Monday, April 28, 2014

T'was My Last Week in Berthoud!‏

Soooo the moment you all have been waiting for, even though you might have already heard, because somehow I have spies all over! Goodness:)! haha. I am going back to WYOMING! Haha. RAWLINS 1st Ward to be exact. I am pretty excited about it. My companion's name is Sister Zvirzdin. I still don't know how to pronounce it all the way but that's ok:) I've heard good things about her and I am excited!  I think that we are the first sister missionaries in Rawlins. Or second transfer of sisters. I just know they have had elders there and everyone was surprised to hear that sisters were going there. So that is super exciting!! I am going to be so close to GR though. Weird huh? Oh well, I can handle it:) I just think it  is funny how we joked about me getting sent to Rawlins but I never thought I really would. But it feels right and it feels like it is time to leave. I have loved Berthoud and have been able to move the work along here.
That is a goal that I have. When I leave every area I want to be able to say that I helped to make the area better then when I found. I can say that with Berthoud. We may not have been able to baptize anyone during my time here, but the area is being prepared and I was an instrument in the Lord's hand to help with that. We helped move the members forward in their work, we helped less-actives move forward towards Christ, we helped find multiple new potential investigators, served, blessed, strengthened. I don't feel disappointed with the work that has been done here. I am excited to hear about Berthoud more as the time goes forward. Sister M is staying here for another transfer. That will be 4 transfers for her in one area! Crazy huh? 

Last P-day was super fun! We all go to the Stake Center for P-day and this past Monday the Elders had brought giant foam swords. Elders...haha. Then they would battle with them. I watched for a bit and then I just had to join in! It was so much fun! I have made some really good friends in this zone. We have had some excellent Zone Leaders and District Leader. They truly have Charity and really use that Charity to help us be obedient. They have been really strict with enforcing the white handbook but it is in a very loving way. We have great zone unity right now because we are all moving forward with the work in the Lord's way. I am including pictures of our District, and also our Zone Leaders. I am going to miss Loveland Zone a lot. 

We have had a few neat experiences this week. A few weeks ago we were going through our phone contacts and found a name in there with no number but the missionaries had put an address. So we decided to go and stop by and see who this person was and get in contact. A lady came to the door and we asked if she was Alison. She said she wasn't but then she started talking to us and asking who we were. Then when she found out that we were from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she got really excited! She said she knew some Mormons and loved them. She said that the night we stopped by was perfect because things were crazy and she had been needing some peace. She then asked if we had any literature. Well, of course we have literature! So we pulled out a Book of Mormon and introduced her to it and told her how it came about and what it was about. She said she would start reading it that night. She was so excited and we left her with a prayer and said we would stop by next week. We walked away completely dumbfounded. We don't get experiences like that very often. The Lord's hand was in that  occurrence 100%. The joy that filled my soul was amazing and I realized, once again, the joy that comes from being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. We pulled the car over on the side of a Berthoud country road and thanked Heavenly Father. Experiences like that make it all worth it. 

We had a ward potluck this week. We invited so many people to it but we only had 25 people come:( That is such a tough thing in this town. We can invite and invite and invite, but it is always up to the individual. There are a lot of hard hearted people in the world. But one thing that I have realized is that love can soften hearts. I have seen the hearts of so many soften while I have been here. Love is such a powerful thing. Once someone understands their Heavenly Father's love, through you, they start to make changes. This week the less-active I was talking about who we did service for last week, his wife has asked us to ask him if we can teach him the lessons again. She says that she thinks now his heart will be softened enough to accept. 

This weekend we also had the opportunity to go to a memorial service for a member's son who passed away last year. They are some of the most well-known people in Berthoud and there were many individuals that were in attendance at the service. A less-active came to it that had never been to the Berthoud church building and we were able to sit by her. They focused a lot on the Plan of Salvation and the hope it brings. You could just tell those members of the family who didn't know about the Plan of Salvation and how they were so weighed down with sorrow. My heart hurt for them and I was able to weep with them. Mourning with those that mourn. I had a neat opportunity to be there as the Savior would be. Weeping with them. But I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of the Plan of Salvation and that we know we can be with our families for eternity through the power of the priesthood. 
.Alma 34: 32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.
 37 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should awork out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;
 38 That ye acontend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the bname of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and cworship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in dthanksgiving daily, for the many emercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
 39 Yea, and I also aexhort you, my brethren, that ye be bwatchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the ctemptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you dno good thing.
 40 And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have apatience, and that ye bear with all manner of bafflictions; that ye do not crevile against those who do cast you out because of your dexceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;
 41 But that ye have apatience, and bear with those bafflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.
I don't share these verses to bring a feeling of guilt or call you to repentance but to show what the purpose of this life is. And then focusing on the last couple verses, we have many mercies and blessing given to us and one day, we can rest from all our afflictions. We must come to know our Savior and continually be doing the things we need to to come unto our Savior. Lean on Him when times get tough. Don't be afraid, only believe!  

