just people who join for welfare purposes. So we talked about how each one of our investigators need a friend, service opportunities, and a "place" in the church even before they are members and then at the end, we gave them all chocolate chip cookies! There's this member in our ward, Bro. Gualandi, and he's like known in the whole ward for his amazing chocolate chip cookies and he made them for us!!! They are so yummy!!!!
Wednesday we had Champaign zone conference and Sis. Johnson and I trained on inviting investigators to church and how to do it. We talked about how we can help our investigators overcome the 3 fears they have about church: People, place, and procedure and it went really well! I actually really like planning for trainings because it's fun to think of ways to make it creative and fun for everyone else.
Thursday we had our last zone conference for the Springfield zone but it was in Decatur. The theme was miracles and Sis. Johnson and I trained on teaching investigators to pray and read the Book of Mormon. All the trainings were based on what Bro. Donaldson taught us when he came a couple weeks ago. For our training, we first went around and had everyone introduce themselves and say their favorite book. Then, we watched a bible video of Jesus performing a miracle and then each of them wrote down on a sticky note their favorite miracle from the Bible and we listed them on the board. Then, we had them list off miracles that occur today and talked about how even though we don't see water turing into wine or people being raised from the dead like in the Bible, miracles still happen and in order for them to happen - we need to have faith! In the Bible dictionary it says that "Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature". So since our mission is trying to get 450 baptisms and we are like 70 or so behind, we need to just expect miracles to happen and do our part to make it happen. Then, we talked about how in order to build that faith, we have to pray! And that is how our investigators will build their faith as well. So then, we had cut out pictures from a mountains calendar and taped them on the board and told them they had 15 seconds to memorize the pictures and what order they are in and everything and then after 15 seconds we covered the pictures up and asked them to tell us what they remembered and obviously no one remembered. So we talked about how that is like prayer and how they were so busy trying to memorize the pictures, they didn't even pay attention to how beautiful the pictures were or how they made them feel. Then, we compared that to how investigators feel when we teach them to pray and how when we teach it like a formula, that's how it will come out when they say it so we need to help them focus on the feelings during prayer, rather than HOW you say it. Then, after we taught them how to invite investigators to pray, we went back to what everyone's favorite book was and asked them how long it took them to read and the average was about a month and we compared it to how we should invite our investigators to read the whole Book of Mormon and not just assign them chapters (unless that's what they need). Anyway, we had fun doing the trainings and coming up with them! Then, at lunch time it was so cool!!!!!! The lady that made lunch was sitting at the table that Sis. Johnson and I were eating at and we started talking to her and she asked where we were from and I told her and she was like "my brother lives in Sandy, he was a stake president there!" and so I asked who her brother was and it's President Dahl!!!!! And I was like "He was my Stake President!!!!!" Small world right??? I took a picture with her so I will send it to you!!! I believe her name was Sister Ison or something like that.
Friday we had district meeting and Sister Limas was training on patience and she had 2 of the Elders come up and she gave them 3 minutes to do a french manicure and long story short it looked terrible but it was so funny. After district meeting, we went on exchanges with Sister Limas and Sister Linton and I spent the day with Sister Linton. We had a lesson with Jim and his wife because they are going out of town and we wanted to see them before they left and he's still thinking about baptism but he's not ready yet but apparently Quinn is really excited which is so cool!!!
Saturday we went to this restaurant called Cleveland Heath and it was so good!!! The owner actually came from a restaurant in Salt Lake City which is pretty sweet. It's just a really cute place and it was fun to try something new. Anyway, afterwards we were able to contact a media referral we got last week and we set up an appointment to see him next Sunday! That night, we visited Alannah and she is so depressed. Like it was this time last year that her husband went into the hospital and then in January he died and she doesn't want to be around anyone but she knows she needs to and she just isn't happy. We don't really even know what to do because she's not really open to changing or joining the church right now but we feel like she still needs some kind of good influence in her life right now so we just don't know!
Yesterday, the Bishop had all of the recently baptized people share their testimonies in sacrament meeting and it was really neat! Steve shared his testimony and it was amazing. You would seriously think he had always been a member of the church!! After church, we had a lesson with Steve on service and then we visited some members and that night we had a lesson with the Worthens! Deana Worthen is a member but hasn't been for a really really long time and doesn't know very much about the church either and her husband, Aaron, was baptist and said he would be willing to take the lessons from us! They are a really fun family!!! Deana really wants to start coming back to church and talked about how she doesn't know much about it but she knows on the inside that it's true which was cool to hear and Aaron is really receptive so we will see what happens!!
So ya! That was pretty much my week!!! This week we are going on exchanges like ALL week and then Thursday of course is Thanksgiving!!!!!! Sis. Johnson and I are planning zone pday for next monday because the Elders plan the most boring things every time so we are going to have it at a members house and have a Christmas party and watch 17 miracles and have games and decorate cookies and stuff so hopefully it will be fun!!!
Anyway, I hope you all have a super fabulous week and a great Thanksgiving - I am going to miss all of you!!! I am so grateful for you all and that you are my family and are so supportive and you're just the best EVER!!!! Be safe and smart and healthy and don't do anything dumb and drive safely wherever you go!!!!!!! I miss you all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mexico, Paris, nbd

