Monday, August 25, 2014

Slidin' Into Home Plate!

Okay, not literally. That comes at the end of our lives on this earth. But! This week was quite fun. :) Very crazy, and a lot of adventures, just like all the others.
First off, we had Zone Conference this week, and it was AMAZING!! There was a LOT of stuff to do in order to prepare for everything, especially our training that the Zone Leaders and I did. I don't want to try and explain it to you, but parents, today I will buy a 16 gig flash drive and put a whole bunch of stuff on it, because we ended up recording a part of our training, so you could watch the Zone Leaders and I in action! So I will get on that. So for the first couple days this week, we didn't get a whole night of sleep because we were so busy preparing for Zone Conference. Wednesday night, he night before ZC, we didn't leave the Church until 10:15pm!! But such is the life of Zone Leadership I guess. But during Zone Conference, we NAILED it! And it was awesome! I was SO terrified the whole week preceding it, but it was so worth it and so awesome. We were able to be vessels for the Spirit in order to help our zone see the vision of how when we don't have faith in Jesus Christ, we are holding our investigators back from fulfilling their full potential. So, it was awesome. I really enjoyed it a lot. And it made me feel very happy that President and Sister Anderson were very impressed and loved it as well. I would count that as a great thing!
Also that day, Sister Woodbury and I went to go teach Jessica with Sister Anderson! It was so fun to go teaching with her! I have always wanted to! And it came true! Yay! Jessica was so cute, she went a bought a pie for the occasion that the 4 of us had a slice of after the lesson. :) Jessica really loved Sister Anderson (because who couldn't?), so that was neat. We taught about the Law of Chastity, and Jessica is pretty much already living it, which is awesome. The more I speak with her and stuff, the more I see her as a "dry Mormon"--one who is living all the standards of a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints without actually being a member. She continues to LOVE learning about the Gospel and to progress towards baptism. :)
We went on exchanges the night right after Zone Conference finished, and now I am starting to think that was not very smart. BUT! It was great! I went with Sister Mower, a brand new missionary (just hit her 1 month mark!), and I felt kinda bad because I crashed into bed as I was EXHAUSTED. But it was a really fun exchange! We got to do some service raking up dog poop (she has 6 dogs, 2 of which are Great Danes) and I was falling asleep doing that! Now THAT takes some talent!! We also got to teach a lesson to a 10 year old investigator, which is always fun, and have a dinner appointment. We walked to all these things, so it was nice to get out in the sunshine and all. It actually has cooled down in the last few days, and currently as we are here in the library, the Zone Leaders (Elder Parrish and Elder Edwards) are wearing jackets. Haha. But it kinda feels good. It's just worrying us a bit that it's going to be an awful winter. So I guess we will see. It can't be worse than Minot!!
Sister Boudreaux went home on Saturday. :( The Zone Leaders, Sister Woodbury and I, and her companion Sister Bentley were there with her. She has to have her gall bladder removed, so our prayers go with her. It was SO weird being in an airport again! I haven't been in one since I left on my mission. It definitely did NOT feel like my time to go. So I am here still. :) But it was nice to be there with her. The next adventure that we're on is that Sister Bentley will be with Sister Woodbury and I until next transfer, which is next week. She'll get her new companion either on Monday or Wednesday of next week. But it's fun to be with her, she's a great missionary! She came out with Sister Burt, so her time is soon coming to an end. So it's fun to pick her brain a little bit.
This week, we went back for a return appointment with an investigators family, the Soler's. The dad let us in to tell us that the Book of Mormon has a lot of historical inconsistencies in it that invalidated it. His concern was that Nephi talks about how there were bees and horses when they get to the promised land, but records show that the Europeans introduced these things much later in the history of the world. Well, THAT threw me off! He also went into how a restoration is when you let your right brain take over your left brain and the Spirit makes it manifest to you or something. He goes to the church where they have Anti-Mormon classes. I felt like he was just regurgitating whatever his pastor had told him to tell us. But because the gospel is perfect, we found the answer to his concern just after we left. In the Book of Ether, chapter 2 verse 2, it talks about how the people of Jared brought bees with them to the Americas. In Ether chapter 4, verse 6, it tells us that they brought all sorts of beasts over with them, meaning horses. So we are going to go back over there are explain how the Book of Mormon is not written in chronological order, the Jaredites brought over honeybees and horses in like 3,000 BC. Nephi and his family got there in 600 BC. So, the moral: read the Book of Mormon, all of it, before jumping to weird conclusions!! And the Restoration has nothing to do with the sides of your brain, it's about how Jesus Christ, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, brought again to the earth the fullness of His gospel and Priesthood authority. :) If anything, this experience made me realize how much the adversary is trying to prove the Book of Mormon wrong. he knows it is the evidence that this is Christ's Church, and he wants to discredit it. But he will NEVER be able to do that because THIS is Christ's TRUE Church!
But enough about that.
Brother and Sister Kler, the Winterton's, the Watson's, and the Mackenzie's all continue to be well and to progress! 
I love you all! Thanks for everything!
sister leslie.
Bowling with Sister Boudreaux, Sister Bentley, Sister Woodbury, Me,
Elder Telford, Elder Emmett, Elder Lougy, Elder Wilkinson.