I am sad to leave Berthoud but so excited for this next transfer! I feel a confirmation already that the Lord needs me in Rawlins, WY and I am at peace. My testimony that the Lord truly knows what He is doing, has been strengthened. Every transfer is what He wants done. Also, all you Wyoming people, I know it might be tempting to come and visit me since you are so close, but resist;) You can still wave "at me" as you pass through Rawlins though. I love you all and hope all is well back home. I'm coming back Wyoming!!! Look out!

Sister Young
Easter time eggs


Zone Leaders/Berthoud Elders

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Witness

Hello Everyone!
 Easter was just a great day. People took care of us here and we were able to visit a few sisters in the ward that were spending Easter alone. I felt prompted that we really needed to spend time with those who were alone. The Savior would not want them to feel alone. That is the whole reason why he Atoned for us. So we wouldn't have to feel alone. So my Easter day went a little like this! First we went to church. I got to be a part of the Berthoud Ward Choir. There was an Easter program that consisted of some talks and music. It was a beautiful program. We sang an arrangement of Abide with Me, then He Sent His Son (with the primary kids), and There is a Green Hill Far Away. I love music! Then we went to Sunday school and Relief Society where we talked more about Christ. My testimony has grown even more through this week about how real our Savior is. I've become more familiar with his wonderful example and life that he lead. After church we went to visit some potential investigators, no one was home. But we took our lunch hour back home with the E family. She made a quiche and we did a Bulgarian egg game:) Then we took time for our personal and companionship studies, where I got to spend time reading about our Savior. It was so wonderful. Then we went to visit a lady whose husband is spending some time in jail right now and she is feeling very alone. She is a less-active member with lots of questions. We were able to visit with her and share a message. Then we went to have dinner with a single sister in the ward who was spending Easter alone. And after that we went to a youth choir production, in the church building right across from where the temple is being built. We have been inviting people for weeks to come this this choir concert all about Christ. It was packed! It was all the Loveland and Fort Collins stakes.. That was my wonderful Easter! I felt very close my my Savior and felt what a great honor it is to wear His name every day. 
The rest of my week was actually a really good one. While last week was the trial of my faith, this week we were able to receive the witness we are promised in the scriptures. We were able to teach Bro. F twice this week. The first lesson was a little tricky, as always, because he talks and talks and talks and we don't get a word in. But as he was talking I had a thought come to mind and when it got quiet for a second(literally like a second) I jumped in and asked "What do you know about Jesus Christ?" We then came to find out that he really hardly has any knowledge of our Savior! How can he follow Jesus Christ's example and be a member of his church, unless he knows him? So we set a time to come back and watch the Finding Faith in Christ movie. Which is one way we knew he would not be able to talk and talk:) So we came back and watched the movie with him and then we were able to answer his questions after. He is slowly, slowly progressing, but now we know what he really needs! 
We were also able to teach M more this week. The older lady that we had dinner with. While she has told us that she doesn't want to change, she still likes us sharing messages with her. And she has questions that we answer. This week we actually got her to pray at the end of our lesson. She struggles praying out loud but she gave a beautiful prayer. I just love her tons! Then we came back and helped her garden later in the week. I don't know if I told you but she brought out a yellow sweater last week and said, "Whenever I look at this sweater, I just think of you." And she gave it to me. She is the sweetest. I know if she doesn't accept the gospel in this life, she will in the next. But we want to help her get to that point before that. Love and service. 
