Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!! 

These are 2 of my Christmas Favorites on Mormon Channel this year. Along with The He is the Gift video of course at christmas.mormon.org

Have a wonderful Christmas and always remember our Savior. He lives and loves us so much. 
I love you all!

Love, 
Sister Young

Our Christmas Tree:) Made from copies of the Book of Mormon & Pass along cards:)

Share the Gift

Fort Collins

Hermana Snow & I in front of our Christmas Tree

Angels Round About & True Peace


December 15, 2014

This week in Fort Collins, where to begin. We had another wonderful lesson with A this week. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and it really rang true to him. He was going out of town this weekend but he went to church with his sister because she is a member! So great! He is struggling with some hard times right now in his life and so he wants to make sure that he is doing all of this for the right reasons and not to just use it as a crutch. He will come to realize that the gospel is not a crutch but that it gives us wings and the ability to progress. 
Taught M once this week, he is heartbroken about not being able to get baptized but still not willing to change. He ended up cancelling our 2 other appointments this week and didn't come to church again. We aren't quite sure how to help him at this point, but we will continue to pray to figure it out. We also found 6 new investigators this week. It was a pretty great week for finding! One of them was a name on the Ward list that just kept popping out to me. We finally went to visit them last night and found out that they are a part member family. Her daughter is not baptized or her husband. They are the sweetest family. We are excited to continue to get to know them and teach them. 

I didn't realize it until this week, but we have an Area Seventy in our ward and guess who signed up to feed us this week? Yes, he and his wife did. So, on Friday night Sister Snow and I ate Thai food with Elder Rhodes and his wife. It was really great to get to know them and feel of their spirits. We shared a message on the Doctrine of Christ and he gave us a referral. Then he ended the night by leaving us with a blessing. It was a powerful prayer. He prayed for our investigators and for us. He also prayed that we would have angels around us protecting us. That was a key part of the blessing because of what happens next in my story. We left the Rhodes house, and headed to our next appointment. On the way, we noticed a TON of police cars and what looked like a car accident right down the road from where we live. But we continued to our appointment and then after that appointment on to our last house of the night. We knocked on the door and the girl who answered said, "Hurry, come inside, we just got a text saying that their is a man armed and dangerous in the neighborhood!" So we went inside, had a lesson and then ran to the car. There we found a text from our Zone Leaders telling us to go home ASAP because of this gunman. We started to drive home, only to realize that our neighborhood was the exact spot where all of the policemen were. So we found another way but as we were driving we realized how crazy it really was. There were SWAT teams, police men, search dogs, everything and then we were stopped by a police man and we told him that we lived just up the road and asked if it was safe to go home. He said just to get home and then lock all the doors an stay away from windows. Then we explained how, the member that owns the house we live in, doesn't let us lock the door so we were a little worried. He first scolded us for not locking our door and then told us that he and another police would check our house. We drove over and they told us to stay in our car while they searched the house. So they did, they searched the whole house for us! It was such a blessing. They said it was fine and said goodbye. They were great. Then we still were freaking out, so we did our nightly planning in the bathroom. Yup, I did nightly planning sitting in a bathtub :) Then we put our mattresses on the ground and just prayed a lot. Didn't sleep too well, but we felt safe. Especially because of Elder Rhode's blessing. They ended up catching him the next day and things settled down a lot. But it was pretty crazy! That is the crazy story of the week! The Lord was protecting us though. Just crazy things happening out there. 

I don't even really know about all the crazy things that are going on in the world right now but I have people tell us all the time how crazy everything is. I wish I was more informed but this week I have been finding a lot in my studies how much it talks about how the way that we all, and the world, can have that peace that we all truly desire  is by having the gospel in our lives and living the gospel. It seems like such a simple answer...but it is true and powerful. This is a part of the Joseph Fielding Smith manual that we taught from this week in Relief Society. It says,
 " Do you know what is the greatest power, the most potent factor in all the world, for the permanent establishment of peace in the earth? Having asked the question I will answer it, at least I will express my view in regard to it—not saying anything about other movements. The greatest factor in all the world is the power of the Holy Priesthood, and that is in the possession of the Latter-day Saints. Right from the beginning the Lord sent out the elders into the world, commanding them to call upon the people, saying, Repent, come unto Zion. Believe in my gospel and you shall have peace.
Peace will come, of course, through righteousness, through justice, through the mercy of God, through the power which he will grant unto us by which our hearts will be touched and we will have love one for another. Now our duty is to declare these things among all people, call upon them to come unto Zion where the standard is set up—the standard of peace—and to receive of the blessings of the house of the Lord and the influence of his Holy Spirit which is here manifest. And I want to tell you that we ourselves, if we will serve the Lord, have wonderful power in regard to the establishment of peace in the world."
The gospel is the way to peace. The priesthood power is the way to peace. Our covenants are the way to peace. I experienced that this week as I took the sacrament. I am recognizing even more the power that the sacrament has. I literally feel strengthened and renewed when I partake of the bread and water and reflect on ALL my covenants that I have made. I am so grateful for the Atonement and the sacrament every week. I love you all and continue to see the Lord's hand in my life daily. We are doing His work. I love you all!!
Love,
Sister Young
Exploring Old Town Fort Collins on P-day

