Monday, July 27, 2015

Awesome Members and Mission Miracles

So this week has been great!

We have been getting closer to the members. They are so great! I love them so much! I have been super blessed to be able to come to know so many amazing people out here! 

On Monday, we had dinner with a Sister in our ward. She took us to this yummy burger place. We had an awesome lesson and afterwards she bought us ice cream. I got this lemon poppy seed kind and it was soooooooooo good! 

On Tuesday we had service and we saw one of our potentials there. Well it turns out that she works there so we get to see her hopefully every Tuesday now. Then we went to contact some less actives and our referral. Well it started raining super hard with thunder and lightning! Anyways we went to the referrals door expecting it to be an older guy. So this kid who looks like he is 13 answers the door and we ask if so and so is there and he said yep that's me! We told him who we were and he said oh sweet! I ordered a Book of Mormon do you have one for me? We were so shocked! It was awesome! He invited us in but his parents weren't home so we couldn't but we are planning on contacting him again this week and hopefully his parents will be home. Then we went tracting for a while and saw another member who was driving that way.
 Afterwards we had dinner with a member and he fed us really good chicken and mashed potatoes.

Wednesday we had Zone Meeting. It was really good! It's weird at the beginning of my mission the meetings always seemed so long but now they seem super short.... They also had me do the Atonement walk with them and the Spirit was so strong! Once we got back we had to go to coordination. Then the YW President made us a bean dip and brought us watermelon and it was super delicious too! Oh we also got in contact with another less active.

We visited this other older less active  on Thursday and we have been reading the Book of Mormon with him and he is always so excited when we come over. We have pretty much started reading the Book of Mormon with all of the Less Actives we are meeting with and so far it's going really well. Another member took us out to eat that night too. Pretty much it comes down to that the members were spoiling us this week :) 

On Friday we weekly planned then helped a recent convert figure out one of her family history stuff. Then we went to a this members home to help her get ready for this cookout they were going to have the next day. They are such a sweet family! They surprised us and fed us dinner too! We had a great lesson about following the prophet and using the tools Heavenly Father has blessed us with. 

So earlier on Friday we got a call and it was from an unknown number. It turned out to be this referral that we had gotten but weren't able to get in contact with because she referred herself but gave us her work number and when we called they didn't know who she was. So we had given this less active member who works there our number to give to her. She did but the referral lost the card! But on the day that she was struggling the most she prayed and remembered what her brother who is a member told her about how the missionaries can help her. She was able to find our number and gave us a call and we set up a time to meet with her. On Saturday Morning we had a lesson with her. Turns out that she is from Peru and is here for a year to do training thing at this lodge place. She met with missionaries before in Peru and w preparing to be baptized but then this training came up and she had to leave. She was able to recognize the difference of how she felt when she didn't go to church. She still has her copy of the Book of Mormon and she still has all of the pamphlets! And she wants to come to church and get baptized! We are meeting with her after church on Sunday and hopefully we are able to set a baptismal date with her then! 

Afterwards we went to the cookout and got to see a lot of the members again and get to know them better. On the drive back down the member driving us shared her conversion story with me and a lot of the really personal details that she said she doesn't normally share. I am very grateful that she trusted me enough to share that with me. 

Sunday was great as usual! We had a great ward council and all of the talks and lessons were amazing and filled with the Spirit! I learned so much! In Sunday School we talked about the Atonement what happened before and after. And it went perfectly with where I am reading right now in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon. In Relief Society the lesson was based off of the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland from last General Conference "Where justice, love, and mercy meet". I had forgotten how much I love that talk. It was so good we talked about the fall of Adam and the need for a Savior. 

Then we had dinner with some members again and two more lessons with a less active family and a sister who is preparing to be rebaptized. And that was our week.

So in my studies I have been reading in Matthew about the Atonement and Crucifixion and also in Alma 7 about the Atonement as well. It is so amazing how the bBible and the Book of Mormon truly go hand in hand together and testify of Christ.

As for what I am most excited for in October... Uhm I'm not sure I think maybe just seeing everyone again
Love you lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Transfers and a two day trio

Whitney, Sister O'Bryant and Sister DeWidt

Well, this week for me has been insane!

