Monday, November 25, 2013

New Beginnings:)

Yo, yo, I am emailing from the Gooch! Goochland is quite the place to know they have trees, trees, and trees, and trees and a carl Jr. This is literally all that is out here. It was quite the culture shock for me to come out here from the streets of Richmond. The first two days I suffered a bit of culture shock, but it is all starting to settle in. I will always have a piece of my heart in Richmond. I loved the people there and the city it self. Oh well:)  My area is huge! Like when I say huge, I mean HUGE. I think it  is the size of Africa. No joke, and we only get to drive 1500 mils a month. So that is kind of a joke..haha, but we are trying our best to get rides. It is pretty here and does look a lot like Oregon. It is really funny sometimes. They all have thick southern accents, but they do have some finger-licking southern cooking! I hope I don't get fat here....I like it a lot! We get fed a lot here. We got fed quite a bit in Chippenham but this is good ole home cooking. Oh No!

It is cold here! Like Bone chilling cold. Thanks to Sister Jepson (my old training leader) she let me borrow her winter jacket. She goes home in February, so I will borrow it until she leaves. well hopefully I will be gone before she leaves....but who knows! We actually live in a former investigators home. Interesting, huh? she is way nice and we live in her basement, which is cool! But it is pretty chilly down there. like the space heaters do a little bit, but not enough...haha. I just put on all I own and I am fine. It is a way nice apartment though. She owns a ton of property so it is kind of fun to walk around. It's a beautiful area. It's kind of funny because some of the houses are WAY nice and some of them are trailers. So, sometimes it can be a bit sketchy. There is also a women's and men's prison out here. I actually think some of the area here is more dangerous than downtown Richmond....but I am pretty dangerous so that is probably why I am here.

We serve in the Gayton Ward and my companion and I cover the country side of the ward. There are Elders that cover the city area and more around where I used to be in Chippenham. So there are only two sets of us and I have only met them once. Since we are so far out we hardly ever see other missionaries which is a big change for me. I am used to seeing them all of the time. I didn't get to meet a whole lot of the ward since it was Stake Conference this week. My new companion is Sister Gale. She is from Utah (surprise!) and is 20 years old. She just finished training in this area, so it is nice because she knows a lot of different people. We are getting along pretty good. I have learned so much from all my companions. we are never exactly alike but we grow from each other. We have big plans for this transfer, so pray that we can make it all work out with the little amount of miles that we have. We have been invited for Thanksgiving Dinner by four different families and we plan on going to all of them.  Haha, really, it will be great!:) I am excited for some good ol' southern cookin'!

We have one investigator set with a date. She has been set for a date in the past and didn't quite make it. I sure hope she can make it this time. She has a heavy smoking problem, but we hope she stays on track. There is not to much else going on. We are hoping to change that this transfer.

I was thinking that it would be way cool if once a week every week, you post something from Mormon Messages or something about the church or even about Christ til Christmas. They were talking about how we can use social media to do good missionary work. So you should all do that! President Wilson spoke at the Stake Conference and said that we can pray to show God we love him, but if we act we can show him that we love him in a deeper way. So do it! :)

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and it is 30 days until Christmas......just saying!:)

Sister siepert
 Goodbye Sister Bunnell!! I will miss you!
 My new companion Sister Gale and I!
my new area! Goochland! I call it the Gooch!  Very Pretty but very country:)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time to move on:(

Hello Everyone!

I have news. I am leaving the Chippenham YSA Ward....I am sooo sad! I am kind of in shock that I am leaving and I am so sad that I am leaving also because everyone else is staying together and will be here for the Holiday Season. I cried a lot...but I will do it because I know that there must be a reason. I cannot express how happy I have been to serve in this ward and to be around so many great people and so many great examples. I have learned a lot here and kind of have grown up here...It's like leaving my home ward. I have no idea where I am going yet because I find out on Tuesday, but all I know is that I am not staying. I have had so much fun and it has been so cool to see progress in the people we are working with. I am very nervous that I could be moving to a family ward because I do not know how to be a missionary in a family ward. I mean...I have to be normal. Haha, but I guess it will be a fun adventure.

 And I always wanted to be a 2 Nephi 33:3 missionary.  "But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith and I know that he will hear my cry."

