Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hello family!

Oh my goodness can I just express to you all of how much I just adore you guys. I have the best family in the world and I hope everything is going well for you. This week was so crazy. so fun. so hard. so spiritual.

Monday we had a lesson with these two girls ages 14 and 16 their mom is in another ward in the stake but really wanted sister missionaries to come and teach her daughters who are kind of struggling right now. Me and Sister B. decided we would just teach them like any other investigators and so we started with the restoration. It was honestly the most powerful restoration lesson I've ever taught in the last 6 months of my mission. It really strengthened my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I can't express enough how much I love the Book of Mormon.....its so true! On Tuesday we had another great lesson with our investigator Veronica and she's really excited to find out for herself that the Book of Mormon is true. I really hope and pray that she will recognize the Holy Ghost testifying to her that it is true. We then had another lesson with one of our investigators who dropped us.......she doesn't want to meet with us anymore and it was so sad. She is such an amazing lady with such a great family and its sad to see that she is separating herself from the gospel. Its always a little depressing when an investigator drops you....... the rest of the day didn't really get any better....ha I just love those days....not! Anyways on Wednesday things got a little better we had some really great lessons and did some service for some members in the ward. We had dinner with Andy and Kenora and it was so yummy! I love hearing them talk about the gospel, they have such strong testimonies. They told us how they're working on reading every general conference talk that's ever been given by a prophet....I told them not to overwhelm themselves but they said they love reading the talks because it brings them together and that they want to know what they need to work on. They're incredible. Also Sister Blommaert got a training call!! She was so excited to get that call but also nervous....she'll do great....obviously I trained her....haha just kidding but really she'll do great. I also was super excited because I didn't get a training call so I was thinking I got off the hook and was going to be free this next transfer from corrupting new missionaries.......haha

On Thursday we had the incredible opportunity to go to the temple! I love love love love the temple. I can't say that enough. We got to go with the other sisters, Sister Gonzalez and Sister Olpin who I just adore and Sister Maund took us who is also another lady I just adore. We all went to lunch after and it was just such a great day. After we went and did service for Bridget and continued to help her paint her fence. She's such a great lady and she told us this week that she wants to come to church with us because she really respects what we're doing and wants to learn more. Yay!! 

On Friday we had a super good day we picked up 2 new investigators and went to a meeting for all the new trainers. We only have 7 sisters coming out this transfer...not a lot but I think it made Sister B. happy to know she was called to train. Friday was super hard for me for some reason....I was just feeling super inadequate to be out here and was just feeling super down. Luckily we had some lessons with some really incredible people so that made me happy.

Saturday was good nothing too exciting we had the adult session of stake conference that night and it was really good. The temple president and his wife spoke. The Sunday session of stake conference was really good as well  and it was great seeing people from the old part of the ward. I've really grown to love the people here in the area of Chestermere.

Yesterday(Monday) I got pretty emotional thinking about leaving this area. I can't believe I've been here for 6 months! Crazy. Last night everyone started getting their leadership calls and the Elders kept asking me if I got a call to be a Sister Training Leader.....I just laughed and said that would never happen. 5 seconds later President Nicholas called and told me I've been called to be a Sister Training Leader....what!??? I thought I got off the hook from training and now I get to be over a bunch of sisters. Oh my goodness. It will be fun though, I'll be able to meet a lot more missionaries in the field. I also got an email this morning saying that I'm going down south! I won't be in Calgary anymore. Its going to be something new and totally different but exciting! I'll let you know next week where I'm being transferred to for sure. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sister M.

Sister Olpin and Sister Martin 

Sister Martin, Sister Blommaert, Sister Gonzalez and Sister Olpin at the temple :) 

Sister B. and Sister M. 

Sarah's incredible district this past transfer. 

Sarah and Bridget. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

fireworks & worms & being a missionary.

