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

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

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!!
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:)

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 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!!!!!
Sister Young