Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hey Hey mom!

So the baptism wasn't this week. Because crazy Rose Flahn had work! haha she's nuts. But it is so cool! She's 17, and from Africa. We had a dang cool lesson with her this week! We've been focusing a lot on the temple with her and making permanent changes in her life. She brought up that she really wants to marry an African man, and right now there is not a lot of Africans in the church, so she's concerned that this is a temporary thing or a phase that she is going. But we've been helping her turn to God, and remember all the changes that she has made so that she can become a member. Man. She's so cool. The young women here get it, like really understand what the gospel is about and how many sacrifices you will have to make. It's the coolest thing ever. And I'm so excited for Rose to be a part of it! Oh I didn't even tell you the coolest part. Well Rose has a little brother named Boogie, who is usually a nuisance during the lessons. He's 5 years old and has an attitude to match and is constantly shouting lines from obscene rap songs and what not. But during our last lesson with Rose after we were leaving, I went over and talked to Boogie and asked him if he likes the name Boogie or if he would like us to call him Newton (his actual name) and he was like, "Newton" He completely flipped a 180 after that and has been so much nicer. And he came with Rose to church for the first time this Sunday! I see exciting things in the future for that family! Rose will be baptized on Wednesday. :)

We have dinners with members at least 4 or 5 days of the week. SO I've probably gained a lot of weight. The problem is that in this district, people are weirdly obsessed with food. Like not wanting to gain weight. It really has become such a problem and has been dragging the spirit down. SO I'm just not worrying about it. I really like food. So imma gonna eat it. Cause I can. And I'll just lose the weight when I'm home. But really I'm like 115 pounds. So I gained 3 pounds. woot woot. hahah people are crazy. A mission is not the time to worry about FOOD! Alright, now I'm off my soap box.

Oh, I didn't do anything for my birthday. hahah except go out a preach the gospel. No that's a lie. I went to dairy queen and got chicken fingers. Woot woot! haha #mylifeislame The thing is, I would much rather go out and share the gospel than try to celebrate my birthday. It's a lot funner, and brings joy to other people as well.

Hahha the weather!! It hasn't been too bad. I dunno. I guess I don't really know what normal is anymore. Sometimes there is a lot of rain. Sometimes it's extremely humid and crazy! but mostly it is SO green and luscious, like a rain forest. So cool. And today we are going exploring to the stone arch bridge with the 17 year old girl that we live with. WOO HOO! fun times ahead. So you don't really need to be worried about the weather. We do go biking around Medicine Lake all the time though! It's about 8 miles around, so we bike it in the morning for our exercises. I hope you are looking up how everything is on google maps. Look up Autumn Ridge apartments. That's where I spend all of my days! It's in Brooklyn Park!

Sister COOPER! ah man. She's SO cool! We had a lesson with her this week. We taught the restoration, and follow the prophet, and word of wisdom, and about visiting teaching. It's nuts. We have to teach her SUPER quick, cause she has had some long drawn out teaching sessions with the missionaries, and gets overwhelmed easily. But she is so excited to get to the temple! It was the cutest thing! We asked her why she wants to be baptized and she starts talking about her eternal family, and grabs brother coopers hand as she talks. Oh man. They are so cute. I don't know if I mentioned that he has liver failure. SO literally, he is going down the path to death. If Sister Cooper isn't baptized on the 9th, it will be shortly after that.

Well i love you a lot! Have a wonderful week!

Also, this bomb quote from Elder Holland,

"To those who stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days may seem, they have been darker for the Savior of the world. In fact, in a resurrected and otherwise perfected body, our Lord has chosen to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands, feet and side. Signs if you will, that painful things happen to even the pure and perfect. Signs that pain in this world is not evidence that God does not love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the Captain of our Soul. He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, humility, and forgiveness.

Man. I love being a part of this church, and receiving the blessings of the gospel. It is so perfect that we have a wonderful father in heaven with a divine plan for us and we are so lucky to have this knowledge. I'm constantly amazed and in awe at how lucky we are; we who understand the purpose of life, and Christ's suffering. While I might not know everything yet, The knowledge that has been given to me is the greatest treasure on earth. I am so thankful for my savior, and redeemer, who chose to stick it out when times were rough so that we would be able to press on and have hope for a better future.
I love you lots and lots and will talk to you next week! :) 

Love, Sister Terry

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 21, 2014

Mom.

