Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wow this Christmas has been amazing!!!

So much has happened I don't know where to start...

We have had an amazing Christmas!!! One of the most spiritual I have ever had! We were able to do a lot of service and visit a lot of our members this week! With plenty of Christmas caroling with our whole district,
and sharing the spirit of Christ!! We met some great people while out singing and they were really appreciative! Yay! I love Christmas!
This week we did a lot of service and helping those around us! We helped one of our members pick his tree for him and get all the fruit! Oranges and grapefruit are so huge here!! It was fun, and delicious!

We had to cancel district meeting this week, because our district leader ended up in the hospital! He's out now and is doing great, but we did pay him a visit and sung even more Christmas songs! #carolingfordays

The members here are amazing and have taken us in like their own kids! We had dinners with members on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Not to forget, all the missionaries in the zone got to spend Christmas
breakfast with President Craig and his wife!!! It was so much fun! We had a great breakfast  and then sung carols and had a prayer. It felt like one big family reunion!


Skyping with our families was amazing!! It's so weird to me that that's my last time skyping... But it was great to see all my family!! Today it has been 90 degrees!! It's been so hot, and the Christmas feel is quickly leaving! And everyone is ready for the New Years! One of my favorite Mormon messages is "New Years, Look not behind Thee" go and watch it! And actually make real new year goals, Not just dreams! I have learned over and over again that through Christ we really can start over and become someone new each day! I am so excited for this new year and for everything it will bring!!

I love you all! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 😃👏🎉🎈🎉
(This is what my dad does with my cat over Skype...)
 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas! My new Greenie...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Okay, we are still locating where we will by skyping still, but that time frame should work for us! Probably 3:00 will be best for us, so 1:00 your time! 

And yes I am staying in Mandarin 1st Ward. I will probably end my mission here with Sister Handy. I had typed up my email about this past week, but it got deleted.. I don't have the time or energy to type everything back up, but I am doing very well! Elder Dean is training as well, so we were both at the trainees meeting together! I'll send you a picture. And yes I got your Christmas package! And no, I am a very good girl and I haven't opened it yet! ;) I am glad to hear I have more silly string! Because I am almost out! :) 

I love you so much and I can't wait to talk to y'all this Friday!!! 
Here is Elder Dean and I with and our new greenies!! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I am having a girl!

Last Monday we had a zone p-day and got together with our whole zone to play sports, and to practice for our Christmas skit! We are doing our performance of "Feliz Navidad" we are having some missionaries sing In front of the curtain, and for the chorus the curtain will open and the whole zone will be in the background dancing! It should be pretty fun! Haha

Tuesday we had district meeting, and afterwards went to lunch with all the other sisters. Also it is so weird to be the only "old" missionary. Over half of all the missionaries in the mission has been out less than 6 months! We have a very young mission right now and there are not too many "seniors"


Thursday was the Christmas party! Wow! It was so so much fun! The whole mission gets together and we have skits, dinner, a picture slideshow, and a Christmas devotional! So much fun! I got to see all my old companions! And all my mission friends! Also, I want to thank all of my family back at home who all wrote me!!! It was a wonderful gift to hear from all of you! The mission Christmas party is by far my favorite day! The spirit as a missionary intensifies during Christmas! The songs at the devotional were so pretty and half the room was in tears!


It's sad to me to see the true meaning of Christmas not matter to so many people. We met a couple the other day and asked them how they keep Christ in Christmas. They stared at each other for a minute and said
they have no clue. I love being able to share with others the gift of Christ! When we fully understand what Christ did for us and the sacrifice he made for every single one of us. We are able to recognize
that he truly gave the best gift we could ever receive! Without him there would be no healing, no forgiveness, no peace, no hope, no second chances. But because of Christ all of those things are available to us! He showed us and allowed for us to know the way to have pure happiness! And that's something to be excited about! The church has put out 2 Christmas clips! A Savior is Born, and Why We Need a Savior! They both are amazing go watch them!!!

I would say that the Christmas party was the highlight of my week, but it's not. So I forgot to warn all of you last week, but this week is transfers! Because of the holidays this transfer was only 5 weeks instead of 6. So yesterday Sister Barton and I was helping doing some service for a member, when we get a phone call. And it's President Craig! We both got super nervous and ran into the other room to answer. President Craig proceeded to tell me he would like me to train a new missionary this transfer!!!  Ahhhh!!!!!! I'm going to be a
trainer!!!! I am so excited!!! I have been praying that I could finish out my mission strong till the end, whatever that meant for me, and I feel so blessed that God has provided me this chance to train! I am
excited and very nervous! I am so sad to see Sister Barton leave! Her and I have had so much fun in these short 5 weeks! But I know this is the lords path for both of us and we both are excited and ready for it!!

