Wednesday, January 23

# 55

January 22, 2014

What-ho!?  I'm in a new area.  WAUSAU.  And let me tell you, Wisconsin is showing it's true colors.  Yesterday the zone leaders sent us a text:
"Wind advisory today and tomorrow.  Exposed skin will freeze in a matter of minutes.  Be very careful and be smart.  Most importantly though, Do Work!!"
Yep.  Sister Brady has been super sick since we got here, so yesterday was the first day we were really able to get out and do some tracting/etc.  (Let it be known, despite -13 degrees, we found someone new to teach.  Ha!)
Anyways, I'm loving Wausau so far.  :)  On the way here we got to stop in Stevens Point to pick up our car.  The itty-bitty building in Stevens Point has been expanded into a lovely LARGE building!  I would give you a picture, but I forgot my camera cord.  So... sorry. 
When we got here we moved into the Elder's old apartment.  (They were doubled out so we could be doubled in.)  I've heard horror stories of moving into Elder's apartments, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  But we were delighted to find everything clean and ready for us to move in for the most part.  :)  We have found some accumulated random stuff (clothes, blankets, styling products that we can't use...) but we've settled in nicely.  :)  The Elders even left us some food and a never ending supply of hot chocolate and instant oatmeal.  (Paradise, let me tell you.) 
As to the area itself, there are only a few people they were teaching, and we haven't been able to get in contact with any of them yet.  So we are working on finding them and contacting new people.  We've already found a few, so things should be looking up. 
I absolutely LOVE being Sister Brady's companion!  She is such a tender mercy at this point in my mission.  She is so motivated and sweet.  And hilarious.  :)  It's great.
I forgot how many one-way streets seem to exist in this area.  (Stevens Point was CRAZY.)  But it's even crazier here.  Hopefully we won't get in any accidents. 
We've already met some wonderful people.  :)  Our ward is great!  They are SO excited to have Sister missionaries... I guess they haven't had them in a few decades.  Made for a warm welcome.  :)  There are Hmong elders serving in the ward as well... I guess there is a large Hmong population out here.  :) 
There are 5 stakes in Wisconsin.  Milwaukee North, Milwaukee South, Green Bay, Madison, and Wausau.  Crazy, huh?  I keep thinking about how there are multiple stakes in my home town.  So crazy!  The Wausau stake is doing a "Flood Wausau Stake With the Book of Mormon" project currently.  :)  We are putting special emphasis on helping members give out the Book of Mormon to friends and family.  So, in light of that:
Weekly Challenge: Prepare a Book of Mormon to give away.  Write your testimony or your favorite passage or something in the front so you can have it ready.  :)  The Lord can give you an opportunity if you seek after it!  Even in Utah.  ;) 
I guess that's it for now.  No frostbite yet.  :) 
Love you all!

-Sister B.

Monday, January 14

# 54

Well, I am getting transferred from lovely Green Bay.  :(  BUT I am excited.  I get to be companions with Sister Brady again (the surfer/rock climber extraordinaire and incredible missionary to boot) and we are "opening" a new area in Wausau.  (Meaning, they are putting us in when there haven't already been sisters there.)  Should be fun.  :D  Not to mention, Wausau is less than an hour from my first area, Stevens Point.  SO there is a good chance I'll see Stevens Point again!  Weird!!  Also, right now Sister HUBER is in Stevens Point, so it will be a bit of a reunion for the three of us.  :D  (Sister Brady, Sister Huber and I were companions in Wauwautosa/Waukesha in April.)  
Crazy cool.  :D
Otherwise, things have been pretty sedentary.  It's getting cold again so we are trying to stay busy so we aren't tracting.  :)  Things are going well.  I am excited to have a new area and such though.  I'm getting a little sedentary myself...
Anyways, this week I've been thinking a lot a LOT about the sacrament.  I'm just beginning to understand how important the sacrament is to this work... let alone for my salvation.  (I guess I've been repenting a lot lately?) 
A general authority (I can't remember who!  So terrible!  Pres. Packer?) instructed us to do the following each time we take the sacrament:
1.  Prayerfully seek forgiveness for our sins and shortomings.
2.  Think about promises made and kept during the previous week.
3.  Make specific personal commitments to follow the Savior in the coming week.
I've begun trying to do this, and it is amazing how much more of an understanding I've gained!  The sacrament truly becomes a renewal when I make the effort to control my thoughts and seek revelation in this way.  I've even begun to keep a journal specifically for setting goals and making promises to change so I can keep track.  :) 
So, on that note: 
Weekly Challenge: During the sacrament this week, make the effort to go over those three steps with Heavenly Father.  :)  I can promise you that as you do so, you will experience the cleansing that Elder Ballard described when he said:
"I am a witness that there is a Spirit attending the administration of the Sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being lifted.  Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirious of partaking of this Spiritual food."
Best of luck this week!  I guess Utah is experience what Wisconsin SHOULD be experiencing, so best of luck to those of you who are cold.  :)  Just so you know, you can wear at least three pairs of tights before your circulation totally cuts off.  (Yes, I know from experience.)  Not that any of you are going about wearing tights all the time.  But you know.
Love you!!!