A fuzzy picture of all the Casper Zone Sisters with Sister Anderson

Sister Anderson, Me, Jessica and Sister Woodbury after our lesson!!

Sister Mower and I on exchanges. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Did I Step Into A Time Warp?!

Such an exciting week! (They always are).

We have been planning for Zone Conference everyday this past week for 2 hours. It's on Thursday, and I literally feel like all we've done this week is plan for Zone Conference (which, by the way, is going to the BEST THING EVER), but in reality we've done so much more than that! This week, we got our highest number of lessons we've had all transfer, which is such a blessing, considering all the planning we did. 

But first off, CHRIS WAS BAPTIZED!! Oh man it was awesome!! One of the most spiritual baptisms I've ever been to in my life and on my mission! There was a good group of people there, about 30ish, but both the speakers were just powerhouses!! It made a big impact on everyone present, especially the investigators that missionaries brought and especially to Chris. It was great to see. She looked really happy!! It was an awesome experience. Filling up the font had some adventures with it, but we got all that figured out and had a great service with great participation! 

Jessica continues to progress. :) Our last lesson with her was a bit interesting and not how we wanted it, but we made it as we always do. We fasted for her yesterday and we know that things will work out as they need to, not necessarily how we want them to. It will be such a cool opportunity, because with Zone Conference this week, President and Sister Anderson will be here!!!! Sister Anderson will actually be coming to an appointment with us to visit Jessica, and I think that will be very powerful. Everyone loves Sister Anderson! It can't be any other way! So that will be awesome!! We are PUMPED!!

 About the time warp, today is my 11 month mark and I am still trying to figure out where all the time has gone! So I will never be talking about how long I have been out ever again!! So from now on, you can count it on your own. :) 

Something big I have learned while I have been here in Casper is the necessity for obedience and the miracles that come from it. There are a lot of disobedient missionaries in this zone, and now being in the zone leadership, I recognize it a lot more and notice how I am being watched much closer than I was previously. I am striving really hard to be exactly obedient in everything I am doing, because I need the blessings and personal satisfaction that comes from that. So that has been something really great for me to learn! And not just how obedience in missionary work is needed, but obedience to God's commandments, to our living-day prophet, and to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It's not happening all at once, for sure, but it is coming and it will continue to move forward as I work on it!

I also got the compliment from a family this week that Sister Woodbury and I are their favorite missionaries and they will be SO sad when we leave. I don't want to be prideful or anything, but it does feel good to know that you connect with people and you really are sent to specific missions and cities within that mission for a purpose. It helps me a lot to know that. I like feeling needed. :) 

Our health food challenge continues to go great! Sister Woodbury used to work at Jamba Juice, so she makes SUPER good green smoothies that are nice and smooth, with no chunks (Smoothies should never have chunks! That's why they're called "smoothies") 

So the pictures. Last P Day, we went on a hike up Casper Mountain to go through a cave! It was so fun!! But we got so dirty and wet and it was cold. And slippery, which was sometimes scary. But it was awesome. You all would have been proud of me, I conquered some fears and went into some deep crevices and stuff to stay with my companion and I didn't die!!! WOOHOO! It was awesome. So yay for being adventurous!

I can't think of anything else noteworthy to write about, so I hope you all have a great week! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! 
sister leslie.

p.s. Sorry my emails have progressingly gotten shorter as I have been out longer...I guess I have a thicker skin or something. I'll work on it!