We have been truly spoiled this week! Some members gave us gifts and even a set of PJ's! My favorite!!


also only in Florida is there ice cream trucks driving around in December! -also puppies!







-

Monday, December 7, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas!

This week We helped decorate a Christmas tree for the Hunts! We helped them get their decorations from the attic, and started setting up the tree. Then brother Hunt stares at us with a look of disapproval. We
ask him what's wrong and he then explains that it would be contrary to the Christmas spirit if we didn't wear Santa hats while decorating! Haha so here is a picture of us with our hats!
Tuesday night, our Ward mission leader arranged for us to go on a blitz. So me and my companion would split off and do some member work with a lady from the Ward. I headed out with sister Beevers to do some
less active work. Our Ward mission leader thinks he is hilarious, and gave us all the people who lived in gated communities! We had quite the struggle trying to get into these complexes, without looking like stalkers. But we managed to get inside ever community and invite the less active members to our Ward Christmas party! Yay!



Wednesday was zone meeting! Not going to lie, it was weird attending a zone meeting that I didn't have to give a training for! I actually got to sit in the crowd and soak it all in! It was wonderful! Our leaders are amazing and are powerful teachers! After the meeting we went to lunch with all the sisters and we tried to take a picture of all of us (let's not judge my selfie skills to harshly) after lunch We had trade offs with our sister training leaders. I got to be with Sister! We worked in her area in Hendricks for the day! It's always fun to see new areas! I have been missing being a sister training leaders, and being able to be with all the sisters in their areas. But it sure is nice to only have to focus on one area too! On our trade off we helped
someone else decorate their tree! I have been able to really practice my decorating skills this Christmas!

On Friday we helped the Ward prepare for their Christmas party! They went all out for the decorations! It took a lot of work, but it was looking like Christmas by the time we were done! The Ward Christmas
party was amazing! One of our inactive members we've been working with came! We were so excited and she really enjoyed herself! Each organization did a lip sync! They were so funny! Also, 5 minutes before it started our relief society president told us that we are to join them in the lip sync! So yeah, let's just say no one knew what to do. Haha but it was fun!

Also this week for lunch, we decided to go to Clarks Fishcamp. It's quite the place. The outside it decorated inch to inch with fish and statues of animals! And the inside is even worse! There is animals everywhere, even on the menu! You could basically order anything. Sister Barton ordered Quail. Sadly I was not as brave as she was, but I did have Gator Ribs! And those were good! Also! I finally saw my first gator in person!

This week we have been doing a lot of finding and really cleaning out our area book! We have potentials that were last seen 3 years ago! So we are organizing it, contacting all these investigators, and finding those who have real intent to learn the gospel! It's been a long process and we haven't been able to see a lot of fruit from it yet, but we definitely are getting there! Jacksonville is a big place and the lord is preparing a lot of people here! It's just hard trying to find them all! ;)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

 First of all I want to thank my family and friends for all the Thanksgiving wishes and pictures! I loved them all so much!!

This THANKSGIVING has been amazing! Not going to lie, it has been hard to miss home, because everyone here is so welcoming!




 Before thanksgiving, we did some service for Sister Bethea. Her family just had a funeral, and she needed some help with the funeral flowers, so we put on our florist hats and helped her split it up into small vases that she could give out, she even gave one to us!! So sweet!!!

Then on Thursday, we did some service for a member, he is less active and lives alone, so for service he leaves the house, and we go in and clean it! Haha after that, we decided to go to a nursing home and
visit the people there! We met some great ladies, they had Alzheimers and randomly asked us "what did you do with all that money" we explained that we didn't receive any money? She then asked us "well, then what happened to it!" It was a lot of fun and they loved our visit. One of the workers was with us and we had an opportunity to tell her more about our church and missionary work! Yay for always keeping your line in the water!!!


Then thanksgiving! We had dinner with a Filipino family! And in answer to your question, yes I had Filipino food for thanksgiving! (Okay okay, they had American food as well, but still!) it was really good!
They invited lots of friends and families and 2 other sets of missionaries! And let me tell ya, Filipinos know how to party!



After dinner, we headed to some recent converts, the Matzkes. They had us help them set up their Christmas trees and their Christmas lights! Brother Matzke had us all on the floor testing out all the Christmas
lights, and when a light bulb was out, we played "Doctor" and made sure all the lights were bright and alive! Sadly, 2 strands didn't make it, and were needed for surgery. But after some wire cutters, and
careful masking tape skills, all was well!! It was a great thanksgiving!!!

We have been in the finding phases of missionary work! We are rebuilding our teaching pool and finding the elect! Which means a lot of knocking! In our district meeting we focused a lot about contacting, and using "power statements" which means we find a powerful conversation starter to help us go right into teaching!
Sister Barton and I have been using them a lot! Every door we try to use a new statement, and extend a new commitment! It's been great and we are starting to find people who are interested! Yay! This is going
to be a great month!








