-goofin around at service
-SO MANY TOYS.
-can't handle this.
-mah girl Sista Brady!! ... and Sister Lamborn
-Amanda leaned over to me and said "you know I have to take a crazy
picture with you, right?" So of course here was no hesitation.
Monday, December 26, 2016
I swear this week has flown by. As the days go by, they get faster and faster. Can't stand it.
Here's the weekly update!
Monday: busy, productive pday.
Tuesday: went on exchanges with Sister Skousen (aka my former companion) in Wetherbee YSA (aka my former area)!!! It was a blast. We exchanged Monday night at FHE so I got to see a few familiar faces. #tendermercies We had a lot of fun and saw some miracles! We sorted toys at their service project which warmed my heart. Tons of people/organizations donated them to give out to less fortunate children. The buckets were overflowing with presents for kids. #LightTheWorld ya feel?
We taught a lesson to their investigator, Mark, and bore a lot of testimony.
Then we went to dinner with my homie Josh! It was my first time eating at Pei Wei. It was a'ight. Josh came with us afterward to teach a few lessons. Man, it was just so good to be back in Wetherbee, even if just for 24 hours. Here's a picture for your enjoyment:
I LOVE YSA. And it was tender to be with Sister Skousen. She's too good to me. Also, we danced in the morning, so that was grand. 🏼We got a call while we were together from a kid saying he wanted to learn the gospel. MIRACLES! (Spoiler alert: the sisters met with him later in the week, and now he's on date for baptism )
Wednesday: Zone Conference! It was laced with musical numbers that were all Christmas themed. We were given the opportunity to share our experiences of sharing the Christmas initiative (#LightTheWorld) and it turned into somewhat of a testimony meeting. Man. That was good stuff. I love being a missionary.
Then we had lunch. And Christmas candy my weakness. Also 🏼 I got to see my homie Elder Tracy!
We helped our Primary President detail her husband's truck for his birthday gift. Service at its finest. Her kid was singing Pokémon and I mentioned how I watched that with my brother when I was a kid. He says, "that's from the 1990s! That's oooolllddd" thanks kid. The
We had dinner with Elder and Sister Neff from the mission office! Ah I love them.
We taught a good little Nativity lesson to a less-active and her daughter and got them pumped about coming to church on Sunday. That was fun. We also taught Dennis and helped him do some family history work!
Thursday: My poor companion has been icky sicky for a few days and woke up feeling pretty bad, so I sent her back to sleep. We missed our usual service project, but she needed the rest. I was not about to let her be sick on Christmas!! While she slept, I cleaned up a bit, had my studies, and got ready for the day. Maybe I took a power nap too. Much needed.
When she got up, I made French toast, we had more studies and went to teach a less active family.
Then we went to the temple! We took Lilly and Dennis were just baptized a few weeks ago, and this was their first time going to the temple. What a beautiful thing to be a part of that experience. We also got a selfie with the best nativity in Orlando:
Friday: weekly planning and more weekly planning. We taught a family that just moved into town. It was a pass off lesson with the elders in the next town over and it was a little all over the place.. I loved it though. They're going to be fun to teach. They're all members except for the youngest son. The dad is a convert and has a pretty cool story. I love them already.
We had dinner with the Nielsons and Brother Nielson and I got to talk some Alabama football. Roll Tide Roll.
Saturday: What. A. Day. We did some service in the morning, then went out and WORKED! We heart attacked a member's door and in the process met a cool human named Luis. We're going to teach him the gospel. Then just for kicks and giggles, Sister O'Hara wanted to go visit a former investigator family that lived two floors up. They welcomed us right in! They treated us just like family and invited us to have lunch with them. They are from Venezuela and made this amazing soup stuff. I'm talking PRIME. I've been craving it all weekend. Then they fed us Panettone. My new Christmas tradition. We read the Book of Mormon with them in Spanish. That was super cool. I actually got to use a little bit of my Spanish skills with them, and they used their English skills with us! It was pretty cool. We sang Noche de Luz and Come Thou Fount (but not in Spanish). They loved it. I did too.
