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? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

To Mexico!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Okay, so you know how I told you that if I was ever called on a mission I would be called to Mexico and so that's a reason why I didn't want to go? Welp, I was RIGHT!!! I am being transferred to Mexico, Missouri! Hahahaha. I am training a new sister there and white washing too! Do you know what white washing is? It's kinda hard to explain... Dad would probably know so ask him haha.  I'm seriously so sad to leave Mahomet though - I LOVE IT HERE!!!!! Like it's probably somewhere I want to come back and visit for sure.  I will talk more about that later.  I know I didn't know Uncle Brad really well or anything but he's probably the Uncle on dad's side I knew the best and that I have memories with and I'm really going to miss him.  I really thought he was going to be okay and it made me cry to hear that he had passed away.  You're going to do a really great job on your talk Dad.  I will keep you in my prayers.
     We had dinner and a lesson with Biscuit and Mama.  Oh. My. Gosh. Can I just say I love them so much?? They are the sweetest couple.  Before dinner, they let us ride their tandem bike and it was so much fun! I loved it! It was kinda hard to get used to first but it was so much fun to ride.  After dinner, We went over the Plan of Salvation and it went really well and they have so many questions and they are just so accepting.  I asked them where they think they came from before they were born and they were both like "well, I've never really thought about that before".  They are both in their late 60's or 70's and it's so crazy to me how they have never thought about that before! Anyway, they said they would come to church on Sunday! After that, we visited Dennis (less active) and Sonja (not a member) Boyce and Sonja wants to learn more about the church and so she is a new investigator! It was so cool because like Dennis hasn't been to church since the late 90's but he wants to take the lessons again right along with Sonja and he basically told her the whole Joseph Smith story and it was just really cool! Tuesday night we got trainer calls and I found out that I was going to be training! I love training!!!!
     Wednesday we did service at Sweet Designs with Debi and it was so fun. She is so fun to talk to and she's really open about talking about religion.  She's definitely not interested in converting or anything but she will ask us questions about our church and tell us about hers and it's just fun to spend time with her and talk to her.  That night we had dinner with the Christensens!!!! I got to hear all about their trip to Utah and visit with you guys and look at pictures and it was so great.  Sister Christensen said how our family is her dream family and that she loved spending time with you guys and just loved you!!! The pictures were so fun to look at and her kids had a really good time too.  Emily wouldn't stop bringing up Touey all night hahaha it was the cutest thing ever.  She even knows my name!!!!!! But she loved Toulouse a lot and I'm just so glad you got to meet them.  I'm going to miss them a LOT. 
     Thursday we had district meeting and I was asked to give a training on recognizing the spirit.  I really like my district! It's like the most random group of missionaries ever but they are so fun.  The Elders made this awesome music video last monday to this upbeat song and it's like one of those videos that if it was put on youtube it would be huge.  They said they would send it to me so if they do then I will send it to you so you can see it!
     Friday we went to Charlenes and she taught us how to make chicken salad and then we ate lunch with her! Then we read from the Book of Mormon with her.  She is so sweet.  She calls us her "girls" and tells all her friends and family about us and how we were angels sent to her.  I just feel so bad for her because she is so alone and her depression really gets to her sometimes.  That night we had dinner with the Goodriches and we made a rap of primary songs with an app they have on their phone and it was hilarious.  Then we just visited a less active member after that.
     Saturday was SO GREAT!!!! We had invited a ton of people to church throughout the week and they said they would come since I was going to be playing the piano so we decided to visit them all again just to remind them haha.  So we visited Joe and Tara Mouser to invite them and they were getting ready to go to the state fair when we came over and they invited us to go!!! It's in Springfield Illinois so like an hour and a half away so we called for permission to go and we got to go!!!!!!!! IT WAS SO FUN.  I'm just grateful we even got to go!! When we got there, we looked at animals and we got to see Clydesdale horses from Budweiser along with the dalmation and that was pretty cool.  They are huge horses!!! Then we just walked around the little stands they had and ate and it was a lot of fun.  Fairs are so much fun - just like the atmosphere is exciting!! It reminded me of working a cowboy corndogs at the fair with the Barlows!! Joe and Tara also brought 2 of their foster kids and they are black and we drove up and there was this super super skinny girl who was taking tickets for parking and they were like "that girl needs to eat" "she needs to buy some groceries" (imagine that in like black people talk haha) but it was hilarious!! On our way home from the fair we got transfer calls and I am going to Mexico and Sister Johnson is staying here in Mahomet.  It was such a fun day though and the Mousers are so sweet!!! I was so grateful that we even got to go!!! Joe owns like his own branch of Edward Jones and said that when I get off my mission I could call him and he would give me an intership or job.  Pretty sweet right?
     Yesterday was good too!! We had church and I played the piano and not everyone who said they would come came but the Eastons, Biscuit, Mama, and Jim came! Biscuit and Jim are brothers and they all said they would come back next week!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!! In Relief Society they announced that I was going to be leaving and it makes me so sad.  I really love this ward and this area so much and it's way harder than I thought saying bye to people.  After church, we went to the Springers and she taught us how to make egg rolls and creme puffs and they were so delicious!! The Springers are so awesome and I really hope I can keep in touch with them.  Then, we went to the Eastons for Tim's birthday and he had invited a lot of the Elders in our zone and it was really fun! We had dinner, they played basketball, and we sang songs and it was just fun! When we got home to our apartment, Sis. Palumbo had fixed this old clock and painted it super cute and it was waiting for us at our door!! We didn't even ask her to do it, she just did it and it was so sweet of her. 
     Today, we are going to the outlet stores with Sis. Christensen and Sis. Hobson and then tonight we have dinner with Biscuit and Mama.  I am seriously dreading packing... I HATE PACKING.  It takes forever and we have to be at the church at 5:30 AM to take a school bus to St. Louis.  BUT it will be fine haha.  I'm seriously so sad that I'm leaving Mahomet though.  I told Charlene that I was leaving yesterday and she started crying and I felt terrible!!!
     Anyway, that was pretty much my week!! That is so awesome that you were able to give a Book of Mormon to Uncle Terry again and put all the scriptures and testimonies in it - I really hope he reads it!!! I know this church is true and I'm SO grateful for it.  I'm more and more grateful every day just for the fact that I grew up in the church.  I hope you all have a super fabulous week.  Be safe and healthy and don't do anything dumb (like take weird U turns)!!!!! I miss you all like CRAZY and I LOVE YOU BUNCHCES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And one more thing!!