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I loved reading them and hearing about your weeks.  They mean a lot to me!! I have been out for 10 months now - crazy right?? I think I say this every time but like it feels like it's gone by quickly. 
     So Monday was pday and so we just did regular pday stuff and then drove to Paris for our exchanges.  Yep, I pretty much get to travel the world on my mission! Mexico, Paris, nbd. The sisters that are serving in Paris live in like the cutest house!! It just feels really home-y and I like it!
     Tuesday we spent the day in Paris and I was with Sister Limas and Sister Woodward was with Sister Fernandez.  We helped a member paint her trailer and then like tracted and visited people.  There's these weird bugs that look just like lady bugs here but they ARE NOT ladybugs! I guess they like are actually kinda pests and like eat away at things and smell super nasty when you kill them.  Anyway, they were all over the trailer we were painting. 
     Wednesday we were in Covington, Indiana for exchanges with Sister Scott and Sister Bailey.  I was with Sister Scott and I like her a lot!! We are the same age and she went to BYU the summer semester before I got there and so she knows like a ton of the same people and knows Morgan and stuff.  While we were driving - Sister Scott ran over a squirrel!!! It was so sad!!
     Thursday was Halloween!!! We had a lesson with Alannah and watched The Testaments with her. She said she felt the spirit while we watched The Testaments and she loves the Book of Mormon and stuff but it's like she doesn't understand the importance of baptism or something and how knowing the Book of Mormon is true is kind of a direct meaning that the church is true.  If you happen to know any good conference talks on that let me know!!! She connects really well with conference talks and so that might be helpful.  But to be honest I think right now, she might be more committed to us then she is to the church.  She always tells us how we should be up directing the meetings and teaching - not the Bishop... and she's like completely serious.  She's really confusing to talk to!! Anyway... Halloween in Highland got rescheduled to the next day because of the weather.  The weather wasn't even that bad - it rained a little but like I'm pretty sure I went trick or treating in the snow more than once!! Sheesh! We didn't really do anything for Halloween though.  We just ate at a members house and then we had to be in by 6 and it was nice to just sit and relax. 
     Friday morning we visited a member of our ward and she gave us a referral of this guy who helped build one of the temples but isn't a member.  Also, she got this brand new kitty and guess what it's name is?? MADELINE!! It's adorable.  We contacted ANOTHER media referral we got but she wasn't interested.  Her cousin had referred her I guess.  She was really sweet but just wasn't interested.  We were supposed to have a lesson with Matt and Annette that night, but I guess Annette was in the hospital for some pain from an accident she had a while ago and so they had to cancel. 
     Saturday we finished making some invitations to an open house that all the recent converts are invited to at the Bishops house.  Then, we had lunch with Sister Westfall (Matt Westfalls wife) and then since Matt got off work, we went to have a lesson with him but it didn't turn out as planned. Then, we had a lesson with the Clarks!! I love teaching them!!!! It's really cool just cause their whole family sits in on the lessons and they all give their input on what we talk about.  Here's their family:  
Mom: Suzi - member
Dad: Jim - not a member
Quinn: 16 - not a member
Jakob: 12 - member
Des: 10 I think? - member
I think it helps Quinn a lot when Jakob and Des talk about what they think about things which is really cool.  Anyway, we taught about faith and repentance and for repentance we had Quinn stand up and stick her arm straight out and we put 6 Book of Mormons on her hand and she had to hold them up.  Her arm got tired really fast and then we took one Book of Mormon off at a time and each one represented a step of repentance.  They really liked it!! All 3 of them wanted to take a turn so they did and then they had all 6 steps down! It was fun - I like teaching them a lot.  It's also really interesting to me cause Jim helps us teach every time!! Saturday night was transfer calls!!!! GUESS WHAT?????? Okay so I'm staying here in Highland and guess who my companion is???!!!!!!! SISTER JOHNSON - the one that trained me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!! Sister Woodward and her are switching places. 
     Yesterday we had church and Steve got the priesthood!!!! We got to sit in on the blessing and it was so cool! I've never seen that before and so that was awesome.  When he was walking back to his seat, he looked at Sister Woodward and I and gave us 2 thumbs up. haha! It was pretty funny. 
     Anyway, that was pretty much my week!!! Thanks so much again for your emails - I love them!!!!!!! I hope you all have a super fabulous week!!!!! Be safe and smart and healthy and don't do anything dumb and drive safely please!!!!!!! I miss you all like CARAZYYYYYYY and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013


[Just so you are aware of the number of exclamation points we take out to make her emails easy to read, above is how she says "hello" :) ]
Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!
     This week has been pretty great!! I can't believe October is almost over.  We were super busy with exchanges and meetings this week - it's crazy how tired they make you!! I love them though.  It is seriously getting soooo freezing here!!  I'm already wearing tights, boots, scarves, my winter coat, and layering my sweaters cause I just freeze!!! I finished the Book of Mormon this morning!!!! I'm trying to read it 3 times before I come home and I've read it twice now!

     Tuesday we spent the day in Mahomet! I forgot how much I love it there.  Like seriously.  That is probably my favorite area so far - the people are just so amazing!!! It was nice to be able to go back and visit for a day.  I got to see Biscuit and Mama, Sis. Palumbo, Shelly Stafford, and then we had dinner at the Springers! They were excited to see me too which made me feel good.  For about an hour, we went to a grocery store parking lot with the Elders and sang hymns with a ukelele while it was pouring rain and like no one listened to us but it was still kinda fun.  I spent the day with Sister Johnson and Sister Woodward spent the day with Sister Larimer.  Sister Larimer is waiting for her visa and is seriously so awesome!!! She is adorable.  She's always wanted to go on a mission and is so excited to be here and even sleeps in her missionary tag because she only gets to wear it for 18 months.  She's so great! 

     Wednesday I spent the day with Sister Collett and we were on the University of Illinois campus.  It was so fun to be on the campus!!!! Like I think it would be so fun to serve there.  The campus there is pretty awesome and it made me miss BYU and like the whole college atmosphere but there are just so many people to talk to and we were able to hand out a lot of Book of Mormons and I just thought it was so much fun!! I can see how it would be hard though cause like everyone is going to and from class and so you get a lot of potential investigators from it and you stay busy talking to people all day but at the end of the day, you don't necesarily have a ton of new investigators or anything - does that make sense?? Anyway, it was fun to be there!!

     Thursday we were on exchanges in Charleston with Sister Bierman and Sister Sheppard.  I honestly think one of my favorite parts of exchanges is that typically my first impression of people changes! In a good way! Like some of the exchanges I haven't been super excited to go on because of my first opinion of some of the sisters but then I spend the day with them and almost always my opinion changes.  I'm grateful for that! Thursday night we drove back to Highland!

