Wednesday, December 31, 2014

*Stomp, Stomp, Crunch, Crunch*

That's the sound we make when we walk through all the snow we have!! We have over a foot of snow that all cam on Christmas and then yesterday. Sister Woodbury got her first white Christmas!! It was awesome!! We had a lot of fun and got a lot of work done!! Bawm! SO let's get started!

So let's start with Christmas Eve--we had our regular meetings, district meeting and area visits with the sisters and all that jazz which took up a big portion of our day. Afterwards, 3rd ward sisters then went with us to go caroling at an old folks home, and it was fun!! We sang to the residents as they were eating, and they loved it!! Some of them were singing along and getting pretty into it. :) Before we left, we gave them a candy cane and a He is the Gift card just for good measure! I've decided I'm going to go caroling every Christmas Eve to an old folks home because I've done that 2 years in a row now and I love it!! It helps brings the Spirit into someone's Christmas, which is awesome! We ate with the Mabey's, a great family in the ward who will soon be in a different ward than we will (sad face), so it was fun to get some more time with them. We had a nice dinner with ham and all (which is awesome, just different than I'm used to because we always keep Christmas Eve and Christmas day pretty chill when it comes to making big dinners),so that was delicious. We shared a Christmas message with them and just had a fun time. :) We finished Christmas Eve by going over to the Nicholls. They did great and had a non member in their home as well as Brother Nicholls' brother and family. They played some fun games (don't worry, we're obedient so we didn't play with them, we were the designated cheerleaders) which was hilarious to watch before eating dessert and sharing a message with all of them. About a month ago, maybe 3 weeks, we ate with the Nicholls and we committed them to have us and a non-member in their home on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. They accepted and have been working on finding one to have over. It was Tuesday night, and they hadn't found one yet, so they were nervous. We told them to just keep praying and doing everything they could and they would find someone. When Tuesday night rolled round, we didn't have anything to do on Christmas Eve night and we were worried, so we told the Nicholls that and they invited us over. We responded with, "Will there be a less-active of a non-member there too?" they replied a few minutes later with, "Yes! We found a non-member to come!!" So we were able to go over Christmas EVe and share a Christmas message with their non-member friend, which was AWESOME! It was definitely a miracle!! Missionary work is moving forward here in Casper! :)

Christmas Day was even more busy than last year--I didn't think it was possible!! We woke up at 5:30 to open our presents, which was REALLY early btw. I won't ever do THAT again! haha but we got all glammed up to talk to our families and then went to our first appointment (so we didn't get our studies) with the Klers. We shared a Christmas message with them and it was a great way to start off the day! When we woke up at 5:30, it was just starting to snow, and it snowed for like 36 or so hours, so we got a LOT of it! We then went back to the Nicholls and ate breakfast with them and had the best breakfast I have ever had on my mission, hands down! We had paleo waffles (so healthy!) with raspberries, whipped cream and coconut syrup!! Oh man, I'm not a fan of coconut, but that syrup was so dang good! We also had eggs, bacon, egg nog and SImply Apple juice! It was a great pre-skyping meal!! I then got to skype with my awesome family, and I almost died when I heard Tyler speak and saw how tall he is!! I still am freaking out!! Skyping this time was fun, but so WEIRD!! My siblings kept asking when I come home, and I just kept shutting them down, haha. Poor kids. But I'm still in denial that I don't have long left! As far as I'm concerned, next time I see them will be skyping on Mother's Day, haha! (juuust kidding family! But not really). SO that was fun!! We met with Brooklyn and her family before going to the Winn's to eat Christmas Dinner and it was fantastic!! It was great!! :) We also got to meet with a new-to-us less active couple, the LUdeman's. They are so old and so cute!! We enjoyed it a lot! Our other 2 appointments fell through, but we got in with another less active before calling it a night. We were pooped by the end of the night!! It was a crazy busy day!

And, Casper stinks at plowing their roads! I need to get a picture of how they do it:they push the snow ito the MIDDLE of the road so if you have to turn left into someone's driveway, you either have to mound the 4 foot snow pile or go flip a u turn somewhere--it's ridiculous! There were a lot of people who were late to church on Sunday because they couldn't get out of their driveways! And the awful wind here doesn't help! Some members had 5 foot drifts--yeesh. 

Pete is doing great!! We had a fantastic lesson with him this week, well 2 actually. The first went okay, Pete was really stressed out, so he got a priesthood blessing and he seemed indifferent to it, but the next time we met with him was very different. Pete walked in with a huge grin and on his face and told us after we started the lesson that the priesthood blessing had helped him immensely and his shoulder, which had been hurting before, hadn't hurt in 3 days since our last lesson. Amazing!! He kept saying how much he felt the Spirit and he looked so happy. He was convinced that day was the best day of his life!!! SO that was really neat. He's doing awesome. 

That's probably the most exciting news of the week! Enjoy the pictures! I love you all!
sister leslie.

#ShareTheGift

Talking with Sister Leslie (she wouldn't let us call her Kirsten) 
via Skype on Christmas morning

Christmas Eve with the Mabeys

Our matching Christmas jammies! 

Christmas Snow!

Christmas with the Nicholls. :)

Us and our awesome investigator, Pete!! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Lord Is Hastening His Work!!!

