Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Skyping at Christmas was great!

I LOVED skyping. It made me so happy to be with my family again. It was like I was really there also, not that I was just talking to all of you. I went over time a little bit...but that is okay! It was funny because I was trying to hurry to get out of the room after I was done skyping, so that Elder T could use it and I had makeup all down my face and looked like a wreck...and there was a room full of people. It was kind of funny. Everyone was worried about me, haha. I love it!

Oh by the way, I am not transferring! I am staying and so is Sister Gale! I think she was a little surprised because this will be her 4th transfer in the Gooch, but we are ready to make the best of it. She has only served here her whole mission so far. Hopefully this transfer will be the lucky transfer that I get my VISA! You think? My MTC companion that was serving here in Virginia leaves for Brazil tomorrow! Cool, huh? I am excited for her and heard from a lot of my MTC crew and a lot of them aren't there yet either, it is kind of sad but it was so cool to hear from them. Yes, we emailed today instead because of New Years and stuff. We have our Pday today and have to be in at 6 which is when Pday ends....so basically a whole day Pday! And it is a zone Pday. So that is sweet! We get to spend the last time with our zone! I will miss the people that are leaving but I am super duper stoked to have new people too! I love getting to know all the missionaries in the mission and it will be cool one day to have said that I was in two missions and I get to go to two mission reunions. I have to say though, it will be sad one day when I leave Virginia because I love so many of the missionaries here and I love so many of the members here, but that is okay! It will all work out, right? You asked what we do as a zone. We play oomph-loompa.....everytime. It is a game that is played with a football and it has ultimate Frisbee rules and is played on a basketball court.  You would think we could come up with something new and creative, but boys will be boys. I mean Elders will be Elders. Haha, but is is okay because it is just fun and awkward to be around all the missionaries. Elders are sometimes very awkward....hahaha, but whatevs!

I am proud of Ryan heading back to Provo before New Years. I remember spending New Years last year with him in the McDonald's drive thru. I was telling Sister Gale about our New Years last year! Ryan and I were being crazy and you and dad were stressed about the breakfast thing at our house! Haha, I remember that perfectly!

This last week was good. Christmas actually was not as hard as I expected it to be. People loved us so much and did so much for us. I am so grateful for them. I only cried twice! You should all be proud. I missed you all very much, but it was so fun to talk to you all and hear all about what went on at Christmas. I was proud then R (a pretty recent convert and B husband) said that from the room I was skyping in he could only hear laughing. I LOVE THAT! That is one thing I love about our family is that we know how to laugh. I hope that one day I can have a family like that.

We had exchanges with the Sister Training sisters and that was super stressful... It had to be in our area with them. It was scary. Haha, but that's okay. We are still looking for new investigators and sad to hear that our best ones are now in Florida for five months! FIVE MONTHS!!! Haha, but that is okay! We work a lot with less actives and that makes me really happy! I wish I could just tell you all that goes on in a week, but I never have enough time.

Lastly, there is a couple in our ward that is going to Ghana Africa on their mission. They gave their farewell this week. She said something I really liked, "I have taught Kindergarten for almost 20 years and all those years I taught the kids that there was seven days in a week, but now I am aware that there are eight. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday,Sunday and SOMEDAY." I love that because it is true! I am so grateful that my someday has come and I get to be a missionary. I am grateful to look back and think that half of 2013 I am serving the Lord on a mission. How cool is that? Thanks for loving me and making skype so fun!

-Sister Siepert

This Katie's mom I want to add a few pictures of some special Christmas gifts she left for her grandparents and brothers:) She bought them and wrapped them with a special note before she entered the mission field. She always makes us laugh:)
 Fedoras for her brothers to attract the "Ladies"
 Cat shirts for the Grandparents:) 
Skyping Christmas Morning!

