Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bandwagon Seahawks Fan

Week 47  Jan. 26, 2105       4:10 pm   EST    Bandwagon Seahawks Fan

The Superbowl is upon us, folks. And if you happen to be undecided as to who should win the game on Sunday - you should probably do me a favor and wear blue and green and give Seattle a little love. Because if the Seahawks don't win, we'll never hear the end of it up here.
And even though I loathe bandwagoners, I've inadvertently become one since I can't help but want Washington to win.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do; when in Washington, be a Seahawks fan (or be shunned entirely by society at large). I won't comment on whether or not the Superbowl falls under keeping the Sabbath day holy, just to be safe haha.

So what do pickle jars, 4 baseballs, a plethora of legos, ping pong balls, snarky remarks from the peanut gallery and a whole lotta salt have to do with missionary work? Well, they were all integral parts of our little training at zone conference. Sister Diener and I spoke on goals and planning - which naturally needed to include a visual aid a la Relief Society lessons (but without the doilies and magnets to remind you to do your visiting teaching). The whole point was to illustrate the difference between filling your day and fitting everything into your day, and if that's not enough information to give you an idea of how a giant pickle jar connects planning and goals, write me a letter and I'll expound.

This week we also had a super cool Women's Conference with Rosemary Wixom the General Primary President for the church. It was awesome to have over a thousand women from the four peninsula stakes all in one room and learning more about becoming women of courage, confidence, faith and light - as individuals and as a whole. Sister Wixom is the Gig Harbor stake president's cousin, and was able to pull many strings and work a few miracles to get here. Our investigator, Kim came and told us she loved it because she could feel the spirit so strongly. (She is getting baptized in February and is awesome, if you couldn't tell)

(If you would like some notes from the conference itself, you'll be able to find them at

And good things just keep on coming out of Lincoln:
Makai was able to be baptized and I was even able to go back for Brandi's baptism (:

Let me tell you, it is so awesome to see how much Brandi has changed -  and if this alone doesn't let you know the church is true, something just might be wrong with you.

The rest of our week was spent tromping around the forest knocking on doors (where we can locate them), finding waterfalls and new investigators alike, and helping a former investigator cast out devils all nonchalant-like. 

We also had a recent convert fireside in Silverdale -  with a few amazing converts of a few days or hours, literally. These people are so prepared, and so good; the work is most certainly hastening.

There is so much around us and so much more ahead of us that we have the power to influence for good. The Lord is perfectly aware of what we are capable of and what is expected of us and how with His help we can do all things. We are placed in our individual spheres to lift, encourage, inspire and bless specific people and rarely will we ever know the full impact we have on the kingdom of heaven. To take a line from Esther 4:14 -"and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  Without asking and without trying, we'll never fully know why we have been chosen for our unique circumstances. If we ask, we will find those reasons why we have been placed where we are with the potential we have. There is greatness within all of us which can only be released by being brave, being bold and acting in faith. Great courage, strength and motivation come from knowing who you are and why you are. 

Love always,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Light Shineth In Darkness

Week  46   Tuesday Jan. 20, 2015   3:23 EST    The Light Shineth In Darkenss 

"My sweet, young friends" (sorry that nobody outside the WaTac will understand that reference.),

The past week has been super rainy/foggy/windy, but we have survived just fine in Belfair. A big windstorm came through and we woke up Sunday morning with no electricity, no heat and no water....lots of fallen trees on the peninsula. Getting ready for church after an exchange in the cold/dark wasn't something I would recommend haha. (A big shout out to my ever-prepared father for sending a flashlight for Christmas.)
We managed through the roads to get to our ward council/church meetings since the church building still had power (but no water). Since we have a lot of rural areas, much of our area was impassable/without power so the ward was a little sparse. It was also a very big game for the Seahawks so who knows...I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. That being said, it looks like the Super Bowl is going to make for some crazy encounters in the coming week. People here are a bit obsessed, and as someone (possibly blasphemously) said in sacrament meeting, "I know that God is a 12".
Our power and such didn't get turned back on for many more hours, to our dismay; but we just ate apples and peanut butter in our warmest coats in our house and made do.

This week we also had park day (let me quickly re-emphasize the difficulty of park day in Belfair. It ain't easy.)
But that's okay, we managed to make it to our appointments by a couple of miracles and even found a new investigator named Michelle who has been to our church before and wants to learn more. Sweet.

We had an exchange with Highland Hills on the only dry day of the week (exchange miracles?) and though everything we possibly had planned fell through, it was full of random lessons that came out of nowhere. And when the sun shines, everything is just better (:

Some fantastic news - Sue from Lincoln ward was baptized!
I was so sad that I couldn't be there for it, but I am very excited for her to keep moving forward with God's help (:

As the days have been getting a little bit lighter out and the nights a little bit shorter, I've been thinking about light and how we understand things by the light shed on them. John 1:5 "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."  Because we are children of God, we are made of light, we are drawn to light, and we understand light. It is who we are.
And it is simply easier to give off light when we know it is already within us.
Arise and shine forth, friends.

Sister Bishop and the gang. Aka the models of safety. Aka mission office shenanigans.
Thank heavens these are not actually required for proselyting.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just Happy

Week 45   Jan  12, 2015  4:32 EST          Just Happy


Today was a very good week.

Not because people didn't come to church, nor because this flu bug is tearing through Belfair, nor because we found out that one of our investigators was traipsing around the forest on meth, nor because a miracle investigator dropped the missionaries we had to hand her over to last transfer

This week was a very, very good week because I was able to go back to Parkland (home sweet home sweet home)  for a baptism; and not just any baptism - but Mimi's, Chloe and Mindy's mama.