     Friday we had MLC in St. Louis and after MLC, we had our ward trunk-o -treat and chili cook off.  Steve brought 2 of his daughters who aren't members and I talked to them for a while and they are so awesome! Hailey is 17 and Alyssa is 18 and Hailey is like really creative and is like amazing and decorating cupcakes and stuff and so we are going to have her teach us and then hopefully from doing things like that with her we can start to teach her or something!!! Idk we'll see!!!

     Saturday was pretty much the only day we had in our area but it was sooo great!!!!!! We were able to meet with all of our investigators and make really great progress with them!!!!!!! Okay so first of all we met with Alannah.  The sacrament is really important to her and so we asked her if she would like to teach Gospel Principles with us on Sunday and she was more than happy to.  So we went to her house and planned the lesson while we made cookies AND discussed baptism with her because she's like totally ready but she just wont make a commitment.  But it went so well!!! After Alannah, we had a lesson with a media referral we got a couple weeks ago.  Her name is Annette and her husband is a member.  She has been going to sacrament meeting with him and went to stake conference and watched general conference and she has a TON of questions.  It seriously amazes me how prepared some people are!!! Like she pretty much just asked us what she needs to do to get baptized.  She comes from a Catholic family and I guess women in the Catholic church pray through the virgin Mary? And she was wondering if we do anything like that and then she asked how she would be able to take the sacrament and why we don't have confession and how she can be a good member of the church.  She just had so many questions and it was so cool!! After Annette, we went to the Westfalls.  Sister Westfall is a member and her husband, Matt, isn't.  He comes to church every week and listens to the Book of Mormon on tape and is a scout leader and already serves a ton of people in the ward but he is scared to get baptized because he feels like there's a lot of responsibility that would be coming with it and having a calling scares him. We're like.... Matt.... you're already doing more than what you probably would as a member!! We just read an Ensign article with him (it's a really good one from the October one about the kings horse getting prepared for war) and he said he would pray about a date he would feel comfortable with getting baptized!!! It was so great!!!!! After the Westfalls, we had a lesson with the Clarks! I think I told you about them a couple weeks ago.  The wife is a member and her 2 kids are, but her husband Jim, and her step daugher, Quinn aren't members.  We had dinner with them a couple weeks ago and they both agreed to take the lessons! So we met with the Clarks and taught them the restoration and it was Quinns first time hearing it all (she's 16) and she thought it was so cool!!! I feel like sometimes you don't know how people will take the Joseph Smith story but she just thought it was really awesome and she believes that it happened.  The husband, Jim, has taken the lessons like 4 times and he was like helping us teach!! It's so weird like he's not a member but he was helping us explain everything like he already believes it all.  We were talking about prophets and he was like "well it just makes sense that we have a prophet today, why would God just stop giving us a prophet?" It was so great!!!!! Anyway, that was our Saturday and our investigators are AMAZING!!!!!!

     Sunday we had church and Alannah helped us teach about the sacrament in gospel principles and did so well!  Last night we had a lesson with Steve about the priesthood and he is so excited to get it.  It's cool because he understand how important the preisthood is already and is so honored to even be considered to hold it.  He's for real going to be like a Bishop someday. 

     Anyway, that was pretty much my week!!! Transfer calls are this Saturday - weird huh? We have 2 exchanges this week and then we are done with all 11 of them!! For Halloween we have to be in at 6:00.  We can be at a members homes if they drive us to their house but so far we don't really have any plans yet.  I think it would be fun to carve a pumpkin but we'll see!!

     Welp, I think that's all!!!! I know this church is true and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  If we read it and apply it to our lives we can learn from it and become the people that the Lord wants us to become.  We have so much potential but we have to work for it!! I hope you all have a super fabulous week!! I miss you all like CRAZY and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Exchanges! (and a shout out to Sister Card!)

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Thank you so much for your emails - I loved hearing from you!!! I seriously LOVE reading your emails and hearing your updates and what not. So thank you!!!! This week has been pretty great! Holy cow. Exchanges wear me out! Like I get so tired but I love them at the same time.  It's weird not being in our own area very often though.
     Tuesday we were on exchanges with Sister Firestone and Sister Jardine in Litchfield and that was fun.  I spent the day with Sister Firestone and we went to a lesson for one of their investigators, Paul, who got baptized on Saturday and he had a stroke a while ago so his speech is slow and kinda off sometimes but it was really cool to see how patient Sister Firestone was with him and you could just tell that she really cared about him and went out of her way to make sure he understood everything and felt comfortable.  It was cool t o see! 
     Wednesday we were on exchanges in Jacksonville with Sister Leavitt (from the MTC!!) and Sister Willmore.  I spent the day with Sister Leavitt and it was fun to just talk to her and catch up with her!! She served in Mexico for like 4 transfers so it was kinda fun to talk about Mexico.  We visited a less active and a part member family in their ward and that was pretty much our day! I think it would be fun to serve with Sister Leavitt just cause she's energetic and likes working hard and is fun too and creative and I think that would be fun! That night, we drove to Lincoln for exchanges!
     Thursday we were in Lincoln with Sister Duncan and Sister McCoy.  I spent the day with Sister Duncan and she's great.  I think that's one of my favorite parts about exchanges is that my first impressions of people usually change after spending the day with them and you find out you have more in common with people than you would think.    Anyway, that night we drove home!!!! It was so nice to be back in our own apartment. 
     Friday we tried visiting less actives and part members in our own area but weren't having much success so after visiting this one house, we were driving away and there was this old guy doing yard work and so we went and helped him and he actually knew someone in our ward so that was kinda cool! He's having surgery on the 29th so we are going to go visit him and maybe bring him a treat or something.  He's really into Scouts so we invited him to the scouting broadcast which is on the same day but he probably wont be able to make it.  Then, we had a lesson with Alannah and her friend who is TOTALLY ready for the gospel was there and the last time she was there; her name is Katie. BUT she gave us her treadmill!!!! Pretty sweet right?? So now we have a treadmill in our apartment!!!!!!
   We had a lesson with Steve and he is seriously SO AWESOME!!!! He said he recognized the spirit in his life more all week and that he loves being Mormon.  He even went to work late on Sunday so that he could come to Sacrament meeting!!! Pretty cool!!!!! He's awesome. 
     Saturday we spent the day with the sisters in Glen Carbon.  They share the ward with us so we see them a lot and they are great.  It's Sister Anderson and Sister Calton and they are just really fun to be with! I spent the day with Sister Anderson and she is so sweet! She played lacrosse at Riverton.  I think it would be fun to be companions with her sometime.  That afternoon, Sister Woodward and I had a meeting with the AP's about our exchanges so far and how all the sisters are doing and then we just finished up the day with the Glen Carbon sisters by going to a lesson and then we came home!
     Yesterday we had church and then visited Renee and LeRoy!! Renee wants to come to church but I'm not reall sure how LeRoy feels about everything.  Renee wants to start learning about our church again since it's been a while and we asked LeRoy if he would like to also and he said if he is home he will listen but that he's pretty busy.  So I guess we will see.  I think he could eventually be interested but it would definitely take some time.  It's really cool though because Renee gets emotional every time she starts talking about the church and you can just tell she knows there's something important about it.  After we visited them, the Glen Carbon sisters had a baptism at the church and I played the piano and then we had dinner at the Kraude's; our ward mission leader.  Sister Kraude is so great.  THEN! Hahaha k, so we were all leaving, (Sister Woodward, Sister Anderson, Sister Calton, and I) and sister Kraude had found some catepillars and kept them on her porch so we were picking them up and just playing with them and taking pictures pretending to eat them but then Sister Calton decided to actually put on on her tongue and so we all did it too!! It was pretty disgusting and they smelled weird but we were laughing so hard!!!
     This week we have exchanges tomorrowwednesday, and thursday, and then we only have 2 more after that!! So tomorrow we will be in Mahomet,Wednesday we will be on the University of Illinois campus, and Thursday we will be in Charleston.  So that's pretty much our week!!!
     Oh my gosh!!!!!! Erin... you know Sister Card???? How?? She is so cute!!! She was my MTC teacher and probably my favorite one too!!!!
     Anyway, that's pretty much my week!!! I hope you have a super fabulous week!! OH, did I mention it is getting FREEZING here??? Ya... I HATE IT.  Welp, that's about it! I miss you all SOOOOOOOOOO much and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The pumpkin that we brought to carve.... hey... it was free