Hooooly cow!! What a crazy end to the week!!!! We had a surprise stake meeting yesterday and they changed the ward boundaries and added TWO NEW WARDS into Casper!!! It was shocking!!! They absolutely murdered our beloved Casper 4th ward as we know it. It's now in 4 wards: 9th, 1st, 4th and 7th. So Sister Woodbury and I now live in 7th ward and all our investigators are in 7th ward so we are hoping and praying that we get placed in 7th ward!! Pray for us!! President Smathers, our stake president, gave us a nice little talk at the beginning about how change is good and how we need to embrace change. And adding 2 new wards to Casper is a GREAT thing because it means the Lord's work is hastening enough that we need 2 more wards!! So it's awesome!! No new chapels have been announced though, so for the moment we are going to have 4 wards in the Stake Center, 4 wards at the Poplar building, and 3 wards at the 7th and Missouri building. So that is crazy!! Our ward is pretty shocked about it and rightly so--they're just wanting to share the Casper 4th ward with everyone else because we are awesome!! haha. So we are still a bit in shock. To see what the new boundaries look like and everything, go to the online map at goo.gl/WLNJ9S and see our most beautiful Casper now with NINE wards!!! On this online map, it tells you what the ward is, where it meets and what time it meets. So here's all the details. How awesome is that! So we are so excited, but also heart broken because a lot of our beloved members are going into other wards. Luckily, the changes don't happen untilJanuary 1st so we still have one last Sunday in our great ward. :) Sister Woodbury and I are hoping to sing in it to thank the ward, but we will see! 

Last Tuesday, we got to do some awesome service helping River of Life Ministries with a toy drive for needy first graders in Casper. The high school ROTC helped us and it was really fun! We each got a little kid to take around and help. Mine was named Hadley and she was SO cute!! All she wanted for Christmas was for her Dad to be there (he works in the oil fields it sounds like), and that just broke my heart. Every child should have their Dad there for Christmas!! But she was so cute. She told me I was one of her best friends. What a cutie! It's the simple things in life that really matter! 

It was so sad, Sister Woodbury was sick for 2 days this week, so we just stayed inside for those 2 days except for the appointments we had. She's feeling a lot better, which is awesome because being a missionary stuck inside (whether you're sick or not) is really not exciting. There's only so many movies you can watch and things to do! Ha,ha. But we made it! And for the first time in a while, I got caught up in my journal! woohoo! That's always an exciting day. :)

We now have 4 investigators on date and we are pretty excited about it!!  We put Danette and her daughter, Cheyenne, on for February. Pete's still on and Brooklyn is on for February. It feels great to be helping people come closer to Jesus Christ by helping them get to the gate of baptism.  Tracy is SO close!!! She is doing really good. She was at church yesterday and she is doing great! Her husband is in town right now so it's fun to work with him too for the moment. :) Our investigators are AWESOME and all in 7th ward so we need to be in that ward!! We are going to fight for it!!!! Haha. 

We handed out about 90 He is the Gift cards this week, we were so excited to be able to share it with that many people!! We do this awesome lunch project on Saturday mornings to help make lunches for homeless people, and we gave out a card in every lunch!! That was awesome! As long as it makes a difference to someone it's worth it!! Yep!! So it has been awesome week with that!!

I just love the members here in Casper so much!! They are really starting to love us back, too, just before we get split from some of them. :( Yesterday, we went to talk to a ward member about the new boundaries and a man in the ward hugged me (which isn;t allowed as a missionary, so...) it was a bit awkward but he's like an uncle or something. But still....We're going to miss the members SO much!! We're going to make the most of this next week and half.!! Oh yeah!!!

This morning, Sister Woodbury and I went to Eggington's, a breakfast place in downtown to get some Eggs Benedict since we won't be having a Christmas Eve breakfast. It was awesome!! We have now been companions for 5 months. That's pretty fun! I love serving the Lord with Sister Woodbury. :) 

Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember the reason for the season!! He is the Gift!!
sister leslie.

p.s. talk to you soon, family!!!!

Cleaning up wrapping paper!

Me and Hadley

All the missionaries who helped at River of Life with Santa Claus!

Nativity with the Wintertons!

Us and the Babcocks. :)

This morning at Eggingtons right after eating Eggs Benedict!!! :) (Sorry for the ratchet-ness 
of this picture--Sister Woodbury can't take selfies, haha) 

Some cute cookies we made at a member's house. :)
I made her and she made me! :) 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland!!

Well, good morning!! I hope all of you are just fantastic and that you have snow, too! We just had this storm that started yesterday morning very early and it has just snowed consistently since then, so it is still snowing a bit! "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass"! (name that scripture!! I'll tell you at the end.)

This week was awesome! We had a lot of really awesome experiences. We had exchanges this week with 6th ward sisters and they were miracle exchanges! Sister Sutton and I worked in my area, 4th ward, and we had 5 appointments that day! FIVE! And we got to go tracting!! And we did service. So it was a super busy day and we had a lot of fun! It's been a long time since that has happened all in a day.We got to teach Tracy and it was awesome because she started making connections in her head that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is literally Christ's church! She started asking us about why "our" church feels different than any other church she's been to. We got to boldly testify that is because this is Jesus Christ's church, and it was a powerful moment. So she is doing great!! We love her so much!