We had dinner after that with the Baerga family (so. much. food.) They had a bunch of nonmembers there, so we took the opportunity and bore our testimonies and taught from the scriptures. Only thing that was missing was a soap box to stand on.
We ran over to our Ward Mission Leader's home. The Pescaias had us over for s'mores. Outside. On Christmas Eve. Hahaha never in my life have I spent Christmas Eve outdoors!
We had a sleepover with the Wetherbee YSA sisters that night because the Neffs were taking me to Bunnell bright and early! We watched Mr. Kreuger's Christmas to be somewhat the festive. The sisters pulled their mattresses into the living room and we slept around the Christmas tree. Waiting for Santa, ya know?
Sunday: Merry Christmas!!! The Neffs took me up to Bunnell so I could go to Amanda's baptism! That was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. I am so grateful I got to be there.
It was like being home. We stayed for sacrament and that was just the best. I got hugs from lots of my Bunnell Family. Seriously just like coming come.
We went back to Orlando and picked up my companion, who had spent the morning with the Wetherbee sisters. We had lunch with the Neffs and I finally got to open my presents. Shout out to all my loved ones! Thanks for the Christmas love!
THEN I GOT TO SKYPE MY FAMILY! That was special. I love y'all. I can't believe the last time I Skype home was 7 months ago. And the next time I'll Skype home is just 5 months. Then I got home 3 months after that. AH! NO! Make it stop! I'm telling ya! Time is flying!
We went to the Baerga's again because they wanted to give us Christmas gifts. They are so kind. After that we had dessert with Sister Wise and her family and read the Nativity again.
Then Christmas was over.
And now I can breathe.
Thanks for all the love and support! I can feel your prayers, and they are much appreciated. I love y'all!
Monday, December 19, 2016
Oh wait, it's actually December..?
Oh yeah, I'm just in Florida.
It's literally 88 degrees.
Maybe just a little.
It's pretty hot.
Monday: very busy pday. I got to dance with my girl Sista Skousen so that was a highlight. We taught a lesson to a little family then went off to exchanges!
Tuesday: my first exchange as an STL. I went to Buena Ventura East with Hermana Bond. Yep. I did Spanish work for the day. No pressure... I actually learned a little bit of español. Well really I just perfected some of it. It was so cool because I actually understood most of what people were saying #thegiftoftongues
We did a lot of work and saw some milagros. Muy bueno.
Hermana Bond is just such a good missionary. I wanna be like her when I grow up.
Wednesday: oh my heck... what a day this was. Sister O'Hara and I do service at this cute little thrift shop every Wednesday. We rotate clothes and fold ones that get messy. We basically spend all of our time on the baby clothes because the elders come in before us and do all the other stuff. Oh yes, let's make the baby hungry sister missionaries fold 30 shelves of infant apparel. That's a great idea. Y'all. There was a baby girl onesie with a watermelon on the bum. Oh my heck. And lots of tutus. So many tutus. Ahh. I can't. 🏻
This was the day the town of St Cloud decided to back up the plumbing, so we spent some time mopping up the bathroom... what a crappy day. We had to travel like 5 miles to find a bathroom that wasn't out of order! Oh the memories...
At least I scored this at the Thrift Shop:
We finally made it back to Lake Nona and visited our friend Dennis! He just got baptized a couple of weeks ago. He's amazing.
We had dinner with the Dazas, who both attended LSU. I made sure to let them know I was an Alabama fan and President Daza put the Louisiana hot sauce right in front of my plate
We taught Therma, who is the mother of my friends from Wetherbee! She's so cute and sassy, I love it.
Thursday we had our Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) and had a lunch afterwards! Sister O'Hara and I coordinated for all the missionaries to bring something and we had Hawaiian Haystacks! It was so good. It mostly worked out except for some elders brought a bag of rice, uncooked (we had told them to make sure they cooked it) and another elder dropped a bowl of cooked rice we did have elders. Gotta love em.
So good to be back in the HCZ.
After ZTM, we went to find a potential investigator and came across this:
These cranes were legit on something. They were jumping and dancing and flashing us. Oh my heck. We couldn't stop laughing. Neither of us had ever seen that before!!
