Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Standard of Excellence is Our Goal!

I have been super busy this week with my new companion.  She is from Idaho, and is nice and very friendly.  We'll make a good team.  We are trying to bring our area up to the Standard of Excellence by the end of this transfer.  It's kind of a daunting task, but we're going to do it!  We want to work more with members and Sister Ramos has served in the Branch before so she knows most everyone already.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Car Will Be Fixed...Some Time Soon?

We are still without a car, and when my dear companion (the former designated driver) left, I became the new designated driver which means I inherited the problem.  We made some headway on it this week, however, and there is hope that it will be fixed by the end of this week! YAY! :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

...and Another Invitation

Something I have learned in the last nine weeks since coming to good ole Texas is that when you have the Spirit with you, everything about missionary work is easier!  So, my next invitation is for all you to study as much as you can about the Spirit (Chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel is a good place to start) then pray and try everyday to have it, feel it, and recognize it.  It is just that simple.  The best thing about this invitation, is you don't have to tell anyone you're doing it, because it is an entirely personal goal!  I promise that you will be happier and you will see your life differently.  Challenges will still be hard, but you will know that you can accomplish them!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Another Invitation...

How are y'all doing on the invitation I gave you to contact the missionaries for times during the week you are available???  I hope you're doing it!

Another way to do missionary work is to do your home and visiting teaching especially to the less-active members!  Yeah, visiting active members is usually easier, but it's the less-active that need it the most!  Just be their friend and make sure you bring the spirit with you!  

We have a family that is just starting to come back to church simply because we made the effort to visit them frequently.  And it wasn't what we taught or how well we taught that did the job - it was just us bringing the Spirit into their home; they could feel a difference and it motivated them to act.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


So, good news of the week: WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!
This is the new area's first and the first investigator I ever started teaching!  We began teaching his part-member family the first day I was in the field.  He told us straight away that he would never come to our church because he had been to other Christian churches and he wasn't satisfied.  Well, our second visit, we got him to read the Book of Mormon, and he knew a member of our branch at work (who really deserves the credit), and the rest is history!  

Yesterday, he was baptized, and I am so grateful to have had just a little part in it!  Both my companion's and my favorite part was right after he was dunked, he looked at his two little kids (ages 5 and 3) through the glass and just smiled at them, letting them know he was truly happy with his decision.  Next week, he is getting confirmed.  But, really, his baptism was made possible entirely because of God and his member friend.  Moral of the story:  MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK DOES WORK!  And it's the best (and sometimes the ONLY) way missionary work is possible!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Designated Driver!? But, I Like Riding Bikes and Walking!

As for the car, we still have not fixed it.  We have to wait for the insurance to process our claim (new church police :P ), and since my "old" companion is leaving and my "new" companion didn't bring her license on the mission, I am now designated driver, and I inherit the problem from my dear mother (trainer)!  But it's all good!  We've had such fun adventures the last two weeks on bike and on foot!  We've discovered new routes to new places and have had plenty of fun in the sun!  I am hoping to get the car fixed this week (cross your fingers).  But even with the car fixed, I think I am going to try to push walking and biking more because we meet so many more people!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Companion is Coming Back to a Familiar Place!

My new companion and I will be staying in my current area.  I did exchanges with her a few weeks ago.  She has served in the branch I am in for eight months, and she was in the general area before the split that created my area.  She has been up north for two transfers.  Now she is back in the branch for who knows how long! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Transfers are Tomorrow...

So, tomorrow are transfers and, sadly, I will be losing my dear companion. :(  She has been fantastic and I am going to miss her sooooooooo much! But, she got called in a new position the church just set up for sisters called a Sister Trainer Leader or STL.  I am still not a hundred percent sure everything this calling entails, but I know she has to go on exchanges twice a week, so I am sure we will work together for at least a few days this next transfer.  She is in charge of three of the northern zones..  She will still be living in my zone so we'll see each other on p-days!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Preparation Day!

We visited an aquarium on one of our "P"-Days!

I love my district members!
(I forgot to tell Mom and Dad who that girl is on the front row with the elders.)

The missionaries in my district are wonderful!
Eating at a place called "Small World"!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Walking and Riding Bikes

We took our car in to get it fixed...The church changed its policy that morning so instead of getting a new tire and rim, paying for it, then the church reimbursing us, we have to go through the insurance which can take days. Long story short, our car is still out of commission and we are not allowed to drive it until we can fix it so we've been walking and bike riding all week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Popped Tire on Car! Lots of Help Came!

The craziest thing that happened this week is my companion ran over the curb and popped the tire. Because the car belongs to the church, we have to go through their avenues to get it fixed. This means that we were instructed to call roadside assistance. It took them three hours to even respond to us, and eventually, we had to just cancel and call our zone leaders to help us out. After cancelling, as the Zone Leaders were en route, a policeman came and began to help us. A good samaritan also came and they were jacking up the car when it lurched forward, falling off the jack and trapping the good samaritan's hand between the body and the tire. Luckily, his hand was fine aside from the a few nasty lacerations, but no bone was broken. But the police had to call an ambulance and with it, two more police cars showed up. So by the time the Zone Leaders arrived, there was an ambulance and three police cars in the parking lot with our car. The immediate question from them was "What did you do?"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Best Week Yet...Even Though It Was Crazy!