What a fun week!! I feel like everyday there is something to laugh or cry's better to just laugh it makes life better. We've had a lot of great lessons this past week with investigators, less-active members and part member families. Its been a little rough since they split our ward but its ok. We went around one last time to a bunch of the people we were teaching in Calgary and I was surprised by how emotional I got saying goodbye to people who aren't in the Chestermere ward anymore. I guess I need to get used to saying goodbyes but I've just grown to love these people so much. I'm so grateful for the friendships I'm developing out here. We went and helped this lady paint her fence and it was so fun! The other sisters in our zone came and helped us and as I was painting I found this HUGE worm. HUGE. We told one of the sisters that she should eat she did. It was hilarious. I got it on film so remind me to show you in a year. I think some people think missionaries are these crazy robots but trust me....we're just as strange as ever. The lady we painted the fence for isn't a member and just thinks its the greatest thing ever that we want to do service for her. I'm reminded of Ammon and how he first served King Lamoni and then was able to teach him later. I feel like that's what is going to happen with this lady. We just need to serve her and love her and then we can hopefully teach her. We then later taught our investigator who is on date to be baptized and the lesson was amazing. We need to take things slow with him but its going really well. Also the Elders will have to finish teaching him since he's not in our ward anymore.....sad. The next day we had a couple of different lessons and we were teaching one investigator and when we told her that our families could be together forever she said that she didn't care to be with her family forever.....WHAT?!?!?? Who says that? I'm so glad I know that families can be together forever and that I want to be with you guys forever, sorry you can't get rid of me :) So this past week Calgary has this event called Global Fest and its so cool! They do these huge firework shows every other night featuring different countries like China, France, England and a couple of others. They do the fireworks in a park right outside our apartment building so we can see them from our apartment. The problem is we never got a parking permit to park in our parking lot  during the firework shows and the police didn't believe we lived there so we spent the night with the other sisters in our zone. Crazy. Luckily we got a permit from the city today so we can now go back to our apartment. It was a little tender mercy though being able to spend the night with the other sisters who are kind of having a hard time right now and it was good that we got to spend time with them.

I think the rest of the week was filled with service......I'm not really sure its all kind of a blur hahaha but it was a good week. We now just need to find things to do in Chestermere and Langdon. Kenora and Andy are in the new ward and at first I was a little worried about that but after talking to them yesterday they'll be just fine. I don't have to worry about them at all. They're so excited to get callings and to help their new ward out. They're wonderful.
Anyways life is good. Some days are really hard but I guess that's just part of missionary work, looking back I love knowing Heavenly Father knows I'm strong enough to handle those trials.
I hope everything is good back home! I love you all and miss you all so much!
Sister M.

Their last dinner with Sister Roda. 

Yay for service! 

"This is Sister Gonzalez she's from Montreal and is HILARIOUS. She speaks Spanish and French and English and I just adore her!"

Emailing their families!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hello!! How was everyone's week??

To be honest this week was such a blur and I forgot my planner this morning so I can't even look back to see what I did! Ha I'm so sorry. We did have Zone Conference this past week though and it was really good. I love hearing from President Nicholas. After hearing from him I have so much more motivation to go out and work harder and more efficiently. He talked a lot about obedience which was perfect because its something I've really been trying to work on this transfer and I've really seen how its blessed me. When we try to do what Heavenly Father has asked of us He will bless us.  And lets be honest I need all the blessings I can get! Heavenly Father wants us to be obedient because He loves blessing us. In Moses 6:33 it says "Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you." I've chosen to serve God and I hope I can do it with all my heart might mind and strength. I love it out here.

We were teaching one of our investigators on Friday night and we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. And then he said something that I absolutely loved. He said "This all sounds so familiar." It was perfect because we got to explain that it should be familiar because we all knew this plan before we came to earth. I then read the scripture from D&C section 138 verse 56 and explained that we knew all of this in the spirit world and how we were prepared to come to earth at this time. At this point the spirit was pretty much yelling at me to invite him to be baptized and before I knew it I was inviting him to be baptized and he said yes. The spirit filled the room. It was such a powerful moment and I'm so excited for him. He's preparing for the date of September 21st.

