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!!!
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!!
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.
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!
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!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Babies and Baptisms

Monday - September 29, 2014

Dear Everyone!

So much happened this week! Uhhhh, where to begin.
This week we began to teach a new investigator. His name is Zane and he is Bonnie, our investigator who just got baptized, her nephew. He is super prepared for the gospel as well. We had exchanges but I got to be part of teaching him the first lesson. It is so neat to see how this gospel answers all of the questions of our souls. I never realized that so many people ask questions all through life and don't know where to find the answers. I am so blessed to have the resources to have my questions answered. The lesson with Zane was really neat and he gave a lot of input and just talked about how much he agreed and felt what we taught to be true. We described the holy ghost to him and how the Holy Ghost feels, and then I felt prompted to ask if he had felt any of those feelings during the lesson. He said that he for sure had felt those feelings a lot while we had been teaching. He then went to Bonnie's baptism and to church the next day. We taught him again last night, the Plan of Salvation. He said he had a lot of his questions answered while we taught him. But the neat thing was, the Holy Ghost answered his questions. He asked a question to us, and then he started talking and answered his own question, based on what we had just taught him. He said that before that lesson, when he had read the pamphlet, he wanted to know if it was true, and he knew he had received answers before when he prayed because he had felt the Holy ghost that we had helped him recognize, so he knew he would receive and answer, and he did! I hope that sentance made sense. I am in a hurry. haha. 

Another neat experience, this week we had Ward Council, and it is amazing to see how the Ward Council is all coming together to retain these new converts. I was so impressed to see the progress of our ward council. We asked to make sure all of our 3 new converts had Home and Visiting Teachers, and the leaders were already on top of it and making other plans too! The ward has really stepped up and it is amazing to have it not just be us doing the work. The members are very involved and they just take good care of us. I just love them! We have the new member lessons started for all of the recent converts and the members are so great with teaching those lessons and being true friends to these people. 

Talked to Adrianne this week, to follow-up after her baptism and she said that she just feels an amazing strength and power that comes from her covenants. She is truly recognizing the gift of the Holy Ghost in her life. It is so true! Our covenants give us power! Satan has many nasty tricks, but the Lord's power can overcome ALL! Adrianne's baby was blessed this weekend at church and her husband worked up the courage to come to church to see it happen!! It was a miracle! 
Talking about babies, guess what!!? Sister Clyde had her baby this weekend!! That was super exciting:) That baby is so blessed to be going to their home. I can't believe how excited I was all week, waiting for their baby to come:) They are truly like family to me, like many of the wonderful people her. The Greens the other day, said they just wanted too adopt me! But they knew my family might not be too happy with that;)
This Saturday, Bonnie got baptized!!! It was amazing. She had to be dunked 3 times! haha. But it worked out. She kept saying, "I knew it would take more than one time to get all of my sins off of me;)." She is so great. She even worked up the courage to bear her testimony after her baptism. She is truly a powerhouse and has an amazing light about her. I am so grateful to have met her and to have been able to teach her. She is already an amazing missionary and sharing the gospel like crazy to everyone around her. It was an amazing day to be a part of. 

Another neat thing that happened this week, out of the blue, we went to Laramie on Thursday for our Zone Meeting and then after we took a lunch break, President and Sister Brown came and brought us the movie, "Meet the Mormons." It was the best! We watched it on a big projector and they brought us popcorn and everything! It comes out on October 10th but they want all the missionaries to be able to see it before, since we can't got to theaters to see it. It was such a neat movie and really shows to the world what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is all about. Invite your friends to go see it! Here is a trailer for it:

Well, I better get going! I love you all!! Hope all is well with each of you. The Gospel is true! The Atonement is real! Use it.


Watching "Meet the Mormons" movie with Zone

Bonnie's Baptism
Zane, Bonnie's nephew that we are teaching now