Monday, April 23

#19


What-ho!?

This week wasn't very exciting. We're in a "finding" stage right now which means we spend most of our time looking for people to teach and a lot less time actually teaching in lessons. We have one investigator preparing for baptism in two weeks, so keep him in your prayers! Otherwise, all is going relatively well.

And I am grateful for the letters I have received this week. :) I can feel great strength when I remember that there are people out there who think of me and pray for me. I love you all dearly and I hope you understand how much I appreciate your support.

This week I learned to be okay with fish (it was going to happen eventually), tried artichoke for the first time (and loved it), contemplated going to Nauvoo and seeing the pageant on my way home, made a shake with cookies and cream chocolate eggs, and sang "You Raise Me Up" on Helium. It's been a good week. :)

Because of the lack of substance for this week's post, I will run you through a typical day we had last week. (Just for fun. Sorry if that is fun for nobody but me. ;)

6:30 - The phone alarm goes off. I climb out of my bed (I'm on the bottom bunk) and say prayers. Sister Huber and I go into the front room and run through an exercise DVD for a half hour or so.

7:00 - I go shower while Sister Huber does a second exercise DVD. (She is healthy. I am semi-healthy.)

7:30 - I eat breakfast. Cracked wheat with some honey drizzled on it and an orange. :) I read Jesus the Christ or something similar while I eat.

8:00 - We begin personal study. I read through a few chapters of the Book of Mormon and begin studying whatever topic we are teaching that day. I try to remember to write my thoughts in a study journal but I'm not very good at remembering.

9:00 - We end personal study and begin companionship study. We pray, recite our purpose, recite the monthly scripture (D&C 20: 13-15), recite two "how to begin teaching points" from Preach My Gospel, and read a bit from the "white handbook". Sister Huber asks me what I studied. I tell her and probably go off about some random connection I made about how I need to be a better missionary and what we can share with our investigator. I ask Sister Huber what she studied. She talks about what she read in Jesus the Christ or the Book of Mormon and gives ideas for what we can share with our investigators or the members we will visit. We plan our lessons and probably get side-tracked two or three times. We remember we were supposed to call and confirm our dinner appointment. We do so.

10:05 - We end study and bundle up even though it looks summery outside because we know it is actually super windy and cold. We begin walking down Main St. towards downtown. We stop a man and introduce ourselves and shake his hand. We explain who we are and ask about his own beliefs. He is polite and accepts a card, but explains that he is comfortable with his religion now.

We continue our walk and try to stop another person. They probably ignore us. So we move on. We stop a woman pushing a stroller. We talk with her a bit about prophets. She seems interested and gives us her address so we can stop by some time.

After a bit we arrive at our destination. We have a lesson planned with a woman in an apartment building, #3. We climb the stairs and knock. No one answers. So we knock on the other three doors in the building. Two don't answer. One does, but she only speaks Spanish. We collect her information and text it to the Spanish Elders. We visit a recent convert next door. She is excited to see us! We talk with her about how her boys are doing and discuss a bit about family night. We leave her with a prayer and ask that her house and her efforts be blessed. We leave.

12:10 - We try #3 again. She answers this time, but she is a bit groggy. She has someone coming in a half hour, but agrees to have a quick lesson. We pray and read through a few chapters of first Nephi, discussing the brass plates and Nephi's faith. She enjoys it enough that she wants to keep reading. We get through two chapters instead of our usual one. :) Then we pray and ask her if she will come to church on Sunday. She has a date, but she will try next week.

We leave.

We try to talk to a few other people on the way home. From some we get addresses or phone numbers. No one is very interested.

1:46 - We get home for lunch. Probably burritos or something. I love burritos. :) We check the mail. I have a letter from my brother. It makes my day. :) I read it as we eat and then we study a bit until 
2:50. We have a lesson at three, so we bundle up again and walk to the appointment. We spend an hour and a half talking about the restoration. She knows her bible fairly well and has a strong conviction with her own faith. She isn't very receptive. She wants to meet again, though, so we set up an appointment for next week.

3:12 - It is raining now. We check our phone and find that another recent convert has called. We call her back. She is taking cats to the humane society and asks if we will help. (She is moving to Utah.)

3:30 - She comes and picks us up in her little orange car. (I want this car very badly.) Sister Huber climbs into the back next to the kids, and I get in the front. We hear two guys nearby talking about the car. They "cannot believe that a MOM is driving that car!" We laugh about that all the way to her apartment. We pick up the cats. I am very sad, because I love one in particular named Faye. But we take them to the Human Society and say goodbye.

4:39 - We go back to her apartment. We help her do some dishes and give a short lesson on patience.

5:31 - We go back to our house. The member who owns it is home from work. She has bought some jalapeno bread she wants us to try. It is delicious. :) We pick up a DVD we needed and we head to dinner at a members home.

6:03 - Dinner is running a little late, so we sit down and talk with the members about where we've both come from and why we came on missions. They ask a lot of questions. It is fun to talk. :)

6:24 - We eat dinner. It is amazing. (Always. I eat WAY too well out here.) We give a lesson on obedience with some awesome visual aides. (We are visual aid pros.)