Pete also continues to do well, he was really stressed this week so we lost contact with him for a few days, which is always really scary and nerve wracking with your investigators, but! he still came to church on Sunday! And he was there for all 3 hours! So that was a HUGE miracle! :) So we still love working with him and he is doing great. :)

We got 2 new investigators this week!!! It was a huge blessing!! The first was Brooklyn, and her mom and 2 siblings just got baptized in February, so we are PUMPED to be working with her! She is 13 and it's so fun to work with people that age! It reminds me of working with Ashley McKinney in Minot and I loved that SO much!! She is really cool! They were at church last sunday, but not yesterday, so that was a bummer. But we'll keep working on getting them there! The other new investigator we got is Danette. her boyfriend is a less-active member, which is how she came to meet us. They came in contact with Bishop Geddes, our bishop, and then he called us and gave us their information. So that was a HUGE blessing and it has also helped strengthen our relationship with the bishop, which is awesome and it helps out so much!! We met with her and her boyfriend and her kids on Saturday at this sketchy hotel they are living at right now, but it was great because we met outside (without coats, I might add!), so we didn't have to actually enter the sketchy motel! Tender mercy! Don't worry parents, we are kept safe from all that stuff!! :) So we were truly blessed with these awesome new people to teach!! Hard work DOES pay off, just not when you want it to necessarily!

Not to brag or anything, but this week Sister Woodbury and I got 6 member present lessons (which means that we had 6 lessons with investigators with a member there with us also)!!!! That is a first for me on my mission and it was AWESOME to feel like we were helping so many people!  "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12) I know that is true and it is exactly how I feel! Sister Woodbury and I have tried so hard to help this area grow and progress, and it is finally starting to pay off! We have a lot of room for improvement, of course, but we are on our way to a great area! Our ward is starting to connect with us and really love us, which is so awesome. That's the part about being in an area for a looooong time, is that you really get to know the members and their families on a deeper level than just "Hi how are you? Good? Great!", and that is awesome! I love that aspect of it! Transfers are coming up in 3 weeks and our ward keeps joking that they're going to call President Anderson and ask for us to stay together another transfer. haha so it's always good to know you're loved, and we are very well loved and cared for here in Casper. :) 

We had a really powerful lesson with the Kler's this week about covenants (a 2 way promise between us and Heavenly Father), focusing on baptism and the sacrament, and it was awesome! The Spirit was tangible in the room. I love those lessons! They strengthen my faith and testimony just as much or more so than the people we teach, I think. So I love the Spirit and I am grateful for what He does for us! 

We had our ward Christmas party this week and it was a night in Jerusalem thing and Sister Woodbury and I were pumped for it, but it was not too exciting. We did dress up in Jerusalem-ite attire, but I don't have a picture of that yet. We sat with a couple where she is active and he's not a member, and Tracy was there, so that was good. But other than that, it was super chill. Sister Woodbury and I even asked if we could sing a duet during their Christmas song part of it, and they said no. How sad is that! But that's okay, another couple in the ward let us sing for them, so they just got a private showing.

Funny moment of the week: we were going to eat with a member we had never eaten with before, and she was going to pick us up from the church building on Poplar, and so she pulled up and we walked over there, and I try the door to get in, but it was locked. Sister Woodbury then walks behind the car to get to the other side and comments, "this car has South Carolina plates...I don't think this is her!!" so we quickly ran/waled away in embarrassment and waited for our actual ride to come!! Luckily, the first lady was looking at a map of some kind, so I don't think she knew we were there. haha but what an experience for sure!

My favorite quote of the week: "Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!" This is a quote from Elder Scott's last conference address, "Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority" and I read it this morning in personal study. This hit me really hard--scripture study is MORE IMPORTANT than sleep, work and school! If that doesn't show us how important scripture study is, nothing will! I invite you to ponder how you can make time to read your scriptures daily. It will strengthen your testimony and lead you closer to Jesus Christ!

We're starting to see a lot of miracles in this area and we know they will continue!
love, sister leslie. (Alma 37:6-7)

Pictures
Sister Woodbury and I sharing how we will #ShareTheGift this Christmas season! If you haven't done so already, print off one of these on christmas.mormon.org and write down how you will share the gift! Then post to your facebook, instagram or other social media. :) (mine says "by fulfilling my purpose as a missionary!" and Sister Woodbury's says "by inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel!"

Our Christmas tree

Our cute Christmas lights!

SNOW!

More snow!

On exchanges with Sister Sutton! ...sorry it's a gross picture. It was a busy day 
and I didn't have time to fix my hair!! ha,ha


Monday, December 8, 2014

Does Winter Exist in Casper? Not That I've Seen!

I was reading my journal entries from a year ago, and last December 7th it was -40 in Minot and we had to stay inside all day! THIS December 7th, it was 45 in the positive!! What?? It's only snowed like 3 times and everyone was warning us of the "bad Wyoming winters" HA!! I'll believe it when I see it, but so far this is April weather!! 