Us with Chris in her white ready to be baptized!!
Sister Woodbury and I at the hike.....rival schools....

A group of us after the cave....all dirty. 

The Zone Leaders and I: L to R, Elder Parrish, Me, Elder Edwards. They are both VERY tall.
 (And that's our awesome red truck)

Me, Sister Woodbury and Elder Telford. We were matching!    

Monday, August 11, 2014

Haircuts, Hospitals and Horchata

Gooooood morning! It's been a fun week, so be prepared for an uplifting letter!!

To address the first one: haircuts. Sister Woodbury and I both got haircuts this week. I was getting really bored with my hair, so I decided to go crazy and get bangs again, so that is fun! Every once in a while, you just gotta go crazy. Sister Woodbury got bangs, too. (Yeah, we have companionship unity). We also went to a chiropracter on Monday, and that was GREAT! I hadn't been adjusted in almost a year, so it felt nice. (And a member did it for free! There are many perks of being a missionary.) 

As for the second thing: Hospitals. We do weekly service at Joshua's Storehouse, a food pantry, and a woman who volunteers there, Mindy, has recently gotten very sick and has been at the hospital. In fact, her parents were told to prepare for the worst. Last Tuesday, Sister Woodbury and I went with the elders to visit her, and the elders gave her a Priesthood blessing. Prior to that blessing, Mindy's vitals had been dropping. In the blessing, Mindy was promised a speedy and full recovery, because her work on this earth is not done yet. Ever since that blessing, her vitals have been increasing and building and she is getting much healthier! It has again strengthened my testimony that the Priesthood works!! It is literally God's power on the earth. Another miracle has been performed by the authority of the Priesthood, and I had the opportunity to witness it. Incredible. 

So again, all you young men out there who hold the Priesthood: LIVE WORTHY OF IT! It is what you are expected to do, and it is what you need to do. All of us sisters can't hold the Priesthood, but you can. So hold it well. 

And for horchata....this week, we had another one of those days where both Sister Woodbury and I were unmotivated to work hard, and things kept falling apart, so at the end of the night, we decided to go get horchata's to make us feel better. Well, I was angry, so I was speaking so fast, so at the drive thru, I kept asking for 2 horchata's, and they would respond with "One?" And I would say, "No, 2." But it didn't work. So finally I just got the one and gave it to Sister Woodbury. I don't have any other reason for telling you this story beside the fact that "Horchata" fit nicely in the title. But there you go: Sister missionaries get frustrated too!

Jessica is AWESOME! She is so solid! We taught her again this week, and this time her boyfriend, Jonas (who is an active member), was able to be there, so that was great and very powerful. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and she took it all in very well. It is so different to be able to teach the first 3 lessons in only 3 visits! That usually is not the case, but it is sometimes. Teaching her fills me with such joy! She also came to church this week, and she loved it! She got right in there with the girls, and she totally fits in. She is so ready to accept the fullness of the gospel!

Chris is getting baptized this Saturday!! She is doing awesome and it is going to be such a special day! I am so excited to be able to be here and support her during this time. :) I haven't had the opportunity to teach her a whole bunch, but I know she has a testimony and she is ready. So that will be great! 

We went on exchanges this week, and I was with Sister Boudreaux. She came out with Sister Jensen, and both are SOLID! I hope that when I get to that same point in my mission, I can be as solid as they are. :) Our exchange went really well. We were able to meet with the Winterton's again, ad that was really fun. They were at Church this week!!! We didn't even push the subject at all, so it was such a nice surprise. :) The kids did so well! I think it was a good experience, so they will come again. Which is GREAT! And next time, we're going to work with them on coming for all 3 hours instead of just the first one. So. It's a work in progress, but it is progressing! 

We have been meeting with the Zone Leaders a lot this week in preparation for Zone Conference, and it is coming along great! I am SO excited!!! All 6 sisters in this zone are also doing a musical number, so we have been practicing a lot for that as well. We're going to record our performance, so you can hear it! It's gonna be good! 

Dad, The Kler's think you are pretty cool. You should convince them to come visit Utah. :)

Hmmm....other exciting stories. I can't think of any more, unfortunately. SO I guess that's a wrap! 

I love you all! Keep doing missionary work! :)
sister leslie.

p.s. Sorry it's so short this week! :(

Our new haircuts!!

Sister Boudreaux and I on exchanges!

See the rainbow?