7:13 - We leave. We drive over to see a potential investigator we have been trying to catch at home. (We only have her address, not her phone number.) The man who answers tells us that she has moved. We ask him about his religion and offer to come teach him. He isn't interested.

7:29 - We try another potential address we have. They do not answer. We try the door next to it. No one answers there either.

7:38 - We check our planners and remember that there was a less active member the Relief Society president had asked us to visit. We drive over and talk with her. She is very friendly and invites us in to share a message. We talk about Nephi's psalm. We leave her with a prayer, blessing her house and her family. We ask her if she will come to church on Sunday. She says she will talk to her husband. She asks us to come back another time for dinner. We set up the appointment.

8:37 - We drive to the Spanish Elder's apartment to drop off a flier about the ward activity next week. We talk a bit about the family they are teaching and about our investigator. They are all set to be baptized on May 5th. :)

9:07 - We get home. We pray and record numbers for the work we did. We discuss the tender mercies we had that day. We plan for tomorrow and set new goals. We pray again.

9:40 - We get ready for bed. I write in my journal and work on memorizing the Family Proclamation. It isn't going very well. I pull out my suitcases to rummage for an Ensign I wanted to read. I look through it for a bit.

10:23 - We say prayers and go to bed. I fall asleep pretty quickly. :)

TA DA! :D You made it to the end! Missionary work is the best, right?

Love you all. Please be safe and happy! I miss ya. :)

-Sister B.

p.s. Here is a picture of my hair. I am not very photogenic, so sorry if I look peeved. ;) Our Ward Mission Leader has dubbed it my "grunge" look. Haha, love it. :)

Today I realized I can legit-ly head-bang now. Too bad I have no Rock to head-bang to. *sigh*

Monday, April 16

#18

What-ho!

It's been rainy all weekend, which has made street contacting a much
more enjoyable experience.  We had stake conference yesterday and the
whole time we heard thunder racking the sides of the building.  It
made for a fantastic effect to the talks that were given.

I'm afraid I'm a little boring this week.  We had a lovely miracle on
Monday--an investigator (our only real investigator right now) had not
contacted us since general conference and wouldn't answer our
calls/texts.  He lives at the Salvation Army, so we weren't sure we'd
ever hear from him again.  Then last Monday evening he texted us!  He
still wanted to take lessons and is still looking towards his
baptismal date on May 5th.  It was crazy to feel so much relief and
love flood into my heart when we finally heard from him.  It made our
week.  :)

Then, I also found out, a girl I had taught in Steven's Point (who had
a baptismal date set for April 7th) got baptized!  So, although I
didn't get to be there by 1.5 weeks, I am pretty sure that counts for
my first "baptism" per say.  The first baptism I had a part in
anyways.  :)  It's crazy to realize that I had the opportunity to
teach and testify to someone who has now actually been baptized!
Haha, I guess that sounds a bit silly, but I still can't get over the
fact that I'm an actual missionary.  Maybe someday.

Otherwise, this week was a lot of walking and contacting.  Sister
Huber is really breaking me in.  She is fearless as she confronts
everyone who walks by and testifies of the church.  I try to follow
her example, though I'm nowhere near as confident... haha.  I just
have to remember that a few years ago if anyone had told me I'd be
walking around Waukesha, Wisconsin, stopping strangers in the street
and testifying of Christ to them, I'd have been horrified.  Heavenly
Father is slowly changing my heart and empowering me to do what I need
to to find those who he has prepared.

Cool.

My new favorite "quote" is from Sister Jones (the mission president's
wife.)  She told us that "when you are no longer the most important
thing in your life, amazing things start to happen."  That really
struck me.  Because, we all know we need to focus on the needs of
others, but we are habitually tuned in to our own personal comforts
and worries.  So I'm trying to break that habit.  I write that quote
at the top of my planner every single day so I can see it and remember
that I'm trying to make that change.  And, doing so, I've begun to
realize how hopelessly focused I am on myself.  Haha, but we shall
see.

Speaking of, I cut my hair again.  :D  But don't worry, it's not
shorter than it was before.  Maybe I'll put a picture up next week.
If I remember.  (*cough*)

Anyways, that's about it.  The picture is from Zone Conference.  :)
(My new zone!)  There are quite a few more people, so it's pretty fun.
I love being here.

But, yeah.  Sorry, it was a normal week.  ;)

-Sister B.

Monday, April 9

#17


What-ho?

Well, our tripanionship was short lived.  (But very awesome while it
lasted.)  On Wednesday President Jones called us and explained that
another visa-waiter was going to be arriving on Thursday, so it had to
come to an end, as all good things do.  So on Thursday we drove to the
airport to pick up "Sister Hulbert" who had been in the MTC for 14
weeks!  Poor gal.  She is headed to Argentina whenever her visa will
come, so we are so excited for her.  :)

In the meantime, she is companions with Sister Brady in Wauwatosa and
Sister Huber and I are back in Waukesha.  (Moving twice in two weeks
was an interesting experience.  Makes me want to not unpack anything.)
We were very sad to go, but the assistants called and asked us to
keep the air mattress for the time being because, in all likelihood,
another visa-waiter will be leaving any day now and we'll need to take
in another lonely sister.  0_o

Lots of fun.  :)

Anyways, now we are living in a member's home--a single sister who is
from Spain!  She is absolutely wonderful, though we don't see her very
often.  (She works crazy hours.)