This week, as you know, we had a lot of planning and such. Zone Training Meeting went as well as could be expected in our zone, although there was a bit of contention. But when you get 30 20-year-olds in a room, what do you expect? So ZTM was really good! The training that I gave was on the dignity of our calling as missionaries, and I think it went pretty well. It was a really bold training about getting out of "high school mode" (flirting, casual language, sarcasm, and inappropriately casual clothing and hairstyle), and it was nice to be able to relay that information straight from Sister Anderson so we could set up clear standards about what is okay and what is NOT okay for missionaries to be participating in. So all's well that ends well!! 

Sister Woodbury and I have been getting into He is the Gift!! It is powerful!! Remember, it is NOT enough for you to just share the video with your friends and help them feel good inside! NOPE! It is here to give you a segway in inviting them to have the missionaries in their home for Christmas to share the Christmas story and then segway into an invitation to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! So get on it!! Family, you especially!! Sister Woodbury and I have been passing out cards to everyone!! On Friday, we went through the Wendy's drive thru to get some Frosty's and we gave a He Is The Gift pass along card to the lady we gave our money to! Bawm!! Every time you talk to ANYONE, it is an opportunity to share a card with them! So again, get on it! And of course, I say that in the nicest, happiest way possible! I'm not asking you to do anything I'm not doing myself, remember that! :)

Pete is SO awesome!! We have now set up the expectation with him to meet with him 3 times a week, so that is awesome! He is doing so well and every time we meet with him and ask him about his Book of Mormon reading, (keep in mind there's like one day in between our lessons) he;s so modest and is like "I didn't read as much as I should have....I only read 10 pages!!" Haha he is so cool! He was at church this week and stayed for all 3 hours! He is progressing so well towards January 3 as his baptismal date!! bawm!

Tracy was also at church yesterday as well as the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional. There were like 10 people who watched it at the Stake Center: lame!! I bet in Utah and Arizona, there was a whole BUNCH of people watching it at the church. Everyone in Casper apparently "watched it from home on byuTV". Hmm. Well, the bottom line is, it was really good! I was really hoping President Monson would speak, so was Tracy, but that's alright! All the speakers did a great job! 

We started meeting with this other less active, Brother Byrd this week also and he is super cool! He has a really strong testimony and served a mission and everything. We really clicked with him, so much so that he came to church this week, which was his first time in over 6 months! The ward kept coming up to us and thanking us, when in reality we didn't do anything except for invite. So that was really really cool!!! 

Sorry this email is short and boring, but we Christmas presents to buy and cheer to spread!

Love you!
sister leslie.

Pictures
we didn't take any this week......lame, I know. Sorry!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Short But Sweet

Hey everyone!  I don't have a lot of time to write today, but I will do my very bestest!! 

First off, Thanksgiving. We had THREE dinners!!! It was crazy! So what happened was, transfers were last week and there was a HUGE storm so the new missionaries couldn't get to the mission, they were stuck in Denver!! So we had Sister Curley an extra day because transfers were delayed. So that was fun! So we had our 2 dinners and she had her 1, so we had three! And man, it was so hard!! The first one was normal, the second was hard because it was less than an hour later and the third one was just torture. I will NEVER do that again, haha! And over the course of the week, I have had 3 more Thanksgiving dinners! We had one on Saturday with the Abrahamson's (becuase Bro. Abrahamson was working on Thursday so they invited us over on Saturday), our dinner appointment on Sunday was Thanksgiving food, and at MLC (mission leadership council) on Monday, that's what we had. So I am good on Thanksgiving food for at least a year. Except I still miss Grandma Tolman's jello. Haha. So yeah, needless to say when we got home on Thursday we put our sweats on and curled up into a ball. I didn't eat the next day, Friday, until like 3pm because I just couldn't bring myself to do it! So yeah, that was crazy!!

We have our Christmas decorations up but I forgot to take a picture of them so I will send that on Monday. Sorry about that.

Oh yeah, and Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, we got to help Salvation Army serve their Thanksgiving dinner to the community, and that was cool. Haha at first, we were handing out drinks to people, and we had cranberry juice, coffee (i know, we had to ask people if they wanted coffee!! Yikes!) and water. Sister Woodbury went up and asked a specific man what we wanted to drink and he replied, "I just want to drink in your beauty." BAHAHA! Sister Woodbury laughed awkwardly and replied, "well all we have is juice, coffee or water." Haha it was so funny. People in Casper are crazy. And then on Saturday when we were helping out at the Sandwich Ministry, he came in and gave us hugs! HUGS!! eew! Sister Woodbury was REALLY freaked out, and rightly so. It's a terrifying experience to get hugged by a creepy old man when you're not used to getting hugs from anyone else besides small sister missionaries, haha. 

Pete is doing so good!! He has read up through 1 Nephi 14 and is on date still and he is going strong!! We love working with him! Tracy also is doing great and they will BOTH be there on Sunday, which is awesome!! I missed both of their last lessons as I was at MLC, but they are doing great and I am so happy to be able to work with them!! 

