Monday, September 30, 2013

Another week in Richmond!

First I want to say thank you to all who are writing me and taking time out of your day to say hello and to make my P day extra special!:)

This week we watched the General Relief Society Broadcast and it was great! It really was so much about how much God really does love us! If you didn't watch it at least go back and watch the part when President Thomas S. Monson spoke. He told a story of a woman who needed to be shown God's love desperately and she got it. It is so good and it is so reassuring to me that he does really love us! The broadcast made me sooo excited for General Conference because it is going to be great! General Conference is like candy to the missionaries and we just soak it all in! Watch it and love it because I am pretty sure Richmond Virginia is getting a Temple:) Haha, well I hope so!

Our Investigators are coming along. It is cool to be able to go on this journey with people. It is cool to lead them back to Christ and to remind them how much he loves us and everyone on this earth. It really changes their lives and it is so crazy how much you can love strangers. We have one who was a devout Catholic and is really coming to find that it is true. She is reading and praying and all that jazz. She cried to us yesterday because she was afraid that it was true. It is moments like those you don't forget. Here it is hard to keep up with investigators after a while because they are really good at disappearing, so pray that we can find some of ours again, soon.

Every week we write our Mission President. We actually do it during this time that we write everyone else. It is really cool that we get to really tell him about our week and what is going on in our lives. He is so great! He loves us so much.

We have district meeting once a week and we have what we call "zone portion" before we split off for district meeting. It is fun to meet with everyone and to really get to know everyone. We moved someone this week and it was just my companion and I and the Zone and District leaders. I twas cool to have that time with them to get to know them better. I love both the district leaders and my zone leaders so much! They do so much for us and would really do anything for us. The love my "Marcel the shell" voice and make me do it every time we call them. I have made some wonderful friends here. They are the best!

We get to meet as a whole mission once a year. That is happening in December so who knows if I will still be here and as sisters we meet twice a year. We had sisters conference the other week and it was the greatest thing! I loved every minute of it! We got to see Sister Romney and I got to see the two other Visa waiters from the MTC too. I loved it!

We had sort  of what you would call a rough week with a whole bunch of appointments and such falling through, but what always picks me up is music. It is cool, how the week can be not so great, but I can listen to music that reminds me of my Worth and reminds me that I am not alone and I feel alright again. I am so grateful for music and how it can help you get through everything. It doesn't just work at home, but it works out here in the mission field!

Love you all!

On a side note. We have dinner appointments every night this week!! That doesn't happen to often. Have you been praying that we get fed?:) Keep it up, it's working:) It feels so good to be loved:)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Short and sweet:)

Transfers are coming around again in a couple weeks and I am a little bit nervous! I could be moving out of Richmond and I could train because I will be done with training. Sounds kind of scary! I guess if I was training in this area I would be ok. I would however have to buy a GPS...I think I won't even think about it! It just stresses me out!!!

Well we did get two new investigators this week. We had thirteen referrals and two out of thirteen isn't bad:) They are really interested in what we believe and want to know more about Jesus. It is so fun to meet with new people because we get to just talk more about what we believe and what we know. Lessons make the weeks so much more worthwhile and after a great lesson you just get so pumped! I love that feeling! Most of the time when the person is out of sight I just have to scream:) Then we laugh and talk about how great it was.

Another miracle happened this week. We went to dinner with a girl names A who was baptized in June and her boyfriend just left on a mission. Cool thing is she is preparing for a mission too!  She took us to the cafeteria at VCU and swiped her card for us. She brought a long a friend and while Sister Nelson and I were getting more food because it is all you can eat we came back she was just teaching the Restoration! Haha it was great and so awesome! I loved it! The girl was very interested and may be meeting again with us this week. So, we have been seeing miracles after miracles. Our president told us that last week the mission gained 362 new investigators. Miracles are happening and we are working hard and doing the best we can.

Since I am a missionary and we ask people to make commitments all day long I thought that after every blog post I would post a commitment that people could do. Yes, it may be cheesy, but I am a missionary and I love cheesy.
Commitment: "Jesus Christ is not our last chance. He is our only chance. He will show us the way because he is the way." Sheri Dew
This week think about this quote and think about how it applies to you. How have you seen that Jesus Christ is the only way through life? Or how can we make him the only way?

Thanks for all the love and the support! Love you all!!! The church is true and the book is blue!:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Things are starting to cool down! Finally:)

I am still here in Beautiful Virginia and loving every minute of it! The weather is finally cooling down a bit which is nice and makes me pretty happy because I was burning up here for awhile...but it is all good!