Rose's baptism is this week.

Today for p-day:  Updating the area book. hahah I'M SO LAME. but really. It's been a crazy sort of transfer and the area book has been in a terrible condition before I even arrived, so we are slowly trying to salvage it together.

One day though, I will do something fun

Hmm, currently teaching. Well.... it depends on the day. We have a lot of people who are on the fence of really deciding if they want to be taught. haha They are ALL so wonderful, and in dire need of the gospel. But some are lazy, some are super busy, and some are not willing to put forth the time to find out if this is actually true. So we are teaching a lot, but as for progressing it leaves some to be desired. But Cest la vie, it will all be okay, and God will give them the opportunity to progress towards baptism.

But ALSO, we had a Phenomenal miracle the other day!! There is a part member family, where everyone is a member besides the mom. She works 90 hours a week and takes care of her children because her husband has liver failure. She is Catholic and has had the missionary lessons Tons of times. Before I even came to the area the sisters had met with her and had an extremely bold lesson where they basically said that her family will be together in heaven but she will not be there. BOOM, she finally understood. And she has been out of town so we couldn't meet with her. But we finally did this week and as we met we just focused on listening to what her concerns were. We addressed them, and helped her know that we are here for her. But basically she said she wants to be baptized but doesn't have the time to meet with us. Then our member (A counselor in the stake presidency) Said, "Sister Cooper, I have prayed about it and God has told me that you can be prepared to be baptized on August 9th. Will you be baptized on that date?" And she said yes! So we made a baptismal calendar and are working on her baptism now!

IT WAS SO COOL. Literally if that invite had been from us she would have flat out refused. But she respected and honored president Wilson SO much, and it made all the difference in the world! It's so cool to see how these wonderful members have made such an impact on people, that as we come to share the gospel they are ready to progress because they have been prepared by their friends and loved ones.

STL: We are here to encourage, love, and support the sisters. Give feedback to their district leaders about what is going on emotionally, and to do all we can to encourage them to be converted to Christ. So this week we went on a blitz/sleepover with a set of sisters who have been struggling to find people to teach. We had some stellar lessons and helped exemplify love, and spirit, and fun. Oh funny story. I was on the exchange/blitz and I was with sister Shumway (I was in the mtc with her) we were about to stop by a potential, when she goes, "oh wait, the spirit just told me that she is in California for the weekend" and turned and walked the other way. I was completely flabbergasted and for a solid 10 seconds truly jealous that the spirit doesn't speak to me that blatantly. hahaha so great!

But it's actually fun too. We have 6 sister companionships that we are over (which is a TON) and we go on exchanges with them at least once a transfer, and do group interviews, and help them set goals on how to have success as a missionary! WOOT WOOT.

I hope you have a fantastic week! Eat some FOO FOO for Liberian Independence Day on the 26th!!! WOO!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 14, 2014

MOM.

I have met my mission president a few times. We had mlc right after he got here, so he introduced himself to us. Cool quote from him "We are in the business of saving souls" and his wife is ├╝ber cute. She's so funny, I wish I could describe her but I can't. Probably the closest thing is she's a lot like that really cool shirt that you find at a good will that is a bit out of place, super awesome and reminds you of the past.... yeah. I love her so much! And president Forbes is cool too. It's hard to adjust mission presidents and they are polar opposites of each other, but I'm excited to see how he will improve our mission.

I pad mini's? I hear about it. I hope not. But probably. It won't be for at least a few months. But eventually they will come. I abhor technology. Except for Mormon Messages. They are SO cool.

