Monday, December 21, 2015

Hermana Sears, Faye, and Hermana Smith:)

Faye's Christmas cookies.  Even though she is just recovering from falling out of remission she couldn't let her friends, neighbors, the greeters at Walmart, or her dog's vet go without her annual Christmas cookies.



Thursday and Friday night all the 20 missionaries of our Chambersburg zone got to be a part of a live nativity.  It was amazing.  


Christmas as a missionary is amazing......

Well my official pday will be Thursday, Christmas Eve. But I'll tell
you a couple things that went on last week.
     Christmas as a missionary is amazing. We've had lots of service
opportunities every day this week. Tuesday night we went caroling in
Gettysburg square, Wednesday and Thursday we got to be a part of a
Christmas project at the food pantry where we work at once a week
normally. They gave Christmas to families and individuals who use
their food pantry. I got to help two families Christmas 'shop.' One
was a young couple with three young kids, and the other was a single
mom with one young girl. I was thrilled to help her, she was Spanish
speaking.
     Thursday and Friday night all the 20 missionaries of our
   Chambersburg zone got to be a part of a live nativity, it was
amazing. The stake president put it on, and he went all out. We had
live alpacas, donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, etc. I played one of
the Shepards. In the two nights, over 1,000 people showed up from the
area. We were surprised to see much of the Amish and Mennonite
community come. We reenacted it every fifteen minutes for two hours
both nights, and in between each one we talked to people. It's so
amazing how people's hearts are softened and everyone comes together
this time of year.
     Saturday sister smith and I hosted a zone activity in Hanover. We
went caroling to ten homes. Some investigators, Spanish and English,
and ward members. It meant so much to them. Brother Remmington just
got home from another month in an in patient physical therapy center,
so it was a nice welcome home for him. He is still progressing slowly.
We ended up at the Willoughby's house for dinner which Hermana 
Smith and I got stuck making for everyone. The Christmas gift cards from the
ward ended up going towards that. Haha.
     Sunday we sang in sacrament meeting together, and got to help
Hermana Yolanda with her family history work. Her husbands name is
ready to take to the temple!
     A little miracle, Tuesday while on exchanges with Sister wells,
we had literally walked for hours and hours trying people with zero
success. We had 15 minutes until we had to head back to exchange back,
but I kept feeling like we needed to try and see Faye. I tried to talk
myself out of it again and again, I knew she was sick, we had tried a
million times before. But when we went, they answered the door, and we
got to see Faye! In fact we've seen her three times since then!
     Faye is incredible. She has continued reading her scriptures
every single day through her illness. She is unlike anyone I've ever
met. Faye should have passed away 15 years ago but the doctors have
told her it is literally her positive attitude that has kept her
alive. She has three terminal illnesses, but if you talked to her you
would never guess. She is the sweetest person you could ever meet.
Even though she's just recovering from falling out of remission she
couldn't let her friends, neighbors, the greeters at Walmart, her dogs
vet go without her annual Christmas cookies. The best are the poodle
shape cookies she made in honor of her poodle service dog.(:
      Another interesting fact about Faye. The many hours we've spent
making Christmas cookies with Faye we've gotten to hear all about her
life story. Faye has worked with every big name in Hollywood you could
possibly think of. I'll just have to send her list someday, there's
too many to list. But she's so funny about it. The reason she made it
big was because she could always walk onto a set and never be star
struck by anyone. I'll have to send some pictures of her work, it's so
cool!
     We're just so happy to have Faye back. Who knows if she will ever
get well enough to go to church, but for now she's doing everything
she can be.
     This week we got a new secret weapon- an RM in the ward! Fresh
from the Pocatello Idaho mission. Let me tell you, RM's are
missionaries best friends. They're so socially awkward and wannabe
missionaries still that they're just dying to go out with you and
refer everyone and their dog to you. Anyway, we're loving the help. He
came with us to teach Faye this week, and instantly fell in love with
her as soon as he realized how amazing she is.
     We have been teaching more Spanish than English lately! It's
great. Laura and Juan are doing so well. We saw them last night and
they were so excited to tell us they had been reading and they've
always got a million questions. Last night we committed them to
baptism, and they said YES! They said "so they (their two girls) will
have to wait until they grow up?" I am SO happy I could die. They're
coming to a baptism the Gettysburg elders are having Saturday.
Honestly... I know I shouldn't get my hopes up. They haven't attended
church yet. The Spanish branch is in York, an hour away. Please pray
for their family!

I'm holding up okay since Hunter's departure. To be honest my
companion thinks I'm depressed. But I just need my time to mourn and
I'll be okay haha. It's been hard.

Merry Christmas, I love you! Thank you for all the Christmas wishes.
The church is true.


Hermana Sears

Monday, December 14, 2015














Just past half way this week!

Hey hey.

    I hit my halfway mark this week on the 11! Sooo crazy. Since Ididn't write last week I have a bit more to catch up on. This letteris going to be all over the place. First and foremost- Alivia andHannah's baptism! The day was great. So many people in the ward showed up, they had a lot of support. It's been so cool to see the ward get involved with their family and with missionry work. We had a lessonwith the girls three times a week for a month and each one was in adifferent members home, so by now they feel very much a part of thisward. The last one began like the first, at Bishop Bushey's After their baptism many came up to us asking if they could teach with us sometime. Win win. We made a little slideshow I will attach with some of their lessons with the ward that we showed at the baptism. Hannah and Alivia's mom is not a member, and she had a great experience.

     MLC in Pittsburg last week was amazing. Being back in downtown Pitt made me miss the east side- that will always be home- but it was a fun weekend. We stayed the night with the Clarkson's- the senior couple from England. They're hilarious. Elder Perkins from the seventy came and trained us. He is a really cool guy- he is in charge of all the social media for the church including lds.org. The best part of having visitors at MLC is the Q&A we get to do with them at the end. Someone asked him how he manages to balance his calling as a seventy, his career- he works at the number one law firm in the world, and his family. It's kind of a miracle considering General authorities are traveling something like 48 out of the 52 weeks in a year for their calling. He read 3 Nephi 13:33 and stated simply that when you put the Lord first everything works out. 