Since we are in the YSA ward we don't go tracting to much. Our tracting is on campus when we hand out free lemonade. I love doing that because it is so funny. We get a lot of crazy people out there and a ton of foreign people who have no idea what we are saying, but the other day we showed up early for a dinner appointment (yes, I said a dinner appointment!) and so Sister Nelson took me on my first tracting experience and yes it is as awkward as it sounds. And yes it was actually way more awkward than it sounds. Haha, it scares me because you never know who is going to come out behind the door...haha, but it was fun minus the sweating and the nervous shaking.

We did have a sister's conference last Tuesday! It was the bomb! All of the sister's in the mission got together and let me tell you, there are a ton or sisters! It still blows my mind how many sisters there are out here and actually that I am one of them. Haha, but something crazy happened at the conference. Well, we had different rotations and one of them was a Mary Kay Makeup thing. It was fun and the ladies teaching it were not members. So after all the rotations we all got back together and President Wilson and his wife gave some words and then he opened it up to questions and one of the Mary Kay ladies raised her hand right away. Then starts Bible bashing and just being kind of rude to the Mission President in front of all the Sisters in the Mission. It was a very intense 15 minutes of her asking questions then interupting President in the middle of his answer. But one thing that I did learn from that was how to handle situations like that. He was so calm and so kind. Surprising enough people try to do that to us daily. Maybe not as intense, but same none the less. But we are not here to Bible bash, but to answer any questions others have about what Mormon's believe in. We are here to set the record straight for all the rumors that have been spread about us as a religion. We learn that by being kind, we have been able to open a bunch of doors that we never thought would be open. But I am so grateful for my Mission President's example and for all he does for us as a Mission and especially for what he does for my companion and me. I love it!!

This last week have been very very good. It was a week full of miracles!! We worked harder than ever before and it payed off. We received 13 referrals and picked up two new investigators. Crazy!! I didn't even know that was possible. We were certainly blessed in many ways! I love being a Missionary right here in Richmond Virginia!

We have not heard anything about using Facebook and all the technology stuff. The only thing we know is that maybe it will start in January. That will be sweet!! But in all honesty I kind of hope that I am in Brazil by then. If I am here I will just embrace it!! I have been reading the Book of Mormon and I am almost done! I am so excited about that and it still blows my mind that any scripture that I read from the Bible or the Book of Mormon can help me daily. "When you want to talk to God, pray; when you want to get answers, read the scriptures." love you all and keep working hard! Oh, and keep writing me because I LOVE IT!!!:)

 Sister Nelson and Sister Siepert
 This is my city, Richmond Virginia
Richmond Virginia

Monday, September 9, 2013

Life is Good!

Hello everyone!
Well, I am still here in Richmond and I still love it! It is kind of crazy how you can fall in love with a city. I love it here and all the uniqueness it has. It is full of all sorts of people and really honestly I have met people from all over the world here. It blows my mind constantly! I have met so many people from the Middle East and honestly most of the time they are the nicest!

My companion and I, Sister Nelson are working hard. We have two people who sincerely seem interested in learning more about the gospel. It is cool when people come to you and really want to know about what we believe. Cool thing too is they both are dating/friends with less active members. Two birds with one stone? Haha, no, but it makes me happy when people really want to know. We also have had some cool meetings with people of other faiths. We both talk about what we believe in. It is so cool to learn so much about other people and their backgrounds. I love hearing testimonies of Jesus Christ from everyone on the street. It is cool to see how much Jesus Christ has done for them and also how much he has done for me. It is cool to compare those and even cooler because they are not from the same exact religion as me. Think about this for a minute. Every single person on the street that you drive down everyday or the people you see in the post office have a story. It is cool that as a missionary we get to hear all those stories. So, everyone who is reading this someday take the time to talk to different people. It doesn't matter if you are doing errands, they can wait, just take the time to really get to know a stranger. It is cool all the things you learn from people like that. This is probably my favorite part of being a missionary. We are required to talk to everyone. It is very intimidating, but very rewarding. I have actually started to enjoy all the time I get to just stop and talk to someone.

I have made so many friends in our ward and I love it! It is so awesome when you go to Church and people want to talk to you. I love that! I love sundays, speaking of Sunday I sang this past Sunday. I sang with my companion and the Training Sisters and two other ward members. I even got to sing the second verse as a duet. I think it turned out nice. It was so fun and it is so cool how calm I have gotten singing in front of people.