The awkward selfie of my hair...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Psych! We're Not Moving....Yet

So no worries! We're going to be in this same place until the end of August, livin' with the bugs 'n stuff. Makes life exciting. Keeps me on my toes and makes me SO much more grateful for the other places I have lived. We did find a way adorable small studio "house" thing though, that we're hoping they will save for us for a month. But we'll see. The only frustrating part of it was we didn't find out we weren't moving until Wednesday, so we were 90% of the way packed up. So this week, we unpacked. That was an adventure, in fact an ongoing adventure.....
But in other news....
We have been walking a lot this week ( we ran out of miles the last few days of the month), so we walked a whole bunch of places this week, which was good exercise and all that, so that was fun. We got to talk to some really cool people and that made it work it. :)
But our highlight of the week was we got a new investigator, and she is SOLID! Her name is Jessica, and she is 16 years old. She is actually a former investigator from a couple years ago and she really regrets not being baptized. In the lesson, we were able to put her on date to be baptized on September 13th!! :) As soon as we started teaching her yesterday, all we had said was "This message that we have to share is centered around Jesus Christ, and it is of great value and importance" and she burst into tears because she felt the Spirit so strong. That continued through the rest of the meeting, but we know it was a good thing. We asked her part way through how she felt, and she said, "Overwhelmed, but good." It's always so fun to hear how different people explain how the Spirit feels to them. It also never ceases to amaze me the love from our Father in Heaven that flows into me when I am teaching someone. I suddenly don't judge, but feel just an outpouring of love for whoever I am teaching, and yesterday with Jessica it was so powerful. We had a really awesome member with us who had just gotten back from a family history tour, so she bore powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, which was so important. Jessica was so excited to read the Book of Mormon, and we were so excited for her. :) I will for sure keep you updated!
Chris continues to do well. Her baptism is coming up here soon in the next few weeks, and she is getting really excited to make this step in her life. She knows it is what she needs to do and that she will be blessed for making this promise, or covenant, with God as she strives to be faithful to it.
Haha so I have this particular pair of shoes that are falling apart, and one of the members recognized that and so on Friday, Sister Kler took me to Wal Mart to purchase some new shoes so I didn't look haggard. In her husband's words, "I have to take care of my sister missionaries!" So that was funny, but so nice. I appreciate it a lot and now don't have to worry about looking haggard! Yes! The members here are awesome. :)
Sister Woodbury and I had the brilliant idea to start a health food challenge yesterday. In fact, this challenge was given to me in November by Sister Anderson, the Mission President's wife, and I figured I'd start it now. Better late than never, right? I can't believe it's already August. It's crazy!! I am still trying to figure out where this year has gone. So Sister Woodbury and I are still going strong! :)
This week, because I am Sister Training Leader, I got to get on a big conference call with all the other Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders in the mission to set a baptismal goal for the month of August as a mission. As part of that call, I got to talk to Sister Jensen for all of about 30 seconds, but it was awesome!! Ahh man I miss her so much! But the good news is that I get to see her in September! Let me explain why: once a month, all the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders in the mission meet at mission headquarters in Rapid City for a 2 day conference called Mission Leadership Council. In this conference, we are instructed by the Mission President, his wife, and the Assistants to the President. We then take this information back to our specific zone and that week get our whole zone together to teach them what we were taught. This month, however, there is no Mission Leadership Council because it is Zone Conference, which happens every 3 months. Zone Conference is where the Mission President, his wife and the Assistants to the President travel to the specific zones and train us all themselves. The Zone Leaders and I also present a training. So, I will see Sister Jensen next month at Mission Leadership Council and I am SO pumped! For the actual conference and to see her again. :) We're also going on a mission tour next summer, so that will be awesome. :)
That's pretty much what went on this week! I was able to study a lot from the Book of Mormon, and it helped me to strengthen my testimony that the Book of Mormon is in reality another book of scripture given to us today from a loving God to again restore the fulness of the gospel to the earth. I also studied Chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel this morning, which is about the Book of Mormon, and that also helped me to understand it more. I love the Book of Mormon and know it is of God!
I love you all and am so grateful for your help and prayers! The work is working!
sister leslie.
Dinner at the Kler's home

Sister Woodbury and I feeling a tad stressed about moving back in...

My new shoes with my sweet tan line!!

Me and my most favorite Lehi Roller Mills muffins!