We also got a couple of referrals this week which is very rare to get in this area so we were soooo excited! We also picked up a new investigator so theres a ton to do right now! Heavenly Father is just pouring out blessings to me and Sister B. but there is some sad news......our stake had some boundary changes yesterday and they took out most of Calgary from our ward and now we pretty much just cover Chestermere and Langdon. Its going to be a hard adjustment because we lost a lot of good people that we were working with but we just need to trust in Heavenly Fathers plan for this stake. I'm really going to miss a lot of the ward members that I became really close with.
Anyways I have some funny moments from this week......
that awkward moment when a lady in the ward named her goldfish after you. Seriously the goldfish's name is Sister Martin. I don't know if that should be a compliment or not........
that awkward moment when me and Sister B. are trying to teach a lady who doesn't really speak any English and starts speaking to us in some African dialect and I have no idea what to do.......
that awkward moment when someone thinks your a nun and you try and explain to them that your not a nun and they don't believe you.....
I love being a missionary its filled with SO many awkward moments hahaha but its also filled with the best moments in the world.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
(Thanks for the package momma I love it!)
Sister M. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How is everything going?? Tell Utah hello for me! So this past week was great as usual :) I'm really loving the mission. This past week me and Sister B. really focused on finding investigators and Heavenly Father really blessed us for it. We found 2 new investigators and we made an appointment with 1 other so hopefully we'll get one more this week! Very exciting. The work is moving forward!
So on Wednesday I thought I had this bright idea to walk everywhere.....which is fine but my feet hated me after. It made me so grateful for our car hahaha. We walked 1.5 hours to get to a lesson and by the time we got there I just wanted to sleep hahaha but we had this amazing lesson with this lady on the light of Christ and how light attracts light and how we need to surround ourselves with good things. She told us thank you for being such a great example to her. She's trying to quit smoking so she can go to the temple and be sealed with to her husband who passed away a year ago. I have full faith that she can do it, she just needs to rely on the atonement. Also that night we were planning on having a lesson with Andy and Kenora and they invited their friend over to the lesson and so he's one of our new investigators. Andy and Kenora are still doing amazing and they have honestly made the last 2 months so rewarding.

On Thursday we got our other investigator who is wonderful! She really really wants to strengthen her faith in Christ and she grew up 7th day. I invited her to be baptized and she was shocked at first but told me that she would have to pray about it. I just smiled and told her that's all we want her to do is pray about everything we ask her to do. We then had our apartment checked and definitely had the cleanest apartment in the zone so now the senior missionary couple is taking me and Sister B. out to lunch :) (Mom you should be soooo proud of me....I make my bed everyday now and have a clean apartment.....I know crazy!)

On Friday it seemed like every lesson we had cancelled or just forgot about us either way it was awful so we went and did some service for some members in our ward. Its SO important to gain the trust of the members because then they trust you with their friends to teach them. We ended up actually teaching 2 lessons by the end of the night. If I could be teaching every hour I would love it. I just love talking to people. I think I annoy Sister B. sometimes because I talk to her all the time and she's pretty quiet most of the time.....both of my companions have been pretty quiet so maybe I should be learning something hahaha. Both of my companions have taught me a lot about patience though in different ways. And that's something that I definitely need to learn so I'm grateful.

Saturday was pretty busy we contacted some potential investigators and will hopefully start teaching them soon! We walked a lot.......oh and funny story! We were walking down the street and this car drives by of these 4 huge guys and they end up turning around and heading back towards us and Sister B. starts freaking out thinking we're going to get robbed or something. The guys pull over and ask if they can talk to us and I tell them only if we could share a message about Jesus Christ.....Sister B. really started worrying at this point haha and I'm just thinking this is a great opportunity to share the gospel! We tell them we're missionaries and they tell us that they love Jesus and that they're all from Jamaica.....Jamaicans are hilarious and there a quite a few people here from Jamaica. They told us that they would love to hear more about Jesus and invited us over for chicken wings and to talk about Jesus. We luckily had an appointment we were going to but I think we'll have the Elders go over and try and teach them. Saturday night we had a movie night with Andy and Kenora and watched the Testaments. They made it really fun for us by getting us all these snacks and inviting their friends over for it. It ended up being a really fun night.
Anyways things are going really well. We have a lot of potential in this area right now and I'm loving it! I hope everything is going well back home. I love you all so very much!
Sister M.