We also have received a lot of referrals this week. Randomly too! One was a lady who just moved to Berthoud who the Elders from another area told us about and said she wants to be taught. She is hard of hearing, which is neat because Sister Mathews knows sign language. We have been trying to contact her but haven't found her home yet. We also have a family in the ward, the B, who I love dearly. When ever I go to their house I feel very at home. They are the best. But their daughter had a random religious talk with a friend the other night and her friend said that she would love to meet with the missionaries to learn more. Awesome right?! Little things are happening. 
We also had the chance to do some service for a member family. The lady who conducts music I told you about. Her husband is a less-active member but last time we went over for dinner we really connected with him. She had us come over and help her sort through her food storage and then we had dinner. Her husband really opened up and he is such a great guy! It is neat to see his heart softening little by little. We will continue to try to teach him. We also have been teaching another member's husband. We just found out that he was excommunicated a while ago and hasn't wanted anything with the church but recently, we met him and he told his wife to invite us over for dinner. Then he has been asking us to come back every week and teach them. His wife yesterday at church said that he has been asking when we are coming back and that we have really touched his heart. It is neat to see people's hearts soften through love and the Holy Ghost. The work is moving forward!
We also got the chance to stop by the S house and talk to her. We cleared up some misconceptions she had about the church and told her more about the Book of Mormon and she accepted a copy and said she would read it. She really opened up to us too about her husband and his struggles. She told us to continue to stop by. 
Fun story of the week. On Saturday, we went over to a member's house to do some service and have dinner, and share a message. Now, this lady is very sweet. She and her husband and recently reactivated and working towards the temple. They love to talk, but she is the sweetest lady. Before we came we found out that she had called Sister E to "Extend our curfew" and make sure she knew we were going to be home later. Haha! (Don't worry, we still made it home by the time the white handbook says.) But we get there and she tells us that she spent 2 hours that day getting together an Easter game for us after we did service and had dinner. We dusted her house for service, and then ate chicken. Then her game was called, "Build Your Easter Basket," She had clues and had hidden candy and prizes around her whole house for us to race and go find:) It was super fun and really sweet of her to do for us. She loves giving missionaries socks too. Because she had a sister over one time with mismatched socks, so she figured she needed new socks. So I got 3 new pairs of socks:) And a cute rooster statue, candy, pinwheels, Bible word searches, bubbles, fresh eggs from her farm, hay from her farm. All sorts of stuff. Super sweet of her:) I really do love the people here in Berthoud. 
We find out about transfers this coming Saturday. We have heard that president might keep all the sisters in the exact same situations. So I might be here again, with Sister M. Who knows what is going to happen! We will be moving from the E's house though. We are moving to Bishop A's house. I am sad to leave the E's but I love the A family too, so it should be fun. 
I love you all soooooo much!!! Thanks for your letters, prayers, and diligence. Keep me posted on you all and your lives. I miss you! Can't wait to talk to you all on mother's day!