But I am so happy Sister Bunnell is staying because I trust her with all my heart to keep this ward and things going.  It was cool because last night we were in the area of the Bishop and so we stopped by with cupcakes (food always works! Haha) and we talked to him for a little bit and he was so nice to me. He told me how proud he was of me and that I have been really good for this ward. He thanked me for my service and said that I have done a great job. It was really cool to hear that from him and to feel like my service has been enough:)

Anywayssss, this week has been a good week. Minus the fact that the Richmond Marathon was this weekend and Sister Bunnell and I were smart and were downtown driving. We got stuck in traffic for over an hour. It was probably the worst thing. You know how I like to drive in traffic. I was so hungry and I was angry because people are mean and don't let you in. I honked at an old lady...then I felt so bad. Haha, it was a mess, but luckily we got out of it alive and well. For a while I was not sure that was going to happen...haha. Then we also had another funny experience when we were walking downtown to do a hot chocolate stand. Elder Thomas was carrying the table and he accidentally hit a pole and it really startled us and sounded like we were being shot at. We laughed really hard because you never know in Richmond. Man, I am going to miss this place! Good ol' downtown Richmond. Where all the people I love live:( But that is okay. at least we had a good week to hit me off in a new area. Missionary life is so funny. Elder Thomas says, "We live an inconvenient life" which is true. I mean as a missionary it is bad to get to comfortable because that means change is coming.

On a spiritual note, this week we had a cool thing happen with a less-active we met. She is the sweetest thing. She loves animals and actually has swam with manatees....I know,  I almost cried. But, we had a lesson with her at her house and her friend was there and her boyfriend. It was cool because when we were just talking her animals were going crazy and her boyfriend was not paying attention or her friend. When we started to read The Book of Mormon, they all listened and you could feel the spirit so strong. We hope that something happens with that and she comes back to church because she has a testimony of it still, just hasn't been coming. We hope we can make a good impression with her and remind her of the reasons that she joined in the first place.

I am sad to be leaving, but I do know that there is a plan. Sorry this isn't all that happy,  I promise that I am happy. It is just hard to leave so many people I love and go and start over somewhere new. Who knows, maybe I will be in brazil soon! Well, I love you all and I hope you have a good week!:)
-Sister Siepert:)
 Love the Art of Richmond!
 Nothing like a little Pedicure on Pday:)
 Favorite Yogurt of Richmond!
 Just a little drink:)
Gonna miss these sisters:)
The Best District!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

RVA is the Greatest!

Querida Familia e Amigos,
Sorry i didn't email yesterday. But actually I am not all that sorry because we got to experience something way cool! Elder Sitate and his wife came and talked to my part of the mission yesterday. He is one of the seventies. We were in a meeting with him from 9 am to 3 pm. It was WAY long, but WAY good! I was so stoked! We all got to shake his hand and he greeted us by name. It was such an honor! He is so amazing and He and his wife are from Kenya, Africa. He told us all about how the church is growing in Africa and such. One of my favorite quotes from him was, "Heavenly Father is not expecting us to be perfect, but he just expects us to move in the right direction." He was so wise and just so humble. I was so impressed with him and how he handled himself. He and his wife are actually converts to the church too, so that was way cool to hear their conversion story. Another quote he said was, "The seed will only germinate (break the soil) in its time. It won't come before or to late." He is just such a righteous man and I was so impressed with him. Another cool thing too is that he came to FHE last night in the YSA ward! He spoke to all of them and I was so stoked about that! They needed it! What an honor, huh? And you know I love Africans!

Well, this has been a great week and full of funny moments. Everyday really is an adventure. Let me tell you about a few weird, but so funny things that happened this last week all within two hours. So we were out downtown just talking to everyone and such. And we first saw a girl walking her rabbit in the park and then some old Arabian man pulled parrots out of his car and we got to pet them and then he asked us out on a date. And then I got bit by a homeless mans dog. He was like trying to eat my skirt.....hahahaha, I LOVE DOWNTOWN RICHMOND! It is the land of the hipsters, so whenever I talk to people we always talk about how Oregon really is where the original hipsters started. They love it and people find it so cool that I have been to Portland...haha, I talk about Portlandia a lot here. It is so funny! But cool thing happened this week! We did a hot chocolate stand down at VCU and I get really nervous with those and I am not the best because they like bring me so much anxiety because it is right where everyone is on campus. And I was kind of praying in my heart that Heavenly Father would help me open my mouth and that he would help me be lead to those that are the elect and ready to receive the gospel and within five minutes this young man came up to me and said, "I have been searching for something. I really need something in my life." He then gave me his number and we actually set up an appointment. It was so cool and I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father knows my weakness and wants to help me make them strengths. I love when cool things like that happen. I really hope things go well with him and that he shows up at our appointment. Pray for him! His name is H B! Oh and K is doing great! She is so sweet and loves us and is really making friends with the ward. Last night after FHE she went for tacos with all the people in the ward! It made us so happy and the ward is really supportive to us! I love that! We met a new investigator this week. Her name is K and she is in the hospital, so she is not going anywhere! Haha, no she is the sweetest and just thinks that she has a million diseases, but they test her and she doesn't have any, but she is in a lot of pain and we got to pray with her and give her a Book of Mormon, so it is all good! I hope she comes along. Please pray that she will get better through the gospel and that she will be strengthened through the gospel because I promised her that.