Ballerina Statue


Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 2 in Fort Collins


Hello Everyone!
This week had some of the highlights of my mission but also some pretty trying experiences. I guess that is every week though. Haha. I am getting used to the area now and I can find my way around quite nicely to all the main roads and get us home. So, I am learning. We are coming to know the ward more, there are quite a variety of people, it seems like there are mainly just Senior citizens and then newly weds in our ward, not too many in between. So that is different. 
We got to help an older lady in the ward decorate for Christmas this week. She is so sweet and made us lunch while we were decorating. It really brightened her day for sure. 

One of the neatest experiences happened this week. The day that we got to Fort Collins, we received a media referral for a man. We contacted him over the phone and set up an appointment. He seems really interested over the phone, but we had no idea what to expect. On Thursday, Sister Snow went to the temple with all the other missionaries that are leaving this transfer, so Hermana Mondragon and I were able to be companions again for a day. I just love her. So, this appointment with A, the referral, was on Thursday when Sister Snow was gone. We went to his house, took a member along with us. When we first walked in he was just super nice and open and even had juices waiting for us. We got to know him a bit and found out that he is from Rock Springs, WY, crazy right, and his sister is LDS and so he has meet missionaries before at her house and they must have been the ones that told us to come by. But as we got to talking, he is SO ready for the gospel. We were able to teach the first lesson, the Restoration of the Gospel, and it was really powerful. The spirit was for sure there. He has already started the Book of Mormon, and he agreed with everything that we talked about. He is a very scientific man, has a degree in Physics, but he has come to see how science and religion fit together. He has been an atheist at one point in his life but then God showed him that He really did exist in multiple ways. When the timing was right we invited him to be baptized, and he agreed and said he really wanted to. We set him with a date for January 3rd, and he asked, "Ok, what time?" haha. He is just so ready for this gospel. Hearing his life story I could just see how God has prepared him to accept his gospel at this time. This experience was really powerful to me. I felt also during this lesson, that A is one of the reasons that I am here at this time. I am excited to continue to see his progress. Pray for him:).

One of the more difficult experiences of the week though, came from our other investigator, M. As I explained last week, he is struggling with seeing the reasons that he needs to stop smoking marijuana. He was so set on being baptized on December 13th, the Elders set him with that date before we got here, but he wasn't willing to stop pot. But, he did stop smoking cigarettes this week!! He is 3 days clean so far. But we knew we needed to break the news to him about needing to change his date. It was heartbreaking and nerve wrecking. The thing that made it so difficult is because we have seen him change this week. His countenance is just different, and he even prayed for the first time this week with us, and it was beautiful, he is reading the scriptures, and truly trying to follow our Savior. That made this lesson that much harder. We brought a member that just makes ever situation better because of her personality, and he had met her before. We told him how proud we were of him and the changes that we had seen him make so far in his life and how the Lord will continue to help him. We then told him, again, that he would need to stop smoking marijuana before he could be baptized. But we knew that he could do it. The problem is, how defensive he gets every time that we bring it up. He got very defensive and pulled out his marijuana "Bible", which basically tells you everything you could ever want and not want, to know about pot. He tried to "convince" us why it was ok and why is should still be ok for him to get baptized. It was tough because, it really comes down to, he needs to trust God before men. Because there have been lots of good things that comes from using pot, but God knows best and has revealed through prophets that it is not in line with his plan. It was tricky but we had to stand our ground and promise him blessings if he exercised faith to follow this commandment. We thought we had it worked out and then the next day he sent us a text that said, "Can I really not be baptized or is this some sort of test or something?" ...We then let him know that in order to be baptized he needed to be living the commandments. We tried to have someone go pick him up for church, no luck, and then he didn't show up to church at all on his own either. It was pretty rough. He took it really hard. We will continue to teach him and help him to work through it, we just hope he continues to want to meet with us and the spirit will let him know the truthfulness of what we have told him. It was a tricky situation.

Another day that was difficult was when we decided to go tracting, which to be honest, I have never found to be my favorite thing as a missionary and it has only been effective once on my mission, but we decided to try it. We went to a trailer park, ha first one was a Senior Citizen trailer park, that was an accident. Then when that didn't work we went to another one. Every door we knocked on were Spanish speaking people. We ended up finding 3 new investigators that day, but I felt totally worthless. We taught two lessons in spanish and I just felt so useless. I am not quite sure why I am with an Hermana and what President wants us to focus on, but that day was hard for me. I really felt like there was no purpose to me being there and that I was completely useless and Sister Snow could just do all of this without me basically. So that was tricky. At one point during one of the lessons, this hispanic man was testifying strongly right in my face, and I had NO idea what he was saying. I then thought of how funny the situation was and on accident I cracked a smile during what I'm sure was a spiritual moment for him. Haha. So, I guess it is quite comical in some cases but it gets frustrating as well. I prayed in Spanish at a house the other day and read some verses in Spanish during a lesson. That's about all I can do. 