We played "Don't Eat Pete" with Dennis to review some Gospel Principles and distract him from some tough things going on. He was happy, and that made us happy.
After dinner, we went to the Steinagels' home and taught them the Restoration and invited them to bring a friend to church. All four of their girls want to serve missions, so this is a great opportunity for them!
We had the Relief Society activity that night and GUESS WHO I SAW??! I was sitting in the gym with all the sisters, watching the little presentation, and out in the hallway walks my friends Jonathan and Chris from Wetherbee YSA!!! I haven't seen them in months! When the movie was over, I asked Sister O'Hara if we could go say hello. Jonathan almost hugged me, he was so excited, hahaha. Missionary problems. I got to see even more of my Wetherbee buds because they were getting out of institute! Ahhhhhhh I LOVE that little branch so much.
Friday we had a meeting with all the leadership in our zone (Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and us). It was a long meeting, but so spiritual. Being a mission leader is hard work, but it's teaching me a lot.
We went home, did some weekly planning and had dinner with a member.
Then we went on exchanges with the Hunters Creek Sisters. I stayed in heir area with Hermana Guerrero. She's a Spanish sister, but she's doing English work right now.
Saturday was great! Hermana Guerrero and I saw a lot of miracles and biked a lot. Ouch, my bum still hurts. We put one of their investigators on date for baptism in January 14, contacted lots of people, took lots of nativity selfies, and just had an all around good time. She's a great missionary (and a bomb chef) and I'm so glad I got to spend the day with her!
I didn't get the gang sign memo.
Sunday was a drag.. we had to wake up at 5:40 for ward council at 7:00. Ain't no rest for the weary. I wasn't feeling my best either. I've still been feeling pretty overwhelmed with this whole STL thing. Bit you know what? Heavenly Father knows that. He sent President and Sister Clark to our sacrament meeting and Sister O'Hara ran after him and asked him to give me a blessing. I love President Clark. He's not just my mission president, he's a good friend. And Sister O'Hara just always looks out for me. Then we got cookies in Gospel Principles. And Christmas cards and candy from the primary. In Relief Society, I sat next to Sister Neff (our mission nurse) and she hugged me and scratched my back half of the time. And we got candy. And the lesson was "No Less Servicable", which was just what I needed. I've been feeling super inadequate with this assignment, but I was reminded that we all have special gifts and talents that are unique to us, and I can use mine to help these missionaries. That's all Heavenly Father has asked me to do. As we were walking out of church, I saw Brother Rodriguez, who was one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency in YSA. That was a blessing too. He talked to me and made me feel real good. Heavenly Father was looking out for me all day.
That night, we had a BOMB restoration lesson with a member family and their friends. The Spirit was insanely present, and the friends were crying as the members shared their testimonies and conversion stories. It was beautiful.
That's about it for the week! I gotta go pack up for more exchanges! What a party. The work never slows down.
Love y'all and hope you enjoy Christmas!
Monday, December 12, 2016
Another week in the books. Time is flying. I almost don't even know what time is anymore. When I was a regular ole missionary, I was stressed out because I had no time to do anything. Well, now that I'm an STL, I'm dead because there's like negative time to do anything. It's insane. There's always a million and twelve things to do. I start dosing off by noon and by the time we come in at night, I have to be carried on a gurney because I'm so beat.
But! It's been a good week.
So, new transfer, new companion.. y'all know what that means!
Here's some fun facts about Sister O'Hara:
- Her first name is Ashley
- She's from Salem, UT
- She grew up with my girl Sista Kylee Davis
- She wants to go into the Marines or the Army
- This is her last transfer before going home ()
- SHE IS HILARIOUS. We've had so much fun together
- She loves pesto. And now I do too.
- She can probably lift more than you.
- She likes it when people tickler her feet...
- Shes going to be a self defense instructor
I just love her a lot.
Onward to the weekly report!
Monday was pday, duh. There was a lot of packing and goodbyes. I hated it. The whole zone got together and we did some ice skating! It was pretty fun. And cold.
Closest thing you can get to a white Christmas in Florida.
That night, we had dinner with the Hoffmanns and I got to drink out of the fancy transfer cup. Behold:
The cup that makes transfers more or less bitter sweet.