 Here is a balloon we found on the street! (While we were walking we saw a balloon tied to a weight drifting in the middle of the road! So naturally us 20 year olds ran into the street and saved this poor abandoned balloon! (Don't worry mom and dad, we looked both ways before entering the street!) 🎈🎈

Monday, November 23, 2015

Finding, Finding, Finding!

Hello everyone I love!

This week went by so fast I'm trying to remember what happened!  On Wednesday we were asked to help out with a funeral! Archie (a member here) passed away this week, and his wife asked us to sing at the funeral! (Even with my lack of a singing voice!) but Sister Barton is an amazing singer so we had some good practice and the song turned out wonderful! Archie's son, actually straight up told us that he is not a member, and that he has been wanting to learn more about the church! We were a little shocked at how straight forward he was! But we are so excited to teach him more! Also, on that same day we were asked to help out at a baby shower for a less active member. So we had lots of service of cleaning and laying out food, etc. but it's been great for me to meet all the members in Mandarin!

Thursday! We had zone conference! It was, as always AMAZING!!! It was all about being a consecrated missionary. In preparation we all read "becoming a consecrated missionary" and had great discussions about
how our fear, and our pride get in the way of us following gods will for us! I realized that this is my second to last zone conference! :( I only have one more! Oh the struggles of getting old! In conjunction with the training, our district has set some goals for us all to get out there and talk to everyone we can! As a district we are going to talk to 1300 people this week! It's been so much fun! We try not to let anyone walk by us, without us telling them who we are, and what we're about!

Anyway, I want to apologize for not having pictures this week. I'll try to do better and have some for y'all next week! I love you all and hope you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
🍗🍖🍞🍴🍽🍰🍞🍠🍔🍖🍗

Monday, November 16, 2015

Welcome to Mandarin!


Hello hello hello everyone!
Sandra and Rusty from Lake Butler

This week has been amazing and full of changes! I was able to say goodbye to lots of people that I loved from Lake Butler! And able to meet lots of the new people here in Mandarin! There definitely is a lot of pro and cons to serving in the city! So many people to talk to and share the gospel with! But, so much traffic! Haha and "no soliciting" signs, Oh well, it's been a great week though!

 Yummy Glitter Apples!

 The Ward mission leader here is awesome, and so on top of everything! My companion Sister Barton is amazing! She's from Syracuse Utah! And has been on her mission for about 4 months now! We have had so much fun in just these few days! I have a feeling my time in Mandarin will be very busy! Bring it on!


Pop up Temple book! What!
My new companion Sister Barton

I don't have a lot to report this week.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Words can even describe this week.

So first off, I apologize for not warning y'all bout transfer week!  It's this week so my pday is today! That being said... I'm being transferred!!!!! :( :( :( I've been in Lake Butler for 6 months now! I knew my time would be coming up soon, especially as a Sister Training Leader. The average time is usually 4 months! So I was really lucky to stay as long as I did!

So, that being said, I am being transferred to Mandrain 1st Ward in Jacksonville! Yikes! Country to the city. It's going to be quite the shock for me! I love the country so much and I'm going to miss all the dirt roads! But I am excited to go to the city! I'll be right in the heart of the mission! So well see how it is! I spent all morning packing so now I'm all set! This was a perfect last week in Lake Butler though, Priscilla's baptism was by far the best day ever! Here it is!



Priscilla's baptism!!!!

Wow what a wonderful week it has been! I am so grateful I got to meet and to teach Priscilla! We had her baptism interview this week, she was so nervous for it but she did so good! On Saturday was her baptism! Okay. Everyone. This was thee most spiritual and special baptism I have ever seen! Priscilla arrived at the church and we gave her her baptismal gown and had her get dressed. We checked back up on her and she was in tears! We gave her a hug and she explained to us that after she got dressed in white, she said a prayer. And while she prayed she felt very strongly that God loves her and that he is so proud of her! The spirit was so strong and we just cried with her! The baptism was amazing! And after she came out of the water she told us how free and happy she felt! We met back together for the next baptism talk. It was so sweet! And Priscilla's was still crying! (Which means I was still crying!) then our relief society president, Sister Smith, welcomed her to relief society. Sister Smith didn't get a chance to meet with Priscilla much, but she has meet her briefly at church. When we introduced Priscilla, she said the sweetest things about her! I
don't think there was a dry eye in the room! The next day at church, Priscilla's  blessing was so powerful!  She had some very special things promised to her! At church it then hit me that, this was probably my last Sunday! After sacrament I talked to a few of the members about transfers, and they all were so sweet! I'm going to miss them so much! So of course I started crying again at church! Then in Sunday school everyone was so worried about  me cause my face was all red! Which just made me cry more, because these members are so funny and I'm going to miss them! It was a good day though!