This is Brother and Sister E.  She made this beautiful Easter dress and wears hats like this to church every week!  I just love them both

Bother and Sister B before we searched the house for the prizes to fill our baskets with.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trial of Faith

Hello Everyone!
It's been of week of trials of our faith. We got the lowest number of total lessons that I have gotten my whole mission. We only had 10 total lessons. There were days when we went through all of our plans, backup plans, and backup backup plans, and nothing came from them. Also, I have been writing about M, the bishop's referral and how a couple weeks ago she was so excited and wanted to be baptized and have her husband learn too. Well, we hadn't heard from her in about a week and a half and we were pretty worried and knew something was up. We called a few times during the week and stopped by and left a sticky note on her door and such. But still nothing, until yesterday. She called us and said that she had talked to her husband and they felt like they were comfortable in the church they are in right now. They have friends and a way of life with the church they have now. She was very kind about it all and thanked us, and she said she felt guilty calling us to tell us that they weren't interested in learning more. It was really tough and the first time I have been "dropped" on my mission so far. But I just have this feeling inside that she knows that it is true and that this is just the beginning for her. I was strangely calm when I heard because the spirit whispered to me that she would be back. This is not the end. She felt it and wants it but needs to realize it. I still invited her to continue to read the Book of Mormon and to call us is she needed us ever. I'm not giving up on her. We did exchanges this week, so I went to Loveland and the sisters there are actually living with T! My 2nd or 3rd cousin! Crazy huh? The one that we ate dinner with that one night. So that was kinda fun. I loved being with Sister Cardon for a day. It was the first time that I have gotten to ride a bike on my mission:) I LOVE riding bikes, even in a skirt. So we rode around and did missionary work and I got sunburned but it was a great day!
The next day I was with Sister Christensen in Berthoud and that was probably one of the toughest days doing missionary work. That was a day when I literally tried EVERYTHING, and it felt like nothing happened. We stopped by potentials, less-actives, we tracted, I called a ton of people we have been trying to set up appointments with, and nothing. Until the end of the day, when a small little miracle happened, that I am so grateful for. I had felt prompted all day to go and visit a less-active but we knew she wasn't home until later at night, but we tracted up her street for a bit and then when we got to her house, she had just gotten home. We talked to her, I had met her before. She asked if we were going to the Relief Society activity that night and we said we were and she said that someone invited her but she didn't think she was going to go. We told her we would miss her and talked a bit longer and then headed off to the activity. We got to the activity and a few minutes later she walks into the church! Somehow she had decided to come that night. Small and simple things...even after alll the effort that I could put forth. 
One of my biggest problems this week is wondering if I really am doing the best I can, or giving it my all, because I am not seeing anything come. So I start questioning if I am really doing my part. I feel like I really am giving it my all, but that is when Satan kicks in and starts telling me that it wasn't good enough. I know there is always more that I can do but how can I know if my best really is my best?
I got so down on Saturday night and felt like I needed a blessing or else I just was going to crash. Luckily our Zone Leaders go to the Berthoud building on Sundays for the YSA ward and so I was able to ask them for a blessing. Elder Petersen gave me a blessing and it brought the peace back into my heart that I had been missing. I am so grateful for the priesthood power and that I have been blessed to grow up in a home with that priesthood power. 
Oh, speaking of the Relief Society activity, guess what?! It was an "Around the World" type activity and our ward mission leader's daughter served in Korea so she had made rice with Kimchi and Ho Duk ( Duck Do;)) I was soooo happy! I miss Korean food. Tender Mercy. 
This week with the members that we have gotten to visit and teach, we have been inviting the members to read from Preach My Gospel and working with the Bishop to get copies to members who don't have their own. We really want to emphasize what Elder Ballard talked about. 
So now that I have told you some struggles, I will tell you some miracles. There are ALWAYS miracles, even if you have to look extra hard for them sometimes. On Tuesday, we stopped by one of our potential investigators who we found while tracting a while ago. She is the one that grew up pentacostal and left that church recently and is trying to rebuild her relationship with God again from scratch. She is looking for God's truth. She is so in tune to the spirit and she has sooo many of the same beliefs and standards that we have. She seems so ready. We ended up having a really neat discussion about each member of the Godhead, our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and each of their roles. Then we taught her about Joseph Smith and the restoration and she accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and said she would read it. She can't see how so many people claim to be Christian but aren't willing to put forth the effort to get to know our Savior and follow his example. She seems so ready, so we will see. We set up another time to come back today, but when we stopped by she had left a note for us saying that she was so sorry but couldn't meet with us because something came up but she wanted us to try again. She really is interested and it is amazing to see how the Lord has prepared her. Keep them in your prayers! 
Another miracle of the week. Last week I talked about S, the less-active that we taught about the sacrament. She came to sacrament meeting this week, for the first time in about a year! It was so neat to have her there and she really felt the spirit strongly. 
We also had the chance to do some service this week for a lady who was effected by the flood last year. She showed us her property and the damage is crazy! We helped her replant her yard and got to know her a bit more. She is a really neat lady.
We were able to go to the temple today with Sister A, Bishop's wife, she is such a neat lady! It was a really nice trip to the temple. The Denver Temple is beautiful. We went to lunch after and just had a really great time. The peace that I was able to feel in the temple was exactly what I needed and I felt my Heavenly Father's love for not only me but everyone that we are teaching right now in Berthoud. I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to go back into the world. It is nice being in a place where Satan can not enter.
I am excited this week to be able to have a holiday where our Savior is remembered so fully. While most think of Easter as celebrating Christ's death and resurrection, we are also remembering the most important event to ever occur. The Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. Always remember the great sacrifice of our Savior and how much he went through for each of us. He loves us each and knows what we go through. I am so blessed to be able to have his name upon me everyday. To experience similar feelings that he did. I know I am coming to know my Savior personally, as I have taken his name upon me. I know each of you too can come to know him personally as you put his name on your heart. It's worth it.
I love you each! Hold on, even when you can't see the end. Good things are yet to come. 
Sister Karissa Young
Biking in a skirt!