"I love Canada!" 

Sarah's cute little friend. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

You would think that it would be hot in July but just to let you all know I was wearing wool tights and a sweater and a scarf the other day because its sooooo cold! Even Sister B. agrees with me that this is really cold for the month of July. Crazy! Family soak up the heat for me because I miss it!! So another week has just flown by, this week had its unique challenges that's for sure but Heavenly Father continues to bless me and Sister B. every single day.

We taught more lessons this week than we have in a long time which was wonderful. We went to a less-active ladies home and the first thing she says to me is "I have a bone to pick with you!" I got super nervous when she said that and then she goes on to say that she wants me to call her every time I know I'm going to be speaking in church because she doesn't want to come! At first I was so confused but then she got emotional and said "I feel the spirit so strongly when you speak....which makes me cry and I hate crying." Hahaha after that I felt better but its funny because I hate talking in front of people and it still makes me nervous but I'm just grateful Heavenly Father blesses me and lets me speak with the Spirit. After that we had a wonderful lesson on the Holy Ghost with her. I've grown to appreciate the Holy Ghost more on my mission then ever before. We are so blessed to have such a precious gift in our lives.

Thursday night me and Sister B. had the opportunity to go on exchanges with some of the Sisters who serve in South Calgary. I stayed in Chestermere and Sister B. went down south. I got to have Sister Spencer come to Chestermere and it honestly was such a tender mercy to be able to serve with her for a day. We're so similar and had soooooo much fun together.... maybe too much fun.....but I also was feeling the spirit so strongly the entire time. We had the chance to teach a lady who is staying in our area for a short time because her home was damaged from the flood. She's been having such a hard time with the flood so we just read some scriptures with her and cried with her and laughed with her. It really is so rewarding to leave a home and know that you have helped someone feel the spirit. On Friday me and Sister Spencer did some service for a lady in the ward and then we had most of our appointments fall through so we contacted some potential investigators and tried to contact some other people also since this was the first time Sister Spencer has come to Chestermere we obviously had to go eat our lunch by Chestermere lake because its just sooooo pretty. I LOVE CHESTERMERE. Sometimes I get really sad thinking I'm going to be leaving this wonderful area someday. And then other times I think...I need something new hahaha I'm just so torn. I've officially been out for 5 months! Can you believe that? I usually hate counting because it makes time go by so slow. I have this bad habit of telling everyone I've only been out for 3 makes time go by faster hahaha but really though can you believe that? The past 5 months I've learned so much and I will forever be grateful that I decided to serve a mission. So Friday night Sister B. came back which was great because I also just adore her. We went and taught Andy and Kenora about the priesthood......sometimes I just wish the Elders would teach this lesson because I've realized how little I know about the priesthood! Haha but I think we did ok. Also Andy and Kenora said something to me and Sister B. that I will remember forever. They started talking to us and they told us thank you for helping them changes their lives and for teaching them. They started talking about how they've had missionaries in the past teach them but for some reason me and Sister B. made everything make sense. After they said that I just felt the spirit so strongly and just felt so strongly that this was the reason I was in Chestermere to be able to teach Andy and Kenora and see them enter into the waters of baptism.

So on Sunday Andy got the Aaronic priesthood and again it just filled me with joy. They also brought their non-member friend! They're already doing missionary work! I'm so proud of them. They really are the best of the best.

I have some more good news as well! Yesterday we got a phone call from a lady who we've been trying to contact for over a month now. We've called and we've knocked on her door multiple times. Yesterday she called and said she got our number from a random person she works with and that she would really like to meet with us to receive some spiritual guidance. I was shocked! What a great phone call! So we've now set up a time to meet with her on Thursday so hopefully it goes well! We really need more people to teach so I'm excited.
Anyways I'm so grateful to be out here. I'm so grateful to know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful family. I love you all and hope you're doing well!!
Sister M.

 Sarah's 5 month mark on her mission!

The adorable kids that Sarah and her companion pass every day. 

 The beautiful Chestermere Lake.

A coyote that that ran away from Sarah and her companion while they were out walking.