I don't have a picture but she gave her Sister and family a Slurpee maker. What family wouldn't love Slurpees every day of the year?:) She also gave her Mom and Dad a beautiful picture of the Temple.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from Goochland!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I can't believe my cousin Annie is married and I also can't believe two of my friends from BYUI are engaged. I can't believe it! That blows my mind, but also makes me very Happy! Who am I going to hangout with when I get home?!?!

I AM SO EXCITED TO SKYPE HOME ON CHRISTMAS!! It is kind of funny because the other day I was thinking about the beginning of my mission and always telling myself that I had to make it to Christmas and then I would be okay. Haha, guess what? It's here!! I can't believe that the transfer is almost over? Where has the time gone? I feel like I wake up and it's Monday and then the next thing I know it is Sunday! Haha, and I feel like I sleep for like 5 minutes and then wake up. I am exhausted! That's a good thing though because I would much rather be exhausted than know I didn't try my hardest. It is exhausting for me to talk to so many people. I think I am getting better at it, so that is cool. It will really help me when I go back to college:)

So this is the plans for Christmas! We will do our regular study time in the morning and then we will open presents:)  We have been given a ton of them and that makes me super pumped! Then we are having breakfast at some members home and then lunch at another home. We are going to be skyping from there. Soo I don't know if that interferes with your plans...but I am more important! haha. I will be skyping around 1:30-2 your time! I get to text you Christmas Eve to give you exact times:) The rest of the day we will visit other people. We have been invited to drop by ahead of time. It will be a great day! I mean I miss you all a lot, but i have to say Christmas on a mission is da bomb dignity. I love it! I feel like this year I actually am having Christmas more centered on Jesus Christ. 

The weather here has been soooooo nice. SO NICE! Two days ago it was 75 degrees and I was sweating. But now it is raining and the weather is dropping, so that is not all that nice. No snow for Christmas and that is okay with me!!! 

I am so glad to hear that Ty is finishing his Eagle Scout Project. I know it has been a long process but then he can say he is an Eagle scout, SWEEET!

Mission Conference was probably my favorite part about this last week!!! I LOVED IT!! It was full of musical numbers and spiritual thoughts. Then we had lunch together and had more musical and spiritual thoughts. It was so cool. Oh, best part! We sang the EFY medley and all cried like babies. It was so cool to sing that together and to see how many Sisters and how many Elders there are in this mission. It was such a powerful spiritual experience. I got to see Sister Bunnell!! It was so nice to talk to her. We cried when we saw each other. We are embarrassing...but yes, I love her!! She told me all about the Chippenham ward. That was so sweet!!

This week has been super sweet. We heart attacked one of our investigators. She had been super busy and it was hard to meet with her. Later that night she texted is and thanked us sooo much and said she really needed that. She invited us over the next day and it was so great! We taught her the restoration with her two kids and it was really awesome!We asked her to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and then the witnesses too!! three house later she texted us and said she was done with her homework. Solid right!!! She is so awesome and we are very excited for her:)!

I guess I will talk to you soon!!
Love you,
-Sister Siepert :)
 Another Day in the Gooch!
 Me in my Christmas Sweater!
Look who I ran into:)

Monday, December 16, 2013

9 days til I get to skype home:)

It was so fun to hear about all the people getting engaged! I hope they wait for me to get home. Haha Don't they know I need to be there! haha.

I was so happy to hear about K getting his mission call to Nebraska. It's sad but I don't even know where Nebraska is on a map. He will be a great missionary!  There is a family here who have a daughter serving in the DC mission...how weird would that be? That is like me going to the Portland Oregon Mission! They say she loves it!! You never know where the Lord will call you to serve:) It doesn't really matter where you serve it is that you are serving!! Being a missionary is Awesome! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else:) I love Virginia and I am sure I will love Brazil if I ever get there!

I got both of the packages you sent. They made me really really happy! I LOVE THE HEAVENLY HASH CANDY THAT YOU MAKE! I died almost eating it because I just couldn't stop. I am going to get fat here. People are always giving us food. I am not complaining it makes me happy! 

