Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Time!!

Hello my friends and Family!
I am so sorry I never send any pictures. I will try to be a better picture taker. I wish you could all see the arctic tundra I am living in! Currently there is 42632 feet of snow. No that's a lie, but there is A LOT, and it NEVER melts. In fact, snow days are the days when it's a balmy 20 degrees. Usually it's next to 0. So grand!

Like usual, we had a fabulous week! The work in this area is TAKING off! It's so awesome! We are doing a lot of work with part member families and especially teaching many a small child. It's probably preparing me for a future in the primary, but we shall see. It's so cool to see the faith that these young children have. All they want to do is follow Jesus Christ and be the best people they can be! It's been difficult to get their parents to catch the enthusiasm as well, but we're working on involving the members more to help everyone be friends and to have people who expect them to be at church!

Literally this area is SO different than my last one! Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center are considered "Little Africa" There are SO many Liberians here. They migrated to the US of A during their civil war. They are always so welcoming and want to talk about Christ! The only hard part is understanding what they say. haha we brought a member with us to visit this one old lady and we tried to teach her about the restoration but she would start saying stuff and we had NO clue what she was saying! At one point she was talking about Nicodemus and being born again, needless to say, I have not received the gift of interpretation of tongues. It's a process, but things are going well!

This week is crazy busy with Christmas but we are SO excited! Tonight we are sleeping in front of our Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas Adam(what she calls the day before Christmas Eve, because Adam came before Eve), then tomorrow we are going caroling and delivering cookies to our investigators, and then CHRISTMAS! It's been so great to visit people and ask them how they are celebrating Christ's birth this Christmas. Everyone celebrates it in their unique way, and has traditions that center on Christ during this time. It's so cool to see how no matter what religion you are, this is a time for family, love, and peace.

I love you all and hope you have a FANTASTIC Christmas!

Love, Sister Terry!

P.S I tried African Food! Something called Caba leaf I think? it was GROSS. but I ate it. And I tried it. Also I ate Shrimp. Also disgusting. haha oh well. Such is missionary life.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

week ??

Hello My family!

First of all, a question. Why did Satan throw spaghetti into the sea? Because he wanted an apostasy. Word. It's pretty Great. Today is TRANSFERS! No need to fret I am still residing in the city of elm and creek. It is SO great! I love it here! There is many a less active and part member family, so much of our work is going to visit them! We teach lots of young children! It's been so crazy adjusting to teaching 9 and 11 year olds. They are all crazy brilliant though! And they all have such a strong desire to be baptized! We're excited for the many miracles that are coming!

First of all it is frigid over here in the arctic tundra! It got so cold this week that President Clements told us we couldn't tract one day. :(  But we have had lots of appointments and have been meeting with many members to get them involved with the missionary work too so it's been great!

I had so many things to share, but now i have forgotten them all! Oh dear. Well, we were able to go to a concert last night with the Minnesota Mormon Chorale! It was pretty cool! There's nothing like carols of Christ to get you in the Christmas mood!

Sister Hudson got a HUGE Christmas tree from her parents last week, so now our home is super decorated for Christmas. Oh and mom, while we were hanging up the door cover thing you sent, we talked to our neighbors who are super interested in coming to church and having us visit! It was pretty cool. We didn't get to talk to them much, because it was after 9 and we needed to go to bed. It's been a pretty regular week full of the spirit and awesome miracles! We have been able to talk to so many people and set up appointments too. Which is nice, ‘cause then we don't have to tract as much.

Hmm. Yesterday I found a really awesome quote that many a missionary reads, but I thought it can apply to everyone, here it goes:

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed; my presence makes sense, my future secure.

I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotion, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence lean by faith, love by patience, live by prayer and labor by power. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, or delayed. I will not flinch in the fall or sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder in the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, let go, or slow up until I have preached up, prayed up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go until He comes, give till I drip, preach till everyone knows and work till He stops me

And when he comes for his won, he will have no problem recognizing me because my banner will have been made clear."

Love you! Have a Merry Christmas!!

Love, Sister Terry

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Holidays!


This week was SO crazy! I can't believe how long it was! On Monday I said goodbye to all my friends and adopted family, packed up and moved over to Elm Creek. It's been a pretty stressful situation. The reason we were in a tripanionship was because Sister Smith's companion broke A LOT of rules and got sent home. But it turns out that my new companion, Sister Hudson, was trained by that same missionary. She's been out only 3 months longer than me, and the disobedience shown by her trainer really affected her ability to be the best missionary she can be.

It makes me so frustrated to see that by the choices that one missionary made it affected so many people around her. That area is now closed to sister missionaries for the time being, her past companions have difficulty focusing on the work and being obedient. And more rules have now been made and enforced to hopefully prevent a future occurrence. It upsets me because I have a testimony of how important this work is. We have the chance to change people's lives and bring them closer to God. We made the promise when we are baptized to take upon us Christ's name and be an example. When we make choices that are contrary to God's commandments the consequences are far reaching and effect all those around us. Luckily, the Atonement satisfies the demands that justice come to all those that have been wronged. But it's a process and takes time to find the comfort and solace that the atonement provides.

