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!!!