TEACHING! yes! It's been so cool. We are teaching a 17 year old named Rose. She's getting baptized next week. Actually it's cool cause her cousin Eddie was baptized into the Elm Creek ward in January. I was able to sing at his baptism, and now she's super stoked for her own baptism. Her family investigated like 10 years ago, but they are all so busy now they can't really put the effort and time into it. But she's a sweet heart. And we were able to teach her about Chastity and the Priesthood the other day. Oh. I love it so much. Helping these wonderful young women recognize that they will have a wonderful husband. And be sealed together forever. And he will preside over the family with his priesthood to comfort and heal their children. It's something that is far greater than most people realize. Especially the youth from Africa. They have no idea what a true celestial marriage can be. It's so fulfilling to be able to teach them. We are still teaching many Africans. It's such a blessing. They hold such a tender place in my heart. I love them all so much.

STL. hmm it's good! haha it's hard to be a leader! When I first got into the MTC and became a stl I was like "heck yeah. I'm a leader!" and when I got out I was like, "I'm ready to lead people!" but after training I was totally ready to just have a normal companion, and be able to spend as much time proselyting as possible and really focus on the work. It was not meant to be though. I can't say that I love being an STL but I've certainly learned a lot! Our ward mission leader said something interesting the other day. He said that we will never rise higher than we do on our missions. We have such huge burdens placed on us and we how we respond to the duty of being a missionary is how we will perform our callings for the rest of our lives. Our activity in the church is HUGELY affected by how we act on our missions. And it's true. It is so easy to be here. I'm not joking. I see missionaries here who are wasting their time, because they are here but they are not open to learn, or to change. Anyone can go on a mission. But really doing it. and Being it takes so much work. And I hope one day I can fill the responsibility. Until then I am learning so much about trusting in the Lord, and being humble, and submissive. He wants to change us. He wants to lead us. But are we God's progressing investigators? As missionaries we lead people to baptism. But we can't drag them. We can't force them. They have to have that desire themselves. and if they don't. Then we leave them alone until they are willing to change. And God wants us. He wants our salvation. But he can't give it to us, or force us to take it. AHH so cool. I love being a missionary. It's the greatest gift on earth.

For Pday. haha we are updating our area book and napping but probably actually biking. It's been a crazy few weeks and our area book is so disorganized! Plus we've been waking up at 5:45 to go exercise with the ladies in our ward to take them running :) but now I am SO tired but it is so worth it. But I also love sleep.

Sorry my letters are always so crazy.

Funny story.

We were passing by these African children the other day and they were playing bubble gum in a dish. So then they ask us if we have gum (we don't) and sister smith says "i have a mint" They MOBBED her, like she disappeared in this sea of African children. The only way I knew she was there is from her blonde hair showing at the top. It was terrifying, a lot like Finding Nemo and those bird things. And they all wanted a mint and followed us around until they got one. Now she has no mints. And little children flock to us daily #missionprobs.

Also, I was thinking a lot about our extended family and the cool FHE that we do. How stellar would it be to go up the canyon and do a family fireside? or a testimony meeting? I know that we all have testimonies, and believe in the gospel. But we are not nearly as invested in each others salvation than we should be. Like, let's be real if you never had the slightest worry that some of the grandchildren might not turn out right. Well it's up to us to teach, and testify. And I so regret not taking the opportunity to share my testimony with the family more. So some ideas for you.

I hope that you have a great week. Tell dad happy birthday!

How was feeding the sisters? What did you eat?

Have fun at the reunion? Is that the one that sister Bretzing goes to? Tell her hello. And start recruiting people for the next Ragnar.

I love YOU!

Sister Terry

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30, 2014

Okay, I really don't have time to email, we spent all morning dyeing sister smith's hair. hahaha #youronlyamissionaryonce
I didn't tell anyone that it was my birthday! I don't want to turn 20!! ahhh teenage life is over as I know it.
Also, our mission president left this week :( but I am so excited for President Forbes! It's going to be AWESOME!!
I love you lots and I LOVE being a missionary! tell everyone hello!
The flooding doesn't really effect us. Except the ground is wet about 95% of the day. But we are still alive! And it's cool cause all the lakes are overflooding (cute word) but it makes it easier to contact the fishermen since they are closer to the sidewalk!
AHH I love being in Minnesota so much! This is the greatest place ever, and I get to do the greatest thing ever. So blessed!
Hope you all have a spectacular 4th of july!!
Love, Sister Terry