As always... Tuesdays are my absolute favorite days. All in one day we get to see the Reid's, the Remmington's, and the Kerns. Those days help me put my own problems into perspective, I learn so much from them. It has become a weekly tradition to sing for June  before we go, and this week as we were leaving, after she listened to us, and we hugged her goodbye, she just said "I love you." My heart melted, haha. She is a lady of very few words, so it was so sweet. 
    We have been able to teach so much in spanish this week! I am in heaven. The hispanic people are just such a different culture- so kind and warm and friendly. It can also be a challenge figuring out which are actually interested and which are just being kind- they really can't say no! Haha. There is one family in particular I am very excited about. Laura and Juan. We taught them Friday night. We were on exchanges, and I was with an English missionary, so I translated for her- Sister Douglas. I absolutely love teaching in spanish. There is always such a different spirit as we teach in their language, we rely heavily, and sometimes solely on the spirit to guide us what to teach, and the words to say. This week I was thinking about my spanish three months ago, and four months ago, and nine months ago. I have been so so frustrated feeling like I was going nowhere, but I realized I had come a long way. The progression is very slow, but it is coming. I am nowhere near fluent, but I'll keep working. I have been translating the Book of Mormon from Spanish to English word for word since I have been out in the field, and that has helped a ton. Reading the scriptures in spanish and reading them aloud has helped me more than anything. 
    Anyway- Laura and Juan. We decided to read 3 Nephi 11 where christ comes to the people around the temple. They are just so sincere, they have been reading the Book of Mormon as a family- they have two little girls. As we were leaving Laura thanked us for coming and teaching their family, she said she is excited to learn more and they will be waiting for us to come back. It was so cool to be able to translate for Sister Douglas- the spirit came from her but the words came from me, you can't translate the spirit, but I know they felt it. This is the very reason Hermana Yolanda comes to church every single week even though she doesn't speak or understand any English. 
    The tricky part is that there is no spanish branch here, let alone a ward. There is ONE spanish branch in the mission. And like I said, it's attendance is struggling at about nine people right now. The branch is in Lancaster, which is north of me, where I think I will go next. But point is, if they come to church it will all be in english. It will take a lot of faith.. There is a possibility of us translating for them through headsets but I don't know if I am at that level yet to be able to. That's the problem with teaching Spanish in the states... I've got a lot of hope for this family though. 
    Sunday nights are up there with my favorite day of the week. It is the night Yolanda goes out with us to teach. We are still working on contacting our huge list of spanish referrals together. We met an amazing lady named Luz (spanish for light,) this week. She has so much potential, she is already living all the gospel standards including the word of wisdom- which is a miracle in PA and MUSIC to our ears, and is so ready. She just hasn't grown up going to church so it's the habits she's lacking. 
    We also got to teach Rodrigo and his family again this week. We had an awesome teamup- Courtney Baughman, an RM of one year from Brazil, and her fiance who she met in Brazil, Marcio. They both understand spanish but only speak portuguese. Marcio tries to speak spanish but I'd call it more Portunish- a mush of spanish and portuguese. It is so cool- whenever they talk to eachother I can understand everything! same roots. Portuguese is the weirdest sounding language, it's like drunk Spanish. But that's next on my list once I get spanish down. 
    Sunday night we also got to teach Mammaw with them- who happens to be Courtney's grandma. We taught about eternal marriage, and their added testimonies were so powerful- they have both lost parents in the last three years, and plan on being married in the temple in January, needless to say the temple is very important for them. Mammaw lost her husband three years ago, and until tonight she had not realized she could be sealed to him even though he has already passed away. She just cried, she had no idea, she thought it was too late. 

    It's been cool, we have met some new people by accident as we've contacted those referrals. One was Ken, the new resident in the home listed. We figured out it was not the guy we were looking for when he was an English guy, and started talking to him anyway. He told us it wasn't a good time, that his wife had just passed away. As he did, he just broke down and started weeping on the doorstep. We both couldn't help but cry watching him, and we were able to tell him we wanted to come back and tell him how he could see her again. It was on exchanges with Sister Douglas, but we both felt we should share something about temples- something that you wouldn't ever normally do on a first visit. I asked him if he remembered his wedding vows, when it said 'til death do us part.' At that point he said "yes and I always hated that, I always told me wife that I hated that. And now she's gone, and I'm heartbroken, I am never marrying again." We explained very briefly eternal marriage. We are going back to see him Saturday, but I've been thinking about him all week. The stranger who opened up to us like that, I cant even imagine what he's feeling. 
    Couple last things. We had zone conference this week, the best one of the year- December zone conference. All about Christmas. Sister smith and I sang Nearer my God to Thee in Spanish. We got to watch the PPM 2015 video. We're doing our best to fill our twelve days of Christmas with lots of service opportunities every day. So far it's full of caroling, food pantries, service for members, etc. It'll be a great Christmas. Christmas Eve we put together a singles Christmas Eve party for people in the ward who would be spending it alone, it'll be super fun hahah. Christmas Day we will be with the Atkinson's again where we were for thanksgiving, among others. (👇🏻Mi mama- Hermana Davis!) 
    I am warming up to this ward. Saturday night was our Christmas party, it was so good to go and be around them. I think they are warming up to me as well. Every time I see cute little Alivia in the halls she comes running up and gives me a big hug. Brother Cook, the first counselor in the bishopric just said 'a lot of people are really going to miss you when you go.' The ward surprised us by calling us up in front of everyone and having Santa give us presents hahah. It's a good ward. This picture is with the funniest lady in the world- granny. She's hilarious. Literally every time I go over to see her (She's sister sutherland's mom,) I just die laughing. 

    I am coming to love being an stl. After every exchange I feel like I've made a life long friend. I love that I get to know many more missionaries than I would normally. I have the chance to talk through whatever their struggles are and help them. Most of the time they just need someone to talk to about their comp that's driving them crazy, hahah but there have been times where I've felt I've been able to make a real difference in helping some with serious issues. And that feels just as important as the work I do with the people here. So although I spend much much less time working in my own area, I love my calling. 

    Last good news. This week we went to Faye's house to deliver her cards from the ward and by some miracle they answered the door! It was Christian her nephew and caretaker, but it was the first time we had been able to make contact with them in months. Later in the week we heard from Faye we may be able to go back and see her again. We would have to be scrubbed up and wear face masks because of her immune system, but I am so happy. I really hope to see her again soon. 

    Lastly, I wanted to give a special shoutout to my sweetheart.(: Hunter leaves this Wednesday for the Uruguay Montevideo mission. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers. You're going to make a one of a kind amazing missionary. I'm so proud of you Hunter, I love you. Te amo mi amor, hasta ver. 


Hermana Sears. 💜


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Turkey, Scum and Pythons....


Buenos Dias Familia, 

Happy Thanksgiving! How was everyone's week? I had quite the
Thanksgiving. First we woke up and went to the ward turkey bowl. Our
teams technique quickly became 'get the ball to Sister Sears' because
no one wants to two- hand touch a sister missionary. Hahah. My very
first time ever playing football.
We had two meal appointments that day. First we went to the
Atkinson's. They are the best. Sister Atkinson is a lot like me. The
meal was sooo good, everything was so pretty. Their daughter Ellie is
so cute. She is adopted, you can see the two temples above the dinner
table. The first where the Atkinson's were sealed and the second where
Ellie was sealed to them. She has quite the story. Just such a great
family. Sister Atkinson went all out, it was just us two and them
three, but she made sooo much food, and six pies.
 
