Tuesday, 30 April 2013

crazy week!

Seriously. This week was completely INSANE. Mostly just the past three days. Not bad insane, just insane insane.
a snake in the grass
I will give you the highlights.
I shook an Apostle's hand! Elder Cook came to Missouri and spoke to half of the missionaries at a special mission conference.  Luckily I was part of the half that got to go. He spoke to us along with some other general authorities and it was so great! Every so often I would remember that I was sitting two rows away from an Apostle of the Savior Jesus Christ. What?! So cool.
Sunday was the craziest. We spoke and sang in sacrament meeting.  Our investigator Julian came to church with his two kids-- they are 4 and 5... and have probably never seen structure in their life. Sister Morris and I decided to go on "mini exchanges" and tag team with the kids so that Julian could go to Sunday school. The 5 year old boy that I took was doing pretty well in singing time.... so far so good. Then Sister Morris came back because the girl was crazy craze and somehow we got roped into teaching Sunbeams. It was a complete disaster. You would think after majoring in Elementary Education I could hold down the fort with 5 three and four year old children. Wrong. So wrong. Mia, 'the girl' would start screaming bloody murder with this sweet little smile on her face, whenever she wanted to. Julian Jr. would be coloring on the chalk board with crayon. Meanwhile, another little girl surrounded herself in the corner with chairs because she is terrified and wanted to go home, while Julian is sticking his head in her face like a monster. To top it all off Julian made a break for it and ran through the Blue Mills sacrament meeting with me chasing after him companionless.
But it was a success. Julian (senior) had a wonderful time at church.
Skyye and Antonio got baptized! It was a great baptismal service and everything went far better than even expected. Antonio did not want to be caught dead in that jumpsuit. Skyye was so funny and dog paddled out of the baptismal font. Both of them felt so good afterwards and had a wonderful spiritual experience. I feel so blessed to have been able to work with them and watch them progress in the gospel. I know they were part of the reason why I was called to 1st Ward.
So the craziest news is that I have been TRANSFERRED. We got a call yesterday at 6:45 a.m. to let us know that we will be newest sisters in the Blue Springs 2nd Ward! Sister Morris and I are opening up that area as a new 'Sisters' area and will be working with the Elders that are already there. I should be a pro at opening new areas by now. It was actually pretty strange because this past week we had about 5 new investigators and for each of them I thought, man, they would be good with Elders teaching them. We now have Elders taking our place in Inde 1st Ward. Crazy miracle.  I'm just banking on miracles waiting for us in Blue Springs. I'm pretty excited, but sad to leave 1st Ward. We have some really amazing people that we are working with. I'll still be working at the VC and living in the Willis house. Also this means I have a CAR now because our area is about 20 minutes away. So all that bike hype for nothing. We returned them to Walmart, which has a surprisingly good refund policy.
So that's that. Sunday morning to Monday morning was the craziest 24 hour stretch of my mission life!
Congrats to my bestest KT Pack who is tying the knot. I wish I could be there! James Bobby Dalton is one lucky fella. Save me a spot on the couch #delawarefeb2014

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Bike Gang. Party of 2.

Last year in Provo I was the head of a bike gang called the Duskateerz. We had a logo and rode around Provo. It was the best. Looks like the Lord has been using all of my talents recently... because the gang has recently moved to Missouri. We had transfers this last week and now have added 60 new missionaries to our mission in the last 2 transfers. We have added 0 cars. So that means that three areas at the VC are now no car areas. So we are biking and busing it all around town. Aside from the fact that Missouri is the hilly hilly hilly it has been great! I'll admit I held out on moving past the "sister missionary" look for a solid seven months. I think that the bike just might do me in. You can't look cool in a helmet.

Here are the highlights of riding a bike:
- We meet tons of people that we would never meet otherwise... we have seen tons of miracles. 
- I can eat as much Blue Bell ice cream as I want with a clear conscience at night.
- I LOVE riding bikes. It is really one of my favorite things to do. 
- Going down all the Missouri hills is the best.
- I'm getting real buff lifting that bike on and off the bus. 
- It has strengthened my faith to know that the Lord will provide people for us even though we have way less time to find because it takes us so long to get everywhere. I know that he is preparing the hearts of people that will be found only because we are on a bicycle. It is the best! 

Downsides of riding a bike:
- I look like a total toolshed in a helmet and somehow creepy men still cat call at us. What?
- I'm only a lot a bit saddle sore. 
- Going up all the Missouri hills is the worst.
- Do you know how hard it is to ride a bike in a skirt! Nearly impossible. Still trying to figure out how to bike without flashing the world in a skirt. It's a work in progress. 