We had a great experience with a Less Active this week. Missionaries have not been able to get in to visit her before and she let us in. She hasn't been to church in 2 years. We aren't quite sure why yet, but we didn't push it. We shared a message with her about Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and then set up another time to come back to visit her this week. It was a great first step. I love when moments like that happen. Small and simple things make the difference.

It is very different being away from family and friends during this Christmas season, and at times it gets tough, I have found I have just been burying the fact that it is almost Christmas, until last night when it hit me during the Christmas Devotional. But it makes me glad that I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ during this time that we are celebrating his birth and life. I know it will be like no Christmas I have ever had before, but that is ok. I get to see others come closer to Him and witness His power in their lives. I know that our Savior is real and that His Atonement is real. Our Heavenly Father loves each of us so much that He sent His son to us. Share this joy,knowledge and love that we have, with others, our world needs it so much. I love you all!!! 
Have a great week:)

Love,
Sister Young
Fort Collins Temple thus far!  Yay!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Terry Lake Ward

Dear Family & Friends,
I don't have much time today because I forgot I am in a big city now and have to have a library card in order to get on the computer...so I forgot ID to prove that I am a Colorado resident. Kinda sad. Oh well...I will work with my hour that I do have. It's been super weird to adjust to a new place. LEt me tell you a little about Fort Collins. It is HUGE! I don't know how I will ever learn to get around. We have a GPS that saves us every day. Our ward boundary is huge as well. Sometimes it takes us like 20 minutes or more just to get to a house we are visiting. The main street is beautiful though especially now at Christmas time. They have lights up all over the place and it is all decorated. I love it. I am the driver now, which means I get to drive in all sorts of traffic but I am grateful I drove around St. George before I came out. The ward is pretty nice so far. We have met quite a few people . The first night we were able to have a meeting with bishop and our Ward Mission Leader. It was perfect. They are SO excited about missionary work and they are trying some really fun ideas out too. We were able to get members to all of our lessons with our investigator this week even though we hardly know anyone. So everyone is pretty willing. We have one investigator named M. 
M has a strong desire to get baptized but he is struggling with the Word of Wisdom. Guess what part of the Word of Wisdom... marijuana. I'm in Colorado now!!! Ha. So he takes it medicinally for some injuries he has and it is prescribed.   So it is a tricky situation.  There are some other issues that also need to be addressed but he is really excited to be baptized. He had some of his questions answered at church yesterday. He for sure is taking some big steps. 
There was only the one investigator when we got here and now we have 4. There are 2 sets of sisters in this ward but the other set is actually called over the spanish branch that was just formed about a month ago. But President wants us to do some Spanish work too but in the Terry Lake. It has been quite interesting for me. I am really trying to learn Spanish now. We do language study every day and we go to the Spanish branch on Sundays. It really is a bit overwhelming in my brain but there must be reasons that President keeps putting me with Spanish sisters, so I am doing my best to learn the language. I can't even tell you how many times I haven't known what was going on or being said all week....sigh. But I am learning. I prayed in Spanish yesterday for the first time. Half Spanish half english, just for our nightly prayer. I will work on it.
My companion is Hermana Snow. She is the most obedient missionary I have ever met thus far on my mission. She is from Nevada and is super loving and awesome. She goes home at the end of this transfer and there is no sign of slowing down yet. It is amazing to me to see her consecration. So, it will be a good learning experience for me.
Some experiences this week. My Thanksgiving was great! We went to the bishop's house first and ate with his family and some members of the ward and then we went to dinner at the R house. They are a Part Member family and they are great! It was super fun. We ate with them, shared the Thanksgiving mormon message and then they had us help them decorate their tree. That was a tender mercy. I was sad I wasn't going to get to help decorate a tree this year. Also to top it off, it was 65 to 70 degrees on Thanksgiving day!!! IT has been so warm!! I love that. 
Another neat experience this week is when we went to visit a lady who is the only member of the church in her family. She showed us how she has been composing music about the temple that is being built and about her testimony. She played the piano for us and then she had us help her to sing the song and chose what we liked best. She liked our voices so much that she asked us to come back this week so that we can record and so she can send it to the stake presdient! Super excited to be a part of that. It was so neat to see her using her talents to share the gospel. Her music is beautiful and her lyrics hit you very hard. She kept saying how the Lord had sent us to her to help her with her music. Such a neat experience. 
Well, I only have a few minutes left. I love you all!! I am doing well here in Ft. Collins. It is for sure a super different experience than I have had so far but I think it will be a good one. I love you!!!!!
Love,
Sister Young