And then..... To our next dinner appointment. We went to Becky and Mark, Jeremy's house. Mark is the cook of the house, and we had our second Thanksgiving meal. Not like the first, but so good! I love them! We ate then spent the rest of the evening playing scum. Mark was in the 'Scum' chair all night.


Lastly, we went to Mammaw's house. I haven't told you much about Mammaw, but she's basically my Pennsylvania grandma. She is a recent convert of about four months, and the sweetest thing. Unfortunately her daughter died five years ago, and her husband three. She was not invited to her living family's thanksgiving because of family issues, so she was going to spend it alone "with a hungry man TV dinner and football." She said she didn't mind it that way, but her tears said otherwise. We surprised her with a thanksgiving dinner donated by the Atkinson's, and spent the rest of the night with her. We go over every week and teach her about the gospel, and she teaches us about life.

I'm going to jump around a lot but Saturday morning was Tom Reid's "Tom Trot," or ALS walk. We couldn't support monetarily, but we wanted to be there to walk for them. It was a 5k, and he came the whole way in his chair. The Reid's are a special family. Each time we go over we feed him, and I leave feeling so grateful for the smallest things, like the ability to scratch my own nose.

Tuesday with the Kerns was the best visit yet with them. They are both from England and their home is packed full of beautiful China and crystal everything. They used to live in a "manner," basically a castle in England. We helped brother Kerns dust the display cases. As you know I've been looking for ways to interact with June more meaningfully. It's too hard just to see her sit in her chair silently. All I could think to do was sing to her.... So I did! I sang her a Spanish Christmas hymn. And I have never seen her so happy! For the first time, she looked up and smiled and spoke to me, and clapped when I finished. The rest of the night as we went to dinner she was all smiles. Tuesday's are always a highlight for me.

Saturday night FUE UN GRAN BENDICIÓN. Hermana Delma Yolanda Rosas Flores came out to teach with us! We received THIRTY FIVE referrals for Spanish families this week! We are so excited to get to contact all of them! It was so perfect having her there, she immediately broke the ice with everyone we met. And before we knew it, she and the people would be going off in Spanish way too fast for two greenie white girls to understand all about Mexico and this and that, it was awesome. One of the families we met that night was too cute. Rodrigo's family. They have two boys, 16-18, and two girls, 2 and 17. Such a fun family. We are going back to see them this week.
Hermana Flores will be coming out with us every week now, and nothing makes me happier. In the few hours we were with her in the car and walking around, I talked to her as much as possible. I feel like I learned more Spanish in those two hours than in the past six months of personal language study. There's just no supplement for speaking with native speakers. But in return for her help we will be doing her family history with her every week as well. It will be hard to do because lol the records will be in Mexico. But she has been waiting many years to do the work for her husband and be sealed to him.
Hermana Flores was just another testament of how important a member missionary work is. Like her, every member can connect with the people in a way that the missionaries can't. It may not be the language, but there is something that each member has that someone needs that the missionary can't offer.

This week two members who we have been working with forever to get back came to church! One was brother Malone. I've taught him every week since I've been here and could never find out what was keeping him from coming. So I finally decided to flat out ask him. And his answer.. His pants! All along he had no pants to wear. So... Being eager missionaries we promised him a pants miracle, that we could find some before Sunday. Brother Malone is a very small man. We found some pants and sister smith stayed up way too late Saturday night hemming them. She had to take like. Whole foot off the bottom, hahah. But, we delivered them Sunday morning and for the first time he came! Sometimes all you've gotta do is ask.
Sister Sutherland is another we've been working with forever. I did the same with her, and she just said she's too tired to wake up in the morning. So we called her Sunday morning and woke her up. Hahaha. And she came! It pays not to dance around the subject sometimes. It was a perfect day for them to come, I spoke in sacrament meeting. About missionary work. Surprise surprise.

Sunday during third hour we passed around paper and had everyone write a card or note for Faye. Though most of them haven't ever met Faye, she will now be getting a box of 100+ cards from the ward. The ones that came back from primary were my favorite.(: Sadly we still haven't heard from her. She still has no way to contact us. All we can do is pray hard. I suppose if it is meant to happen she will be able to be baptized.

There's my week! I wish I could include all our experiences but this novel's gotta end sometime.

Gracias por todo.
Te amo muchisimo. Besos,
Hermana Sears💜







Sunday, November 29, 2015



Harrisburg

Jeremy 

Hi
I never know how to start these. Haha. So much to write so little
time! It's been a good and very stressful week taking over the area.
We've been keeping real busy.
Getting a new comp is always awkward the first week- just trying to
figure each other out. My new comp is sister smith (another one.) She
and I already teach really well together, which is so nice.
So I know I'm weird, but I love tracting. We really don't do it much
at all, but I love talking to everyone and anyone. Everyone makes fun
of me and says I'd talk to a tree. But I have crazy good luck with it,
the elders in both of my areas have made me teach them my secrets.
Haha. Anyway so when sister smith got here I told her we were going to
do some tracting and she wasn't thrilled. So since then we've gotten
into over 60% of the doors. Tracting really isn't how we spend our
time, it's like a backup to a backup, but we have had lots of success
with it. There is this little apartment complex we nicknamed the city
of Enoch because everyone lets us in. We started knocking doors and we
noticed a cat following us door to door, so I had a bright idea. I
lured the cat right by the front door so when they opened the door it
ran right in! Needless to say we got into that house, taught a lesson,
and have a return appointment with the, this week. Hahah. Gotta do
what ya gotta do. Pennsylvanians and their cats..... I will NEVER
forget the smell of Pennsylvania homes.... (: Cats on cats on cats.