So we also had service this week at the museum and our job was to clean the shelves of the basement that like no one has probably been in in a long time.  But we start taking apart this metal shelf with screwdrivers and we got the top of the shelf unscrewed and were taking it off and there was a dead mouse on the top!!!! It was so nasty!!!! But like it's body wasn't there, it was just fur, tail, and teeth.  It was soooo gross!!!!! And then, we got to the bottom shelf and underneath, there was ANOTHER dead mouse but this one was just a skeleton!!!! But still it was so disgusting!!!!!!!! I thought volunteering at the museum would be fun... but I'm not so sure about that anymore...
     Also, apparently I laugh in my sleep frequently... I think that's kinda weird.  Welp I think that's all now!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

7 Months!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails, I loved reading them!!!! I have been praying for Uncle Brad - that is so sad - and I hope he is doing well, keep me updated!! 

     So Monday was pday (obvi) and Sister Knight in our ward colored my hair for free and gave me some super great hair spray and a huge thing of really awesome shampoo and conditioner!!! She went on a mission too so she said she knows how buying things like that is inconvenient haha.  Then we went to the Goodriches and she made cafe rio salads!! They are from Utah and so they know what Missouri is missing out here.  Then we just played games like gorilla and psychiatrist all together and the zone leaders were there too and it was so fun!!

