Heaven on earth

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week 62 03/28/2011

Subject: happy monday!

Hello hello everyone!! Im SO excited for travy!! Brazil…that is awesome!! Theres so many people going to brazil right now, that I hear of atleast. You guys sick of the rain yet? I cant believe its been raining that much. Crazy!

Well this week was full of good stuff. Sister Whitaker and I are workin hard to find people to teach. Our members are awesome and trying to find people to invite to church and to be taught by us. We’ve been starting to work with the members a lot more like we’ve been wanting. Brother onken (matt) in our branch has a brother (mark) that is in the Dubuque ward but he works here in Maquoketa. So last Tuesday we were supposed to meet mark at his work because he wants to introduce us to some people that work for him. So as we were leaving our apartment to go meet him i accidently left the car and apartment keys in our apartment and we got locked out. So we spent the next 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get in. I tried putting a ladder on top of the dumpster to get to our window, the window was still to high. I was about to break the door down but then we called our branch mission leader, mitch and he came and broke in for us. So we were a little late for lunch but we made it eventually. The onkens are just awesome! They feed us all the time and they are soo good at sharing the gospel with their friends and people they work with. Well we’ve been meeting with tosha and last Wednesday we were over at her house and we were talking with her about the atonement a lot which was really good and when we were getting ready to leave her sister got there and starting asking us a lot of questions so we ended up teaching her a short version of the restoration and she said she really wants to come to church with us on Sunday. She’s awesome! And we’re gonna be meeting with her and tosha both later tonight. Its gonna be awesome!! We had interviews with president and sister jergensen on Friday. I always love those! President said im definitely staying here in Maquoketa with sister Whitaker next transfer. That’ll make it 9 months in Maquoketa by the end and then I’ll get transferred somewhere else for my last 6 weeks. Weird! We got to go to iowa city Friday night and spent the day there on Saturday and did exchanges with the sisters there. One of the boys that I taught while I was there was finally getting baptized on Saturday so I got to be there for it! I was so excited and he and his family had no idea that I was going to be there but they really wanted me to be so I surprised them! Oh my gosh I was soo happy! Its just the best feeling ever to be there at someones baptism and seeing them make those steps and changes! And to see how happy it makes them!! The spirit was strong as always at someones baptism! Its awesome!! That was about it for our week though. Where did it go…I have no idea. I am soo excited for conference this weekend though! Lets see what they’ve got to say this time! I hope you all enjoy it and stay awake! Lol. I love you all! Have an awesome week!!! Travy im so proud of you!! And presty im so excited for you too!!

Till next time, (next Wednesday)

Sister C

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 61 03/21/2011

spring has sprung!!

Hello family!!!!how is everyone today? super I hope! Spring has sprung..it has here at least. I hear you guys might float away out there. The weather has been sooo nice out here though! Oh my gosh, it completely changes everything when the snow is gone…I love it!!

