Monday, January 26, 2015

where everything ACTUALLY comes from...

This is Sister Gray's last week! She goes up to Billings on Friday and flies out on Saturday. I believe that I will just go with the other Lovell sisters once she leaves and stay with them until transfers next Wednesday. 

I am trying to decide what President is going to do for my last transfer. I figured he would just put me with the other Lovell sisters, but he also made some weird changes with those sisters, so we shall see.

Actually, because we are teaching his foreign exchange student, we are at the stake president's home quite often. And, he is working on adjusting housing for the other Lovell sisters as well. But it's hard to adjust housing when you aren't sure what's going to happen for transfers... Anyways, ultimately I am trying to get early transfer news from our stake president since he is trying to get news so he can figure out housing haha

So Sister Gray & I aren't the only ones sick in Lovell - all of our appointments Friday and Saturday cancelled, including one of our dinners. But we were okay with that because even Lovell is hip enough to have a food truck. 

Try to find Deaver, WY. Um yeah, population of about 5 people. But they have this Chinese food truck called Jen's Little China, and it comes into Lovell on Saturdays. Since we didn't have a dinner, we decided to hit it up. I'll send the picture along. It was pretty good, and also had no MSG - even better. Still the noodles were a little saltier than I would like, but the beef & broccoli was way good. Diana & Greg would probably like it, but then again, I don't think they will ever find themselves in Deaver, WY, let alone Lovell.

                                                          Checking out the Chinese food truck in Lovell....

Anyways, Lovell DOES have good food. I have one more restaurant here to try, though.

In other news, both Sister Gray and I spoke in Lovell 1st ward yesterday. The 1st counselor figured that since both of us were going home so soon, that we should speak in sacrament. He wanted us to focus on some of our missionary stories. So I shared about the power of God, and how I had seen that power in the conversion of the old man in Butte and the family in Billings. Maybe I'll just give the same talk when I get home since someone isn't giving me a topic ;)

One thing I learned this week is to chillax. Being uptight & a perfectionist runs in the family, and I would say that of us 3 kids, I definitely have it the worst. There's a difference between working hard and being irrational about it. 

It reminds me of when I joked with Prof. Anderson and told him that his tests always gave me splitting headaches, and he retorted that if I didn't insist on getting over 100 on all of his tests that I wouldn't be getting the headaches.

What made me think about this was witnessing several conversations in which some people were way too distraught over certain things. 

Anyways, there is a healthy balance between hard work and reality, and to use mom's favorite phrase, some things aren't worth "getting your undies all in a bunch". 

So for my senior year at USU, I still have goals for getting my 4.0, but I'm not going to shoot for the nonexistent 4.1. 

And also for my mission, you can't try any harder than your best. And let's be real, it's NEVER about what you do. It's about what you let the LORD do through you. Anything good that ever comes is through Him. 

After giving my talk on Sunday, many people commented that "you did such a good job on your talk". Honestly, that made me feel a little uncomfortable. Because if they got anything out of what I said, it was NOT me, it was the Spirit prompting my words and touching their hearts.

Not to jump around, but I also have always attributed my academic success as coming from Heavenly Father as well. I work and study hard, but I always rely on Him to help me learn, understand, and remember the material. And I always pray for that help. 

This reminds me of King Benjamin, because he always attributed everything back to Heavenly Father. 

"And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you" (Mosiah 2:25)

And honestly, all of Mosiah 2 is fantastic, King Benjamin is a great example of humility. Read it. Love it. Apply it.

Welp, that's about it. I'm going to be in limbo next time I write, which is so my favorite thing. NOT. I still laugh that, when I complained about being in limbo my freshman year @ USU, all of us made the comment that I shouldn't serve a mission because that is perpetually limbo.. But I wouldn't trade it for anything :)

Sista G

Monday, January 19, 2015

slow and steady wins the race??

Things this week have been slow.

Didn't help that I got sick. Not bad, but that may be because I made sure to sleep and eat well.
That is something I have definitely learned on my mission - if you take care of yourself, you get better much faster and frequently your illness doesn't get as bad, either.

I remember my sophomore year going to classes and having to sleeping in the library because I was so sick. And then I passed out on the shuttle back to the apartment, concluding with tossing my cookies. Yeah, I should have stayed home that day.

But I now have learned the truth of - 
"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order" (Mosiah 3:27)

You can't serve the Lord with all your "heart, might, mind and strength" when all you can think about is how much you feel like crap. Anyways.

We finally decided that the family hosting the other Japanese exchange student wasn't going to ask her if she wanted lessons. So we did it ourselves. We got a "yes, yes, please!" answer from her. So this week, we should be teaching her the first lesson. C'mon members, it wasn't that hard to ask her.

We might need to do the same thing with that other girl that I know I keep mentioning...

Sister Gray is very excited to go home. 
Perhaps a little too excited.
I'm learning what I don't want to be like for my last transfer..

Sorry this is short, but they time us here (lame) and I'm running out of time and still have to write my president letter.

Have a great week!

Sista G

Monday, January 12, 2015

this is the way...

...... I may or may not be wearing a gray & scarlet outfit completed by the buckeye necklace you sent me last year...... I promise it looks dignified! I can't tell you how many members have invited us to watch the game with them, and we have to politely explain that we can't, no matter how many non-members they will have over.... but I extended a invitation for them to text us with the final results of the game! haha

Alright, moving story.
So the ancient lady that we were with was interesting. She would eat our food, take out our laundry, and refuse to turn on the heat upstairs. Things got better, however, when the mission office sent the sisters a space heater and plastic to cover the windows (the house was really old). By the time I arrived, the sisters already had the space heater, so I never experienced the extreme cold. But before I arrived, the sisters would wake up to their room being 38 degrees.