On Wednesday I got a call from President telling me that Grandpa died. Although it was not a surprise, I can't lie, it was hard. When President Monson made the age change in conference over a year ago, I found myself facing choices I now needed to make. As I was making the decision to serve a mission I often talked to God saying I don't mind serving a mission, and being gone for 18 months as long as I know that my family will be safe and nothing bad will happen to them while I'm gone. I never wanted to face what Andrew had to go through, dealing with his uncle dying while gone. Yet, here I am, going through a very similar thing. How did I get here? Because God requires faith. My family is being taken care of while I'm gone. It's not quite in the way I want it, but I know that grandpa is safe and where he needs to be.

Recently I've been working on memorizing Alma 7 verses 11-12. As I was sharing that scripture as a thought for dinner with my ward mission leader's family a certain part stuck out to me: “He will take upon him death, that he may lose the bands of death which do bind his people.” Because Christ was resurrected, we too will all be resurrected. I know that death is not the end for us and there is happiness waiting for us on the other side of the veil.

I know that this letter is DANG LONG! and the above part was super serious, but here comes all the crazy stuff that happened this week. First off, EVERYONE needs to watch “Miracle”. It takes place in BLOOMINGTON, MN! That's where the mission home is! We were able to watch the movie while at mission conference! HOLLA! It was super weird to watch a normal movie and I could NOT handle it when any one was shirtless but besides that it reminded me SO much of XC (Cross Country). Jody ALWAYS showed us part of that movie before state, probably to inspire us to defeat mountain view aka soviet union. As I was thinking about watching the movie in the past during xc I realize how much it has been able to help me on my mission! First of all because it's been DANG cold outside. like -10 ALL week. but because of cross country I've learned how to set goals, stay focused, and work hard! So even when it's hard, and cold we can still have fun tracting and maybe stopping at Mc'Ds to warm up for a few minutes.

Ahh I love being a missionary so much! God has blessed me so much in my life. Lately I've been reflecting on President Monson's talk from last conference entitled “He will not forsake us”. The story he shared of his blind and deaf friend on his death bed was heartbreaking. But I hope that at the end of my life I can have an attitude like his and tell everyone "God has been so kind to me." He has poured out his spirit upon me and blessed me with peace and perseverance to endure yet another day! Shall we not go on in such a great cause! Courage Brethren on to Victory!

"In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike-and they will- you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed." -elder Holland

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along." D&C 78:17-18

Love, Sister Terry

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week 9

Hello! This week was super crazy!! Especially because of Thanksgiving! But also because Monday afternoon we got a call from President Clements saying we are now going to be a trio! So Sister Smith joined us this week! She actually was in my zone during the MTC so I already knew her a bit.

It was quite an adjustment dealing with 3 people instead of just 2. Honestly I did not like it at all. Before I came on my mission I was so nervous I wouldn't ever know what to say. But now I love talking so much that it's hard to swallow my pride and not talk so much so that everyone will have a turn.

But things were super crazy! One night we were delivering cookies to our investigators and seeing how they were when we knocked on Taylor's door she opened it up and was BAWLING. Apparently all her stuff had gotten stolen and her car was gone as well. It was a hard time for her and I felt so bad! We didn't do much, but we were able to share a scripture with her and then the police came so we had to leave. Anyways, she found out that it was her roommate that stole the stuff and sold it all for drugs. Pretty crazy! But Taylor is super solid and read the entire Book of Mormon already! It only took her 1 week! She's awesome and has a super strong desire to be baptized. We just have to finish teaching her all the lessons.

The next day the Dobbins had a party called PIE NIGHT! Alright, so I Really thought that I didn't like pie that much. It's never been a favorite dessert of mine. But oh my goodness how I’ve come to love pie since I've been here! Pretty much Pie Night is this night where the members come over, and invite less actives and non members and then we eat lots of pie! We got to go because our investigators were coming as well. It was WAY cool, and we were able to talk to lots of people and share a bit about the gospel! It's so hard to just have casual conversations now, I'm totally going to be an awkward return missionary and won't know how to do anything else besides testify about the restoration. No lie.

Thanksgiving was super rad as well. We played a game called 3 step with our zone, and I ROCKED. haha not really, but I try. I'm still super sore from it. And then we had Thanksgiving at the Dobbins. Literally they are the coolest family ever! I love them SO much!

The rest of the week was pretty normal, lots of tracting, and we had an exchange with a nearby companionship. But then last night I got a call from President Clements saying that I am leaving the area and going to ELM CREEK. It's nearby where Sister Mansfield served before. I'm pretty excited. She said that there are lots of Africans there. YAY! haha I'm African at heart.

I'm just so glad to know that this is the Lord's work and that he is in control over all of this. Literally it would be absolute chaos and craziness if not for the fact that somehow it always works out. And it works out because this is what the Lord wants! He wants his children to know how to return to him! And I'm SO thankful for the chance I have to share that with everyone!

Love, Sister Terry.