Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall is Beautiful in Virginia

It is finally getting cold here and I love it! I am so grateful my mom sent me some sweaters from home and such. They are basically all that I wear these days. Fall is beautiful in Virginia and the trees are beautiful and the leaves are beautiful.  It looks like Oregon and feels like Oregon! I love it, but it also sometimes makes me miss home. Richmond is still good and dangerous. Haha, I found out this week that Richmond used to be ranked high in crimes and murders.....that is comforting, huh? I should emphasis the word USED TO! Like I know I have said this before, but you would be impressed with how not scared I am around downtown. I mean I am fearless these days, haha.

We had interviews with our mission President this week and I kind of was like I love this ward and hinted to him that he should leave my companion and I here for the rest of our missions. Haha, we will see:) Highly doubt it will happen but I would love to stay as long as I can:) At least til my VISA comes.

It is so great here we are getting fed like crazy! It is so great and we always have such a good time. I love being with the members and talking with them about life and laughing with them. I like that they think of me as a real person not just a robot missionary. It is such a good thing! We got a new senior couple in our ward! They are so nice and they had us over for dinner last night! There were some other members of the ward there too! I can't believe that J is leaving on her mission so soon! It blows my mind because I was here when she opened her call and now she is heading out so soon! She will be a great missionary! So Awesome!!

We set a baptism date this week! So exciting! She is the greatest!! She is roommates with another member and I love her too!  It is the coolest thing to see her recognize that Heavenly Father loves her and that he truly answers prayers!! She is super artsy and sweet! I love that! I love that she has a baby kitten named Gatsby that walks all over us:) Makes me think of kitty at home!

We have a new investigator from India! She is Christian and just wants to learn how to get closer to Christ so she doesn't feel alone. She is so far away from home but, she loves it here. She is a Dancer!! She dances contemporary and BOLLYWOOD! I am so stoked because she is going to teach me some Bollywood and she is going to make us some Indian food. She gave us some Indian coins, so that we would not forget her! How sweet is that!? I love her already!

I have come up with TEN things I have learned on my mission so far:

1. It is so much more fun if you are easy going. People are different than me and that is okay, there is no reason to freak out just because of differences.
2. I am really good at laughing. I mean two weeks ago was rough, but laughter made it better.
3. None of it is actually me doing it. Everything that is good that happens to me is either not me or is done to make me happy. Like when I teach and it goes well, it's not me. It is the spirit. And when we are in a restaurant and my favorite song comes on, it is a tender mercy from the Lord.
4. Trust the Lord. Since being here it has been hard not to call home after a bad day, but I have learned that I an pray for all things.
5. Be Happy. Things sometimes are out of our hands. If things don't go as planned it is okay!
6. People aren't all that scary. I can talk to strangers and be fine. Just be myself  and if they don't like that then that is okay.
7. We should always look around for people who look sad or down even if they are strangers. Go to them and take time for people. Love them like Christ would love them.
8. Driving in Richmond is hard (for me).
9. Love your companions through it all. They should be your best friend by the end of your mission.
10. Don't underestimate the Lord. He has our backs and if he wants something to happen then it will happen.

Well, as you can see I am loving it here and things are going good! I love being here and having the time to find the spiritual side of myself! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yo Yo, Friends and Family

It's me! I am still here and I think I might just be here forever....haha, but whatever it is fine:) I Love this Place! I know I have said that quite a lot, but I just love this ward! If I was in a YSA ward my whole mission I would be way happy! They are so fun and I get to be weird with them and they love it. I mean I am kind of scared to get put in a normal ward because I don't know how to act normal and mature yet....haha, so I hope I just stay here. I really hope I get to complete training with Sister Bunnell too! We are like the same person. We both have strengths and weaknesses to help each other out. It is just so perfect and I could not be happier.