We don't do splits with people in the ward, but we do do splits with the Sister training Leaders. They are like Zone Leaders in Female Form. I love them and they are of great help to me and my companion. They are so much fun too, we laugh way to much. I have found that my talent of talking like Marcel the Shell with Shoes on, has really helped me out..hahah, I love it! They think it is so funny and then of course I'm like hellloooo I am funny! Hahah, but really we have a good time together.

I was thinking that the season would be changing, but it hasn't is still so hot...and everyday I just sweat so much and I get so grossed out. Haha, but then again I am kind of grateful for the hot weather because I don't have clothes for the cold yes!

I LOVE IT HERE AND I COULDN'T ASK FOR A BETTER TIME! seriously I get to be awkward everyday and hey I am so good at that. We laugh so much because it is so awkward and that's what makes missionary work fun! Just embracing my awkward side and think everyone loves it...everyone loves me, what can I say? Haha, naww I think it is all in my head, but it does make me feel good about myself. Life is good!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Change is hard...........but makes us grow

Well Sister R got transferred last week:( We cried a lot, we didn't want to be split up. Sister R went to a new area, she it training and opening it up. She called us yesterday though, she was with J. She moved until she heads on her mission in November. We both screamed!!! I love both of them so much! She will be an awesome trainer! Things really got mixed up in the Richmond Mission last week. There are no more trios of missionaries. The APs are now in our ward. There are a total of 4 companionship's in our ward now.  The training sisters are also in our district, and I LOVE IT!! They help us so much!  I am surrounded by awesome missionaries! I can learn so much from all of them.

The area we cover is huge!!! My companion and I cover three stakes and only teach young adults.  Every transfer we get a ton of travel miles. The other day we drove an hour and a half to meet with a less active man. It was so good!! Our Ward consists of about half students and the other half are just working here in Richmond.  I LOVE the ward I am in!! We have such good relationships with all of them. The more people we meet the more we are getting fed:) No we don't make friends to just get fed! It is a nice bonus though:) I did not imagine in my wildest dreams I would love a ward, or people so much. I have to say I cried about the changes, not for me, but for the ward and the missionaries they were losing. It is amazing how you grow so attached to a group of people and a city. I absolutely love Richmond. There are so many different and amazing people here.

We aren't allowed to go on splits with the ward members unless there is an emergency. When we meet with men we always have to have another female present. So that is kind of interesting. We are glad the students are back and will rely on them a lot for help.It is actually getting fun to talk to complete strangers now! It was so hard for me at first. I mean missionary work is awkward and that is what makes it fun!! It is however interesting when the guys try to talk to you and not about missionary work. But oh well no biggie:) I love what I am doing right now!

We are meeting with a guy names A and he is actually in the military. He lives on Fort Lee. It is pretty cool when we go on Base and kind of scary. They are very serious there. They stopped us for a while and we were freaking out a bit. He is in the Army. Well yesterday he found out he was being deployed to Afghanistan He is showing a brave face however I can tell  he is a little bit scared. I feel for him. It is so cool to meet with people like him. He makes his own guitars and makes his own music. He is awesome!

We have another guy in out ward that is names M. He is from China and has been in America about 8 years, I think. He takes us to dinner every Thursday, I mean real dinner like Cheesecake factory and stuff. He drives a sports car and he is so funny! He always tells us what is going on in the world. It is always fun to be around him. He is one of the funniest people I have ever met!

We have a lot of Medical Students in our ward.  It is so funny. You know how I have that huge birthmark on my arm? Well they always ask me about it.  So funny. They even pull out their Anatomy book to see what is going on. So so funny. I am sure dad will get a kick out of that:)

Well this is going to be a super hard week!! Please to anyone who reads this blog please keep my companion and I in your prayers. It is amazing how we can help others deal with hard things and cry with those we love! It makes the world a lot easier if we help each other. The Lord can really answer our prayers and help us through some tough times. With him we are never ever alone! Most of the times in life the Lord answers our prayers through the service of others. What a blessing to have people around us that listen to the Holy Ghost and act on it! I absolutely Love being a Missionary and have grown so much in every way!! Remember there are miracles everyday just keep an eye out for them. They are everywhere!

I love you all and I am working hard and trying my best to make a difference here. Thanks for all the support!

P.S.- No one has received their Visa's yet! I am a little bit shocked but embrace it! I know I am in Richmond for a reason. I am thankful for this experience on my mission. Everyone needs to hear about Jesus Christ where ever they are:)