Monday, November 24, 2014

Farewell Wyoming


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I'm grateful for each of you in my life and hope you have wonderful Thanksgivings! I have NO idea where I will be for Thanksgiving. This is a hard time to transfer, right before the holidays so we know NO one. It would have been fun to spend the holidays with my Rawlins family...but oh well. I am happy and super excited for a new adventure! Oh...I forgot I didn't tell you what happened with transfer, because you already know! Sheesh, so many spies all over. haha. Ok here are the details. I am getting Transferred to Fort Collins, CO into the Terry Lake Ward. My companion will be Sister Snow, who I think this is her last transfer on her mission. So I will be killing another companion. I think that is my calling in life, to be missionaries last companions or something. haha. The weird thing is, Hermana Mondragon is going to be in the same ward as me but her companion and her will be spanish speaking. So 2 sets of sisters. There is a new rule for all the missions that the First Presidency just came out with that says that Elders and Sisters can't share a ward anymore. So from now on I will be sharing wards with Sisters. It's been sad to say goodbye and hard because I want to say goodbye to the other ward too but there is not enough time, But I've been able to say my goodbyes to the people I love and we are still finding time inbetween to pack. It's hard because I have lived here for 7 months! Crazy right? That is almost half my mission. Oh yeah, and Elders are being brought into Rawlins again. Kind of crazy that I was here the whole time that Sisters were here. That makes me feel a strong sense of ownership over Rawlins. It will always have a piece of my heart. 

This week really good actually. I don't have much time to tell you all about it though. :( 
-Taught Pat and Barb and Pat is praying to know if she should be baptized. We taught the Plan of Salvation and they both really liked it and it clicked with them. I hope and pray they continue to Progress with Elders here. 

-Sherry recognized an answer to her prayer and has felt the spirit very strongly in her life. We will make sure the Elders keep teaching her and the members stick with her.

-We found a new investigator this week who is will be perfect for the Elders to teach. We weren't even "searching" for him. We went to a dinner at the Rivers, alligator people, and they invited a bunch of their co-workers and one of them has been wanting to meet missionaries for a long time. It is super crazy. He sat in on the lesson that night and said he wanted to start learning. 

Lots of other things happened this week but my brain is a bit in a frazzle today with all I have to do before I leave tomorrow at 9:00am. Pray for good weather for our travels to Fort Collins. I'm excited that I get to serve in the place that the mission is named after. We'll get to be close to the temple site so I will get to see it continue to be built up. 
Sorry, I really did want to write more, but time has gotten away from me. I just have come to realize that even if we can't see the reasons why the Lord places you in certain places at certain times, He has a plan. I still am not 100% sure why I was placed into this ward for one transfer but I am beginning to see. Gosh, I wish this e-mail was a bit more uplifting but I just can't think...I'm sorry. haha. Keep smiling and shining your light to all those around you. Have a wonderful week. I love each of you!:)
Love,
Sister Young
All of the people we do service with at the Old Pen.  Love them!!

Hot Cocoa season:)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Things are Looking Up

Monday - Nov. 17, 2014


Hello Everyone!

This week we had some amazing things happen. First off, there is a Part Member family who the husband is really nice but really likes his alcohol. So most times we go over there, he is not in the best state of mind and the house feel really chaotic. But the other night we went to their house and walked it and it was completely different! It was nice and clean, the spirit was there, the husband was sober, the family was happy, there wasn't any contention the whole night, it was just a really good feeling. We taught them the Restoration, and while he has trouble agreeing with living prophets, when we talked about the Priesthood, he told us how they had had some amazing experiences with the priesthood and that he believed in it. We then told him that he had the chance to be able to hold that priesthood power and bless his family. The spirit was really strong as we talked about the priesthood and his countenance changed. He said he wanted that priesthood. It will still be a process but we hope and pray in time that he will be able to stop his addictions and be able to be baptized and have their family sealed in the temple and hold that priesthood.

This week we also were able to have dinner with a member, who invited their 17 year old friend over to meet us and take the lessons. We taught her about the Restoration and the spirit was strong as we talked about the Atonement of our Savior and how He has felt everything she has felt. She is really interested in learning more and I know it will help her. She has had some hard things happen in life so far and it will bring her the peace that she is searching for. 

One thing that Hermana and I realized this week is that we have been focusing a lot on some of the people that previous missionaries have been and things were not working out. So this week we really strove to know what the Lord wanted us to do and who the Lord wanted us to see. We were able to meet a couple members who haven't seen missionaries in years and who let us in for us to share a message with them. We are really trying to let go of what WE think we should do and focus on what the Lord wants us to do. 