Anyway, Tuesday was transfer meeting. With the mission so spread
apart, everyone was at the Harrisburg chapel from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm
waiting for their new comp. So Hermana Landa, another Spanish
missionary and I decided to go OYM (open your mouth, basically street
contact) downtown Harrisburg. AH I want to serve there so bad one day,
it's like the Mexico of Pennsylvania. It's a super sketch area so we
had to take a set of elders to be our bodyguards, they just stayed in
sight behind us haha.
So at the end of the day we referred four Spanish speaking people, one
of them a minister, to the elders serving in Harrisburg. One of which
was a lady named Ilsa. Such a sweet lady. She is from Mexico City. We
saw her walking on the opposite side of the street and knew we had to
talk to her. So we speed walked on the other side of the street, then
finally crossed. We were behind her for like four blocks trying figure
out how to approach her from behind. Hahaha. Finally we just did it.
She was instantly so warm and friendly. She was quick to tell us it
was "Gracias a Él" (Because of Him) she had everything in her life.
"Gracias a Él" her family could come to the US, "Gracias a Él" she had
her life. Weirdly enough right after we had planned to show her
"Gracias a Él," by the end she was tearfully asking us to come back
and teach her.
We also met Maribel, from Puerto Rico. We first asked her if we could
share a Christmas video with her. She told us she didn't like
Christmas because her husband died last Christmas. She also shared
that her son and her brother had recently passed. We shared a bit of
the plan of salvation with her right then and there, and then we're
able to share with her that she could be with them again.
Those elders better take good care of these two.😪 Landa and I have a
scheme to get Pres to put hermanas in Harrisburg, but chances are
slim. It's a dangerous area. Four shootings in the last two weeks. I
would love to serve there though, it's Spanish heaven. And I wish so
badly we could teach our Ilsa and Maribel. Los amo.
The elders didn't quite have as much success.... Just got told of by a
sassy lady for thirty minutes (video attached.) See, that area just
needs sisters.

We also had another little miracle. We stopped to talk to three guys
sitting on their porch steps. They were all homeless. Anyway Hermana
Landa starts talking, then she starts introducing the Book of Mormon
and she's like "what... Is that a Book of Mormon?" Sitting on the
porch steps right behind them is an old worn Book of Mormon. It didn't
belong to any of them. It had apparently been there a long time.
Coincidence?

Back to Hanover. So we are back on the ups with Jeremy. It was a bit
heartbreaking though. We finally got to see him again... He was very
upset when we got there. He clearly wasn't in the mood for a lesson...
So we just tried to talk to him. Finally he just said "I just want my
old missionaries back." It felt like a stab to the heart. And so
unfair, I had only been to teach him a few times before they stopped
letting us come for a bit. All because sister smith got sick one day
and we had to reschedule. Well we stayed and talked a while with
Jeremy, then we left and I just got to the car and started crying. I
felt like the worst missionary there was. In the short time I've
gotten to know Jeremy I recognize how special he is.
So we've been working on building our relationship with him and
letting him warm up to us. Things are getting much better. We just
need to show him were his friend too.
As missionaries you kind of have this assumption that when you get to
a new area, the people's  relationships they had will just continue
where they left off with the missionary before you. Things are really
turning around with them now. Last time before we left Jeremy ran
after us and stopped us before we got in the car and gave me a big hug
and just said "thank you." We have two meal appointments on
thanksgiving, one with Jeremy and Becky and Mark. It will be the most
unconventional thanksgiving ever. Hahah.

This week we lost a member of our district, Elder Slade. He found out
he has seven kidney stones and it just couldn't be handled on the
mission. Just a few minutes after he got the call he was able to
receive a blessing by Brother Reid, we were there doing physical
therapy with him. He gave the sweetest blessing, Slade had to kneel
down close enough that Brother Reid could put his hands on his head,
but it was very humbling. Sad to see him go, he's a great missionary!

Since it's thanksgiving I thought I'd share a story about a member
were working with here. Brother R..... What a character. The first
time I met him he spent an hour telling us all the people he hated,
why, etc. And every time we would go over it would be the same thing,
he would be so worked up. This guy has enemies. He was clearly so
unhappy with all this pent up anger.
So as we've been seeing him we've been having him say thankful
prayers, and include "what is keeping me from progressing?" challenge
from the past general conference talk. His wife passed recently and
we're working with him to go to the temple to have them sealed.
This week we returned and immediately the atmosphere was 100%
different. He was calm, and happy for the first time. I had never seen
him like that. He shared that he had been doing it, and he got his
answer. He said he knows he needs to have patience, that he needs to
change. He was actually pleasant to be around! He was so much more at
peace. The power of realizing what you're thankful for!

Tonight we had our second lesson with Josephine and her beautiful
family, the ones I mentioned a few weeks back. It went so well, this
ones worth getting my hopes up for.

Hannah and Alivia.(: They are doing so great. We have had them in a
different members home for each lesson so that by the time of their
baptism they will feel completely comfortable with the ward. Their
smiles and hugs make any day. I love these girls. I am so glad I get
to be a part of their journey.

Just since Hermana Smith has been here we have been finding so many
opportunities for Spanish! It is so exciting. It feels so good to USE
what I've been working for for eight months! On Sunday we didn't have
any investigators in gospel principles (they're all kids so they go to
their own classes, hahaha.) So we noticed the Spanish speaking Hermana
in the ward that we've been working with- Delma Yolanda Rosas Flores-
came to church! So we pulled her out and taught gospel principles just
for her. We had zero preparation and I literally just picked a random
lesson to teach. 40- temples and family history. Turns out her husband
and almost all of her family has passed away but she hasn't done their
temple work because she doesn't know how and no one speaks Spanish
that can help her! So we are going to do our best. There's our little
miracle that came from church Sunday. She is amazing, she has started
coming every week even though she doesn't understand a lick of
English. She said she comes to "escuchar con su corazon." Listen with
her heart- the spirit.

As for Faye. We got some horrible news this week. We hadn't been able
to get in contact with her for a few weeks, and we got the news
yesterday that she isn't expected to live much longer. She has been
isolated because her immune system is shutting down, and had no way of
contacting us. Faye is incredible. Each lesson with her she talked
about how one day she would make it to the temple.... So patient even
when her health issues seemed impossible. The only reason she hasn't
been baptized is because she could not attend church because of
obvious health reasons. If she were to pass away... Her husband is not
likely to give consent for her temple work. I'm really at a loss what
to do. I will be fasting all week for her. I can't imagine what she is
feeling. She's finally found the truth and now she may have to wait...
a very long time.


Okay now that I just wrote a novel. Sorry.

Love you all. Happy birthday shoutout to my Aunt Cindy- your family
loves you and appreciates all the sacrifices you've made for our
family.

Hermana Sears💜

Ps. Excited to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Never too early!

He Is The Gift (2:43)


 http://www.christmas.mormon.org

Monday, November 16, 2015




Thank you for the Birthday Love!

Hey hey.

I don't have any time today, but it's okay- there's nothing to write
about anyway. Nothing has changed since last week, haha. Except...
Sister smith is getting transferred. It was super unexpected. STL's
usually stay for at least four or five transfers and she's leaving
after two. Which means I'm taking the area over after one transfer
here.. Wish me luck! I'm a little nervous for my incoming comp.. But
she is a Spanish speaking missionary! Answer to my prayers haha. I've
been getting so frustrated with the language lately. So I'm happy
about that.
The reason we know who my comp is already is because in MLC we made
the change that missionaries will now know who they'll be with and
where they're going before transfer meeting.👍🏻
Another note. MTC time just changed so it will change the date I will
get home. Could be earlier, could be later. Spanish speaking sisters
already go home four weeks early as it is... So I hope it's not
earlier.