MLC was AMAZING, as always!! I got to stay at the mission home Monday night, which was so fun and nostalgic of my first night there. It's weird to think about how long ago that was! Haha when all the new missionaries ask me how long Ive been out, they just get this big eye-d expression like they can't imagine ever getting to transfer 11 of their mission. Haha, and I understand because I've been there! Oh yes I have. But I like being able to help out all the missionaries though, and especially being a Sister Training Leader, being able to help the sisters know that it will all work out and they WILL make it! I love being able to do that. At MLC, we talked a lot about He is the Gift, which is a video that was put out by the Church last week for Christmas. If you haven't watched it, you MUST go watch it now!! Here's the link:


Okay good! The church is doing all sorts of things to get this video out there to help people! So, in this month's Ensign, there is a pamphlet containing 9 He is the Gift pass along cards. So, family, you have no excuse not to missionary work with this great tool!! Your Christmas present to me will be to give out all 9 of those cards by Christmas, all to non-members! You know 9 people, I have no doubt. With ONE of those people (and pray about this person), I want you to invite them into your home to watch it with you and have the missionaries over. This initiative is powerful and it can bring SO many people to Christ and His restored gospel. So get workin' on that!! NOTHING done out of love will EVER be offensive!! I'll be following up with you! And if it's not done by Christmas day when we skype, then you better have your friend over right then and I'll teach them. Haha just kidding. But seriously!! You know 1 person/family you could have over to share He is the Gift with!! You have the missionaries' number, so call 'em up!! Search out Christmas.mormon.org! There are so many good tools and ways to help your friends come closer to Christ. So take a second and search it out!! I love you family and I KNOW you can do this!! (Okay, and this goes for EVERYONE, not just my family!! So get on it!! But family, seriously I'm excited for you to do this!!!!!) 

And that's most of it!! I love you all and want you to have fun sharing He is the Gift!!!!!

Go share it! NOW!
sister leslie.

First snow picture of the season!

Thanksgiving Dinner #1: the Taylor Family (our ward)

Dinner # 2: the Purnell Family (Sister Curley's Ward)

Me, Sister Woodbury and Sister Curley in our cute trio....
(with Elder Abarca and Elder Ramkissoon photo bombing)

Dinner #3: The Brown Family.( our ward), holding our Gosner milk (from Logan, UT)
that their son gave us! GO AGGIES! :)

Cristy Robinson and I 
(my Dad was in college and worked at the same company with her.  She now lives in Rapid City)

Casper Zone Leadership with President and Sister Anderson! 
(Elder Johnson and then Elder Noble, then me)

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Try To Be Grateful In Any Circumstance, But This Week It Was Easy!!

This week was full of miracles!! It seems that all the hard work we have been doing for the last couple transfers has started to pay off! 

First things first: transfer calls. As you can tell by how I am emailing on Monday, I'm still here in Casper with Sister Woodbury!! We are so excited to stay together for this holiday season! We know there's a reason we are staying together and we are expecting miracles!! We are so pumped!!! It was very unexpected, because I was in Minot for 9 months, then here for 7 1/2 months, then my last area for 3. How weird! But hey, whatever works! The crazy part of transfers is the elders that we share the ward with both got transferred out and not replaced, so we are now the solo missionaries in the Casper 4th ward!! Our area just doubled, so we are going to be VERY busy, but we're excited! Now we have absolutely no excuse to not be finding people and teaching a whole bunch! So we're going to make it happen!! 

We found 2 new investigators this week, which was AMAZING and so unexpected. The first one we found, Chantal, we found while trying to find a less active. We thought she was a Young Single Adult less active actually, but as we talked with her more, she asked us, "What church are you from?" We responded, "The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints". She responded with "I've never heard of that one before." We then asked, "Have you ever heard of Mormons before?" and she responded with something we don't hear very often, "No, I don't think so." So that was a nice surprise! She has an open mind with no weird misconceptions!!!! She has a little 3 year old girl, Tessa and Chantal really wants her to be able to go to Primary, so she is going to come to our ward but we are going to involve her in Young Single Adult activities (she's divorced, so technically she is young and single and an adult, but because of her child she's going to come to our family ward). We are really excited to work with her more! She really wants to build her relationship with her Heavenly Father, which is exactly what this gospel will do for her. :)

The other new investigator we found this week was Pete, and his story is nothing short of miraculous. Thursday, we were on pins and needles because we heard that transfer calls were going on, which was weird because they are usually on Saturdays, so while we were eating our lunch and our phone went off, naturally we freaked out a bit. But when we answered it, Pete identified himself and told us he had gone to the Stake Center and talked to some of the ladies in the Family History Center and they had given him our number to contact. (so at this point we thought he was a member because he used the term 'stake center') He said he wanted to look into our church and come to church a few times and meet with the missionaries. We were shocked! (so NO, NOT a member!!) But, excitedly, we set up a time to meet with him the next morning. The lesson was so powerful! He said he had never felt so good in his whole life as when we were teaching him. He's very receptive to the spirit and recognizes it, which a lot of investigators struggle with. We are SO excited to meet with him! We also met with him before church and had another powerful lesson with the same member that came with us the first time, and he loved church! Gospel Principles went REALLY deep yesterday, which was really frustrating, but he did pretty good with it. He's so solid and SO prepared, so we aren't too worried. I have never, in all my time as a missionary, had an investigator call me!! Talk about the tender mercies of the Lord!!! He's on date for January 3rd and we are confident he can make that. :) To picture what he looks like, just imagine an Italian Tony Stark, haha! So he is BOSS and I can't wait to meet with him again on Wednesday! Maybe he's the reason I got to stay in Casper!! :) 