Anyways, our stake president lives in our ward and we are also teaching his Japanese foreign exchange student. When we were over for New Year's, he asked us to tell him how our living situation was. Sister Gray proceeded to tell him the above story. Now our stake president has about the same build as dad, except he is taller. And he is also know for always freezing. So he informed us that we would be moving within a week and also proceeded to tell us that next time there were problems, he needed to be informed.

Sister Gray and I did not particularly want to move because (A) she is going home soon, (B) Lovell is going to have a companionship removed soon because so many missionaries are going home, and (C) moving always disrupts the missionary work because then you aren't just moving your personal stuff, but you are then moving all the food and supplies, and in this case, 10 YEARS worth of missionary crap that has built up.

But on this Tuesday, we got a phone call from the stake president around 12 that we had a new place and that we WERE MOVING that night. So we moved all of the things that we needed so we would stay at the new place that night, and then we took time throughout the week to sort out the rest of the missionary crap.

Did I mention before that we found flipcharts at this place?

Anyways. Took forever. But we were completely done with the move by Friday, I think it was. The things missionaries leave behind... I'm trying to decide which move was worse - this one or the one from the summer in Billings.

We do, however, love our new digs. The lady that we live with is so incredibly spunky and kind. Some people, when they heard who we were living with, expressed concern that there would now be three young adult girls living together unsupervised. She also made us muffins on our first night there for breakfast in the morning. So we like her! haha

Everything is going well with the people that we are teaching. There are a few that we want to be teaching, but the members that are supposed to be inviting them are moving slower than molasses. So we are going to focus on following up. Because there is a 15 year old that wants to be baptized and we definitely could be teaching the other Japanese foreign exchange student. 

We had a really powerful lesson though with the current Japanese student that we teach. We were going over the gospel of Jesus Christ, and at the end, we testified powerfully of 2 Nephi 31:21 where it says, 

"And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God"

Jesus Christ opens up the possibility of returning to live with God, and the gospel, faith-repentance-baptism-HolyGhost-enduring, is the only way to achieve that possibility. Living & learning the gospel IS the purpose to life, the most important thing that we could be doing. And we must never lose focus of that.

Have a fantastic week :) 

Sista G

Monday, January 5, 2015


First. The youth theme is awesome. We crash Young Women's on every fast Sunday, and they talked about knowing Heavenly Father and then introduced the D&C 4 and the #embark theme. Honestly, if anyone wants to know Heavenly Father & Christ better, serving a mission is one of the best things you can do. I can't recommend anything better.

Awesome things happened this week(:

So there are two Japanese foreign exchange students here in Lovell. (Can you imagine having your experience of America in the tiny and isolated of Wyoming? Anyways!) One of them is staying with our stake president's family. We spent Christmas Eve and New Years Eve (& day) with their family, and got to know their exchange student better. Before we showed up for New Years breakfast, the stake president called us and asked us to teach the first lesson after breakfast. So we did! Went really well, despite the language barrier. We're going back tonight to teach the second lesson.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of the program, she cannot get baptized. But this is her first real exposure to Christianity and the church, and she loves it. She prays and knows that what she is learning is true. We figure we have this opportunity to help her understand and build her testimony so that when she does leave back for Japan, all she will have to do is find some missionaries. :)

Other good news! In Billings, I taught a less-active lady whose son has been living in Lovell with his dad's family. (The lady & his dad are divorced) When I got my transfer news, I promised her that I would find her son and his family. 

Well, I did both! They are in our ward. The dad & grandfather are less-active, and we have been working with the grandfather. He has had a hard life & has been separated from the gospel for quite some time and so has not felt comfortable praying, etc.. We had an amazing lesson with him this week - the spirit was so strong, and he got very emotional. We had his nephew come because he tends to trust family more than the ward. Anyways in the end of the lesson, he finally prayed :) He knows this is what he needs, and we testified that he can make those steps. Yay for progress!

Last news. I found my favorite old person. Every area has its classic awesome old person. In Butte, it was Betty. I love, love Betty. My favorite old person here in Lovell is Panzy. She is just a riot!

The first time we showed up was right before Christmas. We were trying someone else, but apparently that person had moved. But we figured we might as well talk to this lady while we were there. When we left that time, we were pretty sure that she was completely senile, but we figure we would try one more time.

We discovered that she probably is senile, but not as bad as we thought! She definitely enjoys company, though. When we showed her "New Year: Look not behind thee" (Mormon message), she told us that what stood out to her is that men shouldn't be chasing women, they should be going to church! haha So yes, definitely some senility. But the rest of our conversations with her were actually pretty intelligent, and she said she would take the lessons. We will continue to gauge how much she understands, but for right now, she is just plain hilarious. Very animated. Hard to describe in words. But definitely she's my favorite old person here.

Other news, there is a 15 year old that has been coming to church with her friend, and she has been wanting to get baptized so she can go on all of the temple trips. Her member friend finally asked her to take the discussions, and she said yes! And so hopefully this week we can start teaching her. Hopefully, hopefully. It should really just come down to finding a time that works for everyone. So I will keep you updated on that.

Love you all so very much!
Sista G