Exchanges with Sister Firestone and Jardine

Me and Renee

Eating a catepillar

Sister Anderson and Calton 

Monday, October 7, 2013

She's halfway! And loving it :)

     Thanks so much for your emails - it was so great to hear from you!! First off... I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE.  Like for real.  I wish it went on for a whole week!!! The talks were all soooo good.  I thought Elder Dube was adorable and I loved his talk.  Of course as always I loved President Uchtdorf (he's my favorite).  I think one of my favorite statements from conference was when he said "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."  That was so good!!! And it doesn't just apply to like less active members - it applies to us too!!  Side note: Elder Hales looked SO OLD :(.  
Basically I think I will just send you my notes because I took a ton and loved like every single talk.  Another one I really liked though was Elder Hamilton's talk about CONTINUALLY holding fast to the iron rod and how we shouldn't EVER make church meetings optional and how the devil uses good activities to put in the way of better or best activities.  AHH I just seriously loved conference!!!!!! I feel like the biggest nerd but, it's whatever, haha.  Anyway, I will tell you about my week!!
     Monday was pday and so we did the regular: email, grocery shop, lunch, clean the car, and then just wrote letters and I made quotes for the walls in the apartment haha.  That night, we had FHE at a members house and our investigator, Steve, came and I think he really liked it.  Oh, so I tried the southwest salad at McDonalds and it's really good! 
     Tuesday we had President interviews and a combined district meeting and then trainings by the AP's and other leaders and Sister Woodward and I gave a training too.  The AP's had called us the night before and they had some packages for Sister Woodward that her mom dropped off at the office cause she was visiting and so I was like "Oh do you need help carrying all of my packages too?" (I didn't have any) and they said they thought they could handle it and then at interviews they had made me a package hahahaha.  Basically it was some melted candy bars, expired slim jims, marshmallows, an old watch, pass along cars, and some other valuables.  It was pretty funny! Anyway, we were pretty much just at interviews the majority of the  day and then we tried contacting a referral and tried meeting some members of the ward.
     Wednesday was 9 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!! That's half way!!!!!! That morning, we had this guy, Tim Riding, call us and we had no idea who he was but he isn't a member and he said he had some questions for us.  So we met him at a restaurant and he's this anti mormon guy that has been trying to write a book for a long time and it was the dumbest conversation ever.  He wasn't ever rude or anything but he just tried to prove that the Book of Mormon was false and it didn't even make sense.  He started in 1 Nephi 13 and was like "So we agree that there is 1 church that God created right?" and we were like ya and he was like "But right here it's talking about another church - so it's false!" In chapter 13 it's just like talking about the abominable church and it's just basically people who go against the word of God but it's like that didn't even connect in his brain... it was pretty ridiculous.  I think he mostly just wanted to get a rise out of us somehow but when he realized that we were just nice and didn't get upset he was disappointed? IDK. I felt like it was a waste of time! Afterwards, we helped some recent converts set up Halloween decorations and that was fun! That night we had dinner with some members and we went through the ward roster so they could tell us who is less active and active and everything. 
     Thursday we visited with some less actives and then we visited the Wheelers.  They are active but their daughter who served a mission in Provo isn't active anymore but she has nothing but positive things to say about the church.  So towards the end of our visit, her daughter, Debbie (less active), came home and she sat down and she was so nice! She was asking us about our missions and said she has never regretted her mission and would do it again.  We got to know her a little bit and she loves fishing and so we asked her if we could go with her sometime and she invited us to go the next day with her! ALSO, she's really good friends with this other less active member in the ward Aron and he goes fishing with her so that was a plus! That night we went to have a lesson with Alannah and it was kinda sad.  She told us her feelings about church and pretty much it didn't go well for her.  Part of it I totally agreed with her on but it got to a point where she was being overly critical.  She said how irreverant people were acting in the chapel (which I agree with) and during the sacrament, and then how testimony meeting felt like an AA meeting would feel (i would also agree with that) but then she went on to talk about how the boys passing the sacrament should not be yawning and how kids should not be eating a bag of snacks in the chapel and stuff like that and so that's when we told her that the church is perfect but it's run by imperfect people so mistakes are made sometimes! She was pretty upset and disappointed about it all but she said she would try it again.  Thursday night was AWESOME!!! Okay so last week we were visiting less active members and we got to the Daibers and we didn't know who they were so we went to their house and she's a member and he's catholic and so we visited with them for a little - she added us as friends on fb haha, and then invited us to come back for dinner the next week.  So, we went to the Daibers for dinner and Renee was so excited to have us over! She hasn't been to church in probably 20+ years.  So we had dinner and then we shared a mormon message with them and then Renee asked us to share our testimonies and she started crying and then LeRoy ASKED ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!!!! The spirit was really strong there and I don't think Renee knows it yet but I think she wants to come back to church and I think LeRoy could become an investigator.  We love them though they are hilarious!!! We have plans to visit them this week again and I'm so excited!!!! Renee is like a huge talker and is really outgoing and all over the place and then LeRoy is just like really soft spoken and really sweet. 
     Friday we went fishing with Debbie and Aron!! IT WAS SO FUN! I caught like 4 pretty tiny fish AND I put a worm on a hook.  It was so great though because we were able to get to know both of them in like a non-pushy way and they said we could come with them again.  Arons wife isn't a member and Aron isn't really religious anymore but I think we are going to try to work with their family.  Also guess what??? Remember Carolyn from Mexico?? SHE'S GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!! I hope I will be able to go, it's on November 2nd but we will see. 
     Saturday we watched conference and Steve came and loved it and then Sunday we watched conference again and Steve came AND he had watched Priesthood on his own the night before and then for the second session on Sunday we watched it at the Bishops house.  Then, we visited Alannah and she had watched some of conference on her own and really liked it and I think it changed her attitude about church in a positive way which is really good!!! So that was pretty much my week!!!!
     We have our first exchange tomorrow and I'm excited!!! Steve's baptism is on Saturday and we got the whole thing planned out yesterday.  ALSO!!!! I got an ADORABLE HALLOWEEN PACKAGE from Mom this week!!!!! Seriously you deserve like an award or something - it's so cute!!!! I love everything in it and the little notes that go along with them.  You're just so creative!!!! Thank you soooo much!!!!!!!
     Anyway, I am going to send some pictures right now!  I miss you all like CRAZY and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is us in Mexico helping out in primary