This last week was quite a week...tested my patience a lot, but hey! That is what missions are like right?! Well at the beginning of the week we had six lessons in stone and we were so excited for them and guess what? Every single lesson that we planned fell through. It was great. Hahaha, it was kind of funny just because like we tried so hard and all of it didn't work out..but we did get to see a lot of other people. We visited a lot of less active, or recent converts this week. I guess the Lord just needed us to work with them. I mean we we had a busy week still, but it was busy in a much different way than we expected. But hey! Missions are that way and that is what makes it so fun! Sister Bunnell and I work just perfectly together so there was never any tension or weird stuff. I could not thank Heavenly Father enough for that.

Today I heard from a lot of people from my MTC district and it was just soooo great to hear from them all! four of them are now in Brazil. I am so happy for them and sad that I couldn't be there right now with them. Then again I Love it here. Being a Visa waiter is the most confusing thing. Like I am super stoked about being here, but then again I want to get down there to see how it is how things are going. Weird, but I will just be grateful that I have everything I need right now here in Virginia.

We have been working with the Bishop here a whole lot. It has been so great! We have a great relationship with him and it is so helpful! I love the ward and all they do for me. We get fed way more than we did when I first got here and people will just come up to us and bring us food or give us cool things. Like they want to spend P days with us and it is so cool to be around so many people who really love us. It feels so good to be trusted in this ward and I am so happy to be around so many strong people and to be uplifted on Sundays as well. It is just so great and I can not explain how great it is.

I found this really cool scripture this week! It is 1 Peter 4:12-13 and you should all read it! It is a very different way to look at trials and such. I love you all and hope all is good.

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Beginnings:)

Well I do have a new companion and I am training a new sister straight out of the MTC!! When President Wilson told me I would be training I kind of freaked! It makes me nervous but I am doing it! Her name is Sister Bunnell and she is the Greatest!! She is from Utah and her Birthday is today! We had a little Birthday party at companionship study! I really love her!! We have found we have so much in common. Like we like all the same movies, music and we both worked in the Special Ed in High School and come from very similar families. Basically all kinds of stuff. I don't feel like I am training her...she basically came trained! For example the first night she was here our friend M took us to dinner and she was talking to the server and just got all of his information for us to come by. I was sitting there and was just rooting for her!! She is so great and an awesome missionary! She is so excited about the work and that makes me so excited too!!

I am now driving, yep right downtown Richmond. It is kind of scary, but it is all good. Right now we are borrowing J's GPS for a while. It is so nice of her to let us borrow it. I don't know if Sister Bunnell will get one or not, but it is all good and I am not worrying. Something else cool happened at the Missionary Trainer meeting I sat down and guess who came in and sat down next to me?! SISTER ROMNEY!!! How cool is that? I sat by one of my trainers at a training meeting. We are just going for it and I am scared, but I feel like it will be  Okay. I mean Heavenly Father calls us where we need to be, right?! I feel way honored to be training too. It is so cool that President Wilson and the Lord trust me so much to allow me to be training.

Oh and yesterday I gave a talk in church. Yeah, this week has been kind of crazy...I mean we found out Sister Nelson was leaving on Sunday. Then on Tuesday night President Wilson called us to tell me that I was training and to tell Sister Nelson she was headed to Charlottesville!! She is companions with a Temple Square Missionary from Taiwan. She was so excited because she spent 5 months in China teaching. She has been wanting to learn Mandarin so bad! We now have two Mandarin speaking Elders in our mission and the work for them is EXPLODING! She is serving in the same area as those Elders. Then Thursday we had a day full of meetings. Our meeting was from 9-3. I have to say I loved it because we get to see all of the other missionaries! We came home and went straight to work!

Guess what the topic of my talk was???...Missionary work of course:) I was asked to teach the first lesson to the ward as if they were investigators. It was actually not all that bad! You know that I get super nervous and stuff, but I didn't even really write much down and I just went up there and spoke. It was so cool! I mean this whole mission thing has really made me brave! I don't even really know what it is? I just have been able to do all of these things that I never ever thought I would be able to do. Like I just spoke and I really was able to follow the spirit. I just let it guide me and it was fine. Afterword, the bishopric came up to me and just said the nicest things about my talk. I made me feel so good. you know there is no way, NO WAY I could do this mission without Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They really carry me through the day and help me to keep going. Missions are way harder than I ever thought they would be and they are nothing I would ever suspect them to be. It is cool though how often we see how much Heavenly Father loves us. Just in the little simplest things. Like moments that are so unexpected. It is the greatest thing! We see it all the time!