All the work we have been doing this week has been in negative degree weather. That always makes things a lot harder but we feel the Lord's approval as we do our best while shivering all the while. I thought I was done with Wyoming winters when I moved to St. George, but...that didn't work out. We were able to go to Martin's Cove again today. I have never been there in the middle of winter and it was quite a different experience. It really put things into perspective for me. We didn't have time to hike to the cove, but the missionaries drove us in their little rovers to the mouth of the cove after we went through the museum. The spirit was really strong there today as we were able to empathize for just a little bit with those pioneers. I was freezing in the harsh Wyoming wind even after a few minutes, and I can't understand how they had the will power to keep going. Going to Martin's Cove as a missionary always motivates me to keep trying and doing my very best as a missionary, following the wonderful examples of the pioneers. 
We find out this week about transfers. I'm not holding my breath anymore. I don't know if I will ever leave Rawlins, so I've just claimed it as home. haha. I'll let you know next week what happens. 
We had a mission tour this week and Elder Baxter of the Quorum of the 70 came to speak to us. It was probably the best missionary meeting that I have had my entire mission. He was so loving and the spirit was there so strongly for the whole day. We had to drive to Cheyenne and I was really worried about it because my companion is from California and doesn't drive much in snow and the night before we left there was a huge blizzard. But we just prayed a whole bunch and miraculously the roads were pretty clear and we made it safely and then President gave me permission to be the driver in snow. So I got to drive home, and that night after we got home there was another huge storm. so the Lord is looking out for us for sure. 
Elder Baxter talked a lot about how the Lord uses us to do His work, even in our imperfections and with our inadequacies. He told us that we are better than we think we are and that our Heavenly Father loves us so much. He also answered a ton of my questions that I have been pondering my whole mission. He talked a lot about how Satan's tactics nowadays don't come with a lot of temptations for the faithful, they come in the form of depression, discouragement, self-doubt, and poor self-worth. He talked about ways to combat these difficult struggles. He said to always remember that WE ARE BETTER THAN WE THINK WE ARE. He also said to make sure we focus on our strengths and our successes more than we focus on our weaknesses and our failures. It was just a wonderful meeting and it was great to see a lot of other missionaries.
I love you all!! Thanks for your support and encouragement through it all. Remember how much your Heavenly Father loves you and how much you are worth in His eyes.
Love,
Sister Young
Mission tour with Elder Baxter

Blurry Snow Picture! Filling up gas in negative weather...

Martin's Cove



Monday, November 17, 2014

Gratitude


November 10, 2014

The highlight of the week for me was our lesson and associations with our investigator, Sherry. She is just so sweet and is retaining everything a lot better now. There are some members who are involved in her process that really answer her questions in a way that she understands for sure. She is so sweet and has changed so much since the first time I met her 5 months ago. She LOVES learning and is always so excited to get the next "reading assignment". She just talks about it all the time how this gospel has just changed her. She is so much happier now and has made some big changes in her life. She just serves anyone that she can and is just such a sweet lady. She still doesn't like being pushed towards baptism but as she is serving and learning, the Holy Ghost is the one doing the pushing. :)

In other news, it is snowing a lot here. We have contacted some less-actives this week that are really working with now and we have appointments set up with them. We had a great Super Saturday craft making event on Saturday and it was both wards. It was so great to see everyone. Also, in good news, Adrianne, who got baptized last transfer, just got her Patriarchal blessing and is planning a temple trip with Bonnie, also recent convert, to go to the temple! They are just so great. I love them. 

This week we have been sharing this mormon message about The Spirit of Thanksgiving. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful blessing from our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much and wants us to be happy. Watch this video and then start a list of things you are grateful for. You can even share a few on social media with the hashtag #sharegoodness. I met a lady this week who hasn't been to church in years and has had a pretty rough life, but she still keeps a gratitude journal DAILY for everyday of the year. It was a great example to me or having an attitude of gratitude.

I am grateful for each of you in my life and the influence you continue to have on me. I love you all!
Love,
Sister Young


Gratitude

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Winter Has Officially Begun


Hey Everyone!
This week was probably the best week of this transfer.We had Trunk or Treat this week and our truck won 2nd place for best decorated:) We had a bunch of less-actives and an investigator that came that night with his son. It was combined with the other ward and it was great being able to see everyone from Ferris Mt. too. 
This week, my companion and I have been trying to use Hymns more in our teaching. It is great to use hymns. They truly bring the spirit so strongly. There is a less-active lady who had us over this week. She has depression and a lot of other struggles in life. She just has a lot of struggles and just needs some love. We went over and spent some time with her and then the next day we did some service by helping her clean her house. It was quite a chore but it was really great to see her humming along to the hymns we had playing and working with us to get it all clean. Afterword we sat down with her and asked what her favorite hymn was. She told us that it was How Firm a Foundation, but we had to sing ALL the verses. Haha. So the 3 of us sang it together. I have never noticed the other verses to "How Firm a Foundation", but they are beautiful. https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/how-firm-a-foundation?lang=eng
  1. 4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
    For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
  2. 5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
  3. 6. E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove
    My sov'reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
    And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
    Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
    Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.
  4. 7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
    I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
    I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
 It was powerful and she felt the spirit so strongly and started to weep. She thanked us for our service and our love and the spirit that we brought into her life. It was a neat experience to be able to bring her a glimmer of hope in her times of distress.