 Here is me trying to pack. 



Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Sister Gibb and I
Sister Gagnon and I

Monday, October 26, 2015

Georgia on my mind?


So once again, I don't have a ton of time, so here is a quick update on my week!
Sister Knudsen --Sister Hudson

The Brunswick sisters and sister Craig!


On Tuesday we headed off to our trade off with the Brunswick sisters! I got to be with Sister Stoddard in Brunswick! We had so much fun! She is currently in training, and it was the first time being in the area by herself so she was really nervous! But! She did so good, and we didn't even get lost! The next morning on Wednesday we had District meeting! Turns out the Zone Leaders decided to attend that day as well! So Elder Calap had 2 additional guests at his meeting.... And then! To all of our surprise! President and Sister Craig showed up! All we needed was the assistants and we would have had a full house! We had a wonderful district meeting and we learned so much! Afterwards we decided to go to lunch with us 3 sets of sisters, and president and Sister Craig wanted to join us! We headed to a Mexican restaurant and all had a blast! I love President and Sister Craig so much! After lunch we had our second trade off with the other Brunswick sisters! Sister Hudson came with me to Lake Butler! We found a new investigator and then attended Book of Mormon class with our baptism date Priscilla! The members love her so much, and she loves them! We are so so excited for her to progress and be baptized!

The adventures of Sister Mann and I in providence!


After all the trade offs, sister Mann and I took a whole day to work in Providence! We strapped our bikes to our car and headed out to find new investigators! We biked and drove all over the place! We found
ourselves in some very ghetto areas, we even came across a trailer without walls and was being used as a dump! I'm going to miss the south! We had a great time though, and found 2 families we are going to start teaching! Yay! On Sunday Priscilla came to church again! Each time she comes she meets more and more members and loves them all so much more! She can hardly wait for her baptism on the 7th! She told us
she invited her family, and that her kids told her they would come and support her! Yay! Everything is falling into place! Lake Butler is amazing! We had yet another of the young women here prepare and leave for her mission! I have loved getting to know Brooke Starling and Madison Archer! They are great examples and are both in the MTC now! The lords work is progressing and it's amazing to be part of it! I love this gospel!!!!

This lady has 2 horses... Or dogs, their so big I can't tell...


Monday, October 19, 2015

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion!

This week was one good thing after another!
Tuesday! Lake City Zone Meeting! Best Zone Meeting I have ever had!!! My training to the zone was all about helping our investigators pray! It was amazing! That's something I personally wanted to work on with
those that we teach, and being able to give a training on it helped me so much! President and sister Craig decided they wanted to attend, I guess they thought I needed to be more nervous about my training! But!
It was amazing! The Lake City Zone is incredible! Everyone had so much enthusiasm and was excited for my training! After the meeting I had, yet again, another trade off with Sister Anderson! This has been our
4th trade off together! It has been so so much fun to be with each other again! We had a great time talking about our favorite things we learned on our missions! I love being a missionary!!!


On Wednesday we finished our trade off, and then! Sister Mann and I headed to Kingsland! We slept over with the Kingsland Sisters, and they were able to provide us with air mattresses! Woo! We had a good
time, and early Thursday morning we had.... Another Zone Meeting! So I got a second go at my training I gave for Lake City Zone for the Kingsland Zone! Much better the second time though! ;) after the
meeting we went to lunch with all of our Kingsland zone sisters! Both Zone Meetings were wonderful! It's also wonderful to be done! Haha

On Friday we had another trade off! But, this time it was with a different set of Sister Training Leaders! Sister Miller and Sister Bolos from Gainseville Zone! Sister Miller came to Lake Butler with me
and we had so much fun! She used to serve in Macclenny so it was like having her back in the zone again!!
Sister Miller
Sister Anderson




On Saturday we were able to meet with Priscilla again!  We read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and invited her to baptized on November 7th!  She was hesitant, and told us she would still think about it! I

was sad to hear that answer but we invited her to church tomorrow and to really think about it. She came to church on Sunday and brought her grandkids with her. She stayed all 3 hours, and today she seemed way
more comfortable with everything! The members here have been taking her right in under their wings so that's always helpful! A few hours have passed away since after church and... We get a phone call for Priscilla! She told us she has some good news and told us to go ahead and sign her up for baptism on November 7th!!! Wow!!!! Sister Mann and I did a little happy dance (during and after the phone call) hahah it was amazing we are so so excited for her! She is truly ready and she is making the best decision on her life!!!

I absolutely love being a missionary and seeing individuals change everyday! I am so grateful for this time that I have to be a Sister Training Leader and to get to know all of the sisters so well! I learn so much from every one of them and it's so incredible!

Hope everyone has a good week!!!