Tuesday, February 24, 2015

isla Hermanas

Week 51  Feb 23, 2015   3:18 pm EST.         isla Hermanas

Alright folks.

I'm currently on Bainbridge Island - the land of rich hippies and earthy hipsters. Needless to say, I'm in a bit of shock; everyone is super kind and polite and content with their peaceful lives. In short, Bainbridge and Parkland are polar opposites. 

(Don't worry Dad, this place is safe. Like, people leave doors and cars unlocked kind of safe. No pepper spray needed.)

I've downsized to an area of 65 square miles all to ourselves but a whopping 23,000 people to go and teach. So that's awesome - we even have three people on date to be baptized this transfer.
My new companion is Sister Smith and miracle of miracles, she is my first non-Utahn companion (!)
BUT she's from Mesa, AZ...so really, not too big of a difference haha.

We're rocking it in the Silverdale Zone now, and life is good.

We were knocking the other night in some condos and a posse of little girls started following us around, knocking the doors for us, passing out Jesus cards and introducing us to people as "the Jesus Christ people" - it seemed fitting.

They even have the requisite pass-along cards and reflective gear. #futuremissionaries

Other fun tidbits from the week - I've talked with more Jewish people, same-sex couples and vegans in the past week than I have on my whole mission combined. I've even met some Zoroastrians. #SeattleCrowd
Yup, this is Bainbridge.

And a quote from my man, Gordie.

"Faith is something greater than ourselves, enables us to do what we have said we will do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain."   - Gordon B. Hinckley

Faith is the power to stretch, to keep covenants, to endure. It's that takes us beyond the boundaries we set for ourselves. It isn't always something you attain, it's something you decide. 

As is said in the WaTac time and time again, there is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.
So go out there and get uncomfortable.

With love,
from me,
to you.


Fresh Mish of Belfair

Week 51  Feb 23, 2015  3:00 pm EST    Fresh Mish of Belfair (think classic 90's sitcom)

Sometimes you spend many hours in the car when you live in a very large, very boondock-y area. Sometimes you also make up words to songs you actually still know by heart since the mission takes most of your memory anyways haha:

Now this is the story all about how
my mish got flipped turned upside down.
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I came to love the town of Belfair

In western Lakehood, born and raised
Parkland was were I spent most of my days.
Preaching and teaching and working so cool,
going on church tours down by the school

When good ol' P'Blatts - was he up to much good?
Started making trouble in my neighborhood.
"Parkland's a pretty sketchy place" and Pres got scared.
He said we're doubling-out the sisters and you're going to Belfair.

(dooooo doo doo doo doo dooooo - musical interlude obviously)

I knocked for days in the boonies in the pitch black
I was reminded daily to beware a cougar attack
If anything I could say that this place was rare
But then we doubled-out again and had to leave bless'd Belfair.

I drove out of the town about 7 or 8
And yelled with my comp, "Belfair! See ya later!"
I looked over my area, and we left it there
But hey, we'll be back to our town, old Belfair.

If you didn't catch the reference, please educate yourself on nineties television.
And if you didn't catch the fact that Sister Diener and I are doubling-out of Belfair, please check your reading comprehension level.

I'm headed to Bainbridge Island (say what?) with Sister Smith and Sister Diener will be in Lacey with Sister Dunster.
Sister Harris will train her new little baby in Belfair

All this doubling-out has gotta stop - it's way too much stress and paperwork. So Belfair will no longer be an STL area, which is way more logical miles-wise. As for Harris training a greenie here, this little sister won't have a clue how big our area really is or how isolated they really are (ignorance is bliss.)  But in reality, Belfair is a great place to be born - an awesome ward with an awesome Bishop. They won't be able to find anything and will get lost in the woods on the daily, but it'll be awesome (<-- Sis. Weaver voice.)

Now, on to the good stuff:

Kim was baptized on Saturday - aka Valentines day. It was a great service; the Spirit was so strong and the ward was so happy to receive Kim. (:

Sister Diener and I are hoping to go back to Belfair soon to accompany Kim to the temple to do family names - we've already set a date and found her family on familysearch.org, so that should happen pretty easily.

In thinking about my time in Belfair and Kim's baptism, I've come back to a line from one of my favorite movies: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is ​just to love, and be loved in return."
(I'm not vouching for the morals of the film, but the quote is important here.)

The most important thing we will ever accomplish in this life is to learn of the love offered by the Savior, and to be changed by it. It requires having trust, extending faith and learning to be vulnerable, but it is the most important thing we will ever do because it is worth it. It includes the love we feel for the Lord, for each other and for ourselves.

It's quite simple. I'm still learning, but what I have learned I cannot deny.

That being said, I'm sending my love and prayers your way - always.

- Elizabeth

P.S. Happy Birthday to Beccaboo - mahal kita, bunso!