Our Halloween night was great! We had to be in by 6 and we were told to do our Weekly Planning at that time. So we got our costumes on, I was Minnie Mouse, and we had a ton of goodies and we did our planning. Then when 9:00pm hit, the 4 of us sisters had our own Halloween party! We did bobbing for apples, eating donuts on a string, and eating goodies. It was a blast:) So much fun! 
The work is moving forward. We have a lesson set up with Pat this week to teach her the next lesson. She believes the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and is really interested to learn more. 
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers and love:) Keep pushing forward!
Love,
Sister Young

Minnie Mouse :-)

Halloween Night

Snow Day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Walmart in Rawlins...Finally:)

Well, The big excitement in Rawlins this week is that we FINALLY got a Walmart!!! They have been waiting to get a Walmart for years and years because their nearest Walmarts are Rock springs, Laramie, or Casper which are all at least an hour and a half away. I have watched this Walmart be built from the ground up. They had just barely started it when I got here. We went to the Grand Opening event so that we could see the members of the community and support those we serve with. It was an exciting event! Lots of free stuff and getting to be the first few in Walmart:) 
Alright, so a few experiences that we had this week. First off, we have been visiting everyone that we possibly can, trying to figure out who is still living here, who is interested, etc. It makes for some long days when you don't have set appointments. That is one thing we are trying to change. Getting set appointments. We actually have a lot of set appointments now for the upcoming week, which makes things so nice. The ward is actually really good at getting involved with the work. We have great leadership in this ward that is VERY focused on missionary work. Our bishop this week even set up 2 dinner appointments for us. One with a nonmember family, and one with a less active lady who was supposedly a Do Not Contact. So that just shows how involved and great the leadership is. Now we just need to use that leadership more. They are all super willing, they just say they need assignments directly. So that just means we need to be more direct in involving the Ward Council. 

We had a dinner this week with the two sweet black ladies we met last week. We went over and Hermana made mexican food for them. It was super great and then we taught them the Restoration. We found out that they have had missionaries in their lives before many years ago. But that night when we taught the restoration, some things clicked that hadn't ever before. Both said they would start reading the Book of Mormon.
Another lesson this week was with a referral that we set up a lesson with. It was a bit tricky for me because they only spoke Spanish, but I understood more than I thought I would and actually understood most of what was going on. It was a little rocky when we first got in there because one of the ladies did not want us there and didn't want Hermana to pray. She got really mad and went into her room, and hermana actually started to cry. That is when I knew it couldn't have been good whatever she had just said. But I couldn't do much to help, because I DON'T speak Spanish! ha. So, then she went on to teach the other two siblings the first part of the Restoration and focused on The Book of Mormon. About halfway through the lesson, I figured something out. They were Jehovah Witness. I didn't know for sure, but I guessed somehow. They were super nice though and even though I didn't speak the language, I said a few things to them in broken Spanish and they said that they felt my love and spirit even though I couldn't speak the language. It just proves that the Spirit is a universal language. But that made me want to work on my Spanish more so I have been practicing more every day. We have another lesson with them later this week and dinner. It is so exhausting not understanding what is going on. You feel a bit left out. But that's ok. 

One thing I didn't mention, I have been out for 9 months officially! Crazy how time flies. I am halfway through my mission. I've learned a lot thus far and have a lot more to learn. I know that I am supposed to be on my mission at this time. Sometimes I don't know why, but I know I received the confirmation that I needed to come on my mission. The Lord has plans for each one of us. Stay strong, make changes you need to to feel the Spirit more in your life. It is SO important.
1 Nephi 21:15. Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
 The Lord never forgets us.I love each of you! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Love,
Sister Young 
P.S.-Send pictures of your Halloween costumes or other fun stuff. I haven't gotten many pictures lately. I love pictures!!

Grand Opening of Walmart in Rawlins!

Sisters at Old Penn

Decorated at the Old Pen for the Haunted House.  We are being Zombies...


Monday, October 20, 2014

Alligator in Wyoming?


Well, you might be wondering why my title is about an alligator...well, let's just say, crazy things happen, even in the middle of Wyoming. My very first dinner appointment in my new area of Rawlins, was quite different. We got there and they said, "We have a real treat for you tonight! We are frying up an alligator for you all tonight! Fresh." I looked over and they had an alligator tail just chillin on the counter, still floppin around. It was crazy. They had a friend who brought it to them that very day or something and after playing with it all day, they killed it and were going to fry it up for us. It was quite an interesting dinner...for a lot of reasons. But it was pretty good. So, now I guess I can say the craziest food I ate on my mission was alligator, in the middle of Wyoming! Who would have thought that would ever happen. 

We have 2 main progressing investigators. One, Sherry, Sister Z and I actually found originally while we were shopping on a P-day. We gave her a pamphlet and got her name and number and then realized she was in the other ward. The sisters have been teaching her for a couple months and she is almost ready to be baptized but wants to make the decision on her own and not be pushed. She is a sweet older lady and has been through a lot. She has changed so much since when we first met her in the thrift store. She comes to church every week and now we just need to help her see the importance of baptism with out her feeling pressured. She hates that! ha. 