We also taught Tracy twice this week as well, so we had a lot more lessons then we've had since I got to Casper, probably. So it feels AWESOME to be seeing our work DO something!!! She continues to be well. :) 

Sister Mower and I had an exchange this week, which was super fun! She is AWESOME! We had a nice, busy day as well!! As part of the day, we went to the salvation army to do some service, and we met this man who calls himself Little John. Now, Little John has a pretty cool story! He used to be on of the Hell's Angels (motorcycle gang, apparently), and he did some crazy stuff! When he was our age, he said he lived in Mexico for 5 years to get away from the Feds. Sketch!! He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most skull tattoos: over a thousand. Wow, right?? But now he is a leader in the Salvation Army church and loves God and has completely turned his lief around!!! Isn't that sweet?? There are cool people everywhere, even in Casper, WY! We also went and helped Deb, a less active, shovel her driveway and sidewalk, and that was awesome because she let us in to give us hot cocoa, so we were able to have a short lesson with her!!! Bawm!!! SO that was really cool. :) Sister MOwer is such a happy, bright person and she is a great teacher. SO it was a great exchange!!! Love her to pieces. :) 

We talked to Jessica this week again!!! Well, we actually texted with her last night, and she was totally more open to us and she misses us! She moved, which was good to find out, but she still lives in our ward, which means we are destined to teach her! Haha or, that's how we're taking it. :) We invited her to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on the 7th (which, by the way, you should ALL be watching that!!) and our ward Christmas party, which is going to be a night in Jerusalem, so it'll be super spiritual and awesome!! And she said she will for sure get one of those days off work so she can come to one of them!! We were SO excited to be able to see her again soon!! We've missed her a lot. We sent her one of our Halloween cards last month, and she said she put it up on her nightstand!! What a cutie!! So we are super pumped about that!! 

Also, Sister Woodbury and I wrote a SWEET, BOSS, Thanksgiving Rap for the season that is below! I hope you enjoy and it gets you into the spirit of the season!! :)

We met with Chris this week and got to talk to her about patriarchal blessings, and that really touched her. It was a really powerful lesson and she recognized that as something that she really wants and needs right now. SO yesterday she talked with Bishop and got the go ahead to receive her patriarchal blessing! We are so stoked for her! 

We have 2 dinner appointments for Thanksgiving, so we will be well taken care of!! We are excited!! I'm honored to spend Sister Woodbury's one mission Thanksgiving with her. :) And, family, you'll get to meet her!!! How exciting is that!!! Haha so Sister Woodbury and I are going to start fasting now so we can fit all that food in on Thursday!! I can't wait!!! :) 

Well that's it, I think!! This week was amazing and we're super pumped for how awesome this one will be!! 
sister leslie.


Sister Woodbury and I with Emily, the super cute 11 year old that invited us to her Activity Days party!

Sister Bentley is dying! :(

Us and Elder Price and Elder Schneringer before they got transferred. We shared the ward with them. 

Elder Noble, Elder Edwards, Me and Sister Woodbury for the last time!

The Casper Zone Sisters before Sister Bentley left this morning, we're all wearing the scarfs she gave us. :)

Sister Mower and I on exchanges shoveling Deb's driveway!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Livin' In The Frozen Tundra

Yeah, the WYoming wind is pretty bad!! I will NOT miss the wind in Utah, no siree-bob!

This week was full of a lot of planning for Zone Training Meeting, and it took a while because we didn't have MLC (where we get a training on what to train the missionaries on), so we had to write our own training. And overall, I think it went very well! It ended up being a really cool experience for all the missionaries that opened themselves to feel the Spirit. There were a couple that we were disappointed in, but what can you do? People have their own agency!! So that was a fun week.  We made these sweet handouts for integrity evaluations and I attached them here so YOU can use them! You'll just have to change some of the wording to apply it to you. Watch this sweet conference highlight before evaluating yourself: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-10-340-president-dieter-f-uchtdorf-highlights?category=october-2014-general-conference-highlights&lang=eng. It's the "Lord, Is It I?" One from President Uchtdorf. Enjoy! It is AWESOME!!!!!! 

Most importantly, Sister Woodbury got ATTACKED by a dog and got BIT!!!! What a jerk of a dog!!! The worst part was, we were at a members house decorating her kids' doors for their birthday!! So that was NOT fun, and awkward because the member may or may not be mad at us now. So that's not cool. But an interesting experience for suresies. We went to the doctor like 2 days later because we thought she's be fine, but a member freaked out when we said we hadn't been to the doctor, so we went 2 days later. We went to Dr. Babcock, who's in our ward and she's fine. :) No rabies or weird diseases for her! It was quite quite fun. Just another day in the life of a sister missionary. Never boring for sure! 

One of the girls we teach Home Primary to came to church this week!!! She only stayed for Sacrament meeting because she was exhausted but she still came! It was a miracle because we arranged for a member to bring her, but when that member got to church, Destiny wasn't with them and we were so bummed out!! We talked to the member and they were like, "She said her dad's going to bring her." Then we were SUPER bummed out because her dad is super less active and we had doubts that he would come. But then Destiny's GRANDMA brought her!!! And they both came for sacrament meeting and it was awesome. :) 

Wow. Literally NOTHING exciting happened this week! I'm trying real hard to think of something else to write about! 

