Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Craziest Week of All!

Hello My mother! And anyone else who reads this!

This week has been absolutely CRAZY! We spent 88% of our time working with our investigator sister Hernandez so that she will be prepared to be baptized on the 23rd. BUT I'm not sure how much I told you about her crazy life but her husband is stuck in Mexico working on his immigration visa so she hasn't really talked to him much about the lessons we've been teaching her. And we found out on FRIDAY that he doesn't want her to be baptized. AHHH it's ridiculous, and frustrating. But she is trying to talk to him and help him see how important this is to her. We fasted with her yesterday to ask God to soften his heart and give his consent to be baptized. But we just found out that His papers came in and he's approved for a VISA, which means he's coming home! None of us really expected that to happen but the Lord works in mysterious ways. Hopefully we can continue to help her progress that that her husband will give his consent when he arrives in the US of A.

ALSO this week has been frustrating due to the lack of progress in the area. I'm not sure if it's just because of the generation I was born in or due to my nature but I am not an extremely patient person. It's difficult to see the progress we've made over a weekly basis as I look at our day and realize we have not taught ANYONE. But I know that the Lord is trying to help me develop patience and my ability to endure so I will try my best. It reminds me of Elder Caskey's talk before he left on his mission (which surprisingly was this mission). I don't know why this stood out to me so much or how I can manage to still remember it when I remember nothing else about my past life. But he said that God doesn't call you to go where it'll be easiest for you. He calls you where it will help you to grow the most. I know that there are people who are in my area who are being prepared to be taught. I just have to learn how to rely on the Lord and be patient for him to help us find those people.

To help me learn patience he might have made our car completely undriveable. We've been having some struggles with low tire pressure lately and have had to fill up our tires with air everyday this week. Needless to say, the people at the gas station know us well. But yesterday we got home from church and got ready to go to our dinner appointment and realized our tire was completely FLAT. But since our dinner appointment wasn't too far away we got out our bikes (mine is named Bertha. She's a BEAUTY) and off we went!! Which was all fine and dandy until we left our dinner appointment and found out the storm was RAGING out there. We honestly did our best to ride our bikes up the hill to our house but we were practically going backwards. We were probably quite the sight to see with our gigantic winter coats and crazy bikes swerving everywhere. But luckily we live with the GREATEST people ever! They noticed the raging storm and didn't want us to die so they came to our rescue! It's was so great, and mostly freezing but it did remind me that we have to work hard and do our best before God will send the help we need.

Also, on a somewhat different note we have learned much about the missionaries in the Philippines. Although I can never imagine what horrors they have faced and the devastating blow it has been to that country I am astounded to learn that not one single missionary died. It truly is a miraculous tale of the real life strippling warriors that we have among us. Their crazy tales of near death experiences and how God managed to save them buoys up my courage and reminds me of the promise God made to us all, "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." This truly is the Lord’s church and no person, idea, storm, or otherwise can prevent this knowledge from penetrating every last corner of the earth. I am so thankful and honored to be included in this great and last work God has called us all to.

Love, Sister Terry

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Transfer Week

Hello my family! Well I've officially made it one whole transfer! WOOT WOOT. It's pretty embarrassing that it's taken me this long, but I finally feel like I've gotten the hang of mission life. And luckily I get to stay here for another transfer and Sister Mansfield is still my trainer/companion. Happy day!

So much happened this week that it's hard to say everything! First of all Elder Godoy of the 70 came and talked to us! It was so cool! He's so awesome and so funny. He told us a bit about his conversion story, about how he was living in Brazil and sister missionaries were able to teach him and eventually baptize him. But then he met with them 20 years later and one of them was inactive. WHAT?! Isn't that nuts? I can't believe that after going on a mission, and coming so close to God and seeing so many miracles that someone could go inactive after all of that. It breaks my heart, and I see it everyday. We forget so quickly how much the Lord has blessed us in our lives, and the miracles that we've seen. I sincerely hope that I will be able to always remember that nothing I accomplish is by my own power but it's when my wants and dreams align with God's will that things really happen.

