Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day, 2014

Warning!!  I usually edit her letters and take out all the periods that she throws in at the most random spots but this letter made me laugh.  Just imagine Sidney having a conversation with you and every time there is a period she's trying to get her brain back on the topic at hand.  I love to see her personality still shining through, as crazy and erratic as she is.


Oh, sorry. All my letters are so short. But I'm sure they are super stellar! haha um... oh my goodness so much happens every week and then I get here...and nothing. so here goes nothing.

Today I am emailing from Sister Smith's home. I hope you all are having a spectacular memorial day! Wallaby's is delicious and I got your letter this week. WAA HOO! Thanks for the magazines. and Sabrina! man. she's awesome. one day she'll be baptized. and then we'll be neighbors in the celestial kingdom.

But this week was super great! it rained on Monday hard core, and I danced in the rain while sister Tingey tried to glue her fake tooth back onto her retainer. it was a fantastic day. And we were able to visit with the Lopez family! I love them. they are recent converts, but are also kind of less active. But they are stellar. And we have been working with them to prepare for the temple. Hey dad, where did you go on your mission? what part of mexico? Sister Lopez is from Mexico, moved here when she was a kid. But she's going down to Mexico next summer. Which reminds me, I really want to go to Mexico. Maybe next summer? that would be awesome. I want to eat tortillas and rice and I actually like refried beans. And other beans. It's growing on me. Plus there is mangos. So basically a lot of pros. and the only con is that there is a spanish mafia that could kill us. Worth it.

We had exchanges this week as well. I was able to go to the Medicine lake ward with Sister Smith. It was my first time out of my area in 6 months! ahh I was excited. But also, I love being here. And we had some awesome appointments and miracles. I was happy to be back in my area. Guess what! This week we taught 37 lessons! no joke. it was the most exhausting thing ever. We had some days when we taught 8 lessons. Complete chaos. But one day, we went to go to an appointment, and the lady wasn't there so we went to stop by someone else but on the way I had to go to the bathroom SO BADLY. so i stopped by someone's house and borrowed their bathroom and then set up a return appointment to teach them the gospel. And we did. And it is a family of 10 people. No joke. AND THEY ALL CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY. 8 of them are over the age of 8. we are pretty stoked for them. THEY are SO prepared for the gospel. Moral of the story. Use every situation as a finding situation. hahahaha and sometimes God works in mysterious ways.

So basically we got 15 people to church. And set 2 new dates for June. And MARCO AND BRITTANY are being baptized next week!! WOO! I am so stoked for them! They are the coolest kids ever, and have grown so much since we started visiting them! It definitely has been a miracle filled week and I am so excited to see the miracles continue to grow. We've been working so hard at what it truly means to serve with all your heart might mind and strength. And sister Tingey has been such a blessing in calling me out on things that are not in harmony with my call. Ex. sarcasm, worldly music. And then we have worked SO hard at getting rid of those bad habits. It's been so awesome. Who knew that the cleanliness of the apartment would affect the spirit so much? As much as I detest cleaning, it's definitely worth it!! AHH I love being a missionary So much!! It's super hard, and difficult, and stressful. But also the most amazing thing you could ever do. What could be better than devoting 18 months to serving the lord? Absolutely nothing!! Have a great week!

Love, Sister TERRY

P.S. I gave a talk in church and I forgot to bear my testimony at the end about my family. but I love you. Even if the people here didn't get to hear it over the pulpit. I think you all are pretty cool kids. Keep up the great work!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 12, 2014

Well, not much to say that I didn't say yesterday. But also, a bit of an explanation of why I was so emotional yesterday!

We've been working a lot with Sabrina, and she is SO prepared to be baptized! But the more we work with her so that she can make that important promise to God, the more Thomas (her husband) pushes against the church. Finally we decided to all fast and pray about what we should do, if she should be baptized next week. We got the answer that we should wait and it was super cool and awesome and full of the spirit. But then when she came to church yesterday she told us that Thomas had looked up a bunch of anti stuff online and got completely freaked out. And if she comes to church again he will divorce her. We are no longer allowed to meet with her or really have any contact with her. It's so hard to know that she knows it is true, but that Satan works so hard to make sure the God's children are miserable. Right after church we sat in with her while she got a priesthood blessing and then we just watched her walk away. It was literally one of the hardest experiences I've ever had on my mission.
But then as I was praying all day, and night about it, these quotes came into my mind. And as you, mom, and family know I'm not a lotr (Lord of the Rings) fan at all. SO it's pretty crazy that this is where my solace came from. But the quote is,

"It's like in the great stories, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness, and danger and sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand.”

I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something, that there is still some good in the world. And it's worth fighting for.

I really do know that there is good in the world. That there is hope. Even when the world would say otherwise. That's the great message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The atonement. It is there for each and every one of us, and we have to come to the alter and offer our whole souls unto him. But why hold back? There's nothing we can accomplish without him anyway. I know this gospel is true without a doubt. And even when these setbacks come, and they come often-even in missionary work- much like Jeremiah the words are in my heart like a burning fire and I can't help but proclaim the glad news of this gospel. I testify he lives. We will all live and that he has a very specific plan for each of us. And the spirit tells each one of us that this is true as we listen to his still small voice. I love you!