Oh my heck and that night we went into our study room to pray and THERE WAS A SPIDER THE SIZE OF TEXAS ONNTHE CEILING. It just crawled from one side to the other, then we screamed and it DROPPED from the ceiling to the floor and we RAN to the living room for our dear lives-and also for our shoes so we could KILL it. We came back and it was GONE. AHHHHH!!! No big deal. There's just a man-eating spider roaming around our house! We spent like an hour looking for this nasty little rodent and couldn't find it. So I pulled my bed away from the walls and slept like that. I almost didn't sleep at all because I was so paranoid and I was getting transferred the next day!
Well, we woke up the next day and Sister Anderson found it and killed it dead.
Tuesday I said goodbye to my sweet Sister Anderson and my amazing area. Bunnell was so good to me. We did some hard work up there and it's definitely paid off. It's overflowing with miracles!
I got special permission to have Amanda drive me to transfers. We had a good time. Man, I miss her.
Transfers was crazy. We had to drive back and forth to the Wetherbee chapel 3 times because we have a brand new 2017 Chevy Malibu and we can't have a bike rack on it, so we had to make multiple trips to get my bike to Lake Nona. I gotta tell ya: that car is NICE. I like driving it. I almost just want to drive backwards all day because the back up cam is clear as day 🏼
We did a lot of work this week. We talked with literally everyone. My companion is a powerhouse! We came up with a comp chant already-well, we actually just took it from Remember the Titians. We put our heads together and yell "LEFT SIDE! STRONG SIDE!" We sound like teenage boys about to kick some football booty
Wednesday night, the Satellite Beach STLs (aka Sister Griffiths and Sister Davis) came out for a sleepover for MLC the next morning! #tendermercies
MLC was heavy. Man. I can't even. MLC is where all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet with President and Sister Clark and the Assistants to the President and discuss a lot of stuff.
I don't know if I've told you already, but being an STL is hard work. I've had a little bit of a hard time adjusting, and I'm just plain TIRED. And exchanges start this week. Jafjdowlrnjguekwnfksoruenskfjr
But it's fine! Because the Lord called me to this assignment and He is here to help me, the entire way. I read about it this morning in the scriptures actually. Check it out:
"7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
9 For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up." (2 Nephi 7:7-9)
I can do hard things. Because I'm not going to do them alone.
I love you all!
When you're dead during nightly planning 🏼
Monday, December 5, 2016
Baptisms, Funerals, and New Horizons...
Okay so I'm really going to try and keep this one brief because I have like zero time on my hands today. You know how I like to save the good stuff for the end, so if you just can't wait, read ahead. But if you do that, you may miss some funny/important events. Your loss.
So. Monday... what did we even do Monday?
(This is me seriously pondering what we did that day)
OH YES! (Shout out to Areabook for keeping my mind fre$h)
We emailed. And shopped. Got a new skirt at Goodwill. Got some half off milkshakes at Steak n Shake. The usual. What a party.
We had gotten a media referral (PRAISE 🏼) so we stopped by. Duh. His name is Victor and he's recently had some big changes in his life and he's decided to follow Christ. What perfect timing. Taught him and his wife and daughter the Restoration. SUCH a good lesson.
Then we went to the Mills' for FHE with Denise and Alex! Have I mentioned how much I love them? Well I do. And they hit it off with the Mills. I mean how could anyone not? They're like the perfect family #goals
Tuesday morning the STLs came to our place and we exchanged! I went with my dear, sweet, best friend, Hermana Jones. I love that woman. We had a total adventure. Like better than Bill and Ted's. We got ice cream at this super retro Dairy Queen
Ain't she a beaut?
Oh and then we taught a slice of pizza about the new initiative #LightTheWorld #IfPizzaCanDoItSoCanYou
Things I never thought I'd say on my mission....
also, Sister Jones is a stealthy photographer
We taught five lessons, all with members present 🏼 and we put one of her investigators on date for baptism! So that was dope. A very spiritual experience also. A not-so spiritual experience was when we taught this lady that was half dressed. Also a thing I never thought I'd say on my mission.