Sister Huber is HUGE on street contacting, so we have been walking
everywhere and talking to tons of people.  It's pretty much me doing
the thing I most dread in life over and over again, so I am, as
Calvin's dad would say, "building character".  But we've had some good
contacts, and we are excited to meet with them this week.  :)

Speaking of which, a little about Sister Huber.  :)  She is from Mesa,
Arizona and has been teaching elementary school for six years!  So she
is awesome to teach with.  She comes from the same size family as me
(except she's the 3rd child, not the 4th) and she's always positive
and encouraging.  I'm learning a ton from her about being a mature
adult to be truly honest.  She is a marvelous example to me in all
things missionary related.  :)  Her hair was accidentally dyed a nasty
brassy color a few weeks ago, so last week we took her to a member's
home to have it bleached back to the platinum she had at the beginning
of her mission.  I got to help, so I am proud to say that I have
basically learned how professionally to bleach hair.  I have also
learned that I am far to impatient to ever be a hairstylist.

Anyways, she is great.  :)

The temperature has gone up, but so has the wind.  I need to re-think
pretty much all of my skirt choices, but luckily I will have some time
to go purchase a few more today so I don't flash various individuals
as we are walking from place to place.  Good times.

Easter was wonderful!  The members we ate with set aside some eggs for
us to color, and I was duly delighted.  :)  We also (on a less secular
note) had some time to really study and ponder what the Atonement
means for missionary work and everything in general.  One of my goals
this week (and for the rest of my mission) is to take a moment after
every study session and write a bit about how the Atonement relates to
what I read or studied.  It's really opened my eyes.  :)

Anyways, that's about it for this week.  We've been listening to an
album that Sister Huber has called The Essential Missionary
Collection.  I've fallen in love with the "Come, Come, Ye Saints" that
is on there, so if you get a chance, listen to it.  :)

Love you all (or, "Joe" you all as my district says.  Yay for text typos!)

Pictures: Sister Brady, Sister Huber, and I trying to decide who's
mouth is biggest.  (Yes, I get along very well with them both as you
can tell.  ;)  I won.
And our "goodbye" lunch with Sister Brady.  :)  I will miss her.

-Sister B.

p.s. Yes, I cut off my hair.  And I love it short.  :)  But I loved it
long too, and I miss being able to do it.  So I'll probably grow it
out again before I come home.  ;)  But it's been an awesome change and
I'm sure I'll love it during the summer.  ;)

Tuesday, April 3

#16


Alrighty, I'm in my second area!  Crazy!!  It's funny, but I never realized before how odd it is--jumping from one area to the next.  All of my daily interactions are TOTALLY exchanged for a completely new set.  Not often you get to do that.  ;) 
In any case, because we had a Sister Holladay who was waiting for her visa finally get her visa so she could go to her actual mission in Brazil, we are short a sister.  Hence, I am in a trio.  The area Sister Holladay and SIster Brady were covering (Wauwatosa) and Sister Huber's area (Waukesha) are now semi-combined until we can get a new sister to fill in the gap.  So Sister Huber, Sister Brady, and I are over both the Wauwatosa and Waukesha areas.  They are in different districts in the mission, so that is especially awesome.  As a result, there is ALWAYS something to do or someone to go see.  It's been awesome.  :)  I do miss Stevens Point though, but onward always to what the Lord wants me to do, right? 
Conference was AMAZING but I don't really need to tell anyone that.  I'm excited to read through the talks when the Ensign comes out.  It's funny what a sweet and powerful experience it is to watch conference on your mission.  :)  You can really feel your need to hear their words, and I have gained a stronger testimony of the power of conference.
I'm a bit short on time, so you will just have to be satisfied with pictures.  Just know that I am happy and well in this area and excited to get to work! 
-Sister B.
p.s. No one told me there was a mac and cheese burger at Cheesecake Factory!  For shame!  But it's ok, I have had one now.  I have begun a quest to discover as many mac-and-cheese covered food items as possible.  Let me know if there are more.
p.p.s. I'm pretty sure at least one general authority mentioned the importance of writing missionaries.  ;)  Haha, jk. 
p.p.p.s. But no, seriously, if you are bored, my address is on this page.  ;) 
p.p.p.p.s. Love you all! 
Pictures: Some last minute pics in Stevens Point--in a photo booth (cuz it's awesome), a "volcano cone" from the infamous Belts frozen yogurt, the pelican I have been coveting, Elder Henderson (we watched a session of conference with the Spanish-speaking Elders at a member's house) with his april-fools plasticware, and Sister Brady and I with my mac-and-cheese burger!  :D