The people in this area are almost all country folk. I mean there are some Rich areas that we mistakenly tracted earlier this week and got a bunch of doors slammed in our faces and told that we were doing something illegal. We are spreading the gospel and trust me that is legal. Who doesn't love Jesus! COME ON! Haha, people are all very different. I like to go in the more humbler places because they are mostly very nice. Oh, we got yelled at this week. This man and his wife are very nice people and we knew they were not interested, but we went and we had like a solid chat for an hour about Jesus and about the similarities in our religions. It was way cool until we went to tell them that they were more than welcome to worship with us, just so they know. Anddd this man started yelling. When I say yelling, I mean YELLING. I mean really yelling. He was straight up rude and I wish Dad would of been there because I know that he would of never let anyone talk to his daughter like that. I mean he didn't have to freak out, but of course he did. And then started cursing everyone of our beliefs right after he had just finished talking about how we should respect all religions. It made us cry, but hey! He was yelling at a 19 and 20 year old that HE let into his house...but yeah that was a bit of a struggle this week. Butttt most people are very nice and are Jesus loving people. Sure most of them don't want to hear our message, but at least they love Jesus Christ.

The plan for Christmas is that we will have breakfast with a family in town and then we will have lunch with a family out here in Goochland. Then we will skype from the families home out here in Goochland. We have permission to text you on Christmas Eve to set up a time to skype, soooo look for that. We get to spend the whole day with the missionaries from our ward, so that will be fun! I love when we hang out with the Elders in our ward because they are way fun to be around! And they understand my humor, haha.

I have no idea when we will get Facebook, but it should be soon. The iPhone thing is a rumor even though it would be sooo nice. But, I am way stoked for us to get iPads. Maybe they will announce it at Mission Conference tomorrow! I am sooo excited for that! When times get hard during the week I just think, hey, I have to make it to Tuesday and then I will be okay, haha. I am way excited to see everyone there and to see all of my old companions! I have been very excited about that!

I can't believe Ty has finished his college apps. When did this happen? It blows my mind that he could be gone on his mission before I come home...and it blows my mind that this time next year I will be home....haha, where is the time going?

This week was what we call the "Mission Presidents challenge". We were to find as many investigators as we could and we found six new ones! Don't ask me if they are all solid, but we found them and they listened to us. It was a cool experience and definitely the hardest I have worked all of my mission so far. I am exhausted, but I am proud of that. We timed it and it literally took us two minutes to fall asleep. Haha, but we did something so fun this week. We volunteered at an old folks home/ rehab center and painted the older ladies nails. I LOVED THAT! We had so much fun and they loved it. There was this old lady named Peggy and when she said her name I thought her her name was Eggy and she laughed and laughed and told me that I was a wreck...haha, but I loved her. She told me that I was the prettiest girl and that I should be on TV. They were all sooo sweet and we are going to try to be there once a week and hopefully Christmas also. We also had a miracle with a media referral this week. We went caroling around were the referral was and decided to stop by. They weren't home so we sat down to write them note and the wife came home. They were there and had been hurrying to get home all day because she thought she left pork chops out! And when they got home, SURPRISE we were there! They let us in and gave us hot apple cider. They are the sweetest couple who lived in Salt Lake for a long time and their friend sent us there. we ended up teaching a lesson and they said that if they came to know it was true they would be baptized!! How cool is that? It was a good week. We taught lots of lessons and saw a ton of less actives (my favorite part of missionary work!)

Well, it has been another week in the Gooch. I am excited to start another one and moreee excited to hear from you on Christmas! Nine more days! NINE MORE DAYS! I am glad that this call home is a happy thing because for some missionaries it's a hard and sad thing, due to family issues. I feel so blessed that mine is happy. Thanks for all your doing for me and my companion! Keep us in your prayers. :) LOVE YOU ALL!

