Saturday, October 31, 2015

September 30: 2nd PDay in Row

Sooooooooo transfers at Temple Square are a little different. In fact the mission in general at Temple Square is a little different. Instead of all missionaries having pday on Monday we actually rotate pdays. My preparation days for the past two transfers have been on Tuesday.... this transfer my new p-day is on Wednesday! What exactly does that mean you ask? Quite simply it means that I have two p-days in a row this week and have already written emails to everyone! But we still get two hours of email time so here I am sitting, writing. Fun stuff. Sorry to annoy all of you but eh what else am I going to do with 2 hours of email time and no one to email me back?

Pros and Cons of this upcoming transfer

I am no longer in training!
I live in some really nice apartments now!
There is a gym in my new apartments
my companion is from Australia so people actually want to talk to us!
New companion likes to run
I am no longer in training so I get to be my own missionary

I am no longer in training so I have to be my own missionary, no more relying on my trainer
I had to move apartments which was a hassle (we have a ton of stuff)
My companion is from Australia so she only speaks English as well
There is a gym in my apartments so I don't really workout with the other sisters
I am no longer in training :(

I don't have much else so I'll just keep making lists

-general conference
-mission 5k
-carving pumpkins
-serving in humanitarian center (you get free food!)
-using the new gym
-serving around new sisters
-making food
-eating food
-trying other people's food
-going on runs with the new comp

Food I wish I had more access to
-whole foods
-thai food
-afghani food
-five guys
-mustard based bbq sauce
-lamb with coconut cream and tarro
-acorn squash with sausage

I heard maze runner 2 is out in theaters... cool
and Donald Trump is going to be president.... If that's not a sign of the second coming I don't know what is.

Yesterday was our last pday with Sister W before she heads back to New Zealand, its okay because our kids are going to serve missions together too so the chain will not be broken. (Sister W’s father served his mission with Mike in New Zealand 30 yrs ago).

There were a lot of Mandarin speakers on square.
Like 20 Mandarin to every 1 old couple on vacation. So not too many people that me and my companion could talk too....

Cool contact though. We met these two women from Panama and they were sitting up by the statue of Jesus Christ. One spoke English, the other did not but they both felt the spirit so strong. It was the kind of conversation that you get goosebumps from, the spirit was that strong. Ah so good! So cool.

September 29: Funerals, Flu Shots and Transfers

The week started out pretty grand not going to lie. We had Surf and Turf at the secretaries for the mission’s apartment and got to play didgeridoos. Yeah. Legit African didgeridoos...... I felt pretty pro. I mean I played the trumpet so this couldn't be too much harder. It was really nice to have a home cooked meal (the steak was some of the best I'd ever had....sorry dad).

And then later in the week we got to go to the Church History Museum! It's open, it's open and so freaking cool! They have an entire display all about the church history that begins with this really awesome first vision film. You then walk through all of the places the pioneers went to and there are amazing things to explore. It's all interactive and what was really cool was the parts that explained the "touchy" subjects of church history. i.e. polygamy, separation of church and state, persecution, etc. etc. and told both sides of the story. The pioneers had suffered so much and still had so much faith it was amazing. Definitely something I have to go back to. There is also an entire art gallery of religious paintings and a historical artifact collection that goes through each modern day prophet. I just want to take everyone to the museum because it is awesome!

Now to the interesting stuff.

As most, if not all, of you know the beloved apostle, Richard G. Scott, passed away a week ago. As a missionary on Temple Square we get the amazing opportunity of being able to attend the funeral service. I don't know why but there is just something about an LDS funeral that you don't find anywhere else, especially the funeral of an apostle. This is not a time of mourning but truly a time of rejoicing as this faithful servant of the Lord has passed on into the presence of God to there remain with his dear wife. I learned so much about Elder Scott that I never knew and that truly gave me a new perspective of the gospel and of apostles. Elder Scott was raised in a part-member family, with a less-active mother and nonmember father. As boy he rarely went to church. As he grew up there were many people in the ward who supported him and helped him gain faith in God. What was really funny was how Elder Scott decided to serve a mission. It was his future wife who told him she would only marry a return missionary who put God first. And so he served a mission. It was there that the foundation of his faith grew and he came to know God. How amazing that we had an apostle with such a background. That they did not all have perfect cookie-cutter lives but truly did struggle and search for the truth as each one of us do on a daily basis. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and I know that it can change the lives of all men for the better.

Flu Shots
We got flu shots.

And Now what you all have been waiting for!!!!! Buhm buhm buhm BUUUUHHHHMMMMM

I am now in my third transfer!!! My new companion is from Australia and I am now serving one day a week in Humanitarian Center! I am so excited! I get to move into the nicer apartments that has it's own gym AND I get an Australian companion! So cool! I'm not with her yet but tomorrow will be my first day with her (it also happens to be my new pday....meaning I have Wednesday pdays now!)

Conference is soon approaching which is a big deal here so watch for pictures in the Ensign (you might see your favorite missionary!) We get to go to one session! But all of you at home should be preparing to watch all of them! Especially think of a question or a problem you have been struggling with lately and as you go into conference with that question in mind I know you will get your answers!