Temple Day

Let Us All Press On! - April 7, 2014

So, like every week, there have been some adventures. First one happened last Monday after I e-mailed all of you. We went to the Loveland stake center to be with the rest of the missionaries, and I joined in with the Elders and a few sisters in playing Gator Ball. was like soccer, rugby, tag, all mixed into one. Anyway, I wasn't being super aggressive or anything but I jumped up to block someone and then I came down weird on my foot and heard a distinct pop...uh oh. So I automatically got upset at myself and went and sat down. started swelling up so we went home early so I could ice it. I wasn't really sure what I had done to it and I was just praying that it wasn't anything that would keep me from doing the work. I just dealt with the pain and continued on with our normal schedule, limping around everywhere. But let me illustrate what kind of people I live with and how much I am taken care of out here. That night, we asked Bro. E, the people we live with, if he had an ACE bandage wrap, because the tiny store we checked in Berthoud was out...ha. He said he didn't but he said, "I'll go get one at Walmart." Mind you, it was 10:00 at night and Walmart is about 20 minutes away, so same distance from Green River to Rock Springs. We tried to stop him, saying that I would be ok, but he hopped in his car right that second and drove to get my an ankle brace and some wrap. He is one of the most Christ-like people I know. That is only one illustration of the kind of people that are in Berthoud. Every day this week, we have been fed not only dinners, but lunches! People here really take care of us. The Lord makes sure we are watched over. 

But, the miracle was, I was still able to do all the work. Well, I mean...I probably should have stayed off of it but you know my personality. I'm not going to let a silly sprained foot get in the way of the Lord's work. But it has healed quite nicely and besides the huge bruises all over my foot, I can walk just fine now. more Gator Ball for a while. Another thing I realized this week is how much Satan is trying to stop the work from progressing, but he CANNOT win. First with my foot, and then some crazy things happened on April Fool's day. They were so crazy that we truly thought that our Zone Leaders were just pulling our legs because it was April 1st. But, nope. First we had 2 elders get separated somehow so they sent a huge message out telling us to look for him. Then that night we get a text that our Zone Leader was in the hospital. What? Come to find out later that we had like 5 or 6 emergency transfers for a couple of random reasons, so we have a totally new zone. Ha. We also have a new Elder in Berthoud. But that night, I got really down. I just felt really helpless and I was worried about our ZL and about the Elder who was lost, and just all sorts of feelings. It was not fun. Satan is trying hard with the missionaries to stop the work, but things have gotten better since that crazy April Fool's Day. 

This week, Sister M and I have been focusing on getting to the root of people's concerns. We realized that we have been beating around the bush a bit with some individuals and it is time to get bold! And we have been lead and guided as we have set this goal. Most of our lessons this week were really great with getting to their concerns and trying to resolve them. One Less-Active member, S, we have been visiting and she has not come to church in a long time. We felt recently that it was because she didn't feel worthy to partake of the sacrament. I felt prompted to read to her a section in True to the Faith talking about how we don't need to be perfect to take the sacrament, we just need a contrite spirit and being striving to do our very best. It really hit her strongly and next Sunday she said she would be there. Pray for her!!

Another thing we learned this week, people are not willing to commit to a lifetime of trying to live like our Savior. One of people's biggest concerns is that when they join the church it will take up too much of their time. It does take up a lot of time because it is not just a religion but a change of heart and mind. It is changing our lives. But the Lord WILL give us the strength that we need to be able to do our very best.

This week we have also been faced with some pretty tricky people with questions and not softened hearts to listen to the answers. One was a lady who is less-active, but who, we found out, hasn't been since she was 12. We got in to talk to her and she had some questions about doctrine and things she had heard, misconceptions, all sorts of things. We did the best we could and testified, but she wasn't taking any of our answers to heart. Times like that are so tricky! We got out and as we were driving to our dinner, we just were so frustrated. Ha but it really strengthened my testimony to have things questioned. We had another similar situation like that last night too. Woah, being a missionary is tough! I am realizing that I want to become a better teacher. I want to teach with convincing power like the missionaries and prophets in the Book of Mormon. That is my goal. It just gets tricky and I don't feel like we do a very good job sometimes. Which is frustrating.'s a learning experience. I just wish I didn't have to learn while someone else's salvation is at stake...but the Lord knew what he was doing when he called missionaries out from ages 18 to whenever. 