My birthday was great! Because of all of you guys. Made my mid life
crisis not as bad. I'm officially old now. Seriously, it felt like
Christmas.(: we woke up in the morning and sister smith made me orange
rolls (just like mom) and I opened presents haha. It was a good day.
We spent the day at a food kitchen serving lunch and dinner. That
night some members took me out to dinner (word got around we didn't
have an appointment on my birthday,) and some other members invited us
over after and they made me a big fancy homemade cake.(: it was a good
birthday.

I wish there was more to share. Smith and I are really bummed she's
leaving. It was nice having a real friend. But hey- I got a Spanish
comp so I shouldn't complain.

I also got to spend mucho time with some of my very favorite this
week, so I'm very thankful for that. The Reid's, the Remmingtons, the
Kerns (our three weekly service, and Hannah and Olivia. I can't not be
happy after we teach them.(: We are currently working with him as
well, he should be able to baptize the girls by the 29!

Love you all so much! Thank you for the birthday love!
Hermana Sears💜


PS to top off all the anti happening right now there's been pro
legalizing marijuana in PA protesting all week so that's also been
suuuuper fun to deal with.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Last week at Trunk or Treat. 

Hey fam.

Haha what do I even write about this week.... It's been a bumpy couple
weeks. We've really been struggling with just about... Everyone we're
teaching. It seems everyone is in the process of dropping us/ has been
hit with anti material. Anti is a huge issue out here. We seem to be
encountering it more and more every day. And the recent legislation/
decision has really been taking its toll..
So let's get to the good stuff. Hannah and Olivia are getting
baptized! November 29. I love these girls. They've been dealt a real
rough hand in life. They've both grown up in homeless shelters for the
most part of their lives. They're both such smart girls and they're so
happy all the time.
Deb is doing great. She is already talking about when she joins the
church and is baptized. She will have to overcome her anxieties, but
she will get there.
So as for the bumpy. Kirsten and Cory have obviously been anti'd. We
lost contact with them this week.
Something happened with Jeremy's parents, Becky and Mark this week-
there has been a little falling out. We're so scared were losing
Jeremy. He needs this so much.
We can't make any contact with Faye. She's started chemo so she's not
in the best of health. We hope that is all that's keeping her from
responding.

It's just been a frustrating week. But we're just plugging along.
Don't know why everyone and their dog has decided to drop us this
week. We've been fasting every day this week for some help, but not
much is coming.

The highlight of my week besides Hannah and Olivia was MLC. Elder Kunz
from the area seventy was there and did our training. It was a really
great day. (Another highlight was playing volleyball after. Two elders in
MLC played college pre mish- BYU and Ohio state, so we made the "dream
team" and had fun.)

Anyway, I guess this is the part of the mission I'm supposed to learn
from? Haha. Maybe I'll have some birthday luck.
Love you!

Hermana Sears


https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/called-to-testify?lang=eng

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The waterfall always seems to be at the top of the hike and the best food takes the longest to cook sometimes....

Hey fam.

So here's my week!
It was kind of a weird week, we had to spend three nights locked in
the apartment because of Halloween stuff. PA is weird, every township/
community chooses a different night for trick or treating, no one does
anything on the night of Halloween. Hanover got totally shut down on
Thursday because they have a huge parade every year. It's serious
business. Our investigator Faye's chemo appointment even got cancelled
for this thing... They don't mess around haha. Every business in town
gets shut down for it. But we had to be in. So we just did anything we
could to entertain ourselves haha. We watched whatever DVDs we had in
the apartment.... But for whatever reason everything would only play
on sign language mode soooo. I decorated our apartment for Christmas
though. Woo!

The ward trunk or treat was fun. Sister Smith and I went as Elsa and
Anna (duh.) and I must say we killed it. It was so cute, all the
little girls started screaming "Elsaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" when we showed up.
S'cute. We were so excited Eddie came with two of his daughters.

Funny how we met Eddie. We had a lunch appointment with a member in
the ward, and he no showed. So we got talking to the guy up front-
Eddie. Turns out he has been to church before, but he lost contact
with missionaries. He is very eager to learn again. He got to meet the
whole ward at trunk or treat, so that was awesome. Apparently he was
telling members how excited he is, how he's looking for the truth, and
is intrigued about the idea of the Godhead- three separate beings. I
guess we were meant to be there for him that day! He sure does work in
mysterious ways.

We had exchanges with the Fairview sisters this week. Funny story- on
our drive to their area our gps took us out of the mission.... To
Maryland on accident. We passed a sign that said Maryland and just
looked at eachother and were like... Whoops.... So I sent President a
text and just said "Don't worry Pres we'll be back in PA in a few."
Hahaha. I got to stay in Hanover with sister Myers. I love sister
Myers, we had a good time. We spent the day with brother Kerns and his
wife June. She is the woman I told you about last week. Ahhh, she just
breaks my heart. She doesn't speak to us, just smiles and nods
sometimes. So I just talk to her like normal and try to make her
smile.. It absolutely kills me. She is so unhappy. Brother Kerns is my
favorite. He does everything for her.. I don't know how he does it. He
is so sweet to her. He takes us out to dinner every Tuesday night. I
told him I wanted to spend my birthday with them.(:

That night we got to spend the night with President and Sister Johnson
at the Reid's house. Also someone I told you about last week. I guess
he and sister Johnson went to high school together. Small world. I got
to hear the Reid's whole story.. They are both from England. The two
of them were planning on selling their home here and going on a
mission together just before he became paralyzed. They both know that
they are still serving, just not the way they had thought they would.
He serves as an inspiration and example to everyone around him. That
night I shared a few of my favorite verses with Brother Reid. Alma
50:21-23. It's talking about the Nephites at a period of time
described as full of "quarrelings and their contentions, yea, their
murderings, and their plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms,
and their abominations, wars and destructions." It goes on to say that
those who were faithful in keeping their covenants were "delivered at
all times." It sounds like a horrible time to be alive right? Well the
very next verse says:
"But behold there never was a happier time among the people." Those
who were keeping their covenants had never been happier despite
everything going on. In Brother Reid's case I related it to how he
could be happy despite his circumstances of he stays fast.