On Monday we had to get everything ready for the new sister to come join us as a trio.  On Tuesday we went and picked up the new sister at transfer meeting.  The sister who joined us is Sister DeWidt.  She has been out as long as Sister Bee, so for 9 months.  She is from Gilbert, Arizona and will be turning 20 next month.

My favorite part of transfer meeting.... wait for it... Karen, my nonmember neighbor friend from Manchester was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She came so she could say hi and give notes to the sisters she knew!!!!! Out of her and Kathy, she was the one that was the least interested.  We talked for a while and then she was looking around and said that she really liked it there and that it was very beautiful and peaceful and that she would have to bring Kathy and show it to her! It was soooo great!!!! I really miss them.

And then, on Thursday at 6 pm, as we were headed to a dinner appointment, we got a call from President Stoker saying that a sister was going home and so Sister O'Bryant was getting emergency transferred and we had to be at the mission office the next day at 11 am!!!  So she had to pack within a few hours and couldn't say goodbye to anyone and is now in Oxford, Maine.  I had to be the one to drive to and from Manchester and it is a 3 hour drive.  So, in total I drove for 6 hours with just a small break in between!!!! Now we are down to two again...

SO for the rest of the week we've been trying to contact less actives and potential investigators.  That part of the week has been slow but good.

Oh, on Saturday, we were tracting and we tracted in to a man who is 93.  We invited him to learn and he proceeded to tell us how he was lonely and how his wife had passed away and we were able to testify of prophets through some of his questions.  Bet then it got awkward (of course) when he said to me, "You are one beautiful woman!" Then he turned to my companion and said, "You are too of course."  He then turned back to me and said, "Wow!" And then he went on to tell me how lonely he is... 

After that, we met a lady who we were able to bear testimony to about our Savior and refer her to

Then I was asked to give the lesson in Relief Society last minute so that was fun too and went really well!  It was on the priceless blessings in the Lord's house.  They all participated and we ended up having a discussion on eternal families and geneology.

My studies this week have been great!  I was reading in Alma 2 and it is the chapter about the Nephites fighting the Amlicites and the Lamanites.  As I read it I paralleled the Nephites to the people of God, the Amlicites to discouragement and the Lamanites to sin and temptation.  And as the Nephites fought with all their might and relied on God, they were able to overcome Discouragement and Temptation.  

I also was reading in Matthew and I love how once the Apostles came to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that Christ was able to give them more knowledge and told them three times (at the point where I'm reading) that he was going to be crucified and rise on the third day.  I just love the scriptures so much!!!

Today we will be doing laundry and going shopping.  There is a store below our apartment (besides the pet store) that has clothes and stuff.  I may have to get me a Vermont Hoodie. :)

Well, I am out of time.  I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have to have Ben n Jerry's ice cream when you live a half hour away from the factory

bicycle garden?

Big thunderstorm on Sunday

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finding purpose...

I am staying in Morrisville, Vermont with Sister O'Bryant!  We are still going down to transfer meeting because we are becoming a trio!  I will be the senior companion with two junior companions.     

12 weeks???? It kinda freaks me out that I am almost done.

So I told you about the amazing family we have been working with who have struggled to come to church because it can be so hard with their two autistic children... After having that amazing lesson with them I decided to write down all that I remembered from helping out with Berk and Callie in our ward and then did a ton of studies and research on helping kids with disabilities/autism and how to help their families.  It is amazing how many resources can be found through! Well, it came down to the quote by President Gordan B. Hinkley, "Everyone ... needs three things: a friend, a responsibility and nurturing with 'the good word of God' (Moroni 6:4). So, from there we developed a plan blending everything together into three steps for helping the boys and also three steps for helping the parents and especially focusing on step one: a friend.  We presented part of it to the family and they are willing to try it.  We also gave them a questionnaire we came up with so we can make "about me" sheets for both boys so the members working with them can know more about them and recognize signs of frustration/when they are overwhelmed and how to handle it.  We also presented the plan in ward council and they loved it and are on board with it too.  They all also understand that it will take some time and there will be bumps in the road but we are going to make it work!

I am super excited! I got to bear my testimony to them on how it worked out with our ward.  The Young Women's president was super impressed and asked if I truly thought that it could work here and I told her that I know it can work here but it will take all of us and a ton of faith.  The leaders also like how we had the plan typed up for each of them and loved how we presented it.  So, yea, pretty much that is one big reason I know I needed to be sent to this area.  There is a purpose in all things.  It is also one of my main goals that I want to accomplish before the end of my mission.  I want this sweet family to be able to come back to church with the love and support of their ward family. 