our house and cleaning the car

more cleaning the car and mine and sis. webbs matching mumus

Sister Webb and I in what we call her "quaker outfit" at transfer meeting

Sister Woodward and I fishing!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

"I love you more than all the soybeans in Mexico Missouri!!!"

Hey Family!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love hearing from you!! I still can't believe you were IN MISSOURI.  Crazy!!! And guess what??? Macon is in my zone too.  This week has been pretty great!!! GUESS WHAT THOUGH???? I'm getting transferred:( I'm like happy and sad haha.  First of all, we knew transfer calls were coming this last week but usually you train someone for 12 weeks so we just figured we would both be staying and didn't even second guess not staying together right? Well we were wrong.  I'm going to Highland Illinois and I'm going to be a sister trainer leader!!! I am SOOO excited!!!!!!!! I think that will be so cool!!!!! Except I'm really going to miss Sister Webb.  I like her a lot!! We have so much fun together.  I really was so sad though just cause I wasn't even thinking I would get transferred.  BUT I really am so excited to be an STL - I think that is so cool and my companion is Sister Woodward - she was in my district in the MTC!!!!
     Anyway, on to my week! Monday was pretty great - I mean it's pday so ya.  GUESS WHAT THOUGH??? Remember Mama from Mahomet? As in like Biscuit and Mama? She got baptized!!!!!!! How cool is that!!!!
     Tuesday was not so great.  We had a lesson with Annette and her baptism is still on hold until she can find someone to live with that's a female and then we had service at the senior center.  I got a card from Dad that day and it made me so happy!! It's fun getting letters that are hand written every once in a while. 
     Wednesday we visited some less active members and had a lesson with Sarah and Tobias. 
     Thursday we went and visited a media referral that was really far away but he became a new investigator!! He's an older guy named Charles and really receptive.  Then we visited a referral we got from a ward member and it was so funny.  It was an older couple and I think I have told you that older men say like unexpected things sometimes but they get away with it cause they're old haha.  His name was John and was like "After your mission, will you be going into acting?" and I was like "no... why?" and he was like "Well, because you have a tremendous figure and I can see you doing something like that."  They weren't interested but it's nice to talk to people that are pleasant and fun.  That night, we had dinner with Bro. Chapman and I just love him!!!  He asked if we wanted apple juice and we were like "no thank you!" so he brought us over some apple juice and was like "here, it will wash your steak down" and then he's like would you like a cookie? and we were like, "that's okay - thanks though", so he brings over a plate of cookies and is like "here it will wash your apple juice down".  He's just so old and hilarious. 
     Friday we had a SUPER AWESOME lesson with Carolyn!!! It went so well and she is so prepared!!!! Like for real.  So our lesson was on the plan of salvation and first of all her brother-in- law, Dave, who is staying with them cause he has cancer, sat in on the lesson, and then her husband came home and listened too!! So that was good.  And then after the lesson, Sis. Webb was talking to Dave and I was talking to Carolyn and Carolyn started talking about how familiar and true this sounds to her and how she believes it without a doubt.  So I asked her about baptism and she said she would but she just wants to learn more about what we believe and what's expected of her if she joins the church.  She also said that this is something Dave really needs.  Dave told Sis. Webb that he has a good feeling in him when he talks to us and that we are welcome to come back!! It was so cool!!!
     Saturday we had a lesson with Robin on tithing and fast offerings and it went really well.  I was nervous cause I thought it would be something she wouldn't like cause she's already really short on money but right away she went off on how she's really been wanting to give her tithing and help God's kingdom grow so that was good! We also visited some less actives that day and transfer calls were Saturday. 
     Yesterday we had church and I played the piano for primary which was fun.  We just pretty much visited members and I started packing - I hate packing!!! Also, I have some stuff I need to send home. 
     So ya! That was pretty much my week!! Transfer meeting is on Wednesday so don't send anything to Mexico anymore!! This last week I have been reading in Alma and it's so good.  I like how there are so many stories.  This morning I just read about how the Nephites and Lamanites are fighting and then at one point, one of captain moroni's soldiers scalps Zarahemna and then picks his scalp up with his sword and like shows everyone and I just can't imagine how gross that would be!!! But I really like Alma a lot.  It's been so great serving in Mexico and I think out of our investigators I'm most sad to leave Carolyn just because she is so sweet and prepared.  It's cool to know that I played a part in Mama's learning process too to get baptized!!!
     Anyway, I hope you all have a really great week. I miss you all SOOOOOO much and I love you more than all the soybeans in Mexcio Missouri!!!!!!!!! (The air always smells like soybeans haha).  I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read this --> Alma 44:12-14
"I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth"
This was mine and Sister Webb's companion study this morning.