     So Tuesday, remember me telling you about Tracie?? Like SOOOOO prepared and we had a super awesome lesson with her and like her mom was in jail for 32 years for shooting her ex-boyfriend? So we were supposed to have a lesson with her on Tuesday and she texted us and said her Mom wants her to stick to her Catholic beliefs... Okay... Seriously??  We are going to keep trying though because she seriously needs to be Mormon.  Some people I meet on my mission I can look at them and be like "you would be such a perfect Camp Director" or "you're supposed to be a Relief Society president" and Tracie would be PERFECT in young womens.  Oh well, we wont give up!! Then, we taught Sarah Matthews the 'stop smoking' workshop and it seems like she's really dedicated to quit which is so exciting and I know Gordy really wants her to quit too.  Then we visited Charlene and I just feel so bad for her.  She misses her husband so much and feels like she has no reason to wake up in the morning.  She said she would like to come to bingo with us on Thursday and that she would like to come to church also.  She just needs friends and something to do everyday! That night, we had dinner with the Taylor's and Bro. Taylor works at the University of Illinois and they have an original copy of the Book of Mormon in their library!!!! Cool huh?? The school has like no idea how valuable it is either, but you can go to the library and like flip through it and everything so we might go do that!!

     Wednesday we had a metting with this lady at the Prairie Museum because we are thinking of volunteering there instead of the retirement home (I like the retirement home a lot but Sister Johnson doesn't and I figure I'm most likely getting transferred anyway so I don't mind) but the museum is pretty cool!!! We are going to do it every Wednesday and we get to help inspect like REALLY old documents and help build things for the library and I'm excited!! The top floor has like history of Illinois like architecture and original settlers and mining and stuff and then the bottom floor is mostly about Abraham Lincolns time and that kind of stuff.  Our assignment for Wednesday was to "get to know" the museum so we just got to walk around and look at everything and we had a fun time!! There was this thing you could do downstairs and dress up like Abraham Lincoln and then there was a backdrop where you could get your picture taken and so we did that and I will have to send you some of the pictures because they are paretty funny haha.  So I don't know if I told you about our apartment but up until last week our apartment consisted of 1 round table and 1 rectangle table, 2 beds, a dresser, a couple lamps, and a couch.  So our desk was also our kitchen table and there was like no way to organize anything.  And then, last week we finally got desks!!! And then, this last week, Sister Palumbo (like lives on Craigs list, haha) said there was this posting for a couch and you just had to submit your story and the lady would choose who needed it the most from the stories.  Sister Palumbo calls us one morning and tells us that she submitted our story and that we won the couch!! Now we have a couch and it looks pretty new!!!

     Thursday.... I don't even want to talk about Thursday..... Well I guess Thursday morning was pretty good.  We had district meeting and then we did service all afternoon at a resale/thrift shop with our district and the Champaign district and we just sorted clothes and stuff and it was so fun!! It's crazy the stuff people donate to those things.  Like some people I swear just throw garbage in a bag and donate it and it's sad because SOMEONE has to go through it and it can get gross! But we found some hilarious clothes and had fun with them!! It's so cool how much stuff has been donated though!!! THEN... ughhh............. we had a lesson with the Eastons.  Well, we didn't really even have a lesson.  We got there, had dinner, had a fun time, and then we are about to start the lesson and we were planning their baptism and all the details that night and Teri said they had something to talk about.  I could tell something was up just from that but i didn't think it would be what it actually was.  So Teri told us how our discussions made her reflect on who she was and how she got where she is and she said that she is still Methodist and doesn't feel like she needs baptism into the church right now.  She feels like she received the Holy Ghost when she was younger and that she is fine where she is at.  Then, Scott pretty much said the same thing except he is even thinking of going BACK into the methodist ministry now.  It seriously killed me.  Like most prepared family on earth right???  I think what bothers me a lot though is EVERY lesson, Scott would go off about how true the church was and how it wasn't a matter of if he got baptized but when and how the LDS values are more in line with their families values and that the methodist church is falling apart and then he totally discounted any of those feelings when we were there.  It makes me so sad and I still can't believe it happened.  They told us to not go away feeling like we failed but did the exact opposite because without us meeting with them then they never would have gotten to that realization.  It seriously just makes me SOOO SAD!!!!!!!!! I was not expecting that at all.  I asked them if they believed this was the restored church and they said that they hadn't gotten that confirmation (even though they said they had in the past) and so I told them to ask that in their prayers specifically and just bore my testimony on prayer because I know God answers prayers and if you really want to know something, all you have to do is ask!! We are having dinner with them on Thursday and then they invited us over for Tim's (their son who is baptized) birthday on the 11th so like it's good that they aren't cutting us completely off or anything but just keep them in your prayers please!! The whole ward is shocked just cause they all knew their story and many of them had talked to the Eastons and heard their testimonies and it's just crazy!!! I still have hope though!!!