-Sister Siepert:)

P.S. Sorry no time to send pictures this week:)

Monday, December 9, 2013

The storm that never came:)

Hello y'all!
Your snow weekend sounds crazy! All that snow has to be the best! Haha, I loved the story about dad backing all the way down Garden Valley Hill because I can see him doing that, actually I can see him freaking out. Haha, we were supposed to have a storm....but I don't know where it is. It was kind of funny because everyone was freaking out about this crazy storm that was supposed to happen and calling us and giving us candles...then it never happened. Haha, I shouldn't say that out loud, it could still happen, but yeah. Yesterday we had Ward Council at 7 am, yes I said 7 AM. and it takes us 30 minutes to get to the church. We left earlier because we picked the elders up on the way and because we were scared to drive on the roads..but they weren't bad at all. Then at ward council they decided on only having Sacrament Meeting. So we did and it was sooo great! I am sad that half the ward was gone because of the "storm". We had an investigator come names L and she loved it. LOVED IT! There was a great talk that really touched her and the whole ward introduced themselves to her. It was really cool to see the ward come together. This ward is pretty nice and I have met a ton of nice people in the ward. But that was cool and thennn the roads weren't even bad sooo it was basically for nothing so that is okay! Haha

The Christmas Devotional was great! I love Elder Nelson.! I love him mostly because I remember him at the hastening the work broadcast and he kept turning around and waving at all us missionaries. He was soo cute! I loved the chessy part when he was singing with all the primary kids. But that was great and it was a little different than previous years. It is kind of funny how devotionals like that mean so much to missionaries. I don't think I have ever been so excited about watching a devotional in my whole life...haha, but I was excited and we watched it all at a members home because"the roads were bad". But it was fun because I got to cuddle with her little Chiwawa's the whole time. SO I was happy:) I am always happy when I get to be around animals and they are everywhere!!!:)

We went to a thing this week called the "Bethlehem Walk" It is this thing put on by the Baptist Churches here (yep they hand out Anti-Mormon literature) and they make a huge set that looks like Bethlehem. It looks very real! Then they take you through Christ's birth with music and such. It was really cool! and interesting because we got a lot of weird looks (due to our name tags), but hey, we were nice! I really enjoyed it and if you are ever come out here during this time of year you should do it because it is worth it. We also went to a creche exhibit at our church this weekend with a member and that was very well done. I have felt the Christmas Spirit so much on my mission and it is awesome! I mean the other day I was just sitting at our kitchen bar and started crying because it just like hit me that Jesus Christ was born. Missionaries have a lot of experiences like that...but it was cool! It makes me feel bad about all my other Christmas's before my mission....haha, oh well!

Funny Story: this week we were coming home one night and we pulled up and we park right in front of the trash can. On the trash can was this thing moving and Sister Gale didn't see it, but I did and you know me, I screamed There was this nasty possum on the trash. He was gross looking and we were so freaked out. I was like there is no way I am walking past that thing to get inside. I told Sister Gale we were sleeping in the car. We had to call M, the lady we live with, and asked if we could go through the garage, haha. She let us in and laughed really hard with us. I LOVE M!! We have started going walking/running with her in the mornings and she kills us! But I love it!! She is so sweet:)

Spiritual Thought: Read Luke 5:2-8, it is all about when Christ comes to Peter and the fishermen after they had been fishing all night. Peter and the fishermen are cleaning their nets, which if you think about it is really hard and time consuming, but then Christ asked them to throw them out again. Luke 5:5 is what Peter says, "Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." Think of how applicable that is to us all. We are all striving to do our best to be like Christ, but we all come short because we are human. Sometimes we get so weighed down that we just don't want to do it anymore. But after Peter did what the Savior told him to do "their nets brake" because they had caught so many fish. Sometimes we just need to trust a little bit more because the Savior can make our nets brake with happiness. He want's us to be happy, so trust him. 2 Nephi 4:20 "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness: and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the deep. "2 Nephi 4:21,"He hath filled me with his LOVE, even unto the consuming of my flesh."