Jo is gone:( It was so sad to see her leave, but I am more than excited for her! She will be an amazing missionary in Salt Lake. It amazes me that she has only been a member for just a little over a year and she is off on a mission of her own!! I got to see both my trainers this week. Sister N was at the meeting yesterday and I saw Sister R at a Sister training meeting. I can't believe that next week is transfer week already! I think though that I will stay here and I really actually hope that I stay here! It is the greatest place and if I had to leave from any ward I would want it to be Chippenham YSA! Also, I just love the people here way to much to leave this ward. It is going so great and the number of missionaries coming this next transfer is lower. Because of this I hope I get to finish training Sister Bunnell. We get along so great and we are just now in the flow. We are actually exercising. So that is good! Haha, we get up and go on a walk at a park near our house. I love her and I love all that she has done for me. I have learned so much from her. Last night we were parking downtown and I don't know if you know, but I do not know how to parallel park...I was freaking out so at a light we did a chinese fire drill so that she could park. It was funny and fun. We are just a good pair! I hope we stay together also because then I can see Megan when she drives through Richmond at Thanksgiving. Another perk would be that you can meet Sister Bunnell on Christmas through Skype. Do you realize how soon Christmas is?!! I cannot believe it!

We now have a YSA Center in the Downtown chapel. The Senior couple Brother and Sister Chuntz run it and are in our ward. It is the upper floor and truly an inspiring thing. We use it a lot and it gives VCU students a place to be and meet. It is located close to the VCU campus. The Chuntz's do a great job. It is truly a blessing to the students:)

It has been a great week and we are looking forward to another one!! Please pray for all our investigators! Love you all!

Have a good week!:)
-Sister Siepert :)
five months as a Missionary
five months and 3 1/2 months in Beautiful Virginia:)

 Jo on the left heading out on her mission to Salt Lake City. Sister Bunnell, Halina and Me:)

 Our newest ward Missionary, Hilary and me:)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tudo Bem?!

I can't say this enough! VIRGINIA IS BEAUTIFUL IN THE FALL!! There are these big yellow trees and it makes my day everyday when I see them. We had a really fun P day last week! We carved pumpkins and we did a very missionary thing....We carved in our pumpkins. We also had a good Halloween. We stayed home and handed out candy. We have so much candy. It is really bad because now all we want to eat is candy. We are trying to eat better, but it just has not happened yet. It will! I mean I think the stress has made me lose some weight though. I am stressed like 80% of the time. You know me...haha, but It has been good and I was lucky enough to go on splits this week and talk to the Sister Training leader about it and she told me that I need to slow down. I just want to work so hard and go so hard, but I have to be careful to not burn myself out. Haha, but hey, I would rather go home exhausted right?

We only have a few investigators right now but they are the GREATEST! K is the greatest thing that has happened on my mission so far! It is so cool for her to really see how precious she is to Heavenly Father. I feel like that is something I teach a lot, to members and to non-members. Everyone needs to know that they are loved and that Heavenly Father is the greatest person to turn to when you don't feel it. K went to the "Fall Ball" and loved it! Mormon dances bring all the people in, I tell you!! Haha, everyone should invite their friends to the dances and I promise you that you will have a ton of baptisms and new recent. great. converts. She is so cool and I am so excited to see her progress towards baptism. R is also coming. She is still reading the Book of Mormon. At first she thought Sister Bunnell and I were nuns, ahahah. She said she was so surprised that nuns could wear normal clothes, but she is so cute and so great! She wants to bring all her Indian friends to church, so basically we will be baptizing all of India soon. Hahaha, both Sister Bunnell and I are both having dreams about Indians....Odd. We have some members in our ward working on referrals for us and that is great! I am excited to see how those pan out. Mission work is great!

We had Stake Conference this weekend and it was really good. Our Mission President spoke at it and asked for help from the members. It was way cool to hear him talk about that. Also the cutest thing ever was that the Young Men of the church were parking us and they all had sunglasses on and those things that they use to guide planes. I loved it! It was so funny and they also parked all the cars according to color! I was so happy! In our stake here we have 27 missionaries and in our ward we have 10 of those missionaries and every single set of missionaries have someone or a few set for baptism. Exciting stuff is going on around here!

Last Friday we went to a thing called "first Friday", it is crazy and I think I have talked about it before. This man told a few of the missionaries that he was Jesus Christ. He was yelling out all of these bible verses and had the was way weird and I was just a little freaked out about it. There is some crazy stuff that goes on in Richmond, for sure! Haha

I love the Ward I am serving in! Trying my best to keep working forward because this is the Lords work! We need to keep looking forward with faith.
Sister Siepert

P.S. My Mission President told me that all the Visa waiters before my group are now gone. I guess we are next.......I will keep you posted:)

P.S.S. I emailed a bunch of the Guys from the Roseburg Stake on Missions. I heard back from all of them! They are all doing great! So fun to serve at the same time as those awesome Young Men I grew up with! I am so thankful for the age change for Missionaries! Changed my life!!!!