This week has been the absolute craziest week ever!

First off, every day this week we have only been able to work for a few hours because of so many reasons! But we have been tremendously blessed by our hard work when we got the chance, however short our time was. We met almost all of our goals this week which is the first time that has happened since I came out here! Needless to say, it was miraculous!

Monday, April 15, 2013


I don't have a ton of time to write due to uploading pictures, but I was able to use a faster computer today to upload more. 
I have sent some pictures of my MTC companions, and MTC district, some Spring Break "P-Day" pictures with my "Mission Family", and some "apartment" pictures that have been placed strategically in previous posts.

I have also sent some Aquarium "P-Day" pictures, and some miscellaneous pictures that will be featured in future entries.  ENJOY!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Preach My Gospel" is Our Guide

If you want to know exactly what is taught in all the lessons, I invite you to read Preach My Gospel, Chapter 3. Brush up on your basic doctrine. Chapter 10 has useful teaching skills, and I would also encourage you to read Chapter 11 so you know why we missionaries do what we do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When Are You Available to Help the Missionaries?

So, as a missionary, invitations are super common, and my invitation is simple: just let the missionaries know (maybe once a week) that you want to help them. Then, tell them what days you are available. Trust me, they will be soooo grateful for your willingness to help out. Even if you are only available once a week or even once a month, let them know! Regardless of if they need you that particular night, they will be happy to have your support!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Member Missionary Work, Part 2

Member missionary work isn't hard!  All you do is go, be supportive during the lesson, bear your testimony when the missionaries ask, and invite the investigators to do something. Then outside of the lessons, you're just a friend who's there to listen and answer questions. It's really simple and a great way to be social!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Member Missionary Work!

I really liked the emphasis on member missionary work. Honestly, the members are what makes it possible. If someone already knows a member of the church, they are so much more willing to talk than someone who has never heard of the church before. Also, members are great because they are friends to investigators and investigators often feel like they can confide in a friend more than a missionary. Members can give a new perspective to the mission and help answer questions that sometimes we cannot. For my companion and me, nothing would please us more than to have the members who tell us exactly what days they are available and willing to help so we constantly have a pool of members to choose from when a teaching opportunity comes up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Favorite Conference Talks!

  • I really liked Elaine S. Dalton's talk...a lot.
  • I liked Stanley G. Ellis.
  • Neil L. Andersen's talk about miracles was great, too!
  • I liked Russell M. Nelson's talk about member missionaries!
  • I think we all could learn from L. Tom Perry's talk about obedience and his huge emphasis on how the Church is growing more and more away from the world. That is an important lesson we can all learn now: the Church will face opposition for staying true to it's guidelines. Know that people will disagree with us and stand firm, but be loving.
  • I loved Holland's and Bednar's talks. 
  • Then, I also got to watch the priesthood session on Monday morning at the Branch President's house. I really liked Uchtdorf's talk.
Which conference talks did you like most?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Drunk with the Spirit"

General Conference was great! I really liked the missionary theme that was present throughout almost all of the talks. It was definitely a different perspective watching it as a missionary. Instead of listening to the talks for counsel I could use in my own life, I listened for things I could use to teach other people. Every talk, I thought, Oh that would be good to mention to this person or that person. After the last sessions on Saturday and Sunday, we had the rest of the day to do work. In my companions words, "we were drunk with the spirit," so our tracting this weekend went fantastic and we had more success with it than ever before! :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference outside of Utah...

I think the biggest news this week was there was General Conference. We went to the church to watch it broadcast. It was interesting because I knew that outside of Utah, stakes always broadcast it, so I guess I was expecting the building to be packed. But, most people get it through cable so our group of 16 missionaries made up about half of the congregation, and it was really fun! In between Saturday sessions, we went out to eat, then in between Sunday sessions, the members fed us.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brother Dearden

I met Brother Dearden at church last Sunday.  He knows Uncle Greg.  He is in South Texas because he is working for some industry that sends him all over the country. He will be stationed here for a couple of months.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Exciting Exchanges!

We are going on exchanges again this week. I will be staying in my area and Sister Dudding will be going inland for the day. But, guess who my companion will be??? Sister Perez, my old companion from the MTC!!!! We are sooooo excited! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Miracles and Disappointments

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster! It started out great and truly miraculous, then it turned to disappointment. As this week starts, we are hopeful that we may have found a few more people to teach...FINALLY! I love the people here, but it is sooooo hard to find anyone to teach. We keep trying though, that's all we can do!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Cantata

For Easter, the stake put on a Cantata called "He is Jesus Christ." It was good. I liked the fact that Easter was this week, because it was a great conversation starter when talking with people.