Check out this link! Lots of good stuff:)

Have a great week! I love you all and have fun in the snow!:)
-Sister Siepert

Pictures from the Bethlehem Walk

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 Happy late Thanksgiving! I had a really great one and some REALLY good food! We ate lunch at this family's house names the M and that was fun to be with all of them. They are full of energy and loud! They have a daughter who is a year older than me and she knows like everyone in the YSA ward. So we talked about that for a long time! We hung out there for a while and listened to Christmas music. It was fun! Then we went to an investigator/part-member family house. Fun fact: They are from Oregon and his parents are from Tigard and they were there visiting. So that was cool to be with them and their cute 2 kids for Thanksgiving. Then we went home and did some planning. I honestly was not homesick all day...I impressed myself! But like everyone in the ward invited us over for Thanksgiving, so we felt very loved. we obviously didn't make it to all of them, but it was cool that they took the time to invite us! So Thanksgiving was fun! It was also so fun to see Megan and Eric. We had a good time and ate at this little place that was..alright. Haha, but it was really fun to be with them and a little weird too. I was surprised that it didn't make me homesick at all...it made me work harder and that day we worked almost the hardest that we have ever. So that was fun!

Here are some answers to some of your questions (mom's questions)
1. I have been out longer than my companion. my companion just finished training so she have been out for three months and I have almost been out six! I can't believe it is six months....I think she might be senior companion because this is the third transfer she has been here soooo...but we really have no idea.
2. We email every week from the Goochland library.
3. My companion drives because she knows the area better, which is a little scary sometimes...haha. We always laugh because she tries to multi-task while she drives and that just doesn't work. But most of the time is okay!
4. There are a few members out here. We feel bad for them though because it is like 30 minutes to get to church for a lot of them, so there are a ton less-active families out here. If we can get more priesthood members out here we can start a branch. So we are trying to work really hard!

I have been out six months on Thursday! Can you believe it?! I can't! It started out slow and now is speeding up! 23 more days til Christmas! When we skype on Christmas I will be getting close to seven months and that blows my mind. I can't believe that it is Christmas time already...you will be proud to hear that we have a puzzle table in our apartment and during lunch and at night we try to put it together! I told my companion all about that tradition and I wanted to keep it. So we did! Our house looks cute with that little christmas tree and another 4 foot Christmas tree that a member gave us. Also the foam nativity scene is sweet too! I love this time of year and people here get really into it. Earlier this week we helped a member set up her Christmas tree and that was fun because it was huge!

Cool story: So this week I was asked to train (or speak) in zone meeting. I was sooo scared because I am new to this zone and that is kind of a lot of missionaries who are a little more experienced than me, but I was asked to train on the daily schedule in the white handbook. I read some sweet scriptures about not wasting time here on our missions and how Heavenly Father is molding us faster on our missions than anywhere else. After giving that talk I decided that I would try even harder to live EXACTLY the daily schedule. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but decided that I would try it. So the next day I did everything exactly how it is said in the daily schedule and later that day we were going to see a less-active. We went and saw her and the coolest thing happened! Her brother was in town and he is not a member. He has been through a lot in his life and she had tried in the past to talk about the church with him. So we tried and he accepted the Book of Mormon. It was way cool! He doesn't live here, but it was a miracle that came from exact obedience. Cool, huh?

Another cool story: There is an Elder in my new zone from BRAZIL! I make him speak to me and it is so cool!

Haha, well I love it so far here and we are trying our hardest to get this area working. It is sweet to see how much the Lord blesses us and how much we need him in our lives!

The church is true and the book is blue!
Have a great week! Love you!
-Sister Siepert

I love being a missionary at Christmas!
 Interesting That there is a Baptist Chinese Church in Rural Virginia.
 Look mom I am doing a puzzle at Christmas:) Keeping the tradition alive!