Our second investigator is from a Part Member family. I have not been able to officially meet him yet but he is planning on being baptized in the next few weeks. I hear he is just great and really ready to be baptized. 

We also found 4 new investigators this week. Two of them are sweet, black ladies, actually the mother of Elvis, the cowboy, the picture I sent over email one week. But they are so sweet and we have dinner with them this week and we will teach them the restoration. We also have a lesson with a lady, a referral from a lady in my last ward, her friend that she works with. We stopped by last night and she said that she had started reading the Book of Mormon already and she listened to General Conference on Saturday afternoon. Awesome right?! So we are excited to teach her this week. 

The leadership in this ward is really great. They really have their ward council going, a great bishop and ward mission leader, and missionary coordination. Super excited to work with the ward even more. 

It was a super weird Sunday this week because it was Stake Conference, so both wards came together for the broadcast. Everyone from the Ferris Mountain ward got really confused to see me still here but they were so happy too. But it was hard for me. I loved seeing everyone and talking to everyone, but I wanted to focus on my new ward, which was hard to do when everyone was talking to me and I wanted to talk to them! haha. I just realized even more how much the other ward is just a family to me. But another neat thing I realized is how easy it has been to just love the people I have met so far in this ward too. It is for sure a different dynamic than the other ward but there are still amazing people that I am excited to get to know more. 

Had an interesting lesson last night. There is a family here that the Sisters have been teaching who are Born Again Baptists. I hear that usually they go over and they can never get very far because they just have so many questions and it takes up the whole time. So this time, we went in with a new plan and approach. We went in, they got to know me, asking me about my testimony and how I gained it, and then we said, "Tonight we are going to do something different." We handed them each a piece of paper and asked them to write down any questions they had while we taught and we would get to their questions but we wanted to teach them the whole restoration, so they could have the whole picture. They agreed. We were able to teach the whole first lesson, powerfully, and the spirit was there. They only interjected with a few questions through out. Even though she was frantically writing through a lot of it:) But the spirit was there and afterward he said, "Wow, that was really a great lesson!" Giving us the credit, but we know it was the spirit that he felt. It is tricky because we don't know how interested they really are, or how open, I should say. They disagree with a LOT of what we taught and aren't willing to find out for themselves. But it made me realize that, with the spirit, we can become powerful teachers and even if they don't acknowledge the spirit, it was there, and they felt it. But they are really sweet people and a neat family.
 
OH-Also, I forgot, my companion speaks Spanish and we are teaching like 3 Spanish investigators right now. We had a couple lessons and I had no idea what was going on....that was tough. But I just try to help them feel my love and I am trying to learn Spanish even more. I will be able to pray soon in Spanish:) That will be good. But it is for sure going to be interesting.
I love you all!!
Love,
Sister Young

Alligator in Wyoming?

Alligator - a real treat for dinner!

Monday, October 13, 2014

6 More Weeks of Winter


This is going to be a bit short today.
What a crazy, roller coaster the mission is. It really is just a huge barrel of mixed, heightened emotions all the time. Just so you all know, I found out about transfers and it is not what I expected at all. I will be staying in Rawlins but ward hopping. I will be leaving the ward I have been in for 6 months, and going to the other ward in Rawlins. I was literally in shock for a long time after I found out. The Lord REALLY wants me here in Rawlins. I will be companions with Hermana Mondragon, who I have lived in the same house with for the past transfer, and my old companion Sister Johnson is staying in my ward with a New Missionary that she will be training. Pretty crazy right? I am praying for peace and confirmation for myself to know why the Lord needs me here still. I don't understand logically at all. It is a bit of a test of my faith, but the Lord hasn't failed me yet and I know I will come to understand why. Just a bit surprising. 

This week there were just a bunch of random occurrences that happened. We are having trouble finding new investigators, but we are still trying. 
A neat thing that happened this week was that we got to teach the daughter of a less-active. She has had a complete turn around. She shared with us some really neat spiritual experiences that have happened over the past few weeks and the need she feels to use the atonement and come back to church. I felt the spirit strongly as we talked with her and she shared her experience. We then were able to go back to her house and start teaching her the lessons just to help her faith grow even more. She is just super neat and making some really good decisions right now and truly feeling the power of the Atonement. 
The four of us Sisters also got to teach seminary this past week one morning. It was such a neat experience. I LOVE working with the youth. They have such great spirits and they are strong. 
Prayers work. This week we prayed with a couple of our investigators because her boyfriend just has a really bad problem with alcohol and needs some help but doesn't want to admit it. We prayed for him and I prayed that he would be able to get the help that he needs, in what ever way the Lord saw fit. This week he ended up in jail and is now going to get some much needed help. His girlfriend and sister are very happy about this turn of events and thanked us for our prayer when we stopped by last, and recognized that the Lord had answered our prayers. The Lord answers, not always in ways that we expect, but He answers. 
Well, I love you all! Have a wonderful week.
Adrianne, recent convert, is getting her temple recommend soon and has already started her family history work. She is just on fire! She is so excited to have the blessings of the temple in her life. She is also going to get her patriarchal blessing. Just so neat to see these wonderful new members. 
Winter is coming in Wyoming, and it looks like I'm not done yet experiencing Wyoming Winters. Good thing I know what to expect. I've got my fleece lined tights and hand/toe warmers all ready to go though. I love you all. Thanks for your prayers and support.
 