Love, Sister Terry

 The first four pictures are from their visit to the 
Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota
Sidney's title for this pic was "Sarabi" who is Simba's mom in the Lion King.

Sisters Terry and Tingey and "a grumpy gorilla"

At the Minnehaha Falls with Mark, Sis. Tingey and Sis. Smith

The Mississppi River!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 4, 2014

Things are going well. People are awesome. And I will see you on mothers day WOO!!

This week was stake conference. Elder Reall and his wife came. it was really cool. It was about hastening the work of salvation. So most people talked about missionary work. But Elder Reall talked about our own individual salvation. So that was cool. And President Toronto mentioned that his son runs track and xc and as he was praying with his son he prayed that as his son recognized that the Lord's work is hastening that he would run faster than ever before. I thought that that was really cool. Obviously I love running and I love thinking of this as a race. But Satan's race is on too, and he wants to win. The question is, "Who am I racing for?" and I know that as we think of the reasons we are racing and what we want to accomplish God will give us greater light and understanding about what our purpose is, and that we will be filled with the strength and energy needed to be able to accomplish the things he has in store for us.

I love YOU!!

Love, Sister Terry

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April 27, 2014

Hello all! This week was SO fun, and super crazy. First off we saw SO many miracles this week! We've been working really hard at getting all of our investigators to church, and hard core committing them to get on the path to repentance and this week we had 7 of them come! WOO! It's crazy to think that when I first got in this area we were lucky if we got 1 investigator to church and teach 5 lessons a week and this week we got 36 lessons and 7 gators to church! It's been so much fun to see this area grow and help others realize the blessing that come as being part of Jesus Christ's church! And I found out that I get to stay here for at least another 6 weeks! WOO!

On Monday we had district P-day, where we did bbq and kickball (my idea, I miss all of the fun mutual activities we used to do!) it was tons of fun and we also played 4 square where I powned everyone :) but it was also great to get back to the work after. It's always so strange to put on civilian clothing and be able to do normal everyday stuff. I much prefer being a representative of Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday we woke up at 5:45 to go play volleyball with the women in the ward. Our president has been encouraging us to develop relationships with the members of our ward so they learn to trust us and also realize that we are people as well as missionaries. It was so much fun to play volleyball even though I was super rusty and even some non members came as well!

That night we had a lesson with our 17 year old investigator Brittany. She's super awesome and we had a great joint teacher and everything lined up so perfectly. That night she prayed about a date to be baptized and she and her little brother Marco are going to be baptized on May 31st! We are so stoked for them!

Wednesday we went to the TEMPLE!! woo!! I was so stoked! I love going to the temple so much, and I really do know that it is the lord's house. It's such a blessing to have a temple close enough that we are allowed to go. I feel such a spiritual uplifting every time we go. We also taught one of our investigators Olevia. She had not been super interested in the church before. But we had a really spiritual lesson with her a few weeks ago and since then she's been participating a lot more in lessons and keeping commitments! YAHOO! I'm excited to see how things turn out for her.

Thursday we did some service for one of the members of the ward. The dad has cancer and has to go to radiation every day. So we went by and cleaned up his house for him. Man, I have never appreciated my mom more, now that I have to clean so much (thanks mom).

On Friday we had weekly planning.... but then were able to go stop by Sabrina! She's been super busy this week, so we hadn't been able to meet with her. But her husband came to church last week which was huge! And he's going to allow her to be baptized. May 17th is the date!

Saturday we had practice for our choir rehearsal for stake conference. It's pretty rad. I love singing all the hymns! Well that's basically all we can sing. But I'm pretty fond of them! We also taught a restoration to this super cool lady who had been having lots of spiritual experiences lately and was able to recognize that we really were sent from God. I LOVE IT! We had a lesson with one of our African friends Gertrude, and her aunt. We brought an African joint teacher. It was the greatest thing ever. They all kept singing their African religious songs and praising God. I loved every single second of it.

Sunday was CRAZY! We were trying to get our new investigator Janabel to come to church so we were supposed to stop by her house so she could follow us to church. But she was ASLEEP! But Lisa, Georgia, Faith, Brittany, Marco, and Sabrina came, which we were super stoked about. Then during second hour a recent convert/less active family we have been working with came to church! I love them so much, it's the Davis family. They have 2 girls in high school and then 2 little boys. We stop by and teach them ALL the time. I'm so invested in their salvation it's insane. But their oldest daughter had just moved home and I had never met her. But she was crying in the coat closet and bishop asked us to go help her. So we went and talked to her.....about food. Yup. I'm that awkward. When people cry I have no idea what to say. Which is a dilemma cause basically all of our investigators cry every lesson. I digress. But this girl finally calms down and we bring her to Sunday School with us and to Young Womens as well (it was so great to be back in Young Womens! I miss it so much!) But then at 1:00 we went to church again with Janabel cause she was finally up and moving. It was great that she was able to go.

There's my week. I want you all to know that I have a testimony about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly I see miracles EVERY day out here. I know that this is the Lord's work and his plan is to help each and everyone of his children gain immortality and eternal life. We have been saved during this time before the 2nd coming to prepare the world for Christ. And we do that by boldly and nobly proclaiming the truth and living our lives in such a way that everyone will recognize that we are disciples of Him.

3rd Nephi 9:13

Love Sister Terry
sister power!

After a run

St. Paul Temple

Doing service with Sis. Tingey