Tracy continues to do well! She is going through a really hard financial spot right now and she's super stressed, but she's still making time for us to come over and to meet with us!! So that is awesome! She really does want to come to know for herself that these things are true, and she's for sure on the right path to finding that out! So we love her lots and she's super cool!

It got pretyy cold this week, down into the negatives (feels like home sweet home! NOT!) And I am very much out of the "aww, the negatives aren't too bad!" How on earth did I survive -60?! That is SOOOOOO cold! Haha I'm such a baby. I'm workin' on it though! I'll figure it out. Layer up time! I finally got some fall boots last week (it's about time!) so that makes it nice since it's still fall-ish. 

Haha here's a funny story in closing! Last P-Day, we were out from 10 until 6, and we were late for our dinner appointment and super stressed out and everything and we walk up to our front door to unlock it and it;s already open!! It had been open all day!! So it was about 30 degrees (or colder) in there (we could see our breath), and we had a little baby snow drift inside our house!!! Yeah, NOT what you want to come home to for sure!! So we made sure the door was closed and went off to our dinner appointment with the Kler's. They gave us some more blankies so we weren't cold! They're so nice! So now we are making SURE that our door is actually closed.  Haha Joy to the world. 

Yeah so that's pretty much it!! Life is great! Cold, but great! Missionary work is awesome. :) Have a great week everyone and i"ll talk to you next week!

Also, this Saturday is transfer calls, so please send all letters to the mission office to make sure I get them. If I don't email next Monday, I got transferred and will email as quick as I can. 

Loves and hugs,
sister leslie.

The cute signs we made with Sister Maddison last P-Day!

 ZTM planning week is pretty rough...and nap time for the STL's companion!

Zone Training Material Handout

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

Yes, I know I've never seen that movie, but all the little girls have sung that and "LET IT GO!!!!!" A whole bunch so I have come to know a few things. And since it is snowy and blowy and cold outside,  I thought it was appropriate. :)

So! This week  was MUCH better!! We got in with our main investigator, Tracy, FINALLY and she came to church!! She's coming to the Relief Society activity on Tuesday as well and her daughter, Raina,  loved Primary! So it was an awesome week! Tracy has such a sincere desire to know for herself that these things are true, and it is so fun to work with someone who has that desire. It excites us to do more and better work to find others who also want to know for themselves our message is true! Ha,ha she has a pretty normal face though when she's processing things, so we don't really know how well she liked church, but if she has questions, she will for sure ask them. She's really good at that. And we love questions because then we know what we can do to help her more. :) So! She's awesome. :) 

This week we attended a funeral for a lady, Mindy, who volunteered at the same food pantry we did. It was at the Church of Christ, which is a non-denominational Christian Church, and it was different for sure. I hadn't ever been to a non-LDS funeral before. I didn't feel bad or anything, but I didn't feel the Spirit, which was sad because that is SO comforting, especially when you have lost someone so close to you. Mindy's parents were just sobbing uncontrollably, and it broke my heart. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the Plan of Salvation and how we KNOW where we go after we die. The minister who spoke said nice things, but I still didn't understand where he thought Mindy was. I can't imagine not knowing about the Plan of Salvation and losing a child or close family member. It gave me a whole new perspective about finding "those that will receive you", which is what I as a missionary am called to do. We're not asked to convert the whole world, just simply to find those that will receive us and whether or not they accept our message, is up to them. 

We got to watch Meet The Mormons this week and it was AWESOME! Very inspirational! We had a mini-Zone Conference with it as well, which was fun. President and Sister Anderson as well as the Assistants to the President came down and watched it with us, as well as did a short training, and President Anderson did interviews with us. It was super fun!!! If you haven't seen Meet The Mormons, if you're a member or not, GO Watch it!! NOW!

It got chilly this week! We woke up to snow and all sorts of slush everywhere today. So winter is officially here! Yaaaayyyy....haha it'll be fun! This is a great time for missionary work, because the holidays soften people's hearts and they are more open to receive the gospel. So I'm PUMPED to go find who we need to find! 

We also found some young single adult women who want to come tracting and finding with us, so that is AWESOME! We are excited to go on splits to get double the amount of work done in a time span! We've been praying to find some tracting splits women, because our ward isn't up for it yet. But! They'll get there. One of them got back from her mission not even a week ago, so it will be powerful to go with her. :) Bawm!!''

They cancelled MLC this month (that's where I was supposed to be right now actually) so we are just makingour own training for Zone Training Meeting this week. Fun stuff! The elders spice things up so it's never boring! And we bring the hot cocoa and blankets and our cute slippers. Bahaha it's always a great time!

We helped out at mission prep again yesterday and that was fun!! I love helping out pre-missionaries so they can start better than I did!! The world needs more powerful missionaries! Oh, and more sisters in the SDRCM. So sisters, get signing up! You won't regret it! (Unless your heart's not in it). 