     Friday was 7 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Friday morning we had a lesson with Randy and it went well! So like when people ask questions about our religion, no matter what, I don't really get offended like I take it as a good thing they are asking questions! But okay so he asked a question from Matthew 22:23-30 and it talks about how there is not going to be any marriage after the resurrection and I had never heard that or that question before!! So he was wondering why we get sealed and stuff and so I told him I would research that and have an answer for him next time and like it makes a little more sense to me now after asking our Bishop but it's still kinda interesting.  So basically, our Bishop said that there wont really be any "marriage" after the resurrection but that's why we get sealed because getting sealed isn't getting married.  So like there won't be temporal marriage but we will be sealed. Does that make sense?? Anyway, after that, we met a referral, John, at Subway.  He's from Hawaii and super nice and I think he has some kind of social disorder but he said he would read the Book of Mormon and that he would come to church and wants to meet with us again! Then, we met with this girl Casey that we tracted into a while ago, I think I told you about her? She is 19 and has a 3 year old and just had a baby a week ago! So we visited her and she also wants to learn more which is AWESOME!!! Oh also, we were tracting on Friday and we met a Satanist... that was weird.

     Saturday we visited less active members in White Heath but didn't have much luck so we visited the Springers for a couple minutes since they live there and they said we could come back for dinner that night! So then, we went to Farmer City and visited the Boyce's because we hadn't met them yet and they don't go to church! So we get there, and the dad was there with his wife and son and his girlfriend and the dad, Dennis, and his wife actually live in our apartments!!!! We were talking to his wife and asked if they go to church anywhere and she told us that they aren't right now and that she's been looking for a church to go to and has been telling Dennis that she wants to know more about our church!! So we have an appointment with them this week!!! Then, we went to the Springers for dinner and helped them make it too!! It was so fun! We made shrimp scampi (spelling?) over rice and some vegetables and it was so fun to help them!! I didn't eat any of the shrimp, just the sauce part haha but we got to like take the shells of the shrimp and make it all with their help!! Then Sister Springer showed us her quilter and it is AWESOME! But dinner was super delicious!!!

     Hahahahaha okay so remember testimony football?? So I told a couple of the young women that we used to play that during sacrament meeting and now they play it too!!! Hahahahaha.  The Relief Society lesson was really good, it was about confidence and beauty and they showed that dove commercial that mom showed in her lesson a couple months ago! The teacher shared a quote that had something to do with how arrogant people are typically insecure and how confident people are typically humble.  Interesting huh? Then, we had dinner with the Hope's (Bishop and his family) and they are always one of my favorite houses to eat at! They are a lot of fun to be with and they make really good food!!

     OH!!!! So remember Gracie from Frontenac?? She got baptized!!!!!!!!!!! I think that's pretty much my week.  I'm still really bummed about the Eastons, like it breaks my heart just knowing how close they were and like out of no where they just change their minds.  I read a really good talk in the July Ensign this last week about living for the eternities and it was so good - if you haven't read it you should!! It was talking about agency and how God not only has given us the agency to choose good from evil but also the power to choose good OVER evil.  It also talks about how in today's world, independent people are looking for ways to have freedom so they feel like by not choosing the right they are exercising their freedom but in reality, we have the freedom to choose a righteous path too!! Does that make sense? It says it better in the article haha.  I just know that when we do use our agency by choosing the right that we are able to have more freedom naturally because we don't have sins or wrong choices weighing us down.  Satan is working just as hard as we are today! It also talked about how like everyone made fun of Noah building an ark... until it started raining.  And that's just like how it is today! It's "not the popular thing" to make good choices all the time or stand out from everyone else but if we stick to our values and what we know is true, even if we get laughed at now, we wont be when it comes down to the end! I know this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true and it's written for our day and I love it! I know that if we can beat Satan at his own game that we will be stronger and happier. I love the gospel!!!!!!

     Anyway, that's all I think! I hope you all have a super awesome week and that you stay safe and healthy and don't do anything dumb!!! I miss you all SOOOOOOO much and I'm so grateful for all of you.  I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. So tomorrow is trainer calls so we find out who will be training this next transfer and then saturday is transfer calls!!!