Spring is here /Picutres

Week 51  Feb 23, 2015  2:00 pm EST   Spring is here/Pictures

heya! I'm on!

life on the island is surreal but good haha i'll get two emails sent out for you for last week (:

everyone mentions that back east is getting hammered with snow - oh to be in some snow! but people are saying spring is officially here (everything is in bloom already)

Some pictures for you to enjoy:  


Week 50  Feb 17, 2015  4:11 EST.       Transfers

hey i'm on!!!

but i only have a few minutes before i have to jet over to transfer meeting

Washington has had freakishly warm weather (mid 50's) for a while now, so it looks like strange weather patterns everywhere
Life is good - just got transfer calls: I'm going to Bainbridge Island and Sister Diener is going to Lacey. A sister is taking our spot and will train a new missionary in Belfair, so it won't be an STL area anymore

have i mentioned that doubling out is stressful? so much paperwork

I'm going to the land of rich hippies haha

I'll definitely get the names sent off to becky when I'm done with them

Kim was baptized saturday - it was super sweet. 
I'll try to get a good email out about it with pictures and such (:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Virginia Is For Lovers, Washington Is For Converts

Week 49 Feb 9, 2015   5:23 EST.  Virginia Is For Lovers, Washington Is For Converts

Love is in the air. And also lots of rain. But that's fairly typical 'round these parts. We're in a bit of a pineapple express, which is giving everyone grief with their plants and the thought of rampant insect problems come spring - but I'm not complaining with temperatures in the 50s in February.

This past week has been a whirlwind - literally and figuratively speaking.

A crazy exchange with Brewster:

An awesome stake conference with Elder Hansen of the Seventy. 

​(and no WaTac stake conference is complete without ice cream.)

And that's just what I have pictures for. Our days are busy all day every day. It's a wonderful problem to have as a missionary.

Life is good.
It's crazy and hectic and busy, but good. Transfers are headed our way this weekend and heaven knows where we all will end up, but knowing that it's all in God's hands makes it a lot easier to be calm about. 

Kim is still on date to have her baptism this Saturday on Valentines day, since she feels there is no better way to show the Lord that she's giving her whole self to his service and feeling His love than making a covenant with Him. Have I mentioned how awesome she is?

Since everything I look at these days is pink and red, it seems fitting that a quote about hearts is in order. Though it isn't nearly as sappy as it otherwise could be. It's just good to remember that our potential is already within us; the power of discernment is already within our grasp. "Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye." (Le Petit Prince)

Since everything I look at these days is pink and red, it seems fitting that a quote about hearts is in order. Though it isn't nearly as sappy as it otherwise could be. It's just good to remember that our potential is already within us; the power of discernment is already within our grasp. "Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye." (Le Petit Prince)

It's one of my favorites regardless of season, and in the inverse you can mosey on down to 1 Samuel 16:7 for God's perspective on our hearts.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours

P.S. a picture from Sister Blatter's surprise birthday party, as promised:

P.P.S. Happy Birthday to you, Becca Boo!

And just for fun: Eat slugs, Malfoy


Week 48.  Feb. 2, 2015. 5:25 EST   Deflated

So in case you've been living under a rock - the Patriots beat the Seahawks, and contrary to popular belief, Washington hasn't completely ceased functioning. We are hoping this leads to more people to teach since the people are very humbled, a little depressed and ready for the gospel of Jesus Christ to heal their wounded souls. The Legion of Boom is no longer in Beast Mode, so hopefully they will be more apt to our messages of hope and happiness (:

I also knocked into the only non-Seahawks fan:

This past week the sun came out on p day (#pdaymiracles anyone?) for our zone to run the Narrows.

​(Helloooooooo Tacoma!)

(safely back to Harbor)​

Also, since I'm now in Gig Hahbah - the search is over: I finally got my hands on some lacrosse sticks (:   Another elder in Gig played back in Michigan, so we both found a few sticks and were able to get it going once we all got done playing beach volleyball after running the bridge. Needless to say, it was a good day. 

Last week our zone leaders came to the conclusion that we needed to amp up the zone by knocking more; specifically by doubling our hours - apparently 5-7's just aren't adequate when you have miracles in mind.
Thus we took D&C 127:4 to heart:
"And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven."

This week God showed his sense of humor by making all but one of our scheduled appointments cancel on us...just so we would have all the time in the world to knock extra. I'm not sure if I want to count it as a tender mercy or not, but hey - whatever works.

Kim was able to come to church yesterday and we had the best most funny/spiritual fast and testimony meeting the Belfair ward has seen in a long, long time. (To keep a long story short, kids say the darndest things, especially when it's Superbowl Sunday their dad is newly called to the bishopric)
Kim is super excited to be baptized this month and is counting down the days; she also stopped drinking coffee and joined the ward choir. She's golden.

Last night we threw a surprise birthday party for Sister Blatter, which went wonderfully - it was honestly a miracle that no one spilled the beans, that everything came together like planned (or better) and that we were able to hide so many Corollas in the YMCA parking lot next door haha. When I find some pictures, I'll send them on. It was also just perfect that her birthday happened to coincide with the Superbowl - since all WaTac missionaries were otherwise on lockdown for the evening to avoid the crazies out there.

Stay humble.