We have some new investigators and that is so awesome!! I love them all so much!! Our ward had a baptism this week. It was soooo great! She is so sweet and my old Zone leaders came down for the baptism because they taught her. I was so Happy to see them. They were awesome and it was cool for them to see me, and know how I was when I started and to see me now training.....what the heck....I am training!

I am just working hard and trying my best here. My companion and I get along soooo great and I am so excited to start this transfer strong! We are finding with faith!
 Happy Birthday Sister Bunnell!
I love Richmond!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Will I stay or will I go?

Well Last night President Wilson called to let us know what was going to happen at transfers this week. Well.....Guess what? I'M STAYING! Sister Nelson is going to get transferred. We have 37 new Missionaries coming in this week! There is a huge possibility that I could be training and that makes me nervous. I sometime feel like "I don't know what I am doing." Let's be real I have only been out four months. So kind of a funny thing happened when we got the call. We were super surprised because we don't usually find out until Tuesday. So we were really taken by surprise. Well when the call was done I set the phone on the floor. We both started to freak out! I mean Sister Nelson was freaking out, I mean screaming and being a 20 year old girl and I was freaking out being a 19 year old girl. Then I picked up the phone and we had been recording a minute long message... To the Mission President. I hung up right away and I told Sister Nelson. We couldn't stop laughing. In the end we called the President Wilson and he said yeahhh, I listened to the whole thing. Hopefully he doesn't think I am a bad missionary or undignified.....ooopsie. Sister Nelson and I are sad to be separated...but new things are in store and I am SO HAPPY to still be in the ward.

Conference was soo good! We watched conference at the church because we weren't allowed to watch it anywhere else. It was kind of fun it was basically all missionaries. kind of like a reunion! I loved it!  I mean as a missionary you get so SO excited. My favorite talks were Ulisses  Spares, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Timothy Dyches, Jeffery Holland, Henry Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson, Adrian Ochoa, Terence Vinson, and Russel M. Nelson. I think that is like almost half of the talks. One thing I loved about conference were all the accents! I think that is sweet because that means that the church is really growing around the world! My favorite quote from Conference was, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"- Dieter F. Uchtdorf. So good!

Something cool happened at conference though! We have a neighbor named D. She is soo great! She loves us! She always comes out with her dog and talks to us about Jesus and about how blessed she is to see our smiling faces everyday. She says that we have this glow that she loves. She is very Baptist, but loves us. Sister Nelson and I were on exchanges with the sister training leaders on Friday, So I was not with her, but she brought some pumpkin bread that I had made to her and got the courage up to invite her. And guess what!? She came to the evening session of Saturdays conference. We sat next to her and she kept saying Amen, Hallelujah and all that jazz, it was so great!! When it was over we looked over at her and she was just in tears. She sat there and told us of this overwhelming peace she felt watching that and sitting near us. She basically explained what it was like to feel the spirit. She felt it so strong. We talked with her for a while and she told us we were a blessing to her a million times. She was sooo great! We saw her last night as we came in and she said that she told everyone at her church she came and watched conference with us. She talks about us all the time and it is just so cool! She loves her church but who knows. Keep her in your prayers.

I had a fun thing happen this week! I got to go to lunch with Mariela from Roseburg. It was sooo nice to see someone from Roseburg. I was a little afraid it would make me homesick, but really it made me the opposite. It was interesting in high school we never talked about God. We talked about God and Jesus and how we both have become closer to him. We will probably get to have lunch again. She just happens to be going to college here in Richmond. So fun to see her!

I am working hard and this morning we got a media referral, which is sooo sweet and my first one ever! I love it here and I have the craziest Deja is so cool, because I think the Lord really has been preparing me my whole life for this moment. Thanks for all the love and support, I can't wait to read the conference talks all over again!

Love you all,
Sister Siepert:)

Oh and I am starting to read Matthew, Luke and John to get ready for the Christmas season, maybe you could start too.