Our weekly FHE's have been going great. Last Monday we did one with a
cute family in the ward. Tonight we have one at the bishops house with
Hannah and Olivia- 14 and 8. We're excited for this one. We are also
going to be working with their dad to get him worthy to baptize them.
Wednesday we have one with an entire family we just picked up at some
members home, and Thursday we have one with Hannah, Olivia, and our
other investigator Kayla.
This ward is so great about missionary work! So willing to help us. We
don't have to teach a single lesson without them there. This area is
so different than butler. Butler we were teaching about 30 lessons a
week... Which is unheard of in this mission. Because I was training
sister Welch I worked her hard and we were going going going nonstop.
And we did find many many people. But it wasn't until this area that I
learned the value of working closely with the ward. My last ward was
very supportive of missionaries, but this ward is supportive of
missionaries and missionary work. Know what I mean? We don't teach a
single lesson without a member present, and it makes ALL the
difference. And there are so many willing to help. It's so awesome! I
totally regret ever teaching a lesson without the,m, or ever thinking
we could teach it better! It's a lesson you will hear a million and
one times but you won't understand until you experience the
difference. Members are everything!

Wednesday night was interesting, the effects of hurricane Patricia
reached us here. The roads were literally rivers hahah. We were out
with an awesome lady that takes us out every Wednesday to "find lost
sisters in the ward." We were in her tiny little car, I thought we
were going to float away hahah.

You know what I've noticed on my mission? The best things always come
after the hardest. Sometimes God saves the success
until after he has given us the opportunity to fail first and give up.
The waterfall always seems to be at the top of the hike and the best
food takes the longest to cook sometimes. I have a feeling that's a
pretty dang similar situation to the mission.

Anyways, kind of an uneventful but busy busy week. For whatever reason
this is the most tired I've been on the mish. I've been sooo
exhausted.
If anyone has any advice for how to not have a midlife crisis on my
20th bday... Help a sista out.
Also, the church is true.

Love yinz!
💜Hermana Sears


Monday, October 26, 2015

PA just keeps getting more and more beautiful.  Everywhere we drive looks straight out of a painting.....

"Livin' the dream...The church is true"

Hii.

First, PA just keeps getting more and more beautiful. Everywhere we
drive looks straight out of a painting.

We started teaching two new awesome investigators this week. Kirsten
and Cory. They were a referral from a member in the ward- Bryce. Let
me just tell you about Bryce. He returned from his mission a year ago
and is still all about missionary work, it's awesome. He's always
giving us referrals and going out with us. His girlfriend comes out
with us too, she's the best. One week on his way to our ward
correlation meeting he got in a car accident so he just punched his
car door out and walked to the meeting. Haha that's dedication. So
Cory is a work friend of Bryce's. Cory and Kirsten just got married on
Saturday and he gave them a Book of Mormon for their wedding present.
So Thursday we taught them their first lesson. The restoration. Never
have I seen someone so prepared. Kirsten's brother recently passed
away and she's been searching for answers where he is. The two of them
have been together for a long time, but out of the blue decided to
seal the deal and get married. Coincidence? Nah. Cory really took to
the priesthood. When I explained that the authority Bryce holds could
be traced directly back to Jesus Christ in an unbroken line he was
blown away, and even more so when we told him that he could hold that
too. Nothing like teaching with a fresh returned missionary👍🏻
Sunday we taught the Plan of Salvation with them again. They're going places.

We also met and began teaching the sweetest lady named Deb this week.
She lives in our apartment complex. She was a referral from her
brother in law. She was divorced, so the Catholic Church told her she
had to stop taking the sacrament. She knew that wasn't right and when
we told her she could take the sacrament at our church, she just
cried. She was so excited to read the Book of Mormon, she just held it
close to her and cried and kept thanking us. She's got a lot going on.
As we were teaching her she told us that "it was like the the Lord was
here with us, like His love just came upon us."

Please keep Faye in your prayers. She is our investigator I told you
about- the makeup artist. She just came out of remission and started
chemo on Friday. She wants to be baptized so bad, but can't come to
church because of her situation. The more prayers the better!

Tuesday- Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Greencastle sisters.
I got to be with Sister Thompson who I came into the mission with, I
hadn't seen her since because she's been on the east side all along,
so we had a lot of fun. We taught our investigator Kayla and her
stepmom together. It turned out to be more focused on her mom Jeanine.
We challenged her to be Kayla's example.
Late Tuesday night sister Thompson and I had a few minutes left after
ward correlation meeting before curfew, so we went to try and visit
someone, couldn't find their house, so just decided to knock on their
neighbor's door. We met Frank. We left him and his wife a Book of
Mormon, which he was so excited about. When we returned the next day
there was an ambulance outside their home. So we went back the
following day. His wife Marianne had fallen, she has pretty bad health
problems. He has to keep up on the house and everything on his own. We
offered to come and help him just do laundry and clean, and they were
both so happy. They said they had been praying just the night before
that help would come and then we had knocked on their door. They are
just convinced we are Angels, haha. They were really interested in
learning about the church anyway, so it will be service and teaching.
Even if nothing comes of it, it feels good to be able to be able to
help.

This area has presented some of the most special service
opportunities. Twice a week we go to do physical therapy with a member
in the ward- Brother Reid. Ever since a car accident five years ago he
is paraplegic. He is so inspiring. He has always remained active in
the church through it all, he is currently actively serving in
primary, and is faithful in his home teaching despite his serious
limitations. He is such a good man.
Once a week we've started spending time with a woman named June so her
husband can go to the store and get errands done. June has dementia to
the point she cannot do anything on her own. It is all up to her
husband to do everything for her. So when we go over we paint her
nails, or brush her hair, feed her. She doesn't talk but she smiles
when we are there. We go over every Tuesday and then he takes us to
dinner every week. He is not active, but his loyalty to his wife is
also so inspiring.
Lastly, once a week we go over and spend time with a man who also just
became paralyzed from the neck down three months ago due to an
autoimmune disease. Unlike Brother Reid, he is expected to fully
recover. At this point he has just regained the ability to lift a
drink or food to his mouth, but that's it. He just returned from the
hospital a few weeks ago, but now we do physical therapy with him as
well, or just spend time with him. He is such a kind person, so sweet.
And always happy despite it all.

I'm growing to love this place, and I am so unbelievably thankful for
the service opportunities we have been able to be a part of here. I
get to meet everyday real life heroes.

Livin the dream. The church is true!
Hermana Sears💜


220 north fifth street apt 38
Mcsherrystown PA 17344

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chuggin' Along in Hanover...

Hi again

     Hey hey, today's my pday. We're going to the DC temple today. I
am emailing today since its pday but I will have a few minutes Monday
to send my regular old weekly email, but I'll answer a few questions
now.
One of the members my comp taught in a precious area got sealed so I
got to go along for the ride. This woman's husband joined the church a
year ago, and now they're finally sealed. This woman has been waiting
43 years for this, it was a very special day.