This week we also taught M and gave her a tour of the church while we taught her the Doctrine of Christ. I also felt impressed to talk about Eternal Families while we were in the Primary room with pictures of the temple. Then when we got to the font, we invited her again to be baptized and asked how she was feeling about it. She said that she wanted to be baptized but she wanted her husband to learn with her so that they both can be baptized because she wants an eternal family like we talked about. It was so neat! So this week we are praying that we will get to start teaching her husband too! 

One thing that we have been emphasizing with the members lately is to search for service opportunities around Berthoud. To have the faith that they will come about and from those service opportunities, they will find those prepared to hear the gospel. We too have been striving for that same thing and have been getting better at searching for unplanned acts of service. This week we saw a couple trying to carry a king sized mattress into their house. So I turned around the car and we went back to ask if we could help. They were very grateful and we helped them carry in the rest. We got talking and then gave them our card with our number and we are going to stop by again this week. They just moved to town and he just quit smoking recently. They seem very neat and were very open and friendly to us. Acts of service CAN help you find those who are ready. Have the faith that the Lord will put people in your path who are ready to hear the gospel. 

General Conference was wonderful. We watched the first two sessions in Loveland an in between there was a family who fed all the missionaries in our zone. So sweet of them! Then the next day we went to the Berthoud building and the H family was there, Ward Mission Leader's family. Then they invited us over for lunch with them. It was nice to have a family that reminds me of ours a bit, to be able to watch conference with and eat lunch with. Then we watched the final session. I loved the emphasis on love. Also, did you hear how many times they said the word Empathy? I'm so grateful that that word is not new to my vocabulary. Christ truly has perfect empathy. I also loved Elder Ballard's talk on Following Up and Missionary Work. A.) Because we have been working on following up more effectively B.) It' great to hear more how to help the members get involved with missionary work! I'd love to hear what you all are studying in Preach my Gospel and I will try to share more what I am studying each week too:) That would be fun!! The Lord truly is hastening His work! Catch the wave, find the joy that comes as you invite others to hear the gospel. 

The work in Berthoud is growing, little by little. It is going to take some time but as we were setting goals, we realized how many people are ready and could potential have baptismal dates in the future. There are many! It is a slow moving process but it IS moving:) 

Next week I get to go to the Denver temple on Tuesday!! My companion is at her halfway point and I guess I am allowed to go with her:) Because who knows where I will be at my halfway point. If I am in Wyoming or anywhere further away, I won't be able to go, so I am taking the opportunity now. I am so excited!! We are going with the bishop's wife, who I love dearly. But because of that, I will not be writing until Tuesday night. So don't be worried if you don't get an e-mail on Monday. I love you alll!!! Thanks for you letters, e-mails, pictures, support, and all you do to build the Kingdom of God!! Have a great week. 
Sister Young
Cool mural in Berthoud and an old ambulance!

A&W P-day!

This is a newspaper box literally in the middle of nowhere...

Bruised foot after a few days.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's Past my 2 Month Mark? Crazy!