Funny story. On our first bike day we were stopped at the bus stop and were trying to figure out where we were going. These two young guys (semi-hood) were like "You girls are gorgeous" and I was like "Excuse me, I am wearing a helmet, are you for real." Then they were like "Yeah it doesn't even matter what you are wearing." I didn't care how creepy that was, I was flattered and it made my day, then what really made my day was that they came by the VC the next day and one of them became a new investigator. He wants to change is life around and even said he would be baptized if he came to know that it was true when he was here at the VC. What?! I'll take that as a bike day miracle. We will be hanging out at the Inde bus station more often. Thank goodness for helmets... and the light of Christ. 

Another bike day miracle. The other day we changed our travel route last minute and  were riding through one of our areas on our way to another area and we rode by this school. One of the girls from this family we are teaching was on the playground and spotted us! She was like "Hey, Sister Call! Is that you?" We came over and she told us that her mom and sister had just been talking about us this morning and wanted to have us for dinner that night. She's the cutest most polite thing and was like "So we would love to invite you to dinner this evening, will you attend?" So adorable. We then went over to her house and talked with her mom for awhile. We hadn't been able to get in touch with this family for a couple of weeks! Miracle miracle. 

Anyway, enough about bikes. 

Skyye and Antonio are getting baptized this weekend! I'm super excited! I can't wait for them and for the family. Everyone is doing really well. Antonio just keeps surprising me. He is so diligent in his study and really wants to come closer to God. He loves church and can't wait to be baptized. It has been such a blessing to work with them.

I found out that Tim is probably receiving the Priesthood soon. He has been doing really well out in Cuba and his Branch President wants him to get it before he gets home from his duty and he leaves sometime in June! So exciting! 

Also coming up this weekend Elder Cook is coming to our mission! We get to have a special fireside with him and all the missionaries in the area on Saturday. I can't wait! 

Life is good. April showers bring May flowers has taken on a whole new meaning here in Missouri. It is rainy rainy right now. I think my theme this transfer is going to be "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea. I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord. I'll be what you want me to be." I'm working on becoming who he wants me to be. I have a little less than a year left on my mission and lots to learn. I know that as we lose our life for His sake we find it. I know that as I give everything I have and am, I'll in turn learn all that I need to. I feel like spring is all about rededication and new beginnings. So there you go. That's my sappy sister missionary words of wisdom. Do what you will with it. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


 #arehashtagsevencoolthesedays. Don't know. Don't care. I'll live in a bubble until I get home. I hope some people are making a list of things to fill me in on. A well placed hashtag is pretty hilarious. A poorly placed hashtag is even better when it is coming from a missionary that doesn't
even know what a hashtag is. #welcometomissionarylife

We had another total miracle this week with Kellie and her family. Sister Morris and I were sitting in the hot seats at the VC and who walks up but Kellie! She brought her husband, Will, (who we didn't even know existed) to come and learn more. He has a really broad religious background and just recently came to really believe in Christianity. He loves the bible-- Old and New Testaments so it has been great to teach him how they all fit together and how the Book of Mormon fits too. He is amazing and soaked up everything we taught him... that's because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect! He joined our next lesson and came to church on Sunday and loved it. The whole family is progressing really well. I can't believe all of the miracles that have been happening with this family. It is wonderful to witness how the Lord has prepared these people and how we get to be a part of their continued preparation.

Joyce and I at the Kansas City Temple
Joyce and Rick went to the temple on Saturday to do baptisms for the dead. For those of you that are unaware of what those are check out this link http://www.lds.org/topics/baptisms-for-the-dead?lang=eng ... it is a lot less crazy than it sounds. It was the best though. Joyce was able to be baptized in proxy for her mother. From our very first lesson she has been looking forward to performing that ordinance in behalf of her mother. Her mom was really unhealthy towards the end of her life and was unable to be baptized... now that work has been done for her. It was amazing to be there and witness that. Rick was baptized for Joyce's husband and father. I was joking with Joyce because awhile ago she said "you don't want to know what my husband thought about Joseph Smith"... I joked with her after the baptism and was like "I'll bet he has changed his mind." It was really special to see their countenance change as they were in the temple. Joyce is usually a little outspoken... she became much more quiet, subdued, and peaceful as she was in the temple. I love the House of the Lord.

The Community of Christ has had their conference this week. We have had some wonderful people from their church come to visit the Visitors' Center.  I took a Tahitian couple through the VC yesterday. They were wonderful.  I've been learning lots about the RLDS church recently. Independence is really such a strange place to be a missionary. I can't even tell you the number of times I've been mistaken for an RLDS person or that we have run into someone that already believes in the Book of Mormon but isn't a member of the church.

I am really grateful for the atonement this week. The power that comes from it to help us change and grow and become more than we could on our own is real! We can truly forgive and forget with the atonement. We can really become new people with the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been relying on that more and more. I can't believe how much I have grown in the past 7 months... can you believe it's been 7 months? I know that we gain in proportion to how much we put in. We have unlimited potential so we just have to decide how much we want to tap into. I've been realizing that a lot this week. I'm so very grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my very best friend. (And no... I don't say that with a sister missionary voice... yet).