Other than awesome weather it hasn’t been a very eventful week for us. We walked around town a lot, enjoyed said awesome weather and talked to a lot of people. Its funny how everyone comes out of hibernation once the sun is actually out and it gets above 30 degrees. Lol. So we actually got to talk to a lot of people by just walking around town and doing our usual service. I seriously love working at the food pantry so much. The people that help out there are so fun and we talk about the church all the time, they ask lots of questions…its great. Now we just need to get them to let us teach them but that will come eventually. I love this area! Its been so hard but I love it at the same time. We’ve been having some of the members asking us to come and meet some of their friends and people that they work with a lot more so that awesome and im super excited about it. There’s just amazing people here. On Wednesday night we went to a little presentation I guess you could call it that the community of Christ (or the re-organized church) had about the book of mormon. I thought it would be pretty interesting to go to, I was kinda nervous when we were walkin in at first. It was pretty interesting, theres definitely things that are different and that have been changed but we’re going to be going back this Wednesday. But the people there were soo nice and welcoming! Other than that we just had a whole week of trying to find people to teach. I feel bad, Sister Whitaker is brand new out here and we haven’t really had very many opportunities to teach investigators yet but that will change pretty soon if she and I have anything to do with it. J and god cuz he’s the one in charge. Yesterday we got the chance to go to the Onkens for dinner with their family and some of the family is less active and so we got to get to know them a bit which was really nice so hopefully they will let us meet with them sometime. I told Brother Onken that I need to had dad reimburse them cuz they feed me so much its like I live there same goes for the Cheneys. Lol. They’re amazing! Well, I’ll just leave with this; like I said this has been a pretty hard area for me and Ive been here for 7 months now and feel like I haven’t done whatever it is that im supposed to do here, not good enough but what else is new for me to feel that way. But ive also been reading and studying a lot and I know that that is what satan wants me to feel like. He got the 3 D’s that he uses as his biggest tools: distract, discourage and disqualify. Satan knows our weaknesses and if he can get us to do any of those he’s getting what he wants and it works sometimes. But Heavenly Father also knows our weaknesses and is ALWAYS there to help us no matter what to turn those weaknesses into strengths. (ether 12:27) and when I was reading I found a scripture that I liked, 2 nephi 7:8. And I wrote “bring it on satan” next to it in my scriptures! He’s always going to keep trying to ruin and bring us down but we can't let him. Helaman 5:12! we have to remember like it says in the song "come come ye saints" that "God will NEVER us forsake!! he'll never leave us hangin by ourselves. I love you all so much! You’re always in my prayers! Have an awesome week!!

Till next time

Sister C

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 60 03/14/2011

Subject: TGIM (thank goodness it monday)

Hello hello everyone! Sounds like you’re gonna have a pretty busy week! Have fun in Arizona this week dad! Should be awesome!! Welcome chloe wooden!!! That’s exciting!!! What else is goin on this week!? Everyones talkin about this big tsunami…I hope you all don’t get blown away! Good thing im in iowa! Lol.

I don’t even know where this last week went! I feel like every week goes by faster than the week before. I think it’s a mixture of the weather starting to get nicer and sister Whitaker and I trying to keep ourselves busier. So last Monday on pday we went to this exotic pet store in town that everyones been tellin us about and they have the most random animals and reptiles in there. Skunks, sugar gliders (they’re like flying squirrels), giant snakes and lizards and stuff. So we were looking at this giant lizard and there was a mouse in the cage and it was walking straight to it death towards the sleeping lizard and then it ate it. But then the owner told us to come watch this other lizard cuz he was more exciting to wathc than that one. So he went and got a mouse and dropped in in this things cage and cornered it and apparently these lizards don’t have teeth so they just inhale their food. So he grabbed this mouse and then climbed into his water bowl and just thrashed it around until he drowned it and then ate it. Sister Whitaker was kinda freakin out through the whole thing, she gets grossed out real easy. And I just couldn’t look away. It was sad but you just cant look away for some reason. Circle of life right. Lol that was our adventure for the week. Haha

Anyways…Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we spent going around and trying to meet with previous investigators and trying to find new ones. Thursday we had zone conference which was awesome!! I learned so much! Honestly Maquoketa has been a really hard area and ive been here for 6 months now and when it comes to teaching and helping them work towards baptism we haven’t had very much success. I want so badly to be able to teach everyone all the time in this area. There are amazing people here and I know like half of the town (im probably exaggerating but its not a very big town so who knows. Lol). I love the people here. They are soo nice and love talking to us but they’re not necessarily interested in learning about the gospel which makes it really hard but I left zone conference knowing that our area is going to change! Hopefully sooner than later. Its like eating an elephant….one bite at a time! That’s how our assistants explained it to us and its true. We’re not going to completely change everything about our area or the people in it overnight but a little at a time it will change if we make those little steps 1st and then just keep on stepping . We have to have faith, a positive attitude and follow the spirit in order to make things change around here. I absolutely love the members in our branch! They’re awesome! Brother Onken had one of his friends from work come to church yesterday and we’re hopefully going to meet with him at the Onkens house sometime soon to teach him. He’s really confused about religion in general and said he has lots of questions. The onkens son jake just got home from his mission on Thursday and spoke in church yesterday and talked about how we can be angels in other people lives! It was an awesome talk! He had a lot of really cool experiences that he shared about people that he had met and they ended up getting baptized because he followed the spirit and was in the right place at the right time because god led him there for that person. During zone conference president jergensen promised us that if we started working with the members more then we would have more success in our areas and that is exactly what we’re going to be doing a lot more of! It’s a promise from someone that was called by god and has the authority to preside over our mission that means its gonna happen! And I cant wait!! I love being a missionary so much! As much as I love you all and miss you theres nowhere else id rather be right now than here! Jesus is the Christ! He lives! And this is his work and I have the opportunity to be a part of it full time for a year and a half and then I get to go home and be a member missionary for the rest of my life…awesome!!!! I love you all! Have an awesome week!