Monday, August 26, 2013

8 months!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!
     The library was closed yesterday so we didn't get to email so I am emailing you now!! Thanks for your emails - I loved reading them so much, they always make my week!!!!! This week has been pretty great.  Slow in some ways but really awesome in others!! Finding people to teach here is a little harder just cause it's been tracted soo many times, but the people we are finding to teach are mostly referrals and friends of investigators or part member families which are really awesome.  Anyway, I will just tell you about my week now!
     Tuesday we had a lesson with Annette on the law of chastity and it went really well!! We were worried cause we thought she was living with her friend John but it turns out she doesn't!!! Woohooo!! It's his ex-wife's house and he wont even go inside anymore and so Annette just lives in it and her and John are JUST friends so it works out! She said she has no problem with living the law of chastity. After Annette, we tried visiting some investigators that the sisters before us were teaching that we still hadn't met yet and we met Miriam! She is so cute. She's 25, black, married, has 2 kids with a baby on the.  At first when we got there, she DID NOT want to talk to us and she has quite the attitude haha but she totally warmed up to us and we had a great conversation! She wants to get baptized, do baptisms for the dead, go to the temple, wear garments, and everything else Mormons do, but the hard part is that she is used to her gospel choir type church and hates when church is boring.... not saying that ours is boring or anything.... BUT it's not quite as exciting if you catch my drift. Anyway, she loves the Bible and recognizes that the Book of Mormon is super similar so she wonders why we need it and she wants us to back everything from the Book of Mormon up with the Bible. She said she wanted to start the Bible from the beginning so we made a compromise and said we would start from the beginning of the Bible with her if she started from the beginning of the Book of Mormon with us and then we would meet and talk about what we read.  That night, we had dinner at a members' house and she served her mission in the Salt Lake City South mission!! Sweet huh?? 
     Wednesday was great! We had service and I love going there.  I wish we could go every day!! Then we had a lesson with Miriam and she hadn't done her reading and was upset with her husband and super moody but we read from the Book of Mormon with her in 2 Nephi 31 and she LOVED it and like wanted to mark everything and so that was good! We also had a lesson with an investigator, Patricia, who's an older black lady, but she isn't interested in switching religions.  We went through the restoration with her and talked about the Book of Mormon but she said she is going to stick with where she is at.  That night we had a lesson with a less active family, the McClures.  They asked us to start teaching them so they could get back on the right track and help their testimonies because they want to be sealed in the temple.  They had a baby a few months ago that passed away after 4 days and they had a really hard time with that.  Also, the wife's dad used to be a member and then had his name removed and he wants to be taught again as well!
     Thursday we had district meeting and I did a training on diligence and it turned out better than I thought! I talked about those 11 tips for being a successful missionary that mom sent met and then read Moroni 9:6 and then talked about Laman and Lemuel and how they really did have testimonies because there were times when they repented and decided to change for a short time but they weren't diligent in KEEPING their testimony so they lost it! And then I shared that Mormon message by Pres. Uchtdorf about the guy on the cruise ship who brought his own food and never left his room and then found out at the end that everything on the ship was included in his ticket and tied that in how if we are just diligent in doing the things we are supposed to do then we can reach our potential as missionaries and that there is a lot out there for us to have but we won't ever know if we aren't diligent.  Did that make sense??? Anyway, after district meeting we met with Carolyn (baptized into RLDS) and talked to her because she has been sick and then her husband got home from work and he talked to us too for a while and it was really good!! Carolyn told him that she wants to start coming to church!! That night, 
     Friday we had a lesson with Annette and it went so well!!!!!!!!!!! So we taught the Word of Wisdom and we were worried cause she LOVES her green tea and coffee but she was totally fine with giving it up!!! She has a really good attitude about it and was just kinda like, "well if I'm supposed to give it up, then I will"! We set up a baptism calendar with her and so if everything works out as planned she will be baptized on September 21st!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! Then, we visited Doug and Debi because we hadn't heard from them in a few days which is really weird.  We brought them some of the food that we were going to give Annette because we knew they were short and when we got there, their water had been turned off, Debi hasn't eaten for 5 days, her phone was out of minutes, and Doug was sick.  So I pretty much forced her to sit down and made her a PB&J and made her eat it.  After we talked to her for a little, we read the family proclamation with her and talked about setting goals to go to the temple.  That night we visited some less active members (that's one of my favorite things to do). 
     Saturday we had a lesson with Robin on the law of chastity and she said that she would follow it.  She wants to be baptized!! She just won't set a date yet and it's confusing as to why she won't, but we're trying!!!! Then, we visited a less active/part member family, the Campbell's and they are so sweet!! AND Sis. Campbell came to church on Sunday after we had visited her!! That night we had dinner at a members house and the son, who doesn't come to church at all anymore, had invited his non- member friends!! I thought that was really cool for him to do that since he doesn't even come!!!! He served his mission in Italy and made really good Italian food and we made plans to go back next week and have dinner with them again and their friends are going to come again so we will see if anything comes from that!!!
     Sunday, we went to church and Annette, Robin, Angela & Bruce all came!!!! (Angela is the lady I met in the library that one day!!!!).  I LOVE when investigators come to church but I am so nervous like the whole 3 hours cause I want them to like it and for everything to go perfectly and sometimes it doesn't and it just makes me so nervous!!!  Robin is basically part of the ward already.  She has been quite a few times and has pretty much given herself a calling, haha.  She gets the hymn books out before RS and then puts them away after and I think it's cute.  Also, I'm the pianist in sacrament meeting and RS for a few weeks!!! It makes me laugh cause I remember when I was little, Mom and Dad would always be like "If you go on a mission, you will be grateful that you play the piano because sometimes the places you go, there won't be a piano player"..... WELP, YOU WERE RIGHT.  I really like doing it though. 
     Yesterday was Pday and it was fun!!! Yesterday morning, we went to an Amish town (really close to our area) with some members of our ward, the Herrings.  I for real want to live with the Amish for like a month sometime.  I just think they're really cool.  I love that they hang their laundry and it's so fun to drive by their houses and see all the colors hanging up.  We visited this one little shop and it was part of a house and the owner gave us like a little tour of his house and it was pretty sweet!!! Their houses are so simple and they just have the necessities but it still feels like a home if you know what I mean? But it was fun! That night we had dinner with the RS Pres and she is sooo cute and their house has a cool history to it so she gave us a tour of it. 
     So that was pretty much my week!!!  Sister Webb is seriously hilarious - I LOVE HER!!!!! This weeks' weather has probably been the hottest since I've been out, it's been like over 100 every day and super humid to the point where you just walk outside and your sweating from every place possible hahaha but, to be honest, I really like it and I am not excited for it to get cold!!! We didn't find any investigators this week which kinda stinks but at the same time I feel like we made a lot of really good progress with other people and the less actives in our ward.  UGH also, I have like 20+ mosquito bites on my legs - it's really attractive. 
     Anyway, that was pretty much my week!!! This morning, Sister Webb and I read the first article in the New Era for this month by Uchtdorf and if you haven't read it you should! I really like it!! 
     Wellll I think that's about it!!! This week we have zone conference, I'm going on an exchange with either Sister Patchett or Sister Johnson tomorrow, and then on Saturday we have a stake RS activity! I hope you all have a really awesome week!!!!!!!!! You are always in my prayers and I'm seriously so grateful for you all.  Be safe and healthy and don't do anything dumb!! I miss you SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And one more thing . . . 

