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: 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 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!