Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise

Week 68       June 22, 2015  3:55 pm EDT         Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise

Last Stop: Lacey

Sister Harris and I are going one more round together here in Lacey 3rd - so it seems I'm in my final resting place. All the "Senior Sister" jokes are starting to get a bit old (oh the irony) but only becoming more accurate.

And for more transfer buzz: Sister Kramer will be training - so I'll finally be a grandma (again, the old lady jokes are becoming so real.)

This past week was awesome. Another week full of road trips and reunions.
First and foremost, Debbi had her baptism - her transformation over the past few months has been amazing - her family has been through the ringer, but her and her family are wanting to get to the temple so they can be sealed together and to their parents.

We then skedaddled back to Parkland for Pierre's baptism. Blessed Parkland.
I'll take you down memory lane real quick - Peirre married the Parkland Bishop's daughter Nicholle last summer. Pierre has attended church for the past year with her and the family, but didn't feel the need to be baptized. While sitting in Stake conference, he finally realized that he needed to be with Nicholle for forever. So he told Bishop he wanted to be baptized, read entire The Book of Mormon in three weeks, set a date for him and Nicholle to be sealed in the Logan temple in a year and was baptized on Saturday.
I'm pretty sure I got more hugs from walking into that church building than I have had in the past few transfers combined. Parkland will always be where I belong.
(President didn't receive the same revelation I did that I should double out the elders and die there haha.)

Our mission headed up to Zion's Camp in good old Belfair (lemme just visit all my old areas in one week haha)
Sister Harris, Madsen, Heaton and I facilitated the ropes courses for the sisters; it was an entirely different learning experience from last year being on our end of the courses. The theme through out Zions Camp was becoming like the people of Ammon - facing insurmountable challenges with faith, supporting each other's weaknesses with our strengths, developing trust and letting go of what holds us back.

What do we choose to take with us? What do we choose to leave behind?

Lay aside your weapons of war - fight against God no more.
(​see Alma 23:7)

Onward ever onward.

- elizabeth

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Week 67   June 15, 2015      3:58 EDT        Reunited And It Feels So Good

This week has been full of all the things.
Think this:

Things are moving along well in Lacey - we have a few new investigators that have really benefitted from our refocused and simple lessons. Lorainne, Cameron, Tien and Cassidy all want to be baptized (!)
So I'll be sure to keep y'all posted on my end of all this

We had a great exchange with the Olympia 4th Sisters Rasmussen and Carr. Sister Carr is anything but green and is already a powerhouse teacher. We also saw the ugliest cat alive. Exhibit A:

Our mission was pleased as punch to have Brother Gonzales and Hemmingway (a director and manager of proselyting from Salt Lake and the MTC) come and give a phenomenal training about the Doctrine of Christ, teaching simply, planning and goal setting and helping all we meet come closer to the Savior.
It was an all day affair, but oh so good.

The next day we also had a leadership training for Zion's Camp this week - so some of our best friends were able to stay with us for the night and drive with us 
Time with Sister Brewster and Swann are always good times (:

We were also able to attend Lincoln's baptism in Belfair, which was very spiritual and emotional. It made such an impact on Lincoln's older sister who has been struggling to commit to be baptized but wants to (her biological dad is Catholic and she's afraid he'll want to sever ties) and now knows the amazing amount of proven support she has. So many of the missionaries that taught her were there and she was crying from the all love for her and her brother. Lincoln's father and grandparents were there - all nonmembers; the father was very supportive of Lincoln making his own choices from the beginning, but the baptism was a big turning point for him as well. Sister Diener was able to talk with him about what he felt and he wants to learn more for himself now. This family just keeps getting closer and closer to being together forever. It's awesome.

Lincoln being a stud with all the sister missionaries

Sister Harris and I finally got to cash in on having our babies (Sister Kramer and Warburton) serve together in Belfair - sweet, sweet reunion. ​

​Sister Harris and I were also asked last minute to speak on Sunday - because missionaries never say no to an opportunity to teach and testify and all that jazz. Especially on the spot.

Please just remember that I love you and that I love this work.
No effort is ever wasted in helping people feel the love God has for them.

- elizabeth

Monday, June 15, 2015

Here Comes The Sun

Week 66  June 8, 2015   8:53 pm EDT   Here Comes The Sun

Hello hello -

This week has been full of some pretty awesome things. Scott was able to be baptized on Saturday and Sister Rasmussen and Diener (and their companions) were able to come back for it.

 Scott was able to receive an answer to be baptized in a dream, just like he (and we) prayed he would. He is super excited to keep moving forward, learning and making new friends in the church. 

Pro Tips from Lacey:

* If you want to be part of the in crowd, name your children after leafy greens - we have three kids in the 3rd ward named Kale. (yep.)

* Invest in fiber.