Okay look up D&C 60:8
cool huh?? hahaha

Pictures from the Amish town in Clark, Missouri

Monday, August 19, 2013

The awkward life of a missionary

HEY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Thank you soooooo much for your emails - I loved hearing from you guys!! This week has been pretty good.  It's been hard and busy but great! Doug Duchesne got baptized on Saturdayand I feel like I have known him and Debi for months already.  We got to teach him about half of the lessons (the sisters before us taught the first half) and we have a really great relationship with him and Debi.  I will talk about that more in a little bit! But first of all I am SO BUMMED!!!!!!!!!! Okay so we were going to be going to the temple this coming Friday since we are able to go once a transfer but guess what.... WE AREN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO GO ANYMORE ON OUR MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We just found out last night and I am soo bummed!! It's not a rule from our mission president but it came from Salt Lake.  So basically I can't go to the temple for like a year now. :(
     Tuesday morning we went tracting and didn't have much luck at all and then we visited a couple less active members in the ward.  One of them has been working on coming back and said she would be there but the other one has COPD and is kinda embarrassed/says she doesn't have the energy to come but that she misses church.  It's really too bad because it's exactly what she needs is to come but she just wont! I bore my testimony to her and told her the Lord would give her the energy to come and she changed the subject right away haha oh well! We will keep trying!  After that, we tried visiting some potential investigators and we met this lady Carolyn who is so awesome! She grew up with Mormon friends and has read the Book of Mormon and knows it's true and loves Alma but was baptized into the RLDS... I don't think she understood there was a difference haha but she invited us to come back which was fabulous!!! 
That night we had dinner with Doug and Debi.  They are one of those families that literally have nothing.  Like earlier this week they had to pawn a gun so that they could pay a bill so it's like a sacrifice for them to feed us! But so anyway, Debi made a TON of spaghetti for the 4 of us and then evenly distributed the large amount of spaghetti on our plates and we felt bad not eating it all so we just ate it all and were STUFFED!!!! And THEN she had made a cheesecake... not from one box but 2 boxes and then gave us giant pieces and then gave us more and basically I don't remember the last time I ate SO MUCH!!! 
     Wednesday we got to do service at a senior center and I LOVE IT!!!!!! Oh my gosh it is so fun.  It's just a place where older people come for activities and lunch but they don't live there or anything.  We help at lunch time and it was so fun!!! Everyone wants to talk to you and we stay busy the whole time and we get to know a lot of people that come there and I wish we could do it everyday to be honest! Hahahaha it cracks me up though... old men don't hold anything back that is on their mind.  You talk to them for like 10 seconds and they have already told you how young and pretty you are and then like try to flirt with you hahahaha it's hilarious!!!! them!  Anyway, Mother... Debi asked for your name and number haha and so you may be getting a call from her haha she's super sweet and I love her.  She never had any kids and she adopts us as her 'daughters' and she said she knows our moms probably worry at home so she wants to keep in contact with them and I think she just likes taking care of us. 
     Thursday we had district meeting and our district meeting is kinda far away so we had a member drop us off and then we called her after to come pick us up... and called her and called her... and she never came!!! So we were stuck in Fulton for like an hour and then we finally just called someone else in the ward and they came and got us!! But anyway, I like my district! There are 2 sets of sisters and 2 sets of Elders.  They seem pretty fun so far! It's weird being in a district with other sisters though haha.  After district meeting, we went to Carolyn's for a lesson and she is so sweet!! She owns her own business selling a BBQ sauce she makes and she is so cute.  We taught the first lesson about like the restoration and stuff and she's really understanding and receptive.  Her husband wasn't there but she was telling us that he's always been a lot more scientific and needs facts for everything and believes in like Darwins theory and stuff but that she thinks he would come to church if he had good fellowshipping and so we are going to find someone for both of them to be fellowshipped by!! She invited us back next week for lunch to try her BBQ sauce and for a lesson! That night, we had dinner with the Griffins and I really like them.  They both served their missions in Japan so they made Japanese food and it was SOOO delicious!!! They made homemade sushi, curry and rice and  these little like pocket looking things with a sweet flavored rice in them.  It was so yummy!!! I don't remember what part he served in but she served in Osaka? Anyway, it was a fun night!