Guess what? I forgot to tell you that I have been out over 2 months now. Crazy huh? Time is flying by a bit. Well, the days are long but the weeks are short. Like, I can't believe that it is Monday again already. So weird! But it's been a learning week that is for sure. It was interesting. This was one of our busiest weeks but we didn't see a lot of progress or success. We had a tons of meetings this week. Missionary Coordination, District meeting, 2nd Training meeting, Breakfast at President Crane(Stake President), Women Broadcast, all sorts of meetings this week.  But we were certainly taught what we needed to this week. We are lacking faith. We may have faith in theory but do we have faith to move to action and make miracles happen.
 We have been struggling with the F family. Brother F has not been progressing in the past 2 or 3 weeks because they have been so busy with flood repairs. So we had been praying to know what to do to help him progress to baptism. It also gets discouraging when you have people telling you that what you should be doing to help him, but you have tried everything that you possibly could and those people don't understand that. I was feeling really discouraged and this week I started doubting my ability as a missionary. I realized more weaknesses this week than I have so far while being out here. I have a lot of improving to do. But usually I realize the improvements I need to make, learn from them, and move forward. But I have been letting them get me down this week. Which I need to snap out of. A big part of it has been measuring my success off of the wrong things I think. We can't be measuring our success based on others. There is a quote from Preach my Gospel that says, "Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs." I didn't realize that I had been comparing myself to other missionaries but I have been. There are ways that I am going to be touching the lives of others that others could not. I need to realize not to measure just what is being seen on the outside, the numbers. I also realized I have, without meaning to, been focusing more on reaching goals of numbers or "doing missionary work" then I have been on loving as the Savior would and doing as the Savior would. I am trying to find the balance of setting my vision to baptism and strive to go about it the way the Savior would. It is a tricky balance. I am still working on it.  
Oh wow, I just got on a tangent. Back to Brother F. So we had kind of been lacking faith with him and didn't think that he would be progressing for a while or that he would be at church. But yesterday we were sitting at church and during the opening hymn, he walked in with 3 of his family members! I elbowed Sister M really hard by accident because I was so surprised. The Lord reminded us of some important lessons. He IS in charge. If we do our part, he will do the rest. Also, we need to never lose faith and don't give up on people no matter how impossible it is becoming. The lessons were all exactly what he needed, but he forgot his hearing I don't know how much he heard...but I am sure he felt the spirit that day. haha. 
Oh random story of a tender mercy. After my e-mail was sent last week, our amazing day did not get over. The Sunday night before we had been visiting some less-actives in the country and their neighbors were having a campfire. Sister M and I started talking about how we missed campfires and how much we loved them. Then the next night, Monday night, we went over to a member's house for dinner and when we got there, she said, "We are having a campfire dinner tonight!" Haha, so we got to roast hot dogs and marshmellows in skirts around a campfire! Best tender mercy ever! We told them how we had just been wishing we could have a campfire the day before. It really showed us how much our Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of us. Little things. 
Also, this week, there were some neat lessons we have been able to be a part of. We have a less-active, who hasn't been to church in forever. So we met her at the church. She is a visual learner, we have been realizing, so we had two object lessons for her about the importance of the Sacrament and how it can help her have the Holy Ghost more fully in her life. Then we took her into the chapel and invited her to pray for the strength to come to church this week. The spirit was very strong. 
Ok, two more stories. One, we were able to eat dinner this week with a non-member, Mary, who I have talked a little about. We tracted into her and she had us change the heater filter. Anyway, her grandson, 14, visited her this week and she wanted him to meet us, her angels(as she calls us). She is the sweetest. We ate with her, talked to her grandson about his missionary work and his life, she joined in and asked questions sometimes, then we taught her a lesson on Faith, relating it to gardening, since she loves gardening. She still says she isn't interested in learning more about our church but she loves us coming and teaching her. Haha. She is confusing. But we love her and will keep visiting and slowly see her heart softening. I am including a picture of Mary, and also of Grandma Ruby! Haha. This is a soft sculpture of an old granny that someone made for Mary and she puts it in random place to scare people. She used to drive around with it buckled in the front seat of her car! 
Second story, I have a dog story finally. Not as bad as it could be though, because we were in our car, but let me tell you, it scared me!! So we were out in the country, of course, and people just let their dogs run wild basically so it can be a little iffy to tract out there. But we were visiting a less-active and she had a really long dirt walkway but we said, why not, let's drive up it and see if she is home. We didn't realize how many dogs were up that drive way though. So our car starts driving and as we get to the house, 5 huge dogs run at the car. But they don't just bark at the car, they JUMP at the car. The dogs are thudding on the car and barking and...we decided that if we wanted to stay in one piece we were not going to get out of the car. We thought someone would come out and call the dogs away but...nope! So we had to somehow turn the car around in the tiny dirt space, without hitting the dogs thudding at our car. So we will not be going back there. We'll send the Elders over or something...ha. 
We got to teach the Sunday school lesson this week. I was able to teach the Atonement. My favorite topic. There was a wonderful quote by Henry B. Eyring, "The Atonement will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. … And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.14
The atonement truly helps us through all trials and afflictions. Our Savior chose to experience everything that we would so that he could empathize with us. He knows how to best help us. We just need to give our burdens to Him and he will help us. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to come closer to him as I represent him for 18 months of my life. I love you all so much!! Thanks for all your support and your e-mails!!
Sister Young
This is a member's house.  Beauty & the Beast!

Mary and Grandma Ruby!

Fort Collins Temple is starting!!  So exciting!!

Fort Collins Temple site!