* Find the right size of baptism suit before the baptism. It's less awkward for all involved this way.

* Check for screens before putting a fan in the second-story window. It'll make your night go a whole lot easier.

* If you go on an exchange, remember to bring clothes for the next day. 

* If you go on an exchange, remember to not leave your clothes behind the next day.

* If you go on an exchange, remember to not leave your clothes behind the next day.

* Actually read the label on medicine to avoid giving your companion four times the recommended dose of allergy medicine. Again, it'll make your night go a whole lot easier.

* Keeping consecrated oil on you will come in handy. You might just save the day.

* You can come to the conclusion that your bishop is a dead ringer for Steve Carrell  and Tom Hanks with a military haircut (and minus the humor), just don't tell him that conclusion.

* Fresh cut flowers will look great at your baptism, the bugs and spiders that accompany them, will not.

* If you can't get an acceptable selfie after three tries, you probably won't, so just stop.

* Pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice.

* When going to a 5 Stake Youth Dance Festival, remember that it will be hotter than hades inside the pavilion.   Also, Restoration and Plan of Salvation pamphlets make great fans for such occasions.

* Pay attention to the kids - you'll find new people to teach, new friends and people who are ready to learn and listen. Don't overlook 'em.

* Moving in after elders who leave everything behind will actually come in handy when your recent convert has a need for white shirts, ties and dress pants. 

* Service opportunities involving cuddly baby animals will always make you smile.

* Relate everything in District Meeting to the Testaments to prove that you're a real missionary...

* Remember that if you enlist the help of six elders to help you move quickly and efficiently, the move will end up being neither of those things (though you'll get out of a lot of heavy lifting).

* Wearing a bag of ice on your head will help you beat the heat on hot days in the sun.

* Seeing the people you love from your first area afar off will turn you into that freaky sister missionary who runs after people in parking lots screaming. And you won't care.

Life has been good. It really has. And it hasn't slowed down at all. 
Lacey's been a great place to learn new things and remember things we've learned before.
It seems to me that is what this life really is about, to learn from experience all the things that we had been taught previously. Our time here is short (see Elder Stevenson's talk 'Your Four Minutes" for more on that subject) but we've been well-prepared for it. We were born to learn, grow, thrive, succeed. You were born to lead, and you were born for glory (see Isaiah 62:2–3).

- elizabeth

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Final Countdown

Week 65  June 1, 2015   2:59 pm EDT   The Final Countdown

Things are crazy busy in Lacey - moving out the elders:

moving all the necessities out of our apartment:

​tracting in what seems to be the middle of nowhere:

and prepping for three baptisms (woot woot!)
We are booked solid these days and we have no time to do it all - which is a good problem to have, I suppose.

This week we also had an exchange with in Deschutes River (way out there past Yelm) - it was a gorgeous day to spend in the boonies with Sister Barker and Harward. 

To take a line from the good old white handbook, let me remind you all just how fast time flies when you don't want it to (it is really a fickle thing, time.)
Time is one of the most precious resources Heavenly Father has given us. The period when we are able to serve the Lord with all our time and all our efforts is extremely short - so use it fully and wisely. This opportunity is a privilege, a blessing, and the most worthwhile endeavor.

Until next time, 
peace an blessin's.


The Best Two Weeks (?!)

Week 64   May 27, 2015  6:07 pm EDT     The Best Two Weeks (?!)

First and foremost, the Lacey 3rd boat has been rocked in the past 48 hours.
The band is breaking up and the Elders were ETed this morning - Elder Sheehan is going to the blessed land of Silverdale and Elder Leber is going to be a Zone Leader in Bremerton. Another missionary needed to go home for medical and Lacey 3rd got the receiving end of it all. The ward  is so bummed to have elders taken out, so it looks like Sister Harris and I are in for another ride taking over the investigators the elders were working with - the fun never stops. It's been a very good two weeks indeed.

Our Memorial Day we spent in Olympia with the sisters walking around downtown, taking pictures and eating at a tiny asian restaurant. It was difficult finding things that were still open for the holiday that would also not give us food poisoning.

We also stalked the local graffiti and found some great ones.

"Righteous women have changed the course of history and will continue to do so." - Julie B. Beck
(Just like superheroes.)

A quote that I thought I'd forward on to the world that I liked this week:
"Latter-day Saints whose eyes are single to God’s glory see life from a vastly different perspective than those whose attention is directed elsewhere. Such members, for instance, care little about receiving credit or recognition for their good deeds. They are more interested in feeding the Lord’s sheep than in counting them."  --- Marlin K. Jensen

Remember that the Lord is far more interested in the one, the individual, and personally bringing them back to the fold than we tend to be. God just isn't a numbers man. Each and every soul is precious. (see D&C 18:10-15)

- elizabeth