-Sister B.

Oh! I forgot to explain the pictures.  We made cupcakes for Cindy's baptism, and the picture is of us and Rosie, who is getting baptized next month hopefully.  :)  

Monday, January 7

# 53

This week was WONDERFUL.  Why, you might ask?  Cindy was baptized! 
I'm having difficulty remembering how consistantly I update you about our investigators and especially whether or not I use their names.  Privacy issues, you know?  Anyways.  A lovely woman we've been teaching since before I got here was baptized by her husband on Saturday.  :)  It was a beautiful service.  I felt the Spirit so strongly and it was so refreshing!  Funny how that works, isn't it? 
The new year is going well enough for me.  I'm getting a little restless, and I'm impatient to know whether I will be transferred or not next week.  But they like to keep us in the dark until Saturday/Monday, so I will have to be patient and content, as per usual.  (President Uchtdorf's conference talk comes to mind.  I need to LET myself be happier, right?)
There's always a little dip in morale when someone is baptized because we are no longer teaching that incredible person who is ready for baptism.  Backwards, right?  It's selfish, really.  But seeing our numbers go down and having less to do during the week makes you sad.  :(  BUT, we are really trying to keep away from that mentality.  We have two other people with baptismal dates, and they are doing well.  :)  And now we can give greater focus to the people we've been trying to get back in contact with after the Christmas holiday. 
Yesterday (Sunday) I was having a really hard time feeling charitable, especially towards my companion and towards the people we went to church with.  You get in a "zone" sometimes, don't you?  A sour zone.  ;)  And everything is a little more than you want to handle.  But as I took the sacrament, the sweetest peace came over me.  I was thinking about how difficult it is to turn outwards when you're feeling stressed or negative.  And I realized that Christ, as Hsuffered in Gethsemane and on the cross, felt all the negativity and selfish tendencies that everyone has EVER felt... and despite that, He still suffered for us.  He never felt selfish or worried for his own needs, even though He was going through the very thing that causes even the strongest of men to turn inward.  Only He could do that.  Why?  Because He is one with our Heavenly Father, and perfect in every way.  He is the ultimate example of charity, which we have seen again and again to be directly proportional to our happiness.  
And what has He given us?  The opportunity to develop such charity as He has.   
To be perfectly happy and perfectly content.
Wow.  :)
Well, in light of my thoughts,
Weekly Challenge: Pray sincerely for charity in EVERY prayer.  Don't just pray for charity, but pray to recognize the opportunity to be charitable, and to recognize when you ARE charitable.  And then do everything you can to help the Lord change you a little more to be filled with pure, unselfish love.  :)
Hey, love you all!
Some pictures.  
1) District Photo.  (YES, I am the only Sister.  Sister Fontanetti was interviewing with President.  No scandals, I promise.)
2) Megan, Sister Fontanetti and I the day she left.  :(  As with the district photo, you can see that my squinty eyes haven't ceased to be a problem.
3) Ice on the windows.  :D  So beautiful.  

-Sister B.

Wednesday, January 2


Dun-duh!  Kinda surreal, isn't it?  I just realized today--I've spent more of my life in the 21st Century than in the 20th century.  Crazy.
Not that that really matters at all.
This week Megan headed back for Idaho.  :(  It's weird because all my mission I've been saying goodbyes but it is usually because I'm leaving--which makes it easy for some reason.  But I do NOT like saying goodbye to people who are leaving ME.  Selfish, I know.  Makes me think of "Be Still My Soul:"
Be still, my soul.
When change and tears are passed,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
I think that's right.  Anyways.  Someday change and tears will not be a part of my existence.  I just have to keep focusing on that, because I have a hard time with change.  And tears.  Both of which have come aplenty in the mission field.  Luckily we can always turn to those things that are unchanging.  :)
Anyways.  We have a baptism this weekend, so hopefully all goes well!  Things are getting below-zero cold in the morning (which didn't stop me from running outside in gym shorts and a t-shirt to put mail in the mailbox.  Bad news) so that is kinda crazy! 
Also crazy, I've been in Wisconsin for more than a year.  What?!
Things are going so good!  We found two new people to teach yesterday, so I am excited to work with them.  And now, the holidays being over, we have a LOT of potential investigators who asked us to check back when they were less busy.  So... here we go!
Weekly Challenge: Read one conference talk each morning this week before you go out and do anything.  Figure out one way you are going to apply it.  
-Sister B.