And that happened this week! We were meeting with an investigator, Sister Hernandez and she's super awesome but is having some financial problems. We were going to meet with her the day of the conference with Elder Godoy, but the conference ran late and we have to have the lesson in a member's home. So it was a pretty hectic time. Usually we just resort to having it in this one member's home when we are rushed because she's pretty flexible and can do it on a last minute notice. But for some reason I decided to call one of the members of the ward that is super busy and we haven't been able to have a lesson in her home before ever. This is a really confusing story but it's got a great ending so bear with me! Somehow she miraculously didn't have anything going on that night and we were able to have it at her house. So Sister Hernandez comes to the house and is talking about how her poor daughter needs a winter coat because she's freezing! And Sister Bahr (who is the member whose house we are having the lesson at) happens to have a random winter coat that is the perfect size! Then Sister Hernandez said that her son has outgrown his car seat and she needs to get a new one but as most people know they are dang expensive! But again, sister Bahr says a member of the ward gave her a car seat just yesterday and she doesn't really need it. It happens to be the perfect size for him. As we talk about the lesson and such sister Hernandez has been struggling to know if God is really there, but we come to find out that just the night before she had prayed asking God for a coat and a car seat for her children.

I know that God listened to her prayers, and he answered them. So many times I get so caught up asking for so many things and trying to remember what I'm supposed to say and then I forget about what I even prayed for. But since I've been on my mission I've had more prayers answered than ever before. It's amazing the way it all works out if we only pray in faith. I LOVE this gospel so much, and I love that I know God answers prayers and that's my favorite part about teaching the restoration is inviting people to pray to know if it is true. Because it IS true! I know it. God knows it. And the rest of the world can know it as well if they pray with a sincere heart.

Love,Sister Terry

P.S. the picture is of the family I'm staying with. In the middle it's me and my companion sister Mansfield. I'm SO glad I get to stay here for 5 more weeks at least!!! YAY!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I've been in Minnesota for a month!

Sidney with the Dobbins, the family housing her and her companion
Hello my family! How are you all doing? I heard that it snowed in Utah, which is super strange cause it still hasn't snowed here yet. No complaints though.

So I realized that I haven't talked much about the people that we are teaching. Super sorry about that. But we met with one of our investigators this week and had a way cool experience! We had been trying to get her to commit to a baptismal date, but she has lots of concerns and also talks A LOT so it's hard to say everything that we want to tell her. But this week we talked to her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the cleansing power of the Atonement. She told us about some serious mistakes she has made in her life, and how much she regrets them now. We were able to testify to her about the cleansing effects of baptism and how she will be free of those sins she committed before. I wish I could explain to you all exactly what happened, and how strong the spirit was. It was so clear that Heavenly Father loves her SO much, and wants her to return to him. And as we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted I LOVED being able to promise her the blessings that come through baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. We are SO excited for her to be baptized!!!

Another major event that happened this week is that one of the lady's in our ward had a baby, and the baby passed away. It's been a heartbreaking week for many of the members as they prepared for the funeral and lent a hand to the family. Our bishop invited us to come to the funeral to help show our support for the ward. It's interesting because our mission president invited us to study the plan of salvation for the past few weeks and write a paper summarizing the plan. So it's been on our minds quite a lot recently. Attending the funeral was hard, and brought back a lot of memories about the funerals I have attended before. Even with the knowledge of the plan of salvation it doesn't make losing a family member easy. We love them, and we love being in their presence and it's hard to know that for right now, we can't be with them. But oh my goodness how thankful I am for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For his ability to break the bands of death and rise again, and through him we all can live again. If I didn't know this before my mission I sure know it now that my family will be together forever. No matter when they are taken from this life, and how long I have to be here without them I know that I will see them again and be able to spend the rest of eternity with them. It's been such a blessing to know that as I spend the next year and a half away from those I love and cherish I will be able to help those who don't have that knowledge find peace and comfort in losing their loved ones by knowing that when a person dies they will live again, and we will be celebrated and rejoice as we join them in the next life. And right now, that's why I know I can do this, I can be away from my family, because this isn't the end for us.

Sorry for the super serious subject. I realize that probably my last two emails have been downers and hopefully it doesn't freak any potential missionaries out. I absolutely LOVE being a missionary. It's the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever experienced! I have never felt such love for people I hardly even know, and also I've never understood the atonement as well as I do now, and I'm so glad I have 17 more months to study and learn from the scriptures. It's so awesome!