Sky is blue, Church is true and the Temple was built from 1853-1893
PS -- Also remember to feed the missionaries! Its so cool, even though we don't get dinner appointments or anything like that, we sometimes get our food paid for at restaurants and stuff like that. Seriously means so much!.

I am now also the announcing choir coordinator hahahahahaha

My zone before transfers:

Angel Moroni:

Sept 22: The Fruits of Our Labors

This week was a very special week for my companion and I. If you haven't heard the story of one of our investigators, or even if you had, let me tell you again.

We met him and his son my first Sunday at Temple Square. He gave us all of his contact information and was so excited to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! We got to call him over the course of these past twelve weeks and watched him progress in the gospel. He has been meeting with the local missionaries and his whole family began taking the lessons. This Saturday he and his family entered the waters of baptism and I could not be happier.

Though we were not able to Skype his baptism, due to some "technical difficulties,” we were still able to see the fruits of our labors. I'm so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of this family's baptism, though to be honest we really didn't do much. We were able to see the change within them and they have been blessed for it. It's true what they say, family life is happiest when centered upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Oh! I got to make my first call to Africa! That's right you heard it here first! We called an investigator in Africa who wanted to join the church! He unfortunately lives too far away from a church building so he is unable to be baptized...or taught any longer. But, I know when the church does enter that area that they will find people there with such strong faith and the work will take off

Also, there are so many perks of being on Temple Square, (sometimes I feel bad because I feel so spoiled.....then I remember all of the antis we meet on a daily basis...) (antis – there are people who are against the church who hang out at the entrances of temple square and try to hand out anti-mormon pamphlets and talk to people, hence the nickname of antis) One of them (perks) being that we are able to eat in the Church Office Building Cafeteria (COB)....I know I know high class, ritzy, so fancy. However little do you know that there is a rumor that every Thursday the prophet goes to the COB around lunch time to get a slice of peach pie and ice cream....Naturally we had to go on Thursday and wait by the peach pie. We went, No Prophet. We ate lunch. No Prophet. We went back for seconds. No Prophet. We had to get a cookie. No Prophet. We walk slowly out of the building and desperately search for old Thomas S. Monson. Still no prophet. And just as we walk out we hear a hello sisters! And guess who it was!?!?!?!
No. Still no Prophet. BUT it was Elder Bednar! President Nelson! and Elder Rasband!(idk if I spelt his name right)

Yeah! Get pumped!

Unfortunately we were all American and had one kiwi (New Zealander) with us so we weren't quite foreign enough to cause much of an excitement among them. But still really cool to walk past them!

Soooo that's about it... Until next time.

Fun Fact: The Assembly Hall on Temple Square was built from 1877 to 1880. Only three years!

 Working the Booth:
My mom's favorite:

Friday, October 30, 2015

September 15: “Oh How Lovely Was the Morning”

It was the worst morning ever. Me and my companion had not been able to exercise all week so we were excited to finally get our morning workout in. We go workout on the track right by our apartments, kind of wondering why today no one had showed up. But it didn't bother us, that meant we got the whole track to ourselves.

We get home, shower and as we start getting ready. One of the Sisters who was chilling in our apartment asked us why we hadn't left for the meeting yet......We had an 8 am meeting that we didn't know about so we book it over there leaving pretty much everything at home.

No worries, meeting over, we decide we can run home and grab what we left. On the way home we meet another set of sisters who ask why we aren't going to the emergency meeting. Okay something was wrong with our phone, I swear, because we were not informed about any of these meetings. So no makeup on, no food, no ipad, nothing, we run back to Temple Square......
But the Lord was aware and our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning did a complete 180. Our emergency meeting was called by none other than President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

I wish everyone could've been there. There is no way that you can deny the validity of the church when you are able to hear an Apostle speak face-to-face, shake his hand, and have the spirit witness so strongly to you that he is a man called by God.
Before the meeting even started he had us all line up so that we could shake his hand one by one.

We are truly living through the restoration. It is happening all around us and we are to be active participants in it. Whether it be for good or for bad we must make a choice. The time is now for all nations of the Earth to choose which side they are on. As President Nelson said, "Enduring to the end does not mean inhaling and exhaling until we die," It means being anxiously engaged in the gospel, continually fighting on the Lord's side and allowing Him to perform miracles through us.

President Nelson then opened up the discussion to answer any questions that we might have. Though I didn't have the chance to ask him my question I found that as he spoke he had answered all of the questions I was going to ask.

What a special experience. I am so blessed and so grateful that I was called to serve on Temple Square where apostles speak to us, and I daily bear my testimony of the restored gospel to all nations, kindred, tongues, and people .We truly are able to see the scriptures fulfilled before our very eyes.

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it."

PS -- Oh! I gave my first missionary talk this Sunday! A nearby ward asked us to come speak and it was the first time I didn't write my talk out word for word! We also got to sing a really cool musical number.