My new area is going well. We're chuggin along contacting all the
people in our area book, since there wasn't a lot of work going on
here when I got here. It's actually going really well, we've met some
amazing people. We have spent most of our time with the less actives
in the area. There are not as many in this ward as butler (900
members, 150 active,) but there are so many. We've also gone to meet
some part member families.
     I met the coolest family this week in the ward- the Willoughby's.
They had us for dinner. They just moved here from West Jordan.
(Graduated from Taylorsville high school.😉) They were some of the
kindest people I've ever met. They have a goal of being sealed in the
temple and were very open to help. I just have so much love for this
family already.
     The coolest blessing that came out of our efforts was Hannah.
Hannah is a young woman in the ward, she is 14 years old. She comes
every Sunday, she leads young women's every week, she attends girls
camp and youth conference, and every church activity, she recently
passed a temple recommend interview- and she is not a member. And
nobody knew it, the bishop passed the interview. We had to tell him
"bishop, she's not a member." We figured it out as we were going over
our lists. Her dad is an inactive member. Turns out nobody in the ward
knew she wasn't a member. So we immediately went to find her house.
And with some adventuring into some places that brought me back to my
Butler days, we found their house. We were able to talk to Hannah for
a while, she accepted to our invitation to take the lessons and to
begin reading the Book of Mormon. Her eight year old sister, 15 year
old brother, and mom are not members either, but we haven't been able
to make contact with them yet. We're so excited about Hannah!
     It has been such a change of who I am teaching. We're teaching a
14 year old, and 12 year old, and a 10 year old now, all from
contacting part member families. Not quite like the people we were
teaching in Butler, huh? It's taken a lot of adjustment. They say you
don't really know something until you can teach it to a child, and
it's so true!

     I went on my first exchange as an stl this week with the Carlisle
sisters. I spent the couple days there with sister Hartman, she's my
favorite. She's adorable! Fun fact about her- she waited for her
boyfriend for two years, and three months before he got home .Then she told
him she was going on a mission, so three months after he got home, she
left, and now he is waiting for her. #threeyearclub. Anyway, we had
fun. It was fun experiencing another new area. It's a little college
town, Dickinson college. Not gonna lie, made me a little trunky. Such
a cute campus, felt like Hogwarts. It's also so different being around
people your age. Much more intimidating than being shot down by old
people, hahah. We also got to teach one of their special
investigators. This was quite the family. Four kids, ten months,
thirteen months, three and four years old. It turned out to be quite a
heartbreaking home situation to say the least. But amidst the chaos, I
remember having the distinct feeling that one day there will be a
priesthood holder in that home. Their sweet kids need that.

     I'm learning we really will never spend much time in our own
area. With district meeting every week in Gettysburg, ZLC- zone
leadership council every week in Chambersburg, an exchange every week
in either Carlisle, Greencastle, shippensburg, Fairview, or New
Bloomfield, and MLC- missionary leadership council every month in
Altoona or Pittsburgh, we spend little time in our own area. We drive
all over he place. Sooo much time in the car. I don't mind it. But it
is harder to keep up on our area when we're always in others. Wish me
luck!
     This new zone is a really close knit group of missionaries. We
play ultimate frisbee every week together. This week we also went on a
beautiful hike. Ah, fall is amazing here. There's actually a state
park in Hanover I'll be exploring some pday- codorous state park.
     By the way, (I'm pretty sure these emails go out to the whole
fam,) I did a training yesterday on working with ward members for ZLC,
and I used the story Josh wrote as my example. As I was reading it
this week, it kind of clicked that I really would not be here without
the ones who introduced the family to the church- the Morgan's. Thanks
for sharing Josh!



Anyway, we're almost to the temple now. Thinking of my family today.💜
Hermana Sears

Monday, October 12, 2015

Welcome to Hanover, PA....


Hey fam.

     I've arrived in my new home of Hanover PA! Sooo all of the
prayers from all of you have been answered- Hanover is the cutest
(safest) little town ever. I'm pretty sure this is the town you see in
every lifetime/ hallmark movie ever filmed. It is seriously such a
change coming from a place like Butler. I don't even need the mace
anymore on my keychain, haha. The houses here are so so cute- so
Pennsylvania, with their little porches decorated for Halloween. This
area of PA was settled by German immigrants so the towns are modeled
after different towns in Germany- that's where the names and all the
architecture comes from. I love it! I feel so homey here. Fall in PA
is also the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The leaves have just
barely started the change and it's already so pretty. You think you've
got trees in Utah? Hah no. It is funny though, everyone calls their
hills here mountains. (PA ain't got nothing on our Utah mountains.) I
included a pic of their "mountains."
And our apartment is an upgrade to say the least. It's small- but we
have Windows, air conditions, and it's not full of bugs! And the best
part- a treadmill. Which makes me a very happy girl. (Prayer=answered)
     I got to meet the ward on Sunday, this ward is another super-
supportive/ missionary- oriented ward. Everyone offers to come out
with us or feed us. The ward mission leader is already incredibly
helpful. The Bishop here- Bishop Bushy actually lives in New York, he
got called by the stake presidency to be bishop as he was visiting the
ward one week! So he makes the trip down every Sunday.
     So mom- you can sleep now. I made it out of Butler. But I miss
that place like crazy. So homesick for the places and the people. I
took for granted how busy we were there- literally running appt to
appt. The work was great.
      Transfer week was crazy. It was a two hour drive from Butler to
Greentree in Pitt, then four hours to Chambersburg, then another hour
to Where we spent the night. I didn't actually get to Hanover/ sleep
in a bed until Friday. So I spent the week on the floor of
missionary's apartments. The life as an stl begins. I went to my first
MLC on Friday in Altoona. (Another four hours of driving) Sooo ,I'm
exhausted ,haha. And now we begin with exchanges every week, more
MLC's, (district meetings,) ZLC's, etc. I'll be spending a lot of time
in the car.
     I got to meet our investigators here this week. Jeremy was first.
He is 12 years old and has asburgers, and is the smartest, sweetest
kid in the saddest environment. Anyway, Jeremy is great.
 He asks super deep questions all
the time.
     I also met Faye. She's awesome. And so prepared. So- fun fact
about Faye, she worked in Hollywood as a makeup artist. She did the
makeup for Pirates! She and Johnny Depp are still good friends. She
also did the makeup for the exorcist, hahah. Funny story she told us-
so Faye had a stroke a while back, and since then has been
experiencing seizures. Each time these would occur she would walk
strange after. So that she didn't lose her job while she was working
for Pirates she didn't tell anyone what was happening- except Johnny
Depp. One day he noticed her walking different and asked if she had
had another seizure. Then asked if he could "use her walk." So in the
movie, his "drunk walk" is Faye! We also just started teaching her 28
year old nephew and caretaker who has never taken the lessons before!
     There is so much potential in this area! Sister Smith has only
been here for a month so we are more or less doubling in together-
neither of us really know this area. So I made a list of every former
investigator and potential investigator from the area book and we made
a plan to see every one of them in the coming weeks, along with a list
we got from the bishop of all the part member families in the ward.
We're gonna set this place on fire🔥