 We did a re-enactment of some church history at the Visitors Center

  Elder Brenchly and I were paired up and killed it. My arts school days are paying off.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Spring, spring, spring!

It is GREEN here! Green is my favorite color and it makes the whole world look classier and brighter and much more welcoming. Within 2 days the grass went from brown to emerald green, and there are tulips coming up and blossoms on the trees. I love love love spring. I'm not thinking about all the bugs that are coming out (for now). I might need someone to un-freak me out about chiggers. I'm paranoid. The weather is perfect for now and I am enjoying it. The VC has been really busy with all the people on spring break, that has been fun and I've been able to take some really wonderful groups through.

We had a great week last week. Lots and lots of miracles that for whatever reason I can't really remember right now.  Antonio and Skyye are progressing really well. They LOVED general conference. Antonio was like "man, I can't wait 6 months for the next conference!"-- he's 12-- what?! So cool. Skyye loved "that Thomas Monson guy" and thought he was hilarious. I am so impressed with those two.

General Conference really was the best. I felt very spiritually fed and did not want it to end. I hope everyone reading this realizes what a blessing it is to be tutored at the feet of living prophets twice a year. Each year I gain an increased testimony and appreciation for General Conference. I know those men of God love each of us and love the Lord and that the things they shared were true. One of the themes that I pulled from the conference was the importance of the basic principles of the Plan of Salvation:

- We are literal children of a loving Father in Heaven. "We are not spiritual orphans."  He knows us. He loves us. He has an individualized plan for us to learn and grow here on earth.
- We are here on earth to learn and grow. We came here to be tested and to gain experience. We came here to learn to be like God-- knowing right from wrong and choosing good over evil. We make mistakes, but that is what the atonement is for. 
- The atonement is real. It can REALLY help us. I have found that on my mission so much. If I am not enough for the task at hand-- I pray and then I get to work-- The Savior fortifies me and strengthens me. It is okay not to be perfect.
- Obedience is crucial to Heavenly Father's plan. Our Father in Heaven gives us commandments to make us free. He gives us laws so that we can be free-- he himself is governed by these laws-- this is where his power stems. Obedience gives us power and joy in life. This is also something I've learned on my mission. Obedience brings blessings-- exact obedience brings miracles. 

My mission has really helped me to understand these basic principles. I teach them and testify of them daily. I know they are true. I am SO grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ--I don't really know what more to say than that. Sometimes I wish I could be more eloquent. But hey, at least I know words like 'eloquent', right?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Is this Real Life?

I've been finding myself saying that a lot this week. A lot, a lot. We have been so blessed and I honestly feel like I don't even deserve it. We have been finding people to teach, and the people we are teaching are progressing. Even when I am exhausted and having a bad attitude we still find people to teach! It is a little out of control, but I am certainly grateful.

At the end of last p-day we had our first lesson with Kellie and her family, the ones we found at church on Sunday. They are the BEST! I really love them so much already. We are teaching a 12 year old boy, an 11 year old girl, and a 16 year old girl, as well as Kellie and her mom who are both coming back to church. They are so open and willing to learn. I have never seen a 12 year old boy so excited to go to church, and the 11 year old girl hasn't really been taught much but somehow knows a lot, she's a very spiritual girl. We had the best lesson with them, it was one of those where we went in with one idea and then ended up teaching something completely different. We taught about prayer and then all of us went around and took turns praying. For two of the children, it was the first time they had prayed out loud. It is so cool to be able to be there for that and help facilitate that! I love prayer! Seriously, it's the best. That something that I've gotten so much better at on my mission. Think about it, we have the opportunity to gain guidance and answers from and all knowing, all powerful being, who loves us and knows us perfectly and personally. He wants to give us answers to our questions. He wants us to talk to him. It's the best. 

Easter is the best! We had a great Sunday. It is finally spring here and it weirds me out every time I go outside and it's warm. The grass has turned green and I can't wait for the leaves and blossoms to appear. I'm a little wary though because after spring comes summer and I'm fairly certain I'm going to die of heat stroke and chigger bites. We went Easter caroling on Easter Sunday with the other 1st Ward sisters. No one can say no to a song at their doorstep! We stopped by Melanie and her daughters and they read the Book of Mormon! Whoohoo! I love them so much, and can't wait to see them progress.
I also found out strawberry pie is the best thing on the planet. SO good.
1st Ward is still really really good at feeding us. It's kind of a problem.

This weekend is General Conference. I LOVE general conference. I can't wait. It is such a blessing to know that we get to hear from a living prophet and 12 apostles. I know that these men are inspired by the Lord to provide us with answers to questions, insight, and revelation that we need to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I can't really even put into words the blessing that that has been for my family, and for myself. If you haven't watched conference before go to lds.org and check it out... Saturday and Sunday.

Life is good here in the M.I.M... I'm working hard and completely exhausted every night, but that is a good feeling.