We exchanged back on Wednesday morning at District Meeting- our last one for the transfer. This has been one heck of a good transfer and imma miss these homies
It was a super spiritual DM, btw. Mostly because there were three dying testimonies. Elder Honda, Sister Jones, and Elder Reeves all go home this week
We read the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 11 whaddup) with Ben over the phone that night. We were doing our very best to keep the adversary far away from him during the week leading up to his baptism!!
Thursday we saw my sweet friend Amanda, did some service, then taught Ben! We reviewed with him by playing "Don't Eat Pete" #throwbacktotraining It was his last lesson before his baptism!
We meet an older lady in the ward who hasn't been to church in a while and we set up her smartphone and laptop up for her because she had no idea how #bestbuyskillzftw
Later on we went to visit our favorite polish family and met their 19 year old son, TJ. It was a memorable first encounter.. we walked up to the house and Jerzy and TJ were ok the garage, talking. So I shouted "hey y'all! How's it going??!" TJ, whom we have never met, frantically yelled back "uhhh ohh hey!" As he ran inside. In his underwear. Florida. We taught him a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon though! He's totally gonna read it. Also we had Golden Corral for dinner. So that was cool.
Friday.... oh, Friday... we were weekly planning, as we usually do on Fridays, and the phone rang.. and I answered it... and President Clark said hi... I said hello... he told me the Lord has a new assignment for me... my heart was pounding... he asked me to be a Sister Training Leader... I hesitated... started crying... but said yes.
Yet another thing I never thought I'd say on my mission.
Y'all, I've been saying my entire mission that I wouldn't ever want to be an STL (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a sister missionary that helps train other sisters by going on a lot of exchanges and accounts with all the district leaders and what not. Also there's more meetings. Basically just a lot of responsibility. Idk who would want that) just because it's a lot. I just want to stay in my own area and worry about my own people. Selfish, I know. I've repented I'll expound later..
We visited Victor and his family again. Really good lesson. His son and daughter walked in and were all "what's this" and we were like "oh girl let us tell you" and long story short we're teaching them.
Then we had dinner with the Udreas 🏼🏼 I love them.
SATURDAY OH MY HECK SATURDAY DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED SATURDAY???!!
I'll tell you. First we got donuts and taught the guy that worked there how to pray. So cool. And THEN we went to the church because
BEN GOT BAPTIZED!!
Ahh!! What. An. Experience. I love Ben. He's been such a joy to teach. I loved every second. He asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost so I prayed really hard to make sure it was what the Lord wanted him to hear. And I think it was. He's going to touch so many lives.
Side note: there were two deaths in the ward this week and one of the funerals overlapped Ben's Baptism... that was an interesting experience...
Sunday, Ben was confirmed and I cried. So bad. He did too though, so it's fine.
Amanda had her baptism Interview and passed with flying colors!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR HER. I just hope I can be here for it!! Her kids were trying to talk to her during the interview, so I distracted them.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I think I lost 1/4 of my hair.
So. More transfer doctrine: Sister Anderson is staying here in Bunnell and Sister Murray will be her new companion! I will miss her, but I know she will me super successful in leading out the area! I am going to Lake Nona with Sister O'Hara, which means.... IM GOING BACK TO #THECREEK WHICH MEANS ILL SEE ALL MY WETHERBEE YSA HOMIES ALL THE TIME!!! I'm also replacing my "mom", Sister Christensen, so I've got BIG shoes to fill...
🏼 also, my BFFFFFFFFFF Sista Davis is going to be an STL so I'll get to see her a few times this transfer at MLC and also also Sista Skousen is whitewash training in Wetherbee!! Ahhh!! #pdaydancingfordayzzzzz
So. About being an STL. I'm terrified, it's true. But I've received a lot of comfort and counsel. I've prayed, fasted, and studied and long story short, I know I'm meant to do this, and the Lord trusts me. That's pretty heavy duty. I'm super nervous, but a little excited.
I'm going to miss Bunnell so bad. Serious as a heart attack. But I've learned a lot from serving here and I know the Lord needs me to take that to other areas.
Thanks for the love!
XO- Sister Yance