Ames-good luck at your meet! To much rock for one hand baby!!

Hay-same goes for you with softball and volleyball this week!!

Till next time

Sister C

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Week 59 03/07/2011

Happy Monday everyone!! It’s a beautiful day today with somewhat cloudy skies and a chance of snow later on in the day but that’s alrightcuz I love Iowa!!! That makes me sound like a weather forecaster but that’s what I was goin for I guess, I'm just in a super good mood today! Thank you soo much for my bday package that I got from steph!

This last week was pretty good. Sister Whitaker and I have been trying to meet with a lot of people that have been previously taught in this area by other missionaries trying to meet with people that have told us to come back another time after tracting into them. We’ve also been trying to do a lot of visits with the members and trying to get them more involved in missionary work and letting them know how important they are when it comes to finding people to teach. Its so much easier for someone to be taught when they already have friends that go to the church. It makes it alittle more comfortable for them instead of having to meet ALL new people. We had a pretty good lesson with tosha on Tuesday and right now shes been trying to get work off on Sundays so she can come to church but she said that every time she asks her boss just laughs at her. We haven’t seen john in about 2 weeks. Both ours and johns schedule keep conflicting the last 2 weeks. This last Wednesday sister jergensen came out and spent part of the day with us. We went to dinner with her and our old investigator ted. Ted has been sick a lot lately and goin to the doctors and stuff and on Wednesday he said that he got the results back from some of the test and said that he has colon cancer. I never know what to do in those situations so I just sat there and listened to him while he talked for about 45 minutes. I think he’s pretty much made up his mind that he’s gonna die but maybe he’ll be more open to actually learning about the gospel now who knows. So we had our district meeting the next day in davenport while president and sister jergensen were still in town. It was a very long day! But it was an awesome district meeting! I love just being around president and sister jergensen! They are two of the most amazing people I've ever met! Friday we got to work at the food pantry like always but we actually got to help in with the part where they actually hand out the food. We usually help serve hot chocolate in the kitchen while they wait. It was really cool cuz a lot of the workers were asking us questions about or church and what we do. We’ve had a lot of people asking us about the basketball player from byu and I'm like I have no idea whats going on I don’t watch tv! Lol. Well yesterday we had stake conference that was actually broadcasted from Salt Lake and we had President Eyring, Elder Cook and Mary N. Cook speak which was really cool. The presidency and the apostles keep talking about food storage and being out of debt over and over. It is soo important to follow their counsel. It was a really cool stake conference. This week we are “banned” from tracting. Our whole mission is not allowed to go tracting this week so that we will focus on finding people to teach through other ways. Hallelujah! Lol. It’ll be a good week! Well I LOVE LOVE LOVE you ALL!!! And I hope you have an awesome week! Be good! Good luck with everything you do! Thank you for everything!! You’re in my prayers! mom tell everyone in the ward that i love them all and thank you for all the letters I've gotten from all of them and they're awesome!!! especially my primary kids! sanks!

Till next time

Sister C