Awkward moments:

So, on Tuesday, we tracted in to this guy and he said he would love for us to come back and share a messge at 5 pm.  So that meant we had two hours to find a member!  Finally we found one 20 minutes before and after pretty much calling all of the active sisters! We went back to his house and a lady answers the door and says, "Oh one of the men already came by and taught us an hour ago." What?!?! In response to our confused faces she said,  "Jehovah Witnesses, right?" "Uh, no... We're mormons and we were asked to come back and share a message here at 5..." " Oh, we're not interested, we're Catholic."

Another time we were trying to contact a potential investigator and we saw her in the window and she saw us, then right as we went to knock we saw her sneak over and lock the door and hide!

Oh, and our elevator just randomly opens sometimes right as we walk by...

There is so much more to tell you, but I'm out of time. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The following is the link with resources for serving those with disabilities. disability resources

Whitney and Sister O'Bryant

face painting on the 4th of July

The kids were asking for random things to be painted. . . not just on their faces.  Check out her arms

Cute girl who "borrowed" Whitney's camera and took several selfies.

Make shift volleyball net

Beautiful Vermont

The trail from last week's hike

in a rainstorm

round barn (another one of my requests)


Monday, July 6, 2015

Gone Hiking. . .

Sorry the email is so late.  We decided to go hiking today.  We didn't make it to the top because it eventually got really steep where you pretty much had to climb, also, my asthma was not happy today. Anyways, see my other email for how my week was and answers to your questions.

This week has been great! On Monday we had dinner with these members and they fed us this vegetable Keesh (sp?) and quinoa. Then after we shared an FHE lesson the little girl planned the activity. So we went on a nature walk.... In skirts.... Through brambles.... It was great! Also her and her mom had us try a daisy petal and some wild lettuce....

So our investigator who just got baptized decided that he doesn't want to be a member anymore........ We are hoping that this is just a phase or him trying to get attention.....

We did find a potential and we have two other potentials from members who we have already met and talked to so we just have to set that up.

We had some lessons with some less actives this week. With one of them we felt super prompted to just share the restoration with them. Through a lot of discussion and inspired questions they opened up a ton! We then invited them to church and found out that they want to come but are hesitant because their two boys are autistic and have a hard time sitting that long so it frustrates them but they don't know what to do so we are going to see what we can do and what the members can do to ease there burden and help them be able to come to church. It is so crazy because I recognize them like I have known them for forever!

Right now we have B as a potential and she is a part member family and her husband is a LA. Then J who is friends with one of the YW and wants to come to church every week and start investigating. Then D who we just found. It is amazing how the people that the members find and are friends with are way more solid right now.

My favorite part about serving in this area is as always the people. They are just so sweet and so loving to us! And I am slowly but surely getting all their names down.

I think my most spiritual moment of this week was well I think I have two. One was on exchanges with Sister Upton and their recent convert called and brought up some concerns and we were both able to be led by the Spirit to know what to say and what to share with her. The second one was with the less active family I mentioned earlier.

I can't think of any struggles, so that's good.

For the Fourth of July we went to the ward party and we were in charge of face painting and later turned into nail painting... It was fun we got to know a lot of the kids! They then fed us some really yummy food with BBQ chicken and a plethora of pasta salads :D you could say I was a happy camper! We then went tracting and street contacting in Stowe. At first we were trying to contact potentials but the GPS was taking us down crazy roads that didn't exist... So we decided that it was a bad idea.

So awkward moment: we said hi to this guy while tracting and then knocked on this door and the guy walks up and was like uh this is my house.....

So I have been reading in Mosiah 27 and it just is so incredible the faith and love those people had to pray and fast so much for rebellious struggling teenagers who after became mighty men of God and saved many! God definitely had a plan for them as does He for all of us!

Sorry I don't have pictures this week.  I will send some next week when I email from a computer instead of my iPad.  Saturday is transfer calls.  We'll have to wait and see what happens.  I would love to train again, but we'll see.  I am also hoping Sister Bee gets to start training, she would be awesome!

Love you lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!