 
Casper Zone Sisters

Sister Woodbury and I with the beautiful Sister Anderson

All the Casper Sisters and Sister Anderson

Sister Woodbury and I with our SWAG

A better quality shot of our halloween costumes
(the Fairy Princess Sister Missionaries) :)
 
The vehicle we drive

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Uplifted By The Spirit

Well, howdy hey there!!

This week was pretty good and I'm pretty excited to tell you about it! Probably the best thing that happened this week was our Quad Zone Conference. We drove up on Rapid on Wednesday and got there around 7, then got back to Casper at about midnight on Thursday. SO it was a quick trip, but so worth it!! Elder Nash of the 70 came, and he is BOSS! He actually spoke in General Conference in the October 2012 session (go look it up, it's great!!), and he had some great insights for us missionaries! Before the conference started, we all got to meet Elder and Sister Nash (turns out they live in Centerville. Go figure!), and it was awesome because When I got my 30 seconds with Elder Nash, he looked me straight in the face and said, "You have a good spirit about you." And that made a big impact on me. I needed to hear that, and that made me happy. The things that were taught in the conference were SOLID! There was a big focus on having integrity, on finding, having the Spirit to be with you, and how to combat anti-Mormon material. It was awesome! Sister Woodbury and I thought that he was speaking directly to us and our area, so we got TONS of good ideas of how to help the people we are working with and also how to build our teaching pool. SO it was a HUGE blessing and buoyed us both up a lot! Sister Woodbury sang at this conference (I'll send a recording today as well) and it sounded great! It wasn't us singing, you could tell! SO it was a really powerful, spiritual experience. Elder nash and President Anderson couldn't stop complimenting us on it. Haha President was like, "I wish you parents could have heard that!! It was beautiful!" And then in our heads we were like, "Yeah, about that.....they'll get to hear it!" Haha so that was fun. I wish the conference would have been longer! But, it wasn't. Driving home was a bit rough because my brain is now trained to turn off at 10 and we were only halfway home by that point. So that was a bit rough. but we blasted music and made it okay. :) SO now in my studies I'm focusing a lot on Integrity and how to build the attributes we discussed at Zone Conference. So I am excited to learn more about how to find people, integrity and how to recognize the promptings of the Spirit in my life. It's going to make a big impact on me, I think. I invite you to study these topics as well! They apply to you and I the same! :)

The Winterton's came to church this week!!! it was a different experience for sure, because Sister Woodbury and I sat with them and helped entertain the boys ( I forgot how busy a 4 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and 1 year old are at the same time!) It was a an awesome testimony meeting though! Brother Winterton even bore his testimony, which was powerful. :) Our ward is really starting to unify together. The Winterton boys LOVED Primary (except Gerald went with his dad to Priesthood instead), which was great! Logan was singing all the songs we taught him and we got to help in Young Women to talk about conversion, so it was a solid meeting! We also got hit on at church by a 55 year old man. But that's a story for another time. Haha

We're going over this week t help a less active stop smoking, so that will be a really powerful experience. So that will be awesome! We're excited for it. And we're going to start serving at the Salvation Army tomorrow to help get Christmas stuff all ready and good to go!

We had a real lesson with Gregg yesterday, and he's being pretty stubborn. We brought the Klers with us (it was even their anniversary and they came with us!! SOLID!) and it was a pretty good lesson. Not our best by any means, but okay. Now it's up to Gregg to accept the Book of Mormon or not. It's in his court. So, we'll check back in a couple weeks or so. 

Halloween wasn't too exciting. We went to the ward halloween party, and it was very short so we had to get creative. We went to a member's home for the last hour and a half of the night and passed out Mormon.org cards with the candy (he,he,he), but they only got 6 trick or treaters in that time, so it wasn't super effective. :( But the members LOVED our Halloween costumes! Haha they couldn't get over it. Just goes to show how simplicity is always better! 

We attended the baptism of  Dylan Deru, an 8 year old, this past Saturday and it was POWERFUL! His family is returning to activity and his dad was able to baptism him! The confirmation was probably the most powerful one I have ever heard, which was cool.  It just goes to show that these younger generations are powerful spirits meant to come to earth at this time to accomplish great things. 

Also, Daylight Savings Time was BEAUTIFUL!! I got a whole extra hour of sleep and it was glorious. And we get to watch Meet the Mormons this week!! President and Sister Anderson and the Assistants to the President will be coming to Casper the end of this week to show it to us. I am PUMPED! I'll be glad to know what everyone is talking about! For once, I'll be in the know on something!!!!!!! Haha I don't miss being in the know, though. Not really at all. 

I think that's a wrap! Have a great week everyone and I'll talk to ya later! 
sister leslie.

 
Driving to Rapid!!

At Quad Zone, some missionaries I came out with! Back L to R: E. Johnson, E. Dibble, E. Bench, E. Mobley, E. Deihl and E. Cloward. Middle L to R: E. Eastin, E. Beazer, E. Rohwer, E. Child, E. Anderson. Then that's me and Sister Alleman! Fun!

 S. Woodbury, Me, Elder Nash (of the 70), President Anderson, S. Edwards, S. Stebbing (my "Sister"), S. Kitchen and S. Mansell (I think that's her name). :) 

S. Woodbury and I at Quad Zone. :)

Fairy Princess Sister Missionaries!