     So this week I spoke in MLC about some conference thoughts. I
guess I'll throw my talk in here.
     Really what I took away from conference was how increasingly
important it is to let the spirit teach you. Here are just some of the
questions asked in conference:
How can I allow the spirit to change me through the Atonement?
What would God have me do?
What lack I yet?
What area of my life do I want to strengthen?
What will you become of the Atonement?
How can we have this mighty change of heart?
What is keeping me from progressing?
Do we love Him more than our own will?
What can be done?
Was that all that was required?
How can His will become my will?
How can I more fully submit to it?
How can I learn to recognize the voice of the spirit?
     So I heard them loud and clear. If we learn to recognize, listen,
and follow the still small voice of the spirit we will become the
person we came here to become- the person Heavenly Father wants us to
become. When I think about my own potential, I always think about
wanting to become the person I read about in my patriarchal blessing,
and even the person I was before this life. That is our goal. And they
are telling us how we can achieve that.
     What each of them illustrated is how simple it is. Sometimes even
the thought of what we are supposed to become can seem impossible or
out of reach. But if we listen to the spirit, we will be told "line
upon line, precept upon precept" what to do.
     Progression towards becoming perfect is simple, I don't think
elder Lawrence was saying that "cleaning your room everyday will make
you perfect, or like God," but that if we consistently follow the
small and simple promptings we receive, we can become like Him one
day, one prompting at a time. Baby steps. We have faith that "He can
make much more out of us than we can make out of ourselves." He can
shape us into that person we are trying to become on our own.

     So some exciting news- I'll be in DC this weekend. A couple that
Sister Smith taught in a previous area is getting sealed in the DC
temple Saturday, and we got invited. This woman has been waiting 43
years for her husband to join the church, and they are finally being
sealed.

That's all. The church is true.
I'll be sending pics of Hanover later! (Please forward them out mom)
Hermana Sears


Ps here's my new address (since I know you're all going to write me)
220 north fifth street apt 38
Mcsherrystown PA 17344

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bye Bye Butler...

Hey fam,

I'm gonna keep it short this week, for lack of time. K but first of all I got transfer calls Saturday night..... Bye Butler! So then I got another call from pres Sunday morning.... I'm becoming an STL! Sister training leader. I'm still a baby! Youngest to be in MLC in the mission. Ah! I guess I'm doing something right. Strengthens my testimony that the He doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies who He calls! 
So an STL means I'll be going on exchanges with all the sister missionaries and I'll be at all the leadership meetings and all that. Which I don't know how I feel about yet ,but  know  I'll learn a lot.  So I will be going to one of two areas, Lock Haven or Hannover, they're both out east, but they're the only STL areas. But they both happen to be Spanish areas. I'll email tomorrow and send my new address after transfer meeting. Looks like I'll be heading into Amish country! 
This week I went on exchanges with our STL, Sister Sibleys. It was a great week .Actually, we got to build an old lady's house- literally, haha, and had a lesson with one of their recent converts and her daughter. Probably the craziest lesson I've ever been in. Long story short- her mom dropped it on her daughter that she was in kidney failure and was begging for her daughters kidney and they were both sobbing. They are very interesting people... But by the end of the lesson her daughter committed to live the law of chastity and she said she's ready to change. Woo! So much more happened that probably wouldn't be appropriate over email but there's the  long story short haha.
Interesting though, the stl's apartment is in the backyard of a crematorium.. And at night they owner pulls his mini van up to the back and unloads the bodies ....They live on "drug alley."Pennsylvania...

So conference was amazing. One of the most powerful conferences yet, and not because I stayed awake during all the sessions. It really hit home, especially the overall tone of "it will all work out." I also heard loud and clear how important it is to be taught by the spirit. That's one thing I've been working on all my six, almost seven months. How do I recognize the spirit and distinguish it from my own thoughts? I will be using the "what can I change?" a lot in my coming transfers as stl. In my own minute way I feel  much like the overwhelmed new apostles, hahaha only obviously on a much smaller scale. 

Anyways, we got two referrals in prison this week from a member that just got out of prison, and one of our others just went to prison. I'll miss butler... Haha. 

Many goodbyes have been said this week- members, investigators, etc. It is so hard leaving my new found family in Butler. I have been so touched by the people that have reached out to me since I am leaving, many of whom will be writing me. I now have support closer to home. I've got a little box of things people gave me that  I'll be sending home. Remind me to share some of the letters the Hoy family wrote me next week. Mom, I haven't sent Lamont's letter to you yet, I will! 

We had our last lesson with Cynda last night . Best one yet. She watched all of conference with us. We were at the members house again, and again she shared how some people just need one missionary and just like I was that for her someone else needed me elsewhere. She always jokes that I'll be the next apostle, hahah. I don't know what it is, but whenever we teach her I always feel so connected with the spirit. I've always been able to with her. It has confirmed to me so many times that one day she will join the church. I know she will. It was pretty cool, she shared that after we left her house last week, she decided to pray to find the Book of Mormon she had received five years ago and never touched. Her house is in the middle of a remodel, and everything is just everywhere. She said she found it in less than five minutes, and recognized that as an answer and a miracle. 
Before we left, on the spot, the member asked me to bear my testimony in Spanish for Cynda. I agreed, knowing no one spoke spanish there anyway. Knowing that, I spoke very freely. I said that I knew she would accept our message and join the church, that it didn't matter when, among other things. When I finished, she was in tears. I asked her why... She said 
"I do not speak Spanish, but I understood you." 

I don't know how this little miracle happened, but it was amazing. 

Anyway, that's probably all for today. The church is true! 

Ps I'm taking the "ponderize" challenge, my scripture this week is 

D&C 97:8- 8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice--yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command--they are accepted of me. 

Los corazones de los hombres están desfalleciendo 







Monday, September 28, 2015


So this week was my last produce to the people.  Man, I'm gonna miss this place.  I'm down to about a week and a half left in Butler....

Broadcast with some of my favorite sisters:)  The Hoy sisters

My new favorite family- Genevieve and Hiawatha.  Genevieve is adorable.  She's all hugs all the time.  She invited us back for a macaroni and cheese dinner Thursday night. I got myself a new pen pal.   Genevieve says she'll be writing me my whole mission.


We finished painting Waltraub's farmhouse this week.  She was so happy when she saw it.  We restored it to the same way it was when her husband built it. Of course she had an applie pie ready for us at the end of the day.:)