Mindy, me, Mimi and Chloe (:

Needless to say, I am thrilled that Mindy and Chloe have proved to be the means for much good (ahem, D&C 6:8) in being missionaries to their whole family. Hearing these daughters bear testimony to their mom about baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and their family's future of being sealed in the temple was the sweetest. God is good. Life is good.
On the other hand, in my time out, I've been feeling increasingly more forgetful - it's almost humorous (almost). So it's all about the basics these days. In "True To The Faith" under the topic Prayer, it says: "If you have a difficult task before you, Heavenly Father is pleased when you get on your knees and ask for help and then get on your feet and go to work. He will help you in all your righteous pursuits, but He seldom will do something for you that you can do yourself."
We cannot forget that the whole point of this life is to remember God and work hard at it. Forget the extraneous stuff.
So forgetting isn't always a bad thing. In the words of Gordon B. Hinckley - "Forget yourself and go to work."


"Next time, on The District"

Do It With Grace

Week 44      Jan. 5, 2015  5:35 pm EST    Do It With Grace                 

Transfers are in: these sisters are both staying in Belfair (with Big Bubba)

Our New Years Eve was spent switching back from an exchange in Tacoma, district meeting and knocking early on the prettiest day we've had in a long while.

Why, hello Puget Sound!

Ringing in the New Year hasn't really brought a lot of change to our lives, Belfair's just being Belfair, just with a lot more rain.  

Pro Tip: a good way to start the year off right - have investigators come to church. Simple, right?Yesterday we had 5 people come to church. (Considering we had nobody show up the week of Christmas and one last week, this is nigh unto a miracle.) One of the people who came was Patrick, a little old man who looks like Pappy from Pappyland (seriously, go look him up) that we knocked into a while back. We had given him information for the church services and told him he would always be welcome, since he didn't seem very interested in hearing more about the resto at the time. But lo and behold, Patrick showed up out of the blue and brought his wife Candy with him. The ward had an awesome sacrament meeting and though our gospel principles teacher didn't show up, people still liked the impromptu lesson we gave.
What made church even better was that we got to spend time doing the music in primary - best job ever.

With transfers, we are losing some of our good friends in the district, so they'll be off spreading the love elsewhere in the WaTac. We are a strange bunch, but it works.

Now, one cannot think of the WaTac without thinking of grace. (It's kind of a big deal here)
Grace is a cool word. And a cooler concept. And I've been thinking about how one can "do it with grace." It is more than just doing it and it's more than doing it well: it is something about attitude, willingness. It means being gracious, like royalty. It means doing it with our own grace, as well as doing it with the grace offered through Jesus Christ. It all comes down to understanding who we truly are. Fully understanding that the people we see each and every day are literally sons and daughters of God. Recognizing the inherent sacred royalty within them. Living up to this title within ourselves.
So do our actions emote and illicit grace? 1 John 3:2 says that when we see Christ we will be like him, that is, we will have become like him. As we come to understand the Savior, we understand better and better who we are; who we have really been all along. By grace we are able to become who the King of Kings sees us becoming. 

So go out there and do it with grace.

With love (and hopefully some semblance of grace),


A Shining New Era Is Tiptoeing Nearer

Week 43  Monday December 29, 2014. 6:25 pm EST    A Shining New Era Is Tiptoeing Nearer    

Guys. Heylp. 2014 is drawing to a close and life seems to be moving way too fast.
This past week has been awesome, despite the fact that missionary work was a tad interrupted by all the festivities.

So ever since Sister Diener found out I titled my last email after lyrics from "White Christmas" (aka (such devoted Sisters"), paired with the fact that each zone performs a skit at the WaTac Christmas party, music/lyrics have been on the brain. That being said, this email is littered with them (you've been warned.)

This week has been eventful. I don't even know where to start, so I'll start with Christmas. As my only Christmas on the mission, it definitely was top notch. Christmas included calls home to the the best people on the planet (plus almost all the siblings/nieces/nephews trying to talk at the same time haha) 

Caroling with the district and the Gig Harbor zone

Sending Christmas cards out the wazoo (I think I might be keeping the Belfair postal service employed on my own.)

WaTac Christmas party. And all that jazz.​

We are officially past the winter solstice, so slowly but surely there will be more light up here because even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. And in other news the weather up here has been inconsistent, to say the least. We've had torrential rain/flooding, super cold/wind and widow maker trees, to brilliantly sunny skies that reflect in the sound - we'll call it confidence in sunshine, eh?

But mostly it's been wet and cold. But it's all good, the cold never bothered me anyway. (It's just the rain that does. And the dark. But I'll take the cold haha)

On the adventurous side, Sister Diener had her very first encounter with Starbucks this week. (Taylor the latte boy anyone?)

Secret sleepovers in Tacoma with Wonder Woman - aka Sister Thompson

District family dinner because there's nothing like a little love at home

I also found a totem pole smack in the middle of Bremerton. I'd throw something in here about colors of the wind, but that would be both a stretch for this email as well as historically inaccurate, since this ain't a Powhatan totem pole...but I digress.

So all in all, there's been a lot happening this week and my brain has turned to mush. The fact that I've made it this far into this email without imploding is a great success haha. Blame it on the ADD.
The end of the year tends to make one reflect on life. The past year has been as insane as ever, with more highs and lows than I could have anticipated or would have asked for, but I have been changed for good
So as you consider goals and resolutions and accomplishments remember that we set goals to show faith, and we follow up on goals to count our blessings. This is as true in missionary work as it is in "real life". Take my word for it.
And as you look forward to the coming year, remember: come what may, and love it.

Remember me once in a while, please promise me you'll try. (:


P.S. try and find me.