     Friday we volunteered at the senior center again and then after that we had our last lesson with Doug before he gets baptized!! Then, we had a lesson with Annette! She has a strong testimony and a lot of faith and really ponders things.  It was our first time meeting her and we weren't really planning on even having a full lesson with her because we had never met her but we ended up having a lesson with her and setting a baptismal date with her! For September 21st.  After that, we were visiting potential investigators again and we found 2 new investigators.  Harry and Mary.  (I don't think I will ever be able to take the name Harry seriously after watching Dumb and Dumber).  Anyway, Harry and Mary are boyfriend/girlfriend I think? Harry called her his baby mama sooo idk.  They both I'm pretty sure have some type of disability and so does their baby but Harry said he needs Jesus in his life and so we gave him a Book of Mormon and they said they would come to church (they didn't) but we have a lesson with them this week so we will see!! Hahaha it was kinda funny though, so I asked if we could pray with them and Harry walked back inside and was like "they're gonna pray" and we were just standing outside the screen door still and then a few seconds later he was like "you can come in" so we came in and prayed and they all stared at us the whole time.  I've decided that when I get home I'm going to have no sense of what's awkward because I feel like the life of a missionary is just like embracing awkward moments constantly hahaha.  Then we found another new investigator, Patricia.  She is an older black lady and just so sweet and cute and she said we could come back this week! That night, the Soybean Festival in Mexico started so we went and tried talking to people but no one wanted to talk to us haha so on our way out we got fried oreos.  They sound disgusting but they were so good!!!! It reminded me of working at Cowboy Corndogs at the fair and towards the end of the night when we had extra batter, we would just fry whatever snacks we had laying around, pears, candy bars, cheese, literally anything haha. 
     Saturday, we were supposed to have a lesson with Robin but when we got there she said she couldn't meet with us and that she was going to a pentacostal church on Sunday.  I'm not really sure about her.. she loves our church and the Book of Mormon and everything but then she's also taking lessons from Jehovahs Witnesses and so idk, but we will see! Then, we tried contacting people at the Soybean Festival again (only in Mexico would there be a soybean festival) and once again, no one really wanted to talk to us! So then we went to the church to set up for Dougs baptism!! We filled the font up, set up chairs, the piano, the TV, and everything looked so great!!! (We decided we are going to be baptism planners when we get home) and THEN, the Bishop got there and realized the air conditioning was broken so he just had everyone go into the RS room.  Whatevs! Bro. Loyd baptized Doug and it was his first time baptizing anyone and he was so nervous and got there like an hour early and just sat there and it was so sweet.  The baptism went so well and Doug looked so happy and just glowed afterwards.  While Doug was changing after his baptism, the plan was to watch the Restoration DVD, but the plug was broken so we ended up just singing hymns and I think it was supposed to happen!!! So Doug's daughter came to the baptism and she always thought Mormons worshipped Joseph Smith but after singing the hymns, she mentioned to Debi that everything was about Christ and it cleared up her misconceptions! So that was really neat!! I'm actually glad the restoration movie didn't end up working!!
     Yesterday Doug got confirmed at church and he still just looks so happy.  After church, we came home and had lunch and then just spent the day visiting members of the ward.  That night, we had dinner with the Prestons and they are so cute.  They just got married last week (they have both been married before) and they are in their like 60's.  They livin Centralia and in a really secluded area with TONS of tall tall trees and a little lake to the side of their house with a dock and it was so fun to just get to know them and spend time with them.  On our way home.... I got pulled over.... hahahahahahaha sooo it was a 2 lane road right and since it was night time I had my brights on cause I don't want to hit any deer or anything and I would forget to turn them off when people passed me so they would flash their brights at me to like remind me to turn them off right? So I kinda got the hang of things and realized how to turn them on and off quickly and so then I started doing the same thing to cars that were passing me.  Not to be rude or anything but just cause it kinda blinds you for a little and they are super narrow country roads.  So like I do it once right? And then a few seconds later, I see a cops lights turn on behind me and I'm going like 10 under the speed limit so I knew it wasn't that but he asked me why I flashed my brights at him and so I told him the whole story and long story short... his brights weren't even on and it's illegal to flash your brights!!! He let me off with a warning so that was fabulous!!
     Today we are just going to finish emailing and then probably go to lunch and grocery shop and then maybe check out the ymca and do stuff there for a little? We don't really know yet! But Sister Webb is so great!!! She's hilarious!!!!! We have a lot of fun together and she's a great missionary and I just really like her!! It's still weird to me that she's older than me but I'm training her but she's so great!! Haha oh I forgot! So we were at the soybean festival and this old man came up to us and had seen us at the senior center and was hitting on us and offered us a bite of his corndog... people here are so awesome.
     Welp!! I think that's about it!! It's definitely a lot difference here than anywhere I have ever been but I like it.  I know the church is true and that when we show the Lord that we want help and then do all we can to do our part that he will be there! I hope you all have wonderful day and week.  Be safe and smart and healthy and don't do anything dumb!!!! I miss you all like CRAZY and I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Did I mention that the majority of people here don't have most of their teeth?