Love,
Sister Young

Helping at the Old Pen for service, getting it all ready for Halloween

Went bowling on P-day with Brother Green!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The End?

October 6, 2014


My conference weekend was great! We watched it at a different house for each session. First we watched it at the Stilwells, Katie, who got baptized in June, then Saturday afternoon we watched it at Sis. Gableson's house with Sis. Skinner too. She made us popcorn :) Then Saturday night we ended up, through some interesting events...watching the Priesthood session with a Less-active family. It was great! Dad- I also loved Pres. Utchdorf's talk and thought about you during that talk for some reason because I thought you would like it. Then Sunday morning we watched it at the Campbell's house, the ones who introduced Bonnie to the church. Then Sunday afternoon we watched at Sister Charlton's house with Adrianne and her baby. It is so different being in so many different places for conference but it's nice to have people that love us and take us in like family here while we are away from our own families. I loved the first session of conference. I loved Elder Robbins talk about "Which way do you face?" Not letting fear of man take over and control more than fear of God. I also loved,  Elder Jorg Klebingat's talk, Spiritual Confidence before God. Super random I know but they were awesome talks! Plus I loved Elder Bednar's talk about how when your testimony of the Atonement increases, your desire to share the gospel will increase as a natural consequence. I just loved then all I guess. Also how Elder Richard G. Scott told us to rearrange our priorities to make scripture study the key thing! It is more important than anything! Also, giving our families our best attention and love, not just our leftover love and attention after everything else. That was neat! Soooo many talks about Prophets too! Which was great. Prophets are key to everything. It is neat to know that we can rely on the prophets and they won't lead us astray. I am in the process of setting goals based off of the messages and promptings I received:) We invited the members to ask questions before conference, and now after we are going to invite them to set goals based off of the messages they received. I know that conference is direct revelation from our Heavenly Father and I am so grateful for the messages I received and the questions that I had answered. 

Some of the highlights of the week have been teaching Zane the lessons. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and also watched the Joseph Smith movie with him and Bonnie, and also Bonnie's husband decided to sit in and watch. Bonnie's husband is slowly starting to have his heart softened. On Saturday Bonnie texted us and let us know that he had watched conference with her all day long to celebrate their anniversary! :) So neat. Back to Zane...He is super excited about everything that he is learning and it is really clicking with him. We asked how he was feeling about baptism and he said he was just feeling really excited about it and wanted to do it. He is so sincere and feels the spirit so strongly. It is just amazing to be able to teach him because he just studies the scriptures, has questions, and is really wanting this gospel to be part of his life. Such a neat experience to be able to teach him. 

Ohhh, so I forgot to mention, we find out about Transfers this upcoming Saturday. I am pretty sure this is it for me but I thought that last week too, so who knows. I am having mixed feelings about it. I am going to feel like I am leaving family when I leave here. This place is home to me. Who would have thought that I would grow to call Rawlins home. But I also feel ready to move on to other things, which is going to be so entirely hard for me. I love these people, I love the sisters that I serve around and live with, I love this town, I love the work here. But we will find out and I will work extra hard this last week of transfers! We are struggling to find new investigators at the moment, but we are really trying to inspire the members to do the finding. That is most effective! I loved in conference how Elder Bednar reminded the missionaries that we are here to help members with THEIR missionary work. It is not our work, but we are helping them with their missionary work, which is ultimately the Lord's work, but we are helping them to do the Lord's work:) 
It is finally starting to get colder here. Like Wyoming cold. Not quite to the negatives yet, but when we go running in the morning at the track, I wear my warm clothes! Gloves, hat, hoodie, sweats. I love the strength that I get from these other sisters I live with. We all have our struggles but really help each other to be as obedient as we can. It is always so much nicer when all of you are working to be the best you can be and you help each other when you fall short. I feel completely like myself this transfer with these sisters and they are some of my greatest friends. So grateful for what I am learning from them, from the people here, and most importantly from the spirit. 

Pray for me to accept and be at peace with whatever transfers brings next week. I love each of you and pray for you!! Oh P.S.- I have been rereading the Book of Mormon again but this time through I am highlighting every time it talks about the Savior, Heavenly Father, The Holy Ghost, and Covenants. It really helps my studies to have a focus like that. I have been able to improve my studies a lot while on my mission and I am grateful for the time I have set aside each morning to do that. I will help it carry over to after my mission. 

I love each of you!!! Thanks for your support and love! Keep Smiling!
Love,
Sister Young

We made a scripture chart with the Stilwell girls.

Making Swedish Pancakes as Family Conference Tradition!

Swedish Pancakes on Sunday Morning!

Swedish Pancakes for my wonderful companions!